|“||That's why I invited you all here....for this advanced tutorial.||„|
|~ Big Dan|
Big Dan Teague is a major antagonist in O Brother Where Art Thou. He is a one-eyed small-time crook, who makes a living charming his victims with his smooth tongue and jocular attitude before robbing them.
Ulysses Everett McGill and his friend Delmar O'Donnell first meet Big Dan in a restaurant. Masquerading as a Bible salesman, he approaches them and begins a friendly conversation, proposing to bring them into his business. He wins them over with his blustery way of talking and his easygoing manner.
Everett and Delmar invite him for a picnic lunch, which Big Dan eagerly agrees to. As soon as the meal is over, he reveals his true intention. Breaking a dead branch from a tree, he beats Everett and Delmar almost senseless and steals their money and their car.
He also opens the shoebox, thinking it contains more money. Finding only a live toad (which Delmar assumed was their friend Pete), Teague cruelly squashes the animal before leaving his two victims. Later, Dan reveals himself at a Ku Klux Klan rally where the trio are masquerading as members to rescue their friend Tommy. Recognizing them, seemingly by scent, Big Dan unmasks them singlehandedly.
The three heroes cause a distraction by tossing the ceremonial confederate flag into the air. Big Dan catches it one-handed, to the applause of his fellow Klan members. He is killed a moment later, when Everitt cuts the support of a large burning wooden cross, which falls on him, crushing and incinerating him.
- Big Dan is blind in one eye. This is partly symbolic, linking him to Polyphemus, the Cyclops in Homer's Odyssey.
- It has been suggested that the character is based on the itinerant Bible salesman who exploits a naive woman in Flannery O'Connor's short story "Good Country People."