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.

He was portrayed by John Goodman, who also played Marshall in The Hangover, Bones Darley in Death Sentence, Ocious P. Potter in The BorrowersChuck Long in Evan AlmightyLayton T. Montgomery in Bee Movie, and Howard Stambler in 10 Cloverfield Lane.


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 Everett 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."
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