Pulp Fiction
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FAQ Contents

A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Pulp Fiction can be found here.

The screenplay for Pulp Fiction was co-written by director Quentin Tarantino and Canadian-born screenwriter, Roger Avary.

The chronological order would be: (1) Vincent & Jules (scene following opening credits), (2) The Bonnie Situation, (3) The Diner Part 1 (opening scene), (4) The Diner Part 2 (end scene), (5) Vincent Vega & Marcellus Wallace's Wife, (6) Captain Koons' speech to Butch (considering it was Butch's dream right before his fight) and (7) The Gold Watch. These scenes are arranged in a pattern so that the beginnings and ends of two outer stories are sandwiched around two inner stories. Thus: Story A1: The Diner Part 1. Story B1: Vincent & Jules. Story C: Vincent & Mia (& Lance). Story D: Butch & the Gold Watch. Story B2: The Bonnie Situation (continuation of Vincent & Jules). Story A2: The Diner Part 2.

What is in the briefcase?

According to Quentin Tarantino, "It's whatever the viewer wants it to be." The popular term for a plot device in which the details are unknown, e.g., what's in the suitcase, what's the secret formula for, why the birds suddenly started to attack humans, etc., is called a "MacGuffin." Some viewers have suggested that the briefcase contains: Marsellus Wallace's soul, the ear, or the stolen diamonds from Reservoir Dogs (1992), OJ's or Michael Jackson's other gloves, the Oscar that Tarantino hopes to win, Judy Davis' head from Barton Fink (1991), laundered money, gold bullion, a 25-watt transparent amber light bulb or Marsellus's dirty laundry.

Yes, more of a minor role than a cameo. He plays Jimmy Dimmick, the guy who helps Jules and Vincent out after Vince shot Marvin. He loans them his garage until they can figure out a way out of their predicament. Tarantino had originally intended to play Lance, the guy who deals heroin to Vincent, but he switched roles because he wanted to direct the scene with the adrenaline shot.

The Mac-10 belongs to Marsellus, who is staking out Butch's apartment with Vincent, but has gone for coffee and donuts, breakfast for himself and Vincent. Butch is extremely fortunate, as he has entered his apartment while Marcellus is gone and Vincent is in the bathroom. Vincent probably hears Butch come in, but believing it is Marsellus, is not alarmed. As Butch is driving away after having retrieved his watch and killed Vincent, he encounters Marsellus on his way back to the apartment, carrying a box of donuts and two cups of coffee. The "trivia track" on the DVD confirms this interpretation to be correct. An added explanation that does not disagree with the above but adds a psychological dimension is that Vincent is demonstrably very careless with guns. In another scene, this carelessness costs someone else their life. Here, Vincent carelessly assumes that Butch would not be dumb enough to come back to his own apartment and, so, allows the gun to go unattended in the kitchen while he uses the facilities. (Vincent is seen to be using the facilities more often than any other character in the movie. At least three times. Twice while reading the same book.)

Though it's not out of the realm of possibilities that Vincent didn't even know Marsellus had put the Mac-10 on the counter. If Vincent likes to read while using the restroom, it's entirely possible he was in there a while and may have been in there before Marsellus even left.

Tarantino has explained that this is not an error, rather, he did this on purpose. When we first examine the scene, we are seeing Ringo and Yolanda's conversation from their perspective. Obviously, because this is their conversation, what we hear first is probably what was actually said. However, at the end of the film, what is said is different because we are no longer viewing the situation from Ringo and Yolanda's perspective, but rather everyone else in the diner, most specifically Jules.

Honour. Butch puts himself in Marsellus' position and decides that he would hate to be left to such a horrid fate - he cannot just leave somebody there, no matter who it is. Butch does the "right thing" to put it simply - he realises that Maynard and Zed cannot get away with what they are doing to anybody. Butch may have also considered saving Marsellus an act of redemption. By saving his skin, he may have hoped that Marsellus would forgive him and let him go. This becomes the case, whether that was Butch's intention or not. Also, if Marsellus ever escaped and learned that Butch had left him there to his fate, Marsellus would sure unleash even more retaliation against Butch than he was subject to after double-crossing him at the fight. Consider the weapon Butch chooses: a samurai sword. The samurai are long-associated with honour towards their masters. If you want to simplify the overarching theme of the film, you could say it's about honor among thieves. There is also a clue to why Butch saves Marsellus, in the flashback scene with Christopher Walken's Captain Koons, and the young Butch. In the scene, Koons is relating his imprisonment with Butch's father, and tells Butch "Hopefully, you'll never have to experience this yourself, but when two men are in a situation like me and your dad were, for as long as we were, you take on certain responsibilities of the other". It's possible that these words came to Butch's mind as he was attempting to leave the pawn shop.

The overarching theme of the movie is retaining one's honor in the face of adversity. Butch was going to skip town & go on the run from Marsellus BUT he realizes that leaving Marsellus to be raped and/or worse by Maynard & Zed was dishonorable. When he selects a weapon (claw hammer, baseball bat, chain saw) they're all pretty messy things to use as weapons. The sword is associated with samurai, a position of honor in feudal Japan. Also, the sword is literally longer and more deadly than any of the other weapons. It's unlikely that Butch is an experienced user of the sword but he was also counting on surprise. And Butch wouldn't have to get as close to Maynard or Zed to use it & risk them being able to counterattack very easily. The hammer isn't very practical because it doesn't have much striking distance. The chain saw has a very short blade, and starting it would have quickly alerted Maynard and Zed. And the bat has the length but Butch would risk a non-fatal injury that one of the guys could bounce back from. Look at the fear on Zed's face when Butch taunts him to pick up his pistol. Zed knows that Butch could easily cut his hand off in one stroke or injure him enough to land a second stroke and kill him then.

The book is the first Modesty Blaise novel, which tracks the adventures of female spy Modesty Blaise. Though not of general reference to anything in the movie, it could be noted that Modesty is of some comparable significance to Mia's earlier mentions of "Fox Force Five," a show about a group of female spies. The edition Vincent reads has a mock-up cover that Tarantino had his prop department make, based upon the cover of an early edition of the novel.

How could Mia have OD'd?

Mia is a cocaine user, and when she sees the heroin in Vincent's coat pocket, she just assumes that it is cocaine--it's a white powder in a plastic baggie, and it looks just like coke. The problem is that, when Vincent goes to Lance's house to score heroin, Lance informs him he is out of balloons and asks if a baggie would be all right. (Heroin is usually stashed by dealers in balloons, not baggies, most likely to avoid situations just like this! It is also put in balloons so if you are caught with it or need to safely transport it you can swallow it quickly then "retrieve" it later. Mia might have known the difference IF Lance had been able to use a balloon.) The heroin he purchases is also described by Lance as being extremely potent (a "mad man"). Heroin is a depressant, whereas cocaine is a stimulant, the most likely reason for the overdose. Fortunately, Vincent gets her to Lance's house in time to save her with the adrenaline shot. (The whole heroin/cocaine mix-up is foreshadowed in Lance's comments to Vince, "Coke is dead as... dead. Heroin is coming back in a big way.")

Vince was having a very bad morning! He was almost killed by a man who was shooting at him, then he accidentally shot Marvin in the face while they were driving, which made a mess of the car, him & Jules, Jules gives Vincent a hard time over it despite it being an accident, had to "take shit" from The Wolf, Jules and Jimmy; he had to help Jules clean up all the brains, blood and skull that used to be Marvin's head; he had to strip down naked and get hosed down with freezing cold water in order to clean the blood off himself; he had to wear dorky clothes given to him by Jimmy, and finally he was caught in the middle of a Mexican stand-off at the diner when he and Jules went to breakfast. To top it all off, his best friend and partner (Jules) had just decided to quit the business they were in. This was all in the span of about 3 or 4 hours. So Vince finally shows up at his destination, then gets teased by Paul the bartender about his taking Mia out to dinner, when Butch came up to the bar. Vince probably knew or assumed why Butch was at the bar. Marsellus was paying him to take a dive. Vincent may not respect people who are willing to betray their principles for money. So when Butch asked if he was looking at something, Vince took the opportunity to insult him.

Vincent called Butch "Palooka," a reference to a cartoon character named Joe Palooka, who was portrayed in a long-running comic series as a heavyweight boxing champion. In Vincent's eyes, "Palooka" would be a derogatory term for boxers in general, implying he looked down on Butch for his profession. It's also a fairly popular euphemism from the 1950s to refer to anyone who appears oafish or dumb. Butch is obviously NOT either but it was a convenient insult for Vincent to use. After Butch asks "What was that?" Vincent says "I think you heard me just fine, Punchy," obviously another crack at Butch's profession, because the term "punchy" when referring to boxers is a word used to describe a boxer who has been in the game too long and has been punched too much and it shows.

That's "The Gimp," an extreme sexual submissive who is apparently kept prisoner in Maynard and Zed's basement. The character was Roger Avary's idea, who got it from the movie "Deliverance." Unfortunately, nothing is specified about the character's origin or the circumstances of his time in the basement, except that he has no apparent desire to be freed. Another character named "Russell" once inhabited the same room. The screenplay implies that Russell was a previous prisoner whom Maynard and Zed eventually killed. The text commentary on the Pulp Fiction Special Edition DVD is similarly vague. It only refers to the Gimp a few times, and calls Butch the "victim of violence" and the Gimp the "perpetrator of violence."

One theory is that it was covering the hole where the "devil's helpers," Brett and gang, stole Marsellus's soul, a longstanding interpretation of the film that has made its rounds among fans since the film was released. However, there is a more mundane explanation. Ving Rhames just happened to have a real-life cut. There is a large scar visible on the back of Ving Rhames' head in all of his later films exactly where the band-aid was. It was possible that he recently had surgery in that area, and instead of covering it with make-up or showing it to the viewing audience (thus confusing them, as it wouldn't have been in the script and therefore never explained), they decided to just cover it with a band-aid. Another theory is that Ving Rhames may have cut himself severely when he was shaving his head.

Yes, and in several ways: (1) Vincent from Pulp Fiction and Vic "Mr. Blonde" Vega from Reservoir Dogs are brothers. For a time Quentin Tarantino wanted to do a film with them as main characters. He has since dropped the project; (2) Jimmie Dimmick from Pulp Fiction and Larry "Mr. White" Dimmick are supposed to be related in some fashion; (3) Steven Buscemi is seen as a waiter, when in Reservoir Dogs, his character makes a passing reference that he worked minimal wage and that he refuses to tip waiters; (4) The fictional restaurant Big Kahuna Burger is featured in both films; (5) Originally the contents of the briefcase were to be the diamonds from Reservoir Dogs, but Tarantino found that to be too lackluster; (6) In a deleted scene from Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Pink, Mr. White and Nice-Guy Eddie are speaking about taking Mr. Orange to a nurse named Bonnie. In Pulp Fiction, Jimmie Dimmick's wife was a nurse named Bonnie. Nice-Guy Eddie also refers to Bonnie as "The Bonnie Situation," which is a chapter title from Pulp Fiction; (7) Some also assume that the story revolving around Jules and Vincent in Pulp Fiction takes place on the same day the events of Reservoir Dogs take place, which would explain the lack of cops in the street; and (8) The woman in her car in Reservoir Dogs is the same woman that is accidentally shot by Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction. Her name is Linda Kaye. While The wolf is at Jimmy's home on the phone he is commenting about a green Chevy nova, where mr Orange, White and Brown crashed.

In both films, someone says, "Garon means boy." The suit that Jackie wears in the film is identical to Mia's in Pulp Fiction. Jackie drives the same model Honda that Butch drove when going to retrieve his watch.

No. This cannot be The Bride's sword, as hers was custom made by Hattori Hanzo in Volume 1. If it was anyone's sword, it would belong to Budd, Bill's brother. Budd tells Bill early in Volume 2 that he pawned a sword that Bill gave to him as a gift. This would lead fans to believe that the sword that Butch used in the store was Budd's. However, when Elle and The Bride later battle in Budd's trailer, The Bride sees Budd's sword hidden in a golf bag, which she uses in the fight against Elle. So, simply put, the sword is neither The Bride's nor Budd's. It is simply a sword that just so happened to be at the pawn shop. There's a very small chance that Pulp Fiction takes place after Kill Bill and that The Bride sold it to the shop, but it's stated in Vol. 2 that pawning a Hanzo sword is a great insult, and The Bride would know this better than anyone.

No. At the beginning when Vince and Jules were talking about "hash bars," Vince was talking about his trip to Amsterdam, not anywhere in Los Angeles. When Mia asked Vince to "roll one of those for me," it's simply because Vince rolls his own cigarettes. Vincent confirms that it's only tobacco.

Was Fabienne pregnant?

It's never explicitly stated, but it is strongly implied that she was: she had talked about looking at herself in the mirror, picturing herself with a potbelly and how good she would look with it. After having a shower, Fabienne goes to tell Butch something but sees that he is fast asleep and says "never mind." The next morning she talks about having a very large and unusual breakfast, which is uncommon for a woman so petite who isn't pregnant.

Vincent Vega (Pulp Fiction) and Victor Vega (Reservoir Dogs) are brothers.

Laurence Dimmick a.k.a. Mr. White (Reservoir Dogs) and Jimmy Dimmick (Pulp Fiction) may be related somehow.

Jack Scagnetti (Natural Born Killers) and Seymour Scagnetti (mentioned in Reservoir Dogs) could be related.

Drexl Spivey (True Romance) and Marsellus Spivey (mentioned in Reservoir Dogs) could be related.

Earl McGraw (From Kill Bill Vol. 1, Grindhouse) and Edgar McGraw (Kill Bill Vol. 1, Grindhouse) are father and son. It is also possible that Michael Parks' character is related to the McGraws because Earl McGraw and Ambrose Pierce were both played by the same actor.

Bill and Budd are brothers.

Sgt. Donny Donowitz (Inglourious Basterds) and Lee Donowitz (True Romance) might be father and son or Uncle and Nephew.

When Mr. White and Joe Cabot are talking in a flashback Joe Cabot mentions that Mr. White worked with a women called Alabama which could be Alabama Whitman (True Romance).

Note that some names of the characters somewhat correspond with the "career choice" of the other, an example being that Drexl is a pimp and Marsellus was a diamond fence who was doing 20 years in prison. Jack Scagnetti was a popular detective and Seymour was a parole officer, etc.

Even though the scene showing Vincent Vega taking heroin was not cut for the Collector's Edition DVD in the UK, the shot was reframed. You can't see the needle being stabbed in the arm. A detailed comparison with pictures can be found here.

There is a video where QT says it was Butch [Bruce Willis] who keyed Vincent's [John Travolta] car.

Page last updated by freeman92, 5 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: TomiusJ, PorridgeBird, kennethranson, Brand S, joaocruzferreira


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