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Played By: Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, B. J. Novak, Omar Doom, Samm Levine, Paul Rust, Michael BacallA group of soldiers who have set out to put the fear of God into Nazi Germany. Started as eight Jewish-Americans, but were later joined by the German Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz after he murders 13 Gestapo officers and the Basterds break him out of jail.
"We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are."
- '90s Anti-Hero: They take no prisoners and relish violence. The main reason to root for them is that their targets are Nazis.
- Badass Crew: It's not even funny how much fear they put into the Nazi party, "butchering them like flies." Hitler even ponders them as "apparitions", able to appear and disappear at will. They're just that good.
- Blood Knight: Going as far as to scalp the soldiers they kill, the Basterds are in France for the sole purpose of killing German soldiers.
- The Dreaded: Always leave a Sole Survivor with a swastika carved into their foreheads to spread the word that they are going around killing Nazis.
- Pragmatic Villainy: ...Or at least that's what the Basterds tell them to say. In truth, at least one survivor is usually interrogated to reveal enemy positions or movement in exchange for letting them go free. The "spread fear among the ranks" bit is the excuse the soldier is given to relay so that they aren't immediately put up against a wall and shot for betraying their fellow soldiers, and since the high command typically forbids them to tell the story to anyone else, it works out pretty well. Carving the swastikas into their foreheads is just for kicks, though.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: All the members can classify.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Let's see, they hate the Nazis, yet they do several eerily similar actions onto the Nazis that the Nazis do onto Jews and other undesirables, even down to locking them in a room under false pretenses (in a manner of speaking). That fits the trope to a "t". But given that it's eight Jews and a hillbilly versus the entirety of the Nazi Party, it just as much comes across as a darkly satisfying turning the tables.
- Knight Templar: Their mission statement is two words long; "Kill Nazis". However, one of the many (many, many) things that makes them morally dubious is that they do not differentiate between Nazis and non-party German soldiers. Joined the German army just for the pay, even if you hate the Nazis, or got conscripted? Too bad; assuming you survive the Basterds, you're still getting branded with a swastika.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Possibly the best example.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Most of the Basterds are Jewish, and they fight Nazis, so revenge is certainly a motivating factor.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Four Basterds disappear (Gerold Hirschberg, Andy Kagan, Michael Zimmerman, Simon Sakowitz) never to be shown on screen again. According to leaked versions of the script, whoever didn't show up by the tavern scene had died.
- However, other versions have the remaining Basterds survive by the story's end.
Lt. Aldo "The Apache" Raine
Played By: Brad PittA hilljack from the backwoods of Tennessee. Has a mysterious scar about his neck that is ultimately left to the viewers' imagination. Tasked with instilling God-induced fear into the Germans before the Armada, he puts together the American-Jewish "Basterds" - all too happy to kill him some Nazis.
"Every man here owes me one. Hundred. Nazi. Scalps. And I want my scalps!"
- Anti-Hero: Aldo seems truly dedicated to taking down Hitler and stopping the persecution of European Jews. The killing and torturing is just a bonus.
- Ax-Crazy: He does get off on carving swastikas into the heads of German prisoners-of-war.
- Badass Mustache: An epic one.
- Badass Native: Claims to be descended from Jim Bridger, which makes him part Native American.
- Blood Knight: Like most of the Basterds, he really enjoys fighting Nazis.
- Decoy Protagonist: He's featured most prominently in the trailers and is played by the best-known actor in the cast but it's really Shoshanna that pulls off the biggest Nazi massacre.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He did seem genuinely willing to let Wilhelm leave the bar alive after hearing that he was a father to a newly born child, and gives off a very subtle indication that he doesn't think highly of Hammersmark killing him in cold blood.
- Famous Ancestor: Raine mentions he's a direct descendant of well-known mountain man Jim Bridger.
- The Man They Couldn't Hang: A likely cause of his neck injury.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Like most of the Basterds, he *really* enjoys killing and mutilating Nazis. He also doesn't mind torturing Bridget when he becomes suspicious of her.
- Knife Nut: Carries a big fucking Bowie knife everywhere, which is what he uses to carve those swastikas. If Donny's comments are anything to go by, Aldo's getting pretty skilled at forehead carving.
- Knight Templar: He's so dedicated to killing "Nat-zees" he doesn't care if Germans he meets are actually Nazis (such as the SS) or conscripted soldiers who may or may not be Nazi sympathizers (such as the Wehrmacht).
- Large Ham: His way of speaking is quite theatrical throughout the story.And I WANT my scalps!
- Laughably Evil: He is quite entertaining, probably the main reason why his blatant sociopathy is largely ignored by the fanbase. Another reason probably being Pay Evil unto Evil.
- Military Maverick: That fact he mentions having been 'chewed out' before and is still holding the rank of lieutenant probably goes some way to explaining why he is leading an irregular unit on what most people would consider a suicide mission.
- Noodle Incident:
- When he tweaks the deal Landa made with the Allied Command, Raine notes it's not the first time he went against orders.
- How Raine got that scar. He looks like a survivor of a failed hanging, although who hanged him and for what reason is never explained.
- Obviously Evil: Raine invokes this by carving swastikas into the foreheads of Nazis. Aldo takes issue with the fact that a Nazi could just take off their uniform and no longer be identifiable as a Nazi. So he gives them a little something they can't take off.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: The Nazis are cruel, evil people who will murder without a second thought. Therefore Raine feels giving them a taste of their own medicine is a perfectly valid tactic.
- Southern-Fried Private: He hails from Tennessee, although Raine mentions he's got just a touch of Native American blood in him.
- Would Hit a Girl: After the disastrous rendezvous with von Hammersmark that results in two of his men and a British agent dead, he has no issue with hurrying von Hammersmark's interrogation along by sticking a finger into the bullet-wound on her leg.
Sgt. Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz
Played By: Eli RothMore commonly known as "The Bear Jew", his infamy and brutality is so widespread among German soldiers stationed in France that many actually believe that he is a golem summoned by a vengeful rabbi. In truth, he is a Jewish-American soldier who really likes baseball. Unfortunately, there are no baseballs in Nazi-Occupied France, so he and his bat make do with Nazi melons.
- All There in the Manual: Donny's backstory-flashback, cut from the film but found in the published script, reveals that he specifically enlisted to fight in the war on the condition that he fight Germany, not Japan. Also, his bat is inscribed with names of Jewish friends and family members as their blessings for his revenge.
- Anti-Hero: Donny is truly dedicated to taking down Hitler and stopping the persecution of European Jews. The killing and torturing is just a bonus.
- Atomic F-Bomb: "Fuck A Duck!"
- Batter Up!: His weapon of choice. He's become infamous among the Nazis for it.
- Blood Knight: Donny loves to kill, and he cannot wait to smash his bat into another human being's face over and over.
- The Dreaded: Even by Basterds standards, he's feared among the German military, to the point of being Shrouded in Myth.
- Famous Son: According to Quentin Tarantino, Lee Donowitz is in fact, Donny's son.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies in the explosion of the theater in the end gunning down Nazis to ensure none of them escape.
- Hollywood New England: His Boston accent shows as he clubs Rachtman.
- Knight Templar: Is decidedly the most eager to torment and slaughter him some Nazis.
- The Lancer: He questions Aldo what they need Hammersmark for more than anyone else.
- Large Ham: Tends towards Chewing the Scenery a lot in his lines. Like his exaggerated sarcasm when talking about Operation Kino...or his elation after beating Sgt. Rachtmann to death.
- Nightmare Fetishist: His face whilst listening to Raine explain his intentions to the Nazis.
- Red Baron: He becomes knows as the "Bear Jew" among the Nazis.
- Psychotic Smirk: Donny Donowitz gives this off as he approaches the German Commanding Officer to execute him.
- Shrouded in Myth: Nazis believe he's a golem conjured by a Rabbi.
- Terror Hero: Considering his actor, he looks psychotic in nearly every scene he appears in. Smirking during Raine's monologue of spreading terror towards the Nazis, looking like a maniac standing near Bridget von Hammersmark, and his blood lust when he spots Hitler.
Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz
Played By: Til SchweigerA psychotic serial killer who was, for a time, a German enlisted soldier. He gained infamy after brutally butchering thirteen Gestapo officers, and was promptly on his way to the gallows. But as it turns out, Aldo was a huge fan of his work and wanted him to play for his team. Hugo didn't even have to ponder on the possibility of killing more Nazis.
- Ax-Crazy: There really isn't a non crazy reason for why he enjoys killing Nazis.
- Blood Knight: Certainly seems to enjoy that one kill where he choked the Nazi to death with his fist.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Out of the 13 Gestapo officers he killed we saw three. One was suffocated by stuffing a fist into his throat and another repeatedly stabbed in the face through a pillow. The third was just strangled with a piano wire.
- A Day in the Limelight: The only Basterd to get a full flashback sequence divulging their backstory.
- Defector from Decadence: Downplayed in that the Basterds are nearly as decadent as their targets. However, the inscription on his knife translates into "My duty is to my honor", indicating that his rebellion against the Nazis arose out of disgust for their dishonorable crimes.
- The Dreaded: "Everybody in the German army's heard of Hugo Stiglitz...!"
- Heel–Face Turn: Subverted. It's never fully explained why he decided to kill Gestapo officers, but the Basterds heard about it and offered him his freedom in return for helping them. Naturally, he joined up. The film hints that the Gestapo tortured him for some reason, setting him off on his personal Roaring Rampage of Revenge before capture (and rescue by the Basterds).
- The inscription on his knife ("My duty is to my honor") may give a clue as to his rebellion.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: The greatest example in the movie (on the part of a sociopath).
- Knife Nut: He has an SS dagger, with the "Loyalty is my honor" inscription.
- Made of Iron: While hard to tell, close viewing of the bar shootout shows Stiglitz taking multiple rounds to his back as he stabs Hellstrom before he turns around to return fire, killing a few German soldiers. It takes the bartender's shotgun to finally finish him off
- Nominal Hero: Hugo has no problems with murder, mutilation, and torture. His targets are Nazis, though, so his interests are aligned with that of the Allied High Command.
- Not So Stoic: Subverted. Despite losing his shit in his own mind sitting next to a Nazi Gestapo officer in a bar, reliving the Nazi torture he endured at some point, he doesn't blow his cover nor burst into violence. Hicox does. Only after does he shoot the officer in the balls and goes nuts stabbing him in the back of the head during the shoot out.
- Psycho for Hire: He just seems to like killing.
- Serial Killer: Before joining the Basterds.
- Sociopathic Hero: He straddles between this and Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
- The Stoic: Almost completely unflappable—even when the prison guards to his cell are being suddenly gunned down. And then there's this gem, when Hicox tells him they should all be sure to remain calm on assignment:"I don't look calm to you?"
- Token Enemy Minority: Former German soldier under the Nazis. Now with the Basterds.
Cpl. Wilhelm Wicki
Played By: Gedeon BurkhardAn Austrian-born Jew, he quickly fled and became an American citizen right around the time when the Nazi party was coming into real prominence. Afterwards, he joined the Basterds to kick a little ass. Acts as the team's translator, cause the Germans are too shit-scared of Stiglitz.
- Alliterative Name: Wilhelm Wicki.
- Defector from Decadence: He's actually Austrian-born.
- The Lancer: Acts as an interpreter for Raine, goes to the rendezvous with Hicox, and if things had played out the way they were intended, he would've gone to the premiere as part of Operation Kino.
- Only Sane Man: Compared to the rest of the Basterds, he comes across as The Quiet One.
Pfc. Omar Ulmer
Played By: Omar DoomA Basterd who got roped into Aldo's insane plan of bombing the cinema following the Mexican Standoff turned Blast Out in the pub. He doesn't speak Italian, not that Aldo cares.
- Butt-Monkey: Raine treats him like this but he proves himself otherwise.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies in the explosion of the theater in the end gunning down Nazis to ensure none of them escape.
- Hidden Depths: He's the only one of the trio who satisfies Landa's ear for Italian despite being the only one who can't speak any.
Pfc. Smithson "The Little Man" Utvich
Played By: BJ NovakKnown to the Germans as the "Little Man" - even though he's not the smallest of the Basterds - , Utvich is a Basterd who, for some reason, was captured by Landa along with Aldo in the hopes of his scheme succeeding. Despite coming off as timid, he is all too happy to follow Aldo.
"The Germans' nickname for me is "the Little Man"?"
- Embarrassing Nickname: Known as "Little Man" to the Germans. He's quite miffed when he finds out.
- Expecting Someone Taller: Inverted, much to his chagrin.
- Sole Survivor: Aside from Aldo, he is apparently the only Basterd who survives the campaign. At the very least he is the only one along with Aldo who makes it back across the border safely.
Pfc. Gerold Hirschberg
Played By: Samm LevineA Basterd with a minor role. He's the shortest member of the Basterds
- In the Back: Shoots Private Ludwig when he tries to escape.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In interviews, Samm Levine confirms that Hirschberg survives to the story's end, and written-but-not-filmed closing scenes had himself and other unspecified Basterds meeting up with Lt. Raine and PFC Utivich after they settled things with Col. Hans Landa.
Pfc. Andy Kagan
Played By: Paul Rust
Pfc. Michael Zimmerman
Played By: Michel Bacall
German High Command
The German High Command (Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goring, and Martin Bormann)
Played By: Martin Wuttke & Sylvester Groth
- Death by Irony: At a celebration of their military victory and conquest, they meet their deaths at the hands of both their wartime enemies and one of their many victims.
- Demoted to Extra: Hermann Göring and Martin Bormann.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: They're Nazis.
- Saved by Canon: Completely averted.
- Villain by Default: They're fricking Nazis.
Played By: Martin WuttkeIt's that one guy.
- Adolf Hitlarious
- Big Bad: A passive example, as he does absolutely nothing to directly hinder the protagonists.
- Incoming Ham: "NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, NEIN!"
- Large Ham: In his first scene, he really hams it up during his rant about the Bear Jew.
- Living Macguffin: Despite being the ultimate leader of the Nazi party, Hitler has no real influence on the plot, other than just being another target for Shoshanna and the Basterds to kill. Replacing him with another important Nazi would not affect the plot very much.
- Nice to the Waiter: After informing his secretary that all talk of "The Bear Jew" is forbidden among the rank and file, said secretary reminds him of a forgotten appointment, for which Hitler thanks him. Later, he decides that the premiere of Goebbels' latest movie is important enough to the German people that he himself attends, and he personally praises Goebbels on his work.
- Pimped-Out Cape: Wears one in his first appearance.
Dr. Joseph Goebbels
Played By: Sylvester GrothHitler's Minister of Propaganda, he sees himself as the next (less Jewish) Fritz Lang. He...really isn't.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: As if being the Nazi Minister of Propaganda didn't make him evil enough, he also has a creepy, passive-aggressive handshake.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his ego, his temper, and the sort of mentality that gets a person put in charge of Nazi propaganda, Hicox reports that the man's attempt at revitalizing German cinema and "beating the Hollywood Jews at their own game" is actually doing quite well.
- Establishing Character Moment: His joke about the Olympics being based off "Negro sweat."
- Fan Disservice: Thanks for the Goebbels sex scene, Quentin.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He's introduced as Dr. Goebbels, and in fact the real Goebbels did have a doctorate in philosophy. It goes without saying that he's evil.
- Number Two: To Hitler. It is in fact a point of personal irritation for Goebbels that the only two people for whom he must wait for an appointment are Hitler and his new, explosively popular movie star Zoller.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's introduced making racist jokes about Negroes in the Olympics, and according to Landa, he wouldn't trust a black projectionist to do his job well.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: ...Well let's not get carried away, but once Zoller lays out a convincing enough argument for moving the premiere of "Nation's Pride" to a smaller- no, more exclusive venue, Joseph is up for it.
- Smug Snake: Being more smug than he has justification for comes with the territory of being the Minister of Propaganda for the Nazi Party and a supremacist who considers himself an artistic genius.
Col. Hans "The Jew Hunter" Landa
Played By: Christoph WaltzA Nazi colonel who is a damn good detective (in his words). Very good at rooting out Jewish families in hiding. This is how he makes the acquaintance of Shosanna Dreyfus, whose family's death he is responsible for. As fate would have it, he is responsible for the security detail for the film premiere....at Shosanna's cinema. Apart from Zoller, he's the only fictional Nazi at the gala, though he shares a lot in common with Reinhard Heydrich, the architect of Hitler's "final solution"; this is remarked on by Landa himself in the film.
"You are now in the hands of the SS. My hands to be exact."
- Affably Evil: He's Wicked Cultured, speaks politely, and cracks jokes. He's also a vicious killer.
- Ambiguous Situation: He specialises in creating these as an intimidating interrogation tactic; his subject is never clear on whether Landa already knows their secret, and Landa drops hints that would support both possibilities to keep them uncertain.
- Appropriated Appellation: As seen in the beginning, when he mentions having been given the title of "Jew Hunter", which he finds to be rather catchy. Subverted in the final act, several years later, when he has come to loathe the accolade.
- Fridge Brilliance: His differing reactions to the nickname can be explained by who he expresses them to; he states that he enjoys the moniker to LaPadite, whom he is trying to intimidate, and expresses his distaste for it to Aldo and Utivich, who is trying to broker a deal with and who are both well known for despising the Nazi's.
- Awesome by Analysis: He is essentially a Nazi Sherlock Holmes, and may actually see himself as such (he insists that he's a "detective", and a damn good one; and he even has a gavel).
- Badass Longcoat: The Nazi uniform worn in the first chapter of the film.
- Break Them by Talking: His interrogation of Perrier LaPadite in the first chapter of the story.
- Breakout Character: Thought by many to be the highlight of the film, Landa was the Star-Making Role for Christoph Waltz for international audiences and Tarantino has said he considers Landa to be the best character he ever wrote.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: With a predilection for dairy products, idioms involving shoes, languages, rumors and elaborate conversation Landa is a very odd fish but he counterbalances this with his brilliance as a detective.
- The Chessmaster: He knows how to play people's weaknesses and strengths against them to get what he wants.
- Colonel Badass: A non-physical example; he outmaneuvers most of his opponents with ease, and it does take some nerve to plant dynamite under Hitler's seat without breaking a sweat.
- Create Your Own Hero: Killing Shoshanna's family with her watching the whole thing made her into a vengeful Nazi killer who would be responsible for the death of most of the major Nazi officers by having them trapped inside a burning theatre.
- Cunning Linguist: One of the character's most well-known traits is his quadri-linguality.
- Establishing Character Moment: Sadistically threatening a man's family to get him to give up a Jewish family he's been hiding despite having already deduced that they were there hiding under the floorboards before he had even arrived. He then spares Shosanna not out of mercy, but rather out of whimsy.
- The Dreaded: His nickname being the Jew Hunter and all.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Is shown to smoke a rather (bordering on comically) large one.
- Drink Order: He sure does like his milk.
- Even Evil Has Standards: His shock and horror over Aldo casually shooting someone whose life he'd bargained for seems genuine, and not entirely because of realising what a vulnerable position he's now in.
- The Gadfly: He makes a point that he enjoys to "tease rough" while unraveling Bridget von Hammersmark's mountain climbing story.
- I Gave My Word: Regardless of his other flaws, Landa does respect deals and promises. We see him keep up his end of every bargain he makes, and he is clearly horrified when Raine shoots the German soldier he had included to defect to the US in their agreement at the end.
- I Kiss Your Hand: Does it when meeting ladies for the first time as part of his gentlemanly veneer, but certainly with Lapadite and possibly with Shoshanna it's also an intimidation tactic.
- Karma Houdini: Most likely will become this in combination with Written by the Winners. He betrays Hitler with the intention of being viewed by the public as being a spy for the Allies, and he being the reason the allies win. The only way it doesn't quite go the way he plans is the Mark of Shame being carved into his forehead. Even then, considering all the resources he extorted, his persuasion skill, and the fact that plastic surgery was already pretty advanced by that, he would get away with it.
- Kick the Dog: Possibly in the opening scene; it's highly likely he knew well in advance where the Dreyfuses were hiding in La Padite's farmhouse. He terrorizes Perrier La Padite into confessing anyway, though this also gave La Padite the opportunity to "cooperate" instead of simply being discovered with Jews hiding in his house.
- His unnecessarily brutal murder of von Hammersmark is definitely this, however.
- Let No Crisis Go to Waste: He discovers the Basterds' plan and hijacks it in order to give himself a cushy retirement.
- Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates his way into surviving the defeat of the Nazis and retiring with a "nest egg".
- Mark of Shame: Becomes the recipient of Aldo's masterpiece so as to not let his old ties be forgotten.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Assuming he's treated as such (as he could be considered the Villain Protagonist,) he is not dangerous because of being a physical threat. This is made very clear in his opening scene, where he completely breaks down the much more physically imposing Lapadite without even needing to bring his soldiers into the room.
- Not So Stoic: His brutal and apparently very personal murder of von Hammersmark is a far cry from his usual dispassion about killing people, not to mention his reaction when Raine shoots his driver.
- Omniglot: Much like his actor, Landa is fluent in German, English, French, and Italian.
- Pet the Dog:
- It's implied that he does honor his agreement to leave the LaPadite family alone, and he is clearly horrified when Aldo kills his driver after they've surrendered, claiming that he made a deal for the man's life.
- When making his demands for enabling Operation Kino, he initially asks for the Congressional Medal of Honor, before rescinding and asking that all members of the operation receive the medal.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Aside from the obvious example, he has Shosanna switch in with her assistant because he presumed Goebbells wouldn't allow a "negro" to manage the film night. Possibly subverted since he could be just going with the flow of the Nazi Party and not that he believed it himself, but his offhand and politically unnecessary comment about how "one could see how that (being a projectionist, ie staying out of sight behind the scenes) could be a good trade for them (black people)" would suggest otherwise, unless he was simply trying to provoke a reaction from Shoshanna.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: In four languages no less.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: It comes with being Affably Evil.
- The Starscream: He actually puts some of the dynamite in Hitler's balcony.
- Smug Snake: An extremely intelligent character who nonetheless still qualifies because he overestimates the power of his position.
- Too Clever by Half: His scheme doesn't go the way he envisions it; also, while he is responsible for the death of the German and Nazi leadership, it's less because he sold them out to the Basterds, and more due to sparing a young Jewish girl (For the Evulz, mind; he'd just killed her entire family, and he spared her just because it amused him to do so) and not recognizing her as a vengeful adult. His biggest mistake, however, is either over- or underestimating Aldo's intelligence; Landa assumes that he and Aldo treat each other as intellectual equals (as shown by his annoyance at the subversion of Worthy Opponent below,) so isn't prepared for Aldo either being stupid enough to get himself shot for killing Landa's driver and carving a swastika into Landa's forehead, or intelligent enough to realise he can actually get away with being "chewed out" instead of executed for insubordination. Which one it is depends on how much credit we give Aldo, but either one is a mistake for Landa.
- It’s not just a matter of misreading Aldo’s intelligence, but also his *character*. Hans establishes himself as ambiguous enough where it’s unclear if he really believes in the Nazi ideology or is simply using it to further his own goals...but Aldo is ‘’unquestionably’’ who he says he is.
- Turncoat: He helps Operation Kino succeed. For a price, of course.
- Troll: While mind-games are a major part of his detective MO, his forcing the Basterds to repeat their atrociously-pronounced Italian cover-names after demonstrating he speaks the language flawlessly appears to be just for his own amusement.
- Urban Legend Love Life: He has a reputation as a womanizer, as von Hammersmark claims to be familiar with a number of his "conquests", but we don't see much evidence of it.
- Verbal Tic: He calls any German he does not know "Herman".
- Villain Protagonist: A villain and most likely the real protagonist of the film.
- Wicked Cultured: He embodies this trope.
- Worthy Opponent: Subverted in his relationship with Aldo; he considers his interrogation of all of Aldo's swastika-marked survivors to be an extremely obvious step for an intelligent opponent to take, and when he realises Aldo is surprised that Landa did this, he very petulantly says "we simply aren't operating on the level of mutual respect I'd assumed" and takes a moment to regain his composure. This is also Foreshadowing of the major mistake he makes under Too Clever by Half above.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Normally he's the opposite; very little gets by him, which makes him such a good detective. He susses out Operation Kino very quickly and cuts what appears to be a flawless deal to save his own skin once the war is over. His mistake, however, comes in assuming that Aldo Raine's Ax-Crazy Military Maverick shtick is just an act to scare the Germans and not really who he is...
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: He burst into uncontrollable laughter over von Hammersmark's mountain climbing story.
Played By: Daniel BrühlA charming German sniper who gained a hero status in Germany after mowing down nearly 300 American soldiers in a single day from a tower. He is now the centerpiece of Goebbels' latest propaganda film, Nation's Pride. Has a serious case of puppy-love for Shosanna.
- Almighty Janitor: On paper, he's just another soldier. In practice, thanks to his big moment, high-ranking officers practically Squee! upon seeing him, and he has meetings with top-ranking officials.
- Autobiographical Role: The Movie Within The Movie is about his exploits, and he plays himself.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Initially appears as a jovial guy who just simply does his job as he's commanded. Then Shosanna refuses him once too often and he drops the Nice Guy personality.
- Cat Smile: A result of his nice guy persona and having Daniel Brühl's face.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Up to a point. Shosanna would definitely disagree, especially when he shows his true colors.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Finally snaps after Shoshanna snubs him yet again, even when he expected his favors would warm her up to him.
- Entitled to Have You: When he drops the Nice Guy facade, he demands that Shosanna submit herself to him.
- Expy: He's kind of a German Audie Murphy: a war hero renowned for an impossible feat, turned actor playing himself in patriotic films.
- Friendly Sniper: He acts affably enough. Gets subverted as he continuously attempts to force Shosanna into a relationship.
- Humble Hero: Of a sort; he never reveals his celebrity status until fans appear to fawn over him and afterward doesn't flaunt it. It may be because he's not particularly proud of his claim to fame; see Punch-Clock Villain below.
- Karmic Death: He is ultimately killed by the secretly Jewish girl he'd been basically harassing the entire movie.
- Mook Lieutenant: He may be just a soldier but his fighting skills along with being a protege of Goebbels makes him stand out from the crowd.
- One-Man Army: Why he's so famous, and why a movie is being made about him.
- Prince Charming Wannabe: He's very convinced that Shosanna is a Tsundere for him.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He confesses to Shosanna that he does not want to watch his film, because he does not feel proud of killing so many men. At the premiere, he watches the violence onscreen only briefly before excusing himself.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Starts moving onto threats after getting rejected enough times.
- Taking You with Me: Shosanna shoots him to keep him from discovering her plan, but then gets curious when she hears him still alive. As she approaches him in sympathy, Zoller shoots her back.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He seems to think he's in a romance flick where he can defrost the ice queen. Not how it works out.
Major Dieter Hellstrom
Played By: August DiehlSomething of a repulsive Gestapo Major, he works directly under Goebbels. Not particularly savvy, but very difficult to fool.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Doubling as Names to Run Away from Really Fast, because Hellstrom.
- Bad Boss: Has no problem dragging his own men into what ends up being a mutually fatal shootout, even gloating about orphaning the newborn Max.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He could very well serve as a Deconstruction of Landa's character: Good with language, but not good enough to recognize an English accent, despite speaking English. He fancies himself a detective and claims to know "every [German Soldier] in France worth knowing", and yet sits right next to Hugo Stiglitz, the only member of the Basterds whom we know had his face in a newspaper (for killing those 13 officers), whom "every man in the German Army has heard of", and fails to recognize him. He has no personal magnetism, and his charm is all superficial, quickly dropped whenever it becomes inconvenient. And perhaps most important of all; unlike Landa, Hellstrom didn't Know When to Fold 'Em and it costs him and his men their lives.
- Evil Gloating: Is completely content knowing everyone in the bar is going to shoot each other dead.
- Failed a Spot Check: He fails to recognize Stiglitz, despite sitting right next to him. This is actually fairly realistic: In real life, many people can't imagine that a fugitive would casually be in a public setting like that, so they don't recognize them even if they know what they look like.
- Faux Affably Evil: An act he's not particularly accomplished at."I must say, I grow weary of these monkeyshines."
- Go-Karting with Bowser: He and the Basterds enjoy playing their card game for a few minutes, before Hicox blows his cover and things get tense again.
- Groin Attack: He's shot to death by Hicox and Stiglitz firing their sidearms point-blank into his groin.Stiglitz: "Say "auf wiedersehen" to your Nazi balls!"
- Jerkass: Upon meeting Shosanna he rudely tells her to get her ass into the car, which was actually supposed to be an invitation; and overall he doesn't enjoy anyone's company including Goebbells and his own men.
- Lack of Empathy: Had no sympathy for little Max growing up without a father.
- The Profiler: Definitely envisions himself as such.
- Stepford Smiler: His smile and manners are entirely superficial. Beneath being very cold.
- Smug Snake: Hellstrom sure thinks he's some kind of version of Landa. That's the kind of thinking that makes you say "auf wiedersehen" to your Nazi balls.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Like Landa, appears to get a kick out of being very scary in a conversational tone.
- Spotting the Thread: Subverted, then Played Straight; Hellstrom picks up on Hicox's "obscure small town" accent, but a sufficiently detailed and corroborated cover story assuages his doubts. Then Hicox makes a drink order with the wrong hand gesture, which Hellstrom notices immediately.
- Taking You with Me: With Hicox, having pointed a gun below the table the moment he sat down assuring him they aren't leaving the bar no matter what.
- Villainous Valor: You have to give him credit for being able to gun down Hicox and wound Hammersmark, after being shot in the balls at point-blank range.
- You Have No Chance to Survive: Towards Hicox and the basterds explaining they won't survive a shoot out with German officers in the bar.
Staff Sgt. Wilhelm
Played By: Alexander FehlingA German soldier under Hellstrom's command. He was given the night off to celebrate the birth of his son, Max, at a pub. Then it all goes to hell.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: His and his comrades' celebrating with drinks in the basement of a tavern certainly doesn't deescalate the situation that follows. It's abundantly possible his booze-enhanced high spirits are responsible for his boldness toward Hammersmark. (See below under Small Role, Big Impact.)
- Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Unfortunately Hellstrom didn't care for his son growing up without a father.
- Good-Looking Privates: He's young, clean-cut, (if a touch disheveled at the moment) and soon to be a father.
- I Have a Family: He's given the choice to let Bridget go without a fight so he could be with his wife and son. He accepts the offer, but von Hammersmark had other ideas.
- Mexican Standoff: With Raine... or not... depends if you ask him or Raine.
- More Dakka: While everyone in the bar was wielding small sidearms, Wilhelm went for the MP40 submachinegun with brutal effect.
- Punch-Clock Villain: You set aside the whole "nazi" thing, and what you have left is a swell guy who is celebrating his new family.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Or perhaps his new son, Max, is a better example. Imagine what would've happened if Max hadn't been born that night; Wilhelm and his fellow soldiers wouldn't have gone to that bar, they wouldn't have met Bridget von Hammersmark, Wilhelm wouldn't have drunkenly overstayed his welcome and caused Hicox to reprimand him, Wilhelm wouldn't have picked up on Hicox's accent, which means Hellstrom wouldn't have picked up on his accent, which means the firefight and ensuing Mexican Standoff wouldn't have happened, and everyone in the bar might've lived through the night. If nothing else, Operation Kino would've played out very differently.
- Suddenly Sober: Amazing what a firefight in a basement can do.
Sgt. Werner Rachtman
Played By: Richard SammelAn honorable and loyal German soldier, who "respectfully refuses" Aldo's offer to rat out his comrades. He becomes The Bear Jew's first on-screen kill.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He fights for the Nazis but nonetheless chooses death over giving up his comrades.Rachtman: "You can't expect me to divulge information that would put German lives in danger?"
- Face Death with Dignity: The man is unflappable, given the situation; It takes a baseball bat to the head to finally get a reaction out of him.
- A Father to His Men: As he surveys the dead bodies of his men being scalped, he looks none too pleased....
- My Country, Right or Wrong: He's a completely unapologetic Wehrmacht sergeant in service to the Nazis.
- Not Afraid to Die: He knows full well he will be killed if he doesn't cooperate. At first he politely refuses, then just outright insults the Basterds to drive home his point. Even with the Bear Jew standing with a bat in front of him, he remains unflinching.
- Precision F-Strike: When told his options are to expose the location of an artillery encampment or get beaten to death with a baseball bat, he answers with an unmistakable "Fuck you, and your Jew dogs." He had just seen them murder and scalp his men.
- Senseless Sacrifice: He refuses to divulge the position of another group of German soldiers, and is graphically beaten to death with a baseball bat for it. After watching that happen, another soldier (who does not share his "bravery") is far more cooperative, immediately telling the Basterds everything they want to know.
- Villainous Cheekbones: Played with; He has the classic look of a villain, but is also shown to have noble aspects, chief among them loyalty and courage.
- Villainous Valour: In addition to condemning himself to a violent death rather than betray his army, we have this moment:Donowitz: *taps a medal on Rachtman's uniform* "You get that for killin' Jews?"Rachtman: "Bravery."
Played By: Sönke MöhringA German solder serving under Sgt. Ratchman.
- Les Collaborateurs: To the Basterds.
- Dirty Coward: Comes to Raine with fear and trembling, and eagerly gives up the information upon seeing his commanding officer beaten to death.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: When asked what he's going to do once he gets home, he responds that the first thing he's going to do is hug his mother.Raine: *takes a bit of snuff* ...Well isn't that nice.
- Fire Purifies: He then says, when asked, that he plans to dispose of his Nazi uniform by burning it. Aldo takes issue with that, leading to...
- Mark of Shame: The swastika Aldo carves on his forehead.
- Sole Survivor: Allowed to live for betraying his comrades.
Played By: Julie DreyfusGoebbels' mistress and French translator.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Played By: Rod Taylor
"Brief him."It's that other guy.
- Big Good: Of the entire allied war effort.
- The Cameo: For Rod Taylor.
- Historical-Domain Character: He's Winston bloody Churchill.
- Secret Test of Character: Churchill's only involvement in the conversation is to ask Hicox a very specific question regarding German cinema under Goebbels, and once Hicox answers it to his satisfaction, giving Fenech the go-ahead to discuss Operation Kino.
- Smoking Is Cool: Courtesy of those legendary cigars.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Until he speaks, Hicox and Fenech act as if he isn't in the room, seemingly for reasons of Plausible Deniability.
General Ed Fenech
Played By: Mike Myers
"We have all our rotten eggs in one basket. The objective of the operation: blow up the basket."An English general under Churchill's command.
- The Cameo: For Mike Myers with an impeccable accent and heavy make-up.
- Cool Old Guy: He's an older gentleman who has enough of a sense of fun to have a drink with his subordinates, and admonishes Hicox for being modest while listing out his accomplishments.
- Deadpan Snarker: When informing Hicox that he'll be working with an American secret service known to the Germans as "The Basterds":Hicox: The Basterds? Never heard of them.Fenech: Whole point of the secret service, old boy; you not hearing of them.
- Drink Order: Whiskey. Straight. No junk in it.
- Mr. Exposition: Fenech is the man who outlines "Operation Kino".
Lt. Archie Hicox
Played By: Michael FassbenderA former film critic and journalist who now serves in Her Majesty's Royal Army. His immense knowledge of German cinema makes him invaluable for the upcoming operation in Fenech's and Churchill's eyes.
- Badass Bookworm: He is a film historian and film critic.
- Fatal Flaw: For all his knowledge of German cinema he doesn't know how to signal "3" with his fingers German-style, which is what confirms Major Hellstrom's suspicions that he's not German.
- Face Death with Dignity: Why make a big deal about having a gun pointed under a table at you when you can enjoy a good scotch?
- Fish out of Water: While on paper he is an expert on German culture, it only applies to cinema, and his lack of understanding with german accents and hand gestures proves fatal.
- Elites Are More Glamorous : His cap-badge indicates he is a Commando.
- I Am Very British: "Frightfully sorry sir!"
- One Last Smoke: Along with a glass of scotch.
- Only Sane Man: Deconstructed. He really knows before the meeting to keep a calm head while undercover. Unfortunately that doesn't stop him from colliding egos with a Nazi Major bent on exposing him and ruining his evening with a movie celebrity.
Bridget von Hammersmark
Bridget von Hammersmark
Played By: Diane KrugerA beautiful German actress who has been secretly working for the Allies for quite some time, being Fenech's primary spy.
- Consummate Liar: Convinces Hellstrom that Hicox is an old friend of hers. Later convinces Wilhelm to put down his gun, then kills him in cold blood.
- Femme Fatale: She's beautiful, devious, and willing to kill. Posters of the film play this up by showing her in her film premiere outfit while holding a pistol. Hicox's pistol, specifically.
- Good Is Not Nice: She's charming and sociable enough when we first meet her, but after the tavern rendezvous goes to hell she kills Wilhelm to keep him from blowing her cover, and loses much of her joviality after catching a bullet in the leg.
- High Class Gloves: At the film premiere she makes sure to dress like a major movie star, with an outfit that includes long, white gloves.
- Idiot Ball: Her ability to lie convincingly suddenly fails her when questioned about evidence that implicates her.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Her black premiere dress has lots of beads, lace, and feather trim at the hem.
- Pretty in Mink: Her premiere outfit is topped by a blue fox fur wrap.
- Shoot the Dog: Even Aldo seems mildly disappointed with her for straight-up killing Wilhelm after they made a deal.
- Smug Snake: She works for the allies, but is still smug and sneaky.
- The Mole: Her role in Operation Kino, as a German actress working against Germany (specifically the Nazis).
Le Gamaar Theater
Shosanna Dreyfus / Emmannuelle Mimieux
Played By: Mélanie LaurentA French Jew whose entire family was murdered by Hans Landa's men. She eventually inherits a cinema, which ironically becomes the state for the premiere of Nation's Pride. Which ironically, Landa is providing security for.
- Anti-Hero: A Pay Evil unto Evil version. She crafts a horrific punishment for an entire theater full of high-ranking Nazis. It certainly helps that she's the only survivor of a massacre by Landa and Landa left her alive because he figured she couldn't possibly pose a threat to the Nazis in the future. As noted in Would Hurt a Child, it wasn't just the high ranking officers, but anyone who had a direct association with the Nazi Party.
- Broken Bird: Forced to watch the death of her family and then cater to the Nazis.
- The Chessmaster: She plans out a scheme to kill all the top-ranking Nazis, and even works out details like having her special alternate film prepared for the premiere without getting caught.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Betrayed by her protector and then watched her family get slaughtered.
- Evil Laugh: In the film she makes for the Nazis right before Marcel burns the whole place down.
- Final Girl: Subverted. She dies right before her revenge is completed.
- Ice Queen: Justified, given her backstory, the guy trying to court her being a German soldier, and lastly that she's already in a relationship with a man she loves dearly.
- Irony: In the end, she manages to kill damn near every high ranking German soldier except the one who was personally responsible for her family's death.
- Lipstick and Load Montage: On the premiere night.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Becomes disturbed with herself after shooting Frederick.
- Not So Stoic: After her encounter with Landa. Also in her taped message to the Nazis in the theater, complete with the Evil Laugh.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Oh boy!
- Sole Survivor: Of her family.
- The Stoic: The demeanor she puts on to save her life during the occupation of Paris.
- Would Hurt a Child: If she noticed there were girls of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (the League of German Maidens, the girl's wing of the Hitler Youth) in the theater.
Played By: Jacky IdoShosanna's boyfriend as well as the film projectionist at her cinema. He's said to be the best.
- Anti-Hero: By association with Shosanna. When she reveals her plan to burn down the theater, he takes little convincing to go along with it.
- Famous Last Words: "Oui, Shosanna."
- Flat Character: He has little characterization other than his loyalty to Shosanna and that his demeanor is that of a...
- Nice Guy: See Flat Character. He likes cinema, hates Nazis, and loves his girlfriend.
- One Last Smoke: He's smoking as he waits for the signal to set the film rolls on fire.
- Satellite Character: We never get to learn anything about him, other than that he's Shosanna's boyfriend and a very good projectionist.
- Undying Loyalty: To Shoshanna.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Since the final shot of Marcel is the moment when he tosses down his cigarette to ignite the film reels, his fate is unclear: he ought to have had ample time to escape the theater, but it appears that Shosanna never had any intention of walking away from this one alive; if Marcel knew that, he might have preferred to stay and join in her Heroic Suicide rather than live on without her.
Played By: Denis MénochetA French milk farmer with three daughters. Landa intimidates and pressures him into exposing the Dreyfus family hiding under his floorboard.
- Les Collaborateurs: A rare sympathetic example.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks: The first one: sheltering Jews puts him and his family at risk. And then to protect his family he's forced to go along with Landa's game.
- Manly Tears: Breaks down for betraying the Dreyfus family to protect his own daughters.
- Sadistic Choice: Is given the choice of either selling out the Dreyfus family to the Nazis or having his own family killed for not cooperating. Of course, Hans already pretty much knew he was sheltering the Dreyfus family, so Perrier admitting he was hiding them was kind of a moot point anyway.
- The Stoic: Puts on a calm front when talking with Landa.
- Not So Stoic: ...And when Landa breaks his resolve, he weeps in shame even as he reveals where the Dreyfuses are hiding.
La Louisiane Tavern
Played By: Christian BerkelThe bartender of La Louisiane. Doesn't seem overly perturbed by the German occupation.
- Bald of Awesome: Christian Berkel's own.
- Les Collaborateurs: Seems to have no problem with the occupation as he has a bar filled with Nazis.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Keeps one on his side of the bar.
- Two Shots from Behind the Bar: Keeps a concealed shotgun to keep order on the bar.
- Poor Communication Kills: Kills Stiglitz and is killed by a Basterd in the confusion of the firefight.
Played By: Anne-Sophie FranckA waitress working at La Louisiane. Unlike Eric, she is deathly scared of the German soldiers.