"I've killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point, but I have only one more. The last one. The one I'm driving to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination, I am gonna kill Bill."
A former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad who is described as "the deadliest woman in the world". She is targeted by her former allies in the wedding chapel massacre, and falls into a coma. When she awakens four years later, she embarks on a deadly trail of revenge against the perpetrators of the massacre.
Badass: Well, let's see. She was trained by one of the greatest warriors to ever live, was a professional assassin, is considered The Dreaded by her former colleagues, single-handedly cuts her way through almost 88 sword-wielding bodyguards before going on to dispatch an entire team of highly-trained assassins.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. She gets the ever-living shit kicked out of her. In the long run though, she doesn't receive any permanent injuries, a plate in her head notwithstanding.
She settles for blinding Elle instead of killing her.
She "spares" Sophie Fatale so she can leave a message for Bill, but does so by lopping her arms off and throwing her down a hill, ensuring she's close to death and unlikely to ever recover when Bill gets the message. Cruel Mercy, but likely counts among the cruelest.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Dear God yes. After going through Hell and cheating death more times than one can count, she finally gets what she wants, along with an added bonus she never expected: her daughter, who she had long believed had died in her womb.
Katanas Are Just Better: Hers is better than most, as it was crafted by the legendary blacksmith Hattori Hanzō, who crafted Bill's sword. Although he had sworn a blood oath never to forge weapons again, he consented to make an exception after she said she needed one to "get rid of a certain vermin" and made what was his finest work to date. (Obviously, Hanzō was not happy with Bill.)
Trauma Conga Line: All her friends and her fiance are killed in front of her, she's beaten to within an inch of her life, shot in the head and left comatose, raped multiple times by an orderly who pimps her out and it doesn't get a whole lot better from there.
The Unfettered: If she can help it, she does not harm or traumatize kids. Everyone and everything else is fair game.
Unexplained Recovery: No medical reason was ever given for why she woke up from the coma, although the action that seemed to trigger it was a bite from a mosquito; if that meant anything, no-one ever discovered what.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Really hates the idea of having children exposed to violence. First off, she's very unhappy when she discovers that Vernita's four-year-old daughter, Nikki, has seen her mother's death at the Bride's hands. Later, the Bride attempts to talk Gogo Yubari out of fighting her (Gogo, of course, would have none of that), then she spares the youngest of the Crazy 88; she spanks him with the flat of her katana blade for "fucking around with the Yakuza" before sending him home. Finally, the Bride would rather have a momentary truce with Bill, rather than killing him in front of their daughter, B.B.
Bill AKA Snakecharmer
"...there are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering bastard."
Played By: David Carradine
"Do you find me sadistic? You know, I bet I could fry an egg on your head right now, if I wanted to. You know, Kiddo, I'd like to believe that you're aware enough even now to know that there's nothing sadistic in my actions. Well, maybe towards those other... jokers, but not you. No Kiddo, at this moment, this is me at my most...masochistic."
The former leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. He is also the former lover of The Bride, and the father of her daughter. He is the final and eponymous target of The Bride's revenge.
Affably Evil: Bill is soft-spoken, considerate and charming. He's also a ruthless killer.
Family Values Villain: Bill loves his brother, and makes a sojourn out to Texas to warn him of the Bride's arrival. He's also a doting father to the Bride's daughter.
Freudian Excuse: We get a glimpse into Bill's upbringing when we meet Esteban Vihaio. It's easy to see where Bill picked up his more charming (and psychotic) qualities.
Good Parents: Believe it or not. He's unorthodox, but he wants what's best for his and Beatrix's daughter.
Graceful Loser: After the Bride uses the Five-Point-Palm Exploding-Heart-Technique on him taught to her by Pai Mei (which means he's dead after he takes five steps) he warmly tells her that she's still the love of his life. Then he calmly walks the five steps into the darkness of the backyard and collapsed.
If I Can't Have You: Bill found out where the Bride was hiding, but didn't tip his hand until the wedding day — when he killed everyone in the wedding chapel. In his own mind, he was saving her from an obvious marriage of convenience.
Like a Son to Me: Functions as a lover and father figure to the Bride. He's even invited to walk her down the isle, which he (icily) declines.
Pet the Dog: He is a genuinely loving and affectionate father.
A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: At some point in his youth, Bill studied under Pai Mei and Hattori Hanzo. The latter was so shaken by his pupil, he swore a blood oath to never make another sword — and later broke that oath when the Bride held him responsible for Bill's later career.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He says that when he found the Bride, he had been "trying to track down the fucking assholes (he) thought killed (her)".
Dragon-in-Chief: Elle provides the toughest challenge for The Bride. Bill in comparison dies rather quickly.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She's implied to be quite smitten by Bill and to be in a relationship with him after the Bride broke his heart. This still doesn't stop her from murdering his brother Budd behind his back.
Evil Counterpart: To the Bride. Both are blonde badass ladies who had a relationship with Bill.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a brief one to the dying Budd, telling him that the Bride deserved to die at the hands of someone better than him.
The Rival: The secondary conflict of the movies is the Bride's feud with her.
The Sociopath: Not that her co-workers are saints, but she's clearly excited at the perspective of Budd making the Bride suffer until her last breath and later has no problems about killing him and lying to Bill about it.
Token Evil Teammate: Well, they're all evil, but she's far more so than the others, the only one who seems to show absolutely no regret at what happened and still hate the Bride with a passion. And while many of them know the benefits of being polite and respectful to others at times, she doesn't even try. If the Bride can be called a Sociopathic Hero, Elle is sociopathic and sadistic, but with no good qualities at all.
Wham Line: "Know what I did? I killed that miserable old fool."
What Happened to the Mouse?: Her fate is left unknown. Although considering she is left blinded and thrashing around in rage with a highly venomous snake in a trailer in the middle of a desert, it can pretty much be assumed that she never made it out of there. And yet, if she did simply die, there'd be no reason for all the ambiguity including the question mark next to her name at the end rather than the cross-outs that Vernita, O-Ren, Budd and Bill all got. Word of God states that if he ever made a sequel, it would be about a blind Elle training Nikki Green to avenge her mother.
Worthy Opponent: To the point that she kills Budd for giving The Bride an unworthy death in her opinion.
Elle: (on her feelings) Regret that maybe... the greatest warrior I ever met met her end at the hands of a scrub, alky, piece of shit like you. That woman deserved better.
Budd AKA Sidewinder
"That woman deserves her revenge... and we deserve to die."
A former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and brother of Bill. He later becomes a bouncer living in a trailer. He is the third of The Bride's revenge targets.
Affably Evil: Budd is a genial enough guy, even if he was a ruthless assassin.
The Atoner: Despite having been one of the premier assassins in the world, he has abandoned his old life as an assassin to make a meager living working as a bouncer and lives in a trailer out in the desert. He's apparently done this out of guilt, as he professes that the Bride deserves her revenge... but also deserves to die for hurting his brother.
Badass: Not O-Ren, Vernita or even Elle manages to get the upper hand on the Bride the way Budd does. He manages to bury the Bride alive.
Combat Pragmatist: He displays far less skill than any of the other Deadly Vipers... and is also the only one to land a decisive victory over the Bride, refusing to play by her rules and engage her in a fight, opting to simply shoot her. Non-lethally, but it was still a hugely more successful tactic than unleashing an army of katana-wielding henchmen.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Instead of dueling the Bride like the other Vipers, Budd instead unleashed a shotgun to her chest. He actually had her dead to rights as well but choose to give her a chance to fight out of her predicament.
Honor Before Reason: His actions after the rock-salt buckshot might be interpreted as this (with traces of The Atoner). He was well aware of what kind of training the Bride went through under Pai Mei, so he was giving her the chance to claw her way back out of her grave if she had the will to do so.
I Lied: He didn't actually sell his Hattori Hanzo sword.
Noble Demon: Budd could have killed the Bride, but he choose instead to bury her alive. Budd told Bill earlier in the movie that both he and the bride deserved to die, so this could have been his way of making one of the two statements come true.
Non-Action Guy: His four female associates are all well versed in swordsmanship whereas Budd makes it clear immediately that he does not practice any form of swordplay. His "fight" with the Bride is more of him ambushing her than any actual combat.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Initially comes off as a washed up hick living in the middle of nowhere past his prime working as a glorified janitor at strip club where he's regularly harassed by his boss, but proves to be one of the more cunning characters.
The One Guy: As Bill is the founder of the organization, Budd is the only actual male assassin. Bill actually describes him as "the only man I've ever loved".
Retired Badass: Nowadays he's a bouncer/janitor at a crappy titty-bar.
O-Ren Ishii AKA Cottonmouth
"You didn't think it was gonna be that easy, did you?"
A former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. She later becomes "Queen of the Tokyo underworld". She is the first of The Bride's revenge targets.
Affably Evil: O-Ren is a very pleasant, accomodating young woman with a bright smile and polite, understanding manner. Unless you smash her Berserk Button, in which case she will collect your fucking head. Of all the members of the Deadly Vipers, the Bride appears to be the closest to O-Ren.
Alas, Poor Villain: Her death is rather solemn and touching, especially considering her horrific backstory and her Affably Evil personality. The Bride doesn't seem to take much joy in it.
Badass: See...well, almost every other trope in her entry.
Benevolent Boss: She appears to be this, even if she does kill Boss Tanaka.
"As your leader, I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic. If you're unconvinced that a particular plan of action I've decided is the wisest, tell me so, but allow me to convince you and I promise you right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo. Except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion."
But Not Too Foreign: O-Ren's father was a Chinese-American soldier stationed in Japan and her mother was Japanese. This is largely the result of Lucy Liu, O-Ren's actor, being Taiwanese-American.
Broken Bird: Her parents were brutally murdered in front of her very eyes, and her house burned to the ground. Her heritage is still a very sore spot for her.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: In plotting her revenge; having learned that her parents' murderer, Boss Matsumoto, was a LoliconDirty Old Man, an 11-year-old O-Ren used herself as a Honey Trap to catch him off guard, and when Matsumoto was drunk and almost naked, she stabbed him to death.
Dark and Troubled Past: It's so dark, it had to be an anime sequence to possibly avoid an NC-17 rating and some people getting arrested.
Disc One Final Boss: The Bride spends the whole first movie going after her — and she's just the first bad guy on her hit list.
The Dreaded: People are utterly terrified of O-Ren Ishii, and with good reason.
Evil Genius: Of the DVAS, she's shown to be the smartest assassin and is the most successful post-DVAS.
Foregone Conclusion: After the death of Copperhead, it is shown that Cottonmouth's name was already crossed off the list.
From Nobody to Nightmare: At age seven, she saw her parents die horribly. At age eleven, she was a bitter Little Miss Badass skilled enough to kill the Yakuza lord who orphaned her. At age twenty, she was among the top female assassins in the world. Now, she's the most powerful Yakuza leader.
Graceful Loser: After being wounded, she apologized to the Bride for being offensive towards her and, before dying, she concedes that the Bride's sword was indeed made by Hattori Hanzo.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Over her syndicate; she encourages her lackeys to question her if they feel that a plan of action is unwise. In her own words, "no subject will ever be taboo," unless it involves her heritage as a negative.
Suddenly Shouting: She does this during her speech to the Yakuza bosses to show how serious she is.
Woman in White: Except for flashbacks, O-Ren is dressed almost entirely in white.
Worthy Opponent: She is one of the most powerful women in the world, and is arguably more powerful and deadly than even Bill himself. She is the only DiVA that the Bride seems to respect.
Vernita Green AKA Copperhead AKA Jeannie Bell
"Black Mamba. I shoulda been motherfuckin' Black Mamba."
Played By: Vivica A. Fox
A former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. She later becomes a homemaker living under the false name Jeannie Bell. She is the second of The Bride's revenge targets.
Crazy-Prepared: Apparently kept a gun hidden in a cereal box. Gotta give the woman credit.
Fail O Sucky Name: Well, she thinks so. She wanted to be called Black Mamba, but that was the Bride's codename in the group. (The Bride supposedly deserved the codename, because the black mamba is considered the deadliest snake in the world, so the name went to the best assassin, which she was.)
Hypocrite: Can't exactly appeal to someone trying to kill you waving around your family photo when you yourself had a hand in killing that person's would be family and friends. Vernita and the Bride both do acknowledge this, however, and the Bride states that it's only Vernita that she wants, not her family.
Knife Nut: The Bride even ditches her Cool Sword to engage her in a knife fight. Vernita tries to kill her with a gun hidden in a cereal box and fails. Shoulda stuck with her knives.
Laser-Guided Karma: She thought she'd escape her past after marrying a doctor and becoming a mother. She was totally wrong.
Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: She offers to face the Bride in a duel that would come close to a fair fight, and the Bride is fine with that, but this turns out to be a subversion; the offer is only done to distract her enemy so she can use a gun hidden in a cereal box. Fortunately, the Bride is able to throw the knife she has and kill her before she can use it.
Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Ironically, Vernita may actually have had a better chance if she had honored the deal; knife fighting was her specialty among the Deadly Vipers.
Pregnant Badass: Calculating the age of her daughter, she would have had to have been at least three months pregnant when she and the others attacked the Bride's wedding rehearsal.
Associates of Bill
"I must warn you, young lady, I am susceptible to flattery."
Played By: Michael Parks
A retired pimp. He was the first of Bill's “father figures”. Beatrix comes to him asking for Bill's whereabouts.
Affably Evil: He's very friendly, but evidently still pretty ruthless. He also helps the Bride in finding Bill, because he feels that's what Bill would have wanted, since otherwise Bill otherwise "wouldn't see her again."
Even Evil Has Standards: Notes that Bill's reaction to the Bride walking out on him was quite harsh, and claims "I would have been much nicer, I would have just cut your face." Then we meet one of the victims of this treatment, and see that she's now sporting a hideous scar running from her lower lip up to the base of her nose.
The Man Behind the Man: Acuna, Mexico, is controlled by a ruthless gang known only as "The Acuna Boys." The members of this gang are the fatherless offspring of Esteban's prostitutes, and take orders exclusively from him- the retired gentleman of leisure.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: For a good deal of the meeting between him and the Bride, Esteban seems just a tad lackadaisical for a gang-leader; then Clara the prostitute shows up with a horribly mutilated face, and the audience realizes just how dangerous he still is under that sleepy exterior.
Parental Substitute: Esteban was the first of Bill's adopted father-figures, and still fondly remembers taking him out to the movies. It also shows where Bill picked up some of his Affably Evil mannerisms.
Race Lift: As Earl McGraw playing an Latino gentleman.
Berserk Button: Caucasians, women, "Japanese fatheads"... it would take less time to list what doesn't fit this trope.
Brick Break: As part of his training regimen that he instilled onto The Bride, he made her continuously punch a wooden board day in and day out. In Vol. 2, The Bride puts this to use after Budd buries her alive inside a wooden coffin.
Disproportionate Retribution: Very fond of this. Ripped out Elle Driver's eye because she called him a "miserable old fool" and killed an entire temple of unfortunate monks because one of them didn't return a nod he gave him.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: Probably one of the harshest mentors seen on-screen. His training amounts to torture.
Good Is Not Nice: Subverted. He would otherwise be a perfect example if not for the fact he isn't even close to being good.
Hermit Guru: He lives entirely by himself and detests just about everyone.
Old Master: He's more of a cruel and evil master than the kindly Mr. Miyagi type and according to the film's mythology was responsible for the destruction of the Shaolin Temple because a Shaolin monk that he passed on the road didn't return the slight nod that he gave him. He's been known to snatch out the eyes of those who look on him with defiance and snap the backs and necks of those who give him sass like they were twigs. This eventually gets him killed when he snatches out Elle Driver's right eye for calling him a "miserable old fool," and she retaliates by poisoning his fish heads.
Politically Incorrect Villain: Bill despairingly notes that Pai Mei, "...hates Caucasians, despises Americans, and has nothing but contempt for women." He also hates the Japanese as well. Of course, his greatest student, the only one he teaches his Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, is a blonde Americanwoman who favors katanas and who also learned to love him like a father, if joyfully snatching out Elle Driver's left eye as vengeance for killing Pai Mei is any indication. Although, another possibility is that he just hates everyone until they prove themselves.
Expository Hairstyle Change: When she's watching over the El Paso murders, Sofie has her hair in a ponytail. In the present, she wears her hair up in a bun. At the end, after being mutilated, she wears her hair down while talking to Bill.
Fate Worse than Death: The Bride cuts off both of her arms, the left one as a means of making a point to O-Ren, and the other one during her interrogation. It should be noticed that this is left somewhat ambiguous in the American version, as we don't see the Bride cutting off her other arm.
Smug Snake: Sofie smiled and laughed as she beat The Bride, but she lacks any real skill.
Composite Character: The original Kill Bill script had two Yubari sisters, Gogo and Yuki. Yuki was the crazier one of the two, and would end up destroying the Pussy Wagon in an explosive shootout when the Bride got back from Japan. Tarantino used elements from both characters in order to create the Gogo of the movie.
Cute and Psycho: There's a big contrast between her love of killing people and her schoolgirl mannerisms (like cheerfully saying hi to the Bride and covering her mouth when she laughs).
Epic Flail: Uses this in her fight with the Bride.
Fille Fatale: At most 17. Is seen getting drunk with a businessman who flirts with her in a bar. She ends up happily eviscerating him
Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: She doesn't seem to, well, understand how to take care of a pet. Her upbringing doesn't really help. We can only hope that being taken care of by her mom after the second movie will help her drop that. She's four, but she also thinks the R-rated film Shogun Assassin makes a fine bedtime story.
Walking Spoiler: Her existence in the second film, particularly her being very present in the trailer spoils The Stinger of the first movie.
Dissonant Serenity: She takes her mother's murder right in front of her eyes with surprising aplomb. Or maybe she was just too shocked to manage to do, well, anything.
Dull Surprise: Seems pretty calm and collected for a 4-year-old girl seeing her mom die.
Sequel Hook: Tarantino has said that if he ever makes a sequel to Kill Bill, it will involve Nikki seeking revenge on the Bride for killing her mother. He's even hinted at the possibility of a fourth movie; assuming Nikki is successful, the fourth will continue the Cycle of Revenge by having B.B. hunting down Nikki. However, Tarantino has admitted that if it does happen, it "won't be for quite a while".