WARNING: Unmarked spoilers ahead!
- Affably Evil: While he has a tendency to be a jerk, he does have quite a few friendly conversations with Jules.
- Alliterative Name: Vincent Vega.
- Always V Sexy: A famous male example.
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: When Vincent, an experienced hitman, is talking with Marvin, he rests his hand on the edge of the seat, his pistol pointed straight at Marvin with his finger still on the trigger. When Jules hits a bumpnote , Vincent accidentally fires the weapon, shooting Marvin in the face. Even after the accident, Vincent doesn't remove his finger from the trigger; he continues waving it around as though the gun had nothing to do with the mess in the backseat.
- Badass: Subverted. While he initially comes off as your typical stoic, smooth-as-ice hitman, as the film progresses Vincent proves to be a useless, idiotic person who causes far more problems than he solves and is only stoic because he's too strung out on heroin for anything to faze him. Alongside Jules, a legitimate badass, he manages to appear competent, but on his own it becomes all too obvious that he relies on his partner to do all of the work for him.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Spends most of the movie in a suit.
- Bad Mood as an Excuse: For insulting Butch.
- Bumbling Sidekick: To Jules. Notably, Vincent's incompetence gets him killed barely a day or two after Jules retires.
- Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: Vincent always crudely announces his need to go, which helps to differentiate him from his more professional counterpart, Jules. It also creates some incongruity with his character, being a professional hitman in a suit and tie.
- Camping a Crapper: He meets his end seconds after leaving Butch's bathroom.
- Deconstruction: Of the standard crime thriller protagonist. He's cool, calm and doesn't let anything faze him, but this is almost entirely because he's on heroin through most of the movie and is unaware of his surroundings. His actual skills as a hitman are highly dubious, as Jules does all of the work for the two of them while he immediately makes the situation worse whenever he actually does anything. Despite all of this, his charming charisma is enough to fool the audience into believing him to be all that he appears to be for most of the movie.
- Decoy Protagonist: Initially seems to be the typical suave bad boy protagonist of the film, but the moment the nonlinear format of the movie is revealed he drops out of the spotlight almost completely. And dies abruptly and anticlimactically before the movie's end. As a character, he is also shown to be generally useless and more trouble than he's worth, making both Jules and Butch fit the protagonist role better than he does.
- Dies Wide Open: When he's shot down by Butch, his eyes are still open.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: After being the central character of the previous story, he comes out of the bathroom and gets shot by Butch before he can even say or do anything.
- The Hero Dies: He is the protagonist of the first story and some consider him to be the protagonist of the movie since he is the only major character to appear in all three stories (although his appearance in the second is extremely brief). That doesn't stop him from dying like a chump as soon as he goes up against Butch.
- Hero In Name Only: He is one of the main characters and we follow him for one story as the protagonist but he is a rude, drug-addicted, hitman.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: When he was killed by his own gun by Butch.
- Idiot Hero: See Lethally Stupid and Too Dumb to Live.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Trope Namer. Later leaves a gun lying around and his quarry finds it...
- Jerkass: He happens to behave like this as a result of his bad day.
- Lethally Stupid: For the reason above.
- The Load: He is never much more than a liability in whatever he's involved in. He fails to locate the hiding man in the bathroom while Jules is interrogating the others, accidentally shoots Marvin, gets into a pointless argument with Wolf, almost screws up Jules' peace negotiation with Pumpkin and Honey Bunny, and gets himself killed waiting for Butch.
- Mauve Shirt: He seems to be Wallace's top mook since he is involved in every mission we see onscreen.
- Pet the Dog: How he treats Mia offsets some of his assholish tendencies.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The apathetic stone faced blue oni to Jules.
- Salt and Pepper: With Jules.
- Ship Tease: With Mia.
- Siblings in Crime: With Vic Vega/Mr. Blonde, though it appears the two of them work for different bosses.
- The Spock: To Jules' McCoy.
- The Stoic: When he's 'in character'.
- Those Two Bad Guys: With Jules.
- Too Dumb to Live: Due to being a strung-out heroin addict. He almost accidentally gets his boss' wife killed over it too.
- Ungrateful Bastard: For evidence, look at the Marvin plotline. He spends the entire time being whiny and ungrateful to the people trying to help him clean up the mess that HE caused. Jules is quick to call him out on it.
- Villain Protagonist: Along with Jules. They're two hitmen working for an L.A. crimelord who mercilessly execute his partners in a business transaction in the opening.
"If my answers frighten you, Vincent, then you should cease asking scary questions."
- Affably Evil: When not "in character".
- Afro Asskicker: Well, a Jheri Curl Asskicker anyway.
- As the Good Book Says: He's fond of (mis)quoting Ezekiel 25:17 (with a bit of his own embellishment, as only the final lines of Jules' speech, the ones about "great vengeance and furious anger," appear in the aforementioned passage) before executing someone. As he explains to another character later, he used to think it was just some "cold blooded shit" that one said to someone before "popping a cap in his ass", but he's begun to question his lifestyle after really thinking about its meaning.
- The Atoner: Starts down this by the end of the film.
"The truth is, you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo, I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd."
- Badass: As Samuel L. Jackson's Star-Making Role Jules is shown to be a hyper competent badass who can terrify a man simply by eating a burger in front of him.
- Badass Baritone: It's Samuel L. Jackson, motherfucker.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Wears a suit for most of the movie.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: In-Universe. Jules has taken some serious artistic license in adapting Exekiel 25:17 into a Badass Creed.
- But Now I Must Go: Played with, as when Jules has a near-death and then near-life in prison moment in the same day, he decides he must leave and travel the world. Not only is he not a heroic character, but the story is told out of order.
- Breakout Character: When the movie first came out Jules was overshadowed by the marketing around Vincent Vega and Travolta's Career Resurrection. Years later, Jules is seen as the most popular character from the film and even gets argued as the "true" main character.
- Mauve Shirt: Not only is he Vince's partner, but he seems important enough to Marsellus Wallace that he can talk back to him.
- Faux Affably Evil: When "in character".
- Heel-Faith Turn: His reciting from the Bible was initially simply to make himself more intimidating, but when he actually takes the time to think about what he's saying, he decides to become a better person.
- Heel Realization: The entire final part of the movie involves Jules' realization that he was, in fact, a tool used by wicked men.
- Hitman with a Heart: Believes in a higher power and is arguably more caring than Vincent.
- Kirk Summation: He figures "Ringo" out pretty quickly and is able to talk him out of leaving the diner in peace without the briefcase.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Vincent is a drug-addled moron who simply cannot do anything right, while Jules is a very smart, very competent professional who backs up his image with action. In fact, his not being around results in Vincent getting himself killed.
- Large Ham: At many points, such as the ending and of course the infamous "Describe what Marsellus Wallace looks like!" bit.
- The McCoy: To Vincent's Spock. This becomes especially emphasized after his Near Death Experience.
- Messy Pig: Jules gives this as a reason for why, despite not being Jewish or Muslim, he doesn't eat pork.
- Near Death Experience: The mook in the bathroom nearly kills both him and Vince. He is the only one who takes time to contemplate the situation, however.
- Nominal Hero: Although he gains some Pragmatic Hero traits after Character Development.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: He makes references to Green Acres, A Flock Of Seagulls, and other bits of pop culture.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Jules' reading of Ezekiel 25:17, especially the last line. "If I said it — it meant your ass."
- Real Men Love Jesus: An absurdly intimidating hit man who believes in the Bible.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to (an unusually wickeder) Paul's blue.
- He's also the hammy religious red oni to Vincent.
- Salt and Pepper: With Vincent.
- Scary Black Man: Very much so, enough to be the page image.
- Soul Brotha: Jules wears a Gerry curl hairdo and Porn Stache and speaks with a bit of Jive Turkey. Tarantino is known for his 70s throwback embellishments.
- The Nicknamer: Calls his current targets by nicknames to further assert his power over them.
- Those Two Bad Guys: With Vincent.
- Villain Protagonist: Along with Vincent, but becomes more of an Anti-Hero by the end of the film.
- Walking the Earth: Invoked, as his retirement plan
"Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?"
- Amazon Brigade: In the TV pilot she starred in. Her character's specialty was knives. And terrible jokes.
- Brutal Honesty: She doesn't have much of a filter and offers her summation of almost every situation. This is likely because her husband is a mob boss, so she's grown accustomed to not being taken to task.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most notable in her banter with Vince.
- Drugs Are Bad: Mia nearly dies from an overdose, and the off-the-grid "medical treatment" she receives is rather disturbing.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She is barefoot at home and when she dances, which takes up a large chunk of her screentime.
- Femme Fatale: She does fit the description for the most part, but is depicted as less of a villain than usual.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: She was part of a failed TV pilot called Fox Force Five, where at the end of every episode, she would tell one of these. We only get to hear the first one.
- Morality Pet: To Vincent.
- Near Death Experience: Her accidental heroin overdose.
- Noodle Incident: When Vincent asks Mia about the story where Tony Rocky Horror was thrown out of a building for giving Mia a foot massage, Mia points out how stupid and disproportionate this is, then says that no one but Marsellus and Tony know what happened. We never find out.
- Ship Tease: With Vincent.
- Trophy Wife: She is hot and young, which is likely why Marsellus married her.
- Where Da White Women At?: Married to Marsellus.
"That's how you're gonna beat 'em, Butch. They keep underestimating you."
- Accidental Murder: He accidentally murders another boxer in the ring.
- The Atoner: While Butch claims not to care about killing his opponent, he mutters, "Sorry, Floyd," to the air when he hears the news. His compulsion to save Marsellus may be connected.
- Anti-Hero: He is the closest thing the movie has to a good guy since he's not a criminal and saves Marsellus' life, but he's still more than willing to double cross mob bosses and at least pretends he doesn't care that he killed an opponent in the ring on accident.
- Badass: He follows in his family's footsteps when he takes down a series of bad guys in the persuit of his father's watch.
- Bald of Awesome: This is one of Bruce Willis' first roles as a bald man.
- Berserk Button: When he realizes that Fabienne has not packed his father's wristwatch.
- Car Fu: Butch runs down the crime boss who wants him dead after seeing him at a crosswalk. Unlike most, he doesn't get to full speed; he hits him after only going about ten feet.
- Casualty in the Ring: Happens offscreen to the man Butch fought. This gets him in serious trouble with Marsellus Wallace, because he was supposed to throw the fight for him.
- Chainsaw Good: Subverted. Butch is choosing a weapon to use to rescue Marsellus Wallace. He grabs a chainsaw, and then stops and instead grabs a katana.
- In the same scene, he also subverts Drop the Hammer and Batter Up as he contemplates using a claw hammer and baseball bat.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: Him going back to save Marcellus after escaping The Gimp.
- Enemy Mine: When Butch goes back to rescue Marsellus.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He flies off the handle pretty quickly.
- Honor Before Reason: It made more sense for Butch to just leave Marsellus behind, but the heroic exploits of his ancestors inspired him to do the right thing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Jobber: Subverting this is what got him in trouble with Marsellus.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Justified - it was the most practical weapon there.
- Meaningful Name: "I'm American, honey. Our names don't mean shit." The irony is that it is meaningful, since by the end of the film Butch manages to kill quite a few people...
- Memento MacGuffin: His father's watch.
- Persona Non Grata: Marsellus revokes Butch's "LA privileges", but this was a downgrade from an earlier implication that he'd be tortured and probably killed for disobeying Marsellus. Besides, he was planning to ride off into the sunset and never look back anyway, so "never setting foot in LA again" wasn't too harsh of a condition.
- Pragmatic Hero: He saves Marsellus due to personal honor, rather than any sense of obligation.
- Throwing the Fight: Marsellus tries to make him do this. He thinks winning the fight and betting everything on himself is a better idea.
- Token Good Teammate: The only half-decent character working for Marsellus, or in the movie's cast (with the possible exception of Jules post-character development). He does go against Marsellus' orders and kills his opponent in the ring, though that second one wasn't intentional. He does flip-flop on the victim, since he does smack talk Floyd saying if he was a better fighter he wouldn't be dead, but also says to himself "Sorry, Floyd".
- Tragic Keepsake: Why he's so protective of his father's watch.
"I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this."
- The Ace: He is very good at what he does.
- Affably Evil: Is a dapper, elegant gentleman with excellent manners and a pleasant disposition who will dispose of dead bodies to "solve problems" — possibly the nicest thing he does for a living.
- Alliterative Name: Winston Wolf
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He is in a nice tux the entire film and is still badass enough to bark orders at hitmen.
- Badass Mustache: And it's pretty classy to boot.
- Cleanup Crew: His job.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Let's not start sucking each others' dicks quite yet" takes the cake, but he spends a great deal of his screentime snarking at Jimmie, Jules, and Vincent (especially Vincent).
- Informed Ability; All Marcellus had to do was say that he was putting Wolf on the job, and a fretting panicky Jules calmed down immediately. Subverted later as we see he really is as brilliant as his reputation precedes and at the end Jules and Vincent were raving about how awesome it was to see him at work.
- Red Baron/Spell My Name with a "The": Usually just referred to as "The Wolf."
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Once again, he really does look good in that suit.
- Verbal Business Card: "I'm Winston Wolf. I solve problems."
- Wicked Cultured: He attends elegant parties, sports fine clothes, is well-spoken, and has a nice car. Oh, and he disposes of dead bodies.
Ringo a.k.a. "Pumpkin"
"Yeah, well the days of me forgetting are over, and the days of me remembering have just begun."
- Affably Evil: Before holding up the restaurant, he has a rather pleasant and friendly conversation with Yolanda.
- Asian Store-Owner: Ringo laments in the opening conversation about how this trope has made knocking over convenience stores nearly impossible, since many such store owners don't speak enough English to understand "Open the fucking register!" Although he never specifically refers to Asian store owners, only "foreign".
- Brandishment Bluff: He discusses a borderline case about a story he heard of someone robbing a bank by walking in with a phone, and saying on the line was a little girl they were going to kill if the teller didn't hand over the money. He points out there was probably never a little girl in the first place, but it proved that you could rob a bank with nothing more than a cell phone.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He includes his girlfriend in his robberies.
- Evil Brit: Going by his accent.
- Hypocritical Humor: During the opening scene, Pumpkin complains about how "too many foreigners own liquor stores", which makes robbing them harder. Pumpkin is an Englishman in America — a foreigner, in other words.
- Karma Houdini: He and Honey Bunny are made to give back the MacGuffin briefcase and Jules's wallet... but, other than that, they get to keep all the loot they've robbed, including the contents of the register, several of the other diners' wallets and a cell phone, and walk away entirely unharmed - while, admittedly, looking rather shook up.
- Motor Mouth: He does most of the talking when he's with Yolanda but shuts up pretty quickly once he meets Jules.
- No Name Given: We never do find out Ringo's real name ("Pumpkin" is Honey Bunny's pet name for him and Jules only refers to him as "Ringo" due to his English accent).
- Outlaw Couple: With Yolanda.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: In his opening conversation with Honey Bunny, he casually drops slurs against pretty much every racial and religious group that exists.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Yolanda.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Drops off quite a lot of swears in the intro scene.
Yolanda AKA Honey Bunny
Any of you fucking pricks move, and I'll execute every motherfucking last one of ya!
- Affably Evil: At least when not waving around a gun, she can be quite friendly.
- Ax-Crazy: Compared to Ringo. She's ready to blow people's heads off.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Since she and Pumpkin agree at the beginning they don't want to kill anyone, it's her act during the robbery to scare people into compliance. Note how, when Jules gets the drop on Ringo, she's panicky, crying, terrified and clearly out of her depth — but despite apparently being utterly unstable and psychotic moments before, never pulls the trigger.
- Blah Blah Blah: When she and Ringo talk about quitting robbing.
Honey Bunny: When you go on like this, you know what you sound like?
Pumpkin: I sound like a sensible fucking man, is what I sound like.
Honey Bunny: You sound like a duck. Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack...
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She and Ringo obviously love each other very much.
- Karma Houdini: Along with Ringo.
- Lady Swears A Lot: Not so much in normal conversation, but she really gets going when the robbery starts.
- Nice to the Waiter: She's very pleasant to the waitress who serves her and 'Pumpkin' coffee in the diner. Then they hold the place up.
- Outlaw Couple: With Ringo.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Ringo.
"Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."
Played By: Maria de Medeiros
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Has some shades of this with the things she talks about.
- Although, a possible explanation is that she's pregnant: mentions that she wants a potbelly, is clearly about to tell Butch something important but decides against it because he's asleep, and in the morning, mentions wanting a big breakfast, something that a woman of her size wouldn't normally say.
- Funny Foreigner: There is some humor surrounding her accent.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Averted. Though heavily implied to be mentally impaired (Butch teases her cruelly over this before apologizing), she's never presented as being more capable than he is on any front.
- The Load: To Butch. He would have just skipped town and avoided all the trouble in his plot line, except that she accidentally left his most valued possession behind in their apartment when she packed their stuff (even though he specifically reminded her to get it). Also, when he shows up at the end, beaten and bloodied and riding a stolen motorcycle, she ignores his repeated pleas for her to hurry up and get on, and just stands there in the parking lot asking him stupid questions.
- Morality Pet: For Butch.
- Ass Shove: How he managed to hide the watch.
- Memento MacGuffin: Delivers one to a very young Butch.
- Mood Whiplash: Koons tells a harrowing story about Butch's ancestors carrying the watch. The story becomes absurd and hilariously ridiculous as he goes on, but his tone never changes. Then again, it's Christopher Walken.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: He was a POW and tortured in Vietnam.
Played By: Eric Stoltz
- Artistic License – Medicine: The injection scene would not have worked in real life for a variety of reasons.
- Bystander Syndrome: Tries to do this when Vincent brings an overdosed Mia to his house for treatment. Vincent doesn't take no for an answer.
- Erudite Stoner: He sits around his house all day in a bathrobe but he's smart enough to keep medical journals around his place in case of OD's. He also seems to be one of the more reasonable characters in the film.
- The Medic: As mentioned above, he is capable of bringing people back from OD's.
Played By: Rosanna Arquette
- Nightmare Fetishist: She seems to enjoy Mia's OD and revival, at least in retrospect, calling it "trippy" with a big grin.
- Savage Piercings: Largely subverted. She's chock full of facial piercings, and has at least one genital piercing by her own account, but still seems like one of the more normal people in the movie.
Played By: Angela Jones
Played By: Paul Calderón
- Affably Evil: As with most of the criminals in this movie, he's pretty polite when he needs to be.
- Number Two: To Marsellus.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Jules' red, though he subverts the usual scenario by being much more on the evil side than him.
Played By: Frank Whaley
- Butt Monkey: He's interrogated by Jules, has his food eaten, gets shot in the shoulder, and then gets blown away by both Jules and Vincent.
- Hero of Another Story: He and his group somehow came into possession of the briefcase and did something to get on Marsellus' bad side before the events of the film, but we never really find out how.
- Karmic Death: It's strongly implied that he and his buddies are small-time criminals who had double-crossed Marsellus in a past business deal related to the contents of the briefcase.
- Unlucky Everydude: He doesn't seem to be the criminal type. It's strongly hinted he got in way over his head in the deal and bit off more than he could chew when he screwed over Marsellus.
Played By: Burr Steers
Played By: Alexis Arquette
- Creator Cameo: Stepped in after Steve Buscemi was unable to do it because of his schedule.
- Hypocritical Humor: Telling Vincent and Jules, who are wearing his clothes, that they look like a couple of dorks. Jules even points this out.
- Justified in that they were old clothes from his college days and likely not what he normally wears.
- Jerkass: Justified to some degree, given the situation he finds himself in.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He's not too happy with helping Jules and Vincent out of this jam and he doesn't try to hide it.
- Motor Mouth: He flies off on a tangent when Jules and Vincent show up with a dead body.
- Must Have Caffeine: He swats down Jules' attempts to change the subject (after bringing in Marvin's corpse) by praising his coffee, but he can't quite resist the temptation to brag about his taste for the good stuff.
- N-Word Privileges: Although he really shouldn't have them, under the circumstances Jules lets it slide. His wife is black, and it's implied that he and Jules go way back, so it's likely that he has enough black friends and family in his everyday life that he's been accepted into the culture and acclimated to it well enough himself. Notice how he doesn't say it in a racially insulting tone like the rednecks do, but in a more general sense.
- Odd Friendship: Many people wonder why a gangsta like Jules knows a neurotic suburbanite like Jimmy. The reason...
- Retired Badass: Word of God says, Jimmy used to be Jules' partner but he quit 'the life' and Jules respects that.
- Siblings in Crime: Shares the same last name with Mr. White from Reservoir Dogs, which means they are related somehow (although never actually identified as siblings).
Zed and Maynard
Played By: Peter Greene and Duane Whitaker
Played By: Stephen Hibbert