Characters / Reservoir Dogs

Mr. White / Larry Dimmick (Harvey Keitel)

A veteran gangster and a long-time friend of Joe Cabot, he is one of the six men assembled by the latter for the jewel heist. He is good-natured and persuasive, and believes in a code of honor among criminals.

  • Meaningful Name: His color certainly fits his sense of honor and moral code.
  • Noble Demon: He has a highly developed sense of personal honor, to the point where he'll turn a gun on his own employers to protect his partner.
  • Papa Wolf: Towards Mr Orange.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: His attitude towards Mr. Orange.
  • Rated M for Manly: "Shit, you shoot me in a dream and you better wake up and apologize" and other general badassery. Which makes his rather unmanly, undignified sobbing at the end of the movie all the more jarring.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He distrusts people he had known for years while betting his life for a guy he only knew for a few days.
  • Undying Loyalty: Turns out to be a fatal flaw for trusting Mr. Orange.
  • Villain Protagonist: Initially comes off as a clear-cut Anti-Villain and a highly sympathetic character, but we're later treated to flashbacks that definitely show that, while he has morals, he's still a villain.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Every now and then due to his Hair-Trigger Temper, but the most prominent one was when he finds out that Mr. Orange was a cop all along.
  • Weapon of Choice: A Smith and Wesson 639 pistol.

Mr. Blonde / Vic Vega (Michael Madsen)

A friend of Nice Guy Eddie's and one of the men assembled for the heist. He's a violent psychopath, a fact which is hidden beneath his cheery demeanor.

  • Asshole Victim: How Mr. White sees him. And he's right.
  • Alliterative Name: Vic Vega. And yes, he is Vincent Vega's brother.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's extremely sadistic, and tortures/kills for pure enjoyment. His dark sense of humour don't help.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Just like his partners, he always wears a suit.
  • Bait the Dog: He's very soft-spoken and polite while everyone else is panicking. Then Marvin Nash finds out the hard way just how he earned his reputation...
  • The Brute: One of the larger thieves and he likes to hurt people. Just ask Marvin Nash.
  • Brutal Honesty: He flat-out admits to Marvin Nash what kind of a man he is before torturing him.
  • Captain Obvious: When he's asked about Mr. Blue's fate.
    Mr. Blonde: Either he's alive or he's dead, or the cops got him, or they don't.
  • Comedic Sociopath: He has his moments.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A lot of what he says comes off as darkly sarcastic.
  • Dissonant Serenity: He always maintains his calm and carefree demeanor, even as the situation gets increasingly hopeless, or as he's brutalizing a hostage.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He cheerfully cuts off a struggling cop's ear while dancing to Stuck in the Middle with You. This only serves to amp up how much of a psychopath he is.
  • For the Evulz: His motivation for torturing the cop, among other things.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Apathetic.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: With the exception of the Cabots. White and Pink are understandably pissed at him for having turned a simple heist into a shooting spree.
  • Gay Bravado: With Nice Guy Eddie, and then later on with Marvin Nash after cutting off his ear, he asks him, "Was that as good for you as it was for me?"
  • Happy Dance: A very dark and twisted version of the trope.
  • It Amused Me: His motivation for torturing Marvin Nash, which he admits to the former before doing so.
  • Jerkass: An unrepentant asshole and provoker, after all.
  • Kill It with Fire: Tries to do this to Marvin Nash.
    Mr. Blonde: You all done? (As Nash begins protesting again) Have some fire, scarecrow.
  • Lack of Empathy: He has absolutely no empathy.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Michael Madsen found it hard to continue with the torture scene after Kirk Baltz's infamous "I have a family!" ad-lib. The viewer can hear Madsen groaning "Oh no no no" off-camera.
  • Moral Sociopathy: He'll torture and murder innocent people, but, he refuses to give info to the authorities on his boss.
  • The Only One I Trust: Both Mr Pink and Joe Cabot single him out as being most definitely not an undercover cop, albeit for different reasons (Pink because Blonde's too much of a psycho to be an undercover cop, Joe because Blonde has previously demonstrated his Undying Loyalty).
  • Psycho for Hire: Extra emphasis on the 'psycho' part.
  • Sacrificial Lion: While not sympathetic, he's the first major character to bite the dust, which ups the ante for the film.
  • Siblings in Crime: His brother, Vince Vega, is in the same business, although it would appear that the two work for different bosses.
  • Smoking Is Cool: In most of his scenes.
  • The Sociopath: He's one of the least sympathetic members of the gang for this reason.
  • Softspoken Sadist: He never raises his voice even where he's describing to the cop about how much he'll enjoy torturing him, or justifying killing a crowd of people in a store because the alarm went off.
  • The Stoic: Cool, calm, and a murderous nut.
  • Tranquil Fury: Never raises his voice or loses his cool, but is strangely aggressive at times.
  • Undying Loyalty: For all his numerous faults, he is intensely loyal to the Cabot family.
  • Villain Protagonist: Played completely straight when you play as him in the video game.

Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)

A young robber, logical yet neurotic.

  • Asshole Victim: Suprisingly averted.
  • Butt Monkey: Mocked, disrespected, beaten and dubbed Mr. Pink.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: The entire movie, Mr. Pink is trying to convince White to just abandon Orange to his fate so that they could make off with the diamonds on their own.
  • Consummate Professional: The only of the robbers who fits the bill.
  • Deadpan Snarker: More so than anyone else, especially with his "World's Smallest Violin" line.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Cynic.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Very few of the others seem willing to put up with him.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Despite the heist getting botched, Pink still managed to make it off with the diamonds and shake off the cops.
  • Jerkass: Not very sympathetic toward others, as shown during the tip scene and quite callous when it comes to Mr. Orange's injuries, stating that some are lucky and some aren't.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted; he's the only major character to make it out alive, thought it's implied he gets arrested at the end of the movie. Also unlike the others he didn't kill anybody so arrest seems fair.
  • Lovable Coward: Mr. Pink is an asshole, a criminal and a coward, but his desire to remain professional and avoid letting personal feelings get in the way makes him surprisingly sympathetic.
  • Meaningful Name: Pink is kind of a pussy, he is prone to panic but is too scared to really run for it (his partners would kill him) and instead opts to complain about the situation.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Ends up on the receiving end from Mr. White after Pink gets a little too callous about Mr. Orange's injury.
  • No Name Given: He's the only major character whose name we never find out.
  • Only Sane Man: He spends a lot of time playing this role ("Am I the only fucking professional here!?") as things get more heated between the other thieves.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He is a professional criminal, he doesn't shoot or steal or abandon someone for no good reason.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He wants to do this so badly throughout the movie. He ends up making good on his word in the end when everyone shoots each other, and Pink decides to bail with the jewels.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Coupled with Fargo, Steve Buscemi's characters tend to have quite the filthy mouth.
  • The Smart Guy: Is shown to have more common sense than the others, opting to leave the hideout right away rather than stay and wait to be caught. He finally goes through with this at the end, but ultimately proves to have waited too long...
  • Sole Survivor At the end of the movie.

Mr. Orange / Freddy Newandyke (Tim Roth)

A rookie robber who becomes Mr White's protege.

Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino)

The getaway driver for the heist.

  • Boom, Headshot: An odd subversion is that he dies from a shot to the head, but not right away.
  • Creator Cameo: He's played by the director of the movie.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted; he gets shot in the forehead and tries to pull the getaway car out, but crashes it into a police car and ends up dying of his wound before he can help Mr. White and Mr. Orange escape.
  • Mauve Shirt: Gets more characterization than Mr. Blue.
  • Meaningful Name: His alias is Mr. Brown and he's very much full of shit.
  • Motor Mouth: He won't stop talking during the opening scene.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Downplayed on the badass part, he dies quickly but he was semi able to drive before the bullet in the head does him in, and rants about Madonna.

Mr. Blue (Eddie Bunker)

An old robber, one of the six men assembled for the heist.

  • Deadpan Snarker: When the others are trying to convince Mr. Pink to give the waitress a tip.
    Mr. Pink: She was okay, but she was nothing special.
    Mr. Blue: What's special? Take you in the back and suck your dick?
  • Informed Attribute: The only reason we know he died is because Joe said so.
  • Killed Offscreen: And no one is sure how.
  • No Name Given: Along with Mr. Pink and Mr. Brown, we never find out his real name.
  • The Quiet One / The Stoic: He does speak, but less so than the other characters, given his limited screentime.
  • Red Shirt: And doesn't even die onscreen.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Even the tagline sometimes says "five men" instead of six.

"Nice Guy" Eddie Cabot (Chris Penn)

Joe Cabot's son, helping the latter run the Family Business. Not actually nice.

  • Asshole Victim: Some mafia prince with crazy eyes isn't a big lost.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't let his nickname fool you. He's worse than you think.
  • The Dragon: To his father.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Is somewhat disgusted by Mr. Pink's refusal to tip the waitress. And also opposes torturing Marvin Nash, albeit for pragmatic reasons:
    Eddie: If you fucking beat this prick long enough, he'll tell you he started the goddamn Chicago fire, now that don't necessarily make it fucking so!
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Justified, the crew screwed up big time and his dad wants to know.
  • Ironic Nickname: He's more of a Comparatively Nice Guy Eddie.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Nice Guy Eddie is more dangerous than his name and clothes leads on. He unceremoniously kill Marvin Nash after Orange's fake story to show he isn't buying it.
  • Non-Sibling Rivalry: He and his pal Mr. Blonde seem to have a little of this going on in their relationship with Joe. Subverted in that both men are genuinely loyal to one another.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: More so than the rest of the cast it seems, which is saying something.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When he finds out from Mr. Orange about Mr. Blonde wanting to kill all of them, and again when he gets involved in the Mexican Standoff between himself, his dad and Mr. White.

Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney)

A local mob boss and the mastermind behind the jewel heist. Father of Nice Guy Eddie.

  • A Father to His Men: One of his men is his son and Blonde seems to be a surrogate one. He pays for everyone's lunch at the start of the film.
  • Genre Savvy: Figures out who The Mole is by this alone.
    Mr. White: That's your proof?
    Joe: You don't need proof when you have instinct!
  • Jerkass: He's overall a grouchy, somewhat misogynistic old man. And of course, his cop-hating quality comes out near the end of the film.

Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz)

A police officer taken hostage by Mr Blonde.

  • Human Shield: Mr Blonde uses him as one during the getaway.
  • I Have a Family: An ad-lib by Baltz has him say this while begging Mr. Blonde not to burn him alive.
  • Made of Iron: He's driven around in a trunk, beaten up, has his face cut and his ear hacked off, and still doesn't give up Mr Orange.
  • The Chew Toy: Kidnapped during a robbery, beaten, tied to a chair and tortured by a psychopath and nearly set on fire. In the end he is shot after having had his ear cut off.