Fridge / Pulp Fiction

Fridge Brilliance

  • Vincent dies because he shits where he eats. He first comes close to doing so when he is tempted by Mia (his boss's wife) and then he seals his fate when he takes a bathroom break in Butch's apartment (the place he was working). And the one time he didn't take a shit where he metaphorically ate, was when he took a shit where he literally ate, at the diner.
  • Vincent monologuing that "being loyal is very important," convincing himself not to sleep with his boss's wife. It's actually an important maxim for him: Vincent's brother served four years in prison by refusing to give the cops his boss's (or rather, business partner's) name.
  • Vince calls out The Wolf for not saying "please." Vince's brother calls out Mr. Pink for not leaving a tip.
  • Butch's choice of a samurai sword seems to fall completely in line with Katanas Are Just Better. He's awed by the sword's majesty and it symbolizes the honorable decision he's made to rescue Marcellus. However, the swords is also the most practical weapon available: the hammer and baseball bat aren't as damaging as a blade, and the chainsaw would make a lot of noise to forewarn the rapists. The samurai sword is also the only item he sees that was designed to be a weapon rather than a tool.
  • Koons's words to Butch: "Hopefully, you'll never have to experience this yourself, but... When two men are in a situation like me and your dad were, for as long as we were, you take on certain responsibilities of the other." This is probably one of the reasons Butch chose to return and come to Marsellus's aid.
  • One side effect of being a dope fiend is constipation. This explains why Vincent is so backed up that he's constantly trying to relieve himself and also why he takes so long that he brings a book everywhere to read on the pot.
  • In his first appearances in "Vincent Vega and Marcellus Wallace's Wife" and the beginning of "The Gold Watch", we only ever see Marcellus Wallace from behind. This distances us from him, and dehumanizes him; he's an unknowable, almost inhumanly threatening presence, in constant command and control. Pretty much the first time we see his face is when Butch runs him over, and then during his experiences in the pawn shop. This 'humanizes' him, brings him down from his pedestal of all-powerful crime lord to vulnerable human being. Fittingly, when we see him in "The Bonnie Situation", although the segment is set before these experiences we see him from the front, demonstrating the humanity he developed in the earlier segment. Character Development — it doesn't have to happen in linear order.
  • Jules' habit of sarcastically calling Pumpkin "Ringo" in the final scene can be taken as a subtle clue that he's a fan of The Beatles, referencing the deleted scene in which Mia states that "You're either a Beatles man or an Elvis man," and she correctly concludes that Vincent is an "Elvis man." So much of Jules's and Vincent's character dynamic is centered around the fact that they're polar opposites of each other (one's black, the other's white; one's religious, the other's a skeptic; one's a serious and intense professional, the other's a casual, irresponsible druggie; one goes straight, the other dies violently; etc.), and the fact that they're "a Beatles man" and "an Elvis man", respectively, is meant to tie into this.
  • Seems like a long shot at first, but the events of the film are shown in a perfect mirror, with the gold watch scene (which, if you think about it, started it all, and indirectly led to every character's final fate except for Jules) in the middle:
    • The diner scene
    • Jules and Vincent's journey go to Brett's place
    • the scene where Jules kills Brett
    • Marcellus and Butch make a deal
    • Vincent and Butch have a nasty encounter
    • the first romantic story, ending in disaster
    • the gold watch
    • the second romantic story, ending in disaster
    • Vincent and Butch have a nasty encounter
    • Marcellus and Butch (ending up with them making another deal)
    • the scene where Jules kills Brett
    • Jules and Vincent's journey from Brett's place
    • The diner scene
  • During the first Ezekiel 25:17 scene, Jules slowly turns around, surveying the room. When he gets to "the finder of lost children", who's he looking at? Marvin, who's later revealed to be their informant.
  • In the opening scene, Vincent tells Jules that he doesn't really watch much television. In virtually every subsequent scene he's in, he makes a reference to a TV show.
  • Zed's chopper that Butch gets away on is named Grace. Grace can be defined as "a favor rendered by one who need not do so" or as "a temporary immunity; a reprieve," which is exactly what Marcellus had given Butch after the incident at the pawn shop.
    • Butch also bestowed grace on Marcellus by returning to the basement of the pawn shop to save him, not knowing that Marcellus would let him go. For all he knew, Marcellus would turn around and kill him too.
  • Jules pointedly refuses to let Marvin, his informer, tell him where the briefcase is, saying, "I don't remember asking you a goddamn thing!" Jules doesn't ask Marvin for any help because he's getting a sadistic kick out of intimidating the men he's about to kill. Since Jules isn't going to kill Marvin, he doesn't want to interact with him.
  • Butch never got to meet his father because he died in a POW camp, and his most prized possession is a memento of his father. Fittingly, his story arc in "The Gold Watch" ends with him deciding to rescue his worst enemy from a hellish imprisonment in the pawn shop, even though it means delaying his own chance at escape. After being haunted by his father's death and imprisonment for most of his life, there's no way that Butch could ever have left another man to die as a helpless prisoner, even if he had every reason to leave him behind.
  • After the kid with the "hand cannon" empties his weapon and improbably misses Jules and Vincent at pointblank range, Jules decides that this is an act of God, a message telling the two hitmen to give up "the life". Jules is proven correct later when Vincent is killed by Butch, who returned to retrieve the watch. If Jules hadn't quit being a hitman, he would have been in the apartment with Vincent when Butch came back. The miracle may have actually saved Butch, not Jules, since the latter would likely have been guarding the apartment while Vincent was in the bathroom, but the scene would have gone down very differently if Jules had not quit. And Vincent certainly would not have been killed if he had followed his partner's advice and quit "playing blindman" by continuing to murder people for a living.
  • In the '50s style restaurant, when Mia orders a milkshake, the waiter asks her whether she wants the "Martin-Lewis" milkshake or the "Amos 'n Andy" milkshake. Martin and Lewis are white, meaning vanilla, while Amos 'n Andy are black, meaning chocolate.
  • In a very subtle moment of foreshadowing: Jules' very first scene in the movie has him enthusiastically saying that he wants to go to Europe, after hearing Vincent's many stories about his travels there. The very last scene in the movie has him planning to walk the Earth after quitting his life of crime. With his past behind him, now he has a reason to make good on his promise and take that trip.
  • In the pawnshop is a neon sign for Killian's Irish Red lager. Some of the letters on the sign are out, causing it to read "Kill Ed." When coupled with the silver "Z" on Zed's keychain, it reads "Kill Zed." Which is exactly what's going to happen offscreen.
  • Steve Buscemi plays a waiter. In the previous Tarantino film, Buscemi's character had explained why he doesn't like to tip, essentially making this Laser-Guided Karma.
  • In the TV pilot Fox Force 5, Mia's specialty was "knives" - in Kill Bill, Uma Thurman's character uses Samurai swords (Copperhead specializing in knives as well) Latter film also features the Deadly Viper Squad, badass women with aliases that possess specialties.
  • When the Buddy Holly impersonator takes Vincent and Mia's orders in Jack Rabbit Slim's, note that all of his questions to them are phrased as binary choices with just two options. He doesn't ask Vincent "How would you like your steak cooked?", he simply gives him a choice between "burned to a crisp" or "bloody as hell". And he doesn't ask Mia what flavor of milkshake she would like, he just gives her a choice between "Martin and Lewis" (vanilla) or "Amos n' Andy" (chocolate). This subtly foreshadows the end of the movie, when Vincent and Jules' fates are sealed by a similar binary choice: Jules chooses to see their survival as a divine miracle, and decides to go straight; Vincent chooses to see it as a meaningless coincidence, and continues his life of crime until he's killed by Butch.
  • The prologue features a rather famous moment in which Jules intimidates Brett by snatching his hamburger and eating it in front of him before remorselessly murdering him. It's easy to miss, but that scene is practically a mirror image of another scene in "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife": Mia orders a hamburger at Jackrabbit Slim's, and Vincent (Jules' foil) respectfully keeps his distance while she eats it—subtly showing that the soft-spoken, feminine Mia has far more power than the ambitious, masculine Brett. Jules' dialogue even subtly highlights the connection, as he chews Brett out for "fucking" Marsellus, and points out that only "Mrs. Wallace" is allowed to do that.
  • The three main stories in the film all involve the three main characters, in turn, killing (or almost killing) three people who literally or figuratively "fucked" Marsellus Wallace. Brett betrays Marsellus, and gets murdered by Jules in retaliation. Mia is Marsellus' lover, and Vincent very nearly kills her by leaving heroin for her to overdose on. And Zed, the Big Bad of "The Gold Watch", rapes Marsellus, and ends up being cornered with a samurai sword by Butch, then led away to be tortured to death by Marsellus' men.
  • Near the beginning of Butch's story after he kills the other boxer, he goes to a pay phone and tells the person collecting his money from the bookies that him and his girlfriend will take a couple days to get to Knoxville and that the next time he talks to him they'll "be on Tennessee time". At the end of his story they have the incident in the pawn shop where he kills Zed and the other employee/owner. During that scene you can clearly see mounted on the wall behind the pawn shop guy a confederate flag and a Tennessee license plate... This is incredibly interesting to me. There's a very real possibility Butch sticks to his original plan after the movie ends and takes his girlfriend to Knoxville on Zed's custom personalized chopper. Now if these pawn shop guys were a part of a motorcycle chapter as well as some fringe part of organized crime and are *from* Tennessee they likely still have plenty of connections there and make regular trips between LA and Knoxville to meet up with their leadership. So heres where it gets interesting. When Butch arrives in Tennessee on this stolen chopper not only is it possible certain gamblers there have gotten word of that particular fight maybe being rigged, but they would certainly learn in a few days that their members in LA were recently murdered at their business front and his bike was stolen. When they see Butch riding around on Zed's bike, he's going to be in serious trouble. I could actually see this being a fantastic setup for a sequel if they made one. Butch could arrive in Tennessee ecstatic that he finally got away from the chaos in LA, able to settle down and start his life over without needing to run. Perhaps he decided to stop in at a random biker bar near his hotel/safehouse to celebrate and is having a good time with a bit of cash from the setup so he starts buying everyone drinks and everyone is getting to know him, he's putting himself at the center of attention. At some point maybe someone walks into the bar and starts asking "where's Zed?" "what do you mean, I never heard anything about him coming out?" "Well his chopper is parked right outside... yeah see, that's his isn't it?" "Huh yeah that's his alright" at some point maybe the bartender tries to call their LA office and can't get through, eventually they make contact with someone to find out he was killed. Butch's tipsy mind is racing as he gradually realizes what's going on and prepares to bail, oblivious to how much information he gave out about himself while chatting.
    • Though this does depend slightly on Butch happening to stumble upon people who both lost money over his rigged fight and were friends of his would-be rapists in a state of over five million people.

Fridge Horror

  • Marcellus makes a deal to spare Butch's life over the rescue in the pawn shop. But Marcellus doesn't have any idea that Butch has killed one of his top enforcers (Vince) just roughly less than an hour before. And he's already down one enforcer today since Jules has quit the life.
    • He might not know for sure, but since they encountered each other as Butch was driving away from his apartment (and the only reason Butch would be in that neighbourhood in the first place would be his apartment), since Butch would almost certainly encounter Vincent at his apartment and since the only reason Butch would be leaving his apartment alive would be if Vincent wasn't alive to stop him, Marcellus can take a reasonable guess that Vincent is probably dead. In any case, that aside Butch still did Marcellus a solid one even though he had no reason to, so Marcellus will likely swallow the loss and uphold his end of the bargain.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/PulpFiction