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Headscratchers: Pulp Fiction
  • This has always bugged me: When Marcellus calls Winston Wolf, it is morning. Bonnie is due home early after the night shift at the hospital, remember? When we see Mr. Wolf's side of the phone call with Marcellus, he is in a tux, sitting on a bed, at what looks like a dinner party(?). what? What event is Mr. Wolf attending/hosting in a tux early int he morning? His house is full of other formally dressed people. Certainly they wouldn't be wearing tuxes, et al, at a funeral reception.
    • The sense I got was that the Wolf's family was preparing for something—we don't know the season or even the day of the week, so it's hard to pinpoint just what it is, but it could be anything from a graduation to preparing for a wedding, to a kid's confirmation in church.
      • Word of God (or at least the pop-up trivia track) says he's at an all-night poker/gambling party.
  • Is it ever elaborated upon what happened between Brett's gang and Marsellus Wallace? Obviously Brett tried to make off with the briefcase when he wasn't supposed to, but why did he have it in the first place? Was Marvin part of Brett's gang who stayed loyal to Wallace?
    • Nope. It's implied that Marvin was the one who let Marsellus know who stole the briefcase, but other than that, we don't know what happened between them. It's one big Noodle Incident that we only catch the aftermath of.
    • Just Wild Mass Guessing here, but maybe Brett's crew was supposed to deliver the briefcase to Marcellus, and then got greedy?
  • Where are the police in the entire city of Los Angeles? People are getting shot left and right, and with the exception of the Wolf sequence, we never get the sense that any law enforcement official even notices the virtual bloodbath which occurs in the one day the film takes place.
    • "Where are the police?" Well... banging Marcellus Wallace like a bitch in a basement.
    • Except his badge says "Security Officer".
    • It seems to me like the kind of film where it wouldn't make a difference anyway. And really, how could it have aided the plot?
    • LAPD response time is...spotty. It can take them several minutes, or possibly over fifteen or twenty to make a scene, depending on the neighborhood.
    • I once read somewhere that apparently this movie takes place on the same day as Reservoir Dogs.
      • There are several links between the two films and, indeed, it is common belief that the lack of police in Pulp Fiction is due to the bank robbery happening on the same day in Reservoir Dogs.
    • Also, the movie takes place over around three days.
      • Most of it during the first, though. The second day (or even the evening of the first) is the "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife", and the third is "The Gold Watch".
    • First of all, if anything is reported at all (remember, this was taking place in a time where cell phones weren't yet common), it takes a while for police to get to the scene - longer in L.A. traffic. It's common sense that you should never count on police to protect you, since even in real life, they often show up well after the event to take reports and gather evidence. Secondly, the LAPD is notorious for being rife with corruption, so it's not hard to imagine that Marcellus Wallace was paid up with the right people for the cops to look the other way.
  • How did Vincent have the book on him that he was reading when in the bathroom at the restaurant? He didn't look to be carrying it on his person at any time.
    • Maybe it was already in the stall. Bathroom Reading Material.
    • He seems to be carrying it in a bag ever since they arrived at Monster Joe's.
  • When Butch is getting changed in the taxi, the driver gives him a cigarette, and he starts to put on his shirt. It cuts to the driver so you can only see Butch's elbow, but you can tell he's put the shirt on. He somehow manages to put a shirt on with a cigarette in his mouth.
    • It's not a feat I would attempt, but given how elastic some shirts' collar bands are, I would not rule it out as a possibility.
    • Light the cigarette. Put in in one hand. Put your head through the shirt's neckhole and put your arm not holding the cigarette through the sleeve, then switch the cigarette to your clothed arm's hand, and put your other arm through the sleeve; that's how you put on a shirt while smoking a cigarette.
      • Flip it down slightly...on numerous occasions, I've managed to put shirts or off and put them on with pens in my mouth. I mean, yeah, I don't run the risk of burning myself, but hey...as the other troper said: you could attempt it, it's the same basic principle.
    • I myself have put on and taken off numerous shirts with a lit cigarette in my mouth. It's not as tricky as it seems.
  • Why doesn't Wallace see Butch hiding behind the pawn shop window?
    • Because he does. Why else would he have gone inside?
  • What exactly did they need Winston Wolf for? All he did was basically tell them to do the bloody obvious: clean out the car.
    • He organized them. Plus, I doubt either Vincent or Jules would have thought to put quilts and blankets on the seats of the car. And even if they did, Jimmy seemed like he wouldn't have let them like he did Wolf. Plus, they wouldn't have known where to dump the body and get rid of the car.
    • Vince and Jules were panicking. They had to move fast and efficiently, but Jules and Vince are not fast nor are they efficient, and this is when they're in complete control of the situation. Look at how they're yelling and exploding at one another when they arrive and are still arguing when they have a job to do thanks to Mr. Wolf. They likely would have missed some important details, and they certainly didn't know where to take the car to have it and the body destroyed. Without Wolf, Vince and Jules likely would still be arguing over what to do when Bonnie walked in through the front door.
    • He's the Wolf. He solves problems. Put simply, this is what he does. Vincent and Jules have a specific job (kill people, take their stuff), which doesn't necessarily include cleaning up. That's what the Wolf does. And he's damn good at it. Jules and Vincent are good at being killers, but they're sloppy. Think of it like building a house. You hire someone to put the frame up, and the 'obvious' thing is to put a roof on top, but the people who did the framing probably aren't the same people who'll do the roofing. It's a different job, with a different skillset, so you pull in a different contractor.

      Knowing what to do and knowing how to do it are different things. I mean, hell, look at Vincent. He can't even wash his hands without making a bloody mess of things. He's not gonna be able to get the Wolf's job done.
    • The matter wasn't as simple as "get the splatter and the corspe out of the car, poof, problem solved". They needed a safe place to stash the corpse, for instance, and they knew Marsellus would know a guy who would have such a place. They also needed an expert in getting this kind of thing done effectively. When you're risking several major felony charges, not least of which is murder, you don't want to take any chances being your own "cleaner" any more than you would want to be your own legal counsel/defense over those same charges.
    • I believe Vincent was assuming the Wolf would come with a bunch of mooks and make the problem disappear while they stroll away with the briefcase. When Wolf comes and starts barking orders, you can tell Vincent is annoyed and eventually blurts out "A please would be nice."
    • On top of Wolf organizing them in a time of panic and the other points above, he also gave useful advice, such as saying that you don't need to be able to eat off the upholstery, sopping up the pools of blood is more important, etc. Even if they hadn't panicked, they probably would have mis-prioritized all of this, and would have taken more time while leaving more evidence. Also, Wolf is doing things for them while the car is being cleaned: calming down Jimmy, calling a safe house, getting the clothes from Jimmy's old wardrobe, etc, and Jules and Vincent probably would have neglected to hose themselves off too.
  • It's shown at several points throughout the film that Vincent and Julius are both efficient, cold-blooded killers. This always made me wonder why various characters would ARGUE with them for more than a few minutes. With the exception of the last two characters in the film, all of the people that they meet know that they are killers (in one case, they stop by a character's house WITH A BODY IN THEIR CAR and the character actually whines that his "wife will be home at any minute." Seriously? This and the fact that they left witnesses alive to potentially fatal situations (The drug dealers during Marcellus' wife's OD and, of course the guy whose house the brought Marvin to) has always bugged me.
    • Just because they're hitmen doesn't mean they should act anything like you're suggesting. In fact, that would be a profoundly stupid way of doing business. They're not psychotic murderers, they're hitmen, i.e., they kill who they're paid to kill, not anyone they just happen to run across.
      • This is the point of the "let's get into character" line; being a hit man is their profession, but they're actual people outside of it who have arguments about foot massages and divine intervention. The fact these hitmen are fully fleshed out characters and not simply screenplay-necessitated psychotics was one of the reasons Tarentino's Oscar-winning screenplay was so well-received.
    • And as for Jimmy, Tarantino's character? He was a friend and partner of Jules. That's why they're at his house in the first place. He's doing them a favor, and a huge one. They're civilized people, not stupid thugs.
      • Not to mention the fact that if Jimmy's wife comes across the body, she has the chance to be seen as a liability by the two contract killers trying desperately to evade suspicion
    • And Travolta, a heroin addict, is absolutely not going to kill his dealer.
    • Furthermore, Mia and Vincent agree that her overdosing is a secret between them, since that incident would probably harm both of them at the hands of Marsellus.
    • Also, California has a death penalty, which they aren't reluctant to hand out to killers. Given that Marvin's death links them to three additional deaths, it's not hard to imagine that Jimmy would be a loose end that they nor Marcellus could afford to have.
    • Plus, a huge point in the movie is that, as opposed to Reservoir Dogs where everything goes to hell pretty quickly because everyone only deals with situations in a violent way and no one actually communicates, things in Pulp Fiction are dealt with by talking and being ethical (not by a conventional ethics, but their internal ethics is pretty strong).
      • It's pretty clear that Jimmy's retired from crime, or at least is only a relatively low-level criminal, and doesn't really handle bodies; as such, having to suddenly deal with a dead body when he has no experience and no expectation of having to deal with such would be a bit stressful. Plus, even if he wasn't, bringing a dead body to someone's house is still a pretty big deal; criminals generally don't like having evidence of major felonies brought to their houses exactly because there's a greater chance of them getting into trouble with the law (since a suspect's home will be the first place the police will search for evidence). As Jimmy himself notes, since his house does not exactly have a sign reading dead... well, you know, storage, it's not unreasonable that he ask that people not bring dead bodies to his house, and not unreasonable that he gets pissed off when they do. As for why he's going on about his wife, his wife discovering him with two murderers and a dead body is kind of a big deal for him. It doesn't matter whether he personally knows the criminal in question, she's still going to freak out and divorce him, and he doesn't want that to happen, and he wants to make sure that this guy knows that he's putting his marriage on the line for him here in order to ensure that he gets what's needed done quickly and gets out of there.
      • It's also clear that Bonnie is not a moll that's aware of her husband's ties to crime. Her reaction to "gangsters doing gangster stuff in her kitchen" would be something akin to Skyler's initial response in Breaking Bad when she found out Walter was a meth dealer manufacturer - freaking the hell out and wanting him out of her life.
    • Marcellus and his crew are organized crime. Organized crime, generally speaking, does not just randomly kill everyone that sees them, and they especially don't kill people who are friends and are doing them a huge favor by letting them hide out in their home. You don't get people to help you in the future if you develop a reputation for killing people who help you. Organized crime is about reputation and respect, and you lose both really fast if you act the way you're suggesting.
    • They are apparently NOT "organized criminals" as unnecessarily killing Marvin with a weapon used in a triple homicide was frankly idiotic and the subsequent events with Butch make their lack of "organization" even more apparent.
      • Killing Marvin was an accident. "Organized crime" doesn't mean that everything they do is superbly planned. It just means that there's a criminal organization. Now you're just twisting terms around to their literal, instead of intended, meaning.
      • You kill people who have wronged you, but you reward the people who help you. You think any crime boss is going to stay in power for very long if word gets around that they kill anyone who helps them? That's the sort of reputation that leads to a bullet in the face pretty damn fast.
      • Yes, they are organized criminals. Vincent is not necessarily the most competent criminal, but the organization is, shockingly, organized. They run several criminal operations, have bases, agents, lines of communication, and a money-laundering/controlled betting operation. Marcellus' group is an organized crime syndicate.
    • Just as an aside, my pet theory is that Jimmy is either a fence, a bookie, or both. Someone who would work with the Wallace Organization with relative frequency, who would have a very favorable financial relationship with the organization, who would be trusted by them, who would hold no illusions or particular squeamishness about their work, would know to treat "The Wolf" with proper respect, and who would have occasion to work with Jules (leaning on people who won't pay up, back-up for items that require guarding, etc) while also being someone who rarely has to deal with corpses and the like. How does this relate to the main point? Well, you don't kill one employee for helping another with his job.
  • You kill people for myriad reasons when you are a criminal most of which make little sense outside the criminal enterprises in which you are employed. By not killing Jimmy,all of the people involved would have to depend on Jimmy, and by extension his wife, never getting caught for another crime and using what they know for leverage to lighten their potential sentences. Or having an attack of conscience and reporting Marvin's death. It happens all of the time w/ non-organized criminals. Most organized criminals use more caution when handling firearms and murders or they aren't w/ the organized crime group for long. Guess how they are removed from the groups?
    • Jimmy's wife doesn't know, which is sorta the whole point of the sequence. Jimmy isn't going to squeal because he isn't going to benefit from it. You know what happens if he has an "attack of conscience"? He gets a bullet in the face from someone else that Marcellus has in his employ. And he gets divorced. He doesn't want to get divorced. As I've pointed out before, he's Jules's friend and partner, i.e., they trust each other. So your solution to one negligent discharge is to start shooting more people. After all the work they went to to cover up one death (of someone who "won't be missed"), you want them to shoot someone who has a wife and family, who will notice they're missing. Brilliant.
      • Jimmy's hardly a loose end. He was Jules's partner, remember, not some random joker they ran into. He knows the score, and he's not going to rat out his former partner. As for whether or not Marcellus can "afford" it? He's clearly got a well-funded and organized organization, I'm sure he can "afford" a lot.
      • Why take the chance on that based on his response (a serious overreaction) to Marvin's being brought to his house?
      • What, you think that someone barging into your house at 7 am with a dead body is something a person would just shrug at and say "okay"? They woke him up, and they're potentially going to get him in trouble with his wife. He's got every right to be annoyed, yes, but he's still doing them a favor and follows through on that favor, just with the condition that they get it done before the wife gets home.
      • Just out of interest, however, if Jimmy's response to these circumstances is an 'overreaction' I would love to see this particular poster's response to being woken up at seven o'clock in the morning an hour before his / her partner is due home from work by two hitmen covered in blood with a corpse sans face in the back of their car (also covered in blood) asking for his help in disposing of the evidence.
    • You're basically suggesting they "avoid" the death penalty by killing even more people, and thus creating even more evidence that they'll have to get rid of somehow. Where, precisely, does it end? Believe it or not, murder doesn't necessarily solve a problem that started with murder.
    • Dis is turning into one of DOZE plans.
      • And whether you create a further problem depends largely on how you dispose of the witnesses, doesn't it? So tell me, crime expert, if organized criminals don't kill witnesses, why does the government bother with a Witness Protection Program or even pre-trial security. After all, using your stellar logic, they are in no danger, right? I didn't write the film, I just see where the logic process was avoided to maybe..."enhance the narrative?"
      • That's not an answer. Your response to the argument that they shouldn't be compounding the problems they're in by killing more people is basically "well, organized criminals kill witnesses!" No shit. But they don't kill members of their own organization. Seriously, you're suggesting that Jules should put a bullet into his friend who is part of his organization, whom he trusts simply because he might squeal, despite not having any reason to do so? And you're the one who is saying the movie isn't being logical? How is "I should kill my friend, partner, and fellow criminal who has no reason to talk about what happened on the extreme off-chance that he might talk to the police" in any goddamn way logical?
      • People involved with organized crime have been killed for this very reason, and for much, much less.
      • Examples? And regardless, that doesn't change the fact that its illogical to kill your own people on the extreme off chance that they might talk. Mobsters who kill people for such trivial reasons rapidly find themselves without anyone willing to work for them at best, and at worst get killed or ratted out by underlings who are afraid they're going to be next. You don't build trust by killing everyone who works for you. Not to mention that acting that way is entirely and massively out of character for Jules, especially considering that he, y'know, had that massive personal and spiritual revelation that's causing him to reform and drop the hitman act.
    • Witness Protection Programs and pre-trial security are for people who have already agreed to testify. As in, people who have already proven that they're willing to sell out the organization; not people who are currently helping the organization out and want things to be kept quiet. That doesn't apply at all here because neither Jimmy or the person selling illegal drugs are planning to testify, because testifying means that Jimmy gets divorced and that Mr. Drug Dealer is gonna lose business. They're not witnesses, they're accomplices at this point.
    • I hesitate to add to this whole mess, but what would Jules and Vincent have possibly gotten out of killing Jimmy except another body to dispose of? The momentary satisfaction of killing someone annoying them? Yeah, that's really going to help them when they're covered in blood trying to get rid of two bodies. And afterwards, Jimmy's been well compensated for his inconvenience (enough money to buy an expensive oak bedroom set — not bad) and knows the score, and doesn't want his wife to find out anything, so there's no point in killing him.
    • Following the logic that Jules or Vincent should have killed Jimmy, shouldn't they have just shot Marvin instead of bringing him back to Marcellus? Of course, they didn't, because they're not freaking sociopaths who unnecessarily murder people who are part of their organization. Or hey, following that logic, maybe Jules or Vincent should have killed their partner! Because after all, they're witnesses to four murders! Or hey, maybe they should just kill Marcellus Wallace because he ordered the hit and could potentially give them away to the police for both those murders and plenty of others!
      Do you see the idiotic train of thought you seem to be following here? If Jules or Vincent acted like complete psychos who killed anyone who might potentially rat them out, they'd have killed half the cast, including each other. But they didn't, precisely because they aren't complete psychopaths who kill anyone who can be a potential witness.
      • They're Hollywood gangsters, as opposed to real ones.
      • And? What difference does that make at all? They're not complete psychopaths who blindly murder anyone who could potentially finger them. If they were, they would have killed each other, Marvin (intentionally), and Marcellus Wallace. And again, its entirely out of character for Jules when you factor in how he treats Marvin and has that massive spiritual moment where he outright says that he experienced a miracle.
      • No, they're actually more akin to real gansters than what you're describing. Honestly your description of organized crime seems more like it comes entirely from bad gangster rap than it does from actual descriptions of how criminal organizations run themselves, because you may not realize this but organized crime is a business, they have better ways of keeping people quiet than just murdering anyone who may know anything. The mob tends to give out far more shush money than they just blindly murder people who have seen anything. Hell your method wouldn't even work anyway, theres only so many people who can be killed and disposed of before the cops start looking into all of the disappearances.

  • What precisely was the Gimp there for? Why was he being kept in a box? Is there an interview or commentary that explains his presence?
    • He's the rapists' sex slave.
      • Alternatively, he's just a submissive partner in the whole thing. He does voluntarily (if ineffectually) guard Butch and try to warn them when Butch frees himself. Submissive does not mean involuntary.
      • Well, the Gimp is called that because he's clearly intellectually/emotionally disabled in some way. I doubt how much of his participation is "voluntary," since he's chained there.
  • Were Marvin and his friends hiding in an abandoned building? Wouldn't the yelling, screaming and multiple non-suppressed gunshots have attracted unwanted attention?
    • The scene only takes a few minutes, and gunshots aren't necessarily recognized as such, especially by people with little experience with guns. The first shots may have been dismissed by neighbors as a car backfiring, or a TV on too loud (remember, it's 7 am when this happens; the neighbors may still be asleep). When they finally gun Brett down, and Jules is being all contemplative about the "divine intervention," then people might've started making calls. You'll note that while Jules is pondering the meaning of life, Vincent is getting increasingly agitated and saying they should get out of there before the cops come.
    • The building also looks a bit run-down, and is presumably not in a great area; if so, then even if they did hear the shots and shouting the locals would probably be more inclined to adopt an attitude of "it's someone else's problem" rather than draw unwanted attention on themselves from the wrong type of people by getting involved, even if it's just calling the cops. They certainly wouldn't be exactly willing to investigate.
    • Also, we're talking about Los Angeles in the early 1990s here — people had become rather desensitized to gunfire.
  • Wouldn't killing someone in his apartment and then not disposing of the body brought Butch even more problems than he had already?
    • Butch ain't exactly a master criminal, and he has zero resources. He can't exactly call on the Wolf to solve his problem, and he just wanted to be out of there fast. Remember his gameplan was to be in Mexico somewhere by the end of the day.
      • Don't you mean Tennessee?
    • There's an armed man, most likely associated with organized crime, lying dead inside Butch's house. It stands to reason that anyone investigating would conclude that gunning down said armed man was likely in self-defense. Nonetheless, the police would probably like to talk to Butch, but seeing how Butch is going to be out of the country by the time anyone checks out the smell coming from his apartment, its not going to help.
    • Presumably Marcellus handled that whenever he made his way back to the apartment to pick up Vincent.
      • I always wondered why he took the time to wipe down the gun's handle and barrel, but not the TRIGGER.
      • Because the trigger is a thin sliver of metal that really doesn't have enough surface area to capture a fingerprint anyway, and that's even assuming he had his fingertip on the trigger, and not, for example, the second or third knuckle.
  • When he encountered Butch why was Marcellus, a supposedly experienced criminal and a gang boss, walking across the street with both of his hands full of food and drinks? Was there no parking at the restaurant he got it from? Didn't he have people to get his takeout for him?
    • He was getting food for the stakeout with Vincent at Butch's place. It's not clear how large his organization is, because Jules and Vincent do pretty much everything for him in the movie and Jules just quit.
    • Umm..then who was going to go "medieval" on the rapist's ass?
      • He says he's going to call in some people for it. Considering his orders to find Butch, that he wants people looking everywhere, he's probably got a lot of people on the payroll. He and Vincent were staking out Butch's place, it's been speculated, because they probably thought it was the least likely place for Butch to be since it's the obvious spot to look for him. You've got to cover the place on the extremely unlikely chance he goes back there, but since it's so unlikely, Marcellus and Vincent probably saw it as a day off to sit around and eat donuts while everyone else looked for Butch.
      • Here's a possibility for why Marcellus & Vincent were at Butch's place. It's clear in the bar scene that Butch & Marcellus knew each other well before that time. That being the case, it's extremely likely Marsellus knew of Butch's attachment to his dad's watch. Of course, the first place Marcellus would've looked immediately after the fight was Butch's apartment, if not for Butch then for Fabienne... but once he found the watch, he knew it was only a matter of time before Butch came back for it.
      • Considering that Butch has not explained the significance of the gold watch to his girlfriend, why would he have explained it to the guy at whose behest he's throwing a fight?
      • Possibly because men who know each other well discuss things that they don't discuss with "girlfriends."
      • Please present your evidence that Marcellus and Butch know each other well.
      • Marcellus does relate in strong detail Butch's entire career, while speaking to him in the bar. And he knows Butch's personality well enough not to be satisfied with a simple head nod to accept the bribe; he makes Butch say, "In the fifth my a$$ goes down." <shrug> As I said, it's a possibility.
      • Not to get into a whole argument about this, but it's seems a bit more likely (to me, anyway) that a crime boss would simply do a bit of research on the man he was planning to ask throw a fight for him and would that he would demand vocal acquiescence to his demands rather than simply being content with a vague nod. Marcellus' overall demeanour is more that of an employer giving orders to an employee than two friends talking. At the very least, there seems to be little (again, to me) that suggests that Marcellus and Butch have anything other than a professional relationship with each other.
    • Why would a criminal boss be on the scene of a potential hit? Why wouldn't he simply wait for Butch to brought to him..or until proof that Butch was dead was provided?
      • Because It's Personal and he wants to be in on it. Butch pissed Marcellus off, and he's pissed off enough that he's willing to go after the man personally if he's still in his territory.
    • I think better question is why did Marcellus go for the snacks and not Vincent? Marcellus is the boss, why is he running errands?
      • Maybe because Vincent had to go to the toilet again?
      • Any number of reasons — Marcellus might have wanted to stretch his legs and get some fresh air, or he might have had a specific order he wanted to make sure got fulfilled, or anything. Just because he's a crime boss doesn't mean the act of walking to a donut shot to get some coffees and snacks is entirely beyond him.
  • Why didn't Vincent and Jules wear gloves when they were in the apartment? Vincent opened several cabinets and was fiddling w/ items on the counter in the kitchen and Jules' fingerprints were on the wrapper of the burger.
    • Fingerprints aren't recovered from most crime scenes.
    • Not to mention that for all we know, Vincent and Jules wiped the cabinets and threw away the burger wrapper after leaving.
    • Even if they were recovered (and as noted above, fingerprints aren't recovered from most crime scenes, and particularly not from places where many people would probably touch, such as counters, and the burger wrapper would probably just be dismissed as garbage and so wouldn't be printed), those particular prints only demonstrate that Jules and Vincent were there at some point, not that they actually committed the murder. Of course, the prints of two hitmen being found in an apartment where three bodies had shown up would get the police interested in them regardless, but any lawyer worth his or her salt would find it easy to get any charges brought solely on the basis of those prints dismissed as purely circumstantial evidence.
    • This was pretty stupid of them. The fingerprints on the soda placed them on the crime scene in the time frame of the actual murder. The motive would probably not be hard to discover and they are known hit-men of Marcellus Wallace. The case would have been a no-brainer.
      • That's assuming the police can lift a print from the styrofoam cup. This isn't the easiest thing in the world to do, even for 2012 police with much better methods of getting prints, and a shitload of people have touched that cup, (Jules, Brad, whatever Kahuna Burger employees stocked the cups/made the sodas/handed them out the drive thru window), smudging each other's prints. Ditto with the doorknobs/cabinets. As alluded to above, Real Life police don't even bother with most surfaces (or, generally speaking, fingerprinting unless something really stands out). Also, it's a stretch to claim Vincent and Jules are "known" hit-men. We don't know if either has a police record, or fingerprints on file (Vincent at least has been out of the country for several years, something requiring quite a bit of legwork for someone under indictment or with a felony record).
    • I think we're all missing the forest for the trees here, at least regarding one of these pieces of 'evidence'. The cupboard doors and counters, okay, maybe at a stretch the police have the resources and are sufficiently interested in solving what, by all appearances, could easily look like a drug deal gone wrong to print them just to be sure. But a crumpled burger wrapper? An empty soda carton? These are things that most people refer to as 'garbage'. What possible reason would the police have to even suspect that they'd even been touched by anyone who wasn't a resident of that apartment, much less the killer? Jules and Vincent didn't even bring them into the apartment, they were there already. So why would the police even waste the mental energy in thinking about getting them printed on the (let's face it, statistically pretty huge) off-chance that the killer decided to eat one of the resident's burgers and/or drink their soda? The audience knows they're potentially significant pieces of evidence because we've watched the scene where Jules touches them — the police officers who would investigate that murder haven't, and there's no one there alive to tell them otherwise. Unless Jules moonlights as the Soda Drinking Ripper and leaves an empty soda carton or a crumpled burger wrapper at every crime scene as a Calling Card or something, any investigator who entered that apartment would simply assume that they were just ordinary pieces of garbage if they even noticed them at all.
    • Considering that they worked for a criminal syndicate and the LAPD's reputation for corruption, they may have had less to worry about with subsequent investigation (since Marcellus probably has some detectives in his pocket), than if the first cops on the scene had caught them red-handed standing with literal smoking guns over a pile of corpses.

  • Mia OD'ed on heroin and was injected in the heart w/ a needle whose tip had not been sterilized beforehand. Wouldn't she have required hospitalization afterward?
    • The entire scene makes zero sense. Heroin overdose causes respiratory failure, not heart failure (at least not directly). Not to mention the whole "through the sternum" thing (as opposed to between ribs).
      • The heart IS behind the sternum, shoved just a tad over to the left hand side. That doesn't explain the respiratory vs. cardiac failure mess though.
      • It's also wider than the sternum, which means that there's better options than trying to stab a standard injection needle through what's essentially a bone plate.
    • As a matter of fact the proper procedure, as my father (a doctor) told me, is to go up under the breast plate at an angle, as stabbing through it is so difficult and dangerous. And people in a heroin overdose are supposed to be given drugs via an I.V. needle anyway, as putting the stuff right into the bloodstream is faster and more efficient than putting it into the heart first to send out into the bloodstream. Remember that Eric Stoltz couldn't find his little medical book and was citing from memory in a panic. Why his inaccurate information worked is another question altogether, for which I have no answer. Just assume that Mia coincidentally regained consciousness on her own (O.D.'s can last only so long and not all of them are lethal) at that moment...or something.
    • One thing that puzzled me is why Mia overdosed from one single little snort of heroin, while Vince can inject a whole gram into his arm and not even be high a few hours later. I realize that Vincent is a regular user and Mia is a noob, but seriously, she only snorted one little line of dope. What was Vincent's starting dose, then?
      • She overdosed because you don't snort heroin. It's not supposed to go into your nose and directly into your brain like that. It's like how drinking alcohol only gets you drunk, but if you had an alcohol enema, it could kill you instead.
      • Snorting heroin is actually less likely to cause an OD than injecting it; part of it doesn't enter the bloodstream and is instead digested. However, heroin (especially very pure heroin like the kind Vincent buys) is more toxic than cocaine, and is generally dosed much lower (the whole point of the scene is that since it's in a baggie instead of a balloon (his dealer ran out) she thinks it's cocaine). Vincent himself is only seen taking a small amount (less than 100 mg or so). She also already had a lot of coke in her system. The heroin added to the coke is what tipped her over the edge. Remember John Belushi and Chris Farley, who OD'd on the same combination (known as a "speedball")? While the actual medical result might not be accurate, for the sake of the film, most moviegoers will think coke+heroin=OD.
    • We now have a trope for this.
  • It's a minor thing, but... how is Jimmy going to explain the disappeared sheets (which are clearly of sentimental value) to Bonnie? And related to that, the fact that they now have enough to buy money to buy some really expensive oak furniture?
    • He's going to lie his ass off, I imagine. Dunno exactly what he's going to say, though.
    • Its possible - in fact, even probable - that Bonnie is aware that Jimmy is connected to criminals. In that case, if she shows up at home and finds the sheets are missing and they've got a large amount of money suddenly showing up in their bank account, she'll likely brush it off; maybe be a little upset, but willing to get over it. Its one thing to know your husband is involved in some shady dealings that invariably result in a high income. Its another thing to walk in on him disposing a body. Regardless, Bonnie's going to be a lot less upset at losing sheets and making a hefty, unexpected chunk of change.
  • Quentin Tarantino is meaner than Samuel Jackson? I don't buy it. Why does Jules tolerate Jimmy's anger and use of phrases like 'dead nigger storage'? I mean, I know why in terms of plot - Jules needs Jimmy's help, Jimmy is afraid of Bonnie finding out and he is surprised and angry when two bloodied hitmen turn up at his house with most of a dead guy. To be honest, I have no problem with way the whole Bonnie Situation is played out. It's messy and funny. I just don't buy the way that Samuel Jackson's character lets Quentin Tarantino's character talk to him. Perhaps if Jimmy had been played by another actor...
    • Hey, believe it or not, all human interactions aren't decided by "who's meaner than whom". The reason Jules lets Jimmy talk to him like that is because he's in Jimmy's house, and asking him a favor. Jimmy has every right to be pissed; from the look of it, he was literally just woken up by these two, so Jules is letting him vent. That's sorta what friends do when they impose on another friend: They sit there and take it.
    • Exactly; Jules is a smart man and is empathic to the situation and is taking it in stride. Notice when they're in the bathroom and Vincent is getting all pissy about Jimmy's 'disrespect', while Jules points out that they're the ones imposing on the guy here, and in a very serious way at that; they've got no right to get in Jimmy's face at this point. But to add to this, what exactly is Jules gonna do in this situation? Snap back to Jimmy? Beat him up? Kill him? Momentarily satisfying, perhaps, but still leaving him with the teeny problem of the dead guy without a face in the back of his car and him wearing a suit covered in blood. And he's just gone and pissed off someone he really needs to help him get out of this situation (or killed him, in the extreme example); good luck getting help now. Jules is smart enough to realise that letting Jimmy vent is the price to pay to get him out of this sticky situation. As for why Samuel Jackson copping it from Quentin Tarantino; it's arguably Rule of Funny to see this badass guy have to stand there and take it from this dweeby guy. Not to mention that while Sam Jackson might play tough badasses, this doesn't translate into stupid and thoughtless tough badasses.
      • That makes a lot more sense than my original theory of unlikely levels of relative mean-ness. This officially no longer Bugs Me.
    • This troper always assumed that the reason Jules wasn't bothered by Jimmy using the "N-word" was because they were friends, and regularly used that word in conversations all the time. African Americans often use that word in regular conversation, and if Jimmy has a lot of black friends (and a black wife), then it's plausible that he uses the word in the same way when he's with those friends, and no one is bothered by it.
    • It's also implied that Jules and Jimmy are more than business partners - they're friends. Besides realizing that Jimmy's his only lifeline with the dead body mess, Jules is keenly aware how forcing him into this situation already may strain their friendship to the breaking point, and Jules doesn't want that.
  • Very minor thing, but why does Jules refer to Pumpkin as 'Ringo'?
    • I think it's because he notices the British accent and is referring to the Beatle of the same name.
      • To briefly add; of this reference, 'Ringo' is the more distinctive name out of 'John', 'Paul' or 'George', meaning that people are going to be more likely to get the reference, rather than assuming that Jules knows Pumpkin's real name. It also ties into this Troper's personal (if relatively minor) WMG that Jules is a bit of a Beatles fan.
      • This may also be a minor Call Back to a deleted scene, in which Mia and Vincent talk about how there are only two kinds of people: Elvis people and Beatles people. It would make sense that, of the two hitmen, one would be Elvis (Vincent) and one would be Beatles (Jules)
      • I think the Ringo reference was to Lorne Greene's 1964 hit single about an outlaw gunfighter.
      • Knowing Tarantino it's likely both, but let's be honest; even in a Tarantino movie, someone referring to an Englishman as 'Ringo' is more likely to be referencing the world-famous member of the hugely popular and influential English rock band rather than a fairly obscure 1960s single by a western / sci-fi actor.
      • I've always thought Jules was referring to Johnny Ringo, the 19th-century Old West gunfighter, outlaw and member of the Cowboys (he's the character portrayed by Michael Biehn in Tombstone).
  • This "happening in the same verse/day as Reservoir Dogs" thing... would that mean there are ties between Larry and Wolf? Or Brown and Jimmy? Orange and Ringo?
    • Probably not, chances are they look different in-universe. Kind of like how Lee Van Cleef played two different people in The Dollars Trilogy, and the guy who played Joachim in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan also played two other characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and yet neither The Man With No Name or Picard seem to notice. Beyond that, wasn't that just a fan theory?
      • Yeah, I don't follow Tarantino very closely, is there any Word of God? Otherwise the closest thing we can get is how Vince and Vic have the same last name.
      • They're not the only ones...if you go by an admittedly deleted scene from Dogs, anyway, Mr. White or someone is apparently related to Jimmy. Or at least they have the same odd last name, "Dimmick". And come to think of it, doesn't someone mention a mobster named Marsellus at some point in Dogs?
      • The Marsellus referred to is not Marsellus Wallace. He had a different last name and was serving twenty years.
      • As well as Vincent and Vic having the same last name, Tarantino was at some point toying with the idea of doing a prequel starring John Travolta and Michael Madsen reprising their characters, and making it clear that they were brothers, which I suppose is where a lot of this comes from; he talks about it here. Since both characters died in their movies and since both actors are now visibly older (to such a degree to make their appearance in a prequel unrealistic), it's unlikely to happen.
  • How has Vincent lasted so long at his job? It seems like he's been doing it for several years, yet, up to this point, his stupidity hasn't gotten him killed or punished/"taken care of" by Marcellus in some way. Over the course of three days he's: accidentally shot someone, failed to look over an entire apartment for people with weapons hiding, almost got someone ODed and of course, killed himself. I mean, I know he dies at the end, but considering all that stuff, how'd he make it this long or even keep his job? It seems like it would be a pain to take care of that many mistakes. The guy must have a huge luck streak for being such a twit. There's dumb muscle and then there's a complete bumbling mess.
    • Early in the movie, he mentions that he just got back from a long stint in Amsterdam. It's entirely possible he was sent there on some kind of forced vacation for some earlier—but not quite so drastic—screw up. Alternatively, his time in Amsterdam affected his cognitive abilities, if you know what I mean. Or he just hadn't gotten back into his groove yet.
      • And for the final two points, Marvin and Jules are equally to blame for not scoping the whole place out (and for the former, entirely forgetting to tell them there's a guy in the bathroom with a goddamn handcannon), for the Heroin situation, it's about 20% Vincent's incompetence, 50% Mia's fault for mistaking the heroin for Cocaine and not even asking Vincent about it, and 30% plain old bad luck.
      • The whole "Marvin forgetting" point is one that's always bugged me. When Flock of Seagulls speaks out of turn, he gets screamed at, then Jules kills him to intimidate Brett. Marvin, understandably, isn't likely to say anything, even anything important, or risk getting shot himself. After Brett is shot, Marvin is too distraught to say anything but "oh fuck" over and over, and then the other gunman bursts out of the bathroom. WHEN did Marvin have the chance to say anything to Jules and Vincent about the other guy, anyway? It wasn't like there was a break in conversation when he could just pop up and say "Hey, guys..."
      • I'd say closer to 70-80% bad luck. Bear in mind that the heroin is wrapped like cocaine, since Vincent's dealer ran out of balloons.
      • And as for the final point, it's pretty obvious that Marcellus and Vincent weren't actually expecting Butch to come back to his home (It's practically suicide, after all), and were probably using scoping out his home as an excuse to, as a previous troper on this page said, take the day off sitting around and eating donuts.
      • Tarintino states that Vincent ran one of Marsellus' clubs in Amsterdam, which would explain him being rusty and having a severe drug problem.
    • Vincent is clearly a drug-addict, and even (especially) between fixes drug-addicts aren't exactly known for their ability to maintain competence and professional standards in their careers. Heroin in particular tends to make people sluggish and not as sharp as they used to be. It's entirely possible that it's only relatively recently that Vincent's addiction has escalated to such a stage that it's beginning to affect his work.
    • Building on what other have said, it is stated in the film that Vincent spent three years in Amsterdam prior to the movie. In the flick, we see what appears to be his first visit to his drug dealer since getting back and he says that his car got keyed when it had been out of storage for five days. It is possible he's been back in town for less than a week. Presuming he was in Amsterdam doing something other than being muscle (money laundering, overseeing drug smuggling, long vacation, etc) while in Europe, he could be a combination of rusty and far deeper into drugs than he was than he left that leave him making these stupid mistakes during the events of the film.
      • Tarintino states that Vincent ran a club for Marcellus in Amsterdam, as well as confirming that he and Vic Vega (Mr. Blonde) are brothers, which does explain a lot (the prequel would have taken place in Amsterdam and be about Vic visiting Vincent). He also mentions that Butch keyed Vincent's car in the commentary.
    • Vincent and Jules are partners so it's likely that Jules has ended up saving Vincent's ass in the past when he's done something stupid. Had Jules, or anyone else for that matter, been present when Vincent made his final bathroom trip he might have survived to the end of the film.
      • It might also have something to do with big daddy Marcellus throwing out enough money to purchase luxurious bedrooms, no questions asked, whenever Vincent's incompetence puts him at risk. (Alternatively throwing out enough money to afford Winston Wolf's presumably astronomically expensive problem solving skills.)
  • This may be obvious upon re-watching the film but it's been a while since I've seen it. Why do Vincent and Jules murder Marvin's three associates then give Marvin a ride in their car while they have a pleasant, jovial conversation with him?
    • Marvin is their informant, which implies that he was the only one of Brett's crew who stayed loyal to Marcellus and elected to tell him that his buddies stole the briefcase. Since he was relatively normal once he escape the sight of three people getting brutally murdered in front of him (a taxing situation for any man), he didn't seem to be their friends as much as people he worked with. He showed basically zero empathy for their deaths outside of the initial shock.
  • Why are there only women in the street after Butch's car crash? There's no males in sight at all. This also happens in Snatch. Is there some significance behind it that I'm missing?
    • I don't think there's any real significance there, most of the women in that scene just happened to be friends of Tarantino's. Or maybe he was making up for there being no female speaking roles in Reservoir Dogs.
      • Most of the women are acting buddies/Groundlings members, so it's likely partly a casting choice. But it's probably the same reason you see a lot of young women with kids at a mall during the day. People who are employed are at work. People who are unemployed are generally still in bed at 10 in the morning. As a contrast, that's a time when a lot of women who work non-9 to 5 jobs (or are off for other reasons such as kids) tend to run errands and be out in public. Watch for it sometime in an urban area.
  • Why didn't Marsellus get Jules to go out with Mia instead of Vincent? Jules even said that Marsellus wanted him to take Mia out.
    • No, Jules never says that. Jules doesn't have any idea that Marcellus wants anyone to take Mia out until Vincent has told him he's going to. Where did you get the idea that Jules was involved in the process at all?
      • It looks like I misread something, but yes, you're right. However, Vincent hadn't met Mia yet and that brings me back to the question.
    • Do we really need a specific reason? There's potentially any number of possible explanations, but no matter what, he clearly likes and trusts Vincent and is only really looking for someone who will take his wife out for a couple of hours without getting her into trouble or ending up in bed with her, and Vincent seems to fit the bill; he's mistaken on the first count obviously, but he has no apparent reason to suspect otherwise when he makes the request. He might also think that Vincent might like a taste of the nightlife after being out of town for so long, or maybe Mia and Jules have met and don't particularly like each other, or maybe he's a bit more concerned Jules might try something on with her, or something. In short, does it really matter that much?
      • Or maybe he had planned for Jules to do something else that night. In any event, sign me up for "we don't need to know."
  • Why would Quentin Tarantino's character use the n word if he has a black wife and a black mob boss? Not to mention he is saying the word in front of Samuel L. Jackson. Isn't respect important in the mob?
    • He probably doesn't say it to Marcellus or to his wife. Jules refers to him as his old partner, also. He may not actually be part of Marcellus's organization, but rather someone Jules worked with before but wasn't active with what he's doing currently. Also, he's probably using it mostly because he's pissed off.

  • Why is Butch considered a hero or good guy in the end? How has he repented? Let's start from the beginning.
    • Double crosses a mob boss.
      • Okay, first of all, how the hell does this make sense? In order for a fixed fight to pay well enough to go through with it, you have to bet — and rig the fight — *against the odds.* Butch bets on himself — *with the odds,* which is going to be a lower payout. So Marcellus would have had to have been giving Butch a lower cut of the take than he would get from betting on himself, which makes Marcellus unbelievably stupid, as well as Butch, because Butch ought to have been able to negotiate for a better cut simply on those grounds.
      • Furthermore, Butch can't be doing this to keep his career afloat, because after he pulls the switch, he's got to go underground. It's pretty clear he doesn't like the things Marcellus is saying and wants to prove that he's still capable of winning a fight.
    • Next, he goes BACK to his house. Sentimentality is kind of a stupid reason to return to a wolves' den.
    • By sheer luck, he manages to get the stupid watch, scot free. Instead of GTFO, he lingers.
    • He finds a strange gun on the table. He still doesn't GTFO. He *picks it up.*
    • He hears someone in the apartment. Again, doesn't GTFO.
    • Finally he GTF Os, and then sees Marcellus, on foot. Instead of driving the fuck away, he totals the car.
    • He leads Marcellus to the pawn shop where he is going to get raped. Again — this is all *Butch's* fault. Not that he knew it was a rape den pawn shop, but that he has kept this fight going and is continuing to lead it on.
    • Never mind that Butch has a change of heart and decides not to leave Marcellus behind. But Marcellus *still gets raped.* Butch doesn't save Marcellus from that.
    • Butch doesn't actually kill the person who rapes Marcellus. Instead, he kills the hapless onlooker, who while an accessory, hasn't actually done any of the raping.
    • The Gimp is as much a victim of the hillbillies as either him or Marcellus, but he leaves the Gimp behind.
For all those bad decisions, all because of one nearly-averted act of retribution, Marcellus gives Butch amnesty. Note however that *Marcellus doesn't know that Butch has killed Vince.* How exactly is Butch a redeemed hero? He's a stupid, aggro, numbskull. And hell, for all we know, he doesn't decide to go in and save Marcellus out of pity or human dignity, but perhaps his thought all along is, maybe if I do this, he'll give me a pass. Consider that his very first words after killing Maynard and cornering Zed is "What now?" as in "what now between you and me." Not, say, "are you okay?"
  • Well. First. Immediately after Marcellus shoots Zed, the first thing that Butch asks is "You Okay?" To which Marcellus responds "No, Man. I'm pretty f*** far from ok." But more to the point. I have to ask, where are we really supposed to see Butch as a nice guy? Tarantino films tend to involve a lot of black-and-grey morality and this one is certainly no exception. Let's face it, there are NO good guys in this movie at all. At least none with any significance. And Butch really is no exception. Everything you said about him is very correct, and I really think (and I'm pretty sure I remember from somewhere) that that is the point.
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