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Creator / Quentin Tarantino

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Don't worry, he's not going to shoot himself. He just saw it in a couple movies.

"When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them, 'No, I went to films.'"

Quentin Jerome Tarantino (born March 27, 1963 in Knoxville, Tennessee) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and actor.

His films are characterized by elements including recurring actors, nonlinear storylines, stylized violence, Black Comedy, witty dialogue oft laced with pop culture references, Trunk Shots, close-ups on feet, especially women's bare feet (don't ask), and a volume of homages and Shout-Outs to other movies only attainable with an absurdly encyclopedic knowledge of film history.

According to legend, he learned everything he knows about filmmaking from watching old and obscure movies with his stepfather and working at a video rental store in Manhattan Beach. Roger Ebert once quipped that the store owner should get a finder's fee based on Tarantino's subsequent career.

Tarantino's films have earned him Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Palme d'or Awards, and he has been nominated for Emmy and Grammy Awards as well. In 2007, Total Film named him the 12th greatest director of all time. He is known for being very excited about his movies in interviews.

In 2014, Tarantino announced that he planned to retire from films after making his tenth, having reportedly learned from the trajectories of other directors that it's best for him to quit while he's ahead. He has currently made nine films as of this writing (counting both parts of Kill Bill as one film, as he intended) and hasn't backed down from the plan in interviews since. In March 2023, his tenth film was officially announced, with its script titled The Movie Critic and plans reportedly in place for shooting to occur in fall 2023.

Brad Pitt presented him like this. Suits well for the trope page.

The list of actors appearing in his films can be found here.

Works that he has been involved in:


  • "My Best Friend's Birthday" — Tarantino's first film, shot in black and white. The plot revolves around a man attempting to do something nice for his friend on his birthday, only to have his efforts continually backfire. Many elements have been "mined" for his later works (the character of Clarence and his speech about Elvis; the station K-BILLY; the name "Aldo Raine"; the gag of mistaking something for coke and getting pain in one's nose as a result; etc.). The film was originally 70 minutes long, but was re-edited to run just over 36 minutes either due to a fire in the warehouse where the originals were kept or simply because he didn't care for the other scenes. Was never officially released, but Tarantino has hinted at possibly restoring it and giving it an official release. In the meantime, can unofficially be found on sites like YouTube.
  • Reservoir Dogs — A heist film that skips the heist, jumping back and forth between the set-up and the calamitous aftermath of a jewelry store robbery. This film uses a nonlinear narrative that became a trademark of Tarantino's. The storyline is said to be based on the Ringo Lam movie City on Fire. The nonlinear structure has caused a lot of comparisons to be made to Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, but Tarantino made it a point to downplay this.
  • Pulp Fiction — Various tales of sex, violence, drugs, and redemption intersect in the underworld of LA. This film put Tarantino on the map and had tremendous influence on the way films were made for the next decade.
  • The ER episode "Motherhood", which features his trademark foot and trunk shots.
  • Four Rooms (segment "The Man from Hollywood") — A group of Hollywood power players hire the bellhop to serve as an impartial hatchet-man to preside over an ill-advised dare. Tarantino plays an expy of himself.
  • Jackie Brown — A just-making-it flight attendant collaborates with a bail bondsman to pull a heist on an arms dealer. Low-key and more smart than bloody, it disappointed viewers who expected work as stylish as Pulp Fiction, but it now has a loyal following and is critically highly acclaimed as his most "mature" work. Adapted from the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard (who publically praised the film), and a subtle homage to the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s.
  • Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2 — An Action Girl, Left for Dead after being betrayed by her former lover and the other four members of the group of assassins she was once a part of, goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • A scene in the Sin City movie — specifically, Dwight driving to the tar pits.
  • The CSI episode "Grave Danger" — which is highly regarded as the best two-part episode of the entire series and features a lot of his motifs while staying within the confines of a CSI episode.
  • Death Proof — A pastiche of exploitation and muscle car films of the 1970s: A serial-killing stuntman targets young women, using his Cool Car as the murder weapon. This was Tarantino's half of his double-feature collaboration with Robert Rodriguez, Grindhouse.
  • Inglourious Basterds — During World War II, a group of Jewish-American Nazi-killing soldiers and a Jewish-French woman who owns a cinema hatch separate plots to kill Adolf Hitler at the premiere of a high-profile German propaganda film. Bad luck ensues.
  • Django Unchained — Tarantino's first "true" take on The Western, or "Southern", as he's calling it, as well as a throwback to Western-themed blaxploitation films and Spaghetti Westerns. Follows a freed slave as he is mentored by a German bounty hunter to save his wife from an evil plantation owner.
  • The Hateful Eight — Tarantino's second western, narrowly rescued from a self-induced Development Hell, about a group of nefarious characters trapped in a lodge in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard. Tarantino shot it in 70mm and took it on a road show with a proper 70mm projector so that audiences could see the film as he envisioned it.
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — In 1969, at the height of hippie Hollywood, actor Rick Dalton, former star of a western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. Rick happens to have a very famous next-door neighbor... Sharon Tate.

Wrote but did not direct:

  • True Romance — A hipster with a screw loose marries a Hooker with a Heart of Gold, steals a cache of cocaine, and flees to Hollywood with the mob and police in pursuit. Directed by Tony Scott, who gave the film a happy ending. Tarantino stands behind his original vision, but approves of the ending for the film that Scott made.
  • Natural Born Killers — Serial-murdering lovers on the lam allegedly illustrate something about violence, media, and the American psyche. Directed by Oliver Stone, who altered the story so much that Tarantino disowned the final product. (Interestingly enough, Tarantino's original script has been said to play up the story's dark satire on the media glamorization of serial killers much more clearly.)
  • It's Pat! — cowriter, uncredited, for his friend Julia Sweeney (who had a cameo in Pulp Fiction)
  • From Dusk Till Dawn — A pair of hardened criminals (Tarantino and George Clooney) abduct a preacher and his family, then get ambushed by vampires in Mexico. Directed by Robert Rodriguez — Tarantino's close friend in the business. Tarantino also produced.
  • Crimson TideUncredited, but rewrote or added many scenes to include his signature pop culture references. Director Tony Scott went so far as to credit Quentin with saving the film, giving it what it needed to come "alive".
  • The Rock — Wrote a late draft of the screenplay. Again, pop culture references appear, particularly early on. Pay attention in particular to the scene where Nicolas Cage defends records as being superior to CDs — which is said to be exactly what Tarantino believes.

His film and TV roles include:

  • Mr. Brown in Reservoir Dogs.
  • Jimmie in Pulp Fiction. You'll recognize him when he asks what sign does not appear over his garage. Tarantino was going to play either Jimmie or Lance the drug dealer. He decided on Jimmie so he could be behind the camera during the adrenaline shot scene.
  • Johnny Destiny in Destiny Turns On The Radio, his only major role.
  • A gangster in Desperado. He tells a classic joke and then gets shot.
  • Famous Hollywood director Chester Rush in Four Rooms.
  • Richard Gecko in From Dusk Till Dawn, brother of the main character and one of his largest roles.
  • He has a quick appearance as an Elvis Impersonator in The Golden Girls, during the episode where Sophia gets married. He's the conservatively-dressed one in the back who snaps his fingers instead of gyrating when they all get up and sing. (This is perhaps his earliest on-screen role.)
  • His smallest role is Jackie Brown, where he just plays a voice on an answering machine.
  • He was a guest star in J. J. Abrams' Alias. He played McKenas Cole, a former SD-6 agent turned mercenary, in four episodes.
  • Little Nicky, where he plays a blind evangelist.
  • He appears as a corpse in Kill Bill, Episode 1.
  • An Adam Westing cameo in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.
  • Planet Terror as an infected soldier who attempts to rape one of the main characters.
  • Warren in Death Proof, the bar owner.
  • Sukiyaki Western Django, a Japanese Western with a very similar modus operandi to his own works, directed by Takashi Miike.
  • Sid in Sleep With Me, where he goes on a filibuster on the Ho Yay in Top Gun.
  • Inglourious Basterds as a dead Nazi being scalped. Also seen from behind in Nation's Pride as the American soldier who says, "I implore you, we must destroy that tower!" His hands also strangle Bridget von Hammersmark.
  • Django Unchained as an Australian slave trader with a questionable accent who gets tricked and blown up by Django.
  • The Hateful Eight as a voice-over narrator at vital points in the movie.
  • He provides comments in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation.
  • He narrates the first season of Super Pumped.

Executive produced:

  • Killing Zoe, the directorial debut of former writing partner Roger Avary. Avary had previously written a script titled The Open Road, which was the basis for True Romance, and Pandemonium Reigns, which became "The Gold Watch" story in Pulp Fiction.
  • The Man with the Iron Fists: Yet another Genre Throwback, this time, to violent Wuxia movies of the 70s and 80s.


Each of his films is packed chock-full of references to other films: here is a far from complete list.

Quentin Tarantino and his works provide examples of:

  • Action Girl: Tarantino's appreciation for tough chicks is one of his personal fondnesses. Beatrix Kiddo (aka The Bride) (and almost all of the female characters from Kill Bill), the second group of women from Death Proof, Jackie Brown, and Inglourious Basterds' Shoshanna Dreyfus are all examples. Action Girls are also referred to in other films. In Pulp Fiction, Uma Thurman's character once appeared in a TV pilot entitled "Fox Force Five." In Reservoir Dogs, the thieves talk about strong Pam Grier characters.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Many of his characters have alliterative names. Vic and Vincent Vega, Jungle Julia, Calvin Candie, Curtis Carrucan, Daisy Domergue, Sanford Smithers, Chester Charles Smithers, Minnie Mink...
  • Affably Evil: Many of his antagonists — and protagonists as well, since they tend to be gangsters or criminals — are pleasant, polite, soft-spoken people, who have Seinfeldian Conversations about the minutiae of life in between crimes and/or murders. Arguably this reaches its crescendo with Hans Landa, who's a frigging Gestapo officer and also one of the most genial people in the film.
  • Alternate History: A more recent theme in his work has been deliberately rewriting historical events as part of the story, as shown in Inglourious Basterds and Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood.
  • Anachronic Order: Tarantino is arguably the director most responsible for popularizing this trope in American cinema; for a brief period, it was referred to as "Quentinuity".
  • Anachronistic Soundtrack: Of the "more modern than its setting" variety. He used rock music in Inglourious Basterds and hip-hop songs in Django Unchained.
  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Tarantino has a habit of publicly brainstorming out loud, and will often verbally bounce around ideas about movies but then rarely, if ever, mention them again—and then only to announce it probably won't happen. It's a common practice among Tarantino fans to take every one of his proposed ideas with a grain of salt until filming actually starts. Here's a list of examples:
    • He wrote True Romance and planned on directing it, but reportedly lost interest in the project, and it was subsequently handed over to Tony Scott, who took out Tarantino's signature nonlinear structure and aversion of Gory Discretion Shots, in addition to changing the Downer Ending.
    • He mentioned his desire to make a Biopic of violent abolitionist John Brown.
    • Double V Vega, a prequel starring the Vega brothers from Reservoir Dogs (Vic Vega aka "Mr. Blonde", played by Michael Madsen) and Pulp Fiction (Vincent Vega played by John Travolta). Eventually, he just abandoned the idea when the actors got too old.
    • Prior to the dawn of the Daniel Craig era of James Bond, QT had designs on his own version of Casino Royale, as a Period Piece in The '60s (but potentially still with Pierce Brosnan).
    • Kill Bill Vol. 3, which would focus on Vernita Green's daughter being trained by a now-blind Elle Driver to get revenge on the Bride for killing her mother, which has never become anything concrete.
    • He's stated that he would like to adapt the novel Less Than Zero to film.
    • Inglourious Basterds was eventually made, but he had been talking about for over ten years in one form or another, including a miniseries, to the point where it became near-vaporware in Hollywood. He also mentioned a prequel in passing.
    • He considered splitting Django Unchained into two films like Kill Bill, but ultimately decided against it.
    • Killer Crow, a World War II Blaxploitation film about black soldiers who make "a warpath to Switzerland" after being "fucked over by the American military," would have been the third chapter of a Spiritual trilogy that began with Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds.
    • He's also spoken about doing an "earthbound" science fiction story that "wouldn't involve spaceships."
    • After The Hateful Eight was released, Tarantino has spoken about a number of ideas for his next project, including a 1930s gangster film set in Australia, a contemporary movie with "a cool driving montage," and "a really, really scary horror film." It remains to be seen whether he'll follow through with any of them.
    • Of all things, he recently pitched an idea for a Star Trek movie with the assistance of J. J. Abrams. Given that the future of the Trek movie series is currently in turmoil, only time will tell if Trek by Tarantino ever sees the light of day.
  • Author Appeal:
    • His infamous foot fetish.
    • Strong women are often featured prominently in his films.
    • Constant pop-culture references (especially to exploitation films).
    • References to The Netherlands.
    • Whenever he uses music from his personal record collection, he uses his own LP's with all the scratches and other audio noise to give it a personal feel. (On the officially released soundtracks, he uses the official recordings.)
    • Ethnically and culturally diverse characters, often with mixed race couples and romances.
    • Ensemble Cast of various characters who are important to the story, each with their own unique personality.
    • Morally ambiguous protagonists and antagonists
    • Tarantino LOVES shooting on celluloid film rather than digitally, and it's showing more than ever now that The Hateful 8 has been shot in Ultra Panavision 70, a super-wide 70mm film format that Tarantino seems to be taking advantage of as much as possible with lots of gorgeous Scenery Porn of snowy mountains and forests.
    • Westerns. When he's not referencing them constantly, he's making them. His latest project, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, stars a Western TV star.
    • Grindhouse-type exploitation films; particularly in the horror, action, martial arts, Blaxploitation, and western genres. If he's not making an outright homage to this type of movies (Death Proof), he's somehow mixing elements from all of them into one movie.
    • He really doesn't like Nazis. The entire premise of Inglourious Basterds is about a group of downright psychotic Anti-Heroes brutally butchering Nazis in France during the occupation, while Once Upon A Time In Hollywood features two instances of this: The first is the film-within-a-film, "The 14 Fists of McCluskey", features its star Rick Dalton playing the titular McCluskey, burning Nazis alive with a flamethrower while giving the hammiest evil laugh he could, while the second is in the film's ending where members of the Manson Family - who adopted Neo-Nazi ideologies - are goretastically killed one after another, including once again, with a flamethrower.
    • Some of his characters are fans of Elvis Presley and Marvel Comics.
    • He's also fond of lingering, mouth-watering focus on whatever delicious foods the characters are partaking in.
  • Author Tract: Some people think that Tarantino is speaking through his characters when they deliver opinions on various subjects.
  • Auteur License: So far, the only Executive Meddling a film of his has gone through... was Harvey Weinstein having Quentin split his Kill Bill project into two films. Quentin was all too happy to oblige.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The bank robbers in Reservoir Dogs and the hitmen in Pulp Fiction wear identical black suits and skinny black ties. These suits would later reappear in Kill Bill (the Crazy 88, and Budd in the flashbacks).
  • Berserk Button: Asking him to explain and justify the level of violence in his films has become one for him, largely because of how often he was asked it and how little his opinion has changed on it. Famously demonstrated here.
  • Black Comedy: Maudlin topics like death and destruction are often Played for Laughs in his movies.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The majority of his protagonists, at their worst, could easily pass as Villain Protagonists. The only reason we'd root for them is if the people they're up against are utterly reprehensible.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Whenever violence breaks out in his works (and it usually does), expect to always at least be somewhat over-the-top and sometimes bordering on cartoonish (though he occasionally does play it for Nausea Fuel).
  • Book Dumb: He's a high school dropout, which is clear by the grammatical errors in his screenplays, and didn't go to film school either. However, he is very well-read, is extremely well-versed in cinema, and his interviews and commentary show that he's a very intelligent person. To say nothing of the fact that he has built a hugely successful film career and won two Oscars.
  • Bounty Hunter: Dr. King Schultz and Django Freeman from Django Unchained and John "The Hangman" Ruth and Major Marquis Warren from The Hateful Eight. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the lead character, Rick Dalton, plays a bounty hunter named Jake Cahill on the show Bounty Law.
  • Brand X: Big Kahuna Burger, Red Apple cigarettes, Acuna Bros. Tex-Mex. He also has a tendency to revive dead brands from his own childhood like "Fruit Brute" cereal (he held onto a box after it was discontinued, which has made several appearances).
  • Canon Welding: Tarantino has created a largely common universe of his films by including subtle cross-references (for instance, characters commonly refer to others; Mr. White mentions Alabama and Mr. Blonde has Scagnetti as a parole officer, Vic Vega & Vincent Vega are brothers, Jimmie from Pulp Fiction and Mr. White from Reservoir Dogs have the same last name, etc.) and cameos, but he says that his movies are divided into two universes.
  • Captain Obvious: Tarantino enjoys scattering dialogues around that make jokes about obvious things.
    • In Reservoir Dogs: Mr. Blonde: "Either he's alive or he's dead, or the cops got him, or they don't."
    • In Jackie Brown: Jackie showing the contents of her purse to the investigators: "Beauty case." "What's in it?" "Beauty products."
    • In Death Proof: "Hey, who is Stuntman Mike?" Answer: "He's a stuntman."
    • In Django Unchained: Ace Speck asks Schultz what kind of doctor he is. The top of Schultz's cart has a giant tooth bouncing on a spring. Also:
    Stephen: "Why's I'm scarin' you?"
    Broomhilda: "Because you scary."
    • In The Hateful Eight, someone asks how "Six-Horse Judy" got her nickname and is told it's because she can control six horses at once, a feat uncommon for men and unheard-of for women.
  • Career Resurrection: Tarantino has a knack for bringing forgotten or underappreciated film genres back to attention. Certain actors whose career has been in a slump for a while have had their careers resurrected by appearing in his movies. The most spectacular example is John Travolta, who was a has-been ever since the Saturday Night Fever craze died down, but became an A-list star again after starring in Pulp Fiction. Other actors Tarantino brought back in the limelight haven't had quite the same level of career revival but still became more notable in mainstream media again include Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Harvey Keitel and Kurt Russell. Additionally, Jennifer Jason Leigh's performance in The Hateful Eight earned her her first ever Academy Award nomination, following years in which she had been acting in somewhat more low-key projects.
  • Channel Hop: From Miramax to successor company The Weinstein Company. After Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault allegations had surfaced in October 2017, Tarantino jumped ship to Columbia Pictures, who distributed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
  • Chronically Killed Actor: In his cameos in his own films, Tarantino's character is typically killed off (the exceptions being Pulp Fiction and Death Proof).
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Tarantino's dialogue is infamously heavy on profanity, and he's not afraid of dropping n-bombs.
  • Code Name: Reservoir Dogs, taken from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Later followed by Kill Bill.
  • Cool Car: Once claimed on The Howard Stern Show that the Pussy Wagon is sitting in his driveway. Story checks out. It’s not his usual ride, but he did once take it on a road trip to Vegas.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • As the filmmaker most closely associated with Harvey Weinstein, once the flood of sexual harassment and assault accusations against him broke open in 2017, Tarantino quickly tried to distance himself from him. In subsequent interviews, he remarked that he knew that Weinstein had a reputation for being a creep towards women in the office, but had never known some of the more heinous allegations. He referred to Weinstein as a sort of "f-cked up father figure," and regretted not speaking out or doing more.
    • His pressuring of Uma Thurman into performing a dangerous driving scene in Kill Bill that caused her to crash and sustain permanent injuries also came back to haunt him during the #MeToo movement and forced him to issue an apology.
  • Creator Cameo: Frequently plays bit parts in his movies. Some like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction will be minor supporting characters while others like Kill Bill will be blink and you'll miss it.
  • Creator Killer: Hasn't suffered one himself, but he famously analyzed the trope for Charlie Rose during their 1996 interview for Pulp Fiction.
  • Creator Provincialism: He was raised in Los Angeles and a few of his films are set there. He also occasionally makes reference to Tennessee, where he was born.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Tarantino rather famously stated that he wanted to slap Oliver Stone after seeing the final product of Natural Born Killers.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Averted. Despite the violent and deliberately trashy plots of many of his films, men raping men is portrayed as no less hideous or evil than men raping women in the two cases it's happened so far, Marsellus by two creepy guys in Pulp Fiction and Sanford Smithers' son being raped by Warren, if it happened, in The Hateful Eight.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: A frequently-recurring trope in his films, often used as a power move by a character looking to intimidate another character. It's even a Discussed Trope in True Romance:
    Drexl Spivey: I think you're too scared to be eating. Now see, we're sitting down here, ready to negotiate, and you've already given up your shit. I'm still a mystery to you, but I know exactly where your white ass is coming from. See, if I asked you if you wanted some dinner, and you grabbed an egg roll and started to chow down, I'd say to myself, "This motherfucker's carrying on like he ain't got a care in the world. Who knows, maybe he don't. Maybe this fool's such a bad motherfucker, he don't got to worry about nothin', he just sit down, eat my Chinese, watch my TV." You ain't even sat down yet.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: So far, has appeared in three of his films: Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds, and especially The Hateful Eight. In general, very few karma houdinis exist in his films, but the greyer characters don't go down without a fight.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Many of the conflicts in his movies are between two groups of evil or antagonistic characters, though you can almost always expect one side to be A Lighter Shade of Black.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Quite common in his films. Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood all take place over the span of a day or two.
  • Food Porn: His fondness for focusing on food is not as ubiquitous as some of his other fetishes, but when it shows up, it's hard to miss. Examples include Jules helping himself to Brett's cheeseburger and Vincent and Mia sharing a milkshake in Pulp Fiction; Stuntman Mike gorging on nachos in Death Proof; Hans ordering strudel for himself and Shoshana Inglourious Basterds, complete with lingering shot of the waiter generously scooping whipped cream onto the pastry; Dr. Schultz pouring himself and Django some nice, frothy beers and Calvin indulging in vanilla cake in Django Unchained; and the titular cast of The Hateful Eight sharing a pot of savory-looking stew.
  • Foot Focus: His films usually feature rather blatant fan service-y shots of women's bare feet. Lampshaded by Honest Trailers, who managed to create a 1 minute 40 second music video made entirely of foot shots without reusing a single one. Brad Pitt put it best:
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Tarantino has demonstrated a fascination with foreign languages in his movies, often as part of the Seinfeldian Discussions his characters have, or, on a bigger scale, a key plot point. Special mention goes to Inglourious Basterds, which makes use of the latter on two occasions.
  • Gallows Humor: A lot of the comedic moments in his films follow truly awful or violent acts, so they can defuse the tension of the scene. Think Mr. Blonde's snark after cutting off the cop's ear or when Vincent Vega shot Marvin in the face.
  • Genre Throwback: Most of his films are throwbacks to the various genres of Grindhouse/Exploitation Film from the 70s and 80s.
  • Gorn: He's earned himself equal amounts of praise from movie buffs and scorn from Moral Guardians for the copious amounts of blood and gore in his movies, whether it's played for horror, drama, or Black Comedy. Notably, horror director Wes Craven had to walk out of Reservoir Dogs because it was too violent even for him!
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Zigzagged quite a bit. Some particularly violent moments are shot from a distance (the bat scene from Inglourious Basterds), are obscured (the dog-mauling scene from Django Unchained), or simply done off-screen (the ear-scene from Reservoir Dogs). This nevertheless contrasts with his more explicit depiction of violence on other occasions, as explained above, and he will sometimes subvert this trope by showing the gory aftermath of an off-screen action, like the aforementioned ear scene.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: From Dusk Till Dawn and Death Proof both change gears jarringly. Death Proof's switch was a deliberate homage to grindhouse films, where directors would often cut together two completely unrelated films, often unfinished, to make one whole product.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: He admitted in an interview that he dressed a lot like Elvis Presley during The '80s. He doesn’t seem too embarrassed by it, however, and even credits it for landing him the above-mentioned Golden Girls cameo.
  • Keet: Oh, so very much. He's very energetic and enthusiastic and never seems to slow down.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: He's quite well known for his epic jawline.
  • Large Ham: And damn proud of it!
  • Mamet Speak: He's noted that David Mamet was one of his three key inspirations, dialogue-wise. (The other two are Elmore Leonard and Richard Pryor.)
  • Mexican Standoff: Featured in a number of his works, including Inglourious Basterds, in which the participants stop to argue about whether their position constitutes a Mexican Standoff.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: A personal example for him. Incidents between Harvey Weinstein and at least a couple of women associating with Tarantino in a span of several years → a pattern of serial sex abuse involving Weinstein. Needless to say, Tarantino was both super embarrassed and super PISSED.
  • Motifs:
    • Revenge features as a theme in several of his creations:
      • For Kill Bill: the hero's motivation is revenge through both films.
      • In Inglourious Basterds, Shoshanna's whole motivation is revenge for what was done to her family.
      • Revenge plays a big part in Django Unchained for Django. First against the Brittle brothers, then later against the people of Candieland. Django also often expresses the desire to kill white people as revenge for the suffering of black slaves.
      • The main motivation of the villain of the CSI episode he directed is revenge for the death of his daughter, which he blames the cops for.
    • Tarantino's films run the opening credits in the fairly average order as other films that display their credits at the beginning. However, he often saves the "Written and/or Directed by" part to kick-off the end credits.
  • Motor Mouth: He's known for talking extremely quickly and with a lot of energy.
  • The Movie Buff: His knowledge of cinema is absolutely staggering. Let's put it this way: If a film exists, chances are excellent that Tarantino has seen it and has possibly even referenced it.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The classic Tarantino woman: ethnically diverse, often deadly, invariably beautiful, frequently shoeless.
  • Nested Story: How his Shared Universe Canon Welding functions.
  • Nice Guy: He's often been described as very good to work with by actors.
  • Noble Demon: Since in most of Tarantino's movies almost every single character is a ruthless murderous criminal, there's usually at least one of these to give the audience someone to vaguely support.
  • Nothing but Hits: Subverted. Even though a lot of the music in his films is popular, he also uses several obscure tunes and niche movie themes. He has actually lifted several songs from obscurity due to his use of them.
  • N-Word Privileges: Some of Tarantino's white characters have them. Some don't, but use the word anyway, as racists. His tendency to feature this trope in his scripts has gotten him in hot water in the past, though he generally had the support of his black cast members in regards to the practice (leading to a somewhat notable moment during a Samuel L. Jackson interview where Jackson dared his white interviewer to say the word out loud without resorting to the T-Word Euphemism, and when the reporter was embarrassed and couldn't bring himself to say it even at Jackson's express invitation, Jackson laughed and refused to let him ask about its use in Django Unchained).
  • One-Liner: Several lines of dialogue tend to be these.
  • One-Liner Echo: From Death Proof:
    "Now, look, you can't look like you're trying to get her out of here before Christian Simonson shows up, but you've got to get her out of here before Christian Simonson shows up."
  • Orbital Shot: Notably used in the opening scene to Reservoir Dogs.
  • Playing Against Type: Arguably Jackie Brown. Honestly, anyone used to viewing Quentin as a "gore-freak" making uber-"wild-and-crazy" flicks are in for a shock upon seeing this (relatively) slow-paced and mellow character-oriented piece. Additionally, it's the one straight adaptation of his filmography, basing itself off of the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Many of Tarantino's are this thanks to his pop-culture obsessiveness. Examples include Jules and Vincent and Bill. The biggest example is probably Shoshanna Dreyfus, a theater owner in Nazi-occupied France who freaking kills with pop culture.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Tarantino's use of certain bubblegum pop hits or movie soundtracks has given certain melodies different associations in the ears of younger movie audiences. For example:
  • Production Posse:
    • From a producer-standpoint, Harvey Weinstein, until the 2017 sexual violence exposé on him totaled the Weinstein Company.
    • From an acting standpoint — Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Uma Thurman, Michael Madsen, Christoph Waltz, James Parks and Harvey Keitel, amongst others.
    • Sally Menke edited all of his movies up through Inglourious Basterds until her tragic death in 2010. His subsequent films have been edited by Fred Raskin.
    • The cinematography for all of his films since Kill Bill have been done by Robert Richardson, with the exception of Death Proof (which Quentin Tarantino did himself). Before this, Andrzej Sekula shot both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction in addition to Tarantino's segment of Four Rooms.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Quentin Tarantino was an oldschool fanboy of Blaxpoitation, Western, and Revenge Flicks. Guess what types of movies he makes now?
    • He went from a fan of old Shaw Brothers kung fu movies to working with the studios directly, notably when the old Shaw Brothers studio lot was re-opened for filming of Kill Bill (for filming the House of Blue Leaves fight).
  • Rape as Drama:
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: While most of Tarantino's characters are either morally grey or just bankrupt, rapists always get a gruesome comeuppance. Unsurprisingly, in real life, Tarantino was upset when he learned a that couple of sexual incidents his boss Harvey Weinstein had been involved in, including one with then-girlfriend Mira Sorvino, were part of a larger, more disturbing pattern of sexual abuse than he had realized (read: they turned out to not be mere isolated incidents), and his response was predictable to those who had seen enough of his movies.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Up until The Hateful Eight, Tarantino never used original scores in his movies, opting instead to reuse various pop songs or other movie themes for his films.
  • Reference Overdosed: Tarantino fills his films with references, especially to other movies, to the point that some critics have accused him of being derivative. Even his production company is named A Band Apart, after Bande à Part, the famous film by Jean-Luc Godard.
  • Rule of Cool: He more or less bases entire movies around something that just sounds damn cool (to him).
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Characters will often engage in discussions about various trivia that do not seem to have any bearing on the plot. Sometimes they actually do, and other times they're more for character or effect.
  • Self-Deprecation: Many of the roles that he casts himself in are particularly stupid and unpleasant characters who rapidly meet unpleasant fates.
  • Shout-Out: Has his own page.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Sort-of, with Spike Lee. Lee repeatedly slams Quentin for claiming N-Word Privileges for his movies. Tarantino does not take kindly to the Double Standard.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Despite the extraordinary violence and brutality, a lot of his works could be considered quite idealistic. Villains often show human sides, characters often act in noble ways even when it would be best to be pragmatic, and people who show kindness or honor are rewarded in some way, usually by surviving the film. This is arguably most apparent in Pulp Fiction.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Many have accused his performances in his own works as seeming like this trope. Whether this is intentional or not is up for debate.
  • Soul Brotha: One or more cool (but not superficial) black/Afro-American characters are present in most of his films.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Music tends to be classic pop, rock, and soul hits from the '60s and '70s. Or even really obscure stuff from the '60s and '70s. Inglourious Basterds, in particular, features a scene with an awesomely anachronistic pop soundtrack.
    • Reservoir Dogs has a torture scene set to the tones of the bubblegum hit "Stuck In The Middle With You".
    • Pulp Fiction uses a lot of surf instrumentals in a story that doesn't even take place near a beach.
    • The fight between the Bride and O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill is set to a funky disco cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" by Santa Esmeralda.
  • Speech-Centric Work: His films typically feature large amounts of dialogue, often of the Seinfeldian variety. This was particularly notable in Death Proof, which features very long periods of dialogue before the action finale. Tarantino explained that this was part of his grindhouse pastiche, because grindhouse films often padded their running time with dialogue to save money.
  • Taught by Experience: He didn't go to film school and learned everything he knows about film from watching and making them.
  • The Oner: Used in all of his films.
  • The 'Verse: Various films Tarantino has worked on feature callbacks to other works, showing they are in the same universe. For instance:
    • Various product and company names are referenced, such as Big Kahuna Burger and Red Apple cigarettes. (These respective products are also referenced in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, of all movies, as Mira Sorvino was dating Quentin at the time and the movie's production designer wanted to reference this; whether or not the movie actually takes place in either of his film universes in unclear.)
    • Reservoir Dogs was supposed to imply that Alabama from True Romance went on to become Mr. White's old accomplice, but the ending of True Romance was changed, making this unlikely.
    • Victor Vega (Mr. Blonde) from Reservoir Dogs and Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction are supposed to be brothers, and a spin-off film about them was planned but never made. Because both brothers die, the movie would have had to be a prequel, but by the time that both Michael Madsen and John Travolta had an open schedule at the same time, they had both visibly aged enough that having them play younger men would break the Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
    • The sheriff killed at the beginning of From Dusk Till Dawn appears in Kill Bill and both halves of Grindhouse (the first of which has him surviving The End of the World as We Know It, thus making continuity difficult to establish).
    • Lee Donowitz of True Romance is reportedly the son of Donny Donowitz of Inglourious Basterds. As Cracked points out, this implies Hitler was successfully assassinated at the La Gamaar cinema in this universe.
    • One of the bandits mentioned in Django Unchained is Crazy Craig Koons, a member of Smitty Bacall's gang — and a possible ancestor of Captain Koons from Pulp Fiction.
    • Oswaldo Mobray from The Hateful Eight is eventually revealed to be outlaw English Pete Hicox, who shares a surname with Archie Hicox from Inglourious Basterds, a character whom Tim Roth was originally asked to portray.
  • Tranquil Fury: In his first interview since the Weinstein scandal broke, Tarantino acknowledged he had known at least some details regarding Harvey Weinstein's sex drive in part thanks to an incident he had learned of years before involving then-girlfriend Mira Sorvino, and also because Uma Thurman had told him about unpleasant experiences with the producer during the production of Kill Bill, and is angry not just with Weinstein regarding the true extent of it, but also with himself for not doing anything about it sooner, before encouraging men who had worked with Weinstein to come out earnestly with their stories.
  • Trunk Shot: One of his most famous trademarks, appearing in all his films.
  • Unabashed B-Movie Fan: Tarantino loves low-budget genre films, citing them as one of his major influences and has an encyclopedic knowledge of them.
  • Uncredited Role: He was an uncredited script doctor for Crimson Tide.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Along with aforementioned projects he's announced and never followed through with, Tarantino was also the first choice to direct both Speed and Men in Black, but he turned both films down in order to create Pulp Fiction.
    • He famously lobbied to direct Casino Royale... since the 1990s. No less a person than Sean Connery said it would be an inspired idea.
    • Early in his career, Quentin tossed around the idea of making a superhero film about Luke Cage.
  • Whip Zoom: Used frequently from Kill Bill onwards.
  • World of Snark: Everyone in his movies seems to have some clever remark or retort.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Because he despises rape doesn't mean he won't get rough with a woman when the situation calls for it. A notable example is a scene where Budd spits on the Bride in Kill Bill. Tarantino doubled for Michael Madsen in that scene partly because he didn't think Madsen would be able to get it right, and partly because Uma Thurman insisted on it. And then there's also Thurman's infamous car accident that occurred during the filming of the same movie, due to Tarantino's reckless engrossment in its production.