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Film / Kill Bill

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"Looked dead, didn't I? But I wasn't. And it wasn't for lack of trying, I can tell you that. Actually, Bill's last bullet put me in a coma. A coma I was to lie in for four years. When I woke up, I went on what the movie advertisements referred to as a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. I roared. I rampaged. And I got bloody satisfaction. I've killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point, but I have only one more. The last one. The one I'm driving to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination... I am gonna KILL BILL."
The Bride, vol. 2

Kill Bill is the fourth (and fifth) film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, taking all his favorite things at that point in his career — westerns, samurai movies, martial arts, pop-culture references, Action Girls, and bare feet — and combining them all into one hell of a revenge drama.

Conceived by Tarantino as one complete movie, Miramax split it into two parts (Vol. 1, released in 2003, and Vol. 2, released six months later in 2004) due to its length. Watching them together earns you a nice four-hour action romp filled with deliberately over-the-top violence which runs on the Rule of Cool. This original cut of the film was eventually released in 2011 as Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, with select sequences being extended or uncensored.

The story — told in "chapters" and in Tarantino's signature non-linear fashion — centers around an Action Girl known primarily as "The Bride", a retired assassin who wants a normal life. Her former crew, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DiVAS for short), isn't too happy with that — and during the Bride's wedding rehearsal, they crash the church and slaughter the entire wedding party, then beat the Bride spaghetti western-style until she can't move. Once the DiVAS are done, their leader Bill walks up to the Bride and puts a bullet in her head — right after the Bride tells him she's pregnant with his child. Four years later, the Bride wakes up from a coma and vows to get her revenge on the DiVAS and anyone who happens to get in her way, saving Bill for last.

Tarantino has toyed with ideas for a sequel, but as of 2022, it seems to be off the table. However, actors have expressed interest in the idea of daughters of the Bride's victims taking revenge for their mothers, especially Nikki, the daughter of Vernita Green.

To view a partial list of the many references to other films in Kill Bill, visit here.

This Roaring Rampage of Tropes includes examples of the following:

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  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Hattori Hanzo claims that the katana he's made for the Bride is so sharp that "If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut." With one swing, she can easily sever a limb, cut a person in two, take off the top of a person's skull, or even cut another sword as if it's made of bamboo instead of steel.
  • Action Girl: Exaggerated to the point where it basically feels like a parody.
  • Actionized Sequel: Even though it's two parts of a single story, this is inverted. Volume 1 has a lot more action than part 2, with the final third or more of the movie being an extended action sequence where the Bride singlehandedly cuts her way through O-Ren's yakuza army before facing the woman herself. Volume 2 spends a lot more time on the narrative and fleshing out the Bride's character and only has two real fights, one of which is relatively short and brutal as opposed to the stylized action of the first part, and the second fight, the one where she kills Bill, lasts about 10 seconds.
  • Action Prologue: A downplayed example. The movie opens with the Bride being executed by Bill, and we get a credits sequence of her comatose in the hospital. But then it immediately cuts to her walking up to Vernita Green's house and attempting to kill her, leading to a drawn-out fight sequence with little context. After Vernita's daughter comes home, they do stop the fight and we get a bit of context, but not much before Green tries to shoot the Bride and gets killed for it. THEN we get to see what happened right after the Bride got shot in the head.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • When the Bride is talking to Vernita, she says, "that would be about square" and draws a square with her finger, similar to how in Pulp Fiction when Mia Wallace (also portrayed by Uma Thurman) says, "Don't be a..." and draws a square with her finger.
    • Gogo stabbing a man in the crotch is a reference to Chiaki Kuriyama's iconic crotch-stab scene in Battle Royale.
    • Also, this isn't the first time Buck has died in a doorway of head trauma. Heck, given how big a fan Tarantino is of Battle Royale, even the famous yellow track suit could be taken as a shout-out to Chiaki Kuriyama's role in that movie. Except it's a Shout-Out to Bruce Lee.
    • Daryl Hannah violently freaks out similarly to how her character did in Blade Runner.
    • David Carradine as a kung fu expert.
    • Sonny Chiba reprising his role as Hattori Hanzô.
    • Budd is first seen wearing an ensemble identical to the thieves' uniforms in Reservoir Dogs.
    • Gordon Liu, who plays Pai Mei, acted in a trilogy of films which also featured Pai Mei, in these instances portrayed by Lo Lieh — Liu himself never played Pai Mei until Kill Bill (in fact, one of those films, Executioners from Shaolin, opens with Pai Mei killing Liu's character). Tarantino was a fan of Liu's work in these films, and even referred to said films in the original script, claiming inspiration for the character from "films that feature Lieh Lo as the old, white-haired, white-eye-browed villain Pai Mei."
  • Adaptation Species Change: The film is a Spiritual Successor to the failed TV pilot Fox Force 5 mentioned in Pulp Fiction but with all references to foxes changed to snakes.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Invoked and ultimately averted by Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, surveying the massacre at the chapel:
    You can tell by the cleanliness of the carnage. Now a kill-crazy rampage though it may be, all the colors are kept within the lines. If you was a moron, you could almost admire it.
  • Affably Evil: Bill and Esteban.
    • All of the DiVAS, in their way, are pleasant enough right up until they try to kill you. Except for Elle, who notably remains ice cold throughout.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the entire medium of cinema, East and West. This movie also has an example of its own in the form of a Norwegian movie titled "Kill Buljo", which started out as a simple project by amateur directors and actors for the fun of it, with a very low budget. In the end, it became a huge success in Norway, to the point that it got released internationally. Quentin Tarantino himself proclaimed "I love it. I love it!"
  • Age-Gap Romance: Bill, an old assassin and martial arts warrior who grew up in the 1940s, is outright shown or implied to have been in relationships with several of his decades-younger students, including the Bride, Elle Driver, and most likely Sofie as well. When Bill shows up to the Bride's wedding, she lies to the groom that he's her father, but he's actually her lover and father of her child.
  • Agony of the Feet: Depicted once in each volume.
    • The Bride defeats Gogo Yubari by stabbing her in the foot with a nailed two by four, breaking her guard long enough to land a killing blow.
    • After losing her shoes while struggling to get out of the coffin, the Bride walks barefoot through the hot desert in order to get to Budd's trailer. Later, Elle violently strikes the Bride's foot with her heel, and the latter also walks over broken glass during the fight.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Deadly Vipers are predominantly female, and even then Bill rarely dirties his hands during conflict and Budd never displays anything close to the fighting ability that the women possess (although we never truly see him in action).
  • Anachronic Order: A Tarantino trademark. The first chapter from Volume 1 shows the Bride's second kill on her mission, and the next four chapters portray the events leading up to that kill — the Bride waking up from her coma, getting her Hanzo sword, hunting down O-Ren Ishii, and making her hit list.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Taken to ridiculous extremes, with many members of the Crazy 88 and Sofie Fatale losing various limbs to the Bride.
    The Bride: [in Japanese] Those of you lucky enough to still have your lives, take them with you! However...leave the limbs you've lost. They belong to me now. [in English] Except you, Sofie! You stay right where you are!
    • This is also how the Bride exacts both revenge on and information from Sofie Fatale. Cutting off Sofie's arm at the start of the Crazy 88 fight shows O-Ren Ishii that the Bride means business, and she takes the other arm away during her interrogation following the big battle.
  • Animal Assassin: Elle kills Budd with a black mamba. Which quite possibly kills her as well later on.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Given a nod when Budd and Elle think the Bride is dead. Budd asks Elle, who considered the Bride a personal rival/nemesis, which R she feels: relief, or regret.
    • Elle prematurely calls Bill to tell him that both Budd and the Bride are dead. (Her side of the conversation indicates his sorrow.)
    • More importantly, Beatrix weeps in the bathroom after she kills Bill.
    • The Bride is visibly sorrowful after killing O-Ren in their duel, as Ishii was probably her only true friend in the DiVAS.
    • And this happens to Bill twice more: first when he believed the Bride had been killed, while she had only run away after finding out she was pregnant and again, as he explains later in Vol. 2 to B.B., that he felt very sad after, you know, hunting her ass down and putting a bullet in her head. Sorry, kiddo!
  • Anti-Hero: The Bride is mostly an Unscrupulous Hero, but occasionally pushes Nominal Hero. She may be a brutal assassin, but she still has certain things that she will not do if she can help it — like murdering someone in front of their child.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Pai Mei, but don't tell him that.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: The "one-inch punch" is absolutely a real thing, but it works by, more or less, propelling energy from a strong leg movement into your fist. As Mythbusters showed, a one-inch punch with just your arm while lying down has the power you'd actually expect of such a punch: that is to say, not a lot.
  • Art Shift: Between the two volumes in both look and feel. On a more macro level, there's the seamless shift to black and white film stock during the climax in Volume 1 -– in the US theatrical cut, at least.
    • O-Ren Ishii has two flashback sequences explaining her origins that suddenly shift to an animation style typical of early-'90s anime.
  • Aside Glance: Beatrix winks at the camera as she's driving during the closing credits.
  • Asshole Victim: Most of the assassins fit this trope, though some are more sympathetic than others. The only exceptions to this are O-Ren Ishii and, oddly enough, Bill, as the Bride feels genuinely shaken by both of their deaths. Then there's Buck, Matsumoto, and Tanaka, all three of whose deaths absolutely no one will mourn.
  • Audible Sharpness: Zig-zagged at first. When the Bride first handles a Hanzô sword on screen, it makes a sharp sound just from spinning it 180° while still in the sheath. Then she unsheathes it slowly, and it makes the correct muted leather sound. Then she quickly unsheathes it the rest of the way, and the unrealistic metal-on-metal sound is present. Then when she sheathes it again, the muted 'whomp' is back. After that, it's pretty much all the expected examples, and naked Hanzo swords almost constantly emit a quiet, high-pitched tone.
    • When the Bride pulls the knife out of Vernita's chest, a metallic "shing" sound effect is heard, even though metal colliding with flesh shouldn't make such a sound.
  • Author Appeal: Like a lot of Tarantino's movies, there's a lot of scenes involving women's bare feet. Most notable is the infamous "wiggle your big toe" scene.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: O-Ren Ishii's white robes are this to an extent, as they're just rarely worn as opposed to completely unworn. The Bride's Bruce Lee-inspired striped suit also counts to a degree.
  • Badass Boast: After Hanzo makes a sword for the Bride:
    Hattori Hanzo: I can tell you with no ego, this is my finest sword. If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Just about everyone, but especially Elle Driver from the second movie. Incidentally, it's the same suit worn by Mia and Jackie Brown.
  • Bathroom Brawl: In Vol. 2, the Bride fights Elle Driver in a cramped trailer, eventually spilling over to the even-more cramped bathroom.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: The Bride is a gorgeous blonde who gets beat up, slashed up, bloodied, shot up, and even buried alive, and still kicks serious ass on just about everybody she meets — and this is a woman who is referred to as being very beautiful by multiple people. As bloodied and bruised as she gets, none of her wounds appear to leave a visible lasting mark that mars her beauty. She's lucky she wasn't one of Esteban's girls.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The penalty for disparaging O-Ren Ishii's Chinese or American heritage is decapitation, which she does to Boss Tanaka following her taking power at the crime council when he insults her heritage. Her warning about the penalty leads to her Suddenly Shouting (see below).
    • Pai Mei is practically one big walking berserk button; even the slightest perceived offense, intentional or not, can result in him inflicting grievous bodily harm on you, if you're lucky.
  • Best Served Cold: The Bride is forced by circumstance to wait a long time in a coma to get her revenge, but she dishes it out. The quote even the opening title card, cited as an old Klingon proverb no less.
  • Between My Legs: When The Bride just finishes off the Crazy 88 leader, Johnny Mo, the latter falls to the bloody pond and is shot between her legs.
  • Bilingual Bonus: On the first film's poster, the characters in the background are a katakana transliteration of "Kill Bill" (in this case, reading Kiru Biru) — likely to save space, since the actual translation would be 「ビルを殺す」 "Biru o korosu". The Chinese characters on Volume II's poster say "pursue and kill Bill."
    • The scene with Gogo and the businessman has a bit of this. When he asks what Gogo thinks of Ferraris, he's actually propositioning her for sex. In Tokyo, "Ferrari" is slang for fellatio.
  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: Played for Drama when the Bride's legs have wasted away from atrophy, as a result of her being comatose for years on end.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Bride gets her revenge by killing Bill and assumes custody of B.B., but all of her friends (including her fellow assassins that turned on her) and family are dead, leaving her alone and having to start over from square one. Not only that, but she'll have to figure out how to connect with B.B. after being estranged from her for four years, not even being awake to give birth to her.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: "That woman deserves her revenge. And we deserve to die. But then again, so does she."
  • Black Blood: The Crazy 88s fight suddenly shifts to black-and-white to avoid an NC-17 rating. Averted in the extended international cut, which features the scene in full color. Several shots from the black and white section appear in color during the end credits for Vol. II.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Played with. Vernita Green dies at the beginning of Vol. 1, but is actually the second Deadly Viper to be killed by the Bride, since the rest of Vol. 1 is a flashback. (The effect on her screen time is the same, though.)
  • Blade Lock: The Bride and Elle do this, giving Beatrix a golden opportunity to rip out Elle's remaining eye.
  • Blade Run: Pai Mei does this to the Bride. She is... surprised, to say the least.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: The Crazy 88 fight ends up with several of the mooks, and Johnny Mo, lying dead in the restaurant's now-crimson ornamental water features.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Vernita Green, after getting a knife to her chest.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents:
    • The Bride introduces O-Ren through a Start of Darkness flashback to O-Ren's childhood done in anime style, where Boss Matsumoto and his men kill both of her parents as she hides under the bed. At one point, a sword blade goes through her mother and the bed courtesy of Matsumoto himself, and her mother's blood drips down onto her. Luis Bacalov's beautiful score from "The Grand Duel" plays throughout.
      • Later during the flashback, two women wearing beauty pageant sashes are splattered with blood when O-Ren assassinates a government official in his limousine.
    • Not to mention that the second "chapter" of the movie is entitled The Blood Splattered Bride, a Shout-Out to a Lesbian Vampire film with the same name. In fact, she's splattered with blood for pretty much the majority of the movie.
      • She sure as hell ain't innocent for most of it, though.
  • Bloody Hilarious:
    • The blood fountain (and there really is no other way to describe it) that erupts when O-Ren cuts off Boss Tanaka's head is hilarious, if only for the fact that it sprays blood five feet into the air for a solid 10 seconds.
    • As well as when the Bride chops off Sofie Fatale's arm.
    • Amazingly, the sound of Boss Tanaka's blood is even more graphic on the soundtrack album than the film itself.
  • Book Ends: As a duology, Kill Bill begins and ends with the Bride hesitating to kill someone with their child present, sending the child away, planning to fight in an alternate location away from the child, and finally being forced to kill them in a relative anticlimax because they forced her hand by trying to attack her with her guard down.
    • The last thing the Bride asks Bill before the wedding rehearsal (and subsequent massacre) begins is "Do I look pretty?". Years later, when Beatrix hits Bill with the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, he asks her, "How do I look?"
  • Boring, but Practical: Between Kung-Fu masters, armies of katana-wielding henchmen, expert assassins, and knife-fighting Mama Bears, Budd easily incapacitates and comes closest to killing the Bride out of all of them with nothing but a shotgun full of rock salt and a syringe of tranquilizer.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: For the most part, most of the characters try to live by the sword, but even so, being assassins, a lot of them are Combat Pragmatists; even the Bride seems ready to kill Bill with a gun at first.
  • Bowdlerize: TV cuts of the movie obviously have to tone down the violence and language a bit to meet network standards. One of the most notorious: in the TBS cut, the "Pussy Wagon" is visibly changed to a Party Wagon, and Buck introduces himself by saying "My name is Buck and I'm here to party." Would it have been that hard to change his name to "Marty?"
  • Breast Attack: Budd opens his 'duel' with the Bride by shooting her in the chest with rock salt. (He specifically says he was aiming for her breasts.) This attack, more than any other across both films, incapacitates the Bride; she spends the next two minutes writhing feebly and moaning in pain, especially after Budd rolls her over onto her wounded front.
    • The Bride doles one out to Gogo Yubari's sister Yuki when the latter ambushes her in the original script.
      Yuki: You fucking bitch! You shot me in my breast! They're not fully developed yet, you fucking asshole! Now I'm always gonna have a dimple!
  • Brick Break: A variant of this with a wooden board is used as part of Pai Mei's training for the Bride. In Vol. 2, she puts this to use after Budd buries her alive in a wooden coffin.
  • Brick Joke: When the Bride says to Nikki that "It was not my intention to do this [killing Vernita, her mother] in front of you. For that I'm sorry. But you can take my word for it, your mother had it comin'. When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I'll be waiting."
    • Quentin was planning a third volume of the story, to be released in 2014, and he dropped that half of the brick joke knowing it would be eleven years before it would pay off. As of 2015, Volume 3 hasn't even seen the announcement stage.
    • Pai Mei scoffs that American women are only good for ordering in restaurants. Several months of brutal training, a few years, and a live burial later, after clawing her way out of the grave, the Bride goes into a cafe and asks for some water.
  • Buried Alive: What Budd does to the Bride in Volume 2. She gets out.
  • Camera Abuse: After the Bride casually severs Sofie's arm, while Sofie rolls on the floor in agony, her stump shoots some blood onto the camera lens.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: Bill tells Beatrix the story of Pai Mei while both are seated by a campfire somewhere in the Chinese countryside. With the aid of a flute, Bill tells Pai Mei's tale in a "Peter and the Wolf" type fashion.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Elle Driver gets her face forced into Budd's toilet by the Bride during their fight, to the point where she has to flush it to save herself from drowning.
  • Carnival of Killers: The protagonist is a former member of a Carnival of Killers, all with their own specializations and codenamed after different snake species. She ends up massacring most of the other members on her way to, well, kill Bill, the leader of the organization.
  • Casting Gag: Casting Sonny Chiba as Old Master Hattori Hanzo, as Chiba had previously played the legendary figure in a Japanese TV series.
  • Catapult Nightmare: The Bride's awakening from her coma.
    • A Call-Back to Pulp Fiction's epinephrine-shot scene, with a mosquito proboscis taking the place of the syringe.
  • Catch and Return: In the Crazy 88 fight scene, a hatchet gets thrown at the Bride, and she catches it right before it hits her. After the thrower throws a second hatchet — which she dodges, causing it to hit another one of the Crazy 88s — the Bride throws hers right back into the thrower's forehead.
  • Catchphrase: "You and I have unfinished business."
  • Cat Fight / Designated Girl Fight: Subverted consistently. None of the fights look like Fanservice for titillating male audiences, and the women are fighting as brutally as you'd expect from men — even more brutally, sometimes, with no scratching and hair-pulling. The Bride's fight with Elle Driver in particular is especially vicious and sees both of them covered in blood, sweat, spat tobacco, and toilet water.
  • Ceiling Cling: The Bride does this to hide from Gogo Yubari in the restaurant where O-Ren and her entourage are eating.
  • Celeb Crush: Bill's father figure Esteban Vihaio, a Mexican pimp, tells a story about how he once took Bill to the movies when he was a little boy. He could tell that Bill was drawn to blondes when he noted that the boy had a Precocious Crush on 1940s-1950s movie star Lana Turner.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • The Bride uses the punch through wood that Pai Mei taught her to get out of her coffin.
    • That move where she snatches your eye right out of its socket. She learned it from Pai Mei, uses it on one of the Crazy 88s, then uses it to defeat Elle.
    • Pai Mei's Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. Bill tells the Bride that Pai Mei doesn't teach the technique to anyone, and ends up on the receiving end of it from the Bride, as taught by Pai Mei.
  • Code Name: The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad uses the names of lethal snakes as code names. The Bride's was "Black Mamba." This also doubles as Names to Run Away from Really Fast — the Black Mamba is generally considered to be the most deadly snake in the worldnote , which leads to the question of how the others didn't see the end coming.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: How the Bride gets information about the DiVAS from Sofie.
    The Bride: What I am going to do is ask you questions, and every time you don't give me answers, I'm going to cut something off. And I promise you... they will be things you will miss.
    • She directly follows this by threatening to cut off her other arm.
  • Color Motif: The Bride's color is yellow. The handle of her blade has yellow stripes, her motorcycle is yellow, and (most obviously) her iconic jumpsuit is yellow.
  • Combat Breakdown: The battle between Elle and the Bride starts off pretty viciously already, but by the end, it has devolved into a brutal brawl in which the two assassins resort to every single dirty trick and tool available to them.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Played with.
    • Budd appears to be highly honorable at first, what with his talk of "she deserves her revenge, and we deserve to die" and all that. He ends up just shooting the Bride. In the tits. With rock salt. The trope is then inverted because Elle gets pissed that the Bride, her Worthy Opponent, got killed by this lazy schmuck and gives him the most painfully ironic death she can devise as a result.
    • The Bride herself. She attacks Elle with, among other things, a TV antenna, a lamp, a chair, and a toilet (both smashing with pieces of it and trying to drown her in it).
    • Prior to this, she and Vernita attack each other (and defend themselves) with ordinary household things like a frying pan and a coffee table. And Green turns out to have been keeping a hidden gun in her kitchen just in case.
    • And Elle poisoning Pai Mei, who is so badass poison is the only possible way to kill him. Supposedly, anyway.
    • The Bride defeats Gogo with the ultimate weapon in the series: a 2x4 with a nail through it.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The entire Crazy 88 fight. There are at least thirty, and probably more, of them against the Bride. Guess who wins.
  • Contract on the Hitman: The film kicks off with the Bride's former assassination squad trying to kill her.
  • Convenient Coma: The Bride is put into one of these for four years following Bill putting a bullet through her skull.
  • Conversational Troping: When the Bride finally confronts Bill, he monologues about the nature of the Secret Identity in superhero comics. Bill points out that whereas most heroes have to put on the costume to become their alter egos, since Superman was born as the alien Kal-El, his alter ego is in fact Clark Kent. Bill theorizes that Clark Kent is Superman's critique of humanity, comparing him to the Bride trying to blend in when she was really born to be a killer.
  • Cool Car: The Pussy Wagon, which Tarantino actually owns (it's not his daily drive, he just kept it after the movie), and would later be featured prominently in Lady Gaga's Telephone video. You can actually see it parked in Tarantino's driveway on Google Maps.
  • Cool Sword: EVERY sword made by Hattori Hanzo, but especially the Bride's sword.
  • Country Matters: Possibly the gentlest, most heart-warming invocation of the trope in cinema.
    "You're not a bad person. You're a terrific person. You're my favorite person. But every once in a while... you can be a real cunt."
  • Creepy Orderly: Buck, the scumbag rapist from the hospital scene.
  • Cross Counter: There's one in the fight between the Bride and Elle Driver.
  • Cruel Mercy: How Beatrix deals with Elle Driver, choosing to blind her instead of killing her.
  • Cry Laughing: The Bride, on a bathroom floor, after realizing that, with Bill dead and her daughter by her side, she is free to start a new life.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Beatrix vs. Bill — she manages to catch his sword in her sheath before using the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique on him.
    • The Bride's first sparring match with Pai Mei didn't exactly go well for her. She didn't land a single hit on him, and he almost broke her arm.
  • Cute and Psycho: Gogo, a schoolgirl who'll smile brightly as she puts a sword through your gut or hurls a bladed metal ball at you on a chain.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Not shown, but the possibility is definitely left open. Vernita is killed in front of her daughter Nikki, whom the Bride understands might someday want revenge against her.

  • Dark Action Girl: Every major female character other than Sofie Fatale, Nikki Green, and B.B.
    • Dark Action Mom: Vernita and Beatrix become this after the incident in the church.
  • Dawson Casting: Played for comedy during an aside flashback in Vol. 2, where the Bride is sitting through a roll call in her elementary school classroom. When the teacher eventually calls for "Beatrix Kiddo", it cuts to her, still being played by the very adult Uma Thurman, saying "Here."
  • Deadly Doctor: Subverted. Elle dresses up as a nurse so she can get close enough to the comatose Bride to give her a lethal injection, but is stopped from doing so by Bill, and she is not happy about it.
  • Death by Cameo: Quentin Tarantino plays one of the Crazy 88, and ends up being the first one of them to get sliced up by the Bride.
  • Death by Irony: Budd, while escaping from death from the Bride, codenamed "Black Mamba" as one of the DiVAS, is killed by the venom of an actual black mamba.
  • Death by Materialism: An unintentional example with Budd. Elle gives him a suitcase full of money with the black mamba hidden in the money, but there's no indication or warning that it's in there. His fate comes by surprise.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Elle Driver.
  • Deliberately Monochrome:
    • The wedding flashbacks that open both portions of the saga.
    • A portion of the fight at the House of Blue Leaves (at least in America). The moment where it goes to monochrome is right when the Bride rips out one of the Crazy 88's eyes.
    • Also, a few of the driving scenes (particularly the ones in front of the back-projection).
  • Deliver Us from Evil: The Bride's motive for going good.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: O-Ren Ishii.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The House of Blue Leaves, complete with foot soldiers, mini-bosses, and Disc-One Final Boss (O-Ren).
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Where to start?
    • Found within the story of Pai Mei that Bill tells the Bride. Pai Mei once offered a small nod of deference (a rare gesture) to a passing Shaolin monk, who failed to return it — for all anyone knows, the monk might not have even noticed it. For this grave insult, Pai Mei headed to the Shaolin Temple and demanded the neck of the head abbot as an apology. When the other monks pleaded for mercy and tried to console Pai Mei, he slaughtered every one of them, burning the monastery down afterwards.
    • Also:
      Bill: Not only are you not dead, you're getting married... to some fucking jerk. And you're pregnant. I... overreacted.
      [long pause, as the Bride attempts to process what she just heard]
      The Bride: [leans forward in a Kubrick Stare] ...You "overreacted"?
    • Pai Mei again, plucking Elle Driver's eye out for calling him a "miserable old fool". Unfortunately for Pai Mei, Elle is just as much a psychopath as he was...
      • It supposedly could have been worse for Elle: Bill warns Beatrix that Pai Mei was also liable to snap someone's back for disrespect. So you could say she got off easy...
  • Divided for Publication: Tarantino's original vision of Kill Bill was as a single film, but it was cut in half due to its length. See also the Recut/George Lucas Altered Version entry below for details about The Whole Bloody Affair, the single-film cut that was screened at Cannes.
  • Door Fu: The Bride spends several minutes smashing Buck's head in this way.
  • Double Take: When the Bride is finally able to sit down with Bill and confront him about what he did, he admits that he "overreacted". The Bride obviously waits for him to say more, and when he doesn't, she sits visibly nonplussed for a long moment as she tries to process, that no, really, this is all Bill is willing to say about it.
  • Dramatic Drop: When the Bride says she is looking for Hattori Hanzo, Hanzo drops the food he is preparing. We hear his assistant drop a bottle of sake off camera.
  • Dramatic Red Samurai Background: As a direct Shout-Out to Samurai Fiction, Kill Bill features a silhouetted battle, but against a blue backdrop instead. There is some action silhouetted in red, but it's only a training sequence.
  • Dressed All in Rubber: The Bride's iconic yellow PVC racing jumpsuit.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Pai Mei, and how. Disrespect most drill sergeant types, and they will yell at you until their throat is raw and/or send you to be punished. Pai Mei will blind you.
  • Dual Wielding: A member of the Crazy 88, and the Bride herself (although briefly) during the same scene.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: "My name's Buck, and I'm here to fuck."
  • Dull Surprise: Nikki. Most kids would scream their heads off in reaction to seeing their mother get killed. She just stares.
  • Dumb Blonde: A defiant Sofie Fatale calls the Bride this, even after having a limb hacked off.
    • Budd evokes this trope when talking about the blonde Beatrix to the face of the equally golden-haired (and very vindictive) Elle Driver:
      Budd: Bill thought she was so damn smart. And I tried to tell him she was just smart — for a blonde.
  • Dying Truce: After having the Five Point Palm technique performed on him, Bill knows he's a dead man walking. He has a last bit of conversation with the Bride before peacefully walking to his death.
  • The Dying Walk: Anyone hit with the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart technique will die as soon as they take five steps. The Bride uses it on Bill at the end, and he does a very dignified and symbolic walking away from her and his life as he dies.
  • Dynamic Entry: The Bride to Elle, starting off their fight.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Bride goes to hell and back, but in the end she gets one of Tarantino's most triumphant endings after completing her revenge and being reunited with her daughter she thought was dead.
  • Elite Four: The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad originally consisted of five members, the Bride being one of them, but by the time the events of the movies kick off, she has been ousted, leaving the team as an elite foursome of assassins, plus their leader, Bill. They are Elle Driver, Budd, O-Ren Ishii, and Vernita Green.
  • Enforced Trope: Censor bleeps are used to maintain No Name Given until the time is right. Hints are dropped, though.
  • Epigraph: Volume 1 opens with the quote "Revenge is a dish best served cold", which is Wrongfully Attributed as being an old Klingon proverb.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Played with. The Bride is a mass-murderer who, in her Roaring Rampage of Revenge, has killed, hacked off parts of, and tortured her former colleagues, moving coldly onto her next target without even waiting for the blood to stop pooling beneath the chopped-up bodies, but when Elle reveals that she killed the Bride's master, she gets even more fucking pissed!
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Bill considers his brother Budd the only man he ever loved. His past relationship with the Bride was genuinely romantic; the Bride making him think she was dead and breaking his heart is the reason he went on his rampage in the first place. And he's a doting father to BB.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Bill will be "a murdering bastard" any day, but he will not (in the end) kill someone in their sleep, because "that thing would lower us".
    • The Bride is sadistic and a mass-murderer, but she shows this as well. She sticks to the people on her list (and the Crazy 88) despite pointing out to Vernita to make things even, she would have to kill Vernita, her daughter, and her husband. She is also willing to stop the fight in front of Vernita's daughter, and appears genuinely regretful that she killed Vernita in front of her daughter. She also spares one of the Crazy 88 when it turns out that he is just a teenager who is obviously hanging with the wrong crowd.
    • The scene that starts the Bride's plan to leave the DiVAS counts as well. She's just discovered she's pregnant, and the assassin sent to kill her agrees to go home rather than kill a pregnant woman.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: The Bride is allowed to take her katana on the plane with her, because it's considered matter-of-fact for everybody at the airport (and, by extension, the country of Japan) to have a katana. In that scene, where the Bride is flying out of Japan and formulating her death list, there is also a katana across the aisle from her, and the man seated behind the Bride has one as well. Probably everyone on the plane has one. In fact, the plane has special katana holsters attached to each seat.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Uma Thurman's character is known only as "the Bride." Several characters do call her by name, but they're bleeped out until midway through Vol. 2.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Master assassin Bill has a noted preference for blondes. He was involved with at least two of his students, both beautiful blonde women (the Bride and Elle Driver), and his pimp father figure notes that he had a Precocious Celeb Crush on Lana Turner after seeing her in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) as a small boy.
  • Evil Gloating: Elle, did you 'really' need to flaunt Pai Mei's death and how you were going to kill the Bride for a minute and a half?
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The whole point of the films is to chronicle the Bride's quest to Kill Bill.
  • Expy: The DiVAS are based on the show "Fox Force Five" that Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) mentions in Pulp Fiction.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Elle Driver wears an eye patch. The origins of her eye injury are explored, but she is no less dangerous for being a cyclops.
  • Eye Scream:
    • In one Vol. 2 flashback, Elle Driver mouths off to Pai Mei, and he rips one of her eyes out in response. When the Bride finally confronts Elle, not only does she rip out her remaining eye, but she also crushes it under her foot.
    • The Bride rips out one of the Crazy 88's eyes in Vol. 1 in the same manner. An extended cut has her shove it down another Crazy 88's throat.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Bill after he's been five-point-exploding-heart-palmed. He straightens his jacket and wipes the blood off his lip, before getting up and walking away until he falls down dead.
    Bill: How do I look?
    The Bride: You look ready.
  • Family Theme Naming: Bill and Budd are brothers with four-letter names that start with a "B" and end with a double letter. The matching first letter even extends to Bill's lover Beatrix, a.k.a. the Bride, and their daughter B.B.
  • Fanservice: The Bride is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she doesn't wear makeup and slogs through much of the films covered in sweat, dirt, mud, and blood. This may or may not be to your taste.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • The Bride gets this TWICE. First, she is implied to have been repeatedly raped while comatose from her assassination attempt, and then she is Buried Alive.
    • Elle stumbling around Budd's trailer with no eyes, and that question mark implying she's still there, bloody and confused (even though it's possible that the black mamba in the trailer killed her).
  • Faux Fluency: Lucy Liu plays a character who was supposedly born and raised in Japan, but has a heavy American accent. Possibly justified, as U.S. military brats raised on military bases tend to speak with American accents, but as she's voiced by a native Japanese speaker in her flashbacks, it's particularly noticeable.
    • Uma Thurman likewise recites all her Japanese lines phonetically.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The opening has a close-up shot on Bill's boots walking towards the bride. His face is first shown in the second movie.
  • Female Groin Invincibility: Averted. The Bride and Elle hit each other in the groin several times as their battle within the cramped trailer rapidly degenerates into chaos. In all occasions, it is shown to be an effective and painful move.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, which is performed by jabbing five pressure points on the body with stiffened fingers.
  • Foreshadowing: The first song heard in Vol. 1 is "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by Nancy Sinatra. In Vol. 2, when the Bride first sees her daughter, she's pointing a toy gun at her and shouting "Bang bang!"
  • Four Is Death: A downplayed example, as the targets the Bride mainly focuses on (besides Bill) are the four members of the DiVAS who tried to assassinate her at her wedding. Note that while she does succeed in killing two of them, one is killed by another, and said other (her fourth target) doesn't actually die.
    • Also Played Straight, as both films together are four hours long. The Bride is in a coma for four years. Counting both volumes as one movie, it is the fourth film by Tarantino. The list goes on.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: A villainous example. Bill is phlegmatic, Elle Driver is choleric, Budd is sanguine, Vernita Green is leukine, and O-Ren Ishii is melancholic.
  • Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Johnny Mo makes these throughout his fight with the Bride.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad — DiVAS.

  • Genre Mashup: Take a Revenge thriller, add Samurai/martial arts movies, a dash of Spaghetti Western, and a pinch of Anime, and you get Kill Bill.
  • Genre Shift: Volume 1 is an ode to kung fu movies. Volume 2 is an ode to the Western, as well as a deconstruction of Volume 1.
  • Genre Throwback: To Lady Snowblood, Thriller: A Cruel Picture, and every Hong Kong martial arts and Japanese Chanbara film ever made.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Gogo Yubari and her deadly chain iron meteor hammer.
  • Go to Your Room!: Downplayed. In the middle of a brutal fight, Vernita's daughter, Nikki, arrives home from her school, Vernita pleads Beatrix to stop fighting. When Nikki enters the house and briefly talks with her mom as well as introducing each other with Beatrix, her mom orders her to go to her room out of protecting her daughter from the risk of getting killed.
  • Gorn: Even for Tarantino, Kill Bill is soaked in blood and gruesome kills. Blood spurts at high pressures feet into the air from stab wounds, a great many limbs are severed from their bodies, and fleshy bits go everywhere they shouldn't be.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • The trucker who pays $75 to rape the now conscious Bride presumably has his lip bit off and his throat torn out with her teeth.
    • When the Bride kills O-Ren, a line of blood hits the snow first, followed by the top of O-Ren's skull.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: The Bride is out to enact her revenge on every last member of the DiVAS and lastly Bill himself. She even has a hit list written out that we get to see.
  • Graceful Loser: O-Ren expresses admiration for the Bride's sword and admits that it is a true Hanzo sword (after previously refusing to believe that it was) after the Bride scalps her.
  • Gratuitous English: O-Ren, addressing a group of Japanese Yakuza after killing one of their leaders, says, "So that you understand how serious I am, I'm going to say this in English."
  • Groin Attack:
    • A few of them in the Bride's fight with Vernita, though they are only noticeable if one is watching closely.
    • The Bride tries to do this on Pai Mei, but it turns out that he has Balls of Steel.
    • The Bride and Elle hit each other with these during their fight, which are depicted as effective.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: We get two equally unappetizing ones after the Bride rips out Elle's remaining eye: we get one of her eye on the floor, and a subsequent one of the Bride crushing the eye under her bare foot.
  • Hair-Trigger Sound Effect: The Pai Mei training montages. Every single movement is accompanied by a cheesy whipping sound effect. Even the Bride's ponytail and Pai Mei's beard do some, making it literally a hair-triggered sound effect.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: During the Crazy 88 sword battle, the Bride hands this out to one unfortunate Mook, who is split in half right down the middle with her Hattori Hanzo sword.
  • Hallway Fight: The Bride and Elle briefly get into a sword fight in the hallway of Budd's trailer, which leads to the Bride ripping the eye from her socket. Considering she only had one eye to begin with, it gives her the win.
  • Harmful to Minors:
    • O-Ren Ishii witnessed the death of her parents at the hands of Boss Matsumoto when she was nine, and took her vengeance two years later.
    • The Bride tries to avoid this when she kills Vernita Green, but winds up doing it right in front of her daughter anyway. Knowing full well what usually happens to a kid after this, she tells her "When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I'll be waiting." (This is a great Sequel Hook. Tarantino is on record as having ideas for Kill Bill Volumes 3 and 4 already rolling around in his brain.)
  • Hello, Attorney!: Sofie Fatale, as the name suggests, is a very attractive woman, and her role is to be a lawyer for O-Ren Ishii.
  • Hermit Guru: Pai Mei lives alone on a mountain and rarely takes on students.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath/Sociopathic Hero: The Bride can be either, depending on her mood. When she's under a truth serum from Bill, she admits that she genuinely enjoys killing and maiming people. In fact, what stops her from being a downright Villain Protagonist (she was, after all, a contract killer for most of her life) is the relative Heel–Face Turn she went through upon finding out she was pregnant, and her very deserved revenge.
  • Hidden Villain: Bill, for the first half's entirety. However, The Reveal happens early in Vol. 2 — or earlier, if you bothered to read the ending credits of Vol. 1.
  • High on Homicide: After O-Ren kills Boss Matsumoto, she tilts her head back and takes a deep breath, having gotten her revenge.
  • High-Pressure Blood: It's all over the place in the sections with O-Ren Ishii, particularly where she stabs Boss Matsumoto and his blood soaks the entire room, and in the House of Blue Leaves fight, where one sword wound results in a geyser of blood at least five feet high.
  • Historical Domain Character:
    • Pai Mei is believed to have been a real person, although there's still debate about if this is true or not.
    • "Hattori Hanzo" is the name of a legendary real-life samurai who lived in the 16th century (though he is also commonly portrayed as a Ninja). He had previously been played in a Japanese TV series by... Sonny Chiba.
  • Hollywood Healing: The Bride shows a wonderful knack for shrugging off various injuries, and usually looks pristine the next day.
  • Home Field Advantage:
    • O-Ren certainly has the advantage in Tokyo. Part of that advantage is her personal army and right-hand Dragon.
    • Vernita Green and Budd enjoy this as well, with Budd using it (and the added advantage of forewarning) to great success.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • The Bride's conduct in the saga. She never "just shoots" her enemies like a coward; instead, she always honorably challenges them in a manner that allows them an equal chance at victory. She doesn't do this in a simple way, though: the Bride wants her revenge, and she won't hesitate to use dirty tricks if they're needed to win — ripping eyes out, using improvised weapons, attacking by surprise, you name it.
    • Elle averts this. She's unhappy that Bill called off the hit on the Bride while she was still comatose; uses a black mamba to kill Budd out of pure jealousy and spite (though Elle actually accuses Budd of this trope's inversion, citing the reason as "regret that perhaps the greatest warrior I've ever met... met her end at the hands of a bushwhackin', scrub, alky piece of shit like you"); and she killed Pai Mei simply by poisoning his fish heads.
    • Budd's decision to shoot the Bride. While the Bride very clearly challenges both Vernita Green (by knocking on her door unarmed) and O-Ren (by facing her minions first), she seems unwilling to grant the same favor to Budd — in fact, she ends up breaking into his trailer without warning, while being armed already with her katana. Whether she does so because she doesn't expect Budd to offer a fair fight, or because she underrated his value as a fighter, is never made clear. At the end of the day, Budd isn't given a clear occasion for a real duel, so his responding to the Bride's ambush with one of his own does not appear to be that cowardly. Budd's actions after the rock-salt buckshot might be interpreted as this. He's well aware of what kind of training the Bride had had with Pai Mei, so he was giving her the chance to claw her way back out of her grave if she had the will to do so.
    • In the original script, although the Bride is still honorable, she does have occasional 'reason over honor' moments — most notably, the Bride actually planned to snipe Bill from far away, under the justification that he originally called a bushwhack on her and she was just repaying the favor. She doesn't go through with it because she sees B.B. through the scope and realizes that her daughter was still alive.
  • Iconic Outfit: The Bride's famous jumpsuit, which is itself a reference to a similar outfit worn by Bruce Lee.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Played for laughs with Vernita Green in regards to the Bride's DiVAS codename "Black Mamba":
    Vernita: I shoulda been motherfuckin' "Black Mamba"!
  • I Know You Know I Know: "I want him to know what I know. I want him to know... I want him to know."
  • I'll Kill You!: Elle Driver after being reduced to a screaming psychotic wreck after the Bride snatches out her other eye and crushes it underfoot.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The fate of O-Ren's parents; her father was run through by one of Boss Matsumoto's men while her mother was pinned to a bed with a katana (which narrowly avoided hitting O-Ren as she hid underneath). This is also the fate of Boss Matsumoto, the boss that ordered their deaths, in O-Ren's revenge.
  • Implacable Man:
    • In this case, an implacable woman. The Bride will travel to the ends of the earth, get grievously injured multiple times, and even rise from a grave if necessary to get her revenge.
    • Pai Mei, according to Bill's account of his alleged massacre of the Shaolin temple over an unreturned gesture:
      Bill: The abbot, at first, tried to console Pai Mei — only to find Pai Mei was... inconsolable.
  • Improbably Quick Coma Recovery: After four years in coma, the Bride is miraculously awake and sits up abruptly. She can't even walk, yet she manages to beat her rapists single-handedly. After spending just 13 hours regaining her ability to move her legs, she could finally walk again, drives the Pussy Wagon, stays healthy and becomes even more badass afterwards. In real life, recovery from a four-year coma should have taken months or even likely years.
  • Info Drop: The protagonist is usually known only as the Bride, but there are hints at her real name, and midway through Volume 2, it's revealed to be Beatrix Kiddo.
  • Internal Reveal: The ending of Volume 1 reveals to the audience that the Bride's daughter is still alive. The Bride herself doesn't find out until the end of Volume 2, during her final confrontation with Bill.
  • Ironic Echo: "This is for breaking my brother's heart." The Bride does this again, in a quite literal sense, at the end of the film.
  • Irony: Racially prejudiced, misogynist Pai Mei considered the Bride, a blonde white woman, the greatest student he had ever taught — enough so, even, that she inherited from him his top-secret, super-forbidden Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. It works the other way around, too: Pai Mei's next, and ultimately final, student was another blonde white woman who happened to be the complete opposite of the Bride and was perfectly willing to kill him over an eye.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Larry is overly hostile towards Budd for being just 20 minutes late for his job as the stripclub's bouncer, but Budd's saying that there is no one for him to bounce due to a complete lack of clientele is not a good excuse or reason for Larry to keep him employed.
      Larry: You're saying that the reason... that you're not doing the job... that I'm... paying you to do... is, that you don't have a job to do? Is that what you're saying? What are you trying to convince me of, exactly? That you're as useless as an asshole right here? [points at his elbow] Well guess what, Buddy. I think, you just fucking convinced me!
    • When the Bride gets angry over Bill's Disproportionate Retribution, Bill points out that she knew full well he was a cold-blooded murdering bastard and there would be consequences if she betrayed him.
  • Karma Houdini: Ernie, the guy that helps Budd bury the Bride in Volume 2. After that scene, he's never seen or heard from again, despite the Bride's dedication to destroying everyone who stands in her way.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Elle Driver poisoned Pai Mei after he ripped her eye out, and she sics a black mamba on Budd after he claims to have killed the Bride. The Bride later rips out Elle's remaining eye, and leaves her locked in Budd's trailer with the black mamba in question. Of course, the list of former members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad shown at the end has a question mark by her name, but scratches through the names of all the ones the Bride killed — which, if Tarantino is to be believed, is meant to be the opening for a sequel to Kill Bill involving B.B., Vernita Green's daughter, and a blind Elle and amputee Sofie as the latter daughter's masters.
    • Boss Matsumoto is impaled with a katana on a bed, the same way he murdered O-Ren's mother, with O-Ren pretending to be a child prostitute.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Played straight and subverted. Although Hattori Hanzo is described as the world's greatest swordmaker, making his katanas the world's greatest swords, the film undercuts the power of the katana on a number of occasions. The Bride gets knocked around quite a bit by a meteor hammer, and is at a disadvantage whenever she's faced with a gun. Her martial arts master is also a Chinese man who lambasts katanas and the Japanese.
  • Kensington Gore: Scads and scads of neon-red fake blood are used, especially in Part 1, mostly as a Shout-Out to old Shaw Bros. style Kung Fu movies.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Bride has been knocked out and tied up by Budd and is at a cemetary about to be buried alive. When Budd tries to grab her arms, she starts struggling. He brings out a can of mace and a flashlight and gives her two options: keep struggling and get the entire can sprayed into her eyes or keep calm and she'll get the flashlight. Either way, she'll still be put in the coffin and buried. The Bride relaxes and nods her head in the direction of the flashlight. Budd even calls that a wise decision.
  • Kung-Foley: There are plenty of "wooshes" from all of the martial arts moves and lots of sword noises in the fights.
  • Lady of War: O-Ren Ishii, the current page image. She's a graceful assassin dressed in an elegant white kimono who managed to become the head of all yakuza in Tokyo in only four years, and is highly skilled in the art of swordfighting.
  • Large Ham:
    • Old-school martial arts stars Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo (especially his English dialogue), and Gordon/Chia Hui Liu in both his roles.
    • The Bride herself in Volume 2. While normally reserved, she hams it up when pretending to be shot by B.B. with a toy gun.
  • Left for Dead: Elle Driver, after the Bride plucks her eye out. While the credits for volume 2 have the other Vipers' names crossed out, she simply gets a question mark. Presumably the black mamba bites her at some point.
  • Leitmotif: Whenever the Bride lays her eyes on a target, the sirens from Ironside (1967) start blaring.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Subverted. The Bride tries to set up a duel with Vernita Green and Bill, but she ends up killing them just a few moments later.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: While Hattori Hanzo declares the weapon he made for the Bride his finest work, it has no particular advantage over other Hanzo swords in battle, and is incapable of cutting through them like it can other katanas. Alluded to by Budd, who — when Ellie asks him how the Bride's Hanzo sword compares to his — answers that you can only compare Hanzo swords to 'every other sword ever made that wasn't made by Hattori Hanzo'.
  • Lip Losses:
    • After awakening from her four-year-long coma in Vol. 1, the Bride discovers that Buck the orderly has been prostituting her unconscious body to paying customers. After Buck leaves the room for the sake of his client's privacy, she pretends to still be comatose while the latest john climbs on top of her, and as soon as he tries to kiss her, she chomps down hard on his lower lip — complete with a charming shot of the damn thing being stretched to its breaking point!
    • In Vol. 2, semi-retired pimp Esteban Vihaio remarks that Bill was unnecessarily harsh in shooting the Bride in the head, claiming that he would have just cut her face. It sounds pleasant by comparison, but then we see that one of his prostitutes is sporting a painful-looking gash running from her lower lip to the base of her nose. Equally unpleasant is the fact that the poor girl can't properly close her mouth as a result, forcing Vihaio to lend her a hankie to mop the saliva off her chin.
  • Living Legend: Bill introduces both the audience and the Bride to Pai Mei as a Living Legend, possibly immortal.
  • Living MacGuffin: Bill is the final objective of the plot and the Bride's revenge.
  • Lost in Translation: Hattori Hanzo calls his assistant hage, or "baldy", at one point in Japanese, but the subtitles don't convey that. This makes the assistant's next line, "I'm not bald, I shave my head" seem like it comes out of nowhere.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: In-universe, this happens to the Bride when she discovers that her daughter is still alive.
  • Made of Iron: All of the DiVAS, but the Bride in particular deserves credit for surviving the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at the wedding, followed by a bullet to the head.
  • Male Gaze: When the Bride is moving through the airport, there's a lingering closeup on her buttocks.
  • Mama Bear: The reason why the Bride left the DiVAS was to raise her soon-to-be-born baby away from bloodshed. When the bloodshed comes to her, putting her in a four-year coma from which she awakes without her daughter, she goes out to get her revenge, and she sheds much blood along the way.
  • Man Bites Man: The Bride's first kill upon getting out of her four-year coma is a trucker who tried to rape her, whose lower lip she ripped off with her teeth.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: The Bride learned her martial arts skills under Pai Mei, the same master who also taught her adversaries Elle Driver and Bill.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Bride is known as the "Black Mamba" as one of the DiVAS. The Black Mamba is generally considered the world's deadliest snake (Elle's description is spot on).
    • Subverted with Budd being "Sidewinder." The sidewinder, a type of rattlesnake, while venomous, is rather shy, and is also one of the smallest venomous snakes in the world. The copperhead (Vernita Green) is also rather timid and has a relatively mild venom which is almost never fatal to a healthy adult.
  • Medium Blending: O-Ren Ishii's backstory leading up to her takeover of the Yakuza is told through an animated sequence, as shooting that sequence in live-action would have all but ensured an NC-17 rating (and potentially a few arrests).
    Bride narration: Luckily for her, Boss Matsumoto... was a pedophile. [cut to a young O-Ren stabbing Boss Matsumoto through the chest while on top of him, apparently in a sexual position]
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe example; Pai Mei seems to have achieved this status so much that legends of his badassery are said to date back to the 11th century.
  • Mighty Whitey: The elderly Chinese kung fu master Pai Mei hates skinny people, blondes, white people, women, Japanese people, and Americans. Therefore, his greatest pupil is a skinny, blond, white American woman who speaks Japanese. Then again, he put her through Hell. She earned that training. Elle Driver — also a skinny, white, American blonde woman - notably gets her eye ripped out of her head for mouthing off to Pai Mei.
  • Mood Whiplash: Two examples, one for each film:
    • In Vol. 1, when the Bride visits Hattori Hanzo for the first time in his sushi diner, the meeting is portrayed as a light-hearted and silly interaction between a naive tourist and a Japanese native... until she drops his real name. The scene instantly becomes deadly serious.
    • In Vol. 2, as the Bride is infiltrating Bill's home and preparing to ambush him, dramatic tension builds... and then she discovers her 4-year-old daughter playing a game of Wild West with Bill, which she has no choice but to play along with in an appropriately silly fashion.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: While the Bride herself is a force of nature, an overwhelming majority of her deadliest foes are female, with the only male enemy of particular note, Budd, favoring guile over any kind of fighting ability. Even Bill himself goes down in a fight that, while very intense, is much shorter and more straightforward than anything that comes before it. That said, Pai Mei is suggested to be the most dangerous fighter shown in the films, though he stays out of the main plot and never fights the Bride outside of training.
  • Mundane MacGuffin Person: Finding Bill so she can kill him is the entire focus of the Bride's Roaring Rampage of Revenge... well, that and revenging herself on everyone else involved with the massacre at the wedding chapel.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Wiggle... your big toe." O-Ren Ishii's entire sordid backstory was building up to that. Deconstructed for both drama and humor in that it takes an additional 13 hours for the Bride to get the rest of her lower torso functioning again, presumably with other monologues.
    • Also played for drama is Bill's death after the Bride lands the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique on him. Never has taking six steps forward ever been so heartwrenching.
  • Mutilation Interrogation: "I'm gonna ask you questions. And every time you don't give me answers...I'm gonna cut something off. And I promise you, they will be things you will miss." No mistake about it, the Bride does not fuck around. And the very first part that she starts with is Sofie's remaining arm, as she already chopped off the other one... The Japanese cut has her making good on this threat.
  • My God, You Are Serious!: In Vol. 2, Esteban Vihaio tells the Bride that Bill's coma-inducing gunshot to the head was "much too cruel; I would've just cut your face." He then calls over his prostitute Clarita, to dab the saliva from her artificially-cleft lip.
  • Mythology Gag: To previous works in which Tarantino had a hand:

  • Narration Echo: At the end of Volume 1, when Sofie Fatale reports back to Bill what the Bride told her:
    Sofie Fatale: She said I could keep my wicked life for two reasons.
    (Flashback) The Bride: I've allowed you to keep your wicked life for two reasons.
  • Naughty Nurse Outfit: Elle's initial scene has her in an old-fashioned form-fitting nurse's outfit when she infiltrates a hospital to kill the comatose Bride.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: In the spirit of this trope, Elle is so focused on killing the Bride with her own sword that she neglects to protect her face...
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Katana versus shotgun. No points for guessing which weapon comes out on top in that engagement. The Bride would have died in a huge anti-climax if the shotgun user wasn't using rock salt ammo.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • The beating at the hands of the Deadly Vipers that kicks off the Bride's Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • O-Ren's father beat two of Boss Matsumoto's henchmen to death with his bare hands.
  • Non-Action Guy: Unlike the rest of his associates, Budd appears to have little to no fighting abilities. He makes up for it with common sense.
  • No Name Given: Forced and lampshaded (as her name is actually bleeped out), but also very subtly averted for the Bride in the first movie: although she seems to be completely pseudonymous, her real name can be seen very briefly on an airline ticket; furthermore, what seems to be just Bill's affectionate nickname for the Bride — "kiddo" — turns out to actually be her surname. Also, the "silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" exchange between the Bride and O-Ren seems at first to be an entirely random pop culture quote (Tarantino has suggested that he wants it to come across as an old in-joke between the two), but is actually a veiled reference to the name Beatrix Kiddo.
    • Lampshaded when the Bride's real name is revealed and the scene cuts to a school classroom, with the (fully grown) Bride answering the teacher when her name's called.
  • Noodle Incident: We never discover the specific circumstances of when Bill and Budd had a falling out; Bill only refers to their last conversation prior to Vol. 2 as some time ago and having not been a pleasant one.
    • Boss Matsumoto's grievance with O-Ren's parents is not revealed.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • When the Bride first meets Hattori Hanzo, she pretends not to know how to speak Japanese.
    • Budd, a drunken redneck to most, until they realize he's a cold-blooded killer with a philosophical side... and by then it's too late.
  • Off with His Head!: O-Ren does this to Boss Tanaka for insulting her heritage, and the Bride deals out several of these during the Crazy 88 fight.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • O-Ren gives a massive "this is gonna suck" when the Bride reveals herself to her, and an even bigger one when the latter slices Sofie's arm off.
    • In O-Ren's backstory, one of the mooks of Boss Matsumoto gets one when, after being knocked down to the floor by being shot through his foot, he sees a young O-Ren under the bed and aiming a gun directly at him. He barely registers fear before getting a bullet in between his eyes.
    • Vernita gets an "Oh, Crap!" face in the middle of her fight with the Bride when her daughter comes home from school. She seems to realize that, whether she survived or not, her daughter was going to be traumatized by this experience.
  • Old Master: Pai Mei is the quintessential version of this (if an evil or at very least Jerkass variety), being a legendarily deadly martial arts master who is said to be over a thousand years old at least, and taught the Bride and Elle everything they know about martial arts. Bill himself is also one for the Bride as the leader of the DiVAS.
  • The Oner: A continuous shot in the House of Blue Leaves follows the Bride into the restroom, "Charlie Brown" up to the dining room, then Sofie back to the restroom.
    • Another one follows the Bride's walk down the aisle, the DiVAS' entrance into the chapel, and the massacre itself.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: O-Ren, despite supposedly growing up in Japan, has a rather heavy American accent in Japanese. Lucy Liu did not know Japanese before the role and worked with a language coach to at least sound convincing to an American audience, but was obviously "gaijin" to Japanese audiences. Possibly justified as she's an American military brat; see Faux Fluency above.
  • Orderlies are Creeps: Buck rapes comatose patients and has a side hustle of pimping their bodies out to others (usually truckers of his acquaintance). He ends up as one of the Bride's first victims when she gets out of her four-year coma, losing his life (by means of a heavy steel door), his clothes, and his truck (the Pussy Wagon) in the bargain.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: The Movie. Just how much blood is in that severed arm, anyway?
  • Overly-Long Gag: When the Bride arrives at the House of Blue Leaves to confront O-Ren, she casually severs Sofie's arm, causing her to fall to the floor in agony, screaming while her stump shoots blood everywhere. The scene then focuses back on the Bride as she approaches O-Ren...and when the scene goes back to Sofie, she's still screaming, and her stump is still bleeding out.
  • Pædo Hunt: Boss Matsumoto, who the Bride describes as a pedophile, giving young O-Ren the opening to exact her revenge.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: It's a story about a former assassin assassinating assassins.
  • Pillow Pistol: In Volume 2, upon learning about her pregnancy, the Bride gets ambushed by a rival Karen Kim in her hotel room. After a brief fight, the Bride pulls her gun from under her pillow, resulting in her and Karen pointing their guns at each other.
  • Pink Is Erotic: Buck is the perverted nurse who has been using the unconscious Bride as a sex slave and had been selling her to clients so they can rape her. Buck's van keys and the van itself are decorated with pink text reading "Pussy Wagon".
  • Police Are Useless: The only cops we ever see are those at the scene of the massacre. After that, the movie takes Willing Suspension of Disbelief and cranks it up to eleven regarding the ease with which the Bride pulls her whole scheme of revenge off. One would think a woman waking up from such a long coma (let alone one that killed more than one hospital staff member after doing so and is now missing and possibly armed and dangerous) would be on the news somewhere, and they'd know about it, but the Bride manages to take Vernita and O-Ren by near complete surprise (especially given the Anachronic Order of the events). Vernita clearly has no idea her old teammate's entire organization was slaughtered in something that would likely be a headline. Also, the Bride was driving around in Buck's very noticeable yellow truck in a residential area. Someone should have noticed this — to say nothing of the gunshot after a violent fight and argument — and could have called the police with a description of the vehicle. But apparently, the Bride continued to drive that same vehicle for a while, the equivalent of wearing a sign that says, "I'm a murderer on the lam".
  • Practically Different Generations: Bill and Budd. Budd looks visibly younger than Bill and David Carradine was 22 years older than Michael Madsen.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • O-Ren in volume 1: "The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is... I collect your fuckin' head. Just like this fucker right here."
    • Downplayed with Texas Ranger McGraw. At first, he disciplines his son for blaspheming in a chapel, but after the Bride reflexively spits in his face: "Son Number One? This tall drink of cocksucker ain't dead."
    • An excellent one from Bill in volume 2: "You're not a bad person. You're a terrific person. You're my favorite person. But every once in a can be a real cunt."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The Bride to Elle: "Bitch, you don't have a future."
  • Prepare to Die: (following I Know You Know I Know) "And I want them all to know that they'll soon be as dead as O-Ren."
  • Pressure Point: The basis for the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. The titular five points are pressure points on the body that must be struck in order to perform the "exploding heart" bit.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: It's never stated outright, but Elle's hatred for the Bride likely comes from being displaced as Bill's lover (given the familiar way Elle speaks to him on the phone, plus Bill's liking for blondes) by her younger rival.
  • Psycho for Hire: Gogo, a murderous schoolgirl who works as the personal bodyguard to boss of all Tokyo yakuza bosses O-Ren Ishii.
  • The Public Domain Channel: The Bride and her daughter watch an oddly symbolic old Heckle and Jeckle cartoon at the end of the movie.
    "Do you have a magpie in your home? If you do, you are most fortunate. The magpie is the most charming bird in all the world. He is the best friend a farmer ever had. Treat him gently, treat him kindly. And always remember, the magpie deserves your respect.."
  • Punch a Wall: During a rainy day, the Bride's training by Pai Mei is put on hold, and she tries napping, only to end up punching a wall with her knuckles by reflex from all her training. Ouch.
  • Punctuality Is for Peasants: Budd is frequently late to his shifts at the strip club because he feels that the absence of any customers makes it rather pointless.
  • Punctuated Pounding: The sword-spanking the Bride delivers on the last Crazy 88 before sending him off.
    The Bride: This! [smack] Is what! [smack] You get! [smack] For fucking [smack] around [smack] with yakuzas! [smack] ...Go home [smack] to your mother!
  • Quitting to Get Married: The Bride tries to quit the Professional Killer business in order to marry. It backfires horribly.
  • Radial Ass Kicking: The Bride delivers several in the Crazy 88 fight scene as the hordes of soldiers close in on her in a circle.
  • Railing Kill: A non-lethal version. During the fight with the Bride on the first floor, a member of the Crazy 88 breaks through the banister and crashes onto a table on the ground level.
  • Rain of Blood: The result of O-Ren taking her vengeance upon Matsumoto.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: The Bride emerges from her coffin like this. It's even the current page image.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Some viewers were perplexed by Vernita Green's "awful" aim with her concealed gun. It's hard to blame them considering the kung-fu tropes in this movie, but a quick draw in a cereal box would be lucky to hit the side of a barn.
  • Recut: The Whole Bloody Affair, the version screened at Cannes, combines the two films into one four-hour film (as per Tarantino's original vision) and includes the extended anime sequence and the Crazy 88 fight in full color (as opposed to the black-and-white censored version in the US release). It also removed some scenes, most notably the Wham Line which ends Volume 1, in order to create a more singular, seamless experience.
  • Recycled Trailer Music:
    • Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor Or Humanity" began showing up all over the place (in movie trailers, at sporting events, in other movies like Transformers, which used it to punctuate Bumblebee's "makeover") after Tarantino's usage of the song made it famous. Covers of the famous bass riff also show up routinely on television in scenes that homage or spoof its usage in Vol. 1. (Examples include Robot Chicken's parody Kill Bunny, as well as a scene in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins involving Mystery Inc. sneaking onto a school campus in disguise.)
    • The 5-6-7-8's were featured in a few commercials since the film as well.
    • And this scene from The Good, The Bad, The Weird uses Santa Esmeralda's cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" to great effect.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: Pai Mei. Apparently, he only rarely accepts students, and is a (maybe) thousand-year-old renowned recluse.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: B.B., both serious and lighthearted (at once) — although it wasn't so much "reports" as assumption, considering the Bride enters her coma badly beaten and pregnant, and awakens after four years in a hospital, not pregnant.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad, all named after different types of snakes.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: When the Bride tried to resign from the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, they tried to murder her. The second installment indicates that she didn't quit as much as walk off her current assignment and allow Bill to think that she was dead so that she could start a new life somewhere else and avoid having Bill raise their child as an assassin. The ironic part is, by the time she wakes up, the Deadly Vipers are defunct as a team; in fact, only two of them are still active criminals.
    Bill: There are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering bastard.
  • Retired Badass: Hattori Hanzo is no longer in the sword-making business, but he's willing to make an exception when it comes to killing Bill.
  • Retired Monster: Most of the characters we see:
    • Vernita and Budd have both left the criminal lifestyle behind — but not their skills as assassins.
    • Inverted in the case of O-Ren, who only gave up the assassin's lifestyle to become head of the Yakuza in Tokyo.
    • Bill seems to have left the business behind as well in order to raise B.B.
    • Bill's adopted father Esteban is still a pimp, but there is an implication that he was much worse in the past and more involved in crime.
    • The Bride retired from being an assassin so that she could raise her child. She never seems all that remorseful for her past actions, nor did she care what her former lover/partners did as long as they didn't bring trouble her way. Unfortunately for them, they did.
    • Pai Mei seems content enough with living alone, but when he was younger, he was willing to slaughter an entire temple for a slight insult that may not have actually happened. Also, he is more than willing to snatch your eye out of its socket (or snap your back) if you talk back to him.
    • The only notable aversion is Elle Driver, who is still working full time as an assassin when the Bride wakes up from her coma.
  • Retraux: The Bride 'driving' in front of an obvious back-projection at the start of Vol. 2 while delivering her monologue.
  • Repeat Cut: After the Bride severs part of Johnny Mo's leg, we get three cuts of him screaming.
  • The Reveal: The last few seconds of Volume 1, when we learn that the Bride's child is still alive.
  • Reverse Grip: During her fight with Vernita, the Bride wields a knife using an icepick grip.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Invoked by name, but surprisingly not the technical Trope Namer; Tarantino used the phrase in a Shout-Out to the blaxploitation classic Ebony, Ivory, and Jade. Given that Kill Bill is much more popular than that film, and thus was likely what was in mind when the trope was named, however, it might as well be.
    • Very downplayed in Vol. 2, because while it is still a very violent movie, by the end credits, the Bride has taken only one life.
  • Room Disservice: A flower delivery woman comes to The Bride's hotel room. When The Bride goes to open the door, the florist shoots through the door, revealing herself to be Karen Kim, an enemy assassin.

  • Sailor Fuku: Gogo. Never has this trope been so terrifying as this meteor hammer-wielding girl.
  • Scary Black Woman: Vernita Green, a.k.a. Copperhead.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When the bride cuts off Sofie's arm in the House of Blue Leaves, the entire staff and clientele quickly vacate the premises.
  • Secret Art: The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, which even Bill is surprised to find out was taught to someone else (the Bride, of all people) by Pai Mei.
  • Secret-Identity Identity: Bill's filibuster about Clark Kent being the secret identity of Superman and not the other way around.
  • Self-Plagiarism:
    • The Bride pulls a razor from her cowboy boot, like Mr. Blonde did in Reservoir Dogs. Also, Earl McGraw refers to the "Massacre at Two Pines" as a "kill-crazy rampage", the same term Mr. White uses to describe Mr. Blonde's shooting during the jewelry heist.
    • Elle's line, "Now you should listen to this, because it concerns you," was previously used in Jackie Brown.
  • Sequel Hook: Elle and Sofie are still alive (if not in one piece), Budd still had some friends back in Barstow, and Vernita's daughter saw her mom killed in front of her eyes. Add the Bride's own daughter to the mix and Tarantino's comments, and "Kill Beatrix: Vol. 3" is just waiting to be born.
    Tarantino: Oh yeah, initially I was thinking this would be my "Dollars Trilogy". I was going to do a new one every ten years. But I need at least fifteen years before I do this again. I've already got the whole mythology: Sofie Fatale will get all of Bill's money. She'll raise Nikki, who'll take on the Bride. Nikki deserves her revenge every bit as much as the Bride deserved hers. I might even shoot a couple of scenes for it now so I can get the actresses while they're this age.
    • The trope is also inverted in that, with the exception of the question mark in the end credits, none of these happen near the end of the films. In fact, only Budd's friends even happen in the second movie!
  • Sergeant Rock: O-Ren's father was this, judging by the rank insignia on his uniform.
  • The '70s: Many, many references, visual homages, and aural homages with the soundtrack.
  • Shag Wagon: The Pussy Wagon is a pickup truck version. The Bride is visibly disgusted by it. Likely an intentional homage to this trope's use in '70s movies, given the film's inspirations.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Even better than katanas. And Budd doesn't even have to get out of his chair to prove it. If he had used real buckshot instead of rock salt, the Bride's Roaring Rampage of Revenge would have ended right then.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The very first moment of the film proper displays the quote, "Revenge is a dish that is best served cold", attributed as an old Klingon proverb, which is a reference to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
    • Perhaps most notably, the live-action film adaptation of Lady Snowblood. Aside from the general similarities in the plot, Vol. 1 uses the film's theme song, and many shots, especially O-Ren Ishii lying on the ground after her death, are strikingly similar to those in Snowblood.
    • One specific one is that the Bride wears a jumpsuit similar to the one Bruce Lee wore in Game Of Death when she takes on O-Ren Ishii and the Crazy 88s.
    • Gordon Liu, who appears as Johnny Mo in "Volume 1", and Pai Mei in "Volume 2", starred in The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. The style of the Bride's training regimen is modeled after The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Also, the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album is named in honor of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)". The RZA, the creative force behind the Wu-Tang Clan, composed the original music for "Kill Bill".
    • "My name is Buck and I came here to fuck" is a modified line from Eaten Alive! (1976).
    • Tommy Plympton was named in honor of animator Bill Plympton, whom Quentin Tarantino had recently met and became friends with at ComiCon.note 
    • The bald-head man in a yellow kimono is compared to Charlie Brown. In fact, that's the name by which he's credited.
    • Given the nature of the film, it's probably best just to link to the IMDB's "movie connections" pages for both volumes.
  • Single Tear:
    • O-Ren, when her mother is killed.
    • Also the Bride, when she first sees B.B. at Bill's house.
  • Smug Snake: Elle Driver is confident enough to waste time in her fight with the Bride when she gloats about killing Pai Mei.
  • Snow Means Death: O-Ren and the Bride's duel takes place in a traditional Japanese garden blanketed with snow.
  • Son of a Whore: Heavily implied to be the case with Bill. The only person who knows his whereabouts just happens to be a pimp who apparently raised the sons of his prostitutes to become his enforcers, which explains the big age and appearance difference between Bill and his brother Budd as well as his penchant for getting women to do his dirty work for him. Snake Charmer indeed.
  • Soft Glass: In Volume 1, when The Bride fights with Vernita in the latter's house, they throw each other to the glassy objects, such as: the glass-covered photo frame, the glass-covered table and the glassy rack. And they got only a few scratches.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: O-Ren's inaugural speech to the Yakuza turns into this at the end.
    O-Ren: As your leader, I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic. If you're unconvinced a particular plan of action I've decided is the wisest, tell me so. But allow me to convince you. And I promise you, right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo. Except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is... I collect your fucking head. Just like this fucker here. Now, if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, now is the fucking time! [beat] I didn't think so.
  • Sounding It Out: The Bride does this when reading the instructions to her pregnancy test, as does Karen Kim when she reads it in turn.
    The Bride: Remove cap and urinate on the absorbent end for five seconds.
  • Spare a Messenger: The Bride lets Sofie Fatale live so she can tell Bill about her return.
  • Sparing the Final Mook: In a likely shout out to Yojimbo, when the Bride sees that the last member of the Crazy 88 left is not some hardened Yakuza but a scared teenage boy, she sends him home to his mother, albeit after giving him a spanking with the flat of her sword.
  • Spell My Name with a Blank: Or rather, with a [BLEEP].
  • Spiteful Spit: An established motor reflex of the Bride's is spitting in people's faces.
    • This gets turned back on her in volume 2, where she spits in Budd's face after he shoots her, and he responds by spitting back — except his spit is far more plentiful and laden with chewed tobacco. "I win."
  • Stealth Pun: The chapter of Vol. 2 titled "Elle and I" could also be written as "Elle and Eye", and in the chapter she loses her other eye.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword:
    • During her fight with the Crazy 88s, the Bride pierces a wooden beam with a samurai sword in order to climb the balustrade.
    • Pai Mei does this during his first meeting/fight with the Bride, balancing on her sword (while she's still holding it) in order to get close enough to kick her in the face.
  • Stock Scream: Our old buddy Wilhelm shows up more than once during the Crazy 88 sequence.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: The infamous primetime version of the film contains the absolutely jarring line, "My name is Buck and I like to party." Comedian Doug Benson discussed this, asking, "You couldn't just change his name to Marty?"
    • Buck's clothes still have a nametag. They could've tried something that rhymes anyway, like "My name is Buck, and looks like you've run out luck."
  • Suddenly Shouting: After calmly and pleasantly encouraging her subordinates to question her decisions — always in a respectful manner — and warning about the penalty for bringing up her Chinese or American heritage negatively (see Berserk Button above), O-Ren Ishii wraps it up with, "If any of you sons of bitches got ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY, NOW'S THE FUCKING TIME!!!"
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: During the Bride's fight with Elle in Budd's trailer, Elle has trouble drawing the Bride's sword due to the cramped space. It's only when she and the Bride are on opposite ends of the trailer that she's finally able to draw it.
  • Suspicious Ski Mask': The Bride wears a mouthless variant while sneaking around outside Budd's trailer in preparation to kill him. For some reason, she takes it off.
  • Swipe Your Blade Off: All over the end of the first movie, thanks to the abundance of katanas. The Bride notably does this a few times as flourishes after sequences of attacks, as well as prior to sheathing her sword.
  • Switch to English: This happens frequently during conversations/dialogue in Japanese (Bride/Hanzo, Bride/Gogo, O-Ren addressing the yakuza bosses, etc.), and when speaking with Pai Mei, the Bride can only manage a few words in Cantonese in between her English.
  • Sword Pointing: In Vol. 2, just before the Bride has her sword fight with Elle Driver, they point their katanas at each other.
  • Systematic Villain Takedown: The Bride hunts down the individual members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and methodically battles and kills them (and either kills or maims anyone who gets in her way or they put in her way) one by one in revenge for crashing her wedding and killing all the guests. She saves Bill, who actually shot her in the head, for last.
  • Tae Kwon Door: At the hospital, the Bride smashes Buck's head in with a door.
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion: Only three of the five Deadly Viper assassins are actually named for vipers.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Bill has struck up relationships with several of the female assassins he's trained, including Elle Driver and the Bride herself.
  • Team Power Walk: In the first volume, O-Ren and her mooks do a famous one set to the soundtrack "Battle Without Honor and Humanity".
  • Tears of Blood: After the Bride drives a nailed plank into Gogo's temple, this is the definitive sign that she's dead.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Bill calls Sofie "my Sofie" and strokes her hair when visiting her in the hospital, ostensibly to console her, but Sofie looks utterly terrified.
    • Subverted when Bill calls the Bride "kiddo" before shooting her in the head, as it turns out "Kiddo" is her surname.
  • Theme Naming: In addition to the DiVAS' snake pseudonyms (with Bill as their "Snake Charmer"), every significant character has double letters in their name. Beatrix Kiddo, O-Ren Ishii, Elle Driver, Bill, get it.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: The Bride's calling-out of O-Ren at the House of Blue Leaves using her Catchphrase. In Japanese.note 
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: The Bride survives a shot to the head at point-blank range (though it does send her into a coma for four years).
  • Title 1: Volume 1, being one half of a Divided for Publication movie.
  • Title Drop: Delivered by the Bride in the opening of Volume 2. See the page quote.
  • Touch of Death: The legendary Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique — the "Exploding Heart" bit comes from the fact that after the five pressure points are hit, after the victim walks five steps, their heart will explode, killing them instantly.
  • Training from Hell: "The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei" is the name of the chapter where the Bride flashes back to her martial arts training, and it definitely is hellish. Most notably, in order to build her strength, the Bride has to punch a wooden board over and over again, even as the skin on her knuckles splits open.
  • Trashy Trailer Home: Budd the ex-assassin lives in an isolated, dingy trailer in the desert, works as a bouncer at a failing strip club under an awful boss, and quietly hopes to die.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The Bride asks a young girl if she would like to watch a video before she goes to bed. The girl's answer? Shogun Assassin. Being a former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, the Bride sees nothing wrong with this.
  • Trunk Shot: The obligatory Tarantino trunk shot occurs as the Bride is interrogating Sofie Fatale, who she's stuffed in said trunk.
  • Turn of the Millennium: The bulk of the story takes place in 2003.
  • Unkempt Beauty: The Bride. She's spectacularly gorgeous even when she spends most of her time covered in sweat, mud and blood.
  • Unsound Effect: In the anime sequence showing O-Ren's backstory, while she's hiding under the bed as a child as her parents are being killed, she's shown trying to not make a sound with the word "whimper" slowly coming out of her mouth before she pushes it back in.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Lampshaded by Hattori Hanzo in how it's easy to lose one's way for revenge. Granted, the Bride has good reasons, but her revenge doesn't come without certain consequences along the way.
  • Video Credits: Volume II ends with a credits sequence showing every cast member of both volumes.
  • Villain Has a Point: "That woman deserves her revenge. And we deserve to die. But then again... so does she." Hard to argue with any of these statements unless you're affected by Protagonist-Centered Morality.
  • Villain of Another Story: Both the Bride's Evil Mentor Pai Mei and Retired Monster Esteban Vihaio are very evil people by most standards, but they only exist in the film as part of Bill's sinister background. Both actually aid the Bride in going after Bill. To drive the trope home, the film's version of Pai Mei is directly modeled on Pai Mei's Historical Villain Upgrade appearances as the Big Bad of Executioners from Shaolin — that's where the story of the temple massacre comes from — and as a minor villain in Clan of the White Lotus, making him quite literally the villain of another story.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Elle, after losing her remaining eye. She absolutely shreds what little there was left of the bathroom.
  • Visual Pun: In Volume One, Vernita Green has a gun concealed in a box of "Kaboom" cereal.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Hattori Hanzo and his assistant seem to have this going. They bitch at each other about their arrangement at the restaurant and the other's complaints, but they've been doing it together for decades.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: As part of the Bride's training under Pai Mei, she carries buckets of water up and down a long set of stairs repeatedly, and punches a wooden board over and over again even as the skin on her knuckles splits open to build her strength.
  • Wedding/Death Juxtaposition: The first film shows us a wedding party where everyone was massacred, save for the bride (and not for lack of trying).
  • Western Samurai: O-Ren Ishii is a half-Japanese, half-Chinese-American woman that is also one of Bill's assassins and has become the leader of all the Yakuza in Japan. Boss Tanaka despises her origins (his assertion that it makes her unworthy to be a leader or even considered a Japanese pushes her Berserk Button... and you'll die for that). She usually dresses in elegant kimonos, and uses Iaijutsu as her main technique.
  • Wham Line: The final line of Vol. 1: "Is she aware her daughter is still alive?"
    • In the Whole Bloody Affair cut, the above line and its reveal scene are removed, effectively turning the much later line of "Freeze, Mommy!" into the film's Wham Line.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Karen Kim, the rival assassin who faces off with the Bride just after she's taken the pregnancy test, walks away and isn't specifically mentioned again. Bill claims to have hunted down the people he'd thought responsible for the Bride's murder, but doesn't name them, so it's unclear if Ms. Kim paid for her role in Kiddo's disappearance with her life.
    • The remaining five or six Crazy 88s. They were all missing limbs after their fight with the Bride, so unless they received the immediate medical attention that Sofie did, they would have eventually died as a result of physical trauma coupled with extensive blood loss and become the Crazy Zeroes.
  • White Shirt of Death: O-Ren Ishii wears an elegant white kimono to her final battle with the Bride. Guess who wins?
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: O-Ren, during her it-was-a-Hanzo-sword-after-all last words.
  • Whole Costume Reference: The Bride wears a tracksuit very reminiscent of Bruce Lee's from his final movie Game of Death, and O-Ren's outfit is very much inspired by Lady Snowblood. The suit and blouse Elle wears to meet Budd is the same one Uma Thurman wore on her date in Pulp Fiction and is also worn by the titular character in Jackie Brown.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Her meeting with Bill. Bill does shoot the Bride eventually — with a truth-serum gun. On the Bride's end, killing Bill isn't really the point. She obviously wants to make peace first.
    • Subverted in the first movie: Vernita tries to shoot the Bride, but she misses her mark and gets a knife through the sternum immediately after.
    • There's also her run-in with Budd. As soon as she opens the trailer door... Bang.
  • Within Arm's Reach: When Gogo is strangling the Bride, Gogo manages to yank her a tiny bit closer, allowing the Bride to flip up a board with a nail in it with her foot and then hit Gogo's foot with it, before swinging again and embedding the nail in her head.
  • World of Action Girls: While characters like Bill and Pai Mei are far from slouches themselves, most of the best fighters in the series are women.
  • World of Ham: So much so that it all seems normal, in-universe.
  • Worthy Opponent: Each of the DiVAS expresses grudging respect for the Bride over the course of the two films. O-Ren, however, seems to be the only one of the DiVAS that the Bride actually respects. But even she doesn't believe that her sword is an authentic Hattori Hanzo katana until the Bride delivers a mortal blow with it. (See Graceful Loser, above.)
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Aside from what happened with her own unborn child, the Bride hates when children get involved with violence.
    • She's very unhappy when Nikki witnesses Vernita's death at her hands, apologizes to the girl, and tells her that vengeance is hers if, after she grows up, she still wants it.
    • At the House of Blue Leaves, she attempts to dissuade Gogo from fighting her and later spares a frightened teenaged Crazy 88 mook; she spanks the boy with the flat side of her katana for "fucking around with Yakuzas" before sending him home.
    • Towards the end of Part 2, the Bride decides to put her revenge aside for a moment, rather than have B.B. see her mommy and daddy fight to the death.
  • You Are Already Dead: This is how the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique works.
    Bill: He hits you with his fingertips at five different pressure points on your body, and then he lets you walk away. But once you've taken five steps, your heart explodes in your body, and you fall to the floor, dead.
  • Zen Slap: In Volume 2, when The Bride had to go through the hellish training by Pai Mei, there's the part when training to punch the thick piece of wood, she pauses due to a pain, Pai Mei slaps her with his trident-like wood stick. Then, The Bride gets up again, continue her training.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kill Bill Vol 2


Pai Mei

He doesn't let anyone else get the upper hand on him easily. He's also extremely quick to anger. However, he truly is as powerful as he believes himself to be.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArrogantKungFuGuy

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