The movie is non-linear and composed of three main interconnected short stories, with a prologue, an epilogue, and some brief linking material between stories. For the purposes of this recap, they are listed in the order that they are shown in the movie.
Prologue — Diner RobberyA young outlaw couple, identified only as "Pumpkin" (the man) and "Honey Bunny" (the woman), are in a diner discussing potential targets for an armed robbery. After rejecting liquor stores as being too dangerous, Pumpkin suggests that they begin robbing coffee shops and diners, citing less potential dangers for more lucrative rewards. On impulse, Honey Bunny suggests that they rob the diner they're currently in, and after sharing a passionate kiss the two produce firearms and start yelling:
- Pumpkin: Everybody keep cool, this is a robbery!
Honey Bunny: Any of you fucking pricks move, and I'll execute every last motherfucking one of you!
Prelude to "The Bonnie Situation"During and after the opening credits, the scene cuts to Jules Winfield and Vincent Vega, a pair of hitmen, on their way to their current target. Vincent — who is recently returned from a lengthy period in Amsterdam — amuses Jules by informing him of the various differences between McDonald's burgers in Europe and America and Amsterdam's relaxed drug laws, before the conversation turns to Vincent's next assignment; their boss, Marsellus Wallace, has asked Vincent to chaperone his wife Mia that evening while he is away on business. Wallace, an intimidating Los Angeles crime boss, is rumoured to be extremely jealous, and Jules informs Vincent of an acquaintance whom Wallace threw off a fourth-story balcony and was paralyzed from the fall, apparently after giving his wife a foot massage. The two hitmen arrive at their current target — a group of young men who have stolen a briefcase containing something of value to Marsellus Wallace. After intimidating the young men and retrieving the briefcase, Jules theatrically recites a foreboding Biblical passage — Ezekiel 25:17 — before Jules and Vincent execute the young men.
"Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife" / Prelude to "The Gold Watch"Returning from their assignment, Jules and Vincent arrive at a club owned by Marsellus Wallace, notably wearing different clothes from the smart black suits they had previously been wearing on the hit. Wallace offers Butch Coolidge, an ageing boxer, a large sum of money to throw a fight later that week. Butch accepts, but before he leaves he encounters Vincent, who antagonises him with several dismissive comments. Following this, Vincent goes to his heroin dealer, Lance, and buys some heroin of unusually high quality. Vincent shoots up in his car before he picks up Mia Wallace that evening. Mia is clearly attracted to him, and flirts manipulatively with him.
Vincent takes Mia to Jackrabbit Slim's, a 1950s-themed restaurant staffed by lookalikes of 1950s cultural icons. After some initial awkwardness, Mia tells Vincent about a failed television pilot, Fox Force Five, that she had a starring role in, before the conversation turns to the reason Marsellus Wallace threw her friend off a balcony; Mia claims that, contrary to rumour, she never received any foot massage from him, and that only Marsellus knows why he threw the other man off a balcony. Mia convinces Vincent to participate in a twist-dancing contest that the restaurant is holding, and the two win.
After returning home, while Vincent is in the bathroom, Mia finds Vincent's stash of heroin in his coat pocket and, after mistaking it for cocaine, snorts it, causing her to OD. Frantic and panicked, Vincent hurries Mia to Lance's home, where he persuades the drug dealer to help save her life through his fear of her husband. Together, they administer an adrenaline shot to Mia that revives her. Having bonded through their misadventures, Vincent and Mia agree to never tell Marsellus the events of that night before going their separate ways. Before they do, Mia tells Vincent a bad joke that was part of her character's gimmick in her failed pilot, which Vincent finds amusing.
"The Gold Watch"In a flashback, Butch Coolidge recalls the day he received his father's gold watch, a family heirloom, from Captain Koons. Butch's father, a captured soldier in a Vietnamese prison camp, hid the watch in his rectum for five years to keep the guards from taking it before dying of dysentery, and to honor his comrade Koons performed the same act for two years before being released. After coming to his senses, Butch enters the ring to fight the bout that he has been paid to throw. It soon transpires that Butch has double-crossed Marsellus Wallace and, having bet money on himself, has fought to win, but accidentally killed the other boxer in the ring. Infuriated, Marsellus swears revenge and orders his men to find Butch. Butch escapes to a motel to lie low with his French girlfriend, Fabienne, but their plan to flee the city the next day faces a hitch when Butch learns that Fabienne has accidentally forgotten to bring the gold watch with her.
After cautiously making his way to his apartment and retrieving the watch with no sign of Marsellus Wallace or his men, Butch begins to relax, but notices a discarded gun on his kitchen table. It transpires that Vincent had been in the apartment waiting for him, but had to use the restroom and thus didn't notice Butch coming in; Butch ambushes Vincent and kills him before fleeing the apartment. By a pure twist of fate, however, Marsellus Wallace happens to cross the road at a crosswalk (having gone out to buy donuts and coffee for himself and Vincent for the hit) right in front of Butch's car as Butch, thinking he is in the clear, is fleeing the scene. After Butch runs Wallace over and crashes his car, the two men stumble through the streets in a pursuit until Wallace manages to corner Butch in a rundown pawn shop — upon which they are captured by Maynard, the pawn shop owner, and his friend Zed, a security guard.
Awakening in the basement of the pawn shop, which has been converted into a dungeon, Maynard and Zed reveal they intend to rape and torture Butch and Marsellus. They begin with Wallace, leaving a masked, leather-clad individual only called "the Gimp" to watch Butch. Butch manages to escape his bindings and punch out the Gimp, but before fleeing the store, he has a crisis of conscience and decides to rescue Marsellus. Taking a samurai sword that has been pawned in the store, he kills Maynard and rescues Wallace, who grabs a shotgun and shoots Zed in the groin, and makes plans to have Zed brutally tortured and killed. In gratitude, Marsellus allows Butch to leave on condition that he tells no one about the rape and that he leaves Los Angeles that night, never to return. Butch steals Zed's motorcycle, a "chopper", and picks up Fabienne from the motel; the two leave town.
"The Bonnie Situation"The final story picks up moments after the prelude to "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife" finishes; Vincent and Jules execute the young men who stole from Marsellus Wallace, but unknown to them another man is hiding in the bathroom with a gun. He bursts out and fires at them at point-blank range, but every bullet somehow misses. After killing him, Jules and Vincent take stock of their situation. Jules is particularly struck by the miraculous-seeming events and marvels over the apparent divine intervention before being persuaded by Vincent to leave the apartment with the briefcase accompanied by their informant, Marvin. Vincent and Jules continue their argument in their car, but during the increasingly heated debate Vincent's careless handling of his gun results in him accidentally shooting Marvin in the face. This covers the back of their car in blood while driving on the highway in full view of other drivers.
In desperation, Jules and Vincent drive to the home of Jimmy, a friend of Jules who lives nearby. Jimmy informs them that his wife Bonnie, a nurse, will be returning home from work within a matter of hours, and stresses that if she encounters the scene she will divorce him. In desperation, Jules contacts Marsellus Wallace, who puts them into contact with Winston Wolfe, an efficient "cleaner". Wolfe arrives at Jimmy's and soon takes charge of the situation; he has Jules and Vincent clean out the car, purchases sheets from Jimmy to conceal the remaining damage (with enough money to purchase a set of expensive oak furniture), and hoses down Jules and Vincent. That done, the three drive the incriminating car to a junkyard, where it is disposed of.
Epilogue — Diner RobberyJules and Vincent part ways from Wolfe and go to breakfast at the Hawthorne Grill, where they continue their debate from before. While Vincent is skeptical and dismissive of the "miracle", Jules has been profoundly affected, and announces that he intends to resign Marsellus Wallace's employment and "walk the Earth". Vincent goes to the restroom and leaves Jules to contemplate further. It's revealed at this point that the two hitmen are in the same diner that the prologue is set in, as Pumpkin and Honey Bunny begin the robbery. As the two thieves empty the register and begin collecting cash from the customers' wallets, Jules distracts Pumpkin with the mysterious contents of Marsellus's briefcase and gets the drop on him.
Instead of killing him, Jules holds Pumpkin hostage, creating a Mexican Standoff between himself, Honey Bunny, and Vincent. Jules manages to calm the potentially explosive situation down by informing Pumpkin that he is in a "transitional phase"; he recites Ezekiel 25:17 once more, but this time admits that he is now ambivalent about his life of crime and is trying to mend his ways. As his first act of repentance, he allows Pumpkin and Honey Bunny to leave with the proceeds of the diner robbery and the money from his own wallet, but keeps the briefcase in order to complete his final job for Marsellus. The two hitmen calmly leave the diner, watched by the astonished patrons and staff as they go.