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The Movie

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Some suspect that Mr. Pink is obsessed with appearing professional because he actually has no idea what he's doing.
      Pink: This is bad, this is bad, this is bad..."
      Pink looks at the injured Orange, then at White: Is it bad?
    • Some believe that Mr. White was actually in love with Mr. Orange and use it to justify him betraying all of his close friends to protect Orange.
    • Did Mr. White shoot Mr. Orange to stop his suffering from his obviously fatal wounds? Did he do it because he felt betrayed by the revelation that Orange was an undercover cop and his protecting him caused the death of several longtime friends? Was it Suicide by Cop? Or all three?
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    • Who is the hero of the movie? Mr. White? Mr. Orange? Both of them? Neither of them? It's entirely up to the viewer.
  • Awesome Music: There's a divide between "Little Green Bag" and "Stuck In The Middle With You."
  • Complete Monster: Vic Vega, also known as Mr. Blonde, despite his apparently calm and clear-headed demeanor, is a callous and psychopathic criminal who makes even his own partners-in-crime wary. A flashback during the movie reveals that Vega had a history of raping "punks" in prison. Employed for a simple bank robbery, Mr. Blonde went on a rampage when one of the tellers set off an alarm, gunning down several innocent people, an action which even horrified his fellow criminals. After being left alone with a police officer he had kidnapped after the massacre, Mr. Blonde proceeds to torture him for his own amusement, slashing his face and cutting off his ear, all while singing and dancing to "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel, before dousing him in gasoline and trying to set him on fire. In a movie filled with hardened criminals, Mr. Blonde stands out as a violent and sadistic psychopath.
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: Gruesome torture set to "Stuck In The Middle With You" is funnier than it should be.
  • Cult Classic: Made only $2.8 million at the box office (though this was still about double its shoestring budget), but is widely known and beloved these days, especially once Tarentino's Pulp Fiction was a smash hit and audiences doubled back to his first film.
  • Designated Villain: Mr. Pink in the tipping scene; in the film he's treated and called out like an asshole for not tipping, however some people would probably agree with his views due to the Broken Base on tipping in real life.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Mr. Blonde is one of the film's most popular characters, despite being a mass murdering cop killer.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Mr. Blonde. 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die aptly described Michael Madsen's performance as "creepily mesmerising."
  • Fanon: There are two popular, but mutually exclusive, theories about this movie's connection to Pulp Fiction, which many fans accept as canon.
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    • The events of Reservoir Dogs occur at the same time as the events of Pulp Fiction, and the police never seem to notice any of the violent crimes in Pulp Fiction because they're occupied with the jewelry heist and its bloody aftermath.
    • The mysterious briefcase in Pulp Fiction contains the diamonds from the heist in Reservoir Dogs. This has at least some basis in fact, as Word of God has confirmed that the briefcase was supposed to contain diamonds in the first draft of the movie.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film was released in America with almost no promotion, so it did not do that well at the box office. In England, however, it was such a huge hit that Quentin Tarantino would be mobbed as he walked down the street in London. (The fact that a home video release had to be put on the backburner on account of the James Bulger controversy certainly helped matters.) British filmmakers have been "influenced" by it since.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Mr. Pink suggests that he be called Mr. Purple instead so that he doesn't sound gay. Purple later became heavily associated with gay and lesbian symbols.
    • Pam Grier is mentioned. Quentin Tarantino would later cast her in the lead role in Jackie Brown.
    • Nice Guy Eddie tells Mr. White and Pink to help him move the cars away from the warehouse, telling them it looks like "Sam's Hot Car Lot" out there. The warehouse where much of the film was shot was later demolished and turned into a parking lot.
    • While talking about "Like a Virgin", Mr. Brown mentions Charles Bronson in The Great Esacape. Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood features a clip from that film, with Rick Dalton playing Virgil Hilts.
    • Mr. Orange has an intimate knowledge of Marvel comics, casually discussing The Fantastic Four and having a poster of Silver Surfer in his home. This is quite amusing since Tim Roth played a character in a Marvel movie.
  • Ho Yay: Mr. Orange and Mr. White in particular, as they get pretty damn emotionally intimate for two people who don't know each other too well (there's even a scene that features a Security Cling.)
  • Iron Woobie: Mr. Orange goes through a hell of a lot of pain and suffering, but he's still a badass.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mr. White; he's a hardened criminal who won't hesitate to kill if need be, but he still have some sense of a moral code, and does whatever it takes to protect Mr. Orange, seeing him as a good kid who got shot in the gut because of him.
  • Memetic Mutation: The "world's smallest violin" scene.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The characters talk plenty about how bad it is to leave someone alone with Mr. Blonde, but you have no idea how much they mean it.
    • In a Deleted Scene, Mr. White is mentioned to have crossed it by killing three people just because someone who had worked on a job with him was a cop. This foreshadows the violent conclusion which results from Mr. Orange confessing he's a cop.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Mr. Blonde is pretty damn creepy when he's in his psychopathic behaviour.
    • The infamous ear cutting scene.
  • Signature Scene: The torture scene with Mr. Blonde slicing off Marvin Nash’s ear, complete with Stealers Wheel’s "Stuck in the Middle With You" playing in the background.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Mr. Pink had the right idea in that the gang should have found another location the minute the heist went bad. Even if the undercover cop scenario wasn't a factor the level of carnage the gang made to escape would no doubt leave a trail to their hideout.
  • Tear Jerker: The final scene between Mr. White and Mr. Orange.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Reservoir Dogs is considered Tarantino's first great work but some people loathe this movie for the similarities between it and the 1987 City on Fire, even calling it a complete rip-off as Tarantino never credited Lam. Tarantino at first denied he had seen the movie when called out on the similarities but then revealed he was actually a big fan - he even had a poster of it in his room. Many have lambasted Dogs for not being as original as its fans think and there is even an Anti-Tarantino webpage.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Mr. White in the ending. Look, Mr. Blonde was a dick and he deserved to get shot 10 to 12 times by Mr. Orange, but he's on your team! Shouldn't you be more concerned that a member of your team was killed? Also, Orange said that Blonde tried to make off with the diamonds, despite Blonde being a loyal friend of the Cabots. And then you pull a gun on Joe despite the overwhelming evidence of Orange being a rat.
    • Lots of the problems involving Orange would have been solved if he was just sent to the hospital. On the other hand, this would've totally screwed up both his sting and the thieve's getaway.
    • Really, Mr. Blonde? You think it's a good idea to kidnap a cop, torture him, then try to set him on fire, all while you and the rest of your partners are wanted for a bank robbery that left several people dead, THANKS TO YOU?! If you'd lit that fire, the movie would have been over already...
    • For the whole main cast: wearing the suits you're about to go rob a bank with in a public diner! Even Eddie Bunker, a former criminal who played Mr. Blue, say that was something he would've never done.

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