It’s been 25 years since the world of cinema was graced with Quentin Tarantino’s sophomore effort Pulp Fiction, an interconnected gangster saga about a pair of mob hitmen, a crime boss’ wife, and a boxer who accepts dirty money whose lives become entangled over a wacky couple of days.
The movie took a bunch of gangster movie tropes and flipped them on their head. Pulp Fiction is best remembered for its witty dialogue and memorable lines. But it can be tough to remember the actual wording of some of those quotes. So, here are 9 Pulp Fiction quotes everybody gets wrong.
9 "Jules, did you ever hear the philosophy that once a man admits that he’s wrong,"
“he is immediately forgiven for all wrongdoings? Have you ever heard that?” “Get the f*** out my face with that s***! The motherf***er that said that s*** never had to pick up itty-bitty pieces of skull on account of your dumb ass.”
There’s a darkly comic edge to Pulp Fiction that is perfectly exemplified in the scene in which Vincent Vega accidentally shoots Marvin in the face, blowing his brains out all over the back window of the car, and it’s played for laughs. Jules is a little irked that he now has to clean up pieces of skull.
8 "Any of you f***ing pricks move,"
“and I’ll execute every motherf***ing last one of you!”
Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer do a great job of playing Pumpkin and Honey Bunny, respectively, in Pulp Fiction, especially since their job is to usher in the whole movie with the opening robbery scene. This weird, funny, cool, hip, urban spaghetti western was a hard sell, and it was up to Roth and Plummer to introduce it to the world.
There are two different versions of this line. Honey Bunny says the first version in the opening scene, but later, when we see the same scene play out from Jules’ perspective, she says, “Any one of you f***ing pricks move, and I’ll execute every one of you motherf***ers!” instead.
7 "I’m Winston Wolf. I solve problems."
In Harvey Keitel’s Direct Line commercials in which he parodies his Winston Wolf character from Pulp Fiction (and a little bit of the soul of cinema dies), he says, “I’m Winston Wolf. I fix problems.” However, the line is actually “I’m Winston Wolf. I solve problems.”
It might have something to do with the rights issues involved in using the actual line. Maybe they have the legal right to replicate Winston Wolf’s likeness, but replicating his dialogue might turn the homage into a full-on rip-off. Either way, it means that a lot of people are getting this line wrong.
6 "That was f***ing trippy."
The adrenaline shot sequence in Pulp Fiction is one of the most intense and exhilarating sequences in all of cinema. Quentin Tarantino originally earmarked the drug dealer role of Lance for himself to play, but he cast Eric Stoltz when he realized he should be behind the camera for the adrenaline shot sequence.
He needed to have his filmmaker cap on to ensure that the scene ended up being as cinematic as it needed to be. Lance’s girlfriend Jody, played by Rosanna Arquette, adds a lot to the scene as she complains about the disruption to her evening.
5 "Don’t you hate that?" "What?" "Uncomfortable silences."
“Why do we feel it’s necessary to yak about bulls*** in order to be comfortable?” “I don’t know. That’s a good question.” “That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the f*** up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.”
This little interaction wouldn’t be anywhere near as memorable if it wasn’t as brilliantly acted by John Travolta and Uma Thurman. The two have excellent on-screen chemistry and Tarantino exploits that perfectly in the Jack Rabbit Slim’s scene when they discuss how to know when you’ve found your soulmate.
4 "Oh, I’m sorry. Did I break your concentration?"
Actor Burr Steers has revealed in the years since the movie came out how he kept screwing up the takes, because he was supposed to be dead and he flinched every time Samuel L. Jackson fired the gun.
“The thing I remember most was how I f***ed up. I was dead for much of the scene. But the blanks were so loud, I couldn’t help but flinch. So, they’re doing the thing to Frank Whaley, or whoever else he shot in [the scene], and they’d go off and I’d go, ‘Ahhh!’ I was supposed to be dead, but no.”
3 "You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?"
“They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?” “Nah, man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the f*** a Quarter Pounder is.” “What do they call it?” “They call it a Royale with Cheese.”
When most people quote the famous “Royale with Cheese” sequence from Pulp Fiction, they leave out the middle bit about the metric system. This was the conversation that launched cinema into a new postmodern groove. These were not typical Hollywood tough guys – they were sitting in a car, talking about McDonald’s, bantering like Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza.
2 "When you came pulling in here,"
“did you notice a sign out in front of my house that said, ‘Dead N***** Storage?’”
Quentin Tarantino’s flagrant use of the N-word and other racial slurs in his movies has always been one of the most controversial points of his filmography. It’s been endlessly debated, with his critics like Spike Lee claiming a white director shouldn’t have such a romantic obsession with such a horrible word.
Tarantino himself claims he’s simply reflecting real life by using racial slurs in his movies. But in this case, the fact that he wrote a slur-laden monologue for himself is pretty questionable.
1 The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides..."
“by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
For years now, movie buffs have tried to memorize Samuel L. Jackson’s Ezekiel 25:17 speech from Pulp Fiction. It’s actually a misquote in and of itself, as the real Ezekiel 25:17 in the Bible is worded differently. But this one’s way cooler.