ByJess O'Kane, writer at
Big in Japan
Jess O'Kane

This week marks exactly 20 years since Quentin Tarantino's uncategorizable classic, Pulp Fiction, blew up the mainstream. It was a moment that would entirely change how filmmakers and moviegoers alike viewed pop culture. With it's eccentric dialogue:

Iconic characters:

And the greatest dance scene ever committed to film:

Perhaps more than any other Tarantino movie, Pulp Fiction has inspired hordes of fan theories, ranging from the pretty convincing to the entirely far-fetched.

But 20 years on, do they provide us with the answers? Take a spin through the most popular Pulp Fiction fan theories and see if you're convinced.


1) The pilot that Mia Wallace was in was Kill Bill

In Jack Rabbit Slim's, Mia tells Vincent about a pilot that she was in that never got picked up.

There was a blonde one ... she was a leader. The Japanese fox was a kung fu master. The black girl was a demolition expert. French fox’s speciality was sex. [Mine was] knives.

That sounds awfully like the plot of Kill Bill, don't you think? Sure enough, Thurman would later go on to play "the blonde" called The Bride in Kill Bill, who was - you guessed it - is a knife expert.

Tarantino has previously hinted that Kill Bill exists in a "movie movie universe," meaning that it's a film the characters of Pulp Fiction might go and see.

(Source: Elite Daily)

2) The briefcase contains Marcellus Wallace's soul

This one is probably the most repeated Pulp Fiction fan theory. The evidence is basically as follows:

1. Marcellus has a band aid at the back of his head. This is where the soul is removed from in the Bible.

2. The code to open the case is 666.

3. It glows, it's beautiful and makes people feel quite literally awesome.

4. When Jules and Vincent are attacked by the kid in the bathroom, all the shots miss them miraculously. This is divine intervention because the two are attempting to save a soul.

In reality, Tarantino has stated that while the original briefcase contained diamonds, he thought this was boring and changed it to become an intriguing MacGuffin.

A MacGuffin is plot point put there simply to push things along but with no actual significance of its own. In other words, the briefcase is meaningless.

(Source: Huffington Post)

3) Pulp Fiction is about the history of American music

This cool theory is acknowledged by its creator as probably untrue, but it's an interesting perspective and fitting, given Tarantino's love of music.

The briefcase is Rock and Roll. Marcellus represents the origin of rock music in America (blues, motown, soul, etc) Jules is Chuck Berry and Vincent is Elvis. They go to get the briefcase back from the nerdy white guys trying to steal it. Maybe they represent greedy record producers that profited off of Black music and screwed over many Black musicians.
Pumpkin and Honey Bunny happen to be British and they also try to take the briefcase. They represent the British Invasion.
The rapists represent country music. Country music also stole a lot from the blues and other Black music. This is shown by them raping Marcellus.

I wish this were true. It certainly would reflect pop culture in a way that would please the big man himself.

(Source: IGN)

4) If everybody spent less time in the bathroom, less weird stuff would happen.

Many people have noticed that every time Vincent Vega does his business, bad things happen.

He's in the bathroom when Mia overdoses, and when Jules is facing off with the robbers in the diner, and if he hadn't been on the pot reading "Modesty Blaise" at Butch's house, he could have killed the boxer on the run.

More to the point, why does he take so long on the toilet? He's not alone, however. If the killer in Brett's apartment had hurried up and got out of there, both he and Marvin might have survived.

(Source: Huffington Post)

Whether you believe them or not, one thing's for sure: these theories are further proof of how deeply embedded Pulp Fiction is in pop culture. Happy Birthday to a legend!



Which theory is most convincing?


Latest from our Creators