The 20 Best Lines in Quentin Tarantino Movies
7. “One more thing, Sofie… is she aware her daughter is still alive?”
– Bill from Kill Bill Vol. 1
Context: At the end of the first volume of “Kill Bill”, we see foreshadows of scenes we are not yet aware of coming soon in “Vol. 2” including quotes from Budd and Elle detailed earlier on this list.
The last line of the film is so important as is reveals the child of Beatrix Kiddo to be still alive after all.
Why is it great: Since theatrical audiences had to wait approximately six months between the release of “Vol. 1” and “Vol. 2”, this last-minute very important information gave them lots to chew on and speculate about while waiting for the 2nd film.
It also gives the character of Bill more depth since he is barely seen in the first film. You are left to wonder about the situation regarding the child and how it came to be she did not die as was assumed throughout.
6. “I’ma get medieval on your ass.”
– Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction
Context: After boxer Butch double-crosses Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) by winning his boxing match, Butch tries to escape but is noticed by Wallace at a stop light. A chase ensues which finds both characters captured, bound and gagged in the basement of a pawn shop by unsavory security guard and the shop’s owner.
The two men also happen to have their own slave they call “the gimp” whom they do all manners of unspeakable acts to.
Butch escapes deals some damage of his own and decides to free Wallace as well.
Wallace retaliates on his former captors, one of which raped him with some very unkind words.
Why is it great: The line was preceded by all the things Wallace was going to do to Zed the security guard; none of which were good. The line has become somewhat of a pop culture hit being used in many contexts since.
The current Urban Dictionary defines the phrase “get medieval” as:
“To physically torture or injure someone by means of archaic methods, usually involving tools frequently used for blacksmithing or traditional feudal era torture. Example of such include thumbscrews, flesh peeling, and branding. “
5. “It was not my intention to do this 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.”
– The Bride from Kill Bill Vol. 1
Context: An intense melee contest plays out as the film begins with “The Bride” showing up at the suburban home of former Deadly Vipers Assassination Squad member Vernita “Copperhead” Green (Vivica A. Fox).
After duking it out in several rooms of the home using various household implements, Green’s young daughter Nikki enters and pauses the action.
The Bride is triumphant in vanquishing Copperhead, but Nikki reenters the kitchen right afterwards.
Why is it great: One can only imagine the mental and emotional scarring a child would suffer if they had witnessed a parent being killed, especially in such a violent way in front of their eyes.
The line sews up the beginning scene perfectly and lets us catch our breath for just a moment before delving into the rest of the story.
It expresses the regret of the situation, but only for the daughter having to bear witness.
4. “Are you gonna bark all day little doggie? Or are you gonna bite?”
– Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs
Context: Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) returns to the warehouse after the bungled caper to discover Mr. Pink, Mr. White and Mr. Orange (Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Harvey Keitel) are already there. Mr. Orange has been laid out on the ground after being shot and the other two are trying to figure out what happened and what went wrong.
Mr. Blonde enters the scene sipping a convenience store soda and immediately starts receiving verbal assault from Mr. White on how he went berserk during the crime and started a shooting rampage. He says he never would have accepted this partnership if he knew the type of man Mr. Blonde was.
Mr. Blonde does not take kindly to these remarks and responds with his own coaxing remark.
Why is it great: Madsen’s delivery along with the words immediately inflame Keitel as Mr. White as they are meant to and you can see the anger immediately start to bubble to the surface. The line is repeated and the two almost start an all-out brawl right there if not for Mr. Pink’s intervention.
The emotion of the moment combined with the words chosen are what make it so very memorable.
3. “You probably heard we ain’t in the prisoner-takin’ business; we in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin’.”
– Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds
Context: After the carnage between the “Basterds” and a German division, the surviving enemy soldiers are rounded up and presented on their knees for Lt. Aldo Raine to question. Raine wants to know if the officer has heard of he and his men. After this is confirmed, Raine verifies the “Basterds” objective as it pertains to the treatment of prisoners.
Raine is adamant in the information he is seeking from the commander including troop numbers, location and position of the enemy nearby and will stop at nothing to obtain this knowledge.
Why is it great: Until this scene, you are still not completely familiar with this protagonist bunch other than a speech from Raine as an introduction to his soldiers and how far they are willing to go or what actions they are willing to complete in order to obtain their objective.
This scene clears up any confusion.
2. “They call it a Royale with cheese.”
– Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction
Context: While Jules is driving and Vincent is riding along at the beginning of the film, Vincent is explaining some of the things he saw while in Europe including hash bars and gets excited when starting to explain the more subtle differences. You can buy a beer at a movie theater in Amsterdam or at McDonald’s in Paris. They also seem to have the metric system there as well which prompted other name changes.
Why is it great: The ultimate conversation which is really about nothing, but says so much in terms of getting to know the characters by not only their dialogue and the way they say things.
Remembering back to the film’s initial release prompts lots of people quoting the line in subsequent conversations with me about what they thought of the film and the one even casual movie cans can remember.
It’s hard to believe the quote did not make it to the “AFI’S 100 GREATEST MOVIE QUOTES OF ALL TIME” list even though it was nominated.
1. “There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “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 the 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 I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.” Now… I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You’d be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. See, now I’m thinking: maybe it means you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here… he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. And I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.”
– Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction
Context: During the climax of the restaurant robbery, Ringo (Tim Roth) makes the mistake of getting into a conversation with Jules after he has had a particularly trying day of being shot at and having to clean up human brains and bone fragments in the back seat of a car.
Instead of Jules’ normal reply, he decides on a different course of action based on these events.
Why is it great: The meaning of the film is hidden within this speech as it says you are in control of your own actions and just because you have acted similarly in the past, that should not shape your future actions.
Although told nonlinear, the scene makes sense to come at the end of the film as it wraps up the story in a way. Even though you know what happens to Vincent after they leave the restaurant, it doesn’t matter as you still feel for him.
Even though Jules has demonstrated vicious cruelty throughout the film, he uses this moment to pull it back and give Ringo a reprieve.
Hopefully, we can all take a little from this scene and apply some kindness to others in our own lives.
Definitely words to live by.
Author Bio: Andy Kubica is a life-long cinephile. Having spend time as a video store manager, movie theater manager and the first DVD buyer for a former rental chain he now spends every waking moment reducing his film “bucket list”.