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Film

The repeated lines of dialogue from Quentin Tarantino movies

All-American auteur Quentin Tarantino began his filmmaking career with the release of Reservoir Dogs in 1992, a project which garnered mainly positive reviews and marked an important progression for independent cinema. 

Since then, Tarantino has further released eight more films, many of which, such as 1994’s Pulp Fiction, can be found on ‘the greatest movies of all time’ lists. Much of Tarantino’s success can be attributed to his extreme attention to detail, something which he has learnt from an extensive obsession with literature and cinema.

Tarantino’s ability to mix classic influences (for example, spaghetti westerns, neo-noir, French New Wave) with his original ideas has led to the distinctive style that we refer to today as Tarantino-esque, characterised by stylised violence, pop-culture references, and non-linear plotlines. 

However, Tarantino’s films are arguably most memorable for their sharp and unique use of dialogue. Tarantino creates a sense of realism amongst the crime-filled extravaganzas of his films, and this is primarily achieved through dialogue between characters. 

It seems that he also has a penchant for repeating certain phrases in his work, which you can check out below. The rumours of the director’s stories all ruminating within one Tarantino universe feel closer to being true when we look at the list below. 

Quentin Tarantino repeated dialogue:

“Everyone be cool” – Pulp Fiction, From Dusk Till Dawn

Uttered in both Pulp Fiction and the Tarantino penned (Robert Rodriguez directed) action-horror From Dusk Till Dawn, this line epitomises Tarantino’s blend of dark humour with terrifying action. Pulp Fiction’s opening scene takes place in a diner where a man and a woman decide to carry out an armed robbery. 

As Pumpkin stands on the seat of the booth, wielding a gun alongside partner in crime Honey Bunny, he says a very distinct line of dialogue: “Everyone be cool, this is a robbery!” The casual wording of the warning sets the movie’s tone: darkly comic yet gruesome. 

“Now, are we absolutely, positively clear about rule number one?” – From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill: Vol 1.

Another line that Tarantino reuses from From Dusk Till Dawn can be heard in Kill Bill: Vol 1. As Uma Thurman’s character, The Bride, lay comatose in a hospital bed, two men, Buck and Jasper, discuss the rules of assaulting her, a horrifying conversation that leaves the audience anxiously anticipating this horrific endeavour. 

It is at this point that Buck asks, “Now, are we absolutely, positively clear about rule number one?” (the rule being no punching). The delivery of this line emphasises the entitlement that these characters believe they have, and which The Bride swiftly takes away from them both. 

“And that will be the story of you” – Django Unchained, Kill Bill: Vol 2.

Tarantino’s seventh film Django Unchained (2012) features a harrowing scene in which Samuel L. Jackson’s character Stephen delivers a tormenting monologue to Jamie Foxx’s Django, describing horrific methods of torture. “And that will be the story of you,” he says slowly, pointing, almost mocking, as the camera cuts to a close-up of Django’s eyes as he hangs upside down. These final words create a monumental impact as we hear them at the same time as Django, who, in a helpless state is forced to hear these words so sardonically delivered. 

This line was earlier used by Tarantino in Kill Bill: Vol 2, by Bill himself. This line of dialogue is so scathing yet simple that it is no wonder Tarantino brought it back a decade later.  

“Tasty beverage”Reservoir Dogs, Death Proof, and Django Unchained. 

The consistent use of the phrase “tasty beverage” by Tarantino’s characters is reminiscent of an American fast-food commercial, a reflection of the country’s obsession with consumer culture. As Jean-Luc Godard referred to the youth of the 1960s as the children of ‘Marx and Coca-Cola’, Tarantino’s characters are the metaphorical children of McDonald’s and gun crime, typified in Pulp Fiction

The incessant reference to tasty beverages also reminds us of the satirical nature of his work, and pokes fun at films operating within the same genre that take themselves a little too seriously. This dialogue can also be found in Reservoir Dogs, Death Proof, and Django Unchained.

“I may be a…but” – From Dusk Til Dawn, Jackie Brown 

From Dusk Till Dawn employs the comically contradictory line “I may be a bastard, but I’m not a fucking bastard,” and Jackie Brown uses “My ass may be dumb, but I ain’t no dumbass”. Not only does Tarantino love to use repetitive phrases, but he also loves to swear. These quotable lines are what makes Tarantino’s films stand out amongst many of his contemporaries; you can bet that anyone from teenagers not yet old enough to legally view Tarantino’s movies in the theatre, to well-established film critics, will be quoting such lines to their peers. 

For many people, Tarantino’s one-liners are ingrained into the walls of their skull, pulsating at the mention of the film’s name, which makes his films so memorable.