Pulp Fiction: A Timeline of the Events of the Movie

The movie is Pulp Fiction. The story is intense. Here's my cheat sheet for the movie, as I saw it while watching the movie. This is taken from the DVD, and the Collector's Edition at that. If anything is wrong with this, let me know (email is at the bottom of the page) or, if its right, let me know about that as well :)

The timeline: As it plays

  1. Restaurant, beginning of the movie [Chapter 1]
  2. Car with Vincent and Jules [Chapter 3]
  3. To the apartment and talking about Mia [Chapter 3]
  4. Get briefcase and kill two of the men at the apartment [Chapter 4]
  5. Butch with Marsellus talking about the fight [Chapter 5]
    Marsellus has a band-aid on the back of his head
  6. Vincent and Jules, in t-shirts and shorts, talking about taking Mia out tomorrow at the bar [Chapter 5]
  7. Piercing chick and 'Mad Man'. Vincent has plans tonight. Shoots up. [Chapter 6]
  8. Drive and pick up of Mia [Chapter 6 - 7]
  9. Eating at Jack Rabbit Slims, and the overdose of Mia. [Chapter 8 - 11]
  10. Butch as a boy and the story of the watch. [Chapter 12]
  11. Before the fight [Chapter 12]
  12. Butch escapes the arena. [Chapter 12]
  13. Mia thanks Vincent for dinner while Marsellus checks over the dead boxer and discusses Butch's escape and trainer [Chapter 13]
    Marsellus still has a band-aid, and Jules is not with Vincent and Paul (the guy previously at the bar in Chapter 5).
  14. Butch in car and the phone call and his girlfriend (Fabian) [Chapter 14]
  15. Butch goes back to get his watch [Chapter 15 - 16]
  16. Butch kills Vincent [Chapter 16]
  17. Hits Marsellus with the Honda [Chapter 17]
  18. Zed and the good old boys. Butch takes the chopper out of town. [Chapter 18 - 20]
    Marsellus still has the band-aid.
  19. "Bonnie Situation", flash back to Vincent and Jules at the apartment, but from a different perspective, and the miracle of 6 shots [Chapter 21]
  20. Jules stating that he's quitting the business today (in the car) [Chapter 22]
  21. The death of Marvin [Chapter 22]
  22. Jimmie and gourmet coffee [Chapter 23]
  23. Marsellus with a girl which doesn't appear to be Mia and The Wolf [Chapter 24]
    We don't see the back of Marsellus' head.
  24. New clothes, courtesy of Jimmie [Chapter 24]
  25. Go for breakfast before they drop off the case [Chapter 25]
  26. Leave the restaurant, end of the movie [Chapter 25]

Obviously, however, this is not how it would have progressed in their 'real' time. If Vincent dies before the end of the movie, by the hands of Butch, then the events at the restaurant would have had to happen before he died.
In other words, the listing above taken chronologically is:

The timeline: How events really played out

  1. Butch as a boy, learns about the watch [Chapter 12]
  2. Car/Europe discussion [Chapter 3]
  3. Getting of the briefcase/miracle [Chapter 4 and 21]
  4. Discussion in the car and the death of Marvin [Chapter 22]
  5. The calling in of The Wolf [Chapter 23 - 24]
  6. Restaurant happenings [Chapter 1 and 25]
  7. Vincent and Jules deliver the case to Marsellus and Butch learns about his throwing of the fight [Chapter 5]
  8. Jules quits [Chapter 22 and Chapter 5 (presumably)]
  9. Vincent takes Mia out to eat and all that stuff with Mia (O.D.) [Chapter 6 - 11]
  10. Next day (or some short period of time), after the dinner and O.D., Butch wins the fight and escapes; Vincent and Mia meet again (Mia never says it’s the next day, but I think it’s implied that it is). [Chapter 12 - 16]
  11. Vincent is killed by Butch [Chapter 16]
  12. Marsellus is hit by Butch and the Honda and is then saved by Butch (Zed) [Chapter 16 - 20]
  13. Butch gets on the 'chopper' and leaves with his girlfriend Fabian [Chapter 20]

Of course, I'm missing a few details, but that's the major flow of how things appear to be working (see the first listing for the specifics) …
Also, a few other interesting aspects of the movie are below (or at least what I found to be interesting):

A few other interesting aspects …

  • Let's take a look at Vincent and Mia's evening, shall we?
    • Vincent is watched by Mia and interrogated (depending on what you see). While it starts to break down, Vincent tries to stick to business, while Mia tries to have some fun.
    • Vincent and Mia share a straw and have a silence that brings Mia to discuss uncomfortable silences.
    • Mia uses the restroom, comes back, and discusses Antwan Rockamora with Vincent.
    • We learn that the only thing that Antwan touched was Mia's hand, at her wedding. The only thing that he touched was her hand, not her feet.
    • Vincent and Mia dance, and, while there is a certain amount of looking into the other's eyes, there is no physical touching.
    • Vincent and Mia arrive back at Mia's, dancing still, but with a great deal of physical contact.
    • Vincent discusses loyalty (having been 'shocked' into the realization of where the night is leading when mentioning that he's 'going to take a piss'), while Mia over doses.
    • Vincent carries Mia, after embracing her, and brings her over to Lance's place.
    • Vincent rips open Mia's shirt and, in one way, touches her heart (or at least her breast, if you want to get technical).
    • Vincent and Mia separate with a handshake.
  • Related to this, Gavin Schmitt pointed out that The Straight Dope did an article related to the injection of adrenaline. You can read the full article, which deals with how much liberty Hollywood takes when it comes to these kinds of scenes http://www.straightdope.com/columns/050218.html
  • By the way, did Vincent and Mia steal the trophy? Some point toward the radio that Butch hears while walking to his house as evidence that he did. However, after listening a couple of times, the radio only plays an ad for the restaurant - not a news bulletin that the trophy has been stolen (from what I can hear at least). Would they have stolen it? Would Vincent attract attention to himself (risking getting caught), having the job that he does? Would Mia, being in a relationship with Marsellus? Of course, they were under the influence, of more than just substances, so it’s highly possible that the moment caught up with them … Thanks to Allison for asking me to listen to this part of the movie.
  • After the fight, Esmeralda (or is it Esmarelda?) drops Butch off right in front of the hotel. Butch then spends at least half a minute looking out the window. Why? Shouldn't he have been more careful by having the taxi drop him off elsewhere?
  • When Butch picks up his watch, notice that a picture of Fabian is right next to it (or to the left of it). Interesting in that he said in the hotel that the watch is all he really cared about - does that include Fabian or not? One must wonder, especially since he calls her a whore…
  • After Butch has picked up his watch and killed Vincent, he turns on the Honda and the radio starts playing. Was it playing when he turned the car off?
  • What is the significance of the word 'grace' on the side of the chopper (Zed's bike)? Allison points out that Tarantino’s girlfriend was named Grace. However, I wasn’t too happy with that being the only explanation for why it is there. I argue that it may have something to do with the way the whole Butch episode (meaning every scene directly regarding Butch) played out. First Butch and Marsellus are business partners, although both is attempting to screw the other. Then Butch and Marsellus are enemies, and through that conflict they enter into a conflict with another group of individuals, which doesn’t even allow them the ability to join together. Instead, Butch is able to make it out on his own yet still goes back to help Marsellus. Circumstances allow Butch to even come out on top in the end, all things considered - he may have lost a Honda, but he got himself a chopper…
  • Great quote by Butch: "I'm sorry baby I had to crash that Honda" (I think that's right…)
  • Notice that the bullet holes in the apartment came from the other side of the wall - note how the wall comes towards us (bullets push towards the object they are directed at, and would have pushed the plaster in, not pushed it out… right?)
  • Interesting quote, said by Jules: "You want to play blind man, then go walk with the shepherd". Jesus, the son of God, is said to be like a shepherd, yet Jules, who believes God is giving him direction, seems to suggest that he does not want to follow, but rather find his own way (see Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha for clarification). The question then is, what exactly does the future hold in store for Jules, and who is it that is directing it?
  • Great quote by Vincent: "Oh man I shot Marvin in the face" (something to that effect).
  • Why does Jimmie have an empty yellow picture frame on his kitchen wall under his clock?
  • What is the paper that is attached to the top of the inside of the briefcase say? It appears to have words on it… (seen right before Jules disarms Ringo). Is it yellow because of the light from the briefcase, or is it yellow from age (the paper certainly appears to be yellow)?

Created: November 25th 2002
Modified: April 25th 2003; June 7th 2003; October 24th 2003; July 23rd 2004; July 31st 2004; August 20th 2004; September 4th 2004; September 14th 2004; September 29th 2004; February 18th 2005; December 8 2006