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Is Pulp Fiction a Prequel to 'Reservoir Dogs'?

Is ‘Pulp Fiction’ a Prequel to ‘Reservoir Dogs’?

Is 'Pulp Fiction' actually a prequel to 'Reservoir Dogs'? Are Quentin Tarantino's two most successful films a duology? Let's take a look at this fan theory.

All of Quentin Tarantino‘s films are unique in their own way. They’re set up in pretty much the world we live in. But, it gives a very dramatic depiction of the world it depicts. Moreover, only two of his entire filmography are sequels of each other (Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol 2.). However, there’s a fan theory that is suggesting that Pulp Fiction, Tarantino’s most famous film, might actually be a prequel to his very first film, Reservoir Dogs.

Is Pulp Fiction a Prequel to 'Reservoir Dogs'?
Miramax ©

Tarantino’s broke on to the scene with Reservoir Dogs, his very first film. The movie follows a group of criminals who plan a heist on a jewelry store. However, none of the criminals know each other’s names and they communicate using code words. What makes it really worse is that there’s an undercover police officer among their ranks, which furthers the plot then onwards. As great as Reservoir Dogs was, it was Pulp Fiction, however, that made Quentin Tarantino a household name.

Pulp Fiction follows various interconnected stories in the city of Los Angeles, but in a non-linear manner. It’s is a crime film with a lot of drama too, but it is not anything like Reservoir Dogs. In Pulp Fiction, we follow hitmen Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), their boss Marsellus Wallace (Wing Rhames), his wife Mia (Uma Thurman), and boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) all around Los Angeles on probably the craziest day(s) of their lives. However, now a theory says that Pulp Fiction might actually be the prequel to Reservoir Dogs. And it originates from the “Tarantino Movie Universe” concept.

Pulp Fiction is connected to Reservoir Dogs

So, according to the “Tarantino Movie Universe”, all of his movies are part of the same universe. But, they’re separated into two different categories: the realer-than-real world and the movie-in-a-movie one. In the case of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, they fall in the realer-than-real world category. So, it’s perfectly possible for the two films to have characters related to each other.

Vincent Vega Vic Vega Vega Brothers
Miramax ©

Moreover, these two movies could very well be connected. Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction and Vic aka Mr. Blonde (Mike Madsen) are brothers and there was even a movie scheduled just to explore these two brothers, named Double V Vega. However, it never got into the pipeline. And then, there’s also Jimmie Dimmick (Tarantino) from Pulp Fiction and Mr. White/Larry Dimmick (Harvey Keitel). They could be related, however, we’re not so sure what their relationship is exactly. But, that’s not the only overlapping thing between these two films. As a result, many fan theories have surfaced on the internet. Some of them are listed below:

Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi played a waiter in Pulp Fiction)

Is Pulp Fiction a Prequel to Reservoir Dogs?
Miramax ©

The most interesting coincidence between the two films is Steve Buscemi’s, Mr. Pink. It’s not a well-known fact but Buscemi actually made an appearance in Pulp Fiction, as Vincent and Mia Wallace’s waiter! And it’s extremely ironic, considering that his character in Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Pank, ranted in the opening scene about how there’s no reason to give waiters any kind of tip. But, he did mention during the rant that all of his previous jobs were not deemed tip-worthy by society.

So, some fans theorized that it could either mean that Mr. Pink survived at the end of Reservoir Dogs, and ended up as a waiter, making Pulp Fiction a sequel. However, it could also mean that he was such a bad waiter that no one ever deemed him worthy of a tip, keeping the theory alive that Pulp Fiction is indeed a prequel to Reservoir Dogs. But, that’s not where the theories end.

Is Mr. Orange actually Pumpkin?

Is 'Pulp Fiction' a Prequel to 'Reservoir Dogs'?
Miramax ©

Tim Roth’s character Ringo aka Pumpkin may also be a hint that Pulp Fiction is a prequel to Reservoir Dogs. In Pulp Fiction, we saw Pumpkin team up with his Hunny Bunny Yolanda (Amanda Plummer) to rob a diner. However, it goes horribly wrong as Vincent and Jules were also there, after which we got an incredible monologue from Samuel L. Jackson. Could it be that after Jules’s speech, Pumpkin decided to turn over a new leaf and instead join the police force? A few fans highlighted that. And it would be ironic if he did do so, only to end up as an undercover cop and then bleed to death from a bullet wound in a heist. That’s something Quentin Tarantino can do.

Mr. Wolf actually talks to Joe Cabot from Reservoir Dogs

Is Pulp Fiction a Prequel to Reservoir Dogs?
Miramax ©

We all remember how cool Harvey Keitel was as Mr. Wolf. Without his dictations, Jules and Vincent could not have cleaned that car with Marvin’s brains all over it. But, he also called someone named Joe as the boys cleaned their own mess. Fans believe that Joe was in fact, Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) – the boss from Reservoir Dogs! It is very much possible since both have connections to the mafia and from Reservoir Dogs, we know Joe and Mr. White/Wolf worked together a couple of times. So, is it now abundantly clear that Pulp Fiction is without a doubt a prequel of Reservoir Dogs? Well, not so fast.

The problems with this theory

Despite these coincidences, there are some glaringly obvious issues as well. These issues can scrap every theory of Pulp Fiction being a prequel. Firstly, Mr. Orange’s name in Reservoir Dogs was Freddy, whereas Pumpkin’s real name was Ringo. And of course, there’s an issue of the accent as well as Ringo had a British accent. That doesn’t go away that easily.

Furthermore, it looks unlikely for Mr. Pink to have survived without dying or getting arrested at the end of Reservoir Dogs. That makes it almost impossible for him to be a waiter at Jack Rabbit’s Slim, thus making any chance of Pulp Fiction being a sequel negligible. And then. in case of it being a prequel, Mr. Pink never had a “tip-worthy” job as well before Reservoir Dogs. That statement in itself makes it unlikely.

And as credible as it looks like Mr. Wolf was talking to Joe, there’s no way Mr. Wolf and Mr. White were the same people. They were in no way the same characters. So, that can easily be ruled out as well.

In short, it’s a bummer that Pulp Fiction is likely not a prequel or a sequel to Reservoir Dogs. However, these two movies stand alone as one of Quentin Tarantino’s finest works and one of the best movies ever made. It shows how characterizations, moments, and tension can keep any audience engaged when done well. And that is the strength of Tarantino. Luckily for an audience like us, he continues to deliver even today, as he did with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. And we hope he does the same with Kill Bill Vol. 3.

Related: The Sharon Tate Controversy In ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’