‘Pulp Fiction’: 20 fun facts as the film turns 20

Story highlights

Quentin Tarantino's film opened in theaters in October 1994

The movie helped revive John Travolta's career

The F-word is used 265 times in the movie

CNN  — 

Quoting Ezekiel 25:17 from “Pulp Fiction” will likely get you laughed out of Sunday school class.

That’s because the Bible verse, as recited by Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Jules Winnfield, doesn’t actually exist.

In the film, Winnfield speaks these words to people before he kills them: “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.”

The actual Bible verse says, “I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I take vengeance on them.’”

Scripture isn’t the only thing writer-director Quentin Tarantino took creative liberties with for the film that opened in theaters on October 14, 1994. In honor of “Pulp Fiction’s” 20th anniversary, here are 20 fun facts about the movie that still reigns as one of the greats:

1. Vincent Vega’s trips to the bathroom

Potty breaks are bad news in this film. Whenever John Travolta’s character, Vincent Vega, takes a powder, tragedy occurs. During his three bathroom breaks, Mia Wallace (played by Uma Thurman) overdoses, the restaurant where he and Jules are dining is held up, and Bruce Willis’ Butch Coolidge gets the drop on him.

2. F’ed up

The F-word is used 265 times in the movie. Go ahead and count it.

3. The notebook

Fueled by the money he had made from his film “Reservoir Dogs” and the deal he had for “Pulp Fiction,” Tarantino took off to Amsterdam to write the latter. According to Vanity Fair, “He bought school notebooks and declared about one of them, like a modern-day Hemingway, ‘This is the notebook in which I am going to write Pulp Fiction.’ “

He ended up filling several notebooks.

4. The Honda

Tarantino got a lot of use out of the Honda Civic that Butch drives in the film. It’s the same car Pam Grier drives in the title role of “Jackie Brown,” and appears in a parking lot scene in “Kill Bill: Volume 2.”

5. Oops with the coat

At the beginning of the now-infamous overdose scene, Mia is wearing Vincent’s coat. Moments later she goes to light a cigarette and is no longer wearing it. The coat magically appears back on her once the cigarette is lit.

6. Robert Redford could have starred

Ronnie Yeskel, the film’s casting director, told Flavorwire that unlike on “Reservoir Dogs,” Hollywood agencies “were pitching Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman and Bruce, Bruce Willis – just the biggest names in the business that you could imagine.”

“And we’re sitting there in these rooms with all these suits, and they all look alike, and we’re like kids in a candy store,” Yeskel said. “We couldn’t believe they were pitching these people to us.”

7. Or Ellen

Ellen DeGeneres tried out for the role of Jody, the pierced face wife of Vincent’s drug dealer, that ultimately went to Rosanna Arquette.

8. Kathy Griffin made it in as did

Blink and you may miss her, but comedian Kathy Griffin appears in the scene where bad guy Marsellus Wallace and Butch collide. Griffin has said she used to date Tarantino. Steve Buscemi, who now stars in “Boardwalk Empire,” also made a cameo as the Buddy Holly waiter at Jack Rabbit Slim’s.

9. Tricky camera work

The scene where Travolta’s Vincent plunges a needle into the chest of Thurman’s Mia to revive her from an overdose using adrenaline was filmed with Travolta pulling the needle out of her and then the film was run backward.

10. Jackson was convincing

Producer Richard Gladstein told Vanity Fair that when Jackson did his second audition for his role he showed up with a burger and fries – key props in one of the film’s pivotal scenes. The actor proceeded to consume the meal so menacingly that Gladstein said, “I thought that this guy was going to shoot a gun right through my head.”

11. On drugs

One of Tarantino’s friends, a recovering heroin addict, advised Travolta on how best to portray a man riding that horse. He told the actor that getting drunk on tequila while relaxing in a hot bath would closely approximate a heroin high without him actually having to do the drug.

12. That bad wallet

The director didn’t have to look far for one of the film’s most memorable props. Jules’ wallet, which had “Bad Mother F****r” written on the front of it, actually belonged to Tarantino.

13. The watch transporter

When Captain Koons (Christopher Walken) tells a young Butch the story about the gold watch that was a family heirloom, he refers to a soldier named Winocki who transported it. Joe Winocki was the name of a character in the 1943 film “Air Force,” directed by Howard Hawks, one of Tarantino’s personal heroes.

14. “The Wolf”

No one else could have played the man who specialized in messy cleanups: Tarantino reportedly wrote the character of Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe specifically for Harvey Keitel.

15. The same pie

If Fabienne’s line, “Any time of day is a good time for pie,” sounds familiar, it should. The character of Alabama says the same thing in another Tarantino film, “True Romance.”

16. What’s in the case?

There have been countless theories about what was in that mysterious briefcase that Jules and Vinnie had to protect – with everything from gold to Marsellus’ soul being suggested. But Tarantino has said in interviews that it’s whatever fans choose it to be, though he has also had fun with fans promising a “reveal.”

17. Keeping it in the family

Travolta’s character, Vincent Vega, is the brother of Vic Vega, aka Mr. Blonde, from Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.” Michael Madsen played the character in that film.

18. The meaning of the Band-Aid

Marsellus sports a Band-Aid on the back of his neck for a reason: It covers up a scar actor Ving Rhames had.

19. The dance trophy

The audience is led to believe that Vincent and Mia won the dance contest at the Jack Rabbit Slim’s restaurant. But late in the film, when Butch is returning to get his watch, there’s a radio bulletin about the trophy having been stolen.

20. The Gimp had a wife

“Saturday Night Live” alum Julia Sweeney had a bit role in “Pulp Fiction” as a junkyard owner and The Wolf’s breakfast date, Raquel. In real life, she had been married to Stephen Hibbert, who played The Gimp in the film.