Kill Bill

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"I've killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point, but I have only one more. The last one. The one I'm driving to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination... I am gonna KILL BILL."
The Bride

Kill Bill takes Quentin Tarantino's favorite things -- westerns, samurai movies, martial arts, pop-culture references, Action Girls, and close-ups of women's bare feet (don't ask about that last one) -- and combines them all into one hell of a revenge drama.

While Tarantino originally conceived the film as one complete movie, Miramax split it into two parts (Vol. 1, released in 2003, and Vol. 2, released in 2004). Watching them together earns you a nice four-hour action romp filled with deliberate over-the-top violence which runs on the Rule of Cool. Tarantino plans to film a third movie, but currently the project (originally intended to go before cameras in 2014) is in Development Hell.

The story -- told in "chapters", as well as Tarantino's signature non-linear fashion -- centers around an Action Girl known primarily as "The Bride", a former assassin who wants to pursue a life of normalcy. Her former crew, The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, isn't too happy with that -- and during The Bride's wedding rehearsal, they crash the church and slaughter the entire wedding party, then beat The Bride spaghetti-western-style until she can't move. Once the DeVAS are done, their leader (the eponymous Bill) walks up to The Bride and puts a bullet in her head -- right after The Bride tells him she's pregnant with his child. Four years later, The Bride wakes up from a coma and vows to get her revenge on the DeVAS -- and anyone who happens to get in her way -- while saving Bill for last.

To view a partial list of the innumerable references to other films in Kill Bill, visit the List of Film References in Tarantino's Films.

Tropes used in Kill Bill include:
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The katana owned by the Bride is so sharp, its creator claims that "If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut."
    • The line could also be seen as a reference to the Buddhist belief that to obtain enlightenment, one has to destroy all obstacles on their path, including the Buddha himself ("If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha").
  • Action Girl: Every major female character other than Sofie Fatale, Nikki Green and B.B..
    • Action Mom: Vernita and the Bride become this after the incident in the church.
  • Affably Evil: Bill and Esteban.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the entire cinema medium, East and West.
  • Agony of the Feet: How the Bride managed to disable Gogo before offing her: she drove the extruding nail of a 2x4 through one of her feet.
    • After she gets out of that coffin and walks barefoot through the desert back to Bud's trailer, and then is fighting barefoot amid all that shattered glass and splinters and God knows what else (oh, yeah, and the black mamba) all over the floor.... That's brutal.
  • Anachronic Order: A Tarantino trademark. The first chapter from Vol. 1 shows the Bride's second kill on her mission, and the next four chapters are a flashback to everything leading up to that kill - the Bride waking up from her coma, getting her Hanzo sword, hunting down O-Ren Ishii, and making her hit list.
  • Animal Assassin: Elle kills Budd with a black mamba. Which quite possibly kills herself later on.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Given a nod when Bud and Elle think The Bride is dead. Bud asks Elle, who considered The Bride a personal rival/nemesis, which R she feels: Relief, or Regret.
    • More importantly, Beatrix weeps in the bathroom after she kills Bill.
    • And this also happens to Bill twice, first when he believes The Bride has been killed, while she had only ran away after finding out she was pregnant. And again, as he explains later in Vol. 2 to B.B. that he felt very sad after, you know, hunting her ass down and putting a bullet in her head. Sorry kiddo!
  • Anti-Hero: The Bride is an example of Type IV. As an assassin, she fully believes in Paying Evil Unto Evil, though she still has certain things that she will not do if she can help it -- like murdering someone in front of their child.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Beatrix's fight with Bill is the shortest fight in the entire film; lasting less than ten seconds before she kills him with the Five-Point Palm.
  • Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: Pai Mei, but don't tell him that.
  • Aside Glance: Beatrix winks at the camera as she's driving during the closing credits.
  • Audible Sharpness: In addition to the obvious examples, naked Hanzo swords almost constantly emit a quiet, high-pitched tone.
  • Author Appeal: Like a lot of Tarantino's movies, there's a lot of scenes involving women's bare feet.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Sophie Fatale, Elle Driver, and others.
  • Awesome Music: When O-Ren and all her thugs walk in at The House Of Blue Leaves. And then another one, when O-Ren is preparing to fight mano-a-mano with The Bride. Short and sweet.
  • Ax Crazy: Elle Driver and Gogo Yubari.
  • Badass: All the Deadly Vipers, Pai-Mei, etc.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Just about everyone, but especially Elle Driver from the second movie.
  • Balls of Steel: Pai Mei has these, as the Bride finds out the hard way during her battle with him.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted Trope. The Bride gets beat up, slashed up, bloodied, shot up, and even buried alive, and still kicks serious ass on just about everybody she meets -- and this is a woman who is referred to as being very beautiful. It's very debatable though -- as bloodied and bruised as she gets, none of her wounds appear to leave a visible lasting mark that mars her beauty. She's lucky she wasn't one of Esteban's girls.
    • Also, Sofie has an arm cut off on screen.
      • In the Japanese cut of the movie, she has her other arm cut off when the Bride interrogates her in the boot of the car, though the cut is at the elbow rather than the shoulder.
    • Same goes for Elle Driver. Yikes.
  • Berserk Button: Do not insult O-Ren's Chinese or American heritage if you want to keep your fuckin' head.
  • Best Served Cold
  • Bilingual Bonus: On the first film's poster, the characters in the background are a katakana transliteration of "Kill Bill" (in this case, reading Kiru Biru) - likely to save space since the actual translation would be 「ビルを殺す」 "Biru o korosu". The Chinese characters on Vol. 2's poster say "pursue and kill Bill".
  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: Played for Drama when the Bride's legs have wasted away from atrophy, as a result of her being comatose for years on end.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Bride manages to make peace with Bill before killing him and running away with B.B.
  • Black and Gray Morality
  • Black Blood: The Crazy 88s segment was shown in black-and-white to avoid an NC-17 rating.
    • The original full-color (and extended) version, as shown in international markets, is here.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Hilariously played with. Vernita Green dies at the beginning of Vol. 1, but is actually the second Deadly Viper to be killed by the Bride, since the rest of Vol. 1 is a flashback (the effect on her screen time is the same, though).
  • Blade Run
  • Blondes Are Evil: Elle Driver. Averted with the Bride.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The blood fountain (and there really is no other way to describe it) that erupts when O-Ren cuts off Boss Tanaka's head is hilarious if only for the fact that it sprays blood five feet into the air for a solid 10 seconds.
    • As well as when the Bride chops off Sofie Fatale's arm.
    • Amazingly, the sound of Boss Tanaka's blood is even more graphic on the soundtrack album than the film itself.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: For the most part, most of the characters try to live by the sword, but even so, a lot of them are Combat Pragmatists; even the Bride seems ready to kill Bill with a gun at first.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Johnny Mo, who arrives at the head of the Crazy 88 to battle the Bride. He lasts throughout the entire battle, engaging her multiple times, and at the end faces her in single combat.
  • Brick Joke: When the Bride says to Nikki that "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."
  • Buried Alive: What Budd does to the Bride.
  • But Not Too Foreign: O-Ren Ishii is half Japanese and half Chinese-American; Sofie is half Japanese and half French.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Elle Driver gets her face forced into Budd's toilet by the Bride during their fight, to the point where she has to flush it to save herself from drowning.
  • Catch Phrase: "You and I have unfinished business."
  • Cat Fight/Designated Girl Fight: Beautifully subverted. None of the fights look like Fan Service for titillating male audiences, and it's refreshing to see women fighting FOR REAL with REAL punches and REAL bruises instead of scratching and hair-pulling. The Bride's fight with Elle Driver in particular is especially vicious.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • The Bride punching through wood to get out of her coffin.
    • That move where she snatches your eye right out of its socket. She learned it from Pai Mei and used it on one of the Crazy 88, then used it to defeat Elle.
    • The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.
  • Code Name: The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad uses the names of lethal snakes as code names. The Bride's was "Black Mamba." This also doubles as Names to Run Away From Really Fast -- the Black Mamba is generally considered to be the most deadly snake in the world, which leads to the question of how the others didn't see the end coming.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: How The Bride gets information about the D-VAS from Sofie.

"What I am going to do is ask you questions, and every time you don't give me answers, I'm going to cut something off. And I promise you... they will be things you will miss."

  • Combat Pragmatist: Played with.
    • Budd appears to be highly honorable at first, what with his talk of "she deserves her revenge, and we deserve to die" and all that. He ends up just shooting the Bride. In the tits. With rock salt.
    • The Bride herself. She attacks Elle with, among other things, a TV antenna, a lamp, a chair, and a toilet.
    • And Elle poisoning Pai Mei, who is so Badass it's the only possible way to kill him. Supposedly, anyway.
    • The Bride defeats Gogo with the ultimate weapon in the series: a 2x4 with a nail through it.
  • Conservation of Ninjitsu: The entire Crazy 88 fight.
  • Contract on the Hitman: The film kicks off with the Bride's former assassination squad trying to kill her.
  • Convenient Coma: The Bride is put into one of these for four years following Bill putting a bullet through her skull.
  • Cool Car: The Pussy Wagon. Apparently Tarantino's actual truck, which would later be featured prominently in Lady Gaga's Telephone video.
    • It't not Tarantino's daily driver or anything, he just kept it after the movie.
  • Cool Sword: EVERY sword made by Hattori Hanzo, but especially the Bride's sword.
  • Cross Counter: The Bride vs. Elle Driver.
  • Cruel Mercy How the Bride deals with Elle Driver.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: The Bride vs. Bill -- she managed to catch his sword in her sheath before using the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique on him.
  • Cute and Psycho: Gogo.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Not shown but the possibility is definitely left open. Vernita is killed in front of her daughter Nikki, who the Bride understands might someday want revenge against her.
  • Dark Action Girl: Pretty much every one of the female assassins.
  • Death by Cameo: Quentin Tarantino plays one of the Crazy 88, and ends up being the first one of them to get sliced up by the Bride.
  • Deadly Doctor: Averted. Elle dresses up as a nurse so she can get close enough to the the comatose Bride to give her a lethal injection; she's stopped from doing so by Bill, and she is not happy about it.
  • Death by Irony: Budd, while escaping from death from the Bride, aka Black Mamba, is killed by the venom of an actual black mamba.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Elle Driver.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The wedding flashbacks and a portion of the fight at The House Of Blue Leaves (at least in America).
  • Deliver Us From Evil: The Bride's motive for going good.
  • Disc One Final Boss: O-Ren Ishii.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: House of Blue Leaves, complete with foot soldiers, mini-bosses and Disc One Final Boss (O-Ren).
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Found within the story of Pai Mei that Bill tells the Bride. Pai Mei once offered a small nod of deference (a rare gesture) to a passing Shaolin monk, who failed to return it -- for all anyone knows, the monk might not have even noticed it. For this grave insult, Pai Mei headed to the Shaolin Temple and demanded the head of the head abbot as an apology. When the other monks pleaded for mercy and tried to console Pai Mei, he slaughtered every one of them, burning the monastery down afterwards.
    • Also:

Bill: Not only are you not dead, you're getting married, to some fucking jerk, and you're pregnant. I... overreacted.
[long pause]
The Bride: You overreacted?

  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Pai Mei.
  • Dual-Wielding: A member of the Crazy 88, and the Bride herself (although briefly) during the same scene.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma: "My name's Buck, and I'm here to fuck."
  • Dynamic Entry: The Bride to Elle, starting off their fight.
  • Enforced Trope: This Trope Is Bleep is used to maintain No Name Given until the time is right. Hints are dropped, though.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Played with. The Bride is a mass-murderer who, in her Roaring Rampage of Revenge, has killed, hacked off parts of, and tortured her former colleagues, moving coldly onto her next target without even waiting for the blood to stop pooling beneath the chopped-up bodies, but when Elle reveals that she killed the Bride's Master, she gets even more fucking pissed!
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bill will be "a murdering bastard" any day, but he will not (in the end) kill someone in their sleep, because "that act would lower us".
    • The Bride is sadistic and a mass-murderer; but she shows this as well. She sticks to the people on her list (and the Crazy 88) despite pointing out to Vernita to make things even, she would have to kill Vernita, her daughter, and her husband. She is also willing to stop the fight in front of Vernita's daughter and appears genuinely regretfully that she killed Vernita in front of her daughter.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: The Bride is allowed to take her katana on the plane with her, because it's considered matter-of-fact for everybody at the airport (and, by extension, the country of Japan) to have a katana. In the scene where the Bride is flying out of Japan and formulating her death list, there is a katana across the aisle from her, right in front of the camera. At first glance it looks like she respects the sword so much, she bought a seat especially for it, but then you notice that her katana is actually behind her. The man seated behind the Bride has one as well. Probably everyone on the plane has one.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"
  • Evil Gloating: Elle, did you 'really' need to flaunt Pai Mei's death and how you were going to kill the bride for a minute and a half?
  • Expy: The DiVAS are based on the show "Fox Force Five" that Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) mentions in Pulp Fiction.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Elle Driver.
  • Eye Scream: When the Bride finally confronts Elle, not only does she rip out her remaining eye, but also crushes it under her foot. The Bride rips out one of the Crazy 88's eyes in Vol. 1 in the same manner.
  • Fan Service: The Bride is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she doesn't wear makeup and slogs through much of the films covered in sweat, dirt, mud, and blood. This may or may not be to your taste.
  • Fate Worse Than Death:
    • The Bride gets this TWICE. First, she is repeatedly raped while comatose from her assassination attempt, and then she is Buried Alive.
    • Elle stumbling around Budd's trailer with no eyes, and that question mark implying she's still there, bloody and confused (even though it's possible that the black mamba in the trailer killed her).
  • Finger-Poke of Doom: The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival
  • Foot Focus: "Wiggle your big toe", among many other examples. See the trope page for a complete list.
  • Four Is Death: Subverted and Averted. The targets the Bride mainly focuses on (besides Bill) are the four members of the DiVAS who assassinated her at her wedding. Note that while she does succeed in killing two of them, one is killed by another, and said other doesn't actually die.
    • Also Played Straight and put on a pedestal. The film is 4 hours long. The Bride is in a coma for 4 years. It is the 4th Film by Tarantino. The list goes on.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad - DiVAS.
  • Genre Shift: Vol. 1 is an ode to kung fu movies. Vol. 2 is an ode to the western, as well as a deconstruction of Vol. 1.
  • George Lucas Throwback: To Lady Snowblood, Thriller - A Cruel Picture, and every Hong Kong martial arts and Japanese Chanbara film ever made.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Gogo Yubari.
  • Go Out with a Smile: It takes a real man to admit he is wrong, forgive the love of his life for killing him, and to tell her that she is a decent human being with a loving smile before gracefully walking to his death. Manliness, thy name is Bill.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: She even has a list.
  • Gorn
  • Graceful Loser: The above example with Bill.
  • Gratuitous English: "This is so important, I'm going to say it in English!" - O-Ren, addressing a group of Japanese Yakuza. Though arguably, she was doing it to show her dominance, as she was half Japanese and half Chinese American.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Pai Mei.
  • Harmful to Minors: O-Ren Ishii witnesses the death of her parents at the hands of Boss Matsumoto when she's nine and takes her vengeance two years later. The Bride tries to avert this when she kills Vernita Green, but winds up doing it right in front of her daughter anyway. Knowing full well what usually happens to a kid after this, she tells her "When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I'll be waiting."
    • This is a great Sequel Hook. Tarantino is on record as having ideas for Kill Bill Volumess 3 and 4 already rolling around in his brain.
    • The scene could have been far worse. When Boss Matsumuto throws O-Ren's mother onto the bed, for a moment it totally seems that he is going to rape her... with O-Ren hiding under the mattress!
      • Well, luckily for her... Boss Matsumuto was a pedophile.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Sofie Fatale.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Elle.
  • Hermit Guru: Pai Mei.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath/Sociopathic Hero: The Bride can be either, depending on the mood.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Oh, booooooy.
  • Historical Domain Character: Pai Mei is believed to have been a real person, although there's still debate about if this is true or not.
    • "Hattori Hanzo" is the name of a legendary real-life samurai who lived in the 16th century. He had previously been played in a Japanese TV series by... Sonny Chiba.
  • Hollywood Healing: The Bride shows a wonderful knack for shrugging off various injuries. This is also averted: her healing from the massacre took four years.
  • Honor Before Reason: The Bride's conduct in the saga practically defines this trope. She never "just shoots" her enemies like a coward: instead she always honorably challenges them in a manner that allows them an equal chance at victory. This is debatable though, as the Bride wants her revenge and she doesn't hesitate to use dirty tricks if they're needed to win -- ripping eyes out, using improvised weapons, attacking by surprise, you name it.
    • The other major characters show Honor Before Reason to varying degrees, ranging from Bill (who shows it in spades) to Budd (who just shoots the Bride). Then there's Elle. She was unhappy that Bill called off the hit on the Bride while she was still comatose, she used a black mamba to kill Budd out of pure jealousy and spite, and how she killed Pai Mei simply by poisoning his fish heads.
    • Actually, Budd's actions after the rock-salt buckshot might be interpreted as this (with traces of The Atoner). He was well aware of what kind of training the Bride had had with Pai Mei, so he was giving her the chance to claw her way back out of her grave if she had the will to do so.
    • In the original script, although the Bride was still honorable, she did have occasional 'reason over honor' moments -- most notably, The Bride actually planned to snipe Bill from far away, under the justification that he originally called a bushwhack on her and she was just repaying the favor. She didn't go through with it because she saw B.B. through the scope and realized that her daughter was still alive.
  • Hospital Hottie: Elle Driver dresses as a nurse in order to sneak into the hospital where the Bride lies in a coma.
  • Hot Chick with a Sword: The Bride, and the other female DiVAS.
  • I'll Kill You!: Elle Driver, after being reduced to a screaming psychotic wreck after the Bride snatches out her eye and crushes it underfoot.
  • Insufferable Genius: Pai Mei is an insufferable martial arts master.
  • Ironic Echo: "This is for breaking my brother's heart." The Bride does this again -- in a quite literal sense -- at the end of the film.
  • Karmic Death: Elle Driver poisoned Pai Mei after he ripped her eye out, and she sics a black mamba on Budd after he claims to have killed the Bride. The Bride later rips out Elle's remaining eye, and leaves her locked in Budd's trailer with the black mamba in question. Of course, the list of former members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad shown at the end has a question mark by her name, but scratches through the names of all the ones the Bride killed -- which, if Tarantino is to be believed, is meant to be the opening for a sequel to Kill Bill involving B.B., Vernita Green's daughter, and a blind Elle.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Played straight and subverted. Although Hattori Hanzo is described as the world's greatest swordmaker, making his katanas the world's greatest swords, the film undercuts the power of the katana on a number of occasions. The Bride gets knocked around quite a bit by a meteor hammer and is helpless at a disadvantage whenever she's faced with a gun. Her martial arts master is also a Chinese man who lambasts katanas and the Japanese.
    • Pai Mei is justified though- he easily avoids The Bride's blade and defeats her while being completely unarmed.
  • Kensington Gore: Scads and scads of neon-red fake blood are used, especially in Vol. 1. Mostly a Shout-Out to old Shaw Bros. style Kung Fu movies.
  • Kimono Fanservice: O-Ren Ishii from Kill Bill seems to be a type A when she's a Japanese ganglord.
  • Knife Nut: Copperhead, played by Vivica A. Fox. Beatrix even chooses to leave her Cool Sword behind to face Copperhead in a fair knife fight. When Copperhead tries to shoot Beatrix with a gun, she misses, and then dies.
  • Kung Foley
  • Lady of War: O-Ren Ishii, also a Woman in White.
  • Left for Dead: Driver, after the Bride plucks her eye out. While the credits for Vol. 2 have the other Vipers' names crossed out, she simply gets a question mark. Presumably, the black mamba bites her at some point.
  • Leitmotif: Whenever the Bride lays her eyes on a target, the sirens from "Ironside" cut in.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Averted as well; the Bride tries to set up duels with Vernita Green and Bill, but she ends up killing them a few moments later.
  • Living MacGuffin: Bill.
  • Living Legend: Bill introduces both the audience and the Bride to Pei Mei as a Living Legend, possibly immortal.
  • Lolicon: Gogo subverts this.
    • There's also Boss Matsumoto, who the Bride described as a pedophile, giving young O-Ren the opening to exact her revenge.
  • Luke, You Are My Father
  • Made of Iron: All of the DiVAS, but the Bride in particular deserves credit for surviving the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at the wedding, followed by a bullet to the head.
  • Mama Bear: The reason why the Bride left her assassin order was to raise her soon-to-be-born baby away from bloodshed. Guess what she did when she couldn't fulfill it...
    • "Guessing won't be necessary."
  • May-December Romance: Bill with the Bride, Elle Driver, and most likely Sophie as well. He even plays along when Beatrix introduces him as her "father" at the wedding chapel on account of the age difference.
  • Medium Blending: O-Ren Ishii's backstory leading up to her takeover of the Yakuza is told through an animated sequence, as shooting that sequence in live-action would have all but ensured an NC-17 rating (and potentially a few arrests).

"Luckily for her, Boss Matsumoto... was a pedophile." (cut to a young O-Ren stabbing Boss Matsumoto through the chest while on top of him, apparently before having sex)

  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe example, Pai Mei seems to have achieved this status so much that legends of his badassery go back a millennium.
  • The Men in Black: The Crazy 88s, who are apparently a simultaneous Shout-Out to The Green Hornet and The Matrix (Yuen Wo Ping was the fight choreographer for all three Matrix films and Kill Bill).
  • Mighty Whitey: The elderly Chinese kung fu master Pai Mei hates skinny people, blondes, whites, women, Japanese people, and Americans. Therefore, his greatest pupil is a skinny, blond, white American woman who speaks Japanese. Then again, he put her through Hell. She earned that training. Elle Driver - also a skinny, white, American blonde woman - notably gets her eye ripped out of her head for mouthing off to Pai Mei.
    • Of course, the only reason he even considered teaching them at all is because of Bill...
    • Not to mention that the Bride mops the floor with the bloody remains of the all-Asian martial arts army, the Crazy 88, and then goes on to defeat their Asian mistress.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: While Michael Jai White is featured in the Vol. 1 teaser, his scene did not make it into either film.
  • Mook Chivalry: Subverted. The Crazy 88s are a little less chivalrous than most mooks. Doesn't really help them, though.
  • Never Bring a Knife to A Fist Fight: In the spirit of this trope, Elle is so focused on killing the Bride with her own sword that she neglects to protect her face...
  • New Old West: Vol. 2.
  • Nice Hat: Subverted with Budd's cowboy hat, at least as far as his employer at the titty bar is concerned.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: the beating at the hands of the Deadly Vipers that kicks off the Bride's Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • No Name Given: Forced and lampshaded (as her name is actually bleeped out), but also very subtly averted for the Bride in the first movie: Although she seems to be completely pseudonymous, her real name can be seen very briefly on an airline ticket; furthermore, what seems to be just Bill's affectionate nickname for the Bride -- "kiddo" -- turns out to actually be her surname. Also, the "silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" exchange between the Bride and O-Ren seems at first to be an entirely random pop culture quote, but is actually a veiled reference to the name Beatrix Kiddo.
    • Lampshaded when the Bride's real name is revealed and the scene cuts to a school classroom, with the (fully grown) Bride answering the register when her name's called.
  • The Notable Numeral: Crazy 88.
  • Not So Different: The Bride and Elle, The Bride and O-Ren.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • When the Bride first meets Hattori Hanzo, she pretends not to know how to speak Japanese.
    • Budd, a drunken redneck to most until they realize he's a cold-blooded killer with a philosophical side... and by then it's too late.
  • Off with His Head: O-Ren does this to Boss Tanaka for insulting her heritage, and the Bride deals out several of these during the Crazy 88 fight.
  • The Oner: A continuous shot in the House of Blue Leaves follows the Bride into the restroom, "Charlie Brown" up to the dining room, then Sofie back to the restroom.
    • Another one follows the Bride's walk down the aisle, the DiVAS entrance into the chapel and the massacre itself.
  • Old Master: Pai Mei is the evil (or at very least, Jerkass) version of this, as is Bill himself.
    • Pai Mei might be a deconstruction of the Kung Fu Master trope.
  • Overdrawn At the Blood Bank: Just how much blood is in that severed arm, anyway?
  • Police Are Useless: The only cops we ever see are those at the scene of the massacre.
  • Power Walk: The Bride does this, as do O-Ren and her Mooks, this one accompanied by Awesome Music.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Bitch, you don't have a future."
  • Pressure Point: The basis for the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.
  • Product Placement: Largely averted, except for the Lucky Charms and Bimbo bread in the end.
    • What do you mean? Trix--hell, even the Catch Phrase--is an integral part of the plot. I bet sales of Trix went up after the film came out. Or damn well should have done.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Never stated outright, but Elle's hatred for the Bride likely comes from being displaced as Bill's lover (given the familiar way Elle speaks to him on the phone, plus Bill's liking for blondes) by her younger rival.
  • Psycho for Hire: Gogo.
  • The Public Domain Channel: The Bride and her child watch an oddly symbolic old Heckle and Jeckel cartoon at the end of the movie.

"Do you have a magpie in your home? If you do, you are most fortunate. The magpie is the most charming bird in all the world. He is the best friend a farmer ever had. Treat him gently, treat him kindly. And always remember,the magpie deserves your respect.."

  • Punch a Wall: During a rainy day, the Bride's training by Pai-Mei is put on hold and she tries napping, only to end up punching a wall with her knuckles. Ouch.
    • Her training has been so intense that she apparently does this in her sleep by accident.
  • Punctuated Pounding: The sword-spanking the Bride delivers on the last Crazy 88 before sending him off.
  • Radial Ass-Kicking: This happens in the Crazy 88 fight scene.
  • Rain of Blood: O-Ren's vengeance upon Matsumoto.
  • Recycled Trailer Music : Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor Or Humanity" began showing up all over the place (in movie trailers, at sporting events, in other movies like Transformers, which used it to punctuate Bumblebee's "makeover") after Tarantino's usage of the song made it famous. Weak covers of the famous bass riff also show up routinely on television in scenes that homage or spoof its usage in Vol. 1 (examples: Robot Chicken's parody Kill Bunny, as well as a scene in Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins involving Mystery Inc. sneaking onto a school campus in disguise).
    • The 5-6-7-8's have been featured in a few commercials since the film as well.
    • And this scene from The Good, the Bad, the Weird uses Santa Esmeralda's cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" to great effect.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: Pai Mei. Apparently he only rarely accepts students and is a thousand-year-old renowned recluse.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad.
  • Retraux: The Bride 'driving' in front of an obvious back-projection at the start of Vol. 2, while delivering her monologue.
  • Retired Badass: Hatori Hanzo is no longer in the sword-making business but that doesn't mean he isn't willing to make an exception when it comes to killing Bill.
  • Retired Monster: Most of the characters we see:
    • Vernita and Budd have both left the criminal lifestyle behind - but not their skills as assassins.
    • Subverted in the case of O-Ren, who only gave up the assassin's lifestyle to become head of the Yakuza.
    • Bill seems to have left the business behind as well in order to raise Bea-Bea.
    • Bill's adopted father Estaban is now a pimp but there is an implication that he was much worse in the past and more involved in crime.
    • Beatrix retired from being an assassin so that she could raise her child. She never seems all that remorseful for her past actions, nor does she care what her former lover/partners do as long as they didn't bring trouble her way.
    • Pei Mei seems more content with living alone but when he was younger, he was willing to slaughter an entire temple for a slight insult that may not have actually happened. Also, he is more than willing to rip your eye out of its socket if you talk back to him.
  • The Reveal: The last few seconds of Vol. 1, when we learn that the Bride's child is still alive.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Invoked.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: surprisingly not the Trope Namer; Tarantino used the phrase in a Shout-Out to the blaxploitation classic Ebony, Ivory, and Jade.
    • Subverted in Vol. 2, because while it is still a very violent movie, by the end credits, The Bride has taken only one life.
  • Scary Black Woman: Vernita Green, a.k.a Copperhead.
  • Sailor Fuku: Gogo.
  • Secret Art: The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, which even Bill was surprised to find out was taught to someone else by Pai Mei.
  • Sequel Hook: Elle and Sofie are still alive (if not in one piece), Budd still had some friends back in Barstow, and Vernita's daughter saw her mom killed in front of her eyes. Add the Bride's own daughter to the mix and Tarantino's comments and Kill Beatrix: Vol. 3 is just waiting to be a-born.

"Oh yeah, initially I was thinking this would be my "Dollars Trilogy". I was going to do a new one every ten years. But I need at least fifteen years before I do this again. I've already got the whole mythology: Sofie Fatale will get all of Bill's money. She'll raise Nikki, who'll take on the Bride. Nikki deserves her revenge every bit as much as the Bride deserved hers. I might even shoot a couple of scenes for it now so I can get the actresses while they're this age."

    • The trope is also inverted in that, with the exception of the question mark in the end credits, none of these happen near the end of the films. In fact, only Budd's friends even happen in the second movie!
  • The Seventies: Many, many references, visual homages, and the soundtrack.
  • She Fu: Averted hard by both movies. The Bride took as good as she gave. This led a few reviewers to claim the movies were hateful toward women since it essentially meant the character was being put through everything any male action character would be put through. Apparently, the critics wanted She Fu instead.
  • Shout-Out: Many martial arts films.
    • Perhaps most notable, the live action film adaptation of Lady Snowblood. Aside from the general similarities in the plot, Vol. 1 uses the film's theme song, and many shots, especially O-Ren Ishii lying on the ground after her death, are strikingly similar to those in Snowblood.
    • One specific one is that the Bride wears a jumpsuit similar to the one Bruce Lee wore in Game Of Death when she takes on O-Ren Ishii and the Crazy 88's.
    • This isn't the first time Gogo stabbed someone in the crotch.
      • Also not the first time Buck has died in a doorway of head trauma.
      • Heck, given how big a fan Tarantino is of Battle Royale, even the famous yellow track suit could be taken as a shout-out to Chiaki Kuriyama's role in that movie.
    • Gordon Liu, who appears as Johnny Mo in Vol. 1, and Pai Mei in Vol. 2, starred in The 36th Chamberof Shaolin. The style of the Bride's training regimen is modeled after The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Also the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album is named in honor of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)". The RZA, the creative force behind the Wu-Tang Clan composed the original music for "Kill Bill".
    • "My name is Buck and I came here to fuck" is a modified line from Eaten Alive.
    • Given the nature of the film, it's probably best just to link to the IMDB's "movie connections" pages for both volumes.
  • Single Tear: O-Ren, when her mother is killed.
    • Also the Bride when she first sees B.B. at Bill's house.
  • Smug Snake: Elle Driver.
  • Snow Means Death: O-Ren and the Bride's duel.
  • Sounding It Out: "Remove cap and urinate on the absorbent end for five seconds."
  • Spank the Cutie: "This -- is what-- you get -- for fucking -- around -- with yakuzas! GO HOME TO YOUR MOTHER!"
  • Spell My Name With a [BLEEP]
  • Spiteful Spit: The Bride spits blood in Budd's face after he shoots her. He responds by spitting back - except his spit is far more plentiful and laden with chewed tobacco.
  • Stealth Pun: The chapter of Vol. 2 titled "Elle and I" could also be written as "Elle and Eye" when she loses her other eye.
  • Stock Scream: Our old buddy Wilhelm shows up more than once during the Crazy 88 sequence.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: The infamous primetime version of the film contains the absolutely jarring line, "My name is Buck and I like to party." Comedian Doug Benson discussed this, asking, "You couldn't just change his name to Marty?"
  • Swipe Your Blade Off: All over the end of the first movie.
  • Switch to English: O-Ren Ishii: "So you all will know the seriousness of my warning, I shall say this in English." (But she said it in Japanese.)
  • Tears of Blood: Gogo's death.
  • Theme Naming: In addition to the DiVAS snake pseudonyms (with Bill as their "Snake Charmer"), every significant character has double letters in their name.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: In the background during O-Ren's fight.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: The Bride's calling-out of O-Ren at the House of Blue Leaves using her Catch Phrase. In Japanese.[1]
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: The Bride survives a shot to the head at point blank range (though it does send her into a coma).
  • Touch of Death: The legendary Five-Point-Palm Exploding Heart Technique.
  • Training from Hell: "The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei".
  • Trunk Shot
  • Twinkle Toes Samurai: O-Ren during the meeting of the bosses, immediately before beheading Boss Tanaka. Justified as she's wearing traditional Japanese clothing at the time: If she didn't take those dainty little steps, she'd probably end up with a face full of table.
  • Understatement: Bill: "I... overreacted".
    • Flat What: Bride: *Beat*... *Beat*... *Beat*... *Beat*... "You... overreacted?"
  • Unkempt Beauty: The Bride. Spectacularly gorgeous even when she spends most of her time covered in sweat, mud and blood.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Elle, after losing her remaining eye. Holy...
  • Visual Pun: In Vol. 1, Vernita green has a gun concealed in a box of "Kaboom" cereal.
  • Wax On, Wax Off
  • Wham! Line: "Does she know... her daughter's still alive?"
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: At the end of the second movie, Bill takes the most dramatic five steps ever.
    • And then he takes an additional SIXTH step because he is just that AWESOME!
    • Bill's badassery aside, the first footfall after he gets up is a pivot, not a step.
  • Whole Costume Reference: The Bride wears a tracksuit very reminiscent of Bruce Lee's from his final movie Game of Death, and O-Ren's outfit is very much inspired by Lady Snowblood.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Her meeting with Bill. Bill does shoot the Bride eventually -- with a truth-serum gun. On the Bride's end, killing Bill wasn't really the point. She obviously wanted to make peace first.
    • Subverted in the beginning of the first movie: Shooting the Bride is the first thing one of her intended targets tries, but she misses her mark and gets knifed immediately after.
    • There's also her run-in with Budd. As soon as she opens up the trailer door... Bang.
  • Woman in Black: Sofie Fatale.
    • More like "Woman dressed as a villain on Star Trek."
  • Woman in White: O-Ren.
    • The Bride, of course, when she's in the dress.
      • And then at the end of Vol. 2, we see her in white again. Bringing the story full circle.
  • World of Ham: So much so that it all seems normal, in-universe.
  • Worthy Opponent: Each of the DiVAS expresses grudging respect for the Bride in the course of the two films. O-Ren seems to be the only one The Bride respects though.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Aside of the deal with her own unborn kid, the Bride really doesn't like it when other children and teens get involved in violent stuff. She's very unhappy when Nikki witnesses how the Bride kills her mom in their fight, later attempts to dissuade Gogo from fighting her, spares the one Crazy 88 mook without a mask and gives him a spanking to remember before sending him home to his mother, and in the end of Vol. 2, she decides that she'd rather put her revenge aside for a little, than having B.B. witness her and Bill fight to the death.
  • You Are Already Dead: This is how the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique works.

Bill: He hits you with his fingertips at five different pressure points on your body, and then he lets you walk away. But once you’ve taken five steps, your heart explodes in your body, and you fall to the floor, dead.

  • You Look Familiar: Michael Parks plays Earl McGraw in Vol. 1 and Esteban Vihaio in Vol. 2. Gordon Liu plays Johnny Mo in Vol. 1 and Pai Mei in Vol. 2.
  1. The Japanese she uses here is "Shoubu wa mada tsuicha inai yo!", which roughly translates to "Our contest isn't over yet!"