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Chronologically, the first scene of Pulp Fiction is when we see Jules Winfield and Vincent Vegas driving on their way to a hit, the Royale with Cheese scene. They discuss beer in theaters, mayo on fries, and Royale with Cheese hamburgers. In this scene, they seem to have a real familiarity with each other.

But, they never say anything like "it's nice to meet you" or "your reputation precedes you" that would suggest that they did not know each other before this scene. They also never say anything like, "it's great to see you again" or "I didn't realize you had gone to Europe" that would suggest they did know each other before this scene.

Throughout the movie, they never discuss anything about how long their relationship has existed or how it might have started, but their manner suggests mutual respect and familiarity. They never discuss anything about a mutual past. They never discuss previous hits.

Is there any evidence that Jules and Vincent knew each other before the Royale with Cheese scene? Were they introduced immediately prior to this scene or have they worked together before or possibly done hits together before?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

They are almost definitely old friends, apart from the very valid quote given above by Avner Shahar-Kashtan there is also the line:

"I ain't threatening you or nothing. You know I respect you"

Which would imply a history.

But my main reason for thinking that they are old friends is the way they talk to each other. Neither tries to be the alpha male and they frequently insult each other, sometimes jokingly and sometimes seriously. I think that if a semi stranger insulted Vincent or Jules they would need to quickly apologise or risk a violent reaction.

When Vince argued that Jules's plan to retire was stupid it seemed partially like he thought it was stupid but also that he did not want to lose contact with his friend (and if Jules had been with him is less likely to have been killed by Butch).

To me their closeness is written in every line of their interaction, their manerisms and their general interaction.

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It's funny, but I always thought they in fact didn't know each other at all before this assignment from Marcellus. I always thought that Vincent was a mechanic that had gone to Amsterdam to get away from a hot situation and had only recently returned. The respect Jules and Vincent show each other is due only to the fact that they share occupations and levels in the organization. –  CGCampbell Jun 24 at 13:51
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lol - two people look at exactly the same thing and get exactly the opposite interpretation! :-) However, the subtle lines like "You'll dig it the most" and "You know I respect you" hint to me that they did know each other. They could just be work colleagues that just met but, to me, they seem closer than just a professional respect. –  Stefan Jun 24 at 13:54

There's a line in that dialogue that leads me to suggest that they are, indeed, old friends, or at least acquaintances. Right before the "little differences" speech, they have these lines:

VINCENT: if the cops stop you, it's illegal for this to search you. Searching you is a right that the cops in Amsterdam don't have.

JULES: That did it, man – I'm fuckin' goin', that's all there is to it.

VINCENT: You'll dig it the most.

This exchange, and especially the last line, seems to indicate that Vincent knows Jules well enough, at least, to know that he has a particular dislike to being searched by cops (perhaps, being black, he's the subject of more random searches?), and knows that this will appeal to him.

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