After seeing "the gimp" character in Pulp Fiction, two questions come to mind.

  1. How does "the gimp" come to be in Maynard & Zed's basement? and
  2. Why is "the gimp" covered up with a mask?
  • 9
    It is never really explained how he got in the basement. It's like asking how Marcellus got to be a feared crime lord. He just is when the movie begins.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 12:28
  • 12
    I hate to say it, but (1) it was probably never even discussed when writing it, he probably all but lives down there, and (2) that's what a gimp costume looks like.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 12:52
  • 9
    I should stress that searching for "gimp" or "gimp mask" is definitely NSFW.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 13:28
  • what i want to know is when butch is tied up, why does the gimp gesture for butch to undo his mouth zipper and laugh in that sick manner? did the gimp want to join in on the act and even Give Head to butch or something to that effect? also, did maynard rape marsellus before zed did as they were down there a while before butch came back? also, what did they Do with their victims? did they kill them or let them go after the sodomy?
    – user3586
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 2:50

4 Answers 4


'The Gimp' was already in the basement, he is kept down there. We can infer this from Maynard stating 'The Gimp's sleeping' and Zed suggesting 'Well we better wake him up then'.

To answer your second one, I suggest googling what a 'Gimp' is. However, if you don't want to, then I suggest googling 'gimp mask' which should be able to explain it.

This is all about sexual practice called 'S&M' which stands for 'Sadomasochism'.

Hope this helps, apologies if my quotes aren't 100% as I don't have the script to hand.

  • 1
    Thanks..But,I know he was already in the basement, that's what i'm asking how does he came there? Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 11:49
  • 1
    How does he get into the basement?
    – AlasdairCM
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 11:50
  • 1
    Exactly!!!!!!!! Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 11:53
  • 22
    I assume exactly the same way as anyone else. Down the stairs. I guess he just stays down there for periods of time so that he can be the 'plaything' of Zed and Maynard. I doubt anyone has ever actually decided 'how' he gets downstairs.
    – AlasdairCM
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 11:55

The film portrays “The Gimp” as being the willing S&M partner of Zed and Maynard, the pawn shop owner and his security guard friend. While he is shown being “held” in a box-like structure in the basement of the pawn shop, it’s clear from his actions that this is a willing sexual act and that he is not being held captive.

Butch reinforces this portion of the narrative when he assaults The Gimp instead of freeing him. If Butch had considered him to have been a “victim”, it’s logical to presume that he would have helped him escape, rather than leaving him to his certain death at the hands of Marcellus Wallace and his men.


He could easily have been kidnapped just like the two main characters were. If Butch had not gone back then Wallace probably would have been used as a gimp too.

However as Butch's father's friend told him when he was a child "When two men are in a dangerous situation they take on a certain responsibility for each other" (quote might not be accurate) he was honour bound to go back and prevent this.


How does "the gimp" come to be in Maynard & Zed's basement?

According to Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction director) in an article published by Empire Magazine — EMPIRE 30: Quentin Tarantino Answers Your Questions, where he answered a similar fan question (emphasis mine):

Question: What is the Gimp’s backstory in Pulp Fiction, and what happened to him after Butch left?

Tarantino: It doesn’t quite play this way in the movie, but in my mind when I wrote it, the Gimp’s dead. Butch knocked him out and then when he passed out he hung himself. In terms of backstory, he was like a hitchhiker or somebody that they picked up seven years ago, and they trained him so he’s the perfect victim.

Why is "the gimp" covered up with a mask?

The mask, the gimp costume, gags, and other sexual paraphernalia were used for BDSM purposes.

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