Everything about Quentin Tarantino's movies is unique and thought provocative. I want to know about the 1994 movie's title. Why is it called Pulp Fiction and how is the title related to the story?

  • 1
    I might (slightly) disagree with the word 'unique' when used here. It was Tarantino's specific goal to pay homage to various movies and genre's of the past, so technically speaking, most of Pulp Fiction isn't exactly ... unique.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 11:40
  • 1
    I do agree with the vote-to-closes however, due to the fact that the Wikipedia page on this movie explicitly answers this question completely.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 11:42
  • 1
    I never said Pulp Fiction was unique. I was speaking in a general way of the director's style and many elements that he uses in his films such as songs, character names, character costumes and similar stuff. Although it is an opinion based thing but I still think Tarantino's works are indeed unique.
    – Ankit
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 12:05
  • @CGCampbell Well, we have millions (exaggeration) of questions answered obviously by Wikipedia which weren't closed either, though. I agree that a minimum research effort is required, but does this make this question trivia (which the phrasing and point of the question does clearly not suggest) and thus closevotable or does it simply make it a question lacking in reasearch effort and thus merely downvotable. If anything, then the latter (though, I for myself didn't pertake any of those actions). To me it's the significance of the information and not its accessibility that defines trivia.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 13:15
  • If the wiki page didn't explicitly define the meaning of the title, I would not have a problem with this question. One of Stack Exchanges stated goals (overall) is "not to replicate wiki". Since the Wiki page (which is the second link when googling the title) already answers this question, exactly, then what this question is doing is, by definition, duplicating wiki.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


From Wikipedia :-

The film's title refers to the pulp magazines and hardboiled crime novels popular during the mid-20th century, known for their graphic violence and punchy dialogue.

From Wikipedia page on Pulp magazine:-

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") are inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges.

The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed.

So it's named Pulp Fiction because it is Pulp magazine kind of story.

  • 6
    IIRC that's explicitly stated during the opening credits of the movie. Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 15:07
  • @CarlWitthoft Doesn't seem to be, is there another version of the opening credits you remember? youtube.com/watch?v=CKGnUd6D6Pg
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 15:37
  • @AdamDavis Now that he says it, I also remember this stated in the opening credits (which unfortunately isn't to the advantage of the question's quality in the first place, though).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 15:46
  • Although indeed it is sort of like the stories found in pulps decades before the 1994 flick, it is certainly a modern take on such older fiction -- I can assure that QT came up with some completely new ideas, such as the gun shop owner. It is what a 1940s/1950s crimes writer like Jim Thompson would have written if censors would have let him get away with it. I mention Jim because I am pretty sure QT knew Jim's work. As we all should. Read Roughneck.
    – releseabe
    Commented May 20, 2022 at 22:59

Ankit's answer is 100% correct, but I also just wanted to add to it that the original title of the script took its name from a specific pulp magazine called "Black Mask" (apropos of nothing, the Roger Avary script which eventually became the Butch story-line was titled "Pandemonium Reigns"). I suppose there may have been a potential rights issue of some sort regarding this (despite the Jet Li movie which got released a few years later), and Tarantino and Avary decided to go with the more general title for the screenplay that ended up being the one we know.

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