The Five Unedited “Pulp Fiction” Quotes You Can Use While Parenting

18Jun13

I love “Pulp Fiction.” I’ve come to appreciate it more and more, and I’ve always enjoyed its quotability, despite the subject matter and content of almost every possible quote (such as “Shiiiiit, negro, that’s all you got to say!”). As a worrisome parent, I try to curb my swearing around the sponge-like ears of my kid. But what if I want to pay tribute to the Tarantino masterpiece? In general, I’d say you’re out of luck, because initiating a “Pulp Fiction” quote can lead to a Hard-R conversation. However some situations and questions your child initiates can be answered with one of these five unedited quotes, perfectly suited for those G-Rated ears:

1.) “Man, I don’t EVEN have an opinion,” said Marvin from the back of the car, post “miracle,” and pre getting shot in the face. This line is best used any time you’re facing a decision between two innocuous things. “Should Henry wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?” “Should he eat a banana or an apple?” It also works when you’re in a befuddled situation, like when you’re kid asks you why we walk on our feet instead of our hands.  

2.) “You play with matches, you git burned.” Vincent Vega uses this commenting not the whole foot massage paradox. It’s the “I told ya’ so” of “Pulp Fiction,” and this handy number should be used wisely. You don’t want to pull it out every time your child hurts himself, lest he feels your mockery. This one’s for times when he makes a “kind mess” of things, like drawing on himself with a permanent marker, or gets his hair “too wet” (his words) when he’s in the tub and pouring water on himself.

3.) “But bacon tastes goooood. Pork chops taste goooood.” Vincent again, debating on Jules’ anti-pork diet. As you struggle to convince your child to eat something, this one can be paraphrased to fit the situation (aka “But broccoli tastes goooood”). However, the inspiration behind this line is Vincent’s surprise at Jules’ dietary decision, so using the quote verbatim may work as a double parenting whammy: you can give honest feeling as your child refuses to eat something truly delicious (such as pizza, which I will not fight about any more, because it’s pizza for crying out loud!), while your non-sequitor commitment to mentioning bacon may throw your child for a loop. Advantage: You!

Alternate for this line: “That is a tasty burger!” but that one seems even more tied to eating actual burgers. Probably because of the familiarity of that scene.

4.) “My name’s Paul, and this is ‘tween y’all.” Spoken by English Dave, henchman to Marcellus Wallace and a character so secondary I had to look up his name, because I assumed by the quote that it was “Paul.” The in-film use regards the debate over the nature of Vincent’s planned evening/date with Mrs. Mia Wallace, and it’s a nice real-life phrase for handling impossible debates. Say your child’s pretending to cook dinner, and he spills his toy food all over. He yells at it for falling, then comes to you for advice. “Sorry,” you say, “My name’s Paul, and this is ‘tween y’all.” If Whatshisname can use “Paul” without being “Paul,” so can you.

5.) “A ‘please’ would be nice.” Vincent’s all over this list, here giving ill-advised attitude to The Wolf after receiving clean-up orders for the brain-spattered car. The parental use of this phrase is pretty obvious as you try to instill a sense of manners in your child, but that doesn’t make it even less fun to say. For a moment, you’re Vincent Vega, hitman for hire, with the balls of a horse, standing up for your principals. In the movie, it’s established that Vincent has a low tolerance for “order barking,” and as a parent, I can totally relate. The film even offers a subsequent line for if and when your child doesn’t reciprocate (“I said a please would be nice.”

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