CLASSIC SCENE: “I Don’t Tip”

Film: RESERVOIR DOGS.
Director: Quentin Tarantino.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino.

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Setting the Scene:
Eight men dressed in Black suits, sit around a table at a breakfast cafe. They are: MR. WHITE (Harvey Keitel), MR. PINK (Steve Buscemi), MR. BLONDE (Michael Madsen), MR. BLUE (Eddie Bunker), MR. ORANGE (Tim Roth), MR. BROWN (Quentin Tarantino), NICE GUY EDDIE (Chris Penn) and the big boss, JOE CABOT (Lawrence Tierney). Most are finished eating and are enjoying coffee and conversation. Joe had been flipping through a small address book that Mr. White took from him and Mr. Brown had just finished telling a long and involved story about the meaning behind Madonna’s song “Like a Virgin”…

[Everyone at the table is laughing as Joe stands up.]

JOE
Alright, I’ll take care of the check you guys can get the tip. Should be about a buck a piece.

(to Mr. White)
And you! When I come back I want my
book.

MR. WHITE
Sorry, it’s my book now.

JOE
Hey, I changed my mind. Shoot this piece of shit,
will ya?

[Mr. Blonde pretends to shoot Mr. White with his finger. Joe exits.]

NICE GUY EDDIE
Alright, everybody cough up some green for
the little lady.

[Everybody whips out a buck, and throws it on the table.
Everybody, that is, except Mr. Pink.
]

NICE GUY EDDIE
C’mon, throw in a buck.

MR. PINK
Uh-uh. I don’t tip.

NICE GUY EDDIE
You don’t tip?

MR. PINK
No. I don’t believe in it.

NICE GUY EDDIE
You don’t believe in tipping?

MR. BLUE
Do you know what these chicks make? They make shit.

MR. PINK
Don’t give me that. She don’t
make enough money, she can quit.

NICE GUY EDDIE
I don’t even know a fuckin’ Jew who’d have
the balls to say that. So let’s
get this straight. You don’t ever
tip, huh?

MR. PINK
I don’t tip because society says I
have to. Alright, I mean I’ll tip if somebody really
deserves a tip. If they
really puts forth the effort, I’ll give them
something extra.
But this tipping automatically,
it’s… for the birds. As far
as I’m concerned, they’re just
doin their job.

MR. BLUE
Hey, this girl was nice.

MR. PINK
She was okay. She wasn’t
anything special.

MR. BLUE
What’s special, take ya
in the back and suck your dick?

[They all laugh.]

NICE GUY EDDIE
I’d go over twelve percent for
that.

MR. PINK
Look, I ordered coffee, right? Now we’ve
been here a long fuckin time, and
she’s only filled my cup three
times. I mean, when I order coffee, I
want it filled six times.

MR. BLONDE
Six times? Well, what if she’s too fuckin’ busy?

MR. PINK
The words “too fuckin busy” shouldn’t be
in a waitress’s vocabulary.

NICE GUY EDDIE
Excuse me, Mr. Pink, but the last fuckin’
thing you need is another cup of
coffee.

[They all laugh.]

MR. PINK
Jesus Christ! I mean, these ladies aren’t starvin to
death. They make minimum wage.
I used to work minimum wage, and when I did… I
wasn’t lucky enough to have a job
that society deemed tipworthy.

MR. BLUE
You don’t care they’re countin’ on your tips to live?

[Mr. Pink rubs his thumb and forefinger together.]

MR. PINK
Do you know what this is? It’s
the world’s smallest violin,
playing just for the waitresses.

MR. WHITE
You don’t have any idea what
you’re talking about. These
people bust their ass. This
is a hard job.

MR. PINK
So’s working at McDonald’s, but
you don’t feel the need to tip
them, do ya? Why not? They’re servin ya food, but no, society
says “Don’t tip these guys over here, but tip these guys over here”. That’s
bullshit.

MR. WHITE
Waitressing is the number one
occupation for female non-college
graduates in this country. It’s
the one job basically any woman
can get, and make a living on.
The reason is because of their tips.

MR. PINK
Fuck all that.

[They all laugh.]

MR.BROWN
Jesus Christ!

MR. PINK
Hey, I’m very sorry that the
government taxes their tips.
That’s fucked up. But that ain’t
my fault. It would appear that
waitresses are just one of the
many groups the government fucks
in the ass on a regular basis.
I mean, if you show me a piece of paper says the
government shouldn’t do that, I’ll
sign it. Put it to a vote, I’ll
vote for it. But what I won’t do
is play ball. And this non-
college bullshit you’re giving
me, I got two words for that:
“Learn to fuckin’ type.” Cause if
you’re expecting me to help out
with the rent, you’re in for a big
fuckin’ surprise.

[Mr. White flicks some food at Mr. Pink]

MR. ORANGE
He’s convinced me. Give me my
dollar back.

NICE GUY EDDIE
Hey! Leave the dollars there.

[Joe’s comes back to the table.]

JOE
Alright ramblers, let’s get
ramblin’. Wait a minute, who
didn’t throw in?

MR. ORANGE
Mr. Pink.

JOE
(to Mr. Orange)
Mr. Pink?

(to Mr. Pink)
Why not?

MR. ORANGE
He don’t tip.

JOE
(to Mr. Orange)
He don’t tip?

(to Mr. Pink)
What do you mean you don’t tip?

MR. ORANGE
He don’t believe in it.

JOE
(to Mr. Orange)
Shut up!

(to Mr. Pink)
What do you mean you don’t believe in it? C’mon you! Cough up a buck, ya cheap
bastard, I paid for your goddamn
breakfast.

MR. PINK
Alright, since you paid for the
breakfast, I’ll put in, but
normally I would never do this.

JOE
Never mind what you normally would do. Just cough in your goddamn
buck like everybody else.

(If you’d like to hear the dialogue played as you’re reading, skip to 3.56 on the video)

Mark Walker

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70 Responses to “CLASSIC SCENE: “I Don’t Tip””

  1. Popcorn Nights Says:

    The thing I love about this scene is that it totally establishes the hierarchy (Joe in charge) and quite a bit about the different characteristics (especially Mr Pink). I’d forgotten how many great lines there are in just a few minutes.

    Like

    • Yay! The first ever comment on the new feature buddy. Such a brilliant scene and you’re spot on about the characteristics. Even Mr. Orange, telling on Mr. Pink when he gets the chance. The dynamics are all there.

      Like

  2. Holy shit.
    This is the 1st scene I thought of when you announced this Feature. It’s the first scene I ever saw of a Tarantino movie, so it’s burned into my memory.

    An awesome scene which sets the tone for the rest of the movie and also gives a lot of context to the, now obligatory, ‘cool walk’ sequence that everyone does these days. The scene prior to setting up the characters’ personalities makes that walk so much more effective for the audience to enjoy.

    Like

    • Haha! Great minds Shah!
      It was the first time I’d ever experienced Tarantino as well and like you, I’ve never forgotten it. I have a whole host of scenes that I’ll include in this feature but I just had to start with this one. It certainly is a Classic for me!

      Like

  3. Brilliant Mark, I already know I’m gonna love this feature! This is a brilliant scene, probably actually one of my favourite movie scene, primarily because I feel the exact same way as Mr Pink! I have had that very same conversation I don’t know how many times! Ha! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Superb Chris! Glad to hear your onboard with this. I’ve been meaning to get it off the ground for a while but it’s a bit time consuming. Anyway, I have a better idea of where I’m going now and things should get easier.

      This is one of my all time favourite scenes and just had to start with it. It’s one the best introductions to a film and it’s characters and I thought it fitting to introduce the feature with it as well.

      Like

  4. A great choice to kick off this new feature Mark! Good stuff πŸ˜€

    Like

  5. Great scene, really sets up the ambiance of the film.

    Like

    • It does indeed, Chris. I struggle to think of a film that opens as strongly as Reservoir Dogs does. I’ll never forget the first time I seen it. I was about 15 years old and new straight away that I had just witnessed the arrival of a filmmaker I was going to enjoy very much.

      Like

  6. theipc Says:

    Fuckin’ beautiful!!

    Boat Drinks!

    Like

  7. As Chris said, it “really sets up the ambiance of the film.” Each character, too, and all via dialogue. Swaggering dialogue. Great start, Mark.

    Like

    • Swaggering dialogue indeed, Michael. I’ve got many scenes in my head as all us film lovers do but I genuinely thought this was the best place to begin the feature. Thanks my friend.

      Like

  8. Tarantino’s first scene, and he knocks it out of the park. Great characters, great interaction, great debate. I DO tip, but Pink’s got a lot of points, there, LOL!

    Like

    • Couldn’t agree more Fogs. Tarantino exploded onto the screen with this first scene. I tip also but I couldn’t fault Pink’s argument. He delivers it very well and I still think this is one of Buscemi’s finest performances.

      Like

  9. Very cool Mark! What a great idea for a new feature!

    Like

    • Thanks Ruth. I’ve been trying to get this feature going for ages and other stuff always got in the way.

      Sorry about the profanity, I should have given a warning. In all honesty, I think a lot of the scenes I choose will contain some.

      Like

      • I hope you keep up with this one Mark. He..he.. yeah I noticed that but that’s to be expected from QT. I hope you’ll find some non-profane scenes also though, I’m sure there are tons worthy to be highlighted πŸ˜€

        Like

      • I’m not committing to a weekly feature on this one. LOL. Probably once or twice a month and Trivia Tidbits will come back weekly. Starting to get little structure going.

        Don’t worry, there will be non-profane ones (I have quite a few in mind already) but just be prepared for the odd piece of colourful language. πŸ˜‰

        Like

      • Yay, Trivia Tidbits will be back!!

        Sounds good Mark, again it’s a wonderful new feature!!

        Like

      • It will be back Ruth. I’m aiming for the end of the month which should give me plenty of time to gather material and keep ahead of myself. I was cramming them in at the last minute to meet the deadline every week.

        Glad you enjoy this one for now, though. πŸ™‚

        Like

  10. This is the scene that sold me, and I suppose the world, on Quentin Tarantino. Right off of the bat, he proved how masterful he is with dialogue, even if the discussion at hand is about absolutely nothing worthwhile. I reference this scene far too often and very rarely (unfortunately) do those I’m referencing it to understand what I’m talking about.

    Like

    • Haha. That’s a real bummer that no-one knows what your referencing, man. There’s nothing worse when you drop a film line and it goes right over people’s heads. Here, you’ll be able to be free and quote as many films as you like. πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Such a classic scene, very appropriate choice to start this new thing off. Good stuff. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Cheers Chris! I too feel that this was an appropriate start to this. I love this scene and I love reading dialogue straight from the page. I hope that others do too. If so, this could go far as running feature.

      Like

  12. why am I Mr Pink?

    Like

  13. I am working on something like this called “anatomy of a scene” first one is going to Bob and Al in the coffee shop in Heat

    Like

    • Nice! I look forward to seeing more from that my man. This was the very Classic Scene feature I was telling you about a while ago. I had Heat in mind as well for a possible future instalment but I’ll wait to see what you deliver first. Good luck with it bro!

      Like

  14. The Master would be good here Mark with Phoenix and Hoffman in the first processing scene

    Like

  15. Very nice new feature Mark. Tons of potential for this one. There were a couple of scenes that instantly came to me, one from The Maltese Falcon and one from Heat!

    Like

    • Cheers bro! I’m hoping the potential for this is realised but I suppose that relies on others’ interest. Still, I enjoyed setting this up. I had Heat in mind already but The Maltese Falcon is a good one. That’s one of my favourite movies and didn’t even register. Thanks man. I appreciate the support. πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. I fully agree with your choice of project and more importantly the rules of tipping. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Haha! Glad you agree sir! It’s a little different from what others are doing and I like that it adds something else to my site. I’m sure there will be a few that enjoy this as much as I do.

      Like

  17. After watching that scene, I questioned whether it was right to tip or not.

    Great scene, it proves how great with dialogue Tarantino is. Nice write-up, I’m looking forward to more of this feature.

    Like

    • He does put up a great argument against tipping though, doesn’t he?

      Tarantino’s dialogue just jumps straight of the page and must be a joy for an actor to get their chops round his writing.

      I absolutely love this scene. Glad you like it too, man. Hopefully, you enjoy the rest of the feature as well. Cheers!

      Like

  18. Chris Walker Says:

    Carry on the Tarantino theme with the True Romance Sicilian scene?

    Like

    • Absolutely! That will definitely make an appearance but I’ll need to space my Tarantino ones out. It’s very tempting to go ahead with it straight away but I want to give a good mix of stuff.

      Like

  19. Chris Walker Says:

    I have a feeling some of David Lynch’s work is going to appear.

    Like

  20. There are so many scenes that come to mind. You could do a year’s worth on just Tarantino alone!

    By the way the video says it’s blocked in my country (USA) on copyright grounds. No matter I have it on blu-ray.

    Like

    • Yeah, I’ve got tons of Tarantino in mind. I’d love to do another straight away but I’m going to mix it up a little before he features again.

      The video is blocked? That’s a bummer, man. Imagine it being blocked in the USA when it’s an American film. The mind boggles. 😦

      Like

  21. Great scene to pick for the feature. Looking forward to seeing what others you come up with.

    Like

    • Definitely a classic Monkey! I absolutely love it. I couldn’t think of a better way to begin the feature. Thanks for checking it out, man.

      Like

      • What I like about the scene is that it also shows the rather skewed moral compass of criminals. They can argue the toss over whether you should or shouldn’t tip a waitress, but if said waitress got in their way during a robbery, some of them wouldn’t think twice about resorting to violence if it aided their escape.

        Like

      • Excellent point Monkey. You’re right. It’s also interesting that Mr.Orange would have his dollar back. Is he trying to be part of the crowd or does if reflect the fact that he shoots an innocent lady later on in the movie?

        Like most people recognise, this establishes a lot about each character and for that QT deserves a rapturous applause. It only makes sense once the film is viewed as a whole, though.

        Like

  22. That’s a classic scene, all right. Great choice for the start of this feature.

    Like

    • Thanks Morgan. It would seem that this scene is a resounding ‘Yes’ amongst everyone. More will certainly follow and I hope this feature goes where I hope it goes.

      Like

  23. Digging the new feature already, Mark! Love this scene. Makes me want to rewatch Reservoir Dogs.

    Like

    • Thanks Eric. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I’ve always loved reading scripts so to condense it into smaller scenes is always a winner for me. There will, no doubt, be many more from Tarantino but this is a real favourite of mine and as this was cinema’s introduction to Tarantino, I thought I’d introduce the feature with it as well.

      Like

  24. This scene will never grow old on me. It says EVERYTHING about many of the major characters involved. It’s classic QT.

    Like

    • I don’t think it’ll ever grow old for me either Alex. I’ll never tire of this. Like you say, it’s classic QT and still remains one of his finest scenes. Thanks, man.

      Like

  25. I always tip, and leave a little extra is the waitress is smoking hot πŸ˜‰

    Like

  26. I like this new feature and I enjoyed that scene. Mr. Pink made some fun points! Looking forward to which scene you choose next!

    Like

    • Thanks T. I’m currently working on another. This one seems to have went down relatively smoothly. I realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I still enjoy doing them anyway. The next one will be going up within the week.

      Like

  27. […] CLASSIC SCENE: “I Don’t Tip” (mrmarakai.wordpress.com) […]

    Like

  28. […] South Bay) efforts. Mark Walker’s review and his look at that now classic opening “Why I don’t tip” sceneΒ bear that out. Especially, if you get to experience the sequence in its […]

    Liked by 1 person

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