Study Guide

Reservoir Dogs Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)

Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)

Mr. Cheapskate

Mr. Pink doesn't like his name. Mr. Pink also doesn't like to tip. Mr. Pink is kind of a weasel.

He's also a colorful, hyped-up guy. In the diner Eddie jokes, "Excuse me, Mr. Pink — the last f***ing thing you need's another cup of coffee" and we learn that Eddie's right when Mr. Pink gets into an animated rant about tipping. He says flat out that he doesn't believe in tipping, as if tipping were something that required belief in the first place, like some sort of religious ritual.

He says that he once worked a minimum wage job and never got any tips. He isn't one to bow to cultural expectations, which is probably why he's a criminal. He says he'd sign a petition or vote that the government should tax tips, but what he won't do is "play ball." He also says the waitresses should've learned to type. Maybe he's a bit harsh, but at least he does cough up a buck in the end.

Pink the Professional

"Professional" becomes Pink's catch phrase over the course of the film. Really, when it comes to being professional, we think that Pink is probably the best crook of them all. Just because he's a high-energy kind of guy doesn't mean he can't keep his cool. That's his definition of "professional."

He keeps his head during all the craziness in the abandoned funeral home and has the most rational explanation for what happened and what they need to do next. He knows they've been set up because it takes four minutes after an alarm goes off for the police to get anywhere; these cops showed up immediately so they must have been outside waiting.

He keeps telling White that they're crazy to stay in the funeral home. Not only does the rat know about the funeral home, but if Blonde or Blue were captured they could be "singing" about it. He says they should have their heads examined for even coming back to the funeral home, but at least he was smart enough to stash the diamonds beforehand. If only White would've taken him up on his offer, they could have grabbed the ice and bounced.

He also knows the ramifications of White's telling Orange where he's from, and why they can't possibly take Orange to the hospital.

PINK: I have one question for you. Do they have a sheet on you, where you're from?

WHITE: Yeah.

PINK: Well, that's that, man. Jesus Christ, I was worried about mug shot possibilities as it was. Now he knows a), your name, b) what you look like, c) where you're from, and d) what your specialty is. They're not gonna have to show him a hell of a lot of pictures for him to pick you out.

Pink's also smart about who the insider could be. White's very willing to dismiss Orange, Joe, and at first Pink, until Pink says that White himself could be the rat. When White counters, "For all I know, you're the f***ing rat," Pink says,

"All right! Now you're using your f***ing head!"

He knows that anybody could be the rat. It seems even Joe and Eddie aren't smart enough to stay away from the funeral home. Who knows why they went in; maybe Joe was so angry with Orange that he wanted to shoot him himself. Pink seems to be the only one with a working flight instinct, which would've been more useful if he hadn't been held back by the others.

Pink's also the one who's constantly trying to keep the guys at the funeral home from blowing each other's brains out. That doesn't mean he's a sweetheart—he has no trouble brutally beating on Marvin—but he's trying to salvage what he can from the botched operation and keep any more guys from being shot.

Pink the Psychologist

Pink understands that everybody panics at some point in the middle of a job:

PINK: I mean, everybody panics. Everybody. Things get tense. It's human nature, you panic. I don't care what your name is. You can't help it. F***, man, you panic on the inside, in your head, you know? You give yourself a couple of seconds. You get ahold of the situation. You deal with it. What you don't do is start shooting up the place and start killing people.

We're guessing he probably had a few months of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Even at the very end, when Joe and Eddie and White are all aiming guns at one another, Pink tries to remind them, "We're supposed to be f***in' professionals." Unfortunately, no one except Pink is. That's probably why he's the only one left alive.

Pink had the brains to hide during the final standoff. If he'd pulled out his own piece, there's no doubt that he'd have been a victim, too. Unfortunately, Pink's great escape was a little too late. If you listen closely while the camera stays on Orange and White, we can hear Pink ordered to stop and eventually be shot at and cry out. At least one of them will be doing a little time.