What's in the Briefcase in Pulp Fiction: Unveiling the Mystery Behind Quentin Tarantino's Iconic Film

What’s in the Briefcase in Pulp Fiction: Unveiling the Mystery Behind Quentin Tarantino’s Iconic Film

The Intriguing Mystery

One of the most enduring enigmas in cinema history is the contents of the mysterious briefcase in Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic film, Pulp Fiction. From the moment the briefcase appears on screen, the audience is captivated by its golden glow and the characters’ reactions to its presence. Many theories and speculations have emerged over the years, but the true nature of the briefcase remains a well-guarded secret.

The Golden Glow

The first thing that catches the viewer’s attention is the surreal golden glow emitted by the briefcase. Tarantino intentionally created this effect using a combination of practical and visual effects. The glow serves to heighten the aura of mystery surrounding the briefcase and adds to its allure. It’s worth noting that the glowing effect was achieved through the use of an undisclosed light source placed inside the prop.

Theories and Speculations

Over the years, countless theories and speculations have sprung up as to what the briefcase actually contains. Some believe it to be a reference to the popular cultural trope of a MacGuffin, an object that serves as a plot device without having any inherent importance. Others speculate that it contains the soul of a character who has made a deal with the devil.

Another prevalent theory is that the briefcase contains diamonds, evidenced by the character Jules’ line, “My eyes hurt!” as he peers into it. This theory is further supported by the fact that the briefcase’s combination is 666, commonly associated with the devil.

Tarantino’s Intentional Ambiguity

Quentin Tarantino, the mastermind behind Pulp Fiction, has intentionally left the contents of the briefcase ambiguous. In several interviews, he has stated that the true nature of the briefcase is irrelevant to the story and that its purpose is to create intrigue and suspense for the audience. Tarantino enjoys leaving certain aspects of his films open to interpretation, adding to their cult status and encouraging vigorous debate among fans.

The Symbolic Nature

Regardless of the actual contents, the briefcase in Pulp Fiction holds a symbolic significance throughout the film. It represents desire, power, and the allure of the unknown. Characters are willing to risk their lives and even kill for it. The briefcase serves as a metaphorical object of desire, driving the characters’ actions and highlighting their darker sides.

The Everlasting Mystery

As much as fans may long to know what’s inside the briefcase, its true contents will forever remain a mystery. Quentin Tarantino’s decision to withhold this information adds to the film’s enduring appeal and ensures that Pulp Fiction will continue to fascinate audiences for generations to come.


Pulp Fiction’s mysterious briefcase has become an iconic symbol in cinema, capturing the imagination of audiences worldwide. While its actual contents are unknown, the briefcase’s golden glow, theories, and symbolic nature contribute to its lasting impact. Quentin Tarantino’s intentional ambiguity ensures that the mystery will endure, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions and engage in endless discussions about the secrets of Pulp Fiction.


1. What is the significance of the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?

The briefcase in Pulp Fiction is a highly debated and mysterious element of the film. Its contents are never revealed, leaving it up to interpretation.

2. What does the briefcase look like?

The briefcase is a sleek, black leather case with a golden combination lock. It is small and compact in size.

3. What are some popular theories about what’s inside the briefcase?

There are several popular theories about the contents of the briefcase. Some believe it to be the soul of Marcellus Wallace, while others suggest it contains diamonds or gold. The possibilities are endless.

4. Why is the briefcase so important in the film?

The briefcase serves as a key plot device in Pulp Fiction. Its mysterious nature and the lengths characters go to obtain it creates tension and drives the storyline forward.

5. What does the glowing light inside the briefcase signify?

The glowing light inside the briefcase is often seen as a symbol of the mesmerizing power or value of its contents. Its exact significance is left to the viewer’s interpretation.

6. Are there any hints or clues about what’s inside the briefcase?

Quentin Tarantino intentionally left no concrete hints or clues about the contents of the briefcase. He wanted to maintain the mystery and freedom for viewers to form their own interpretations.

7. How does the briefcase tie into the character of Marcellus Wallace?

Marcellus Wallace, a powerful crime boss, is connected to the briefcase. While the exact relationship is never explicitly explained, it is suggested that the contents hold great importance to him.

8. Did Quentin Tarantino ever reveal what’s inside the briefcase?

No, Quentin Tarantino has never officially revealed what is inside the briefcase. He has consistently stated that it should remain a mystery, allowing individual viewers to imagine their own version of its contents.

9. How has the mystery of the briefcase influenced pop culture?

The enigma surrounding the briefcase has sparked countless discussions, debates, and fan theories. Its ambiguity has become iconic in itself and adds to the enduring popularity of Pulp Fiction.

10. Will the secret of the briefcase ever be revealed?

It is highly unlikely that the secret of the briefcase will ever be officially revealed. Quentin Tarantino has made it clear that he intends to maintain the mystery, leaving it open for interpretation and speculation.