Cursing in Quentin Tarantino Films - Whole Post

Cursing in Quentin Tarantino Films

Check out the interactive visualization I made

I am looking at the curse words in Quentin Tarantino’s movies. The data set is from Fivethrityeight’s github page( The data set includes four variables: movie, type, word, minutes. All are self explanatory except for “type.” Type delineates between swear word or death. If type is “death,” the word variable is NA.

This is a list of all the swear words used in Tarantino Movies.

##  [1] "dick"          "dicks"         "fucked"        "fucking"      
##  [5] "bullshit"      "fuck"          "shit"          "motherfucker" 
##  [9] "pussy"         "fucks"         "hell"          "jap"          
## [13] "bastard"       "goddamn"       "motherfuckers" "asshole"      
## [17] "ass"           "assholes"      "n-word"        "asses"        
## [21] "bitch"         "fuckup"        "fucker"        "shitty"       
## [25] "asshead"       "damn"          NA              "damned"       
## [29] "bitches"       "wetback"       "faggot"        "cocksucker"   
## [33] "gook"          "fuckers"       "gooks"         "motherfucking"
## [37] "dickless"      "chickenshit"   "slope"         "fuckhead"     
## [41] "merde"         "shithead"      "cunt"          "cunts"        
## [45] "fuckface"      "cockblockery"  "japs"          "jew (verb)"   
## [49] "bastards"      "horeshit"      "shitless"      "shitting"     
## [53] "negro"         "squaw"         "slut"          "goddamned"    
## [57] "jackass"       "horseshit"     "shittiest"     "shitload"     
## [61] "dumbass"

Notice how “fuck,” “fucked,” “fucking,” etc.. are all considered different. Because of this I group the words. The groups are “Fucks,” “Shits,” “Racial Slur,” “Gay Slur,” “Female Slur,” “Male Genitalia,” and “PG-13.”

These groups should be self explanatory. I should note, I removed the NAs that corresponded to deaths.

Here’s a quick look at the data:

movie type word minutes_in group year
Django Unchained word goddamn 7.23 PG-13 2012
Django Unchained word goddamn 8.37 PG-13 2012
Django Unchained word bitch 8.38 Female Slur 2012
Django Unchained word damn 8.65 PG-13 2012
Django Unchained word fucking 8.87 Fucks 2012
Django Unchained word damn 8.88 PG-13 2012
Django Unchained word n-word 9.80 Racial Slur 2012
Django Unchained word goddamn 10.07 PG-13 2012
Django Unchained word hell 10.53 PG-13 2012
Django Unchained word n-word 13.57 Racial Slur 2012

Now let’s see which Movies have the most curse words

movie n Percent
Pulp Fiction 469 27.5
Reservoir Dogs 421 24.7
Jackie Brown 368 21.6
Django Unchained 262 15.4
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 69 4.0
Inglorious Basterds 58 3.4
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 57 3.3

There is quite a spread for the number of curse words in each Tarantino movie. Of the seven movies Tarantino has directed, over 75% of all the cursing can be found in just three of his movies: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Jackie Brown. And four movies make up almost 90% of all the cursing.

A quick view of the frequency of words used:

Group N Percent
Fucks 772 45.3
PG-13 383 22.5
Shits 253 14.8
Racial Slur 195 11.4
Female Slur 77 4.5
Male Genitalia 21 1.2
Gay Slur 3 0.2

Tarantino likes to have his actors say some form of the word “fuck.” Almost half of all curse words said in Tarantino films are a variant on the word fuck. Not a ton of “Gay Slurs.”

The following graph shows us the distribution of the curse words for each movie. Nothing too surprising. “fucks” make up most of the words used in most of the movies. The outlier is Django Unchained. It uses far more “Racial Slurs”" as a percentage of its total curse words than any other movie. However Django Unchained is a semi-period piece about slavery, so this outcome is unsurprising.

Also noticeable is that the Kill Bill movies have a higher percentage of “Female Slurs.” This can be explained by the fact that the protagonist is female. So again this inconsistency has an explanation.

Here is a chart that arranges Tarantino’s movies by the year they came out.

Over time it appears that Tarantino is using fewer “Fucks” and “Shits.” While his use of “PG-13” words has increased over that time. This is probably due to Tarantino’s increase in popularity. He is under pressure to produce movies that would appeal to a large audience Furthermore, overall cursing in his movies has also decreased.

movie year n Percent
Reservoir Dogs 1992 421 24.7
Pulp Fiction 1994 469 27.5
Jackie Brown 1997 368 21.6
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 2003 57 3.3
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 2004 69 4.0
Inglorious Basterds 2009 58 3.4
Django Unchained 2012 262 15.4

As you can see overall cursing has also decreased with the exception of Django Unchanged. This can be explained by the fact that good portion of the curse words are “Racial Slurs,” the overall use of words that contain ‘fuck’ is still in decline.


I made two other graphs. Neither offers a ton of insight,but I think they’re interesting so I will include them here.

The graph above shows where in each movie cursing takes place. It’s interesting to see when certain scenes take place.

And this graph is a box and whisker of when the bulk of the cursing occurs in movies. It is worth noting that the movies are different lengths so cross comparisons are not advised. And I’m not going to change the data to percentage. Doesn’t see worth it. Bonus graphs don’t get extra work.


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