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Butch was born in Tennessee, and lost his father in the Vietnam War as a child. One of his earliest memories was of receiving his father's gold watch from one of the elder Coolidge's Air Force buddies, Captain Koons, who told him to always treasure it, as his father had suffered greatly to keep it safe for his son as a gift.

As an adult, he settles in Los Angeles. He smokes Red Apples without filters. He is a tough southpaw boxer, but is nearing the end of his career, and is coerced into taking a bribe from mob boss Marsellus Wallace to throw the fight with Floyd Wilson. There he is baited by Vincent Vega.

Butch has accepted the bribe, but he double crosses Wallace; he told Scottie to bet the money on himself, presumably to very good odds, and proceeds to win the fight. Having arranged his escape with taxi driver Esmarelda VillaLobos, he learned from her that he had beat Wilson so badly that he died after the fight.

He hides out with his girlfriend, Fabienne, in a motel planning to leave the next morning for Tennessee to collect his money. When Fabienne forgets his father's watch while transferring their goods from their apartment to their motel, Butch storms to his apartment to retrieve it. There, he comes face-to-face with Vega for the second and final time. Vega insulted Butch the first time they met, and Butch gets his revenge by killing Vega. He then flees with his watch, but happens upon Wallace on his way back to the Motel. Panicked, he runs Wallace over, and flees into a nearby pawn shop, where he and the mob boss get into a brutal fight. The pawn shop's owner stops the fight, pulling a gun on Butch, and knocks them both unconscious with the butt.

The pawn shop's owner, Maynard, calls his brother Zed over to the shop; the two turn out to be serial killers who get sadistic pleasure out of raping and murdering men. They kidnap Butch and Wallace, and take the latter into their back room to brutalize him. Butch escapes, but is overcome with pity as he hears Wallace's screams of pain, and goes back to save him, armed with a katana sword he swipes from the pawn shop. Butch kills Maynard, and allows Wallace to shoot Zed in the groin, grievously wounding him. Wallace then calls off the contract on Butch's life, as long as never mentions the rape to anyone, and he leaves L.A. and doesn't come back. Butch and Fabienne flee on Zed's chopper to catch a train to Tennessee.

Butch at age 39 is portrayed by Bruce Willis and Butch at age 8 is portrayed by Chandler Lindauer.