Matilda is a book by British writer Roald Dahl. It was published in 1988 by Jonathan Cape in London, with 232 pages and illustrations by Quentin Blake.. Profoundly inspirational Matilda quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.
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Famous Matilda Quotes
Miss Honey: When I left my home, Aunt Trunchbull’s home, I had to leave all my treasures behind. Matilda: Treasures? Miss Honey: Photographs of my mother and father, and a beautiful doll my mother gave me with a china face. Lissy Doll, I called her. Would you like some milk? Matilda: Yes, please. Why don’t you run away? Miss Honey: I’ve often thought about it, but I can’t abandon my children. And if I couldn’t teach, I’d have nothing at all. Matilda: You’re very brave, Miss Honey. Miss Honey: Not as brave as you. Matilda: I thought grown-ups weren’t afraid of anything. Miss Honey: Quite the contrary. All grown-ups get scared, just like children. Matilda: I wonder what Ms. Trunchbull is afraid of.
[Matilda arrives home late from school] Harry: Young lady, where were you? Matilda: Ms. Trunchbull kept the whole school late ’cause this boy ate some chocolate cake. Harry: That’s the biggest lie I ever heard! You see those packages over there? They were left out there for the world to see because you weren’t here to take them in! Zinnia: Well, I don’t think it’s fair, bumpkins. [hands Harry a stick of marshmallows] Harry: What? Zinnia: You get all this stuff from catalogs, and I don’t get anything! Harry: It’s not catalogs, it’s car parts, sweetness. It’s business. Zinnia: Oh, if it’s business, why don’t you have it sent to the office? Harry: Because the cops may be watching the office. Matilda: [as she makes herself a sandwich] The cops are watching the house. Harry: What? Matilda: They’re parked outside right now. Zinnia: You are such an ignoramus! Those are speedboat salesman, really nice guys. Matilda: Cops. Harry: [looks out the window and sees Agents Bob and Bill in their car] Speedboats? There are no lakes around here. Zinnia: Yeah, but some people like to go away on the weekends. Some people have fun. Matilda: And some people are cops. Harry: They are not cops! Matilda: Are too. Harry: They are not! I ought to know if there’s cops watching my house! Now go to bed, you lying little earwig!
Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: Matilda, you promised you wouldn’t go back into that house. Matilda Wormwood: I didn’t. I was on the garage roof. Matilda Wormwood: I did it with my powers.
Agatha Trunchbull: If you are having fun, you are not learning.
Matilda Wormwood: No more Miss Nice Girl!
[Matilda catches Agents Bob and Bill in the garage without a search warrant] FBI Agent Bill: Shouldn’t we have a search warrant to do this? FBI Agent Bob: Nah, this guy’s dirty. Once we show this tape in court, Wormwood’s goose is cooked. [spots a box on a shelf] I’m sure that box is full of stolen car parts. [gets a ladder] FBI Agent Bill: You’ve been taping all week. How about letting me handle that camera for a while? [Matilda uses her powers to move the box on the shelf out of the agents’ reach] FBI Agent Bob: You know how to use it? You know about the zoom? You know how to adjust the eyepiece? [climbs up the ladder and notices the box on a different part of the shelf] FBI Agent Bill: I can handle it. Besides, it’s my turn. [As the agents move the ladder, Matilda again uses her powers to move the box back to it’s original spot] FBI Agent Bob: Yeah, your turn to drop it. FBI Agent Bill: I won’t drop it. [notices the box is out of reach again] Come on. . . Matilda: [approaches the agents] You two men are gonna be in a lot of trouble very soon. FBI Agent Bill: [to Agent Bob] It’s the female minor. FBI Agent Bob: Aren’t you supposed to be in school, young lady? Matilda: I really hope you have a search warrant. According to a constitutional law book that I read in the library, if you don’t have one, you could lose your job or even go to federal prison. FBI Agent Bob: It’s your father who’s going to federal prison. And you know where you’ll end up? FBI Agent Bill: In a federal orphanage. FBI Agent Bob: If you cooperate, we’ll make sure it’s a nice orphanage. FBI Agent Bill: The kind with food. . . and teeny-weeny cockroaches. FBI Agent Bob: What do you say? Matilda: There’s another crime in the making: your car is about to run a stop sign. [The handbrake has been taken off the agents’ car, which is now rolling towards a four-way stop intersection. The agents run after the car and as they do, Matilda uses her powers to open the tape recorder one of them is carrying and removes the tape. ]
Agatha Trunchbull: Amanda Thripp! Amanda Thripp: Yes, Miss Trunchbull? Agatha Trunchbull: What are those? Amanda Thripp: What’s what, Ms. Trunchbull? Agatha Trunchbull: Hanging down by your ears. Amanda Thripp: You mean my pigtails? Agatha Trunchbull: Are you a pig, Amanda? Amanda Thripp: No, Ms. Trunchbull. Agatha Trunchbull: Do I allow pigs in my school? Amanda Thripp: My mommy thinks they’re sweet. Agatha Trunchbull: [bends down] Your mommy. . . is a TWIT!
Matilda Wormwood: This is the cottage from your story! Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: Yes. Matilda Wormwood: The young woman is you! Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: Yes. Matilda Wormwood: But then. . . No. Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: Yes. Aunt Trunchbull.
Narrator: Everyone is born, but not everyone is born the same. Some will grow to be butchers, or bakers, or candlestick makers. Some will only be really good at making Jell-O salad. One way or another, though, every human being is unique, for better or for worse. Narrator: Most parents believe their children are the most beautiful creatures ever to grace the planet. Others take a less emotional approach:Harry Wormwood: What a waste of time! Zinnia Wormwood: And painful! Harry Wormwood: And expensive. . . $9. 25 for a bar of soap? Zinnia Wormwood: Well, I had to take a shower, Harry! Harry Wormwood: $5,000? I’m not paying it! What are they going to do, repossess the kid?
Harry Wormwood: A book? What do you want a book for? Matilda Wormwood: To read. Harry Wormwood: To read? Why would you want to read when you got the television set sitting right in front of you? There’s nothing you can get from a book that you can’t get from a television faster.
Agatha Trunchbull: Can you spell? Amanda Thripp: Miss Honey taught us how to spell a long word yesterday. We can spell difficulty. Agatha Trunchbull: You couldn’t spell difficulty if your life depended on it. Amanda Thripp: She taught us with a poem. Agatha Trunchbull: A poem? How sweet. What poem would that be? Amanda Thripp: Mrs. D, Mrs. I, Mrs. F-F-I. Mrs. C, Mrs. U. , Mrs. L-T-Y! Agatha Trunchbull: Why are all these women married?
The Trunchbull: Yippie! Got you right in the neck! [cackles] Yes! You. . . [Miss Honey knocks on the door] Come in, come in, whoever you are! [Miss Honey opens the door, and nearly gets hit by one of the Trunchbull’s darts] Almost got you. Good to see you, Jen. Good, good, good. Time for one of our little heart-to-hearts? Miss Honey: Actually, it’s about the new girl in my class, Ms. Trunchbull, Matilda Wormwood. The Trunchbull: Her father says she’s a real wart. Miss Honey: A what? The Trunchbull: A carbuncle, a blister, a festering pustule of malignant ooze. Miss Honey: Oh, no, Matilda Wormwood is a very sweet girl, and very bright. The Trunchbull: [incredulous] A bright child? Miss Honey: Yes. She can multiply large sums in her head. The Trunchbull: So can a calculator. Miss Honey: Well, I think she might be happier in an older, and more advanced class. . . The Trunchbull: [sneers] Ah, I knew it! You can’t handle the little viper, so you’re trying to foist her off onto one of the other teachers! Miss Honey: No, no, no, Ms. Trunchbull. . . The Trunchbull: Yes! Typical, slothful cowardice! Listen to me, Jen. [grabs a shot put] The distance the shot put goes depends upon the effort you put into it. . . perspiration! If you can’t handle the little brat, I’LL LOCK HER IN THE CHOKEY! ! EEEERRRAAAGH! ! ! ! [as she throws the shot-put across the room potentially to puncture it] Get it? Miss Honey: [terrified] Yes, ma’am. The Trunchbull: One day, Jen, you’ll see that everything I do is for your own good. And the good of those putrescent little children! [shoves Miss Honey out of her office and throws darts at the pictures on the door]
[Miss Honey decides to visit the Wormwoods to speak with them about Matilda’s intelligence; Harry answers the door] Miss Honey: Hello. Harry: We don’t give money, we don’t like charities, we don’t buy raffle tickets. [attempts to shut the door, but Miss Honey stops him] Miss Honey: Mr. Wormwood, I’m Jennifer Honey. I’m Matilda’s teacher. [Matilda looks up, surprised to see Miss Honey] Harry: What’s she done now? [to Matilda] You! Go to your room, right now! Right now! Beat it! [Matilda does so; to Miss Honey] Look, whatever it is, she’s your problem now. Miss Honey: No, there is no problem. Harry: Then beat it. We’re watching TV. [again attempts to shut the door, but Miss Honey again stops him] Miss Honey: Mr. Wormwood, if you think watching some rotten TV show is more important than your daughter, then maybe you shouldn’t be a parent. Now, why don’t you turn that darn thing off and listen to me? Harry: [groans in frustration] All right, come on in, get this over with. Mrs. Wormwood’s not gonna like this. Come on, get in. Close the door. Zinnia: Who is it? Harry: Some teacher. Says she’s gotta talk to you about Matilda. [turns off TV] Zinnia: What’d you do that for? ! He had Velasquez on the ropes! Harry: [to Miss Honey] What do you want? [Matilda stands in the hallway, listening to the conversation] Miss Honey: I’m sure you’re aware by now that Matilda has a brilliant mind. Harry: [sarcastically] Yeah, right. [to Michael] Mikey, get me a beer. [Michael tosses a can of beer to Harry] Miss Honey: Her math skills are simply extraordinary. She’s reading material that I. . . Michael: [interrupting; offers Miss Honey a beer] Want one? Miss Honey: Oh, no, thank you, dear. [continues to Harry and Zinnia] Material that I didn’t see until my second year of college. Zinnia: [rolls her eyes] Oh, college! Harry: [snickers] Great, college! Miss Honey: I really feel, with private instruction, that she’d be ready for college in just a few short years. Zinnia: Look, Miss Snit. A girl does not get anywhere by acting intelligent. I mean, take a look at you and me. You chose books, I chose looks. I have a nice house, a wonderful husband, and you are slaving away teaching snot-nosed children their ABCs. You want Matilda to go to college? [laughs] Harry: College? I didn’t go to college. I don’t know anybody who did. Bunch of hippies and cesspool salesmen! [chuckles] Miss Honey: [insulted] Don’t sneer at educated people, Mr. Wormwood. If you became ill, heaven forbid, your doctor would be a college graduate. Harry: [less smugly] Yeah. Miss Honey: Or say you were sued for selling a faulty car? The lawyer who defended you would have gone to college, too. Harry: [sternly] What car? Sued by who? Who you been talking to? Miss Honey: Nobody. [Harry looks at her in disbelief] Oh, dear. I can see we are not going to agree, aren’t we? No, I’m sorry I burst in on you like this. Sorry. Zinnia: We ought to sue her for interrupting our show! Harry: [turns on TV] Tell me about it. [about the wrestling match on TV] Why’s he standing in the middle of the ring? Zinnia: Standing in the middle of the ring? ‘Cause it’s over. Harry: We missed it? [Matilda sees Miss Honey place a book on the table near the front door] Matilda: [whispers] Thank you. Miss Honey: [whispers] Tomorrow. [leaves] Zinnia: Great, it’s over. Harry: Who won? Zinnia: How do I know? You shut it off! Harry: Was it my fault that she came in the middle of the fight? !
Agatha Trunchbull: I need a car, inexpensive but reliable. Can you service me? Harry Wormwood: In a manner of speaking, yes. Uh, welcome to Wormwood Motors. Harry Wormwood, owner, founder, whatever. Agatha Trunchbull: Agatha Trunchbull, principal, Crunchem Hall Elementary School. Harry Wormwood: Huh. Agatha Trunchbull: I warn you, sir, I want a tight car, because I run a tight ship. Harry Wormwood: Oh yeah, huh, well, uh. . . Agatha Trunchbull: My school is a model of discipline! Use the rod, beat the child, that’s my motto. Harry Wormwood: Terrific motto! Agatha Trunchbull: You have brats yourself? Harry Wormwood: Yeah, I got a boy, Mikey, and one mistake, Matilda. Agatha Trunchbull: They’re all mistakes, children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one.
[Matilda and Miss Honey walk past the Trunchbull’s house] Miss Honey: That’s where Ms. Trunchbull lives. Matilda: Why is there a swing? Miss Honey: A girl I know used to live in that house. [cut to a series of flashbacks] Her life was good and happy. When she was just two years old, her mother died. Her father was a doctor, and he needed someone to look after things at home. So he invited the mother’s stepsister to come and live with him. But the girl’s aunt was a mean person, who treated the girl very badly. Matilda: The Trunchbull. Miss Honey: Yes. And worst of all, when the girl was five, her father died. Matilda: How did her father die? Miss Honey: The police decided he killed himself. Matilda: Why would he do such a thing? Miss Honey: No one knows. [cut back to present] The end is happier. She found a small cottage. She rented it from this lovely rhubarb farmer for just $50 a month, and she covered it in honeysuckle, and she planted hundreds of wildflowers, and she moved out of her wicked aunt’s house, and she finally got her freedom.
Zinnia Wormwood: Look, Miss Snit, a girl does not get anywhere by acting intelligent! I mean, take a look at you and me. You chose books – I chose looks. I have a nice house, a wonderful husband. . . and you are slaving away teaching snot-nosed children their ABCs. You want Matilda to go to college? Ha, ha, ha ha. . . Harry Wormwood: College? I didn’t go to college. I don’t know anybody who did. Bunch of hippies and cesspool salesmen, ha ha ha ha. . . Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: Don’t sneer at educated people, Mr. Wormwood. If you became ill, heaven forbid, your doctor would be a college graduate. Harry Wormwood: Yeah. . . Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: Or – or say you were sued for selling a faulty car. The lawyer who defended you would have gone to college too. Harry Wormwood: What car? Sued by who? Who you been talking to?
Harry: [as Zinnia cuts the hat inside with scissors] I will not be the figure of ridicule! I want respect, and I want it now! [he groans in pain] Zinnia: I still don’t see why you glued your hat on, Harry. I mean, I know you say you didn’t, but obviously you did. Harry: I did NOT glue my hat to my head! The hat shrunk, the fibers fused to my hair! Zinnia: Baby, wait a minute. I’m getting it now, I’m getting it now, one more. . . [the hat finally comes off, with small pieces still stuck to Harry’s head] Oh, my God. [laughs while Harry, nonplussed, looks in a mirror] Harry: From now on, this family does exactly what I say, WHEN, EXACTLY, WHEN I SAY IT! Zinnia: Here’s your hat, Harry. Harry: Gimme that. [He snatches the hat and throws it aside] And right now, we are eating dinner and watching TV! [turns on TV] $1,000,000 Sticky Host: Are you ready to get sticky with Mickey? [The crowd cheers] Harry: Shut your light off. [Michael turns off his lamp] MDS Host: I’m just giving it away! For those idiots out there who don’t know how to play, here’s how it goes – for each correct answer, they’ll move one step closer to our Cube of Cash. Once in our Cube of Cash, any money that sticks to your gooey body, you get to take home! [crowd cheering again] For each incorrect answer. . . [As the game is explained on TV, Harry looks at Matilda who was still reading her book. He glares at her furiously before standing up and approaching towards her] Matilda: [very quiet and slightly nervous] Hi, Dad. Harry: Are you in this family? Matilda: Mmm-mmm. . . Harry: Hello? Are you in this family? ! [turns off Matilda’s lamp and starts angrily] Dinnertime is family time. [sees Matilda reading a book she borrowed from the library] What is this trash you’re reading? Matilda: It’s not trash, Daddy. It’s lovely. It’s called Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Harry: [very shocked] Moby WHAT? ! [grabs the book and tears the pages off] THIS. . . IS FILTH! TRASH HERE! Matilda: It’s not mine! It’s a library book! Harry: TRASH! [drops the book pages on the floor and starts angrily again] I’m fed up with all this reading! You’re a Wormwood, you start acting like one! [holds Matilda’s head in place and forces her to watch TV] Sit up, and look at the TV! MDS Host: . . . result for playing our game. Get real sticky and get cash for free. All right, that’s enough. Let’s get sticky!
Zinnia: [as the Wormwood family walked towards their table at Cafe Le Ritz] Harry, take your hat off. Harry: [tries to take his hat off; it won’t come off] I can’t. Zinnia: [faking a smile] This is a nice place. You can’t wear a hat inside. Harry: I can’t take it off! Zinnia: Harry, nobody cares what your hair looks like! [Zinnia attempts to force his hat off] What’s with this hat? ! Harry: I can’t get it off, I can’t get it off! [grunting] I can’t!
Michael: Hey, dip-face, where are you going? Matilda: Out. Michael: Hey, dip-face, have a carrot. [flings a carrot at Matilda, Matilda uses her powers stop it and to fling it at Michael, the carrot lands in his mouth and he starts choking and Harry hears him] Harry: Chew your food! You’re an animal!
Million $ Sticky Host: For those idiots out there who don’t know how to play, here’s how it goes. For each correct answer, they’ll move one step closer to our Cube of Cash. Once in our Cube of Cash, any money that sticks to your gooey body, you get to take home!
[As punishment for supposedly eating the Trunchbull’s chocolate cake, Bruce Bogtrotter has been forced to eat an entire cake in front of the whole student body] The Trunchbull: This boy, Bruce Bogtrotter, is none other than a vicious sneak thief. You’re a disgusting criminal, aren’t you? Bruce: I don’t know what you’re talking about. The Trunchbull: Cake. Chocolate cake. You slithered like a serpent into the school kitchen and ate MY PERSONAL SNACK! [whips riding crop onto table] Do you deny it? [hissing] Confess! Bruce: Well, it’s hard for me to remember a specific cake. . . The Trunchbull: This one. . . was mine. And it was the most scrumptious cake in the entire world. Bruce: My mom’s is better. [the other students gasp] The Trunchbull: It is, is it? How can you be sure unless you have another piece? [grabs him by the shoulder and propels him to a chair] Sit down, Bog. [takes a slice of chocolate cake and shows it to Bruce] Here we go. Smells chocolatey, eh? [hands him the slice of cake] Now. . . EAT IT. [stabs the knife on the table] Bruce: [looks at the Trunchbull] I don’t want any. Thank you. The Trunchbull: [yells in Bruce’s face] EAT IT! ! !
Matilda Wormwood: Why don’t you run away? Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: I’ve often thought about it, but. . . I can’t abandon my children. And if I couldn’t teach, I’d have nothing at all. Matilda Wormwood: You’re very brave, Miss Honey. Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: Not as brave as you. Matilda Wormwood: I thought grown-ups weren’t afraid of anything. Miss Jennifer ‘Jenny’ Honey: Quite the contrary. All grown-ups get scared, just like children. Matilda Wormwood: I wonder what Miss Trunchbull is afraid of.
The Trunchbull: [as she arrives at school] How could you keep going, you USELESS, FLAMING CAR? ! [gets out of the car and approaches Matilda] WORMWOOD! Sell me a LEMON? YOU’RE HEADING FOR THE CHOKEY, YOUNG LADY! [starts dragging Matilda to the chokey by her arm] Matilda: Chokey? Trunchbull: Teach you a lesson! Matilda: What lesson? The Trunchbull: You and your father think you can make a fool out of me! Matilda: My father? ! The Trunchbull: THE GUY WITH THAT STUPID HAIRCUT! Matilda: I’m nothing like my father! The Trunchbull: You’re the spitting image! [puts Matilda in the chokey] The apple never rots far from the tree! [slams the door]
Agatha Trunchbull: I have never been able to understand why small children are so disgusting. They’re the bane of my life. They’re like insects: they should be got rid of as early as possible. Hah,Agatha Trunchbull: psst! My idea of a perfect school is one in which there are no children. . . at all.
Zinnia: [as the TV explodes, due to Matilda’s powers] AAHHH! ! ! AAAHH! ! ! AAAHH! ! ! AAAHH! ! ! AAAAAHHHHH! ! ! ! ! Matilda: [as Harry switches on Matilda’s lamp] I didn’t do it. Harry: Of course you didn’t do it, you little twit! Zinnia: I told you that was a cheap set. Harry: It’s not a cheap set, it’s a stolen set! [the destroyed set fizzled a little more] Whoa! [to Michael] Put your light on. Michael: [switches on his lamp] Bummer. Narrator: Was it magic? Or just a coincidence? She didn’t know. It is said that we humans use only a tiny portion of our brains. Matilda might never have discovered her great own strength of mind, were it not for the events that began on the very next day. [Fade to Wormwood Motors] [The Trunchbull visits Wormwood’s dealer] The Trunchbull: I need a car, inexpensive but reliable. Can you service me? Harry: In a manner of speaking, yes. Uh, welcome to Wormwood Motors. Harry Wormwood, owner, founder, whatever. The Trunchbull: [shakes Harry’s hand] Agatha Trunchbull, principal, Crunchem Hall Elementary School. Harry: Huh? The Trunchbull: I warn you, sir: I want a tight car, because I run a tight ship. Harry: [slightly nervous] Oh, yeah, huh? Well, uh. . . The Trunchbull: My school is a model of discipline. Use the rod, beat the child! That’s my motto. Harry: Terrific motto. The Trunchbull: You have brats yourself? Harry: Yeah, I got a boy, Mikey, and one mistake, Matilda. The Trunchbull: They’re all mistakes, children. Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one. Harry: Uh-huh. . . Well, since you’re an educator, I’m gonna make you a great deal. The Trunchbull: You had better. Harry: Let’s do business. [hands her the keys]
Agatha Trunchbull: I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me.
Harry: Any packages come today? Matilda: [shakes her head] Mmm-mmm. Harry: [noticing her books] Where’d all this come from? Matilda: Library. Harry: The library? You’ve never set foot in a library! You’re only 4 years old. Matilda: 6 1/2. Harry: You’re 4! Matilda: 6 1/2. Harry: If you were 6 1/2, you’d be in school already! Matilda: I want to be in school. I told you I was supposed to start school in September. You wouldn’t listen. Harry: Get up, get up! get out of here! and give me that book! [He throws the book aside, and leads Matilda to where Zinnia is] Harry: Dearest pie, how old is Matilda? Zinnia: 4. Matilda: I’m 6 1/2, Mommy! Zinnia: 5, then. Matilda: I was 6 in August! Harry: You’re a liar! Matilda: I want to go to school. Harry: School? It’s out of the question. Who would be here to sign for the packages? We can’t leave valuable packages sitting out on the doorstep. Now go watch TV like a good kid. [Matilda leaves] Zinnia: You know, sometimes I think there’s something wrong with that girl. Harry: Hmph, tell me about it. [Cut to the hallway; Matilda picks up her book and walks to her room as Michael starts throwing marshmallows at her] Michael: Hey, dip-face! Have a marshmallow. Have another marshmallow, dip-face! Dip-face!
Some rats are gonna die today!
[Matilda uses her powers to write on the blackboard, pretending to be the ghost of Miss Honey’s father, Magnus] Boy: A? Class: [reading slowly] Agatha, this is Magnus. Give my little Bumblebee her house and her money. The Trunchbull: Money. . . ? Class: Then get out of town. If you don’t, I will get you. I will get you like you got me. That is a PROMISE!
Harry Wormwood: Since you’re an educator, I’ll make you a deal. Agatha Trunchbull: You’d better. Harry Wormwood: Let’s do business.
Zinnia Wormwood: You’re the only daughter I ever had, Matilda. And I never understood you, not one little bit. . . Who’s got a pen?
Matilda Wormwood: It’s not trash, daddy. It’s lovely. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Harry Wormwood: Moby WHAT?
Harry Wormwood: I’m smart; you’re dumb. I’m big; you’re little. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
[As Harry demonstrates his corrupt used car selling business to Michael] Matilda: Daddy, you’re a crook. Harry: What? Matilda: This is illegal. Harry: [to Michael] Here, keep drilling. [to Matilda] Do you make money? Do you have a job? Matilda: No, but don’t people need good cars? Can’t you sell good cars, Dad? Harry: Listen, you little wiseacre! I’m smart, you’re dumb! I’m big, you’re little! I’m right, you’re wrong! And there’s nothing you can do about it!
[Hortensia and Lavender explain to Matilda about how the Trunchbull punishes the students] Matilda: She doesn’t really hit children with that riding crop, does she? Hortensia: No, it’s mostly for scare. What she does is worse. Like yesterday, in the second grade, the Trunchbull makes a weekly visit to every classroom to show the teachers a thing or two about handling kids. [cut to flashback] And Julius Rottwinkle ate 2 M&Ms during her lesson. Matilda: And she caught him? Hortensia: Of course. [The Trunchbull makes Julius spit out the M&Ms, then she throws him out the window; cut back to present] Matilda: Was Julius okay? Hortensia: After being thrown out the window? Of course he wasn’t okay. He lived, if that’s what you mean. Lavender: The Trunchbull used to be in the Olympics; shot put, javelin, hammer throw. Hortensia: The hammer throw’s her specialty. Matilda: So she does this all the time? Hortensia: It’s better than being put in the chokey. Matilda: The chokey? Hortensia: Yeah, the chokey. [cut to flashback] It’s a tall narrow hole in the wall behind a door. You have to stand in a drippy pipe with jagged edges, and the walls have broken glass and nails sticking out. The Trunchbull: [as she puts Hortensia in the chokey] Get inside, you festering ball of pus! Matilda: She puts kids in there? Hortensia: I’ve been in twice. Sometimes she leaves you in there all day. Matilda: Didn’t you tell your parents? Hortensia: They didn’t believe me. I mean, would your parents believe it? The Trunchbull: Sixty lines after school: I must obey Ms. Trunchbull. Matilda: No.
[Harry comes home after another successful day of selling inherently faulty used cars and ripping off the buyers] Harry: I’m great! I’m incredible! Michael, pencil and paper, in the kitchen. Zinnia: Did we sell some cars today, honeydew? Harry: [grins] Did we! [kisses her] Mwah! Zinnia: Does that mean I can get that new TV? Harry: Yeah. [to Michael] Son, one day, you’re gonna have to earn your own living. It’s time you learned the family business. Sit down. Write this down. All right. The first car your brilliant father sold cost $320. I sold it for $1,158. The second one cost $512. I sold it for $2,269. Michael: Wait, Dad, you’re going too fast. Harry: Just write. The 3rd cost $68. I sold it for $999. And the 4th cost $1,100. I sold it for 7,839 big American boffos! Zinnia: Oh, Harry! [kisses him] Harry: What was my profit for the day? Michael: Could you repeat the last one? Matilda: [interrupting] $10,265. [long pause] Check it, if you don’t believe me. [Harry, Zinnia, and Michael all check the paper, and find it to be correct] Harry: You’re a little cheat! You saw the paper. Matilda: From all the way over here? Harry: [pause] Are you being smart with me? If you’re being smart with me, young lady, you’re gonna be punished! Matilda: Punished for being smart? Harry: For being a smart aleck! When a person is bad, that person has to be taught a lesson. Matilda: Person? Harry: Get up, get up! [takes her to her room] Narrator: Harry Wormwood had, unintentionally, given his daughter the first practical advice she could use. He meant to say, When a child is bad. Instead, he said, When a person is bad. And thereby introduced a revolutionary idea that children could punish their parents. Only when they deserved it, of course.
[Matilda and Miss Honey arrive at Miss Honey’s cottage] Matilda: This is the cottage from your story. Miss Honey: Yes. Matilda: The young woman is you. Miss Honey: Yes. Matilda: But then. . . [realizes the Trunchbull is Miss Honey’s aunt] NO. Miss Honey: Yes. Aunt Trunchbull.
[Zinnia is chatting with Agents Bob and Bill, thinking they are speedboat salesmen] Zinnia: [laughs] So he came home with $2,000 cash, and he threw it up in the air, and we both just swam in it like we were on The Million Dollar Sticky! [to Agent Bill] Do you like that show? FBI Agent Bill: I love that show. Zinnia: That was the old days. Now, he’s got money in banks all over this planet, and does he give me a dime? [Matilda walks in] Matilda, this is Bob and Bill. Matilda: They’re cops. Zinnia: They are not cops! They are Ace Powerboat salesmen! Harry: [walks in] Babyface, I’m starved! Zinnia: Hi, Harry. Harry: [shocked to see the agents] Who are you? [the agents start to leave] What is this, a hot tub party? ! Get the hell out of here! [to Zinnia] I slave all day, I come home, you’re entertaining a couple of surfer-dude bodybuilders! Matilda: They’re cops, Dad. FBI Agent Bob: You interested in time share? Harry: Get out of here! [shuts the door in the agents’ faces] Zinnia: [furiously] You don’t let me talk to people! I am in a cage, Harry! I need to talk to somebody besides our stupid kids! Harry: Oh, yeah? ! Well, a man is entitled to come home to find dinner on the table, without having to wade through a convention of male strippers! [As he yells, Matilda focuses on her bedroom door, and it moves slightly] Matilda: Dad? Harry: What do you want? ! Matilda: Yell at me, okay? Harry: Shut up and leave us alone! Matilda: Yell at me again! Harry: Yell at you? ! I’ll come in there and pound your miserable hide! What do I have to do to gain a little respect around here? ! I’m gonna give you a tanning like you’ve never had in your life! My word is my law! You understand? ! LAW! [Before he can reach her, Matilda uses her powers to slam the door shut and lock it; she smiles to herself as he is heard raving and hammering on it]
The Trunchbull: GET UP! [Amanda puts her hair in the back; the Trunchbull points her riding crop at Amanda] Can you spell? Amanda: Miss Honey taught us how to spell a long word yesterday. We can spell difficulty. The Trunchbull: You couldn’t spell difficulty if your life depended on it. Amanda: She taught us with a poem. The Trunchbull: [in a mock high-pitched tone] A poem? How sweet. What poem would that be? Amanda: Mrs. D, Mrs. I. . . [gestures to class to join in] Class: Mrs. F-F-I. Mrs. C, Mrs. U, Mrs. L-T-Y. The Trunchbull: [strikes a desktop with her riding crop and all the children instantly face forward] WHY ARE ALL THESE WOMEN MARRIED? ! Mrs D. , Mrs I. ? ! You’re supposed to be teaching spelling, not poetry! [whips riding crop on Matilda’s desk and walks to Miss Honey’s desk] I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. [pours water in the glass holding the newt] I think they do it deliberately just to annoy me. [the Trunchbull drinks the newt while the kids laugh and whisper; the Trunchbull lays down the glass] What’s funny? ! Hmm? Come on, spit it out! Speak up. I like a joke as well as the next fat person. [two of the students almost laugh and the Trunchbull discovers the newt in the glass she was drinking from] It’s a snake! It’s a snake! Oh, it’s a snake! [Matilda puts her hand up] One of you tried to poison me! Who? ! [notices Matilda with her hand up; growls] Matilda! I knew it! Matilda: I just thought you’d like to know, it’s not a snake, it’s a newt. The Trunchbull: What did you say? Matilda: It’s a newt, Ms. Trunchbull. The Trunchbull: [sharply] Stand up, you villainous sack of goat slime! You did this! Matilda: No, Ms. Trunchbull. The Trunchbull: Did you act alone? Or did you have accomplices? Matilda: I didn’t do it! The Trunchbull: You didn’t like the chokey, did you? Thought you’d pay me back, didn’t you? Well, I’ll pay you back, young lady! Matilda: For what, Ms. Trunchbull? The Trunchbull: [furiously] FOR THIS NEWT, YOU PISS-WORM! Matilda: I’m telling you, I didn’t do it! The Trunchbull: [regains composure] Besides, even if you didn’t do it, I’m gonna punish you, because I’m big, and you’re small, and I’m right, and you’re wrong, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re a liar and a scoundrel, and your father’s a liar and a cheat! You’re the most corrupt lowlifes in the history of civilization! Am I wrong? I’m never wrong. In this classroom, in this school, I. . . am. . . GOD! ! ! ! [Matilda, gets more and more angry, concentrates on the glass; suddenly, the glass tips over, pouring the newt onto the Trunchbull. The Trunchbull jumps and dances in fear, while the kids laugh, until the Trunchbull flicks the newt off her, which it lands on a light, then into a boy’s hand] [furiously] YOU! ! ! Matilda: I didn’t move! The Trunchbull: You did this! [tries to grab Matilda] Miss Honey: How could she possibly done it when she was sitting all the way from over here? The Trunchbull: [sighs in frustration] I’ll be watching you. Each and every one. When you turn the corner, when you go to your little cubbies to get your smelly little coats, when you skip merrily to lunch, I’ll be watching you. All of you. And especially. . . you! [points at Matilda, then leaves the classroom]
[Bruce finishes eating his slice of cake] The Trunchbull: You look like you enjoyed that, Brucey. Bruce: [mouth full] Yes, ma’am. The Trunchbull: You must have some more? Bruce: Oh, no, thanks. The Trunchbull: But you’ll hurt Cook’s feelings. Bruce: Huh? The Trunchbull: [in singsong tone] Cookie! [Cookie appears with a massive cake, students gasp] She made this cake just for you to have on your very own. [menacingly] Her sweat and blood went into this cake, and you will not leave this platform until you have consumed the ENTIRE CONFECTION! Cookie: [hands Bruce a fork] Entire confection! [to the students] See you at lunch. The Trunchbull: Thank you, Cookie. Cookie: [walks off] Rotten kids. The Trunchbull: [to Bruce] You wanted cake, you got cake. Now, EAT IT!
Agatha Trunchbull: I like a joke as well as the next fat person!
[Harry starts oiling his hair, unaware that Matilda has put peroxide in his hair tonic] Harry: Michael, come into my room! Michael: [walks in] What? Harry: My boy, today’s the day I take you to the shop. What do you say? Michael: I don’t know. What do you say, Dad? Harry: I say appearance is nine-tenths of the law. People don’t buy a car, they buy me, which is why I personally take such pride in my appearance; well-oiled hair, clean-shaved, a snappy suit. . . Now run along and get ready for a big day of learning, kid. It’s gonna be a big day of learning, too. There’s a sucker born every minute. We’re gonna take ’em for all they got. [Cut to the kitchen] Michael: Give me the cookies. Zinnia: [hands Michael the cookies] Here. [Harry walks down to the kitchen, unaware that his hair has just turned an unhealthy platinum blonde] Harry: Okay, my boy, heir to the throne, today we diddle the customer. [Michael’s mouth drops open in shock upon seeing Harry’s hair] What’s wrong with you? What are you looking at? [to Zinnia] Lovekins, where’s my breakfast? Zinnia: [picks up two bowls of cereal] Here we are, my heartstrings! [turns and sees Harry’s hair] AAAIIGHHH! [tosses the cereal in the air] Snickerdoodle, what did you do to your hair? Harry: [suspiciously] My hair? [walks into the dining room and looks in the mirror] AAAAIIIIGGGHHHH! ! ! ! [faints; Matilda snickers quietly] [Cut to Harry beginning to pack up his car parts and his wife and their kids help him] Harry: Give me those things. Where are you going with those? Get in the car. Go on. Get in. Narrator: Dirty dealings, like buying stolen car parts, never stay secret for long. Especially when the FBI gets involved. [As Harry packs up his car parts, he looks around, unaware that Agents Bob and Bill are snapping pictures of him from their car] FBI Agent Bob: [speaks into tape recorder] 9:17, suspect exits domicile. FBI Agent Bill: I’ve got 9:18. FBI Agent Bob: [checks his watch] 9:17 is correct. [The Wormwood family drives away to Wormwood Motors]
Miss Honey: [sees a painting of her father, Magnus Honey] That’s my dad. Matilda:: What’s his name? Miss Honey: Magnus. I used to call him King Magnus. He called me Bumblebee. Matilda: I don’t think Magnus killed himself. Miss Honey: Neither do I. Matilda: [notices Miss Honey’s doll on the bed] Is that Lissy Doll? [They both walk over to Lissy Doll. Just as Miss Honey is about to touch the doll. . . ] The Trunchbull: [on telephone] WORMWOOD! ! ! You useless used car salesman scum! I want you around here NOW with another car! ! ! [pause for a second] Yes, I know what caveat emptor means, you lowlife liar! I’m gonna sue you, I’m gonna burn down your showroom, I’m gonna take that no-good jalopy you sold me and SHOVE IT UP YOUR BAZOOGA! ! ! ! When I’m finished with you, you’re gonna look like roadkill! [silent pause] You what? Oh. . . [the Trunchbull sees the chocolate box open; she hangs up, walks over to the living room, and sniffs the lid to the box, realizing that someone is in her house] Miss Honey: Come on. Come on. [the Trunchbull looks around the area] Matilda: Shouldn’t we hide or something? Miss Honey: Yeah. Go. Go to the end of the hall, down the stairs, and out the kitchen door. I’ll distract her. [the Trunchbull walks upstairs while Matilda and Miss Honey split up] The Trunchbull: Who’s in my HOUSE? ! [shouting into an empty room] COME OUT AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN! ! ! ! [Miss Honey gasps and she sees that the Trunchbull is in the wrong room]