9:00 am EDT, March 12, 2020

Roald Dahl quotes: 60 memorable moments from his books

In honor of the author’s lasting legacy, we’ve collected 60 of Roald Dahl’s best quotes from books including Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Witches.

Out of all of the most celebrated children’s authors, Roald Dahl has gifted the world with some of the most quotable works the world has ever known. Even people who have never read his books (gasp!) or even seen an adaptation of one of his works (double gasp!) know at least one or two Roald Dahl quotes by heart. They’re just that ingrained into our culture.

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His books have been adapted into numerous films and television shows. Not only that, but they’ve also been featured in other media (like The Simpsons, of course) and have inspired so many people to create to their heart’s content.

Thank you, Roald Dahl, for these wonderful words of wisdom and wonder. We hope they continue to shape the minds of children and adults alike for years to come.

Below are just a few of our favorite Roald Dahl quotes of all time, touching on beauty, kindness, and romance! Hopefully the ones we chose are some of your favorites as well!

(Not only that, but we hope this list gives you a few new favorite Roald Dahl quotes to mull over.)

The most memorable Roald Dahl quotes

  1. “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
    -The Twits
  2. “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.”
    -Matilda
  3. “There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.”
    -James and the Giant Peach
  4. “The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”
    -The BFG
  5. “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  6. “I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”
    -My Uncle Oswald
  7. “If you are good, life is good.”
    -Matilda
  8. Memorable Roald Dahl quotes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  9. “Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything. Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.”
    -James and the Giant Peach
  10. “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
    Go throw your TV set away,
    And in its place you can install
    A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
    Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  11. “I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.”
    -Fantastic Mr. Fox
  12. “Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”
    -The BFG
  13. “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”
    -Boy: Tales of Childhood
  14. “A little magic can take you a long way.”
    -James and the Giant Peach
  15. “Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn’t be exciting if they didn’t.”
    -Danny, The Champion of the World
  16. “Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.”
  17. “‘We must hurry!’ said Mr. Wonka. ‘We have so much time and so little to do! No! Wait! Strike that! Reverse it!'”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  18. Roald Dahl quotes: James and the Giant Peach

  19. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”
    -The Witches
  20. “‘The matter with human beans,’ the BFG went on, ‘is that they is absolutely refusing to believe anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.'”
    -The BFG
  21. “I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
    -Matilda
  22. “You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  23. “There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t even started wondering about yet.”
    -James and the Giant Peach
  24. “Nothing is any fun if you can get as much of it as you want. Especially money.”
    -The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
  25. “Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.”
    -Danny, The Champion of the World
  26. “Life is more fun if you play games.”
    -My Uncle Oswald
  27. “A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”
    -Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
  28. Memorable Roald Dahl quotes BFG

  29. “Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”
    -Roald Dahl
  30. “Two rights don’t equal a left.”
    -The BFG
  31. “Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world”
    -Matilda
  32. “If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.”
    -Roald Dahl
  33. Mr. Wonka: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted.”
    Charlie Bucket: “What happened?”
    Mr. Wonka: “He lived happily ever after.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  34. “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
    -The Minipins
  35. “Children are not so serious as grown-ups and they love to laugh.”
    -Matilda
  36. “The human brain is an amazing thing.”
    -Matilda
  37. “Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours, and nothing is fabulous anymore.”
    -Boy: Tales of Childhood
  38. “I don’t want a grown-up person at all. A grownup won’t listen to me; he won’t learn. He will try to do things his own way and not mine. So I have to have a child. I want a good sensible loving child, one to whom I can tell all my most precious candy-making secrets-while I am still alive.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  39. Roald Dahl quotes: George's Marvellous Medicine

  40. “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
    -Matilda
  41. “Because we are all a great deal luckier than we realize, we usually get what we want—or near enough.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  42. “All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen. If only they would read a little Dickens or Kipling they would soon discover there was more to life than cheating people and watching television.”
    -Matilda
  43. “I think I have this thing where everybody has to think I’m the greatest. And if they aren’t completely knocked out and dazzled and slightly intimidated by me, I don’t feel good about myself.”
    -Fantastic Mr. Fox
  44. “Parents never underestimated the abilities of their own children. Quite the reverse. Sometimes it was well nigh impossible for a teacher to convince the proud father or mother that their beloved offspring was a complete nitwit.”
    -Matilda
  45. “Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”
    -Roald Dahl
  46. “There is little point in teaching anything backwards. The whole object of life, Headmistress, is to go forwards.”
    -Matilda

  47. “However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  48. Memorable Roald Dahl quotes Fantastic Mr. Fox

  49. “Whipped cream isn’t whipped cream at all if it hasn’t been whipped with whips, just like poached eggs isn’t poached eggs unless it’s been stolen in the dead of the night.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  50. “Don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.”
    -Matilda
  51. “Everything in this room is edible. Even I’m edible. But, that would be called cannibalism. It is looked down upon in most societies.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  52. “These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”
    -Matilda
  53. “I was glad my father was an eye-smiler. It meant he never gave me a fake smile because it’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself. A mouth-smile is different. You can fake a mouth-smile any time you want, simply by moving your lips. I’ve also learned that a real mouth-smile always has an eye-smile to go with it. So watch out, I say, when someone smiles at you but his eyes stay the same. It’s sure to be a phony.”
    -Danny the Champion of the World
  54. “Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.”
    -Roald Dahl
  55. “I’ve heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true.”
    -Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  56. “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.”
    -Matilda
  57. Roald Dahl quotes: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  58. “When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is not fun at all! What a child wants—and DESERVES—is a parent who is SPARKY!”
    -Roald Dahl
  59. “There are no strangers in here, just friends you haven’t met…”
    -Roald Dahl
  60. “Kindness – that simple word. To be kind – it covers everything, to my mind. If you’re kind that’s it.”
    -Roald Dahl
  61. “It is most unlikely. But–here comes the big “but”–not impossible.”
    -The Witches
  62. “It is almost worth going away because it’s so lovely coming back.”
    -Boy: Tales of Childhood
  63. “Do any of us children, she wondered, ever stop to ask ourselves where our teachers go when school is over for the day? Do we wonder if they live alone, or if there is a mother at home or a sister or a husband?”
    -Matilda
  64. “Let your love out.”
    -The BFG
  65. “My candle burns at both ends it will not last the night but arh my friends and oh my foes it gives a lovely light.”
    -Boy: Tales of Childhood
  66. “I’m afraid men are not always quite as clever as they think they are. You will learn that when you get a bit older, my girl.”
    -Matilda

 
Which of these Roald Dahl quotes is your all-time favorite?
 

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