Lemony Snicket
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Quotes for
Lemony Snicket (Character)
from A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

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A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
Lemony Snicket: [narrating] This is the story of the three Baudelaire children. Violet loved to invent; her brother, Klaus, loved to read; and their sister, Sunny... she loved to bite. My name is Lemony Snicket and it is my duty to tell you their tale. No one knows the precise cause of the Baudelaire fire, but just like that, the Baudelaire children became the Baudelaire orphans.

[first lines]
Lemony Snicket: [the Littlest Elf has just come to an abrupt halt] I'm sorry to say that this is not the movie you will be watching. The movie you are about to see is extremely unpleasant. If you wish to see a film about a happy little elf, I'm sure there is still plenty of seating in theatre number two. However, if you like stories about clever and reasonably attractive orphans, suspicious fires, carnivorous leeches, Italian food and secret organizations, then stay, as I retrace each and every one of the Baudelaire children's woeful steps. My name is Lemony Snicket, and it is my sad duty to document this tale.

[last lines]
Lemony Snicket: Dear reader, there are people in the world who know no misery and woe. And they take comfort in cheerful films about twittering birds and giggling elves. There are people who know that there's always a mystery to be solved. And they take comfort in researching and writing down any important evidence. But this story is not about such people. This story is about the Baudelaires. And they are the sort of people who know that there's always something. Something to invent, something to read, something to bite, and something to do, to make a sanctuary, no matter how small. And for this reason, I am happy to say, the Baudelaires were very fortunate indeed.

Klaus Baudelaire: Do you think anything will ever feel like home again?
[Violet ties up her hair]
Lemony Snicket: [narrating] Sanctuary... is a word which here means a small, safe place in a troubling world. Like an oasis in a vast desert or an island in a stormy sea.

Lemony Snicket: [narrating] In a world of abandoned items and discarded materials, Violet knew there was always something. Something she could fashion into nearly any device, for nearly every occasion.

Lemony Snicket: [narrating] If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels; and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it.

Lemony Snicket: [narrating] I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong. For instance: Klaus, when Sunny was born, didn't like her at all; but by the time she was six weeks old, the two of them were as thick as thieves - a phrase which here means "fetching and biting for hours on end". In the case of Count Olaf, however...
Count Olaf: Orphans!
Lemony Snicket: [narrating] ... they were correct.

Lemony Snicket: This would be an excellent time to walk out of the theater, living room, or airplane where this film is being shown.

Lemony Snicket: [after Aunt Josephine has told the children that she is afraid of realtors] There is two kinds of fear. Rational and irrational. Being afraid of realtors is irrational.

[after telling the children how Ike died]
Aunt Josephine: Oh, God, I hate it here.
Violet Baudelaire: Well, Aunt Josephine, have you ever thought of, maybe, moving someplace else? Maybe, if you moved away from Lake Lachrymose, you might feel better.
Aunt Josephine: Oh, I could never, never, never, never sell this house.
[pause]
Aunt Josephine: I'm terrified of realtors.
Lemony Snicket: There are two kinds of fears. Rational and irrational. Being afraid of realtors is an irrational fear.
[in a flashback]
Realtor: [shows her card to a tentative Josephine] Is this a bad time?
Aunt Josephine: [screams at the top of her lungs]
[in the present]
Klaus Baudelaire: [to Violet] We gotta get her out of the house.

Lemony Snicket: [narrating] Sanctuary is a word which here means a small safe place in a troubling world. Like an oasis in a vast desert or an island in a stormy sea. The Baudelaires enjoyed their evening in the sanctuary they helped build together, but in their hearts they knew that the troubling world lay just outside. A world, which I'm sad to say, can be described in two dismal words.
Judge: Custody granted.

Count Olaf: [as Mr. Poe and those attending the play get out of their seats and converge on him] Now, now! Let's keep our heads here! If you do anything to me, you'll just sink to my level. Not to mention setting a terrible example for the children.
[Count Olaf gasps as he is then handcuffed by the Detective]
Judge: Guilty!
Lemony Snicket: [narrating as the scene cuts back to Count Olaf as the crowd closes in on him] I am thrilled to say that Count Olaf was captured for crimes too numerous to mention and before serving his life sentence, it was the judge's decree that Olaf be made to suffer every hardship that he forced upon the children.
Count Olaf: [upon throwing the anchor on the broken part of the house] Yes.
[the broken part of the house falls into the lake. Then cuts to Count Olaf in a boat trying to fend off the Lachrymose Leeches]
Count Olaf: Get out.
[Some Lachrymose Leeches get onto him]
Count Olaf: Oh no!
[Cuts to a train coming towards Count Olaf who is trapped in the car on the grading as he screams]
Lemony Snicket: [narrating as Klaus and Sunny look towards Violet on the stage] The Baudelaires have triumphed. A word hear means unmasking a cruel and talentless arsonist and solving the mystery of the Baudelaire Fire.
[cuts to the Baudelaires leaving Count Olaf's house]
Lemony Snicket: If only justice were as kind. Count Olaf vanished after a jury of his peers overturned his sentence. As for the Baudelaires, what laid ahead of them was unclear. But one thing they knew as they climbed once again into the back of Mr. Poe's car, they were moving on.


"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill: Part One (#1.7)" (2017)
Sir: Call me Sir. Everybody does because I tell them to. I'm the boss. They have to do what I say, even my partner here.
Klaus Baudelaire: Doesn't "partner" mean "equal"?
Lemony Snicket: Well, in fact, "partners" can mean several things. It could mean "two people who own a lumbermill together, or a cupcakery." Now, with the advent of more progressive cultural mores, not to mention certain High Court rulings, it could also mean...
Sir: I do all the work. He irons my clothes.
Charles: I also cook your omelets.
Lemony Snicket: The definitions are not mutually exclusive.

Lemony Snicket: To Beatrice - My love flew like a butterfly until death swooped down like a bat.

Lemony Snicket: As anyone who's been to a doctor knows, doctors are not necessarily your friends, any more than butchers, mail deliverers, or refrigerator repair people are your friends.

Lemony Snicket: "Out of the woods" is an expression referring to the fact that woods are dangerous places to be. In Hansel and Gretel, two siblings enter the woods and are menaced by an elderly cannibal. In Little Red Riding Hood, a wolf enters the woods and is menaced by a rude little girl. In Walden, a poet enters the woods and is menaced by revelations that we should abandon civilization and live by a pond. It is for that reason that "out of the woods" has come to mean "a return to safety, away from menace and disturbing revelations."

Lemony Snicket: 'Optimist' is not to be confused with 'optometrist', a word meaning 'healthcare professional who performs eye exams'. Though both can be dangerous.


"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning: Part Two (#1.2)" (2017)
Lemony Snicket: Having a brilliant idea isn't easy as turning and on a light. But just as a single bulb can illuminate event the most depressing of rooms, the right idea can shed light on a depressing situation.

Lemony Snicket: ...Just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean it isn't so.

Lemony Snicket: Some things in life are difficult to understand, even after years and years of thinking about them while wandering alone through desolate landscapes, usually during the off-season.

Lemony Snicket: I have never been married myself. I once desperately loved a remarkably brave and bravely remarkable woman who, when I asked her if she would be my wife, found, for complicated and unfathomable reasons, she could give me no answer.

Lemony Snicket: Marriage is like sharing a root beer float or agreeing to be the back half of a horse costume, even when it's happening on stage, you should only do it with the people you love.


"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning: Part One (#1.1)" (2017)
Lemony Snicket: But being raised in a violent and sinister environment by a man more interested in one's fortune than comfort and well-being is not better than nothing. And as the Baudelaires would discover, there are some things that even a long night of introspection cannot change. The Baudelaire orphans knew they had to find a way out of their dreadfully unfortunate circumstances and, perhaps, solve the mystery of how they ended up in them. I have the same dedication to researching and presenting this story no matter what danger it puts me in. Trouble and strife can cover this world like the dark of night or like smoke from a suspicious fire. And when that happens, all good, true and decent people know that it is time to volunteer.

Lemony Snicket: [Quoting Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin] "To invite people to dine with us is to make ourselves responsible for their well-being as long as they are under our roofs."

Lemony Snicket: Trouble and strife can cover this world like the dark of night, or like smoke from a suspicious fire. And when that happens, all good, true, and decent people know that it's time to volunteer.

Lemony Snicket: In the years since, I've inquired what became of the Brothers Poe. One followed his father into the world of banking. The other lives in a cave and talks to sheep. They each think the other has it better.


"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill: Part Two (#1.8)" (2017)
Lemony Snicket: Perhaps you've been told never to shout "Fire" in a public place. When you shout "Fire," and there isn't one, it can cause chaos. Of course, when you shout "Fire," and there is one, it can cause chaos but also save lives. Still, there are times when shouting "Fire" can save lives, even when there isn't one. For example, you may be trapped in a motel room with your enemies waiting outside. Shouting "Fire" will cause the kind of chaos that will allow you to escape undetected. Therefore, the life it saves will be your own.

Lemony Snicket: "Seeing in black and white" is a way of saying that a person looks at the world in a manner that is overly oversimplified and often incorrect. Like many newspapers, the Daily Punctilio is printed in black and white, and its look at the world is oversimplified and often incorrect.

Lemony Snicket: In a world both frightening and unlucky, there are a few comforts. One of them is making new friends. Friends can make you feel the world is smaller and safer than it really is, because you know people who have similar experiences. When you meet people like that, you may find your world feels a little more complete, like the missing piece of a puzzle or two halves of a broken spyglass.

Lemony Snicket: We all have skeletons in our closet, metaphorically, meaning "things from our past we'd prefer not leave lying around because they are painful or incriminating or would create unnecessary clutter." In my closet, I keep a 200-page book written by the woman I loved, explaining, at great length and in specific detail, the reason she could not marry me; which, if I were to leave out in the open, I would find myself reading over and over. It would be as if my darling Beatrice were bringing me bad news every day and every night of my life.


"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window: Part Two (#1.6)" (2017)
Lemony Snicket: Everyone is allergic to something, whether it is gluten, injustice, dark chocolate, corruption, pollen, or common decency.

Lemony Snicket: You probably know of a plant called the Venus flytrap, which grows in the tropics and in the apartments of certain lonely people. The top of the plant is shaped like an open mouth with toothlike spines around the edges. When a fly attracted to the smell of the flower lands on the Venus flytrap, the mouth of the plant begins to close, trapping the terrified fly, who slowly, slowly, slowly dissolves into nothing.

Lemony Snicket: Can't be. When you lose someone important to you, 'it can't be's are often words that run through your saddened head. It can't be that I've lost someone so important. It can't be that I will never see them again. It can't be. It can't be. It can't be.

Lemony Snicket: Of course, if you are allergic to a thing it is best not to put that thing in your mouth. Particularly if the thing is cats.


"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room: Part Two (#1.4)" (2017)
Lemony Snicket: There's no word to describe the feeling of waking up and knowing instantly that something is terribly wrong.

Lemony Snicket: What happens in a certain place can stain your feelings for it, just as ink can stain a white sheet of paper. You can never forget what transpired in that place, just as words in ink can never be unwritten.

Lemony Snicket: There are times when the entire world seems wrong. The way a reptile room without any reptiles seems wrong. The way a bookshelf without any books seems wrong. Or a loved one's house without the loved one.


"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window: Part One (#1.5)" (2017)
Lemony Snicket: Being afraid of hurricanes is perfectly rational because they can be quite sinister and destructive. But a fear of real estate agents, a term which here means "people who assist in the buying and selling of houses," would be an irrational fear
[sarcastically]
Lemony Snicket: because nothing sinister has ever come from the real estate market.

Lemony Snicket: The expression, "You can't lock up the barn after the horses are gone," was a favorite of a woman who meant a great deal to me, even after she was trampled. The expression simply means that sometimes even the best of plans will occur to you when it is too late.


"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room: Part One (#1.3)" (2017)
Lemony Snicket: For Beatrice - My love for you shall live forever. You, however, did not.