Matilda Wormwood
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Quotes for
Matilda Wormwood (Character)
from Matilda (1996)

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Matilda (1996)
Harry Wormwood: A book? What do you want a book for?
Matilda: 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.

Matilda: Daddy, you're a crook.
Harry Wormwood: What?
Matilda: This is illegal.
Harry Wormwood: [hands the car drill to Mikey, then walks to Matilda] 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 Wormwood: 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.

[after listing prices of cars bought and sold]
Harry Wormwood: What was my profit for the day?
Mikey: Could you repeat the last one?
Matilda: [interrupting] $10,265.
[long pause]
Matilda: Check it if you don't believe me.
Harry Wormwood: [he, Zinnia, and Mikey glance at the paper, then at Matilda] You're a little cheat, you saw the paper.
Matilda: From all the way over here?
Harry Wormwood: [suspicious] Are you being smart with me? If you're being smart with me, young lady, you're going to be punished.
Matilda: Punished for being smart?
Harry Wormwood: For being a smart aleck! When a person is bad, that person has to be taught a lesson!
Matilda: Person?
Harry Wormwood: Get up, get up...
Narrator: Harry Wormwood had unintentionally given his daughter the first practical advice she could use. He had 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: I love it here! I love my school... it isn't fair! Miss Honey, please don't let them...
Harry Wormwood: [interrupting] Get in the car, Melinda!
Matilda: Matilda!
Harry Wormwood: Whatever.
Matilda: I want to stay with Miss Honey.
Zinnia Wormwood: Miss Honey doesn't want you. Why would she want some snotty, disobedient kid?
Jenny: Because she's a spectacularly wonderful child and I love her.
Matilda: Adopt me, Miss Honey! You can adopt me.
Harry Wormwood: Look, I don't have time for all these legalities!
Matilda: One second, Dad. I have the adoption papers.
Zinnia Wormwood: What? Where did you get those?
Matilda: From a book in the library. I've had them since I was big enough to Xerox.

Matilda: No more Miss Nice Girl!

Matilda: Why don't you run away?
Jenny: 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.
Jenny: Not as brave as you.
Matilda: I thought grown-ups weren't afraid of anything.
Jenny: Quite the contrary. All grown-ups get scared, just like children.
Matilda: I wonder what Miss Trunchbull is afraid of.

Harry Wormwood: Any packages come today?
Matilda: Mm-mm.
Harry Wormwood: [noticing her books] Where'd all this come from?
Matilda: The library.
Harry Wormwood: The library? You've never set foot in a library. You're only four years old.
Matilda: Six-and-a-half.
Harry Wormwood: You're four!
Matilda: Six-and-a-half!
Harry Wormwood: If you were six-and-a-half, 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 Wormwood: Get up, get up, get out of here, give me that book.
[He drags Matilda, throwing the book aside, to where Zinnia is]
Harry Wormwood: Dearest pie, how old is Matilda?
Zinnia Wormwood: Four.
Matilda: I'm six-and-a-half, mommy!
Zinnia Wormwood: Five, then!
Matilda: I was six in August.
Harry Wormwood: You're a liar.
Matilda: I want to go to school.
Harry Wormwood: 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 Wormwood: You know, sometimes I think there's something wrong with that girl.
Harry Wormwood: Hmph, tell me about it.

Matilda: This is the cottage from your story!
Jenny: Yes.
Matilda: The young woman is you!
Jenny: Yes.
Matilda: But then... No.
Jenny: Yes. Aunt Trunchbull.

Zinnia Wormwood: [Matilda comes home from school, excitedly. Zinnia's on the phone, talking about her kids] Mine are driving me crazy. I'll tell ya, six hours a day of school IS NOT enough.
Matilda: [walking out of the room excitedly] I'll say!

Agatha Trunchbull: Useless, flamin' car! Wormwood! Sell me a lemon? You're heading for the chokey, young lady!
Matilda: Chokey?
Agatha Trunchbull: Teach you a lesson!
Matilda: What lesson?
Agatha Trunchbull: You and your father think you can make a fool out of me!
Matilda: My father?
Agatha Trunchbull: The guy with the stupid haircut!
Matilda: I'm nothing like my father.
Agatha Trunchbull: You're the spitting image. The apple never rots far from the tree!

Jenny: [sees a painting of Ms. Trunchbull] Oh my. My father's portrait used to hang there.
Matilda: Whoever painted The Trunchbull must have had a strong stomach. A really strong stomach.

Harry Wormwood: Are you in this family?
Matilda: Mmmm...
Harry Wormwood: Hello?
[short pause]
Harry Wormwood: Are you in this family?
[switches the lamp off]
Harry Wormwood: Dinner time is family time. 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 Wormwood: Moby *what*?
[snatching the book from Matilda and tears the pages out of the cover]
Harry Wormwood: This is Filth! Trash...!
Matilda: It's not mine! It's a library book!
Harry Wormwood: I'm fed up with all this reading! You're a Wormwood, you start acting like one! Now sit up and look at the TV.

Matilda: Dad?
Harry Wormwood: What do you want?
Matilda: Yell at me, okay?
Matilda: Yell at me again!
Harry Wormwood: [in a rage] Yell at ya?
[storming towards her]
Harry Wormwood: I'll come in there and pound your miserable hide! What do I have to do to gain respect around here? I'm gonna give you a tanning like you never had in your life! My word is my law!
[Matilda uses her powers to slam her bedroom door in Harry's face just as he reaches it]

Matilda: We'll wait until she's gone, then we'll go get your doll.
Jenny: What?
Matilda: Just kidding.

Matilda: [to the FBI agents, as they rummage through her parents' garage looking for car parts] You two men are going to be in a lot of trouble very soon.
FBI Agent Bill: [to his partner] 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.

Harry Wormwood: [Matilda arrives home from school late at night after Bruce Bogtrotter's encounter with the Trunchbull] Young lady, where were you?
Matilda: Miss Trunchbull kept the whole school late because this boy ate some chocolate cake.
Harry Wormwood: That's the biggest lie I've ever heard. Did you see all those packages outside? They were left out there for the whole world to see because you weren't here to take 'em in!

Jenny: Matilda, you promised me you wouldn't go back in that house again.
Matilda: I didn't, I was on the garage roof.
Matilda: I did it with my powers.

Harry Wormwood: [appalled at Zinnia talking with FBI agents Bill and Bob] What is this, a hot tub party? Get the hell outta here! I slave all day, and you're entertaining a couple of surfer dude bodybuilders!
Matilda: [off to the side] They're cops, Dad.

Matilda: [after Matilda destroys the Wormwoods' TV with her powers] I didn't do it.
Harry Wormwood: Of course you didn't do it, you little twit.

Agatha Trunchbull: [accusing Matilda of putting a newt in her drinking water] 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, Miss Trunchbull?
Agatha Trunchbull: For this newt, you piss-worm!
Matilda: I'm telling you, I didn't do it!
Agatha Trunchbull: Besides, even if you didn't do it, I'm going to punish you, because I'm big and you're small, I'm right and you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it!