13 Roald Dahl Quotes That’ll Make Your Day Instantly Better

Roald Dahl, author of some of the most ubiquitous children’s books of the past half-century, would have been 100 years old today. Unsurprisingly, Dahl’s legacy continues to thrive over 26 years after his death, the film adaption of The BFG still in theaters, the 10th novel of his to be converted into a feature film.

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What made Dahl’s stories so appealing to children and so unique in style was his idiosyncratic penchant for melding the funny with the dark, the fantastical rooted in the very real. It’s a fine line to tread, because children can spot a phony better than anyone else can. And if there’s one thing Roald Dahl wasn’t, it’s a phony…despite his use of completely made-up words.


See Also: 11 Novels From High School You Should Read As An Adult


1. “A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”

(Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator, 1973)

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2. “‘I began to realise 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, 1979)

3. “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, 1975)

4. “‘The secret of life,” he said, ‘is to become very very good at somethin’ that’s very very ‘ard to do.'”

(The Hitchhiker, 1977)

5. “You’ll never get anywhere if you go about what-iffing like that. Would Columbus have discovered America if he’d said ‘What if I sink on the way over? What if I meet pirates? What if I never come back?’ He wouldn’t even have started.”

(Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator, 1973)

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6. “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

(The Twits, 1980)

7. ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.’

(The Witches, 1983)

8. “‘The matter with human beans,’ the BFG went on, ‘is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.'”

(The BFG, 1982)

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9. “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous.”

(Matilda, 1988)

10. “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, 1980)

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11. “‘Meanings is not important, said the BFG. ‘I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.'”

(The BFG, 1982)

12. “But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.”

(Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, 1964)

13. “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

(The Minpins, 1991)

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