This September marked 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, one of the most iconic children's fiction writers of modern times. Here are some of our favourite Roald Dahl quotes from some of his best (and worst) characters!


1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 1964

‘It always happens like that,’ sighed Mr Wonka. ‘I’ve tried it twenty times in the Testing Room on twenty Oompa-Loompas, and every one of them finished up as a blueberry. It’s most annoying. I just can’t understand it.’

‘But I don’t want a blueberry for a daughter!’ yelled Mrs Beauregarde.

2. The BFG, 1982

‘A whizzpopper!’ cried the BFG, beaming at her. ‘Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping is forbidden among human beans?’

3. Matilda, 1988

‘A girl should think about making herself look attractive so she can get a good husband later on. Looks is more important than books, Miss Hunky…’

‘The name is Honey,’ Miss Honey said.

‘Now look at me,’ Mrs Wormwood said. ‘Then look at you. You chose books. I chose looks.’

4. James and the Giant Peach, 1961

‘Poor Earthworm,’ the Ladybug said, whispering in James’s ear. ‘He loves to make everything into a disaster. He hates to be happy. He is only happy when he is gloomy. Now isn’t that odd? But then, I suppose just being an Earthworm is enough to make a person pretty gloomy, don’t you agree?’

5. The Witches, 1983

‘Children should never have baths,’ my grandmother said. ‘It’s a dangerous habit.’

‘I agree, Grandmamma.’

6. The Twits, 1980

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

7. Danny the Champion of the World, 1975

‘I will not pretend I wasn’t petrified. I was. But mixed in with the awful fear was a glorious feeling of excitement. Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn’t be exciting if they didn’t.’

8. George’s Marvellous Medicine, 1981

‘You know what’s the matter with you?’ the old woman said, staring at George over the rim of the teacup with those bright, wicked little eyes. ‘You’re growing too fast. Boys who grow too fast become stupid and lazy.’

‘But I can’t help it if I’m growing fast, Grandma,’ George said.

‘Of course you can,’ she snapped. ‘Growing’s a nasty, childish habit.’

9. Fantastic Mr Fox, 1970

‘My darling,’ said Mr Fox, ‘I can smell those goons a mile away. I can even smell one from the other. Boggis gives off a filthy stink of rotten chicken-skins. Bunce reeks of goose-livers, and as for Bean, the fumes of apple cider hang around him like poisonous gases.’