[First lines, when Matilda is born.]
Narrator: Everyone is born, but not everyone is born the same. Some will grow to be butchers, or bakers, or candlestick makers. Some will only be really good at making Jell-O salad. One way or another, though, every human being is unique, for better or for worse. [Harry takes his first look at Matilda, grunts, and leaves.] Most parents believe their children are the most beautiful creatures ever to grace the planet. Others take a less emotional approach:
Harry Wormwood: What a waste of time!
Zinnia Wormwood: And painful!
Harry Wormwood: And expensive... $9.25 for a bar of soap?
Zinnia Wormwood: Well, I had to take a shower, Harry!
Harry Wormwood: $5,000? I'm not paying it! What are they going to do, repossess the kid?

Zinnia Wormwood: Look, Miss Snit, a girl does not get anywhere by acting intelligent! I mean, take a look at you and me. You chose books -- I chose looks. I have a nice house, a wonderful husband... and you are slaving away teaching snot-nosed children their ABCs. You want Matilda to go to college? Ha, ha, ha ha...
Harry Wormwood: College? I didn't go to college. I don't know anybody who did. Bunch of hippies and cesspool salesmen, ha ha ha ha...
Miss Honey: Don't sneer at educated people, Mr. Wormwood. If you became ill, heaven forbid, your doctor would be a college graduate.
Harry Wormwood: Yeah...
Miss Honey: Or--or say you were sued for selling a faulty car. The lawyer who defended you would have gone to college too.
Harry Wormwood: What car? Sued by who? Who you been talking to?!

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

Harry Wormwood: I'm smart; you're dumb. I'm big; you're little. And there's nothing you can do about it.

Agatha Trunchbull: I need a car, inexpensive but reliable. Can you service me?
Harry Wormwood: In a manner of speaking, yes. Uh, welcome to Wormwood Motors. Harry Wormwood, owner, founder, whatever.
Agatha Trunchbull: Agatha Trunchbull, principal, Crunchem Hall Elementary School.
Harry Wormwood: Huh.
Agatha Trunchbull: I warn you, sir, I want a tight car, because I run a tight ship.
Harry Wormwood: Oh yeah, huh, well, uh...
Agatha Trunchbull: My school is a model of discipline! Use the rod, beat the child, that's my motto.
Harry Wormwood: Terrific motto!
Agatha Trunchbull: You have brats yourself?
Harry Wormwood: Yeah, I got a boy, Mikey, and one mistake, Matilda.
Agatha Trunchbull: They're all mistakes, children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one.

Agatha Trunchbull: I have never been able to understand why small children are so disgusting. They're the bane of my life. They're like insects: they should be got rid of as early as possible. Hah, [makes spraying gesture] psst! My idea of a perfect school is one in which there are no children... at all.

[After listing prices of cars bought and sold.]
Harry Wormwood: What was my profit for the day?
Michael Wormwood: Could you repeat the last one?
Matilda Wormwood: [interrupting] $10,265. [long pause] Check it if you don't believe me.
Harry Wormwood: You're a little cheat. You saw the paper.
Matilda Wormwood: From all the way over here?
Harry Wormwood: Are you being smart with me? If you're being smart with me, young lady, you're going to be punished.
Matilda Wormwood: Punished for being smart?
Harry Wormwood: For being a smart aleck! When a person is bad, that person has to be ought a lesson!
Matilda Wormwood: 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.)

Agatha Trunchbull: If you are having fun, you are not learning.

Matilda Wormwood: 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 Wormwood: Matilda! Matilda Wormwood: I want to stay with Miss Honey.
Zinnia Wormwood: Miss Honey doesn't want you. Why would she want some snotty, disobedient kid?
Miss Honey: Because she's a spectacularly wonderful child and I love her.
Matilda Wormwood: Adopt me, Miss Honey! You can adopt me.
Harry Wormwood: Look, I don't have time for all these legalities!
Matilda Wormwood: One second, Dad. I have the adoption papers.
Zinnia Wormwood: What? Where did you get those?
Matilda Wormwood: From a book in the library. I've had them since I was big enough to Xerox.

Narrator: Dirty dealings, like buying stolen car parts, never stay secret for long. Especially when the FBI gets involved.
First FBI Agent: [into recorder] 9:17, suspect exits domicile.
Second FBI Agent: I've got 9:18.
First FBI Agent: [into recorder] 9:17 is correct.

Agatha Trunchbull: 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.

Host of "The Million Dollar Sticky" TV game show: For those idiots out there who don't know how to play, here's how it goes. For each correct answer, they'll move one step closer to our Cube of Cash. Once in our Cube of Cash, any money that sticks to your gooey body, you get to take home!

Matilda Wormwood: No more Miss Nice Girl!

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

Harry Wormwood: Any packages come today?
Matilda Wormwood: Mm-mm.
Harry Wormwood: [noticing her books] Where'd all this come from?
Matilda Wormwood: The library.
Harry Wormwood: The library? You've never set foot in a library. You're only four years old.
Matilda Wormwood: Six-and-a-half.
Harry Wormwood: You're four!
Matilda Wormwood: Six-and-a-half!
Harry Wormwood: If you were six-and-a-half, you'd be in school already.
Matilda Wormwood: 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.] Dearest pie, how old is Matilda?
Zinnia Wormwood: Four. Zinnia Wormwood: Five, then!
Matilda Wormwood: I was six in August.
Harry Wormwood: You're a liar.
Matilda Wormwood: 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.

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