Matilda (film)

1996 American fantasy film by Danny DeVito

Matilda is a 1996 film about a young girl who is extremely smart and loves reading, who has difficulties in life in the form of her disapproving parents Harry and Zinnia and her brother Michael Wormwood plus her terrifying headmistress at school. Matilda soon finds that she has telekinetic powers – she can control things with her mind.

Directed by Danny DeVito. Written by Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, based on the novel by Roald Dahl.
Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.

Agatha TrunchbullEdit

  • I am here to teach you all a lesson! [pushes one table] Sometimes in life, horrible and unexplainable things happen. [pushes another table] These things are a test of character. [pushes one more table] And I have character.
  • (to Bruce "Brucie/Bog" Bogtrotter) You will not leave this platform until you have consumed the entire confection!
  • Some rats are going to die today!
  • Fresh meat!
  • 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. [mimics spraying a pesticide] My idea of a perfect school is one in which there are no all.
  • Heads up, shoulders back, stomachs in, stand up straight. That's detention for you.
  • [calling Harry Wormwood after the car he sold her breaks down] WORMWOOD!!! You useless used-car salesman scum! I want you around here now, with another car! Yes, I know what "caveat emptor" means, you lowlife liar! I'm going to sue you, I'm going to burn down your showroom, I'm going to take that no-good jalopy you sold me and shove it up your bazooga! When I'm finished with you, you're going to look like roadkill!
  • I'll be watching you, each and every one. When you turn the corner, when you go to your little cubbies to get your smelly little coats, when you skip merrily to lunch, I'll be watching you. All of you. And especially YOU"! [points at Matilda]
  • Listen to me Jen! [picks up ball] The distance the shot put goes, depends upon the effort you put into it! PERSPIRATION! If you can’t handle the little brat, I’ll lock her in The Chokey!! EEERRRAAAGH!! [throws shot-put at The Chokey] get it?
  • The entire assembly will stay until 5 hours after school and copy from the dictionary! Any children who object will go straight into The Chokey together!!
  • Get to class before I throw you all in The Chokey! Run, run, run! Faster! Get in! Quickly!
  • 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.
  • You're too small, grow up... QUICKER!
  • Why are all these women married?! Mrs. D? Mrs. I? You're supposed to be teaching them spelling, not poetry!
  • I will be teaching your class today.
  • Who does this DISGUSTING ribbon belong to?!
  • You will be put away into a place where not even the crows can land their droppings on you!


(First lines)
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 and special, for better or for worse. Most parents believe their children are the most beautiful creatures ever to grace the planet. Others take a "less emotional" approach.
(Cut to Harry and Zinnia Wormwood about to take a newborn Matilda home from the hospital, with Harry complaining about a hospital bill)
Harry Wormwood: What a waste of time.
Zinnia Wormwood: And painful.
Harry: And expensive. $9.25 for a bar of soap?
Zinnia: Well, I had to take a shower, Harry.
Harry: $5,000?! I'm not paying it! What are they gonna do, repossess the kid?

Narrator: Harry and Zinnia Wormwood lived in a very nice neighborhood, in a very nice house. But they were not really very nice people.
(Harry, Zinnia, and Michael walk into the house, leaving Matilda in the car)
Harry: (To the kids who are playing on the street) Get out of the street you little dodos!

Narrator: By the time she was four, Matilda had read every magazine in the house. One night she got up her courage, and asked her father for something she desperately wanted.
Harry: A book? What do you want a book for?
Matilda: To read.
Harry: 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: Any packages come today?
Matilda: (shakes her head) Mm-mm.
Harry: (noticing her books) Where did all this come from?
Matilda: The library.
Harry: The library? You've never set foot in a library; you're only four years old.
Matilda: Six-and-a-half.
Harry: You're four!
Matilda: Six-and-a-half!
Harry: 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: Get up. Get up. Get out of here. And give me that book.
(He throws the book aside, and leads Matilda to where Zinnia is)
Harry: Dearest pie, how old is Matilda?
Zinnia: Four.
Matilda: I'm six-and-a-half, Mommy.
Zinnia: Five, then!
Matilda: I was six in August.
Harry: You're a liar!
Matilda: I want to go to school.
Harry: 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: You know, sometimes I think there's something wrong with that girl.
Harry: Hmph, tell me about it.

(Harry comes home after another successful day of selling inherently faulty used cars and ripping off the buyers)
Harry: I'm great! I'm incredible! Michael, pencil and paper, in the kitchen.
Zinnia: Did we sell some cars today?
Harry: (grins) Did we?
Zinnia: Does that mean we can get that new TV?
Harry: Yeah. (to Mike) Son, one day you're going to have to earn your own living. It's time you learned the family business. Sit down. Write this down. All right. The first car your brilliant father sold cost $320. I sold it for $1,158. The second one cost $512. I sold it for $2,269.
Mike: Wait, Dad. You're going too fast!
Harry: Just write. The third cost $68. I sold it for $999. And the fourth cost $1,100. I sold it for 7,839 big American boffos!
Zinnia: Oh, Harry! (kisses him)
Harry: What was my total profit for the day?
Mike: Could you repeat the last one?
Matilda: (interrupting) $10,265. (long pause) Check it if you don't believe me.
(Harry, Zinnia, and Mike all check the paper, and find it to be correct)
Harry: You're a little cheat, you saw the paper.
Matilda: From all the way over here?
Harry: (pause) Are you being smart with me? If you're being smart with me, young lady, you're gonna be punished!
Matilda: Punished for being smart?
Harry: For being a smart aleck! When a person is bad, that person has to be taught a lesson.
Matilda: "Person"?
Harry: Get up, get up! (takes her to her room)
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 sneaks into her parents room and swaps Harry's hair oil for peroxide as punishment for rebuffing her)
Harry Wormwood: Michael, come into my room.
Michael Wormwood: What?
Harry Wormwood: My boy, today's the day I take you to the shop. What do you say?
Michael Wormwood: I don't know. What do you say, Dad?
Harry Wormwood: I say appearance is 9/10 of the law. People don't buy a car, they buy me - which is why personally I take such pride in my appearance. Well-oiled hair, clean shave, snappy suit. Now run along and get ready for a big day of learning, kid. Ha! It's going to be a big day of learning, too. There's a sucker born every minute, and we're gonna take them for all they got!
(Harry sprinkles hair oil on his hair, unaware that it is actually peroxide)

(At breakfast)
Harry Wormwood: Okay, my boy, Heir to the throne, Today, we diddle the customer! (Michael is shocked to see his father's unexpected blonde hair) What's wrong with you? What are you looking at? Lovekins, where's my breakfast?
Zinnia Wormwood: Here we are, my heartstrings-- (shrieks as she is surprised to see her husband's blonde hair and scatters the cereal she was carrying) Snickerdoodle! What did you do to your hair?
Harry Wormwood: My hair? (goes to the mirror and sees his hair is blonde; he screams in shock and faints while Matilda is holding in her laughter)

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

(Harry fills a car's engine with sawdust)
Harry Wormwood: The sawdust quiets the gears, and lets the motor run as sweet as a nut - for a couple of miles! (snickers)
Matilda Wormwood: Daddy, that's cheating.
Harry Wormwood: Of course it's cheating. Nobody ever got rich being honest.

(As Harry demonstrates his corrupt used car selling business to Michael)
Matilda Wormwood: Daddy, you're a crook.
Harry Wormwood: What?
Matilda Wormwood: This is illegal.
Harry Wormwood: (To Michael) You keep drilling.
Harry Wormwood: Do you make money? Do you have a job?
Matilda Wormwood: No, but don't people need good cars? Can't you sell good cars, Dad?
Harry Wormwood: Listen, you little wise acre! 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 Matilda uses "Super Super Glue" to very sturdily glue her father's hat to his head; Zinnia is in the process of removing it)
Harry Wormwood: (rants at no one in particular) I will not be a figure of ridicule! I want respect and I want it now!
Zinnia Wormwood: I still don't see why you glued your hat on, Harry. I know you say you didn't, but you obviously did.
Harry: I did not glue my hat to my head! The hat shrunk, the fibers fused to my hair!
Zinnia Wormwood: Baby, wait a minute. I'm getting it now. I'm getting it. One more. (the hat finally comes off, with small pieces still stuck to Harry's head) Oh my God! (snickers as Harry, nonplussed, looks in a mirror)
Harry Wormwood: From now on, this family does what I say, when exactly when I say it!
Zinnia Wormwood: (quietly gives him the hat) Here's your hat, Harry.
Harry Wormwood: Give me that. (snatches his hat and tosses it aside) And right now, we are eating dinner and watching TV.

(Matilda reads during dinner; her father approaches her in irritation)
Matilda Wormwood: (in a small voice) Hi, Dad.
Harry Wormwood: Are you in this family? (silence) Hello? Are you in this family? (turns out her lamp) Dinner time is family time! What is this trash you're reading?
Matilda Wormwood: It's not trash, Daddy. It's lovely. It's Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
Harry Wormwood: "Moby what?!" (snatches the book and tears it apart) This is filth, trash!
Matilda Wormwood: It's not mine! It's a library book!
Harry Wormwood: Trash! I'm fed up with all this reading! You're a Wormwood, You start acting like one! Sit up and look at the TV!

(After Matilda, through will-power, somehow makes the television explode)
Matilda: I didn't do it.
Harry Wormwood: Of course you didn't do it, you little twit.
Zinnia Wormwood: Told you that was a cheap set.
Harry Wormwood: It's not a cheap set, it's stolen set! (to Michael) Put your light on!
Michael Wormwood: Bummer.
Narrator: Was it magic or coincidence? She didn't know. It is said that we humans use only a tiny portion of our brains. Matilda may have never discovered her own strength of mind, were it not for the events that began the very next day.

(The Trunchbull visits Wormwood's dealer.)
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: (slightly nervous) 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.
Harry Wormwood: Uh-huh. Well, Since you're an educator, I'll make you a great deal.
Agatha Trunchbull: You had better.
Harry Wormwood: Let's do business.

Agatha Trunchbull: Amanda Thripp!
Amanda Thripp: Yes Ms. Trunchbull?
Agatha Trunchbull: What are those?
Amanda Thripp: What's what, Ms. Trunchbull?
Agatha Trunchbull: Hanging down by your ears.
Amanda Thripp: You mean my pigtails?
Agatha Trunchbull: Are you a pig, Amanda?
Amanda Thripp: No, Ms. Trunchbull.
Agatha Trunchbull: Do I allow pigs in my school?
Amanda Thripp: My mommy thinks they're sweet.
Agatha Trunchbull: Your mommy is a twit!

Agatha Trunchbull: Yippie! Got you right in the neck! (cackles) Yes! (Miss Honey knocks on the door) Come in, come in, whoever you are. (Miss Honey opens the door, and nearly gets hit by one of the Trunchbull's darts) Ah, almost got you. Good to see you, Jen. Good, good, good. Time for one of our little "heart-to-hearts"?
Jennifer Honey: Actually, it's about the new girl in my class, Ms. Trunchbull. Matilda Wormwood.
Agatha Trunchbull: Her father says she's a real wart.
Jennifer Honey: A what?
Agatha Trunchbull: A carbuncle, a blister, a festering pustule of malignant ooze.
Jennifer Honey: Oh, no. Matilda Wormwood is a very sweet girl, and very bright.
Agatha Trunchbull: (incredulous) A "bright child"?
Jennifer Honey: Yes. She can multiply large sums in her head.
Agatha Trunchbull: So can a calculator.
Jennifer Honey: Well, I think she might be happier in an older, and more advanced class.
Agatha Trunchbull: (sneers) Ah, I knew it. You can't handle the little viper, so you're trying to foist her off onto one of the other teachers!
Jennifer Honey: No, no, no, Ms--
Agatha Trunchbull: Yes! Typical, slothful cowardice! Listen to me, Jen. (grabs a shot-put) The distance the shot-put goes depends upon the effort you put into it... perspiration! If you can't handle the little brat, I'LL LOCK HER IN THE CHOKEY! (roars as she throws the shot-put across the room potentially to puncture it) Get it?
Jennifer Honey: (terrified) Yes, ma'am.
Agatha Trunchbull: One day, Jen, you'll see that everything I do is for your own good. And the good of those putrescent little children!

Zinnia: 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? (laughs)
Harry: College? I didn't go to college. I don't know anybody who did. Bunch of hippies and cesspool salesmen! (chuckles)
Miss Honey: (insulted) Don't sneer at educated people, Mr. Wormwood. If you became ill, heaven forbid, your doctor would be a college graduate.
Harry: (less smugly) 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: (sternly) Sold what car? Sued by who? Who you been talking to?
Miss Honey: Nobody. Oh, dear. I can see we are not going to agree, aren't we. I'm terribly sorry for interrupting you like this.
Zinnia: We need to sue her for interrupting our show!
Harry: Tell me about it!

[as punishment for supposedly eating Miss Trunchbull's chocolate cake, Bruce Bogtrotter has been forced to eat an entire cake in front of the whole student body]
Agatha Trunchbull: This boy, Bruce Bogtrotter, is none other than a vicious sneak thief. You're a disgusting criminal, aren't you?
Bruce Bogtrotter: I don't know what you're talking about.
Agatha Trunchbull: Cake. Chocolate cake. You slithered like a serpent into the school kitchen and ATE MY PERSONAL SNACK! (\[whips riding crop onto table] Do you deny it? [long pause] CONFESS!
Bruce Bogtrotter: Well, it's hard for me to remember a specific cake.
Agatha Trunchbull: This one was mine. And it was the most scrumptious cake in the entire world.
Bruce Bogtrotter: My mom's is better.
[the other students gasp]
Agatha Trunchbull: It is, is it? How can you be sure unless you have another piece? [grabs him by the shoulder and propels him to a chair] Sit down, Bog.

Agatha Trunchbull: (her car has broken down) How can you keep going, you USELESS, FLAMING CAR?! (notices Matilda) Wormwood! Sell me a lemon? (starts dragging her down the hallway) You're heading for the Chokey, young lady!
Matilda Wormwood: Chokey?
Agatha Trunchbull: It'll teach you a lesson!
Matilda Wormwood: What lesson?
Agatha Trunchbull: You and your father think you can make a fool out of me!
Matilda Wormwood: My father?
Agatha Trunchbull: The guy with the stupid haircut!
Matilda Wormwood: I'm nothing like my father!
Agatha Trunchbull: You're a spitting image! (shoves her into the Chokey) The apple never rots far from the tree! (slams the door)

Jennifer Honey: Okay now. Last time, some of you forgot yourselves. Don't speak unless you're spoken to. Don't laugh. Don't smile. Don't even breathe loudly--
Agatha Trunchbull: (entering) Don't breathe at all.

(Miss Honey rescues Matilda from the Chokey, and brings her back to the classroom. As they enter, we see the Trunchbull holding a boy upside down by his leg)
Agatha Trunchbull: Next time I tell you to empty your pockets, you'll do it faster, won't you?!
Hanging Boy: Yes, Ms. Trunchbull.
Agatha Trunchbull: (notices Jenny and Matilda) Ah, Miss Honey. This could be the most interesting thing you've ever done. (drops the boy) Sit down, you squirming worm of vomit!

Agatha Trunchbull: Can you spell?
Amanda Thripp: Miss Honey taught us how to spell a long word yesterday. We can spell "difficulty".
Agatha Trunchbull: You couldn't spell "difficulty" if your life depended on it.
Amanda Thripp: She taught us with a poem.
Agatha Trunchbull: (with a mock high-pitched tone) A poem? How sweet. What poem would that be?
Amanda Thripp: Mrs. D, Mrs. I... (gestures to class to join in( Mrs. F-F-I. Mrs. C, Mrs. U., Mrs. L-T-Y.
Agatha Trunchbull: (viciously whips riding crop on desk) Why are all these women married?! "Mrs D, Mrs I"? You're supposed to be teaching spelling, not poetry! (whips riding crop on Matilda's desk and walks to Miss Honey's desk) I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. (pours water in the glass holding the newt) I think they do it deliberately just to annoy me. (the Trunchbull drinks the newt while the kids laugh and whisper; the Trunchbull lays down the glass) What's funny? Hmm? Come on, spit it out! Speak up. I would like a joke as well as the other next fat person. (one of the students almost laughed and the Trunchbull discovers the newt in the glass she was drinking from) It's a snake! It's a snake! Oh, it's a snake! (Matilda puts her hand up) One of you tried to poison me! Who?! Oh, Matilda. I knew it.
Matilda Wormwood: I just thought you'd like to know, it's not a snake. It's a newt.
Agatha Trunchbull: What did you say?
Matilda Wormwood: It's a newt, Ms. Trunchbull.
Agatha Trunchbull: (sharply) Stand up, you villainous sack of goat-slime! You did this!
Matilda: No, Ms. Trunchbull.
Agatha Trunchbull: Did you act alone, or did you have accomplices?
Matilda Wormwood: I didn't do it.
Agatha Trunchbull: 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, Ms. Trunchbull?
Agatha Trunchbull: (furiously) For this newt, you piss worm!
Matilda: I'm telling you, I didn't do it!
Agatha Trunchbull: (regains composure) Besides, even if you didn't do it, I'm going to punish you, because I'm big and you're small, and I'm right and you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it. You're a liar and a scoundrel, and your father's a liar and a cheat! You're the most corrupt low-lifes in the history of civilization! Am I wrong? I'm never wrong. In this classroom, in this school, I am GOD! (Matilda, gets more and more angry, concentrates on the glass; suddenly, the glass tips over, pouring the newt onto the Trunchbull. The Trunchbull jumps and dances in fear, while the kids laugh, until the Trunchbull flicks the newt off her, which it lands on the hanging lights, then into a boy's hand) (furiously) YOU!!!
Matilda Wormwood: I didn't move!
Agatha Trunchbull: You did this! (tries to grab Matilda)
Jennifer Honey: How could she possibly done it when she was sitting all the way from over here?
Agatha Trunchbull: (sighs in frustration) I'll be watching you. Each and every one. When you turn the corner, when you go to your little cubbies to get your smelly little coats, when you skip merrily to lunch, I'll be watching you. All of you. And especially you! (points at Matilda, then leaves the classroom)

[Matilda and Miss Honey walk past the Trunchbull's house]
Miss Honey: That's where Ms. Trunchbull lives.
Matilda: Why is there a swing?
Miss Honey: A girl I know used to live in that house. [cut to a series of flashbacks] Her life was good and happy. When she was just two years old, her mother died. Her father was a doctor, and he needed someone to look after things at home. So he invited the mother's stepsister to come and live with him. But the girl's aunt was a mean person, who treated the girl very badly.
Matilda: The Trunchbull.
Miss Honey: Yes. And worst of all, when the girl was five, her father died.
Matilda: How did her father die?
Miss Honey: The police decided he killed himself.
Matilda: Why would he do such a thing?
Miss Honey: No one knows. [cut back to present] The end is happier. She found a small cottage. She rented it from this lovely rhubarb farmer for just $50 a month, and she covered it in honeysuckle, and she planted hundreds of wildflowers, and she moved out of her wicked aunt's house, and she finally got her freedom.

[Matilda and Miss Honey arrive at Miss Honey's cottage]
Matilda: This is the cottage from your story.
Miss Honey: Yes.
Matilda: The young woman is you.
Miss Honey: Yes.
Matilda: But then... [realizes the Trunchbull is Miss Honey's aunt] NO.
Miss Honey: Yes. Aunt Trunchbull.

Miss Honey: When I left my home, Aunt Trunchbull's home, I had to leave all my treasures behind.
Matilda: Treasures?
Miss Honey: Photographs of my mother and father, and a beautiful doll my mother gave me with a china face. Lissy Doll, I called her. Would you like some milk?
Matilda: Yes, please. 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: You're very brave, Miss Honey.

Jennifer Honey: (sees a painting of her father, Magnus Honey) That's my dad.
Matilda Wormwood:: What's his name?
Jennifer Honey: Magnus. I used to call him "King Magnus" and he would call me "Bumblebee".
Matilda Wormwood: I don't think Magnus killed himself.
Jennifer Honey: Neither do I.
Matilda Wormwood: (Notices Miss Honey's doll on the bed) Is that Liccy doll?
(Matilda and Miss Honey walk to Liccy doll and just as Miss Honey was about to touch the doll, they were interrupted)
Agatha Trunchbull: (on telephone) WORMWOOD!!! You useless used car salesman scum! I want you around here now, with another car! Yes, I know what caveat emptor means, you lowlife liar! I'm going to sue you, I'm going to burn down your showroom, I'm going to take that no-good jalopy you sold me and shove it up your bazooga! When I'm finished with you, you're going to look like roadkill. (silent pause) You what?! Oh, y-- Huh? (the Trunchbull hangs up the receiver and walks to the living room to find the chocolate box open and sniffs the lid to the box, noticing that Miss Honey and Matilda are in her house)
Jennifer Honey: Come on. Come on. (the Trunchbull looks around the area)
Matilda Wormwood: Shouldn't we hide or something?
Jennifer Honey: Yeah. Go. Go to the end of the hall, downstairs and out the kitchen door. I'll distract her. (the Trunchbull walks upstairs while Matilda and Miss Honey split up)
Agatha Trunchbull: Who's in my HOUSE!?! (walks to the door) Yah! COME OUT AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN!!!

(Trunchbull destroys a statue with a hammer throw. Silent pause, Miss Trunchbull screams in anger, then walks away)
(Miss Honey and Matilda are still hiding in the bushes, very shaken and frightened)
Jennifer Honey: Oh goodness!
Matilda Wormwood: Feel my heart! Was that the most scared that you ever been in your whole life?
(Miss Trunchbull returns inside her house)
Jennifer Honey: Come on. Let's go.
Matilda Wormwood: She shouldn't be allowed to treat people like that. Someone's got to teach her a lesson.
Jennifer Honey: I know.
Matilda Wormwood: We'll wait until she leaves, then we'll go get your doll.
Jennifer Honey: What?!
Matilda Wormwood: Just kidding.
Jennifer Honey: Come here. (Matilda and Miss Honey get out of the bushes and onto the road) Matilda, promise me you will never go back in that house again.
Matilda Wormwood: I promise.
Jennifer Honey: Okay.
(Matilda and Miss Honey embrace and walk home. Matilda looks at the Trunchbull's house)
Jennifer Honey: Come on.

(After Harry sees off the FBI agents, whom Zinnia was talking to)
Zinnia Wormwood: You don't let me talk to people! I am in a cage, Harry! I need to talk to somebody besides our stupid kids!
Harry Wormwood: Oh yeah?! Well, a man is entitled to come home to find dinner on the table, without having to wait for a convention of male strippers!
(As he yells, Matilda focuses on her bedroom door, and it moves slightly.)
Matilda Wormwood: Dad?
Harry Wormwood: What do you want?!
Matilda Wormwood: Yell at me, okay?
Harry Wormwood: Shut up and leave us alone!
Matilda Wormwood: Yell at me again!
Harry Wormwood: Yell at you?! I'll come in there and pound your miserable hide! What do I have to do to get any respect around here?! I'm gonna give you a tanning like you've never had in your life! My word is my law! Do you understand? LAW!
(Before he can reach her, Matilda uses her powers to slam the door shut. She smiles to herself as he is heard raving and hammering on it.)

(Matilda tries to using flashbacks of insulting by her parents, her brother and headmistress)
Harry Wormwood: You're a little cheat. What are you, stupid? I'm smart, you're dumb, I'm big, you're little.
Agatha Trunchbull: The apple never rots far from the tree!
Zinnia Wormwood: There's something wrong with that girl.
Harry Wormwood: I'm right, you're wrong! And there's nothing you can do about it!
Michael Wormwood: Hey, dip face! Here's your book!
Harry Wormwood: You're a Wormwood, It's time you started acting like one!

(Matilda catches Agents Bob and Bill in the garage without a search warrant)
Matilda Wormwood: 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 Wormwood: 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 Wormwood: There's another crime in the making: your car is about to run a stop sign.
(We see that the handbrake has been taken off their car, which is now rolling towards a four-way stop intersection)

Michael Wormwood: Hey, dip face, where are you going?
Matilda Wormwood: Out.
Michael Wormwood: Hey, dip face. Have a carrot!
(Michael flicks a carrot at Matilda. To his astonishment, it suddenly stops itself in mid-flight, Michael gasps)
Matilda Wormwood: Nah, you eat it.

(Reverses direction, and fires right into his mouth, lodging in his esophagus. He starts choking on the carrot, Matilda laughs)

Harry Wormwood: (from offscreen) Chew your food, you're an animal!

Jennifer Honey: Matilda, you promised you wouldn't go back in that house again.
Matilda Wormwood: I didn't. I was on the garage roof. (whispering) I did it with my powers.

(Matilda uses her powers to write on the blackboard, pretending to be the ghost of Magnus, Jenny's father)
Class: (reading) Agatha. This is Magnus. Give my little bumblebee her house, and her money.
Agatha Trunchbull: Money?
Class: Then get out of town. If you don't, I will get you. I will get you like you got me. That is a promise!

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!
Harry Wormwood: Whatever.
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?
Jennifer Honey: (extremely serious) 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! (reveals them)
Zinnia Wormwood: What the-- Where did you get those?
Matilda Wormwood: From a book in the library. I've had them since I was big enough to Xerox.
Zinnia Wormwood: Are you hearing this, Harry?!
Matilda Wormwood: All you have to do is sign them.
Michael Wormwood: (from the car) I'll be an only child again.
Harry Wormwood: (frustrated) Shut up! I--I can't think with all these sirens!
[Police sirens are heard nearby, indicating that the police are after Harry]
Harry Wormwood: (calms, then turns to Zinnia) What do you think, Pumpkin?
Zinnia Wormwood: (turns to Matilda uneasily) You were the only daughter I ever had, Matilda. And I never understood you, not one little bit. (pause) Who's got a pen?
(Harry and Zinnia sign the papers)
Narrator: And doing perhaps the first decent thing they ever did for their daughter, the Wormwoods signed the adoption papers.
Zinnia Wormwood: Okay. (Signs the first page of the adoption papers) Here.
Matilda Wormwood: (Flips to second page) And here.
Zinnia Wormwood: Okay. (Signs the second page)
Matilda Wormwood: (Flips to third and last page) And here.
Zinnia Wormwood: Okay. (Signs the last page, folds the paper, closes the pen and gives both the papers and the pen to Matilda)
Harry Wormwood: (Gets the pen and paper from Matilda) All right, come on, come here. Turn around! (Signs the adoption papers)
Harry: You're not gonna be calling us for support payments or something like that, huh?
Miss Honey: Oh no, we'll have everything we need. Don't worry.
(The papers are signed, Matilda runs and embraces Miss Honey and the Wormwoods go into their car)
Harry: Okay here, let's roll!
Zinnia: (Friendly goodbye) Ciao!
(Michael angrily shakes his head at Matilda, the car starts and drives off)

(The final scene, where Miss Honey and Matilda are having fun in the house)

Narrator: So Harry and Zinnia got away. And as bad as things were before... that's how good they became. Miss Honey was made principal of Crunchem Hall, which had to add another school because children never wanted to leave. And Matilda found, to her great surprise, that life could be fun, and she decided to have as much of it as possible. After all, she was a very smart kid. The happiest part of the story is that Matilda and Miss Honey each got what they'd always wanted - a loving family. And Matilda never had to use her powers again. Well, I mean almost never.
(Matilda, in bed, makes the book "Moby-Dick" float off the shelf to her lap and begins reading it aloud to Miss Honey)


  • Mara WilsonMatilda Wormwood
    • Alissa and Amanda Graham, Trevor and James Gallagher (newborn)
    • Kayla and Kelsey Fredericks (9 months old)
    • Amanda and Caitlin Fein (2 years old)
    • Sara Magdalin (4 years old)

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: