36 Irresistible Roald Dahl Quotes Guaranteed To Inspire

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When it comes to famous children’s authors, you don’t get much bigger than Roald Dahl. Over his long career, he wrote some of the most magical and memorable stories and created many favorite characters along the way.

But his books didn’t just keep kids mesmerized with their vividness, excitement and brilliant illustrations, they kept the adults engrossed every bit as much.

Dahl injected a great deal of wisdom into his literature and there is no doubting that we can all learn a thing or two from the following passages.

On Self-belief

Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.– Matilda

Bunkum and tummyrot! 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

On Being Open-minded

“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

You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.– The Minpins

On Embracing Life

Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.– Matilda

I began to realize 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

On Being Good

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 it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.– The Twits

If you are good life is good.– Matilda

Two rights don’t equal a left.– The BFG

On Being Inquisitive

“Anyone can ask questions,” said Mr. Wonka. “It’s the answers that count.”– Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t even started wondering about yet.– James and the Giant Peach

On Manifesting Your Dreams

Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything. Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.– James and the Giant Peach

I’ve heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true.– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

On Love

Let your love out.– The BFG

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.– The Witches

On Unlimited Possibilities

However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It is most unlikely. But – here comes the big “but” – not impossible.– The Witches

On Understanding

Don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.– Matilda

A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

On Responsibility

Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.– Roald Dahl

On Reading Books

Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall.– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.– Matilda

On Time

“Don’t argue, my dear child, please don’t argue!” cried Mr. Wonka. “It’s such a waste of precious time!”– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

“We must hurry!” said Mr. Wonka. “We have so much time and so little to do! No! Wait! Strike that! Reverse it!”– Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

On Not Living In The Past

There is little point in teaching anything backwards. The whole object of life, Headmistress, is to go forwards.– Matilda

On Childhood

Children are not so serious as grown-ups and love to laugh.– Matilda

Never grow up…always down.– George’s Marvellous Medicine

On Parental Love

It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.– Matilda

On Imagination

“You seemed so far away,” Miss Honey whispered, awestruck.
“Oh, I was. I was flying past the stars on silver wings,” Matilda said. “It was wonderful.”
– Matilda

On Being Resolute

Some people when they have taken too much and have been driven beyond the point of endurance, simply crumble and give up. There are others, though they are not many, who will for some reason always be unconquerable. You meet them in time of war and also in time of peace. They have an indomitable spirit and nothing, neither pain nor torture nor threat of death, will cause them to give up.– The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

On Pessimism

“Poor Earthworm,” the Ladybird 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.”– James and the Giant Peach

On Greed

Nothing is any fun if you can get as much of it as you want. Especially money.– The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

On Being Authentic

I was glad my father was an eye-smiler. It meant he never gave me a fake smile because it’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself. A mouth-smile is different. You can fake a mouth-smile any time you want, simply by moving your lips. I’ve also learned that a real mouth-smile always has an eye-smile to go with it. So watch out, I say, when someone smiles at you but his eyes stay the same. It’s sure to be a phony.– Danny the Champion of the World

On Music

So the music is saying something to them. It is sending a message. I do not think the human beans is knowing what that message is, but they is loving it just the same.– The BFG

On Experiencing Bliss/Nirvana

George didn’t say a word. He felt quite trembly. He knew something tremendous had taken place that morning. For a few brief moments he had touched with the very tips of his fingers the edge of a magic world.– George’s Marvellous Medicine

And check out our compilations of Winnie-the-Pooh quotes, and Alice in Wonderland quotes too.

About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.