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  • Writer's pictureNazifa Islam

L.M. Montgomery Is Funny

I just finished rereading all of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. I read the eight books about twice a year and they're among my favorite books of all time. They're especially excellent avenues for escapism right now when the real world is feeling particularly grey and terrible. This is not only because you get to spend time with the positively delightful Anne Shirley in quaint Prince Edward Island where life is steeped in sentiment and romance, but because these books are funny. I laugh every time I read them. Yes, every time. The humor never fails to tickle me.

I save quotes from everything I read—it’s been a habit for over a decade now. I have really too many quotes pulled from these eight books to share them all (135 to be exact), but I thought I would share the funny ones. I also figured that while I was at it, I might as well go hunting for funny quotes from all of Montgomery's other novels and stories. So here is some of L.M. Montgomery at her funniest:

"'Mrs. Spencer said that my tongue must be hung in the middle. But it isn't—it's firmly fastened at one end.'"

- Anne of Green Gables

"'I am well in body although considerably rumpled up in spirit, thank you, ma'am,' said Anne gravely. Then aside to Marilla in an audible whisper, 'There wasn't anything startling in that, was there, Marilla?'"

- Anne of Green Gables

"'It's about Diana,' sobbed Anne luxuriously. 'I love Diana so, Marilla. I cannot ever live without her. But I know very well when we grow up that Diana will get married and go away and leave me. And oh, what shall I do? I hate her husband—I just hate him furiously. I've been imagining it all out—the wedding and everything—Diana dressed in snowy white garments, and a veil, and looking as beautiful and regal as a queen; and me the bridesmaid, with a lovely dress, too, and puffed sleeves, but with abreaking heart hid beneath my smiling face. And then bidding Diana good-bye-e-e—' Here Anne broke down entirely and wept with increasing bitterness.

Marilla turned quickly away to hide her twitching face, but it was no use; she collapsed on the nearest chair and burst into such a hearty and unusual peal of laughter…"

- Anne of Green Gables

"'Oh, we're very careful, Marilla. And it's so interesting. Two flashes means, "Are you there?" Three means "yes" and four "no." Five means, "Come over as soon as possible, because I have something important to reveal." Diana has just signalled five flashes, and I'm really suffering to know what it is.'"

- Anne of Green Gables

"'Anne, are you killed?' shrieked Diana, throwing herself on her knees beside her friend. 'Oh, Anne, dear Anne, speak just one word to me and tell me if you're killed.'"

- Anne of Green Gables

"'Maybe I got out of the wrong side of the bed,' suggested Davy. 'Milty Boulter says if you do that things are bound to go wrong with you all day. His grandmother told him. But which is the right side? And what are you to do when your bed's against the wall? I want to know.'"

-Anne of Avonlea

"'I'm afraid of those cows,' protested poor Dora, seeing a prospect of escape.

'The very idea of your being scared of those cows,' scoffed Davy. 'Why, they're both younger than you.'"

- Anne of the Island

"'Thanksgiving was last week. There was no school and we had a great dinner. I et mince pie and rost turkey and frut cake and donuts and cheese and jam and choklut cake. Marilla said I'd die but I dident. Dora had earake after it, only it wasent in her ears it was in her stummick. I dident have earake anywhere.'"

- Anne of the Island

"'"The kind of a wife I'd like to Have.

She must have good manners and get my meals on time and do what I tell her and always be very polite to me. She must be fifteen yers old. She must be good to the poor and keep her house tidy and be good tempered and go to church regularly. She must be very handsome and have curly hair. If I get a wife that is just what I like Ill be an awful good husband to her. I think a woman ought to be awful good to her husband. Some poor women havent any husbands.


- Anne of the Island

"'Mrs. Lynde says Mrs. Wrights grandfather stole a sheep but Marilla says we mustent speak ill of the dead. Why mustent we, Anne? I want to know. It's pretty safe ain't it?'"

- Anne of the Island

"'Mrs. Lynde was awful mad the other day because I asked her if she was alive in Noah's time. I dident mean to hurt her feelings. I just wanted to know. Was she, Anne?'"

- Anne of the Island

"'What are you going to do with that ten dollars, Anne? Let's all go up town and get drunk,' suggested Phil."

- Anne of the Island

"'I wish I were dead, or that it were tomorrow night,' groaned Phil."

- Anne of the Island

"'I met a wolf in the street' says he, 'a normous wolf with a big, red mouf and awful long teeth, Uncle Jim.' 'I didn't know there was any wolves up at the Glen,' says I. 'Oh, he comed there from far, far away,' says Joe, 'and I fought he was going to eat me up, Uncle Jim.' 'Were you scared?' says I. 'No, cause I had a big gun,' says Joe, 'and I shot the wolf dead, Uncle Jim,—solid dead—and then he went up to heaven and bit God," says he.'"

- Anne's House of Dreams

"'I'm next thing to an orphan,' said Rilla. 'I've only got one father and mother.'"

- Anne of Ingleside

"'Jimmy Murray, you are an ass,' said Aunt Ruth, angrily.

'Well, we're cousins,' agreed Cousin Jimmy pleasantly."

-Emily Climbs

"Aunt Nina, in particular, had held him in terror ever since the day she had told him proudly that her husband had never lied to her.

'Oh, you poor woman,' said Uncle Klon, with real sympathy in his tone."

-Magic for Marigold

"'We are all as God made us,' said Uncle Ebenezer piously.

'Then God botched some of us,' snapped Old Grandmother…"

-Magic for Marigold

"But Old Grandmother liked people with a mind of their own—when they were dead."

-Magic for Marigold

"Gwennie announced in the morning that she would forgive Marigold.

'I don't want to be forgiven. I haven't don't anything wrong,' retorted Marigold. 'I won't be forgiven.'

'I will forgive you. You can't prevent me,' said Gwennie virtuously."

-Magic for Marigold

"'I'm not mad,' said Marigold calmly. 'I'm only sorry for you. It must be so terrible to be you.'"

-Magic for Marigold

"'If you were changed into a toad this minute you'd only look like what you are,' cried Marigold passionately."

-Magic for Marigold

"'My but I'm sorry for the man you're going to marry.'

Marigold cast tradition to the winds.

'Oh, never mind,' she said. 'Your wife will be able to sympathize with him.'"

-Magic for Marigold

"A man should be married. If he wasn't he had cheated some poor woman out of a husband."

-Pat of Silver Bush

"'Well, I do be thinking it wud be a dull world if nobody iver did anything he oughtn't. What wud we find to talk about?' asked Judy unanswerably."

-Pat of Silver Bush

"'Is it true the Kirks are putting up a sun-dial in the Long House garden?'

'Yes,' said Pat shortly.

'Well now, I never did hold with them modern inventions,' said Mrs. Binnie complacently. 'An old-fashioned clock is good enough for me.'"

-Mistress Pat

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