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These are some of my favourite lines from Season 3. They remind me of why I enjoy Downton Abbey in the first place, the humor and subtext, and the superb cast that delivers every time.

Episode 1

The family must never be a topic of conversation. – Violet Crawley

Miss O’Brien, we are about to host a society wedding. I have no time for training young hobbledehoys. – Mr. Carson

Daisy: You’ve still kept me here with a dishonest representation.
Mrs. Patmore: Oh dear. Have you swallowed a dictionary?

Don’t worry about me. I’m an American. Have gun, will travel.  – Cora

Have gun will travel

Forgive, perhaps. Forget, never. – Violet

Come war and peace, Downton still stands and the Crawleys are still in it. – Martha Levinson

Mary, dearest Mary. Now, you tell me all of your wedding plans. I’ll see what I can do to improve them.  – Martha

Edith: There you are. I see you’ve said hello to Grandmama.
Violet: She is like a homing pigeon. She finds our underbelly every time.

I should hate to be predictable. – Mary to Matthew, at her wedding altar

Episode 2

Let me call you sweetheart...

Nothing succeeds like excess. – Violet

Are you not popular downstairs? – Robert to Thomas

Some animals adapt to new surroundings. It seems a better choice than extinction. – Martha to Robert

Well, in my opinion, to misquote Dr. Johnson, if you’re tired of style, you are tired of life. – Mr. Carson

Episode 3

At my age, one must ration one’s excitement.  – Violet

Let him go, let him go. You know he’s right. Don’t stop him doing the only sensible thing he’s come up with in months. – Violet to Edith at the altar

Being tested only makes you stronger. – Cora to Edith

If the poor don’t want it, you can bring it over to me. – Violet to Carson re. the wedding food.

Wedding gourmet for downstairs

And the food? Here it is… probably the best quote of the Episode. In answering Alfred’s remark of: Is this all we’re getting? Just these picketty bits:

These are canapés, Alfred. For your first course, some truffled egg on toast, perhaps? Some oysters a la Russe? There’s lobster rissoles in Mousseline sauce or Calvados-glazed duckling, or do you fancy a little asparagus salad with Champagne-saffron vinaigrette? – Thomas and Mrs. Patmore

Episode 4

Robert: What a harsh world you live in.
Tom: We all live in a harsh world. But at least I know I do.

Carson: But Alfred is very good, you know. He’s very willing. Even if he is Miss O’Brien’s nephew.
Matthew: Clearly, nothing worse could be said of any man.

Episode 5

Cora: Sir Philip mustn’t bully him into silence.
Robert: My dear, this is just Clarkson’s professional pride like barbers asking, “Who last cut your hair?”

A woman of my age can face reality far better than most men. – Violet

Sybil, Tom & baby

Edith: She was the only person living who always thought you and I were such nice people. Oh Mary… Do you think we might get along a little better in the future?
Mary: I doubt it. But since this is the last time we three will all be together in this life, let’s love each other now, as sisters should.

Episode 6

There hasn’t been a Catholic Crawley since the Reformation. – Robert

Anyone who has use of their limbs can make a salmon mousse. – Mrs. Patmore

You know the trouble with you lot? You’re all in love with the wrong people. Now take those upstairs! – Mrs. Patmore

Robert: I’m flabbergasted.
Cora: You’re always flabbergasted by the unconventional.

Dr. Clarkson: So you want me to lie to them and say there was no chance at all?
Violet: Lie… is so unmusical a word. I want you to review the evidence honestly and without bias.
Clarkson: Even to ease suffering, I could never justify telling an outright lie.
Violet: Have we nothing in common?

Episode 7

Bates and Anna

But in the meantime, you just rest. Stay in bed, read books. – Robert to Bates

Convince me again. – Matthew to Mary

I do think a woman’s place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there. – Violet

What is The Scarlet Letter? – Violet

Robert: Second [condition], you will both admit it when you realize you were wrong.
Violet: Oh, well that is an easy caveat to accept because I’m never wrong.

What’s the matter, Robert? Are you afraid you’ll be converted while you’re not looking? – Cora

Episode 8

Cricket Match

Matthew: Bates must count himself lucky to be out of it [cricket match].
Anna: I think he’d like to walk normally, sir, even if playing cricket was the price he had to pay.

She hates London, so she’s coming to a great-aunt in Yorkshire to have a good time. How original. –Isobel to Violet re. Rose

Isobel: Of course, if you had had to sell Charlie to the butcher to be chopped up as stew to achieve the same ends, you would have done so.
Violet: Happily, it was not needed.

Episode 9 Finale

Edna: He’s nice looking, I give him that.
Mrs. Hughes: I don’t think you’re required to give him anything.

Don’t dislike him before you know him. That’s the hallmark of our parents’ generation, and I forbid it.  – Matthew to Mary, re. Gregson.

What I want is for her [Rose] to know that family can be a loving thing… Love is like riding or speaking French. If you don’t learn it young, it’s hard to get the trick of it later.  – Shrimpie

Matthew: I fall more in love with you every day that passes.
Mary: I’ll remind you of that next time I scratch the car.

Downton Abbey Christmas Special


Oh, but it’s more than just a scratch in the car. We’ll forgive, but not forget. – Arti


CLICK HERE to Quotable Quotes from Downton Abbey Season 1 and 2