Question: Is that a tissue stuck in Miss Honey's watch band? And if it is, why is it there?

Answer: That's where a proper lady keeps her tissue/handkerchief by rules of etiquette.


Answer: As stated above it is a tissue and kept there as etiquette. You actually see her use and replace the tissue on a couple of occasions.


Answer: He has been receiving and selling stolen car parts.

Answer: It is a federal violation to own/operate a "chop shop." Other possibilities include interstate transport of stolen vehicles or car parts, altering Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), and falsifying documents. After a VIN is altered, it is difficult to positively identify the vehicle as stolen and acquire the necessary evidence to get a conviction if goes to trial. But it is the interstate aspect that makes the FBI the key investigators.


Answer: He had stolen car parts.

Plus he had been putting the mileage back on the cars and simply running an illegal call lot.


Answer: The "real world" answer is that it's a movie, and without Trunchbull, there's no villain at the school for Matilda to battle. Within the context of the film, everyone, including the staff, is afraid of her and fear if they speak up, she'll retaliate.

Answer: They would have been simply too afraid of the Trunchbull to report her.

Question: One of the cops said Matilda would end up in a federal orphanage once Harry was in federal prison, but can't her mother take care of her? She seems to have no idea that Harry's a criminal, and also where is the evidence that the mother is involved?


Answer: She knows. Listen to her and Harry after their TV explodes: "I told you that was a cheap set." "It's not a cheap set, it's a stolen set!" She knows that Harry is a criminal.


Answer: Another way to tell is when Harry takes Mickie and her to his shop. She sees him using sawdust in the transmission and tells him he is doing something illegal.

That was Matilda, not Zenia. But yeah, she definitely knows what her husband is up to.


Answer: Also, when Zenia is talking to the cops aka speedboat salesmen, she's talking about Harry having money in banks all over the place.

Answer: It is questionable in what time period the movie is set, but it appears to be at least the 1970s or 1980s - or, after orphanages were replaced with group homes, foster homes, and other more child-friendly places. The threat of sending Matilda to a "federal orphanage" was designed to scare her and get her to reveal what she knew. Matilda could not be sent to a federal orphanage because they no longer existed.


Question: Miss Trunchbull is not married, hence Miss. Miss Honey's father is Magnus, Miss Trunchbull's brother, so would he not be Magnus Trunchbull, and Miss Honey also be named Miss Trunchbull?

Answer: No Miss Trunchbull was her mother's stepsister - Miss Honey says this in her story.

Question: Just as the Trunchbull gets back to the house after pushing the car back, there's a red trail on the road. Is this supposed to be blood or some sort of fluid leaking from the car?

Answer: It might have been antifreeze that was leaking.

Anti-freeze is yellowish. The red liquid suggests transmission fluid.


Question: Why did Matilda insist on going into the Trunchbull's house after seeing her leave in the car? Knowing her father sold dodgy cars and seeing it playing up before she got put in the choky, wouldn't she be a bit more cautious in case it broke down just round the corner?

Answer: She's a kid. In her mind she can deal with the danger. Plus she wanted to get the picture of Magnus for Ms Honey.


Answer: She wanted to get Miss Honey back her treasures like her doll.

Answer: He doesn't bring her in the book, but in order for the plot to work out, they had to plant her there some way.

Answer: He probably wanted help, she was seen putting the bumper on the car with Mikey. He probably had other tasks for her to do, but she annoyed him by calling him a crook before he could give her more jobs and then Zinnia arrived shortly afterwards.

Answer: Just to bring her, as her guardian.

But she's always at home alone?

Question: If the Wormwoods are moving to Guam to escape from the police, why move to Guam, a U.S territory, where the Speedboat salesmen or whatever can easily find/extradite them?


Answer: It's a joke, because they are too stupid to know that Guam is a territory of the United States.

Answer: They are FBI, and they are undercover.

Question: Can anyone tell me what the music is that plays in the scene when Matilda is making all the cards and gambling chips fly about?

The Doctor

Answer: The song is "Little Bitty Pretty One" by Thurston Harris.

Chosen answer: It's called "Send Me On My Way," and is performed by Rusted Root.


Chosen answer: What about choosing not to cook precludes owning a recipe book? I'd guess Zinnia bought it simply because it's the type of thing a housewife would own. Or I suppose there's a chance Matilda, who is very resourceful and very fond of books, procured one herself from the library or elsewhere.


Answer: As said in the comment above, it is also mentioned in the book that she procured it from the library, and was very fond about learning how to cook.

Question: This may not be true for everybody, but I read that *all* babies are born with blue eyes, and then the color changes as the person gets older. When we see Matilda as a baby, her eyes are brown. Is that possible?

Answer: While babies are often born with paler eyes than they will have as toddlers, many babies are born with brown eyes.


Answer: I'm white and had brown eyes from birth. It's just an old wives tale that every baby, or every white baby, is born with blue eyes.

Answer: The eye colour of a baby depends on their skin colour. White babies have steely blue eyes, which can be dark (this might be why Matilda's eyes look brown). Babies with darker skin have brown eyes. The colour of an infant's eyes can change during the transition to toddlerhood, but not always.

Question: Did Miss Trunchbull really kill Miss Honey's father? If she did, why was she never arrested for it?


Chosen answer: Yes she did. Whatever way she killed him she made it look like a suicide so that's what the police ruled it as. No reason to arrest her if they ruled it a suicide.

Question: When the Trunchbull chases Miss Honey and Matilda through the house, why didn't Miss Honey just reveal herself? It's her aunt at the end of the day so it wouldn't have been as bad as if she'd have found Matilda.

Answer: Even though it's her aunt, it's still breaking and entering. Trunchbull would still take some sort of action against Ms Honey to ensure that it didn't happen again.


Answer: Trunchbull is biologically related (Miss Honey's aunt), but does not fit the typical profile of a loving, caring aunt. She is a ruthless, cold, and hostile person to everyone, including relatives. To say that Trumbull and Miss Honey's relationship is strained is putting it mildly. Trumbull doesn't even meet the meaning of "estranged" because her behavior has always been hostile and malicious (never "loving aunt").


Answer: Also, Miss Trunchbull killed Magnus (Miss Honey's dad), so she's probably scared the same thing will happen to her in the same house.

Question: How was Harry able to remain in business? Surely the word would get around quite quickly that the cars he sells fall apart within days.

Answer: Harry was a seasoned con artist (synonymous with "used car salesman?) who would be able to come up with rational, believable, convincing stories (lies) to explain whatever gripe a complaining customer has, placing the blame on anyone/anything other than the dealership. Used cars, typically sold "as is" or with a limited warranty (30 days) fall under "caveat emptor" - let the buyer beware, so there isn't really much expectation for buying a problem-free used car. All complainers would be dealt with in a way that manipulates them into believing Harry was acting in their best interests and went above and beyond other remedial actions offered by used car sales people to their customers. An exceptionally good case of "making things right" is broadcasted to the public to portray a positive image. Used car dealerships, in general, are known to be questionable or shoddy businesses. Also, many people don't take the time to investigate a car dealership's reputation so don't know their risk.


Answer: The answer is: "Power." Miss Trunchbull is a sadistic bully, as a school headteacher she can terrorise, frighten and dominate children and teachers. Also the job pays a good salary. She has probably arranged things so the other teachers do all the real work and the difficult jobs. She lives in a house attached to the school, so she gets free accommodation. She can run scams: for example the pupils must be fed, so she gives the catering contract to a company who pay her a "backhander." Thus she has a lucrative job where she does very little work. Plus, you cannot have a story without a villain to be defeated, so Miss Trunchbull is a brilliant opponent for Matilda.

Rob Halliday

Answer: It's a common enough trope to the point where it has become cliche. Stories set in a school will almost always have a teacher or principal (or both) openly dislike their students. Stories aimed at a younger audience will often exaggerate this to an extreme, where the teacher/administrator has a hatred of children in general that borders on insanity.


That's exactly why I dislike movies about teachers - always very cliched characters and plots.


Chosen answer: The glue would keep the car part on but only for a short time because only glue was used. Harry didn't use tools to put on any bolts or anything to keep it in place so eventually it would fall off from the glue drying up.

Question: Why would Matilda interfere with the FBI investigation? Wouldn't she want her father to go to jail?


Answer: At the end of the day, he's still her father, and she's a young child. It would be difficult for her to give the FBI the smoking gun.

Answer: No. She didn't get along with her family, but she was a basically kind girl who still looked out for her father.

Brian Katcher

Factual error: It is stated that Miss Trunchbull competed in the Olympics in shot put, javelin, and hammer throw. According to her jersey those were the 1972 Olympics. The hammer throw wasn't added as an Olympic event for women until 2000.

More mistakes in Matilda

Agatha Trunchbull: You wanted cake, you got cake! Now EAT IT.

More quotes from Matilda

Trivia: The two actors who play Matilda's parents, Harry and Zinnia Wormwood, are Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito. They are actually husband and wife and have been married since 1982 and have 3 children.

More trivia for Matilda

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