Every Time Matilda Used Magic in Matilda: A Definitive Ranking

By Team Beamly, 26 July, 2014

Back in the ’90s, we wanted to have magical powers long before Hogwarts was even a thing, thanks to a little movie gem called Matilda (based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name). It was the story of a little girl who has to deal with some seriously awful people (like her own parents and Miss Trunchbull, the abusive principal of her school) and she telekinetic powers as a coping mechanism. And it was awesome.

In fact, Matilda used her powers in so many awesome ways, it was hard to decide on the best moment. (OK, it wasn’t that hard. One scene was pretty iconic.)  But still, we’re ranking all of Matilda’s magical moments in the movie. And if you disagree, you can just go to the chokey!

12. The video tape hiding:

When the FBI searched Matilda’s house because her dad is was a TOTAL CRIMINAL (OMG Danny Devito, I love your work!) Matilda decided to protect the jerk anyways and hide this incriminating video tape using ONLY HER EYES. That’s great and everything, but we kinda wanted to see him go down in flames.

 11. The book retrieval: 

“And Matilda never had to use her powers again. Well I mean, almost never.” OMG, REALLY? You only use your powers occasionally, and it’s just to retrieve Moby Dick from the bookshelf. LIVE LARGE, MATILDA. Do better.

10. The TV explosion:

In which Matilda is so enraged that she’s being forced to watch mindless TV with her family that she literally explodes the TV. But also, just calm down and watch TV sometimes, Matilda. Reading is great and everything but TV is AWESOME.

9. The pastry fork:

When a pastry goes flying at the restaurant, Matilda makes it land in front of her. NAILED THAT LANDING, MATILDA. If you have powers, you sure as hell better use them to eat delicious food. WE’RE JUST SAYING.

8. The table hiding:

OMG THIS WAS SO SCARY. Matilda and Miss Honey totally trespassed in the Trunchbull’s house, and Matilda went to hide under a table. When the Trunchbull lifted up the tablecloth, we were sure Matilda would be thrown into the chokey for life. Silly us! Matilda totally used her powers to hide ride until that table top. Phew.

7. The levitating pitcher:

The moment when Miss Honey finally realized that Matilda REALLY DID have powers, was pretty magical. Her face says it all: “WTF YOU DOIN’, MAGIC GIRL?!”

6. The pigtail pick-me-up

Remember this adorable little girl named Amanda who had pigtails because her mommy thought she looked darling?! And then Trunchbull proceeded to be an exemplary educator by grabbing her by the pigtails, spinning her and around and throwing her? Matilda totally swooped in and saved the day.

5. The newt:

OMG, we died of laughter when Matilda knocked over that glass of water and caused the class newt to crawl all over Miss Trunchbull. Sometimes we’d even do that Trunchbull newt dance in our mirrors:

4. The carrot trick:

Ugh, Matilda’s brother was the actual worst. The expression on his face when he got that carrot right back in the mouth was priceless. Serves you right.

3. The mansion takeover:

Matilda’s stakeout of the Trunchbull home was ah-mazing! She totally scared the sh*t out of her demonic principal and took back stuff that rightfully belonged to Miss Honey. Like LISSY  DOLL:

We loved Lissy Doll.

2. The Trunchbull takedown:

Ahh, the moment we were waiting for. Matilda used her powers to finally take down the EVIL Miss Trunchbull, once and for all. Not only did she leave a ghostly message on the chalk board from Miss Honey’s “dead father” but she also did this:


1. The magical discovery:

And that brings us here, to the most important magical scene in Matilda — the moment Matilda finally nails exactly how to use her powers. Set to the perfect soundtrack, Matilda pours and feeds herself some cheerios and has just about the most fun EVER making things fly around her house. It’s awesome, and it’s everything we ever wanted to do when we were kids.

Watch it in all its glory:


* * *

What was your favorite moment? Let us know in the comments below, or head to the We Love Movies room to chat all things film.

More about...