75 of the Greatest P.G. Wodehouse Quotes to Lighten Your Mood

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75 of the Greatest P.G. Wodehouse Quotes to Lighten Your MoodIs there anything better than reading a Wodehouse book on a bright, sunny day? Or any day for that matter? If you haven’t read a Wodehouse book yet, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

P.G. Wodehouse (15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975) was an English author and is widely regarded as the greatest comic author of the 20th century. He wrote more than 90 novels and 300+ short stories over 73 years.

To place his creations under the microscope of modern literary criticism, as Stephen Fry so eloquently described, would be like taking a spade to a soufflé.

Side note: Please take some time to read Stephen Fry’s full article where he describes his love for Wodehouse and how much his books influenced him. Even if you haven’t read a Wodehouse book, this article will convince you to pick one right away.

Wodehouse is perhaps best known for the characters he created — Bertie Wooster, the idle-rich English gentleman, and his intelligent valet Jeeves; Lord Emsworth from the Blandings castle and his cherished pig; Psmith, the elegant socialist, Mr Mulliner, the charming raconteur of The Angler’s Rest, and the slightly unscrupulous Fifth Earl of Ickenham, Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton aka Uncle Fred.

Wodehouse was known for his supreme command of the English language and for his incredible dedication to work. He would sometimes have two or more books in preparation simultaneously.

If you’re a Wodehouse fan, then you’re really going to appreciate this compilation of his most memorable quotes.

If you’re having a rough day, these 75 P.G.Wodehouse quotes will lighten your mood and brighten your day.

To get your daily dosage of Wodehouse quotes, please consider following our account Wodehouse Tweets on Twitter which has over 9,000 followers.

Note: A large portion of the quotes here are borrowed from his books.

Would you like a collection of these quotes in a neat PDF that you can access at all times? Click here to download it for free.

Top 75 P.G. Wodehouse Quotes

1. “It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.”

(from The Man Upstairs and Other Stories)

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2. “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.”

(from The Code of the Woosters)

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Wodehouse Quotes

3. “There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?'”
“The mood will pass, sir.”

(from The Code of the Woosters)

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4. “Well, there it is. That’s Jeeves. Where others merely smite the brow and clutch the hair, he acts. Napoleon was the same.”

(from Joy in the Morning)

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5. “I’m not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it’s Shakespeare who says that it’s always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.”

(from the short story Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest)

6. “A melancholy-looking man, he had the appearance of one who has searched for the leak in life’s gas-pipe with a lighted candle.”

(from The Man Upstairs)

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Wodehouse Quote

7. “I expect I shall feel better after tea.”

(from Carry on, Jeeves)

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Wodehouse Tea Quote

8. “Then he rose and began to pace the room in an overwrought sort of way, like a zoo lion who has heard the dinner-gong go and is hoping the keeper won’t forget him in the general distribution.”

(from Right Ho, Jeeves)

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9. “It has been well said that an author who expects results from a first novel is in a position similar to that of a man who drops a rose petal down the Grand Canyon of Arizona and listens for the echo.”

(from Cocktail Time)

10. “It isn’t often that Aunt Dahlia lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them.”

(from Right Ho, Jeeves)

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11. “There was a sound in the background like a distant sheep coughing gently on a mountainside. Jeeves sailing into action.”

(from Joy in the Morning)

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12. “It was a nasty look. It made me feel as if I were something the dog had brought in and intended to bury later on, when he had time.”

(from My Man Jeeves)

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13. “Love is a delicate plant that needs constant tending and nurturing, and this cannot be done by snorting at the adored object like a gas explosion and calling her friends lice.”

(from Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit)

14. “An apple a day, if well aimed, keeps the doctor away.”

(from Carry on, Jeeves)

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15. “Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to speak French.”

(from The Luck of the Bodkins)

16. “You’re one of those guys who can make a party just by leaving it. It’s a great gift.”

(from The Girl in Blue)

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Wodehouse Quote

17. “Intoxicated? The word did not express it by a mile. He was oiled, boiled, fried, plastered, whiffled, sozzled, and blotto.”

(from Meet Mr. Mulliner)

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18. “While they were content to peck cautiously at the ball, he never spared himself in his efforts to do it a violent injury.”

(from The Heart of a Goof)

19. “I suppose half the time Shakespeare just shoved down anything that came into his head.”

(from Joy in the Morning)

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20. “When a girl uses six derogatory adjectives in her attempt to paint the portrait of the loved one, it means something. One may indicate a merely temporary tiff. Six is big stuff.”

(from Joy in the Morning)

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21. “I don’t suppose she would recognize a deep, beautiful thought if you handed it to her on a skewer with tartare sauce.”

(from The Code of the Woosters)

22. “For an author Jerry Vail was rather nice-looking, most authors, as is widely known, resembling in appearance the more degraded types of fish, unless they look like birds, when they could pass as vultures and no questions asked.”

(from Pigs Have Wings)

23. “It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn’t.”

(from Ring for Jeeves)

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24. “It just showed once again that half the world doesn’t know how the other three quarters live.”

(from Much Obliged, Jeeves)

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25. “As Shakespeare says, if you’re going to do a thing you might as well pop right at it and get it over.”

(from Very Good, Jeeves!)

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26. “He wore the unmistakable look of a man about to be present at a row between women, and only a wet cat in a strange backyard bears itself with less jauntiness than a man faced by such a prospect.”

(from Piccadilly Jim)

27. “It was my Uncle George who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought.”

(from The Inimitable Jeeves)

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Wodehouse Quote

28. “Every day you seem to know less and less about more and more.”

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29. “He groaned slightly and winced, like Prometheus watching his vulture dropping in for lunch.”

(from Big Money)

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30. “There is about him something that seems to soothe and hypnotize. To the best of my knowledge, he has never encountered a charging rhinoceros, but should this contingency occur, I have no doubt that the animal, meeting his eye, would check itself in mid-stride, roll over and lie purring with its legs in the air.”

(from Right Ho, Jeeves)

31. “It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.”

(from Blandings Castle)

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32. “Breakfast had been prepared by the kitchen maid, an indifferent performer who had used the scorched earth policy on the bacon again.”

(from Spring Fever)

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33. “The stationmaster’s whiskers are of a Victorian bushiness and give the impression of having been grown under glass.”

(from Uncle Dynamite)

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34. “Before my eyes he wilted like a wet sock.”

(from Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit)

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35. “Attila the Hun might have broken off his engagement to her, but nobody except Attila the Hun, and he only on one of his best mornings.”

(from A Few Quick Ones)

36. “I’d always thought her half-baked, but now I think they didn’t even put her in the oven.”

(from Jeeves in the Offing)

37. “A man, to use an old-fashioned phrase, of some twenty-eight summers, he gave the impression at the moment of having experienced at least that number of very hard winters.”

(from A Pelican at Blandings)

38. “So was victory turned into defeat, and Billy’s jaw became squarer and his eye more full of the light of battle than ever.”

(from Psmith, Journalist)

39. “The village of Market Blandings is one of those sleepy hamlets which modern progress has failed to touch… The church is Norman, and the intelligence of the majority of the natives palaeozoic.”

(from Something Fresh)

40. “He trusted neither of them as far as he could spit, and he was a poor spitter, lacking both distance and control.”

(from The Adventures of Sally)

41. “I shuddered from stem to stern, as stout barks do when buffeted by the waves.”

(from Laughing Gas)

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42. “As is so often the case with butlers, there was a good deal of Beach. Julius Caesar, who liked to have men about him who were fat, would have taken to him at once. He was a man who had made two chins grow where only one had been before, and his waistcoat swelled like the sail of a racing yacht.”

(from Galahad at Blandings)

43. A man’s subconscious self is not the ideal companion. It lurks for the greater part of his life in some dark den of its own, hidden away, and emerges only to taunt and deride and increase the misery of a miserable hour.

(from The Adventures of Sally)

44. “Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove.”

(from Very Good, Jeeves)

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45. “He had been looking like a dead fish. He now looked like a deader fish, one of last year’s, cast up on some lonely beach and left there at the mercy of the wind and tides.”

(from Right Ho, Jeeves)

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46. “In build and appearance, Tuppy somewhat resembles a bulldog, and his aspect now was that of one of these fine animals who has just been refused a slice of cake.”

(from Right Ho, Jeeves)

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47. “Prismatic is the only word for those frightful tweeds and, oddly enough, the spectacle of them had the effect of steadying my nerves. They gave me the feeling that nothing mattered.”

(from The Code of the Woosters)

48. “I suppose this was really the moment for embarking upon an impassioned defence of Boko, stressing his admirable qualities. Not being able to think of any, however, I remained silent.”

(from Joy in the Morning)

49. “There are girls, few perhaps but to be found if one searches carefully, who when their advice is ignored and disaster ensues, do not say “I told you so”. Mavis was not of their number.”

(from Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin)

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50. “Never put anything on paper, my boy, and never trust a man with a small black moustache.”

(from Cocktail Time)

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51. “One of the drawbacks to life is that it contains moments when one is compelled to tell the truth.”

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52. “Nature, when planning this sterling fellow, shoved in a lot more lower jaw than was absolutely necessary and made the eyes a bit too keen and piercing for one who was neither an Empire builder nor a traffic policeman.”

(from Right Ho, Jeeves)

53. “He committed mayhem upon his person. He did everything to him that a man can do who is hampered with boxing gloves.”

(from Ukridge)

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54. “I was, in a word, in the position of a Vice-President of the United States of America who, while feeling that he is all right so far, knows that he will be for it at a moment’s notice if anything goes wrong with the man up top.”

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves)

55. “And she’s got brains enough for two, which is the exact quantity the girl who marries you will need.”

(from Mostly Sally)

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56. “The voice of Love seemed to call to me, but it was a wrong number.”

(from Very Good, Jeeves!)

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57. “He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.”

(from Heavy Weather)

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58. “He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life and found a dead beetle at the bottom.”

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59. “At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies.”

(from Uneasy Money)

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60. “She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when’.”

(from The Inimitable Jeeves)

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61. “I always advise people never to give advice.”

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62. “If he had a mind, there was something on it.”

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63. “As we grow older and realize more clearly the limitations of human happiness, we come to see that the only real and abiding pleasure in life is to give pleasure to other people.”

64. “In a series of events, all of which had been a bit thick, this, in his opinion, achieved the maximum of thickness.”

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65. “I hadn’t the heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself.”

(from Ring for Jeeves)

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66. “It is true of course, that I have a will of iron, but it can be switched off if the circumstances seem to demand it.”

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67. “What’s the use of a great city having temptations if fellows don’t yield to them?”

(from Carry On, Jeeves)

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68. “Some minds are like soup in a poor restaurant — better left unstirred.”

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69. “Hell, it is well known, has no fury like a woman who wants her tea and can’t get it.”

(from Very Good, Jeeves!)

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70. “As for Gussie Finknottle, many an experienced undertaker would have been deceived by his appearance and started embalming on sight.”

(from Right Ho, Jeeves)

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71. “It was a cold, disapproving gaze, such as a fastidious luncher who was not fond of caterpillars might have directed at one which he had discovered in his portion of salad.”

(from The Adventures of Sally)

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72. “He felt like a man who, chasing rainbows, has had one of them suddenly turn and bite him in the leg.”

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73. “The drowsy stillness of the afternoon was shattered by what sounded to his strained senses like G.K. Chesterton falling on a sheet of tin.”

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74. “A man who has spent most of his adult life trying out a series of patent medicines is always an optimist.”

75. “That is life. Just one long succession of misunderstandings and rash acts and what not. Absolutely.”

(from A Damsel in Distress)

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Would you like a collection of these quotes in a neat PDF that you can access at all times? Click here to download it for free.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I am great fan of P.G. Wodehouse of 50 summers and still enjoying Bertie every now and then. I recollect many of these quotes and there are many more. Entire Jeeves series are quotes only!

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