The Thursday Thirteen: 13 Favorite Downton Abbey Season 5 Quips

I’m a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. There’s something about the show that I just love—not least of which is Dame Maggie Smith and her inexhaustible wit as Dowager Countess Violet Crawley.

I’ve been live-tweeting the episodes of season 5 as they air on PBS here in the U.S., and as usual, I’ve spent some of that time recording witty remarks from various characters. Here are some of my favorites thus far:


1. “Granny has a past!”–Lady Mary

2. “Sympathy butters no parsnips”–Mrs. Pattmore

3. “My advice, Daisy, is to go as far as God and luck allow.”–Mrs. Hughes

4. “I should warn you, being tested does not bring out the best in me.”–Dowager Countess

5. “I don’t think one should rely on a man for that, do you?”–Lady Mary giving some real-talk to Anna about birth control

6. Carson: “You surprise me. ย I was disappointed in his Lordship and even more in you. I don’t like it when we are on different sides.”
Mrs. Hughes: “Every relationship has its ups and downs.”

7. “Even my sense of humor has its limits.”–Isobel

8. “I’m not very good at abroad.”–Lord Grantham

9. “Principles are like prayers. Noble, of course, but awkward at a party.”–Dowager Countess

10. “There’s nothing simpler than avoiding peopleย you don’t like. Avoiding friends, that’s the real test.”–Dowager Countess

11. “Well it would be a bit sad if she had no secrets at her age.”–Mrs. Pattmore

12. “I’m not a hater.”–Branson

13. “You sound like Mrs. Bennett.”–Dowager Countess



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  1. An excellent round-up, but you forgot, “All the best people were rubbish at numbers in school.”–Mrs. Pattmore. I take such comfort in that statement.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. โ€œThereโ€™s nothing simpler than avoiding people you donโ€™t like. Avoiding friends, thatโ€™s the real test.โ€

    I swear I watch this show simply for Maggie Smith. She is EVERYTHING to me. Her lines and quips are never disappointing to me!

    Great post!


  3. I cracked up at the end of episode 5 when Isobel threw the Dowager Countess’ words back at her by asking if she had made any plans with her “suitor”. Two points for Isobel!


  4. I share your love of Downton Abbey and the Dowager Countess is such a wonderful character. The stuff she gets away with saying – like #10. Ah the joys of age ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Given the response, I might end up doing another post or two about it. It’s just airing here in the States on Sunday nights—we’re on episode 4 this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. #9 was my favorite quote until this weeks episode, and the Dowager Countess said something about her employees being human, and how inconvenient it was, and she’d prefer they were only human on their days off! I died laughing!!


  6. I adore Maggie Smith! I don’t watch Downton though, or I didn’t. My nan has dementia and she’s a fan of the show, so she plays Seasons 1 and 2 on a loop and I’ve caught quite a few, since we spend so much time together! She has impeccable taste though, because the other series she plays on a loop is Arrow (only the first season because she gets confused) – she likes Ollie ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. haha–sounds like she does have good taste!

      I somehow got into Downton Abbey right from the beginning. It’s a delightful guilty pleasure.

      And yes, Maggie Smith is the bees knees. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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