mary poppins quotes

37 Shrewd Mary Poppins Quotes: Just a Spoonful of Wisdom

Ever since I was little, I’ve consumed every little piece of Mary Poppins content or trivia I could find. Thanks to the two recent movies — the 2013 Saving Mr. Banks and 2018 Mary Poppins Returns — I finally have new material to watch! As a result of my reignited passion for the franchise, I wanted to share my favorite Mary Poppins quotes from the books and movies!

In the years since I read my first Mary Poppins story, my opinion of the titular character has completely shifted. For example, in the original book, the magical nanny was singularly vain — as some of my favorite quotes will convey. But now, that same vanity reads as a somewhat revolutionary showing of self-love.

Moreover, the fact that she knows exactly what she brings to the table sets a fantastic example for young women today. So let’s see what other lessons we can find in some of the most famous Mary Poppins quotes.

37 Wise and Whimsical Mary Poppins Quotes From the Novels and Movies

Straight From the Source: Mary Poppins Quotes From the P.L. Travers Books

#1. “Mary Poppins was very vain and liked to look her best. Indeed, she was quite sure that she never looked anything else.”

#2. “Mary Poppins sighed with pleasure; however, when she saw three of herself, each wearing a blue coat with silver buttons and a blue hat to match. She thought it was such a lovely sight that she wished there had been a dozen of her or even thirty. The more Mary Poppins, the better.”

#3. “She’s something special, you see. Not in the matter of looks, of course. One of my own day-old chicks is handsomer than Mary P. ever was—”

#4. “I’ll stay until the wind changes.”

#5. “She paused as though she were remembering events that happened hundreds of years before that time.”

#6. “What’s the good of knowing if you don’t tell anyone?”

#7. “Some people,” remarked Mary Poppins, putting her down, “think a great deal too much. Of that, I am sure.”

#8. “If I were some people,” she remarked acidly, “I’d mind my own business!”

#9. “We’re on the brink of an adventure. Don’t spoil it by asking questions!”

#10. “Thank you, ma’am,” said Mary Poppins with icy politeness. “But I bring the children up in my own way and take advice from nobody.”

The Original Masterpiece: Mary Poppins Quotes From the 1964 Movie

#11. “Winds in the east, mist coming in

Like somethin’ is brewin’, about to begin

Can’t put me finger on what lies in store

But I feel what’s to happen all happened before.” — Bert

#12. “You must be kind, you must be witty

Very sweet and fairly pretty

Take us on outings, give us treats

Sing songs, bring sweets.” — Jane Banks

#13. “As I expected. ‘Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.’” — Mary Poppins

#14. “First of all, I would like to make one thing clear: I never explain anything.” — Mary Poppins

#15. “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and — SNAP — the job’s a game!” — Mary Poppins

#16. “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in a most delightful way!” — Mary Poppins

#17. “Like you say, Gov’ner

You’ve got to grind, grind, grind at that grindstone

Though childhood slips like sand through a sieve

And all too soon they’ve up and grown and then they’ve flown

And it’s too late for you to give.” — Bert

#18. “Sometimes a person we love, through no fault of his own, can’t see past the end of his nose.” — Mary Poppins

More Iconic Lines From the Original Mary Poppins Movie

#19. “Though we adore men individually, we agree that, as a group, they’re rather stupid” — Mrs. Banks

#20. “Tradition, discipline, and rules must be the tools

Without them disorder, catastrophe, anarchy

In short, you have a ghastly mess!” — Mr. Banks

#21. “Close your mouth, please, Michael. We are not a codfish.” — Mary Poppins

#22. “Never judge things by their appearance, even carpetbags.” — Mary Poppins

#23. “Will you stay if we promise to be good?”

“That’s a piecrust promise. Easily made, easily broken.” — Michael and Mary Poppins

#24. “All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles

Look down as she sells her wares

Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling

Each time someone shows that he cares

Though her words are simple and few

‘Listen, listen,’ she’s calling to you

‘Feed the birds, tuppence a bag

Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.’” — Mary Poppins

#25. “Feed the birds, and what have you got? Fat birds.” — Mr. Dawes

#26. “With tuppence for paper and strings

You can have your own set of wings

With your feet on the ground

You’re a bird in flight

With your fist holding tight

To the string of your kite.” — Mr. Banks

A Nanny for the New Generation: Mary Poppins Quotes From the 2018 Sequel

#27. “You said we don’t have enough money!”

“Well, I can make more money. I am a banker now, aren’t I? That’s what bankers do. Make money.”

“But you’re not a banker! You’re a painter!”

“Yes, well. Painters don’t make money. Not these days.” — Michael to Georgie

#28. “What brings you here after all this time?”

“Same thing that brought me the first time. I’ve come to look after the Banks children.” — Jane and Mary Poppins

#29. “But we don’t need a nanny.”

“We have grown up a good deal in the past year.”

“Well, we’ll have to see what can be done about that.” — Anabel, John, and Mary Poppins

#30. “Cleaning is not a spectator sport, I’ll remind you.” — Mary Poppins

#31. “Nothing is gone forever, only out of place.” — Mary Poppins

#32. “For when you dream, you’ll find all that’s lost is found.” — Mary Poppins

#33. “Head up and feet beneath you!” — Mary Poppins

#34. “Today or never. That’s my motto.” — Mary Poppins

#35. “When the world turns upside down, the best thing is to turn right along with it.” — Mary Poppins

#36. “If you pick the right string

Then your heart will take wing

And there’s nowhere to go but up!” — Balloon Lady

#37. “Of course, the grown-ups will all forget by tomorrow.”

“They always do.”

“Only one balloon left, Mary Poppins. I think it must be yours.”

“I suppose it must. Practically perfect in every way.” — Balloon Lady and Mary Poppins

To Conclude

Knowing that P. L. Travers never liked certain segments of the original Mary Poppins movie adaptation has never stopped me from enjoying both her books and the films. The sight of Mary pulling outrageously oversized items from her carpetbag always makes me smile.

However, as much as I admire Mary Poppins, these stories aren’t really about her. But maybe they’re not about the children either. As the character of Walt Disney says in Saving Mr. Banks, Mary Poppins doesn’t fly in to save the children, but their father. And if that was the author’s intent, I believe it comes across quite clearly in some of the Mary Poppins quotes I’ve listed above.

Image Source: Mary Poppins, Norwich Pride photo by @markheybo – Under Creative Commons License

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