“Mawage” and Other Life Lessons From “The Princess Bride”

“The Princess Bride” movie turned 30 years old this year. It seems inconceivable that this beloved classic has reached this milestone. A timeless work of fairy tale romance meets swashbuckling hero meets action and suspense meets comedic genius, “The Princess Bride” has endured for one reason – because it touches people on so many levels. [NOTE: If you have not seen the movie “The Princess Bride,” the following article may be incomprehensible to you. Your choices are: a) stop reading now, go rent the movie and come back and read the article later; or b) stop reading now, don’t see the movie and miss out on one of the greatest cult comedy romance films of all time – you pick.] So, as we celebrate three decades of Westley, Buttercup, Inigo, Fezzik, Vizzini, Prince Humperdinck, Count Rugen, Miracle Max and Valerie… let’s take a closer look at the life lessons we can learn from “The Princess Bride.”


The Grandson: Hold it, hold it. What is this? Are you trying to trick me? Where’s the sports? Is this a kissing book?

THE LESSON: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Be prepared for an adventure, despite any initial misgivings.


Westley: Give us the gate key.
Yellin: I have no gate key.
Inigo: Fezzick, tear his arms off.
Yellin: Oh, you mean this gate key.

THE LESSON: Most things are negotiable. Never be afraid to present a counter-offer.


Inigo: Who are you?
The Man in Black: No one of consequence.
Inigo: I must know…
The Man in Black: Get used to disappointment.
Inigo: ’kay.

THE LESSON: Sometimes, you don’t have to have the answer to every detail to stay in the fight.


Inigo: Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

THE LESSON: No matter how long you have to wait, don’t give up.


Buttercup: We’ll never survive.
Westley: Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.

THE LESSON: There’s a first for everything.


Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it.
Fezzick: Anybody want a peanut?

THE LESSON: Try to have fun in any situation. And peanuts are good.


The Man in Black: They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.

THE LESSON: You have to practice to get good at something.


Inigo: Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry Humperdinck in little less than half an hour. So all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, make our escape… after I kill Count Rugen.

THE LESSON: Sometimes, you make a plan… but don’t be afraid to improvise the details.


Inigo: Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long now, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.

THE LESSON: Have a backup plan.


Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?
The Man in Black: Yes.
Vizzini: Morons.

THE LESSON: Never assume you’re the smartest person in the room.


The Man in Black: Why are you smiling?
Inigo: Because I know something you don’t know.
The Man in Black: And what is that?
Inigo: I am not left-handed.
The Man in Black: I’m not left-handed either.

THE LESSON: Never under-estimate someone’s skill; they may not have shown you their full potential.


Inigo: I do not mean to pry, but you don’t by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?
The Man in Black: Do you always begin conversations this way?

THE LESSON: Always have some talking points handy.


Westley: Well, I’m not saying I’d like to build a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely.

THE LESSON: Look for the beauty in every situation.


Miracle Max: You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.

THE LESSON: Take your time so you can do the job right.


Westley: As you wish.

THE LESSON: Take other’s wants into account; it’s not always about you.


Miracle Max: The King’s stinking son fired me, and thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?

THE LESSON: Sometimes, it’s hard to let things go. And some wounds are hard to heal.


Fezzik: What’s my way?
Vizzini: Pick up one of those rocks, get behind a boulder, in a few minutes the man in black will come running around the bend. The minute his head is in view, hit with the rock.
Fezzik: My way’s not very sportsman-like.

LIFE LESSON: Treat others the way you’d want to be treated; and be fair about it.


Valerie: Ever since Prince Humperdink fired him, his confidence has been shattered.
Miracle Max: Why’d you say that name? You promised me you would never say that name!
Valerie: Humperdinck! Humperdinck! Humperdinck!

THE LESSON: Sometimes, you have to challenge the ones you love, even in difficult situations.


The Impressive Clergyman: Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder today. Mawage, that bwesse awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…

THE LESSON: Tweasure the ones you wuv.