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10 Lessons I’ve Taught My Children from The Princess Bride

PHOTO CREDIT: 20th Century Fox; Everett Collection

The Princess Bride has, and always will be, my favorite movie of all time. It has not only entertained me but taught me a lesson or two.

I can watch the movie on mute and quote the entire thing. No exaggeration. There are 20 different Princess Bride magnets on my refrigerator. I may or may not own multiple copies of the book (I have the anniversary editions!). My bookcase has a shelf entirely devoted to Princess Bride books and memorabilia. I threw my son the most epic Princess Bride birthday party ever (He requested it, and I was more than happy to oblige.). I once directed a Princess Bride play using a script I put together from the book and screenplay.

cary elwes meeting fans

My sons and I meeting Cary Elwes at a local Comic-Con.

And I can’t forget the most important detail of all…I took my boys to a local Comic-Con to meet Cary Elwes. And yes, we were dressed in costumes from the movie. 

Some might say I’m a tad obsessed with the movie; I say I’m simply appreciating an amazing work of art. 

Either way you look at it, The Princess Bride has played a large role in my life. It’s only natural I’d want to share it with my children. After all, there are many valuable life lessons that can be gleaned from The Princess Bride.

Here, 10 lessons from The Princess Bridge that I have taught my children.

Lesson 1: It’s Important To Spend Time With Your Grandparents.

At the start of The Princess Bride, the young boy is not thrilled about his grandfather coming to visit.

“He’ll pinch my cheek. I hate that.”

But he soon discovers that spending time with your grandparents can actually be really fun. Especially when your grandfather reads you the world’s most amazing book ever to help you feel better. Grandparents really are the best!

Lesson 2: Learn how to Rhyme.

Learning to rhyme is an important part of our children’s childhood. They’ll even have to learn it in school. So, why not encourage those lessons by letting them watch The Princess Bride? Fezzik and Indigo are masters at rhyming. And, hey, even Vizzini gets in on the action.

“No more rhymes now, I mean it.” “Anybody want a peanut?”

Lesson 3: It’s Not Nice To Boss People Around.

Initially, Buttercup is pretty bossy to Westley. The movie actually makes her seem kind of mild compared to her character in the book. But, nonetheless, she orders poor Westley around all day. 

“Farmboy, polish my horse’s saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning.”

Westley just takes it though because Buttercup is so beautiful. But we all know that in real life, that’s not how it goes. If you boss someone around, they aren’t going to simply accept it and reply, “As you wish.” So, take a moment and let your children know that being bossy like Buttercup won’t really bring your true love knocking at your door. Or get you anything else, for that matter.  

Lesson 4: If You’re Ambidextrous, Use It To Your Advantage.

“I admit it, you are better than I am.”

“Then why are you smiling?”

“Because I know something you do not know. I am not left-handed.”

During the most epic sword fight, you’ll find in any movie (no bias at all), both Indigo and Westley start fighting with their left hands. But at different points, they each say they are not left-handed and switch to their right hands. The fact that they can sword fight with both their right and left hands is just amazing! I think anyone who is ambidextrous and can write or do anything with both left and right hands, should definitely learn how to use that to their advantage. You never know when it will come in handy. 

Lesson 5: Chocolate Coating Makes Medicine Go Down Easier.

We all know the struggle of trying to get our kids to take medicine; we all know the meds taste disgusting; but we also know that if we want our children to get better, we need to give it to them. But how do we get them to take it more easily? Miracle Max and Valerie have a solution for that: chocolate.

“That’s a miracle pill?”

“The chocolate coating makes it go down easier.”

If I know my kid is going to hate taking his medicine, I always have him take it with something sweet. Definitely makes the process a lot smoother! Since my boys are also fans of The Princess Bride, they know it works and can’t argue with me. Pairing something bitter or unpleasant with something sweet usually makes anything easier.

Lesson 6: Learn From Your Mistakes.

If there are any lessons that can be learned from The Princess Bride, this is the big one. Buttercup and Westley sure learn this lesson! Take a look at their time in the Fire Swamp. They’re walking through the Fire Swamp, hear a popping sound, and stand still while looking around confused. Next thing you know, Buttercup’s dress is on fire. But the next time they heard the popping sound, they moved away instead of standing and doing nothing. They certainly learned their lesson.

“Singed a bit were you?” 

The Fire Swamp also brings me to my next point…

Lesson 7: Don’t Lie To Others. They’ll Always Find Out the Truth Eventually.

“Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.’s?”

“Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.”

Oh, Westley…he lies to Buttercup about the R.O.U.S.’s to keep her from being scared. But, of course, the second after he says they don’t exist, one of them jumps on him and viciously attacks him. He didn’t lie to her again after that. 

Don’t lie kids. The truth will ALWAYS come out. 

Lesson 8: Be Sure To Add The Word ‘Inconceivable’ To Your Vocabulary

“What are you doing?”

“Making sure nobody’s following us.”

“That would be inconceivable.”

“He’s climbing the rope. And he’s gaining on us.”

“Inconceivable.”

“He didn’t fall? Inconceivable!”

Inconceivable is a very versatile word and can be used in a multitude of situations. The dog ate your homework? Inconceivable! Your little brother stole your toys? Inconceivable! The cookies are all gone? Inconceivable! 

Seriously, add it to your vocabulary. You won’t regret it. 

 

the princess bride inconceivable gif

Lesson 9: Pride Goeth Before A Fall.

This is a lesson all parents try to teach their children at one point or another. We want our kids to be humble and not prideful. But sometimes it’s a hard lesson for them to learn. So, if you’re struggling to get them to understand, just show them that famous Princess Bride scene between Vizzini and Westley. 

“The battle of wits has begun.”

Vizzini is so proud of himself and his intellect. Indeed, he is a very smart man. But he is also a tad too prideful about it and that’s what gets him in trouble. 

“…Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ah ha ha ha! Ah ha ha ha ha! Ah ha ha ha!” (falls over dead.)

One look at that scene and I think your kiddos will be pretty humble from then on.

Which brings me to my final lesson…

Lesson 10: Follow Fezzik’s Example and Stay Humble.

I love Fezzik! I mean, how can you not love that giant bear of a man? If there is anyone our children can learn to be humble from, it’s Fezzik.

The poor guy thinks he isn’t smart enough to figure things out on his own at times. He’s very strong but doesn’t boast about it: “It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise.”  He helps his best friend Indigo track down the six-fingered man and exact his revenge without asking for anything in return. Lastly, he cleverly obtains four beautiful white horses for he and his friends to ride off together into the sunset. All while staying humble.

“Fezzik, you did something right.”

“Don’t worry. I won’t let it go to my head.”

Be like Fezzik. Stay humble. 

There are many other lessons to be gleaned from The Princess Bride. When your parents ask you to do something, just say, “As you wish.” Don’t trust anyone with six fingers on their right hand. Never jump into a large body of water infested with man-eating shrieking eels. And learning to rock climb could save your life. 

If you want your children to learn these lessons and more, be sure to watch The Princess Bride on your next movie night. And, if you’re already a Princess Bride fan, check out this fun parody video. It’s inconceivable!

**In case you were wondering, I did type all of those movie quotes from memory. I told you I had the whole thing memorized!**

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