Isobel: There can be no special cases, because every man at the front is a special case to someone.
Lavinia: Daddy’s a solicitor, like Matthew.
Dowager Countess: My, my. You’re very well placed if you’re ever in trouble with the law.
Anna: Mr. Bates, is this a proposal?
Bates: If that’s what you want to call it. And you might start calling me John.
Mr. Carson: I thought caution was a virtue.
Mrs. Hughes: Caution may be; self-interest is not.
Anna: You can’t take it lying down, because you’re not guilty of any wrong. And before it’s over, I’m going to tell the world.
Bates: I’m not sure the world is listening.
Matthew: She’s barking up the wrong tree.
Isobel: Poor Edith. I hope there’s a right tree for her somewhere.
Dowager Countess: Your turn will come.
Lady Edith: Will it? Or am I to be the maiden aunt? Isn’t this what they do? Arrange presents for their prettier relations?
Dowager Countess: Don’t be defeatist dear, it’s terribly middle class.
Lady Edith: I thought it was supposed to be unsinkable.
Robert: Every mountain is “unclimbable” until someone climbs it. So every ship is “unsinkable” until it sinks.
Dowager Countess: I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.
Dowager Countess: One way or another, everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.
Mrs. O’Brien: If she’s got a boyfriend, I’m a giraffe.
Lady Mary: I hope you know that really smart people sleep in separate rooms.
Robert: I always keep the dressing room bed made up so I at least pretend we sleep in separate rooms. Isn’t that enough?
Lady Mary: No. Never mind.
Lady Edith: So he slipped the hook.
Lady Mary: At least I’m not fishing with no bait.
Cora: Are we to be friends then?
Dowager Countess: We are allies, which can be a good deal more effective.
Sir Richard: I’m leaving the morning Lady Grantham, I doubt we’ll meet again.
Dowager Countess: Do you promise?
Dowager Countess: We can’t have him assassinated. I suppose.
Dowager Countess: Your quarrel is with my daughter, Rosamund, and not with me. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Dowager Countess: The question is, will she accept Matthew?
Cora: I’m not sure.
Dowager Countess: Well, if she doesn’t, we’ll just have to take her abroad. In these moments, you can normally find an Italian who isn’t too picky.
Dowager Countess: You are quite wonderful, the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal.
Isobel: I take that as a compliment.
Dowager Countess: I must have said it wrong.
Dowager Countess: Good heavens, what am I sitting on?
Matthew: A swivel chair.
Dowager Countess: Another modern brainwave?
Matthew: Not very modern, they were invented by Thomas Jefferson.
Dowager Countess: Why does every day involve a fight with an American?
Matthew: I’ll fetch a different one.
Dowager Countess: No, no, no, no – I’m a good sailor.
Cora: I could send her over to my aunt, she could get to know New York.
Dowager Countess: Oh, I don’t think things are quite that desperate.
Robert: I thought you didn’t like him.
Dowager Countess: Well so what? I have plenty of friends I don’t like.
Robert: Would you want Mary to marry one of them?
Dowager Countess: Why do you always have to pretend to be nicer than the rest of us?
Dowager Countess: Oh my dears. Is it really true? I can’t believe it. Last night he looked so well. Of course it would happen to a foreigner. It’s typical.
Lady Mary: Don’t be ridiculous.
Dowager Countess: I’m not being ridiculous. No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house – especially somebody they didn’t even know.
Lady Mary: Sybil is entitled to her opinions.
Dowager Countess: No. She isn’t until she is married, then her husband will tell her what her opinions are.
Dowager Countess: Give him the date for when Mary’s out of mourning. No one wants to kiss a girl in black.