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The most profound Moomins quotes for all moments in life

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Francesca Brown
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This winter sees the arrival of Tove Jansson: 1914-2001 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, celebrating the work of artist, illustrator and writer, Tove Jansson – and, of course, her most famous creations of all: the Moomins.

From the pancakes and raspberry juice of the ever-patient Moominmamma, to the wandering free spirit of Snuffkin, the Moomin books and comics were filled with wise and wonderful words to comfort and inspire. After all, whatever pickle Moomintroll found himself in – from the Hobgoblin’s hat transforming him into a strange new creature, or accidentally making the Snork Maiden cry – there was always a fix at hand.

Here are some of the Moomins’ (and friends’) greatest pieces of advice for every occasion. 

Quotes about relationships

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On first love
“Do you know the difference between the first love and the last? It's this: you always think the first is the last and the last is the first.”
 – La Goona’s horse (Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book One)

On solving arguments
Moomintroll: “Can you understand why Snorkmaiden is still sulking?”
Mymble: “Ass! You haven't made a big romantic scene of reconciliation.”
 – (Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book One)



On backing down
“Then you ask them to forgive you and give them candy.”
 – Little My (Moominsummer Madness)

On consideration
“I like you, I don’t want to make you feel unhappy.”
 – Mymble (Moominvalley in November)

On keeping the spark
“But one needs a change sometimes. We take everything too much for granted, including each other.”
 – Moominmamma (Moominpappa At Sea)

On meeting The One
“I had now found my first friend, and so my life was truly begun.”
 – Moominpappa (The Exploits of Moominpappa)

On grounded love
“You can’t ever be really free if you admire somebody too much, I know.”
 – Snufkin (Tales From Moominvalley)

On odd moments
“I do find the behaviour of the human make very strange.”
 – Snorkmaiden (Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book Two)

On selflessness
“I would save your life eight times a day if only I could.”
 – Snorkmaiden (Comet In Moominland)

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Quotes about philosophy

On life plans
“I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream!”
 – Moomintroll (Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book One)

On embracing change
“Isn’t life exciting! Everything can change all of a sudden, and for no reason at all!”
 – Moomintroll (Moominpappa At Sea)

On uncertainty
“All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured.”
 – Too-Ticky (Moominland Midwinter)

On certainty
“I have every respect for your deductions, but you are wrong, completely and absolutely, and without any doubt.”
 – The Muskrat (Finn Family Moomintroll)

On faith
“I knew nothing, but I believed a lot.”
 – Moominpappa (The Exploits of Moominpappa)

On trust
“Mamma will know what to do.”
 – Moomintroll (Comet In Moominland)

Quotes about life’s big mysteries

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On nature
One by one, the snowflakes floated down on to his warm snout, and melted. He reached out to grab them so he could admire them for a fleeting moment. He looked towards the sky and watched them drift down towards him, more and more, soft and light as a feather. “So that’s how it works,” thought Moomintroll. “And I thought somehow that the snow grew from the ground up!”
 – (Moominland Midwinter)

On biology
“The world is full of great and wonderful things for those who are ready for them.”
 – Moominpappa (Moominpappa at Sea)



On marine biology
"Oh!" sighed the Snork maiden. "I should like to live in that shell. I want to go inside and see who is whispering in there."
"It's only the sea," said Moomintroll. "Every wave that dies on the beach sings a little song to a shell. But you mustn't go inside because it's a labyrinth and you may never come out."
 – (Comet In Moominland)

On physicality  
“You’ll have to blow your noses in your petticoats. Or whatever you’ve got.”
– Snufkin (Moominsummer Madness)

Quotes about travel

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On wanderlust
“It’s funny about paths and rivers,” he mused. “You see them go by, and suddenly you feel upset and want to be somewhere else – wherever the path or the river is going, perhaps.”
 – Sniff (Comet In Moominland)

On travelling at night
“Making a journey by night is more wonderful than anything in the world.”
 – Moomintroll (Moominland Midwinter)

On coming home
“You must go on a long journey before you can really find out how wonderful home is.”
 – Snufkin (Comet In Moominland)

Quotes for life’s big moments

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On starting off
“D’you know, I was born in a clam and wasn’t bigger than a waterflea when mother found me in her aquarium!”
 – Mymble (The Exploits of Moominpappa)

On keeping perspective
“I used to stand before the mirror and look deep in my unhappy eyes and heave sighs such as: ‘Oh cruel fate!’ ‘Oh terrible lot’ ‘Nevermore.’ And in a few minutes I felt a little bit better.”
 – Moominpappa (The Exploits of Moominpappa)

On understanding excess
“How can I be so thirsty when I've been drinking all night?”
 – Moomintroll (Comics)

On the big picture
“It would be awful if the world exploded. It is so wonderfully splendid.”
 – Snufkin (Comet In Moominland)

On getting to know yourself
“I put my trivial surroundings aside and mused more and more about myself, and I found this to be a bewitching occupation. I stopped asking and longed instead to speak of my thoughts and feelings. Alas, there was no one besides myself who found me interesting.”
 – Moominpappa (Moominpappa’s Memoirs)

On how to be brave
“I shan't wake up Snorkmaiden. She'll be so awfully scared. Or – worse – she won't be afraid but will notice I am.”
 – Moomintroll (Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book One)

On putting others first
Moomintroll: “Mamma, were you afraid of the dark when you were young?”
Moominmamma: “No darling... but I pretended I was because of your father.”
Moomintroll: “Oh dear.”
 – (Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book One)

On comfort in grief
“When one’s dead, then one’s dead. This squirrel will become earth all in his time. And later on still there’ll grow trees from him, with new squirrels skipping about in them. Do you think that's so very sad?”
 – Too-Ticky (Moominland Midwinter)

Images: Instagram.com/moominofficial

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Francesca Brown

Francesca Brown is books editor for Stylist magazine and Emerald Street; she also compiles the Style List on a weekly basis. She is a self-confessed HBO abuser and has a wide selection of grey sweatshirts. Honestly, you just can’t have enough. @franabouttown

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