Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (2024)

Table of Contents
Summary “There’s No Devil In The Craft.” Sally Owens “Hang Onto Your Husbands, Girls!” Gilly Owens “She's Not Saying They Murdered Him, Just That Maybe They Shook His Hand, And Then... He Died. It's Very Mysterious.” Patty “You Should Come Round Here On Halloween. You'd Really See Something Then.” Sally Owens “Yeah, Well… You Know, All Relationships Have Problems.” Gary Hallet “Flip The Switch And Let The Cauldron Bubble!” Aunt Frances “Since When Is Being A slu*t A Crime In This Family?” Sally Owens "You Can't Practice Witchcraft When You Look Down Your Nose At It." Aunt Jet "Curses Only Have Power When You Believe In Them, And I Don't." Gary Hallet "There's A Little Witch In All Of Us." Aunt Jet "My Blood, Your Blood, Our Blood." Sally And Gilly Owens "And I Don't Want Them Dancing Naked Under The Full Moon!" Sally Owens "Of Course You're Going To See Me Again. We'll Grow Old Together. It's Going To Be You And Me Living In A Big House... These Two Old Biddies With All These Cats. I Bet We Even Die On The Same Day." Gilly Owens "Did You Or Your Sister Kill James Angelov?" Gary Hallet "In This House, We Have Chocolate Cake For Breakfast, And Never Bother With Silly Little Things Like Bedtimes Or Brushing Our Teeth." Aunt Frances “Sometimes I Feel Like There's A Hole Inside Of Me, An Emptiness That At Times Seems To Burn. I Think If You Lifted My Heart To Your Ear, You Could Probably Hear The Ocean.” Sally Owens “It Makes Your Heart Race. It Turns The World Upside Down... ” Gilly Owens “I Dream Of A Love That Even Time Will Lie Down And Be Still For.” Sally Owens “My Darling Girl, When Are You Going To Realize That Being Normal Is Not Necessarily A Virtue? It Rather Denotes A Lack Of Courage!” Aunt Frances “... Keep Rosemary By Your Garden Gate, Plant Lavender For Luck... ” Sally Owens References

Summary

  • Magic isn't evil in Practical Magic, and it helps the characters embrace who they truly are.
  • Sisterhood and love are central themes in the film, not just romance.
  • Memorable quotes from the film highlight familial bonds as much as they do magic.

Inspired by the Alice Hoffman novel of the same name, Practical Magic has long been a movie fan's favorite when it comes to Halloween programming, and Practical Magic quotes are particularly memorable to boot. The movie, however, is still a perfect watch year-round that features the importance of sisterhood and letting love in despite the fear of it. This film is filled with romance, family love, and magic and has become something of a cult classic and a highlighted '90s movie starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as the sisters, Sally and Gillian Owens.

The magical story involves two sisters from a line of witches who have to help each other out after Gilly's particularly aggressive ex-boyfriend comes after them when she attempts to leave him. The two sisters accidentally poison him, and they are forced to hide the body from the handsome investigator sent to find him. Sally struggles with their magical ancestry while Gilly embraces it, and their relationship is what the movie is built around, not the romantic storylines. The Owens sisters and their aunts provide most of the best Practical Magic quotes.

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The cult classic witch movie Practical Magic is a beloved fixture of '90s pop culture, and now Practical Magic 2 is in the works.

“There’s No Devil In The Craft.”

Sally Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (2)

So many of the stories and movies that depict witchcraft portray it as something dark and evil. Practical Magic, and Alice Hoffman’s novels as a whole, do not. That’s an important note for the movie. The Owens women practice magic and believe in their craft, but they aren’t the bad guys, and they aren’t the devil-worshiping villains that they are painted as.

When Sally finds herself and Gillian in the middle of the investigation into Jimmy’s disappearance, she is confronted with the rumors about witchcraft, and when the devil is mentioned, Sally is quick to point out that, “there’s no devil in the craft.” It’s an important moment for Sally because, despite Sally not actively practicing the craft and not wanting her daughters to be a part of all the magic, she defends it.

Sally knows how others see her family, and even though she’s blamed magic for the bad in her life, Sally still understands that the magic is a part of the Owens women, and she doesn’t want her entire family to be seen as something they are not.

“Hang Onto Your Husbands, Girls!”

Gilly Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (3)

Sally Owens seems to want nothing more than to hide in a corner during much of Practical Magic. She maintains that she loves her perfect love and she works hard to not make waves in town despite the reputation her family has. Her sister, however, has no problem being the center of attention and dragging Sally to the middle of everything with her. She wants people to talk about her to her face instead of behind her back.

That’s why, when Gilly shows up at a school meeting Sally is attending, she doesn’t allow the mothers in the room to whisper about her for too long. Gilly has a reputation, but she’s simply someone who is in love with the idea of being in love, and follows her passionate nature wherever it will take her. The other women see her as a threat to their relationships, while Gilly sees them as gossips who target her family.

“She's Not Saying They Murdered Him, Just That Maybe They Shook His Hand, And Then... He Died. It's Very Mysterious.”

Patty

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (4)

Though the Owens family has a reputation for being witches, not everyone in their small town actually wants to say something bad about them. While there are some people in town who count the Owens women as genuine friends, like those that work at Sally’s store, others are very careful in how they speak about them. It’s clear that there is a fear of the unknown.

When questioned about Sally and Gilly, one of the women in town is quick to stop another from outright saying that they might be responsible for the death of Gilly’s most recent boyfriend. The people in town have seen that relationships between the Owens women and men always seem to end badly, but they don’t know the details of the Owens family curse. For all they know, the Owens women are actually using their magical talents like some sort of black widows. That’s what makes this line so funny.

“You Should Come Round Here On Halloween. You'd Really See Something Then.”

Sally Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (5)

When Gary Hallet is tasked with investigating the disappearance of Gilly’s latest boyfriend, he spends a lot of time talking to everyone in town, but he also takes a particular interest in Sally. He lets slip that he knows people think she and her family are witches by responding “witch people” to her question of “which people” use belladonna to poison others. Sally has found herself unable to lie to him up until that point, but she takes his comment to mean he’s just like everyone else in town.

Taken out of context, her line sounds like she’s teasing him about her family being witches, but really, her tone is colder than teasing, and she’s hinting that the rumors might not all be unfounded. She knows her statement is both ridiculous and true, much like what people say about her family. Nearly everything about the Owens women is embellished. The line, however, comes back around when Sally, her sister, and her aunts, do, in fact, dress as the pop culture idea of witches and float to the ground from a roof on Halloween later in the movie.

“Yeah, Well… You Know, All Relationships Have Problems.”

Gary Hallet

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From the moment Sally meets Gary, she feels like she cannot tell him a lie. She knows she has to protect herself and her sister, but there’s something that makes her want to talk to him. For his part, he knows he’s supposed to be investigating the sisters, but he can’t help but enjoy spending time with Sally as well. Sally finally realizes that everything about him matches up with a spell she cast when she was a little girl to prevent herself from falling in love, and she can’t help but tell him the truth about that either.

Sally tells him:

It's not real. And if you stay, I wouldn't know if it was because of the spell and... you wouldn't know if it was because I didn't want to go to prison.

She’s upfront with him that their relationship might not have any basis in reality, but Gary doesn’t even care about that. His response indicates that what he feels is very real, and he’s willing to work through Sally seeing that as a problem.

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6 Most Memorable Scenes In Practical Magic

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“Flip The Switch And Let The Cauldron Bubble!”

Aunt Frances

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (8)

Aunt Jet and Aunt Frances team up to create a seemingly strange concoction in their kitchen. They trade off on naming ingredients in their recipe that the audience might initially think is a spell, but when Aunt Frances gets to this line, it’s clear what they’re making is a little more modern. With the help of a blender, Frances and Jet make “midnight margaritas” for themselves, Sally, and Gilly.

The drinking on screen reportedly happened off screen as well as the four actors got completely into character for the sequence and had a lot of fun together. It’s one of the few lighthearted sequences in the entire movie, until, of course, Sally and Gilly realize that the tequila they’re drinking is actually Jimmy’s. It’s also spawned a tradition of women gathering to watch the movie in the fall and making their own version of midnight margaritas.

“Since When Is Being A slu*t A Crime In This Family?”

Sally Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (9)

Out of context, this particular Practical Magic quote from Sally Owens sounds mean-spirited, but it’s not in the movie. The Owens women are more than ready to poke fun at one another and take the things that others dislike about them to give themselves power. Gillian loves to fall in love. Outside the family, that’s frowned upon, and she knows how people see her, which is why she also tells women to “lock up their husbands” when she’s back in town.

The aunts and Sally, however, love Gillian for who she is. Even if Gillian brings an abusive boyfriend and a haunting to their doorstep, they love her. They know that she has a big heart, and she feels things deeply. Sally knows that when the aunts poke fun at Gillian, they don’t mean it, and neither does she. Practical Magic's focus on sisterhood is one of its big draws for its audience.

"You Can't Practice Witchcraft When You Look Down Your Nose At It."

Aunt Jet

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (10)

When Practical Magic begins, Sally Owens isn't as enamored with the family's craft as her sister, her aunts, or her daughters. She blames magic for the loss of her parents and the loss of her husband. She wants a "normal" life. That doesn't stop her from turning to magic to help her sister though - and to find it backfiring on her yet again.

As her Aunt Jet points out in this Practical Magic quote, it's not possible for Sally to fully commit to using the craft when she's continually against it. The same is true in life - if a person despises something, chances are, they'll never give the experience their all. Sally learns that first-hand over the course of the movie. Practical Magic is as much about sisterhood as it is Sally's coming-of-age as a witch.

"Curses Only Have Power When You Believe In Them, And I Don't."

Gary Hallet

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (11)

Part of the reason Sally spends too much time avoiding magic is that she knows it's real. She understands the power of the family curse, and she's terrified of it. She thinks if she avoids magic completely, it might not affect her. The detective who develops feelings for her while he searches for Gilly's ex-boyfriend, however, doesn't believe in magic.

He doesn't understand why the Owens women are seen as witches and doesn't understand Sally's reluctance to admit her interest in them. Despite him giving Sally this line, she still attempts to keep her distance from him. Of course, since Sally's love for her sister ends up breaking the curse, after all, maybe he's right to disagree with her. Gary offers Sally a grounded perspective in the movie, even as she feels like her world is falling apart.

"There's A Little Witch In All Of Us."

Aunt Jet

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (12)

At the climax of the movie, Sally needs to build herself a coven to help get rid of the spirit of Gilly's ex for good. That's easier said than done when she keeps to herself and most of the inhabitants of her small town talk about her behind her back.

She calls in the phone tree for her daughter's class, and it turns out to be one of the best decisions she could have made, as the women prove that despite the gossip, they do care. Some of them even recount stories of magical moments in their own lives, prompting Aunt Jet to tell them, "there's a little witch in all of us." It's one of the quotes from Practical Magic that makes it clear that Sally is no longer going to be the town pariah.

"My Blood, Your Blood, Our Blood."

Sally And Gilly Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (13)

This quote is said twice in the film and really symbolizes the deep bond between Gilly and Sally, even when they are apart. It is first said when Gilly decides to leave their aunts' house and the small town she and Sally grew up in.

All through their youth, Sally and Gilly were scorned by their neighbors and townsfolk for being witches, so when Gilly leaves, Sally is afraid she will never see her sister again. Gilly decides to comfort her sister, making a blood pact with her. She cuts both of their hands and then holds them together while saying this spell to bond them. This quote is said again in the climax of the film, but this time by Sally as she tries to save her sister. It's a short, but memorable line in the movie.

"And I Don't Want Them Dancing Naked Under The Full Moon!"

Sally Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (14)

After Sally Owens puts her foot down with this Practical Magic quote, Aunt Jet calmly replies, "No, of course. The nudity is entirely optional. As you well remember!" Sally, however, is still apprehensive.

The cycle has repeated. Sally has two daughters with a husband that was killed by the family curse and goes to live with her aunts for support. Sally is wary of her children living the same free-spirited childhood she and Gilly lived, so she lays some ground rules for her aunts and the children.

One of those rules is no dancing naked under the full moon, to which one of the aunts replies that it was always an optional choice. Both of her daughters become fascinated by magic, and they're never stifled with the aunts guiding them as the aunts believe that everyone should get to choose their own path.

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Was Maria's Curse Real? Practical Magic's Owens Women Curse Explained

Practical Magic saw Sally and Gillian carrying a family curse caused by their ancestor, Maria, but the movie left a couple of questions about it.

"Of Course You're Going To See Me Again. We'll Grow Old Together. It's Going To Be You And Me Living In A Big House... These Two Old Biddies With All These Cats. I Bet We Even Die On The Same Day."

Gilly Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (16)

This is another Practical Magic quote from Gilly that she says while sneaking out of the aunts' house in a flashback scene. Gilly voices this in response to Sally's fears that the two will forever remain separate, and for years the two communicate through letters to each other and what seem like rather short visits, despite Gilly's assertion that they'll grow old together. Of course, they do reunite when Gilly needs Sally's help with her boyfriend.

This quote also remains one of the consistent things between Sally and Gilly as they both swear that they will grow old together, so when Gilly is dying, Sally brings up this promise and drags her back from the clutches of James Angelov. It's a reminder of how strong their bond is. No matter what, they're determined to spend their lives together, even when they're far apart.

DID YOU KNOW: The entire house was an architectural structure built especially for the movie. The land was rented and after filming everything was demolished.

"Did You Or Your Sister Kill James Angelov?"

Gary Hallet

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (17)

Officer Gary Hallet appears and immediately is revealed to be Sally's made-up perfect man. The only issue is that Hallet is also there to investigate the murder of James Angelov, who Sally and Gilly killed in self-defense. It's also not Hallet's questioning of Sally that is the memorable Practical Magic quote here, but how Sally responds to the questioning.

Jimmy was a bad guy; he was as skeezy as they come and abused Gilly while they were dating. The sisters killed the man in a moment of opportunity. He just would not stay dead after the sister witches tried to undo the wrong they had started by attempting to bring him back to life. So, when Sally responds to Hallet's direct questioning with "yeah, a couple of times," it is both the truth and totally unbelievable, which just makes this moment so funny.

"In This House, We Have Chocolate Cake For Breakfast, And Never Bother With Silly Little Things Like Bedtimes Or Brushing Our Teeth."

Aunt Frances

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (18)

As Sally and Gilly moved in with their aunts after the death of their mother (who died from heartbreak over the death of their father), the aunts say this quote to lighten the mood. These witches are free-spirited and enjoy having fun, and want to please the young girls as much as possible in a time when their world has become so much darker.

They give them so much love, with little rules. The idea of chocolate cake and no bedtime seems like the biggest fantasy of every young child. This is one of the quotes from Practical Magic that demonstrates how important it is to foster an environment of acceptance for young girls. Their levity allows the grieving sisters a moment of hope, and they foster that hope, freedom, and acceptance for both Sally and Gilly - and Sally's two daughters years later.

A prequel novel exists about the Aunts and was in development for the screen several years ago for HBO.

“Sometimes I Feel Like There's A Hole Inside Of Me, An Emptiness That At Times Seems To Burn. I Think If You Lifted My Heart To Your Ear, You Could Probably Hear The Ocean.”

Sally Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (19)

Sally has had a pretty tough life. She lost both of her parents, her sister left to live her life, and after she met a kind man, married, and had beautiful children with him, he suddenly died of a family curse. She blamed herself as a result. And all the while, Sally doesn't really have a whole ton of friends as everyone in the town is just a little bit afraid of her because she and her family are witches. It's easy to understand the emptiness she feels when she thinks the universe is against her.

It's important that Sally doesn't hide from the way she feels. Yes, she cuts herself off from magic, but she embraces her grief and lives in it. This Practical Magic quote is actually from one of the letters she writes to Gilly about how she feels. She's completely open with her sister, demonstrating how vulnerable the two of them can be with one another even in their worst moments.

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“It Makes Your Heart Race. It Turns The World Upside Down... ”

Gilly Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (21)

In this Practical Magic quote, Gilly is talking about love and what it feels like to fall in love, and how a person can sometimes totally lose themselves in the idea of it, in the illusions the person may grant you, that sometimes they become blinded by the truth around them. Gilly's full quote is actually:

“It makes your heart race. It turns the world upside down. But if you're not careful, if you don't keep your eyes on something still, you can lose your balance. You can't see what's happening to the people around you. You can't see that you're about to fall.”

This quote pretty much sums up her romance with Jimmy, as she was blinded by how intense he was until it was way too late. She fell in love quickly due to how attractive he was but wasn't able to keep her eyes open, allowing the passion to override all the warning signs. Gilly is someone so in love with the idea of love that she falls quickly and passionately without seeing the downsides until it's too late.

“I Dream Of A Love That Even Time Will Lie Down And Be Still For.”

Sally Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (22)

This Practical Magic quote was also from a letter that Sally wrote to Gilly while they were living their separate lives. Sally never wanted love when she was a child after she found out the truth of the curse that affected her family. As she grew older, she started to feel the need for a companion, a romantic partner, one who would be safe from the curse so that she could love them freely and openly. After the death of her husband, Sally felt incredibly scared to love, but the desire remained within her.

Sally's idea of a time lying down and being still, however, is a subtle nod to the magic in Sally's family. She might want to reject magic and blame magic for her grief at the time, but she's still acknowledging it by wanting a love that makes time stand still, a love that can transcend the curse itself. It's a very poetic line from Sally and one that speaks to her journey in the movie.

“My Darling Girl, When Are You Going To Realize That Being Normal Is Not Necessarily A Virtue? It Rather Denotes A Lack Of Courage!”

Aunt Frances

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (23)

This has got to be one of the best quotes from the film, and one that many an Instagram caption features these days. One of the aunts says this to Sally after Sally claims that she just wants a normal life. Sally wanted a normal life so bad that she ended up hiding from the outside world as much as she hid from magic.

She never truly behaved like the person she was inside and tried to fit in with everyone else, which just made her stand out more. One of the aunts notes this and says that she lacks courage because she wants to be normal, but being "weird" and herself would be a much more rewarding state of being. Being true to herself is one of the themes in the movie, and something Sally embraces by the end.

“... Keep Rosemary By Your Garden Gate, Plant Lavender For Luck... ”

Sally Owens

Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (24)

The most often-remembered of the Practical Magic quotes is from Sally, and it is adapted right out of the novel that inspires the movie:

There are some things I know for certain: always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.

This quote from Practical Magic is one of the most iconic in the film and really captures the essence of the story. The Owens women are witches, but they aren't mean and nasty like the majority of the town initially believes. They are not the stereotypes that exist in horror movies. They believe in throwing salt over their shoulders and planting lavender for luck, and most importantly, they believe in living their lives as freely and happily as they can, which includes falling in love.

The idea of herbs in the garden bringing luck and of love being one of the most important things speaks to the heart of Practical Magic.

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Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (26)
Practical Magic

PG-13

Fantasy

Comedy

Drama

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

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Two witch sisters, raised by their aunts in a small town, face prejudice and a curse that threatens to prevent them from finding lasting love. Everything gets more complicated when they accidentally kill an abusive guy in self-defense.

Director
Griffin Dunne

Release Date
October 16, 1998
Cast
Nicole Kidman , Sandra Bullock , Stockard Channing , Dianne Wiest , Goran Visnjic , Aidan Quinn , Evan Rachel Wood , Mark Feuerstein

Runtime
104 Minutes
Practical Magic: 20 Best Quotes, Ranked (2024)

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