100 Things I Learned About Life from Anne of Green Gables

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I grew up loving Anne of Green Gables. I was a bookworm and a chatterbox, so when I first “met” Anne, I felt like I had met a kindred spirit.

When the mini series was released on TV, I watched it faithfully every year and was transported into a world where I was understood and where everything made sense.

I was both jealous of Anne and in awe of her. I envied the relationship she had with Matthew (her ‘adoptive’ dad), admired her gumption and optimism, grieved for her losses, and dreamed more than anything that someday, there would be a boy like Gilbert in my life who would look at me like he looked at Anne.

100 things I learned about life, love and parenting from Anne of Green GablesImage Copyright: onepony / 123RF Stock Photo

My favourite fictional literary character taught me many life lessons that I still believe to be true to this day. She helped shape me into who I am.

Things I Learned About Life from Anne of Green Gables:

  1. Marry your best friend.
  2. You don’t need to be blood to be family.
  3. Love fiercely.
  4. Wait for a man who isn’t intimidated by your brain.
  5. Cover the plum pudding.
  6. There’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself.
  7. If you’re going to do something, do it with full abandon.
  8. Memorize one great poem. You never know when it will come in handy.
  9. A good imagination makes life far more interesting.
  10. If you’re going to apologize, do it thoroughly.
  11. Accepting a dare is never wise.
  12. Always look for the best in others.
  13. One good friend (bosom buddy) is all you really need.
  14. Don’t be afraid to stand out.
  15. Choose your children’s names well. Names matter.
  16. Read. And don’t be ashamed of it.
  17. Write. Write what you know.
  18. First impressions aren’t everything.
  19. Raspberry cordial and red currant wine are not the same thing.
  20. You can “just feel a prayer”.
  21. Life’s trials build character.
  22. We live in an interesting world. Discover it.
  23. The truth will set you free.
  24. Prince Edward Island is beautiful at any time of the year.
  25. “It’s not what the world holds for you; it’s what you bring to it.”
  26. There’s no substitute for hard work.
  27. Girls are just as capable as boys.
  28. “You don’t make an important visit in your kitchen clothes.”
  29. Never buy hair dye from a road-side pedlar.
  30. “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it” (yet).
  31. Kindred spirits can be found in people of any age.
  32. False accusations hurt.
  33. Life’s too short not to wear puffed sleeves (or the current fashion equivalent).
  34. A good vocabulary is an asset.
  35. The troubles we bring on ourselves are the hardest to bear.
  36. Always check to be sure a bed is empty before jumping on it.
  37. You’re never too old to play.
  38. It’s always worth it to speak up for what’s right.
  39. Give hard news and good news in person.
  40. Fight for what you believe in.
  41. Tell the people you love how you feel.
  42. Aim high.
  43. Being smart is better than being pretty.
  44. Sacrifice for those you love.
  45. Sometimes what you’re looking for has been right under your nose all along.
  46. In writing, there will be rejection letters. Lots of them.
  47. People will talk.
  48. Don’t stake your word of honour on cows (or anything else you can’t control).
  49. Today is a gift.
  50. Adoption can be a beautiful thing.The Things I Learned About Life from Anne of Green Gables
  51. Modern technology is not always better.
  52. Never threaten to do something unless you’re willing to go through with it.
  53. Kindness goes a long way.
  54. Naming something (or someone) helps you connect with it/them.
  55. Don’t let your past define you.
  56. Be a good teacher.
  57. Anticipating an event or trip can be half the fun.
  58. Let yourself feel and feel it intensely, the good and the bad.
  59. That’s called passion and there’s nothing wrong with it.
  60. Don’t give in to bullies.
  61. Marry someone who challenges you and isn’t afraid to tell you the truth.
  62. It’s never too late to learn a new skill.
  63. Be a loyal friend.
  64. Don’t conform to society’s expectations or limitations.
  65. Don’t let the doubts of others impact your goals.
  66. Go for broke!
  67. Embrace every moment.
  68. Giggle.
  69. Dance. Dance by yourself if you have to!
  70. Sometimes the greatest beauty in the world is in the smallest details.
  71. Look for them.
  72. Not everyone wants what’s best for you. (see below)
  73. There will always be Josie Pye’s in this life.
  74. Ignore them.
  75. Don’t try to be anyone other than yourself.
  76. Be humble.
  77. There can be treasure hidden inside the people you least expect there to be.
  78. Look past their gruff exterior and the hurt they carry to find the kindred spirit lurking inside.
  79. Coming home is a great feeling.
  80. There are some things that simply cannot be expressed in words.
  81. Be a ‘glass-half-full’ person.
  82. It makes living so much more pleasant!
  83. Find the good in every situation.
  84. Don’t let fear hold you back.
  85. You’re never too old for love.
  86. Return to where the dreams closest to your heart are.
  87. Know how to spell C-H-R-Y-S-A-N-T-H-E-M-U-M.
  88. It impresses people!
  89. God knows what (or who) you need, even when you may not.
  90. Try not to repeat the same mistake twice.
  91. Never settle.
  92. Take time to look at the moon, watch a sunset, pick apples, go for walks, listen.
  93. “Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.”
  94. If you have big ideas, sometimes only big words will do them justice!
  95. Hold onto hope because you never know what might be around the next corner.
  96. Appreciate the seasons.
  97. Remember your roots.
  98. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  99. Boldly go after your dreams.
  100. Anticipate joy.

I don’t normally dedicate my posts to anyone, but I wrote this one for my sister-in-law Deanne, a fellow Anne-girl fan and a true kindred spirit. Deanne, you have been such a blessing in my life. Your friendship, your acceptance, and your heart are all gifts that I treasure.

“Remember, true friends are always together in spirit.”

What about you? If you’re an Anne of Green Gables fan, what is your favourite Anne moment?


  1. Deanne Mackie says:

    I loved this list – thank you Sharla! I truly feel hugged <3

  2. My favorite Anne moments are actually in the later books, like Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island, but Anne will always be one of my favorite characters. I’ve also written a blog post about her, because like you said, she is fabulous.

  3. Great list! I LOVE Anne, and have ever since I can remember. I watched the movie annually too! Memorized it LOL! Now my oldest is asking to read it and I’m hesitant to let her, she’s not quite 8 years old and I don’t want the book to be wasted if she’s not old enough to appreciate it properly. So much wisdom!

  4. Love, Love, LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Barbara Bibb says:

    My favorite quote was when Anne asked Marilla if she had ever been in “the depths of despair” and her reply was “No, to be in the depths of despair would be to have no faith in God”.

  6. I LOVE ANNE <3 Thank you so much for this list – it brought back fond memories of watching and re-watching Anne of Green Gables with my mom growing up… now we love watching with my daughter!

  7. Love this post, love your list! I’m currently re-reading the series and I feel as if I’m looking at the pages anew. There’s so much to laugh and cry over, there are so much valuable lessons on family, friendships, relationships, etc. I think my favorite scene will always be the “Carrots” scene. And I think I will never tire of laughing over it for as long as I live, no matter how many times I read/watch it.

  8. “Don’t eat it, Miss Stacy!” Will forever be a scene I watch and laugh over EVERY TIME! Love it and love this list. Thanks!

  9. Anne (yes, Anne) says:

    There will always be Rachel Lyndes in this world too. I’ve run into my fair share.

  10. Some of my favorite Anne moments are found in my favorite book, Anne’s House of Dreams. Having lost a baby daughter, I resonate with Anne in baby Joyce’s passing. Her thoughts and words come from a true hurting mother’s heart. “The thought that it may stop hurting sometimes hurts me worse than all else, Marilla.”

  11. Oh my goodness! I haven’t watched this since I was a kid! I can’t wait to go and watch it again, I LOVED that show! Thanks for sharing and linking up at Favorite things Friday! Make sure to add a button or link back to be eligible to be featured! Hope to see you again this week!

  12. Anne of GG is my all-time favorite movie and book. Also my 22-yr old daughter. It is the one show we watch over and over. I was inspired by your list!
    One of my favorite movie memories was a kind of obscure scene where that weird teacher announces he will not be returning next term. Everyone is so “sad”! He then tells the students there will be an end of school picnic at Moody’s farm. Moody shrugs and says, “Nobody told me!” I had 3 sisters, and we all had several friends staying over night to watch AGG. We got so tickled when he said that, we kept rewinding it over and over to watch and hear him say it. Now every time I see that part, I just laugh! That was about 30 yrs ago! Can’t believe it! The movie is timeless. I didn’t care for the WWI sequel though…very disappointing.
    I’d like to recommend a book I found at the library called “Before Green Gables” by Budge Wilson. It is a very authentic take on a prequel for Anne of GG. I listened to it on an audio book, and really enjoyed it.

  13. Thank you for this list! I have always loved Anne (a very close second to Laura Ingalls!), and you reminded me how much. Now I want to pull out my box set and start reading these books again.

  14. We have been saving our money and trying to find a time to go visit Green Gables. Hopefully soon.

  15. What a great post. I love Anne. My favourite quote of hers and what I remember when times are hard is :
    “tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it yet!”.

  16. I love all the Anne from GG books. My 10 years old doughter reads them now 🙂

  17. I love Anne of Green Gables as well. It touches me to the core. Your list is perfect.

  18. I just saw that you are SHARLA too! I have six boys and I was looking for quotes from the book I grew up loving- Anne of Green Gables! Thanks for sharing this. Nice to meet another Sharla 🙂

    • Nice to “meet” you! I have heard of a few other Sharlas but I had yet to meet one in real life. It’s not a common name at all! My mom saw it on Sesame Street.

      What are the odds of another Sharla who is also an Anne fan?!

  19. The best line of the entire Anne series is the last. “Yeth” said Rilla. It makes my heart swell everytime i think about it. If any Anne fans didnt make it to the last book you are sorely missing out.

  20. I’m a huge Ann with an (e) fan!!!
    My favorite part is when Anne leaves the plum pudding uncovered and Miss. Stacey comes for dinner.

  21. Joanne Anderson says:

    I was fortunate to be able to visit this beautiful place…it was all I ever dreamed it was. Certainly a place you can learn all of these things, and more!

  22. I LOVE this! Anne of Green Gables was (and still is) one of my favourite books. I found myself chuckling at a lot of the items on your list 😀

  23. Judith Clare says:

    My favourite moment is “my Anne that I’m proud of”. Tearing up even typing it.

  24. Another Anne-girl here. I don’t know when Anne came into my life, but it was early – and I don’t know if I loved her so much because she reminded me of myself, or if I tried to emulate her because I loved her so much 🙂

    I love the first two movies (that atrocity of a third doesn’t count), but the books are what really speak to my heart.

    The only things I would add are “I don’t know what lies around the bend but I’m going to believe that the best does,” and having a “Jonah Day.” I love how you included the yet in in Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it (yet) 🙂

    This whole post just made me happy.

  25. Thank you so much for this post. My best friend and I were huge Anne fans and memorized the movies and expressions. Some of my favourity expressions were hearing Mrs Lynd say that Anne had her tongue hinged in the middle and hearing Anne say she was in the depths of dispair and how she always tried to imagine things away. The list just goes on and on. Two of my favourite scenes was the river scene where Gilbert rescued her and the moment when he was sick and she realizes how much she loved him. So many favourite scenes! This book shaped me as a girl growing up and taught me that being smart is better than being pretty and we have to stand up for what we believe in. “It’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it”.

  26. My daughter’s and I always say “that Devil liquor” whenever anything causes us to do something silly!


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