(Portland) Kids Say the Darndest Things


We all know kids, especially young ones, say the funniest things; from brutal honesty about our appearances, to off-the-wall ideas, to insightful observations, and high-level questions with difficult answers. So what’s special about kids being raised in the Northwest? Reflecting some of the idiosyncrasies of the PNW in general, or Portland specifically, maybe you think your kids are just being kids, but think of some of the cute, charming, or comical things they might have said, and then imagine a kid from Southern California, rural Nebraska, New York City, or suburban Connecticut saying some of the same things. Yup. Not gonna happen.


The following is a list of mostly real, actual quotes from the darndest Portland kids, and you know you are raising PNW kids if you’ve ever heard:

About Nutrition/Health

  • “Is this local?”
  • “Is it organic?”
  • “I can’t eat dairy/gluten/store-bought…”
  • “Can we go to brunch?”
  • “I want oatmeal like at Gravy.”
  • “I don’t like cow milk, only almond milk.”
  • “Is this real meat or the fake kind?”
  • (Playing Candyland) “Look mommy, vitamins!”
  • Can I have some mama milk, please?
  • “Our chickens are only for eggs, not eating, right?”
  • “I think the baby’s hungry. Can you get out your nipple and feed her?”

About Beer/Whiskey/Coffee

  • “Can we go to my favorite home-brew store?” (The one with the baby dolls).
  • “I’ll get your beer for you.”
  • “When daddy goes to his Whiskey Club, can we watch a movie?”
  • “If you get a coffee, can I get whipped cream on a straw?”

About Appearances/Tattoos

  • “That lady has an earring in her nose.”
  • “Why does she have all those stamps on her arm? Did she do a good job on the potty?”
  • “When I’m bigger I want a tattoo like you and daddy.”
  • “Mama, why is daddy growing a beard? His face is so scratchy.”

About the Weather/Geography

  • “Is the outdoor swimming pool open yet?”
  • “I’m an Oregon girl. I climb up to the clouds and squeeze out the rain.”
  • “Look! The mountain is out.”
  • “Is it like a beach with sand, or a beach with rocks?”
  • (Whining in the summer) “But I don’t want to go to bed. It’s still light out!”
  • “Can we go to the park and look for the fairy doors?”

About General Portland/NW culture

  • “When I grow up I want to be a Duck.”
  • “Does this go in the blue or green trash can?”
  • “Can I put this in the compost?”
  • “Look! It’s the recycling truck!”
  • “Is Portland in the United States?”
  • “So I can talk to strangers if they live in our neighborhood?”
  • “Why are all the cars driving so slow?”
  • “Is my circus/Irish dance/meditation/cooking class today?”
  • “My friend Sage/Juniper/Willow said…”
  • Confused and quiet, “daddy, (whispers) is ‘trump’ a bad word?”
  • (On an out-of-state road trip) “Daddy can pump the gas?!”
  • “That toy has batteries. We’re not allowed to have that at my house.”
  • “Is that a dog or baby in that stroller?”
  • (After seeing a longtail/cargo bicycle) “I want one. A bike as big as a car!”

One of the keys to good kid quotes is WRITING THEM DOWN! What cute or funny things have you overheard a child say, where you thought “That’s SO Portland?” (Special shout-out to my Portland-bred BFFs for the fodder for this post, sharing hilarity over group text).

Like these? Check out more PDX funnies with our list of Portland Mom Problems!