Maggie Smith's Most Epic Dowager Countess Reaction GIFs

Image: Courtesy PBS.
We're about to see Dame Maggie Smith in an entirely new light. In The Lady in the Van (opening this week in New York, January 15 nationwide), she plays the real-life Mary Shepherd, a former pianist who, after a series of unfortunate events, wound up living in a van parked outside writer Alan Bennett's London home for 15 years. What would Lady Violet Crawley think of such circumstances? We wish we could see.

Well, at this point we're pretty sure we can imagine how Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess would react. For the past five seasons, Smith has been pulling some epic faces and uttering withering remarks that many on the internet have deemed meme-worthy. Whether aghast at the social changes and technological advances happening around her, or shocking her family by helping granddaughter Edith deal with her out-of-wedlock pregnancy, Violet's always good for a laugh amid the show's soapy drama.

Next year, we'll say goodbye to Downton (those of us who were good and didn't illegally stream season 6 from the U.K., anyway). While we're sure to enjoy Smith's newer work, let's take a moment to savor her most Dowager of Dowager Countess moments. These are basically rules to live by.

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Image: Via Giphy.
Be Ready With A Good Comeback
Lady Violet's frenemy repartee with Cousin Isobel (Penelope Wilton) is one of our relationship goals.
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Image: Via Rebloggy.
Make Your Presence Valued
"Avoiding one's friends — that's the real test."
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Lay Down The Law
Lady Violet has taught us that the best way to get your way is to believe your authority is unquestioned.
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Nastiness Gets You Nowhere
Ruling with a kind, iron fist earns respect and results.
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Stay In Touch With The Latest Lingo
No one will ever know you're one of the 1%.
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Embrace New Technology
Wait until she hears about Snapchat.
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Be A Lady
The definition of "vulgarity," however, is always up for debate.
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Remember Some Rules Never Change
Like what you should not discuss at the dinner table.
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Don't Apologize
Know your rights.
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Maybe Don't Kill People
If you don't have to.
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Master The Eye Roll...
It saves so many words.
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...& The Double Take
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Seek Out New Things
It's fun to be shocked.
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Let Your Mind Set You Free
Unless that's a bit too scary.
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Self-confidence Makes The Woman
Know you're better than the rest.
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The World Will Make You Weary
This too shall pass.
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Passive Aggression Gets You Nowhere
Air it all out.
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Don't Waste Your Time With Haters
You've got better things to do.
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Stay Positive
No matter what your socio-economic status, actually.
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Humor Is Everything
This is how to react to all that is ridiculous in life.