In The Sweet Hereafter (1997), what did the following dialogue (at around the 47 min mark) mean?

Nicole Burnell: I really liked her.

Billy Ansell: Well, she really liked you. [Pause.] And I think she probably would've given you that stuff herself if she hadn't outgrown it or ... [Catches himself, looks like he realizes he's said something wrong.]

Nicole: What do you mean, out ... outgrown it?

Billy: Uh ... I'm not sure.

I had the same question as Nicole and didn't "get" this bit. Why did Billy say that?

  • dailyscript.com/scripts/sweethereafter.html. lists the dialogue as '.... had outgrown', not '.... had not outgrown'. --- maybe the actor misspoke?
    – bukwyrm
    Jul 30, 2018 at 5:43
  • @bukwyrm: I just listened to this bit repeatedly and the actor clearly says "hadn't". It's possible he misspoke. But this seems like a carefully made movie, so it would be strange if this error had just been left in. // Also, either way, my/Nicole's question remains.
    – user9668
    Jul 30, 2018 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


His wife died young. Had she lived, she would have grown older, thereby outgrowing (emotionally) the youthful garbs. Had she outgrown them, she would have given them to Nicole, who was much younger then her.

The negation 'hadn't' is a mistake by the actor.

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