Rules and schools are tools for fools.
I don't give two mules for rules!
— The Mysterious Benedict Society
Constance Contraire is a very stubborn and intelligent girl. She is the youngest and most bothersome member of the Mysterious Benedict Society. Though she is naughty, she plays a very big role in the group. She is known for her poems, hardheadedness, and never-ending complaints. Her strength and abilities include being stubborn, writing poems, reading minds, changing minds, and transferring messages into other people's minds. Nicholas Benedict adopted her.


Constance has short yellow hair and blue eyes; if she were any taller she might resemble Kate enough to be related. She is allegedly very chubby and, in the first book and all illustrations, seen wearing a red raincoat with enough pockets to hold thirty-seven pencils. She is three years old at the beginning of the series, but because of her intellect the others assume she is older.

The name "Constance Contraire" could be a play on "constantly contrary" or "consistently contrary," referring to Constance's stubborn attitude. In fact, it's her stubborn attitude that saves the Society in the first book.


Constance is like any other three-year-old except for the happy, innocent and cheerful part. The annoyance factor is enhanced to make up for the lack. She is constantly grumpy and contrary to anything anyone has to say; she insists on having the last word and will do almost anything to get it. She is also very grumpy at everything that does not go her way.

Because of her more advanced intellect conflicting with her natural instincts, it's definitely difficult for her to relate to children her own age; thereby making her friends the only people whom she can really relate to. Constance seems to favor Reynie, but it's also quite possible she considers herself close to Sticky as well. Her behavior towards Kate is very sisterly.

Constance does, however, have toddler instincts and food is one of her main concerns, especially candies and desserts. If anything's not exactly her way she can get very frustrated. At first Kate is extremely reluctant to have anything to do with her. 


Constance is a genius, who can read, write, and speak intelligently from an extremely early age. She constantly is spouting rhymes on the spot, usually insults directed at whoever is closest to her, so much that Kate comes up with a retaliating rhyme. Unfortunately, we never get to hear it.

In the second book it's shown that Constance can tell who's where just by the pattern of his footsteps. This proves useful to the children on many occasions; such as when they are talking and Constance alerts them that Captain Noland is coming down the hall.

In the third book, this ability has heightened to the point of almost psychic-appearing power. Constance can predict the weather by sensing patterns in the air, and likely predict behavior as well by mood patterns and knowledge of a person's general behavior. She can also communicate through images telepathically, communicating her location to Reynie in form of a call number at the library.

With Sticky, she made him believe for an instant that he didn't like vanilla ice cream, giving it to her, though this caused an immense headache and stomach flu-like symptoms for a couple days.

She also got rid of Mr. Benedict's narcolepsy, which was probably one of her most stressing experiences.

Mr. Benedict tells the children that Constance is highly sensitive to patterns, making her appear psychic. However, she isn't psychic in that she can predict the future without any previous information. She is especially sensitive and can hear the Messengers' voices.



Before the SeriesEdit


The Mysterious Benedict SocietyEdit

"Milligan! Come and tell us why you're so dreadfully glum!"

"Poor Kate", said Constance,"she's lost her marbles"

"What is wrong with YOU?"

"Rules and schools are tools for fools-I wouldn't give two mules for rules!"

"Now we have waited for thirty consecutive

minutes to see some old dirty Executive

thirty long minutes I could have been sleeping

but she doesn't find her appointments worth keeping!"

"Are you trying to get me caught, George Washington?"

Constance flared. "Let's see you study with voices spouting gibberish in your head!"

The Perilous JourneyEdit

"Get your whits outtahere!"

"Do I remember them?" "Hmm, let me think, Kate. Oh wait! You mean like the men who tried to kidnap me - the one who shot wires out of their watches, shocked the wits out of me, and stuffed me into a bag?"

"My poems would sound good if your ears weren’t of wood."

The Prisoner's Dilemma Edit

"I'm an orphan! I'm an orphan!"

"I didn't realize this was a sad occasion"

"Green plaid is quite hideous, a pattern cooked up by dimwit designers that must have been mad."


  • Constance's poems are often used for comic relief.
  • Many of Mr. Curtain's henchmen are wary of Constance's special ability.
  • Out of all the MBS members Constance is thought to be the most valuable by Mr. Curtain.
  • Kate often calls Constance "Connie Girl."