Jennifer Honey was born to prominent doctor Magnus Honey and an unknown mother in 1967.
When Jennifer was two, her mother died of what is likely natural causes. Her father needed someone to take care of his now mother-less daughter while he was at work, and so he called in his deceased wife's half sister Agatha Trunchbull. Unknown to him, Trunchbull was very cruel to his daughter behind his back. What is worse for Miss Honey was when she was five when her father died (the cause of which is unknown, but is thought to have been a suicide), leaving her to be tortured by Trunchbull. Luckily, Jennifer was able to escape her wicked aunt, living in a lovely little house.
Several years later, Miss Honey became a teacher at Crunchem Hall, which was where Miss Trunchbull became principal at. While Miss Trunchbull unleashed a reign of terror on Crunchem Hall, Miss Honey was a well loved teacher towards all of her students. She became especially interested in her newest student Matilda Wormwood because of her smart brain and love of books. She attempted to talk to Trunchbull and Matilda's parents Harry and Zinnia Wormwood, but none of them were willing to listen. After Matilda pulled a prank on Trunchbull, she confided with Jennifer on her telekinesis, while Miss Honey told Matilda about her relationship between her and Miss Trunchbull.
Wanting to get back at Miss Trunchbull for what she did to Miss Honey, Matilda secretly formulated a plan to scare Trunchbull. To do this, Matilda used her powers to make Trunchbull think that Magnus' ghost was haunting her at the school, forcing her to give Miss Honey her house and inheritance from her father. This led to Trunchbull running screaming from the school, never to be seen again.
With Trunchbull gone, Miss Honey moved back into her father's house. Matilda later became a regular houseguest to her. After Mr. Wormwood was exposed in his illegal car dealerships, he attempted to take Matilda with the rest of the family. However, Matilda told them she did not want to leave and convinced them to sign the adoption papers that would leave Matilda in Miss Honey's care, which they agreed to since they weren't all that interested in her. Miss Honey and Matilda then lived a very happy life together.
Miss Jennifer Honey is a kind and affectionate person who, despite her past, is kind to her students and everyone around her. She notices Matilda's talent and tries to convey this to the Trunchbull and Matilda's parents, despite their refusal to acknowledge this. Also, being able to sympathize with Matilda's burden of living with a family that does not appreciate her, Miss Honey acts as an emotional support and a guardian for Matilda.
Differences from the film and books
- Jennifer Honey becomes the new principal of Crunchem Hall in the film as opposed to Mr. Trilby in the book.
- Miss Honey is similar to James Henry Trotter from James and the Giant Peach, since they are orphans and were both raised by cruel aunts.
- In the novel, Miss Honey wears glasses, but not in the film (except in one minor instance when she was trying to solve Matilda's math problem of 13 times 379).
- She is inspired by, not to be confused with, the Richard Scarry character of the same name.