Throughout the Harry Potter series, Fred and George Weasley were always there with an unforgettable prank or scheme.
The talented Weasley twins caused a lot of laughs — and a lot of trouble — while at Hogwarts and beyond, becoming legends with the numerous remarkable inventions they created. The brothers eventually turned their brilliance into a successful business with the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes joke shop, where anyone could buy one of their distinctive products from Extendable Ears to Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs.
With such a natural leaning towards jokes of all kinds, it should probably be no surprise that the mischievous twins were born on April Fool’s Day. Born in 1978, George is turning 39 this year and while Fred may have died in the Battle of Hogwarts, it seems fitting to commemorate them both on this April 1 birthday by taking a look at what the two managed to accomplish together even as the Wizarding World was dealing with the return of Voldemort.
Here are their top eight inventions.
You might be wondering why a product with the tagline "the constipation sensation that's gripping the nation" made this list. After all, U-No-Poo basically just causes constipation in anyone that uses it. It's not exactly the most impressive or innovative creation of the Weasley twins. However, it earns a spot on this list for the fact that they decided to name such an item after the most dangerous dark wizard of their time. That takes guts especially since Voldemort, aka You-Know-Who, was out there and probably wouldn't take too kindly to the joke. The brothers also sold edible dark marks at their store, which the Death Eaters and Voldemort may not have liked either, but a dark mark you can eat isn't the same as naming a constipation product after Voldemort!
At first glance, you might not think much of the Boxing Telescope devised by Fred and George. Despite the simple premise though, there's cleverness in the design that makes it a fantastic invention. When someone squeezes the telescope, it punches them and leaves behind a black eye. As described in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Hermione uses the telescope, the bruise is the result of "a tiny fist on a long spring." The clever part is that the bruise can't be removed without using another one of their products. Mrs. Weasley tries everything on Hermione to no avail. It's only when Hermione sees Fred and George in their shop that they give her the bruise removal cream they've been using on themselves when testing the telescope that can make the black eye disappear. While annoying for the person who was punched, it’s quite a good business idea to have the only thing that will remove the bruise be another product! The telescope was never used in the movies, but a prop was made and saw some action in the special features. You can see what it’s like in the video above.
The Portable Swamp made its debut in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix novel when Fred and George used it to turn a fifth-floor corridor of Hogwarts into a swamp before leaving. Professor Flitwick was able to remove it eventually but he left a small patch behind, which Ginny tells the others he did because he said "it was a really good bit of magic" while Ron believes he did it "as a monument to Fred and George." I like to think both cases are true. Creating a swamp out of nothing that's also hard to get rid of is definitely a unique and impressive idea! The Portable Swamp was also featured in the Harry Potter video games.
This is a classic Weasley creation and a useful one too. It appeared in both the Order of the Phoenix book and film. By holding one end of a flesh-colored string close to your ear and placing the other end near where you want to hear what's going on, you'll be able to listen in to the conversations taking place. The only thing that can prevent the ear from hearing what's happening is an Imperturbable Charm. Considering that's just one charm though, this is an otherwise extremely handy device to have around!
The Weasleys perfected the Skiving Snackboxes before leaving Hogwarts in Order of the Phoenix. These contain everything you need to get out of school or another affair by making yourself sick in a number of ways. You can try fever fudge to give yourself a temperature, fainting fancies so you can faint on the spot, nosebleed nougat that will make your nose start bleeding and puking pastilles which cause the user to throw up. The twins developed a convenient way to make the illnesses stop too, with one end of the treat causing it and the other stopping it. Once they left Hogwarts, the boxes were put to good use by many students as a way to get out of Umbridge's classes by claiming they had "Umbridge-itis." For that alone, even without how they're brilliantly designed to work, they deserve to be listed here!
If you need a distraction, this Weasley product is just what you're looking for. In the Half-Blood Prince novel, Fred tells Harry these will run off when dropped and then "make a nice loud noise out of sight" in order to act as a diversion. We get to see it in action in both the Deathly Hallows book and film when Harry uses a detonator when sneaking into the Ministry of Magic. It works perfectly and shows the product can be quite versatile. From using it for small things and jokes to important things that can have an impact on the larger wizarding community, you never know when a Decoy Detonator may be needed.
Patented Daydream Charm
For any Hogwarts students who want to miss out on class, but don't want to make themselves sick or lose that perfect attendance record, this is the item for them! In the Half-Blood Prince book, Hermione learns about the charm at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and discovers all it takes is "one simple incantation and you will enter a top-quality, highly realistic, thirty-minute daydream." Only available to those over 16, it's apparently hard to detect and comes with side-effects like drooling and vacant expressions. The fact that they figured out how to create a thirty-minute daydream is completely brilliant. Perfect just in case you find yourself having trouble drifting off into a daydream of your own at any point! In an interview, author J.K. Rowling admitted that this was her favorite of the Weasley inventions.
Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs
These stunning magical fireworks put on quite an impressive show. They come in all different colors, sizes and shapes, and their magical nature means they can do a lot more than just offer one burst before disappearing. They can form symbols, words or beasts, and even chase down certain witches and wizards. According to George in Order of the Phoenix, using a Vanishing Charm to try to get rid of them will make them multiply by 10! For being breathtaking, fun, clever and colorful, Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs earn the top spot on my list of Fred and George's best inventions.
Let us know which Weasley twin invention is your favorite in the comments!