Ranking Fred and George Weasley’s best pranks in Harry Potter

Contributed by
Apr 1, 2018

It’s extremely fitting that Harry Potter’s Fred and George Weasley were born on April Fools’ Day. To say the twins had a mischievous side would be a bit of an understatement. They were masters of jokes and pranks. The brothers managed to get into all sorts of trouble and never loose their prankster spirit while also being essential wizards in the fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

The legend of Fred and George will not only live on in the many inventions they created, but in the memory of the numerous pranks they played on others. Whether it was family or schoolmate, a group or an individual, those who experienced and witnessed the pranks of the Weasley twins would not soon forget them.

To honor the twins’ April Fools’ Day birthday, we look back at their most memorable pranks and count down to the very best!

Turning Neville into a Canary

This was a bit unintentional, but nevertheless one of the most unforgettable results of a joke item created by the twins. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry is celebrating completing the first task of the Triwizard Tournament with everyone in the Gryffindor common room. Fred offers Hermione a jam tart, but she looks at it suspiciously. Fred assures her that he hasn’t done anything to them and it’s the custard creams she should be careful around, which Neville isn’t happy to hear since he was biting into one! He spits it out only to have Fred tell him that was a joke. Neville goes back to eating them only to suddenly turn into a large canary! Fred realizes it was the custard creams after all, and they watch as Neville quickly molts and, after losing his feathers, returns to normal. He joins the others in laughing as it’s revealed this is one of Fred and George’s inventions: a Canary Cream! While the invention itself isn’t one of their top bests, the unintentional prank and how Neville is able to recognize and join in the hilarity of the moment is quite impressive! Who can forget a large canary appearing during such a celebration?

A Hogwarts Swamp

One of the most brilliant inventions of the Weasley twins is the portable swamp that appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They use it in a wonderful prank before leaving Hogwarts for good. Basically, Fred and George use it to create a swamp in a fifth-floor corridor. Dolores Umbridge asks them if they found it amusing after cornering the twins with the Inquisitorial Squad, to which Fred replies “pretty amusing, yeah.” In the books, this is what finally makes Fred and George say goodbye to Hogwarts and they fly off telling Peeves to “give her hell from us.” The two did not tell anyone how to remove the swamp of course, though Professor Flitwick was able to get rid of most of it eventually. It was a perfect final prank from the twins for messing with Umbridge!

Stealing the Marauder’s Map

When Fred and George pass the Marauder’s Map on to Harry in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we learn how exactly the secret to their success as they call it came to be in their possession. It was all the result of a common prank, setting a Dungbomb off in the corridor during their first year. Filch took them to his office where they saw a filing cabinet marked “Confiscated and Highly Dangerous.” Unable to resist, they continued their Dungbomb themed fun by setting off another, heading to the cabinet, and grabbing what turned out to be the map. What started as a small prank turned into a masterful one that ended with them stealing an item that would help them immensely in their troublemaking ways for years to come.

Apparition

By the time of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Fred and George are 17 and no longer have to worry about being punished for using underage magic. That opens the door to many different prank possibilities, especially once they receive their license to apparate! This leads to so many chances for them to cause trouble as they can appear anywhere with a loud pop and scare those around them. In the beginning of the film we see this in action at Grimmauld Place when they suddenly appear and interrupt a conversation between Harry, Ron, and Hermione and then again when they unfortunately give their mother a fright as they head downstairs. I bet that was far from the last time Molly Weasley found herself surprised by the twins apparating!

Trying to enter the Triwizard Tournament

While this idea didn’t exactly work, it’s still notable as one of their most ambitious acts and one with quite interesting consequences! In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Fred and George decide to try and enter their names into the goblet so they can participate in the Triwizard Tournament. The twins decide they can fool the age line by taking an aging potion and it appears to work at first. Unfortunately, the triumph doesn’t last long and they are soon flung away from the goblet and immediately grow white beards. Even though it didn’t work, it was an admirable effort from these the brothers. We would expect nothing less!

Switching Names

This is a simple and yet classic prank that twins everywhere probably pull at least once, but it never gets old! We see Fred and George first try this in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at King’s Cross station. The twins confuse their mother with the joke when she calls Fred Fred. Of course, she has it right all along but they just can’t resist! While the twins would develop much more complex jokes through the years, sometimes you can’t argue with something so classic working so well.

Setting off fireworks in Hogwarts

I believe Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs are the twins’ greatest invention and the prank they used them for in order to say goodbye to Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is one of the best they ever performed. The fireworks gave Umbridge a huge headache as they are very difficult to get rid of and they quickly spread throughout the school. In the book, the other professors acted like they couldn’t get rid of them without the new headmistress so she was running around everywhere to deal with them. While being cornered about the swamp is what made the twins leave in the novel, in the film it’s these fireworks that give the twins their big send off in a truly spectacular fashion. In both uses though, it is an amazing prank the likes of which Hogwarts probably never saw again once the two left!

Bewitching snowballs to hit Professor Quirrell

This is a prank that’s brilliant mostly for a reason that the twins didn’t even realize! In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Fred and George get into a little bit of trouble in December. Apparently they “were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban.” Now the twins probably bothered a lot of professors with various pranks over the years, but there are few that can top this because it wasn’t just Quirrell they were bothering. During Harry’s first year at Hogwarts, Quirrell was never alone because Voldemort was always with him—and his face was in the back of his head covered by the turban! Yes, the twins managed to prank Voldemort himself by repeatedly hitting him with snowballs. Nothing can beat that!

Which Weasley twin prank is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!