It's Wizarding Weekend on SYFY, and we at SYFY WIRE are celebrating with a Hogwarts school year's worth of Harry Potter features!
When you live in a world in which flying on broomsticks is totally normal, spiders grow to the size of Hippogriffs (which actually exist), and candy is never what it seems, there are going to be some moments that end up unintentionally awkward and magically amusing.
When you take riding a broom out of context, it is kind of ludicrous, but try finding yourself in a situation where you screw up a complicated transfiguration or that dusty old chair in the corner grows a human face. The wizards in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series regularly find themselves in ludicrous situations that would have the average muggle laughing — or, in Aunt Marge's case, blowing up like a balloon and floating away. Sometimes saving lives depends on your willingness to flush yourself down a toilet. It really is more heroic than it sounds.
Board the Hogwarts Express to hilarity with these 14 Harry Potter moments that will cast a laughing spell on you. Warning: It might be irreversible.
Dudley becomes the exhibit (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 2001)
Harry doesn't find out he is a Parseltongue until his second year at Hogwarts, but that doesn't mean he didn't participate in a few human-python relations beforehand. Our young hero really was only having a polite chat with that snake until Dudley came knocking on the glass. Instead of punching Dudders in the face like most boys his age would do, Harry magically makes the glass disappear, and his wailing cousin finds himself trapped in a zoo habitat.
It was an accident!
Ron's flying car races the train... or not (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002)
When Harry and Ron miss the train to Hogwarts for mysterious reasons and have to wing it, there’s obviously no better way to get to the Great Hall on time than hijacking Mr. Weasley's car. Never mind that the faulty invisibility booster accounts for no fewer than eight muggle sightings that needed memory modifications pronto. The boys succeed in finding themselves a little closer to the train than they imagined, but as to how close, Hedwig's eyes will tell you the rest.
Spontaneous magic blows up Aunt Marge (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004)
Harry doesn't purposely perform underage wizardry, but Aunt Marge assuming his father was a drunk and comparing his mother to the bulldogs she breeds (which she bears a striking resemblance to) is just one of those things that will set off a random magical incident in the muggle world. Watching her inflate into a human balloon and almost pull her dog and Vernon Dursley into the stratosphere is so worth the Ministry of Magic pink slip.
Spiders want Ron to tap dance (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004)
This might not be as obvious as flying cars or aunts that get blown up, but Ron Weasley's nightmare about spiders wanting him to tap dance is almost as ridiculous as the mental image of arachnids in tap shoes. You have to laugh at Harry's dead-serious insistence that Ron tell the spiders off as well as the unmitigated horror on Ron's face whenever he sees something crawling on eight legs.
The Weasley twins go from zero to eighty (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005)
Because of the perils involved in the Triwizard Tournament, no wizard or witch under the age of 17 can submit their name to the Goblet of Fire for consideration. Leave it to Fred and George to try to figure out how to defy the age line by gulping down an aging potion that works a little too well — just not in the way they imagined.
Not only does the Goblet spit their names back out at them, but the twins (thanks to a little magical handiwork from Professor Dumbledore himself) end up with Dumbledore beards and fighting each other on the floor.
Snape gets a taste of his own potion (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007)
However much the students despise that pink nightmare otherwise known as Dolores Umbridge, everyone in Potions class loves seeing the tables turned on Snape when he gets interrogated. The way Alan Rickman responds to those prying questions without emotion is pure genius, as expected.
Unfortunately, Ron Weasley doesn't find it quite so funny after he gets whacked upside the head with a textbook.
Umbridge finds karma in the Forbidden Forest (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007)
Harry Potter fans generally agree that Umbridge is a particularly sadistic villain with a plethora of creative punishments for the students at Hogwarts. But the most-deserved punishment in Goblet of Fire has to be when the Madam Undersecretary herself is humiliated by Hagrid's giant half-brother and a herd of Centaurs.
That hairspray must have really gotten to her head, what with her calling the Centaurs "filthy half-breeds" and "creatures of near-human intelligence" as they circle her, threatening violence. Umbridge's screams when she gets carried off into the shadows are incredibly gratifying.
The chair is a lie (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2009)
When you're a reluctant former Potions professor who would rather hide in a dusty corner than crawl out of retirement, you transfigure yourself into (what else?) an overstuffed armchair whose upholstery is actually your pajamas.
Even more absurd is how Slughorn re-transfigures back into a human after Dumbledore reveals his disguise. He has to turn a lot of awkwardly creaking springs into bones again when he deflates.
'Lav-Lav' makes a scene over 'Won-Won' (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2009)
This has to be one of the most uncomfortable scenes in the entire Harry Potter universe. When level-five clinger Lavender Brown rushes into the Hospital Wing to check on her supposedly unconscious "Won-Won" after he was poisoned, he's conked out but mumbles "Hermione."
At least she's in a place where she can easily summon ice for that burn.
Impostors break into the ministry via toilet (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, 2010)
There are enough uncomfortable ways to travel in the Harry Potter universe — the inevitable broomstick numbness, flying cars and motorbikes that think for themselves, Floo powder that mostly ends up in your nose, getting splinched while Apparating — but the undeniable worst has to be by flushing. Drinking repulsive Polyjuice Potion to pass yourself off as Albert Runcorn is nothing compared to having to jump into a toilet bowl to get flushed into the Ministry.
Harry spawns himself multiple times (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, 2010)
When your only travel option in a night sky infested with Death Eaters is by broom, you know your friends have your back when they take a swig of Polyjuice potion (which is supposed to take like goblin excrement per Mad-Eye Moody) for you. Just know that they will need a few adjustments. Unfortunately, the potion doesn't morph your clothes into anything else, so any Harrys in bras or heels or ill-fitting pants need to change before everyone goes riding out there.
Dobby never meant to kill, but… (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, 2010)
Dobby has obviously come a long way from jumping maniacally on Harry's bed and bashing his face against the closet door. He’s literally gone to new heights now because he manages to pull a Phantom of the Opera and bring down a chandelier that almost falls on Bellatrix Lestrange's head just when Lucius Malfoy is about to call the Dark Lord. That really beats a cake, and so does his comeback: "Dobby never meant to kill. Dobby only meant to maim or seriously injure."
McGonagall tells Filch where he can put Slytherin (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, 2011)
Nothing against Squibs, but Filch really can be a blithering idiot sometimes, always pointing that gnarly finger at the wrong suspects.
It should come as no surprise that McGonagall finally has enough in Deathly Hallows - Part 2 and calls him out when he runs into the Great Hall barking about the students being out of bed. You think it can't get better. Then she commands him to lead all of Slytherin House to where they'll be right at home — in the dungeons.
Molly Weasley totally pwns Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, 2011)
Don't mess with Molly Weasley, lest you find yourself petrified and hanging in midair, which is exactly what happens to Bellatrix Lestrange before she can say "Avada Kedavra." When Bellatrix threatens Ginny, Molly Weasley blasts the dark wizard back with a flash of light that explodes her into a million shards.
As an added bonus, Mrs. Weasley also saves us from having to hear that morbid "I killed Sirius Black!" singsong over and over again. Not my daughter, witches.