Now that the original fans of the Harry Potter series are adults, the franchise has been releasing installments like the Fantastic Beasts movies that are more equipped for mature audiences than the original books. They follow characters who are long out of school, and The Secrets of Dumbledore explores far more brutal themes, allowing Grindelwald to be portrayed as an even crueler villain than Voldemort.
While this is a benefit to many, there is a certain element in the teen series that is missing from Fantastic Beasts:the sassiness of high school politics. The teenagers of Harry Potter never shied away from throwing insults at each other, and even some of the teachers had begun to pick up on this snarkiness. Both the books and movies were full of roasts and burns, with many of the notable characters from the series having their time to deliver a quippy quote that put the receiver in their place.
10 “The Toilet’s Never Had Anything As Horrible As Your Head Down It.”
Harry Potter – Philosopher’s Stone
Harry often had a quippy comeback for bullies like Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape because he had grown up being incessantly mistreated by his family — and the Harry Potter movies left out a lot of the Dursleys’ abuse. Harry had a lot of practice thinking on his feet, and over the years, he became proficient at dishing out burns that were just too quick for Dudley to keep up with.
While there were several of these moments, the most notable came right in Philosopher’s Stone, when Dudley was teasing Harry (before he knew he was going to Hogwarts) about attending his new school, Stonewall High. He said, “They stuff people’s heads down the toilet the first day at Stonewall, want to come upstairs and practice?” to which Harry said, “No thanks,” going on to pretend that Dudley had wanted his head flushed instead.
9 “Honestly, Goyle, If You Were Any Slower, You’d Be Going Backwards.”
Draco Malfoy – Chamber Of Secrets
Draco Malfoy wasn’t rude exclusively to Harry and the other Gryffindors. In fact, he often liked to surround himself with those he felt superior to; that way, no one could ever claim to be better than him. Crabbe and Goyle may have been bigger and stronger, but they certainly were not smarter.
Malfoy not only knew this, but he apparently had no issue reminding his friends that they were dim. Harry saw this firsthand when he was pretending to be Goyle via the use of Pollyjuice potion, and Malfoy dug into him with the kind of rude burn that was likely common between the Slytherin pals.
8 “They Got In On Pure Talent!”
Hermione Granger – Chamber Of Secrets
After Draco Malfoy revealed that he had joined the Slytherin Quidditch team, it didn’t take long for everyone to realize exactly why. Miraculously, each member of the team had the Nimbus 2001 racing brooms, which were the newest (and most expensive) model of that year.
Of course, this opened the door for a classic high school insult, and Hermione was there to make it happen. She reminded Malfoy that no one on the Gryffindor team had to use their father’s money to be accepted and that they had real talent, unlike Malfoy.
7 “You Foul, Loathsome, Evil, Little Cockroach!”
Hermione Granger – Prisoner of Azkaban
Ron and Harry were usually the ones who couldn’t keep their tempers in check when it came to Malfoy. They frequently lashed out at the Slytherin student, competing with him to see who could hit a more sensitive nerve, while Hermione did her best to reel them in.
However, after seeing Malfoy watch in glee as the executioner arrived to kill Buckbeak, Hermione lost her cool. Her insults may not have been among Hermione’s wisest quotes in Harry Potter, but her right hook really drove the moment home.
6 “Out For A Little Walk… In The Moonlight, Are We?”
Severus Snape – Prisoner Of Azkaban
While Severus Snape was no longer a student at Hogwarts, the return of his old schoolmates seemed to bring out his teenage sass. He enjoyed knowing Lupin’s secret, and while he still helped him by making the Wolfsbane potion, he wasn’t above lording the knowledge over him at every opportunity.
Snape’s character can be summed up by his maliciousness, and he all but told the students that Lupin was a werewolf by assigning them an essay about how to identify one and eventually leaked the information to the parents. However, the sneakiest way that he teased Lupin was by commenting about the moonlight, which most audiences would think nothing of until the later reveal.
5 “I Hear Yeh Made A Good Ferret, Malfoy.”
Rubeus Hagrid – Goblet Of Fire
Even though Mad-Eye Moody ended up being a Death Eater in disguise, audiences (and Harry) couldn’t help but appreciate him turning Malfoy into a ferret and juggling him around. It was what made Moody’s character so likable to begin with, ensuring that no one would suspect him.
Even a couple of the adults at Hogwarts had enjoyed the spectacle. This included Hagrid, who had faced quite a lot of grief after Malfoy’s actions in Prisoner of Azkaban. Therefore, after having heard about what happened, he had no issue making a comment to his student when he started trying to cause trouble again.
Severus Snape – Order Of The Phoenix
Dolores Umbridge brought everyone at Hogwarts together in a common opinion: she was the absolute worst. During her very first day, Umbridge dethroned Snape as Harry’s least favorite teacher. So, when she was evaluating Potions class, the Golden Trio actually found themselves on Snape’s side.
The High Inquisitor did her best to get under Snape’s skin, just like Umbridge did with the other professors. She enjoyed making them feel inferior by challenging their abilities and achievements, so with the Potions professor, she asked him if he had been unsuccessful in his ambitions to become Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, to which he responded with his iconic, “Obviously.”
3 “It Would Have Been Better Manners To Drink It, You Know.”
Albus Dumbledore – Half-Blood Prince
After several years of watching the Dursleys mistreat Harry with no repercussions, it was immensely satisfying in Half-Blood Prince to see them finally confronted with their poor behavior. This happened when Dumbledore came to Privet Drive to inform the family what would happen when Harry entered adulthood on his upcoming 17th birthday.
During this visit, the professor conjured drinks for the Dursleys, noting that they should have offered him a drink instead. He then went on to ridicule them for their neglect of Harry while the beverage glasses knocked themselves against Vernon and Petunia’s heads. Then, when Dumbledore finally stopped the eager drinks from forcing themselves down the Dursleys’ throats, he pleasantly reminded them of how very rude they were being, causing them discomfort and Harry and the audience great satisfaction.
2 “There’s No Need To Call Me ‘Sir,’ Professor.”
Harry Potter – Half-Blood Prince
Since Harry was the spitting image of Severus Snape’s high school bully, he was doomed to suffer under the cruel professor. This ensured that the dislike would be mutual between them, resulting in many of Harry’s sassiest lines in the Harry Potter books and movies.
When Snape finally took over the Defense Against the Dark Arts job, Harry was far from thrilled. His best class quickly became a nightmare. After Harry responded to a question with just “Yes,” Snape snidely reminded him to say “Yes, sir,” to which the sassy student pretended to misunderstand in the best way.
1 “Not My Daughter, You B*tch!”
Molly Weasley – Deathly Hallows
Throughout the Harry Potter series, Molly Weasley proved she was a force to be reckoned with. As a mother and homemaker, there could be no greater example. She managed to keep track of her seven children (even Fred and George) and despite financial difficulties, ensure they were all dressed, fed, schooled, and cared for.
However, as far as anyone knew until the events of Deathly Hallows, Molly’s skills laid mainly in the domestics. This was, of course, not true, and Molly proved this in the Battle of Hogwarts. Unfortunately, she had already lost one of her children, so when Bellatrix threatened Ginny, Molly wasn’t having it. She threw out a fairly basic insult, but it would be the last that Voldemort’s first lieutenant would ever hear.