Albus Dumbledore was known for being a great and powerful wizard – but this Headmaster of Hogwarts also had a twinkle in his eye. We have a look at some of his more light-hearted moments.

This particular choice of words

Dumbledore’s speech at the very start of Harry’s first year sums up his sillier side perfectly. While he had to give the warnings about forbidden corridors and potential death, he knew that a bit of nonsense was exactly what was needed to lighten the mood – classic Dumbledore.

‘Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Yum… earwax

This is probably one of Dumbledore’s most memorable lines. Though he was often seen as the wise old wizard that helped guide Harry through his journey, he was also the one who ate an earwax flavoured Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Bean... and that was hilarious.

Ah! Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans! I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomit-flavoured one, and since then I’m afraid I’ve rather lost my liking for them – but I think I’ll be safe with a nice toffee, don’t you?’

He smiled and popped the golden-brown bean into his mouth. Then he choked and said, ‘Alas! Earwax!’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

When he suddenly couldn’t hear anything

On the whole, calling someone a ‘cow’ in front of your headteacher is probably not the wisest move, but luckily for Harry, Dumbledore developed selective hearing at that very moment – leading to this funny interaction.

‘Of course we still want to know you!’ Harry said, staring at Hagrid. ‘You don’t think anything that Skeeter cow – sorry, Professor,’ he added quickly, looking at Dumbledore.

‘I have gone temporarily deaf and haven’t any idea what you said, Harry,’ said Dumbledore, twiddling his thumbs and staring at the ceiling.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

His sweet tooth

Dumbledore had a sweet tooth, and his love of sherbet lemons was unparalleled. In fact, it was even the password to his office at one point – along with several other sweets. We adore the childish glee he had for these boiled sweets and the fact he could be thinking about them at the same time as discussing something as serious as Voldemort.

‘It certainly seems so,’ said Dumbledore. ‘We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a sherbet lemon?’

‘A what?’

‘A sherbet lemon. They’re a kind of Muggle sweet I’m rather fond of.’

‘No, thank you,’ said Professor McGonagall coldly, as though she didn’t think this was the moment for sherbet lemons.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

When he thought Professor Trelawney might deserve a pay rise

It was always great to see Dumbledore’s cheekier side and the topic of Divination often seemed to bring it out of him. Remember the time he said it was understandable that Harry fell asleep during one of these lessons? His sass was also very much on display when he made this comment about Professor Trelawney and her skills (or lack of them)…

Harry stared up at Dumbledore. ‘And then she sort of became normal again, and she couldn’t remember anything she’d said. Was it – was she making a real prediction?’

Dumbledore looked mildly impressed.

‘Do you know, Harry, I think she might have been,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘Who’d have thought it? That brings her total of real predictions up to two. I should offer her a pay rise ...’
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

His comments on Fawkes’ Burning Day

There’s no doubt that Dumbledore was having a bit of fun with Harry here. As someone not used to lifecycle of a phoenix, it’s no wonder that Harry was rather alarmed to see his headmaster’s pet burst into flames. And we enjoyed that Dumbledore’s response was to lean into Harry’s horror and act so casual about entire thing, displaying his impeccable comic timing.

‘Professor,’ Harry gasped, ‘your bird – I couldn’t do anything – he just caught fire –’

To Harry’s astonishment, Dumbledore smiled.

‘About time, too,’ he said. ‘He’s been looking dreadful for days, I’ve been telling him to get a move on.’

He chuckled at the stunned look on Harry’s face.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

His visit to the Dursleys in Half-Blood Prince

This entire visit has to be one of our favourite moments at Privet Drive. As soon as Dumbledore made that witty retort to Uncle Vernon about rudeness and it being best to say nothing, we knew that he was out to cause some mischief. This desire was flawlessly encapsulated by the incident with the rather persistent goblets…

The Dursleys, after quick, scared looks at each other, tried to ignore their glasses completely, a difficult feat, as they were nudging them gently on the sides of their heads. Harry could not suppress a suspicion that Dumbledore was rather enjoying himself.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We agree with Harry here, Dumbledore was definitely having some fun. There was no way that he couldn’t see what was happening with those cups and we liked that rather than intervene, he let it play out for as long as possible with amusing results (and an excellent remark about politeness).

‘Will you get these ruddy things off us?’

Harry looked round; all three of the Dursleys were cowering with their arms over their heads as their glasses bounced up and down on their skulls, the contents flying everywhere.

‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ said Dumbledore politely, and he raised his wand again. All three glasses vanished. ‘But it would have been better manners to drink it, you know.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince