Ron and Hermione are well known for bickering with each other and their witty back and forth. But who had the upper hand? Today we rank their most memorable tiffs, witty retorts and sardonic comebacks.

10: When Ron demonstrated the art of tact…

Ron Weasley is not someone you would describe as subtle. So, when Hermione tried to delicately raise the rather awkward topic of whether their friend Hagrid might be the heir of Slytherin, his response was very… Ron. It was snarky, witty and in this scenario, he definitely had the upper hand. Well played Weasley.

After a long pause, Hermione voiced the knottiest question of all in a hesitant voice: ‘Do you think we should go and ask Hagrid about it all?’

‘That’d be a cheerful visit,’ said Ron. ‘Hello, Hagrid, tell us, have you been setting anything mad and hairy loose in the castle lately?’
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

9: When Hermione was not impressed with Ron’s homemade spell…

At number nine, we have the first time Ron and Hermione met. We think it’s safe to say that their first impressions of each other were not particularly positive – you certainly wouldn’t imagine they would end up happily married. However, in what could be considered their very first tiff, it was Hermione who came out victorious with a scathing putdown.

‘Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see it, then.’ She sat down. Ron looked taken aback.

‘Er – all right.’

He cleared his throat.

‘Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.’

He waved his wand, but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed grey and fast asleep.

‘Are you sure that’s a real spell?’ said the girl. ‘Well, it’s not very good, is it?’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

8: When Ron kept turning the lights off…

Ron had a particular knack for getting on Hermione’s nerves and this moment was no exception. While we do understand Hermione’s frustration (Ron’s constant use of the Deluminator would be infuriating), we still think that it was Ron that managed to have the last word during this round of bickering. Though we do think he was very brave… or foolish to answer back to an already annoyed Hermione.

‘Will you stop it!’ she cried on the third evening of Kreacher’s absence, as all light was sucked from the drawing room yet again.

‘Sorry, sorry!’ said Ron, clicking the Deluminator and restoring the lights. ‘I don’t know I’m doing it!’

‘Well, can’t you find something useful to occupy yourself?’

‘What, like reading kids’ stories?’

‘Dumbledore left me this book, Ron –’

‘– and he left me the Deluminator, maybe I’m supposed to use it!’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

7: When Wingardium Leviosa was involved…

This is one time when Hermione demonstrated that winning a tiff isn’t always about having the snappiest or funniest retort. In fact, proving yourself as a talented witch will do the job for you. Ron may have tried to bait Hermione into failure, but she confidently and capably called his bluff.

‘Wingardium Leviosa!’ he shouted, waving his long arms like a windmill.

‘You’re saying it wrong,’ Harry heard Hermione snap. ‘It’s Wing- gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the “gar” nice and long.’

‘You do it, then, if you’re so clever,’ Ron snarled.

Hermione rolled up the sleeves of her gown, flicked her wand and said, ‘Wingardium Leviosa!’

Their feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet above their heads.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

6: When Ron was planning to do a bit of light reading…

We think Ron’s response to Hermione’s hunt for her textbook was brilliant. However, as Ron wasn’t brave enough to say this one within Hermione’s earshot (and face the inevitable consequences), we can’t really rank it any higher than this.

‘No,’ said Hermione shortly. ‘Has either of you seen my copy of Numerology and Grammatica?’

‘Oh, yeah, I borrowed it for a bit of bedtime reading,’ said Ron, but very quietly.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

5: When Ron discovered Hermione was a girl…

Ron really could be quite dense. Having been close friends with Hermione for the best part of four years, you would think that he may have noticed that she was a girl. But apparently, he had not. So, when he finally had that momentous epiphany, Hermione was there to quickly bring him down a peg or two.

But Ron was staring at Hermione as though suddenly seeing her in a whole new light.

‘Hermione, Neville’s right – you are a girl ...’

‘Oh, well spotted,’ she said acidly.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

4: When Hermione told Ron what the solution to his Yule Ball woes was…

When it came to the Yule Ball, Ron really didn’t cover himself in glory. Rather than enjoying himself, or at least being honest about his feelings, he managed to put a dampener on the event for quite a few of the guests. When his insecurity and jealousy led him to pick a fight with Hermione (yet again), we were pleased that she was the winner of this battle. It’s not often that Ron is left completely speechless, but Hermione managed to do just that.

‘Well, if you don’t like it, you know what the solution is, don’t you?’ yelled Hermione; her hair was coming down out of its elegant bun now, and her face was screwed up in anger.

‘Oh yeah?’ Ron yelled back. ‘What’s that?’

‘Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!’

Ron mouthed soundlessly like a goldfish out of water as Hermione turned on her heel and stormed up the girls’ stair- case to bed.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

3: When Ron asked Hermione an important question…

It was unusual for Hermione Granger to forget that she was the cleverest witch of her age – but it happened here. When Ron, Hermione and Harry found themselves dealing with the deadly Devil’s Snare, Hermione lost her head entirely. Luckily Ron was there to not so subtly remind her of just exactly who she was. While he possibly could have been a little bit more tactful, it certainly did the job, and he certainly had the upper hand in this instance.

‘Devil’s Snare, Devil’s Snare ... What did Professor Sprout say? It likes the dark and the damp –’

‘So light a fire!’ Harry choked.

‘Yes – of course – but there’s no wood!’ Hermione cried, wringing her hands.


‘Oh, right!’ said Hermione
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

2: And Hermione bided her time for the best comeback…

It’s rare that the ideal opportunity for revenge presents itself – but for Hermione, it did. A good seven years after Ron’s initial putdown, it was Hermione’s turn to put him in his place – and she did so in style. We very much enjoyed that she used a nearly identical comeback and can’t help but think that it may have been deliberate.

Panting and gasping Harry slowed down, skirting the Willow’s swiping branches, peering through the darkness towards its thick trunk, trying to see the single knot in the bark of the old tree that would paralyse it. Ron and Hermione caught up, Hermione so out of breath she could not speak.

‘How – how’re we going to get in?’ panted Ron. ‘I can – see the place – if we just had Crookshanks again –’

‘Crookshanks?’ wheezed Hermione, bent double, clutching her chest. ‘Are you a wizard, or what?’

‘Oh – right – yeah –’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

1: The famous teaspoon incident…

There could only be one winner in this top ten of Ron and Hermione’s best bickering – and how could it be anything other than this memorable moment? Having delivered a highly perceptive monologue, Hermione clearly didn’t have time for Ron’s nonsense and unleashed the most perfect, and blunt, comeback.

A slightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said, ‘One person can’t feel all that at once, they’d explode.’

‘Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have,’ said Hermione nastily, picking up her quill again.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

What do you think about our ranking of Ron and Hermione’s most memorable bickering? Do you agree – or would you choose some different moments?