Coming in at number ten, it’s that time Fred and George “forgot” that they’d hexed the custard creams and made them into their signature Canary Creams. Poor Neville turned into a large canary, moulted and then joined in laughing with everyone else. Canary Creams: only seven Sickles each – a bargain of a prank!
Now, we know Harry, Ron and Hermione didn’t find this prank particularly funny, but we can’t be biased against Malfoy’s pranking ability, just because he was in Slytherin now, can we? At number nine, it’s the time Malfoy managed to convince Harry and Ron that he and Crabbe would meet them in the trophy room at midnight for a duel. Harry and Ron definitely became less gullible as the years went on, or was it more that they became best friends with Hermione? Hmm...
At number eight is the time Hermione Granger filled two chocolate cakes with ‘a simple Sleeping Draught’ to knock out Crabbe and Goyle. Harry and Ron needed their hair for the Polyjuice Potion that would allow the trio to investigate whether Malfoy was the heir of Slytherin. Okay, so Hermione wasn’t necessarily doing it for a laugh but we have to admit, using food as bait for the greedy duo made us chuckle.
Coming in at number seven is Lee Jordan and his hilarious prank on Professor Umbridge. After Fred and George’s departure from Hogwarts, they apparently left him a couple of Nifflers. Inspired by his absent friends and general hatred for Umbridge, Lee decided to levitate them ‘in through her window’. Just imagine how much chaos those Nifflers caused… Well done, Lee Jordan. Well done, indeed!
Hagrid sneaks into our top six, with the time he pranked Harry over signed photographs. After a mix-up involving Colin Creevey’s camera, Malfoy, and Lockhart, there was some confusion over whether Harry was or wasn’t giving out signed photographs of himself. Hagrid joined in with the joke when he teased Harry: ‘gotta bone ter pick with yeh. I’ve heard you’ve bin givin’ out signed photos. How come I haven’t got one?’ Hagrid was only pulling his leg, but it made Harry furious!
At number five, it’s Fred and George Weasley with that time they turned a fifth-floor corridor at Hogwarts into a swamp. And then when they made their firework-filled exit from school, they left no instructions on how to get rid of it, which infuriated Professor Umbridge no end. Even better, this swamp had an official name: a Portable Swamp, which you could buy at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Fred and George really knew how to spread the prankster love.
Swooping into number four is Ginny’s prank on Romilda Vane. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Romilda asked Ginny whether it was true that Harry had a Hippogriff tattooed across his chest. Ginny’s response? She told Romilda it was a Hungarian Horntail. And even better? She said Ron had a Pygmy Puff. Ginny Weasley – queen of the witty comeback.
Peeves the poltergeist was always going to make it onto this list, and we reckon this prank very much deserves its place in the top three. This is the time when Umbridge tried to make a quiet exit from Hogwarts after her horrifying reign. Instead of letting her sneak off, Peeves ‘chased her gleefully from the premises whacking her alternately with a walking stick and a sock full of chalk’. And the best thing? The walking stick belonged to Professor McGonagall and she seemed completely fine about Peeves borrowing it…
Let’s be honest, Fred and George Weasley weren’t going to let the opportunity of visiting Privet Drive pass without pranking Dudley Dursley. In second place is the time the twins “accidentally” dropped one of their Ton-Tongue Toffees on the floor at the Dursleys, and Dudley’s tongue grew to four-foot long before Arthur Weasley was able to shrink it. Arthur was very angry with his sons, but we can’t help but see their side – Dudley probably did deserve it.
And the number one spot goes to none other than the Weasley twins, for one of the most elaborate and explosive pranks ever to grace the halls of Hogwarts. Fred and George’s Wildfire Whiz-bangs included dragons soaring up and down the corridors, shocking-pink Catherine wheels, rockets, exploding firecrackers and of course that wonderful self-writing sparkler ‘resolutely spelling out the word ‘POO’. But it wasn’t just that the fireworks were magnificently disruptive – whenever Umbridge tried to get rid of them, it would make things worse. Ingenious. Wizard hats off to the prankster kings!