At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
- "The spell that defeats a Boggart can be tricky, because it involves making the creature into a figure of fun, so that fear can be dispelled in amusement. If the caster is able to laugh aloud at the Boggart, it will disappear at once. The incantation is ‘Riddikulus’, and the intention is to force the Boggart to assume a less-threatening and hopefully comical form."
- — Description[src]
The Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) was a charm that was used to defeat a Boggart. It caused the creature to assume a form that was humorous to the caster, along with a whip-crack noise, thereby taking away the Boggart's ability to terrorise.
Boggarts were defeated by laughter, so forcing them to assume an amusing form was the first step to defeating them. However, because Boggarts are amortal, this spell does not truly destroy them, similar to the Patronus Charm, but merely "banish" them — meaning the defeated Boggart will vanish, and presumably re-materialise elsewhere.
- "The charm that repels a boggart is simple, yet it requires force of mind. You see, the thing that really finishes a boggart is laughter. What you need to do is force it to assume a shape that you find amusing. We will practice the charm without wands first. After me, please ... riddikulus!"
- — Remus Lupin teaching third years how to perform this charm in a 1993 Defence Against the Dark Arts class[src]
This was one of the spells that Professor Albus Dumbledore taught his Defence Against the Dark Arts class in the 1910s. Among those students were Newton Scamander and Leta Lestrange; the aforementioned of which mastered the spell, whilst the latter failed to do so.
At the start of the 1986–1987 school year, Professor Pomona Sprout used this spell to banish a Boggart that manifested in the Greenhouse after Herbology class. Throughout the school year, Jacob's sibling used this spell on various occasions against Boggarts that had been released due to someone having tampered with the Vault of Fear, including the infiltration of the Vault by themselves.
In 1993, Professor Remus Lupin taught this spell to his third year Defence Against the Dark Arts class in. Thanks to Lupin's teaching, Harry Potter was able to use this against a Boggart in the Triwizard Maze in 1995.
A simple charm that required the force of mind, to cast, the spell caster must first acknowledge what they fear the most (as it will most likely be what the Boggart will take the form of) and then visualise it into something amusing. The problem was because the Boggart would have assumed said form at the moment of direct encounter, the one attempting to use this charm would have lost concentration after seeing the Boggart manifest their worst fears, making this spell useless. As such, it was always advisable to first take one step at a time when practising this spell.
|Unidentified Hufflepuff girl||1913||The student cast the spell on a boggart during a class taught by Albus Dumbledore immediately before fellow Hufflepuff Newt Scamander.|
|Newt Scamander||In a Defence Against the Dark Arts class taught by Albus Dumbledore, Newt successfully cast the spell against a Boggart.|
|Unidentified student||Used the spell to turn a Boggart in the shape of a shark into a flotation device in the same lesson.|
|Unidentified student||Used the spell to turn a Boggart in the shape of a Zombie into having the head of a pumpkin in the same lesson.|
|Unidentified student||Used the spell to turn a Boggart in the shape of a Vampire into a buck-toothed bunny rabbit in the same lesson.|
|Lyall Lupin||Late 1950s or early 1960s||Banished a Boggart for the Muggle Hope Howell after it turned into an evil, large looking man for her in a dense forest; he turned it into a field mushroom.|
|Pomona Sprout||1986–1987 school year||Used it to banish a Boggart in the Hogwarts greenhouses, after it manifested as a Werewolf for Penny Haywood.|
|Jacob's sibling||Used it to banish a Boggart in the form of Merula Snyde for Tulip Karasu.|
|Used it to banish a Boggart in the form of Lord Voldemort in Jacob's room.|
|Used it to banish several Boggarts in the Vault of Fear.|
|Neville Longbottom||September 1993||Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of Severus Snape, during a Defence Against the Dark Arts with Professor Remus Lupin.|
|Ronald Weasley||Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a giant spider, by removing its legs.|
|Seamus Finnigan||Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a Banshee, by silencing its voice.|
|Dean Thomas||Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a Loose Hand, by trapping it in a mouse trap.|
|Parvati Patil||Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a Mummy, by unravelling its sheets.|
|Remus Lupin||Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a full moon, by turning it into a Cockroach.|
|Third years||June 1994||The third year Defence Against the Dark Arts exam was an obstacle course of dark creatures which included; climbing into an old trunk and battling a Boggart.|
|Harry Potter||24 June, 1995||Harry used this against a Boggart in the maze during the Triwizard Tournament.|
|June 1996||Harry cast the spell "perfectly" during the practical part of his Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L.|
|Molly Weasley||August 1995||Molly tried and failed to use this spell against the Boggart at 12 Grimmauld Place.|
|Remus Lupin||Used this spell to deal with the Boggart at 12 Grimmauld Place, after when Molly Weasley failed to.|
"Riddikulus" is an adaptation of the English adjective "ridiculous" as well as of the Latin noun ridiculum ("joke") and Latin verb ridere ("to laugh").
Behind the scenes
- Despite the spell canonically producing no light, the July 2018 trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald shows a brief flash of white light upon the incantation being spoken, both times the spell is cast.
- The effect of the Boggart-Banishing Spell varies throughout the series. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it has its stated effect of forcing a Boggart into an amusing form and otherwise does not harm it. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, however, Harry uses the spell to make a Boggart-Dementor explode into a wisp of smoke (though it is possible he found a Dementor collapsing into wisps of smoke "funny", and the Boggart was forced to take the form of an exploded Dementor, more than it actually exploded in earnest). Various anecdotes on Pottermore describe Riddikulus transforming Boggarts in a variety of ways, not all of which being directly related to making the Boggart funny.
- The wand movement given for the Boggart-Banishing Spell resembles a large grin, likely on purpose.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, only Ron and Hermione learn this spell due to Harry being locked out of the class by Draco Malfoy while Lupin is teaching it to his class. Harry instead learns Expecto Patronum from Lupin to defeat his Dementor boggart, and in return Ron and Hermione do not learn Expecto Patronum.
- In LEGO Dimensions, Riddikulus is one of Hermione's abilities, though it does nothing more than break nearby objects and damage nearby enemies.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay (Appears in flashback(s))
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Dimensions
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 7 (The Boggart in the Wardrobe)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 69
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 1 (Year Three Begins) - Herbology Lesson "Valerian Sprigs"
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 7 (Jacob's Room)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 9 (The Vault of Fear)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 16 (Professor Trelawney's Prediction)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 9 (The Woes of Mrs Weasley)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Dimensions