Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"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 of the Boggart-Banishing Spell[src]

The Boggart-Banishing Spell[3] (Riddikulus)[1] was a charm that was used to defeat a Boggart.[1] 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.[1]

Boggarts were defeated by laughter, so forcing them to assume an amusing form was the first step to defeating them.[1] However, because Boggarts were amortal,[4] 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; it is also possible that Boggarts did not dissipate and instead fled, afraid of laughter.


"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.[5]

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.[6] 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 break-in of the Vault by themselves.[7][8]

In September 1993, Professor Remus Lupin taught this spell to his third year Defence Against the Dark Arts class in.[1] Thanks to Lupin's teaching, Harry Potter was able to use this against a Boggart in the Triwizard Maze in 1995.[9]

This spell was apart of the practical examination of the Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L.[10]

During the Calamity of the 2010s, members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force often used this charm to combat Boggart Confoundables in order to release Foundables.[11]


"...You will raise your wand — thus — and cry 'Riddikulus' — and concentrate hard on your grandmother's clothes. If all goes well, Professor Boggart Snape will be forced into that vulture-topped hat, and that green dress, with that big red handbag."
Professor Lupin teaching the spell to Neville Longbottom[src]

The comical nature of this charm

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 usually 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.[1]

Known uses[]

"'R-r-riddikulus!' squeaked Neville. There was a noise like a whip-crack. Snape stumbled; he was wearing a long, lace-trimmed dress and a towering hat topped with a moth-eaten vulture, and he was swinging a huge crimson handbag."
Neville Longbottom casts this spell successfully[src]
Caster(s) Date Notes
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.[5]
Newt Scamander In a Defence Against the Dark Arts class taught by Albus Dumbledore, Newt successfully cast the spell against a Boggart.[5]
Unidentified student Used the spell to turn a Boggart in the shape of a shark into a flotation device in the same lesson.[5]
Used the spell to turn a Boggart in the shape of a zombie into having the head of a pumpkin in the same lesson.[5]
Used the spell to turn a Boggart in the shape of a vampire into a buck-toothed bunny rabbit in the same lesson.[5]
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.[12]
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.[6]
Jacob's sibling Used it to banish a Boggart in the form of Merula Snyde for Tulip Karasu.[7]
Used it to banish a Boggart in the form of Lord Voldemort in Jacob's room.[7]
Used it to banish several Boggarts in the Vault of Fear.[8]
Used it to banish the Boggart in Hogsmeade.[13]
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.[1]
Ronald Weasley Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a giant spider, by removing its legs.[1]
Seamus Finnigan Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a banshee, by silencing its voice.[1]
Dean Thomas Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a Loose Hand, by trapping it in a mousetrap.[1]
Parvati Patil Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a mummy, by unravelling its sheets.[1]
Remus Lupin Used it to defeat a Boggart in the form of a full moon, by turning it into a cockroach.[1]
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.[14]
Harry Potter 24 June, 1995 Harry used this against a Boggart in the maze during the Triwizard Tournament.[9]
June 1996 Harry cast the spell "perfectly" during the practical part of his Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L.[10]
Molly Weasley August 1995 Molly tried and failed to use this spell against the Boggart at 12 Grimmauld Place.[15]
Remus Lupin Used this spell to deal with the Boggart at 12 Grimmauld Place, after when Molly Weasley failed to.[15]
Unidentified Muggle-born Hogwarts student 2010–2011 school year Used this spell against a Boggart in the form of an Acromantula.[16]
Daniel Page Used this spell against the same Boggart in the form of his mother as a criminal.[16]

Known practitioners[]


"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[]


This spell's icon in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

Riddikulus wand movement WU

The spell's wand movement path as seen in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

  • 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. This may have been done for stylistic choices.
  • 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 onPottermore 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.[17]
  • In LEGO Dimensions, Riddikulus is one of Hermione's abilities, though it does nothing more than break nearby objects and damage nearby enemies.[18]


The Harry Potter Wiki has 29 images related to Boggart-Banishing Spell.

Notes and references[]

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Classroom 3C backrooms · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Storage room · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Duelling Club · Dumbledore's Army
Isidora Morganach · Dinah Hecat · Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · 1984–1985 professor · 1985–1986 professor · 1986–1987 professor · 1987–1988 professor · Patricia Rakepick · 1989–1990 professor · First 1990–1991 professor · Olivia Green · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher) · Unidentified professor · Brindlemore
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls · Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence – Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Defence Against the Dark Arts
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo · Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) · Bombarda Maxima · Cave inimicum · Concealment Charms · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Cruciatus Curse (Crucio) · Curse of the Bogies (Mucus ad Nauseam) · Cursed barrier spell · Densaugeo · Deprimo Spell (Deprimo) · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Ear-Shrivelling Curse · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell (Homenum Revelio) · Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) · Imperius Curse (Imperio) · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Levitation Spell (Levioso) · Limbo Mist anticharm · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronum) · Pimple Jinx (Furnunculus) · Protective enchantments · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Retractum) · Shield Charm (Protego) · Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) · Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Stretching Jinx · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Tongue-Tying Curse (Mimblewimble) · Trip Jinx · Twitchy-Ears Hex · Verdimillious Charm (Verdimillious) · Verdimillious Duo Spell (Verdimillious) · Verdimillious Tria · Vermillious Duo · Vermillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos)
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Chameleon Ghoul · Charmed skeleton · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Dugbog · Erkling · Flesh-Eating Slug · Ghost · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Manticore · Nocturnal beasts · Nogtail · Poltergeist · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie