"Harry pointed his wand straight at Malfoy and shouted, 'Rictusempra!' A jet of silver light hit Malfoy in the stomach and he doubled up, wheezing....as Malfoy sank to his knees; Harry had hit him with a Tickling Charm, and he could barely move for laughing."
— Harry Potter's use of this charm on Draco Malfoy at the Duelling Club[src]

The Tickling Charm[1] (Rictusempra)[1] was a charm that caused the target to buckle with laughter, weakening them.[1][4] It also had at least one other side effect.[5]

History

The effects of this charm

This charm was listed in the The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2 spell-book by Miranda Goshawk.[4] This charm was also taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to second year students in Charms class[6] and in Defence Against the Dark Arts.[7]

During the 1984–1985 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Rowan Khanna and their friend Jacob's sibling learnt this charm from a secret duelling book in their house common room, as preparation for duelling the Slytherin Merula Snyde.[3]

The Tickling Charm is usually used as a diversionary tactic in duels.[1][3] Harry Potter used it on Draco Malfoy at the Duelling Club during their second year, in December 1992.[1]

During Dumbledore's Army's meetings during the 1995–1996 school year, the Tickling Charm was practised by the group, along with many other defensive and offensive spells. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger practised the spell on Zacharias Smith after he asked to learn the spell, much to his annoyance.[8]

In September 2020, Harry Potter used this spell again against Draco Malfoy, whilst duelling him in his home, but Draco managed to block the spell with a chair.[9]

Known practitioners

Etymology

"Rictusempra" is derived from the Latin "rictus," meaning "The expanse of an open mouth" and Latin "semper," meaning "always." Overall, the incantation roughly means "always laughing."

See also

Behind the scenes

  • This is the first incantation Harry Potter has done verbally and with a wand in a film. He used it on his duel against Draco Malfoy in the second film.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Malfoy is simply knocked backwards. The same occurs in the game version, as well as in the game versions of Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix, where it is treated as a minor offensive spell, rather than a tickle charm (Though the instruction manual for Prisoner of Azkaban's PC version describes it as "technically a tickling charm"). The use of it in the film could be because as Harry was an inexperienced wizard at that point, he may not have been able to master the spell properly, thus causing a different effect. Also, in the film and video game(s), it is red or pink rather than silver.
  • It can be bought at Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment in Diagon Alley in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4,[11] and in Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7.[12]
  • There is another similar spell, the Tickling Hex; it is unknown how they differ. It can presumed that the Tickling Hex would cause a less desirable effect, considering that is a Dark charm.
  • In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets video game, Harry Potter learns this spell from Gilderoy Lockhart. He later uses it against Aragog, commenting that he at least learned something in Lockhart's classes.
  • In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, it is the first offensive spell used by Jacob's sibling in the story. It can also be used in Duelling as a Sneaky move, dealing 5 base damage (lowest of any damaging move), boosted by high Empathy, and has a chance to stun the target for 1 round.

Appearances

Notes and references


The Standard Book of Spells
Book of Spells 1.png
Grade 1 · Grade 2 · Grade 3 · Grade 4 · Grade 5 · Grade 6 · Grade 7
Charms included in the series: Dancing Feet Spell · Disarming Charm · Engorgement Charm · Fire-Making Spell · Freezing Charm · General Counter-Spell · Levitation Charm · Locking Spell · Memory Charm · Mending Charm · Nonverbal spell · Severing Charm · Skurge Charm · Softening Charm · Substantive Charm · Summoning Charm · Tickling Charm · Unlocking Charm · Wand-Lighting Charm


Charms (class)
PS Wingardium Leviosa feather.gif
Charm-book writers and developers
Blagdon Blay · Daisy Pennifold · Delfina Crimp · Miranda Goshawk · Jarleth Hobart · Basil Horton · Helixa Hyslop · Syna Hyslop · Randolph Keitch · Levina Monkstanley · Orabella Nuttley · Mnemone Radford · Scarpin · Elliot Smethwyck · Felix Summerbee · Violeta Stitch
Professors Fortinbras · Filius Flitwick · Unidentified male Charms Professor
Textbooks Achievements in Charming · Extreme Incantations · Quintessence: A Quest · The Standard Book of Spells
Charms studied at Hogwarts
Ascendio · Banishing Charm (Depulso) · Blackboard Writing Spell · Blue sparks · Box Blasting Charm (Cistem Aperio) · Bubble-Head Charm · Cheering Charm · Cleaning Charm · Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Confundus Charm (Confundo) · Counter-charm for hiccoughs · Dancing Feet Spell (Tarantallegra) · Descendo · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Disillusionment Charm · Drought Charm · Entrancing Enchantments · Eradication Spell (Deletrius) · Engorgement Charm (Engorgio) · Extinguishing Spell · Exploding Charm (Bombarda) · Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Freezing Charm (Immobulus) · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · General Counter-Spell (Finite Incantatem) · Gouging Spell (Defodio) · Growth Charm · Ice Jinx · Knitting Charm · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Leg-Locker Curse (Locomotor Mortis) · Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) · Locking Spell (Colloportus) · Locomotion Charm (Locomotor) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Memory Charm (Obliviate) · Muffliato Charm (Muffliato) · Nonverbal spells · Pack Charm (Pack) · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Scouring Charm (Scourgify) · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Retractum) · Severing Charm (Diffindo) · Shrinking Charm (Reducio) · Silencing Charm (Silencio) · Slowing Charm (Arresto Momentum) · Skurge Scouring Charm (Skurge) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Spell for growing legs · Substantive Charm · Summoning Charm (Accio) · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Unlocking Charm (Alohomora) · Vinegar into Wine · Wand-Extinguishing Charm (Nox) · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos) · Lumos Maxima · Water-Making Spell (Aguamenti)


Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Subjectsdada.JPG
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
Professors
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · 1984–1985 professor · 1985–1986 professor · 1986–1987 professor · 1987–1988 professor · Patricia Rakepick · 1989–1990 professor · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher) · 21st-century professor
Textbooks
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) · Cave inimicum · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Cruciatus Curse (Crucio) · Curse of the Bogies (Mucus ad Nasuem) · Cursed barrier spell · Densaugeo · 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 (Homenium Revelio) · Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) · Imperius Curse (Imperio) · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Limbo Mist anticharm · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronus) · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Rectratum) · Shield Charm (Protego) · Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) · Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Stretching Jinx · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Tongue-Tying Curse (Mimble Wimble) · Trip Jinx · Twitchy-Ears Hex · Verdimillious Charm (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Duo Spell (Verdimillous) · 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 · Erkling · Flesh-Eating Slug · Ghost · Ghoul · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Nocturnal beasts · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie
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