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

The Tickling Charm (Rictusempra), also known as the Rictusempra Charm[3], is a charm that causes the target to buckle with laughter, weakening them.[2] It also has at least one other side effect.[3]


This charm is listed in the The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2 book by Miranda Goshawk. This charm is also taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to second year students.


It is usually used as a diversionary tactic in duels. Harry Potter used it on Draco Malfoy in the Duelling Club during their second year.


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

See also

Behind the scenes

Rictusempra 1

Harry using it in the Duelling Club

  • 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.
  • Since this charm creates a sensation of being tickled and makes the victim collapse to the ground, this charm can be called a "minor torturing" curse.
  • 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.


Notes and references

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