Harry Potter: The Boy Who Sassed

The Harry Potter series is full of characters renowned for their wisdom and wit. Characters like Fred and George are notoriously funny pranksters, Remus Lupin is an endless fountain of wisdom and understanding, and Minerva McGonagall is incredibly intelligent with the perfect amount of sass. There is no one character that has “all the good lines.” There is, however, a character that seems to be overlooked in the quotable throw pillows and Facebook status updates: the Chosen One himself. While Harry is the main character, many of his friends and mentors receive more credit for their quick quips and lasting words of advice. People seem to forget that the Boy Who Lived is wise for his age as well and that his sarcasm is pure gold. In fact, one of Harry’s finer qualities is his ability to use the perfect sassy remark in serious situations. As a reminder, I’ve compiled a list of some of his most memorable quotes – from heroic statements to sassy mutterings. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the fantastic words of Mr. Harry Potter!

I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks” (Sorcerer’s Stone 109).

Already at 11 years old, we see that Harry has a moral compass and is able to deliver icy cool, yet polite, responses to unwanted friendship advancements from pompous schoolboys.



I’ll be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending I’m not there” (Chamber of Secrets 6).

Behold, the famous Harry Potter sarcasm. He delivers this response twice in the same conversation with the same nonchalance each time. Uncle Vernon’s dinner party is of absolutely no consequence to him, to be honest.



Sorry to disappoint you and all that, but the greatest wizard in the world is Albus Dumbledore. Everybody says so. Even when you were strong, you didn’t dare try and take over Hogwarts. Dumbledore saw through you when you were at school and he still frightens you now, wherever you’re hiding these days” (Chamber of Secrets 314).

While this quote may not seem like much, you have to remember: a 12-year-old says this to a man who tried to kill him. He is able to fire sass and fact in Tom Riddle’s face without missing a beat. Take that!



Knocking the stuffing out of me won’t make Aunt Marge forget what I could tell her” (Prisoner of Azkaban 20).

A well-worded threat is always fun to read, especially when that threat is handed so delicately to Uncle Vernon. Good form, Harry, good form. Keep those Dursleys in line. 



I’m not doing it for you. I’m doing it because I don’t reckon my dad would’ve wanted his best friends to become killers – just for you” (Prisoner of Azkaban 376).

In an incredibly difficult moment, Harry is able to find reason. He decides to spare Peter Pettigrew’s life in an attempt to set everything right – free Sirius, send Peter to Azkaban, and just do the right thing. He could see that a man like Pettigrew was worth more alive than dead, even though he hates him.



He was my mum and dad’s best friend. He’s a convicted murderer, but he’s broken out of wizard prison, and he’s on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though…keep up with my news…check if I’m happy…” (Prisoner of Azkaban 435).

Another beautifully subtle threat for Uncle Vernon. The nonchalance of the delivery is what really sends the message home here. I imagine Harry went to his room and laughed after this conversation.



You’re doing a really good impression of it [being stupid]” (Goblet of Fire 287).

Harry’s honesty knows no bounds. Nor does his sarcasm. Fifty points to Harry Potter for incredible sass!



Well, [the news] changes every day, you see” (Order of the Phoenix 6).

One of my favorite displays of Harry’s golden sarcasm. Shame they left it out of the film. Harry’s sass is quite amusing.



You [Luna] are cool,” said Harry shortly. “None of them was at the Ministry. They didn’t fight with me” (Half-Blood Prince 139).

A very simple quote, but I think this is a great example of Harry’s character. He doesn’t care what other people think and stands up for his friends. Even as a 16-year-old, when being cool is the most important thing in life, Harry values genuine friendship above popularity.



There’s no need to call me ‘sir,’ professor” (Half-Blood Prince 180).

The rebellious teenaged Harry has plenty of sassy remarks, but this one directed at Professor Snape is easily one of his best comebacks ever. *Round of applause*



Yes, I dare,” said Harry, “because Dumbledore’s last plan hasn’t backfired on me at all. It’s backfired on you, Riddle” (Deathly Hallows 742).

I’m ending the list strong with words from Harry’s final fight against Lord Voldemort. For so few words, this passage says a lot. First, Harry is defying the Dark Lord, which no one has done. Then he uses Dumbledore, Voldemort’s only fear, as part of his pending demise. And finally, he tells Voldemort flat out that he is going to lose.



Albus Dumbledore is one of the wisest characters of the Harry Potter series. Name your favorite Weasley to be the funniest character because that entire family is a delight. Hagrid has some of the warmest sentiments. Hermione teaches just as much as the professors do. But Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, had his fair share of quotable moments, too. Do not forget that.



These are just a few of my favorites. Share yours in the comment section!

4 Responses

  1. I think it’s also telling that Harry uses his given name, “Riddle,” instead of “Voldemort.” Besides its connection to a Muggle and the Muggle world, it also just reminds you of his mortality; Voldemort isn’t a god to be worshiped but a man.

  2. laura says:

    “He accused me of being Dumbledore’s man through and through.”

    “How very rude of him.”

    “I told him I was.”

  3. Pierre Lejuste says:

    Cedric : How are you ?
    Sassy Potter : Spectacular !

    Cracks me up everytime ! :^)

  4. Liz M says:

    Malfoy: You’re dead, Potter.
    Harry: Funny, you’d think I’d have stopped walking around.

    Malfoy: You can’t land my father in prison.
    Harry: I thought I just had.

    Fifty points to Gryffindor!