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The 32 Harry Potter Spells Everyone Should Know

That owl is going to show up any day now.

Warner Bros.

Once upon a time, Harry Potter got his owl and his acceptance letter from Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Since that day, millions of young readers of his story have dreamed of receiving their own acceptance letter from Hogwarts. In this magical place, young wizards master Harry Potter spells, among other adventures. Unfortunately, we muggles may never meet Harry Potter, learn spells from Professor Flitwick (like the death spell or light spell), or find out once and for all which house we’d be sorted into. Even so, we might as well prepare (just in case) by learning as many famous Harry Potter spells as we can.

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On the off chance your owl just got lost for a couple of decades — or your kid is a muggleborn witch or wizard awaiting their magic powers — these 32 Harry Potter spells will ensure you’re all are at the top of the class when that letter finally does come. After all, even if we can’t learn all of the Harry Potter spells and what they do in a classroom, there’s nothing wrong with some at-home charm learning.

From levitating spells to the death, love, healing, and light spells, to the ones that make things fly or can help you defeat Voldemort without so much as committing a crime, the following Harry Potter charms should be on the lips of every respectable witch and wizard around. 

Accio

For any space cadets among us, this is the perfect spell. And by that, I mean you lose track of everything you own, even though you swore you were just holding it. This summoning spell magically brings whatever item you need in a snap, so long as you say, “Accio [Insert the name of item].” This spell saved Harry from becoming dragon food during the Triwizard Tournament and is a great way to get a snack without having to get off the couch.

Aguamenti

This extremely underrated charm literally produces water out of thin air. Honestly, why haven’t wizards used this to help the one billion people who don’t have access to clean water? Why haven’t they given this technology to our bravest firefighters? Probably best not to dwell on that. Enjoy a nice glass of enchanted water, and let Bill and Melinda Gates figure that out….

Alohomora

This spell is perfect for the burglars among us. Just kidding! But this spell, which unlocks doors, would be super helpful if you tend to lock yourself out of your house or your car. It was first seen in the first movie when Hermione used the charm when Ron, Harry, and Hermione were escaping the Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch’s cat.

Anapneo 

Anapneo is the perfect spell to save someone’s life. This incantation is a healing spell that clears a person’s airway. It removes whatever the person is choking on. This spell was first used in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Slughorn cast it on Marcus Belby when he started to choke after eating his food too fast. Apart from being a life-saving spell, Anapneo is a Greek word that means “I breathe.”

Avada Kedavra

The Avada Kedavra curse is also known as the “Killing Curse.” Spearheaded by a green light and loud rushing noise, the Avada Kedrava curse causes instantaneous death. No one can survive this curse, but Potter did, thanks to the loving sacrifice of his mum, and this is the premise for the entire Harry Potter series.

Brackium Emendo

A healing spell that, when used correctly, will instantly heal broken bones. Sadly, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and all-around fraud Gilderoy Lockhart f*cked it up and made the broken bones in Harry’s arm disappear entirely.

Bubble-Head Charm

This Harry Potter charm produces a bubble of air around your mouth while you’re underwater. Basically, you get gills. Cedric Diggory used this charm in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the second task.

Caterwauling Charm

The caterwauling charm is the best charm to throw out there when you’re just not willing to hear anyone’s sh*t for the rest of the day. Cast it, and a high-pitched, extremely loud shrieking noise will emerge from the tip of your wand. Want to shut someone up? Cast it.

Confundo

Looking to cause someone to become temporarily befuddled? Look no further than this morally questionable but unquestionably effective charm. It causes humans and inanimate objects, anyone with a mind in the Harry Potter universe, to experience temporary confusion, which is very useful for, say, defeating a quidditch opponent.

Cushioning Charm

Klutzes, worry not! For those that seem to clumsily and awkwardly slip at every turn, this charm creates an invisible cushion around you whenever you think you might need a safe landing.

Diffindo

Need to fashion a cut off t-shirt in very little time? Diffindo cuts or tears objects from one another — so if you ever need to mend something in a hurry or cut up a piece of paper, or god forbid, slice someone in half, Diffindo is the best bet.

Engorgio

This charm causes its target to grow exponentially in size. There is also the Growing Charm, which seems to do the exact same thing.

Expecto Patronum

A protective charm that channels a person’s happiest memory to keep those soul-sucking Dementors at bay. The spell was a major plot point in the third Harry Potter installment and throughout the series and is some seriously advanced magic.

Expelliarmus

The signature move of the Boy Who Lived, this defensive spell will remove the wand from your opponent’s hand because violence is never the answer. (We caution against having any signature spell, as this gave Harry great trouble in the later books when Death Eaters realized that anyone using the charm might be him in disguise.)

Finite Incantatem

A general counter-spell that undoes all spells cast in the surrounding area from where it was cast. It’s great for helping bodies who might be under the attack of a Bat-Bogey Hex (Volatilis Lutum), for example.

Furnunculus

Do you have a bully you’d really like to harm? Furnunculus, though perhaps not the nicest charm to cast, will do the trick. Cast it at your target and watch in horror as they are covered in angry, painful boils.

Gripping Charm

As the name implies, this charm helps the caster grip any item with ease. Whether you need to take hold of a writhing baby or reach something off the top shelf at the grocery store, this charm is all for convenience.

Muffliato

This spell is especially useful for parents hoping to discuss delicate topics around their kids, or when hatching plans to, say, take down a sham government that was propped up during a Death Eater takeover. The Muffliato spell fills targets’ ears with a buzzing noise, making them unable to hear anything around them.

Obliviate

Men in Black, anyone? Obliviate is a controversial charm that allows you to erase the memory of targets. The charm can be very tricky to use — it can cause memory loss so extreme that those who have been privy to it forget who they are, as is the case of Gilderoy Lockhart, who suffers permanent brain damage after the spell backfired on him when he was trying to take credit for killing the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets and ruin Harry and Ron’s memory. But it can be very useful in a time of great need.

Homenum Revelio

This spell reveals all human presence around you so that no one can ever sneak up on you.

Locomotor Wibbly

This Harry Potter spell comes in handy in the middle of an attack. It turns your attackers legs to jelly, considerably slowing them down and buying you enough time to plan your next move.

Lumos

A very handy charm that lights the tip of your wand in case. It’s like the flashlight on your iPhone, except magic. An added bonus spell is Lumos Maxima, which allows the bulb of light to fling into the sky and provide light all around a dark room, for example.

Oculus Reparo

This spell fixes glasses. Simple and to the point. Of course, the question of why wizards don’t just have a spell to fix eyesight is legitimate, but we don’t have all the answers. At least it helps wizards avoid shuffling among muggles in their local LensCrafters or Warby Parker.

Petrificus Totalus

A body-binding curse that causes a person to experience temporary full-body paralysis. Morally dubious? Certainly. It still might come in handy someday.

Point Me

This spell turns your wand into a compass and automatically points you north. It sounds easy, because it is!

Protego

A shield charm that will cause minor jinxes or hexes to bounce back to the person who cast it without hurting you. This can, of course, hit other unintended targets (statues, ghosts, etc.), but it should be fine as long as it’s not an Unforgivable Curse.

Reducio

The opposite of Engorgio, this charm causes its target to shrink exponentially in size.

Rictusempra

Rictusempra is a great charm that can be used in battle or in jest if need be. After uttering the charm, the spellcasting wizard can expect their opponent to break out in unstoppable giggles from getting tickled. Fun!

Riddikulus

Riddikulus is a spell that is meant to deal with a beast of a certain nature: a boggart. The boggart, essentially a household pest, is a shapeshifter that will turn into the greatest fear of any person it encounters, making it a grueling process to get rid of. Fortunately, this spell takes your greatest fear and transforms it into something, well, ridiculous.

Scourgify

Hate spring cleaning? Then you’ll love this charm that does the cleaning for you. Enough said.

Stupefy

A charm that stuns the target and temporarily knocks them unconscious. Since it’s a lot like a fist-fight but for wizards, it should only be used in dire circumstances.

Wingardium Leviosa

An introductory spell that allows wizards to make objects levitate with the flick of their wand. Just make sure you’re getting that pronunciation right.