One of the funniest characters in the Harry Potter universe is without a doubt Albus Dumbledore. His light mockery of authority, his love of sweets and his flamboyant fashion sense make him a delight to read and watch. Like most good comedians, he utilizes his wit to generate some of the most biting quips in the books and films, sometimes even taking a shot at his fellow teachers.
Dumbledore might be well-known for delivering some of the wisest bits of wisdom in J.K. Rowling’s works to the point of being quoted in everything from memes to essays, but he also uses his wisdom in some of the cheekiest quotes in children and young adult literature.
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10 Can It, Vernon
One of the worst travesties about the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is that we never got to see Albus Dumbledore finally meet Vernon and Petunia Dursley. The scene was phenomenal, with Dumbledore telling them off with class, conjuring drinks that bopped them in the head and generally making us chortle.
Dumbledore has a great line when Vernon attempts to sound threatening and says he doesn’t mean to be rude… “‘-yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often,’ Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely. ‘Best to say nothing at all, my dear man. Ah, and this must be Petunia…'” It’s a line we should all reserve in our snark banks for similar situations.
9 Goat Jokes
We learned little about Aberforth Dumbledore, Albus’s brother, but Dumbledore, who has a knack for telling stories, delighted us with some commentary about the man in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
“My own brother, Aberforth, was prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat. It was all over the papers, but did Aberforth hide? No, he did not! He held his head high and went about his business as usual! Of course, I’m not entirely sure he can read, so that may not have been bravery…” The joke works on multiple levels and the author revealed that she meant it to be an ambiguous one.
8 Funny Until The End
Even when he knew the end of his life was imminent, Dumbledore managed to infuse the situation with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor. After working with Harry to obtain a Horcrux at great personal cost in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore found himself faced with a terrified Draco Malfoy attempting to fulfill his orders from Lord Voldemort.
When Draco insisted that Madame Rosmerta had said Dumbledore would be going for a drink when the two faced one another in the astronomy tower, Dumbledore responded, “Well, I certainly did have a drink… and I came back… after a fashion,” making light of the terrible ordeal he’d only just faced.
7 Hip With Harry’s Generation
Kids might find most adults as out-of-touch with youth culture, but Dumbledore’s hip to Hogwarts happenings. After Harry defeats Voldemort in the form of Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Dumbledore assures him that the gossip is strong at the wizarding school.
“What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret… so, naturally the whole school knows,” he informed the young Chosen One, not only giving him a head’s up but pointing out how much he sees at his school. It’s also the first of many end-of-book revelations that the old wizard shares with the Boy Who Lived.
6 Be Reasonable, Severus
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is nothing short of a magical symphony, and Sirius Black’s escape is a stroke of genius, especially if we ignore the fact that something as dangerous as a Time Turner was entrusted to a child and that it was also ignored when it could have impacted major historic moments in the wizarding world.
At any rate, a furious Snape is certain that it has SOMETHING TO DO WITH POTTER, and Dumbledore, who also knows that Harry is to blame for the escape, calmly assesses his double agent and says, “Severus – be reasonable – Harry has been locked up—” It’s almost as funny as the scene where a levitating unconscious Snape continuously hits his head while leaving the Shrieking Shack.
5 Hurry Up And Croak Already
Seeing a bird burst into flames is bound to make your jaw drop, even if you’re familiar with the legend of the phoenix. As head-scratching as the new lore about Fawkes has been in the Fantastic Beasts series, we all fondly remember the first time Dumbledore introduced the loyal bird with the healing tears to Harry Potter.
Harry stammered over Fawkes “catching fire” when Dumbledore entered his office and the saucy wizard smiled, replied, “About time, too. He’s been looking dreadful for days; I’ve been telling him to get a move on,” and gave a chuckle! Of course, it seems insensitive and harsh until Harry understands that Fawkes will be reborn in the bird’s own ashes immediately.
4 Who, Me?
Rita Skeeter is the absolute worst, and even Dumbledore won’t stick up for the muckraker when she’s being discussed by the trio. When Harry refers to her as the “Skeeter cow” in front of Ron, Hermione, Hagrid and the headmaster, he quickly apologizes to the latter.
Dumbledore, however, is unfazed as ever. “‘I have gone temporarily deaf and haven’t any idea what you said, Harry,’ said Dumbledore, twiddling his thumbs and staring at the ceiling.” It’s hilarious and sort of adorable, but also points toward Dumbledore’s own disdain for the lying reporter, especially since he’s demanded respect for other adults the trio has bashed in the past.
3 Interoffice Humor
One really shouldn’t speak ill of their colleagues, but Albus Dumbledore manages to do it with the sarcasm of an edgy teenager and the deft hand of a seasoned diplomat. When discussing Professor Sybill Trelawney’s underwhelming record when it comes to accurate prophecies, the Hogwarts headmaster made a joke to Harry.
“‘Do you know, Harry, I think she might have been,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘Who’d have thought it? That brings her total of real predictions up to two. I should offer her a pay raise.” It also points to the fact that Dumbledore, who doesn’t put much stock into Divination, knows very well that Trelawney isn’t the seer she claims to be yet he keeps her on anyway.
2 Tough Guy Talk
Dumbledore isn’t one to brag, or at least he isn’t in his old age. In his youth, he was known to be a bit of an arrogant fool; who isn’t when they are young? But when the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, sneers that Dumbledore can’t possibly think that he can take on not only the minister as well as Dawlish, Shacklebolt, Dolores Umbridge as they attempt to have him “come quietly” in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, he can’t help but smirk.
The wizard said he wasn’t planning on it, but he could totally pull it off if he wanted to do it. “‘Merlin’s beard, no,’ said Dumbledore, smiling. ‘Not unless you are foolish enough to force me to.'”
1 Start-Of-Term Feast Nonsense
Nothing proves that Dumbledore is hilarious more than our introduction to the wizard when Harry Potter first hears him deliver “a few words” at the start-of-term feast in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. These words, which were sadly cut from the film, were, “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”
Percy Weasley, whose opinion of Dumbledore truly vacillates throughout the series, assures Harry that Dumbledore is brilliant when the young wizard asks if Dumbledore is mad, saying, “He’s a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry?” It’s one of the funniest scenes in the first book and it helps paint the picture of Albus as the playful wizard he is.