When the Harry Potter books were converted to movies, there was one thing I took issue with.
Oh, alright, there were a few things I took issue with. Like most, being such a diehard fan of the books, I was critical of the movies. But there was one thing that was really missing from them: The sass of Harry James Potter.
He has a dry sense of humor in the movies, sure, but in the books, Harry’s sass and savagery are off the charts. He has a way of looking at his tragic life with an extremely wry sense of humor; he's always equipped with a witty and cutting comeback. Remembering back, here are 10 of those best moments to prove it.
10. There’s No Need To Call Me Sir, Professor
Say what you like about Severus Snape redeeming himself — he was a bully of a teacher. He made students feel awful about themselves, and the only reason Harry wasn’t one of his most affected victims is because Harry could take it in stride. He was able to dish out as much as he could get away with.
One particularly memorable scene had Snape reprimanding him for not calling him “sir,” repeating Harry’s sentence and adding the title on the end himself. Harry wittily managed to take this as Snape referring to him as “sir,” and airily brushed it off.
9. Wow, Wonder What It’d Be Like To Have A Difficult Life?
When Draco Malfoy was made a prefect and Harry wasn’t, Hermione was particularly wary of this. Knowing that prefects could dock points and give out punishments, she warned Harry that Malfoy “could make life really difficult for him” now that he was a prefect. Following that was Harry’s perfect response: "Wow, wonder what it'd be like to have a difficult life?"
He had a good point. By that point, Voldemort was back, Harry had been tortured brutally at the age of 14 in a graveyard and watched his friend die. Not to mention the countless years of abuse and neglect with the Dursleys. Draco Malfoy truly was the least of his worries.
8. You’d Think I Walk Around With My Eyes Shut, Banging Off The Walls…
Alastor Moody, more commonly known as Mad-Eye Moody, was always paranoid after his days as an Auror. He thought everyone was a Death Eater, every gift was a trap, there was danger around every corner, and because of that, he was extremely cautious as a result.
This was quite a contrast to Harry. He had a reputation for running into things without thinking, but as shown with his sarcastic retort here, he clearly didn’t think he needed to be any more careful. He was pretty indignant at being blamed for his misfortune and being constantly told to look out.
I can see both sides of this irritability...
7. This Is Night, Diddykins — That’s What We Call It When It Goes All Dark Like This
Harry spent his childhood years being bullied by his cousin, Dudley. A much physically larger and stronger boy, Harry spent years with his glasses sellotaped together after Dudley punched them and broke them, running away from him in school so he couldn’t get beaten up. But Harry was definitely much quicker with his words than Dudley. Dudley may have been strong, but he was pretty stupid. Harry definitely wasn’t afraid to poke fun at it.
So when Dudley, outside one night, told Harry he wasn’t as brave at night, he meant in bed because of nightmares. But Harry was quick to tease him about his apparent lack of intelligence. And since Dudley’s so hateable, it’s easy to laugh at this one.
6. Yeah, You Can Have A Word, Goodbye!
Rita Skeeter was a character who popped up in Goblet of Fire. A journalist with seemingly no integrity, willing to make up as many lies as was necessary to get readers addicted to her articles, she asked Harry for interviews constantly. After giving one that he barely agreed to, he realized the extent of her lies and willingness to poison his reputation and vowed to give no more.
So when she asked him for a “quick word,” this was his response: "Yeah, you can have a word, goodbye!"
Harry was only 14 at this point, and really doesn’t get enough credit for his clever quick wit even at such a young age.
5. I Was Getting Sick Of Her Flinching Every Time She Looked At My Hands
Another character who was a huge annoyance to Harry’s life was Sybill Trelawney. Not only did she speak the prophecy that caused Voldemort to hunt him down in the first place, every time she saw him in school, she predicted his death. There were many moments where Harry thought it was appropriate to sass her, and this line was just one of them.
Honestly, I can understand why. Harry has a difficult enough life, and I wouldn’t particularly like someone telling me constantly I was going to die a horrific death. Luckily, this was one Trelawney prediction that did not come through!
4. He Likes To Keep In Touch With Me Though… Check If I’m Happy…
When Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban, he was thought to be a mass murderer. Harry learned this not to be true about his godfather, but since Sirius was still on the run, he was happy to let the Dursleys believe that his godfather was, indeed, a mass murderer. With his innocent smile and comment about Sirius checking on him, it was sassy, but a completely fair way to keep the Dursleys’ abuse and neglect at bay.
It seemed to work, too.
Vernon was so afraid of Sirius turning up on his doorstep that he started being nicer. Although that was probably more to do with the fact Sirius was scruffy and Vernon didn’t want him seen at their house.
3. Well, It Changes Every Day, You See…
Harry wasn’t afraid to sass the Dursleys directly either. After Voldemort’s return, he took to watching the Muggle news because he wanted to hear if there were any attacks. He was looking for any suggestion that he was doing horrendous things. Vernon and Petunia both became very suspicious about Harry’s sudden interest in their news, and when they demanded if he was listening to it again, his response was to treat them like they were stupid.
This was one of his better lines. And again — he was so young and so clever already. Considering this was around his 15 birthday, these lines should have been in the movies.
2. We’d Be Best Pals If They Didn’t Keep Trying To Do Me In
Hermione was talking about the Death Eaters recruitment tactics when this line was thrown out. As if they’d actually want to have Harry in their ranks! This wasn’t true, of course, which she’d have realized if she thought about it for a second. With a prophecy floating around that Harry would be the death of Voldemort, and a large target on his back for that very reason, Harry was never going to be recruited by them. Even if that prophecy had never existed, he was against everything the Death Eaters stood for.
I like his little sarcastic quip, his way of saying this. Attempted murder isn’t really a great basis for a friendship or even for allies, so fair enough.
1. I Like A Quiet Life, You Know Me
An iconic Harry line. Every single year since Harry entered the Wizarding World, something went wrong. In his first year, he came face to face with Voldemort; second, he did pretty much the same again; third, he was found by Sirius Black; fourth, face-to-face with Voldemort once more… And so on, and so forth. Harry’s life was anything but quiet, which is what made the books so great. Always with the action!
So this little throwaway line was a great one because it was clearly sarcastic. Even if Harry had been granted a quiet life, I have a feeling he wouldn’t have known what to do with it. He’s very much someone who has to be doing something at all times.