Every Harry Potter Spell, Ranked By Usefulness

Accio listicle.

Not all spells are created equal. Sure, some of the tricks that Harry, Ron and Hermione learn at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardy are fantastical, but others are evil or worse, boring.

To get a sense of the wide spectrum of spells from J.K. Rowling’s books and the movies they became, I’ve ranked each spoken spell by its usefulness in daily life.

As it turns out, magic is best when it allows you to be lazy, and no one ever needs to make a Dark Mark, ever.

75. Crucio – Causes immense pain
That’s messed up, dude.

74. Sectumsempra – Causes severe lacerations
No thanks.


73. Morsmordre – Conjures the Dark Mark
This isn’t even funny as a joke.

72. Tarantallegra – Forces target to dance
Some people just don’t like to dance. Nothing is worse than forced dancing.

71. Fiendfyre Curse – Makes cursed fire
This is never a good idea. Just ask Crabbe.

70. Petrificus Totalus – Renders target completely immobile
Most applications I think can think of are criminal.

69. Furnunculus – Covers target in boils
Not cool, and much less funny than densaugeo.

68. Rictusempra – Tickling Charm
No one likes getting tickled. No one.

67. Deletrius – Dismisses the effects of Prior Incantato
If I’m not using Prior Incantato much, I definitely don’t need this.

66. Incarcarous – Ties someone up with ropes
It’s not my bag, but to each his/her own.

65. Densaugeo – Makes teeth grow quickly
Funny, for sure, but definitely dickish.


64. Confringo – Explodes objects into flames
Don’t teach this to teenagers.

63. Mobilicorpus – Moves bodies
Even if you’re not a murderer, this is kind of weird.

62. Liberacorpus – Lowers target of levicorpus
You technically don’t have to lower everyone you raise.

61. Levicorpus – Levitates target by ankle
Easily abused, but amusing.

60. Deprimo – Creates great downward pressure
Good for making pasta, I guess.

59. Sonorus – Amplifies one’s voice
Sounds useful, mostly annoying.

58. Duro – Hardens objects
I need the opposite of this.

57. Legilimens – Reveals memories and thoughts of target
Some things are secrets for a reason. I’ll leave it at that.

56. Expulso – Explodes objects
Sometimes, you just have to blow sh– up.

55. Avis/Oppugno – Shoots flock of birds from wand
Impressive, but random.

54. Fidelius Charm – binds a secret to the soul of a Secret-Keeper
It didn’t work out so well for Lilly and James…

53. Imperio – Makes target obey every command
But only for really, really funny pranks.

52. Piertotum Locomotor – Animates statues
On one hand, this is awesome. On the other, someone would use this to scare me.

51. Aparecium – Make invisible ink appear
Your notes will be so much cooler.

50. Defodio – Carves through stone and steel
Sometimes you need to get the eff out of there.

49. Descendo – Moves objects downward
You’ll never have to get a chair to reach for stuff again.

48. Specialis Revelio – Reveals hidden magical properties in an object
I want to know what I’m eating and if it’s magical.

47. Meteolojinx Recanto – Ends effects of weather spells
Otherwise, someone could make it sleet in your bedroom forever.


46. Cave Inimicum/Protego Totalum – Strengthens an area’s defenses
Helpful, but why are people trying to break into your campsite?

45. Impedimenta – Freezes someone advancing toward you
“Stop running at me! But also, why are you running at me?”

44. Obscuro – Blindfolds target
Finally, we don’t have to rely on “No peeking.”

43. Reducto – Explodes object
The “raddest” of all spells.

42. Anapneo – Clears someone’s airway
This could save a life, but hopefully you won’t need it.

41. Locomotor Mortis – Leg-lock curse
Good for footraces and Southwest Airlines flights.

40. Geminio – Creates temporary, worthless duplicate of any object
You could finally live your dream of lying on a bed of marshmallows, and you’d only need one to start.

39. Aguamenti – Shoot water from wand
No need to replace that fire extinguisher you never bought.

38. Avada Kedavra – The Killing Curse
One word: bugs.

37. Repelo Muggletum – Repels Muggles
Sounds elitist, but seriously, Muggles ruin everything. Take it from me, a Muggle.

36. Stupefy – Stuns target
Since this is every other word of the “Deathly Hallows” script, I think it’s pretty useful.

35. Diffindo – Cuts or rips material
[Infomerial voice] “No more fumbling with hard-to-use scissors.”

34. Erecto – Erects tents or other structures
Not what you think, but still useful. (See also: engorgio)

33. Finite Incantatem – Negates the effects of many spells.
The wizard equivalent of “STAHP!”

32. Prior Incantato – Reveals last spell cast
This would help clear up a lot of arguments.

31. Homenum Revelio – Reveal people nearby
No matter wondering if that creak you heard was a murderous intruder or, you know, just a creak.

30. Incendio – Creates fire
But be careful.

29. Quietus – Quiets magically amplified voice
I might use this “mistakenly” on normal people talking loudly just to send a message.

28. Nox – Turns off lumos
Since Harry, Ron and Hermione use lumos for everything, this is handy.

27. Colloportus – Locks doors
“I forgot my keys again. Oh, wait, no. I didn’t. I’m a wizard. Keys are irrelevant.”

26. Alohomora – Opens locks
“I forgot my keys again. Oh, wait, no. I didn’t. I’m a wizard. Keys are irrelevant.”

25. Evanesco – Vanishing spell
“What are you looking at?” “Uh — evanesco — nothing.”

24. Ferula – Conjures bandages
This would really cut down on the number of smelly casts.

23. Expecto Patronum – Patronus Charm
Not only does this spell conjure joy, happiness and hope, but you can also use that conjuring to send messages. It’s like the opposite of SnapChat.

22. Confundo – Causes confusions and makes others easily susceptible to influence
A more innocent imperio.

21. Relashio – Forces target to let go of whatever they’re holding
No more awkward long hugs.

20. Tergeo – Cleans off surfaces
So. Many. Uses.

19. Episkey – Heals minor injuries
First aid is always important.

18. Oblivate – Erases memories
Goodbye, painful teenage memories!

17. Expelliarmus – Disarming Charm
If I have a wand, that means people who definitely shouldn’t have wands have them. That’s too dangerous.

16. Silencio/Langlock – Stops someone from talking (by sticking one’s tongue to the roof of his/her mouth)
STFU!

15. Muffliato – Keeps others nearby from overhearing conversations
Great for throwing shade.

14. Protego – Shields caster from curses
Don’t curse me.

13. Riddikulus – Transforms Boggarts into a humorous shape
Anyone know remembers that “Order of the Phoenix” scene understands how important this spell is.

12. Pack – Packs trunks and luggage
Maybe magic will actually remember my phone charger for me.

11. Reducio – Shrinks objects
Combine this with pack, and it’s “Farewell, airline baggage fees.”

10. Reparo – Repairs broken objects
I will no longer have to resent my cat.

9. Lumos – Makes wand emit light
No more mad dashes up stairs after turning off the basement lights.

8. Orchideous – Grows flowers from end of wand
Fellas, I cannot emphasize the importance of this spell enough.

7. Portus – Creates a portkey
Say “goodbye” to commuting forever. You could literally live and work anywhere.

6. Scourgify – Cleans things
I think this is the spell I and my bath tub have been waiting for.

5. Wingardium Leviosa/Locomotor – Levitates objects
Screw lifting stuff!

4. Impervius – Protects caster from a variety of substances, including water and fire
We would all be finally be able to admit how stupid umbrellas are.

3. Engorgio – Engorgement Charm

2. Glisseo – Turns a staircase into a slide
This is why we have magic.

1. Accio – Summoning charm
I’m trying to think of a time when this wouldn’t be useful, and I’m literally not coming up with a single one.

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.
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