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The 8 Most Useful Harry Potter Spells We Wish Were Real

Harry Potter usess one of this trustiest spells, Expecto patronum
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

As dangerous and frightening the life of a wizard can be, especially if you are the target of a homicidal dark lord, you can’t help but watch Harry Potter movies and wish you could wield magic. Just imagine how much easier life would be given the use of spells.

Lost your flashlight? “Lumos!” Is the color of your shirt out of season? “Colovaria!” Need to break the silence in a room with laughter? “Rictusempra!”

There is a Harry Potter spell for just about anything and the world could really use their existence, but all we can do is imagine how these charms would improve our lives. Shall we take a deeper look at that concept by choosing the most useful Harry Potter spells of J.K. Rowling’s invention? I think we must.

Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) unlocking a door in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)


Also known as the “Thief’s Friend,” Alohomora is a spell that can unlock any door, window, or various lockable objects. Even those adorned with a magical lock are not impervious to this charm. Hemione Granger (Emma Watson) demonstrated its power to enter a forbidden entrance on the Third-floor corridor of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

To be clear, I am not supporting thievery here. In fact, the use of Alohomora would hopefully solve more problems than it could potentially create.

Just imagine how many times you have locked your keys in your car and thought, If only I could just wave a magic wand and open it up. With Alohomora, you would never need to call AAA again!

Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh) is about to make an amnesiac out of himself in Harry Potter and

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)


Obliviate is a spell used to erase the partial or complete memory of someone. Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh) accidentally erased his own memory in a backfired attempt to use Obliviate on Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

In any other case, obviously, we would not (or, at least, should not) want to intentionally turn someone into an amnesiac. Yet, it is likely that some certain moment may occur in your life which you would rather someone else forget.

Say you are out to dinner with someone new and you accidentally get spaghetti sauce on your shirt. Well, you can’t let that stain go permanent, so, without hesitation, you take out your wand and use “Scourgify” to remove it. That is when it dons on you that, in a momentary lapse of reason, you have used magic in front of a Muggle.

With this being just the first date, you are obviously not ready to reveal your true gifts for magic to this person, so you pull out your wand again, call out “Obliviate,” and continue with the meal as if nothing ever happened. Until, perhaps, the third date, it might be best to keep the wand in your cloak, if you ask me.

Harry Potter makes a cut in the ice in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)


I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time using scissors. Unless I have a dotted line drawn out for me beforehand, I can never seem to cut through any material with the exact precision I desire.

That is why it would be a dream come true to be able to use Diffindo, a spell that various Harry Potter characters have used to instantly create a perfect cut in anything when the moment requires it. Hermione Granger uses it on Ron Weasley to free him from magical ropes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Fashion designers, paper mills, and countless other professions that involve frequent severing would save plenty of time using Diffindo. Not to mention, it would also decrease the hazardous conditions that come with working in the lumber industry, carpentry, and any other career that requires heavy industrial force to split and sever objects.

If you were to mistakenly use Diffindo on something that never should have been severed in the first place, try this:

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is amazed to see his glasses fixed

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)


I don’t know about you, but I have never had the talent for fixing things. Instead of making an attempt to reassemble my G.I. Joe after it would lose an arm, I would have no choice but to admit he was a goner.

This is why I would greatly benefit from Reparo, which is known as the Mending (or Repairing) Charm that reassembles or fixes any broken object. Harry Potter also uses it in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to fix his own broken wand with the Elder Wand.

There are several specific variants to this spell, such as “Oculus reparo,” which Hermione Granger uses to fix Harry Potter’s glasses upon their first meeting on the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For sight-challenged folk, imagine never having to use one of those tiny eyeglass repair tool kits.

Hemione Granger protects a campsite for Harry Potter and Ron Weasley

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Protego Totalum, Incendio, And Aguamenti

Camping is usually meant for rest and relaxation. So, why must it require such hard work to set up? Not to mention the potential of a few “unwanted visitors.” If you want to have a perfectly relaxing camping trip done right, there are a few Harry Potter spells that serve as perfect solutions.

After you set up camp, it is strongly suggested to use “Protego totalum,” a variation of the Shield Charm that endows a certain area with protection from intruders (like coyotes or masked killers) for an extended period of time. Hermione uses the spell to protect the trio’s campsite while on the run in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

As dusk is approaching and it looks like a good time to roast some marshmallows, no need to spend hours rubbing two sticks together when you can just use say “Incendio” to spark a campfire. Unfortunately, there are not as many examples of the Firemaking Charm for recreational purposes in the Harry Potter movies and books as there are for destructive uses, such as when the Death Eaters to set Hagrid’s hut on fire in the original novel Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Of course, Harry Potter and Hagrid were able to extinguish that fire using the Water-Making Spell, Aguamenti, which also can be applied to camping. When it is time to put out the campfire, instead of wasting your own drinking water supply or taking time to find a nearby pond, just say “Aguamenti” and water will expel from your wand.

A fully paralyzed Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Stupefy, Impedimenta, And Petrificus Totalus

So, let’s say you’re at a bar and you accidentally bump into someone, sending the drinks they were about to bring to their friends all over. Before you can offer a proper apology, it becomes clear this person is deeply unstable and your life may be in danger as a result of it.

However, while you are not a violent person, you need to defend yourself somehow. For the best results, you can try any of these Harry Potter spells: Stupefy, Impedimenta, or Petrificus Totalus.

With Impedimenta, you can block the angry bar patron’s attacks or slow them down to make it easy to avoid them. To really get the job done, however, you can temporarily paralyze them with Petrificus Totalus (like Hermione did to the eventual sexpot Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) or render them completely unconscious with Stupefy. Without throwing a punch, you win!

Ron Weasley observes Hemione Granger's mastering of spells enviously

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Accio Or Wingardium Leviosa

I cannot even begin to describe the horrifying agony that comes with wanting to change the channel despite the television remote control being too far out of reach. Now you have to abandon the comfort of your sofa to retrieve it… unless you can make it come to you.

There are a couple of Harry Potter spells that come in handy when retrieving foreign objects, the most effective being Accio, which summons any object of your choice right to you immediately. If you don’t mind taking your time with it a bit more, use Wingardium Leviosa, the Levitation Charm, to make the object float toward you.

The Levitation Charm would also be a great help with rescuing cats stuck in trees, rearranging or transporting furniture, or serve as a wonderful alternative to elevators if you don’t feel like using the stairs. It has also proven effective in prank wars.

Severus Snape and Narcissa Malfoy form an Unbreakable Bond in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Unbreakable Vow

It does not seem worth it to ask someone to make a promise to you. Rarely is pinky swearing a reliable method to establish trust anymore.

If only there was a way to ensure that a friend or family member would have absolutely no choice but to keep their promises, as if their life depended on it. With the Unbreakable Vow, that is exactly the case.

The Unbreakable Vow is a binding magical contract between two individuals or groups in which the spoken oath in question must be honored or the person who breaks it will die. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) makes an Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa Malfoy to protect Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) in his attempts to kill Albus Dumbledore. The Unbreakable Vow is not kid’s stuff, people.

Of course, we are still merely Muggles, have no means of conjuring Harry Potter spells, and must rely on our own physical attributes and our intellect to help improve the world. Even so, what is wrong with using your imagination?

Jason Wiese
Jason Wiese

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.