Is Half-Blood Prince Harry Really the Sassiest Harry Potter? An Investigation

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Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Photo: Warner Bros.

Let’s be real: If you actually grew up as an orphan in a cupboard under a flight of stairs, you’d be as thick-skinned against haters as baby Harry is against Voldemort’s killing curse. Harry is a cold-hearted badass if you come at him, and looking back at all seven Harry Potter books, Harry provides so much shade you’d think you were in the Forbidden Forest. Redditor InquisitorCOC compiled a pretty impressive ranking of how sassy Harry gets in the series, and ranks Half-Blood Prince as the sassiest our Chosen One gets, citing this exchange:

“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me ‘sir,’ Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.

But while it’s certainly a sassy retort, I disagree that it’s The Boy Who Lived at his sassiest. After all, Harry gets more moody than Mad Eye in Order of the Phoenix: He’s cut off from Dumbledore, feeling abandoned by his friends, and simply does not have anymore Fawkes to give. For instance, there’s this Fiendfyre-esque burn Harry doles out to Hermione:

“Harry, don’t go picking a row with Malfoy, don’t forget, he’s a prefect now, he could make life difficult for you…”
“Wow, I wonder what it’d be like to have a difficult life?” said Harry sarcastically.

If Quirrell were alive to see this clap back, he’d be scorched to dust all over again:

Yeah, Quirrell was a great teacher. There was just that minor drawback of him having Lord Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head!

Harry’s savagery is most on-point with the Dursleys.

“Listening to the news,” said Harry in a resigned voice.
His aunt and uncle exchanged looks of outrage.
“Listening to the news! Again?”
“Well, it changes every day, you see.”

Personally, I don’t know whether Dudley is more traumatized by the Dementors that soon attack or this magical bit of sass.

“This is night, Diddykins. That’s what we call it when it goes all dark like this.”

Harry Potter becomes Hogwarts’ resident bad boy when he tells off a prefect, calling him a git. The fact that the prefect in question is Draco makes this diss even better:

“Manners, Potter, or I’ll have to give you a detention,” drawled Malfoy, whose sleek blond hair and pointed chin were just like his father’s.“You see, I, unlike you, have been made a prefect, which means that I, unlike you, have the power to hand out punishments.”
“Yeah,” said Harry, “but you, unlike me, are a git, so get out and leave us alone.”

Basically, Order of the Phoenix Harry scores an O on his Sass O.W.L. exam.

Order of the Phoenix Harry is the Sassiest Harry Potter