“Harry Potter Puppet Pals”

Illustrator: Jade Mulcahy

Every child who was in grade school in the late 2000s has been subjected to watching the Potter Puppet Pals videos that ravaged YouTube like a plague. Nobody was safe for less than six hours from hearing the chant of “Snape … Snape … Severus Snape” echoing down the hallways.

I remember my own experience viewing them for the first time was at a middle school sleepover where a friend insisted I watched the original video, calling it a masterpiece. Naively, I agreed, and then was forced to watch every single video in the series despite my protests. The dissonant tones, the repetitive, nasally mantras and the cringeworthy costumes—it was enough to drive anyone mad. How did we let them become a cultural phenomenon?

I was personally offended at how much of a disservice the videos do to the books. As a fan of the Harry Potter series, I couldn’t stand watching the Potter Puppet Pals slander Harry’s name. To this day, I can’t make it through any of those videos without pausing it at least once to take a breather. Perhaps the only praiseworthy part about the “Ticking Noise” is that the violent end gives us a sliver of hope that we would never hear from the Pals again.

The Potter Puppet Pals videos most definitely did some damage to our developing brain cells. Did any of us actually enjoyed these skits, or were we just being hypnotized by their absurdity? Why did nobody hit cancel on the autoplay and reflect on how ungodly the sound of “Ron! Ron! Ron Weasley!” is? Maybe if we had, we wouldn’t have let the Pals shed so much darkness on our childhoods.