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Ranking Every Single Unofficial Harry Potter T-Shirt from Bad to Absolutely the Worst

Keep calm and continue to judge terrible, unfunny meme-based fashion choices.
October 26, 2015, 4:00pm

Did that thing this morning where you wake up and immediately look at your phone, in this order: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Eyes like piss holes in the snow, straining against the backlit sun. Head barely off the pillow. Phone still hooked like an anchor into the wall socket. Alarm pop-up blooping into view every seven minutes because you keep hitting snooze. You do this, too.

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Anyway, I'm going to stop doing it now because as I scrolled through Facebook I saw an advertisement for this T-shirt, which is the worst T-shirt, and as a result my Monday morning was ruined even before I'd gotten up to piss.

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Yes, that T-shirt says, "Just a wizard girl, living in a muggle world, took the Hogwarts train going anywhere." Some notes:

  • A wizard girl is called a "witch."
  • The Hogwarts train is called the "Hogwarts Express" and it runs on a fixed line between King's Cross and Hogsmeade Station, so the train doesn't go "anywhere," it can go to one of two locations depending on its direction.
  • I mean, it's literally cursed by magic to be locked onto those rails, careening six times a year in a Hogwarts–London shuttle, taking 1,000 magical children in one go hither and yon.

So in a fair and just world, the T-shirt should read: "Just a witch / living in a muggle world / she took the Hogwarts Express going to either Hogsmeade (nr. Hogwarts) or King's Cross" (sung to the tune of "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey).

But we don't live in a fair and just world; we live in a world full of unofficial Harry Potter merchandise like this, and the people who would wear it. Because you can sketch the kind of person who would wear such a T-shirt based on what is written on the front of it, can't you? Example: the Venn diagram of people who think Harry Potter is good enough to wear a T-shirt over and the people who heard "Don't Stop Believin'" for the first time during the pilot episode of Glee is a circle the size of the sun. The person who wears this T-shirt has a favorite energy drink and likes to describe themselves as "hyper."

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These people walk among us, clutching children's books close to their chest and actually saying the word "lol." And they wear these T-shirts, and these T-shirts must be ranked. Don't ask why they must be ranked: They just must be ranked. So we're doing it tops-off in a parking lot style: Each T-shirt faces off against another one-on-one, and then we'll go through to the quarterfinals, and then at the end—as the sun sets and a load of hard bald men called Dean hold plastic pint glasses up to the dying light of the sky—one T-shirt will go HAM on the other one in a bid for shitty unofficial Harry Potter T-shirt domination.

Leygo:

Image via Living Dope

SORRY, I DON'T DATE MUGGLES

I mean, essentially here what you are saying is that you are a virgin, for life, because you will not date people who are not wizards or witches, and wizards and witches do not exist. What you are saying here with this $20-plus-shipping tee is you have never entered, or been entered by, another person's genitals; you will never know the visceral thrill of a sexual orgasm; you will never know the warm pull of loving human company. But also this T-shirt acts as a sort of easy wash boner-killer anyway, because I cannot imagine a person—muggle or nay—wanting to date someone who would actually wear that T-shirt outside of the house. You could say it's an "invisibility cloak" (Harry Potter reference) for sexually viable partners!

Image via eBay

BE WARNED! THE OWNER OF THIS SHIRT MAY LOOK LIKE AN ORDINARY MUGGLE / IN FACT THEY'RE… WIZARD

This sounds like a cold opener a YouTube-trained pickup artist would use at a Harry Potter fan convention to hit on cosplay Hermione, before doing some sort of butterbeer-related neg, and for that reason it flies through to the next round before we've even got near the fact that there's a prominent "a" missing in the sentence "In fact they're… wizard" and that it goes up to 5XL.

Which is the worst T-shirt? "Be warned!…" is the worst T-shirt.

Image via FunSportsGear

JUST A WIZARD GIRL / LIVING IN A MUGGLE WORLD / SHE TOOK THE HOGWARTS TRAIN GOING ANYWHERE

We have previously discussed why, and all agree on how this is bad.

Image via Redbubble

MY MAGIC BRINGS VOLDEMORT TO THE YARD / DAMN RIGHT IT'S HURTING MY SCAR

Another in the long and illustrious lineage of "mild joke about a book series that might make a three-fav tweet being turned into a T-shirt," and this time Kelis's "Milkshake" has been blindfolded and shot with a rifle through the head. This is worse, incredibly, than even "Just a wizard girl…" because at least that respects the source lyrics, whereas this one skips right over the "and they're like / it's better than yours / damn right / it's better than yours" refrain, thus making this T-shirt a direct attack on Kelis. This is essentially an assault on Kelis. And that's a dick move, seeing as this video of Kelis calmly making and then eating some jerk sauce is essentially hypnotherapy to me. This is the worst T-shirt.

Which is the worst T-shirt? "My magic brings Voldemort to the yard…" is the worst T-shirt.

Image via Lookhuman

YOU DON'T LIKE HARRY POTTER? I AM WINGARDIUM LEVIO-SO DONE WITH YOU

This is the Mean Girls–esque dream fantasy of a thousand lonely 15-year-old girls. They are asleep, the girls, and they are dreaming about being the most popular girl in school—everyone is at their table, looking on at them, rapt, while they say something about how books are cool—and then the actual popular girl at school, fucking Becky, is there like, "Oh my gosh, yes! I think books are really cool, too! Can I sit with you?" And the unpopular girl gets up—unassisted—and goes, "Do you like Harry Potter?" And Becky scoffs, like, "Lol, no." And the unpopular girl, the last giddy whisps of a dream, says, "I am wingardium levio-so done with you," and the canteen erupts, kids hanging from the rafters, flipping tables, chanting the girl's name: "KATH-LEEN! KATH-LEEN! KATH-LEEN!"

And then she wakes up, and turns out no, she still hasn't got any friends, but someone has started a new and incredibly bitchy Facebook group about her. And then she pulls on her T-shirt that is literally an entire conversation—opener and exit—and goes out to face the day.

KEEP CALM AND FIND HORCRUXES

I don't want to be too overblown, but I'm pretty sure this T-shirt disproves the existence of God, because—no, bear with me—because millions of years of evolution and thousands of years of culture have been whittled down to a fine point, hundreds of generations have come and gone, technology slowly crawling forward, language and culture evolving, and now this: this T-shirt that says: "Keep Calm and Find Horcruxes" on it, which is a T-shirt people actually do buy and wear. No just and honest deity would sit there and let this happen. No God, whatever the religion, would stay silent and unflinching in the face of this horror. Earthquakes and volcano explosions and AIDS and meteorites: all fine. But this is too much. Keep Calm and Know That God Isn't Real.

Which is the worst T-shirt? I am wingardium levio-so done with this question!

Image via Amazon

I NEVER GOT MY ACCEPTANCE LETTER FROM HOGWARTS SO I'M LEAVING THE SHIRE AND BECOMING A JEDI

Literally every single person who wears this T-shirt or thinks this T-shirt is in any way good laughs through their nose while making this exact noise: sneck sneck sneck.

This one doesn't have a rival shirt to face off against, but it doesn't need one, because it just goes through immediately, owing to how hugely terrible it is.


QUARTERFINALS: EXPLAINING EACH T-SHIRT TO YOUR DAD

OK, now we've discussed and analyzed exactly how each of the unofficial Harry Potter T-shirts is bad, we need to pit them against each other on a different metric. This is the metric: how long it takes to explain your Harry Potter T-shirt to your dad at a family barbecue.

This is your dad. Explain your Harry Potter T-shirt to him. Photo via Flickr user Brett Taylor

MY MAGIC BRINGS VOLDEMORT TO THE YARD / DAMN RIGHT IT'S HURTING MY SCAR

What's your dad saying? "So, what, it's them books you liked when you were little? Yeah, I remember. We had to wait outside WHSmith at midnight for one. Getting out the car park was a fucking nightmare. So it's that, and also that milkshake song? So do you like Kelis, or…? No? I don't get it, Lisa. You don't even have a scar."

How much food did your dad burn while he was trying to understand this T-shirt? An entire ASDA Savers 16-pack of chicken wings. Through to the next round.

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I NEVER GOT MY ACCEPTANCE LETTER FROM HOGWARTS SO I'M LEAVING THE SHIRE AND BECOMING A JEDI

What's your dad saying? Your dad only saw the first and the third Lord of the Rings movies and keeps calling Star Wars "Star Trek," and everyone at the barbecue is getting angry now, so this conversation has to stop before you've even explained to him that no, you can't get rejected from Hogwarts, because it isn't real.

How much food did your dad burn while he was trying to understand this T-shirt? All of the food. He burned all of the food. He burned so much food that some of the salads your mom made—untouched in a big transparent bowl, sealed tight with tin foil—somehow managed to get charred. On to the next round.

BE WARNED! THE OWNER OF THIS SHIRT MAY LOOK LIKE AN ORDINARY MUGGLE / IN FACT THEY'RE… WIZARD

What's your dad saying? "What's that say, I can't read it all. No, hold it taut. No – fucksake, get me my readers. Right, OK. Fuck's a muggle?"

How much food did your dad burn while he was trying to understand this T-shirt? Nine sausages, including two sausages he was saving for himself, those nice caramelized onion ones your mom gets sometimes as a treat. Those were the last ones. "Dog can have 'em," your dad says, sadly. "Dog can have the fuckers." But in the end, he did understand it. Out of the competition you go, "In Fact They're… Wizard."

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YOU DON'T LIKE HARRY POTTER? I AM WINGARDIUM LEVIO-SO DONE WITH YOU

What's your dad saying? "How's the job search going, then?"

How much food did your dad burn while he was trying to understand this T-shirt? Your dad exited the conversation when you said "Avada Kedavra is the death spell" and instead took the Astra round to the gas station for a thing of sweet chili sauce and, for the first time in eight years, a massive box of cigarettes. Your T-shirt is so bad your dad started smoking again. "Wingardium Levio-so done with you" is through to the final.


THE FINAL

We are now left with just three contenders—"Wingardium Levio-so Done With You," "Be Warned!", and "I Never Got My Acceptance Letter"—and so now we have to start being a little bit tight with what constitutes a shitty unofficial Harry Potter T-shirt. Example:

A Shitty Unofficial Harry Potter T-Shirt Has to Be About Harry Potter Only

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I am sorry, "I Never Got My Acceptance Letter," but with your Star Wars font and your bit about Lord of the Rings, you fail this round. Go home to your owner, Dude Who Owns More Than Three Fedoras.

A Shitty Unofficial Harry Potter T-Shirt Absolutely Cannot Be Funny

Wow, fraught round. Because technically, although "My Magic Brings Voldemort to the Yard" is not even remotely funny—not even if you practice it in front of the mirror at home for weeks to get the stilted cadence right before performing the whole thing in front of the school for the end-of-year talent show—it does come from a place where you can almost imagine humor existing, because Voldemort does sound a little bit like "all the boys," and the idea of magic attracting boys is absurd. It's not funny. Not at all. But it's not the cold, dead anti-humor of, "You Don't Like Harry Potter? I Am Wingardium Levio-so Done With You."

Nothing is.

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The Worst T-Shirt, Then, Is "You Don't Like Harry Potter? I Am Wingardium Levio-so Done With You"

I mean, this is the worst T-shirt possibly in the world. An entire conversation that would never actually happen, arranged, and printed on a tee. That said: decent font choice. But still extremely bad.

Maybe you like it; I don't know. I can't tell you what to think. Maybe the books and movies really mean something to you. Maybe Harry Potter was your only friend when your parents were divorcing. Maybe it reminds you of Christmas. Maybe you like awful T-shirts and hate looking good. Whatever, man. It's just a fun book for kids, isn't it? Just a fun bit of escapism for kids. You do you. I am wingardium levio-so not going to tell you how to live your life.

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