Games, toys, and jokes

Exploding Snap (game)

A card game involving cards that explode; this game is commonly played by students at Hogwarts.

  • One of the good things about Gryffindor Tower being nearly empty over the Christmas holidays is that students who do stay can play Exploding Snap as loudly as they like without bothering anybody (CS12). It's also played to pass the time over the holidays at the Burrow (HBP16) and occasionally in class to annoy a teacher (OP25).
  • The twins challenged Ron and Harry to a game of Exploding Snap on the night they were trying to sneak out to follow the spiders, which was why they had to leave it until so late at night (they didn't let on what they were up to) (CS15).
  • Played to pass the time on the Hogwarts Express (more commonly at the end of the year than at the beginning) (CS18, PA22, GF37).
  • Ron built a castle out of his Exploding Snap cards, which was tricky because it could have exploded at any moment (GF22)
  • Neville challenged Harry to a game one Hogsmeade weekend when they were both barred from going into the village, but Harry turned him down (PA14).



The name Exploding Snap is not associated with Professor Snape in any way, however it does seem like a sly wink at his name and personality, considering how many times he loses his temper at Harry and others. However in some German editions, the name of the game was originally mistranslated as "Snape Explodiert," or "Snape Explodes," leaving fans to wonder if Harry and his friends were conjuring tiny Snapes they could blow-up for fun. Indeed, one German fan website featured an animated exploding Snape. The mistake has now been fixed with a new name for the game: "Zauberschnippschnapp" with "zauber" meaning "enchanted" and "schnippschnapp" being the German form of the regular card game Snap. Source: "Harry Potter and the Tower of Babel" by Nancy K. Jentsch

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