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Yes, you read that right. Fred and George are perhaps the most Ravenclaw characters in the entire series, and this is why:

Relevant passages from the Ravenclaw welcome message (out of order for convenience, emphasis mine):

  • Professor Flitwick:

    You’ll like our Head of house, Professor Filius Flitwick . . . His office door is always open to any Ravenclaw with a problem, and if you’re in a real state he’ll get out these delicious little cupcakes he keeps in a tin in his desk drawer and make them do a little dance for you. In fact, it’s worth pretending you’re in a real state just to see them jive.

    As the head of the house, Professor Flitwick is the exemplary Ravenclaw, and he is very similar to F&G. They may love their tricks, but their main goal is always to brighten someone's day (and they would definitely appreciate dancing cupcakes). Additionally, Flitwick was impressed by the twins's wits and charms abilities:

    “Well, Flitwick’s got rid of Fred and George’s swamp,” said Ginny. “He did it in about three seconds. But he left a tiny patch under the window and he’s roped it off —”

    “Why?” said Hermione, looking startled.

    “Oh, he just says it was a really good bit of magic,” said Ginny, shrugging.

    “I think he left it as a monument to Fred and George,” said Ron through a mouthful of chocolate.

  • Fred and George are geniuses, brilliant, creative. In other words, the ultimate Ravenclaws:

    Another cool thing about Ravenclaw is that our people are the most individual – some might even call them eccentrics. But geniuses are often out of step with ordinary folk, and unlike some other houses we could mention, we think you’ve got the right to wear what you like, believe what you want, and say what you feel. We aren’t put off by people who march to a different tune; on the contrary, we value them! . . . Most of the greatest wizarding inventors and innovators were in our house . . . There was also Minister Lorcan McLaird, who was a quite brilliant wizard, but preferred to communicate by puffing smoke out of the end of his wand. Well, I did say we produce eccentrics. In fact, we are also the house that gave the wizarding world Uric the Oddball, who used a jellyfish for a hat. He’s the punch line of a lot of wizarding jokes.

    If these words didn't bring the Weasley twins to your mind, you should probably read the Harry Potter books. The Weasley twins are two of the most brilliant minds Hogwarts has ever seen. They figured out how to use the Marauders Map, invented their own products, started a successful business at 17, and were witty beyond belief. They are obviously very talented at charms because Umbridge, an adult wizard, couldn't get rid of their mayhem.

So, except for "they are Weasleys and Weasleys are Gryffindors", why aren't they in Ravenclaw? All in all, did the sorting hat drop the hat on this one?

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    All the Weasleys are smart, Bill and Percy got 12 Owls each (Hermione got 10) – CandiedMango Nov 16 '15 at 0:37
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    It seems that all of the Weasley family was within Gryffindor. Perhaps the twins had asked the hat to place them accordingly as well. I recommend you should take a look at this. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/54865/… – Jake Nov 16 '15 at 1:34
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    @Jake the difference between Hermione's smarts and the twins's is that Hermione is essentially a parrot. She recited the words from the book back to the teacher, and she never creates an original thought. Fred and George, on the other hand, are inventors and innovators, as I highlighted in my question. – Lord Voldemort Nov 16 '15 at 1:42
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    @Wikis the Patil twins weren't, were they? I think we can consider JKR willing to experiment a bit. – muru Nov 16 '15 at 11:31
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    This is the fifth question about why someone is not in Gryffindor: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/7514/4918 Peter Pettigrew, scifi.stackexchange.com/q/54865/4918 Hermione Granger, scifi.stackexchange.com/q/3710/4918 Neville Longbottom, scifi.stackexchange.com/q/100898/4918 Percy Weasley. – b_jonas Nov 16 '15 at 12:26
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The Hat Knows Best

It would be pure speculation for anyone to say where they would have done better, you can't predict what experiences they would have had in any of the other houses. Any of these experiences could have changed their future for the better or worse.

Also let's not forget that they did possibly one of the least Ravenclaw like things to do, they left school never to return before getting their grades. They were brave enough to risk it all on a business gamble not to mention brave enough to stand up to Umbridge and disrupt an exam as well as a variety of other pranks they pulled, all requiring a brave disregard for the rules.

Hatstalls

There is nothing explicitly mentioned about the time it took the Sorting Hat to decide the houses of any of the Weasleys, which I'm sure Ron would have recounted to Harry when Ron was feeling glum about the sorting ceremony.

“What house are your brothers in?” asked Harry.

“Gryffindor,” said Ron. Gloom seemed to be settling on him again.

Hatstalls are rare but happen when there are strong possibilities that the sorting candidate could be great in more than one house, for example Ravenclaw Head of House Filius Flitwick and Gryffindor Head of House Minerva McGonagall

Minerva drew unusual attention to herself on her very first evening, when she was revealed to be a Hatstall. After five and a half minutes, the Sorting Hat, which had been vacillating between the houses of Ravenclaw and Gryffindor, placed Minerva in the latter. (In later years, this circumstance was a subject of gentle humour between Minerva and her colleague Filius Flitwick, over whom the Sorting Hat suffered the same confusion, but reached the opposite conclusion. The two Heads of house were amused to think that they might, but for those crucial moments in their youths, have exchanged positions).

Pottermore - Professor McGonagall

It seems interesting that both the current Heads of House could have been swapped, and relevant for the case in hand. The fact both are incredibly brave and incredibly smart (or innovative, creative, geniuses whatever classification you want to use) does not limit them into one house or the other.

The house a student is assigned is The Sorting Hat's interpretation of where they will best fit in (remember this hat was crafted by the Hogwarts founders) so I'm fairly certain it works well enough and better than you or I could speculate.

The only true Hatstalls known personally to Harry Potter were Minerva McGonagall and Peter Pettigrew. The former caused the hat to agonise for five and a half minutes as to whether Minerva ought to go to Ravenclaw or Gryffindor; the latter was placed in Gryffindor after a long deliberation between that house and Slytherin. The Sorting Hat, which is infamously stubborn, still refuses to accept that its decision in the case of the latter may have been erroneous, citing the manner in which Pettigrew died as (dubious) evidence.

Pottermore - Hatstalls

The Sorting Hat has seemingly never believed itself to be wrong, and is also seemingly only challenged in cases of Hatstalls. There is no mention of Fred and George or any Weasley family members coming close to being Hatstalls.

They Were Incredibly Brave - Section in Progress

They were brave enough to mock Voldemort during Half Blood Prince they have this sign outside their shop in Diagon Alley:

WHY ARE YOU WORRYING ABOUT YOUKNOWWHO? YOU SHOULD BE WORRYING ABOUT UNOPOO– THE CONSTIPATION SENSATION THAT’S GRIPPING THE NATION!

Harry started to laugh. He heard a weak sort of moan beside him and looked around to see Mrs. Weasley gazing, dumbfounded, at the poster. Her lips moved silently, mouthing the name “UNoPoo.”

“They’ll be murdered in their beds!” she whispered.

  • Just because it appears you spent a lot of time on this answer, I felt obligated to inform you I will be deleting my question due to the negative feedback it has received. I apologize for wasting your time. – Lord Voldemort Nov 16 '15 at 1:56
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    @LordV There are much worse questions still out there. (multiple negatives down in voting score) – CandiedMango Nov 16 '15 at 1:58
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    Closed questions are separate from deleted questions, people may still be interested in an answer if ones around. Even if it may be perceived by some to be opinion based. I voted to close for that reason and mainly because of your last paragraph which IMO takes it just far enough into the opinion based realm. Solid amount of effort put into the question and I see how they could be Ravenclaws but also how they are more defined by Gryffindors either way I enjoyed enough to answer it :) @LordVoldemort – CandiedMango Nov 16 '15 at 2:21
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    @LordVoldemort don't delete it. I think it is a great question – iamserious Nov 16 '15 at 17:17
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    @LordVoldemort I've been using the site for nearly 4 years and I still don't get how it's all supposed to work. The most important thing to remember though is that reputation isn't so much a measure of how good a question or answer is, but rather it's a measure of how popular a question or answer is. – Pharap Nov 17 '15 at 8:54
40

As with Hermione, it’s not about being smart, it’s what you do with those smarts.

The boys are both clever, but it’s clear that they’re not applying their talents academically:

“You know, I don’t get why Fred and George only got three O.W.L.s each,” said Harry, watching as Fred, George, and Lee collected gold from the eager crowd. “They really know their stuff….”

“Oh, they only know flashy stuff that’s no real use to anyone,” said Hermione disparagingly.

“No real use?” said Ron in a strained voice. “Hermione, they’ve got about twenty-six Galleons already….”

Hermione is probably being a little flippant here, but it highlights an important point: they’re learning magic in pursuit of pranks and a business. They’re not just doing it for knowledge’s sake, which would be a more Ravenclaw attitude.

Any sorting mechanism like this is inherently problematic, because people don’t fit neatly into one house. Fred and George might have done well in Ravenclaw, but I think they fit better in Gryffindor. Consider the Sorting Hat’s song from Harry’s first year:

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;

We see these aspects of their personality in spades:

  • It takes a lot of nerve to pull the sort of pranks they did under the eye of Mrs. Weasley, and then Argus Filch. Double that under the tyranny of Dolores Umbridge. And to cap it off, they left school before finishing their exams, to follow a potentially risky business venture.

  • They’re both a keen ally in the fight against Voldemort. They want to join the Order of the Phoenix as soon as they can, despite the risks, and later they help in the Battle of Privet Drive and the Battle of Hogwarts. And as @CandiedMango’s answer notes, they stay open, with a storefront that openly mocks Voldemort, as their fellow storekeepers are leaving around them.

    That takes a hell of a nerve.

  • During the Umbridge regime, they’re in open defiance with the joke business and their Skiving Snackboxes. With a headmistress who is literally torturing students. I seem to recall them helping a first-year who’d been for detention, and putting their potions knowhow to good use for dulling the pain in his hands – but I can’t find a quote now.

  • In Chamber of Secrets, they drive a flying car halfway across the country to kidnap Harry from his aunt and uncle. While knowing that they have Mrs. Weasley to come back to. There are plenty of Gryffindors who’d try this – I’m less sure about Ravenclaw.

We know that Fred and George were pranksters well before they came to Hogwarts. They were already intelligent. Would being sorted into Ravenclaw cause them to channel their intelligence into academic studies? I think it’s unlikely. Sorting them into Gryffindor brought out sides of their character that we wouldn’t have seen in Ravenclaw.

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    I particularly like the last point - that the hat may strive to draw out secondary characteristics of students rather than emphasize primary ones. In other words, actually work to make better students. – Pieter Geerkens Nov 17 '15 at 2:38
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I am a supporter of the argument that the Sorting Hat looks at the traits you value, not only the traits you possess. This theory can be applicable to some characters and results of the Pottermore quiz. The twins possess the traits of Ravenclaws, Slytherins, and Gryffindors, but since their older brothers were in Gryffindor, they are likely to value the traits of those brothers and want to imitate them as many younger siblings do (at least Bill and Charlie). http://pottermoreanalysis.tumblr.com/post/60027399089/is-it-true-that-the-sorting-hat-chooses-a-house

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To the above answers, Ravenclaw is not about being academic, but about seeking knowledge above all else ... Luna certainly didn't seem to care that much about her and I think that is just the stereotypical look on the Ravenclaw house. People tend to see the word smart and immediately think about academics but the correlation between academics and Ravenclaw was never stressed on in the books. Being smart does not equal to good grades, or concern of good grades. It certainly seems to me that the Weasleys could fit in any house, excluding Hufflepuff. Ravenclaw, as you explained. Gryffindor, as is in the books. Slytherin, as they quite ambitious in their business venture, clever and cunning. As for Hufflepuff, they didn't quite seem that hard working or particularly accepting.

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Maybe they WANTED to be in Gryffindor. Remember, the hat put Harry there only because he was hoping for it.

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