I've always struggled to define what makes Hufflepuff a unique house, they seem to share a lot of traits with Gryffindor. I've always considered them to be poorly defined as a house. Going by this link it says this about the houses:

Gryffindor values courage, bravery, loyalty, nerve and chivalry

Hufflepuff values hard work, tolerance, loyalty, and fair play

I've highlighted what I believe to be shared traits (Fair-play and Tolerance, to be a subsumed by chivalry)

As well as this I can't see any instances of a Hufflepuff working harder than a Gryffindor.

What makes Hufflepuff stand out as a house?

  • 1
    This was somewhat covered by an earlier question - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/3708/… Jan 23, 2012 at 0:08
  • 25
    They're the default: case on the switch(traits).
    – Kevin
    Jan 23, 2012 at 0:34
  • 1
    A good description of what makes a Hufflepuff: blog.lettersandlight.org/post/10522340637
    – Joe White
    Jan 28, 2012 at 20:52
  • 1
    Being good at finding things.
    – ibid
    Nov 20, 2016 at 6:37
  • 1
    I kinda feel like tenacity would be a Hufflepuff thing. It's why their animal is a badger. A Griffindor might valiantly rush to battle, but by God the Hufflepuff will be the one who finishes it. A Ravenclaw might have super intelligence, but they may be discouraged by a problem they just can't solve. A Hufflepuff will pull five all-nighters, bleed through their nose, and solve it. A Slytherin might strike an excellent deal, but the Hufflepuff will start from nothing and build a business that'll last for generations. They'll wear their knuckles to the bone, but they'll see it through.
    – Misha R
    Mar 20, 2020 at 4:30

9 Answers 9


My favorite description of "what makes a Hufflepuff" comes, of all places, from a post on the Office of Letters and Light blog (the good people who bring us National Novel Writing Month and Script Frenzy every year). Ari, one of their interns, writes:

Hufflepuffs [...] get a pretty raw deal in the world of Harry Potter. You could never describe a Hufflepuff as “ambitious” or “valiant,” or “brilliant.” “Loyal” hardly seems as flashy a trait as any of the others. Jokingly, I used to imagine introducing a Hufflepuff boyfriend to my parents. In the scenario they’d wait until he left before saying, “Well, he’s… nice.” [...]

But we all know a Hufflepuff. Some of our closest friends are probably Hufflepuffs. A Hufflepuff will split a cookie with you, and give you the bigger half without even thinking about it. Hufflepuffs always know how to defuse awkward situations. They make the best wingmen. They’re not dramatic, they don’t fish for compliments, and they never have problems dealing with change. When your ego gets the best of you, a Hufflepuff will keep it in check. Hufflepuffs are charismatic, empathetic, and easy to take for granted because they put their friends before anyone else.

Why? They don’t need a reason why. A Hufflepuff doesn’t need to know the good deeds you’ve done, or how powerful your wand is, and a Hufflepuff doesn’t care how you do at math (thank goodness).

The full post isn't too long and is well worth a read. It made my wife and I realize that one of our best friends is a Hufflepuff through and through -- and we most decidedly are not, though we sometimes wish we were; we'd get a lot more done.

My favorite bit, though, comes in the comments:

I am constantly arguing in favour of Hufflepuff. They're the ones who believe that hard work - devotion to your craft - is more important than some kind of nebulous virtue like courage. Hufflepuffs are the ones who think that having brains is less important than applying brains. Hufflepuffs get their boots wet and their hands dirty, and they make things happen without demanding attention because they've got better things to do.

Granny Weatherwax would be a Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff is hardcore.

  • 6
    Yes, Granny was a hufflepuff . . . after she left Slythern :) May 10, 2013 at 11:53
  • Gryffindors are loyal in the big, flashy ways; Hufflepuffs are loyal in the quiet, everyday ways. May 28, 2014 at 14:24
  • I think a Gryff would find it easier to do something detrimental to their friends if it was for a noble cause or for the greater good. I think for Hufflepuffs friendship is the big picture: it's the most important thing. May 28, 2014 at 14:28
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    I would connect the Hufflepuffs with hobbits. THe hobbit traits of unassuming bravery, getting the job done, and refusing to be seduced by the "dark" among other traits would seem to fit. Arouse a badger at your peril. Apr 19, 2016 at 17:13

I'm going to extensively base this on an answer I made on a related question: Is there any way to prove that you are a true Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin - analogous to pulling Godric Gryffindor's sword?

First, canon info:

To get into Hufflepuff, one must fail to be accepted into any other house

In other words, nothing makes Hufflepuff "stand out" as a house.

To address your specific concern - Hufflepuffs work harder because they have to put in extra effort to overcome their lack of brilliance or talent. They aren't necessarily dumb - just not extraordinarily bright. I don't know of a canon example of this, but it's simple logic. To pass an OWL in a subject, you need to either be naturally brilliant at it (which, if nowhere elese, would get you into Ravenclaw), OR study extra hard if you're a "normal" student.

Hufflepuff admitted students into her House that were unafraid of hard work. While the other Founders took students based on either ambition, bravery, or intelligence, Helga Hufflepuff took the rest, treating them all equally and teaching them all she knew (src: Harry Potter Wikia)

Another way of looking at this is less traditional - Hufflepuffs would be special because they are LOW on the negative qualities inherent in other houses.

  • They aren't reckless like Gryffindors.

    Despite what people told Harry, I would posit that some of his qualities as a Gryphindor heavily contributed to Sirius's death - he didn't think he should confide in people with more experience/brains.

  • They aren't as likely to turn bad/evil as Slytherins

    They also don't share the arrogance likely in either S's or G's.

    I just don't see a couple of Hufflepuffs hazing Snape the way James Potter did.

  • They aren't insufferable know-it-alls or uber-boring geeky dweebs like Ravenclaws :)

As a very poor real-world equivalent, Hufflepuff is what you get if you take a random high school, separate all the A-type students into a special class (let's call it AP - "Advanced Placement" track), separate all the leadership types or rich kids into a "High Society" class, and separate all the sports jocks who aren't interested/fitting into High Society and not geeky enough for AP class into a "Sports track". What you're left with is Hufflepuff - they just didn't fit into the right tail of the exceptional curves.

  • Ok, that's how you get in, but how do you define the traits one has? Or are you saying 'Hufflepuff's don't have a set of shared traits like the other houses'? (Considering this didn't answer my question when I read it on the other question, it probably won't now either, in it's current form)
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 23, 2012 at 0:13
  • How does their hardwork make them any different to students from other houses who don't naturally excel, but try hard? Also is there an instance of a Hufflepuff doing this?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 23, 2012 at 0:21

I think what makes them really special is their humbleness, a really over look quality but is what allows people to become great. And hard work always go with been humbleness.


From the Pottermore Hufflepuff welcome letter: SPOILERS FOR POTTERMORE:

Hufflepuffs are trustworthy and loyal. We don’t shoot our mouths off, but cross us at your peril; like our emblem, the badger, we will protect ourselves, our friends and our families against all-comers. Nobody intimidates us. However, it’s true that Hufflepuff is a bit lacking in one area. We’ve produced the fewest Dark wizards of any house in this school. Of course, you’d expect Slytherin to churn out evil-doers, seeing as they’ve never heard of fair play and prefer cheating over hard work any day, but even Gryffindor (the house we get on best with) has produced a few dodgy characters. Our house ghost is the friendliest of them all: the Fat Friar. You’ll recognise him easily enough; he’s plump and wears monk’s robes, and he’s very helpful if you get lost or are in any kind of trouble. I think that’s nearly everything. I must say, I hope some of you are good Quidditch players. Hufflepuff hasn’t done as well as I’d like in the Quidditch tournament lately. You should sleep comfortably. We’re protected from storms and wind down in our dormitories; we never have the disturbed nights those in the towers sometimes experience. And once again: congratulations on becoming a member of the friendliest, most decent and most tenacious house of them all.

Hufflepuff Welcome Letter - Pottermore - HP Alliance SPOILERS FOR POTTERMORE Under the next spoiler block is a list of notable Hufflepuffs (and let's not forget Cedric Diggory, who was chosen as the Triwizard Champion out of all the Hogwarts students who put their name into the Goblet of Fire):

First of all, let’s deal with a perennial myth about the place, which is that we’re the least clever house. WRONG. Hufflepuff is certainly the least boastful house, but we’ve produced just as many brilliant witches and wizards as any other. Want proof? Look up Grogan Stump, one of the most popular Ministers for Magic of all time. He was a Hufflepuff – as were the successful Ministers Artemesia Lufkin and Dugald McPhail. Then there’s the world authority on magical creatures, Newt Scamander; Bridget Wenlock, the famous thirteenth-century Arithmancer who first discovered the magical properties of the number seven, and Hengist of Woodcroft, who founded the all-wizarding village of Hogsmeade, which lies very near Hogwarts School. Hufflepuffs all.

Here's a screenshot of the welcome letter: SCREENSHOT -- Hufflepuff Welcome Letter -- Pottermore SPOILERS FOR POTTERMORE

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    Loyal, friendly and brave. But that's how I'd describe Gryffindor. Do you see my issue?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 23, 2012 at 0:24
  • What can I say? This is what JKR says about Hufflepuff. I think that the houses can share attributes. Severus Snape was a brave Slytherin. Peter Pettigrew was a weak Gryffindor. Quirrell was a Ravenclaw, yet he still let himself be coerced and possessed by Voldemort. Zacharias Smith was a cowardly and self-serving Hufflepuff. Did you check all the Sorting Hat songs yet? Maybe that will help. Jan 23, 2012 at 0:53
  • You might belong in Hufflepuff, Where they are just and loyal, Those patient Hufflepuffs are true And unafraid of toil and also For Hufflepuff, hard workers were, most worthy of admission
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 23, 2012 at 1:04
  • Also, the second quote is almost all irrelevant - as proof of "brilliance" (here as usual JKR is being her typical anti-meritocratic liberal :). The examples tout: (1) successful politicians!!! and (2) Newt, whose claim to fame is being OCD to the extreme (notice that he didn't produce some brilliant classification, like muggle Carl Linneus - he merely catalogued, doggedly. While undoubtedly extremely useful for knowledge/science, FB book by Newt is not really an example of "Brilliance". The only legit example of all seems Bridget Wenlock. Jan 3, 2013 at 21:16

Hufflepuff and Gryffindor do indeed share many traits, which is why they're described as getting along well together. However, while Gryffindors are brave and generally opposed to evil, sometimes their desire to prove themselves leads them to do some pretty mean things. Think of James and Sirius going out of their way to pick on Snape because they hated his interest in the Dark Arts. In a muggle school, it would be like a couple of jocks picking on the goth kid because he's "creepy." A Hufflepuff would never do that; their sense of fairness would override their desire to prove how much they hate the Dark Arts.


So, your question is what makes Hufflepuff stand as a house. I would say that a Hufflepuff can be as brave as a Gryffindor, as ambitious as a Slytherin and as smart as a Ravenclaw, the difference between a puff and any other student from another house is that, even if the puff may have any other qualities, the one which he or she values the most is friendship, loyalty,and so on.

Remember those descriptions of the four houses? "Gryffindor/Slytherin/Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw values (insert traits)." So yes. I can be both tolerant and brave, for example. But if I value my tolerance above my courage- it means I am more of a Hufflepuff. Or, at least, this is how I see the things and this is how I would sort the Hat Stalls.

What makes a Hufflepuff stand as a house is not a problem of traits, I believe; it is a problem of how one sees the world. Our society is in desperate need of more Hufflepuffs.

Also, I'd like to point that Gryffindor is trying to steal some of Huff's traits. For example, you may hear that Gryffindors are just. I'm sorry; being just is a trait which defines Hufflepuff and only Hufflepuff. Many of people on the Internet forget about the "just and fair-play" story and those traits definitely wouldn't define a weak person.

A Hufflepuff is that one person who won't care about your background or about your well-known relatives: they care about you, as the person who stands in front of them. A Hufflepuff will never wish for fame because they understood that what matters is inside their hearts. As J.K. Rowling said, Hufflepuffs don't do things in order to show off or in order to be reckless, they do things for a different reason.

Most of the Hufflepuffs are people who have a little bit or a little more from all the other traits. Someone like Tonks. Wasn't she brave? Wasn't she smart? Yes. But she knew and most of the Hufflepuffs know that those traits don't necessarily have a connection with your heart, instead, it's hard to be a puff without being motivated by strong feelings and beliefs.

Hufflepuffs know how to see the beautiful in life, know how to smile on a rainy day and how to make you feel better. They are warm and kind.

And what's the problem with the "I'll teach the lot and treat them just the same." (which btw is such a Hufflepuff thing to do)?! Yes, indeed, not all of us have outstanding qualities so Helga seemed to value a certain struggle for being a better person. Not being a better person because of your achievements. Not because of your adventures. Not because of your brain. Because of your heart, because of your warmness, because of what's in there. Because the world is beautiful. And because you can try to make it better. That's the essence of Hufflepuff house.


The key here is the overlap. There are several qualities that occur in people that are NOT mutually exclusive. For example, Griffindor's lead quality of bravery is often found in people that are loyal. Loyalty is a Hufflepuff trait.

Does that mean that all Hufflepuff's are brave? No. But it does mean that it is rare to find someone who is loyal and not brave. If Hufflepuffs are good wing men, doesn't that mean that thy stay by their leader until the bitter end? The confusion arises because Griffindors are nowhere near as loyal as Hufflepuffs. They look out for themselves and are really are the flip sides of Slytherins. The classic Hufflepuffs were ALL brave, and were willing to lay down thier life for the greater good. Diggory, Tonks and Sprout fall in this category. Even Zacharias Smith who was considered cowardly and disloyal, was considered a bad choice for Hufflepuff.

Additionally, Griffindor may value chivalry, but Hufflepuff values fair play, which is a more noble trait. If we look past the one quote about Hufflepuff taking the rest, we can easily that Hufflepuffs are quite definable.


The defining part of Hufflepuffs is our sense of equality and acceptance of people as they are and seeing the best in them and their potential, regardless of current situations or background. The misfits, the unwanted, the outsiders, the slightly crazy, the kookie, the free-spirits that don't seem to fit anywhere else all come together as a loyal family - steadfast and true. A lot of people may make jokes at a Hufflepuff's expense, but that's what joins Hufflepuffs together. We're the under-dogs - resilient, all inclusive and see greatness in each of our unique qualities and find a way to make it all come together in unity, where others misunderstand and ridicule. The Common room is a haven from the harshness of others and a world who generally rejects them or overlooks them. That's why it's so bright and cosy. It's actually the coolest house there is. It can be difficult to understand a Hufflepuff, if you're not a Hufflepuff, but it's basically about acceptance/tolerance, unity, loyalty and freedom (to be true to ourselves without judgement). This freedom and acceptance is why many Hufflepuff Wizards don't need to go dark... we found the love and it makes us happy! We don't need to prove ourselves to others, like other houses, which sets us free to do more interesting things. Yay! Go Hufflepuffs!

Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot And treat them just the same."

  • If you're going to quote from some where could you cite it?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Apr 18, 2012 at 18:39
  • You're the slightly crazy girl that people make jokes about? Such as Luna Lovegood from the Ravenclaw house?
    – b_jonas
    Jan 3, 2013 at 20:55
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    "our"? OK, I'm probably going out on a limb here... but Hogwards houses are fictional. And someone posting on SE is real. Aug 3, 2013 at 15:17

Hufflepuff- Loyalty, Fair Play and Good above all. Is that so hard?

Don't get it twisted, the Griffindors only joined Dumbledorf's Army becasue Potter was a Griffindor. If he was a Ravenclaw/Slytherin, the Hufflepuff's would have outnumbered averybody else 2 to 1, because neither of those two houses are overly concerned with combatting evil.

The truth of the matter is that Griffindor is Hufflepuff with a little bit of Slytherin mixed in so they can justify thier mean streak. On spectrum of good vs. bad, Hufflepuff and Slytherin are on the extremes, and people like Potter are basically good, when it suits them, which is most of the time. The reason no Hufflepuff has ever turned to the Dark side, is because we value good above all, so it's almost impossible. Also, loyalty to others (and even principles ) means that the lure of power (and the selfishness that comes with it) is not something that would appeal to the average Hufflepuff.

Like somebody said earlier, deep down inside, a lot of Griffindors want to be Hufflepuffs, but they just don't have it in them.

  • 2
    Welcome to stackexchange! I have tohave ask: Where is this sourced from? See what sets this site apart from the rest is that we expect answers to be backed up by references. Have you seen the help center?
    – AncientSwordRage
    May 15, 2014 at 18:03

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