Harry Potter: What Did Neville Longbottom Forget In The Remembrall Scene?

Poor Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) is just trying his best to keep up. During his first year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, as seen in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," he feels like he's the only Gryffindor who isn't courageous, or strong, or ... well, even mildly put together. It doesn't help that he enters the wider wizarding world at the same time as Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), a boy who somehow alchemically transforms sheer dumb luck into successful adventures. Conversely, what does Neville bring to Gryffindor aside from a pet toad hellbent on freedom? Well, that would be his infamously horrid memory, a memory so fallible that his grandmother sends him a Remembrall, a magical glass orb that fills with red smoke to remind its owner when they've forgotten something. The only trouble is that it doesn't actually tell you what you've forgotten. As tools go, it's more taunting than useful. 

In the first of Warner Bros.' eight "Harry Potter" films, there is an ironically memorable moment where Neville, courtesy of his shiny new Remembrall, realizes that he's forgotten something. Naturally, he has no idea what that might be. In J. K. Rowling's first "Harry Potter" novel, that's where the moment ends, with the other Gryffindors presumably shaking their heads as if to say, "Oh, Neville, you silly boy," but the film takes it one step further by showing audiences exactly what Neville forgets. It's never referenced in the film's dialogue, but attentive viewers will note that poor Neville is the only student in the Great Hall not adhering to Hogwarts' dress codes. He forgot his robes.

What happened to Hogwarts' dress code?

For those who skipped the books and only enjoyed the films, this might seem like a minor detail, one that's barely worthy of recognition. After all, the entire ensemble essentially switches to muggle clothing for their primary aesthetic as early in the series as the much darker "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." But Hogwarts' dress code carries a little more weight on the page than it does on the screen. In every "Harry Potter" book, especially the ones where Harry Potter rides the Hogwarts Express, J. K. Rowling dedicates a few sentences to the students changing into their school robes before deboarding at the Hogsmeade station. So why didn't this throughline translate to the big screen? Why were their slacks and sweater vests exchanged for jeans and jumpers? And why were the robes almost wholly discarded?

That would be because of Jany Temime, the costume designer for "Azkaban" and beyond. During a 2017 interview with InStyle magazine (via Mental Floss), she confessed that the shift was intentional and that she wanted a wider audience to relate to the magical student body, something she felt might not occur if they continued to wear wizard robes. "I thought that they should look normal, that they should look like normal kids," said Temime. "I wanted a real feel. I wanted to make 'Harry Potter' not a little story that you read in bed but something real. Because at the end of the day, they are teenagers coming from dysfunctional families, all of them, and then living together in a boarding school and all those kids have special gifts." All this is to say that maybe Neville Longbottom can be forgiven for forgetting his robes — he was just a little early to the trend.