"I solemnly swear I am up to no good." <-- what is this quote from?
I see this all the time at Renaissance Faires and among geeky groups, but what fandom does it belong to?
Hi Jamie! According to goodreads.com this quote comes from "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by J. K. Rowling. I have never read it but supposedly that is where it's from. Hope that helps!
It comes from Harry Potter. Those were the words needed to unveil the "Marauder's Map", which was a thorough map of the Hogwarts castle and grounds and could show the location of people within the land. Without those words, the map would otherwise appear as a blank parchment. To again hide the map, one would say, "Mischief managed!" Of course a magic wand was also involved.
The creators of the map were a group of teen boys (Harry's father and his schoolboy friends) who quite liked pranks and the idea of adventure. Hence the words involved. They also benefited greatly from a way to hide from teachers and get through secret passageways, hence the map's creation. ;-)
As for the popularity, well Harry Potter fandom in itself is huge of course. But the words have spread to have a broader meaning than just a quote. It can be a fun reference in fantasy loving circles (such as Ren Fest) and has the qualities of an internet meme: even in groups with no particular feelings toward Harry Potter one might say "mischief managed" to end a jokingly devious story or tease the "I solemnly swear..." bit when talking about guilty pleasures or things we want to do but shouldn't do. Just as a couple examples.
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