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Tasha’s Hideous Laughter 5e D&D spell guide

Tasha's Hideous Laughter is a great first level DnD spell that can lock down an opponent in a rather fun manner - here's how it works

DnD tasha's Hideous laughter: a blue dragon roaring with laughter due to a spell.

If your D&D party is facing a tanky monster that just won’t go down, you’re going to have a much easier time of it if you’ve some kind of spell to disable them. Sure, Hold Person or Sleep will do the job in a pinch, but it’s a lot more fun to use Tasha’s Hideous Laughter to take a foe out of the fight with fits of unstoppable giggling.

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter (sometimes just called Hideous Laughter) is a DnD 5e spell in the enchantment school that’s available at first level. It causes its target to find anything and everything extremely funny, to a debilitating degree, which provides for plenty of great roleplaying opportunities, as your Wizard cracks horrible one-liners to set a giant, beholder, or some other intelligent creature roaring with glee.

It’s not only a great spell for the mental images it conjures of some diabolical monster dying with laughter, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is also surprisingly effective, capable of keeping a foe prone and incapacitated for an entire minute. However, there’s nothing funny about getting poked with a sword, so your enemy will get extra chances to recover if you take the opportunity to wail on them.

DnD Tasha's Hideous Laughter: A DnD bard casting a spell while laughing.

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter Spell Effects

Here are the key features of the DnD spell Tasha’s Hideous Laughter:

Spell Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
Level 1st
Casting Time 1 Action
Duration 1 Minute
Range 30ft
School Enchantment
Save Wisdom
Effect Prone and Incapacitated

A creature targeted with Tasha’s Hideous Laughter must beat a wisdom save or fall prone and incapacitated (and giggly, but there’s not an official condition for that) for up to one minute. They can’t stand up until the spell’s effect ends either.

In practice, it’s rare a creature will be debilitated by Tasha’s Hideous Laughter for the entire minute. That’s because they get to save against the effect at the end of each of their turns, and get an additional Wisdom save each time they take damage.

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter only affects creatures with Intelligence four or higher – there’s no point trying to make a zombie laugh.

DnD Tasha's Hideous Laughter: Tasha the witch queen from DnD casting magic.

How to cast Tasha’s Hideous Laughter

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is a 1st level spell, available right away to the Bard and Wizard classes.

It takes one action to cast, and you’ll need Verbal, Somatic, and Material components to do so. The specific material components for this spell are a feather and ‘tiny tarts’ which you’ll have to toss in the air as you cast. Or, y’know, use a component pouch, like a normal person.