Just as it says on the title. Can any PHB/DMG spell or effect dispel or banish a familiar?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you give us an idea of why you think a familiar can or can't be affected in such a way? What circumstance lead to this question being asked? What have you looked into and what exactly is confusing you? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 4, 2017 at 7:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey comments on another Q&A on this site. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 4, 2017 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Dispelled, no. Banished, yes.

Find familiar's duration is instantaneous so there's no lasting magical effect to be dispelled. The familiar isn't created and sustained by magic, you merely alter it to gain it's service.

The spell harms, heals, creates, or alters a creature or an object in a way that can't be dispelled, because its magic exists only for an instant.

(PHB 203)

The familiar is, however, a creature and thus can be affected by spells or abilities that affect creatures. So yes, it could be banished.


You attempt to send one creature that you can see within range to another place of existence. The target must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be banished.

If the target is native to the plane of existence you’re on, you banish the target to a harmless demiplane. While there, the target is incapacitated. The target remains there until the spell ends, at which point the target reappears in the space it left or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied.

If the target is native to a different plane of existence that the one you’re on, the target is banished with a faint popping noise, returning to its home plane. If the spell ends before 1 minute has passed, the target reappears in the space it left or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied. Otherwise, the target doesn’t return.

(PHP 217)

  • \$\begingroup\$ ...under the condition that it is a valid target for the banish spell. AFAIK, you can't banish a creature from the plane it is native in. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jul 4, 2017 at 7:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish you can, it just gets banished to a harmless demiplane and pops back when the spell ends. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 4, 2017 at 7:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, at least you can't banish a creature permanently unless it is a non-native outsider like... an imp (is this a valid choice of advanced familiar still?). Added the spell and instant part from the PHB. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jul 4, 2017 at 7:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish Imp is a valid choice of familiar (as is quasit), but only if you're a warlock and you take Pact of the Chain. However, it's worth noting that as per the Find Familiar description, all familiars are actually fey, fiend or celestial spirit creatures that merely take the form of a mundane creature, which means that for most adventurers, who are likely on the Prime Material most of the time, their familiars can be permanently banished (or at least until re-summoned). \$\endgroup\$ Jul 4, 2017 at 10:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, a familiar is “a spirit that takes an animal form” — so it probably is a creature only when its in animal form. (A recent UA article describes a spirit as “neither a creature nor an object.”) Thus the Find Familiar spell creates a creature; it doesn’t alter one. And it’s that creature that can be banished, not the spirit. Ref: media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/downloads/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Grant
    Jul 4, 2017 at 11:24

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