The Sorting Hat
Well, this episode caught my eye for a number of reasons, but come ON, you can't lead with one of my favorite Harry Potter creations and not expect my ears to perk right up. Which they certainly did.
This is all about the comfort we take and the belief we have in an assortment of sorting systems. How we feel more sensible about the world if someone is a Libra, has a certain Myers-Briggs personality type, was born in the Year of the Dragon, or—as is a conversation I find myself having more than I should probably admit—discovering their Hogwarts house (not speculating, mind you, encouraging the Pottermore-sanctioned process by which that answer is verified and true and unquestionably true and sorry, whether you like it or not, the Sorting Hat does not lie).
The other night I met a lovely older couple at a restaurant in Manhattan who were in New York on a short winter trip ("We always love coming here around Christmas," they said—who doesn't?). He used to work for Nike and she owns a children's bookstore in Oregon. So, of course, we spoke about a number of things: the gloves that the witches wore in that Roald Dahl book of the same name, the tear-jerker that is Charlotte's Web, the parallels between how Good Will Hunting and Stuart Little end, Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows, why Love That Dog should be read and reread perhaps semi-annually, and of course, all things Harry Potter. They were a lovely pair, those two, and she was getting as animated as I was while he watched on with so much tinkly-eyed encouragement that I wondered home many times he had probably heard this before. I asked them if they knew what house they were in ("Actually, no.") and then I asked if they could guess what the other person's house would be. It set off an incredible few minutes—the amazing ways they were describing each other!—and it ended with the official sorting quiz. Goodness.
Anyway anyway. Here's a podcast that treats this topic with a little more scientific rigor, one that I'm happy to know through my Gryffindor eyes.