[[quoteright:315:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HP2.jpg]]

->''"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our [[BadPowersGoodPeople abilities]]."''
-->-- '''Albus Dumbledore'''

''Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'' is the second book in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series. Published July 2, 1998.

The main plot involves the Chamber of Secrets, a hidden chamber within Hogwarts built by Salazar Slytherin. A big fan of FantasticRacism, Slytherin built the Chamber to house a monster which can only be controlled by his heir and which is intended to attack all those [[WitchSpecies Muggle-borns]] "unworthy to study magic". Now, someone has opened the Chamber, implying the Heir of Slytherin has returned to Hogwarts, but who is it?

You may have noticed this storyline has rather little to do with the overall StoryArc. While the books were still being written, ''Chamber'' was accused of essentially being devoted to a WackyWaysideTribe for this reason. In reality, the book is actually an InnocuouslyImportantEpisode, and introduces a major ChekhovsGun among other bits of {{Foreshadowing}} for several later books, particularly ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince''. Indeed, still being a freshly-starting-out author, Creator/JKRowling's editors [[ExecutiveMeddling told her to remove some parts she wanted to leave in]] and later had to cram them into book six.

Followed by Harry's third year at Hogwarts, in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban''.

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!!Tropes exclusive to this book or at least especially prominent in it:

* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Malfoy mocks Harry's fanboy Colin Creevey. Harry, who's by that time very tired of Colin's constant squealing, finds the imitation both cruel and rather accurate.
** He also actually enjoys Fred and George's mockery about the whole "heir of Slytherin" business because it assures him that they aren't actually taking it seriously.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: What kind of building has pipes big enough for a huge snake to move around in? [[FridgeBrilliance One specifically designed that way by the architect responsible for the aforementioned]] huge snake.
* TheAllegedExpert: Gilderoy Lockhart was hired as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor due to his track record of defeating magical monsters. His only real skill turns out to be [[FakeUltimateHero stealing the credit]] from the wizards who ''really'' defeated those monsters.
* AlternateIdentityAmnesia: [[spoiler:Happens to Ginny when Tom Riddle takes over.]]
* ArcVillain: The "Heir of Slytherin" (AKA [[spoiler:Tom Marvolo Riddle's living memory]]).
* AreYouSureYouCanDriveThisThing: No, Ron and Harry can't really manage Mr. Weasley's flying car, but they're far too anxious to consider another plan.
* BackwardsFiringGun: Backwards Firing Wand. Ron's wand is damaged and becomes prone to firing spells through the wrong end, the one pointing towards the spellcaster... which is good news when [[spoiler:Professor Lockhart]] steals it and tries to use it to erase Ron's and Harry's memories...
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults: Turns out, Moaning Myrtle haunts the first floor girls’ lavatory because [[spoiler:she was killed in one of the stalls after overhearing Tom Riddle opening the Chamber of Secrets.]]
* BatScare: Non-flying example: Huge crawling masses of spiders flee from Hogwarts. They do no harm, but badly frighten Ron, an arachnophobe.
* BecomingTheBoast: Subverted. Lockhart seems like a KnowNothingKnowItAll with a grossly inflated ego. In reality...he's exactly that, ''plus'' [[spoiler:amoral enough to steal other people's accomplishments and leave a child to die. When the staff suggest he go after the Basilisk, it's clear they're doing it to watch him squirm. When Harry and Ron *force* him to accompany them, since he's the closest thing they've got to a competent adult, he betrays them at the first opportunity.]]
* BigBad: [[spoiler:The memory of Tom Riddle]].
** BiggerBad: [[spoiler:Lucius Malfoy, who gave Ginny Tom Riddle's old diary so she would be possessed by it and carry out his work.]]
* BlankBook: Riddle's diary. At first.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: The ''Expelliarmus'' spell, which Harry learns in this book.
* BodyHorror: Lockhart removes all the bones in Harry's right arm (it's mentioned that he has to eat his porridge left-handed in the next chapter). As a result, the bones have to be regrown overnight. At one point, Harry wakes up in the middle of the night with the feeling of large splinters in his arm.
* BreakTheHaughty: [[spoiler:Lucius avoids prison time but suffers several blows to his ego. A twelve-year-old both stops his plan and tricks him into freeing Dobby, who takes the first opportunity to pay Lucius back for years of abuse by ''effortlessly'' blasting him down a flight of stairs.]] And Lucius also lost his job as one of the governors of Hogwarts, something he could have avoided had he not [[WhatAnIdiot threatened the other governors' families]].
* ButtDialingMordor: A variant of this occurs with [[spoiler:Ginny and the magic diary of Tom Riddle that Lucius Malfoy slips into her bag]]. She writes into the diary many things that happened in the school, allowing Riddle to get info about Harry Potter, and he slowly possesses her body to give himself a more corporeal form.
* CallingOutForNotCalling: Fred, George, and Ron take Harry to their house with the flying car. Molly is very upset with all of them for not having written a note (to be fair, she was also upset with them for going, period), except for Harry, who she doesn't blame because he wasn't involved in planning it.
* CameraFiend: Colin Creevey.
* CaughtWithYourPantsDown: Implied with Percy when Ginny mentions catching Percy doing something, but subverted when we find out what he was actually doing: making out with his girlfriend, about whom he hadn't told anyone.
* ChekhovsGun: The whole series [[ChekhovsGun/HarryPotter gets its own page.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: Harry, Ron and Hermione interact with [[spoiler:Myrtle]] throughout the book, and only near the end realize that [[spoiler:she's the girl the Heir of Slytherin killed fifty years ago]].
* ClownCar: Arthur Weasley's Ford Anglia is enchanted to be BiggerOnTheInside.
* ComicallyIneptHealing: Lockhart attempts to heal Harry's broken arm with a spell but accidentally removes all of the bones in his arm instead.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Harry having to answer Lockhart's fan mail as the punitive detention he incurred for flying the car to school. (He doesn't see it as such, though.)
* ContrivedCoincidence: All the victims of the Basilisk happen to see it indirectly, even taking into account those who are looking out for it.
* CoverIdentityAnomaly: Harry and Ron use Polyjuice Potion to pretend to be Crabbe and Goyle, but their infiltration of Slytherin House is stymied by the fact that they don't know how to get in to Slytherin's chambers. They ask a passing student, but she's from Ravenclaw. Fortunately, Crabbe and Goyle are so dim that they're not really acting out of character.
* CriticalResearchFailure: In-universe -- Tom Riddle seems to think that werewolves are much more animalistic than they actually are, considering that his false accusations towards Hagrid involved raising "werewolf cubs."
* TheDandy: Gilderoy Lockhart, always dressed in colorful, immaculate robes, with his hair curled and styled and his teeth gleaming.
* DangerousDeviceDisposalDebacle: Ginny attempts to stop the attacks on the school by flushing Tom Riddle's diary down the toilet. Unfortunately, the toilet backs up and Harry and Ron find it, bringing it back to the Gryffindor common room and right back into Ginny's hands.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: [[spoiler:Tom Riddle]] not only uses [[spoiler:Ginny]] to eleminate the only weakness [[spoiler:the Basilisk]] has, he [[spoiler:takes advantage of being able to communicate with Harry, immediately playing up the image of being a kind stranger who is concerned about the attacks. He tops it off with showing just enough of a memory to trick Harry into thinking Hagrid was behind everything.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: While not as tense and brooding as the final books, ''Chamber of Secrets'' presents a huge leap in violence from the first book. More importantly, though, it introduces elements that are flat-out horror and can be argued not to have been surpassed even in the final books. Harry hearing the Basilisk's macabre ramblings while the monster stalks the piping system and the sinister, hostile message in blood aren't even the only examples.
* DeadGuyJunior: Tom Marvolo Riddle, named for his father and his maternal grandfather. Or for both grandfathers, considering that "Tom" is usually short for "Thomas."
* {{Diary}}: Tom Riddle's.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Harry and Ron when they steal Mr. Weasley's FlyingCar. [[JustifiedTrope Granted]], they're twelve years old at the time. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by [=McGonagall=] when she points out other, more reasonable, things they could have done to get to Hogwarts, and Harry reluctantly admits to himself that stealing a car was pretty stupid.
** Also, over the month they spent brewing the Polyjuice Potion to sneak into the Slytherin dorms, not one of the trio realized they have no idea where those dorms ''are''.
* DinnerWithTheBoss: Mr. Dursley's potential client and his wife come over to discuss a promotion over dinner. When Harry retires to his bedroom, Dobby the house-elf appears and begs Harry not to return to Hogwarts. When he refuses, Dobby levitates Aunt Petunia's pudding and drops it.
* DisappointedInYou:
** Dumbledore and [=McGonagall=] to Harry after he flies the car to Hogwarts.
** [[spoiler: From Tom Riddle's memory; Dippet to Tom Riddle, when he fails to mention that he knows who might be behind the attacks.]]
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler:Ginny Weasley]] gets one in the Chamber of Secrets.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Harry's (and [[spoiler:Ginny]]'s) interaction with Tom Riddle's diary is extremely similar to that of an online chat room, as well as the part about the person being conversed with being revealed to not be trustworthy at all to begin with, a similarity made even more apparent in the film. It looks like the fear of every early internet user's parents: an unsuspecting kid is taken advantage of by someone they met online. Naive [[spoiler:Ginny]] pours out her soul “to an invisible stranger” she knows only through their text conversations and thinks she is making friends with this person. In reality he’s manipulating her, getting her to do things she normally wouldn’t, and when she goes to meet him in person she nearly ends up dead.
* DoWrongRight: Arthur Weasley is far more pleased than his wife when his sons steal his flying car and use it to pick up Harry.
* TheDragon: [[spoiler: Ginny Weasley has been acting as Tom Riddle's subordinate due to being under his diary's influence throughout the year by opening the Chamber, releasing the Basilisk and setting it on Mrs. Norris, Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Nearly Headless Nick, Penelope Clearwater and Hermione, and writing threatening messages on the walls.]]
* DragonInChief: The [[spoiler:Basilisk]] is causing most of the trouble, but it's made clear that she's merely a tool for use by the "Heir of Slytherin".
* [[invoked]]DudeNotFunny: [=McGonagall=]'s reaction to Peeves accusing Harry of killing students and his "Potter you rotter" song.
* EatingOptional: When Harry visits Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday party, there's a banquet of rotten food laid out for the ghosts. Hermione figures they let the food rot so that the flavors are strong enough for the ghosts to actually taste.
* EnemyWithin[=/=]TheKillerInMe: [[spoiler:Poor Ginny.]]
* EurekaMoment:
** Harry deduces that [[spoiler:Lucius Malfoy was the one who set the whole plot in motion when he sees Malfoy arrive with Dobby, the elf that warned Harry in the first place.]]
** Hermione has one when she realises what the monster of Slytherin is, but doesn't get to tell anyone else. Harry gets the moment secondhand when he reads her note later.
* EverybodyLives: Assuming [[spoiler:the Basilisk and the soul fragment of Tom Riddle]] don't count, this book and ''The Prisoner of Azkaban'' are the only books in the series where no character dies during the course of the story (though Moaning Myrtle's death is a major part of the backstory).
* EyeScream:
** [[spoiler:Fawkes vs. the Basilisk]], to give Harry a fighting chance against the latter by disabling her killing gaze.
** Also a book the Ministry had confiscated, mentioned in Ron's response to Harry asking him how a book could possibly be dangerous: it burned out its reader's eyes.
* FacePalm: Flitwick does one with both hands after Lockhart suggests students visit him for advice on Entrancing Enchantments.
* FeetOfClay: Gilderoy Lockhart, who has a grand reputation but is revealed to be pretty much incompetent as a wizard, except for his knack with Memory Charms.
* FollowTheWhiteRabbit: Harry and Ron follow a trail of spiders to MrExposition.
* ForebodingFleeingFlock: Harry and Ron find a swarm of spiders leaving Hogwarts by an open window and heading for the forest. They later find out that the castle is home to a monster that spiders consider their mortal enemy: the Basilisk.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** [[spoiler:"Potter, you've got yourself a girlfriend!"]] More seriously, [[spoiler:when Ginny decides to confess, who does she go to? One of her older brothers? One of the teachers? No. She goes to Harry.]]
** Malfoy calling Hermione a Mudblood. This is the first time the concepts of Pure-blood and Muggleborn are brought up in the series. This becomes important for the events of this book, as Muggleborns are targeted by[[spoiler: Tom Riddle and the Basilisk]]. In later books, it is revealed that pureblood supremacist ideas run rampant through wizarding society as Muggleborns often get discriminated against. In fact, the Death Eaters aim for a wizarding society free of Muggleborns. In short: this small insult foreshadows later issues coming up in later books.
** In chapter 14, when second-years sign up for electives to take next year, it mentions Hermione signed up for every class offered. This becomes a key plot point [[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban in the next book]].
** "I would advise you not to shout at the [[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban Azkaban]] [[TheHeartless guards]] like that. They won't like it at all."
** "Sir, why don't you apply for the Headmaster's job?" [[spoiler:Malfoy to Snape. In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'', he becomes so.]]
** The fact that the first half of the book is spent with the Trio trying to figure out whether or not Malfoy's up to something. Four years later, it's Harry by himself, [[CassandraTruth because nobody believes him.]] [[WhamEpisode He was right this time.]]
** "Maybe [Tom Riddle] [[spoiler:murdered Myrtle]]; that would've done everyone a favor..." [[spoiler:He did.]]
** The first time Harry sees Tom Riddle's name, he has the strange feeling he knows Tom. [[spoiler:He should: he'd had a chunk of his soul stuck to him since he was a year old.]]
** A more subtle one, but Lockhart suggests that, on Valentine's Day, they ask Snape to teach them how to make a love potion, whereupon the narration remarks that Snape had an expression that clearly said that anyone who turned up asking for a love potion would be force-fed poison. [[spoiler:In Book 6, Ron inadvertently consumes both a potent love potion and a lethal poison in rapid succession, though admittedly not from Snape.]]
** Harry casts a spell called ''Rictusempra'' at Malfoy which throws him on his back. Four years later he casts a similar spell against Malfoy which does more damage.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The reference to the Japanese golfer joke. The only Japanese golfer joke has the punchline, “What do you mean, wrong hole?”
* GiantSpider: Aragog and his relatives.
* GreaterScopeVillain: Voldemort does not personally appear in this book, but the conflict at Hogwarts this year is caused by his [[spoiler:diary containing a fragment of his soul.]]
* HammyHerald: Fred and George show their support for Harry not by squashing rumors about him, but rather by following him around crying "Make way for the heir of Slytherin! Seriously evil wizard coming through!"
* HandOfGlory: Malfoy notices a Hand of Glory in Borgin and Burkes. [[spoiler:He [[ChekhovsGun eventually uses it]] in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince the Half-Blood Prince]]'' for his plan to let Death Eaters into the school.]]
-->"Can I have that?" interrupted Draco, pointing at the withered hand on its cushion.\\
"Ah, the Hand of Glory!" said Mr. Borgin, abandoning Mr. Malfoy's list and scurrying over to Draco. "Insert a candle and it gives light only to the holder! Best friend of thieves and plunderers! Your son has fine taste, sir."
* HearingVoices: Harry is the only person who hears a voice in the wall that repeats "''Kill!''" He, Hermione, and Ron realize this is not a good thing to hear voices only he can hear. It turns out to be the Basilisk moving in the pipes.
* HeelFaceTurn: Dobby at the end, [[TheDogBitesBack going against his master.]]
* HijackedByGanon: The book plays out like this. So a monster controlled by the Heir of Slytherin has been attacking students. At the end, we discover that [[spoiler:-surprise!- Voldemort]] was behind the entire thing. [[spoiler:Only it's not Voldemort himself, just a piece of his soul containing the memories of his sixteen-year-old self.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Ron, when trying to curse Malfoy ("Eat slugs!"), inadvertently curses himself, thanks to his broken wand. This is [[{{Foreshadowing}} important later]] with [[spoiler:Lockhart, hit by his own rebounding Memory Charm while using Ron's busted wand.]]
* HoldingItForAFriend: Filch claims that the Kwikspell letter on his desk is for a friend so that Harry doesn't guess that he has no magic.
* HotForTeacher: Hermione seems to be one of many girls who have a crush on Lockhart.
* IHaveJustOneThingToSay: After the climax Dumbledore gives a criticizing speech to Harry and Ron about their behavior, only to finish with: ''"Therefore, it is only fitting that you both receive ... [''{{Beat}}''] ... Special Awards for Services to the School."''
* IJustWantToBeFree: Dobby.
* INeverGotAnyLetters: In the first chapter, Harry is upset that his friends haven't written to him all summer. Then it's revealed that an elf has been intercepting their letters.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: [[spoiler:Dobby inadvertently reveals that he has been stopping Harry's letters when he mentions that Harry's friends haven't written to him -- which is something he shouldn't be aware of.]]
* InformedAbility: In-universe: Lockhart completely fails to live up to any of his hype, as Harry and Ron are quick to point out.
* IneptMage: Gilderoy Lockhart, who bungles it every time he has to do magic.
* InnocuouslyImportantEpisode: Some readers found the novel to be heavy in the {{Padding}} department, particularly the WackyWaysideTribe aspect. But the novel is quietly setting up ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'' and, to some extent, foreshadowing ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows''. See the [[ChekhovsGun/HarryPotter Harry Potter Chekhov's Gun page]] for a list.
* InvisibleWriting: The team initially thinks that Tom Riddle's diary was written with invisible ink, with Hermione trying spells and a magicked eraser called a "revealer" to try and make something visible. {{Subverted}}: [[spoiler:The diary contains Tom Riddle's memories in a very literal sense, and is capable of responding to written messages.]]
* InvoluntaryGroupSplit: Gilderoy Lockhart's wayward spell sets off an earthquake that separates Ron from Harry, so Harry has to go alone into the Chamber.
* {{Irony}}:
** In retrospect, Ron trying to comfort Ginny after the attack on Mrs. Norris by telling her that "they'll catch the maniac who did it and have him out of here in no time." Assuming Ginny had begun to suspect herself at that point, this might also count as ObliviousGuiltSlinging. After all, at the end of the book, she ''was'' [[FridgeBrilliance convinced that she was going to be expelled]]. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Way to go, Ron.]]
** When wondering what Tom Riddle got a Special Award for Service to the School for, Ron sarcastically suggests that maybe he killed Myrtle as "that would've done everyone a favor." [[spoiler:Riddle did kill her and he got the award for successfully framing Hagrid as her murderer.]]
** Another potential example: Hermione suggests that whoever flushed Riddle's diary may have been the culprit, trying to stop anyone from finding out details about the last time the Chamber was opened. It ''was'' the culprit (sort of), but they did it to ''stop'' the attacks.
** Harry wonders if, due to his speaking Parseltongue, he's a distant relative of Salazar Slytherins. [[spoiler:It turns out that, through the Peverells, he is related to Voldemort, so he actually is, in some fashion, related to Slytherin.]]
* IThoughtEveryoneCouldDoThat: Harry's Parseltongue.
* LivingMemory: The Diary of Tom Riddle.
* LoopholeAbuse: Invoked by Arthur Weasley. There's a law to stop wizards from misusing Muggle artifacts, but Arthur uses a loophole in a law that ''he wrote'' to let him misuse them on his own time.
* LovePotion: Lockhart suggests students visit Snape for advice on brewing one. Snape's expression makes it clear anyone who does so risks being poisoned.
* MagicMisfire: Everything cast with Ron's broken wand. This becomes important.
* MailerDaemon: [[spoiler:Tom Riddle.]]
* MaliciousSlander: A good portion of the school believes that Harry is the Heir of Slytherin after the incident with the snake at the Dueling Club.
* MilkyWhiteEyes: Blind Aragog.
* MindRape: What Riddle's Diary did to [[spoiler:Ginny]].
** Lockhart's only ''real'' skill, aside from looking good.
* MissedTheBus: [[spoiler:Dobby]] blocks Harry's access to Platform 9¾, causing him and Ron to miss the Hogwarts Express and take alternative transport. HilarityEnsues.
** Lampshaded when Minerva [=McGonagall=] asks why Harry didn't just [[BoringButPractical send a message to ask for help]].
* MonsterOfTheWeek: {{Subverted|Trope}}; the Heir of Slytherin turns out to be [[spoiler:Voldemort]].
* MotiveMisidentification: [[spoiler:While Tom certainly didn't ''mind'' using the Basilisk on Muggle-borns, he was less interested in "purging the school" and more in trying to bait Harry.]]
* MuggleBornOfMages: This book introduces the concept of Squibs, revealing Filch to be one.
* {{Narm}}: In-universe.
** Invoked with [[WordOfGod the twins']] valentine to Harry. Fred and George continually tease him with it and Peeves [[StupidStatementDanceMix adds a dance routine]].
** Dudley's ass-kissing compliment to the Masons ("We had to write about our hero at school, Mr. Mason, and I wrote about ''you''"). Harry hides under the table to conceal his laughter from the Dursleys.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler:Lucius Malfoy planting the diary on Ginny Weasley. As we learn in the sixth book, this set off a chain of events that destroys one of Voldemort's Horcruxes and provides Dumbledore with the first real proof that Voldemort split his soul. Good going, Lucius.]]
* NoodleIncident: During the final confrontation in the Chamber, [[spoiler:Diary!Riddle]] says that Dumbledore never seemed to like him as much as the other professors. Exactly what [[spoiler:young Riddle]] did to trigger Dumbledore's suspicions won't be revealed until the sixth book.
* NotMeThisTime: Harry and Ron use Polyjuice Potion to imitate Crabbe and Goyle, Draco Malfoy's two {{Mooks}}, in the hopes of getting Draco to admit that he's the heir of Slytherin, and thus the cause of all the shenanigans happening at Hogwarts that year. Instead, they hear Draco ranting about how thrilled he is that it's happening and how he'd love to congratulate whoever is ''actually'' behind it.
* OhCrap: A very calm "Uh-oh..." from Ron when the Ford Anglia's engine conks out in mid-air, shortly followed by a BigNo as they plummet towards the ground.
* OrificeEvacuation: Slug-puking spell.
* ParodyMagicSpell: Harry threatens Dudley with the words "Jiggery pokery! Hocus pocus! Squiggly wiggly!", and [[DisproportionateRetribution earns himself an afternoon of menial housework for his joke]].
* PensieveFlashback: Although the actual Pensieve wasn't introduced until ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'', Riddle's diary displays this here, two books earlier.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: It's in this book that Malfoy introduces the anti-Muggle-born slur "Mudblood".
* PortalSlam: Harry and Ron rebound painfully from the portal to Platform 9¾.
* PostMortemComeback: The entire basis of the plot; Voldemort hid pieces of his memories in a book, [[spoiler:who took the form of Tom Riddle]], but it's inverted -- Voldemort himself was already alive to begin with... somewhat.
* PredecessorVillain: Salazar Slytherin was the guy who ''built'' the Chamber of Secrets and put the Basilisk there in the first place, but he's been dead for nearly a thousand years when the story begins.
* PunnyName: Knockturn Alley, like its good counterpart Diagon Alley, is this ("Nocturnally" or "Nocturne" Alley).
* RansackedRoom: Ginny ransacks Harry's dormitory in order to get Tom Riddle's diary back.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Harry gives one to [[spoiler:the memory of Riddle, gloating over how his Muggle-born mother reduced Voldemort to almost nothing.]]
* RedHerring: Percy, Hagrid and Malfoy -- and Harry -- are all set up as possible Heirs of Slytherin, with Malfoy being the choice that's so obvious it's stupid, and Percy and Hagrid both having Really Big Secrets that make them act suspicious. Naturally, Malfoy is the one our heroes suspect and they spend half the book finding out that it isn't him.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Basilisk. Also the decoration of the Chamber of Secrets. Salazar must have been swapping design tips with [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} Jafar]].
* RightBehindMe: Harry and Ron excitedly speculate on reasons why Snape is absent at the beginning of the year, not realizing that Snape is actually just behind them.
* RightForTheWrongReasons: Ron's sarcastic suggestion that Tom Riddle might have [[spoiler:killed Moaning Myrtle]].
** Ron also suggests that Dobby might belong to the Malfoys, and that his whole spiel about "protecting" Harry is just Draco's trick to get him sent home. Dobby ''does'' belong to the Malfoys, but his motive is legitimately good.
** Their suspicions that Malfoy is involved with the Chamber opening is correct, they just suspected the wrong Malfoy.
* SavedByTheAwesome: After the flying car incident, Harry and Ron are threatened with expulsion if they're caught breaking any more rules. At the end, Dumbledore points out that they've done just that...then happily awards them several hundred points and special awards for services to Hogwarts.
* SealedEvilInACan:
** The titular chamber contains Slytherin's monster, an enormous Basilisk.
** Also, Tom Riddle's diary has the "memory" of the teenage Voldemort sealed inside, which Ginny unknowingly awakens through her liberal use of the diary.
* SentientVehicle: The Ford Anglia becomes this - apparently the enchantment placed on the it gave it some level of sentience. After crashing into the Whomping Willow, the car ejects Harry and Ron and takes off into the Forbidden Forest, where it [[GoingNative goes native]] and putters around the woods all year. [[spoiler: It later saves Harry and Ron from being eaten by Aragog's clan of acromantulas]].
* SeriesContinuityError: Two mentions of werewolves in this book make absolutely no sense come [[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban the very next installment]]: Lockhart claims he used a spell to turn a werewolf back into a man, and Riddle claims that Hagrid raised "werewolf cubs" during their school days. Could be InUniverse CriticalResearchFailure, if one assumes that Riddle is making things up (it ''is'' mentioned throughout the series that he's not nearly as knowledgeable as he thinks) and, less believably, that the wizarding public is ignorant enough about werewolves that Lockhart's claim ''doesn't'' immediately reveal him as a charlatan.
* SerpentOfImmortality: The Basilisk that lives beneath the school has an incredibly long lifespan. It was first stored under the school around a thousand years earlier.
* ShoutOut:
** Fawkes is a fiery phoenix that dies in an explosion. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes Guy Fawkes]], a real-life person, tried to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_Plot blow up the British Parliament]].
** There's a really clever and subtle (not to mention [[ParentalBonus strictly for adults]]) one when the students think Harry is the Heir of Slytherin and Fred and George make fun of the idea by walking in front of Harry shouting [[Film/{{Scarface 1983}} "Make way for the Heir of Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through..."]]
* ShrineToSelf: Lockhart's room is filled with pictures of himself. Since this is the wizarding world, they're all nearly as vain as he is and tend to nod along to whatever he's saying.
* ShrinkingViolet: Ginny, pretty much only in this book as she's [[DemotedToExtra hardly in the next two]] and in the fifth she's revealed to have [[TookALevelInBadass Taken a Level in Badass]].
* SignificantAnagram: [[spoiler:Tom Marvolo Riddle <-> I am Lord Voldemort.]] Other languages revise the anagram to make sense in their tongues -- or change his birth-name.
** One of the funniest examples of this is the French version, which gives him the name “Tom Elvis Jedusor.”
* SmallNameBigEgo: Gilderoy Lockhart.
* SneezeOfDoom: Inverted. When Harry and Ron sneak out of bed, Ron stubs his toe near Professor Snape. Snape happens to sneeze just as Ron swears in pain, so they avoid detection.
* SoulJar: [[spoiler:Tom Riddle's diary.]]
* SpiderSwarm: The giant spiders (also known as Acromantulas) appear to be social, although instead of a queen, they are led by an elderly male spider named Aragog. It's explicitly stated that Aragog had a bride, so apparently, Acromantulas females don't feed on their male.
* SpinningOutOfHere: Travel by Floo sends the traveler spinning to his/her destination.
* StalkerWithACrush: Colin Creevy is this to Harry in this book.
* StealingTheCredit: [[spoiler:Lockhart]], on a fairly horrifying scale. Be careful if you're a witch or wizard who has done something either brave or impressive. He doesn't just steal the credit, he [[spoiler:''wipes your memories'']].
* StrongerWithAge: The Basilisk.
* SwordCane: Lucius Malfoy has one which he attempts to use against Harry Potter. However, Dobby has something against it.
* TemptingFate: Inverted. Ron says of Hermione's plan for the Power Trio to impersonate Slytherins, "Have you ever heard of a plan where so many things could go wrong?"
* ThisIsGonnaSuck:
** Harry and Ron fully expect to be expelled after Snape catches them having flown the car to Hogwarts.
** Ron when he receives the Howler.
* ThoroughlyMistakenIdentity: Professor Binns is always calling students by the names of students of long ago.
* TomTheDarkLord: [[spoiler:A younger incarnation of Voldemort turns out to be the {{Trope Namer|s}}.]]
* TrickedIntoSigning: A signed permission slip from a teacher in order to check out a book from the restricted section of the library. They pick the dumbest teacher Gilderoy Lockhart to get the signature from. While they do tell him the truth that it's for checking out a book, Lockhart clearly doesn't care and happily signs it as though it were yet another autograph.
* UnwantedAssistance: ''Dobby''. Harry actually asks him to never try and save his life again at the end. [[spoiler:Good thing Dobby [[HeroicSacrifice didn't listen]].]]
* VillainWithGoodPublicity
** Lucius Malfoy, who is a distinguished Ministry official despite being a former Death Eater. He manages this by attributing his past affiliation with the BigBad to [[MindRape the Imperius Curse.]]
** Lockhart is another example, although he's more of an AntiVillain.
* WatchOutForThatTree: What tree?! The Whomping Willow!
* WeaksauceWeakness: The Basilisk would die at the crowing of a rooster (presumably because it is hatched from a chicken's egg incubated by a toad). One wonders just how effective a weapon a Basilisk would be to a dark wizard in any other situation, given everyone knows this and roosters aren't exactly hard to come by.
** As it turns out, [[spoiler:Tom Riddle]] anticipated this [[spoiler:and made Ginny kill all the roosters on the grounds to prevent any from stopping the Basilisk.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Dobby.
-->"''Your'' Bludger?" said Harry, anger rising once more. "What d'you mean, your Bludger? ''You'' made that Bludger try and kill me?"\\
"Not kill you, sir, never kill you!" said Dobby, shocked. "Dobby wants to save Harry Potter's life! Better sent home, grievously injured, than remain here, sir! Dobby only wanted Harry Potter hurt enough to be sent home!"
* WhamLine: Tom Riddle's [[TheReveal reveal]]:
-->Tom Marvolo Riddle
-->''(With the wave of a wand, [[MeaningfulAnagram the letters switch around]])''
-->''[[spoiler:[[ActuallyIAmHim I Am Lord Voldemort]]]].
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Those poor Mandrakes. Even though everything suggests that they are sapient, social lifeforms (they get "moody and secretive" in their adolescent phase, enjoy partying, and when they reach adulthood, start moving into each other's pots), nobody seems to think chopping a mandrake up for a potion is any different than chopping up a carrot.
* WhoWouldBeStupidEnough[=/=]DescriptionCut[=/=]GilliganCut: At the very end of Chapter 9, "The Writing on the Wall", Hermione comes up with the idea of using Polyjuice Potion to get information from Malfoy. However, the book with info on how to make it is in the Restricted Section of the library, and they need permission from a professor to take out the book, which would raise suspicion from any professor they ask.
-->''"Oh, come on, no teacher's gonna fall for that!" said Ron, "they'd have to be really thick..."'' [''End chapter'']\\
[''Start of next chapter''] ''Since the disastrous episode with the pixies, Professor Lockhart had not brought live creatures to class...''
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Spiders. Poor, poor Ron. However, it speaks to his character that he goes into the Forbidden Forest anyway.
* WondrousLadiesRoom: Hermione tries to give Moaning Myrtle this excuse for bringing Harry and Ron into the girls' bathroom Myrtle haunts. As the bathroom is filthy and largely abandoned, Myrtle doesn't really buy it.
* WontTakeYesForAnAnswer: After the attack on Nick and Justin, Hagrid bursts into Dumbledore's office to explain that he was talking to Harry only seconds beforehand and he'll swear that Harry's innocent in front of the Ministry if necessary. Dumbledore repeatedly tries to interrupt before half-shouting that he completely agrees with Hagrid.
* WroteTheBook: Inverted; even though Lockhart literally wrote the book on dealing with magical pests, that doesn't mean he has a clue about it.
* XanatosGambit: Lucius Malfoy's plan has two possible outcomes: either Ginny is caught, thus disgracing Arthur Weasley and his Muggle Protection Act, or the culprit is not apprehended, and either kills every Muggle-born in the school or drives them all away. The former seems to be his preferred option, interestingly enough, but either would presumably satisfy him. [[spoiler:Of course, his plan backfired worse than he could have possibly imagined, which we learn in ''Deathly Hallows''.]]
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: Harry feels unworthy of his fame as well as his house, Gryffindor. Dumbledore manages to assure him that he does belong in Gryffindor, showing Harry the sword as proof.
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