* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Arthur Weasley, patriarch of the Weasley clan - loving husband and father who enjoys his Muggle studying hobbies a little too much, or a completely selfish and irresponsible man who made his large family suffer unnecessarily for years by way of a job that he clung too simply because it allowed him to indulge in his fascination of Muggle culture despite it not paying nearly enough to support his clan because he cared more about his hobby than he did about his wife and kids?
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** The car driving itself during the spider scene.
** Hermione's Polyjuice Potion accident. Seriously, it's a bizarre incident that comes out of nowhere, it has nothing to do with the overall story, it has no real impact on the overall story, it adds nothing to the overall story or the characters, the fact that it takes so long to fix when considerably more fatal accidents are laughed off and fixed with relative ease just makes the health care of the wizarding world look ridiculous, etc.
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%% CompleteMonster examples for the "Harry Potter" franchise are listed on Monster/HarryPotter.
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* FauxSymbolism:
** According to TheOtherWiki, several Christians -- those who don't think that these books teach Satanism -- compare the climax to John Bunyan's ''Literature/ThePilgrimsProgress'', a pinnacle of Christian literature.
** In his relationship with [[spoiler:Ginny]], it's easy to see Tom Riddle as a kind of metaphorical Internet predator. Creator/JKRowling herself acknowledged in an interview on the [=DVD=] of [[Film/HarryPotter the movie]] that the diary is really a lot like an Internet chat room, but said she hadn't been in one at the time she wrote it so it's just a coincidence. Rowling has also said her inspiration was the fact that she found diaries to be really scary, as a person's deepest darkest secrets are hidden in them. So rather than the focus of the danger being on talking to strangers, it's more on playing with something you don't understand.
* FridgeBrilliance: Of ''course'' Lockhart would happily seize Ron's wand to try to cast a Memory Charm on him and Harry; of all of Ron's teachers, he's the only one that wouldn't have a clue that Ron's wand has been broken all school year because he's the only one who hasn't been teaching any actual magic.
** When Harry first sees Ron's room at the Burrow, Scabbers is curled up asleep in a sunny spot. [[spoiler: ''Real'' rats warily avoid direct sunlight, as it's too bright for their dark-adapted eyes and makes it easy for predators to spot them. But Scabbers has a human's preference for light.]]
* GeniusBonus: The bronze statue of a boar that has a prominent place in the Hogwarts entrance hall is a copy of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porcellino Il Porcellino]], a famous statue in Florence, said to have magical powers. The original Il Porcellino figures in one of [[HansChristianAndersen Hans Christian Andersen's]] lesser known fairy tales, ''The Metal Hog'', in which it comes to life and tells a poor street urchin that he is destined to become an artist - not unlike what happens to Harry Potter.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** [[http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/images/otrc/2010/photos/radclifferehearsal1.jpg "Training for the ballet, Potter?"]]
** In the movie, after Ginny runs away after seeing Harry, Harry asks "What did I do?", to which Ron responds with [[AccidentalInnuendo "Ginny"]]. [[spoiler:No, Ron, that comes later.]]
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks: Sadly film critics other than RogerEbert talk down to this film for taking a slow paced, AdaptationDistillation approach like the first film. After the third film came out and the tone of the film series changed profoundly, only purists mention this one. The book is also given very similar treatment.
* ItWasHisSled: [[spoiler: There's a Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. Tom Riddle is young Lord Voldemort.]]
** Lockhart is a fraud. This was fairly obvious at the start, but the reveal that he memory-wiped the ''real'' heroes was a surprise on the first reading (if only because before then, he came off as laughably incompetent and a huge {{Jerkass}}, but otherwise harmless).
* JerkassWoobie: Filch qualifies when [[spoiler:his cat, Mrs. Norris, gets petrified. Also when it turns out he's unable to perform magic despite being wizard-born. No wonder the guy hates Hogwarts students so much.]]
* MagnificentBastard: [[spoiler: Tom. Marvolo. Riddle.]]
** Lucius Malfoy's plot in the second book amounts to this. [[spoiler: Arthur Weasley is going to pass some law that makes it harder for him to be evil. So he puts in an old Dark Arts object cursed by Voldemort himself into Ginny Weasley's cauldron. He rids himself of evidence of his genuine loyalty to Voldemort and compromises Weasley's reputation when his own daughter gets possessed and attacks students. Oh and he uses that to get Dumbledore dismissed from Hogwarts. Even when Harry unearths the truth, Malfoy points out that he has no real evidence to pin the blame on him.]] Unfortunately for him, Voldemort returns and he finds out what happened to that diary he gave Lucius for safe keeping and as a sign of the latter's loyalty. [[spoiler: It also contained Voldemort's SoulJar but Malfoy didn't know that.]]
* MoralEventHorizon: Lucius Malfoy crosses it when he [[spoiler:plants Tom Riddle's diary on Ginny]].
** Then there's [[spoiler:Lockhart's]] attempt to destroy Harry's mind--and Harry's obviously the only person who can stop the monster and save [[spoiler:Ginny]]--simply because HeKnowsTooMuch.
* NightmareFuel: Creator/JKRowling received several angry letters from readers who weren't able to finish the novel because they were too scared to go on reading.
** The serpent's voice is quite disturbing in the audiobooks.
** The more you think about it, the more disturbing [[spoiler:[[MindRape the things Riddle does to Ginny]]]] becomes.
*** Especially when he mocks her genuine and understandable fears to Harry.
** The spiders in the movie. Just the [[PrecisionFStrike fucking spiders]].
* {{Squick}}: Harry getting his arm broken. Lockhart tries to fix him up, and the bones ''disappear''. In the film version all that's left is a misshapen mess that makes an unnerving sound.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: One ''[[BigNameFan Mugglenet]]'' book suggested the basilisk to be this. It's apparently intelligent, centuries old, and Harry can understand its speech, but it only shows up at the end and mostly acts like a generic monster, rather than giving the audience any signs of even ''being'' a character.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: As it happens, Ernie Macmillan is entirely wrong about Harry... but the possibility he raises is intriguing...
---> '''Ernie''' "They say the real reason You-Know-Who was after Potter was because he didn't want ''another'' Dark Lord ''competing'' with him."
* WhatAnIdiot: In the film, Lucius Malfoy attempts to [[spoiler:cast the killing curse on Harry ''right outside of Dumbledore's office.'']]
** Blame JasonIsaacs for that one. When they filmed the scene, he said the first spell that came to his mind.
** Hermione mistaking a cat hair for a human hair leading to her unfortunate Polyjuice Potion accident - how the Hell can the smartest witch of her generation be dumb enough to mistake a cat hair for a human hair when considerably less intelligent people can tell the difference with ease?
** Vernon Dursley. Do you not remember what happened the last time you tried to keep Harry from going to Hogwarts? He's lucky he only got a few teenaged Weasleys. Imagine if Hagrid - upset when giant man-eating spiders are harmed, mourn the loss of his baby dragon fiercely, three-headed dog raising, refuses to leave his literal-giant brother behind because the other giants are mean to him, ''Hagrid'' had found out that the Dursleys were locking Harry in his room and starving him. Exactly how many pieces of Vernon do you think would have been left?
** Ron and Harry. When they can't get to the platform, instead of waiting for Mr. and Mrs. Weasley to return (or any wizard, really) and help them get to Hogwarts, they ''steal the car'' and try to get there on their own. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that they're 12 and slightly panicked.
* {{Woolseyism}}: [[spoiler:Voldemort's SignificantAnagram name, revealed in this book, in the original was Tom Marvolo Riddle, an anagram of "I am Lord Voldemort." Translations changed various parts of his name; for example, in the German version, his name was Tom ''Vorlost'' Riddle, which becomes "... ist Lord Voldemort" (is Lord Voldemort). Something is gained in the German version particular here, as his middle name sounds an awful lot like ''Verlust'', meaning "loss," which applies to Voldemort in a variety of ways.]]
** The Spanish translation called it [[spoiler:Tom Sorvolo Ryddle]], to spell [[spoiler:''Soy Lord Voldemort'']]. Of course, [[spoiler:"Ryddle"]] isn't an English word, but a Spanish speaker could pronounce it the same way as the English name without noticing anything wrong.
** Other languages aren't quite so lucky. Just ask Tom Elvis Jedusor, of the French translation.
*** Or Romeo G. Detlev Jr. in Denmark (The G. stands for Gåde = Riddle)
** Russian translation got interesting with it: since the first two books were translated back-to-back, Tom's name had only two letters changed (and one removed since that's what Russian language does to silent e's) - becoming Tom Narvolo Reddl. It's Voldie's name that got changed - to Volan-de-Mort. And thus Tom Narvolo Reddl becomes Lord Volan-de-Mort. It creates a small continuity error in the sixth book, in which his and Marvolo Gaunt's name get their M back.
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