* AbandonShipping / ShipSinking: Harry/Cho was swiftly sunken in this book and along with it nearly all of its supporters.
** Many people realized that the scene with Harry and Ginny eating chocolate in the library was a torpedo heading directly for the Harry/Hermione ship.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Luna, in the mistletoe scene in the Room of Requirement: Legitimately worried about Nargles, or covering for her dashed hopes that she could finally snag a kiss from someone?
** Because of how little characterization she had, Marietta Edgecomb is subjected to this. Was Cho telling the truth that [[spoiler: she only ratted out the DA because she didn't want her mother to lose her job]], or was Cho lying in order to cover her ass?
*** Or, like [[spoiler:Cho in the movie, was she finally forced to crack under the effects of Veritaserum]]?
** When Sirius encouraged Harry to set up the DA, what was his main reason for doing so? Was it to make sure Harry and his friends could protect themselves against Voldemort, or was it the chance to rebel against The Man once again, through his godson?
* AngstDissonance: Harry's angst after [[spoiler:Cedric]]'s death and being left out of the fight against Voldemort by the Order (because the kid who saved their asses four times already [[SarcasmMode can't possibly be useful]]), while [[JustifiedTrope justified]], was still an annoyance to many readers.
** It's likely that Harry has PTSD in this book. He watched a classmate die, was tortured, and forced to fight an older wizard with over 40 years and a lot of power on him. His angst is perfectly reasonable, but according to some doesn't make it any less obnoxious.
** Subverted in the film, a rare instance where some prefer the film's portrayal to the book's. Harry's angst is downplayed to relatively hesitation and uncertainty of himself as a leader. One little pep talk later and he gets over it.
* AntiSue: Umbridge is given the inverse of many CommonMarySueTraits, is hated in-universe, and completely derails the plot set up by the previous book while simultaneously diluting the plot of this book.
* BrokenBase: Was [[spoiler: Marrieta's]] jinxing well-justified, or did her FreudianExcuse make it come across as a MoralEventHorizon for the main trio.
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* ContestedSequel: Opinions vary from 'interesting, dark and edgy plot,' to 'overly padded and [[{{Wangst}} melodramatic]].'
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: Many, such as when Harry is ambushed by Slytherins who are angry about their fathers being sent to Azkaban during the ending. They unwisely choose to attack him outside of a compartment filled with DA members, who all rush out and jinx the Slytherins so thoroughly that they apparently resemble slugs.
* DesignatedHero: Hermione Granger. First, there was jinxing the sign-up sheet for the DA to deform traitors without their knowledge. Then there was her complete inability to listen to reason when she kept trying to liberate the House Elves.
** In fairness to the last one, just about every last character she talks to her about that disagrees with her, including Harry himself. Overall the narrative seems to paint her in the wrong.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Aside from [[TropeNamer the obvious]], Bellatrix is treated like a goddess by FanFiction.
** [[DarkActionGirl It's]] [[EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette because]] EvilIsSexy.
** [[HelenaBonhamCarter Her film portrayal]] doesn't hurt either--adding to the aforementioned effect.
** Snape has a very sympathetic backstory, but Fandom sometimes will go out of its way to [[RonTheDeathEater blame every one else]] and sugarcoat his part things that went wrong in his life.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Luna Lovegood
* FreudWasRight: Dolores Umbridge's "avoidance and theoretics" approach to D.A.D.A as opposed to actual knowledge drew a lot of parallels to the U.S. sex ed debate. And that book was heavy handed as it was.
** Parodied in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr1vMmY4Dog this]] video.
** The Room of Requirement: a hidden area where teenagers sneak off to engage in "forbidden activities" and risk getting into deep trouble if caught.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: It's too easy to laugh at [[ButtMonkey Neville's]] constant screw-ups, plus the fact that he lives with a near-tyrannical grandmother. But then in the [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire fourth]] and fifth books, we learn exactly what happened to his mother and father, and how it has affected him. Then we feel guilty for having laughed.
* GeniusBonus: In St Mungo's, Lockhart is wearing a lilac-coloured robe. Three books ago, he said that lilac was his favourite colour -- a hint that some of the old Gilderoy remains.
* GrowingTheBeard: ''This'' did it for the remaining critics, if POA and GOF failed to do so.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** Remember Molly's Boggart? [[spoiler:Fred dies during the Battle of Hogwarts.]]
** Harry tells Sirius that Dolores Jane Umbridge is no different than a Death Eater with some of her tactics. Guess who she ends up siding with two books later?
** After the death of [[spoiler:Sirius]], Dumbledore tells Harry, "I know how you're feeling". In ''Deathly Hallows'', we find out that he has also suffered the loss of family members largely through his own fault.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Zacharias Smith's "I don't think Expelliarmus is exactly going to help us against You-Know-Who, do you?", given that this spell [[spoiler: is what finally brings Voldemort down.]]
** Harry says sarcastically to Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle: "I'm terrified now. I suppose Lord Voldemort's just a warm-up act compared to you three?" In ''Deathly Hallows'', those three are a warm-up act before the final confrontation with Voldy.
* InformedWrongness:
** Cho for [[spoiler: calling Hermione out on disfiguring her only friend]] and pointing out that she should have told the members of the DA that the sign-up sheet was jinxed.
** Sirius is submitted to a lot of this in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'' with many characters mocking him for his "uselessness" to the Order while Hermione and Mrs. Weasley note how reckless he is. From what we see, Sirius was capable enough to be two years on the lam, disciplined enough to keep his sanity while imprisoned in Azkaban and his recklessness stems mostly from being cooped up in the house he hated and being submitted to CondescendingCompassion from everyone around him, with Hermione expressing doubts about the advice of a full-fledged wizard. Indeed, had Harry ''listened'' to Sirius instead of Dumbledore or others, [[spoiler:by using that Mirror he could have verified Sirius being safe and alive instead of charging at the Ministry]]. Dumbledore outright admits that Sirius was right for wanting to involve Harry on information with the Order.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Since this introduced some new characters, it also launched a few new ships. Most prominent was Harry/Luna and Neville/Luna.
* LoveToHate: Few, if any, fictional characters are as supremely and utterly despicable as Dolores Umbridge.
* MemeticMutation: Umbridge's "I ''will'' have order!" She says it ''once'' in the movie and never in the book. Tellingly, by the time the next film was made, they saw fit to include an Umbridge doll in Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes which constantly squeals "I will have order!"
* MoralEventHorizon: Dolores Jane Umbridge has long since passed over it. She starts by cheerfully calling Harry a liar, forcing him to cut into his own flesh and do lines with his own blood, tries to sabotage Gryffindor's chances of winning the Quidditch Cup by removing three of their best players, cruelly mocks Hagrid's teaching, gleefully tries to sack Professor Trelawney (and thoroughly enjoys her despondency), takes over from Dumbledore, tries to arrest Hagrid for no reason, nearly kills [=McGonagall=] in a sneak attack, and finally tries to used the Cruciatus Curse on Harry. Oh, and it turns out she was the one who [[spoiler:set Dementors on Harry and Dudley in the beginning]]. So, take your pick. Oh, and guess what? She gets ''[[UpToEleven worse]]'' in ''Deathly Hallows''.
** In the movie, there's a scene that shows that she forces ''first years'' to use the [[FanNickname Blood Quill]].
** [[FatBastard Uncle]] [[JerkAss Vernon]] [[EvilUncle Dursley]] crosses it in the novel (but not in the film) when he tries to kick Harry out of the house, after finding that he would likely die in the hands of [[BigBad Lord Voldemort]] if he did this.
*** In his ''very slight'' defence, his reasoning for doing so are for the sake of his wife and son and their safety, not specifically because he wants to see Harry killed (though he wouldn't likely care if his nephew ''was'' killed). Vernon, not understanding magic and that he and Harry are ''both'' better off with Harry there, thinks he'd be protecting his family by getting rid of Harry.
* NeverLiveItDown: The release of the fifth book and the "Snape's Worst Memory" chapter has become the defining image of James Potter's character among the book's fans and especially Snape's fans, rather than the positive way he was regarded and described in the first four books as a great wizard, loyal friend and good father. The fact that Rowling never bothered to flesh out James's life with more flashbacks showing him in a more positive light (after he "grew out of" his bully phase) doesn't help.
* NightmareFuel: The Death Eater whose head -- just his head -- was regressed to infancy.
** When those brain things attack Ron [[spoiler:in the Department of Mysteries]], shortly after Ron was struck by some curse that left him blabbering like a tiny child.
** Umbridge. She sits in as a voting member of people's trials? She's allowed around ''children''?! Her tactics are so draconian she may as well be a Death Eater. And Harry [[LampshadeHanging says so himself]]: "She's foul enough to be one."
** The bureaucracy that is the Ministry Of Magic for turning a blind eye to the atrocities Umbridge committed. The Death Eaters had taken over the Ministry when Umbridge was at her very worst but this in no way excuses her actions.
* RewatchBonus: Rereading this book after reading ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'' puts all of [[spoiler: Dumbledore's fancy wandwork]] in a whole different light.
* StopHelpingMe!: Even though Harry wholeheartedly appreciates their courage later and they eventually become more competent in later books, itís rather hard to say exactly how much use his friends really were during the Department of Mysteries. Neville and Luna probably stumble the hardest, as the former accidentally disarms Harry during a fight and later unintentionally lands himself over as a hostage to force Harry into surrender (after Harry had bought them an opening to flee), and the latter breaks Ginnyís ankle trying to help her, effectively knocking one of the DA's best fighters out of the battle.
* StrawmanHasAPoint:
** Zacharias Smith of Hufflepuff is depicted very unsympathetically for merely asking ''why'' everybody is accepting Harry's story that Voldemort is back. Keep in mind that Harry's been described by the adult authorities as "disturbed and dangerous" and as an attention-seeking glory-hound. Also, Zach might have other reasons to distrust Harry---Harry told a tabloid newspaper about Cedric Diggory's death first, instead of the boy's housemates, who idolized him and really wanted to know. For this high crime, Zach has become the fandom's ButtMonkey; very few characters get less sympathetic treatment than he does.
** [[spoiler:Marietta Edgecombe betrays the DA to Umbridge. This activates a secret jinx from Hermione that writes "SNEAK" across her face in boils. Cho considers this a mean trick, and eventually breaks up with Harry over it. Thing is, Marietta]] was motivated by the risk of her mother losing her job at the Ministry, never wanted to join in the first place (Cho pressured her), and it's kind of unethical to trick people into signing a contract that punishes them for betrayal ''without'' telling them. (Heck, Hermione didn't even let her best friends know what would happen until later.) Rowling herself seems to be firmly on Hermione's side; when she confirmed that [[spoiler:Marietta was permanently scarred]], she said "I loathe a traitor." The result: fans sympathize with [[spoiler:Marietta]] more than the series main characters, much to Rowling's annoyance.
*** Interestingly, Dolores Umbridge has the same opinion. She won't stand for disloyalty to the Minister for Magic, going to extremes (including physical abuse) to express this viewpoint. She permanently scars Harry with the words "I must not tell lies" on his hand. Food for thought.
** The Ministry's claim that they need to interfere in Hogwarts in order to fix various problems with the way the school it run. They're doing it more for personal gain and paranoia about Dumbledore. However, the fact of the matter is that if a real school was run like Hogwarts (for example, letting a teacher bring dangerous animals to class), it probably would have been shut down.
* TearJerker: [[TearJerker/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix Has a whole page.]]
* TheyJustDidntCare: In the film version the heated argument between Molly and Sirius over whether or not Harry is a true member of the Weasley family is played with about as much conviction as a soccer mom ordering McDonalds Happy Meals for her kids.
* UnintentionallySympathetic: Everyone plays [[spoiler: Marietta's]] betrayal of the DA as a MoralEventHorizon, but she did it out of fear that her mother would lose her job.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Harry's {{Jerkass}} behavior in this book is one of the reasons this entry in the series is so divisive.
* WhatAnIdiot: Marietta [[spoiler: attempting to rat out the DA, causing Dumbledore to leave]] [[WeCouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot could have easily been avoided if]] Hermione told the members that the sign-up sheet was jinxed, giving them more reason not to snitch.
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