[[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 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, mainly [[WitchSpecies Muggle-borns]], whom he considered "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 made her remove some parts she wanted to leave in]], and so she 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:

* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Hogwarts has pipes wide enough for a huge snake to move around in. {{Justified|Trope}}, as the architect who introduced said huge snake to the castle specifically designed them to be that big.
* 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 don't actually believe any of it.
* AdultFear: Imagine what Molly must have gone through when she found three of her sons missing. Yes, Fred, George, and Ron were doing it to get Harry from the Dursleys' house, but even so, if they'd left a note, it would have at least let her know where they were. [[spoiler:She then gets a bigger dose of it when Ginny ends up in the Chamber of Secrets, and almost dies.]]
* 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 and witches who ''really'' defeated those monsters.
* AlliterativeTitle:[[invoked]] Nearly all of Lockhart's books have them. Assigned to Hogwarts' students this year are ''Break with a Banshee'', ''Gadding with Ghouls'', ''Holidays with Hags'', ''Travels with Trolls'', ''Voyages with Vampires'', ''Wanderings with Werewolves'', and ''Year with the Yeti''. He also wrote the [[BasedOnAGreatBigLie "autobiography"]] ''Magical Me''.
* AlternateIdentityAmnesia: [[spoiler:Happens to Ginny when Tom Riddle takes over.]]
* ArcVillain: The "Heir of Slytherin" (AKA [[spoiler:Tom Marvolo "Lord Voldemort" Riddle's living memory]]).
** Technically, [[spoiler:Lucius Malfoy can also be seen as this, seeing as he was the one who slipped the diary into Ginny Weasley's cauldron in the first place. Most major conflicts in this story can be traced back to him on some level or another.]]
* AreYouSureYouCanDriveThisThing: No, Ron and Harry can't really manage Mr. Weasley's flying car, but they're far too anxious to consider another plan.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Madame Pomfrey claims that Harry has thirty-three bones to regrow in his arm. A human arm, from fingers to shoulder girdle, contains only thirty-''two'' bones (14 phalanges, 5 metacarpals, 8 carpals, 1 radius, 1 ulna, 1 humerus, 1 scapula and 1 clavicle). Possibly [=JKR=] missed the fact that the thumb contains only two phalanges.
* AscendedExtra: Ginny Weasley, who had two short scenes {{squee}}ing over Harry in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'', starts at Hogwarts this year and is crucial to the plot.
* BackwardsFiringGun: Backwards-Firing Wand. Ron's wand is damaged and becomes prone to firing spells through the wrong end, the one pointing towards the caster … which is good news when [[spoiler:Professor Lockhart]] steals it and tries to use it to erase Ron's and Harry's memories …
* BasiliskAndCockatrice: The Basilisk is a snake the size of several buses that uses the school plumbing system to get around. It attacks several times, but the instant-death gaze apparently needs to be direct: the victims escape death by seeing it through a ghost (the ghost was already dead), camera, mirror or reflected in a puddle. They get Petrified instead.
* BatScare: Non-flying example: Huge crawling masses of spiders flee from Hogwarts. They do no harm, but badly frighten Ron, an arachnophobe.
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults: Turns out, Moaning Myrtle haunts the third-floor girls’ lavatory because [[spoiler:she was killed in one of the stalls after overhearing Tom Riddle opening the Chamber of Secrets.]]
* BeastInTheMaze: The Basilisk, which resides in the Chamber of Secrets beneath the castle.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: For a good portion of the book, Harry wishes that the other Hogwarts students would stop believing the rumors that he's the Heir of Slytherin. Eventually they do, but it's only because [[spoiler:Hermione becomes one of the petrified students and everyone realizes there's no way Harry would attack one of his best friends.]]
* 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 other teachers 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]].
* BigBrotherInstinct: Ron is more than motivated to save his little sister from the Chamber of Secrets in the climax.
* BlankBook: Riddle's diary. At first.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: The Disarming Charm, "''Expelliarmus''", 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 loses his position on Hogwarts' board of governors, something he could have avoided had he not [[WhatAnIdiot threatened the other governors' families]].
* BrickJoke: When Harry and Ron are flying the car to Hogwarts, Harry can't help but imagine Fred and George getting jealous upon seeing the two arrive at the castle in such fashion. Sure enough, once they make it to the common room, Fred and George angrily ask them why they couldn't come in the car as well.
* BuffySpeak: While debating whether or not to fly the car, Ron points out that underage wizards are allowed to use magic in special circumstances according to "section seventeen, or something, of the restriction of thingy"
* ButtDialingMordor: A variant of this occurs with [[spoiler:Ginny and the magic diary of Tom Riddle that Lucius Malfoy slips into her bag]]. [[spoiler:She writes into the diary many things that happened in the school, allowing Riddle to get information about Harry Potter, and he slowly drains her soul to give himself a more corporeal form.]]
* CallingOutForNotCalling: Fred, George, and Ron fly the car from their home to Harry's, pick him up, and bring him back. Molly is very upset with her own boys for not having written a note (to be fair, she was also upset that they went), but she doesn't blame Harry, 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]].
** The book offhandedly checks in with Ginny Weasley a couple of times before she disappears near the end and then becomes pivotal to the climax.
* ClownCar: Arthur Weasley enchanted his Ford Anglia 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.
* ContrivedCoincidence: All the victims of the Basilisk happen to see it indirectly, even taking into account those who are looking out for it.
* 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.)
* 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 into the Slytherin common room. 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: [[spoiler: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.]]
* 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.
* DeadAnimalWarning: The school caretaker's cat is hung up as a warning after the Chamber of Secrets is opened. Being a children's book, it turns out that she's Petrified but not dead, and she's revived later.
* DeaderThanDead: Discussed and ultimately defied when the Basilisk Petrifies Sir Nicholas. It turns out the monster's gaze Petrifies ghosts ''by default'' because they simply cannot die twice.
* DeadGuyJunior: Tom Marvolo Riddle, named for his father and his maternal grandfather. Or for both grandfathers, considering that "Tom" is usually short for "Thomas."
* DeadlyBook: Two cases:
** Ron mentions a book that [[EyeScream burns the reader's eyes out]].
** Also, [[spoiler: Tom Riddle (Voldemort)'s]] diary, which [[spoiler:has been sapping Ginny's life and making her cause the attacks. It was able to do this because Ginny confided a lot of her secrets to the diary by writing them in it, making Riddle able to have [[MindControl influence]] over her.]] It's later revealed in [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince the sixth book]] that the diary [[spoiler: is one of Voldemort's [[SoulJar Horcruxes]].]]
* {{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. {{Lampshaded}} 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''.
** [[spoiler: Back in 1943, Tom Riddle sets the Basilisk upon several Muggle-born students, eventually causing Myrtle's death -- and only during his interview with Dippet does he realise that the school will close if the culprit isn't found (let alone if there are ''more'' deaths) and he'll have to go back to the Muggle orphanage he hates.]]
* 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.
* DirtyCoward: [[spoiler:Lockhart]] turns out to be one. Not only were all his heroic deeds actually done by other people, but when he enters the Chamber of Secrets with Harry and Ron, he tries to flee at the first opportunity.
* 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 says something which implies he knows who might be behind the attacks and hadn't spoken up.]]
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler:Ginny Weasley]] gets one in the Chamber of Secrets.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Harry's (and [[spoiler:Ginny]]'s) interaction with [[spoiler: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: a shady character takes advantage of an unsuspecting kid who met them online. [[spoiler:Naïve 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 Molly when their 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 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.
* EasilyCondemned: [[spoiler:Riddle]] admits to Harry that even he was surprised at how easily Headmaster Dippet bought his story that Hagrid was responsible for the attacks on Muggle-borns. After all, Hagrid wasn't very academically inclined and even geniuses like Dumbledore hadn't been able to find the Chamber of Secrets. Of course, it helped that [[spoiler:Riddle]] was a VillainWithGoodPublicity while Hagrid was always getting into trouble with magical creatures.
* 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 ''taste''.
* EnemyWithin[=/=]TheKillerInMe: [[spoiler:Poor Ginny.]]
* EpicFail: Lockhart, trying to mend the broken bones in Harry's right arm, ends up removing them.
** Hermione took what she thought was Millicent Bulstrode's hair to use in the Polyjuice Potion. As she found out when she took it (and after Harry and Ron's doses had worn off), it wasn't Millicent's hair. It was cat hair. [[EpicFail Oops.]]
* 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 versus 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, [[GeniusDitz 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}}: Has [[Foreshadowing/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets its own page]].
* GambitRoulette: Lucius' plan for {{revenge}} against Arthur Weasley involves [[spoiler:slipping Tom Riddle's diary to Ginny and waiting for it to cause trouble at Hogwarts]]. Lucius has no idea what [[spoiler:the diary is capable of]], basically goes on a hunch, and has little (if any) control of the situation once [[spoiler:the diary is out of his hands]].
* 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.]]
** [[spoiler:Lucius Malfoy, who gave Ginny Tom Riddle's old diary so it would be possess her and make her carry out his work.]]
* 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: Draco Malfoy notices a Hand of Glory in Borgin and Burkes. [[spoiler:He [[ChekhovsGun eventually uses it]] in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince 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."
* HeadlockOfDominance: At the Duelling Club, Hermione gets paired with Slytherin Millicent Bulstrode, a much larger and stronger girl. After the chaos of the duels settles down, Bulstrode is found to have forgone wands and grabbed Hermione in a headlock that she couldn't get out of. Harry has to get her out of it physically.
* HearingVoices: Harry is the only person who hears a voice in the wall that repeats "''Kill!''" He, Hermione, and Ron realize it is not good to be the only person able to hear certain voices. [[spoiler: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 broken wand.]]
** Cited by Dumbledore's line to [[spoiler:Lockhart]] at the end: "Impaled upon your own sword, [[spoiler:Gilderoy]]!"
* HoldingItForAFriend: Filch claims that the Kwikspell letter on his desk is for a friend so Harry doesn't guess that he has no magic.
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: The message in blood announcing the opening of the Chamber and the first Petrification victim, Mrs. Norris, are discovered on AllHallowsEve.
* HotForTeacher: Hermione seems to be one of many girls who have a crush on Lockhart.
* IHaveJustOneThingToSay: After the climax Dumbledore seems about to give a criticizing speech to Harry and Ron about their behavior, only to change course mid-sentence: ''"I seem to remember telling you both that I would have to expel you if you broke any more school rules … [''{{Beat}}''] … which goes to show that the best of us must sometimes eat our words."''
%%* IJustWantToBeFree: Dobby.
* INeedToGoIronMyDog: Ron uses this to get away from Malfoy when the Polyjuice Potion starts wearing off, citing he needs medicine for a stomachache which he had cited earlier in the scene to explain away an angry look.
* 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: Dobby inadvertently reveals that he has been stopping Harry's letters when he mentions that Harry's friends haven't written to him -- which he should not know.
* IThoughtEveryoneCouldDoThat: Harry assumed that Parseltongue was just a thing wizards in general could do. It's not until after he scares everybody at the Dueling Club that he learns it's a uncommon ability associated with Slytherin.
* IneptMage: Gilderoy Lockhart, who bungles it every time he has to do magic.
* InformedAbility: In-universe: Lockhart completely fails to live up to any of his hype, as Harry and Ron are quick to point out.
* 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 making something visible. {{Subverted|Trope}}: [[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 a cave-in 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 nutter 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.]]
** 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.
* ItIsDehumanizing: Averted when Dobby introduces himself to Harry. Harry wants to ask Dobby, "What are you?". but instead says, "Who are you?", thinking the former interrogative would be extremely rude.
* JokeAndReceive: Used as a BrickJoke. When Harry and Ron discover a trophy awarded to a Tom Riddle for undisclosed services to the school, Ron jokes that maybe Tom killed Moaning Myrtle (who is currently a ghost) because she's so annoying.[[spoiler: Much later in the book, Tom Riddle's own memory reveals that he did murder Myrtle, although that's not why he received the trophy.]]
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: Lockhart is set up as one, only it turns out he's actually well aware of his own incompetence. It seems the only spell he can perform correctly is the Memory Charm.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Lockhart tries to use the memory charm on Harry and Ron, as he has done to countless others in order to steal their accomplishments, but Ron's faulty wand causes the spell to backfire and it hits Lockhart himself instead, thus wiping his own memory.
* LeeroyJenkins: At first, it is assumed that Hermione was Petrified because she acted like this, looking for the Chamber alone and unprepared. [[spoiler:It's a subversion: she ''was'' prepared, the reason she wasn't ''killed''.]]
* LittleNo: Harry in the Chamber when Riddle tells him [[spoiler:that Ginny was the one who opened the Chamber, strangled the roosters, wrote the messages on the walls and set the Basilisk on its victims.]]
* 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.
** Ron and the Twins don't get in trouble for doing underage magic outside of Hogwarts because their dad was the one who enchanted the car. They're just driving it.
* LovePotion: Lockhart suggests students visit Snape for advice on brewing love potions. Snape's expression makes it clear anyone who does so risks being poisoned.
* MagicMisfire: Everything cast with Ron's broken wand backfires or fails. 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 being MrFanservice.
* 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 -- or rather a younger version of him]].
* 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, people born into wizarding families but are unable to use magic. Filch is revealed to be one.
* {{Narcissist}}: Lockhart. Good God, ''Lockhart''. Whenever he mentions himself, he [[CatchPhrase always mentions]] [[TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard his achievements]] ("Order of Merlin, Third Class, honorary member of the Dark Force Defence League, and five-time winner of ''Witch Weekly''[='=]s Most Charming Smile Award"), his books made up the whole year booklist, the quiz at the start of the year concerns questions about himself from his books, Harry is made to answer Lockhart's fan mail with him for his detention, and his office is filled with pictures of himself.
* {{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: Ron says "Uh-oh …" very calmly when the Ford Anglia's engine gives in midair, shortly followed by a BigNo as they plummet towards the ground.
** Ron again on the first day of term when he receives a Howler from Mrs Weasley.
** [[spoiler:Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearly Headless Nick have identical OhCrap expressions on their faces when the Basilisk Petrifies them.]]
** Harry and Ron get this when the Polyjuice Potion starts to wear off in front of Malfoy and they start turning back into themselves. Cue a hasty exit. Hermione presumably got one as well when she took her dose, [[EpicFail because it turned her into a cat]].
* OrificeEvacuation: Slug-puking spell.
* ParodyMagicSpell: Harry threatens Dudley with the words "Jiggery pokery! Hocus pocus! Squiggly wiggly!" around noon on his birthday, 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: In this book, Draco Malfoy introduces the anti-Muggle-born slur "Mudblood". The book also expands on the prejudice towards Muggle-borns held by pure-blood wizards and makes it clear that many of them want the Muggle-borns ''dead''.
* PortalSlam: Harry and Ron rebound painfully from the portal to Platform 9¾.
* PostMortemComeback: The entire basis of the plot; Voldemort hid bits 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 ''built'' the Chamber of Secrets and put the Basilisk there in the first place, but he died nearly a millennium before this story begins.
* PunnyName: Knockturn Alley, like its good counterpart Diagon Alley, is this ("Nocturnally" or "Nocturne" Alley).
* RansackedRoom: Ginny ransacks Harry's dormitory 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.
** At times, Lockhart seems to be set up as another possible Heir of Slytherin with possible ObfuscatingStupidity, though that also turns out to not be the case.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Basilisk. Also the decoration of the Chamber of Secrets. Salazar must have been swapping design tips with [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} Jafar]].
* RewatchBonus: All the books have quite a bit of this, but Ginny seems largely irrelevant on the first read, until the end. The second time, it becomes apparent that every single mention of her once they get to Hogwarts is important to the plot.
* RightBehindMe: Harry and Ron excitedly speculate on reasons why Snape is absent from the teachers' table at the beginning of the year, not realizing that Snape is actually just behind them until he interrupts them: "Or maybe he's waiting to hear why you two didn't arrive on the school train."
* 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.
* RuleOfThree: Harry and the Weasleys have to return to The Burrow three times to pick up items left behind they need to bring with them to Hogwarts. First, George's box of Filibuster Fireworks, then Fred's broomstick, and finally Ginny's [[spoiler:diary]].
* 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 did just that when they went into the Chamber … 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 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 Acromantula.]]
* 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/Scarface1983 "Make way for the Heir of Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through …"]]
** Another subtle one comes from when Harry and Ron find Riddle's diary. Rose stops Harry from touching it saying it could be dangerous. When Harry asks "[[Franchise/EvilDead How can a book be dangerous]]?" Ron responds with "You'd be surprised."
* 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.” Some other translations are even further out there -- in Danish he becomes "Romeo G. Detlev Jr." while in Icelandic he's "Trevor Delgome".
* 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 Acromantula) 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 called Mosag, so apparently, Acromantula females don't feed on their male.
* SpinningOutOfHere: Travel by Floo sends the traveler spinning to his/her destination.
* StalkerWithACrush: Colin Creevey is this to Harry in this book, albeit only a HeroWorshipper with no romantic interest in him.
* 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 PowerTrio to impersonate Slytherins, "Have you ever heard of a plan where so many things could go wrong?"
* ThirdPersonPerson: Dobby talks this way, and not only when referring to himself. Later books reveal that this is not a uniform pattern among house-elves.
* 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 present-day students by the names of students of long ago. For example, he calls Hermione "Miss Grant," Parvati "Miss Pennyfeather," and Seamus "O'Flaherty."
* 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. Our heroes decide to get the signature from their dumbest teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart. While they do tell him [[ExactWords 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 never to try to save his life again at the end. [[spoiler:[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows 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, [[SignificantAnagram 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 nine, "The Writing on the Wall", Hermione comes up with the idea of using Polyjuice Potion to get information from Malfoy. However, the book with information 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.
-->'''Last line of chapter nine''': "'Oh, come on, no teacher's going to fall for that,' said Ron. 'They'd have to be really thick …'"\\
[''Chapter break.'']\\
'''First line of chapter ten, "The Rogue Bludger"''': "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.
* 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.
* 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.
* WritersCannotDoMath: Economics: The Weasleys should not be poor. True, only one parent works (in a government job) and they have ALL the children. However, their children are at school ten months out of the year where, according to WordOfGod, they aren't charged for tuition, boarding, or food. The five children they have to feed for two months out of the year works out to 0.8 children per anum. It gets even more mysterious when you factor in that they should be able to just wave their magic wands to conjure up a chateau.
* 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 [[spoiler: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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