Radar: Harry Potter
Many fans of Harry Potter have joked that the stories are for adults as well as kids. Apparently, J. K. Rowling wanted the series to be in the young adults' genre (and even contained Obligatory Swearing in her first drafts) but the publishing company were not up for it. It's a real shame for some, however, the books and the movies still contained their fair share of moments that were certainly not intentional for young children...
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- The books liked to use variations of the phrase "final snatched moments in darkened corners in the castle" whenever there's a party or a fancy ball occurring in Hogwarts.
- Uranus jokes.
- Suggestive dialogue from Ron.
- And there's multiple "Ron made a rude hand gesture" quotes.
- The emphasis on wand sizes.
- The implication that Fenrir Greyback was a pedophile. Especially considering that Rowling used lycanthropy as a metaphor for AIDS, which makes him a pedophile looking to spread AIDS to children, not to mention Remus Lupin's worry that he could pass his lycanthropy (as one passes HIV and other STDs) on to his son... and him, having been infected nearly his whole life, he probably did a fair bit of research on his condition that gave him good reason to fear this happening (i.e. he knows of a case where it has actually happened).
- The "Merlin's beard" curse, and its many variations.
- The Room of Requirement. It's described as a hidden room where students sneak off to engage in forbidden activities and risk getting into trouble if caught. Hmm...
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone
Many didn't expect the the first book or the movie to contain any radar balancing moments, but some parts read and seem pretty different when you're in your teens or your adult years.
- This snippet:
- "He pushed the door ajar and peered inside — and a horrible scene met his eyes. Snape and Filch were inside, alone. Snape was holding his robes above his knees."
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Seeming how the students in Harry's year-group are in the early stages of puberty, some aren't really surprised with the radar barrier pushing.
- Vernon Dursley complains that Harry's (actually the house-elf Dobby's) antics upstairs "interrupted my Japanese golfer joke" he was telling his dinner guests. There's more than one famous Japanese golfer joke, but the punchline to one of these jokes◊ is, "What you mean 'wrong hole'?"
- This passage◊ is rather an eyebrow raise if you have the mind of a twelve year old. Then in the final chapter, it's revealed that Ginny walked in on Percy kissing his girlfriend.
- George's comment from the book:
George Weasley: And [brother Percy] has been sending a lot of letters, and spending a load of time up in his room. I mean, there's only so many times you can polish a prefect badge!
- Also note that we find out much later in the book that Percy has a new girlfriend...
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- While most cases of profanity in the series were carefully written around, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban makes use of an extended metaphor involving dogs and Harry's nature to have Aunt Marge call Harry's mother a bitch.
Aunt Marge: If there's something rotten on the inside, there's nothing anyone can do about it — it's one of the basic rules of breeding. You see it all the time with dogs. If there's something wrong with the bitch, there'll be something wrong with the pup. [...] Now, I'm saying nothing against your family, Petunia, but your sister was a bad egg. They turn up in the best families. Then she ran off with a wastrel and here's the result right in front of us.
- And between the two is an explicit statement about killing weak dogs, like Harry.
- The security trolls assigned to guard Gryffindor Tower are described as "comparing the size of their clubs".
- In the film, during the credits (which are designed to look like the Maurader's Map), there are two pairs of feet in the corner◊... overlapping. It also helps that if you look close the *ahem* outside pair of feet clearly squeeze in and out.
- Harry is convinced that Peter Pettigrew is Flipping the Bird, but he's actually using his middle finger to point.
- "Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?" J.K. Rowling was surprised when her editor didn't object to that joke.
Lavender: Oh Professor, look! I think I've got an unaspected planet! Oooh, which one's that, Professor?
- It was also wonderfully translated to Polish. Since there's not as much fun with the word "Uranus" in Poland, Mr. Polkowski had had to be quite inventive here. It went something like this (translated back to English from his translation to Polish):
Prof. Trelawney: It is Uranus, my dear. A very important celestial body.
Ron: Can I too have a look at Lavender's body?
Lavender: Oh professor, I think my ending number got an unknown aspect, what can it be Professor?
- Which would make it a Brick Joke, as in Half-Blood Prince, he does.
- And the French translation changes it to the moon. "Can I see your moon too, Lavender?" This does have the same connotations as the term "mooning" in English.
- The Danish translation goes somewhat like this, with Ron's comment laden with innuendo, since "end" can be understood as ass as well.
Prof Trevawnley: That's Uranus, dear.
Ron: Can I see an aspect of your end as well Lavender?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- The way Winky talks about Dobby's desire for being paid for his housework almost sounds like she's talking about a woman who's become a prostitute.
- In the film, grumpy Ron annoyed with Hermione for being Krum's date to the Yule Ball, claiming that he's probably "got more than friendship on his mind."
- Also from the movie, Harry goes to bed early after the Yule Ball to think quietly in his shared bedroom. Hours later, a grinning Neville wanders in with really tousled hair and his shoes tied around his neck by their laces, and cannot believe that Harry missed all the fun, as if it then became a Wild Teen Party.
- McGonagall lets the Trio use the Transfiguration classroom to practice Harry's new hexes because she was tired of "walking in on them" everywhere else in the castle.
- In the book, Harry, Hermione and Weasleys sneak over the border to get to the portkey to see the Quidditch World Cup, with the family dressed in Muggle clothing (such as trousers and shirts and trainers). When they get there, members of the public are amazed and confused with their attire, with one wizard claiming that they could never wear trousers because they like "some air around my privates, thanks."
- Hermione excuses herself from the group because she cannot control her laughter.
- Mrs Weasley's comment:
Mrs Weasley: [The Fat Lady] gave me such a telling-off one night when I got back to the dormitory at four in the morning—
Bill Weasley: What were you doing out of your dormitory at four in the morning?
Mrs Weasley: Your father and I had been for a night-time stroll.
- From the Goblet of Fire summary: "Harry wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream)".
- Harry worrying about Hermione being known as a "scarlet woman" because of the newspaper stories. Which was pretty funny.
- Don't forget the couples out in the bushes during the Yule Ball. There's a fairly hilarious moment when Snape is a bit confused to see Harry and Ron there — although they'd actually been eavesdropping on his conversation with Karkaroff.
Harry Potter and Order Of The Phoenix
- Ron uses the Uranus entendre again (though he isn't really in his right mind at the time).
Ron: Harry, we saw Uranus up close! (still giggling feebly) Get it, Harry? We saw Uranus. Ha ha ha.
- Harry spends 30 minutes offscreen "kissing" Cho Chang in the book. Then after when he meets up with Hermione and Ron again...
Ron: Well? How was it?Harry: Wet.book narration Ron made a noise that might have indicated jubilation or disgust; it was hard to tell.
- OK, Cho was crying because she remembered Cedric. The point was Ron's reaction.
- At Dumbledore's Army member meetup, a Zacharias Smith bothers Harry constantly, until the Weasley twins intervene to mock him.
George Weasley: [imitating Zach] "Would you like us to clean out your ears for you?" [takes out a strange metal object from Zach's zonko bag]Fred Weasley: [imitating Zach] ... Or any part of your body, really; we're not fussy where we stick this.
- In the movie, Harry is trying to practice resisting Voldemort's preminissions from his mind with Snape. Seems innocent enough, until Snape says this rather unsettling explanation:
Snape: I will attempt to penetrate your mind. You must attempt to try to resist.
- The implication that Umbridge got a Karmic Rape from the centaurs in the forest after they dragged her away when she was racist to them. This also links to Greek mythology that stated that centaurs were well-known rapists. When she comes back, the rumor's been spread around the school and the students begin to tease her with imitations of horse hooves, making her panic in a traumatised way.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry and Ginny share "final snatched moments in the darkened corners of the castle" before they split up.
- After this, Ginny dismisses the rumor that Harry had a tattoo of a hippogriff on his chest...
- Harry apparently has dreams about Ginny that "made him devoutly thankful that Ron could not perform Legilimency".
- In Half-Blood Prince, Ron and Lavender stumble into a classroom where Harry is trying to comfort a distressed Hermione. Seeing as Ron and Lavender were perfectly comfortable making out rather passionately in a crowded common room, one has to wonder (or not) exactly why they suddenly felt the need to seek out an empty room. To clarify, the reason why Ron and Lavender didn't just use the mostly-empty room they found is obvious; Ron didn't want to see a distressed Hermione. Why they left the common room in the first place, however, is a mystery...
- Ron, in the film, shortly after Harry and Ginny return from the Room of Requirement:
Ron: So. Did you and Ginny do it?
Harry: [taken aback] What!?
Ron: You know. Hide the book.
Harry: Oh. Yeah.
- In the movie, there's Ginny going down on Harry. And by that, we mean kneeling in front of him... to tie his shoe.
- Ron being annoyed with his little sister's many boyfriends and protesting to her that he didn't want "people saying my sister's a--", before she points out that Harry was younger than her when he kissed Cho.
- After Christmas, the password to Gryffindor Tower is changed to "Abstinence". The chapter before had Ron admitting that he and Lavender "don't talk much. It's mainly..." "Snogging." Though, "abstinence" doesn't simply refer to not having sex. It can also mean refraining from drinking liquor, which is ironic, given that half the time she has page-time, the Fat Lady is drunk, and in that scene, the Fat Lady is massively hungover. It could also mean that the Fat Lady herself did something that she regretted, and decided to use that password as a reminder to lay off the booze. (Wasn't that just after Hermione told the boys the Fat Lady and her friend had drunk their way through several barrels of wine? Abstinence, indeed!)
- In Half-Blood Prince, Harry and his friends visit Fred and George's new shop. One of the products on sale is a magical daydream-creator, guaranteed to put the user into a hallucination to pass the time during class. There's a label stating that these are not for sale to anybody below sixteen. Wow, Mrs. Rowling. Everybody knows what 16-year olds will be daydreaming about... If You Know What I Mean. Real subtle.
- Right after Dumbledore whisks Harry away from the cafe in the movie, he says something to the effect of, "I fear I may have robbed you of a wonderful evening." Note that Dumbledore's sort of implied to be able to see people's thoughts — not such a far-fetched idea given his own skill and the existence of Legilimency. And it's hard to think that, given the context, the girl's comment of "I get off at 11" wasn't a Double Entendre...
- We all know what Lavender thought Ron and Hermione had been doing when she caught them coming out of the boys' dormitory together. Of course, they weren't doing that, but the book still discreetly avoids mentioning exactly what Lavender must have been thinking upon seeing her boyfriend exit a bedroom with a girl he has an obvious crush on.
- Bill tells of a man in Gringotts named Arkie Philpott who "had a Probity Probe stuck up his..."
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- In a cafe, Hermione "muttered where exactly Ron could stick his wand."
- Ron: "Why in the name of Merlin's saggy left--"
- In the book, at Bill and Fleur's wedding, Fred and George "disappeared into the darkness" with two of Fleur's veela cousins.
- We get a view of Hermione's cleavage in the second Deathly Hallows film. Of course having Emma Watson positioned that way toward the camera was completely unintentional. Or the fact that she was still dressed in a corset during that same scene.
- How about Voldemort taking Lucius's wand in Deathly Hallows and comparing its length to his own wand's? And in the movie, rather than doing that, he strokes the damn thing, and while doing so, his eyelids flutter shut!! Also, the way Lucius winces when he snaps the handle off...
- Feel free to laugh along. Ralph Fiennes' flamboyant portrayal of Voldemort was ENTIRELY intentional.
- It's worth noting that Lucius' wand, according to source materials, is eighteen inches long, making it by a wide margin one of the longest known wands in the Potterverse. Cue the jokes about Compensating for Something...
- 18 inches also makes it longer than Hagrid's wand, which was stated to be 16 inches. And he's half giant!
- On the other hand, remember that "The wand chooses the wizard". Maybe Lucius actually has nothing to compensate for?
- Lucius Malfoy's wand is nearly twice the length of the average wizard's. The very idea of this being true is quite frightening.
- Ginny's birthday/farewell present to Harry was up in her room. But no wrapped-up objects were evident, and it actually was a rather deep kiss.
- It's fitting because it's a slight reference to a soldier going to war (much like how Harry sort-of is), and how sometimes their wives like to make sure they were... real men in case they never came back.
- Ron gets Harry a book whose title was something like Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches. Apparently, it's not all about "wand-work".
- Aberforth's illicit charms on goats could imply some sort of sexual activity. JKR was asked exactly what Aberforth had done with said goats at a Q&A session:
Fan: In the Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore said his brother was prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms [JKR buries her head, to laughter] on a goat; what were the inappropriate charms he was practicing on that goat?
JKR: How old are you?
JKR: I think that he was trying to make a goat that was easy to keep clean [laughter], curly horns. That's a joke that works on a couple of levels. I really like Aberforth and his goats. But you know, Aberforth having this strange fondness for goats, if you've read book seven, came in really useful to Harry, later on, because a goat, a stag, you know. If you're a stupid Death Eater, what's the difference. So, that is my answer to YOU.
- Unfortunately, several translations have completely missed jokes, such as the Hungarian, Brazilian and Russian translations.
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard is filled with cuddly Radio 4 innuendo in the sections where Dumbledore discusses the content of the fairy tales — particularly when he mentions a female relative refusing to marry a man after seeing him "fondle a Horklump" (a pink mushroom-like creature covered in bristles).
- On the topic of Beedle the Bard, according to Word of God, no woman has ever laid claim to the most powerful wand in the Potterverse. As the book says, "make of that what you will".
- The lyrics to "A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love":
Oh, come and stir my cauldron
And if you do it right,
I'll boil you up some hot, strong love
To keep you warm tonight.
- Made even better by the fact that it's ... jazzy.
- Another Curse Cut Short: Ron's uncle who, at parties, would pull up his robes and pull bunches of flowers out of his— I hope Ron means his ass... How else would... never mind. Although that would (at least partially) explain Bilius' lack of luck with women.
- How about the spell-checking quill Ron uses to write his essay? "Augury" really doesn't start with O-R-G....
- Worse in the Dutch translation; it actually fully spells out O-R-G-I-E (Dutch for orgy). How the translator ever got away with that, we'll never know.
- The Danish translation makes him spell "rÝvsur" which is a slightly vulgar Danish expression for being very grumpy ("rÝv" means "ass").
- Cracked did an article about the most depraved sex scenes implied in the series.
- Among other things, the article implies that Umbridge was on the receiving end of Sexual Karma at the hands of the centaurs in Book 5, and points out that when Polyjuice Potion is taken for a member of the opposite sex, the user receives their genitals as well as everything else.
- There's also another article entitled Top 6 Reasons Harry Potter Isn't For Kids.
- 6 Horrifying Implications of the Harry Potter Universe, again from Cracked. Relatively tame deconstruction of the Rowling world-building foibles, right up until we get to #2: the Marauder's Map and its total disregard for privacy: two issues are discussed are how it's entirely likely Fred and George knew the map identified Scabbers as Peter, and that in the credits of the third movie, there's an easter egg where two students are shagging in the corner. Also, #1, which uses the lack of privacy as a point of departure to springboard into the darker elements of magic. To give an example, Cracked draws a solid connection between Love Potions and Date Rape drugs.
- Mandrakes "grow up" similarly to humans, going through puberty, etc. Then this happens: "The moment they start trying to move into each other's pots, we'll know they're fully mature."
- There's multiple "Ron made a rude hand gesture" quotes.
- There are also occasions when Harry thinks someone else is making a rude hand gesture. One is when Marvolo Gaunt is showing Ogden the ring on his middle finger.
- In the Gameboy Advance version of the Chamber Of Secrets game, one of the collectible Chocolate Frog Cards found around Hogwarts is of a woman by the name of Sacharissa TUGWOOD. 'Tug' can apply to... well, given that the boys in Harry's year are approaching puberty, as are their female classmates, one can only assume they'll be spending a lot of time 'wand-polishing'. And 'wood' can refer to... again, 'wands'. As it's a children's game, this does seem quite innocuous, as children at the intended age for the game would hardly be able to figure that out, until you read the description on the back of Sacharissa's card, which states that she was a pioneer of Beautifying Potions, and is incredibly attractive...