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YMMV: Harry Potter

Specific Books


    Books In General 
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • "... could see Draco banging his goblet on the table. It was a sickening sight." The Italian translation managed to keep the double-entendre.
    • Prisoner of Azkaban opens with a scene in which Harry secretly plays with his wand in bed, and has to tell his aunt that no, he's not playing with his wand. As Cleolinda Jones put it "Ummmm..." "I KNOW!" It's even more dodgy in the film version, when Harry's Uncle Vernon keeps bursting into the room to find out what's going on. Vernon is played by Richard Griffiths, AKA Uncle Monty.
    • The name of Nymphadora Tonks. "Tonker" being a word popularized by Discworld for a certain part of the anatomy, and "Nymphadora" sounding terribly similar to the word "nymphomania". Lampshaded by Tonks herself; she hates her first name.
    • "People may be forced to conclude that Grindelwald simply conjured a white handkerchief from the end of his wand and came quietly."
    • "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."
    • "Does he still think I entered myself?"
    • There are at least two online lists of accidental innuendo in the books as put together by fans. One example (for books 3 and 5).
    • "Was... was it you-know-what, darling? Did he use his - his thing?"
    • "I know you did Mark Evans two nights ago —" "He was asking for it," snarled Dudley.
    • The chant "HE GOT OFF, HE GOT OFF, HE GOT OFF!", especially since Mrs. Weasley is wiping her face as they're chanting.
    • Lupin let go of Black and turned to her. She had raised herself off the floor and was pointing at Lupin, wild-eyed.
      "You— you—"
      "Hermione—"
      "—you and him!"
      "Hermione, calm down—"
      "I didn't tell anyone!" Hermione shrieked. "I've been covering up for you—"
      "Hermione, listen to me, please!" Lupin shouted. "I can explain—"
    • "... when it [The Room Of Requirement] appears, it is always equipped for the seeker's needs. Dobby has used it, sir," said the elf, dropping his voice and looking guilty, "when Winky has been very drunk."
    • Malfoy was screaming and holding Harry so tightly it hurt.
    • Describing Viktor Krum's wand: "Rather thicker than one usually sees... quite rigid... ten and a quarter inches...". Then there's
      "... You treat it regularly?"
      "Polished it last night," said Cedric, grinning.
      Harry hooked down at his own wand. He could see finger marks all over it. He gathered a fistful of robe from his knee and tried to rub it clean surreptitiously. Several gold sparks shot out of the end of it. Fleur Delacour gave him a very patronizing look, and he desisted.
    • In Chamber of Secrets, Percy's non-explanation to the trio about how Ginny walked in on him masturbating masturbating masturbating kissing his girlfriend.
      • The quote is: "Well, er, if you must know, Ginny, er, walked in on me the other day when I was - well, never mind - the point it, she spotted me doing something and I, um, asked her not to mention it to anybody."
    • "[Harry] contented himself with scrawling a note to Ron: Let's do it tonight. Ron read the message, swallowed hard, and looked sideways at the empty seat usually filled by Hermione."
    • "... another person was panting and coughing and staggering around. Hermione had come again, as she had come when the snake attacked..."
    • "Snape!" ejaculated Slughorn, who looked the most shaken, pale and sweating."
    • "You mean we're not allowed to use magic!" Ron ejaculated loudly."
    • "All the girls around Cho began doing it."
    • The Finnish translation is about as rife with this as the originals, but special mention goes to The Goblet of Fire, since the Finnish word for "egg" (as in golden egg, an important plot item) happens to be a synonym for the male... "wand".
    • A great deal of Accidental Innuendo consistently surrounds the Chamber of Secrets. The fact Harry enters the big cavernous, chamber with a wand and a sword. To top it off the only time anyone goes into the chamber it is one of the Official Couple (Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione).
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: When Colin Creevey gets petrified in Chamber Of Secrets, and again when he's killed in the battle of Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: For nearly every character. Unsurprising given the series' popularity.
    • Severus Snape, among others. In the books, he's a skulking, menacing Jerkass who will do anything to screw over Harry, or anyone he dislikes. He's heavily biased towards Slytherin, favors Draco Malfoy, and despises Gryffindor, especially Hermione and Neville. He's also known to shout and lose control when he's mad. In the movies, however, he's clean-shaven, mysterious, and neutral to almost anyone who isn't Harry or Hermione, he rarely loses control and never shouts, which is arguably more terrifying.
    • Ron Weasley is arguably this. He's much less cowardly and goofy in the books, where he's more or less as good a student as Harry, but has a shorter temper. He's also taller and skinnier than his brothers, Fred and George, and he's usually the go-to person to explain about wizard culture and the taboos surrounding it. He hates Malfoy more than Harry does, is more likely to get into fights, and he's particularly attached to things that he complains about and takes for granted, namely Scabbers and Hermione.
    • For instance, is Hermione a Memetic Badass? Canon Sue? Sweet, brainy girl? Insufferable Genius? Despite the fact that Hermione is written as one of the most unchanged characters in the series, she has highly varied fan opinion.
    • There is a good case to be made that Neville really was the subject of the prophecy, instead of having Missed the Call (see below). Even as of book 7, considering the Worthy Opponent speech Voldemort gives him ("the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal") but how Neville defied him and pulled the Sword of Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat to kill Nagini ("but he has power the Dark Lord knows not"). Or that, given Voldemort's paralyzing fear of his own mortality, Neville making Voldemort mortal again could be considered "vanquishing" him as much as Voldemort's actual death, which was really more a case of Voldemort being Hoist by His Own Petard anyway than Harry delivering any sort of killing blow. Rowling has officially debunked this theory, but that doesn't stop some fans.
    • A popular fan theory is that Colin has a crush on Harry, due to the frequent comparisons between him and Ginny in the second book, along with the fact that he's one of the few prominent Gryffindors who never dates anyone. This would make his death in Deathly Hallows an example of Bury Your Gays.
    • Everything about Snape's morality is debated by fans and let's leave it at that. Though to summarize it, there are those who argue that Snape is the real hero of the story since he made difficult moral choices with no reward and in service of love and ardor. Others argue that his romantic fixation was Loving a Shadow at best and selfish and stalker-like at the worst, and that his genuine Lack of Empathy, (unjustified) abuse of his students and refusal to accept and change it makes him worthy of Hate Sink even at the end. Others wind up in the middle, debating that his choices don't entirely excuse his actions or make him a worthy Hate Sink, but even then there's a debate to which extreme Snape properly belongs. The different flavor of nastiness (and Adaptational Attractiveness) in the films doesn't help.
    • There are plenty of people convinced that Slughorn is just as bad as all other Slytherins. He constantly seems to favor students over others, values blood purity, and knowingly gave dangerous information to a student who ended up becoming the Big Bad.
    • Fan Fiction is divided in portraying Bellatrix as a Broken Bird Woobie or a Depraved Bisexual who is arguably even more sadistic than her canonical counterpart. And then there's Helena Bonham-Carter's Psychopathic Womanchild take on the character.
    • Narcissa Malfoy is either a cold, calculating bitch or a woman who genuinely cares for her family's well being.
    • Some have suggested that many Muggles are in fact perfectly aware of the Wizarding World, they just don't care.
    • Is Uncle Vernon a horrible, abusive racist, or did he just not know how to handle having a magic child under his wing.
      • Also, did he have a bad childhood and is just trying to keep his family away from any trouble?
    • Pansy Parkinson is almost always treated as a dumb slut in fan circles, despite being loyal to one boy and being smart enough to be chosen as a prefect.
    • Is the Wizarding world an elitist, racist, backwards society that eventually will destroy itself due to their own intolerance of each other, and an inability to recognise the inherent danger of giving budding sociopaths access to magical training?
      • Furthermore, given that no-one (save Hermione) appears to ever listen in History class, is it any wonder why History Repeats so much?
    • Are Slytherins really so bad, or are simply tired of everyone treating them like villains and decided Then Let Me Be Evil?
    • Barty Crouch, Sr.: A man just trying to do the right things, even if it meant sending his son to Azkaban, or a selfish jerk that only cares about himself and just wants to prove that he has no connection with the death eaters?
    • Lily Potter: In she an overly sensitive girl who overreacted to her best friend's slip of the tongue and didn't even let him apologize? Or had she been putting up with his dark interests for far too long and his insult was merely the straw that broke the camel's back?
    • James Potter: arrogant Big Man on Campus who did mature past his prankster ways, or a Manipulative Bastard who destroyed Snape and Lily's friendship, stole her from him and whose condescending Underestimating Badassery of Peter Pettigrew led him and his wife to be betrayed by him and leave Harry to be orphaned?
    • For that matter, Harry himself: is he The Hero and a genuine savior or a trust-fund orphan whose Deceased Parents Are the Best attitude gives him Moral Myopia to dismiss more middle-class family troubles like that of Hermione and Ron's as being of little importance compared to his adventure story and who more importantly, never thinks and acts for himself with all his decisions made by Dumbledore, even beyond the grave? There's a reason why it's hard to argue against Snape calling him mediocre as a student and wizard when what defeated Voldemort had little to do with knowledge and skill.
    • Barty Crouch, Jr.: Were his motives to try to find a father figure, even if it meant turning to the dark side, or did being neglected by his father, and later being put under an Unforgivable Curse for thirteen solid years, led him to simply to insanity and has been doing all these evil deeds to end his suffering?
    • The films do this to the Ravenclaws, namely the two ghosts, by making them batshit insane to some degree (the only Ravenclaw with more than a few moments of screentime who doesn't get this treatment is Cho). The canonically calm, serene Grey Lady does a few dark Call Backs to Myrtle with a Jump Scare by suddenly flying up very close to Harry's face (something Myrtle did to Ron when he pointed out that throwing a book through her shouldn't hurt), and going from talking in a perfectly normal voice to shouting.
    • Was Tom Riddle, Sr. just a dick for abandoning his lover and unborn child, or was it a reasonable reaction to finding out he'd been both mind-raped and actually raped? Was he selfish for never wanting to investigate what came of his son, or is it perfectly understandable that he'd want to pretend the whole episode with Merope never happened?
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • George loses one of his ears in Deathly Hallows, an incurable injury of the sort that often brings a realization of the human body's vulnerability and mortality. His first reaction is to make jokes about feeling "holy." Then subverted horribly when his twin brother dies.
    • Luna Lovegood is all about this trope. She's bullied mercilessly all the time, and she had no friends until recently. Yet she still manages to keep a smiling face in spite of all this, and she keeps the negative feelings inside. She seems to be strangely aware of what about her makes people bully her in the first place, but she acts as if they don't bother her and she doesn't change herself.
      • In fairness, some of Luna's offhand comments, as well as her taste in interior decor, suggest that she really angsts a great deal, but is just stoic as Zeno around others.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Voldemort. To be fair, the gang did mutilate his Seven Evil Artifacts Of Power, even the unintentionally created one, causing him to freak out. Furthermore, it is heavily implied that the greatest thing Harry feared about Voldemort was his massive knowledge about the world and its magic and how he could do anything with it; once Voldemort is shown to be a moronic killer with a pointy stick (and little willpower), Harry overcomes his inner fears, and all that's left to do is zap the bugger.
  • Anvilicious: The 'fear of death is bad' message was rather heavy handed to some.
    • The subplot involving treatment of the house elves fits this to a tee.
  • Awesome Ego: Voldemort may be a mass murdering, self-absorbed psychopath but damn is he cool!
  • Badass Decay: The Ministry of Magic suffers this as a whole. In the first war, they fought against Voldemort (one of the most powerful wizards in history) for over a decade. But during his absence, they become highly incompetent. When he ends up coming back, they prove to be completely useless in the fight against him. If anything, he uses them to further his goals. The Death Eaters may have actually been trying to invoke this - after Voldemort's apparent death, those that evaded prison time often ended up in positions of power and influence, which would have let them (particularly Lucius Malfoy, who seemed to be pulling at least half of Fudge's strings at any given moment) turn the Ministry into the embarrassment that it was upon Voldemort's return.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Ginny's offscreen development from a Shrinking Violet to a Fiery Redhead, and the development of her relationship with Harry have led to her being one of the most divisive characters in the books, along with her brother Ron.
    • Snape is one of the more extreme examples, and would likely top that list if he were ever paired off with anyone.
      • The most divisive thing about his character is his morality. Was he a tragic Heartbroken Badass, or was he just an Entitled Bastard who thinks a few good deeds justifies his dickish behavior and completely insults Lily's memory by bullying Harry and trash-talking James.
    • Hermione: Is she one of the most badass females in literature, or is she just a self-righteous Canon Sue that's never allowed to be wrong?
    • James Potter, thanks to his past as a bully and the lack of proper development; the Time Skip has him go from bullying Snape to being a wonderful father to Harry. Unfortunately, some of his detractors go too far in their hatred of him, even accusing his fans of being "apologists".
  • Broken Base: Pretty much inevitable given how popular the books are. The seventh book's famous/infamous epilogue is just one of example of something the fans can't agree on.
  • Book Age Ghetto: A rare non-animated zig-zag. While overall an aversion, when the series was relatively new, it wasn't uncommon to find versions with more "Grown up" covers so that adults wouldn't feel ashamed that they are reading a book they found in the children's section.
  • Canon Sue:
    • There are fans who debate and write essays over Ginny, Hermione, Tonks, or Lily Evans being this.
    • Harry Potter himself might count. He has several of the Common Mary Sue Traits. In Philosopher's Stone, Harry inexplicably becomes an Instant Expert at flying the broom, and soon gets a special exception to play Quidditch as first-year student. Quidditch conveniently has a Golden Snitch, so Harry wins whole games by himself!
      • Some of his other Sue traits have good justifications. Harry has a lightning-bolt scar to show that he is special, his parents are dead, and his new family abuses Harry. Seems like a Sympathetic Sue? But a Sue would have a natural scar for no reason, mention dead parents that have no further importance, and suffer abuse only because he needs a source of angst. Harry is different: he takes abuse because of the Fantastic Racism between Muggles and Wizards, and his dead parents are important to the plot. His scar has a good reason to exist; the scar also plays a major role in Order of the Phoenix. Such arguments suggest that Harry is not a Sue. Harry faces actual challenges through the seven books, and can't instantly succeed at everything. Except when he plays Quidditch.
      • It seems JKR herself might have realized how much Quidditch turns Harry into a Sue, as he plays in a grand total of three matches, winning two, in the final four books. And even one of those victories relies not as much on skill as managing to fluster his (less experienced) opponent.
    • Ginny Weasley is very popular, very beautiful, very funny, very talented, and always right- even some of the Slytherins admit she's hot.
  • Can't Un Hear It: Alan Rickman's Snape is so good even J.K. Rowling couldn't unhear it eventually.
    • And as for Evanna Lynch... well, as the rest of the cast say, "she is Luna."
  • Cargo Ship: With the general idea of wands and such, it's physically impossible for this not to exist.
  • Complete Monster: There's some, so it has its own page now.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Professor Trelawney smacking down a werewolf with her crystal balls.
    • Dumbledore.
    • Mad-Eye.
    • Bellatrix. Her outright craziness is what makes her Badass, even though she's a shameless Complete Monster.
  • Creepy Awesome: Voldemort and Bellatrix.
  • Death of the Author: Many fans and critics believe that Dumbledore's sexuality is subject to this trope, since it heavily changes our understanding of the character's motivations without ever being stated in the books.
    • Came into play again when Rowling did an interview with Emma Watson in 2014 where she revealed that she regretted pairing Ron with Hermione, instead finding that Hermione would have been better off with Harry. The fan backlash has been enormous, with many, like author John Green, stating that Rowling should leave the subject alone("Books belong to their readers.")
      • And then it turned out the reports on the interview did some very selective editing; Rowling never said that Harry and Hermione should have been together, and the insinuations that Ron/Hermione was a mistake came far more from Watson than her.
  • Deconstruction Fic: An absolute avalanche of them.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Ron. And that's if he's lucky.
    • Ginny also receives a lot of this from anyone that ships Harry with someone else (be it female or male).
    • And then there's the treatment James Potter has received at the hands of Snape/Lily fans who falsely accuse him of being a rapist, a wife-beater, and a Jerkass who "stole" Lily from Snape. That, when they don't bash Lily for daring to cut off a very toxic friendship that was harming her — after all, Snape called her slurs when she tried to help him.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Draco, of course, and all the bad guys except Voldemort. Well, he was handsome before his psychosis was set off...
    • Blaise Zabini. Part of the problem here was that, when he was just a name and didn't yet have a personality, Blaise was a popular candidate for the "token good-guy Slytherin" in fanfics. Then, book six comes along and he's elevated to part of Draco's friend group, and is just as much of a bigoted jerk as anyone else in it. Some fans still didn't want to abandon their Fanon interpretations of his personality.
    • While Snape isn't evil, he's still not a nice guy. He knows it. In-Universe, he's described as greasy-haired, with a hooked nose, crooked and yellowed teeth, and a little too skinny to be healthy. And yet, the fans love him. Enough also to ignore all the anti-racism and anti-classism messages in the books and bash Lily Evans for cutting off their friendship when he calls her a mudblood in public and to her face! Rabid Snape fans are terrifying in their attempts to excuse even Snape's worst actions and make him look like a poor victim of destiny, especially when you consider that Snape himself disapproves of his actions in the past and acknowledges it was his own fault that Lily gave up on him. This JF comm has some more details on that.
    • Some people give Bellatrix this treatment—it takes on one of several forms. The fact that she's been subject to (see below) Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy (oh look, Helena Bonham Carter) definitely doesn't hurt.
    • Scabior, due to the pedophilic role that he played in the films.
    • Certain Death Eaters. You'll hardly ever see this with Fenrir Greyback, but Bellatrix and Lucius are among the most common recipients of this trope.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • As Neville's Badass credentials grew, so did his number of fans.
    • Fred and George, to the point that in many fics bashing the Weasleys, they're usually the only ones who don't seem like Complete Monsters.
    • To say Luna is beloved by the denizens of the internet is putting it mildly. While she's definitely an endearing and likeable character on her own, it helps that the idea of being different and standing out (and sometimes being "random") was already popular with teens on the internet.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange, especially her portrayal by Helena Bonham Carter in the movies.
    • Sirius Black, which was pushed further thanks to Gary Oldman's performance in the movies.
    • The Marauders in general (although Sirius and Lupin get this a lot), to the point where there's an entire sub-genre of fanfiction focused on their exploits.
    • Snape has almost as much love in fanfiction.
    • Peter Mullen's portrayal of Yaxley as a classy gangster helped make him one.
    • What does it say that fanon!Vernon is a sadistic Complete Monster who enjoys abusing Harry, but fanon!Petunia is a guilt-wracked Woobie who deep down wants to be the sweetest, most doting aunt ever? Also applies to Dudley to a lesser extent.
    • The near-universal fandom hatred for Umbridge resulted in much greater love for her good counterpart Professor McGonagall after Book 5.
    • The Death Eaters in general get this. It's pretty easy to find fanart of almost every Death Eater mentioned, even ones that have nothing about their appearance described.
  • Epileptic Trees: Lots of them, especially while the series was still ongoing. This was greatly helped along by Rowling's love of Red Herrings and Chekhov's Armouries, which encouraged many fans to consider seemingly established facts as misleading while considering seemingly unimportant details as important.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Partially justified, as there's a lot of alchemical symbolism in the series, including characters' names.
  • Evil Is Cool:
  • Evil Is Sexy: In the Fandom anyway. It's called "Draco in Leather Pants" for a reason.
    • Pansy Parkinson is pretty cute. In the films, anyway. In the books, she's described as being pretty ugly.
      • She is mainly given ugly descriptions by Gryffindors who dislike her. On at least one occasion she is described by another character as being attractive.
    • Some fans even call Bellatrix a D.E.I.L.F. It's not hard to see why in the movies- Helena Bonham-Carter is quite busty, and some of her dresses even show this off, or are combined with Of Corsets Sexy. They usually have a flowy goth look to them, and she wears bright red lipstick.
    • Narcissa Malfoy.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Electronic Technology is not permissible in any dose at Hogwarts, nor does it work at Hogwarts, period. Claim otherwise on a forum, and you'll come face to face with this trope.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Twilight. It can get... heated.
  • Fanon:
    • Fans like to portray Theodore Nott as a Noble Demon among the Slytherin, due to Word of God saying that he sees no reason to hang with Draco and his gang, and therefore might not share the same prejudiced views as his fellow Slytherin.
    • There are two versions of Student McGonagall: Hermione-ish, uptight bookworm or Quidditch—playing prankster. It's also fairly popular to have her as an Auror who fought in the final battle with Grindelwald before she became a teacher.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Scabior.
  • Foe Yay: Dumbledore and Grindelwald, Harry and Draco, Draco and Hermione. Given the vast quantity of character shippings across the deepest bowels of the internet, every protagonist has likely been paired with every antagonist.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • In the 6th book, when Dumbledore reveals there really was a curse on the Defense Against Dark Arts teaching position, it becomes clear in hindsight that he was making efforts to get around it. For example, Moody was explicitly hired for a year only and Quirrel apparently took some time off before returning, both of which could be seen as attempts to avoid the curse.
    • Why does nobody mind a troublemaking 11-year-old holding onto a cloak that can make him invisible? Because most invisibility cloaks are rubbish, and wear out quickly, so they probably aren't taken very seriously. Harry's is one of the Deathly Hallows, and inordinately more powerful than any of the others, but of course nobody is aware of that.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • After Ron gets splinched horribly, all of those descriptions that make it sound like a vaguely humorous annoyance earlier in the story aren't so funny anymore. This was lampshaded in the seventh book.
    • It's all too easy to laugh at Neville's constant blunders, not to mention the fact that he lives with a near-tyrannical grandmother. But in the fourth and fifth books, it's revealed what happened to his parents Alice and Frank, and how it affected him. Then it's hard not to feel guilty for having laughed.
    • The use of love potions is Played for Laughs at the beginning of HBP. Then you find out what happened to Tom Riddle Senior, and what later happened to Merope Gaunt because of that, and then that Love Potion was the reason for Voldemort's existence.
    • Hagrid's teary good-bye to Norbert, complete with packing a teddy bear so the dragon doesn't get lonely. Sure, it's funny in the first book, but two books later we learn that was one of the worst days of Hagrid's entire life.
  • Genius Bonus
    • Most of the spells come from Latin (or French, sometimes English).
    • The names of the Blacks: Sirius (the Dog Star), Bellatrix (The Amazon star), Andromeda (the Chained Lady).
    • Many other character names as well.
    • "Diagon Alley" (Diagonally) and "Knockturn Alley" (Nocturnally)
  • Gotta Ship Em All: Most of the central characters (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Draco, Neville, Luna, etc.) are shipped with a lot of other characters, including all of their mortal enemies, their teachers, parents of their classmates, their siblings, and characters who are only mentioned by name a couple of times within the series. For instance, Hermione is sometimes shipped with Theodore Nott, whose name is mentioned less than twelve times throughout all seven books and Blaise Zabini, who was a minor enough character in the first five books that many readers mistook him for a girl. Additionally, a lot of minor characters, such as Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott, are also shipped together.
  • Growing the Beard: Prisoner of Azkaban is usually agreed to be the book where the series begins to take its final shape and where J. K. Rowling really shows her true colors as a genius. Many fans and critics think it's the best of the seven. Ironically, it's also the only one of the seven that Voldemort has no part in. The reader is led to think he does, but Sirius isn't on his side, he's there to catch Peter Pettigrew, who was just trying to hide, and he just leaves after being found out.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Dumbledore.
    • Even Harry thought Sirius Black was hiding behind the veil all the time. The film makes his fate less ambiguous when Bellatrix hits him with Avada Kedavra. In the book, Bellatrix whacks him with an unnamed spell, and he supposedly dies when he falls through the veil.
    • Parodied in the last book, when Ron tries to think of ways in which Madeye could have survived the battle with Voldemort. Harry and Hermione shoot his theories down. Ron replies sulkily, "well, if you want him to be dead", to which Hermione gets very affronted and cries that they're just trying to be realistic.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The allegations of Satanism were made funny by My Immortal.
    • In the first book, Fred and George bewitch snowballs to bounce off the back of Quirrell's turban. Later, we find out that they're actually pegging Voldemort in face with snowballs. An already funny scene becomes freaking hilarious.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Dudley is not very fat at all in the movies. However, he's not really treated as fat in the films, so it's kind of a non-issue. Although, in their defense, it would have been terribly difficult to find an actor "roughly the size and weight of a young killer whale" as described in Book Four.
    • The inverse happens as of Book Five as well. Dudley is described as being just as vast as he ever was, except now, it's muscle, as he has found a love of boxing during his dieting. He isn't bulked out or treated as such in the films either.
  • Hype Backlash: Naturally, with a series as popular as this, there's going to be a few who think it's overrated.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Harry gets beaten, captured, and/or tortured in every single book. And this is nothing to the ten years of nonstop neglect and dislike the Dursleys gave him prior to him becoming a wizard.
    • Neville. While Harry's parents are dead, Neville's have been driven completely insane by the Death Eaters to the point that they can't function mentally and don't even recognize their son, which is, in a way, worse.
    • And while Neville has always had the support of friends to keep him going, Luna only ever had the company of her father after her mother died. She's bullied as bad as Neville is due to her eccentric personality, and she didn't have friends until she met Ginny and later Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville. And yet, she always manages to be cheerful and enthusiastic in the face of this misery, even though it bothers her more than she lets on. Much more.
  • It Was His Sled: In book 6, Snape killing Dumbledore. Certainly not helped by various Trolls going out of their way to spoil this to everyone upon it first being discovered.
    • People who didn't have the book yet, trying to keep their minds off of it by playing World of Warcraft had to deal with people spamming this information in the capital city trade channels.
  • Jerkass Woobie: If you had a quarter for every time a character who initially appeared to be just a straight-up asshole actually was a good person deep down, or how often a woobie turned venomous, you could conceivably rival Rowling's fortune.
    • By the fourth book, Harry has plenty of legitimate reasons to be upset. However, he takes it out on others more than is really good for him. (Although it might be controversial to label him and Ron as such, not to mention that he and Ron also lacks a mean side necessary to be a Jerkass Woobie)
    • Draco Malfoy in books 6 and 7.
    • Snape. He was abused by his parents and bullied by his peers, but LOTS of his suffering is due to his own actions. And this doesn't even touch on the fact that he lost the girl who he loved and had to cope with her dying... because he was stupid and cruel to call her "mudblood" to her face when she was trying to help him, thus he lost Lily's respect forever because of his own crap. And he clearly knows it..
    • Barty Crouch Sr., mostly in the films.
    • Argus Filch, being a Squib is just not very easy for him. It doesn't help that, in the second book, the faculty's response to Ms. Norris' petrification is to tell him to suck it up and deal with it.
    • Marietta Edgecomb. Though telling on the DA to Umbridge was a dick move, many readers felt compassion when she got permanant pimples on her faces which remind everyone of her betrayal.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Stephen King said that the strength of a story relies on the strength of its villain. Umbridge, he said, is the best villain since Hannibal Lecter.
    • "Voldy".
    • Bellatrix, though predictably a few go overboard.
    • The Malfoys until their Heel-Face Turn.
    • Many viewed Snape as this before book 6 and/or 7.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Barty Crouch Jr. He's notably the only character in the story to have completely outwitted Albus Dumbledore, though Dumbledore caught up with him in the end.
    • Voldemort. He IS a genius, and a good strategist, though his plans seem complicated, they work until the end when Harry is lucky again so people really should stop criticizing them so much. His plans rely on him anticipating his opponents moves and moving pieces around, which he does pretty well. Especially his brilliant takeover of the ministry of magic and the wizarding world where he eliminated strong members of the ministry and took control of Scrimgeor's closest advisors and friends, and his use of his invention, the Taboo curse, to track all remaining order members. Imagine if Harry never existed. Voldemort may very well be ruling the world, since everyone else, except Dumbledore, poses absolutely no threat to him. He completely destroyed the Order, and though there was resistance, we all know it just kept crumbling. But he ultimately ends up as a Smug Snake due to delusions of grandeur and his descent into absolute madness.
    • Dumbledore. Directly and indirectly, intentionally and otherwise, this one man, in some way or the other has been responsible for everything, everything, that has driven the history of the Potterverse from his time on and even beyond. Sure, he's the good guy, but then he fits all the characteristic tropes to a T, only with certain limits in the present that's more along the lines of a Guile Hero. He might have been a straight example of this when he was younger, however.
  • Magnum Opus: This series is easily going to be considered J.K. Rowling's greatest literary achievement.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Moaning Myrtle, who peeks in on people bathing and using the bathroom. This is taken Up to Eleven in the movies.
    • Fenrir Greyback.
    • Scabior, who takes up Fenrir's sexual overtones in The Movie. He's much more popular with the fangirls, mainly because he isn't an unsanitary licentious wildman like Greyback.
  • Memetic Mutation: In general, the entire series. There are tumblr blogs and facebook pages devoted to making gifs and memes out of more or less every scene in the movie. "Harry Potter confessions" are quite popular too.
    • Scabior's plaid pants.
    • The fact that characters don't say Voldemort's name has gotten people to refer to things they don't like as He/She/It who/which must not be named.
      • While J.K.s use of 'she/he who must not be named' might have given it a boost in popularity, this is a phrase that's been in popular use for far longer than Harry Potter has been around.
      • On the subject of Voldemort, his nose.
      • Or, rather, lack thereof.
    • Draco's "My father will hear about this!"
    • A "Flint" came to mean a factual mistake Rowling has made in her writing: He's still at Hogwarts in the third book even though he should have left at the end of the second. When asked about this, JKR said that either she'd made a mistake or he'd had to repeat his last year, and that she preferred the latter.
    • "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"
    • Air Snape
    • Turn to page 394.
    • Ten points from Gryffindor.
    • Sorting yourself or characters from other series into Hogwarts houses. There are long, protracted arguments over what house, say, Frodo Baggins would fall into.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Boy howdy...
    • Helena Bonham-Carter has noted that many fans are revolted by Bellatrix, yet partially want to be her.
    • Lucius Malfoy has many fans, including his own actor.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Snape himself is already a jerk who bullies the Gryffindor students, mostly notably Neville. Though the final straw is when he kills Dumbledore. Subverted in Deathly Hallows when it's revealed that it was an act of mercy since Dumbledore was dying very painfully, which Dumbledore himself arranges.
    • Voldemort, some would say that it was when he tortured the children in the cave as a boy, or when he killed somebody's rabbit, or when he made his first Horcrux.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange, along with her husband and brother-in-law, crosses this when she tortures Neville's parents to the point where they become permanently insane.
    • In the film version, Bartemius Crouch, Jr. also crossed it when he tortured Neville's parents. While he also does this in the novel, unlike the novel, he has no sympathetic traits that keep him from crossing it.
    • For Lucius Malfoy, placing Tom Riddle's diary in Ginny Weasley's cauldron, knowing exactly how powerful it was.
    • Arguably, Bartemius Crouch Sr. crossed it (only in the novel) when he disowns his son during his trial. Even though he was guilty, before his son did anything horrible, his son tried everything to please him countless times. Not to mention, he didn't even care about his son one bit.
      • And if that weren't enough, then he definitely crossed it when he permanently damaged Bertha Jorkins' brain via Memory Charm. This is where you can tell that he's no better than his son.
    • Vernon spends a long time hovering towards it, but finally crosses it when he kicks Harry out of his home, knowing full well that this will likely lead to his death at Voldemort's hands. But by the end, he seems to have developed a grudging respect for Harry. This is averted in the film version, he just simply locks him in his room.
    • Deathly Hallows has Dolores Umbridge crossing this when she starts sending Muggle-Borns to Azkaban.
    • That? She crossed it in Order of Phoenix, when she sent Dementors on Harry to take him off the stage!
    • Creation of Horcrux - it is a VERY nasting spell, which involves murder, splitting your soul in half and something else unmentioned, but certainly terryfying.
  • Never Live It Down: The whole "Ginny is a slut" meme, despite her having only dated three men in her entire life. Each relationship lasting more or less a year. Made worse by how it not only involves Slutshaming, but also Die for Our Ship. As well as a good deal of hypocrisy, considering that Hermione also had more than one beau aside of Ginny's brother Ron, but she's not slutshamed for it.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The games based on the second, third and fourth movies had good reviews. While the first had a mixed response, and the ones from the fifth onward were not well received.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In real life, Harry Potter got publicity just for being banned in some places for promoting witchcraft.
  • Older Than They Think: The success of Harry Potter led some publishing houses to issue re-prints of already existing books about kids with magical powers. Many people thought that these books were riding on the coattails of and/or "ripping off" Harry Potter, when rather these books were years (or decades) older than the first Harry Potter book. Some people who had never read a fantasy novel before Harry Potter think that the series is actually the Trope Maker for many of the tropes contained in the books. Though, the series was the Trope Codifier of many of the already-made tropes, so people can hardly be blamed for not being as well-read in obscure works as Rowling was.
    • Some particular examples include Wizard's Hall and The Legend of Rah and the Muggles, two books published before Rowling's time; Wizard's Hall's writer has heavily implied (though never outright stated) in interviews that she thinks Rowling plagiarized her, while The Legend of Rah and the Muggles's writer outright claims plagiarism and tried to sue Rowling.
      • Although, in the later's case, while the book was published before Harry Potter, the title just happened to add "and the Muggles," which made the author's rock solid case get laughed out of court.
    • The beginning of the series and many characters bear a resemblance to The Worst Witch. Just look at this fanpage from 2003.
    • The cast of Discworld includes Ponder Stibbons, a dark-haired, bespectacled young wizard who studies at a magical university. Deluged by questions from fans as to whether Ponder was a parody of Potter, Terry Pratchett finally admitted that, yes, he used a time machine to get the idea of Unseen University from Hogwarts so he could publish it first. He's still not sure what his illustrator did to copy Harry's look a year before the first HP book was published, though "Obviously he must have used something."
  • One True Threesome: Harry, Ron and Hermione, of course.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: There are a lot.
    • Ron and Hermione = Romione
    • Harry and Ginny = Hinny
    • James I and Lily = Jilly
    • Snape and Lily = Snilly
    • Scorpius and Rose = Scorose
    • Draco and Hermione = Dramione
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Fleur Delacour becomes much more sympathetic after Harry rescues her little sister Gabrielle in the Tri-Wizard tournament. And especially in Half Blood Prince, when it's revealed that she's not as shallow as she seems and fully intends to marry Bill despite his disfigurement (it's even this in-universe for her future mother-in-law).
    • Most regard Dobby's last moments as this.
    • Let's face it: Dudley wasn't very likable. However, many fans felt he redeemed himself as a character in The Deathly Hallows when he revealed that he was grateful that Harry saved him from the Dementors. Word of God even states that he and Harry still keep in touch.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Ron, the Weasleys, and pretty much all of the good guys. But by far, Ron and the Weasleys are afflicted with this, except for Fred and George. OK, Ron can be a bit of a jealous jerk at times, but is that any reason to turn him into a Big Bad wannabe?
    • Cho Chang suffers from this a lot within the fandom, turning a very troubled young girl into a crazy, jealous bitch.
    • While Snape's far from flawless, there are those who will completely overlook his desire to protect people and his loyalty to Dumbledore. There are also those who will say that preemptive karma justifies James and Sirius bullying him at school.
      • On the other hand, rabid and crazy Snape fans insist that James and Sirius are Complete Monsters and that James bullied/raped/forced Lily into marrying him instead of the fanon!Snape they have in mind. Not to mention there's how they demonize Lily for not taking Snape's own bullcrap, openly saying she was a bad friend and a total whore for cutting her friendship with him when she had every reason in the world to do so.
    • Dumbledore is often portrayed as a sort of Diabolical Mastermind close to Voldemort's level. Granted, Dumbledore is a little manipulative in his role as The Chessmaster, but he genuinely cares for his students, and is very much a Big Good.
  • Rooting for the Empire: A lot of fans bash the main characters, and Gryffindor House in general, because of the author's prejudice against Slytherin House, who they view as cultured and urbane in comparison to the crude, bullying Gryffindor jocks. In a slightly different perspective, they recognize most of Slytherin is evil, but criticize the author for making them so, especially considering their defining trait is "ambition", which any normal eleven-year-old would have oodles of ("I wanna be a ninja/astronaut/actor/doctor/lawyer!"). So, to rebel, they generally ignore the fact that Slytherin sucks, and reinterpret them in the fandom to make a more realistic picture of cunning and ambition.
    • In an interview on Mugglenet Rowling defended Slytherin and said "they are literally not all bad [people]". The problem is that it's not until the sixth book that one Slytherin (Professor Slughorn) is shown to be anything other than a Jerkass and Voldemort supporter, which can come off as too little too late.
    • Individually, fans started to dislike Harry's irritable nature more and more after Order of the Phoenix. This contributed to increased favouritism of Draco, which JK Rowling admitted to disliking; she was a bit disturbed that people didn't like the hero and preferred Draco. She even admitted to punishing/exaggerating Draco and the Slytherins where she could to counteract it (which naturally just increased resentment that led some readers to prefer the villains in the first place).
    • Some people just genuinely wanted the Death Eaters to win the war. Perhaps because they deemed the dark characters to be more interesting, or because they might believe the whole series had an annoyingly Black and White Morality and was a tad too Anvilicious. Or simply because Evil Is Cool.
    • Dumbledore starts out as Harry's kind, grandfatherly, somewhat cooky mentor, but in the later books, more things about his past and his agenda regarding Harry and the war are revealed, which leaves him more in the Manipulative Bastard category. This has left a lot of fans in the somewhat awkward position of liking Harry just fine and rooting for him, while simultaneously greatly preferring Voldemort over Dumbledore.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Dobby.
    • Also Gilderoy Lockhart. Even having Kenneth Branaugh as an actor in the movies couldn't save his character from being hated.
    • The most hated has to be Cho. She draws fans' ire for two main reasons: one, she was Harry's first crush and things didn't work out between them; and two, she was friends with Marietta Edgecombe, who betrayed the DA to Umbridge, and Cho—horror of horrors—didn't turn her back on her friend after that.
    • Particularly Percy gets fan hatred for being rather arrogant, too rule-bound, and pompously self-important. He also turned his back on his family for most of the last three books, siding with the Ministry over Harry and ignoring the reality of Voldemort's return. He also takes a good long while to come around even when he's been definitively proven wrong. This is in spite of Dumbledore giving a speech about Percy reminding the heroes that "it's easier to forgive someone for being wrong than for being right."
    • A significant portion of the fandom aren't too fond of Ginny Weasley, either. While most of these fans usually point out valid reasons not to like her (such as how she went from a shy little girl to a very bold, sometimes-brash deadpan snarker who was known for her humor and attracted a number of boys without much effort, including Harry Potter himself, over the course of the later half of the books), there are those who hate her only for the fact that she ended up with Harry when they were firm believers in the fact that Hermione (or Draco, or whoever else people ship Harry with) was the one for him.
    • Ron Weasley and Molly Weasley mostly because they are crucial parts of the future of Canon Pairings. Ron the Death Eater is called that for a reason, as oppose to Insertsomeone else The Death Eater.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Aside of the epic Harry/Ginny vs. Harry/Hermione vs. Ron/Hermione wars? Many Remus/Sirius fans have Nymphadora Tonks as a Relationship Sue who caused JK Rowling to ruin a perfectly good gay character.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • Averted by the writer in that Rowling actually did a pretty good job of making sure that big events happened on the beginning of the next turned page, rather than on the right side where you could notice it as you read down the left. The revelation that it wasn't Voldemort at the end of the tests but Quirrell in the first book was right after a page turn, as was Snape being the one to murder Dumbledore - when you turned the page the tension was still going on.
    • Played straight for Savvy American readers did their best to ignore Mary Granpre's illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, as sometimes it wasn't hard to figure out plot points from them.
    • Also played straight in Deathly Hallows when Harry dies there's still a good 40 pages of book ahead, so you could be sure Harry may find a way out of this particular tangle.
    • Also played straight in Half Blood Prince if 1) on the night of the book's release, one happened to glance at the Table of Contents because one was curious as to how long the book was going to be, since Rowling had said it wasn't going to be as long as Order of the Phoenix, 2) one then saw before they could look away that the final chapter was called, "The White Tomb", and 3) one had read enough books about Harry Potter and its sources and inspirations to know that "Albus" is Latin for "White". Why the combination of all 3 could cause a fan to curse aloud in frustration, since before reading a single word of the story, they now already knew who was going to die in Book 6 (even if they didn't know who kills him).
  • Squick: Several scenes imply Umbridge has a crush on Fudge, though it's likely she'd show similar signs of affection for any reigning minister.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Whether or not the books did this with the Harry/Ginny pairing is a major point of debate for fans of the series. And that's all that should be said about that.
    • Lupin and Tonks. In Half-Blood Prince, Harry sees Tonks upset several times and thinks it's over Sirius dying, and that maybe she was even in love with him. Then the climax reveals that Tonks is deeply in love with and wants to marry Lupin. They proceed to do so despite having no interaction on camera before this. As the books are primarily written from Harry's perspective, it's somewhat understandable that plenty of major events can happen off-camera simply because Harry can't be present for every single storyline. At the same time, the reader can still feel left out as the key parts of the Romance Arc never actually happen in front of them either.
    • Also happens In-Universe in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Ron consumes a love potion from Romilda Vane, who he has never met, that was intended for Harry.
    • According to Rowling herself, she feels pairing Ron and Hermione was a mistake in hindsight, though the two will probably be alright after some marriage counseling.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Salazar Slytherin is frequently considered to have been a bit scummy for holding the belief that muggle-born witches and wizards aren't worthy of learning magic, because their parents were untrustworthy. Thinking of him as scummy for his views makes perfect sense, if we examine his argument from a much more progressive modern era perspective, as most of the characters do. His point suddenly becomes a lot more valid if we examine the same argument using the era he lived during as a frame of reference instead, since he was alive when much of Western society was being conditioned to fear and distrust magic thanks to the rapid expansion of Christianity. Frankly, why should he have trusted muggles when he was alive?
  • Too Cool to Live: Fred, Remus Lupin, Tonks, Sirius Black, Mad-Eye, and Dumbledore.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Whatever becomes of J. K. Rowling's literary career in the future, she is most likely always going to be looked at as the author of "Harry Potter".
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Luna.
    • Harry himself is this as often as not.
    • Ron too.
    • Also Neville.
    • Malfoy and Snape aren't exactly beloved by the students of Hogwarts either.
    • Dolores Umbridge is a more backhanded example. She's universally despised by the Hogwarts community and by the fanbase alike, but many fans (including Stephen King) hold that she's one of Rowling's finest creations precisely because of how exquisitely loathsome she is. This Love to Hate appeal carried directly through to the films courtesy of Imelda Staunton's portrayal.
  • Villain Decay: Some argue that Voldemort was scarier before he started Putting on the Reich.
  • Wangst: Harry's behavior is the later books is considered this by some. Of course, he's a teenager. With many, many horrible problems on his hands.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Years later, Dumbledore expresses regrets to the older Tom that that was the only way he could make him understand his actions. Dumbledore was fairly kind and gentle with Tom Riddle, even showing compassion when he asks about his parents, but he was not going to enable his bullying or let him teach his students when he had long crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The Harry Potter example is so prevalent that some editions of the books have plain covers in dingy earth-tones (as opposed to the colorful fantasy illustrations that the "main" editions have) so that adult readers don't have to feel so embarrassed when they read it on the train. Considering most children's books are written by adults, you think adults wouldn't feel they needed to justify reading a children's book in the first place... After all, if the author isn't embarrassed at having written, why should an adult feel embarrassed at reading it?
    • One of the best example of this trope is the Deathly Hallows film, which has a scene that caused major uproar (among Moral Guardians and parts of the fandom): Naked Harry and Hermione making out — a vision which Ron sees as the locket shows his worst nightmares. Another is Bellatrix writing on Hermione's arm with a knife. Sure, we all know that Cruciatus is worse, but it is perceived as unreal. When Umbridge forced Harry to carve words into the back of his hand, it was also done with a magic medium, and therefore less visceral.
    • Harry also grows into the world of moral ambiguity increasingly as the books progress and he ages, until a large part of the seventh reads more as a Deconstruction of the Kid Hero trope and associated character tropes than a straight fantasy climax. Especially the Dumbledore material.
    • The very nature of the one book = one school year ratio forces this. Even if there were no magical elements at all, 18-year-old graduating high school seniors face very different issues than 11-year-old sixth graders.
    • She's also had to point out to those that say the first book was much lighter than the others that it does open with a double homicide and the attempted murder of a defenceless infant.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • Many people are convinced that Voldemort represents George W. Bush. Alfonso Cuaron (director of the film version of Prisoner of Azkaban) said that he envisioned Big Daddy V as a combination of Bush and Saddam Hussein. Rowling said he's the worst traits of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin combined.
    • The Death Eaters were an update of Those Wacky Nazis. Of course, in the fourth movie, they look like gothic KKK ripoffs. The ministery police officers in the 7th movie actually LOOK like Nazi officers, what with the uniforms, hats, and armbands.
    • Fudge is Neville Chamberlain; Dumbledore is Winston Churchill.
    • Some say Umbridge and/or Bellatrix remind them of Sarah Palin. Which doesn't make a lot of sense since the books were written before Sarah Palin rose to prominence.
      • Aunt Marge and Umbridge could be seen as expies of Margaret Thatcher, whom Rowling had a hatred for.
    • Grindelwald gets a lot of Hitler comparisons — pureblood supremacy, powerful in the early 1940s, German... and defeated in 1945 by a British to boot. What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic? indeed. This one is more than just fan speculation — Rowling has strongly hinted in interviews that Grindelwald was involved with the Nazis (specifically, she said that the fact that he was brought down in 1945 was "not a coincidence").
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Many people bash Molly for being a House Wife, and killing Bellatrix "Feminist Role Model" Lestrange. And there's the slutshaming and bitchiness that the fangirls apply to Ginny for "not being enough of a rolemodel" and "stealing Harry 'from the more deserving and stronger' Hermione" Because it's sooooo feminist to say Hermione's happiness won't mean anything if she doesn't have Harry as her prize cock!
  • The Woobie:
    • Moaning Myrtle, Remus Lupin, and probably more.
    • Draco Malfoy when he becomes a Jerkass Woobie in Books 6-7, especially considering that when he's under the most pressure in Book Six, he cries on Myrtle's shoulder.
    • Luna. Even the emotionally-inept Harry is described as feeling a combination of embarrassment and pity at her good nature and cheer in the face of having no friends and being relentlessly teased.
    • Merope Gaunt is pretty much the most pathetic character in the whole series. Considering what we do see of her life, was it really a shock that after giving birth to Voldemort, she simply lost her will to live and just died?
    • Neville can't catch a break. Rowling has it out for him - not only because of what happened to his parents, but the fact that in class, all magical backlashes direct back to him.
    • Dobby. "Dobby is used to death threats, sir. Dobby gets them five times a day at home."
    • Cho Chang. Several fanfic writers feel no sympathy for her, but it's hard not to feel sorry for her about her emotional stress after Goblet of Fire. And even aside from that, the fact that she's continously dumped on by fans and even the writing of the books (especially when it's in favor of Ginny) earns her some sympathy points.
    • Ron is picked on by his big brothers, grows up in poverty, gets taunted mercilessly by the local bullies, constantly overshadowed by both his best friends, endures being a more or less constant Butt Monkey... and that's a very brief summary of what he goes through.
    • Ginny Weasley in Chamber Of Secrets.
    • Peter Pettigrew is a big subversion. It's easy to feel bad for poor, weak, picked-on Peter. Then we learn his dirty little secret, and he loses sympathy very quickly.
      • The exact same thing could be said for "P-poor, st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrel."
    • Sirius Black.
    • Hagrid never saw his mother, he lost his dad at a young age, he was framed for something he didn't do and then he had to watch all his fellow students grow up over the years and become wizards while he tended to the grounds. It's easy to see why such an outwardly tough character is sentimental on the inside.
    • Kreacher. Poor, poor Kreacher. Lampshaded in the seventh book when it's said that the only thing he ever wanted was someone who treated him lovingly. That only person was Regulus Black, and Kreacher had to watch the man die in the cave. You can't help but grill Sirius for his poor treatment of the elf. A real Crowning Moment of Heartwarming is when he is presented the fake locket, and he becomes much happier and polite afterwards.
    • The dragon in Gringotts. It spent all its life without fresh air or humane treatment, forced to guard bank vaults. On top of it all, the goblins taught it to associate the sound of clanking metal with intense pain. Specifically, being stabbed with red-hot swords. A miniature Crowning Moment of Heartwarming is when it takes off into the horizon, able to start a new, proper life. It was the right thing for Hermione to be sentimental about the poor creature. The film illustrated this wonderfully by having the dragon pause to breathe in the blissful fresh air before taking off.
    • Harry Potter himself, for too many reasons to list.
  • Woobie Species: House-elves.

    Films 
  • Accidental Innuendo: The movies have some that aren't in the books above:
    • Half Blood Prince: Snape slamming Malfoy against the wall followed by Malfoy saying "I don't need protection!"
    • Harry P is so full of that stuff it's not funny. Imagine "wang" each time anyone says "wand", and there's a 99% chance you'll end up with an accidental innuendo.
    • Deathly Hallows: "Engorgio!" "Reducio! Reducio!" "What are you doing in there?"
    • There's an interview with Tom Felton where we get this beautiful exchange:
    Interviewer: So tell me about your one-on-one with good old Daniel in the bathroom.
    Tom: Yeah, it sounds so wrong, every time you say it, "Oh, me and Daniel had a wand fight in the bathroom."
    • Or the fact that Oliver Wood was played by the actor Sean Biggerstaff.
  • Award Snub: The series didn't win a single Academy Award during its 10 years.
  • Awesome Music: Courtesy of John Williams above all; the music by the replacement composers is generally well-liked, too. The best can be found here.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The frequently asked topic of conversation in most press interviews for Deathly Hallows, Part 1 was the filming of the Horcrux visions of topless Harry and Hermione kissing.
  • Better on DVD: While the movies don't make complete sense on their own, they make better sense when viewed in a marathon (esp. with the deleted scenes), especially since the installments are released one or two years apart, which adds up quite quickly. It's a bit much to expect someone who didn't rewatch the series on DVD to remember Gryffindor's sword after eight years.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In Prisoner of Azkaban, there's-
      • The talking shrunken head on the Knight Bus.
      • The choir singing the witches poem from Macbeth.
      • Once in Griffyindor's Boy's Room in the middle of the night, Ron bolts up, shaking and whimpering something incoherently.
      Ron: (whimpering) Spiders... want me to tap-dance... I don't want to tap-dance!
      Harry: (forcing back a laugh) You tell those spiders, Ron.
      Ron: (spaced) Yeah... (collapses immediately on the bed)
    • In Goblet of Fire, the students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang introduce themselves with dance (the latter one using capoeira of all things). It's even worse in the deleted scene, where the Hogwarts students responded by singing their school song. The Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students look reasonably uncomfortable.
    • In Half Blood Prince, the Death Eaters destroying the Burrow. The kids just go back to school and the Burrow's just fine in the next movie.
    • Harry and Hermione's dancing in Deathly Hallows Part 1. Whether you find the scene touching or hilarious, it still came out of nowhere.
    • Giant spiders suddenly attacking in the final battle of the final film. This was in the book, and it made only slightly more sense there.
  • Continuity Lockout: Because of time constraints, much of the backstory gets cut, leaving many viewers who haven't read the books scratching their heads: each individual movie is more or less comprehensible by itself, but when put into a movie continuity, certain things don't make sense.
    • In the third film, the simple fact that Sirius is innocent and was framed by Pettigrew is explained in the most confusing manner possible. This sentence probably just explained it more clearly than any line in the entire movie.
    • They also cut out Dumbledore's argument with Cornelius Fudge, which greatly foreshadowed the events of The Order of the Phoenix.
    • Prisoner of Azkaban never explains who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs are. Then, Harry calls Pettigrew "Wormtail" in the Goblet of Fire movie without explanation, and Sirius is called "Padfoot" in OotP.
    • Neither an explanation for how Lupin instantly recognizes the Marauder's Map for what it is nor for how Sirius knows that "The Map never lies" is given as well.
    • In Goblet of Fire, the corpse of Barty Crouch Sr. is removed from the woods… only for him and his death to never be mentioned again. (Not even when the assassin reveals himself.)
    • Barty Jr.'s back story is changed from "believed to be dead" to "still imprisoned in Azkaban". This may be very confusing for moviegoers, who are now expected to believe he could have escaped with nobody noticing while the plot previous film revolved around another escape that was discovered instantly.
    • The plot and tension of Order of the Phoenix hinge on the fact that the only person who will admit to Voldemort's return is Harry Potter. The problem is that if you saw Goblet of Fire, you know that isn't true. Because the Ministry of Magic clearly has someone in custody who could tell them (or they could magic it out of his head): Barty Crouch Jr, who is last seen alive and being taken into custody at the end of the film. Of course, the book of Goblet of Fire had him kinda-killed off. This is not done in the film, and thus you need to read the books in order for the continuity of the films to make sense.
    • Percy is given only a cameo with no explanation as to why he's on the Ministry's side, nor why he's suddenly fighting Death Eaters beside his family in Deathly Hallows Part 2.
    • The entire point of Snape's flashback during Occlumency, which was Lily - specifically his calling her mudblood. That was the entire point of it being Snape's Worst Memory, him ostracizing her was not in the final cut. It was the massive turning point for his character. They were apparently forced to cut it out due to Executive Meddling, but the problem remains the same.
    • Because the potion book subplot of Half-Blood Prince was so shortened, The Reveal that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince makes very little sense. It's clear that this is why the book let Harry be so good at Potions, but even that is minor.
    • It also left out what may be the single most important minor detail in the story. Specifically, the old tiara Harry puts on the stone bust of an ugly wizard in the room of requirement. This turns out to be the Diadem of Ravenclaw, and Voldemort's next-to-last proper Horcrux. In Deathly Hallows, Part 2, the writers handwaved it by having Harry "hear" the Horcruxes talk in Parselmouth.
    • The movie also fails to point out that the Diadem of Ravenclaw is a Horcrux in the first place since it left out the bits where Harry and Dumbledore make a list of possible Horcruxes and glean the clues from Voldemort's past, which enable them to predict his actions.
    • This trope is actually inverted between Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows Part 1 - a Big Lipped Alligator Moment halfway through Half-Blood Prince that wasn't in the book involves the bad guys burning The Burrow (the Weasleys' house) to the ground. With no explanation at all, it reappears without a scratch in Deathly Hallows.
    • Deathly Hallows, Part One does not waste one second bringing people up to speed on who the characters are or what they're doing. Movie critics have not let this pass without comment.
    • It also relies heavily on a shard of the magical two-way mirror that Sirius gave Harry in OotP as a visual and plot device - despite the fact that it did not appear in the OotP movie. Turns out in Part 2 that Mundungus stole it from Grimmauld Place. But we don't know how it ended broken, or in Harry's hands. It seems highly probable that this was in the original cut of Order of the Phoenix, but thanks to Executive Meddling, it was cut for the theatrical version.
  • Creator's Pet: Hermione, to a lot of people. She is known to be the screenwriter's favorite character. While in the first two films she was portrayed utterly correct to her role in the books, the third film prettied her up considerably (though this may have just been how the actress grew up), gave her most of Ron's better lines, had her wear pink, and generally portrayed her to be the leader of the Trio who could do no wrong. The fourth film, too, calls a lot of attention to how beautiful she apparently is. By the last film, this is toned down considerably (Ron actually figures out two important plot points before she does, for instance), but is still vaguely present (for example, she is still given scenes and actions of other characters, like being the one to decide to use the dragon to ride out of Gringotts as opposed to Harry.
  • Critical Dissonance: Up until the final movie, Prisoner of Azkaban was the most critically acclaimed movie in the series. And even including the last one, critics general agree that it was with the third film that the series Grew The Beard. It was also the most streamlined of the movies, cutting out majority of the subplots, so it's also the most divisive movie with the Fandom.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Barty Crouch, Jr. Thank you, David Tennant.
  • Freud Was Right:
    • Cormac MacLaggen's deluxe-model broom, as compared to Ron's smaller thinner hand-me-down one in Half-Blood Prince.
    • When Voldemort takes Lucius's wand in Deathly Hallows (snapping off its cane handle), Lucius flinches as if he had just been castrated.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Quite a few characters not given much attention in the books suddenly become more popular once there's an actor playing them. One example? Yaxley, who in the books was just a named Death Eater. In Deathly Hallows Part 1, he acts more like a well-dressed British gangster. It helps that he's played by the badass Peter Mullan. Also, his walking instead of running after the fleeing Trio in the Ministry made him a lot scarier!
    • Also Oliver Wood from the earlier movies thanks to Sean Biggerstaff's awesome portrayal as him. Many fans were sad when his character graduated from Hogwarts and he wasn't able to be in the later movies as a result.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Bellatrix Lestrange. In the books, her stay in Azkaban had strongly diminished her beauty. In the movies, however...
  • Fountain of Memes: Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook pages sprang up over night. "Boom?", Neville's cardigan, Voldemort's NYEAH, hugging Draco...
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Definitely debatable, but Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire were the best reviewed movies in the series, so this applies for critics. It was with Prisoner of Azkaban that the series became a more Pragmatic Adaptation.
    • Deathly Hallows Part 2 appears to be the most universally-approved adaptation - critics loved it, and the fanbase is largely positive towards the overall product (though not without the occasional quibble). Given that Part 1's reception was a little more lukewarm and rather more divided, this is especially impressive.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Fiona Shaw received a huge amount of hate for her performance as Aunt Petunia Dursley to the point where younger fans would run away from her when they saw her in public. This becomes much worse when you realize that she was a beloved kindergarten teacher that loves kids before she started acting.
    • The sixth film suddenly just got a lot less funny due to Lavender Brown getting the Death by Adaptation treatment in the last film.
    • A more long-term one: all of Neville Longbottom's Butt Monkey moments become this as his childhood traumas are eventually revealed. In particular, Goblet of Fire, fainting during Mad-Eye Moody's Crucio demonstration, when the Pensieve scene later reveals that that was what happened to his parents.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Cedric Diggory makes his entrance jumping out of a tree. Maybe he was bothered.
      • Furthermore, Harry's incredibly handsome fangirl magnet of a rival is played by Edward Cullen's actor!
      • Yes. There is something very funny about the fact that Harry, in the book, muses that Cedric's good looks made him a much more suitable champion/fangirl magnet and Daniel Radcliff says the same thing about the actor in real life when asked which of the two would make a better IRL teenage heartthrob.
    • After Bill gets mauled by Greyback, the narration states that he "now bore a distinct resemblance to Mad-Eye Moody. Moody is played by Brendan Gleeson. Bill is played by his son Domhnall.
    • One reason to never take Cedric's death seriously ever again: A Very Potter Musical. Seriously, try watching it without thinking "YOU'RE SUCH A SPARE!!!". At the same time, Voldemort's resurrection will never be scary again because of that damn musical. "TO DANCE AGAAAAAAAAIIIINNN!!!!!!
  • Ho Yay:
    • In Deathly Hallows, the book, Malfoy intentionally stays far away from Harry at Malfoy Manor and doesn't look at him directly because he's afraid of what will happen if he identifies him. In the movie, he comes very close, kneels down to Harry's level, and stares deep into his eyes for a long moment....
    • The movie of Deathly Hallows actually downplays a (possibly one-sided) gay relationship present in the book between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, rendering it no more than Ho Yay.
  • Informed Flaw: Screenwriter Steve Kloves stated that one of the things that made Hermione Granger his favorite character was how socially inept she is/was, how she didn't seem to understand the effect she had on people despite her remarkable intelligence. However, this social ineptitude never really comes up in any of the films, where she appears to have no real trouble socializing with others, even sharing a laugh with large crowds in the fourth and fifth films, usually at a Weasley's expense.
  • Internet Backdraft: Want to have some fun? Find some Potter fans and claim you prefer the films to the books. Expect them to retort that that is because you haven't read the books. And then, if you really want to have some fun, say you have read the books and still prefer the films.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: The film series' fanbase's opinion, especially if they prefer the later films to the first two. See also They Changed It, Now It Sucks, below.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Dobby never meant to kill! Only maim, or severely injure!" is quickly picking up steam.
    • "Turn to page 394." It's due mostly to Snape fangirls finding Alan Rickman's delivery of this very random line extremely sexy. The fact that he repeats "page 394" a couple times later in the scene pushed it to full-blown meme status.
    • In less than a day, Voldemort's scream of "NYEAAHHHHH!" found in the trailer for Deathly Hallows Part 2, mainly because the exact same scream is repeated four times throughout the trailer, with the result that it becomes rather... amusing.
    • The pimp cane.
    • Voldemort and Draco's incredibly awkward hug in Deathly Hallows Part 2. Along with his awkward laughter.
    • Edward fears Voldemort.
    • TROOLL! IN THE DUNGEON!! TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!
    • Yer a wizard, Harry.
    • But I am the Chosen One.
    • "No post on Sunday".
  • Moe: Gabrielle Delacour is tiny and cute and French. Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) is so cute, and so much The Woobie, that you just want to give her a hug and some soup and tell her it will all be better tomorrow.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In Chamber of Secrets, Lucius was clearly about to cast Avada Kedavra on Harry, as opposed to the book version where his spell is ambiguous. He's about to kill a 12-year old, over a house elf! This is really Jason Isaac's fault - he was told to just use "a spell", and the first thing that came to mind was the words of the Killing Curse. He later admitted that he hadn't realised which spell he'd been wording until after filming was completed.
  • Periphery Demographic: Hermione and the actress who portrays her, Emma Watson, are really popular among male fans.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Many reviewers and fans feel that Dobby's appearance in Deathly Hallows, Part 1 significantly improves his character.
  • Retroactive Recognition: OMG ITS EDWARD!!!!!!
  • Ship Tease: The end of the last movie shows a single, silent scene where Luna joins Neville resting in the Great Hall after the last battle. This scene doesn't have much purpose other than to be a Ship Tease. This could also be an example of Pair the Spares.
  • Smurfette Breakout: Out of the three leading actors, Emma Watson has received the most publicity. While Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint have gotten a large amount of roles, it is Emma who has remained in the public eye the most.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The "19 years later" epilogue in Deathly Hallows, Part 2 appears to attempt to make the actors (who are as much in their early-to-mid 20's) look like they're in their late thirties solely by putting them in big coats. Their makeup effects just make them look like they stayed up late last night. It's hilariously awkward.
    • The first film is somewhat infamous for its obvious Chroma Key composites and quickly dated CGI. Chris Columbus has spoken about this in interviews and indicated that he made a deliberate effort to do better on the second film. His mistake on the first movie was shooting all the effects scenes towards the end of the shooting schedule, giving the effects people only a few months to complete their work. On the second movie, Columbus shot the effects scenes at the beginning of the shooting schedule, giving them a whole year instead.
    • Lily and James' gravestone in Godrics Hollow finally confirms that the films are following the same timeline as the books (in spite of the whole Millenium Bridge incident). Then in Snape's flashback scenes the make-up artists/visual effects team apparantly decided not to help out 64-year-old Alan Rickman in his portrayal of a 21-year-old man. The same goes for Lily and James' actors looking in their forties in the same scenes.
  • Strangled by the Red String: The films mainly due to their being Compressed Adaptations, definitely lean towards the asphyxiatory side of things in regards to Harry and Ginny. The two barely interact, sharing the screen for about seven minutes combined in the last three movies. In the fifth book, Ginny being able to speak to Harry was a big deal; in the fifth movie, Bonnie Wright barely has any lines. Whenever they are on screen together, they barely talk, instead just sharing a kiss and an awkward look before Harry rushes off to do something and Ginny sits down to be irrelevant to the plot.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The first part of "Hedwig's Theme" sounds very close to "Greensleeves".
  • Tainted by the Preview: On August 14, 2008, Warner Bros. announced to push Half-Blood Prince's intended November 21, 2008 release date to July 15, 2009 due to the Writers' Guild of America strike of 2007-2008, despite releasing a teaser trailer for the film a month earlier. This caused so many angry outbursts from hundreds of Harry Potter fans, who called for boycotts of the studio and their products, and sent numbers of nasty hate-mail to the studio. After that, Warner Bros. responded to these outraged fans by sending an apology letter, which promptly ended with "We love the fans". But the fans think this letter is an insult and continue to boycott the studio.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The film series' fanbase's opinion, especially if they preferred the first two films to the later films. See also It's the Same, Now It Sucks, above.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Hermione ending her Yule Ball night in tears after Ron gives her a hard time... AFTER she made fun of his crappy dress robes.
  • The Woobie: The list of Woobies in the movies pretty much correspond to the one in the book version. However, Professor Trelawney gets Woobie status in Order of the Phoenix in the scene where she's fired by Delores Umbridge and forced to leave Hogwarts with her bags in front of the whole school. Emma Thompson's heartbreaking performance makes it an absolute Tear Jerker in the movie.

    Video Games 
  • Awesome Music: The music for the first few games was composed by Jeremy Soule, better known for writing music for blockbuster games such as The Elder Scrolls, World of Warcraft, Metal Gear and more. Say what you will about the quality of the gameplay, but you can't deny that the score really captures Harry's sense of wonder as he comes to Hogwarts for the first time.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The side missions in Deathly Hallows Part 1. For example, Harry is searching Grimmauld Place... Suddenly, he finds himself in a dragon's cave!
  • Ear Worm: The first few games were scored by Jeremy Soule, so it's a given.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Chamber of Secrets has multiple examples, but the most notorious are the ghost enemies, who always make an eerie wailing sound right before they attack Harry. It's a creepy enough noise to listen to if the ghost is in front of you and you can at least see it preparing to attack. If the ghost happens to be behind you or on the other side of a wall, and you don't know until that horrible sound suddenly comes out of nowhere....
    • In Philosopher's Stone, eerie laughter could sometimes be heard while going through the Flipendo challenge.
  • It's Short, so It Sucks : The games based on the 7th/8th movie(s). Angry Joe even pointed out he finished Part 2 in 2:52, which is just 20 minutes longer than the film's running time.
  • Narm: Lots of it: Hermione's voice acting in the fifth game. Her voice actress who had played her for the past few games had been great, but for this game, she was quite wooden, and constantly stated the obvious.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In the second game, you can come across chests that look like every other one. You open it up... PEEVES! PEEVES! Peeves was inside! Worse still, he jumps out at you with absolutely no warning, likely making you jump. And he could be anywhere... in any chest at all...
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Averted with the first 4 games. The others, not so much.
  • They Just Didn't Care:
    • Half-Blood Prince doesn't bother introducing Romilda Vane, Harry's fangirl. However, Harry still gets her love potion spiked cauldrons, which Ron eats. Then you have to brew the goddamn cure.
    • Worse than that, you find Polyjuice Potion instructions (and naturally have to brew the potion to find out what it is) even though the Polyjuice subplot is eliminated from the game as it was from the movie. So the game makes it a huge plot point that Draco Malfoy is brewing Polyjuice Potion for some mysterious purpose, but then never explains what it's for.
    • The first game never explains who Voldemort is, apparently figuring that simply saying "Harry Potter... The Boy Who Lived" magically covers the whole Back Story. Made all the more egregious by the fact that the intro movie then spends an inexplicably long time detailing the scene in which Harry asks the Sorting Hat not to put him in Slytherin.
    • The PC version of Chamber has Dobby warn Harry not to go to Hogwarts, and then he disappears. He doesn't cause the Dursleys to lock Harry up and he never appears again. In short, his appearance is never explained and has no impact on the plot. He's just there because the book/movie says he's supposed to be.
    • In the first game, the teachers award you house points for how well you learn spells. One spell, however, is taught to you by Hermione... so she randomly awards you house points! And she insists while doing so that Professor Flitwick would surely award you these points anyway. Oookay then.
      • The GBA version averts this by having Hermione give you a Pumpkin Pasty if you do well.
    • One could say this of the entirety of The Deathly Hallows Part 1, due to being an Obvious Beta.
    • ''The Deathly Hallows Part 2" is even WORSE, since it is a 60 dollar game that can be beaten in less time it takes to watch the movie!
    • In the first game you're supposed to be looking for Snape, then out of nowhere it tells you to stop Quirrel.

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