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YMMV: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Slughorn is a big fat pedophile.
    • Harry...Potter?
    • In the film, when Harry jumps through the wall of fire to pursue Bellatrix, Lupin is the first of the adults to run forward. Is he concerned for Harry's safety, or is he going after the woman who killed his best friend? Probably both.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The Burrow-burning and Bellatrix's appearance in The Movie; Word of God says The Burrow attack was to bring the threat of the Death Eaters more close to home to the characters than Hermione reading about it in the papers, but it still arrives and leaves without another word in true BLAM fashion.
    • Not to mention the diner scene at the beginning of the movie, with a waitress hitting on Harry.
  • Broken Base: The book that ignited the greatest quantity of flame wars on forums. Especially over the Ship Sinking.
  • Double Standard Abuse Female Onmale: To say the least of the infamous bird attack scene. Many a Ron the Death Eater fanfics will have Ron attack Hermione in a fit of jealousy. Hermione attacks Ron, in canon, and it is for the most part swept under the rug. note 
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Hey Draco, that's a nice suit you got there. Of course, it helps that Draco starts to become a lot more pitiable by the end of the book, what with it being revealed that he's terrified of dying and/or causing the death of his family.
  • Fan Nickname: Disappointment in the movie caused some fans to nickname it "Harry Potter and the Half-Baked Script".
  • Foe Yay: Thank God Harry's obvious obsession with Draco was eaten by the giant chest monster, who decided to save the appearances just in time. Note that the word 'obsessed' is used in-story by both the narrator and a rather-concerned Ron.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The film hijinks involving Ron and Lavender lose luster in retrospect as Lavender gets a surprising, startling, and horrifying death-by-adaptation in the last film.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the first book, Ron sees in the Mirror of Erised himself as Head Boy and holding the Quidditch Cup. He manages both (almost, as he became a Prefect) in this book and film.
    • Also a little harsh considering that Ron never attends his last year at Hogwarts, meaning that there's a chance that he could have qualified for Head Boy but still couldn't take the position.
  • Internet Backdraft
    • Outside of the Ship-to-Ship Combat, words can not describe the level of backlash fangirls displayed when Blaise Zabini was revealed to be, wait for it, black. Which was followed by "Wait, Blaise is a DUDE!?" Pretty much making thousands of Female Blaise fics void (or just a different genre now).
    • The rage over Harry/Ginny, on the other hand, could get truly scary. But, of course there are ways of dealing with this...
      • There were also a lot of complaints from non-shippers who were bothered by the book's focus on romance. Probably at least in part a Hype Backlash due to the massive focus those subplots got in the eyes of the rest of the fandom, but even so, it's a little unreasonable that they expected a book about 16-year-olds at a boarding school not to discuss dating and romance.
      • Still others dislike the pairing simply because Harry nailed his best friend's little sister.
  • It Was His Sled: Snape kills Dumbledore.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Morfin Gaunt. While he is established to be a fairly nasty wizard, it becomes hard not to feel sorry for him after he loses his father to Azkaban and Voldemort frames him for three of the murders he committed. Dumbledore himself lampshades it.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    Snape kills Dumbledore!
    Nooo! You bitch! You bitch!
    • Similarly, "SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE ON PAGE 606/596." (page 606 is commonly used as it has Harry explicitly saying "Snape killed Dumbledore," but the actual death occurs on 596. Or 566/556, depending on which edition you're reading.)
    • Amusingly, someone changed the Wikipedia page for the book to spoiler the ending. The IP address traced back to the HQ of the Minnesota Republican Party.
    • "Snape!" ejaculated Slughorn.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Draco nearly crosses it when he tries to use the Cruciatus Curse on Harry in the bathroom. Subverted when he tries to kill Dumbledore because he doesn't have the nerve to do it and is only trying out of fear of Voldemort killing him or his parents.
  • Never Live It Down
    • Poor, poor Ginny. There's no evidence that she goes further than kissing with anyone, and with a grand total of two boys before Harry, and yet the bashers are all too happy to label her the "Hogwarts whore". Especially amusing as Ginny has to put up with the same accusations from her brothers in the very same book. She swiftly shuts them up.
    • Draco's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Harry on the train.
  • Nightmare Fuel: One word: Inferi.
  • Relationship Sue: Some fans who weren't happy with Harry and Ginny getting together accused Ginny of being this, since she's attractive, popular, sharp-minded and level-headed. And bears a distinct resemblance to Lily, Harry's mother.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Thankfully avoided. Although the book takes a greater focus on adolescent romantic histrionics than the others in the series, it doesn't dominate the main plot.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: This book caused the shipping wars in the fandom to go nuclear, to the point of Emerson, the founder of Mugglenet, accusing some shippers of Fan Dumb in an interview. J.K. Rowling's reaction to this was akin to "Oh shit. Did you just say that? Do you want the rabid shippers to slit your throat in your sleep?" and she refused to call "a significant part of my fanbase 'deluded'". In spite of her refusal, angry fans made it seem like she had personally insulted them and spat into their faces.
  • 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, but it's at least important to remember that they're still hormonal teenagers, even if they are magical heroes, and that it isn't too unbelievable an occurrence in Real Life.
    • 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.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Both the book and the film got hit with this. Partly because Deathly Hallows deviated so much from the pattern of the previous books.

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