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Literature / Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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"Please sit down. I am going to tell you everything."
Albus Dumbledore: [to Harry] and the Teaser for the booknote 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series. Published June 21, 2003 after the longest gap between Potter books — three years. Some impatient fans speculated that J. K. Rowling was suffering from Writer's Block, but this was not the case — she simply felt she needed a break after the breakneck pace of writing the first four books, and had to play catch-up to put in plot threads that Executive Meddling had cut from earlier books. For the rest of the series there were only two-year gaps between books.

Voldemort's back, but the Ministry of Magic is in denial, so they decide the best solution is to start a Government Conspiracy and cover up all the evidence. Then they send one of their own, Dolores Umbridge, to Hogwarts to take over. At the end an even more major supporting character is Killed Off for Real, officially signaling that from now on Anyone Can Die.


This entry was in the works longer than any other book in the series besides the first one. In the three-year gap between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, speculation flew, Fanfics such as The Draco Trilogy reigned, and the franchise took off as a global entertainment brand after the release of the first two films, which all led up to the release of Order becoming one of the biggest entertainment events of 2003.

Character Development abounds, significantly for Ginny and Neville and particularly so for Harry, who also stops being a Knight in Shining Armor as his personal flaws are brought to light.

Followed by Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


Tropes exclusive to this book or at least especially prominent:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Umbridge attempts to create one with her "Inquisitorial Squad", who can take points off people for whatever they feel like and have greater authority than the Prefects — which, as Ernie indignantly points out, makes the Prefect system completely superfluous. By that point, however, the school is in open rebellion and they end up making themselves targets.
  • Adult Fear: Molly Weasley's Boggart, which shapeshifts into one dead family member after another, starting with Ron and ending with Harry himself. Just to rub salt in the wound, Sirius arrives in time to see that last one, and is clearly shaken.
  • Adults Are Useless: Throughout the book, Harry feels this way because the adults tend to keep him in the dark about what is happening, not to mention that the Ministry spends most of its energy making sure Harry and Dumbledore shut up about Voldemort by any means necessary. Subverted in the end when it's explained to him they had perfectly good reasons for keeping him in the dark (namely, Voldemort has figured out how to read Harry's thoughts), and Harry's own plan backfired spectacularly because Voldemort had also figured out how to influence his thoughts. That said, Dumbledore concedes to Harry that he, Dumbledore, could have handled the situation better and allowed Harry to get more help, and misunderstood how Voldemort was trying to manipulate him.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Throughout the book, Harry doesn't learn that speaking his mind or telling the truth about Voldemort around Umbridge is only going to get him into trouble. McGonagall calls him out on it more than once.
  • Age Is Relative:
    • Harry doesn't initially think Ginny falls in the Competence Zone. She points out that she's years older than he was during his first confrontation with Voldemort.
    • At the beginning of the year, Harry thinks the new first-years look much younger than he did when he was the same age.
  • Agent Mulder: Luna Lovegood, who believes in all sorts of things that are weird even from a wizarding perspective.
  • Almost Holding Hands: When Harry is on a date with Cho, he spends a long time working up the courage to hold her hand, but when he finally moves to do it, she pulls her hand away.
  • Amusing Injuries
    • When one of the twins Apparates on Ron's knees (understandable since it's done in the dark).
    • The trio (with some adults acting as guards) encounter some people suffering from this at St. Mungo's Hospital.
      • A wizard hops from one foot to the other constantly due to a jinx in his shoes.
      • On Christmas, a witch shows up with a walnut jammed up her left nostril. The receptionist remarks that she's the third one on that day.
  • Analogy Backfire: After Dumbledore gets ousted from Hogwarts, during Harry's career consultation meeting with McGonagall where Umbridge is also present, Umbridge makes more than one attempt to disparage Harry's desire to become an Auror, eventually going so far as to state he "has as much chance of becoming an Auror as Dumbledore has of ever returning to this school", to which McGonagall responds, "A very good chance, then."
  • Anchored Ship: Harry and Cho. Her emotional issues over Cedric's death make it too difficult for her to be in a relationship. Not to mention that Harry, at that point in time, didn't have the emotional maturity to try and work Cho through her problems — instead, he gets angry at her for always wanting to talk about Cedric, which made things a lot more difficult for them. Had they both waited until they were both more stable emotionally, they could have gotten together and had a happy relationship.
  • Anger Is Not Enough: Harry uses the Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix Lestrange while burning with righteous anger at her for murdering his godfather - and this allows him to use the Curse at all, but Bellatrix notes it doesn't hurt her much, because a Cruiciatus Curse fueled by anger pales in comparison to one fueled by sadism - which she is used to slinging around.
  • Angrish:
    • Harry can't finish sentences while tearing apart Dumbledore's office after Sirius is killed.
    • Neville, of all people, when Draco Malfoy unknowingly slams hard into his Berserk Button.
  • Anonymous Killer Narrator: An in-universe example. Harry has ominous dreams of some type of creature trying to break into the Department of Mysteries. It turns out to be Voldemort's pet snake, Nagini, and occurs as a result of Harry's magical connection to the Dark Lord.
  • Anything but That!: Being a Prefect, Hermione tries to get the Weasley twins to ease up on their rule-breaking. They laugh at the threat of detention or other punishment, but when Hermione says she'll write to their mother, they back down.
    Fred: You wouldn't...
  • Arc Villain: Dolores Umbridge, the only Arc Villain in the series who wasn't affiliated with Voldemort. Notably, she's also the last Arc Villain of the bunch, as for the rest of the series Voldemort takes his rightful place as the series' Big Bad.
  • Arrested for Heroism: Harry is hit with this after the Dementor attack. The Ministry even declares him expelled from Hogwarts until Dumbledore reminds them that THEY had overstepped their authority and it's kind of his job to decide who's expelled from his own school.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When talking to Sirius and Lupin after seeing Snape's memory, Harry seems to be almost equally upset about the fact that his father kept messing up his hair to look cool as about him having been a bully at school.
  • Artistic License – Astronomy: During the O.W.L.s Astronomy finals (done at midnight on the Astronomy tower), the book has the students looking for the constellation Orion in June. Orion is behind the sun in June, so you couldn't see it even if you wanted to. Likewise, it's a fool's errand looking for Venus at midnight, which being the next planet closer to the sun is always well beneath the horizon at midnight. Not to mention the fact that in the Highlands of Scotland in June, the sky never gets dark enough to see any but the brightest stars; according to one website, sunset would be at about 11 PM, the time the exam is supposed to start.
  • Ascended Extra: Many of the trio's classmates in Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw who were either bit players or only mentioned in passing in the previous books become members of the D.A. and get more prominence.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: When the Dursleys demand to know why Harry wants to listen to the news every day, he replies, "Well, it changes every day, you see."
  • Asshole Victim
    • Montague. He's left in a "confused" state for weeks due to Fred and George's prank. Exactly what happened isn't revealed until the next book: the Vanishing Cabinet was actually broken, meaning that Montague was left trapped in some sort of limbo and could only escape by Apparating. He barely managed it, despite having not yet passed his test, and it almost killed him. Presumably the twins did not know this, as they assumed that the cabinet would only send him somewhere.
    • The hospital wards we see seem to be named for high-profile patients. The one for long-term spell damage is named Janus Thickey, who faked having been eaten by a lethifold so he could desert his wife and move in with his mistress. The implication is that his wife hexed the bejabbers out of him when she found out.
  • Assimilation Academy: Umbridge tries her hardest to turn Hogwarts into this, but the tighter she squeezes the more the students (and other faculty) resist.
  • Assurance Backfire: When Harry is worried for his sanity, because he suddenly sees skeletal horses pulling the Hogwarts carriages, and nobody else can, Cloud Cuckoo Lander Luna Lovegood tells him that she can see them too, and he's just as sane as she is, and he is less than reassured.
  • Bad Dreams: Harry, displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: As Sir Nicholas explains, ghosts are created when a wizard or witch chooses not to pass on to the afterlife. Unfortunately, it seems one can't retract one's decision — Nick has had centuries to wonder if he chose well.
  • Batman Gambit: Voldemort luring Harry to the Department of Mysteries by making it seem that Sirius was in danger. He first attempted to lure him there by simply showing him the DoM and the Hall of Prophecy, counting on Harry's natural curiosity, but Harry had no idea there was a prophecy about him in the first place.
  • Battle-Interrupting Shout: When Snape and Sirius are on the verge of dueling, Harry places himself between them, which makes little difference until the Weasley family walks in.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For
    • Cho's finally interested in Harry! Only she won't stop crying about Cedric, she's a Clingy Jealous Girl about Hermione, and her best friend tells Umbridge about the DA. To make matters worse, as Hermione puts it, Cho's main interest in Harry lies in how he was the last person to see Cedric, her previous boyfriend, alive.
    • Ron is excited to take the Knight Bus back to Hogwarts after Christmas, claiming that he's always wanted to ride it. After he gets thrown to the floor for the sixth time:
      Ron: I've changed my mind. I never want to ride on this thing again.
    • Throughout much of Harry's fifth year, he wishes that people would believe his claim that Voldemort has returned. At the end of the year, people finally believe him, but since the circumstances that led to people believing him also involves Sirius' death, by this point it doesn't seem so important to him now.
  • Beef Bandage: Hagrid does this using dragon meat.
  • Berserk Button
    • Of a sort: badmouthing her father or The Quibbler appears to be one for Luna, although she isn't the type to fly into a rage. But it does cause a major change in demeanor, which, compared to her normal dreamy, imperturbable personality, is fairly noticeable.
    • Saying Percy's name in front of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley after Percy's explosive argument with his father over the summer and his betrayal of the family. Mention his name and Arthur breaks whatever he's holding while Molly starts crying.
    • Dumbledore may be a nice guy, maybe a bit eccentric, but when he enters the battle at the Ministry after seeing four of his students injured or unconscious, he is described as having a face "white and furious", an extremely rare description for him. He also stands up and draws his wand when Umbridge physically accosts Marietta Edgecombe and warns her not to touch his students. When word gets out that Mundungus Fletcher skived off his watch on Harry because he wanted to see a fellow criminal about a bunch of stolen cauldrons, Hermione also mentions that he was scary because he yelled at Fletcher.
    • Malfoy pushes Neville's early in the year, exploiting the rumours that Harry has gone insane via spell damage and suggesting that therefore he belongs in St. Mungo's Hospital. Neville's parents are there for that reason. It takes Harry and Ron's restraint for him not to beat Malfoy senseless.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Hagrid is really protective of his little brother and he takes it bad when the centaurs say Grawp is not welcomed in the forest.
  • Big Damn Heroes
    • Twice in a row: Harry and his friends are saved from the Death Eaters by members of the Order (Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, Kingsley, and Mad-Eye Moody), then when the Death Eaters appear to gain the upper hand over the Order, Dumbledore himself arrives and saves the day, rounding up most of the Death Eaters within a matter of seconds.
    • Grawp the Giant shows up to save Harry and Hermione from the centaurs.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Harry and Cho.
  • Big Entrance: Dumbledore makes one of these after Professor Trelawney has been sacked, by opening the castle's huge double doors by himself and striding through them. Harry notes how impressive he can make the simple act of walking through a door.
  • Big Little Brother: Grawp for Hagrid. Lampshaded when Hagrid says that Grawp is his "little brother" and Harry and Hermione give him looks of confusion.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Mrs. Weasley when Fred, George and Ginny won't stop chanting "He got off, he got off, he got off..." after Harry's trial.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dolores Umbridge. Wearing all pink and having a sickeningly sweet façade doesn't change the fact that she's just plain evil.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Ministry is forced to accept that Voldemort has, in fact, returned, and the Wizarding World finally gives Harry and Dumbledore the admiration and respect they deserve after all they've been through. But Sirius Black is dead, and Harry doesn't get to enjoy his victory much due to the incredible pain of his loss. Dumbledore also finally tells Harry (some of) the truth, which he had anxiously been wanting to know the whole year, but with that comes enormous responsibility.
  • Black Shirt: Filch and Malfoy's gang are happy to help Umbridge. Unfortunately for them, this makes them fair game when everyone starts rebelling against her.
  • Blunt "Yes": Mad-Eye Moody to Uncle Vernon at the end of the book:
    Uncle Vernon: Are you threatening me, sir?
    Mad-Eye: Yes, I am.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Oddly averted, where Voldemort apparently has learned his lesson and tries to kill Harry quickly, only to be stopped by Dumbledore.
  • Bothering by the Book: As Umbridge gets more and more power from the Ministry within Hogwarts, the staff resorts to this more and more to make their displeasure plain, frequently insisting that she handle various problems (most often cause by student pranks that are also a form of rebellion against her) and even stating that, while they could have handled it themselves, they just weren't sure anymore if they had the authority. . .
  • Brain in a Jar: The Ministry has a big tank full, which Ron falls foul of during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.
  • Brick Joke
    • Trelawney's prediction that Umbridge would be in grave danger. Fulfilled by a herd of angry centaurs.
    • The remedy Hermione gives Harry to soothe his hand, which he recommends to Lee Jordan, is what Lee recommends to Fred and George for their Professor Guinea Pig-induced posterior boils.
    • Proofreading Astronomy homework (specifically, on The Moons of Jupiter) for badly-overworked Harry and Ron, Hermione discovers that Harry claimed Europa was covered with mice. Months later, Harry is reasonably confident he passed his Astronomy O.W.L., because he'd avoided any mention of mice on said moon.
  • Broken Pedestal: Harry does not take it well when he discovers his father was quite the bully in his fifth year.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Harry forgets that several books ago, Ginny was possessed by Lord Voldemort for the better part of a year. For Harry, it was just one detail of one of his many adventures so Ginny's involvement wasn't a major event to him, but for Ginny it's probably the most significant event of her life thus far. He says he forgot about it, and her reply is a cool "lucky you". Harry feels sincerely sorry and apologizes.
  • Butt-Dialing Mordor: Harry starts getting unintentional visions of Voldemort's doings through their Psychic Link, which he uses to save Mr. Weasley at one point. Dumbledore has Harry train in Occlumency to stop this from happening, but Harry thinks the visions are useful and doesn't put much effort into the lessons, resulting in Voldemort being able to use the link to set a trap for Harry.
  • Call-Back: Molly says Witches and wizards can't join the order of the Phoenix until they're of age. Fred and George, who turned 17 the previous April, protest in outrage, and Molly amends her statement to refer to witches and wizards who have left school. The twins end up leaving Hogwarts a few weeks early to start their own joke shop.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: A non-heroic version occurs when Percy Weasley gets into a shouting match with his father during the hiatus between Books 4 and 5. During the fight, Percy blames his father for their family's poverty and a lousy reputation he's had to fight against since joining the Ministry. He vows to end his association with their family in order to protect himself from what he views as their foolish support of Dumbledore.
  • Caps Lock: Some reviewers complained about Harry yelling IN ALL CAPS in the book. While they may have a point, you have to wonder if they've ever actually had to talk with an angsty, grumpy fifteen-year-old with PTSD before. Let alone an angsty, grumpy fifteen-year-old who knows his life is in danger, and knows that everyone he trusts to protect him is lying to him, keeping secrets, or both. Not to mention having a mind-link to an Ax-Crazy sociopath who's deliberately trying to screw with him. Really, it's a minor miracle Harry isn't screaming at everyone at the top his lungs all the time.
  • Cardboard Prison: Voldemort manages to turn Azkaban from The Alcatraz to this. Of course it helps when every guard is not-so-secretly on his side.
  • Care-Bear Stare: How Voldemort was driven out of Harry's mind after possessing him. A really dark example, actually, considering what finally ousts Voldemort is Harry wishing he could die, so that he could be with Sirius.
  • Cassandra Truth
    • Harry's claims of Voldemort returning and anything Luna says are quickly blown off by others. With Harry there's really no excuse given his track record: the Philosopher's Stone being stolen, not being the one petrifying Muggle-borns, Sirius being innocent, et cetera. Though with Luna, it's really a toss-up. Some of her claims turn out to be true; others, less so.
    • During the final confrontation in the Department of Mysteries, Harry tries to sow discord among the Death Eaters by revealing Voldemort's lied to them and that he's really a half-blood. It buys him enough time to come up with an alternative escape plan.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The Marauders get a major one. Their classic snarky banter among each other, immortalized in the Marauder's Map in Book 3, where it mockingly insults Snape for his appearance, gets played in a much darker light when that same banter is followed by them cruelly attacking Snape.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: It's revealed that the Wizarding School's "horseless" carriages are actually pulled by Thestrals — skeletal pegasus-like creatures only visible to those who have witnessed death. They're morbid, but friendly and Ugly Cute.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: While Zacharias Smith's comment about Expelliarmus not being useful against Voldemort is amusing, it also counts as a boomerang, because in Deathly Hallows Harry's identity is revealed by the fact that Expelliarmus is his signature move.
    • But then the boomerang comes back around again at the end of DH when Expelliarmus is the spell that Harry uses that leads to Voldemort's death in their final confrontation. It doesn't kill him, but it stops Voldemort's Killing Curse in its tracks during their brief Beam-O-War that leads to the Elder Wand flying out of Voldemort's hand and the Killing Curse rebounding.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The series has its own page. Subverted in two instances, though:
    • Sirius' gift of the penknife that can unlock doors goes mostly unused, although he uses it to break into Umbridge's office until he brings it to the Ministry of Magic. However when he tries to use it, it melts and is never seen again.
    • Secondly, the Mirror Sirius gives Harry for Christmas remains unused until he remembers it after the climax. However, as Sirius is dead, it is useless, and Harry throws it into his trunk, where it breaks. It isn't seen again until the last book.
  • Child Soldier: Part of Fudge's insane paranoid delusion regarding why Dumbledore's saying Voldemort is back, and the reason why Professor Umbridge is being deliberately obstructive in her own students' education, is that he believes that Dumbledore is building a private army out of the students of his own school with which to stage a coup d'état against the Ministry of Magic.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Done by a centaur to Umbridge after she offends them — not that it stops her from insulting them some more.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Done by both Umbridge to the students and Voldemort to his followers.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Inquisitorial Squad, which seems to consist entirely of Slytherins, is a group of students who help enforce the tyrannical rule of the government's agent in Hogwarts, Professor Dolores Umbridge.
  • Continuity Nod: When Harry reads the very first question on his first O.W.L. exam, asking about levitation spells, he thinks back to when Ron used it to help defeat the troll five years previously in the first book.
  • Conveniently Coherent Thoughts: Discussed and defied by Snape, who considers "mind reading" a hopelessly inaccurate term due to how messy people's brains actually are. Legilimency reveals memories in a disorienting rush and requires training to get anything specific.
  • Corporal Punishment: Umbridge does not hesitate to use it on "problematic" students... to the tune of Writing Lines with a quill that carves the words into their hand and uses their own blood as ink. According to Rowling, Umbridge invented that quill.
  • Crime of Self-Defense: The Ministry tries to nail Harry for breaking the Masquerade after he defends himself from a Dementor attack.
  • Crutch Character: Harry winds up being this from the perspective of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Ron has crippling confidence issues interfering with his ability to play Keeper, not helped by the Slytherins' bullying strategy of singing a sarcastic idolization song painting him as Slytherin's greatest weapon because he sucks so badly. Harry manages to save the first game of the year from Ron's poor performance by catching the Snitch, but when he's banned from Quidditch due to the events after the match, the team is scrambling to replace him, Fred, and George while Ron needs to improve quickly. In the end, Ron comes through, and Gryffindor wins the Cup without Harry and will do so again in Book 6.
  • Curse Cut Short: Implied when Hermione starts to call Umbridge (presumably) a bitch, but Malfoy interrupts her and docks points from Gryffindor.
  • Cut Himself Shaving
  • Cutting the Knot: Umbridge’s door is high-security, bewitched so not even Alohomora will open it, so everyone is utterly stumped when Nifflers keep turning up in there and tearing the place apart; no one can figure out how someone is getting them inside. Turns out Lee Jordan just levitated them through the open window.
  • Darkened Building Shootout: The climax of the book is this, as the Death Eaters and Dumbledore's Army have a shootout throughout the Department of Mysteries.
  • Darker and Edgier: Due to Nothing Is the Same Anymore being in full effect, taking a Deconstructor Fleet to the entire setting.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Thestrals are black, skeletal horses that are only visible after witnessing a human die, but they are friendly creatures who won't attack any students who approach them.
  • Deconstructor Fleet
    • The book deconstructs the notion of a Kid Hero fighting against a much older Evil Overlord by showing that adults would be much better equipped to fight a large scale war, or at least think they are more competent and shut the kid out. Because of his youth, Harry has trouble dealing with the traumas of war, resulting in a Heroic BSoD that harms his efficacy as a fighter, leading him to lash out in anger and make rash decisions. Subverted as the whole point of the book was a prophecy proclaiming Harry to be The Chosen One destined to stand against Voldemort. This makes Dumbledore, who knew this all along, realize that he was wrong to shut Harry out of the business of fighting Voldemort as it deprives him of the necessary preparation for his eventual encounter.
    • Also, the book deconstructs teen romance. The Harry/Cho pairing has been built up over the previous two books, with Cho giving Harry his First Kiss in this book. Unfortunately, due to Harry's inexperience, Cho's over-sensitivity, and their mutual self-involvement, the relationship falls apart after only one date (an outcome that is Truth in Television in many cases). Of course, given their respective circumstances, both Harry and Cho have better reasons to be self-involved than most teenagers.
  • Deer in the Headlights: Harry Potter tries to make a stand in the climax, only for the situation to get drastically worse, causing him to freeze in fear as his life comes under threat. Harry taunts Bellatrix over how Voldemort can't hear her frantic apologies for losing the prophecy. Then Voldemort appears right in front of him and announces that this time, he'll just kill Harry with no more theatrics. Oh, Crap! indeed for Harry and Bellatrix alike.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: Dolores Umbridge's sadistic abuses of her position gave us one more reason to call into question whether Snape was really so villainous as he seemed; by comparison, he seemed almost a lovable grouch.
  • Demonic Possession: Initially subverted. Harry becomes afraid that he's being possessed by Voldemort but after a talk with Ginny, who knows the difference from Chamber of Secrets, realises he's not. Voldemort tries to possess him in the climax.
  • Desperate Object Catch: A Death Eater tries to catch the sphere that holds the prophecy, but misses.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In an effort to keep what becomes Dumbledore's Army a secret from Umbridge, Hermione has everyone meet at the Hog's Head, believing that since hardly anyone goes there they won't be overheard. As Sirius points out later, the bar is so sparsely crowded that anyone else who was there would hear everything they were discussing. The Three Broomsticks on the other hand would have been so loud and crowded that no one would be able to overhear them.
    • Harry suffers from this twice with regards to Snape. After having his vision of Sirius he forgets that Snape is also a member of the Order until he arrives in Umbridge's office. He also doesn't consider that Snape may have been pretending when he tried to give him a code.
  • Disproportionate Retribution
    • After Dolores Umbridge accuses Harry Potter of lying to her, she makes him write in his own blood not to be dishonest.
    • After James Potter humiliates Snape with some bullying, but physically harmless hexes, Snape retaliates with Sectumsempra, a curse that causes the victim to bleed "as though he had been slashed with an invisible sword." Luckily, the curse only grazed James' cheek (and even that was enough to get blood on his robes).
  • Divided We Fall: The Ministry of Magic, due to the rivalry that Fudge believes to exist between him and Dumbledore.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
  • The Dog Bites Back: Hogwarts Headmistress Umbridge is on the receiving end of an ensemble of pranks by the Weasley twins and other Hogwarts students alike, making her job more difficult for her. The Hogwarts staff indulge in a bit of this via Bothering by the Book.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Threatening Fred and George Weasley with detention or the like will never get them to stop their rule-breaking. However, when Hermione says she will write their mother, they are immediately scared into compliance, something that has never been seen before or since.
    Hermione: If you don't stop, I'm going to—
    Fred: Put us in detention?
    George: Make us write lines?
    Hermione: No, but I will write to your mother.
    Fred: You wouldn't...
  • Doorstopper: Over 750 pages no matter which edition and the longest book in the series; nearly a quarter of the word count of the entire series is contained in this one book, since it usually has smaller print than the others but ends up with the highest page count anyway. Magazines and newspapers pointed out that the book wouldn't fit through most mail slots if mail-ordered. Comedians had a field day joking that book 6 would be called Harry Potter and the End of Trees.
    Stephen Fry: So if any of you hear someone pronounce her name "Rohw-ling", you have my permission to hit them over the head with — not with Order of the Phoenix, that would be cruel. Something smaller; like a fridge.
  • Double Standard: In-universe. Girls are allowed to enter the boys' dormitories, but try to do the opposite and you get magically rebuffed. Ron finds this out the hard way and immediately points out the double standard. Hermione admits it's an "old-fashioned rule".
  • Double Take: Harry notices that coaches are no longer horseless upon arrival to Hogwarts in exactly this way. Plain out called a "double take" in the book.
  • Do Wrong, Right:
    • When Peeves tries to do a Falling Chandelier of Doom to Umbridge...
      ...Harry witnessed Professor McGonagall walking right past Peeves, who was determinedly loosening a crystal chandelier, and could have sworn he heard her tell the poltergeist out of the corner of her mouth, "It unscrews the other way."
    • Villainous example; when Harry uses a Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix, she screams for a few minutes. Then the curse wears off. She shouts at him that righteous fury won't do the trick; he has to want to hurt her badly.
  • Dramatic Irony: A reverse example. When Petunia mentions "That horrible boy" telling Lily Evans (her younger sister and Harry's mother) about Dementors, he thinks she means James ... as we find out in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we learn she actually means Severus Snape.
  • Dream Spying: Harry can sometimes see through Voldemort's mind, but the link is two-way.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Invoked. When Harry's secret group of students was caught and brought before the headmaster, Dumbledore claimed responsibility for the whole thing, noting how their charter specifically read "Dumbledore's Army, not Potter's Army."
  • Either/Or Prophecy: Of great concern to Voldemort is a prophecy tying his fate to Harry Potter. The wise mentor reveals the prophecy to Harry, which says that Harry must kill Voldemort, or else Voldemort must kill Harry. Until then, neither can be at peace. Harry is convinced this is some cosmic rule, but Dumbledore emphasizes the only reason that part of the prophecy is true is because Voldemort thinks it's true, so now he will not rest until he kills Harry.
  • Elevator Floor Announcement: In the Ministry of Magic, a voice describes the departments on each floor until Harry and Mr. Weasley get to the floor that has both the courtroom and the Department of Mysteries.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Averted by Cho, which Harry calls her out for, when her best friend Marietta sells out the DA to Umbridge after attending lessons for six months. As Harry rightly pointed out, Marietta was willing to let everyone involved, including Cho, get expelled.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • According to Sirius, his parents and many other pure-blood families initially supported Voldemort. While not Death Eaters, they still thought he had the right idea about purging Wizarding Britain of Muggle-borns and placing the pure-bloods in charge. However, they got cold feet when they realized the lengths to which he was willing to go to seize power.
    • It's worth noting that even Umbridge looks nervous the morning after the Death Eaters escape from Azkaban. (This crosses over with Oh, Crap! too.)
  • Everyone Has Standards: Harry invokes this on Fudge's behalf after reading an article in The Quibbler accusing him of ordering the assassinations of goblins. Where he stops specifically is the accusation that "'he's had them cooked in pies.'"
  • Everyone Is Related: In this book, we belatedly find out that Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange are sisters and Sirius Black is their cousin, and that Arthur Weasley is a distant relative of all of them. Part of this is related to pureblood supremacy; such families want to keep their lines pure, and as more and more witches and wizards marry half-bloods, Muggleborns, and outright Muggles, the number of purebloods diminishes. That Arthur is related to them is coincidence, as they consider the Weasleys blood traitors.
  • Evil Plan: For this book, Voldemort has his sights set on a prophecy stored in the Ministry of Magic that could give him an edge in killing Harry. Other than that, he has to rebuild his organization.
  • Exact Words
    • The teachers had fun with this as soon as Umbridge was appointed to Headmistress in the fifth book. With the passage of Educational Decree Number Twenty-Six, which banned teachers from telling students anything that didn't have to do with their subject, they gleefully refused to extinguish the fireworks Fred and George released, expressing that they weren't sure they had the authorization to do so.
    • Used to tragic effect when Sirius orders Kreacher to "Get out" when Harry and the Weasleys arrive at Christmas. While he was ordering the house-elf out of the kitchen, Kreacher deliberately interprets it as an order to leave the house. It allows him to leave 12 Grimmauld Place and make contact with Narcissa Malfoy — thus giving Voldemort an agent in the Order of the Phoenix's HQ and setting the stage for Sirius' death.
    • Near the start of the book, Nearly Headless Nick tells Ron indignantly that he has never been guilty of cowardice in his life. As we find out near the end of the book, he was only guilty of cowardice in death — he chose to become a ghost because he was afraid of death.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Harry greets the Order's advance guard with his wand raised. Moody greets him thusly: "Lower your wand, boy, before you take someone's eye out."
    • A Death Eater is stabbed in the eye with a wand during the final battle.
  • The Face: Dolores Umbridge exploits this trope. Not wanting Hogwarts students trained in offensive magic, she fills the Defense Against the Dark Arts curriculum with lessons like "negotiation" and "non-retaliation" on the premise that these skills are just as important for future Auror teams as curses and counter-curses.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Dolores Umbridge's introduction, as a member of the tribunal trying Harry for use of magic while underage.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Umbridge and her minions attempt to stun Hagrid, but overlook that his giant blood makes him immune to their spells. This mistake costs them dearly.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Peeves attempts to pull a manual Phantom of the Opera. And gets help from McGonagall!
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Whatever that mysterious spell Dumbledore fired was, it causes no damage to a shield but produces a "chilling", gong-like sound. Voldemort mocks Dumbledore for not going straight for the kill, but Dumbledore calmly replies that there are other ways of destroying a person.
    • Nick ponders at times if being a ghost is this, as it's not only irreversible but a testament that the wizard was too afraid to move on.
  • Feed It with Fire: Fred and George's trick fireworks.
  • Fired Teacher: Three examples. Professor Trelawney and Hagrid during the story, and Umbridge at the end.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Cho has a lot of difficulty being able to have a relationship with Harry due to Cedric's death. Harry also has to deal with this after Cho breaks up with him.
  • First Kiss: Harry has this with Cho Under the Mistletoe.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Harry goes through them during the climax. His immediate reaction to Sirius' death is denial, followed by explosive anger at Bellatrix and, later, Dumbledore. Bargaining comes when he assumes Sirius will return as a ghost. He spends the next few days dealing with depression, unable to decide if he wants company and silently crying by the lake. The book ends with him approaching acceptance.
  • Foreshadowing: Has its own page.
  • Get Out!: When Harry sees Snape's worst memory, Snape throws him out of his classroom while screaming at him to get out and never come back.
  • Give Chase with Angry Natives: Hermione attempts this, running through the centaurs' territory in the hopes that they will deal with Umbridge. However, it turns out the centaurs do not appreciate being used that way, even if the target is the villainous and vile Dolores Umbridge. They carry off Umbridge, but then turn on Hermione and Harry.
  • Golden Mean Fallacy: Umbridge uses this in her opening speech, suggesting that she represents a middle ground between tradition and change. If that's so, we'd hate to see what "change" looks like.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Why Harry's attempt at the Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix is a No-Sell. He simply cannot bring himself to want to cause pain for its own sake.
    Bellatrix: You need to really mean them, Potter! You need to really want to cause pain... to enjoy it... righteous anger won't hurt me for long!
  • Gossip Evolution: The tale of Fred and George's escape from Umbridge gets retold so often that within a week even eyewitnesses are convinced they pelted her with Dungbombs before flying off.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Ministry of Magic's cover-up of Voldemort's return.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Harry is initially jealous that Dumbledore appointed Ron as Prefect instead of him. Once he's by himself however, he realizes that he and Ron are almost equals academically, and that it does no one any good for him to harbor resentment about Ron finally receiving some acclaim. When he and Ron meet again, Harry sincerely congratulates him.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The situation between humans and centaurs as alluded to in this book. On the one hand, the Ministry's laws regarding centaurs clearly imply a very unfair situation similar to that of the Native Americans with a hefty dose of implied racism, and that Centaurs do not have anywhere near as many rights in the eyes of the law as they almost definitely deserve. On the other hand, the centaurs aren't the most sympathetic people themselves. The centaurs we see are shown, with only one exception, to be pathologically arrogant assholes with backwards and barbaric cultural practices, and they're stirred to a murderous rage by anything even tangentially insinuating a master-slave relationship between humans and centaurs (a concept so loose that it includes a human admitting without prompting to performing a Batman Gambit on them or even a centaur accepting a paying job from a human), and even the nicest one we see, Firenze, says some rather patronizing and offensive things about humans in the first lesson he teaches.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: These three words sum up Umbridge's personality quite aptly. Exemplified by how she passed legislation making it even harder for Lupin to get a job.
  • Happy Dance: "He got off, he got off, he got off..."
  • Hate Sink: Umbridge's main role in the story is to prove the Death Eaters don't have a monopoly on awful people.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: A highly unusual and anachronistic use of "ejaculate" in its old meaning of "exclaim."
    "We're not going to use magic?" Ron ejaculated loudly.
  • Heroic BSoD: Harry briefly experiences this when he thinks Voldemort might be possessing him. He has a bigger one at the end after Sirius dies.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: When Ron and Hermione recite Harry's combative accomplishments in the last four years, he finally interrupts them to admit he owed his success more to lucky guesses and the convenient arrival of assistance. "I just blundered through it all, I didn't have a clue what I was doing..."
  • "The Hero Sucks" Song: The Slytherins make up a song taunting new Quidditch player Ron, mocking his frequent goofs:
    Weasley cannot save a thing,
    He cannot block a single ring,
    That's why Slytherins all sing:
    Weasley is our King.
    • Later given an Ironic Echo when Ron leads Gryffindor to beating Ravenclaw and win the Cup.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard
    • The spell James uses to make Snape hang upside down in the air? In the next book, we find out Snape invented it.
    • Umbridge successfully intimidates and shocks Hagrid with her bigoted tactics, enabling her to manufacture reasons to have him fired. It turns out that those tactics don't work against very angry, very intelligent centaurs, who have had plenty of experience with people like Umbridge.
    • Umbridge's decrees that limit the authority of the other teachers bite her in the ass when the students raise hell against her, and none of the other teachers deal with it because they don't have the authority to do so.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Araminta Melliflua (a member of the House of Black) wanted this legalized. On Muggles, of course.
  • Hypocritical Humor: While Harry is listening to the television at Privet Drive, there is a mention of a socialite, and Petunia says "As if we were going to be interested in her sordid affairs", while Harry internally notes that Petunia has been following said "sordid affairs" with great interest.
  • Idiot Ball: Nearly everyone buys the ludicrous story that Dumbledore is a senile old crackpot, despite his well-earned reputation as one of the wisest and greatest wizards of the age.
  • If We Survive This: Before his trial, Harry mentally promises to add ten Galleons to the charity fountain if he's found not guilty. He ends up emptying his whole money bag.
  • I Hate Past Me: After Harry confronts him about how he and James acted when they were teenagers, Sirius admits he's not proud of his behavior and calls the two of them "arrogant little berks".
  • I Have No Son!: Sirius explains that this was his family's standard reaction whenever they produced someone halfway decent.
  • I'll Kill You!
    • And played with in the dénouement:
      Malfoy glanced around. Harry knew he was checking for signs of teachers. Then he looked back at Harry and said in a low voice, "You're dead, Potter."
      Harry raised his eyebrows. "Funny," he said, "you'd think I'd have stopped walking around..."
  • I See Them, Too: Harry, Luna, and the Thestrals. She was also the only other character to hear the same murmuring from behind the veil that Harry did.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Though the concept of stitches had been around since at least 500 BCE, it had never been picked up by the wizarding world even into the 1990s, where much better healing methods made stitches look primitive. As a result, Molly scoffs at Arthur for using stitches as a method to try to close his venom wound that magic couldn't close. Unfortunately for him, stitches don't work either. This could be because the venom dissolved them, or Arthur just does not understand Muggle technology very well.
    "Well... well, I don't know whether you know what — what stitches are?"
    "It sounds as though you've been trying to sew your skin back together," said Mrs. Weasley with a snort of mirthless laughter, "but even you, Arthur, wouldn't be that stupid —"
    "I fancy a cup of tea too," said Harry, jumping to his feet.
    Hermione, Ron, and Ginny almost sprinted to the door with him. As it swung closed behind them, they heard Mrs. Weasley shriek, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THAT'S THE GENERAL IDEA?"
  • I Warned You:
    • Prior to Harry's arrival at 12 Grimmauld Place, Dumbledore warned Sirius that Kreacher needed to be treated with kindness and to be careful with him. He was afraid something like Kreacher's betrayal would happen, but Sirius ignored Dumbledore.
    • Of course, it also goes the other way. Sirius warned Dumbledore that keeping Harry Locked Out of the Loop about Voldemort's plans would lead to disaster. After Voldemort lures Harry into a trap and Sirius is killed as a result, Dumbledore admits he was right.
    • And of course, when Fudge finally sees Voldemort with his own eyes at the Ministry, Dumbledore doesn't waste any time to remind him that he's been telling him all the year that the Dark Lord was back, and Fudge refused to listen.
  • Internal Reveal: After Ron and Hermione begin suspecting Fred and George may have done something illegal to get their funding for their joke shop, Harry finally tells them he gave them his Triwizard Tournament winnings.
  • Insult Backfire: After Ron becomes the new Gryffindor keeper, the Slytherins create the song "Weasley is Our King" to mock him during matches. But once Ron gets over his nerves and and proves to be a excellent player, the Gryffindors adopt the song and change the lyrics to praise his skills.
  • Jerkass: Harry himself acts as one towards his friends throughout the book. However, this is mitigated by the fact that it was to cover up the inferiority complex he felt after being subjected to the blood quill torture by Umbridge. It doesn't help that he's Surrounded by Idiots who are in complete denial of Voldemort's return. He also seems to have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it's also rather heavily implied that sharing thoughts with Voldemort isn't doing his mental state any favors.
  • Jerkass Has a Point
    • The way she did it was completely unjustified and just goes to show how horrible she is, but Umbridge sacking Trelawney made sense. Practically everybody knew that she was a bad teacher with no more ability to predict the future than anyone else. The only reason she was appointed in the first place because she made one accurate prophecy (that she wasn't even aware of making). Dumbledore, however, kept her around in part for her safety, which is why he insisted she continue to reside in the castle.
    • When Harry watches Snape's mid-1970s memory of himself and the Marauders as youngsters in the Pensieve, he realises Snape was right about his father being arrogant. He also sees that Snape has good reasons for disliking his father.
    • When Hagrid starts leading everyone to see the Thestrals and assures them they're safe, Malfoy points out that Hagrid's brought wild stuff to class that he considered safe but turned out to be dangerous to the class before. Even a few of the Gryffindors silently acknowledge he has a point. Of course, the "jerkass" part comes back with a vengeance minutes later when he and the other Slytherins outright lie about Hagrid to Umbridge.
    • Harry during his fight with Cho, while he tells her not to run off crying, points out several facts: Marietta sold out everyone, including Cho, to Umbridge, who would have expelled them all. Also, her wanting to save her mother's job is a terrible excuse; Arthur Weasley works in the Ministry and Fred, George, Ginny and Ron didn't feel the need to betray anyone. He doesn't even have to bring up Susan Bones and her aunt Amelia.
  • Jerkass Realization: Harry acts as a jerk towards his friends throughout the book, especially near the beginning when he's seething at being Locked Out of the Loop after nearly dying to let everyone know Voldemort's back. When he realizes what a moody person he was, he tries to reel himself in.
  • Just a Kid: Molly and Lupin invoke this when the Order withholds information from Harry, much to his displeasure.
  • Kangaroo Court: Fudge's attempt to discredit Harry is so biased that it's easy for Dumbledore to point out gaping holes in the court procedure, to say nothing that even before Harry gets to the trial the Ministry attempts to expel him without a trial, then changes the time of the trial and the location to try and make him look bad by being late (and keep Dumbledore from showing up with evidence and a witness who can exonerate Harry).
  • Karma Houdini
    • Every member of the Inquisitorial Squad suffers Amusing Injuries, but none of them is punished for acting like Umbridge's Secret Police and engaging in active torture. In fact, their points removal lasts through the end of the year so that McGonagall has to add points for Snape to want to deduct.
    • The Aurors that sent McGonagall to the hospital with their Stunners aren't fired.
  • Kick the Dog
    • Mrs. Weasley telling Sirius that he was a poor godfather because he was in prison for twelve years. She was motivated out of concern for Harry, and they do make up at Christmas, but seriously: not cool, Mrs. Weasley.
    • EVERYTHING Umbridge does. She can't walk down a hallway without finding a dog to kick.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange taunts Neville by saying that she's had the pleasure of meeting his parents. She then follows by taunting Harry about Sirius' death up until he tries the Cruciatus Curse on her.
    • Percy's treatment of his parents at Christmas. He sends back the sweater Molly made for him without an explanation, and doesn't bother to ask about his father being in the hospital.
  • Killed Off for Real: A main character dies in the climax, and doesn't come back in the form of a ghost, portrait, Priori Incantum shade or Pensieve memory. This devastates Harry, and it's only furthered when Nearly Headless Nick explains that even if the character did return by any of these methods, it would only be a pale imitation of the original.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: In the book, Cho leans in to kiss Harry, and the paragraph ends, then cutting to a few minutes later when he returns to the Gryffindor common room.
  • Klingon Promotion: Hagrid describes how Karkus, the Gurg (chief) of the Giants who was sympathetic to their overtures of wanting giant allies in the fight against Voldemort, was beheaded and replaced by a Gurg with ties to Death Eaters.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Moody telling Vernon, "I expect what you're not aware of would fill several books."
  • Let Me at Him!:
    • In a bit of role-reversal, Harry and Ron have to hold Neville back when Malfoy makes a crass remark about magic-induced brain damage.
    • Fred and George have to be held back from punching Malfoy when he starts badmouthing their parents. When Malfoy insults Harry's mother, Harry tackles him.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: When Hermione demands to know what Ron thinks about Harry's plan to contact Sirius via Umbridge's fire, Harry is reminded of a similar argument between Molly and Arthur at the beginning of the book.
  • Like a Son to Me: Molly about Harry, as if it wasn't clear already. Despite the huge fight going on when she says it, it's a rather heartwarming.
  • Listing the Forms of Degenerates: When Kreacher the house-elf rants about how Sirius Black is not as strict about the company he keeps as Walburga Black was.
    "...smells like a drain and a criminal to boot, but she’s no better, nasty old blood traitor with her brats messing up my mistress’s house, oh, my poor mistress, if she knew, if she knew the scum they’ve let into her house, what would she say to old Kreacher, oh, the shame of it, Mudbloods and werewolves and traitors and thieves, poor old Kreacher, what can he do..."
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: More major (or at least plot-important) characters come up in this book than any since the first. Luna Lovegood, Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Mundungus Fletcher, Dolores Umbridge, Kreacher, Arabella Figg, Amelia Bones, Zacharias Smith, Phineas Nigellus Black, Bellatrix Lestrange...
    • Several of these characters — notably the Lestranges and Mundungus Fletcher — had been mentioned in passing previously. Arabella Figg in particular is revealed to be the very same "Mrs. Figg" mentioned all the way back in the first book.
  • Loophole Abuse
    • As noted under "Exact Words", Kreacher deliberately misinterprets Sirius' command of "Get out" at Christmas to leave Order HQ and make contact with Narcissa Malfoy. While Sirius' orders prevent Kreacher from relaying information on the Order's activities to Voldemort, he could divulge intelligence that Sirius didn't consider important enough to classify — namely that Harry loves his godfather and would go to any length to rescue him. This is key to the trap Voldemort lays in the Department of Mysteries.
    • When Fred and George start selling their Skiving Snackboxes after demonstrating them in the common room, Hermione can't do anything about it because they're free to test the products on themselves and it's only against the rules for the two to sell them if they're dangerous (which is proven not to be the case).
  • Love Doodles: Teenage James Potter writes Lily Evans' initials inside a drawing of a snitch. He's in love with her.
  • Lured into a Trap: Despite Harry's vision, Voldemort isn't holding Sirius in the Department of Mysteries. Instead, it's a Death Eater ambush.
  • Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: Harry slams headlong into this trope like a brick wall during his first date with Cho (on Valentine's Day, no less), though Hermione is kind enough to explain Cho's reactions after the fact. First Hermione insists that Harry meet her at noon in the Three Broomsticks, saying it's important. Even when Harry tells Hermione he's planning to spend the day with Cho, Hermione says Harry can bring her, too. When Harry tells Cho, she seems to be a bit thrown but otherwise okay. Hermione explains that Harry should have sold the meeting to Cho as a real chore, but Hermione made him promise, and he'd try and get it done quickly, and should have mentioned how ugly he thinks Hermione is. Then, when they stop to have tea, Roger Davies from the Ravenclaw Quidditch team is present, and Cho mentions that he'd asked her out, too, but she turned him down. Hermione explains that Cho said this because, still a bit annoyed that Harry had agreed to meet another girl on his Valentine's Day with her, she was trying to make him jealous. And Harry did get a bit jealous, but he's nonconfrontational enough that he didn't let it show. Then Cho starts talking about Cedric, which really throws Harry for a loop, since every time Cho talks about Cedric she starts crying, and Harry doesn't want her to be sad. He also hasn't come close to processing his own feelings about Cedric's death, and doesn't want to think that Cho would rather be here with Cedric instead of him. Hermione explains that Cho needs to try and work out her feelings about Cedric's death, and Harry's the only one she feels she can talk to, since they're the two who were most affected by it (Cho was dating him, Harry was there when he was killed and indirectly caused his death). She also genuinely likes Harry, and is having a lot of very confusing feelings between her attraction to him and her mourning for Cedric, and just needs to talk some things out. Ron suggests Hermione should write a book explaining how girls think so boys can understand.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Weasley is our King", doubles an Ironic Echo to the Slytherins.
  • Meaningful Name
    • Detention with Dolores. "Dolores" means "pains" in Latin and Spanish, and "Umbridge" is a pun on "umbrage".
    • Kreacher. At the end, Dumbledore emphasises that Kreacher "is what he has been made by wizards" treating him as subhuman, that "he is to be pitied". A little reminiscent of Frankenstein's Monster — or "creature" in the original novel.
  • Mind Rape: Revealed to be an important plot point. Snape reveals that Voldemort loves doing this to his victims, and his teaching Harry Occlumency is the defense against it. Voldemort does attempt this on Harry near the end of the book but fails.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: Dumbledore observes that the Minister should be willing to question witnesses as long as is necessary to prevent a miscarriage of justice. Thus Lampshading the obvious purpose of Harry's hearing.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Umbridge, again, combining it with Sadist Teacher, while addressing the students like they're five-year-olds. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows shows that she still acts this way outside of the classroom as well.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Cho gets this impression of Harry on their date, thanks to his poor choice of words in describing his meeting with Hermione later. Though one may wonder how exactly she arrived at that conclusion, since Harry told her Hermione said he could bring her, too...
  • Mistaken for Gay: Dudley mocks Harry for yelling "Don't kill Cedric!" in his sleep, wondering, "Who's Cedric — your boyfriend?"
  • Mood Whiplash
    • Umbridge begins her start-of-the-year speech in her normal Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher persona (itself unprecedented since, as Harry notes, only Dumbledore had ever done this before), then switches to a Purple Prose-laden explanation of her plans for the school. Hermione summarizes it as "the Ministry's interfering at Hogwarts."
    • Harry's rather humorous dream about him entering the Room of Requirement to put up some Christmas decoration shaped like Dobby's head abruptly changes into a vision about Voldemort's serpent Nagini brutally wounding Mr. Weasley.
    • The montage following Umbridge's promotion to High Inquisitor is played for laughs, especially the scenes where she mocks Snape and Trelawney on their teaching credentials. Cut to Trelawney being fired and nearly thrown out of Hogwarts, which isn't funny at all.
    • The notorious Pensieve scene starts out like this. Harry is delighted to see his father and his friends, goofing off and relaxing after the exams. He's a little miffed about his father showing off and acting like a ponce with the Snitch, but he and Sirius are cool, and then they spot Severus and the scene goes From Bad to Worse, with Harry's image about his parents (especially James) shattering, with Snape turning out to be right all this time about his father's ego.
    • "Christmas on the Closed Ward." The chapter starts with Molly and Arthur bickering, moves on to memoryless Gilderoy Lockhart, both of which are funny and/or heartwarming, then ends with the trio and Ginny meeting Neville and his parents, who have been tortured into insanity, to the point they can't even recognise him.
  • Mugging the Monster: The attempt of Umbridge and her Aurors to arrest Hagrid doesn't go according to plan, due to his great size and strength, and the fact that his giant blood makes him immune to their Stunning Spells. When one of them stuns Fang, Hagrid picks up the culprit and throws him ten feet. He knocks out two more of his attackers before fleeing the castle grounds with Fang on his back.
  • Never My Fault
    • Draco threatening Harry at the end of the book, with his father in jail, which was Lucius' own fault for not being able to handle a group of children in the Ministry of Magic.
    • Once Harry and Dumbledore's claim that Voldemort has returned is confirmed beyond all question, The Daily Prophet writes an article commending Harry on his bravery for sticking to his story while "forced to bear ridicule and slander". As Hermione notes, they were the ones who did all of the ridiculing and slandering in the first place.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Becomes an issue with Harry's father. Up until now, Harry has only been exposed to a spotless, eulogized version of James. When he witnesses some of his father's very human flaws such as his arrogance and tendency towards bullying, Harry is sent into an emotional tailspin.
  • New Ability Addiction: For all their complaining about Percy Apparating everywhere in the last book, Fred and George are doing exactly the same (and annoying Ron), albeit on the basis that "time is Galleons", rather than to show off.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Nice job finding the prophecy so that the Death Eaters can take it and drawing Sirius out of hiding so that he's killed, Harry!
    • Fudge's refusal to heed Harry and Dumbledore's warnings allows Voldemort to increase his power virtually unchecked and causes discord between the Minister and the general public.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Sirius fails to live up to the advice he gave the trio in the last book. He has nothing against house-elves in general, but can't stand the way Kreacher constantly parrots the beliefs of the family he hated. Rowling herself stated this particular trait of Sirius in her official website.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Sirius to Kreacher, with tragic consequences. Of course, Kreacher's opinion of him had been pretty low ever since Sirius ran away from home.
  • No Mere Windmill: People cling on to the belief that Voldemort cannot have returned. Thus, they let the Dark Lord grow in power undisturbed, while they accuse Harry of being a Windmill Crusader and Dumbledore of being a Manipulative Bastard using this Windmill Political for some shadowy political game.
  • Noodle Incident: Hagrid had a "slight disagreement" with a vampire in a pub near Minsk.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-universe. Umbridge's ban of Harry's interview with The Quibbler only ensures that everybody reads it.
  • The Not-So-Harmless Punishment: Harry is punished for speaking out against Umbridge in class by being made to write lines... with a magic quill that cuts his skin and takes his own blood as ink.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: As the Power Trio and the rest of the students that will eventually take Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons with Harry meet at the Hog's Head, the bartender is described as clearly listening in, and continually scrubbing a glass with a dirty rag, which is actually making the glass dirtier.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Ron's finest hour as Gryffindor Keeper, when he helps them win the Cup, is never seen as during the match Harry and Hermione are away in the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid meeting his giant half-brother Grawp.
  • Oh, Crap!
    • Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard on the planet, causes this reaction when Fudge comes to arrest him.
      Dumbledore: Well, it's just that you seem to be laboring under the delusion that I am going to... what is the phrase... come quietly.
    • Also, Bellatrix, described continuously as extremely evil and sadistic and seemingly not afraid of anything, has this reaction when Harry reveals to her that the prophecy Voldemort sent her to retrieve has been destroyed.
    • All the Death Eaters except Bellatrix have this reaction when Dumbledore joins the fight.
    • Fudge gets one at the climax when he appears in the Ministry just in time to see Voldemort make his exit, finally getting irrefutable proof that Harry and Dumbledore were right all along.
  • Only Sane Man: Madame Bones compared to the rest of the Ministry.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business
    • Ron and Hermione talk about Dumbledore being this once he finds out Mundungus Fletcher abandoned his watch on Harry in order to talk to someone about stolen cauldrons. Hermione simply says that he was "scary" during it. It also comes up during the school year, as the formerly personable Dumbledore constantly ignores Harry, but it turns out at the end he has his own reasons.
    • Played for Laughs on the day Fred and George release the fireworks. Later that day Hermione tells Harry and Ron, who stare morosely at their pile of homework, to take a break, reasoning that they have the upcoming Easter holidays to do their homework.
      Ron: Are you feeling all right?
      Hermione: Now you mention it... d'you know... I think I'm feeling a bit... rebellious.
    • Bellatrix spends most of her screentime laughing at Harry and Neville and mocking them about their traumas. Then Harry tries the Cruciatus Curse on her; while it only causes her momentary pain, she drops the act and tells him how to do it properly, that he has to want to be sadistic. Then she freaks out when he reveals the prophecy got smashed.
    • Neville apparently attacking Malfoy for no reason is seen as this by everyone save Harry, who knows why jokes about mentally disturbed and the mental ward in St. Mungo hits too close to home for Neville.
  • Our Angels Are Different: There are golden cherubs throwing petals over couples in Madame Puddifoot's on Valentine's Day.
  • Our Founder: The statue at the Ministry of Magic.
  • Out-Gambitted: Dumbledore, who acknowledges that his hiding of information made it considerably easier for Voldemort to trick Harry.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: It turns out Snape was the one who told the prophecy to Voldemort, which led him to try to kill Harry. However, he only heard the part labeling Harry, and not why he would be dangerous, leading to his initial downfall.
  • Overt Rendezvous: Hermione tells people who are interested in a defence group to meet at the Hog's Head, rather than the more crowded Three Broomsticks. Unfortunately, not only does the Order still have someone following Harry, but so does Umbridge - and in the relatively deserted pub, they can hear everything being discussed.
  • Pair the Spares: Inverted, in a piece of foreshadowing so indirect that it was probably put in by Rowling just to amuse herself. You start by asking yourself what exactly the purpose of Michael Corner and Cho Chang hooking up was...
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Defied by Moody, who chews out Harry for storing his wand in his back pocket. Apparently, it's quite common to lose a buttock that way.
  • Papa Wolf: When Umbridge goes rough on one of the students, we find out why Dumbledore is respected and feared. He drops the nice act and gives her a clear warning.
  • Paper Destruction of Anger: When Ron receives a letter from his pompous brother Percy, congratulating him on becoming a prefect and advising him to stay away from Harry, whom Percy's bosses at the Ministry of Magic are currently trying to discredit, Ron furiously tears the letter in half three times while insulting Percy in a manner similar to Punctuated Pounding.
    "He is —" Ron said jerkily, tearing Percy's letter in half, "the world's" — he tore it into quarters — "biggest" — he tore it into eighths — "git". He threw the pieces into the fire.
  • Playing Sick: The Skiving Snackboxes (and joke candies contained within), invented by Fred and George, serve this purpose for their takers.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Basis of the plot really. If Dumbledore had actually warned Harry that Voldemort would try to lure him to the Department of Mysteries instead of having others give him cryptic advice and instructions, nothing would have happened that was nearly as bad.
  • Prison Break: Part of the plot when Voldemort breaks a number of Death Eaters out of Azkaban. Most notably, Bellatrix Lestrange.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality
    • When the Weasley twins shove Slytherin Graham Montague in the broken Vanishing Cabinet, he is trapped in a Limbo-like realm for a day, and his miraculous escape nearly kills him. His ordeal is Played for Laughs. When the trio see him in the Hospital Wing, Hermione suggests that they tell Madam Pomfrey what happened to him in order to help her heal him. Ron and Harry convince her not to. There are no apparent consequences for this.
    • Marietta Edgecombe grudgingly betrays Dumbledore's Army, essentially a self-defense club, for fear of endangering her mother's job. Hermione Granger jinxes her face to erupt in huge, irremovable pimples that spell "SNEAK."note  She, and, not surprisingly J.K. Rowling, think this is completely justified. Hermione refuses to remove them, and the girl is left with scars for the rest of her life.
  • Protectorate: Harry is this when Dumbledore defends him from Voldemort, beyond question.
  • Publicly Discussing the Secret: When setting up the DA, Hermione tries to avert this by having their first meeting in the Hog's Head instead of the Three Broomsticks. As Sirius later points out, while more people would have seen them at the Three Broomsticks, it would've been much harder for anyone to make out what they were saying.
  • Public Secret Message: Harry alerts Snape while making it possible to convince Umbridge he was shouting gibberish, by yelling "He's got Padfoot at the place where it's hidden!" to the entire room. Snape understands that "Padfoot" was Sirius' old nickname and "the place" was a location that Snape knows Harry's been seeing in his dreams — unfortunately, Harry doesn't understand that Snape understood.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!
    • When Ron receives a congratulatory letter from Percy (due to Ron being made prefect) and realizes that the letter contained an advice to sever ties with Harry in order to not jeopardize his own career outlook, Ron tears the letter into pieces and throws said pieces into the fire, muttering as he does so:
      Ron: He is — the world's — biggest — git.
    • Hermione says to Ron upon the latter considering ordering harder drinks when the trio enter the Hog's Head for the first time:
      Hermione: You — are — a — prefect!
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Harry screams at Dumbledore and tears apart his office after Sirius' death. Dumbledore persuades him to hear the full story by saying he isn't angry enough.
  • Random Passerby Advice: Peeves is allowed to cause chaos in the school with impunity since the other teachers enjoy watching Umbridge suffer. At one point he is trying to drop a large and dangerous chandelier, and Harry could swear he heard a passing Professor McGonagall mutter "it unscrews the other way."
  • Reading Tea Leaves: It's part of the Divination O.W.Ls. Harry messes it up completely and tells his examiner that she'll be meeting "a round, dark, soggy stranger".
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder: Used for Mood Whiplash when Harry, before seeing Mr. Weasley attacked by Nagini, has a dream in which Cho Chang finds him in the Room of Requirement and demands Chocolate Frog cards while he's trying to put up Christmas decorations shaped like Dobby's head. Also his dream of watching Neville and Professor Sprout waltz in the Room of Requirement while Professor McGonagall plays the bagpipes. And Ron and Hermione wearing crowns after they get named Prefect and Mrs. Weasley sobbing over Kreacher's corpse. There was also the dream where he nearly got shot by a walking cannon.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • After watching Cedric's death in the last book, dealing with ongoing persecution by the Ministry, and sharing a mental connection to Voldemort, it's no surprise that Harry's prone to mood swings and outbursts of anger — he's dealing with serious PTSD, not helped by the apparent fact that There Are No Therapists. Frankly, it's a miracle that he doesn't end up a shattered hulk of a man before the story's over.
    • Harry had trained Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny, and Luna the best he could, but they're still picked off one by one (non-fatally) by the Death Eaters during the climax.
    • The Dursleys' raising of Dudley has helped make him a juvenile delinquent.
    • After Voldemort's return has been confirmed beyond question, the Dénouement reveals that the public's trust in Minister "Head-in-the-Sand Management" Fudge is rapidly disintegrating. The next book shows just how far he ends up falling.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Harry receives an epic one from Prof. Phineas Nigellus Black, who explains in no uncertain terms that Dumbledore is a wise and experienced wizard while Harry is an inexperienced teenager, and Dumbledore has his reasons for what he does.
  • Red Herring
    • Early on we are led to believe that Umbridge is a Death Eater. Subverted when we learn that she was responsible for many of the events early in the book, but under her own agenda.
    • An unintentional one that demonstrates what happens when you train readers to spot a Chekhov's Gunman. Early on in the book, Harry notes that Dudley bragged about having beat up a boy called Mark Evans. Later, "Evans" is revealed to be the maiden name of Harry's mother, Lily. Rowling states that she made up a name on the fly for the less-important character and didn't notice the issue until fans started trying to connect the two.
    • Zacharias Smith is the DA's knee-jerk Commander Contrarian and, in his Establishing Character Moment, expresses skepticism about Harry's story that Voldemort used the Triwizard Tournament to resurrect himself. He's also noted as the last person to sign the membership parchment. Marietta Edgecombe is the eventual traitor.
    • A minor one shows up later; when Hermione takes Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest, Harry realizes that she's blindly wandering straight to Aragog's lair. "Luckily", the centaurs catch them before the spiders can.
  • Remembered Too Late: Harry forgets a gift Sirius gave him that could have allowed him to see through a trap.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Molly accuses Sirius of viewing Harry as a replacement for James. Sirius does not take kindly to this accusation, though it is shown to be partially true.
  • Resign in Protest: Several figures within the Ministry of Magic do this when Fudge pushes Dumbledore aside and installs Umbridge at Hogwarts.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Sirius notes that the Death Eaters work like this while discussing his late brother Regulus. Unsurprisingly, Voldemort isn't inclined to let people go if they have Curious Qualms of Conscience.
  • The Reveal
    • The visions of the hallway were projected into Harry's mind by Voldemort, who was trying to lure him out of the safety of Hogwarts. Voldemort was showing him the Hall of Prophecy in the Ministry's Department of Mysteries, which houses a recording of the Prophecy that led him to try to murder Harry as an infant; Harry and Voldemort were the only two people in the world capable of retrieving the Prophecy without going mad.
    • More of a minor one compared to the upper Reveal, but still pretty significant. When Umbridge is interrogating Harry on why he was using her Floo Network to try to contact Sirius, she reveals that SHE was the one to send the Dementors to attack Harry at the beginning of the book, not Voldemort like everyone had believed up until that point. She did this to force Harry into a position of either being removed from the Ministry's hand by Dementor's Kiss, or get him expelled and get him out of their hands in a less lethal way.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Rereading this book after reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows puts all of Dumbledore's fancy wandwork in a whole different light.
    • The Harry/Ginny scenes take on new meaning after they become a couple in the sixth book.
  • Rules Lawyer: Literally, as Dumbledore acts as Harry's lawyer ... er, Witness for the Defense, during Harry's hearing. In a rather unusual take on this trope, Dumbledore is forced to play Rules Lawyer because the Wizengamot are deliberately ignoring their own laws.
  • A Scar to Remember: Umbridge's magic quill cuts the lines that she makes students write as punishment into their own hand. Harry's lines and scar consists of "I must not tell lies" for his insistence that Voldemort has come Back from the Dead.
  • Scotty Time: Umbridge apparently thinks brewing Veritaserum works this way. It doesn't: Snape informs her it needs a full cycle of the moon to brew and therefore would take at least a month. She depleted Snape's stock herself, by putting the entire vial in Harry's tea (which he is intelligent enough not to drink, and which in any case was fake) while she's interrogating him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: In the run-up to OWLs, Malfoy enjoys messing with people by bringing up his father's friendship with Griselda Marchbanks, head of the examination authority. Neville says he's almost certainly bluffing, as his grandmother actually is friends with Marchbanks and she's never mentioned the Malfoys.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!
    • Percy breaks all ties with his family early on over an ideological disagreement, while also thinking they've all fallen for a ploy by Dumbledore to take over the Ministry of Magic, or at least remove the current Minister of Magic.
    • When Dumbledore shows up at the Ministry and joins the battle against the Death Eaters, one of them completely freaks out and attempts to escape. He doesn't get far and is bound by Dumbledore near effortlessly.
    • Voldemort himself does this after realizing that he cannot defeat Dumbledore and his plans to obtain the prophecy are ruined anyway.
  • Secret Society Group Picture: Alastor Moody shows Harry a photograph of all the members of the original Order of the Phoenix the last night before the Trio return to Hogwarts. Moody thought it might be a treat for Harry, but it's Accidental Nightmare Fuel instead.
  • Separated by a Common Language: After the Dementor attack, the Ministry of Magic sends Harry a premature notice of his expulsion. He tells his aunt and uncle who sent the letter and why. Vernon assumes the "Ministry of Magic" is a department of the Muggle British government and Harry doesn't correct him that it is its own apparatus.
    Vernon: Ministry of Magic? People like you in government? Oh, this explains everything, everything, no wonder the country's going to the dogs.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Hagrid's trip to recruit the giants was one of these. He and Madame Maxime spent the entire previous summer trekking to the place where the giants live and spent many days presenting the leader of the giants gifts in hopes of winning him and the giants he led to the Order's side. Their efforts were wasted when another giant backed by the Death Eaters killed that leader and took over, forcing Hagrid and Maxime to make a hasty retreat. The only real long term effect their trip had on the story was Hagrid finding and bringing his half-brother Grawp home with him.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Harry starts showing most of the medically accepted signs of chronic complex PTSD, including nightmares, irritability, mood swings, and agitation. It takes reprimands from his friends to stop him from lashing out at them. Books 6 and 7 continue with this.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ron takes an immediate dislike to Ginny's boyfriend, Michael Corner, having been under the impression she still liked Harry. He's quite happy when they break up, and suggests she can do better while giving Harry a meaningful look. Harry misses these hints, and when he does start falling for Ginny mere months later, spends a lot of time worrying Ron will kill him for it.
  • Ship Sinking: Harry had been crushing on Cho Chang since Prisoner of Azkaban. By the end of Order of the Phoenix, that ship was sent to a watery grave.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Averted. Voldemort does not punish Rookwood for informing him that his plan to retrieve the prophecy could never have worked. Avery, the man who gave him the wrong information in the first place, however...
  • Sickbed Slaying: This happens to Broderick Bode, a Department of Mysteries employee whom Voldemort tried to use in his Evil Plan du jour, when he's given a bouquet of flowers while hospitalized at St. Mungo's. One of the flowers turns out to be Devil's Snare, which strangles him to death.
  • Single Tear: Dumbledore sheds a silent tear as Harry rips into him after the tragedy in the climax of the book.
  • Six Student Clique: In the Ministry of Magic scenes.
    • The Head: Harry,
    • The Muscle: Ron,
    • The Smart One: Hermione,
    • The Quirk: Neville
    • The Pretty One: Ginny
    • The Wild One: Luna
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • During Fudge's campaign to undermine him, Dumbledore is demoted from Chief Warlock on the Wizengamot and is threatened with being stripped of his Order of Merlin. Dumbledore's response, according to Bill Weasley, is he doesn't care what they do so long as they don't take him off the Chocolate Frog trading cards.
    • When Luna gives a speech to Harry about how she believes him, Hermione just has to attack her about the silly things she believes in. Harry understandably calls her out for this: "Mind not offending the only people who believe me?"
    • Minutes after that, Ron has to interrupt Cho and Harry's conversation to attack her about supporting the Tutshill Tornadoes, her favoured professional Quidditch team.
  • Soap Punishment: Casting the cleaning spell Scourgify on a human will result in their mouth being washed out with soap. James Potter used it this way on Snape in the "Snape's Worst Memory" flashback.
  • Something-itis: When students use Fred and George's illness-faking sweets to get out of class in protest of the new headmistress, they say they're suffering from "Umbridge-itis".
  • Streisand Effect: In-Universe example: Umbridge issues a decree that any student found in possession of The Quibbler magazine containing an interview with Harry will be expelled. This, of course, guarantees that all the students in the school buy the issue in question in order to read the interview and learn why she would have it forbidden.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: The infamous scene in Grimmauld Place where Harry starts shouting at Ron and Hermione, rendered as a full page of dialogue in block capitals. It's even a meta example: the shouting starts at the top of the page, which means that readers, after getting through a rather sedate conversation, are suddenly assaulted by an eye-searing passage when they turn the page.
  • Surprise Witness: Mrs. Figg during Harry's trial.
  • Symbolically Broken Object: Sirius gives Harry a magic mirror that will allow them to communicate. Harry tries using it after Sirius' death but it doesn't work, so he throws it in his trunk and it smashes. It later becomes a Chekhov's Boomerang.
  • Taking the Bullet: Fawkes (a phoenix) can swallow an Avada Kedavra curse, expire as a result, and then return to life.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Harry begins throwing and smashing random objects in Dumbledore's office, wanting an explanation about everything that's been going on from Dumbledore, who realizes that he must finally tell Harry the Awful Truth.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: An Invoked Trope with Umbridge's pink, kitten-decorated office. Also, when Harry and Cho go to Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop, on Valentine's Day, Cho says thinks the shop is cute, but Harry lies in agreement, as he is unpleasantly reminded of Umbridge's office.
  • Teach Me How To Fight: Dumbledore's Army is born when Ron and Hermione ask Harry to teach them how to use advanced defensive magic.
  • Tempting Fate: Sirius taunts his dueling opponents about their incompetence, right before Bellatrix kills him.
  • There Are No Therapists:
    • Shouldn't Cho have someone to talk to about her boyfriend's death besides Harry? That could have spared them both a lot of pain.
    • Not to mention Harry and his post-traumatic stress disorder after what happened in the graveyard.
    • For that matter, this book may have ended a bit differently if Sirius could have gotten some counseling.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Defied by Sirius, who agrees with Harry that Umbridge is as bad as any of Voldemort's servants, but that "the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters."
  • There Should Be a Law: Played with twice by Fudge and Umbridge. During Harry's trial Dumbledore states that there is no law stating that the Ministry can hand out school punishment; Fudge murmurs "Laws can be changed". When Dumbledore overrules Umbridge, forcing her to re-form the Gryffindor Quidditch team, she calls up Fudge and receives a nice educational decree (McGonagall: "Oh, not another one!") giving her absolute power.
  • Throw 'Em to the Wolves: Or any quadruped of equivalent grouchiness (centaurs in this case). Hermione tricks Umbridge into entering the Forbidden Forest while concurrently tricking the centaurs into finding them, and Umbridge's Fantastic Racism did the rest. The herd of Centaurs carries her away.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Hermione, who has been made one of Gryffindor's new prefects and therefore is tasked with enforcing rules, chooses good over lawfulness, thinking up the DA and committing to it after Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four retroactively forbids it.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: There was a lot of speculation about this before the book's release, with many in the media suggesting that Ron would die. Rowling may have been playing with this expectation in an early chapter when Harry walks in on Ron's bloodied corpse as though it's a Surprisingly Sudden Death (in reality it was Mrs. Weasley's worst fear made manifest by a Boggart). The actual death turned out to be the comparatively minor character of Sirius Black.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Calling a group of centaurs armed with bows and arrows "filthy half-breeds"? Really, Umbridge, you've got only yourself to blame for that one.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Cornelius Fudge. In previous appearances he was quite amiable and always greeted Harry with a smile. Now his unfounded fears about Dumbledore taking over the Ministry and his determination to ignore the evidence of Voldemort's return leave him openly hostile to Harry and Dumbledore.
  • Translation by Volume: Umbridge maliciously speaks to Hagrid in a loud, slow, and unpleasant manner to make him look dumb and oafish, setting him up so she can fire him later. Hagrid responds in the same manner while trying to explain what Thestrals are, albeit in a confused and would-be helpful manner rather than a malicious one.
  • Translation: "Yes": Hermione is, of course, the only student who doesn't succumb to Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! during Umbridge's boring, long-winded speech on the first day of term. She has to answer her own 'pop quiz' to Ron and Harry about two representative lines therefrom, and does it in this way: "It means the Ministry's interfering at Hogwarts."
  • Trauma Conga Line: Deathly Hallows is the only other book in the series that piles as much misery on the protagonist, and it's still a pretty close call. It starts with Harry dealing with PTSD, recurring nightmares, and no company but his abusive relatives. Every time he thinks it can't get worse, it does.
  • Trauma Swing: Harry does one of these at the start of the book (it's the only swing in the park that Dudley and his gang haven't broken).
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The curse Hermione gave to anyone ratting on Dumbledore's Army was a permanent marking on the front.
  • Two-Timer Date: Harry averts this on Valentine's Day in Hogsmeade, which is when Hermione has set up Rita Skeeter's interview with him. Cho, however, thinks it is this, which is how their burgeoning romance gets nipped in the bud.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Dolores Umbridge's horrible misrule.
  • Uncool Undies: In a flashback scene, James Potter bullies Snape by doing the magical equivalent of a Pants-Pulling Prank, levitating him by his ankle so that his robe flips over, revealing what's described as a pair of "grey and sagging y-fronts."
  • Under the Mistletoe: Harry gets his first kiss with Cho in this manner. In the book, just prior to it, he's under it with Luna, who doesn't kiss him, much to the dismay of their shippers. Luna, however, doesn't even seem to understand what mistletoe is for.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Umbridge attempts to sack Hagrid, he loses his temper and the team of Aurors she brought along for it attempt to arrest him, but their spells just bounce off him. When Fang gets blasted trying to defend him, Hagrid LOSES it and throws the man responsible around like a rag doll. He only gets angrier when they stun McGonagall when she tries to intervene and knocks two more men senseless with a single blow each before picking up Fang and simply leaving. The students who witness it are slightly scared by the display.
    None of them had ever seen Hagrid in a real temper before.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Even though Harry wholeheartedly appreciates their courage later and they eventually become more competent in later books, it’s hard to say exactly how useful his friends really were during the Department of Mysteries. Neville and Luna probably stumble the hardest, as the former accidentally disarms Harry during a fight and later unintentionally lands himself over as a hostage to force Harry into surrender (after Harry had bought them an opening to flee), and the latter breaks Ginny’s ankle trying to help her, effectively knocking one of the DA's best fighters out of the battle.
  • The War Has Just Begun: There's a reason why the final chapter is titled "The Second War Begins". And the war's first casualty is Sirius.
  • Warts and All: After spending many books with a very idealized view of his parents, Harry gets to view one of Snape's memories of them and is shocked to find out that his father was a showoff and could be kind of a jerk. The shock is so much so that he gets a lot of angst about whether or not everything he'd thought about his father was a lie. He eventually talks to Sirius and Lupin about it and they explain to him that, yes James was being a jackass in that specific instance, but he was an immature teenager at the time and was still a good man and a good husband overall. Later on, Harry witnesses Ron behaving very much like his father did in the memory and finally gets over the shock and accepts his father simply had his faults and flaws, just like everyone else.
  • We Do Not Know Each Other: Fellow Order members Arthur and Kingsley must act rather cordially to each other on Ministry grounds, since as far as anyone else knows they barely know each other.
  • Wham Line:
    • Mrs. Figg's response when Harry tries to conceal his wand after she sees him with it is to tell him to keep it out in case more Dementors arrive, revealing she's not all she appears to be...
    • Petunia Dursley, who spent nearly ten years doing everything in her powers hiding magic from Harry Potter, explaining what Dementors are.
    • Dumbledore to Fudge:
      Dumbledore: You seem to be laboring under the delusion that I am going to — what is the phrase? — come quietly. I am afraid I am not going to come quietly at all, Cornelius.
  • What the Hell, Hero?
    • Harry gives Hermione and Ron this (as a proxy to Dumbledore) in the form of a rant about how much he deserves to know what's going on, considering that his life is just crap, especially considering the last book.
    • Phineas' portrait gives Harry the What the Hell, Hero? treatment when he's about to flee at Christmas, taking his Chronic Hero Syndrome too far.
    • One that might have been this was the first night in Hogwarts when Seamus tells Harry that his mother didn't want him to come back to Hogwarts because of him. Harry starts insulting her, which is pretty low on the "Hero" scale but would be justified to the readers because he's being called a liar for telling the truth.
    • Ginny calls Harry out for forgetting she was possessed by Voldemort, and thus knows what it feels like, while he was trying to hide from his friends. This ends up comforting him, as he realizes that he's not the weapon and he won't be used against them.
    • Harry is furious when Cho tries to apologize for Marietta betraying them all because he thinks Cho ought to have chosen her friends better. It's one thing that it happened, but it's another that Cho is trying to be an apologist, as he bluntly tells her.
    • The centaurs give one to Hermione after they correctly guessed she used them to get rid of Umbridge. Turns out a proud race of magical beings already mistrustful of wizards don't like being used as Unwitting Pawns in their affairs.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Molly Weasley hadn't heard of a branch of Muggle medicine called "stitches" before Arthur brings it up in conversation, but it sounds like he wants to sew his skin back together and not even he's stupid enough to consider that...
  • Wizard Duel: After five books, we get to see Dumbledore and Voldemort throw down during the climax. It's rather short and effectively a tie, but confirms that these two are on a completely different level from anyone else.
  • World's Shortest Book: Inverted, though the spirit of the insult is the same:
    Vernon: I am not aware that it is any of your business what goes on in my house—
    Mad-Eye: I expect what you're not aware of would fill several books, Dursley.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child:
    • In their first appearance this book, the centaurs let Hagrid pass because he has "foals" (Harry and Hermione) with him. The second time, however, they decide that they're grown up enough to be acceptable targets.
    • In a bizarre version, Hermione stops Harry from attacking a Death Eater whose head (but not the rest of him) has been regressed to that of a baby.
  • Writing Lines: Umbridge forces Harry to do this every day for a week, with a painful twist — the quill magically carves the words being written into his hand, and the ink is his own blood. It leaves a permanent scar on the back of his hand that is mentioned multiple times throughout the rest of the series, usually when a member of the Ministry asks Harry to do something that he believes to be wrong.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Umbridge tries this at the beginning of the book when she sends a pair of Dementors after Harry. If they administer the Kiss, then he's out of the Ministry's hair. If he manages to drive them off with a Patronus charm, then they can prosecute him for underage magic violations and expel him from Hogwarts.
  • You Keep Using That Word: In the final chapter, the trio talk about how Harry had been "forced to bear ridicule and slander," and Hermione mentions that the Daily Prophet failed to mention that they themselves had ridiculed and slandered Harry. In fact, what the Daily Prophet did to Harry was not slander, but libel. After all, slander is spoken.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame
    • After Ron becomes a prefect, Percy sends him a congratulatory letter. What sets this trope in motion is the part of the letter containing an advisory to sever ties with Harry so Ron doesn't jeopardize his career outlook. Once Ron reads that part, he tears the letter to pieces before tossing the letter into the fire.
    • Hermione does not want to proceed with having Harry teach their classmates how to defend themselves, which was her idea in the first place, just because Sirius thinks it's a good idea. This gets her a brief What the Hell, Hero? from Harry and Ron.
  • Your Mom
    • Harry speaks ill of Seamus' mother due to her believing Harry had lied in claiming Voldemort's return. Seamus ends up arguing with Harry as a result and backs down only when Ron intervenes and threatens to put Seamus in detention.
    • After serving a week's worth of detention with Umbridge, Harry writes a letter to Sirius. In case any letter-thief gets hold of the letter (about which he turns out to be Properly Paranoid), Harry goes out of his way to veil his messages (addressing the letter to "Snuffles," for instance). When referring to Umbridge, Harry writes "she's nearly as nice as your mum" — Sirius' mother being an obnoxious bigot whom he loathes, he reads this comparison in exactly the spirit Harry intended.

Alternative Title(s): Order Of The Phoenix


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