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Literature / Horrible Harry

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Horrible Harry is a long-running children's book series by Suzy Kline about the adventures of a typical second-grader named Harry who likes gross things and causing trouble. The books also follow the antics of Harry's fellow second-graders, including his best friend, Doug; his crush, Song Lee; his arch-rival, Sidney, and their teacher, Miss Mackle. Most of the series was illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, but later volumes included art from Amy Wummer.

A short-lived spinoff focusing on Song Lee was published, also by Suzy Kline. The series only lasted four volumes.

If you were looking for the other Harry that has a scar and glasses, go here. Not to be confused with Horrid Henry.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Arch-Enemy: Sidney and Harry.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Remkiewicz's art as the series went on got more proportional. By the final volumes, Wummer's art showed the kids being shorter and younger looking.
    • On the book covers, Song Lee is initially depicted with a yellowish skin tone. Starting with Horrible Harry Moves Up To Third Grade, her skin tone is changed to peach.
  • Book Dumb: Harry. He can't even spell "sea" correctly!
  • "Brave the Ride" Plot: Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom is about him showing fear for a dropping ride.
  • Cool Teacher: Cool Principal: Mr. Cardini. He let Doug spike his hair.
  • Disappeared Dad: Sidney's father is absent without explanation. His mother remarries in one of the books.
  • Expy: The Drop of Doom from "Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom" is clearly a expy of the ride "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror".
  • Fanboy: Dexter's main shtick is being an Elvis fanboy.
  • Feud Episode: Three times.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Harry loves animals, and supposedly refuses to mow the lawn because he doesn't want to hurt the grass. This is how Doug knows Harry didn't kill the Black Molly in Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion-that would be too horrible even for him.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Mary.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Pops up from time to time. One of the horrible things Harry does is force Sidney to say that he loves girls, twice.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Is Harry's hair black or dark red?
  • Heroic BSoD: Harry gets one in Horrible Harry and the Holidaze after his great-grandfather has to be sent to a nursing home because of a stroke.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Doug and Harry; Mary and Ida.
  • In-Series Nickname: Harry and Sidney constantly refer to each other as "Sid the Squid" and "Harry the Canary."
  • Jerkass: Sidney, Harry and Mary all have their moments, but Sidney takes it a step too far in Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion when he kills a fish in the class fish tank so he can frame Harry.
  • Evil Jerk Ass Redhead: Sidney.
  • Limited Wardrobe
  • Long-Running Book Series: Ran for thirty one years from 1988 to 2019 for a total of thirty seven books (plus four spin-off books starring Song Lee).
  • New Year, Same Class
  • Nightmare Retardant: In-Universe. In the first book, Harry crafts stud people and calls them "the scariest creatures in the world". On the day before Halloween, he releases them into his classroom and expects doom. Unsurprisingly, none of his victims were scared. Song Lee plays with the stud people, Sydney, Ida, and Mary never notice them, and Miss Mackle calls them cute.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted. The class and their teacher carry on into third grade.
  • Only One Name: Mostly played straight but sometimes averted. Everyone's last name is mentioned at some point; Harry (Spooger), Doug (Hurtuk), Song Lee (Park), Sidney (La Fleur), Dexter (Sanchez), Mary (Berg), Ida (Burrell), and Yousef "ZuZu" (Hadad).
  • Our Dragons Are Different: In Horrible Harry and the Dragon War, Harry and Song Lee get into an argument about Asian and European dragons. There is a fierce rivalry about which type is better, but they end up concluding both types of dragon are good.
  • Padding the Paper: Ida ends an essay with a page and a half's worth of "very"s to describe how fun the subject matter was. The teacher gently explains to her that one "very" is enough.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Ida is an aversion. (Well, she's only seven or eight years old, so yeah.)
  • Shown Their Work: All of the depictions of winter holidays from around the world in Horrible Harry and the Holidaze are certified 100% accurate.
  • Spiders Are Scary: In Horrible Harry Moves Up to the Third Grade, Harry brings his pet spider to school. Harry, being Harry, loves spiders, but the rest of the class finds his pet scary. Sidney ends up killing it, which turns Harry against him for the rest of the book.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Harry is the protagonist, yet the first-person narrator is his friend Doug.
  • Tear Jerker: In-universe - when Miss Mackle is reading the part of Charlotte's Web where Charlotte dies, Harry and Song Lee cry.
  • Token Minority: There's Song Lee (who's Korean), Mary (who is Jewish), ZuZu (who's Lebanese), Ida (who's black and has an ancestor from India), Dexter (who is Hispanic or Latin-American) and possibly Sidney (who's probably French because his last name is La Fleur).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sidney and Harry at times.
  • Why Did It have To Be Elevators: Harry is terrified of elevators because of getting stuck in one in a department store when he was three.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Song Lee, although she's Korean, not Japanese.