A Very Potter Musical and its appropriately named sequels, A Very Potter Sequel, and A Very Potter Senior Year are musical parodies of the Harry Potter books that were written and performed by Team StarKid (a group of former and current students of the University of Michigan) and released as a series of videos on their YouTube channel. The plots mash together a lot of elements from all the books in the series, but the musicals are very much their own work, with unique subplots and very unique takes on the characters—so unique that a character page can be found here. They run on Rule of Funny and Rule of Cool almost exclusively, and definitely aren't afraid to take Refuge in Audacity.
A Very Potter Musical (performed and later released in 2009) begins with Harry's second year at Hogwarts. Professor Quirrell, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, reinstates the House Cup Tournament, and a champion from each House is chosen to compete. But when Voldemort uses the tournament to fulfill a plot to return to his body, things take a turn for the grim for Harry and his friends, who must find and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes before it's too late. The story takes most of its elements from books 1, 4, 6, and 7.
A Very Potter Sequel (performed and released in 2010 after the video of the show was first premiered at Infinitus, a Harry Potter convention) begins immediately after the events of the first story, when Lucius Malfoy decides to use a time turner to go back to Harry's first year at Hogwarts and kill him before he can defeat Voldemort. As Harry, Ron, Hermione, Malfoy and the rest of the characters meet for the first time, Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban and the Ministry of Magic responds by sending Dolores Umbridge to the school to watch out for Harry, and Remus Lupin also comes to Hogwarts to take up the job of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Its story is mostly from books 1, 3, and 5.
Team StarKid announced plans for a third Very Potter Musical, or A Very Potter Senior Year. Their intention was to stage and premiere the threequel in the four-and-a-half months between Starship and the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2. However, the availability of Darren Criss (who plays Harry and writes the majority of Team StarKid's music) was in question since he was cast as a regular on Glee, and the project was indefinitely postponed. Though a full scale production still cannot be performed in the foreseeable future, a reading of the script featuring music, costumes, props (albeit much lower-quality than what was featured in prior productions), staging, choreography, a narrator (who describes settings and other visual elements the team wasn't able to put together) and a huge number of Team StarKid actors was presented at LeakyCon 2012. In other words, they did everything they could to make it as much of a full scale production as they could, and succeeded. The script, soundtrack, and video of the reading were released in December 2012, while the play itself was released in 2013. Borrowing mostly from books 2, 6, and 7, the story is about Harry's seventh and final year at Hogwarts.
The script for a fourth play, A Very Potter Christmas, was written by the Langs and has been read at some conventions and been made available for some fans who donated to the Kickstarter of the StarKid show Firebringer. It involves a Marauders-era court case over what houses the Ghostbusters would be sorted into, and doesn't specifically parody the events of any book.
If you are a fan of this work, it is highly recommended you also check out Little White Lie, Me and My Dick, Starship and Holy Musical B@man! which were also written and produced by Team StarKid. You can visit the Team StarKid store to get the soundtrack of A Very Potter Musical for free, as well as links to where you can buy some of their other music or totally awesome T-shirts.
The musicals have a Character Sheet.
A Very Potter Musical and its sequels provide examples of the following tropes:
A Very Potter Musical (AVPM)
- Accidental Misnaming: Voldemort keeps mispronouncing Draco's last name, which casually maims Draco's gigantic ego.
- Air-Vent Passageway: The plan to get the Death Eaters into Hogwarts is to sneak them through the Hogwarts air vent, a sillier version of their invasion plan in The Half-Blood Prince.
- Almost Dead Guy: Subverted when Snape dies just before divulging important information. Except that that was the important information. Harry was supposed to die.
- Alter-Ego Acting: Joe Moses now has a YouTube channel where he interviews people in-character as a Cloudcuckoolander version of Severus Snape."Join me next week, where my guest will be a pterodactyl."
- Ambiguously Jewish: Dumbledore, Molly, the exposition newsies, and some of the extra Death Eaters all have stereotypically Jewish New York accents, but little evidence of Judaism beyond that
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: Played for Laughs in this exchange, where Harry Potter enrages Voldemort by telling him he especially made sure to destroy his Zac Efron poster.Harry: I've destroyed all your Horcruxes!
Voldemort: (gasps) Even my Zefron poster?
Harry: Especially the Zefron poster.
Voldemort: Curses, Potter! I'll kill you for that!
- Artistic License – Astronomy: Okay, all the stuff with Pigfarts is just pure Rule of Funny, but for the sake of being nitpicky; despite Draco's statement to the contrary, Mars has an atmosphere. It's not one humans could breathe in, being mostly carbon dioxide, but hey.
- As You Know: Lampshaded when Quirrell explains the events of the opening scene to Voldemort, the man who's attached to the back of his head. Voldemort is not amused.Voldemort: I know, Quirrell! I hear everything you hear!
- Beta Couple: Like in the books, Ron and Hermione serve as a secondary couple to compliment the other main characters in a relationship, Harry and Ginny.
- Betty and Veronica
- Book-Ends: "Back to Hogwarts" is the opening song and is also played over the credits.
- Bowdlerization: Apparently, there is a version that is somewhat raunchier than what was put up on the internet. They didn't cut a whole lot and the play will by no means stop being hilarious without it, though admittedly one of the scenes cut was probably the funniest. They did put it on the internet, but took it down and replaced it with the family-friendlier version after it started to go viral and kids were watching it. Of course, some of us had already downloaded the original by then… It includes such gems as:Dumbledore: Severus Snape and I share a kind of love that I don't think you will every fully understand, Harry. I would give him the clothes off my back. I would share my bed with him. If a snake bit him, I would suck out the poison. Even if that snake happened to accidentally bite him on the wiener.
(several scenes later, after Snape takes a snake to the… well, trouser snake)
Harry: Well, someone's gotta suck out the poison.
Ron and Draco: Ohh… no. Nope. No.
Snape: I wish Dumbledore were here…
Harry: Okay, I mean, well—Hermione, do your thing.
Ron: No, no, no, no! I think we should just let Snape die—sorry—and go on with our lives.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall
- Snape points to the audience and adresses them directly at the begining of the show.
- This trope rears its head a few times, the most egregious example being Ron getting a snack from one of the musicians.
- An almost literal example is in Act 2 when the students barricade the door to the castle. Voldemort just walks around it.
- He about a minute later then threatens one of the musicians when they're playing sad music to make him feel remorse.Harry: There's gotta be one person, one thing in your life that you miss that you regret. (sad music plays)
Voldemort: Well… Maybe there's one… NO! (points wand at musician, who raises his hands in surrender) There isn't!
- Butt-Monkey: Hufflepuff House as a whole is routinely ignored, only to be brought up to mention how unnecessary and stupid it is."What the hell is a Hufflepuff?"
- Calling Your Attack: Most of the spells used are performed, not by saying magic words, but by saying the name of the spell.Goyle: "I can't believe I couldn't figure out that the countercurse was just Unjellify!"
- Ginny's "Wowee! Harry Potter!"
- Snape's "What the devil is going on here?"
- "Did somebody say (name of the character)?"
- And there's always Snape's, "That's ABSURRRRRD."
- Draco consistently delivers the word "Mars" as "Maaaaaaaaaaars."
- "(Number—usually twenty) points from Gryffindor." Even when it's Draco's fault.
- And "Jelly-legs Jinx!"
- Character Development: A surprising amount of it (Harry, Draco, Ron, Ginny, Voldemort…), and part of what makes the show not just a good parody but a great story.
- Chekhov's Classroom: Snape's pop quiz about Portkeys fully explains what they are, how they work, and that even a dolphin could be made a Portkey, foreshadowing the Dolphin Portkey Voldemort uses at the end of Act 1. Snape blatantly lampshades this trope in his next question.Snape: Can anybody tell me what Foreshadowing is?
- Chekhov's Gun: The part of Voldemort's soul inside Quirrell allows Voldemort to survive at the end of the play.
- Clark Kenting: Dumbledore's fake brown beard (which he pops on over his own beard…) makes him utterly unrecognizable to every other cast member.
- Cloudcuckoolander: No shortage of them.
- Draco, for example, is always slithering everywhere, always talking about some school called Pigfarts… on Mars… run by a lion… who can talk… named Rumbleroar.
- The writhing on the floor was remarkably reminiscent of Tobias Funke's "falling and then pretending it was deliberate by assuming strange position". Some of the deliveries on Cedric's lines also had the Tobias vibe to them. It could be a small homage to Arrested Development by using some of the absurd but hilarious slapstick that worked for AD.
- But from the way we see Lucius walk in the Sequel, he may e trying to copy his father.
- Lauren, the girl who plays Draco, actually said that the tripping and rolling around on the ground is how she portrayed how Draco is; always trying to make himself look cool, eventually tripping over himself but tries in the end to make it look like it was intentional.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Pigfarts exists as Malfoy said and has been a closely-guarded secret for hundreds of years.
- Coconut Superpowers
- Floo Powder consists of running in a circle shouting "Floo Powder Power!", while Portkeys are running in a circle shouting "Portkey!"
- Disapparating involves shouting "Disapparate!" and running offstage while everyone looks confused about where you went."Magic. Ahh." (shields eyes)
- The Jelly-Legs Jinx works similarly.
- In the films, the conjoined Voldemort/Quirrell was portrayed using CGI. In this show, it's portrayed by… the two actors standing back-to-back beneath a gigantic robe.
- Composite Character: Cho and Malfoy take the place of Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum during the House Tournament. Draco also semi-fulfills the Victor Krum role by getting into a love triangle with Hermione and Ron during the Yule Ball. Draco has some elements of Luna Lovegood.
- Snape takes the place of Peter Pettigrew by cutting his hand off for Voldemort's sake.
- Quirrell fulfills the role of Barty Crouch Jr by setting up a Portkey during the Triwizard Tournament in a bid to bring Voldemort to power.
- Lavender Brown and Pansy Parkinson become Ravenclaws in order to give Cho her Girl Posse, taking the role of Cho's friend Marietta Edgecombe.
- Counterpoint Duet: "Granger Danger", with Draco and Ron singing about their realization that faux-ugly Hermione was Beautiful All Along and Cleans Up Nicely.
- Crosscast Role: Draco Malfoy, a Large Ham, paradoxically a walking Running Gag and very funny. Crabbe as well. Also, technically, one third of the Hungarian Horntail.
- Curse Cut Short: Mostly averted, but used in one scene when Harry's frustrated and tries to drop an f-bomb.Draco: But [Snape]'s not doing anything.
Harry: That's because he's dead you dumb motherf…
- Dark Reprise
Next year, you bet, gonna get out of here,
- Inverted. "Different As Can Be" was peppy enough the first time, but the reprise is absolutely euphoric (even though they're singing about murdering Harry.) It's really more of a subversion. "Different As Can Be" was a song about a quirky relationship between two people who just happen to be villains. The reprise is about the happiness of them learning to get along, except they still just happen to be evil.
- A more straight example of the "sarcastic echo" variant occurs during Draco's solo in "Back To Hogwarts". Everyone else is thrilled to be back, but he's switching the solo melody to a minor key and singing about his future takeover of the world. Needless to say, it's played for laughs.
The reign of Malfoy is drawing near
I'll have the greatest wizard career
And it's gonna be totally awesome.
Look out, world, for the dawn of the day
When everyone will do whatever I say!
And Potter won't be in my way
And then I'll be the one who is totally awesome!
- Description Cut: Done several times when Dumbledore assures people of Snape's true allegiance, only for him to do something incredibly sinister.
- Deus ex Machina: Dumbledore's will writes away the problem of Voldemort's immortality by explaining that Dumbledore destroyed all of Voldemort's horcruxes off-screen and left two that just happen to be in the area of Hogwarts.
- Did Not Do the Bloody Research: Draco, one of the few characters that actually had a British accent, makes character vow to fold his knickers. Although knickers means pants in the US, in Britian it's used to refer to ladies underwear.
- Dope Slap: Ron uses an unusual Dope Slap where he slaps his hands together right in front of Ginny's face whenever he berates him. Apparently he gets it from his mother, who can do it so well that it cascades down her line of children.
- Double Entendre
Hermione: Shh! Someone's coming.
- Sadly censored from the current version.
Ron: IT'S NOT ME, I SWEAR!
Crabbe: I thought I heard a Double Entendre.
- Lampshaded by Crabbe.
Lavender: Professor? Can, like, a person be a Portkey?
- Though there's also one that wasn't cut:
Snape: No, that’s absurd. Because then if a person were to… touch themselves… (looks at Ron)
- Economy Cast: All the students that aren't Gryffindors or Draco double as miscellaneous death eaters. Draco and Cho Chang are also the dragon Harry fights. Molly and Pansy are the same actress, Cedric reincarnates as Cornelius Fudge, Goyle is also Rumbleroar, and the newspaper-sellers are Bellatrix, Cho, Lavender Brown, and Goyle.Hermione: Snape just happened to pick you out of hundreds if not five possible Gryffindors.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Unlike their movie counterparts, the Death Eaters have much more women and other minorities among their ranks.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave
- Hogwarts' professors are largely absent at the play, outside of one reference at the end that reveals they all died off-screen.Harry: Hey guys, well, I guess all the professors are dead, so… Butterbeers on me!
- Mrs. Weasley casually lets her son know that every single member of the Order of the Phoenix is dead.Molly: I came down here with the rest of the Order; Lupin, Tonks, Mad-Eye Moody, Sirius, and your brother Fred.
Ron: Oh awesome, where are they?
Molly: They're all dead.
- Hogwarts' professors are largely absent at the play, outside of one reference at the end that reveals they all died off-screen.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Zac Efron is so handsome that Harry, Ron, Draco, Dumbledore, and Snape all fight over who loves him. All this just from the sight of a poster."Everyone knows that I like Zac Efron the most!"
- Everyone Is Bi: One could assume this about almost all of the male characters. Every male character gets at least one Homoerotic Subtext moment with another male character. The only named and not one-scene male character who escapes this is probably Cedric. In the sequel, the Sorting Hat's lover, the Scarf of Sexual Preference, confirms that Harry is metrosexual, and Hermione is waiting 'til marriage, while Ron is bi-curious and Dumbledore is gay as the 4th of July.
- Evil Brit: The nice guys keep the actors' American accents and the bad guys have fake British ones to show their snootiness.
- Faking the Dead: Dumbledore apparently survived the killing curse and moved to Mars.
- False Reassurance: Voldemort promises the students of Hogwarts that he will reward them for surrendering by enslaving them.Voldemort: I'm willing to offer you positions in my new world order… (aside) …as my slaves.
- Final Love Duet: The very end of the show, when Quirrell and Voldemort are reunited and run into each others arms. Played With in that it's not the two of them singing, but the rest of the company.
- First-Name Basis: You know how Voldemort usually insists everyone call him "Dark Lord" or something to that effect? Quirrel's the exception.Voldemort: Okay, just relax with the "Dark King…" I watch you wipe your butt daily. You can call me Voldemort. We're there. We've reached that point.
- Five-Man Band: The major characters who resist Voldemort by the end of the play are Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, who all have a part in the song "Not Alone." It fits with the norms of Two Girls to a Team and the characters fit the archetypes of The Leader, The Lancer, The Smart Guy, The Big Guy, and The Chick.
- Foot Popping: Ginny does this during her and Harry's first kiss.
- Foreshadowing: Considering the play wastes no time in lampshading the practice of foreshadowing with Snape's pop quiz on Portkeys and dramatic devices, it's impressive just how much effective foreshadowing there is:
Voldemort: We're there! We've reached that point!
- Voldemort has an inexplicable love of Zac Efron. The poster of Zac Efron in Hogwarts was so beloved by Voldemort he put part of his soul into it.
- Malfoy's reference towards Hermione being Ron's "stupid Mudblood girlfriend" foreshadows the budding relationship between Ron and Hermione.
- After the whole "Dark King" business, Quirrell stutters and calls the Dark Lord "my Voldemort." The play ends with Voldy and Quirrell reuniting as lovers.
Quirrell: Yes my… Voldemort.
- Early on, Dumbledore says "Have you ever seen my room? I've got some pretty kickin' posters." Late in the plot, his Zac Efron poster becomes a prominent part of the dialogue.
- Freudian Slip:
- Friendship Moment: Many, many between Voldemort and Quirrell. Ron and Harry have one after the Horcrux is destroyed, and Ron and Hermione coming to join in on the "Not Alone" song counts as well.
- Girl Posse: Cho is almost constantly followed by her fellow Ravenclaws, Lavender and Pansy.
- Good Is Not Nice: The heroes are still heroic but act like major douchebags in their time off, while Voldemort himself is actually a very personable guy when he's not putting on a threatening façade.
- Groin Attack: Snape gets bitten in the gonads with a snake, in a twist of his original death.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Act 2, part 2 has Draco, Voldemort, and Snape together on one stage—this scene was the original inspiration for the trope, in fact.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen
- Despite being mentioned, Hagrid never appears onstage.
- A couple other characters get this treatment as well (i.e. The Patil twins).
- Moaning Myrtle is referenced in both musicals. She seems to be the ultimate standard against which uncoolness is measured.
- Lupin, Tonks, Made-Eye Moody, Sirius, and Fred, are mentioned but are already dead by that time.
- Hilarity Ensues
- Even off-stage it's implied to happen, like when Harry suggests he and Ron go see Hagrid. Ron goes right on-the-nose and predicts incredible hijinks will ensue.Harry: Hey Ron, let's go hang out with Hagrid; he can teach us how to dance and we can get in our dress robes!
Ron: Well that could only lead to disaster and hilarity. Let's go!
- Even off-stage it's implied to happen, like when Harry suggests he and Ron go see Hagrid. Ron goes right on-the-nose and predicts incredible hijinks will ensue.
- Historical In-Joke: "So you're Thomas Jefferson and I'm your Sally Hemings, is that it?!"
- Hufflepuff House: Hufflepuff's lack of characterization and significance is so extreme that the Headmaster of Hogwarts has no idea what it is. Lampshaded of course! Ravenclaw also gets this treatment but nowhere near to the extent of Hufflepuff.Cedric: Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders!
Dumbledore: What the hell is a Hufflepuff?
- Hypocritical Humor
- Harry tries to stand up to Draco, who immediately orders his brute to defend him, dives under a bench (hanging under it upside down) and declares "Not so tough now, are you, Potter?"
- Quirrell mocks Harry while manipulating him via the Imperius Curse, for looking like a girl. It would be funny enough with Quirrel's prior characterization if not for the fact that moments later, Voldemort spins him as part of their dance routine.
- When Voldemort laughs at Malfoy's potential plan to get into Hogwarts before hearing it he tells him mockingly that the idea better not be a giant slide or a trampoline… Because they've already tried that and know it doesn't work.
- Ron chews out Harry for not listening to his problems, while thoroughly ignoring Harry's problems.
- Ignored Epiphany: Voldemort, during his final confrontation with Harry Potter. He even breaks the fourth wall by pointing his wand at the guy playing the emotional background music and thus silencing him.
- I Meant to Do That: Word of God says this is the reason Draco rolls around on the floor. He strikes a pose to look cool, messes it up… then tries to make the messing up look like part of the plan.
- Improbable Age: Despite the romantic subplots and the fact that his actor is obviously college age, Harry says, on multiple occasions, "I'm just a twelve-year-old kid!" It probably references that it's supposedly happening during Harry's second year. For those who haven't seen the movies, it's also a reference to the obvious difference between the actor (Daniel Radcliffe)'s age and that of Harry, the character he plays. Take a look at the obvious five-o-clock shadow on that "15"-year-old kid.
- Inadvertent Entrance Cue: Played With, in that the arrogant Malfoy happily walks in and announces himself as soon as Hermione insults and demeans Malfoy's friends. It isn't clear if Malfoy actually heard what she said or if he just blindly hoped someone would say something appropriate as he entered.Hermione: Now let's go leave these big, baby, childish jerks alone.
Draco: (swooping in) Did someone say DRACO MALFOY?
- Incoming Ham
- Snape in every scene he appears, most memorably "WHAT THE DEVIL IS GOING ON HEEREEEE?!?!".
- Draco's "Did someone say DRACO MALFOY?" (No one had.)
- Dumbledore makes his entrance by sustaining the word "Welcome" for an impressively long time.
- "Did somebody say… Ron Weasley?"
- Incredibly Long Note
- As stated above, this is how Dumbledore starts off his intro song.
- Quirrel sings a long note in "Different as Can Be" on the phrase "And Jane Austen novels!", which is held while Voldemort sings a Long List of evil things he wants."And goblins and werewolves, a fleet of Dementors and giants and Thestrals and all my Death Eaters!"
- Info Dump: Lampshaded; Quirrell explains aloud how Voldemort is still alive and plotting against Harry to Voldemort himself.Voldemort: Yes, nobody must know any of that.
- Institutional Apparel: Once he's imprisoned in Azkaban, Quirrell wears black-and-white horizontal stripes and a ball and chain.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Lampshaded, of course. Harry tells Ginny they can't be together because his enemies will try to hurt her, referencing Spider-Man to explain himself. Ginny objects to the comparison, which leads to a discussion of every movie in the Spider-Man Trilogy.
- "I Want" Song:
- "Get Back to Hogwarts" has elements of inspirational Disney ballads, especially Draco's part about how he hopes to leave Hogwarts and gain everyone's respect.
- Draco tries to sing a more standard one about Pigfarts, but Musicalis Interruptus prevents us from hearing more than a couple lines.
- Jerkass: Ron, Dumbledore, and even Harry to a subtler extent display some (hilariously) jerkish behavior, especially toward Hermione and Ginny. However, it's all for humor and a major part of why the play works… it's much more poignant when they do act nice. Ron in fact acknowledges this behavior:Ron: I know I've been a real jerkass lately…
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: The musical spoils a bunch of major plot points in the series. Probably the best example of this is during Mrs. Weasley's scene where she kills Bellatrix, who just killed Snape, and then proceeds to spoil almost every major death from the books in a single line.
- Left the Background Music On: The sappy music the pianist plays before Voldemort threatens him.
- Love Triangle: The show has a couple with Ron and Draco being in love with Hermione, pining from afar. The other relationship is slightly more complicated with Ginny liking Harry who likes Cho who is dating Cedric. It's resolved once Harry realizes he loves Ginny back. Bellatrix and Voldemort are previously involved before Voldemort loses his body, and an attempt is made to rekindle the relationship that fails due to Voldemort's new, ahem, friendship with Quirrell.
- Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number:
- The Epic Rocking song of "Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts," which brilliantly sets up the Alternate Character Interpretation, humor, and some plots. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are returning to Hogwarts, Harry meets Ginny who instantly falls for him but he's interested in Cho, who is dating Cedric. Malfoy arrives and teases them and reveals his motive of finally beating Harry. The gang all gather and ride the Hoqwarts express to Hogwarts where they are greeted by Dumbledore. And all in all there's a general agreement that this year's going to be totally awesome. And this is all just the opening number.
- Also, later in the show, Ron and Hermione lead the entire cast in The Song Before the Storm to say that "Voldemort is Going Down."
- Meadow Run: A couple happily reunites in a slow-motion runs towards each other at the very end of the second act. The members of the couple are Quirrell and Voldemort.
- Meaningful Echo
- "You're Harry Potter! You're the Boy Who Lived!"
- Also, "You never tell a girl that you like her, it makes you look like an idiot."
- Medium Awareness: From time to time, characters will refer to parts of the stage, or interact with the band.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Parodied by having Quirrell do it turned around, while Voldemort is singing during "Different As Can Be".
- Misfit Mobilization Moment: In song form! "Voldemort Is Going Down" serves to rally all the twelve-year old students of Hogwarts against the rising forces of Wizard Hitler himself.
- Mondegreen: A dialogue example. Many viewers first thought Dumbledore's line "Why'd you have to invite the fatties?" was "Why'd you have to invite the faggies?"
- Mood Whiplash: Several, most of them from Act 2.
Harry: You guys are my best friends, and I love you all. Except you, Draco, I can't fucking stand you.
- There's also, late in Act 1, the scene where Quirrel is betrayed by Voldemort and tortured by Bellatrix, punctuated with jokes about "She's All That". Ouch.
- Most of the deaths are with humor undercutting the scene to try to avoid this but you will get major whiplash during Dumbledore's. Immediately following is a comical scene that leads up to probably the saddest song in the show: "Missing You". Your neck will ache. Hell, that song itself is an epic Mood Whiplash. Harry's verse is excellent at conveying his loneliness, while Quirrell's part is mainly played for laughs.
- Right before Harry's Heroic Sacrifice, he has the most heartwarming, tearful Friendship Moment, which lapses into comedy.
- A notable one is when Voldemort kills Harry, the mood surprisingly dark and dramatic for the play. It goes back to humour the minute the kill is over.
- Moral Guardians: After the musical became popular, its creators edited a few lines out of it to tone it down to a more PG-13 tone. Some of the trope entries here refer to the old version of the play.
- Mr. Exposition: Dumbledore and Snape at times; Rita in the sequel is a very glaring example given how awkwardly forced it sounds in context.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Neville uses the boring Disarming Spell to pants Malfoy.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: If Malfoy is to be believed——Pigfarts is a wizard school on Mars and the headmaster is a wizard lion named Rumbleroar. Who can TALK. And lets good students ride on his back. Malfoy should be believed, because he's right.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Draco and Snape are the only ones with British accents. Many characters have funny American Accents, though. Considering that certain props and allusions make it clear that this version is set in the present day, and "freshman year" is mentioned, it can be assumed that the musical both modernizes and Americanizes the books in order to create humor. Snape and Draco aren't exactly trying either—Snape in particular sometimes sounds less like he's British and more like he's constantly passing a kidney stone.
- Not His Sled:
- A character from the books somehow survived the Killing Curse and is revealed to be Faking the Dead.
- The final scene reveals that another character who died in the books is alive. Voldemort had an eight Horcrux that nobody else knew about and lost his duel with Harry on purpose in order to be with Quirrell.
- Oblivious to Love
- Harry, unfortunately for poor Ginny, hasn't spent a second thinking about her romantically. Even though she is smitten with him, Harry sees no problem with showing her a love song he wrote for another women and then ditching her.
- Hermione has no idea Draco has a crush on her. At one point she even overhears him openly state he wants her only for her to go off and hook up with Ron. Not so oblivious: we find out in the sequel Draco already confessed his love to her, and she told him she can do better.
- Odd Couple: The experienced, callous, and sociopathic Voldemort is forced to work with the naive, girly, and bookish Quirrell in his attempts to conquer the world. They sing a wacky duet about it called "Different as Can Be."
- Oh, Crap!: When Hermione finally stops taking his ridicule, Ron is completely mortified and steps off.Hermione: You know, every day everyone is trying to put me down, and on the one day I actually feel like a person, YOU'RE TRYING TO RUIN IT!
Ron: (taken aback) Holy shit.
- Oh My Gods!: The characters here either swear with the fantasy-conscious "Oh my wizard god!" or the less Fourth Wall-wary "Oh my Rowling!"
- Original Cast Precedent: Sometimes played straight (Lupin's mustache and Lucius' long blond hair, for instance, are carried over from the films) and sometimes subverted (Neville is blond, as the book character is according to Word of God, rather than dark-haired like in the movies).
- Almost anything Hermione says will be met with a highly sarcastic "Thanks, Hermione."
- "I can't believe the countercurse was just Unjellify!"
- Playing with Puppets: Voldemort and Quirrell Imperio Harry into dancing during the song "To Dance Again".
- Precision F-Strike: Harry undermines a very sincere and sweet moment with one of the play's few f-bombs. "I love you all. Except you Draco, I can't fucking stand you." The F word is bleeped in the current version, but the effect remains.
- Race Lift
- Cho Chang is a southern white girl and not, like you would expect from the books and her name, an Asian girl.
- Likewise, Lavender Brown is now an Asian girl.
- Bellatrix is played by a black actress, but it doesn't alter how the character is portrayed.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Ginny's song "Harry" was first heard on the Web series Little White Lie as "Sami", and was released on Darren Criss' EP Human under that title with those lyrics.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder:
- Draco asks if he's at fault and everyone in the room with him firmly confirms that he is at fault.Draco: Could you really say that what happened was my fault?
- Quirrel asks a question in the middle of his lecture to help transition into another subject, only for Hermione to answer him in a display of her nerdiness.Quirrel: But where does this competition come from and what are the roots of the tradition?
Hermione: The House Cup Tournament began with the first generation of Hogwarts students.
Quirrel: That was a rhetorical question…
- Draco asks if he's at fault and everyone in the room with him firmly confirms that he is at fault.
- Running Gag: Several, most of which are repeated in the sequel.
- "Thanks, Hermione."
- Ron eating.
- Malfoy rolling around inexplicably;
- "I'm bleeding!"
- "You never tell a girl that you like her, it makes you look like an idiot!"
- Wizards of Waverly Place
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Draco wants a "galaxy-traversing rocketship" to get to Mars. It's… sort of unnecessary to need a ship which can traverse the entire galaxy when you're going to a planet in the same solar system as Earth. Though it's really in Malfoy's character, to have pointlessly over-the-top things to say he's better than everyone else.
- Shave and a Haircut: The sting is played when one of the musicians breaks the fourth wall and hands Ron a snack.
- Smooch of Victory: After defeating Voldemort, Harry and Ginny have a moment of wild abandon. Ron is totally okay with it.
- Stealth Pun: Draco spends a lot of time crawling and slinking around. One might call it… slitherin'
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: One gag has Harry test out a love song he wrote for Cho by singing it to Ginny. The song rhymes perfectly when Harry sings with Ginny, but his wordplay on "guinea" just doesn't work as well with "Cho Chang." Despite the obvious dissonance, Harry thinks the song sounds wrong with Ginny's name and is incredibly proud when he sings it with Cho's name."You're tall and fun and pretty, you're really really skinny… Cho Chang!"
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Draco would never, ever take Hermione to the Yule Ball. Ever. Not even if they were the last couple on Earth and she looked so beautiful in her ballgown that every time he looked at her he got butterflies in his tummy. Not even then.
- Take That!: Towards the original work.
- The play skips over the Horcruxes sub-plot and characters make several jabs at the concept in general.Draco: You know, I thought that destroying a Horcrux would be harder.
Ron: Yeah. When you think about it, Horcruxes are just stupid.
- Hermione mentions that without Dumbledore's will and medallion, they would have to spend months camping around England hunting Horcruxes,
- The play skips over the Horcruxes sub-plot and characters make several jabs at the concept in general.
- Ron: If I had a Horcrux, I would drop it in the bottom of the ocean. Or I would put it in a pyramid with King Tut and all of his jewels. Or I would blast it into space with a monkey who knew nothing about Horcruxes.
Hermione: Or it could be hidden somewhere around the mundane British countryside. Our search could entail months of depressing camping, breaking into Gringotts, and drinking boatloads of Polyjuice Potion.
Harry: Well, the medallion says that's dumb, so we're not gonna do that.
Hermione: Kind of like a Triwizard Tournament!
- Quirrell has a subtle one at the Triwizard Tournament from the book… in reference to there being two teams from Hogwarts:
Quirrell: Yes, sort of like the Triwizard Tournament, except no, not like that at all… There are four houses, how can it be the Triwizard Tournament with four teams?
- There's digs at other works too, such as when Harry says he never wants his life to be like Spider-Man 3.
- Talking the Monster to Death: In this case, singing: When Harry confronts the Hungarian Horntail he summons his guitar and sings "The Dragon Song" to lower its guard… and then promptly puts it into a headlock, counts to three and declares victory.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: In addition to a paraphrase of Mrs. Weasley's famous line, we get "Voldemort out, bitches!"
- Title Drop: Not with the play, but with the company and, perhaps accidentally, the company's YouTube account. When Draco is going on about Harry having a rocketship he says, "Moonshoes Potter? StarKid Potter."
- Two-Teacher School: The only teachers Hogwarts seems to have are Snape, Quirrell, and Headmaster Dumbledore. And all end up leaving the school by act 1, leaving the school staffed by off-screen professors who don't get much of a chance to do anything.Harry: Well, looks like all the professors are dead so… Butterbeers on me!
- Two-Act Structure: Despite the light-heartedness of the whole show, there's a noticeable change in tone for the second act that comes from following the events of the books. This somewhat mirrors the events in the final book, where the first 25 chapters (roughly just more than half of the book) encompass nearly nine months, and the last 11 chapters comprise two days of action.
- Unholy Matrimony: Voldemort and Bellatrix maintained a malicious matrimony, though it's seriously strained due to Voldemort's guilt over betraying Quirrell.
- Villains Out Shopping: Voldemort's first scene has him bickering with Quirrell about laundry.
- Villain Song
- Voldemort inaugurates his newly restored body with a song where he and his Death Eaters' revel in the opportunity for Voldemort to once again use his darkest power: dance.
- Draco's solo during "Goin' Back to Hogwarts" ("This year you bet I'm gonna get outta here / the reign of Malfoy is drawing near"), though not really any other times he sings, as he's nicer by that point.
- Visual Pun: Another possible interpretation of what it is Malfoy's always doing: "slitherin'".
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: When Harry hears that his greatest power is love, he finds it incredibly underwhelming.Dumbledore: Harry, do you know what a love shield is?
Harry: No, but it sounds kinda fruity.
- What Is This Feeling?: Draco during "Granger Danger". Ron goes through it too but it's not nearly as noticable.
- What Would X Do?: "What would Harry do?" and "What would Zac Efron say at a time like this?" (Answer: We're all in this together!)
- You Need to Get Laid: When he hears that Quirrell hasn't dated, Voldemort swears to Quirrell they'll take a night on the town and get Quirrell some "bitches."Voldemort: Quirrell, we are going to get you laid.
A Very Potter Sequel (AVPS)
- Accidental Misnaming:
- During their first year, nobody can get Hermione's name right, and the variations they come up with are quite hilarious. Harry finally gets it right while assuring Hermione that they really are friends, only to forget it again immediately once he realises this.
- Lucius apparently doesn't know how to pronounce Draco's name. Unless, of course, Lucius is pronouncing it correctly and Draco is getting it wrong.
- Affectionate Parody: Word of God says that Hermione's song "The Coolest Girl" is supposed to be a send up to female power ballads that every girl uses as an audition song à la "On My Own" and "Part of Your World".
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played for Laughs; Lily thinks James is a total jerk, which woman find incredibly charming.Lily: You're such an asshole… that's so charming.
- Arc Words: The idea of "Going Back to Hogwarts" goes from a callback to the original musical, to an allusion to all the time travel, to a final speech about returning to Hogwarts each year that highlights the specialness of Harry Potter and StarKid fandoms themselves.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Draco introduces himself by listing his most despicable traits and then at the end, asking to start a friendship.Draco: I am Draco Malfoy. I am a racist, I despise gingers and mudbloods, I hate Gryffindor house and my parents work for the man who killed your parents. Do you want to be my friend?
Harry: You hate Gryffindor house? Get out of my face, Malfoy!
- Author Filibuster: The writers use Harry's speech about school at the end of the play to provide praise for the source material. Think of Hogwarts as a metaphor for the Harry Potter series.Harry: We spent time here, we made friends here, and that's a part of us. 'Cause Hogwarts is bigger than us, it's bigger than any of its founders. And it's gonna be around long after we're gone. Maybe we'll see our kids come here one day. That's the thing about Hogwarts: no matter how long you're away from it, there's always a way back.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Lucius Malfoy and Umbridge both want to knock Harry Potter down a peg. Although their agendas are initially unrelated, they eventually team up to kill Harry.
- Black Comedy Rape: Umbridge being taken as Firenze's mate, and falling for him.
- Blatant Lies: Lupin the Werewolf is constantly found near damaged property and animal corpses after a full moon, only to wave away everyone's suspicions by saying a jaguar did it."…yes! Probably the work… of that infamous Hogwarts jaguar."
- Book-Ends: A "Back to Hogwarts" song—at the end, a reprise of "Get Back to Hogwarts" from the original.
- Call-Back: Many to the original. Such as:
- "My friends… I think we're going back!"
- "Did somebody say Ron Weasley?"
- "What the devil is going on here?"
- The Scarf of Sexual Preference and the Sorting Hat are set up for their wedding and honeymoon.
- Sirius is the one to tell the boys to never tell a girl you like her, it makes you look like an idiot.
- At the end, Dumbledore discusses the candidates to replace Lupin as DADA teacher.Dumbledore : I've got it down to Gilderoy Lockhart, Mad-Eye Moody, and some fella named SQUIRREL! Now I don't want anyone dangerous, so I think I'm gonna go with the Squirrel.
- Luna Lovegood's absence in the original is explained.
- There are some jokes about Pigfarts and Rumbleroar, which are left unexplained when Draco tries to pass them off as mature things that Past!Ron is too young to understand. Luna seems to have already read about Pigfarts from the Quibbler.
- Dumbledore invites Umbridge to take a dip in Hogwarts' secret swimming pool; this is after the waiter at a restaurant refers to them as two "Strapping young gentlemen."
- Dumbledore's first line is "Draco, ya little shit!" Shortly followed by "Call me Dumbledore, or else."
- The blue headband Ron wore in AVPM is used by Harry to cover his scar. He later gives it to Ron.
- Spider-Man is used again as an example during some heart-warming dialogue between Ron and Hermione.
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione, this time joined by Yaxley, yet again call out less mainstream character names in order to figure out a mystery. In the first musical, it was who betrayed Hogwarts. In the sequel, it's who was Malfoy's father.
- Ron says the line "We are in such a pickle."
- Dumbledore restores the Zefron poster to its place of glory at the end of the show. Complete with Voldemort sticking his head through it. "It's good to be back."
- "From now on, boy, you and me—we're tight."
- Unlike Crabbe, Goyle and Lucius, Sirius knows that the countercurse to the Jelly-Legs Jinx is just "Unjellify!"
- "I'm bleeding!"
- Draco wants you to know that "He's really nice now!"
- "Well chocolate frogs! Harry Potter did it y'all!"
- In her first scene, Umbridge promises the girls that this year is gonna be "totally awesome".
- Using magic to do something mundane: Ron using "Accio" on a double-stuff Oreo; Lupin using "Alohamora" to open his flask; Cho also says "Lumos" while pulling out a flashlight.
- The reprise version of "Get Back to Hogwarts".
- The sting from Seinfeld playing whenever Ron enters a scene.
- Harry and Ron insist that you can't have more than two friends, providing an explanation for why they were so reluctant to include Ginny in their adventures in AVPM. Ron also pushes Future Draco away from the Trio when they make contact just like he did with Ginny in AVPM.
- Draco thinks Hogwarts is "going to the dogs".
- Dumbledore is yet again described by Gryffindor students as "the wisest, kindest, most beautiful wizard."
- Draco tries to sing a song again only for the stage lights to go down and him be cut off again.
- Jim Povolo yet again plays a talking non-human who asks some characters to jump on his back before wistfully saying "To *insert wizarding school name here*!"
- In his self-introduction, Malfoy admits that he's "a racist." That'd explain his "Go home, terrorist!" comment when he first meets Quirrel in AVPM.
- The line about someone "Someone I (you) trusted. Someone I (you) may have even loved" with characters making four obscure references to characters who don't appear in the play.
- The Cameo
- Ginny and the Weasley boys appear at the start of the play before the second song.
- Luna appears for a gag scene at the end which explains why she wasn't in the first one.
- When Dumbledore hangs the Zefron poster back up, Voldemort appears in reference to its role as a horcrux.
- Cardboard Boxes: Full of torture equipment. Knocked over, rebuilt, and knocked over again.
- "Did you get my text?"
- Not to mention an extension of a line from the original: "I'm bleeding!"
- "That's absurd!"
- "…well you didn't text me back!"
- Chekhov's Classroom: Lupin gives a lecture on Patronuses early in the play. Of course, Patronuses become essential in saving the day come Act 2.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
- So, did Cedric Diggory meet and fall in love with Cho Chang between her first and second year, in some Grease-like summer fling which continued on after he transferred to Hogwarts? (We know, of course, that it's because his actor is playing Lucius but still needs a mention). Well, it could make sense, seeing as Harry doesn't know who Cedric Diggory is at the start of the original.
- And where did Seamus and Dean disappear to during their second year?
- Coconut Superpowers: Apparently, time travel works by spinning around in place. Unlike Floo Powder, Apparation, and Portkeys, you don't have to yell TIME TURNER!
- Continuity Nod: It's not mentioned but Dumbledore can be seen wearing his G-Unit bling which is revealed to be a Horcrux-seeking medallion in the first musical.
- Crosscast Role: In addition to the examples from the original, Dolores Umbridge is played by Joe Walker, the actor who played Voldemort. Dean Thomas is Britney Coleman who played Bellatrix Lestrange. When the kids go back in time, all their "past selves" except Ron are crosscast, which in Draco's case makes it a guy playing a girl playing a guy. Hermione was played by Richard Campbell, or Neville Longbottom, Harry was played by Sango Tajima, or Lavender Brown, and Draco was played by Jim Povolo or Goyle. Also, most of the Weasley boys are cross cast in their cameo, as they just cast all of the extra actors according to their height.
- Demoted to Extra
- Ginny goes from main Love Interest to cameo character, as she wasn't a student that year. Her actress, Jamie Lyn Beatty, plays Rita Skeeter instead.
- Even though he had a small enough role in the original, Neville's stagetime is now divided between him, Dean, and Seamus.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu
- Harry to Umbridge: "You can't hurt me! You're a teacher! Do your worst!" Cue Umbridge's Slasher Smile.
- And "See you in hell, Harry Potter"
- Drowning My Sorrows: Snape gets horribly drunk after remembering how he was rejected by Lily Potter in "Guys Like Potter."
- Even Evil Has Standards
- Cruel ol' Snape replaces Umbridge's "Mama's Little Love Hand" with a feather out of disgust.
- Sinister Severus Snape draws the line when Umbridge replaces the Zefron poster with one of Taylor Lautner.Snape: Where did the poster of headmaster Zefron go?
Umbridge: I don't care for Zac Efron. Taylor Lautner's my man.
Snape: What do you want, you horrid bitch?!
- Snape "can't bear to watch" when Umbridge doesn't realize Dumbledore is no longer interested and attempts to explain what's going on to her. It doesn't end well for him.
- Lucius with his long hair, pants that are tighter than what scientists thought possible, and an army of death eaters stroking him sensually.
- Lupin at one point lies on the ground coated in blood and wearing nothing but tight briefs.
- Joe Walker as Umbridge. Has his own fangirl brigade, which is kind of understandable. They keep putting the very attractive, well-muscled guy in tight/revealing clothing, even if it is in a Cross-Cast Role.
- Fan Disservice: The thought of Draco (or Lauren) being spanked is very hot. The thought of Draco being spanked because he has a messy diaper is not.
- Fantastic Arousal: Firenze seems to get aroused when Ron runs his hand down his mane and back.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Crabbe & Goyle's bullying of Hermione & Ron consists entirely of shaking them.
- Foreshadowing: It's an especially brief moment that goes on in the background with no attention called to it, but at one point Ron strokes the hair of that one girl who's always crying to try and calm her down. Aw, that's actually really nice of him. Who is that girl, anyway? Wait a minute, Lavender Brown—
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Harry caught the snitch he went between two pillars and posed for a few seconds. If you pay attention, he is posed the same way as the (American) cover◊ for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
- Fridge Horror: Draco has an in-universe example as he recalls all of the things he did to Dobby's children after Lucius Malfoy informs Draco that Dobby, not him, is Draco's actual father, making Dobby's presumably full-blooded elf children Draco's little brothers.
- Friendly Enemy: Ron & Snape, even more so than in the original. Even though he repeatedly says how much he hates Snape, they dance together and exchange high-fives during "Hermione Can't Draw", Snape leaps into Ron's arms when Sirius breaks into the castle, and Ron later tells Hermione that she may not be "…as fun as Harry, or as hot as Cho, or as cool as Snape…" in his Pet the Dog moment. He also asks "Snape?" hopefully both times Umbridge asks "Guess who the new Headmaster/Defense teacher is?"
- Funny Background Event: In Act 1 Part 4, at the beginning of the scene between Snape, Lupin, and Harry, you can see Ron steal the candy trolley.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: At the end: "No kisses for Little D". Draco earlier said "In case you were wondering, the D stands for my wiener."
- Humiliation Conga: Literally, Hermione is humiliated and all the guys conga out of the room, singing about how she can't draw.
- Hypocritical Humor:
Snape: (drinking butterbeer) Come on, Harry, don't make me be the only one drinking.
- Umbridge's insanity drives her to help her adorable school-children, by killing them.Mama Umbridge: Do you love them enough, to kill them?
Umbridge: Yeah… I think I do.
(a few seconds later)
Umbridge: But how am I supposed to kill the kids? I don't want to hurt them.
- Snape whines that Harry is letting him drink alone, only to greedily pull back his drink when Harry decides to take a drink.
Harry: Okay. (reaches for a bottle)
Snape: Don't touch that, it's mine!
- Umbridge's insanity drives her to help her adorable school-children, by killing them.
- Incoming Ham
Umbridge: Did you get my text?
- "WHO DARES DISTURB MY SLUMBER?!?!"
- "What the devil is going on here?!"
- Umbridge gets this and doesn't even say anything. All we hear are her footsteps.
- She is later often announced by texting.
- "In case you were wondering…"
- Insult Backfire: Dean tries to diss Crabbe and Goyle by comparing them to the abusive Professor Umbridge, but Crabbe wholly agrees with Dean.Dean: (to Crabbe and Goyle) You don't like Umbridge? I thought you two would get along, seeing as she's a bitch and you guys are dicks.
Crabbe: That's what I was thinking, but no such luck!
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: When Draco introduces himself to Harry, he calls himself a racist, insults Harry's only friends, and admits his parents helped killed Harry's parents, yet the only thing that bugs the Chosen One is that Malfoy doesn't like his school house.Draco: My name is Draco Malfoy. I am a racist. I despite gingers and mudbloods. I hate Gryffindor House, and my parents work for the man who killed your parents. Do you want to be my friend?
Harry: You hate Gryffindor House? Get out of my face, Malfoy!
- It Tastes Like Feet: Harry and Ron somehow identify their Every Flavor Beans as "burnt computer" and "defeat", respectively.
- Kick the Dog
- Future!Draco lies to Past!Ron and tells him that he doesn't get Hermione.
- Umbridge has a whole scene with the girls for this purpose but the moment that really does it is when she makes fun of Harry's parents.
- Lucius crumpling up the drawing Draco gave him.
- After Lucius' big revelation to Draco, he tries to torture him, but instead hits Hermione. After seeing how much this affects Draco, he continues to torture her simply to spite Draco.
- Also, earlier in that sceneLucius: Surrender yourself Potter, or I'll torture your friend.
Draco: Daddy! Daddy, it's me! Would you really torture your own son?
Lucius: Draco? …surrender yourself Potter, or I'll kill your friend!
- Lame Excuse: When Rita Skeeter finds him in his underwear and covered in deer blood, next to a freshly eviscerated deer, Lupin claims that it's a Gryffindor Quidditch tradition. He then forces a crying Neville to eat some of it to reinforce this. Later he claims a jaguar is what caused all the damage the werewolf did… including messing up his office.Remus Lupin: (coughs) Lupin shouldn't have to pay for that.
- Lampshade Hanging: Constantly. There's even a bit of a metafictional one at the start, when Lucius laments that there "literally" isn't any way to move forward. This might refer to the writers being stuck in a corner by writing so much of Deathly Hallows into the first show without expecting to do a sequel, so they have to do (more or less) a prequel instead.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Draco's real father is Dobby the House Elf.
- Mood Whiplash
- Snape tells Dumbledore that "My actions caused the death of the only person I ever loved…", to which Dumbledore replies "Well my story's twice as funny as that!"
- In "Harry Freakin' Potter", Harry somberly sings about the death of his parents, forgetting that the cheery background singers are repeating everything he says.Harry: (sombre) But this is all so sad, I mean, my Mom and Dad were killed long ago…
Cheery background chorus: Long ago, they died!
- After Lucius destroys Draco's picture, he exits by trust-falling into the arms of (and being dragged out by) a death eater.
- "Stutter," a song where a muscular titan in a dress describes her break-up with an elderly Camp Gay wizard, ends with Harry trying to save his godfather from having his soul sucked out.
- "Guys Like Potter" has a very sad subject matter (Snape's worst memory) but the lyrics are hilarious.Snape: So many assholes in this place; so many assholes in my face!
Lucius: But now you're alone, left to pout and moan, 'cause you were totally pwned.
- During the Mirror of Erised scene, we start with a touching song, slip into a few quick spell jokes in the middle then its back into the, now, even more heartwarming song.
- Mr. Exposition: Ron and Rita Skeeter both play stop the song to explain the Wizarding World and its backstory to Harry (and the audience) in "Harry Freaking Potter".
- Musicalis Interruptus:
- If you listen when the gang is singing "Lupin Can't Sing", Lupin tried singing, "I'm Remus Freaking Lupin" before getting cut off by everyone's mockery.
- Like in the first musical, Draco tries to sing a solo before the big quidditch game, but only gets out a few notes before getting cut off by everyone else.
- Mythology Gag: Since Sirius's Animagus ability is never mentioned in the musical, Rita Skeeter's description of him as a "murderous dog" is this instead of foreshadowing. His fur coat and hairstyle also make him look dog-like.
- Never My Fault: "Look what you've done now, Potter!!", says Draco after ripping his own drawing (that he had given to Harry to make fun of him, and then stolen back).
- Noodle Incident: Draco mentions doing things to Dobby's children that horrify him once he's been informed that Dobby is his father, making those elf children his little brothers.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Once again, almost everyone—Draco, Snape, and Lucius being exceptions. Also, Seamus Finnigan, whose main character trait in the books is being really really Irish, is played with an over-the-top cockney accent (intentionally for humor, of course). Rita Skeeter's accent also veers from Southern to New York, with a little English mixed in.
- Not His Sled: Ron deliberately points out Scabbers during his first scene and mentions in a painfully offhand manner that his parents found the rat on the same night Harry's parents were killed. Everyone knows which "twist" is coming, right…? Wrong. Scabbers has been dead for years and Peter Pettigrew was somehow hiding in a poster of Taylor Lautner.
- Not So Different: Umbridge sees a younger version of herself in Hermione. This revelation causes Hermione to break down crying.
- Obvious Object Could Be Anything: Hermione gives Ron and Harry a gift that is obviously a book, but they conclude it's a puppy.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Ron is shocked when Harry says he doesn't want a Red Vine, the Harry's favorite candy in the world.
- Overly Long Gag: When Harry goes into the train compartment with Professor Lupin, he opens the (imaginary) door, walks in and shuts it. A few moments later Ron comes along and engages in a complicated routine involving vault locks, thumbprint and retinal scanners, codes, door chains, more locks, keycards and two sets of doors to get into the same compartment. The routine is topped off when he finally makes it into the compartment and the sting from Seinfeld plays.
- Pædo Hunt: When Umbridge accuses Lupin of doing inappropriate things with his students (teaching them about Patronuses) he exclaims "Cho, I was only joking!"
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The Death Eaters when they try and kill Harry on the train and the Quidditch field. They even keep the distinctive Death Eater mask.
- Power-Up Food: In a Running Gag, Red Vines are Ron's Power-Up Food, and every other character respects their awesome power.
- Precision F-Strike
"A year ago, I was a Muggle douchebag living under some stairs. But now, I can fly, turn invisible… and I just travelled the f*ck back in time!"
- Lucius emphasizes his disgust and The Reveal regarding Draco with a two rhetorical questions and a F-bomb for an answer.
- Harry rallies his friends to defeat Umbridge with a list of all their magical misadventures, giving the last one impact with a loud, censored F-bomb.
- Reality Ensues: The trio vow to turn every spell they know against Sirius Black. They're first-years, so those spells are just things like Lumos and Alohomora.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Inverted. Harry and then Ron give Hermione a "The Reason I Suck" Speech explaining why he's too much of a loser to save the day.Harry: [I]n the muggle world, I'm something called a douchebag.
Hermione: A what?
Harry: A douchebag, Herman. I play guitar when everybody just wants to hang out, I make weird covers of Disney songs—who does that? See muggles hate that shit—to them, I'm just a douchebag. I'm like… Jesse McCartney, I'm like Jesse McCartney. I'm Jesse McCartney's douche.
Ron: I got a confession to make. Back home with my brothers, I'm kind of a douchebag too. I'm like Shia LaBoeuf. "The Prince Douche."
- The Remnant: Voldemort is defeated at the end of the first play. The sequels reveal that the Death Eaters are carrying on their evil schemes without him.
- Running Gag
Umbridge: Now that Dumbledore's gone, guess who gets to be Headmaster now?
- (Phone rings) "Oh that's me!"
- "Did you get my text?" "Yes." "Well you didn't text me back."
- "As James's best friend…"
- Draco "learning to use the potty".
- Someone insulting someone else in a ridiculously silly fashion, and then asking the insulted party if they feel foolish. (Usually Lupin.) "Who looks stupid now? You do!"
- Lupin's swearing causes all the kids to gasp and cover their ears… despite the fact pretty much everyone else swears.
- People misidentifying Lupin in werewolf form as another kind of monster.
- Lupin (and Sirius) calling Snape a "butt trumpet" (which he even admits to having in one scene).
- Crookshanks popping out of nowhere.
- People calling Hermione a "night troll".
- Seamus's cursing. He keeps "Bloody" in there, but only uses the traditional "hell" once. He then follows it up with ass, tits, bitch, etc.
- Snape trying to take empty jobs; he tries to get both Dumbledore's and Lupin's jobs, but they are both taken by Umbridge.
Umbridge: NO! Me! Your mama, Umbridge!
- The Scream
- Dumbledore's reaction to finding out Umbridge is a woman.
- Also, "The Scream" as a picture was referenced. It was one of the third floor's picture that saw Sirius Black breaking into Hogwarts, Snape said that "he never look more terrified" and it took all The Last Supper to calm him down.
- Screw Yourself: After using the Time Turner, Harry's first thought upon seeing his past self is "Oh my God, I think I'm in love!"
- Series Continuity Error: In AVPM, Lavender Brown & Pansy Parkinson were Ravenclaws, part of Cho Chang's Girl Posse. Here, Lavender is wearing a Gryffindor necktie and Pansy is wearing a Hufflepuff necktie. This could possibly be because without Cedric (whose actor is playing Lucius) the house is unrepresented. Given that Dumbledore says in A Very Potter Musical that he put "everyone who looked like a good guy in Gryffindor, everyone who looked like a bad guy into Slytherin and the other two can go wherever the hell they want," it kind of makes sense that they could switch places to be in the same house as Cho and join her Girl Posse, rather than stay in Hufflepuff House.
- Slasher Smile: Umbridge smiles after Harry tells her to do her worst. Everyone in the room takes a step back. The only thing that could've made it creepier was if Joe Walker was capable of rotating his head 180 degrees.
- Something Else Also Rises: Ron lifts up his broomstick when Hermione hugs him to imply arousal.
- Smoking Hot Sex: After Firenze takes Umbridge to be his mate, he has a cigarette the next time we see him.
- Spit Shine: Neville begins spit shining Harry's shoes while Dean gives Harry a massage. Ron quickly chases them off and then takes over both duties, spit shining Harry's back.
- Stable Time Loop
- The kids' first year at Hogwarts, according to Future!Draco. It was totally the same before and after before he got involved in time-travel; it just didn't make any sense until living it the second time through.
- There's even a Stable Time Loop within a Stable Time Loop. Snape saves Harry and the others, allowing them to travel a few hours back in time, whereupon Harry convinces Snape to go and save his past self. There's also the bit about Lucius running right by the place where past!Harry and co. are hiding because he's seen future!Harry and co. a little ways on.
- Stealth Pun
- Cho Chang is upset that since she's not allowed to flirt, Flitwick will fail her. Flitwick teaches Charms.
- Those Red Vines that Ron keeps eating and eventually uses to cast a spell, they're licorice wands. (It's a candy mentioned in the books.)
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Luna Lovegood is getting transferred to Pigfarts and thinks all true wizards wear diapers, just like Draco.
- Take a Third Option
- Umbridge asks the Sorting Hat if he's Team Edward or Team Jacob. He instead says he's Team Dumbledore!
- Dumbledore has to either kiss the dementors or Umbridge. He decides neither and magically disappears!
- Take That!:
Dumbledore: Quidditch is a special sport just for wizards, and boy, is it silly!
- "Let's get rid of that piece of trash!"
- "Charms sucks, Potions sucks, Transfiguration sucks!" "Yeah, but Satanic Rituals, that one's cool."
- Additionally, in the spirit of the original, there are one or two at canon itself.
- Tastes Like Friendship: In their very first meeting, Harry and Ron bond over… Red Vines.
- Teacher/Student Romance
Cho: How am I supposed to remain abstinent when I've got a reputation to maintain? (begins to cry) Professor Flitwick is gonna fail me now.
- Lupin hits on Cho in a "he's only joking if she's not up for it" way. Later she expresses disappointment they won't be able to act on it.
- Teeny Weenie: Draco, apparently, as stated by Lucius. It's because Draco's Dobby's son.
- Terminator Twosome: Lucius and Draco.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: In a nod to Capslock!Harry from the books and the narmy scene from the third movie: "I'M IN A RAGE! …THIS IS THE MADDEST I'VE EVER BEEN!" Hilarious, since he is, at worst, mildly peeved.
- That Poor Cat: Harry throws Crookshanks to distract the werewolf.
- They Just Dont Get It: When Lucius Malfoy explains the evil plan he had just choreographed to travel back in time and kill Harry Potter, the other Death Eaters just don't get it:LUCIUS: "Do you follow me?"DEATH EATER #1: "…no."LUCIUS: "The Dark Lord would have survived, had they never met."DEATH EATER #2: "So you're saying that he wouldn't be destroyed?"LUCIUS: "He'd be alive, what don't you get?"DEATH EATER #3: "Still not understanding…"
- This Is Reality:Umbridge: Tell me, Sorting Hat, are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Sorting Hat: I'm Team Dumbledore!
Umbridge: What? Dumbledore ain't a fictional character!
- Later, Harry says that when he goes back to the Muggle world, "they're gonna try and convince me that this wasn't real and that none of this happened, but you know what? This was real, and it did happen."
- Those Two Guys: Seamus and Dean.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: In spite of Hermione ultimately rejecting Draco, Draco finds a Second Love in Luna, who also wears diapers and knows about Pigfarts.
- Time Travel: The plot involves the Death Eaters and Draco of the present running around the previous year.
- Too Dumb to Live: Yaxley, twice falling for the exact same trick.
- Took a Level in Badass: Future Draco. Not only does he not stumble around as much as he did in his first and second years, he also became ruler of the centaurs and freed Sirius Black. Oh, and he also carries around a sword in his robe and a revolver in his sock.
- Totally Radical: Umbridge promises the girls that having her as a teacher is going to be (with fingerquotes) "Totally awesome!"
- Training from Hell: Umbridge plans to whip the girls into shape "The Umbridge Way", which includes doing 500 push-ups a day, and a diet consisting of "protein shakes, falcon eggs, and ROCKS!"
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Professor Umbridge. (But now with a Woman Scorned Back Story.)
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Inverted. Dumbledore was expecting Umbridge to be a crossdresser, and found out she was an actual woman.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody ever responds to Lupin walking around covered in blood and wearing nothing but his underwear. Even Lupin himself. He'll remain almost naked for any scenes that take place during the same day.
- Verbal Tic: Umbridge pronounces "Children" as "Chillens".
- Villain Opening Scene
- Villain Song: "Stutter" and "It's Not Over Yet."
- Villainous B.S.O.D.: Umbridge, after Firenze defeats her.
- Walking Shirtless Scene
- Lupin wears only his underwear after transforming.
- And Firenze, who never wears a shirt
- Walk This Way: Snape pulls this on the boys.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Draco, overlapping with Toilet Humour. We later find out that he's trying to please the wrong father.
- What Happened to the Mouse?
- Year 1 Draco. Future Draco briefly mentions that he's bedridden with heartache in Slytherin dorms when he first appears, but he is never seen again, even when the year ends… unless that's him being friendly and singing with the Trio at the end.
- Lampshaded at the end of the sequel: "Ah, Luna Lovegood, the girl who was mysteriously missing during our second year!"
- Zettai Ryouiki: Cho freakin' Chang.
A Very Potter Senior Year (AVPSY)
- Action Prologue: The musical starts with the Battle at the Department of Mysteries.
- Affectionate Parody: "This School Is Mine" parodies "Confrontation" from Les Misérables.
- And I Must Scream: It is revealed that the children petrified were conscious and could hear things
- Arson Murder And Life Saving: Kingsley Shacklebolt does this twice, once in the beginning after the battle in the Department of Mysteries and once after the students rally behind Harry to save Hogwarts.
- Asian Speekee Engrish: Quirell and Voldermort's daughter.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: The forces of Hogwarts all sing "Gotta Get Back To Hogwarts" before the assault on Voldemort.
- Babies Ever After:
- Just like in the books, this holds true for Harry and Ginny.
- Unlike the in the books, the last scene reveals that Quirrell and Voldemort adopted a little Asian girl.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: Special shot-outs for Hermione and Gilderoy. Specially Gilderoy.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: It's heavily implied that Gilderoy is into mice.
- Bi the Way: Lavender Brown to Cho. Also, Seamus to Viktor Krum.
- Voldemort is essentially confirmed to be this as well. Scarfy even sorts him as 'could go a number of ways.'
- Black Comedy Rape: When she wakes up again, Hermione mentions offhandedly that Filch has been arrested for something he did to her while she was Petrified. It's not elaborated upon, but the conclusions are pretty obvious. Ron is the only person who seems to recognize that it is a big deal.
- Book-Ends: "Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts"
- Also "You all ready to go, buddy?", the first and last words Ron says at Hogwarts (in terms of chronological order of events.)
- Break the Haughty: Harry acts like a dick all year. Losing the Head Boy election brings him down a notch.
- Bury Your Gays: The Scarf of Sexual Preference.
- Call-Back: Plenty to the previous two musicals.
- "Always Dance" contains many lines and musical cues from "To Dance Again"; fitting, as they're both Voldemort's villain songs.
- "OK is wonderful."
- Harry says "Voldemort is going down" before entering the Chamber of Secrets.
- Yet another Spider-Man analogy. Harry compares the ending of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man Trilogy and the introduction of a new Spider-Man five years later to the ending of his fame and his being replaced.
- "Draco, you little shit!"
- "You're a piece of shit!"
- "I know, Quirrell. I hear everything you hear."
- You can see the dragon Harry battled in Hagrid's hut.
- "Well, chocolate frogs, everybody, Harry Potter did it, y'all!"
- The Cameo / Promoted Fangirl: Longtime fan Evanna Lynch.
- Canon Foreigner: Wang Mu, Quirrell and Voldemort's adopted child.
- Continuity Nod: In AVPS, Scarfy sorts Hermione as "waiting until marriage". Here this is used as the reason why she won't kiss Ron.
- Also, Draco remarks that a fine opportunity has fallen right into his "diapered lap". That Draco wears diapers because of his crippling fear of the potty was a plot point in AVPS!
- Continuity Porn: For the books, the films and the musicals. You can't beat that level of porn.
- Corpsing: Harry loses it—repeatedly—in the scene at Hagrid's shack. Also, the corpse of Moaning Myrtle in the flashback, but this one is intentional and Played for Laughs.
- Hermione blinks a couple times while petrified.
- Crack Pairing: In-universe, Lily and James separated after death, and Lily found Cedric.
- Dark Reprise: "Always Dance" is a very happy, cheerful song about accepting yourself and, well, dancing… at least until the end, where it becomes intensely creepy when Riddle takes control of Ginny.
- An interesting example of the "sad" variant: In the epilogue, Harry sings "Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts" at a slow pace to his son, obviously sad that his adventures are over, but also hopeful that Albus will have great adventures, too.
- Dead Guy Junior: Similar to the books, Albus Scarfie Potter.
- Death by Adaptation: Professor Sprout, killed when the flying car crashed into the Herbology room.
- Does Not Like Snickers: Tom Riddle
- Expy: Kingsley Shacklebolt looks and sounds like Nick Fury.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Tom Riddle ultimately kills the Riddle family because they get him a Snickers bar.
- Foreshadowing: In "Wizard of the Year," Gilderoy says, "Soon this school will be mine."
- Gratuitous Spanish: Draco pretends that Dora the Explorer is speaking to him.
- Draco: [speaking as Dora] Te amo también. Y lo siento.
- Growing Up Sucks: A major theme; not surprising, as it's the last one. Harry, for the most part, can't get over the fact that people are moving on.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Harry spends much of the play in one, as he struggles to accept that his time as a famous hero will end. Ron also falls into one when Hermione breaks up with him and is then Petrified.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Scarf of Sexual Preference.
- Hypocritical Humor: Moaning Myrtle tells Ginny to stop crying because "the last thing this castle needs is a whinny bitch stalking the halways in the bathroom."
- "I Am" Song: Ron finally gets one of his own with "Sidekick."
- Insistent Terminology: It's not a diary, it's a journal. Diaries are for girls.
- Insult Backfire: Harry and Ron try to kick off their campaign for making Harry the Head Boy by making posters that accuse Malfoy of being a racist, elitist, snobbish brat. Unfortunately for them, Malfoy is so bigoted that he thinks looking down upon others is a good thing, and that he's basing his entire campaign around that fact.
- Lemon: Hermione writes exceptionally dirty fanfiction that Lockhart is both horrified and delighted by. "This makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like a fucking book for kids!"
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: The Harry Potter books were written by Hermione and heavily edited by Gilderoy Lockhart, based on the real events as they're portrayed in the musicals.
- Which is hilarious if you know anything about Lockhart's character via Word of God: Lockhart is the only person directly based on someone Jo knows. Jo has stated that he is likely either claiming he was the inspiration for Dumbledore, or else claiming that he wrote the books and is letting Jo take all the credit out of kindness.
- The Long List: Near the end of the play, the narrator rattles off a huge list of the characters accompanying Harry into the Chamber of Secrets. The list goes on forever, but still fails to mention every character present.
- Makes Sense In Context: "Get In My Mouth".
- Meaningful Echo:
- "Two things in this world I love, kid. One of them is you." Dumbledore, first to Tom Riddle, then to Harry.
- "It's pretty dangerous to be one of my enemies. That's why it's a good thing that we're friends." First said by Draco to Harry, who rejects his friendship, and then by Harry to Draco, when he accepts it.
- Mighty Whitey: Gilderoy dreams of becoming this trope for the Mouse World.
- Modern Stasis: Well, the flashbacks to Voldemort's youth appear to be set in The Present Day, so…
- Mood Whiplash: Harry opens the snitch at Godric's Hollow and James and Sirius appear. And then Lupin, bloodied and in nothing but his underwear.
- And not two minutes later Harry's mother is revealed to be married to Cedric Diggory, temporarily turning the heartwarming scene into a giant WTF moment.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Harry giving Ginny the diary kick starting the whole chain of events.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Diary!Voldemort's over-the-top (and hilarious) death
- "Joe Walker dies."
- Noodle Incident: Harry and the others had numerous adventures between AVPM and AVPSY (aka years 3-6). Most of them aren't elaborated on or the person gets cut off. The first scene is supposedly the climax of year 6, while Malfoy later mentions that they all went to Pigfarts during year 3, and Ron reminds his peers the things Harry has done during years 4 and 5.
- Luna has to wash blood off her hands for some reason. The script states it was because she had front-row seat at Buckbeaks execution, although that's cut out from the Youtube-version.
- O.C. Stand-in: Tom Riddle's father and grandparents, about whom little is known in canon. It's not quite a straight example since the books did give them some minimal characterization, basically just enough for them to come off as snobby aristocrats. Of course, the musical ignores this in favor of creating its own wacky characterizations for them from scratch.
- Operation: Jealousy: Once Hermione breaks up with Ron, Cho recommends she go out with someone he can't stand to get back at him for cheating. She chooses Lockhart.
- Out of Focus: Harry is significantly featured less and the whole thing becomes more of an ensemble piece, mainly due to Darren Criss' busy schedule.
- Racist Grandma: Tom's grandmother is notably homophobic against her grandson. It is not played for laughs.
- Refuge in Audacity: "Get in My Mouth" without any context.
- Role Reprisal: Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood.
- Shave and a Haircut: Played impromptu when Joe forgets to wave the diary.
- Shout-Out: After seeing Ginny acting strangely, Hermione gives the audience an Aside Glance before moving her hands like a crab's and saying "What is dat girl up tooooooooo."
- Take Our Word for It: A chunk of the play ended up being this because Darren Criss's busier career prevented the play from being fully-realized (visually), so the narrator does descriptions to make up for the lack of scenery and stage effects for things like the humorous death of Voldemort.
- Being StarKids, they of course make extra humor out of it by having the narrator describe things that are way too awesome to ever happen in a stage show.
- Take That!:
- Theme Music Power-Up: Harry recovers from a Heroic B.S.O.D. and being beaten by the basilisk, pulls the Sword of Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat, and slays the snake by singing "Harry Freakin' Potter". He's then bitten right before it dies.
- Threesome Subtext
- Ginny dates Seamus and Dean simultaneously. And we do mean simultaneously.
- Both Draco and Ron propose to Hermione, who says yes but doesn't specify to whom. This isn't elaborated upon. Plus, in an earlier scene Ron agrees to share Hermione in hope of getting Draco's help to cure her.
- Toilet Humor: The entire purpose of Tom Riddle's grandpa.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Oh, Harry.
- Most of the students in general toward Harry (save for Ron, Hermione, Draco, and Ginny).
- Took a Level in Kindness: Cho is much kinder to everyone, especially Hermione. Harry is the only exception and that's mainly because he insults her. Likewise Ron is much less of a jerkass, especially to Hermione.
- Goyle is also much nicer: he doesn't bully anyone, and he thinks Draco shouldn't risk his friendship with Harry.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Tom Riddle, at least compared to the Creepy Child he was in HP canon. We also see Lucius, who's interested mostly in a friendly dance-off, and Bellatrix, a pigtail-sporting Genki Girl who goes by "Trixie".
- Wardrobe Malfunction: During "Get In My Mouth" Jeff Blim's costume is falling off and he has to keep pulling it back up.
- Darren also puts his tie on weird and is perplexed as to why it's not working.Darren: Fuck the tie!
- Hagrid's beard doesn't really work out too well…
- Moaning Myrtle's wig falls off completely when her body is towed away by Madame Pomfrey. This is notable for probably being the least ridiculous looking thing about this scene.
- Darren also puts his tie on weird and is perplexed as to why it's not working.
- Wham Line:
- Cedric: You could say your mother and I FOUND each other.
- Your Cheating Heart: Parodied. Lavender kisses Ron on the cheek, and he immediately calls himself a cheating bastard.