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Web Video / Potter Puppet Pals

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Alas, a cornucopia of awesome. (from left to right: Ron, Hermione, Snape, Dumbledore, Harry, Voldemort.)

Neil Cicierega, of Animutation fame, and his sister Emmy created two Flash cartoons in 2003 featuring hand-puppet versions of the main characters from Harry Potter. The humorous cartoons quickly gained popularity (even with J. K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe), and the Potter Puppet Pals series was born.

Eventually starting in 2006, Neil, Emmy and their friends moved on from animated shorts to live-action shorts featuring real puppets, and they've even done a couple of live shows with the puppets. The series is most famous for the number of memes it has spawned. Also, Neville is a butternut squash and Cedric is a foot.

Shorts include:

  • "Bothering Snape": Ron and Harry bother Snape.
  • "Trouble at Hogwarts": Voldemort invades Hogwarts, and it's up to Harry, Ron, and Hermione to stop him.
    • "Follow the Butterflies": A hidden video from "Trouble at Hogwarts".
  • "Potions Class": Snape describes Potions Class to Harry and friends in a very disturbing way. Not to mention Dumbledore wanting expired gorilla milk for his bowels.
  • "Wizard Angst": Harry's feeling cranky and pubescent today, and he doesn't know why!
  • "The Mysterious Ticking Noise": The entire cast sings along to a mysterious ticking noise. Possibly the most recognized episode ever.
  • "Wizard Swears": Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn magical profanity.
  • "School is for Losers": Harry Potter says school is for losers!
  • "The Awakening of the Incorruptible" (later renamed "Albus Dumbledore Lists Your Good Qualities"): The most epic Potter Puppet Pals short ever.
  • "The Vortex": A strange vortex appears, and Ron finally goes through puberty.
  • "Ron's Disease": Ron gets Wizard Lice, and only Hagrid can cure it.
  • "Snape's Diary": Harry steals Snape's diary, and he reads it aloud to Ron and Hermione.
  • "Mustache Buddies": Voldemort decides to grow a mustache and has Snape do it too.
  • "Ron's Parents": Ron has parents, Harry doesn't.
  • "Harry's Nightmares": Harry recalls a series of horrible nightmares.
  • "Draco Puppet": Harry introduces us to the puppet's puppet version of Draco Malfoy.
  • "Ginny": Harry flirts with Ron's hot younger sister.
  • "Neville's Birthday": Harry, Ron and Hermione attend Neville's birthday party on threat of expulsion.
    • "(good morning Snape)": A hidden video from "Neville's Birthday".
  • "Apparate!": Harry learns to apparate and uses it towards his advantage.
  • "Dapper Ron": Hermione saves Ron from a dashing curse.
  • "Martial Arts": Harry interrupts Defense Against the Dark Arts class to show what he learned in Defense in Martial Arts.
  • "Magic Can Solve Any Problem": Harry decides life would be easier if people were more like him.
  • "Harryween": Harry refuses to get into the Halloween spirit.
  • "The Mysterious Ticking Noise 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY in 4K": A 2017 remake of "The Mysterious Ticking Noise".
  • "Harry and the Potters - Where’s Ron?": Harry and Hermione sing a heartfelt song wondering where the hell is Ron. It features a guest appearance from the singer Kimya Dawson.

Some of the fans of this series made Fanvids of these Fanvids, using the same or similar programs and posted them on YouTube.

This series provides examples of:

  • Celebrity Paradox: The Elder Swear includes a reference to Daniel Radcliffe.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the earlier shorts, Harry was more cheerful and compassionate, and Snape was more of a short-tempered Jerkass even to the point of murdering Harry and Ron for invading his personal space and repeating the word "bother" over and over again. Now, Harry is a self-centred bully, and Snape is the Only Sane Man of the cast.
  • Christmas Episode: The Yule Ball 2010 live performance.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Dumbledore's recitation of The Elder Swear in "Wizard Swears", also invoking Noodle Implements to a degree:
    Your mother is a (censored)-ing (censored) lorem ipsum (censored) ad minim veniam (censored) tragula (censored) hippopotamus (censored) republican (censored) and Daniel Radcliffe (censored) with a bucket of (censored) in a castle far away where no one can hear you (censored) soup (censored) with a bucket of (censored) Mickey Mouse (censored) and a stick of dynamite (censored) magical (censored) alakazam!
    • Note that it takes him no less than forty-three seconds to say this.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Poor, poor Neville. Haha.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "Snape's Diary".
    Snape's Diary: I was at the Yule Ball with Lily Evans. I asked her to dance. She asked me to die. Would that I could Lily... would that I could...
    Harry: My mum was awesome!
  • Continuity Nod: In "Snape's Diary", one of the diary entries is about "Bothering Snape."
  • Cuckoo Nest: Occurs in "Harry's Nightmares" as a Shout-Out to Shutter Island.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    Ron: Maybe he's in loooove!
    Hermione: Who'd fall in love with such an a—
    Ron: Maybe he needs a hug!
    • Harry says "What the f—" just as Neville is exploding in "Neville's Birthday".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "Bothering Snape" Snape upon being bothered by Harry and Ron responds with a spell, but not a stunning spell like Expelliarmus, Stupefy or Locomotor Mortis but with "Avada Kedavra!!!"
  • The Ditz:
    • Ron.
    • Dumbledore most definitely qualifies.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: In "Dapper Ron", Ron tries to start a polite conversation with Hermione, but she interrupts by punching him in the face. He doesn't mind, though, since the punch frees him a curse that caused him to act more refined than usual. When he tries to thank her, she headbutts him to shut him up.
    • Ron usually goes through a lot of crap, but Hermione's possibly the first puppet to hit him for no apparent reasonnote  other than Rule of Funny.
  • Driven to Suicide: Played for Laughs of course.
  • Easter Egg: "Follow the butterflies, follow the butterflies, WEE~!" "Ronnicus Explodicus!"
    • "Neville's Birthday" had a hidden video if you clicked on Snape around the 5:20 mark. This no longer works, since Youtube disabled all annotations on January 15, 2019, but you can watch it here.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Neville talks this way.
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: In "Neville's Birthday", after Harry and Hermione inform Neville that nobody likes him:
    Ron: Even I look down on you! ME!
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Done with a beautifully nonsensical twist in "Wizard Angst".
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Voldemort is depicted with a deep, reverberating voice.
  • Fantastic Racism: Lampshaded when the Draco Malfoy puppet says "I'm really proud that I'm pure-blooded white — I mean, wizard."
  • Flanderization: Played for Laughs.
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: Used for Dumbledore's birthday song in "Neville's Birthday," with an image of Dumbledore's head as the ball.
  • The Generic Guy: Hermione is intentionally devoid of any interesting characteristics, only ever saying lines to advance the plot or about how she likes books. Lampshaded when Harry refers to her as "Female Ron".
  • The Ghost: Some characters are referred to, but have yet to actually be seen.
    • Snape's diary entries mention Lucius Malfoy, McGonagall, and Filch, among others.
    • During the Yule Ball live show, Voldemort yells, "Hit it, Pete!" before the "Avada Kedavra" song.
  • Gilligan Cut: The end of "Wizard Swears".
  • Group Hug:
    • The end of "Trouble at Hogwarts". It's a pretty weird version, though, considering one of the members of the group is a naked old man...
    • And in "The Vortex": "Lose some weight before you hug me, Ron."
  • Halloween Episode: The Youmacon 2010 live performance.
    • 2015’s Harryween.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Harry. At one point he leads a half-awake Hagrid all over the school grounds to club everyone in sight. Except Voldemort.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Invoked by Harry, who constantly makes snide remarks about Ron's eating habits and weight, despite Ron obviously being built from the same puppet template as him. Which is hilarious, considering that Ron in the books is extremely tall and thin.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Ron has an obvious one-sided crush on Harry. Apparently, Harry returns Ron's feelings on a subconscious level through his attraction to Ginny, who is basically just Ron with Tertiary Sexual Characteristics.
  • Jerkass: Harry, who constantly belittles his friends (especially Ron) and likes to bully and humiliate Snape.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: Dumbledore jumps naked out of the cake in "Neville's Birthday."
  • Kick the Dog: Harry mercilessly picks on Neville, Ron and Snape.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: "Draco Puppet" is nothing but this and Take That, Audience!.
  • Kill It with Fire: The final fate of the Draco puppet.
  • Large Ham: "I mean everything I ever say, ever, because I'm Harry Potter." (thunderclap)
  • Literal-Minded: Draco Malfoy.
    Harry: No, say hello to the audience.
    Draco: Hello to the audience.
  • Mister Seahorse: Parodied in "Harry's Nightmares". Nestled in among the bizarre and occasionally juvenile ("In one dream, I was middle aged! Yuck!") traumas that haunt his noggin, was the dream he had where he gave birth to Ron, and raised him from infancy, but one day, he misplaced him, and that terrified him, because it meant he had failed as a parent.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Harry's reaction when Neville explodes. Until he tastes the chunks.
  • Naked People Are Funny
    Dumbledore: NAKED TIME!
  • Narcissist: Harry. Most notable is when he is given a lecture by Snape, the only thing he hears from it is his own name.
  • Never Learned to Read: In "Snape's Diary," Ron is implied to be very nearly illiterate. He's impressed with Hermione for recognizing Harry's name in the book, and when Ron tries to do his own entry, he struggles to write down, "I am S." However, Ron seems to have no trouble writing a letter in "Ron's Parents," so the series is not consistent about this.
  • Nonstandard Character Design:
    • Neville is a butternut squash on a stick.
    • Cedric Diggory is a foot.
  • Noodle Implements: Harry and Ron's potential punishment in "Wizard Angst" has some of these. Though if you think about it, assuming that the cactus in question is a potted one, it will be picked up and placed over their heads or bare bums and hammered down with the croquet mallet by the drunken Filch. Or Filch will smash one of them with the mallet and then just shove the cactus in/on the other one. Alternatively, the mallet could also be used to shove the cactus in... places.
  • No-Sell: In "Ron's Disease", Hagrid hitting Dumbledore with a club doesn't hurt him because he's an android. A gay android.
    Dumbledore: Ooh! Trying to take a whack at the old headmaster, are you?
  • Not His Sled: In the 2017 version of "The Mysterious Ticking Noise", the source of the ticking is the 2007 version of the short, which Ron calls, "a 10 year old YouTube video".
  • Oh, Crap!: Snape and Dumbledore seem to react this way when Ron discovers Voldemort's pipe bomb in "Mysterious Ticking Noise".
  • Pet the Dog: Subverted hilariously in "Neville's Birthday". At first Harry appears to feel guilt for making Neville so upset that he self-destructs... then he starts eating chunks of what's left of Neville.
    • Played straight in "Harryween," where Harry becomes very upset about Ron's apparent death, calls him "a prince," and goes alone into the Forbidden Forest to rescue him.
  • Porn Stache: In Mustache Buddies.
  • The Power of Love: In the Yule Ball 2006 show, Dumbledore performs a musical number about love being the most powerful force in the world. However, it's immediately ruined when he strips naked in the middle of the song.
    Harry: Why do all your lessons end in nudity?!?
    Dumbledore: Apparently you've learned nothing!
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Apparate!" Hermione finds Harry lying in the ground. Harry tells her in a dramatic tone, that some has happened to him and he will never walk again... A horrified Hermione asks him to explain, and Harry reveals that he has mastered the apparate spell. Hermione doesn't take kindly to him toying with her sympathy.
    Hermione: H— Harry! That's not [bleep]ing funny!
  • Pun:
    Angel Neville: It's what's on the inside that counts.
  • Relative Ridicule: In "Wizard Swears", Harry Potter calls Neville Longbottom's grandmother a "blast ended skank" when Neville says that his grandmother forbids him from using foul language.
  • Rhyming with Itself: Harry's song in "The Vortex" is nothing but this.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: In "Ron's Disease", Dumbledore is revealed to be a gay android.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Harry's opinion of the fan-favorite suggestion to introduce a Puppet Pal Draco, and execution of same.
  • Saying Too Much: "I just happened to find this book in Snape's bedroom in a locked trunk under his bed."
  • Secret Diary: As you might expect, "Snape's Diary" is about Harry finding and reading Snape's diary.
  • Series Continuity Error: In "Wizard Swears," Harry is furious with Neville for using "Hagrid's buttcrack" as a swear ("Hagrid is ten times the man you'll ever be, Neville!"), but in "Ron's Disease," Harry acts like he's never met Hagrid before.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Hermione does this several times.
  • Serendipitous Symphony: "What is that mysterious ticking noise?... it's kind of catchy..."
  • Shout-Out:
    • Besides the Take That! to Twilight in "Snape's Diary", there's a quick shoutout to Shutter Island at the end of "Harry's Nightmares".
    • In "Neville's Birthday", there's this.
    • The video description of the 2017 version of "The Mysterious Ticking Noise" is as follows:
    • Also in "Neville's Birthday", Harry mentions planning to go and see Insane Gnome Posse in concert on the day of the party, while Ron wants to go to the auditions for the titular role in Annie.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Harry.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Hermione is the only regular female character. In fact, Ginny's one-off appearance is the only instance of another female character appearing onscreen.
  • Space "X": The tendency of the original series to do this with "wizard" is comically exaggerated here. Harry doesn't just get angst but "wizard angst." Ron doesn't just get lice but "wizard lice."
  • Straw Loser: Ron. Subverted in "The Vortex".
  • Take That, Audience!: The short Albus Dumbledore Lists Your Good Qualities.
    • "Draco Puppet".
  • Take That!:
    • "Awakening of the Incorruptible" has been declared to be a stab at fans who were whining about the sporadic updating. Not that they have a lot to complain about, "The Vortex" was uploaded shortly after.
    • Also:
      Ron: Is it a young adult vampire romance novel? (cut to later with Ron standing in the corner)
    • Several things Hermione states she likes are Take Thats simply because this version of her only likes the most painfully boring things in existence. For example, she once says she's going to a Richard Dawkins book signing.
  • Talk to the Fist: Snape's droning about Harry missing class is interrupted by Harry punching him with a human fist.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Hermione is the only voiced female puppet of the cast.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Harry throws up once while Apparating.
  • Teleporter Accident: Ron trying to Apparate with Harry turns the two of them into basically a puppet version of The Human Centipede. An attempt to separate themselves by apparating again only results in Snape also fusing with them.
  • They Killed Kenny: Harry casts Avada Kedavra on himself at the end of "Ginny", Snape casts Avada Kedavra on Harry and Ron in "Bothering Snape", and Voldemort blows everyone up at the end of "The Mysterious Ticking Noise". They're all back to normal by next episode.
  • Toilet Humour: "Pantaloonius Poopicus!"
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Ginny resembles Ron with longer hair and a bow.
  • The Unintelligible: Hagrid.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Harry has his moments of this.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Wizard Swears"
  • Villain Song: The "Avada Kedavra" song
  • Voice of the Legion: Voldemort has a comical variant.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Except since they're puppets, it's made out of yarn.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: In the live show.
    Dumbledore: ...The spell we know as love.
    Ron: Love?!
    Harry: Lame!
    Hermione: That's not magic!
  • Wimp Fight: Since the characters are puppets any fight will just be them scrambling against each other.


Spooky Dream

Harry describes the worst nightmare he ever had.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / CuckooNest

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