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  • Acceptable Political Targets: Politicians in general are either ignorant, self-righteous assholes, or straight up evil. Margaret Thatcher is a frequent target of J.K. Rowling's scorn, as both Aunt Marge and Umbridge are obvious caricatures of her.
  • Acceptable Targets: Ugly people are almost always assholes. Dudley, Uncle Vernon, Crabbe, Aunt Marge, and Umbridge are Fat Bastards, Pansy is described as having the face of a pug, and Aunt Petunia is described as looking like a horse. There are some aversions later on in the books. Bill Weasley and Mad-Eye Moody are both solid heroes despite being grotesquely scarred, the portly Slughorn proves himself a fundamentally good person, and even Snape turns out to be an Anti-Hero. It's more likely that the intention is assholes are ugly, than ugly people are assholes, but intention isn't always apparent.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Has its own page.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: When Colin Creevey gets petrified in Chamber of Secrets, and again when he's killed in the battle of Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Has its own subpage.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • George loses one of his ears in Deathly Hallows, an incurable injury of the sort that often brings a realization of the human body's vulnerability and mortality. His first reaction is to make jokes about feeling "holy." Then subverted horribly when his twin brother dies.
    • Luna Lovegood is all about this trope. She's bullied mercilessly all the time, and she had no friends until recently. Yet she still manages to keep a smiling face in spite of all this, and she keeps the negative feelings inside. She seems to be strangely aware of what about her makes people bully her in the first place, but she acts as if they don't bother her and she doesn't change herself.
    • Downplayed with Harry; For somebody who was treated like crap by the Dursleys for a decade, Harry seems to be too well-adjusted, despite the fact that in real life, children who were abused have a bunch of psychological issues. However, Harry does have a lot of problems with trusting others, especially authority figures and adults, and by the fifth book has anger issues and possible PTSD from the sheer amount of crap in his life piling up.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: A rare non-animated zig-zag. While overall an aversion, when the series was relatively new, it wasn't uncommon to find versions with more "Grown up" covers so that adults wouldn't feel ashamed that they are reading a book they found in the children's section.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Voldemort. To be fair, the gang did mutilate his Evil Artifacts Of Power, even the unintentionally created one, causing him to freak out. Furthermore, it is heavily implied that the greatest thing Harry feared about Voldemort was his massive knowledge about the world and its magic and how he could do anything with it; once Voldemort is shown to be a moronic killer with a pointy stick (and little willpower), Harry overcomes his inner fears, and all that's left to do is zap the bugger.
  • Anvilicious:
    • The 'fear of death is bad' message was rather heavy handed to some.
    • The subplot involving treatment of the house elves fits this to a tee. Mostly because of the preachiness involved, the elaborate Regulus Black subplot introduced to demonstrate it and the general hypocrisy in that Harry accepts and pardons Kreacher's treachery of Sirius Black because of Blue-and-Orange Morality but decides that he won't respect or honor the Goblins' Blue-and-Orange Morality.
    • The depiction of politicians in this series, as mentioned in Acceptable Targets above; most of them are general stock archetypes who are Slave to PR and image more than action, with the only competent politician, Barty Crouch Sr., being a kind of unsympathetic Knight Templar.
  • Awesome Ego: Voldemort may be a mass murdering, self-absorbed psychopath but damn is he cool!
  • Badass Decay: The Ministry of Magic suffers this as a whole. In the first war, they fought against Voldemort (one of the most powerful wizards in history) for over a decade. But during his absence, they become highly incompetent. When he ends up coming back, they prove to be completely useless in the fight against him. If anything, he uses them to further his goals. The Death Eaters may have actually been trying to invoke this - after Voldemort's apparent death, those that evaded prison time often ended up in positions of power and influence, which would have let them (particularly Lucius Malfoy, who seemed to be pulling at least half of Fudge's strings at any given moment) turn the Ministry into the embarrassment that it was upon Voldemort's return.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ginny's off-screen development from a Shrinking Violet to a Fiery Redhead, and the development of her relationship with Harry, have led to her being one of the most divisive characters in the books.
    • Ron. Is he a great and devoted friend and relatable everyman type of character, or a self-centered and lazy jerkass who contributes little to the general plot and narrative?
    • Snape is one of the most infamous examples, and would likely top that list if he were ever paired off with anyone. The most divisive thing about his character is his morality. Was he a tragic Heartbroken Badass, or was he just an Entitled Bastard who thinks a few good deeds justifies his dickish behavior and completely insults Lily's memory by bullying Harry? Some feminist fans have also heavily criticized the character for his complicity in James and Lily's deaths and his fans for romanticizing his obsession with Lily Evans. The Book 7 revelations redeemed him in the narrative of the books and among his fans. J. K. Rowling has confirmed that she thinks he was both a good and bad person at the same time. When asked if she thought Snape a hero, said:
    JK Rowling: Yes, I do; though a very flawed hero. An anti-hero, perhaps. He is not a particularly likable man in many ways. He remains rather cruel, a bully, riddled with bitterness and insecurity — and yet he loved, and showed loyalty to that love and, ultimately, laid down his life because of it. That’s pretty heroic!
    • Hermione: Is she one of the most badass females in literature, or is she just a self-righteous character that's never allowed to be wrong (or at least almost never allowed to be wrong)?
    • Dumbledore: Is he truly a likable Eccentric Mentor (as shown in the early books), who was merely still human and made mistakes? Or is he a self-righteous manipulator bordering on Knight Templar?
    • James Potter, who is built up in the first four books as an all around great wizard only for the fifth book to reveal that he bullied Snape. Readers are split whether James is someone who successfully changed for the best or if the reveal irreparably ruined the character because we barely get any additional information to explain how he changed to become the character described in the first four books. Unfortunately, some of his detractors go too far in their hatred of him, even accusing his fans of being "apologists".
    • Harry himself, whether he's a good relatable protagonist or bland in comparison to the others characters. His behavior in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is also divisive, with half of the fanbase finding it justified considering the trauma he endured the previous years and the fact that no one believes him about Voldemort's return and the other half finding it just plain unbearable Wangst. There's also the debate over whether or not Harry's willingness to be the pawn in Dumbledore's master plan, especially in the last book, made him a weak hero or not.
    • Colin Creevey. Some see him as a sweet Cheerful Child while others see him as annoying.
    • Draco's Draco in Leather Pants status has made him this between those who find him a Flat Character with no significant change and can't understand why he gets so much praise. Some even go as far as to say that the only reason he is popular is because of the actor who played him.
  • Broken Base: Really, it's inevitable given how popular the books are. The "Shipping Wars" (mostly between shippers of Ron/Hermione and Harry/Hermione) are only one example of what the fans can't agree on. Excluding these and the aforementioned Base Breaking Characters, we can cite the following issues:
    • The seventh book's famous/infamous epilogue. The Babies Ever After ending is sometimes felt to be too sickly-sweet and even lazy, whereas others think it's a hopeful look at the future.
    • Are snakes sentient? The fact that you can talk to them through Parseltongue suggests it, but others think the idea is simply too strange and prefer to think the magic of Parseltongue itself temporarily heightens the creatures' intelligence.
    • Similarly, the Dementors' true nature is a divisive topic, though one of the "softer" cases inasmuch as it rarely causes full-blown Flame Wars. Are they undead, or a species of their own? And provided they are, are they just another sentient species that happens to be saddled with "dark" powers, or pure evil, or even not truly sentient at all?
    • The true nature of Dark Magic is long-standing subject of argument in the fandom. Is it truly a different type of magic that is intrinsically different, or simply a semantic denomination for any "harmful" magic that may otherwise be from other branches of magic? If the former is true, then could it be that Dark Is Not Evil and some of the Dark spells could be used for good?
    • On a related topic, the protagonists' absolute taboo against killing their opponents on purpose in the canon books is looked down upon by some fanfiction writers who think it is a naive, childish outlook on the world, and that the war couldn't realistically be wrong if the heroes didn't actually try to mow down the ranks of the enemy rather than simply defending themselves and capturing them whenever possible. Others share Rowling's morals and think becoming cold-blooded murderers, even in state of war, would mean the heroes were going evil themselves but many feel that said message flies in the face of what The Real Heroes undergo in the face of reality, and the entire message and intended concept is more or less inapplicable and unrelateable.
    • The whole Fanon concept of "magical cores". Are there inherent magical power levels in canon, or is it just a matter of skill, so that anyone could achieve Dumbledore or Voldemort's level if they worked hard enough?
    • Was Hermione's S.P.E.W. an ill-conceived, but conceptually right attempt at freeing long-abused slaves, which only goes wrong because the Elves, having been born slaves, tragically don't want the freedom they deserve? Or is it an instance of Hermione trying to force her own muggle values on a different world, and failing to understand that while they shouldn't be mistreated, it is House-Elves' nature to be obedient servants? A third faction sees it as a tin-eared Fantasy Conflict Counterpart that makes a mockery of Slave Liberation in history and contemporary society, whose payoff in the books is unsatisfying, detrimental to the character arc of one of the most favoured supporting characters (Sirius), and which works by violation of Show, Don't Tell and use of Informed Wrongness and Values Dissonance.
    • Was Voldemort a born psychopath, who was not right in the head from the start? Or did he only turn evil because of his horrific upbringing? Word of God supports the latter, but that doesn't stop fans from speculating.
    • Rowling's universe expansion with the introduction of the American magic school Ilvermorny and history of magic and wizard society in the USA was met with this, particularly from American fans. Some liked the new additions to the overall universe and the new materials to work with while others were heavily critical of how poorly researched the material felt with regards to American history (especially Native American history, the Salem Witch Trials and America's own complex racial relations), culture, and politics. At best, it feels superficial and lacking any nuance; at worst, it's offensively insensitive and stereotypical. There was also a meta-backdraft from fans over accusations of Rowling being racist, as racism is something she got famous for speaking out against.
    • Another point of contention is how well the series as a whole has held up since it concluded in 2007. It is still well-regarded in many respects (such as the worldbuilding, likable characters, and its meta-legacy within fandom culture and on Young Adult literature), but over the years since the books concluded, a growing backlash began brewing among adult fans who've revisited the series and more people became increasingly critical of it, pointing out various plot holes, characterization issues, and other narrative inconsistencies that have bogged it down. Other complaints that fans had even during the books' run, such as Harry's abusive childhood with the Dursleys being Played for Laughs and Snape's wildly unprofessional behavior as a teacher not being disciplined even after several students complained about it multiple times to the other Hogwarts staff, have only become louder as well due to changing cultural values further condemning abusive behaviors. Rowling's tweets (whether it's Word of God supplementary materials or her own real-life political views) definitely haven't helped either.
    • Were the Slytherins really mostly bad guys, or did they look like that because the series is told from Harry's point of view and he didn't want to see any redeeming qualities within the House because he's a Gryffindor and has a real rivalry/hatred of prominent current and former Slytherin members, such as Malfoy, Snape, and Voldemort? The debate is far from over.
    • The only actually valid reason for Harry's return to his ridiculously unfit guardians every summer was because of the blood-protection charm that Lily's Heroic Sacrifice had created that protected him from Voldemort and the Death Eaters as long as he was underaged and living with a blood relative. Dumbledore also points out a couple times that it was rather useful in stopping Harry from becoming full of himself due to being exposed to fame at a too early age. Whether this was ultimately worth the abuse Harry got instead is constantly debated.
  • Cargo Ship: With the general idea of wands and such, it's physically impossible for this not to exist.
  • "Common Knowledge": The novel's perception is greatly shaped and influenced by the movies which paradoxically mislead new readers precisely because they are highly faithful, with just enough small but crucial changes and alterations to give the wrong impression:
    • A lot of portrayals of new Hogwarts students other than Harry entering the school have the new character getting their acceptance letter on their eleventh birthday exactly, forgetting that Harry was sent hundreds before his birthday; he just wasn't able to read any of them until Hagrid gave him one after several days of the Dursleys trying to escape them. On top of that, the final application date was the 31st of July, which would seriously screw over the children who turned eleven in August. Not to mention all the kids that turned eleven in September still going to school with other Muggle kids and teachers which would endanger the secrecy.
    • Many folk like to mock the apparent faults in Hogwarts' curriculum, since it teaches children magic and nothing on English, mathematics, science or history. This is true, but what many forget or don't know is that students attend Hogwarts starting at 10, and before that they attend a standard primary/elementary school where they would have learned all they needed on English and mathematics. Since they're wizards science is probably not that much of a concern. History is a bit more of a toss-up: on one hand, Hogwarts does have history, but what people usually mean by "history" is Muggle history, which is definitely one subject wizard children don't learn.
    • Whenever a non-fan hears about Harry having romance in his life, it's assumed he'll be getting together with Hermione - because she's the only female character non-fans have actually heard of. This is compounded by the emphasis on Hermione in the movies where Emma Watson's performance made her a Breakout Character which also excised moments in the novels where Harry was quite mean to Hermione, such as taking Ron's side in the Scabbers/Crookshanks debate in Book 3, and getting cross about her reporting the Firebolt to McGonagall as a result of which he and Ron didn't speak to her for months, while in Book 5 he would get irritated and shout at both Ron and Hermione, get irritated by her nagging at him for Occlumency lessons (which he admitted she was right about but never really apologized to her in person) while even in Book 7, Harry thinks of her as narrow-minded for not latching on to the Deathly Hallows. Additionally, several moments where Ron stands up for Hermione in the books were left out of the movies or changed to have him side against her instead. With the elements of real rifts between Hermione and Harry removed from the movies, and her general dynamic with Ron made more antagonistic, it made the movie version of Harry and Hermione far more compatible-looking than their book counterparts.
    • It's common for many fans to claim that "Harry would have died in Book 1 without Hermione" and exaggerate Hermione into a Memetic Badass based again on the movies. As such it can be surprising to find Book!Hermione to be far more vulnerable and insecure than her Pop-Cultural Osmosis version. She's still a woman of conviction and strong will (albeit the movies leave out her commitment to House Elf rights) but it's also true that both Harry and Ron save her as often as she saves them. In terms of the books, Hermione plays a major part in the climax of Book 3, but in Book 5, she gets knocked out by Antonin Dolohov's curse and only Harry and Neville are still standing when they duel the Death Eaters. Likewise, while Hermione was key to destroying the Horcruxes, Harry identified, located and traced most of the Horcruxes himself (including the one in Gringotts and the Room of Hidden Things) while Ron destroyed one, and found a way to destroy the other.
    • A lot of fans were complaining from the start about the rules of Quidditch, and how the Seeker who catches the Snitch wins the game almost automatically - making the rest of the team pretty meaningless. Rowling specifically added an extended scene in the fourth book - the Quidditch World Cup - to show a scenario in which the team whose Seeker catches the Snitch still loses the game... but that scene was cut from the films. So a lot of people who only saw the films are still complaining about catching the Snitch being an automatic win. It doesn't help that in the first film Oliver explicitly says to Harry "You catch this, Potter, and we win." Even though it could be argued that he didn't mean it literally.
    • Everybody knows that Severus Snape turns out to be Good All Along at the end of the series, right? Well...sort of. He turns out to have been loyal to Dumbledore and Lily, Harry's mom, all along, and was never really on Voldemort's side — but he still does plenty of major-league douchebag things that have nothing to do with his loyalty to the Death Eaters. Among other things, he regularly abuses his authority to make his students miserable for petty reasons, he got one of his colleagues fired in the third by publically outing him as a werewolf (a low-blow that also drastically reduced any chance of future employment for the colleague in question), and he tries to give Sirius Black to the Dementors to have his soul sucked out. Granted, he (mostly) redeems himself in the last book by doing some truly heroic things, but it's pretty clear that Rowling never intended him to be entirely sympathetic.
    • Less dramatically, the Marauders as pranksters. This one abounds in fanon and fanfiction (sometimes to painfully annoying levels) largely due to a mistake easily made: in Prisoner of Azkaban, when describing the Marauders, Hagrid compared them to the Weasley twins. This is forgetting the fact that it was in response to McGonagall explicitly describing them as troublemakers, causing fans to think the Marauders were class clowns who did nothing but prank other people. In the actual books, the Marauders are less class clowns than jocks, and there is exactly one mention of any of them pulling a prank, that being the homicidal one Sirius played on budding Death Eater Severus Snape.
      • Related to the above, the Marauders' nicknames. Fanfiction often features them using the names Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs casually or affectionately. In canon, they aren't nicknames at all, but codenames. They used them only when it was necessary to keep Remus' werewolfery and related exploits from being discovered.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Lord Voldemort, born Tom Marvolo Riddle, is a sociopath who refuses to accept love. Obsessed with becoming all-powerful and immortal, Voldemort murdered people to rip his own soul apart and create Horcruxes, even knowing how dangerous that can be. Of those murdered were his Muggle father and grandparents, whose deaths he framed his maternal uncle for. Beginning his career proper as a Hogwarts pupil, he opened the Chamber of Secrets to let a monster loose on Hogwarts to murder all Muggle-born students, while amassing a cult of loyal "friends" to do his bidding. Deeming Muggles and Muggle-born Wizards lesser than "pure-bloods", Voldemort waged a genocidal war against them, despite being a half-blood himself. Learning of a prophecy that foretold his defeat, Voldemort murders the Title Character's parents before trying to kill baby Harry himself. Upon his return he resumes his genocide, eventually turning Magical Britain into a fascist state while trying to kill Harry no matter how many innocents or allies had to die first, even murdering the seemingly loyal Severus Snape the second be believes doing so would grant him greater power. Subverting any possible tragic childhood, it was Voldemort's unyielding choice to pursue power and hurt anyone who got in the way that defined him, set him as Harry's opposite and earned him his place as the most feared and hated Wizard for a thousand years.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange is a psychopathic Death Eater who seems to be motivated primarily by her desire to inflict as much pain on as many people as possible in the name of Voldemort's cause. Bellatrix, gleeful cruelty incarnate, has a special fondness for torturing people with the Cruciatus curse, and tortured Neville Longbottom's parents to the point where they exist in near-comas, and will never recognize their own son again. She is also an accomplished arsonist, burning down multiple residences basically just for the sake of it. She's the cause of death for half of her non-Death-Eater family members, including Sirius Black and Nymphadora Tonks, as well as Dobby, and delights in the torment these deaths cause.
    • Dolores Jane Umbridge is a domineering and abusive matron figure and a bureaucrat whose pettiness and personal failings cause catastrophic harm to those under her control, all while maintaining a kind, grandmotherly veneer. In Order of the Phoenix, she becomes a teacher at Hogwarts and forces students who speak up against the Ministry of Magic—or who just displease her—to use the Blood Quill, which uses the writer's blood as ink and can result in permanent scarring. At one point she threatens to use the illegal Cruciatus curse, which has been shown to cause unimaginable pain, and reveals that she sent the two Dementors after Harry and his cousin. In Deathly Hallows, she willingly supports the Death Eater-controlled Ministry, and holds hastily rushed and sadistic trials against Muggle-borns, where she accuses them of stealing magic and gleefully sentences them to the Potter-verse's worst fate, the soul-stealing Dementor's Kiss.
    • Fenrir Greyback is a savage werewolf who enthusiastically supports Voldemort's regime for the chance to indulge his violent nature. Unlike many other werewolves, Fenrir relishes in turning others—such as Remus Lupin—and ruining their lives. Fenrir especially has a disturbing fondness for attacking children. In addition, Fenrir is a cannibal in both human and wolf form, and expresses a desire to eat Harry in Half-Blood Prince after savagely mauling Bill Weasley and leaving him for dead. Fenrir even states he participates in the attack to get his claws on as many children as he can. In Deathly Hallows, Fenrir serves Voldemort's regime by helping in rounding up the "unclean" wizards or those who will not submit and expresses a desire to eat Hermione after Bellatrix is finished torturing her.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Professor Trelawney smacking down a werewolf with her crystal balls.
    • Bellatrix. Her outright craziness is what makes her Badass, even though she's a shameless monster.
    • Dumbledore is an odd old wizard whose most desired gift is a pair of socks, who introduces himself in the series with the words "Nitwit. Blubber. Oddment. Tweak." yet still manages to be the only wizard to be feared by Voldemort.
    • Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, an Auror (sorta like a wizard S.W.A.T. team) with a magic eye (hence the name) that can move independently and see through anything, even the back on Moody's own head.
  • Creepy Awesome: Voldemort and Bellatrix are two of the creepiest characters you'll ever meet in children's literature, that's part of the reason they're so awesome.
  • Death of the Author:
    • Many fans and critics believe that Dumbledore's sexuality is subject to this trope, since it heavily changes our understanding of the character's motivations without ever being stated in the books.
    • Due to the large amount of timeline errors or canon ages of characters that just don't make sense, many fans have taken to ignore any numbers Rowling gives us. It's not uncommon to see fans ignoring the fact that James and Lily were only 21 when they died, or the ages on the Black Family Tree she wrote in 2006 (many of the years on this tree directly contradict canon anyway).
    • With the backstories and elaboration from Pottermore, this has kicked in hard with large portions of the fanbase.
    • In 2020, Rowling's opinions on hot-button issues that many have taken as displays of transphobia and other bigotries launched another round of this. The fandom is divided on whether one can still enjoy the series knowing Rowling's sociopolitical opinions, or if her ideas are too enmeshed in her books. Daniel Radcliffe even invoked this trope in his article for The Trevor Project.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Ron. And that's if he's lucky.
    • Ginny also receives a lot of this from anyone that ships Harry with someone else (be it female or male).
    • And then there's the treatment James Potter has received at the hands of Snape/Lily fans who falsely accuse him of being a rapist, a wife-beater, and a Jerkass who "stole" Lily from Snape. That, when they don't bash Lily for daring to cut off a very toxic friendship that was harming her — after all, Snape called her slurs when she tried to help him.
    • Snape also gets this a lot from James/Lily shippers— whether it's justified or not depends on who you talk to. Obviously, his Jerkassness is entirely canon, but some people would have you believe that he never cared for Lily at all other than wanting to bang her— which doesn't make much sense considering how much he risked for her after her death.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Draco, famous namesake to the trope, of course, and all the bad guys except Fenrir Greyback and Dolores Umbridge.
    • Even Voldemort isn't immune. To be fair, he was handsome before his psychosis was set off...
    • Blaise Zabini. Part of the problem here was that, when he was just a name and didn't yet have a personality, Blaise was a popular candidate for the "token good-guy Slytherin" in fanfics. Then, book six comes along and he's elevated to part of Draco's friend group, and is just as much of a bigoted jerk as anyone else in it. Some fans still didn't want to abandon their Fanon interpretations of his personality.
    • While Snape isn't evil, he's still not a nice guy. He knows it. In-Universe, he's described as greasy-haired, with a hooked nose, crooked and yellowed teeth, and a little too skinny to be healthy. And yet, the fans love him. Enough also to bash Lily Evans for not siding with him or choosing him even after he called her a mudblood — something Snape himself came to regret. This JF comm has some more details on that.
    • Some people give Bellatrix this treatment—it takes on one of several forms. The fact that she's been subject to (see below) Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy (oh look, Helena Bonham Carter) definitely doesn't hurt.
    • Scabior, due to the ephebophilic role that he played in the films.
    • Certain Death Eaters. You'll hardly ever see this with Fenrir Greyback, but Bellatrix and Lucius are among the most common recipients of this trope.
    • The Marauders. Many people rationalize their bullying of Snape by mentioning that he later became a Death Eater as if it excuses their actions.
  • Ending Aversion: Downplayed. The final few chapters of the story itself were well-received, but the epilogue has been a lot more divisive. The most common points of contention are Harry naming one of his kids after Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape even when they were major contributors to all the crap Harry was forced through during his life, how half-hearted the epilogue came off as compared to the rest of Deathly Hallows, and how the epilogue didn't show if anything had changed in the magical society with regards to the government or muggleborn relations.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • As Neville's heroic credentials grew, so did his number of fans.
    • Fred and George, to the point that in many fics bashing the Weasleys, they're usually the only ones who don't seem like monsters.
    • To say Luna is beloved by the denizens of the internet is putting it mildly. While she's definitely an endearing and likeable character on her own, it helps that the idea of being different and standing out (and sometimes being "random") was already popular with teens on the internet.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange, especially her portrayal by Helena Bonham Carter in the movies.
    • The Marauders in general (although Sirius and Lupin get this a lot), to the point where there's an entire sub-genre of fanfiction focused on their exploits.
    • Peter Mullen's portrayal of Yaxley as a classy gangster helped make him one.
    • The near-universal fandom hatred for Umbridge resulted in much greater love for her good counterpart Professor McGonagall after Book 5.
    • Umbridge herself is very popular in the fandom in a Love to Hate way. Many consider her a more menacing villain than Voldemort himself.
    • The Death Eaters in general get this. It's pretty easy to find fanart of almost every Death Eater mentioned, even ones that have nothing about their appearance described.
    • Hufflepuff and Slytherin surprisingly have the most vocal fans among the four Hogwarts houses—even though most of the villains are Slytherins, and Hufflepuff has such a mediocre reputation that it's the Trope Namer for a trope about insignificant characters. Many fans seem to feel responsible for reversing both Houses' in-universe Flanderization; if you meet any self-identified Hufflepuff or Slytherin fans, you can look forward to some long, detailed lectures about how there's more to both Houses than most people think. (The short version is: Hufflepuff is underestimated, and Slytherin is just misunderstood.)
  • Epileptic Trees: Lots of them, especially while the series was still ongoing. This was greatly helped along by Rowling's love of Red Herrings and Chekhov's Armouries, which encouraged many fans to consider seemingly established facts as misleading while considering seemingly unimportant details as important.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Partially justified, as there's a lot of alchemical symbolism in the series, including characters' names.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Bellatrix Lestrange may be an insane, sadistic monster who hates Muggle-Born Magicians, but she is an undeniably competent fighter with a fearsome personality, and a stage presence rivalling that of Voldemort himself.
    • Even more so for Voldemort himself - he's cool in a creepy and deranged kind of way, but is also an insanely powerful warlock (at least when he's not a disembodied spirit/parasite) with an interesting backstory. There's a reason why characters were hesitant to say his name in the early books.
  • Evil Is Sexy: In the Fandom anyway. It's called "Draco in Leather Pants" for a reason.
    • Pansy Parkinson is pretty cute. In the films, anyway. In the books, she's described as being pretty ugly.
      • She is mainly given ugly descriptions by Gryffindors who dislike her. On at least one occasion she is described by another character as being attractive.
    • Some fans even call Bellatrix a D.E.I.L.F. It's not hard to see why in the movies- Helena Bonham-Carter is quite busty, and some of her dresses even show this off, or are combined with Of Corsets Sexy. They usually have a flowy Goth look to them, and she wears bright red lipstick.
    • Narcissa Malfoy.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation:
    • The reveal via Word of God that Dumbledore is gay was not taken kindly by some fans and critics, who felt that it either went against their mental view of him, or they just thought it was bad representation. The reveal that Dumbledore was once in love with Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard that can be considered Voldemort's precursor likely didn't make things any better.
    • Likewise, the reveal in the fifth book that while Lily's Heroic Sacrifice to protect baby Harry from Voldemort and his followers used The Power of Love, the charm required Harry to be sent to live with the Dursleys because he needed to live with a blood relative of Lily's in order for the protections to actually work. The Dursleys do not love Harry in the slightest, and at best they just simply begrudged his existence, yet they're allowed to count under a spell forged by love solely because Petunia is the only person alive that shares DNA with both Lily and Harry. Meanwhile, living with a genuinely loving family like the Weasleys, his equally loving godfather Sirius, a Muggle family Harry wasn't biologically related to, or even being raised in the foster system would not protect Harry simply because none of those potential guardians are blood relatives. This struck many fans as a poorly-written plot convenience to justify Harry being forced to live with his horrible relatives for as long as possible. Moreover, it broke one of the story's most prevalent lessons about The Power of Love, how you choose your own family, and how blood purity is complete hogwash — except apparently in this one instance of this one spell.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Electronic Technology is not permissible in any dose at Hogwarts, nor does it work at Hogwarts, period. Claim otherwise on a forum, and you'll come face to face with this trope. (This seems to be a response to the fact that cell phones would have solved a lot of problems faced by the protagonists, if the series wasn't set in The '90s, and if wizards weren't Walking Techbanes like they are in canon.)
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fanon:
    • Fans like to portray Theodore Nott as a Noble Demon among the Slytherin, due to Word of God saying that he sees no reason to hang with Draco and his gang, and therefore might not share the same prejudiced views as his fellow Slytherin.
    • There are two versions of Student McGonagall: Hermione-ish, uptight bookworm or Quidditch—playing prankster. It's also fairly popular to have her as an Auror who fought in the final battle with Grindelwald before she became a teacher.
    • Fans of J.K. Rowling's other literary works, The Casual Vacancy and the Cormoran Strike Trilogy, like to assume that they take place in the same universe, just exclusively on the Muggle side. Mostly because they expand the world and there are no internal contradictions.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: While the canon ships are technically quite popular, each of them positively pale in comparison to the fan-preferred couples. There are gajillions of these, the most notable being Harry/Draco, which dwarfs every other ship in the fandom. However, there are two others which are more well-known, if only for the sheer amount of vitriol the shippers stirred over them: Draco/Hermione, and Harry/Hermione.
    • Draco/Harry and Draco/Hermione, of course, are a side effect of the leather pants treatment he gets in fandom and particularly in how the last two books don't really address Draco's thoughts much at all, which leads to copious amounts of fan material exploring and fleshing out the idea. In canon, Draco regularly abuses Hermione for her perceived racial inferiority and loathes Harry for rejecting his offer of friendship, viewing him as a rival, as well as being secretly jealous of his fame.
    • Harry/Hermione is similarly an extremely popular alternative ship among fans that felt soured on the Belligerent Sexual Tension that Ron/Hermione ran on, finding the pair's close friendship and ability to work together a nice contrast. The Ship-to-Ship Combat between the two factions was practically the stuff of legends. Not helping was that JKR herself has flip-flopped on this, stating that while she feels her endgame couples were the right way to go, she can see why the Harry/Hermione ship was popular. Suffice it to say, a lot of fans felt vindicated in a 2014 interview between Rowling and Emma Watson where Rowling admitted that Ron and Hermione's relationship had a number of issues while Watson questioned whether the two of them really would've made each other happy, as well as an interview from Rupert Grint in 2016 where he expressed the belief that Ron and Hermione are probably already divorced.
    • One last one perhaps worth noting is Sirius/Lupin... if only because the actors themselves in the movie version were surprised that the relationship ultimately wasn't explicitly romantic.
    • The fact that virtually no one liked how Luna was paired off with some guy named Rolf, a random character that never appeared in the text proper (leading to the derogatory fandom term "Rolfing" as a result) means any other pair with her automatically counts as a Fan Preferred Couple. The most popular ships for Luna include pairing her with Harry, Ron, Neville, Hermione, and Ginny.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Scabior.
  • Foe Yay: Dumbledore and Grindelwald, Harry and Draco, Draco and Hermione. Given the vast quantity of character shippings across the deepest bowels of the internet, every heroic character has likely been paired with every villainous character.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, and even Voldemort (a.k.a. Tom Riddle) are frequently shipped with Harry and/or Hermione.
    • Hermione is also shipped with her Slytherin rival and resident mean girl Pansy Parkinson (who J. K. Rowling has described as the Anti-Hermione), and the much older Ax-Crazy villain Bellatrix Lestrange. A canonical scene where Bellatrix tortures a captive Hermione has been given erotic twists in fan fiction and fan art.
    • A few fans ship Ginny Weasley and mean girl Pansy Parkinson. Probably because of a book scene where Pansy rather enthusiastically describes Ginny as unquestioningly "good looking" to her fellow Slytherins. As of September 2017, Archive of Our Own (a fanfic archive) lists 210 fanfics shipping Ginny and Pansy.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Has its own page.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • After Ron gets splinched horribly, all of those descriptions that make it sound like a vaguely humorous annoyance earlier in the story aren't so funny anymore. This was lampshaded in the seventh book.
    • It's all too easy to laugh at Neville's constant blunders, not to mention the fact that he lives with a near-tyrannical grandmother. But in the fourth and fifth books, it's revealed what happened to his parents Alice and Frank, and how it affected him. Then it's hard not to feel guilty for having laughed.
    • The use of love potions is Played for Laughs at the beginning of HBP. Then you find out what happened to Tom Riddle Senior, and what later happened to Merope Gaunt because of that, and then that Love Potion was the reason for Voldemort's existence.
    • Hagrid's teary good-bye to Norbert, complete with packing a teddy bear so the dragon doesn't get lonely. Sure, it's funny in the first book, but two books later we learn that was one of the worst days of Hagrid's entire life.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Most of the spells come from Latin (or French, sometimes English).
    • The names of the Blacks: Sirius (the Dog Star), Bellatrix (The Amazon star), Andromeda (the Chained Lady), Regulus ( The Lion Star).
    • Petunia Dursley's name is apt, as readers versed in floriography would know. Petunias represent anger and resentment.
    • Many other character names as well.
    • "Diagon Alley" (Diagonally) and "Knockturn Alley" (Nocturnally)
  • Gotta Ship 'Em All: Most of the central characters (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Draco, Neville, Luna, etc.) are shipped with a lot of other characters, including all of their mortal enemies, their teachers, parents of their classmates, their siblings, and characters who are only mentioned by name a couple of times within the series. For instance, Hermione is sometimes shipped with Theodore Nott, whose name is mentioned less than twelve times throughout all seven books and Blaise Zabini, who was a minor enough character in the first five books that many readers mistook him for a girl. Additionally, a lot of minor characters, such as Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott, are also shipped together.
  • Growing the Beard: Prisoner of Azkaban is usually agreed to be the book where the series begins to take its final shape and where J. K. Rowling really shows her true colours as a genius. Many fans and critics think it's the best of the seven. Ironically, it's also the only one of the seven that Voldemort has no part innote . The reader is led to think he does, but Sirius isn't on his side, he's there to catch Peter Pettigrew, who was just trying to hide, and he just leaves after being found out.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • Dumbledore.
    • Even Harry thought Sirius Black was hiding behind the veil all the time. The film makes his fate less ambiguous when Bellatrix hits him with Avada Kedavra. In the book, Bellatrix whacks him with an unnamed spell, and he supposedly dies when he falls through the veil.
    • Parodied in the last book, when Ron tries to think of ways in which Mad-Eye could have survived the battle with Voldemort. Harry and Hermione shoot his theories down. Ron replies sulkily, "Well, if you want him to be dead", to which Hermione gets very affronted and cries that they're just trying to be realistic.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The allegations of Satanism were made funny by My Immortal.
    • In the first book, Fred and George bewitch snowballs to bounce off the back of Quirrell's turban. Later, we find out that they're actually pegging Voldemort in face with snowballs. An already funny scene becomes freaking hilarious.
    • A minor Death Eater is named Corban Yaxley, both surnames of British political figures; given that Rowling has criticized both of them publically, she's probably pretty glad of this.
  • Hollywood Pudgy:
    • Dudley is not very fat at all in the movies. However, he's not really treated as fat in the films, so it's kind of a non-issue. Although, in their defense, it would have been terribly difficult to find an actor "roughly the size and weight of a young killer whale" as described in Book Four.
    • The inverse happens in Book Five as well. Dudley is described as being just as vast as he ever was, except now, it's muscle, as he has found a love of boxing during his dieting. He isn't bulked out or treated as such in the films either.
  • Hype Backlash: The series has one due to the ubiquity of references to it in contemporary culture, especially in politics. That's why the "read another book" meme exists.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Remus/Sirius is called Wolfstar as a play on Remus, the wolf, and "Sirius," the dog star. There is also Harry/Ron/Hermione called The Golden Trio.
    • SCUSA at one point had such names for every ship imaginable.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Harry gets beaten, captured, and/or tortured in every single book. And this is nothing to the ten years of nonstop neglect and dislike the Dursleys gave him prior to him becoming a wizard.
    • Neville. While Harry's parents are dead, Neville's have been driven completely insane by the Death Eaters to the point that they can't function mentally and don't even recognize their son, which is, in a way, worse.
    • And while Neville has always had the support of friends to keep him going, Luna only ever had the company of her father after her mother died. She's bullied as bad as Neville is due to her strange personality, and she didn't have friends until she met Ginny and later Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville. And yet, she always manages to be cheerful and enthusiastic in the face of this misery, even though it bothers her more than she lets on. Much more.
  • It Was His Sled: In book 6, Snape killing Dumbledore. Certainly not helped by various Trolls going out of their way to spoil this to everyone upon it first being discovered. People who didn't have the book yet, trying to keep their minds off of it by playing World of Warcraft, had to deal with people spamming this information in the capital city trade channels.
  • Jerkass Woobie: If you had a quarter for every time a character who initially appeared to be just a straight-up asshole actually was a good person deep down, or how often a woobie turned venomous, you could conceivably rival Rowling's fortune.
    • By the fourth book, Harry has plenty of legitimate reasons to be upset. However, he takes it out on others more than is really good for him. (Although it might be controversial to label him and Ron as such, not to mention that he and Ron also lacks a mean side necessary to be a Jerkass Woobie)
    • Draco Malfoy in books 6 and 7.
    • Snape. He was abused by his parents and bullied by his peers, but LOTS of his suffering is due to his own actions. And this doesn't even touch on the fact that he lost the girl who he loved and had to cope with her dying... because he was stupid and cruel to call her "mudblood" to her face when she was trying to help him, thus he lost Lily's respect forever because of his own crap. And he clearly knows it..
    • Barty Crouch Sr., mostly in the films.
    • Argus Filch, being a Squib is just not very easy for him, especially given he works in a castle where children are taught spells that he will never be able to do. It doesn't help that, in the second book, the faculty's response to Ms. Norris' petrification is to tell him to suck it up and deal with it.
    • Marietta Edgecomb. Though telling on the DA to Umbridge was a dick move, many readers felt compassion when she got permanant pimples on her faces which remind everyone of her betrayal.
    • Kreacher is a racist and treacherous house-elf but he does all he does because he needs someone to treat him lovingly. That only people who treated him properly were racists and Dark Wizards, including Regulus Black who managed to do a Heel–Face Turn but died before he could deprogram him. Kreacher had to watch the man die in the cave because this wizard valued his life more than that of a lowly house-elf. You can't help but grill Sirius for his poor treatment of the elf though that's compounded with this being The Greatest Story Never Told. A real Heartwarming Moment is when he is presented the fake locket, and he becomes much happier and polite afterwards.
    • Peter Pettigrew is a big subversion. It's easy to feel bad for poor, weak, picked-on Peter. Then we learn his dirty little secret, and he loses sympathy very quickly.
    • The exact same thing could be said for "P-poor, st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrel.", then Pottermore reveals that he was bullied heavily when he was a student.
    • Petunia Dursley mistreats Harry as his guardian for nearly the first eleven years of his life. Then we find out that her sister Lily (Harry's mother) attended Hogwarts as a Muggle-born and Petunia became The Unfavorite in The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry. She even sent a letter to Hogwarts begging to be accepted. That said, it doesn't justify her crappy treatment of her nephew.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: It would probably be easier to name the characters Harry isn't shipped with.
    • Harry was at one point shipped with the unnamed girl who sold the Dursleys ice cream in Philosopher's Stone.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Stephen King said that the strength of a story relies on the strength of its villain. Umbridge, he said, is the best villain since Hannibal Lecter.
    • "Voldy".
    • Bellatrix, though predictably a few go overboard.
    • The Malfoys until their Heel–Face Turn.
    • Many viewed Snape as this before book 6 and/or 7. Some still view him as such after.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Loser:
    • The entire Hufflepuff House has a reputation of being the "loser" house due to their overall lack of relevancy to the plot, especially in the films. Most of the major characters are in Gryffindor or Slytherin with a few Ravenclaws here and there. The most prominent Hufflepuff character is Cedric Diggory and he's killed off by Voldemort. Dialogue from the books seem to indicate that they are memetic losers in-universe as well.
    • Lord Voldemort became this after the story has concluded, as people began to realise just how ineffectual a villain he really was. There are mountains of memes mocking Voldemort's Bond Villain Stupidity, pointing out obvious ways for him to have won and generally ridiculing him for getting repeatedly foiled by a bunch of children.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Moaning Myrtle, who peeks in on people bathing and using the bathroom. This is taken Up to Eleven in the movies.
    • Fenrir Greyback.
    • Scabior, who takes up Fenrir's sexual overtones in The Movie. He's much more popular with the fangirls, mainly because he isn't an unsanitary licentious wildman like Greyback.
  • Memetic Mutation: In general, the entire series. There are tumblr blogs and facebook pages devoted to making gifs and memes out of more or less every scene in the movie. "Harry Potter confessions" are quite popular too.
    • Scabior's plaid pants.
    • The fact that characters don't say Voldemort's name has gotten people to refer to things they don't like as He/She/It who/which must not be named.
      • While J.K.s use of 'she/he who must not be named' might have given it a boost in popularity, this is a phrase that's been in popular use for far longer than Harry Potter has been around. Referring to that which must not be named as Lord Voldemort (ex. Chris Benoit) definitely originated here, however.
    • Voldemort's nose. Or, rather, lack thereof.
    • Draco's "My father will hear about this!"
    • A "Flint" came to mean a factual mistake Rowling has made in her writing: He's still at Hogwarts in the third book even though he should have left at the end of the second. When asked about this, JKR said that either she'd made a mistake or he'd had to repeat his last year, and that she preferred the latter.
    • "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"
    • Air Snape
    • Turn to page three-hundred and ninety-four.
    • Ten points from (or to) Gryffindor.
    • Sorting yourself or characters from other series into Hogwarts houses. There are long, protracted arguments over what house, say, Frodo Baggins would fall into.
    • "HARRYDIDYOUPUTYOURNAMEINTHEGOBLETOFFIRE?" This one is from the movies, since in the books Dumbledore acts Harry calmly, while in the film he rushes at Harry while yelling furiously.
    • "Read another book." A common response to people who make Harry Potter analogies about everything (especially politics).
  • Misaimed Fandom: Boy howdy...
    • Helena Bonham-Carter has noted that many fans are revolted by Bellatrix, yet partially want to be her.
    • Lucius Malfoy has many fans, including his own actor.
    • In-Universe, a lot of snooty, stereotypical Slytherins are incredibly proud that Merlin, one of the greatest wizards of all time, was a member of their house, ignoring the fact that he believed muggles and wizards should live in harmony and didn't care about blood purity.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon: See this page for examples.
  • MST3K Mantra: Every time you find a plot hole (and you will), just remind yourself that the series was originally written for children and simply grew up with its target audience.
  • Never Live It Down: The whole "Ginny is a slut" meme, despite her having only dated three men in her entire life. Each relationship lasting more or less a year. Made worse by how it also involves Die for Our Ship. As well as a good deal of hypocrisy, considering that Hermione also had more than one beau aside of Ginny's brother Ron, but she's not shamed for it.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The games based on the second, third and fourth movies had good reviews. While the first had a mixed response, and the ones from the fifth onward were not well received.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In real life, Harry Potter got publicity just for being banned in some places for promoting witchcraft.
  • Older Than They Think: The success of Harry Potter led some publishing houses to issue re-prints of already existing books about kids with magical powers. Many people thought that these books were riding on the coattails of and/or "ripping off" Harry Potter, when rather these books were years (or decades) older than the first Harry Potter book. Some people who had never read a fantasy novel before Harry Potter think that the series is actually the Trope Maker for many of the tropes contained in the books. Though, the series was the Trope Codifier of many of the already-made tropes, so people can hardly be blamed for not being as well-read in obscure works as Rowling was.
    • Some particular examples include Wizard's Hall and The Legend of Rah and the Muggles, two books published before Rowling's time; Wizard's Hall's writer has heavily implied (though never outright stated) in interviews that she thinks Rowling plagiarized her, while The Legend of Rah and the Muggles's writer outright claims plagiarism and tried to sue Rowling.
      • Although, in the later's case, while the book was published before Harry Potter, the title just happened to add "and the Muggles," which made the author's rock solid case get laughed out of court.
    • The beginning of the series and many characters bear a resemblance to The Worst Witch. Just look at this fanpage from 2003.
    • The cast of Discworld includes Ponder Stibbons, a dark-haired, bespectacled young wizard who studies at a magical university. Deluged by questions from fans as to whether Ponder was a parody of Potter, Terry Pratchett finally admitted that, yes, he used a time machine to get the idea of Unseen University from Hogwarts so he could publish it first. He's still not sure what his illustrator did to copy Harry's look a year before the first HP book was published, though "Obviously he must have used something."
    • Notably, this extends to comic books as well. The Books of Magic is a series about a young boy named Timothy Hunter who has the potential to be the greatest wizard ever, for good or bad. He also has round glasses, short dark hair, a pet owl, and happens to be English. The first miniseries was published in 1990, but that hasn't stopped Potter fans from claiming it's a ripoff.
    • Older Than Television: Kaytek the Wizard by Polish author Janusz Korczak was first translated into English in 2012, while Pottermania was still at its peak, but it was a minor hit in children's literature in Poland in 1933.
  • One True Threesome: Harry, Ron and Hermione, of course.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: There are a lot.
    • Harry and Hermione = Harmony or Harmione
    • Ron and Hermione = Romione
    • Harry and Ginny = Hinny
    • James I and Lily = Jilly
    • Snape and Lily = Snilly
    • Scorpius and Rose = Scorose
    • Draco and Harry = Drarry
    • Draco and Hermione = Dramione
    • Pansy and Hermione: Pansmione
    • Luna and Ginny: Linny
  • Rainbow Lens: Remus Lupin is specifically coded as a gay man with AIDS. Because of his lycanthropy, he was almost unable to attend school and a child and cannot find a job. When he is exposed as a werewolf at the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he has to leave the school because parents won't want him teaching their children. Additionally, he acquired lycanthropy after being preyed on as a child by a revenge-seeking adult male werewolf who habitually targeted children in order to pass the condition to them, which, while not accurate to gay men with AIDS, was a common stereotype in the 1990s when the book was written.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Fleur Delacour becomes much more sympathetic after Harry rescues her little sister Gabrielle in the Tri-Wizard tournament. And especially in Half Blood Prince, when it's revealed that she's not as shallow as she seems and fully intends to marry Bill despite his disfigurement (it's even this in-universe for her future mother-in-law).
    • Most regard Dobby's last moments as this.
    • Dudley wasn't very likable. However, many fans felt he redeemed himself as a character in The Deathly Hallows when he revealed that he was grateful that Harry saved him from the Dementors. Word of God even states that he and Harry still keep in touch.
    • Dobby started Chamber of Secrets as an gratingly overemotional obstacle for Harry returning to Hogwarts. Then he's given a sympathetic backstory in the middle of the book and saves Harry from Lucius Malfoy at the end. His more upbeat attitude and moments of helpfulness in the later books cemented him as a fan favourite, making his Heroic Sacrifice in the final book all the more heartbreaking.
    • Applies to the movies as well. But when the books and films were still new, Cho Chang was subjected to a lot of hate. Reasons ranged from fans with a crush on Harry being jealous of the girl he had his eyes upon to — let's face it — flat-out racism. (Probably both in some examples.) Now, with society getting progressively more socially aware and tolerant in general, people are giving Cho a chance. You'll find no shortage of fans dedicated to diving into Cho's psyche with greater depth, as well as creating fan art or edits for her. On places like YouTube as well, you'll find loads of people saying Harry should've ended up with Cho instead of Ginny — a far cry from what comments sections would've looked like years ago.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Ron and the rest of the Weasleys are afflicted with this, with the exceptions of Bill, Fred, and George. Yes, Ron can be a bit of a jealous jerk at times, but is that any reason to turn him into a Big Bad Wannabe?
    • Cho Chang suffers from this a lot within the fandom, turning a very troubled young girl into a crazy, jealous bitch.
    • While Snape's far from flawless, there are those who will completely overlook his desire to protect people and his loyalty to Dumbledore. There are also those who will say that preemptive karma justifies James and Sirius bullying him at school.
    • On the flipside, Snape's more zealous fans insist that James and Sirius are monsters and that James bullied/raped/forced Lily into marrying him instead of the fanon!Snape they have in mind. Not to mention there's how they demonize Lily for not taking Snape's own bullcrap, openly saying she was a bad friend and a total whore for cutting her friendship with him when she had every reason in the world to do so.
    • Dumbledore is often portrayed as a sort of Diabolical Mastermind close to Voldemort's level. Granted, Dumbledore is a little manipulative in his role as The Chessmaster, but he genuinely cares for his students, and is very much a Big Good.
    • Hermione can often be depicted as self-righteous and abusive towards Ron. Not helping matters was Hermione's borderline sociopathic Judge, Jury, and Executioner mentality in Order of the Phoenix (particularly, disfiguring Marietta and the implication that she knowingly allowed Umbridge to get raped by the Centaurs).
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • A lot of fans bash the main characters, and Gryffindor House in general, because of the author's prejudice against Slytherin House, who they view as cultured and urbanenote  in comparison to the crude, bullying Gryffindor jocksnote . In a slightly different perspective, they recognize most of Slytherin is evil, but criticize the author for making them so, especially considering their defining trait is "ambition", which any normal eleven-year-old would have oodles of ("I wanna be a ninja/astronaut/actor/doctor/lawyer!") and the fact that most Slytherins in the book don't really display ambition, being rich kids who are content to live off and lord over their traditions to those they see as "beneath them" rather than really innovate or make something of their lives. Not Helping Your Case is that in an interview on Mugglenet Rowling defended Slytherin and said "they are literally not all bad [people]". The problem is that it's not until the sixth book that one Slytherin (Professor Slughorn) is shown to be anything other than a Jerkass and Voldemort supporter, which can come off as too little too late since it’s the penultimate book in the series. It has been suggested in some quarters that even Slughorn, the most decent Slytherin in the series, is portrayed as a bit of a coward, yet Slughorn distinguished himself at the battle of Hogwarts, fetching reinforcements and even duelled Voldemort at the end. The worst that can really be said of Slughorn is his penchant for cosying up to people whose friendship may benefit him in some way.
    • Individually, fans started to dislike Harry's irritable nature more and more after Order of the Phoenix. This contributed to increased favouritism of Draco, which JK Rowling admitted to disliking; she was a bit disturbed that some people didn't like the hero and preferred Draco. She even admitted to punishing/exaggerating Draco and the Slytherins where she could to counteract it (which naturally just increased resentment that led some readers to prefer the villains in the first place).
    • Some people just genuinely wanted the Death Eaters to win the war. Perhaps because they deemed the dark characters to be more interesting, or because they might believe the whole series had an annoyingly Black-and-White Morality and was a tad too Anvilicious. Or simply because Evil Is Cool.
    • Dumbledore starts out as Harry's kind, grandfatherly, somewhat kooky mentor, but in the later books, more things about his past and his agenda regarding Harry and the war are revealed, which leaves him more in the Manipulative Bastard category. This has left a lot of fans in the somewhat awkward position of liking Harry just fine and rooting for him, while simultaneously greatly preferring Voldemort over Dumbledore.
  • Sacred Cow: Woe to anyone so much as daring to criticize Harry Potter on aesthetic grounds. The likes of critic Harold Bloom who wrote a controversial article faced an online backlash for not liking the genrenote  while Alan Moore's mean-spirited satirical take in his The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen earned him backlash and dismissal as well.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Dobby, though many fans consider his death to be a complete Tearjerker.
    • Blaise Zabini. Though this is partially because prior to his first proper appearance, fanfiction writers had developed their own version of the character which commonly portrayed him (or often her) as a Token Good Teammate in the Slytherin House. When we finally meet him, we find out that he's just as much of a jerk as the other Slytherins, he's a pureblood supremacist but doesn't have anything to do with the Death Eaters, and he doesn't have anything to do with the plot. It's almost like JK Rowling made him a boring character just to crush fans' desire for a good Slytherin out of petty spite. Some say that his role in the penultimate book would've been better suited for Theodore Nott who already was beginning to hang out with Malfoy more in the previous book.
    • Also Gilderoy Lockhart. Even having Kenneth Branagh as an actor in the movies couldn't save his character from being hated. Part of the hate comes from the fact that he's an egotistical and self-absorbed idiot and the only DADA teacher who had almost nothing to do with the plot (much less actually contribute anything to it).
    • The most hated has to be Cho. She draws fans' ire for two main reasons: one, she was Harry's first crush and things didn't work out between them; and two, she was friends with Marietta Edgecombe, who betrayed the DA to Umbridge, and Cho didn't turn her back on her friend after that. She is also seen as an Ethnic Scrappy by many Asian readers, because on top of her role in the story being stereotypical for Asian female characters, her name is a glaring case of Interchangeable Asian Cultures.
    • Particularly Percy gets fan hatred for being rather arrogant, too rule-bound, and pompously self-important. He also turned his back on his family for most of the last three books, siding with the Ministry over Harry and ignoring the reality of Voldemort's return. He also takes a good long while to come around even when he's been definitively proven wrong. This is in spite of Dumbledore giving a speech about Percy reminding the heroes that "it's easier to forgive someone for being wrong than for being right."
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: While not the first books of its kind, Harry Potter was a pretty big influencer of young adult literature when it was first published:
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Aside of the epic Harry/Ginny vs. Harry/Hermione vs. Ron/Hermione wars? Many Remus/Sirius fans have Nymphadora Tonks as someone who caused JK Rowling to ruin a perfectly good gay character.
  • Ship Mates: In contrast to the above, some ships go quite well with each other. There are the canonical shipmates Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione, also known as One Big Happy Weasley Family, or OBHWF. Similarly, Harry/Hermione shippers, when they don't slander Ron, tend to ship him with Luna.
    • Fics that ship Hermione/Draco often ship Harry/Pansy.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • Averted by the writer in that Rowling actually did a pretty good job of making sure that big events happened on the beginning of the next turned page, rather than on the right side where you could notice it as you read down the left. The revelation that it wasn't Voldemort at the end of the tests but Quirrell in the first book was right after a page turn, as was Snape being the one to murder Dumbledore - when you turned the page the tension was still going on.
    • Played straight for Savvy American readers who did their best to ignore Mary Granpre's illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, as sometimes it wasn't hard to figure out plot points from them.
    • Also played straight in Deathly Hallows when Harry dies there's still a good 40 pages of book ahead, so you could be sure Harry may find a way out of this particular tangle.
    • Also played straight in Half Blood Prince if 1) on the night of the book's release, one happened to glance at the Table of Contents because one was curious as to how long the book was going to be, since Rowling had said it wasn't going to be as long as Order of the Phoenix, 2) one then saw before they could look away that the final chapter was called, "The White Tomb", and 3) one had read enough books about Harry Potter and its sources and inspirations to know that "Albus" is Latin for "White". Why the combination of all 3 could cause a fan to curse aloud in frustration, since before reading a single word of the story, they now already knew who was going to die in Book 6 (even if they didn't know who kills him).
  • Squick: Several scenes imply Umbridge has a crush on Fudge, though it's likely she'd show similar signs of affection for any reigning minister.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • Whether or not the books did this with the Harry/Ginny pairing is a major point of debate for fans of the series. Ginny starts off as a Shrinking Violet fangirl but evolves into a hotheaded Action Girl while Out of Focus, with a lot of Character Shilling done to make her look better. Harry becomes closer to and gains a romantic interest in her over the course of two summers which are never properly fleshed out so the development can look rather forced or random to readers.
    • Lupin and Tonks. In Half-Blood Prince, Harry sees Tonks upset several times and thinks it's over Sirius dying, and that maybe she was even in love with him. Then the climax reveals that Tonks is deeply in love with and wants to marry Lupin. They proceed to do so despite having no interaction on camera before this. As the books are primarily written from Harry's perspective, it's somewhat understandable that plenty of major events can happen off-camera simply because Harry can't be present for every single storyline. At the same time, the readers can still feel left out as the key parts of the Romance Arc never actually happen in front of them either, especially since other things, like the death of Frank Bryce, did.
    • Also happens In-Universe in Half-Blood Prince when Ron consumes a love potion from Romilda Vane, who he has never met, that was intended for Harry.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Has its own page now.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • There was very little to Cho Chang's character aside from her grief over Cedric and her relationship with Harry. After Harry broke up with her, she was Demoted to Extra.
    • Charlie Weasley was the least developed of the Weasleys, it's a shame we didn't learn more about him.
    • Dean Thomas and Theodore Nott were both supposed to be much more important characters. Dean sadly spent much of the books in the background, and Theodore was only mentioned a total of four times with no character traits revealed.
      • With the multiple mentions of Nott in the fifth book, many thought that he would come to prominence in the final two books. He began hanging around Draco more, was the only one other than Harry and Neville who could see the Thestrals, and his father was arrested at the end putting him on the same ground as Draco. Many fans believed that he would either become a good Slytherin or a serious threat in the next book, however both he and his father only received only a few passing mentions.
    • Similar to Theodore Nott is Susan Bones who was revealed to have had a few family members who were killed by Death Eaters, including her uncle Edgar who was a member of the original Order of the Phoenix. This makes her a Hufflepuff who has some relevance to the plot, however she makes little to no appearances after Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She even gets her name mentioned in the Sorting ceremony in the first movie, implying she might be important, but most certainly isn't.
    • Worse still is Susan's aunt Amelia Bones. When we meet her we see that she is very tough but equally fair and doesn't attempt to stack the trial against Harry like the other members of the court. She also has connections to the Order of the Phoenix due to being the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and thus the boss of many members, as well as the sister of past member Edgar Bones. Many fans thought she was going to be important in the following novels. Maybe even a possible Minister of Magic, but this did not come to pass.
    • Many characters who were cut from the series would've been interesting such as Pyrites, a Death Eater who was to have accompanied Voldemort and Wormtail to the Potter's house the night they were murdered. The Weasley cousin Mafalda would've also been interesting. Apparently she was to have been a Slytherin who acted as The Mole and would've had some sort of rivalry with Hermione. A possible good Slytherin?
    • Rodolphus Lestrange was introduced as Bellatrix's husband who was imprisoned along with her for torturing the Longbottoms. Although Bellatrix becomes a fairly major character, Rodolphus merely plays the role of a generic Death Eater. What's worse is that not once does Bellatrix mention him even when talking about the Death Eaters who got arrested at the Ministry.
    • Tonks was introduced in the fifth book, but aside from her being a Metamorphmagus and Sirius' cousin, we really don't learn much about her in three whole books.
      • Her parents, who were both mentioned in the fifth book, did not appear until the last. Though Ted gets a few lines and a small role where he is on the run and is eventually killed, Andromeda doesn't get so much as a line and doesn't even participate in the final battle.
    • With all the friends of James we met at Hogwarts it would've been nice to have met some of Lily's friends. Sure we do do find out that she was friends with Snape but surely she must've had other friends too.
      • Similarly, we hear a few mentions of Snape being a part of a gang of Slytherins at Hogwarts, however we never see them in any of the flashback scenes. Among them are an Avery and Mulciber who we never even see Snape interacting with in the present.
    • Ludo Bagman. After having a decent role in the fourth book where he was shown acting suspicious and was revealed to have connections with the Death Eaters, many suspected that he would play a role in Voldemort's return. Perhaps he would've turned out to be a Death Eater all along? Perhaps he could've been one of the few friendly faces in the Ministry?
    • Kingsley Shacklebolt, who is a rarity among the faces of the Ministry as he is not screwed up like the rest of them, and he becomes the Minister of Magic after Voldemort is finally dead for good and spearheads the post-war Ministry reform. But we never get anything else revealed about him or his past.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Several fans—particularly those who identify as Slytherins—argue that Harry's overall character arc could have been a lot more interesting if he actually had been sorted into Slytherin at the beginning of the series. Since the later books all deal heavily with the implicit connection between Harry and Voldemort, and with Harry's struggle to come to terms with the dark side of his personality, some argue that his inner turmoil might have rang truer if he had also been sorted into a House with an infamously dark reputation, and that sorting him into the traditionally "Heroic House" (as if to assure the audience that he was, in fact, the hero) was a cop-out on Rowling's part.
    • Likewise, fans expected that Harry would eventually learn more magic and become more competent and take on Voldemort on a duel similar or close to the one between Voldemort and Dumbledore at the end of Order of the Phoenix; fans weren't too pleased by the way Voldemort gets killed via Heroic Sacrifice, Gambit Pileup, The Power of Love and confusion over who does the Elder Wand obey.
    • Likewise, fans expected a meaningful confrontation between Snape and Harry after Half-Blood Prince; instead Snape gets killed by Voldemort thanks to the above confusion, and they barely exchange words before Snape completes Dumbledore's final errand.
    • In books four and five we hear that Voldemort also has an army of dark creatures at his disposal. It's a shame that we don't even see this army until the battle of Hogwarts and even then we only know of giants, werewolves, dementors, and inferi. Many fans would've liked to have seen Voldemort recruiting vampires, hags, trolls and others to his side.
    • Many were disappointed when the Dumbledore's Army meetings didn't continue in Half-Blood Prince. Though Harry handwaves this by saying the purpose of the meetings was due to Umbridge's poor teaching methods, the meetings were also meant to make sure the students were better prepared to fight Voldemort and the Death Eaters who were certainly still at large.
    • On a broader scale, fans felt that the World Building of the final book, with the treatment of Werewolves, Giants, Centaurs, House-Elves and Goblins, which had been a theme from Books 4-6, gets shelved aside by the epilogue that concerns the trio and their children. Fans would have liked to have known how the world changed after Voldemort's defeat.
    • The Half-Blood Prince gives us some pretty tantalizing looks at the kinds of advanced magical feats that truly experienced Wizards in the Harry Potter universe can pull off. There's the revelation that some Wizards (like Severus Snape) can invent new spells that can be learned and duplicated by anyone, that some (like Voldemort) can manipulate and fracture the human soul, and that some curses are powerful enough to cause multiple seemingly random events to befall multiple unrelated people over a period of decades. It would have been pretty cool if Harry and co. had actually learned that kind of high-level magic themselves while preparing to face Voldemort. If nothing else, it would have been a lot more interesting than seeing Voldemort defeated by using a faulty wand that doesn't really obey his commands.
    • By the last book of the saga, the Death Eaters become a legitimate nation-wide threat and take over the Wizarding Government, unleashing a campaign of terror against Muggle-born and Muggles. This would be perfect territory for any The Unmasqued World scenarios, especially because the Death Eaters want Muggles to live in terror so they probably wouldn't be using the enchantments designed to preserve The Masquerade anyway. Muggle Society could have also helped the good wizards by providing resources. However, the Death Eater's coup is still not treated as good enough of a reason for the Order of the Phoenix, the Golden Trio, or any of the other wizards to at least warn the non-wizarding population about the danger to let them know what's going on and give them a chance to protect themselves. We're also never given any indication of what Muggle Society went through during Voldemort's year-long control of the Ministry.
  • Too Cool to Live: Fred, Cedric, Remus Lupin, Tonks, Sirius Black, Mad-Eye, and Dumbledore; most of the Order in general.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Whatever becomes of J.K. Rowling's literary career in the future, she is most likely always going to be looked at as the author of Harry Potter. She was apparently aware of that fact: she wrote her Cormoran Strike novels under the pseudonym "Robert Galbraith" so that they wouldn't be compared to the Harry Potter series.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • Some have grumbled about the books regarding alleged classism, the Happiness in Slavery of the house-elves and disdain by wizards for non-wizards, and the fact that nothing fundamentally changes about the wizarding world as a result of the war with Voldemort. However, to others this is only realistic and reflects how social change works in the real world.
    • In the books, the prejudice against werewolves is used as an allegory for the anti-HIV+/AIDS hysteria. However, Fenrir Greyback is actively out to spread the curse draws further parallels to damaging stereotypes about people with HIV, as discussed by this article. The fact that he's the only named werewolf besides Remus Lupin in the story doesn't help matters.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • The Slytherins in general can be considered this, especially to the fans who identify themselves as one (or who are Sorted that way on Pottermore). The whole house tends to be demonized just for guilt by association, though absolutely none of them face any real persecution or stigma from other students. Unless you count Snape being bullied regularly by four Gryffindors who never faced any sort of consequences, even when one of their "pranks" nearly cost Snape his life. Or Dumbledore announcing Slytherin as the winner of the House Cup at the end of the first book - only to immediately retract that by giving Gryffindor some last-minute House points. Or the school taking Pansy's words about giving Harry up to Voldemort as an excuse to send all the Slytherins to the dungeons without asking if any of the others wanted to fight against Voldemort. Or that other time when Quirrell announced there was a troll in the dungeons and Dumbledore told all students to return to their dorms - which, for Slytherins, so happened to be in the dungeons...
    • Marietta Edgecombe. While attempting to rat out the DA wasn't a good move, she did it out of fear for her mother losing her job. It doesn't help that her actions could have been avoided if Hermione told the members of the DA that the sign-up sheet was jinxed. Despite that, we're supposed to see her as the bad guy, as Rowling pointed out.
    • Sirius's treatment of Kreacher is cruel and the main reason he ends up dead, but does Sirius have a lot of reasons to be nice to him? Keep in mind that Kreacher treats him like dirt, has always been loyal only to the rest of Sirius's family (who also treated him like dirt and as an outcast), calls Hermione (who actually does try to be nice to him) racial slurs, and generally does his best to be as horrible to him and his friends as he can be. It's not hard to see why Sirius isn't exactly showering him with affection.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • One of the reasons Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is so polarizing was Harry's characterization. We're supposed to feel sorry for Harry because he witnessed Cedric's death and nobody believed him about neither Voldemort nor the Dementor incident, but he comes off as incredibly wangsty when he complains about it, especially since this was the third time Harry was accused of something, but handled the first two with better maturity. Then there's his breakup with Cho. Harry of all people should have known that she was still grieving for Cedric, but still decided to date her anyway. Then there's Harry dumping her because she called out Hermione for disfiguring her friend, and she had every right to. Thus, Marietta fans felt vindicated when Hermione received scars of her own from Bellatrix Lestrange in Deathy Hallows.
    • Snape, depending on whom you ask. His backstory is undeniably tragic, but whether that and his true motivations make up for his Sadist Teacher tendencies varies from person to person.
    • Base-Breaking Character example: certain members of the Weasley family can come off as this for the fans that feel they're major Creators Pets.
      • Fred and George fall into this category for some, who find their Naughty Is Good mentality and propensity for playing often destructive pranks as more indicative of amoral bullies than carefree pranksters. This reached a crux in, yet again, Order of the Phoenix, where a prank they play on one of Professor Umbridge's minions nearly - albeit accidentally - kills the unfortunate schmuck in question. There's also the fact that after leaving school, the joke shop they open explicitly makes most of its money from love potions, which are presented in the narrative as being like magical Date Rape drugs (a comparison Dumbledore makes explicitly).
      • Ron comes off as this for the fans that find his flaws annoying rather than sympathetic or likable. His self-righteous attitude, tendency to get easily jealous (to the point that he turned his back on Harry in the fourth book and only had a Jerkass Realization and returned to Harry after he almost got eaten by a dragon, and then abandoned Harry and Hermione in the middle of the seventh book over the locket), and his lazy attitude towards working in general (while bemoaning his status as the Can't Catch Up Butt-Monkey) have only added on to this. The films just exacerbate this, since nearly all of his heroic moments from the books were either removed or given to Hermione instead, turning him into The Load and leaving viewers questioning just what his good qualities were supposed to be in the first place.
      • Molly can be this for the fans that find her shrill, demanding and annoying. The implication that she wanted a daughter so badly that she kept popping out kids until she got one (leaving Ron feeling like The Unfavorite as a result) also hasn't helped her case. Then there's her treatment of Hermione in the fourth book when she buys into the lies Rita Skeeter is publishing about her, yet hypocritically berated Amos Diggory for believing her lies.
      • Ginny also comes off this way due to her personality completely changing from the second book to the sixth and Harry's extremely sudden, poorly-written feelings (having a "chest monster") for her. In the fifth book, Harry is worried because he can see what Voldemort is doing and lashes out at his friends. Ginny basically tells him to shut up because she was possessed by Tom Riddle in the second book and isn't complaining about it, but Ginny herself admits that she doesn't remember what she was doing during those periods. Combined with her bossy, aggressive nature and the fact she's never shown to be in the wrong, this leads her to coming off as insufferable and bratty.
    • Wizarding society as a whole falls into this quite a fair bit. It amounts to a self-imposed case of The Masquerade whose only stated reason for being is a Hand Wave about not wanting to help the Muggles solve their problems. They treat things like Love Potions (which even the author herself likened to Date Rape drugs) or vicious pranks as something on par with a kick-me sign, and consider wiping memories of innocent people en masse to be similarly harmless. The government is hopelessly corrupt and ill-functioning, and the school isn't that much better with all the bullying issues, the blatant unprofessionalism from some staff members that the headmaster does nothing about, a house system that encourages cliques and divisions among the student body, and the constant yearly danger the students find themselves in. While some of these issues, such as anti-Muggleborn or anti-werewolf prejudice, are depicted as legitimate problems in their society, others are casually said and done by heroic characters and meant to come across as quirky or silly rather than wrong. For example, Hermione is treated as both annoying and ridiculous for being horrified by the fact that the Wizarding World runs on slave labor from the House Elves. And then in Deathly Hallows none of the wizards bother to break The Masquerade when Voldemort takes over the Ministry of Magic to help give the Muggles a fighting chance, making it like wizards value their secrecy and isolationism over the fate of the world even when a world-ending threat will destroy both societies. One of the most commonly stated criticisms of the epilogue is that despite the cheerful tone and the claim that "all was well", nothing substantial really appears to have changed and the whole thing comes off like an Esoteric Happy Ending.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Dolores Umbridge is a more backhanded example. She's universally despised by the Hogwarts community and by the fanbase alike, but many fans (including Stephen King) hold that she's one of Rowling's finest creations precisely because of how exquisitely loathsome she is. This Love to Hate appeal carried directly through to the films courtesy of Imelda Staunton's portrayal. Most fans will admit to hating her more than Voldemort.
    • Luna is bullied by the rest of the student body in universe, but in the fandom, she's probably the biggest Ensemble Dark Horse of the series by a long mile.
    • Harry himself is this as often as not.
    • Ron too.
    • Also Neville.
    • Malfoy and Snape aren't exactly beloved by the students of Hogwarts either.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Many readers tend to find Harry far less interesting than his supporting cast. Initially, Harry was a Naïve Newcomer and Heartwarming Orphan, who lacked a distinct personality unlike Hermione or Ron. When Harry finally developed traits of a put-upon Messianic Archetype frustrated about how little control he has over his life, it struck most people as Wangst. This is one reason why fans latched on to the Ensemble Dark Horse like Neville Longbottom since he had a more active arc of Character Development and convincingly Took a Level in Badass.
  • Values Dissonance: Some parts of the books strike readers of this, especially in The New '10s:
    • The entire World Building about House-Elves having Happiness in Slavery and Hermione's attempts to help them being well-meaning but a little ignorant strikes many new readers as a Clueless Aesop at best, or a Golden Mean Fallacy at worst (i.e. advocating that it's wrong to outright oppose and abolish slavery but one must reform and treat them better, which needless to say flies in the face of history). The novels outwardly present Slave Liberation as something inorganic to House-Elves and something which Hermione has to impose by her outside ideology (i.e. S.P.E.W.) and her Character Development is gradually becoming more reformist and accepting that House-Elves value better treatment more than actual freedom. There's also the fact that Harry at the end of the books, by inheriting Kreacher from Sirius, ends up becoming a slaveowner himself, and the final lines of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before the epilogue, about Harry musing asking for Kreacher as a sandwich, suggests that he kept Kreacher in servitude even after Voldemort's downfall. According to Rowling, the S.P.E.W. subplot was meant to be a satire of "White Man's Burden" activism where people from a more privileged group attempt to "assist" those from a less privileged group to make themselves feel better without regard for what the latter group actually needs or wants (see the infamous "Kony 2012" campaign for a well-known real world example), but many readers interpreted it as a mockery of genuine activism.
    • Likewise, within the books, the House-Elves are framed as a Woobie Species on the whole but generally their pathos has an element of Black Comedy about it (like Dobby beating his head and muttering "bad Dobby" and Winky's alcoholism in Goblet of Fire which is treated as an aside to the comedy of Hermione's Soapbox Sadie phase and the real tragedy of the Crouch family). Dobby, the one rebellious House-Elf, i.e. the one who rejects his master and risks his life and limb to follow his choices (as per the aesop of the series) is usually shown as Unwanted Assistance, ineffectual, and comic until Book 7, and he ends up dying for the sake of the human heroes, rather than aid his own kind, while Kreacher, an unrepentant collaborator ends up becoming a hero entirely by Moral Luck, and his idea of a reward is to remain enslaved to the House of Black, which Harry now owns, and is implied to maintain and uphold rather than seek to tear down the legacy of pureblood supremacy entirely.
    • Likewise, many note that while the series criticizes the wizarding community for being hypocritical and unfairly treating the other magical species (e.g. the humans and beasts classification), with the exception of House Elves, none of the other beings are treated fairly in the stories. The grudges of the centaurs and the goblins are shown to be self-inflicted Blue-and-Orange Morality rather than of real political and social stigma, and the goblins (who more than a few noted appeared to be a a fantasy take on anti-Semitic stereotypes) are generally shown to be two-faced, backstabbing and without honor.
    • Some of the portrayal of Hogwarts and academic life, and Dumbledore's run as headmaster, has received much criticism as the years have gone on, with many seeing Dumbledore's status as "Hogwarts' best Headmaster" as an Informed Attribute. More specifically, Snape's abusive behavior as a professor and wildly unprofessional attitude to his peers (like Remus Lupin) and students (e.g. extremely blatant favouritism towards his own house rather than being generally fair as his peers and colleagues are shown to be) are more or less brushed off each time it's brought up by students like Harry, Ron, and Hermione to their seniors, like Dumbledore and others. Within the books, it's presented as a case of that there's more to Snape than meets the eye (which turns out to be true), but to modern readers it looks suspiciously like victims of abuse by a man in power have their complaints brushed away or dismissed by their seniors under Not Now, Kiddo, which is compounded by the fact that Snape himself, near the end, when he is becoming heroic doesn't admit that he was wrong, or feels regret about how badly he treated his students or is given an in-page Lampshade Hanging and as per Word of God, goes to his grave hating Harry.
      • Snape himself is revealed to have been on the other end of this, as none of the teachers stepped in to stop James and Sirius from bullying him during their years at Hogwarts, even after one particularly egregious prank Sirius pulled nearly got Snape killed. There's a reason some readers consider him sympathetic in spite of everything.
    • Harry's childhood with the Dursleys being played up in an almost over-the-top fashion and Dumbledore's decision to leave Harry with them, even after the reveal of the protection magic Lily placed on Harry that only works with her blood relatives so he can be protected from the Death Eaters, had never sat right with fans. Moreover, with the increased awareness of the detrimental long-term consequences child abuse has, and teachers now being trained to spot warning signs of abuse and be proactive when investigating it, many fans, old and new alike, have raised their eyebrows at the stunning lack of notice/action from both schools to help improve Harry's home life (both the muggle Primary School and at Hogwarts). Even after many of Harry's allies have learned about the full extent, they don't do much to stop it, which wouldn't really fly with many people today. It has also left many fans wondering how the heck Harry is still relatively well-adjusted, with multitudes of Deconstruction Fics being written on the subject.
    • The rather casual use of love potions and the Weasley twins making most of their money off selling them strikes some as tone deaf. Initially, it's introduced casually as a side-gag, playing it for "girls will be girls", with even Hermione, a moral authority in the series, mentioned to have stared at it and giggling at its effect. The problem is that the same books give it a Cerebus Retcon with Dumbledore straight-up acknowledging that Voldemort was conceived as a result of his mother forcing this on his father in an act of rape, while another Love Potion intended for Harry was drunk by Ron instead driving him to a violent rage in an addled drugged state. Likewise, all instances of Love Potion usage in the books are men being targeted by women, when in reality most (but not all) uses of Date Rape (which is the real-world correlative of love potions) are usually women being targeted for sexual assault by men.
    • The mainstream media provided by the Daily Prophet being fake news and Wizarding Pravda, while the real news is found in a Conspiracy Theorist rag like the Quibbler, feels very awkward in The New '10s, with websites like Info Wars and Breitbart trading in conspiracy theories, and decrying any mainstream media source, especially those that oppose their philosophy, as fake news.note 
  • Values Resonance:
    • If you take the Dementors as an allegory for depression - JK Rowling was heavily inspired by her own bouts with it in creating them - then their portrayal is all the more resonant as Mental Health Awareness has increased in The New '10s. Harry being affected by them is not shown as a weakness and the people who think it is are shown to be in the wrong. Harry seeks help for how to handle the dementors from Lupin, who gives him private lessons on how to fight them off, which are analogus to seeking out therapy lessons to deal with depression. Harry continues to be affected by them when they return, but thanks to the private lessons, he manages to fight them off each time.
    • Harry's greatest strength in the series is his ability to love. His friendship with Ron is portrayed as a deep loving one, without playing any Ho Yay for comedy or "no homo" moments. The series also has other male friendships that are shown to be strong and loving - like the Marauders. With toxic masculinity becoming a hot discussion point, the fact that Harry's manliness is never mocked or undermined by his ability to love is all the more resonant.
    • While the love potions themselves were handled pretty tone-deaf in the series, Merope Gaunt using them in order to rape Tom Riddle Sr. is portrayed as a horrible act, and neither Harry nor Dumbledore blame him for getting the hell away from her once he was freed from the Love Potion's influence. In The New '10s, with sexual consent becoming a hot-button issue and the increasing awareness of the double standard of men being raped by women, many readers have agreed with Harry and Dumbledore.
  • Wangst: Harry's behavior in the later books is considered this by some. Of course, he's a teenager. With many, many horrible problems on his hands.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • The Harry Potter example is so prevalent that some editions of the books have plain covers in dingy earth-tones (as opposed to the colourful fantasy illustrations that the "main" editions have) so that adult readers don't have to feel so embarrassed when they read it on the train. Considering most children's books are written by adults, you think adults wouldn't feel they needed to justify reading a children's book in the first place... After all, if the author isn't embarrassed at having written it, why should an adult feel embarrassed at reading it?
    • One of the best example of this trope is the Deathly Hallows film, which has a scene that caused major uproar (among Moral Guardians and parts of the fandom): Naked Harry and Hermione making out — a vision which Ron sees as the locket shows his worst nightmares. Another is Bellatrix writing on Hermione's arm with a knife. Sure, we all know that Cruciatus is worse, but it is perceived as unreal. When Umbridge forced Harry to carve words into the back of his hand, it was also done with a magic medium, and therefore less visceral.
    • Harry also grows into the world of moral ambiguity increasingly as the books progress and he ages, until a large part of the seventh reads more as a Deconstruction of the Kid Hero trope and associated character tropes than a straight fantasy climax. Especially the Dumbledore material.
    • The very nature of the one book = one school year ratio forces this. Even if there were no magical elements at all, 18-year-old graduating high school seniors face very different issues than 11-year-old sixth graders.
    • She's also had to point out to those that say the first book was much lighter than the others that it does open with a double homicide and the attempted murder of a defenceless infant.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?:
    • JK Rowling has stated multiple times that she wrote the books for an adolescent audience, and the books were intended to "grow" with the original fanbase, so the last four or five aren't very appropriate for under-12s, and by the time the 7th novel rolls around, the series is arguably skirting the lines of adult fantasy. The series also, despite many people's protestations to the contrary, hasn't been marketed to children very extensively. Outside of a few book editions that have been repackaged for a younger audience (see the recent and fairly prolific Jonny Duddle covers,) most of the book, merchandise, and film marketing for the series has targeted a teen or adult audience, not an audience of children. This is evidenced by the fact that the ratings of the Harry Potter movies change to PG-13/12 after the second film. Hell, three of the films (Goblet of Fire, Deathly Hallows Part 1, and Deathly Hallows Part 2) had to be edited from an R/15 rating, and Deathly Hallows Part 1 was initially released with a 15 in ancillary markets.
    • The seventh movie has some nudity and rather scary nightmare-inducing scenes, like Bellatrix torturing Hermione. It has a PG-13 rating.
    • The first novel in particular is very innocent and child-friendly in its presentation of the Wizarding World. Most people tend to overlook that Harry is in mortal peril on numerous occasions throughout the tale and there are active attempts on his life, and even begins with the brutal murder of Harry's parents by Voldemort. This is popularly read as a bedtime story. Rowling herself liked to point out to people who complained that later books became too dark that book one had a man with a face on the back of his head.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • Many people are convinced that Voldemort represents George W. Bush. Alfonso Cuarón (director of the film version of Prisoner of Azkaban) said that he envisioned Big Daddy V as a combination of Bush and Saddam Hussein. Rowling said he's the worst traits of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin combined.
    • The Death Eaters were an update of Those Wacky Nazis. Of course, in the fourth movie, they look like gothic KKK ripoffs. The ministry police officers in the 7th movie actually look like Nazi officers, what with the uniforms, hats, and armbands.
    • Fudge is Neville Chamberlain; Dumbledore is Winston Churchill. The Malfoys and the Blacks are representative of British Nazi sympathizers like the Mosleys and the Mitfordsnote .
    • Some say Umbridge and/or Bellatrix remind them of Sarah Palin. Which doesn't make a lot of sense since the books were written before Sarah Palin rose to prominence.
    • Aunt Marge and Umbridge could be seen as inspired by Margaret Thatcher, whom Rowling had a hatred for.
    • Grindelwald gets a lot of Hitler comparisons — wizard supremacy, powerful in the early 1940s, German... and defeated in 1945 by a British to boot. What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic? indeed. This one is more than just fan speculation — Rowling has strongly hinted in interviews that Grindelwald was involved with the Nazis (specifically, she said that the fact that he was brought down in 1945 was "not a coincidence").
    • This article by a French economist notes that the underlying theme of Harry Potter is neoliberalism which creates a climate of competition and whose vocational, pragmatic, and careerist ethos is reflected in the fact that Hogwarts and the Wizarding World paint everything in terms of competition (Quidditch, House Cup, the battle of good and evil), Hogwarts curriculum has no equivalent of the arts, humanities, and the social sciences (History of Magic is deprecated as a subject by the narrative and the students, Muggle Studies is A Degree in Useless), the Ministry of Magic is openly caricatured, and most of the narrative concerns independent heroes who routinely violate laws and rules, which we sympathize with and condone because we are invited to identify with the anti-bureaucratic and anti-regulatory theme of the books.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?:
    • Many people bash Molly for being a House Wife, and killing Bellatrix "Feminist Role Model" Lestrange. And there's the slutshaming and bitchiness that the fangirls apply to Ginny for "not being enough of a rolemodel" and "stealing Harry 'from the more deserving and stronger' Hermione".
    • Ron Weasley gets this, thanks mainly to the movies. He's often called "the useless one" of The Trio since he's more or less Harry without the wealth and Plot Armour, and Hermione without the smarts. The fact that Ron took a figurative bullet in Book 1 by winning the greatest chess game that Hogwarts had seen for many years (as per Dumbledore), and that he managed to scrape by despite having a second-hand wand for his first year, a broken one in the second year, and won two Quidditch Cups (Harry only has one) despite having a cheap broom and little moral support, somehow isn't badass for fans. Leaving aside the fact, that Harry loves Ron precisely because of The Power of Friendship and that he himself doesn't judge people on how useful or useless they are.
  • The Woobie:
    • Draco Malfoy when he becomes a Jerkass Woobie in Books 6-7, especially considering that when he's under the most pressure in Book Six, he cries on Myrtle's shoulder.
    • Luna. Even the emotionally-inept Harry is described as feeling a combination of embarrassment and pity at her good nature and cheer in the face of having no friends and being relentlessly teased.
    • Merope Gaunt. Harry, when he first sees her, describes her as looking utterly defeated, and considering what we know of her life, it's an apt description.
    • Neville can't catch a break. Rowling has it out for him - not only because of what happened to his parents, but the fact that in class, all magical backlashes direct back to him.
    • Dobby. "Dobby is used to death threats, sir. Dobby gets them five times a day at home."
    • Cho Chang. Several fanfic writers feel no sympathy for her, but it's hard not to feel sorry for her about her emotional stress after Goblet of Fire. And even aside from that, the fact that she's continously dumped on by fans and even the writing of the books (especially when it's in favour of Ginny) earns her some sympathy points.
    • Ron is picked on by his big brothers, grows up in poverty, gets taunted mercilessly by the local bullies, constantly overshadowed by both his best friends, endures being a more or less constant Butt-Monkey... and that's a very brief summary of what he goes through.
    • Sirius Black. He spent twelve years in Azkaban for a crime he didn't commit, burdened by guilt over being an Unwitting Instigator of Doom and then after spending two years in hiding, evading detection and ministry scrutiny, he gets condescended by the Order as a "flight-risk" and faces constant criticism over petty things, and then he dies by a complex series of Poor Communication Kills that could have been avoided had Dumbledore and the Order listened to him and told Harry about the "prophecy".
    • Remus Lupin, bitten by a werewolf when he was a child, somehow managing to find friends who accepted him for who he was and made his life happy only to see them die by cold betrayal. Lupin then spent his life in poverty until he got a job that he was good at and which made him popular only to lose it by being outed by Snape. Just when Remus manages to get married and has a child on his way, he gets killed.
    • Hagrid never saw his mother, he lost his dad at a young age, he was framed for something he didn't do and then he had to watch all his fellow students grow up over the years and become wizards while he tended to the grounds. It's easy to see why such an outwardly tough character is sentimental on the inside.
    • The dragon in Gringotts. It spent all its life without fresh air or humane treatment, forced to guard bank vaults. On top of it all, the goblins taught it to associate the sound of clanking metal with intense pain. Specifically, being stabbed with red-hot swords. A miniature Heartwarming Moment is when it takes off into the horizon, able to start a new, proper life. It was the right thing for Hermione to be sentimental about the poor creature. The film illustrated this wonderfully by having the dragon pause to breathe in the blissful fresh air before taking off.
    • Harry Potter's parents were murdered when he was just a baby and he was sent to live with an abusive aunt. The guy that did it managed to come Back from the Dead and decided to make Harry his own personal whipping boy, resulting in ever more attempts on Harry's life, while at school one of his teachers absolutely hates his guts for reasons that he has nothing to do with. And that's just the tip of the ice-berg.
    • Hermione - to compensate for being a muggle-born, she goes overboard in her first year of Hogwarts and is an insufferable know-it-all and doesn't have any friends until she, Ron and Harry defeat the troll together. She gets called "Mudblood" by Malfoy and other Slytherins and Snape unfairly bullies her even when she's by far one of the brightest students in her year and actually has the right answer. Harry and Ron briefly refuse to speak to her in "The Prisoner of Azkaban" for turning in a suspicious Firebolt to McGonagall that she suspected was sent by someone to hurt Harry (it was sent by Sirius, but at the time nobody knew he was a good guy) and because Crookshanks was thought to have eaten Scabbers. In "Goblet of Fire," she's sent nasty hate-mail thanks to Rita Skeeter's articles and gets caught in the middle of Harry and Ron's fight. She's then tortured by Bellatrix in "The Deathly Hallows" and forced to make her parents forget they ever had a daughter for their own protection.
  • Woobie Species: House-elves are a slave race who have been conditioned to not want to be free. Even the suggestion of being free is offensive to them and they regard free elves like Dobby with, at best, disdain.
  • Writer-Induced Fanon: Dumbledore being gay is this. It's vaguely hinted in the final books but never directly spelled out until Rowling announced it herself.

    Films 
  • Accidental Innuendo: Has its own page.
  • Award Snub: The series didn't win a single Academy Award during its 10 years. It's only in 2017 when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them won an Oscar for Best Costume Design, making it the first Harry Potter film to win an Academy Award.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The frequently asked topic of conversation in most press interviews for Deathly Hallows, Part 1 was the filming of the Horcrux visions of topless Harry and Hermione kissing.
  • Better on DVD: While the movies don't make complete sense on their own, they make better sense when viewed in a marathon (esp. with the deleted scenes), especially since the installments are released one or two years apart, which adds up quite quickly. It's a bit much to expect someone who didn't rewatch the series on DVD to remember Gryffindor's sword after eight years.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In Prisoner of Azkaban, there's-
      • The talking Shrunken Head on the Knight Bus.
      • The choir singing the witches poem from Macbeth.
      • Once in Gryffindor's Boy's Room in the middle of the night, Ron bolts up, shaking and whimpering something incoherently.
      Ron: (whimpering) Spiders... want me to tap-dance... I don't want to tap-dance!
      Harry: (forcing back a laugh) You tell those spiders, Ron.
      Ron: (spaced) Yeah... (collapses immediately on the bed)
      • The bird that flies into the Whomping Willow.
    • In Goblet of Fire, the students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang introduce themselves with dance (the latter one using capoeira of all things). It's even worse in the deleted scene, where the Hogwarts students responded by singing their school song. The Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students look reasonably uncomfortable.
    • In Half Blood Prince, the Death Eaters destroying the Burrow. The kids just go back to school, and the Burrow is completely fine in the next movie. Weirder still, the Burrow isn't destroyed in the book at all.
    • Giant spiders suddenly attacking in the final battle of the final film. This was in the book, and it made only slightly more sense there.
  • Can't Un-Hear It:
    • Hagrid was written for Robbie Coltrane's voice. Millions have tried, and failed to get "Yer a wizard, Harry" out of their heads.
    • Maggie Smith as McGonagall, another choice Rowling personally selected. Also notable because the books didn't really indicate she was an older lady until after the films started.
    • Alan Rickman's performance as Snape was so memorable even Rowling couldn't unhear it eventually, despite him being decades older than what she had intended.
    • Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood. Same as Snape, Rowling admitted to hearing her voice for Luna while writing her remaining parts in the books after she debuted in the films. Also notable because she wasn't written to be Irish (Stephen Fry even uses an English accent for her on the audio-books), but after Evanna was cast, the fans have accepted her as canonically Irish.
    • Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn.
    • Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort.
    • Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbeldore.
    • John Cleese as Nearly-Headless Nick.
  • Continuity Lockout: Because of time constraints, much of the backstory gets cut, leaving many viewers who haven't read the books scratching their heads: each individual movie is more or less comprehensible by itself, but when put into a movie continuity, certain things don't make sense.
    • In the third film, the simple fact that Sirius is innocent and was framed by Pettigrew is explained in the most confusing manner possible. This sentence probably just explained it more clearly than any line in the entire movie.
    • They also cut out Dumbledore's argument with Cornelius Fudge in the fourth film, which greatly foreshadowed the events of The Order of the Phoenix.
    • Prisoner of Azkaban never explains who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs are. Then, Harry calls Pettigrew "Wormtail" in the Goblet of Fire movie without explanation, and Sirius is called "Padfoot" in OotP.
    • Neither an explanation for how Lupin instantly recognizes the Marauder's Map for what it is nor for how Sirius knows that "The Map never lies" is given as well.
    • In Goblet of Fire, the corpse of Barty Crouch Sr. is removed from the woods… only for him and his death to never be mentioned again. (Not even when the assassin reveals himself.)
    • Barty Jr.'s back story is changed from "believed to be dead" to "still imprisoned in Azkaban". This may be very confusing for moviegoers, who are now expected to believe he could have escaped with nobody noticing while the plot of the previous film revolved around another escape that was discovered instantly.
    • The plot and tension of Order of the Phoenix hinge on the fact that the only person who will admit to Voldemort's return is Harry Potter, Dumbledore, and their supporters. The problem is that if you saw Goblet of Fire, you know that isn't true. Because the Ministry of Magic clearly has someone in custody who could tell them (or they could magic it out of his head): Barty Crouch Jr, who is last seen alive and being taken into custody at the end of the film. Of course, the book of Goblet of Fire had him kinda-killed off. This is not done in the film, and thus you need to read the books in order for the continuity of the films to make sense.
    • Percy is given only a cameo with no explanation as to why he's on the Ministry's side, nor why he's suddenly fighting Death Eaters beside his family in Deathly Hallows Part 2.
    • The entire point of Snape's flashback during Occlumency, which was Lily - specifically his calling her mudblood (that was the entire point of it being Snape's Worst Memory, him ostracizing her) was not in the final cut. It was the massive turning point for his character. They were apparently forced to cut it out due to Executive Meddling, but the problem remains the same.
    • Because the potion book subplot of Half-Blood Prince was so shortened, The Reveal that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince makes very little sense. It's clear that this is why the book let Harry be so good at Potions, but even that is minor.
    • It also left out what may be the single most important minor detail in the story. Specifically, the old tiara Harry puts on the stone bust of an ugly wizard in the room of requirement. This turns out to be the Diadem of Ravenclaw, and Voldemort's next-to-last proper Horcrux. In Deathly Hallows, Part 2, the writers handwaved it by having Harry "hear" the Horcruxes talk in Parselmouth.
    • The movie also fails to point out that the Diadem of Ravenclaw is a Horcrux in the first place since it left out the bits where Harry and Dumbledore make a list of possible Horcruxes and glean the clues from Voldemort's past, which enable them to predict his actions.
    • This trope is actually inverted between Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows Part 1 - a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment halfway through Half-Blood Prince that wasn't in the book involves the bad guys burning The Burrow (the Weasleys' house) to the ground. With no explanation at all, it reappears without a scratch in Deathly Hallows.
    • Deathly Hallows Part 1 doesn't spend any time bringing people up to speed on who the characters are or what they're doing. Movie critics have not let this pass without comment.
    • It also relies heavily on a shard of the magical two-way mirror that Sirius gave Harry in OotP as a visual and plot device - despite the fact that it did not appear in the OotP movie. Turns out in Part 2 that Mundungus stole it from Grimmauld Place. But we don't know how it ended broken, or in Harry's hands. It seems highly probable that this was in the original cut of Order of the Phoenix, but thanks to Executive Meddling, it was cut for the theatrical version.
    • In Deathly Hallows, both the first movie and the book show the trio being found by Death Eaters almost instantly after their first escape, and build up the mystery for why it happened, considering they teleported to a random place. The book later explains that the name "Voldemort" has been made taboo, which means every time someone utters it the Death Eaters instantly know where they are and all protective spells around them are broken, but the movie never explains this, even when it actually goes the extra step of showing Xenophilius using the name to summon the Death Eaters to his house, which the book doesn't show him doing. The movies even make a point of showing Harry say "You know who" instead of "Voldemort", which he has never done and offer no explanation as to why.
  • Creator's Pet: In the films, Hermione. Chris Columbus admitted to loving her, as well as some of the other producers of the films. This extended to most of the films giving Hermione things that she didn't do in the books to make her seem more awesome, often at Ron's expense. In the first film, it was understandable, since they cut her scene when her, Harry, and Ron are going to get to the Philosopher's Stone and felt the need to beef up her parts in scenes to make up for it. However, even with later films not needing to do similar things, they still felt the need to do so, which resulted in the need to give Ron more early involvement by giving him some of the things she did in Deathly Hallows so the audience wouldn't think he was just a bumbling sidekick to Harry before they have their falling out part way through Part 1. The only films she, seemingly, didn't have beefed-up parts in were Goblet of Fire and Half-Blood Prince.
  • Critical Dissonance: Up until the final movie, Prisoner of Azkaban was the most critically acclaimed movie in the series. And even including the last one, critics generally agree that it was with the third film that the series Grew The Beard. It was also the most streamlined of the movies, cutting out the majority of the subplots, so it's also the most divisive movie with the Fandom.
  • Designated Monkey: Ron becomes one of these in the movies. He does play Butt-Monkey sometimes in the books, but it gets turned up in the movies where he's more pathetic and the butt of most jokes. Since Harry is The Hero and The Protagonist and Hermione is Creator's Favorite to screenwriter Steve Kloves, that leaves Ron getting the short end of the stick. Many fans have theorized that Kloves didn't care for Ron and changed his character just to make Hermione look cooler.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Barty Crouch, Jr. Thank you, David Tennant.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Quite a few characters not given much attention in the books suddenly become more popular once there's an actor playing them. One example? Yaxley, who in the books was just a named Death Eater. In Deathly Hallows Part 1, he acts more like a well-dressed British gangster. It helps that he's played by the badass Peter Mullan. Also, his walking instead of running after the fleeing Trio in the Ministry made him a lot scarier!
    • Also Oliver Wood from the earlier movies thanks to Sean Biggerstaff's awesome portrayal as him. Many fans were sad when his character was cut from the third and fourth movies, although he ended up reappearing in the final film. He appears particularly popular with the ladies.
    • The wizard in the Leakey Cauldron in Prisoner of Azkaban. He was a minor background character who was casually stirring his drink with wandless magic, while reading Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. Except he was being played by Ian Brown, of all people! A meme has been going around for some time now saying "we've been following the wrong wizard."
  • Evil Is Sexy: Bellatrix Lestrange. In the books, her stay in Azkaban had strongly diminished her beauty. In the movies, however...
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The sixth film gets less funny when you see Lavender Brown's Death by Adaptation in the last film.
    • A more long-term one: all of Neville Longbottom's Butt-Monkey moments become this as his childhood traumas are eventually revealed. In particular, Goblet of Fire, fainting during Mad-Eye Moody's Crucio demonstration, when the Pensieve scene later reveals that that was what happened to his parents.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is highly popular in Japan, to the point that both Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets are among the top 10 highest-grossing films in the country. Its popularity also shows with the Harry Potter area at Universal Studios Japan, which often gets so crowded that guests will need to pick up return time tickets in order to even be able to enter it. On average weekends, the Forbidden Journey ride quite commonly receives 200+ minute wait times, far more than what its counterparts in Florida and Hollywood receive.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Definitely debatable, but Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire were the best reviewed movies in the series, so this applies for critics. It was with Prisoner of Azkaban that the series became a more Pragmatic Adaptation.
    • Deathly Hallows Part 2 appears to be the most universally-approved adaptation - critics loved it, and the fanbase is largely positive towards the overall product (though not without the occasional quibble). Given that Part 1's reception was a little more lukewarm and rather more divided, this is especially impressive.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Fiona Shaw received a huge amount of hate for her performance as Aunt Petunia Dursley to the point where younger fans would run away from her when they saw her in public. This becomes much worse when you realize that she was a beloved kindergarten teacher who loves kids before she started acting.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Cedric Diggory makes his entrance jumping out of a tree. Maybe he was bothered.
    • Furthermore, Harry's incredibly handsome fangirl magnet of a rival is played by Edward Cullen's actor! There is something very funny about the fact that Harry, in the book, muses that Cedric's good looks made him a much more suitable champion/fangirl magnet, and Daniel Radcliff says the same thing about the actor in real life when asked which of the two would make a better IRL teenage heartthrob.
    • After Bill gets mauled by Greyback, the narration states that he "now bore a distinct resemblance to Mad-Eye Moody. Moody is played by Brendan Gleeson. Bill is played by his son Domhnall.
    • One reason to never take Cedric's death seriously ever again: A Very Potter Musical. Seriously, try watching it without thinking "YOU'RE SUCH A SPARE!!!". At the same time, Voldemort's resurrection will never be scary again because of that damn musical. "TO DANCE AGAAAAAAAAIIIINNN!!!!!!
    • Snape's line when he starts the first Potions class in Philosopher's Stone "There will be no foolish wand waving or silly incantations in this class." became this when it was revealed that wizards need to wave their wands over the potions and, in at least some cases, say an incantation in order for it to work. Otherwise, it's a useless pot of foul-smelling water.
    • After The Cursed Child was released, it's impossible to take the Trolley Witch seriously knowing that she's thrown exploding pumpkin pastries at students, done... something with the chocolate frogs, and forcing students to remain on the train by turning her hands into spikes. Just TRY and watch any of her scenes without cracking up.
    • While designing the troll in The Sorcerer's Stone, they didn't want to make it too cartoony or too scary. Yet, a scary troll would fit in the more darker sequels.
    • Aunt Petunia, Harry’s magic-hating aunt, is played by Fiona Shaw, who later went on to play Marnie Stonebrook, the main antagonist of Season 4 of True Blood... who’s a witch.
  • Ho Yay:
    • In Deathly Hallows, the book, Malfoy intentionally stays far away from Harry at Malfoy Manor and doesn't look at him directly because he's afraid of what will happen if he identifies him. In the movie, he comes very close, kneels down to Harry's level, and stares deep into his eyes for a long moment...
    • Inverted in the movie of Deathly Hallows, which actually downplays a (possibly one-sided) gay relationship present in the book between Grindelwald and Dumbledore.
  • Informed Flaw: Screenwriter Steve Kloves stated that one of the things that made Hermione Granger his favourite character was how socially inept she is/was, how she didn't seem to understand the effect she had on people despite her remarkable intelligence. However, this social ineptitude never really comes up in any of the films, where she appears to have no real trouble socializing with others, beyond having some trouble making friends in first year.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Dobby never meant to kill! Only maim, or severely injure!" has picked up steam.
    • "Turn to page 394." It's due mostly to Snape fangirls finding Alan Rickman's delivery of this very random line extremely sexy. The fact that he repeats "page 394" a couple times later in the scene pushed it to full-blown meme status.
    • Voldemort's scream of "NYEAAHHHHH!" found in the trailer for Deathly Hallows Part 2, mainly because the exact same scream is repeated four times throughout the trailer, with the result that it becomes rather... amusing.
    • The pimp cane.
    • Voldemort and Draco's incredibly awkward hug in Deathly Hallows Part 2. Along with his awkward laughter.
    • Edward fears Voldemort.
    • TROOLL! IN THE DUNGEON!! TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!
    • Yer a wizard, Harry.
    • But I am the Chosen One.
    • "No post on Sunday".
    • "Harry, did you put your name in the Goblet?", Dumbledore asked calmly. Readers who saw this in the movie were quick to point out he didn't ask calmly.
    • "No one learns anything at Hogwarts." Due to Pragmatic Adaptation and the yearly crises that form the plot of the series, it's common for fans only familiar with the films (or who claim to only be familiar with the films) to get the feeling that Hogwarts doesn't actually teach anything not directly related to the main plot of that year. Contributing to this is that the most magic we see students learning onscreen is in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where the teaching is done by the students themselves. CinemaSins harps on this point, even going so far as to say in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when Newt and Queenie briefly argue over whether Ilvermorny or Hogwarts is the better school that if Ilvermorny teaches students even one single thing, it's already a better school than Hogwarts.
  • Moe: Gabrielle Delacour is tiny and cute and French. Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) is so cute, and so much The Woobie, that you just want to give her a hug and some soup and tell her it will all be better tomorrow.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In Chamber of Secrets, Lucius was clearly about to cast Avada Kedavra on Harry, as opposed to the book version where his spell is ambiguous. He's about to kill a 12-year old, right outside Dumbledore's office, over a house elf!. This is really Jason Isaac's fault - he was told to just use "a spell", and the first thing that came to mind was the words of the Killing Curse. He later admitted that he hadn't realised which spell he'd been wording until after filming was completed.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Steve Kloves saying Hermione was his favourite character prompted the fans to blame him every time Hermione was given a line another character said (never mind that other characters get other people's lines as well).
    • Also because of Hermione being his favourite character (which is what got him the job) Kloves tends to get a lot of blame from fans who dislike the films' version of Ron Weasley, or the alleged Flanderization effect it had on his characterization in the last three books, whether because they were shippers who felt that weakening Ron's characterization hurt the intended romantic subplot or because they simply didn't like seeing him depicted as little more than a stereotypical dumb, bumbling, cowardly sidekick devoid of any nuance. And while Kloves probably deserves some of the blame there were no less than four directors (across eight films), producers and J.K. Rowling herself who gave him and his scripts their seal of approval and who probably did more than their share of adding to this arguably less noble characterization of Ron.
  • Periphery Demographic: Hermione and the actress who portrays her, Emma Watson, are really popular among male fans.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Many reviewers and fans feel that Dobby's appearance in Deathly Hallows, Part 1 significantly improves his character.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Ron the Death Eater: Gryffindor House, despite being the house that prizes bravery, chivalry, and determination, gets written off by many fans (read: Slytherin fans) as being the house of Dumb Muscle and Jerk Jocks, despite this being unsupported by the text, and the house actually being the home of thinkers willing to challenge established dogma, the just-minded, freedom fighters, and generally pleasant people. Yes, there are shades of grey, but let's be honest, any house looks good next to the one that seems to spit out terrorists, criminals, and corrupt politicians with astonishing consistency. That doesn't stop the Misaimed Fandom from projecting a cliched and inaccurate high school, "jocks versus nerds" conflict over the divide between Gryffindor and Slytherin.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Upon its release, Chamber of Secrets was almost universally praised as an Even Better Sequel for its darker tone, improved effects, and better performances by the child actors compared to the first film. As the later films got even darker and improved on the other aspects, people began to see Chamber of Secrets as more tame and repetitive of the first.
  • Ship Tease: The end of the last movie shows a single, silent scene where Luna joins Neville resting in the Great Hall after the last battle. This scene doesn't have much purpose other than to be a Ship Tease. This could also be an example of Pair the Spares.
  • Smurfette Breakout: Out of the three leading actors, Emma Watson has had the more notable career post-Potter. Watson was the lead in Beauty and the Beast (2017), one of the highest-grossing films of all time (unadjusted, only the final Potter film made more in that series) and was one of the titular leads (second-billed) in Greta Gerwig's Little Women (2019), which was a box office success and nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture. Radcliffe and Grint, in the meantime, have mainly worked in independent film, theater, and American television.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The "19 years later" epilogue in Deathly Hallows, Part 2 appears to attempt to make the actors (who are as much in their early-to-mid 20's) look like they're in their late thirties solely by putting them in big coats. Their makeup effects just make them look like they stayed up late last night. It's hilariously awkward.
    • The first film is somewhat infamous for its obvious Chroma Key composites and quickly dated CGI. Chris Columbus has spoken about this in interviews and indicated that he made a deliberate effort to do better on the second film. His mistake on the first movie was shooting all the effects scenes towards the end of the shooting schedule, giving the effects people only a few months to complete their work. On the second movie, Columbus shot the effects scenes at the beginning of the shooting schedule, giving them a whole year instead.
    • Lily and James' gravestone in Godrics Hollow finally confirms that the films are following the same timeline as the books (in spite of the whole Millenium Bridge incident). Then in Snape's flashback scenes the make-up artists/visual effects team apparantly decided not to help out 64-year-old Alan Rickman in his portrayal of a 21-year-old man. The same goes for Lily and James' actors looking in their forties in the same scenes.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • The films, mainly due to being Compressed Adaptations, definitely lean towards the asphyxiatory side of things in regards to Harry and Ginny. The two barely interact, sharing the screen for about seven minutes combined in the last three movies. In the fifth book, Ginny being able to speak to Harry was a big deal; in the fifth movie, Bonnie Wright barely has any lines. Whenever they are on screen together, they barely talk, instead just sharing a kiss and an awkward look before Harry rushes off to do something and Ginny sits down to be irrelevant to the plot. Of course even before the film adaptations came, there were complaints that the subplot regarding Harry and Ginny relied too much on telling and not enough on actually showing.
    • It was also noted that Ron got a significantly decreased role from Order of the Phoenix all the way to Deathly Hallows, while most of Harry and Hermione's scenes were kept in and they frequently acted like an old married couple rather than the more surrogate-sibling relationship they had in the book. Admittedly the Ron-Hermione and Harry-Ginny pairings, which made more sense in the books, felt rather forced in the movies, more like it was just trying to stay faithful enough to its source material. Either if it was by accident or by design, it seemed like the movies' creative team was secretly sailing the Harry/Hermione ship.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The first part of "Hedwig's Theme" sounds very close to "Greensleeves".
  • Tainted by the Preview: On August 14, 2008, Warner Bros. announced to push Half-Blood Prince's intended November 21, 2008 release date to July 15, 2009 due to the Writers' Guild of America strike of 2007-2008, despite releasing a teaser trailer for the film a month earlier. This caused so many angry outbursts from hundreds of Harry Potter fans, who called for boycotts of the studio and their products, and sent numbers of nasty hate-mail to the studio. After that, Warner Bros. responded to these outraged fans by sending an apology letter, which promptly ended with "We love the fans". The fans thought the letter was an insult and continued boycotting.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • A minor one that caused a metric ton of backlash was Hermione's dress for the Yule Ball. Blue in the book, pink in the film. Cue dozens of protests about it, including the film's IMDb page in an edit war over wearing pink counting as a Plot Hole.
    • A subversion comes with Imelda Staunton's portrayal of Umbridge. Far cuter than she is in the book, many fans felt that the dissonance between her sweet grandmotherly appearance and her evil deeds was perfect for the character.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Many fans feel this way about Ron in the later films. He receives less focus, and many of his best moments from the books are either removed or given to Harry and Hermione.
    • Tonks gets barely any screentime in the last four movies. Her relationship with Lupin is so poorly developed to the point that their son is never mentioned until the encounter Harry has with the spirit of Lupin before he goes to Voldemort to die, the audience never learns she's a metamorphmagus, and it just feels like the writers and directors had no idea what to do with her character.
    • Dobby is confined to two films — Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows Part 1 — wheras, in the books, he became a fairly major character starting in Goblet of Fire. His major contributions to the plot in books Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix have Neville take on his role instead. This probably has something to do with the SPEW subplot being Adapted Out.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Hermione ending her Yule Ball night in tears after Ron gives her a hard time... AFTER she made fun of his crappy dress robes.
  • The Woobie: The list of Woobies in the movies pretty much correspond to the one in the book version. However, Professor Trelawney gets Woobie status in Order of the Phoenix in the scene where she's fired by Dolores Umbridge and forced to leave Hogwarts with her bags in front of the whole school. Emma Thompson's heartbreaking performance makes it an absolute Tear Jerker in the movie.

    Video Games 
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The side missions in Deathly Hallows Part 1. For example, Harry is searching Grimmauld Place... Suddenly, he finds himself in a dragon's cave!
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Invisibility Cloak in Deathly Hallows Part One lets you bypass many of the levels. This includes the final boss fight. Put on the cloak, hide in the corner, and wait until you win!
    • In Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets on the Game Boy Color, using Mucus Ad Nauseum (poison damage every turn, and repeated casts stack) and Locomotor Wibbly (PS only, permanent paralysis)/Petrificus Totalus (CoS only, temporary paralysis) guarantees easy boss fights. Especially in Philosopher's Stone, as even Voldemort is not immune to this tactic!
  • Goddamned Bats: Gnomes in the PC version of the first game are annoyingly fast, hard to dodge, and steal your beans if they hit you. They also make a creepy high-pitched sound. Thankfully, they were toned down in the sequel.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the GBC version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, after defeating the Basilisk, Tom taunts Harry that he still has Harry's wand, and Harry retorts that he still has Gryffindor's Sword before stabbing it into the diary. This is the one deviation where the Basilisk Fang isn't used to destroy it. Come book 6 & 7, we learn that the Diary is a Horcrux with loads of protective enchantments, one of the only things that can destroy a Horcrux is Basilisk Venom, and that Godric Gryffindor's Sword is enchanted to only ever take in that which makes it stronger which includes the venom.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: The games based on the 7th/8th movie(s). Angry Joe even pointed out he finished Part 2 in 2:52, which is just 20 minutes longer than the film's running time.
  • Narm:
    • Hermione's voice acting in the fifth game. The voice actress who played her for the past few games was great, but for this game, she is quite wooden and constantly states the obvious.
    • In the GBC version of Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets (as well as the GBA Prisoner of Azkaban), enemies aren't actually "killed" so much as they turn around and retreat. This leads to some absolute hilarities when powerful enemies like a freaking mountain troll or a Voldemort-possessed Quirrell turn around and run, making a squeaking noise. One of the stranger cases is Aragog's pincers in the GBC Chamber Of Secrets Game! The rest of Aragog is still there, but his pincers randomly run from the battle!
  • Narm Charm: In the GBC version of Sorcerer's Stone, Malfroy duels Harry Potter on the train. When defeated, he turns tail and runs away like any other enemy. This is unintentionally hilarious, yet at the same time, absolutely awesome to see Malfroy get his arse kicked so hard.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • In older ports of the second game (barring the Xbox, Gamecube, GBC and GBA versions), you can come across chests that look like every other one. You open it up... PEEVES! PEEVES! Peeves was inside! Worse still, he jumps out at you with absolutely no warning, likely making you jump. And he could be anywhere... in any chest at all...
    • Prefects whenever you're roaming around during nighttime or within any restricted areas, especially on the console versions. That music whenever they discover you in Chamber of Secrets doesn't makes things any better.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The voice acting in Philosopher's Stone, especially the Finnish dub of the PC and PS1 version.
  • Special Effect Failure: Aragog in the GBC Chamber of Secrets. His mouth is the bit that attacks you and that you attack, whereas the spider body is part of the background. This leads to a pretty hilarious instance where he's defeated and his mouth runs away but his body is still there.
  • That One Boss:
    • The GBC version of the Mountain Troll fight, particularly for the unprepared. Not only does it hit harder than anything you've seen before and have a suitably large amount of health, but the method Ron used to clobber it in the book doesn't work. And it's part of a sudden Plot Tunnel, with no way to level grind or prepare in other ways after you've entered it.
    • In Chamber of Secrets, also on the Game Boy Color, Aragog is this. He can paralyse your party for multiple turns, and deals exactly 80 damage per hit. If you don't have decent card combos to heal or prevent status effects, you could be there for a while.
    • Chasing Malfoy in the PC version of Philosopher's Stone, mainly because the game doesn't bother to tell that you actually have to go fastest speed to damage Malfoy. The PS1 version at least shows you have to press the square button to do damage.
    • Philosopher's Stone PS1 has a minigame where you chase a peacock so that you get three feathers from it. Frustating part is that there is a time limit and the peacock is quite fast.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Goblet of Fire changes the game format from an open world adventure to a linear level-based game. The fact that players could no longer explore Hogwarts turned off many fans of the previous games, so this feature was restored in the next few installments.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Petrificus Totalus, one of the spells you learn in the PS1 version of Chamber of Secret, is taught during Lockhart’s first class where it's used to fight and immobilize pixies. Since no pixies appear after this point, the spell is useless for the rest of the game.

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