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  • Adorkable:
    • Harry himself a scrawny, messy haired boy, who for most of the series, cannot talk to girls nor get a date.
    • Ron has red hair, is awkwardly tall and oblivious to love. He fangirls over famous Quidditch players (unless they’re interested in Hermione), and is Harry's loyal companion and sidekick.
    • Hermione, a bushy-haired, bookworm.
    • Luna Lovegood. Her Cloudcuckoolander nature is a big part of it, but it was cemented by her all too brief time as a Quidditch announcer. Being played by Evanna Lynch in the films doesn't hurt.
    • Neville. In the beginning books, He's awkward, clumsy, and can't do anything right. Then, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you find out Neville's parents were tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange and you can't help but love the guy. Finally, for the dorks in all of us, he loves plants.
    • Colin Creevey, who is friendly, excited, and always happy to get the chance to talk to Harry.
    • Of the older generation, the most notable example would probably be Dedalus Diggle, who is a little like Colin whenever he and Harry meet.
    • Mr. Weasley, with his love of muggle artifacts (to the point where he collects them) could also count.
    • Albus Dumbledore himself, despite being the most powerful and competent wizard of the series and the Big Good, is an extremely eccentric and funny man who loves things like knitting patterns and 10-pin bowling. He's someone the dorks in all of us can still love.
  • 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.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees:
    • The American publisher's knowledge about this trope led to the renaming of the first book in the US. They believed that most Americans would be unaware of the Real Life alchemical concept of the Philosopher's Stone, and thus would misinterpret and be turned off by the title.
    • Though it is assumed by many to be a fictional creation and is sold alongside other 'wizarding' candies at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Honeydukes stores, Dumbledore's favourite candy, Sherbet Lemon, is actually a common real-life candy in Britain. The first book culturally translated it into "lemon drop", which is... similar.
    • Similar to the Maniac Magee example, Harry's line about buying Mars Bars is maintained in the American line. Blooper? Actually, no — at the time the book was published, a candy bar known as Mars was sold in the states, and prior to the Turn of the Millennium, was just as common a sight in vending machines, candy stores, and convenience stores as Mars bars are everywhere else in the world.
    • Exploding Snap is obviously a wacky wizarding invention, right? Well, the "exploding" part is. Snap, by itself, is a real children's game in the United Kingdom (it's rarely played outside of primary schools though).
    • Many international fans who were unfamiliar with the British education system initially thought that prefects and the house system were just another part of J.K. Rowling's made-up wizarding world. They're actually a traditional feature of many real-life schools in the UK.
    • Some commentators have criticized Cho Chang's name for being an inaccurate Chinese name, or sounding too stereotypically Asian. As it turns out, "Cho Chang" is a common (or at least possible) name in Chinese-speaking regions — it's the Wade-Giles reading of "張卓," which would be written as "Zhuo Zhang" in Pinyin, the more commonly used Chinese romanization scheme today. Wade-Giles is still in official use in Taiwan, and was still not uncommon when the books were being written.
    • One might think that a fumble-fingered executioner failing to sever a person's head completely was invented from whole cloth by JKR. As it happens, Jack Ketch did it twice. This was so common in the Middle Ages (usually because the Executioner had to get drunk just to deal with the stress) that Henry VIII hired a master swordsman from France to execute Anne Boleyn in a single stroke, which would have been considered merciful for the time.
    • Hornbeam is one type of wood that Mr. Ollivander uses to make wands. It sounds like a Fantastic Flora, but it's a real tree closely related to the hazelnut tree.
  • 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." However, this is not the case 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.
  • 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. And Voldemort is dumb enough to try to kill Harry with the Elder Wand when Harry has just spelled out why he is its true master.
  • 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 honour the Goblins' Blue-and-Orange Morality.
    • The depiction of politicians in this series. 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 is a mass-murdering, self-absorbed psychopath, but damn is he cool!
  • Badass Decay:
    • Lord Voldemort gradually suffers from this for a portion of the fanbase. In the first two books he came across as a genuinely scary No-Nonsense Nemesis who attempts to kill Harry without too much fanfare. However, in the fourth book he spends way too much time gloating and taunting Harry upon being brought back to full power, which ends up giving Harry the time needed for him to escape. He doesn't really learn from this mistake in future books either, which makes it hard for some readers to take him seriously as a villain since he is partly responsible for sabotaging his own victories.
    • The Ministry of Magic as a whole has gone through this. 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.
  • Cargo Ship: With the general idea of wands and such, it's physically impossible for this not to exist.
  • Character Perception Evolution:
    • Severus Snape went through this twice. Initially seen as an unlikable Jerkass with an arbitrary hatred of Harry, later books revealed that he was bullied by Harry's father and fell in love with Harry's mother, which recontextualized his treatment of Harry. Together with his role as The Mole for Dumbledore, this shifted fan perception of Snape into a Tragic Hero and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, aided by his Adaptational Sympathy in the films. However, with the passage of time and changing social mores, his Sadist Teacher behavior saw renewed criticism and his treatment of Lily was increasingly seen as unhealthily obsessive in light of incel culture and its rampant misogyny becoming more prominent in the 2010s. These observations have shifted fan opinion of Snape to a Dogged Nice Guy and a Stalker with a Crush that the narrative fails to make sympathetic.
    • Prior to the fifth book, fans bought Ginny Weasley's apparent characterization as a Shrinking Violet and generally thought of her as nothing more than Ron's baby sister. While the early books do hint that she is more assertive when not affected by her tongue-tying crush on Harry, this was not really picked up on at the time. After she Took a Level in Badass in the fifth book and especially after she was paired with Harry in the sixth book, Ginny began her current status as a Base-Breaking Character, with her proponents seeing her as an awesome Fiery Redhead and her detractors seeing her as an aggressive bully.
    • When the fifth book first came out, there was a widespread perception that it made Harry much too angsty and annoying. In the years since then, there's been a growing feeling that his attitude in the fifth book is perfectly understandable considering what he's put through and the fact that he is, after all, a teenager. It probably didn't help that there was a three-year gap between the releases of the fourth and fifth books, meaning the fourth book's traumatic climax was not as fresh in the fans' minds as it was for Harry in-universe.
    • Lord Voldemort was initially seen as a truly dark and terrifying Big Bad with a fine Evil Is Cool streak back when the series was being released, with some even seeing him as one of the best villains ever in children's literature. However, after the series concluded, many began to look back at his actions and criticize his numerous moments of Bond Villain Stupidity, often resulting in Harry and his friends being able to escape or defeat him, undermining his status as a dreaded Evil Overlord. Nowadays, Lord Voldemort is a Base-Breaking Character, with fans divided on whether or not his constant holding of the Villain Ball makes him too ineffectual of a villain to take seriously.
    • Voldemort's muggle father, Tom Riddle Senior, was almost universally seen as a self-centered privileged bastard who callously abandoned his pregnant wife, with his trope page on this site even claiming Voldemort's evil nature was inherited from Tom Riddle Sr. and not his wife, Merope Gaunt. Nowadays, thanks to greater awareness of the harm done by female-on-male sexual predation, people view him more sympathetically because Riddle was tricked into drinking a Love Potion and had zero interest in Merope otherwise, feeling he wasn't under any obligation to stay with Merope and her Child by Rape, especially as Tom Riddle Sr. didn't even know what magic was, which would have made his experience all the more horrifying and confusing for him. As such, Tom Riddle Sr. tends to be viewed more as a woobie than anything now.
    • Speaking of Merope Gaunt, she was once viewed as a pure woobie due to her growing up in squalor, being abused by her father and older brother, never going to Hogwarts despite having magic and living in Britain, and dying in childbirth while despairing at her husband leaving her. However, as gendered double standards regarding sexual violation became increasingly challenged, people looked at her snagging said husband with a love potion in a far more negative light, with many pointing out that doing so would be universally condemned if the genders were reversed.
  • Common Knowledge: The novels' 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 (Hermione's case) still going to school with other Muggle kids and teachers, which would endanger the secrecy.
    • Many non-fans like to mock the apparent stupidity of Hogwarts' curriculum, since it teaches young children advanced magic without bothering to teach them English, mathematics, science, or history. Except they do teach history at Hogwarts; there's a whole "History of Magic" department devoted to teaching the kids about the history of the Wizarding World. And while they don't teach the other subjects, Hogwarts is the Wizarding equivalent of a secondary school and students aren't invited to join until they're at least ten years old, so wizards would have learned all the English and maths they need before attending; that is to say, while wizards probably don't know trigonometry, they should know basic arithmetic, which is really all one strictly needs to get by in life. Even the argument "they don't teach science" is arguable — one could say that certain classes are essentially the magical versions of Physics (Charms and Transfiguration), Chemistry (Potions), and Biology (Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures), not to mention Astronomy. One subject that's genuinely glaringly missing, however, is logic and critical thinking, which Hermione lampshades in the first book.
    • 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 the original 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 since she figured out how to do so in the first place, 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 book 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.
      • 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.
    • It's commonly believed that Voldemort was unable to understand love because he was conceived via love potion. It's been stated that this was symbolic rather than a direct magical effect of the love potion, and that Tom would've turned out differently if his mother survived to raise him.
    • The fact that Parseltongue is the key to opening the Chamber of Secrets — which can supposedly be performed only by Salazar Slytherin's heir — has led to a widespread belief that all Parselmouths are Slytherin's descendants (with the obvious exception of Harry, who acquired the ability accidentally from Voldemort). In fact, Slytherin was far from being the first Parselmouth in wizarding history — Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them notes that the first Basilisk was created by an ancient Greek Parselmouth named Herpo the Foul, centuries before Slytherin's time — so there would certainly have to be others out there who aren't related to him, though perhaps not in Britain specifically.
  • Crazy Is Cool:
    • 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 member) with a magic eye (hence the name) that can move independently and see through anything, even the back of 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 (by her own admission, she's a major case of Writers Cannot Do Math). 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 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.
  • Delusion Conclusion: Perhaps not so surprisingly, there are a few theorists who believe that all the magic and wonder of the series exists only in Harry's mind, and the story of the Boy-Who-Lived struggling to learn wizardry and defeat Voldemort is actually just the story of an orphan inventing an elaborate fantasy life to escape the abusive household he's been brought up in.
  • Diagnosed by the Audience:
    • The books heavily imply that pre-Voldemort Tom Riddle was a psychopath, but it's never directly stated what precisely is wrong with him. He sees absolutely no value in forming relationships with others unless there is some benefit in it for him, he is completely incapable of feeling love as defined in the series, he enjoys working alone and refuses to confide in anyone except Bellatrix, and he is disturbingly good at understanding how to manipulate people into doing what he wants and can kill anyone, from babies to his own remaining family, without any hint of remorse. Rowling also states his inability to understand love stems from being raised under loveless conditions, and had Merope lived to raise him, he would have turned out differently.
    • In this video, a psychotherapist claims that Voldemort could be diagnosed with one or two specific disorders: Antisocial Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. However, these two originate from a childhood-specific disorder named Reactive Attachment Disorder, which is the inability of a child to form bonds or attachments towards adults or caregivers, leading them to grow into people who distrust others, and it can even start from the womb. This might play a part in Voldemort's perceived need for power and control over others, as well as his attachment to objects (the toys he stole from other children in the orphanage, and later his Horcruxes) as opposed to people.
  • 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.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Compared to rats and cats, owls are notoriously difficult to keep as pets, and it's outright illegal in most countries without a special permit. After the release of the first book, UK authorities have reported an increase of illegal abandonment of pet owls, and in later years the police have cited Potter-mania as the reason for the increased owl poaching. In an interview, J.K. Rowling has stated that the portrayal of owls in the books is a heavy case of Artistic License – Animal Care, and discouraged anyone from keeping owls in captivity.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Since around the late 2010s or so, the series has gotten quite a bit of criticism for the ways in which its anti-racist messages (and general egalitarian sentiment) are often badly undermined by its story and world-building—with most of those criticisms coming from fans who agree with the messages, and genuinely wish that they were implemented more effectively. Some of the most common points of criticism include the S.P.E.W. subplot in the fourth book (which was ostensibly intended to teach a lesson about well-meaning but misinformed political activism, but came across more like a defense of slavery to many readers), and the characters' unquestioning support for keeping the Wizarding World separate from the Muggle world at all costs (which reads to many fans like a sympathetic depiction of racial segregation). To say nothing of the classist implications of setting the entire series in an invitation-only private boarding school, which largely go unexamined.
  • 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 he underwent his dangerous physical transformations.
    • 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 and those who combine his canon and fanon aspects often think that while he is bigoted, he's also far more sophisticated and rational than Malfoy. It probably helps that film actor Louis Cordice is also considered pretty attractive amongst fans.
    • 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.
    • Some people give Bellatrix this treatment — it takes on one of several forms. The fact that she's considered cool and 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, although Snape was hardly an innocent victim.
  • Dry Docked Ship:
    • Even before Sirius died, most Remus/Sirius shipping was set back when the Marauders were still at Hogwarts.
    • Dorcas Meadowes and Marlene McKinnon are both only mentioned once in passing to say that they were murdered. However, due to this vagueness, it is quite popular in the fandom to head canon that they dated at Hogwarts before breaking up sometime afterwards.
    • Fanon often makes Charlie and Tonks Amicable Exes, apparently for no other reason than the fact that, if you do the math, they were apparently in the same Hogwarts year.
    • A popular fanon is the idea that Severus Snape and Narcissa Malfoy dated at some point before Narcissa married Lucius. It's partly due to how intimate they seem when she visits him at Spinner's End.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Susan Bones of Hufflepuff (a Nice Girl who lost family in the First Wizarding War) and Slytherin Cool Old Guy Horace Slughorn tend to be the most frequently beloved members of each house despite only having a few speaking scenes and taking until Book 6 to debut, respectively.
    • Narcissa Malfoy is one of the most popular Death Eaters due to having Mama Bear moments that make her one of the least evil and simultaneously bravest members.
    • Harry's father's closest friends Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, Dumbledore's cynical brother Aberforth and Reasonable Authority Figure Kingsley Shacklebolt don't get many scenes (especially the latter two) but are easily among the most popular Order of the Phoenix members.
    • Half-goblin badass Flitwick and Not-So-Phony Psychic Trelawney tend to be favorites among the secondary Hogwarts professors.
    • Fluffy, the three-headed dog, appears only in a couple of scenes but is one of the series' most popular nonsentient magical creatures.
    • Dumbledore's pet phoenix, Fawkes, has many fans despite only having a big role in a couple of scenes.
    • Being a rare Reasonable Authority Figure in the Ministry of Magic (and being implied to be a formidable combatant) has given Amelia Bones a big fanbase even though she is a Minor Major Character at best.
    • Viktor Krum only has a couple of minor appearances after his introduction in the fourth book, but his status as a Lovable Jock foreign opponent of dark wizards and chemistry with Hermoine make him very popular.
    • Badass Normal Frank Bryce is praised as one of the best Muggle characters in the series despite his We Hardly Knew Ye fate.
    • The enchanted Flying Ford Anglia has a bigger fanbase than many sentient characters.
    • Large Ham talking portrait Sir Cadogan only has a few scenes, mainly in the third book, but is a popular character who adds some nice color to Hogwarts.
  • 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. This Time article lists a few that popped up over the years.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: One of the major reasons the epilogue is so divisive is because of this trope, as it ends up being almost tooth-rottenly cheerful despite the many issues from the book that remain apparently intact. That nothing seems to have substantially changed in the Magical Society from what is shown hasn't helped, either. The House system at Hogwarts, which has been demonstrated many times in the very last book to be needlessly divisive and breeding a toxic environment of tribalism, hasn't changed one iota, The Masquerade remains firmly in place, and slavery of the House-Elves is still so accepted that Harry has one. This means that the systems and societal attitudes that allowed Voldemort to rise to power and cause such devastating damage to the Wizarding society both times are still in place and with no signs of ever changing. Add in the likely massive death toll from the events of the last book and the established low numbers of wizards in general, and it could be likely that British wizards are heading towards extinction.
  • Everyone is Jesus in Purgatory: Partially justified, as there's a lot of alchemical symbolism in the series, including characters' names.
  • Evil Is Cool:
  • 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 how you choose your own family — 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. Typically this comes up in regards to the fact that cell phones would have solved a lot of problems faced by the protagonists, if the majority of the series wasn't set in The '90s, and if wizards weren't Walking Techbanes like they are in canon.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With The Twilight Saga. It's been known to get… heated. Especially since Robert Pattinson played parts in both franchises' film adaptations (Cedric Diggory in Goblet of Fire and Edward Cullen respectively). This has died down somewhat in recent years, though, as the Hype Backlash to Twilight has abated.
    • A few fans of more "mature" fantasy (The Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, A Wizard of Earthsea, to name a few) like to pick on Harry Potter, especially the adult fans.
    • There's one with The Camp Half-Blood Series. Fans of Harry Potter accuse it of ripping the series off and criticize it for being too lighthearted. Fans of Camp Half-Blood defend that the series stopped being "Harry Potter with Greek Mythology" after the first book and came into its own as it progressed, that it kept a consistent tone while the HP series started taking itself too seriously after Goblet of Fire, and the Camp Half-Blood books do a much better job with racial, ethnic, and LGBTQ+ representation than Harry Potter does. The rivalry only intensified in late 2019 when J.K. Rowling got hit with accusations of transphobia after defending Maya Forstater, and in June 2020 when J.K. Rowling wrote and published a controversial essay about her opinions on hot-button issues.
    • Fans of The Owl House do not get along with HP fans, especially due to the way the latter work has largely become associated with bigotry against the LGBTQ+ community due to JK Rowling's strident anti-transgender views (in contrast to Owl House, which is associated with acceptance of the community, being created by a bisexual woman). Many consider TOH to be the Spiritual Antithesis of HP, a work that addresses and refutes many of the writing problems with Harry Potter overall (representation of minorities, the way the mentor characters are handled, etc.). Harry Potter fans don't take kindly to this, deriding Owl House as a ripoff series produced by a corrupt corporation in contrast to Harry Potter, which solely originated from Rowling. Of course, Warner Bros. also has a well known rivalry (both corporate and fandom based) with Disney and they created the film series, making this an extension of a much larger rivalry.
    • There's also a rivalry with Animorphs, which intensified over time due to a resurgence in attention for the latter series and fans praising Animorphs for, in their eyes, handling similar themes better than HP did (especially on deconstructing the Kid Hero concept by showing how traumatizing such adventures would realistically be on young minds and being much more thorough on the War Is Hell aspects). It gained even more steam when Animorphs author K. A. Applegate vocally supported transgender rights in contrast to Rowling's stance. On the other hand, many adult critics and some parents criticised Animorphs when it first cameout for its Arc Fatigue, use of ghostwriters and falling under the paperback pulp format of near monthly books at the time (whereas HP came out on yearly basis at most). Most literary scholars presumably crediting Rowling—alongside contemporaries such as Lemony Snicket—with having broken YA literature out of an extended Audience-Alienating Era which saw children's books as having become (perceived as) little to no better then their TV counterparts (at least in the perspective of Public Medium Ignorance), and ushering in a new era of quality storytelling which future series such as Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Divergent, and The Hunger Games would arguably continue.
  • 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.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: In light of many, many questionable directions in plot, retcons and Continuity Snarls in the Expanded Universe and many infamous Word of God statements, most fans ignore anything else after the original set of books and movies, treating Deathly Hallows as the true ending of the franchise.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Draco/Harry fanworks completely outnumber all other pairings on Archive of Our Own. As of November 2022, Draco/Harry fanfiction has nearly 58,000 stories, compared to the next popular pairing on the same site (Sirius/Remus), which comes in at about 34,000. Canon pairings Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny place fifth and sixth, at around 18,000 and 15,000, respectively.
    • Draco/Hermione is the most popular pairing involving Hermione within the fandom and the second most popular involving Draco (after him with Harry). Despite the canon Hermione/Ron still being very popular in the fandom as well and Draco/Hermione being controversial within the fandom, Draco/Hermione outranks Hermione/Ron on almost every site. This is often attributed to Hermione's actress in the films, Emma Watson, admitting several times that she had a crush on Draco's actor, Tom Felton, and fangirls wanting to live through Hermione being with the Trope Namer for Draco in Leather Pants.
    • Neville/Luna is very popular, in large part due to Pair the Spares. Neville and Luna don't have any canon pairings listed in the main story, Neville's partner listed in interviews has almost no interaction with him, and Luna's partner is only revealed in interviews with the author as Rolf Scamander, meaning that pretty much any pairing for them is a Fan-Preferred Couple by default, and it has the benefit of leaving all the main students wrapped up. This has led to the fandom term "Rolfing", a derisory phrase applied to pairings that only occured through Word of God stating a canon character got together with a character that never appeared in the text proper. It does not help that in the movies, they actually do have romantic feelings for each other (although according to Word of God, their relationship would only have been a "summer fling" or something along those lines before they go back to being friends). Ginny/Luna outclasses it in some circles, but hasn't quite caught on in the broader fandom.
    • Lupin/Sirius vastly overshadows the canon Lupin/Tonks pairing. It is so popular, that many fans actually thought the two characters were canonically together, including the two actors. Back when the series was still running, even sites like Sugarquill that only accepted "canon pairings" (meaning either very heavily hinted-at ones or ones that were canonically together) would often allow Lupin/Sirius, as they were so certain it was a thing. Even when it was rendered impossible, the utter lack of romantic development between Lupin and Tonks certainly didn't win a lot of followers.
    • At the height of the fandom's ship wars during the three-year summer and for some time after, this title would go to Harry/Hermione, which rapidly ascended into legend for being perhaps the largest and most aggressive faction in Ship-to-Ship Combat history. This mostly owed to their status as the male and female lead, their generally more amiable interactions as opposed to Ron/Hermione's Belligerent Sexual Tension, and the film adaptations teasing it (especially since their actors did have a sweet chemistry going on). To this day, any page on this very site describing shipping or fanfic-related phenomena or reactions (Ship Mates, Die for Our Ship, Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading) will prominently mention it, and it (along with the considerably less supported Draco/Hermione) was a major factor in Ron the Death Eater being named. Even mainstream publications were known to remark on it. That said, after it canonically didn't happen, it tumbled quite a bit in the rankings, currently placing tenth on AO3 and being a very common target of mockery due to its aggressive following and rather "vanilla" setup, but nevertheless retains a dedicated fanbase who still widely prefer it over the canon pairings. Suffice it to say, the fans felt pretty vindicated by the 2014 Wonderland magazine interview between Emma Watson and J. K. Rowling where Rowling admitted that there was an element of Wish Fulfilment behind her pairing Hermione and Ron together and that Harry and Hermione were (in her own words) "in some ways, a better fit."
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Scabior.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: 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. The most popular ones are:
    • Dumbledore and Grindelwald who actually were a couple per Word of Gay.
    • Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, and even Voldemort (a.k.a. Tom Riddle) are frequently shipped with Harry and/or Hermione.
    • Hermione is 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.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Pokémon. Although the two franchises don't actually have much in common, there's a lot of overlap in their demographic, given that they both debuted in the late 90s, experienced a great deal of popularity in the early 2000s, and still remain popular with people of all ages. Crossover fanart and fanfiction of both fandoms is pretty widespread, as well. Both ended up as targets of Moral Guardians as well, due to a case of Everyone Is Satan in Hell.
  • 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.
    • The surname Dursley itself for anyone who knows the actual town (it's in Gloucestershire for the curious, and not far away from where J.K. Rowling was born). Looks respectable enough on the outside, but not quite so upright once you scratch the surface - a bit like the family.
    • According to catholicism, Saint Hedwig of Silesia is the saint patroness of orphans.note 
    • Many other character names as well.
    • "Diagon Alley" (Diagonally) and "Knockturn Alley" (Nocturnally).
  • Genre Turning Point: While not the first books of its kind, Harry Potter was a pretty big influencer of young adult literature when it was first published:
  • 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • A major theme of the seventh book is dealing with learning that someone you've admired and looked up to since childhood (in this case, Dumbledore) has a darker side. Years later, many fans in Real Life experienced something similar with the revelation of J.K. Rowling's views on trans people.
    • According to Rowling, Hermione's behavior in the SPEW subplot was meant to be a satire of misguided activism, as she tries to force her views on others regardless of any objection, assumes she's in the right because of how educated she is about house-elves, and doesn't try to empathize with them or understand what they actually want. This hasn't aged well as Rowling herself was later accused of similar behavior with regard to her views on trans people, which she defended by claiming to be an authority on the topic from having read several books about it. It also doesn't help that Rowling based Hermione's character on what she was like at her age.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • 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 the 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 defence, 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.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Hermione and her whole SPEW campaign starting in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is meant to come off as an annoying White Mans Burden-esque movement led by a Soapbox Sadie because she's applying her understanding of the muggle world to a magical issue she doesn't understand, as while some House Elves do want to be free and paid, most think this is ridiculous, and virtually all of them (even the ones who want freedom and payment) find the idea of not serving wizards abhorrent.note  The Hogwarts House Elves are also offended when Hermione leaves hidden hats and socks around the Gryffindor common room as a means of tricking them into freedom because it doesn't give them a choice on whether or not they actually want to stop working at Hogwarts. However, Hermione does make some very good points during her campaign; for example, she comes up with the possibility that House Elves are mentally conditioned to like being enslaved, something that has happened to many real-life slaves. For this idea to have basis in fact, consider how House Elves seem to be psychologically (or even magically) conditioned to physically punish themselves severely if they fail a task or disobey their masters. Hermione also believes that even if the majority of the House Elves do like the status quo, there should be laws that protect them from being mistreated and abused by the people they serve, and the House Elves who do want freedom and payment, such as Dobby, should have the right to pursue it. It's very likely the reader will mostly agree with Hermione, especially because no other character in the books has any good arguments against her points.note 
    • At the end of the fifth book, Dumbledore states that Harry was justified being upset with him and the other adults as Harry wouldn't have made the rash action that resulted in Sirius getting killed if they hadn't kept secrets from him. But Harry is highly hot-tempered, doesn't show any control over his emotions, repeatedly ignores warnings from people he respects (such as McGonagall who politely tries to warn him about Umbridge), has a huge martyr complex that repeatedly causes him to unnecessarily endanger himself, then openly gets goaded in front of all of Hogwarts to punch an opponent on the Quidditch pitch. Dumbledore is running a secret resistance group against an enemy with greater numbers and resources while also keeping it on the down-low from the corrupt government. In this kind of situation, keeping people on a need-to-know basis is standard operation procedure, especially when the series takes place in a world where telepathy, Mind Control spells, and truth potions exist. Aside from the acknowledged risk of Voldemort's mental link to him, Harry's temperament was such that they'd be justified not trusting him with vital info and he likely would have made rash actions regardless.
    • In the fifth book, Harry ends up snapping at Ron and Hermione for constantly bickering. This is supposed to be seen as being snippy and mean towards his best friends, but he brings up a very valid point: they are always arguing with each other, and have been for the past four years since becoming friends. No matter how good a friend one is to the other Harry has every right to get sick and tired of them fighting, especially since he often bears the consequence of being stuck in the middle of it.
  • 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 discovering that he's 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 is a pretty solid exploration of a young man who gets pulled into a far-right terrorist group and, unlike his true-believer father, didn't fully understand what he was in for. He's still a jerkass but he gradually comes to Heel Realizations as book 6 goes on, and is indicated in the epilogue to have mellowed out as an adult, to the point where Harry isn't opposed to the possibility of Draco's child befriending his own.
    • 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. The 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 more polite afterwards.
    • 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 Un-Favourite 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.
    • Tom Riddle, Senior, the biological father of Voldemort, is depicted as a snobby classist jerk... who was magically raped and forced into marriage by Merope Gaunt. Then Voldemort murdered him and his entire family out of revenge for leaving his rapist after the spell wore off, later adding insult to injury by desecrating his grave for raw materials for his resurrection.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains:
    • Lord Voldemort is a genocidal maniac who's basically Wizard Hitler. Does this result in him receiving the most ire from fans? Nope! That "honour" goes to Dolores Umbridge. While not directly affiliated with Voldemort, she did try to suppress any efforts of resistance against his regime, ran her class like a malevolent dictator, and was even racist against "half-breeds". The hatred of her character is understandable, however, as Umbridge is more like a real person than Voldy, so readers can project their hatred of those real people onto Umbridge. Meanwhile, Voldemort is very much a fantastical character, so people don't project real-life grievances onto him in the same way.
    • The Dursleys are more hated than Voldemort, due to their neglect and abuse of Harry, and abusive families are rather common in real life and easier to hate. Vernon in particular falls here, since he lacks the sympathetic traits that Petunia has and doesn't improve as a person like Dudley does in the later books. He's just a jerk who thinks witches and wizards are freaks.
  • Karmic Overkill:
    • It's heavily implied in latter books that Dolores Umbridge, the sadistic, smug teacher that some considered to be worse in some ways than Voldemort, was dragged into the woods and gang-raped by a group of centaurs. While the implication is subtle enough to fly over the heads of some readers, the ones who catch it often feel that it was too cruel a fate for Umbridge.
    • Marietta Edgecombe is often viewed more sympathetically than it was probably intended. She betrays Dumbledore's Army to Umbridge and gets SNEAK written on her face in boils forever, thanks to Hermione's spell that she put on all the Army's members beforehand. However, first, Marietta never wanted to join it in the first place and was pressured to do so by her friend Cho. Second, her mother works at the Ministry of Magic, so Marietta was quite possibly afraid her participation in La Résistance would also bring harm to her mother. Third, Marietta was never warned about the consequences of her betrayal: if she had known she'd be revealed at once and scarred permanently, she could have balked. Fourth, she is seventeen at most, and the series has shown that people who were bastards or outright villains at that age can get redeemed later. The readers tend to feel that Marietta didn't quite deserve her punishment.
  • 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.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Formerly. Pre-2020, Harry Potter was a massive hit among queer people, due to its emphasis on love being "the most powerful force", Harry being forced to grow up in a literal closet by his abusive relatives and eventually finding a loving adoptive family that cares for him and the overall fight for equality and fairness. Due to JK Rowling's increasingly outspoken hostility towards the transgender community, however, the LGBT Fanbase for Harry Potter has been rapidly declining, and most queer people nowadays discourage people from engaging with the series in any way (including ways that are non-monetary), as they feel its continued influence as a franchise grants more power for Rowling to cause harm.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Dolores Umbridge takes this trope by storm. Although she's not affiliated with Lord Voldemort or the Death Eaters, fans near-universally consider her the most hateable character in the entire series (which is saying something). Stephen King even called Umbridge the best villain since Hannibal Lecter.
    • Voldemort is one of the most evil and dark villains ever seen in children's literature, yet it's for this reason that he's so extremely popular.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange, who rivals Voldemort himself in sheer wickedness. Killing Sirius Black certainly furthered it.
    • The Malfoys, more specifically Draco and Lucius, for being such smarmy, racist, entitled assholes that it's extremely satisfying whenever they get any form of comeuppance, at least until their Heel–Face Turn.
    • Many viewed Snape as this before book 7 revealed he was actually Good All Along. However, some still view him as such after due to how much he puts the "jerk" into Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and a cunning schemer. Setting up the fall of his wizard-supremacist ex-lover during the First Wizarding War even while a Blood Pact prevented him from acting directly, Dumbledore went on to take his current position at Hogwarts. When his former student becomes the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore founds the Order of the Phoenix to combat him and his Death Eaters, rescuing Harry Potter after the Dark Lord fails to kill the infant. Planting Severus Snape within the Death Eaters' ranks while keeping Harry safe from harm with extended family, Dumbledore begins grooming Harry into a hero during his time at Hogwarts: ensuring he receives the Philosopher's Stone to undermine Voldemort's plans; and later having him free the wrongfully-accused Sirius Black from prison. Even orchestrating his own death at Snape's hand when cursed with one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, Dumbledore ensures Harry is left with all the knowledge to topple their foe. Having known Harry himself was a Horcrux, Dumbledore is revealed to have manipulated Harry's whole life to ensure he will be killed by Voldemort to break the Dark Lord's footing on immortality. When Harry manages to ultimately survive Voldemort's fatal attack, he returns to kill their enemy, ultimately accomplishing all Dumbledore had set out to do even from beyond the grave. Having fought for the greater good for his entire life, Dumbledore's legacy not only includes the defeat of Voldemort and Grindelwald, but the creation of the wizarding world's greatest heroes and a new era of peace.
  • 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 realize just how ineffectual of 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 and teens. People have had a lot of fun with the fact that unlike fellow famous Dark Lords like Emperor Palpatine/Darth Vader, who conquered and ruled a whole galaxy for 30 years, and Sauron, who almost conquered Middle-Earth twice, Voldemort couldn't even take over a high school, though this meme is ignoring the fact that by this point Voldemort had for all intents and purposes conquered Wizarding Britain for laughs.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Moaning Myrtle, who peeks in on people bathing and using the bathroom, particularly Harry, who is just a teenager. This is taken up to eleven in the movies.
    • Fenrir Greyback. If the fact that he prefers to go after children isn't bad enough, his very creepy remark about Hermione solidifies it.
    • Scabior, who takes up Fenrir's sexual overtones in The Film of the Book. He's much more popular with the fangirls, mainly because he isn't an unsanitary licentious wildman like Greyback.
  • 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 that muggles and wizards should live in harmony and didn't care about blood purity.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon: See this page for examples.
  • 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.
    • A couple of points of contention for Ginny among her detractors were mocking Ron for his lack of experience with girls and snapping at Hermione "stop pretending you understand Quidditch, you'll only embarass yourself" in Half Blood Prince. These criticisms often ignore that in the former, she was fighting back against Ron Slut-Shaming her for kissing her boyfriend, after also having to put up with it from her other brothers after Ron told them about her dating Dean. And in the latter, Ginny is trying to comfort Harry after he nearly accidentally killed someone and Hermione is more concerned with her usual "I told you so" lecture; Ginny also pointing out that Harry was defending himself from an Unforgivable Curse."
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The games based on the second, third, and fourth movies had good reviews. However, 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.
  • Not Badass Enough for Fans:
    • Many people bash Molly for being a House Wife, and killing Bellatrix "Feminist Role Model" Lestrange (though there are those who think Neville should have had the honour).
    • And there's the slutshaming and bitchiness that the fangirls apply to Ginny for "not being enough of a role model" 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.
  • 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
    • James and Regulus = Jegulus
    • Dorcas and Marlene = Dorlene
  • Rainbow Lens: Remus Lupin is specifically coded as a gay man with AIDS. Because of his lycanthropy, he was almost unable to attend school as 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. (Though it's noted most werewolves try to avoid passing their condition on and the one who attacked Lupin was the exception, not the rule.)
  • Recurring Fanon Character:
    • It's very common in Flash Forward Fics to have a minor character named after Colin Creevey, with the implicit understanding that his father is Colin's brother, Dennis.
    • Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way, the protagonist of the infamous So Bad, It's Good fanfic My Immortal appears in many fan works that parody the original fic. Her popularity has transcended fanfiction, as she has appeared in fan art, comics, web videos, and many other works. She is one of the most well-known fanfiction characters in existence.
    • My Immortal: Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way appears in many fanworks that parody the original fic. Her popularity has transcended fanfiction, as she has appeared in fan art, comics, web videos, and many other works.
    • The so-called Wrong Boy-Who-Lived Alternate Universe has spawned a whole genre of fics in which someone else is mistaken as the Boy-Who-Lived. This someone else is, more often than not, an Original Character who is Harry's twin to boot and functions as his foil. Said twin embodies all the most negative Gryffindor flaws—conceited, arrogant, attention-seeking, Slytherin-prejudiced, non-studious, reckless, and a bully. In other words, a young James Potter without any of the redeeming qualities or the Character Development. The go-to names for this character are John Potter and James Junior Potter.
  • 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).
    • Dudley wasn't very likable. However, many fans felt that 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 a 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.
  • 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. The fandom also tends to paint him as a Dogged Nice Guy Stalker with a Crush with an Entitled to Have You attitude towards Lily, when in canon he never pursued her nor showed any bitterness over her marrying someone else, and left her alone after she ended their friendship.
    • 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. It doesn't help that James does try to blackmail Lily into going out with him, and that after Deathly Hallows established that the Werewolf Prank took place before "Snape's Worst Memory", his Heel–Face Turn became an Informed Attribute relying on the testimony of his best friends.
      • 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).
    • Ginny gets a lot of this, especially where Die for Our Ship is concerned, being demonized into a hostile Alpha Bitch who doses Harry with love potions. Her petty treatment of Fleur also often gets Flanderized into being a xenophobic Female Misogynist towards her.
  • 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 that 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 the 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: Due to it single-handedly managing to change peoples' perception of Young Adult Literature and turning a whole generation of kids on to reading thanks to its complex setting, well-written plot, and enjoyable characters, the series is utterly beloved worldwide among all ages, up to the point where it's one of the most popular franchises out there to this day. As a result, badmouthing the series or outright calling it bad will result in fans trying to curse you. It should be noted however that this only applies to the books, as the films, while they also have very dedicated fans, are more subject to scrutiny due to the amount of changes made from the books.
    • However, come the late 2010s and the early 2020s, it seems that the books' status as this is being questioned. Due to changing societal and social norms, the very polarizing reception of the canon play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and controversies surrounding the author JK Rowling, more and more fans nowadays are starting to become open to criticism of the series and will admit that some parts of it haven't particularly aged well. Although it should be noted that the series still remains very well-liked, just not as much as it once was.
  • Ship Mates:
    • 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.
    • In fics set during the Marauders Era, it is quite common to see Remus/Sirius fics also feature James/Lily and Marlene/Dorcas as Beta Couples. Another popular alternative is keeping Marlene/Dorcas but having James and Lily paired with Regulus Black and Mary Macdonald instead.
    • Fics that ship Hermione/Draco often ship Harry/Pansy.
  • The Ship's Motor:
    • The Head Boy and Head Girl share quarters. Which seems particularly odd since the Founders use magic to keep boys from even visiting the girls' dormitories, but presumably the reasoning is that anyone who earns that title probably has enough sense to avoid unfortunate mishaps. Some of the saner examples downplay the trope a bit and give them separate sleeping quarters but a shared study/living room.
    • There's a million of these, really. There are also "Marriage Law fics," where the Ministry passes a law forcing purebloods and Muggle-borns to marry against their will (usually for the sake of Snape×Hermione or Draco×Hermione). This... worked better before the last couple of books came out (not that was particularly plausible then). Another plethora of stories has Hermione wind up really being a Pureblood so that she more easily hook up with Malfoy or Zabini. Changing a character's heritage to pair her with an unrepentant Politically Incorrect Villain?
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Aside from 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.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Dudley Dursley/Cho Chang pairing has small but dedicated followers despite the two never met each other in canon. The fans started pairing them after Dudley experienced the Heel Realization and Took a Level in Kindness. Also, Rowling said that Cho would marry a Muggle man in the epilogue time. Even after Rowling made another Word of God statement about Dudley marrying a Muggle woman and not a witch, the ship did not truly sink. The fanfictions involving Dudley/Cho usually involve Cho saving Dudley, they started interacting and eventually dating, with Dudley being insecure of his past as a school bully and undeserving of Cho's kindness, while Cho is afraid that Dudley will dump her after knowing her secret as a witch. Some fanfictions even portrays Harry as being supportive of their relationship.
  • Spiritual Sequel: To The Once and Future King, which seems to be the Medieval past of this universe.
  • 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: Several strawmen in the books end up making pretty good points.
    • Anti-werewolf prejudice is treated as cruel, misguided, and irrational: the creation of werewolf watchlists, the poverty that most werewolves live in due to nobody being willing to hire them (legitimate businesses who are willing to hire them have to keep their status as a closely-guarded secret), and school curriculum treats them as dark creatures to learn how to battle. However, the only remotely sympathetic werewolf in the series who's ever even mentioned is Remus Lupin. Meanwhile, Fenrir Greyback, the most famous and influential member of the werewolf community, is a psychotic cannibal who deliberately targets children to forcibly turn them into werewolves, which is how Lupin became one in the first place. It's noted that most of the werewolves sided with Voldemort—ironically, this means the same people who so disliked werewolf discrimination were probably killing them in battle or sending them to prison by the hundreds at the end of the series. While a lot of the issues werewolves face originate from the aforementioned prejudice, no one ever actually suggests a reasonable way of dealing with the core problem of being around werewolves: even a kind and gentle werewolf is extremely dangerous when transformed, likely to kill or turn anyone they come across until they return to their human form again. The only existing way a werewolf can retain their human mind during transformation is a potion that must be taken regularly, is both expensive and time consuming to produce, said to taste very nasty, and requires a very skilled potion maker to create (and any mistake will instead render the potion poisonous). Treating them as second class citizens may be unfair, but without a better solution it does make sense for people to avoid werewolves and want to learn how to defend themselves from a fully-transformed werewolf in case they find themselves in that situation.
    • Argus Filch's complaints about students making his job harder are treated as an extension of his surly, bitter personality. But his stance isn't quite as unreasonable as the narrative makes it seem: while his ideas on how to deal with messy students would be textbook Disproportionate Retribution, it's not hard to see where he's coming from. Having to clean up after an entire boarding school's worth of students essentially by oneself is a tall order, especially for a squib at Hogwarts who only got the job because he was a pity hire, so it's fairly easy to sympathize with him not wanting extra work that could be avoided if the students were a bit more careful.
    • Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, claims in the fifth book that the Ministry needs to interfere with Hogwarts in order to fix various problems with the way the school is run. While his methods and motivations mostly make things much worse, the good characters always treat any interference in the way Hogwarts is run as something inherently problematic. This is despite the fact that the school in question has suffered several attacks and disasters that have targeted and harmed its students since Harry enrolled, plus the numerous day to day problems like the alarming lack of safety standards throughout the school which alone should have it shut down, plus the numerous blatantly unqualified and/or problematic teachers on staff (e.g. Binns, Trelawney, and Snape). Not to mention that the incident that started the Ministry interference was a student being murdered apparently on school grounds, during a school-sponsored event. In Real Life, we would absolutely expect increased government or law enforcement involvement in said school in response to an incident like this. It's pretty hard to argue that the autonomy and total lack of external oversight at Hogwarts previously was actually a good thing, as any reasonable government would have stepped in long ago.
    • Zacharias Smith is skeptical about Harry's version of events after Goblet of Fire and is portrayed as a jerkass for not immediately believing Harry. But Zacharias points out that all everyone know was what they had been told by Dumbledore, who had gotten the information from Harry, thus nobody was given actual proof that Voldemort was back and active. The Ministry of Magic was also running a very effective disinformation campaign burying proof of Voldemort's return and discredit Harry's word due to his compromised mental state, which was compounded by his (understandable) reluctance to give his side note  Later books show that he does tend to be a snobbish asshole, such as providing a more biased commentary for a Quidditch match than even Lee Jordan and being the first to bail before the Battle of Hogwarts begins, but that doesn't change that without the privileged viewpoint of the readership Zacharias has fair reason to doubt Harry based on word alone.
    • When giving his New Era Speech when he thinks he's won in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort sets fire to the Sorting Hat and announces that from then on all Hogwarts students will be in Slytherin. The idea that he's picturing is unquestionably horrifying, but he does, however inadvertently, point out a genuine problem—that the house system is divisive and tribalistic, serves no point except to perpetuate the founders' disagreement over who should be accepted into Hogwarts, and even the Sorting Hat, who exists solely to assign new students to the houses, thinks the current system does a lot more harm than good and there needs to be greater unity. Just a few chapters prior, we learned about how House divisions resulted in Snape and Lily being broken up and the former falling in with a hate group, and Dumbledore mused that "I sometimes think we Sort too soon", indicating that he believes the House system caused much of the problems that had existed in the series. Putting everyone in one house could hardly make things worse, and in fact, it could actually improve school unity because there's not something trivial dividing the student body. And yet in the epilogue and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, we learn that the House system and all of the tribalistic divisions that it brings forth continues, with no apparent changes whatsoever.
  • Theme Pairing:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Despite being the main rival towards the core trio, Draco Malfoy becomes really Out of Focus during the middle of the series. So much so in the 4th and 5th books that it's easy to forget what he actually did here.
    • 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 and she ends up getting unceremoniously killed off in between books.
    • 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 Potters' 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 two lines 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.
    • Wide-Eyed Idealist Mage Born of Muggles Harry Potter fanboy Colin Creevey could have been a pretty good character of he's gotten a little more development. Instead, he stays mostly Out of Focus and dies offscreen in the last book, about two years after his last onscreen appearance.
    • Some of the other order members, like Hestia, Dedalus, Eliphias, and Sturgis had a lot of potential, but were largely kept Out of Focus, not even appearing for the final battle.
    • Crabbe and Goyle spend the first six books being Living Props flanking Draco and laughing at his jokes. Despite appearing in every book, they only get dialogue in the last book. They could’ve been given more fleshed out personalities or dialogue (when Draco actually talks to his friends, he’s talking to Pansy and Blaise) rather then keep them as one-dimensional cronies.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Fans expected that Harry would eventually learn more magic and become more competent and take on Voldemort in 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 whom the Elder Wand obeys.
    • Fans expected a meaningful confrontation between Snape and Harry after Half-Blood Prince; instead, Snape gets killed by Voldemort, 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 Worldbuilding 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 Eaters' 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.
    • Many fans feel that having a Slytherin or two join Dumbledore's Army (even if only during book 7) would have been good world building and a heartwarming affirmation of house unity, but there is never the slightest indication that this happens.
    • Ron's mastery of chess introduced in the first book had many fans thinking he would eventually grow to be the trio's strategist, who despite not being as talented as Harry or Hermione, would be highly valuable when devising any plans/schemes to defeat the bad guys and save the day. Sadly his potential as a strategic genius never comes into play.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • Most wizards, even nice ones, regard muggles as intrinsically inferior. This ranges from outright racism and violence on the Death Eaters' end, to a sort of paternalistic condescension on Arthur Weasley's end. And it is disturbing how willing wizards are to use Memory Charms on Muggles to uphold The Masquerade after the reader sees what a really strong one does to Lockhart. This is all before a war broke out (for a second time) in which Muggles were targets and even the prime minister was kept almost entirely in the dark. Even worse possibly is the case for squibs (witches and wizards giving birth to a muggle). While muggle-born wizards and witches may face occasional prejudice in wizard society, pretty much the best a squib can hope for is pity rather than outright disdain, and it is considered a source of shame if there is a squib in a magical family.
    • 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 he 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 Deathly 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 that 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 Un-Favourite 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 labour 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:
    • Luna Lovegood is a quiet, unpopular, bullied weird girl, and even the few who like her seem to find her more than a bit strange. Among the fandom, she's probably the only character just about everyone likes. Of course, she becomes quite popular in-story during Book 7, where she ends up one of the Big Damn Heroes alongside the likes of Neville Longbottom and Ginny Weasley.
    • Severus Snape is really unpopular in the books among his peers and students, but he's easily one of the most popular characters in the fandom. So popular, in fact, that in a poll that ran after the seventh book came out he was voted the best character in the entire series. Even some non-fans and flat-out haters have admitted to at least finding Snape an intriguing character.
    • Neville is initially a Butt-Monkey who gets picked on, but he's loved by fans, especially for his development where he Took a Level in Badass and showing the Gryffindor bravery that was always hinted to be there in later books.
    • Ron, Hermione and Malfoy are all Base Breaking Characters, but each has a large and vocal fanbase. In-story, most students think of Hermione as a bossy and uptight know-it-all. Ron is almost always overshadowed by his more successful brothers and Draco is hated by everyone outside of Slytherin, with even his small circle of ‘friends’ barely tolerating him and ditching him as soon as he loses his social status and wealth.
  • 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 Worldbuilding 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 Golden Mean Fallacy at best, or a Clueless Aesop 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 bizarre and alien 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 Kreacher to bring him 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. This also looks worse in retrospect given Rowling's recent political controversies, among which, she has been accused of similar misguided 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, where 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.
    • When Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban prison in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Ministry of Magic alerts the Muggle community by telling them he's a dangerous criminal who's carrying a gun. People in countries that has loose gun control laws like the USA would be concerned, but not that surprised by a criminal carrying a firearm. However, in the UK, firearms are heavily restricted, having been so since at least the 1960's, and privately owning one (legally or not) is usually frowned upon. It is illegal for civilians to own a handgun for instance, and even police officers need to have special permits to carry them. So to them, a criminal carrying a gun is extremely alarming.
      • This is shown in the first book. When Uncle Vernon is revealed to have somehow obtained a rifle to protect his family from the mysterious "stalker" (actually Hagrid) who he believes is targeting them, Petunia, Dudley, and Harry all react to this with extreme shock.
    • 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 honour.
    • 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 behaviour 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.
    • 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 
    • Rita Skeeter, a predatory Immoral Journalist, is described as mannish with garish feminine attire, almost like readers are meant to see her as a man in bad drag. Coupled with her use of Animagus disguise to spy on people (most notably, Hermione) in vulnerable moments, she invokes transphobic ideas of trans women actually being evil men invading women's spaces to harm them, ideas which Rowling would explicitly tout many years later.
  • 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 analogous 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.
  • Viewer Pronunciation Confusion:
    • Some fans who haven't read up to "Goblet of Fire", which tells you how to pronounce it, think Hermione Granger's first name is pronounced "Hermy-own", "Hermy-owny" or even "Hermy-one". It's "her-my-o-nee".
    • Diagon Alley is supposed to be pronounced "die-AG-un", but some people pronounce it as "DIE-a-gon".
    • Fans (most of them young readers) started saying Voldemort's name as "Vol-de-mort" right off the bat, even though J.K. Rowling intended for it to be pronounced (and pronounced it herself, in interviews) "Vol-de-mor" like the French word for death. By the time the movies were made, it was too late and everyone was saying "Vol-de-mort."
  • 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.
  • 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 
  • Adorkable: Harry at eleven years old in the first film, with his small stature, glasses, baggy clothes and requisite British accent.
  • Audience-Colouring Adaptation: Public perception of the series is often more tied to the films than to the books themselves:
    • This is even true within the fandom, to an extent — at least part of the Ron the Death Eater trope is often chalked up to Ron being an Adaptational Wimp in the films. This has even led to one instance of it happening within the books themselves; Harry alludes to the time in Prisoner of Azkaban where Hermione punched Draco Malfoy in a later book. But that was an invention of the film — Hermione only slapped Malfoy in the book.note 
    • One of the most noticeable examples are Hogwarts' uniforms. Their iconic school uniforms are actually not in the books. Students wear robes at Hogwarts and only robes. For fashion appearances and convenience, the film changed the uniform so that students only wear their robes on special occasions.
    • There's a misconception that Durmstrang is an all boys school and Beauxbatons an all girls one because they are in the movies. Both are co-ed in the books.
    • The books never state what color Neville's hair is, but in the movies, he's a brunet. Word of God says he's actually supposed to be blond, but you'd he hard-pressed to find a single piece of fanart that reflects this.
  • Award Snub: The series didn't win a single Academy Award during its 10 years, even with critical reception for Deathly Hallows Part 2 on par with Oscar juggernaut The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.note  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 instalments 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.
    • The network television version of the series also re-inserts deleted scenes into all the films, making them extended cuts. What makes these televised versions distinct is that it's the only way to watch the series in this manner; only the first two films have seen an official home-release extended version, on the Blu-Ray boxset.
  • 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.
  • Complete Monster: This duo of Death Eaters responsible for Lord Voldemort's return are equally guilty of many atrocities:
  • 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 up 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 The 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.
  • 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 Protagonist and Hermione is Creator's Favourite 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. Thanks for that, David Tennant.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Quite a few characters not given much attention in the books suddenly became more popular once there was 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."
  • Fair for Its Day: 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.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • Near the end of the Return to Hogwarts special, released in 2022, Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) comments on how the franchise's enduring popularity and longevity means children could likely be watching the films in 50 years' time, then adds "I'll not be here, sadly... but Hagrid will. Yes." Coltrane would pass away later that same year.
  • 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 right in with the 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.
    • David Thewlis went on to provide the voice of Lord Darius Crowley - another werewolf - in World of Warcraft.
    • Tenet features Cedric Diggory as the hero's handler, Gilderoy Lokchart as an even viler villain, and a more educated Fleur Delacour as a scientist serving an exposition role.
  • 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.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Severus Snape's film incarnation emphasizes his charm and downplays his petty vitriol and cruelty. Once the abused son of Tobias Snape, Severus entered Slytherin at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he became a brilliant student and the self-styled "Half-Blood Prince". After joining Lord Voldemort as a Death Eater, Snape turned to Dumbledore's side at great personal risk when his beloved Lily Potter was threatened. After Voldemort's return, Snape continues to serve as Hogwarts' Potion teacher before rejoining Voldemort as a Double Agent. Assisting in the fall of the Dark Lord, Snape even kills Dumbledore at the latter's insist to spare Draco Malfoy's life and soul, ingratiating himself further to the Death Eaters while using his new position as Hogwarts Headmaster to protect the students while hindering Voldemort's side where he can. Even at point of death, Snape uses his final moments to gift Harry Potter his memories to help him and is memorialized later as the namesake for Harry's son Albus Severus Potter, described as the bravest man Harry ever knew.
  • 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:
    • Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory.
    • David Tennant who plays Barty Crouch Jr. is known for his most famous role, the Tenth Doctor, from Doctor Who.
    • Anyone who watches Game of Thrones would recognize Natalia Tena (Tonks' actress) as Osha the wilding.
    • Alfred Enoch, who played Harry's Gryffindor classmate Dean Thomas, is now law student Wes Gibbons in How to Get Away with Murder.
    • Harry Melling, who played Dudley Dursley, was probably the one child actor who didn't get a major push from the series (not starring in a major production for nearly seven years afterwards), but by the end of The New '10s and beyond that, was arguably better known for arthouse fare like the Coen Brothers-directed The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and The Tragedy of Macbethnote , or the critically acclaimed miniseries The Queen's Gambit, than his Harry Potter role.
    • Viewers of Chernobyl would realized that Adrian Rawlins, who played Chief Engineer Nikolai Fomin, is the actor of Harry's dad, James.
  • 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.
  • 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.
      • Because of strict labour laws limiting hours for child actors, Columbus prefers to shoot scenes with kid and adult actors with individual cameras on each main actor, only sharing the same frame when absolutely necessary, in order to give himself great flexibility in shootingnote , and stitching it together in post. As with his previous films like the Home Alone series and Mrs. Doubtfire, it's seamless most of the way, but one scene falls hard into this trope, when the children go to Hagrid's to ask where he got Norbert's egg. The children are shot off-location with a poorly-projected green-screen image of Hogwarts behind them, and with an unconvincing Hagrid stand-in from behind; meanwhile, Robbie Coltrane is clearly on set and talking to himself, and the constantly shifting visual fidelity between both sides of the conversation is quite jarring to say the least.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • Other than Cedric Diggory having a major role in Goblet of Fire, the lack of a memorable recurring student from the Hufflepuff House sticks out like a sore thumb. In the books, Ernie Macmillan is easily the most noteworthy as he appears throughout the series, and is even on good terms with the core trio, which he could have filled a side-role like Ravenclaw's Luna Lovegood as the Hufflepuff friend of the gang. Instead, Ernie just gets a Deleted Scene in Chamber of Secrets.
    • Percy Weasley is harshly Demoted to Extra after the first two films. He gets a major sub-plot in the later books where he has to choose between his family and working for the Ministry of Magic, yet absolutely none of it is touched upon.
  • Vindicated by History: The films were originally contentious for their moments of unfaithfulness to the books, but as time went on and readers found the books more flawed, some gravitated towards the films for lacking or downplaying their more problematic elements, enjoying them as Pragmatic Adaptations with an All-Star Cast. This became more pronounced when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, adaptations J.K Rowling had more direct involvement with, proved much more divisive.
  • 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 
  • Game-Breaker: 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!
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: Harry Potter Kinect adapts all 8 movies into one minigame collection utilizing the Xbox 360 Kinect. The problem is the movies are breezed through faster than you can even watch any of the movies. The game clocks in at 2 hours or less. Most glaringly, certain iconic setpieces are skipped over entirely (I.E. The Ford Anglia, The Hungarian Horntail chase, The Malfoy Manor incident etc...).
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Some fans disregard the post Prisoner of Azkaban games for losing their own identity and staying true to the films point for point over the books.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Whenever you collect a wizard card.
  • Narm: 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 run from battle without him!
  • Paranoia Fuel: Prefects whenever you're roaming around during nighttime or within any restricted areas, especially on the console versions. That music whenever you're spotted in Chamber of Secrets doesn't makes things any better.
  • Sacred Cow: The first three games on both PC. All of them easily show their age and can be beaten in a few hours, but they're remembered very fondly by fans for their rich and exploration-friendly environments. Chamber of Secrets is especially beloved for expanding the exploration elements of Philosopher's Stone and turning Hogwarts into a large open world with secrets hiding at every corner. Both also have memorable OSTs composed by Jeremy Soule. The 6th generation console versions also qualify for much of the same reasons, in addition to them having fun Zelda-style gameplay.

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