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The Books provide examples of:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Gentleman Johnny Marcone just a straightforward Anti-Villain who practices Pragmatic Villainy, or is he more of a Sociopathic Anti-Hero and Well-Intentioned Extremist? Or is he somewhere in-between?
    • After information revealed in Blood Rites and Changes, there's some debate about why Ebenezar didn't raise Harry from the beginning. Was it because It's Not You, It's My Enemies as the Blackstaff, there's probably no shortage of supernatural nasties who'd love to get their claws on a hostage, or was it because he was estranged from Maggie and literally didn't know that Malcolm had died?
      • Similarly, Ebenezar claims that he pushed Maggie too hard, causing her to rebel. While this may be true, given how many issues he's accumulated and what we know of her personality, it's debatable how much was really his fault.
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    • In a short piece of fiction released on his website in February 2020, Jim Butcher reveals that Harry completely disappeared from all methods to keep tabs/track him after his father died, with all attempts to find him mere hours later failing for years on end. It's part of why he's so distrusted by many older Wizards in the know: they believe foul play, and suspect he was brainwashed by Nemesis, with Justin's death being either faked or a ploy. It was probably Lea acting in her role as fairy godmother, but, well... Dresden.
    • Harry is told by Lea, Mab, and Morgan that he treated Molly too gently, and their lessons are quite effective, leading to Molly's taking several rapid levels in badass. Harry himself comes to feel this way to a certain extent. Justin, too, was described as being a Sadist Teacher. However, none of them are exactly role models to begin with. Was Harry actually being too gentle on Molly, or was he a fine teacher whose apprentice was simply put through a Trauma Conga Line and Had to Be Sharp?
      • Coming off of the above, are the White Council's ruthless training regimens for apprentices (i.e., Justin threw baseballs at Harry to teach him how to create a shield, and Morgan claims Luccio used rocks on him) genuinely abusive and needlessly cruel, or a justifiable example of Training from Hell given the Crapsack World that is the Dresdenverse? Alternatively, is it more just a case of Deliberate Values Dissonance in play, since Luccio, DuMorne, and Morgan were all born and raised in time periods where corporal punishment and child abuse weren't as frowned upon or seen the same way as they are nowadays?
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    • Concerning Cold Days, how much agency did Maeve have as a willing agent of Nemesis? While it is shown that Nemesis can forcibly take total control of anyone it infects, it is also said that it often just changes or amplifies smaller aspects of the host's personality until directly threatened. During the climax, Maeve claims the entire attack on Demonreach was merely a setup for her true goal of revenge on Mab and Sarissa. Is this true? If so, was it what Nemesis had wanted, or was it just for Maeve? Or maybe Nemesis was going for a Xanatos Gambit, setting up multiple outcomes that could benefit it, while Maeve only wanted revenge and forcibly prioritized the part of the plan she cared about? And coming off of this, how much of Justine's Character Development post-White Night has been Nemesis puppeteering her and how much of it was genuine on her part?
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    • As suggested by Michael in Skin Game, are Nicodemus and Anduriel really working together as equal partners, or is Nicodemus actually just Anduriel's Unwitting Pawn? Most notably, Anduriel all-but literally whispers in Nicodemus' ear when it looks like Michael's Patrick Stewart Speech might be motivating him into a Heel–Face Turn, and after that Nicodemus launches into a lengthy Shut Up, Kirk! speech against Michael.
    • As discussed in this Reddit post concerning Battle Ground, how much of Listen's Hypercompetent Sidekick antics for Ethniu and Corb are motivated by legitimate Undying Loyalty to the Fomor's cause, and how much of them are him playing them for fools so as to get a genuine shot at freedom?
    • Just how much of a jerk is Langtry? Certainly, he's certainly very hard-core and pretty unsympathetic to Harry, but as we only ever see him from Harry's equally unsympathetic POV (and as his first few appearances take place while being mentally nudged by Peabody), there's a fair amount of room to argue about just how much of a jerk he actually is.
    • At the end of Battle Ground, how much is the political marriage between Harry and Lara a way to repay a debt Mab owes to Lara, and how much is it convenient excuse to help Harry recover after the Battle for Chicago and the death of Murphy? This being Mab it could easily be both, but she has stopped just short of giving Harry a "Not So Different" Remark at least twice now, and by her own admission has had dozens of lovers die on her in her time as the Winter Queen. It could well be that she thinks the best way to help Harry in the long term is to swiftly point him at a new lover so he can enjoy his life as much as possible before the duties and demands of Winter grind him down like they have done to her.
  • Awesome Ego: Carlos Ramirez. The Tabletop Game says as much. He has a habit of making jokes about his prowess in everything and he exaggerates it to the point of ridiculousness and is often Played for Laughs and in complete good humor more than once. However, when push comes to shove Carlos has proven to be extremely badass in not only combat and more than a little worthy of the jokes he makes... Except when it comes to his prowess with the ladies.
  • Awesome Music:
    • In universe, Gard blasting "Ride of the Valkyries" while saving Harry and friends in her choppers is noted by Harry to be particularly fitting. Also tells you something about Gard's sense of humor considering what the short story "Heorot" reveals about her true nature.
    • And in Cold Days: "We will, we will, rock you!" Why, yes, Harry Dresden is the kind of person to have "We Will Rock You" by Queen be blaring as he stops an Eldritch Abomination from ending the world.
    • Also in Cold Days, the orchestral version of ".45" by Shinedown as Mab and Harry waltz over the remains of their enemies.
    • In Battle Ground, Molly and the Winter Sidhe make their Big Entrance to the Battle of the Bean with Guns 'n Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" blaring.
  • Awesomeness Withdrawal: After Ghost Story, the books have been taking increasingly longer gaps between publication. Fans would grumble about the usual year-and-a-half waits, but wouldn't complain too much. However, after Cold Days, it's taken two-and-a-half years between Cold Days and Skin Game, and ever since Peace Talks has been sitting in development five years counting, largely due to life hitting Jim all at once. Two books in the span of five years is starting to turn fans off from the series, though the occasional short story helps. As of March 2019, however, he is back to regularly writing and posting updates every few days as he finishes chapters.
    • Possibly the withdrawal will end, or at least be very interrupted, with the announcement of Peace Talks' release for July 2020, and the release of the next installment, Battle Ground, in September...also 2020.
  • Badass Decay: The Red Court - it looks a lot like they are going to be the Knight of Cerebus, but then that role was taken by the Denarians, and they were more or less offscreen antagonists. This becomes subverted (and even justified!) with Changes.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Waldo Butters. On the one hand, he has plenty of fans of his slow, multi-book move From Zero to Hero, as an ordinary person still capable of great heroism and a refusal to be victimized. On the other hand, being the geeky schlub who gets a lot of nice things, including but not limited to the hot younger werewolf girlfriend, the magic skateboard, and the lightsaber, many see him as getting all of the things that the proverbial GM's little brother would find "cool". It arguably gets taken Up to Eleven in Peace Talks, where he has two hot younger werewolf girlfriends, and even gets some Character Shilling from Michael. That being said, criticisms have, if not exactly disappeared outright, at least become more muted when he gets his ass kicked by Ethniu in Battle Ground and also gets to showcase more of his genuine Character Development in the same book when he talks down a grief-stricken Harry from killing Rudolph.
    • Karrin Murphy. On one hand, she's a long-standing main character who's been in the series since the beginning and offers a vanilla human perspective, a staunch ally, and grounding for Harry. On the other, she's no longer Harry's contact with the police and no longer a potential candidate for Fidelacchius and, according to Word of God, will not have a power up like other characters, making people question her place in the series. Additionally, her decision in Peace Talks to go into battle despite being crippled will probably split the base further, with her alternatively being seen as either a badass Determinator or Too Dumb to Live. Depending on whether people support Harry/Murphy or not, this has further split the base. This has gotten to the point topics involving Murphy on the official Jim Butcher forums regularly incite flame wars and locked threads.
  • Broken Base: Changes. While there's few who would say that the plot was necessarily bad, the changes that happened to the overall series due to this specific Wham Episode have caused some debate. Some feel it caused further Cerebus Syndrome and helps to set up the series' epic apocalyptic finale promised in the future. Others feel it's brought in Continuity Lockout and that it's caused the start of an unnecessarily complicated Kudzu Plot.
  • Complete Monster: Lord Raith; Capiocorpus (also in Ghost Story); Shagnasty & Peabody; Kukulcan; Ethniu & King Corb. See those pages for details.
  • Crazy Is Cool: In Ghost Story, Harry was able to manifest his disembodied spirit into the real world and punch a mook, specifically because he was insane, which is the very definition of this trope. Recall that only insane ghostly spirits can manifest physically, because it's incredibly dangerous. Oh, and the way he comes to realize he's crazy enough to do this? He remembers all the other crazy stuff he's done in previous books. And much of that crazy stuff was indeed awesome.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Lara Raith, who manages to be a badass Magnificent Bitch despite raping her cousin to death and generally being absolutely terrifying.
    • Similarly, Shagnasty the Skinwalker might only appear in Turn Coat, but he's also one of the most memorable villains in the whole franchise due to his terrifying level of power and sheer sadism. Really, the fact that he can be offhandedly mentioned as eating the fingers of a White Court vampire serves as an excellent example of how incredibly menacing and frightening he is to have as an opponent.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: A lot of the series' Black Comedy can fall into this at times.
    • Overall, Bob's ridiculously lecherous comments as a Lovable Sex Maniac are often so absurdly over the top that they sail right past "creepy/uncomfortable" and straight into "utterly comical/hilarious".
    • In Changes, Lloyd Slate's Cold-Blooded Torture at Mab's hands and Mab's Destructro Nookie with Harry to claim him as the next Winter Knight are immensely horrifying and super-uncomfortable to read respectively. However, Toot-Toot's comically straightforward and blunt assessment of each event is darkly hilarious.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Toot-Toot, Harry's Fairy Companion and The Leader of "the Za-Lord's Guard" (Harry's own Praetorian Guard of dewdrop faeries). In all honesty, Toot should be incredibly annoying... and yet somehow still isn't, with him providing at least one moment of utter hilarity whenever he shows up in the plot. What helps is not only is he a Literal-Minded and Comically Serious Cloudcuckoolander, but he's also proven himself multiple times to be a legitimately dangerous foe and immensely valuable asset to Harry.
    • Ferrovax is an endless source of speculation and fan theories. He appears in Grave Peril for about 3 pages, with less than a dozen lines. But that's probably why. Being badass enough to have one of the absolute highest tiers in the series, canonically even stronger than the Queens certainly doesn't hurt. Suffice to say, many fans were incredibly excited to see Ferrovax return (however briefly) in both Peace Talks and Battle Ground, mostly spending its time on the page staring down Odin.
    • The Jade Court of Vampires were literally mentioned only once (and in passing, at that!) by Shiro in Death Masks, and yet numerous fans are insistent on wanting them to appear in later books.
    • Maggie Dresden melted the hearts of readers in her first proper appearance in Skin Game. She's incredibly cute and remarkably clever from what we've see of her, and adorably pals around with Mouse.
    • Speaking of Skin Game, Goodman Grey also got a lot of appreciation from fans due to his sheer badassery, hilarious snark, and incredibly unique Voluntary Shapeshifting powers. The fact that he's the scion of a naagloshi, and yet still firmly on the side of good, certainly doesn't hurt, to the point where many fans were understandably excited when Butcher noted how he's been toying with the idea of a Spin-Off series centered around Grey.
    • They've understandably become a more prominent character from Turn Coat onwards, but the immensely powerful Badass Bystander that is Demonreach still isn't as major of a character as others and yet still has a ton of fans, mostly due to it being the best example of Creepy Good in the whole series, it helping build a lot on the series' greater Myth Arc with The Reveal in Cold Days about it being the extradimensional Super-Max for countless eldritch horrors, and it serving as a hilariously blunt foil to Bob in the same aforementioned novel.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Several readers have openly admitted that Thomas Raith is one of their primary reasons for loving the series so much. Relatedly, both Michael Carpenter and "Gentleman" Johnny Marcone also fall into this territory, with the latter being certainly aided in how he's been depicted in the comics as a Silver Fox.
  • Evil Is Cool: The series has quite a few badass and charismatic villains:
  • Evil Is Sexy: Lara Raith is pretty much the living embodiment of this trope, as are all the other Raiths (including Thomas following his Hazy Feel Turn in Turn Coat), both Fairie Courts, and Bianca and many of the Red Court vampires (at least before seeing their hideous true forms at least). Heck, even John Marcone counts, as the comics reveal that he's quite the Silver Fox. This tropes gets lampshaded at one point when Harry snarks that the benefits of having no hot water and so having to constantly take cold showers is that it serves as a good defense against the supernatural charms of the dangerous feminine entities he meets constantly.
  • Genius Bonus: Lots of examples, to the point where some fans have jokingly remarked that the series is more a vehicle for Butcher to showcase his vast knowledge of weird trivia than an actual book series.
    • In White Night, the White Court's lingua franca (similar to how Latin is the lingua franca of the White Council) is revealed to be ancient Etruscan. According to The Etruscans (a novel covering this poorly-understood period of ancient Italian history) by the historian Lucy Shipley, Etruscan society has been mythologized as being hypersexualized, with vividly sexual images discovered in tombs and a naked statue of a goddess found in an Etruscan necropolis. This kind of juxtaposition of sex and death, along with what Shipley speaks of the Etruscan experience of sex and their perspective of the "little death" of the orgasm, all comes across as very evocative of the White Court.
    • In Turn Coat, it's stated that older wizards have greater resistance to mind-manipulation than younger ones. Older brains have less neuroplasticity than younger ones and are less able to form new neural pathways, which is what makes older people less mentally flexible than younger ones.
      • Speaking of Turn Coat, nature-savvy readers will appreciate that all the animal-forms assumed by the naagloshii and Listens-To-Winds during their shapeshifter duel are indigenous to North America. Some, like the bear or coyote, are pretty obvious, but the black-footed ferret, flying squirrel, and alligator are all great touches.
    • When investigating the part of the Nevernever correlating to his apartment in Changes, Harry has an Oh, Crap! realization upon recognizing that the seemingly gorgeous garden has a path lined with primroses. In the works of William Shakespeare, "the primrose path" is a frequently-used metaphor used referring to a way of life that seems easy and pleasant on the surface, but in fact leads to one’s destruction or other nasty consequence. Not only is this Foreshadowing for Harry finally accepting the Mantle of the Winter Knight in this book (a role he has previously admitted that he has lusted after), but buried beneath the garden's primrose path is an incredibly deadly and vicious fire-breathing centipede.
    • The events of Ghost Story start on the ninth of May, which was the first day of the Roman festival of Lemuralia. This celebration was when people would banish the Lemures, a term used for vengeful and angry ghosts. The evil shades that appear in Ghost Story are called "lemurs", and are pronounced in a similar way to the aforementioned Lemures.
    • Cold Days reveals that Odin is Father Christmas. It's an absolutely brilliant mythological joke if you've taken any comparative religion classes.
      • Additionally, at one point Mab claims to Harry that no Winter Knight had shown the Winter Court's Sidhe nobility such defiance "since the days of Tam Lin." Mab's reference also counts as this trope, as every element of that story is completely compatible with the titular character being a Winter Knight. Interestingly, "Tam Lin" is actually about a mortal escaping their servitude to the Faerie Queen, which flies in the face of Harry's belief that he's stuck with his status as the Winter Knight forever. Understandably, this might be significant later.
    • Before creating a magical barrier against a flash flood in Battle Ground, Marcone grumbles to Thorned Namishel "Of course I don't have any gopher wood. Nobody has gopher wood. I don't think gopher wood even exists anymore!" While it's funny enough on its own just for the sheer randomness, what makes it especially hilarious is how in The Bible, gopher wood was given as the primary building material for Noah's Ark.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Many fans of the series are some denomination of Christian and have praised Butcher for his skill at writing such a nuanced and positive take on Christianity as exemplified with Michael and Charity Carpenter, Father Forthill, and the other Knights of the Cross and members of the Church.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • The first two books are decent, but the series really starts to improve at first Grave Peril, and then even more during and after Dead Beat. Butcher really started to hit his stride when he had Harry punch a werewolf through multiple goddamn walls. After that, the series figured out its pattern of stringing together incredibly awesome scenes with interesting mysteries and hilariously witty dialogue.
      • Frankly, the first three books focus heavily on Harry's job as a wizard-for-hire that frequently works with the police. Starting with the fourth book, Summer Knight, the supernatural side of Harry's world takes over. Whereas before the focus was helping the cops with supernatural cases, as well as taking private cases himself that seemed to intertwine with the case the police were working, the focus now was on the many, varied worlds of the supernatural that Harry is involved in; the vampire world, the Fey world, the White Council, etc. Roots of this showed up in the third book, Grave Peril, but by the time Summer Knight is over, the series is no longer about a wizard PI who works with the police, which was the initial premise.
      • Butcher himself lampshaded this when he made a statement to the effect that one of his regrets about the Dresden series is that people have to start it by reading the books he wrote when young and inexperienced.
    • James Marsters' performance in the audiobooks. For the first few novels, he lacked confidence, the track contains many slightly awkward pauses and mutters, and a few names and voices weren't nailed down yet. Compare that to James Marsters in Changes, where he's confident both in his reading and character impressions, Harry is the most emotional and raw-sounding than he's ever been, and he sounds genuinely invested; reads the text with utter conviction and sincerity, as much as any hardcore fan.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The short story "Day Off", found in the anthology Side Jobs, features the characters of Kirby and Andi, the fact that they are going steady, and the fact that Harry is in a relationship with Warden Captain Luccio. In the book Turn Coat, Kirby dies and Harry and Luccio are told that their relationship was psychically arranged by the same Council traitor who killed LaFortier and Morgan. Consider the difference in tone between the two stories and you have got a pretty nasty case of Mood Whiplash as well.
    • After Battle Ground reveals that Justine has been possessed by Nemesis for several years (at least dating back to when she became Lara's professional assistant in White Night, probably earlier), pretty much all of her previous Character Development has now been thrown into question, and rereading her super-awesome Badass Pacifist actions in "Even Hand" and Cold Days now come across as bittersweet at best.
  • He Really Can Act: A variant; While the series is generally agreed to have already Grown The Beard as of either Grave Peril or Dead Beat, Molly's trial in Proven Guilty is often seen as being one of the first truly (for lack of a better word) profound moments in the series, helping elevate The Dresden Files beyond just pulpy fun and show how talented Jim Butcher really is as a writer.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Backup," Thomas mockingly claims that Harry and e-mails go together like Robert Downey Jr. and sobriety. As later showcased with his wild popularity as Iron Man for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it turns out that RDJ is awesome sober!
    • Among the shapes adopted by the phobophages in Proven Guilty are a couple of grotesquely-mutated animals (a baboon and some kind of cat) from an In-Universe-only horror film called Nature Red. Evidently, this film is about a retrovirus getting loose in a zoo and turning the animals into bloodthirsty monsters ...which is exactly the same plot as the 2016 film Zoombies, which was released long after Proven Guilty was published.
    • In Cold Days, while discussing the Grandfather Paradox with Vadderrung, Harry asks what would happen if he were to go back in time and try to kill his grandfather, and Vadderrung drily remarks that he (Ebenezar) would beat Harry senseless. Come Peace Talks, and Ebenezar and Harry actually do get into a fight, in which McCoy beats the younger wizard in about five minutes, while holding back.
      • Even better? One of the things Odin is known for is his foresight.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Ebenezar McCoy is revealed to be one in Blood Rites, where Harry develops one hell of a Broken Pedestal for his mentor after learning that he's the "Blackstaff" (the White Coucil's "wetworks man"), and is a massive Hypocrite for constantly championing the sanctity of life despite having free reign to kill as many people with magic as he wishes to. Ebenezar is completely understandable about Harry's fury but also visibly heartbroken, and is very careful at keeping himself emotionally guarded and professional in regards to how he deals with Harry afterward. The clear pain that he still holds over the loss of his apprentice Margaret LeFay (a.k.a. Harry's mother) only makes it sadder. It gets even worse in first Changes (where it turns out that LeFay was actually his own daughter all along and Harry is his grandson) and then Peace Talks (where he's so terrified of Harry getting himself killed by falling into the wrong crowd like Margaret had that he almost crosses the Moral Event Horizon in trying to murder Thomas, with his actions seeming to completely wreck his relationship with both Harry and Maggie).
    • When you read between the lines, you start to realize just how much shit Morgan's life has put him through. Really, four years on the Western Front in World War I is probably the least of his traumas.
  • Love to Hate: Nicodemus Acherlone may be a genocidal, sadistic, and despicable monster, but damn is his awfulness entertaining.
  • Magnificent Bastard: See here.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Harry Dresden is physically immune to being made into a memetic badass. Why? Because no matter how badass you think he is, he actually is twice as badass.
    • Mister, Dresden's large but otherwise completely normal cat, is joked to be the most powerful being in the entire setting.
  • Memetic Mutation: Battle Ground supplied quite possibly the best possible rallying cry for the entire fandom - "We've got a wizard! Fuck those guys!"
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Chauncy, the crab-demon-thing with pince-nez glasses that Harry has a conversation with in Fool Moon.
    • Ferrovax. He's only shown up at the party in Grave Peril, and did comparatively little there. He's also one of the most popular characters among fans, with "comparatively little" here meaning flattening a man by just changing the tone of his voice.
    • Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex that Harry revives in Dead Beat.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Lasciel's shadow can make illusions so perfect that Harry can not tell the difference. She completely makes up a person to interact with him, and he is so taken in that other people start thinking he has gone nuts because he is talking to empty air. Then she demonstrates that if she wanted, she could use this to kill him at any time. Yeeeesh.
      • Also: The only purpose of a shadow when it's not being used as an avatar for the much more alien being in its coin is to get its host to pick up the coin again. You have to be, not only alive, but healthy and powerful enough to kill off anyone else who has also touched it, also has a shadow in their head, and will also be going for the coin. This implies that Lash's Heel–Face Turn, while genuine from even her own perspective, is actually her programming creating another kind of trap for the host, by making him trust her when she's actually still fulfilling the purpose of the shadow. Even sacrificing herself is in service of that purpose, you can hardly pick the coin up if you're brain-dead.
    • He Who Walks Behind is an Eldritch Abomination whose distinguishing characteristic is that when it manifests it is always behind you. Even if your back is against a wall, it's still behind you. And now it just has a handy solid surface to pick you up and strangle you against. With one of its tentacles around your neck. Which it didn't have in the reflection you saw of it.
    • As lampshaded In-Universe, Nemesis is definitely this. It's a powerful eldritch contagion acting as a saboteur on behalf of the Outsiders that spreads like a virus, and it's impossible to figure out who is infected until they act sufficiently out of character. Oh, and once they're found out, they'll try to either kill or infect all witnesses.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Susan Rodriguez earned a lot more fans in Death Masks with the reveal of her having become a badass half-vampire secret agent dedicated to the downfall of the Red Court and who also has significantly matured in the years since Grave Peril.
    • Similarly, Proven Guilty has Charity Carpenter going from an annoying stereotype of a housewife who hates Harry to an incredibly tragic and sympathetic former warlock who is understandably terrified for the fate of her children and has been struggling with her sense of responsibility thanks to a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Sequelitis: Depending on who you ask this series has either fallen into this trope, or the first three to four volumes suffer from Early Installment Weirdness. Originally, this series was about a private detective who is also a wizard. By the time we get to volume seven, it's about the crazy world Harry inhabits, which included Fae realms, Vampire wars, wizarding politics and the machinations of the White Council, and most especially about the people Harry cares most about, which include almost every good character, and even some not-so-good ones, ever introduced in the series. YMMV if the series is far too bogged down in its own plot now or if it has grown the beard.
  • Signature Scene:
    • You will be hard-pressed to find any fan who doesn't mention the hilariously out-of-nowhere scene of Harry dropping a frozen turkey on a Black Court vampire in Blood Rites as being one of the funniest and most memorable moments in the whole series.
    • Harry riding Sue the zombie T. rex in Dead Beat (who is powered by Butters and his polka suit) is often considered to be the defining moment in the whole series, perfectly summing up its sheer creativity, hilarity, awesomeness, and willingness to embrace its absurd-sounding premise.
    • On a far more serious note, the trial of Molly Carpenter in Proven Guilty is often considered to be one of the most impactful and impressive moments in Jim Butcher's career as a writer, with it actually showing the series touching on more serious and uncomfortable issues like any successful work of Speculative Fiction.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
    • The Dresden Files is probably the closest thing people will ever get to a novel series adaptation of Old World of Darkness.
    • Alternatively, it works really well as a book series adaptation of Angel (albeit being made even Darker and Edgier than it already was).
  • Squick: As The Dresden Files is on some level a horror series based around some really creepy and ancient arcane stories, Jim Butcher really likes to make his readers uncomfortable/revolted.
    • For some, the Male Gaze that Dresden's narration gives to some of the more close-to-underage characters (or at least those who he has known since they were young children), such as with his own apprentice Molly Carpenter, can be really uncomfortable to read.
    • Nicodemus' lover is Deidre... his own daughter. Her mom, Tessa, is Really 700 Years Old, but looks in her teens. The latter is actually mentioned in Skin Game, with Deidre telling Harry that they've been together for 2,000 years, and are far beyond conventional relationship terms.
    • Lord Raith ensures his daughters' complete loyalty by raping them into submission. It gets better/worse; when Lara finds out her father can no longer feed, she turns the tables and does the same thing to him.
    • Karrin Murphy divorced her second ex-husband Rick when she was roughly 26 or 27 at the most. Later on in Blood Rites, it's revealed that Rick is now engaged to Murphy's "baby" sister Lisa. When you do the math over the age differentials in play, this means that Rick first knew Lisa from when she was too young to drive, possibly even in middle school. Ew. Heck, both Harry and Murphy even take a moment in Proven Guilty to mutually shudder and lampshade just how damn gross Rick and Lisa's relationship is.
    • Proven Guilty has a delightful scene where Harry has to dislocate his own thumb to get out of a set of manacles.
    • Small Favor has a brief moment where Mab freezes the water in Harry's eyes as a particularly nasty case of Disproportionate Retribution after he asks her too many stupid questions at once.
    • In Turn Coat, Lara Raith rapes her cousin Madeline to death while simultaneously disemboweling her.
  • Stoic Woobie: After the ending of Cold Days and beyond, Queen Mab certainly counts. Her daughter Maeve, who was possessed by Nemesis and threatened to destroy the world, was killed before her eyes, and by Maeve's actions her second daughter Sarissa has become the Summer Lady, forever keeping her from Mab and destroying their previously relationship of "BFFs". The only hint we get of her deeper turmoil is when she admits to Harry when he asked her if she didn't like having Maeve killed, "[she] was mortal once, you know."

  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Meryl in Summer Knight.
    • Shiro Yoshimo in Death Masks.
    • Lash in White Night.
    • Morgan in Turn Coat.
    • Cat Sith, introduced in Cold Days as an uber-badass malk, ends up getting possessed by Nemesis. Even if he survived his fight with Harry, Nemesis appears to have destroyed his mind and taken over him completely, meaning that it's unlikely that Mab can recover his mind like she could with Lea. Ironically this "mind breaking" is noted as having lessened Sith's badass-ness in the process.
    • Hannah Ascher in Skin Game. The Genoskwa would also normally count, though it's surprisingly revealed in Peace Talks that they're actually Not Quite Dead.
    • Karrin Murphy in Battle Ground.

  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The Dresden Files has been stated to be everything from pro-anarchist to copaganda. Jim Butcher, himself, has stated that Harry doesn't have time for politics in his life.
  • The Woobie: The series has its own page.

The TV series provides examples of:

  • Broken Base:
    • Whether the show is a good adaptation of the books.
    • Whether Book Bob is better than TV Bob.
  • Complete Monster: Caleb, from "Walls", is a former thief and killer who possesses the Hand of Glory. Corrupting those who use the Hand, Caleb makes them degrade morally while also rotting them from the inside to empower his spirit. Murdering a young woman who tries to contact Harry Dresden, Caleb later kills another member of the thief group using the Hand, and then one of the last members before trying to corrupt and kill the final one. Manifesting, Caleb reveals his intention to murder Harry and the last boy before going on a theft and murder spree to celebrate his revival.
  • Les Yay: Bianca and Natalie. Sharon and Nancy.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The reaction of the bulk of the book fans when the show started. Reasons ranged from the reasonable (the series was far less "quirky" than the books and more a mainstream supernatural show) to the outright weird (Murphy is supposed to be blonde, dammit!)

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