Harry Potter (film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Harry and his crew.

"Yer a wizard, Harry."

Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Each Harry Potter book was lucky enough to become a film. The films star Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. The entire series spans eight films; the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was split into two separate films in order to encompass as much of the final book's content as possible (a move which was met with decidedly mixed fan reaction).

The first two films, directed by Chris Columbus, place more emphasis on plot than characterization, with most scenes being identical to their counterparts in the books, and are generally regarded as solid but workmanlike. Columbus was succeeded by Alfonso Cuaron, who decided to reverse this and created what is likely the most controversial movie in the series. His Prisoner of Azkaban is either an artistic triumph or a lot of wangsting with a plot incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't read the book (or both). Mike Newell came next, following more-or-less in Cuarón's footsteps, but with a larger eye for spectacle and adventure. As Goblet of Fire was when J. K. Rowling started writing Door Stoppers, the movie version received attention mostly for how much stuff got left out. British TV director David Yates followed, helming Order of the Phoenix and all subsequent films, combining the Cuarón and Newell approaches in terms of style, while embracing the increasingly dark and grim tone of the later novels.

The Harry Potter fandom is rather sharply divided over whether the earlier films directed by Columbus, or the character-driven films which followed, are better; it basically comes down to how important certain subplots and plot points are, and whether the latter films are really exploring the characters or just indulging in angst. Critics are less divided, holding all of the later films in higher regard than the Columbus films. This being said, all of the films have been overall critical successes (the lowest mark on rottentomatoes.com being a 78, the lowest on Metacritic being a 63).

The films in the series are:

WARNING! There are unmarked Spoilers ahead. Beware.

The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Harry Potter (film) franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.

List only tropes or trope examples that reflect the entire series, or which span multiple films here. Tropes specific to a single film should go on that film's page.


  • The Abridged Series:
    • Coldmirror did some wildly popular German dubs of the 1st ("Harry Potter und ein Stein"/"Harry Potter and a Stone"), 2nd ("Harry Potter und der geheime Pornokeller"/"Harry Potter and the Porn Cellar of Secrets") and 4th ("Harry Potter und der Plastikpokal"/"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Plastic") Movie.
    • Cleolinda Jones has done "Movies In 15 Minutes" treatments of films 1, 3, 4 and 6.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • The Fidelius charm is never introduced in the films, so certain things go unexplained.
    • Fudge is never shown to be directly dismissed. The Minister of Magic makes no appearance in the sixth movie and the seventh just puts a new Minister in office without explanation, except for the small fact that one of the headlines seen at the end of the fifth film reads "Minister to resign?"
    • Any scene pertaining to the introduction of the two-way mirrors is left out, leaving it to turn up apparently randomly at various points in the last few films. Its function is given an 'explanation' in Deathly Hallows pt. 2, but you are never told why Harry has it.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plothole: Averted by J.K. Rowling herself, who stepped in after learning the fifth film would be cutting out the character Kreacher, and warned the crew that adapting book seven would be very problematic if he hadn't appeared before. However, so much of his parts were cut from Deathly Hallows Part 1 and completely cut from Part 2 they might as well have cut him out completely.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Most notably Hermione (in the earlier films, when she's not intended to be pretty, that may be because the books are from Harry's POV and he doesn't actually take much notice of her looks beyond hair and eye color until he sees her gussied up at the Yule Ball).
    • Snape is never portrayed with the sallow skin and greasy hair that he has in the books.
    • Neville: In the books he's a meek, chubby Foil to Dudley, and then his actor lost his light hair and all his baby fat and gained about three feet in height.
    • Bellatrix, who in the books had lost her beauty after years in Azkaban prison, is played by Helena Bonham Carter in the movies, and looking pretty damn good ... except for her teeth.
    • Dolores Umbridge, in the book, is described as being short, squat, and toad-like in features, which gives her an appearance as hideous as her personality. In the movie, she appears as an woman in her fifties with a relatively average (though still somewhat short) build and a faintly out-of-date hairstyle. She almost, but not quite, appears grandmotherly. This creates a much greater contrast when it becomes apparent to the reader that she is probably more evil than Satan himself.
    • Luna goes from somewhat plain and having slightly bugged-out eyes to quite attractive in the book to film transition.
    • Dudley, while quite tubby in the first few films, seems to be merely stocky by the time the fifth movie rolls around (admittedly this happens in the book as well, as Dudley takes up boxing and becomes more muscular than fat). Harry Melton, the actor who portrays him, actually lost a great deal of weight in between the shooting of the fifth and seventh films (the Dursleys were left out of the sixth film entirely). According to interviews with the actor, the producers nearly died of shock when he showed up for filming a good seventy pounds lighter (likely more than they were envisioning for Dudley). Fortunately for him, instead of recasting, they stuffed him into a fat suit. Unfortunately, the effect wasn't quite what they wanted, and ultimately his scene with Harry at the beginning of Deathly Hallows Part 1 was cut.
    • Pansy Parkinson, in the books, is described as having "a face like a pug," but in the movie's she's not too bad looking. Then again, she's being described by Gryffindors, so maybe that's a jaundiced account.
  • Adaptational Badass: The films are slightly more action packed than the books, and the main characters tend to be able to hold their own against adult wizards.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Unlike his counterpart in the books, who was definitely under the Imperius Curse, Pius Thicknesse is implied to have joined the Death Eaters and Voldemort of his free will.
    • In the books, Grindelwald and Dumbledore were childhood friends (and maybe lovers), and Grindelwald redeems himself by lying to Voldemort about the Elder Wand. In the movie, basically all of that subplot is cut out, and so is his lying to Voldemort.
  • Adaptational Personality Adjustment:
    • Owing to the other Gryffindors being Demoted to Extra, Dean sadly loses any mention of his drawing skills.
    • Book Seamus is an ordinary boy, characterized by his cheerful nature. Movie Seamus gets Running Gag of exploding anything that he points his wand at when performing a spell. Ron snarkily mentioned that he managed to turn water into tea, but there was too much smoke. Neville even gets in a line when he refuses to let Seamus countercurse his Leg Locker jinx because "you'll set my bloody kneecaps on fire!"
    • Book Dumbledore toes the line between Trickster Mentor, Manipulative Bastard and The Chessmaster. While characters lampshaded in The Deathly Hallows that they actually didn't really know him -- Harry realizes belatedly that Dumbledore's instructions to find the Horcruxes are very difficult while he and his friends are on the run, Aberforth had a falling out with him over how his relationship with Grindelwald indirectly led to their sister Arianna's death -- Dumbledore was quite quirky and dangerous at the same time. He also rarely raises his voice, unless he is Surrounded by Idiots, aka confronting Cornelius Fudge. Two actors showed very different interpretations of him.
      • Richard Harris's Dumbledore was dry and serious. His robes are purple, and he walks with dignity. He gets in one quip about Bertie Botts's Every Flavor Beans at the end, when comforting Harry at the hospital.
      • Michael Gambon's Dumbledore in contrast, could be deadpan and snarky at times, with an Irish brogue to boot. His robes are grey-green, that are a lot more understated than the sparkly purple. He's also got a temper, as shown when manhandling Harry about putting his name in the Goblet of Fire and shouting at him. (In the book, "he asked calmly.") Unlike book Dumbledore, who begs for Snape to give him a Mercy Kill when facing Bellatrix and Fenrir Greyback, movie Dumbledore says the same line "Severus, please" with calm and dignity, knowing it will be his final order.
  • Adapted Out: Numerous characters were omitted, like Ludo Bagman and Peeves, others were not seen in the earlier films, but shown up later with explanations to explain why they're gone (like Bill and Charlie Weasley), and the reversed happens, like Nearly Headless Nick and Firenze, who appeared in earlier films, but are gone in the later ones.
    • Averted with Kreacher, who was almost removed from the films, until Rowling informed the screenwriter that the house elf was gonna be important later on.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Dumbledore, as depicted by Michael Gambon, especially in Goblet of Fire, has a highly theatrical, slightly effeminate flair. After Deathly Hallows came out, Rowling said in interviews that she had always intended Dumbledore to be gay. She also said that she had told each actor secrets about the character that might be helpful in characterization. Presumably this was something about Dumbledore she had told Gambon.
      • She also admitted in an interview after outing Dumbledore that the screenwriters for one of the films had handed her a script once where Dumbledore reminisced about some young witch he loved in his youth, and she handed back the script with the words "HE'S GAY!" pointing to the offending line.
      • It was also suggested in-universe by Rita Skeeter's rather scathing interview book, which gave a cruel new twist on Harry's relationship with Dumbledore.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: Snape qualifies for both roles, being between types III and IV on the Anti-hero side.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • From Half-Blood Prince onward, the character of Blaise Zabini takes over Goyle's role, while Goyle takes Crabbe's, because of the actor playing Crabbe's troubles with the law.
    • Ginny zig-zags through this depending on what film it is. She has one scene in the first film, is a big part of the plot of the second, has two scenes in the third, gets a lot more screen-time in the fourth, is featured but has few lines in the fifth, is a big part of the sixth, and Demoted to Extra again in the seventh and then is pretty important in eight.
    • Scabior receives more screen time in the 7th film then he does in the books with him just appearing in the two scenes in the book while in the movie he appears as early as the first Malfoy Manor scene. Plus the film seems two treat him as a Death Eater rather then a snatcher that he is in the book
  • Ash Face: Seamus Finnigan seems to be subjected to this an awful lot. It's even lampshaded in the final film.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Of all of the many hundreds of Ministry of Magic workers the trio could have used for polyjuice potion, Hermione becomes a petite brunette, Harry becomes an average height guy with black hair, and Ron is, wait for it, a tall ginger. Justified since the trio are implied to have scouted the Ministry before going in and picked which people they were going to impersonate, though arguably the sensible thing to do would've been to find people who looked nothing like them.
    • In an example of Fridge Brilliance, though, it is established in both the books and the film that when the polyjuice potion starts to wear off, for a few minutes you get a blend of the real and disguised features. By picking people that look like them, they can squeeze a few extra minutes out of the potion. Also, since they only get one shot at this, they need to be as comfortable as possible -- they need a form they can quickly adapt to. This is noted by Hermione when she polyjuices into Bellatrix, and by Harry when he polyjuices into a plump red-haired boy to resemble the Weasleys.
  • Author Appeal: Screenwriter Steve Kloves' favorite character is Hermione. Guess which character gets a lot more feature time.
  • Ax Crazy:
    • Bellatrix Lestrange.
    • Barty Crouch Jr. Nothing says Ax Crazy like David Tennant's expressiveness and psycho face.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Harry and Ron during the spider attack in Chamber.
    • Harry and Ginny vs. the Death Eaters in Prince.
  • Back for the Finale: Pomona Sprout, Ollivander, the Sorting Hat, even the Chamber of Secrets and the Basilisk (though only in skeletal form).
  • Big Eater: Ron.

Hermione: Do you ever stop eating?
Ron: (his mouth full) What? I'm hungry!

  • Big No: Happens a lot.
  • Bittersweet Ending: With Sirius dead as of Order of the Phoenix, Harry's entire family line is now dead. He gains a new family, however, when he marries Ginny, and Ron and Hermione become his siblings.
  • Blatant Lies: Uncle Vernon comes up with a slew of these in the first act of Chamber of Secrets, the first one being the most interesting, making it both a subversion and a straight example: When Dobby starts to bang his head on the side of the cabinet, the sound of his grunting and head hitting the furniture echoes to the living room where Vernon, Dudley, Petunia, and the Masons can hear it. Uncle Vernon, not knowing there is a house-elf, tries to cover for his nephew by stating that it's "just the cat".
  • Bling Bling Bang: In Deathly Hallows part 1. Voldemort contemptuously snaps off the ornate silver handle of Lucius Malfoy's wand when he 'borrows' it to use against Harry Potter. Remind you of anything?
  • Book Ends: Harry's life with the Dursleys: when he was 1, Hagrid brought him to the Dursleys riding Sirius' bike. When he leaves the Dursleys, it is Hagrid who takes Harry... riding Sirius' bike. Hagrid even mentions this.
  • Call Back:
    • In Stone, when Harry lands after saving the Remembrall, a background student is heard saying "That was wicked, Harry!" When Harry lands Buckbeak in Prisoner, the exact same line is clearly heard.
    • In Chamber, when Dobby emerges from the closet after being tossed in by Harry to hide from his Uncle Vernon, he finds a blue sock dangling from his head, which he nonchalantly tosses to the side. Near the end of the film, Harry, when returning the damaged shell of Tom Riddle's Diary to Lucius Malfoy, has managed to sneak one of his socks within the covers. When Lucius angrily shoves the tattered remains to Dobby, he notices the article of clothing within, which resulted in Harry, through Lucius, freeing Dobby.
    • Also in Chamber, when the Weasleys save Harry from the Dursleys, Harry asks why they're there and Ron replies "rescuing you, of course." When the Order saves Harry from the Dursleys in Order, Moody says the same thing.
    • Harry says "You're lying, Dolores… and you mustn't tell lies!" in Deathly Hallows, Part 2, calling back to a similar scene in Order of the Phoenix.
    • The toy knights that Harry played with in the first film are still there seven years later.
    • A running gag is Seamus's tendency to set things on fire or make something explode, such as somehow adding an ingredient to make a supposed Draught of the Living Death explode in the sixth film. In the final film, Professor McGonagall suggests enlisting him to set up explosives because of this.
    • In the third film, before Sirius departs on Buckbeak he rests a hand over Harry's heart, saying that's where their loved ones could always be found. In the eighth, when Harry is using the Resurrection Stone, Harry asks his lost loved ones whether they'd be able to be seen by Voldemort- to which Sirius responds "No. We're here, you see", pointing to Harry's heart.
    • In the eighth film, when Harry is in the Room of Requirement trying to get a hold of Ravenclaw's Diadem, he climbs a mountain of stuff and accidentally knocks over a small cage. A second later, Cornish pixies, who were last scene in Professor Lockhart's classroom in movie two, are flying in every direction.
    • The scene in Deathly Hallows, part 2 where Albus Severus enters platform 9 3/4 is almost identical to the scene of Harry entering the platform in Philosopher's Stone.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Harry uses "Brilliant!" a lot.
    • Ron says "bloody hell" a lot.
    • Hagrid has "I shouldnta told ya that." and "I shouldnta said that".
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Regulus Black is mentioned casually as one of Slughorn's favorites in the sixth film.
    • Mafalda and Runcorn appear briefly in the seventh film before they are actually needed. Runcorn is seen with Umbridge and Thicknesse when the Ministry is taken over, and Mafalda is shown on a newspaper with Umbridge.
      • Even better, Mafalda was the one who sent the letters to Harry after Dobby framed him for using magic outside of school in front of Muggles in the second movie.
  • Chessmaster: Dumbledore.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Madam Hooch after Philosopher's Stone, Colin Creevey after Chamber of Secrets, Buckbeak after Prisoner of Azkaban, the unnamed child that showed up just to be whacked on the top of the head by Goyle after Goblet of Fire, The Fat Lady after Prisoner of Azkaban, Moaning Myrtle after Goblet of Fire... one really wonders how Hogwarts can let all these disappearances go unchecked with all the high-intensity security measures it has taken over the course of the series.
    • In Colin's case, this was due to his actor, Hugh Mitchell, going through an impressive growth spurt, to the point where the filmmakers didn't believe he could reasonably portray a character who was supposed to appear small and mousy. He is, for all intents and purposes, replaced by the character Nigel.
    • Narrowly averted with Madam Pomfrey and Professor Sprout, who were brought back in the sixth and eighth films respectively after both having been absent since the second.
    • Where Padma Patil and Gregory Goyle appear in the final film, Parvati Patil and Vincent Crabbe (who was supposed to get Goyle's death scene) vanish without explanation, although the latter was due to Absentee Actor.
    • Percy Weasley plays a fairly important role in the first movie, only to drop out of existence thereafter. He appears occasionally in background shots, but any storyline about him is just removed entirely, to the point one might wonder why his parents never talk about that son they once had hanging around their house.
    • Nearly-Headless Nick doesn't appear after the first two movies either. Whenever he has an important part in later installments, they seem to replace him with Luna.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In the films, the ties and lapels of Hogwarts uniforms are in the colours of the student's house. Red and gold for Gryffindor, black and yellow for Hufflepuff, blue and silver for Ravenclaw, green and silver for Slytherin.
  • Composite Character: The boy identified in the later films as "Nigel" seems to be a composite of Colin and Dennis Creevey from the books; reportedly, the actor playing Colin had grown up something fierce and no longer looked boyish enough next to Daniel Radcliffe.
  • Cowardly Lion: Ron's persona seems to cater this more so than in the books. He gets freaked out pretty often, but it's obvious he more than has the skill to do what needs to be done on more than one occasion.
  • Cute Giant: Hagrid's brother.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Our heroes have some great moments of this, especially in Half-Blood Prince, that didn't show up nearly as much in the books.
    • Snape gets a lot of moments of this as well.
  • Death by Adaptation: Poor Griphook, Bogrod and Pius Thicknesse in Deathly Hallows Part 2. People were probably cheering when Fenrir and Scabior got taken out too, though. Additionally, Goyle replaces Crabbe as the one to be killed by the Fiendfyre in the Room of Requirement. Word of God has confirmed that Lavender Brown did die after having her neck chomped on by a werewolf.
    • Bogrod's fate is left ambiguous in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows during the Gringotts break-in, but in the final film he is seen roasted by a dragon.
      • Let's not forget Amycus and Alecto Carrow, who are quite possibly killed by a Blasting Curse during McGonagall's duel with Snape, while in the book, they are merely trapped in a net by McGonagall and hung in the Ravenclaw common room.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Loads and Loads of Characters have this happen to them - if they aren't simply cut out entirely. "Where'd that Ginny person come from?"
    • It causes some issues as the movies get further along and closer to seven… Harry/Ginny have basically no setup in the films, even though they're married at the end of Deathly Hallows. (Although that's basically true of the books too and Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows actually give the relationship more screen time, including not splitting them up halfway through. The only real omission is all their dialogue scenes in Order of the Phoenix and Ginny gets a disappointed reaction shot when leaving Harry alone with Cho to compensate.) Everything related to Tonks/Lupin in Half-Blood Prince was cut, only implying their relationship in a added scene, which makes their sudden appearance as a couple in Deathly Hallows Part 1 a tad out-of-nowhere.
    • The Dursleys fit under this. After the first three movies, they were only seen again in Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows Part 1. Heck, they're just barely in that last one.
    • Due to its length, a lot of characters fall into this in Order of the Phoenix.
    • Even with the book adapted into two films, Deathly Hallows has this in spades.
    • Grawp, Hagrid's giant half-brother from "Order of the Phoenix" gets even less scenes than in the book, reducing him to one heartwarming intro scene and one epic Dynamic Entry scene in the Forbidden forest near the end. His one line of speech during that scene is removed as well.
      • The rest of his appearances in the books are completely cut as well as it appears he suffers from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in the films
    • Dobby get's most of his appearances cut in the films. He appears in all but two of the books but only appears in two of the movies.
    • A rare object example is the invisibility cloak's appearances are far less than in the books. While some scenes that featured it in the books were cut from the films some scenes that did make it into the films are nowhere to be seen. For example The scene where the Trio was following Malfoy into Knock turn Alley and also Harry's big reveal during the final battle.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Harry and Hermione, type 3. Part 1 of Deathly Hallows builds up as much Will They or Won't They? tension as possible between two characters who are in love with other people, then Part 2, with its coy references to Harry talking in his sleep, seems to invite the audience to ponder what's likely to happen when you leave two hormonal teenagers who know they might be killed any day alone in a tent for several weeks. (Especially when they're probably both virgins.) For a certain section of fandom, it possibly qualifies as Fridge Brilliance.
  • Disney Villain Death: Fenrir and Scabior. Neither were killed in the book.
    • Goyle, to an extent. He falls into the fire.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Death Eaters' pointed hoods give them a strong resemblance to the Klu Klux Klan, although with the opposite color scheme, of course.
  • Dramatic Pause: Alan Rickman as Snape… loves… these.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Bellatrix Lestrange, Severus Snape and young Tom Riddle.
  • Epic Movie: Deathly Hallows. So big, they needed an entire extra movie for the last ten chapters. The two halves feel very different; Part 1 is very grim while Part 2 has more fantasy.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • Those twin girls from the sixth movie were meant to set up one in which Harry realizes the Vanishing Cabinet has a twin. The scene got cut, but it's included in the deleted scenes on the DVD. Thus, the twins' appearances throughout the finished film might count as The Artifact.
  • Even Mooks have Standards: Draco Malfoy has rolled his eyes at the ridiculousness of being taught how to defend himself against Cornish Pixies, tracked the path of Dobby's rogue Bludger out of fear along with Harry, and cringed at the sound of the infant Mandrake Root's cries.
  • Fantastic Racism: Voldemort and his Death Eaters to all Muggle-Borns. The Malfoys employ this egregiously to anyone Muggle-born, who associate with Muggles, the entire Weasley family, and, judging from the reaction Lucius gave when entering Hagrid's hut in Chamber of Secrets, anyone who was not rich. A sort of unifying brand of racism goes through the Death Eaters, the Malfoys, and Dolores Umbridge in regards to members of other magical species as well.


  • Gag Dub: Wizard People, Dear Reader.
  • Gentle Giant: Rubius Hagrid.
  • Geographic Flexibility: Also present in the books, but less noticeably. The books give it a Hand Wave which is alluded to with the shifting staircases.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: When Voledomort comes back in Goblet of Fire, he's a nice, sickly green. Notice when Harry fights him in the morning sun in the final movie, he's pretty near a normal skin tone - probably because he's now missing several evil Horcruxes.
  • Grand Finale: The two Deathly Hallows movies.
  • Holier Than Thou: Draco certainly cops this attitude through films 2-5.
  • If You Can Read This...: The '"Daily Prophet.
  • International Coproduction: The series is a US/UK co-production, with Warner Bros on the American end and Heyday Films on the British end. Additionally, Chris Columbus's company, 1492 Pictures, was involved in the first three films and effects house Moving Picture Company helped produce Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on top of providing effects.
  • Ironic Echo: In both the book and movie versions, Harry is continuously forced by Umbridge to write "I must not tell lies" in his own blood. In the movie version, after leading Umbridge on a wild goose chase into the woods, she's captured by the centaurs, and begs Harry to tell them she means no harm, at which point Harry replies, "I'm sorry, Professor. I must not tell lies." This occurred in the book, but those lines between Harry and Umbridge were left out. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, Harry once again uses the "must not tell lies" line on Umbridge while in the Ministry.
    • Also in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Griphook asked Harry where he got the Sword of Gryffindor, Harry said "It's complicated." Griphook gave the same answer when Harry asked him why Bellatrix thought the sword would be inside the Lestrange vault.
  • Irony: Voldemort is fanatically prejudiced against half-bloods almost as much as "mudbloods", yet he's half-blood himself.
  • Jittercam: David Yates is a fan of Jittercam, apparently, as it's used in Order during some scenes in the Ministry, in Prince when Harry is pursuing Bellatrix in the field outside of the Burrow, and in in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, particularly in the scene where Ron fights with Harry in the tent and leaves.
  • Karma Houdini: Peter Pettigrew in the movies. But definitely NOT in the books.
  • Large Ham:


  • Last-Minute Hookup:
    • There is a build-up between Hermione and Ron in the books, but the movies downplay the Slap Slap Kiss and build them up as a couple earlier, averting the trope. It also manages to avert it for Harry and Ginny in the film version of Prince by giving Ginny more screen time and giving them more scenes together and not having them break up at the end as they do in the book, making their being Happily Married in the epilogue a bit more believable.
    • In the final movie Neville declares that he's crazy about Luna, which is contrary to what J.K had happening to the two characters.
  • Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition: Apart from two-disc editions, there's the Ultimate Editions, with an extended cut and many goodies in the packaging.
    • The Limited Wizard Edition features almost all of the special edition content including Ultimate Edition content and more in a $500 30 disk set including everything on both blu-ray and DVD, It also comes in a large elaborate case. Did I mention it's limited.


  • Multi-Part Episode: Deathly Hallows.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The "Death Eaters = Nazis" allegory is made quite clear in the books, but emphasized with the posters and pamphlets printed for the anti-Muggle, anti-Muggleborn campaigns; low-grade miserable looking workers in gray striped robes in the Ministry; and the Ministry's elite guard wearing blue Nazi-styled uniforms (arm-scarf included!) in DH.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: As Katie Couric pointed out in a TV special about the making of the first film, Harry Potter breaks both rules rather spectacularly. Chris Columbus has said that the first film is full of cuts because the kids would so often ruin takes by laughing, looking into the camera, etc. He was therefore quite impressed that the main trio had progressed enough to be able to do The Oner in later films. And, of course, the UK's child actor laws provided the inconvenience of only being able to use their lead actors for four hours per day while they were still underage. The Great Hall scenes were especially difficult, as they combined the difficulty of working with children and the difficulty of working with crowds.
  • No Body Left Behind: Bellatrix, Nagini, and Voldemort in Deathly Hallows Part 2.
  • Obviously Evil: Absolutely no one who is with the Death Eaters seems like they would fit in anywhere else. You have the guy with a snake face, the grovelling servant, the Ax Crazy witch, the sneering rich blonde, and the guy who likes screaming and flailing his tongue around.
  • Of Corsets Sexy:
    • Bellatrix.
    • Hermione when she impersonates Bellatrix in Deathly Hallows Part 2, complete with Cleavage Window.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Adaptation Distillation led to quite a few.
    • The other contestants in the first round in Goblet of Fire, though you have to wonder just how boring they were if Harry's round helped him Win Back the Crowd.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Kelly MacDonald plays the Grey Lady with an English accent but when she becomes enraged, her natural Scottish accent comes out.
  • Palm Fist Tap: Ron does this.
  • Practical Voice Over: In the fifth film.[context?]
  • Pretty Boy: Lucius and Draco Malfoy, Tom Riddle.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: About half of Snape's lines feature him emphasizing every word.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot / Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Because of Jamie Waylett's little run-in with the law, evidently Goyle rather than Crabbe gets the honors of an on-screen death in the last film.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Played straight with Grindelwald in the books, as he refuses to tell Voldemort where the Elder Wand is, possibly to undo some of the damage he caused, or to stop Voldemort from breaking into his old friend's tomb. In the movie, he straight-up tells Voldemort where it is, and gets killed for his trouble.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • In Half-Blood Prince, when Snape appears in the Astronomy Tower and tells Harry to be quiet.
    • One must imagine this is why the "The Tale of the Three Brothers" was animated/CGI.
    • This is pretty much the reason for any and all deviation/alterations in Deathly Hallows Part 2.
  • Rule of Funny: For much of the sixth film, theaters were cracking up -- at least until the final scenes.
  • Running Gag: Seamus Finnigan making everything explode (including his cauldron and a feather) in classes. Acknowledged/Lampshaded in Deathly Hallows Part 2, when McGonagall tells Neville to rig the wooden bridge to blow, and she suggests he enlist the help of Seamus and his talent for pyrotechnics.


  • Scars Are Forever:
    • Harry's, of course.
    • Lupin has two long, thin scars across his face.
    • And, as of Deathly Hallows, Hermione has a pretty distinctive scar herself.
    • As of Deathly Hallows, Bill Weasley's facial scars from Greyback's attack.
  • She's All Grown Up:
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Ron and Hermione. So, so much.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Subverted. In Deathly Hallows Part 1, Hedwig looks like she'd be about to get this, when Harry lets her fly away, where in the books, she got hit by a stray curse while in her cage. Subverted when she flies back and takes a blow for him.
    • Deathly Hallows also spares Wormtail (he survives Part 1, and doesn't appear at all in Part 2). It also spared Vincent Crabbe, whose actor wasn't available for the movie, so Goyle was the one to die by Fiendfyre.
      • Unless you believe that Dobby kills him, which is conceivable given that he doesn't appear in later films.
    • Voldemort does not kill Grindelwald, who tells him where the Elder Wand is unlike in the book.
    • The film version of Goblet of Fire seems to spare Barty Crouch Jr, as we do not see what happens to him after the interrogation scene and he is never seen again. In the book he is given the Dementor's Kiss.
  • Special Effect Branding: When Apparating, Death Eaters are dark smoke and Order members are streaks of white light. Don't ask why (as the more standard one from the books also appears), but it looks cool. Also falls under Color Coded for Your Convenience.
  • Stock Footage:
  • Stop Helping Me!: Harry to Dobby.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In a deleted scene from Hallow, Part 1, Arthur Weasley echoes Ron's comment that Yaxley should try an umbrella if it's raining in his office.
  • Summer Blockbuster: Azkaban, Phoenix, Prince, and Deathly Hallows Part 2 were released in the summer. The others were certainly blockbusters, but were released in November.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The first part of "Hedwig's Theme" sounds very close to "Greensleeves".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Colin Creevey being replaced by Nigel could count as this.
  • Sword Cane: A variation. Lucius Malfoy has his wand concealed in his pimp cane. See Throw It In on the Trivia subpage.
  • Take That: It was actually taken verbatim from the books and likely wasn't meant as one, but many people who hadn't read the books thought Ron trying to replace "Twilight" with "midnight" in Hermione's narration as one (it would have looked even more like a Take That had they taken the rest of the line from the book - Ron goes on to say that it sounds better when it's not twilight).
  • Tears From a Stone[context?]
  • Temporary Substitute: Goyle is replaced by "Slytherin Boy" for a few scenes in the third movie due to Josh Herdman being unavailable. Goyle in turn replaces Crabbe in the last movie.
  • Three Amigos: Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Baby Harry in the first movie, the various actors to play Tom Riddle (with 16-year-old Voldemort played by two different actors), the young Marauders, Snape, Lily, and Petunia.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Crabbe fits this trope when he doesn't appear in Deathly Hallows Part 2 (where Goyle does), although there was a reason the filmmakers cut him out (his actor Jamie Waylett was arrested for possession of drugs). Still, it wouldn't have been too hard to at least give mention to him in the Room of Requirement scene.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Luna Lovegood. Though officially she has dirty blonde hair, it does look white sometimes, depending upon the lighting.
  • World of Ham: Just about damn near every adult actor.
    • In Chamber of Secrets, Alan Rickman, Jason Isaacs, and Kenneth Branagh were apparently embroiled in a contest to see who could "out-ham" the others the most.
    • It's pretty damn clear with every line she speaks in the Deathly Hallows films that Helena Bonham Carter is now the undisputed ruler of Ham World! [1]
    • In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Helen McCrory joked that all of the adult actors hammed it up as revenge for having their subplots cut.
  1. Except for the sequence where she pretends to be Hermione's poor impression of Bellatrix, where she does a good job of being Emma Watson pretending to be someone else, who is pretending to be someone else.