Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (novel)

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
First UK edition cover
Written by: J. K. Rowling
Central Theme:
Synopsis: Voldemort's back, the Order that used to oppose him has reconvened, and the Ministry has managed to dig up someone even less likeable.
Genre(s): Fantasy
Series: Harry Potter
Preceded by: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (novel)
Followed by: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (novel)
First published: June 21, 2003
More Information
The Wiki Rule: Harry Potter Wiki
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"Please sit down. I am going to tell you everything."
Albus Dumbledore to Harry, and The Teaser for the book.

The fifth book in the Harry Potter series. Published in 2003. Voldemort's back, but the Ministry of Magic is in denial, so they decide the best solution is to start a Government Conspiracy and cover up all the evidence. Then they send one of their own, Dolores Umbridge, to Hogwarts to take over. At the end an even more major supporting character is Killed Off for Real, officially signaling that from now on Anyone Can Die.

Order Of The Phoenix was in the works longer than any other book in the series besides the first one. In the three-year gap between Goblet and Phoenix, speculation flew, Fanfics such as The Draco Trilogy reigned, the franchise took off as a global entertainment brand (including the film adaptations for the first two books released)... and expectations soared. After all, Goblet Of Fire had ended with Voldemort finally regaining his powers. Surely the series would become way more awesome with Voldemort returned to his former glory.

And oh boy, did it.

Character Development for Ginny and Neville also contribute to the polarization. Harry also stops being a Knight in Shining Armor, as his moral flaws are brought to light.

Tropes exclusive to this book or at least especially prominent:
  • Adults Are Useless: Throughout the book, Harry feels this way because the adults tend to keep him in the dark about what is happening, not to mention that the Ministry spends most of its energy making sure Harry and Dumbledore shut up about Voldemort by any means necessary. Subverted in the end when its explained to him they had very, very good reasons for keeping him in the dark namely, Voldemort has figured out how to read Harrys thoughts, and Harrys own plan backfired spectularly because Voldemort had also figured out how to influence his thoughts. That said, Dumbledore concedes to Harry that he, Dumbledore, could have handled the situation better and allowed Harry to get more help, and misunderstood how Voldemort was trying to manipulate him.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Throughout the book, Harry doesn't learn that speaking his mind or telling the truth about Voldemort around Umbridge is only going to get him into trouble. McGonagall calls him out on it at one point.
  • Agent Mulder: Luna Lovegood.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Harry is hated because all the students think he's an attention-seeking brat.
  • Analogy Backfire: After Dumbledore gets ousted from Hogwarts, during Harry's career consultation meeting with McGonagall where Umbridge is also present, Umbridge makes more than one attempt to disparage Harry's desire to become an Auror, eventually going so far as to state he "has as much chance of becoming an Auror as Dumbledore has of ever returning to this school", to which McGonagall responds, "A very good chance, then."
  • Anchored Ship: Harry and Cho. Her emotional issues over Cedric's death make it too difficult for her to be in a relationship. The end result is a Type 2A.
    • Not to mention that Harry, at that point in time, didn't have the emotional maturity to try and work Cho through her problems - instead, he gets angry at her for always wanting to talk about Cedric, which made things a lot more difficult for them. Harsher in Hindsight, in that if they had both waited until they were both more stable emotionally, they could have gotten together and had a happy relationship.
  • Angrish: Harry being unable to finish sentences while tearing apart Dumbledore's office after Sirius is killed.
  • Arrested for Heroism: Harry is hit with this after the Dementor attack. The Ministry even declares him expelled him from Hogwarts until Dumbledore reminds them that it's kind of his job to decide who's expelled from his own school.
  • Ascended Extra: Mrs. Figg, the Crazy Cat Lady glimpsed briefly in Sorcerer's Stone turns out to be a Squib -- a mundane child of magical parents, who retains the ability to see the magical world -- and to have been keeping an eye on Harry for years.)
  • Asshole Victim: Umbridge becomes this when she is kidnapped by a pack of centaurs after foolishly insulting them to their faces. Unfortunately, they don't kill her though.
  • Bad Dreams: Harry, displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Badass Grandpa: Dumbledore. Although this is well known in the previous books, this is the book where he truly confirms it, as it's the first time he appears in combat when he battles with Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic.
    • Voldemort, nearly seventy, holds his own against Dumbledore until the arrival of the Ministry.
      • Voldy had recently recreated his body, so his physical age was debatable at this point.
  • Battle-Interrupting Shout: When Snape and Sirius are on the verge of dueling, Harry places himself between them, which makes little difference until the Weasley family walks in.
  • Batman Gambit: Voldemort luring Harry to the Department of Mysteries by making it seem that Sirius was in danger. He first attempted to lure him there by simply showing him the DoM and the Hall of Prophecy, counting on Harry's natural curiosity, but Harry had no idea there was a prophecy about him in the first place.
  • Beef Bandage: Hagrid does this using dragon meat.
  • Berserk Button: Of a sort - badmouthing her father or The Quibbler appears to be one for Luna - she isn't the type to fly into a rage, but it does cause a major change in demeanor, which, compared to her normal dreamy, imperturbable personality, is fairly noticeable.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: This time, the main (though separate) antagonists are Voldemort (naturally) and Cornelius Fudge
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Twice in a row: Harry and his friends are saved from the Death Eaters by members of the Order (Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, Kingsley, and the real Mad-Eye Moody), then when the Death Eaters appear to gain the upper hand over the Order, Dumbledore himself arrives and saves the day, rounding up most of the Death Eaters within a matter of seconds.
    • Grawp the Giant shows up to save Harry and Hermoine from the Centaurs.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Harry and Cho.
  • Big Entrance: Dumbledore makes one of these after professor Trelawney has been sacked, by opening the castle's huge double doors by himself and striding through them. Harry notes how impressive he can make the simple act of walking through a door.
  • Big Lie: The Ministry of Magic and the Daily Prophet attempt a Big Lie when they begin their campaign to discredit Dumbledore and paint Harry Potter as a possibly-insane attention-seeking liar. They don't entirely succeed, but they do convince enough people to cause problems for both Dumbledore and Harry.
  • Big Little Brother: Grawp for Hagrid. Lampshaded when Hagrid says that Grawp is his "little brother" and the Trio gives him weird looks.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dolores Umbridge is arguably the queen of this trope. Wearing all pink and having a sickeningly sweet façade doesn't change the fact that she's probably the biggest bitch in the history of written fiction.
  • Black Shirt: Filch and Malfoy's gang are happy to help Umbridge. Unfortunately for them, this makes them fair game when everyone starts rebelling against her.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Oddly averted, where Voldemort apparently has learned his lesson and tries to kill Harry quickly, only to be stopped by Dumbledore.
  • Brain In a Jar: "Accio Brain!"
  • Brick Joke: Trelawney's prediction that Umbridge would be in grave danger. Fulfilled by a herd of angry centaurs.
    • The remedy Harry uses on his hand, which he recommends to Lee Jordan, is the same thing Lee recommends to Fred and George for their Professor Guinea Pig-induced posterior boils.
  • Broken Pedestal: James Potter He was a bully when he was Harry's age.
  • Broken Record/Happy Dance: "He got off, he got off, he got off..."
  • Butt Monkey: The Auror Dawlish appears twice in this book: The first time, he is effortlessly knocked out by Dumbledore during the latter's attempted arrest. The second time, he is beaten to a pulp by Hagrid during his attempted arrest.
    • Umbridge also serves as this thanks to Peeves, the twins, and a pack of centaurs, but she deserves every bit of it.
  • Cardboard Prison: Voldemort manages to turn Azkaban from The Alcatraz to this. Of course it helps when every guard is not-so-secretly on his side.
  • Care Bear Stare: How Voldemort was driven out of Harry's mind after possessing him.
    • A really dark example, actually, considering what finally ousts Voldemort is Harry wishing he could die, so that he could be with Sirius.
      • And that itself is excellent Fridge Brilliance, since we later find out that Voldemort's biggest goal is never to have to die, and Harry wishing to (and for the sake of a loved one) goes against Voldemort's very core.
  • The Cassandra: Harry, with his claims that Voldemort has returned.
  • Cassandra Truth: Both Harry's claims of Voldemort returning and pretty much anything Luna says. With Harry there's really no excuse given his track record; the Philosopher's Stone being stolen, not being the one petrifying Muggleborns, Sirius being innocent, etc. Though with Luna, it's really a toss up. Some of the stuff she claims turns out to be true. Others not so much.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The series has its own page.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Done by a centaur to Umbridge after she offends them -- not that it stops her from insulting them some more.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Who else? Luna "Loony" Lovegood.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Done by both Umbridge to the students and Voldemort to his followers.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Bellatrix.
  • Commander Contrarian: Zacharias Smith.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Dolores Umbridge being (possibly) gang-raped by the Centaurs in the Forbidden Forest should qualify. Also a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Cool Teacher: Harry.
  • Corporal Punishment: Umbridge does not hesitate to use it on "problematic" students... to the tune of Writing Lines with a quill that carves the words into their hand and uses their own blood as ink.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Hagrid attempts to pass off the injuries he got from his younger full-blooded giant brother Grawp by telling Umbridge that he tripped. When Harry returns to the Gryffindor common room with a bleeding hand after his detention with Umbridge, Ron notices and Harry claims that "it's nothing." Ron, however, refuses to believe this.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Tonks.
  • Dark Action Girl: Bellatrix.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Thestrals
  • Deer in the Headlights: Harry taunts Bellatrix over how Voldemort can't hear her frantic apologies for losing the prophecy. Then Voldemort appears right in front of him and announces that this time, he's just going to kill Harry without any more theatrics. Oh Crap indeed.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: Dolores Umbridge's sadistic abuses of her position gave us one more reason to call into question whether Snape was really so villainous as he seemed; by comparison, he seemed almost a lovable grouch.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Phineas Nigellus Black basically means "Black Black Black."
  • Derailing Love Interests: While justified, Cho becomes a Clingy Jealous Girl after hooking up with Harry. They didn't last that long.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Hogwarts is in the Highlands of Scotland, far enough north that during the month of June, it never gets completely dark. So how was the Astronomy OWL conducted as stated in the book?
    • Orion, one of the constellations that the students have to find for the exam, is not visible in the Northern Hemisphere during the summer months.
    • But it's okay because they're magic.
  • Divided We Fall: The Ministry of Magic, due to the rivalry that Fudge believes to exist between him and Dumbledore.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Umbridge's outright medieval torture of the children under her supervision, without any oversight or repercussion from anyone the students might tell, is very reminiscent of the Catholic schools/churches abuses of the past several decades.
  • Domestic Abuser: It's implied that Snape's father was at the very least verbally abusive to Snape's mother, and that this was a large contributing factor in his anti-Muggle attitudes.
  • Doorstopper: Over 750 pages no matter which edition.
  • Double Standard: In-universe. Girls are allowed to enter the boys' dormitories, but try to do the opposite and you get magically rebuffed. Ron finds this out the hard way and immediately points out the double standard (Hermione admits it's an 'old-fashioned rule').
  • Do Wrong Right: When Peeves tries to do a Falling Chandelier of Doom to Umbridge...

Professor McGonagall: It unscrews the other way.

  • Dream Spying: Harry can sometimes see through Voldemort's mind, but the link is two-way.
  • Either/Or Prophecy: A two-for-one deal, to boot.
  • Elevator Floor Announcement: In the Ministry of Magic, a voice describes the departments on each floor until Harry and Mr. Weasley get to the floor that has both the courtroom and the Department of Mysteries.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Invoked. When Harry's secret group of students was caught and brought before the headmaster, Dumbledore claimed responsibility for the whole thing, noting how their charter specifically read "Dumbledore's Army, not Potter's Army".
  • Evil Plan: For this book, Voldemort has his sights set on a prophecy stored in the Ministry of Magic that could give him an edge in killing Harry. Other than that he has to rebuild his organization.
  • Evil Teacher: Dolores Umbridge.
  • Exit Pursued By A Poltergeist And A Mob Of Cheering Students: Umbridge.
  • The Face: Dolores Umbridge exploited this trope. She doesn't want Hogwarts students trained in offensive magic so fills the Defense Against the Dark Arts class with lessons like 'negiotation' and 'non-retaliation' on the premise that these skills are just as important for future Auror teams as curses and counter-curses.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Dolores Umbridge's introduction.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Peeves attempts to invoke this.
  • Fantastic Racism: Umbridge hates "filthy half-breeds".
    • Bonus points to JKR, because in the seventh book this turns out to be a very good theoretical reason for Umbridge's hatred of Muggle-borns. It can easily be taken as foreshadowing her later actions.
  • Feed It with Fire: Fred & George's trick fireworks.
  • Fired Teacher: Three examples. Professor Trelawney and Hagrid during the story, and Umbridge at the end.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Cho has a lot of difficulty being able to have a relationship with Harry due to Cedric's death. Harry also has to deal with this after Cho breaks up with him.
  • First Kiss: Harry has this with Cho Under the Mistletoe.
  • Five-Man Band: The best example in the series with the D.A. in the ministry.
  • Foreshadowing: Ginny is more present in this book than in the previous four combined, and often makes Cho look bad. Neville also begins to show signs of life as well; notably, he's still fighting when all the other kids, who are notably better wizards than him, have already been defeated. Unfortunately, this just shows the danger in relying on Fridge Brilliance: Rowling did it all so subtly that a lot of people missed it.
    • "Ginny got the Snitch right out from under [Cho's] nose" Could it be more obvious?
    • Also, it's Ginny's idea of "Dumbledore's Army" that is used, instead of Cho's more generic "Defense Association".
    • And she's usually the one who snaps Harry out of his numerous funks over the course of the book, including when he's convinced he's being possessed by Voldemort. She has been possessed by him, and could have told Harry exactly what it felt like, if he'd bothered to ask.
  • Golden Mean Fallacy: Umbridge uses this in her opening speech, suggesting that she represents a middle ground between tradition and change. If that's so, we'd hate to see what "change" looks like.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Ministry of Magic's coverup of Voldemort's return.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Harry develops this in this book, providing more fuel for those who say he has post-traumatic stress disorder on account of the Bad Dreams he has of his encounter in the graveyard in the previous book.
  • Hate Sink: Umbridge's character pretty much exists solely to be this. She represents the worse aspects of the Ministry of Magic, such as scrutinizing her students and fellow teachers and being the sort of villainess whom most people encounter in real life. It is because of this that a lot of fans tend to view her as a more detestable villain than Voldemort, especially since the latter has a ton of likeable quirks and a sympathetic backstory.
  • The Heavy: Dolores Umbridge is this to Cornelius Fudge.
  • Heroic BSOD: Harry briefly experiences this when he thinks Voldemort might be possessing him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The spell James uses to make Snape hang upside down in the air? In the next book, we find out Snape invented it.
  • Idiot Ball: A minor example with major consequences: Harry forgetting Snape's membership in the Order. (He calls himself on it too.)
    • Harry also forgets about the two-way mirror Sirius gave him after Christmas. He doesn't know exactly what it is, but he does know it's a communication device. This could be because he was determined not to use it before even finding out what it was, thinking that he didn't want to be the one to lure Sirius out of hiding (and look how well that works out for him!).
  • If We Survive This: Before his trial, Harry mentally promises to add ten galleons to the charity fountain if he's found not guilty. He ends up emptying his whole money-bag.
  • I See Them, Too: Harry, Luna, and the Thestrals.
    • She was also the only other character to hear the same murmuring from behind the veil that Harry did.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Though the concept of stitches had been around for years prior to the mid 90s (since at least 500 BCE), it had never been picked up by the wizarding world, where much better healing methods made stitches look primitive. As a result, Molly scoffs at Arthur for using stitches as a method to try to close his venom wound that magic couldn't close. Unfortunately for him, stitches don't work either.

Molly Weasley: Now Arthur, it sounds like you've been trying to sew your skin back together, but even you wouldn't be that stupid...
Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Bill: [variations on "We're going to get a cup of tea. "]

  • Jerkass: Umbridge is a pretty big one.
    • Harry acts as one towards his friends throughout the book, especially near the beginning when he's seething at being left out of the loop after nearly dying to let everyone know Voldemort's back.
    • Percy and Fudge, two characters who were mildly annoying at worst up until now, take a level in Jerk Ass in this book.
  • Jerk Jock: James Potter is revealed to have been this.
  • Just a Kid: Molly and Lupin invoke this when the Order withholds information from Harry.
  • Kangaroo Court: Fudge's attempt to discredit Harry is so biased that it's easy for Dumbledore to point out gaping holes in the court procedure.
  • Kick the Dog: Mrs. Weasley telling Sirius that he was a poor godfather because he was in prison for 13 years. She was motivated out of concern for Harry, and they do make up at Christmas, but seriously: not cool, Mrs. Weasley.
    • EVERYTHING Umbridge does. She can't walk down a hallway without finding a dog to kick.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: In the book, Cho leans in to kiss Harry, and the paragraph ends, then cutting to a few minutes later.
  • La Résistance: Dumbledore's Army, comprised of Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws.
  • Last-Name Basis: Tonks, who hates her first name, Nymphadora (who can blame her, really?) and insists on being addressed only by her last.
    • One fan once asked Rowling why Tonks didn't go by her middle name. Rowling's response was "Her middle name is Vepucula," which isn't much better.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Moody telling Vernon, "what you don't know could fill several books."
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Inquisitorial Squad, which seems to be made up of entirely Slytherins.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: When Hermione demands to know what Ron thinks about Harry's plan to contact Sirius via Umbridge's fire, Harry is reminded of Molly and Arthur at the beginning of the book...
  • Like a Son to Me: Molly about Harry, as if it wasn't clear already. Despite the huge fight going on when she says it, it's something of a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Harry isn't allowed to attend the Order's meetings.
  • Lured into a Trap: Despite Harry's vision, Voldemort isn't holding Sirius in the Department of Mysteries. Instead, it's a Death Eater ambush.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Weasley is our King", doubles an Ironic Echo to the Slytherins.
  • Mildly Military: The Order. Despite fighting against a powerful dark wizard with mind control they employ very few precautions besides the Fidelius charm. Among other examples, Moody comes to escort Harry, then realizes that he has no way of confirming Harry's identity besides using Veritaserum, which Word of God confirms is unreliable against a prepared dark wizard.
  • Mind Rape: Revealed to be an important plot point. Snape reveals that Voldemort loves doing this to his victims, and his teaching Harry Occlumency is the defense against it. Voldemort does attempt this on Harry near the end of the book but fails.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Harry, Ron, and Hermione are already-mobilized misfits, but they're joined by Neville (who Took a Level in Badass); Ginny, who up to that point was nearly an extra and only Ron's little sister; and Luna, Hogwarts's own Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Umbridge, again, who fits this trope to a T, combining it with Sadist Teacher and Complete Monster, while addressing the students like they're five year olds. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows shows that she still acts this way outside of the classroom as well.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Cho gets this impression of Harry on their date, thanks to his poor choice of words in describing his meeting with Hermione later.
  • The Mole: Kreacher and Marietta Edgecombe.
  • Mood Whiplash: Harry's rather humorous dream about him entering the Room of Requirement to put up some Christmas decoration shaped like Dobby's head abruptly changes into a vision about Voldemort's serpent Nagini brutally wounding Mr Weasley.
    • The montage following Umbridge's promotion to High Inquisitor is played for laughs, especially the scenes where she mocks Snape and Trelawney on their teaching credentials. Cut to Trelawney being fired and nearly thrown out of Hogwarts, which isn't funny at all.
    • "Christmas on the Closed Ward". The chapter starts with Molly and Arthur bickering, moves on to memoryless Gilderoy Lockhart, both of which are funny and/or heartwarming, then ends with the trio and Ginny meeting Neville and his parents, who have been tortured into insanity, to the point they can't even recognise him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Nice job finding the prophecy so that the Death Eaters can take it and drawing Sirius out of hiding so that he's killed, Harry!
  • Nice to the Waiter: Sirius fails to live up to the advice he gave the trio in the last book. He has nothing against house-elves in general, but can't stand the way Kreacher constantly parrots the beliefs of the family he hated.
    • Word of God herself stated this particular trait of Sirius in her official website.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Sirius to Kreacher, with tragic consequences. Of course, Kreacher's opinion of him had been pretty low ever since Sirius ran away from home.
  • No Mere Windmill: People cling on to the belief that Voldemort can not have returned. Thus they let the dark lord grow in power undisturbed, while they accuse Harry of being a Windmill Crusader and Dumbledore of being a Manipulative Bastard using this Windmill Political for some shadowy political game.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Averted when the Daily Prophet, Wizarding England's primary newspaper, does a massive (and successful) smear campaign on Harry and Dumbledore.
    • And then played straight when the Ministry of Magic's propaganda campaign against Harry's story that Voldemort has returned is undermined when Umbridge bans a copy of The Quibbler that tells Harry's story about his encounter with Voldemort. The issue is then sold out and must be reprinted due to curiosity about why it was banned, in a textbook example of the Streisand Effect. This could also possibly be a Take That to all the Moral Guardians who've attacked the series, only ensuring it became more successful.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Filch almost manages to become this - after four books of being an empty threat, he's given the authority to hand out the sadistic punishments he's always dreamed of once Umbridge takes over. The only problem is that, by that point, there are so many troublemakers he doesn't know who to go after first.
  • The Not-So-Harmless Punishment: Harry is punished for speaking out against Umbridge in class by being made to write lines... with a magic quill that cuts his skin and takes his own blood as ink.
  • The Oathbreaker: Marietta; told the location of their secret hideout to Umbridge after signing a magical contract claiming she wouldn't do that. As a result she had the word "SNEAK" appear on her face in pimples and was shunned by her classmates.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Harry destroying Dumbledore's office was cut out of The Film of the Book.
    • Possibly with good reason. While it's kind of awesome in the book, it's likely that actually seeing Harry ranting and yelling while breaking stuff, with Dumbledore just standing there watching, could very easily have become Narm of the highest order. Especially for people who thought the scene in the book was Narm anyway.
  • Offstage Villainy: Dolores Umbridge, arguably the most evil non-Death Eater villain in the series, is seen threatening a few characters with the Cruciatus Curse and the Dementor's Kiss, but whether she ever actually subjects anyone to these things remains unknown.
  • Oh Crap: Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard on the planet, causes this reaction when Fudge comes to arrest him.

Dumbledore: Well, it's just that you seem to be labouring under the delusion that I am going to...what is the phrase? Ah, "Come quietly".

    • Also, Bellatrix, described continuously as extremely evil and sadistic and seemingly not afraid of anything, has this reaction when Harry reveals to her that the prophecy Voldemort sent her to retrieve has been destroyed.
  • Only Sane Man: Madame Bones compared to the rest of the Ministry. Pity she's dead now.
  • Our Founder: The statue at the Ministry of Magic.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: According to Nearly Headless Nick, only wizards in the HP-verse can become ghosts.
  • Out-Gambitted: Dumbledore, who acknowledges that his hiding of information made it considerably easier for Voldemort to trick Harry.
  • Pair the Spares: Inverted, in a piece of foreshadowing so indirect that it was probably put in by Rowling just to amuse herself. You start by asking yourself what exactly the purpose of Michael Corner and Cho Chang hooking up was...
  • Papa Wolf: When Umbridge goes rough on one of the students, we find out why Dumbledore is respected and feared. He drops the nice act and gives her a clear warning.
  • Performance Anxiety: Ron suffers from this when playing Keeper -- he can't defend well when he knows that people are watching. He gets better, resulting in Gryffindor winning the Quidditch Cup.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Harry. Due to a combination of Angst/Wangst and being Locked Out of the Loop Harry rarely does anything active unless Dumbledore orders him to do it (Occlumency) or Hermione convinces him that it's a good idea (Dumbledore's Army, the interview).
  • Playing Sick: The Skiving Snackboxes (and joke candies contained within), invented by Fred and George, serve this purpose for their takers.
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Umbridge's Fantastic Racism against non-humans and Muggle-borns is just one more of her many abhorrent character traits.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Basis of the plot really.
  • Prison Break: Part of the plot when Voldemort breaks a number of death eaters out of Azkaban. Most notably, Bellatrix Lestrange.
  • Protectorate: Dumbledore is this when he defends Harry from Voldemort, beyond question.
  • Public Secret Message: Harry alerts Snape while making it possible to convince Umbridge he was shouting gibberish, by yelling "He's got Padfoot at the place where it's hidden!" to the entire room. Snape understands that "Padfoot" was Sirius' old nickname and "the place" was a location that Snape knows Harry's been seeing in his dreams.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Harry, at Dumbledore after Sirius' death.
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder: Used for Mood Whiplash when Harry, before seeing Mr. Weasley attacked by Nagini, has a dream in which Cho Chang finds him in the Room of Requirement and demands Chocolate Frog cards while he's trying to put up Christmas decorations shaped like Dobby's head.
  • Remembered Too Late: Harry forgets a gift Siruis gave him that could have allowed him to see through a trap.
  • Rules Lawyer: Literally, as Dumbledore acts as Harry's lawyer...er, Witness for the Defense, during Harry's hearing. In a rather unusual take on this trope, Dumbledore is forced to play Rules Lawyer because the Wizengamot are deliberately ignoring their own laws.
  • Sadist Teacher: Umbridge. Could be The Trope Namer.
  • Scotty Time: Umbridge apparently thinks brewing Veritaserum works this way. It doesn't, as it needs to be brewed under the light of a full moon, the nearest of which is several weeks away. In both the movie and book she depleted his stock herself; in the book by putting the entire vial in Harry's tea (which he is intelligent enough not to drink) while she's interrogating him, and in the movie by interrogating every student in the school. It's revealed in the movie that the reason that the DA is found out is that she uses it on Cho, forcing her to give up the location of the Room of Requirement.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Averted. Voldemort does not punish Rookwood for informing him that his plan to retrieve the prophecy could never have worked. The man who gave him the wrong information in the first place, however...
  • Shut Up, Kirk / "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Harry receives an epic one from Prof. Phineas Nigellus Black.
  • Single Tear: Dumbledore.
  • Six-Student Clique: In the Ministry of Magic scenes.
  • Soap Punishment: Casting the cleaning spell Scourgify on a human will result in their mouth being washed out with soap. James Potter used it this way on Snape in the "Snape's Worst Memory" flashback.
  • Stepford Smiler: Again, Umbridge. This is one of the reasons she pulls off her Complete Monster routine so effectively.
  • Streisand Effect: Umbridge's ban on the issue of The Quibbler with Harry's interview just turns it into the most pirated and distributed newspaper at Hogwarts.
  • Surprise Witness: Mrs. Figg during Harry's trial.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Harry begins throwing and smashing random objects in Dumbledore's office, wanting an explanation about everything that's been going on from Dumbledore, who realizes that he must finally tell Harry the Awful Truth.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: In-universe example; part of the reason Harry hates Umbridge's collection of porcelain plates with kittens painted on them is because he finds them sickeningly cute.
    • Also in-universe, Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop, where Harry and Cho go to on Valentine's Day. Cho thinks the shop is cute; Harry finds it sickening.
  • Tempting Fate: Sirius, right before Bellatrix kills him.
  • There Are No Therapists: Shouldn't Cho have someone to talk to about her boyfriend's death besides Harry? That could have spared them both a lot of pain.
    • Not to mention Harry and his post-traumatic stress disorder after what happened in the graveyard.
  • There Should Be a Law: Played with twice by Fudge and Umbridge. During Harry's trial Dumbledore states that there is no law stating that the Ministry can hand out school punishment; Fudge murmurs "Laws can be changed". When Dumbledore over-rules Umbridge, forcing her to reform the Gryffindor Quidditch team, she calls up Fudge and receives a nice educational decree ("Oh not another one!") giving her absolute power.
  • Tonight Someone Dies: Sirius.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ginny, after having been Demoted to Extra for the two previous installments. Neville's Badass tendencies begin to show as well.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fudge thinks that Albus freakin' Dumbledore, the greatest wizard in the world, is going to come quietly.
    • Fudge's overall stupidity on Voldemort's return ends up being a subversion of this trope. Voldemort realizes that it's actually in his own best interst to leave Fudge alone and allow him to continue to misrule the Ministry and persecute the people who'd stand the best chance against Voldemort.
    • Calling a group of centaurs armed with bows and arrows "filthy half-breeds"? Really, Umbridge, you've got no-one to blame but yourself for that one.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Dumbledore's Army.
  • Trauma Swing: Harry does one of these at the start of the book.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Dolores Umbridge's horrible misrule. So much in fact, that she was the former Trope Namer.
  • Under the Mistletoe: Harry gets his first kiss with Cho in this manner. In the book, just prior to it, he's under it with Luna, who doesn't kiss him, much to the dismay of their shippers. Luna, however, doesn't even seem to understand what mistletoe is for.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: As a high-ranking and distinguished Ministry official, Umbridge is held in high regard by many, including Percy Weasley and her boss, Cornelius Fudge. Because of this, her child abuse and Fantastic Racism are either overlooked or ignored.
    • Subverted with Lucius Malfoy, who is thrown into Azkaban at the end of this book.
  • The War Has Just Begun
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ginny calls Harry out for forgetting she was possessed by Voldemort, and thus knows what it feels like, while he was trying to hide from his friends.
    • Phineas' portrait gives Harry the What the Hell, Hero? treatment when he's about to flee at Christmas.
  • Why Didn't You Just Say So?: Most of the ending of the book would have been avoided if it weren't for Poor Communication Kills.
  • World's Shortest Book: Inverted.

"I am not aware that it is any of your business what goes on in my house--"
"I expect what you're not aware of would fill several books, Dursley," growled Moody.

  • Writing Lines: Umbridge forces Harry to do this every day, with a painful twist -- the quill magically carves the words being written into his hand, and the ink is his own blood.