The original Harry Potter series came out from 1997 to 2007. They started when films like Titanic, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Men in Black were playing in theaters. The last book was published when the iPhone was first announced and theaters were playing I am Legend and Ratatouille.
And if that's not enough to make any fan feel ancient when thinking about the series, the films and books themselves include a few little details that date them - and that will make readers cringe at how long ago they first came out. There aren't too many, because most of the story exists in the timelessness of the wizarding world, but there are definitely a few moments that date these films... although that won't stop fans loving them forever!
8 The Dursley's License Plate
Now to start off with possibly the smallest detail you can find in a film, a license plate. One of the easier ways to date the films is how the Dursley's lived. They were muggles, so they lived in a timeline and within years and places we are familiar with. It's not as easy as it may sound though, as we see much less of them in the films than we did in the books.
We do get a taste of a time stamp in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix though. Dudley gets attacked by a Dementor and we see a small glimpse of the Dursley family's car that sports a 2006 registration plate. This isn't just a way to date things, though. It's also confusing since that part of the story should be in 1995.
7 "O Children" Dance
Music typically dates any event. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry and Hermione have a sweet dance together to the song "O-Children" by Nick Cave. This song was released in 2004, taking its audience back to the times the movies were still coming out. This was also a highlighted moment in the series where the timeline didn't make sense. After all, The Deathly Hallows were occurring in 1997, not 2004.
At least the Hermione and Harry shippers got a sweet moment.
6 Ministry Phonebooth
It doesn't get more stereotypically British until you make a phonebox the entrance to the Ministry of Magic. Now it is a fact that these things are all over London, but they are still very dated and are less used. In the age of smartphones and cellphones, these phonebooths are seen as vintage and whimsical. That's probably part of why Rowling put them around in her books.
In fact, if you are not a local, these things are a must for a tourist to take a photo inside of. However, you will likely never see someone actually use the phone for something other than a photo opportunity.
5 The Clothes
A fact of the series is that wizards and witches dress in robes and when they do not, their clothes can still be a little otherworldly. However, we still see a lot of muggle clothes throughout the series. After all, it's all we know so it's a little hard to escape from even when you're a wizard or witch.
The further back into the films you go, the more the clothes go back in time as well - and plenty of these outfit choices are extremely dated, even without being the height of fashion. However, muggle clothes are way more common once you hit the third film in the franchise.
4 Spoiled In The Past
A spoiled kid of today would have vastly different items than Dudley. While Dudley is a character who is famous for always getting what he wants, he doesn't have what the kids of today have. Spoiled kids today would ask, "Where is his cellphone?" or "Why doesn't he have a laptop?"
Dudley does have a computer, but it's a desktop - something that very few kids would consider to be really impressive these days. That goes to show, you can have 36 presents on your birthday but none of those will impress kids 10 years into the future. Well, at least the number is impressive.
3 Dudley's PlayStation
It is known that Dudley owns a PlayStation, because Harry told Sirius that his cousin chucked it out the window. Not a PS4. Not a PSVR. An original PlayStation.
Of course, this is mentioned in part to show how spoiled and bratty Dudley is, and that he will destroy his fancy toys when he throws a temper tantrum. The PlayStation has also become a point of contention for picky fans, because technically, Dudley would have had to get his PlayStation before it was actually available in the UK. Some say it was a mistake on Rowling's part, while others think the family somehow got the PlayStation early in order to spoil Dudley.
2 Fourth Movie Hair
Technology was not commonly used in the wizarding world, which made the series not have much in terms of obvious time-stamps. But for the fans who paid more attention to the little details, there were trends here and there that dated the movies.
Take the fourth movie from 2005 and the hair that the protagonists had. Ron and Harry had very long hair because the shaggy look was trending. Fred and George definitely had the shaggiest hair though in that film. Hermione also started to rock the side-swept bangs which was also popular at the time.
1 Reboot Discussions
It feels like absolute madness that we may see a Harry Potter reboot happen in our lives. However, the topic has been discussed, and not just by fans.
The idea of these films being old enough to warrant a reboot is definitely enough to make long term fans feel like they are getting Dumbledore-level old!