The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most coveted intellectual properties of all time. Ask any person who's seen these movies or read the books — casual or otherwise — and you'll hear a litany of reasons as to why this franchise is still one of the biggest talking points, even after the end of its main run. The characters, the story, the setting — the sheer number of elements one can praise about this franchise is nothing short of endless. This mythos that the series has generated around itself gave birth to a fandom that is rabid in every sense of the word, and one need only take a look at the sheer number of additional content that has stoked the flames of this fanbase. From additional lore in the form of Pottermore to another full-blown franchise in the form of Fantastic Beasts — the quality of this content is quite debatable, but this is a conversation saved for a later date.
However, the fact of the matter is that the Harry Potter series isn't exactly all that perfect. In fact, there are several problems in the movies that absolutely need to be addressed, since they end up breaking immersion to a considerable extent. While most fans would prefer to ignore these grievous mistakes in the movies, the fact of the matter is that mere ignorance can't come into play when it comes to talking about these egregious mistakes. Here are 25 such mistakes in the Harry Potter movies that warrant a further look.
24 You Can't Cast Spells Without Uttering Its Incantation!
One of the biggest annoyances in the films started from the fifth movie onwards when the wizards started casting spells without uttering the incantation for said spell.
This was a major problem, since casting spells without a single word should not be possible.
In fact, it's a major bending of rules in the Harry Potter universe since only the best wizards could cast spells without having to speak the name of said spell. It's a minor detail, but people who've read the books would find this to be a major annoyance nevertheless.
23 Harry Switches Sides In The Banquet Scene After He's Sorted Into Gryffindor
The Harry Potter movies are generally known for boasting high levels of quality, and one need only take a look at the amazing production values of the first one to understand what we're talking about.
However, mistakes are still quite prevalent.
Take the first banquet scene as an example, after Harry is sorted into Gryffindor. During one shot, he's shown to be sitting next to Fred (or is it George?). However, after the next cut, he's shown to be next to Hermione instead, who was sitting opposite to him prior to that.
22 Candles Clearly Hanging From Wires After Quirrell Faints In The Great Hall
The scene showing the Great Hall in the first movie is one of the most wondrous shots in the first Harry Potter movie, enthralling kids from all over the world with the sheer beauty of a fantasy that pretty much anyone would love to live in.
The floating candles were definitely one of the highlights of the Great Hall.
Children who were left wondering how these candles were floating in the movie — aside from, y'know, magic — had the answer right in front of them during one goof-up. In the scene after Quirrell announces the threat of the troll and faints, the shot pans over to Minerva McGonagall. During this shot, you can clearly see wires supporting the "floating" candles behind her.
21 Harry's Wound Changes Shape Near The End Of The Goblet Of Fire
You know what? Lemme just state right out the bat that covering real wounds is way easier than creating fake ones. After all, how would one even remember where to put said wound for continuity purposes? Simply stating "Harry's left cheek" would not be the best course of action to take.
The faltering of this practice can be seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where Harry seems to have a permanently scarred face altogether but that's a different story. Instead, let's focus on the fact that Harry's wound actually changes shape in two different scenes, which is just so weird.
20 Cameraman Spotted During Dueling Scene
How hard is it to move away from a shot if that's exactly what your job entails?! Well, not really, but most cameramen should know when the camera is on them in the first place? To be honest, that also might be the director's fault, but let's shelve this train of thought for a second.
The reason why we became so passionate about this is because of this — during the dueling clash between Draco and Harry, there's a scene where the camera pans over and... well, one's immersion is completely ruined.
We say this because you can clearly see a cameraman behind the students, catching his own shot of the action.
19 An Obvious Fake Bird When Harry And Ron Crash Into Platform 9 3/4
Chamber Of Secrets is a rather dark entry into the Harry Potter universe... or at least, that's what most kids believe since the franchise was gradually shifting into a darker tone anyway.
This movie features Dobby, the beloved house-elf who initially seems like a thorn in Harry's side since he constantly tried to impede Harry's journey to Hogwarts — although that was for a viable reason.
One such obstacle put in Harry's path was the secret passage to Platform 9 3/4, where both Harry and Ron crash with a resounding thud. However, during this shot, one might notice that Hedwig doesn't exactly look natural... or alive, to be honest.
Well, this is because it's actually a bird prop, and now we're kinda thankful that no owls were harmed in the making of this movie.
18 Ron's Book Appears And Disappears During The Hippogriff Class With Hagrid
Prisoner of Azkaban is widely considered by many to be the best Harry Potter movie around, but even a great movie like this has a few goof-ups when it came to the screenplay. One such mistake comes during the iconic class with Hagrid where Harry learns how to ride Buckbeak, the Hippogriff.
During this scene, it seems that the director had no idea whether to put Ron's book in his hand or not. We say this because there are shots with Ron carrying a book, while other shots have this book completely missing.
17 Voldemort's Wand Switches Positions In Wormtail's Coat
The Goblet Of Fire continues the trend of Harry Potter movies slowly becoming darker and darker over time, with the first instances of the Unforgivable Curses being introduced and used quite a bit. These three spells would become quite prevalent over time, with the Avada Kedavra curse becoming quite prominent due to its unfortunate use on Cedric Diggory.
However, this depressing scene is instantly followed by a baffling one, where — after Voldermort becomes whole again — he asks Pettigrew for his wand. There's a problem in this scene though — while Peter initially put the wand in his left coat pocket, he takes it out from his right later.
16 Umbridge's Spoon Appears And Disappears While Giving Harry Detention
Dolores Umbridge is one of the most reviled characters amongst the Harry Potter fandom, and it's easy to see why this is the case. After all, the fact of the matter is that anyone's who's seen the movies or read the books knows just how vile this character can be. After all, no normal person gives detention to a student that causes scars to form on their hand!
Keen-eyed moviegoers might've noticed one flaw in the manner in which this detention scene was presented — the tea that Umbridge is drinking from doesn't have a spoon next to it on the saucer... until it suddenly does.
15 Dudley's Shorts Change Their Design In The Opening Scene Of Order Of The Phoenix
This might be a really minor thing that is better off not mentioned only, but we're still going to do it nevertheless. The introductory scene of The Order Of The Phoenix is quite strong, with Harry fighting off a bunch of Dementors in a bid to defend himself and Dudley.
However, not all is well with this scene. While it might be a small nitpick, Dudley's shorts actually change their design from the time he's giving Harry a hard time to the point where he's caught out by the Dementors.
Told you it was minor.
14 When Hermione Is Grabbed By Grawp, Her Legs Are Clearly Cut Off
Remember Grawp? Nah, we don't either. After all, The Order Of The Phoenix is the weakest book and movie in the Harry Potter franchise. With so many unnecessary details padded on, it's evident that not many people would look back on this chapter of Harry's life fondly.
Anyway, there's a point where the gang meets Grawp in the Forbidden Forest, where he proceeds to scare everyone — including the audience, because Emma Watson — by grabbing Hermione. While she's getting lifted up, however, one can clearly see that her legs were cut off as a result of bad CGI, meaning that the entire thing was a ruse.
13 The Note That Fred Passes To Ron Changes By The Time We Get To See It
While the Goblet Of Fire might not exactly be a heartwarming movie, the fact of the matter is that there are still several light-hearted scenes in the movie regardless. Take, for example, the events leading up to the Yule Ball. From Ron dancing with McGonagall to the hilarious scene where Snape keeps on whacking Harry and Ron as they talk "silently" in the library — everything's quite funny here.
However, what's quite unenchanting about this scene is the note that Fred (or George, I'll never get that right) passes over a note to Ron that has four lines written on it. However, by the time Ron reads the note, it becomes a three-line message.
Now I'm curious — what did that original note say?
12 Clearly Visible Battery Packs In The Prisoner Of Azkaban
The Prisoner Of Azkaban might be widely touted as the best Harry Potter movie of the lot, but that doesn't mean that it's completely perfect. This is a statement we've already made before, and it holds true the scene where the magical trio position themselves to save Buckbeak.
However, there's a problem that comes up here — it's clearly visible that Harry and Hermione are both carrying battery packs with them as they move around. It's so painfully obvious now that it's seared in our brains every time we watch this movie.
11 The Orange Towel Keep On Changing Positions At The Burrow
Ah, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It's a weird movie for a romance to light up, but that's what happens with Harry when he finally develops feelings for Ginny. Well, during the scene where they both talk in The Burrow, there's a slight annoyance in the mix.
While Harry and Ginny are sitting on the couch, there's a towel on the furniture that keeps on changing positions for no reason whatsoever. It's a minor hiccup in a movie that is — otherwise — has avoided most of these goof-ups.
10 Hermione's Hair Changes Its Style In The First Movie
We've already talked about the first movie at length, so let's not mince words and get to another great scene — Harry's first broom ride. It's one of the few things that Harry is better at than Hermione — aside from Defence Against The Dark Arts — and it clearly shows... since the latter isn't even able to keep her hair straight during the class.
It's probably a minor oversight, but it's something that needs to be accounted for nevertheless — Hermione's hair goes from crimped to straight, which is quite weird indeed.
9 Ron's Hair Parting Switches Sides After Meeting Harry For The First Time
Speaking of hairstyles that screw up during scenes, who better to talk about than Ron Weasley. The first time both these kids end up meeting is quite memorable indeed, with the nature of fate being that both of them sat in the same cabin as they exchanged pleasantries.
However, fans with a keen eye would've noticed a minor screw-up when it came to this scene — Ron's hair goes from a middle parting to a side parting, which is definitely quite weird.
8 Quirrell Had Sideburns While Wearing A Turban But Ended Up Being Completely Bald Near The End
But hey, at least Ron has some hair in the first place. The same can't be said for Professor Quirrell, who had to cover his bald caricature with a turban. However, this was for a rather sinister purpose, that we would learn about later.
Unfortunately, there's a mistake in how Quirrell is portrayed. There's a time when we can clearly see Quirrell's sideburns... but when he takes off his turban and reveals the spirit of Voldemort on the back of his head, he's revealed to be completely bald.
7 Harry's Wound Apparently Being Cleaned Midway While Taking To Ginny
The Chamber Of Secrets is full of tiny little mistakes and oddities, including this one. While fighting the Basilisk, Harry cuts himself on its poisonous fang. On the verge of demise, Fawkes the Phoenix comes and sheds its tears, thus cleaning the wound of any poison.
However, it's not the tears were a cleaning agent — Harry's arm was still messed up nevertheless. The state of this wound would inexplicably fix itself over time, and what used to be a rather dirty hand became quite... tame, for lack of a better word.
6 A Book That Opens Itself In Part One Of The Deathly Hallows
Again, this is a small nitpick. We get it. But at the end of the day, mistakes are mistakes, and even massive budgets and investments can't account for the removal of all goof-ups in a movie. This is the case with Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows — Part 1, where Harry and Hermione sit down to investigate a clue.
During this shot, there's a book behind them that is closed at the end. However, as the shot progresses, the book is shown to be open. This brings a bunch of questions to mind, all of which don't have any movie-canon answers.
5 Visible Wires While Harry Is Hanging From His Broom
The first ever Quidditch match that is showcased on the big screen is nothing short of a spectacle, featuring a sport that would become the stuff of legends in pop culture. However, not all goes well with Harry's first match, as his broom is tampered with by Quirrell.
Thankfully, we all knew that Harry would never fall, and not just because the main protagonist wouldn't be shelved so soon. Rather, it's because there are a bunch of wires clearly holding Daniel Radcliffe to the broomstick.
4 A Clear Stunt Double Pretending To Be Ron As His Horse Is Destroyed
But hey, no matter what you might say about this previous, the fact of the matter is that Radcliffe at least was present during this scene. The same can't be said for Rupert Grint, who wasn't really all that damaged by the horse shattering under him during the trials leading to the Sorcerer's Stone.
Instead, it was actually a stunt double filling in for the role of falling and perhaps incurring injuries for the sole purpose of other people's entertainment. His terrified face can be seen just as the queen slashes the horse.
3 A Neat Towel That Messes Itself Up AFTER The Troll Is Defeated In The First Movie
The encounter with the troll was a dangerous encounter for Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but it helped these three become steadfast friends for the times to come. While this "fight" was certainly epic, there was a slight problem in the way this scene was shot.
You see, during the fight in the girl's bathroom, there's a towel clearly shown to be quite neat — a stark contrast to the state of the entire washroom. However, after the troll is defeated, the towel somehow gets messed up!
How is that even remotely possible?
2 Bars That Change Shape While Harry Is Being Chased By The Basilisk
Another minor nitpick, but it's a nitpick that we need to make nevertheless. This happens during the scene where Harry is being chased by a Basilisk near the final stages of The Chamber Of Secrets. In the sewers, there's a grate which Harry approaches that has its bars neatly put out.
However, during the second shot, this grate is shown to be embedded in the wall.
It's a stark contrast to the previous scene where the metal bars were matching nicely. One must wonder whether they moved Harry position, and if so, then for what reason?
1 Dudley Never Reconciles With Harry Near The End Of The Series
This is perhaps the most egregious fault in the entirety of the Harry Potter series, with the worst part being that this scene was shot but didn't make the final cut!
We never got closure on the relationship between Dudley and Harry.
After saving Dudley from the Dementors, Harry's cousin developed somewhat of a respect for him as payback for saving his life. However, the scene where he has a candid talk with Harry to form what can be assumed as a friendship of sorts is completely omitted from the movies, which is a grave injustice to the character arc of Dudley Dursley.