Here are the best ways to anger Harry Potter fans:
There are three easy ways to anger a Harry Potter fan.
Intentionally misname or confuse important aspects of the fiction with things from other universes (like calling Harry by the wrong name).
Downplay the emotional impact the story has on fans.
Or, suggest that Harry Potter is inferior to other fiction.
So if you want to learn all about what really makes Harry Potter fans annoyed, then you’re in the right place.
What’s the Deal With Harry Potter?
If we’re going to talk about Harry Potter fans, it’s important to put everything in context.
Harry Potter is easily one of the most popular and recognizable fictional characters and stories of all time.
Even if you have never read a single book or watched a single movie, you still have some idea of who Harry Potter is.
The stories are just that pervasive in pop culture.
To put some numbers on this, the Harry Potter books have sold more than $7 billion worth of copies.
The movies have grossed even more than that.
This is a massive franchise, and fans of it will love Harry Potter for their entire lives (usually).
I’m not going to give you a complete synopsis of the entire story.
That would take too long, but I am going to emphasize the key elements, just to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Harry Potter is a series of seven books that tell the story of the titular character, Harry.
At the age of 11, he finds out that he is a wizard—as in he can actually perform magic.
He goes to Hogwarts, a famous school for witches and wizards.
Over the years, he ends up battling his destined archenemy, Voldemort.
The story spans many smaller adventures and covers seven years of Harry’s life.
The books were also adapted into eight movies (the last book was split into two movies).
And, there have been spin-off tales that don’t directly involve Harry and the original storyline.
That’s probably all you need to know going into this conversation.
Why Are We Making Harry Potter Fans Angry?
Hold on a second.
This seems like a weird goal.
Why do we want to anger Harry Potter fans?
There could be a million motivations, but I’m only going to entertain two.
It’s possible that you want to light-heartedly tease a friend who loves Harry Potter.
That’s all good and well.
It’s also possible that you might want to avoid angering a Harry Potter fan.
That’s a reasonable motivation.
Even if those ideas don’t cover your motivations, those are the points of view I’ll be entertaining as I take you through a list of ways to anger or frustrate fans of the franchise.
What Are the Best Ways to Anger Harry Potter Fans? (13 Ways)
Motivations aside, I’m here to answer a question.
So, let’s get into it.
Below, you’ll find a list of the best ways to anger Harry Potter fans.
#1 Call a Harry Potter Fan a Muggle
A major aspect of the appeal of Harry Potter is the whimsical, magical world that it builds.
If you’re not familiar, “muggle” is a word in the series used to describe people who can’t do magic.
When you call a Harry Potter fan a muggle, you’re more or less rubbing their face in the fact that they can never really experience that magic and wonder.
Not everyone will take it hard, but plenty will.
On the other hand, you could really dig in and call them a “mudblood.”
It’s a made-up slur in the Harry Potter world and meant to be extremely offensive.
Anyone who takes the stories very seriously will be visibly angry if you use the word.
Those who don’t take it so seriously will probably laugh it off.
#2 Bring up J.K. Rowling Controversies
I’m going to tread lightly here.
The point of this article is not to jump headfirst into modern controversies.
I’d rather sit on the sidelines if it’s all the same to you.
That said, J.K. Rowling (the author of the Harry Potter series if you didn’t already know) has involved herself in some modern political discussions.
If you really care, you can go look it up and pick sides as you see fit.
The point I’m making is that because she has taken sides, half of the fan base is pretty angry about it.
Granted, if she took the other side, then the other half of the fan base would be angry.
Either way, this is a topic that riles up Harry Potter fans.
#3 Confuse Harry Potter With Lord of the Rings
This is a really fun way to tease friends who are in on the joke.
It’s a very frustrating way to anger Harry Potter fans who you don’t know well.
Basically, if you confuse Harry Potter content with that from other famous franchises.
Lord of the Rings, Twilight, and any fantasy story are common points of frustration, but you could even confuse Harry Potter with something like Star Wars and see a response.
The thing to understand with this one is that you will get the same response whether you are deliberately teasing the person or accidentally crossing up fictional universes.
They’re big fans, and this is something that can be frustrating for them.
#4 Compare Harry Potter to Other Fiction
You can take things up a notch.
Instead of confusing Harry Potter with other fiction, you can outright compare them.
If you spend half an hour explaining to a Harry Potter fan why Twilight is a superior saga, you’ll get some bored eye rolls at best.
Now, Harry Potter fans often enjoy other franchises, but they call themselves Harry Potter fans for a reason.
If you try to pick a fight with them over their favorite intellectual property, they’re likely to respond.
With all of that in mind, some comparisons tend to be more triggering than others.
If you go off on why you like Breaking Bad so much, they might not get riled up.
But, when you specifically compare Harry Potter to major fantasy series (Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia are probably at the top of this list), Twilight, and Hunger Games, it seems to get the strongest responses.
#5 Praise Snape in the Harry Potter Series
If you don’t know who Snape is, I’m going to make this brief.
He is one of Harry’s teachers.
Throughout the series, Snape more or less antagonizes Harry.
At the same time, Snape literally saves Harry’s life at multiple points.
He’s a mix of a character who does some of the most important heroic things.
At the same time, he’s extremely petty and obnoxious.
The fan base is split.
Half of the fans despise Snape.
Despite the heroic moments, he spent his life in petty misery, and he deliberately picked fights with a kid.
That’s unforgivable, and you’re not allowed to praise someone like that.
#6 Condemn Snape in the Harry Potter Series
The other half of the fan base loves Snape.
While they might acknowledge his shortcomings, they see him as a tortured soul.
His bitterness and pettiness were the results of bad fate, and despite everything that went wrong in his miserable life, he still chose to do the right thing every time it mattered.
He died protecting his students (spoiler alert!), and his sacrifice redeems him in the eyes of these fans.
If you dare to say bad things about Snape, they’ll stand up and defend his character.
You can see how this is a trap.
Snape is probably the very most controversial figure in the series.
And, now you know that.
#7 Get the Harry Potter Fan’s Hogwarts House Wrong
Ok. This needs a little bit of an explanation.
The Harry Potter books (and movies) largely take place at Harry’s school, Hogwarts.
It’s a boarding school for kids studying magic, and kids in the school are placed into one of four different houses.
Each of the four houses caters to different character traits.
One house prioritizes courage, another cleverness, another ambition, and the last hard work.
The way students are selected for the houses is magical, so theoretically, the magic is always right.
And, because of how the houses are separated, a lot of Harry Potter fans find that they identify with one house over the others.
If you know this, you might try to guess a fan’s perceived house, and you may or may not be wrong.
Usually, that would just lead to a discussion where they get to talk about something they really like.
On the other hand, if they tell you their house, and you then proceed to get it wrong, you might be picking a fight.
A fan telling you about their house is telling you about themselves, potentially at an intimate level.
It’s worth keeping in mind.
#8 Get Details of the Harry Potter Franchise Wrong
This is something that will annoy hardcore fans of any franchise.
If you cross up Star Wars and Star Trek, fans of both franchises will be annoyed.
The same goes for Harry Potter.
If you talk about spells from another series, get character names wrong, or confuse Hogwarts with Xavier’s Institute of Higher Learning, then you’re going to find yourself conversing with an annoyed Harry Potter fan.
Keep in mind that accidental mistakes are nowhere near as annoying as deliberate slip-ups.
If you deliberately call Dumbledore Gandalf, then you can anger Harry Potter fans (and Lord of the Rings fans at the same time!).
#9 Call a Harry Potter Fan Umbridge
Delores Umbridge is the most universally reviled character in the Harry Potter franchise.
Voldemort is the ultimate antagonist of the series.
He’s a character who literally commits genocide and kills babies.
Under his orders, characters are tortured into insanity.
He’s a very bad dude (and Harry Potter gets pretty dark, now that I think about it).
Despite that, he is a more sympathetic character than Umbridge.
She is a teacher at the school for a single year, and in the book that covers that year, she is easily the most hated character in all of Harry Potter.
If you call a Harry Potter fan “Umbridge,” there is a 99% chance that they will be offended by it.
In fact, you’re unlikely to find a more unifying aspect of the Harry Potter franchise within the fandom.
Everybody despises Umbridge.
#10 Say That the Harry Potter Movies Are Better Than the Books
Movies are adapted from books all the time, and in almost every case, fans of the book will tell you that it’s so much better than the movie.
Harry Potter is no exception.
In fact, it might be the strongest case where you’ll find this.
Harry Potter movies are very popular and have been watched hundreds of thousands of times.
Yet, the books might actually be more popular.
While movie sales did technically outgross book sales, you can reread a book after you buy it.
You have to purchase a new movie ticket to see the same film in theaters for a second time.
When you take that into account, it’s likely that more people have read Harry Potter books than watched the movies.
As a result, this is a franchise where you’re extremely likely to hear that the books are better than the movies.
Any statement contrary could put you in hot water with the fans.
#11 Get Religious About Harry Potter
Technically speaking, Harry Potter is a story about witches and wizards.
There’s a lot of magic.
Some religions take a hard-lined stance against witchcraft and/or wizardry.
If you take such a line with Harry Potter fans, they won’t appreciate it.
I’m not interested in telling people what they should or shouldn’t believe.
Your religion is your own business.
But, I will mention one thing.
There’s no indication that J.K. Rowling was trying to make religious statements with her books.
The magic in the books is intended to be a storytelling device that allows her to have whimsical fun with the series.
It’s not intended as a reflection of real-world religions that might involve practices of witchcraft or anything similar.
All of that said, you’re welcome to believe whatever you like.
If you try to have a conversation with a Harry Potter fan about how the books are promoting actual witchcraft, you probably won’t get very far.
#12 Point Out Harry Potter Plot Holes
A series of books about kids performing magic is not strongly grounded in reality.
As a result, the story can’t make perfect logical sense.
Plot holes are literally impossible to avoid.
It’s the problem that comes up with a lot of fiction.
When the mechanisms aren’t real, then logic ultimately breaks down.
Fictional stories can have plot holes.
But when you point that out to fans, it might annoy them.
There are plenty of things you can point out regarding Harry Potter, but I’ll explain one of the most popular plot holes.
In the books, there is a magic map called the Marauder’s Map.
It allows you to see the name and location of everyone on the grounds of Hogwarts (that’s the magic school, in case you forgot).
Two of the characters, Fred and George Weasely, are in possession of the map at the beginning of the series.
At the same time, their younger brother, Ron, has a pet rat (which is a normal thing in the wizarding world).
The thing is, the pet rat is actually a full-grown wizard in disguise.
His name is Peter Pettigrew, and we find that out later in the series.
It turns out that a literally grown man was living with Ron while Ron was still just a kid.
It’s weird if you think about it for too long.
Here’s the plot hole.
The magic map should have shown the Weasleys that a stranger was with their brother at all times.
They should have realized that the rat was in fact a wizard.
At the very least, they should have noticed another person sleeping in the same bed with Ron at some point.
The fact that it’s never addressed is weird, to say the least.
And, in reality, it’s just a good old-fashioned plot hole.
#13 Downplay Emotional Moments in Harry Potter
Of everything I’ve mentioned, this is the most important thing to understand.
The Harry Potter story takes a long, emotional journey.
Lessons are learned.
Battles are fought.
People who are fans of the series like it because they’re able to connect to it on some level.
That means that many Harry Potter fans feel emotional connections to the characters.
If you downplay the emotional moments in the series, it’s like you’re downplaying the feelings of the people who like it so much.
This is the very best way to anger a Harry Potter fan.
You don’t have to like the series the same way they do, but if you don’t respect their attachment to it, then they probably won’t appreciate you very much.