Yes, Harry Potter has had some struggles. His parents were killed right in front of him when he was a baby- a struggle he doesn’t remember, though it did leave him figuratively and literally scarred. He’s been a baby horcrux since that day, and that sure sucks. His adoptive family treated him like a steaming pile of garbage, which is unfortunate. Dementors seem to love to pick on him, which also sucks. He’s also somehow both the coolest guy in school while also being the lamest (it’s a dynamic we fans never entirely figured out). He has to die to defeat Voldemort, though he does get to come back to life so that’s not so bad. There are plenty of reasons to admire Harry Potter. But when it comes down to the facts, there’s really no denying it: Harry Potter is a jerk.
While having a tough childhood or a background filled with obstacles can explain why someone acts selfishly or entitled, it sure as hell does not excuse it. While a generation of children grew up idolizing this kid, they were too enamored with J. K. Rowling’s beautiful wizarding world to realize that their hero was a straight up douche bag! Fans should have been idolizing the characters surrounding Harry that helped him succeed, not the brat that seriously only defeated Voldemort because he got lucky and stumbled upon the answers.
If you want some evidence that Harry was acting like a jerk, we’re happy to provide you with legions of examples. Spoiler alert- we’ll be pulling from both the books and the movies to make sure you know it wasn’t just Daniel Radcliffe but Harry himself. Here are fifteen times Harry Potter was a complete jerk.
15. When He Stole Neville’s Lollipop
He literally took candy from a baby. Okay, not an infant, but poor little baby Neville! In the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry employs the use of the invisibility cloak and the Marauder’s Map, given to him by the Weasley twins, to break the rules and go to Hogsmeade (already a dick move, but we’re moving on). Once he makes it to Hogsmeade, he emerges at the candy shop. Hidden under his cloak, he snatches Neville’s lollipop right out of his hand! The poor bewildered Neville is so confused, he just watches his candy float away. WHAT A JERK. What’s worse is that Harry never makes up for it! He never confesses to stealing the candy, he never gets him a replacement lolly, he never pays him back. Why Neville is a friend to Harry, after all the crappy things he’s done to him, is a mystery.
14. At the Yule Ball
Remember in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry was looking for a date to the Yule Ball? True to typical stupid teenager form, Harry decided he needed a date to look cool and it didn’t really matter who it was. He tried to ask out the girl he really wanted to go with, Cho Chang, but she already had a date. So what did he do instead? Asked out the first girl who showed him a modest amount of attraction and her twin sister. He then proceeded to be the worst date ever. Seriously, Harry was a high school girl’s worst nightmare. The most exciting Hogwarts event of the year, and Harry is moping in the back of the room, turning down every opportunity for a fun time. Harry (and Ron) ruined the night for these women. Not to mention that, when Ron ruined Hermione’s night, Harry didn’t do anything to cheer up his other best friend. Harry managed to ruin the Yule Ball for several young ladies.
13. When He Blew Up Aunt Marge
Alright, we admit: Aunt Large Marge was an absolute and blatant jerk. She was intentionally trying to get under Harry’s skin when she brought up Harry’s parents. It’s a bid understandable that Harry lost his temper and took it out on Marge. However, he took it WAY too far! He inflated her and blew her into space! Sure, she was taken care of and fixed up but can we think about the actual physics of this? She flew off into the sky pretty dang fast, it’s likely that she went up into the atmosphere a good ways and her oxygen supply decreased. She might have even gotten a little frostbitten up there as she neared the expanses of space! He could have killed Marge with this stupid stunt. You know what he could have done instead? Left the room when Marge was being a jerk. Simple as that. But no, Harry’s not good enough to take the high road.
12. When He Spat in the Face of a Full Ride
Did you think Hogwarts was free? Hell no, it isn’t! How do you think they afford maintenance on those moving staircases? Or on that rickety Quidditch pitch? How else would they afford so many talking portraits? Hogwarts has tuition, we’re certain. However, Harry’s had the administration on his side since his parents died and the Headmaster legit carried him to his new guardians. So while the Weasleys are spreading themselves crazy thin trying to pay for their gaggle of children to go to Hogwarts and muggle parents like Hermione’s are shelling out cash for their kid to go to a school where she’s discriminated against, Harry gets a full ride scholarship to one of the best wizarding schools in the world. And how does he express his gratitude? By blowing off classes, copying Hermione’s homework, sassing his professors, dilly-dallying in class, and dozing off in front of his professors. Wow, Harry. Wow.
11. When He Got Mega Jealous
Harry didn’t really start getting jiggy with his best friend’s sister until the sixth book (which is a jerk-move already- he was hooking up with Ron’s sister behind his back, that’s so shitty!). But when they did start getting close, Harry was not exactly the best boyfriend. At all. By any means. He was terrible.
No only did he kind of dump and abandon Ginny when he dropped out of school to find Voldemort’s horcruxes, but when he actually stuck around to be a good boyfriend he was jealous and overbearing and kind of a jerk. He was mega jealous when Ginny was dating Dean Thomas and even daydreamed about bad things happening to his fellow Gryffindor. He knew that Ginny had feelings for him but waited a long time before expressing his feelings, which came out as possessive and overbearing. Hopefully he’s a better husband than boyfriend.
10. When He Assaulted Snape
Remember back in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry straight up attacked Professor Snape? WHEN SNAPE WAS TRYING TO DEFEND AND PROTECT HIM?! In retrospect, it’s incredibly easy to see that Severus has never had an ounce of ill-will towards Harry in his life. Since the day he cradled Lily Potter’s dead body in his arms, he has only wanted to protect and support Harry. But even when Harry was oblivious to Snape’s true intentions, when Severus was confronting an escaped convict from Azkaban prison (Sirius) that escaped with the aid of a Hogwarts professor (Lupin), Severus was clearly trying to protect Harry, Ron, and Hermione from potential harm. And after everything, how does Harry repay Snape’s protection and aid? By knocking him out and taking the side of the criminals! Harry was such a jerk to Severus- but I guess that’s no surprise. Like father, like son.
9. When He Was a Pr!#K to Ron
When Harry decided to drop out of Hogwarts to seek out all of Voldemort’s horcruxes, Ron and Hermione were the best friends possible and they followed him. Hermione erased the memories of her parents so they wouldn’t follow her or worry about her, and so that they would not be made targets of Voldemort’s treachery. She sacrificed her whole family for Harry! Ron, on the other hand, had family members fighting Voldemort’s army on every side. He was fighting at Harry’s side when his family was in mortal peril! You’d think Harry would be sensitive to the delicate position Ron has put himself in, right?! WROOOONG. Harry was a jerk to Ron at every turn- it’s no wonder Ron left! The real shocker is that Ron decided to come back! We’re convinced Ron only came back for Hermione. Harry even seemed to be swooping in on Hermione in Ron’s absence, so it’s a good thing he returned.
8. The Sass. So Much Sass.
Just a blanket statement: Harry is one of the snarkiest, sassiest, smart-ass, snide brats ever to be idolized in youth literature. Harry has zero respect for authority figures and is consistently a brat to everyone. Think back to the first movie when Harry was a snarky freakin jerk to Snape for the first time. When Snape called out Harry for not paying attention on the first day of potions classes, Harry was a snarky little shit and grumbled at him for not calling on Miss Know-It-All, Hermione. And he never grew out of that sass! When Ron grumbled about missing home when looking for Voldemort’s horcruxes, Harry was super sassy and asked if he expected they’d “stay in a five star hotel.” Or when he bold facedly and unfortunately said to his friend, “no offence, but I really don’t care.” Offence taken, Harry. Much offence taken. Tone down the sass, mister.
7. Every Time He Got Totally High On Himself
Harry loves himself just about as much as Kanye loves himself. As soon as Harry realized he was a bit of a big deal in the wizarding world as the legendary “boy who lived,” he latched on to that fame and squeezed every last bit of glory out of it. Once he realized just how hot of shit people thought he was, he thought he was entitled to and deserved everyone’s love and affection. But truth is, he never did anything to deserve all the accolades people threw at him! Harry’s success as a teenager fighting Voldemort was all based in luck! When he had all the ladies after him in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Hermione said it was only because they think he’s the chosen one, his arrogant ass answered: “but I am the chosen one.” Thank goodness people like Hermione exist to beat the stupid out of stuck up jerks like Harry.
6. All the Times He Made Draco Seem Evil
So let’s be honest: the Malfoy family isn’t exactly the most innocent one. Lucius was and still is a deatheater that managed to avoid Azkaban imprisonment during Voldemort’s disappearance. His wife Narcissa is a materialistic old fart that puts her personal happiness above everything else. Draco is a sniveling little brat that wants his daddy (and his daddy’s deatheater friends) to fight all his battles for him. But continuing that honesty- Draco is not a bad person! When he started at Hogwarts, one of the first things he did was offer to be Harry’s friend- Harry spat in the face of that and proceeded to blame all the bad happenings at Hogwarts on Draco. Draco got so used to hearing about how terrible and wicked he was from Harry’s posse that he caved to his dad’s clique and became a deatheater! So, if you think about it, Harry basically bullied Draco into villainy!
5. When He Invaded Snape’s Memories
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Severus Snape is recruited to help Harry block out invasive spells of the Dark Lord’s that are intended to manipulate him. How kind of Severus! How sweet of him to work long, late hours strengthening the barriers in Harry’s mind! Sure, it was hard work for Harry and Snape got to see things in Harry’s mind that Harry felt were private- but honestly, those memories weren’t that personal! Harry got angsty and shitty and tired at one point and turned the tables on his good-willed professor and invaded his very personal, VERY private thoughts. If Harry were more invasive, he might have figured out that Snape was his greatest ally. Unfortunately, Harry was just enough of a jerk to just dig through his childhood shame. What a jerk. It’s shocking that Snape continued to be Harry’s ally after this embarrassing moment.
4. Every Time He Doesn’t Care Someone Sacrifices Themselves For Him
So many people have laid their pride, their dignity, their honor, and their lives at Harry Potter’s feet because he is “the boy who lived” or “the chosen one.” So many people have died. The list begins back with his parents and goes on to include Barty Crouch, Cedric Diggory, Sirius Black (who we’ll talk more about later), Albus Dumbledore, Hedwig, Alastor Moody, Dobby, Fred Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Remus Lupin, Colin Creevey, and Severus Snape. So many people have sacrificed their everything to help, support, or save Harry Potter, and what does he do to return their grand generosity and reverence? Uh, nothing. He just goes about his day like nothing happened. Doesn’t attend a funeral. Doesn’t go out of his way to do anything in gratitude to the families of those that have lain down everything in his honor. People give up everything for Harry and he barely gives them a douchey nod of gratitude.
3. Every Time He Breaks the Rules
Harry Potter is the most entitled, stuck-up, know-it-all brat ever to grace the halls of Hogwarts. From the start, he questioned every rule that was ever presented to him. “Don’t go down the third floor corridor.” Or do, whatever Harry. If you get your head bitten off by a three-headed dog named Fluffy, that’s on you. “Don’t make potions that could get you hurt.” Or, you know, do it if you want, Harry. But when Hermione becomes a half human-half cat hybrid, don’t come crawling to us. “Don’t abuse the time-turner to release a convict.” Okay, maybe that wasn’t explicitly written in the Hogwarts rule book. BUT IT WAS STILL TOTALLY ILLEGAL AND HARRY NEVER LISTENS TO THE RULES. Rules are there for a reason, and it isn’t so that they can be broken! They’re there for his safety! If Harry just would’ve listened to the rules, he would’ve spared himself a lot of trouble and maybe saved some lives.
2. When He Got Sirius Killed
Okay, you’re right: the official murderer of Sirius Black was not Harry Potter, but Bellatrix Lestrange. When it comes down to technicalities, Harry is innocent. But if you understand why Sirius was there in the first place, you know that Harry is entirely culpable for his death! Albus Dumbledore knew that there was a prophecy in the ministry that spoke Voldemort’s demise. Foolishly, he shared that with Harry but he was very clear that if Harry studied occlumency, he would be able to block out Voldemort’s legilimency and prevent being manipulated by the Dark Lord. Instead, Harry abused his occlumency lessons, sneaked into the ministry where he knew a trap would be lying in wait, and attracted both deatheaters and those from the Order of the Phoenix. So ta-da! He killed Sirius through his arrogance. He has no one to blame but himself for Sirius’ demise, since it never would have happened if he’d just gone to his occlumency lesson.
1. When He Named His Freakin Son
The capital example of Harry Potters jerky-ness: his son. Think about this series of events: Harry defeats Voldemort. Harry grows older and gets married to Ginny Weasley. He gets Ginny pregnant. She gives birth. He looks into the eyes of his eldest son and decides to name him: JAMES SIRIUS POTTER. That is such a terrible name. They have another son and name him ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER. He must want his kids to be bullied while at Hogwarts! They have a daughter after that and name her LILY LUNA POTTER. WHY DOES HE HATE HIS CHILDREN SO?! Also, where on Earth was Ginny during the naming of her children that he was able to get away with these God awful names? By far the worst thing he has ever done: name his children. Thank goodness the series ended when it did, before we grew to hate grown up Harry an immense amount.