The cinematic universe of Harry Potter is a vast one, full of tons of people, places, and things. That’s the best thing about it, though, because it allows small hints to be hidden among the flurry of events happening on-screen. These are called easter eggs, and they’re unexpected features added as a bonus for the audience.
Sometimes they’re inserted just as a fun wink to audiences, but they’re also sometimes used to hint and foreshadow bits of plot still to come, thanks to writer J.K. Rowling being involved in their creation. These Easter eggs may not be huge, iconic moments, but you can’t deny it’s super interesting to see all the clues hiding in plain sight.
16. Reptile House Jackets
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Dursleys take Harry on a trip to their local reptile house long before the iconic “You’re a wizard, Harry” line is served. Not only is the reptile house itself foreshadowing the motif of snakes in the films, but it’s also the audience’s first real hint at Hogwarts. In one scene, we see a school group wearing green blazers with an unidentified patch on it. Obviously, it’s a hint at the house of Slytherin that has yet to be introduced.
15. Marauder’s Map Order
The Marauder’s Map is first introduced to us in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as a secret map that will show you anyone who is in Hogwarts at any time. It was created by James Potter, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin, and they’re listed on the front of the map by their nicknames: Moony (Lupin), Wormtail (Pettigrew), Padfoot (Sirius), and Prongs (James). The easter egg here is that the four men die in the opposite order that they are listed, leading some to believe it was a bit of stealthy foreshadowing.
14. Equus Poster
Harry Potter may be a fictional character, but Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays him is definitely real. While filming the boy wizard franchise, Radcliffe also starred in a play called Equus about a man obsessed with horses. As a nod to the actor behind the character, there’s an Equus poster that can be seen in the background of a shot in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. There’s no way to get a good look at it, as it is only in scene for a split second, but it’s still a funny ode to the actor.
13. Newt Scamander Visits Hogwarts
Newt Scamander is a character in the world of Harry Potter who is a famed magic beings expert and the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Scamander recently had his own film franchise launched, but, way before he was on-screen, he was visiting Hogwarts. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Newt Scamander appears on the Marauder’s Map, meaning he was inside the school at the same time as Harry!
12. Ron & Hermione Have Related Patronuses
Although many people wanted Ron and Hermione to get together from the beginning, it was also hinted at in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In the film, there’s a scene where Harry teaches a group of students how to use the Patronus spell. We see Hermione’s patronus during this (an otter), as well as Ron’s (a jack russell terrier). The hint here is that jack russell terriers are known for their love of chasing otters. Just like Ron’s love of Hermione!
11. The Chocolate Frog Returns
Chocolate frogs are kind of weird, considering they can move around and seem to be completely alive. Ron tells Harry in the books that it’s just due to a spell, but that doesn’t help explain why they seem to escape when opened. Regardless, that’s exactly what happens in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when Harry opens a chocolate frog only to have it jump out the window of the train. What’s special about this moment is that the frog reappears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 when the new generation is heading off to Hogwarts. What a cute way to go full circle.
10. Harry’s Jersey
While this easter egg isn’t tied to a specific movie, it appears time and time again in the franchise. J.K. Rowling has already made it known just how important the number seven is to the Harry Potter universe, but this is one that can go unnoticed. Harry’s number in quidditch games is actually seven, and many people take it to be a foreshadowing of him being the seventh horocrux.
9. A Naughty Couple on The Marauder’s Map
In the end credits of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the audience is treated to a visual of the Marauder’s Map and footprints walking around. It looks perfectly normal, until you look at the bottom left of the screen, where two pairs of feet appear to be facing each other and not moving. It could be anything, but it could also be two students gettin’ frisky somewhere on the premises. Someone get Filch!
8. The Deathly Hallows Are Super Foreshadowed
The Deathly Hallows symbol pops up many times throughout the film series, but the first time it’s seen is in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Dumbledore’s office. The headmaster approaches a cabinet while in thought to reveal a bar, a pyramid, and a ball suspended behind glass. Eerily, this looks just like the Deathly Hallows symbol, though J.K. Rowling hadn’t even written the seventh book yet, leaving us to wonder if she had the entire plot planned out waaay ahead of time.
7. Tables of 13
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore invites Professor Trelawney to sit at a table with him. Unfortunately, there are already 12 people sitting at the table, and Trelawney freaks out, saying “I dare not, Headmaster! If I join the table, we shall be 13! Nothing could be more unlucky! Never forget that when 13 dine together, the first to rise will be the first to die!” Later in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sirius sits at a table with exactly 13 people and stands up first. By the end of the movie, he’s dead.
6. Snape’s First Sentence to Harry is a Code
Harry first meets Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and the first thing the professor says to him is “Potter! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?” Apparently, when breaking down the sentence using the Victorian language of flowers, it can be translated to “I bitterly regret Lily’s death.” Was Snape trying to tell Harry from the beginning just how much he cared about the boy’s mom?
5. Professor Trelawny Knew Harry was a Horcrux
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Professor Trelawny mentions to Harry that his birthday is in midwinter when we all know Harry Potter’s birthday is actually at the end of July. But seeing that Voldemort was actually born in midwinter, it would appear that Trelawney was actually picking up on the Dark Lord’s energy through Harry since the younger wizard is a Horcrux and part of the Dark Lord’s life is stored within him. I wonder what else she could’ve picked up on.
4. Ron and Harry Predicted the Plot Before it Happened
Harry, Ron, and Hermione obviously don’t believe Professor Trelawny’s ability throughout the film series (which is pretty strange, considering they go to magic school), but it’s in the fourth installment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, that they get a taste of their own medicine. In the beginning of the movie, the three are shown making up predictions for their divination homework. Unfortunately, Ron predicts that Harry will be “in danger of burn,” will “lose a treasured possession,” and will be “stabbed in the back.” This is exactly what happens during the Triwizard Tournament. Freaky!
3. Dumbledore’s Door
Dumbledore obviously had a favorite Hogwarts house, and he didn’t try to hide it. In fact, he even paid homage to one of the four sections of the school with his overly-decorated office door. When it opens, we see Harry come face to face with a giant Griffin. Get it? Harry opens a griffin door. Although it’s something you may have to say out loud to get, the writers certainly thought they were clever with that one.
2. Neville’s future in herbolog
Neville Longbottom is a character who sees some of the most evolution throughout the entire franchise. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the audience sees him fainting simply from hearing and seeing a baby Mandrake. As the series progresses, however, Neville actually becomes a renowned herbologist and ends up teaching it at Hogwarts. What’s interesting though, is that his name might be a shoutout to another popular fantasy franchise – Lord of the Rings. In this franchise, “Longbottom” is region known for their fruitful vegetation. AKA a herbologist would find him/herself very happy there. Coincidence?
1. Ron Knew Moaning Myrtle’s Killer
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron finds himself face to face with Moaning Myrtle, the ghosts who haunts a girls’ bathroom in Hogwarts. The scene happens right after Ron finds out that Tom Riddle won an award at the school, but he has no idea that Tom is Voldemort. Unfortunately, Ron jokes that Tom must’ve won the award for killing Myrtle. That’s actually half-right, considering Voldemort is the one who got Myrtle stuck in the bathroom forever. But that’s not what he got the award for, of course.