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Harry Potter's Most Embarrassing Moments From The Movies Ranked

Over the span of seven novels and eight movies, fans the world over breathlessly followed the adventures of the titular character from the "Harry Potter" franchise. Starting as an awkward 11-year-old before gradually transitioning into a still-awkward young adult, Harry charted a journey of growth and discovery that became a cultural yardstick for an entire generation. 

Not every step of Harry's journey was smooth. Ever since being informed that he is a budding wizard and whisked away to study magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry's path is beset by difficulties. This includes not just mean teachers and bullying classmates, but also the greatest dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort, who wants, above all else, to kill Harry Potter personally.

The Boy Who Lived, as Harry is often called, faces all these challenges with great courage and determination, if not always with supreme grace or tact. Harry is, after all, trapped in the most awkward years of a young wizard's life while he is at Hogwarts, and he has to deal with his hormones and still-developing brain at the same time as Voldemort. Sometimes Harry loses those battles, and here we take a look at some of the most embarrassing moments the young hero has had to endure over the years.  

13. Spilling his drink

During the first few years of Harry's (Daniel Radcliffe) time at Hogwarts, he is still trying to get used to being a part of a magical world where so many things are actively trying to kill him. That does not leave much room for any romantic dalliances or even much in the way of female companionship other than Hermione (Emma Watson).

However, the call of nature is impossible to ignore for long, and entering into his early teens, Harry begins to grow aware that the female student population in his school extends beyond Hermione. Most significantly, Harry starts noticing a very pretty Ravenclaw student named Cho Chang (Katie Leung), who is around his own age.

Cho is introduced in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" in the books, but her introduction was delayed in the movies until "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." One of the first times Harry sees Cho, he is drinking from a goblet. When Cho smiles at him, Harry gets so excited that his face also breaks immediately into a smile, spilling the liquid contents of his mouth down his front. Cho's friends erupt into giggles while Harry tries to pretend that did not just happen.       

12. Asking Cho to the Yule Ball

In the middle of his fourth year, surrounded by ominous intrigue and facing the challenge of completing the deadly Triwizard Tournament, Harry confronts his greatest challenge yet — asking a girl out for the Yule Ball. Even though Harry was a Hogwarts Champion and famous since his infancy, there are not a lot of prospects available. 

However, Harry is not looking for just any random girl to take to the Ball. He has his eyes set on Cho Chang and judging by their previous interactions of prolonged eye contact and the awkward exchanging of smiles, Cho thinks he is hot stuff too. Maybe. Possibly. Anyway, Harry intends to take his shot at asking Cho out while the Yule Ball was still around to provide an excuse.

Unfortunately, the Boy Who Lived does not also turn out to be the Boy Who Talks Good. After catching Cho near the Owlery, Harry decides to have it out with her by asking if she wants to go to the Yule Ball with him. But the words that issue from his mouth are embarrassing gibberish that sounds like, "Wangoballwime?" Not only did Cho turn Harry down, but she also reveals she would be going with his Triwizard rival Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) instead.  

11. Finding a date for the Yule Ball

After getting shot down by Cho, Harry has no desire to take anyone else to the Yule Ball. Unfortunately, as one of the Triwizard champions, it is incumbent upon Harry to lead by example and open the Ball along with the other champions with a date on his arm. Easier said than done. 

As Harry bitterly asks Ron regarding the swarms of giggling and pointing girls their school suddenly seems full of, "Why do they have to travel in packs? ... And how're you supposed to get one on their own to ask them?" For his part, Ron (Rupert Grint) is mystified by Harry's inability to snag a date. As he points out, Harry literally fought a dragon a few days ago. However, the latter admits he would rather take his chances with a new dragon than a gang of girls.

To illustrate the point, Harry and Ron walk straight into a gaggle of females, who all turn as one to stare unsmilingly at the male interlopers. Harry tries to break the tension with a nervous smile before panicking and running for it with Ron at his side. The taunting laughter of the girls follows the two boys for quite a distance.  

10. Getting smacked for staring

After striking out with Cho Chang over the whole "Yule Ball" affair, Harry's hormonal passions are released like an uncaged beast in the following movies. Which, in Harry's case, means continuing to moon over Cho in private and developing a crush on Ron's little sister Ginny (Bonnie Wright) that he does not tell anyone about. Look, some guys just aren't cut out to be Don Juans.

Harry could have made a better ladies' man if Hermione were not constantly at his side, keeping his ego in check. Case in point, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." By his sixth year, Harry had earned a modicum of confidence after repeatedly saving the day literally every previous year.     

So when Hermione informs Harry that a pretty girl named Romilda Vane (Anna Shaffer) is interested in asking him out because everyone sees him as "The Chosen One," Harry's response is to point out with a smirk that he actually is "The Chosen One." Hermione's response is to smack Harry in his face with a book right in front of Romilda. This immediately deflates him, and Harry can only mutter "Sorry" while avoiding looking at Romilda's reaction.

9. Gossiping with Ron

In the books, Severus Snape is not just a mean teacher but a pretty dislikeable person all around. The movies make Snape (Alan Rickman) a lot more sympathetic, particularly by not showing him relentlessly looking for any reason to pick on Harry. However, there are other ways that the movie version of Snape manages to make Harry feel small without overstepping his boundaries as a teacher.

For instance, in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Ron and Harry sit during a study period talking about whom they should take on a date to the Yule Ball. Snape is in charge of overseeing the study hour, and he smacks Ron sharply across his head to get him to stop whispering to Harry. But the urgency of the situation is too grave for Harry and Ron to abide by the rules of study hour. 

They start gossiping again, while Snape looks on in amazement at their insolence. This time he raps Ron across the head with a notebook and also Harry for good measure, even though the latter isn't the one who is talking. Finally, when the two still won't shut up, Snape shoves their heads further into their notebooks like they are a couple of errant first-years.    

8. Becoming Triwizard Champion

The great tragedy of Harry's life is that he had always been a low-key guy who hates drawing attention to himself, yet he still finds himself embroiled in one controversy after another simply due to his status as "The Boy Who Lived." However, it initially seems like the fourth will be different in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." 

After all, this is the year Harry can sit back and watch one of the older kids take center stage as Triwizard Champion to represent Hogwarts in a battle against other magical schools. Unfortunately, Harry's dreams of a relaxed year are tossed out the window when his name is somehow chosen as the Triwizard Champion of Hogwarts. After his name is announced, Harry has no choice but to deal with the shock openly in the middle of the Great Hall filled with students. 

As the book describes the scene, "There was no applause. A buzzing, as though of angry bees, was starting to fill the Hall; some students were standing up to get a better look at Harry as he sat, frozen, in his seat." Eventually, Harry has to get up and climb the steps to the front of the hall. He can hear with increasing mortification his fellow students getting angrier at what they saw as Harry's attempt to recapture the spotlight through cheating.

7. The interview in the broom closet

The "Harry Potter" series is filled with infuriating characters. One of the worst is Rita Skeeter (Miranda Richardson), a gossipmonger masquerading as a reporter who seizes upon Harry's journey through the Triwizard Tournament as grade-A fodder for her readers. As soon as they meet, Skeeter drags Harry off to a broom cupboard for a personal interview away from the other Triwizard Champions.

Harry is naturally confused, and his predicament only worsens with each new sentence Skeeter utters. She insists on stating his age to be 12 instead of 14 and really rubs in the fact that Harry's rival champions are much better equipped to handle the tournament than him. Skeeter then dives tactlessly into Harry's past as an orphan until he finally stops the interview to point out that his eyes are not "glistening with the ghosts of his past" as the reporter's magic quill has already jotted down. 

While the interview is embarrassing enough, it is even worse once it gets published and gives the Slytherins ample opportunities to make fun of Harry even more than usual. Skeeter continues to be a thorn in his side throughout the year until Hermione takes care of her for good, something that is covered in the books but, sadly, not in the films.

6. Dumbledore wigs out at Harry

In "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," after Harry's name is drawn for the Triwizard Tournament, the young boy is understandably terrified. In his time of need, when all the adults are arguing over the rules, and the students think he has snuck his name into the Goblet of Fire by cheating, Harry really needs someone in his corner. 

In the novel, that someone is Albus Dumbledore. The headmaster remains composed while everyone else shouts. As J.K. Rowling wrote in the book, "'Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?' Dumbledore asked calmly." Unfortunately, that scene gets lost in translation, particularly the calmly part, when Michael Gambon takes a stab at translating it for the big screen as Dumbledore. 

In the movie, a thoroughly incensed Dumbledore charges towards Harry with speed and ferocity. He proceeds to grab and violently shake Harry while growling, "Harry, did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?" Of all the memes the "Harry Potter" franchise has produced over the years, this is possibly the funniest one, which has been parodied many times on YouTube. Harry's expression in that moment is genuinely frightened as his beloved headmaster mutters and grumbles in his face while the rest of the adults and Triwizard Champions look on in shock.

5. Making out in ghost form

When they start out as the franchise's iconic trio, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are free of any romantic entanglements, seeing as they are all 11 years old at the time. Gradually, however, it becomes clear that Hermione is starting to develop feelings for Ron and vice versa. 

For his part, Ron often struggles to express his true feelings for Hermione. He is also hampered by the fact that Hermione's other best friend (and his own) is the chosen savior of all wizardkind. Try as he might, Ron can not let go of the fear of Harry someday stealing Hermione away from him. That fear crystallizes in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," as Ron is about to destroy the locket Horcrux. 

In a bid to distract Ron, the locket conjures up the ghostly forms of Harry and Hermione locked in a passionate embrace. Harry has to stand by and watch his ethereal self making out with a girl he has always seen as his sister while knowing that this was something Ron imagines has actually occurred. Talk about awkward.

4. The seven Harrys

By the time of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has launched a full-scale attack on the wizarding world, and his most important target is Harry himself. As a result, the Order of the Phoenix has to be extremely careful while transporting Harry out of the home of the Dursleys.

The method the Order hits upon to move Harry is to create six doppelgänger of him, to be accompanied by six guards, while the real Harry travels with Hagrid. This means Fred, George, Ron, Hermione, Fleur Delacour, and Mundungus Fletcher have to drink Polyjuice potion containing Harry's essence to turn into his lookalikes.   

Watching the transformation is bizarre enough, but the book also mentions how awkward it was for Harry to watch some of his closest friends walking around in his body. Some even openly comment on his anatomy, and others even strip down without any shame to put on clothes similar to what Harry would wear.  

3. The first potions class

Back in his first year, much before getting used to tangling with Voldemort or his lackeys on a yearly basis, Harry is still starry-eyed about getting to attend Hogwarts. However, that feeling takes a beating in his very first Potions class, when Harry comes into initial contact with Professor Severus Snape. 

Snape and Harry exchange looks before the class, which leads Harry to surmise that Snape does not like him. The first class helps confirm that Snape downright hates him. The professor started the class by mockingly calling Harry their new class celebrity. He then grills Harry about a number of obscure potions-related trivia questions with the express intention of humiliating the young boy in front of the entire class. 

The rest of the class does not go any better, and what happens on the first day is a disheartening preliminary to the attitude of Snape towards Harry for the rest of their student-teacher days. The professor would always go out of his way to embarrass and humiliate Harry any way he could and repeatedly suggests having Harry expelled from school. This happens for a few reasons, but the most important is that Snape hates Harry's father, James, whom Harry greatly resembles. 

2. In the tub with Moaning Myrtle

Due to his fundamentally decent and empathetic nature, over the years Harry gathers a loyal following of characters who felt trodden upon by regular society. This includes characters like Neville Longbottom, Dobby the house-elf, and Luna Lovegood. However, the strangest case in this particular regard was Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson). 

The ghost of a girl who dies at Hogwarts the first time the Chamber of Secrets is opened, Moaning Myrtle usually haunts the second-floor girls' lavatory. That is where Harry, Ron, and Hermione first encounter Myrtle, and that is where the perpetually mournful ghost develops a crush on Harry in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." 

Myrtle likes Harry so much that she even leaves her lavatory and joins him in the prefect's bathroom when he takes a bath in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Ostensibly helping him crack the code of the golden egg, Myrtle uses every opportunity to sidle up close to the extremely naked and visibly uncomfortable Harry. We're not sure what Myrtle's endgame was here, or whether ghosts can even be physical with living mortals. But now we can't stop thinking about it.   

1. Passing out repeatedly

You might think being relentlessly hunted by the evilest wizard of all time would top anyone's list of the scariest challenge they have ever faced. But there was something that scared Harry even more than Lord Voldemort — the ghoul-like Dementors who guard the wizarding prison Azkaban. 

The dementors are brought to Hogwarts in Harry's third year to protect the school from Sirius Black, and Harry has his first run-in with a Dementor on the Hogwarts Express at the start of the year. In the face of the creature's ability to suck all the happiness out of a person and leave them with nothing but their worst memories, Harry finds himself completely overwhelmed, to the point of passing out. News of Harry's collapse quickly spreads around the school. 

The Slytherins, led by Draco Malfoy, lose no time in roundly mocking Harry for his fainting spell. That is far from the last time Harry could collapse when faced with a Dementor, and he grows to feel extremely self-conscious and ashamed of what he views as his lack of mental toughness. Fortunately, Professor Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) is on hand to explain to Harry that the reason the Dementors affect him much worse than other students is that he has experienced far more trauma than anyone else. This aligns with J.K. Rowling's explanation of the dementors being a metaphor for depression caused by personal trauma.