The Harry Potter franchise changed the landscape of publishing when it was first released in the UK in 1997 and then in the US a year later. The Wizarding World would go on to shape pop culture even further across the globe when The Philosopher’s Stone was adapted into a feature-length movie.
J.K. Rowling’s visionary world of Harry Potter didn’t just stop with the seven books and eight movies that revolve around The Boy Who Lived. Harry’s story may have wrapped, but several spin-off movies have been spawned.
The film adaptations have stayed faithful to the original books for the most part, but creative liberties have definitely been taken. While there were multiple changes from book to movie, the movie itself also went through several cuts before making it to the silver screen, as is typical of any film produced. The cuts were made to help preserve the momentum of the story onscreen and to cut down on run times, but there are quite a few deleted scenes that would’ve changed the way we see the movies.
The list below only includes deleted scenes from the original eight movies and none of the Fantastic Beasts movies. There will be spoilers!
25 Philosopher's Stone: Harry And Hagrid On The Tube
Harry is understandably confused when he first reads his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and the school supplies list. But the ever patient Hagrid meets him in London and then Diagon Alley, opening up a whole new world to the young boy.
A particularly cute scene was cut from The Philosopher’s Stone, with Hagrid and Harry sitting on the London Underground. Harry’s alarmed that dragons exist in the Wizarding World, but Hagrid reassures him, and actually goes so far as to confess that he wants a dragon of his own.
24 Chamber Of Secrets: Students Badmouthing Harry
Given his celebrity status among wizarding folks, Harry has an especially hard time fully fitting in at school. To make matters worse, in his second year it’s revealed that he’s a Parselmouth. That, combined with the mysterious cases of petrified students, prompts rumours to spread like wildfire around Hogwarts.
In a deleted scene, Harry leaves the library, and his classmates start talking about him behind his back. Little do they know, he’s actually eavesdropping behind the wall. It’s never a good feeling to have your peers badmouth you, but speculating that you’re the heir of Slytherin who’s going to wreak havoc must be extra disconcerting.
23 Prisoner Of Azkaban: The Sneakoscope
In the original Prisoner of Azkaban book, Ron gives Harry a sneakoscope as a gift. It’s a little gadget that warns you when anyone untrustworthy is around, and given that Sirius Black is (seemingly) out to get Harry, it’s a pretty thoughtful present. However, Harry concludes that it’s malfunctioning because it keeps lighting up and spinning when he’s surrounded by allies.
In retrospect though, the sneakoscope works perfectly, activating whenever Scabbers (aka Peter Pettigrew) is nearby. Including the sneakoscope in the movie would’ve added another layer of foreshadowing and another dimension during rewatches.
22 Goblet Of Fire: School Song Karaoke
In the first book, Dumbledore leads the students of Hogwarts in a rendition of the school song. Since the song doesn’t have any set music, Dumbledore simply tells the students to pick whatever tune they like.
If you think that’s bizarre, take a look at a deleted scene from the movie adaptation of Goblet of Fire. The song doesn’t appear in the first movie; instead, Dumbledore demands that the students welcome the competing schools by singing their school song. He conjures a ribbon with the words as the students sing along and perform some sort of choreography.
21 Order Of The Phoenix: Trelawny Eating
Okay, so maybe this deleted scene isn’t about to dramatically change how you view the Harry Potter universe, but Emma Thompson is truly an icon, and this scene is pure gold.
Umbridge is giving her first speech at Hogwarts in the Great Hall, and Trelawny just keeps on eating. Not only that, she loudly chokes on some food, drops two spoonfuls of what seems like yogurt on the table, sticks that yogurt spoon into her drink, and proceeds to wash her hands in said drink when she gets yoghurt on her hands.
20 Half-Blood Prince: Harry Helps Dumbledore Escape
In their search for Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Dumbledore and Harry visit an ominous cave. It’s the same cave that the Dark Lord visited as a child and has stored the Locket of Salazar Slytherin. Dumbledore decides to drink the potion that protects the Horcrux, since it’s the only way to empty the basin and get the locket. He ends up in a lot of pain, and if seeing this pillar of serenity in agony isn’t enough, there’s a deleted scene in which Harry helps Dumbledore escape.
Harry comforts Dumbledore, who replies that he’s not worried because he’s with Harry.
19 Deathly Hallows Part 1: Harry And Petunia's Talk
By the time the events of Deathly Hallows come around, the Muggle world has also been thrown into chaos due to Voldemort’s rise to power. The Dursleys are especially vulnerable, given their connection to Harry, and are forced to leave their house on Privet Drive. Harry reminds Petunia of the ruthlessness of Voldemort’s minions, and in a subtle, short moment, Petunia reminds him that he wasn’t the only one who lost a loved one in Godric’s Hollow.
Nothing could ever justify Petunia’s treatment of Harry and Lily, but Fiona Shaw’s terrific performance suggests that Petunia cared about Lily to a certain extent.
18 Philosopher's Stone: Hermione And Ron Become Friends
Harry and Ron are fast friends, bonding instantly despite their vastly different backgrounds. Hermione, on the other hand, is a different story. The two aren’t particularly fond of her because she comes off as a know-it-all. Things quickly change after they rescue Hermione from a troll, and Hermione even lies to get Ron and Harry out of trouble.
In a deleted scene, the trio walks down a hallway, discussing what had just happened. Ron is still a little bitter about the situation, but calls Hermione a friend. It’s a cute little moment that would’ve illuminated the dynamic between Hermione and Ron early on.
17 Chamber Of Secrets: Hermione Steals Uniforms From The Laundry
Remember the when the Internet lost its collective mind when Rowling said wizards and witches just pooped on the spot and vanished the evidence? This piece of info from The Chamber of Secrets isn’t as surprising, but it provides more insight into the inner workings of the Wizarding World, particularly Hogwarts.
Hermione’s brewing Polyjuice Potion, and casually mentions that she swiped some Slytherin uniforms from the laundry. That confirms that the kids have laundry service in the castle, which, let’s be real, would probably also be run by the house elves. Oh, and of course Hermione kept the uniforms neatly folded on the bathroom floor.
16 Prisoner Of Azkaban: Sir Cadogan
The Fat Lady guards the entrance to the Gryffindor common room, and has done so reliably over the years. However, she does go on hiatus after getting slashed open by Sirius Black, a seriously traumatic experience for her. Sir Cadogan takes her place while her portrait gets restored, and has no luck keeping Sirius out either.
In a deleted scene, it’s revealed that Neville had written down the passwords on a piece of paper, which fell into Sirius’ hands, allowing him to enter the common room without any hassle at all.
15 Deathly Hallows Part 1: Dudley Says Goodbye
Harry grows a lot over the seven years chronicled in the main books, but he’s not the only one. Harry’s cousin Dudley is one of his earliest and most consistent bullies, having learned that toxic behavior from his parents. Yet he also undergoes a transformation of sorts, maturing and realizing that his parents are downright abusive.
So when the Dursleys prepare to leave, Dudley is confused when Harry doesn’t join them. Vernon is still unfriendly, but Dudley walks over to Harry and shakes his hand, telling him that he’s not a waste of space.
14 Goblet Of Fire: The Weird Sisters
The Yule Ball in the Harry Potter universe is pretty similar to the high school prom in our world. There’s a lot of drama about asking people to partner up, awkward dancing, and squabbles about what to wear.
The movie version of the Yule Ball does seem a bit tamer compared to the average American prom, but in the books, The Weird Sisters are invited to play, much to the delight of screaming teenagers. The Wizard Rock band does appear in a cut scene though, complete with a dramatic light change and crowd-surfing.
13 Order Of The Phoenix: Umbridge's Extended Speech
At the height of Umbridge’s tyrannical reign at Hogwarts, she threatens to dose Harry with Veritaserum and even use the Cruciatus Curse to force him to reveal information. Hermione’s reminder of the curse’s illegality doesn’t faze her, but Hermione successfully tricks her into following them into the Forbidden Forest to find a “secret weapon”.
In this deleted scene, Umbridge has an extended speech that includes an explicit threat to Harry and Hermione’s lives. Plus, she mentions being motivated by ‘the greater good’, which harkens back to Grindelwald’s actions against Muggles and Muggle-borns.
12 Deathly Hallows Part 1: Harry Warns Arthur In Disguise
Harry, Ron and Hermione infiltrate the Ministry of Magic, disguised as three employees thanks to the wonders of Polyjuice Potion. In a particularly awkward moment, Arthur enters the elevator with Ron and Harry in disguise, offering help to Reginald Cattermole—Ron— and telling him to have faith while his wife is on trial. As Arthur leaves the elevator, Harry stops him and warns Arthur about being tracked. But since Harry is impersonating Runcorn, an investigator of Muggle-borns, Arthur challenges him and asks if it’s a threat.
We all know Arthur’s amazing, but this scene would’ve further cemented both his kindness and his moral backbone.
11 Philosopher's Stone: Ron Comforts Harry At Christmas
The holiday season is understandably difficult for Harry, having grown up in a toxic household and not having lost his parents as an infant. Even the festive decorations in the Great Hall and the company of his friends can’t quite cheer him up.
That said, Ron gives it a go anyway in a cut scene, leaving behind the cheery chatter at the table to comfort Harry, who is sitting alone in front of a fireplace. It’s a great reminder of just how sensitive Ron can be, even though he can come off as goofy comic relief at times.
10 Goblet Of Fire: Snape And Karkaroff's Argument
In the book, the headmaster of Durmstrang Institute and former Death Eater Igor Karkaroff confronts Snape about the Dark Marks on their arms, once during the Yule Ball and then after a potions lesson. The movie doesn’t feature these scenes, but there is a deleted scene in which Harry overhears the professors’ suspicious confrontation when he leaves the Yule Ball.
Snape’s out in the courtyard busting students who have snuck off to fool around, and Karkaroff takes the opportunity to follow him around, even as Snape denies knowing what he’s talking about.
9 Deathly Hallows Part 1: Ron Reveals The Taboo
Taboo is a spell that enchants a keyword, and allows witches and wizards to track anybody who uses it. The most notable use is during the Second Wizarding War, when Voldemort made his own name Taboo, making it much easier to track down members of the Order of the Phoenix, since they’re the only ones who dare to use his name.
Harry and Hermione find out about the Taboo from Ron during their hunt for the Horcruxes. The scene was shot but omitted, leaving some viewers confused as to how they figured out how to avoid capture.
8 Order Of The Phoenix: DA Disbands
This scene in particular hasn’t been released, but there is photo evidence that suggests they did film it. Dumbledore’s Army plays an integral part of the resistance against Umbridge’s harsh reign at Hogwarts. Since she’s unwilling to teach real Defense Against the Dark Arts, the students take it into their own hands and learn in secret.
In the available stills, Gryffindor members of Dumbledore’s Army sit dejected in their common room after getting caught by Umbridge and being forced to disband. The film does mention their disbandment, but the scene could’ve highlighted the emotional impact on the students.
7 Philosopher's Stone: The Trio Read About Grindelwald
Harry, Hermione and Ron spend a lot of time trying to uncover the secrets of Nicolas Flamel, the wizard who created the Philosopher’s Stone. They finally get a clue when they read a biography of Dumbledore on a Chocolate Frog Card, discovering that the headmaster had worked with Flamel.
The team did film the scene, but ultimately omitted it, which is a shame because it includes some clever and subtle foreshadowing. Dumbledore’s little bio includes a brief mention of Grindelwald, who later proves to be a much more significant character than the kids thought during year one.
6 Deathly Hallows Part 1: Ron And Hermione Skip Rocks
Saying that life during the Second Wizarding World is bleak would be a giant understatement. People are targeted on the basis of blood purity and families get broken up because of their allegiances. But humans can somehow find love in even the saddest circumstances, like Hermione and Ron.
There’s a deleted scene in which Ron teaches Hermione how to skip rocks, and the two bond over this little respite from the war. Their relationship can feel a little rushed in the movies, so keeping the scene would’ve helped develop it.
5 Order Of The Phoenix: Draco Mourns
Draco pretty much grows up with every privilege possible, but he does go through a lot of trauma as well, growing up in such unstable times. At one point, his father Lucius gets imprisoned in Azkaban after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.
In this unreleased scene, Draco mourns the incarceration of his father, knowing the horrible conditions of the Wizarding prison. Of course, none of this really excuses all the damaging things the Malfoys’ have done to Harry and his friends. But having the scene would’ve enhanced the audience’s understanding of Draco’s perspective.
4 Deathly Hallows Part 1: Teddy's Godfather
Given the First and Second Wizarding Wars, plenty of children lose their parents before even getting to know them. There’s Harry, of course, and then there’s Teddy Lupin, the son of Tonks and Remus. In a touching scene, Remus asks Harry to be Teddy’s godfather, which is especially gut-wrenching given how large a role Harry’s own godfather Sirius had played in his life.
Unfortunately, the moment was filmed but not included in any of the available footage. But at least the decision saved a few more tears from the audience.
3 Deathly Hallows Part 2: Tonks And Lupin Reunited
Tonks and Lupin have a complicated courtship, given the significant age gap and Lupin’s lycanthropy. However, the two still end up marrying and even having a son together despite societal pressures and prejudices. Tonks gives birth to Teddy and immediately goes off to help defend Hogwarts from Voldemort.
Lupin is understandably upset by her decision, wanting her to be home safe with their son, but Tonks insists that Lupin needs her. Both characters got way less screen time than they deserved, and keeping the scene would’ve helped develop their relationship.
2 Deathly Hallows Part 2: Draco Throws Harry's Wand To Him
Another scene that didn’t make the final cut is an arguably pivotal moment during the final battle at Hogwarts. As previously mentioned, Draco undergoes a lot of growth and change in seven years like his peers, wavering between his family’s allegiance to Voldemort and his own conscience.
In the deleted scene, Draco throws Harry’s wand back to him, running right past Voldemort to do so. The Malfoys eventually do defect, thereby avoiding sentences in Azkaban. But this short moment underscores just how much Draco has changed despite his highly prejudiced upbringing.
1 Deathly Hallows Part 1: Harry Finds Lily's Letter
Even though Harry was just an infant when it happened, losing his parents still has a profound effect on him as he grows up, especially since he doesn’t have a loving home at all. Everything he knows about Lily and James Potter are through his parents’ friends like Sirius and Lupin. That’s why Harry discovering Lily’s letter to Sirius in his bedroom at 12 Grimmauld place is especially significant.
It’s one of the only times that Harry gets to know Lily through her own words, and it’s a shame that the scene was ultimately cut from the movie.