Happy (Much Belated) Birthday to Harry Potter and his creator, J.K. Rowling!
To celebrate how much Harry Potter has been “The Chosen One” in all of our hearts, here is a list of ten nods in alphabetical order (along with an honorable mention!) to both the magical boy and his world! There are also a few books that are too good not to be on this list because we book-lovers at Bookstr have to give other authors credit for paying homage to “The Boy Who Lived” who, among many other literary icons, gave their profession a great name.
Unfortunately, this list will have to exclude the very popular parodies to the franchise, such as Potter Puppet Pals, the Saturday Night Live sketches, and the “Treehouse of Horror XII” on The Simpsons, as those are much more direct parodies than the mere parodying nods here.
Sorry, there weren’t any available pictures for this scene in the episode, but towards the end of “Lights! Camera! Danger!” the final part that Jimmy and his friends have to shoot for his movie is an obvious HP spoof, which casts Jimmy as a magician named Perry Bladder and also has a Pigpimples School banner, which contains all four Hogwarts house crest colors, hanging on the front of the kids’ school. Not to mention that they all confront a large (yet electronic) basilisk.
Now, that is great integration!
2. All That
The Classic Nick sketch comedy that launched Kenan Thompson in his career to the big leagues on SNL has no shortage of laugh-out-loud sketches, including the ones with “Harry Bladder” in their titles, which feature Thompson’s recurring character Professor Pimpell as he teaches a wizards potions class that includes the titular Harry Bladder. There was even one sketch when Harry and the rest of the class had to face off against a villain named Moldy Shorts.
Also, keep in mind that these sketches came out during the time when the HP movies were brand-spanking-new!
The fantasy book series that Arthur and his friends, especially hardcore fan Prunella, are obsessed with is a book series about Henry Skreever. A magician instead of a wizard, Skreever attends Pigblisters School of Charms, Tricks, & Spells, where there’s a Mangling Maple and the students play Soupitch as well as fly on magic carpets. There is even a villain named Moldywort.
Sounds very on the nose…
Now, onto the very first of the few books on this list! This certain book of the Captain Underpants comic-illustrated middle-grade series pits the titular Captain Underpants against a villain by the name of Hairy Potty and the Underwear of Justice. Okay, so it’s not exactly a strong parallel to our HP outside of the very similar – severely mocked – name, but it’s still a book that pays some sort of tribute to our true, not-so-hairy hero, who is not made of porcelain!
Yes, even a kids’ educational show about a big red dog even has an HP reference! The book series in this show is yet another magician named Peter Poundstone, revealed in the episode “Magic Is in the Air” when Charley is convinced that he, like Peter, has magic powers. As a result, he puts off doing a diorama on his favorite book because he thinks he can just make it appear on the day its due with this newfound “magic.”
Quite a lot of magicians on this list, don’t you think?
Again, another educational show targeted solely to grade-schoolers, only this time there is more math involved but with a magical theme to it all. In this show, along comes a spellcaster named Shari Spotter, who attends Frogsnorts School of Magic, under a headmaster named Professor Stumblesnore.
As you can tell by the items on this list (so far), Harry’s name can be rhymed with so many things, yet in the case with Cyberchase (did you see what I did there?) it is unique to see words that rhyme with “Dumbledore,” or even those for “Hogwarts,” instead of just synonyms like “Pigpimples” or “Pigblisters,” showing how creative show writers can be with their language!
True poetry at its finest…
This one may be cheating a little since, at the very beginning of Wishology Part 1, Timmy had wished to live out various movies in parody fashion, including HP, so it could be considered a full-on parody, but it is still worth mentioning!
Our buck-toothed pink-hatted 10-year-old Timmy Turner (a.k.a. soon to be the “Chosen One,” which could be a coincidence?) takes Harry’s place as Timmy Totter, and plays a game of Quidditch on a “Timbus 2000,” and chases after Poof, who has shrunken down to a golden snitch, right before having to escape the clutches of Vicky, who here plays Lord Moldywart, which sounds very similar to the moniker for Voldemort in the Henry Skreever series…
This interconnected pair of books was the reason the “books” portion was added to this list! In Rowell’s YA book Fangirl, Cath goes off to college to study Creative Writing while also writing her fanfiction novel for the Simon Snow series before the newest book comes out. Simon Snow is a clear model after Harry Potter as it tells the story of a young magician – of course, go figure – studying magic at Watford School of Magicks.
Cath’s novel, which in Fangirl she calls Carry On, Simon and can be described as a “novel-within-a-novel-based-on-a-book-series,” is also out (but just as Carry On) for us readers in the real world to enjoy! (And be on the lookout for the next Simon Snow book called Wayward Son, out by September 24, 2019.)
So, if you are looking for a taste of another set of literary works that is a spot-on parallel to HP and you know it, then these Rowell books are for you!
Call this a homage or a mockery to the HP franchise, but whichever way, there is no doubt that Billy and Mandy creator Maxwell Atoms definitely had the scarred magical Brit and his magical school to match in mind when creating Nigel Planter and Toadblatt’s School of Sorcery, both of which have appeared in various episodes throughout the Classic Cartoon Network show’s run.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Squid Hat voiced by “Weird Al” Yankovic, as well as – dare I say – Moldybutt!
10. Martha Speaks
While Cyberchase teaches children about the magic of math, Martha Speaks is more on the linguistic side of things since it’s all about a dog who can talk from eating alphabet soup and the new words that she and her friends, canine or human, learn every episode.
Anyway, in the episode “TD and the Light Bulb of Doom,” TD is given an assignment on Thomas Edison but decides to binge-watch all eight movies of the Harry Blotter, Boy Wizard franchise before the premiere of the ninth one. Blotter may also have an enemy called the Dark Lord of Really Dark Darkness, but it is unclear if this character were really Blotter’s foe or a figment of TD’s imagination created during his panicked state in trying to finish his assignment.
So, let this be a warning to you all: watch the Harry Potter movies with caution!
An Honorable Mention:
While the Disney Channel sitcom was the first thing that came to mind when compiling this list, since it was inspired by the franchise and does feature its own version of Hogwarts in the form of WizTech, it does not have any specific character pointing directly to Harry. However, this scene from the show does acknowledge him in a not-too-subtle way…
Video via YouTube
Featured Image via Yahoo