Edit
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) Poster

Goofs

Character error 

Wizards younger than 17 are not allowed to use magic outside of school, yet Harry illuminates his wand in the opening scene ("lumos maxima"), with no trouble.
When Professor Lupin is resigning due to Snape passing around his werewolf identity, Lupin gives back the Marauders map to Harry. As he points to it with his wand and says 'mischief managed' it zooms in on the map and clearly says "Mooney" rather than the correct spelling which is, as JK Rowling spells it "Moony." This was done deliberately as an in joke, as the film's visual effects supervisor is named Karl Mooney.

Continuity 

When Harry is under the invisibility cloak and throwing snowballs at Malfoy and his cronies, there is a point at which he pulls down the pants of Crabbe and kicks him. In the next shot, Crabbe who was previously on the ground is now standing up, perfectly fine, while Goyle is on the ground in the position of the first. In addition, when the view changes to a long shot, you can see one person being spun around by their scarf and another getting his hat pulled over his eyes, which would be impossible for one person to do on their own.
In the hut, when the rock comes flying in the window, it breaks the urn into three large pieces. When we see it broken again later, it breaks into several small pieces.
Hermione's hair length grows back and forth all along the movie, often between chronologically adjacent scenes, in a manner not consistent enough to suppose that she gets haircuts.
When Harry and Professor Lupin are walking through the forest discussing the Dementors, they step up to a large rock and Hedwig is sitting there waiting. All of them are clearly in the shade of the trees when they arrive at that spot but when the shot changes to a view from behind them, they are all standing in bright sunlight.
In the scene where Hermione punches Malfoy in the face, you see her point her wand to his neck with her right hand. When she turns around you can still see the wand in her right hand. When she actually punches him, she uses her right hand, but there is no wand in it.
When Harry is bowing to the hippogriff, his tie is done up wrong - the thin part is much longer than the front part. But when he is riding the hippogriff his tie is done up properly.
When the line forms to battle the Boggart, there is a boy between Ron and Parvati. After Ron's turn, he is still there for a brief shot, but she then goes next and he is no longer seen.
During his conversation with Fudge, Harry's arm switches position on the back of the chair.
When the DADA class lines up to each have a go at the Ridikkulus Charm, Seamus is clearly behind Ron in the queue, followed by Harry. Once Ron ends his turn, Parvati is then next (not Seamus), followed by Harry.
When Neville is being scared by Trelawney, his hands are alternately above table level and below table level.
The first time Hermione howls at Lupin the werewolf to save Harry, Lupin gives a gentle howl back while running toward her. However, the second time she howls to save Harry, (when they are back in time,) Lupin only growls while running toward her.
When Peter Pettigrew is forced back into human form he is fully dressed, yet later when escaping by changing into a rat his clothes do not change with him.
When Harry uses Expelliarmus on Snape, Snape goes flying into a poster bed which crashes down around him. In a later shot, the bed is again intact, with Snape lying on it, unconscious.
When Harry is interrogated by Professor Snape about the Marauder's Map in the darkly-lit hallway, the drawstrings on Harry's sweatshirt change position. In one shot, they fall parallel, but in the next shot, they criss-cross. Also, when Lupin is talking to Harry in his classroom minutes later, the drawstrings switch from being cris-crossed to falling parallel between shots.
Ron's pimples move about his face from one shot to the next.
The spot on Harry's shirt in the finale moves from a large, dark spot over his breastbone to a less distinct spot over his right ribcage.
During the first Divination lesson, Professor Trelawney picks up Neville's cup from the table in front of Dean Thomas, comments on it, puts it back on its saucer and moves on. Immediately afterwards Neville grabs the same cup now standing directly on the tablecloth.
On the Knight Bus, as Stan Shunpike holds the newspaper in his hands the position of the hat on his head changes between shots.
In the CoMC class, when Harry is approaching Buckbeak, Ron is behind him. Sometimes he has his "Monster Book of Monsters" under his left arm, and sometimes the book is missing.
Lupin changes position between shots shortly before Harry takes his turn to fight the boggart.
Harry's grip on Buckbeak when they fly early in the movie changes between shots when they pull in for a close-up.
When Professor Trelawney takes Harry's tea cup and looks at the tea leaves, she sets the cup down quickly in shock, onto the saucer. In the next shot, Ron is seen taking the cup which is placed on the tablecloth.
When Stan Shunpike hands Harry his ticket on the Knight bus he gives it to him using his forefinger and middle finger in the front shot but when the shot is on his back (facing Harry) he is clearly using different fingers to hand the ticket to Harry.
When Harry and the gang are back in Hogsmeade after tormenting Malfoy, Harry is shown wearing the hood of his hoody. However, we see him a second time with the hood on and the next shot he is invisible. When he goes into the pub to listen to the conversation with Fudge, he is under the Cloak with no hood on.
During the scene when Harry has opened the Monster Book of Monsters, Harry is laying on the bed taking off his shoe while the book is hiding under the bed. As a train passes by the building shakes and causes little piles of dirt to fall in the floor. When Harry holds his shoe over the edge of the bed and then jumps on the book, the dirt is gone.
When Snape tells Harry to open the map, Harry is holding it with two hands. In the next shot, Harry is holding it with just his left hand.

Crew or equipment visible 

When Lupin is talking to Harry about Harry's parents a piece of lighting equipment is reflected in Harry's glasses.
(Widescreen Edition only) In the Leaky Cauldron, when Mr. Weasley pulls Harry aside to talk to him about Sirius Black, the number 301 briefly flashes in the bottom left side of the screen below the "Have you seen this wizard?" poster.
At the beginning of the film, when Aunt Marge enters the Dursley's, she is closely followed by a camera under a umbrella, just before it cuts to a shot from behind Aunt Marge.
When Dumbledore reaches the landing where the Fat Lady had been ripped, we are put into the door's view, as he rubs the loose paper up so the screen goes black for a short time. In the next scene you can see the small camera and the camera hole on the door.
You can sometimes see lighting devices reflected in the characters' glasses. As Harry is telling Hagrid "It'll be fine" as they are hurrying out the door, you can see lighting equipment reflected in Harry's glasses. Also, in Trelawney's first class, you can see similar lighting equipment reflected in her glasses.
During one scene when Harry is walking through Hogsmeade in his Invisibility Cloak, his footprints show up directly in between the very solid legs of someone walking.
When Harry is bowing to Buckbeak in the pumpkin patch near the end of the movie, you can see the bulge of his microphone battery pack, which is under the back of his sweatshirt.
In the scene where Lupin is packing up his office, as the camera pans you can clearly see the Boom in the reflection of the glass cabinet.
When Hermione angrily knocks over the crystal ball during the last Divination scene, a red and black tube can be seen jutting out of its side.

Errors in geography 

The Knight bus squeezes between two buses on Lambeth bridge while traveling North towards the Leaky Cauldron. The other two buses are heading South but one of them has Kings Cross as a destination which is North of the river and is therefore traveling in the wrong direction.
In one shot, there is a white and black butterfly flying, a species that doesn't live in Britain. It's a tropical butterfly, not a cold dwelling butterfly.

Factual errors 

In the closing credits, "Book of Monsters Repair Shop" is misspelled "Book of Monster's."

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

After the class has finished dealing with the boggart, Harry's scar appears to be on the wrong side. We are seeing his reflection in the mirror on the door of the wardrobe that holds the boggart.
When the Dementor attacks Harry on the Hogwarts Express, everything freezes in ice. The bottle on the table does not expand like freezing liquid would. (Only water expands when it is frozen, if the liquid is alcohol of some sort, it will shrink when frozen if it is strong enough. Or maybe there is a spell on it, there is a number of possible explanations for this.)
In the first scene with the Fat Lady, the background of the painting appears to be inside a structure, with a pillar to the left of the picture. When the picture is next seen after having been slashed, the background has completely changed, with a structure in the far distance. Hogwarts portrait backgrounds are usually static, but this change could be a result of this trauma.

Plot holes 

Professor Lupin says that he was watching the Marauder's Map and that the map showed Peter Pettigrew on the grounds. Had he seen this, he would have also spotted two 'Harry Potter' and two 'Hermione Granger' symbols on the grounds on the map as there was one of each from the present and one of each from the future. This however goes unmentioned.

Revealing mistakes 

In opening scene in Harry's bedroom, it can be seen in one shot that Harry is lying on a sheet of glass (to allow magical lighting effect) rather than on a sheet.
During the boggart scene in the front view of Parvati, Harry is played by a stand-in.
When the Whomping Willow hits Harry and Hermione, they land on the grass hard. However, as Hermione gets up, she pushes down on the grass they are on, and you can tell that it is separate from the rest of the grass around them. They obviously landed on a softened mat rather than the regular ground.
In the later part of the movie, when a cloud moves to reveal the full moon, Harry and Hermione's faces light up as though a light shines directly in front of them. The moon however, is to their right.
During the first shot inside the Leaky Cauldron, you see a waiter make a bottle disappear. If you look closely, you can tell that not only was the bottle tipped on its side to appear as though it had disappeared, but it's still visible under the cloth used to wipe down the table.
When Malfoy is hit by the first snowball, he flinches before the snowball actually hits him, which is supposed to be done by surprise.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione first enter their train compartment with Lupin sleeping, the train appears to be shaking, but the liquid in Lupin's bottle does not move.
When Harry blows up his aunt, you can see the cables that she is attached to.
When Hermione jumps over the branch of the Whomping Willow, you can see the cables pulling her up.
In the scene where Harry attacks Malfoy and his cronies from underneath his Invisibility Cloak, you can see a snowflake in Harry's hair as soon as he takes off the Cloak. This would not be possible as Harry has had the Cloak on the entire time.
During the scene where the Fat Lady is missing from the picture, and Dumbledore is coming to examine it, Filch is close behind him. As they approach the painting, you can see Filch's cat (Mrs. Norris) with her real green eyes, instead of the red eyes the cat is supposed to have in the movie.
While Harry (hiding under the Invisibility Cloak) is attacking Malfoy and company in Hogsmeade, he leaves no footprints behind in the snow. However, in all other Hogsmeade scenes, Harry leaves footprints in the snow.
As Harry and the others run up the stairs to the Fat Lady picture for the first time, you can see the actors' focus/lighting markers on the floor. They're white crosses with gaffer tape.
When Neville tries to open his Monster Book of Monsters and gets attacked by it, you can see that a large amount of the paper supposedly shooting out of the book is coming from nowhere near the book.
When Dudley is watching television, he is watching The Generation Game. We see a contestant put some headphones on, and in the next shot we see the same clip.
When Harry is telling Professor Lupin that he's seen someone on the Marauder's Map, a light is turned on outside the windows, accompanied by a click.

Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

The mud on Hermione's trousers changes throughout the time-turner scene.

Continuity 

While Harry and Hermione ride Buckbeak to go rescue Sirius, his scar changes position on his head several times.

Continuity 

When Sirius is lying beside the lake (with Harry beside him) after fighting with werewolf Lupin, his eyes pop open and he gasps in fear as the dementors start circling. However, when the shot changes to a from-above view, his eyes are closed.

Continuity 

When Harry and Hermione are hiding from the werewolf, and they back away from a tree, Hermione is 2-3 steps behind Harry and closest to the werewolf. In the next shot, she is in front of Harry as he puts his arm around her to protect her.

Continuity 

When Snape is filling in for Lupin in Defense Against the Dark Arts, Hermione's Time Turner changes from hanging over her robe, to under, then over again between shots.

Continuity 

When Harry, Ron, and Hermione are talking to Hagrid about Buckbeak's execution we see Harry get up and walk away from the rock he is sitting on. But in the next shot, Harry is sitting back down on the rock.

Continuity 

During the night, when Harry goes looking for the Peter Pettigrew he saw on the Marauder's Map, when Snape catches Harry, Harry puts the map in his front pocket, the shape of the map being in his pocket changes from shot to shot.

Continuity 

In the Shrieking Shack, Ron is pointing as he says "He's an animagus!" His hand then goes from pointing to holding Scabbers between shots.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

In the time-turner sequence, Hermione notes that once they go back, the time is 7:30. She gave the time-turner three turns, making their return time 10:30, if one turn is equal to one hour. When Hermione and Harry return, the clock strikes twelve times, with the last two being faint. There's nothing to say that the Hogwarts clock uses the standard chimes, so this can be interpreted as an alternate way of rendering 10:30. As such the first, louder chimes represent the hour (10) while the fainter chimes represent the quarters past the hour (2 quarters past = half past).

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When the Time Turner sends Harry and Hermione back to the past, some of the re-visited events happen differently - people's positions are changed, objects are in different places, and precise movements happen in a different order. This could represent different perspectives, or a side effect of time travel.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The length of the chain used for Hermione's Time Turner varies throughout the film - sometimes it's quite long and other times it's barely longer than a normal necklace. She could have easily made adjustments to it as it suited her.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Harry attacks Snape, the Expelliarmus spell seems to act like a Stupefy spell, established as distinct earlier in the movie. The difference between these two spells is a heavily-debated matter. It can be found in the book that both Ron and Hermione were supposed to have attacked Snape with Expelliarmus as well, which caused him to be blown backwards and knocked out. As neither Ron nor Hermione actually did attack him in the movie, this is an incorrect chain of events.

Revealing mistakes 

After Harry comes out of the pub when he finds out that Sirius is his god-father, just before Hermione takes the cloak off, you can see some snow on the green sheet used to make the cloak.

Revealing mistakes 

When Sirius (as Padfoot) goes to jump over Harry and Hermione to get to Ron, Harry and Hermione look up before Padfoot ever jumps over the two.

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page