Americans Admit They Thought Things In Harry Potter Were Magic But They Were Actually British

Americans are admitting that they thought a lot of things in Harry Potter were magic - but it turns out they were actually just British. 
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Americans are admitting that they thought a lot of things in Harry Potter were magic – but it turns out they were actually just British. 

The wizarding franchise is undoubtedly a staple of British culture and is recognised all across the world.

From a book series that has sold over 500 million copies to spawning a multi-billion film franchise, everyone is familiar with Harry Potter.

We all know that the wizarding world has a range of strange and unusual things happening, but it seems that fans from the States are confused when it comes to differentiating what’s from Harry Potter and what is simply British.

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Taking to Reddit, one user asked: “Non-British readers, what’s something from the books you thought was magical but turned out to be just British?”

The first thing that was mentioned was a treacle tart – a traditional, classic British pudding. It is mentioned several times throughout the books as it is one of Harry’s favourites.

One person admitted that they thought treacle tart was similar to ‘butterbeer and chocolate frogs’.

“I didn’t know what they were, so I imagined some kind of cake that looked like an octopus or squid,” someone else said.

Treacle tart
Some non-British Harry Potter readers had no idea that treacle tarts actually exist. Credit: Alamy

Another British dessert that shocked fans was spotted d***, with one user hilariously admitting that they initially thought that Ron had flashed Hermione in the Great Hall.

Sticking with food and drink, many believed that pumpkin juice was also a condiment that was only served in the wizarding world.

Someone wrote: “I’ve always wondered this – Muggle-borns just accept pumpkin juice? Is it sweetened? Is it like carrot juice? A smoothie?”

Outside of the UK, not many people know what a prefect is.

If you are not familiar with the term, this is a secondary school student – who is usually in one of the higher years – who is given extra responsibilities, such as showing visitors around and keeping an eye on misbehaving students.

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While the role is not too different from a hall monitor to what they have in the States, this is a job that they also thought only existed at Hogwarts.

One person explained: “I read it as ‘perfects’ for like five years and I made total sense that Percy was a b**** if they were giving him a title like ‘perfect’.”

Another British term that has a completely different meaning in the States is punting.

In America, a punt is associated with American football as this is where you kick the ball away.

However, in the UK, a punt is a peaceful boat transport used in small rivers and shallow water.

So when American readers discover Filch punting Fred and George across a swamp suddenly, you can understand why they were shocked.

In the UK, it is not Christmas if you’re not sat pulling crackers with your family and friends.

Hogwarts express trolley.
Some non-British readers were not familiar with a train trolley service. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Surprisingly, some non-British readers are not familiar with this, as one person admitted that they thought it was a type of food.

Someone else confessed that trolley service on the train was a luxury only available on the Hogwarts Express.

So you can imagine their shock when they found out this is normal on a British train service.

In fact, someone shared that during a trip to London, they bought something off a cart just so they could feel like they were in Harry Potter.

Other examples included the school housing system, GCSEs and formerly O-Levels, and Willow trees.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.