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Top 10 Reasons Why Dolores Umbridge Is the WORST

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
She inspires more hatred than Voldemort. For this list, we’ll be going over the actions and personal defects in Dolores Umbridge that inspire hatred from “Harry Potter” characters and fans alike. Our list includes Her Little Cough, Her Cutesy Façade, Drugging Students with Truth Potion, She Encouraged Bullying, She Forced Students to Write Lines with Their Own Blood, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Why Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter Series is Hated.
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Top 10 Reasons Why Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter Series is Hated


She inspires more hatred than Voldemort. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Why Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter Series is Hated.

For this list, we’ll be going over the actions and personal defects in Dolores Umbridge that inspire hatred from “Harry Potter” characters and fans alike.

#10: Her Little Cough


While it may seem an odd thing to dislike about someone, Umbridge’s fake cough is the stuff of legendary irritation and hatred for many who encounter her. The horrible woman does retain some measure of social decorum, but she chooses to express it through a “polite” form of interruption – namely by giving a false cough, “hem hem.” It’s the kind of banal personality quirk that a lot of people encounter in everyday life, which is part of what makes her such a relatably hateable villainess.

#9: Her Cutesy Facade


On a related note, Umbridge also affects an almost girlish attitude and fashion sense; talking down to everyone around her in a sweet and “kindly” manner and wearing pink sweaters. Her office is even decorated with kitten plates! The jarring disconnect between Umbridge’s chosen appearance and personality and her vile actions just makes us all hate her more. She can pretend she’s Mary Poppins all she likes, but we can all see that her true character is the exact opposite of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – whatever that would sound like.

#8: She Tried to Get Harry Expelled from Hogwarts Multiple Times


Umbridge’s cruelty is especially directed towards Harry Potter, even before they actually meet, as she creates a situation that forces him to nearly break the law to get him expelled from school… but more on that later. Once she begins “teaching” at Hogwarts, many of her efforts are devoted to provoking Harry into breaking the rules with the end goal of removing him from Hogwarts. Even the Ministry doesn’t seem to know the extent to which she singles Harry out, and even if she isn’t acting against the law, trying to expel a student for no valid reason has to be extremely unethical.

#7: Drugging Students with Truth Potion


Another unethical and probably illegal act committed by Umbridge was her use of Veritaserum, a truth potion, on unsuspecting students. The poisonous pink professor has dosed several students and tried to use it on more to ferret out their secrets. We’re not exactly experts on British magical law, but we’re pretty sure using something meant to force criminals to tell the truth on children is unlawful, and if it isn’t, it definitely should be! Thankfully, Harry is able to work it out before she can use any on him.

#6: Disowning Her Family & Lying About Her Lineage


One might expect Dolores to have some sort of affection for her family, yet even that kind of basic human decency is beyond her. Dolores’ mother was a Muggle, her brother a Squib (or a person born to a magical parent with no magical ability), and her father was a janitor at the Ministry. Dolores and her father drove her mother and brother away because they blamed her for Dolores’ brother not having any magic. Meanwhile, she forced her father into retirement and pretended to those who asked that she was a pureblood wizard to appear more “respectable.” However, her actions certainly gave us the opposite view of her.

#5: She Encouraged Bullying


Umbridge’s bullying is quite horrible enough on its own, but she also foments and creates opportunities for others to bully as well. While at Hogwarts, she creates an “Inquisitorial Squad” filled with students from a particular house (we’ll give you one guess which one), who use their new authority to ruthlessly bully others for infractions both real and invented. Umbridge also empowers the bad-tempered caretaker Filch to have more opportunities to take out his frustrations on the students too. We’d go into her activities after she departs Hogwarts too, but that’s best saved for later.

#4: She Caused Hogwarts & Its Students to be Less Prepared to Fight Voldemort


When a dangerous dark wizard returns and many signs point that he has, instead of assisting in preparation, Umbridge instead actively works to suppress he evidence that he’s returned, but more importantly, she also doesn’t teach her students how to defend themselves properly. While she, or at least the Minister, erroneously believe that Dumbledore is using the school to create an army, it’s still no excuse for doing her job poorly and not giving her students practical instruction in self-defense, especially when it likely lead to more students dying in the final battle than would have if they’d been properly instructed.

#3: She Forced Students to Write Lines with Their Own Blood


While torment is the tool of many of the franchise’s villains, Umbridge gets rather creative with her punishments. Arguably the most infamous is her use of a special quill pen that uses the writer’s blood instead of ink and which scars their words onto their skin! This is just straight-up cruel and unusual torture, not to mention child abuse! Ugh. Imelda Staunton, who plays Umbridge in the films, was so sickened at filming these scenes that she nearly threw up. We can’t say we blame her!

#2: She Almost Got Dudley’s Soul Removed


One of Umbridge’s aforementioned attempts to get Harry expelled happened when she sent several Dementors, the soul sucking, depression-inducing guards of the wizard prison Azkaban to attack Harry while on summer break, in the book at least. The action was win-win from her perspective: either Harry would lose his soul, or he’d use magic to repel them and likely be expelled. What she didn’t account for was the presence of Harry’s cousin Dudley, who nearly received the Dementor’s dreaded kiss, which would have cost him his soul and made him a braindead husk. Her reckless and terrible actions nearly cost an innocent, if rather unpleasant, young man his soul.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions:

Unfair Educational Decrees

Firing Professor Trelawney

Messing with McGonagall

#1: She Persecuted Muggle-Born Witches & Wizards


Umbridge’s intolerance is one of her least palatable qualities, which is saying something. Besides her prejudice towards non and part humans like Hagrid or centaurs, she’s also willing to persecute members of the magical community with Muggle parents, despite having one herself. At the behest of Voldemort’s puppet Ministry, the loathsome woman subjects dozens if not hundreds of witches and wizards to false charges of “stealing” magic from “natural-born” magic users and sending them to prison or even subjecting them to the Dementor’s Kiss. Unjust imprisonment, family separation, ethnic cleansing, and cruel punishment are all despicable practices – whether they’re magical or not.
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