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Oddly colored hair (naturally or dyed) ie: blue, pink, streaked hair, "bottle red" (Think Rihanna)

Oddly colored eyes (and colored contacts) ie: red, yellow, pink, COLOR-CHANGING EYES

Unnaturally beautiful characters, ie: perfect proportions and complexions, etc.

Being an animagus or a metamorphous  (meta is very, very rare and ani is hard to achieve and  you have to be registered)

Being a half-breed creature, ie: half-veela, half-vampire, half-werewolf (or a werewolf, for that matter)

Having your character self-harm, ie: cutting, popping pills, etc. (This is a very over-done thing in oc's, and it's frankly not something healthy)

Having them dress in clothing outside the time-period (do your research)*

Having them be goth/emo/scene (seriously over-done)

Giving them tattoo's and piercing (they go to a boarding school in Scotland, seriously guys)

As just a general statement; "Scene",  and "Emo" fashions didn't start up until the mid-to-late 2000's. Mind your time periods when creating characters.

    *Wizarding clothing is more of a Victorian-influenced style (according to the movies and books), Muggle clothing would be early 1990's to late 1990's


Most clichéd romances for your oc to experience: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black,  Fred and/or George Weasley, Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger (basically, main characters. I'm not saying all of these romance stories are horrible. I've seen some wonderful ocxcanon pairings)

THE WORD OF JK ROWLING IS PRETTY FINAL; we know who marries who and who dies and such for the most part. Please stick to the storyline.

More clichés: having your oc sleep with a canon character, be raped by a canon character, dating/loving a teacher (anything past a crush), having a canon character's  baby, marrying a canon character, etc.

You can always make up your own love interest for the your oc, you can mold them into whatever you want and you're free to create your own storyline without having to worry about sticking exactly to the book.

Family and Friends:

Killing off your oc's parents is so overdone it's not even funny (~90% of all oc's I've seen are orphans)

Having Voldemort kill the parents is even more of a cliché

Having them grow up with horrible guardians or having them raise themselves is another big cliché

Having them be sexually/mentally/physically abused in their childhood is very cliché


Having them be closely related to canon character's is commonly overdone as well

If you're making them pureblood, do a little family tree research. I looked alot at family trees and such, and it helped me understand relations much better

If they are the child of any of the following, throw the character out and start from scratch: Severus Snape, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, James Potter, Dumbledore, Voldemort and Hagrid

If they are friends with Draco Malfoy's crew then they are probably not going to hang out with the Golden Trio, and vice versa. It's just not very logical.


They are not on the Gryffindor Quidditch team while Harry Potter is attending school

No girls are on the Slytherin Quidditch team while Harry Potter is at school


Uniform violations are getting to be ridiculous (check out my uniform guides for info, posted below)

  No wands with Phoenix feather cores

Giving them a wolf/dolphin patronus is very overdone (no mythical creatures as well, like dragons and unicorns)

They cannot have a pet at school that is not an owl, a cat, a toad or a rat

Transfer students would be very unlikely (American and Japanese transfer students are so overdone)



possible the most clichéd house, "Brave, loyal, sometimes stupidly courageous, etc." Colors are Red/Gold, Boys cannot be in Girl's dorms.

Typically the "good" house, where all the heroes and heroines are. They might tragically die during the Battle of Hogwarts and then are later brought back to life.


Another clichéd house, "ambitious, cunning, etc.", Silver/Green colors, very blood-purist.

Typically, this is the "bad" house, full of the party girls/boys and the "rough" crowd. This is a split when it comes to the Battle of Hogwarts though. Either they're Death Eaters or they fight with the good guys and  almost die for a canon-character (usually Harry or Draco). Usually labeled as "misunderstood and emo/goth".


not as clichéd but it has it's few sues. Usually portrayed as the "nerd" house because it's full of intellectuals and people who love to learn. Colors are Blue and Bronze in the book and Blue and Silver in the movies.


The least-clichéd house. Very underrated house full of loyal, hardworking students.  Colors are Yellow and Black.

There are no other houses at Hogwarts besides these four, unless you count the fictional Mary-Sue house of  SparklyPoo (:

Okay, before everyone get's all up in arms over this let me just say that these are stereotypical things that I've seen. Just because your character has one of these traits doesn't mean I'm calling them a Mary Sue. My oc, Merope actually has a trait or two of the ones I've listed above, as does her love interest, Phineas.
Here are some tidbits to follow up on:

Hogwarts Uniform Guide: [link]

A Mary Sue Limitus test: [link]

A list of Pureblood families:
if anyone want's me to add something to this list, please tell me (:
Add a Comment:
snopock Featured By Owner May 10, 2015
Not a very reliable guide. All of these points have been hashed in all the way to the next century. Also, using the Houses as a means to portray where a vast majority of the Mary/Gary Sues brood? Not a good pointer at all. If you have an OC, there is absolutely nothing "cliche" about which House you shove them into as long as it's relevant to the plot and not just to slither into the pants of a canon character. Instead of describing how cliche it is to be in a certain House, perhaps inform them of what to circumvent in their story if they DO join a specific House. 

Many things that I see in OC fics for Harry Potter (especially since I sift through the Marauder's Era stories) is referencing bands that don't even exist during that time. Or maybe just referencing something in general that didn't exist. A helpful thing to do would be to link a list of things that existed during the Harry Potter era and things that didn't.  
ThestralWizard Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
question: why would a child of Hagrid (studying after the potter era, obviously) be considered a Sue? 
AlfordTheArtist Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Awesome guide! One thing you should add is if they are in the Harry Potter era they shouldn't have anything we are used to now, ex: MCR, Justin Bieber, and other things.
Kawaii0Noir Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm well mines a metamorphous and I don't really care because it helps with his story
MemoriesPast8956 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014
I was considering making my character Marcus Flint's sister and expanding on the Flint family a bit more - they are one of the sacred twenty-eight, and quite possibly related to Ursela Flint, who married into the Black line. However Marcus is a cannon character, do you think I should scrap that idea?
chi-chan14 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014  Hobbyist
people can do really whatever they want for OCs....and phoenix feather isn't mary sue =-= its a legit core
AskShyShadowLinkette Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
((Admin: Alright, my OC.
Name is Silver Yuusha
Age is 10 to 17
House is Hufflepuff
Family is her Brother Green, sister Aryll, Cousins Violet, Red and Blue, Grandmother and Aunt.
Hair colour is light brown, hints of blond
Eye colour is hazel with green flecks
Boyfriend (7th year onwards) is Dean Thomas
So, what do you think? ))
AskGhostRedLink Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
(( *Winces* Oh, god, what was I thinking when I wrote that. Ugh. Just let me go back to the past and kill younger me, please. *gags* So glad I changed the character a lot. ))
RigelIsUnappreciated Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa, you seem really well-informed on this! I don't have any Harry Potter OCs that I'm working on currently, but I do have a buttload of original characters that could do with checking.... do you do Mary-Sue checks outside of HP OCs?
MrGamerGirl Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
My character, Alice Triton, is in Hufflepuff, has a unicorn hair wand core, has a horse patronus, comes from half-blood heritage, is incredibly shy, owns a Cleansweep broomstick, and does well in her classes. She is also pretty, but not like DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, she's got that...innocent cutie vibe going. Is she a Mary Sue?
k8eroseg Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014
I don't know about the maker of this check, but I don't think she's a Mary Sue. Alice sounds like a great character!
MrGamerGirl Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! Any tips?
NimbusBlack Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
My OC is a werewolf, and the daughter of Sirius, but I wouldn't say she is a Mary-Sue... She is also a gryffindor, but only because she really is brave... Her patronus is a wolf, but she is a wolf? Is that bad? Should I just throw her away? This made me feel insecure about all my writing...
AbsentMindDeviant Featured By Owner Edited Sep 28, 2014  Student General Artist
Here's a few things I think  might make my OC a stu.

He is an Arabian transfer student from North Africa

His name is Laith Minyar, Arabic for Lion of Dawn

His patronus is a lion

I think his house is obvious

He also uses a flying carpet rather than a broom, although he own one

He hails from a long family line if treasure hunters, that's why he can be count as one of the rich students

He love setting things on fire

He knows how to cast the torture curse, but never used it on a humanoid target before

So what do you think?
Melacollina Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You do realize that this is fanfiction, correct? Which means that the writer can alter the story to suit their needs? If we wanted to read about Harry Potter ... We'd read the books. Some people want to explore the world of Hogwarts through different eyes and that does not mean they have to follow the plot of the books/movies to a tee. It's boring; we know what happens.

I don't like OCs that are Mary Sues but I don't have a problem with someone switching the story to suit their needs (ie. a character falling for Snape or Dumbledore).
takanahyuga Featured By Owner Edited Aug 26, 2014
i meeean... if a person has an OC they can make their own story n all, i agree with most of your points but putting an OC in a story already changes the plot and some may want to leave the whole idea unchanged but some may want to put something of theirs to the story, but that story is already theirs. ALSO why cant the OC have a wand with phoenix feather core??? Having a wand with phoenix feather core isnt all that rare, maybe cliche a little BUT i have seen tons of people with phoenix feather core on Pottermore and its not like they chose that wand. THE WAND CHOOSES THE WIZARD, not the other way around
(apologies for any mistakes i have made, english isnt my native language)
xXx-Kuo-Yi-xXx Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014   Traditional Artist
Well, my Gryffindor OC Ruby is seven years younger than the Golden Trio and isn't related to any of the canon characters and certainly didn't fall enough with a main character, she isn't a teacher's favorite either due to always getting into mischief and doing naughty things or playing tricks on the teachers she doesn't like. She grew out of this when she got older, but when she was younger she was a little childish sometimes and too mischievous for her own good. Let's see....brown braids, brown eyes, she's not an orphan. So far so good, I suppose. Meow :3 
Lady-Brazil Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I completely agree ^^ 
although with the half veela I wouldn't call it Mary Sue. It's not uncommon and has been said that veelas have married wizards and have had half breed children. Where they get their magical ability from their father and / or their beauty from their mother. Although it's not as common as pure bloods and muggleborns etc

But the way you described it that Gryffindor and Slytherin are theultimate Cliché houses. Although most people put their OCs in those houses, I wouldn't class them as Cliché Just the Mary Sue character put in them that ruin it 

other than that it's spot on! (I hate when people don't follow the dress code aswell XD) 
RailgunCz Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
oh yeah, you forgot something: a character whose name is a normal but a mispelled name (like Katie to Kayteeh) 

And I want to ask? What if the character is related to a very minor character? Like a cousin of marcus flint or millicent bulstrode??
SpectrumHugh Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Another  thing you could put is if the canon character their paired with finds them singing a song related to their life, like, I saw a fanfic where an oc was singing " I'm not okay" by MCR, and Harry walked in. I thought that was cute, but then I saw like 50 more of them and it got a bit overdone : P, not saying anything against fan fictions that do that but, it is a bit cliché : P 
stars-shine-bright94 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
That is definitely a common thing within fan fictions, I've seen some where songs are incorporated in a good way but it's important to remember things like the songs fitting the timeline (i.e., MCR wouldn't be around in Harry's time at Hogwarts).
SpectrumHugh Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
That's what I thought, too. Thanks for clarifying, though.
KaciMoonlight Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know exactually if this is where I sould be asking this at, but oh well. I'm making an oc based on myself and my looks and personalities, but my problem is that i don't know where to go to put down the things the wands are made up of like the Wand wood, Wand core, & Wand length.

Do you happen to know what the things that are used for them? because I don't want to use something that is totally off the walls and makes no sense, ya know what i mean?

So ya, I'm having trouble with the wand info, and what year would someone be in at Hogwarts if they were 14? Plus would it be mary-sue if my OC was a muggle in Slytherin, bc I want my OC to be in the house I got on Pottermore is all, and the blood status' confuse me too much. So do you think you might be able to help? or atleast point me in the right direction?

Sorry to be bothering you with so many quesions ^-^' I understand if it takes a while for you to respond back. Thanks for even reading this, if you do that is, and thanks if you respond back ^_^
stars-shine-bright94 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Here's a place to research wands:…

If the person was 14, they should be in their 4th year at Hogwarts and I think the question about Slytherin and muggleborns depends on when you want the story to take place. Slytherin, at least around the time Harry was in school, was mainly composed of pure-bloods. It was like this for centuries but according to Rowling, the house has become more accepting of muggleborns since Harry was at school. 

I hope this helps (:
ScorpiOpal18 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
Actually, it depends on when they were born. 
Harry turned 14 just before his 4th year which is why he was 14 during the course of GoF. However, Hermione turned 14 at the start of their 3rd year and turned 15 at the start of their 4th year.
First Year (Muggle Year 7) is 11 to 12.
Second Year (Muggle Year 8) is 12 to 13.
Third Year (Muggle Year 9) is 13 to 14.
Fourth Year (Muggle Year 10) is 14 to 15.
Fifth Year (Muggle Year 11) is 15 to 16.
Sixth Year (Muggle Year 12) is 16 to 17.
Seventh Year (Muggle Year 13) is 17 to 18.
For example, I'm born in October so at the start of the school year I'd be the younger age but once I've celebrated my birthday, I'd be the older age.
Is that clear?
KaciMoonlight Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, it helped very much ^_^ thank you for your much needed help :)
AskTheRoseElf Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually i believe I can help with this xD!

Most information can be found of wands on the site pottermore itself , it got updated and now have all core information and such.

When it comes to slytherin , it is NOT all full blood students. There are muggle borns and half bloods in slytherin just like in any house really.
I myself is a slytherin , people usually think slytherin is a house full of f-ed up racist bastards who doesn't allow ANYONE that isn't full-blooded into their 'inner circles of black magic'. When in reality we are really nice towards people we care about and are close to.
As a fellow slytherin I can tell you that it isn't as many say.

If you are confused with how the blood status system works , it depends on the person in question.

A full blood is a person with both a wizard and a witch as parents. Born from a magic family.
A half blood is a person with one muggle parent and one witch.
While you probably understand what  muggle born is I wont explain it.

Most WOULD say a full blood is on top of the food chain in the wizard world really , while the others are below. 

So yeah , hope that helps xd
KaciMoonlight Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, you very much did help and thanks for responding to my questions. :thanks:

Ok then, thanks for the info about Slytherin ^-^ I really do apriciate it.

It very much so did help me ^_^

One last question though, what year would a student be in if they are 14 or 15? Because I keep confusing myself when I try and think about it ^_^
AskTheRoseElf Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem dear ^V^!

Happy to hear that!

Well , If you look at the normal ages I believe 
1st year - 11
second - 12
third - 13
and so on. Not sure actually , I suggest looking what age you are the first year and then looking at how long they are in certain years ^^!
KaciMoonlight Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
OK thank you very much ^_^ I'm glad you could help and i figured it out

1st year at Hogwarts - ages 11 to 12

2nd year at Hogwarts - ages 12 to 13

3rd year at Hogwarts - ages 13 to 14

4th year at Hogwarts - ages 14 to 15

5th year at Hogwarts - ages 15 to 16

6th year at Hogwarts - ages 16 to 17

7th year at Hogwarts - ages 17 to 18

I looked it up after i asked again forgetting that i asked ^__^' But atleast we both know now, right?

Well, I'll stop bothering you now. Thanks again for the needed help ;)
AskTheRoseElf Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh dear your not botherin me xD ~
Im happy I was of any help!
KaciMoonlight Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad as well :)
izzyle Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My oc goes to school after the golden trio and is not related to any of the characters she is a gryffindor but that is because that is her personality. She is on the gryffindor quiddict team after harry potter left. And she was born a couple generations after and her patronus is a tiger.
puglover3000 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
One of my OCs is a metamorphmagus, but my story is based a few generations after the series, and she's the only metamorphmagus out of all my OCs. SO is that really Mary-Sue? The only other thing that character violates is that she's not British, (I haven't actually decided where's she from, I might make her British) but a lot of my OCs aren't, and some go to Dumstrang or Buexbatons. Plus, rules probably changed since then. Sorry to annoy you with questions, you just seem to know what you're doing.
stars-shine-bright94 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Well, if she goes to Hogwarts she's British generally. And there are a few countries that fit under "British", such as England, Scotland and Wales. Seamus Finnegan was Irish and he went to Hogwarts as well, so as long as the character is from the United Kingdom (and Southern Ireland) they'll be fine.  As for the metamorphous thing, Rowling hasn't spoken much on how it works (is it genetic, like it is from Tonk to Teddy, or is it very random?). It really just depends on how you write it out, I think that it could be fine. Just remember it's a super rare trait for wizards and witches to possess (:
peacefulinvasion Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Yah there are too many griffindores. The only ones with hufflepuff ocs identify themselves as hufflepuff
heliianthus Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Also in the movies I saw a girl with an Armadillo as a pet, as well as one with mice. So I guess the rules are not that strict on having pets as long as they are not too big/noisy/stinky. And Harry's son took a ferret to school in the movies?

(not trying to be offending but I'm just wondering :) )
heliianthus Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Didn't the slytherin team have girls too? I believe I saw at least one in the movies. But I might have been mistaken.
stars-shine-bright94 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
In the movies maybe, but in the books Rowling tells us that there were no girls on the slytherin team while Harry was at Hogwarts. And yet again, the movies deviate from the books a bit, but in the books it is said that the pets students can have are a a toad, a cat or an owl (Ron breaks this rule with his rat though so maybe other students could do the same).
heliianthus Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Alright, thank you :)
AnonymousWriter228 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
I can't say I think this thing make a Mary Sue just a cliché character I think it depends on the writer. I myself am writing a Fem!Harry story where her two best friends are Remus's daughter Mira and Sirius daughter's Artemis. So I have to disagree with the scratch them just because of that. 
Mira will be a Ravenclaw, she is really a shy and nice girl. She grew up with her Mother and Muggle family because her mother was a Muggleborn . She is not a werewolf or even half werewolf. She had a pretty normal time growing up she doesn't know Remus all that well but they wrote each other. She has short dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. Her wand is 12¼" Cherry wood and Unicorn hair springy.
Artemis on the other hand is going to be Slytherin because the hat told her that her family had all been sorted into Slytherin aside from her father.  She is really bubbly and does not have the determiner of a normal Slytherin however she is sarcastic and mischievous. She has curly dark brown hair and her fathers gray eyes. Her wand is 13" Ash wood and a Dragon heartstring core. 
None of the girls were (incuding Hazel my femHarry) having be sexually/mentally/physically abused in their childhood. However Hazel was bullied(duh by Dudley). Hazel is also in Hufflepuff. I think its fun for Marauder's to have daughters not sons. 
As for romance I just go with how feels right as they grow older I don't start the started planning for romance.
blackgryphon101 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
One of my oc's is Greek and related to Slytherin (Salazar's brother). I chose Greece because if you read the myths there's a person called Melampus who could speak to animals his descendants could only speak to one species(eg. Snakes or Birds). Although she's at Hogwarts so she can study abroad. I'm trying to avoid her being an Mary Sue. I'll give you a more in depth explanation later. Her names Amber Azreal.
ShatteredAngelTears Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Under Hogwarts, it says “They are not on the Gryffindor Quidditch team while Harry attends school”, but who exactly is “they”? I though Harry was on the Quidditch team, playing Seeker. 
stars-shine-bright94 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
"They" refers to the oc. Harry was on the quidditch team the whole time while at school so the Gryffindor players are described often so it wouldn't make sense to try to work in an extra character there, unless it's a second string member or something. 
ShatteredAngelTears Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay; thank you very much. 
Oakwyrm999 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I checked and my character was about to have three points that matched up, but then I realized it's so much more fun to create a lover for him if I don't have someone who is perfect. And I don't! :) So thanks!
Calochortusalbus Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
My character is a hufflepuff and she's not really that pretty she's more cute like and is always eating food. Does a coral core wand count as cliche? Her life like a normal wizard life. Do anime cliches count though because most of my story is like that but it's also a comedy so I'm not sure if that counts. You know it's funny because when I checked with this almost non of my characters had these cliches. I guess I'm pretty good at this! Thank for this though it was quite helpful anyways.:) I do have a character who has different colored eyes but she is also a Ravenclaw so does that undo the cliche a little. Is shipping Tom RiddlexOC cliche. Oh yeah I did tons of research too and man is hard. P.S. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw need more love.
Calochortusalbus Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
also does it count if they are not raped but tortured in other ways by a cannon character. I mean the canon character is already a sadist so it's kinda following the story.
Desnay Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
My characters are currently unregistered Animagus because they just got it down and are finally able to transforn fully. And they live in the 21st century with my first being born in 1996.
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