7 Early '00s References You Might Have Missed in HGQLC Season 1

Written by Lauren McEwen

You may have noticed that a few aspects of HGQLC seem a little dated. That’s because it picks up in 2004, a few years after the end of the Second Wizarding War and Hermione is now 25 – the prime age for a quarter-life crisis.

Ever the consummate Potterheads, the show’s creator, and writers wanted to keep to J.K. Rowling’s original timeline, but setting the show in the early aughts also allows us to really reflect on that time period. Of course, we can wax nostalgic about early ‘00s pop culture and fashion (how they convinced us that things like trucker hats and glitter jeans were acceptable, I shall never know), but on a more serious note, Hermione decided to make Los Angeles her home just as the U.S. was waging its own, highly controversial wars. The first season of HGQLC touches on all of this. Let’s take a look to see if there’s anything you might have missed.

1. “What’s cooler than being cool?”/”Hey Ya”

Ep. 1 – “ASIB (And So It Begins)”

This is probably one of the most obvious references on this list, but it’s also one of this OutKast fan’s personal favorites. During a game of Most Potent Potions, Tae Joon and Dez annoy Parvati and Juniper by working in a “Hey Ya” joke. It’s perfect because 1) can definitely imagine the Parv & Juni being sick TO DEATH of hearing the guys make that joke and 2) it was one of the biggest hits of ‘03. It got so huge that Polaroid even had to release a statement advising customers to avoid shaking their pictures, which is thoroughly hilarious.

2. “That’s 100...just like Britney Spears.”

Ep. 2. – “AILG (And Introducing LaQuita Granger)”

One thing you need to know about 25-year-old Parvati Patil is that she is a Britney Spears stan (something early backers of our Indiegogo campaign probably sussed that out based on all of the Britney featured on Parv’s exclusive playlist), but she will defend her against all criticisms, and even chooses to work out like her fave by doing exactly 100 pushups during every session.

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3. Hermione’s flip phone

Ep. 4 – “SISOSIG (Should I Stay or Should I Go?)”

During one of our live tweets, this scene actually made one viewer realize our show was set in ‘03. We get a look at Hermione’s text messages to better understand all of the pressure she’s under in LA, and it’s pretty obvious that she is tweeting from a flip phone with an extendable antenna. It’s all in the details.

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4. “Nicky Hilton-level boring”

Ep. 5 – “SYMON (Share Your Magic or Nah)”

Struggling to get into her boss’s good graces, Parvati asks her very famous friend, Hermione, to write a piece for Bewitched, the Wizarding fashion magazine where she works. Unfortunately, Hermione’s idea of a good piece is a historical essay about the history of war (which does sound pretty interesting, IMO), that Parvati’s editor calls as boring as Paris Hilton’s less popular sister.

5. “Don’t make me go all Nivea on you.”

Ep. 5 – “SYMON (Share Your Magic or Nah)”

LaQuita and Dez start crushing on each other after that awkward brunch in episode 3, and although Hermione’s completely supportive of the match, she does take the opportunity to tease Quita about it, since Parvati originally wanted to set Hermione up with the strapping young wizard activist. This quickly backfires when Quita’s “Don’t Mess With My Man” reference leads to some uncomfortable questions about where Hermione has been for the past 15 years (i.e. at Hogwarts, deeply entrenched in the Wizarding community, and almost completely detached from her Muggle family).

6. GWB protest

Ep. 5 – “SYMON (Share Your Magic or Nah)”

In 2004, the U.S. was at war and still reeling from September 11th. It’s been more than 10 years, so it’s kind of difficult for some to remember exactly how fearful and angry many Americans were at that time. Being at the anti-Bush/anti-war protest brings up some important feelings for Hermione, including the fact that she just survived a war herself and is a former anti-slavery activist (even if her approach to S.P.E.W. was woefully misguided). Attending the protest just another piece of the L.A. puzzle that helps to remind her of who she is.

7. The DC3 Debate

Bonus Clip – “The Wizard's Voice Online! STOLEN MOMENTS: The DC3 Debate”

Before the complete first season was available, we released The Wizard’s Voice online, a series of interviews and “stolen moments” featuring the HGQLC characters. One of my personal favorites is this clip of Hermione, Parvati, and Juniper having the classic “Which member of Destiny’s Child” debate.