aka: You Should Know This Already
Congratulations! After plenty of hype aversion
and general laziness, you finally decided to check out that series everyone's talking about. You go to the DVD store, buy the first season, set up your DVD player, turn on the TV, crack open the DVD case and...
... wait a minute. Isn't that a commercial for the latest season? Why is the first season's ruthless and merciless big bad
being all chummy-chummy with the main protagonists? You mean he's going to turn good?!
Feeling annoyed that a major event has just been spoiled for you? Irritated? Enraged? Too bad because other fans, and apparently the advertisers, all agree it's your own fault for not being aware.
Basically, a late arrival spoiler is when a particular revelation in a current work is spoiled by official sources and merchandise. This could be due to a number of factors, like the toy division making an action figure of one of the heroes post-Face-Heel Turn
, or showing them off on the front cover. In any case, it all boils down to being spoiled because you started too late. Hence, it's a late arrival spoiler.
Sometimes, it is hard to avoid this in shows that feature major changes in setting and cast line-up that hinge on major plot twists in previous seasons. For example, the Season 1 big bad is a major player on the good guys' side
in Season 4. How exactly are you going to hide
that in promos just for the sake of not spoiling the people who haven't watched Season 3 yet? Also a frequent problem in longrunners and multi-volumes where the story unfolds over a long period of time.
This may also manifest when publication is not simultaneous across different places, usually between countries (for example, a movie is released at X day in the United States and X+Y day in Europe, or a comic book or animated series is not published or aired in a certain country until it's translated to the local language). Once the work is available to the public at the source country, all official sources and related business may consider that it's fair game to consider that the audience has already seen it, and proceed to sell the "Luke, I Am Your Father
If the spoiler in question is common knowledge to people in general, then it was his sled
. Compare Trailers Always Spoil
and Spoiler Opening
, when the plot is spoiled before the fans even get their hands on the product, as well as First Episode Spoiler
, which tends to be the extreme of this. If it's a little less extreme, hits early but not immediately, it might be a Mid-Season Twist
. See Popcultural Osmosis
for cases when the reveal is included in modern and more popular works, such as adaptions or parodies. A subset of All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game"
, where the big twist is the one thing everyone knows about the work.
Needless to say, all examples may contain spoilers for some people, as described.
open/close all folders
- A popular arc of Superman featured a warped and bizarre Metropolis in which the villainous Superman every night busted out and had to be brought back to jail by the resident superhero, Bizarro. The reason behind this sudden change and the entity responsible? The mystery was tightly kept during the original release, but the fact that the paperback collection was titled Emperor Joker ruined the big surprise.
- The second issue of Marvel's Thunderbolts comic had a retailer's incentive alternate cover that showed the team in their original Masters of Evil guises. This cover was also used as the cover of the first collected edition, which also explains the situation in the back cover blurb, and has a foreword by Kurt Busiek which begins "The trickiest part of the whole thing was maintaining the surprise. Not that we're doing so any more."
- The trade paperback for one Transformers story was called Transformers: Legacy of Unicron. This was a big deal when the comic was first published: the title was blanked in the table of contents.
- When Mary Jane first appeared, she was initially The Faceless, and the fact that she was a complete fox instead of just plain was a huge surprise to Peter Parker as well as his friends ("Face it, tiger; You just hit the jackpot"). Now that the cat's been out of the bag for years, it's virtually impossible to view this as a surprise thanks to her immense popularity as well as her countless depictions in the media.note
- The Green Goblin's identity was a secret for over two years (in real time). He debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #14 and wouldn't be revealed as Norman Osborn until #39. Now everyone with more than a passing knowledge of Spider-Man knows Norman is the Green Goblin.
- The trade paperback for Marvel 1602 has a foreword by a critic. While it doesn't quite spoil the ending it does a large part of the middle; namely, the death of Queen Elizabeth, and that the heroes end up in America.
- There's something about Neil Gaiman and spoileriffic forewords. Frank McConnell's foreword to the The Sandman trade paperback "The Kindly Ones" actually features the line, "Dream dies at the end." Not only that, but McConnell is utterly unapologetic about spoiling it for people who haven't read the comic yet: "Sorry to bust your bubble, but this is a tragedy, or at least, as classically tragedy has been written in a long time, so you should know at the outset how it's going to end." Thanks, Frank, but if Neil Gaiman felt that way, he probably would have started with that scene and flashed back, or had a Greek chorus tell us how the arc would end, or DO ANYTHING BUT TELL THE STORY IN A LINEAR CHRONOLOGICAL FASHION.
- There is a clue in one of the earlier comics: Destiny looks in his book and sees an image of "Dream, clothed all in white and with white hair.".
- The above hardly qualifies as a clue, though, since its meaning is difficult to discern until after the fact. The fact that it seems to be one of a thousand throwaway lines (about half of which, admittedly, end up foreshadowing something) doesn't help.
- What is NOT difficult to discern, however, is the scene that closes the arc immediately before the Kindly Ones, at the Inn At World's End. After all the travelers have told their stories, all the characters are distracted by a literally massive funeral procession dominating the horizon. In that procession are all of Dream's family and many recognizable faces from previous stories, including characters that only exist because of their ties to Dream, such as Melvyn Pumpkinhead, Nuala, et al. If you look - not even carefully, if you just look, it becomes swiftly impossible not to notice that ALL of these characters are closely tied to Dream... and Dream is the only character not present in the procession. The sequence ends with an image of Death, crying. The sequence did not so much 'heavily foreshadow' Dream's death as much as it outright told you it was going to happen.
- This isn't limited to the Kindly Ones. Every trade except the first volume contains an introduction and while some warn, all of them outright spoil the stories contained inside.
- The title of the first post-Civil War Captain America TPB? Captain America: The Death of Captain America. While yes, there was a huge media blitz about it when it happened, it kind of sucks for new readers, or people in other countries who didn't get that hype.
- Then it happened again, only in reverse. With the delays on Captain America: Reborn, he appeared in at least four books before the big event had actually happened.
- The Robin trade paperback that features the return of Spoiler has this plastered on everywhere. The Spoiler alert tag itself is a spoiler. Spoiler is on the cover. Then inside, the reader discovers very quickly that without doubt it is Stephanie Brown. So it is more about Robin's reaction to and refusal to believe it.
- Legion of Super-Heroes storyline, The Great Darkness Saga featured Darkseid as the main antagonist. His appearance intended as a surprise is blown to anyone who picks up the trade (as he appears on the cover).
- The back cover of the paperback collection Annihilation Conquest: Book Two refers to "the previously unknown mastermind of the Phalanx invasion — a revelation that will have longtime Marvel fans' jaws on the floor!" The illustration immediately below this text plainly shows the evil robot Ultron.
- Back in the 1960s in The Avengers, a new character called "Yellowjacket" appeared, claimed that he had killed Henry Pym, kidnapped the Wasp, and to everybody's surprise, when they returned the Wasp organized a wedding with him. It was revealed that end of the story that Yellowjacket is Henry Pym, with a Split Personality. Still, after being cured from the split personality problem, he kept being "Yellowjacket" as his superhero identity (or at least, one of the several he had over the years). For this reason, hardly any modern reader of the Avengers will read the TPB and not realize what was really going on long before the reveal.
- For some reason, the first Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron already includes the Handbook for the series, spoiling the stories in later volumes.
- When NYX was originally released, X-23 was unknown in the comics and had thus far only appeared in two episodes of X-Men: Evolution, making it a legitimate surprise when she is revealed as the identity of the prostitute who appears in issue #3. Now, that NYX was her comics debut is about the only thing anyone actually remembers about the series. The trade paperback collection even plasters her quite prominently right on the cover, even though Kiden Nixon is the main character and the number of times Laura actually has lines can be counted on one hand (though she does ultimately drive the plot in the second half of the story).
- When The Judas Contract of the Teen Titans was first published, nobody suspected that Terra, the Naďve Newcomer, would actually be an evil spy. Nowadays, her betrayal has been a recurring past plot for the Titans, and any betrayal (real or supposed) is compared with Terra's. Even more, there was a clone of Terra some years later, always living under the shadow of the actions of the original one. It is unlikely that a modern reader would read the story without knowing in advance what was going to happen.
- In one story, the X-Men find themselves in the Savage Land, in the company of a white-haired but not-too-old-looking man. Eventually he puts on a certain familiar helmet. At the time it was a major shocker, because we'd never seen Magneto unmasked or not acting like the dramatic Evil Is Hammy wa-ha-ha Big Bad that was his then-current portrayal. It was a very effective disguise. Of course, now, we know Erik's face as well as his costume (even Depending on the Artist doesn't change his most distinctive aspects to the point of him being hard to recognize, just like there's no not knowing Wolverine no matter who's drawing.) to the point that a much later story where he went incognito had him dramatically unmasked with his real face, no costume needed. It isn't just not a surprise; you'll spend the whole story confused that nobody's reacting like they should until you get to The Reveal and realize this is the first time they saw him.
- Similarly, Jason Wyngarde from The Dark Phoenix Saga. This mysterious behind-the-scenes player has a long-term scheme unfolding over many issues (this is before the Decompressed Comic; several issues meant several stories.) Then we discover he's part of a group called the Hellfire Club, and we meet Emma Frost and the Club wants the then-newly-encountered Kitty Pryde and it's only when the Hellfire Club arc is in full swing that we get The Reveal that the mastermind of their plan was... well, Mastermind. Their loooooooong-unseen old enemy used his Master of Illusion powers to take on a posh appearance and a new alter ego. Of course, as with the above example, we've known who he is for so long that it's impossible to not know who he is from the beginning of the story. In fact, any time they've run into him since then, someone will always say "remember when you did that thing to Phoenix that resulted in her going apocalyptically nutso?! You're going down for that!"
- And for that matter, spoiler alert: Jean is going to get supercharged and become Phoenix. Then she's gonna go apocalyptically nutso. And die. And get better. Each of those things was a surprise at the time, each a major game-changer and a milestone moment for the franchise. Of course, there's no considering any of it a spoiler by the time it's pretty much all anyone ever thinks about when it comes to the character.
- Transformers: More than Meets the Eye got hit with this hard when Megatron joined the Lost Light crew at the start of season 2. Not only did IDW itself spoil him joining the crew through solicitations, but the cover for volume 6 prominently displays Megatron with an Autobot symbol. Just to make it worse IDW spoiled this before the story it occurs in was over. This Very Wiki has this problem. The pages for MTMTE were blanking out Megatron's joining with spoiler tags, but his role was so big and he was so thoroughly spoiled that it was decided there was no point in blanking out everything.
- If you saw The Movie Adaptation first, it comes as no surprise that Red Mist is The Mole in Kick-Ass. And the trailers for the second movie show his ascension to Big Bad.
- Fan fiction in general can be a late arrival spoiler. If someone new to the fandom starts looking, they may be surprised by summaries that give away important plot points.
- A sequel to any story could also have this effect if the author includes spoilers in the summary.
- Evangelion 303: If someone checks Grummancat page before reading all chapters in order, that person will get spoiled that: Jessika was in love with Asuka, Unit-04 crashes and Jessika dies, Asuka falls in a coma but it only lasts several months, Asuka's suicide attempt fails, Shinji and Asuka got engaged and Mari Makinami is the Sixth Child.
- While not nearly as egregious as some examples, in Winter War, Byakuya's survival is one of these. The series index lists the chapters by name and POV character. Byakuya is MIA at the start of the fic, his death apparently confirmed several chapters later... and then we get a chapter titled "Byakuya: Necessity." So if you started reading late, and looked at the chapter index, you probably knew he wasn't really dead even before you got to the point where Hanatarou remembers seeing him apparently die.
- Brendan's Pokémon Adventure has spoilers for the next few chapters, and has a page exclusively for spoilers.
- The title of the second installment in the Blueblood series, Blueblood's Redemption, implies Blueblood wasn't redeemed in the first, Blueblood Returns, essentially spoiling its ending: his Heel-Face Turn wasn't genuine. Unfortunately, anyone looking up the fic now is likely to find it listed along with the sequel.
- Very early on in Eddward Wright: Ace Attorney, minor spoilers to the ending of Port-Ed 2 exist, such as the Eds having their ASHPDs and Edd having his Companion Cube. The last plot point may not be as surprising for those who finished Portal 2, but the first one is. Oh yeah, and Port-Ed 2 is not even halfway done yet.
- A flashback from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series spoils the Scooby-Doo-esque twist of Attack Of The Teacher Creature. It doesn't mention the later twist about the monster actually existing, thankfully.
- Back in The Second Try, the existence of a little girl named Aki was an enormous spoiler. She's the main character in the sequel webmanga.
- Equestrias First Human: The askblog based around the fic, as well as the author's Deviantart page, make it pretty obvious that Connor becomes a pony.
- The summary and first couple of chapters of The Legacy of the Fire Empire (the sequel to The Fall Of The Fire Empire) spoil both the ending of the first story, as well as the major plot point of Aang still being alive, after waking from the coma-like state that the Fire Empire's actions kept him in.
- Life In Manehattan: It's revealed about halfway through the first story in the series that museum curator Honey Do is actually the real life Daring Do, whose exploits are the inspiration for the popular book series, but she keeps this a secret so that no one will treat her like her brash fictional counterpart.
- A Voice Among The Strangers reveals towards the end that Ebony has been the new Changeling queen for some time now, and is also named Chrysalis. The first chapter of the P.O.V. Sequel A Stranger Among the Voices, is from Ebony's point of view and begins some time before the first story. As such, it does not attempt to keep the secret.
- Facing The Future Series: Anyone who reads ahead in the series will learn Danielle has been adopted by the Fentons.
- Webwork: A major plot point is Jade's further transformation from a Shadowkhan into a Jorogumo. This happens just late enough to spoil things for new readers, but early enough to essentially drive the whole plot.
- Death Note II The Hidden Note. As a Continuation of the original Death Note, the first chapter spoils what happens at the end of the original story. Which ends up becoming a plot point.
- The community of OC fics in the Pretty Cure fandom does tend to fall to this. Some authors spoil a lot before the episodes are out for the convenience of Spoiler Hounds, but even things that they kept secret, like Ashley's fate in the end of Perfume Preppy (and the incident that earned her the Fan Nickname "Cure Cannibal"), are treated as common knowledge in the fanwriter community after the episode is released. Even a cursory glance over character popularity spoils you. Dark Magical Girls get all the fanart and are the only ones usually put into the Pretty Cure Fanfic Features, so if you're wondering why Emiru is on all these bonus story cast lists when she's completely normal and all the commenters on the first half of the series either don't mention her or hate her, you'll know the reason.
- The first half of season three of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series is called The Cancelled Series, which is advertised as such and, therefore, spoils what happens at the end of season two.
Films — Animation
- The 2-disc DVD edition of Disney's Aladdin starts with several movie trailers before you reach the main DVD menu. Including the trailer for The Return of Jafar. Where he, you know, returns. As a genie.
- And Heaven forbid anyone watch the Aladdin TV show before seeing that Iago did a Heel-Face Turn in The Return of Jafar. The Disney Channel aired several episodes in April 1994 before the company's video department released that sequel in May, and thus Iago was inexplicably "being all chummy-chummy" with the crew, perching harmlessly on Jasmine's shoulder, etc.
- Trailers and merchandise for the Shrek movies after the first one both obviously and inevitably spoil what was a huge surprise in the first movie: Fiona turns into an ogre. "Why is Fiona fat and green?! Wait! NOOOO!"
- Merchandise for Shrek the 3rd, released before the movie, included a toy set of the ogre triplets, who don't appear until the VERY end of the film.
- The official Wreck-It Ralph coloring book goes through the entire story, spoiling everything. The Wii and DS tie-in games came out a week before the film. Since they were set post-movie, most of the major twists were spoiled mainly the true identities of Vanellope and King Candy.
- The closing credits of Winnie-the-Pooh credit Huell Howser as the Backson, spoiling The Stinger in which it is revealed that he isn't just a figment of the 100 Acre Wood gang's imagination.
- Monsters University, a prequel to Monsters, Inc. made several years after the original, revolves around Mike enrolling in college in order to become a scarer. If you've already seen Monsters, Inc., you know Mike never gets to be a Scarer. On the other hand, if you watch Monsters University before watching Monsters, Inc., you will have one of the latter movie's plot twists spoiled for you, namely Roz actually being a CDA agent.
- In their October mailings, the Disney Movie Club advertises their movies by the villain. This can spoil movies where who the villain is is a big twist, including Toy Story 3, Up, and Frozen, as well as the true name of Bowler Hat Guy.
- Tangled: In the commercials during the Latin American TV premiere, the music video of the song "You'are the glow" was shown, who contained shots of sun rays coming from Flynn's body and a short-haried Rapunzel kissing Flynn.
- If you had never seen Frozen before watching Season 4 of Once Upon a Time, then it wasn't long before the plot twist that Hans is the villain was spoiled.
- Since tickets for wrestling shows go on sale months ahead of time, there have been cases where advertised matches spoil an upcoming Heel-Face Turn, Face-Heel Turn, or an absent wrestler's surprise return.
- DVD and Blu-ray releases of PPV events can spoil what were surprise returns at the PPVs (like Daniel Bryan's return at SummerSlam 2010) in their match lists or the front cover can spoil the outcome of the main event (like CM Punk triumphantly holding the WWE Championship on the cover of the Money in the Bank 2011 DVD).
- If you look closely on the cover of the SummerSlam cover described above, you can actually see Daniel Bryan brawling with John Cena, Chris Jericho, Edge, Wade Barrett, and nine other Superstars. Presumably, most first-time viewers didn't look that carefully before they watched the show.
- PPV results are generally spoiled by the first free show airing after the event.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- Balthor dying and being reanimated as a zombie is a plot twist in Judgment. However, now that the expansion is out, the existence of this card singlehandedly spoils that twist.
- In Zendikar In The Teeth Of Akoum, Nissa discovering that Sorin is a vampire is supposed to be a major plot twist. Of course, all of the supplementary material released before the book, including Sorin's card, make it very clear that he is a vampire. The back of the book itself includes the phrase "the ancient vampire planeswalker, Sorin Markov..."
- A big part of the leadup to the third set of the Mirrodin Besieged block was "would the Mirrans successfully fight off the Phyrexians?" The third set's name provided the answer: New Phyrexia. Wizards tried to throw people off by announcing an alternate name for the third set at the same time of the New Phyrexia reveal - Mirrodin Pure, and told fans that either could end up being the real title of the set. A lot of people saw through the ruse anyway.
- Urza becoming a planeswalker in The Brothers War. Before this book came out, Urza had been mentioned as a historical character on a number of cards as one of the brothers fighting the eponymous war. After the book came out, Urza became such an iconic and well-known character that everyone who reads book nowadays knows what's coming.
- Deadlands has several of these:
- The intro for most versions of Deadlands: Hell on Earth spoil the big reveals of the metaplot for the original Deadlands. The foreword of Hell on Earth Reloaded, for instance, has the author specifically mentioning the identity of the Reckoners, which is one of the big secrets in 'Deadlands'.
- Averted in that the *first edition* of Deadlands and Hell on Earth had a detailed story from Ol' Coot Jenkins in the player's section of the book explaining a fairly large portion of the metaplot. Later editions removed his tale and the information, so it's more of an early arrival spoiler!
- The End Times in Warhammer Fantasy spoiled a lot of the mysteries of the armies of the Old world. The lore merely hinted that the Green Knight was Gile Le Breton, but could equally be a daemon-esque construct of the Lady of the Lake, but two paragraphs in to the Bretonnian section in the first End Times book outright states that it was Gile. The third book likewise spoiled the eventual fate of the elves and their eternal war with the Dark Elves. The website also spoiled that Nagash would return to the old world, since they released a playable model of him as a preorder with the book and named the first book after him, despite the fact that the summoning ritual constitutes a good half of the book's lore.
- FUNimation and its predecessor Geneon Entertainment, as well as the original Japanese trailers (plus openings if you count the original sound novels), spare no detail when it comes to the anime version of Higurashi: When They Cry — from the characters' dark pasts to the not-so-secret actual plot to the ending of the main series. The manga takes it even further, since it shows Hanyuu and Shion in omake before they appear, leading people who have never played the sound novels or watched the anime to wonder why Mion's hair is down (you could just think it's a fanservice omake thing, though) and who that girl with the horns is. Also, the Gaiden Game Daybreak Portable's opening theme contains a shot of Natsumi wielding a butcher knife and bearing a very lovely Slasher Smile. Sure hope you've seen all the way through either Onisarashi-hen or Someutsushi-hen.
- The fandom of Umineko: When They Cry doesn't hide the fact that there is a "Groundhog Day" Loop going on (since it's revealed that there is one fairly early on), as well as the magical beings that keep appearing per arc. The PS3 version is even worse, where they blatantly show all the magical beings that appear in future arcs (until EP4) in the opening, nonetheless. This was invoked by Ryukishi07 himself, since in an interview he admitted he didn't wanted to outright show the answer to the murders since he knew this would happen.
- Nowadays, whenever someone starts to watch the School Days anime, they will almost certainly go into it already knowing that, at the utmost minimum, that at least one of the girls involved is a Yandere. You can thank the Nice Boat meme for that.note
- Ace Attorney:
- A major subplot of the first game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is Miles Edgeworth's gradual Heel-Face Turn. The fact that he has his own spinoff turns this into a Foregone Conclusion.
- In the final episode of Phoenix Wright: Justice for All, one character gets into a truly life-threatening situation. The box art for the following game features him on the front cover, spoiling that he survives.
- A major subplot of Justice for All is Phoenix (and by extension, the player) believing Edgeworth to be dead, apparently having committed suicide, only for him to turn up alive and well in the game's final chapter. Once again, the fact that he has his own spinoff game, which chronologically occurs after this one, spoils this. However, it was always more of a case of Like You Would Really Do It anyway, and he appears on the game's cover (at least on the DS version anyway), so it's not too much of a spoiler.
- Oddly averted in Ace Attorney Investigations. Edgeworth never actually mentions why he stopped following the path of von Karma and someone playing the game first might assume it was due to soul-searching and personal moral decisions. They would be unaware that in the first game Edgeworth discovered that von Karma murdered his father and raised him as a heartless prosecutor as revenge for Edgeworth's father giving him a penalty in court. In fact, most of the big spoilery events of the earlier games are either not mentioned or referred to so lightly (such as Franziska being shot)a newbie might think they're talking about a Noodle Incident.
- The fact that Adrian Andrews shows up in case 3-2 completely ruins a dramatic moment at the end of the second game if you played the third one first.
- Fate/stay night:
- Gilgamesh's presence (and his class, though this is because unlike most Servants he doesn't bother to hide his identity) is usually not hidden at all by promotional materials or other sources, and Fate/Unlimited Codes has both him and Dark Sakura as playable characters from the get-go.
- The fact that Kotomine is, in fact, the Big Bad, as well as the above mentioned Servant's Master, and not merely a Jerkass comes as a surprise late in the first route / anime to anyone who wasn't spoiled, which is practically no-one, thanks in part to Fate/Unlimited Codes and the fandom in general.
- While many of the Servants' identities are more or less well-known these days, Saber's identity as a gender-flipped King Arthur is probably the most famous. Fate/Zero doesn't bother to hide this and establishes it early on.
- Likewise Fate/Zero also spoils the fact that Rin and Sakura are sisters early on.
- The openings of the Realta Nua version feature several plot points that would ordinarily not be revealed into much later in the route, such as Shirou gaining Archer's arm, Saber's corruption, and Ilya during her sacrifice in the Heaven's Feel opening.
- One of the biggest is probably Archer's identity: a possible alternate future self of Shirou. It's overall difficult to even talk about the Unlimited Blade Works route without mentioning it, and in most places it gets mentioned without spoiler tags or warnings. Part of this is due to the highly prolific status of the Unlimited Blade Works chant on the Internet...and the fact that both Archer's and Shirou's version are used make it border on It Was His Sled for those that haven't played the game yet.
- Little Busters!: If the game's general trend towards Rousseau Was Right didn't give you the idea that Kanata isn't nearly as much of a Jerkass deep down as she acts towards Haruka, the fact that she is a well-advertised love interest in Ecstasy surely would.
- Anyone who played Virtue's Last Reward before Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors will know the identity of the Big Bad Anti-Villain who is Behind It All (tm) and that psychic powers exist in that universe. That's two of the first game's biggest plot twists, right there. It's also difficult to explain why Luna is such an Ensemble Darkhorse without revealing that she's a robot enslaved to the aforementioned Big Bad.
- Very, very common within the Dangan Ronpa franchise, as stated in the page quote. In the very first chapter of the second game, Monokuma casually reveals that your memories have been stolen, several years have passed since your arrival at Hope's Peak, and the world has been sent into ruin during this time, all of which are huge plot twists from the first game. The final chapter also spoils the identity of the first game's mastermind as well as a few of the survivors. Dangan Ronpa Zero, which is meant to be read second, gives away the identity of the Big Bad in the very first sentence! Meanwhile, the very first trailer of Absolute Despair Girls shows all 6 survivors as they're leaving the academy in the first few seconds (the game's final scene before cutting to credits). One more or less has to know the plot of the first game at minimum to get into the series.
- In general, the Cast and About pages of webcomics' sites, if they exist. Sometimes they just summarize what readers could figure out from an Archive Binge, but other times they're meant to be read first to give necessary backstory. But most of the time, the only way to really know is to read them first. And it's not uncommon in both cases for these pages to be updated as the strip progresses to touch on storylines from the strip's run, including plot twists.
- Even putting the latest strip on the home page runs the risk of doing this. Woe betide any reader who just happens to arrive right after a major plot twist.
- And if the site has a fan art section, avoid it like the plague until you've read the archives. Very often they depict not only characters but actual events from the strip's run.
- A lot of the advertising, merchandise, and fan artwork surrounding Sluggy Freelance involves Oasis. Enough so that someone who starts reading the series from the beginning will probably guess something's up when she "dies" at the end of her introductory story in 1999, although it's lampshaded even then.
- El Goonish Shive: Ellen exists, and she doesn't stay a villain; Grace can shapeshift, and Tedd doesn't need glasses.
- Still, the comic gets an honorable mention for (initially at least) having a cast page split between "spoilers" and "not spoilers".
- Though Angel Moxie was good about this during its run, the website is not coy about such things now that the series is over and has rerun several times. The girls are shown in the powered-up forms they don't get until almost the end of the series, which also blows the revelation that all three girls are Legendary Heroes and not just the Magical Girl. The site synopsis is also just one giant spoiler of every plot point in the series.
- Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures : You do know Dan is an incubus, right?
- One especially egregious example is Family Man by Dylan Meconis. It is almost ubiquitously hailed as a superb werewolf story ... and has been since before a single werewolf appeared in the story, much less The Reveal. (The reason for this is obvious: the story is a semi-prequel to Bite Me!, in which Luther was a werewolf.)
- Parodied in Ansem Retort. Someone yells at Marluxia for ruining the fact that Qui-Gon Jinn dies in The Phantom Menace. That someone? Darth Maul.
- Kevin & Kell: Lindesfarne and Danielle are both from the human world.
- The Order of the Stick books come with informative chapter introductions... that tell you bits of what is going to happen in the next chapter. And later chapters. And sometimes in later books. The assumption seems to be that nobody will be reading the books without having first read every strip online.
- Though the first book does include a suggestion that you read the strips before the extra text.
- Not much of a spoiler, but someone who has not yet finished reading the strip may wonder why Haley is holding a sign saying "I.O.Me: One big-ass diamond" on the cast page.
- Paradigm Shift: Every page has badge graphics for each act of the series. The badge for "Flight" makes it pretty clear what Kate's story is.
- Flipside: Maytag and Bernadette are lovers.
- Ozy and Millie: Captain Locke is Millie's father. It said so right on the Cast page, back when there still was one.
- Homestuck: Official shirts and songs, along with oodles of fanart, spoil the existence of the Troll cast who are introduced a good ways into the story and at first appear to be vague, otherworldly antagonists to the main four kids. This may actually have been a good thing because of how many new readers the extended cast helped bring in once they were given their own A Day in the Limelight act. Said arc treats the facts that Aradia is a ghost and that the trolls created the universe as surprises. Now, good luck finding a discussion on the trolls that doesn't mention either of these.
- To a lesser extent, the appearances of John's three friends (especially the long-delayed reveal of who gardenGnostic was; Homestuck started in April of 2009 and she did not make a physical appearance until October of the same year) and their guardians.
- The What Pumpkin store spoils which characters have gone god-tier. However, that very concept wasn't introduced until well into the storyline, so you'd have to have read up until that point, stopped, and then gone there to be actually spoiled by it. Also, the store carries shirts for all the possible aspects, so you'd have to be looking at the 'as worn by' section to know which have actually been reached in canon so far.
- The post-scratch session. Reading Homestuck regularly, it's almost hard to remember that some of the post-scratch kids' names and appearances, especially Dirk's, were major (and tantalizing) spoilers, especially when the logs on the left-hand side of the page regularly indicate their actions.
- Lord English's identity and relation to Doc Scratch, one of the greatest mysteries of the comic up until his introduction and even a little bit after, gets thrown about fairly casually.
- The album art pictures are occasionally spoilery, such as the art for Colours and Mayhem side A, which depicts Eridan cut in half, Gamzee with Li'l Cal, Kanaya in Rainbow Drinker Mode and breaking a wand, Sollux as half dead, and Aradia and Vriska in God Tier outfits. Bam, plot points to half of the trolls have been revealed right there.
- Karkat's blood color, especially seeing as his stand-in for the pre-scratch session wears a bright sweater in that color.
- Andrew Hussie spoils later plot twists in the commentary of the physical books pretty regularly, which is especially weird as he explicitly noted that one of the main reasons for making the books was to give people a different entry point for the series. In all fairness, however, he admits at one point that he occasionally just makes shit up, and some of the spoilers he says do sound like jokes without context, for example this slightly exaggerated claim:
Heh heh, John sure does irrationally hate Betty Crocker, the harmless baked goods corporation, doesn't he? Surely this is just a silly Running Gag
and won't come back to haunt us in any significant way. Right? I mean... it just can't... could it? That would be blowing a gag way too far out of propor-oh fuck Crocker's gonna be the last boss, isn't she.
- Given Homestuck's ludicrous update rate and density of plot twists, the every single subpage about it on this wiki is now completely Spoilers Off because it was essentially impossible to decide what was a spoiler and what wasn't.
- One of the albums' title and art spoils the existence of The Cherubim.
- This Penny Arcade details this very phenomenon, regarding movies. Specifically King Kong and The Passion of the Christ. As Gabe puts it, there's a statute of limitations on this kind of thing.
- The titular Girl Genius is always referred to as Agatha Heterodyne, despite the fact that her true identity takes a whole story arc to be revealed. YMMV on how much of a spoiler this is.
- The seventh Electric Wonderland comic dramatically revealed Lululu's mermaid tail. After Peter Paltridge wrote some character bios in June 2010, newcomers who clicked the "newbie? go here!" button on the Platypus Comix home page could find out about her tail beforehand. The bios also spoil the fact that Natasha Wing, the seemingly random policegirl who appeared at the end of the sixth comic, is actually friends with protagonist Trawn.
- A variation: Chapter 6 of Magellan carried a mild spoiler for Crossoverkill: Hoodoo not only survives unscathed, but is pregnant with Captain Perfect's child. Word of God says this is due to Schedule Slip on Crossoverkill - it was meant to be completed long before the Magellan story started.
- In the first issue of The Demon Mages, the actress Ari passed off as a "human, reportedly". Not only is she referred and portrayed as a Gorgon everywhere else she appears (such as the Demon Mages' Character Blog and on her creators DeviantArt page), the second issue simply outs her as one without much build-up.
- Due to the fact that L's Empire's profile page shows all of the authors, it's nigh impossible to not know about Dark Star and the fact that he becomes an author.
- Darths & Droids tries to avert this by having a separate cast page for each episode.
- At the end of lonelygirl15 season one, Bree Avery dies. This is spoiled 21 episodes into KateModern. Similarly, the Twist Ending of "The Unthinkable Happened" was a huge shock when it was first shown, but is completely spoiled for anyone who knows that the following episode's title is "Bree's Dad is Dead"; the phrase "deader than Bree's dad" has since become a fan idiom. Also, anyone who so much as visits the site is likely to discover that Patient #11 survived the Hart Study, a major plot twist for the second series. Even the fact that the Hymn of One is evil was a huge revelation in the original series, but is now treated as the entire premise of the show. As one may surmise, lonelygirl15 is fairly lax about keeping spoilers secret.
- The KateModern website contains a video which spoils all the main twists of season 2, which plays automatically when you visit the site.
- Survival of the Fittest examples rarely spoiler the fact that Adam Dodd won v1 and indeed it is commonly talked about on the boards as Members assume that everybody already knows about this. Even Adam's return is made flagrantly obvious by the fact the character has two pages on the SOTF wiki (one for each v1 and v3). There's also that, y'know, he's actively played on the board, and nobody isn't going to notice that a v3 character as the same name and ID number as a v1 character.
- Basically, people tend to assume that anything that happened before the current version is now (or should be) general knowledge.
- The Big Bad of the first in-story semester in the Whateley Universe was Smug Snake Don Sebastiano, because he had the power to psychically Mind Rape two powerful students and turn them into his mindslaves, and even the administration couldn't prove anything was done to them. Since the story Christmas Elves was released, it is common knowledge among the story characters (who talk it over) and on the forums that he didn't do it. Hekate used incredibly dark Mythos magics to enslave them, and Don Sebastiano was implicitly taking the credit.
- Many commentaries on The Classic Doctor Who Twitter Blog make references to serials not covered yet, due to the proprietor herself experiencing a massive intake of this trope.
- This is highly common in works from The Slender Man Mythos, typically in the form of characters gleaning information about Slender Man from earlier works. Word of advice: if you plan on watching Marble Hornets or reading Just Another Fool, do not, by any means, watch or read anything posted at later dates.
- Parodied in Uncyclopedia: "This article contains spoilers. Wait, I should have told you earlier? My bad."
- This is all over the Noob franchise :
- The webseries, like many web originals, has a photomontage gallery. The show is set in a MMORPG and most characters have cursor over their head, with a different color depending on their faction. The most recent montages are always the first visible and the series has a couple cases of Heel-Face Turn and one case of Evil All Along. When interviewed, the creator tends to assume people listening know what happens in any episode already on the Internet, so it's a bad idea for those new to the series to watch any interviews.
- The covers of the fourth novel and seventh and eigth comics each give away a different twist of the story.
- Listed here because it applies to every category above. If a particular movie, book, TV show, game, etc becomes popular enough to warrant coverage by news outlets, and said production includes a surprise twist that generates intense public interest, it is nearly impossible not be spoiled as spoilers often end up in headlines, on magazine covers, etc. For example, anyone not following Game of Thrones week-to-week has likely found it impossible to not be spoiled about the Red Wedding and Purple Wedding episodes.
- Whenever your favorite series has announced a new installment to their franchise but you cannot afford it for several reasons (region-locking/No Export for You/false-equivalence currency exchange rates of all things) you tend to avoid anything related to the series due to not wanting to be spoiled. Unfortunately the more you try to avoid it the more people spoil them, since everybody and their mother have access to them, except you. This got worse if said franchise is well-known and fast-paced like Pokémon. By the time you hear too much of the spoilers, their twists and how said new installment is far superior in comparison to the rest of the franchise and yet you still could not afford it no matter what the bitterness that you had bottled up this time might cause you to unleash a destructive hatred for a series that you followed for years.