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Content Leak

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ACME Productions have been working for the past year on their hit television show, Alice and Bob. The past several seasons have been a total hit with audiences, just about every memorable quote has become a meme, and everyone is just counting down the days until release. Everything is going very well, and ACME are about to hit the metaphorical button to launch their newest season!

But then all of a sudden, it somehow wound up on the internet. Somehow, someway, all of the new season's episodes and content have suddenly become downloadable due to being purloined and posted on piracy websites. In a few short hours, all of the careful preparation and marketing is now common knowledge.


This is the dreaded Content Leak. The occurrence when upcoming episodes, images, songs, scripts, seasons, plans, or even general information winds up becoming known despite its intent to be kept secret.

See also Foiler Footage, which is fake content meant to mislead people looking for spoilers. Compare Short Run in Peru.

Not under any circumstances to be mistaken for Potty Failure.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Funimation has had multiple incidents involving content being leaked from their servers, in part due to poor security (at least one episode was leaked simply by changing the episode URL, where the next episode was already publicly accessible but unlisted).
    • Episode 9 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was leaked from Funimation's servers the day before the English subtitled version was set to be simulcast. However, the episode had already aired in Japan.
    • Episode 403 of One Piece, the first episode that was going to be simulcast by Funimation, was leaked a day before the episode aired in Japan, with both a Funimation watermark and English hard subs confirming it was sourced from their servers.
    • Episode 10 of Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ was leaked from Funimation's servers the day before it was broadcast in Japan, again with both a watermark and English hard subs.
  • Similarly to Funimation, Madman Entertainment has had some problems with content being leaked from their server.
    • Episode 6 of Coppelion was leaked hours before it was broadcast in Japan.
    • Several episodes of Kill la Kill were leaked from Madman's servers hours before they were broadcast in Japan, which led to their simulcast being pulled.
    • The Japanese version of the first episode of Space Dandy was leaked from Madman's servers the day before the English version was broadcast in America and two days before the Japanese broadcast.
  • A document from Studio BONES was leaked online in 2008 which referenced the then-unannounced Darker Than Black season 2 and "Fullmetal 2" (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood). The president of Bones claimed this document was fictional and that the anime listed on it had not "been decided yet" (though both did eventually occur).
  • The last six minutes of episode 3 of Code Geass season 2 were accidentally leaked onto YouTube five days before being broadcast in Japan by Bandai Channel, who were actually testing a system meant to block copyrighted videos of the anime from being posted when the leak occurred.
  • Episode 2 of Oreimo was leaked from Anime News Network's servers a day before it was broadcast in Japan, which led to the simulcast being temporarily halted.
  • In 2010, episodes of Fairy Tail, Heroman, Naruto Shippuden, and Occult Academy were leaked on YouTube before their broadcast by a fake official account with the username of "TVTokyoatYT". It is believed to have been an internal leak, considering there were no subtitles or watermarks on the leaked videos, and in the case of Heroman, the leaked episodes were months ahead of the Japanese broadcast.
  • The second episode of Persona 4: The Animation was leaked from the French website KZPlay, who had the simulcast rights to the series and accidentally released it two days early.
  • Several manga in Shonen Jump, such as Major, Naruto, and One Piece have been leaked before their release dates in the magazine on file-sharing services and YouTube slideshows. Some arrests have been made because of these leaks, the most recent of which was in 2010 of a 14-year-old student.
  • Due to miscommunication between the American and Japanese sides, Anime Network accidentally premiered the first episode of To Love-Ru Darkness a day before it was broadcast in Japan.

    Film — Animation 
  • Frozen:
    • Prior to release, a lot of early production concept art and story points were leaked. These included the long haired, 'Snow Queen' looking Elsa in a hat and plot details from when Elsa was still the villain.
    • Promotional images of Anna and Elsa's near-finalized designs were accidentally leaked in early 2013, weeks before they were meant to be revealed. As these were leaks, they weren't even the official models. The images used older, less polished (alternatively, "more ugly") models, more specifically the Dreamworks Face image was used for Elsa. This caused some fan backlash until their smoother looking official designs were revealed a bit afterwards.

    Film — Live Action 

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was leaked online via photos of each page four days prior to the release.
  • Stephenie Meyer's Midnight Sun, which was supposed to be Twilight from Edward's POV, had several chapters leaked online by one of her beta readers. She felt so betrayed over the whole thing that she scrapped the whole project and posted the leaked chapters on her own website.
  • When teasing Survivor Dogs, HarperCollins' plan was to keep secret what animal the new series would be based on, so that it would be a big hyped-up reveal. Fans discovered on HC's own online catalog a poorly-labeled image of a cardboard stand for bookstores, with the first book's art and the text "the time has come for dogs to rule the wild" across the top. They removed the image after fans began to spread it around.
  • For Warrior Cats, as HarperCollins doesn't set strict embargo dates on the books, some stores sell them before the release date, and spoiler threads prior to release used to be a regular thing on official and fan forums. According to one of the official forum's mods, it was legal and they'd allow such posts; it was just that if HarperCollins figured out which stores did it regularly they might delay shipments to that store until after the release date.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Californication had its pilot leaked before the series made its debut.
  • The premiere episode of Constantine was leaked 4 months before it aired.
  • Several episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, along with episodes of other HBO shows such as Ballers, The Deuce and Barry were leaked in late 2017 by a hacker who was trying to extort money from the pay cable channel, reportedly because they had access to internal documents and were using them as leverage.
  • Dexter suffered this a couple of times. The first 2 episodes of season 2 and 4, along with the last 2 episodes of season 2, where leaked before their original airing.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The pilot episode for the 2005 relaunch, "Rose", was leaked by a CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) staff member months before its official release. Articles written at the time of the leak suggest that the BBC orchestrated the leak in order to build buzz for the series.
    • Averted during the 50th anniversary. When someone threatened to leak details about the mini-episode "The Night of the Doctor", the BBC just went ahead and released the thing early.
    • The Season 8 premiere episode, along with several scripts for the season, leaked online due to a breach at the BBC's Latin-American affiliate station in Miami, FL. Interestingly, the leaked episode ("Deep Breath") was a workprint copy that was in black-and-white, still retained previous Doctor Matt Smith's credits sequence (instead of Peter Capaldi's) and had unfinished effects. The BBC later claimed that the breach (which also included uncontextualized scenes from workprint episodes for the first half of the season) was caused by someone mistakenly leaving the materials on a publicly-accessible part of the Miami server.
    • A clip featuring the Thirteenth Doctor from "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" leaked onto the Internet in July 2018, prior to the episode's broadcast in October 2018.
    • On November 21, 2018, Amazon Prime accidentally posted "The Witchfinders", the next weekend's episode, instead of the most recent episode, "Kerblam!", leading many subscribers to watch it. The error was rectified after a few hours.
  • An early cut of the Fringe pilot leaked online three months before the episode was due to air. The leaked version is nearly identical to the final version with mostly minor differences to the editing and special effects (such as a darker version of the opening credits). The only major alteration to the aired episode is an additional scene of Peter Bishop "questioning" a suspect.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Four screener copies of episodes from the fifth season were leaked online weeks before their official airing. Notably, this trope was brought up when Alexander Siddig (who played Prince Doran) accused HBO of intentionally leaking the episodes in order to hype up fan demand.
    • The Season 6 premiere was accidentally leaked by HBO's Nordic division one day earlier than expected, and snatched up by enterprising fans just before the company pulled it off their streaming service.
    • The network's India branch had an internal break-in midway through the seventh season, with a staff member leaking nearly all remaining episodes of the season (save for the finale), as well as scripts and other information, for everyone to view well before their intended airdate. This led to several spoiler-spreading troll campaigns on social media sites and caused HBO to film fake ending scenes for Season 8 so that no one could spoil it.
  • An unfinished version of the season 3 premiere of Homeland got leaked about a month before it aired.
  • Kamen Rider Zi-O was first revealed when a bug in Kamen Rider Buttabosoul arcade machines led them to start showing his advertisements early. Amusingly, he's time-travel themed and the bug was that the system clock wasn't set right.
  • The last three episodes of the Starz series Power's fourth season leaked online via a bizarre video that showed a man streaming the episodes from his phone, along with commentary throughout and an explanation of how he was able to access the episodes (the streamer had used a friend's media credentials to access the Starz press portal and see the episodes before their release).
  • Several rough cut episodes in the first season of Prison Break were leaked online weeks before their intended premiere dates.
  • The pilot for Supergirl was leaked onto the internet in May 2015, the same time CBS picked it up.
  • Bandai's quarterly toy catalogues that include Super Sentai and Kamen Rider always get intercepted by the fanbase around three months before their contents make it onto the shows. When a new season of either show starts, the catalogue is usually the first thing that has any information about it (beyond the title, which gets leaked through trademark filings), and the next quarter's catalogue featuring the Sixth Ranger usually drops just before the season even begins.
  • The original pilot episode for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles leaked months before its original airing. Notably, this episode was greatly changed after the fact in response to a then-recent school shooting, along with the recasting of Sarah's fiancee to a different actor.
  • A famous case that influenced the direction of an entire season was during the third season of 24. Several scripts leaked to a site called "Ryan's Report" detailing the direction of then-upcoming episodes, including a spoiler that government agency CTU was going to fake the death of its acting director, Ryan Chappelle. Once word of this leaked, production changed their minds and had lead character Jack Bauer execute Chappelle in a late-season episode as a response. The set of the show also faced numerous content leaks in the following five seasons, with scripts and set photos being leaked by enterprising fans (even interior sets weren't exempt from this).
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Scripts for the first three episodes of the third season leaked weeks before the season officially premiered.
    • Averted by the producers, who filmed fake death scenes for the Season 7 premiere (when Negan picks a victim to beat to death with Lucille) and even paid actors who were killed off to show up on set for several months as a way to throw off fans who were staking out the set and taking photos. A "foiler" clip of Negan beating Maggie to death while Glenn screams in anguish was one of these fakes, and leaked online several days before the episode aired (the actual victims were Abraham and Glenn).
  • Weeds saw some of the episodes from season 2, 3 and 6 leaked before they made their initial broadcast.

  • All Time Low: Demos for Dirty Work were leaked about 10 months before the album was released.
  • Björk's album Vulnicura was leaked 2 months before it's original release date. This caused the album to get released earlier than what was initially planned.
  • Drake: All of the songs from his debut studio album "Thank Me Later" got leaked within 2 weeks before it was officially released.
  • Eminem: Bootlegs of the The Eminem Show were leaked before the album was scheduled to be released. The album was released a week earlier than intended as a result.
  • In 2003, The Fall's album Country on the Click was leaked before release. It was rumoured at the time that this was why the notoriously irascible Mark E Smith had decided to have the whole album remixed and retitled The Real New Fall LP, but he later said that it was just because he was unhappy with the album's initial mix.
  • Fiona Apple: "Extraordinary Machine" had been recorded in 2003 but was shelved by her label. Some songs from it were leaked over the following 2 years with CD quality versions of all of the tracks being online by early 2005. It wouldn't be officially released until October 2005 though much of the album was rerecorded by then.
  • Kanye West: A completed version of "The College Dropout" was leaked months before it was released. Interesting, rather than push the release date up, West used the time to revise the album which led to some tracks being remixed and others being outright removed.
  • Lady Gaga: The first single from the Artpop album "Applause" was released earlier than planned as it had already been leaked multiple times.
  • Lights: Her album Little Machines leaked prior to its September 2014 release.
  • Lupe Fiasco: His debut "Food and Liquor" was leaked before it was released. In between the leak and the official release, Lupe had recorded additional songs for the album.
  • Madonna: Subverted. She anticipated people would try to leak "American Life" before it was released and she flooded the internet with fake mp3 files that claimed to be leak versions of the album but were actually just recordings of her saying "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
  • Metallica sued Napster after a demo of their song "I Disappear" (their contribution to the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack) got leaked online and to radio before the official version of single was commercially available.
  • A low quality bootleg recording of the Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero was leaked to the internet almost 2 weeks before the album's official release date with a high quality leak occurring a few days later. In response, the album was made available on its official site before the official release.
  • An early version of One Direction's Comic Relief charity single One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks) was leaked before the official release.
  • The Protomen had an early demo of "Breaking Out" leaked by a fan. The recording of a recording was of such poor quality that the band released the demo as a free track, in much better resolution.
  • Radiohead:
    • Kid A was leaked 3 weeks before its original release and available through Napster. This however did not stop the album from reaching number 1 in the United States, UK and some other countries despite the lack of general promotion for the album.
    • It happened again with Hail to the thief where demo versions of the tracks got leaked 10 weeks before the finished version was commercially available.
  • The existence of SiIvaGunner's Halloween and Christmas specials was leaked by TurretBot, causing the latter to receive backlash from the community. SiIvaGunner and TurretBot have both referenced this incident by uploading remixes of faucet sounds.
  • System of a Down The band named their 3rd album "Steal This Album' refers to how unfinished versions of the tracks got leaked before the album, originally titled 'Toxicity II', was leaked several months before it became commercially available.
  • Taylor Swift's sixth album "Reputation" leaked online about 12 hours before it was released.
  • After receiving a copy of the album, the Chicago radio station Q101 aired the entirety of The White Stripes album Icky Thump before the album was commercially available. Jack White was not pleased about this.

    Video Games 
  • Atlus USA accidentally leaked the existences of localizations for Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, and Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology by uploading their respective pages too early.
  • Amongst all the fake information and speculation tossed around at the time, a number of games can expect find their marketing materials or general existence leaked to the public in the weeks before an official debut at the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo.
  • The first DLC for Dark Souls III was accidentally released a couple days early on Xbox One.
  • Shortly after the arcade release of Daytona Championship USA, SEGA had accidentally leaked the entire game on their own website as part of an update patch for arcade vendors to download. The patch contained the full game, and with some modifications, could be played on a PC.
  • Destiny 2 has had more than its fair share of leaks:
    • As early as before 2018, voicelines related to Cayde-6 dying were found in the game's files.
    • A series of updates to the game's API accidentally leaked several armor sets from Forsaken in summer 2018, including the Reverie Dawn armor, whose lore spoils the existence of Riven, the last and Taken Ahamkara.
    • Update 2.0 ended up leading to the discovery of all lore entries in Forsaken. This includes Truth to Power, which cannot be legitimately collected until a grand total of 30 weeks after a player finds the first entry, assuming they stop to collect it at every possible opportunity.
    • Similarly, Update 2.1 leaked entries for Black Armory and The Dawning. Moreover, it also ended up leaking a cutscene spoiling a major plot twist which would not be available in-game for several weeks after its discovery.
    • Outside of datamining, the exact rewards for the Black Armory, Joker's Wild, and Penumbra preludes, all of which are exotic quests, were leaked before their official reveals by an anonymous source.
  • The Elder Scrolls Online had a closed beta with a strict NDA for over half a year prior to release. Someone recorded footage of one of the earlier betas with the game set to its lowest graphics settings, which put many off the game early on as it was a bad first impression. This resulted in all later betas having your username splashed everywhere in semi-transparent text across the screen so that they could catch future leakers.
  • In Everybody Edits, leaks usually come in two forms: unfinished content left in the game intended for a future update, and text found in private update worlds through hacking.
    • Former game owner NVD accidentally leaked the names of the Gingerbread, Caroler, Elf, and Nutcracker smileys in a screenshot before they were released December 2014.
    • The 2016 April Fools' Day update had some data left in that revealed the Fairytale Pack plus three new smileys: Sick, Unsure, and Goofy. All of this properly added to the game less than two hours after this was discovered.
    • A forum user found the Summer 2016 update world before it was intended, containing some private info about the content of the update, such as a new pack, three new smileys, and new white blocks.
    • The Aviator, Sleepy, and Seagull smileys were discovered in August 2016 before their proper release.
    • The then-hidden badge for the Summer campaign was found on the files of Everybody Edits's website.
    • In September 2016, info about the Mine Pack, Textile Backgrounds, and Restaurant Decorations were leaked in addition to an unfinished version of the update's Loading Screen.
    • The November 2016 update was leaked, including the info of a Construction Pack, Black Aura, three new smileys, and an unfinished new Loading Screen.
    • The Spy and Devil Skull smileys were leaked November 5, 2016. A day later, the Perpetual Frustration campaign was leaked, which would give out said Devil Skull smiley as a prize.
    • The existence of a gravity-flipping effect block was leaked April 7, 2016 before it was added to the game.
  • During the initial launch of Fate/Grand Order, dataminers found a huge list detailing every single planned character to be implemented along with a huge amount of leftover artwork and sprites that had yet to be implemented in the actual game, allowing the fanbase to predict when characters would be released and certain parts of the story long before it would actually happen.
  • Fire Emblem Heroes
    • Sometimes, updates containing new units are released slightly ahead of the units' reveal trailers. Naturally, this leads to some fans datamining these updates and finding said units, along with their stats and skills. For whatever reason, this typically happens with seasonal banners, such as Ylissean Summer and Bridal Blessings.
    • Google Play has an achievement list that leaked the focus of a near-future banner before its trailer dropped. The achievement icon for clearing Chapter 13 Book II features Flora from Fates who at the time of discovery wasn't in game yet.
  • The very existence of the Switch port of Fortnite was prematurely revealed by mistake by a ratings board and a datamined eShop update, a few weeks before the official reveal at E3 2018.
  • Granblue Fantasy:
    • With the use of data mining, social network sites and community threads, A lot of players already knew that Olivia would become a playable character weeks before Cygames made the official annoucement of her release.
    • An update in March 2018 accidentally opened a free raid quest meant for high-level players. It is playable for a few hours, but had numerous glitches such as untranslated Japanese text, Uriel's art as a placeholder, very few attack scripts, and no loot rewards. The raid in question revealed that Shiva would become a raid boss battle. Cygames quickly advised players not to participate in the raid for the risk of player data corruption. It was removed the day after.
  • Half-Life 2 had an early build leaked online after a hacker broke into their servers.
  • Hiveswap had almost a third of its Troll Call characters leaked on the second week of the features, due to a glitch on the site. This also revealed that the trolls had codenames of sorts that vaguely described their characters (e.g. Wanshi, a fan of reading, had the codename of "Book Girl"). It's possible that this leak might have affected the Troll Call order, as the leaked trolls were officially showcased at a somewhat slow rate. Either that or the release order was already planned and no changes were made in spite of the leak.
  • The near-entirety of Kingdom Hearts III was leaked over a month before its official release date, as people got early retail copies. The only things missing from the leak were the epilogue and secret movie, as Nomura had considered the possibility of such a thing happening.
  • Kirby Star Allies was data-mined from the demo and leaked days before its official release.
  • A glitch in the release of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm's second episode caused it to be briefly available a week early on X-Box Live, allowing some fans with preorders and fast internet connections to download and play it before it was fixed.
  • The fan-game My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic saw one of their earlier beta builds get leaked by one of its testers in late 2012, starting a chain of events that ultimately led to the game being nominated for EVO 2013, which saw the game get slapped with a Cease and Desist letter. Over the next few years, the project was retooled and eventually became known as Them's Fightin' Herds.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash was accidentally leaked on the Nintendo eShop when an error with digital pre-orders allowed players to access the full game two weeks ahead of its intended launch date, prompting Nintendo to pull the pre-order file down within a day.
  • Pokémon has had a variety of leaks throughout its lifespan:
    • In general, "hidden" event-exclusive Olympus Mons are discovered almost immediately after their debut games' release, such as Hoopa from X and Y and Marshadow from Sun and Moon. It's become an expected event with every new entry in the main series.
    • Pokémon Black and White ended up having almost the entirety of its Pokedex leaked by an unknown insider source. While the leaker didn't give names of the majority of the leaked creatures, they did leak their typings, as well as giving either vague descriptions of the Pokemons' appearance or even an illustration of what they looked like.
    • Pokémon X and Y:
      • The same leaker from the Black and White Pokedex leak struck again. While they didn't leak the majority of the Pokedex this time, they did disclose the advent of the new Fairy-type, the typings of the new Eeveelution Sylveon and the legendaries Xerneas and Yveltal (Fairy for the former two and Dark/Flying for the latter), and the Retconning of previous Pokemons' typings to Fairy, with mentions going to the Clefairy and Togetic lines.
      • Some game stores in Canada and Italy ended up breaking the street date for these games and sold them early. Naturally, many fans ended up snagging these games while they could and leaked just about the entirety of them online. Also naturally, many of these fans ended up getting takedowns from Nintendo/Game Freak, though by the time the companies striked, the leaks were already in wide circulation, thus rendering their efforts pretty much futile.
    • Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire had it's demo datamined. It didn't reveal too much notable information... except for a new, monstrous form of the Mythical Pokemon Hoopa. Aside from that, however, not much information about the game was prematurely leaked.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon:
      • The game's existence was leaked after Game Freak ended up placing trademarks on the logos. Additionally, the Japanese names for the three Starter Pokemon, as well as the names of the cover Olympus Mons and Marshadow were revealed in the trademark leak. Notably, Marshadow wouldn't be officially revealed for about a year after the official trademarking.
      • Many snippets of the game's trailers ended up getting leaked before their release, revealing Pokemon such as Tapu Koko, Alolan Raichu, and the remainder of the Grubbin line. These leaks caused the Japanese versions of said trailers to be released online ahead of their scheduled times.
      • The designs for the evolutions of the three Starter Pokemon were found in some leaked concept art. While initially met with skepticism, the reveal of Mallow, the girl shown in Incineroar's art, began causing more people to trust these leaks before they were finally verified via the game's demo getting datamined.
      • As mentioned above, the game's demo ended up getting datamined. Inside the demo were images of all of the Pokemon in the Alolan Pokedex, including the after-mentioned starter evolutions and other unreleased creatures.
      • Like X and Y before it, some stores ended up breaking the release date for Sun and Moon, allowing a handful of fans to grab the game early and leak its content. However, advancements in the 3DS hacking scene caused the ROM to get leaked online, leading to many more fans playing the game before release. Obviously, Nintendo did not take kindly to the ROM leak, and ended up console banning people who went online with illegal copies of the game. Amusingly, the original leaker got off scot-free while they watched fans rage over getting banned online.
    • Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!: An anonymous 4chan poster leaked the details of the game, such as the Pokémon GO mechanics and a return to Kanto, through a text post. However, due to the leak being on April Fools' Day, many fans dismissed it as a joke before it was officially revealed. An image of the protagonist on Lapras was also leaked months before reveal.
  • Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid's announcement press release and trailer were leaked in January of 2019, shortly before being revealed properly. (There's speculation that the reveal was pushed up as a response to said leak, as it ended up being the exact same day of a highly-anticipated stream announcing details about Mortal Kombat 11.)
  • SEGA prematurely released an update for the PS4 version of Sonic Mania that was intended to launch with the summer release of Sonic Mania Plus four months away. This included new animations, stage transitions and changes to a boss fight for the main game, but did not include the DLC exclusive to Plus such as the two new playable characters or the game's new "Encore Mode".
  • Star Trek Online updates are often partially spoiled by IQ Fleet, a group of players that mines pre-patch data to identify new ships or missions before their official unveiling. The official forums have a ban on linking to their website.
  • Super Smash Bros. is notable for having fake leaks as part of the series' pre-release culture, largely because the nature of the game means that it's easy to slap together a fake roster full of characters people want for free attention. But sometimes, someone will strike gold and reveal what they know for that sweet, sweet internet cred. Here's some particularly notable ones:
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: The ChaosZero leak, where the user in question revealed, among other things, the addition of Sonic the Hedgehog. He was derided at first due to having a reputation as a Troll, but as his leak steadily came true as more things were revealed, he would become known as the game's prophet.
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U:
      • The controversial Gematsu leaks, where one of the site's writers reported information delivered to him regarding the game's roster, including the outlandish addition of the Wii Fit Trainer. The leak named several characters who would go on to be revealed, but was brutally discredited close to the game's release - it stated that Chrom from Fire Emblem Awakening would be playable, but instead it was revealed that Robin and Lucina would be playable instead. In addition, another named character (the Chorus Men from Rhythm Heaven) ultimately ended up being a bust, though there are files within the game that suggest they may have been scrapped.
      • The game had its pre-DLC roster leaked by a member of the ESRB. Also shown was a battle which included Shulk and Bowser Jr., who weren't revealed at the time. The rater would later face legal trouble because of it.
      • The return of Roy from Fire Emblem and the addition of Ryu from Street Fighter as DLC characters was spoiled by dataminers, who found songs in the game's files that named both characters long before they were announced. These songs ended up being their victory tunes when they were properly released.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
      • Many details about the game were spoiler prior to its unveiling at E3 by Vergeben, a GameFAQS user. They cited that there were no cuts from For 3DS/Wii U and that the long-requested Ridley of Metroid fame would finally be playable. In addition, they correctly stated that Simon Belmont from Castlevania would be a Guest Fighter, Isabelle from Animal Crossing would be Promoted to Playable, Ken from Street Fighter would be an Echo Fighter for Ryu, Incineroar from Pokémon Sun and Moon would be the new Pokémon rep, and there would be DLC (though this would have been an easy guess). In fact, the only fighters they failed to spoil were King K. Rool from Donkey Kong Country, the Piranha Plant from Super Mario Bros., and all of the Echo Fighters (save Ken).
      • Another example coming from Nintendo themselves, of all places. The night before Simon was revealed, they accidentally posted the remix of "Bloody Tears/Monster Dance" on their website, spoiling that Castlevania would at least be getting some kind of representation.
      • On September 21, 2018, this image of Ken was posted on 4chan that caused a lot of debate on whether or not it was real, especially since the Ken model was never traced back to any existing ones. Sure enough, the November 1st, 2018 direct not only confirmed Ken, but the model from the pic as well.
      • Two weeks before the release day, the entire game, including the Final Boss, was leaked onto the internet thanks to Nintendo sending early copies to a Mexican mom-and-pop store that ended up selling it prematurely, and was able to be illegally downloaded from online.
      • On March 30, 2019, Best Buy's website featured an ad for the Fighter's Pass which included a never-before-seen Joker render. It was removed later the next day, which blatantly confirmed it was his official render placed in the ad by mistake.
      • On April 9, 2019, a TV ad for the game briefly showed Stage Builder on a menu screen in the background, a mode which had since been missing from launch.
  • Team Fortress 2's Meet the Spy video was accidentally leaked a day early due to a bug on YouTube that allowed iPhones to view videos marked as Private. Amusingly, this was referenced in the officially released version of the video, changing one of the panels on the alert board from "Lost Memory" to "Leaked Video".
  • In a truly bizarre example, a demo of Yakuza 6 was released by Sega a few weeks prior to its April 2018 release. Said demo was basically the full game, but set to only allow the player to play so far (the idea being that they can keep their progress and pick up where they left off after buying the full game), but an exploit in the US PS4 release allowed players to continue past this point. Effectively, they leaked the full game themselves by mistake.

    Western Animation 
  • Full episodes of Cartoon Network shows have been hosted on its website since 2015, which were very susceptible to datamining until an early 2018 security patch. Screenshots and the first two minutes of basically every episode of every show would be leaked almost a week before the actual episode was meant to air/be viewable online.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • The series premiere was originally meant to be viewable on Nickelodeon's website before the TV premiere, but poor cyber-security (read: an administrative account with a default username and password) led it to be released early. The official website release was moved up in response.
    • Weeks before the season three premiere, several episodes in Spanish (but not the season premiere) were leaked from internal sources. This lead to the TV premiere date being moved up, and the effect this had on the ratings is often blamed for the show's last season-and-a-half being released online-only.
  • The Loud House: The episodes "Future Tense", "Head Poet's Anxiety", "The Mad Scientist" and "Tripped!" were all leaked online before their official airdate.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • There will be occasional times when episodes are posted to iTunes before hastily being taken down, but that usually results in the episode being downloaded and spread quickly. The first time this happened was "Hearts and Hooves Day".
    • A few days before the Season 1 episode "Winter Wrap Up" aired, songwriter Daniel Ingram excitedly shared a video of his song from the episode before it aired, but Hasbro quickly made him take it down.
    • An animator for Top Draw in the Philippines leaked Pinkie Pie's Smile Song (from "A Friend in Deed") a few months before the episode aired, but just the audio and in a poor-quality mono mix. Daniel Ingram wasn't happy.
    • The digital masters of My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) leaked just as it was about to hit theaters. Probably a good thing in this case, since somewhere along the line the visuals were messed with by adding a vignette.
    • During Season 7, several later episodes of the season were leaked online prior to their official air dates.
    • During the Season 7-8 hiatus, Hasbro suffered two larger-scale leaks that saw the leaks of unfinished Season 8 episodes, a new title sequence, a tentative timetable for future fourth generation happenings, titles and plot description reveals for every Season 8 episode, and very early concept art for a possible fifth generation. Ultimately, most of the content of this leak proved to be genuine, but the only part that remains to be seen is the fifth generation art.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil has been through this a few times:
    • The new opening sequence starting from the third season was shown at a convention, and despite being told specifically not to share it online, someone filmed it and shared it anyway. Sometime later, a better quality version was officially released online, but that might have just been because of the leak.
    • During the two weeks of daily new episodes in November 2017, images from "Demoncism", "Sophomore Slump", and later "Night Life" and "Deep Dive" somehow found their way online, and contained quite a few spoilers for what would happen in each episode. A few weeks later, some images from "Stump Day" were also leaked, along with part of the episode's transcript, about a day or two before the episode was released.
    • It happened again with the very controversial "Booth Buddies," where images from the episode were leaked online, as well as part of the script.
  • Steven Universe has a history of its content being leaked, accidentally or intentionally, from episode titles and screenshots to entire episodes. To the point where there's an entire subreddit dedicated to them. As mentioned above, it was standard for at least screenshots of episodes of Cartoon Network shows to leak a few hours before airing for seasons two through the first half of five.
    • Early in the show's first season, the episode listing on Cartoon Network's website accidentally listed titles and description for every episode in its 52 episode season, giving away a lot about the general trajectory of its Story Arc almost a year in advance.
    • A similar event occurred early in the second season, giving away the titles (though not descriptions) for every episode in the rest of season two, all of season three (except "Bismuth", thankfully!), and even four episodes of season four.
    • Towards the end of season two, Cartoon Network accidentally aired a promo what showed a clip from the following season's "Barn Mates", where Peridot was presenting Lapis with a gift. This leak came at a time when Lapis was still fused as Malachite deep in the ocean.
    • In February 2016, Cartoon Network UK accidentally leaked pretty much the entirety of the Malachite vs. Alexandrite battle in "Super Watermelon Island", three months before the episode officially aired in the US.
    • The scene from "Barn Mates" involving the arrival of the Roaming Eye was also leaked by Cartoon Network UK at the same time as the Malachite vs. Alexandrite battle.
    • Four weeks before the five-episode Out of This World Story Arcnote  aired, all five episodes were posted on Cartoon Network's website and certain on-demand services without any buildup. Within a day, most sources removed all but the first episode. While one network representative claimed they were released deliberately to promote the network's streaming services (something that's since become a regular occurrence with many of its shows), the sudden release and retraction has lead many to believe only the first was meant to be put up, while the rest were an accident.
    • A low-resolution version of "Lion 4: Alternate Ending" was leaked online by a child recording the episode from his On Demand service about a month before it actually aired.
    • During the initial run of War Paint, a fan of the show who watched the performance complimented Patti LuPone on both her performance in the musical and as Yellow Diamond. Patti thanked the fan and said "Christine [Ebersole] plays White Diamond!", something Christine herself confirmed at a War Paint signing in July 2017, almost a year before White Diamond was even mentioned in the show, much less spoke.
    • In January 2018, four months before "Can't Go Back" aired, Lapis' European Portuguese VA Vânia Blubird posted an already dubbed clip of the episode's song, "That Distant Shore", to her Instagram Story, which was supposed to be private. All her posts were deleted shortly after the news spread, and the VA in question was fired.
    • On May 1st, 2018, Cartoon Network took it Up to Eleven and released clips in a documentary podcast from the final episodes of the fifth season, revealing massive spoilers from "Legs From Here to Homeworld", along with clips from "What's Your Problem" and "The Question" in a move deemed to be done by "some careless jerk who doesn't even work in our timezone" by one of the show's former producers, Ian Jones-Quartey. The video was quickly taken down from YouTube for re-editing and some members of the staff issued apologies on Twitter, but by then the spoilers were everywhere.
    • Thanks to some weird thing involving Spotify, all Steven Universe songs starting with "Ruby Rider" get leaked a few hours before the episode featuring them airs, instead of being uploaded the day after like they should. Similarly, those following the Steven Universe feed following "Familiar" were notified of "Escapism" going on preorder, which unfortunately listed the singer.
  • Eden Espinosa, who voices Cassandra on Tangled: The Series, accidentally showed on her Instagram the title of a season 3 episode called "Cassandra's Revenge", spoiling the big twist of the season 2 finale a good 8 months before it aired.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • A fan accidentally leaked storyboard images in the background of her photos taken during a tour of Studio Mir, then realized her mistake and asked everyone who saw her post to delete it. A different person refused to delete their copy of the images on Twitter to try to blackmail DreamWorks into making Klance canon.
    • Certain stills from the series finale were leaked three months before Season 8 had aired.