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Content Leak

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

Content leaks can occur in a variety of ways, be it via someone with internal knowledge at a company, products breaking street date and releasing early. They can even be malicious, releasing information through ransom or hacks. Entire movies and video games have been released to the Internet by pirates weeks before their intended release date.

Leaks have become increasingly common starting with the 2000s and 2010s as the technology to do so has become more widespread. However they happen, though, leaks tend to make companies very unhappy, and larger ones especially are prone to sending their armies of lawyers after anyone who dares to reveal these spoilers.

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

As a rule on this website, troping actual information from leaks is not allowed until the work officially gets released.


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    Anime & Manga 

In General:

  • 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.

By Creator:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).

By Work:

  • 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.
  • In April of 2021, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train was briefly made available on the PlayStation Store before its intended digital release in June of that year. The film was delisted from the store three hours later and Sony offered refunds to anyone who purchased it during that time.
    • In February 13th, 2022 the final 11th episode for the Entertainment District Arc was leaked online roughly 4 hours before the official broadcast on that same day; a less harmful leak in retrospect compared to the movie.
  • Discotek's English voice cast for Gunbuster was inadvertently leaked shortly before the dub's premiere at Otakon on July 30, 2022.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Merchandise listings for the series often leak the designs for the characters before they are officially revealed. For instance, HuGtto! Pretty Cure had its' designs leaked via a merchandise listing for compact mirrors, while Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure got revealed via a listing for a children's makeup set.
    • When Futari wa Pretty Cure was announced for license in France, an image of KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode was used instead. Come June, and it's revealed that A La Mode was supposed to be released after Futari Wa.
    • The profile section of the website for Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure was accidentally put up a few hours earlier than the rest of the site. It was only accessible by a hidden link (as the website had the "teaser image" put up instead of the final homepage) that quickly spread across the Internet, to the point where Google had it as a top link when you searched the show's name in Japanese.
  • Following the release of episode 4 of The anime Idol Land Pripara, the remaining 8 episodes were leaked from the game's server on 4chan.

    Asian Animation 
  • Due to briefly being unlisted and hidden, some episodes of the English dub of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders uploaded by the series' official English YouTube channel were found by fans a few days before their intended release date. Once these episodes were privated until they were intended to come out, fans made copies of them early.

    Comic Books 
  • On May 16, 2023, a disgruntled insider in Marvel Comics leaked the last pages of The Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #26, revealing that Kamala Khan, the current Ms. Marvel, would die. This infuriated fans so much that Marvel was forced to concede and reveal that Fallen Friend, a classified one-shot for July, was actually called Fallen Friend: The Death of Ms. Marvel since the cat was out of the bag.

  • 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 (2020), which was supposed to be Twilight from Edward's POV, had several chapters leaked online by one of her beta readers in 2008. She felt so betrayed over the whole thing that she scrapped the whole project and posted the leaked chapters on her own website. However, years later she finished the novel, and it was published in 2020.
  • 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:
    • "Rose", the first episode of the 2005 revival, was leaked by a CBC 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.
    • "The Name of the Doctor" was leaked early after a BBC America store accidentally sent out the Series 7 box set two weeks before the episode aired. Despite Steven Moffat asking for people to not reveal anything, one newspaper revealed spoilers from the episode, including the reveal of John Hurt as a new Doctor.
    • 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 second episode of the partially missing serial The Underwater Menace was recovered in 2011, with a planned 2014 release date for a DVD set (which was eventually postponed to 2015). Two years before the DVD set came out, the episode was leaked, albeit with minimal restoration and a timecode on the top.
    • 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 subscribers in the US who tried to watch "Kerblam!", the then-most-recent episode, were instead treated to the next episode, "The Witchfinders", which was set to air that coming weekend. With the subtitles for "Kerblam!", no less. The error was fixed after a few hours.
    • Several months in advance of its airing, British tabloids leaked the ending to Jodie Whittaker's finale as the Thirteenth Doctor, "The Power of the Doctor", giving away the fact that the Fourteenth Doctor will be played by David Tennant, who previously played the Tenth Doctor, rather than Ncuti Gatwa as initially announced.
  • Donkey Hodie:
    • On September 29, 2022, four episodes of the show ("A Donkey Hodie Halloween", "Snow Day", "Snow Surprise Challenge", "Yodel Bird Sitting" and "Superhero Squabble") were accidentally leaked by TVO Kids. In addition, "A Donkey Hodie Halloween" and "Snow Surprise Challenge" were accidentally made available worldwide, which would be fixed on October 5, 2022, with the episodes being region-locked to Canada only.
    • Clips of "Super Duper Sleepover", "Chili Jamboree", "Uniquely Panda" and "Feelings Detectives" were posted to PBS LearningMedia ahead of their airdates.
  • In October 2019, four episodes of EastEnders leaked a week early, spoiling plot points and character arcs before they had been properly set up in the show.
  • 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 main plot points of season 7 were leaked on Reddit in 2016.
    • 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.
    • Germany's HBO branch accidentally uploaded the second episode of season 8 to their Amazon service early. The error was quickly corrected, but not fast enough to prevent trolls from watching it and spreading spoilers.
    • While actual episodes didn't get out, detailed spoilers about the final three Season 8 episodes did leak in the weeks before they were due to air. Many fans dismissed them, believing the twists involved were too outrageous to happen, only for every single one to come true over the ensuing airings.
    • Prequel series House of the Dragon had its first season finale leak two days before it was due to air.
  • An unfinished version of the season 3 premiere of Homeland got leaked about a month before it aired.
  • The Chinese Boys' Love drama Immortality had its wedding scene leaked online due to censorship from government regulations.
  • Inai Inai Baa!:
    • Japanese photo studio Studio Mario revealed the costume of the 2015 host Yuki-chan's outfit in November 2014, five months before she officially appeared on the show. This is justified, since the onee-san auditions occur around this time.
    • The listing for the DVD "Yahoo" revealed the name of a then-unaired "Poupo's I Did It!" segment called "Ohayou Poupo" a month before it actually aired.
  • Jeopardy! champion James Holzhauer's winning streak had some of the momentum taken away after a clip comprising his eventual loss during a Final Jeopardy round, on an episode that was yet to air, one day early. For his part, Holzhauer made light of the leak.
  • Bandai's quarterly toy catalogues that include Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, meant for consultation by retailers only, always used to get intercepted by the fanbase around three months before their contents make it onto the shows. When a new season of either show started, the catalogue was usually the first thing that had any information about it (beyond the title, which gets leaked through trademark filings), and the next quarter's catalogue featuring the Sixth Ranger usually dropped just before the season even began. Bandai has since tightened security and severely limited the info fans can get, but a little still eventually leaks anyway (at best you'll get a character's or item's name, at worst a vague description; and pictures and descriptions of features are gone).
    • One case of a Kamen Rider series leaked by other means than toy catalogues is Kamen Rider Zi-O, which was first revealed when a bug in Kamen Rider Buttabosoul arcade machines led them to start showing his advertisements early. Amusingly, the key concept of Zi-O is Time Travel and the bug was that the system clock wasn't set right.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Somewhere in the middle of July 2022, someone working in the Amazon crew leaked details about the plot of the first season on 4chan.
  • The poster for Muppets Haunted Mansion was revealed via a leaked image of a bag given out at the Boo Bash event at Walt Disney World.
  • Nip/Tuck: Promotional photographs revealing the identity of The Carver were accidentally uploaded to the FX website the day before The Reveal aired. Fans were able to save the pictures and share them before they were taken down.
  • For the Live-Action Adaptation of One Piece:
    • A Netflix page was discovered in March 2019, nearly a year before it was officially announced.
    • A revised pilot script for the first episode "Romance Dawn", dated July 7, 2019, was posted on Scriptshadow in March 2020 and was leaked all over social media. It was eventually taken down two months later.
    • The involvement of Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro was first reported on less than eight months before the cast was officially announced in November 2021.
  • The first ten(!) episodes of the fifth season of Orange Is the New Black were leaked by hackers as part of an extortion attempt against Netflix. The leak reportedly stemmed from a production vendor whose security was compromised.
  • 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 fourth-season finale for Sherlock leaked a day early, with the creators begging fans to wait and watch it live instead of downloading it beforehand.
  • An early version of the final episode of Someday or One Day was leaked in Mainland China a week before broadcast.
  • Several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager's final season had their scripts leaked, starting with "Shattered" and continuing periodically up to and including the series finale. In this latter case, the spoiling effect was fortunately diluted by a second leak that was completely wrong, with a plot involving Janeway's replacement by a "Borg replicant". There's some evidence that this plotline was really considered (the future scene with Tuvok ranting at the Doctor may even be left over from it), but the final story went in a totally different direction.
  • The pilot for Supergirl (2015) was leaked onto the internet in May 2015, the same time CBS picked it up.
  • 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 (2010):
    • 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.

  • Demos for All Time Low's Dirty Work were leaked about 10 months before the album was released.
  • Fiona Apple's 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.
  • Björk's album Vulnicura was leaked 2 months before its original release date. This caused the album to get released earlier than what was initially planned.
  • David Bowie:
    • Leon, a series of avant-garde ambient industrial suites, got into the hands of bootleggers and saw unauthorized distribution while Bowie was trying to get it released. This leak, combined with Arista Records' resistance to the hugely uncommercial nature of the material, motivated Bowie to radically reconfigure the album into Outside.
    • The shelved album Toy was leaked in 2011, ten years after its intended release date; when the album finally got an official release in 2021, it featured a noticeably different tracklist, most prominently removing the early versions of the Heathen tracks "Slip Away" (titled "Uncle Floyd" there) and "Afraid" and adding re-recordings of "Can't Help Thinking About Me" and "Karma Man".
  • Charli XCX got hit with this hard in the leadup to her intended third studio album, initially teased in 2015, with its debut single "After the Afterparty" releasing in 2016. However, before an official release date was decided, Charli's Google Drive account was hacked in 2017, spilling out hundreds of demos, release-ready recordings, and other promotional material over the course of the year onto the internet. In a combination with this and label politics) was sent to Development Hell, and Charli decided to reboot the entire project by 2018, releasing another album in its place in 2019 titled Charli. Charli has since gone on record that the experience greatly disillusioned her view on the leaked material and that she has no interest in releasing XCX World or other leaked material legitimately anymore, ironically meaning that the leaks are the only way to listen to them now.
  • Deerhunter: Microcastle leaked before it's release. According to Bradford Cox, this occurred by accident as he was archiving music on Mediafire and didn't realize the settings allowed the tracks to be automatically shared. The group recorded another full length album called Weird Era Cont. as a thank you to the fans who legally purchased the previous one. However, it also ended up leaking before release as well.
  • All of the songs from Drake's debut studio album "Thank Me Later" got leaked within 2 weeks before it was officially released.
  • Bootlegs of Eminem's 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. A later leak of several tracks off of its follow-up, Encore, led to Eminem replacing them on the final release with newly-recorded material.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lady Gaga's single "Applause" was released earlier than planned as it had already been leaked multiple times.
  • Lights' album Little Machines leaked prior to its September 2014 release.
  • Madonna subverted it. 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 the single was commercially available.
  • A low quality bootleg recording of the Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero was leaked to the internet almost two 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. It's rumored that the source of the leak was none other than Trent Reznor himself, as a response to the RIAA sending cease & desist letters to various fansites that hosted tracks that were deliberately leaked as part of the tie-in Alternate Reality Game.
    • Also by NIN, The Broken Movie, a pseudo-Snuff Film scored by the EP Broken, had two leaks, one that was widely bootleged in VHS, and another by Reznor himself who put it on BitTorrent (alongside a DVD version of their video album Closure that wound up shelved by the label).
  • Nirvana's single version of You Know You're Right was leaked to the internet a month before it was officially released as part of a boxed set. The song, which had only been heard a few times in concert and a rewritten version on Hole's Unplugged set, was highly anticipated and held in legal limbo with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic wanting it released as soon as possible. It coincidentally was leaked the evening that Courtney Love hosted an all-night show on MTV 2, and when going to a break, audiences could hear Love arguing with somebody, thought by fans to be her reaction to the leak.
  • Noah: Since Seperti Seharustnya planned release in 2010 was delayed by the vocalist Ariel's arrest, "Separuh Aku" and "Jika Engkau" were leaked during the delay. The former got acknowledged and guitarist Uki said that Noah tried to make sure the official release sounds different.
  • An early version of One Direction's Comic Relief charity single "One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)" was leaked before the official release.
  • Pendulum: The cover art for the Elemental EP was posted on VK about a month before it was officially revealed.
  • 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. Both this and the Kid A leak would influence the "pay what you want" digital release of In Rainbows, which Radiohead promoted as an official leak (right down to calling the day of its release its "leak date").
  • Taylor Swift's sixth album Reputation leaked online about 12 hours before it was released.
    • Quite a few of her tracks were leaked by a group called "Inner Circle" - which some of them have been released to the public. Some of them are later released by Taylor herself like "You All Over Me", "We Were Happy", "That's When", "Don't You", "Bye Bye Baby" on Fearless (Taylor's Version); "Better Man", "I Bet You Think About Me", "Forever Winter", "Run" on Red (Taylor's Version) and "All of the Girls You Loved Before".
  • 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.
  • Kanye West: A completed version of The College Dropout was leaked months before it was released. Interestingly, 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.
  • 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.
  • The music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's "White and Nerdy" was leaked online just a day before it was originally planned to be premiered on AOL. In response, the premiere was cancelled in favor of a silent release shortly after the leak broke out.
  • This is how the trailer music from Two Steps from Hell, Immediate Music and similar companies became popular...or for that matter, even known outside the movie industry.

  • Avengers: Infinity Quest was leaked twice in August of 2020, a month before its official announcement: the theme wasprematurely revealed by the Facebook page Pinball Paparazzi, while prominent podcast host and leaker Kaneda announced more details later on (such as its name and designer).
  • Deadpool (Stern): An early prototype of the playfield was leaked in late 2017 on Facebook.
  • Elvira's House of Horrors had low-resolution screenshots of the overall playfield leaked prior to its official announcement, which Stern quickly began taking down.
  • The pinball distributor Cointaker released an email mentioning an upcoming event where Godzilla (Stern) would be present... before the game was officially announced. (They soon sent out a replacement email omitting this detail, but by this point it had already been posted publicly on Pinside.)
  • James Bond 007 (Stern):
    • The pinball podcast host Kaneda revealed details about the game prior to its release, including the existence of a fourth version that featured an entirely separate playfield design by Keith Elwin.
    • Before its official reveal on September 22nd, 2022, images of the cornerstone game were prematurely shown off on two separate occasions.
      • On the 12th,note  an attendee of the IAAPA Expo Europe took photos of the models on the show floor and posted them online.
      • The official 007 Store posted a listing for the Pro and Premium models on the 16th. While it was taken down within a day, the pictures on the site had already been circulated elsewhere on the Internet by that point.
    • Even after the cornerstone models were fully revealed, images of the 60th Anniversary Limited Edition were not disclosed until January 2023. However, an early mockup of the cabinet was uploaded to the official James Bond site on the day the former game was unveiled, and it was subsequently discovered on Google Images afterward.
  • John Wick 2024: A cropped, low-resolution picture of the playfield appeared online the day before the game was properly unveiled to the public.
  • The Mandalorian:
    • The Pinside user mnpinball predicted several of Stern's games at the start of 2021, including claiming that The Mandalorian would be their first release that year – which it was.
    • The podcast host Kaneda gave several details about the game (including the theme, designer, and unusually high amount of Limited Edition models) prior to its reveal.
    • Less than a day before the game's design was fully revealed, an image of the Limited Edition cabinet was leaked onto Facebook and Pinside.
  • The Munsters was leaked twice on Pinside before its release: first with various promotional pictures of the Premium and Limited Edition cabinets, and second with pictures of a phone displaying what appears to be a PowerPoint presentation regarding the Pro model's features.
  • Jurassic Park had low-resolution pictures showing parts of its playfield leaked prior to its official announcement.
  • Stern inadvertently revealed the existence of Rush (2022) twice before the first official teaser was uploaded.
    • In October 2021, Stern posted an article exclusive to their Insider Connected service detailing the development of Godzilla (Stern). A user on the pinball forum Pinside subsequently noticed that the first picture in the article showed the side of another machine in the background, with the edges of a logo visible. Closer analysis revealed that it was almost identical to the logo Rush used for their first album. After this discovery, Stern replaced the image with a version with everything but the main playfield cropped out.
    • Shortly before the official announcement, a Pinside user noticed that Stern's official tutorial video for installing an Insider Connected kit showed a web browser with Rush-related sites visible in other tabs at one point. Afterward, the video was deleted and reuploaded to crop out the tabs during that particular sequence.
  • Stranger Things got hit with this repeatedly.
    • The pinball podcast host and leaker Kaneda repeatedly hinted at its existence in the latter half of 2019 before revealing increasingly detailed information. He started with some textual details about the game, along with the schedule for their actual reveal (a teaser video would be posted on December 22nd before the game's full reveal the next day). This was followed by him prematurely posting the game's promo video.note 
    • Shortly before the video was posted, two different sources (a Pinside user and the website This Week in Pinball) posted two lengthy, near-identical lists of the game's features almost simultaneously. Most all of their claims were proven correct when the game was properly announced.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Stern) was leaked twice prior to its announcement, both officially and unofficially:
    • The first time came in late April 2020, when George Gomez shared a screen capture of several Stern employees having a meeting over Zoom. Looking closely at the edge of Dwight Sullivan's screen revealed a banner that appeared to show the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo. After the game was released, the banner was proven to be real.
    • The second time was right before the proper reveal at the end of May 2020, when podcast host Kaneda posted several details about the game to his Facebook account. These included pictures of the playfield, the Limited Edition cabinet, and a overhead picture of the same edition's playfield. He also revealed that the game would forgo using the original cartoon's voice actors in favor of soundalikes.
  • Hours before Toy Story 4 (2022) was officially revealed, a Pinside user managed to access its page on Jersey Jack Pinball's website early by editing its URL slightly, prematurely showing off various pictures and features.
  • Ultraman Kaiju Rumble: After Spooky Pinball announced that they would make a game based on Halloween (1978), they mentioned that they would also release a different game that reused the same layout but completely revamped the aesthetics. The podcast host Kaneda stated that the second game was based on the Ultra Series a day before it was officially revealed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In later years, it happened many times that pictures of upcoming Games Workshop releases (both for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar) appeared on the web before their official announcements, whether be blurry version of promotional pictures, low resolution photos of the miniature gallery pages from yet unreleased books or people actually selling the yet unreleased kits online (as it happened with the Horus Heresy version of Ahriman and the plastic Fiends of Slaanesh kit). Luckily Games Workshop is known to take the matter very lightly and usually answers to the leaks by giving high quality pictures of the leaked stuff, usually by making lighthearted jabs to the leakers in either blog post or video form.
  • Magic: The Gathering has many times been the victim of large leaks of upcoming sets. The most egregious of these is the New Phyrexia God Book leak, where everything about the set was released before the first official previews. The fallout resulted in four prominent professional Magic players being banned from competitive play for multiple years, effectively ending the careers of three of them.

    Theme Parks 
  • Plans for upcoming attractions at parks like the Disney Theme Parks and Universal Studios are very frequently leaked out onto the internet months or even years before they officially get announced.

  • Due to China being where many toys are made, it's common to see eBay listings from Chinese sellers offering various toys in advance of their actual release date. Some of these included yet-to-be revealed products. Notably, several L.O.L. Surprise! OMG dolls and the character of Rex from PAW Patrol were leaked in this manner.
    • On the topic of PAW Patrol, the designs for the franchise's movie were leaked via merchandise listings for lunchboxes.
  • Leaks from unreleased marketing materials, international stores or internal documents were so common for LEGO's BIONICLE series that some fan sites banned discussing them just to stay on LEGO's good side. There were some notable cases:
    • In mid-2008, Amazon accidentally released an internal marketing video that was never meant to be seen by the public, containing a host of decade-old concept art that flat out spoiled the big story twist the franchise had been building up to for over seven years. While the video was removed, fans who caught it were able to piece together the secret months before its official reveal.
    • The line's 2015 reboot was spoiled in numerous ways. Toy photos leaked and various files were discovered in the coding data on LEGO's website that stole the thunder from their official announcement, then during the series' run various episodes of their online animations would accidentally be put out on YouTube months in advance in different languages.
  • Outside of Bionicle, other LEGO sets have leaked in the years in multiple ways. One peculiar case happened in the middle of 2022, when a few people who ordered the Lion Knights' Castle set from the LEGO online store received instead a by then unannounced Hogwarts Express collector set.
  • A Czech website selling children's bedding leaked the designs for the G5 My Little Pony line before it was officially announced.
  • From 2020 onwards, many Transformers figures have been leaked early before their proper announcement and release, due to people stealing finished toys from the factory line and selling them to toy reviewers.

    Web Animation 
  • Bee and Puppycat: The entire second season was leaked online on June 15th, 2020, on accident by Fred Seibert (CEO of Frederator) leaving all the episodes up on his Vimeo page (which was meant to be private) well, well before it was supposed to air.

    Web Original 
  • Mandela Catalogue: Following the allegations of sexual misconduct against series creator Alex Kister, both ex-crew members and Patreon supporters began leaking behind-the-scenes footage, important plot points, and early-access content out of protest.


Video Example(s):


"Can't Go Back"

In January 2018, four months before this episode aired, Lapis' European Portuguese VA 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.

How well does it match the trope?

4.38 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / ContentLeak

Media sources: