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Do Not Spoil This Ending

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"Especially you in the balcony!"

The Twist Endings of many shows and movies have become totally open secrets. Some productions have tried to avert this, admonishing audiences not to reveal the shocking twist or revelation that ends the show.

This is effectively secrecy on the honor system, and it might not last too long.

Compare Spoil at Your Own Risk, where companies take legal action against people who reveal spoilers.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • A strange In-Universe example comes from Thou Shalt Not Die. The main character Kuroi, who possesses mind reading and hypnosis powers, will take extensive steps to ensure no-one prods or reveals anything in Mashiro's mind or past. The reason for this is that as a mind-reader, he always knows everything about everyone with Mashiro being the only person he has found who he can't read. Elated with this, he wants to see for himself what kind of person she really is and what is hidden in her and how she might evolve. He will even go as far as to kill anyone he even suspects might try to prod her that could end up revealing "spoilers" about her to him.
  • One Piece has another In-Universe example. Everybody is searching for the titular One Piece, a great treasure left behind by the Pirate King, Gold Roger, on the last island of the Grand Line, but nobody seems to actually know what it IS. There are many hints that it is far more than just your traditional pile of gold and gems - such as Gold Roger's apparent involvement with the mysteries of the Void Century. The Straw Hat Crew eventually encounter perhaps the only living person who would actually KNOW, however - Silvers Rayleigh, who was Gold Roger's First Mate. When Usopp asks Rayleigh about the One Piece, however, Luffy angrily stops him from completing his question, declaring that knowing it would take all the adventure out of SEEKING the One Piece - in fact, if he found out in such a boring way, he'd immediately quit becoming Pirate King. Clearly, Luffy is big on spoiler-warnings!
    • Similarly, Robin is about to ask Rayleigh about the Will of D. and the Void Century, and while he knows all about it, he advises her to find it out for herself, since the Roger Pirates lacked the archaeological background to fully grasp the history. So figuring it out by her own may give her another conclusion than the Roger Pirates got. He still offers her to tell everything if she insists, but Robin decides to take his advice and does not ask further.

  • Dave Gorman on his Googlewhack Adventure makes a big point of asking his audience not to spoil the ending.

    Comic Books 
  • There are a few covers on Superdickery with a big box on the front of the comic saying something along the lines of "Don't you dare reveal the shocking identity of the most deadly villain ever!"
  • In Knights of the Dinner Table, anyone who plays the infamous module The Temple of Horrendous Doom has to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement about its contents.
  • Peter David has asked this several times when bringing out a plottwist book. Particularly the first issue of Thunderbolts, which featured him basically lying to the Marvel marketing department in order to preserve the twist.
  • The DC Comics page for DC Universe: Rebirth #1 states: "It all begins here. Do not skip to the last page. Do not let a friend or message board ruin this comic for you. The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!"
  • In-universe subversion: In the unpublished Powerpuff Girls story "Mojo's Day Off," Mojo Jojo is relaxing reading a mystery novel. When the girls burst in to his lair only to find that he's not responsible for random calamities in town, Blossom spoils the novel's denoument, much to Mojo's great irritation.
  • X-Men vol. 1 #17 featured a cover where someone finds most of the X-Men lying on the ground in a heap, with the text declaring, "YOU MUST NOT REVEAL THE INCREDIBLE ENDING TO ANY LIVING SOUL!! (Remember..we'll be watching you!)"
  • Fantastic Four #21 introduces the Hate-Monger, a mysterious villain who hides his identity with a purple KKK-style hood. The cover reads, in parentheses:
    Don't dare reveal his true identity after reading this tale!!In case you're wondering 

    Film - Animated 

    Film - Live-Action  
  • The 1956 movie version of The Bad Seed ended with such a warning. (It didn't deter the September 17, 1956 issue of Life from stating exactly how the movie's ending differed from that of the play.)
  • At the end of Witness for the Prosecution there's a disclaimer that reads "The management of this theatre suggests that for the greater entertainment of your friends who have not yet seen the picture, you will not divulge the secret of the ending of Witness for the Prosecution." Also, the trailers and promotional materials had a similar theme.
  • Initially, the promotions for Psycho had a "no late admissions" policy, to keep late arrivals from wondering where Janet Leigh was. (This singlehandedly changed US cinema-going culture - before Psycho it was quite common for spectators to enter a cinema halfway through the program and be allowed to stay in their seats to watch the next program until the point when they'd arrived.) Also, Alfred Hitchcock himself addressed leaving audiences over a loudspeaker by saying "Don't give away the ending - it's the only one we have." Hitchcock even went so far as to purchase all the copies of the book he could out of his own pocket to try and keep the twist a secret.
  • The 1956 French suspense film Les Diaboliques (Diabolique in English-speaking countries), which ended with the disclaimer "Ne soyez pas DIABOLIQUES!" (roughly translated as "Don't be EVIL!"), requesting that audience members not ruin their friends' interest in the film by telling them what they had seen, and concluding "Merci pour eux" ("Thank you on their behalf").
  • The 1926 film The Bat opens with an intertitle reading "Can you keep a secret? Don't reveal the identity of The Bat. Future audiences will fully enjoy this mystery play if left to find out for themselves."
  • Much of the marketing for the 2010 film Catfish centered around this trope, although the subsequent mediocrity of the film's secrets and questionable honesty of the filmmakers has not engendered much good will.
  • Critics at pre-screenings of The Crying Game were asked not to reveal the film's twist in their reviews. Surprisingly, this worked. The All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game" factor only kicked in after the film had debuted to the general public.
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate, of all films, did this, with its poster saying "We defy you to guess the ending! - ...AND ASK YOU NOT TO DIVULGE IT!".
  • The trailer for Meet the Feebles ends with "And please, don't tell your friends how it all comes out in the end." This hasn't stopped it from becoming a bit of a chore to find a review of the film that doesn't completely spoil the ending, especially considering how the poster for the movie heavily hints at it and the trailer itself shows it.
  • The trailer for the film adaptation of John Dies at the End says "Whatever you do, don't spoil the ending." This is mostly Played for Laughs, though there is a shocking reveal at the end that the statement could be referring to.
  • In the 1984 French film Vive la vie (Long Live Life), director Claude Lelouch appears a few minutes into the movie and directly asks the audience not to reveal anything about the story to anyone. He clarified in a radio interview that he thinks the film is best experienced with no prior knowledge and no expectations.
  • As the Grand Finale to a storyline built up across 11 years and 22 movies, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame made use of an #EngineeredHashtag to discourage spoiling the movies, with "#ThanosDemandsYourSilence" used for the former and "#DontSpoilTheEndgame" for the latter.

  • Justine Larbalestier, in Liar (2009), asked readers not to spoil that Micah is a werewolf.
  • The Noob novels are part of a multimedia franchise in which each media tells the same story in a way that has them each be complementary yet independent. In that mechanic, the novels insert themselves in the Time Skip between two of the freely available webseries' seasons. A major twist meant to be revealed in Season 5 of the webseries (that was to restart in late March 2013) first happened in the fourth novel (released in October 2012). It was hence forbidden to reveal anything about the fourth novel on the Internet between the two dates.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied on MST3K: while watching The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman, when Ratfink is unmasked, Tom Servo quips, "Please do not reveal the secret to The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman."
  • Starting with "The Impossible Astronaut", Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has taken to asking preview audiences (which mostly consist of the press) not to spoil the Wham in the Wham Episodes. In his column in Doctor Who Magazine he says he was quite surprised it worked.
    • After Amazon accidentally shipped the Season 7b DVDs to pre-order customers weeks too early, before the broadcast of the possibly biggest Wham Episode ever, Moffat promised to release an exclusive video starring Matt Smith and David Tennant, if the episode didn't get spoiled before the broadcast date. It worked, and he did.

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Nature Trail to Hell," which is basically an ad/trailer for the movie, admonishes "Please don't reveal the secret ending to your friends."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Paranoia distinguishes between rules ("don't read this section under penalty of termination, but if you do anyway, then don't tell anyone") and pre-written missions ("seriously, don't read this section, you'll spoil your fun"). Occasionally, the GM is reminded to watch out for this: "the password is 12312312-A, but if a PC just knows that, then they obviously read the adventure and should be terminated immediately".
  • The adventure module Die Attentäter for the German version of The Dark Eye has a surprise twist ending, that at the time of publication asked for secrecy by the players. Even though another adventure, over a decade later, re-uses the secret that the assumedly male Emperor Hal really was a woman, you still better watch what you're saying at German RPG cons so as not to upset players.

  • The ending of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap has been an open secret for over half a century—part of the contract stipulates that the play cannot be adapted to film until after its West End production closes, and each performance ends with the cast ceremonially swearing the audience to secrecy.
    • The book it was adapted from, Three Blind Mice, was actually banned from publication while The Mousetrap was on the air (or at least, it says so in the book's preface).
    • Wikipedia's page on it includes a section revealing the killer's true identity. Christie's grandson, the current owner of the play, was reportedly "dismayed" to find this out.
  • At the end of Ghost Stories, an announcer kindly asks that you not reveal the ending.
  • The post-bows number of Curtains instructs the audience to keep the killer's identity secret.
  • At the end of Rupert Holmes' murder play Accomplice the cast break the fourth wall to tell the audience that if they spoil the ending "you will no longer be our accomplice".
  • The opening number of Sweeney Todd invoke this in-universe on behalf of the chorus. After spending several versus describing the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, only the barest setup for the story is given.
    "What happened then? Well that's the play/And he wouldn't want us to give it away..."

    Video Games 
  • Shift 3 asks you to reveal that the hidden character is someone completely different from the truth.
    • Both Shift 2 and Shift 3 ask you to tell everyone in your reviews that "The cc is a lie" referring to the "unlockable" bonus feature of playing as the character from the first game (He's dead, remember?) and how you hate that the secret character is Mel Gibson Fancy Pants Man, respectively.
  • Trilby: The Art of Theft asks you to lie to other players about what you unlock for beating every mission in a row using a suit that increases your visibility. You get nothing.
  • The creator of the adventure game Diamonds In The Rough asks the player not to reveal the ending.
  • The creator of the Touhou has asked the fanbase not to reveal the endings of the games. Most likely so that those who do make it to the end and see an ending can feel a real sense of accomplishment. Given the genre, seeing the Good ending of a game is a pretty big accomplishment indeed. For the most part, the fanbase complies, to the point of the Wiki not revealing even the synopsis of any endings, and when a character only shows up in a game's ending, it's spoiler-tagged on the character's appearances list.
  • Applies to the near-endgame easter egg of Torin's Passage. Creator Al Lowe kindly asks the player "But whatever you do, don't tell anyone how you got this message. Instead, just taunt them with: Why, I got a personal message from Al Lowe at the end - didn't you?"
  • Atlus often asks players not to upload gameplay of recently released games (Such as Persona 4: Arena and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth) online.
    • Persona 4 was intended to launch with a friendly version of this message at the start of a playthrough, asking the player not to spoil the identity of the killer. This was removed before the game's release.
    • Persona 5 has this as well since some shops in Japan and elsewhere in Asia broke street dates and released the games early to customers. Atlus actively looked for anyone posting videos of the game and requested website hosts to take them down.
  • Dwarf Fortress fans still refer to now-widely-publicized features in Fan Nickname only ("blue stuff", "clowns", "carnival", "cotton candy.") Some take this more seriously than others, but it's a firm convention even among those who don't.
  • Siter Skain, the makers of The Tale of ALLTYNEX, have made this request of their fans as well. However, this is extremely frustrating for English-speaking fans of their games, since no translations, official or otherwise, have been made. A couple of bilingual fans have revealed the endings here and there, but good luck hunting those revelations down. Ever since the entire trilogy has been localized and released on Steam, however, this has ceased to be a problem.
  • Masahiro Sakurai, director of the Super Smash Bros. series, has stated that the reason the fourth game in the series doesn't have a grand single player campaign like Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary is because he disapproved of people uploading all of Brawl's cutscenes. He didn't want people who hadn't experienced the game to have the story spoiled on them. In the event that they just inadvertently opened their web browsers, went to YouTube and opened a Let's Play, of course.
  • Fallen London:
    • The creators have asked players to not spoil the hidden Enigma ambition for others. The only help posted on the forums for it is a link to a list of extremely vague clues.
    • The final part of the Seeking Mr. Eaten's Name storyline advises players to give only the vaguest hints to others about the ending to preserve its mystery. The main exception to this is the Multiple Endings; it is deemed largely acceptable for Seekers who have brought themselves all the way to the bitter end to trade screenshots, rather than making them create entire new characters and go through it all over again.
    • The wiki has a policy of no details on any options or storylines that are fate locked. Items that are gained from fate event are however able to be included.
  • Toby Fox, the creator of Undertale, asked people to not upload sprite rips since the majority of the character sprites contain details and facial expressions that are spoilers for characters/endings or at least show off a character in a way that would surprise someone that wasn't expecting a character to change in a certain way. Toby seems to be more relaxed in the request after being interviewed by a gaming outlet, saying that he doesn't mind people datamining the game as much as he used to before and the reason he wanted spoilers minimized was to allow people to play the game blind and experience the plot twists on their own.
    • Deltarune: The game's website advised people not to talk about it until a day after its initial release on October 31, 2018. After the 24 hours were up, Toby on his twitter thanked everyone who didn't spoil the game, and for those who did he says he understands... because he was waiting to talk about it for six years.
  • Getting Over It's ending also encourages people who do manage to get through it not to spoil the surprise, claiming that "The Journey is Greater than the Destination".
  • Kingdom of Loathing included an obscure hidden puzzle whose solution included the message "do not spoil this", later revealed to have been an experiment by the game's authors to see how long it would take before the solution was revealed. Unfortunately, a group of people discovered the puzzle and started a collaborative project on the game's official forums to figure it out and share the solution, leading to some uncomfortable silence once they solved it.
    • To make things even more amusing, the reward for that hidden puzzle was a special familiar which, to begin with, was insanely powerful for its type... but would degrade the more people found it, until it was no more potent than any other. It took about a day.
  • In Billy vs. SNAKEMAN, the penultimate page of The Impossible Mission tells players that have gotten that far "One last page exists. The game's creator has asked that its contents be kept secret." The last page is possibly the most widely viewed part of the game that is not in its Wiki Guide.

    Web Comics 
  • When The Reveal of UU (aka Calliope, a cherub) was posted in Homestuck, Hussie posted a note asking fans not to start spreading it around Tumblr as was the norm. If they had to, he posted a fake reveal in which UU was shown as a troll, as was hinted. The notice has since been removed.

    Web Original 
  • When Wreck-It Ralph was still airing in theaters in 2012, the Tumblr userbase sent a notice around the site telling other users not to spoil the twist that King Candy was actually Turbo. For a couple of weeks this worked — at least until they broke their own promise and started posting The Reveal in its full, spoilery glory.
  • Moviebob on his Zombieland review insisted that you punch anyone trying to reveal a specific element of the movie.
  • The Creepypasta It Has a Rather Lovely Ending is about a cursed video game that compels whoever plays it to reccomend it to everyone they know, with the title as the only information about it.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of The Critic ended with Jay asking viewers not to reveal the twist ending of a plotline based on The Crying Game.
  • In an episode of Arthur where he buys a computer game called Deep Dark Sea, he explains that there's a "thing" in the game he needs to find. Apparently another kid who found it received a ton of free stuff, as long as he didn't reveal what "the thing" was. Arthur and Buster find a treasure chest in the game, and expect that's "the thing" but it later turns out to have just been full of evil skeletons.

Oh, and the killer in The Mousetrap? Is the killer — what, you expected a serious answer?


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