Information relating to surprises and character entry/exits in an episode were revealed ahead of transmission. The surprise was spoiled.
The most common kinds of spoilers are thus:
- Someone de-bagged the cat in an online forum or in more conventional conversation;
- Plot points got out by way of the media;
- A show aired overseas first and overseas fans were talking about it.
The overseas type occurs frequently with anime airing in Japan before a dubbed version reaches the west and Europe due to the transatlantic delay. If the show airs in the States first, American viewers will be talking about it before Europe sees it; the same applies if the show airs in Europe first, when European viewers will be talking about it before Americans see it.
Subtypes of the media type of spoiler:
- TV Guide Spoiler An episode review makes a big emphasis on the fact of a major revelation or character death. They'll say it is being closely kept under wraps. Except, obviously, it isn't. For example, in Britain, TV guides for the following week (Sat-Fri) go on sale on the previous Tuesday. If the episode with the mysterious revelation is on Wednesday, all you have to do is look at next week's episode guide and the revelation is revealed.
- Yet another type is the commercial spoiler, or for movies, the trailer spoiler, where, in attempting to advertise, they directly quote all the big surprise moments. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is somehow a major offender of both the above and the opposite.
- Preview Tapes Not Available critics are sent tapes of the episodes before they're shown so they can review them. However, producers who want to keep stuff under wraps will not give out preview tapes, as has happened with Doctor Who. By season 4, they came up with another way to prevent spoilers-cutting out the most shocking bit when showing it to critics...and hoping the critics don't complain about the episode seemingly not having an ending.
Happens more for main networks.
When a spoiler becomes common knowledge in the mainstream such as Darth Vader turning out to be Luke Skywalker's father it's no longer spoiler fodder and gets demoted to It Was His Sled. When a sequel to a work spoils its predecessors, it's a Late-Arrival Spoiler. Not to be confused with a spoiler that happens early or late in the work.
On the other hand, posting spoilers on a fan forum will almost always get the forumgoers royally pissed off at you, but when the show's actual owners start using or threatening legal action against people who spoil, you should Spoil at Your Own Risk.
For a few tips on how we treat spoilers around this wiki, see Handling Spoilers.
See Spoilered Rotten for tropes about spoilers, and tropes where spoilers are almost inherent.
- Weaponized during the second "get the bells" test in Naruto — Naruto figures out that the best way to beat his teacher Kakashi is by threatening to spoil the next Icha-Icha book;note Kakashi panics, shouting "No spoilers!" and covers his ears. When he realizes that his Sharingan lets him read lips, he closes his eyes too, which allows Naruto and Sakura to win.
- One chapter of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has Shirogane, Ishigami, and Fujiwara trying to convince Kaguya to read a shojo manga, only for all three of them to end up spoiling major plot points in their attempts to do so.
- Several flashbacks in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! involves Catarina's friend Atsuko giving her spoilers for the game that she ended up reincarnating into, allowing her to function as a Ms. Exposition for the routes that Catarina never got the chance to play. This becomes absolutely crucial when her spirit appears to give Catarina the knowledge she needs to resolve the incident with Sirius/Raphael peacefully.
- In episode 45 of Banzi's Secret Diary, Banzi, Eungsim, and Namnam read a mystery book series together and Eungsim isn't able to help herself when she gets the idea to read the next book before Banzi and Namnam do. As a result, Eungsim spoils that the killer was the actor wearing glasses, leading to Eungsim and Namnam renouncing their friendship.
- In a late 1970s-early 1980s Archie Comics story, Veronica used her first-in-town VCR to record the final episode of a mystery for Archie so they could go on a date ... only to have Jughead bump into them and immediately give away the ending.
- The Cluemaster, a B-grade Riddler knockoff, got over his compulsion to leave hints behind at crime scenes after thorough psychiatric counseling ("Thank you, Arkham"). Stephanie Brown, his daughter, became disgusted with his villainy and decided to give up the information in his place, calling herself "the Spoiler." The name, however, became an Artifact Title soon afterwards as Stephanie continued to fight criminals beyond her father and no longer left hints or clues, instead directly intervening herself. She eventually became the fourth Robin and then Batgirl.
- The name is later lampshaded during Joker's Last Laugh, where a villain asks Stephanie if her power is to ruin the endings of movies.
- An unpublished story of The Powerpuff Girls had Mojo Jojo trying to relax reading a mystery novel when the girls barge in accusing him of a crime he didn't commit. Realizing their mistake, the girls fly off but not before Blossom (who has read the book Mojo is reading) gives away the denoument.
- A Deadpool comic published in 2016 features a flashback to Wade in line for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, complete with Hogwarts uniform cosplay. Then someone drives by and shouts out the infamous spoiler. In the present day, Wade finally tracks him down and breaks his nose. And then shoots him, apparently for framing Steven Avery.
- In This Bites!, due to his stance on knowing what would happen makes an adventure boring, Luffy prefers that Cross not reveal his future knowledge unless it's relevant or important. This unfortunately is a problem for the rest of the crew as there have been many moments where they could've used a heads up from Cross.
- In Air Force One the President is telling everyone not to say anything about the football game he wasn't able to watch while he was giving an important speech. He asks the crew to run the tape of the game, and one of the staffers who didn't know not to say anything, comes in and says, "12-13 Michigan, what a game Mr. President!"
- The concept of spoilers is mentioned — and briefly discussed — in The Kite Runner: the narrator/protagonist discovers, after revealing to a stranger the ending of a western, that Americans aren't very keen of the whole "telling people what happens in the end" thing — as opposed to life in his home country, where everyone floods the moviegoer with questions after he watches a movie.
- In "Little Red Running Shorts" from The Stinky Cheese Man, Jack the Narrator gives away the entire plot before the story even starts. The characters get so ticked at this that they just leave, causing the remaining pages reserved for the story to be blank.
- Applicable to the TV and radio versions as well (with radio being the original version), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy features a spoiler at the start of the missile attack sequence, which reveals several key plot points in the interest of reducing stress from the suspense of not knowing, while keeping one rather trivial item (the identity of the person who suffers a bruised arm) hidden to preserve some suspense, even though it has no plot relevance, and is only revealed as a stinger at the end of the chapter/episode.
- In a 3rd Rock from the Sun episode, the Solomons saw an Alien Invasion movie and were upset by the portrayal of aliens as evil monsters. Harry decided to warn the people waiting to see the movie how inaccurate it was:
- The Big Bang Theory, "The Spoiler Alert Segmentation": Leonard fights with Sheldon after Sheldon spoils the ending of the Harry Potter book that Leonard is reading, and Penny reveals how relationships developed. Finally, Sheldon gives away a major plot-point from The Walking Dead (2010). The concept of spoilers is used and played with in this episode.
- In the Bizaardvark episode "Promposal Problems", Dave has to duck out of watching the finale of Show Within a Show "Cali Beach High", as he's promised to watch it with his brother. Naturally, he spends the episode besieged by spoilers.
- In an episode of the fifth season of Chuck, Morgan has forgotten the Star Wars saga completely, and as he heads to re-watch them, Casey (who's still bitter after his incredibly jerkish attitude in the previous episode) spoils the truth about Darth Vader being Luke's father and Leia his sister.
- Doctor Who: River Song, another time traveller who has already met the Doctor (in her timestream) teasingly refuses to talk about stuff that has already happened to her but is still in the future for the Doctor. As such, "Spoilers" is basically her catchphrase. And when the Doctor meets an early version of River Song, her first time meeting him, he repeats this back to her.
- One episode involves Frasier intent on catching up on the latest episode of a television series he's taped the night before without being spoiled. Naturally, everyone else seems just as intent on spoiling it for him.
- In another, Niles brings over some videos to watch on a rainy night. Daphne, Frasier and Martin manage to comprehensively spoil Casablanca, plus the ending of The Way We Were.
Daphne: Oh, I just love that movie. Is there any more heartbreaking moment in all of film than when Humphrey Bogart tells Ingrid Bergman to get on that plane with Victor Laszlo, even though Bogey loves her? Oh, what an ending.
Niles: Well, there goes my need to finally see that one.
- Friends In one episode Rachel and Joey swap books, she reads his copy of The Shining while he reads Little Women. While discussing their progress Joey accidentally spoils the ending of The Shining. Rachel is so annoyed she decides to get some revenge by telling him what happens to Beth March.
- On an episode of House, Foreman is trying to prep Taub for an up-coming medical examination, but Taub is not interested in preparing for it and instead asks Foreman if he wants to watch The Usual Suspects, since he hasn't seen it yet. Foreman, annoyed by Taub's procrastination, simply tells him to enjoy the movie. Then, as he is leaving, he blurts out: "Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze!"
- In one episode of Home Improvement, Tim was taping a football game while taking Jill to a wedding. Unfortunately, not only did Jill's friend who was watching the boys erase the tape, but she gave away the score.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- There's an episode in which the main characters attempt to NOT find out what the score of the Super Bowl was.
- Another episode, entitled Spoiler Alert, was all about pointing out someone's incredibly irritating habit which had gone unnoticed (for example, Ted's new girlfriend never stops talking, Robin constantly misuses the term "literally", Ted is always correcting people over small details, and Barney's entire personality is completely obnoxious). Once these annoying traits are pointed out to people, they become impossible to ignore (thus "spoiling" the person) and the gang is quickly at each others throats.
- The famous "No Hiding Place" episode of Brit Com Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? features the two main characters trying to avoid spoilers for the final result of an England football match, so they can watch the highlights later on. Naturally a friend takes great delight in trying to spoil it to them.
- In The IT Crowd, Roy is desperate to see a pirated copy of the latest Tarantino movie unspoiled. This eventually culminates in him slapping a police officer.
- Kamen Rider Build plays this for laughs thanks to the Previously on segments being narrated by the characters themselves. Episode 30 has one character show up and act suspiciously because he'd been Killed and Replaced by someone else in a prior episode]]. When Sento starts questioning this, the character nervously interrupts with "You can't just go revealing spoilers like that in the recap!"
- In season 6 episode of Murdoch Mysteries, Dr. Emily Grace is vexed when her boyfriend Constable George Crabtree tells her the whole plot of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She bought tickets to see a theatre adaptation, and he has read the book and enthusiastically told her the whole thing, never realizing that she wouldn't want to.
- Portlandia has an entire sketch centered on spoilers. Spoiled items include, The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects, The Wire, True Blood, and Dexter.
Fred: Michael C. Hall in the van!
- In an episode of Saved by the Bell, Screech and Tori go on a date to the moviesnote . During a conversation, Screech blurts out the ending of the movie, which is "the big surprise where the monster blows up", and a couple sitting behind them is seen angrily leaving the theater.
- An episode of Scrubs begins with Dr. Cox ruining the end of The Sixth Sense for the Janitor (He was dead the entire time!) In revenge, the Janitor spends most of the episode threatening to ruin the score of the basketball game Dr. Cox had recorded. Cox talks him out of it, only for Dr Kelso to spoil it anyway.
- In the pilot episode of Seinfeld, Jerry avoids spoiling a baseball game he had taped, even going as far as answering phone calls with "If you know what happened in the Mets-game, don't say anything, I taped it"... and then Kramer spoils it for him anyway.
- In the 1970's, when there was no commercial radio in Great Britain and the pirate stations were effectively dead in the water, the BBC guarded its effective monopoly jealously. The only serious competitor was Radio Luxembourg, a European-based station whose English-language channel broadcast music radio from early evening until the small hours of the morning. Therefore it was not unknown for BBC Radio One to extensively spoiler Luxembourg's on-air competitions; either by revealing the answers or by offering similar, but bigger and better, prizes to listeners. Or else the BBC would spoil Luxy's star interviews and exclusives by seeking to get in first before the competition. Only the legalisation of commercial radio in the UK and the introduction of competition nearer to home rendered this somewhat pointless.
- An interesting No Fourth Wall example in Urinetown: At the beginning of the show, Officer Lockstock, the narrator, says that Urinetown is "a place you won't see until Act Two". Halfway through Act One, he explains that it would ruin the suspense if he just revealed to the audience that "there is no Urinetown, we just kill people!" This causes a lot of Dramatic Irony leading up to the scene where The Reveal would have otherwise occurred.
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, the Black Samurai tries to screw with Isabeau at one point by threatening to spoil the ending of The Rose of Versailles.
- In The Stanley Parable, one ending has Stanley go Off the Rails and stumble upon the Mind Control Facility that you're not supposed to know about yet. The Narrator tells Stanley to close his eyes, and then resets the game because he realizes he can't salvage the story.
- Spoilerina, a Legendary Yo-Kai from Yo-Kai Watch, can compel people to reveal spoilers, if she doesn't just reveal them, herself. She will go to extreme lengths to make sure you hear those spoilers. In the anime, she pursues Nate all over town, using her powers to make those nearby, and even a news reporter on television, spoil the plot twist to a movie he's about to watch. It winds up getting revealed by someone else where she wasn't involved.
- In Central Park, Season 1 "Dog Spray Afternoon", Birdie explains, as the narrator, he can not reveal information to the other characters. He then proceeds to sing "Spoiler Alert", bleeping himself from revealing the details of the episode.
- In an episode of The Legend of Korra, Bolin tells Asami the ending of the movie he's starring in, and then adds "Oops spoiler."
- In The Fairly OddParents episode "Stage Fright", Vicky tires out a variety of movie roles to audition for; one of them is a slasher flick where she plays the slasher and Timmy is the slashee.
Vicky: Spoiler alert! You're not in the sequel!
- In The Trash Pack episode, "Spoiler Alert", Rotty Pop is introduced. He's a bag of popcorn filled with movie trivia...which he shows by saying the endings of nearly all the movies in a ten-movie marathon.
- In the early Whole Episode Flashback of The Simpsons that depicted Homer and Marge's pre-marriage relationship, wedding and Bart's birth, taking place in the early 80s, there's a scene of the couple leaving their movie date with Homer inadvertently spoiling a huge bunch of people waiting in line to see The Empire Strikes Back that, what else, Darth Vader is Luke's father.
- South Park has the boys steal a paper fortune teller from the girls, believing it can actually predict the future, and try to come up with the first question to ask. Clyde says they should ask whether the Broncos will win their next game, but Jason tells him that it won't be fun to watch if they already know the outcome.
- It's more or less impossible to mention Baccano!'s Claire Stanfield without spoiling a good amount of the Grand Punk Railroad/Flying Pussyfoot arc. So most of the time, he's split into two characters for explanation purposes until a certain point. They are the Young Conductor and Claire/Vino.
- The character could be split into four names and there would still be certain users who compulsively conceal the ones that remain trivial even after The Reveal.
- Some Cowboy Bebop fans are fond of spoiling the ending for their friends, with the blunt phrase, Spike dies. At this point, it's become a kind of joke. This particular spoiler is revered for being solid spoiler gold: it is final, powerful, massively important to the plot, extremely well-done, and occurs at the very end of the last episode of the series.
- In a similar vein as the above example, "Ladies' Night" eventually became code for the point in the Death Note anime where L was killed.
- Code Geass does the spoiler-in-the-title thing just enough to be EXTREMELY ANNOYING to people who have preview lists that include titles of upcoming episodes, like the now-aired "Emperor Lelouch", where the NAME spoils the previous episode's end result. There have even been cases where the title for a particular episode spoiled a shocking twist from later on in the very same episode, such as "Bloodstained Euphemia"
- Special mention also goes to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Some seemingly random writing in the background on the wall of an abandoned building in Episode 2 that was supposed to be a Rewatch Bonus, quickly turned into this when released in Germany (or viewed by German viewers in general). It's a quote from Faust, which is mandatory to be read during German classes in a lot of Germany's schools. Therefore having no problems recognising it, German viewers could easily predict the parallels the plot later draws to said story.
- The interesting thing about comic book spoilers is that the media doesn't seem to have any compunctions against publishing them. The newpaper's movie page would never think of putting, "Darth Vader is Luke's father" in the movie review, but they have no problem putting, "Captain America dies in the next issue!" on the front page of the entertainment section— especially strange since the media doesn't generally review comics at all.
- ...though, perhaps not strange at all. When major market media spoils the plot of an upcoming comic book, the reason is because the comic's publisher sent them the spoiler as a press release, often in order to increase sales or attention for the issue. This was especially common during the speculator bubble of the 90's, with the Death of Superman being the most glaring example.
- One such deliberately-revealed spoiler occurred with the canonical continuation comics for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though funnily enough, Joss Whedon claimed it to be a Justified Trope, saying that he felt it was only fair to release the spoiler ahead of time so that comics shops would know ahead of time to order extra copies of the issue in question to meet demand for the issue where Buffy, who turns out to be bicurious, sleeps with a fellow Slayer. This didn't stop anybody from automatically assuming of course that it was a stunt to drum up sales; after all, Girl-on-Girl Is Hot — ironically, though, that trope is seemingly averted, since at best we see them cuddling afterwards under sheets; it's their reactions to the impulsive act, and the reactions of the people who inevitably walk in on them, that are the bulk of the issue's content.
- The deaths of major characters get this treatment on occasion. When DC Comics killed Superman in the 90s, it actually made the national news, as did when Marvel killed Captain America more than a decade later.
- Dark City spoils itself over its own course, with a studio-imposed monologue at the beginning explaining multiple plot twists which are repeated quite clearly later on in the film. Many fans advise first-time viewers to turn the sound off until the end of the monologue.
- Alternately, you can pick up the Director's Cut DVD, which takes out the monologue and adds in new footage to boot.
- Another problem with Dark City is that it's hard to discuss it as a sci-fi film, or commenting on how cool the spaceship in the movie is, because even its genre is a spoiler to a great extent.
- An infamous review of Scream 4 by a disgruntled reviewer spoiled the murderer's identity... in the very first words of the very first sentence (and the spoiler shined proudly on the Rotten Tomatoes website for quite some time). People weren't pleased, and general drama ensued.
- Probably the biggest example by sheer number of people affected: shortly after the theatrical release of The Others (2001), a member of the Spanish government thought it appropriate to bring up the biggest reveal in the film as a metaphor... during a key televised debate in Parliament. Yep, the guy actually spoiled the film for the whole country.
- Promotional material for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (including a "First Look" on the Thor: The Dark World blu-ray and the television special "Assembling a Universe") have been very open about the fact that the Winter Soldier is actually Cap's best friend Bucky Barnes, who appeared to die in the first film. While most comic book readers already know this (being a near-direct adaptation from the comics), there are plenty of moviegoers who are fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but have never picked up a comic book. However, many people feel that this did a great job of hiding the mid-plot twist and true conflict of the movie: that HYDRA had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. at its very creation, and is using it as a front to take over the world.
- After having nearly 25 years to think about it, director James Cameron has apparently come to the conclusion that giving away the fact that Robert Patrick's character was also a terminator in the promo material for Terminator 2: Judgment Day was probably a mistake.
- The after-credits of Kong: Skull Island was supposed to be a Wham Shot revealing Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah. Unfortunately, their names appeared in the credits as trademarks of Toho, just before the post-credit scene!
- A spoiler from the sixth Harry Potter book actually managed to become an Internet meme. Someone who found out that Snape kills Dumbledore went out to the Internet, posted it everywhere, and now you can even see image macros in the biggest Web forums with this spoiler that, on top of that, is as short, powerful and final as the one from Cowboy Bebop. There's even a story about a fanboy who killed himself after he accidentally stumbled upon it!
- The Voldemort-kills-Harry-then-has-battle-in-Hogwarts has become this, too. As a result, ridiculously elaborate precautions were taken to keep the 7th book under wraps until it was in the hands of bookstore customers; the printers worked in darkness, the manuscript was kept in a safe, etc. etc. etc.
- The title of the Babysitters Club book "Jessi's Gold Medal" gives away the fact that Jessi wins a gold medal in synchronized swimming.
- Brazilian soap operas: at least 80% of the newspapers have a complete spoiler of the current episodes of all the soap operas airing on open TV. Oddly enough, most of the audience actually reads the spoilers and watches the show anyway.
- British TV guides and women's magazines love to discuss upcoming plots. Take the first episode of the notorious flop Eldorado. This involved characters talking about their friend Bunny, who was returning to Spain from England with his new wife. The thinking was that they knew Bunny, but we didn't, so they could drip-feed us information about him, while they were as in the dark about his new wife Fizz, as we were. This would keep viewers hooked throughout the episode, and they'd be shocked at the end when chubby, middle-aged Bunny turned up with beautiful young Fizz in tow. The reality was that Bunny and Fizz were heavily featured in all the publicity, to the extent that Fizz was the cover star of that week's Radio Times, so the viewers already knew everything. The non-existent mystery made for a very boring episode indeed. Eldorado never recovered.
- The March 24th, 2008 episode preview for two game shows - Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and Deal or No Deal - revealed the results of the games.
- On the Next trailers are a frequent source of spoilers, to the degree that many fans refuse to watch them in order to remain "pure". 24 and Battlestar Galactica are major offenders in that category.
- Most Reality Shows have previews for next week's episode DURING the episode we are watching. When an elimination-style show is trying to make us believe that someone might be going home, it's spoiled by seeing footage of that person still playing the following week.
- Sci-Fi Channel commercials for the season finale of Doctor Who, spoiling the end of the penultimate episode. The network seems to have trouble with this in general.
- The network was pretty bad with this on Battlestar Galactica too, most notably a week before the episode "The Ties That Bind" aired when they clearly showed Cally being killed by Tory.
- During the 2012 London Olympics, NBC was showing the time delayed segment of a women's swim event. They cut to commercial asking "And will Misty win Gold in the final? Stay tuned to find out" and immediately cut to the promo of the Today show interviewing Misty and asking her how she felt winning gold.
- There was a reveal in a season 5 episode of Angel which was genuinely out of left field and, with no foreshadowing before the very brief scene to which it belonged, was pretty much impossible to guess. However, a fan saw some of the filming of the episode and posted it on the internet. Fortunately they did so in such a way that no one would have read it accidentally. As most people don't intentionally spoil shows for themselves (and especially so back then), the reveal was not widely known until after the episode aired.
- Battlestar Galactica put spoilers for each episode in its own opening credits. They flashed by at high speed, but some people still could see them clearly, and had to close their eyes through the credits or else have every episode spoiled.
- Advertising for the fifth season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and the series finale, from the WB's perspective) blatantly spoiled Buffy's death, by running ads featuring Buffy's tombstone.
- Many Doctor Who stories have been spoilt by the title, particularly when featuring popular and prominent villains such as the Daleks and the Cybermen. As such, many a big dramatic surprise reveal and cliffhanger that these feared adversaries appeared in would be completely ruined by the fact that the story was titled "(Something) of the Daleks / Cybermen", thus priming the audience to expect them to appear at some point. The new series isn't entirely free of this; guess what appears in the episode called "Dalek"?
- The Jon Pertwee serial "Invasion of the Dinosaurs": The title of the first episode was simply "Invasion" until the big reveal, after which the complete title was shown.
- "Earthshock" had some aversions:
- A notable aversion occurred in 1982, when the Cybermen returned to the series for the first time in seven years. The serial title doesn't mention them, the TV guide listings were carefully crafted to avoid TV Guide Spoilers, and the then producer actually turned down a Radio Times cover story in order to keep the surprise.
- Another clever aversion from came in the fact that the companion Adric was listed in the cast for the next story, so that viewers would think nothing untoward was going to happen. In fact, the Adric in the latter story was just a vision, preserving the shock of Adric being killed off.
- "Bad Wolf" did not have its title revealed until some weeks into Series 1. The same thing happened with "The Stolen Earth" in Series 4.
- Russell T. Davies caught some flak for them putting Dalek Sec on the Radio Times' front cover, he'd decided to go for the cover rather than the surprise.
- In "Silence in the Library", the Doctor berates Donna for trying to look in some history books from the future as they'd contain spoilers for reality. The episode's subsequent "Next Time" trailer then ended with two characters repeating the word "spoilers", followed by a third shouting "No, don't tell, you mustn't tell!" into the camera. Knowing what Steven Moffat's like, it's not hard to imagine that the trailer was edited that way deliberately.
- A plot-point concerning the winners of Prom in an episode of Glee was very publicly spoiled over Twitter. Creator Ryan Murphy made it very clear that he was not happy with the leak.
- Kamen Rider Drive was pretty blatant about this with the preview of Episode 45, which didn't just tease a character's death but openly told the audience which character was going to die, showed how they died, and their final moments. While one might think this would kill any dramatic impact, fans still found it quite effective because of all the build-up involved.
- Complete scene by scene spoilers for Lost's 3rd and 4th season finales made it to the internet before those episodes aired. In the case of season 4, some fans thought the spoiler was actually a foiler because the "frozen donkey wheel" seemed so crazy. In an effort to keep the whole thing from being spoiled, multiple versions of the revelation that it's Locke in the coffin were filmed, with various characters.
- Less so (because they are only static images with no action or dialogue) NCIS starts each segment after a commercial break with a frozen black and white version of the final frame from that segment. In some cases they can still reveal what's about to happen, though ... and nearly always reveal something that's not going to happen; if you see Gibbs in the image doing something other than lying on the ground in a pool of blood, you can be reasonably certain that the guy holding his gun to Gibbs' head in the segment is not going to actually kill him.
- Back in the late 90's, Rosie O'Donnell came under fire during her talk show The Rosie O'Donnell Show when she venomously shared her hatred of the movie Fight Club, and without remorse spoiled the Twist Ending on national television just to get her point across about why she disliked it so much.
- Stargate SG-1's fourth-wall cracking, in-joke spouting, lampshade-hanging 200th episode...called, of course, "200" (for reasons both related and not to this fact)...featured the return of Richard Dean Anderson's character General (formerly Colonel) Jack O'Neill for the first time on the show since the beginning of season 9. This exchange says it all:
- And it was.
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Skin of Evil" killed off Tasha Yar but the fans saw it coming as it was known that Denise Crosby wanted to leave the show. It was also known that she wanted to leave the show in a way that had never been done before on Star Trek; namely killing off a central character permanently. At the time, there were few complaints about the foreknowledge of Tasha's impending death. Everyone tuned in out of curiosity mostly because this was a revolutionary move for Star Trek for which the general rule up until then has always been: Death Is Cheap unless you are a Red Shirt.
- When Twin Peaks was first airing in Spain, it was a huge success, an outright cultural phenomenon. The "who killed Laura Palmer?" was almost a meme. At some point a popular magazine spoiled in advance who the killer was, just to boost sales. The magazine argued that the series de-emphasized the reveal and the whole "who is the killer?" question in later episodes, and thus revealing the killer isn't such a big deal. While this might be somewhat true, it was still a dickish move that got a lot of backlash.
- In advertising the championship match of the 2006 World Series of Pop Culture, VH1 put up the names of the teams who would battle it out... even though one of the semifinal matches was not finished yet.
- Most wrestling websites prominently post spoilers for shows that are taped before they air. WWE.com even got in on the act for a short time.
- The most egregious use of spoilers in wrestling was done by WCW, against the then-WWF. WCW's Monday Nitro was aired live, while WWF's Monday Night RAW was taped a week in advance; thus, right before 9:00 (when WWF RAW started), the WCW commentary team would spoil the WWF's main event for the evening, in order to coax viewers into continuing to watch Nitro instead. This backfired, however, when Tony Schiavone revealed that Mick Foley — then wrestling as Mankind — would be winning the WWF Championship that evening; he jokingly said "yeah, that'll put butts in seats". An estimated half a million viewers switched over to RAW, an act which killed Nitro's ratings, gave the WWF the upper hand in the Monday Night Wars, and caused fans to start bringing "Mick Foley put my butt in this seat" signs to WWF shows. It also didn't help that the night in question also featured WCW's biggest Jump the Shark moment, the "Fingerpoke Of Doom".
- Right at the start of Romeo and Juliet, one of the actors comes out on stage and tells the audience everything that's about to happen in one soliloquy. In Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, this happens twice. First a small TV with a news anchor reciting the soliloquy, and then we get it again but with more dramatic editing, imagery and narration.
- At one point in Little Busters!, Haruka happens to catch the ending of a popular TV series, so to get people watching it she writes a summary on the blackboard. Except she goes too far and ends up revealing who the killer is. Naturally, the students aren't pleased, and Riki agrees, saying that 'spoilers are a serious crime.' She passes it off by claiming that what she wrote was just her theory, though, which the others accept, even praising her on coming up with such a realistic idea.
- A plot point was spoiled for the webcomic And Shine Heaven Now when the author posted the relevant trope on the comic's page on this wiki two days before posting the corresponding comic. While spoilers are a common enough occurrence here, it usually does not happen that way.
- A zigzagged example with Xenoblade Chronicles is Seven. Said character is the final party member, and their joining the team is a major plot point to the extent where the fanbase guards the secret no matter what. However, Nintendo isn't so careful about hiding the spoiler, very blatantly including them in things such as Super Smash Bros.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, "Sozin's Comet" was originally supposed to be a shocking and incredible series finale. Unfortunately, the third midseason was back scheduled to fill out Nickelodeon's summer schedule. Even more unfortunate, was that nobody told the publishers of the junior novelization of said series finale, as they released on schedule.
- Leave it to Pinkie Pie to spoil the events of episode 16 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic all the way back in episode 5. Of course, you're just as liable as Twilight Sparkle to disregard the whole conversation as it is tucked away in The Teaser.
- In the opening credits of the Chilly Willy cartoon "Chilly Chums", Grace Stafford is credited as "Woody's voice", thus ruining the cartoon's joke cameo of Woody Woodpecker.
- RTL, the first German station to air South Park, provided full summaries as episode descriptions. Viewers had to wait some nine months between seasons only to learn the identity of Cartman's father from their TV guide.
- A use of Trailers Always Spoil is used for Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama, where the first commercial for the movie gives away the surprise of Kim and Ron dancing together at the prom. Of course, the trailers left it ambiguous if that scene happened in the middle of the movie and they were kind enough not give away the shot of Kim and Ron's Big Damn First Kiss. As a plus, however, it might've been what incentivized so many fans to see the movie.
- The big twist in Psycho was considered so integral to the enjoyment of the film that Hitchcock didn't let anyone come into the movie casually (as people were allowed to walk into films late at the time) and specifically requested at the start of the film to not talk about the plot to any of their friends. He even went so far as to purchase every copy of the book he could get his hands on when the film was greenlit so people couldn't go out and read it before seeing the film.
- At least one reviewer for The Perfect Storm avoided spoiling the fact that the fishing boat sinks and its crew all die, despite the film being based on a recent historical event. The review in question included the (truthful) statement that none of the Andrea Gail's Real Life crew had agreed to an interview about the movie.
- Doctor Who:
- Some fans got the series 7 finale early when the DVDs were accidentally shipped out a week early. Moffat requested that people not talk about the final scene and, surprisingly, people obeyed.
- Yet again upheld when a rough cut of the entire first episode of series 8 the first adventure with the Twelfth Doctor leaked on the internet.