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Walking Spoiler

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A character or thing for which most facts about it are spoilers. Saying anything substantial about them at all (at worst, their existence alone) will reveal spoilers about the work they feature in, which makes talking about them difficult. Some fans reconcile this by using euphemisms, others by avoiding talking about it at all, others just by placing a warning that the following will contain massive spoilers.

Can overlap with It Was His Sled if the work in question is old or culturally ingrained enough that pretty much everybody already knows about the various plot twists, or with Late-Arrival Spoiler if the marketing for a later installment of a series spoils an earlier installment. Often will overlap with Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer if the marketers don't decide otherwise. Also may overlap with First-Episode Twist, where knowing the very premise of the series gives away a surprise.

Also, this is not about characters that are involved in many plot twists but the mere existence of the character within the narrative is a spoiler itself, that makes it impossible to talk about the character without spoiling the plot.

This is a Spoilered Rotten trope (on character pages), that means that EVERY SINGLE EXAMPLE on this list is a spoiler by default and most of them will be unmarked. If you don't know what that means, then you should probably take a good look at the page image for reference. It'll all become clear.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Asian Animation 
  • Amato from BoBoiBoy is meant as a surprise, due to being the Disappeared Dad of the eponymous character, meaning any discussion about him is doomed to be spoiler-laden. His presence became a Late-Arrival Spoiler by the point Mechamato started airing, as that show expects you to be familiar with this plot twist.
  • Flower Angel: While Kukuru himself isn't a spoiler, being a main character who appears straight from the first episode onwards, his dark form in Seasons 3 and 4 is impossible to talk about without spoiling the fact that Princess Fannie was successful in making him her own, severing the ties to the Red String of Fate connecting Xia An'an and Kukuru and altering it so that it connects Kukuru to her instead.
  • The Robo-King from Happy Heroes' sixth season. He doesn't appear in his debut season until near the finale and he answers the question of who introduced technology to Planet Xing, clearly indicating that his plot relevance is meant to be a surprise.

    Comic Strips 
  • Safe Havens: Maria Novello and her son Leonardo tend to end up in this territory. Back in the past, it was hard to talk about them without mentioning that Maria and Leonardo are time travelers and that Leonardo is Leonardo da Vinci. Yes, that one. These days, those facts are It Was His Sled, but there's a new reason Maria's a walking spoiler. She's revealed to be Samantha and Dave's Kid from the Future.

    Films — Animation 
  • Arlo the Alligator Boy: It's hard not to discuss the film in future franchise installments after the reveal that Arlo's birth father Ansel is a birdman.
  • The Bad Guys (2022): Cuddles isn't as important of a character as most of the rest of the film, but he manages to fit the definition of a Walking Spoiler: mentioning anything about his role in the film spoils that Professor Marmalade is evil, as he's his henchman.
  • Koda's mother from Brother Bear, with her death being the reason why Kenai got turned into a bear by the Great Spirits in the first place.
  • Disney's Revival Era frequently uses surprise antagonists, and very little can be said about those characters without blatantly giving away the films' major plot twists.
    • In Wreck-It Ralph, it's hard to discuss King Candy without bringing up his true identity as the infamous game-jumper Turbo, or the fact that he usurped Sugar Rush from its rightful ruler, Vanellope.
    • Frozen (2013) builds up Hans as the Love Interest for Anna, but the third act completely shifts the viewers' perception by revealing that he's actually a sociopathic opportunist using Anna to get the throne - and he's even willing to let her die to do so.
    • Big Hero 6 has Professor Robert Callaghan. Initially thought to have perished in a fire in the first act, it's later revealed that he intentionally set the fire to fake his own death and became the masked villain Yokai, plotting revenge against industrialist Alistair Krei for his daughter's disappearance.
    • In Zootopia, Assistant Mayor Bellweather reveals in the third act that she was orchestrating the film's entire conflict, forcing predator species to violently lash out in order to cause fear and distrust between them and prey animals.
    • In Moana, any discussion surrounding the demonic lava monster Te Ka is bound to bring up the fact that she's truly the benevolent goddess Te Fiti.
    • Frozen II introduces Anna and Elsa's late grandfather, King Runeard. Because Runeard died long before either film took place, most viewers' discussions of him will revolve around his plot to forcefully subjugate the indigenous Northuldra people, and the indirect consequences his actions had on the entire franchise. In a non-villainous example, the sequel also fleshes out the backstories of Anna and Elsa's parents, Agnarr and Iduna, with the information revealed completely changing how viewers saw their actions in the prologue of the first film.
    • Encanto initially builds up Bruno as the antagonist, only to reveal that he’s really a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold. The film actually has No Antagonist.
  • Home (2015) has the Gorg, who only attacks the Boov to repopulate his species with the children taken by Smek.
  • Bringing up either Valka or the Bewilderbeast from How to Train Your Dragon 2 spoils half the plot.
  • The live action characters from The LEGO Movie due to introducing a whole new level of depth to the movie and coming right smack out of nowhere, with only the briefest of foreshadowing leading up to their appearance.
    • A similar lack of foreshadowing is applied to the villains from various other franchises who appear in The LEGO Batman Movie, working for Joker.
  • Meet the Robinsons:
    • Cornelius Robinson is this due to his appearance; since he's actually Lewis in the future, any depiction of him before this is revealed would have spoiled the plot significantly. Before the revelation, he is never actually shown with Wilbur lying and claiming he looks like Tom Selleck to Lewis.
    • Lewis himself would have been this to the Robinsons in-universe thanks to his hair, hence Wilbur forcing him to wear the Carmen Miranda-esque fruit hat.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
    • It's impossible to talk about the first film's Big Bad Sunset Shimmer without talking about her redemption arc in the second film, which in turn leads to her becoming The Leader of the human Elements of Harmony from the third movie onwards.
    • You can't talk about Human Twilight Sparkle without discussing the events of the third movie, with her undergoing a similar One-Winged Angel transformation that Sunset did in the first film.
  • The Wolf from Pussin Boots The Last Wish is revealed to be none other than Death himself.
  • Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3. His role as the true Big Bad of the film is a spoiler in itself.
  • The Smurfy Grove Smurfs in Smurfs: The Lost Village. The premise of the movie relies on the main cast discovering evidence of another Smurf village somewhere in the Forbidden Forest. It's who these new Smurfs actually are that is in spoiler territory.
  • In Extinct (2021), Clarence is introduced as a friendly ally to Op and Ed, then turns out to be the Big Bad who orchestrated the Flummels' extinction.
  • In Turning Red, Ming's panda form is a spoiler along with the panda forms of Mei's grandma and aunties.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie has the Bomber Bill, who doesn't appear until near the ending and is tied to details about the climax. Bowser sends it out as a way to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom after Peach rejects the offer to marry him, and Mario dodging it leads to everyone being sucked into Brooklyn when it hits the pipe Mario came into the Mushroom Kingdom in.

  • In Ravages of Time, it's impossible to post any pictures of Sun Ce or Sun Quan without spoiling two key plotlines in the story: Sun Quan is the blink-and-you'll-miss-him kid next to Shan Wuling in Volume 6 who reappears and is revealed twenty-seven volumes later, while "Sun Ce" was actually an impersonator whose real name was Ling Cao and his supposed younger cousin Sun Fu was actually the real Sun Ce under a pseudonym, and the Sun Clan character sheet does not obscure their identities.

  • The demon Infinity in Ciel ~The Last Autumn Story~, due to the deaths and possession surrounding its first appearance completely changing the course of the plot.

  • The Adventure Zone's Balance Arc has quite a few. It's safe to say that anyone involved with the IPRE is extremely spoiler-heavy, but especially:
    • Barry Bluejeans and Davenport, minor gag characters with seemingly no impact on the story at first glance, are nearly impossible to talk about without mentioning that they're respectively the Red Robe and the former captain of the IPRE.
    • John's mere existence is a threefold spoiler: the identity of the mysterious Big Bad, the fact that said Big Bad is sentient rather than a mindless malevolent force, and the true reason behind the protagonists' mission to reclaim the Relics.
    • Simply talking about Lup and her relation to other characters reveals nearly the entirety of the protagonists' spoiler-heavy backstory (which involves, among other things, the revelation that the Red Robes are good and a Genre Shift from high fantasy to a Space Opera.)
  • The Magnus Archives:
    • Saying anything about Jonah Magnus will inevitably lead to at least one of three things being spoiled: that he founded the Magnus Institute in service to Beholding, that he's currently possessing Elias Bouchard, or that he's been working throughout the series to cause the apocalypse, which he finally achieves at the end of Season 4.
    • To a lesser extent, it's impossible to talk about Oliver Banks without revealing that Antonio Blake (one of the earliest plot-relevant statement givers) is a fabricated persona.
  • The third season of Mission to Zyxx features Emperor Nermut Bundaloy, who by existing discloses that the Federated Alliance is overthrown and who Pleck is destined to combat for the freedom of the galaxy. Played with in that he's not that Nermut Bundaloy.
  • The Penumbra Podcast:
    • It's impossible to talk about Peter Nureyev without revealing the fact that he's also Rex Glass, and thus spoiling the First-Episode Twist that "secret agent" Rex Glass is actually a Con Man trying to steal from Juno.
    • Ramses O'Flaherty. He's introduced as a kindly mayoral candidate who hires Juno as a bodyguard... but his narrative importance comes from the fact that he's a) secretly evil and trying to mind-control the entirety of Hyperion City with the THEIA Soul and b) actually Jack Takano, the Northstar employee that ruined the Steel family's lives when Juno was four years old.

  • It is impossible to discuss the full importance of Baron Typhonus in Dino Attack RPG without revealing some major spoilers.
  • As of version 5, Tracen Danya has taken up this role in Survival of the Fittest, in that while he was mentioned as early as v1, it's hard to mention his current status without mentioning his taking up the mantle after his father (the Big Bad starting from v1) who died partway through v4.

  • The original West End version of the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had several Canon Foreigner minor characters added to the first act — and one who seemed to be one. That would be the elderly tramp at the junkyard, who performs a small but vital role in encouraging Charlie Bucket to use some dropped money to buy a Wonka Bar that turns out to have the last Golden Ticket in it. In the show's final moments it's revealed that he was actually Willy Wonka in an elaborate Wig, Dress, Accent disguise, a big twist on the familiar story. Since the show did not Cast as a Mask, the tramp wasn't mentioned in the cast list, further concealing the spoiler to the casual observer. The subsequent Broadway Retool dropped this in favor of establishing at the top of the show that Wonka is heading out into the world King Incognito as a candy shop owner for Act One.
  • You can't really describe the plot of Finale without including the big reveal that the world is ending.
  • In Next to Normal, it's very hard to define Gabe Goodman's actions without revealing the fact that he's either a ghost or the hallucination that embodies Diana's grief over the death of the real Gabe.
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, after Sweeney Todd comes ashore in London, he is approached by a half-mad, disheveled beggar woman that claims to recognise him. Later she shows up to tell Anthony about Joanna and Judge Turpin and makes herself a nuisance around the pie shop, babbling about the suspicious smoke and scent. It turns out that she is actually Sweeney's wife, Lucy, whom he was led to believe to have swallowed arsenic and died after being raped by Judge Turpin. Sweeney kills her when she wanders into his tonsorial parlour (and her past home) to get her out of the way before the Judge arrives. After he realises what he's done, he angrily confronts Mrs. Lovett, who admits she knew Lucy lived. In a rage, he throws Lovett into her own oven and holds Lucy one last time, before accepting death.

    • Mata Nui, two-fold: first, the story's biggest secret was that he was, in fact, the universe-sized robot that the first 8 years of storyline took place in/on. Second, he only came into the forefront as a character after being usurped by the Big Bad. By talking about him, you not only reveal his identity and nature but also that The Bad Guy Wins at the end of the first Myth Arc.
    • Velika becomes this after the Voya Nui arc is over, although it's sort of subverted as the revelation he was a Great Being and responsible for the problems with the Bota Magna group the murders Kopaka and Onewa were investigating were from Word of God.

    Web Animation 
  • In Grej, Cult Communalism is this as it’s impossible to mention anything about the character without revealing that Communalism transforms from a Token Good Teammate into an Ax-Crazy fanatic
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device packs a double punch at the end of Season Two with near-simultaneous arrival of Vulkan and Rogal Dorn, the latter of which comes pretty much out of nowhere.
  • Inanimate Insanity:
    • Pretty much everything about Taco is a major spoiler: her Obfuscating Stupidity for the entireity of Season 1 in order to gain viewer support, her true nature as a manipulative and snobby Evil Brit, her surprise return in Season 2, and her significance therein.
    • Once Steve Cobs reappears in Episode 13 of Season 2, he becomes this, as this and the following episode reveal him to be the Big Bad when he was merely a joke character in his first appearances.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas Who: Skellington's Revenge has the Black Hiver: A creature summoned to help Jack Skellington take over Christmas, but it has its own plans…
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • For characters who are this in The Recollection:
      • Tex, due to the reveal that she's the Beta A.I., as well as her connection to fellow Walking Spoiler Allison.
      • The original, human Allison is the biggest spoiler in the series, as she reveals the truth about Tex, the Director, and everyone caught in his plans.
    • For characters who are this in The Project Freelancer Saga:
      • Agent Carolina becomes this from this arc onward. Up until the final few seconds of Season 9, she was assumed to be dead, so her appearances in the present day are impossible to talk about without spoiling that she, in fact, is truly not dead at all.
      • The Blue Freelancer who participates in the assault on the Insurrectionist base is this, due to the reveal that he's actually Agent Florida, as well as the fact that his true identity is Captain Butch Flowers, retroactively painting the character in a much darker light.
    • For characters who are this in The Chorus Trilogy:
      • Felix is built up as a good guy, then he is revealed to be Evil All Along. The fact that his characterization does a near complete 180 after the reveal makes this even worse.
      • Control, the person who hired Locus and Felix to wipe out Chorus' people. It's a spoiler to even mention that they're part of a third party in the Chorus Civil War. And then there's the reveal that they're true identity is Chairman Hargrove, revealing him to be the Greater-Scope Villain for the entire series up to that point.
      • Mentioning Sharkface's appearance in this arc spoils the reveal that he survived his supposed death in The Project Freelancer Saga.
    • For characters who are this in The Shisno Trilogy:
      • The trilogy's first season parodies this with an ominous looking FOTUS soldier that turns out to be a process server... and plays this straight with the real villains, the Blues and Reds, specifically their leader, Temple, whose entire character is a major spoiler for the second half of the season.
      • The reveal in The Shisno Paradox that Genkins is The Dragon to Chrovos is a major spoiler. It gets even worse with the reveal in Singularity that he's a past version of Chrovos via a Stable Time Loop.
      • Similarly, Chrovos' mere existence spoils the reveal that Atlus isn't actually the season's Big Bad. And, as with Genkins, the reveal in Singularity that the two are the same person via a Stable Time Loop makes them an even bigger one.
  • Sam & Mickey have Barbie's personal assistant Tinka Reynolds, whose debut episode revealed her at the end as Barbie's presumed-dead sister Tutti, who suffered amnesia and gained new parents after Barbie's parents lost her.
  • Every single new character introduced in the Genesis Arc of SMG4 is this, three out of the four’s literal names are massive spoilers, and the other spoiling the nature of these already massive walking spoilers.

    Web Original 
  • Dr. Josh Sharman of Lightning Dust. His placement on the character page alone reveals his true status.
  • TV Tropes: In works pages, some tropes themselves in the right context are Walking Spoilers, such as some Death and Ending Tropes. For example, in a Character Page, seeing "Disney Death" under a certain character is almost a dead giveaway that they will survive at least one apparent death. Subverted Disney Deaths are possible, but not common.

    Web Videos 
  • Board James: Board James himself is this, because the Season 2 finale makes it hard to discuss him without revealing something terribly sinister about him.
  • Critical Role has several:
    • Anytime a player is listed as playing multiple characters in a single campaign, it's safe to assume something bad happened to their first character to prompt the switch to a second one. Mentioning Tarryon Darrington (played by Sam Riegel) is near-impossible without mentioning that Scanlan Shorthalt leaves Vox Machina after a massive falling out, and mentioning Caduceus Clay (played by Taliesin Jaffe) is near-impossible without mentioning that Mollymauk Tealeaf is killed relatively early on in the second campaign.
    • Kaylie is hard to talk about without revealing that she's Scanlan's daughter from a one-night stand and a major catalyst in his Character Development.
    • Cassandra de Rolo, Percy's sister, is impossible to talk about without spoiling something, especially since we're lead to believe she was just a Death by Origin Story. The fact that she's still alive is just the beginning though, she's also a Heel–Face Revolving Door.
    • Orthax, the Shadow Demon. Simply talking about him spoils that Percy's Sanity Slippage and Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Briarwoods is actually a case of Demonic Possession, that he's the real Final Boss of the Briarwood arc, and that Percy successfully overcomes his influence. Later reveals also show that he consumes the souls of everyone Percy kills, which puts all of Percy's earlier battles in a much darker light.
    • Anna Ripley is also difficult to talk about without revealing that Percy sparing her during the Briarwood arc had major consequences, with her coming back later on seeking the Vestiges, becoming the new host of Orthax, and her being the first villain to kill a party member. From the same arc, Kynan Leore was just introduced as a young Vox Machina fanboy earlier on, before coming back many episodes later working for Ripley.
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared:
    • Malcolm's existence spoils the true nature of the Love Cult.
    • The appearance of the Puppeteers spoils the ending to the fourth.
    • It's hard to explain who the Cans are without spoiling the death of Duck Guy.
    • The other Red Guys seen in the sixth installment are impossible to discuss without spoiling Red Guy's escape.
    • The other teachers seen in the finale, to a lesser extent: discussing them reveals the true nature of the puppets' world... maybe.
  • Almost any rapper in Epic Rap Battles of History who arrives late in the battle, either to back up another rapper or take on both of the other participants at once. Usually, their mere existence is a spoiler.
  • In Mr. Buddy's "If England Was a Pokémon Region" video, Victoria of the region's Elite Four is difficult to talk about given that she's the one that gave Team Imperium the plan to awaken Toxygen and may also have had a role in the Australia region's story.
  • Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers: The villains for two of the arcs happen to be this:
    • Waluigi, who was previously depicted as just the sidekick to Wario, unlocks The Power of Rejection when trying to get into Smash, causes the T-Pose Virus outbreak, and eventually becomes one of the most powerful villains in the series.
    • Francis, the head of the Anime Cartel, becomes this after the anime ban is lifted, as he decides to kidnap Axol and take Inkweaver from him, then abduct all the Inklings in Inkopolis with the intent of harnessing their ink to create as many "anime waifus" as he pleases. His actions also cause the death of Desti and Meggy becoming human.
    • The Cosmology Saga (the Genesis Arc and the Revelations Arc) gave us two recurring characters that are fanatics of "4". In the 10th Anniversary Special, they're revealed to be SMG1 and SMG2, who came from a universe that was destroyed by a malevolent entity called Zero, and it turns out "4" means SMG4, who has some connection to them and hold the secret of his origins. "Zero" turns out to be SMG0, another Meme Guardian and a destructive virus who was sealed away into his own USB after killing SMG1 and SMG2's avatar Spudnick, while his arm escapes to the Mushroom Kingdom, hiding in the Dark Web for over 10 years and searching for Mario by grabbing almost every Mario recolor he can find and draining them of their life before finally capturing Mario during the 10th Anniversary Special. He later goes on to bring his Guardian Pod (which still retained the rest of his body) out from the remains of the Toytoy Kingdom and into the Mushroom Kingdom in search of Mario. He then possesses Axol, traps Mario, SMG4 and SMG3 into SMG3's Guardian Pod, managed to gather all of the Guardian Pods together at Peach's castle, captures Mario, and begins absorbing his life to create his new universe, culminating with him finally being defeated by Melony, who ends up having to Mercy Kill Axol to finally take him down. But then in comes the Revelations Arc 3 months later:
    • The Box Club. They're clearly meant to be a new crew of comic relief side characters, but they're more than that; they worship the almighty "God Box", which is said to take them to an eternal paradise - as in, the destruction of the SMG4verse. And surely enough, the Box Club Leader ends up meeting his end at the beginning of the Revelations movie, being consumed with power from the God Box so much that he explodes and is Killed Off for Real.
    • Two episodes in, we meet Niles: a student at Omnia Academy who acts as The Bully to Melony, constantly mocking her and throwing paper airplanes at her. However, as the arc goes on, he begins training Melony to better control her Fierce Deity powers which she had been trying to use since Axol's death... only for him to reveal at the climax that he was only using poor Melony as a pawn to make her strong enough to open a gateway to the God Box, an all-powerful relic which was used by his friend for his creation. Not only that, but he's also the malevolent side to Zero, who managed to possess Melony and was haunting her to continue his plans, using the God Box to achieve ultimate power to create his own universe. Thankfully, after being talked down by his friend, Niles finally accepts his fate and walks off into the afterlife, awaiting for what's to come there.
    • Perhaps the biggest one of all is SMG0. The real SMG0. For most of the Genesis Arc, we were led to believe that this SMG0 was responsible for nearly trying to kill Mario and destroy the universe in search of a new universe to call his own, but it turns out that we were misguided. The real SMG0 was kind and friendly, living in his world of the computer game Mage, hanging out with his avatar Fred, before the memes in his world became corrupted. As such, he went to the God Box to create a new partner to help him: Niles, and together, the three of them created the Internet Graveyard, which played into importance in the YouTube Arc. However, Niles' obsession with perfectionism drove him insane and led to him actively killing Fred with help from the God Box, leading to him unwillingly being merged together with Niles to create Zero, and spent most of the series dormant in his subconscious until after WOTFI 2021, where he was split apart and went to live in a small fragment of his old universe. He is unfortunately merged with Niles again, but this time, he manages to talk Niles down to accept his fate and go see Fred in the afterlife, finally putting an end to Zero for good.
    • The Completely Regular Keyboard, the Arc Villain of the "SMG4's Perfect Video" arc and the first quarter of Season 13; after SMG4 is driven up the wall from being distracted from making his Perfect Video, he purchases the keyboard, and even though it does help him complete the Perfect Video, it ultimately possesses him and takes over the entire castle, leading everyone to destroy it and leaving it in a massive sinkhole with the remains of the castle still inside.
  • Doug Walker in To Boldly Flee. Not The Nostalgia Critic, Doug Walker. The Nostalgia Critic himself becomes this in post-To Boldly Flee canon (before he was Un-Canceled, of course).
  • Firebrand in Tribe Twelve. Assumed to be a malevolent member of collective, Firebrand's Heel–Face Turn in INTERCEPTION and reveal as a future/alternative timeline Noah make his identity a major spoiler.
  • Vinesauce Tomodachi Life has several:
    • Isaac is most famous for causing the game to crash when being added to the island, causing the birth of an Alternate Dimension and the earliest indication of Cerebus Syndrome.
    • HOTDOG is initially a fairly one-note character that gets removed very shortly after his initial appearance. Then he shows up again much later with no explanation, introducing Vinny's willingness to alter things off-screen (which shapes the entire plot not long after).
    • The Jahns are the most prevalent example — a lot of their character in the later part of the series is shaped by their race invading the island and enacting an Assimilation Plot.
  • Yandere High School has SirCutieYuki, who at the start of the series comes off as no different than most of the other students in Samgladiator's class, but much later is revealed to be the titular Yandere and responsible for all the deaths that happen in the series, plus being a Yakuza boss's daughter.
  • Similarly, MangoTango's Yandere Middle School has RicherKidRichard, who can only say "Yeah", but in the finale is revealed to be the one behind the deaths and disappearances in the series as well as an Omnicidal Maniac.