"Well, I don't have to see the movie now.
— Stock Phrase
by moviegoers after seeing certain trailers in previews.
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Marvel Cinematic Universe
Early in its formation, the Marvel Cinematic Universe
had a bad reputation for spoiling key story beats in its trailers and TV spots. This was addressed in later films, with the marketing campaigns for entries like Captain America: Civil War
and Avengers: Infinity War
deliberately editing footage in order to hide certain characters or plot reveals:
- In Iron Man, the first theatrical trailer spoils almost every major plot point — that Tony is captured by a group of terrorists, manages to escape with his own kitbashed armor, makes it back to America, builds a second version of his suit, tests it in amusing ways, faces off against a pair of military jets, and fights an enemy similar to himself being piloted by Jeff Bridges (with the armor closing around his head being shown). The post-credits scene is the only really cool thing in the movie that wasn't shown in the trailer.
- A trailer for The Incredible Hulk shows Robert Downey Jr. appearing as Tony Stark. This is the last scene in the movie. Besides that, the theatrical trailer shows you everything else in the movie: that the Hulk is being pursued around the world by an elite military force, that one member has a pretty bad grudge against him, that they capture the Hulk and derive a Hulk-making serum from him, which they use on said soldier, which turns him into another Hulk, and the two have a big showdown fight.
- The first trailer for The Avengers subverted this trope. All you could tell from the trailer that the villain really, REALLY hated cars because there they were, being destroyed ...Until the SECOND trailer, which clearly shows and has several voice-overs from Loki.
- A minor controversy arouse after a TV spot for Captain America: The Winter Soldier seemingly spoiled the death of Nick Fury. Even more erroneously, the fact that there were still several scenes with Fury in the trailer that hadn't appeared yet by the time his "death" came up spoiled that he actually survived.
- The trailers and TV spots also have several prominent shots of the Winter Soldier unmasked, showing that he's Bucky Barnes. This is hardly a revelation to comic fans, but came as a surprise to audience members who hadn't read the source material.
- All the trailers also showed Cap fighting in his original outfit from the first film, spoiling that he switches to it from his S.H.I.E.L.D. outfit he starts out with.
- Some TV spots for Guardians of the Galaxy showed off Baby Groot, which made it kind of obvious how he came back from his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron:
- The billing on the final theatrical poster spoils that Anthony Mackie, Idris Elba, and Hayley Atwell have cameos as The Falcon, Heimdall, and Peggy Carter respectively. What makes it odd is that Marvel previously went to great lengths to avoid revealing said cameos, to the extent that in interviews, Mackie went into borderline Lying Creator mode to express disappointment at not being asked to reprise his role.
- Several trailers for the film a few weeks before release revealed that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver would turn on Ultron and join The Avengers. While long-term fans of the comic know that the pair were/are members of the group, they still spoiled a nice twist for those that didn't. The final theatrical poster also spoiled this by showing the two fighting alongside the Avengers, despite the previous trailer showing them fighting against the heroes.
- A Japanese trailer pretty much gave away the whole subplot about Hawkeye being Happily Married, which was originally one of the most confidential parts of the movie before its world premiere. One of the Japanese posters even features Hawkeye embracing his children.
- Ahead of the film's release, it was revealed that the movie would feature a "big death" in the final battle. Some astute fans noticed that there was a serious lack of merchandise for Quicksilver, and claimed this was evidence that he would be the one to die. They were correct.
- A foreign TV spot for Ant-Man spoiled the surprise appearance from The Falcon. The American TV spots soon followed suit, likely to play up the film's connections to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Captain America: Civil War:
- The fight between Iron Man and Cap/Bucky was heavily featured in promotional trailers. Yet towards the end, the three are teamed up for the final assault on the Hydra compound and that scene hasn't yet occurred. Obviously, something is going to happen to change matters.
- The production team finally decided to get wise at this point, hiding Spider-Man's appearance in the airport fight by digitally removing him from the Team Iron Man lineup. However, this didn't exactly work, as the Japanese marketing did no such thing, and eagle-eyed viewers could see him running in the lineup in several foreign TV spots.
- Many were put off by the second trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming due to the high possibility that it gives away several key plot-points of the movie that allows for the viewers to picture it in their head how the entire movie will be structured. One of these plot-points being the resolution of the battle that goes down on the ferry. The resolution being that Spider-Man screwed up the fight against the Vulture, so Iron Man has to come in and salvage the problem himself. Another dead giveaway the trailer provides is an interaction between Peter and Tony where it becomes quite clear that Tony is planning to take the Spider-Man suit back since he now believes that Peter isn't ready to be a superhero after screwing up the ferry battle. Adding to this near the end of the trailer, what looks to be the final battle between Spider-Man and the Vulture on an airplane high up in the sky, Spider-Man is seen wearing what looks like a makeshift supersuit he made himself. As a result, it becomes quite obvious that at some point in the movie, either Tony Stark goes through with taking back the Spider-Man suit, or Peter ditches it at some point.
- In Thor: Ragnarok, there is a big buildup to the Grandmaster's undefeated, savage, incredible champion, whose appearance was apparently intended to be a twist... except the trailers and posters all prominently feature the Hulk, including his entrance to the arena in gladiator gear.
- Avengers: Infinity War:
- At the Phase 3 announcement event, Marvel showed off an exclusive teaser trailer for the film, which mostly consisted of footage from previous movies. During a montage showing off the Infinity Stones from the past Marvel movies, a shot of Loki's scepter from the first movie was included, spoiling that it was an Infinity Stone before this plot point was actually revealed in Age of Ultron a few months later.
- The first trailer, which debuted in late November of 2017, prominently featured Thor and T'Challa, spoiling the fact that they both make it through their respective films (Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther (2018)) alive. As a result, when T'Challa is seemingly killed in the latter film, he's Not Quite Dead. Then, in a very, very questionable move on Disney's part, both films' theatrical runs showed a trailer for Infinity War before the feature.
- While the filmmakers attempted to throw off audiences by digitally changing certain shots (namely, how many stones were on Thanos' gauntlet to keep viewers from guessing what point in the film the scenes were from), the marketing also heavily featured a shot of Peter Parker lying on the ground on Titan, telling Tony that "I'm sorry", and a later shot showing Tony appearing to be mourning on the planet. The shots are from the disintegration scene, where Tony watches Peter turn to ash in his arms.
- Avengers: Endgame:
- By necessity, the trailers and TV spots for the film spoil that half of the universe has died, showing several prominent character deaths in flashback (including Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Bucky Barnes). It also strongly implies that Hawkeye's daughter is dead, cutting from a flashback of him spending time with her at their family farm to a shot of him turning to face Natasha, looking distraught.
- The trailers also spoil the ending of Ant-Man and the Wasp, showing that Scott Lang was stranded in the Quantum Realm for an unknown amount of time and was presumed dead by the rest of the team, before escaping and learning what happened to the rest of Earth before reuniting with them.
- The home media ads for Endgame extensively show footage of the enormous battle at the film's climax, which, for obvious reasons, was kept pretty much entirely out of the marketing prior to the film's release in theatres.
- Tom Holland himself recorded a warning not to watch the second trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home if you haven't managed to watch Avengers: Endgame yet because it prominently references Tony Stark's Heroic Sacrifice, an event which not only ends the climactic battle but directly leads into the epilogue.
DC Extended Universe
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's second trailer reveals that Batman and Superman eventually put aside their differences and team up with Wonder Woman to fight Doomsday. This example was so prominent that it was featured in a Cracked article that touched on trailers that spoil key plot points. The article used an old interview from a trailer editor who mentioned that this technique is used to impress investors and help move merchandise. Basically, WB spoiled Wonder Woman and Doomsday's roles in the final battle to drive action figure sales. A Brazilian The Onion-like site even ran an article named "Theaters will give 50% discount on Batman v. Superman for those who've seen the latest trailer".
- The home media ads for SHAZAM! (2019) show Billy's foster siblings in their super hero forms.
- The trailer for The Adventures of Pluto Nash hits a perfect combination of Never Trust a Trailer and Trailers Always Spoil: not only does it try to sell the movie as reaching The Pink Panther-esque levels of ridiculousnessnote , one of the moments included in their gag reel is the dramatic reveal that Rex Crater is a clone of Pluto Nash — i.e. The Climax of the entire movie.
- The trailer for Affliction is a very serious example: it shows the ending of the movie, where Nick Nolte's character kills his father and then burns the body.
- The poster for Airheads reveals that Chazz, Rex, and Pip are ultimately arrested and sent to prison.
- This trailer for the 1999 Animal Farm film may be more respectful to the film than the rest of the promotion, but it also spoiled the corruption of the pigs by the end of the movie.
- Alien is a famous aversion of the trope, mostly consisting of shots of an egg that begins to crack as ominous music plays (coupled with a quick montage of out-of-context clips). That being said, the focus of many shots on Ellen Ripley (including footage of her running frantically through the Nostromo, peering up over a ladder and closing her eyes when she sees an explosion in front of her) is a giveaway that her role is a bit more important than the initially-unapparent background role she has through the first third of the film.
- The trailer for Aliens spoils the existence of the Alien Queen, who originally wouldn't be shown until The Reveal to Ripley and Newt during the final sequence in the hive (and in the Director's Cut, would have been hinted at earlier on). The trailer also has a pair of long xenomorph legs descending down a landing ramp, with Ripley looking on as the creature moves out in front of her. This takes place during the final confrontation between Ripley and the Queen onboard the ''Sulaco.
- The Apartment had its closing scene revealed in its original trailer.
- Arlington Road's main plotline involves whether or not Tim Robbins' character is actually a domestic terrorist or just a regular guy. If you've seen the trailer, however, you know the answer. In fact, Jeff Bridges spends much of the DVD commentary complaining about the film's tell-all marketing.
- Avatar: A major part of the first two-thirds of the film focuses on characters wondering if they can stop the military from attacking the Na'vi. The trailer shows lots and lots and lots of gunfire and huge robots with rockets, not to mention the Home Tree being destroyed. Is Cameron doing this deliberately?
- Balls of Fury tries really hard to make Feng's identity a secret, despite that Christopher Walken is 99% of the star power (the other 1% being James Hong).
- Averted and lampshaded in the trailer for the 1947 film The Bishop's Wife, in which actors David Niven, Loretta Young, and Cary Grant all appear as themselves on the Samuel Goldwyn backlot, deciding not to film a trailer because they don't want a trailer to give away the film's surprises.
- The theatrical trailer for The Black Hole spoils Durant's death scene as Anthony Perkins' name appears. This trailer also appears on several early Disney VHS tapes.
- Before Black Swan won an Oscar, the trailers and TV spots for the film showed Nina's disturbing swan morph, which happens at the end of the film.
- Bloodshot (2020)'s theatrical trailer spoils The Reveal — Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is being manipulated by his employer, Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) to eliminate targets using manipulated memories, a development that occurs nearly halfway through the film. And if that wasn't enough, the trailer also spoils that Ray fights one of his fellow soldiers, and has a confrontation with an individual wielding a grenade launcher who has a mechanical hand that looks just like Harting's!
- The theatrical trailer for The Blue Lagoon (aside from coming across as a mini-National Geographic documentary) spoils most of the key reveals in the film, including Richard and Emmeline finding Paddy's corpse, the two maturing and falling in love, Em being injured and Richard taking her to the statue, Richard witnessing the tribe sacrificing their own members and fleeing, building a raft, and Em giving birth to a child.
- Several trailers for The Boat That Rocked (Pirate Radio in the U.S.) showed the DJs choosing to ignore the new laws passed to ban pirate radio, and the boat flooding.
- The unusual and lyrical trailer for The Brown Bunny basically summarizes the whole film: On one side of the screen is Vincent Gallo's character's POV as he drives across the country, while the other side of the screen shows Chloe Sevigny's character at a party, passing out and being loaded onto an ambulance, ultimately spoiling the fact that she died before the movie started and Gallo is in mourning.
- Bye Bye Love's unbelievably long trailer practically showed you the whole movie, except that it piled on the Common Comedic Elements so thickly that you would think it was just a romantic comedy. It is, but is much darker and more thoughtful than its trailer would imply, although this is partly a matter of dramatic pacing.
- The Stinger in the trailer for Cabin In The Woods shows the elevator into the Facility, which is supposed to be the third act twist. For context, even the back cover of the DVD release only describes the plot as "bad things happening".
- The trailer for Carrie (1976) shows all the climax of the film, including the deaths of every significant character, which begs the question of why anyone, having seen it, would actually go and see the film. Worse, The 101 (a Direct TV exclusive channel) advertised it as "A teenage psychic wreaks havoc at her high school prom". Way to not only skewer the plot, but also portray Carrie White as the villain!
- The trailer for Cast Away reveals that Tom Hanks makes it off the island in the end. Robert Zemeckis argued afterwards that the audience most of his films are targeted toward want to know about the plot twists ahead of time rather than having an Genre Shift sprung on them. This was invoked with Back to the Future Part III, to assure audiences who were watching Part II that the story would finish in a matter of months, not years.
- The trailer for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle revealed the identity of the Big Bad (Madison Lee) despite its being set up as a big surprise in the film itself. As if that's not bad enough, in pre-release promotional interviews and press pieces, everyone involved was frank and forthcoming with the Big Bad's identity.
- This trailer for Charlie St Cloud gives away every plot point from the film.
- Children of Men: The trailer reveals Kee's pregnancy, which was carefully set up as a Wham Shot in the movie.
- The original The Children's Hour trailer effectively spoils the entire twist of the story and Martha's suicide.
- The second trailer for Cinderella (2015) reveals that Lady Tremaine finds and breaks the slipper still with Ella before she can use it to prove who she is.
- One trailer for Cocoon explicitly revealed that Walter, Kitty, et al are aliens.
- Collateral treats Tom Cruise/Vincent's occupation as a secret, but you already knew it if you saw any promotion at all. Even critics were unsure how to treat this bit of information, most saying something to the effect of "I guess this is a spoiler, but it's already spoiled." In a hilarious bit of probably accidental hypocrisy, Roger Ebert's review kindly tells you not to finish reading it if you don't already know, but the picture and caption at the top of the webpage give it away anyway.
- Collateral Beauty has a very odd subversion of this phenomenon. The trailers seemingly spoil that the main character, Howard, is visited by the concepts of Death, Love and Time, who are trying to help him get past the death of his child from cancer. This is seemingly a ruse, as the actual premise in the film itself is that Howard's co-workers hire a trio of actors to pose as Death, Love and Time in order to prove that the former isn't in his right mind. Then the ending of the film shows that the "actors" really are Death, Love and Time — except they've been helping Howard's co-workers just as much as him.
- Serials by Columbia Pictures were particularly bad about this. As a serial, each chapter or episode ended with the hero in a cliffhanger facing certain death... meant to entice the audience back to the theater the next week to see if and how the hero will survive certain death. Columbia, however, always showed clips from the next chapter after the cliffhanger - which, inevitably, showed the very hero involved in the cliffhanger alive and in action.
- Commando's plot is already razor-thin anyways, and it's transparently obvious that the bad guys will lose since it's a 1980s-style action movie. So just to really rub salt in the wound, the trailer spoils the movie... by ruining almost all of the best catch phrases, including the immortal, "Let Off Some Steam, Bennett!"
- The theatrical trailer for The Conversation spoils the very end of the movie.
- One of the cinematic trailers for Cowboys & Aliens reveals that Olivia Wilde's character is an alien. Trailers also showed her stepping naked out of the fire, so when you watch the movie, you know that she can't really be dead because that scene hasn't happened yet.
- One DVD release of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had the very final scene of the movie as the background for the language menu. Anyone who wanted to see the movie in any format other than English dubs had to spoil the ending for themselves.
- In the trailer for Critters 4, all of the major character deaths are shown, along with how all of the critters are killed (including parts of the climax from the film).
- The trailers for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button detail every event in the movie, showing everything important that happens in Benjamin's life. That being said, the source material for the film, a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is so short that you could pick up a compendium of Fitzgerald's short stories which include "Benjamin Button", flip to where the story is, and within 10 - 15 minutes know how the entire story goes.
- The trailer and several posters for The Darkest Minds show Ruby's body disintegrating at several points, which in the movie is a visual representation of Ruby erasing herself from a person's memory. This is made worse in that the trailer specifically shows a shot of this happening in front of Liam, which is one of the very last scenes of the film.
- The Dark Knight Trilogy:
- A TV spot for Batman Begins revealed, in order, that Bruce's parents died, Wayne Manor burns down (something that happen 3/4's of the way through the film), and that Bruce has a reconciliatory conversation with Rachel that happens right beside the ashes of said burned-down manor.
- The Dark Knight's trailers featured a few scenes involving Gordon (the Joker interrogation, smashing the Batsignal) that took place after his apparent death, tipping viewers off that he wasn't really dead.
- Darkness Falls has a glaring plot hole involving a character getting killed, despite not having met the requirements for the token supernatural serial killer to choose to kill her... that is, unless you saw the deleted scene in the trailer.
- Watch the trailer for the hip, black version of Death at a Funeral and you don't need to bother seeing either movie because it shows the boyfriend accidentally getting high then getting naked, the elderly uncle's bathroom problems, and the two brothers (who are also rivals) learning their father was having a homosexual affair — with the same actor as the original!
- Deep Impact's trailers give away several late-stage plot points, including a giant tidal wave ripping through New York City, Jenny holding her father and crying as he looks up at something massive headed towards them, and Leo and Sarah taking the latter's baby brother from her parents before riding away on a motorcycle, then looking out in shock some time later while bloodied and bruised.
- Several promos and trailers from Descendants feature scenes of Ben's coronation, Maleficent as a dragon, and the whole cast dancing together, which spoil the climax of the movie.
- The trailer for the ridiculous and sub-par Slasher Movie Detention (2010) (best known as one of David Carradine's last appearances before his rather unusual death) tells you absolutely everything. Who our group of victims is, who gets killed, the entire back-story for the killer's rampage, exactly which two characters survive until the end, and who the Large Ham killer is. About the only detail it leaves out is whether or not those last two make it to the end-credits, but it's a Foregone Conclusion.
- The Die Hard 2 trailer showed John McClane fighting Major Grant at the end, revealing his FaceHeel Turn as The Mole near the end of the film.
- This trailer for DOA: Dead or Alive is notable for including the very last scene in the movie. Now, it's a short gag scene, but it does reveal that Kasumi and Ayane end up on the same side despite Ayane spending most of the movie trying to kill Kasumi.
- The trailer for A Dog's Way Home is a 2-minute summary of the entire film, including the ending where Bella finds her way back home.
- Double Jeopardy was infamous for its trailer, revealing that: Ashley Judd goes to jail for the murder of her husband, she finds out her husband is alive, a fellow inmate informs her that she cannot be convicted for the same crime twice, and that she menacingly points a gun at her husband while Tommy Lee Jones (who was investigating Judd) sits back and watches.
- While many critics found the Tom Hanks/Dan Aykroyd comic reboot of Dragnet stagnant, audiences howled with laughter (and was subsequently spoiled) at the trailer scene where Sgt. Friday emerges from a tank to engage in the big fight scene and Hanks' character quips "Thank God it's Friday!"
- The trailers for Dream House included the revelation that the protagonist is actually a recently-released mental patient accused of killing his own family — the very person he'd been searching for information on, since he believed his family was still alive and the murders had happened to the previous occupants of his house. While this is admittedly not the final important reveal, and happens about halfway through the movie, it is by FAR the film's biggest twist, and having it spoiled in advance makes the first half of the film hopelessly boring.
- The teaser for Elysium was fairly opaque, but one of the full-length trailers has two specific shots (Max yelling "I have five days to live!"; Max carrying the Ill Girl) that give away pretty much the entire plot. Another goes into even more detail, basically summarizing the entire first half-hour.
- The trailer for Ender's Game features a shot of the bugger homeworld being destroyed, through people unfamiliar with the book might not realize the context. This would happen to be the absolute climax moment for the film. Also, the casting of Ben Kingsley couldn't really help but reveal that Mazer Rackham is still alive.
- The Jennifer Lopez movie Enough is about an abused wife who goes on the run, but her husband tracks her down and she realizes the only way to stop him is to Take a Level in Badass. The trailers showed her confronting him after her training, which is the climax of the movie.
- The trailers for Eraser give away that James Caan's character is the villain.
- A trailer aired during the MTV Music Awards in 1996 for Escape from L.A. shows a shot where Commander Malloy (Stacey Keach) walks up to Snake (Kurt Russell) and attempts to hit him with a rifle in front of a burning object, which reveals that Snake is a hologram. This is the big twist during the ending, and occurs during the second-to-last scene in the film.
- Ex Machina:
- One U.S. TV spot spoils Ava turning on the two human characters, which is fairly shocking if you don't know it's coming.
- Also, one U.S. trailer shows Kyoko peeling back her face (another shows her robotic arms breaking as she's battering a wall), thus spoiling The Reveal that she's an gynoid.
- Nickelodeon began releasing trailers for A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! over a month before the movie aired. One of the earliest trailers showed a clip of Tootie talking to Cosmo, Wanda, and Poof after Timmy introduces them to her, which takes place late in the film.
- The Fall starts out as a cute story about a couple of patients in a hospital narrating and imagining a fantastical epic. It slowly sinks into a darker tone when you realize that one of the main characters is suicidal, eventually becoming very dark indeed. The trailer showed the main character attempting suicide, explained outright that he had made up the story to get his friend to steal morphine for him, and showed the death of nearly every main character.
- The trailers for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer reveal the plot point that the team exchanges powers, and shows the climax, where they combine all their powers into Human Torch.
- The Final Destination series is really bad about this. The trailers or pre-release clips spoil Evan's death, Tim's Death, Nadia's Death, Samantha's death, Andy's Death, Hunt dying in a pool, George's Death, The Theater Explosion, Lori's "death" by Escalator, Isaac's Death (Hard to catch, but it IS in one of the TV Spots), Olivia's Death, Dennis's Death, and the ending twist of Final Destination 5. Throw in pre-release pictures and you can count Candice's and Peter's deaths too!
- The trailer for First Daughter spoils the true identity of the boyfriend, a surprise twist revealed very late in the movie.
- The trailer for Float Like A Butterfly spoils the ending, where Frances wins her fight against Eamann.
- One ad for Focus blatantly spells out that Margot Robbie's character was just playing Will Smith's character for a fool. This turns out to be a subversion, as Jess has a HeelFace Turn and realizes she loves the main character by the end of the film.
- The trailer for the Natalie Dormer flick The Forest showed the ending of the movie, where Sara is pulled under the forest floor and killed.
- The trailer for Free Willy does exactly this, outlining every major plot point in just under two minutes (including the climactic jump over the wall at the end of the movie). Hell, the poster for the film spoils the exact moment where the orca jumps!
- Friday the 13th:
- The trailers for the original Friday the 13th (1980) and its first sequel showed enough of every death scene in the movie to know who was going to die before ever seeing the film. Also a case of Never Trust a Trailer, as both trailers implied that there were thirteen deaths in each movie, when in fact there were only ten in each (if you count the killer in the first one).
- A cross between this and Never Trust a Trailer; everything from the trailers to the box art of Jason X market Jason's futuristic upgrades, which he only gets within the last 15 minutes of the movie.
- At least one trailer for From Dusk Till Dawn makes explicitly clear that the inhabitants of the bar are vampires, which is a twist halfway through the movie.
- The trailer for Judd Apatow's Funny People shows that Adam Sandler's character has a life-threatening disease. That's part of the premise that's been widely-known. Then it goes and says outright that he may have beaten the damn thing. This happens two-thirds into the film. Yep.
- The trailer for The Gallows spoils Cassidy's death. While she was a minor character (and an arguably flat one at that), it is played out the exact same way in the movie.
- The trailer for the 1987 movie The Gate included every single special effect in the entire film except one.
- The General's Daughter is a thriller full of plot twists. The trailer spoiled every single one of them. (It almost spoiled the actual murderer. While it didn't show the murderer, it showed a short clip from the final scene, where the murderer is revealed.)
- Since the Eiffel Tower's collapse is the Money-Making Shot of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, its inclusion on the trailer kinda ruins some of the tension of the Paris scenes. A scene from the final part of the movie involving an airplane being devoured by Nanomachines is also in the previews.
- The trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation shows the destruction of London. However, this particular part of COBRA's plan is not revealed until 2/3rds of the way through the movie. As soon as it is, the viewer knows exactly what is going to happen.
- A commercial for The Girl on the Train reveals that the perfect couple the protagonist spies on every day and is obsessed with is actually her ex-husband and his babysitter/lover.
- The trailer for The Giver spoils basically every last surprise in the book. People don't see colors any more? 'Release' is just a euphemism for execution? The mandatory shots dull emotions? The Community is just a big dystopia? Boom. All spoiled. Basically the only thing not spoiled is Jonas' relationship with Gabe. Justified since the book is required reading in dozens of schools.
- The Glengarry Glen Ross trailer features Williamson accusing Shelley of robbing the office.
- The original theatrical trailer for The Godfather features stills from the movie, including almost every single murder (such as Sonny's, which is meant to be a huge shock in the film).
- The trailer for the film adaptation of Gone Girl uses this trope nicely. The scenes shown in the trailer and the general theme of the trailer all point towards Nick being guilty and explicitly show Amy's dead body. The twist is that not only is she not dead and Nick isn't guilty, but that he's actually being framed by Amy for her murder, and completely turns the film on its head.
- The poster art for Grease (and some re-release trailers) usually have a heavy emphasis on Sandy as she looks at the end of the film, when it's meant to be The Reveal.
- The original Halloween (1978) theatrical trailer gives away the first scene's twist - that the killer is the victim's six-year-old brother.
- The DVD trailer for The Hangover spoils almost every significant plot event, including Ed Helms' character marrying a hooker, that the group is attacked by an Asian gang, the poker scene, and the fact that there are two Dougs in the film.
- The trailer for Hanna gives away the minor plot twist when Marissa sends a double into the holding cell where Hanna is (from the back the person looks and sounds exactly like Marissa), and Hanna starts crying and then snaps the woman's neck.
- Both the trailer and the description on the back of Happy Accidents give away that Sam may or may not be from the future and he is trying to save Ruby from dying.
- Harry Potter
- The trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: Harry and Voldemort fight! Ollivander isn't dead! Hogwarts erupts into battle! Ron uses the sword! There's a dragon! Griphook comes back! Harry hands himself over to Voldemort! The worst part about all of it is that most of this stuff is from what has to be the second part. So not only are they spoiling a good section of the book, they're spoiling a good section of the second movie.
- If you thought that was bad, just wait until you see the theatrical trailer for Part 2. It shows two of the most important parts of the battle of Hogwarts. The first, though only a flash, is Ron visibly cradling Fred's dead body. The second is Lupin and Tonks holding hands before what is most likely their death, and the third is Molly and Bellatrix fighting. Might as well spoil the fact that Snape loved Lily. The trailers also show a scene where Harry speaks to dead friends and loved ones, like his parents — as well as a certain character (Prof. Remus Lupin) who was still alive last time we checked. And said character is quite prominent, meaning it's hard to miss. Whoops.
- A lot of the scenes from said trailer show Harry after his death and resurrection, removing the dramatic tension leading up to his death.
- While the red-band trailer for Hatchet II inadvertently spoiled a major character's death (well, half of it) the one for Hatchet III went even further and showed almost every death in the film save one or two.
- Bizarrely subverted in that the DVD cover of He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not looks good enough at first glance, but on closer inspection all the review quotes seem to be describing a Psychological Thriller, mirroring the plot of the film.
- In the John Woo film Heroes Shed No Tears, the film's trailer spoils Every. Single. Named Protagonist death with the exception of two, both of which would be too gruesome for the trailer.
- The trailers for Hellboy (2019) show off bits from the Six-Months Later pre-credits scene.
- The trailer for the Colombian mystery movie The Hidden Face (2011) gives away the twist of the girl behind the mirror.
- Home Alone was really bad about this. The trailer showed every booby trap and pratfall, most of which happen during the final confrontation with Harry and Marv at the end of the film.
- The trailer for Hot Fuzz focuses almost entirely on the two main characters fighting against the entire population of a surprisingly well armed rural community, despite the fact that not only does this not happen until two thirds through the movie, but it reveals that Danny does a HeelFace Turn, before he is ever revealed to be on the same side as the townsfolk.
- Hot Tub Time Machine:
- Depending on which trailer you saw, one of them shows Lou aboard the huge yacht he bought himself after inventing Lougle, therefore spoiling the fact that he stays in the past.
- Another trailer showed Jacob seeing his mother in 1986, and then shows her in bed with Lou saying "I feel pregnant".
- The trailer for 2013's The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared casually spoils the scene where the main bad guy dies near the end of the movie.
- The Hunger Games:
- The trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire spoils that Katniss will have to participate again in the Hunger Games. The movie itself does not foreshadow this, as she is pushed in the role of victor and mentor.
- One trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 consists largely of an emotional montage of Katniss and Prim. It's not too hard to guess what that means, even if you haven't read the book.
- Trailers for Hunt for the Wilderpeople presented many of the jokes from the movie, but did so without the proper set-up, so they weren't funny. Then when watching the movie itself, they weren't funny because you've already seen them in the trailer. So the trailer managed to ruin every joke twice.
- The advertisings for The Film of the Book of Inhabited Island by the Strugatsky Brothers spoils every major plot point. One trailer even reveals that The Hero and the Big Bad turns out to be on the same side, what was supposed to be a Twist Ending.
- One of the trailers for Into the Woods seems to give away the fact that Cinderella's Prince isn't as loving and sincere as he's letting on (and that he cheated on her). Look closely at the scene where the Baker's Wife is getting kissed by someone: it's the Prince. For anyone who's actually seen the play, this wouldn't be too much of a surprise.
- The Island built up suspense in the beginning that was impacted by revealing in the trailer that the people shown were clones and showing the escape into the real world, which all was part of the midway twist, along with figuring out what the island was.
- The trailer for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World gives away that the money is lost to the crowd watching them fight over it.
- James Bond
- The trailer for GoldenEye revealed the plot twist that Bond's old partner Alec Trevelyan (006) was the film's main villain.
- The trailer for Dr. No told the audience the whole plot, including the final scenes.
- Averted by Live and Let Die and The World Is Not Enough, the two twistiest Bond films. The trailers for the former conceal the fact that Mr. Big and Dr. Kananga are one and the same, and the trailers for the latter hide the fact that Elektra was the true mastermind behind Renard's schemes, deciding to work with him (and falling in love with him along the way) to ruin her father after Renard kidnapped her.
- Jurassic Park:
- The original film was a notable aversion of this during its marketing campaign. The first trailer for the film only showed workers excavating a mine and finding some amber, which zooms in to reveal that there is some DNA related to dinosaurs found within a fossilized mosquito. It told the audience little about what was actually in store, save for the fact that someone financed the creation of an island and is bringing dinosaurs back to life. Even the second trailer (the first with film footage) showed off very little of the dinosaurs, save for a T-Rex foot and the snout, claws and silhouette of a velociraptor.
- The ACU members' deaths were spoiled in early trailers for Jurassic World. Starting with the Super Bowl spot, the trailers and TV ads have also frequently depicted Zara getting lifted up by a Pteranodon. A more complex example is present with Simon Masrani's death. The second full trailer shows a helicopter crashing through the Aviary and exploding on the ground, which doesn't reveal much by itself. But anyone who later goes to the movie and sees Masrani flying his own chopper both to reach the island and to help hunt down the Indominus rex will probably fill in the dots and conclude that he goes down in the crash. Leading up to the movie's second weekend in theaters, Universal released a TV spot showing, among other things, the Big Entrance of the Tyrannosaurus rex.
- Several of the trailers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom show part of a speech (including a Title Drop) that Ian Malcolm makes in front of a Senate committee, along with a shot of the Mosasaurus having apparently left its pen at the park and swimming near a group of surfers before opening its mouth to eat one. Both shots are seen in the film's ending, spoiling them for anyone who'd seen the trailer beforehand.
- Keeping Up with the Joneses: Yes, the glamorous, mysterious Joneses are spies. Yes they are (apparently) good guys (in as much they don't just kill the everydude couple once their cover's blown). Yes, the dumpy everydude couple who are so suspicious of them get involved in their operation. Yes, of course said couple gets gussied up to go on a mission in the Jonses' place. And all of this is casually dropped in the very first trailer.
- Trailers of The Kindred and Centipede spoil the demise of their respective monsters.
- The trailer for The Kite Runner bizarrely chooses to focus on the last third of the movie and reveals that Hassan dies and makes it seem like the whole movie is about Amir trying to save Hassan's son, even though most of the movie is about their childhood friendship.
- Subverted in the case of Larry Crowne. While people might think that the trailer gives away the entire film, it mostly only shows what happens in the first hour. Most of the film's third act was not shown in the trailer.
- Most of the footage for the theatrical trailer of The Last Starfighter comes from the last half hour of the movie.
- If you watched the trailer for Law Abiding Citizen, you see every single murder that is committed in the movie. Plus a clip of the last scene, just for good measure.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen had most plot points which were intended to be a big twist end up getting spoiled by the trailer. The worst offender is probably Dorian Gray's immortality and Mina Harker's vampirism, both of which were clearly intended to be a surprise to the audience, but both of which were shamelessly spoiled by every single trailer. That said, those "twists" may also lean more on It Was His Sled for audience members familiar with the original stories.
- The trailer for Little Shop of Horrors gave away The Reveal that the plant is an alien.
- Anyone who's seen the trailer for The Lone Ranger knows the climax involves the Ranger and Tonto fighting the antagonists on board a moving train.
- In certain circles (that is, the obsessive ones), the trailer for The Two Towers is rather notorious for giving away what is clearly set up in the film (and more so in the book) as a point of mystery and contention — the identity of the mysterious White Wizard who is following Aragorn's Terrific Trio around.
- In the book, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas were surprised to find out that Gandalf had returned from the dead, and when they heard about a "White Wizard", and at first when they finally came across him, they thought it was Saruman, not Gandalf. In the movie, to maintain this, Peter Jackson actually went so far as to have Gandalf the White speak with the voices of both Lee and McKellen imitating each other's voice, with their voices overlaid on top of each other. You can hear the transitions quite well, and for a moment Gandalf sounds like he's talking with the Voice of the Legion because of this.
- Well, it might have been somewhat hard to keep the revelation that Gandalf's alive out of the trailer, since he shows up at the end of the first fourth of the movie. Then again, he leaves shortly after not to return until the end, so it might have been feasible. The fact that he was also on all the merchandise for the film (and there was a lot of it) didn't help either.
- The people editing the trailer for The Machinist thought it would be a brilliant idea to hint at the plot twist at the end too heavily, including the answer to the hangman game, "KILLER".
- Magnolia: Not a major twist, but posters for the movie reveal the final unexpected scenes of frogs raining from the sky.
- If you paid even the slightest bit of attention to the ending of one particular trailer for Maleficent, you'd see that Maleficent's raven (who is a shapeshifter here) is turning into the dragon, not her.
- The first theatrical trailer for The Martian spoils quite a few details of the story, most significantly Watney using the Pathfinder probe to contact Earth, and his crewmates on Hermes going back for him in violation of NASA's orders.
- Given the young target audience, it's not surprising that the trailer for Matilda showed the headmistress getting her comeuppance.
- The Matrix Reloaded:
- The trailer revealed that Agent Smith was not only still alive, but has gone rogue and could replicate himself by jamming his hand into other people/programs. Though all of this was shown fairly early on in the film, many scenes were clearly meant to be reveals that would surprise and confuse the viewers, such as the scene where Smith speaks to another Agent only for the camera to pan over and reveal the other Agent is also Smith.
- A more minor example would be the Twins and their ghosting ability. Within the progression of the story itself, their ability to phase into intangible ghost-like forms came as a surprise to the main characters, but scenes with them using said ability were featured pretty heavily in the film's marketing. As such, as soon as the Twins first showed up on screen, probably everybody in the theater started eagerly anticipating when they'd get to see their powers in action, which actually didn't happen until a good chunk of time after their first appearance.
- Max: The extended trailer for that played in front of Jurassic World gave away that one of Max's handler's squad-mates is after something in his "friend's" storage locker and is willing to harm the guy's father to get it.
- Almost all the trailers for the 2001 film Max Keeble's Big Move give away the suprise twist that the titular character won't move away.
- The trailer (and the VHS cover art) for Meet the Feebles shows the surprise ending in action.
- Meet the Parents would have been a lot funnier if the trailer hadn't given away that the girl's father isn't really a retired florist, but actually an ex-interrogator for the CIA.
- The trailer for Melvin and Howard shows mostly the last third of the film where Melvin gets the will that names him as a heir to the Howard Hughes fortune, as well as much of the ending while leaving out much of the family drama that takes up much of the first two-thirds.
- Several of the trailers for Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie spoil many of the movie's twists, including Ivan Ooze destroying the Command Center, the team traveling on a jungle planet and learning something called "Ninjetti", and much of the final fight against Ooze (complete with a shot in the first theatrical trailer of the team holding their hands in the air as Zordon reforms, which is the second-to-last scene in the film).
- A more subtle example occurs in the trailer for Million Dollar Baby, which clearly shows Maggie lying on the ground with a doctor kneeling over her. This one is somewhat excusable because they didn't actually show her getting punched or landing on the stool before hand, and the viewer might not easily guess that she ends up paralyzed after this scene. Also to be fair, they also had the decency not to spoil the incredibly dark turn taken by the last quarter of the film, where Maggie is paralyzed from the neck down and the story becomes about Frankie's efforts to cope with what's happened.
- The trailer for the movie The Million Dollar Hotel shows a scene of Jeremy Davies' character TomTom confessing that he "went ahead and pushed him off".
- An aversion occurs in the trailer for 1942's Miracle on 34th Street. It is similar to that of The Bishop's Wife, having characters spend the entirety of the trailer narrating why they don't want to give away the film's surprises..
- The trailers for Mission: Impossible Fallout makes it pretty obvious that Walker is one of the main villains of the movie and part of the Big Bad Duumvirate, especially since it shows the climax where he shoots at Ethan's helicopter or when he's brutally fighting it out with Ethan on the edge of a high cliff. To be fair, the movie itself downplays the reveal that Walker is a bad guy and treats it almost as a Foregone Conclusion.
- The trailer for Monster Hunter (2020) features the scene of the Rathalos attacking the Boeing E-3 Sentry, giving away the major plot point that at least one of the monsters will get through to Earth.
- The trailer for Monty Python's Life of Brian gives away one of the funniest - and most unexpected - gags in the movie: the spaceship chase sequence.
- The trailer for Multiplicity gave away that the movie has four Michael Keatons, a development that does not happen until about 80 minutes into the 120 minute movie. Though it's not so much that there is four of them, since the whole premise is basically Cloning Blues: The Movie, but that Keaton #4 is a copy of a copy, and is developmentally disabled as a result.
- The trailer for The Muppet Movie includes the showdown sequence, with Kermit telling Doc Hopper if he's not so nice deep down then to kill him, and Doc telling his henchmen to kill Kermit. Of course it doesn't show the outcome to that.
- In the trailer for Muppets from Space, the very first Muppets that you see are none other than Gonzo's family.
- Muppets Most Wanted:
- Most promotional materials for the film show the climactic Muppet Ladder used to save Miss Piggy. They don't specifically mention it, but it becomes extremely apparent once it occurs at the end of the film.
- A commercial was also made in the wake of the "Adele Dazeem" indecent at the 2014 Oscars. Though brief (15 seconds), it gave away a pretty big spoiler: the Muppets' new manager was bribing journalists to write good reviews for their less-than-stellar European tour.
- The trailer for the Martin Lawrence film National Security gives away the film's ending where Steve Zahn's character gets his job back and Lawrence fulfills his dream about being a cop... at the very beginning of the trailer. A few seconds later, you see the tail end of the film.
- National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets was pretty bad about trailer spoilers. Ben kidnaps the president, Ben was just kidding when it looks like he loses his hand to the eagle, and the treasure is hidden under Mt. Rushmore. It's pretty bad when a movie's trailers subject it to You Should Have Forgotten This By Now spoiler tagging.
- Trailers for The Negotiator revealed that Spacey's character would eventually side with Jackson's; particularly egregious, in this instance, as it did so by using a line of dialogue that wasn't even in the final cut of the film. David Letterman parodied the trope using an expanded version of this particular trailer. His version included an announcer who summed up the entire movie plotline beginning to end ("Oh, and this guy dies too.")
- In A Nightmare on Elm Street, only four characters are killed; the trailer shows all of the deaths and the order they happen.
- The trailer of Now You See Me shows Michael Caine's character ordering Morgan Freeman's character to expose and ruin the Four Horsemen. While this isn't as a bad a spoiler as some, given the movie's extra twists, it does completely deflate the tension out of an earlier scene where Caine is trying to threaten and intimidate Freeman to refrain from exposing the Four Horseman that takes place before the Horsemen have double-crossed Caine.
- Oblivion (2013):
- The fact that humanity isn't completely dead and there's a resistance led by Morgan Freeman would have been a great plot twist if it hadn't been included in the very first trailer. Fortunately, there are other twists that the trailer managed to omit.
- The Netflix splash screen is a clear image of Tech 49 Jack Harper fighting Tech 52 Jack Harper.
- If you pay close enough attention, the trailer for Only Lovers Left Alive shows the scene where Ian (Anton Yelchin) is thrown into a pool of acid.
- In Paper Towns, during their trip to find Margo, one of the major concerns the gang has is that they won't make it back in time for Prom. Many commercials for the movie reveal the scene where the gang is dancing together at Prom.
- New trailers for Paranormal Activity show a shot of Micah's body flying toward the camera from the final scene.
- The second trailer for ''Pet Sematary (2019) spoiled that in this version it is Ellie who is killed and resurrected instead of Gage.
- Philomena had one trailer give away the fact that Philomena's son was Michael Hess.
- The trailer for Piranha 3D finishes up with the last scene of the film! Which happens to be a stinger showing the death of one of the main characters.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: The trailer clearly shows Will Turner on the helm of the Flying Dutchman as he becomes Captain. You can even see the scar on his chest.
- Every single trailer showed Jack Sparrow, clearly back from the dead. Sure, it was pretty obvious that would be happening in the last movie, but it still might have been more tense had they avoided showing him at all in the trailers.
- Even the first trailer spoils to a lesser extent: when a viewer remembers that, in the trailer, they saw Jack standing in front of the gallows, they won't be concerned that Jack is really dead when Barbossa impales him, since that scene hasn't happened yet.
- One piece of merchandise for the third movie (which came out before the film) was called "Will Turner, Captain of the Flying Dutchman".
- Poster art for the Soviet crime drama Plumbum, or The Dangerous Game (1987) shows a girl falling from a roof. This is the female lead character's death at the end of the movie.
- Predator: The theatrical trailer notably spoils Dillon's death scene, which comes near the end of the film and shows him being stabbed in the chest by the titular creature and screaming. It also shows the Predator without his cloaking ability (a reveal that doesn't happen until the team is down to one survivor) and also shows Dutch running from a massive explosion going off behind him, which is the climax of the film.
- The "shocking" revelation that they're all not on Earth, but another planet in Predators might have been more surprising if it hadn't been seen in EVERY theatrical trailer and TV spot.
- The theatrical trailer for The Princess Bride spoils the Clergyman's funny voice, Count Rugen going into a battle stance before running away, the outcome of the battle of wits, and Wesley's "death".
- Apart from glossing over the films comic tone, the trailer to Paul Bartels Private Parts (1972) reveals the main plot twist from the end of the film.
- The trailer for The Professional makes it abundantly clear that the film will end in an explosive showdown between Leon, Mathilda and Stansfield. Additionally, observant viewers can deduce that Leon and Stansfield are going to die from the same grenade and Mathilda will escape the apartment to enroll at Spencer School in New Jersey.
- The final trailer for Netflixs adaptation of The Prom spoils most of the plot of the movie, including glimpses of Emmas fake prom, Emma and Alyssa breaking up, and the inclusive prom at the end of the movie.
- All trailers for Prometheus show things that happen in the last 10 minutes into the film. The same is true for one of the international posters advertising the film. Namely, that the titular ship crashes into the alien vessel. To be fair, that was a very quick shot which only lasted about two seconds, so it's pretty easy to miss unless you've actually seen the movie.
- Psycho unfortunately unveils the murderer's identity in the synopsis included with every home video release from 2008 onward. Some home video trailers even have the nerve to show Norma Bates' stuffed corpse!
- You know the part of the trailer for Quarantine where the lady gets dragged screaming into the darkness? That was the ending to the movie. This is also featured on the DVD cover, TV spots, and every piece of marketing for the film.
- The trailers for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World give away the fact that one of Ramona's exes is not an ex-boyfriend which was supposed to be a minor twist.
- The Seventh Seal had part of its resolution narrated in the trailer: the reason for the spilled chess pieces.
- Both trailers for Seventh Son show the death of Kit Harrington's character, which is intended to be a shock death that happens within the first third of the film.
- The menu screen on the first edition DVD release of The Shawshank Redemption uses the pivotal scene of Andy Dufresne escaping from Shawshank by crawling through a sewage pipe as its background. This is particularly egregious as the movie was something of a sleeper hit, so many viewers would not have already seen it in theaters. The trailer itself contains a major spoiler. The scenes leading up to Andy's escape are obviously intended to create a credible suspicion that he has committed suicide. The trailer entirely gives away the conclusion to this suspenseful scene.
- The trailer for Sideways reveals that Miles accidentally lets slip that Jack is getting married, and Stephanie beating Jack up when she finds out.
- In some trailers of the movie The Signal (2014), we can see Nic, with his bionic legs, sprinting at supersonic spedd across a bridge where he hits an invisible barrier and breaks through. This happens less than five minutes before the credits roll, being the ultimate reveal in the film.
- The Singin' in the Rain trailer ends the same way the movie does, with Don and Kathy kissing in front of a billboard for their latest movie.
- The trailer of The Sixth Sense spoiled a major revelation, which made a large chunk of the film rather lame since everyone knew what was going on. Luckily, that's not all there is to it. That said, the soundtrack album does give away a fairly major plot twist in the title of the final track ("Malcolm Is Dead").
- Sky High (2005): The trailer makes it seem like the main conflict of the movie is the main character's lack of superpowers. Then, approximately 10 seconds later, it shows him with super strength and flight — at which point the viewer realizes there's probably more to this movie that they're not telling, and there goes the element of surprise.
- The trailer for Snake Eyes reveals that Gary Sinise is the villain, even though this is supposed to be a twist revelation over half an hour into the film.
- The Sting trailer spoiled the fact that Robert Redford's character wasn't really dead by showing a shot of him from later in the same scene giving the Nose Tapping signal.
- Solanin's trailer spoils Taneda's death and Meiko taking his place in the band. Which is kind of the whole plot.
- The first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) ends with Dr. Robotnik marooned on a mushroom world, having gone bald, and sporting a giant mustache making him resemble his videogame counterpart, which only happens in the first stinger.
- Soylent Green had this, in that in one part of the trailer, it shows the main character seeing a conveyor belt with body bags on it, and in the next cut, you can see soylent green on the same conveyor belt. Then the trailer voice asks, "What is the secret of Soylent Green?"
- The final trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of a banner that says "Tunes Win!".
- The Spider-Man feature films haven't been very discreet:
- The trailer for Spider-Man 2 shows the strain Peter is under as Spider-Man, him quitting the superhero biz, Doc Ock's origin, his deal with Harry Osborn, him kidnapping Mary Jane, Peter becoming Spider-Man again only to be delivered to Harry by Ock and unmasked; essentially, the first four-fifths of the movie.
- The Spider-Man 3 trailer shows Spider-Man's new popularity, Peter's decision to marry Mary Jane, Harry attacking Peter as the New Goblin, Harry being hospitalised, Sandman's origin, Peter discovering that Sandman killed his uncle, being taken over by the symbiote and turning evil, fighting Sandman, Sandman being dissolved in water, Peter fighting Eddie Brock, throwing a bomb at Harry, hurting Mary Jane, realising he's gone too far and tearing the black suit off. The online version of the first trailer had a stinger that showed a bit of the symbiote fall on Eddie, and it ends with a shot of Venom.
- By this standard, the original Spider-Man trailer seems restrained in only revealing about two thirds of the plot; Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man, Norman Osborn becomes the Green Goblin, and the two end up fighting one another.
- The trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are possibly the worst offender, because it practically shows every major detail in the plot. It shows Peter trying to balance his relationship with Gwen Stacy, his tension with his returning friend Harry Osborn, Norman Osborn's death, Max Dillon's obsession with Spider-Man, his transformation into Electro, his fight with Spider-Man in Times Square, Electro teaming up with Harry, Spider-Man defeating Electro in the climax, Harry becoming the Green Goblin and killing Gwen, Gustav Fiers planning to form the Sinister Six, and Spider-Man confronting the Rhino (the last scene of the movie).
- Star Trek:
- The trailer for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock ended with the shot of the Enterprise spectacularly exploding while the narrator says "Join us on this, the final voyage of the Starship Enterprise!" Although this is not really the "ending" - it occurs about two-thirds of the way through the film - the producers had wanted the ship's destruction to come as a complete surprise to the audience, given that the title made the other major element (Spock's return) pretty obvious. Obviously, that didn't happen.
- Not learning their lesson, Enterprise-D's crashing saucer was shown in the Star Trek: Generations trailer.
- One of the final TV spots for Star Trek Beyond shows that Idris Elba's Krall Was Once a Man, something that's treated as an actual twist in the movie.
- Star Wars:
- The theatrical trailer for The Phantom Menace spoils a climactic death. Obi Wan screams "NO!" in the trailer, and there's a shot of Qui-Gon in pain during the Big "NO!".
- In Attack of the Clones, Count Dooku's effectiveness as a mysterious villain would undoubtedly have been more effective if his action figure packaging hadn't given away the fact that he was a Sith Lord months before the movie was released. Even if you never saw anything that gave away his Sith Lord status, the movie still did a horrible job of hiding it.
- At least one of the trailers for Revenge of the Sith clearly begins by showing Darth Vader as seen in the original trilogy (who doesn't appear as such until the last five minutes of the movie). The main trailer shows pretty much the entire plot. Granted, Foregone Conclusion meant we knew pretty much the whole plot anyway, but they didn't need to also show every piece of Anakin's fall, including some of the climatic duel between him and Obi-Wan.
- To the new generation who had yet to see Star Wars, the trailer for the 1997 re-release of The Empire Strikes Back was this, as it included the big Luke, I Am Your Father reveal. Sure, It Was His Sled for the adults, but we can assume that not everybody told their kid that.
- The Force Awakens:
- The marketing went to great lengths to avoid a repeat of the Phantom Menace and Count Dooku situations by deliberately holding off on releasing any merchandise or action figures hinting that Rey becomes a Jedi and is the true protagonist of the movie. This caused a bit of a backlash since people accused Disney of downplaying the character for sexist reasons, but once the film was out in theaters for several weeks, a new wave of merchandise prominently featuring Rey was released.
- However, the trailer for the Force Awakens play set in Disney Infinity had a Freeze-Frame Bonus that played this trope straight. The ending showed a recreation of the fight between Finn and Kylo Ren (which was heavily played up in the pre-release stuff for the movie), but slipped in a brief shot showing Rey wielding Anakin's lightsaber against the villain.
- Poe Dameron is seemingly killed off in the first half hour of the film. Most fans knew it wouldn't stick, since not only had he been hyped up as part of the new Power Trio, most footage of the character in trailers and the like was from after he was revealed to have survived.
- The home media ads for The Last Jedi show Yoda as a Force Ghost.
- In The Sum of All Fears, the trailer reveals that a nuclear bomb goes off in a major downtown city, with Morgan Freeman's character only realizing it while he's sitting with the President in the middle of a crowded stadium.
- The trailer for Superman III showed that not only does Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) become a good guy, but that Superman beats the computer. Granted, it's a Superman film so you probably could have figured out that last part, but still.
- The entire campaign for Surrogates was a spoiler: James Cromwell's character (who invented the surrogates) describes them as "an addiction", which makes him easy to guess as the killer, and every trailer and TV spot showed the surrogates shutting down and collapsing in the street, which is the ending to the movie.
- The regular promo for The Swap on Disney Channel spoils the scene where Ellie and Jack are getting their bodies switched back to normal.
- The horror anthology Tales from the Hood trailer spoiled quite a bit of the film... including the end of the framing sequence that connected the tales together where the mortician turned out to be Satan himself.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014):
- The second trailer shows Leo, Mikey, and Donnie getting kidnapped by the Foot Clan, with Raph having to go rescue them. And Splinter getting beaten by Shredder, being put into critical condition.
- The second trailer also gives away that Eric Sacks is not the Shredder; he's just working for the guy.
- All of the Terminator sequels were guilty.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day was filmed with the idea that audiences wouldn't know what would happen, assuming that the T-800 is the villain again with Robert Patrick's character as a more adjusted and affable version of the Kyle Reese-esque protector role. However, the last trailer released straight up spoiled the surprise that Arnie was now an heroic Terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger protecting John Connor from a Terminator made of liquid metal.
- The third movie has scenes from all over the film in the trailer, including a shot of numerous missiles firing into the air and destroying ground targets, which is part of the final scene in the film.
- The trailers for Terminator Salvation give away the fact that Marcus is a Terminator, something that's set up as a big reveal in the film.
- Terminator Genisys gets hit with this with it's second official trailer where, it's revealed that Skynet has created a Terminator clone of John Connor himself. At least it's oblique enough for the movie to still a shock once it's revealed that it's actually the original John Connor post-Unwilling Roboticisation.
- Subverted in Time Trap. The trailer clearly shows that there is significant Time Dilation in the cave, with one of the characters saying that they could have been inside the cave for weeks or even months, even though they only experienced about an hour or so. what the trailer does not spoil is that the time dilation is a year outside, a second inside, meaning that they had been inside the cave for four ''thousand'' external years.
- Titanic (1997): The trailer is essentially a four minute summary of the entire plot. Every moment, from the expositional set up, the meeting between the star-crossed lovers, the striking of the iceberg and the following chaos and class war that occurred onboard are shown, all in the film's order.
- Total Recall (1990)'s main trailer is the majority of the movie, especially several of the best parts, including Quaid rolling out onto the surface of Mars as the reactors come online and the one-liner ("Consider that a divorce!").
- The trailer for The Town has a fairly mild example, in that the last line in the trailer is actually the last line in the film. Granted, it's tough to tell outside of context.
- The poster for Trading Places features Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd in each other's arms, smiling and surrounded by dollar bills. They spend much of the film as adversaries, so this spoils the fact that they eventually team up to get lots of money.
- Transformers Film Series:
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:
- Late trailers go out of their way to reveal Megatron's return. To be fair, anyone who thought Megatron wouldn't back for the sequel really should've known otherwise.
- Devastator would have been a kickass awesome surprise. He just ended up being kickass awesome.
- There were also several TV spots released, and made available on the director's website, that showed the entire Sideways chase-sequence, including his death at the bladed hands of Sideswipe.
- The theatrical trailer for Transformers: Dark of the Moon clearly revealed Starscream's death, while later TV spots even showed glimpses of how it happens. Likewise, the TV spots spoiled the death of Shockwave, showing how Optimus punches a hole in him.
- The teaser trailer for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 spoiled the revelation that Bella becomes a vampire.
- One of Undercover Brother's trailers specifically said that Penelope Snow was White She Devil, AKA "Black Man's Kryptonite", which was a major reveal/surprise.
- Unknown (2011): The trailer shows the people telling the protagonist that the person he thinks he is does not exist - the HUGE twist (although it only gives the line, not much context of it), and it shows the explosion, and one even showed them faking the picture.
- Venom (2018): In a manner similar to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which featured the final shot of the movie as a prominent part of its marketing), the second trailer does something similar by showing most of the final scene — Eddie/Venom finally stands up to (and subsequently eats) the thug who is running a protection racket on Mrs. Chen's convenience store, complete with his signature line ("We... are Venom.") and final joke ("Oh... I have a parasite. Goodnight, Mrs. Chen!") The second trailer also reveals that Riz Ahmed's character, Carlton Drake (the Big Bad), is possessed by a symbiote named Riot, which occurs three-quarters of the way through the film.
- Good luck finding a Vertigo trailer that doesn't reveal the Halfway Plot Switch.
- There is no reason to see the film Warm Bodies because the trailer casually spoils the fact that it's a reverse parody of Twilight where the zombie boy gets turned back into a human by the love of a human girl. Unless the producers do a Double Subversion where she gets turned and the plot occurred for naught, but since this is Hollywood, they'll never do anything that creative. Or would they?
- Enforced Trope in the case of The Watch (2012), about a neighborhood watch group that stumbles on an Alien Invasion in progress. The movie, whose original title was Neighborhood Watch, had its marketing pulled from movie theaters in the wake of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch person in Sanford, Florida. The film was subsequently renamed The Watch, with the marketing revamped to focus more on the alien aspect than the neighborhood watch. However, upon watching the film, it's obvious that the alien invasion was meant to be a surprise.
- The original theatrical trailer for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? makes a point at the end of trying not to spoil the film, yet there is still a glimpse at the part where Blanche is tied up to her bed.
- The trailer for Woody Allen's Whatever Works shows Boris's second suicide attempt, which occurs near the end of the movie.
- The trailers for What Lies Beneath, they reveal the identity of the ghost, which makes watching the wife sneak around suspecting the neighbor of killing his wife painful and awkward to watch. However, the trailer doesn't give away that Harrison Ford is the bad guy.
- Promotional material for What's the Matter with Helen? visibly shows Adelle's corpse tied to a ladder, completely ruining the film's Cruel Twist Ending. The film's ad campaign was roundly criticized for spoiling the ending, and apparently led to film studios becoming much more careful about doing so.
- In What We Do in the Shadows, it's a surprise when Nick is turned into a vampire. The trailer focuses heavily on him as a vampire.
- The trailer for Wyrmwood spoils Brooke gaining the ability to summon and control zombies, which is a late-film plot development.
- Trailers for You're Next showcase the very first member of the party to die.