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Walking Spoiler / Live-Action Films

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Walking Spoilers in live-action movies.


  • Alfred Hitchcock's known as "The Master of Suspense" for a reason. Part of the reason is because of his constant spoiler characters who often give away an important detail.
    • North By Northwest's Eve Kendall serves as a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent. When Roger (and the audience) first meets her, she seems to be merely a smart and coy civilian woman who is not involved in Roger's whole mess and simply helps him out because she's attracted to him. Then we find out that she's actually working for Vandamm and is even his mistress. And then we find out that she's really working for the government and is actually The Mole in Vandamm's entourage. Yeesh! So in a way, she's a double Walking Spoiler.
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    • Psycho: Norman Bates' Control Freak Abusive Mom who Norman said lived with him in the gothic house on the hill behind the motel. She turned turns out to have been Dead All Along when its revealed that Norman had poisoned her and her lover ten years prior to the film events. Then Norman preserved her corpse and talks to it as if she's still alive. Norman ended up getting a split personality from his mother that eventually takes over the good half completely.
      • Arguably, Norman himself can also qualify for the trope.
    • Rebecca has the titular Rebecca de Winter, who was also Maxim's first wife. She was very manipulative, and unfaithful to her husband, leading to Maxim leading to him hating her. She told him she was pregnant with another man's child. Maxim would have willingly killed her had she not accidently tripped over some ship's tackle on the floor and struck her head. Then in another twist, it turns out Rebecca lied about her pregnancy, as she was actually suffering from terminal, inoperable, deep-rooted cancer. In short, she goaded Maxim into accidentally killing her as a final revenge, so her death would be labeled as suicide.
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    • Vertigo has two of these:
      • "Madeleine Elster" turns out to have been a redhead named Judy Barton who was hired by Gavin Elster to impersonate his late wife and help him kill his real wife without drawing suspicion.
      • Then there's the real Madeleine Elster whom John never actually meets, and whose very existence exposes the film's main plot twist.
  • Not too far behind is Brian De Palma, a huge fan of Hitchcock and his work, with some of his films having obvious allusions to Hitchcock's work, and a few even being considered loose remakes of Hitchcock films.
  • Pedro Almodóvar
    • Bad Education (2004) has Juan and Father Manolo (Senor Manuel Berenguer) who teamed up to kill Ignacio four years proper to the film's events. Juan is this because he was impersonating his older brother, and Father Manolo's real name is Sr. Berenguer,
  • There was a time when M. Night Shyamalan was considered the next Alfred Hitchcock. It's not difficult to see why.
    • The Sixth Sense has an incredibly rare case where the main protagonist qualifies, in the case of Malcolm Crowe when it turns out he had never survived the shooting in the prologue.
    • Unbreakable: Elijah Price/Mr. Glass turns out to have orchestrated three acts of terrorism to locate Dunn as a Super-Hero.
    • The Village had The Elders who are so concerned about the village's innocence and purity because they have all been traumatized by modern society and believe that returning to an 1800s style of living will protect them and remove any further personal harm or grief.
    • The Visit had the two grandparents who were criminally-insane escaped mental patients, and imposters who murdered the real grandparents.
  • Dario Argento
    • The Bird with the Crystal Plumage has Monica Ranieri who turns out to be the serial killer.
    • Deep Red has Carlo's insane mother Martha who killed her husband and various other people. Carlo also qualifies for being Good All Along.
    • Tenebre has two in the form Cristiano Berti and Peter Neal who not only both turn out to be murderers, but Berti gets killed by the hands of Neal who was thought to be the protagonist.
    • In Opera, Inspector Alan Santini was a Serial Killer in a relationship with Betty's mother would be forced to watch as various women got killed by Santini.

Individual Movies

  • The live animals of Alice. Considering how every other character than Alice and her mother are stop-motion puppets, the sudden appearance of animals is bound to catch viewers off guard.
  • At the end of Assassins, the supposed to be long dead Nicolai is revealed as both Robert and Miguel's contractor.
  • Bringing up Phil "Landfill"'s identical twin brother in Beerfest not only spoils the fact that Landfill even has a twin, but that said twin takes Landfill's place after the latter's death via drowning in a vat of beer.
  • Blade Runner 2049 has a lesser case with protagonist K, who before release was only an investigator of sorts - the movie details he's a replicant sent to hunt older models. A much bigger one is Rachael from the original movie, whose remains drive the plot (and a replica of hers even appears!).
  • Pretty much everything important about The Cabin in the Woods is a spoiler. Even the trailer has spoilers.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
  • DC Extended Universe:
  • Barrigan from The Departed is the other mole in State Police, and the one who kills Costigan.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has 2:
    • Credence Barebone as the true identity of the Obscurial.
    • Percival Graves, who turns out to be the legendary dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in disguise.
  • Friday the 13th:
  • Fury (2014) has a lone Tiger I tank, responsible for killing most of the platoon the titular tank is part of. What makes this notable is that the tank in question is the real deal, not a replica like in Saving Private Ryan.
  • Ghostbusters (2016) has Rowan, the main antagonist who is barely featured in the trailers (just knowing he gets turned into the giant Bedsheet Ghost spoils where the plot goes).
  • Hulk had David Banner as his changing form which was rarely shown in the trailers.
  • Who Mal is in Inception was hidden in the marketing due to this. She's actually the shadow of the protagonist Cobb's dead wife that haunts his dreams but she was made to seem like a Psycho Party Member. She's the main antagonist of the whole movie.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence has Sphere, another extraterrestrial being other than the Planet Looters mankind faced before and is doing again (and in fact the "harvesters" outright fear Sphere).
  • Dr. Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade turned out to be Evil All Along instead of becoming a love interest like Marion and Willie from the previous films.
  • Dr. Mann from Interstellar is not the friendliest person that Cooper and company meet.
  • James Bond:
    • The Living Daylights has Georgi Koskov, as he formed a Big Bad Duumvirate with Brad Whitaker.
    • The Pierce Brosnan films have a number of them.
      • GoldenEye has Alec Trevelyan, Agent 006 and Bond's friend who was killed 9 years prior to the main events of the movie. It's later discovered that he's still alive and is the identity of Janus.
      • The World Is Not Enough gives us Electra King, who was previously kidnapped and held for ransom by the terrorist Renard. However, it's much later revealed that she is in fact the Big Bad and working alongside Renard.
      • Die Another Day gives us two. The first is Gustav Graves, who turned out to have once been the North Korean colonel that James killed at the beginning of the movie, having undergone experimental plastic surgery to change his appearance. The second is Miranda Frost, a fellow MI-6 agent digging up info on Graves, only to be later revealed to be The Dragon to him.
    • Gareth Mallory in Skyfall starts out as an Obstructive Bureaucrat investigating M and MI6, before becoming the new M in the end after Judi Dench's incarnation gets Killed Off for Real.
      • Raoul Silva seems like a typical Big Bad of the Bondverse, but then comes The Reveal later on, hence all the white spaces.
    • The Big Bad of Spectre, Franz Oberhauser, is not only revealed to be Bond's foster brother, but also changed his name to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, SPECTRE's nefarious leader. He chose this route all because his father favored an orphaned Bond over him, causing him to orchestrate all of the tragedies Bond faced since Casino Royale (2006). It's also revealed that he was The Man Behind the Man for Raoul Silva, The Pale King/Mr. White, Dominic Greene, Max Denbigh/C and Le Chiffre, making him the Greater-Scope Villain of the Daniel Craig era.
      • The Reveal that Max Denbigh/C, the head of the newly formed Joint Intelligence Service aka "Nine Eyes", was working for Oberhauser all along, as part of Oberhauser's plot to humiliate Bond further.
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has Maisie, introduced as the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood, but who's actually a clone of his late daughter.
  • Arthur in Kingsman: The Secret Service. The Reveal that he is in on Valentine's plan kicks off the entire final act of the film. It's also hard to discuss the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle without revealing that Harry Hart/Galahad survived a point blank shot to the head thanks to the Statesmen's more advanced technology (albeit with amnesia) - even if previews made sure to feature him heavily. Likewise, one can't bring up Agent Whiskey without revealing he pulls off his own Face–Heel Turn and tries to sabotage the mission.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • The Architect from The Matrix Reloaded is a prime example because he created the Matrix and many different plot twists.
  • Dylan Rhodes in Now You See Me. Knowing pretty much anything about him beyond what you see in the trailers ruins the film's big twist.
  • Theodora from Oz the Great and Powerful has most of her entries marked as spoilers, because she becomes The Wicked Witch of the West later on in the film.
  • Pacific Rim has this with The Precursors, the true Big Bad of the story and The Man Behind the Monsters to the Kaiju. Pacific Rim: Uprising has Newton "Newt" Geiszler, who goes from the quirky scientist from the original movie to a Brainwashed and Crazy Big Bad under control from The Precursors. The monsters he creates also fit (Drones that are actually Jaeger-Kaiju hybrids, a Mega Kaiju built out of three such beasts).
  • Parasite has Geun-se, who reveals both a secret of the house (it has an underground bunker) and a hidden motivation by his wife, the caretaker Moon-gwang.
  • You might think you know everything about Alfred Borden in The Prestige, however the twist ending changes everything you thought you knew about the character.
  • Holly Jones from Prisoners, who is the real perpetrator behind the kidnappings, not Bob or Alex, all in a crusade she and her husband were in to spite god.
  • The Last Engineer of Prometheus. The marketing was based around the origins of the so-called Space Jockey from Alien , but the presence of one alive is still a twist.
  • "Boomsie" from Raising Cain is believed to be another one of Carter's split personalities which he based on his deceased father Dr. Nix, except he had actually faked his death.
  • Gary Sinise's cop character is hardly seen in the Ransom trailer, to avoid revealing that he's the main antagonist, something that's dramatically revealed 10 minutes into the film.
  • Sleepaway Camp has Angela, who turns out to not only be the killer, but actually a boy.
  • The new Star Trek movies had a few.
    • Star Trek (2009) has Spock Prime (downright credited as "Spoiler Character" in the page linked above), revealing that the reboot is a time travel-inducing Alternate Continuity.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness has both antagonists, John Harrison (by virtue of being an alias for Khan Noonien Singh) and Admiral Marcus (in the grounds that most of what he does is after his secret scheme is revealed).
    • Star Trek Beyond has main villain Krall, which seems just like an Omnicidal Maniac until the third act, where a whole new layer is added by learning he Was Once a Man.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader and Princess Leia used to qualify for this trope due to the former being an ex-Jedi and Luke's father and the latter secretly being Luke's long-lost twin sister. Although now, both of the twists are commonly well-known.
  • The Sting. The Dreaded assassin Salino and the waitress Loretta are one and the same.
  • Margot in Tell No One, because no one - including her husband - knows she's been Faking the Dead, except for her father, who helped fake her death in the first place. Though a few people suspect she's not really dead...
  • Entertainment Weekly credited Matt Smith's character in an early look to Terminator Genisys as "?????". The article mentions him as a close ally of John Connor. Given once the movie was released 9 months later, it's discovered Smith is an avatar to SkyNet, made total sense to hide. And the ally part? While late trailers and posters reveal there's a robot disguised as John Connor, it was not that clear before the movie came out that Unwilling Roboticisation took place.
  • There's Something About Mary has Ted's friend Dom who is actually Mary's psycho ex-boyfriend Woogie.
  • Harry Lime from The Third Man is also a possible example, because throughout most of the movie he's thought to be dead.
  • Transformers Film Series:
  • The protagonist of Unfriended, Blaire, isn't exactly the Final Girl you're expecting.
  • Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects. The Reveal that he's actually Keyser Soze makes watching the film again feel like an entirely different movie.
  • Upgrade has STEM, the ultra-intelligent computer chip planted in Grey Trace's spine after a brutal assault that killed his wife and left him paralyzed. STEM helps Grey get revenge against the people responsible... until it's found out STEM planned the whole thing to take over Grey's body and live as a human.
  • Us is about doppelgangers referred to as "The Tethered" who emerge to perform a Kill and Replace. And the final scene reveals something about protagonist Adelaide Wilson and her copy, Red: the former is the Tethered, who forced the original to live her life among the mindless "shadows" back when they were children.
  • The Evil All Along Agent Taylor in Vantage Point.
  • Rowan from both The Wicker Man (1973) and its 2006 remake is this when her true role as Schmuck Bait is revealed in the final act.
  • Witness for the Prosecution: Leonard Vole and Christine Helm, are two of the lead characters. Leonard started off as yet another falsely accused murder victim, who was accused of murdering a lonely and wealthy widowed lady and state her profit, while Christine seemed like a helpless witness who wasn't very reliable. But as it turns out, Christine had planed her entire act over the case and she knew her husband was indeed an actual murderer and tricked the jury into letting him go. And then she revealed that she had masqueraded as the Cockney woman by repeating her accent to Sir Wilfrid.
  • X-Men Film Series:
  • The Astronaut from Zathura is revealed near the end of the film to be Walter from an alternate timeline, so he can only be referred as "The Astronaut" if you wish to avoid spoilers.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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