Late Arrival Spoiler

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Congratulations! After plenty of Hype Aversion and general laziness, you finally decided to check out that series everyone's talking about. You go to the DVD store, buy the first season, set up your DVD player, turn on the TV, crack open the DVD case and...

... wait a minute. Isn't that a commercial for the latest season? Why is the first season's ruthless and merciless Big Bad being all chummy-chummy with the main protagonists? You mean he's going to turn good?!

Feeling annoyed that a major event has just been spoiled for you? Irritated? Enraged? Too bad; the fans and apparently advertisers all agree it's your own fault for not being aware.

Basically, a Late Arrival Spoiler is when a particular revelation in a current work is spoiled by official sources and merchandise. This could be due to a number of factors, like the toy division making an action figure of one of the heroes post-Face Heel Turn, or showing them off on the front cover (fandom and unofficial sources do not qualify). In any case, it all boils down to being spoiled because you started too late. Hence, it's a Late Arrival Spoiler.

Sometimes hard to avoid in shows that feature major changes in setting and cast line-up that hinge on major plot twists in previous seasons. The Season 1 Big Bad is a major player on the good guys' side in Season 4 -- how exactly are you going to hide that in promos just for the sake of not spoiling the people who haven't watched Season 3 yet? Also a frequent problem in Long Runners and multi-volumes where the story unfolds over a long period of time.

If the spoiler in question is common knowledge to people in general, then It Was His Sled. Compare Trailers Always Spoil and Spoiler Opening, when the plot is spoiled before the fans even get their hands on the product, as well as First Episode Spoiler, which tends to be the extreme of this. If it's a little less extreme, hits early but not immediately, it might be a Seventh-Episode Twist. Arguably a subset of All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game".

Examples of Late Arrival Spoiler include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Pokémon:
    • Brock leaves the show for reals in Best Wishes.
    • On top of that, Misty, May, Max, and Dawn are also Put on a Bus. Misty was put on a bus 8 years ago, for crying out loud!
    • Back during the Diamond & Pearl series there was the whole Gible fiasco, in which some merchandise revealed that Ash catches a Gible. Done once again in Best Wishes, revealing that Ash gets a Scraggy, Sewaddle, Palpitoad and Roggenrola.
    • Infuriatingly, previews and sources pretty spoiled literally every single outcome for the Don Battle Tournament up until the finals, aside from the battle between Antonio/Dean, two background characters.
    • After the Don Battle Tournament, Team Rocket's Meowth joins the crew, although there is speculation that he could just be spying for Team Rocket.
    • One of the endings for Best Wishes gave away which of Ash's Pokemon would evolve and which he would get soon. In almost excruciating detail.
  • Nowadays, whenever someone starts to watch the School Days anime, they will almost certainly go into it already knowing that, at the utmost minimum, that at least one of the girls involved is a Yandere. You can thank the Nice Boat meme[1] for that.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Different spoilers for different series, most of these are spoiled if you bother to read the series that come after them.
    • Part 1: Jonathan Joestar dies and takes Dio's head with him, and Will Zeppeli dies to save Jonathan early on.
    • Part 2: Joseph survives his fight with Cars, but Caeser dies fighting Wham.
    • Part 3: Dio survived the events of Part 1 by taking Jonathan's body (which retroactively spoils the end of Part 1) and gains a stand that can stop time. Anybody familiar with the Memetic Mutation surrounding Dio knows about his stand stopping time, but in the series proper, none of the heroes knew until they actually fought him, with Kakyoin sacrificing himself to give the rest of them a clue. Also steamroller.
    • Part 7: Only exists because the Big Bad of the previous arc reset the universe.
  • In Afro Samurai, Kuma being Afro's childhood friend, Jinno is treated as this, not only in the second movie, Resurrection, but even on the season one website. Then again, It's not a particularly big spoiler, since even when broadcast in episode rather than movie format, it's revealed the same episode Kuma is.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Not many people may remember that Chibi-Usa/Rini being the daughter of Sailor Moon was once a late second-season revelation. Once she became Sailor Chibi-Moon, it was everywhere.
    • Same with Usagi/Serena being the Moon Princess in the first season. The manga and live action version play Sailor Venus up as the real princess until the reveal by having her pretend to be her to keep Usagi safe until she regains her memories of her past life. The anime goes through several candidates (Princess Diamond, Rei/Raye, and Minako/Mina) before the reveal. Immediately after said reveal, the spoiler went public on covers and merchandise. Really, the anime's second closing song "Moon Princess" spoils this one before the reveal.
    • The identity of Sailor Saturn/Hotaru is another one. First she's just a girl who Chibi Usa befriends. Then we see she's the daughter of the big bad of the season. Then we see she's got an evil personality and has special powers. Then we are told (but not shown) that gasp, she's the3 missing Saturn, who is evil. Then we find out Saturn is not evil and not the Messiah of Silence, the being possessing Hotaru is and we SEE her has Saturn. Cue next season all these twists are thrown out and her being depicted as an ally in the merch.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Considering her current role as The Lancer, not to mention the insane amount of official and fanmade art depicting both her and The Hero attached by the hip, it will be very surprising indeed if anyone who has even heard of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha doesn't know that Fate pulls a Heel Face Turn.
    • Hayate and the Wolkenritter get this, too, to a lesser extent—see the Megami cover that used to be at the top of the page.
    • Given their prominent placement in art for StrikerS Sound Stage X and ViVid, Cinque, Nove, Dieci and Wendi's Heel Face Turn, as well as Vivio's true nature, are headed toward this.
  • Though Fuuma's Face Heel Turn in X 1999 is treated as a surprise when it happens, official art and the opening of the anime series explicitly show him locked in combat with the main character, so whether any viewers of the anime were actually shocked by this revelation is debatable. The suspicious absence of Kotori in other art also foreshadows the Wham! Episode pretty heavily to the point that it's fairly easy to guess what's going to happen to her (the Waif Prophet even all but says it at several points).
  • For Persona 4: The Animation, the anime assumes most of the viewers have already played the game, and because of this, certain scenes are played with much less fanfare (Teddie revealing his human body was a big deal in the game, in the anime he just popped his head off and things continued from there). They also put less effort into hiding things (Naoto was harder to figure out in the Japanese game than in the anime).
  • Saint Seiya:
    • Saori being the avatar of Athena in Saint Seiya is revealed about mid way through the first season, and after that it's treated this way in official art and other media.
    • In the Spanish opening, they reveal the existence of the other Gold Cloths and the redesigned Sagittarius gold cloth, all of which is supposed to be a secret (even from most of the characters) till episode 30.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Any attempt to summarize the plot of The Movie will spoil the ending of the first anime series; Ed gets transported to our world while saving Al, and Al is trying to reunite with him.
    • Depending on how far you've gotten in the series, which incarnation it is, and how suspicious/trusting you have been, you may or may not be surprised that the Führer is BAD and Mustang and his entourage are basically good people, but these get to be a given pretty much ever after they are revealed.
    • Oh, and guess what! Selim Bradley is Pride!
    • The Cover for the final season contains no less than three of these. In all fairness, it can be assumed that anyone buying the last season already knows that Selim is Pride and King Bradley is Wrath, but there's no excuse for spoiling Father's One-Winged Angel form, which wouldn't be revealed until that very season.
  • Naruto:
    • In an interview about the Naruto Shippuden dub, Tara Platt (who plays Temari) nonchalantly mentioned the death of one of her character's brothers which happens in Part 2/Shippuden, when talking about things fans have told her about. To make matters worse, the writer of the article felt the need to remove any doubt which brother she was talking about adding the character's name in brackets.
    • Sasori's true form has been shown fairly prominently in advertisements for Naruto video games, including the evidence that he is actually a human puppet.
    • The Ultimate Jutsus and Awakenings in the Ultimate Ninja Storm videogame series contain a lot of spoilers, especially in Generations. Five Kage Summit Kankuro's Ultimate, for example, has him using Sasori as one of his puppets, while Danzo's Awakening spoils a major Reveal about him. And then there's the very existance of Susanno Sasuke and Nine Tails Chakra Naruto...
  • Try to find a piece of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch merchandise with evil, black-haired, end-the-world-and-kill-my-ex Sara on it. Even though she spends most of the series this way, you won't succeed. Anything with her on it proudly displays the orange-haired, reformed Sara of the end of the first season. I suppose a good princess is more marketable than a villain, but seriously, she's on the team for an episode and a half before she dies anyway, so what's the point?
  • Suzumiya Haruhi:
    • The big Reveal about the title character's nature. An ad for the books in Shonen Jump mentions the twist while explaining the premise of the series.
    • In fact, watching the episodes in in-story chronological order (the order in which the episodes were released in America, naturally) turns half the anime series into Late Arrival Spoiler.
    • Any merchandise with Asakura Ryouko on it tends to advertise her as an alien computer as well as a Yandere Knife Nut, and sometimes even Yuki's first Evil Counterpart. It's worth mentioning that both of these are revealed in the first volume of the manga adaptation. Second chapter, to boot.
  • One Piece:
    • Many of the Straw Hats' joining the crew; the anime often assumes that the viewers have read the manga already and will not be surprised to see them as part of the crew in openings, endings or commercials. The first five Straw Hats are shown in the crew in the first opening and the first three are shown in the first manga volume (which ends when Luffy first meets Nami). Robin was shown in the crew in the third opening, despite it being twenty episodes before her Heel Face Turn. Brook was shown in ads for One Piece: Unlimited Cruise late in the Thriller Bark arc. The only true exceptions seem to be Franky and Chopper.
    • Many of the villains' or the Straw Hats' other enemies being as such are surprises in the manga when they initially seem to be harmless characters, but are known by the time of the anime adaptation, especially Kuro, Tashigi, the Number Agents in Whiskey Peak (including Vivi, whose being revealed as The Mole puts her in a double Late Arrival Spoiler), the four CP9 agents infiltrating the Galley-La company and Dr. Hogback, such as when they are shown in openings as villains.
      • To be fair, the fifth opening did play with this without out right spoiling the The Reveal. The CP9 agents and Galley-La were shown only briefly, and the most fights shown in the opening have to do with either Franky's or Foxy's crew, with Galley-La as a whole painted in an ambiguos light, as if Iceburg were the Big Bad. Said opening however still managad to spoil Luffy's fight against Aokiji and Usopp.
    • Franky debuted in America in Unlimited Adventure... long before he was ever introduced in the English manga or anime, and Robin was shown as a crew member long before she actually joined.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Vegeta and Trunks are shown as Super Saiyans in the third opening to Dragonball Z, which debuted one episode before Trunks had even appeared in the series. Likewise, Chichi and Goku as newlyweds appear in the fourth Dragon Ball ending, which debuted the same episode as the all-grown-up versions of the characters, but a good number of episodes before Chichi had been reintroduced.
      • That ship, however, already sailed in the US. Due to Dragonball Z airing long before DB's Piccolo Jr. Saga, viewers not only knew that Goku and Chichi were going to get married, but any shock value of who Goku's opponent in Anonymous Proposal is absent.
    • A Dragon Ball game, Dragon Ball GT Final Bout, was released in America just a bit after Ocean Dub released their Dragon Ball Z series but before it premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami (Making it popular). There were characters including Frieza in his final form, Cell in his Perfect Form, Kid Buu, Adult Gohan, Trunks, and even Super Saiyan forms. People who would be playing this would have no idea who half of these characters were. In Japan, the whole Dragon Ball series was already finished.
    • Even worse in the original dub when the classic opening "Rock the Dragon", which was used from the VERY FIRST EPISODE of the show, included footage of Super Saiyan Goku, Super Saiyan Trunks and Super Saiyan Vegeta. The first Super Saiyan transformation in the series was in episode 95. (About 80 by the original dub numbering, but still.)
    • The fact that Trunks ... Future Trunks and Vegeta ... the first one with a split-second footage of him not only slicing Frieza in half ... this Frieza is already mechanized. As for Vegeta, it shows him as an already good character, while for most of the series, Vegeta was a main villain.
    • Commercials were released of Goku fighting Frieza as a Super Saiyan before or during Goku's fight with Frieza in the Frieza Saga, a.k.a. before the first time Goku's transformation was shown on TV, so we know any supposed deathblows to Goku (such as Frieza's exploding volleyball attack) or Frieza (such as Goku's Spirit Bomb) cannot be fatal until after Goku transforms.
    • Even the episode titles are pretty big spoilers, especially in the "next time" previews. One of these previews (during the Frieza saga) had the narrator asking "Goku has recovered! Can he make it to the battle before Vegeta dies?!" (or something like that). Then it showed the title of the next episode - "The End of Vegeta." ...guess he doesn't make it. This spoil is commonly used to up ratings.
    • The preview for Episode 271, as well as its title, clearly states that Goku destroys Buu with the Spirit Bomb.
    • In the movies, was it supposed to be a plot twist that Broly was the legendary Super Saiyan? Because his first movie is called Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan.
    • That's not the only time, either. Specifically, in the third Broly movie, even though it was intended to be kept a mystery as to who exactly they were cloning other than the fact that it was a saiyan, the title spoiled it by explicitly stating "Bio-Broly."
  • Mahou Sensei Negima:
    • Setsuna's Wing Pull was a surprising twist the first time it was revealed. Nowadays however, you'd likely be more surprised to learn that it was meant to be a surprise. As Asuna herself said, the wings are cool, thus, several pictures featuring Setsuna, like, say... the covers for some of the Video Game adaptations, depict her in all her spoilery winged glory.
    • I hope you've already read the manga before starting to watch the OVAs. Because the first five seconds reveals the big bad of the festival arc and the resolution of said arc. Then it proceeds to introduce Kotarou as one of the good guys, sticks Chisame into the group and shows the results of the training Evangeline gave everyone in Ala Alba. What's that, you didn't know about that group? Guess you shouldn't have watched the OVA yet then. (Luckily, some of the OVAs come packaged with the special edition compiled manga volumes for your convenience.)
      • Since said OVAs came packaged with manga volumes from way later the plot points they cover, the only reason this should apply is if you're somehow watching them without following the manga, and in that case, it's only your fault, and not the studio's.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia is based on rather basic history, so it obviously will invoke this trope. The Axis Powers lose. But on the more personal levels for the characters, it's assumed that every fan has at least read the strip "America Cleans Out the Storage", which is a Tear Jerker in a comedy series.
  • Lots of fans still treat the fact that there are two (actually, three) Syaorans in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle as a spoiler (or, alternatively, the fact that Watanuki from xxxHolic is a clone of Syaoran), even though both of them appeared on the cover together for a recent manga volume.
    • The fact that Fai had his left eye torn out and eaten by one of the aforementioned Syaorans, and to a lesser extent the fact he's a vampire dependent on Kurogane's blood as a result, is also still treated as a spoiler by some fans...despite the fact he's sporting an eye patch in almost every subsequent cover and official art. At least until he got it back in a later chapter...
  • The DVD case of Desert Punk shows what the main character looks like without his mask and the dub credits (though oddly not the credits for the Japanese cast) also spoil what his real name is by billing him as such, when we don't find out either until episode 3.
  • Hey, at least all of the above waited until the spoiler had actually happened in the show. Not Fresh Pretty Cure. Setsuna/Eas's defection from Labyrinth and rebirth as the fourth Fresh Cure, Cure Passion was spoiled left and right by merchandising at least a month before it actually happened. Even if you managed to avoid this, being spoiled on her Heel Face Turn is still nigh-inevitable when most every piece of general Pretty Cure media nowadays will include Setsuna with the other Cures.
    • In Heartcatch Pretty Cure, Itsuki Myoudouin is a girl and Cure Sunshine; Yuri Tsukikage is Cure Moonlight. Not only did the merchandising department spoil this in their rush to market two more Cures, the trailers completely gave away Sunshine's identity before it was officially revealed.
    • Really, every time Pretty Cure adds a new character, their identity becomes all but impossible to avoid. Suite Precure is now subjecting Ellen/Cure Beat to this treatment, and she probably won't be the last.
  • Planetes: Due to the Evolving Credits, anyone who sees a late season version of the intro will be horrifically spoiled on 2 major characters who Face Heel Turn.
  • Back in 1996, Van's wings in Vision of Escaflowne were major spoilers. Nowadays, nearly half of the official art show them, including the box set. That's right, you get spoiled just trying to buy the damn show.
  • Any story summary for Monster has to reveal that Tenma decides to save the young boy in the first episode, who turns out to be a homicidal genius and the Big Bad of the series.
  • A couple covers for later volumes of 20th Century Boys feature a thinly-mustached man who looks a great deal like Kenji Endo. Who was supposed to be dead after the first story arc concluded.
  • Any attempt to cover that "Siegrain" or Ultear from Fairy Tail were villains who slipped into the council in order to manipulate it for their own personal gain are half-hearted at best. No one really attempts to hide that Siegrain is really a guy named Jellal who used illusions to trick everyone into thinking Siegrain was another person (his twin, if anyone saw both of them) either. The only thing people try to cover up is that Jellal was a villain because Ultear brainwashed him. Wait...no. They don't care if that one gets out either.
    • Technically, the fact that Natsu is Fairy Tail's Salamander spoils the twist at the end of the first episode.
    • Lisanna, believed by her friends and family at Fairy Tail to have been dead since before the series began, is alive and working at the guild again.
  • In the Legends of the True Savior movies, many of the plot revelations from the Fist of the North Star manga are treated as if they were common knowledge. For example: in Yuria Den it's made obvious that Yuria didn't die and is in fact the Last Nanto General, whereas the poster of the second Legend of Raoh movie shows Kenshiro shedding tears over Raoh's dead body.
    • The cover for the second Hokuto no Ken tankobon by Jump Comics shows a bleeding Shin falling to his death, an event which occurs in the second chapter of that particular volume.
  • ADV's various releases of Neon Genesis Evangelion have a tendency to contain spoilers for previous episodes in their episode descriptions - most notably for episode 22, in which "Misato mourns the loss of Kaji." Of course, given how iconic Evangelion is to begin with, first-time viewers would be lucky to watch the series without having anything spoiled for them in the first place.
    • The Rebuild movies have something like this going on. For example, that image that frequently surfaces of Asuka with an eye patch? It's the very last shot of the teaser at the end of the second movie, which confirms she survived the final fight. This was not a given, as the story in the movies has pretty much diverged from the TV series'.
    • Speaking of which, try to describe Evangelion to a newcomer without explaining that it gets pretty dark and psychoanalytical...
  • Seeing as how it was revealed back in 2005, the fact that Sōsuke Aizen is the Big Bad in Bleach can't possibly be avoided if one casually mentions the series... well, unless you're only talking about the first arc.
  • For those just starting to watch Slayers NEXT, Xellos is a Mazoku. It's not a secret anymore. The opening sequences for the season itself spoils it, if you watch closely.
  • Kannazuki no Miko at first appears to be a simple series about two best friends, with some Les Yay and mechas thrown in. Then it turns into a twisted love triangle. Being that it is one of the most popular Girls Love series to date you should already know that the main duo aren't just best friends and who Himeko ends up with. And if you don't know, the english dub DVDs made sure to make it clear.
  • FUNimation and its predecessor Geneon Entertainment, as well as the original Japanese trailers (plus openings if you count the sound novels), spare no detail when it comes to Higurashi no Naku Koro ni—from the characters' dark pasts to the not-so-secret actual plot to the ending of the main series.
    • The manga is a better example. They show Hanyuu and Shion in omake before they appear, leading people who have never played the sound novels or watched the anime to wonder why Mion's hair is down (you could just think it's a fanservice omake thing, though) and who that girl with the horns is.
  • Ai's true identity is one of the biggest plot twists in Detective Conan. Too bad she's one of the most popular characters and its impossible to talk about her without spoiling anything.
    • Then again, it does get revealed pretty soon after she first appears, so no troubles. Shuichi Akai and Jodie, on the other hand... Try discussing them without revealing that they're not Gin and Vermouth in disguise, which probably everybody assumes before the big reveal. And let's not even start with Rena.
  • Pokémon Special: Yellow is a girl. If you read FRLG or the last chapters of Emerald or GSC before you read the Yellow arc, you're going to be awfully confused by the consistent male terminology.
  • Pluto: The cover of the final volume shows Atom touching one of Pluto's horns, spoiling not only that he returns to life in-series but also the ultimate outcome of their fight.
  • All the official art for the second season of Sora no Otoshimono shows Astraea hanging around the good guys (Well, fellow Angeloids Ikaros and Nymph), spoiling her eventual Heel Face Turn. Guess they expected everyone to have read the manga already.
  • Kidou's Heel Face Turn halfway through the first arc of Inazuma Eleven was accompanied by a uniform change (for obvious reasons, but he even changed the color of his Badass Cape to match) and turned him into a permanent fixture of the central cast, making this trope practically impossible to avoid.
  • In Digimon Adventure, the fact that Hikari Yagami was the eighth Chosen Child was intended as a surprise (well, sort of). Come Digimon Adventure 02, we're "reminded" of the fact in the first episode.
    • While the preview for 02 episode 8 was suppose to hype up who the Digimon Kaiser/Emperor could be, his onscreen momemnts as Ken lacked any subtly as his behavior was no different from the Kaiser/Emperor.
  • You literally cannot go through Ojamajo Doremi without knowing that Hana, the magical baby the main characters are sworn protect in the second season, becomes part of the main team by the fourth season as a witch apprentice. Her identity was kept as a spoiler at first, but pretty soon her image was on everything, from toys to posters.
  • In Vampire Knight Guilty, that Yukki is actually a pure-blood vampire, as well as Kaname's sister (technically; it explains things in the manga) and fiance.
  • Girl Friends spends much of the first volume looking like a standard story about two girls of contrasting personalities meeting and becoming friends, before Chapter 7 confirms that one of them has fallen for the other in a big way. Of course, as the manga is best known as a modern classic of the Yuri Genre with advertisers marketing it as a story of two best friends who fall in love, it's hardly a surprise now.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: the fact that this anime is actually a Deconstructor Fleet which is definitely not for your little sister was originally disguised behind a cutesy facade, but these days everyone already knows the anime is actually grimdark.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • A popular arc of Superman featured a warped and bizarre Metropolis in which the villainous Superman every night busted out and had to be brought back to jail by the resident superhero, Bizarro. The reason behind this sudden change and the entity responsible? The mystery was tightly kept during the original release, but the fact that the paperback collection was titled Emperor Joker ruined the big surprise.
  • The second issue of Marvel's Thunderbolts comic had a retailer's incentive alternate cover that showed the team in their original Masters of Evil guises. This cover was also used as the cover of the first collected edition.
  • Similar to the first example, the trade paperback for one Transformers story was called Transformers: Legacy of Unicron. This was a big deal when the comic was first published: the title was blanked in the table of contents.
  • When Mary Jane first appeared in Spider-Man, she was initially The Faceless, and the fact that she was a complete fox instead of just plain was a huge surprise to Peter Parker as well as his friends ("Face it, tiger; You just hit the jackpot"). Of course, now that the cat's out of the bag, it's virtually impossible to view this as a surprise thanks to her immense popularity as well as her countless depictions in the media.
    • While that was the first time Peter Parker (and the readers) saw Mary Jane's face, other characters had seen her before, and remarked that she was quite gorgeous.
  • The trade paperback for Marvel 1602 has a foreword by a critic... I really should have known better than to read it. Although it doesn't quite spoil the ending it does a large part of the middle; namely, the death of Queen Elizabeth, and that the heroes end up in America.
  • There's something about Neil Gaiman and spoileriffic forewords. Frank McConnell's foreword to the Sandman trade paperback "The Kindly Ones" actually features the line, "Dream dies at the end." Not only that, but McConnell is utterly unapologetic about spoiling it for people who haven't read the comic yet: "Sorry to bust your bubble, but this is a tragedy, or at least, as classically tragedy has been written in a long time, so you should know at the outset how it's going to end." Thanks, Frank, but if Neil Gaiman felt that way, he probably would have started with that scene and flashed back, or had a Greek chorus tell us how the arc would end, or DO ANYTHING BUT TELL THE STORY IN A LINEAR CHRONOLOGICAL FASHION.
    • There is a clue in one of the earlier comics: Destiny looks in his book and sees an image of "Dream, clothed all in white and with white hair.".
    • The above hardly qualifies as a clue, though, since its meaning is difficult to discern until after the fact. The fact that it seems to be one of a thousand throwaway lines (about half of which, admittedly, end up foreshadowing something) doesn't help.
      • What is NOT difficult to discern, however, is the scene that closes the arc immediately before the Kindly Ones, at the Inn At World's End. After all the travelers have told their stories, all the characters are distracted by a literally massive funeral procession dominating the horizon. In that procession are all of Dream's family and many recognizable faces from previous stories, including characters that only exist because of their ties to Dream, such as Melvyn Pumpkinhead, Nuala, et al. If you look - not even carefully, if you just look, it becomes swiftly impossible not to notice that ALL of these characters are closely tied to Dream... and Dream is the only character not present in the procession. The sequence ends with an image of Delirium, crying. The sequence did not so much 'heavily foreshadow' Dream's death as much as it outright told you it was going to happen.
  • The title of the first post-Civil War Captain America (comics) TPB? Captain America: The Death of Captain America. While yes, there was a huge media blitz about it when it happened, it kind of sucks for new readers, or people in other countries who didn't get that hype.
    • Then it happened again, only in reverse. With the delays on Captain America: Reborn, he appeared in at least four books before the big event had actually happened.
  • The Robin trade paperback that features the return of Spoiler has this plastered on everywhere. The Spoiler alert tag itself is a spoiler. Spoiler is on the cover. Then inside, the reader discovers very quickly That without doubt it is Stephanie Brown. So it is more about Robin's reaction to this, and his refusal to believe it.
  • The Legion of Super Heroes storyline, The Great Darkness Saga featured Darkseid as the main antagonist. His appearance intended as a surprise is blown to anyone who picks up the trade (as he appears on the cover).


Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • The fact that the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic Cupcakes is grimdark was supposed to be a Shocking Swerve. With the level of infamy this fic has in the fandom, if you figured out about the fanfic without knowing this, then someone intentionally set you up.
  • While not nearly as egregious as some examples, in Winter War, Byakuya's survival is one of these. The series index lists the chapters by name and POV character. Byakuya is MIA at the start of the fic, his death apparently confirmed several chapters later... and then we get a chapter titled "Byakuya: Necessity." So if you started reading late, and looked at the chapter index, you probably knew he wasn't really dead even before you got to the point where Hanatarou remembers seeing him apparently die.


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • Trailers and merchandise for Shrek 2 and 3 both obviously and inevitably spoil what was a huge surprise in the first movie: Fiona turns into an ogre. "Why is Fiona fat and green?! Wait! NOOOO!"
  • The 2-disc DVD edition of Disney's Aladdin starts with several movie trailers before you reach the main DVD menu. Including the trailer for Aladdin: The Return of Jafar. Where he, you know, returns. As a genie.
    • And Heaven forbid anyone watch the Aladdin TV show before seeing that Iago did a Heel Face Turn in The Return of Jafar. The Disney Channel aired several episodes in April 1994 before the company's video department released that sequel in May, and thus Iago was inexplicably "being all chummy-chummy" with the crew, perching harmlessly on Jasmine's shoulder, etc.
  • Tangled has a follow-up short, Tangled Ever After, detailing events from Rapunzel's wedding day. Among other things, this reveals that Rapunzel has short brown hair by the time her movie ends, and that her love interest's real name is Eugene Fitzherbert, not Flynn Rider.


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: it's hard to find anyone that doesn't know that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father, even if they've never watched any of the movies.
    • The VHS release of A New Hope opened with a trailer for the full trilogy on video, including the line "Is Darth Vader my father?" from Jedi, ensuring that even the most ignorant first-time viewers weren't surprised.
    • Most people saw the original trilogy before the prequels, so a few key plot points were already ruined for them. The biggest ones were Anakin Skywalker turning to evil, Palpatine's secret identity as a Sith Lord, and, of course, knowing which characters survive long enough to be in the sequels.
      • Palpatine wasn't actually named on film in the original trilogy, being referred to only as "Emperor" (his name comes from the A New Hope novelization). So, theoretically, if you never saw any of the action figures, comics, books, or other non-movie material, or paid attention to the credits and realized it was the same actor in the prequels as in Return of the Jedi, you might not know. Until the last film came out, there was some discussion among Star Wars fans (who obviously would know) that Lucas might pull one out of the hat and reveal Sidious wasn't really Palpatine. He was.
      • Each trilogy spoils the other, though. If you see the prequels first, you won't be surprised when the eccentric green alien Luke meets in the swamp turns out to be Yoda. Or that Luke's father is still alive. Or that Luke has a long-lost sister. Or even when Han comes back in A New Hope - his co-pilot's Chewbacca, after all. There have been serious attempts at remedying this, including showing the prequals as an "extended flashback" of the original trilogy.
    • Trailers for Episode III naturally gave away the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader as the main selling point for seeing the movie in the first place, and attempted to subvert the trope by teasing the audience into exactly how this transformation comes about. People who had been reading supplemental materials, however, knew it would happen in a Battle Amongst the Flames between Anakin and Obi-Wan.
      • And don't forget the movie posters for Episode I, showing young Anakin's shadow, as formed by his mushroom-top hair-do, forming the outline of Darth Vader's helmet.
    • The soundtrack CD for The Phantom Menace was released before the film. Two tracks were called Qui-Gon's Noble End and The High Council Meeting and Qui-Gon's Funeral.
    • Lampshaded mercilessly by Ansem Retort Darth Maul, who was shown as being oblivious that Qui-Gon died, complaining to Marluxia that "some people haven't seen this movie yet." This is made more absurd when one considers that his introduction into the comic included whining about his fate in the end of the movie.
    • And even for newcomers watching the movies in chronological order, it is quite hard to remain unspoiled about the relationship between the Queen of Naboo and her handmaiden when so many materials about Episode II and III talk about Senator Padme Amidala.
  • The trailers and posters for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is fairly blunt about a number of Book 7 developments, including the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry's turning himself over to Voldemort, and the show-down between Harry and Voldemort.
    • Also, if you haven't read or seen Half-Blood Prince, you might be a tad confused as to why Harry and Ginny kiss in the 7 trailer. But then, the trailer basically spoils everything aside from the final outcome of, since most of the trailer is made of stuff that is definitely from the second part. Way to go, trailer-makers.
    • Trailers for the fifth movie obviously center on the Ministry's refusal to accept that Voldemort has returned. Gee, I wonder what happened at the end of the previous film.
    • Trailers for the fifth movie also clearly show that Sirius Black is a good guy, spoiling The Reveal at the end of the third film. It's made even more explicate in this promo for the same film. In fact, if you spend any time around pretty much anything Harry Potter-related on the Internet, it's very hard to remain unspoiled about this before you read the third book/watch the third movie.
  • Speed Racer hangs a lampshade that Racer X is Rex Racer, with the twist that he isn't Speed's brother except he still is, he just had plastic surgery.
  • The final shot of Being There is often spoiled by reviewers, biographies and documentaries of Peter Sellers (as well as the 2004 biopic The Life and Death of Peter Sellers), and even TV promos (and the trailers for that biopic). What's really sad is that it's an unusually powerful Twist Ending in that it forces the viewer to rethink what they know about Chance the Gardener -- as said at the Misaimed Fandom entry, perhaps the viewer WASN'T as privy to his actual nature as they thought... or was she? Plus, it's a sudden injection of sheer fantasy into what was a fairly realistic satire up to that moment. That said though, given the reasons it tends to be spoiled—it's the Crowning Moment of Awesome for both the character and perhaps the actor (it was conceived as a response to how well the movie and his performance were working), as well as a starting point for discussions about the film—it's perhaps more justifiable than other examples of this trope.
    • Heck, the shot is often used on the cover.
  • Because it's been in so many other Batman media anyway, it's impossible not to know that Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face. The only question in any of the series is how, and when. Still, there was an interview with Aaron Eckhart in the July/August 8 Men's Health. It lists his movie roles, including his turn in The Dark Knight Saga as "Harvey Dent, a.k.a. Harvey Two-Face". Which kind of blew the surprise considering that nobody knew if he actually would become Two-Face during that film or not. Of course he did!
    • Also something that might have thrown people by the Burton/Schumacher films: Harvey Dent was played by Billy Dee Williams in the first movie, and Tommy Lee Jones (as Two-Face) in the third. Lest you think that changing actors can be done subtly, Williams is Black and Jones is White.
      • As mentioned on the Batman Forever page, Williams took the minor role of Harvey Dent expecting that in sequels he would become Two-Face, and had it in his contract. The studio bought him out, when they wanted to use Tommy Lee Jones instead.
  • There are plenty of people who are going to be upset, but shouldn't be, about The Express's built-in Downer Ending: Ernie Davis died of leukemia two years after the film's signature Crowning Moment of Awesome. Some of the current commercials Lampshade this (probably hoping to stave off such a reaction), but still...
  • Thanks to pretty much every movie and television show at the time and since parodying it, it's pretty hard not to know that Thelma and Louise has a Bolivian Army Ending with the titular ladies driving their car off a cliff.
  • Most of the marketing for Watchmen falls under Trailers Always Spoil in that it's not very subtle about Veidt being the real villain. However, the bio for Rorschach on Facebook includes an audio clip of his journal, one of which has him flat out stating this fact. Commercials also reveal Rorschach's face, spoiling his identity for anyone who hadn't already read the graphic novel, or knew the character's actor.
    • But the movie was shot and edited in a way where you couldn't even see the bum's face, so the reveal of his face wasn't as significant.
      • Actually, it does show his face. But it's hard to recognize him as Rorschach until a rewatch.
  • Scream: As Ghostface put it: "You should know that Jason's mother, Mrs. Voorhees, was the original killer. Jason didn't show up till the sequel. I'm afraid that was the wrong answer."
  • The Academy Awards themselves actually manage to spoil the big surprise of The Crying Game by nominating a certain member of the cast for Best Supporting Actor.
    • Before the movie came out in Australia.
  • The trailers to Hannibal obviously reveal that Hannibal escaped in The Silence of the Lambs.
    • Also, ask anyone about the characters in Silence of the Lambs and you're bound to get "A crazy guy who makes clothes out of women's skin.", a fact that isn't revealed in the movie until the 3rd Act, where it's a big reveal, and one of the changes from the book that is for the better (in the book Hannibal reveals that Bill is making a woman suit, and the revelation is relegated to "He knows how to sew").
      • It's possible that the "knows how to sew" comment was first but I swear that in the book Lecter at some point or other says, verbatim, "He wants a vest with tits on it."
      • He says that, but what he doesn't elaborate is that Buffalo Bill a trained tailor. They assumed he would be making "caveman shit".
  • A Shot in the Dark was the second film in Peter Sellers' Pink Panther film series and it's the one where all the elements of the later films in the series are introduced. But because it doesn't have "Pink Panther" in the title, it's likely to be one of the last films of the series you're going to watch. There are two elements in this film that were played as plot twists that became unsurprising running gags in the later films:
    • Early in the film, a sinister looking Asian man attacks Clouseau in his own bedroom! It's Clouseau's own manservant Cato, whom Clouseau has actually ordered to constantly attack him so Clouseau will always be Crazy Prepared for an attack.
    • Later in the film, a shadowy figure stalks Clouseau and makes several attempts on his life! Is it the killer? No, it's Clouseau's own boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfus, who's been driven Axe Crazy by Clouseau's shenanigans. This "twist" not only became a Running Gag, but became the main plot of The Pink Panther Strikes Again.
  • The American DVD case and menu for Audition spoil the major Genre Shift twist in the second half of the movie.
  • The iconic scene from Say Anything, where Lloyd is holding the boombox over his head, is now the cover art for the film.
  • Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. Search? Did something happen to Spock in the last movie?
  • The trailers for the second part of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers, made it very, very clear that Gandalf was not in fact dead as the first movie had implied. Which was a pretty major plot twist in the book, but apparently the marketing team thought genre-savvy movie-goers probably figured it out.
  • The opening credits of The Final Destination play across CGI reenactments of spectacular deaths from the prior three films, potentially depleting their shock-value for anyone seeing this installment first. Partially averted, as the reenactments use skeletal figures in the role of victims, hence the identity of who'd gotten killed in each manner is left in doubt.
    • Freddy's opening monologue in Freddy vs. Jason includes a rapid-fire flashback to several of the previous Elm Street films' killings, which spoil a lot of them for viewers who initially take an interest in F Vs. J as Jason fans.
  • The tagline for Little Nicky basically spoils who his mom is...
  • You might be upset by what happens to the main character in Pride of the Yankees. He's a baseball player on top of his game, taking his team all the way... and then he comes down with Lou Gehrig's disease. As Friends pointed out, it's a biopic about Lou Gehrig.
  • In the ending of The Matrix Revolutions, Neo dies in a Heroic Sacrifice against Smith. This plot twist is spoiled in an ad for The Matrix Online, which mentions the factions fighting over "the legacy of Neo's sacrifice."
    • The VHS release of the original The Matrix spoiled the whole " reality isn't real, everyone's in a Lotus Eater Machine" revelation on the back of the freaking box! And then the DVD release did it again.
  • Subverted hardcore in Se7en. Kevin Spacey is never shown in ads or posters and his name isn't even in the opening credits. This was a man who was meant to get top billing. Bravo, good sir. Bravo.
  • The DVD and video covers for the original Planet of the Apes has the final, iconic shot of the Statue of Liberty. Despite this, there are still some people who don't know the ending.
  • The VHS release of What Dreams May Come spoiled Annie's suicide on the back of the box. And then the DVD release did it again.
  • Alien Resurrection's official trailer flatout says that Ellen Ripley died before the events of the film no less than three separate times (using various characters' quotes).
    • The back cover for the UK DVD release of Alien 3 outright spoils the fact that supporting characters Dwayne Hicks and 'Newt' Jorden are killed at the beginning of the film (before Ripley crashes on Fiorina 161).
  • There's a very subtle one in this poster for The Usual Suspects. The tagline is a hint. Kevin Spacey (aka Verbal Kint) is the only one who's over his name. Also, he's the last in the lineup and the last one named.
    • The DVD of The Usual Suspects is even worse. The scene index shows a still clip from each of the 25 "chapters" of the DVD. The still clip for the final chapter shows a fax machine receiving an image of Keyser Soze's face, and even at low resolution a casual viewer can easily see it's Kevin Spacey.
    • Also, if you watch too much of the main menu of the DVD of the The Usual Suspects you will see a man's feet as he limps down the street. His gait quickly becomes less shuffling and he is suddenly walking perfectly fine.
  • If you didn't know that Jigsaw died in Saw III, you may wish to steer clear of the trailers and DVD boxart for Saw IV, which show Jigsaw's body lying on an autopsy table and his disembodied head being weighed on a scale, respectively.
  • The DVD cover of Halloween II outright spoils the fact that Laurie Strode is Michael Myers' sister; something that isn't revealed until mid-way through the film.
  • Once you pop the Ghost Rider DVD into your player, the background visuals behind the menus reveal that there is a second Ghost Rider.
  • Prior to it's airing on tv, the Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue episode "Trakeena's Revenge" was sold in limited McDonald's during April, and thus providing spoilers (to those not Sentai educated) for the later portion of the series such as the Rangers' Omega Megazord, Max Solarzord, V-Lancers, Battle Boosters. Not to mention the first onscreen appearance of Olympius, as well as Queen Bansheera who has partially taken physical form.
  • The Avengers, by necessity, spoils most of the films it follows, seeing as how all of the heroes from said films show up and make reference to prior events. Bruce Banner mentions that he "leveled Harlem" (from Incredible Hulk), Steve Rogers mentions that he remembers "HYDRA's secret weapon" (along with a discussion of how it fell into the ocean when he crashed), Loki and Dr. Selvig's presence (spoiling The Stinger of Thor) and many other minor elements.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In general, School Study Media is bad about this. The editions that they hand out in class often contain forwards by literature professors giving some background on the author, a bit of context for some things seen in the work, and of course, spoiling every single plot twist in the book. Because apparently they can't imagine that someone might read these books because they are interested in the story.
  • Nicely averted by Penguin Classics; each has a warning not to read the introduction if you haven't read the book before, as it tends to give away major plot points.
  • In the Kenzie and Gennaro Series, the identity of the serial killer in the second book is mentioned repeatedly in later books. He essentially becomes Patrick Kenzie's boogeyman, with his memory constantly haunting his nightmares. It's easy to forget that in the second book, he was introduced as Gerry Glynn, the retired policeman who runs a bar in Patrick's neighborhood.
    • Also, the sixth book is a direct follow-up to Gone Baby Gone, the fourth book in the series. The conclusion to that one, where Kenzie rescues the girl from her loving kidnappers and returns her to her neglectful drug-addict mother, is spoiled on the back cover of the sixth book.
  • Twilight: Edward is a vampire. You can glean that from the back of the book. This despite the fact that it tries to keep the reader guessing what Edward's deal is for about the first half of the book.
    • It's really more of Dramatic Irony than "keeping the reader guessing"; the reader knows, but Bella still needs to figure it out.
  • Discworld:
    • Certain editions of the Discworld book Guards Guards contains character summaries of the "Duke of Ankh, Commander" Vimes, and "Captain" Carrot. For those who don't know, this is the first book of the Watch series, and it ends with a still-drunken Captain Vimes, and a still-naive Lance-Corporal Carrot.

By the way, the character summaries of these editions are found all the way back in the first book of Discworld, which doesn't even have the City Watch. In fact only four of the seventeen characters in the summaries are even in the book and only two of those played a major part.

    • The Harper Torch printings of the older Discworld books tend to assume you've read them already, so they tend to have fairly spoileriffic images on the cover. To their credit, the spoiler usually doesn't make sense until you have read the book, but it's still not cool to put the gonne on the cover of Men At Arms. (Not a huge spoiler though, as anybody in Roundworld rather than the Discworld will know what the weapon was as soon as the first death occurs. Any cover image or blurb that shows a plot element is arguably equivalent, since you wouldn't otherwise know about the book until you started to read it.)
    • The "classy" Corgi reprints have black covers with something symbolic or significant (eg vampire teeth for Carpe Jugulum). The one for Feet of Clay is a bit of a giveaway for a book that even calls itself a "howdunnit".
    • Not only does this happen with the endings of the Discworld books, but it will automatically happen if you read the first book of a series published after any earlier work. This is most glaring with the first Moist von Lipwig book, Going Postal, which includes spoilers to nearly all of the city watch books and The Truth. As this is one of the most popular novels in the series, and one of the more recently published, it is a real problem for new fans unsure of where to really start.
  • Shakespeare's works. Everyone knows the ending to Romeo and Juliet (pictured), and to Hamlet, and to Julius Caesar, and to Macbeth. (Romeo and Juliet even mentions in the prologue that both the title characters die. And JC is helped by being based on a true story.) The lesser known works such as Othello are still at risk but way better than the Big Five.
    • Just knowing the genre of a particular Shakespeare play pretty much spoils the entire ending. If it's a comedy, everyone gets married at the end and lives happily ever after; if it's a a tragedy, everyone dies at the end; and if it's a history, well, those are no-brainers.
  • This happens with a few Dickens novels, especially A Christmas Carol, but A Tale of Two Cities, despite always getting talked about in popular media, is an odd aversion of this. Everyone know it's starting line "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" but very few people know more than that. Especially the quasi-Hero Quest of Sydney Carton as he tries to redeem himself. The 2009 edition manages to say that Carton dies on the back of the book.
  • The Reveal at the ending of The Wheel of Time's first book? Rand is the Dragon Reborn. The cover of the third book? A triumphant Rand, with the words "The Dragon Reborn" written in big, bold letters. Although in all fairness, it was pretty obvious from about halfway into the third chapter. (Of course, it's only a spoiler if you identify the young man with sandy-coloured hair wearing a cream-coloured tunic with a purple belt, denim jeans (or the fantasy equivalent), mid-calf leather boots, and a glowing sword floating in mid-air above his raised hand as being the tall, gray-eyed youth with a reddish tint to his hair described in the first book - it's not like the cover comes with a name tag.)
  • The front cover art of The Moment of the Magician by Alan Dean Foster spoils what is clearly written to be a surprise, that the new evil magician in town is a kid's party magician who stumbled in from our own world, and now his lame magic works.
  • Haven't read the first three books in Chris D'Lacy's Dragons series? The blurb on the fourth book doesn't seem to care, since it reveals right on the inside that David, the protagonist of the first three books, dies at the end of the third book.
  • Likewise, The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as originally conceived, was a mystery. You weren't supposed to know Hyde was Jekyll all potioned up. Thanks to numerous film adaptations, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the phrase being constantly (mis)used in popular culture, it's not a mystery anymore!
    • Instead, it's Dramatic Irony.
      • A fact which in itself may or may not be situational irony...
  • One of the reviews on the back of The City of Ember says "The cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for the next installment."
  • In some parts of the Warrior Cats fandom, something only counts as a spoiler if it happened in a book that came out less than a month ago. If the book is more than a month old, well... too bad. However, the phenomenon also appears in the books themselves:
    • The author seems to act like everyone should know what happens in the first series, too, considering how much of it she spoils in the spin-offs. Also no one, literally no one, calls Firestar "Fireheart", because everyone should know that Bluestar dies and he becomes leader in Book 6. Most Official Couples are also treated as common knowledge.
    • And there's the blurb for Sunrise, which spoils the climax of the previous book. Yay!
    • The award goes to the Tigerstar and Sasha manga, since the title itself is a spoiler for Moonrise.
    • And, of course, the character lists in the front of the books, which are so riddled with spoilers it's a wonder they still put them in the front of the books. If a character dies sometime in the book, they are treated as dead.
  • In the Blue is for Nightmares series, Jacob dies at the end of Silver is for Secrets. This is helpfully revealed on the back of the sequel Red is for Remembrance. Of course, the back of Black is for Beginnings helpfully notes out that he actually was Not Dead Yet.
  • Enoch Root, of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle is immortal. Treated as a surprise in Cryptonomicon, but since he's the very first character to appear in The Baroque Cycle (which takes place somewhere in the range of 300 years earlier), you'll know he's Really Seven Hundred Years Old even if all you know about him from Cryptonomicon is that he appeared in that book.
  • First words on the back of the second Tawny Man book by Robin Hobb? Nighteyes is dead. Thanks a lot.
    • Even worse than that is that readers who aren't very careful (or aren't sure about book's names) will read the preview chapter at the end of Ship of Destiny, and find out that very spoiler. I spent the entirety of Fool's Errand thinking "Okay, shouldn't this happen in the beginning? Yeah, it's supposed to happen. I'm 50 pages from the end, it hasn't happened. Okay, just happened. I guess I should feel sad now. Hmm."
  • French translation of the title of Lois McMaster Bujold's first book in the Vorkosigan series, Shards of Honor, was Cordelia Vokosigan, calling the heroine by her married name, said marriage occuring at the very end of the book and being quite hard-won by that time.
    • And in Cordelia's Honor, Barrayar and Shards of Honor packaged together, the blurb on the back spoils the first half of the book for anyone who was new in coming to the Vorkosigan Saga.
  • Because the whole plot takes off from it, the inside dust jacket (and subsequent paperback covers) for Sidney Sheldon's Memories of Midnight had to spoil the Twist Ending of The Other Side of Midnight: Catherine didn't die, but Constantin had her rescued and hidden so Larry and Noelle would be tried and executed for her murder. It's worth noting that the book was intended to work as a standalone novel as well as a sequel, via extended flashbacks to what happened in its predecessor.
  • There is a dreadful 1970s pulp horror novel called Rabid, about the rabies virus spreading to the previously (and actually) rabies-free British Isles. The back-cover copy on the paperback edition ended with, "And when the virus became airborne, then the whole world would learn what it meant to be .... RABID!" The element of the virus mutating into an airborne form was a twist ending, on quite literally the last page of the book: it had nothing to do with the book's primary plot.
  • Don't read the blurbs on the back of the later Codex Alera books if you want there to be any surprise when The Reveal rolls around about Tavi's parentage. It's much more entertaining when you piece it together over the course of 3 books, but it's very difficult to provide even a basic plot summary of the last two books without giving it away.
    • Hell the titles of later books give away previous plot developments. They follow the pattern of Tavi's position during that book, thus spoiling his career advancements.
  • At the end of the first Kingdom Keepers book, it's revealed that Jez was actually Brainwashed, and she's Amanda's sister. Rescuing her becomes the main goal of the second book.
  • So you're reading the first book of the Honorverse, you come to the very end, turn the page, and staring you right in the face is an excerpt the first chapter from the eleventh book in the series that goes and spoils just about every plot point related directly to the main character.
  • In The Parasol Protectorate, the back cover blurb for book 2 gives away the plot twist at the end of book 1, and the back cover blurb of book 3 gives away the plot twists for books 1 and 2. Tough luck for those who want to read the entire series at once.
  • The second Temeraire book is based entirely around The Reveal/borderline Deus Ex Machina at the end of the first book that Temeraire is a Celestial, the single rarest dragon breed in the world, regarded as nearly godlike in their native China.
  • The second paragraph of the blurb for Inkdeath starts, "The fire-eater Dustfinger is dead." Okay, we know the movie and the book end differently, but come on!
  • The first book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series ends with the execution of Ned Stark and the fallout from this event fuels the plot of the next book; this, and the fact that Daenerys managed to hatch the fossilised dragon eggs is spoiled in some versions of the blurbs of later books. Other major events throughout the series are also spoiled in this way, including Jaime and Cersei's incest, Robert's death, Stannis' defeat, Joffrey's death, and many more. The miniseries is going to have a similar problem, especially with the first one; how are they going to hide the fact that Sean Bean, of all actors will not be returning for season two?
  • In the short Newbery-award winning book, On My Honor, the summary on the back spoils what is probably the only plot point in the entire novel.[2]
  • The two bigs twists at the end of the first Percy Jackson and The Olympians novel, The Lightning Thief, is that Kronos is the Big Bad of the series, with Luke, Percy's Big Brother Mentor as his Dragon. Reading the blurb of pretty much any of the subsequent books spoils at least one of these twists, if not both.
  • So, you decide that you are interested in reading the Skulduggery Pleasant books. You glance at the fifth book and decide to look at the blurb... Congratulations, the blurb has spoilered for you the huge twist at the end of the fourth book, which reveals that Valkyrie is Darquesse.
  • Minor example in Old Man's War by John Scalzi. It's obviously supposed to be a surprise to the reader what the Ghost Brigades really are. The first time the protagonist hears the expression, he thinks it's a joke. Later, he learns that they exist, but thinks the name is just a nickname. However, since that very term is the title of a later book, if the reader is already aware of Scalzi's other works when reading Old Man's War, it is glaringly obvious that this will be important later. And the context of its first appearance gives away what it is.
  • Present in various blurbs of later books for The Dresden Files: Thomas being Harry's half-brother and Molly becoming Harry's apprentice are some of the most-used ones. However, given the ending of Changes (Our Hero Is Dead), it is flat-out impossible to talk about the plot of the next book, Ghost Story, without giving away the last few pages of Changes.
  • You know just by the fact that there are sequels that Katniss Everdeen makes it out of The Hunger Games alive (although they do a good job keeping the secret that Peeta does too).
  • The back of each Deltora Quest book spoils the previous one. The summaries on the back of any book in the second and third series will tell you who the heir is.
  • PIGS DON'T FLY, the first book of a trilogy by Mary Brown, gives away the climactic surprise of the novel in the blurb on the front cover of the paperback original! Pigs don't fly.... "But dragons do," spoiling the secret that the winged piglet adopted by the heroine is actually a baby dragon.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The big twist in the first season, that Angel is a vampire, is pretty lame if you've seen any other season, or any preview for his own show. In the DVD Commentary Joss Whedon mentions that he was surprised that so few people figured this out before The Reveal, as he assumed everybody would.
    • Likewise, Angel's fate is spoiled from the beginning. You know any deaths or Face Heel Turns he undergoes in Buffy will have to be temporary.
    • Same can be said for Spike's Heel Face Turns.
    • Any episode of either show where characters mention events on conversations that took place during their guest spot on the other show, usually making vague enough references that you can usually get the gist of what happened.
    • In the commentary track for the very first episode Joss Whedon mentions that the school is blown up at the end of the third season.
    • A commentary in the first season spoils the fact that Harmony becomes a vampire several seasons later.
    • UK channel Sky One ran previews for the season five finale which showed Buffy's gravestone, running it constantly so that everyone watching TV would know how the episode ended.
    • Many of the DVD menu screens manage to give away the epiode's reveal in a single image.
  • iCarly: Sam and Freddie kissed. Even more spoiled if new viewers of the show saw the trailer of "iThink They Kissed" without watching the prequel "iKiss". In said trailer, Carly yells Sam and Freddie KISSED!.
    • Behind-the-scenes photos from the Word of God had revealed to the fandom very early on that Freddie saves Carly's life.
  • DVD boxsets tend to be spoilerriffic in their own right. Buffy's season 7 set, for example, prominently depicts Xander wearing an eyepatch.
    • And Angel's season 5 shows Illyria.
    • Buffy's season 6 DVD boxset is also pretty bad, revealing the main villain Dark Willow on the front cover.
  • DVD menus are also a great place to spoil huge twists (even though they're usually twists that are already known by anyone with basic familiarity with the movie or show). For example, to watch The X-Files episode "End Game" you have to click on a still from the episode showing Samantha Mulder's face bleeding green blood, revealing not only that the Samantha featured in this and the previous episode was fake, but also that she dies.
    • The Babylon 5 DVDs also suffer from this, with the menus screens often showing a vitally important scene from the episode you were just about to watch.
      • Every single episode (and nearly as many episode previews) of Babylon 5 after the first season spoils Delenn's transformation, as do the covers of the DVD box sets. Even sillier is the intro to Season 5: in less than a minute, it manages to spoil every major plot point of the previous four seasons.
      • Due to a mastering error on the US release of the DVD, the opening credits show the transformed appearance of Delenn before it is actually revealed in the series.
    • The X-Files has in both menus and the short video that starts the DVD (for instance, in Season 6 the very last scene of the season - a Cliff Hanger, of course - is used in both).
  • This was pretty much unavoidable for Prison Break. People still watching Season 1 when Season 2 began airing were treated not only to the fact that they break out and are on the run from the law, but also who survived/escaped and who didn't by showing the entire team of escapees. Then people watching Season 1 or 2 when Season 3 comes out were greeted with the fact the team are re-captured and put into a new prison.
  • 24 Season 2 relies on your knowledge that Nina was the mole and killed Teri Bauer.
    • David Palmer dying at the start of Season 5 is spoiled on the back of the DVD collection, as is Jack faking his death at the end of the previous season.
    • Tony's return in season four was meant to be a surprise. Which would have worked better in Scandinavia, had the DVD box set not featured him on the actual disc covering episodes set before he actually shows up.
    • Also, Tony being not quite dead in season seven must have been one of the worst kept secrets of all time.
      • In this case, cut the Fox execs some slack. Thanks to the 2007-2008 writer's strike, season seven was not aired for a LONG time. They needed to release something juicy to reel viewers in after a year long hiatus.
        • It was worse than that. The original Season 7 preview prominently showing Tony was released before the Writers Strike, meaning that the fans had to wait an entire year just to find out what happened.
  • Numerous Doctor Who episodes feature surprise reappearances by the Daleks. Of course this is given away by the fact that almost every single one of those episodes, including the one in the Christopher Eccleston series, includes the word "Dalek" in the on-screen episode title. It also happened quite frequently with the Cybermen.
    • It gets especially worse with the French titles, although for some reason quite a few of them leave out the spoilerific mentions of Daleks and Cybermen. Yet the series two finale was named "Farewell Rose", The End of Time Part One "Return of the Master", The End of Time Part Two "Return of the Time Lords", etc. There are a lot more examples of other titles that spoil what is supposed to come as a surprise in an episode.
    • One Series 5 episode takes this even further: it's called "Victory of the Daleks". Wonder who wins that one.
    • Many of these Dalek episodes in fact contain a curious inversion of this trope; in several cases, the actual appearance of the Daleks or Cybermen will be treated as a sudden shocking, dramatic moment, or even an "oh my God what a shocker!" episode cliffhanger, as if the producers actually thought that You Shouldn't Know This Already even though their eventual appearance would be known and expected by anyone who, oh, looked at the title.
    • Apparently the writers managed to catch onto this with the Cybermen on at least one occasion, as their reintroductory serial in Peter Davison's tenure (after a six year absence) was purposefully not titled "X of the Cybermen".
      • However, the DVD release of said episode now features the Cybermen on the cover...
      • Often the writers (and occasionally even the directors) created it so the revelation of the returning foe or foes was given great weight, only to have the script editor or producer change the title to showcase said foe. For instance, the serial scripted as The Deadly Experiments used the revelation that the Sontarans were behind the experiments as the only cliffhanger. Script editor Robert Holmes was very unhappy to learn at a late stage that it had been retitled The Sontaran Experiment but the cliffhanger left intact.
      • One aversion of the trope occurred in the story titled, Invasion of the Dinosaurs. The first episode was run with the title "Invasion" to prevent spoiling the appearance of dinosaurs at the end of the episode. Subsequent episodes ran the full title.
    • The new series is a particularly nasty example of this trope since it's so damn popular, so the marketing material tends to assume everybody and their robot dog has already seen the latest episode and happily puts massive spoilers on the DVD covers.
      • And the BBC website spoiled the return of the Master in the 2009 Christmas Special. In September.
      • Similarly (although possibly more a case of Trailers Always Spoil), the trailer for the 2008 series featured several foes, including, rather prominently, Daleks; come the end of the penultimate story, they still hadn't been seen, or even mentioned. Guess who's involved in the finale?
    • The DVDs of Series 4 spoil the finale - rather annoying for people who only get the episodes via said DVDs from their library.
  • In the UK, the fifth season of Lost was advertised all over the place with the Spoileriffic slogan "We know Locke's dead. Right?"
    • The season 3 DVDs contain a booklet that goes beyond giving brief descriptions of every episode into spoiling major twists (the description of the finale mentions casually what occurs in Jack's flashforward)...which is bad, since some people wait for the DVDs to watch the show instead of watching it on air with constant breaks.
    • Let's not forget the season 4 DVD set. When you pull off the slipcover, the picture on the front of the case shows the cast, with the Oceanic 6 quite obviously darkened. Who they were was one of the primary mysteries of the first part of that season.
    • Season 5: The Journey Back.
  • The first half of Burn Notice Season 2 ended on September 18, 2008 on a cliffhanger; the bad guys try to blow up Mike. His fate is unknown. The trailers for the second half of the season, airing January 22, 2009, clearly show the cliffhanger. Said trailers started airing in late October. Think about that for a second. Just... work it out.
    • Said trailers were also airing during the catchup marathon before the episode.
  • On the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Wire", Garak tells several (conflicting) stories about his past as a spy with his friend Elim. The end of the episode reveals that Elim is simply Garak's first name. But you'd be hard pressed to find a reference to Garak, including the Deep Space Nine page on This Very Wiki, that doesn't list him as "Elim Garak", which pretty much takes the sting out of the episode.
  • Beautifully parodied and lampshaded in Stargate SG-1 episode 200. Every ad on Sci-Fi showed Richard Dean Anderson in the episode. When the episode aired and General O'Neill shows up, Samantha Carter says it would be a surprise to which Daniel Jackson responds "Are you kidding, it'll be in the previews."
  • Alias has the big twist of the first season finale (that Sidney's mother not only is alive, but she is evidently the Big Bad of the show up to that point) ruined by the covers of the DVD's for the second season. And the twist for the second season's finale is also detailed in the back covers for the third season DVD's. And the covers for the fourth season DVD's prominently feature Nadia, Sidney's half-sister and whose existence was also a secret in the third season. It's almost a miracle that the fifth season DVD covers do not reveal anything about the show at that point.
  • All of the promos for Chuck season 3 show him using his super-kung fu skills, which was an out-of-nowhere twist for season two.
  • The Season 4 DVD for House has pictures of the three candidates who win the season long competition, as well as giving the actors' names. The winners weren't decided until almost the end of the season.
  • Haven't watched any of Life On Mars before you decided to check out Ashes to Ashes? Tough. Prepare to be spoiled for Sam Tyler's suicide at the end of Life On Mars, having jumped off a roof to get back to the world of 1973. One of the first images you see in A2A is Sam's file, with "suicide" stamped on it.
  • Watching any given Charmed episode starting from season 4 might make you wonder where Shannen Doherty's character Prue is. It's not really a secret or a shocker anymore that she get's McLeaned at the end of season 3.
    • One of the reasons for this is that the back of the Season 3 DVD boxset of Charmed gives out information on what happens to each of the three sisters that year. By a process of elimination feasible once you've gone through Season 3's first few episodes, you know who is the subject of "the untimely death of the third (sister)", a dozen or more episodes in advance.
    • Also: Cole is evil. Or not. Or he isn't sure.
  • The first name of MacGyver is a mystery until a few seasons in but is found on the back cover of the first season DVD set.
  • The box art for Season 6 of One Tree Hill. There was a big cliffhanger at the end of Season 5, as Lucas calls either Brooke, Peyton, or Lindsey and asks whoever he called if she wants to marry him that night. The back of the DVD box reads, "And speaking of Lucas, just which one is the right girl?"... when there are two pictures clearly visible on the back that reveal who it was: it's Peyton--the two pictures are of her and Lucas embracing in their kitchen and the background of the DVD box is Lucas kissing her in the hospital from the finale. Additionally, the network allegedly ruined the Season 5 cliffhanger by editing a promo for Season 6 in a way that made it obvious who Lucas calls, which is why Mark Schwahn, the showrunner, handles making the promotional materials now.
  • The U.S. version of The Office has Jim and Pam being an Official Couple as a relatively important plot point from the fourth season onward, somewhat ruining the UST between them during the first three seasons for first time viewers.
    • NBC's hyping of their marriage and the subsequent birth of their first child during the sixth season solidifies this as an example of this trope.
      • Then again, anyone who'd watched the UK version saw it coming and knew it would eventually happen, as the UK series ends with them finally getting together.
  • The box set of Robin Hood's season three has "Marian's death was just the beginning" on the back.
  • Woe betide anyone who got into Misfits at a late stage and didn't want to know that Nathan dies, but turns out to be immortal and so was buried alive, thanks to E4's trailers for the second series.
  • While the season 2 finale was obviously a cliffhanger when the series first aired, anyone who knows there are seven seasons of The West Wing (which is to say, anyone who has heard of the show) will be utterly unsurprised by President Bartlet a) running for and b) winning re-election.
    • Like the Buffy example above, Aaron Sorkin was baffled by the fact that people didn't realize that the President was planning to run again.
    • Plus the "Who's been hit?!" cliffhanger of the first season, which any later season will invalidate (two main characters are shot, but no one dies).
  • Promotional materials for later seasons of Supernatural show Bobby in a wheelchair.
    • Not that it matters much, since he got better just a few episodes later.
      • There are a lot of these on Supernatural. Dean did go to hell. Viewers who had seen the publicity for later seasons would know that when Zachariah smote Cas, it wasn't permanent. Also for viewers watching the fourth season, Sam and Dean are not going to stop all the seals from being broken. And -as the intro re-cap for the early episodes of season five will tell you - Lilith was the final seal .
  • Season 4 of Dexter was spoiled during the ad campaign for Season 5
    • The DVD cases of later seasons show Dexter with a potentially-evil baby wearing a bib saying "My Dad is a Killer". Wait, Dexter had a kid?
    • The Dexter website describes the death of his wife at the end of Season 4, an important and unexpected plot point
  • If you've watched the first two series of Torchwood and wonder why in official images and the DVD cover for the third season only Jack, Gwen, and Ianto appear... oops.
    • If you've watched the third series of Torchwood and wonder why in official images and the DVD cover for the fourth season only Jack, Gwen and some new guys appear... oops.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation begins with a Time Skip that picks up with a new group of students (and the original students from Degrassi High) more than a decade after the final episode, "School's Out". If you watch the new series before the original, most of the surprises (Joey and Caitlin's breakup, Spike having a child named Emma that she has to raise on her own, Lucy's paralysis) are spoiled.
    • Later seasons of Next Generation spoil plot points from earlier episodes in their DVD boxart. Why yes, Jimmy is now in a wheelchair and J.T. is suspiciously absent from the episode summaries of the latter half of the series. More notably, the cast changeover (and graduation of most of the previous students) is spoiled by the DVD boxart for everything after season 9.
  • Watching Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger and yet not up to par on your Super Sentai knowledge despite Gokaiger being an anniversary series? Too bad, because the subject matter of episode 28 is the death of Gai Yuuki in Choujin Sentai Jetman, which happens to be the final scene of that series!
  • The trailer for the then-unaired second season of Battlestar Galactica Reimagined spoiled the major twist of the previous season's finale (Commander Adama being shot in the CIC) in its very first shot, while blatantly spoiling several other elements (Why is Boomer wearing a bandage over her cheek? Why is Gaius Baltar lying injured on a planet? Why is Starbuck with Helo and Sharon all of a sudden? Why are Lee Adama and President Roslin in a brig?) And, even though Adama is shot, he still appears (uniform and all) on the DVD cover art for the second season.
    • Likewise, the season 3 trailer spoils the fact that most of the fleet has settled on New Caprica, and that Tigh is missing one of his eyes.
    • The fourth-season trailer begins with, "Last season Starbuck Returned...4 Were Revealed", before showing the faces of the four Cylons whose identities were (up to that point) a secret.
    • Roslin's terminal cancer doesn't stop her appearing on the cover of the final series DVD boxset.
  • The second-season trailer for The Walking Dead (which was released months before its official premiere) shows the entire cast hiding from a horde of walkers during a forced stop on a congested highway, and then staring out from the side of the highway afterwards - minus several characters who were present in the first season's advertising campaign. So, if you're wondering where Amy, Jim, Jacqui, Ed and Morales (who left with his family) went, well...the second season premiere goes one further and gives a recap of the previous season's events, with the line, "We lost some people."
  • Roswell: The summary on the back of the second season's boxed set mentions that Alex dies, which is an out-of-nowhere twist that comes two-thirds of the way through the season.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The identity of the White Ranger[3] spoiled on the back of a game card.
  • The season 2 commercials for Sherlock showed who Moriarty was, despite the fact that it was part of the major cliffhanger at the end of the first season.


Pro Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Since tickets for wrestling shows go on sale months ahead of time, there have been cases where advertised matches spoil an upcoming Heel Face Turn, Face Heel Turn, or and absent wrestler's surprise return.
  • Also, DVD and Blu-ray releases of PPV events can spoil what were surprise returns at the PP Vs (like Daniel Bryan's return at Summer Slam 2010) in their match lists or the front cover can spoil the outcome of the main event (like CM Punk triumphantly holding the WWE Championship on the cover of the Money in the Bank 2011 DVD).
    • If you look closely on the cover of the SummerSlam cover described above, you can actually see Daniel Bryan brawling with John Cena, Chris Jericho, Edge, Wade Barrett, and nine other Superstars! Presumably, most first-time viewers didn't look that carefully before they watched the show.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Numerous previews of Knights of the Old Republic 2 spoiled the big plot twist of the first game, as did many articles about the game beyond a few months after its release that refer to the main character as Revan.
  • Throughout the development of Halo, the existence of the Flood was kept a secret. Afterwards, they were still considered spoiler material, and magazines avoided directly referring to them. Then the second Halo novel was called Halo: The Flood.
    • And just to drive the point home, the cover of said novel was a picture of Master Chief fighting the Flood.
    • Speaking of Halo, the confirmation that Halo 4 will feature Master Chief spoiled the fact that Master Chief didn't really die at the end of Halo 3, which can be seen after the end credits.
  • It is revealed in The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker that Tetra is actually the titular Princess Zelda. Phantom Hourglass being the direct sequel, this information is shown in the opening cinematic.
    • Spirit Tracks, despite skipping two generations, does still manage to ruin this twist for anybody who hasn't played The Wind Waker yet, thanks to Tetra building a massive stained glass window, despicting herself (in Pirate-garb!!!) in the thoronation-chamber and to Zelda praying to Queen Tetra herself, clearly saying her civilian name, before the Final Boss Battle. At least's it's not as obvious as in the Phantom Hourglass case, as both of this instances are easy to miss if you're not familiar with the character Tetra yet.
  • Nintendo doesn't seem to consider Sheik's identity in Ocarina of Time as much of a spoiler, what with Zelda's ability to turn into Sheik in Super Smash Bros.. Melee.
    • Nintendo may have some justification in this. After all, Ocarina of Time was one of the more popular games for the N64, and it was released in 1998, giving most Nintendo fans three years to figure it out...
    • For fans of the EarthBound series, if they wish not to be spoiled by its sequel Mother 3, they would have to avoid Brawl as well. Brawl includes one of the last areas of the game as a stage and the next-to-last boss of the game as boss in the Subspace Emissary mode. At best the fans hope Brawl spurs Nintendo into doing a localization of the game, like Melee got Nintendo localizing Fire Emblem titles.
      • Not to mention, Lucas's trophy text mentions a somewhat big spoiler, specifically about how he would eventually have to fight his brother Claus in the end.
    • Don't forget the trophies you collect! Some of them have spoilers for other games in them (In Melee, the trophy description for Custom Robo 2's Annie ends by saying, "At the climax of the story, Nanase fell prey to temptation and stained her hands with the illegal robot Majei. This act ultimately set the stage for her undeniably tragic end.").
    • The trophies also spoiled an awful lot from Twilight Princess, namely: Ganondorf was the villain the whole time, and Midna was the Twilight Princess. If you truly want to avoid spoilers for almost every game that Nintendo has made, you're better off avoiding the trophies altogether if possible.
  • Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow games had no problems mentioning the Big Reveal at the end of its prequel, Aria of Sorrow' -- that protagonist Soma Cruz is the Reincarnation of Dracula. Heck, it says it outright on the back of the box.
  • Casual screenshots of Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories will spoil an event that happens to someone in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness....Namely, that Laharl isn't a complete asshole, and airheaded Love Freak ultra-pure Angel trainee Flonne has fallen from grace and become an airheaded love free ultra-pure Devil trainee. And don't even try playing it if you mind spoilers, because the intro movie reveals the same thing. Also, Prinny Kurtis is part of the storyline.
    • The opening of Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice spoils this too. So does merely shopping at the Rosenqueen store in real life. In fact, it's hardly worth tagging the spoiler anymore.
    • When playing La Pucelle, a spiritual predecessor to Disgaea, that there is a pair of secret scenes where Priere becomes a Demon Lord and Demon Overlord is technically a spoiler. However, with La Pucelle: Ragnarok, the remake of La Pucelle, Priere's demon form is right on the cover. Of course, it's now a full route, not merely an ending. And she has appeared in four later NIS games as a "secret" character, and another as DLC, in full demonic glory no less, it's not much of a secret to anyone with an interest in their games.
      • On top of that, many secret characters aren't. It's practically expected that the major characters of previous Disgaea games will appear, even in remakes, plus Asagi since Makai Kingdom, plus a splattering of others. It's just a question of which characters from those games will appear.
  • Bentley's surprise crippling at the Bittersweet Ending of Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves was used as a device to show that the gang's trials and travails affect them permanently, despite the Saturday-morning-cartoon art direction. Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves showed him in a wheelchair (if a tricked-out one, since Bentley is the team's Gadgeteer Genius) on the front of the box.
    • The back of the instruction manual for the Greatest Hits re-release of Sly 2: Band of Thieves has an ad for the then-upcoming Sly 3 featuring Bentley in his wheelchair and foreshadowing Murray's brief absence from the team.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Justice for All, one character gets into a truly life-threatening situation in that game's final episode. Which is fine and dandy, except the boxart for Trials and Tribulations is an immediate giveaway that this character survives. Though, to be fair, Mia is also on the box, so it could be said that Capcom at least tried to subvert this.
    • A certain character's Heel Face Turn is given away by the fact that he has his own spinoff.
    • Oddly averted in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. Edgeworth never actually mentions why he stopped following the path of von Karma and someone playing the game first might assume it was due to soul-searching and personal moral decisions. They would be unaware that in the first game Edgeworth discovered that von Karma murdered his father and raised him as a heartless prosecutor as revenge for Edgeworth's father giving him a penalty in court. In fact, most of the big spoilery events of the earlier games are either not mentioned or referred to so lightly (such as Franziska being shot)a newbie might think they're talking about a Noodle Incident.
    • The fact that Adrian Andrews shows up in case 3-2 completely ruins a dramatic moment at the end of the second game if you played the third one first.
  • The Metal Gear Solid franchise has many examples of this:
    • Almost every sequel after the original game repeatedly mentions that Solid Snake and Liquid Snake are clones of Big Boss.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, despite the promotional material and game box hiding the twist, the manual has to tell the player (by necessity) that Snake isn't the main character - Raiden is. The game also runs into All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game" territory - it's taught in game design courses and referred to by almost everyone who plays the game as being fourth-wall breaking, insane and incomprehensible (thereby spoiling most of the shock value to new players).
    • The main selling point of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is that it chronicles Big Boss' Start of Darkness. It was originally meant to be a reveal, but now doesn't need to be spoiler-marked.
      • The trailer for the Nintendo 3DS remake of MGS3 shows off the beginning of the Snake/Boss battle from the end of the game, spoiling her end-of-Act 1 defection to the Soviet Union.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots got this bad. Not only does Snake's role as the main character mean that the plot twist of MGS2 is spoiled for anyone who hasn't played it, but Meryl Silverburgh's appearance is evidence of the canonical ending of MGS1. In addition, Snake's rapid aging in the game means that the whole plot twist of FOXDIE (and the nanomachines) in the original game is rendered pointless for anyone who's new to the series.
    • The marketing for Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance will have anyone who didn't play MGS4 asking, "Wait, why is Raiden a robot?"
  • The ending of Final Fantasy XII left you hanging right up until the moment before the credits on whether or not Balthier and Fran die in a heroic act. Unfortunately, shortly before the game was actually released in North America, there was already a trailer for Revenant Wings (the Nintendo DS sequel) circling the web which revealed them to be alive and well. Any English fan who saw the trailer before reaching the end of the first game were therein stolen any and all suspense on the reveal that Balthier and Fran lived after all.
    • Their survival was hinted by Penelo, who pointed out that their airship couldn't have been stolen if the original owners were retaking it. They also received a letter presumably from Balthier and Fran, as it included Ashe's wedding ring that Balthier 'looted' from her (which he said he'd return if he found something of greater value)
  • The big spoiler for the first Mega Man Battle Network game, Mega Man is a Replacement Goldfish of sorts made from Lan's dead brother, is mentioned a few times in latter games, however because it is not explicitly explained either, it and the occasional use of the plural "Sons" can get confusing if you didn't play the first game or read it on the internet.
    • A bit less of an issue in the Japanese—indeed, one of the easy ways to tell that one of the heroes is about to do something extra dangerous or heroic (to levels beyond what the Leitmotif can handle) is when Netto busts out the "Saito-niisan". Also, newbies get another chance in the second game, where a random NPC scientist helpfully reminds you that Mega Man is your resurrected brother.
    • Interestingly, the sixth game instead treats it as if it was a reveal again—it is subtly hinted at in their interactions throughout and then explained/revealed by Lan to his friends in the very last scene. The secret is treated with exactly the care you'd expect if this was the first entry in the series rather than the last.
  • Speaking of Mega Man, the fact that Dr. Wily is a villain for all of the games in the original series technically spoils about half of those games (specifically, games Mega Man 3-6 and 9-10). But the ending of 9 references all of these endings anyways.
    • Of course, 9 plays around with the trope - even in the introductory story, Mega Man suspects Dr. Wily (he just doesn't have proof yet), and the achievement given by the game for beating it is called "Wily Masher".
      • 10 has the same achievement as well.
    • From Mega Man X, you should know that someone's going to die in the first game, since the plot of the second game revolves around resurrecting him.
    • Also, how many games have explicitly stated that Zero is Dr. Wily's masterpiece? Let's see, there's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, and Mega Man X 5 onward. Not so much of a secret now than how X4 revealed it, huh?
      • Or, just ask any Mega Man fan if they're even aware of the fact.
      • Ironically, Zero's own series never even alluded to this fact.[4]
  • The cover of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Spirit Caller (a video game based on the events of the first and part of the second seasons of the show) spoils the fact that Syrus is promoted to Ra Yellow, even though he even starts off in Red in the actual game.
  • The spirit meter mechanic of Mask of the Betrayer is explicity stated by the manual to be a spoiler; this doesn't stop every review from detailing it.
    • It didn't stop Atari's PR Department from making it a selling point either.
  • Sure, you could play any of the .hack games out of order if you wanted to, but be prepared to be spoiled since 1.) The intros serve as a recap and 2.) Each game picks up immediately after the previous one. And let's not forget that the games themselves spoil the anime series since they serve as prequels to the games. For example, .hack//Roots hadn't even been translated when .hack//GU came out so everyone who played the game knew that Shino gets Pked and sent into a coma. It's insanely hard to avoid spoilers in this All There in the Manual series.
  • The opening cinematic for Final Fantasy IV DS just assumes that you already know the whole plot, and it spoils, among other things, that Cecil has to fight Kain at one point, that Cecil becomes a paladin and fight against his own inner darkness, that Kain is intensely jealous that Rosa is with Cecil, that the Tower of Babil is actually the storage place for a giant mech that can destroy the world and the Red Wings and Dwarves are going to fight it, that Rydia eventually returns and can even summon the Leviathan that seems to kill her, they reveal the final team including Kain, and finally as the coup de grace they reveal the Lunar Whale that takes you to the moon. Of course, this is a grand tradition with the game; the original American release revealed in the instruction manual that FuSoYa would be joining your party, and was from the moon.
    • Of course, the game is almost old enough to vote in the United States, so...
      • You'll play through the game a little differently after you learn which character is going to betray your party right before a critical boss fight, possibly taking some of your better equipment with them if you didn't prepare accordingly.
    • Also, when you meet Jammingway and he shows you the music player; the character playing (and adding lines of narration to) the music is Edward, who at that point in the game, is presumed dead. If you haven't played the game before and don't know that he's alive; this is kind of a giveaway, because using a dead character for the music player would be... kinda...
  • Persona 4 amazingly spoils nothing from Persona 3 despite taking place in the same world two years later. It does use the front of the box to spoil who joins your party though.
  • The sequel to F.E.A.R., Project Origin, pretty much assumes that the player knows Alma is both Paxton Fettel and the F.E.A.R. Point Man's mother, and is the cause of the rampant psychic madness rolling through the city.
  • Back before Infinity came out, the idea that the protagonist in Marathon might be the 10th Mk. IV cyborg was seen as a wild and hotly contested piece of Fanon by most players. Now, of course, many descriptions of the game refer to him simply as "the Marathon cyborg", even though this still hasn't been made entirely explicit by the game itself.
  • Yuna's mere presence in Final Fantasy X-2 spoils the fact that she doesn't die at the end of Final Fantasy X.
    • Tidus's conspicuous absence and Yuna's search for him gives some indication of what happens to him at the end of the previous game.
    • And of course the only people who would be spoiled by that first one are the people who played to the ~ 3/4 point where it is revealed that the summoner dies during the final summon, but did not proceed to the end of the game itself.
      • I (who posted the example) got to that point in the game just as X-2 first started getting advertised. Lucky me.
    • Notice that a certain legendary guardian isn't around in X-2, either... because he died before X. Also dead in Kingdom Hearts II, which is how he gets summoned by Hades.
  • For the European release of Final Fantasy VII, the back of the case shows Cloud placing Aeris' lifeless body in a body of water, therefore spoiling her shock death.
    • It was spoiled in American commercials for the game as well, as that same FMV was featured prominently in at least one ad on MTV. With a voiceover saying "a love that could never be", just for good measure.
  • Advance Wars 2 promotional work featured prominently the Black Hole army, whose existence is the major plot twist in Advance Wars.
    • The game's full title is Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising.
    • The plot twist in the game, which is that Hawke kills Sturm, is mentioned twice in general conversation in the next game.
  • The Sam and Max Freelance Police: Season Two Collector's DVD cover spoils what T-H-E-I-R spaceship really looks like.
  • The Mortal Kombat series is replete with these, starting with the fact that anyone who plays the original MK after either MKII or MK 3 will be confused by the notion of Shang Tsung as a) the boss and b) old. Later games reveal that Reptile is an actual reptile and no longer wears a mask, Liu Kang is a zombie in Armageddon because he died at Shang Tsung's hands at the start of Deadly Alliance, Kitana is a heroic princess, Mileena is Kitana's evil monster-clone, Sindel is Kitana's mother, Noob Saibot was Sub-Zero in the first game and is the current Sub-Zero's older brother....it goes on and on. Many of these are spoiled in character backstories at the start of the later game; some are obvious just from seeing the character portrait!
  • In Tales of Symphonia, the fact that there are actually two worlds is supposed to be a big reveal several hours into the game. Of course, it's pretty much impossible to read anything about this game without that fact being spoiled, including the back of the game case, where it says, "The line between good and evil blurs in this epic adventure where the fate of two interlocked worlds hangs in the balance."
    • The game being a prequel to Tales of Phantasia, despite not really affecting either game's plot, is supposed to be a closely guarded secret. Come on, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World reuses the Phantasia map!
    • Mithos being the Big Bad is frequently mentioned, although it's not always mentioned that he's Mithos the hero.
    • It's hard to look at any fan work for any length of time without finding out that one character's absent dad doesn't stay absent and other associated spoilers.
  • Like the example of Mother 3 and Super Smash Bros Brawl, English players who never played Japanese version of Tales of Graces, but will play its expanded version Tales of Graces f in 2012, will no doubt be spoiled by the very cover if one looks close enough that both Asbel's eyes aren't the same color, even though they are throughout the most of the game, and Richard and Sophie wear some new clothes not present in the main arc, implying that Richard and Sophie don't die at the end.
  • The PlayStation remake of Lunar: The Silver Star is horrible about this. You should have absolutely no doubts in your mind as to who the Goddess is and what the Magic Emperor does with her, since Dark Althena is right on the box. It kind of sucks the suspense out of the plot. It does not help that the game allows you to play Alex's Ocarina to hear the soundtrack...and one of the BG Ms blows the identity of the Magic Emperor by using the full name of the track, "Magic Emperor Ghaleon".
  • Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core stars a protagonist who is a spoiler. His existence, appearance and role are almost entirely unknown until Cloud untangles his Tomato Surprise, very late in the game. Mails sent to this protagonist casually drop facts like SOLDIERs being implanted with Jenova cells (a major spoiler in the original, since it explains that Cloud's reason for wanting to hunt down Sephiroth isn't simply revenge), and - well, when Cloud shows up and he's a Shinra grunt rather than a SOLDIER First Class, that twist is ruined for you.
    • The truth about Cloud was already prematurely spoiled in 1999, in Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, where his alternate costume was a Shinra infantry uniform.
    • Not to mention the biggest spoiler of all: Zack dies at the end, which is why he's not in the main game.
      • And if you have played the original you know Zack dies, which puts both games in the uncomfortable situation that any of the two games spoils the other, so no matter in which order you play it, you're still screwed.
    • If you watch Advent Children, you'll get some spoilers for the main game ( Rufus: Cloud, you'll help us, won't you? You used to be in SOLDIER. Cloud: In my head.), but god help you if you watch Advent Children Complete. Crisis Core and Before Crisis are both spoiled rather easily, and if you watch the Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII Compilation, well, you're screwed (though that's the point).
  • In the original Resident Evil, S.T.A.R.S. commander Albert Wesker isn't exactly the nice guy he first appears to be, but he ends up dying in the end of the game. His return from the death was actually a big surprise twist in Resident Evil Code: Veronica, but the subsequent Code: Veronica X re-release spoils this by showing Wesker's face on the title screen, while being packaged with a bonus DVD titled "Wesker's Report", which narrates the events of the previous installments from Wesker's perspective. Every sequel and prequel afterward involving Wesker makes it obvious that he's a villain. In Resident Evil 5, Wesker dies for real this time, or so it seems.
  • Fate Stay Night: Gilgamesh's presence (and less likely, his class) is usually not hidden at all by promotional materials or other sources, and Fate/Unlimited Codes has both him and Dark Sakura as playable characters from the get-go.
    • Hell, the fact that Kotomine is, in fact, the Big Bad, as well as the above mentioned Servant's Master, and not merely a Jerkass comes as a surprise late in the first route/anime to anyone who wasn't spoiled, which is practically no-one, thanks in part to Fate/Unlimited Codes and the fandom in general.
    • Likewise Fate/Zero spoils the fact that Rin and Sakura are sisters VERY early on.
  • Many works parodying or otherwise discussing EarthBound reveal the final boss's weakness.
  • Valve Corporation's Marketing Team spoiled the fact that you are hundreds of years in the future in Portal 2, and that GLaDOS is still alive, and back online. Anyone who hasn't played the original game won't be surprised at the twists in the original game.
  • Present in the Kingdom Hearts series:
    • Due to Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2, if you didn't know that Roxas is the Nobody of Sora, and that Roxas was a member of Organization XIII, then you're in for a bit of a shock.
    • Chain of Memories (which was released for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance) assumes that the player has played the original game (which was released for a rival console system, namely the Sony PlayStation 2). In other words, this trope comes into play especially, if a player didn't have a PlayStation 2, but did have a GBA and was interested in the series.
    • And now the trailer for Dream Drop Distance spoils Birth By Sleep. Specifically, it shows Vanitas unmasked. Those planning on playing Birth by Sleep should avoid watching the end of the trailer.
  • In the opening cinematic of God of War II, we learn that Kratos is the God of War, not Ares.
    • The God of War Collection has helpful trophy descriptions, viewable as soon as you start the game, such as "Daddy Issues: Defeat Zeus."
    • Also, if you happen to speak Greek, the goddamn title song is a spoiler, as the lyrics, translated, are:

The end begins! The end begins! The end begins! The end begins now!
Betrayal, rage, rage! The end begins now!
I will kill him! I will kill him!
Patricide! Genocide!
I will kill them all! Olympus shall fall!

  • The videogame conventions the player takes no notice of initially in Haze are supposed to be Painting the Fourth Wall, as it turns out they're actually being implemented on the Player Character. This Plot Twist would be more of a surprise if it hadn't been spoiled by every single preview of the game after a certain point. Those frathouse manchildren who are your comrades in arms? They're actually on drugs, and literally can't register the death and destruction they cause.
  • [[Dissidia: Final Fantasy]], while not requiring you to play the games to understand its own story, spoils major plot elements of the games it draws its characters from, such as casual mentions in the story mode that Golbez is really Cecil's brother, The Emperor takes over Hell, Terra is half-Esper and Kefka is a god, and Jecht is the Final Aeon. Particularly jarring is the mere presence of some characters, like the Cloud of Darkness who is never mentioned at all in Final Fantasy III until the tail end, and is in Dissidia presenting the game. Also Ultimecia, who only starts playing a role 3/4 of the way into Final Fantasy VIII, and who you only SEE during 2 to 3 cutscenes.
  • The Legacy of Kain series spoils itself in the openings. Especially the opening cinema of Soul Reaver 2.
    • Or Soul Reaver, where the intro is pretty much the first game's (Blood Omen's) twist ending retold.
  • Nintendo seems to feel that anybody interested in buying the Sky edition of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon should already know the parts of the plot from Time/Darkness. This goes to the point that they include an animated special that spoils pretty much the entire game up to that point as a pre-order bonus. Add to this the clear hints in the commercials and the info on Sky's website and it's all over. WAY TO GO NINTENDO!
  • It was impossible to see any commercials for Pokémon Platinum that didn't spoil Cyrus's status as Team Galactic's boss or the fact that he tries to summon a legendary or two. Guess they assumed that everyone had played Pokémon Diamond and Pearl...
    • Pokémon Red and Blue had Team Rocket breaking up, and Blue being the Champion. Come Pokémon Gold and Silver, and those are ingrained into the plot. It's probably even worse for the remakes, since a lot of kids who play it probably haven't played the Kanto games or their remakes.
  • Pretty much everything in the first Jak and Daxter game falls under this, as does the fact that Ashelin is Praxis' daughter and Errol coming back as an Omnicidal Maniac. So far, the series' biggest and most shocking plot twist has avoided this, despite its major effect on the character dynamic... or at least, the effect it could/should have had.
  • The prologue screen in the Sega Genesis Beat'Em Up Last Battle isn't so much of a prologue as it is a plot summary of the WHOLE GAME itself. This is partly because Last Battle was originally a Hokuto no Ken game that was rebranded and lazily localized for its overseas release.
  • Opening (or so) lines to Morgan Webb's review of Persona 3 Fes: "As you know, the original protagonist of the Persona 3 perished at the end of the game." Take That, nerds who hold out for Special Edition releases.
  • BlazBlue. Kokonoe's a catgirl, Ragna and Jin are brothers, Hakumen is future!Jin, and Hazama is Terumi. The first two barely count as spoilers, since they're both casually mentioned in the Fourth Wall Mail Slot.
    • Continuum Shift 2 got a new opening FMV that shows Noel turning into Mu-12.
  • Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble II (and further games in the Bubble Bobble series): The boys? They were transformed (before) into bubble dragons. Family confusion and Red Herrings aside, the Attract Modes show this.
  • In Chrono Trigger for the DS the dojo section features pictures of the various techs in action. This is fine as they're only unlocked after you learn them, however some of the first techs unlocked show Magus in your party, who won't join you until near the end of the game.
    • And also, the SNES version's manual contained a profile on all recruitable characters, including this surprise character.
  • Ratchet and Clank 3 contains one line which spoils both of the previous two games. Ratchet explains that Captain Qwark teamed up with Drek in the first game and alludes to, but doesn't explain, the character's involvement with the Protopet project in the second. The former is actually spoilt before that, as a photo of the two is shown on the screen.
    • Being the final volume of a trilogy, A Crack in Time outright summarizes Tools of Destruction and Quest for Booty in its unskippable intro FMV (as the game needs to install data, so interrupting it would otherwise corrupt).
    • The trailers for A Crack in Time casually give away that Doctor Nefarious survived the end of Up Your Asrenal.
      • It was never implied that Nefarious and Lawrence were dead. UYA out-and-out said that they were stranded on an asteroid in the middle of space. This was referenced in Ratchet: Deadlocked, too. It could be argued that the trailers spoiled the fact that they got off of the asteroid.
  • The Wiiware release of Cave Story contains some extra playing modes in addition to the original game, none of which require any sort of unlocking. So you can spoil the boss fights by playing the Boss Rush game before the main game, or you can spoil the existence of a character who's introduced one-third into the game by playing "Curly Story" first.
    • The Cave Story 3D box art also makes it quite obvious that the main character is a robot.
  • In the second Super Robot Wars Original Generation game, two villains (Axel Almer and Einst Alfimi) are supposedly killed off, but they come Back from the Dead and perform a Heel Face Turn in the half-sequel Original Generation Gaiden (which is not quite a Gaiden Game). In an actual Gaiden Game, Endless Frontier EXCEED, they casually appear on the cover as main characters. This will be especially jarring if EXCEED is released in America, since the game where they were killed off was localized while the one where they came back wasn't.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Daybreak Portable's opening theme contains a shot of Natsumi wielding a butcher knife and bearing a very lovely Slasher Smile. Sure hope you've seen all the way through either Onisarashi-hen or Someutsushi-hen.
  • In World of Warcraft, players who don't haven't completed Drakuru's quests in Grizzly Hills (and who may not have even met him), will likely have the twist spoiled if they complete Drak'theron Keep with a player who has his last Grizzly Hills quest, which reveals that he's working with the Lich King. Similarly, the Black Knight is listed as the prerequisite for the achievement for completing the Trial of the Champion, spoiling the twist that he comes back from the dead. Icecrown Citadel raids often advertise themselves as being up to Saurfang, which prematurely reveals that Varok Saurfang's son was reanimated as a death knight after the Wrathgate battle.
    • Due to the nature of questing through Northrend, players are much more likely to run into this trope in Zul'Drak, the zone after Grizzly Hills, when they begin the Ebon Blade quests and see that Drakuru is a Scourge commander running a necropolis.
    • The current loading screen for Northrend shows the Lich King is not Arthas. When players defeat the Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon takes Arthas' place, because without a Lich King the Scourge will go out of control.
  • StarCraft suffers quite severely from this trope, thanks to the fact that the expansion pack "Brood War" centered around the Queen of the Blades, formerly known as Sarah Kerrigan, even going as far to have her get all the attention for the merchandising. In case there was a chance that someone didn't recognize her, Starcraft 2 instead used a flashback of New Gettysburg in their commercials and promo material.
    • In StarCraft II, the official site description for Heart of the Swarm gives away the ending to Wings of Liberty that Kerrigan gets deinfested.
  • Some editions of The Longest Journey include a trailer for the sequel, Dreamfall on the disc. If you watch that trailer it makes it pretty obvious that April won't become the next guardian at the end of the first game.
  • The main plot twist of King's Quest III to Heir Is Human is spoiled by almost every installment afterwards. That slave kid...isn't. And his real name ain't "Gwydion," either.
  • The opening sequence of Final Fight 2 begins with a shot of Cody punching out Belger from a high-rise building.
  • Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare starts at a point that was near the very end of the original Red Dead Redemption, so a lot of spoilery stuff is liberally stated. For example, Luisa, Bill, Dutch, and many others are dead, Reyes has taken control over Mexico, and Ross has released John's family from captivity.
    • The postgame of Undead Nightmare also reveals that John dies. It doesn't reveal how it happened though
  • Metroid: Samus Is a Girl, combining this and It Was His Sled. Newer Metroid games don't even try to hide Samus' gender, effectively spoiling the ending of the first game every time it shows it.
  • Following the events of the first Professor Layton game, the young heiress Flora Reinhold comes to stay with the Professor. If you haven't played through the first game yet, this is a spoiler for at least one plot element. However, she is clearly present in the second and third games, (occasionally) promotional art, and the prologue to the prequel movie, Eternal Diva.
  • The fandom of Umineko no Naku Koro ni doesn't hide the fact that there is a Groundhog Day Loop going on, as well as the magical beings that keep appearing per arc. The PS3 version is even worse, where they blatantly show all the magical beings that appear in future arcs (until EP4) in the opening, nonetheless.
  • The first trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 blatantly spoils the fact that the death of Imran Zakhaev (the Big Bad of the first game) is what directly causes the antagonist of the sequel, Makarov, and his splinter group to seek revenge.
    • Likewise, Modern Warfare 3's trailer spoils the fact that Vladimir Makarov is still alive and well after the events of the second game, and that tensions between Russia and the U.S. have escalated into all-out warfare.
  • So, you've finally overcome the indecision on picking up Final Fantasy XIII after the fandom outcries and shocking scores. That's fine, and hey, since you have yet to play it you won't be so bored during the wait for the sequel, if you're interested. But in case you're curious, just know that it isn't a good idea to see the announcement trailer.
    • Now that the game has been released, it's safe to say it pretty much runs on this. The main menu gives you the option the hear the entire plot of the first game, narrated! Protip: don't look at the "Beginner's Primer" if you intend to play the original. Within the game itself, one of the last big twists of the original, the fact that Cocoon almost crashed into Pulse is casually stated numerous times within the first few minutes.
  • The marketing and trailers for Dead Space 2 assume that the viewer knows that Isaac Clarke is the only survivor of the events from the first game, and that every other character from the first installment (including your girlfriend Nicole, who is now showing up as a hallucination) has died). Likewise, the Severed DLC mission spoils the fact that Gabe and Lexine Weller are the only ones who survived the events of Dead Space: Extraction.
  • In the King of Fighters series, no game after '97 does much of anything to hide the fact that Yashiro, Shermie, and Chris are in fact Orochi cultists (e.g. '98 referring to them as the Orochi Team, rather than New Faces Team or Band Team).
  • Promotional material for Fire Emblem : Radiant Dawn seemed to consider that the Black Knight's identity was common knowledge, even though the fact that he's Zelgius is not revealed until the start of Part IV.
    • And even though Sword of Seals was released before Blazing Sword, the fact that the latter was the first Fire Emblem to be localized outside of Japan means that most players did not know that White Prince Zephiel was to become the former's nihilistic Big Bad, making his ending scene in Blazing Sword more of a Twist Ending than the Foregone Conclusion it was to those who had played Sword of Seals first.
  • The European boxart of Solatorobo shows both Red's Hybrid Trance form (though it doesn't identify it as anything) and advertises the fact that you uncover the "mysterious origins" of the world. Both of these do not even show up until the midpoint of the game - before that, Red has no idea he can Trance and the world simply "is".
  • Mass Effect 2's marketing runs on the fact that players are aware that Shepard destroyed Sovereign in the first game (which ruins the impact of Shepard's supposed "death" and reappearance). Likewise, the XBox Live Marketplace spoils a DLC mission titled "Normandy Crash Site". Wonder what that's all about?
    • Mass Effect 3 's trailers showcases a number of characters from the previous games, including ones who took part in the titular "suicide mission" of the previous installment (including Garrus, Tali, Jacob, Miranda and Legion). Ashley/Kaiden also show up front-and-center in the trailers, making the whole sequence where s/he's paralyzed by the Collectors in ME2 (and eventual rescue) a non-surprise. To make things worse, the Xbox Live Marketplace spoils the fact that you can recruit a Prothean squad member in the "From Ashes" DLC pack.
    • Mass Effect 3 (and to a lesser extent Mass Effect 2 through the Codex) shamelessly reveals the major plot twist from Mass Effect that the Reapers exist, and that Sovereign himself is actually a Reaper and not just a ship.
  • The reveal of SHODAN (the primary antagonist of the original game) in System Shock 2 (which occurs roughly halfway through the game) is considered by many to be one of the most shocking and surprising plot twists in any survival horror game in recent memory. It probably would have been a bigger surprise - if it wasn't already spoiled by the game's boxart (which have SHODAN front and center) or the game description on the back of the box.
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines, by virtue of being a POV Sequel to the 1986 film, spoils the climax of the movie (and its offscreen result) by necessity. The Hadley's Hope colony on LV-426 was almost completely destroyed due to an atmosphere processor explosion caused by the main characters in the film.
  • Want to avoid spoilers for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind? Then it might be a good idea to involve anything relating to the games that came out later, or any fandom discussions at all. Since The Elder Scrolls games let the player create their own character, the games are very careful to not make any specific details about previous heroes canon, and always make sure to give the player character a title for them to be referred to in future games. For the hero of Morrowind, that title is "The Nerevarine". The problem with this is that it's supposed to be a twist that the player character is the Nerevarine.
  • Fallout2's manual included The Vault Dweller's memoirs, which was essentially a spoiler and walkthrough for Fallout1.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • In general, the Cast and About pages of webcomics' sites, if they exist. Sometimes they just summarize what readers could figure out from an Archive Binge, but other times they're meant to be read first to give necessary backstory. But most of the time, the only way to really know is to read them first. And it's not uncommon in both cases for these pages to be updated as the strip progresses to touch on storylines from the strip's run, including plot twists.
    • Even putting the latest strip on the home page runs the risk of doing this. Woe betide any reader who just happens to arrive right after a major plot twist.
    • And if the site has a fan art section, avoid it like the plague until you've read the archives. Very often they depict not only characters but actual events from the strip's run.
  • A lot of the advertising, merchandise, and fan artwork surrounding Sluggy Freelance involves Oasis. Enough so that someone who starts reading the series from the beginning will probably guess something's up when she "dies" at the end of her introductory story in 1999, although it's Lampshaded even then.
  • El Goonish Shive: Ellen exists, and she doesn't stay a villain; Grace can shapeshift, and Tedd doesn't need glasses.
    • Still, the comic gets an honorable mention for (initially at least) having a cast page split between "spoilers" and "not spoilers".
  • Though Angel Moxie was good about this during its run, the website is not coy about such things now that the series is over and has rerun several times. The girls are shown in the powered-up forms they don't get until almost the end of the series, which also blows the revelation that all three girls are Legendary Heroes and not just the Magical Girl. The site synopsis is also just one giant spoiler of every plot point in the series.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures: You do know Dan is an incubus, right?
  • One especially Egregious example is Family Man by Dylan Meconis. Every single person who ever talks about it says, "Oh, it's a werewolf story"... despite the fact that the reveal hasn't even been drawn yet!
    • It's gotten to the point where many fans are starting to actually believe Meconis when she says that Luther from Bite Me and Luther from Family Man are only loosely the same person, and that Family Man is only "kind of" a prequel to Bite Me.
  • Parodied in Ansem Retort. Someone yells at Marluxia for ruining the fact that Qui-Gon Jinn dies in The Phantom Menace. That someone? Darth Maul.
  • Kevin and Kell: Lindesfarne and Danielle are both from the human world.
  • Order of the Stick books come with informative chapter introductions... that tell you bits of what is going to happen in the next chapter. And later chapters. And sometimes in later books. The assumption seems to be that nobody will be reading the books without having first read every strip online.
    • Though the first book does include a suggestion that you read the strips before the extra text.
  • Paradigm Shift: Every page has badge graphics for each act of the series. The badge for "Flight" makes it pretty clear what Kate's story is.
  • Flipside: Maytag and Bernadette are lovers.
  • Ozy and Millie: Captain Locke is Millie's father. It said so right on the Cast page, back when there still was one.
  • Homestuck: Official shirts and songs, along with oodles of fanart, spoil the existence of the Troll cast who are introduced a good ways into the story and at first appear to be vague, otherworldly antagonists to the main four kids. This may actually have been a good thing because of how many new readers the extended cast helped bring in once they were given their own A Day in the Limelight act.
    • Speaking of which, said arc treats the facts that Aradia is a ghost and that the trolls created the universe as surprises. Now, good luck finding a discussion on the trolls that doesn't mention either of these.
      • Honestly though given that it's a free webcomic with the entirety of it's archives intact, most people openly discuss spoilers constantly and fan discussions almost never spoiler tag anything, mostly because aside from a small subset of fans that are reading the comic slowly, most of the fanbase has read it up to the current pages.
    • To a lesser extent, the appearances of John's three friends (especially the long-delayed reveal of gardenGnostic; Homestuck started in April 2009 and she did not make a physical appearance until October of the same year)) and their guardians.
    • The What Pumpkin store used to spoil which characters have gone god-tier. However, that very concept wasn't introduced until well into the storyline, so you'd have to have read up until that point, stopped, and then gone there to be actually spoiled by it. Also, the store now carries shirts for people who have not attained god-tier, removing the spoiler effect. Though it could be argued that they may spoil the concept of god-tier for new readers and what the outfits look like.
    • Averted with regards to the Alpha Session, a major spoiler for Act 5, which is fairly well kept, on this wiki at least.
      • However! Reading Homestuck regularly, it's almost hard to remember that some of the Alpha kids' names and appearances, especially Dirk's, were major (and tantalizing) spoilers, especially when the logs on the left-hand side of the page regularly indicate their actions.
      • Though Lord English's identity, one of the greatest mysteries of the comic up until his introduction, gets thrown about fairly casually.
  • This Penny Arcade details this very phenomenon, regarding movies. Specifically King Kong and The Passion of the Christ. As Gabe puts it, there's a statute of limitations on this kind of thing.
  • The titular Girl Genius is always referred to as Agatha Heterodyne, despite the fact that her true identity takes a whole story arc to be revealed. YMMV on how much of a spoiler this is.
  • The seventh Electric Wonderland comic dramatically revealed Lululu's mermaid tail. After the cartoonist wrote some character bios in June 2010, newcomers who clicked the "newbie? go here!" button on the Platypus Comix home page could find out about her tail beforehand. The bios also spoil the fact that Natasha Wing, the seemingly random policegirl who appeared at the end of the sixth comic, is actually friends with protagonist Trawn.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • At the end of Lonelygirl15 season one, Bree Avery dies. This is spoiled 21 episodes into Kate Modern. Similarly, the Twist Ending of "The Unthinkable Happened" was a huge shock when it was first shown, but is completely spoiled for anyone who knows that the following episode's title is "Bree's Dad is Dead"; the phrase "deader than Bree's dad" has since become a fan idiom. Also, anyone who so much as visits the site is likely to discover that Patient #11 survived the Hart Study, a major plot twist for the second series. Even the fact that the Hymn of One is evil was a huge revelation in the original series, but is now treated as the entire premise of the show. As one may surmise, Lonelygirl15 is fairly lax about keeping spoilers secret.
  • The Kate Modern website contains a video which spoils all the main twists of season 2, which plays automatically when you visit the site.
  • Survival of the Fittest examples rarely spoiler the fact that Adam Dodd won v1 and indeed it is commonly talked about on the boards as Members assume that everybody already knows about this. Even Adam's return is made flagrantly obvious by the fact the character has two pages on the SOTF wiki (one for each v1 and v3). There's also that, y'know, he's actively played on the board, and nobody isn't going to notice that a v3 character as the same name and ID number as a v1 character.
    • Basically, people tend to assume that anything that happened before the current version is now (or should be) general knowledge.
  • The Big Bad of the first couple years of stories in the Whateley Universe was Smug Snake Don Sebastiano, because he had the power to psychically Mind Rape two powerful students and turn them into his mindslaves, and even the administration couldn't prove anything was done to them. Since the story Christmas Elves was released, it is common knowledge among the story characters (who talk it over) and on the forums that he didn't do it. Hekate used incredibly dark Mythos magics to enslave them, and Don Sebastiano was implicitly taking the credit.
  • Many commentaries on The Classic Doctor Who Twitter Blog make references to serials not covered yet, due to the proprietor herself experiencing a massive intake of this trope.
  • The DVD covers for Halo-based Machinima series Red vs. Blue have regularly done this.
    • Spoilers are on many of the DVD covers, though always made somewhat vague - for instance, the back of the first season DVD mentions a ghost and a psychotic mercenary, who are introduced as twists halfway through the season, but don't reveal that the ghost is a main character who is shockingly killed, or that the mercenary is his girlfriend.
    • The series' jump to Halo 2 during season three was something of an Untwist, as even though the moment was treated dramatically in-universe as a jump to the "future" as signified by the Art Shift, the creators told the fan community in advance that it would happen. But to anyone catching up and unaware, the DVD cover (and artwork on the website) ruined the surprise, by placing Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 versions of the same character side-by-side (as well as seasons four and five featuring only Halo 2 imagery on their DVD covers). Even further, an actual twist the fandom didn't expect, that certain scenes would be filmed using Marathon, is revealed by the Marathon version of the character appearing on the cover too. (The jump to Halo 3, on the other hand, didn't receive any in-universe distinction, with some episodes using both Halo 2 and Halo 3 during different scenes. Thus, it's not much of a spoiler that the newest DVD covers feature Halo 3 art.)
    • New characters are featured on DVD covers, most notably the Alien.
    • Season 8 introduces CGI action sequences. The first moment of this comes as a surprise as the camera slowly moves away from the characters in the scene while the viewer thinks that they can't possibly do what the scene seems to be suggesting. Then it happens. The Warthog crashes right through the wall! This moment is prominently featured on the DVD cover. There was also a commercial going around with focus on the CGI scenes in general.
      • Another Season 8 example: Within the first few minutes of the season premiere, and in that season's trailer, the viewer sees that Donut is dead and Washington has pulled a Face Heel Turn, which were both huge twists for the end of the previous season
  • This is highly common in works from The Slender Man Mythos, typically in the form of characters gleaning information about Slender Man from earlier works. Word of advice: if you plan on watching Marble Hornets or reading Just Another Fool, do not, by any means, watch or read anything posted at later dates.
  • The community of OC fics in the Pretty Cure fandom does tend to fall to this. Some authors spoil a lot before the episodes are out for the convenience of Spoiler Hounds, but even things that they kept secret, like Ashley's fate in the end of Perfume Preppy (and the incident that earned her the Fan Nickname "Cure Cannibal"), are treated as common knowledge in the fanwriter community after the episode is released. Even a cursory glance over character popularity spoils you. Dark Magical Girls get all the fanart and are the only ones usually put into the Pretty Cure Fan Fic Features, so if you're wondering why Emiru is on all these bonus story cast lists when she's completely normal and all the commenters on the first half of the series either don't mention her or hate her, well...
  • Parodied in Uncyclopedia: This article contains spoilers. Wait, I should have told you earlier? My bad.
  • Season Three of Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series is called The Cancelled Series, which is advertised as such and, therefore, spoils what happens at the end of season two.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The true identity of Longarm is one of the most shocking reveals of Transformers Animated... so naturally, it was all over the internet in a pretty big hurry. Then the toy came out. At this point, it's probably not likely to surprise many people any more.
    • It was over the internet before anyone who talked about it saw the episode. It aired in Dubai and this was about all the blurry screencaps could tell us.
    • Considering that he's a major player in the third season, if you're still not aware you're either blind or not up to date yet.
    • Also, Omega Supreme.
  • By at least halfway through the first Season of Transformers Prime, you should be aware that Cliffjumper is dead. It happened in the first five minutes of the show and it frequently gets brought up.
  • In Code Lyoko, Aelita is a human girl. And Franz Hopper is her dad, and the creator of Lyoko. If you don't want to be spoiled, it is absolutely imperative you watch the series in season order.
  • The title Phantasm in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is Bruce's ex-fiancée Andrea Beaumont. A clever viewer could figure this out anyway, but the toy division screwed up by releasing the Phantasm action figure, with removable hood, unmasked.
  • After announcing its pending cancellation, the third season of Danny Phantom was created in Nick Studios in Florida—then sent to air in Latin American countries six months before they were supposed to be aired in the US. Impatient fans wasted no time snatching up the episodes, translating them, and broadcasting them everywhere. And, if you didn't know via the internet that half of the ghosts had become more monster-like (Nocturne, Vortex, Undergrowth), Danny got ice powers, Danny was going to make an appearance in a ninja suit, and that Vlad became the mayor of Amity park, you were soon spoilered by said "surprises" through commercials and the episodes airing out of order.
  • The true nature of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 (2003) version of Shredder became this, particularly after it became necessary to qualify him as such in order to distinguish him from the other versions of the character.
    • This is also immediately spoiled (and lampshaded) in Turtles Forever if one hasn't seen the 2003 series at all. The 80's Shredder's reaction to the 2003 Shredder's true nature is likely to mimic that of viewers unfamiliar with the 2003 series. Likewise, it probably worked vice-versa (fans of the 00s series would be surprised by the 80s version's incompetence).
  • Commercials for the first season DVD of Total Drama Island blatantly showed who the final three would be Owen, Gwen, and Heather, and a press release for Total Drama World Tour revealed the final two of Total Drama Action when the season was still underway with six contestants left. They eventually caught this mistake and changed it to two other contestants, but the damage had been done.
    • World Tour itself has been plagued by this, first because Cartoon Network's commercials made it possible to figure the vote-off order, and then because Australia got the episodes and aired them in quick succession. Bizarrely, Canada (TD's home land) is getting the show after just about everybody else; even before Australia, most Canadian fans were Youtubing episodes after America aired them rather than waiting months for them to come out there.
  • The Venture Brothers creators have a habit of giving large spoilers during episode commentary on the DVD. Played straight when one commentator points out that spoilers have been given and the collective response is "No one watches the commentary before they watch the actual show!". Later subverted during a convention when the shows creators are confronted by a fan whose friend saw the commentary before the episodes being spoiled.

Doc Hammer: If you juggle fire I'm not gonna run around screaming, "Ahh you're gonna burn yourself!"(...)If you can't get out of the kitchen, don't cook a...baking good, I dunno; there's no platitude for a guy who watches the commentary before he finishes the season.

  • Bonus features on the DVDs containing the first 13 episodes of Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes consist of interviews revealing events from the second season, such as Skrulls replacing allies. In the process, the interviewees spoil events from the second half of season 1, such as Janet's friend Carol getting superpowers and Ultron attempting to destroy humanity.
  • In Re Boot, Megabyte and Hexadecimal being siblings came as a surprise in the late second season. Nowadays, it's common knowledge, is constantly referenced in subsequent episodes, and any biography of them will list this fact fairly early on.
  • The DVD boxset for season 14 of South Park reveals Mysterion's identity in the cover art.
  • Amazingly subverted in The Spectacular Spider-Man. Any reader of the comics knows that Norman Osborn is the Green Goblin. After dropping several hints to this effect, and even having Peter single out Norman as the most likely suspect, it turns out to be Harry. Taken a step further at the end of season 2, where Norman turned out to have been the Green Goblin all along, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. That's right, they managed to turn a Late Arrival Spoiler into a legitimate shock.
  • The opening credits for the Chilly Willy short "Chilly Chums" credit Grace Stafford as "Woody's voice", sort of spoiling the gag about Woody Woodpecker making a suprise cameo.
  1. The first time that it was supposed to air, the final episode of the School Days anime was replaced with thirty minutes of peaceful landscape scenery, including a boat on a lake, after it was deemed too close to home due to violent incidents in the news. This resulted in "NICE BOAT" being used to describe anything from censorship to being murdered
  2. The fact that one of the characters drowns to death
  3. Tommy, if you didn't know by now.
  4. There is, in fact, a minor allusion to it in the 4th game when Zero talks with Weil before the latter's final merge with Ragnarok Core. But it's very difficult to notice it unless one knew about the identity of Maverick Virus' original carrier and the identity of virus' creator. There's also one with the entirety of Omega's existence in the 3rd game, but likewise, it's difficult to notice anything other than Zero's age and power if one didn't know about the virus before.