Trailers Always Spoil

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Here's hoping you've seen the film already...
Watch The Mysterious Murderer. If you already saw it, don't spoil the ending. If you haven't seen it you will never guess until the last moment that the mysterious murderer is Jack the Stranger
—The trailer of The Mysterious Murderer routine by Les Luthiers

Movie Trailers are known to mislead, but sometimes they go in the opposite direction, giving away key plot points and twists (and sometimes what would have been a Twist Ending). The odds of this happening increase for the commercials aired after a movie's opening weekend.

Of course some of this depends on your definition of "Spoiler". Given that a trailer consists mostly of clips from the movie itself, a fair bit of spoilerage, in this case footage from a later part in the movie, is often inevitable. There is also the matter of context. An action movie, for example, may show a fight scene between two characters, then you actually see the movie itself and realize that the other dude the hero was fighting happens to be his best friend in the beginning, thus the trailer has clued you in to a betrayal of some sort occurring before you even knew it. So if you read the examples below from a movie you haven't seen (either you have no intention of seeing it, or maybe you should reconsider continuing past this part), and find yourself thinking "I didn't even know that was a spoiler", don't worry about it.

A related phenomenon often occurs with DVD menu intro screens. DVDs will often introduce their menu screens with montages from the movie/episodes, or clips of scenes that are particularly flashy or dramatic. Often these will give away major plot points before the viewer has a chance to even start the film. These can be even more effective at spoiling the film's plot than trailers, since a viewer might plausibly be expected to go days between seeing a trailer and finally seeing the related movie, which might give them a chance to forget things from the trailer. With menu intro screens, on the other hand, the viewer is being shown clips from something that they are moments away from watching.

Also related are the trailers which run immediately previous to the show you have already sat down to watch. Some shows give a "Next, on X:" segment, spoiling you on things you would just know in the next 30–60 minutes on a show you have already decided to watch. These are intended to pull in the new viewer, but can seem unfair to those already into a show as you are most likely to be already watching at the beginning of the episode.

Can lead to Trailer Joke Decay. See also Spoiler Opening and Late Arrival Spoiler. Compare The Namesake, when the title itself may be a spoiler. Or just see Spoiler Title.

Examples of Trailers Always Spoil include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • For Attack on Titan there is a trailer that shows the drill sergeant telling Armin that he would be 'a great light snack' for a Titan, for the second half of that trailer, we see Armin being consumed by a Titan. This is probably a subversion, because in that episode, Armin is the only one in his squad that doesn't end up in a Titan's stomach.
  • The entire Dragon Ball metaseries (all dubs) plays with this trope, particularly at key moments. It's done as a ratings ploy: if you want people to watch, tell them exactly what they'll see. Why would I want to miss Trunks kill Freeza? Also the manga necessarily spoiled the anime. Common to any anime closely following a manga.
  • The trailers for Battle Angel Alita (aka Gunnm) OVA summarize the entire episode, up to and including the defeat of the major villain.
  • Naruto's English-language release of Vol. 30 gave away a major plot point (who gets the final antidote) in its choice of picture for the "In the next volume" page at the back. With a little thought, it's easy to deduce what happens.
    • It's something of a moot point, since it's suggested that Sakura could have made it back to the Sand Village to make another antidote (the thing paralyzes instantly but takes 3 days to actually kill someone) if not for Chiyos's Heroic Sacrifice, which the preview for the corresponding anime episode spoils.
    • Viz Media is incredibly bad with this. They spoiled the outcome for one fight, and if I recall correctly, they spoiled a character's death. In their translation of One Piece, they also showed the exact page where Luffy defeats Captain Kuro.
    • Naruto's Volume 42 preview shows Sasuke saying that the Mangekyo Sharingan 1)enables the user to control tailed beasts, 2)causes blindness.
    • The preview for the fourth uncut DVD collection reveals nearly all of the matchups in the preliminaries and, most egregiously, features a shot of the winners gathered together.
  • In a strange case, the Post Episode Trailers on the first three episodes of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 (as well as the promo trailers, which focused a lot on the first episode) each showed part of the Transformation Sequence of the girl who would transform for the first time in that episode. So in the trailer previewing episode 5, the conspicuous absence of a scene spoiling Karen's transformation was a spoiler in itself. (Or at least, in hindsight, it should have been.)
    • On the other hand, although the Pretty Cure fandom was more-or-less unanimous about Cure Sunshine's identity, there was still some suspense to be had in-show...until the trailer for Episode 23 killed it: the preview footage consisted almost entirely of Itsuki transforming into said Cure.
  • The infamous "Malay dubs" of Transformers Headmasters would often have major spoilage IN THE TITLE ("Ultra Magnus Dies!" Wonder what that episode is about). And one particularly amusing spoiler from the narrator in one episode:
    • "Will Scorponok return? Of course he will."
  • The trailer for the English release of SHUFFLE!! does a good job of keeping the secret of who the Unlucky Everydude ends up with, until you realize that it's playing Asa's theme music. This is a bigger hint than it would usually be, since Asa is usually pushed aside until the viewer is hit in the head with her surprise victory, even left out of most plot summaries! Someone is going to put two and two together.
  • Like the Phantom Menace example below, Gundam Seed spoiled the death of a certain character by having one of the tracks on the official soundtrack being titled "(Character)'s Death".
  • The tendency for trailers to spoil is parodied in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. The plot summary on the back of the first volume of the manga appears to be spoiler laden, until you learn it has nothing to do with Zetsubou's actual plot. Likewise, the end of the Magical Girl parody features a "spoiler" filled "Coming Next Episode" sequence, revealing (among other things) that Nozomu's mask was made of cardboard, and that he hasn't actually been defeated. Naturally, the real next episode is a return to the show's usual format.
  • D Gray Man. All the volumes end with a panel from the next volume. This panel is often a spoiler- let's see... volume 8 shows Allen's destroyed Innocence reforming and volume 11 shows that it takes more than an iron maiden to kill Krory.
  • Digimon Xros Wars usually spoiled its content by releasing preview images of the next part of the story before the previous one aired.
    • Before the Seven Kingdoms story arc began halfway through the series, it was revealed that Taiki, Kiriha and Nene were to get new clothes, join forces and their Digimon will gain golden-armored forms.
    • Before the end of the series, plenty of previews of Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time were released, confirming that Damemon will be revived and become Yuu's partner for good (hasn't happened yet), that Shoutmon being killed off in episode 53 wasn't going to be permanent, and that in Young Hunters all characters were take the bus except for Taiki and Yuu.
    • The next episode previews at the end of each episode of Digimon Frontier usually spoiled the most important plot points of each episode. And if one simply chooses not to watch those, the episode titles themselves would be more than happy to do the spoiling in their stead.
  • From Higurashi no Naku Koro ni:
    • The second season trailers (the trailers that came out before the second season) spoiled a lot of the stuff in the beginning of the season. Then again, none of it would be news to anyone who'd read the original sound novels.
    • The next-episode trailers in the first season are usually too vague to give much away, but one of the Atonement-arc trailers includes the phrase "What I opened was a scrapbook of deception", which spoils an upcoming plot point.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist's Volume 2 preview spoils Nina and Alexander's unfortunate fate.
    • The trailer they made for the Season 1 boxset of the 2003 anime adaptation shows various clips from the first 26 episodes. The clips they use to end the trailer on? Maes Hughes' death
    • Although Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood usually avoids this, the trailer for episode 50 completely ruins episode 49's Cliff Hanger of Mustang's allies about to be shot dead by, after a pause of about half a second, showing many of the "shot" characters perfectly fine in the "On the Next..." trailer.
  • The manga preview for Volume 27 of Bleach spoils Orihime being abducted, while at the end of Volume 26, she had only just encountered Ulquiorra.
    • The summary of Volume 15 of the Bleach DVDs spoils Aizen being the Big Bad, by referring to him as a captain who was thought to be dead, screenshots showing him clearly alive and the cover being of him after The Reveal.
    • The trailer for Episode 224 of Bleach clearly shows Momo helping Rangiku.
    • The preview for Volume 24, while questioning what the outcome of the battle against the Arrancars will be, shows Renji, Hitsugaya and Rangiku winning their fights.
  • Shonen Jump sometimes spoils plot points in its previews for the chapters in the next month's issue.
    • In the December 2007 issue, the Bleach preview mentioned "reinforcements from the Soul Society" coming to help Ichigo against the Arrancar, and it was still several chapters before Hitsugaya's team arrived.
    • The June 2009 issue suggests that the next issue's Naruto chapters would feature "the confession you never thought you'd hear", and it isn't hard to figure out that they're referring to Hinata.
    • The July 2009 issue features a preview frame in Bleach showing Dordonii's defeat.
  • Every "Next Episode" trailer in Zeta Gundam does this. Watch the trailers and you need never be surprised by a plot twist again.
  • The trailer for Episode 405 of One Piece spoils almost the entire episode by showing shots of Kuma lunging after each of Luffy's crewmates, and his saying that he can't save a single friend. And there's the title: "Disappearing Crewmates! The Final Day of the Straw Hat Crew!"
  • One of the next episode trailers for Samurai 7 showed Katsushiro and Kirara kissing. They didn't actually Relationship Upgrade, though.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S has another example of a spoiling soundtrack. The name of Subaru's Leitmotif? "Steel Sprinter", a fact that isn't revealed until halfway into the season. Note that the OST with the spoilery track was packed with the first Japanese DVD volume, which only had the first three episodes.
  • The Next episode trailer for episode 8 of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has Kamina monologuing. Nothing to out of the ordinary for the show thus far except they gave the title of the episode, which was "Farewell Comrades" ("Later, Buddy" in the dub) which were Kamina's last words! They put the title card at the end of the episode for a reason!
  • The English Trailer for Ghost in the Shell starts with revealing the mystery the entire plot is about.
  • The trailer for Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid at the end of "Episode 00" spoils that Gauron survived the explosion at the end of the first season.
  • Completely averted by the back cover of the final volume of Death Note, which, instead of giving a brief plot summary, simply says "The battle ends here!"
    • Mostly the same with the preview for it in Volume 11, although if you think about it, showing Light's watch could be considered a minor spoiler.
  • One news post about Naruto chapters 430-434 (mislabeled as 425-429) mentioned that "when one of Naruto's comrades intervenes, more tragedy may be in store." While they did warn about spoilers, the event in question (Hinata's confessing her love to Naruto and trying to defend him against Pain) doesn't happen until Chapter 437.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho's season four boxset mentions Yusuke dying and coming back with the help of his demonic genes.
  • You can always tell in Inu Yasha when a character will be making a "surprise" return or Inuyasha will be going through his monthly transformation into a human by the pictures on the chapter covers (and sometimes the volume cover).
  • The first Japanese volume of the Hokuto no Ken manga ends in the middle of Kenshiro's final battle with his rival Shin. Yet, the cover of the second volume spoils the outcome of the fight by depicting a dying Shin leaping to his death.
    • The preview trailers and posters for the 2007 Fist of the North Star movie Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Fierce Fighting spoils the fact that Raoh dies. Considering the movie is an adaptation of a key story arc in a 24-year-old manga, this is a combination of Late Arrival Spoiler and It Was His Sled.
  • This cover for Shiki. Look at his eyes.
  • Trailers for various iterations of Neon Genesis Evangelion contain ruthless spoilerage. An ADV trailer briefly showed Misato and Ritsuko's death scenes from Episode 25, and a "next episode" trailer spoils Rei II's death; virtually every frame of the Manga Entertainment trailer for The End of Evangelion showcases massive spoilers, among them the invasion of NERV HQ, the Misato-Shinji kiss scene, Asuka's death scene, and the appearance of GNR; even an early Japanese trailer for Death & Rebirth/EoE features a voiceover spoiling Rei's betrayal of Gendo. Admittedly, EoE is such a spoilerific movie that it would be extremely difficult to have a trailer that spoils nothing whatsoever, but a series of Japanese TV spots seems to have figured it out (and encapsulated the general spirit of the movie into 15 seconds, to boot:)
    • As awesomely disturbing as the DVD menu for Eo E is, it too is guilty of plenty of spoilerage as well most notably Asuka's death.
  • The preview for episode 23 of Bokurano spoils the fact that Machi is the next selected pilot.
  • The DVD menus for the newest US release (Remix, I believe) of Cowboy Bebop do this terribly. The opening menu sequence on the first disk features the scene right before Spike dies..
  • The English trailer for Kiki's Delivery Service shows the climax of the movie: Kiki saving Tombo after regaining her powers.
  • The back of the third DVD volume for Code Geass R2 shows Charles with a code mark on his hand, as well as a dying V.V..
    • The fourth volume shows pictures of Nunnally, who was assumed to be dead, including one with her eyes open, and also includes a Spoiler Title for Episode 22: Emperor Lelouch.
    • The final volume of Code Geass Nightmare of Nunnally shows Nunnally standing up alongside Alice; granted, her eyes are still closed, but so are Alice's, and also makes a reference to Euphemia becoming Empress.
  • Lantis' 5-minute promo for The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi soundtrack spoiled THE ENTIRE MOVIE, so they had to redo it without spoilers.
    • This trope, together with Trailer Joke Decay, was Discussed Trope in The Dissociation of Haruhi Suzumiya (the ninth novel), when Haruhi decides to make a sequel to "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina". She talks about how much this annoys her and decides to avert this by producing the trailer before even starting the filming of the actual movie.
  • The main Japanese Trailer of Howls Moving Castle reveals the true form of the Witch of the Waste, but does not say that it is her.
  • The Next Episode previews for Yu-Gi-Oh 5 Ds has on one or two occasions spoiled certain things. Episode 10's preview ends with Yusei holding up the Rubble King card (the last card he uses against Takasu) and episode 12's preview spoils the end of the Yusei/Ushio duel by showing Goyo Guardian being destroyed by Turbo Warrior.
    • The Next Episode preview for episode 53 spoils the outcome of the Crow/Bommer duel. The very last scene of the preview shows the exact scene in which Earthbound God Chacu Challhua is destroyed.
  • The previews for the film adaptation of Osamu Tezukas Metropolis showed scenes from when Tima realized her true potential - to destroy Metropolis.
    • And not only have the trailers given off the climax, but the DVD covers as well!
    • The original manga did a similar thing.
  • The cover of the third volume of Bakuman。 shows Moritaka Mashiro, one of the main characters, working as an assistant for Eiji Nizuma. When the offer is first proposed, Mashiro's editor, Akira Hattori, initially doesn't think he'll take it.
    • The preview for Volume 6 notes that "all (Mashiro and Takagi's) dreams may go up in smoke when one member of the team can't take the pressure," and it shows Mashiro collapsed in his office (Granted, this is foreshadowed).
  • In My-HiME, Episode 15's trailer, after a cliffhanger involving Mai's apparent death, contains a brief shot with Mai in the background while Yukino is ordering food and drinks at the Hime Sentai's karaoke party.
  • The intro of the first season of Pokémon Black and White had the Pokémon not covered in black,[1] thus revealing EVERY SINGLE POKéMON IN THE FLIPPI'N INTRO!
  • One of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure featured a prominent spoiler on one of the covers, the volume after it was revealed. It clearly showed Mitsumi as a Team Galactic member so to anyone who saw that cover early.. You're spoilered.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Almost anytime that a major character is going to die or there's going to be a major status quo change to The Verse the comic companies are bad about this and will announce the death of the major hero to the major news outlets in an effort to drum up sales. To make matters worse this is usually used to amplify stories that are already a bit spoiled by Tonight Someone Dies or Oh, and X Dies.
    • The Clone Saga was such an example. Marvel announced several months in advance that the Spider-Clone would return with interviews in Wizard magazine and advertisements. During this time, the titles saw a "mysterious drifter" covered in shadows spying on Peter and visiting the graves of Parker's parents. It was obvious that it was the clone but the titles still treated it as some sort of huge mystery even to the point where, when they revealed the clone's face, it was played off as some surprise twist.
  • In 2011 Marvel Comics has been especially bad about this saying that now they'll probably kill off a major character every quarter to raise sales:
    • February saw the death of The Human Torch in the conclusion of the "Three" arc in Fantastic Four, the title of which heavily implied one of the titular four dying. While the story's title managed to avert the typical Oh, and X Dies nature of alot of "The Death of X" stories Marvel ruined any potential surprise by spoiling it to the press the day before the release.
    • Early June saw the death of Bucky Barnes, the second Captain America, in Fear Itself #3 to the surprise of almost nobody as Marvel had already announced that original Captain America (comics) Steve Rogers would return to the uniform a month later. The only reason it didn't make any sort of media splash was because DC Comics one upped them the day before by announcing that they were relaunching their entire line of comics this September.
    • The same month featured the release of Ultimate Spider-Man #160, the last issue of the "Death of Spider-Man" storyline. Cue the media exploding with articles about it and pundits saying things like "Prediction: fans will buy up copies of Ultimate Spider-Man #160 until it is no longer collectible." Ignoring that Ultimate Spider-Man takes place in an Alternate Continuity and the real Peter Parker is not only alive and well but starring in "Spider Island" his own little mini crossover event.
      • To make matters worse when it was announced to media a day before The Reveal that an all new half Black half Hispanic character Miles Morales would replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man the media went into uproar while still ignoring the Alternate Continuity thing.
  • The Darkwing Duck story "F.O.W.L. Disposition" has Steelbeak doing an Enemy Mine with Darkwing after F.O.W.L. goes too far. Whether this is believable or not in the first place is debatable, but every single cover shows him as an evil figure, including the back of the trade.
  • For those who have read the comic enough, the cover of The Walking Dead's Compendium One has quite a few spoilers in the illustrations the cover.


Fan Fiction[edit | hide]

  • It's a pain trying to find a surprise twist in Fan Fiction because so many writers think "summary" means "tell me everything that happens in the story".
    • This is especially the case when the surprise twist involves a Shipping. We get such hilarity as "Which girl will Harry Potter choose? Harry/Hermione."
      • Granted, not including the pairings in the summary is practically asking the rabid shippers to flame you.
    • The best summary of a story I've ever seen, for a Death Note fanfiction: What if Rem never finished writing L's name in the Death Note? How will L cope with the loss of the only father figure he's ever had in his life? May contain spoilers. Just in case there was any doubt at all, the story is called Watari.
  • The summary of Thirty Hs is basically a summary of the events of the first few chapters.


Film[edit | hide]

  • The Final Destination series is really bad about this. The trailers or pre-release clips spoil Evan's death, Tim's Death, Nadia's Death, Samantha's death, Andy's Death, Hunt dying in a pool, George's Death, The Theater Explosion, Lori's "death" by Escalator, Isaac's Death (Hard to catch, but it IS in one of the TV Spots), Olivia's Death, Dennis's Death, and the ending twist of Final Destination 5. Throw in pre-release pictures and you can count Candice's and Peter's deaths too! Don't even get me started on what you can find out if you add in analyzing their released pictures and clips!
  • Old example: Rope drew all its drama from the fact that they hid the corpse in the trunk and whenever someone would open it. Too bad that the trailer included the climactic shot of the trunk flying open and the ensuing fight.
  • Children of Men: Sitting through the first act is tedious when you already saw The Reveal in the trailer.
  • Watch the trailer for Gray Matter. Congratulations, you have just seen the entire movie. Sure, there was a lot of Gayngst in the middle, but that was the whole movie right there.
  • Watch ANY of the commercials for The Powerpuff Girls movie and you've watched the whole thing (and this could've been why the movie didn't do so well).
  • Home Alone was really bad about this. The trailer showed every booby trap and pratfall. And let's face it, anyone who watched that movie watched it for the "Straw Dogs for kids"-style pratfalls, not the chance to see Macaulay Culkin act out every young boy's fantasies of living without parental supervision while bonding with the creepy neighbor who turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • The trailer for Free Willy does exactly this, outlining every major plot point in just under two minutes.
  • This is common with Robert Zemeckis' films; for instance, the trailer for Cast Away reveals that Tom Hanks makes it off the island in the end, and What Lies Beneath's trailer revealed that the dead girl is the girl that the main character's husband had an affair with, not only ruining the first three quarters of the movie, but making the dead end that she chases for first half (she thought it was her neighbor's dead wife, who wasn't dead at all) laughably obvious. Zemeckis argues that the audience most of his films are targeted toward want to know about the plot twists ahead of time rather than having an Genre Shift sprung on them.
  • Most comedy films today seem to put all the best jokes in the trailer. Some wags claim that the marketing department does this to disguise the fact that all the jokes not in the trailer just aren't funny. Trailer Joke Decay inevitably ensues.
    • Look at the number of jokes per trailer. If a film has three trailers, and they all use the same jokes, they were the only funny ones in the movie. If they use different jokes (or emphasize different parts of the movie), the odds are better.
    • When Roger Ebert reviewed DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story favorably, he said he was pleasantly surprised by how much funny stuff was kept out of the trailer. Likewise, he mentioned in his one-star review of Year One that the only funny stuff were lines already in the trailers.
  • The trailer for the ridiculous and sub-par Slasher Movie Detention (2010) (best known as one of David Carradine's last appearances before his rather unusual death) tells you absolutely everything. Who our group of victims is, who gets killed, the entire back-story for the killer's rampage, exactly which two characters survive until the end, and who the Large Ham killer is. About the only detail it leaves out is whether or not those last two make it to the end-credits, but it's a Foregone Conclusion.
  • Sky High's trailer makes it seem like the main conflict of the movie is the main character's lack of super powers. Then, approximately 10 seconds later, it shows him with super strength and flight—at which point the viewer realizes there's probably more to this movie that they're not telling him, and there goes the element of surprise.
  • The Spider-Man films haven't been very discreet:
    • The trailer for Spider-Man 2 shows the strain Peter is under as Spider-Man, him quitting the superhero biz, Doc Ock's origin, his deal with Harry Osborn, him kidnapping Mary Jane, Peter becoming Spider-Man again only to be delivered to Harry by Ock and unmasked; essentially, the first four-fifths of the movie.
    • The Spider-Man 3 trailer shows Spider-Man's new popularity, Peter's decision to marry Mary Jane, Harry attacking Peter as the New Goblin, Harry being hospitalised, Sandman's origin, Peter discovering that Sandman killed his uncle, being taken over by the symbiote and turning evil, fighting Sandman, Sandman being dissolved in water, Peter fighting Eddie Brock, throwing a bomb at Harry, hurting Mary Jane, realising he's gone too far and tearing the black suit off.
    • By this standard, the original Spider-Man trailer seems restrained in only revealing about two thirds of the plot; Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man, Norman Osborn becomes the Green Goblin, and the two end up fighting one another.
  • In certain circles (that is, the obsessive ones), the trailer for The Two Towers is rather notorious for giving away what is clearly set up in the film (and even more so in the book) as a point of mystery and contention—the identity of the mysterious White Wizard who is following Aragorn's Terrific Trio around.
    • In the book, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas were totally surprised to find out that Gandalf had returned from the dead, and when they heard about a "White Wizard", and even at first when they finally came across him, they thought it was Saruman, not Gandalf. In the movie, to maintain this, Peter Jackson actually went so far as to have Gandalf the White speak with the voices of both Lee and McKellen imitating each other's voice, with their voices overlaid on top of each other. You can hear the transitions quite well, and for a moment Gandalf sounds like he's talking with the Voice of the Legion because of this.
    • Well, it might have been somewhat hard to keep the revelation that Gandalf's alive out of the trailer, since he shows up at the end of the first fourth of the movie. Then again, he leaves shortly after not to return until the end, so it might have been feasible...
  • The trailer for GoldenEye revealed the plot twist that Bond's old partner 006 (Trevelyan) was the film's main villain.
    • The box art for You Only Live Twice prominently shows the full likeness of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, which is shown in that movie for the first time. It isn't exactly a major plot twist, but it doesn't seem appropriate for a villain who famously spent at least two a half movies with his face just off-camera.
  • Trailers for The Negotiator revealed that Spacey's character would eventually side with Jackson's.
    • David Letterman parodied the trope using an expanded version of this particular trailer. His version included an announcer who summed up the entire movie plotline beginning to end ("Oh, and this guy dies too.")
  • The trailer for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle revealed the identity of the Big Bad despite its being set up as a big surprise in the film itself. As if that's not bad enough, in pre-release promotional interviews and press pieces, everyone involved was frank and forthcoming with the Big Bad's identity.
  • In the John Woo film Heroes Shed No Tears, the film's trailer spoils Every. Single. Named Protagonist death with the exception of two, both of which would be too gruesome for the trailer.
  • The trailer for Star Trek III: The Search For Spock ended with the shot of the Enterprise spectacularly exploding while the narrator says "Join us on this, the final voyage of the Starship Enterprise!" Although this is not really the "ending" - it occurs about midway through the film - the producers had wanted the ship's destruction to come as a complete surprise to the audience. Obviously, that didn't happen.
    • Not learning their lesson, Enterprise-D's crashing saucer was shown in the Star Trek Generations trailer.
  • The trailer of The Sixth Sense spoiled a major revelation, which made a large chunk of the film rather lame since everyone knew what was going on. Luckily, that's not all there is to it.
  • In Shrek 2, the nature of Puss N Boots (a cute little kitty who just happens to be a mercenary) is clearly meant to be a comedic twist, but the trailers practically made it the main selling point. Not to mention the merchandise, which spoiled Shrek turning into a handsome human temporarily, while Shrek 3 's merchandise spoiled the birth of the Shreklings (Shrek and Fiona's children), as well as the Damsel in Distress princesses going Action Girl.
  • In Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, Count Dooku's effectiveness as a mysterious villain (as parodied in a Thumbnail Theatre) would undoubtedly have been more effective if his action figure packaging hadn't given away the fact that he was a Sith Lord months before the movie was released.
    • Even if you never saw anything that gave away his Sith Lord status, the movie still did a horrible job of hiding it.
    • To make matters worse, much, including Dooku's role (but not the pronunciation of his name) was given away by Jedi Starfighter, which was released three months before "Clones".
    • Episode 1's soundtrack had a couple of track names that gave away the fact that a major character died. In the "Humorous Version" script parody, the soon-to-be-dead character refers to this spoiler, and the ensuing altercation is joined by George Lucas and John Williams:

JW: What was I supposed to do? Label Track 15 as "Some Nifty Jazzy-Type Music Followed by Heartwrenching Violin Music" and Track 16 as "The High Council Meeting and A Bunch of Basses That Sound Like They're Singing a Catholic Monk Death Chant"?
GL: (thinking) You know, that could've worked.
JW: Really? I thought about it, but then I decided that it would be a lot cheaper to go with the labels already on there.

      • The soundtrack of X2: X-Men United also has a track named after a character death (and it's punny: "Death Strikes Deathstryke").
    • Also, the trailer of The Phantom Menace itself spoils the death. Obi Wan screams NOOOOOOO!!!! in the trailer, and there's a shot of Qui Gon during the Big No.
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End trailer clearly shows Will Turner on the helm of the Flying Dutchman as he becomes Captain. You can even see the scar on his chest.
    • Every single trailer showed Jack Sparrow, clearly back from the dead. Sure, it was pretty obvious that would be happening in the last movie, but it still might have been more tense had they avoided showing him at all in the trailers.
    • And the poster/DVD cover for At World's End spoils the twist ending from the second movie (Barbossa is Back from the Dead).
    • Even the first trailer spoils to a lesser extent: when a viewer remembers that, in the trailer, he saw Jack standing in front of the gallows, he won't be concerned that Jack is really dead when Barbossa impales him, since that scene hasn't happened yet.
    • One piece of merchandise for the third movie (which came out before the film) was called "Will Turner, Captain of the Flying Dutchman"
  • The Planet of the Apes movie features the Statue of Liberty on the DVD case.
  • The Icelandic national TV station (R Ú V) makes a habit of giving a brief description of each film they show before the airing. These descriptions are usually summaries of about 2/3rds of the movie's plot.
  • Meet the Parents would have been lot funnier if the trailer hadn't given away that the girl's father isn't really a retired florist but actually an ex-interrogator for the CIA.
  • A cross between this and Never Trust a Trailer; everything from the trailers to the box art of Friday the 13th (film) market Jason's futuristic upgrades which he only gets within the last 15 minutes of the movie.
    • The trailers for the original Friday the 13 th and its first sequel showed enough of every death scene in the movie to know who was going to die before ever seeing the film. Also a case of Never Trust a Trailer as both trailers implied that there were thirteen deaths in each movie, when in fact there were only ten in each (if you count the killer in the first one).
  • A trailer for The Incredible Hulk shows Robert Downey, Jr. appearing as Tony Stark. This is the last scene in the movie.
    • And you can tell too, the last shot of Norton doing the green eye thing is clearly meant to be the the last thing you see before the credits roll. Then they roll The Stinger and it breaks the whole mood.
      • They pushed the Tony Stark appearance for fan-boy appeal. They knew they had hit something big with Samuel L. Jackson showing up in Iron Man, and also knew the last attempt at Hulk was dismal. Showing a connection to a proven blockbuster powerhouse was pushing from above to try and harness the salivating geekdom.
    • Besides that, the theatrical trailer shows you everything else in the movie: that the Hulk is being pursued around the world by an elite military force, that one member has a pretty bad grudge against him, that they capture the Hulk and derive a Hulk-making serum from him, which they use on said soldier, which turns him into another Hulk, and the two have a big showdown fight.
    • On the other hand, the post-credits scene from Iron Man is just about the only really cool thing in the movie that wasn't shown in the trailer.
      • For Iron Man 2, the briefcase armour was supposed to be an nod to the fandom, if they'd been paying attention to it. Otherwise, it's just a mysterious briefcase, right up until it opens up.
    • Speaking of Iron Man and Hulk, several websites involving both movies and comics include a article which spoiled the ending to Captain America: The First Avenger which involves Cap in modern-day New York with Nick Fury along with a teaser to the next Marvel Cinematic Film The Avengers so if you've seen the spoiler then you don't have to stay during the credits. You can thank the Internet for ruining the moment we've been waiting for.
  • The Generals Daughter is a thriller full of plot twists. The trailer spoiled every single one of them. (It even almost spoiled the actual murderer. While it didn't show the murderer, it showed a short clip from the final scene, where the murderer is revealed.)
  • The trailer for First Daughter spoils the true identity of the boyfriend, a surprise twist revealed very late in the movie.
  • The trailers for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer reveal the plot point that the team exchanges powers, and shows the climax where they combine all their powers into Human Torch.
  • The original theatrical trailer for The Godfather features stills from the movie, including almost every single murder.
  • A TV spot for Batman Begins revealed, in order, that Bruce's parents died, Wayne Manor burns down (something that happen 3/4's of the way through the film), and that Bruce has a reconciliatory conversation with Rachel that happens right beside the ashes of said burned-down manor.
    • The Dark Knight Saga's trailers featured a few scenes involving Gordon (the Joker interrogation, smashing the Batsignal) that took place after his apparent death, tipping viewers off that he wasn't really dead.
  • Death Race's trailer appears to cover the entire plot. If anyone was watching for that rather than Jason Statham based violence, they'd be disappointed.
  • Soylent Green had this, in that in one part of the trailer, it shows the main character seeing a conveyor belt with body bags on it, and in the next cut, you can see soylent green on the same conveyor belt. Then the trailer voice asks, "What is the secret of Soylent Green?"
  • You know the part of the trailer for Quarantine where the lady gets dragged screaming into the darkness? That was the ending to the movie. This is also featured on the DVD cover, TV spots, and every piece of marketing for the film.
  • This trailer for the 1999 Animal Farm film may be more respectful to the film than the rest of the promotion, but it also spoiled the corruption of the pigs by the end of the movie.
  • The trailer (not to mention the VHS cover art) for Meet the Feebles shows the surprise ending in action.
  • Balls of Fury tries really hard to make Feng's identity a secret, despite that Christopher Walken is 99% of the star power (the other 1% being, of course, James Hong).
  • Collateral treats Tom Cruise/Vincent's occupation as a secret, but you already knew it if you saw any promotion at all. Even critics were unsure how to treat this bit of information, most saying something to the effect of "I guess this is a spoiler, but it's already spoiled." In a hilarious bit of probably accidental hypocrisy, Roger Ebert's review kindly tells you not to finish reading it if you don't already know, but the picture and caption at the top of the webpage give it away anyway.
  • Double Jeopardy was infamous for its trailer revealing that: Ashley Judd goes to jail for the murder of her husband, she finds out her husband is alive, a fellow inmate informs her that she cannot be convicted for the same crime twice, and that she menacingly points a gun on her husband while Tommy Lee Jones (who was investigating Judd) sits back and watches.
  • The trailers for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button pretty much detail every event in the entire movie, showing just about everything important that happens in Benjamin's life.
    • Granted, the source material for the film, a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is so short that you could pick up a compendium of Fitzgerald's short stories which include "Benjamin Button", flip to where the story is, and within 10 – 15 minutes know how the entire story goes.
  • The trailer (or at least one of them) for Twilight gave away absolutely everything. The sequel, New Moon, is even worse! The first trailer for it was fine, it stopped at the first major plot revelation. But the second trailer? Well that just takes one scene from pretty much every plot point in the movie, save the VERY last one, and mashes it all together in a sequential montage! You could nearly write the Wikipedia plot summary with just that trailer alone!
  • The case of the VHS of George Romero's original Dawn of the Dead has a picture on the spine of one of the main characters dead and zombified, an event that occurs about ten minutes from the end.
  • In the trailer for Critters IV they give away every turning point, everyone who dies, and how all of the critters are killed.
  • National Treasure 2 was pretty bad about trailer spoilers. Ben kidnaps the president, Ben was just kidding when it looks like he loses his hand to the eagle, the treasure is hidden under Mt. Rushmore. It's pretty bad when a movie's trailers subject it to You Should Have Forgotten This By Now spoiler tagging.
  • The trailer for Judd Apatow's latest, Funny People, shows that Adam Sandler's character has a life-threatening disease. That's part of the premise that's been widely-known. Then it goes and says outright that he may have beaten the damn thing. According to many online script reviews, this happens two-thirds into the film. Yep.
  • The TV-movie When a Stranger Calls suffered from this in that the promos spoiled just about every single plot point. The kicker? When it was recently remade into a theatrical film, the theatrical film had the exact same issue.
    • The movie is based on an old campfire ghost story, so this really should be an issue of Late Arrival Spoiler.
  • The trailer for Carrie shows pretty much all the climax of the film, including the deaths of every significant character, which begs the question of why anyone, having seen it, would actually go and see the film.
    • Not a trailer, but "The 101" (a Direct TV exclusive channel) advertised it as "A teenage psychic wreaks havoc at her high school prom". Way to not only skewer the plot, but also portray Carrie White as the villain!
  • The trailer for Snake Eyes reveals that Gary Sinise is the villain even though this is supposed to be a twist revelation over half an hour into the film.
  • The Fall starts out as a cute story about a couple of patients in a hospital narrating and imagining a fantastical epic. It slowly sinks into a darker tone when you realize that one of the main characters is suicidal, eventually becoming very dark indeed. The trailer showed the main character attempting suicide, explained outright that he had made up the story to get his friend to steal morphine for him, and showed the death of nearly every main character.
  • The trailers for What Lies Beneath, they reveal the identity of the ghost, which makes watching the wife sneak around suspecting the neighbor of killing his wife painful and awkward to watch.
    • However, the trailer doesn't give away that Harrison Ford is the bad guy.
  • Coraline. The trailer shows the scene where the Other Mother gives Coraline the buttons and sewing needles.
  • This trailer for Dead or Alive is notable for including the very last scene in the movie. Now, it's a short gag scene, but it does reveal that Kasumi and Ayane end up on the same side despite Ayane spending most of the movie trying to kill Kasumi.
  • The trailer for Hot Fuzz focuses almost entirely on the two main characters fighting against the entire population of a surprisingly well armed rural community, despite the fact that not only does this not happen until two thirds through the movie, but it reveals that Danny does a Heel Face Turn, before he is ever revealed to be on the same side as the townsfolk.
  • The little known horror movie Darkness Falls has a glaring plot hole involving a character getting killed despite not having met the requirements for the token supernatural serial killer to choose to kill her...that is, unless you saw the deleted scene in the trailer.
  • The trailer for X Men Origins: Wolverine inadvertently revealed Weapon XI, whom Wolverine fights at the end of the film. And the toy packaging spoiled that he is Deadpool.
  • In The Sum of All Fears, the trailer reveals that the bomb goes off.
    • This plotline was the reason that Harrison Ford refused to reprise his role as Jack Ryan.
  • Late trailers for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen go out of their way to reveal Megatron's return.
    • To be fair, anyone who thought Megatron wouldn't back for the sequel really should've known otherwise.
    • Also, Devastator would have been a kickass awesome surprise. He just ended up being kickass awesome.
    • There were also several TV spots released, and made available on the director's website, that showed the entire Sideways chase-sequence, including his death at the bladed hands of Sideswipe.
    • The theatrical trailer for Dark of the Moon clearly revealed Starscream's death, while later TV spots even showed glimpses of how it happens. Likewise, the TV spots spoiled the death of Shockwave, showing how Optimus punches a hole in him.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street only 4 characters are killed; the trailer shows all of the deaths and the order they happen.
  • The trailer for Woody Allen's Whatever Works shows Boris's second suicide attempt, which occurs near the end of the movie.
  • Commando's plot is already razor-thin anyways, and it's transparently obvious that the bad guys will lose since it's a 1980s-style action movie. So just to really rub salt in the wound, the trailer ruins the movie... by ruining almost all of the best catch phrases, including the immortal, "Let Off Some Steam, Bennett!"
    • Not the only Arnie movie to be spoilt either. Total Recall's main trailer is pretty much the majority of the movie, especially the best parts ("Consider that a divorce!"). The trailers for Eraser give away that James Caan is the villain.
  • It was bad enough that Jurassic Park had trailers that showed off the impressive special effects in the film, spoiling key moments in the film. There were also special programs that gave away the rest of the special effects, so by the time you made it to the theater, the only part you hadn't seen was the character development.
    • However, the original marketing deliberately did not show ANY of the dinosaurs. You actually had to buy a ticket to see them in action for the first time. Audiences in 1993 audibly gasped at the first reveal (which is actually quite a ways into the film). After the first week or so, the trailers became much more revealing.
  • The trailer for Multiplicity gave away that the movie has four Michael Keatons, a development that does not happen until about 80 minutes into the 120 minute movie.
  • The people editing the trailer for The Machinist thought it would be a brilliant idea to hint at the plot twist at the end too heavily, including the answer to hangman game, "KILLER".
  • At least one trailer for From Dusk till Dawn makes explicitly clear that the inhabitants of the bar are vampires, which is a twist halfway through the movie.
  • A home video trailer for Titan A.E. showed the entire movie, start to finish, in order, including the final scenes of a new Earth being formed and the lead characters on it. Why bother to see the movie?
  • The longer trailers for Titanic condense the storyline, bar the ending, into 4-minute form. To rephrase that, they left the only part that shouldn't have surprised ANYONE secret.
  • They did it again for Avatar - a major part of the first two thirds of film is 'Can we stop them attacking the Naa'vi?', when the trailer had already shown lots and lots and lots of gunfire and huge robots with rockets. Is Cameron doing this deliberately?
    • You also see the tree falling over in the trailer. You have to wait 2 hours for that to happen in the film.
  • Older trailers are far more notorious. For instance, do NOT, under any circumstances, watch the trailer for Chinatown before the movie. Nearly every major plot twist is shown and even the final scene and line ("Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown"). All in order.
  • The trailer for the movie The Million Dollar Hotel shows a scene of Jeremy Davies' character TomTom confessing that he "went ahead and pushed him off".
  • Since the Eiffel Tower's collapse is the Money Making Shot of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, its inclusion on the trailer kinda ruins some of the tension of the Paris scenes. A scene from the final part of the movie involving an airplane being devoured by Nanomachines is also in the previews.
  • In the first few seconds of the Five Hundred Days of Summer teaser trailer, you'll see that Summer is clearly wearing a wedding ring, not necessarily a spoiler but with the narration claiming "This is not a Love Story", it gives you a pretty big hint that the two will not end up together.
    • The film's opening shows Tom and Summer holding hands, so showing her hand with a ring on it doesn't show any more than the first couple of minutes, and the audience doesn't know that Tom's not her fiance.
  • The TV commercials for Nine try their best to hide things by cutting rapidly from scene to scene, but they still manage to spoil 2's funeral, the destruction of the Fabrication Machine, the Cat Beast's death, and several of the dolls having their souls sucked out by the talisman. Geeze!
  • Before Black Swan won an Oscar, the trailers and TV spots for the film show Nina's disturbing swan morph.
  • Most of the footage for the theatrical trailer of The Last Starfighter comes from the last half hour of the movie.
  • The trailer for Bratz pretty much tells the entire movie's story.
  • Somehow, not a single person noticed the poster for 300 was one of Leonidas with arrows sticking out of his chest.
    • Something of a Foregone Conclusion since the Battle of Thermopylae actually occurred, and all the Spartans died.
    • Not to mention the Graphic Novel the movie was based on
  • Several trailers for The Boat That Rocked (Pirate Radio in the US) showed the DJs choosing to ignore the new laws passed to ban pirate radio, and the boat flooding.
  • The Island built up suspense in the beginning that was impacted by revealing in the trailer that the people shown were clones and showing the escape into the real world which all was part of the midway twist along with figuring out what the island was.
  • If you watched the trailer for Law Abiding Citizen, you see every single murder that is committed in the movie. Plus a clip of the last scene, just for good measure.
  • The DVD trailer for The Hangover spoils almost every significant plot event, including that Ed Helms marries a hooker, that the group is attacked by an Asian gang, the poker scene, and the fact that there are two Dougs in the film.
  • The trailer for Up spoiled that Charles Muntz is the villain.
    • Most trailers for Up were actually a remarkable aversion to this trope. Other than the prescience of a talking dog and a floating balloon house, nothing else was really shown.
  • Meet the Robinsons had a trailer that showed the future Lewis in a group with the Robinson family, with his arm around Franny from one of the final scenes in the movie, making the big reveal completely predictable.
  • The trailer for Affliction is a very serious example: it shows the ending of the movie, where Nick Nolte's character kills his father and then burns the body.
  • The green-band trailer for the upcoming Repo Men appears to show the death of Liev Schreiber's character, in addition to most of the plot.
  • The entire campaign for Surrogates was a spoiler: James Cromwell's character (who invented the surrogates) describes them as "an addiction", which makes him easy to guess as the killer, and every trailer and TV spot showed the surrogates shutting down and collapsing in the street, which is the ending to the movie.
  • Both the trailer and the description on the back of Happy Accidents give away that Sam may or may not be from the future and he is trying to save Ruby from dying. The movie is great either way, but it's more effective if you don't know this information beforehand.
  • New trailers for Paranormal Activity show a shot of Micah's body flying toward the camera from the final scene.
  • Admittedly, the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty has been around for fifty years, and the story is far older than that... but did the ads for the DVD really have to show both of the climactic moments (Maleficient's spectacular defeat and the "awakening" itself) front and center?
    • The original trailer for Lady and the Tramp, all the way back in 1955, shows us that not only do Lady and Tramp get together, but have puppies to boot.
  • The menu screen on the first edition DVD release of The Shawshank Redemption uses the pivotal scene of Andy Dufresne escaping from Shawshank by crawling through a sewage pipe as its background. This is particularly Egregious as the movie was something of a sleeper hit, so many viewers would not have already seen it in theaters.
    • The trailer itself contains a major spoiler. The scenes leading up to Andy's escape are obviously intended to create a credible suspicion that he has committed suicide. The trailer entirely gives away the conclusion to this suspenseful scene.
    • To be fair, only a few bits and pieces of this scene are shown and out of context. To someone unfamiliar with the film, the sequence leading to the big reveal ( the scene where the guard angrily walks over to Andy's cell after he fails to show up) could have been referring to anything. Also, assuming the viewer didn't log onto IMDB and memorize the last names of all the characters they had no real way of knowing that the guard was referring to Andy. Another argument you could make is that while they show that Andy escapes they don't show in too much detail how he escapes so the sudden twist where it turns out Andy had been tunnelling his way out of prison for 20 years, and many of his seemingly trivial actions were in fact vital parts of his plan still can come as a suprise.
  • Watch the trailer for the hip, black version of Death at a Funeral and you don't need to bother seeing either movie because it shows the boyfriend accidentally getting high then getting naked, the elderly uncle's bathroom problems, and the two brothers (who are also rivals) learning their father was having a homosexual affair -- with the same actor as the original!
  • The "shocking" revelation that they're all not on Earth, but another planet on Predators might have been more surprising if it hadn't been seen in EVERY theatrical trailer and TV spot.
  • Go watch the trailer to Letters to Juliet, and you already could probably write a synopsis of the entire film.
  • One DVD release of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had the very final scene of the movie as the background for the language menu. Anyone who wanted to see the movie in any format other than English dubs had to spoil the ending for themselves.
  • While not spoiling any plot points, and anyone who's read up on the movie should see this coming, but the trailer for The Expendables shows clips from the meeting between Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis. A good way to get people to see the movie, but it's similar to the above Transformers example.
  • Chicken Run: As shown in one of the TV commercials, the chickens manage to escape by making their own pedal powered plane!
    • Burger King also had a series of toys that could connect to make the plane.
    • While the theatrical trailer manages to cover up the chickens' plane, it completely spoils the big reveal of the pie machine. And then there's a DVD trailer that's pretty much the ending of the movie and nothing else.
  • Even worse than that is Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. If you pay close attention to the TV commercials you can clearly see that the clothes the were-rabbit rips off are Wallace's signature green vest and white sleeves, giving away that he's the Were-Rabbit. And for those who didn't pick up on this, one commercial begins with the voiceover saying "What started as a little mistake..." with footage of the Mind Manipulator accident, which immediately cuts to the transformation while the voiceover says "...became a BIG problem!" This trope at its finest.
  • Although the trailer for World's Greatest Dad presents the film as a standard disconnected father/uninterested son plot, the first words on the back cover are: After his son dies in an embarrassing accident...
  • The trailer for the 1987 movie The Gate included every single special effect in the entire film except one.
  • Solanin's trailer spoils Taneda's death and Meiko taking his place in the band. Which is kind of the whole plot.
  • The trailer for Don Bluth's Anastasia spoils the fact that Anya is Anastasia, and then shows her in the palace, in formal attire, being addressed as "the princess" and "Your Highness." The previous spoiler isn't so bad, since it's to be expected, but did they have to show she's recognized as such?
  • Try watching the trailer for Never Been Kissed, and then once you see the movie it will be as though you just watched it twice.
  • Likewise, if you watch the trailer for College Road Trip, you probably won't have to see the movie at all, as it seems to summarize the entire plot of the movie quite nicely.
  • Toy Story 3 had trailers that spoiled that the new toys were the villains. And while they never explicitly stated who the Big Bad was, many viewers were able to tell just from what was shown (and if not that, then from the other marketing).
    • The Lego sets not only spoil where the film's climax takes place, but also has Lotso with an evil grimace on his figure.
    • There was one trailer that came out before the movie which showed Andy holding Woody and describing him to Bonnie, though Bonnie wasn't shown, just the description was heard, still resulting in the spoiler that Andy still cares about the toys. Though, part of this takes place during a clip of the scene in the Incinerator.
  • This trailer for Grosse Pointe Blank gives away every single plot twist in the film.
  • Magnolia: Not a major twist, but posters for the movie reveal the final unexpected scenes of frogs raining from the sky.
  • The trailer for Sideways reveals that Miles accidentally lets slip that Jack is getting married, and Stephanie beating Jack up when she finds out.
  • The trailer for The Great Escape reveals that a bunch of men do, in fact, escape, which happens very late in the film.
  • The poster for Airheads reveals that Chazz, Rex, and Pip are ultimately arrested and sent to prison.
  • The advertisings for The Film of the Book of Inhabited Island by the Strugatsky Brothers spoils every major plot point. One trailer even reveals that The Hero and the Big Bad turns out to be on the same side, what was supposed to be a Twist Ending.
  • The trailer for the seventh Harry Potter movie. Harry and Voldemort fight! Ollivander isn't dead! Hogwarts erupts into battle! Ron uses the sword! There's a dragon! Griphook comes back! Harry hands himself over to Voldemort! The worst part about all of it is that most of this stuff is from what has to be the second part. So not only are they spoiling a good section of the book, they're spoiling a good section of the second movie.
    • You thought that was bad? Just wait until you see the theatrical trailer for Part 2! It shows two of the most important parts of the battle of Hogwarts. The first, though only a flash, is Ron visibly cradling Fred's dead body. The second Lupin and Tonks hold hands before what is most likely their death, and the third is Molly and Bellatrix fighting. Might as well spoil the fact that Snape loved Lily.
      • But Wait! There's More!! The trailers for Part 2 also show a scene where Harry speaks to dead friends and loved ones, like his parents—as well as a certain character (Prof. Remus Lupin) who was still alive last time we checked. And said character is quite prominent, meaning it's hard to miss. Whoops.
      • Not to mention a lot of the scenes from said trailer show Harry after his death and resurrection, removing the dramatic tension leading up to his death.
  • The trailer for The Kite Runner bizarrely chooses to focus on the last third of the movie and reveals that Hassan dies and makes it seem like the whole movie is about Amir trying to save Hassan's son, even though most of the movie is about their childhood friendship.
  • The trailer for Piranha 3D finishes up with the last scene of the film! Which happens to be a stinger showing the death of one of the main characters.
  • This trailer for Charlie St. Cloud gives away basically every plot point from the film.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera treats Nathan Wallace's secret identity as the Repo Man like it's a big secret, and "Legal Assassin," his first big solo a third of the way into the movie, is The Reveal. The official website's designers were clued into this: they treat Nathan and the Repo Man as separate characters. The people who made the trailer did not get that memo, however: they used part of "Legal Assassin" in the trailer, complete with visuals of Nathan donning the uniform, and even declared that the film starred "Anthony Stewart Head as Repo Man"!
  • Serials by Columbia Pictures were particularly bad about this. As a serial, each chapter or episode ended with the hero in a cliffhanger facing certain death... meant to entice the audience back to the theater the next week to see if and how the hero will survive certain death. Columbia, however, always showed clips from the next chapter after the cliffhanger - which, inevitably, showed the very hero involved in the cliffhanger alive and in action.
  • The second trailer for Megamind shows Metro Man dying, which itself isn't a spoiler, since the whole movie revolves around that development. The third trailer, however, reveals that Metro Man somehow survived and is living as a civilian.
    • The poster also shows that Jonah Hill's character becomes Titan.
    • If you read the synopsis on the back cover of the DVD or Blu-Ray before watching the movie, Jonah Hill's character becoming a villain will feel less surprising.
  • The theatrical trailers for Monsters vs. Aliens do a good job of avoiding spoilers from the last third of the movie, but TV spots accidentally reveal that Ginormica is Brought Down to Normal and Insectosaurus turns into a butterfly. Granted, both are only glimpsed in brief shots, but they're enough for the audience to fill in the blanks.
  • According to William Goldman, producer Joseph E. Levine started this with the 1960 Hercules movie (the Steve Reeves one).
  • The Jennifer Lopez movie Enough is about an abused wife who goes on the run, but her husband tracks her down and she realizes the only way to stop him is to Take a Level In Badass. The trailers showed her confronting him after her training, which is basically the climax of the movie.
  • Much of what made Men in Black enjoyable was its striking visuals and special effects - all of which seem to be in the trailer.
  • Trailers of The Kindred and Centipede spoil the demise of the monsters.
  • The trailers for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World give away the fact that one of Ramona's exes is not an ex-boyfriend which was supposed to be a minor twist.
  • Not exactly a trailer yet, but the New York Times' profile for the upcoming adaptation of Here There Be Dragons flat out advertises what was supposed to be a big surprise at the end of the book, namely that John, Jack and Charles are J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.
  • The trailer for The Town has a fairly mild example, in that The last line in the trailer is actually the last line in the film. Granted it's tough to tell outside of context.
  • Arlington Road's main plotline involves whether or not the Tim Robbin's character is actually a domestic terrorist or just a regular guy. If you've seen the trailer, however, you know the answer. In fact, Jeff Bridges spends much of DVD commentary complaining about the film's tell-all marketing.
  • The trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine spoiled that Lou is Jacob's father, which is an event that occurs fairly late in the film and is a bit of a twist.
  • The trailer for the Martin Lawrence film National Security gives away the film's ending where Steve Zahn's character gets his job back and Lawrence fulfills his dream about being a cop...at the very beginning of the trailer. A few seconds later, you see the tail end of the film.
  • Bizarrely subverted in that the DVD cover of He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not looks good enough at first glance, but on closer inspection all the review quotes seem to be describing a Psychological Thriller, mirroring the plot of the film.
  • Averted and lampshaded in the trailer for the 1947 film The Bishop' s Wife, in which actors David Niven, Loretta Young, and Cary Grant all appear as themselves on the MGM backlot, deciding not to film a trailer because they don't want a trailer to give away the film's surprises.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen had most plot points which were intended to be a big twist end up getting spoiled by the trailer. The worst offender is probably Dorian Gray's immortality and Mina Harker's vampirism, both of which were clearly intended to be a surprise to the audience, but both of which were shamelessly spoiled by every single trailer.
  • The Seventh Seal had part of its resolution narrated in the trailer: the reason for the spilled chess pieces.
  • Given the young target audience, it's not surprising that the trailer for Matilda showed the headmistress getting her comeuppance.
  • One trailer for Cocoon explicitly revealed that Walter, Kitty, et al are aliens.
  • Unknown's trailer shows the people telling him that the person he thinks he is does not exist - the HUGE twist (although it only gives the line, not much context of it), and it shows the explosion, and one even showed them faking the picture.
  • The trailer for Hanna gives away the minor plot twist when Marissa sends a double into the holding cell where Hanna is(from the back the person looks and sounds exactly like Marissa), and Hanna starts crying and then snaps the woman's neck.
  • The original Halloween theatrical trailer gives away the first scene's twist - that the killer is the victim's six-year old brother.
  • The Rocketeer trailer was basically a mini version of the movie, leading some people to blame it for the movie's poor box office—people felt they had already seen it.
  • The theatrical trailer for The Princess Bride spoils the Clergyman's funny voice, Count Rugen going into a battle stance before running away, the outcome of the battle of wits, and Wesley's "death".
  • Subverted in the case of Larry Crowne. While people might think that the trailer gives away the entire film, it mostly only shows what happens in the first hour. Most of the film's third act was not shown in the trailer.
  • The original The Children's Hour trailer effectively spoils the entire twist of the story, and Martha's suicide.
  • The Lion King's trailer spoils most of the plot. Movie posters and the DVD cover show Mufasa's ghost as well.
  • One of the cinematic trailers for Cowboys and Aliens reveals that Olivia Wilde's character is an alien.
    • Trailers also showed her stepping naked out of the fire, so when you watch the movie, you know that she can't really be dead because that scene hasn't happened yet.
  • A commercial for Captain America: The First Avenger shows Cap standing in modern-day Times Square flanked by SHIELD agents (including Nick Fury), when the movie is supposed to take place in WWII. Since the Avengers franchise (Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, etc.) is also set in the modern day, this was the inevitable conclusion).
  • Nickelodeon began releasing trailers for A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! over a month before the movie aired. One of the earliest trailers showed a clip of Tootie talking to Cosmo, Wanda, and Poof after Timmy introduces them to her.
  • The trailer to the 1994 movie Trading Mom gives away the entire plot from start to finish and shows the ending too.
  • The DVD cover for How to Train Your Dragon not only shows Hiccup riding Toothless, but Astrid riding her new dragon as well. Astrid and the other young vikings didn't ride dragons until the Big Damn Heroes moment in the film's climax.
  • The trailers for the sequel for Hoodwinked! stress the fact that Red and co. are trying to save two innocent kids from a wicked witch. Save for the one which shows said "innocent" children with creepy grins saying: "You've been hoodwinked! Too!"
  • A more subtle example occurs in the trailer for Million Dollar Baby, which clearly shows Maggie lying on the ground with a doctor kneeling over her. This one is somewhat excusable because they didn't actually show her getting punched or landing on the stool before hand, and the viewer might not easily guess that she ends up paralyzed after this scene. Also to be fair, they also had the decency not to spoil the incredibly dark turn taken by the last quarter of the film, where Maggie is paralyzed from the neck down and the story becomes about Frankie's efforts to cope with what's happened.
  • In the trailer for Muppets from Space, the very first Muppets that you see are none other than Gonzo's family.
  • At least one of the trailers for Star Wars Episode III clearly begined by showing Darth Vader as seen in the original trilogy (who doesn't appear as such until the last five minutes of the movie). Granted, this was something of a Foregone Conclusion, but they didn't need to also show every piece of Anakin's fall, including some of the climatic duel between him and Obi-Wan.
  • The trailers for some of the best horror films have occasionally tried to counter this trop by inverting it, showing as little about the plot as possible. To name a few examples:
    • the original trailer for Alien literally explains absolutely nothing about the film. All we get are a bunch of quick shots of... intense things happening, most of the images being two or three seconds long.
    • The trailer for John Carpenter's The Thing has some opening narration, and two out-of-context lines; one a brief speech that gives a sense of paranoia but fails to reveal anything about what actually happens, the other revealing little more than the fact that some guy named Garry at one point thinks one of the guys is a Thing (which is also shown out of context). Then like the trailer for Alien it's mostly just a bunch of quick shots from the movie.
    • the trailer for Angel Heart shows a whole bunch of bits and pieces of the film, playing segments of dialogue throughout, but again, all is shown out of context, and only makes sense when one actually sees the film. It's actually quite haunting, and if this trailer freaks you out (which it will), just wait until you see the actual movie and you find out just what all that scattered dialogue means....
    • The utlimate example would be The Shining, the trailer for which is literally just a single scene, specifically a long shot of a room. There's some credits, then a river of blood, and that's it.
  • The trailer for The Matrix Reloaded revealed that Agent Smith was not only still alive, but has gone rogue and could replicate himself by jamming his hand into other people/programs. Though all of this was shown fairly early on in the film, many scenes were clearly meant to be reveals that would surprise and confuse the viewers, such as the scene where Smith speaks to another Agent only for the camera to pan over and reveal the other Agent is also Smith.
    • A more minor example would be the Twins and their ghosting ability. Within the progression of the story itself, their ability to phase into intangible ghost-like forms came as a surprise to the main characters, but scenes with them using said ability were featured pretty heavily in the film's marketing. As such, as soon as the Twins first showed up on screen, probably just about everybody in the theater started eagerly anticipating when they'd get to see their powers in action, which actually didn't happen until a good chunk of time after their first appearance.
  • Both the poster and the DVD/VHS cover art for The Hudsucker Proxy spoil one of the funniest jokes in the movie.
  • All trailers for Prometheus show things that happen in the last 10 minutes into the film. The same is true for one of the international posters advertising the film. Namely, that titular ship Prometheus crashes into the alien vessel.
  • The trailer for It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World gives away that the money is lost to the crowd watching them fight over it.
  • Christian Mingle. E. Reid Ross of Cracked.com wrote in 4 Reasons the New Christian Mingle Movie Will Be Hilarious that the whole plot of the film can be guessed from its trailer. (Unless there's something subversive going on that Ross doesn't know about yet...)

Literature[edit | hide]

  • By far the worst (and oldest) variety of this is the back cover of a novel. While the actual cover of most books has little or nothing to do with the story, the back is generally taken nearly verbatim from the author's pitch by some uncaring copy editor and often consists of nothing but concentrated spoilers for all the book's most important plot points, this is especially dangerous for novels due to the fact that a book that takes a week or more to read casually can be completely spoiled by a stray glance at the back of its dust jacket.
    • Do NOT read the back of George R. R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons unless you have read all of A Storm of Swords. The blurb reveals the deaths of two key main characters, and a major character development. This, in a series where a major selling point is the unpredictability of events.
    • Do not read the back of The Girl Who Played With Fire. It treats a major shock and story shift that occurs halfway through the book as the sole plot point, and casually mentions it as if it happens in the first couple chapters.
    • The blurbs on the omnibus editions of Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan books are particularly bad, although the task is made harder by the blurb needing to be for at least two books at once.
    • Many editions of Twilight mention in the blurb that Edward's a vampire, thereby robbing the first two hundred pages of any sense of mystery. Of course, if this hadn't been spoiled it would have been a pretty bad case of Genre Shift with a mystery romance novel suddenly including vampires. Imagine how that felt to the eight people in the world who didn't know about this beforehand.
    • This, however, was Subverted Trope by the cover text for Harry Potter. It says, though not in so many words, "Hey, this is the seventh book in the Harry Potter series. Either you're reading this while waiting in the checkout line to buy it, or you aren't interested in Harry Potter and thus aren't ever going to read this. So there's no point in having an advertisement here."
      • The text on the inside front of the hardback edition's dust jacket is somewhat longer, but still amounts to that.
      • This troper wasn't so lucky. The inside cover of his cover mentioned that Harry was on a quest to find Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes, spoiling a plot point the entire 6th book was leading up towards.
    • A cheap supermarket paperback thriller called Rabid, about the rabies virus getting into the animal population in Great Britain, one of the few completely rabies-free places in the world (and thus a place where pets are not rabies-vaccinated). In a twist at the very end—literally on the last page of the book—the virus mutates into an airborne strain. The back-cover copy ended with, "And when the virus mutated, became airborne, the whole world would learn what it was to become ... RABID!"
    • For some editions of The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov, the back cover clearly spoils that Noys was sent back from the distant future to stop Harlan and the Eternity. Thanks a lot!
    • Isaac Asimov's Foundation series books are even worse, at least the European versions. The back cover blurb for each book describes, in a fair amount of detail, events that only happen near or at the very end of that book, which leaves the reader very confused for a while ("This isn't about what the back cover said it would be about!") and then very annoyed as soon as it becomes obvious that the climax of the story has been spoiled.
    • Some versions of The Wheel of Time books are odd about this, as they give away plot points that only become relevant for the next book.
    • Through the webmaster of his official website—he claimed to not have an Internet connection himself--Terry Goodkind, author of the Sword of Truth novels, actually warned his fans that the cover blurb of book six was disgustingly spoilerish and not to read it before they read the book.
    • I have yet to see a cover for Tuck Everlasting that doesn't ruin the surprise.
    • The Polish publishing house Amber seems to have a thing for horribly spoilerish blurbs. In an edition of Strugatsky's The Powerless of This World, the back cover blurb is only the surprise ending, and nothing else. A Polish edition of Robert Sheckley's Dimension Of Miracles likewise spoils the humorous ending, that the hero gets back to his world but finds it insufferable. And the one for A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born spoils the death of The Bishop, and even gets it completely wrong (claiming that he's killed by the police in an ambush, while in reality he's killed in a military attack on a distant quasi-medieval planet).
    • The Harper Collins paperback 2000 version of the Aubrey-Maturin series every book has a summary of between 2 and 4 of the next in the series (each book after the first 4 of so is pretty much a continuous series) in the back. As the books also have anecdotes and essays after the true end of the book (which is disguised to surprise the reader), you can read an essay on the book you just read, then accidentally spoil yourself for the next book.
    • Messenger has a back cover where everything is revealed, right down to Matty's heroic sacrifice, which only comes up on the last page of the book. And of course, when discussed in class, the teacher will mention not to look at the back panel. So of course, everyone does.
    • David Eddings' book, Regina's Song features not one, but TWO double-paragraph plot summaries on its back blurb. Both of them, in trying to be mysterious, blatantly state who the killer is and to some extent, what happens after we discover that fact. The book is pretty enjoyable, but still.
      • That would work a lot better if the stores didn't put the book's sequel with a spoiler as its title (although it is kind of obvious)
  • The Kid Who Ran For President. Somewhere in the beginning, it mentions something about looking at the last page to find out the ending. When you do exactly that, it says something along the lines of 'Hey! Read this in order, you loser!'
    • In How To Become A Perfect Person In Just Three Days, a boy finds a book that tells him how to become perfect in one week. The first page of the book stated that the secret to perfection was at the end. So he flipped to the last page... which called him a dope for falling for it and told him to do it properly.
  • Mogworld. The first thing anyone learned about it was the world is an MMO. It doesn't come up until the second-to-last chapter or so, although there are hints that are pretty obvious when you already know it.
  • JRR Tolkien, it seems, hated the name that his editor gave the third volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King because it gave away one of the major plot points: the fact that Aragorn, finally, decides to accept becoming the King. Of course, it has a double meaning, it could easily hint to a Downer Ending of Sauron getting the ring and rising to power.
    • Nearly all Italian editions of The Lord of the Rings have an Introduction by El émire Zolla (Italian literary critic, essayist and philosopher). Initially it looks just like it is, i.e., a preface, comparing Tolkien's masterpiece to other famous works of the past... but at a certain point it starts talking about the plot, and before you can realize, in about 10 (TEN!) pages it has summarized the whole book, revealing the main plot twists (e.g. Gandalf's death and rebirth) and the twisted ending - you know, the one that's not in Peter Jackson's film (Saruman attacking the Shire)).
  • One particular edition of Gone with the Wind summarised the events right up to the very last chapter, ending by saying: "When their daughter dies, Rhett leaves his Scarlett forever."
  • Books of "literary merit" often have a preface that discusses the meaning of life, the universe, and the book, casually throwing major plot points out there.
    • Related are all these teachers who, when assigning their students novels for mandatory reading, casually spoil everything about the plot , because Lord forbid the students actually derive pleasure from reading.
  • Averted, apparently by accident, on the back covers of some of the Harper Torch-published Discworld paperbacks, where it's obvious that whoever wrote the blurb had never read the books.
    • Except for Guards Guards which gives away the fact that the dragon is crowned king, which doesn't happen until about halfway through the book and is apparently intended to be a surprise twist.
      • One copy has a friggin' Dragon with a Crown on the cover - both sides of the books will spoil (so will the spine of the book since they have mini versions of the cover art.)
  • The Turn of the Screw. Peter Quint's dead, and so is that governess he was dallying with. This is made out to be a surprise in the book. Thanks, blurb.
  • Another Henry James example: in at least one edition of Daisy Miller, the blurb reveals that Daisy dies at the end.
  • The back of Bridge to Terabithia spoils that Leslie dies.
    • So does the Newbery Medal on the cover.
    • So does the summary in the copyright page. Is it just me, or is this overkill?
      • On the newer additions of the book, the back cover is more vague about what happens. It's obviously something tragic, but they don't tell you what. The copyright page spoiler is still there, though.
  • The blurb of Came Back to Show You I Could Fly reveals that Angie is on drugs, a fact which is not revealed in-story until almost 85% of the way through.
  • If you're about to read George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, don't look at the back of the book, which will probably quote the final line. The trailer for the film does this as well. Seriously. AVOID.
  • Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth novel Cachalot is set on a world almost entirely covered by ocean, a planet to which all terrestrial cetaceans have been transplanted after they've been administered a serum which makes them as intelligent as, or more intelligent, than humans. The plot opens with the mysterious destruction of several human habitats and the arrival of a team of specialist investigators who attempt to discover what has happened. Possible candidates are the highly intelligent but aloof toothed whales, the dumb but inoffensive baleen whales, or some indigenous but unknown form of life. Except... the cover of the first UK paperback edition clearly showed a bunch of baleen whales smashing up a town. Cheers, cover artist.
  • If you skim the back of any Warriors from the end of the first series on before reading the rest, you know there's a cat named Firestar. After learning the naming conventions, it's pretty obvious who's going to become leader and in which book as well...
    • Add in that the first few book spoiled name changes and deaths as well, in the first few pages! Erin learned her mistake and either tdid not after a certain point in the book, or baited us in.
  • Jeffery Deaver's novel The Blue Nowhere: the book cover for at least one Italian edition reveals facts which happen halfway through the book, e.g. chief Anderson is easily murdered by the serial killer and Wyatt was an old friend of the serial killer.
  • Ed McBain's novel Mischief (87th Precinct series): the book cover for at least one Italian edition reveals the secret plan of The Deaf Man - what he wants to steal, from who and when. The only problem is... the plan is actually discovered only at the very end of the book!
  • Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: in an Italian edition (late 80s), the book cover reveals that Charlie will find a Golden Ticket. Well, that's pretty obvious. But it goes on further, revealing that the children, (cite) "one by one, will meet a dreadful fate, according to their flaws. The last one (who?) will become the new owner of the factory". The whole plot and ending spoiled!
  • As per usual for Tamora Pierce's books, The Will of the Empress has a nice map at the front showing the geography of the fictional country where the action takes place. One location is clearly labeled as the place where Shan ambushes and kidnaps Sandry. This is both a twist and the catalyst for the climactic conflict of the book. Many fans were displeased.
  • Here There Be Dragons states on the back cover that the three main characters are, in fact, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carrol, and Charles Williams, when this is not revealed until the very end of the book.
  • The dust jacket of Warbreaker ruins a major plot twist if you think hard enough, by telling you flat out that Vasher is the titular Warbreaker, which is a major hint that Vasher is also the similarly named Peacegiver.
  • One recent printing of Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein features a contest on the back cover where readers wrote in on whether the main character, Podkayne, should live or die. Apparently, Heinlein wrote the latter but his editor forced him to change it to a happier ending, completely undermining the entire point of the book. This edition featured both endings, as well as choice letters.
  • The Club Of Queer Trades is a series of off-beat detective stories by G. K. Chesterton. The blurb at the beginning gives away the solution to every single story.
  • The cover of the Harper Collins printing of John Dickson Carr's novel The Case Of The Constant Suicides features a dog carrier with strange fumes rising out of it. This essentially gives away the murder method used in the book - a block of dry ice hidden in a dog carrier that releases carbon dioxide gas as it sublimates.
  • At least two covers of John Dickson Carr's To Wake The Dead show a man in uniform at the climactic cemetery fight. One shows a man in uniform with a helmet.
  • If you're going to read a novel published by the Penguin Classics line, just don't read the back cover blurb. The worst is the Penguin (and almost any other edition of) Little Women, which states plainly that readers will "cry over Beth's untimely death", which doesn't happen well into the second half of the novel. This might be a case of It Was His Sled, but still.
  • Craig Brown (British columnist) wrote an article deploring this practice, citing several egregious examples - one which sticks in the mind is a blurb along the following lines: "in this gripping narrative, the reader slowly realises that the narrator is insane" - thus preventing the reader from slowly realising anything of the sort...
  • All of the later Sookie Stackhouse books seem to have a compulsive need to spoil major plot points for earlier books on the back cover. Add in that all of the books look similar, so it's easy to pick the wrong one, and you've got a recipe for frustration. Extremely annoying if going from an early book to a far later one. Fairies? We don't even have werewolves yet! Vampire War? What? Oh- thanks for telling me that Eric wins it. Dammit book.
  • The godly parentage of the titular character in the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series is saved for a big reveal several chapters into the book, but the back cover tells you right off that it's Poseidon. Not to mention the title of the series and even the vaguest summary give away the a-few-chapters-in reveal that the Greek gods are still around.
    • This troper had it worse when she saw the advertisement in a Scholastic book order form which blatantly says in one sentence that Percy is the son of the sea god.
  • "Oh, look, The Great Gatsby! I've always wanted to check that out! Let me see what the book is about." *reads the back cover* "Sold!" *about halfway through reading the book* "So...why did the back cover spoil Gatsby and Daisy's relationship?"
  • There's a historical whodunit out there called The Mystery Of The Roman Ransom. The back cover tells us that it's about a group of boys in Ancient Rome who uncover that a respected senator - one of their fathers - is going to be assassinated, and that they have to find out who it is. Fair enough...and then you flip open the cover and see a lengthy excerpt from the scene where they find out who it is on the very first page.
  • The novels of Edward Rutherfurd (Sarum, London, etc) always include a family tree for the characters, which tracks them through the generations and centuries. Nice and handy ... except that it always spoils who survives to reproduce, who marries whom, and which families will attain noble titles. Could easily be averted if they put this at the back of the book, instead of next to the maps which you're always having to flip back and reference.
  • Daniel Handler (also known as Lemony Snicket) wrote "The Basic Eight", which is really enjoyable and has a great twist. Unfortunately, at least one newer edition spoils this twist by stating that Flannery is not a murderer, but a murderess. For the record, Natasha did the murder but reading the back kind of gives avay that Natasha doesn't exist.
  • One edition of The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz has a back-cover blurb rather accurately saying that the "adorable little girls made Pausert the mortal enemy of his fiancée, his planet, the Empire, the Sirians, the Uldunians, the dread pirate chieftain Laes Yango..." The spoilered name there was an alias the pirate chieftain the Agandar used when trying to capture Pausert's ship by trickery rather than brute force.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The producers of Frasier had to pull a fast one on NBC in order to avert this. In the "Adventures in Paradise" two-part episode, Frasier finds himself at a Hawaiian resort in a room next to his ex-wife, Lilith. The second part ended with a dream sequence where Frasier was back at the resort, this time next to Shelly Long as Diane Chambers. The producers were worried that NBC would heavily promote the surprise cameo, so they shot the scene in secret and turned in a copy of the episode without the scene, only giving the real episode to the executives at the very last minute.
  • During Chuck's third season, one episode ended with the implied death of Devon Woodcomb, aka, Captain Awesome. However, almost immediately afterwards, we see him in the next time trailer, still alive.
    • Even worse, one episode ends with Chuck about to meet his father (who ran off years ago) in a trailer in the middle of nowhere. The episode ends with the door opening, and Chuck's father hidden. Immediately afterwards the next-episode trailer proclaimed "Next week on Chuck, Scott Bakula returns to NBC!"
    • Done again in the fifth season, with "Chuck Versus the Curse" ending with a jail cell about to open, and the scene abruptly cutting after that. Lo and behold NBC's next-episode trailer revealing that Daniel Shaw is the person who's about to exit the jail cell.
  • Happened in the Season 3 finale of Lost. The commercials for it showed Jin, Bernard, and Sayid tied up. In, the show, Ben ordered their deaths, and you hear 3 gunshots through the radio. However, the scene with them tied up did not appear yet in the episode, telling people preemptively that they were alive.
    • In the penultimate episode of the 5th season, Kate, Sawyer, and Juliet are seen leaving the island. However, the commercials for the finale show them back on the island. So much for that.
    • Creator/producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have ordered ABC not to show any footage of season 6 in trailers for the next—and final—season. This is both because they want a large amount of suspense going into the show's conclusion, and because showing any footage at all would explain the results of season 5's massive cliffhanger.
      • ABC, however, did not listen to them and began showing new footage just a couple of days before the season's premiere. Due to how season 5 ended, almost any footage would have spoiled the basic premise of the season. They also spoiled specific things like the fate of Claire.
    • The previews for the last few episodes have done exactly this, and show absolutely nothing from the upcoming episode. It's nice.
    • "Everybody Loves Hugo"'s final scenes include Desmond being tossed down to a well, possibly to his death. Cue the next time trailer for "The Last Recruit", which shows Desmond alive and well.
      • To be fair, no one who watches Lost religiously would have had any doubt about his fate anyway. If we didn't see it, it didn't happen.
  • Lampshade hung along with pretty much everything else on the Stargate SG-1 episode 200. According to Wikipedia the twist they're talking about (Jack O'Neill's sudden appearance) actually made it to the commercials for the episode.

Vala: Wow. Nobody's gonna see that coming.
Daniel: No. There'll be spoilers.
Carter: Are you kidding? It's gonna be in the commercial.

    • And more recently, a commercial for Stargate Atlantis promised you "won't believe what happens in the last five minutes..." before showing you exactly what happens. Of course, may also be a subversion as the commercial's description for the rest of the episode's plot is completely off.
      • The announcer notably said in that episode's trailer: "They fall into a surprise attack of the replicators!" as the trailer shows...a Wraith ship attacking.
        • Nothing beats a sneak peek into "The Lost Tribe" giving away who the new enemies are.
      • Another possibly attempted subversion was the commercials for the episode where Teyla poses as a Wraith queen, with scenes taken out of context to imply she would end up turning against the team. The possibility isn't even mentioned in the episode itself.
    • EVERY SINGLE promo for Stargate: Continuum shows Ba'al being betrayed and killed by Vala/Qatesh, which is really supposed to be a surprise.
  • A well-known TV example would be the trailers for the Firefly pilot (if you can call it that, considering it was the last episode aired). The major act break at the half-way point of the two-hour episode was supposed to have been revealing what was in the box Simon was so anxious to keep secret. This was ruined by the fact that the FOX promos spoiled it from the get go, as well as showing the moment the box was opened in the opening credits.
    • Considering it was the last episode aired, an astute viewer probably would've had it figured out.
      • But if you're showing the series to someone new you can get a great reaction by not letting them see the opening credits so they don't know which people are regular cast members until the end of the first episode.
  • Happens pretty often in trailers for the 2000s Battlestar Galactica Reimagined. The promo for Resurrection Ship, Part 2, apparently attempted to be discreet in its final frame, which showed a hand holding a gun, aimed at Admiral Cain's head. However, the shot of the hand was detailed enough that many astute viewers were able to determine that it was "Gina", the Number Six Cylon imprisoned on the Pegasus, well before the resolution aired.
    • Worse still, the opening Title Sequence (sometimes) contains cuts from the upcoming episode, frequently turning the opening into an automatic, hard-to-avoid spoiler.
    • In the trailer for Revelations, every scene but one has already occurred by the episode's apparent ending, and that one scene can literally be missed if the viewer blinked. Even when you see it, it's ambiguous.
    • The trailer for The Ties That Bind pretty much gives away the fact that Cally doesn't survive the episode, though how and why are still a mystery.
      • There's another trailer that makes the how and why very clear.
    • The Hub had an interesting case. The trailers showed the newly-ressurrected D'Anna telling Roslin that she is a Cylon. Many viewers wondered if it was real or creative editing. As it was revealed, D'Anna did say that to Roslin. However, she said to to mess with Roslin's head. In the commentaries of the episode, Ronald D. Moore expressed great anger that they ruined the joke by putting it in the trailer.
      • Not to mention showing D'Anna was a spoiler in itself.
  • Law and Order sometimes gives away the twist in the commercial for it, or even in the preview right before they play the ep.
  • The new Doctor Who has a strange relationship with this; for the tenth and eleventh Doctors, even though sneak peeks are run at the end of most episodes, they make sure that any trailers for the second part of a two-parter are given as much warning as possible, moving them to the end of the credits and giving plenty of room for a continuity announcer to explain. Russell T. Davies is a very vocal critic of spoiling trailers, and often directed editors to screw around with press copies.
    • Played straight with the first Cliff Hanger of the revived series; "Aliens Of London" ends with the Doctor being electrocuted to death by the Slitheen, which then immediately cuts to a "On the Next..." trailer not only showing the Doctor very much alive but also telling the army about the Slitheen's plans!
    • The trailer for "Bad Wolf" gives away the twist that the Daleks are behind the deadly game shows the Doctor and Co find themselves in.
    • The sneak peek for "Army of Ghosts" at the end of "Fear Her" all but gives away that the "army of ghosts" is made up of Cybermen. This was not actually much of a surprise when you consider that the fact had already been reported in various media. However, the Daleks also appear at the last minute of the episode, a fact that the show's creators went to great lengths to keep secret... only to be spoiled by a rather obvious shot of a Dalek Death Ray firing in the same trailer.
      • The best part of it is that the Dalek attack scene isn't even in Army of Ghosts - it's from the episode after that, Doomsday.
    • The American recut trailers on Sci-Fi are even worse about this. The trailer for Utopia gives away the last minute twist of the Master's return. Perhaps they thought Americans wouldn't be up enough on Doctor Who history to understand it when it came, so they spelled it out for us.
      • Oddly enough, they spoiled the same episode with the same line in the Australian trailers, a country that's been regularly airing Doctor Who since 1966.
      • This however doesn't excuse what they did for the fourth season finale: the very first thing they show is David Tennant's face, spoiling that he doesn't really regenerate, and it goes downhill from there. It's like they want Americans to pirate the show from the UK...
    • Subverted oh so very much in the BBC trailer for "Forest of the Dead."
      • Sci-Fi's version (as usual) pretty much ruins it, what with Donna being alive and River biting it.
    • The worst example in the history of the new Who is the episode Daleks in Manhattan. The twist ending of this is the revelation of the dalek-human hybrid- whose picture was on the front of the Radio Times. I am eternally indebted to my mother, who put an envelope over it and wouldn't let anyone look until after, saving the dramatic impact of the episode...
    • Alternatively, for The Stolen Earth. The protagonists finally learn what has caused the Earth's movement, and that there is reason to be very very afraid, and the audience should also be very very afraid and surprised... except that the Daleks had been on the trailer for the entire series, broadcast a least once a night for the past three months, and hadn't yet appeared in a single episode.
    • However, it was played with quite well in Victory of The Daleks getting Radio Times cover. It got three, each showing a different Paradigm Dalek, but since these Daleks had three with the colors of the British Political Parties they plaed it off as for the election, one for each. Still spoiling, but covertly.
    • Oh, and the End of Time DVD menu is basically a montage of the first episode's cliffhanger, giving all the plot twists away. It's almost entirely made up of clips of the Master zapping around or taking control of the Immortality Gate or turning everyone into himself. Nice one, BBC.
    • The cliffhanger at the end of the opening two parter of Series 6 centers around Amy shooting a little girl in a space suit. The trailer for Part Two not only shows the girl alive and well, but also where the bullet harmlessly penetrated the space suit.
  • Other David Tennant dramas can't escape this either. The Next Time trailers for Single Father repeatedly revealed major plot points. You'd think that for a show where a major, tension-creating plot element would be about who fathered whose children, you wouldn't give the answer away in the trailers. But no...
  • Subverted by Eastenders in the late 90s, when fake spoilers were inserted into trailers. One gave the impression that club owner Steve was going to be killed by his girlfriend, whereas the actual episode had it happen the other way around. Steve then framed his colleague, who subsequently escaped from prison and returned for revenge. The trailers for that episode implied that he had booby trapped several lightbulbs with explosives as revenge, but the episode had no exploding lightbulbs in it at all.
  • Arrested Development subverts this trope with its 'Next time on 'Arrested Development...' sections at the end of each episode, which depict events which are then never shown to occur in the next episode.
    • Making it even more surprising the one time it did happen: Tobias sneaking into the blind attorney's home.
  • House previews occasionally seem to subvert this, by taking one of House's sarcastic lines from the next episode and implying that it is literal.
    • Local previews for the Australian broadcasting of House were often deliberately misleading, taking quotes out of context and hinting that the focus of the story was something totally different.
    • This subversion itself may have been lampshaded by a Season 4 episode where a documentary crew, failing to get House to utter anything serious, edits their documentary to make comments like "I became a doctor because of Patch Adams" look serious.
    • The preview for the finale of Season 6 on British TV spoils the surprise ending: Cuddy leaving Lucas and telling House that she loves him.
    • Polish DVD Box for 4th Season of the series is one of the greatest offenders of this trope. The whole point of the 4th season is "Who will be in House's new team". Some brilliant editor thought that it would be great if he placed the three new doctors (chosen in the middle of the season!) on the DVD cover.
  • NBC was notorious for doing this during most if not of all of their miniseries "events", but a particularly egregious example occurred twice for The Tenth Kingdom: just after the suspenseful scenes in which Virginia and Tony were trying to buy the Traveling mirror at auction, the trailer revealed that it gets broken, and right as we're wondering if the heroes will get to the ball and stop the Evil Queen's plot in time, the trailer revealed all of Wendell's guests collapsing from poison. Next commercial break then shows us both the same guests awakening, revealing they weren't really dead and Prince and Wendell switching back--though granted, this was something of an Untwist by that late in the game. About the only major plot point not revealed by the trailers, thankfully, was that the Evil Queen was Virginia's mother.
    • Not to mention Wolf stopping the Huntsman from killing Virginia at the end.
  • Certain seasons of Super Sentai (such as Boukenger and Gekiranger) have a nasty habit of showing story spoilers in the "next episode preview" at the end of each episode.
    • In the Boukenger episode called "The Golden Sword," the Monster of the Week is Nigh Invulnerable and utterly tearing the Rangers a new one. The trailer reveals that in the following episode, a new character could turn out to be friend or foe and might even fall under the bad guy's control. Then it goes onto show the Rangers handily beating up the monster that was killing them in the current episode, then said new character joining in and later posing with the Rangers' Humongous Mecha. Not much is saved for the actual episode at all.
  • The last few seasons of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter has had several fight ending finishes shown during the commercial about the show just before it happens.
    • Also, they often tease a "special guest" showing up in the next episode and vainly attempt to edit around the actual person to keep it a surprise. This often fails (IE, Matt Hughes being clearly seen sitting on a bench in the background in one teaser).
  • During the last season of Gilmore Girls, the teaser at the end of each episode showed the very last scene of the following episode. Technically, this may have been more misdirection than spoiler, though, as the final scene of each episode was usually unrelated to the main action of the story, and was itself a lead-in for the following episode. Which is to say, that after the final scene foreshadowed the next episode, the "On the Next..." teaser that followed showed you what amounted to a teaser for the episode two weeks down the line.
  • FOX has a tendency to completely ruin the element of surprise on their gameshows, including Moment Of Truth and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, by having openings and "coming up after this commercial" previews which show how far along the contestant is going to get, which completely defeats the point of going to commercial after the contestant answers the question but before it is revealed if they are correct or not.
    • Likewise the "later tonight" promos in their Sunday night cartoon block tend to show the best punch lines from the forthcoming shows, which would've been funnier if you had seen them in context for the first time.
    • In the Season Four finale of So You Think You Can Dance, the show cut to commercial before announcing whether the winner was Joshua Allen or Stephen "Twitch" Bass. During the commercial break, a promo for FOX News at 9 advertised a story about "So You Think You Can Dance champion Joshua Allen." No prizes for guessing who was crowned the Season Four winner when the show resumed...
    • NBC did one worse: they hyped the first millionaire of Deal or No Deal about one week before the episode aired, and considering how desperate NBC was to get a millionaire, even a casual channel surfer would get it. (It doesn't help when you use phrases like "It's the one you've all been waiting for!")
    • NBC does a masterful job of subverting this trope, though, nearly every week on The Biggest Loser. During the part of the show when the contestants are participating in their weekly weigh-in, they love cutting to commercial a split second before revealing a contestant's amount of weight loss with the final shot being a close-up shot on the face of one of the trainers or another contestant as they react to the number revealed. When the show returns from commercial and reveals the number, the reactions are usually the complete opposite of what was implied by the reaction shot before the commercial.
  • Crossing over with New Media: watching NBC's online streaming of Heroes episodes, instead of the broadcast, is only for spoilerphiles and people who click 'Play' faster than they read. Their single-sentence summary for "Angels and Monsters" manages to completely give away the ending of Claire's plotline: the guy kills himself.
    • Season 3 of Heroes is bad with this. Not only is the arc titled "Villains", but the trailer reveals that there are 12 new "Sylars" and that the original will get his powers back. Didn't stop them from making the break out in the second episode look like a Big Reveal...
      • Erm. Sylar got his powers back at the end of season 2. And complaining that the title gives away the general direction is like complaining that the title "Spider-Man" spoils that there's a guy getting the powers of a spider.
  • German TV stations are particularly notorious for this. A trailer for Evolution with David Duchovny featured one of the movie's final scenes, a trailer for season 2 of Lost featured the confrontation between Mr. Eko and the smoke monster, a trailer for season 4 reveals who the Oceanic Six (one of the "main" mysteries in the first half of the season) are and on top of that features scenes from the season finale (the Oceanic Six arriving at home, the island disappearing), and so on.
  • One immensely frustrating one occurred to Star Trek: Voyager. At the very end (literally in the last five seconds) of the otherwise unrelated episode "Blood Fever," the crew discover a Borg corpse, setting up the next episode, "Unity," and the primary threat of the remainder of the series. It was pretty effective -- it came completely out of left field and chillingly evoked one of the most terrifying enemies in the Trek mythos (regardless of how unforgivably Villain Decayed they would subsequently become). So what do the producers do? Why, they put that scene right in the trailer, of course.
    • Voyager's "The Chute" is a classic example. Paris and Kim are thrown in an alien prison, and about halfway through comes the revelation that they can't break out because the prison is in space. It's a very dramatic shot that would no doubt have been more effective if it hadn't been in the commercial.
  • Reality shows on Bravo typically show the judges' harsher comments and contestant reaction shots/defenses. Although this is sometimes subverted, like one time where a comment was said in the trailer and the contestant shot showed him tilting his head back and going down, as if in frustration/agony. In the episode, he was in the top 3.
  • Mad TV regularly did this with fake trailers (notably the one for the Rocket Revengers in Excito-Color movie). The narrator asks the audience various things like "Who will die?", followed by footage of that person dying, going so far as to even show the ending of the film. ("You'll have to pay big money to find out Tooka's secret; that she's carrying Tiny's baby!")
  • Has occurred on The Ultimate Fighter, sometimes inadvertently spoiling fights during the in-episode previews.
  • Even Showtime manages to do this. A trailer for season three of The Tudors aired before the season began showed Henry being introduced to his fourth wife, with a voice-over of how marriage to her would add military might to England, thus spoiling the mid-season plot point of Queen Jane dying.
    • But that actually happened in real life. It's history. So whether it's a spoiler at all is subjective.
      • And this relates to The Tudors how?
        • Since it's history, anyone with historical knowledge of the period in question would expect said spoiler to occur at some point. Still a spoiler for the series itself, though.
  • Twenty Four is somewhat notorious for this among fans; there's a fairly large portion of the fanbase that refuses to watch the ""On the Next..."" previews at the end of each episode. Since the show takes place in real time and is largely fixated on the suspense of "what happens next", it's easy for a preview to take the suspense out of quite a few minutes of the upcoming episode. Examples are really too numerous to list, but here's a fairly recent one:
    • At the end of an episode in season 7, the ambassador from Sangala had locked himself and his wife in a panic room. The bad guys are outside, wondering how they can get to him. Cue the preview for next week, which shows the room being flooded with gas. Naturally, it's no surprise next week when Jack Bauer (working undercover) suggests that he can create a gas out of household items and pump it through the ventilation system.
    • Season 3 had a very notorious example. At this point in the season, there was a powdered form of a virus being transported in a plastic bag by a mule (just a kid who agreed to carry something over the Mexican border). CTU spent the entire episode trying to track down the package and the kid. Then, after the episode was over the preview literally had Jack Bauer yelling "THE VIRUS IS OUT!" in absolute panic. Granted, it turned out to be a false alarm but 24 fandom was so pissed off at potentially being spoiled that complaints were flown at FOX's direction and addressed. This resulted in the previews being treated as spoilers in 24 fandom discussion.
  • The "On the Next..." trailers of the original Star Trek: The Original Series were terrible about this. Particularly Egregious is the preview of "The City on the Edge of Forever", which so effectively summarizes the whole episode that it plays more like a "Previously On..." than anything else.
  • The original trailers of Star Trek: The Next Generation could be pretty awful about this too. Perhaps the most Egregious was the trailer for the episode, "The Most Toys" which showed Data being captured by aliens, a woman alien offering to help Data escape, and a man incinearting the woman with a phaser. When the episode aired, the man was the villain of the episode while the woman was his loyal assistant...and was a major character throughout the entire episode, not doing her Heel Face Turn and getting zapped by her boss until within the last 5 minutes of the episode.
  • When TV Guide Channel re-aired episodes of Hollywood Showdown (which was 30 minutes), they would pad out the show with commercials to make it an hour long. Towards the end of the hour, they would run the first five minutes or so of the next episode.
  • The Maury talk show does this religiously. In every commercial break before DNA test results, they try to build suspense by showing quick clips of the guests before and after the results. 99% of the time, they show the guests' reactions to the results, defeating the purpose of sticking around for the results. Sometimes, if the DNA test is for a more serious tone, like an adult daughter finding her long lost father, the clips fade into a commercial break without showing the reaction.
    • Considering that the crazies they get, their reactions would have come no matter what the result would have been.
  • If you have a box set/are watching episodes of a TV series on YouTube of a show you've never seen, never, EVER read the episode summary, unless you want the whole episode spoiled for you. In one sentence, the summary will ruin your whole viewing experience.
    • More or less than TV Tropes?
  • The CW did this to themselves with a Season 7 episode of One Tree Hill. The "On the Next..." preview that aired after 7x08 had Brooke's voiceover stating that she thought she could be pregnant. Later, the CW released the clip where she confesses this to Haley before a concert Haley will be playing that night at the town's nightclub. Then the CW releases a promo photo of Brooke drinking at Haley's concert, clearly revealing she wasn't pregnant.
    • Then there were the trailers for the season five finale which showed the cliffhanger-end in the preview.
  • Ads have started running for a TBS stand-up comedy show which says "If these are the punchlines, imagine what the set-ups are like!" and proceed to show just the punchlines of jokes. Which tends to ruin the joke, but apparently nobody at TBS knows that, or how jokes work.
  • The promo for the Numb3rs episode "Spree" made a big deal about Megan being kidnapped, as if the entire episode was about that. Almost none of the scenes in the promo are in that episode (they're in the next one, "Two Daughters"), and Megan isn't kidnapped until the last thirty seconds of the episode, as a cliffhanger. So... the trailer made the entire episode pointless, really.
  • The trailers in the later seasons of Robot Wars often showed footage from non-preliminary battles.
  • Mere minutes after the last episode of Life On Mars had finished on BBC One, fellow BBC channel BBC Three's 60 Seconds (presumably attempting to encourage viewers to watch the episode) announced that the final episode had been shown and, in under ten seconds, spoiled that Sam had been revived in the present and jumped to an apparent death to return to the '70s. It was followed by an (unscripted, one imagines) apology for those that had recorded the episode to watch later.
  • Commercials for the iCarly hour-long special "iPsycho", in which a crazy girl locks the trio in her basement, featured about no clips from the first half-hour of the episode. Instead, every commercial emphasized their friend Gibby coming to save them, which literally happens within the last 5 minutes.
    • Seriously, just about every episode does this now. Recently examples include spoiling the funniest (in an episode which wasn't especially funny to begin with), and 'climactic' scene in "iSpace Out".
    • "iGot A Hot Room" spoiled in the trailers that it was Carly's birthday, that Spencer burns down the room trying to do something nice for her, that Carly is upset at it, that Carly has a job as part of the episode, that Spencer rushes to re-do the room as a surprise with Freddie and Sam, the fact that Carly loves the new room, and what the new room itself looked like.
    • "iCan't Take It" aired nine minutes of sneak peeks for a 22 minute show, including spoiling the big secret about Sam's misdeed to Freddie, and the ending where Freddie saves their relationship and Freddie kisses Sam again.
    • Worst of all, they revealed Sam's mother, resident Chuck Norris of bad parenting, who they spent seasons hyping up, IN THE ADVERTISEMENT.
  • iCarly's sister show Victorious is very guilty of this too. The promo for "Cat's New Boyfriend" gave away that Cat was dating Tori's ex, Daniel, that Tori sprayed cheese on Cat and Daniel, that Tori kissed Daniel, and that Cat punched Tori in the face.
  • A similar scenario arised in a True Jackson VP special. The trailers posed the question of whether True and Jimmy will become a couple or not while almost simultaneously showing the two kissing, which happens mere seconds before the episode ends.
  • Nickelodeon is just plain terrible at making trailers. The hour-long special Big Time Concert showed various clips of the boys back in Minnesota, which implied that they had failed in some way and returned home. Worse than that were the clips of the guys reuniting happily, followed by a detailed sequence of them getting kidnapped by Hawk moments before their show, escaping via Carlos's... bravery, and performing at their concert. Let's hope the channel never picks up a mystery series, since every trailer would reveal the culprit-of-the-day.
    • Yeah... about that...
    • Another notable example of this is the Christmas special. The first promo showed the weather forecast stating that the airports at Minnesota have been shut down due to a snowstorm, which happens less than four minutes from the end of the episode, then shows the boys and Kendall's family greeting Mr. Bitters on Christmas morning, which happens in the next scene after that.
  • Warehouse 13 averts this, not showing Artie in ads for season 2, since he is supposedly dead.
  • The promo for the "Wizards vs. Werewolves" special of Wizards of Waverly Place showed Alex's new boyfriend, Mason, (who was introduced in the previous episode) screaming in front of a full moon as if he was about to undergo some kind of a transformation into a werewolf. Guess what?
    • The promo for the episode "Moving On" showed that Justin would miss Juliet, Alex would come up with some plan, and even had "Juliet" saying "I'm not Juliet." What happened here?
    • Also the episode "Everything's Rosie For Justin" (at least I think that's the name). Not only was it advertised as the first episode in the "Wizards vs. Angels" trilogy, but the promos featured her with angel wings and Justin saying "She's an angel". Them finding out about Rosie being an angel actually happens near the very end of the episode, and is probably supposed to be a surprising twist.
  • The promo for the season three episode "My Oh Maya" of The Suite Life on Deck completely gave away the main plot that Zack would develop real feelings for a girl, and would resolve to change his womanizing ways.
  • While not as bad a letout, the first promo for the Victorious episode "Robarazzi" shows Robbie being worried about his blog, then humiliating Tori after the video of her playing with her pimple is let out. Then, in another ad promoting the block it was going to be aired in (with iCarly and Big Time Rush), it shows Tori and Jade filming Robbie in his gym towel against his plea, implying that they set up a revenge plot, which happens about three minutes from the end of the episode.
  • Top Chef is really bad with this.
    • In "Top Chef Season 7", on the second-to-last episode, Bravo stretched the episode. Instead of going from 10-11 pm, they had it run from 10-11:30 pm to increase the suspense of the final elimination. The viewer watches until 11 pm, and that is about where Judge's Table starts. Here's the slip-up: Bravo still has the ads going like the episode was 10-11. So on the commercial break where they are choosing between three contestants to be eliminated, there are the two winning contestants walking through a door on the preview for the finale. Guess who gets eliminated now.
    • "Top Chef Masters Season 2" was to select eight people to compete in the final round. This was the last selection round, and before the elimination they play a quick clip of the eight people in the final round. No point watching the ending anymore.
    • In almost all the seasons, Season 1 has ended with a "This season on Top Chef!" preview, where you might see Bob saying "I'm cooking at a baseball park!" So until that clip pops up, Bob is completely safe. And if Alice is saying "We have to cook at NASA." Then again, Alice has immunity til the NASA challenge, and the shock of this new challenge will be softened because you knew what it was anyway.
  • Another Disney Channel mistake, before the credits for a new episode of Good Luck Charlie started, a trailer for a Saturday block clearly said that Gabe won his class election, and showed scenes from the credits we had then yet to see.
  • Subverted for a few Top Shot trailers, a reality show where competing marksmen are progressively eliminated. More than a few times the previews for the next episode, usually aired the commercial break before finding out who goes home, showed competitors that were eliminated.
  • The promos for the Hannah Montana Forever episode "Hannah's Gonna Get This", spoiled the fact that Hannah ended up recording the song as a duet with Iyaz, something which doesn't happen until the last minute of the episode.
  • Lifetime managed to kill the suspense surrounding the identities of Project Runway's eighth season finalists by airing a promo for the next week's episode during the commercial break directly preceding that episode's elimination.
    • Oxygen Network is bad with this as well, in particular with their reality show Hair Battle. Gee, thanks for giving me a comprehensive list of everyone who is not going to be eliminated halfway through the episode, guys.
  • The DVD booklet for the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer contains a quote that spoils the outcome of the season finale.
    • You know that guy who dies at the end of Buffy's seventh season? Well he shows up in the fifth season of Angel, in a shocking surprise at the end of the first episode. Oh, he's also featured prominently in the opening credits.
    • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6 DVD has Dark Willow on the cover, and, even more inexplicably, on the first disc.
    • Teen Nick is about to start running Buffy the Vampire Slayer repeats. Their ad announcing this shows Buffy and Spike kissing. OK, maybe that's It Was His Sled by now, but the commercial is aimed at people who are not familiar with the series, who will now probably be quite confused when they start watching season 2.
  • Network Ten purposely ruined the shocking twist in the finale of the third season of The OC for Australian viewers. Instead of letting us think she was getting Put on a Bus ten decided to start showing ads three weeks before the finale saying " MARISSA... WILL... DIE".
  • VH-1 spoiled a match in The World Series Of Pop Culture this way: One of the semifinal matches spilled over into the final episode...and the preview trailer for the finale spoiled who wins that semifinal match. Oops...
  • Some years ago, a promo for the ABC nightly news promised an interview with the first-ever million dollar winner on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Said promo aired before WWTBAM started.
  • Glee did this in a season 2 episode, showing Kurt, who has been at a rival school for ten episodes, standing at the top of a staircase yelling "Kurt Hummel's back at McKinley!"
  • In the Season 2 episode of Leverage that introduced Tara Cole, she was posing as their client's uptight lawyer to "audition" as a stand-in grifter for Sophie - a fact she didn't reveal to the team (or the audience) until the end. Unfortunately, that was given away in one of the promos that aired just prior to the actual reveal in the last segment.
  • One episode of Sliders had the title group land in a version of San Francisco where those in charge force everyone to use some kind of buddy system. If one guy does something illegal, the other one is killed. The area is also more prone to earthquakes than the normal San Francisco and everyone knows that a big one is imminent. Quinn asks one authority figure why nobody tries to leave because of this. The man tells him something the audience learned from the promos: this version of San Francisco is a maximum security prison.
  • An episode of ER did this badly enough for TV Guide to call them out. The promos for one episode touted the return of Dr. Carter, even showing a brief scene. How long was Carter's actual appearance? Exactly as long as in the promos, using the exact same scene.
  • A DVD sleeve example - the UK boxset of the final series of Six Feet Under not only shows a wedding photo of Nate and Brenda, but the entire cast at a funeral with Nate mysteriously missing...
  • For the episode "Grace" in the first season of Falling Skies, the promo immediately before it showed the boy putting the harness back on his back. The boy doesn't actually put it on until 45 minutes through the hour-long episode.
  • The promos for the season finale of My Babysitter's a Vampire on Disney Channel pretty much spoil what was probably intended to be a Wham Ending, showing clips that make it blatantly obvious that Jesse bites Ethan and Sarah sucks the vampire venom out of Ethan, becoming a full vampire in the process.
  • The Season 2 Comic-Con trailer for The Walking Dead shows a quick clip of Guillermo, the leader (and caretaker) of the retirement home in the first-season episode "Vatos" lying dead on the ground, while Rick and the others fend off a contingent of walkers massing around the area near his body.
  • The preview for an episode in Season 2 of Parenthood showed one of the main characters being involved in a potentially fatal car accident and implied that the episode's entire plot would be centered around the buildup to the accident scene. The episode itself had the character shown in the accident scene being involved in a completely unrelated storyline with the buildup to the accident only happening within the final 5 minutes and the accident itself being the very last shot before the credits rolled.
  • Law and Order Los Angeles began running previews nearly a month in advance of its return from its winter hiatus stating that "Law & Order loses one of its own" followed by a montage of all the main characters, indicating that their first episode back would be a Tonight Someone Dies story with one of the main characters being the one killed while leaving viewers speculating about which character it would be. However, subsequent previews shown closer to the episode's airdate blatantly spoiled which character would be killed, even showing nearly the entire death scene.
  • In the promo for the Season 4 finale of How I Met Your Mother, they showed a scene of Barney and Robin kissing, despite the fact that a major reoccuring plotline spanning the entire season involved Barney struggling with his feelings for Robin.
    • Done on a more minor level with most, if not all, promos for this show. Due to Wolverine Publicity, CBS seems to have gotten it into their heads that every single one of their promos should mainly consist of Barney doing something sleazy or eccentric, regardless of how prominently Barney actually figures into the episode's plot. Therefore, most of Barney's crazy stunts get spoiled in promos before the episode ever airs. On one hand, this makes Barney seem incredibly annoying in the promos and sucks the humor out of his scenes. On the other, it means the other characters' (usually more substantial) plotlines are ignored by the promos and therefore remain complete mysteries until the episode airs, sparing them from this trope.
  • Grimm, is a horror TV Series from NBC, but the first trailer that was released (in May) managed to spoil the ENTIRE first episode. In just 3.55 minutes.
  • Ads for The Event's return following its Christmas break made a huge deal out of revealing the origin of the aliens on the show. The show itself does not reveal this until the very last 5 minutes of the last episode, about six episodes after the ads started mentioning it.
  • Series 4 of the BBC's Merlin had a trailer for the first episode which showed Arthur carrying a lifeless Merlin. This is the cliffhanger at the end of the episode.
    • Interestingly, the series is also infamous for the unreliability of its trailers, particularly where interactions between Arthur and Merlin are concerned. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground.
    • On a similar note, the US previews [2] for season 4 opened with "The king is dead", successfully spoiling the third episode before even making headway on the season premier. Not to be deterred, it went on to display Merlin and the Dorocha that (successfully) attacked him and the aforementioned carrying scene. And also Uther's body for good measure. Just to let us know they were serious.
  • In recent years, Wheel of Fortune (of all shows!) is guilty of this. The show uploads a preview of next week's shows on Sony's website every weekend. Nearly every preview shows contestants landing on or picking up prizes, the $10,000 side of the Mystery Wedge, or the Million Dollar Wedge. Occasionally, similar previews air on TV.
    • On October 13, 2010, one preview that aired near the end of the show was devoted entirely to a woman picking up the Million Dollar Wedge, complete with suspenseful music and an announcer hinting viewers that she would win the grand prize. When the episode in particular aired, she lost the wedge to a Bankrupt.
  • USA Network's promos for the season 3 finale of White Collar spoiled the sudden "What Now?" Ending about Neal cutting his anklet.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had "On the Next..." trailers that were notorious for this. The one for "Phases" revealed who the werewolf was, and the one for "Innocence" revealed that Angel had lost his soul.
  • PBS' trailer for the newest adaptation of Great Expectations gives away how Miss Havisham dies, even though the official website goes out of its way to stick "Spoiler Warning" on the production designer's discussion of that event.
  • The trailers for Supernatural are infamous for this. For example, the season 3's big cliffhanger ending of Dean being sent to hell was kind of ruined since the original episode promo showed Sam crying over Dean's dead body. More recently, the episode promo for season 7's "Repo Man" completely ruined the episode's big twist of the apparent victim actually being a villain and trying to let a demon that once possessed him once again inhabit his body by actually making it the focus of the trailer.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Many RPG adventures' cover art, seeking to entice buyers with action scenes, inadvertently spoil the nature of the scenario's Final Battle or a major mid-story menace.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The trailer for the .hack//G.U. games revealed exactly who the eight Epitaph Users are and which Avatars they have.
  • Time Splitters: Future Perfect deserves a special mention; if you can't do a puzzle in an early level, go to the main menu, wait for the game to go into Attract Mode and watch a character do it for you. It is a very easy puzzle, admittedly, but still.
  • One of the commercials for Final Fantasy VII showed Aerith's death scene, which probably helped cement its It Was His Sled status. In fact, for the European version of the game, a screenshot from the FMV immediately following her death (which shows Cloud laying her body in a pool) is on the back of the game case. It's not obvious enough to be a direct spoiler, but it does give a big hint.
    • The voice-over for at least one of these commercials also said "A love that can never be." HINT HINT!
    • Coupled with the fact that the advertisement's narration is terribly cheesy and the teaser itself is quite misleading, this is a particularly egregious example.
  • The intro sequence for Lunar Knights is actually a montage of all of the cut-scenes in the game.
  • The trailer for Super Robot Wars Original Generation Gaiden shows Fiona Guredan alive, and with her final Humongous Mecha. This ruins the suspense of if she survived the malfunctioning Time Flow engine when her mecha was badly damaged..
    • Some would argue that being a spoiler, considering the existence of the Excellence Eternal, the Mid-Season Upgrade that only she uses, in Super Robot Wars R.
    • In actuality, the whole bonus segment in Original Generations were like an interactive trailer for Super Robot Wars Original Generation Gaiden, thus the main story of the bonus sections got carried over to the Gaiden. Including the death of Lamia Loveless. Her rebirth in different circumstances was still well hidden in the commercial videos. As well as the inclusion of the Cry Wolves of the MX series and the return and redemption of both Axel Almer and Alfimi.
  • The trailers for Devil May Cry 4 gave away things like the true intentions of the Order of the Sword, the failure of an attempted Shoot the Dog, and the continued importance of the demonic katana Yamato. They didn't succeed in spoiling everything, but there was something of an Internet Backdraft regarding the final trailer.
  • Several previews also spoiled the big twist in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. on who the player character is.
  • Multiple previews for Ratchet and Clank Going Commando had the amazing distinction of spoiling half the game's plot, including the thief's real name and gender (which you learn halfway through the game) and the purpose of the "experiment" (not referenced in-game until just before the final boss battle).
    • For the third game, the true nature of Dr Nefarious' plan and the literal mechanisation of the entire Tyrrhanoid race were similarly spoilt. These things are explained around halfway and two thirds of the way into the game, respectively.
  • Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn is notable for having a press release that basically outlined the entire game's plot. This included the revealing of the true identity of the Black Knight, which was never revealed in the previous game Path of Radiance, but also only revealed near the end of Radiant Dawn.
  • Although it's so disjointed that it may not be recognizable until you actually play it, the in-game trailer to Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner pretty much shows the entire game, every stage, every boss fight (with the exception of the Final Boss). It also shows pretty much the entire story, including clips from the Ending.
  • The trailer for StarCraft's Expansion Pack, which features several clips of a military funeral interspliced between the imagery of awesome carnage. The fact that the coffin had the banner of the United Earth Directorate on it meant that a major UED character was going to die, though it didn't become clear until the second-to-the-last Terran mission.
  • The manual for Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer advises you to read certain pages only after you've seen the twist at the end of act one. This would have been useful advice if the Spirit Eater curse hadn't featured so prominently in the game's prerelease hype.
  • The DS remake of Final Fantasy IV runs into this trope headlong with its opening cinematic, its instruction manual, and even the back of the box. Square Enix must feel that all the info for a game approaching its twentieth birthday must qualify as It Was His Sled.
    • Then again, the instruction manual originally packaged with the North American SNES version included a walkthrough that spoiled the plot for about half of the game; just flipping through it randomly could spoil at least three Plotline Deaths for you.
      • The manual spoiled even further by giving item lists that mentioned every character class in the game that could equip them. So anyone who read it over and noted that they haven't seen anyone with the class Lunarian yet could easily figure out that anything before The Giant Of Babel, the major dungeon following the recruitment of said Lunarian would not be the final dungeon.
  • In Time Hollow for the DS, you get a fleeting 'flashback' of someone falling past the top of a window, and from your perspective all you can tell is that the person's probably female and a student at the high school. Unless you watched the opening trailer, in which case you know who it is right off the bat, making it painful whenever Ethan recalls it and thinks "GEE I WONDER WHO THAT WAS."
  • The blurb on the back of the case for Rondo of Swords spoils that you're actually playing the prince's body double, not the prince himself. This isn't as huge a spoiler as it sounds—it's revealed after the very first stage—but the game was very obviously written with the intention of keeping it a secret until this (early) reveal.
  • A word of mouth example. If you're never played Nicktoons Racing before and want to check it out on YouTube, DON'T YOU DARE READ THE COMMENTS! Seriously, everybody who comments on any video of that game reveal Plankton is the mystery villain. If you don't believe us, don't say we didn't warn you.
  • The trailer for Grim Fandango spoiled the sproutings of Don Copal and Lola.
  • The trailer for Crash of the Titans reveals that Doctor Neo Cortex is replaced by his niece.
    • The manual for Crash Twinsanity spoils almost everything significant to the plot in the first three quarters of the game.
  • Referenced in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations, Godot mentions he doesn't like spoiling himself with trailers, and "we'll just wait and see how the movie turns out tomorrow, won't we?" when he refuses to reveal something until the trial starts.
    • Investigations 2 would later play this straight. The trailers make a big deal of Edgeworth being offered to become a defence attorney. But the actual offer itself, coming at the end of case 2, is a major Wham! Line if you don't see it coming. It's even spoiled at the end of the demo too. (In fact, though the demo comprises of basically the first half of Case 1, the exchange at the end doesn't take place until the end of Case 3)
  • Done in the instruction manual for Totally Rad, revealing master magician Zebediah's secret at least three times until they actually lampshade this trope.
  • One of the few plot twists in Jak and Daxter that couldn't be seen coming three miles away, namely Jak II/Renegade being set in the future, well...the trope name should give you something of a clue.
  • When The Twin Snakes, the Metal Gear Solid remake for the Nintendo GameCube, was wrapping up production, several trailers were released spoiling the gene storyline (ingame, no mention of it is made until near the end) and dropping an extremely obvious hint as to who the Ninja was by playing a later clip over his introductory scene.

Ninja: Do you remember me now?
Snake: It can't be... you were killed in Zanzibar Land...

    • Not to mention Snake being tricked into activating Metal Gear by accident.

Terminal: PAL code number three confirmed. PAL code entry complete. Detonation code activated.
Snake:It's moving... But how do I stop it!?

    • Considering the PlayStation version came out four years earlier, this was more of a Late Arrival Spoiler.
    • Similar to the above Phantom Menace and Gundam SEED examples above, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake features a track labeled "Natasha's Death." (That's Gustava for those of you playing the version included in Subsistence.)
    • Konami went to great lengths to keep Raiden a secret until the release of MGS2. Unfortunately even that wasn't enough to get around different release dates and almost every British gaming magazine which ran a story on the game featured that. In an amusing inversion, however, many magazines were able to avoid spoiling the plot by making out that Snake had died on the Tanker, something the supporting characters treat as correct until halfway through.
    • In MGS4, the Metal Gears themselves don't play much of a role until Act 4. Screenshots showed Snake in the cockpit of a reactivated, railgun-less REX and RAY in a snow-covered harbour. There's not much of their relevance to the plot that isn't spoilt by those facts.
  • One of the trailers for Sonic and the Black Knight reveals Excalibur Sonic.
    • Think that's bad? Before Sonic Unleashed was released, there was at least one trailer for EACH ZONE except the last, on BOTH versions of the game. That's bad. What's worse is this: The trailers were each around a minute long, and usually showed both day and night stages. Each zone in the PS 2 version (save one) has ONE primary day stage, that can be easily beaten in somewhere around three minutes (a requirement for all medals, actually). Therefore, at least a sixth of each stage was spoiled. In at least two cases, this included the GOAL RING.
    • Anyone who, at this point, is surprised by Sonic turning glowy and yellow at the end of the game clearly hasn't been paying attention to any Sonic game after the first.
    • But it's a different form than Super Sonic.
    • Sonic Generations was also bad about this. For a game all about reliving Sonic's history, they revealed literally every stage, boss, and rival in the game except for the final boss (the only one not to be from a previous game) in the trailers leading up to release.
  • The recent trailer for Metroid Prime Trilogy shows the final bosses of all three Metroid Prime games. This could also be an example of Late Arrival Spoiler.
    • Years before, one of the ads for Metroid 2: Return of Samus showed a clip of the fight with the final boss of the game.
  • Done in the opening sequence of The World Ends With You. It spoils the whole plot, alright, but the player won't realize it until they've beaten the game.
    • Similar case with Deadly Premonition - the first profiling sequence is a lightning-speed montage of every major twist and plot reveal.
  • Maximo plays with it. It goes out of its way to spoil the plot twist that Sophia's Achille's Decoy Damsel for Genre Savvy players, even mentioning it in her manual bio... and naturally she's none of the above.
  • The final encounter with the Hive Mind in Dead Space is revealed in the pre-release trailer, thus ruining a potentially awesome spectacle.
  • The Japanese trailer for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, which was also dubbed as an American ad, shows Grovyle, who is smiling at the main characters who are clearly worried about him dragging Dusknoir through the time portal. Well, there goes half the plot.
    • The third anime special,[3] released around the same time as Explorers of Sky, reveals that the hero, Grovyle, and Dusknoir are from the future, and that the hero will erase himself from the timeline to stop Primal Dialga.
  • Practically everything gets spoiled in the trailers for The Legend of Zelda series, such as this trailer from The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. Take the standard trailer here. Pretty much half the late game gets given away, and the Gamespot trailer actually goes further by showing even more. For that matter, one of the pre order sleeves for the game actually had a picture of the final battle on the front...
  • Early promotion material for Half Life 2: Episode 2 revealed that Alyx dies, or at the very least gets incapacitated, although it's also avoided in that Alyx also gets better and her "death" (falling off a bridge in the promo) is totally different in-game. The trailer also reveals that the G-Man is back in a speaking role after being sidelined for the last game.
    • To be fair, the scene where Alyx is stabbed happens about ten to fifteen minutes into the game.
  • Quake IV has a twist where your character is captured midway through the game and turned into one of the bad guys. This would have been surprising if the press releases, trailers, and the back of the box didn't give it away.
  • A trailer for Backyard Baseball '09 spoiled, among others, the last character to be unlocked.
  • Final Fantasy XIII's trailer has a prominent scene with all six characters flying on the back of a monster thing. Playing through the game, you get to a part where Sazh "commits suicide", but this scene hasn't happened yet. Clues you in that he's still alive!.
    • A Also, he get's his summon right before that seemingly happens wihtout giving you a chance to use it. It was shown in use in the trailers.
  • Final Fantasy VI included a map of The World of Ruin, which is what the game world turns into halfway through, with the game. It also gives away the magic system (which has some storyline significance). Not to mention listing all the characters with mini-bios (giving away a few Heel Face Turns) and their abilities. The latter gives away the twist that Terra is a half-esper.
  • Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 2 had several trailers. The last one, released several months before the game came out, showed Washington D.C. on fire.
  • Shenmue's trailer spoils that Lan Di is seeking the mirrors' power, as well as an incident late in the game in which Nozomi gets kidnapped by Terry's gang.
  • Shadow of the Colossus had a trailer that ends with a montage showing Lord Emon looking around the shrine of worship, Mono sitting up from her resting place, and Wander lying on the ground with HORNS! Of course the last part goes by extremely quick, but keen eyed viewers of the trailer either had an idea of what the ending was about, or at least got an early head start on how the game would tie into Ico (which before the game's release, was said to no connection to the latter title).
  • The Alter AILA Genesis. some fans have stated that they avoided watching the trailer for fear of spoilers. Which is funny, since it doesn't really contain any.
  • In a possible attempt to subvert this trope, the E3 reveal trailer for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood featured an attack on the Papal carriage in 1503 Rome, the city and year in which Pope Alexander VI, aka Rodrigo Borgia, died. While both hold true in the game, unfortunately the circumstances are far less epic than the trailer implied.
    • Played more straight with some European versions of the "Story" trailer (narrated by Cesare Borgia), which concludes with a showdown between him and Ezio Auditore atop a castle wall. The US version does not name it, but the European versions identify the setting as 1507 Spain, the year and country in which Cesare Borgia died in Real Life, de facto confirmed when the developers started name-dropping the site as Viana no less. Moreover, this showdown was much more accurate to the actual in-game event than the (completely inaccurate) E3 reveal trailer had been.
  • Divisive though it is among gameplay critics, there's little doubt that the developers of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed wanted the Apprentice Force-pulling a Star Destroyer out of orbit to be a significant point in the story. Not only was it depicted on the back of the box, it was also used for giant promotional posters designed specifically to be positioned at the entrance to game shops.
  • Zig Zagged (I think) in two different trailers for Professor Layton and The Lost Future. One shows Future Layton's clothes being flung away as a reveal. Anyone who played the last two games would have expected it to be Don Paolo in disguise, but it's actually Doctor Stahngun/Dimitri Allen. Quickly afterwards, however, Don Paolo reveals himself to be disguised as the real Layton. In another trailer, Layton denounces Stahngun as the villain when he discovers that he is running the future London's mafia, however, the true villain of the piece is Clive.
  • Mass Effect 2's previews, especially its "Fight For The Lost" campaign, gave away several plot points that the game's writers appear to have intended to be surprising reveals. Jack's sex and Archangel's identity are kept secret in the game until Shepard actually meets them, and the recruitment dossier sets Shepard up to recruit Okeer instead of Grunt; unfortunately, all three characters were featured heavily in the game's marketing, with Jack and Grunt even having their own interview-style promotional videos. And of course the only way to somehow avoid knowing that Shepard is dead and the Normandy blown away at the beginning of the game would have been to avoid every piece of media BioWare released and abandon society for a year or two.
  • A trailer for Super Smash Bros.. Brawl showed some icons that accidentally revealed that Ness, Jigglypuff, and Lucario were playable; all three were hidden characters in Brawl.
  • Resident Evil 5 had fans upset about Jill being killed prior to the story. One of the trailers had Wesker removing the hood off one of his goons claiming it to be "One big family reunion", making it obvious who it was.
  • This trailer for Halo: Reach. Which is somewhat justified in that it is a prequel game and fans of the series should know that Reach was a total disaster that pretty much sealed the fate of mankind. The story is written in a way that assumes the players know what will happen while the characters believe they still have a chance to save the day.
  • In trailers for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, a certain combo count would result with an onscreen superlative of VIEWTIFUL! Take a wild guess as to who was revealed in a subsequent trailer.
  • Trailers for Portal 2 clearly spoiled the fact that GLaDOS was still alive and would still be the main antagonist of the game. At least for half of it.
  • Partially played straight but also subverted by Kid Icarus: Uprising. The information and trailers released prior to the game show off pretty much every stage, boss, character, and plot point up to Pit's final battle against Medusa. So people were reasonably surprised when Hades tore up the credits screen, revealing that the game wasn't even two-fifths done, and most of the more important and/or memorable characters and subplots had yet to be introduced.


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in The Demented Cartoon Movie, which opens with a mock trailer that does the exact opposite: it doesn't reveal anything about the movie it's advertising because it's heavily censored, and parts of it have been replaced with stuff like [Dialogue Missing] and [Title Missing].


Web Comics[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

2419. I am required to tell the DM if the secret villain of the adventure is revealed on the back synopsis of the module screen.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in the South Park episode Professor Chaos. Quoting from memory:

Narrator: Will Professor Chaos succeed? Which boy will replace Kenny? Which adult cast member will die? These questions will be answered... right now. No, Tweek, and Ms. Choksondik.

    • Though that may have been intended as a parody for the (in)famous "Who is Eric Cartman's real father?" 2-parter, since a lot of fans were ticked off when they got the Terrance & Phillip special after waiting for a month, instead of the continuing story.
  • The ads for The Movie and Grand Finale of Kim Possible (before it was Uncanceled), "So the Drama," show the High School Dance moments leading up to the the final kiss between Kim and Ron, something shippers have been hoping for since Season 1. They didn't even attempt to Ship Tease the fans with the Romantic False Lead, Eric. Obviously they believed fans needed MORE incentive to watch the show.
    • As if that wasn't enough, one of said ads actually showed a clip of Kim being shocked by Eric while he had an evil look on his face, which would pretty much give away that he's really working for Drakken.
  • Nickelodeon showed various commercials of scenes leading up to the release of The Movie of Hey Arnold!. One of these completely spoiled that Helga finally confesses her love for Arnold. (They didn't show how he reacted to it, though.)
  • From an episode preview on the Transformers G1, "But is this really the end of Optimus Prime? Tune in for tomorrow's exciting episode: "The Return of Optimus Prime".
    • However, the first time that aired, it didn't have the narration. Thankfully, newer DVD releases go without it (though of course the DVD's episode list does let you know that an episode called "The Return of Optimus Prime" is coming up.)
    • Not to mention all the trailers for The Movie showing clips of Optimus Prime getting blown to bits while the Narrator asks "Does Prime die?!" WELL GEE KIDS, I DUNNO!
      • Then the very next question they Narrator asks is: "Then, who will lead the Autobots?" There's not much need for a new leader unless the old one dies, ya know...
  • In an episode of Family Guy (after Cleveland had left for The Cleveland Show): "Cleveland! Who would have thought we would run into you? Except everyone because FOX spoiled it in all the promos."
  • The theatrical trailer for Rugrats in Paris had Don LaFontaine proudly introduce Kimi as "the newest Rugrat", therefore cluing the viewers in on how the movie ends (Chuckie's dad marries her mom) and her incorporation into the show.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons with an old Radioactive Man film reel. A giant missile heads towards Earth, and cuts to a freeze frame while the announcer says "Will Radioactive Man save the planet Earth? Find out next time!" The freeze frame shows Earth being split in half with a giant mushroom cloud.
    • That's more a parody of old adventure serials. They routinely ended with something terrible happening (e.g., the hero's car skids off a cliff) and an admonishment to see the next installment to find out how the hero would avoid his terrible fate. Invariably, the next installment would be a total cheat (e.g., the hero jumps out of the car before it reaches the edge - even though he was clearly in the driver's seat as the car went over in the previous installment).
    • The promos for the episode "How Munched is That Birdie in the Window" spoiled the whole plot of Bart adopting a wounded pigeon and Santa's Little Helper eating it.
    • The trailers for the simpsons movie show the exchange between Homer, Bart, and the EPA agent near the end of the movie with the "treasure of I'm a weiner" joke. This sppoiled the joke of "To be continued" followed by "right now" as the latter takes place before the former in the movie, showing there is more.
  • Okay, Disney Channel may be the all-time king of this trope. In a recent Fish Hooks episode "Fail Fish", Milo has to pass a test in order to prevent himself from being held back a grade. This would have been taken as a surprise, if only they hadn't shown him holding the test in his hand while he shouts for joy, implying that he has passed it! You might not be able to catch it if you're not paying attention, but it's still there.
  • Another one, the Phineas and Ferb episode "Candace Gets Busted". In order: It starts off as an intimate get together, she has no problem inviting a few more people, but then it becomes a party, Linda calls the house and says they're coming home. Then guess what happens? "Young lady, you are so busted!" ...Yeah, you get the idea.
    • To be fair, if you couldn't guess that was going to happen based on the title, well...
      • Then there's "Minor Monogram" where the comercails litteraly only showed the ending where Vannesa falls for Monty.
  • Not a trailer, but the original lobby card for the classic Daffy Duck short, Duck Amuck flat out reveals who the mysterious animator is. It shows Bugs Bunny's hand with a paint brush tormenting Daffy.
  • The original trailer for Total Drama World Tour (back when it was still being called Total Drama the Musical) spoiled Leshawna's elimination; also, if you look quick, it also spoils Ezekiel's elimination as well, as you can see he doesn't get a bag of airline peanuts after DJ.
  • Star Wars the Clone Wars has restrained themselves fairly well when it comes to foreshadowing Anakin's eventual transformation into Darth Vader, so naturally, Cartoon Network was eager to promote an episode where Anakin has a vision of what he will become. They show us some pretty sweet clips in the promos, but when the actual episode was aired, you realized they showed you the whole scene!
  • The identity of the new character in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was revealed by the action figure that came out at the same time with removable mask.
  • Black Phantom's defeat from the Hero Factory TV special was spoiled, shot for shot, on an on-line promo vid advertising the cartoon and characters (and their toys) on the LEGO website.
  • The toy commercials for the Bionicle Glatorian Legends line of figures showed glimpses of the then-upcoming movie, The Legend Reborn. Among them, the very shot of the four heroes unleashing the final blast at the Skrall and Bone Hunter army, from the end of the climax! Website promos also spoiled Metus' transformation into a snake, thereby essentially revealing that he's the traitor.
  • This print advertisement for The Flintstones special "Hollyrock-A-Bye-Baby" shows that Pebbles will have twins.
  • Cartoon Network is terrible at this.
    • The Adventure Time "Princess Monster Wife" trailer revealed that The Ice King stole the princesses' bodies to make a wife.
    • More Adventure Time troubles! The trailer for "In Your Footsteps" revealed the bear gave the Snail something.
    • Plus, the trailer for "Goliad" revealed Goliad was a girl.
    • Here's where It Got Worse. The first ever trailer for the Regular Show episode "Go Viral" revealed that, along with many other people, Mordecai and Rigby won Muscle Man's bet.
  1. Unlike Best Wishes.
  2. This US-based troper is unsure whether the UK preview was the same
  3. not actually a trailer, but still a preview