PUTTING IT BLUNTLY: The Spoiler-World We Live In

Thanks for joining me.


Okay, I’d usually do my absolute best to avoid spoiling shit for the sake of it, but considering the topic I’m going to cover, there will obviously be examples with some spoilers below.

The Main Problem: The Internet Has Spoilers! (sadly)

Once upon a time, many books, films, and TV shows were fortunate enough to precede the internet. It was during this sacred time that film, music, art, etc., were offered a much fairer chance of penetrating your imagination and toying with your untainted, unprepared, unsuspecting senses and emotions.

It was back then, that we only really needed to worry about behaviour such as this…

There were often ramifications for people that publicly put their foot in their mouths in this manner. Those consequences could be anything from a dirty look, a poke in the eye, or even large scale public shaming and/or avoidance.

Some individuals have even been known to devise their own personal retaliatory action, such as when people spoil the Harry Potter books for Dr Bob Kelso and are “given” a pair of Potter’s glasses, drawn in permanent marker…I miss Scrubs! <sadface>

Thanks to the internet, people are now able to avoid this and/or a smack around the side of their head, whether their ruining of someone’s day/film/TV show/book was intentional/malicious or accidental.

We can’t just blame the internet, however. Mostly, it’s we humans AND the internet that are to blame, mostly. The internet gives us the means, but we’re the ones doing all the spoiling. The net doesn’t spoil films, humans do!

Something HAS changed in recent times, however, and we’re not just spoiling things for others in passing anymore. Thanks to the volume and accessibility of information the internet has, some of us are spoiling everything for ourselves, reducing our chances of actually enjoying things and becoming/remaining miserable in the process.

Some wretched souls even have nothing better to do than actively try and spread their misery, since it loves company and all.

Whether this behaviour is merely an annoyance, as it is to me, or a hindrance to happiness, as it is to many others, I think we can all take something away from learning to employ a little restraint and/or consideration for others when it comes to some of what we all rely on for entertainment, enjoyment, and escapism.

We all live in a world where surprises and new experiences are scary and we’re petrified of missing that #BandWagon. Boooooo!

Why Leave The House?

Ever felt underwhelmed at a film or game you’ve been following, dry-thrusting towards and talking about non-stop since the trailer was released over two years ago?

Perhaps you’re surprised when the over-milking of a franchise produces sour, watery results. You might be the sort to start flipping tables at the creator’s habit of constantly breaking over-ambitious deadlines, or maybe you were the first to berate something online and to your friends due to being colossally underwhelmed.

Here’s an idea, stop watching 95% of a film/game via teasers, trailers and behind the scenes hype-shit, just to indulge your impatience and/or desperation for social inclusion. Despite not seeing story events in chronological order, the only thing that ends up being fresh once you’ve handed over your money is the end credits…and that’s debatable considering worldwide press releases, etc..

I mentioned how fixated some of us are with our phones not so long ago, and thanks to behaviour such as this, I’m not surprised that people take their attention away from the screen in order to comment on social media; meaning that when they do eventually have the chance to partake in that thing they’ve apparently been frothing at the mouth/knickers at, they miss seeing it in order to talk about it instead.

You can’t just put it away and try to embrace what little chance remains of enjoying something? Is it really THAT important that people know where you are and what you’re doing at this exact point in time? It’s almost like it’s just a race to “first” something else, and that’s not going to give you joy for long, considering the extent you’re going to.

You did it to yourself, it’s true, and that’s why it really hurts.

Why Tune In?

This has also been a problem for a while with that dying television thing too!

I recall when it was only soaps that I saw with this weird spin-off industry of magazines that flogged gossip, spoilers and other reasons you didn’t need to actually bother watching the subject matter. It seems that with the introduction of the internet to the masses, this formula has been copied, pasted and presented to just about every creative corner imaginable…and even the uncreative ones that don’t even need it. The public wants what the public gets.

People WERE very protective of spoilers getting out and ruining the surprise, reaction and overall enjoyment of their stories. Me and #MyStupidExHuman are big fans of Chris Carter’s “The X-Files” and growing up, I’d read all the magazines, newsletters and bulletin board information available. There was plenty of information to get through, but it was all reviewing and reflecting things we’d already seen to the point of seasoning the lore of the story/characters that little bit more; you know, instead of shining a light on the fact that what we enjoy is all smoke, mirrors and a work of fiction.

I mentioned Chris Carter for another reason. When the first X-Files film was written, he’d gone to great lengths to stop spoilers falling into the hands of people that would leak it, so far that all copies of the script were printed on red paper to give them the ability to be non-photo-copyable.

It’s nice to know that some try to protect and appreciate the sanctity of their work.

Anime Spoils

Now, I understand there is a viable counter-argument to a lot of what I’ve said. I myself watch a bit of anime and I’m very familiar with the “it’s about the journey, not (just) the destination” philosophy, to which I agree, in part.

However, I feel that when it comes to the case of Anime shows, there are a lot of instances where a surprise has just been tactlessly spoiled with a quick 30-second hype video for the next episode.

Or, in the style of One Piece’s most notable kick between the legs…

(**spoiler alert**)

This is a shot from the 3rd introduction sequence of One Piece, it showcases a new member to the main cast/crew, despite the show’s current narrative telling a very contrary tale. They only had to wait for a few more episodes to pass before this would have slipped in nicely and ruffled zero feathers.

For decades I’ve actively avoided the trailer/spoiler at the end of just about every anime I’ve watched, for this exact reason. Anime can be brutal with what they reveal in their previews, which I’ve come to understand and accept. I just wasn’t expecting something this daft to slap me in the face by folk that had me hooked on their storytelling abilities mere moments ago.

I also understand that it more than likely happened due to their obligations to include certain songs/artists around a number of episodes/the start of a new series, but this is sadly an example of marketing negatively influencing art.

So, Why Spoil It For Others?

Do you know/are you one of those little pricks that enjoy that look of annoyance, disappointment or sadness on someone’s face when you’ve just taken away that bit of wonder, excitement and/or anticipation?

Stop spoiling everything when you don’t have an interest in the subject at all; you’re ONLY fussed about the reaction you’re getting from other people, whether that’s because you’re desperate to fit in, crave the attention, or you just want to ruin someone’s day.

No wonder a lot of people seem to be underwhelmed by almost everything and are keen to hastily move onto the next big thing around the corner.


I’m fully aware of the volume of adverts some sites engage in, the psychology they use and I understand the temptation presented; it’s quick and easy to knock-up and dangle in front of folk like a lovely, little, forbidden carrot of secrets.

We all need to make a little extra effort, I reckon…myself included! Not a week goes by that I don’t get lured into clicking on something wrestling related that I didn’t think would be too harmful to my future viewing pleasure, and swiftly click it away in regret.

Sadly, I’m not so open to the idea that things will change. Too many people make money from gossip and buffer, and too many of us are looking for boredom fillers 24/7. We sleep, they live!

Maybe some of us need some more productive hobbies!

Digest and discuss! Feel free to do so below, and/or get in touch on Twitter!

Sources & Further Reading:

Scrubs Season 7: Episode 6 – “My #1 Doctor”

Simpsons Season 3: Episode 12“I Married Marge”

One Piece Intro #3 – Here’s the full video, bearing in mind Nico Robin was currently working for the villains; this delivery was tactless as fuck.

-Background Artwork Designed & Provided by Rachael Hope Media.

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