Why do spoilers upset so many people?

I’ve been wondering about this just of late. I’m a spoilerwhore. Always have been, always will be. Advance knowledge of plot points of anything from a movie I’m interested in seeing to upcoming episodes of the rare TV show I watch regularly to, hey anyone know what’s going to be up with the next issue of “Identity Crisis”, I’m drawn to it like a cat to the sound of a can opener.

A lot of people don’t like spoilers. I’ve inadvertently posted a couple here (forgetting that BtVS/AtS wouldn’t be seen in the UK for several months) and gotten a new bodily orfice torn for me.

I really don’t get it. Some people want to be spoiler-free to the point of turning off the TV before the “next week on…” segment. Having even a minor plot point revealed before they’ve seen/read the Next Exciting Episode makes them foam at the mouth with rage.

I have never found that spoilers “spoil” an episode/movie/comic book. In many cases, they make me even more curious because I want to see how a particular plot point will be carried off. I’ve gone in expecting an jAngel episode to suck, and been pleasantly surprised because it was executed so well. Often being told the details of the plot, even the ending of a movie makes me want to see it when the teaser trailers or advertising for it makes me shrug and say “meh”.

So, why are so many people so rabidly “anti-spoiler”?

That may be your own personal experience, but it probably isn’t that way for many others. I personally hate spoilers because they really do take part of the fun or entertainment out of things. I know that if someone had spoiled “The Sixth Sense” or “The Usual Suspects” for me, my initial reactions to these movies probably would have been different with such advance knowledge.

Bottom line, I see it as a matter of courtesy. I assume that others don’t want movies or novels spoiled, so I don’t bother. To do the opposite strikes me as being discourteous.

For me, it depends upon what is being revealed. If I knew before hand that, say,

in the Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis’ character was dead all along and that’s why the little kid could see him

it would have made a big difference in my enjoyment of the movie. Yeah, I guessed it fairly early on - but it had not been confirmed yet. Now that I know, I don’t particularly want to see that movie again. And if I’d known ahead of time, I wouldn’t have seen it in the first place.
For some things, like BtVS, it’s never been such a big deal, probably because I’m already watching them for the first time well after they were initially aired. It might have bothered me if I had been watching them when they were new, although I’ve been known to seek out E.R. spoilers.

And for some people, it’s all about the surprise.

Beats me. I relish the sight of spoilers and love to see them unravel.

They´re particularly approprate for this forum in which people are dealing with plots, story endings, etc. that they might not want to decode until after they´ve seen or read the piece under discussion.

So, screw the ones who hate ém!

(Appropos of nothing, but if you look at the last word above, you´ll see it has “é” in it.

I recently got this Spanish-English keyboard, and for reasons too complicated to explain, I find myself using the Spanish version almost exclusively.

So in the above, I tried to do a standard slang contraction - 'em - but in the Spanish version, hitting the same keys causes the e to get an acute accent. Sorry for the unintended hijack, but I can´t help it. ¡This keyboard is vastly amusing!)

Some spoilers I don’t mind, others I do. In general, I tend to be a more emotional reader than a movie or TV viewer, and I like reading a book for the first time without any knowledge of what is going to happen. I want to get lost in the story, and have the things that surprise the characters surprise me as well. Then, I feel like the characters and I are sharing an emotional moment, as we are both surprised. Or sad. Or happy. Or whatever. I enjoy the suspense of not knowing what is going to happen next. I like being worried, for example, about just who is going to make it to the end of The Stand, or … heh, I’m hesitant to even use too many examples of spoilers, for fear of spoiling something for someone else, but let’s just say I have very fond memories of being on the edge of my seat throughout my first read of Little Women. That said, I am also a rabid re-reader, and while I enjoy my favorite books over and over, there is still something special about the first time, when I didn’t know what was going to happen to Meg and Jo and Beth and Amy.

Now, there are some spoilers that I don’t mind so much. Films, for example, I’m usually paying more attention to the cinematography and art direction, and often times I like to know what’s going to happen ahead of time so that I don’t have to worry about paying as much attention to the plot movement (goofy, I know). Some spoilers I seek out, if the suspense is really killing me. Mr. Del and various friends know that I have a standing order to “spoil” any traumatic aminal deaths on film, so I know to avoid them if necessary.

But in closing, the most important point about spoilers is that I don’t want to be caught unexpectedly by them, which is why spoiler warnings are dear to my heart.

Of course spoilers spoil the movie/book/show. That’s why they call 'em spoilers. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t like them because I want to see the work as the creator intended for me to see it. I want to fall completely into the world of the story, and spoilers prevent that. If I already know all the plot twists, I’m not surprised when the unexpected happens, and the moment falls flat. Then I’m left to wonder if it fell flat because it was poorly executed, or because some dillhole told me what was going to happen and ruined the element of surprise.

Why would you want to read or watch anything that you already knew the outcome to?!? What’s the point?

Exactly, I never want to read spoilers and often avoid threads about things I plan to see just in case someone lets a spoiler slip through.

Agreed. It’s the same reason why I generally avoid prequels… I don’t see the point of wasting my time watching or reading a story that I already know the ending to.

Personally, I like spoilers. They determine whether I’ll see a movie I’m iffy on. :smiley:

This is a bad example of how to do a spoiler. though.

It should be

In the Sixth Sense,

Bruce Willis’ character was dead all along and that’s why the little kid could see him.

Spoilers that don’t mention what they’re for aren’t terribly useful.

I like spoilers. Having the ending spoilt for me doesn’t bug me at all, don’t know why. I actually like the ending being spoilt. I dunno, I don’t like getting all nervous wondering if my favourite character is going to make it through to the end of the movie (for example).

The surprise death of a main character, the “Wow! That explains a lot!” of an unexpected plot twist, and just the fact that plots are always better when told in the story, rather than by some internet geek you heard a rumor about a guy who may have seen an earlier draft of the shooting script.

I really don’t know why anyone wants any kind of spoiler beyond “they’ll be a Firefly movie”. Teasers, things taht whet our interests without giving away any secrets, those are another matter entirely.

Well, it’s kind of the difference between being told about an event and actually witnessing it. Often, for me, spoilers create curiosity-- really, sounds cool. I want to see this.

I actually read the novelization to Alien a couple of years before I actually saw the movie. On a 12" TV screen. My blood still turned to ice, even though I knew that Ripley and Jones made it out alive

To a point, I can see not wanting to have the surprise spoiled- the element of surprise often is very important to the effectiveness of a scene in a movie or TV show. But when people all but go around blindfolded to avoid spoilers for a favorite TV show, I think that’s a bit extreme.

I got totally reamed last year on this board for posting a thread about what Spike was going to come back as when James Marsters joined the cast of AtS. I didn’t think I was spoiling anyting for anyone. WB had announced well before the last season of BtVS ended that Spike was going to become a character on Angel, and I got my ass chewed not only by a UK Doper who hadn’t seen the End of Buffy and didn’t know Spike died, but also by a couple of Americans who deliberately avoided things like press releases etc. to avoid being spoiled. Bit over the top, I think.

It’s the experiance that counts. Because it’s HOW they get from A to Z that matters. Ever reread something? Watch a movie or tv episode more than once? Watch a sporting event that you’ve taped and know the outcome to? (I’d think you were silly for that one, but I don’t like sports and I know people who do, especially if the “right” team won). Watch a movie or a live production of a Shakespeare play you’ve seen in another format?
I read a lot of romance novels. In particular, I just finished reading Nora Roberts’s Key Trilogy. By halfway through the first book, I was pretty darn sure I knew which of the three women would end up with each of the three guys and that the quest would have a happy ending. For things not to work out that way would violate romance novel traditions, and probably seriously annoy a large percentage of Roberts’s readers. That degree of predictability and assurance that happy endings are possible for every woman, no matter how lonely and unloveable she feels is a significant part of why I read romance novels.

Spoilers don’t usually particularily bother me, and I often think that spoiler warnings in thread titles are somewhat silly. One should either avoid the thread until you’ve seen it or be prepared to have it “spoiled”. On the other hand, using spoiler boxes within a thread can allow for more subtlety as to what the reader is exposed to. Although, an awfully high percentage of the time, people either put too much or too little information into the spoiler boxes (IMHO).

That’s exactly how I feel. Over on the TWoP boards, spoilers are all over the place, so I have to be very careful what I read.
One of my favorite shows, Third Watch, ended this past spring with a cliffhanger of several main characters being fired upon by gang members. There are already spoilers up about who survives and who dies and who is injured. They’re boxed like they are here, but I won’t even read the board till the new shows start, just in case someone posts something accidentally that I don’t want to know about beforehand.
I just don’t want to know yet. I’d prefer to wait till the new shows start in the fall, and watch it then.

If I want to watch a movie knowing the ending ahead of time, I just watch it again. It’s that simple.

For me, watching a movie for the second time and having it spoiled are two completely different things. Watching a movie the second time, I know how it goes down, I know how I felt when I didn’t know the big twist at the end, and I can watch it in a more relaxed manner.

With a spoiler, it does ruin it for me. If I know the hero dies late in the movie, once I get into the movie I start looking at my watch thinking “when’s he gonna die??” I miss the fun along the way because I’m just waiting for the next big plot point that I had heard about. Not nearly as fun because I can’t just let the story take me away.

For me, being spoiled ruins the experience because, no matter how detailed the spoiler is, it doesn’t match the experience. If I’m too busy comparing the spoilers to the outcome, or anticipating a moment, I’m not going to enjoy the pure experience of being entertained.

I blame Joss Whedon, mostly, for my current lifestyle, because he liked to release false spoilers for seasons and they made me crazy. However, I came to a spoiler-free existence after two major spoilers in BtVS and Stargate SG1 where

I learned months in advance that major characters were going to die. Their deaths had less impact than if I had not known about them. In Stargate SG1’s case, the episode that finally aired was a major let-down, because the premise relied on a spoiler-free viewer..

I became a paranoid viewer. I couldn’t think of anything else. So I decided I’d rather be surprised. The best spoiler-free experience I’ve had is the BtVS episode Seeing Red when

Spike tries to rape Buffy. I was completely shocked, and afraid that he might succeed. The surprise enhanced my feeling of horror, and made watching a striking, ultimately enjoyable experience.

I even try to see movies without knowing anything about them. The best pay-off in this regard was Amelie. Quite trippy.

The downside to being a spoiler-nazi is not being able to participate in fandom to the extend that I’d like. :frowning:

It’s the voyage, not the destination.