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"Not the bang, not the word... the true beginning."
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March 13 2012

Julie Benz in a Anti-Spoiler PSA. A guide to the official rules of spoilers from College Humor.

I love it! XD
"Mandarin is okay."
Ironically, in a non-Dexter interview it was Julie Benz herself who provided a major spoiler for her character...
LOL I love it. :) [Wish they had mentioned Angel for her too though! haha]
Does anyone else ever find it strange that Masi Oka still shows up despite not having done anything that I can think of since Heroes? I mean, nothing against the guy, but every time he shows up I raise my eyebrows.

That said, I really liked this video. I think it's interesting that we live in a world where we actually do have to think about these things. I think it's especially important around here, considering the amount of spoilers there seem to be for almost everything Joss has coming up. This site is pretty good about the spoiler tags, but I fear even seeing a trailer for The Avengers or Cabin because I am afraid they will ruin things for me that I would rather just see in the theater. (Especially Cabin. I have so far managed to learn very little about that movie and I really hope it remains that way. Just a month to go!)
I know a couple people I'm posting this to directly.
"This isn't really a spoiler, but..." my ass.

[ edited by Love's Bitch on 2012-03-13 18:41 ]
Giles_314, you obviously aren't watching Hawaii Five-0. Masi Oka is the forensic doctor on the show.
Thank you Love's Bitch, I think that people should have to check imdb before assuming that "actors haven't done anything since...". I once heard a kid say that Carrie Fisher hadn't done anything since 'Star Wars'!

Anyway, I really appreciate this public service announcement because I hate spoilers!
Giles_314, Not to mention that The Wire, Battlestar Galactica and all ended before Heroes finished.

[ edited by Jaymii on 2012-03-13 22:47 ]
Hilarious! Not too far from reality either.
I know people who think it's not a spoiler if it pertains to comics, or who don't think they should abide by spoiler rules because they like spoilers themselves.

And thank you to the people who spoiled me on twitter for Dexter season 4 finale and the identity of Alpha. Deleting your tweet later doesn't help. I have not forgotten.
My friends thankfully know I'm pretty crazy about spoilers. I have only seen the teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises and I haven't seen any footage from Cabin. After the UK trailer for Avengers, I decided to go into lockdown for that, too.
I'm still mad at Scott Allie for spoiling me on the identity of Twilight.
Haha. Yeah. Oops, my bad! I suppose I just assume that only the things I have seen are important. ;)
@Jaymii - ironically, you just spoiled me. I've only seen two seasons of Dexter, and have the rest on DVD, and had no idea Julie wasn't on it anymore.
Eek. I tend to go by the rule that casting is not a spoiler but I'll tag it anyway, just in case I ruin it for anyone else.
Jaymii, you are way way passed the statute of limitations on that Dexter spoiler. People, keep up, watch quickly or keep off the interwebs. No one should try to spoil others but like the video says, a month is plenty of time (overly generous really) to keep spoilers to yourself. Julie has been on a completely different show for almost a year now and has recently been cast on a new Syfy pilot.
IrrationaliTV I'm a bit offended by your comment - there are those of us who cannot afford to buy every season of a program as soon as it comes out on DVD who, for one reason or another (late work hours, conflicting shows, unable to get that channel), weren't able to watch it at first airing.

And before you tell me "Watch it on HULU/the network's site/download it from iTunes"...keep in mind that's also not always a viable solution, either. Some folks still have dial-up or a slower connection, so downloading or watching online isn't possible for them. Some people might only have access to a computer while at school/work or in an internet cafe or library, where it's generally frowned upon to spend hours watching a TV show. Or their home time spent online is limited due to circumstances.

I'm just sayin' not everyone's in the same boat. And telling folks they should "stay off the interwebs"? Really? On whose authority? Just because they haven't seen the latest episode or the current season, they can't spend time surfing the web? Spoilers should be tagged as such. And if you're talking about a series you've seen all of, but you aren't sure if someone else has (This site is STILL getting people new to the 'verse) it wouldn't hurt to spoiler-font major plot points.

On the other hand, people new to a show should approach certain sites/posts with caution, or risk being spoiled. It's a double-edged sword.
Re: the Dexter spoiler at issue, it really is way past the statue of limitations of any reasonable spoiler policy or rule of thumb there. At some point things simply pass into the cultural milieu and people just sort of have to deal. In a perfect world there would be some way for the cultural conversation to both protect people against spoilers indefinitely and allow for things to be discussed openly. The world isn't perfect.

Technically, I'm sure people are being spoiled for Citizen Kane, The Empire Strikes Back, Se7en, and The Usual Suspects (to use movie examples), and while I'd love for people to experience those movies unspoiled and fresh, to insist that the public cultural conversation tiptoe indefinitely is basically ludicrous and unreasonable.

If people aren't seeking a ban on spoilers for an indefinite period of time, I'd at least like to know what their own suggestion is for a statue of limitations. Dexter, in the example at hand, is from, what, 2009? Two-three years seems a little extreme for people to still insist upon protection.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-03-13 23:42 ]
Shadowquest, I too have only watched the first 2 seasons of Dexter. Someday I will watch the rest. I resign myself to the fact that since I don't choose to make watching that particular show a priority, I will (and have) most likely encounter spoilers about that show. That is my fault. Not the fault of the completely reasonable people casually mentioning a episode of a show that aired THREE YEARS AGO.

My issue is with people have unrealistic expectations and thinking the world owes them some sort of impenetrable spoiler bubble. That expectation is reasonable for a day or two after airing but after that it is simply is not.
I was out of the country for a full month when Buffy's series finale was taking place (away to where I couldn't manage to watch Buffy, but I could go online at Internet cafes to keep up with friends and family). During that time I informed everyone that I would avoid all fan sites so I couldn't be accidently spoiled, but if anyone dared to email me anything about the show's finale then they would be permanently and absolutely dead to me (and I really wasn't kidding).

I can definitely understand not wanting to be spoiled, and I can definitely understand that ShadowQuest could believe that she would never be spoiled for Dexter here at Whedonesque.... But three years is a long time (this really is what netflix is for, there are even some public libraries that have the DVDs now!). b!X's examples of Citizen Kane etc are really good examples: there are just some things that become part of the cultural conversation (I was just lucky that I caught up on old movies long before my peers). I don't know how to protect for things like that.
Really, even the rule in the above tongue-in-cheek video only required 2 months for a season finale. This website is dedicated to news on Whedon alumni. Julie's been on several shows since. How can that possibly be kept a secret?
It's your own damn fault, Chelsea.
neat idea wish my old mates learnt this before telling what happened in the twists of btvs and angel, plus certain movies!
How are spoilers handled for movies like CitW, it's starting in the cinemas here at June 16.
Will they still be spoiler tagged after the US start?
Finally I'm no longer the only one who spoiled the Dexter thing on Whedonesque (thanks for picking up a share of the burden Jaymii!).

In spite of having once accidently spoiled "the Dexter thing", I am an enormous spoilerphobe and definately with ShadowQuest on this one.

As a rule of thumb I think the whole statute of limitations thing is largely useless. It is easy to avoid spoilers for a few days (for example by staying of the Internet just after Cabin and The Avengers will be launched, as I intend to do), but not for years and years. So the first few days after a release/airing also can be a great time to throw around some spoilers.

The audience is far more important than the time passed. I think spoiling "Dr. Horrible" here should be perfectly acceptable (come on, Whedon fans ought to have seen it by now), while "A Song of Ice and Fire" books almost a decade older would be hugely problematic.
It took my friend about 3 years to get around to watching Dexter season 4. It was so difficult not to ruin it!

Nor to use and explain the "shut up ...." line from earlier in that season.
Topher Brink could come up with a fix for this over a long weekend, but you might not like the side effects.
And a win for Tin Ear Tom with that Dollhouse reference! :D
I love this video. "Your wife is pregnant!"

I'm still upset at (I think it was IGN) for spoiling me on something on Ringer, only to be made worse on this very site, when my request for a spoiler tag was granted by the poster of the article, but then taken down by a moderator. I was told it's not a spoiler because it's "common knowledge" and is used in promotional trailers and TV spots. Since that day, I don't post as much in here as I used to. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

Here's the thing: If something's not a spoiler for you (and keep in mind, in this particular instance, the show was still like a month away from premiering), then you decide it's therefore also not a spoiler for everyone else? Guess what? It's not up to you. By its very definition, a "Spoiler" is information that robs someone the intended reaction (usually surprise or suspense) of discovering it on their own in its natural context.

If a trailer for let's say "The Avengers" comes out, we here tend to tag it with a Spoiler. Why do we do this? Is it because said trailer contains a scene/shot/mention of a character's shocking death? In most cases, no (though it is Joss, so...). We do it because no matter how small or insignificant to the greater whole of the film, the trailer does contain scenes/shots/mentions of anything and everything that maybe some of us would not like to see/hear/know until we're actually sitting in a theater, watching it unfold in context on the screen.

Saying "it's common knowledge and in the promos on TV" also does not let you off the hook. It's like saying "everybody already knows", when clearly, the fact that I didn't know it proves that everyone doesn't know, especially given the law of averages that states I can't be the only one who didn't know. That's just statistically impossible. In addition, "it's in the promos on TV" is also a specious argument. If the marketing department behind a project decided to reveal something to me through their ad campaign, in an effort to entice me to pay money for the context, maybe I didn't want to find that out yet outside of the context, so my beef would be with the marketing department.

For example, the trailers for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King showcase Gandalf participating in battle, but the character died in the previous film. Wouldn't it have been a nice surprise to witness his resurrection while watching the movie? I'm also reminded of an episode of The Simpsons, wherein upon exiting the theater for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Homer declares, "Wow. I can't believe Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's Father". The people in line for the next showing are rightfully upset. Defensively, Homer yells, "Well, it's kind of obvious if you think about it!" Even if that were true, you're still a jerk, Homer.

A spoiler should be treated like a warning sign. Though it may be "common knowledge" that a fenced in tower can produce "High Voltage" and interaction is indeed "Dangerous", some sort of sign is still appreciated and above all else, necessary.

You and I may walk into a cinema to see Cloverfield and be perfectly fine and immune to the shaky-cam footage, but all it takes are but a few people to get sick and maybe even throw up, for me to go, "Hey, manager? Can you put up a sign asking patrons to proceed with caution regarding this? I'm fine and so are my friends, but I think it's the right thing to do for others. I'd hate to see this happen again."

[ edited by kungfubear on 2012-03-14 21:05 ]
If you have a problem with the moderation on this site, do drop us an email about it.

As for the Avengers trailers they don't get marked with a spoiler because it's obvious it's a trailer.

And where do you draw the line regarding spoilers? I could write a headline that says "Summer Glau to guest on Community", to which a reply might be "dude spoilers!". So I might change it to "Whedonverse actor to guest on Community" and somewhat might say "dude! also spoilers". So either I go with "Whedonverse actor to guest on a US show!" or just go back to the original title as ultimately the entry becomes pointless.* There has to be a natural give and take regarding the revealing of information about a show/film/comic book. Spoilers aren't absolute.

*this scenario has happened from time to time.
Wait, Summer Glau is going to be on Community?
No. That was a hypothetical example. She should be though.
She is atleast going to star with Danny Pudi in Knights of Badassdom though.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2012-03-14 23:33 ]
Where I draw the line regarding spoilers is long and varied, and not worth getting into. Because you asked, I'll just say that announcing "Summer Glau to guest on Community" is not a spoiler to me, in that this is a Whedonverse news site and the headline gives no details as to the when/what/who/how/why of the appearance. Typically, I would say that's what either the "more" link is for or clicking on the headline itself is for. If doing either reveals such details and specifics, then yes, a spoiler tag is warranted.

I was using The Avengers merely as an example.

However, a headline that reads, "Summer Glau announced as playing The Mother in finale of How I Met Your Mother" is not only a huge spoiler, it's also bad form. Bad etiquette. In this case, it's not only what you say, but how you say it.
It's a really tough situation, especially in this day and age. Used to be either you saw the show when it aired, or waited till the summer for a re-run and by then you were probably spoiled on the episode/finale. But now a days, you could be spoiled even before a show has aired in your time zone because of the net and social media. There should be some kind of etiquette because of that. Recently I was spoiled twice, different shows, because of Twitter. One person I was following was doing a running comment about a show that we both watch, she is in Texas, 2 hours ahead of me. Running commentary on that nights episode! I stopped following her, because I couldn't go to my timeline without seeing her spoilers. And she does it all the time. The other incident happened last week. Spartacus_Starz the official Twitter account for the show mentioned a major spoiler after their East Coast viewing but before the West Coast viewing. I was livid because it ruined the emotional impact of the scene for me. I replied back that the West Coast hadn't seen the ep yet. But usually if something has been aired and I'm a couple weeks or months behind (like Downton Abbey recently) I try to stay away from articles or TV discussion sites, but because things are moving at such a fast pace now on the net, with all different kinds of social networking sites and the like, it's hard to stay unspoiled after the first couple hours, let alone weeks, months or years. It's hard to stay vigilant, sometimes an article looks like it's just a discussion about the show as a whole, not a particular season or episode, and then BOOM SPOILER. And I hate spoilers, but if I am behind by weeks or months, I'll grumble, not be happy, but understand that I can't expect not to be spoiled because of how rapidly information flows on the internet. The technology that we have now, which allows us to simultaneously watch TV months, even years after it's aired as well as watch at our convenience the same night, hours or days later is a double edged sword in that it also allows for us to unintentionally be spoiled or spoil others for a particular show.
All this hypothetical talk about Summer on Community is making me sad that it's not really happening. Also sad since they tried to get Nathan but his schedule didn't work out. (A non-appearance doesn't count as a spoiler does it?)
Sometimes usernames are spoilers! But awesome and pretty old ones. :)
They tried to get Nathan on Community? He visited the set a few times so I was wondering. Doh! I hope there will be six seasons and a movie so he gets a chance!
kungfubear, out of curiosity what was the particular Ringer spoiler? (Assuming it's aired and isn't a spoiler anymore...)

My worst encounter with a spoiler was on the website They usually tended to keep important things until after the jump, but on a particular Monday night, when I went to go scope out some entertainment news, right there on the front page was the news of (This is a 3 year old House spoiler... I'm going to assume it's ok) Kutner's death. I wasn't going to be watching the show for a couple days, and I was PISSED. And the article definitely went up before the west coast showing too. I sent some quite nasty emails. They've since reverted to their 'after the jump' ways.
Spoilers are indeed a tricky business. I was mainly pointing out the irony of being spoiled for Dexter in a thread about avoiding spoiling people. A statute of limitations isn't absolute, since nobody watches and reads everything that is current, some of us get dvds of older shows to catch up on, or books that came out some time ago. While it's fair enough that people can discuss the plot of these since time has passed, there is a reasonable expectation that if you avoid specific discussions, say on Dexter, that it won't get brought up in a completely different context. Or as another poster said, you can expect to see Buffy and Angel spoilers here (and I unfortunately was exposed to many during my first viewing of those shows, since I was brought into the Whedon-fandom via Firefly). But A Song of Ice and Fire should not be spoiled, even if it's something that happens in book 1 / season 1 of Game of Thrones because you can't know that the entire audience reading the discussion have already read or seen it.

The trouble with spoilers is you can't take them back. Once you know something, it isn't easy to forget it (Topher-aside). So err on the side of avoiding discussing something that would spoil others, or at least give a warning, and everyone is happy.

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