On reading spoilers to books, movies, TV shows

As I write this, I’m about 40 pages away from the end of The Shadows by Alex North — but I already know how it’s all going to go down because I read the spoilers.

The Magnola Palace, The Last Story of Mina Lee, Reckless Girls

I do that a lot. I’m the friend who will spoil something for you if you want it, and tease you about what happens (sans-spoilers) by way of sarcastic statements about your observations if you don’t. I’ll also warn you — if you want — about whether you’ll need to get all your snacks now, whether your drink needs a straw (so you don’t spew or spill it everywhere), and/or whether you should grab the tissues.

I’m also the friend who, if I ask for spoilers, expects them in tiers. Don’t tease me about it — just slowly spill one thing at a time, and if I want you to keep going, I’ll ask. If you’re the type who absolutely refuses to ever give out spoilers, I don’t like you.

The spoilers mostly help me determine whether to keep consuming a story if I’m worried I’ll dissociate or if co-con is a viable thing, because sometimes we watch TV and read books together as a system — one body, many headmates. They also help me to determine whether it’s something I want to spend my time on. Just because we know it’s going to happen doesn’t mean we aren’t going to stick around to see how it plays out. It’s not about trigger warnings.

I don’t care for book recommendations because they’re wayyy too vague.

If you want to suggest a book to me, don’t tell me Book Doe is an amazing read because of whatever vague-ass spiel you’re going to give me to avoid spoiling the whole thing.

If you want me to actually consider reading your suggested book, SPOIL THAT SHIT FOR ME. TELL ME WHO DIES, and that I’ll spend the whole time falling for them. The tragedy isn’t that the main character loses their beloved — it’s that I set myself up for torture, falling for this character even though I know their demise is coming.

I don’t care for abusive fiction tropes, like touch-her-and-I’ll-kill-you (hello, toxic masculinity) and abusive-enemies-to-lovers. I don’t care about the tropes (unless it’s arranged marriages, fake dating, twins, and lesbians in suits).

Contrary to popular opinion, spoilers don’t harm box office revenue. I once knew an entire club of 200+ people who started watching Teen Wolf because of spoilers.

Vague reviews of a popular, recently published novel tell me of a friendship story, but the blurb implies friendship and love combine. No one will tell me if it’s got any hint of GAYNESS TO IT — and for that reason alone, I haven’t bought it.

“You’ll have to read it and find out! ;)”

How about I fucking not and despise your guts? WHY the fuck would I waste my time reading a book JUST to get a fucking simple answer, when it could very well piss me the hell off? Like, you’ve literally pissed me off even more because you think I need the surprise.

One thing to know about me, first and foremost, for ALL OF ETERNITY, is that I. DO. NOT. DO. SURPRISES.

Surprises are selfish, being more about the person giving them than the person receiving them.

Spoilers are my love language.

Forget the popular five love languages — my future wife’s #1 quality is that she loves to spoil the shit out of things.

I’m autistic. I hate surprises. I love being surprised, but only if I know precisely what is going to happen. Non-autistic people, mostly non-neurodivergent people, tell me that that defeats the purpose of surprise, but it doesn’t for me. Because I will know subconsciously, even though I will also likely forget, and then I will be “surprised” but not so surprised that I’m overwhelmed with absolutely anything.

I think that’s the real problem — people want others to be surprised, i.e. overwhelmed with something. But I am already easily overwhelmed.

Life is different when you live in a world that caters to your neurotype.

Life is different when you’re sensitive to sensory input, when you can’t put up with the sensory input of everything.

Life is different when your sensory needs rely heavily on repetition of certain sensory input and little surprise. Amazon Music’s “My Soundtrack” station is not a common music choice of mine — and every other music streaming service with a similar random music rotation craps on my parade, too, which is why I don’t care for them.

I need spoilers so I can make sense of the world.

I spend most of my time in real life situations trying to process the outcome, so removing that barrier for me allows me to enjoy stories more.

My brain is literally not wired for reading between the lines.

I’m autistic. The world does not cater to my neruotype.

The how and why of things fascinate me.

Knowing what is going to happen helps me, someone who had little control over much of her life, remain in control of my well-being.

I’m much more interested in knowing how something is going to unfold rather than knowing what is going to unfold.

Spoiler-loving people I’ve met tend to prefer spoilers because it puts their anxiety at bay. Anxiety is not a major reason for me, but it does help me to enjoy thriller and horror stories when I know precisely what is going to happen. Even though I know something is fiction, it can help relieve fear and worry to know what is going to happen so I can watch how it happens (and even why).

Surprises don’t actually spoil anything, but make you enjoy the story more, according to research.

Common arguments against spoilers point to lack of intelligence and desire to connect emotionally, and I daresay this is ableist because neurodivergence is not referenced one pixel. As I stated above,

I need spoilers so I can make sense of the world around me. I spend most of my time in real life situations trying to process the outcome, so removing that barrier for me allows me to enjoy stories more.

After much consideration, I’ve decided to include spoilers in my blog reviews for two specific reasons:

  1. Are reviews even actually read? and when they are, all the comments are are typically regarding that which is gauged from the vague information about certain themes and plots. There is little discussion, if any. I don’t understand the point of posting about books if they’re not going to be discussed, sometimes at length, if it could otherwise have happened naturally had plots been shared.
  2. I want to find my people — that is, the people who love spoilers, find spoilers useful, and understand that spoilers don’t actually spoil anything. I can’t play the vague game of reading and commenting on reviews, and especially of getting book recommendations based off my review for books that don’t have any spoilers. No. Hard pass.

I feel like I have to hold back, and there are plenty of people searching for book/movie/TV show spoilers, anyway.

Reviews containing spoilers will have ✨spoilers✨ in the post title.

How do you feel about spoilers?? (What I really mean is, are spoilers also your love language?!)

Linked up to to the Book Blog Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole & Shannon.

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Comments on this post

Sometimes, not often, I unintentionally spoil a book in my reviews. Or I give way to much information. But I try to do neither. Rather I prefer to write short summaries and longer reviews. What I thought and felt. That is how I want to entice you to read a book I’ve reviewed. I guess you’d probably glide over my reviews searching for something I haven’t given you.

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I don’t read reviews written by most people unless I know they’ll spoil it, unless I’ve already read it as well. There’s never anything to get out of most book reviews for me; I don’t get anything out of reviews.

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Totally valid! I enjoy surprises (if the person who recommended the book or show to me can be trusted to know what I love and what will upset me), but there’s definitely tension involved in not knowing what’s next. I disagree that surprises are selfish- the emotional impact of experiencing something with fresh eyes (not being biased toward or against it by someone else’s personal opinion) is something I value, because it’s a truly “me” moment. For me, spoilers can ruin my experience *not* because I then know what’s going to happen, but because what’s going to happen has been filtered through the perception of someone else. I might’ve loved how they set up that shot, the dialogue between characters, or the way something was described, but someone else has completely different subtext in their perspective, which may bias them against those same things. That said, there’s a world of difference in spoilers that are “he dies at the end” vs “here’s the entire plot and my take on everything in it”.

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I’m Autistic too, but I’m the opposite to you: I don’t like spoilers and I don’t read any reviews of anything because I like being able to go into a book with no outside influences whatsoever. I will look at trigger warnings if I think that I might not be able to handle something, but that’s pretty much it. However, if I do get spoilers for something, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get to experience that myself but it’s not the end of the world because I’m pretty indifferent to surprises.

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Your source come from Today news media website. Given how bias the news media is, this source cannot be taken seriously.

Judging by the fact that you used a made-up word, able-ist. You come off as hostile and prone to calling people names. You do NOT want any discussion.

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“Ableist” is not a “made-up” word. Ableism is real, defined as “discrimination and social prejudice against disabled people and/or people perceived to be disabled”.

My sources come from studies published on research websites. The Today link uses (and links to) studies.

Perhaps it is you who doesn’t want any discussion, because healthy discussion includes disagreeing and you’re keen to adhere to archaic points of view. As alluded to in the post, I’m looking for my people & you are clearly not that 😉

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also, why are you even mad?? it’s linked to an argument against spoilers, but you also got offended over “ableist” — i’m just really confused here.

either way, those two things are the least “offensive” things on my blog. being easily offended is a control-/anxiety-related personal issue, not the alleged offender’s responsibility to console.

i don’t know what you expected to get out of leaving a comment like this, but i do so hope your life has some joy in it somewhere.

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I am your people!!! lol

I love (& even need) spoilers so I can relax and enjoy the reading experience. If I feel too tense reading, it ruins everything for me.

I’m also similar, in that I need them in small doses. I’ll skim the last page so I know the basics but not the details. But if I’m reading and things are looking very dicey, then I’ll root around for more detail.

I have a friend who’s reading is very similar to mine who will spoil me in the correct amount. ha!

Karen @For What It’s Worth

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Yesss! My friends who really want me to get into their shows will make sure to tell me a) it’s really gay and b) everyone is fair game (which is our code for “you’ll get attached to characters, and any of them could be killed off at any second) after they reveal the plot — which is detailed enough for me and still vague enough so I can enjoy it. Or “you’ll need tissues for this one”, or “what is your mindset right now?” to gauge whether we can handle a tragic episode. It’s really helpful and quells our anxiety quite well. Or if it’s too intense, it helps to know what is going to happen so I don’t freak out too much.

I love horror books and movies, but always have to read spoilers for them or else I will dissociate and have nightmares.

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I generally try to avoid spoilers, but I’ll definitely admit that the times I’ve come across them they haven’t ruined my reading/viewing experience. Knowing something specific is going to happen just makes me wonder how the heck we get to that point the while time I’m reading. That can end up being a real positive. As for your own reviews, I say, “You do you.” If you like spoilers and want to include them, go for it. As long as you warn people, I don’t see a problem.

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Yes! If I had a blog named something that made it obvious spoilers would be posted, I wouldn’t feel the need to warn, but I do understand and respect people’s not wanting to read spoilers enough to include them regardless.~

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