There's going to be lots of posts that ruin endings, how to deal with them? Should spoilers be included in the question title?

What to spoiler text?


5 Answers 5


I disagree for a simple reason. We should take the Wikipedia approach to spoilers. It is simple, Wiki does not care about telling the whole plot element of the movie and we really shouldn't either unless explicitly asked. I honestly think tiptoeing around spoilers could decrease the quality of answers/questions, if not, the quantity.

As community-minded this all may be, there is nothing stopping a user from asking a question like

"Why did blank turn out to be blank's son?"

No matter how fast you edit-hammer that, someone will see it and there is a chance that that someone just got the movie spoiled.

Not to say we shouldn't warn users, potential and avid alike, that there are spoilers on this site. Maybe place something in the info box that appears on the right that reads

"We cannot guarantee that this site is spoiler-free."

Would be sufficient enough warning.

Assuming I get a lot of disagreeing comments, I bring this up, and I hate to answer a question with another question (but hey, this is meta after all), but What should the policy be on 'common knowledge' spoilers?


  • Luke Skywalker's true father
  • Almost all M. Night Shyamalan movies.
  • Fight Club

At what point does a spoiler become not a spoiler anymore and something that is regarded as what any 'movie buff' should know coming here.

I realize that all the traffic will not be people who have seen every movie known to man and there are people in this world that don't know the same movies that I do (example, GF had never seen Fight Club until last year and the twist blew her mind enough to want to watch it again right after).

Do we tiptoe around EVERY spoiler, or after the movie has hit a certain age/popularity does it not become a spoiler anymore?

  • 5
    I think the question body can go ahead and spoil away (although there may be arguments for hiding spoiler text in some places), but question titles shouldn't spoil. That way we can freely browse the list of questions, but if I see a question for a film I've not seen yet, I know I just skip past it without a spoiler. If we want to ask questions about something, we should be able to ask and discuss anything about it in the question body. Just like Wikipedia, I won't read all of a film's article if I don't want to risk a spoiler.
    – Hugo
    Commented Dec 23, 2011 at 22:25
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    I don’t see how someone would be looking around a movie answer site and expect to NOT see spoilers; even if done more or less right like IMDB. Why would you do that? A Google-Bing search for “Movie Name Review” will get them plenty of unspoiled info. (Note: SEO results generated from this site should drive the decision. So spoilers in question titles and first few lines are probably not up for debate (search: “pontypool site:movies.stackexchange.com”) But, this is NOT a movie review website, it’s a movie answers website. @Tyler’s Wiki example as precedent is bang-on!
    – ipso
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 23:24
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    Sorry - this is the link I could not get to work ^. Just an example of what text from each answer that should NOT contain spoilers for a particular movie, in this case, Pontypool [just the first to come to mind].
    – ipso
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 23:31
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    @ipso, then I can tell you how. On a movie-answer site, I'd expect to be able to look up answers about movies I have seen without facing dozens of question-title-spoilers for movies I haven't seen. Otherwise, no one could reasonably use the site without having already seen every existing movie.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 11:03

I think it is reasonable to mimic SciFi's lead, which is essentially to use the Spoiler markup as you have demonstrated in your question.

They seem to also have blacklisted the tag, which seems to make sense to me.

I would add to that this discussion about over/mis-use of the spoiler tag. In short: Don't make your entire question a spoiler.

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    We don't exactly have a policy; we have some tips. Basically, if your question doesn't make sense without reading the spoilers, you're abusing spoiler markup. Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 23:36

Maybe the question title shouldn't spoil anything (which isn't that hard to achieve). But at the moment I click on a question link, I just have to be prepared to get the movie spoiled, period. The spoiler blocks are IMHO just obsolete.

It is a Q&A site about movies and much discussion about a movie is indeed about it's content and at the moment I read a question, I have either seen the movie, or I haven't seen it and am just curious about the question and curiosity just brings along the chance of getting unwanted information.

(And by the way, on my other pc with it's rather old IE version the spoiler blocks don't actually work and always show the text, but nevermind.)

  • If you click on the Question-button, you see excerpts from the question along with the title.
    – Mnementh
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 16:44
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    @Mnementh Well, don't read them.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 17:51
  • The spoiler blocks are useful for referring to things further on in a series or fictional world. For example, if there's a question about Trilogy Film II, and the best answer explains it in terms of something that happens in Trilogy Film III, that should go in a spoiler block, because someone clicking on a question about TFII wouldn't expect content about TFIII (but it is valuable and relevant to people who have seen III). Same goes for episodes in TV series ("Why did X do Y in S2E4?" // "In S3E5, X explains: >! Y is actually Z") or any reference to source material ("In the novel: >! ...") Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 23:45

After having used spoiler mark-up on several occasions and in other ways done my best to hide spoilers I've now made a 180 turn and agree with TylerShads that we should just let it be. This is, after all, a movie Q&A site, and you'd be naive to think that you can browse around without getting spoilers thrown in your face.

I do think that there should be one exception, though.

For answers to questions regarding TV and movie series I think it'd be nice to try and hide spoilers that ruins forthcoming episodes/movies.


Probably we should be given an option to have a spoiler checkbox clicked and let the framework append a (SPOILER) in the question. Plus it is not wise to reveal the plot or give away the ending in the Question. That should be made very sensitive as this forum is going to have a lot of movie watchers and googlers in future!

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    Some other sites tried things like this, although it didn't work out too well (I think there's a link in another answer).
    – Pubby
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 19:27
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    Meh, adding a "[SPOILER]" behind the question title has been done before and looks awful. What defines a spoiler anyway? A question about the movies plot is in the end always a spoiler and if you read it without having seen the movie, it's your fault. Which also makes a spoiler tag useless. And also I shouldn't forget the usual reminder that this site isn't a forum (even if you now that already).
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 12:01

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