As others have recently commented on the 'statute of limitations' on spoilers, I am wondering whether we are overusing the spoiler markup period. It strikes me that the spoiler markup is somewhat irritating as you are reading and/or responding to a question.

It seems to me, as long as the subject is not a spoiler of a recent movie, then everything else is fair game - i.e. no need for spoiler markup in questions or answers at all. If you read a question about a movie that you have not yet seen - then it is your fault.

What do people think?

  • 3
    If you don't like having to mouse-over to view, then hit Ctrl-A in your browser (or whatever your OS needs for 'select all') and you will (probably; depending on your browser), see the hidden text even when you move the mouse away.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 1:17
  • @Flimzy - But what purpose does spoiler-marking an entire question. For example, if I haven't watched "The Empire Strikes Back" I don't read questions about it. If the question is about "Star Wars - A New Hope", and someone wants to refer to Luke's parenthood, then use a small spoiler for that.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 4:34
  • I don't have a strong opinion on when we should or should not use the spoiler markup. I only trying to offer one way to make it less annoying when it is used.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 4:44
  • Fair enough - thank you
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 4:46
  • at what point is a spoiler NOT a spoiler - there has to be a time limit - if you haven't seen - say - twin peaks yet - then talking about who killed Laura Palmer shouldn't be considered a spoiler - you've had 20 years to watch the show - at this point it's not a spoiler so much as you just didn't watch the show. The whole spoiler thing is completely out of hand in general. My suggestion to people who don't want spoilers so much it upsets them to see them is to stay off the internet -period
    – user37503
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 21:50

3 Answers 3


Some people are overusing the spoiler markup. I don't know how else to say it ... it gets in the way of reading the question and answers. It is irritating.

Unsigned's edit to my question: Why are Vincent's and Spike's souls similar? is a good restricted use of spoiler markup in my opinion. If the spoiler markup uses more that 70% of the question/answer body, don't use it.

I am going to quote badp's answer who requested the use of spoiler markup,

  • Your question must make sense without spoiler protected paragraphs
  • Your answer must make sense without spoiler protected paragraphs
  • Your title must be easy to Google for. If that means spoilery, so be it

I hate spoiler markup. All it does is make information in a question or answer a lot less accessible. IMHO you shouldn't be on here if you don't want anything spoiled. We're not here to hold your hand and make sure you don't ruin something for yourself, we're here to answer people's questions about movies and tv shows.

  • 4
    Could not agree more. I would hesitate to remove limited markup from someone's post as they have probably gone to some effort to structure the post in that way, but I would recommend anyone removing blanket markup that covers most or all of a post.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:17

I pretty much agree with Alonzo's answer, but I wanted to suggest a TL;DR version of the answer Alonzo quoted. This one is also from badp, but it's a little older and provides a side-by-side comparison of good spoiler markup v. bad spoiler mark-up.

People won't answer questions if we make it obnoxious to find out what is actually being asked.

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