Phyllis: Michael, everyone in the engine room drowned. Michael: No! Thank you, spoiler alert.

***This post might contain spoiler alerts. (No promises).***

In this day and age of DVRs and the ability to buy or rent entire television series on dvd, as well as with everything being discussed to the nth degree on the internet, a big issue has arisen. The spoiler alert.

Who won [insert any one of the competition shows here] last night? Which Lost characters got off of the island? Who is the final Cylon?

I try to be a good citizen and not ruin surprises for those who really care. While most of my co-workers don't watch the same shows I do, there is the occasional, "Wait! Let me leave the room! I haven't watched yet!" I certainly don't always have time to watch something in a timely manner and need to shield myself from information I don't want to know. Also, if I am seasons behind or if I'm just getting around to watching a show that aired years ago, I fully expect to learn things and would never get angry at someone for tipping me off to something that happens.

My question is, is there a statute of limitations for the spoiler alert? Clearly, I'm not going to give away the final Cylon, or even more shocking events than that from the recent Battlestar Galactica episode. But, when can I talk about without being a douche? In two weeks? Next month? 2010? Again, I'm not trying to ruin things for anyone, but I've seen numerous pleas around the internet--on Facebook, Twitter, etc.--where people state they are 'only on such-and-such season! Please no spoilers!' Whose responsiblity is it?

There's a great t-shirt, that deserves an update, called "Spoilt." It says things like, "Snape killed Dumbledore," "Neo is The One," and along side a Darth Vader helmet-"Luke's Father." You can find it here at Threadless.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on this in the comments. Is there a time limit? How do you avoid giving or hearing spoiler alerts? Is it your responsibility to avoid or the rest of world's to not tell you? Go.


ren said...

eh, i don't worry about it. i usually forget anything i have read by the time i watch and no one else seems to watch what i do.

you might have to tell me who the final cylon is though...

Anonymous said...

I think as long as the person revealing the spoiler provides some type of warning, it's up to the person who doesn't want to be spoiled to avoid the information. I can't say that I watch too many things where I'm concerned about the result being spoiled for me and usually try to get to those before something else to reduce that possibility. Also, I try to avoid places/sites where I think that spoilage could occur. So ultimately it's up to the one not wanting to know the info. But the people who were spray-painting a certain message on billboards for Marley & Me? Well if you read about that, then you know how shitty that was. And that is all I will say as to not spoil the movie for anyone. :)

Anonymous said...

I think it is up to the person posting a spoiler to put in an alert and then go for it. The reader should beware ... just like buyer beware. If you don't want to know, you don't have to read further.

Bart said...

I have accidental-spoileritis. I'll be talking about a movie and getting really in to it and inadvertently spoil it. I've gotten better at it, though.

Anonymous said...

You could try this: HowTo: Blogger Spoiler Tags

Anonymous said...

now! now! talk about battlestar galactica now!

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