Sunday, March 07, 2021

When do I need to warn about Spoilers?

In a recent post here I mentioned in passing a plot point from the last season of The Big Bang Theory. Note that the last season was in 2019.  WARNING- do not read that post if you are watching The Big Bang Theory and do not want a plot point revealed. 

Someone who perhaps thinks Lance and I are the same person (are we? See here) left Lance a tweet complaining about the spoiler. At least I think they are complaining. The tweet is in Spanish and its here.


1) Some country is two years behind America on showing The Big Bang Theory. 

2) The person who tweeted has them on DVR (or something like that) and is watching them a few years after they air (I watched Firefly on a DVD I borrowed from a friend 10 years after it went off he air. Ask your grandparents what a DVD used to be.) 

3) They are kidding us and making fun of the notion of spoilers.

This raises the question: When is it okay to post spoilers without warning? A few random thoughts:

1) ``Don't tell me who won the superb owl! I have it on tape and want to watch it without knowing who won!''  This always seemed odd to me.  Routing for events to happen that have already happened seems weird to me. When I was 10 years old I was in New York listening to a Knicks-Celtics Basketball game on the radio and during halftime I accidentally found a Boston radio station that had the game 30 minutes later (I did not realize that the channel I was on originally was 30 minutes behind). So I heard how the game ended, then switched back listening to a game knowing how it would end. I didn't route for my team (the Knicks, who lost) but it just felt very weird listening to it. If I had thought of it I might have noticed how the different broadcasts differ and got a paper out of the data, but as a 10 year old I was not thinking about how to pad my resume quite yet. 

2) I like seeing a mystery twice- first time I don't know who did it, second time I do but can look for clues I missed the first time.

3) I would have thought 2 years after a show is off the air its fine to spoil. But... maybe not.

4) It also matters how important the plot point is. I didn't think the plot point I revealed was that important. 

5) Many TV shows are predictable so I am not sure what `spoiler' even means. If I said to Darling:

 The bad guy is an unimportant character we meet in the first 10 minutes.

that does not show I've seen it before. It shows that I am a master of TV-logic.

6) With Arc TV shows this is more of a problem. While it was possible to spoil an episode (Captain Kir will survive but Ensign Red Shirt will bite the dust) it was impossible to spoil a long-term arc. TV has gotten to complicated. And I say that without having watched Game of Thrones. 


  1. The Bing Bang Theory spoiled some Harry Potter points for the audience in an episode where spoiling Harry Potter points for a character was the crux of the episode's drama.

  2. If you are watching on TV, I don't think rooting actually affects the game. So, I don't think it matters whether the game is live. You can root regardless, if you enjoy it.

  3. One of the strangest "Peanuts" comic strips I've seen is this one (warning: if you have not seen the movie "Citizen Kane" then you may not want to read this strip):

    The strip is all about how inconsiderate it is to spoil a movie for someone. But the strip itself does precisely that!

  4. Actually (2) is something that I am picking up doing recently.
    It's like having been shown a proof, and then trying to
    go through it again by yourself.
    Well, what a bad analogy ... but u get my point.
    It's Super owl? or Super Bowl?

  5. To quote an old blog post of mine:
    Superb owl is not a typo. I've heard (and it could be wrong) that the NFL guards their copyright so you can't even say `Buy Beer here for the YOU KNOW WHAT' which is why they say `Buy Beer here for THE BIG GAME' Stephen Colbert got around this by calling it Superb owl.

  6. One lives and learns, I presume.
    I can't believe what my eyes have come to witness over the years. Makes me question where 'we' are headed in terms of English language usage.
    Trending towards a unique stable stationary distribution of definite word abuse :-)
    i.e.: 'holding' --> 'hodling'/'hodlin', 'huge'--> 'yuuge', etc... the (unintended?) dynamics of an evolving/devolving language?