How about a *real* policy on spoilers? April 7, 2009 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Could we have a real documented policy on spoilers, ideally enforced by the people who approve the posts in question? Is it *really* necessary to approve posts (Warning: multiple "House" spoilers!) that are basically spoilers as read, or that have unwarned *spoiler* links? Perhaps all spoilers should be in the "more inside" section, with a prominent warning in the description field?! If multiple people are complaining that a post basically spoiled the episode, then what's the point of expecting the *spoilers!* or *NSFW* courtesies from posters at all, if no such standards actually exist?
posted by markkraft to Etiquette/Policy at 2:53 PM (192 comments total)

Here's a spoiler: this will not end well.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:55 PM on April 7, 2009 [10 favorites]


Nobody approves posts.

Yeah, I know. Weird, huh?
posted by yhbc at 2:57 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here's what Whedonesque does that I think is a fairly good solution and yet one that'd be pretty low-impact on the way Mefi goes about business:

They allow people to write invisible text that's highlighted when you pass your cursor over it. (They do it by the person typing <span class="invisible">, but there's got to be a less HTML-y way to do that.)

If you think it'd be abused, maybe limit the function only to composition of posts.
posted by WCityMike at 2:58 PM on April 7, 2009


Like fire across Metafilter, the Spoiler Wars spread.
posted by dersins at 2:58 PM on April 7, 2009


Maybe there should be a tag, so that spoilers are not visible?


[spoiler]
nope
[/spoiler]
posted by paisley henosis at 2:58 PM on April 7, 2009


No such standards exist other than "don't grief". We've relocated spoilers on occasion in the past, generally when it's a simple edit and a totally clear-cut situation, and we've on very rare occasion deleted a post that basically existed to spoil or fake-spoil. But beyond that there's kind of a reader-beware expectation in place around here.

So the point of expecting warnings is, I guess, that you hope people will try to be thoughtful, and we encourage that generally. But the point is not to mistake that expectation that people will be thoughtful for any kind of firm enforcement policy, because it doesn't exist. It's a courtesy, not a demand, and we'll nudge things into true sometimes when it unambiguously makes sense, but it depends on the context.

In this case, the spoiler is secondary to the real-life news, so it's not so unambiguous at all. I can understand people being a little annoyed if they're tivoing, but massive career change that apparently every single person on the planet is talking about today is a less containable and farther outside the scope of just the show in question than a typical "plot revelation" thing.

Is it *really* necessary to approve posts

Is this a weird way of saying "fail to delete"? We don't approve mefi posts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:02 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Nobody approves posts. Yeah, I know. Weird, huh?"

Considering the lag for things to post, yeah. I had assumed that MeFi had evolved to have someone around pre-approving posts most of the time.

That said, it really would be comforting to have *some* kind of text that addressed spoilers and NSFW there when people made their posts, so they know what is expected of them, as well as a general agreement amongst mods as far as how to handle posts that do not meet the guidelines.
posted by markkraft at 3:03 PM on April 7, 2009


This is already covered in the FAQ.

Is the Kal Penn post over the line; is that he's gone at all a spoiler?
posted by carsonb at 3:05 PM on April 7, 2009


the lag for things to post

I'm not sure I understand. When I make a post to the front page of Metafilter, I am immediately taken to the post, which is live, and upon which I can comment. What lag are you referring to?
posted by dersins at 3:06 PM on April 7, 2009


Looks like someone had a pretty good CSS recipe for protecting spoilers three or four years ago, even, complete with a demonstration page that's still up.
posted by WCityMike at 3:06 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Considering the lag for things to post, yeah. I had assumed that MeFi had evolved to have someone around pre-approving posts most of the time.

Nope. The lag is a 0-5 minute delay from posting time by virtue of some caching that happens cyclically on the front page to reduce server load.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:06 PM on April 7, 2009


(I should note... I would rather have posts like this be approved and not deleted... and edited only as much as necessary to address the spoilers.

I just would prefer a situation where the poster in question has a bit of a warning about NSFW or spoilers and how to handle them, and where the mods felt empowered to make modifications to prevent spoilers.)
posted by markkraft at 3:08 PM on April 7, 2009


That's a pretty mild spoiler. The show isn't a game of peek-a-boo. If you can't enjoy it without the raw shock of a plot twist, it probably isn't the show for you.
posted by mullacc at 3:11 PM on April 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is the Kal Penn post over the line; is that he's gone at all a spoiler?

Honestly, if I hadn't seen it last night, then yeah, it would've been, at least for me. (Minus, as someone noted in the thread on the blue, the asshat that emailed me about it.)
posted by inigo2 at 3:12 PM on April 7, 2009


Previously
posted by Prospero at 3:14 PM on April 7, 2009


Does the USS Voyager ever make it home?
posted by yeti at 3:14 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Spoiler: you and I, and everyone we know, die in the end.

(Also, this.)
posted by mullingitover at 3:15 PM on April 7, 2009


I'm wondering how much outrage there would be if the real life cause had been tragic rather than happy. Let's say the actor has his legs bitten off by a shark at a charity surfing event. Would the poster here get all pissed off at a MeFi post about that which didn't have spoiler tags?

Or are we cool knowing about cast changes when the actor suffers, but angry about when it's a happy thing?

Putting that question asside, I think it's silly to expect the whole world to go out of it's way to avoid spoilers.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:17 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I figured since the phrase "Spoilers everywhere" was in the post, there might be spoilers in the post itself. Does that seem odd to you?
posted by boo_radley at 3:20 PM on April 7, 2009


yeti: "Does the USS Voyager ever make it home?"

It sure does, Niel Patrick Harris appears and guides it home by meditating on the eternal truths of the universe.
posted by Science! at 3:20 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


"If you can't enjoy it without the raw shock of a plot twist, it probably isn't the show for you."

Um. That's the thing. I *do* enjoy the show and its plot twists. I prefer enjoying them without them being spoiled, as do many, many others, which is why there is a courtesy standard for them here at mefi.

I just tend to believe that people should be reminded of such courtesy standards in the text they see before they push the button to approve their posts, and that admins should try to "tuck (spoilers) inside a post" as it says in the FAQ.

"is that he's gone at all a spoiler?"

It was for me and several other MeFi'ers, as evidenced by my post.
posted by markkraft at 3:20 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also I'm convening the Metatalk ISO 9001 Six Sigma Black Belts again as markkraft has suggested there be both policy and standards. We'll assemble a working group and take this moving forward.
posted by boo_radley at 3:22 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering how much outrage there would be if the real life cause had been tragic rather than happy.

That's something that's occurred to me in situations like this, yeah. Is the season five revelation of Bill McNeal's fatal heart attack on NewsRadio spoilery if the episode hasn't aired yet? Is the handling of remainder of the filming of The Crow after Brandon Lee's death spoil? Etc. The intervention of real life on a fictional narrative is weird territory.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:24 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shucks, can't we all just be one happy polyamorous family?
posted by Krrrlson at 3:24 PM on April 7, 2009


That's the thing. I *do* enjoy the show and its plot twists.

Right, I'm saying you enjoy it wrong. We shouldn't have to work around your poor television viewing skills.
posted by mullacc at 3:26 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Um. That's the thing. I *do* enjoy the show and its plot twists. I prefer enjoying them without them being spoiled, as do many, many others, which is why there is a courtesy standard for them here at mefi.

The show was on last night, and the post was made this morning. If you didn't want to get spoiled, why didn't you watch it between then and now? Must the whole world cease conversation forever so you can endlessly put off watching the show you supposedly love so much? I have little sympathy for the cry of spoilers past a reasonable time frame, and in my mind, the reasonable time frame for a TV show is after it has aired live everywhere it's going to air live. After that, suck it up.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:26 PM on April 7, 2009 [17 favorites]


posted by cortex The intervention of real life on a fictional narrative is weird territory.

Indeed.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:28 PM on April 7, 2009


DAMMIT! They just mentioned it on NPR!!!

NOW what am I gonna do?!?!?!
posted by Floydd at 3:29 PM on April 7, 2009


We don't need a policy. This is what public shaming is for!
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:30 PM on April 7, 2009


Frankly, I think if it's aired in a major market, it's fair game to be discussed, period. If it's important enough to you for you to whine about it in a case like this, a real-life news story causing a blip in a five year old tv show that is CONSTANTLY cliff-hanging and adding new characters and tweaking its VERY formulaic structure (I love House, btw), it's important enough for you to quit your job and move to the earliest possible timezone and paste your face to a television.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:31 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


the reasonable time frame for a TV show is after it has aired live everywhere it's going to air live.

Hahaha, it's not live, yo. Man, we are so fucked with our understanding of how tv even WORKS anymore.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:32 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Starbuck's a woman!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:32 PM on April 7, 2009


Hahaha, it's not live, yo. Man, we are so fucked with our understanding of how tv even WORKS anymore.

Touche!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:35 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's a spoiler: this will not end well.

Aww, fuck. THANKS A LOT, JACKASS.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:35 PM on April 7, 2009


Starbuck's a woman!

You fucker! I'm only halfway through season 2 and now I have to take this thread off my Recent Activity.
posted by carsonb at 3:35 PM on April 7, 2009


We had these same complaints in the Top Chef Finale thread 48hrs after the live show aired. Watch your damn tivo show already, folks. Don't make it a problem for the tivo-deficient, like me.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:37 PM on April 7, 2009


The show was on last night, and the post was made this morning.

yeah. House spoiled that episode of House hours before we did.
posted by GuyZero at 3:38 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm only halfway through season 2 and now I have to take this thread off my Recent Activity.

Whoo, boy. Don't get too attached to Admiral Cain in that case.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:39 PM on April 7, 2009


The entire storyline of LOST was nothing more than a fleeting hallucination that Hurley had the split second before Flight 815 slammed into open ocean and killed everyone on board instantly.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:41 PM on April 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


Dude. The only point of House these days is figure out when House and Cuddy are going to do it. Everything else, including other characters are just foreplay. Hell, the weird battles over how to treat the mystery illness of the week are just Huddy groping around, realizing they're going to hook up, but not. just. yet.

If a helicopter fell on the hospital, burning it to the ground and killing everyone inside, the only question would be "Will this drive them into each other's arms and if so, who's going to be on top?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:42 PM on April 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wait. Darth Vader was Harry Potter's mother?!
posted by Pronoiac at 3:44 PM on April 7, 2009


posted by Brandon Blatcher If a helicopter fell on the hospital, burning it to the ground and killing everyone inside, the only question would be "Will this drive them into each other's arms and if so, who's going to be on top?"

The helicopter.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:44 PM on April 7, 2009 [46 favorites]


Even if the alternative to enduring 30 minutes of House was a 12 hour long Hee-Haw marathon, I'd gladly take Hee-Haw over that insipid crap any day. That said, somewhat needlessly, Kal Penn's character's suicide was all over headlines in the mainstream media this morning: AP, Drudge, etc. If you had clicked on virtually any site on the internet, or if you had turned on the news, you would have had encountered the spoiler. This is not an issue that should ruin the quality time you spend with your wife, really.
posted by vincele at 3:46 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The helicopter? I don't think House could do it, well maybe WITH his cane to help.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:49 PM on April 7, 2009


I'm with TPS. The show has already aired. Sorry you didn't watch it already.
posted by chiababe at 3:50 PM on April 7, 2009


Oh my god someone gave away the outcome of a TV show. Where is my Xanax?
posted by Zambrano at 3:54 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Spoiler:
It's not Lupus.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 3:54 PM on April 7, 2009 [12 favorites]


That spoiler applies to all House episodes, by the way.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 3:58 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The helicopter?

A little NSFW warning please. Nobody should have to see that outfit and that haircut.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:59 PM on April 7, 2009


I can see my old university department in the opening credits of House. In fact the student center stands in for the front of the hospital. THAR SHE BLOWS!!!
posted by ob at 4:00 PM on April 7, 2009


Pretty sure I saw an episode where it turned out that, yes, despite all symptoms, it WAS in fact lupus.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:01 PM on April 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait. Darth Vader was Harry Potter's mother?!

Dumbledore shot first!
posted by ODiV at 4:04 PM on April 7, 2009


You must have been watching Bizarro House. I think they call him Patch Adams on that show.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 4:06 PM on April 7, 2009


"Lost" actually takes place in the mind of Bob Newhart and never really happened.

Opps. *spoiler alert!!*
posted by jerseygirl at 4:10 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Spoiler: "The true God has nothing to do with the material world or cosmos", and, "It is the Prince of Darkness who spoke with Moses, the Jews and their priests. Thus the Christians, the Jews, and the Pagans are involved in the same error when they worship this God. For he leads them astray in the lusts he taught them."
posted by KokuRyu at 4:27 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Could we have a real documented policy on spoilers

Could it read "Posters are not obligated to take any particular measures to avoid spoilers"?
posted by moss at 4:31 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hey Bernt Pancreas: have a spoiler.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:41 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Kal Penn left House" would not be a spoiler, since it would still retain the possibility that his character was still on the show, but recast. "Kal Penn dramatically left House" is a bit of a spoiler, I think, and would have been better off not on the front page. While I'm not joining in the call for some rigid, written spoiler policy, I also don't think a general acknowledgment that it's good to keep spoilers off the front page for a week or so after a show airs would be out of order. TV ratings are starting to include within-a-week DVR viewing, so it's not like the time shifters are some tiny tiny minority demanding to be accommodated. It's a significant number of people.

And no one here is suggesting that spoilers can't be discussed in-thread, so can we at least leave off with the "how dare you prevent us from discussing it at all" strawman?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:41 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Spoiler: Richard Simmons favours sequins and rhinestones because he is, in fact, a Meyerian vampire and they camouflage his diurnal sparkle.
posted by CKmtl at 4:44 PM on April 7, 2009


"Kal Penn left House" would not be a spoiler....but "Kal Penn dramatically left House" is.

Are you serious?
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:45 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm never serious.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:46 PM on April 7, 2009


You know, maybe if I hadn't said "last night" it wouldn't have been so horrifyingly awful to all the delicate House fans. Then it could have meant that he is leaving the show at some random time in the future.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:48 PM on April 7, 2009


I was already having a crappy morning and this particular spoiler did not help my mood whatsoever. This site would be up in arms had it been the Battlestar Galactica finale and not a show that apparently some mefites don't care for.

In any case, Google News would have ruined it for me this afternoon, because despite the SPOILER ALERT on their feed, the goddamned headline gave it away.
posted by desjardins at 4:48 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought it sucked that someone posted that, and was glad I watched it live for once, instead of Chuck. It really was completely out of nowhere, and the shock of it was part of the point.

But we'll argue about this for a few hundred posts, and no one's mind will be changed. Just remember: if you post spoilers on the front page, some people will think you are a dick.
posted by smackfu at 4:48 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


If a helicopter fell on the hospital, burning it to the ground and killing everyone inside, the only question would be "Will this drive them into each other's arms and if so, who's going to be on top?"

Wasn't that actually a plot on ER?
posted by smackfu at 4:50 PM on April 7, 2009


Also, wasn't someone banned because he spoiled a Harry Potter novel? Or at least given a timeout? I'm not saying that's what should happen in this case, but it doesn't make sense to apply different rules to media with different levels of popularity.
posted by desjardins at 4:50 PM on April 7, 2009


You know, maybe if I hadn't said "last night" it wouldn't have been so horrifyingly awful to all the delicate House fans.

So do you not even watch the show?
posted by smackfu at 4:55 PM on April 7, 2009


Also, wasn't someone banned because he spoiled a Harry Potter novel? Or at least given a timeout? I'm not saying that's what should happen in this case, but it doesn't make sense to apply different rules to media with different levels of popularity.

That was reklaw, and he spoiled the 7th book on the front page before it was released specificially to be a dick (AND PS NOBODY MISSES YOU, REKLAW). This is not a case of different rules for different things, it's two different situations.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:55 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]




So do you not even watch the show?

I do usually, but I didn't see it last night, and was spoiled by the internets. Amazingly I was able to go on.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:56 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is not a case of different rules for different things, it's two different situations.

Fair enough. I would still like to see the aftermath had this FPP contained spoilers.
posted by desjardins at 5:00 PM on April 7, 2009


Frankly, I think if it's aired in a major market, it's fair game to be discussed, period.

Generally speaking, this is our feeling. That said we try to tidy up spoilers when we can. We saw this post and figured

1. it was on TV last night
2. it wasn't super simple to tuck the spoilery part to more inside since it was the whole point of the post [whatshisname leaving]

So, we're not planning to have a real policy on spoilers except "don't be a dick if you can help it" alongside "please forgive other people's dickishness"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:02 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The show was on last night, and the post was made this morning. If you didn't want to get spoiled, why didn't you watch it between then and now? Must the whole world cease conversation forever so you can endlessly put off watching the show you supposedly love so much? I have little sympathy for the cry of spoilers past a reasonable time frame, and in my mind, the reasonable time frame for a TV show is after it has aired live everywhere it's going to air live. After that, suck it up.

Sweet Jesus, this. Yes. Thank you.

This wasn't a movie in theatres or the latest Harry Potter book. It was a scheduled TV show. A TV show that already aired. And someone who did see it happened to mention it in a public area you happened to be in. If you walked past two people saying "OMG can you believe Kumar offed himself last night" at the water cooler this morning I sincerely doubt you'd whine that they didn't give you a spoiler alert.

TiVo is not a license to force other people to put their lives and conversations on hold.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:04 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The MeTa on the reklaw Harry Potter spoiler.

Protip-- It was actually hotmail who hacked reklaw's metafilter account to post that spoiler.
posted by dersins at 5:05 PM on April 7, 2009


The show was on last night, and the post was made this morning. If you didn't want to get spoiled, why didn't you watch it between then and now?

Do you people not work?
posted by smackfu at 5:09 PM on April 7, 2009


Way to rub it in :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:10 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


So do you not even watch the show?

Because if you don't see the episodes EACH and EVERY ONE, you cannot have the talking stick. Except for season three, that one doesn't count. Man, fandom is weird, honestly. Recorded telecasts have made TV fans into such cultists. I may be a little med-school-syndrome about this, as I'm in TV theory right class now, but yeah, it's just a show. They'll recap it next week and conversations about it are probably more interesting than the text itself. Fascinating culty conversations among fans sometimes most of all.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:13 PM on April 7, 2009


Now, sidebar: do we think of movie spoilers as being even seriouser or less seriouser?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:15 PM on April 7, 2009


There's no such thing as a spoiler after the show airs, sorry.
posted by empath at 5:27 PM on April 7, 2009


TiVo is not a license to force other people to put their lives and conversations on hold.

This happened pre-Tivo and back into olden times (in other words, when the VCR was the most recent technology), but it seems to me that Tivo and DVR have made this NO SPOILERS expectation exponentially worse. (And to a certain extent, Netflix too - more than once I have seen someone get mad because they have Season X of Insert TV Show Here on their queue). Once something airs, people are going to talk about it. Period. The internet is a major source of information worldwide...you can't expect to go online and protect yourself from spoilers.

It's different during a one-on-one conversation where someone can specifically say, "hey let's avoid spoilers, I havent' seen that yet". Like my friend who knew I was intending to go see a particular movie, and still said, "When he dies in the end by smashing through the windshield of his car?! Wow, that was totally unexpected!" That made me mad, and when I want to tease people and pretend that I am going to spoil something for them, I say that the main character died that way. For example, I told another friend who had not seen the BSG finale that Apollo died tragically by flying through Galactica's windshield. (Hint: not a real BSG spoiler. Do not Memail me about this.)
posted by DrGirlfriend at 5:27 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just clicked over to Yahoo.com and it announces the spoiler on the front page.

No warnings at all.
posted by M Edward at 5:35 PM on April 7, 2009


If only Metafilter could aspire to the standards of Yahoo.
posted by smackfu at 5:37 PM on April 7, 2009


Spoilers suck so yeah, I think people should take a little care when making posts as such.
posted by panboi at 5:41 PM on April 7, 2009


Yea, I am actually against the whole *SPOILER!* phenomenon in that I don't believe anyone should have to watch what they say about a show they've watched. If its been published or broadcast, its no longer a secret, and people will discuss it. This goes for movies, books, TV shows, and material public information goddam CFA. If you want to ensure it's not spoiled, make sure you watch the damn thing before anyone has a chance to talk about it.

I'm pretty unrepentant about this. Once in a film class, I happened to make a connection between the film at hand and Fight Club ick, which had recently gone out on video (I rarely see anything before then). One of my classmates was horribly offended that I would spoil the ending for them. Screw that.
posted by FuManchu at 5:41 PM on April 7, 2009



Also, wasn't someone banned because he spoiled a Harry Potter novel? Or at least given a timeout?


I think that was more of a literal literal spoiling, as in someone wiped their ass with the deathly hallows
posted by mannequito at 5:46 PM on April 7, 2009


This site would be up in arms had it been the Battlestar Galactica finale and not a show that apparently some mefites don't care for.

For what it's worth, I've really liked the half a season of House I've seen and hope to get around to watching more of it at some point. There's really not any "spoilers don't count because ur show iz dum" factor to this.

And, man oh man, I was just finishing up the third season of BSG when the finale was happening. Being as how I work on the internet, the best I could hope for was to manage to look away quickly from the screen several times a day over the period of about a week.

Try having to moderate that thread. Woof.

So, you know, wanting not to be spoiled is totally understandable. Wanting it enforced aggressively on Metafilter isn't really reasonable, unfortunately, and while we try to accommodate spoiler concerns when it's something big and cut-and-dry, that's about as far as it goes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:50 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, on my favorite torrent-site one of the first comments was: "OMG i cant fucking belive they killed off kuttner"!!#""!!#ยค!

I liked the episode all the more for it.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:52 PM on April 7, 2009


Oh kick ass... this callout has taken me back to House, and the first episode I happen to start watching has a McPOYLE brother as the patient!!
posted by FuManchu at 5:58 PM on April 7, 2009


I'm pretty unrepentant about this. Once in a film class, I happened to make a connection between the film at hand and Fight Club ick, which had recently gone out on video (I rarely see anything before then). One of my classmates was horribly offended that I would spoil the ending for them. Screw that.
Dude. What's the first damn rule of Fight Club?!?
posted by Liver at 6:10 PM on April 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


It really should have been Wilson.
posted by malocchio at 6:10 PM on April 7, 2009


Tomorrow's episode of Scrubs is already up on piratebay. I can't believe they killed off Janitor. It was pointless serious-business with Laverne and it's just stupid this time. Especially the way they did it, having J.D. hit him with his car so hard he goes through the windshield. How is that funny? "You win this round." Lame. I hope they at least kill of Kelso next so I don't have to see him cry again.
posted by stavrogin at 6:15 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father? That can't be. They don't even have the same last name!
posted by Chrysostom at 6:17 PM on April 7, 2009


posted by Liver What's the first damn rule of Fight Club?!?

Whale On It and Move On
posted by mattdidthat at 6:21 PM on April 7, 2009


I do not want to be exposed to anything that challenges my boutique liberal views. Please make up an appropriate acronym and label all relevant posts above the fold.
posted by XMLicious at 6:25 PM on April 7, 2009


Man, That 70's Show has been off the air for years.
posted by box at 6:26 PM on April 7, 2009


If you don't want to read spoilers, stay away from the internet.
posted by rocketman at 6:35 PM on April 7, 2009


Damn spoilers.

A few days ago I was reading the article on the War of 1812 on Wikipedia, and all of a sudden I look out the window and some fucker had put the Stars and Stripes up at the top of a flagpole, for everyone to see it.

Way to ruin the ending, asshole.
posted by qvantamon at 6:38 PM on April 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: you're enjoy it wrong.
posted by nola at 6:39 PM on April 7, 2009


My wife made chicken over a bed of spaghetti for dinner tonight. I think she used tarragon in the sauce. Tarragon's got a real distinctive taste, one I really love, but she also went nuts with basil (a trimming from the herb garden), and I can't quite tell. The sauce is a white wine cream sauce, reduced with the fond from the chicken. Rather than using black pepper, she used white pepper in the sauce, preserving the light gloss of the sauce. Black pepper would have marred its appearance; it would have looked like tiny burnt bits. She spiked the dish with goat cheese and walnuts. I usually find that pine nuts work better in this kind of sauce, but she swears they cause acne breakouts (something about the oil) and won't use them.
posted by boo_radley at 6:50 PM on April 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


It really should have been Wilson.

I agree. The way he communicates with House like no one else can--that's all the qualification he needs for that White House liaison job.
posted by mullacc at 6:53 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


When we find out Darth Vader is Luke's father, it's a big deal, because we don't know who Luke's father is. Half way through the first movie we know that Luke "never knew his father," that someone else (Obi Wan) did know his father, and that the Empire killed off his only remaining family (Uncle Owen, Aunt whatshername), effectively orphaning the young Luke. In keeping with the traditional modes of narrative, the viewer might naturally expect these facts to be important in later developments in the plot.

In the awesome show House, there are no previous plot developments that lead up to the random suicide of Kal Penn's character's death. Nobody is speculating on which character is going to kill themself before it happens. You can't really spoil an event that no one saw coming. Knowledge of Kutner's death gives you no information as to how the rest of the episode plays out. It doesn't spoil the plot of the show because the plot of the show now depends upon how the other characters react to Kutner's death, and if you go back and watch this particular episode, you'll realize the whole point of the episode is NOT "the dude committed suicide," but rather "each character deals with these circumstances differently."

In fact, the shock of learning about Kutner's suicide within the context of the show (i.e. while watching) is exactly the same as the shock of learning about the suicide outside of the context of the show. A shock, by the way, which came at the very beginning of the show. Which is to say, it is a catalyst, not the result, of character development.

A real spoiler here would be something more along the lines of, "As a result of Kutner's suicide, House is driven into the arms of his best friend Wilson." You could substitute any random tragedy for Kutner's suicide to achieve the same effect, and the actual plot would continue unabashedly.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 6:59 PM on April 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


stavrogin: Tomorrow's episode of Scrubs is already up on piratebay. I can't believe they killed off Janitor. It was pointless serious-business with Laverne and it's just stupid this time. Especially the way they did it, having J.D. hit him with his car so hard he goes through the windshield. How is that funny? "You win this round." Lame. I hope they at least kill of Kelso next so I don't have to see him cry again.

You're such an asshole for spoiling that for me.

I was enjoying a good deal of contentment and peace with the world just believing that in the next episode of Scrubs Zach Braff will die a horrible, horrible death at the hands of an angry sloth.
posted by koeselitz at 7:07 PM on April 7, 2009


carsonb: "This is already covered in the FAQ.

Is the Kal Penn post over the line; is that he's gone at all a spoiler?
"

DAMN IT! I hadn't watched House yet!
posted by IndigoRain at 7:18 PM on April 7, 2009


(I'm not trolling. I haven't watched it.)
posted by IndigoRain at 7:20 PM on April 7, 2009


I haven't seen Monday's Heroes because I watch it on Hulu and haven't gotten around to pulling it up. The newest episode doesn't even get posted there until later the next day.

Now I don't watch house, but onits page there's this:
New episodes are posted eight days after their initial TV broadcast. Five episodes will be available at a given time.
So, I don't doubt that some people haven't seen it yet and were against hearing the spoilers, especially since it was less than 24 hours since the episode aired.

Does this mean people should be hung for spoiling things? Definitely not. That said, I'd support a spoiler tag implemented to give people that option and/or just a general consensus to post any spoilers below the fold/in the first comment to not be an ass to those who didn't want to be spoilered. Just have some respect for the readers of the site.
posted by flatluigi at 7:35 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


(I posted a one-line bitch about it in the thread, but honestly, I don't really care. Plus, it's impossible to spoil anything for me. By the time I get around to watching or reading whatever was spoiled, I've already forgotten, even if it's the next day. It's my super power.)
posted by uncleozzy at 7:47 PM on April 7, 2009


I've run into this side effect of DVRs a few times now, so I definitely sympathize. But for major pop cultural events (sports results, American Idol results, major top 10 TV show plot stunners) I have zero expectation of avoiding the radio discussions, news sites, water cooler talk, etc. At some point during the day, unless I manage to put myself into a bubble, I will hear or read about it.

So, yeah. While it'd be nice if the whole world operated on my schedule and respected that I've been busy and my DVR is 95% full and I'm still 6 episodes behind on Lost, I know that's just not going to happen. I happened to see the House episode before I saw the post today, but if I hadn't, I still would've known about it from the enormous news coverage about his accepting a job position with the Obama administration and, oh yeah, his departure from House.
posted by empyrean at 7:58 PM on April 7, 2009


This is why I stick to my Three's Company and first three seasons of Buffy DVDs.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:09 PM on April 7, 2009


*SPOILERS - seriously*

I found out in advance that Nate Fisher dies, that Tony Blundetto is shot, that Snape kills Dumbledore and, heaven help me, the identity of the final four Cylons. Oh and Peggy's pregnancy.

Tragic, yes, but avoidable if I hadn't succumbed to the temptation to read articles about the show after it had aired and before I had watched it.

PS. message me if you like all those shows & let's be friends.
posted by cranberrymonger at 8:25 PM on April 7, 2009


I'm amazed that anyone for whom surprise is an integral part of their sense of enjoyment would be watching TV shows at all.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:31 PM on April 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm still on the second season of Punky Brewster. What are you all going on about?
posted by Dumsnill at 8:31 PM on April 7, 2009


I had such a crush on Punky Brewster when I was a kid.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:34 PM on April 7, 2009


The thread in question is a special case due to the real-world news, but in general, people who refuse to respect spoiler manners are like the folks who insist that there's no such thing as NSFW or deny that a certain word has more "oomph" in America. Since placing plot points below the fold, or asking, "have you watched The Wire yet?", takes just a sliver of courtesy, to not do so just because of your own aesthetic sensibilities is to be a dick.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:40 PM on April 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


I agree, bookhouse, even though my own sensibilities is to be a sweetheart. Please don't do this, yes. Enforce this, impossible.
posted by Dumsnill at 8:48 PM on April 7, 2009


"TiVo is not a license to force other people to put their lives and conversations on hold."

QFT
FTW
QED
SRSLY
LOL
WTF?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:51 PM on April 7, 2009


What's the deal with those kids in my city that put huge spoilers, complete with industrial looking trusses, on their beat up second hand Hondas? It's not an F1 car, kid. You simply don't need that much downforce, and you ought to open a brokerage account or CD with all that money that you're pissing away on your car. I had a hot girlfriend in high schoolk even though I had a beat up old Mercury sedan.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:51 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


rocketman: "If you don't want to read spoilers, stay away from the internet."

Well, now that I've watched the episode, I'm back.

The problem with that is, how often do you get online and the most recent episode of yourfavoriteshow is spoiled all over major news sites (not just TV blogs) and furthermore, in headlines? I'm thinking not often.

I already knew SOMETHING happened on House because a friend of mine told me I should watch it soon. The interesting part is that this thread (in the post I quoted by carsonb) spoiled me... not the one linked to on the blue. I didn't read or hear anything in the news today about House, but I haven't read my blogs for the day either.

That said, I suppose it still was a self-inflicted spoiling because I saw "House spoilers" in the OP of this thread and did not click away from this thread.

Still, I guess it would have been nice if the post on the blue had contained the spoiler on the "more inside." Oh well, what's done is done.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:53 PM on April 7, 2009


I *do* enjoy the show and its plot twists

It's House. I can set my watch by it's formulaic bullshit. If you think it's surprising or unpredictable, you haven't been paying attention.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:26 PM on April 7, 2009


> A real spoiler here would be something more along the lines of, "As a result of Kutner's suicide, House is driven into the arms of his best friend Wilson."

Dude, if that doesn't happen when I get around to watching the thoroughly spoiled episode tonight, I'm going to be pissed.

> SPOILER kills SPOILER

Way to ruin it for those waiting for the movie!
posted by crossoverman at 10:20 PM on April 7, 2009


oh get over yourself. if the post is about [show or movie you haven't seen yet] DON'T READ THE FUCKING THREAD BECAUSE THERE MIGHT BE SPOILERS.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:23 PM on April 7, 2009


misanthropicsarah: That's great and all, but not when the entire spoiler-ing part of the thread is on the front page. Which is what this MeTa was about.
posted by niles at 10:33 PM on April 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


namely, "Perhaps all spoilers should be in the "more inside" section, with a prominent warning in the description field?!"
posted by niles at 10:33 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Could we have a real documented policy on spoilers,

All these people always wanting some B&W rule when we already have an even better one which is "do the right thing."
posted by caddis at 10:48 PM on April 7, 2009


Having only watched only enough episodes of House to recognize characters but not necessarily know their name, I was rather tickled with the idea that House and Cuddy were going to get together. Of course, when I read Cuddy I was thinking Wilson.

Then I realized that mainstream television does not broadcast slashfic.

Yet.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:20 PM on April 7, 2009


"we already have an even better one which is "do the right thing."

It's en vogue to be vague!
posted by markkraft at 11:40 PM on April 7, 2009


Also, wasn't someone banned because they spoiled a Harry Potter novel?

You mean we once had a *MeFi's Own* JK Rowling?

(or was she pre-emptively banned?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:52 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Then I realized that mainstream television does not broadcast slashfic.

Am I the only one annoyed by queer content being referred to as slashfic in all contexts? Like, if House and Wilson do start banging each other, surely we can just talk about their (gay) relationship. Isn't it only slashfic when it's not canon?

[/maybetakingthingstooseriouslymighthavetogetoffmysoapboxnowyeah]
posted by crossoverman at 11:57 PM on April 7, 2009


You know you're getting mad about a post about a tv show, right? OK.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:58 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Spoiler:
It's not Lupus.

Well, a while ago a co-worker was telling me about her medical woes, including a comment that she had been tested for a range of things, including Lupus. Being supremely clever, sensitive and sharp as a tack, I immediately responded with "don't worry, it's not Lupus. It's never Lupus". The response was a puzzled, silent stare, followed by "actually, it is".

Having to explain where the comment came from was almost as embarrassing as making it in the first place.

But thanks everyone for spoiling tonight's episode for me.
posted by dg at 12:37 AM on April 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


SPOILER: JACK TRIPPER KILLS FURLEY
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:52 AM on April 8, 2009


GO.
BACK.
TO.
LIVEJOURNAL.
posted by blasdelf at 2:17 AM on April 8, 2009


This isn't LiveJournal?!??

What the hell is it, then?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:55 AM on April 8, 2009


crossoverman, I think the use of the term slashfic is subconsciously attributing unlikely change to the heteronormative hegemony of gender relations on mainstream media outlets; unintentionally ignoring the progress of queer themes and characters in our popular narratives. In this particular case however, I would posit that the use of slashfic as a descriptive term is not only warranted, but demanded by the fact that the eponymous character of the series is an unabashed heterosexual womanizer whose womanizing tendencies and sexual magnetism form an integral facet of his appeal. Thus, any such change to this norm is highly unlikely nigh unto impossibility, banishing any such same-sex pairing of Mr. Laurie's on-screen persona to the realms of slash fiction. This is inherent in the statement "mainstream television does not broadcast slashfic", which actually is a tautology in its truest form.

So while I agree with your brief in essence, my use of the terminology stands.

And that's Numberwang.
posted by ooga_booga at 4:11 AM on April 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


SPOILER: JACK TRIPPER KILLS FURLEY

You're confusing Jack Tripper with Jack T. Ripper.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:14 AM on April 8, 2009


I don't see the big deal. I saw from the front page that he left, then avoided reading more 'til I'd watched it. Yea, I'd rather not have known that it was the episode in which he left, but I knew nothing more than that, and was pointed out, the entire internet seemed littered with untagged spoilers on the subject of what happened.

Hell, I still haven't watched the BSG finale, but favourited the thread on the subject so I can come back to it when I'm done.

People need to learn to look away quicker.
posted by opsin at 4:53 AM on April 8, 2009


markkraft: You're being a whiner. If this is your biggest problem in life right now you're in great shape.
posted by RussHy at 5:14 AM on April 8, 2009


If you really care enough about a show to hate the fact that it might get spoiled, it is your responsibility to avoid all sources of spoilers or watch the show as it airs. This wasn't a preemptive spoiler.

That said, abc123xyzinfinity said it right about the spoilers.

It's House. I can set my watch by it's formulaic bullshit. If you think it's surprising or unpredictable, you haven't been paying attention.

Haha. You're damn right you can. It's probably the most formulaic show on TV.
0-15 minutes -- establish sick person
15-20 -- false diagnosis
20-30 -- false diagnosis
30-40 -- false diagnosis
40-50 -- real diagnosis
50-60 -- establish healthy person
posted by graventy at 6:23 AM on April 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


the reasonable time frame for a TV show is after it has aired live everywhere it's going to air live

Are we including the rest of the world here? Just the English-speaking parts? North America?

I'm all for putting spoilers in the more inside, with "NB: spoilers" in the front page section. And editing posts to match this format if people are rude or forgetful when they write them. It lets the spoiler-averse sort themselves out (own fault if they click anyway), and lets people like me find the spoiler more easily. It's much easier to discuss the actual content of the post if it isn't full of people complaining about unmarked spoilers.
posted by harriet vane at 6:51 AM on April 8, 2009


All these people always wanting some B&W rule when we already have an even better one which is "do the right thing."

Well, generally I agree with that. The problem in this case is that there is stark disagreement over what "the right thing" is. The mods viewpoint seems to be that as long as it's not done with malicious intent, it's fine.
posted by smackfu at 6:56 AM on April 8, 2009


Graventy, that probably should've been:

0-15 minutes -- establish sick person
15-20 -- false diagnosis
20-30 -- false diagnosis
30-40 -- false diagnosis
45-50 -- throwaway scene with some throwaway detail that nonetheless leads to the eureka!! moment, which itself leads to...
45-50 -- real diagnosis
50-60 -- establish healthy person
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:18 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


"As a result of Kutner's suicide, House is driven into the arms of his best friend Wilson."

pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease
posted by desjardins at 7:18 AM on April 8, 2009


Dammit, that should've been 40-45, then 45-50. I am teh suk.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:19 AM on April 8, 2009


Jesus, thanks for the metaspoiler graventy. I was just about to spend the next three days watching every single episode of House and now there's no point. Dick.
posted by otolith at 7:41 AM on April 8, 2009


That's the thing -- you can still watch them, because most people are watching the show for the character interaction. Seeing how House is stealing drugs for his leg, or how that stupid Huddy relationship thing is going, or watching House be an asshole, that's the fun part.

The actual patient? Who the fuck cares?

I pretty much watch ONLY for the House being an asshole parts.
posted by graventy at 7:48 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


koeselitz : I was enjoying a good deal of contentment and peace with the world just believing that in the next episode of Scrubs Zach Braff will die a horrible, horrible death at the hands of an angry sloth.

I have it on good authority that the show ends with Hugh Jackman coming into the hospital and killing everyone. At the very end it's revealed that Cox was actually psychic and all his anti-Jackman screeds were just foreshadowing.
posted by quin at 7:49 AM on April 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


You Should See the Other Guy: "It's House. I can set my watch by it's formulaic bullshit."

Not a House watcher - so I don't have a dog in this fight. But IIRC, when the show's people went on Frrrrresh Air, they actually did acknowledge that the scripts follow a formula whose major developments are timed to occur at the same point in the hour every week.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:53 AM on April 8, 2009


The mods viewpoint seems to be that as long as it's not done with malicious intent, it's fine.

Well, not exactly. More that if it's done with malicious intent or it's a super clearcut, unambiguous, easy-fix situation, we're likely to do something about it, but if none of that is the case it's muddier territory and we may not take action.

We've definitely cleaned up e.g. boneheaded askmes that accidentally stuck Major Contemporary Spoiler above the fold rather than below out of user error a few times, that sort of thing. It wasn't malicious, but it also wasn't what the asker was intending to do and in context it was zero effort to repair and didn't disrupt the layout of the question to nudge the bit inside.

But it's easier with AskMe, where the notion of teaser-plus-elaboration is more functional than merely stylistic. Posts on the blue tend to be more constructed than just tossed out there, and we don't like the idea of either cutting the above-the-fold stuff off at an arbitrary awkward point just to (among other possible reasons) hide a mild spoiler, or of rewriting someone's post text for them after the fact.

I pretty much watch ONLY for the House being an asshole parts.

I have to admit that "Hugh Laurie being a magnificent bastard" is what got me to watch it in the first place, and that if the show were ever to veer into "Hugh Laurie being a totally chill nice dude" territory that'd be it for me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 AM on April 8, 2009


House = Holmes
Wilson = Watson

You can set your watch by Arthur Conan Doyle's plot twists too, but instead of being degrading, it's my favourite way to tell time.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:33 AM on April 8, 2009


markkraft spoiled the episode for me with this MetaTalk post. Thanks!
posted by univac at 8:41 AM on April 8, 2009


0-15 minutes -- establish sick person
15-20 -- false diagnosis
20-30 -- false diagnosis
30-40 -- false diagnosis
45-50 -- throwaway scene with some throwaway detail that nonetheless leads to the eureka!! moment, which itself leads to...
45-50 -- real diagnosis
50-60 -- establish healthy person


So, the only real thing to guess is when they are going to put the patient into the MRI of Doom?
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:02 AM on April 8, 2009


True story: When Star Wars opened in Seattle, my friends and I got sucked in by the newspaper ads that ran on opening day--that was the first time I had ever seen a whole page movie ad--which promised everything possible and then some. And it was a space opera. Who could resist ?

So, we get down to the UA 150--since long gone--and the line curved from the door to 6th and around the corner to 5th, under the monorail there, and went about another block's length. Biggest line of my life up to that point.

And we're standing there that evening, in the middle of the block between 6th and 5th, and this motorscooter goes by on 5th, around 7 PM--on the night of opening day--and the guy sitting in back yells "THEY BLOW UP THE DEATH STAR AT THE END!"
posted by y2karl at 9:04 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


"It's House. I can set my watch by it's formulaic bullshit."

viz. robocop is bleeding's fantastic sample "House" script from a couple of years ago.

More mouse bites, indeed.
posted by dersins at 9:10 AM on April 8, 2009


House = Holmes
Wilson = Watson


It's funny how many people don't see it. I remember in a recent-ish episode, Wilson makes up some lie about someone named Irene Adler, and there were people who were like "ha ha! I guess that makes Wilson Watson and House Sherlock Holmes!" Yes...that's the premise of the show.

I would posit that the use of slashfic as a descriptive term is not only warranted, but demanded by the fact that the eponymous character of the series is an unabashed heterosexual womanizer whose womanizing tendencies and sexual magnetism form an integral facet of his appeal. Thus, any such change to this norm is highly unlikely nigh unto impossibility

Even though ALL of that is totally true, there also actually is real sexual tension between House and Wilson. I think the reason that it's such a common pairing for slash is that the seeds of it are in the show itself, which is kind of rare for something so mainstream. It's a contrast to something like, say, Harry/Ron, where there's no more sexual tension than there is in any other boy-boy adolescent friendship (which is, admittedly, non-zero). Or, say, I'd love to see Sayid and Sawyer make out, but not because I think they have sexual chemistry. Just because I think they're both hot and awesome.

As for spoilers. I have learned that the only way to deal with spoilers is to know where you are. It's easy for me, because my relationship with spoilers is that I don't seek them out usually, but I also don't get mad if I get spoiled by accident. But for the most part, if you like TV, you know that if you want a spoiler you go to Ausellio or his ilk. And if you hate spoilers, you go to the sites where you have to click through to get all episode details regardless of when it aired, and that even promos are off-limits to talk about. This particular case? They said the words "Kutner committed suicide" on the local news this morning. This info is everywhere. It sucks for the die-hard no-spoiler people, but it's not Metafilter's fault. I'm actually really impressed that the information stayed pretty quiet before the episode even aired.
posted by lampoil at 10:52 AM on April 8, 2009


I want a *fake* policy on spoilers. Can we get one of those?
posted by owtytrof at 11:13 AM on April 8, 2009


THE OFFICIAL FAKE METAFILTER POLICY ON SPOILERS:

1. Spoilin'? That's a boilin'!
2. No tagbacks.
3. If you make a joke about Citizen Kane, I will cut you.
3b. That is to say, "Rosebud"? You get the hose, bud.
4. Please replace spoilery text with underscores, so that ____ _______ _ ____.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:22 AM on April 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


4. Please replace spoilery text with underscores, so that ____ _______ _ ____.

So that you awake with sores?
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:31 AM on April 8, 2009


4. Please replace spoilery text with underscores, so that THEY BLOW UP THE DEATH STAR AT THE END!
posted by y2karl at 12:00 PM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


man, you can't even see a user name without spoiling something.
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on April 8, 2009


no dog in this fight, but i'm bored. so here goes:

CAUTION! MAY CONTAIN SPOILER FOR THOSE INTENDING TO "GET AROUND" TO THE RUSSIAN CLASSICS!!

once, in a past relationship, my girlfriend and i decided to read 'anna karenina' together. discussing one particularly lyrical passage that involves a train ride, i suggested that it was foreshadowing a *certain important train scene that occurs later in the novel*. my girlfriend jumps up and shouts, 'motherfucker! what the fuck is wrong with you?!' turns out, she had no idea how the book ends. and she was a lit major! now that is a serious spoiler, friends. she cooled down eventually and though the romance was doomed, we remain very close friends to this day.
posted by barrett caulk at 12:36 PM on April 8, 2009


I have to admit that "Hugh Laurie being a magnificent bastard" is what got me to watch it in the first place, and that if the show were ever to veer into "Hugh Laurie being a totally chill nice dude" territory that'd be it for me.
Yup. me too. I also use the show for tips on how to deal effectively with clients and co-workers.
posted by dg at 1:33 PM on April 8, 2009


Hitting them with a cane? I'm not familiar with the show; help me out here.
posted by boo_radley at 1:34 PM on April 8, 2009


With TV shows, I would go as far as to say that I think it's rude to get angry at hearing something that might be considered a "spoiler" after the show has aired on TV.

It seems to me to be the same as saying that your right to not have something "spoiled," should over rule other people's right to discuss something that they have seen. It might be a bit different with a movie or a book, where people might see or read it at many different times.

In this case I find your attitude to be even more offensive because the thing that "spoiled" your surprise was a real life news event that had been covered on multiple real news outlets.

And by the way, the Titanic sinks at the end.
posted by jefeweiss at 1:52 PM on April 8, 2009


It seems to me to be the same as saying that your right to not have something "spoiled," should over rule other people's right to discuss something that they have seen.

You are exactly right. Because when people say "please do not post spoilers on the front page," what they really mean is "you are forbidden from discussing spoilers anywhere, at any time, with anyone, in any medium."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:08 PM on April 8, 2009


We need a system like those old Infocom InvisiClues hint books, where you can rub a marker on your computer screen and it will reveal the answer written in invisible ink.

Q: How do I kill this grue?
A: ___________________.
posted by chinston at 2:27 PM on April 8, 2009


Because when people say "please do not post spoilers on the front page," what they really mean is "you are forbidden from discussing spoilers anywhere, at any time, with anyone, in any medium."

I'm glad I'm not the only one who read it that way.
posted by owtytrof at 2:29 PM on April 8, 2009


Composing a FPP is not exactly a right.
posted by desjardins at 2:44 PM on April 8, 2009


I accidentally spoiled myself in the worst possible way. (Yes, that is a different thing from soiling myself.)

So, I'm in a hotel with my mom in August of 2005. And the hotel has free HBO. Score! And they're showing this show, Six Feet Under that I've heard a lot about...

If you've seen the show and you do the math, you can figure out that I totally, totally accidentally WATCHED THE SERIES FINALE. D'oh. (Admittedly, it didn't make all that much sense.)

And guess what? I went back, watched the whole thing from start to finish and loved it anyway. Spoilers, schmoilers. If the details are more important than the artistry used to express them, go back to reading books that no one else has read.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:07 PM on April 8, 2009


I got in trouble for ruining the ending of Anna Karenina for someone once, too. But it was long enough ago that the term 'spoiler' was not yet in currency.
posted by yarrow at 3:12 PM on April 8, 2009


jefeweiss : And by the way, the Titanic sinks at the end.

You obviously only saw the theatrical release. In the director's cut the Titanic is saved by the weird underwater aliens from The Abyss. The movie closes with them carrying it off into outer space where the ending promised that the sequel would have all sorts of adventures with the space luxury liner and the water aliens.

Pity the studio chickened out. I think it was a more complete ending that provided better closure.
posted by quin at 3:14 PM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a took-a-bunch-of-film-theory-courses kind of person, I am of the opinion that any film that can be spoiled is already rotten.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:03 PM on April 8, 2009


Apparently Sys Rq really does know all there is to know... about the crying game.
posted by GuyZero at 4:04 PM on April 8, 2009


We need a system like those old Infocom InvisiClues hint books, where you can rub a marker on your computer screen and it will reveal the answer written in invisible ink.

Just sprinkle some Ajax on the screen and scrub really, really hard with a wire brush.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:11 PM on April 8, 2009


Hint to casting directors: If the film relies on the audience believing a [spoiler] is really a [spoiler], the [spoiler] should actually maybe look somewhat convincingly like a [spoiler], rather than a [spoiler] in drag.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:12 PM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mayor Quimby spoiled The Crying Game for me.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:15 PM on April 8, 2009


I came here convinced there must have been an edit of the FPP by a mod removing a more serious spoiler because of all the whining. I watched the show in question a day late via DVR after seeing the FPP yesterday morning & when I saw "spoilers everywhere" I realized I shouldn't read the comments or look around at entertainment news sites.

I assumed the "sudden exit" would be a firing or quitting (most likely a blowup in the House/Taub conflict would somehow reverse & involve Kutner) and was happy enough that something positive was going on in govt. So, I put it aside & came back today. No biggie.
posted by morganw at 6:59 PM on April 8, 2009


I like spoilers. They keep me from having to watch TV.

Speaking of which, this thread can use some spoilers. Both kinds, one to keep it on the ground and the other so I didn't have to read all of that.

Anyway, if your fictional or nonfictional media of choice is spoiled by spoilers - then it probably sucks. Good storytelling is about the journey, not the destination, etc, etc.

In short - sucks to your assmar.

And in the weather forecast today thick banks of low-lying smug may reduce viability in areas - proceed with caution.
posted by loquacious at 7:01 PM on April 8, 2009


You made me look.
Mayor Quimby:
"People of Springfield, because of the epidemic I have canceled my vacation to the Bahamas. I shall not leave the city......" [interupted by a Steel Drum player] ".....hey you, get that steel drum out of the uh, mayor's office."
[to the crowd]
"Let the word go forth from this time and place, Marge Simpson is a shop lifter. In other news, the chick in the Crying Game is really a man." [crowd boo's] "I mean, man, is that a good movie."
posted by graventy at 7:12 PM on April 8, 2009


boo_radley wrote: I figured since the phrase "Spoilers everywhere" was in the post, there might be spoilers in the post itself. Does that seem odd to you?

Saying that Kal Penn had departed was a spoiler in and of itself. The post could easily have been written in such a way as to give away only that there was in fact a plot twist on the television show.

And personally, I think it's reasonable to ask people to keep their spoilers to themselves for a measly 24 hours after the show airs. Not all of us have enough free time to watch every fucking show we like to watch the minute it airs.

And no, I don't care if you are discussing the show, just make it possible for those of us who haven't seen it yet to not have plot twists spoiled without having to avoid even nominally non TV related sites.
posted by wierdo at 8:25 PM on April 8, 2009


You'll NEVER guess who died on Lost tonight!
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:06 PM on April 8, 2009


"Let the word go forth from this time and place, Marge Simpson is a shop lifter. In other news, the chick in the Crying Game is really a man." [crowd boo's] "I mean, man, is that a good movie."

Wait, the audience is supposed to think it's a chick until the end? I thought it was heavy dramatic irony, you know? I thought the whole point of the movie was that everybody else (including the audience) knew it was a dude but that this guy was so totally guilty over the whole affair that he was willfully blind to the obvious.

But, seriously? It was supposed to be a surprise?
posted by Netzapper at 10:03 PM on April 8, 2009


The post could easily have been written in such a way as to give away only that there was in fact a plot twist on the television show.

Umm... the post was about Kal Penn going to the White House--which is FPP-worthy--not that there was a big interesting plot twist in House--which is not even kinda FPP-worthy.

If the post had been some sort of oblique "Hey, there was some interesting stuff on House last night. [more inside]" bullshit, it wouldn't have made the slightest bit of sense. It wasn't about the event on House, it was about the actor.
posted by Netzapper at 10:10 PM on April 8, 2009


Netzapper wrote:
If the post had been some sort of oblique "Hey, there was some interesting stuff on House last night. [more inside]" bullshit, it wouldn't have made the slightest bit of sense. It wasn't about the event on House, it was about the actor.


But had it said "One of the actors on the television show House is leaving for the White House. [more inside]," it would have been just as interesting on the click through and not given away the who, which was my main complaint.

Or even, "One of the actors on House is doing something interesting in real life. Watch out for falling spoilers." Or whatever. It could easily have been phrased to catch the reader's attention while still not giving away the show's plot.

Fuck, if the people writing the episode synopsis could avoid spoiling Kal Penn's departure, surely a MeFi poster could, too.
posted by wierdo at 12:49 AM on April 9, 2009


Hey wierdo, one of your proposed better versions would have spoiled the effect, two minutes in when they say "Kutner better have a good reason for his absence." ("Gee, I wonder if he's the one who left?")
posted by Pronoiac at 1:51 AM on April 9, 2009


But had it said "One of the actors on the television show House is leaving for the White House. [more inside]," it would have been just as interesting on the click through and not given away the who, which was my main complaint.
...
Fuck, if the people writing the episode synopsis could avoid spoiling Kal Penn's departure, surely a MeFi poster could, too.


The post wasn't about the show. If I'd written the post, I'd have skipped any mention of the television event. But, as has been mentioned above, for the hardcore spoiler-haters, the mere knowledge that Kal Penn wouldn't continue to appear was spiritually equivalent to blurting out the particulars. Personally, the phrase "dramatically left the show" seems like a totally reasonable tip to the plot point that didn't reveal any details of the event.

Furthermore, you're myopically assuming that everybody who might be interested in reading about Kal Penn is going to click on some FPP with oblique references to House. I don't like House anymore, but I do like Kal Penn. I wouldn't have clicked on your headlines; I did click on the one in question.

But, the post wasn't about the fucking show, and so it would have been asinine to make a big production of mentioning that some shit happened but we'll be sure not to spoil it.

You see, there's this thing called "real life" of which television is but a gaunt reflection. Indeed, the actors you see in the Realm of Television also have an existence in what some of us like to call the Real World. Sometimes, an actor will choose to do something meaningful and contributory in the Real World, and will at least temporarily abandon his projection into the Realm of Television.

When that happens, those of us living in the Real World feel the need to discuss the miracle of what we call Realization. This is a happy time when an actor or an actress learns about how our world works, how to get along with people who don't already adore them, how to form sentences with actual informational content, and how to solve the sorts of problems that can't be fixed in post. Once an actor has been fully Realized, he takes his place doing valuable work... and may, indeed, make use of his vestigial acting presence and notoriety to achieve that work.

Sometimes an actor or an actress will get homesick for their world of make believe. They may choose to return to the Realm of Television. If they want to return fully, committing their time to production schedules and fashion whims, we perform the Ceremony of Irrelevancing. This essentially severs the acquired ties to the Real World that the actor had accumulated, which makes it far easier to reintegrate into the fantasy of television.

On the other hand, there are some actors who continue on with one foot in the Real World and one foot in the Realm. These actors lead a sort of cruel double life, forever torn between being an irrelevant clown and a contributing member of society.

But, during the time that an actor is out here in the Real World, working with the grown ups, we're allowed to report news about and concerning him. Such news may include his entry into the Real World. Don't worry, though, when he goes back to making funny pictures for you to clap and squeal at, we'll go back to ignoring him.
posted by Netzapper at 1:53 AM on April 9, 2009


There's absolutely no need to be rude about it, but politeness is a lost art on the series of tubes we lovingly call the Internets, as this thread so obviously illustrates.
posted by wierdo at 2:01 AM on April 9, 2009


There's absolutely no need to be rude about it, but politeness is a lost art on the series of tubes we lovingly call the Internets, as this thread so obviously illustrates.

I guess that was harsher than I had intended when I set out to write it. It sort of took on a thematic life of its own, though.

I apologize for the harshness.
posted by Netzapper at 2:32 AM on April 9, 2009


Accidentally leaving the jug out on the counter all day spoiled the milk for me. :(
posted by owtytrof at 7:10 AM on April 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, but when is Neil Patrick Harris going to get tapped for a cabinet level position?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:16 PM on April 9, 2009


Doctor Doogie Weinerbutt Howser, Secretary of Porn
posted by y2karl at 3:12 PM on April 9, 2009


More like Secretary of Commerce. (Last I heard they still needed one.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:58 PM on April 9, 2009


Now if you had said 13 was leaving the show, I might have been upset.
posted by CwgrlUp at 7:04 PM on April 9, 2009


Everybody loves Remy.
posted by wierdo at 7:09 PM on April 9, 2009


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