Things That Make Me Nervous 10 Reasons TV Spoilers Make Me Nervous Nicole Paulhus

There are only two things I love in this world: everybody and television. Wait, no, that’s Kenneth from 30 Rock. I actually hate everybody. Kidding! Just most people. Anyway, back to TV. I love TV! TV is awesome. In my opinion, great TV is all about surprise. Whether it’s a shocking plot twist or an unexpected joke, all of my favorite small screen moments contain some element of the unexpected. Therefore, I hate knowing even the slightest bit of information about an episode before I watch and live in constant fear of spoilers.

Here are the reasons why TV Spoilers make me nervous. Don’t worry, it’s spoiler-free, because I’m considerate like that.

1. #Shutup

I love social networks almost as much as I love TV, but when I haven’t seen the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars, social networks are like minefields. I usually know enough to stay off Twitter and Facebook, but one time I made the poor choice of checking Instagram during an episode of Downton Abbey and stumbled across a screenshotted text conversation containing a huge spoiler. Et tu, Instagram?

2. Time Zones Are Confusing

I grew up and went to college on the East Coast. I now live on the West Coast. While I love my friends and family very much, many of them still struggle with the concept of time zones. So, even if I stay off social networks, I still run the risk of my sister texting me, “I can’t believe he shot her in the face!” three hours before he shoots her in the face on the West Coast. Luckily, for my sake, my sister has mostly bad taste in TV.

3.Have You Gotten To The Part Where They Kiss?”

No, actually I haven’t gotten to the part where they kiss. Thanks for ruining it for me, though! I used to have a roommate who did this all the time. She would walk into the living room, see you were watching a show, casually drop a massive plot bomb and then disappear. What? Why would you do that? Think before you rain spoilers all over my parade. Now get back here so I can pin you down and ruin the ending of LOST.

4. Entertainment Websites

I work in TV. Therefore, I read a lot of entertainment websites. While I make a valiant effort to avoid spoiler-themed articles, I still end up stumbling upon them in the most innocent of places. For instance, one time I was reading an article about the casting of a Fox pilot in which the author explained that an actor was available to play the lead because his character on a current series would soon be killed off. Why do you hate me, Nikki Finke? I TODJA I hated spoilers!

5. Chatty Strangers

Most of my friends respect my fear of spoilers. I, likewise, respect their need to debrief the latest happenings on Homeland during brunch. So, if we’re out and they wish to discuss something I haven’t seen, I will casually shove my fingers in my ears and hum loudly until the coast is clear. However, when chatty strangers in Starbucks are discussing Abu Nazir’s latest shenanigans, it becomes a bit harder to stop the flow of information to my brain. While I’m not above shoving fingers in my ears and humming alone in a public place, I would prefer not to be escorted out of a coffee house. I need the caffeine.

6. Promos

Most of the time I really enjoy promos. They get you excited for the upcoming episode, build suspense, etc. Sometimes, though, promos are too much. One time, a show I loved ran promos stating one of its main characters would die during the season finale. The strategy was simple: Get people to tune in to find out who dies. My problem was that the character spent half the episode dying. I sat there, waiting for the twist. Certainly someone else is going to die at the last second and it’s going to be awesome. But it wasn’t. It was just that one character dying for half an hour. It could have been a big moment, but it wasn’t because we all already knew someone was going to die!

7. Opening Credits
I spend a lot of time on IMDB and pride myself on knowing which actors play which parts in my favorite shows. During the opening credits of most shows, the names of series regulars and guest stars appear on screen. I get it. It’s nice to give people credit for their work. However, when you show me the name of an actor whose character died last season, I know that character is going to be in the episode. Thus, eliminating my shock when the character shows up, having returned from the dead. I’m looking at you 24.

8. Previously On…

I totally understand the logic behind “Previously On” segments, especially for super serialized shows. However, some “Previously On” segments are constructed in such a way that I can pretty much write the episode after seeing them. If you show me a clip of a character promising he will never cheat on his wife followed by a clip of his hot new receptionist, I can tell you that character is about to sleep with that receptionist. We live in a world with DVR, Hulu and Netflix. Just assume we know what happened previously, okay? And, speaking of DVRs…

9. My DVR Cut Off The Last Two Minutes

I set my recordings for a few minutes after a show ends, but sometimes there’s an overlap and my trusty DVR has no choice but to cut out early. This makes me nervous because I usually don’t realize it’s happened until it’s too late. A show ends. I think it’s over and call a friend to discuss. She brings up the shocking twist in the last two minutes and I realize, crap, I didn’t see the last two minutes! What happened to those “stay tuned for more Switched At Birth after these messages” ads? Those were helpful!

10. Actors Oversharing On Talk Shows

Sometimes actors get on talk shows and I don’t know if it’s nerves or adrenaline, but they get a little too comfortable and start spewing secrets from upcoming episodes. It is for this reason that I don’t really watch talk shows anymore. As much as I love funny anecdotes, it’s simply not worth the risk.

Now, I probably don’t have to say this because you’re wise intelligent people, but please be cautious in the comments section! If you’re going to include a story about how someone spoiled something for you, be vague. Be very, very vague! Some of us are still on Season One of Breaking Bad.

Featured image via Shutterstock

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  1. I’m a hypocrite. I hate spoilers and I like not knowing what is going to happen in my favourite shows… but then America likes to punish us British by forcing us to wait 6 – 8 months for them to air over here. Which at first I think, that’s fine, I can wait.. but of course I ‘like’ my favourite things on Facebook, things that appear in my news feed and are interesting to me. But when I see *that* picture of my two favourite New Girl characters appear in my feed first I squeal, then I go watch it online… followed by the rest of the season from the beginning… which consequently I then know exactly what happens and the point the characters end up before episode 1 has even been scheduled to air in the UK :/

  2. Couldn’t agree more! I’m a tv geek and hate spoilers but sometimes it just happens and it’s just arggh!!!

  3. Oh man. I remember 24. I remember I shouldn’t look at those names but sometimes it was inevitable and then… BANG! Spoiler. Someone who was dead or just wasn’t supposed to be there was, well, right there! I always didn’t know whether to throw something at the TV or to wait anxiously to see what was about to happen. All the other things are pretty true too. My friends couldn’t understand why I hated spoilers so much years ago until they gave up and just started respecting me. (And yes, I do shove my fingers in my ears and hum loudly if they forget I’m there and haven’t watched it yet).

    Oh, and the whole previously on thing… I’m 100% with you.

  4. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS SO TRUE! Not only for TV shows, but basically every crazy plot twist in the last 3 harry potter books was spoiled for me by someone! seriously?? some of us like surprises.

  5. i really hate spoilers !! there’s a huge spoiler blog on tumblr that spoils everything about Glee! and i reaaally hate them .. Every time i watch a new ep of my favs shows i trend to long off all my social accounts and enjoy the show :)

  6. One time I was just casually reading a Game of Thrones recap and got a GIGANTIC Mad Men spoiler. The internet and I were in a fight that day.

  7. Also, movies based on books that have been on best seller lists for months or have been out for years upon years. Once that movie is out at all, no one is spoiler safe and no one should expect to be safe, IMO.

  8. I have a week rule. I avoid talking about it for a week if I haven’t confirmed all present have seen it or don’t care and I expect the same courtesy in return. Movies have until the dvd comes out, then it’s just pop culture conversation at that point, there’s no avoiding it. If you don’t know how LOST ends YET, I’m sorry, I didn’t even WATCH the show. That being said I totally had Once Upon a Time this week ruined for me like within an hour of it airing and we watch everything on streaming bc we don’t have cable so by the time I saw it I had already known the entire plot of the episode and the big reveals. UGH.

  9. No spoilers on PBS. Plus, PBS compliments my intelligence instead of insulting it like prime time TV. I’ve actually learned something watching PBS!

  10. As I was reading this my roommate decided to drop a Glee spoiler from the last episode, which I still haven’t seen. My hands went up to my ears and I squealed like a crazy person. Not embarrassed to admit that I have been making her feel guilty for the past 10 minutes.

  11. i’m most afraid of chatty strangers. i can avoid most internet and tv spoilers, but i can’t not hear things with my ears, that is what they are made to do. if you’re having a private conversation about your favorite show, KEEP IT PRIVATE!! lol

  12. But yeah, TV spoilers suck. I can’t even look at my Twitter feed after New Girl has aired.

    • Oh man, most PBS stuff airs earlier in the UK, so I usually end up knowing all the major plot points way before they air where I am.

  13. All I have to say about spoilers is this…if the movie is 5 years or older (and I’m being generous), and you haven’t seen it, don’t hem and haw at me when I talk about Inception.

  14. My oldest and dearest friend just loves to post on Facebook during every commercial break on Walking Dead, which I don’t watch then. (I watch it later with my husband.) I have to remind myself to hide her posts on Sunday.

    I have a lot of friends who watch various competition shows and thank goodness I don’t watch the same ones. Because I see a lot of this on their walls: “Noooooo! Not JimBob!” or “I can’t believe Bubba won!” Really, people?

  15. I love this.. I see myself in it!! My cousin ruined at least 3 movies for me (one of them was The Sixth Sense.. I mean come on….. talk about a ruined movie!) I haven’t really had anyone ruin TV shows, because I nearly never talk about the shows I watch (it would be a long talk anyway since I will probably watch everything!). But yes I stay off Social Media sites and internet in general when I watch the Finale of The Voice at a later time! I made the mistake recently when I was watching season 3 of Face Off (I did say I watch everything.. I did mean EVERYTHING ;)! and I wanted to look up what a certain person was up to now and the first thing that popped was who the winner of that season was… NOoooo.

  16. Great article! I know exactly how you feel! I was just ranting to my husband about people posting “Downton Abbey” spoilers on Facebook. I’m only on season two. Why do people do stuff like that? Also, Netflix is kind of bad at it too! I’ve been watching “Supernatural” on Netflix and sometimes the episode synopsis gives something away and I’m sitting there like, “Why Netflix. Why?”

    • Yes! WTH, Netflix? And not just the synopsis, but the pictures they choose for the episode, too. We don’t know who the bad guy is going to be…oh wait, yes we do because they use a screen shot of the dude for the episode picture. Really? Why??? And Downton Abbey has to be one of the most difficult one to get around because not only do you have to deal with spoilers who saw it a couple days ago, you have to deal with the people across the globe who saw it MONTHS ago and put articles all over the bloody internet. Ugh…

  17. Exactly x10!

    Santina Muha | 2/21/2013 10:02 am
  18. LOL this is by far one of the best articles I have read and after having a pretty bad day, this is a real cheer up :) I know exactly what you are talking about, all of these things sooo true. Except there are some promos that are just too intense that I have to watch the sneak peaks, sometimes it can’t be helped!

  19. Haha, you’re probably gonna think I am weird now, but I actually watch promos and sneak peeks from the coming episode next week, before I’ve seen the currently one this week. Told ya, I’m weird!
    And did you see the chocking…. Nah, I’m just kidding! I get what you’re coming from. Despite my behaviour with spoilers and sneak peeks, I do hate when twitter ruins my shows for me!