Spoilers! What Is the Statute of Limitations On "Spoilers"?

Spoilers! What Is the Statute of Limitations On “Spoilers”?


When did “Spoilers!” become a thing? It used to be understood that when a movie was in the theater you didn’t talk about the ending in a public place. It was also understood that if an episode of a TV show ran, it would be fair game at the water cooler the next day. But then habits changed.

Books became movies. Comics were sold as trades. TV could be DVR’ed or sold as a full season at a reasonable price. And then things changed and the way people behaved changed with it. And M. Night Shyamalan made Bruce Willis a ghost. (Oh, calm down! The title even read spoilers!)

Unfortunately, few things are kept sacred and spoiler free. Right now that seems limited to Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead comics. Even with Twitter pages and hashtags galore, these are still people who have been able to avoid what happens in season 3, episode 9 of Game of Thrones on HBO. Similarly, I was able to make it to the trade released six months after issue #100 of The Walking Dead without finding out the issue’s pivotal plot point.

But that seems to be where it ends. So the question becomes when is it safe to talk about what you’ve seen, heard or read?

Realistically there probably isn’t a correct answer to this one because inevitably there will still be one person who wasn’t caught up and will be ticked off you ruined it for them. And to that person, I say, “Sorry. If you were that interested, you should have been there sooner.” Now I am definitely not saying this is like it was in the old days or even goes along the same rules as sports where once it happens, it’s out there and you can immediately comment on it, but once a reasonable amount of time has passed, so has the right to bitch about it as well.

In comics, if a year has passed it isn’t a spoiler anymore. It’s now a statement of continuity. If the next season of the show has already begun airing, it isn’t a spoiler either. It is a recap. And if the DVD and Blu Ray has already come out, you just didn’t care enough to see the movie when it first came out.

But like I said, I’m sure a lot of people won’t agree with this. I probably already spoiled something for you without even knowing it. Whatever, it’s fine. I already saw the movie, read the book and beat the game so it doesn’t matter to me, does it?