Video essayist Thomas Flight talks about spoilers, specifically whether or not these unexpected revelations actually ruin the story in film, television shows, books or podcasts. He first starts off with an excellent point about self-spoilers that occur when people re-watch, re-read and re-listen to the same stories. He also turns to experiments with results that show spoilers don’t affect the experience and in some cases, enhances them depending on the situation. Further, a spoiler can create a different kind of tension within the experience.
I think we probably overestimate how important it is to avoid spoilers. The plot twists aren’t often the most important parts of a good story and I’ve had many things spoiled for me that I went on to totally enjoy and while a spoiler might eliminate suspense, it can potentially create it as well. Sometimes a plot twist or a character death is used as a surprise or for shock value, but if you have that spoiled for you the suspense of waiting for that moment not knowing when it’s going to come or what’s going to happen can be very intense.