The friend who spoils everything is a strange, often misunderstood, but ultimately evil beast. Everyone has that friend who has seen every TV show, movie, or video, and has also read every book known to man–or at least this person seems like he or she has. More often than not, this friend harbors the worst of the vile habits a friend could have: spoiling something before you’ve seen it or read it. This friend knew Snape kills Dumbledore before anyone else, and maliciously posted it on Facebook after binging through the seventh Harry Potter book at a pace so hard that most people would fear their copy catching fire, assuming anyone could flip through it faster.
The question they leave most of us struggling to answer is, “Why?” Why did this person need to tell everyone he or she saw how the Red or Purple weddings turned out? Why did this person feel the need to spoil what awful thing Frank Underwood does next in his pursuit of ultimate power? The answer is the simplest one: because people who spoil everything are spiteful bastards with no soul, no remorse, and no weaknesses, except maybe you not inviting him or her to watch the show on your biggest of big screen TVs. You can’t stop this person. You can only avoid him or her, like a pop culture leper. I should know–I have a bad habit of doing it myself. There’s nothing worse than being the guy who spoils shit unintentionally, yet like someone with a case of Tourettes Syndrome relating specifically to plot-important information, we just can’t help it.
Most people who consistently spoil things come in two varieties: people doing it because they love to see their friends freak out over spoilers, and people doing it because it’s the one time their nerdy interests are actually culturally relevant enough that other people care. I’m squarely in the latter camp, for the record. I try to avoid spoiling things on social media at the very least. The former camp is a ruthless group of pop culture terrorists who cannot be bought off or bargained with. You simply have to block them out of your life whenever a new episode of your favorite show airs and hope they don’t decide to text you that “[so and so] dies at the end.” Just remember: this is America, and we do not negotiate with terrorists. Especially when that terrorism ruins your enjoyment of an episode that changes everything in a series.
The general friend who spoils everything only does it because he or she is passionate about whatever it is you’re watching or reading. For example, I started reading “A Song of Ice and Fire” from the “Game of Thrones” book series when I was in middle school. I’ve been a fan of this series for, like, 12 years. That’s a hell of a long time. Half the time when I spoil something, it’s because I legitimately forget that not everyone devoted a few hundred hours of their youth to reading novels so long that you need to attach them to a safety bungee when reading them in bed, lest you fall asleep and accidentally drop the book on your face. While your friend who spoils everything is an evil bastard, he or she is most likely a misunderstood evil bastard. Most of us don’t mean it–honestly.
Here is how this generally goes:
(Everyone is sitting down watching a new episode of a show, and your friend who spoils everything walks in at literally the worst moment.)
“Oh, this is the episode where [so and so] dies! I really don’t like how they handled it versus the book. His wife wasn’t even named in this scene originally, and he wasn’t supposed to be a father.”
(Everyone boos and throws things at this friend, because he or she is awful.)
Insert whatever show or book you feel necessary. Also, you don’t know how hard I had to work just now to not insert a “Game of Thrones” spoiler from last season. It’s a problem. I can’t help myself.
So how do you stop a friend who spoils everything? Don’t let this person watch with you, or avoid contact with this person if he or she can’t keep his or her mouth shut and just watch the show. Enough conditioning will keep this person from giving you a bullet-by-bullet breakdown of the next three seasons of the plot. This person may even get to the point where he or she can answer questions for people watching without spoiling everything, ever.