Are Brits bothered about spoilers?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
Adam McDonnellResearch Director of Political and Social Research
April 01, 2022, 1:04 PM GMT+0

Spoiler alert: younger Brits are most likely to be bothered by hints about TV series and films before they’ve seen them

While some websites such as Reddit use spoiler markers to allow fans to chat about their favourite TV shows and films without ruining them for others, it can be hard to avoid spoilers without a complete social media hiatus. Staying offline will not save you from potential watercooler chitchat either, so there is still scope to accidentally find out who dies in Yellowjackets, or the truth about the cult in Archive 81.

YouGov data reveals that although most Brits aren't too fussed about spoilers (54%), a considerable number would be bothered about having their shows and films spoiled before they get a chance to watch them (40%).

By 51% to 30%, those aged 18 to 24 are the most likely to be bothered by spoilers. Those aged 25 to 49 are split 48% to 45% on whether they are bothered or not. Above the age of 50, people generally aren't bothered if they overhear spoilers.

What counts as a spoiler?

When talking about TV series, how much can you say without giving the game away? It can be hard to know where the line is, especially when recommending a show you've already seen to someone.

Unsurprisingly, giving away different clues about the ending are seen as the biggest spoiler-sins.

Three-quarters of Brits – and 93% of those bothered about spoilers – say that letting on that a character dies at the end is a spoiler. Another half (51%) say that revealing a series has a happy ending is a spoiler, as is telling someone if it has a rubbish finale (49%) – rising to 72% and 63% respectively among those most fussed about spoilers.

There is a divide over whether you can talk about specific episodes – 45% say that telling someone that something sad happens in an episode is a spoiler – while 42% think it is not. Likewise, Britons are split 43%-44% on whether telling someone a devastating event happens in a particular episode is a spoiler. However, Brits tend to say that revealing something "big" happens in an episode is not a spoiler (47%) versus the 40% who think it is.

Those who care about spoilers are firm of the opinion that letting on that something sad (64%) or devastating (61%) happens in a specific episode is a spoiler, or that "something big happens" (55%).

One in three people (32%) also think that revealing a series contains a surprise twist is a spoiler – rising to 43% among those who are bothered by such things.

Only 5% of the public, and a mere 6% of people bothered by spoilers, think that describing a series as “good” is spoiling it.

See full results here

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