Wikipedia:Spoiler warning

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Some articles contain spoilers. A spoiler is a piece of information about a narrative work (such as a book, feature film, television show or video game) that may reduce your enjoyment of it by revealing certain plot events or twists. If you haven't read or seen the work to which the warning refers, you might want to do so before reading the spoiler in the article.

Not all visitors will recognize the site as an encyclopedia, which should strive first to inform, spoilers or not. The article should also contain analyses and background detail not available—or at least, not obvious—in the work being critiqued. Where this is the case, a spoiler notice should be made prominent as a simple courtesy.


Suggested templates

One standard way to warn readers of potential spoilers is to insert {{spoiler}} before the revealing text. This expands to:

If you wish to specify the spoiler's nature (particularly if this isn't clear from the article's/section's title), you may use {{spoiler-about}} before the revealing text. {{spoiler-about|(a particular element)}} expands to:

[Replace (a particular element) with the appropriate phrase.] This template also can be used to specify that spoilers affect multiple works, as the phrase can be a list or description of several works that are spoiled by the article involved.

If an article contains spoilers pertaining to both the titular subject and a subject or subjects other than the one indicated in the title, you may use {{spoiler-other}} before the revealing text. {{spoiler-other|(other subjects)}} expands to:

[The text displayed above as Spoiler warning will be the article's title. Replace (other subjects) with the appropriate phrase.]

Unlike the {{spoiler-about}} template, {{spoiler-other}} emphasizes the distinction between the article's titular subject and the other subject(s) potentially "spoiled," and should be used only in an applicable situation.

Note that some editors encourage the use of {{spoiler-about}} instead of {{spoiler-other}}, especially if you're unsure of which to use. The former can be applied to any situation that calls for the latter (albeit with less than ideal results), but the reverse is not true. Therefore, whenever in doubt, it's best to use {{spoiler-about}}.

If these general-purpose templates are not suitable for the particular article you are working on, feel free to custom-design your own warning, but please link back to this page. It's strongly recommended that you do so manually (not in template form), unless you believe that your new spoiler warning is applicable to a wide array of articles spanning numerous subjects. If deemed redundant (in light of the existing templates) or too specific by others, it's likely that your template will be nominated for deletion.

If only part of the article contains spoilers, and you wish to indicate where these end (so that a reader can skip the spoilers and read the parts below), you can insert {{endspoiler}}. This expands to:

Specialized templates

The following spoiler templates are for specialized uses.

Secrets of Magic Tricks


Puzzle Solutions

When a puzzle, word problem or similar question is presented, you may wish to insert {{Solution}} before giving the solution. This expands to:

Unacceptable alternatives

In various Internet discussion forums, a widespread convention is the insertion of blank (or virtually blank) lines before a spoiler (which removes the offending text from the reader's view, until he/she scrolls to the next page). Obviously, this is unacceptable in a general-purpose encyclopedia.

On the Usenet computer network, a popular method of concealing spoilers (and sometimes, offensive material) was ROT13 encryption. Again, this is unacceptable in a general-purpose encyclopedia.

Another common method of hiding spoilers from readers is to change the color of the text to match that of the page background, thus rendering the text unreadable until highlighted by the reader in a selection. Hiding text in this manner is unacceptable here because it requires explanation to readers unfamiliar with the practice, and because it may be incompatible with computer accessibility devices such as screen readers. It also is regarded as an ugly hack.

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