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A History Quiz: The Answer Is . . . No, Wait, Don't Tell Me?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Lost" fans aren't the only -- or the first -- fans to go spoiler-crazy. These six phenomenons also united devotees (some at water coolers, some virtually) in a shared quest to find out what happens next.

"Dallas," 1978-1991

Big Fan Obsession: Who shot J.R.?

A writers' strike (sound familiar?) meant that J.R. Ewing's assailant went unidentified for months in 1980. "I Know Who Shot J.R." buttons were everywhere. When the big reveal finally aired, Turkish parliament was suspended so members could catch it.

"Twin Peaks," 1990-1991

Big Fan Obsession: Who killed Laura Palmer?

Peaksmaniacs met in office cubicles to analyze the identity and meaning of Bob (ironically, the character existed only because a lucky set decorator got in the way of a shot and was given a recurring role).

"The X Files," 1993-2002

Big Fan Obsession: Where's Mulder's sister?

In the early days of the Internet, X-philes flooded Usenet to share Mulder/Scully scoops and debate the identity of Cancer Man. Creator Chris Carter allegedly worked fan ideas into the show.

"Harry Potter and . . . ," 1997-2007

Big Fan Obsession: Does Harry die?

Okay, okay, it's not a TV show, but Potterites took spoiler-hunting to a new level, culminating in the summer of 2007 when a rabid Potter frenemy got hold of an advance copy of "Deathly Hallows" and plastered images of pages all over the Web.

"Heroes," 2006-present

Big Fan Obsession: When will Hayden Panettiere take off her clothes?

Like "Lost," this Joe Schmo-as-superhero show is packed with its own mythology -- and a bunch of wily fans convinced that they possess Super Spoiling Powers!

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