# I can ruin a party

I can ruin a party
Showing up uninvited
Though some are pleased to see me
When they get real excited
Even those who would first shun me
Won't mind meeting me again,
Or after certain indications
They'd be happy with me then
Should I tell you my nature?
Should I give myself away?
When you tell me it's okay

Who am I?

Edit: okay, this is my first riddle so may have turned out be more difficult than I thought. A bit of guidance then: every pair of lines give a clue. And here's another hint:

The answer is familiar to many of you Puzzling StackExchange users. In fact, it's staring you right in the face!

Are you

A spoiler?

Some people hate you, others like, nay, desire you

EDIT: Sorry for the wait, I answered this originally on my phone between things during the holidays. Extended answer reasoning below:

I can ruin a party Showing up uninvited

Having something (a twist ending to something you're invested in, a solution to a puzzle you're thinking hard about, etc.) spoiled for you when you don't want it can be decidedly un-fun

Though some are pleased to see me When they get real excited Even those who would first shun me Won't mind meeting me again, Or after certain indications They'd be happy with me then

I'm lumping the rest of these together, because (to me) they all sort of point to a similar basic idea: spoilers are not necessarily always unwanted - they can be very welcome in certain circumstances. For example, if you were using a website where people posed puzzling questions, you might want to know an answer while allowing others to work it out in their heads without potentially accidentally reading the answer. Or, similarly, one person may be interested in a certain plot point of a movie or book just for curiosity's sake, while another may want to only come upon it in the course of reading or viewing on their own.

Should I tell you my nature? Should I give myself away? Alert and ready to oblige When you tell me it's okay

This last bit makes me think of the nature of spoiler tags on online content - they allow someone to post the content, and for the content to remain in place, without it becoming visible without the active consent of the reader.

• Hmm. If you put a bit more work into connecting your proposed answer to the various clues in the riddle, you may have something there.
– user17947
Dec 26 '15 at 0:44
• I marked this answer as the best one so far, but clearly it still needs a detailed solution. If a better answer comes along I'll reassign the accepted status.
– user17947
Dec 26 '15 at 20:34
• @BigBlackBox Sorry about the wait - I've added my interpretation above. Dec 29 '15 at 3:00
• Great answer, thanks! Still a couple of subtle points left unexplained, but certainly you got the main ideas.
– user17947
Dec 30 '15 at 9:32

I would imagine that you're

a hint.

1. People working on a puzzle often dislike unsolicited hints/advice.
2. People who are excited about a puzzle but making no headway may welcome a hint.
3. Many puzzlers will try the puzzle on their own, then later go back to the hints if they get stuck.
4. Not sure what 'certain indications' are in this case.
5. There's always a balance between giving a good hint and giving too much away.
6. Hints are generally hidden with spoiler tags, waiting for when the puzzler wants to read them.

This hint was a bit of a giveaway- 'staring you in the face' was a little obvious. As the riddle suggests, you should ask yourself when writing hints if it gives too much away. If you make more puzzles in the future, you could try giving people more time to come up with answers, and only let out the hints little by little :)

• Not bad, but your answer is still a bit off. Thanks for the advice though, it still makes a lot of sense.
– user17947
Dec 26 '15 at 3:15

Are you looking for

alcohol?

- people bring it to a party
- some are always happy about it
- some aren't but drink it anyway
- it can make people "happy"
- too much of it can ruin a party

• Nice try, but no cigar.
– user17947
Dec 25 '15 at 7:26

Are you

The Police

Because

They can ruin a party when they show up. Some people are happy to have them bust a party. Even if you don't want to see them today, you might need them someday.

• It did occur to me someone could propose this as an answer, but... nope, that's not it.
– user17947
Dec 26 '15 at 20:21

Are you

Sleep

Because

Tiredness can ruin parties, some people love to sleep, especially after a busy/exciting day. Some people refuse at first, but we all welcome sleep in the end.

This is obviously

A smartphone.

I can ruin a party Showing up uninvited

A party sucks if everyone is on their phones.

Though some are pleased to see me When they get real excited

Could refer to using something like Songza to liven up a party.

Even those who would first shun me
Won't mind meeting me again,
Or after certain indications
They'd be happy with me then

Should I tell you my nature?
Should I give myself away?
When you tell me it's okay

• A creative answer, but no, it's not what I had in mind.
– user17947
Dec 26 '15 at 6:24

I'm posting an answer to fill in some of the details missing from the accepted answer. (question_asker, feel free to edit your answer to incorporate these details so that a complete solution exists.)

Even those who would first shun me
Won't mind meeting me again,

This is referring to the fact that even if you were trying to avoid a spoiler, but then saw it and were annoyed, seeing the same spoiler for the second time won't tell you anything you don't already know so you won't mind it as much.

Should I tell you my nature?
Should I give myself away?

There's a small double entendre here: by telling you my nature (that I am a spoiler) I'd be giving myself away in the ordinary sense, but I'd also be spoiling the riddle, in other words I'd be giving away a spoiler, which is literally the same as giving myself away.