There’s No Such Thing As ‘Hidden’ Netflix Shows

There’s No Such Thing As ‘Hidden’ Netflix Shows
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Enough is enough. We’re here to set the record straight on Netflix’s supposed “hidden” library of movies and TV shows that can only be accessed with secret codes. In short, tech blogs have been lying to you – there’s no such thing.

If you spend any time on social media, you’ve probably encountered one of these intriguing headlines before. They promise an Aladdin’s cave of ‘secret’ or ‘hidden’ Netflix content that you need special codes to unlock.

Here’s a small sampling of headlines from the past week alone:

Secret Netflix Codes To Unlock Hidden TV Series, Genres And Movie Categories

Use These Super-Secret Netflix Codes To Unlock Hidden Movies And TV Shows

Secret Netflix Codes That Can Unlock Dozens Of Hidden TV Shows

Secret Netflix Codes That Can Unlock Hidden TV Shows And Films

Secret Netflix Codes Are The Key To Unlocking Movies Galore

Netflix Secret Codes Revealed: Now You can Unlock Dozens Of Hidden TV Shows

Shhhhh! Secret Netflix Codes To Unlock Hidden Movies

Netflix Has Secret Codes That Reveal Hidden Movies

These stories pop up like clockwork at the beginning of every month – often regurgitated by the same media outlet during slow news cycles. If the tip was actually genuine, we wouldn’t blame them.

But here’s the thing: it’s all bullshit. The only thing these “mystery” codes do is repackage Netflix’s existing content into smaller sub-genre lists. Literally every show and movie that the codes ‘reveal’ can be found by scrolling down the front page or clicking on Netflix’s normal genre categories. It’s basically a filter tool.

The headlines above are being deliberately disingenuous – when you combine phrases like “Unlock Hidden Movies” with “Secret Codes” it sounds like you’re getting something that wasn’t there before.

In reality, the codes just make searching for existing titles easier; nothing more. (To add insult to injury, the codes only work on web browsers which is something most of these articles fail to mention. If you watch Netflix through a games console or smart TV you’re out of luck.)

Now before anyone points it out in the comments – yes, I’m aware Lifehacker has also reported on these codes before. But we made sure to stick to the facts with no mention of unlockable hidden shows.

With all that said, the codes are still worth using if you have a penchant for a specific sub-genre like mockumentaries. You can find the full list of codes on the What’s On Netflix website.


  • Given how opaque and generally shithouse their discovery systems are, it’s no wonder people think this – to all intents and purposes, it’s essentially true.

    If you haven’t browsed somewhere in a web browser to input a specific code, then for all practical purposes many of those titles are most likely ‘secret’ or ‘hidden’ by the very literal definition of those words. Think of a hidden or secret passageway. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s not secret or hidden.

    You can’t browse Netflix A-Z, searches only ever turn up and incredibly limited number of results, never in a list format, and with often clumsy-trying-to-be-helpful matching that pulls in false positives. It’s basically the opposite of good design, and my suspicion is that it is in service of viewer manipulation, rather than a functional, intuitive customer experience.

    If you have to go look up a code that you get from a third-party to access a section of the site that is only available through certain methods or not at all on your platform, cross-referencing titles or genres against a digital codebook on another device next to you, I don’t know who wouldn’t reasonably consider that secret or hidden.

    • While that might be true for the US version of the site, it’s not that hard to sift through the Australian version. Most genres on the front page have 50 titles or less. That’s not exactly secret or hidden.

      You can’t tell me ‘Shhhhh! Secret Netflix Codes To Unlock Hidden Movies’ isn’t disingenuous.

      • It’s still true of at least some of the apps in the Aussie version. On the Samsung or PS4 apps I can’t remember if it’s 20 titles or 24 that are limited when you search for something through the actual search window, but that’s nowhere near enough if you’re doing a genre search. And when it comes to which genres turn up on your rows on a smart TV, that list appears to be generated based a dice roll, your viewing history, and the phase of the moon. You can’t lock in one of those genres as something you want to always be available, and depending on your session, it may not be there the next time you log in.

        A-Z browsing is non-existent. Title/actor/genre search is woefully imprecise, which when coupled with the hard limits on number of titles presented means you can get just about anything returned back (experiment: even on web-browser, do a search for Bruce Willis – count the number of movies presented that he does not appear in). You can’t even rely on tagging things in your list for later watching on the slim chance that you’ve experienced a miracle that’s shown you something different that you’re interested in, because it might vanish thanks to the vagaries of the industry’s satanic licencing agreements.

        There’s a lot of room for improvement in that space for Netflix in particular.

    • I have to say that the very first time I saw those codes (from when they first appeared here in LifeHacker), I couldn’t find a single thing that I had not seen before just scrolling through the main list.

  • The Android Netflix app no longer has even a short synopsis of the show/movie. So which ones are good and what they are about is also a secret because it’s not offered, let alone the problems with searching.

  • There are frequent stories titled, “New On Netflix Australia: The Best Just-Added Movies And TV Shows”, written by this author. Why would they be needed if Netflix was easy to search? Actully new shows is something they do reasonably well.

    • You’re missing the point. I’m not saying Netflix is easy to search. I’m saying that these headlines give a false impression that you can add extra shows to the Netflix library with special codes.

      • No one has missed your point that there are not secret hidden shows. You seem to acknowledge that Netflix is not easy to search and agree with @transientmind in essence “With all that said, the codes are still worth using if you have a penchant for a specific sub-genre like mockumentaries.” but disagree on the severity of the problem.

        I thought the comments section was for readers to add value. I think @transient has added to the discussion. Does everyone have to acknowledge the points in your article before commenting? I have now, I hope that helps.

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