We study certain higher-spin chiral operators in N = 2 superconformal field theories (SCFTs). In Lagrangian theories, or in theories related to Lagrangian theories by generalized Argyres-Seiberg-Gaiotto duality (“type A” theories in our classification), we give a simple superconformal representation theory proof that such operators do not exist. This argument is independent of the details of the superconformal index. We then use the index to show that if a theory is not of type A but has an N = 2-preserving deformation by a relevant operator that takes it to a theory of this type in the infrared, the ultraviolet theory cannot have these higher-spin operators either. As an application of this discussion, we give a simple prescription to extract the 2a − c conformal anomaly directly from the superconformal index. We also comment on how this procedure works in the holographic limit.