Fourth Wall

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But back in Billy Shake's day, it was used to create some of the most dramatic moments in theater history. What Shakespeare once called "soliloquies" has become a favorite tactic for many modern filmmakers. The term, therefore, refers to the audience's perspective: an imaginary "fourth" wall located at the front of the stage. Breaking the fourth wall occurs when the actors ignore this invisible wall and talk to the audience directly. As the video essay explains, " Breaking the fourth wall is when a character acknowledges their fictionality, by either indirectly or directly addressing the audience.

Alternatively, they may interact with their creator the author of the book, the director of the movie, the artist of the comic book, etc.


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This is more akin to breaking one of the walls of the set, but the existence of a director implies the existence of an audience, so it's still indirectly Breaking The Fourth Wall. There are many examples of directors who have broken the fourth wall in the video above to get you started busting down walls of your own. And remember—this tactic doesn't exclusively belong to comedy.

14 Films That Famously Break the Fourth Wall

Check out how many times Hitchcock famously used the technique to bring us into his characters' existential crises. Get creative! Skip to main content. No Film School. June 1, Similarly the fourth wall can be broken with no lampshades in sight. If somebody is not in the break and doesn't understand who the ones breaking the wall are talking to, see Audience?

What Audience? If the other characters are aware of the wall but are also aware that they're not supposed to show that they're aware, that's Scolding the Fourth Wall Breaker. If it's made ambiguous whether or not the fourth wall is being broken, it's Leaning on the Fourth Wall. If something slams into the screen and literally breaks it, it's Camera Abuse or Interface Screw. If the characters are attempting to use, or implied to have used, the fourth wall to escape into the real world, it's The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You.

Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes. You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account. Major Monogram: Oh!

Watch a video essay that demonstrates how the best movies break the fourth wall.

What are the odds? Carl: Well, it is a cartoon, sir. Major Monogram: What did I tell you about breaking the fourth wall, Carl?

Other examples:

Carl: Sorry, sir. Asian Animation. Happy Heroes features several jokes that break the fourth wall. For example, there is an episode where Little M. Big M. Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf also features several fourth-wall-breaking moments. Among them are: Wolffy breaks the illusion of storytelling when he says, "I'm the best actor in this cartoon!

Audio Plays. The Firesign Theatre used this occasionally on their albums, often either combined with Medium Awareness , or within a Show Within a Show , which would interact with the main characters. Doctor Whooves Adventures do this Once an Episode , during the ending credits, usually for the humorous asides and general funnyness.

In Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie , Harold and George occasionally break the fourth wall by talking to the audience and even freeze the movie at certain points to explain what's going on. Dino Time has a strange case of this. The main character breaks the fourth wall in three early scenes, but after about 20 minutes into the film he never does it again. Later, after considerable Character Development , Kuzco gets in an argument with Narrator!

14 Films That Famously Break the Fourth Wall

Kuzco, telling him to shut up and stop whining. Kubo and the Two Strings : At the very start of the film, Kubo does his signature "if you must blink" speech, but tacks on a few things to provide some backstory exposition, which makes it seem like he's directing this specific speech at us. It's like he's telling us to pay attention. At the end, Kubo says " The End " in voice over. The titular duo look directly towards the viewer twice during their dance at Mrs.

Hasagawa's fruit stand. A more subtle fourth wall-break happens earlier in the film when Stitch is adopted, with a nice little Easter Egg on his adoption paper. The Lion King , in the middle of "Hakuna Matata". Pumbaa: And I got downhearted Timon: How did you feel!?

How the Fourth Wall Takes You Deeper

Pumbaa: also looks Oh! Simba: also looks, with a perplexed expression on his face.

Pro Wrestling. We're trimming the fat. We're thinning the herd. I mean, you know, it's pathetic. It's pathetic, that Dixie would let this company get in the shape it's in. It's her train of thought! Who hasn't had a damn shower or bath?

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Y'know, with RVD , and that whole crew out there? They meant to professional wrestling what Hulk Hogan, who sold out Shea Stadium?


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  8. They mean to professional wrestling what Hulk Hogan means? It's time to get rid o' the trash, the garbage, the worthless piece of crap out here, and we started with Dixie Carter. Yeah, we're gettin' very real around here. We are so, real, it's unbelievable. Because, if you don't get over like I said, you're fired. If you don't draw number, if you don't entertain, if you don't put asses in seats, if you don't put the coinage in the piggy bank, you're fired. No more games.

    No more, " Kayfabe.