[[quoteright:350:[[Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hfrrba_8706.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"I'll be in my trailer...taking a nap!"]]

->'''Haruko:''' Those slow motion scenes are really tough, huh?
->'''Mamimi:''' Yeah, you have to hold your breath until they cut.
->'''Haruko:''' You can get cramps from that, you know?
->'''Naota:''' What? I thought it was a special effect! You're doing the slow motion?
-->-- ''Anime/{{FLCL}}''

An animated episode is in full swing. The action suddenly stops, the characters step out of character, and address an unseen figure. The view pulls back to reveal the action is taking place on an animated TV soundstage. Usually punctuated by a heated exchange between the animated director and the character.

This is a specific type of [[NoFourthWall fourth wall]] joke.

Many times, the "actors" who play the characters are very different from the characters themselves. Often, the dumb, inarticulate comedy relief will turn out to be a [[ClassicallyTrainedExtra posh Shakespearean ac-tor]]. A large, imposing character may take off his head, revealing himself to be a normal-looking guy wearing a costume. The BigBad may turn out to be [[MeanCharacterNiceActor a total sweetheart when not in character]].

Many times, the character's name will stay the same, but occasionally the crew will call them by the voice-actor's name.

Also used as a method of LampshadeHanging, as the character will often [[WhoWritesThisCrap complain about some trite or hackneyed element of the scene]], and refuse to proceed. There's also the popular gag of having them mess up their lines or goof off, though obviously these HilariousOuttakes took just as much work to write, voice, draw and animate as the rest of the show.

This can be a throw-away gag, or it can be the plot of [[HostileShowTakeover an entire episode]].

If the animated characters are interacting with live action humans / people, it's the RogerRabbitEffect.

If taken to a whole dimension, where characters in a writer's portfolio are reused across whole works (sometimes with different roles) like how a "real" actor/actress would, it becomes a ReusedCharacterDesign.

Not to be confused with InkSuitActor, an animated character who looks like the voice actor. Nor to be confused with [[LargeHam someone who]] [[ChewingTheScenery acts in an animated manner.]]


* AnimatedActors/WesternAnimation


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AlienNine''. [[spoiler:The ending of the manga shows the main characters as this, as if to soften the horror of the events that preceded it.]]
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga''. Almost consistent throughout the entire series, in fact, running a coach and horses through the FourthWall. Some of the most prevalent highlights:
** Anime Director Creator/ShinichiWatanabe (a.k.a Nabashin) and original manga author Koshi Rikudo are quickly shown to not only both portray their real selves (Nabaeshin's connection to either side is questionable at best, depending on his scene however), and yet both in-canon with the Anime's story and relation to Excel Saga's characters.
** Misaki's insistence that the director to refrain from {{fanservice}}y camera shots of her, every character tenuously slipping in and out of [[BreakingTheFourthWall awareness of being in an anime]] and unawareness of this same fact.
** The Great Will Of The Macrocosm herself, who exists as the Director's ResetButton for fixing the story, as the gaggy nature of the show routinely results in painting the plotline into a corner. And quite possibly at least 70 more examples, besides these.
* The final episode of [[Anime/GalaxyAngel Galaxy Angel's]] final season reveals that the characters we've been watching for the past three years were in fact actors filming a comedy based upon the '''real''' Angel Brigade, suggesting a link to the far more serious [[VideoGame/GalaxyAngel video game series]]. [[spoiler:...Only for it to turn out that the so-called "real" Angels never existed except as military propaganda characters, and in typical fashion for the show, things just get stranger from there...]]
* ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'' used this gag more than once to great comic effect.
-->'''Haruko:''' Those slow motion scenes are really tough, huh?\\
'''Mamimi:''' Yeah, you have to hold you breath until they cut.\\
'''Haruko:''' You can get cramps from that, you know?\\
'''Naota:''' What? I thought it was a special effect! You're doing the slow motion?
** And then there's the "Manga Scene," (or rather, manga ''scenes''), the second of which ends with a discussion on whether it was really necessary to do a second time.
* Done in the anime series ''Anime/PaniPoniDash'', where the scene often pulls back to show that the classroom is a set on a stage, or the "cameramen" are obviously visible, or a stagehand accidentally walks into the "shot"; the "actors" are quite professional and never let on that they notice.
* At least one shot during the "crowded bath" scene in ''Anime/PuniPuniPoemi'' clearly shows the edge of the set and camera crew beyond it. [[http://www.jvcmusic.co.jp/m-serve/poemi/story2/data/8.html Link.]]
** ''Puni Puni Poemi'' basically takes this trope and smashes the non-existent fourth wall with it. Twice because the first one was a blooper.
* Subverted in ''Manga/AhMyBuddha''. In the BonusEpisode of the second season, we begin seeing Ikkou and the girls out on what appears to be another exorcising job. Then suddenly things turn into a soundstage and the cast give comments on making the show. Right before the episode concludes, an actual spirit appears in the studio, and [[HaremNanny Joutoko-baa]] reveals that [[FourthWallPsych it was all part]] of an [[BatmanGambit elaborate scheme]] to lure out the ghost haunting the studio.
* ''Anime/TheAdventuresOfMiniGoddess'' has an episode where the characters think they have day off, only to find that the camera's running and they need to set up something to show. Another episode has them answering viewer mail.
* After TheMovie was released, the creators of ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' produced an OVA in which the "actors" portraying the various characters get together after filming to celebrate the release of the film. The characters hang several lampshades, and one gag involving Gluttony ''not'' being an actor occurred at the end.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' had an example during the omake at the end of the Amagai arc, when Ichigo suddenly returns to Hueco Mundo, is jumped by Nel, and is told by Orihime to get into his Bankai, showing him a page of the manga. While Ichigo is still baffled, [[NoFourthWall Orihime tells the camera that they'll be picking up where they left off from the manga.]]
** The start of the Amagai arc is another example, especially since it aired in the middle of another arc, and again with the new filler, where Ulqiourra sheaths his sword in the middle of a fight, and says "let me know when I'm needed on set". Actually, the writers have lampshaded this just about every time this has happened.
* The ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' gang has [[NoFourthWall commented]] multiple times in their omakes after their previews on the show.
** The omake for Episode 109 features characters preparing for recording a scene, with heroes and villains [[spoiler:including one who's dead at that point in the arc]] sitting together in the same room.
* The ''Anime/LuckyStar'' gang are proven to be animated actors by [[ShowWithinAShow Lucky Channel]]. Their names, personalities and relationships are the same as they are in the show.
* In the "outtakes" of the first volume of ''Manga/MagicKaito'', the characters are shown arguing after the scene has been cut. One of the crew workers comments in disbelief that Kaito and Aoko can't even get along in real life.
** Done again in the fourth volume, with the implication that the kid who appeared in one of the volume's chapters is the same actor who also plays [[Manga/DetectiveConan Conan]].
* ''LightNovel/MariaSamaGaMiteru'' has "Maria-sama ni wa Naisho", which are [[SuperDeformed chibi]] outakes.
* The {{Omake}} chapters of the ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' DVD feature the cast going to an onsen as a reward for their hard work.
* The ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' DVD omake are all introduced with the characters thanking the viewer for buying the DVD. Then the camera pulls back, and the characters and crew chat a bit.
* Characters in ''Manga/BoboboboBobobo'' often talk about being actors and complaining about how much they get paid.
* The ''Manga/SchoolRumble'' OVA showed Tenma and Karasuma in the recording booth.
* The ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' music album ''Neon Genesis Evangelion Addition'' has a track entitled "After the End". This is in fact an AudioAdaptation where the ''Evangelion'' cast discuss how to make the show more popular while {{lampshading}} some criticisms of their own series. Highlights include {{Sentai}}, MotorMouth Pen-Pen, and Creator/HideakiAnno as '''[[CreatorCameo Black Space God]]'''...well maybe, no official source ever confirmed it. The whole thing ends in a "sound only" version of Episode 1 where "The Beast" is sung a cappella.
* ''Manga/BlackButler'' did an OVA about this trope for the release of the sequel, which can be seen as SelfDeprecation due to the tongue-in-cheek way it pokes fun at the series. In it, minor characters from the first season return in roles as crew members, and the format of having the actors be completely different from their character is played with; while Ciel and Sebastian have essentially the same personalities as their characters (though Ciel has a cockney accent), the mute Tonchinkan are played by a cheerful and talkative actor, and the quiet [[spoiler:BigBad]] is played as a bitchy diva who doesn't want to be there. The OVA ends with a trailer to the second season, beginning with scenes that didn't happen, and ending with scenes that completely [[GenreBusting throw a wrench in the format of the series]].
* In an official ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' doujinshi written by the author Yoshihiro Togashi himself, it is revealed that Yu Yu Hakusho is in fact "filmed", and several of the actors possess drastically different personalities than the characters they portray, such as Kuwabara being a very calm and serious person who wears glasses. Older Koenma and Yoko Kurama are played by the same actor. Allegedly, Togashi wanted to make this the actual ending to the series, but was shot down by his editor.
* The ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' doujin [[http://www.batoto.net/comic/_/comics/black-lagoon-r-of-blacklagoon-doujinshi-r8955 R of Blacklagoon]] written by Rei Hiroe himself, the doujin shows WhatIf the manga was actually a hit TV show and it's characters were actors. Many of the actors are very different from their manga counterparts like how the AmbiguousGender Hansel and Gretel are actually Twin girls, most of the cast are actual [[MeanCharacterNiceActor Mean Characters Nice Actors]] (Revy doesn't like kids but her actress does, Balalaika's actress likes the Twin actresses while her character hates Hansel and Gretel.) and have different personalities compare to their characters (Benny is Nice Guy and Nazi hater but his actor is a Hollywood Badboy and is friends with one of the actors playing a Neo Nazi.)
* The featurette ''10 Little Anime/GallForce'' is (supposedly) a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the first two [=OVAs=]. Includes such gems as [[TheCaptain Eluza]] being horrified when two of the youngest cast members call her "{{obasan}}", Lufy's actress depicted as a ProperLady (complete with chauffeur) who arrives "fashionably late", Catty nervously asking if the wires she's supposed to grab for her big scene are live and [[BlatantLies being assured they're not]] (for the sake of some EnforcedMethodActing)...
* ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'' featured an odd version of this in the second season: at the start of Episode 3, Nyarko keeps trying to [[InvokedTrope invoke]] EndingTropes, such as saying "[[TheWarHasJustBegun Our battle has only just begun!]]", to the growing annoyance of [[OnlySaneMan Mahiro]]. After she "creates" a FramingDevice of herself telling the story to her grandchildren[[note]]Spoofing ''Anime/DragonQuestLegendOfTheHeroAbel''[[/note]], the scene cuts to show SuperDeformed Nyarko and Mahiro in a recording studio as Mahiro yells "Quit acting like this is the last episode of a TV show!" and throws his copy of the script at Nyarko's face.
* The last few pages of the ''{{Manga/Dramacon}}'' manga volumes feature some sketched comics where the author interviews her characters.
* DVD {{Omake}} for ''Anime/SandsOfDestruction'' shows the characters as ordinary, modern-day Japanese teenagers who portray characters who happen to have the same names as them. The girls are {{Ordinary High School Student}}s who sit around snaking on crackers, with Morte in a SailorFuku and apparently a side-career as a singer. The guys are [[CastFullOfPrettyBoys all models]], ranging from the professional Agan to the virtually-unknown [[TheHero Kyrie]] who was apparently picked to be named the third-best-looking man on a magazine cover (behind his fellow cast members, of course). Naja also runs a web show where he [[TheNicknamer gives his costars nicknames]]; Kyrie complains about being named "The Whiner" because [[WhoWritesThisCrap he's only whiny in the script]].
* ''Wish'', a short manga by Mia Ikumi (the same author of ''Manga/TokyoMewMew''), ends with a bonus chapter revealing that the entire series was a TV show aired within the ''Tokyo Mew Mew'' universe some time after the end of ''A La Mode'', with the main character and her cat being played respectively by Zakuro and [[BalefulPolymorph Ichigo]].
* A [[HilariousOuttakes blooper reel]] akin to Creator/{{Pixar}} runs over the end credits of ''Stand By Me Anime/{{Doraemon}}''.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' anthology "Black and White", a story by Creator/NeilGaiman and Simon Bisley called "A Black & White World" shown Batman and the Joker working on a movie set, reading over their lines and commenting on the corniness of the dialogue, as well as the general way characters in comic books are treated and/or mistreated; the Joker comments that he never gets big dramatic splash panels like Batman, while Batman retorts that he is the one who gets to make all the big speeches. Oddly enough, Lobo is their director.
* A variation turns up in one issue of ''ComicBook/AstroCity'', where a [[MacGuffin device]] that [[UpTheRealRabbitHole brings movie creatures into the "real" world of the comic]] accidentally pulls in cartoon lion Loony Leo along with the movie monster the villain was aiming for. Leo helps the hero defeat the villain, and [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve the hero convinces the audience to believe in him and prevent him from fading away]]. Leo then spent a few years as an actor before his career hit the skids.
* Used sometimes in ''ComicBook/CherryComics''. Perhaps most strikingly seen in "Cherry Gets it in the End (and Mom Does Too!)" from ''Cherry'' #12, where Cherry starts to undo the zipper on her boyfriend's pants so that she can perform fellatio on him. All of the sudden, a male voice yells "CUT!" and the panel pans out to show Cherry and her friend on a set and surrounded by a film crew. The director states that there has been a couple of script changes, much to Cherry's confusion.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Repeatedly used in ''ComicStrip/DykesToWatchOutFor''. In an early two-part series, the characters threaten a walkout to gain creative control of the strip. The trope that they are actors in the comic's world is used several more times. The book ''The Indelible Alison Bechdel'' featured a long sequence in which the characters are portrayed as both actors and as the staff and managers of DTWOF Inc., with author Bechdel portrayed as a "staff writer" [[WritersSuck chained in the basement]] and humoured in her 'harmless delusion' that she creates the strip.
* ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' sometimes used this -- on at least one occasion the strip came to a screeching halt mid-panel because Opus hadn't received that day's script; and in one storyline all the "actors" went on strike.
* ''ComicStrip/InkPen'': Based around a temp agency for Animated Actors.
%%* ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' uses this trope liberally.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Some authors of {{anime}} [[FanFic fanfiction]] have employed this trope by by providing "outtakes" from their story, or by suggesting that the characters of various cancelled or completed series are now unemployed and are taking jobs in fan-written stories in order to make ends meet. ([[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7606351/1/Genma-s-Daughter-The-Cutting-Room-Floor See here]] for some classic examples of both.)
* [[http://www.eyrie.net/ETC/AD/ At least one author]] has written a series whose entire focus is on this sort of thing.
* Trimatter's ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2529074/1/In_the_Lunchroom In The Lunchroom]]'' uses this device to comment tellingly on AdaptationDecay and the evolution of {{fanon}} in fan fiction.
* Similarly to Trimatter's story, Clell65619's ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4070610/8/Thrilling_Tales_of_the_Downright_Unusual Harry Potter and the Read Through]]'' mixes this and MetaFic, as the cast of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' novels critique the new fanfic script they've just been handed.
* [[https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BZHxun2jdeUP0cQY5U_0wDF9TXEtM6dCzf5IwvsZMTk/edit?hl=en This untitled alternate ending]] to the infamous ''Fanfic/{{Cupcakes}}'' calls upon this trope for the purpose of safely [[RecursiveFanfiction explaining away the events of the original story]] (as well as to comfort the many disturbed readers of ''Cupcakes'' further by using the opportunity to argue that the original story was all in good fun).
* In fact, this trope is quite common in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fan fiction and fan art. The fact that several of the writers and animators have well known ponysonas (one of whom actually [[CreatorCameo appeared in an episode]]) only makes it easier.
* The {{Doorstopper}} ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' fanfiction ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3703685/1/Family Family]]'', by the 'Middle Warner Sibling', takes place in this universe, as we follow the Warner siblings from their poverty-stricken beginnings to how they were hired by Warner Bros. for their respective parts and beyond.
* Subverted in ''Fanfic/HauntedMansionAndTheHatboxGhost'' stories by having the ghosts of the "Haunted Mansion" ride being real ghosts, and the backstories given being real, but the ride itself being the ghosts (who made a deal with the Walt Disney Company) showing themselves and knowing that this is a ride (while in RealLife, the Haunted Mansion ride is supposed to simulate a visit in a "real" haunted house, and the fact that the Haunted Mansion is located in a theme park is just ignored and left to WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief).
* ''Blog/ConstableFrozen'' is a blog that specifies in surreal photo edits of ''Disney/{{Frozen}}''. They did one of [[http://constable-frozen.tumblr.com/post/107607301093/making-of-frozen these]]. Curiously, Olaf and Sven are still CGI.
* There exists a genre in fanfiction where a writer will take an animated show and create a series of fake bloopers and behind-the-scenes stuff for it, treating the characters as actual actors. More often than not, HilarityEnsues. Examples include ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12430115/1/ From the Top]]'' (for ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender''), ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12800376/1/CUT CUT!]]'' (for ''WesternAnimation/{{Detentionaire}}''), and ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8089271/1/Phineas-and-Ferb-Take-Two Phineas and Ferb: Take Two!]]'' (for...well, [[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb guess]]).

* ''WesternAnimation/TheBigBadFoxAndOtherTales'' is a movie where traditionally animated animals are acting in a play. One of them, a stork, even goes on a rant about how he'll star in an avant-garde play in the summer. Though its left ambiguous if the plays represent moments of their lives or not, since the actors are rather similar to the characters personality wise.
* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' was entirely about Animated Actors in their off-screen lives, as well as on-studio. For example, Baby Herman is a hard-drinking, smoking, sexually-harassing animated actor who, because of his looks, played innocent-baby parts. Another notable instance is a scene where the penguins from ''Film/MaryPoppins'' (released a couple decades after the movie is set) work in a bar, implying they had to rely on menial jobs until they got their big break in ''Poppins''.
* Pixar used to play faux-HilariousOuttakes (or is it Hilarious faux-Outtakes?) during the credits of their movies, complete with falling boom mics, backdrops, flubbed lines, and crew members. They stopped the practice and switched to other credit bonuses when they thought it was becoming too predictable.
** ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'' and ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' exclusively used outtakes. ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc.'' featured outtakes, but then transitioned to a [[BrickJoke company talent show]].
* The Danish animated film ''WesternAnimation/TerkelInTrouble'' had semi-interviews with the actors, with most or all of them PlayingAgainstType.
* An interesting example is Aki Ross, the protagonist from ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin''. Hironobu Sakaguchi intended for Aki to appear as a digital "actress" in multiple feature films. Aki's career was tragically cut short by the box office failure of her debut film, the aforementioned Final Fantasy, and the subsequent bankruptcy of Square Pictures. However, before the latter was finalized, Square produced a demo for the Animatrix project featuring a PVC-clad, short-haired Aki acrobatically dueling a sentinel from the ''[[Film/TheMatrix Matrix]]'' films.
** Most bizarre was her layout in ''FHM'', the point of which ([[FanService other than the obvious]]) was to trick people into thinking it was a real person, thus showcasing the amazing advances in [[SoOkayItsAverage covering up a complete lack of movie with awesome visuals]].
** The Movie's DVD release included a [[HilariousOuttakes faked blooper reel]]. While some of the bloopers could never happen in real life (Such as crashing their ship and emerging with shrapnel sticking out of their heads) others were more realistic, with the characters spoiling takes by sneezing or corpsing.
*** The second disc of the DVD has an opening where Aki is filming a scene on set with both actual people and other CGI characters working and talking with each other. IIRC, the BigBad is seen having a civil conversation with one of the alien monsters he's trying to destroy in the film. And then there's the "[[{{Music/Thriller}} Thriller]]" EasterEgg where the characters dance to the hit song for... some reason.
* A special feature on the ''WesternAnimation/KaenaTheProphecy'' DVD had the female lead, Kaena, being interviewed in regards to the many demands of her role, such as the physicality (it only seems to play in French, though).
* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' does this with videogame characters. The title character is an arcade villain dissatisfied with doing the same routine for 30 straight years, even going to [[TropaholicsAnonymous Bad-Anon]] meetings with other villain characters. When he decides to try his hand at being a hero, he abandons his game, causing his character sprite to disappear from the arcade machine. Off hours, most videogame villains are decent people, and if anything are victims of FantasticRacism, often distrusted and disliked by the other characters in their games. The only characters in the film who avert this are the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Cy-Bugs]], who can't tell the difference between game time and after-hours like the other characters can, and this makes them especially dangerous...
* In the animated ''Film/{{Garfield}}'' movies, Garfield, Odie, Jon and other comic strip characters live in [[AlternateTooniverse Comic Strip Land]], working at Comic Studios, where comic strips are filmed and transmitted to the real world via satellite. Strangely, this doesn't apply to their superhero counterparts, who live in another universe entirely and are seen as fictional in Garfield's world.
* ''Anime/ResidentEvilDegeneration'' has a series of "outtakes" on the [=DVD=], which are actually just scenes from the film but with different dubbing. They mostly joke about how poorly they're paid apart from Leon's voice-actor who got "more pay".
* The special edition of ''[[{{Disney/TheLionKing}} The Lion King]]'' includes a blooper reel where the characters are portrayed like this.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie'''s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH4tMSd3QJY Behind the Bricks featurette]] shows that not only are the characters aware of the movie and their voice actors, but also the fact that they're, well, Lego figurines. (Wyldstyle: "Or as they should be called, ''people.''")
-->'''Franchise/{{Batman}}''': The directors were great, Phil and Chris, really talented guys. ...Big, though. Like, they towered over us. [[HumansAreCthulhu Basically freaks.]]\\
'''Wyldstyle:''' They just would pick us up, and physically move us across a set. It's not cool! I mean, it's not like I'm a prop or something.
* ''Film/LooneyTunesBackInAction'' focuses on the backstage lives of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and other Looney Tunes.
* DVDCommentary on ''Film/Fantasia2000'' for "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Pomp and Circumstance" segments has Mickey and Donald joining in. Mickey and Roy E Disney discuss what the shoot for Sorcerer's Apprentice was like back in the 40s with Mickey telling stories about how "dancing down the steps took over 40 takes" and having to hire every broom in Hollywood, even from Warner Bros, to get the army. Donald is more focused on interrupting and injecting himself into the conversation of the directors.

* Creator/GeneWolfe's story "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories" has an non-animated example. The characters of the titular pulp adventure book begin appearing to the protagonist in the real world, and the book's villain assures him that here in the real world he and the other characters aren't ''really'' heroes or villains, but merely like actors:
-->You see ... [the hero] and I are a bit like wrestlers; under various guises we put on our show again and again--but only under the spotlight.
* The ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' books go back and forth; sometimes Thursday enters a book and the events are actually happening, but more often it's all a show put on for the readers.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the episode "Nasty" of ''Series/TheYoungOnes'', Alexei Sayle, during his monologue (which usually broke the fourth wall anyway), mentions that the other actors probably talk about him behind his back. Cut to backstage, where the other four are playing cards, still in costume but not in character:
-->'''Adrian Edmonson (Vyvyan):''' I hate him.
-->'''Nigel Planer (Neil):''' He drinks like a fish.
-->'''Rik Mayall (Rick):''' Yes, he's got no talent.
-->'''Christopher Ryan (Mike):''' Alexei who?
* ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'':
** In one extremely strange episode, the action is paused to take viewers behind the scenes into the making of an episode - but everybody is (sort of) still in character. One segment involves Scott and Tenaya 7 practicing their moves and explicitly stating that they do this so neither of them get hurt. Scott might not want to hurt Tenaya cause he's TheHero, but in character, she would kill him.
** It becomes particularly amusing during the blooper reel when Creator/OliviaTennet's [[OohMeAccentsSlipping ridiculously thick Kiwi accent comes through]] when she mutters "So close!" after flubbing some lines for her character Dr. K.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'' dedicated to everyone acting [[EverybodyMustGetStoned really strange after finding a mysterious "plant"]] ended with shooting concluding and Robbie walking off set to deliver a [=PSA=]... about how if people talked about these things in real life, they wouldn't have to do these [[VerySpecialEpisode PSAs]].
* ''The Late Show with Creator/DavidLetterman'': Dave has interviewed WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead (and punched Beavis). [[WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy Peter Griffin]], [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Homer Simpson]] and [[Film/{{Transformers}} Optimus Prime]] have presented {{Top Ten List}}s live on stage.
* In promoting both ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' and ''Film/TheHobbit'', the team at Creator/{{WETA}} have had the primary CG characters of both respective trilogies, Gollum and Smaug, make hysterical one-shot television appearances. Gollum appeared at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards to accept his own trophy and go off on a foul-mouthed tirade, Smaug appeared on Series/TheColbertReport for an interview the week before the release of ''Film/TheHobbitTheBattleOfTheFiveArmies'', discussing his conservative views and his annoyances with having to do motion capture.

* A variant for the Franchise/EvilliousChronicles by Music/{{mothy}}. In most other media the characters are modeled after the Music/{{Vocaloid}} they're based on and nothing is made of it. But in the credits of the franchise's songs said Vocaloids are credited as having played the role, with others who didn't show up credited for things like makeup and lighting.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Very common in Franchise/TheMuppets productions.
** ''Series/TheJimHensonHour'' episode that ran the original ''WesternAnimation/DogCity'' included a "Making Of" segment which revealed, amongst other things, that the stunts were done by cats in dog costumes.

* ''Radio/TheGoonShow'' did this sort of thing on ''radio'', with characters frequently commenting on the story, insulting the announcer and generally drawing attention to the fact that they are on stage recording a radio show. Furthermore, as Roger Wilmut points out in his book ''The Goon Show Companion'', the characters often make remarks to each other ''in character'' which make it clear that they are already acquainted. In other words, the actors are playing characters who are ''themselves'' playing characters.
** In one episode, "The Phantom Head-Shaver of Brighton" was revealed to be...Wallace Greenslade, the narrator.
* To some extent this was also imitated by later shows like ''Radio/RoundTheHorne'', ''Radio/ImSorryIllReadThatAgain'' and ''Radio/TheBurkissWay''.
* This was combined with TheDanza on ''Radio/HelloCheeky''. The actors played personas of themselves (thus John Junkin was a serious professional, Barry Cryer a lovable swine, Tim Brooke-Taylor a naive snob and Denis King a ditzy egotist), and these personas were treated as the real actors, who played every character of every sketch. The writing credits were the same in-universe as well, which meant that some episodes included jokes about characters shirking their duties.
-->'''Barry:''' We present our play of the week. It's called 'Krunggeqwertyuiop', because I was drunk when I typed it.
* ''Radio/TheSpaceGypsyAdventures'' featured this on occasion, with the characters complaining about the set to the narrator.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Both ''Ride/TheFuntasticWorldOfHannaBarbera'' and ''Ride/JimmyNeutronsNicktoonBlast'' at Ride/UniversalStudios featured this as a part of their storylines, with the respective animated characters actually being actors.

* ''Franchise/{{LEGO}} Studios'' featured many sets based on filming scenes from famous movies of the time, like ''Film/SpiderMan1'' and ''Film/JurassicParkIII'', although with Creator/StevenSpielberg included as the director and original ''Toys/LEGOAdventurers'' characters replacing the ''JP'' actors. The ''Adventurers'' Johnny Thunder, Pippin Reed and Rex the ''TyrannosaurusRex'' also appeared in their own sets. The web game ''Backlot'', based in this line, was all about helping Johnny and Steven get their movie done, and even had a ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' character, Takua, making a {{cameo}} in the cafeteria, where [[DevelopmentGag his real name was revealed to be George]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Similar to Aki Ross in the film ''Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within'', the game developer Kenji Eno had his recurring digital character Laura, a blond female who was the protagonist in each of his three games published by WARP: Laura Harris in ''VideoGame/{{D}}'', Laura Lewis in ''VideoGame/EnemyZero'', and Laura Parton in ''D2''. Unfortunately, like Aki, the commercial failure of her final game, followed by Eno's later passing in 2013, effectively put an end to her career since then.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance'' has a HilariousOuttakes segment wherein it's revealed that the various characters apparently did their own voice acting. Even during evil ninja attacks!
* After ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' ends, the characters Dawn Star and Sagacious Zu talk about their careers and how they landed their roles in the game. Dawn Star talks about her past in "the oldest profession in show business" [[note]] it turns out she's talking about Vaudeville [[/note]] while Sagacious Zu talks about being typecast as the mysterious loner.
* The HilariousOuttakes reveal this: the end credits of the '90s Creator/{{Sierra}} AdventureGame ''VideoGame/FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'' were broken up into chunks, alternating between real credits, and then scenes where the actors got out of character and complained go the game's director. Interestingly enough, the "actors" playing the characters had different names than those of the characters' own voice actors.
* ''VideoGame/EatLeadTheReturnOfMattHazard'''s plot involves a corrupt CEO's plan to kill off a video game character that he can't simply fire because he has a lifetime contract.
* All but directly stated in the massive [[BreakingTheFourthWall fourth wall break]] at the end of ''[[VideoGame/SonicChronicles Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood]]''. The characters start discussing the {{Cliffhanger}} ending and talk about the team that made the game; a not-so-subtle (but funny) way of hiding the credits.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2'' [[ImpliedTrope implies]] this with [[RetiredBadass Sgt. Frank Woods]] and [[BigBad Raul Menendez]], as they play "Carry On" alongside Music/AvengedSevenfold. Apparently, Menendez is a nervous wreck.
-->'''Menendez:''' Sarge… I get nervous, right? M-m-m-my mind, it… it draws a blank, I feel like I want to throw up…
* The first ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' game had an extra with the computer generated "Sam Fisher" being interviewed in the game's live action production office, claiming that he'd originally been hired as a Special Forces consultant and MoCap artist ("all those splits... ow.").
* ''VideoGame/RivalSchools: United by Fate'' had an unlockable HilariousOuttakes video featuring the fighters as actors.
* All arcs of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' has a "wrap party" featuring all the characters except Keiichi (who absence Rika Lampshades is just because he doesn't have a character image), including Satoko wondering that the point of the [[DownerEnding ending]] was, and if it pissed the player off.
* Parodied and {{subverted|Trope}}, like [[DeconstructorFleet everything else]] in the first after game Tea Party of ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', the spiritual sequel of the above. After the series of grisly murders and the bad ending, Battler finds himself completely confused and sitting around with the other murder victims, who are cheerfully having tea and snacks, complaining about how they died, and insisting on how [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane the Witch killed them]]. [[spoiler:Battler refuses to believe in this conclusion, all the victims rapidly revert back to their state of death, the witch Beatrice reveals herself, and whisks Battler away to Purgatorio, where the two begin their logic battles that sets off the remaining episodes.]]
** This is in fact a MetaTwist to those who expected something similar to ''Higurashi''.
* Meta example: The Japanese voice cast of the ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' series host a radio show on Website/NicoNicoDouga, in which they speak as themselves, but are represented in the videos as their respective characters.
** Except for Daisuke Ishiwatari, who is represented by [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Sol Badguy]].
* In ''VideoGame/PokerNightAtTheInventory'', [[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Max]] and [[VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople Strong Bad]] occasionally discuss Creator/TelltaleGames, who made episodic adventure games for both franchises (as well as ''Poker Night''); Max is happy with his games, Strong Bad is not. Also played with for the [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 Heavy Weapons Guy]], as [[Webcomic/PennyArcade Tycho]] recognizes him as a video game character while the Heavy himself seems to be unaware.
* While it doesn't occur in the actual game, ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' has the Claptrap web series of ads, depicting the characters as actors on a set with a Claptrap as the temperamental director.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** While not a direct example, according to [[http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/09/24/miyamoto-tezuka-interview.aspx this interview]], this is actually how Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto explains the GoKartingWithBowser phenomenon that's so prevalent in the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series and spinoffs.
-->"It's more like [the characters are] one big family, or maybe a troupe of actors."
** However, this trope is played straight and confirmed via WordOfGod specifically for ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3''; the game's features and backgrounds are designed much like a stage play, and Miyamoto confirmed in a "Mario Myths" video that the game was a performance all along. The Super NES and Game Boy Advance ports lack the stage-like elements, leading to theories that they represent the "real" version of the game's events while the NES version is a stage reproduction.
** ''[[VideoGame/MarioTennis Mario Power Tennis]]'' had unlockable [[HilariousOuttakes blooper reels]] based on the opening cutscene.
* In ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'' there's an option to view the character models and listen to each character talking about their experiences making the game. [[WeaselMascot Daxter]] was asked to lose weight for the role and did so by [[AnArmAndALeg cutting off part of his tail]], [[ParentalIncest Baron Praxis wants to hook up with Ashelin]], and Jak [[GenreShift is hoping to do some dramatic work]] to [[PlayingAgainstType show his sensitive side]], plus he's working on his own sitcom. Also, when Jak dies Daxter will occasionally give you [[GameOverMan a little speech]], [[HaveANiceDeath either mocking you]], or...
--> Could we, ah... try that again? Alright, places everyone!
--> I'm glad I'm not your stunt double!
--> This is what happens when they drop my name from the title.
--> Alright, cut! Where's the director? I can't work like this.
** Also displayed in the credits of ''VideoGame/{{Jak II|Renegade}} and ''3'' as the characters talk about their work on the game.
* Implied in the first cutscene of ''VideoGame/WhenTailsGetsBored'':
--> '''Tails:''' Back to the script - Oh, I know!
* In ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' the "Enter the Dominatrix" DLC is presented this way, with the characters discussing things such as which parts were changed or cut entirely or which parts that made it in that they hated doing.
* ''VideoGame/SidAndAlsIncredibleToons'' loosely implies that the player is directing the titular cartoon characters, since the icons used to represent puzzles are film canisters and a clapperboard is used to describe the goal of each puzzle. Sid and Al also watch the game credits on a TV set while munching popcorn.
* In ''VideoGame/TinyToonAdventuresBusterBustsLoose'', the game is mostly set as a movie with the characters following a script, and after beating the final level, a ''Franchise/StarWars'' parody, the characters are seen carrying the props away in the background.
* The VGA awards video series has several video game characters talking about the award they won as actors in the games they feature in. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dXj67VXjwU The Mass effect video has both versions of commander Shepard in.]]
* If you try to play a UsefulNotes/Turbografx16 Super CD-ROM2[[note]]Pronounced "Super CD-ROMROM".[[/note]] disc in an audio only player, you'll get a message on the first track telling you that the second track has computer data and that you shouldn't play it. Some of these are done in character, especially in the Japanese games. This is where this trope (sometimes) applies. This also extends to some of the games' "wrong system card"[[note]]Playing Super CD-ROM2 games requires using the Super System Card (or using a Turbo Duo, which has the Super System Card's software built in).[[/note]] and "backup memory full" error screens. [[note]]Most just have a text-based error screen that tells the player to use the right system card or free up some of the backup memory[[/note]].
** This also happens on some games for the later 5th generation systems, such as the UsefulNotes/SonyPlaystation and the UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn. Even some UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast games do it.[[note]]In these cases, the computer data is on the first track, but when played on either these systems, or later audio only players, the first track is skipped, and the second track plays which sometimes has a similar warning.[[/note]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Episode 10 of ''WebAnimation/BowsersKingdom'' is an episode where Geno hosts a interview show with the cast from said series.
* Played with in episode 3 of ''WebAnimation/GirlchanInParadise''; Kenstar accidentally says someone else's line and remarks on it [[spoiler:and Green Guy is enraged about being killed off]], but it's clear that the voice actors, not the characters, are the ones who are talking.
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'''s characters have a high degree of MediumAwareness and sometimes seem to be actors.
** "The King of Town" and "The Yello Dello" have DVDCommentary tracks by the characters, implying that the events are fictional and that they were acting (albeit [[AsHimself As Themselves]].)
** There are many ShowWithinAShow segments, including "Teen Girl Squad," "Dangeresque" and "Sweet Cuppin' Cakes." Some of the characters in these are clearly portrayed or voice-acted by members of the main cast of (animated) characters.
** In the Strong Bad Email "original," not only are the characters implied to be actors but Strong Bad claims they are frequently [[ActorSwap replaced]]. He reminisces about the "original Bubs," a [[TheOtherDarrin clearly-different]] animated character playing the "role" of Bubs. However by the end of the toon, Bubs arrives and claims Strong Bad is lying and that ''he'' is the original, one-and-only Bubs.
** Missy Palmer, who voices Marzipan, has revealed that her AlternateCharacterInterpretation is that all the characters are actors playing roles.
* Done in most of the ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' [=PSAs=], which traditionally start with:
-->Hi. I'm [character], from the popular web series, Red vs. Blue.
-->And I'm [character], from the same show.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Sam Sprinkles, from ''Webcomic/ZebraGirl'', is a deconstruction of the trope, as he's a FunnyAnimal rabbit actor from a parallel universe which seems to exist mostly to create cartoons for the main universe of the strip. After his show was canceled, he became a homeless, manic-depressive alcoholic. Of course, his experiences as an actor have left him impossibly GenreSavvy.
* Implied a couple of times in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', with the implication that the characters are themselves but also acting their parts (though in the story at large, they're not). The biggest use of the idea was in "Sluggy Freelance, where are you?" where a number of guest artists teamed together during Pete Abrams's "paternity leave" to draw a filler story in which the original cast had gone missing and characters from other comics were hired to act their roles.
* Used constantly in ''Webcomic/InWilysDefense''. The author decided near the end of the first "season" that his webcomic was a TV Show and stuck with it in every breach of the fourth wall from there to the end.
* Done a few times with ''[[http://www.sorethumbsonline.com/ Sore Thumbs]]''.
* ''Webcomic/CityFace''. [[TheRant The commentary below each page]] speaks of the characters like actors playing roles. And the ShoutBox [[http://gunnerkrigg.wikia.com/wiki/City_Face_comments below these pages]] featured commentary from these in-universe actors rather than from RealLife readers.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' features a number of chapter-ending bonus pages with Tea, the secondary narrator, explaining background details to the audience. At the end of Ch 38, [[http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=1055 the bonus page]] shows Tea reading her scene's script and questioning the off-screen director. "This is what we're going with? You sure?"
* The premise of ''Webcomic/GreystoneInn'' is that comic strips are produced like television shows, a la Roger Rabbit. The webcomic follows the behind-the-scenes business of the [[ShowWithinAShow fictional]] syndicated comic of the same name, of which we are shown very little.
* ''Webcomic/CheckerboardNightmare'' follows the titular character (usually just called "Chex") throughout his comic book adventures. While the series is mostly a NoFourthWall story, there are moments where even that premise is broken and they step out of "character" to talk about production of the comic... which itself is about the characters sitting around talking about the comic.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': In [[http://www.egscomics.com/egsnp/?date=2009-12-17 an EGS:NP strip]] Tedd (who is 17 in-story) claims to be twenty-one outside of continuity due to WebcomicTime, creating a sort of AnimatedActors DawsonCasting.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0277.html #227]]: An expository flashback ends and we cut back to the main cast taking a break. When Celia points out that the flashback is over everyone rushes to get ready. Elan complains that they're supposed to get a [[MediumAwareness 2-panel]] warning and Vaarsuvius states that he well be calling his agent as soon as the story arc ends.
* In a few strips of ''Webcomic/DarkLegacyComics'', Keydar the rogue is shown to be the cartoonist. In two strips, Donald draws the strips instead.
* ''Webcomic/TheCartoonChroniclesofConroyCat'' takes place in a world where all toons are actors, and the titular character's many jobs involve working behind-the-scenes of several cartoon series.
* ''Webcomic/{{Shadowgirls}}'' did this once, giving a behind-the-scenes tour guided by Lindsey.
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' frequently features its own characters in non-plot-related comics, both the serious and the parodies. Notable examples are ''[[DVDCommentary Seraphim's Corner]]'', ''[[AffectionateParody Full Megatokyo Panic]]'', ''[[DarkerAndEdgier Circuitry]]'' and ''unMod''.
* ''Webcomic/MSPaintMasterpieces'' uses this in [[NoFourthWall Fourth Wall breaking]] fillers with [=DisgruntledFerret=] interacting with the cast. Hilariously done with Metal Man [[spoiler:[[HostileShowTakeover taking over the strip]] from [=DisgruntledFerret=]]] in a massive show of hubris.
* The bygone ''Inc'ed'' was all about the lives of actors in a comic strip.