When a character looks at the audience and comments on what is going on in the work they are in, but does not explicitly acknowledge there is an audience.

One of the mildest forms of BreakingTheFourthWall; often seen in [[SlidingScaleOfFourthWallHardness works where the Wall is otherwise quite solid]] and it would seem odd for the characters really to acknowledge it. It's not even impossible for an Aside Comment to preserve the Fourth Wall entirely intact if the character is interpreted as talking to themselves (see ThinkingOutLoud) or an imaginary audience. This type is sometimes done in a quiet voice (called ''sotto voce'') to indicate that other characters cannot overhear what is said. Usually, the interpretation is left open unless there are other kinds of BreakingTheFourthWall going on; it would be odd to say the least to comment on the matter if the Fourth Wall ''is'' solid, after all.

Sometimes used as a form of {{exposition}} where the character thinks [[ExternalizingInternalMonologue out loud]] about what they're doing so that the audience will know, too; this can be done without even looking at the Fourth Wall, however. At other times, just used to deliver a {{punchline}} and/or [[DeadPanSnarker snarky comment]].

In a non-visual medium, where the characters obviously can't look at the audience, seeming to address the audience without making it explicit may suffice for this. However, the speaker visibly ''not'' looking at the audience disqualifies a piece of dialogue from being an instance of the trope.

Closely related to the AsideGlance, just taking it a step further. Compare and contrast with FourthWallPsych, where the idea of BreakingTheFourthWall by addressing the audience is presented and then disproved. See also LeaningOnTheFourthWall.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' usually keeps its fourth wall unbroken, but late in the series Gohan abruptly looks at the camera and explains why Krillin suddenly has hair.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** Anime episode 298. While Ichigo is being shanghaied into making a movie, he turns to the camera and says "I need an agent."
** Anime episode 346. Riruka Dokugamine says that wearing contact lenses makes her eyes dry out as soon as she puts them in, then turns to face the camera in a close up and says "It's because my eyes are so ginormous." (a reference to the large eyes of anime characters).

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* {{Deadpool}} is very guilty of this, and in [[FourthWallObserver his case]] there's little doubt as to whether he would really talk to the audience.

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[[folder: [[Fan Fic Fan Works ]]
]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfTotalDramaIsland'', the Storyteller occasionally makes comments during a tale that are ostensibly [[LemonyNarrator directed at her son]], but are in fact also directed at the reader.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* AcademyAward-winner ''[[Literature/TheHistoryOfTomJonesAFoundling Tom Jones]]'' does this repeatedly. One time, when Tom is being chased by a jealous husband, he looks into the camera and shouts "Help!". Towards the end of the film, instead of just showing a crucial plot point unfold, one of the supporting characters turns to the camera and narrates the scene.
* [[TheMarxBrothers Groucho Marx]], on occasion.
-->'''Groucho''': ''(as Chico begins a piano solo)'' ''I've got to stay here-- but there's no reason why you folks shouldn't go out into the lobby until this thing blows over."
** In another instance he deliberately tells a bad joke and then says to the audience, "[[RapidFireComedy Well, ]]''[[RapidFireComedy all]]'' [[RapidFireComedy the jokes can't be good! You gotta expect that sometimes]]. Similarly, after one particularly bad stock joke he says, "That's the first time I've used that joke in 20 years."
** It becomes a RunningGag in ''At the Circus'' since Groucho does it numerous times. One of the best is a scene where he is trying to get something Pauline has stuffed down her shirt, and when he realized she's done so he looks at the camera in fear and says, "There has to be someway to get that money [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar while staying out of the Hays Office!]]"
** ''The Big Store'': "This is a bright red dress, but Technicolor is ''SOOO'' expensive!"
** In ''Go West'', after [[BoundAndGagged binding and gagging]] one of the villain's henchmen, Groucho turns toward the audience and remarks, "[[SelfDeprecation Did you know this is the best]] [[{{Pun}} gag]] in the picture?"
* ''Film/UndercoverBrother''.
** While Undercover Brother is talking to Sista Girl in his apartment:
--->'''Undercover Brother:''' Nothing relaxes a brother after a hard day of going undercover like a little piece of the cookie.
--->'''Sistah Girl:''' My cookie would break you in half.
--->'''Undercover Brother:''' Maybe, but that would be some long division. [looks at the camera] Long.
** While Undercover Brother is at a golf course
--->'''Sistah Girl:''' This is strictly an observational mission. We are not authorized to take action.
--->'''Undercover Brother:''' Well, observe this. [looks at the camera] Action is what Undercover Brother's all about.
** After White She Devil's first HeelFaceTurn:
--->'''White She Devil:''' Oh, Undercover Brother, you're too much man for me.
--->'''Undercover Brother:''' Baby... [looks at the camera] sometimes I'm too much man for my own damn self.
* ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. Several examples of BreakingTheFourthWall don't explicitly acknowledge the audience.
** After Sheriff Bart takes ''himself'' hostage, he retreats to his new office and says, "Oh, baby you are so talented...''(looks into the camera)'' and they are so ''dumb''."
** When Bart hears the Waco Kid moaning in his bunk, he turns to the camera and says "The drunk in number two must be awake."
** After boring the Waco Kid to sleep, Sheriff Bart looks at the camera and says, "I like to keep my audience riveted."
** As two thugs assault a little old lady, she turns to the audience and asks, "Have you ever seen such cruelty?"
** Harvey Korman as the villain, is pondering his next move out loud and looks to the camera and says "Why am I asking you?"
* Mel Brooks seems fond of this trope. In "The Producers" accountant Gene Wilder starts having a mental breakdown. Zero Mostel looks to the camera and says "This man should be in a straightjacket."
* The theatrical variety is portrayed in ''Film/TheAssassinationOfJesseJamesByTheCowardRobertFord'': Robert Ford is the main character and narrator of his story. In the middle of a scene, he'll occasionally look at the audience and stage-whisper exposition. The artificiality of the trope highlights the inaccuracy of the plot.
* Repeatedly done in ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'', until the end, when he tells the audience to go home, the show's over.
* ''Film/LastActionHero'' has a [[NarmCharm "dramatic"]] scene where TheStarscream is declaring himself the new villain of the picture and ends with him staring at the camera and saying [[AGodAmI "If God were a villain, he'd be me."]]
* ''Film/TopSecret''. While the protagonists are in the "Der Pizza Haus" Nigel accuses Nick Rivers of being Mel Tormé, and therefore a traitor. To prove he isn't, Nick sings and dances to the tune "Straighten Out the Rug". After he finishes one of the Resistance members turns to the camera and says "This is not Mel Tormé!"

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' was created by veterans of the American version of ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'', and includes the same "talking head" segments that both the British and American versions of that show used. However, unlike both versions of ''The Office'', there's never any reference to a [[{{Mockumentary}} documentary being filmed]] and the crew filming the talking heads never impacts the action. In practice the talking heads function very much like Aside Comments.
* The tv version of ''{{Lovejoy}}'' would have Lovejoy do this in a vaguely Shakespearean way, delivering either his internal snark, or a bit of trivia about the antique, as a way of showing how his thought processes worked.
* Zack in ''SavedByTheBell'' would sometimes do this.
* The protagonist does this in both the [[Series/HouseOfCardsUK British]] and [[Series/HouseOfCardsUS American]] versions of ''House of Cards''.
* Malcolm in ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' does this several times an episode, in order to comment on the goings-on around him or explain the background of certain events to the audience.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''. CorruptCorporateExecutive Morgus does this in "The Caves of Androzani". This happened due to the actor misunderstanding the stage directions, but was kept because it gives the character an air of Shakespearean villainy.
* ''MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'': When Dr Larch says that his identity crisis as a psychiatrist drives him mad, Mr Notlob appears on a separate backdrop and says to us "A mad psychiatrist. That'll be new!"

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* A lot of the punchlines in ''AndyCapp''.
* ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes make the occasional comment to the audience.
* ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}. All the time.
* ComicStrip/FoxTrot did this in the earliest strips.

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[[folder: Radio ]]

* Used a lot in ''TheGoonShow'', usually to allow characters to [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] the absurdity of its plot.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* An important part of the Shakespearean RPG ''[[{{TabletopGame/Forsooth}} Forsooth!]]'', where each character gets one Aside and one Soliloquy.

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[[folder: Theatre ]]

* This trope was very popular in Elizabethan theater, most notably in the works of Creator/WilliamShakespeare, who used it over and over again. Often it's even written in the stage directions.
* Eugene O'Neill's ''Strange Interlude'' is famous for its frequent use of often lengthy asides. It inspired numerous parodies, of which Groucho Marx's in ''Theatre/AnimalCrackers'' is merely the most famous.
* Parodied in Creator/{{Moliere}}'s play ''Theatre/TheMiser''; the eponymous character's servant makes several aside comments to the audience, complaining about the guy's greed, but the miser hears this and asks him who he is talking to.
* Happens in ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' during "Poor Fool He Makes Me Laugh". The husband explains to the wife that he is going on a trip and leaving her with the maid, and as an aside "Though I would happily take the maid with me".

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Herman Toothrot does this all the time in ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland''. Guybrush eventually asks him who he's talking to, and Herman replies "The people watching at home, of course!"
* Done by Sonic in ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' when he learns his new alien pals are called "wisps".
-->'''Sonic''': "I'll just stick with "aliens" if that's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pVHJeIUWOI okay with everybody."]]
* Joked about with during The Exiled Prince DLC of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''
-->'''Varric''': "Hawke said sarcastically."
-->'''Hawke''': You know, I hate it when you do that.
-->'''Varric''': "Hawke muttered in an angry aside to the dwarf..."

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[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''
** When Torg is being ''very'' slow on the uptake: [[http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/19980521 "He'll figure it out any moment now folks!"]] (Unless you count "folks" as a direct acknowledgement of the fourth wall. It seems to refer to the audience, but it's left vague.)
** When Torg's trying to do some serious angst after the comic's first bout of CerebusSyndrome: [[http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/19981017 "There are some things in life more important than gags."]]

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* One of the many popular gags in WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes. One of the better examples is in "Drip-Along Daffy" where DaffyDuck pulls this when confronting Nasty Canasta:
-->'''Daffy''': "Nasty Canasta, eh? Well I'd like...*aside* I'd like? I'd like a trip to Europe...*back* I'd like to introduce myself!"
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** In the episode "Bridle Gossip", Spike seems to be looking at the audience directly when commenting he can't come up with a pun from Twilight Sparkle's name.
** In "Sonic Rainboom", both Rainbow Dash and Rarity say out loud to no-one in particular what they're going to do next at some point, but only on one occasion each do they look at the audience while doing so, demonstrating the vague relationship such comments can have to BreakingTheFourthWall.
** In "A Bird in the Hoof", Fluttershy gives an uncharacteristically cunning look to the audience and says "Always works!" during a [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner Road Runner]] ShoutOut scene where she tries to feed a bird a pill by hiding it under some seeds.
** In "Magic Duel", Trixie uses her magic to remove Pinkie Pie's mouth after she insults her by summoning a computer mouse and trashcan. At the end of the same episode, Pinkie goes past the screen fade-out demanding her mouth back, to which Twilight reopens the screen to give it back to her.
** In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", after Discord brainwashes a colony of beavers behind everypony's backs, he turns to the camera and whispers, "Oopsie!" Immediately afterwards, when he announces he's moving in with Fluttershy, she looks towards the audience and mutters, "[[OhCrap Oh dear]]."
* Raphael did this a lot in ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987''. This was lampshaded in TurtlesForever.
* Heathcliff did this often in ''WesternAnimation/HeathcliffAndTheCatillacCats.''
* Done occasionally on all three animated [[WesternAnimation/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow Super]] [[WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSuperMarioBros3 Mario]] [[WesternAnimation/SuperMarioWorld Bros.]] series.
* Dr. Robotnik sometimes did this in ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog''.
* WesternAnimation/FrostyTheSnowman when Frosty, Karen and Hocus are on the train. Karen sneezes and Frosty asks is she's cold, prompting him to turn to the audience and remark, "Now, that's a silly question!"
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends''
** 1973/74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War". Dr. Pelagian has captured Wendy and Marvin and is planning his next move.
-->'''Wendy:''' Marvin, we've got to reach the Super Friends!
-->'''Marvin:''' Sure. Any idea how?
-->'''Wendy:''' Uh uh. [Looks at the camera and the audience] Do you?
** 1973/74 episode "The Mysterious Moles". Superman is examining the cooling unit on the roof of the power plant. While talking to himself, Superman faces the camera and says "It's my hunch the thieves will try to lift this with a powerful crane copter."
* DangerMouse does this in "Penfold B.F." As he's in flight in his Mark III car and talking to Colonel K via his videophone:
-->'''DM:''' Just a second, Colonel, while I put the car into a bank...(''veering slightly to the right'')
-->'''Colonel K:''' Don't try it, DM!
-->'''DM:''' Why not?
-->'''Colonel K:''' You'll never get it through the doors!
-->'''DM:''' (''to us, quietly'') Good grief , I don't know why I bother.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Birdman}}''
** "The Quake Threat". After Birdman destroys several of Dr. Kiroff's robots:
-->'''Dr. Kiroff''': He's destroyed my metal men [turns to face the camera] but there's more than one way to catch a bird!
** "The Brian Thief". When Doctor Shado sees Birdman approaching his laboratory:
-->'''Doctor Shado''': It's Birdman, all right. He's finally arrived. [Turns and looks at the audience] At long last!
** "Meets Reducto". The title villain does this after completing his Reduction Machine ShrinkRay device.
-->'''Reducto'': With this Reduction Machine I will soon have this country, [turns to face the camera] perhaps the entire world at my mercy!
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheNewScoobyDooMovies'' episode "The Ghostly Creep From The Deep" with the Harlem Globetrotters, Meadowlark tricks Curly into volunteering being the first watch while everybody else gets some sleep. As Curly marches, he turns to us and says "Sometimes I wish Meadowlark would learn to keep my big mouth shut!"
* ''Young Samson & Goliath'' episode "The Colossal Coral Creature''. After the title monster shoves Samson down a chimney and puts his hands over the top, Samson looks at the audience and says [[CaptainObvious "He's got the chimney blocked!"]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FantasticVoyage''
** "The Mind of the Master". Erica Lane is inside Guru's brain to repair some damage.
-->'''Erica Lane''': [Sees an image of Busby Birdwell, which disappears] It's just another memory. [turns to face the audience] But a recent one! [turns away again] That means I must be nearing the wound!
** "Revenge of the Spy". Erica Lane has just arranged for TheMole to be removed by a flood of water, but danger still lurks.
-->'''Erica Lane''': [Turns and looks at the camera]] Lisette may be all washed up, but we're high and dry!
* ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhost''
** "The Cyclopeds". At the end of the episode Cyclo runs into his own Maze of Terror.
-->'''Space Ghost''': He forgot his own creation, the Cyclo Terror, was in there. Things have a strange way of evening up, [looks at the camera] especially for poor misguided creatures like Cyclo.
** "Space Sargasso". After Blip retrieves Space Ghost's power bands and returns them to him, Jace says (while facing the camera) "Space Ghost has his power bands again!"
** The title character Zorgat does this in "Ruler of the Rock Robots".
-->Zorgat: They have seen the empty cruiser. Step two of my plan is working.

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