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->''"And so that's my story.\\
I hoped you liked it...\\
If you're wondering how you could thank me enough, we could mosey over to the kitchen?\\
What might you have in ''your'' fridge?\\
Any fish? Salmon?\\
Tuna, perhaps?"''
-->-- '''Hobbes''', attempting to {{invoke|dTrope}} this trope in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''

Sometimes a character needs help, and sometimes that help comes from a highly unexpected place - us, or the author. When something like this affects the plot from outside the work in a very definite and obvious way it can be said to come FromBeyondTheFourthWall. For example, when an audience member tosses the hero an item that helps save the day, or the author nips into their own work to lend the characters a boat (or, inversely, a character sneaking into our world to steal one). The author may even step directly into a work in order to assume a role of some sort; if this is the case, they often have AuthorPowers and can [[AGodAmI manipulate the fabric of their fictional universe]]. Of course, it isn't always good things that come from beyond the FourthWall, the author could add something dangerous 'to make things more interesting' or for some other reason.

Sometimes related to NoFourthWall, though only in cases where the interaction ''directly'' alters the work in a physical way. For examples where the fourth wall is internal and the story affected is a ShowWithinAShow, see IntrepidFictioneer. Related to DeusExMachina, though [[{{Anvilicious}} far less subtle]]. Could be considered a SuperTrope of AuthorPowers and, occasionally, CreatorCameo. Not to be confused with RefugeeFromTVLand, MarySue characters, AudienceParticipation, or ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve. ''Really'' not to be confused with regular examples of BreakingTheFourthWall, if a character simply talks to the viewer, it is not this trope.

Instances where the main character is portrayed as the author of a work (such as ''Literature/TheCuriousIncidentOfTheDogInTheNightTime''), alternate realities and dimensions, references to real world events (such as 9/11), and anything else where it is not clear that something from our world is ''directly'' intervening in the plot (in a way that is BreakingTheFourthWall) do not count.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The ''Manga/LoveHina Again'' [=OVAs=] have Creator/KenAkamatsu, the mangaka (writer and artist) of the original manga, lending some of the girls money, as well as a boat. This is, in both respects, a textbook example of this trope. [[note]]Ken Akamatsu played himself in all his appearances.[[/note]]


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In Creator/GrantMorrison's ''ComicBook/SevenSoldiers'' Comicbook/{{Zatanna}} reaches through the comic panel for the author (or possibly the reader) to help her. She ends up being helped by [[spoiler:seven Creator/DCComics writers, including Morrison himself.]] Later on in the story she asks the reader to help her cast a spell to sort things out. What does the spell do? [[spoiler:It welds the separate pieces of the JigsawPuzzlePlot of ''Seven Soldiers'' together, which couldn't be done without the reader's help, i.e. his interpretation of the plot.]]
* The essential concept of DC's Earth-Prime, ever since TheSixties when Franchise/TheFlash first wandered into it and got to read his own comics & similar. DC editors regularly had cameos in Prime stories.
** The Superboy-Prime character's existence proposed that ''our'' universe was just another in the bundle despite its privileged position as comics-consumer, and thus had also had a Krypton and a survivor [[LastOfHisKind Kal-El]], but because of [[{{Technobabble}} different local universal principles he required a much more specific light frequency (Halley's Comet) to develop his superpowers]]. Or something. Anyway he got out into the larger multiverse as an AscendedFanboy just in time for Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths. The idea started to blur with his creation, and then when Earth-Prime was destroyed and the readers continued perfectly alright....
*** Earth-Prime managed to re-exist briefly before the New 52 reboot, but by then its primary identity was not 'our world' but '[[OmnicidalManiac Prime's]] homeworld.' Although [[MuggleFosterParents his parents]] had been reading all the comics he appeared in while gone and [[FridgeLogic for some reason taking them very seriously.]]
** Earth-Prime returns in Creator/GrantMorrison's ''Comicbook/TheMultiversity'' with its own spotlight issue, where the reader becomes its latest superhero.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Hobbes attempts to invoke this to get [[TrademarkFavoriteFood tuna]] at the end of one episode of ScriptFic ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/LastActionHero'' features a boy who travels into films. The major theme of this film is how different the film world is to our own. This is a borderline example but it counts because he is an audience member affecting the outcome of a film.
* In ''Film/TheAdventuresOfRockyAndBullwinkle'', Boris and Natasha steal a map from the LemonyNarrator.
* At one point in ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'', a monster that was chasing the heroes disappeared when, "suddenly, the animator suffered a fatal heart attack!"
* In ''Film/{{The Baby of Macon}}'', Cosimo de' Medici acts as both an audience member to the stage production as well as a character. He occasionally steps onto the stage and interacts with the characters, influencing the plot. Because he is an aristocrat, it makes sense that the players would adapt the play on the fly to whatever Cosimo suggests. The film is all about the interaction between various layers of reality in an artistic work.

'''Note:''' First person "this is a true story" narratives do not count; the effect must be portrayed as being from an outside influence.
* ''Literature/{{Inkheart}}'' explores this in great depth.
* ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'': In Creator/StephenKing's series, the characters meet Creator/StephenKing to discover his impact on their lives and get him back on track writing the series.
** Another example from the series: At a particularly climactic moment, a character runs into a bathroom and finds a sticky note on the mirror that says "[[AuthorPowers Here comes the Deus Ex Machina]]!" from, you guessed it, [[CreatorCameo Stephen King]]. Not as ''the character'' Stephen King (who's also in the story), but literally as himself.
* In ''Literature/PeterPan'', there are moments where J.M. Barrie himself comments on the story, once even going so far to consider telling Mrs. Darling of the imminent return of her children, only deciding not to at her insistence.
* Vonnegut does this in ''Literature/BreakfastOfChampions''.
* ''Literature/TheNeverEndingStory'' is all over this trope, with Bastian's influence all over the mid-to-late part of the book.
** Also, in another interpretation of Beyond The Fourth Wall, the characters in the titular book get Bastian to solve the big problem... by beginning to read the book from the beginning, as they read 'skoob dlo rednaerok darnok lrak', followed by Bastian's discovery of the book. This is slightly frightening and confusing to Bastian... but not to a reader, who would look back and know what they actually were reading...[[note]]Karl Konrad Koreander Old Books, which is written in mirrored writing on the very first page OF THE ACTUAL BOOK.[[/note]] Due to this, they are infinitely encountering themselves reading the book, and Bastian has to break the loop.


[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Inversion: an Australian movie theater ran a trailer for a movie in which two people MeetCute and go on a picnic and one takes out a gun and shoots ... a zombie in the audience, because the whole thing is an ad for ''Series/TheWalkingDead''.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' Adventure [=WG7=] Castle Greyhawk. One of the dungeon levels has the author of that level being omnipotent and interacting with the [=PCs=] as they explore the level.

'''Note:''' Please note that AudienceParticipation is something different! If the audience is simply interacting with the cast (such as in ''Theatre/{{Peter Pan|1904}}'') it doesn't count!
* Stephen Gregg's short play ''S.P.A.R.'' essentially is this trope padded out to 40 or so minutes.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' stage play (and audio adaptation) ''Doctor Who and the Daleks in the Seven Keys to Doomsday'', the two companions, Jimmy and Jenny, are (supposedly) theatregoers who have come to watch the play. Close to the beginning, the injured Doctor calls for help; they run to him, and become part of the action.
* Jon English was somewhat known for playing the Pirate King in a production of ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance''. In this performance of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLrKJV4ITeE "O Better Far to Live and Die,"]] he ends up sword-fighting with the conductor halfway through.
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil examples:
** In ''Theatre/{{O}}'', the CrustyCaretaker Le Vieux summons an "audience member" to read the show's opening announcements, then sends him further into the MagicalLand that the theater turns out to be -- to become the show's protagonist.
** In ''Theatre/{{Varekai}}'', a pair of "ushers" (male and female, and actually the show's clowns) who appear in the preshow are dragooned into the story by the forest creatures as the show begins. They proceed to cause havoc during the show by trying to show off their dubious "talents" -- and the female usher even makes off with the hero at one point!
* At one point in ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical'', Ron is complaining about their current situation, including the fact that he's starving... only to be cut off by a member of the orchestra getting up from his seat, coming onstage, and handing him a snack.
-->'''Ron:''' And I don't have a snack, and...\\
'''Band Member:''' ''(politely taps Ron on the shoulder and hands him a bag of candy)''\\
'''Ron:''' ''(amazed)'' ...Oh my God, thank you.\\
'''Band Member:''' ''(silently nods and walks back to his instrument)''\\
'''Harry:''' ...Hogwarts is amazing.

[[folder:Video Games]]
'''Note:''' While almost all video games would seem to count, since you are playing the character directly, this is not the case for the same reasons that first person "this is a true story" narratives do not count. The effect must be portrayed as being from an outside influence.
* The ending of ''VideoGame/EarthBound''. [[spoiler:You, personally, deal the finishing blow to the final boss.]]
* This trope is central to much of ''VideoGame/OneShot''. [[spoiler: To the point that some puzzles require you to search your computer for a relevant file. To say nothing of the fact that the game [[INeverToldYouMyName knows your name...]]]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Enchanter}}'', you can summon an Implementor (that is, one of the developers of the game), who will make a comment about "fixing bugs" and then disappear.
** Spiritwrak, a fan-made sequel set in the same universe, has this as a puzzle solution; at one point you need to travel to the developer's room and delete an obstacle from the game.
* ''VideoGame/TheImpossibleQuiz'' has a few puzzles which require manipulating the program window.
* [[http://jack.worlord.com/blacklodge2600/ Black Lodge 2600]] is an [[ReTraux Atari 2600-ish]] game with graphics, audio and gameplay mimicked from the era. You interact through your on-screen player character. Near the end you are given a clue you'll need a white arrow to solve the final room. [[spoiler: It's your mouse pointer.]]
* In the first ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', you are told that you need to find Meryl's codec number so you can get in contact with her. Where is this codec number found? The back of your CD case.
* The ''VideoGame/LastHalfOfDarkness'' games likewise use in-case supplemental documents as part of the scenario, and the later games even use markings on ''the CD itself'' as one of their clues. [[spoiler: Also, ''Shadows of the Servants'''s MindScrew ending reveals that Mira "summoned" the protagonist and others to the mansion by ''putting the video game on the market''.]]
* The main concept of ''VideoGame/{{Skylanders}}'' is that the characters were thrown [[RefugeeFromTVLand out of their world and into ours]], and that by using the Skylander toys the player can send them back home.
* In ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow'', in order to neutralize TheDragon, a genie, you have to figure out what his bottle looks like to trade it for a fake. How do you do this? By making Alexander use a fake death potion in a shop where the disguised genie is hanging out which triggers a cutscene where he reports to the BigBad and his bottle is shown. However, only the ''player'' witnesses this, not Alexander. Lampshaded when Alexander is asked how he knew what the bottle looked like and he says he just had a "good feeling" about it.
* In ''VideoGame/TheStanleyParable'', the story is structured so that, while you can hear the Narrator, Stanley (the person you're playing) isn't hearing his own narration. Or, at least, he isn't supposed to in the Narrator's story, although the Narrator begins addressing Stanley directly once you send the story OffTheRails. (He also refers to the player as "Stanley" most of the time, even while breaking the fourth wall.) Thus, when the Narrator reveals to you (the player) a code to a locked door that you subsequently have Stanley input, it counts for this trope. [[LemonyNarrator The Narrator also becomes surprised at this, assuming Stanley had just pushed the right code in at random]].
** Alternatively, you can choose not to. At which point the Narrator gets annoyed that the story isn't progressing and opens the door anyway, explaining it away as Stanley hitting the emergency override by accident.
** Or you can remember the code from a previous playthrough and put it in before the Narrator can explain what the code is. [[BreakingTheFourthWall At which point the Narrator gets annoyed and addresses the player directly, telling you to calm down and let the story catch up]].
* This is a '''huge''' part of the premise of ''VideoGame/CielNosurge'' and ''VideoGame/ArNosurge''. The player is directly connected with the games' universe and intervenes in the main characters' lives, for good or for ill. [[spoiler:Other people can be connected too, and their intentions might run contrary to the player's goals...]]
* A minor instance in the original ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianDawn'', where after the fourth mission for GDI, the player's Electronic Video Agent is severed from GDI's global command structure, and attempts rerouting through various hubs - every one of which fails until it eventually finds a successful connection through Las Vegas, then the home of the game's developer Creator/WestwoodStudios.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The epilogue of ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'' strongly implied that the player (not the main character, the ''player'') was a mysterious mental presence named "?", who would figure greatly in the sequel ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma''. Needless to say for those who played that game, [[RetCon this didn't happen]], and WordOfGod later explicitly stated that that epilogue was non-canon.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In Webcomic/BobAndGeorge The Author actually has to resurrect one of the characters [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000506c here]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'', Kiel is constantly being swarmed and talked to by black masses of demons, which are in fact ''the readers''. Through their eyes the readers of ''Drowtales'' see the world and they are for all intents and purposes the ''living'' fourth wall.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Haley the rogue actually leaves the comic to [[spoiler:steal a giant diamond out of her character bio]], causing [[spoiler:said diamond to actually vanish from the page]] and leaving a note [[spoiler:reading "I.O.Me One Big-ass diamond", which is still on the page.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** Andrew Hussie literally breaks into the webcomic through his "Fifth Wall", which he designed to separate him from the other omniscient narrator, Doc Scratch, in order to force [[FillerArc the story]] [[AbortedArc to progress]].
** It's then inverted when [[spoiler: a group of characters ''[[BreakingTheFourthWall break through]]'' the fourth wall in order to get to another universe. Yes, that means "our world" is a VoidBetweenTheWorlds.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The flash series ''WebAnimation/AnimatorVsAnimation'' sees a flash artist pitted against their animated creations.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Popeye}}'':
** In the short "How Green was my Spinach," Bluto has destroyed all the spinach in the world. We cut to a live-action child watching the short in a movie theater, who reaches into a grocery bag and pulls out a can of spinach and throws it into the film.
** "A Date To Skate" features a gag where Popeye realizes he left his spinach at home, and has an audience member throw him a can.
** Another Popyeye short, "It's the Natural Thing to Do," starts with Popeye & Bluto fighting in Olive Oyl's backyard. Olive gets a telegram:
--->Cut out the rough stuff once in a while and act more refined. Be like ladies and gentlemen. That's the natural thing to do. (signed) Popeye Fan Club. P.S. Now go on with the picture.
** An in-universe example occurs in "Popeye's Premiere", where Popeye give a can of spinach to himself on the movie screen.
* In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Rabbit Rampage" (a {{remake}} of "WesternAnimation/DuckAmuck."), WesternAnimation/BugsBunny fights with the animator, represented by a brush that does all sorts of unpleasant things to him. Subverted in that at the end it's revealed to be Elmer Fudd.
** In another WesternAnimation/BugsBunny cartoon "Hair Raising Hare" Bugs is trapped in a MadScientist's BigFancyCastle. At one point, as Bugs is behind a door and a monster is trying to break through, a desperate-sounding Bugs cries out, "IsThereADoctorInTheHouse?" A silhouette, seemingly from the theater audience, stands up and offers, "I'm a doctor." Bugs suddenly relaxes, grins, starts munching a carrot, and asks, [[CatchPhrase "What's up, Doc?"]]
** A WesternAnimation/PorkyPig short, The Case of the Stuttering Pig", featured a villain saying that no one could stop him, not even the guy in the third row. He is defeated at the end and when asked who did it, the guy in the third row responds.
** In "Ain't That Ducky", WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck notes that, according to the script, there's supposed to be a barrel for him to hide in, and threatens to have whoever's responsible fired. A brush appears and paints in the barrel and the action continues.
* This is practically the premise of ''WesternAnimation/WinkyDink'', where certain segments presented Winky in a dilemma that the kids had to solve by using crayons and a sheet of cellophane to draw on their TV screens.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpooktacularNewAdventuresOfCasper'' called [[Series/TheXFiles "The Y-Files"]], Casper's friends and settings are melting away and it turns out that paint thinner is being dropped on the sleeping animator's drawing desk.
* The WesternAnimation/MightyMouse cartoon "Goons From The Moon" has alien cats abducting all the mice in Terrytown. The radio reporter (a mouse caricature of Walter Winchell) comments "there's only one mouse who can save this situation!" Cut to an animator's table where the animator's hand drawns Mighty Mouse in flight atop a missile. (The artist stops drawing briefly, causing Mighty Mouse to chime in "Hurry up! I've got a job to do!")
** The cartoon "The Cat's Tale" has a mouse-traumatized cat telling the hero's origin and his subsequent battle against a giant cat. The cowardly cat then tells us how he'd show Mighty Mouse a thing or two, only for the animator to draw Mighty Mouse floating right behind him. The cat runs off in fright.
** In the Bakshi episode "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy" (billed as a cautionary tale), Mighty Mouse is getting married to Pearl Pureheart. But he's getting cold feet just as he's about to take his vow, just stammering "I...I...I...", then it cuts to a pencil drawing of him on an animator's table. The animator cops out and can't go through with it. It ends with the cartoon characters at the wedding all laughing as everything is up in flames.
* In the WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck cartoon "WesternAnimation/DuckPimples", Don is being harassed by the characters of a mystery novel, who accuse him of stealing a pearl necklace. He is saved when the book's author appears to declare his innocence and reveal the real culprit (although he has to look it up in his own book to do it).
* This is a central conceit in many children's TV series, gaining prominence after its use in shows like ''WesternAnimation/BluesClues'' and ''WesternAnimation/DoraTheExplorer'', where problems are supposedly solved by the interaction of the preschool-aged viewer.