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->''"If this were play'd upon a stage now, I would condemn it as improbable fiction."''
-->-- '''Fabian''', ''Theatre/TwelfthNight''

'''Bob:''' Hey, {{Alice|AndBob}}, have you ever noticed how sometimes a character will talk to another character about something that sounds like it's really about the show they're in, but it makes perfect sense in context?

'''Alice:''' Yeah! Usually it sounds strained because it's hard to make this kind of dialogue sound completely natural.

'''Bob:''' But even if they can't pull it off, it's usually good for a bit of comedy.

'''Alice:''' This might be related to LampshadeHanging, ThisIsThePartWhere, ConversationalTroping, and any other trope with FourthWall in its name.

'''Bob:''' You mean like FourthWallPsych? What about AsideGlance? The inverse would be ThisIsReality. A common subtrope is WhoWouldWantToWatchUs... wait, [[TvTropesWillRuinYourVocabulary why are we talking like this]]?



* Thanks to food and drug guidelines, [[SideEffectsInclude just about every drug commercial]] on American TV is like this, with characters [[BreadEggsMilkSquick rattling off side-effects]] in "casual" conversation, sometimes (but [[ThisIsReality surprisingly rarely]]) lampshaded when the other character will say "You sound like you're trying to convince me to use it!"
* A Bamzu.com commercial features [[TwoGamersOnACouch two people on a couch]] talking about how great Bamzu is. It finishes with the man saying to the woman, "Hey, maybe ''we'' could do a Bamzu commercial!" to which she replies, "You think?"
* A series of Geico commercials feature extremely poorly "animated" characters speaking in robotic voices. One of the characters informs the other that the commercial -- in which they are currently appearing -- took only 15 minutes to produce (which they tie into the amount of time it takes to switch to Geico).
* One Honda commercial had a man talking about his car and the deal he got from it, while his friend says that he sounds like a car commercial.

* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', when the teachers are having their meeting about how to rescue Kid from the Book of Eibon, Maka and Soul are trying to listen in on what's going on. They are hiding behind a wall corner in a very over dramatic spy-esque fashion, and [[BadassBookworm Maka]] says something along the lines of:
--> '''Maka:''' The way we're sneaking around like this, it's almost like we're the protagonists of some supernatural crime story!
* Fairly early in the ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' manga, Ako tells an aged up version of Negi that she envies Negi because she feels like she's just a supporting character and he's the main character. She is, of course, absolutely right. Negi counters that even if she's a minor character in someone else's story, she's still the main character of her own. As she was the main character of [[ADayInTheLimelight that particular mini-arc]], he was right, too.
** In an especially tongue-in-cheek moment, Natsumi refers to herself as a side character right before making a casual observation that turns the chapter (#257) into a WhamEpisode.
** It also has a more [[FourthWall fourth-wall]]-[[{{Buffyspeak}} breaky]] one when Negi sees [[spoiler:what his father was like]]: he exclaims, "It's like he's a character from a totally different manga!"
*** Asuna says something similar when Kotaro first breaks out his demon form. Also a LampshadeHanging, as said demon form is an {{Homage}} to ''Manga/InuYasha''.
** Similarly, in chapter 277, minor character Tosaka says to Ako and Akira, "Us side-characters gotta look out for each other."
** In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmvzGOUdRHs one of the Negima?! OVAs]] (legal, US/Canada only) has a line lampshading the use of towels in a HotSpringsEpisode noting that it isn't some TV anime ("{{O|riginalVideoAnimation}}VA" being comparable to what is known in the west as "direct to video" but generally of higher quality).
--> '''Haruna''': ''(to Nodoka while she and Negi'' ''[[ItMakesSenseInContext are together in the hotspring]]'''')'' This isn't some erotic anime, you know! ''(grabs at Nodoka's towel)'' You gotta ditch the unmentionables!
* More than once in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', the title character is described as being the sort of person who could never be the main character of anything. They are, of course, absolutely wrong.
** Also, there's one point in the manga where Naruto comes running into a fight late yelling, "The main character of a story usually shows up in these types of situations and instantly kicks the enemy's ass!" [[TemptingFate Naturally]], he then proceeds to be on the receiving end of said ass-kicking.
** Jiraiya having written a book about a ninja {{determinator}} [[spoiler:whose name is Naruto (which the character of the series was named after by his parents after they read the book)]] is fourth wall-leaning enough, but a couple of pages of chapter 448 [[http://forums.narutofan.com/showpost.php?p=30487214&postcount=104 which were only in the volume release]] has part of Naruto's speech to [[spoiler:Nagato]] nearly have him talking about himself as if he was fully aware that he was a fictional character, and all of this is done in a ''completely serious fashion''.
** Acting also as a TakeThatAudience moment, [[spoiler: Sakura's false love confession to Naruto is a verbatim reading of all the arguments Naruto/Sakura [[ShipToShipCombat shippers]] used to justify why they should be together (namely: "I used to love Sasuke, but he's now evil and he's breaking my heart, but you, on the other hand, have always been there for me", and "You used to be a dork but now you're the village's hero, so now I love you."), Naruto outright rejects these arguments and [[ShipSinking blows off her confession]]]].
* When some of the members of ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'' graduate, they have a discussion about where the story could go now that several of the characters have left -- except it turns out they're actually talking about ShowWithinAShow ''Anime/KujibikiUnbalance'', which is doing a graduation story at the same time.
* During a BreatherEpisode in ''Anime/CodeGeass'', Milly remarks "Sometimes you just get these little {{filler}} moments in life... and that's fine." This could also be seen as a ''TakeThat'' toward the fandom, which had a tendency to gripe whenever SchoolFestival episodes came up.
** ''"Look forward to me, Jeremiah Gottwald, with all you've got!"'' This is supposed to be addressed to V.V. but it's obvious he's talking to the audience.
* Andy almost does this in ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', to Spike's confusion. Everytime Andy showed up in the episode, his {{Leitmotif}} "Go, Go, Cactus Man" would play - a song that uses heavy whistling. Later on in the episode, Spike hears someone whistling as he walks by, and immediately thinks it might be Andy.
* During an insult contest between Ed and Pinako in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', one of Ed's is "You're so short you're two-dimensional!"
* America has one of these moments in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''.
-->'''America:''' I'm not stepping out of the house until spring comes around!\\
''(the light goes out)''\\
'''America:''' And the light bulb burns out as soon as I say that?! What is this, a comedy movie?!
* Happens in episode 9 of ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'': Ryuusei no Gemini: the episode begins with [[PluckyComicRelief Kiko Kayanuma]] making her first appearance of the season. As she and a friend board a train, they are discussing their apparent disgust at how a certain unnamed director added a pointless "gag character" to an otherwise [[DarkerAndEdgier "Dark and Serious"]] movie.
** As an anime fangirl/cosplay enthusiast, she does this a lot. For instance, when she and Gai end up in possession of an (even more) will-less Yin, they try to figure out where to hide her while everyone's out looking for her. Kiko suggests [[HotSpringsEpisode the hot springs]], because you have to go at least once; then she looks at the audience and says, "Kiko is doing her best!"
* The last words spoken during the anime version of ''Manga/DeathNote'' indicate Ryuk is leaning on the fourth wall. They're spoken by Ryuk as [[spoiler: he kills Light]], but the words of farewell ring on for the series, reminding everyone that all this time, the whole purpose of everything that's gone on from beginning to end was for Ryuk's entertainment.
-->'''Ryuk:''' [[spoiler: It was good while it lasted. We eased each other's boredom for quite a while. Well, Light, it's been interesting]].
** At the start of Matsuda's [[ADayInTheLimelight day in the limelight]], we get a montage of the other characters making disparaging comments about him, followed by Matsuda saying, "I want a bigger role in this!" It sounds like he's talking to the writers.
* The English dub of ''LightNovel/SuzumiyaHaruhi'' has a very clever one in episode six: While Kyon is narrating, the beginning credits are shown. Just as he asks "[[WhoWritesThisCrap Who wrote this scenario, anyway?]]" the current credit is "Series Composition: Haruhi and her friends".
* ''LightNovel/{{Katanagatari}}''. Togame tends to make comments that'd break the fourth wall if it weren't for the fact that she's writing everything down for publication.
* The first half of ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'''s first episode is what seems like two {{Meta Guy}}s arguing over [[AnachronicOrder when this whole thing is supposed to start]], [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters who the "main character" is]] and whether or not any of it actually had a point. Technically they're an eccentric KnowledgeBroker and his assistant trying to sort out the data they have on immortal-related occurrences over the last couple of years, but it sure ''seems'' like they're picking apart the show you're just about to watch.
* In the ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'' manga, several people compare the plot to that of an in-universe manga which is also about kids piloting a giant robot. [[spoiler:[[KillEmAll At the end of that manga, the kids all die and Earth is destroyed.]]]]
* In the ''[[Manga/AhMyGoddess Oh My Goddess!]]'' chapter where [[IntoxicationEnsues Belldandy somehow gets drunk on cola]], Keiichi chases after her and trips over an empty liquor bottle, saying, "Geez, you'd think this was a stupid [[{{Manga}} comic book]] or something!"
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''
** One episode had Misty say that when Jigglypuff drew on her, she looked like a cartoon character. Ash says how ridiculous it would be if they were in a cartoon.
** An ''Orange Islands'' episode has Ash and Pikachu take part in a stage show where the trainers do voice-overs that make the Pokémon look like they can talk. In the dub, Ash comments on how hard it is [[LipLock to match the lip-flaps]].
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** On the last page of Chapter 597 [[spoiler:Luffy]] says "[[spoiler:The pirate 'Straw Hat Luffy']] is going on a holiday for a bit", then at the bottom of the page it is announced that the manga is going on a four week break, its longest so far. We get it, [[Creator/EiichiroOda Odacchi]].
** In chapter 627, after a seven-chapter-long flashback (one of the longest flashback arcs seen so far), [[spoiler: Jinbe]] apologizes to everyone that it took so long to tell the story. Almost as if Oda was apologizing to the audience for taking so long by having [[spoiler: Jinbe]] say it.
** In episode 268 of the dub, Sanji's worried Nami's hurt when the train they were riding on is blown up, with Zoro commenting that she'll be alright since she isn't a background character like Sanji. More likely just part of their rivalry and played for laughs.
* The third season of the ''Anime/CrayonShinChan'' GagDub has a voice announcing "Creator/AdultSwim" followed by another saying "they always kick us out right when we catch on".
* Creator/OsamuTezuka is famous for this, at least in his less-serious stories. In the ''Manga/BlackJack'' story "Baby Blues", a teenaged girl brings Jack an abandoned baby, and he asks, "Whose baby is it? Is it yours?" The girl slaps him -- but instead of Jack she's slapping Tezuka himself, with the caption ''standing in for the slap''. Tezuka is of course gone by the next panel and the story continues.
* In the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' anime, a direct translation from the game leads to a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FfN65U1OIM#t=145s hilarious fourth wall breaking moment.]]
* One episode of ''Manga/{{Bastard}}'' had Gara proclaim that you never defeat a major enemy while off screen.
* In ''Manga/MurasakiiroNoQualia'' Hatou's [[ArcWords considerations on storytelling]] count as this.
* There are two cases in the dub version of ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' where the theme song for the dub ("Hyperdrive") appears in the story; in one episode, Yusei is listening to it on the radio while fixing his D-Wheel in a garage, and in another, Rex Godwin's henchman Akutsu is humming it to himself while working. (Of course, it is ''possible'' that the song simply exists in-universe, as none of its lyrics mention any characters or events important to the plot.)
* In the original ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' TV series, Kei and Yuri occasionally compare their [[WalkingDisasterArea incredible misfortune]] to the idealized TV world...
-->'''Yuri:''' If this were a TV show, a charming hunk would appear and say, "Are you in trouble, ladies?"
-->'''[[LaserGuidedKarma Old man:]]''' Are you in trouble, ladies?
** Also, the ''LightNovel/CrusherJoe'' movie shows the ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' as a fictional [[ShowWithinAShow TV show]] and [[MythologyGag vice]] [[MindScrew versa.]]
* In ''Anime/KillLaKill'', the appearance of any new character or technique is commemorated with [[BossSubtitles giant red kanji]]. In later episodes, it appears as if the kanji are actually physical objects, breaking when struck and having a visible reflection. Nui even leans on hers while talking.
* In the ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' pilot, when Madoka mentions how she first saw Homura in a dream the previous night, Sayaka says that "the anime character in [her] is popping out."
** In series finale, Madoka's mom also asks if her daughter is an anime character when talking with Homura [[spoiler:after she re-writes the laws of the universe and everyone else in the world has forgotten her]].
** In [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion the movie]], Mami hums her [[{{Leitmotif}} theme music]] while brushing her hair.
** The music Madoka is listening to in the first episode is the anime's theme tune.
* At the end of ''Anime/PrincessTutu'', when the characters have [[ScrewDestiny defied Drosselmeyer]] and [[EarnYourHappyEnding got their happy endings]], Drosselmeyer wonders just how they were able to overcome [[RewritingReality him as the author of their story]]. This makes him wonder if he himself is just a character to another author.
* In ''Manga/AssassinationClassroom'', the students wear casual street clothes instead of their typical school uniforms on the first day of their vacation. On the following day, they've already gone back to wearing their P.E. jerseys. Two of the students explain that they're both comfortable and that "it would cruel to have to think up clothes for a second day". The context implies that it would be hard for the mangaka to have to think up new clothes to draw for each of them.
* In one chapter of ''Manga/{{Ojojojo}}'', Tendou holds up some rectangular narrative speech bubbles on a stick as she recaps the events of the previous chapter. Haru dismisses the act as another one of her friend's silly antics.
* At the start of the final third of ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion The End of Evangelion]]'', animation ceases and live-footage commences, displaying Tokyo urban life in the early morning. As the VA's for Misato, Asuka, and Rei stand still amidst a bustle of pedestrians, Shinji and Rei discuss via narration why it is that audience members care about the fate of fictional characters so very much. [[Creator/JohannSebastianBach Bach's]] ''[[AwesomeMusic/NeonGenesisEvangelion Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude]]'' [[TearJerker plays simultaneously]].
* In the GO Chrono Stone series of ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'', the main characters use their [[ItMakesSenseInContext flying time travelling caravan flown by an android bear to create a fictional timeline around a King Arthur story book so they can find King Arthur and transfer his aura into one of their soccer players]]. When they create the storybook world, they're forcefully thrown into it as the story's characters. This leads to multiple exchanges where the protagonist Tenma is referred to as the main character, and some other characters lamenting how they're a minor character.
* Though Ryou of ''Manga/KoufukuGraffiti'' never specifically address viewers, [[SupremeChef she]] often holds ingredients or dishes she made towards the camera.
* In a ''Manga/FateKaleidLinerPrismaIllya'' OVA involving a dance contest, the stereo plays the opening theme song.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'':
** "Who watches the Watchm-"
** Also "I'm not a Republic serial villain..." (which becomes ridiculously meta in [[Film/{{Watchmen}} the movie]]: "I'm not a comic book villain")
* ''ComicBook/YoungJustice'' loved to play around with this trope.
** One famous scene featured the Ray, Impulse, and the Comicbook/PostCrisis Comicbook/{{Superboy}} (Kon-El) talking to each other about how their comics -- excuse me, their ''favorite'' comics -- were cancelled for no reason. For added points, all three of them glare at Tim "Robin" Drake when he comes in at the end of the scene. Robin, of course, starred in a solo title that was still going strong at the time and lasted roughly as long as the other three characters' titles combined.
** In another scene, Wonder Girl and Arrowette are using the Internet, but their connection dies. Arrowette angrily remarks that she hates [=ISPs=]. Wonder Girl nervously replies, "No you don't! You LOVE! [=ISPs=]! Especially ''the biggest one!''" Arrowette realizes her mistake and says "Umm, I'm going to shut up now," as she and Wonder Girl look in the reader's direction. At the time, Time Warner, the parent company of DC Comics by way of Creator/WarnerBros, had just completed a merger with AOL.
* Also done in the final part of the Comicbook/BlueBeetle backup in ''ComicBook/BoosterGold'' #29, where Paco laments the cancellation of his favorite comic and Brenda attempts to reassure him that the character will still be around.
* A very similar scene occurs during the last story arc of Neil Gaiman's ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' comic: Franchise/{{Batman}}, Franchise/{{Superman}}, and the Comicbook/MartianManhunter are talking about dreams they'd had. Batman and Superman discuss how they've both had dreams about how they're not themselves, but simply actors playing themselves on television. Martian Manhunter laments that he's never had a dream like that.
* Creator/DonRosa's Scrooge [=McDuck=] comic ''The Black Knight Glorps Again'' features pictures CarlBarks painted of Scrooge as in-universe artifacts. Scrooge [=McDuck=] calls the person who did the paintings "his favourite artist" while WesternAnimation/{{Donald|Duck}} claims they [[http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i212/Kerrah_photos/FavouriteArtist.jpg "look like scenes out of a kid's comic book".]]
** ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck'' shows how Scrooge [[BerserkButton isn't happy]] about the rumors that his NumberOneDime is [[{{Flanderization}} a lucky charm]].
** In "The Last Lord of El Dorado", Scrooge's response to [[AsYouKnow a bit of exposition]] from Donald is "I know all that! What are you, a recap caption in some silly comic book?"
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' does this occasionally, usually to make comments about his own writing/drawing process. One example is a strip that was released around the time that ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' was released; Jason goes to see the movie, and when he gets home, Paige asks how he liked it:
-->'''Jason:''' Come on, Paige, what are the odds of a geek like me saying anything negative?
-->'''Paige:''' I'd say something like the chances of George Lucas letting a cartoonist see the movie early so he could write about it in more than vague, noncommittal terms.
-->'''Jason:''' ...Well, I wouldn't go THAT far.
-->'''Paige:''' Okay, so there's a TINY chance that you didn't like it.
* ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'':
** When Agent 355 asks Yorick why he has "Fuck Communism" engraved on his lighter, he explains it's truly from a [[Comicbook/{{Preacher}} comic]]. "They can say 'fuck' in comic books?"
** The main character is named Yorick, after the PosthumousCharacter in ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''. In one scene, a playwright makes a derisive comment about subpar works of fiction trying to seem smarter with Shakespeare references.
* There's a truly hilarious scene in ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' in which the title character lampshades many of the common trends in his life and how difficult it makes things for him. It fits the character since he just broke up with MJ due to ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies and recovering from [[spoiler: Gwen's death]], but it plays very much like he's actually angry at [[CosmicPlaything the writer's devotion to making his life a living hell]].
--> "What else was I supposed to do? [[ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies She was going to get killed because she's Spider-Man's girlfriend]] and, frankly, [[DistressBall she's too stupid to stay out of trouble when I tell her to.]] Maybe I- Maybe I should talk to her about this. Maybe in a couple of months she'll figure out how to be smarter about being with me and I won't have to- no. [[GenreSavvy NO! NO!]] [[RecycledScript She almost got killed six times out of the last twelve big Spider-Man adventures.]] There is no way I'm putting her in danger because I don't have anything to do on Friday nights. No. [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy No, leave her alone.]] [...] So I break up with her, which had to be done, but now I have to sit next to her for... [[ComicBookTime what year is it?]] [[VagueAge What am I? A sophomore? Tenth Grade?]] Well that means I only have a couple of years left to sit and feel her not look at me as I don't look at her. [...] She'll be making out with [[JerkJock Flash Thompson]] and I'll be NOT making out with anyone ever again because [[BeingGoodSucks I CAN'T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND BECAUSE I'M SPIDER-MAN AND WITH GREAT POWER MUST COME NOT MAKING OUT WITH MY GIRLFRIEND EVER AGAIN!"]]
* In one ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' album, Rantanplan (after having eaten [[ExtremeOmnivore a piece of soap]]) wonders whether he's the only one making [[SpeechBubbles bubbles]].
* Done in ''ComicBook/QuantumAndWoody'' when Woody reads the "Dark Kitty" comic book, an {{Expy}} of MarvelComics' ComicBook/BlackPanther (also written by Christopher Priest at the time). Woody [[WhoWritesThisCrap badmouths the book]] [[SelfDeprecation with criticisms that are entirely applicable]] to ''ComicBook/QuantumAndWoody''...
-->"The story is told all out of order -- you can't follow the damned thing... God, they just let any idiot write this stuff, don't they..."
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'':
** ''Recap/AsterixAndTheRomanAgent'' has a few panels where Impedimenta laments that Asterix received a valuable vase from a Roman for being "the most important man in the village." When Vitalstatisix mutters that he's the most important, she retorts, "If anyone was fool enough to write down the story of our village, they won't be calling it The Adventures of Vitalstatistix the Gaul!"
** In a similar fashion, in ''Recap/AsterixAndTheSoothsayer'', when the soothsayer offers to "read" the entrails of Dogmatix, Obelix retorts "No one has ever read us, and no one will!"
** Also, in "Recap/AsterixAndTheCauldron" when Asterix and Obelix are trying to make money, Obelix suggests that they could tell tales of their adventures and call them, "The Adventures of Obelix the Gaul." Asterix then replies that nobody would pay to listen to that.
* A story in TalesFromTheCrypt called "Concerto for Violin and Werewolf" had the main character figure out the plot twist of the story because it was similar to one he had read in an American comic book called Tales from the Crypt. The story he refers to called "Midnight Mess" was an actual story that had been published a few issues before.
* The Creator/ECComics story "...So Shall Ye Reap!" (''Shock [=SuspenStories=]'' #10) shows a mother hypocritically scolding her son for reading what she calls a "cheap lurid comic book" full of "nothing but murder and violence" while being interested herself in reading news reports of grisly murders. HypocriticalHumor aside, this was more or less the complaint MoralGuardians were making against EC's publications at the time.
* ''Franchise/TheFlash'' (Vol 2) #133, the end of the first Creator/MarkMillar and Creator/GrantMorrison storyline, concludes with Wally putting on a cod Scots accent and Linda telling him "You've spent entirely too much time around Scottish people." Of course, she's talking about Ewan [=McCulloch=], the Mirror Master.
* In the second issue of ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'', a cave troll treats Fluttershy like she were a doll (including one shot that [[https://twitter.com/TimmoWarner/status/286732719713570817 deliberately puts her in the same pose as the MLP "fashion" pony toys]]) and combs her hair, has rocks that look like [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Optimus Prime]] in his "toy" collection, and Rarity makes him some custom pony dolls. Sweetie Belle (watching from Queen Chrysalis's lair) comments that she'd make a cute toy. The whole scene is rather meta, considering [[MerchandiseDriven the source material]].
* In ''ComicBook/ForeverEvil: Arkham War'' #2, Gordon tells Pierce that he and Bullock call end of the world scenarios "Apocalypse Wednesdays" because they seemed to occur weekly.
* In ''The Flash Annual'' #3, Future Flash, a future Barry Allen, says that if it wasn't for him, Wally would be married and have two kids, and that it's his fault Wally is dead. While the latter is more of guilt for not saving Wally, it's uncanny how this dialogue matches up with complaints about Barry's actions during ''ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}}'' which led to the {{RetGon|e}}ing of Wally West and his entire family. Wally has since been reintroduced, but is significantly younger and isn't married, nor does he have two kids.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Squee}}'', the six-year-old titular character suddenly [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior becomes uncomfortably self-aware]] as he laments his status as a CosmicPlaything:
-->'''Squee''': I'd like to take you home, but that's probably not a good idea. See, things [[LampshadeHanging seem to go really bad around me]], and I'd hate to see something like that happen to you. [[SadistShow You'd probably explode or something.]] It's like my life is being done by some awful, awful cartoon guy.
-->'''Stray Dog''': Woooof.
-->'''Squee''': I'm sorry, boy, but it's true. Everything seems like one big, stupid, mean, bitter cartoonist's joke!! And [[SelfDeprecation I don't think he even knows how to draw a dog]]. I mean, ''look'' at you! You look like some sort of weird lamb-baby-dog thing. Like he messed up and was too lazy to start over.
* Creator/ScottSnyder's ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' run has a very obvious example. Since he is the writer of the New 52 Batman series, he rewrote Batman's origin in his "Zero Year" arc, which began with ''Batman'' #0 during "Zero Month", when DC published the new origins (or part of the origin) of their characters about a year after their New 52 CosmicReboot. The first page has Snyder blatantly telling people not to flip out because of change and the like, in the guise of a character talking about a refurbished bank. He even puts "Gotham National Bank" in bold, in case you don't get it:
-->'''AuthorAvatar''': What was once old will be new again. That was our mission. Perhaps some will accuse us of razing our own past too quickly, too aggressively. Well, to them I say, "before you criticize our new '''Gotham National Bank'''... at least try our ''free coffee!''" ... Seriously, though. Welcome to your new bank, team. It's modern and fresh, but it honors the '''rich history''' of Gotham National by offering better service, better strategy and better security.
* ''ComicBook/TheMultiversity'':
** In ''The Just #1'', a character reacts in surprise at seeing a comic book and asks if people even read them anymore.\\
Similarly this little nugget from the ''Pax Americana #1'' issue, which comments on the trend of superhero movies being huge at the box office while actual comic sales are in the gutter.
--> Heroes are for movies. The super-hero is dead.
** In ''Pax Americana #1'', Captain Adam discusses the concept of comic book tropes to a group of doctors, but as he is discussing his ability to read their three dimensional thoughts, [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou he's looking directly at the reader.]]
** In ''Thunderworld #1'', the Wizard Shazam breaks the fourth wall, telling the reader he was working on his 'omniscient narration'.
* Modern Loki is so prolific in doing this that any given speech balloon has a significant chance of containing something that leans on the fourth wall. [[Comicbook/JourneyIntoMystery Lamenting]] that ''they'' don't have the power to write a happy ending for themselves while {{Aside Glanc|e}}ing at the reader (You could! Please!), [[Comicbook/LokiAgentOfAsgard stating]] that "It's never the end of all stories." about Comicbook/SecretWars2015 (Yeah. No. Not really a reboot.) [[Comicbook/{{Thor2014}} going on tangents]] about Loki being an important supporting character in Thor's life even when everything is Comicbook/{{All New All Different|Marvel}}.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Anime/ToLoveRu'' fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11591414/1/To-Love-CARNAGE To-Love-Carnage]] Rito and Yui have a conversation about Fan Fiction that heavily implies they know they're in a fan fiction. Citing Fan Fiction tropes and hoping "God" won't [[RageAgainstTheAuthor write them out of the story]].
* In ''New Chance'', Naruto met his father (still alive) in the first chapter. Chapter 2 starts with Naruto waking up and [[ThisIsReality thinking it one of the many dreams]] he has had where "his parents were still alive, sometimes only one, or the Kyuubi didn't attack Konoha." to name a few not realizing how many FanFic premises he's [[LampshadeHanging listing.]]
* Subverted in the fanmovie ''FanFic/MetalGearSolidPhilanthropy''. Pierre teases Snake by saying that he's so cool he'd "make a good video game character, no shit - [[CompletelyMissingThePoint a Nintendo platformer, I'd say!]]"
* The ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' FanFic ''FanFic/ADifferentLesson'' has a brilliant send-up of this trope via a bookseller the heroes visit, where a scroll is for sale which tells the story of the movie. Thanks to GossipEvolution, willful misinterpretation, and a certain amount of {{Shout Out}}s to {{Fanon}}, Po is turned into a FakeUltimateHero who took out Tai Lung all by himself while the Furious Five did next to nothing (the fight at the bridge becomes a "footnote"); Viper [[{{Flanderization}} only cares about makeup and pretty clothes]], [[MandatoryLine Monkey is mute]], while Shifu's CynicalMentor and JerkAss tendencies are [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]]; the filmmakers' ploy with making Tai Lung ''appear'' to be a mindless beast before TheReveal of Ian [=McShane=]'s voice is also referenced by making the snow leopard a drooling savage with HulkSpeak, and...[[ViewerGenderConfusion Tigress is a man]].
* In ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero''/''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' crossover ''Fanfic/ZuluSquadNoTsukaima'', the OC Sgt. Crosby does a lot of this, since he is an {{elite mook}} from a military {{first person shooter}} in a magical world of {{tsundere}} and {{yandere}}.
* In ''FanFic/OhGodNotAgain'', when presented with a headline reading "Harry Potter and the Pentawizard Playoffs", Harry muses that it sounds like [[CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase the title of a book]]...
* In the ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' fic ''Fanfic/HogyokuExMachina'', Orihime comments on Ichigo's adventures with "We could serialize them, maybe! ''Magazine/ShonenJump'' would take the manga!"
* Another ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' fic, ''Fanfic/WinterWar'', has one character musing that "sometimes the princess had to save the dragon, and sometimes she had to save the prince as well, and sometimes the princess and the dragon and the knight all teamed up together and [[TakeThat went to argue with the person who’d written the story and complain about how they never got anything interesting and new to do.]]" Of course, it's also from [[CloudCuckooLander Orihime's POV.]]
* ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'':
** [[VisualNovel/AceAttorney Phoenix]] makes an off-hand comment about one of his world's ShowWithinAShow ''The Steel Samurai'', and comments on how amazing it's that a kids show got so popular with the PeripheryDemographic. This wouldn't be a very remarkable comment, but he just happened to say it while being in [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Equestria]].
** While Phoenix and Pinkie are investigating, she starts to hum ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RiBCgFwxXI Pursuit ~ Cornered]]'', one of ''Ace Attorney's'' most iconic themes. Phoenix comments that the tune sounds quite familiar to him.
* A rather gory ''Fan Fic'' of ''Digimon'', ''FanFic/TheInterloper'', has [[OriginalCharacter Christopher Van Numen]] regarding what had happened in that very day and how it all felt too perfect to be just a simple coincidence, all the while he infiltrates the DSI's R&D Wing, his thought process eventually goes into:
-->''"Were they nothing more but characters, whose capacities for self-determination were undermined by an unfeeling writer—an omnipotent author that had nothing better to do except enthused prostitution to the ideals of entertainment and fame?"''
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' [[AlternateUniverseFic AU]] ''FanFic/TheFaceless'' [[PoliticallyIncorrectHero Light is skeptical about having Naomi Penber, a woman, serving among his soldiers complaining that she might get pregnant and slow them down.]] Naomi counters that there was more of a chance of [[SlashFic Light getting]] [[MisterSeahorse pregnant]] than her.
* In ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'', Sky Eye says that "[[VideoGame/AceCombat the game]] [[GameOver is over]]" for [[spoiler:Red Cyclone]] when Fortress Intimidation is destroyed by Rainbow Dash and Firefly.
* In Chapter 6 of the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfiction ''[[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/63584/the-apprentice-the-student-and-the-charlatan The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan,]]'' Celestia and Luna are passing on backstory to protagonists Nova Shine and Twilight Sparkle about the antagonist. Bearing in mind that Nova and Twilight are dealing with romantic issues of their own, this little gem shows up.
-->“Well, obviously,” Nova commented dryly, glancing at the wall with the hearth, the wall with the door, and the wall with the window as he attempted to organize his thought. “The stallion likes the mare, the mare likes the stallion. The mare is open about it, the stallion keeps it to himself, leading to all this unnecessary drama and tension. [[WhoWritesThisCrap Really, this story just writes itself, doesn’t it?]]” he asked, leaning on the fourth wall.
* In ''FanFic/MyStupidReality'' a ''Manga/DeathNote'' AU where L is trying to make Light his successor, Light tries to get out of The Program [[ObfuscatingInsanity by deliberately failing the psych exam]] by pretending to be a [[AxCrazy homocidal maniac]] [[WholePlotReference who believes all criminals should die.]] [[SpringtimeForHitler Unfortunately he failed too well and L knew he was faking.]]
* In one entry in [[http://www.fimfiction.net/user/GentlemanJ GentlemanJ's]] fanfic series "The Journey of Graves," the title character finds out about a gentlemen's club (one that's PG-rated, tops) started because the men of Ponyville feel like extras in comparison to the Mane Six, with Graves saying that he doesn't exactly feel that way. Anyone who watched the series knows the guys are right, and anyone who reads the fics knows the metaphysical reason why Graves doesn't feel that way, because he's the main character of the fic.
* In ''Blind'' by Obsidian Sickle has a part where Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke are on the way to a client and go meta. During the trip Naruto (who's taken writing as a hobby) talks about how he's writing a story but is having problems. He says he wants to avoid just skipping parts but wonders what to write while characters travel saying "If they travel, it'll be boring to just say they're moving then skip to them at the destination". Sakura suggests putting in [[SeinfeldianConversation dialogue]] or say show CharacterDevelopment to spice it up.
* In ''FanFic/FantasyOfUtterRidiculousness'', a crossover between ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' and the [[{{VideoGame/Touhou}} Touhou Project]], Alice Margatroid demonstrates one of her Spell Cards to Coop and the others. Jamie wonders afterward where the creepy music came from.
* ''Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space''. Buster Kincaid accidentally [[Film/TheMatrix swallows a blue pill and realises they're all living in an artificial reality created by machines]] -- thousands of personal computers owned by FanFic writers who need to get a life.
* ''{{Fanfic/Hivefled}}'' features, among other things, characters commenting on the way they're drawn.
* Despite having NoFourthWall, ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' ends with the FiveManBand looking back on their adventures, providing an outlet for the writers to look back on the series as well.
* In ''FanFic/{{Pokeumans}}'', Brandon's fight with Zeke the Charizard is going badly, not helped by being fought in a rom full of lava trickling down the walls. In his narration, after the fourth or so time he burns himself, he remarks that he felt like "some jerk was making me do this for comic relief".
* ''FanFic/TiberiumWars'' pulls an incredibly meta line when you consider it's a novelisation of a RealTimeStrategy game:
--> That's how war has been fought since [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert Stalin rolled into the Allies a century ago]]. You point, you click, and they die. It's how it works.
* ''FanFic/ThePowersOfHarmony'' went on hiatus for two years due to various issues in the author's real life. The first chapter posted after the hiatus ended has Rainbow Dash, whose group is waiting to meet the dragon lord Bahamut, complain how it feels like they've been waiting for years.
* A ''Anime/{{Trigun}}'' and ''Anime/{{Gungrave}}'' crossover fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11588935/1/Wintertime-Business Wintertime Business]] has Vash wondering why Brandon and Mika look like the people he knows in his era and ends up assuming that nobody there knows why. In truth, both series are created by Yasuhiro Nightow, and Brandon/Grave and Mika look like Legato and Meryl respectively.
* The cast of the [[Fanfic/{{Cinderjuice}} Contractually Obligated Chaos]] series don't usually lean on the fourth wall so much as they sometimes outright bulldoze it. (Given the [[WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} source material]], this is natural enough.) But there's one specific example in ''Sleeping Beetle'' which mixes this trope with MythologyGag. Lydia, who has a canonical ability to somewhat communicate with animals, dryly remarks that this makes her an "actual Disney princess." This prompts Beetlejuice to ask what that makes him, to which she replies that he's obviously "something from a Creator/TimBurton [[Film/{{Beetlejuice}} movie]]."

* Lots of this in the latter portions of ''Film/{{Deathtrap}}'', after Cliff reveals that he is writing a play called ''Deathtrap'', based on the FrightDeathtrap that Cliff and Sidney perpetrated in the first part of the film.
--> '''Cliff''': Everything we did to convince Myra she was seeing a real murder would have the same effect on the audience.
* In ''Film/TheMisfits'' (1961), Perce, who had an accident a while back, assures his mother over the phone that "My face is fine. It's all healed up, just as good as new." Montgomery Clift had been in a serious car accident in 1956 that scarred his face and damaged his pretty-boy good looks.
* At the end of ''[[Film/ShanghaiNoon Shanghai Knights]]'', Roy suggests to Chon Wang (played by Jackie Chan) that they go to California to act in "moving pictures", particularly kung-fu action films.
* ''Film/TopSecret'' leans on the Fourth Wall, [[BreakingTheFourthWall which promptly shatters]]:
--> '''Nick:''' Look, I'm not the first guy who fell in love with a girl he met in a restaurant who turned out to be the daughter of a kidnapped scientist only to lose her to a childhood lover who she'd last seen on a deserted island and who turned out fifteen years later to be the leader of the French underground.\\
'''Hillary:''' I know, it ... it all sounds like some bad movie.\\
''[[AsideGlance (Nick and Hillary both look at the camera.)]]''
* A similar thing happened on ''Film/ScaryMovie'' except it's about how [[DawsonCasting teenagers are played by mature actors]].
* ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'': "This is like a movie, and this is the part of the movie where you help me out."
* In ''Film/TropicThunder,'', being about a TroubledProduction, is basically Leaning On the Fourth Wall: The Movie
** "I think I know a ''prop head'' when I see one!" says Tugg as he hefts what is an obvious prop head, seeing as Cockburn's actor is still alive. (Of course, InUniverse, everyone else is grossed out, because Tugg is handling a "real" bit of corpse and even licking "blood" off of it.)
** Creator/RobertDowneyJr's character at one point says, "I'm a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude!" This could mean, "I'm Kirk Lazarus, playing Sargent Osirus, playing a farmer," or it could mean... "I'm Robert Downey Jr., playing Kirk Lazarus, playing Sargent Osiris."
** A meta example: when pressed to stop acting like Osiris (because they're not filming anymore), Kirk Lazarus says "I stay in character until I do the DVD commentary!" Sure enough, Robert Downey Jr. did most of the DVD commentary as Osiris, turning into Lazarus when the appropriate moment was occurring on-screen.
* In ''Film/DeathstalkerIIDuelOfTheTitans'', the opening has Sultana exclaiming, "I'll have my revenge... and Deathstalker, too!" Cue title screen. Didn't ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' make a similar joke?
* In ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'', there is a brief scene where two guys are talking about a comic book version being [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks better or worse]] than a [[TheMovie movie version]] of something.
* In ''Film/HisGirlFriday'' editor Walter Burns describes Bruce Baldwin as "He looks like that fellow in the movies - Ralph Bellamy"; Baldwin is being played by Ralph Bellamy.
** ''Film/TheSevenYearItch'' has a similar bit about [[Creator/MarilynMonroe The Girl]]:
--->'''Tom:''' What blonde in the kitchen?\\
'''Richard:''' Wouldn't you like to know! Maybe it's Marilyn Monroe!
* In ''Film/JeepersCreepers,'' our heroes have just decided to go back and see if the creepy guy was really hiding a body. The sister comments to her brother, "You know the part in scary movies when somebody does something really stupid, and everybody hates them for it? This is it."
* In a 1980s Finnish comedy film from the ''Uuno Turhapuro'' series, a restaurant waiter has been tricked, by two alcoholics, into drinking a full bottle of vodka. Later, when a lady enters the restaurant, and listens to the waiter singing a song, she glances around, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xph5D2xExIM declares]] with an enlightened face: "I see. This must be a Finnish movie. There is no other explanation for the presence of so many drunk people in one scene."
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}'' has the title character ask the Spirit of the West why he has to go back to town and save the day. The Spirit's response is "No man can walk out on his own story."
* In ''Franchise/StarWars Film/AttackOfTheClones'', in the scene where [[TheScrappy Jar Jar]] enters and greets Anakin, he subtly smiles at the camera, as a nod to his hatedom.
* The trailer for ''Film/StarTrek'' has a line where Nero says, straight at the camera, "The wait is over." [[MissingTrailerScene This line is not in the film.]]
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings: The Two Towers'' features a scene that was not in the book where Faramir captures Frodo and Sam and takes them to Osgiliath with him. While there, Sam looks back on their journey and says "This is all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here".
* In the film ''Wonder Man'', Creator/DannyKaye tries to convince his twin brother ([[ActingForTwo also Danny Kaye]]) that he's a ghost by walking into a solid stone marker (using trick photography) and asking "What's this, trick photography?"
* The Danish film ''Nattevagten'' ("Nightwatch") ends on this note, with characters discussing the events that have happened and noting that if it were a film it would be called "The Night Guard". And at the end of the movie, one of the characters would [[spoiler:say "No" at his own wedding. He does]].
* ''Film/IronMan3'':
** The film opens with Tony Stark opening with explaining his story in such a way that he is talking to the audience. [[spoiler:In a post credits scene, it turns out that he is actually talking to Bruce Banner (fast asleep by the way!) in a therapy session, despite Banner's protests that he isn't a therapist!]]
** Also, Killian speaking to President Ellis: [[spoiler:"I just needed a reason to kill you that would play well on TV"]].
* A few movies use this to deal with [[TheOtherDarrin actor replacements]].
** As a woman runs away from George Lazenby's Film/JamesBond in ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'', he says "This never happened to [[Creator/SeanConnery the other fellow]]."
** In ''Film/TheMummyTombOfTheDragonEmperor'', Evey became famous for writing novels based on her own adventures. In an autograph signing of her latest book, just before the camera cuts to Maria Bello instead of Rachel Weisz:
-->'''Woman''': Mrs. O'Connell, is it true that the Scarlet O' Kiefe character is based on you?\\
'''Evey''': No. I can honestly say she is a completely different person.
** ''Film/IronMan2'':
-->'''Tony''': I didn't expect to see you here...\\
'''Rhodey''' (now played by Don Cheadle): Well, it's me, and I'm here, so get over it and move on!
* ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'': Chekov's [[GenreSavvy look of]] [[OhCrap alarm]] when told to put on a RedShirt. There's even vaguely foreboding music playing.
* In ''Film/BulldogDrummond'' Drummond hears Phyllis's story and says "You must admit it's rather like a penny thriller." ''Bulldog Drummond'' was an adaptation of the ''Literature/BulldogDrummond'' series of penny thriller novels.
* Daniel's card trick in the opening of ''Film/NowYouSeeMe'' is filmed from the perspective of the woman he's showing it to. Not only does she play into it, a large portion of the viewers are also going to end up picking the same card.
* One of the funniest moments in ''Film/EdWood'' comes when Ed asks his DP which dress he prefers, the red one or the green one. The colour blind DP asks which the red one is -- something the audience might also be wondering, as the entire film is in [[DeliberatelyMonochrome black and white]]!
* A scene near the end of ''Film/TheFifthEstate'' shows Julian being interviewed during his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy. At one point, he gives his thoughts on the upcoming [=WikiLeaks=] movie -- the very movie he is in!
* ''Film/XMen'':
** ''Film/XMen1'': In response to Wolverine's complaint about their black leather uniforms, Cyclops asks, [[Main/MovieSuperheroesWearBlack "What would you prefer, yellow spandex?"]]
** ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'': All of the dialogue about the mutants being on the "[[FranchiseKiller verge of extinction]]" and the [[ContinuityReboot possibility of starting over]] has been read by some critics as commentary on the possibility of ''Days of Future Past'' "saving" the franchise after the [[{{Sequelitis}} damage]] [[FranchiseZombie done to it]] by ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'' and ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine''.
--->'''Magneto''': We've been given a second chance.
** ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': After watching ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', [[{{ComicBook/Cyclops}} Scott]] and {{Comicbook/Jubilee}} start discussing which one of the [[{{Film/XMen1}} previous]] [[{{Film/X2XMenUnited}} films]] was the best, only to be remarked by [[{{ComicBook/JeanGrey}} Jean]] that the [[{{Film/XMenTheLastStand}} third movie]] [[{{Sequelitis}} is always the worst]].
* This line from ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'' uttered by David as he holds a drop of the Engineers' organic sludge:
-->'''David''': [[Franchise/{{Alien}} Big things]] have small beginnings.
* Happens accidentally in ''Film/TheRoom''. When Claudette discovers Mike and Michelle, who are introduced as they inexplicably come into the apartment to make out and eat chocolate, she asks, "What are these characters doing here?" The audience is probably wondering the exact same thing.
* The ending for ''WesternAnimation/TheBoxtrolls'', has Mr. Pickles and Mr. Trout discussing how neatly everything has wrapped up, as if it was a story, "Assuming we're in one." The stinger goes on to have the pair debate their existence and whether all their actions are controlled by invisible giants. As the discussion continues, the audience sees the sped up movements of a stop-motion animator flitting about a miniature set, manipulating them both.
* The predicament the park managers face at the beginning of ''Film/JurassicWorld'' is the fact that attendance has been gradually decreasing as people come to take living dinosaurs for granted. This mirrors how in real life the CGI revolution sparked by this franchise in TheNineties has resulted in big budget special effects no longer being the major, automatic audience-attractor they used to be beforehand.
* ''Film/{{Annie|2014}}'':
** The film's very first scene is built around saying "Our Annie is not the Annie you know and expect", which alludes to the reaction to the title character's RaceLift.
** A quick gag after "I Don't Need Anything But You" has New Yorkers watching the Stacks and Annie story unfold on the news. A man comments, "If he keeps up singing and dancing like that, [[spoiler: there's no way he'd've won anyway]]."
** Ms. Hannigan has a tendency to do this around musical numbers.
* In ''Film/TheSevenYearItch'', Richard shows his wife (herself appearing in an ImagineSpot) a few alleged flashbacks of other women throwing themselves at him, only for her to scold him for having an overactive imagination: "Lately you've begun to imagine in Cinemascope with stereophonic sound."
* About four minutes into ''Film/TroubleInParadise'', Herbert Marshall's character says "Beginnings are always difficult." (He's talking about how to start off a fancy dinner.)
* In ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'', the line "[[spoiler:This isn't that kind of movie]]" is actually a call-back to an earlier conversation between Galahad and Valentine, but given the context ([[spoiler:Valentine's intentional LampshadeHanging of BondVillainStupidity]]), it really does smack heavily of this.
* ''Film/VictorFrankenstein'': At the SDCC panel, a clip was shown where Victor and Igor are wheeling a gurney down a hallway, and Victor repeatedly yells, "Big presentation in Hall H!" The SDCC panel took place in Hall H, and many of the attendees laughed and cheered at the line.
* ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' starts with this line from [[RetiredBadass Lor San Tekka]] (in-universe, referring to the MacGuffin he's handing to Poe):
-->This will begin to [[Film/ThePhantomMenace make]] [[Film/AttackOfTheClones things]] [[Film/RevengeOfTheSith right]].
* At the end for the second trailer for ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', an annoyed Iron Man declares "Alright, I've ran out of patience. UNDEROOS!" [[spoiler:Cue the first appearance of the MCU version of Spider-Man, who takes Cap's shield, binds his wrists with webbing, then lands perfectly on a tarmac cart.]] For extra leaning. the spoilered character's first words? "Hey, everyone."

* The main character of Peter David's ''Literature/SirAproposOfNothing'' has the epiphany early on that he's a supporting character in the storybook world around him. He's not pleased and sets out to change this.
* At one point in ''Literature/TheIlluminatusTrilogy'', a character pens a scathing review of a book that seems strikingly similar to ''Literature/{{Illuminatus}}'' itself:
-->It's a dreadfully long monster of a book, and I certainly won't have time to read it, but I'm giving it a thorough skimming. The authors are utterly incompetent -- no sense of style or structure at all. It starts out as a detective story, switches to science-fiction, then goes off into the supernatural, and is full of the most detailed information of dozens of ghastly boring subjects. And the time sequence is all out of order in a very pretentious imitation of Faulkner and Joyce. Worst yet, it has the most raunchy sex scenes, thrown in just to make it sell, I'm sure, and the authors -- whom I've never heard of -- have the supreme bad taste to introduce real political figures into this mishmash and pretend to be exposing a real conspiracy. You can be sure I won't waste time reading such rubbish.
* Creator/HarryTurtledove has a tendency in his alternate history novels to have characters talk about the absurdity of things like the US winning the Civil War (in his Southern Victory series) or an explosive-metal bomb bursting over Nagasaki (in Literature/WorldWar).
** The ''Literature/LordDarcy'' stories contain some similar references, usually about how terribly messed-up the world would be if Richard the Lion-Hearted hadn't survived his crossbow wound. In one story, Darcy speaks dismissively of detective-fiction fans, who treat the SeriousBusiness of criminal investigation like it's some kind of entertainment.
* Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** "You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst places of the story, and it is all too likely that some will say at this point: 'Shut the book now, dad; we don't want to read any more.'"
** One chapter focused on Pippin ends with Merry telling him that his recent exploits are impressive enough that they'll probably get their own chapter in Frodo's book.
* Meggie does this in ''Literature/{{Inkheart}}'' at one point, thinking that perhaps the things happening to her are just a story and hoping that the person reading it will close the book because it's "so horrible and scary". There is also a point where Elinor expresses a longing for the romantic medieval times and Dustfinger replies that perhaps she was "born into the wrong story".
* About halfway through the first book of ''Literature/BlackLegion'' the narrator notes that the Inquisitors would like him to skip the Legion's beginnings and get to the "interesting" parts - the sword ''Drach'nyen'', the Black Crusades and the Crimson Path. Replace "Inquisitors" with "readers" and there you go.
* Darcy and Elizabeth warping the Aesop at the ending of ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice''.
* Creator/JaneAusten's first novel ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'' is full of this, thanks to the main trio being {{Bookworm}}s.
* In Creator/RobertJordan's ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series, Thom Merrilin often says that one day people will read about their adventures in books. and that there is no way of knowing who the main character will be. Particularly, he suggests that perhaps he'll be remembered as the hero of the story, rather than Rand: a nod to their analogue characters in Arthurian mythology in which Merlin is sometimes treated as the main character over Arthur.
* ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse''
** The ''Series/DoctorWho Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' novel ''The Blue Angel'' has the Doctor start complaining about the SeriesHiatus. In-story, his concern is that, being lost in some tunnels, he's afraid his story is over, but it spills over into a MetaGuy-type ramble about stories. The story contains [[FourLinesAllWaiting three plotlines]]; one deals with an alternate Doctor who's an [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness insane]] human. He frequently refers to his "episodes", which are in fact psychotic episodes, the content of which is quite a bit like episodes of the TV series. The whole book is just very, very meta.
** On p229 (of 280) in the deeply MindScrew-y Literature/PastDoctorAdventures novel ''The Infinity Doctors'', the Doctor, confronted with a book of infinite pages, says:
-->"The best thing about a book is that you can always tell when you're getting to the end. No matter how tricky the situation the hero's in, you hold the book in your hand and say 'Hang on, I'm two hundred and twenty-nine pages in, with only another fifty-one to go. It started slow, but it's building to a climax.'"
** In another EDA, ''The Taking of Planet 5'', the Doctor says "There was a time when it always seemed to be Saturday when I was on Earth, and the children’s programmes were excellent, if my memory doesn’t cheat." He then starts talking about ''WesternAnimation/{{Transformers}}'', but the connection's already been made in the reader's mind. (''Series/DoctorWho'' is traditionally broadcast on Saturdays, and "the memory cheats" was one of the phrases associated with former producer John Nathan-Turner.)
** The Fourth Doctor book ''Festival of Death'' has a line where the Doctor complains that it's unusual everyone seems happy to see him, because "normally, when I arrive somewhere, people point guns at me and throw me in prison. Within about twenty-four and a half minutes of arriving, usually." Classic ''Doctor Who'' episodes are twenty-four-and-a-half minutes long without the titles and credits and tended to get the Doctor captured as a stereotypical, staple {{Cliffhanger}}.
* In ''Atlantis Found'' from [[Literature/DirkPittAdventures the NUMA Series]], a character looks into Dirk Pitt and reports that his background looks like a series of adventure novels.
* In ''Literature/{{Cryptonomicon}}'', Rudy von Hacklheber mentions that "there are certain old family connections" between him and Enoch Root, but that "the connections make a very long story. I would have to write a whole fucking book." That book would be ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle''--which is in fact three volumes and can be described as "a fucking book" if anything can.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]'', after main character David goes on a particularly ''emphatic'' rant, his landlady Liz soothes him: "David, stop talking in italics. It doesn't help anything."
* In the ''Literature/AlcatrazSmedry'' the main character will sometimes makes a reference to how the events of the story would appear if they were written as memoirs, which is what the books pretend to be through LiteraryAgentHypothesis. Also, the characters will sometimes refer to how long ago an event happened by how many chapters it took.
* In his ''Zamonia'' novels, Creator/WalterMoers has pretty much declared the fourth wall to be a floor. The books contain a note, that Walter Moers is not actually the author of the book, but actually just a translator and editor. The original scripts have been written by Hildegunst von Mythenmetz (Optimus Yarnspinner in English versions), his AuthorAvatar who is an author in the world of Zamonia. However, Hildegunst has the habit of not simply writing down the story he is telling, but constantly interrupting it and addressing his reader. These parts are so numerous that Moers left them all in when he made the translation. Hildegunst is a [[BunnyEarsLawyer Bunny Ears Author]] who rants about nonsense and fictional events, but is himself a satire of the modern literature scene. Hildegunst is leaning very heavily on the fourth wall at all times, but it is explained by him actually addressing his Zamonian readers and not the real world readers.
* In Creator/JohnHemry's ''Literature/TheLostFleet'' novel ''Invincible'', Geary muses about the unrealistic cover that would probably be put on books about his life. He describes the covers the series actually got.
* Richard Bachman [[PenName Stephen King's pseudonym]]'s book ''Literature/{{Thinner}}'' has a character complain that the premise sounds like "Something out of a Stephen King novel".
* From ''Literature/SmokeAndShadows'':
-->"Do your best and happy endings are inevitable?" Her lip curled. "You're living in a fantasy world."\\
"Hello!" Tony jabbed a finger toward her. "Wizard!" Held up his hand to show her the small scars on his wrist. "Vampire!" A larger gesture to take in the entire studio. "Television! Fantasy's seeming pretty damned real to me right about now."
* ''[[Literature/ZeusIsDead Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure]]'' does this often, at least when it's not actively taking a jackhammer to the wall. The Fates, upon their introduction, refer in vague terms to the reader. Thalia discusses Leif's refusal to accept his call to adventure. The narrative addresses the reader directly on numerous occasions.
* In ''Literature/HowMuchForJustThePlanet'', there's an ActionFilmQuietDramaScene moment where Chekov, Scotty and two Klingons are hiding out in a sand trap on the 18th hole (as their [[GoKartingWithBowser golf game]] was interrupted by [[LawyerFriendlyCameo the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton]] bombing the shit out of it) and take the opportunity to do a little stargazing, apparently looking towards the Creator/{{Paramount}}ain:
-->Scott's eye was caught by an unusual constellation: a ring of stars haloing a distant peak. "Look at that, now. Doesn't it awe you a little? To think there might be a higher power than us, arranging matters?"\\
"Or that we are the property of some vast indifferent thing?"
* Characters in the Literature/LordPeterWimsey series have a penchant for talking about how much more convenient their lives would be if they were in a detective story, often courtesy of an [[AuthorAvatar important character who's a novelist]].
* Creator/AgathaChristie's Literature/HerculePoirot novels have a few examples.
** Ariadne Oliver is a character who appears in seven of the novels. Like Christie, she is a mystery writer who doesn't much care for her principal hero (vegetarian Finnish detective Sven Hjerson) but has to keep writing about him because he's popular with readers. Christie uses Ariadne to poke fun at the mystery genre, as well as herself and her own mistakes in her stories.
** In ''Curtain: Poirot's Last Case'', we have Hastings saying "I was tired of this silly joking about my 'speaking countenance'. I could keep a secret as well as anyone. Poirot had always persisted in the humiliating belief that I am a transparent character and that anyone can read what is passing in my mind."
* In ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}'', two characters discuss the physics of their alternate world:
-->"There are some theories. You know, no one really knows. It's not like there's a manual. A couple of times, I heard that someone wanted to write one, publish it as fiction -- but we would know. We would see right through all those made-up characters and silly little narrative twists. We would know what it was: a primer."
* ''Peacekeeper'', the fifteenth novel in C. J. Cherryh's ''Literature/{{Foreigner}}'' series, centers around major character Cajeiri's ninth birthday party and wraps up a number of plot threads that have been dangling since about book seven of the series. It has several remarks to the effect that "the next wholly auspicious number after nine is fifteen" in the numerology of the atevi (the aliens who are the main focus of the book). In-universe, it's Cajeiri noting -- or someone noting to him -- that this is the most significant birthday party he's going to get for quite a while. But it also reads as meta-commentary; since Cherryh didn't manage to wrap up this particular plot by book nine of the series, she needed to drag it out through book fifteen if she wanted the structure of the series to respect its characters' numerology.
* At one point in ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'', Miron suspects that him and Joshua being forbidden from helping out Dora is not becuase it may cause an inter-system scandal, but because it would make Dora's job easier, worded so that you can almost hear "and the book would be over in moments".
* ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings'' has this on the last page of Chapter IV:
-->Suddenly Frito had the overpowering feeling that he had come to a turning point, that an old chapter in his life was ending and a new one beginning.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/ThirtyRock'':
** In the Season 6 episode "Grandmentor," when Hazel fails to ensure that Tracy gets his requisite 14 hours of sleep, leading him to go crazy and say things like "We're on a [[ShowWithinAShow show within a show]]! My real name is Tracy Morgan!"
** In a Season 7 episode, Josh sidetracks Liz when she's racing against the clock. She's frustrated that he's picked this moment to finally "have a thing," referencing the fact that he's been OutOfFocus on the show for a while.
* Late in the 11th and last season of ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', some of the gang go to an old drive-in theater and see a Franchise/{{Godzilla}} movie. Cliff notices that the lead actress in this edition of the Godzilla series has been recast. Cue the following bit of dialogue:
--> '''Norm''': She left halfway through the Godzilla series.\\
'''Woody''': [[http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1912597_1912596_1912583,00.html I don't understand, why would an actress leave right in the middle of a successful series?]]
* There's a dialogue like this at the end of Season 2 in ''Series/LoisAndClark'':
-->'''Perry White:''' It's like we're supporting characters in some TV show that's only about them.\\
'''Jimmy Olsen:''' Yeah! It's like all we do is advance their plots.\\
'''Perry:''' To tell you the truth, I'm sick of it.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' is fond of this:
** "I wish there was a show on Creator/{{NBC}} that was about the lives of interns at a hospital. Yeah, and it should be a comedy, too."
** One episode plays with this in the beginning. Three times it seems that JD is addressing the audience directly, but it turns out [[FourthWallPsych he's addressing someone in the room standing]] [[BehindTheBlack behind the camera.]] Except for the third and last time, when someone wonders [[LampshadeHanging whom he's talking to]].
** At the end of the same episode, we get this:
--->'''JD:''':Come on, I know it's tempting to just mail it in, but there's still a lot of people who rely on us week to week. I think we owe it to them to be as inspired as we were our first few years. Now, I know we never do great come medical awards season, except for [[Series/{{Monk}} Dr. Shalhoub]], he wins everything, but I still think we're as good as anybody else out there.\\
'''Turk:''' The Nielsens beg to differ.\\
''[cut to shot of unhappy looking couple]''\\
'''JD:''' Oh, they're just upset because their insurance won't cover a private room.
** Again in one episode where Turk and JD are driving away in a car, and the following conversation can be heard as a voiceover.
--->'''JD:''' Hey, don't you hate it in films and stuff where people will drive away in a car and even though the car's moving away you can still hear the characters talking?\\
'''Turk:''' Yeah, I hate that.
** Another episode has J.D. imagine that his life is a sitcom, which turns out to be a more clichéd one with a LaughTrack. Yet another episode features a ClipShow in which J.D. remarks that his memories are coming back to him like on a TV show.
** Yet another episode combines this with TakeThat when J.D. discusses ''Series/GreysAnatomy''. "It's like they saw our lives and put it on TV."
** On the episode "My [=ABCs=]" where ''Series/SesameStreet'' characters appear in the fantasy segments, Oscar the Grouch is appointed as the new chief of medicine and tells J.D. that he'll be watching him, and that "I never blink." Of course, seeing as he's a {{Muppet}} with immovable eyes...
* ''Series/CovertAffairs:'' In "Suffragette City," while Annie is in a coma, Dream!Auggie tells her that the dream's shadowy Big Bad, whom she needs to find, codenamed Blackbird, is in room 309. This is episode 3x09.
** Also, in the diner scene, when Annie looks at the receipt the date is 9/11, which rather implies disaster, a theme throughout the episode. The real date she was there [[spoiler:when Jai died]] was the fourth of July. In fact, this episode ran on 9/11...
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** "The Sensorites", being the show's one year anniversary, starts with a part where the companions all talk about how they've all changed since they set out with the Doctor, and he agrees "It all started as a mild curiosity in a junkyard, and now it's turned out to be quite a spirit of adventure."
** At the end of "The War Games", the Second Doctor says he's 'quite well known on Earth', referring to the popularity of the show. This was because, when the storyline was going to be the finale of the whole show, the BolivianArmyEnding was going to have the Doctor change his form, so as to comfort the children and assure them that the Doctor was on Earth protecting them from the monsters and could look like anything.
** In "Robot", the new Doctor's ranting at Harry Sullivan is clearly supposed to be an announcement to the viewers that [[CharacterRerailment even though he's different to his predecessor he's closer now to how he was originally intended to be]]: "I'm THE Doctor. The definite article, you might say."
** In "The Brain of Morbius", Solon compliments the Doctor on his 'magnificent head'. The Doctor says he used to have an 'old grey model before this' and 'some people liked it' (at the time the episode was made, the Third Doctor was the FanDarling). Then he goes on to say "I prefer this model", serving as a gentle TakeThat and a statement of [[CreatorsFavorite favouritism from story cowriter]] Creator/RobertHolmes.
** In "Logopolis", the audience was well aware thanks to promotion and news reports that Creator/TomBaker was leaving to be recast with Creator/PeterDavison. So, the spectral character who knows the Doctor will inevitably die at the end of this story and quietly observes him, waiting for him to do so but not directly intervening to cause or prevent it, is called [[YouBastard the Watcher]].
** When Colin Baker first takes over as the Sixth Doctor, his first story ends with a challenge to companion Peri that is clearly aimed at the viewers: "And I would suggest, Peri, that you wait a little before criticising my new persona. You may well find it isn't quite as disagreeable as you think. [...] Whatever else happens, I am the Doctor, whether you like it or not."
** After the 18-month hiatus, in the first episode of "Trial of a Time Lord," the Doctor's opening line is "Am I late for something?"
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E1RemembranceOfTheDaleks "Remembrance of the Daleks"]], a BBC announcer in 1963 is cut off while announcing a new science-fiction series called "Doc-".
** In the direct-to-video not-exactly-''Doctor-Who'' film ''Downtime'', UNIT codes for the first two Yeti incursions are NN and QQ -- which also happen to be the production codes for [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E2TheAbominableSnowmen "The Abominable Snowmen"]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E5TheWebOfFear "The Web of Fear"]].
** The Series 3 episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink "Blink"]] introduces the Weeping Angels, a race -- one so ancient not even the Doctor knows when they came into being -- that is "Quantum Locked": if observed by any living creature, [[CursedWithAwesome including themselves]], they turn to stone. This includes when the ''audience'' is watching them.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E9ForestOfTheDead "Forest of the Dead"]], one of the things that convinces Donna that she is in a constructed reality is that she starts noticing the scene breaks.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWho2008PSMusicOfTheSpheres "Music of the Spheres"]], the Doctor talks to the audience at the BBC proms through a time portal in the TARDIS. The audience responding is a real audience from the ''Doctor Who'' proms, however.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E15PlanetOfTheDead "Planet of the Dead"]], UNIT scientist Malcolm Taylor eagerly tells the Doctor that he's a huge fan, and he's read all the files, to which the Doctor replies, "Really? Which was your favorite? The one with the giant robot?" Doubles as a ContinuityNod in reference to the [[TheNthDoctor Fourth Doctor]] story, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E1Robot "Robot"]].
** In the fifth season of the revival series, the Eleventh Doctor quietly laments: "We're all stories, in the end."
*** This is the same season where the most significant date in the universe turns out to be the 26th of June 2010, because that's the date of Amy's wedding (and the date of the season finale).
** Similar to the "must be Tuesday" line in ''Buffy'', in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E1TheImpossibleAstronaut "The Impossible Astronaut"]] the Doctor claims Saturdays are "big temporal tipping points when anything's possible."
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E6TheAlmostPeople "The Almost People"]], [[spoiler:the Ganger Doctor is struggling to deal with all of his regenerations, crossing into each version of the Doctor as he makes his way to his current incarnation. Eventually he reaches Ten and, ''in Creator/DavidTennant's voice'', says "Hello, I'm the Doctor--" before being cut off as he screams]] "DON'T! LET IT GO! WE'VE MOVED ON!" in what is possibly a TakeThat to the fans still unhappy with Tennant's departure.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E8LetsKillHitler "Let's Kill Hitler"]], Amy mentions how the Doctor's had all summer to look for Melody, after there had been no new episodes (in the middle of a series no less) for the whole of summer.
** The show also sometimes makes references to its title. [[spoiler:In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E13TheWeddingOfRiverSong "The Wedding of River Song"]], it is revealed that "the first question, the oldest question in the universe, hidden in plain sight" is just "Doctor who?". It's hidden in plain sight, because it's the show's title and has appeared at the beginning of every episode for 50 years! It's also the oldest question in the ''Who''niverse.]]
** In the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E1AsylumOfTheDaleks "Asylum of the Daleks"]], the Doctor says "it's Christmas!" to the Daleks. Immediately after this line, Creator/JennaColeman appears as Oswin even though fans had been told she wouldn't debut as the new companion... ''until Christmas.''
** In the mini-episode [[Recap/DoctorWho50thPrequelTheNightOfTheDoctor "The Night of the Doctor"]], Cass is frustrated with her crashing ship's computer, which apparently thinks she needs medical attention. She tells it, "I'm trying to send a distress signal -- stop talking about doctors." Then we hear a man off-camera say, "I'm a Doctor..." Cut to [[spoiler:the Eighth Doctor]] looking at Cass (and the camera). "...but probably not the one you were expecting."
** "The Time of the Doctor":
*** The Eleventh Doctor/Matt Smith leans so hard on the fourth wall it's surprising it doesn't fall over. Is it the Doctor or Matt Smith saying this?
----> "We all change. When you think about it, we're all different people all through our lives, and that's okay, that's good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me."
*** Clara tells the Time Lords that the Doctor's name is not his Gallifreyan name but "the Doctor," and that if they love him they should help him prevent his end.
** "Deep Breath", Peter Capaldi's first true episode as the Twelfth Doctor, deals with Clara's initial reluctance to accept a new, older Doctor with a radically different personality. The point becomes clear during a scene near the end where the Doctor begs Clara, and by extension the audience, to "just see me".
---> "You can't see me, can you? You... you look at me and you can't see me. Do you have any idea what that's like? I'm not on the phone, I'm right here. Standing in front of you. Please, just.... Just see me."
** In "Robot of Sherwood", the Doctor is convinced that RobinHood is only a legend and can't be the real deal. At the end, Robin tells him, "And remember, Doctor: I'm as real as you are."
** "Kill The Moon" hinges on everyone on Earth being asked to vote whether or not the creature should be killed by switching their lights off if they want it dead. Due to a later broadcast slot and the fact that it was being shown in October, chances are the viewer would be watching it with the lights on, and even people who wanted the creature dead were unlikely to get up from the sofa to turn the lights off - so the viewer has cast their vote. Of course Clara decides to let the creature live.
* The ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' episode "Flight Risk" leans on the fourth wall, when Alistair (pretending to be Sherlock's father) asks Watson "how's the sex?". This is evidently taking a stab at the criticism the show received before airing, that having a female Watson was for the sole purpose of being a love interest to Sherlock.
* At the very end of the GrandFinale of the drama ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'', Chancellor Tootie Tootie says, "And that's our show, everybody! Thanks for watching!" Almost as if it and the gameshow itself are directed towards us, the viewers.
* The sitcom ''Series/YesDear'' has one episode where someone faces the couch away from the audience and they keep saying it doesn't feel right. When asked why, they say simply, "I dunno," then keep turning and look back at the direction of the audience, while wondering.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}''
** In the episode "Mr. Monk and the TV Star", Monk suspects the star of a TV crime show of murder. During the investigation he meets an obsessed fan, Marci Maven (played by Sarah Silverman), who continually comments that the suspect's show had recently changed its theme song, and that nobody liked the new one. Of course, her comments are aimed at ''Monk'' itself, since it had recently changed its award winning theme song to one by Randy Newman that many fans disliked ("It's a Jungle Out There"). At the end of the episode, Marci comments to Monk that he should have his own TV show, and makes him promise that if he ever gets one he'll never change the theme song. The episode then goes to the credits while the ''original'' theme song plays it out.
** When Marci reappears in "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan," it is revealed that she also has all of his cases named, with the names of the episodes in which they occurred.
* ''Series/ICarly'':
** Carly's final speech during the episode "[=iStart=] A Fan War."
** Spencer's awareness of being involved in a B-plot in every episode. Having no actual subplot in "[=iPity=] the Nevel," he appears doing random antics out of sheer boredom, wandering into the webshow taking swigs from a bottle and appearing mildly drunk. He also asks if they want his advice or need his help with anything.
* The short-lived series ''Series/NowhereMan'', which is about a man who is "erased" by a GovernmentConspiracy and then sees a [[ShowWithinAShow TV show about]] a man who was "erased" by a GovernmentConspiracy, which was made by the actual GovernmentConspiracy just so no one would believe him if he tried to tell anyone the truth. And in the last episode, [[spoiler:he discovers that ''all of his memories and his entire life are a simulation'']].
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}''
** In a final season episode, children's entertainer Nanette Guzman asks the titular doctor, "Do you have any idea what it's like to play [[ActorAllusion the same character]] for twenty years?"
** The 100th episode has Frasier record the 1000th episode of his radio show, with Seattle organizing a Frasier Crane Day in his honour. [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Frasier Crane Day really happened.]]
* Michael Bluth from ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' gives a speech at a dinner party about why the Bluths are such an unlikeable family, and about how they might not deserve to be saved from their fate. This was in one of the show's last episodes before cancellation, and the speech was also clearly about the fate of the show itself.
** Earlier in the same episode, Michael has a conversation with his father about where to get some financial support from. At the time there had been talk about continuing the show on another channel.
---> '''George:''' HBO? \\
'''Michael:''' No, I don't think the Home Buyers' Association is going to want us.\\
'''George:''' Well, then it's Showtime.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d when Michael talks about how the family can't afford to act proud any more and they'll beg for help if that's what it takes.
--->'''Narrator:''' [[EndOfSeriesAwareness Please tell your friends about this show.]]
** When the series ended there was a similar moment when Maeby was pitching her TV series (based on her family life, making it essentially ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'') to none other than Ron Howard, the show's producer and narrator. He replies, "I don't see it as a TV show. Maybe a movie..."
** In season 4, Lindsey is shocked that Tobias doesn't realize he comes across as gay, stating that "It's sort of a RunningGag...in our family."
** Played with in one episode, when Tobias comments, "If this were a Lifetime Moment Of Truth movie, this would be our act break." The pre-commercial sound cue plays... and then the Narrator says, "But it wasn't," and the episode continues.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** In the finale "All Good Things...", [[TheTrickster Q]] talks about "putting an end to your little trek through the stars".
** Near the end of "Ship in a Bottle", [[TheCaptain Picard]], ''just short'' of smirking, muses about their reality, with a line that leans in even more than it did originally thanks to the advent of smart phones:
-->'''Picard:''' "All this might just be an elaborate simulation running in a little device sitting on someone's table."
-->''Everyone leaves except Lt. Barclay, who looks contemplative''
-->'''Barclay:''' "Computer... End Program?"
-->''Credits Roll''
** In "Contagion", Deanna remarked about how the ship's constant malfunctioning could be seen as humorous from an outside perspective, were someone watching.
-->'''Deanna''': "In another time and place, this could be funny..."
** The final line of the fourth season finale "Redemption: Part I" comes from Sela, who, due to TimeyWimeyBall, is the daughter of the late Tasha Yar. Both are played by Denise Crosby. Since she's addressing characters roughly positioned in the same place as the camera, one gets the feeling she's addressing the audience more than the characters.
-->'''Sela:''' We should not discount Jean-Luc Picard yet. After all, he is human. And humans have a way of showing up when you least expect them.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** "Far Beyond the Stars" has Captain Benjamin Sisko hallucinating/having a vision that he's Benny Russell, a science fiction writer from the 1950s who ''actually writes about Deep Space Nine itself''. At the end of the episode, when the whole thing was revealed to have been a dream (vision, whatever), he wonders if life aboard the station is the illusion.
** At one point, the producers [[WhatCouldHaveBeen considered]] putting a scene at the end of the series finale that would have had Benny Russell ''walking into Paramount Studios with a Star Trek script in his hands''.
*** A similar scene was considered for the last scene of the episode "Little Green Men" in which Quark turns out to be the Roswell alien. One of the minor military officers sworn to secrecy would have been identified as [[Creator/GeneRoddenberry Lt. Roddenberry]].
** The episode "In The Pale Moonlight" is framed as a video recording in Captain Sisko's personal log, with the events of the preceding two weeks presented as flashbacks. All of the log-entry scenes are shown from the station computer's point of view, with Sisko facing the camera. Technically, he's only talking to the computer (which is never shown), but the feeling that he's addressing the audience directly is almost irresistible.
*** A similar framing device is used in "Rules of Engagement", where various characters are testifying at an extradition hearing. The testimonies are given directly to the camera.
** In "Body Parts", an accident forced Dr. Bashir to [[WrittenInInfirmity transplant Keiko O'Brien's baby into Major Kira]]. On a few occasions during her surrogate pregnancy, Major Kira blamed Dr. Bashir that it's his fault that she ended up pregnant. In real life, Nana Visitor (Kira) was pregnant with Alexander Siddig's (Bashir) baby.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
** The two-part episode "Future's End" featured the ship traveling back in time to the mid-1990s and encountering another time traveler from an additional 300 years in the future, had Captain Janeway remark: "Time travel. Ever since my first day in the job as a Starfleet Captain, I swore I'd never let myself get caught in [[TimeyWimeyBall one of these god-forsaken paradoxes]]. The future is the past, the past is the future. It all gives me a headache."
** In season 4, B'Elanna Torres [[HideYourPregnancy started wearing an engineering jacket and was never shown from the chest down]] due to the actress' real life pregnancy. In the two-part episode "The Killing Game", where the crew was implanted with mind control devices by aliens and forced to take part in holodeck adventures, B'Elanna Torres's holodeck character was a pregnant woman. After the mind control devices were disabled (but with the holodeck effects still active), the crew commented that the 'simulated' pregnancy seemed so real that it even ''kicks''.
* The ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "200" almost in its entirety, and to a lesser extent, "Wormhole X-Treme". In the instance below, the characters are actually talking about a movie spin-off of a ShowWithinAShow based on the "real" Stargate Command. (Ironically, O'Neill's "surprise" appearance really made it into the commercial for that episode.)
-->'''Martin''': I'm talking about a twist; something nobody's expecting! \\
'''O'Neill''': ''[walks in]'' You mean something like this? \\
'''Vala''': I don't think anybody will see that coming. \\
'''Daniel''': Nope, there'll be spoilers. \\
'''Carter''': Are you kidding? It'll be in the commercial.
** Also in "200", the stargate breaks down and Mitchell says "How can something work perfectly fine for 10 years and suddenly it doesn't work anymore?" That's a definite reference to the show's recent cancellation. In a later episode, Sam tells a one-shot character "the Stargate Program just doesn't get the support it used to from the people in charge" when he expresses disappointment in their facilities. Again, a reference to the show's impending cancellation.
** In addition, the episode "Secrets". Daniel Jackson admitted that he had not succeeded in his original mission, but promises to continue, though he fears that it may take many seasons.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** '''Rodney:''' [Talking about TV] Most of which are fictional representations of ridiculously attractive people in absurd situations. (An absurd situation to the attractive people promptly occurs)
** There's also an episode where John, wandering through a forest as usual, says "It's almost as if someone in their warm, cosy room typing at their computer sent us here for their own amusement."
* When Creator/StephenColbert [[IntoxicationEnsues accidentally dropped acid]], the ensuing existential crisis could be taken two ways -- either the character worrying about his insecurities and whether he's lying to himself, or the character briefly [[TomatoInTheMirror realizing that he ''is'' just a character.]] This was mostly to clue in new viewers to the AlterEgoActing thing, since the show had just gone global.
--> "Where does this Stephen end and that Stephen begin?"
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'': When Roslin finally [[spoiler: tells Adama she loves him]], his response is "[[UnresolvedSexualTension 'Bout time.]]"
** The ArcWords "All of this has happened before, and will happen again" seem awfully appropriate for a remake.
** Then there is the First Cylon War, fought [[Series/BattlestarGalactica1978 several decades earlier against an older model of Cylon.]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''
** In the first season, one episode begins with a woman being hunted by a gang of vampires. The vampires suddenly turn around, and one of them says, "You." The camera then shows us the person who has surprised them, starting with the feet and panning upward: black boots, a [[BadassLongcoat long black trenchcoat]], a sword... and then we get to the face, which is that of a young black man (Charles Gunn) we've never seen before. He smiles and says, "You were expecting somebody else?"
** In the second episode of the fifth season, Lorne says this about [[LoveTriangle Angel and Spike's mutual love for Buffy]]:
--->'''Lorne:''' The [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer vampire slayer]] that both men loved, both men lost. Oh, I could sell that to a studio in a heartbeat. I'm seeing [Johnny] Depp and [Orlando] Bloom. Then again, I see them a lot. ''(He notices Wesley giving him a strange look.)'' Sorry, I need to get out more--I've been spending so much time running Wolfram & Hart's entertainment division.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'':
** [[MaleGaze "Stop looking up my skirt!"]] It all but reaches through the fourth wall and smacks certain male viewers for what they're thinking at the moment.
** In the season 4 episode "Driven", where Tony goes to visit Jeanne at her work, she's talking to another doctor about how oncology results take around a day, but Dr. Series/{{House}} gets them in ten minutes.
** The episode "Jet Lag" of season 7 ends with Ziva looking at a picture Tony took, commenting, "I think it would look better in black and white." Cue the standard ending black and white shot of said picture.
* On the subject of Dr. Series/{{House}}... Cuddy: "You come in with a case like this 24 times a year!" On another episode, a businessman wonders about the cost-effectiveness of four doctors who only treat one patient per week.
** House on his penchant for {{Eureka Moment}}s that occur at highly convenient times:
---> I'll go talk to Wilson about something completely unrelated and see what happens."
** Similar moment to this when House is suddenly distracted by a eureka moment and Wilson says "You're about to get up and leave without saying anything, aren't you?"
** In the finale episode of Season 2, House initially thinks that he might be hallucinating [[spoiler:(he is)]] because he begins noticing the scene breaks.
** In the episode "Three Stories," it's framed by House telling a series of diagnostic tales to a seminar full of med students. One story starts to get heavy, with a patient going into cardiac arrest and the doctors scrambling to save him.... Cut to House, calmly standing in front of the students.
-->'''House:''' What say we take five? Get some coffee. Go pee. ''(House walks out into the hallway. Cut to commercial.)'''
* In the episode "Dual and Duality" of ''Series/{{Blackadder}} the Third'', Edmund contemplates his legacy:
-->'''Edmund:''' Yes, I'm afraid my ambitions stretch a little further than professional idiocy in West London. I want books written about me. I want songs sung about me. And then, hundreds of years from now, I want episodes from my life to be played out weekly at half past nine by some great heroic actor of the age.\\
'''Baldrick:''' (smiling) Yeah, and I could be played by some tiny tit in a beard.
** A less extreme example, from earlier in the same series:
--->'''Dr. Johnson:''' Sir, I hope you are not using the first English dictionary to look up rude words!\\
'''Blackadder:''' I wouldn't be too hopeful. ''[Looks into camera]'' That's what all the other ones will be used for.
* The title character of ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' thanks Casey for saving his life "at least once a week".
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** In season 5, Tara talks about ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'': "But he's not really good. He has no moral compass. The only reason he does good things is to win the love of this woman who could never love him back. That's how you know it can't end well..." Gosh, who else could that be referring to?
** During [[MusicalEpisode "Once More with Feeling"]], Buffy famously alludes to her namesake show's timeslot with the following remark:
--->'''Buffy:''' Dawn's in trouble. Must be Tuesday.
** Also from the musical episode, while Anya and Xander are talking over each other trying to explain the weirdness of their random duet that morning:
--->'''Anya''': "It's like we were being watched. Like there was a wall missing from our apartment, like there were only three walls, and not a fourth wall."
** In the episode "Get It Done", Buffy mentions the Hellmouth's tendency of "blowing in May". This alludes to the fact that apocalypses usually occur during season finales, which air during this month.
** Buffy saves Willow & Xander in the opening of the first episode of season 2. She then asks them "Missed me?" while looking straight at the camera.
** In the comics, Xander refers to "every month, every Wednesday".
** "Normal Again" has numerous examples of this, as Buffy is hallucinating she's in a mental institution and her reality is actually a fiction.
** Another example from the comics season 8: when the [[http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Twilight talking dog]] is trying to recruit him and tells him that he's been chosen for the plan, Angel says he is "definitely twitchy about [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chosen_%28Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer%29 CHOSEN]]". The dog replies with "Yes, that goofy little cheerleader spun you right round." Apparently the dog decided to take the word "Chosen" as a reference to Buffy, the Chosen One, but for the readers, Angel's statement and the dog's answer is leaning against the fourth wall, as "Chosen" is also the title of the series finale.
** The cover for ''After These Messages We'll Be Right Back'' has Xander, Willow and Dawn crowding round to watch TV...of Buffy, with the story based on the proposed AnimatedAdaptation.
** There is LampshadeHanging on the fact that something bad always happens on Buffy's birthday.
* In Season 1 of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Barney is telling Ted that the Universe doesn't care about Ted's love life. Marshall interjects jokingly, "Unless Ted's love life is the glue binding the entire Universe together!" Everyone laughs, of course. If only they knew...
** Ted's daughter complains in the season 2 premiere that it feels like he's been talking for a whole year.
** In season six, Lily comments that "Ted can really drone on about a bitch." She probably should've warned her (presumably) godson and goddaughter about that...
** "The Stinson Missile Crisis" is practically nothing ''but'' this, as far as the FramingDevice is concerned.
** In Season 8, when Marshall gets the group to the apartment to play "Who Wants To Be A Godparent?", he turns to the camera and says, "Right after a word from our sponsors." Robin, Barney and Ted look at each other and then Ted asks, "[[LampshadeHanging Why is he talking to the wall?]]" Cue commercial.
* Employed a few times by ''Series/SledgeHammer''. One notable one occurs in the first season finale when the chief tells a terrorist making a live television broadcast, "Your show's been canceled!" Sledge asks, "You talkin' to me?" (As noted, this was expected to be the last episode.)
* An episode of ''Series/ThePretender'' has Jarod, the titular pretender, feign insanity and get locked in an asylum. One of his analysts asks him his last name and he responds with "I don't know..." ''[[[CheshireCatGrin devilish grin]]--which on Michael T. Weiss looks SERIOUSLY evil]'' "It changes every week."
* The end of the 100th episode of ''Series/CSIMiami'' where they say "They all think it's easy to get to one hundred".
* The ''Series/WillAndGrace'' episode "No Sex 'N' The City" lampoons the show and sitcoms as a whole.
** During the series finale of Will & Grace this exchange occurs between the breakout characters Jack [=McFarland=] and Karen Walker:
--->'''Karen''': Y'know, sometimes it seems like our sole purpose in life is just to serve Will and Grace.
--->'''Jack''': Right. It's like all people see when they look at us are the supporting players on the Will & Grace show.
* ''Series/{{Psych}}''
** In a season four episode, Shawn boasts that he "solve[s] [[OncePerEpisode a case every week]]... and usually [[ChristmasEpisode one right around Christmas]]."
** In the episode 'Heeeeeere's Lassie', Shawn says "I think this is just a case of your imagination getting the best of you. Happens to Gus and I once every seven days."
* In the first season of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', Hiro and Ando make a ''lot'' of jokes about ''Franchise/StarTrek''. All of them seem to be leaning pretty heavily on the FourthWall when Mr. Sulu shows up as Hiro's father. Not to mention [[Film/StarTrek Spock]] being Sylar and President Whorfbama.
* Done quite a bit on ''Series/{{Community}}''. Abed, partially thanks to being the group's resident GenreSavvy MetaGuy, is a bit obsessed with media and constantly interprets the events around him as if they were the plot of a sitcom. In the beginning of the second season, Jeff criticizes Abed for all the self-referential meta-humor, saying that it's "so last season."
** Abed comes ''really'' close to breaking the Wall in the [[Recap/CommunityS5E12BasicStory second-to-last episode of Season 5]], where he seemingly tries to evade/misdirect the cameraman, ''nearly'' outright states that he's in a TV show, and almost looks directly into the camera, among a couple other things. May have also been NoticingTheFourthWall and [[SlidingScaleOfFourthWallHardness Visible Fourth Wall]]. [[spoiler:He breaks it in the following episode, albeit in an unrelated way, and briefly.]]
* This is approaching the point of being a running gag during the last few seasons of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. First, the Winchesters discover that they have been written about in a popular book series (complete with fan-girls and fan-boys), then they meet the author of said books, who apologizes for the poor writing in certain panned episodes. In a later episode, they even go to a ''fan convention'' all about the Supernatural series. And this is saying nothing of Dean's "they do know we're brothers, right?" reaction when he finds out about [[HoYay Wincest]]...
** Also in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Castiel is named after an angel who in lore helps people who travel a lot and is an angel of Thursday. The Winchester boys travel a lot, and guess what day the show aired at the time?
** There is also Crowley's remark to Castiel in a Season 6 episode: "Castiel. Haven't seen you all season." The fact that it was a bald-faced lie aside, it was an odd way to phrase the greeting, unless it was a passing bit of fourth-wall leaning.
** Early in Season 4, Dean surfs the fans online of the books and discovers Wincest (shipped by some actual fans of the show) and complaints of fans, both of which annoy him.
--->'''Dean''': "Simpatico says the demon plot of Supernatural is trite, clichéd, and overall craptastic. Yeah well screw you, Simpatico. We lived it."
** Crowley does this again with Castiel when he mentions that Cas is the angel of Thursday and today isn't his day. During that season, ''Supernatural'' switched to Friday nights.
** "It's about time we had a nice black and white case," was spoken at the start of the episode that was shown in black and white.
** In "There Will Be Blood," the Alpha says, "See you next season," as Sam and Dean are leaving.
** In the Season 2 episode "Hollywood Babylon," Sam remarks that the (strangely overcast) weather in L.A. is "practically Canadian." ''Supernatural'' is of course shot in Vancouver, Canada.
** In Season 10, Dean and Sam run across [[MetaPlot a high school musical based on books about their lives]]. Dean reacts badly to this and chews her out on using different music choice. And [[BreakingTheFourthWall coincidentally ...]]
---> '''Dean:''' "There is no singing in Supernatural!"
---> '''Tech Girl:''' "Well, this is Marie's interpretation ..."
---> '''Dean:''' *laughs sarcastically* "Well, if there was ''singing'', y'know, and that's a big if, if there was singing, it would be ''classic rock''. Not this Andrew Floyd Webber crap!"
* In ''Series/Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'', Danny Tripp and Jordan [=McDeere=] discussing the ShowWithinAShow's low ratings while Jordan is in the hospital for complications with her pregnancy. Danny mentions that a crisis in a pregnancy is a surefire ratings boost. At the time, the real show was teetering on the brink of cancellation after falling ratings.
* In the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "Objects in Space", the character Wash expresses his disbelief that someone could be psychic: "That sounds like something out of ScienceFiction." When his wife, Zoë, responds with, "[[ArbitrarySkepticism We live in a spaceship]], dear," he says, "So?"
** FridgeLogic: please note that, from Wash's perspective, the conversation looked a lot like this:
---> '''Wash:''' "You're saying she's psychic? That sounds like something from ScienceFiction."
---> '''Zoe:''' "We're truckers, dear."
---> '''Wash:''' "So?"
** On the other hand, ''Firefly'' is set in the future of the real world, so we can assume science fiction about spaceships exists... it's just [[TechnologyMarchesOn out of date]].
** A better analogy than the truckers analogy would be if Zoe had said, [[Webcomic/{{xkcd}} "We live in a world where there are actual fleets of robot assassins patrolling the skies."]]
** Or someone saying "we're having this conversation from different countries over a globally linked information network".
** In the pilot, Mal plays a ''very'' cruel joke on Simon by convincing him (and the audience) that [[spoiler: Kaylee has just died of a gunshot wound [[note]] Simon had previously endangered Kaylee's life by delaying treatment of her wound until Mal got him safely away from the Alliance, and Mal threatened to throw him out of the airlock if Kaylee didn't survive[[/note]]]]. When Simon picks up on it, the following exchange has Mal essentially standing in for Creator/JossWhedon, allowing Whedon to [[SelfDeprecation poke fun]] at his infamous love of [[AnyoneCanDie screwing with his audience's emotions]].
-->'''Simon''': That man is ''psychotic''!\\
''[cut to another room on the ship, where Mal's whole crew is laughing hysterically]''\\
'''Wash''': You are ''psychotic''!\\
'''Mal (laughing)''': No, you should have seen his face! Oh...I'm a bad man.
* Shonda Rhimes definitely knows what she's doing with this line from the ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' season 8 finale:
-->'''Cristina''': I don't know how this keeps happening! We keep dying we're [[spoiler: in a plane crash, Mer,]] like right now!
** Also from the season 5 premiere, when Cristina calls Meredith out for always wangsting to her about her Derek drama, even while actual important, real-life events are happening around her.
* In ''Series/{{Weeds}}'', Nancy once told her son Shane that he could grow up to a be a "doctor, lawyer or business executive", a clear reference to the theme song.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** The band Remy Zero plays the show's theme song, "Save Me". In the Season 1 finale, Remy Zero appears as themselves and plays "Save Me" for the high school dance. Clark and his friends comment, "These guys are awesome."
** In an episode that has vampires in it, Clark tells Professor Milton Fine, who is played by Creator/JamesMarsters (who also played the vampire Spike on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'') about the vampires, to which Fine replies "Clark, there's no such thing as vampires". The name of the chief vampire in the episode is Buffy Saunders.
** In the episode with [[spoiler: Clark and Lois' engagement party]], [[spoiler: Oliver Queen]] makes the toast: "They've finally realised what the rest of us have known for a very long time."
** At the end of the two-part pilot, Jonathan asks Clark if he'll be okay. Clark asks him to get back to him in about five years. The line makes no sense (a high-school-aged teenager would be thinking in four-year increments, if anything) except as a reference to the amount of time needed to complete the 100-episode minimum necessary for effective second-run syndication. This is confirmed in the DVD commentary, in which the producers joke that it would have been too obvious to have Clark say "Ask me again in a hundred episodes."
* ''Series/VeronicaMars'':
** In the [[TheTeaser Cold Open]] of one episode, Veronica describes her relationship with another character: "We used to be friends... a long time ago." Cue theme music.
** There is also an exchange between Veronica (played by Creator/KristenBell--25 at the time) and Duncan (Teddy Dunn, also 25) about Logan sleeping with an older woman... who was 25.
* In an episode of ''Series/ParkerLewisCantLose'', an early FOX hit, Parker encounters a student who has been in detention so long that he's lost track of the "outside world." The exchange went something like...
--> "Dude...what do you see out there?"
--> "Well, Batman is out, heavily-armored turtles are in, and..." (looks around, lowers voice) "...there's a ''fourth network''."
--> "No ''way,'' dude!!"
* ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon's'' DVD special act when [[spoiler:Mio]] became the BigBad. She turns and smiles at the camera that's like she's asking to the viewer "Surprised I came back?"
* ''Series/BostonLegal'' has a habit of doing this more and more as the series goes on, with frequent references to the lead actors' previous roles as well as the show's own tropes and real-world issues, such as schedule changes.
** During a particularly complicated schedule change for the series, several of the characters appeared for a meeting during the cold open. When nobody else showed up for the meeting, the conversation went something like this:
--->"Are we early? I thought we were on Tuesdays at 9."
--->"Actually, we rescheduled. Now we're Wednesdays at 10."
--->"So are we going to be Wednesdays at 10 every week?"
--->"No, we're actually going to be Wednesday at 10 for a week, then take a week off, then we'll be Wednesdays at 9."
** In the second episode of season 3, two new lawyers join the firm. When Danny meets them, there is this exchange:
--->'''Jeffrey Coho''': "We’re the new guys."
--->'''Denny Crane''': "Oh, please. If there were new guys, they would’ve shown up at the season premiere."
--->'''Claire Simms''': "He’s smoking, for God’s sake."
--->'''Denny Crane''': "It’s a personal gift from Bill Clinton. If you only knew where this cigar has been."
--->'''Claire Simms''': "Okay, he’s officially the grossest person I’ve ever met."
--->'''Jeffrey Coho''': "See that sign that says, “Crane, Poole & Schmidt”?"
--->'''Denny Crane''': pointing to himself with his cigar Crane. "Welcome to Boston Legal."
--->'''Claire Simms''': "Jeffrey. The gross man is fondling me."
--->'''Denny Crane''': "It’s the official firm greeting."
--->Claire Simms clears her throat.
--->'''Denny Crane''': "Cue the music."
** In another episode, one of the lawyers is so ecstatic at being re-hired by the firm that he bursts into song. The song? {{The|meTuneCameo}} ''[[ThemeTuneCameo Boston Legal]]'' [[ThemeTuneCameo theme song]]. His performance is used in place of the usual opening credits sequence, with scenes of his gleeful singing inter-cut with the usual cast headshots.
** Stars William Shatner and James Spader often have dialog that alludes to their previous film and television roles. For example, Shatner's character reacts with anxiety when he hears about salmon parasites known as "cling-ons," and Spader remarks to Shatner -- while both are dressed as flamingos -- that he looks "pretty in pink."
** At one point William Shatner's character says: "I'm Denny Crane! I once owned my own spaceship!"
** In another episode Denny briefly ponders a communicator-shaped cellphone.
* In ''Series/BlackBooks'', the three main characters are thinking about going to the cinema and look up what's showing. They find a film with a plot synopsis that sounds exactly like that of the show itself, but decide against seeing it [[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs because it sounds awful]].
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'':
** In an episode dealing with Lady Godiva.
--->'''Piper''': Woman. Keep your clothes on, this is a family show. Really.
** In "House Call", the 101st episode, this conversation happens:
--->'''Witch Doctor''': You ever vanquish a demon in this house, by any chance?\\
'''Phoebe:''' ''[laughing]'' Oh, only about a hundred.
* During the last season of ''Series/MadAboutYou'', Paul and Jamie are sitting quietly together, when Paul says, "It's the last season," and Jamie looks at him quizzically. Turns out he's talking about the ''Series/{{MASH}}'' marathon he's been watching.
* In the ''Series/BurnNotice'' episode "Sins of Omission", Michael starts the episode relating what had happened since he'd been blown up straight to the camera. It turns out that he was talking to Carla.
* The tail end of the final episode of ''Series/HappyDays'', when Tom Bosley's character makes his toast to newlywed Chachi and his wife (Joanie) is like this.
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'':
** "I Like To Watch". One of the camera guys following the group around says something about "Beautiful people solving crimes" having potential as a series.
** Also in that episode, which is about a film crew following around the CSI team, one of the interviewers asks Grissom's opinion of the show. His response is, "There are too many forensic shows on TV."
* In one episode of ''Series/KamenRiderHibiki'', the titular hero is seen telling some customers at the restaurant where he works about this movie that "just came out the other day". He describes it as a period piece about "this group of really cool warriors", or something along those lines. The day before the episode aired, TheMovie, ''Kamen Rider Hibiki & The Seven Fighting Demons'', which takes place in Japan's Warring States era, premiered in theaters.
* ''Series/CougarTown'':
--> '''Jules:''' ''[about having 'Fakesgiving' in spring]'' "What if we're not around next fall? What if a new group comes in and replaces us? Everybody's going to be like, "What happened to the Cul-de-Sac Crew? I miss them. And who are these new people? They're not so good."
** Just about the full first act of the first TBS episode after being UnCanceled.
* In the ''Series/PressGang'' episode "The Big Finish," Tiddler says to an arguing Lynda and Spike, "We've all been following this dopey love story since page one." ''Page One'' was the title of the first episode.
* This seems to be the cornerstone of ''Series/RaisingHope's'' comedy.
** In the third season episode "Throw [=MawMaw=] From the House, Part 2" begins with [=MawMaw=] (played by Creator/ClorisLeachman) talking to the camera, giving a recap of the previous episode. Two nursing home staff are in the background and we see from their point of view that she is actually talking to the wall. One staff comments about how crazy she is and the other agrees, saying that "Yesterday she claimed she won an Oscar and slept with Warren Beatty", both of which [[ActorAllusion actually happened to Cloris Leachman]].
** In the episode "Modern Wedding", [[spoiler:Burt expresses his frustration regarding Hope's supposedly-executed biological mother that "we're kinda done with the whole Lucy-coming-back-from-the-dead-thing. It's like, every year we think she's gone and then she comes back in ''some crazy way'', messes up our lives again. It's gettin' old."]]
** In one episode, Jimmy laments that it seems like every week he finds out about some horrible thing his parents did to him, or mistake they made, when he was a kid.
** At the conclusion of the second-season [[ItsAWonderfulPlot Christmas episode]], Shelley remarks, regarding "The Chances of Natesville" [[ShowWithinAShow movie-within-the-show]] that makes fun of the Chance family:
-->'''Shelley''': I wouldn't worry about that movie, Jimmy. A poor family raising a serial-killer's baby? Not many people are gonna wanna watch that. Least, not in my demographic.
* The ChristmasEpisode from the second season of ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' has the Solomon family realizing that it's been nearly a year since they first arrived on Earth. Tommy reminds Dick that they landed on January 9, with Harry chiming in "at 8:30 Central," the airdate and time the series originally premiered.
* In the third episode of ''Series/TheNeighbors'', titled "This Just Got Real", when (alien) Jackie is going to have dinner with Debbie and her friends from New Jersey, she prepares by watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey. A few times during the episode, after making a quip or insult to one of the other ladies, she turns to the camera and comments on why she said what she said. Often, the camera angle will then shift to show her talking to the wall.
* This happens fairly often in ''Series/{{Glee}}'', when the glee club members (or Sue) point out popular criticism or plot holes, like why rules that were established for glee competitions don't ever seem to apply to competing clubs, and references to names for couplings supported by fans.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Beauty and the Beast|1987}}'', in one of the ending balcony scenes, Vincent notes that maybe someone out there is watching and smiling. ...Someone?
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD''
--> '''Maria Hill''': What does SHIELD stand for, Agent Ward?
--> '''Ward''': Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division.
--> '''Hill''': And what does that tell you?
--> '''Ward''': [[FunWithAcronyms That someone really wanted our initials to spell "SHIELD."]]
* ''Series/MadMen'': In the Season 5 episode "Lady Lazarus," SCDP makes a commercial that in the preliminary phase has a [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] soundtrack; upon review, they comment that while the track is perfect, licensing Beatles songs is very expensive, and they should probably [[SuspiciouslySimilarSong go with one that sounds almost like it]]. At the end of the episode, Don complains to Megan about how he doesn't know what's going on in pop culture anymore, and she hands him a copy of the Beatles' ''Revolver''. The episode ends with Don listening to "Tomorrow Never Knows"--the real version, and it reportedly cost AMC a quarter of a million dollars to do that.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': In an episode with the gang StormingTheCastle, Miles described their seemingly impossible mission, then, in context talking about how often they ended up in these situations, said "well, just another Monday, right?" The show aired on Mondays at the time.
* ''Series/{{Victorious}}'': In ''Tori Tortures Teacher'' during lunch Andre asks why none of them "[[LampshadeHanging ever sits on that side of the table]]", which would feature them facing away from the camera.
** In ''Terror in Cupcake Street'' the main cast and Sikowitz discuss why they are the only ones chosen. They later realize the fact their classmates "never talk and just react" as a nod to the extras.
** In ''Who Did it to Trina'' Andrè hints at the plot's RashomonStyle. "Aw, no! Now we have to hear another story about what happened from a unique point of view?!"
* ''Series/{{Becker}}'': Done a couple of times in the series finale. (Unusually, the series was cancelled against the producers' wishes but with sufficient advance notice to provide the series with a proper ending.) In one scene, Dr. Becker looks at the test results for a patient named [[UsefulNotes/{{Ratings}} Mr. Nielsen]], and says, "I don't know what the problem is. These numbers aren't that bad!" Another patient talks about having problems with his kidneys, and Becker tells him, "You were doing okay until they developed the stones," which could also be taken as an allusion to ''The Stones'', the series that replaced ''Becker'' on CBS's schedule (and lasted only three episodes).
* ''Series/{{Cristela}}'' has this exchange about sitting courtside at a basketball game:
--> '''Cristela:''' The only time stuff like that happens to people like us is on TV.\\
'''Felix:''' ''[resignedly]'' Yeah, but people like us will never be on TV.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': Similar to the ''Buffy'' example, Detective Lance, thanks to his distrust of Laurel, is skeptical when she tries to warn him of an impending bio weapon attack.
--> '''Detective Lance''': The city's in danger, it must be May.
* ''Series/TheFlash2014'': Felicity, crossing over from ''Arrow'', notes that everyone seems to be in a worse mood than normal with a meta-comment on the differing tones between the two shows:
--> '''Felicity:''' I thought Central City was supposed to be the fun one.
* In Korean drama ''[[Series/LieToMeSK Lie To Me]]'', one of the characters ask if there is a pregnancy involved, and the other responds that they watch too many dramas.
* ''Series/MrRobot'' is a show about hackers. In one scene, two of them gripe about HollywoodHacking, causing one to say, "I bet you right now some writer's working hard on a TV show that'll mess up this generation's idea of hacker culture."
* ''GameOfThrones'' has [[TortureTechnician Ramsay Snow]] remark, "If you think this has a happy ending, [[CrapsackWorld you haven't been paying attention]]."
* In the "Birthday Girl Down" episode of ''Series/HenryDanger'', Henry is at the party announcing the suspects who could have knocked Debbie off her roof the year before by changing the ball speed, he stated that he would reveal who the actual culprit was after a short break. Cue the commercial.
** Flashback's appearance and name led to his role in this episode, to provide the flashback to the party.
* ''Series/{{iZombie}}'' is a show that features a zombie as it's MainCharacter and [[TheHero heroine]]. One episode has her and Clive visit the set of a ShowWithinAShow about a ZombieApocalypse, leading to this joke:
-->'''Zombie Extra:''' Someone should really make a show with a zombie as the main character.\\
'''Clive:''' [[WhoWritesThisCrap That sounds dumb.]]

* Just about any example in ThisIsASong.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWdQPOjTk4g Whenever a singer says "stop!"]] [[StopAndGo and the music temporarily halts]].
* During the 2012 Grammys, Music/TaylorSwift switched a line in her song "Mean" to read "Someday, I'll be singing this at the Grammys..."
* Wynonna Judd's "Girls with Guitars" contains the line "Oughta be a song about girls with guitars."
* Music/{{Coldplay}} played on this with their breakthrough song "Yellow"
* Music/DeepPurple's "Smoke on the Water" tells the story of the band recording the song.
* Music/CarlySimon's "You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you."
* Music/WeirdAlYankovic's parody of Music/GeorgeHarrison's "I've Got My Mind Set On You", titled "This Song's Just Six Words Long."
* [[http://www.vh1.com/video/dawes/896950/from-a-window-seat.jhtml "From a Window Seat," by Dawes]], which is about the songwriter riding in an airliner, taking notes to be used in composing the song:
-->So I reach down for my notebook to see what impressions could be spun
-->But it's just buildings and a million swimming pools
-->So I leaf back through the pages to see where I am from
-->Or for some crumbled map of what it's leading to
-->And I find that the hero in the song that I am writing
-->Doesn't know he's just an image of myself
* Music/BuffaloSpringfield's "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing":
-->Who should be sleeping but's writing this song,
-->Wishing and hoping he weren't so [[PrecisionFStrike damn]] wrong?
* The name of the game for a lot of ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger''. Notable Instances include:
** [[InTheNameOfTheMoon Kyoryu Violet's introduction]], in which he ''knocks over the background he is speaking in front of''.
** The entire first few minutes of the DistantFinale, ''ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger100YearsAfter'', so much so, it's practically a {{Deconstruction}}. The beginning, based on the opening from the TV show, is filled with these moments where characters recoil in fear from the normally casual explosions, and various other goof-ups are made. The team is soon after criticized by the monsters they are fighting for not behaving like a true Sentai team.
* Music/JeffersonStarship's song "Light the Sky on Fire" (and the subsequent video in the Star Wars Holiday Special) features lead singer Marty Balin looking skywards and asking the following:
-->Yes, I would really like to know
--> What are they watching us for?

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' is all over this trope. As a sterling example, the last set of dailies is Roger and Andy talking about how, after 19 years, a "major cartoonist" is moving his strip to be SundayStrip-only. They even suggest ways in which said cartoonist could go out and thank his fans. Andy even gets in a good LampshadeHanging in response to one of Roger's suggestions: "And break the fourth wall? Not likely."
** Not even the move to SundayStrip-only stopped these from coming. The strip for July 18, 2010 depicted Jason trying to decide which costume to wear for Comic-Con; showing him dressed up as [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} Pikachu]], [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Gandalf]], Franchise/{{Batman}}, [[Franchise/StarWars Chewbacca]], [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]], and a generic Film/{{Tron}} character. When Peter suggests he goes as a NewspaperComic character, Jason complains that he doesn't have a costume for that.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Candorville}}'' takes a darker-than-usual approach to this, as shown on the quotes page.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Sally Forth|Howard}}'' had Ted declare that they shouldn't do a "middle-aged couple gets overwhelmed by social media plot." When asked why he said "plot," Ted answered, "Sometimes I like to imagine my life as a series of week-long story arcs, and I want each one to be gold."

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/TripleH likes to do this. In his ''WWF Attitude'' (video game) intro, he speaks to the player as "that fat-ass guy sitting on the couch." He thinks Wrestling/{{Edge}} is a smart guy for marying Wrestling/VickieGuerrero. "Marrying the boss to get ahead in the business? That's genius!" Throw in [[Wrestling/TheKliq his partner-in-crime]] Wrestling/ShawnMichaels and they nearly break the wall down, from a baby photo with Triple H's head [[StylisticSuck poorly photoshopped on]] to wondering who got [[Wrestling/StephanieMcMahon Vince's daughter]] pregnant. Also during the writer's strike when Triple H came out, made a bad joke and then remarked "Who writes this stuff? Oh yeah, they're on strike!"
* On October 10, 2011, Wrestling/MichaelCole said that he got a ton of Twitter posts and emails about how everybody missed him. When Wrestling/JerryLawler challenged him to show him ''one'' of these, he mentioned somebody named "Sean C" who sent him one of these. Michael Cole's real name is Michael '''Sean C'''oulthard.
* When he isn't leaning on the wall, Wrestling/CMPunk is often cheerfully (or angrily) booting it down.

* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'': An interesting example in the radio episode "Reckless Driving''.
** Miss Brooks, Mrs. Davis, Mr. Conklin, Mr. Boynton, Harriet and Walter are on Mrs. Davis' porch listening to the radio.
** Creator/SteveAllen suddenly drives up asking for the way to Hollywood - turns out he's going to host the summer replacement for ''Our Miss Brooks''.
** The radio is tuned to ''Our Miss Brooks'' Miss Brooks calling it the show "with the school teacher with my name".
** Miss Brooks, incidentally, thinks Eve Arden is "a doll". Mr. Conklin hates the pompous principal, while Walter Denton likes "one character in particular."
** Eve Arden announces her summer replacement, saying she would be listening to Steve Allen's show that summer. Everybody on the porch commending her nice speech. Allen, however, wonders if she'll really be listening. Cue Eve Arden saying of course she would, he has her job!
*** This scene wasn't duplicated in the television remake, "Trial by Jury". [[spoiler: There, the program ended with Miss Brooks pleading her innocence in court before a jury with Mr. Conklin as a member.]]
* The AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho adventure ''Legend of the Cybermen'' has the Doctor and his companions Jamie and Zoe trapped in the Land of Fiction, where they are constantly being tricked into narrating their actions, with a segment where Jamie finds himself in a sound-studio, reading his dialogues from a script while a director ([[TheCameo voiced by]] [[AsHimself director Nicholas Briggs himself]]) tells him to emote more.
** Also from that adventure:
-->'''Zoe:''' None of this is real. This is all a wonderful children's adventure that adults adore.
-->'''The Doctor:''' You are watching this from another level of consciousness, aren't you?
** ''A Death in the Family'' pits the Doctor against the Word Lord Nobody No-One, whom he finally traps in "The Hand of All", a universe entirely consisting of narratives, yet it seems just as real as the actual one. Nobody No-One calls the Doctor out:
-->'''Nobody No-One:''' How do you know if you yourself haven't been travelling through a universe only consisting of written language and sound for decades?
** "Zagreus" has the Eighth Doctor see alternate universes and refer to other parts of the ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'', the ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'', ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'', and ''WebAnimation/DeathComesToTime''.
* ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' had a scene with Zaphod dramatically speaking while "''Music/AlsoSprachZarathustra''" grew in volume under him, until Zaphod tells Marvin to cut it out, whereupon the final two notes barely make it out.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'', there's an insane, possibly [[KillerDM evil]], god-like intelligence called the God-Machine as a setting fixture and antagonist. The G-M regularly influences [=NPCs=] to behave bizarrely and causes all kinds of weirdness that players are often expected to investigate and thwart. Of course, being part of the World of Darkness, it only exists in a given campaign insofar as the ''other'' GM includes it.
* The description of the disadvantage "delusions" in ''TabletopGame/TheDarkEye'' lists "We are all just part of some strange game." as an example.

* ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'' plays with the fourth wall a lot. The first scene centers on the characters flipping a coin ninety times in a row and it comes up heads every time. Guildenstern comes quite close to realizing that the reason this is happening is because they are fictional characters and the result of every coin-flip is determined by the author, not by chance; but he never quite figures it out.
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare [[ZerothLaw did it]]:
** In ''Theatre/TwelfthNight'', the line "[[MediumAwareness If it were played upon a stage, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction]]".
** ''Theatre/AsYouLikeIt'': "All the world's a stage and we are but players."
** From ''Theatre/JuliusCaesar'', immediately after Caesar's assassination:
-->'''Cassius''': How many ages hence shall this our lofty scene be acted over in states unborn and accents yet unknown!
** In ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', "Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage..." [[note]]'Shadow' was another way of saying 'actor', as was player'.[[/note]]
* It's a key part of the ''{{Pantomime}}'' format that while one character will have NoFourthWall, the rest of the cast are only allowed to lean on it.
* ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'': This play is a blend of farce and drama, and his first act is placed at the Burgundy Theater. Cyrano has interrupted the ShowWithinAShow ''La Clorise''. The rest of the theater actors are rehearsing a new play, and Cyrano invites them to a SwordFight [[OneManArmy he will have with one hundred men]].
-->'''Cyrano:''' Come all—the Doctor, Isabel, Leander,\\
Come, for you shall add, in a motley swarm,\\
The ''farce'' Italian to this Spanish ''drama''!
* The 2011 revival of ''Theatre/{{Company}}'' does this when Bobby and April are discussing Bobby's apartment. As the set was left to be as simplistic as possible, all of April's remarks about the (non-existent) decor ("That's darling!" "Isn't that tasteful and interesting!") were made in reference to the conductor and the audience (with [[Creator/NeilPatrickHarris Bobby]] at one point even reaching out and [[BreakingTheFourthWall poking]] the conductor.
* In Eugene Ionesco's ''Rhinoceros'', we get this exchange:
--> '''Jean:''' Instead of squandering all your spare money on drink, isn't it better to buy a ticket for an interesting play? Do you know anything about the avant-garde theatre there's so much talk about? Have you seen any of Ionesco's plays?
--> '''Berenger:''' Unfortunately, no. I've only heard people talk about them. [...]
--> '''Jean:''' There's one playing now. [[[BreakingTheFourthWall both turn to stare at the audience]]] Take advantage of it.
* ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Radio Show Live'' underwent heavy cuts to get five seasons into a two hour show. Near the end, Slartibartfast brings up a number of the missing scenes and mentions that the eddies in the space-time continuum have lead to Arthur missing whole chapters of his life.
* In the third act of ''Theatre/ArsenicAndOldLace'', O'Hara says, regarding his own play, that he wants to "just run through the third act quick."
* ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' features the following lyrics in the song "Prima Donna," following some GratuitousItalian: "You'd never get away / With all this in a play / But if it's loudly sung / And in a foreign tongue / It's just the sort of story audiences adore / In fact, a perfect opera!"
* ''Theatre/DogSeesGod'': "Do you ever feel like you're not a real person? That you're the product of someone's imagination and you can't think for yourself because you're really just like some creation and that somewhere there's people laughing every time you fall?"
* In the last line of ''Theatre/CharleysAunt'', Lord Fancourt (who had been [[DisguisedInDrag impersonating Charley's aunt]] so Charley could tell his sweetheart's father that he had a chaperone) tells Donna Lucia (Charley's real aunt) that "in future I resign to Sir Francis Chesney all claims to 'Charley's Aunt.'" Brandon Thomas, who wrote the play, also was the original Sir Francis.
* ''Theatre/TheBookOfMormon'''s Act I finale has a lyric from [[spoiler: Elder Cunningham]] about how "[he's] gonna stand up and steal the show!"
* In the musical ''Theatre/MerrilyWeRollAlong'', Frank introduces Mary Flynn to TheBeautifulElite as his friend, saying, "We go way back." "But seldom forward," Mary quips. Of course the characters don't go forward, since the show they're in runs BackToFront (and this is the first full scene).
* {{Downplayed|Trope}} in "Theatre/BulletsOverBroadway". They don't exactly wink to the audience, but there is obviously a scene where the ShowWithinAShow briefly overlaps with the real show.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' After Dalton modifies the Epoch and gets ready to test it, the Heroic Theme plays, to which he exclaims "No, no, no! stop the music!" at which point the crisis theme starts and he comments on how "that's better"
** Additionally, In the endgame sidequest to stop one of Magus' Generals in the Middle Ages, in one of the rooms of Ozzie's Fort, there are two conveyor belts with chains at the top and holes at the bottom. When Ozzie turns the crank, two monsters ride the chains from the depths and land on the conveyor belts, the Battle Theme starts playing and the party readies to fight, but the conveyors dump the monster in the pits, causing the party to face the player and blink as the music breaks down to a stop before Ozzie runs away.
* In ''VideoGame/BlackMesa'', before the resonance cascade you can find a scientist {{lampshad|eHanging}}ing NPC behavior (as well as the fact that Gordon and his fellow physicists never seem to do more than push buttons):
-->'''Scientist:''' I've got two [=PhDs=], and an Oersted Medal, yet I find myself doing work best suited for an intern!\\
'''Coworker:''' Please. You do very meaningful work here.\\
'''Scientist:''' Really? Push that button! Walk over here! Push this one! Stand and stare at the screen! Walk back over there! Push another button! ''Again!''
** Additionally, there's another group of scientists that can be heard arguing about the merits of [[FanRemake reproducing an old experiment with modern technology]].
-->'''Male Scientist 1:''' You're living in the past.\\
'''Male Scientist 2:''' That experiment is singlehandedly responsible for inspiring my career in science.\\
'''Female Scientist:''' How much recognition do you think you're going to get for reproduction, though?\\
'''Male Scientist 1:''' You should focus on creating something new and unique.\\
'''Female Scientist:''' He does have a point.\\
'''Male Scientist 2:''' Oh, but this is more than a replication, I assure you. For one, it shows how far our field has come since the original study was published, and to say nothing of the modern perspective necessary to monitor its influence. I mean, combined with today's technology, I've recreated-\\
'''Male Scientist 1:''' Bah, I can't stand to hear another word of this malarchy. ''(walks away)''\\
'''Female Scientist:''' Don't mind him, but here's something to think about for the next time: Creativity is the art of hiding your influence.
* In a quest in ''VideoGame/RuneScape'', the player must help a SpoiledBrat finish some missions. When they come across an obstacle, said brat asks if it is a glitch.
** The Nightmare Muspah familiar, if spoken to, muses on its nature as the living nightmare of a dying god, and asks the player character who dreamed them into existence. The player character isn't sure they like this philosophical tangent.
* ''VideoGame/TheStanleyParable'' does this a lot, given that the Narrator serves as a medium between the player and Stanley, who the player is controlling.
* At one point in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', Snake lectures Raiden about how computer simulated violence (i.e. video game violence) is completely unlike violence in real life, unintentionally discussing the argument that violent video games contribute to real life violence.
** Arguably, the entire point of the game was to lean on the FourthWall. Raiden, like the player, wants to [[VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy be the guy]], Snake, despite never having met him, although he has "simulated" his other missions. When the opportunity comes to prove himself, [[spoiler:however, he constantly fails. Unlike Snake, he wants to go home instead of feeling at home on the battlefield. At the end, none of the bosses (with the possible exception of Fatman) are actually confirmed dead by his hand]]. Raiden is essentially a {{deconstruction}} of a generic video game character, with the [[ThisLoserIsYou player]] sharing his role of ButtMonkey. For more information, read [[http://www.deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS2/DOTM_TOC.htm this]].
** "I'm a whole different game from Liquid!" yells Solidus. Later, immediately after the penultimate boss battle, he warns the player that there's going to be a lot of cutscenes coming up by promising Raiden, "No more games".
** After a long wait for ''Metal Gear Solid 2'', and a long cutscene, Snake acknowledges the players's frustration with what would become his CatchPhrase - "Kept you waiting, huh?"
*** Repeated word for word in the adventure mode in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'' where what is probably a few ''hours'' of play time after a short cutscene teased at his role in Subspace Emissary, Snake pops out of his cardboard box and says the line directly to the camera before his first gameplay section begins, as if he acknowledges everyone that had been dying to play as him in a Smash Bros game when he was revealed in the previews. Not a single coherent word was spoken anywhere else during a cutscene, outside of [[CallingYourAttacks those accompanying an attack]], in the entire game.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', if the player wishes to avoid a long sniper battle with the End, they can take the easy way out by setting the UsefulNotes/{{P|layStation2}}S2's internal clock more than a week ahead (or by simply not playing the game for more than a week). When the save file loads, a cutscene will be shown of Snake finding the End already dead of old age, and calling Major Zero on his Codec. As a way of chastising the player for cheating, Snake comments that he regrets "disappointing" the End, as it was his dying wish to have a real fight. Zero, however, [[CombatPragmatist orders Snake to get his head back in the mission]], telling him, "It's not a game. It's not a sport. You think you're competing for the gold at Tokyo or something?"
** [[spoiler:Naomi]] and later [[spoiler:Big Mama]] give similar lectures to Snake's [=MGS2=] lecture in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', while the visuals show us the covers of violent games such as ''Metal Gear'', ''Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake'', ''Metal Gear Solid'' and so on. Some Fourth Walls are just too thin to be leaned on safely.
** Then there's the chase scene in Act 2 of ''[=MGS4=]'', where Snake is defending Drebin's vehicle, and at one point they get chased by a Mobile Gun System. Drebin very intentionally chooses to refer to the opposing vehicle by its acronym, resulting in [[WriterRevolt lines like]] "We've gotta shake off that MGS!"
* ''VideoGame/TombRaiderAnniversary'', a remake of the original game, begins with Lara being hired to find an artifact she previously spent years searching for. Or as Natla puts it, "This is a game you've played before".
* In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver]]'', Steven makes a remark along the lines of, "Have we met...before? That's not possible. All the Trainers I have battled seem to have the same look, anyway. Especially the ones who gave me tough battles..." referring to the main character of this or really any Pokémon game.
** In the post-game portions of ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', [[spoiler: Cynthia]] explicitly compares the hero/ine's determined expression to that of the hero/ine of ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Pokémon Platinum]]''.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'' have a RunningGag of random characters mistaking you for the previous games' protagonist. Even Hilbert/Hilda's ''mother''. The best lean of [=BW2=] is performed by [[spoiler: Ghetsis in the Giant Chasm, commenting to the teenage player character that random teenagers always seem to screw up his plans... so this time, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy he'll just get you out of the way first]]]].
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', a Bug Catcher in an early Pokémon Center talks about the trading centers located on the second floor. When the games were remade as ''Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire'', the Centers were cut down to one story since the trading feature had been retooled as part of the Player Search System (accessible from anywhere in the game), so instead he talks about how they ''used'' to have second floors "about ten years ago".
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonPlatinum'', when Charon starts talking down to Mars she tells him that 'You only joined us recently, you know!', in reference to how Charon was added between ''Diamond and Pearl'' and the third in the trilogy, ''Platinum''.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonGatesToInfinity'''s postgame, [[spoiler: Hydreigon]] has an odd moment where he senses something and looks around curiously, eventually appearing to settle his gaze on ''you'' before giving a QuizzicalTilt. In the climax of the postgame, it turns out that he ''was'' looking at you; just "you" as in the player character [[spoiler: who had returned to the human world at the end of the main story, but had been watching him and the rest of their friends from the other side]].
* In a conversation involving [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Tiki]] in one of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' 's DLC episodes, when asked by someone jealous of her Really700YearsOld nature, she says "You must see these things in perspective. I used to look no older than a wee child. If people who knew me then saw me now, they would be shocked by how I aged." Players who knew Tiki from Marth's original games certainly were shocked at how much she'd aged in Awakening.
* In ''VideoGame/DrawnToLife'', at one point, Marie asks Jowie how the Creator can see the Raposa; Jowie comes up with a theory that involves the Raposa living in [[UsefulNotes/NintendoDS a white box with two windows and a magic wand, and the Creator looking into the white box to perform experiments on them]]. Marie dismisses it as the [[StupidestThingIveEverHeard stupidest idea she's ever heard]].
* This was done in ''VideoGame/KaneAndLynch: Dead Men'' while they were riding in an elevator. Kane [[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs dismisses the idea that anyone would play a game based on two washed up thugs like themselves]]. The sequel (like the ''Film/FightClub'' example) has the camera as a third character as Kane tends to shoot glances right at you from time to time. Since he's insane however it kinda makes sense.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} III: The Frozen Throne'', during the briefing before the final mission, Arthas exclaims something along the lines of: "It's time to end the game ... once and for all." Which is a reference to Malah's line from ''VideoGame/DiabloII: Lord of Destruction'': "You knew it would come to this. Kill Baal; finish the game!"
* Ciel and Kohaku in ''[[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Kagetsu Tohya]]'' both complain about their popularity. Kohaku is obviously referring to ''Tsukihime'' and breaking the fourth wall. Ciel... well, she breaks it a minute or two later (by commenting that even if she isn't popular, at least her sprite lets her carry an item. Yay umbrella) but hasn't yet by that point and is really referring to the school government play thingy. Oh, and she also complains about how it was called off because they didn't want to make sprites or anything for all the adults in the play... Uh... Yea, it's that kind of game, except when it isn't.
* In ''Terminator 3: Redemption'', the T-850 kills the T-X with the PreMortemOneLiner "Game Over". Very aptly, it's the end of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' Mr. Edogawa notes that SummonMagic is "widely seen in books, movies, better video games, and so on...". ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' (except for ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'', where the characters [[{{Shapeshifting}} turn into them]] instead) combat is heavily reliant on summoning demons.
** Mr Edogawa later has an entire lecture on Jungian Psychology, which forms the basis behind the entire Persona series.
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' continues the trend: During one pivotal late-game scene, when a major twist is revealed, the plot so far is called a "cat and mouse game" and a character remarks, "Games like these always have to have some kind of twist at the end to keep things interesting."
** Rise's final [[LevelUpAtIntimacy5 Social Link]] event ends with her saying [[AndThenWhat she doesn't know what to do after this]] since "if we were on TV, this would be a wrap." Cue fadeout.
* In the Mountain Range level of ''VideoGame/TheNamelessMod'', you can sneak up on two mooks facing a jumping puzzle the player must pass in order to enter the facility through the back way. One of them mentions how stupid and dangerous it is for people to use it, and that its is "just like those old video games, adding in a stupid jumping puzzle instead of just giving you more enemies to shoot."
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWarGhostOfSparta'':
-->'''Thanatos''': "You are nothing but a pawn in a game you don't even know is being played."
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', at the landing that leads to the Mage Tower, there are a pair of NPC's beyond a fence that are discussing how they're merely "in a play", prompting one to dismiss the idea that they're being watched by "beings" for amusement by pointing out that he has a boil on his big toe that [[GenreBlindness proves the theory wrong]] - at which point he claims that anyone doing so [[YouBastard are simply sick, twisted bastards]].
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', a mage Hawke can say this to Carver, if asked whether they're curious about the origin of their name:
-->'''Hawke:''' I'm sure someone thought far too long about my name.
* Used in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheDarksideChronicles'' Game of Oblivion (which is a recreation of ''Code Veronica''). When walking up the stairs to fight Alfred Ashford, you are attacked by two zombies and Steve Burnside leans on the Fourth Wall here.
-->'''Steve''': "Zombie, zombie, zombie, zombie! Ugh, it's like a damn video game!"
* In the ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series, installing the "Humor" program into Mega Man makes him do and say some nutty things. ''Battle Network 6'' gives us this conversation between him and Lan:
-->'''Mega Man''': Lan, do you ever get the feeling that someone is operating you...Like you aren't in control of yourself?
-->'''Lan''': What do you mean?
-->'''Mega Man''': You operate me, right? Well, what if someone was operating you like some kind of game? What if you weren't really in control?
-->'''Lan''': You mean someone is operating me!? I'm not a Navi, I'm a person!! Why would anyone operate me like I'm the star of a game? A game in its 6th hit installment perhaps... Are you feeling alright Mega Man?
-->'''Mega Man''': Sorry...I'm just saying...What if?
* One level in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' takes place in a library. During gameplay, the Prince's sidekick/love interest Farah will occasionally read excerpts from books, and eventually the Prince exclaims, "If you want to be useful, [[PamphletShelf try finding a book that'll tell us how to get out of here]]!" Farah replies with, "This isn't that kind of game", causing the Prince to mutter, "Game? [[ThisIsReality She thinks this is a game]]."
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'s end song: ''[[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Still Alive]]''
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]''': And we're out of beta. We're releasing on time.
** In the sequel, a few of Wheatley's lines.
-->'''[=Wheatley=]''': We can go anywhere! No rail to tell us where we can go! Now where do we go? ...Actually, just follow the rail.
** Also from the sequel, at one point [[spoiler: Wheatley]] announces "This is the part where I kill you." Then the chapter name comes up, and it's "The Part Where He Kills You." [[RuleOfThree And then]] the Steam achievement notification pops up, and it's also "The Part Where He Kills You."
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' does this when Mario is low on lives or runs out and gets a GameOver. If you are low on lives, Lubba suggests using the orange Luma (Player 2) to help you with the more difficult tasks and to have more fun. If you run out of lives, he will suggest to Mario to take a break. Similarly, if you lose a lot of lives in the process of getting through a level, he'll commend Mario for pulling through on a galaxy he was having a tough time with.
** There's also Mario humming the theme tune of ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand''.
* ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance]]'' has several conversations wherein a character is playing a war game and asks for strategic advice on a battle that just happens to be very similar to the battle you're about to play.
* While ''SamAndMax'' breaks the FourthWall regularly, sometimes they teasingly poke the glass, like lampshading their formulaic exchanges:
-->'''Sam''': Random but innocuous comment.
-->'''Max''': Irreverent reply which hints at mental instability!
-->'''Sam''': You crack me up, little buddy.
** In the first episode of ''Season 2'', the Bad News headline reads "New S&M Season". If you examine it, though, Max says it's a shame Sam [[FunnyAnimal (a dog)]] doesn't wear a collar since [[IThoughtItMeant the paper says they're in style]].
** The penultimate episode of Season Three has [[spoiler: Charlie Ho-Tep]] using Sam as a pawn in his EvilPlan, as he's the perfect StraightMan, an [[PlayerCharacter easily controlled guy who always does what he's told]].
* Near the end of ''Shantae: Risky's Revenge'', the title character shows reluctance at helping a boss from earlier in the game, claiming that she saw her "exploding in some sort of massive Stage Clear spectacle."
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'': "Is this the end? Time to roll the credits."
** Have ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' as an OldSaveBonus and you get a cutscene of Heather attempting to retrieve something from a toilet, before deciding it's too gross.
---> (While looking directly at the camera) Who can even ''think'' about doing something so disgusting?
** At the end of the credits for ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'', Kaufman's analysis notes on the patient are directly referring to what he's deduced about ''you'' during the therapy sessions. Not the first game that's done this, until he ends the notes with "Lots of ground uncovered. Might be best to go back to the start and reexamine everything with the knowledge we have now. [[{{Macrogame}} Think patient]] [[NewGamePlus will agree?]]"
* In ''VideoGame/{{Scratches}}'', Arthate's working notes contain his musings over whether the threat in his latest horror novel should turn out to be natural, supernatural, or MaybeMagicMaybeMundane. [[spoiler: This corresponds to the original ending of the game itself, and to each of the multiple endings of the Director's Cut version.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' occasionally breaks the fourth wall, but more often makes passing comments in throwaway puns that give translators headaches that lean pretty heavily on the fourth wall. A good example is Marisa's comment in ''Imperishable Night'' where, when asked what she was doing out at night early on in the game, Marisa replies, "It's my annual {{Youkai}} Extermination Month. I'll go wherever youkai live." - ''Imperishable Night'' and the other Windows ''Touhou'' games before it were all released in the same month of consecutive years. It's worth noting that even though the game came out in the same month in real life, the games take place during different seasons in-game (with the seasons being important basic elements to several of those games, like ''Perfect Cherry Blossom'' being about someone stealing the season of Spring, keeping Winter from passing), meaning the joke only makes sense when it is referencing the fourth wall.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'''s {{D|ownloadableContent}}LC ''Lair of the Shadow Broker'', Shepard must battle waves of mooks with Liara as a hacking tool slowly unlocks a door for them--Shepard will reminisce about the days when you could just slap [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 omni-gel on everything]]. Liara says [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks the change made a lot of people angry]].
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' the player meets with recurring character Conrad Verner once again. A well-known glitch in the second game was that Conrad would claim you had drawn a gun on him, even if you had not taken that option in the first game. Conrad apologizes for the mistake, saying he was really stressed out. Possibly as an added joke, he will say this even in games where you actually did hold a gun on him. Conrad is also surprised that weapons now use "thermal clips" instead of cooling down. His doubts about the efficacy of this switch mirrors what many players said, with a line about how "you might as well be going back to limited ammunition" reflecting suspicions that the change was done to appeal to fans of more traditional FPS games.
** In the ''Citadel'' DLC for ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', you can overhear several soldiers talking about missions they were on, clearly referencing the multiplayer. For instance, an Infiltrator rants to a Vorcha about how one Vanguard she deployed with was focused on racking up kills instead of completing the objectives.
--->'''Vorcha Soldier:''' [[YouNoTakeCandle Vanguard charge away! Upload go slow! Bad for team!]]
** One of these multiplayer characters is an [[SquishyWizard N7 Fury]] talking to an Alliance Procurement Officer, who gets her a heavy shotgun, thermal clips, and a strength enhancer. Given that none of these things are optimized for such a class, those who've played the multiplayer get this is a nod to the fickleness of the RandomNumberGenerator nature of the online store.
* In ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'', after Travis kills Alice, the 2nd ranked assassin, he unleashes all his bottled rage due to CharacterDevelopment at Sylvia. Except if you take the rant for yourself, it strikes ''really'' [[YouBastard close to home.]]
-->See that? Now THAT was a BATTLE! Look at this blood! We HUMANS are ALIVE! Even if we ARE assassins! Doesn't matter if it's a video game, movie, drama, anime, manga... We're ALIVE! People shed blood and die. This isn't a game! You can't selfishly use death as your tool! THIS is Alice's blood! I bet you've already forgotten she existed! Same way you would have forgotten me! And that's why I'm tearing down the UAA!
** Not that they're doing this in a game that [[NoFourthWall ever had a fourth wall in the first place]]...
* This trope is used often in ''Franchise/AceAttorney''. At one point in ''Trials and Tribulations'', presenting Maya with Phoenix's profile prompts the pair into a conversation over Phoenix's strange [[AnimeHair anime style hair]]:
-->"I mean, you normally only see hair like that in video games."
** This is also played in the first game when Dick Gumshoe referees to his constant use of "pal":
---> "Hey! You can't just go around saying pal like that! That's ''my'' [[CharmPoint endearing character trait]]!"
** In ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'', if you select "Refresher course, please!" when Kristoph Gavin asks if you want a refresher on cross-examinations, Justice will think "Better safe than sorry, especially this early in the game!"
** In ''[[VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Investigations]]'', upon meeting Lauren Paups for the first time, Kay comments on how she reminds her of a cartoon character. Although technically the games aren't cartoons; and you'll probably get [[FandomBerserkButton yelled at by fans for calling the art style that of a cartoon]], it's close enough.
* In ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction'', whenever a character joins the guild's roster, there's a little fanfare that plays. When the starting cast joins in the beginning, [[DeadpanSnarker Qual]][[MetaGuy stio]] says "Is that nauseatingly cheerful music gonna play every time someone joins?" at one point. [[spoiler:Kulkumatz]] [[BrickJoke also asks]] "What was that sound?" when he joins. Also overlaps with LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn.
* Ember does this in ''VideoGame/SpyroAHerosTail''. Her line goes "Don't take that bridge to the swamp, Spyro. If you do, I might never see you again". This both refers to the fact that it's dangerous, and she may not seem him again, and that she disappears from the game after you cross the bridge.
* The ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series does this fairly regularly. For example, an optional conversation from the [[VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness first game]]:
-->'''Goleck:''' The Prinnies were talking about "MultipleEndings..."\\
'''Laharl:''' ...Huh? Endings to what?
* In ''VideoGame/StarCraftII: Wings of Liberty'', just before the final mission if you click on Tychus he will comment that he is worried about the artifact they are using and that he fears it might shatter the entire space-time continuum. Raynor's response is to tell him that it's not science fiction.
** Ten years passed between the release of the original ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft|I}}'' and the announcement of its sequel. What were the first word's spoken by a character and the only line in the trailer?
--> ''Hell, it's about'' time.
** In [[VideoGame/StarCraftIIHeartOfTheSwarm Heart of the Swarm]], when breaking into a lab, Kerrigan notes how heavily fortified it is and comments, "Just getting inside will be an achievement." Sure enough, the [[CosmeticAward achievement]] for completing the ensuing mission is named, "Just Getting Inside".
* One of the many examples from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'':
-->'''Sanger:''' Shut up! The Colossal Blade is the sword of my soul! As long as I have this I can still fight! This mech will inherit my soul! Behold the power of...\\
'''*Giant writing on the screen*:''' Episode 30: Dygenguard!\\
'''Vigagi:''' What was that!? And what does 'Episode 30' mean!?
** Tenzan, [[IKnowMortalKombat who learned how to pilot mechs entirely through video games]], constantly sees everything in video game terms. After he is defeated, he insists with his last breath that he'll just press Continue and try again with full HP. Which is something the player can actually do in case of a Game Over, but he can't.
* In the ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' series:
** In ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'', a frustrated Guybrush Threepwood complains, "It's like my life is a neverending series of puzzles!"
** After Escape, fans had to wait 9 years for a new game. When it arrived, [[VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland it was in episodic format]], with episodes coming out a month apart. At the end of the first episode a woman says "I've been waiting a long time for this!", to which Guybrush replies "Can't you wait a little longer?" Later, the woman turns out to be a fangirl.
* Several times in ''VideoGame/RustyHearts'', such as:
-->'''Frantz:''' Why do they have you cooking for the soldiers anyway? It's obvious you're terrible at it.\\
'''Patricia:''' There weren't enough [=NPCs=]...\\
''and also''\\
'''Angela:''' I'm only doing this because I need the experience points.
* In ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIV'' when leaving the party [[CrutchCharacter he vastly out levels]], Rune mentions to not think about defeating [[EvilSorcerer Zio]], as "At this stage of the game, you're no match for him!", with "game" argubly being a figurative speech given his cocky personality.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' has a moment of this at [[spoiler: Belinsk Ruins]] when Karis and Sveta wonder if someone else is guiding the party's actions.
** Preceded by ''VideoGame/GoldenSun: The Lost Age'', where answering "No" or being otherwise disagreeable to Kraden throughout the game eventually resulted in him throwing a tantrum and [[CrowningMomentOfFunny asking if Felix thought this was all just a game]].
* In the city of Windhelm in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', there's a book in Calixto's Museum of Curiosities called ''The Book of Fate'', which purports to show the reader's fate. When the [[PlayerCharacter Dovahkiin]] reads it, [[BlankBook the book is blank]]. When you think about [[WideOpenSandbox the nature of the series]] (and its habit of making FourthWall jokes)...
** It's actually a critical point. The book remains blank for anyone who has no fate, which in the lore refers to the "Heroes" referenced in the Elder Scrolls themselves, which in turn is referring to the player characters of each Elder Scrolls game.
* Near the end of the true final fight of ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', [[spoiler: Chakratarvin's final form starts doing his own QTE's that are similar to your own QTE's, as if someone else is controlling him]].
* Of all games, ''VideoGame/FIFASoccer 2012'' does this. Martin Tyler and Alan Smith comment casually on the fact that the players' passing looks like the players are part of a computer game if they're timed right and accurate enough.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has some skits triggered by having the characters fight in their alternate swimsuit costumes. In the skits, they wonder why they're dressed like that, claiming they have no idea why and feeling like some unknown force was causing them to do it.
** The in-battle quotes are also weirdly fourth-wall-leaning-ish. In the Franchise/TalesSeries characters often have incantations, quotes for when they're at low health, etcetera, which all make sense in the context of a fight. In Abyss, the AI members have quotes if you order them to take certain actions, but the character you're controlling doesn't verbally give the order. So if you ask Jade to cast Thunder Blade for the eight hundredth time, when he snaps "oh, very well," he seems to be snarking at ''you.''
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' has the same thing as Abyss if you make Karol run around in a towel. He says someone's making him wear it because they thought it would be funny, but everyone in the party insists it wasn't their idea, and then Karol looks really confused.
** Similar to the Abyss example above, party members will often pick on your playstyle if you do weird/bad things like running around without attacking, using too many artes, or using too many items.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'', Ninetails has the same Celestial brush ability that you do. If you take too long drawing your attacks on the canvas, its own brush appears and cancels them. This falls into Leaning on the Fourth Wall territory because the brush looks the same and pauses time like you do.
* The third ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' game did away with the previous two's use of alarms [[CallAHitPointASmeerp as the player's "lives"]], where even outside of missions (or sections of them) that would immediately fail if the player got detected once, they still usually had a limit of being detected three times before game over. This was pointed out in the second mission of ''Chaos Theory'':
-->'''Lambert:''' Fisher, we just pulled up Celestina's dry-dock report for the ''Maria Narcissa''. They have a newly-installed central alarm system.\\
'''Sam:''' Don't tell me... three alarms and the mission is over?\\
'''Lambert''': Of course not, this is no video game, Fisher.
* Implemented in Ending D in ''VideoGame/{{NieR}}''. Since it involves [[spoiler:a HeroicSacrifice, with [[RetGone cancellation from existence]]]], this translates into ''[[spoiler:erasing '''all''' your save data]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' there is an NPC in Honor Hold who claims he feels as though he is going through the same sequence of actions repeatedly, making reference to [[GoingThroughTheMotions going through an action loop]].
* ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'''s York constantly talks to his ImaginaryFriend, Zach, and has a tendency to do whatever Zach tells him to do, regardless of [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny whether or not it]] [[TheLoonie makes sense at the time.]] Zach is essentially the player, and WordOfGod is that Zach was created to bridge the gap between player and PC and explain why the PC is free to go OffTheRails.
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'': This comes up frequently as EnemyChatter.
-->'''Criminal:''' Arkham City's worse than the old one. I should get a refund.
** One dialogue among three thugs inside the museum during the epilogue initially sounds like they're just discussing what's going to happen to the inmates now that the Arkham City experiment has failed. But considering that players never hear who the 'they' they're talking about are, it sounds an awful lot like they're talking about where the sequel will take place. Here's the exchange, with a bit of paraphrasing.
-->'''Thug 1:''' So what happens now?\\
'''Thug 2:''' I guess we'll just stay here until they figure out what they're doing next.\\
'''Thug 3:''' C'mon, man. What could they do next? Arkham County? Arkham Country? Big-ass Arkham World?\\
'''Thug 2:''' I dunno, man. These guys are crazy, aren't they?\\
'''Thug 3:''' Yes, they are.
** In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", a couple of thugs discuss the [[WildMassGuessing fan theory]] that [[spoiler: Batman carried Clayface out of Arkham City, not the Joker]] before one of them dismisses it as [[ThisIsReality stupid and unrealistic]]. The other responds that so was the idea of [[spoiler: two Jokers]].
** Joker [[MediumAwareness (as usual)]] leans on the wall throughout the both games. However he outright leans so hard the fourth wall cracks with this line:
--> "Bats! You don't seem to be coming to the theater, and I would hate for you to go onto the Internet and look for spoilers!"
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemptionUndeadNightmare'' has the exchange between Marston and the Film Maker.
-->'''Marston:''' Listen, any idea what the hell is going on [[TheWildWest here]]?\\
'''Film Maker:''' No, but its brilliant. [[ZombieApocalypse Man turned against man, kindhearted neighbors turned into savage flesh eating monsters!]] Do you see it? [[LampshadeHanging It would make a fantastic movie!]]\\
'''Marston:''' [[YouBastard Who would enjoy that? What kind of sick person would like that?]]\\
'''Film Maker:''' My sir! The LowestCommonDenominator! My people.\\
'''Marston:''' You're gone, friend...
* Several lines of dialogue in ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' are clearly aimed as much at the player as at Capt. Martin Walker.
-->'''[[spoiler:John Konrad:]]''' You're here because you wanted to be something you're not - a hero.
* ''VideoGame/TheSimpsonsGame'' has a moment, after the Sea Captain spends an entire level assisting Bart and Lisa in overthrowing the dolphins (based on the Halloween Special "Night of the Dolphin").
-->'''Sea Captain''': Y'arr, I've had a great time today, kids. I almost never appear this much in the [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons series...]]\\
'''Bart and Lisa''': Huh?\\
'''Sea Captain''': ...of events that constitute your lives.
* In one of the mission postings in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'', the poster complains about a law that requires people to not have full HP, which has caused people to randomly attack him because of the silly law.
* ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'': At one point during the alien base infiltration mission, the following remark is heard from the peanut gallery that is your base's command staff:
--> '''[[TheEngineer Dr. Shen]]:''' Is this what the aliens do for fun? At least they're not playing ... computer games.
* When you take down the first enemy in Scenario 22 of the Earth Route in ''VideoGame/ShinSuperRobotWars'', the enemy will use a Spirit Command. Of course, Zuhl's "galactic" genius is not matched by his assistant, who rapidly starts pushing the wrong buttons. After a while of this (culminating in Tekagen), Zuhl furiously orders his subordinate not to use any more Spirit Commands. All this is done to [[Characters/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Ryusei Date's]] vast amusement.
* In ''VideoGame/CrashTwinsanity'', right before warping to [[AnotherDimension the Tenth Dimension]], Cortex, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTJmXzWNRv4 while speaking to Crash]], hints at a reference to the game's apparently unfinished development. Originally, two additional dimensions were planned to be implemented into the game, but were ultimately scrapped due to a restricting timeline budget from Interactive Studios.
-->'''Cortex''': Come, now, as we explore... ''a new dimension!!'' ...It should have been ''two'' dimensions, but we ran out of time.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Neptunia}}'' series does this all the time, and takes full advantage of its primary cast being the AnthropomorphicPersonification of various game consoles to be particularly blunt about it. A particularly unusual example in ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaVictory'' is [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 Noire's]] equipment options, which have their descriptions written as though the UsefulNotes/{{P|layStation3}}S3 (as in, the one sitting in your living room running the game) is quite proud of itself for rendering such appealing objects for its patron goddess to use.
* Michael in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' tells his psychiatrist, "One minute I'm one person, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation and the next I'm another person."]]
** We also have this [[http://prod.cloud.rockstargames.com/ugc/gta5photo/6414/ajGr6BVEQk-yJTIXBb1zQA/0_0.jpg billboard]].
* In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' and its Episodes, the vortigaunts possibly subtly refer to the player, using wording like "Far distant eyes look out through yours" and "We serve the same mystery".
* This line from ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', lampshading Kyousuke's role as the BigBrotherMentor:
-->'''Riki:''' ''This always happens. He suddenly appears, dispenses advice and vanishes, like a scene in a manga.''
* Done in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' a few times, generally by Kreia, in regards to ExperiencePoints. The line from [[spoiler:the rejoined Jedi Council]] about the PlayerCharacter getting strength through killing others is a particularly spelled-out instance.
* In ''Hidden Expedition 4: Devil's Island'' the concluding paragraph of a history of the Elysian Islands commented that the islanders really needed a scientific genius to swoop in and save them all. "But that kind of thing only happens on TV, and sometimes in games."
* In ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', at the end of the first day, Atsuro mentions how the COMPs function apps (which are used by the player to access various game functions) are being opened up to them one at a time as though whoever set them up were easing the users to using them. He then starts to compare it to a video game, before being interrupted by Yuzu.
-->'''Atsuro''': It's like those games. Start the player off easy, and then...
* In ''Videogame/DevilSurvivor2'', after Daichi saves Hinako from a group of demons, she chastises him for being so loud about it, saying "This isn't a video game! You don't have to [[CallingYourAttacks call your attacks!"]]
* There are two instances of this in ''Videogame/TheLogomancer'' that are serious rather than comedic:
** Switch out a few words, and Glenton's description of his Forgotten Plantation and other logomancers' constructs could easily fit into a discussion about the purpose and artistic trajectory of the video game medium. Other logomancers create escapist paradises that are enjoyable but not particularly stimulating; Glenton wants to use his creations as an educational tool, recreating old myths and stories as interactive adventures that provoke thought and analysis.
** In "Edited For Content", Ardus' discussion of his novel is clearly a commentary on the writing process in general and the artistic motives of novelists. And though the parallel is never made explicit, it is distinctly possible the discussion applies to the writing of the game itself, as many of the tropes used or subverted in the game (such as InMediasRes and {{Infodump}}) are discussed rather extensively.
* One of Venom's taunts in ''VideoGame/SpiderMan'' is him humming part of the famous opening of the original Spider-Man cartoon.
* After completing ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' a couple of times, Alex will narrate in the ending that she feels as if a hole has opened in her mind and given her a glimpse of "a strong ally", but she can't figure out its identity; it's implied to be the player.
* Pit's first line in ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' is "Sorry to keep you waiting!". He's talking to his superior the goddess Palutena but it also counts as pointing out the fact that the game came out [[SequelGap 21 years]] after the previous game.
* Junior's "gamer talk" in ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc'' very obviously provides tongue-in-cheek hints on obscure gameplay mechanics (such as the ScoringPoints), even if it's ostensibly about different games.
* In ''[[VideoGame/PuzzleAndDragons Puzzle & Dragon Z]]'', when they reached the final stage of The Passage of Life, the Hero, Nick and Sara mention how they've gotten to the end of the dungeon. Sara says that at the end of a dungeon there's only one thing there could be. Prompting everyone to simultaneously shout out "BOSS BATTLE!"
* ''VideoGame/TheWitness'': The prize for completing a hidden, difficult-to-achieve reward is a lecture that talks about why hidden, difficult-to-achieve rewards shouldn't be the coolest part of a game. Naturally, the hidden achievement was one of the most talked about part of the game from players.
* In ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'', Luigi will hum what is actually the background music in an attempt to maintain morale.
* ''[[VideoGame/MarioParty Mario Party 5]]'': When it comes to the final five turns, Bowser will show the current player ranks and then remark 'At this rate, (leader) is going to beat all of you! If it's that easy, this ain't a Mario Party!', in what can definitely be read as an acknowledgement from the developers of how you can be screwed out of the lead in ''no time at all'' in this series.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In [[http://www.crfh.net/d2/20000401.html this scene]] from ''Webcomic/CollegeRoomiesFromHell'', Roger isn't breaking the fourth wall, he's stoned out of his gourd on hallucinogenic blue mushrooms and talking to [[http://www.crfh.net/d2/20000403.html a Simpsons poster.]]
* In ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'', Davan's furniture is in storage when Aubrey comes round. She says "Where's all your furniture? It's like we're in a comic and the cartoonist is too goddamn lazy to draw in the background like he usually does."
** In another strip [=PeeJee=] asks why everything seems to revolve around sex. Davan instantly replies "Bad writing", but he's not really listening, he's hating the novel he's reading.
** When Jason asks where comics characters go when their series is over, Aubrey suggests "the background of another, crappier, comic" and then they go on to discuss two characters ''S*P'' inherited from other webcomics. Aubrey says Helen (from ''Webcomic/PennyAndAggie'') is a decent person, but "For some reason, people get angry when she's around". Helen's appearances in ''S*P'' always drew angry emails from some ''P&A'' fans who didn't like how ''S*P''[='=]s author wrote her.
* ''Webcomic/AgentsOfTheRealm'' has a moment when Kendall asks about local legends and Paige is about to drop a four-page-long {{Infodump}}:
-->'''Paige''': This is going to be a ''hell'' of an exposition.
* ''Webcomic/{{Frivolesque}}'' has Suzie and Marianne, two background extras who tend to discuss things that lean strongly against the fourth wall whenever they get lines. Chloe also exhibits this behavior [[http://frivolesque.com/archives/comic/124-premonition sometimes]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has this in Caliborn, who partially functions as a parody of the fans of the comic that criticize its glacial pacing. In a particularly slow part of the comic, while talking to Dirk, he points out the angst that the Alpha kids constantly have, wanting them to get on with the actual plot.
* ''Webcomic/GrrlPower''
** [[http://grrlpowercomic.com/archives/1682 Here]]: it's ambiguous Whether Sydney is actually talking to the audience or to Harem in the flashback panel.
** Also [[http://grrlpowercomic.com/archives/1741 here]]. Doubly serves as a TitleDrop (at least pronunciation-wise).
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', page [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=499 499]]:
-->'''Coyote:''' How is ''that'' for an enigmatic answer?\\
'''Ysengrin:''' Very enigmatic. [[ShrugOfGod It barely answers anything at all.]]\\
'''Antimony:''' In fact, [[KudzuPlot it raises more questions than before]].\\
'''Coyote:''' Hahaha! Aw come on, I can't tell you ''everything'' right away! That would make for a boring story, don't you think?
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' did this, especially early on, sometimes [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20040929.html featuring]] an amusing LampshadeHanging:
-->'''Schlock:''' I think [the chin] looks cool. Kinda heroic, like it belongs in a comic book or something.\\
'''Narrator:''' For the sake of the fourth wall, the chin's coming off.
** Or [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2001-01-30 on the page]] after the one where Kaff Tagon's "OhCrap" was [[SpeechBubblesInterruption covered with another speech bubble]]:
-->'''Kevyn''': ...a [[{{Antimatter}} conversion bomb]]. [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill Just one]] of those will take out the kitesfear, the entire [[SpaceElevator hellevator]], and then [[DefaceOfTheMoon severely, irreparably irradiate this side of Luna]].
-->'''Tagon''': Tell me again why I'm not allowed to use profanity or obscenity right now?
* [[http://girlyyy.com/go/760 This page]] of ''Webcomic/{{Girly}}'': "These dickweeds sure can't get enough of it, all this swirly pitch blackness..." "It's probably because [[LazyArtist it's so easy to draw]]... [''next panel''] [[CueCardPause our attention with it]]."
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Tarquin (DangerouslyGenreSavvy already) calls out the readers when [[spoiler:[[DracoInLeatherPants Thog]] turns out to be the arena champion]].
--->'''Tarquin:''' It's weird no matter how many people he kills, the audience still thinks he's lovable.
** Two just-introduced characters have a conversation that's perfectly mundane within the story, but take a whole double meaning when you know that Veldrina is a cameo granted as reward for contributing to the kickstarter effort for the webcomic, and Wrecan is a posthumous cameo for a high-profile fan who'd passed away a few years earlier.
--->'''Veldrina:''' Can you believe I threw 5000 buck down just to get stuck ''here?!?''\\
'''Wrecan:''' And it felt like it took two or three years to get ''this'' far!\\
'''Veldrina:''' That's money I could have spent on a new brooch. Or maybe a nice ''cameo''.
* [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/like-a-fable/ This]] strip of ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' starts with ConversationalTroping between Shelly and Heather, and ends with Shelly asking who the audience is in this scenario while looking directly at the "camera."
* Discussed (sort of) in [[http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=1910/ this]] ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'' strip [[spoiler:wherein God notices the fact that time passes in panels and mentions it, then when questioned about what he meant, insists that he doesn't know and neither should T-Rex]].
* ''[[http://nekothekitty.smackjeeves.com/comics/940008/693-action-drama-suspense/Neko the Kitty]]'' occasionally talks to a pretend audience in-comic. In later strips he also appears outside of the comic panels to deliver an additional sign-off gag.
* In ''Webcomic/QuestionDuck'', when the duck and main human character return with WildHair after ScheduleSlip, [[http://questionduck.smackjeeves.com/comics/1387643/277/ another character asked where they had been.]] (This is only the third time in this strip that someone other than the duck has spoken.)
* Nadine in ''Webcomic/DemolitionSquad'' does this from time to time, pointing out that she has completed the SAME year in school three or four times over, that she is an unrelated teenager below the age of majority freeloading at the principal characters' apartment for no clearly explained reason, that he would do well not to mention this is a job interview, that she has been wearing the same outfit for several years, and so on.
* Happens early on in ''Webcomic/IWasKidnappedByLesbianPiratesFromOuterSpace''
-->'''Susie:''' Lesbian pirates from outer space! Psh! Sounds like a comic book to me. One that I'd definitely read.
* The punchline of ''[[Webcomic/{{Xkcd}} XKCD]]'' [[http://xkcd.com/1054/ #1054]] depends entirely on you ''reading'' the speech bubbles instead of imagining them as spoken dialogue.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Life}}'':
** Felicia is about to go live with her [[ShowWithinAShow webcomic site]] when [[http://www.cha0sden.com/Life.php?comic=141 she realizes the comic doesn't have any color.]] Guess when the ''Life'' archive [[http://www.cha0sden.com/Life.php?comic=142 switches to full color?]]
** [[http://www.cha0sden.com/Life.php?comic=176 After the calculus final.]]
--->'''Felicia:''' Now I just have to wait until report cards to see how I did... when do they usually come out?\\
'''Madison:''' Two weeks from now, I think...\\
'''Felicia:''' Bleh... I wish I could just skip ahead two weeks...\\
'''Madison:''' That's a little...\\
[''[[TimeSkip two weeks later!]]'']\\
'''Felicia:''' I got a 76!
* In ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}'', Ash and Rumisiel have a very interesting exchange while shopping:
-->'''Ash:''' [[http://www.misfile.com/?date=2013-12-09 . . . Besides, I feel like I have to start being the protagonist in my own life story.]]\\
'''Rumisiel:''' You're screwed then. I'm totally the protagonist of our collective lives.\\
'''Ash:''' You are life's side character at best, and probably an antagonist.
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': [[http://www.dragonball-multiverse.com/en/page-355.html At one time]], Vegeta complains that his waiting after his first fight seems to him like two years. Guess how much real time had passed since the fight.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''
** In one [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=1809 strip,]] the characters are talking about shipping in general, and Elliot/Susan shippers in particular. As for why they'd be talking about people shipping themselves, Susan and Elliot have an [[ShowWithinAShow in-universe movie review show,]] and they have pretty good on-screen chemistry to the point where many people in-universe assumed they were a couple.
** In another [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=2051 comic]], after Elliot accidentally reveals information that he wasn't intending to due to jumping to conclusions, the strip immediately cuts to Tedd who appears to be calling him out on it despite being in a completely different location. However, [[FourthWallPsych it turns out he's just watching an old sitcom, and commenting on a similar mistake]].
* In an impressive bit of Meta-fiction that leads back to [[Wiki/TVTropes This Very Wiki]], ''Webcomic/SkinHorse'' has a scene where Sweetheart is reading the IronicEchoCut page, only to be interrupted with an IronicEchoCut.
* ''Erfworld'' in explanation for the magic discipline Turnamancy:
-->That was why the seemingly disparate acts of turning wheels and turning prisoners fell under the same kind of magic.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Timmy occasionally notes that all the historical figures visited by ''WebVideo/TheTimeGuys'' are played by the same actor.
* Nearly every episode of ''WebVideo/TheAllenAndCraigShow'' is about making that episode, and the characters consistently address the audience, camera guy, and the fact that they have very little money to produce the program.
* The 3rd RP of ''Roleplay/DarwinsSoldiers'' gives us this little quote:
-->'''Cpl. Thomas Stern:''' It's as if someone is watching us and giving us what we need in order to get through our problems. That's very odd. Too much like 'deus ex machina' for me.
* Done in an episode of ''WebVideo/PotterPuppetPals'' where Harry says towards the end, "...leave a comment, or submit a video response. And remember to subscribe!" It is presumed he's saying it to the audience before the camera cuts to Ron and Hermione, who look very confused.
* Near the end of Season 5 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Church expresses irritation at the fact that "something dramatic happens exactly every five minutes" (which is the length of a typical episode).
* In the final chapter of ''Literature/SailorNothing'', one of the main villains gives a [[BreakThemByTalking Breaking Speech]] that can be taken as him addressing either the characters or the audience.
* ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'': a common trend that appears at least once each version is to have a character rant at one of the [[SinisterSurveillance cameras]]. While they're usually directed at the terrorists and/or the in-universe audience, a portion can also be interpreted as applying to the readers of the site themselves, in some examples being in a YouBastard context.
* In his Anime Abandon review of ''Manga/CityHunter: .357 Magnum'', WebVideo/BennettTheSage looks at the bottom-right corner of the frame to check how much time is left in the video when he realizes he's only thirty minutes into the source material.
* In ''WebVideo/VideoGameHighSchool'', Brian Firenzi plays a high-school-age character but obviously looks much older. Near the end of season 3, another character tells him that he "looks like a thirty year old man" but he just laughs it off.
* ''Wiki/TVTropes'':
** An editor of the site will often introduce themselves as "ThisTroper". This is frowned upon for examples. So are DarthWiki/ThatTroper and SugarWiki/TheOtherTroper.
** There are a handful of articles that make a point of addressing the reader directly, such as BigBrotherIsWatchingYou.
* In ''Roleplay/NanQuest'', the BigBad asks Nan "Do you have a single thought of your own making?" while giving a HannibalLecture. Given that her every thought and action was dictated by the tgchan collective, well... no, she doesn't.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': Velvet is a one-off character who became such an instant hit with the fans that she was given a recurring role and a fan-designed uniform, but her weapon was kept deliberately secret during the design competition. When her team is finally introduced in battle in the Volume 2 finale, Velvet starts to reveal her weapon but is told by Coco to not waste it on the current fight because she's spent all semester working on it. It is a major tease for the audience, but turns out to have a valid in-universe reason for being so restricted in use. [[spoiler:It's a camera that allows Velvet to fight with any huntsman weapon she's photographed. However, it's a one-shot use, and she has to take new photographs before she can use it battle a second time.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''
** The episode "Wild Cards" ends with Hawkgirl and Green Lantern kissing, resolving the {{U|nresolvedSexualTension}}ST that had developed between them since the first season. This is followed by the voiceover of an old woman saying "It's about time!" The camera cuts to show that this is the same old woman who has been playing a slot machine since the beginning of the episode, and she just hit the jackpot. Earlier in the episode, Joker announces that the League is being timed on how quickly they can defuse the bombs. A "digital clock" appears on screen and starts the clock ticking at 22:51, the typical run time of the show straight. He then comments "Oh, what were you expecting from me; a ''round number?''" Later he looks at the clock and comments that there isn't a lot of time. Sure he's breaking the fourth wall on his ShowWithinAShow, but he's leaning on ours as well.
** ComicBook/GreenArrow makes an entrance where he [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GMbeQe0klA sings along with his own theme song.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** The show has a funeral for Chef in-show, where Kyle seems to be discussing the out-of-show reasons why the late Isaac Hayes chose to leave the program. Kyle expresses his fondness for Chef, and it's clear that he's also expressing the writers' fondness for Hayes.
** The beginning of the 200th episode has Kyle and Cartman exchanging insults. Stan tells them to stop, saying "all you're doing is rehashing a bunch of old stuff!"
** The 201st episode had the boys saying that it was silly people would care more about knowing who Cartman's father is than showing Muhammad. He is in fact referring to the show's fanbase.
** The conclusion of the 232nd episode "Raising the Bar" depicts the characters lamenting the low standards they have for entertainment and style of living, while saying so they take full responsibility for [[TitleDrop Lowering the Bar]] themselves as a society, as a hand-wave to everyone saying the show has a low quality of humor.
** Episode 103, involving Joozian aliens who control all of television.
---> "You've made it to a hundred episodes, you should be proud!"
---> Yeah, a show should never go past a hundred episodes, or else it starts to get stale with ridiculously stupid plotlines and settings."
** In Cartman's anti-''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' rant he explicitly compares himself as a character in a comedy show to the writing of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', much to Kyle's confusion.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan'' TV show, when Creator/StanLee's resident AuthorAvatar for the show hears Spidey's comment on how catchy ''Amazing Spider-Man'' (the original title for the comics in their earliest incarnation) sounds, he promptly writes it down, saying that it could be big. Then Spidey says that it would be less than [[WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan spectacular.]] Not to mention TheReveal that [[spoiler: Stan came up with the name S.H.I.E.L.D]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks,'' Bushido Brown tells Huey, "Man, you come straight out of a comic strip." (A ShoutOut to a line from ''Film/EnterTheDragon''). [[AnimatedAdaptation He literally does]].
** This exchange from one of the final episodes of season 3, which was originally going to be the last season (Note that the use of the word "episode" is ''not'' meant in the context of a TV show):
-->'''Ebony''': Robert, you'll be fine. Next week you'll have some crazy adventure with another woman. You won't even remember this little episode.
-->'''Robert''': I dunno. I'm not too sure I have many episodes left.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' pushes this as far as it can go in ''Bender's Big Score'' with the Fox...er, [[FictionalCounterpart "Box Network"]]. After being told that they have been uncancelled, Leela stands in front of a pile of ventilation machines and asks "but what does this mean for our many fans?" "It means we're back on the air! ... Yes! Flying on the air in our mighty spaceship!"
** In "Beast with a Billion Backs":
--->'''Amy:''' (just after the wedding) This is just like a movie with this happening in it.
--->'''Harold Zoid''': I got a part in a fancy DVD-movie! It's only one line but I'm gonna ham it up like you wouldn't believe!
** The first ninety seconds of the UnCancelled series are overloaded with this:
--->'''Professor Farnsworth''': We plunged into a massive wormhole, never to be seen again!
--->''(they disappear through the wormhole, the ending of the fourth movie, then suddenly reappear)''
--->'''Bender''': Yeah, we're back.
--->'''Hermes''': Sweet coincidence of Port-Au-Prince! We're back at Earth!
--->'''Professor Farnsworth''': Of course! That was the Panama Wormhole, Earth's central channel for shipping!
--->'''Zoidberg''': [[AnnoyingLaugh Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh.]] How humourous.
--->'''Professor Farnsworth''': Yes, it's sort of a [[Creator/ComedyCentral 'Comedy' central]] channel. And we're on it now!
--->'''Amy''': ''(gasps)'' I get it!
** Leela has a wall-leanin' line at the end of the season six midseason premiere episode ''Neutopia'' when Planet Express is narrowly saved from going out of business by putting out a nude calendar of all their female employees.
--->'''Leela''': Thank God most of our fans are huge perverts.
** In "Obsoletely Fabulous", after Bender discovers that his upgrade was AllJustADream:
--->'''Bender''': If that stuff wasn't real, how can I be sure anything is real? Is it not possible, nay, probable, that my whole life is just a product of my or someone else's imagination?
** In "Fear of a Bot Planet", when Bender needs to be rescued but the danger to Leela and Fry is extreme:
--->'''Fry''': Well, what are we going to do?
--->'''Leela''': I don't know, I don't know. It's not an easy decision. If only I had two or three minutes to think about it.
-->The show then immediately cuts to a commercial break.

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' is surprisingly shy with these, perhaps because creator Creator/MattGroening was adamant about the show maintaining its own reality and not resorting to fourth wall gags. Still, a few nods slip through.
** In the first clip show, "So It's Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show", Bart abruptly sets up a clip of an Itchy and Scratchy episode, which has nothing to do with what is being talked about. After it plays, Marge asks Bart why he brought that up. Bart replies, "It was an amusing episode....''of our lives''."
*** In the same episode, Grampa Simpson described comas as such: "It's like one of those TV shows where they show a bunch of clips from old episodes."
** In "Brawl in the Family" when they think the family is cured of its dysfunction, Lisa muses "Could this be an end to our series ... of events?"
** In "Mr. Plow", when the family watches the Mr. Plow commercial on a bad channel in the graveyard time slot.
-->'''Homer''': It may be on a lousy network, but The Simpsons are on the air!
** In "The Blunder Years", they teased at showing a clip show when Homer briefly reminisces about jumping Springfield Gorge in "Bart the Daredevil", only for Lisa to say "No, Dad, everyone's sick of that memory!" and the episode to resume normally
** Let's put things into perspective, first: Jay Sherman, a character from ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'', [[{{Crossover}} crosses over]] with ''The Simpsons'' in "A Star is Burns". ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'' has him host a ShowWithinAShow. Marge knew of Jay because of this show within another show. The result? This exchange at the end, where the family is bidding farewell to Jay:
-->'''Jay:''' And if you ever want to visit ''my'' show --\\
'''Bart:''' Nah, we're not going to be doing that.
** There's a list of all of the meta-references on ''The Simpsons'' at SNPP: http://www.snpp.com/guides/meta.html
** In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'', Homer complains about paying money to see the Itchy and Scratchy movie when they could have seen the same stuff on TV for free, and declares everyone in the theater to be a huge sucker. Especially... *points at the camera* you!
** Part 1 of "'Who Shot Mister Burns?" ends with the following:
-->'''Dr. Hibbert:''' Well, I couldn't possibly solve this mystery. Can ''you''? (''points at camera'')
-->(''{{beat}}, then camera pans to show that Hibbert is pointing at Chief Wiggum'')
-->'''Wiggum:''' Well, I'll give it a shot. I mean, it's my job, right?
** In "Treehouse of Horror V", one of the tombstones from the opening sequence is for "Amusing Tombstones". This was the writers' way of showing that they were tired of coming up with ideas for humorous tombstone messages. Similar sequences had been used as introductions in all four previous "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, but have not been used since this episode.
* Happens in ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'', when Tuck, [[ItMakesSenseInContext convinced that he's indestructible]], decides to drive turbo-charged tricycle down a nearly vertical ramp, over City Hall, and into a pool of sharks. Jenny insists she won't save him this time.
-->'''Jenny''': This is your last chance to back down, Tuck.
-->'''Brad''': Yeah, once you [[JumpingTheShark jump that shark]] the show's over.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' does this ALL THE TIME, especially in earlier episodes where they would talk about being able to stay on their current network. One notable example occurs in "Seahorse Seashell Party". Meg has had enough of the crap the rest of her family has put her through over the years, and after giving [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech Reason You Suck Speeches]] to Chris and Lois, she turns her attention to Peter, mentioning at one point that if anybody in the outside world saw how he treats Meg, he would be in jail by now.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'' has an example which combines this with DevelopmentGag[[note]]"Hero Generation" was the working title for Alien Force[[/note]]
-->'''Kevin''': This is the stupidest show ever.
-->'''Ben''': This isn't a good one to start with. It's not Sumo Slammers Classic; it's Sumo Slammers: Hero Generation! It's a sequel to the original series, but they kinda messed it up. It's set five years in the future and the bad guy is friends with the good guy.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob SquarePants}}''
** Considering the length of the average episode...
--->'''[[ButtMonkey Squidward]]''': Why must every 11 minutes of my life be filled with misery?
** In one episode, [=SpongeBob=] hums a snatch of [[LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn the show's ending theme "Cierre Bob Esponja"]], also occasionally used as background music.
** In the episode "Nature Pants" after [=SpongeBob=] leaves to live in nature, Sandy and Squidward make bets on how long he'll last.
---> '''Sandy:''' I'll give him a week.
---> '''Squidward:''' I'll give him eleven minutes.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' the titans are TrappedInTVLand. At one point Robin yells at the in-cartoon TV viewers to not watch a show due to a villain modifying it. After a few moments of screaming, Raven says it isn't working, obviously. In the same episode, Cyborg mentions that they are in the first episode of the fourth season of the program they got trapped in. They were indeed on the first episode of the fourth season on their own series.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' has Jimmy saying "I'm glad everything worked out, 'cause usually 'bout this point in the story something goes really wrong." No points for guessing what happens next.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries''
** One episode had Peter say, "This is starting to sound like a bad comic book plot!" This was in reference to the show's adaptation of the much-reviled Clone Saga from the comics. The title of the episode was "I Really, Really Hate Clones."
** One of the episodes from the "Six Forgotten Warriors" arc has Spider-Man give us this wonderful line:
-->"TakeOverTheWorld, Kingpin? Now you're starting to sound like a Saturday-Morning '''cartoon''' villain!"
** Over in ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'', Doc Ock has tired of the YouFightLikeACow quips and asks Spider-Man why he won't just shut up already. Spidey smartasses back that his fans "expect a certain amount of quippage every battle."
* Episode 19 of ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' ends with the producer of a reality show wondering if he could make a show about four kids and their talking dog driving around in a van solving mysteries; the gang [[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs immediately reject the concept as being unwatchable]].
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'':
** In the eleventh episode Conner gets angry at M'Gann, when she's trying to help him with his daddy issues, and states that they "don't live in a fantasy world where all problems are solved in 30 minutes."
** Another episode has the first meeting of Aqualad, Superboy and Nightwing since Aqualad left the team. Superboy jokingly calls the situation a "regular [[ReunionShow reunion special]]."
* In the ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'' episode "Spyke Cam", Evan is given a video camera to do a class project. When he tapes Kitty and Rogue having an argument, Rogue catches him, and threatens straight into the camera (and speaking directly to the viewer) that if she sees any video of her on the camera "They're gonna be calling you [[GroinAttack Spike-less."]]
* Comicbook/{{Hawkeye}} joins the Avengers in ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' after helping foil the Leader's plan to turn everyone in the world into gamma-irritated monsters. Part of his foiling involved turning four infected Avengers back to their normal selves. The very next episode sees him having to free four Avengers (three of which had previously succumbed to gamma-powered transformations) from the clutches of the Masters of Evil. Once all the heroes reunite, Hawkeye remarks, "I'm not so sure I wanna be part of a team I have to rescue every week."
* On more than one occasion in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', [[CloudCuckooLander the Ice King]] has appeared to have the knowledge that there are people watching him. In "Beyond This Earthly Realm", He asked Finn if they could try to see beyond the TV to the people beyond. The Ice King then says it's just crazy Wizard talk. In "Reign of Gunters", when starting to talk about an [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome Offscreen Battle]], he then looks straight at the audience and teasingly says he can't say more.
* On ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Doofenshmirtz engages in ConversationalTroping by comparing the misunderstanding between him and his daughter to a crazy sitcom. Then he says, "This isn't a sitcom, this is real life!" He and Perry then [[AsideGlance glance uncomfortably in the direction of the audience.]]
* Used once in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' when Gretchen wins a NASA contest because of her essay, and thinks she's going to be going on the space shuttle. This comes to T.J.'s attention, who's life long dream is to go on one of those, so he puts her through "training". One part has her having to swing from a rope attached to the top of the swing set while a group of other kids throw dodgeballs at her, and she starts fooling around before they do, prompting T.J. to say this:
-->'''T.J.:''' Gretchen! You're an astronaut, not a cartoon character!
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls''' "Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever" has the girls spending a rainy afternoon in their bedroom playing Powerpuff Girls role-playing, narration and everything. Blossom fills the roles of a monster, Miss Bellum and Mojo Jojo while the Professor is cajoled into playing Bubbles.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' episode 'Hobo 13', while Zim and GIR are traveling to said planet, Zim starts humming a fast-paced version of his own theme song.
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''
** During TheTeaser for "Little Dipper", after Gideon's latest rampage, Stan nonchalantly asks the twins if they want to finish the latest episode of ''[[ShowWithinAShow Duck-tective.]]'' They oblige, and Mabel mentions that her "favorite part is the theme song". Cue actual theme song.
** At the end of the "Clay Day" segment of "Little Gift Shop of Horrors", Harry Claymore and the gang from the Mystery Shack watch [[spoiler: Shimmery Twinkleheart]] fight off Claymore's monsters [[ShadowDiscretionShot just offscreen]]:
--->'''Grunkle Stan:''' You were right, Mabel, stop motion is pure evil!\\
'''Soos:''' And probably really expensive.\\
'''Claymore:''' Incredibly expensive...\\
'''Soos:''' This is an impressive fight though, I'm glad we're facing ''towards'' it.
** After the cold open in "The Last Mablecorn", Dipper and Mabel find an [[{{Film/Jumanji}} old, cursed board game]] and decide it could take up the next 21 minutes of their time. They are then are called away for a family meeting and the episode's actual plot of Mabel dealing with a frustrating unicorn.
** ''Duck-tective'' resurfaces in "Dungeons, Dungeons and More Dungeons," this time as a way of commenting on ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''' sizable older fanbase.
--->'''Stan:''' I'll have you know that ''Duck-tective'' has a big mystery element and a lot of humor that goes over kids' heads! ''(beat)''
*** Later, when the characters finally settle down to watch ''Duck-tective'''s much-hyped WhamEpisode, they're disappointed by its TwistEnding--substantially the same one WesternAnimation/GravityFalls itself had used two episodes ago (with a bonus nod to the percentage of the fanbase who saw it coming.)
---> '''Mabel:''' [[spoiler: He had a twin brother all along?]] ''That's'' the big twist we've been waiting for?
---> '''Grenda:''' What a rip-off!
---> '''Soos:''' [[IKnewIt I predicted that, like, a year ago.]]
* There are a few examples in ''WesternAnimation/PoundPuppies2010''. One statement from "Taboo" involves Lucky's ability to be, well, lucky in placing puppies.
--> '''Cookie:''' Seriously, Luck, how do you do it? How do you always find the right dog for the right person right at the last minute when it looks like everything is going to fall apart?
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'', "Dethmas" ends with Dr. Rockso and the band's collective mothers crashing Murderface's Christmas special and ruining it. Dick Knubbler steps in front of the camera and tells the cameraman that he should probably just go ahead and roll the credits. The ''Metalocalypse'' credits start rolling.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' frequently has characters hum a portion of the theme tune or that of an older iteration. Which is to say nothing of Pinkie's behaviour which usually goes beyond this trope.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E25TwilightsKingdomPart1 Twilights Kingdom Part 1]]", Spike says he remembers the events of "Equestria Games" like it was yesterday. It was the previous episode.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E9SliceOfLife Slice of Life]]", Sweetie Belle comments that friendship problems get solved in about half an hour.
** In a WhatCouldHaveBeen example, "Slice of Life" was going to have a scene where the pony version of Flash Sentry appears and asks Cranky Doodle Donkey why everypony seems to automatically hate Flash as soon as they meet him even though he has done nothing wrong. This references how several fans [[TheScrappy instantly disliked his human counterpart]] [[DieForOurShip for being Twilight Sparkle's love interest]], in spite of his kindness.
* The ''[[Recap/FamilyGuyS13E1TheSimpsonsGuy Simpsons/Family Guy Crossover]]'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BISLSxjBGhs is full of these.]]
--> [Peter and Homer are [[ItMakesSenseInContext flying an old fighter plane]], Peter guns down an enemy plane following them, both cheer]
--> '''WesternAnimation/{{Bob|sBurgers}}''': [pops up in third seat] Yeah, we did it!
--> '''Homer''': [points at Bob] What's he doing here?
--> '''Peter''': Oh, we gotta carry him 'cause he can't fly on his own. We let that other guy try, and look what happened.
--> [Cuts to [[WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow Cleveland]] flying a similar plane with front propeller on fire, plane goes into spinning nosedive]
--> '''Cleveland''': [[RunningGag Oh no, no, no, no, NO, NOOO!]] [His plane [[DyingForSymbolism crashes and burns]]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', Jack prepared to battle [[BigBad Aku]] but the latter merely brushed off the idea of it being the final climatic battle.
--> '''Aku''': "Oh, put that thing away. We all know what's going to happen. You'll swing your sword at me, I'll fly away, and probably say something like, "I'll be back, samurai!" And then I'll flutter away over the horizon, and we won't see each other for about a week. And then, we'll do the same thing all over again."
** The clincher being when Jack assumes Aku is trying to play some kind of mind-game and attacks him anyway. The exact same scenario Aku described takes place, including the taunt of "I'll be back, Samurai!", and after a beat, Aku re-appears with a knowing, "You see?"
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/NedsNewt'' has Newton look at a VCR box for the show and claiming that it would be impossible for Ned to carry out the ZanyScheme Newton was planning on at the time seeing as the episode was only fifteen minutes long.
* From the AnimatedAdaptation of ''WesternAnimation/BackToTheFuture'':
--> '''Marty [=McFly=]:''' Is there a Tannen in ''every'' century?
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder''
** In the ChristmasEpisode "The Gift", Wander and Sylvia deliver presents to "everyone we've met over this past season…''of our lives!"''
** In "The Cartoon", when Lord Hater sees his cartoon self becoming friends with Wander, he hastily tries to come up with a new ending. Then he gives up with a groan of "Animation is so ''hard''! People who do this for a living deserve more credit and respect!" Cue [[{{Beat}} awkward pause]].