->''"Ah, another one of the puzzles which the Freeman is famed for swiftly solving. I eagerly await the Freeman's solution."''
-->-- '''Vortigaunt''', ''[[Videogame/{{Half-Life 2}} Half-Life 2: Episode 2]]''

->''Hey pal, '''I''' [[{{Lampshade Hanging}} hang the lampshades]] around here.''
-->-- '''Ivan the Intern''', ''Webvideo/{{The Game Overthinker}}''

The role a character takes when questioning the unlikely trappings of their own show, especially if this becomes their recurring trait. Often falls to a new character who happens to be GenreSavvy. Occasionally this allows another character to [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] the answer to the question with an even more roundabout explanation.

There are two types of MetaGuy: a [[GeniusDitz bumbling idiot]] who has no idea of what they're saying (or at least, not the deeper implications), or a GenreSavvy DeadpanSnarker who goes out of his way to [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong point out flaws in each plan]]. While a Type A MetaGuy (typically wearing [[RedShirt already blood-colored attire]]) would say something like, "I don't get this plan! It looks like I'd get [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking mutilated/executed/a nasty paper cut]]" etc., a Type B in a similar situation might say, "Are you sure this is a good idea? I don't get out much", alluding not only to their situation but the fact that they've actually considered not coming back.

This is often the gag involved in a BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine, where the tsukkomi plays MetaGuy. The key to being a subtle MetaGuy seems to be skepticism built on natural cynicism, rather than actually being aware of the FourthWall. The latter takes the character one step further to become a FourthWallObserver.

Very common in [[TheParody parodies]]. Not to be confused with Meta ''[[VideoGame/{{Kirby}} Knight]]''. See GenreSavvy and DeadpanSnarker.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Kyon from ''SuzumiyaHaruhi''.
** Haruhi herself can be meta at times; for example, she seeks out members for the SOS Brigade based quite specifically on anime character cliches.
* Chisame the computer geek in ''MahouSenseiNegima''. Ironic since she herself is just as weird as any of the other characters, and getting weirder- the more she struggles to stay normal, the more bizarre stuff happens. Up to the point she becomes a semi-MagicalGirl, whereupon she gives up on the reality she knew and dives headfirst into the abnormal, and gives up the MetaGuy thing except in extreme cases. Such as [[CrazyAwesome Jack Rakan]].
** Rakan himself occasionally acts as a MetaGuy, especially in [[CallingYourAttacks combat]] [[FinishingMove situations]].
*** Everyone towards [[CrazyAwesome Jack Rakan]], because everyone realizes from the get go that he's an outrageously broken video game character.
* Kanako in ''LoveHina'', one major reason she didn't make friends easily. She has her harsh but rather [[GenreBlindness genre-blind]] opinions on Keitaro's bizarre relationships with girls, made calculated [[NakedFirstImpression awkward moments]] to entice him, and had a complete dislike of Naru's [[{{tsundere}} hot-and-cold personality]].
* Being the straight man in ''[[JungleWaItsumoHaleNochiGuu Haré+ Guu]]'', Haré assumes this role frequently.
* A few characters played MetaGuy in ''Anime/BestStudentCouncil'' whenever the characters seemed to remember they had no idea how Pucchan and Lance Bean (who were puppets) could think and speak of their own accord.
* Beauty fulfills this role in ''BoboboboBobobo''. At first, Gasser also performed this role, but in later episodes he seems to slip into bouts of NotSoAboveItAll.
** Gasser's case is strange in that at times, he plays this trope so straight as to loop right back in the series' weirdness. His reactions are usually so far over the top that they play a role similar to the rest of the antics.
* Nagisa from ''FutariWaPrettyCure'' often questions the things she has to do as a MagicalGirl, especially the [[InTheNameOfTheMoon speech]].
* Strangely enough, Suzaku Kururugi becomes the MetaGuy in the ''Anime/CodeGeass'' [[AllThereInTheManual side materials]], especially those related to the second season, sometimes going as far as BreakingTheFourthWall and acting out of character at the whim of the RuleOfFunny.
** And LampshadeHanging. For example, remarking to himself that he gets more attention in side materials than in the main story, and refusing to go along with Milly's orders because he knows that her smiling is a great big warning sign (compare to the show, where he does whatever she asks because it's "[[StudentCouncilPresident President's]] Orders").
** [[ActionGirl Kallen]] sometimes fills this role in the main series, mainly due to having a better sense of morality than most others in the main cast.
* Carol and Gustav St. Germain serve this role in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!''. Conversation topics include: [[JigsawPuzzlePlot where]] [[AnachronicOrder is the story supposed to start]], [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters who exactly is]] [[DecoyProtagonist the main character of the series]] and whether or not the [[LeftHanging loose thread]] about [[spoiler:Dallas's missing body]] is a blatant sequel hook.
* In the dubbed version of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', Amon Garam (Adrian Gecko) takes this role in several episodes. It's around this point that the writers were getting more self-aware (or just fed up) - see also DubText and WhoWritesThisCrap. "The sooner I beat you, the less bad dialogue I have to hear!"
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', Ryuk frequently questions the implausibilities in Light's plans, and is in many ways an audience surrogate. In fact, he's the one that started off the entire plot, and only hangs around Light for as long as he is entertaining.
* A few different characters in ''OuranHighSchoolHostClub''. Renge is probably the most overt example.
* ''RebuildOfEvangelion'' combines this with WhamLine at the end of the second film: [[spoiler:Kaworu remembers the events of [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion the original series]].]]
** Maybe. That's not how the line was rendered in the dub, and one would think that such an important revelation wouldn't simply be dropped in the dub, so it could just be a mistaken translation, or a misinterpretation of the line itself.
* Shinpachi in ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'', as the token tsukkomi of the series, being meta is primarily his role of the series.
* [[BadassNormal Usopp and Nami]] tend to be this in OnePiece, which makes sense being that they are the only members of the [[BadassCrew Straw Hats]] with no special powers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Brainy Smurf from the ''TheSmurfs''. Unsurprisingly, this often made him the most unpopular smurf in his village.
* Oh hey. Nice to see you here. It's me, SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}. Ever since I was told by Loki that I was a comic book character, I do this, sometimes [[BreakingTheFourthWall bashing the fourth wall in]] until [[NoFourthWall it doesn't exist anymore]]. Everbody thinks I'm insane in-universe, though, so no one takes me seriously.
* TheBoondocks comic has Michael Caesar, who occasionally makes [[SelfReferentialHumor self-referential]] jokes and comments about the themes of the series, or points out comic strip quirks.
--> '''Caesar:''' "Y'know, you're supposed to be all smart and political, but you always seem to be at least a week behind the news..."
--> '''Huey:''' "Do you have a point?"
* Sometimes, particularly when John Byrne is writing, the [[SheHulk She-Hulk]] will take this role.
* As will ComicBook/SquirrelGirl (once claiming that it was okay to break the fourth wall in recap pages, another time actually being interrupted during a recap) and her two squirrel partners, Monkey Joe and Tippy Toe.
* Keith Giffen's ComicBook/AmbushBug was one of the first characters to do this, [[OlderThanTheyThink making this older than they think.]]
* Matthew the Raven, from ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', was noted by the author as serving as a sort of mouthpiece for the audience, frequently questioning the actions of other characters who went outside the bounds of real-world common sense.
* Franchise/{{Batman}}'s nemesis SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker has played this role to an extent some times. One issue even had him directly addressing the audience at the start while recapping the events of the previous issue. It is apparently a canon fact that the Joker is so crazy that he's actually aware of practically everything having to do with the DCU, including events of stories that haven't happened anymore and, conceivably, the fact that it's all just comic books. It's described on multiple occasions as "supersanity." The disturbing part is that this could explain the Joker's behavior in the first place; it's possible that he's a psychotic killer because ''he knows his actions don't matter.'' Nobody he hurts is real. He's beyond solipsism... and ''he's right''. In fact, the more atrocities he commits, the more comics he appears in!
* {{Spider-man}} is a more "classical" type, as he often comments on the unlikely events of the plot, how his actions go against rationality, and makes pop culture references, but he's still completely unaware of the FourthWall.
** [[DependingOnTheWriter Usually]] [[WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan anyway]]...
* Comicbook/{{Empowered}} regularly breaks the fourth wall when she appears in the title pages of stories; Ninjette and [=ThugBoy=] lampshade this when they appear and have no idea who she's talking to.
* ''Comicbook/AnimalMan'' is an example of this trope being played mostly for drama. He was less than happy when he realized that he was a fictional character and side characters made the same realization with [[GoMadFromTheRevelation worse reactions.]]
--> Animal Man: Oh my God, I'm important to the plot...
* [[{{Superman}} Mr. Mxyzptlk]] often gets portrayed this way in the modern era.
* Brainstorm and Chromedome take on these traits under [[ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye James Roberts]], commenting on story pacing, infodumps, and how often their titular race is called on to save the universe from destruction.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* You can get a similar effect from being in a GroundhogDayLoop: in the fanfiction [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5713019/1/Dr_Strangelove Dr. Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the N bomb]], [[TheWoobie Shinji Ikari]] is trapped in one of those that allows him to retry the events of the series from the telephone scene up until the End, unless he dies. After ''thousands'' of iterations in which he gleefully murdered [[AbusiveParent Gendou]] in the very Eva bay by prog knife, by stabbing, by squirting, by drowning... etc. etc. etc. and many many other things, by the time the fic bothers to tell us the latest iteration in detail [[BadAss Shinji Ikari]] has become tougher and meaner than VideoGame/DukeNukem and [[ScarFace Johnny Montana]], simply[[note]]he starts off with the same as usual body every time[[/note]] through sheer brazenness brought by lots of accumulated experience and the knowledge that he doesn't have to worry about the consequences of his actions.
* Kyon of course, remains the OnlySaneMan within TheEmiyaClan, and by extension, he takes the role of questioning the plausibility of every wacky adventure or absurdly random event that happens within the massive {{Multiverse}} the fic belongs to. He then proceeds to display knowledge of the various laws of narrative causality, and begins predicting exactly what's going to come next in the story, with stunning accuracy.
** Chisame, to a lesser extent, serves as this as well. However, she can only lampshade the events, not plot the storytelling.
* In ''If You Can't Beat 'Em, Eat 'Em, ''Rainbow Dash [[spoiler: (after barfing in her special room the day before the contest)]] groans and says if she were a human, she'd be dead. Doubles as a TakeThat when she adds she'd probably be barfing even more if someone tried to make a movie like that, referencing EquestriaGirls. WordOfGod is that it was put in due to the author's intense hatred of the movie.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the ''Film/AustinPowers'' movies, Dr. Evil's son, Scott, is the MetaGuy. He's [[TropeNamer the source]] of the trope name WhyDontYouJustShootHim.
* This describes Guy to a G in Film/GalaxyQuest. It comes with being an AffectionateParody of Franchise/StarTrek.
* In ''Film/TopSecret'' there wasn't a character consistently the MetaGuy--which was exceedingly odd giving some of the surrealistic jokes (such as Nick and his girlfriend making out while parachuting and the camera panning to...a parachuting fireplace, which itself is [[RunningGag a callback to an earlier gag]] where the camera pans away to a fireplace, and then has to pan away ''again'' to a ''second'' fireplace because Nick and his girlfriend roll back into frame). However, at one point Nick [[ExpoSpeak sarcastically summarizes his girlfriend's life as he knows it as being a little too weird even for a one-man pastiche of Elvis, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys]]. This leads into a [[NoFourthWall fourth wall gag]].
* In the ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' movies, Randy was a horror movie buff pointing out various horror movie tropes, including going over the rules for surviving a horror movie -- [[DeathBySex never have sex]], [[TheScourgeOfGod never drink or use drugs]], and [[TemptingFate never say "I'll be right back."]] Naturally, [[TooDumbToLive the characters break all three in record time]]. He expands the rules to sequels and trilogies in [[Film/{{Scream 2}} the second]] and [[Film/{{Scream 3}} third]] films. Given [[Film/{{Scream 4}} the 4th film]] is an assassin "remaking" the original, two {{Suspiciously Similar Substitute}}s to Randy deliver the rules of remakes/reboots. [[spoiler:One of them is part of the BigBadDuumvirate.]]
* Riley in ''NationalTreasure''.
-->"Our evil plan is working."
* The title character in ''Film/{{Rango}}.''
* ''Film/TheresNothingOutThere'' is all ABOUT this trope, which is personified by its main character.
* Han Solo tends to fill this trope in the original ''StarWars'' trilogy. Some critics have complained that one of the weaknesses of the prequels is the lack of a similar character to act as the audience proxy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Marco in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''. The others often do it, but Marco makes it an art form.
* Leggy Starlitz in the Creator/BruceSterling novel ''Literature/{{Zeitgeist}}'' is so genre savvy he uses narrative to change reality. The antagonist [[TheMafiya Greek Mafiya]] MagnificentBastard, Mehmet Ozbey, discovers this power, and goes on to use [[Film/JamesBond Bond]]-style ActionHero tropes for his own nefarious purposes. Leggy's young daughter Zenobia is particularly adept. At one point she's [[spoiler: dancing on the ceiling, saying "Look Dad! I'm being impossible!"]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Denny Crane of ''Series/BostonLegal''. He once commented about a new character, "If he was important, he'd have been in the season premiere."
** Although Denny is by far the most frequent offender, everyone in ''Boston Legal'' does this from time to time. A recent episode opened with several characters worrying about whether the show had started yet.
** Alan Shore is definitely the most overt Meta Guy on BostonLegal. For a relatively minor example, he wants to be on cable.
* Media-saturated Abed on ''Series/{{Community}}'' to the point where he's almost a FourthWallObserver.
--> '''Jeff:''' Abed! Stop being meta, why do you always have to take whatever happens to us and shove it up its own ass?
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', Donna appears to take this role for the Doctor, being a brash, gobby thirtysomething woman. She [[LampshadeHanging comments on how fantastic]] things like a "translation circuit" are, calls the Doctor out on his TechnicalPacifist traits and knew the best place to find him was where there was [[WeirdnessMagnet anything weird going on]].
** To be fair, ''anyone'' who spends any amount of time with the Doctor knows that last bit.
** Professor River Song. Pretty much everything she says is a meta reference to TV or fandom in general. [[RunningGag Spoilers]] anyone?
** In Series/{{The Sarah Jane Adventures}}, when The Doctor guest stars, as Matt Smith, after a minute Sarah Jane (A Tom Baker-era Companion, who met the David Tennant Doctor) recognizes him, and says, "Don't you see? It's the Doctor." Jo Grant (A Pertwee-era Companion), blurts out "What Doctor? *The* Doctor? *My* Doctor?". A common trope in long term Doctor Who fandom is to refer to the actor who you first connected to in the role as 'my Doctor' (ie, 'my Doctor is Peter Davison').
** The 50th Anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor":
*** The War Doctor, a previously unknown incarnation just before the new series started. As such, he essentially takes the role of a classic series fan complaining about all the changes the new series has done.
*** The Curator, another previously unknown incarnation from the distant future, who resembles a fan-favourite old Doctor. Almost all of his dialogue has careful double-meanings relating to the anniversary itself and to the fandom - for instance, his comment about 'visiting old, favourite faces' alludes to fans (re)watching the Classic series.
*** Clara, when she tells the Doctor that the sound of the TARDIS always spreads hope wherever it goes and reminds him of the 'promise he made to himself' (after which the Doctor quotes some beautiful statements actually from the production documents kept by the BBC informing the Doctor's character).
*** Osgood, who wears a ''Doctor Who'' scarf and spends the whole episode acting like she's in a ''Doctor Who'' episode.
** The Fourth Doctor in his late seasons is master of the AsideGlance and continually pokes fun at stereotypical ''Doctor Who'' tropes such as: monsters ImmuneToBullets, the BBCQuarry sets, unconvincing PeopleInRubberSuits, plotlines about him [[DistressedDude constantly getting captured and escaping]], [[EvilIsHammy how the hammiest person in the room is obviously going to be the villain]], bits of bad writing that occasionally turn him TechnicalPacifist, InsufferableGenius and ChaoticStupid, and even the four-episode structure and the Saturday evening broadcast slot for the show. Even in his DarkerAndEdgier Season 18, he makes comments foreshadowing his eventual replacement with another actor, PlayedForDrama.
** Chris was [[AdaptationExpansion expanded out to one]] in the novelisation of "Shada", as a scientist very concerned with the [[ReedRichardsIsUseless potential implications]] of the massive amounts of [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum Nonsensoleum the universe turns out to run on]].
** In "The Power of the Daleks", Ben's refusal to accept the new Doctor and his conviction that he has been replaced with a malevolent imposter is a clear metaphor for audience feelings about the actor change.
* Wash from ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', who is the AudienceSurrogate and [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong often questions the flaws in the other characters' plans]].
** One scene involved his wife joining in on the action though:
--> Wash: "Psychics? Really? That sounds like something out of science fiction."
--> Zoe: "Dear… we live on a spaceship."
--> Wash: "So?"
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', this is (or used to be) done by, appropriately, Hiro.
* Jac Naylor from ''HolbyCity'' is the UrExample of this trope, but now Chantelle has fell into this trap too.
* Dr. Arzt, a minor character on the show ''Series/{{Lost}}'' who appeared near the end of the first season, was taken along with some of the main characters to find explosives, and comments on fan theories, such as why Hurley never gets thinner, or why only the main characters get to go on expeditions without consulting anyone else. Shortly afterwards, he is blown up while assuring the main characters of their safety... while holding a stick of dynamite.
** Hurley has been described as "the voice of the audience" by the show's producers, and often gets these lines. Some of his comments have included "X and Y are together... who didn't see that happening?" "He's my friend, but he also has this weird other life where he does super ninja moves," various direct questions addressing plot points and, in the Season 5 premiere, a long ridiculous summary of the show's events up to that point.
**** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk4jYfiRKVs As seen here with clips to show wtf he's talking about.]]
* [[GenreSavvy Ziggy]] from ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'', with [[UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} Flynn]] running a close second. 'Ranger Blue' opens with the entire team quizzing [[TeenGenius Doctor K]] on things like why their Zords have 'big, googly anime eyes', why they need to yell [[ByThePowerOfGreyskull "RPM, get in gear!"]] whenever they morph, and how come things tend to spontaneously explode behind them when they do.
* Martin Loyd from the anniversary episodes of ''Series/StargateSG1''. His story is that he's [[spoiler: an alien]] writing a TV series (and later a movie) based on the SGC. This allows plenty of room for parodying their own mistakes.
** Stargate Command (wisely) lets him continue his work, so if anybody else discovers the secret they'll be dismissed as some kook who watched the TV show.
** This seems to be Jack O'Neill's job, as he does this at every opportunity.
** Cameron Mitchell is stated to have read the case files of every single mission the team had ever been on before joining. This reflects Ben Browder watching all the episodes on DVD before joining the show. He hangs several [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] on common plot devices early on.
* Chuck from ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', a prophet who wrote a series of books based on Sam and Dean's adventures without knowing they were real until they found his books and investigated. At first, he thinks he might have actually been [[RealityWarper causing all these things]], and [[TakeThatMe apologises for some of the less popular episodes.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/TripleH and Wrestling/ShawnMichaels occasionally fall into this role under their [[Wrestling/{{DGenerationX}} DeGeneration X]] gimmick. They will very often reference long-forgotten storylines or things outside of {{kayfabe}}. In their most recent incarnation they have made reference to the Katie Vick disaster, Jeremy Piven's [[Wrestling/{{SummerSlam}} "Summerfest"]] flub, Wrestling/KofiKingston's gimmick change, and Shawn Michaels' real name. And talking about what segment of the script they were in, and that the villain of the week needed to hurry up and interrupt them so they could have their confrontation and get to commercial break.
* A more serious example would be Wrestling/CMPunk's [[http://www.cagematch.net/?id=93&nr=886 promo from the June 27, 2011 episode of Raw]], wherein he [[LampshadeHanging acknowledged]] that he was BreakingTheFourthWall, by referring to [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]] by his real name, talking about Rock and Wrestling/JohnCena kissing [[Wrestling/VinceMcMahon Vince [=McMahon=]]]'s ass, and blasted office stooge Wrestling/JohnLaurinaitis[[note]]Which had the unintended and unexpected side effect of making Laurinaitis into an on-screen character as a new [[CorruptCorporateExecutive evil authority figure]][[/note]], Vince's [[Wrestling/StephanieMcMahon "idiot daughter"]] and [[Wrestling/TripleH "his doofus son-in-law."]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Roleplay]]
* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': Twinbuilder is this, TT2000 is this, many of the players pull this off. The actual posters are supposedly characters even though they're in real life, so that's not too surprising.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* Vladimir from ''WaitingForGodot'', who seems to exhibit MediumAwareness and [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall comments on it]].
* The title characters from RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead play this role, saddened by their role as ThoseTwoGuys in the [[{{Hamlet}} source material]], but unable to do anything about it, as the play has already been written.
* Little Sally from ''{{Urinetown}}''. Between her and LemonyNarrator Officer Lockstock, nothing in the show escapes LampshadeHanging.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[Franchise/MetalGear Snake]], one of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'''s third-party characters, plays this trope fully. His mission briefings usually consist of his complete boggling of how incredibly strange the Nintendo universe actually is. Given that he's the only character whose home franchise is remotely grounded in reality (and then it's borderline NoFourthWall), it fits him quite well.
** Likewise, Slippy Toad fills this role during Fox and Falco's transmissions in the Lylat Cruse stage, noting how the characters can [[BatmanCanBreatheInSpace survive in deep space without oxygen or space suits]]. Peppy Hare immediately scolds him, breaking the fourth wall in the process.
* [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Kefka]] in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy''. He's apparently the only character in the franchise who [[MediumAwareness knows he's in a video game]]. Among other things, he looks directly at the player at one point of the story (making the other character present look confused), hums the Victory Fanfare upon beating a higher-level opponent and [[LampshadeHanging mocks]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Sephiroth]] for being [[HypocriticalHumor "just another"]] OmnicidalManiac with AGodAmI tendencies.
** He continues the trend in the prequel, snarking about [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII Vaan]] being "[[CastFullOfPrettyBoys just another prepubescent pretty-boy]]" and somehow noticing [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Squall's]] InnerMonologue.
* The Time Goddess from ''VideoGame/HalfMinuteHero''. Aside from her [[InvokedTrope invocation]] of ButThouMust when she first meets the main character in ''Hero 30'', she also notes at the end of the "Beautiful Evil Lord" quest that the Evil Lord you just defeated/saved is [[NobleDemon noble]]/good-looking enough to possibly be a main character. Surely enough, the second scenario, ''Evil Lord 30'', stars this same demon lord.
* The Executor and Tradgedian of ''VideoGame/{{Pathologic}}'' are "stage hands" (which ties into the game's overarching theme of theatre, mostly consisting of {{Mind Screw}}s and [[NoFourthWall vapourizing the fourth wall]]). Their dialogue is full of LeaningOnTheFourthWall as a result. However, despite this claim, they are surprisingly participant in the main story: if you see them standing outside of a building in their distinctive bird masks and robes, then you know bad stuff has happened.
-->"Only those who would '''[[YouBastard give their life for you]]''' will '''[[OhCrap die because of you]]'''..."
* SelfDemonstrating/CrankyKong is like this in the ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' games. In between hints, he'll complain about how overblown and overrated the game's graphics and story is.
* In the Platform Game ''VideoGame/LevelUp'', Brainy the Squarian is this. He [[TheOmniscient knows everything]], including [[MediumAwareness that you, the player, exist]]:
-->'''The Girl:''' So do I purchase it?\\
'''Brainy:''' You make a choice, entirely determined by another's actions.
* Xigbar takes on this role in ''KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance''. At the height of the story's climax, he starts an exposition dump by saying, "Let's hit all these plot points in order" and openly lampshades how convoluted and wrapped up in itself the series' plot has become.
* [[{{ButtMonkey}} Conrad Verner]] of the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series manages to be ''both types at the same time.''
* Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} escapee Davesprite in ''VideoGame/NamcoHigh'' spends his time poking fun at the traits of the DatingSim [[spoiler:before his ending rips your heart clean out of your chest]].
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'' has NoFourthWall but some characters take this role more than others:
** Master Miller in ''Metal Gear 2'' and ''Metal Gear Solid'', who dispenses, as if grave military advice, tips on the ergonomics of video games. In ''Ground Zeroes'''s "Deja Vu" mission, he provides interesting facts about the series's technical development, well aware that the graphics have changed since the last game.
** Psycho Mantis starts out as a {{Psychic|Powers}} with the ability to read the player's memory card and gameplay stats. However, his cameo appearences in ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' and ''Ground Zeroes'' [[{{Flanderization}} Flanderise]] this by making MediumAwareness and his fourth-wall-breaking psychic powers his main trait (even recreating the fake television-disconnect screen on a console that literally cannot be plugged into that kind of television).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* 'Director' Hotti from ''PhoenixWrightAceAttorney: Justice For All'', may also have 'supersanity' - he's a mental patient who is able to somehow cut into Phoenix's InnerMonologue and who is aware of the fact that the game uses static backgrounds - when you choose to examine a hospital patient on crutches, he points out that the patient hasn't moved since the last time Phoenix was there, and says 'doesn't it make you wonder if any treatment is really going on in this place?'
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Embodied in the character Cherry Blossomfeather from the long-comatose comic ''RPGWorld''. As the story continues, it turns out that she has a special magical skill which allows her to look beyond the boundaries of her world - which manifests in a painfully deadpan attitude and a trope spotted at least once a strip.
* Relatedly (sort of), Ardam in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' does this all the time, with most other characters doing it once or twice. Eventually, he manages to turn this into a dramatic speech.
* A FourthWall-preserving example: In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', the [[SomethingCompletelyDifferent utter silliness]] of Dr. Disaster's space battle [[HardLight simulation]] breaks Antimony's WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief like a twig, amplifying her [[DeadpanSnarker latent snark]] until she's a [[LampshadeHanging lampshade-hanging]] [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife killjoy]]. At Kat's insistence, she eventually takes the MST3KMantra to heart and starts having fun, but this doesn't stop her from noticing {{plot hole}}s and questioning the use of {{one liner}}s.
* Everyone in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' does this from time to time. The kobold oracle does it all the time. Elan is probably the most notable example within the order. GenreSavvy is his only form of useful intelligence, and after he takes [[TookALevelInBadass a level in Dashing Swordsman]], he derives his new powers from adventure tropes.
* The entire plot of ''[[OneOverZero 1/0]]'' was characters debating their own existence with the author.
** Though Petitus seems the most like this.
* Torg of ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' is a fairly subtle case, always being the first one to realize when they're in stick figure filler strips and deducing the existence of the author for example. It's unclear whether this carries over to normal continuity but may be related to the fact that he's said to be unusually psychically sensitive.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', [[JerkAss Caliborn]] takes this roll on occasion, such as when he [[HypocriticalHumor complains about]] the series use of RainbowSpeak WallOfText chatlogs... in a RainbowSpeak WallOfText chatlog.
** [[TheStoic Dave]] ends up playing this role during Act 6 Intermission 3.
** Karkat has some elements of this [[spoiler: possibly due to his ancestor's ability to remember other universes]]. In Karkat's very first log of [[AnArc Hivebent]], he is confused that Gamzee can get hold of Faygo (since they are aliens), and when he meets his pre-scratch Ancestors he complains about how [[FlatCharacter flat and shallow their characterisation mostly is]] compared to him and his friends. Kankri has a noxious variant in that he criticises the '[[AllIssuesArePoliticalIssues pr96lematic]]' elements of the world from inside his own universe, as if he were a sociologically-inclined fan complaining about UnfortunateImplications in his fandom on Website/{{tumblr}}. At one point he [[CharacterFilibuster lectures]] [[FunnySchizophrenia Mituna]] for being too much like a stereotype of TheMentallyDisturbed, even though (from their perspective) Mituna cannot help acting that way.
* David of ''BittersweetCandyBowl'' is often this, when he isn't LeaningOnTheFourthWall or just being a CloudCuckoolander.
* Halo of ''Webcomic/GrrlPower''. When you have superpowers ''and'' you co-own a comic book store that sells superhero comics, you get self-referential. Before she signs up as a superhero, she sits and considers whether she has any 'bad' superpowers that will plague her, like having Wolverine's regeneration so she would get seriously hurt regularly. This specific example is defied by Maxima immediately afterward, pointing out that, to these characters, this ''isn't'' fiction, and thus the consequences of those "bad powers" might not actually apply.
* ''Everybody'' in ''BobAndGeorge''. Megaman demolishes the fourth wall in the very first strip and it never gets rebuilt. The entire cast knows they're in a comic, interact with the Author on a regular basis, and lampshade pretty much ''[[BetterThanABareBulb everything]]'' that happens throughout its run.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Everyone'' [[spoiler:[[HomePage here]].]]
** [[HypocriticalHumor That was]] [[TheUntwist lame]].
** Dude! You put a link. That is ''not'' how you do spoilers.
** Wait, WrongGenreSavvy?! Then HOW?!
* Quincy Archer from ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' is the resident MetaGuy, writing a blog about the fake SOTF and the tropes it shows, and then commenting through out the stories on the actions of the various villains and heroes. [[spoiler: He commits suicide, but if he hadn't, one of his [[KarmicDeath personal favorite villains]], JR Rizzolo, would have left him to burn.]]
* WebVideo/{{Phelous}} of ''Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses'', a notorious DeadpanSnarker who constantly [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] ''everything''. All of his reviews include a few jabs at the whole review show format, but it tends to be played up even more in crossovers.
* Practically everybody has been a Meta guy in ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'', but especially Yami, who's often incredulous that his evil opponents take a children's card game [[SeriousBusiness so damn seriously]].
** Regular Yugi is just as bad. Take for example the episode about Mai and her celebrity stalker, where almost every single line of Yugi's in that episode is him moaning and groaning about how this has absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the season and how absolutely useless it all is.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* #21 and #24 from ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' but many of the other characters are meta as well.
* Jeff Albertson (better known as Comic Book Guy) on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' is usually the character who does this, perfectly fitting with his persona of a nerd overanalyzing comic books & cartoons.
--> '''Homer:''' Does anybody ''care'' what this guy thinks?
--> '''Crowd:''' NO!
* Cubert of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' was originally meant to fill this role, but this characteristic was dropped in later appearances after the writers realized how [[TheScrappy annoying]] it made him.
** It also helps that his early appearances mostly involved Professor Farnsworth trying to teach his son to accept the wonders of the world, mostly through science. Futurama has an odd relationship with StatusQuoIsGod, and Cubert's ability to actually retain the morals of stories from episode to episode fits right in.
* Craig takes on this role in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' "Pandemic" two-parter, with his constant cynical [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] about the main cast's tendency to get into increasingly ridiculous situations based on a backfired plan or idea.
** It's rare, but Kyle also has played this role on occasion. Perhaps the best example of this is during the episode "Butt out" when he told the boys that [[spoiler: they could save themselves a lot of trouble]] if they just admitted that they chose to smoke on their own and the tobacco company had no part in the decision. He even commented that [[GenreSavvy everything was following a formula]] and correctly predicted that [[spoiler:he would make a speech at the end of the episode about what he learned during the episode.]]
* [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Sokka]] ends up as a mix of this, FlatEarthAtheist, and WrongGenreSavvy (he once thought it was odd that people in an Eastern Medieval Fantasy world weren't catching his oblique references to SherlockHolmes).
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' initially makes [[TheStraightMan Twilight]] [[OnlySaneMan Sparkle]] one of these, most obviously in the first episode, where her character is used as a means to [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstruct]] the show's [[MyLittlePony parent franchise]]. Following the {{reconstruction}} that occurs [[DeconReconSwitch in the next episode]], however, this slowly fades in prominence as Twilight develops into a normal resident of Ponyville, though she retains much of it to this day. Spike usually takes this role on the occasions where Twilight drops it entirely.
** Though [[LittleMissSnarker Scootaloo]] is the resident DeadpanSnarker of [[PowerTrio the Cutie Mark Crusaders]], Sweetie Belle is the one to not only question the majority of the trio's insane schemes, but express [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrzAtvpOlLA righteous exasperation]] in response to their [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption various unlikely failures]]. This is most apparent in "One Bad Apple," where she proposes the correct solution to their dilemma (which is shot down by the other two) almost immediately and, upon the revelation at the end that their attempts to solve their problem simply [[HeWhoFightsMonsters made them into what they were trying to fight]], reacts accordingly.
--> '''Sweetie Belle''': Why does life have to be so ''ironic?!''
[[/folder]]

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