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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ninja-prop_mvc3_6764.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"HEALTH BAR IN YOUR FACE!"]]

There are certain things we're used to seeing in certain media: {{speech bubble}}s, [[ThoughtCaption captions]], and frames in comics, [[WireFu wires that make people "fly"]] in shows, status bars and inventories in video games, and stage hands that move props and sets around in theater.

A character who has MediumAwareness also knows about those things. This trope is when they interact with some part of the setting that is conventionally treated as "not really there" or when a part of the setting stops being just a prop and suddenly acts on its own.

Stage hands is where the trope gets its name. The classic outfit associated with {{Ninja}} (black, tight suit and a mask with a slit for the eyes) actually comes from stage hands in Japanese theater. They wore black so that the audience knew to ignore them. (The variety of stagehand in live performing arts who ''handle'' props and setpieces on, off, and around the stage in Western theatre are colloquially referred to as "stage ninjas" due to their all-black clothing and stealthy profession, so the term has fed back into itself.) Imagine the shock of the audience, then, when the non-entity setting the castle walls in place for scene 4 suddenly pulls out a dagger and kills one of the characters (''in-story'', we mean).

Characters with MediumAwareness may do this intentionally as a means of ExploitingTheFourthWall.

Compare ChekhovsGun; this is where MediumAwareness meets ChekhovsGun. PerceptionFilter may be an in-universe related trope. A subtrope of MetafictionalDevice. In video games, InterfaceScrew may qualify as a Ninja Prop, especially when the game simulates effects from external sources/other programs. In Comics, FrameBreak is the most common form of this trope. A HarshWordImpact may also be this.

TheButlerDidIt is broadly similar. It was a shocking twist because he would be there serving the characters the whole time without being one of them; his being part of the story is like discovering that [[TheDogWasTheMastermind the table was the murderer.]]



* In [[https://vimeo.com/67872298 this DVLA PIF]] about road taxes, [[Series/{{Thunderbirds}} Lady Penelope]] discovers that Parker got FAB 1 clamped due to forgetting to pay the roadcheck. She responds by ''cutting his strings''.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In one episode of ''Anime/{{Slayers}}'', Lina sweatdrops, then grabs the sweatdrop and hits Gourry over the head with it.
* The sun and moon from ''Manga/SoulEater'' being oddly shaped and having faces initially seems like stylization, but in the manga, [[spoiler:the characters go to the moon, which is actually shaped like that (it even has nostril caves!) and turns out to be much smaller than the real-world moon and located in the upper atmosphere (assuming this world even has an atmosphere).]] This was actually shown earlier a couple times, but in an incredibly off-hand manner: the first time we see Maka's father trying to spend time with her [[TalkAboutTheWeather he mentions how the sun setting looks tired, then realizes it's a stupid thing to have a conversation about.]] Crona also comments on the sun sleeping in their MentalWorld.
* Every character in ''Anime/KillLaKill'' gets an introductory subtitle in massive, red block capital text. Nui ends up leaning against hers upon her introduction, and then stroking Satsuki's hair through a split-screen divider. In a later episode, Nui's subtitles cast shadows on the ground.
* In one chapter of ''Manga/DoctorSlump'', Akane yells at a passing {{idiot crow|s}} making fun of her, then uses the giant exclamation point produced by her shouting to swat the bird away.
* In one episode of ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'', England is giving Russia a DeathGlare, complete with several arrows. The next time the camera pans back to Russia, ''Russia is eating the arrows.''
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', Konatsu, a ninja, can hide behind or hang from other people's speech bubbles.
* ''Anime/{{Gintama}}'' Episode 267: Since Odd Jobs Gin is frozen in time and any changes they make to reality [[RealityIsOutToLunch result in causality getting her ass raped by comedy]], Gin decides to deal with [[ItMakesSenseInContext Otae getting hit by a rocket arm]] by changing the SFX involved with a marker; first by making her "Ouch" into an "owie" and then by turning the SFX into a sentient being, "Ham-Chan". Naturally, this is lampshaded by Shinpachi, then Ham gets married to an amnesiac Otae (while Kyubei runs off with a crudely-drawn dick made out of the SFX spare parts from Ham attached to her crotch), then Otose shatters the nigh-indestructible rocket arm with her bare fist, and finally Ham saves the day just after the time travel batteries run out and freeze Odd Jobs Gin as well, as Ham is unaffected by the freeze.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Used with some frequency in ''ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske'': the characters aren't above using panel lines and speech bubbles to improvise an attack strategy.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'', there are two albums featuring a similar gag, where the village's bard is sweeping ''musical notes'' with a broom as if they were dust.
* Occasionally happened during Creator/JohnByrne's run on ''ComicBook/SheHulk''. Perhaps the most surreal example is Jennifer foiling a villain's attempt to leave her and some civilians {{trapped in TV land}} by remembering that she's really in a comic book, ripping a (notional) hole into the page, and escaping alongside her charges across a two-page ad spread back to their "real" world.
* In an Italian ''WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck'' comic, the scholars of ancient Babylon create a machine which amplifies a person's ability to think. This reaches a point where lightbulbs physically manifest above their heads when they have an idea. And then fall down to the ground.
* ''ComicBook/TheUnbelievableGwenpool'':
** Gwen speaks in pink speech bubbles, an homage to her inspiration Comicbook/{{Deadpool}}, who speaks in yellow. When Gwen consults ComicBook/DoctorStrange, he grabs one of her speech bubbles and shows it to her, explaining that the coloration is a sort of "cosmic accent" indicating that she's from a different universe.
** In the arc where some powers (using her brother as proxy) try to get Gwen back into her own world, the narrative conspires to lead her back into the Marvel universe including showing her the "strings" (thought captions, title, the end / to be continued... text whatnot) making them real and even lets her interact even with stuff like borders and such if she can correctly guess where there. Once she returns to the main Marvel universe, she's also shown the ability to hide behind panels. Gwen even decides to use this ability to leave the panels in her advantage: along with, for instance, leaving a prison by going back to a previous page, she pushes villains out of the panels and into the BlankWhiteVoid that is the gutter space.
** A villainous future Gwen abused these powers of messing with the page features even further, to the point she was a RealityWarper. For instance, once a character has a flashback about future Gwen depicting her as a huge EvilOverlooker, [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wPK2oRb0TJE/WZRBjTkh5iI/AAAAAAAAEDc/9GexlEPMp70MJnlcnpIgpn2lwFi0v-NhQCHMYCw/s1600/RCO020.jpg she takes the physical form from said flashback.]]
* The French-Belgian comic ''Imbattable'' uses this ability (and having the associated MediumAwareness) as in-universe superpowers. The protagonist is a superhero able to travel and interact across the panels of the comic (other characters, lacking his MediumAwareness, view him as teleporting, time travelling, duplicating himself...). Other characters include an old man whose speech balloons can affect the physical words (to other characters, it looks like telekinesis), an aspiring superhero who can play with perspective, or a villain who can traverse book pages.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* A ''ComicStrip/TheWizardOfId'' strip has a guard in a tower with a Z over his head. The invaders report that the guard is asleep, and go to attack. Cut to the tower, where the guard is ''holding up a fake speech bubble with a Z on it.''
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'':
** A cartoon in ''Here Comes Snoopy'' has Snoopy sleeping in a sitting position, complete with Z balloon. As his head started slumping, the Z balloon got tilted on its side.
** In a cartoon from ''We Love You, Snoopy'', after Schroeder finishes playing the piano and walks off, Snoopy decides to play it himself. Instead of musical notes, the staff overhead is filled with paw prints.
** Snoopy once tosses and turns on his doghouse as the alphabet runs by, until he reaches "Z" and is asleep.
* In one ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' strip, Jon sees Garfield asleep with a "Z" bubble over his head, and remarks that he feels safer when Garfield's asleep. The "Z" bubble then hits him in the head.
* OlderThanTheyThink: In a 1907 ''[[ComicStrip/LittleNemo Little Nemo in Slumberland]]'' comic strip, the hungry characters tear up the strip's title to eat the letters, which are apparently very nutritious.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In the ''Toys/{{Lego}} WesternAnimation/{{Ninjago}}'' short "The Master", the brick-built Creator/WarnerBros shield that appears at the beginning actually exists in the world, and at one point the characters actually fight on it. By the end of the short it's become so battered that it's barely hanging on a thread.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/LoadedWeapon1'', during the climax, Colt sneaks into the villain warehouse and two German, Nazi-esque guards exchange small talk, complete with subtitles. However, after they leave the scene, the subtitles remain, and Colt trips on them like they're part of the scenery.
* This is something of a trademark of Creator/MelBrooks, as he uses it in many of his movies:
** ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'':
*** After having performed an IndyHatRoll, the heroes find themselves surrounded by Spaceball guards. Then an officer comes to gloat, but he realizes with dismay that the guards have instead captured their ''stunt doubles''.
*** During the fight between Lone Star and Dark Helmet, Helmet swings his Schwartz back and hits a member of the movie crew.
** In the climactic duel of ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights'' between Robin and the Sheriff, at one point Robin misses a thrust and goes through a "tower window", which accidentally skewers a stage-hand's hotdog. He awkwardly apologizes and returns it, and the fight continues as if nothing happened.
** Also used in ''Film/BlazingSaddles'' to spectacular effect. The epic climax eventually spills off the set into the rest of the studio where the film was being shot, with the brawl entering the set of a musical, the cafeteria (where it turns into a [[PieInTheFace pie fight]]), the studio tour, and eventually the streets of Burbank. It culminates in Hedley Lamarr trying to escape the film by taking a taxi to the premiere of ''Blazing Saddles'' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre... only to find, while watching the film, that Bart has followed him there.
** ''Film/HighAnxiety'' ends with the camera zooming away from the characters and out the window...or rather, ''through'' the window, which it breaks, drawing the characters' attention.
* While [[ComicBook/ScottPilgrim the comic it was adapted from]] depicted it as a genuine plot device from the start, in ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'', Scott appears at first to have picked up the OneUp life as a throw-away joke before talking to Ramona. [[spoiler:But after being killed by Gideon, he uses it as a real extra life to [[DeathIsCheap come back to life]].]] Lampshaded by his sister on the phone to their parents, discussing it in a bored and entirely mundane way like it was a gallon of milk.
* In ''Film/AustinPowersInGoldmember'', when Austin Powers and Foxy Cleopatra meet with Mr. Roboto, Austin keeps misinterpreting what he's saying because his white subtitles keep getting partially obscured by white objects on his desk.
* In the 2009 live-action ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' movie with Jean Dujardin, Luke is seen standing at the gate of a gorgeous colonial house (his friend Cooper's home) which is obviously a matte painting. Then a black servant invites Luke to follow him, and as he steps away we find out that he was already inside the house and that the painting is an in-universe artwork.
* ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory''. A very short way into the factory's tour, the group finds themselves at the end of a long hallway. ForcedPerspective is a common Hollywood trick to make something appear larger than it is, and one would expect that to be in play here. It is...''in-story''; the hallway is surprisingly short, and by the end of it Mr. Wonka has to crouch down to avoid hitting his head on the ceiling.
* In ''Film/TheresNothingOutThere'', a character swings to safety on a microphone boom that appeared on screen 'by mistake'.
* Happens multiple times in the horror parody ''Film/TheFinalGirls'', about a group of modern-day teenagers who [[TrappedInTVLand get sucked into an '80s slasher flick]]. [[{{Overcrank}} Slow-motion scenes]] cause time to physically slow down, [[MonochromePast flashbacks cause everything to turn monochrome]] after a [[MindScrew mind-screwy]] transition effect, the title cards physically exist in-universe (and have to be stepped over), and when the movie ends, the credits start rolling in the background before the surviving characters find themselves in limbo when the last frame rolls[[spoiler:... only to wake up in the sequel.]] Naturally, the modern-day protagonists are the only ones to notice any of this.
* PlayedForDrama in ''Film/FunnyGames''. Paul is {{MediumAware|ness}} and [[NoFourthWall constantly breaks the fourth wall]], and at one point he grabs a TV remote and ''rewinds the film'' so that he can stop them.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'': Raymond Luxury-Yacht (pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove") appears in two ''Python'' sketches, played by Graham Chapman wearing a very large false nose. In both sketches, Raymond treats it as his real nose, only for the other character to pull it off and point out how ridiculous it is.
* In the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "200", there is a segment re-imagining the pilot as a marionette show, in the style of ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice''. Everything is going fine until the team go through the Stargate for the first time... at which point the wormhole closing severs their marionette strings, and they fall in a heap on the other side. It should be noted that the strings originally weren't too noticeable on screen, and had to be digitally enhanced to be more visible, in order for this gag to work.
* ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'': Justin is sitting with his girlfriend in front of fake French scenery. Because this is what one would expect as French scenery in a low-budget show such as this, this seems completely natural... until it is revealed that this actually is a fake French scenery in-story that Justin set up in the sub shop.
* In an episode of ''[[Series/{{Poirot}} Agatha Christie's Poirot]]'', the first scene is of a man in full winter garb wandering over a noticeably cloth-like snow floor with a white background and fake snow falling. It is distractingly fake, but since international flights to Antarctica would be expensive for a film crew, the audience ignores it. Until the camera pulls back to show it is merely a film set, with fake snow being blown with a large fan. The episode is about the actors from this badly-made movie.
* Similar to the Creator/TexAvery example below, during one of the obligatory episode-ending [[TheChase Chase Scenes]] of ''Series/TheBennyHillShow'', a stray hair is seen trembling on the left side of the screen. That is, until Creator/BennyHill suddenly calls for a stop to the chase, and then grasps said hair before tossing it away.
* In ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', George Michael is asked by his father how "Fakeblock", a program that can supposedly prevent piracy and take images of yourself off the internet, works. George Michael gives [[TechnoBabble a string of technological-sounding gibberish]]. [[spoiler:Turns out it's also gibberish ''in-character''; a program doing that is impossible and George Michael was just making his explanation up.]]
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E9ForestOfTheDead Forest of the Dead]]" uses {{Jump Cut}}s to transition from a scene to the other (for example, the characters in a house talk about taking a stroll in the park, and we jump to the park). Quite an ordinary way of depicting the passing of time in a TV medium, right? Except Donna realizes that she isn't experiencing the time between the cuts at all, only fake memories. This is her first hint she's inside a LotusEaterMachine.

* The Broder Daniel music video for "I'll Be Gone" features the band performing the song in front of a background displaying their name. At the very end, they grab the letters, swinging and smashing them all over the place.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* In one of the Swedish Chef sketches on ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', the Chef is trying to get his chicken to lay an egg. After it looks like she has, he angrily declares that the object is not an egg but a ping-pong ball. The humor is, of course, that the audience would expect the ball to double for an egg in the sketch, making it surprising when the Chef refers to what it really is.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'', one of Guise's cards has him hitting Wager Master with the card's keyword bar. Given that Guise is a Expy of ComicBook/{{Deadpool}}, this is likely inspired by his hyper combo in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''.

* The narrator in ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods''. Counts as a prop because [[spoiler:he's forcibly pulled out of his narrator role and ''used'' as a prop, that is, the characters sacrifice him to an enraged giant]].
* In some productions of ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance'', there is a part where the Pirate King engages in a sword fight with ''the baton-wielding conductor of the orchestra''. This was [[ThrowItIn originally improvised]] by John Clark, the actor who originated the role on Broadway.
** In another variation, one of Mabel's ridiculously long runs of very high notes leads to a showdown with the flute player, which finally ends with a white flag of surrender sticking up out of the orchestra pit.
* ''Theatre/TheMysteryOfIrmaVep'' does this with its use of LoadsAndLoadsOfRoles, as two actors portray a total of seven characters in the play. [[spoiler:There are only five characters. Two of them are other characters in disguise.]]
* The one-act play ''The Problem'' by A. R. Gurney has an actress enter with what is clearly a balloon under her shirt and start talking about her pregnancy. The reaction of her husband substantiates the fact that she really is pregnant, and the next 10 minutes are all about figuring out if he's the father. It isn't until the end that it's revealed that it actually ''is'' just a balloon, and the entire play was just foreplay between the two.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Infamously used in ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'' when obvious parts of the background, [[spoiler:such as the Moon and a fake Windows error message]], directly attack the Kid. As does a save point.
* Similarly, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' has a horribly surreal moment after the characters leave reality: the first thing you see when you get back to your feet is a save point, which ''multiplies'' as you step on it. Doesn't do anything else, it's just MindScrew.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'':
** One of the enemies you can face in Magus's castle are '''fake save points'''.
** At one point in the BadFuture, you can try to sneak past a couple of monsters as long as you don't make any noise. The chime from touching the save point will wake them up.
* The original ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}'' had Space Invader expies who wouldn't attack your toad directly, but instead fly up to the HUD and literally steal blocks from their life meter.
* ComicBook/{{Deadpool}} in general will likely do something of this nature anytime he shows up in a video game; it's kinda [[NoFourthWall his shtick]].
** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' features Deadpool's level 3 [[LimitBreak Hyper Combo]], where he starts beating his opponent with his own health and Hyper Combo meters.
** One of his attacks in ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance'' is once again beating his opponent over the head with his own health bar.
** The intro of ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3]]'' has him ''surfing'' on [[Franchise/AceAttorney Phoenix Wright's]] "[[{{Catchphrase}} Objection!]]" speech bubble.
** In his own game, ''VideoGame/{{Deadpool}}'', he crosses a gorge by using his own thought bubbles as stepping stones.
* In ''Videogame/SyobonAction'', some clouds come to life and kill you if you happen to jump into them.
* In ''VideoGame/{{MUGEN}}'', [[Manga/DeathNote Light Yagami]] reads his opponent's life bar to see what their name is so he can write it in his [[ArtifactOfDeath Death Note.]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'': During the fight with Psycho Mantis, he uses the ''controller'' against the player. You've got to switch it to the second controller slot on the PSX.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' features a ''vicious'' InterfaceScrew where the Scarecrow's Fear Gas causes the game to apparently crash and restart, complete with graphics glitches that make the player worry the game's burned out their graphics card.
* The ''Humbug'' series has this as a major element of gameplay, along with cheating. Examples include [[spoiler:standing on the "You Have Died" message boxes, manipulating background scenery, and taking things from posters]].
* ''[[VideoGame/SilentHills P.T.]]'':
** An [[SurrealHorror astoundingly creepy]] example: At the game's start YouWakeUpInARoom that's mostly dark and hear strange vaguely-philosophical rambling, and you're left to assume it was the PlayerCharacter's internal narration. Once you get a flashlight and go back to the room, shining a light on the darkened corner shows it was actually coming from an in-world source -- [[spoiler:specifically, a [[MindScrew bloody paper bag]].]]
** In a section where you are searching for pieces of a missing picture, one piece is hidden in the menu screen.
* ''VideoGame/HotlineMiami2WrongNumber'' features one of these during The Son's [[MushroomSamba hallucinogenic rampage]] at the end of the game, where his portrait suddenly opens wide and ''inhales'' his own overhead sprite to take him to the next part of the level.
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'' allows you to [[CharacterCustomization create your own player character]] - an unusual feature for a JRPG, but certainly not unheard of. Then in Chapter 5, [[spoiler:it's revealed that your body is actually a robotic puppet you're controlling from stasis, and that it was designed according to your specifications and doesn't necessarily resemble your real body]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'': The save points are actually [[spoiler:surveillance devices that the Solaris authorities use to [[BigBrotherIsWatchingYou watch over ground population]]]]. Because you keep saving your game, [[spoiler:TheEmpire and the BigBad can keep tabs on you and know everything about you.]]
* ''VideoGame/LastScenario'' features a BonusDungeon full of [[ChestMonster save point mimics.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'':
** Just to drive the point home that you're in a fight to the death with no escape and no mercy, [[spoiler: Asgore]] ''destroys'' the "Mercy" button that you use to flee the battle or try to spare the enemy. [[spoiler:Fortunately, it's still possible to spare him like every other enemy in the game.]]
** One of the dungeons of the game contains a myriad of shapeshifting monsters, two of which disguise themselves as a emoticon bubble and a save point. [[spoiler:The very act of saving also becomes an important plot point, as it's revealed that Flowey also possessed the ability to save, before you arrived on the scene and your ability to save overrode his. Once he goes OneWingedAngel, he takes advantage of his power by crashing the game. Then, when you reopen the game, he ''literally smashes through'' your save file so he can make you watch him kill you over and over again, and abusing SaveScumming during the actual battle (meanwhile the "Fight" and "Act" menu buttons now become physical objects that the player has to move over and interact with to use.]]
** The already clever [[spoiler:Sans, the FinalBoss of the Genocide route]] also takes advantage of this. [[spoiler:Since your menu icon is the same icon as the heart that represents your player's Soul (basically your hitbox during the BulletHell segments,) he takes the opportunity to start attacking your cursor in-between rounds, which has the same affect as getting attacked normally. His "ultimate attack" also takes advantage of the turn-based nature of the game's combat, as he simply refuses to end his turn in the hopes that the player will give up and quit. The player then has to take advantage of this trope themselves by ''dragging'' the square field their soul resides in during combat over to the fight button and selecting it to finish him off.]]
** At one point Mettaton traps the player in a room full of bombs disguised as all kinds of innocuous objects (such a movie script, a glass of water, a basketball and a dog.) As he lists off all the objects that are actually bombs he ends with "Even my words are-" before the text suddenly falls out of his text box and explodes.
* Some versions of ''VideoGame/AceOfSpades'', pre-Jagex buyout, had a CaptureTheFlag mode with "Intel" represented on the minimap by a team-coloured symbol that looked vaguely like the logo for Wi-Fi. But the minimap ''also'' accurately reflected the colours of the terrain, and since everything was BuiltWithLego it was possible to arrange a couple of dozen blocks of approximately the right colour on the ground to confuse the opposing team. This tactic was [[BrokenBase controversial]] but quite popular until an update added an arrow that would always point towards the ''real'' intel.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', the boss Bowyer summons replicas of the gamepad's A, X, and Y buttons, and when he shoots one it becomes disabled, preventing you from making use of the button during the fight.
* ''VideoGame/NierAutomata'': The menu tutorial turns out to be a JustifiedTutorial where [[PlayerCharacter 2B]] has come online [[spoiler:from a BodyBackupDrive]], and 9S is guiding her through the DiegeticInterface. What appears to be unvoiced text from nowhere is actually 9S speaking to 2B, who starts with vocal recognition (i.e. voice volume) set to zero. This further implies that the subtitles also appear in-universe.
* The FinalBoss of ''VideoGame/TwentyXX'' begins his boss battle by destroying his own health bar so the player can't tell how much HP he has.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/Ever17'': You don't see face of the main character, you don't hear his voice. It's okay, many {{Visual Novel}}s are like that... Then comes TheReveal.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' has a Strong Bad Email entitled "Virus", in which a virus infects the entire website, resulting in RealityWarping. At one point Strong Bad is able to run right out of the flash video file, and into the black webpage background beyond (and the entire video moves when he tries to jump back in). Homestar also manages to pick up the text links beneath the video. In fact, both the background and links are ''part'' of the video (and in the case of the links, [[DevelopersForesight perfectly functional]]), and the video itself is larger than usual, to encompass the added area. But since these elements look exactly as they normally do, the effect is quite surprising.
* The original ''WebAnimation/AnimatorVsAnimation'' appealed by using this trope in spades on the interface of Adobe Flash, before MediumAwareness became the expected norm for the rest of the series.
* The intro for ''WebAnimation/LesKassos'' has a [[FollowTheBouncingBall bouncing ball]] over the lyrics of the theme song while some characters are singing and dancing beneath them. On the last syllable, the ball falls from the words and hits Dark Papy in the helmet.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' '''loves''' this trope.
** The best example would probably be the diamond from the cast page, which [[ImpossibleThief Haley Starshine stole]] ''from herself'' in order to pay for a spell in the main comic.
** In one strip, a mute Haley holds a mental argument with herself while on the road, drowning out Elan's BlahBlahBlah dialogue. In the final panel, it's revealed that he's literally been saying "blah blah blah" the entire time, hoping to set a new world record in consecutive use of the word.
** In the comic book compendium of this webcomic, the party uses the narrator to distract the monster guarding the entrance to the dungeon.
** Lien knows that Qarr is up to no good from his sinister-looking SpeechBubbles (red text on a black background).
** It's possible to [[FakingTheDead feign death]] by drawing X marks over one's eyes and lying very still.
** Roy gives up on explaining how an airship works to Elan by pointing upward to the large Splash Panel that opened the strip, and saying that it took up so much space that there's none left to keep talking.
* ''Webcomic/MSPaintAdventures'' has had a lot of fun with this, especially in ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth''. Ace Dick beating an NPC to death with part of the user interface and Problem Sleuth attacking the final boss' healthbars directly both come to mind.
* To a lesser degree, it also happens in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''.
** Every character has a different strange InventoryManagementPuzzle called a sylladex; many shenanigans are had early on by people trying to get things out of their sylladex that they accidentally buried. But then we get to [[InexplicablyAwesome Gamzee]], who, rather than bothering with doing things the hard way, reaches up into the corner of the screen where the sylladex cards are displayed and just grabs it.
** Caliborn also annoyed everyone (readers included) when he began [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/007395/ beating the MSPA website with a crowbar]], causing it to fall apart. For bonus meta points, this particular crowbar had been much earlier identified in-story as an artifact which cancelled out temporal shenanigans, which the webcomic makes heavy use of.
** Early on, Dave once cut his naming bar in half.
** The "Prospit" and "Derse" text introducing those planets in act 6 are shot in two angles: one like the original front on angle that was used for the Beta Kids and Trolls; and another from the side that gives the letters depth, as if they are actually hovering next to their respective planet.
* Nemen Yi from ''Webcomic/KeychainOfCreation'' uses chunks of panel border [[http://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0228.html as throwing weapons]] while ExploitingTheFourthWall to reach between panels.
* ''Webcomic/CyanideAndHappiness'' uses this frequently.
* One of the competitors in the [[OriginalCharacterTournament Coliseum Original Character Battle Tournament]] had this as his gimmick; he could hop between panels to make quick escapes, and use speech bubbles as shields or weapons. Unfortunately, none of his opponents were [[MediumAwareness Medium Aware]] enough to twig to what he was actually doing or take him on using his own tricks.
* ''Webcomic/ALoonaticsTale'': Flint is somewhat [[MediumAwareness medium-aware]] and likes to panel-hop in order to get an edge, especially when hunting; [[WordOfGod in metanarratives outside the comic proper]] Flint is full-on medium-aware, genre-savvy, and [[RuleOfThree wash-and-wax]].
* At the beginning of ''Webcomic/TriggerStar'', a jumping mook gets (gruesomely) impaled ''[[http://www.interrobangstudios.com/comics-display.php?strip_id=64 on his own speed-lines.]]''
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'':
** Squigley's MushroomSamba-inspired WOW turns into [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-03-25 a dove.]]
** When Percy sleeps on the back of the chair, with Zs -- he rolls off and onto Pooch, and the falling Z turns to an N.
* ''Webcomic/TheDailyDerp'': Derpy [[http://dailyderp.tumblr.com/image/38575592925 using the chapter number to fuel a bonfire.]]
* Happens occasionally in ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'':
** Like when James noticed that the icon in his speechbubble was out of date and climbed up a panel (using the panel border for support) to fix it.
** But the best example to date is the vine border that appeared first around panels that were dreams/flashbacks until one page it just broke a panel and attacked somebody. Later they were revealed to be the tendrils of the Shadow Child, so the kid is so to speak a prop ninja.
* A RunningGag in the ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' strips of ''Webcomic/TheHeroOfThreeFaces'' is that Walter invented those floating-letter signs you get everywhere.
* ''Webcomic/PerryBibleFellowship'': [[http://pbfcomics.com/145/ Nunez]] starts on a view of what seems to be [[ThirstyDesert two men dying of thirst on a sand dune]], with one saying they need to escape "this dessert". The last panel zooms out to show that wasn't a typo, they're actually on a giant lemon cake.
* ''Webcomic/RealLife'' has a few "cheat" comics where Greg violates the rules to prove a point. He's the first character in the comic to jump to color, and he climbs up out of the panel on another occasion to ''change the strip's title'' because it's become too unrealistic to qualify as "real life."
* ''Webcomic/LeastICouldDo'': In addition to [[NoFourthWall talking to the creator through the comic's "camera,"]] Rayne Summers [[MediumAwareness can see the title]] of his comic -- and is aware of the rather severe punishment afforded to anyone who performs an accidental TitleDrop.
* In ''Webcomic/OwMySanity'', when [[HumanoidAbomination Shubby]] [[http://owmysanity.comicgenesis.com/d/20101203.html introduces Dave to the Shoggoth prod]] (like a cattle prod only more mystical and for [[EldritchAbomination much deadlier creatures]]) she points to the reverse sealing equation on the end of it, which is highlighted in a close-up connected to the end of the prod by a big arrow. After an angle change showing the close-up, the arrow ''and'' the disembodied pointing hand (which wasn't Shubby's after all) hovering in the air beside her, Dave picks up the close-up to get a better look at it. Yeah, it's a pretty weird comic sometimes.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNN4avt56Fc&feature=player_detailpage#t=609 Episode 26]] of LetsPlay/{{Chuggaaconroy}}'s LetsPlay of ''[[PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness Pokémon XD]]'', after obtaining a Battle CD, Chuggaa ends up talking to his own onscreen info text, before making it move and putting into a text box.
* Gleefully used in ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic''[='s=] [[Recap/TheNostalgiaCriticS7E19 Top 11 Best]] ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' episodes. To begin with, Creator/DanteBasco as Zuko [[FrameBreak punches down the Critic out of the video player]] and into the Website/YouTube comments section below. The Nostalgia Critic fights back by grabbing negative comments and throwing them at the firebender, in a {{literal|Metaphor}} FlameWar. And when low on ammunition, he yells "Creator/JossWhedon is overrated!" to make more appear. Then Dante seizes one to throw back at the Critic, who warns him that he's about to hit the yellow advertising line of the video. Of course, the Critic takes advantage of the commercial break to get away. Finally, still on the [=YouTube=] webpage, the Critic hides [[StandInPortrait in front of his own image on the picture]] for his ''Film/TheLastAirbender'' [[Recap/TheNostalgiaCriticS6E15 review]].
* The GrandFinale of ''WebVideo/FiveSecondFilms'' has the crew bemoaning that Vines have replaced them, but a crew member tears the "The End" screen in two, and in an act of revenge, the people behind 5sf swear to destroy the internet. The campaign begins when one of the team members shotguns the YouTube timer.
* In the infamous WebVideo ''Smile HD'' the main character uses subtitles as an improvised weapon to deliver a surprise attack to her opponent.
* ''WebVideo/JoueurDuGrenier'': A casting variation in "El Presidente", the ''Bazar du Grenier'' LetsPlay for ''VideoGame/{{Tropico}} 5''. Since all the web videos work on a limited cast, it's usual for Fred to play several roles. [[spoiler:So it's a genuine surprise when the CIA instructor who narrate the whole story as a FramingEpisode, and the CIA spy who got captured by Garavo's regime in the '50s, happen to be actually the same person.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the Sapphire Dragon episode of ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', Dojo manages to temporarily hide from the Dragon by ducking underneath the widescreen bars, which is especially humorous in a show whose native AspectRatio is 4:3.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In episode "Marge Be Not Proud" Homer is looking at a family portrait where Bart holds up an "I Stink" dialogue balloon behind him:
--->'''Homer:''' Hey, I don't remember saying that.
** "Treehouse of Horror VIII" opens with a FOX censor being stabbed by the TV rating graphic.
** Another Treehouse of Horror opening has Marge kill all the FOX advertisement bugs that keep popping up on the screen exclaiming "Can't people just watch the show they're watching?".
** A scene where Marge wakes up with a hangover seemingly has the sound of Homer's footsteps magnified to represent Marge's HangoverSensitivity. Then the camera moves down to show his footsteps literally are that loud because he's wearing ski shoes.
* In the Creator/TexAvery [[WesternAnimation/TexAveryMGMCartoons MGM cartoon]] "WesternAnimation/MagicalMaestro", a stray hair is seen shaking around at the bottom of the screen -- a common problem with films at the time. That is, until the on-screen cartoon singer actually plucks the annoying hair out. (This gag is rumored to have turned a few projectionists bonkers as they tried to remove the way-too-realistic hair.)
* ''WesternAnimation/OverTheGardenWall'' seems to take place in a fantasy-laced version of the 19th century, but since the series is both a family cartoon and has many comedic elements already, anachronistic phrases said by the main characters (e.g. references to telephones and high school) can go over the audience's head. [[spoiler:As it turns out, the reason those two sound relatively modern is because they ''are''. The penultimate episode reveals they're from a fairly realistic depiction of the 1980s at the earliest, and although they didn't realize it at the time, they've been TrappedInAnotherWorld since just before the first episode began.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' has a loose connection with the fourth wall thanks to [[RealityWarper Bat-Mite]], but in "Emperor Joker!" when the clown prince of crime gets Bat-Mite's powers by mistake, reality loses it's mind. Later in the episode when the omnipotent Joker leaps into Batman's brain to make him go insane, leaving the powerless Bat-Mite and the rebelling Harley Quinn to deal with his goons. This particular Harley is themed after 1920s Flappers, and The Joker has made her mute, her dialogue appearing in intertitles. Then Bat-Mite rips the intertitles off the TV screen, and he and Harley start using Harley's dialogue like 2 by 4s.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'':
** In "[[Recap/TheAmazingWorldOfGumballS2E17TheBumpkin The Bumpkin]]", Nicole and Anais are sitting at a table, but it looks like the animators forgot to add their chairs. Except Gumball actually threw out their chairs, so they're sitting on thin air--mentioning this [[PuffOfLogic makes Anais fall down.]]
** "[[Recap/TheAmazingWorldOfGumballS3E35TheCountdown The Countdown]]" bases the entire plot on this. When Darwin says they're running late for school, a clock appears on screen counting down to when it starts. However, they're fully aware of it, and the fact that the clock runs off the show's time rather than the actual time. (For instance, them leaving the house only counts as a second because the scene changed via camera cut.) Eventually, they accidentally [[CameraAbuse run into the camera]], causing [[TimeStandsStill time to freeze]] until they interact with the clock again, at which point they start using it to TimeTravel.
** In "[[Recap/TheAmazingWorldOfGumballS5E18TheConsole The Console]]", when Gumball falls afoul of a SuddenGameInterface, Leslie pops up for some loud exposition. While the gang covers their ears in pain, Gumball grabs Darwin's dialogue box, holds it above his head until the dialogue box for Leslie's annoylingly repeated line reappears and then bashes in the head of the focused image, knocking out both versions of the flower. Anais is not happy.
* ''WesternAnimation/ZigAndSharko'': In an episode, an attempt at cleaning up the very dirty sandcastle turns into an all-out fight between Zig and Sharko, using cleaning implements. This result in the castle getting squeaky clean, with plenty of sparkles. Then they ''grab the sparkles'' and start using them like shurikens.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': In an episode where Candace gets sucked into a video game, she is attacked and her health bar appears to show her declining health. She then uses the health bar as a club.