[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/TheCartoonChroniclesOfConroyCat http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/breakingda4thwall_5132.png]] ]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Literally BreakingTheFourthWall.]]

A character taps on your TV screen from the inside to get your attention. Yes, that's right -- someone is BreakingTheFourthWall by touching it!

As TechnologyMarchesOn, the "screen glass tap" sound effect is [[TheCoconutEffect still in use despite being an]] [[TheArtifact Artifact]] due to the rise of flat-screen LCD's not made out of glass, though some uses now feature a "dull thump" sound effect instead to compensate for this change.

Compare with CameraAbuse.


* Rix Fm ran a commercial in which the host tapped the screen of an iPhone.
* [[Creator/RobPaulsen Mr. Opportunity]] from Honda commercials.
-->I'm Mr. Opportunity, [''knocks on glass''] and I'm knockin'!
** In radio ads featuring Mr. Opportunity, he taps on the microphone twice.
* In a TV spot for ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves'', Sly taps the screen with his cane and asks "So, uh... you in?"
* In 1991, after Bo Jackson broke his hip, Nike ran a new "Bo Knows" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOVHVII4tXI commercial]] showing him training to get back into shape. Creator/DenisLeary, the narrator, ends the commercial with a reference to his Creator/{{MTV}} promos by saying "I think you hear me knocking, and I think I'm coming in, and I'm bringing Bo and his big bad hip with me" before knocking on the screen twice.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Creator/{{Channel 4}} played with this trope in its promos in the early 1990s. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owFNCvoyAOs (At 14:14)]]
* The first series of Creator/VictorLewisSmith's ''{{Ads Infinitum}}'' opens with an animated Victor proclaiming "Good evening, my name is Victor, I am a TV critic, and I live inside your television set." He then taps several times on the screen with his remote control, accidentally smashing it on the last tap, making him say "Oh, [[CurseCutShort f-]]".
* After five days of "X days to go" promos for the Series 8 premiere of ''Series/DoctorWho'', there was one in which the Twelfth Doctor tapped cracks in the viewer's screen that formed the word "TODAY".

* The Microsoft Office paper clip assistant, Clippit.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[Franchise/HugoTheTVTroll Hugo]] has a habit of doing this when you die in the games.
* The Scout of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' does this in "Meet The Scout". As a neat detail, his screen-poke leaves a greasy smudge that stays on-screen for the rest of the short.
** This trend is carried on in both "Meet The Medic" and "Meet The Pyro", albeit being a bit of a fake-out (the "screens" he runs into ends up being a window and a camera, respectively). Even though the "Meet The Director" comic establishes that these cameras exist in-universe, it's still in line with Scout being a FourthWallObserver (i.e. acknowledging that he's a character class, referring to the base as a "map", and teasing his opponents about ragequitting).
* ''VideoGame/{{Bubsy}}'', at least in the first of his games, knocked on the screen as one of his {{Idle Animation}}s. In a nice little touch, [[ScreenShake the screen even ''shook'']] when he did it.
* In ''VideoGame/LimboOfTheLost'', the hero will tap the screen to get your attention if you spend too much time [[IdleAnimation doing nothing]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that, unlike most video games, you are actually a character: his guardian, who is guiding him.
* In ''VideoGame/PacMan 2: The New Adventures'', Pac-Man will tap the screen if you leave the game paused [[IdleAnimation for too long]].
* Banjo does this in the opening theme of ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie''.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'': In one of his countless fourth-wall breaking moments, Deadpool taps and shakes the screen while calling out the player for their laziness after winning a fight.
* If the player [[IdleAnimation idles for too long]] in Ken Griffey Junior's Winning Run, the umpire will turn around, tap the screen with a baseball, and say "Play the game, kid."
* ''VideoGame/SimonTheSorcerer'', Simon does this to show the player he is 'getting bored' when the player does nothing [[IdleAnimation for too long]].
* In the ''VideoGame/VirtualVillagers'' spin-off Virtual Families a sick character will tap on the screen to get the player's attention if they haven't noticed the illness.
* The main menu of ''VideoGame/LEGORacers'' has a LEGO character (specifically the next circuit champion you have to beat) on it, dancing around. If you [[IdleAnimation wait long enough]], the character will bang on the screen in a sort of ContinueYourMissionDammit.
* Protagonist Rincewind does this after a few minutes of [[IdleAnimation inactivity]] in ''VideoGame/{{Discworld}}''. The screen shifts to an extreme close-up of him, and he shouts "HELLOOOOO!!" while tapping the screen and looking around for the player.
* In ''VideoGame/PlaystationAllStarsBattleRoyale'', one of Franchise/JakAndDaxter's introductions involves Daxter tapping on the screen while Jak stands in the background.
* In the patient select screen of VideoGame/DieAnstalt, Lilo will sometimes tap on the screen with one of his blocks.

* Whenever the fourth wall in ''Webcomic/AnEpicComic'' is messed with enough, it begins to crack up.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[WebAnimation/HomeStarRunner Strong Bad]], in a bid to escape the [[BreakingTheFourthWall 'tiny box,']] actually 'breaks' your screen at the end of many of the "Podstar" versions of the episodes.
* The UsefulNotes/{{Wii}}mote does this in [[http://www.super78.com Super 78 Studios']] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvZbxfwnLfA Wii - Hold on Tight! 2]], presumably to test its durability after [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qfMK23avLY the previous video]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Tino from ''WesternAnimation/TheWeekenders'' sometimes does this at the beginning of an episode, and even does it during the theme song.
* Daniel Tiger Jr. will nuzzle the screen in WesternAnimation/DanielTigersNeighborhood. You can hear it. Also, in "Mad At the Beach," when Daniel and Elena splash each other at the beach, they also splash the screen.
* WesternAnimation/WallE did this in one of his movie's promos, accidentally cracking the screen.
* The German [[LongRunners long-running]] micro-series ''Aeffle und Pferdle''[[note]] series of very short -- ca. 9 seconds -- animations used as fillers or spacers between commercials[[/note]] did this often... sometimes with Aeffle banging on the screen demanding that the viewers wake up, and once with Aeffle trying to wash the screen with a squeegee, only to have Pferdle admonish him that he's risking getting water in the viewer's TV.
* [[PlayedForDrama Used to horrifying effect in]] {{WesternAnimation/Rejected}}, where a stickman desperately bangs on the paper [[spoiler: [[CreatorBreakdown as the animated world around him collapses.]] It's to no avail, as he is consumed by the DreamApocalypse.]]
* At the end of "Staying Within the Lines" on ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'', Max ends the show by scribbling black across the screen.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' episode "You Are Arthur", Buster asks Arthur is there is someone inside his head watching everything he does on a TV screen, and he knocks on the screen producing a glass sound.