->'''Marco''': You know, [Cassie] is just not getting the whole superhero thing. Would SelfDemonstrating/{{Wolverine}} look things up in the phone book?
->'''Rachel''': Yeah, well, Wolverine has a big advantage over us. ''He's not real''.
-->-- ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''

One character tells another; ''this is reality'', ''this is not a movie'', or any variation thereof, most often the stock phrase "This isn't a/an X, you know"; in order to get them to divorce themselves from an unrealistic notion -- only, little do they know, their whole world indeed ''isn't'' reality! This phrase is often used when [[DefiedTrope defying]] a trope. In other words, this trope is a LampshadeHanging affirmation of the FourthWall, with a subtle joke and a bit of dramatic irony rolled in.

It is a message to the viewers that "Hey, this show/movie is more grounded in reality than average." This message is [[InformedAbility not always true]]. Sometimes it's done for [[ReconstructedTrope reconstruction purposes]] where a trope is played realistically but still works in real life.

It's somewhat common in sci-fi and comedy which feature wildly varying levels of realism and can be used to help the audience get a feel for what the limits are. BeyondTheImpossible is when these limits are established and then deliberately broken.

Contrast NotAGame, which (usually) does not invoke the FourthWall. May be subverted by an AsideGlance. Another possible twist is to have the characters [[GenreBlind object to an "unrealistic" idea]] that ''is'' in fact perfectly realistic and sensible ''[[GenreSavvy within that fictional universe]]''.

When inverted, this is LeaningOnTheFourthWall.

Closely related to WrongGenreSavvy, although the consequences of the latter tend to be much more dire. See also WhereDoYouThinkYouAre, ArbitrarySkepticism, YouWatchTooMuchX, RealWorldEpisode, LiteraryAgentHypothesis, DaydreamBeliever, TrappedInTVLand. Contrast with MediumAwareness and RealityIsUnrealistic. RealityEnsues is the exact opposite of this trope.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam ZZ'' had an [[AnimeThemeSong opening theme]] titled "Anime Ja Nai", or "It's Not Anime", whose final lyric is "Honto no koto sa" ("It's the real thing!"). In this case, it was used to signify a lighter tone than the DarkerAndEdgier ''Zeta Gundam'' -- at least for the first half of the series.
** Amusingly, ZZ was, [[GGundam until the mid nineties]], the most cartoonish non-SD Gundam show there was. If you take the time to check the rest of the lyrics, the song actually does fit the tone of the series better. It's either about a bratty kid trying to convince the grownups that his daydreams have some kind of significance, or to convince them there's more to life than their dreary, buttoned down worldview. [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism Which interpretation you prefer will probably tell you all you need to know about whether or not you'll enjoy this]] [[BrokenBase polarizing]] series.
* Danced around in the final episodes of ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'', in which several characters point out that reality isn't as black and white as anime.
* On ''Anime/YuGiOh'', upon seeing one of Pegasus' [[WesternAnimation Toon]] monsters, Kaiba exclaims, "This isn't some lame-brained after school cartoon!"
* In ''Anime/DigimonFrontier,'' Koji once chastises Takuya for recklessness: "It's not a game! If we lose, we cannot just start from scratch, we are dead!"
* A military officer [[spoiler:(who is Envy in a disguise)]] in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' scolds Edward for his overly dramatic behavior by saying "Stop acting like you're in a manga!"
* As they're preparing for a dance contest in ''RaveMaster'' Lazenby tells Elie "If this were a manga the last man standing would be the winner"
* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic''. TrappedBehindEnemyLines and surrounded by a hostile army searching for them, Kaname is reminded of ''ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid'' and suggests that such movies should have a happy ending instead. Her voice startles some birds, bringing down an immediate hail of fire. "Oh I get it, this is reality, right!" But Kurz and Sousake like the idea of the "cool" BolivianArmyEnding and the three of them prepare to go out in a blaze of glory. Fortunately, help choses that moment to arrive.
* [[LampshadeHanging Invoked]] in the opening skit of ''Manga/DailyLivesOfHighSchoolBoys'': Tadakuni, Hidenori and Yoshitake are attacked by [[MobileSuitGundam Zakus]] and embark on a heroic [[FinalFantasy fantasy quest]] on their way to school before Tadakuni complains there aren't meant to be any mobile suits or heroic tales in a SliceOfLife. In fact, the anime goes to great lengths to reinforce this trope.
* In ''MacrossII'', Hibiki's mentor tells him off for only wanting the "good parts" of the battle reported on, stating that "they're not making some series to get ratings." Which is all well and good, since Macross II had disappointing sales.
* ''LuckyStar'' does this all the time. It's a pretty consistent source for jokes involving Konata.
* In one episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', Ash confidently declares that he's not a "cartoon character".
** In the early episode "The School of Hard Knocks", a student claims to have learned Pokemon strengths and weaknesses from using a battling simulator, to which Misty remarks "this is real life!" and challenges him to a face-to-face battle. Oddly, in the first scene of this same episode, Brock's line just before the title card is [[AnimatedActors "we've gotta start the show"]], though the context is ambiguous regarding whether he might have meant it metaphorically.
* The introduction to ''TheMelancholyOfHaruhiSuzumiya'' is exactly this; Kyon begrudgingly accepts the fact that he lives in the real world, where [[HumanAliens ali]][[StarfishAliens ens]], [[TimeTravel time-travelers]], [[PsychicPowers and espers]] don't actually exist. [[RealAfterAll They do.]]
* In the second episode of ''ShakuganNoShana'', the title character says this. It's actually an inversion, since he says this to make him face facts, after explaining the AwfulTruth.
* In Episode 10 of ''ToAruMajutsuNoIndex'', Touma tells Mikoto, "This isn't a {{Shoujo}} manga!"
* In one issue of Manga/{{Bleach}}, Karin says about Ichigo, "He's a normal guy. He's not some anime character." True, this was in the manga, but he ''is'' an anime character.
* In ''{{Durarara}}'', a [[GangOfHats Blue Square member]] complains about Kadota and Chikage [[DefeatMeansFriendship teaming up after a fight]] on the basis that "this isn't a fucking manga." He's right. It's a LightNovel.
** Erika and Walker, as well. They're both complete Otakus and theorize on "if this was a manga" and "I'd like to go to the 2D world."
* ''LightNovel/KazeNoStigma'' episode "Pandemonium":
-->'''Vesalius''': When will the climax of our little play take place? When will all three of you come together and meet up for the last time in your final scene together? [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall The main characters miraculously discover the secret hideout of the sinister magic user.]] But then suddenly fall into a trap and get separated, and each of them encounters a formidable enemy. What do you think, quite an exhilarating story, isn't it? And obviously an unexpected plot twist is needed to crown the climax and bring our drama to its bloody conclusion.
-->'''Ren''': This isn't some kind of play, this is real life!
* In YoureUnderArrest Full Throttle, in episode 10, Natsumi and Miyuki have to operate [[spoiler:robots]] designed for dangerous rescues. Upon being introduced to them, Nakajima points out that one of them doesn't feature a face nor legs to which the creator answers that [[spoiler:robots]] are designed that way only in anime and manga.
* ''LightNovel/{{Campione}}'': When Godou's male classmates hear he hooked up with a hot Italian noble they exclaim, "That couldn't even happen in an anime!"
* ''TenchiUniverse'':
-->'''Washu''': Because its range is only 800 meters. It doesn't work like it would in a cartoon!
* At the beginning of ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'', the girls compare their adventure--magic, a quest to SaveThePrincess, [[FetchQuest items to fetch]]--to a RolePlayingGame. When they're attacked by a very powerful sorceress shortly after, Fuu immediately says that it's ''not'' like an RPG because they don't have nearly enough {{Character Level}}s to deal with it. [[spoiler:They get an even harsher lesson at the end of the series when they realize they aren't there to ''save'' the princess, but kill her before her inner turmoil destroys the world.]]
* In one chapter of ''Manga/SakuraTrick'', Yuzu insists that they're not in a {{shoujo|genre}} manga, and thus Haruka wouldn't lick food off of Yuu's face despite the two are a pair of SchoolgirlLesbians. She's right on both counts; ''Sakura Trick'' is a ''{{seinen}}'' manga, and Haruka only ate the scrap after wiping it off.
* [[DarkestHour Heavily wounded and facing a lethal attack from Vanilla Ice]], the [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure handsome Polnareff]] has three options: escaping by himself, [[BigDamnHeroes being suddenly saved by his friends]] or... just dying there, for [[InvokedTrope "reality is cruel"]].
* ''{{Puella Magi Madoka Magica}}'': In the first episode, Sayaka complains that Homura is acting like some anime character when she learns of her cryptic warning to Madoka. She says it again (about Madoka, to Madoka) when she says that she ''did'' meet Homura before - in a dream.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Audio]]
* Creator/TheFiresignTheatre uses this trope extensively in almost their entire body of audio comedy work. The layers of trope-play become extremely confusing and interesting. See the quotes page for one example.
* In the ''SherlockHolmes'' audio drama "The Abergavenny Murder", Holmes announces that if a client doesn't come through the door soon, he'll go mad from boredom, then pauses hopefully.
-->'''Holmes''': Oh, how disappointing. I was rather hoping the doorbell would ring. It would have been like a moment from one of your lurid adventures.
-->'''Watson''': Unfortunately, this is reality.
-->'''Holmes''': Is it? Sometimes I wonder.
-->*doorbell rings*
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the ArchieComics story "See You in the Funny Papers" (no longer online?), Veronica says to Betty when the latter shows MediumAwareness, "We live in the real world, girl! Not comic books!"
** A similar story had Archie [[BreakingTheFourthWall lecturing the audience]] on how unfair teenage life was, with really outlandish things happening to kids for no reason. After a tricycle nearly runs him over, he complains that sometimes he feels as if he's trapped in a comic book. Then, in the next panel, he almost seems to ''[[PingPongNaivete realize]]'' [[PingPongNaivete that he's a character in a comic book]] - but in the panel after ''that'', [[ContractualGenreBlindness he becomes the butt of the very same joke he had anticipated]].
* In ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}},'' the BigBad dismisses the idea that the plan he's describing can be stopped by stating that he isn't some "Republic serial villain." No... he's the ''villain of a superhero comic.''
** [[Film/{{Watchmen}} The movie]] changes the line to "[[LeaningOnTheFourthWall I'm not a comic book villain.]]"
* More or less the point of ''ComicBook/SupermanSecretIdentity'' is Clark comparing his life and powers to his [[Franchise/{{Superman}} comic book namesake]].
* DonRosa's ''Once and Future Duck'' uses this when a time-travelling DonaldDuck is about to get executed by King Arthur's men, and begs his nephews to use [[GreatBigBookOfEverything the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook]] and predict a ConvenientEclipse. [[http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i212/Kerrah_photos/Execution.jpg Image]].
* In an issue of ''{{JLA}}'', Franchise/{{Batman}}, in his guise as Bruce Wayne, is trapped in an elevator with several of his subordinates by a madman with a bomb. The other characters vainly search for an escape hatch, to which Wayne drily points out that "Interior escape hatches on elevators are a thing of movies and television. Those on modern elevators can be accessed only from outside the car." He said this as he was preparing to kill the lights, so presumably he had some sort of plan.
* An issue of ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' has a subtle, ''almost''-subverted example. Dr. Scratchansniff has to babysit Yakko, Wakko, and Dot on a day when he would rather read comic books. He decides he might as well combine the two activities and gives the kids a lecture about how comics are put together. He compares a comic to an unborn baby, pointing out that just as with a baby, it takes many steps for a funny idea to "gestate" into a funny comic book. (At one point, Yakko [[BreakingTheFourthWall turns to the audience]] and asks: [[{{Metaphorgotten}} "Is anyone else getting tired of this metaphor?"]]) The ironic thing is, Dr. Scratchansniff and the Warner siblings are ''themselves'' in a comic book, so the doctor's pregnancy metaphor is actually quite apt where they are concerned.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[spoiler:Tsuruya]] dismisses using their prodigious anime collection as a basis for a confession, reasoning that real life is more complicated than that in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero''.
* HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality has Dumbledore compare the war against Voldemort [[spoiler: (which he thinks has restarted, thanks to a badly calculated action on Harry's part) ]] to TheLordOfTheRings, and then state that Tolkien has no idea how a wizarding war would really go, and that [[spoiler: Gandalf should have taken Frodo and the Ring to Rivendell immediately, as soon as he suspected Frodo might have the Ring, as even if Gandalf was wrong, the magnitude of the danger he suspected Frodo and Middle-Earth were in outweighed the inconvenience to Frodo, and the potential massive embarrassment to Gandalf.]] He also states that that wasn't Gandalf's only mistake, just his worst.
** Several times, Harry reflects that Dumbledore apparently believes he lives in a world that runs on the LawOfNarrativeCausality, doing things like keeping Snape employed because he believes there as to be an ObviouslyEvil Potions Master. Harry, who is sure he lives in the real world, is rather terrified by this revelation.
* There's a ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' fanfic where someone, upon hearing a song from MegumiHayashibara, notes that for [[VoiceActor some reason]], she sounds like Rei.
* Used several times in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'':
** Right at the beginning, when John and Paul [[NobodyPoops have to pee]], Paul mentions that it seems “a bit crass” to have to pee when they never do in StarWars or whatever. To which John replies: “Maybe they don't [[IncrediblyLamePun water the crass]] in fiction, but they do in real life.”
** Later, after Paul has become [[SuperStrength super-strong]] and realizes that [[ManOfSteelWomanOfKleenex he never dare have sex with anyone ever again]], he wonders how {{Superman}} has sex, and immediately answers himself: Because his writers let him. (Actually, as the book is set in 1980, he also notes that {{Superman}} simply never had sex at all.)
* A Tumblr user who participated in a roleplaying game based on ''Watchmen'' once posted a cap of the aforementioned quote by the BigBad as adjusted for the game: "I'm not the villain of some over-hyped action film."
* In ''FanFic/ConnectingTheDots'', Beast Boy, while showing the internet to Kiba, explains to him the concept of fanfiction. Beast Boy is shocked when Kiba asks him if there's fanfiction about HIM, because obviously, fanfiction doesn't deal with reality.
* ''{{Fanfic/Anthropology}}'': After explaining all about [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Discord]] and what he's up to, Lyra tells her father that “This isn’t one of your books. This is real life.” HilariousInHindsight, seeing as Discord has just turned Lyra into a pony.
* Chapter 3 of ''FanFic/TheRestOfThePieces'' includes the following line:
-->'''{{VisualNovel/Phoenix|WrightAceAttorney}}''': Stupid Edgeworth. Where does he get off being so cool, whipping out lines like that and then disappearing off into the sunset. That doesn't happen in real life. It's like something out of a movie.
* The beginning of Episode 1 of ''[[http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL62BA69EAB6DBD807 Ed, Edd n' Eddy Z]]'' includes the following exchange:
-->'''Corey''': Ed, Eddy, Double-D. You guys are Saiyans. This must be the tenth time I've said this in a month!\\
'''Edd''': And I keep telling you, we're human!\\
'''Eddy''': You're nuts, like Double-D keeps saying to you, over and over and over again!\\
'''Ed''': I don't care if you are a hero, but I know we're not like in a comic book!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles,'' Helen/Elastigirl warns her kids that the EvilMinions are not like the villains in the {{Saturday Morning Cartoon}}s they watch, and will kill them if given the chance.
** This whole scene makes a lot more sense if you've seen the deleted scene where [[spoiler:Helen's old friend the pilot is still on the plane when it gets hit. It still makes plenty of sense even without that scene, as the kids were on the plane when missiles were fired, despite Helen's warning of "children on board!"]]
** When Syndrome shows the captured family the TV footage of the landed alien aircraft, he says, "You gotta admit this is cool, just like the movies!"
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLastUnicorn'': Robin Hood is a myth! We are the reality!
* Also used in ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' by The Grand Duke, ribbing the King for setting up a ball in hopes that the Prince would find a bride. The scene plays out exactly according to The Duke's description, to the point where he finishes with "...a fine plot for fairy tales, but in real life, it is foredoomed to failure!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The English remake of the movie ''Film/FunnyGames'' has this dialogue between two characters:
-->'''Paul:''' You can see it in the movie right?
-->'''Peter:''' Of course.
-->'''Paul:''' Well then she's as real as reality because you can see it too. Right?
-->'''Peter:''' Bullshit.
-->'''Paul:''' Why?
* A snippet of dialog from ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial'':
-->'''Greg:''' Can't he just... [[Franchise/StarTrek beam up]]?\\
'''Elliott:''' This is ''reality'', Greg.
* A good deal of ''Film/LastActionHero'' plays on the differences between the real world and the Hollywood action movie version thereof. Unfortunately, even the supposedly "real" world has movie electricity. Also, the BigBad rants that the "real" world averts TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin, but in the end...
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'':
-->'''Sidney:''' But this is ''not'' a movie.\\
'''Billy:''' Yes it is, Sidney. It's all one big movie.
** And in ''ScaryMovie'', the relevant scene even has the guy pointing to the cameras, resulting in annoyed groans from the cameramen.
* Played with by the ZAZ movie ''Film/TopSecret'':
-->'''Hillary:''' I know. It all sounds like some bad movie.\\
(Awkward pause. Nick and Hillary [[AsideGlance look toward the camera, embarrassed]].)
* In ''MyFavoriteYear'', washed-up actor Alan Swann (played, with magnificent appropriateness, by Peter O'Toole) proposes that he and his minder, Benji, use a fire hose to climb down the outside of a building and crash a party being thrown by the parents of the girl Benji likes. Benji protests to no avail, finally snapping.
-->'''Benji Stone''': That was the movies! This is ''real life''!
-->'''Alan Swann''': What is the difference?
* Played straight in ''Film/TheBoondockSaints'':
-->'''Agent Smecker''': Television is the explanation for this. You see this in bad television. Little assault guys creeping through [[AirVentPassageway the vents]], coming in through the ceiling? That ''Film/JamesBond'' shit ''never'' happens in real life! ''Professionals'' don't do that!
** In a sense, this is an [[InvertedTrope inversion]]. Usually, the character is contrasting RealLife and fiction, declaring that they are not in a work of fiction (and causing the audience to chuckle). Smecker, on the other hand, has just unwittingly ''likened'' RealLife to fiction (since a trope that only happens in "bad television" has just popped up). His intended point was that the killers were unprofessional--though if he followed his own logic, he might have realized that they are, in fact, in a work of fiction.
* Played straight in ''StarWars: Attack of the Clones,'' where Padme tells Anakin that "we live in the real world; come back to it." Which is smashed to bits by her following line: "You're studying to become a Jedi Knight, I'm a senator."
* Played straight, but intended for subtle humor according to the filmmakers, in ''Film/{{Star Trek III|The Search for Spock}}'', where the following exchange takes place.
-->'''Obnoxious Cadet''': What, have you lost all your sense of reality?
-->'''Uhura''': This isn't reality. [points a phaser at him] This is fantasy.
* In what may be case of the fiction [[Website/TurkeyCityLexicon protesting too much]], the film ''[[Film/TheBourneSeries The Bourne Ultimatum]]'' seeks to remind us again and again that "you couldn't make this stuff up", "this isn't some story", and so on.
* In ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', Lone Starr yells "Welcome to Real Life!" to the Princess, when she complains that she has to carry her own luggage. Minutes later, the movie's villains use a copy of the movie itself to track them down.
* In ''Film/{{Network}}'', Max reminds Diana that this isn't one of her television drama scripts, it's real life.
* Near the end of ''Film/DialMForMurder'', GenreSavvy thriller author Mark is desperate to save Margot from being executed and comes to her husband Tony with an idea he's worked out of how Tony could claim he had been trying to kill Margot and spend a few years in jail in exchange for saving her life. Unknowingly, he proceeds to outline almost the exact same plan that Tony actually used. Tony says that nobody would believe a story like that.
* In ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'', Benny the Cab warns an armed Roger, as he goes off to rescue Eddie and Jessica, "Be careful with that gun! This ain't no cartoon, ya know." Justified, as Roger is an actor, and Benny is telling him this ain't a cartoon starring him: the perils are real.
* In ''Film/KissKissBangBang'', the two lead characters are being walked, at gunpoint, into a nearby building. One of them starts [[SeinfeldianConversation talking to his friend]] and fellow hostage about the difference between movies and reality. Specifically, how in the movies anyone you turn a gun on is a hostage, whereas in real life, the professionals like to keep a distance of at least five feet, lest the "hostage" take the gun and "make them eat it". He then proceeds to do exactly that.
* A favorite line of the main character in ''Film/InTheMouthOfMadness'' is that "This is reality." He's wrong [[spoiler: on more levels than you can count as he is not only a character in a movie where a book is controlling reality but a character in a movie who is part of a mind warping movie which is revealed to be the movie that you are watching. With a small chance that he's just hallucinating and it's still not real.]]
* In ''Film/SilverStreak'', Gene Wilder is surprised at how quickly his gun runs out of bullets. Richard Pryor comments "What do you think this is, a western?" Since the movie itself is not a western, this could also be a genuine fourth wall breaking comment.
** It's probably also a ShoutOut to Gene Wilder's gunfighter character from ''Film/BlazingSaddles''...
*** Especially when you consider that Pryor cowrote the movie.
* Inverted in the movie ''Film/EXistenZ'', which has several 'nested' realities thanks to people playing a virtual reality game that uses all of one's senses. Hence, the characters might be playing the game, then in the game start playing the game, then in that game start playing the game to further something in the 'earlier' level of the game. When finally all the strangeness 'resolves' in TheReveal, the shock causes one minor character to comment, "Wait, we're still in the game, right?" So maybe this is not reality.
* The first ''Film/{{Superman}}'' movie began with Jor-El declaring "This is no fantasy — no careless product of wild imagination." He was referring to the conspiracy between General Zod and his cohorts, but the line also plays as a wink at the audience.
* In ''WhateverWorks'', the main character has NoFourthWall, which his pals doubt.
* Claimed by a character in ''Film/Cube2Hypercube''.
-->This isn't a game, Kate. There is no happy ending.
* In ''Super,'' one of Sarah's friends accuses her of acting as if she lives in tv because she plans to marry Frank (who later dresses as a superhero from influence of tv and comic books).
* Near the end of ''Film/{{Hugo}}'', Papa Georges sadly states that [[spoiler:he knows his automaton was destroyed]], because "happy endings only happen in the movies". Cue Hugo running off to get it, because this ''is'' a movie, and there ''is'' a happy ending.
* A hilarious example from the 1991 movie ''The Hard Way''; Nick Lang (Michael J. Fox), an action-adventure star parody of ''Franchise/IndianaJones'', is doing research for a gritty cop movie by following John Moss (James Woods), a hard-boiled detective. At one point, Moss can't take it anymore:
-->'''John Moss:''' We live this job. It's something we are, not something we do! Every time a cop walks up to a car and has to give a speeding ticket, he know he may have to kill someone or be killed himself. That's not something you step into by strapping on a rubber gun and riding around all day. You get to go back to your million dollar beach house and your bimbos and your blow jobs and you get 17 takes to get it right. We get one take. It lasts our whole lives. We mess it up and we're dead.
-->'''Nick Lang:''' (''holding up a tape recorder'') Fuck was that great! John. Look. Can you just say that one more time for me, please? John.
** Later becomes an IronicEcho when, in the [[ShowWithinAShow completed movie]], Lang's character uses the last line of Moss' speech.
* In ''{{Film/Blade}}'', Blade tells Karen that crucifixes and holy water are ineffective against vampires, and advises her to "forget what you've seen in the movies."
* The tagline for the ''Film/SuperMarioBros'' movie is, "This ain't no game...it's a live-action thrill-ride!"
* In ''Film/BoondockSaints'', FBI agent Smecker stands looking at a scene where two hitmen have slaughtered a room full of mafia goons by attempting to enter through the ventilation shaft, only for it to collapse and for the two hitmen to fall in through the ceiling.
--> Smecker: Television. Television is the reason for this, this happens in bad television.
* ''Film/{{Swordfish}}'' starts with Creator/JohnTravolta's character talking to a group of Feds and complaining about Hollywood making predictable, unrealistic movies. One of his main concerns is that bad guys never get off scot-free, whereas, in RealLife, this is a strong possibility. Except, [[spoiler:in ''this'' film, they do get off scot-free. Specifically, they survive and use their ill-gotten gains to finance their counter-terrorist operations]].
* In ''Film/TheCableGuy'', As Chip is holding Robin hostage on the satellite tower:
-->'''Chip''': You've gotta admit though, this is a pretty cool place for an ending.
-->'''Steven''': An ending to what?
-->'''Chip''': It's like that movie ''Film/GoldenEye''.
-->'''Steven''': No it's not. It's not like anything. This isn't a movie. This is reality. There's a difference.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* {{Superman}} thinks something along the lines of this in the novelization of SupermanReturns when he is saving a jet with difficulty.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' often contrasts the characters' experiences with video games, movies, and comic books.
** Marco in particular was fond of doing this.
* From the same author, ''{{Everworld}}'' often does the same, just DarkerAndEdgier.
* Some of the less GenreSavvy characters in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels use this line in one form or another.
** It's also played with in other areas, such as in ''Literature/GoodOmens'' where, when a character is looking for her lost book, she employs several tropes that, as the narrator notes, would work in any story worth its salt, but alas, not here.
** In ''Feet of Clay'':
--> '''Carrot:''' Maybe we can reason with it--\\
'''Angua:''' Attention! This is the ''real'' world calling!
** Used by the titular cat in ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'', in dealing with the terminally WrongGenreSavvy Malacia.
* In ''Christine'', there's a scene where one of the main characters, the scrawny, eternally-victimized Arnie, decks his longtime tormentor. The narrator comments that if it had been a movie or a book, the punch would have knocked him out; unfortunately, this was not the case.
** Most of Creator/StephenKing's works are rife with this. In ''Misery'' Paul Sheldon contemplates how to kill the crazy woman holding him captive, only to shoot down every idea he comes up with with "well, maybe in a book that would work, but here, no."
** A particularly meta example occurs in ''Literature/{{Thinner}}'' (which was written under King's Richard Bachman pseudonym). One character tells another, "You were starting to sound like a Creator/StephenKing novel there."
** In ''Literature/TheGreenMile'', Paul's friend Elaine correctly guesses the end of his story, [[spoiler:that John Coffey would be executed]], because "Providence-with-a-capital-P is greatly overrated in the lives of ordinary humans".
* OlderThanSteam: ''Literature/DonQuixote'' was one of the first works to consciously do this.
* The protagonist of Mil Millington's ''A Certain Chemistry'', a writer, describes his (supermarket manager) girlfriend's unusual eating habits by saying "If she likes ice-cream, and likes eggs, she might have ice-cream and eggs for dinner. If I was writing her character, I might say that her job means she sees the food as just an output when it goes into the bags at the checkout. But no, she was like that before she worked there." [misquoted from memory]
* Creator/RoaldDahl had a short story where he mentions how the protagonist would have met a KarmicDeath if it were a story, but it wasn't a story, so things turned out otherwise.
** ''The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar''. It was all part of the LiteraryAgentHypothesis.
* Tom Clancy frequently points out in his fiction works how things in his stories differ from the movies. The books themselves are only slightly closer to reality, however.
* Many, ''many'' modern detective novels (such as Michael Connelly or James Patterson to name a few) feature entries where the protagonist thinks how they could easily resolve the case...[[NoticingTheFourthWall if it was taking place in a detective novel]]. It is sometimes used effectively, other times ham-handedly.
** Creator/AgathaChristie [[OlderThanTheyThink did this]] [[RunningGag all the time]]. In her classic ''MurderOnTheOrientExpress'', for example, there's a moment when Poirot verbally makes a point of ''not'' really going into much of an effort to check for fingerprints at the crime scene, as no criminal with any sense ''at all'' would be stupid enough to not use gloves. As such, he does the mandatory checking, but just so he can say his investigation was thorough.
** DorothyLSayers did, too. LordPeterWimsey frequently remarks that things are not as convenient in his "real" cases as they would be in a mystery novel. And the best instance is when Lord Peter's love interest, mystery author Harriet Vane, spots someone lying on a beach and muses, "Now, if I had any luck, he'd be a corpse, and I should report him and get my name in the papers. That would be something like publicity. [...] But these things never happen to authors." A few grim paragraphs later, the narrator remarks, "Harriet's luck was in."
* In the Literature/InheritanceCycle, the character Roran has to come to terms with several issues after the destruction of his family, one of which being that, "Justice, the oldest stand-by in songs and legends, had little hold in reality."
* In ''Literature/{{Gone}}'', after learning that he had launched one of his henchmen into a wall, Caine asks if he's all right.
-->'''Diana:''' This isn't the movies, Caine. [[LudicrousGibs He looked like roadkill.]]
* In the Creator/AndrewVachss Burke book ''Mask Market'', Wolfe tells Burke that "this is real life, not a TV show".
** In ''Terminal'', one guy Burke speaks to tells him that neo-Nazi prisoners on their way to death row can blame snitches, not undercover cops, as "those movies where they put undercovers in prison, never happen. ''Couldn't'' happen."
* In ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'', Molly Grue is tired of the made-up stories of Captain Cully's exploits and asks for one about RobinHood. Captain Cully angrily replied that Robin Hood is a myth.
* One of the Riders of Rohan in ''[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings The Two Towers]]'' laughed at Gimli for suggesting that hobbits were real. Only in the book, though.
* Early in Literature/TheDeedOfPaksenarrion, Saben, having just escaped captivity at the hands of a villain, with two of his friends, is excited to imagine bringing word back to the Duke, rescuing the rest of the company, and being "heroes in this tale". Canna replies, "this is no fireside tale, no adventure for a hero out of songs: this is real. We aren't likely to make it as far as the Duke, though we'll try".
* A scene in ''[[GentlemanBastard Red Seas Under Red Skies]]'' has the two protagonists, Locke and Jean, discussing the relative merits of romantic fiction and non-fiction. The two characters make their living through elaborate grifts and confidence games, pretending to be people they aren't. Thus the phrase "we've made it our meal ticket" is an amusing double entendre: the characters mean their profession as thieves, but the readers could take it as a reference to the author's book sales.
--> '''Locke:''' But romances aren't real, and surely never were. Doesn't that take away some of the savor?\\
'''Jean:''' What an interesting choice of words. 'Not real, and never were.' Could there be any more appropriate literature for men of our profession? Why are you so averse to fiction, when we've made it our meal ticket?\\
'''Locke:''' I live in the real world, and my methods are of the real world. They are, just as you say, a profession. A practicality, not some romantic whim.
* Subverted in the first book of ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', Mat says "It isn't much like the stories," to which Perrin disagrees -- "I don't know... Trollocs, a Warder, an Aes Sedai. What more could you ask?"
** Played straight later in the series. At least once per book someone will complain about how things aren't as easy in reality as they are in the stories.
* In ''Literature/CaptainFrenchOrTheQuestForParadise'' by MikhailAkhmanov and Christopher Nicholas Gilmore, the titular protagonist muses on an old novel he read once that cited the Three Laws of Robotics. He then points out that this is complete bull in RealLife, as his robots will do whatever he tells them to, including kill.
* The first few books of ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'' have characters [[NotNowKiddo dismissing the fears]] of whichever character saw something by saying this is the real world, people don't just vanish, zombies aren't real, etc, claiming Tash or Zak saw something else and misinterpreted things. However, they soon shape up and start taking these things seriously. As it takes place within [[Franchise/StarWars the Galaxy Far, Far Away]], many things are possible... it's just most of them are well outside of common experience.
* The first-person narrator in TheNameOfTheWind insists on this repeatedly to justify things like getting completely sidetracked from his revenge mission for years (to the point that by the end of the book he has only a bare handful of clues to the nature of the beings he is seeking revenge on, most of which we already knew at the beginning.)
** In the opening chapter, a minor character returns to the inn after being attacked by a demon. Even when confronted with the monster's dead body, the townspeople insist that things like that only exist in stories and legends.
--> '''Narrator:''' Certainly there were demons in the world. But they were like Tehlu’s angels. They were like heroes and kings. They belonged in stories. They belonged out there. Taborlin the Great called up fire and lightning to destroy demons. Tehlu broke them in his hands and sent them howling into the nameless void. Your childhood friend didn’t stomp one to death on the road to Baedn-Bryt. It was ridiculous.
* In ''Literature/QueenZixiOfIx'', the lord high steward's dog Ruffles has started talking, leading to this exchange:
--> '''Steward:''' Why, you are the only dog I ever heard of who could talk.
--> '''Ruffles:''' Except in fairy tales. Don't forget the fairy tales.
--> '''Steward:''' I don't forget. But this isn't a fairy tale, Ruffles. It's real life in the kingdom of Noland.
* In ''Literature/MoreThanThis'', Seth [[GenreSavvy notices all the tropes in his story]], and starts to wonder if the "real" world is actually real. Regine argues against the idea, especially when Seth suggests the Driver might come back to life like a horror movie villain after he was killed. [[spoiler:He's right.]]
* Constantly done by the titular protagonist in ''Literature/CaptainFrenchOrTheQuestForParadise''. Living in a relatively-hard sci-fi universe, where FTLTravel does not exist and interstellar travel itself is a rarity, French keeps referring to classic sci-fi novels and pointing out how they got things wrong. Examples include the total lack (and [[UngovernableGalaxy impossibility]]) of any sort of interstellar governing body, the fact that over 20,000 years humans haven't evolved into [[BrainInAJar brains in a jar]], the [[AbsentAliens absence of intelligent alien life]], and [[ThreeLawsCompliant robots being fully capable of harming a human if ordered]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' episode "My Life in Four Cameras" has J.D. fantasizing about what life would be like if he were in a SitCom -- completely oblivious to the fact that ''he already is''. (To be fair, though, he's thinking of the more conventional sitcom style than the style ''Scrubs'' uses.)
** Also used by Dr. Cox, when he claims that medical mysteries that happen in TV medical dramas are unrealistic. Cue the entire episode being ''full'' of said medical mysteries, and the good doctor even walking with a cane a la ''Series/{{House}}''.
*** Complete with him saying there are no cameras out there and gesturing at... the camera.
*** And Keith looks everywhere ''but'' the camera.
* Lex Luthor once said on ''{{Smallville}}'', "Real life is not a comic book." In another case, James Marsters' character openly states that there are [[ActorAllusion no such thing as vampires]]. In yet another case, one that takes place after Clark's first experience with magic and sorcery, his dad states, "Clark, I know this is Smallville and weird things happen, but ''witches''? ''Spells''? ''Magic''?" Cause ya'know, aliens and mutants are so much easier to swallow.
** To be fair, at that point in the series virtually all of the weird events in the series were Kryptonian in origin; most paranormal events were the result of kryptonite mutating people or, for more significant events, caused by Kryptonian technology. The appearance of witches and magic in that storyline was one of the first cases of ''{{Smallville}}'' using something (mostly) unrelated to Krypton for its MonsterOfTheWeek. This has become a more common practice in recent seasons, and the characters barely bat an eye when someone shows up with unexplained superpowers.
** In one episode, Chole asks Clark if he can fly. Clark goes, "I'm an alien, not a cartoon!"
* Reversed in the last aired ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode, "Objects in Space":
-->'''Wash:''' Psychic though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.\\
'''Zoe:''' We live in a spaceship, dear.\\
'''Wash:''' So?
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' [[TakeThat slammed]] [[DuelingShows its competitor]], ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', this way:
-->'''Ivanova''': This isn't some deep-space franchise, this station is ''about'' something!
* Kevin Shinick, the host of the game show ''Series/WhereInTimeIsCarmenSandiego'', was billed as "the Squadron Leader". His mother appears in one episode, and the two get into an argument about his job, but she's satisfied by the end, saying, "At least he's not a game show host."
* Factual television example: {{Narrator}} Robert Lee points out in an episode of ''Series/MythBusters'': "If this were a movie, you'd know something terrible was about to happen. But this is ''Mythbusters''. Factual television. Real life. ...Like I said, real life, real results. In this case, an awful lot of nothing."
* On ''Series/TheSopranos'', Tony attempts to make Carmela less leery of his gambling habit by arguing, "Hey, I was shot. I almost died, but here I am. That's tremendous odds. I'm lucky!"
* In the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Tangent", when Daniel assumed that ''Franchise/StarTrek'' tropes would carry into the "real world", this exchange occurred:
-->'''Daniel:''' We were hoping you could kinda... um, like... beam them out. \\
'''Jacob:''' Beam them out? What am I, [[BeamMeUpScotty Scotty]]?
** ''SG-1'' also has its very own ShowWithinAShow, ''Wormhole X-Treme'', created by an alien (who doesn't know he is one) from not-entirely-suppressed memories and used by the USAF/SGC as part of their ongoing coverup of the Stargate program; rumors of the "real" thing can be dismissed as inspired by the television fantasy. ''Wormhole X-Treme'' is also an excuse for the SG-1 writers to merrily [[LampshadeHanging hang lampshades]] on everything--including making jokes that the bit about the Air Force [[BackedByThePentagon backing the show]] to cover up the fact it's real is actually true...
* The ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' episode "Poisoning the Well" has this exchange:
-->'''[=McKay=]:''' He just doesn't like going through the Stargate. \\
'''Sheppard:''' He's worse than Dr. [=McCoy=]. \\
'''Teyla:''' Who? \\
'''Sheppard:''' The TV character that Dr. Beckett plays in real life.
* RunningGag in the ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' episode "Chick Flick", which revolves around movie characters coming to life. "This is the world of illusion, and you girls are reality."
* Done once in ''GregTheBunny'', when Sarah Silverman's character explains to Seth Green's why she's not interested in him. She compares him to the quirky guys who always get the unattainable beauties in romantic comedies, then reminds him that "this is the real world" -- at which point a six-foot tall muppet stumbles past the camera.
* ''SpaceCases'' in the EvilTwin episode:
-->'''Miss Davenport:''' Doppelganger? Sounds like science fiction.
-->'''Harlan:''' But this is reality.
* Subverted somewhat on the show ''Series/BigWolfOnCampus'' where almost every plot is immediately recognized by Merton as being 'like that movie'. The characters almost always end up using a modified version of the movie solution with nary a care for the fact that they're using movie logic.
** Dean, the titular character's older brother, sometimes cannot tell his life from plots on the television shows he watches. Tommy regularly has to remind him that he never did half the things he's convinced he has.
*** It wasn't helped by the fact that there was an episode where Dean was [[TrappedInTVLand transported into TV Land]].
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'''s main character, GenreSavvy (Eventually DangerouslyGenreSavvy) John Crichton, often pointed out how the science fiction that he was living was much more difficult compared to TV. These comments were usually used to [[SubvertedTrope subvert the viewers' expectations]], [[LampshadeHanging preface when they were about to run into something really bad,]] or else [[RedHerring display Crichton's growing paranoia.]]
* The '60s ''Series/{{Batman}}'' used it once, after the Dynamic Duo escape the latest cliffhanger DeathTrap, and Robin starts musing rather close to the fourth wall:
-->'''Robin:''' I don't know how we do it, Batman.
-->'''Batman:''' What do you mean?
-->'''Robin:''' The way we get into these scrapes and get out of them. It's almost as though someone was dreaming up these situations, guiding our destiny.
-->'''Batman:''' Things like that only happen in the movies Robin. This is real life.
* On ''Series/{{Lost}}'', when Hurley believes the island, plane crash, lottery, etc. are all part of his hallucination, Libby tells him that their experiences are real, and she's real. "And don't tell me you made me up. It's insulting."
* Happens at least twice on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** This exchange with the GirlOfTheWeek in the episode "Monster Movie":
--->'''Jamie (GOTW):''' So you two are like Mulder and Scully and ''Series/TheXFiles'' are real?
--->'''Dean:''' No, ''The X-Files'' is a TV show. This is real.
** Said by the Trickster/[[spoiler:Gabriel]] in 5.08 "Changing Channels":
---> Guys, I wish this ''were'' a TV show. Easy answers, endings wrapped up in a bow. But this is real. And it's gonna end bloody for all of us. That's just how it's gotta be.
** On the show hunters have a general disdain for most media portrayals of vampires since they present such a distorted version of what vampires 'really' are in the show's universe. The brothers often comment on the differences between movie vampires and 'real' vampires.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In "Rise of the Cybermen", trapped in a parallel universe:
-->'''Mickey:''' I've seen it in comics. People go hopping from one alternative world to another -- it's easy.
-->'''Doctor:''' Not in the real world.
** Ten episodes later, they were beaming back and forth between alternate worlds a dozen times an episode using Staples "Easy" buttons.
*** In fairness, that's because the walls between realities were breaking down. The Doctor kept pointing out that it shouldn't be possible, and that doing so was only making things worse.
** Lampshaded in "Amy's Choice":
--->'''Dream Lord''': You die in the dream, you wake up in reality. Ask me what happens if you die in reality.\\
'''Rory''': What happens?\\
'''Dream Lord''': You die, stupid. That's why it's called "reality".
* Detective Beckett tries pulling this twice in the pilot episode of ''Series/{{Castle}}'', pointing out that, unlike in Rick Castle's mystery novels, it can take police up to a week to get fingerprint results back, and, when they find a suspect who seems ''too'' obviously guilty, he's usually just ''actually'' guilty. Subverted both times, since Castle proves the most obvious suspect really was innocent, and uses his clout with the mayor's office to get the results of a fingerprint match done in under an hour.
** She's a bit more successful in a later episode, when he eagerly hopes to see the department's 'official facial recognition software'. He has in his mind a MagicalComputer which automatically flips through countless faces in seconds before coming across the correct one (possibly with some sort of 'bleep' noise). Then she dumps a large pile of files in front of him through which he, along with the other detectives, is expected to look through.
** Lampshaded in the episode "Murder Most Fowl", after using the EnhanceButton on some crime scene photos:
--->'''Castle''': The enhancement only increased the pixellation on all these! You can't even see there's a side-view mirror!\\
'''Beckett''': It's not like on ''[[TwentyFour 24]]'', Castle. In the real world, even zoom-and-enhance can only get us so far.
* ''Series/TheComicStripPresents'' "Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown" had a spoof character from ''Series/TheSweeney'' shooting at a spoof of Nineties detective ''{{Series/Spender}}'' and missing, whereupon the Nineties detective points out that reality has now taken over the Cop Show genre and you can't rely on ImprobableAimingSkills any more. Promptly subverted when a sixties policeman points out that the RuleOfFunny is still in effect.
* Invoked during a GreenWing discussion, when Wolverine is mentioned.
* In the fourth season premiere of ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', Chuck tells Morgan something to the effect of "This is real life, not the opening of a spy show!"
** And in season 2 when Ellie asks Chuck what he wants to do with his life:
-->'''Ellie:''' If you say pilot of the ''Millennium Falcon'', I will hit you.
-->'''Chuck:''' Why would I say that, that's absurd! I'm going to be a ninja assassin.
-->'''Ellie:''' No. Try again.
-->'''Chuck:''' Um, Olympic...
-->'''Ellie:''' Uh uh.
-->'''Chuck:''' Secret Agent.
-->'''Ellie:''' This is what happens when you sit in front of the television too long.
*** The last one is the correct answer.
* An indirect version occurs in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': After trapping a sentient holographic Professor Moriarty (long story) in a small device meant to simulate him living out his life in the universe, the following dialog takes place at the end of the episode:
-->'''Picard:''' Who knows... Perhaps all this is just an elaborate simulation, running in a box, sitting on someone's desk.
-->''Everyone leaves the room but Barclay.''
-->'''Barclay:''' .... Computer, end program.
-->''Nothing happens. Barclay looks around and leaves the room. Cue shot of Enterprise traveling through space and end credits.''
** Sadly, this is ''completely'' in character for Barclay. (Especially given his Holo-addiction problems.)
** In "The Nth Degree," when Barclay is lamenting his performance as Cyrano de Bergerac, Deanna tells him, "This isn't fantasy, it's drama."
* When discussing what could be the cause of Buffy's sudden weakness in the episode "Helpless" of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' the subject of [[Franchise/{{Superman}} kryptonite]] comes up. Buffy impatiently implores the others to stick to reality.
* In the first episode of Series/{{ALF}}, the son (Brian) wants ALF to live with them, just like E.T.; his mother (Kate) explains, "E.T. was a movie. This is real. This is on our coffee table!"
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' had Jeff mocking Abed for not knowing the difference between reality and TV. Abed responds with a combination of this trope and WhatTheHellHero.
-->'''Abed:''' I can tell life from TV, Jeff. TV makes sense, and has structure, logic, rules. And likeable leading men. [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech In real life, we have this. We have you.]]
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Emma says this to Henry. Unofrtunately, as Henry knows, [[SubvertedTrope it actually isn't]].
* In ''FatherTed'', Dougal starts to swear. Ted admonishes him and claims that people don't talk "like that in the real world!"
* From the ''Series/{{Hustle}}'' episode "The Delivery", in which Cool Hand Cooper is being chased by TheMafia:
-->'''Eddie''': Hang on, are you saying... the mafia, like on the tellie?
-->'''Mickey''': No, Eddie, not like on the tellie.
-->'''Cooper''': Yeah, not as cuddly in real life.
* On ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'', Cory gets caught in a TwoTimerDate scenario and Shawn teaches him to play it out like Fred did in one episode of ''TheFlintstones'', leading to this exchange:
-->'''Shawn:''' ...and Fred never spent more than 75 seconds at either location.
-->'''Cory:''' Shawn, that was a cartoon, [[CartoonlandTime time was compressed]], we're real, we're in real time.
-->'''Shawn:''' Trust me, [[MediumAwareness it's the same thing]].
-->'''Cory:''' No it's not. You see a television show can cover many days in only one half-hour program.
-->'''Shawn:''' ''Trust'' me, it's the same thing.
-->'''Cory:''' ''(shrugging)'' Okay!
* In ''TheVampireDiaries'', Caroline asks Damon why he doesn't [[Literature/{{Twilight}} sparkle]], to which he replies, "Because I live in the real world where vampires burn in the sun.""
* ''Series/{{JAG}}''
** In the episode "Tiger, Tiger" when anti-communist Cuban terrorists have taken over a U.S. Navy guided missile frigate, Harm and 10 year old Josh are stranded in the helicopter hangar:
-->'''Josh Pendry''': '''Film/UnderSiege!''
-->'''Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb''': ''What?''
-->'''Josh Pendry''': ''StevenSeagal in Under Siege. He got the [[UsefulNotes/ThePentagon Pentagon]] on a satellite radio from a lifeboat.''
-->'''Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb''': ''Well, unfortunately this isn't a movie, Josh. These lifeboats have satellite radios with an emergency beacon and a short-range voice transmitter. We could activate one. The UsefulNotes/CoastGuard would come, but before we could inform them of our situation, who knows what these terrorists are likely to do.''
-->'''Josh Pendry''': ''It's so cool in the movie.''
-->'''Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb''': ''Well, I'm sure it was.''
** Clayton Webb says to Mac in a heated argument that ''this is the real world Sarah'' in the season nine episode "Take It like a Man".
* In an episode of {{Series/Continuum}}, a dry-cleaner finds a [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman super-suit]] (actually armor from the future) and thinks it makes him a super-hero. After he stops a mugging (getting shot in the process, though the suit does save him), his girlfriend gets angry at him for trying to be a hero, informing him: "this is not a TV show, this is your life."
* In the ''[[Series/ThirtyRock 30 Rock]]'' episode "Larry King":
-->'''Jack Donaghy''': I was about to do the whole 'run to the airport' thing, like Ross did on ''Friends'' and Liz Lemon did in real life.
* In the [[ThirdRockFromTheSun Third Rock From the Sun]] episode "The Big Giant Head Returns Again" (season 5, episode 22) after Dick reveals to the rest of the aliens living with him impersonating a family that The Big Giant Head (the ruler of the galaxy) just told him that he's Dick's father, Tommy says "whoa, that's just like in Star Wars, when Luke Skywalker finds out that Darth Vader's his father", to which Dick says, "oh, grow up Tommy, that was popular entertainment, this is real life!!" (cue the laugh track).
* ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' did one episode where the girls visit a friend of theirs who had become a suburban mom. One of her friends tells them that they'll all eventually settle down.
-->''"I mean, 4 single women searching for life and love in the big city? We're not in a Jaclyn Suzette novel."'' (Charlotte and Miranda exchange looks as if saying "Yes, we are.")
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* One ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' strip has an arresting policeman sneer at Steve Dallas's claim that animals Opus, Bill and Portney are capable of talking (and trashing motel rooms): "This ain't the funny pages, pal!"
* In ''ComicStrip/SafeHavens'', Maria says that TimeTravel [[MagicAIsMagicA has restrictions]], adding, "This isn't some fantasy, you know."
** Later, when Rupert [[ShapeShifting turns into an amoeba]] and splits before turning back, Samantha wants to know if [[EvilTwin one of him is evil]]. Rosalind notes that neither has a [[BeardOfEvil goatee]], and Samantha says, "This isn't fiction, Rosalind. It's real life."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* During the Wrestling/{{WWE}} feud between Triple H and John Cena, Triple H told Cena that he had a lot of heart, and if this were a ''Film/{{Rocky}}'' movie, heart would be enough... but this is reality, and Cena, being a terrible wrestler, would lose, and lose badly. Cena ended up winning the match at [=WrestleMania=] 22, so what does that say?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's ''Theatre/TheMikado'' includes the line, "I'm really very sorry for you all, but it's an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances." Needless to say, virtue does indeed triumph eventually.
* In AndrewLloydWebber's ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', new managers Andre and Firmin watch their star soprano throw a fit and comment, "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!"
* Zigzagged in ''{{Urinetown}}'', one of Officer Lockstock's many meta lines is: "Well, now, Little Sally, dreams only come true in happy musicals -- and a few Hollywood movies -- and this certainly isn't either one of those. No, dreams are meant to be crushed. It's nature's way." Lockstock frequently acknowledges the fact that they are in a musical, but only in happy musicals are those tropes relevant.
* ''MaryMary'', when Mary is trapped in a locked closet:
-->'''Tiffany:''' In the movies, they just break the door down.\\
'''Dirk''': In the movies the door is pieced together by the prop men so all you have to do is blow on it!
* ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera'' introduces the LastMinuteReprieve for its VillainProtagonist by commenting that since the work is fictional, there will be a HappilyEverAfter ending.
* In ''TheSolidGoldCadillac'', Mrs. Partridge introduces herself to the {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s as an actress who used to play in ''Ah, Wilderness!''. One of them asks her, "You're not acting in a play now?" "No, I'm not," she says.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'' features an amusing moment during a scene with a monk in Spargus City, where Jak is being glib in response to her dire warnings. The monk snaps, "This isn't a game!", causing Jak and Daxter to [[AsideGlance exchange significant glances with the player]] for a few seconds before returning to the conversation.
* In the second mission of ''VideoGame/SplinterCell: Chaos Theory'', Lambert warns Sam of a recently installed alarm system. Sam then says "Let me guess: three alarms and the mission is over?" to which Lambert replies "Of course not! This isn't a video game, Fisher!". Besides being a meta-joke, this also had the purpose of letting the player know that the old "three alarms and game over" rule had been removed.
* During the first codec conversation between Snake and Otacon during Act 2 of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', Otacon wonders anxiously whether Vamp is immortal. Snake dismisses this notion immediately, stating "Not a chance. This is the real world, not some fantasy game." As it turns out [[spoiler: Vamp's healing factor is technologically enhanced, allowing him to regenerate wounds from bladed weapons in seconds and recover from a bullet wound to the head in a few seconds more. This explanation distracts everyone, most players included, from the fact that his regeneration ''itself'' is never explained; we saw it work less efficiently, without the enhancement, in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty''.]]
** Snake seems to be forcing himself into a state of genre blindless; in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', he fought more than one supernatural enemy. In ''[=MGS2=]'', he brushes off Fortune's ability to have bullets curve away from her with the line "There's no such thing as a witch." [[spoiler: It turns out he's right in this case and her ability is completely technological, but he has no way of knowing that going in.]] In ''[=MGS4=]'', he dismisses anything that seems supernatural as some sort of magic trick, not just Vamp. [[spoiler: He's actually right in some cases; Screaming Mantis can't possess a fly. What she ''can'' do is use the nanomachines in people to manipulate their bodies. On the other hand, Screaming Mantis is also just a shell possessed by Psycho Mantis, Snake's psychic enemy from the first game, who actually comes back to possess [[AnimatedArmor Screaming Mantis' armor]] once you defeat her in combat.]]
** This is especially jarring, since the first three ''[=MGS=]'' games go out of their way to exaggerate the fact that they ''are'' fantasy video games. Characters [[HeKnowsAboutTimedHits actually talk about game mechanics as character development]], among other things -- like the whole thrust of the plot of ''[=MGS2=]''. The previous games also had psychics, shamans, human-plant hybrids, human hornets nests, electrokinetics, and a ghost. Even this game still has a few fourth-wall breakages, like [[spoiler:Otacon referencing the disk-change point when you return to Shadow Moses Island]].
* Near the end of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', Lord Saddler tells Leon via radio he'll never defeat Los Illuminatos because life isn't "one of your Hollywood movies."
** Well, he was right, it wasn't a [[WrongGenreSavvy Hollywood movie.]] Leon kicks his ass anyway.
* In ''Beneath a Steel Sky'', your robot sidekick Joey gets hold of a new weapon (a welding torch) and rants about going out to zap some humans. The main character brings up Creator/IsaacAsimov's Three Laws of Robotics, to which the annoyed robot replies "That's fiction, Foster!" He then proceeds to roll around chanting "[[Series/DoctorWho EX-TER-MIN-ATE! EX-TER-MIN-ATE!]]" (Don't worry. He's a RobotBuddy)
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/MaxPayne''. When the BigBad gives him a drug overdose, Max hallucinates that he finds a letter that tells him that he is in a graphic novel. This then repeats, with him hallucinating that the letter tells him that he is in a computer game. Both are true. And both times, Max muses: "Funny as Hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of."
** He also starts noticing things he didn't before. In the first case, he begins to see speech bubbles. In the second case, he sees the inventory menu, the health bar, and the bullet-time mode.
* In the second case of ''PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'', Detective Gumshoe, when asked if he's ever heard of a murder victim writing their killer's name in blood, responds that he's seen it all the time in movies. Phoenix responds with a variation of this trope's title.
* ''SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'':
-->'''Gig''': [[EvilLaugh Hahaha!]] How you jerks doin'?! I guess it's only in fairy tales where justice actually prevails, huh?
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', this is brought up a few times with AscendedFanboy Ryusei, who [[IKnowMortalKombat learned most of his piloting skills from video games]]. But it's taken to a whole other level with his rival Tenzan, who never learns to stop treating war like a game. His last words, after losing his grip on reality thanks to a DeadlyUpgrade, are that he can eventually win by hitting "continue" and doing some level grinding (this is a strategy you can use in the game). This is played for drama, and Ryusei laments that he had to die like that.
* In ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'', Polito tells the player to hurry with phrases like "Do you think this is some kind of game?" and later, "this isn't a game".
* In ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'', pedestrians will occasionally shout "This isn't one of your stupid video games! This is real life!" as they jump out of the way of your speeding car.
* In ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'', when the xel'naga artifact is assembled, Tychus is worried that it might upset the entire space-time continuum, which prompts Raynor to assure him that "this ain't science fiction". [[spoiler: Since that same artifact can kill all zerg in a certain radius every once in a while and...mostly...de-infest Kerrigan, really, Tychus' fear of its potential isn't too much more ridiculous.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' (which also makes uses of NotAGame), the possessed Ultimecia kills the dictator Vinzer Deling and then comments "This is reality. No one can help you. Sit back and enjoy the show."
* ''VideoGame/OracleOfTao'': Those words aren't used, but the are numerous examples of this. For example, thanks to some coding, there is RealTime in addition to an InUniverseGameClock. The party insists that the clock that shows the ''real time'' is off, and has no problems accepting the game time.
* Near the beginning of ''Shin Megami Tensei VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' Mitsuru gives the warning, "This isn't a game, Akihiko." As though that would stop him anyways...
* ''VideoGame/TheWarriors'': "This ain't no movie, Warriors!"
* In ''TabletopGame/SpaceHulk - Vengeance of the Blood Angels'', your squad regularly report on what they can see or hear (or smell). One of the lines is admonishing another marine, telling them that "this is not a game".
* In ''Videogame/TheDig'' after being taken to an alien planet on a FasterThanLight starship, IntrepidJournalist, Maggie Robbins, says:
-->'''Maggie:''' After all those bad TV shows, here is the real proof. There ''is'' alien life!
* In the Dubai mission of ''VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizon'', performing a certain [[AirstrikeImpossible Dogfight Mode]] maneuver will make you wingman chatize the player character's recklessness, adding "This isn't Ace Combat!" Which actually makes perfect sense, since AH takes place in the modern world, so the other Ace Combat games would exist in-universe.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', a codec conversation in Pakistan has Kevin rule out the use of an infiltrator [[spoiler: on board Air Force One to assassinate the US president]] as foreign press would not be allowed on board the plane in reality, "not like in the movies."
* In ''{{Tekken}} 6'', Jin sometimes says "This is reality." as UnsportsmanlikeGloating after defeating an opponent.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', Loghain delivers one of these to King Cailan before the Battle of Ostagar:
-->'''Loghain''': Your fascination with glory and legends will be your undoing, Cailan. We must attend to reality!"
* Sigma in ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'' says a variation of this to him when he starts thinking about time travel.
---> Sigma: This wasn't so shitty sci-fi novel. This was real life.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Used in ''[[http://venusenvy.comicgenesis.com/d/20081126.html Venus Envy]]''
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' one of the french immortals ''[[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2009-02-27 mentions it]]''
* Employed in ''Webcomic/TemplarArizona'', when [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/spike/Templar/series.php?view=single&ID=72321 Reagan is disappointed]] that Red Eric isn't ... good looking.
* Shows up a few times in ''Webcomic/{{Megatokyo}}'' used by Yuki or her friends. Ironic (subverted perhaps?) because later on, [[spoiler: Yuki becomes a ''MagicalGirl'']].
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/KillroyAndTina'':
-->'''Fulcrum''': This isn't science fiction, Tina.
--> [=*=]exposits*
-->'''Tina''': So wait. How is that any different from science fiction?
-->'''Fulcrum''': It's science ''fantasy''.
* ''{{Weregeek}}'': [[http://www.weregeek.com/2010/10/01/ This is real life, not a shoujo manga!]]
* ''Webcomic/SparklingGenerationValkyrieYuuki'' is not a Magical Girl manga. Or so Hermod believes anyway.
* ''Webcomic/{{Shadowgirls}}'' [[http://www.shadowgirlscomic.com/comics/i-am-providence-pt-4/ had]] it PlayedForLaughs:
-->-- ''"The Harbormaster"''. I have read that story. It is ''fiction''.
-->-- Perhaps, but am I not speaking to a [[FishPeople fish man]]?
-->-- Technically, I am crustacean.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''. EvilGenius Martellus is yelling at his sister Xerxsephnia, trying to make her understand how dangerous "[[MadScientist the Heterodyne girl]]" loose in their base really is. Given that the previous generation of Heterodynes were famous characters in (mostly wildly exaggerated) folk tales for 20 years or so, the sister is rather cynical. She comments that she loves a good Heterodyne story, but this is ''real life'', and the Heterodyne girl is trapped in ''their'' fortress, hundreds of kilometers away from her city, her base of power, and her own lab. [[spoiler:Cue the Heterodyne girl sailing past the window of Martellus' tower in a sleigh lifted by ''schweincopters'': literally, robotic flying pigs.]]
-->'''Xerxsephnia:''' [[RightBehindMe And why do you have that idiotic look on your face[, Martellus]?]]
* In ''Webcomic/HeavenlyNostrils'', a girl doesn't recognize Phoebe after the latter lets her hair down. Phoebe says, "It's a different day. It's not like I'm a cartoon character."
* In an ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace'' 2.0 strip:
-->'''Nimue''': See, this is the point where the monster always jumps out.
-->'''Merlin''': That only happens in stories.
-->'''Nimue''': That's what they always say in the stories.
* Inverted in the Videogam/{{Bravoman}} webcomic where Bravoman and [[spoiler:his powerless alternate universe counterpart]] defeat a villain who set out to destroy the series' meta-humor [[IronicDeath by shoulder tackling him through the walls of reality.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Reverse Anti-Bravoman''']]: I'm the ''real deal''! Neither of you could [[ThisIsReality hack being a real life superhero!]]\\
'''Bravoman''': ...oh, really? Well luckily, [[InvertedTrope it's not real life!]]\\
[[spoiler:'''Reverse Salaryman''']]: Yeah, it's a webcomic!\\
'''Both''': '''And you're not welcome in it anymore!'''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the second RP of ''DarwinsSoldiers'', this exchange occurs:
-->'''Zachary''': Hans, do you think this was a good idea, try to disguise ourselves as staff?
-->'''Hans''': It seems like a good idea but I was thinking about going in through the areas not covered by the security cameras and cutting the power long enough for us to get in and disguise ourselves like base personnel.
-->'''Zachary''': Also works but remember that the fusion reactor is in the basement and protected quite well by autoturrets and cameras. Also, few areas are not covered by cameras.
-->'''Aisha''': Uh, yeah this isn't like the Oceans 11 movies
* The GenreSavvy characters of ''SailorNothing'' frequently remind each other that their story is not like the MagicalGirl manga and anime that they're used to.
* In ''WebAnimation/SpaceTree'', [[http://spacetree.keenspot.com/spacetree50.html this exchange]]:
-->'''Mee''': Plus another great thing about this invisible smoke is if this were a cartoon, the fat lazy hack animating it wouldn't have to draw any smoke. But unfortunately this isn't a cartoon, Space Tree... this is real life. I just hope that one day... you'll be able to accept that.
* Similarly to Ozymandius's declaration in the film version of ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'', Doctor Simian from the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' once taunted the heroes that since he was not a comic book supervillain whose plans depended upon grand-standing and theatrics, they'd have to work harder to stop him. It should be noted that the ''[[GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse Guardians Universe]]'' is a universe of comic book superheroes...
* From ''[[http://youtu.be/HDtLRU5EaO4 My Roommate Mario: Like a Boss]]'':
-->'''Mario''': [[WordSchmord Resume, shmesume.]] Just bust in there and say "It's a-me, Daneboe!"\\
'''Daneboe''': Yes, yes, I know that works for you, but this is real life!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The first episode of ''{{Rugrats}}'' has Tommy's mother, Didi, concerned that she won't live up to the mothers on TV; her friend Betty reassures her by telling her, "TV's TV. We're real." (Ironically, she ''really'' wouldn't live up to the mothers on TV... a good deal of the series has Tommy wandering off places.)
* In [[WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}} "Slappy Goes Walnuts"]]
-->'''Slappy the Squirrel''': You've seen all my old cartoons, right?...I wrestled with Walter Wolf, Sid the Squid, and Beanie the Brain-Dead Bison. This Doug guy here's nothing.
-->'''Skippy''': Yeah, but those were cartoons and this is real life!
-->'''Slappy''': [''[[BreakingTheFourthWall looks at the camera for a long]] {{Beat}}''] Don't tell him. He might crack.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' had an episode in which Timmy, bored of "the real world", wished that his life would be like a blockbuster action movie. As things got more and more dangerous to the point where the villain accused him of responsibility for the world being on the verge of destruction, Timmy cried out, "[[BigNo Noooooo!!]] This is so awesome."
* Once, in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', Leela interrupts Fry's eager pop-culture musing with a caustic "Fry, this isn't TV, this is real life -- can't you tell the difference?" This was spoken when they were about to engage an alien war fleet in battle in the year 3000 (and naturally, Fry prefers pop culture to reality anyway).
* In ''ProjectGeeker'' (whose main protagonist also is voiced by Billy West), in one of the 13 episodes, the title character, who is extremely childlike and impressionable, discovers some old comic books and soon is enamored with them. A bit of background, the 3 primary characters are a superhuman escaped science project with powers on the level of Q from Star Trek but which he cannot control, a female cyborg, and a superintelligent dinosaur. The female secondary character tries to explain to him that they are nothing like real life. She picks up a comic and says "look at how far fetched this is, it's full of cyborgs and.... dino.... saurs," she says slowly as she looks at a cover of a comic featuring 3 characters that bear a strong resemblance to the 3 of them.
* ''SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' had various characters stating how "...this isn't some Saturday morning cartoon show."
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Homer tries to get rid of a trampoline by tossing it off a cliff that looks like scenery from Coyote and Roadrunner Cartoons. The trampoline catches on a mesa and rockets upward, falls on Homer, and hammers him into the cliff. He then comments on how if this was a cartoon, the cliff would break now. It eventually does but not until after a long wait well into the night.
** "Three Men and a Comic Book":
--->'''Lisa:''' Too bad we didn't come dressed as popular cartoon characters.
** "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington":
--->'''Homer:''' Cartoons are just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh. * gets up, revealing his asscrack*
** "Lisa the Beauty Queen":
--->'''Homer:''' Lisa, [your caricature] isn't real. It's just how you might look if you were a cartoon character.
** "Bart vs. Australia":
--->* Bart and Homer try to climb into two kangaroos' pouches, covering their feet in mucus*
--->'''Bart:''' Ew! It's not like in cartoons.
** "Lisa the Vegetarian":
--->'''Bart:''' Cartoons don't have messages, they're just a bunch of hilarious stuff, like people getting hurt and stuff. * Homer opens the door, smashing it into Bart's face
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' episode 'Film Flam', Darkwing takes Gosalyn to see an animated feature at the local cineplex. Dismayed by the violent themes, he hastens to explain the difference between [[LampshadeHanging cartoons]] and [[ThisIsReality reality]].
** Another ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' episode has Darkwing meet a CaptainErsatz of Film/JamesBond named Derek Blunt, who turns out to be very different from the way he is portrayed in the movies. In particular, he is unimpressed by and dismissive of Darkwing's various gadgets, calling them "gimmicks" and declaring "A real agent works with what's at hand." Darkwing, [[TheKnightsWhoSaySquee a fan of the movies]], is [[FanDisillusionment disappointed by the reality of the situation]], but, as is typical of these stories, they end up as friends anyway by the end of the episode.
*** "Derek Blunt" sounds like he was more directly inspired by Derek Flint of ''Film/OurManFlint'', who was a ''parody'' of Film/JamesBond.
* ''AceLightning'' -- Mark actually says this trope, word for word, to the titular character. Along with such lines as:
-->"Ace, we've been through this, they're ''gnomes'' -- they're not going to attack you!"
* In the ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' episode "Urban Ed", Eddy and Ed are on the top of a cardboard "skyscraper" pretending to be pigeons and dropping spoonfuls of yogurt onto the people below. Ed [[AnvilOnHead drops an anvil]] off the building, and Eddy tells him "You're gonna hurt someone! This ain't a cartoon!", at the same time seemingly oblivious to the fact that Ed has just [[HammerSpace produced an anvil from nowhere]].
** Later episode got straight into BreakingTheFourthWall, which the characters referencing people working on the show and the fact that their lives are a TV show.
* One episode of ''TheSpectacularSpiderman'' had Spidey try to make Rhino trip on bowling balls, stating that it always works in cartoons. When Rhino's steps merely break the balls, he concludes that television can't be trusted.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wolverine And The X-Men}}'': ''Thieves' Gambit''
-->'''Wolverine:''' So now what? [[AirVentPassageway Air ducts]]?\\
'''Gambit:''' Heh, only in the world of cinema. In real life, they never hold.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Night of the Ninja", the titular Ninja makes it very clear to Dick Grayson that "This isn't the movies, boy!"
** And during the Bat-Mite appearance on later series WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold, Batman explains "This isn't a show for your amusement, Bat-Mite, this is reality!" [[BreakingTheFourthWall Although Bat-Mite knows better...]]
* In ''Veggie Tales: Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella,'' Larry the Cucumber mocks the villain for getting his idea for world domination from a cartoon. After a pause and a shudder to the fourth wall, he added that some cartoons were educational.
* An episode of ''TheWeekenders'' has Tino muse that he and his friends are real people, not the stereotypes seen on television... ''{dramatic angle}'' '''"Or are we?"'''
* In ''SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperForceGo'', when the Sun Riders (who at this point are evil) have taken over the Super Robot and forced the Hyperforce to flee. Chiro suggests that they instead use the Sunriders old fighting Mecha and they head to where they've been told it's stored... only to find out that it is only 20 feet tall (compared to the Super Robot's skyscraper) and is in disrepair, at which point the following exchange takes place:
-->'''Chiro:''' *Slams his fists into the ground* That's IT! I give up!
-->'''Sprx:''' If this was just some TV show, kid, we could give up. But THIS is the REAL WORLD!
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' detailed the replacement of Dee Dee with a [[DumbBlonde Blonde]] BrainlessBeauty. After Dexter expresses frustration at her failures to recapture Dee Dee's naivete and mischieviousness, she exclaims, "What kind of crazy show is this, anyway?" Noticing Dexter's confusion at this outburst, [[FourthWallObserver the blonde asks him if she truly has entered]] "''[[FourthWallObserver Dexter's Lab]]'', [[FourthWallObserver the TV show"]] only for Dexter to respond, "This isn't a TV show! I'm a real little boy, and this is my lab!"
** In addition, this is brought up in the opera episode: Near the end, Dexter actually sings out, "This isn't fantasy. This is reality."
* Played with in an episode of ''DanVs'' Dan is convinced that a [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent wolfman]] scratched his car, due to incriminating sneaker-and-pawprints. When his friend points out that wolfmen don't run on all fours in the movies, Dan tells him this isn't a movie, it's real life. However, he later chides his friend for forgetting about the full moon needed for a transformation by saying, "Don't you watch movies?"
* [[RenAndStimpy Ren]] was once spazzing out at Stimpy about his love of [[ShowWithinAShow Muddy Mudskipper.]] To whit: "Cartoons aren't real! They're, uuuuh, puppets! Not flesh and blood like ''WE''!" Which also gets dumped on his head later when Stimpy ''meets'' Muddy and gets to be on the show.
* [[WesternAnimation/AdventureTime Finn]] claims that imagination land is boring and calls himself "a kick-butt reality master" (in a post-apocalyptic world gone magically RIGHT), because he prefers adventures over easy stuff... until he burns his foot from Jake's imaginary lava.
--->'''Finn''': JAKE! WHAT THE HEY-HEY?!
--->'''Jake''': I WAS JUST USING MY IMAGINATION! Then everything got intense.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' on the episode 'A Real Boy' Doofenshmirtz [[DiscussedTrope discusses]] how [[PoorCommunicationKills mishearing things is something that happens in a sitcom]], but this is real life.
--->'''Doofenshmirtz''': This isn't a sitcom, [[EverythingsBetterWithPlatypi Perry the Platypus]], this is real life! [[BreakingTheFourthWall (glances at fourth wall)]] And, I'm... [[SubvertedTrope (glances at fourth wall again)]] And I'm the father!
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' when Kim's gamer {{geek}} cousin Larry says he has an idea for dealing with the current sitch: "This isn't one of your stupid science fiction games, Larry! Ron's facing [[FantasyKitchenSink a kung fu mutant with bio-engineered hands, and mystical monkey powers, and]]..." At that point, Kim decides that Larry might be on to something and hands him the Kimmunicator.
** Wade suggests the "BeYourself" to attract his crush, and Ron replies "That only works in cartoons!"
* In TurtlesForever, the 2003 Turtles are baffled by the 1987 Turtles' occasional asides to the audience ("Who are you talking to?!") and [[spoiler: original comic-book Leonardo's [[NarratingThePresent comic-book style narration]] of the fight scene.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''2003 Donatello''': Why is he narrating? Is he ''crazy?'']]
* In the ''[[WesternAnimation/TheGarfieldShow Garfield: Pet Force]]'' special, Garfield berates Nermal for getting so into his comic book. When Nermal wonders aloud if it could be really real, Garfield scoffs:
-->'''Garfield:''' That isn't real life [[MediumAwareness like the newspaper comics]]!
* In WesternAnimation/BeverlyHillsTeens, when a plan seems to go wrong:
-->'''Tara''': It's like I always say. If you want a happy ending, have a romance novel.
* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' has several examples:
** "Close Encounters of the Weird Mime" has Max telling PJ that they're too good for TV anyway after their video project goes horribly wrong.
** In "Buddy Building", Max answers PJ's question about why everyone on TV who gets three wishes always blows it, with "They're just cartoons. They don't know any better!"
** In "Terminal Pete", when [[ItMakesSenseInContext Pistol is chasing a gopher through a hospital]], a frustrated doctor cries, "This is a hospital, not a ''cartoon''!"
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Bonkers}}'' has this come up at times, mostly due to the fact that it's a show with AnimatedActors. In "The Final Review" Bonkers becomes enamored with a cartoon cop show, which Lucky dislikes because of how it portrays police work. When the show's star tags along on order of his agent, Lucky has to tell him ''and'' Bonkers that real police work is more than just busting heads.
-->'''Lucky:''' ''Real'' cops may fight crime, but that doesn't mean we use our fists...or our fingers. We use our ''heads''. We gather evidence, we look for clues. We round up suspects.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' Has one in "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3"
-->'''Pinkie''': Of course I'm real! I mean, I'm not the real General Flash tenth commander of the Wonderbolts, but I, Pinkie, am really real.
* ''ThePowerpuffGirls'' has this in "That's Not My Baby"; after defeating the MonsterOfTheWeek, the girls find a baby and fail to find its mother. They decide to take care of it themselves, but after an exasperating and tiring night, Buttercup insists they get rid of it.
-->'''Buttercup''': It's not our baby.
-->'''Blossom''': I know, but we can just leave it in a basket on someone's doorstep.
-->'''Buttercup''': Why not? They do it on TV.
-->'''Bubbles''': Well, we're not on TV!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* You can't go wrong using this phrase in real life. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis Unless]] this is a simulation or somesuch.
* Usually inverted, with people crying: [[ThisCannotBe "I can't believe this is happening to me!"]] or "This is like some bad dream!" ([[ArtImitatesLife Both are said in fiction, too]].)
[[/folder]]

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