(Daneel Rush, his whole body covered with bandages, types with the only part of his body that still works... his left index finger)The first step in this trope is tearing down the Fourth Wall without Audience Participation. The creator(s) of the work have become characters in their fiction, often because their fictional characters have left the fiction and entered "our" reality. Usually this creates a Show Within a Show effect that doesn't normally exist. Early versions of this trope were Played for Laughs, but the paradox of killing the creator had to be examined. Some stories had the work end after the creator was killed, while others go a secondary meta-level, or even leave the question of how the character can continue to exist without their creator open for the audience to answer. See also Interactive Narrator, Author Avatar, Author Powers, Welcome to the Real World, and Who Writes This Crap?!. Rage Against the Heavens is where the work considers the creator to be someone who lives in this world that they created.
Henry: (whispers) What... happened to him?
Terriermon: (whispers) ...Rika read the last chapter.
Henry: (whispers) ...I see... he was asking for it.
Henry: (whispers) What... happened to him?
Terriermon: (whispers) ...Rika read the last chapter.
Henry: (whispers) ...I see... he was asking for it.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In the second season of Princess Tutu, Ahiru and (particularly) Fakir start to struggle against the writer of the fairytale Mytho originally comes from — because he's been manipulating everyone in their town using his power to change reality with his writing. Interestingly, neither were supposed to survive the climactic showdown in Season 1.
- In the Excel Saga anime:
- In reprints of the original Astro Boy manga, Osamu Tezuka added several introduction comics featuring him discussing various things related to the story & sometimes interacting with the characters. As a result he gets chewed out by Uran for not giving her a proper Origin Story, Lampe for giving him a deformed skull, and Mr. Mustachio for making the supposedly futuristic world of Astro Boy so darned mundane.
- In the Chibi Vampire manga, there is a bonus comic at the end of one of the volumes where the author says that she loves adding angst to her stories. Usui-kun, the lead male in the series. replies, "I'm so glad that my slow descent into a mental asylum is so wonderful to you." (something like that).
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, there's an episode where Prussia gets mad at the animators for giving him a minor role.
- In Fushigi Yuugi's older sister, Shishunki Miman Okotowari, the heroine Asuka causes a distraction by pointing in the reader's direction and proclaiming Yuu Watase's presence. The others turn around menacingly.
- An episode of Dr. Slump involves author Akira Toriyama getting disgusted with the regulars and attempting to reboot the anime as "Toriyama in Babeland". He enlists the help of the lecherous Senbei Norimaki (Dr Slump), promising that the new show will be "Dr Slump in Babeland". Dr Slump rebels when he realises Toriyama plans for wholesale destruction of Penguin Village, hence foiling the author's scheme.
- Love Hina had one of this when Naru Narusegawa gets ill... it turns to be something as gross as diarrhea, so she starts complaining about the author "breaking in half her image for the fans."
- Svetlana Chmakova seems to be in a love-hate relationship with her characters.
- In the omake section of Dramacon, Christie chases her for implying that she and Matt might not end up together, and Matt pushes her off a cliff after she tries to make him wear a gothic lolita dress. In turn, Svetlana doesn't take having her characters criticize her writing lying down—even during the main story.
- Similarly, in Nightschool, the cast runs off to go party when Svetlana tries to interview them in the omake section. Her reaction? "Hey, I just figured out what happens in the next volume. Everyone accidentally gets run over by a truck."
- In one Omake of Fullmetal Alchemist, Scar kills Arakawa's Author Avatar for tying with him in popularity (at 17th). In another, Edward punches her for telling people to not spend all their time reading manga.
- Similar to the Fullmetal Alchemist example, Tae exits the Gintama manga to kill Sorachi for surpassing her in the popularity polls.
- The Animal Man story arc "Deus Ex Machina" is notable in that it plays this scenario for drama.
- Wade will occasionally "debate" with his writers on how the story should have gone. Mostly it's kept to his in-character but non-canonical letter columns, but if he's upset enough....
- In a Wolverine-related tie-in book, he felt the need to phone his assistant editor, Jordan, he's a cool guy, to ask why he was on the cover of the book but hasn't appeared in a story yet. He was then given ten pages (measly, yeah, but still, you cannot go around and fool innocent, gullible and revolting little fans like that) for his own story, with the following conditions: 1.) It had to be suitable for all ages (which sadly ruled out my "baby pool, butter, and Liza Minelli's phone number idea"), and 2.) he wasn't allowed to use the word "dead" (but got around that by using euphemisms like "flunk out of life").
- In the final issue written by Christopher Priest (comics), 'Pool kills Priest for what he's done. Other characters Priest has written all cheer.
- Ambush Bug: The character has protracted arguments, refusals to continue, etc.
Editor: Well, I'm Julius Schwartz — the editor of this book — and I say giant koalas don't play golf!
Giant Koala Playing Golf: Shhhhh.
- She-Hulk: The main character once tried to crawl out of the panel and off the page to throttle John Byrne for jerking her around. And in The Sensational She-Hulk #50, she kills him.
- One fourth wall breaking issue of Archie Comics features the writers trying to come up with new ideas. They end up being much nicer to Betty than Veronica, causing the latter to emerge from the panel and threaten them with a beating if they don't restore the status quo.
- Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness by Claudio Sanchez features this as a major plot point. There is a character known as The Writer, who takes out his frustrations with his girlfriend leaving him on the characters in his story, culminating with a fight between him and the main character. This also counts as a music example, as the album of the same name by Coheed and Cambria follows the same structure.
- Cerebus the Aardvark devotes a goodly part of an entire trade paperback to the tile Aardvark having an extended argument with creator Dave Sim. It goes badly, as Dave ends up exiling Cerebus to Pluto due to his obstinate refusal to stop being an utter Jerkass.
- In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, after Scrooge McDuck loses ownership of an entire island made of gold in Island at the Edge of Time, he yells at the narrator to shut up and finish the story.
- In Adventure Comics #4 and #5, this becomes Superboy-Prime's gimmick. He's moved on from hating the other characters, to hating the people at DC Comics. When he's convinced that he's about to die, he tries to take revenge by crashing through Dan Didio's window and trying to kill everyone in the building while lecturing them on the fact that the things they write about really happen and to stop screwing with his life.
- Empowered: Has a character with fourth-wall-breaking expository bits between stories. She is also very aware of what happened to other characters written by Adam Warren.
- In Pearls Before Swine:
- Cartoonist Stephan Pastis (who appears as an actual character) often gets the worst of it, as when he appeared at a signing of Rat's comic strip collection Dickie the Cockroach, tried to upstage him and promote the Pearls collections, and got beaten up with a baseball bat. He was even eaten by a "Ratterpillar" to end a recent wonderland arc. Also, any time there is a pun strip, it will typically end with one of the characters, usually Rat, threatening or otherwise mocking Pastis.
- Dickie himself escaped into the comics pages, and has on one occasion to date left Rat bound and gagged for being an idiot (the same offense Rat punished through Dickie in the comic-within-the-comic.)
- Little Nemo
- In one installment, Nemo, Flip and Imp are so hungry that they begin tearing off lines from their comic panels and knocking down letters from the Little Nemo In Slumberland logo, eating them. Nemo worries that this will upset the artist but Flip maintains that it will teach the person who draws them a lesson.
- Something similar happens in this comic, where eventually the entire panel collapses on itself and Nemo complains to the artist.
- An installment of Funky Winkerbean had Funky, after a really bad day, look up and think "You think this is all funny, don't you?" Whether he is addressing God, Batuik or the reader is open to interpretation.
- One Popeye strip, done with trick photography, had E.C Segar draw the sailor on the wall and comment "Wow! What a goofy looking monstrosity!!!" to which Popeye responds "Thasa insulk!!" and heave a rock at Segar's head.
- Yui and Rito in To-Love-Carnage: They hope they don't piss off 'god' (the author) and have them Put on a Bus or Killed.
- In Berserk Abridged, Zodd often gets into arguments with hbi2k, the creator of the series and has beat him up on a few times. Particularly notable is the ending, where Zodd complains about how the creator doesn't use the original Downer Ending and changed it into a more upbeat ending. They both then try out Multiple Endings before settling on "The Hawkman Cometh" (using MC Hawkings with a scene of Femto).
- Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton:
- In the first chapters' omakes the author, assisted by Asuka, tells their alternate ideas to turn her into a super-heroine (before settling on Supergirl). Unfortunately their discarded ideas go from unfeasible to dumb, getting Asuka thoroughly embarrassed until she gets fed up with it and chases him angrily.
- In another omake the author decides a Jimmy Olsen analogue is needed, and Kensuke is picked. When Kensuke realizes that being Jimmy Olsen is NOT something great, he glares at the author.
- The Doctor Who "Look Who's Talking: Storytime!" fic (which is already as Meta Fic as it can get) "Jack and the Beanstalk" ends with the babies, horrified by the nonsense they've had to listen to, hunting down the fanfic writer in question.
- In one Baldur's Gate fanfic, the NPCs, sick of replaying the same scenes over and over when the human player reloads saved games on her computer, team up and kill the PC. At which point, the human player decides never to play the game again.
- Although this wiki uses the term "Revenge Fic" for stories where an author takes revenge against a character, anime fandom used the term for stories where characters break the Fourth Wall to take revenge against fanfiction authors for egregious acts of perceived Canon Defilement. This variety was both named and typified by the Revenge Wars which flooded the Anime Fan Fiction Mailing List in response to and in the wake of Scott "SKJAM!" Jamison's story Sauce. (Compare with the Protectors of the Plot Continuum entry in the "Web Original" section, below.)
- In many of Phoenix Reece's fics, his characters tend to break the fourth wall during the Author's Note to physically assault him for what he makes them do. The ultimate example, however, is Happy Tree Camp. Featured in the story is an out of place human character who is described as oafish and simple, who later turns out to be the author who has sacrificed most of his powers in order to be a part of his story and make sure it goes well while Obfuscating Stupidity to keep his cover. The villain finds out about this and ends up kidnapping him, hypnotizing him and trying to use him to get godlike power and ultimately to become an author himself. Obviously, part of his plan involves killing the author in revenge for what he did to him, along with nearly every other main character. Also, once the characters find out about Phoenix, they keep asking him to change the story to make the ending good for them. His "daughter" Pippy complains about how awful the story gets afterwards, since she reads all of his stories after he writes them.
- In "VOCALOID Forever", Rin and Len Kagamine plan to take revenge on all the fans and MMD users that have written about the Kagamines experiencing Twincest, pairing them up with other people, or just downright raping or abusing them. It's not exactly rage against the author of the story, but against authors of other stories.
- "I'll Quit Singing" is Luka ranting about writers who make her sing pornographic songs.
- In the A Certain Magical Index fic Sports Day, Touma Kamijou eventually finds the authors and threatens to beat the crap out of them if they don't stop screwing with his life and the lives of the innocent girls in his Unwanted Harem. At the time that he caught up with them, they were talking about the next life-threatening situation they would put Touma in for their own amusement and holding a gambling pool for the next random girl they would make fall in love with him.
- Pinkie Pie's final summation in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure has definite shades of this.
Pinkie Pie: Duh! We’re in a poorly written story full of grammatical errors with a bland Mary Sue of the author as main character. Twilight is married to Trixie who is a colt, Princess Celestia is a super-evil meanie who kills people because they bring her bad news and Rainbow Dash was shipped with the Slenderman. Of course, this is a strange coincidence! But at least it means that this story will be over very soon. Or do you want to read any more pages about Meanie Sue betting up guards?
- Conversed about in Calvin and Hobbes Get XTREME!:
Calvin: Have you ever noticed that superheroes usually only do the same thing each time they appear? All they ever do is stop some power mad supervillain from taking over the world! They need to do something different. I mean, it must get boring.Hobbes: Yeah! The heroes could write to the editor and request new plots. If they refuse, the editors get fried and killed.
- In The Fanmake Blooper Series, the climax of Blooper And The Beast happens the same way the climax for Beauty and the Beast happens... except instead of trying to kill the Beast, the assorted characters tried to kill the Author. They fail, as the author brainwashed their minds into acting just like the mob from the movie, with Shadow being brainwashed into being Gaston. However, once the Author's OC comes in and is told that he will love Bella, he refuses and soon kills him.
- The Infinite Loops has Naruto unleash the Nine-Tails and threaten to destroy a ward of Tokyo every hour unless Masashi Kishimoto is brought before him alive. Sasuke, meanwhile, goes around immolating fans who write Narusasu slashfics with Ameratsu and then leaving their corpses to burn eternally.
- It's then subverted with the Mane Six from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, who send a sincere thank you letter to Lauren Faust... before they go to a fan convention and pretend to be cosplayers.
- In the Harry Potter one-shot I'm Not Dead!, "Madame Gnilwor", an analogue of J.K. Rowling, argues with Fred and George and tries to take Fred (who's alive but temporarily paralyzed) away in a twisted reversal of a certain Monty Python and the Holy Grail scene because he's on her list.
- In ToucanLDM's MLP Meets videos, Lyra and Bon-Bon were initially portrayed as the Butt Monkeys whenever they appeared. When the author himself ends up in Ponyville, the two get to exact their revenge on him.
- Dante is not exactly impressed or pleased with MJTR during their conversation in Dante's Night at Freddy's 2: Animatronic Boogaloo, and insults him quite openly. Luckily for the writer, they confronted one another in a phone call, leaving him safe.
Films — Live-Action
- In Stranger Than Fiction, the Narrator refers to Harold as "cursing the heavens in futility", to which he responds, "No I'm not, I'm cursing YOU!" Since the Narrator is in fact the author writing Harold's story, it's both.
- The Mel Brooks movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights has a horde of angry villagers, who yell at Mel Brooks for burning their village down during the credits.
- The Truman Show ends with Truman and Christoff (the director/producer of the whole movie/reality show) confront each other for the first and last time.
- The George of the Jungle movie has one of the bad guys get in an argument with the narrator.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
- A knight slaying a historian who is attempting to provide exposition.
- As the horrendous black beast lunged forward, escape for Arthur and his men seemed hopeless. Then all of a sudden, the animator suffered a fatal heart attack, and the cartoon peril was no more.
- In the Russian movie and Karlo Gotzi play The Stag King, Tartalja — one of the Masks in Dell Arte comedies and a Card-Carrying Villain of the film — starts complaining that he doesn't want to be bad, he wants to live in peace, etc., and that only his mask forces him to be evil. The wizard, who is also the Narrator of the story, reminds him that he cannot change his destination, so Tartalja has to continue his evil deeds.
- The main plot behind Des Nouvelles du Bon Dieu (approx. "News from God" in English), a French movie in which a writer commits suicide, leaving a note that explains he thinks God is an author, and we're all His characters. The misfit protagonists, being fans of the dead writer's work, try by any means possible to reach God and ask him some justifications for their plots being the suck. Hilarity and serial kidnapping ensue.
- The Fall is about a man named Roy, who is telling a story to a girl named Alexandria who is staying in the hospital he's been confined to since he became paralyzed. As Roy is actually battling depression and suicidal, his story starts to go down a very, very dark path—and Alexandria rebels and starts to tell the story herself, putting herself in as a character in the story and transforming it to how she thinks the story should be.
- In Delirious!, John Candy plays a soap opera script writer who gets pulled into the sitcom he was writing (mistaken for one of the characters). He even still has the ability to change what's going on with his typewriter. However, another writer is also working on the script, so the end result is two authors raging against each other (with proxies going after Candy's character).
- In Last Action Hero, when Slater finally acknowledges that he's a fictional action-movie character, he rants about how the film series' writers callously killed off his young son for cheap drama. Slater is also completely disgusted with the actor portraying him and profiting off his misery.
- The Gamers takes this to its logical conclusion: the protagonists of the game-within-a-movie break out and slaughter the primary protagonists.
- In The Adventures Of Shark Boy And Lava Girl, the main character is taken to his imaginary world and must awaken his author-weight powers there. At one point, Lava Girl gets pissed at him for how she was written.
- The protagonist of the Robert A. Heinlein novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, after his pet cat gets caught in the crossfire during a gunfight, wonders aloud what sort of author would kill a kitten. The narrator is not actually sure the cat is dead, but knows he is badly hurt, as he is himself and several others with him. It's worth noting that this comes at a time in Heinlein's overall continuity when it had become possible to access all possible realities in The Multiverse and perform Time Travel through Applied Phlebotinum and the characters are aware that their reality is governed by authors. Also, the cat, along with all the other characters left in the Schödinger's box, survives in the next novel. So apparently the appeal worked.
- In a variant, the Sesame Street picture book The Monster at the End of This Book is about the conflict between an increasingly desperate Grover (who's read the title and doesn't want to get to the end of the book, because he's afraid of the monster) and the increasingly amused reader, who will insist on turning pages even when confronted by a "brick wall" ("Did you know that you are very strong?") As it turns out, the monster is Grover.
- The afterwords of the Slayers novels feature arguments between "L" (Lord of Nightmares, the creator deity of the Slayers world) and "A" (Author, Hajime Kanzaka). These arguments usually result in "A" being beaten up by "L" or "Minion S" for being behind schedule or not giving them any screentime.
- About half of Sophie's World, the kind of thing that happens when the other half is philosophy lessons. At one point, a character is forced to keep doing interesting things to occupy the narration while another plans in private.
- Nonstop in L. Ron Hubbard's swashbuckler Deconstruction Typewriter in the Sky, though that's somewhat of an unusual case in that the main character fell into a story as it was being written and has been forced into playing the villain. Ultimately, he escapes as the story ends and the fictional reality crumbles — just in time to realize that he's still in a story.
- In the Stephen King story "Umney's Last Case" (found in Nightmares and Dreamscapes), a 30s private eye finds his life changing bizarrely around him. Turns out the explanation is that he's a character in a series of novels and his author is planning to leave the 1990s and step into the fictional private eye's world — by taking his protagonist's place. The author does succeed in swapping lives with his character, and the story ends with the protagonist planning to reverse the swap.
- The Dark Tower:
- One of the villains' targets is Stephen King, the idea being that, if King is eliminated, he can't write the ending in which the heroes win.
- Although the heroes have to protect King, they are NOT at all happy about it, after meeting him. And, when Jake dies again in a Heroic Sacrifice to save Stephen King, Roland and friends are more than a bit upset.
- Played for laughs in Puckoon, in which to appease the main character's anger about his poorly written legs, the author gives Dan Milligan a few favours later on.
- The Wizards Three: Ed Greenwood was scolded and abused by Elminster (from Forgotten Realms) while unceremoniously using his home for Crossover wizard parties. For laughs. And then Mordenkainen (from Greyhawk) plays a mean little prank on him too...
- Robert Jordan was allegedly once asked which of his favorite characters he would like to invite over for dinner and have a conversation with. His response was something along the lines of "I'm too smart to want to be anywhere near people I put through that much crap."
- In the short story "Built Up Logically", the Author Avatar's companion Frank is a Reality Warper who takes over the story (including the first-person narration), gives the Author Avatar an unflattering physical description, and finally arranges for him to be mistaken for a burglar and shot. Unfortunately for Frank, the original author projected himself into the story as two different characters, and he only killed one.
- Warrick the White, the antagonist of The Reluctant Sorcerer and its sequels, is the only one who can hear the voice of the Narrator. Hilarity Ensues, as his minions fear for his sanity. He eventually makes his way to the real world, buys out the author's publishing company, and forces him to rewrite the ending.
- One of the humorous "deleted scenes" of Steven Brust's novel Iorich features Vlad Taltos arguing with the author, whose speech is represented by all caps. On a related note, one of the the Khaavren Romances features an contentious interview between Brust and the narrator Paarfi, though Brust is acting as Paarfi's translator rather than the author.
- Of particular note: one of literature's greatest raged-at authors, Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut inserted himself (usually without resorting to the use of an Author Avatar) into a number of stories, most notably in Breakfast of Champions in which he descends bodily into the book he is currently writing, in part to apologize to Kilgore Trout for putting him through so much shit.
- Inverted in the preface to How to Survive a Horror Movie, in which Wes Craven apologizes to all the film characters he's killed, injured, and/or terrorized in his films over the decades.
- Mike Resnick's "His Award-Winning Science Fiction Story" includes bickering and negotiating between the stock science fiction characters and Mike Resnick himself.
- In "Little Red Riding Shorts", the characters get so ticked at Jack the Narrator that they just walk out of the story, leaving the next two pages completely blank.
- Pretty much the entire plot of Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds, in which an author creates a bunch of characters for a simple morality tale, and they promptly rebel. It doesn't end well for the author.
- In the short film Run Rincewind Run!, shown at a Discworld convention, Rincewind (one of the main characters) gets hit by a spell that will send him to "meet his maker." He ends up in the real world and runs around Melbourne until he reaches the convention. The film ends and he actually enters the room, is shocked to find his adventures described in a Discworld novel and picks Terry Pratchett out of the crowd by his photo on the author biography. He approaches his creator, declares "You bastard!" and walks away.
- At the end of one of Amelie Nothomb's novels (the one about the ballet student), the protagonist meets Nothomb and kills her.
- In-universe example: In Dream Park, a veteran gamer recounts how, during one wacky old-school tabletop role-playing session, the player characters opened a dimensional portal and found themselves looking into the room where the game was being played. One of them promptly shot the Dungeon Master with a crossbow bolt, and the entire dungeon disappeared.
- According to Jim Butcher, if either Harry Dresden or Ivy of his series The Dresden Files were to ever meet him, they'd punch him in the face. Considering all the shit he's put them through, he deserves it.
- In the tabletop RPG, after being used as an example of how things can go wrong for about the fifth or sixth time, Harry's margin comments start complaining about how much of a dick his GM is, griping about how this "Jim B." guy really needs to roll better, and demanding retroactive Fate Points for all the crap he's been through.
- In-universe, horror-film director Darby Crane aka Madrigal Raith gets the living crap scared out of him by a fae in the shape of the Scarecrow at the Full Moon Garage. The Scarecrow is a Pumpkinhead-Expy from Crane's own Harvest film series.
- In Fame, Rosalie directly talks to her author Leo, but it's very clear that she's completely fictional, and that Leo is just inventing the dialogue for his own amusement. The distiction between fact and fiction is less clear with Leo's girlfriend Elisabeth, whose final chapter may or may not be just another story Leo invented after she's long since left him. It's even possible that all of the other stories in the novel are written by Leo too, and that only his own introduction chapter is "real". All of the events in the other chapters are hinted at as being things that are prominently on Leo's mind in his own chapter.
- In Gilligan's Wake, Ginger is immediately aware that she is being written; she explains that, having been the subject of so many masturbatory fantasies, she can now tell when she is inhabiting somebody else's imagination. She uses her power to, among other things, politely ask the in-universe author to cut short an anti-Semitic Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
- In Redshirts, the characters consider this before deciding that they'd be better off politely asking the (in-universe) creators to knock it off.
- In the Gamearth Trilogy, the characters in a role-playing game take issue with the creators of the game setting.
- In Gene Wolfe's The Last Thrilling Wonder Story (collected in Endangered Species), Wolfe and the protagonist argue during the course of the story. At the end, the protagonist, dieing in a fire, makes it sound as if he's coming for Wolfe, and Wolfe suddenly remembers a TV report about a similar man being pulled alive from a fire..
- A famous moment during the MTV Awards Ceremony has the computer-animated character Gollum (from The Lord of the Rings movie) winning a special effect award. At first it seems his actor Andy Serkis is the one receiving it, but he's interrupted by Gollum himself picking the award and then going on a rant, belittling Serkis, calling Peter Jackson a hack, and generally insulting everybody, with his nicer alter-ego Sméagol occasionally trying to rein him in and apologize. Hysterical.
Gollum: Frankly, nothing can compensate for the long hours, low pay, and miserable experience we had making these (beep)ing movies. And if you think a (beep)y little tub of golden popcorn is gonna remotely make up for everything we've suffered, YOU'RE! SADLY! (beep)ING! MISTAKEN!"
- Smaug from The Hobbit films got in a snide remark about his voice actor, Benedict Cumerbatch, during his interview on The Colbert Report.
- In the three part Red Dwarf: Back to Earth, the characters get into a fight with their creator after they find out he's planning to kill off the characters.
- Though not played completely straight, in Seasons 4 and 5, Supernatural has had Sam and Dean shout at Author Avatar Chuck the Prophet because he has written their life story down and sold it as a series of novels. Given that Chuck is quite possibly God, this is even more appropriate.
- Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger: The characters realize that the Toei production staff is ending the series early, so they unsuccessfully attempt to extend the storyline via Foreshadowing and even team up with the villains to destroy the ending title, but fail when someone from Behind the Black places his hand over the camera, ending the episode.
- In the fourth season premiere of Once Upon a Time, Regina declares she will find the author of their stories and force him or her to give her a happy ending.
- This seems to be the goal of Cruella, Maleficent, and Ursula, too.
- The characters on the Israeli sitcom HaPijamot often comment about certain aspects of their characterisation, and occasionally even argue with the director. One early episode had Ilan, one of the lead characters (played by one of the writers), complain that his character isn’t written well enough, and in another a supporting character named Roni writes the episode for him, making herself a literal God-Mode Sue, before Ilan finds out about it and undoes everything.
- The title character of the song "Railroad Bill and the Kitten" categorically refuses to rescue a kitten. The singer insists; Bill ends up being washed away by a tidal wave, bitten by an alien from Neptune, and fatally struck by lightning.
- "The Strange Case of Frank Cash and the Morning Newspaper" by T-Bone Burnett. One part of the song has the title hero using his fictional nature as defense in court, and trying to end the song. This prompts the narrator to make Cash's life better (including "his first child will become President").
- Owen Pallett's album Spectrum, 14th Century is about a fantasy world where he is its god. Heartland, the next album, is about a hero from Spectrum riding out to defeat him and succeeding.
- In the story behind the Coheed and Cambria lyrics, the main character of the story within a story Rages Against The God, which in that case is the writer of the story-within-a-story, who then writes himself into that story for a confrontation with the main character.
- A song "We hate the Creator" (rus. My nenavidim tvortsa) by Russian LARP bard Tam Greenhill is from the perspective of Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher saga characters, who hate being constantly killed, tortured and humilated. They plan to magically teleport the hated Pole to their universe and unleash their revenge upon him.
- In the music video for Cyndi Lauper's song "The Goonies 'R Good Enough," Cyndi finds herself in the movie's universe, being approached by menacing baddies from both sides of a rope bridge hanging over a waterfall. In desperation, she shouts at Steven Spielberg, "How do I get out of this one?!" Cut to Spielberg, who has paused the video, about to answer her — then admits he has no idea, and resumes the video.
- Dustin Rhodes burning his Goldust suit and Beaver Cleavage (Charles "Headbanger Mosh"/"Chaz" Warrington) are examples of wrestlers on air refusing to keep playing some lame gimmick (in Beaver Cleavage's case, a 50's schoolboy with a creepy attachment to his mother) and berating the writers for it. Though these are usually scripted rages, they more than likely have a basis in fact.
- At the end of the first act of the musical City of Angels, the film-noir writer working under the burden of Executive Meddling gets into a singing argument ("You're Nothing Without Me!") with his Author Avatar detective character.
- In Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods, the fairytale characters turn on the Narrator when their stories start to take a tragic turn — and feed him to the Giantess in an attempt to appease her. It doesn't work.
- Another Sondheim musical, Assassins, uses the trope again. During the song "Another National Anthem," the titular assassins become fed up with what they see as the empty sermonizing of the Balladeer, and run him off the stage (or, in more recent productions, turn him into Lee Harvey Oswald).
- In the opera The Ghosts of Versailles, Pierre Beaumarchais writes a Figaro opera for the ghost of Marie Antoinette, titled A Figaro for Antonia. The opera is intended to re-write the past so that Marie Antoinette doesn't get executed. The problem comes when Figaro abandons the script and decides to use the necklace intended for Marie to free the Almavivas instead.
- Six Characters in Search of an Author might be the Ur-example.
- Pretty much the whole plot of W. S. Gilbert's early work "A Sensation Novel". The characters of the titular novel spend most of the play griping about what the author makes them do, and finally browbeat him into letting them do what they want, because they are stock cliches and he he can not dispense with them.
- In Pippin, the title character refuses to do what the Leading Player (who acts as the narrator) and the rest of the troupe want him to do for their glorious finale. They want him to set himself on fire and he nearly does, until he realises there was some place where he did feel happy and fulfilled.
- A recent production of The Marriage of Figaro by the Baltimore opera company The Figaro Project included an actor playing Lorenzo DaPonte as narrator, and the characters argued with him about where the story should go in between arias.
- According to the critic Harold Bloom, this is the real conflict of Hamlet; the main character's supposed indecisiveness is really his awareness that he's a fictional character and his rage at being in a Revenge drama.
- At the end of The Pot Boiler by Alice Gurstenberg, all of the characters in the Show Within a Show and the observer Mr. Wouldby lose their patience with Mr. Sud, their arrogant and insulting playwright, when he finds himself unable to resolve the climactic Mexican Standoff. On Wouldby's suggestion, all of them turn on Sud and shoot him.
- Comix Zone has the author commenting on how his own characters don't like him. To drove the point closer to home: "not liking him" means his character pulling him in his own comic book, and him and other characters trying to kill said author.
- Original creator Matt Groening is one of the bosses in The Simpsons Game. The cutscene afterward has the eponymous family berating him for milking their franchise.
- Michel Ancel, the creator of Rayman, gets ambushed and savagely beaten by the Raving Rabbids in this video.
- Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage, from the 16-bit era, had Bugs going through several of his classics while a vengeful animator tried to off him. Unlike the original Rabbit Rampage mentioned below, this time the animator is Daffy Duck, presumably attempting revenge for Duck Amuck.
- The Big Bad of Knights of the Old Republic 2 wants to kill The Force. Take this in the context of 1. She is aware of how XP works 2. The writers (and her at one point) use The Force Did It to explain unlikely things (read: lazy writing).
- The ending of The Gunstringer has The Gunstringer gun down the developers at Twisted Pixel before escaping the theater, blowing up a car and riding off into the sunset on a Chihuahua named Burrito.
- This video has Mr. Scratch, the Big Bad of Alan Wake's American Nightmare, murdering the game's lead writer, Sam Lake. And in this one he goes on a killing spree at Remedy Entertainment's office. And enslaves Sam Lake.
- During the credits of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Deadpool visits the lead dev's office and complains about him not being stronger than every other character and the name of the game not being "Deadpool and his Inferior Friends". The dev responds by nerfing him and threatening to make him DLC.
- A Running Gag on Newgrounds is to use Tom Fulp, the creator of Newgrounds, as a Butt Monkey. Doubles as Biting-the-Hand Humor.
- Lunarosse has an in-universe example. Nemari's reason for waking Corlia in his own way was partially due to outrage as to how his character was portrayed in her story.
- In Gruntz, when your gruntz approach an area particularly full of death traps, they may say a line amounting to this.
"If I live through this, remind me to send the designer of this game some hate mail!"
- In Seum Speedrunners From Hell, if you keep dying a lot on a single level, Marty may end up yelling "Damn you, Pine Studioooo!".
- The flash cartoon Animator vs. Animation series, which depict a brief struggle between a cartoon stick figure and the person trying to use them in a cartoon.
- The Deadpool vs. Pinkie Pie episode of Death Battle featured Wade paying a visit to the staff of ScrewAttack, only for Pinkie to whisk Deadpool off after he mentions it's his birthday for a party before he could anything more than berate the staff.
- In this comic, it's implied that the author got tied up by the two characters because one of them was a Guinea Pig for a Meme and another hasn't been drawn in a while, which is the reason the comic isn't as coherent as the other works of the author considering the characters are doing whatever they please with this one.
- In 1/0:
- Characters from Bob and George have argued with and insulted the author on many occasions. At one point, the villains even capture and try to kill the author, in an attempt to cause the end of the comic. One strip is even explicitly titled: The Author is a Pissy Bitch.
- The cast of Narbonic tries to revolt against the cartoonist for killing Dave. The cartoonist draws the female cast in gratuitous swimwear on a tropical beach, with a half-dozen sunbathing John Cusacks. They give up when the multicoloured drinks with umbrellas appear.
- A variant of this can be found in one Irregular Webcomic! strip. In fact this is so common that David Morgan-Mar has added his own character page
- In General Protection Fault, lead character Nick spends several strips arguing with cartoonist Jeffrey Darlington over whether the strip should have a Y2K story line. Nick loses the argument.
- Invoked for filler material in this Dark Legacy comic.
- Bob does this occasionally in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, mainly in Breather Episode strips between story arcs (though it's usually more annoyance than rage). Especially when he knows that the Halloween Monster will try to eat him in the last panel.
- Happens a few times in Schlock Mercenary, generally as an excuse on the part of the author for not drawing the part of story he thinks would be too hard.
- The title character of Brüno stepped out of the page to pester her author about the strip's lack of direction, first here then here and here.
- Sluggy Freelance:
- In the stick figure Filler Strips, Torg eventually gets fed up with Pete doing them to take a vacation and does his best to force him to make an effort to draw them anyway. It doesn't work.
- In the guest story "The Sluggite Koan", Bun-bun escapes into the real world and goes off to express his displeasure to Pete Abrams, the creator of the comic, with extreme prejudice as is his wont. Of course, this being a guest story, Pete isn't actually the author at the moment. Bun-bun is aware of this, and he does address the guest writer (through the fourth wall this time, not as a person in the story like Pete) at one point with a threat about writing his motivations as involving caring about someone. Come to think of it, that motive isn't mentioned any more in the story, being substituted with a new one... which just goes to prove everyone is afraid of Bun-bun, and with reason. The encounter left Pete himself with a broken arm in the real Real Life before the story appeared but at the time at which it was supposed to have happened. And that was after he managed to talk Bun-bun into a making deal instead of killing him. Don't mess with the bunny, and don't try to understand a koan.
- Girl Genius:
- In this strip, shortly following the comic winning a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, Agatha seems dead-set on interrupting Phil and Kaja Foglio's acceptance speech, convinced that there has to be some sort of Mind Control (or bizarro parallel world) involved, and refusing to accept her creators' explanation that "Maybe we just won."
- The Foglios flee the station at the end of the Radio Theatre interlude, because Agatha, Zeetha and Krosp are hot on their heels and intending to hurt them.
- In-universe, the Foglios are actually natives of the Girl Genius universe, who fled to ours after their adaption of Agatha's life was poorly received. As such, younger (unmarried) versions of both of the authors have actually shown up within the comic on occasion. This never ends well for Phil.
- David (the author of Shortpacked!) showed up at one point and fought Ethan. They then pudding wrestled (that was Robin's idea). Eventually the fight was broken up by Maggie (the writer's girlfriend), who demanded they exchange info and deal with it like adults (read: Maggie and David broke into Ethan's house and smashed up the place). Why were they fighting? David kept editing Ethan's Transformers Wiki page.
- The title character of Mulberry ended her character bio by calling her creator a "repulsive little hack" because of his decision to write the bios from her perspective. Also, she later "responded" to a lack of comments on "Year Six" by saying she doesn't care for the cartoonist either, but still wanted people to read about her adventure.
- Books Don't Work Here lives and breathes this trope, with it starting out as the main character's defining feature in chapter one. She has yet to play nice with the narrator.
- In one Concession comic, the Author Avatar gets into a fight with one of the characters over a particularly awful pun.
- The entire idea of Comik? is that the comic is being created over time by a writer/artist the characters are aware of. One character undermines this with another trope: she believes they're comic book characters but believes the author is a god. She's as unenthusiastic as the rest of the cast, however, resulting in Rage Against the Heavens in a series about Rage Against the Author.
- In Homestuck Spades Slick stabs Andrew Hussie, but he does that to everybody. Then, taking this trope to its logical conclusion, Eldritch Abomination Lord English appears behind the fourth wall, holding the severed head of the author's robotic avatar. Then he hunts down and shoots the author's main avatar.
- Eventually expanded on somewhat; As a child, Caliborn was the only character shown so far who recognized Hussie's narration within his head. The resulting rebellion against Hussie, and the narration's increasing railroading of his emotions, seems to have driven him even madder than he was.
- The longest story arc of Chopping Block features Butch's victims rising up from the grave to kill him, as part of a plot by the author to kill off Butch and start a much more popular Two Gamers on a Couch comic. Butch cuts the author into little bits, and then things get confusing.
- L's Empire has several examples of this trope. One character kidnaps an author, two characters want to destroy the main characters to ruin the comic for the authors, and the main characters take on a god that turned himself into an author.
- If Dan Shive of El Goonish Shive ever starts abusing his Author Powers too much, Susan is always prepared to take him out with a Hyperspace Mallet. The other characters have had their own opportunities to take him out when the situation called for it.
- Occasionally, Viana of Deer Me will threaten her creator with bodily harm for the little things, like making her look girly against her will or repeating the word "yobo" over and over.
- During The Order of the Stick's guest week in 2005, the cast interviews a god named Ronson and they notice there's something off about his face. Turns out, he has a nose and they don't. This quickly turns into a strike at author Rich Burlew's HQ.
- Howard the wizard from Sketch Comedy has no useful spells, can't get his hands on a sandwich, gets stuck in a video game and runs into Death, all because the cartoonist needs stuff to happen in his comic. Good luck getting him to cooperate with the cartoonist on anything now.
- True Believers features Spider-Man and Mary Jane protesting "Joe Quesadilla"'s decision to retcon their marriage.
- Awful Hospital: Ms. Green has the last word on viewers' suggestions, and she did not appreciate being ordered to do a Fetch Quest. Too bad that her decision to disregard the voices and exit the patient ward causes her first death.
- Subverted in KateModern. At one point in "Straight to the Top", Gavin attempts to confront Joanna Shields, the show's co-executive producer and the CEO of Bebo, because he suspects that she has turned his life into an Internet TV show, but she gets away before he can say anything.
- At a (slightly) less meta level, the point of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum is to enter a fanfictional world, complain about everything wrong that is happening, and smack around the nearest representation of the author. Some agents are recruited from fanfiction works that either did horrible things to their characterization, or would have done incredibly painful, very nasty, and/or plain lethal things to them. There are also a few agents from the Real World, especially after the Ypur Invasion, who are aware that they are fictional inserts reflecting parts of their author. They tend to wonder what kinda of sadist needs to expose them to the horrible, horrible sparkles.
- This is the point of the Journal Roleplay Dear Mun.
- Arguably what happened in the Gainax Ending of There Will Be Brawl: Kirby has shown to be still alive and has killed Masahiro Sakurai (who in real life was his creator). What's worse? Shigeru Miyamoto's next.
- SCP Foundation has this as one of the proposals for SCP-001. The Foundation has discovered its writers. It also has a backup plan should the writers ever decide to destroy them, by killing them all through memetic agents.
- And it's not just the writers. Note that the procedure in question carries a risk of destroying all of observable reality. And the memetic agents in question will be disseminated through the database itself. They've got plans to try to kill you, the reader, while you're on the site.
- In an Infinity Labs Flash animation by Paul Gadzikowski (Arthur, King of Time and Space) it's suggested that interfictional portals could let webcartoonists be ambassadors to their own universes. This is quickly realised to be a very bad idea.
- Inverted in the What If? entry "Dropping a Mountain". Randall Munroe gets a bit annoyed at Black Hat Guy asking, "What if we dropped it from higher up?"
Alt Text: Fine, but put your hat under it first.
- The Nostalgia Critic is first shocked to discover Doug Walker on the other side of the Plot Hole in To Boldly Flee, leading to a conversation between the two of them that, while not filled with rage per se, is certainly tense and accusatory on Critic's side.
- The short story Just Desserts (NSFW) involves the characters of the author's previous work, Summer School (and it's sequel) gunging the author like he did to them in his series, and subjecting him to a Humiliation Conga. Near the end, when Emma, Louise and Erika send him to the Gunk Dunk, he sees several girls he also gunged in his other stories, including the Butt Monkey of Davina's House Party, Rachel Riley, cheering on his humiliation.
- Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies:
- 1991 animated short Manipulation has a similar premise to Duck Amuck, namely, an animator pissing off the cartoon figure that they draw. In this one the cartoon man being tortured by the animator literally explodes into a firework of rage.
- The time when THE DARK LORD CHUCKLES, THE SILLY PIGGY! captures the Narrator in Dave the Barbarian.
- Boris captures the narrator of Rocky and Bullwinkle at one point. He's forced to ungag him so the episode can end.
- And Mojo Jojo pulls the same thing in an episode of The Powerpuff Girls, both on the show ("Simian Says") and the comic book ("See You Later, Narrator").
- A scene during the South Park Christmas Special "Woodland Critter Christmas" involves Stan intentionally disregarding the narration. Doing so ultimately results in a shouting match, culminating in Stan screaming at the narrator. The narrator of this story is in fact, Eric Cartman telling a story to the class, which puts a whole new spin on things. In the classroom, its Kyle who rages against the author, as he regards it as basically anti-Semitic tract as, in the story, Eric has Kyle become the host for the Anti Christ (eventually, willingly) because he is a non-Christian, and thus a heathen. Eric insists he is just telling a story and is not trying to offend Kyle, which doesn't stop him saying that Kyle inexplicably dies of AIDS at the end of the tale.
- Joe the Announcer does this several times in the second season of Freakazoid!. He interrupts the story to expedite the plot, bursts into scenes to practice William Shakespeare monologues, and spoils plot points — mostly to vent about his lack of importance.
- In Clerks: The Animated Series, Dante and Randal get stuck in a Duck Amuck spoof led by Jay.
- At the end of The Fairly OddParents: The Big Superhero Wish!, the Nega-Chin confronts his creator about how The Good Guys Always Win.
- Taz-Mania: "Retakes Not Included" largely consists of Bull Gator complaining about the direction of that particular episode.
- At the end of the Cow and Chicken episode "I Scream Man", the Red Guy complains about series creator David Feiss making him a Butt Monkey.
- Family Guy does this sometimes, once Peter and the family got into an argument, while Peter criticized Seth Green (Who plays Chris) Chris defends him, while everyone else insults Seth MacFarlane except Peter, Stewie and Brian (Whom he plays), another time he ends up insulting the animators. "Lois: Peter be careful what you're saying! Peter: What are they going to do?" Peter then goes to get a beer and has very choppy animation.
- In The Simpsons, Homer is at an art museum and see a drawing of Jeff and Ackbar from Matt Groening's comic Road to Hell. He calls Matt Groening a hack, at which an eraser from a giant pencil starts to rub at his head, the pencil is revealed to be another exhibit which hit Homer accidentally while being put in place.
- The Proud Family has Penny perform this at the end of the Hilarious Outtakes reel in "The Legend of Johnny Lovely", when she yells at Bruce Smith (the show's creator) to draw her a dressing room, where she can go sulk. He draws a trailer for her, only for her to demand a bigger dressing room. Bruce draws one big enough to fill a one-story building, which Penny promptly skates inside.
- The Darkwing Duck episode, "Twitching Channels" has Darkwing going from Trapped in TV Land to trapped in our world where he discovers he's a popular cartoon character. Once he seees that he's not getting any of the profits from the show, he marches up to the show's creator "E. Thaddeus Rockwell" (name sounding similar to the show's real creator, Tad Stones) and demands his cut.
E. Thaddeus Rockwell: Any profit belongs to me. I created you.Darkwing Duck: Oh, that's certainly gonna surprise the heck out of Mom and Dad!
The database is now pleased. The redirects will end.