The 5th Wall Principle:

Total posts: [17]
I got to thinking about the 4th Wall a while back,and I realized that if a character breaks the fourth wall and there is an imaginary audiance reading the story,then the imaginary audiance must be contained by another wall. The 5th Wall.

If the imaginary audiance breaks the 5th wall,and if there is another imaginary audiance,then the 6th Wall comes up. And so on. I call it the 5th Wall Principle.

A good example is the TV Tropes the Tv show story. The imaginary audiance is interacting with characters who broke the fourth wall,but that audiance isn't aware that they are a part of the story,so they have to be contained by another wall.

An alternative view is that the characters never broke the 4th Wall and it just expanded to contain the imaginary audiance. But then you have to ask what was containing the audiance before the characters broke the 4th wall.

Whenever there is another layer beyond the story where the 4th Wall is broken,and those characters are unaware they are part of a story,there is another wall.

This is the 5th Wall principle.

2 chihuahua020th Feb 2011 08:41:54 AM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
So you are saying the 5th wall is in the back of the theatre? Wouldn't it be the ceiling?
vigilantly taxonomish
You mean like this?

As originally planned, TV Tropes the TV Show actually canonically had eight walls: the four normal ones, and four more outside of those. I suppose, technically, that would place the IRL readers outside the twelfth wall.

Also, ceilings are not walls.

edited 20th Feb '11 12:55:55 PM by BobbyG

I think that the Real-Life audience would still be the Fourth Wall, no matter what. However, if there are aliens in another dimension watching humans watch some Shakespeare or something, then they might be the Fifth Wall. Or something. Or maybe that would just be critics. Or maybe the aliens are critics. This is kind of confusing.

5 chihuahua020th Feb 2011 04:16:19 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
I bet you aren't the first person to think this up.

But then wouldn't the room be a pentagon?
6 TParadox20th Feb 2011 04:36:47 PM , Relationship Status: Sinking with my ship
If there's explicitly an audience inside the work, then there's another set of walls between the IRL audience and that work, but if there isn't (the characters just talk to the audience), then it's just classical fourth-wall breaking.
Only place I can think of where this could be applicable is Statler and Waldorf.
I'm reminded of certain Bugs Bunny cartoons memorable by the phrase "Is there's a doctor in the house?" and the onscreen characters interact with a silhouette audience

9 dRoy4th Oct 2011 04:21:21 AM from The Happy Place , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
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10 Wheezy4th Oct 2011 07:39:51 AM from South Philly
(That Guy You Met Once)
The only way I could think of to break the "5th wall" between the audience and the rest of the world would be for the characters in a Sitcom with a live studio audience to jump off the stage and run out the studio doors into Real Life as part of the plot.

That would be awesome, but it's such a specific scenario that there's no point in discussing it on TV Tropes.
we are the forth wall.

the origin of breaking the forth wall was in ancient plays, where the literal audience watching the play was addressed.

I do not know what it would be considered if it was an imaginary audience. would that be breaking the forth wall?
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12 feotakahari4th Oct 2011 03:36:34 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
^^ Is the ending of The Hills close enough, or is it an inversion?
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13 JHM4th Oct 2011 06:39:18 PM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Thunder, Perfect Mind
Sounds kind of like House of Leaves, but in visual form. Granted, Johnny Truant and the editors never technically do this, but the spirit of it is similar.

@Chi: It's a hypercube.

Namely, the wall is all around you.
14 nrjxll5th Oct 2011 03:20:56 AM , Relationship Status: Not war
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Arguably, any time a person prays to God they're breaking the fifth wall.
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16 Blueeyedrat9th Oct 2011 08:39:27 PM from nowhere in particular. , Relationship Status: Mu
Since the first three Walls represent the back and sides of a stage, while the 4th is between the characters and the audience, I always see a 5th Wall as a floor or ceiling, which brings to mind the following:
"What are you doing down there?"
"Down here? What are you doing up there?"

edited 9th Oct '11 8:39:35 PM by Blueeyedrat

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17 articologist21st Nov 2017 01:23:09 AM from Global , Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Remote Viewer
The 5th wall may be the mind or interpretation of each viewer. The camera would have to imagine what each viewer is thinking to articulate the 5th wall. Maybe almost candid camera esq (host comments on silent gestures of subject).

Another way of thinking of the 5th wall is the authoritative state or big brother (watching) aka secret society. Maybe this is why this sort of stuff bothers people who live a 9-5 existence (3rd wall) and are happy with being viewers or witnesses only, which is a comfortable seat in the audience (4th wall).

Instead, for those who like to push the envelope metaphysically or spiritually. A centering exercise is to imagine that your on the day of judgment viewing yourself in your current moment (if you believe in the day of judgment). I found this sobering and shatters all walls (infinity).
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Total posts: 17