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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.


Working Title: Sliding Scale Of Fourth Wall Solidness: From YKTTW

Luc: If you have a better name for this trope, I'd like to hear it.

Shadow Warden: I nominate Sliding Scale Of Fourth Wall Resiliency.

Target Practice: Idea: Label the sections with apt wall materials- i.e. adamantium, brick, glass and air for the current quartet. Self-explananatory with extra helping of metaphor.


Regiment: Is there any reason this page ends with "No examples", followed with... examples?

Amazingly Enough: The examples don't explain where they fit on the scale either, and should be placed in the appropriate tropes linked to instead of just slapped in here.

Luc: I've cleaned up the "no examples" section to clarify why, initially, it said "No examples. Except maybe Bob And George and One Over Zero". It still does, but in more detail. Does that address your concerns?

Bleusman: Why exactly are they special, though? Clearly we assert "no examples" for a reason.

Luc: They aren't special; they're listed purely for illumination, rather than specialness. If you can find a better pair of examples that theoretically go in the same region of this scale, but one is clearly further down the scale than the other, go ahead and replace Bob And George and One Over Zero.


I would like to go ahead and do a substantial edit to the Sliding Scale to clarify the scale, since a number of items seem lumped together or vaguely cross-categorized. (Such as the webcomics above, and the fact that Leaning on the Fourth Wall, which is mostly a parody / Aside Glance at the audience, is not the same as a solid Fourth Wall despite the name.) I rearranged the categories (same content as before) to clean this up. I also added a separate category for Painting the Fourth Wall and related tropes since there are many!

Can I go ahead and add this to the page?

Completely Solid Fourth Wall

Visible Fourth Wall

  • Soliloquies, Asides, and the like, as long as the audience is not directly acknowledged. The characters behave as if they were characters in a story, but they don't know who might be watching. (You talk to the audience in a soliloquy, yes, but only because the conventions of the theater say that doing so means that you're actually just thinking out loud at the audience.)
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall
  • Aside Glance

Mostly Solid With A Few Gaps  *

  • A Narrator (but not a Viewpoint Character) who speaks directly to the audience, but whom the characters do not know about; but only if the narrator's announcements amount to more than "Meanwhile", "see Issue #7", or other scene setting.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: where, outside of the plot, the characters respond, in character, to reader mail or reader content — if it is the only break in the fourth wall.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: One character has full Medium Awareness, and the others write it off has him being insane.
  • In a video game, the characters are aware of the context of the game just enough to explain a concept of the game to the player, but do so within the context of the story. Common in Justified Tutorials.

Playing With the Fourth Wall

Fully Transparent Fourth Wall

  • Medium Awareness: the characters may directly acknowledge the mechanics of their medium and/or that this is just a show, but these acknowledgments don't actually effect the plot and/or the characters never acknowledge their fictionality.

No Fourth Wall

Beyond No Fourth Wall

  • Mind Screw: sometimes goes beyond No Fourth Wall, to imply such things as the viewer being a fictional character, so this entry is for them.


Luc: I'll do it myself, with some small changes...

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