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Breaking The Fourth Wall / Fan Works

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From the Ranma ½ fan comic The Final Choice.

  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Code: Pony Evolution, Pinkie Pie's normal fourth wall breaking is taken Up to Eleven by breaking not only the fourth wall of the "show" but the fourth wall of the fanfic as well.
  • The Child of Love: In chapter seventh's omake, Asuka berates the author because he is lazy and hasn't updated his website.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: The characters frequently break the fourth wall in the omakes: the author and Asuka talk about his discarded ideas, Asuka complains of a thug breaking the fourth wall when he accused her of doing blatant shout-outs, Shinji gets a present of the author, or the author decides to address the characters.
  • In the Total Drama fanfic Total Sibling Rivalry, after the author's self-insertion, Chris wonders about buying a new fourth wall.
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  • In the Hetalia fanfic It's a Small World After All, the characters warn each other not to break the Fourth Wall often so that the fangirls reading the story (including the author) can't get in. However, a lot of the characters (usually Japan) end up breaking the Fourth Wall in the middle of the story (via looking up at the ceiling and complaining to the author) and cause a war in the author's note over 'keeping the Fourth Wall up'. Fangirls obliterate the Fourth Wall and take over the fanfic for a chapter, after which everyone agrees on inserting a Fourth Wall with a door.
  • The narrator from Pokemon: Johto Quest constantly does this at the beginning and ending of nearly every episode.
  • In the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman fanfic A Spoof from the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, the author spoofs the story in an entertaining way using Self-Insert and brutally honest—sometimes exaggerated or downright made up—ways of depicting the events occurring, all the while beating the shit out of the fourth wall as they move the story along.
    Ben: Oh look, a note! (Reads note) Oh fun, I get to sneak out tomorrow. Maybe something interesting will happen in this story.
    Me: You mean like a faster update? Like that will ever happen.
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  • A common source of humour in the Tamers Forever Series; often it's the author doing the forth wall breaking with random comments.
  • In the Star Wars/VeggieTales crossover Larry Boy and the Little Man of Purpleness, the trailer ends with these lines:
    Han: Excuse me as I break character here: To the author: About this dialogue, are you on some form of illegal substance?
    Wedge: And could we please have some?
    • In context, however, Han's only breaking the fourth wall in a play they're rehearsing.
  • In chapter 6 of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Monster Mash, this is played for a mixture of drama and dark comedy with side orders of Go Mad from the Revelation and Humans Are Cthulhu.
  • Pinkie Pie breaking the fourth wall to acknowledge or even directly address the readers and/or the author is something of a Running Gag in FiM fanfiction in general. Sometimes other characters get in on the act, more often it's waved off as her just being Pinkie.
  • In The Last Airbender parody Bring Me All Your Elderly!, the Animated!Characters not only are aware that they are animated (and discuss it very casually), they also leave the Animated!Universe to enter the Movie!Universe, generally blame all unexplained events either on the fanfic author or M. Night Shyamalan, read their own fanfic and comments straight off the internet, and basically suffer severe existential crises as a result. The fourth wall itself actually makes a brief appearance at one point in the story, along with a sign that says "fragile."
    Mai: But for future reference, guys - try to be careful about breaking the fourth wall around Zuko, okay? He doesn't know, and it tends to freak him out a little.
    Zuko: Fourth wall? What wall? Someone broke a wall?
    Mai: Nothing, Zuko. Just don't worry about it.
  • Happens often in the Calvin At Camp series, especially when the Hitchhiking Ghosts are involved.
  • Sweetie's Mansion: Pinkie Pie still has this ability even as a brainwashed ghost that is out to kill Sweetie Belle. Upon catching her, Sweetie gains this ability as well and unintentionally calls the author out for the direction the story is going when she's in Lotus-Eater Machine.
  • In Chapter 13 of Part 2 in Clash of the Elements, after giving a eulogy to Smithy, Dimentio mentions to the audience about how he will "satisfy their desire for entertainment. Of course, when one takes into consideration his powers and that beyond the computer screen would probably qualify as another dimension for him...
  • Utilized by Advent Crossover Crisis; the author gets SheHulk and DeadPool, two renowned fourth wall breakers, to address the audience directly in the opening to explain the fic in greater detail.
  • Turnabout Storm: Pinkie Pie gets a few of these moments, as it's usually done with her. She even had read some of the script beforehand to have an idea of what to do while investigating.
  • The Iron Horse: Everything's Better With Robots! has Pinkie Pie and Discord both make reference to things that only happened in the comics. When questioned about it, they give the same reply:
    Pinkie Pie/Discord: It’s canon to the comics, don’t worry about it.
  • At the end of Paper Mario X 2: The Thousand Year Door, Link puts out a velvet box out of his bag. Inside includes a ring which he uses to propose to Zelda. The very last line is Link addressing to the audience: "Can you guess what I'm going to do?"
  • The narrator of a The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker novelisation does this a lot. Examples of this include him assuring the viewers that they did not accidentally open the Cornish edition of the story upon the reader hearing Granny's snoring, him wondering if he had just accidentally popped in a copy of The Haunted Castle by mistake upon seeing Hyrule with its colour drained and him thanking the readers for reading his story at the end.
  • Imperfect Metamorphosis: In a rare totally serious example, Yukari inadvertently weaponizes this against Yuuka when she reaches into her soul and generally rips things apart. This leads to Yuuka periodically taking over the narration and speaking directly to the reader, as well as adjusting her myriad plans to manipulate the established narrative.
    • The first hint towards this comes in a memorable Madness Mantra ("It can't be. Just words on a page. It's all paper. And not even real paper.") which Yuuka keeps muttering to herself while ignoring being pummelled into the dust by Yukari.
  • The Reading Rainbowverse has as its central concept the idea that various ponies are commenting on comics and answering questions. That's not this trope. What is this trope is when a reader pointed out to Gilda her blog had been hijacked by a mysterious "mod" person, resulting in the two having a bit of a tussle.
  • A New Order: Helios does this when speaking with the ghost of Queen Serenity. He and she both know the secret of the Time Gates (him because he read her mind) but he asks her to explain it anyway because the people on the fourth wall don't know.
  • In the Medaka Box fanfic World As Myth, Misogi Kumagawa recognizes when bold font and italics are used in dialogue.
    • Anshin'in seems to be aware of the events of the original manga.
  • Like the source material, the Bleach fanfics Phases of the Moon and Chasing the Moon have Omakes at the end of each chapter. These omakes leave the Fourth Wall fairly intact. However, in the companion fic The Trials of Kurosaki Karin, the omakes involve Original Characters Masaryu and Kohaku breaking the Fourth Wall with impunity as they discuss the events of the story and interact with the audience Arrancar Encyclopedia style.
  • Sweetie Belle does that in the beginning of Moody Mark Crusaders.
  • In Amber Night and the Curse of the Diabolical Pastry Thief, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, Amber Night is apparently no stranger to the "sadistic hairless chimpanzee pounding away it the keyboard that controls the fate of the pastryless pony" on the other side of the fourth wall, demonstrated in the beginning when she grows inspired by his monologue without having heard it, and again later on when she convinces him to disable the gym's laser defense systems.
  • Super Smash Bros fanfiction Ten Random Characters suffers varied degrees of abuse from the characters, and often, the author. It is broken so frequently that the wall is given a codename, the Norfair Alley. Sometimes, this trope is quite literal. Taken Up to Eleven in Chapter 11, in which a mob of fangirls invades after the fourth wall quite literally falls down dead.
  • The Staircase Time Froze:
    Ginny: I can't believe that was only yesterday. It seems like one day lasted several chapters for no particular reason.
  • The original Dante's Night at Freddy's was no slouch when it came to Leaning on the Fourth Wall, but its sequel, Animatronic Boogaloo went so insane that, around chapter 8 and especially in chapter 9, the author describes the events as, "Dante and MJTR destroy the fourth wall, take it around back, and beat it with its own body."
  • In New Reality, Mithos jumps into the real world to kidnap the heroine, making it an In-Universe example.
  • In the Crack Fic There's Someone Else, Tira remarks that she's been taunting Patroklos "throughout the whole game".
  • Team Rocket occasionally pulls this off in the Pokémon fanfic The Power That's Inside.
    Jessie: What could we even use this thing as, a cannon?
    James: None of this is canon, Jessie.
  • In the MST treatment of Tom Swift and His War Tank, Joel and the bots become so frustrated at Ned's stupidity that they run out of ways to riff him and are forced to ask the readers for help.
  • Fan game Rakenzarn Tales has two primary offenders: Axel Akamura, an OC who's implied to be from outside of Rakenzarn like Kyuu, and Deadpool himself, who even does his own special skill descriptions.
  • Much like the cartoon on which they're based, Cinderjuice and its sequels take any number of shots at the fourth wall. One reviewer asked whether the fourth wall had killed the author's father, since it gets shattered with so much frequency.
  • In the House fanfic "Iggy Pop Go The Zombies" a literal piece of wall collapses when another character tells House, "Quit making that face, you look like Bertie Wooster."
  • The Metroid-Kamen Rider crossover fic, Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations, has such examples.
    • Stage 7, the Kamen Rider Drive tribute chapter shows Shinnosuke's shocking expression when Samus wakes up in the Drive Pit as he and the others attempt to forcibly dissect her Fusion Suit, he says while bringing up his series' main writer, "Is it just me or was the writer fond of police dramas?!"
    • Stage 17, where Samus, Takatora, Mitsuzane, and Go confront a resurrected Kaito Kumon, after they transformed, the song "Supernova" from Kamen Rider Kiva plays, leading Go to tell the writer the music is inappropriate, much to Takatora's annoyance.
      Go: HEEEYYY! This is NOT Kamen Rider Kiva! Why bother play that damn music?!
      Takatora: Jesus Christ! Eyes on the battlefield, Shijima-kun! Who are you talking to, anyway?
      Go: It's the writer! Nah, whatever.
    • Stage 29, Gandrayda even does it going as far as making out with the author and ranting about Gen Urobuchi.
  • A brief gag in the Oversaturated World has Pinkie Pie conversing with the narrator, as a side effect of her magic becoming stronger.
  • Many an abridged series will do this on a regular basis. To the point that Ishizu mentions she can break the fourth wall in her first appearance, and this is unimpressive because everyone else has already broken it.
    • This is an actual plot point in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. According to Ishizu, if the fourth wall collapses completely, then Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged will be cancelled. Sure enough, Melvin defeating Florence is enough to bring the fourth wall down (for some reason), and 4kids (as run by Noah and the Big Five) cancel the show... And then LittleKuriboh announces Season 3. Yeah. Trippy, much?
    • And now we have season 3. First off Serenity tries to talk to Joey about the fact that she's frightened she'll get written out of the show because her character doesn't serve any significant point... And then all the main characters are told their show has been cancelled. Their reaction? "What the fuck?!" Just... There's no fourth wall any more. There's a fifth wall, but the fourth wall is just broken. And no, it is not going to be revived from the shadow realm.
    • In Avatar: The Abridged Series, Iroh actually teaches Zuko how to break the Fourth Wall. He ends up using it to re-write the episode to make Sokka's life hell.
  • I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC: Everyone break the normal fourth wall at one point or another. However Deadpool takes it one step further.
    Deadpool: I always wanted my own action figure, and now I am my own action figure.
    Nite Owl: Um, What?
  • In Ask King Sombra: Being that it's an ask blog, naturally, the characters respond to fan comments. It's a bit zigzaggy on whether other characters realize that that's what they're doing though.
    • Sombra is actually able to physically interact with the question boxes; at one point he tries to hide behind them, only to realize they aren't actually real.
    • At one point the author tries to derail the comic into a shipping fic, so Sombra and Coffee Talk open a portal and give his Author Avatar a Death Glare to make him get back on track.
  • The video "Deadpool - A Blurred Lines Parody", along with several other Deadpool cosplay videos by D Piddy, make use of this. (It's downplayed compared to the original Deadpool.)
  • A minor case shows up in Chapter 25 of This Bites! when Cross says that he couldn't make up the events that he was reporting if he tried. Soundbite, or perhaps B.R.O.B. possessing him again, noted the irony.
  • The fourth wall of the Young Justice Self-Insert Fic With This Ring is finally breached with the introduction of Ambush Bug in the Fool's Canon arc. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Snapped:
    Hermione: You can't befriend a basilisk!
    Harry: We're in a Crack Fic, Hermione. It's expected.
  • When Deadpool appears out of nowhere in Chapter 29 of Origin Story, Alex asks him what he's doing there and if he intends to try and fight her. After hastily denying that he has a fight in mind, he openly admits that he's just there to provide a little Wolverine Publicity.
    “What are you doing here, then?” Alex huffed. The man was a pain in the ass.
    “Nothing much. This is just a pointless cameo! It’s all the rage in comic books! Alexi Vandeberg, one of the writer’s best friends in the world, bet the writer fifty bucks that there was no way in hell that he – the writer, I mean – would just drop me into the story at random, in the same way that all those comics back in the 90s would include Wolverine just to say he was in their title once.” Deadpool shrugged. “Back when they were doing it with Wolverine, it was basically just a cheap grab for better sales, but it worked. TV Tropes even has a name for it: ‘Wolverine Publicity.’ Pretty neato, right? Of course, it sort of breaks the flow of the story, but fifty buck is fifty bucks, right?”
  • In Tales of a Reset Mind, the characters disintegrate the fourth wall by speaking directly to the reader on multiple occassions.
    Fear: Dear Reader, hey look, there’s a spider on your back. A big one.
  • In Age of Dragons, Kieran/Urthemiel takes a moment to yell at the author for railroading the party into the deep roads. He also figured out where the party needed to go by noting where the quest marker was, and can find his friends by looking at the locations of their character icons.
  • The Animaniacs in My Little Animaniacs do it the entire story.
  • How Harry Got a Date:
    Luna: Nobody asked me to the ball. I'm just here because the author told me to.
  • Wear Me Like a Locket Around Your Neck:
    "I can't believe I suspected that guy of murder," Harry said in wonder, watching Caspar walk into a window.
    "You did what?" Orion asked.
    Harry shook his head. It was far too elaborate to go into- it would take something like 4 hefty chapters to cover it all. "Nothing."
  • Similar to Origin Story above, after the DC and Marvel universe's have been combined in Nocturnal, Deadpool shows up and complains that he has "One cameo, in this entire one hundred chapter story".
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan, Nova Shine appears to be well-aware that he is in a fanfiction, complains that they need to get past "the backstory part of this chapter", and come a couple of chapters later, outright refers to the fact that the fic is being rewritten. By the time of the Interlude, it has spread to other characters, such as Envy, who reads every previous short story to comment on how everyone seems to be drinking tea.
  • Many stories written by HWWHOC have one particular character who is given the ability to break the fourth wall, regardless of the universe he's written into.
  • In The Institute Saga, Deadpool talks to the readers a couple of times. He even manages to (briefly) hijack an Author's Afternote before being restrained.
  • The characters in Undertale: The Surface don't usually say "remember that time when X?". Instead, they usually refer to events more along the lines of "they've been acting that way since chapter 76 or so".
    • Sans also breaks the fourth wall at one point, which Alphys (perhaps intentionally) ignores.

Alternative Title(s): Fanfiction


Example of: