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Aside Glance

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"What do yooooooou think, fourth wall?"

A form of Breaking the Fourth Wall, an Aside Glance occurs when an actor gives a brief, silent glance to the camera as a way of acknowledging that their current situation, or the person they're speaking to, is awesome, stupid, weird, or otherwise unusual. Alternatively, it is also utilized as a form of Medium Awareness that the characters know they're in a show.

It's generally used as a way to acknowledge the audience's assumed reaction and show that the glancing character is just as smart as them and just as aware of the absurdity of the situation. Importantly, the glancer should never speak to the audience, nor should the other characters (if it is fiction) acknowledge that the person just glanced away.

The glance can be either a normal look or an Eye Take.

The trope has its roots in the "aside", a trope in European dramatic tradition that had characters making one-line comments to one another which are unheard by the other characters. Originally this was used to undercut dramatic tension but was turned around over time to allow for serious usage, in plays such as Hamlet. Characters also began to make remarks to the audience or to themselves rather than to other characters, akin to thought balloons in comics. This was modified into the silent glance, which was used in stage comedy routines and subsequently found its way into the films of Laurel and Hardy and other movie comedians, thus making it Older Than Television at least. The speaking version still exists, too, in various contexts, including comics; see Aside Comment. Compare Batty Lip Burbling, Fourth Wall Psych, and Meaningful Look.


Used a lot in This Is Reality situations. Compare Spiking the Camera when this is done accidentally.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Kekkaishi, Tokine is discussing with Tokiko about bridges to dimensions, Tokiko then makes an out of the blue comment that Tokine should not be so hyperactive, when she was acting normally the entire time, Tokine then proceeds to make an Aside Glance to the audience complete with the transitional Face Fault.
  • In Kill la Kill, the main character throws an aside glance at the screen after Mako and her sibling make a scene in the first episode.
    • Kyou and Tomoyo both do this after teasing Sunohara into another outburst.
    • Kyou gives Tomoyo one when Tomoyo gives Nagisa her Graceful Loser line, "So you're why he's doing this... I'm so glad it's for someone like you."
    • After telling Sunohara that since Kappei kept talking to him about Ryou, it means he trusts him, right? And therefore he must be interested in him, right? So it's Operation: Jealousy, riiiight? He doesn't actually give an aside glance since he doesn't have a sprite. But he does say briefly '...what?' to the reader before continuing on.
  • In the first episode of Ouran High School Host Club, after Tamaki gets red-faced when he finally realizes Haruhi is a girl, Kyoya (who knew from the beginning) looks at the viewer and says "Now I could be wrong, but I think we may be witnessing the beginnings of love here."
  • The title character of Lupin III does this at least constantly.
  • Kaname throws us one in the second episode of Full Metal Panic! after Sōsuke buys into a very obvious con to force him into garbage duty.
  • In the second episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Kamina makes an exceptionally boisterous boast, causing Yoko to look at the camera momentarily and wonder aloud where he gets his confidence. This is immediately lampshaded by panning out to show that she was talking to thin air.
  • Lucky Star
    • When Tsukasa found out Konata's dad can tie the sash of a yukata.
    • Konata herself does this frequently, sometimes to take a jab at Kagami.
  • K-On!: "I thought I'd try to do my best in life."
  • One Piece
    • In a relatively early episode, Chopper starts to yell at Nami when she wakes up from her sickness at Dr. Kureha's place, and then he acts awkwardly all of a sudden, prompting Nami to look directly into the camera and ask aloud if he can't hide his feelings.
    • Sanji does this twice at the beginning of the sixth movie when one of the island's champions, Muchigoro, is introduced. The first time, he tells the audience that Muchigoro's definitely an idiot. The second time he does this is after Muchigoro is tricked by Usopp saying, "See? He's an idiot."
    • Usopp does this multiple times after meeting the Barbar sand pirates during the Alabasta arc in a filler episode.
  • In the anime adaptation of Haruhi Suzumiya Kyon does one following one of Haruhi's many, many enthusiastic rants.
  • In an episode of ufotable's adaptation of Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], Lancer gives a particularly smarmy version of this when Rin tries to claim that there is nothing going on between her and Shirou.
  • In the seventeenth chapter of Asteroid in Love, Mira makes one to the reader as she starts to doubt whether Mai and Sayuri really get along as Mai said.
  • In the anime adaptation of My Hero Academia, it's something of a Running Gag for Aoyama to glance directly at the audience when part of a crowd shot or panning shot (usually in the background). The guy's a massive Attention Whore, so it makes sense he'd mug for the camera whenever possible. Given his insecurities and tragic past however, this is justified.

  • The only character in Raphael's The School of Athens who seems to see the viewer is an Italian pretty boy who looks suspiciously like Raphael himself.
  • The man in the bottom right of Freedom from Want (of Four Freedoms) is looking cheekily at the viewer.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
    • Through much of the Golden Age and Silver Age, he would end a story by giving the reader a wink, usually when one of his supporting cast made a clueless remark about his Secret Identity.
    • Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? would be the last time the Pre-Crisis Superman does it.
    • In DC One Million, we discover the ultimate fate of Superman: In the distant future, he spends 100,000 years hibernating in the sun, and emerges in the 853rd century as an unstoppable super-god. After bringing Lois and the entire planet Krypton back to life with a wave of his hand, his final act is to give the reader one last knowing wink.
    • Several Silver Age Supergirl stories ended with the Girl of Steel glancing to the reader and winking.
    • The ending of The Kingdom, where the (supposedly) Golden Age Superman realizes that the sky barrier that's holding him prisoner over a version of Metropolis (possibly hinting at the paradise dimension that he, Lois Lane, and Superboy-Prime ended up in at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths) is now gone and that he can escape into the mainstream DC Universe again...someday.
  • Iron Man and Spider-Man gave a prominent Aside Glance prior to the Civil War. In the previous issues, Mary-Jane had suffered a broken arm, then shown up shortly after without a cast or anything. When fans pointed out the mistake, the writers added a discussion between Parker and Stark, revealing that Stark had fixed her up with some kind of injected bone glue. The panel immediately after the explanation shows both characters looking straight at the reader.
  • In an issue of Marvel Knights: Spider-Man, Peter and Liz Allan get talking during a high-school reunion. Liz reflects on how weird their lives have been, from the Living Brain attacking the school to Harry Osborn (and his dad) both being the Green Goblin and concludes that sometimes, it feels like Peter's the only normal person she knows. Peter's reaction is priceless.
  • Deadpool's insanity often has him doing this. After all, he is one of the few Marvel characters who realizes he's fictional, and uses it to his advantage regardless of medium (for example, beating up enemies with his own Hyper Combo gauge or asking the narrator if they can help).
  • The Joker tends to do this, due to him being one of the only DCU characters who is self-aware of his status as a comic book character. Meta-awareness is frequently part of the Joker's toolbox. Near the end of the "Emperor Joker" comic storyline, he actually yells at the comic's artist.
  • Done in the Disney Comics Beagle Boys story "Short Order Crook". After being instructed to by "Cousin Half-Pint" (a short Beagle Boy), the Beagle Boys have torn off their numbers so they can't be identified but then become confused about which of them is which, not even remembering their own numbers and as two of them are discussing it, Cousin Half-Pint looks out of the comic at the reader and scowls while jerking a thumb at the other two, as if to ask "can you believe how stupid they are?"
  • Often frustrated by her apocalypse-survivor-buddy Ace and his foolish beliefs and behavior, Gwen occasionally glances at the reader with a kind of "do you believe this?" stare in Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space.
  • Cerebus the Aardvark has Cerebus doing two prominent ones:
    • The first is in High Society after learning that his would-be kidnappers used their real names (and real signatures) to sign the ransom note.
    • The second is in Reads in the Beat Panel between Astoria telling him he's a hermaphrodite and his reaction.
  • The Dutch comic De Familie Fortuin has this exchange:
    Van Dale: I'd like to buy a cordless phone.
    Fortuin: Sure, that'll be $25.
    Van Dale: This phone doesn't work.
    Fortuin: Of course not, it needs a cord and a plug.
    Van Dale: Excuse me for a moment, I have to give an exasperated look into the camera.
    Fortuin: You go ahead and do that.
    Van Dale: *aside glance*
  • Parodied in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when Mr. Apollo winks at the reader but is immediately asked who he's winking at. To which he apologizes saying he has a facial tic that affects a lot of superheroes.
  • Little Mouse Gets Ready: At the end, Little Mouse's mother looks to the reader and says "What a silly little mouse!".
  • Princess Natasha winks to us at the end of issue #2's "Good Cheer" when her dad asks how she thwarted Lubek's plan to use cheerleader routines to send messages to his agents via TV. (She introduced a routine saying "Don't watch us!")

    Comic Strips 
  • Huey Freeman of The Boondocks does this regularly, making just his reactions to the stupidity of those around him just as funny as any of his rants.
  • Garfield does this in many of its strips, usually Jon while Garfield is thinking a snarky comment, despite his seeming inability to hear Garfield.
  • In Bloom County, after Opus's mother has been kidnapped by the Mary Kay Commandos, he vows to track her down. Milo Bloom tells him that it's "all beginning to sound like... like a bad comic strip!" This is predictably followed by a Beat Panel with both of them facing straight forward.
  • Happens often in Blondie in reaction to the punchlines - often from Dagwood or Daisy (who also presents a variation in which she suddenly wakes from her sleep when the gag comes).

    Eastern Animation 
  • The eponymous Heroic Mime of Pucca does this after being told by Ching that she has a beautiful voice.

    Fan Works 
  • Used frequently by the title character in The Joker Blogs, but justified in the fact that there actually is a cameraman for the Joker to Aside Glance at, and that the Joker already has Medium Awareness and regularly breaks the fourth wall in the comics. One of the funnier uses:
    Joker: (to a bum on the street) Do you wanna die?
    Ted the Bum: Uh... Well... Uh... kind of...
    Joker: (incredulous look at camera)
  • Discord manages to pull this off in Diaries of a Madman. Though text.
  • In Evangelion 303 Shinji does this at least twice:
    • In chapter 3: after Asuka says she'll be keeping an eye on him, Shinji throws an aside glance and wonders: "Why can't a normal, well-adjusted girl ever say that to me...?"
    • In chapter 17: during his friend's bachelor party, Shinji does this while he thinks that it's as if Las Vegas exists to piss off certain specific groups of people.
  • In YuyaVision, a commercial for Dimensional Pendulums has Performapal Laugh Maker give a wink to the audience.

    Films — Animation 
  • The most famous Aside Glance in the history of CGI came at the end of Luxo Jr. when Luxo Sr. turns his "face" to the camera and shakes his head. Luxo Jr. has done this in the opening credits of every film Pixar has made since.
  • Disney's Peter Pan. Captain Hook is taking Tiger Lily to be drowned. As the Crocodile follows them, he turns and looks directly at the viewers.
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers has Pete doing this thanks to the Running Gag of the same music playing every time the opera poster is shown.
  • It's a bit hard to tell in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but when the fat, penitent, diaper-clad "Baby" Brent tries to convince Sam and Flint to let him come along on their attempt to stop the food machine, putting his arm on Sam's shoulder for emphasis, she briefly turns and gives an uncomfortable look to either Flint, the camera, or both.
  • In Hoodwinked!, Red Puckett practically is a master of this, as there are at least four or five that she gives during her story.
    • Red throws a magazine from the treehouse — which lands on a passing car's windshield and blinds the driver, who immediately drives into a tree. We cut back to a close-up of Red right before the crash, and when we hear the impact, she silently tenses up and shoots a glance at the camera.
    • When Red is taking the recipe book from behind the Concealing Canvas in Granny's store, the woodpecker she is with asks if the Bandit will get the book. Red turns to the bird and replies, "Not today," with the camera angle positioned such that it looks like she's speaking to the camera.
    • When Red encounters Japeth and he denies having spoken normally instead of singing for a brief second, she pauses to give the camera an exasperated stare.
    • Two others happen with Red during "Be Prepared", the song in Japeth's shack: she does an indirect Aside Glance when she says "Oh, good. More singing," after pleading to Japeth for help causes him to break out in song. Also, when the line "I got horns that open pickle jars.." comes up, Red holds out a pickle jar for Japeth to pop the lid off of, then gives a bemused look at the camera.
    • The Wolf does one himself, after his hyperactive assistant and photographer Twitchy claims he doesn't drink coffee — while talking so fast it's hard to understand what he's saying.
  • In The Man Called Flintstone, Fred looks at the audience during the song "Spy Type Guy".
  • In Alpha and Omega, Eve tries to tell her daughter how to handle her date if he gets out of line. Being Eve, her advice was to "take those beautiful teeth of yours, go for the throat, and don't stop until the body stops shaking". Kate's response was wide-eyed shock, during which she gives an Aside Glance.
  • Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame actually winks at the viewers for a few seconds during her dance at the Feast of Fools before pole-dancing with a spear.
  • Ray from The Princess and the Frog does one when Louis has an overblown reaction to being pricked by a thorn.
  • In The Rescuers Down Under, when Joanna tricks McLeach into giving her the box of eggs during the "eggs" scene, he briefly looks straight at the camera with an expression that reeks of "Are you shitting me?!"
  • Seta from Grave of the Fireflies gives a mildly scolding look at the audience near the end of the film, specifically juvenile delinquents of Japan in the 1980s. Takahata specifically made the film for the delinquents to appreciate what they have while understanding what their parents would have suffered from the war.
  • A great moment in Fantasia 2000 where Donald Duck as Noah's assistant sees a pair of realistic ducks boarding the ark and turns to the audience with a baffled expression.
  • Heavy Metal, segment "Den". After Ard gives his ultimatum (" die, she dies, everybody dies!"), Den turns to the camera and thinks/narrates "Sounded reasonable to me!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the film of Evita, Che does this frequently, most notably at the end of "Good Night and Thank You".
  • Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks does this a few times in the the theatrical series finale, i.e. her confused expression upon meeting Mrs. Davis. However, her expressions were very much testament to her feelings rather than an attempt to break the fourth wall.
  • One odd moment in Puerto Rican film What Happened to Santiago has Santiago sitting idly on a bench when a shootout between a thief and some cops erupts around him: the thief actually stands right next to Santiago (and behind a statue) while exchanging gunfire. After the thief runs off Santiago looks at the camera with a "WTF?" look on his face.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    • Jessica Rabbit makes at least 3 of these. There's a subtle one during her singing number right before she sits on Eddie, then another after knocking out Roger with a frying pan and dumping him in the trunk of a car, and a very quick one as she's getting into Benny the Cab in Toontown.
    • Roger looks into the camera at the end of the film, right after Jessica tells him she'll bake him a carrot cake after they get home.
  • Critics noticed this in Meet the Spartans, seemed aimed at the audience for watching the movie.
  • Tyler looks at the camera in Fight Club after Marla's particularly disturbing pillow talk ”My God, I haven't been fucked like that since grade school.”
  • Common in Buster Keaton's short films.
  • Oliver Hardy was a master of this. While uproariously funny in itself, it was often used to pad out a gag to give the audience time to finish laughing so they wouldn't miss the next bit of dialog.
  • Used thrice in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back;
    • One early example has Jay and Silent Bob talking to Holden McNeil about their plans to stop the Jay And Silent Bob Show Within a Show from being made. Holden tries to tell them that the project won't go anywhere anyway, saying "A Jay and Silent Bob movie? Who would pay to see that?", which is immediately followed by all three of them looking at the camera. Silent Bob smiles.
    • A cop tells Federal Wildlife Marshall Willenholly that someone may have arranged a breakout of animals to draw attention away from a jewelry robbery. He says that sounds like something out of a bad movie, and all the characters turn to look at the camera. An angle change reveals that they all just happened to look along the road at the same time.
    • And when Jay and Silent Bob finally get to the Hollywood filmset, they come across Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as they argue about their current roles in Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season. They take pot shots at various movies both have done, until finally, Affleck says, "What do I keep telling you? You gotta do the safe picture, then you do the art picture. And then sometimes you gotta do the payback picture because your friend says you owe him." [Both look at camera.]
  • During the massive argument that breaks out at the climax of Blake Edwards' A Shot in the Dark, Clouseau vainly tries to restore order but winds up staring helplessly into the camera.
  • The Naked Gun series of movies contain these regularly.
  • A chase sequence in the classic Burt Reynolds film Smokey and the Bandit sees Bandit outwit a police vehicle by quickly driving behind a building and turning off the lights, then slowly driving away when the policemen leaves. The Bandit stops to look back, then smiles to the camera before he roars off.
  • Kevin of Home Alone acknowledges the audience a couple of times, usually for expository purposes; "I made my family disappear!" But the best example of this trope occurs in Home Alone 2. He addresses the man next to him on a plane, who then begins babbling extensively in French. Kevin slowly turns and gives a good long "Why me?" look at the camera.
  • In Death Proof, Stuntman Mike smiles at the camera before getting in his car.
  • The page image shows Eddie Murphy doing this in The Nutty Professor (1996) when Jason is trying to snap him out of the Buddy Love mode.
  • John Landis inserts this so often it's part of his Signature Style:
    • John Belushi in Animal House turns to give the camera his trademark single raised eyebrow after he climbs the ladder to look into the sorority house window and discovers the girls in the midst of a semi-nude pillow fight.
    • Eddie Murphy does this in Trading Places when the Duke brothers condescendingly explain that you might find bacon in a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich.
    • Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem does this again in Coming to America when Imani Izzi, his Queen-to-be who was raised from birth to do anything to please him, goes as far as barking like a dog when asked.
  • Done at least twice in the first Inspector Gadget movie.
  • An unintentional example in Hot Fuzz: Timothy Dalton's eyes, for a split second, stare right down the barrel of the camera. Director Edgar Wright apparently found it amusing enough to leave in the finished film, also timing the faint sound of an old-style cash register in the background to coincide with it.
    Danny: What was it like being stabbed?
    Angel: It was the single most painful meeting of my life.
    Danny: What was the second most painful?
    Angel: (stares directly at the camera)
  • At the end of Pretty in Pink, Butt-Monkey Duckie is so shocked on discovering a girl's interest in him that he looks right out the fourth wall.
  • Undercover Brother
    • While the title character is flying through the air toward some enemy Mooks, he briefly turns his head and looks at the camera.
    • In the end credits. After Undercover Brother takes his car through a car wash and several female attendants are flirting with him, he turns his head and broadly winks at the camera.
  • At the end of Imagine Me & You, the male lead Heck meets a beautiful girl on a plane and gives the camera a quick smirk.
  • Austin Powers mugs to the camera from time to time.
  • Justified in Terminator 2: Judgment Day: When Sarah Connor fails to get out of the asylum due to good behavior, she attacks the doctor who doesn't believe she's actually changed. After she's restrained, the doctor looks at the screen (that is, the camera that they set up to film the interview) and makes an aside: "Model Citizen..."
  • Like the above example in Comic Books, the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve ended with Superman flying in space and giving a wink to the camera.
  • In Jumanji, Peter is sent on a frantic run out to a garden shed to get an axe. Arriving there, he finds a padlock on the shed door. Fortunately, there's an axe lying nearby! He picks up it and... starts to whack at the lock. Belatedly, he realizes what he's doing, shoots an embarrassed look at the camera, and runs back inside.
  • Top Secret!
    • While Nick Rivers is riding a motorcycle, he turns his head and winks at the camera.
    • Earlier on, after describing Nick describes their situation verbatim, Hillary says 'I know, it all sounds like some bad movie.' They both then look very slowly in the direction of the camera.
  • Taj in National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj does this at least twice, on both occasions because he's pleased a woman is paying attention to him.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies:
    • Yuri glances at the camera twice in Werewolf. Given the context of both scenes, it's likely that neither Aside Glance was intentional, but the crew treats them as such for the sake of their jokes.
      (Yuri, disguised as a doctor, examines a patient and then looks at the camera)
      Tom Servo: Audience, what's your diagnosis?
    • They do this a lot. In Cave Dwellers the elder and his daughter are having a conversation about what to do with the MacGuffin when the elder steps away as if lost in thought but is accidentally looking straight at the camera:
      Tom Servo: What do you, the viewers at home, think?
  • During the Training Montage in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, the villagers are demonstrating their complete lack of skill while trying to draw arrows from their quivers. Robin just looks to the camera with a look of amused despair, then back to his pupils with a snort.
  • In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, besides narrating to the camera several times throughout the film, Ferris gives a few silent acknowledgments to the audience.
  • In the Police Academy movies, Guttenberg's character would often do this — without actually looking at the camera. He'd just turn and stare disbelievingly in a vaguely camera-like direction.
  • Fatal Instinct. Lola Cain turns and looks at the audience after Ned Ravine turns her down.
  • Aslan (very briefly) while he is being executed in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As if he's saying, "I'm dying for you."
  • Harold has a huge one in Harold and Maude after convincing his arranged date that he's set himself on fire in the backyard, causing her to run away screaming.
  • Hot Shots!: Almost the same glance at us, after Ramada tells him that she "can go all night like a lumberjack".
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux:
    Topper: Do you have any idea what would happen if you stay here with me?
    Ramada: Of course I do. Sex. Wild, free, passionate, unbridled sex. I would fondle you in ways you can't imagine. I would pleasure you at any time, in any place, in any way, for as long as you could possibly desire.
    Topper: [aside glance, complete with arched eyebrow]
  • This Is England ends with one of these from Shaun.
  • In both versions of Funny Games, this is how Paul first breaks the fourth wall. Just before Ann/Anna discovers the where he's hidden the dog, he turns around and gives a Slasher Smile to the camera.
  • Done several times in Young Frankenstein.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, we get this from a goat that Jack Sparrow's putting the moves on (no, it doesn't make sense in context).
    • Later on, Davy Jones does this while smirking at the camera and quirking an eyebrow. He doesn't exactly have eyebrows, but he pulls it off.
  • Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies. After taking several scenes to get a prison guard to doom himself with a wish, the Djinn finally succeeds and shoots a Psychotic Smirk at the audience.
  • In We're the Millers David gives one during Rose's stripping scene, with a big smile.
  • Never Say Never Again ends with Sean Connery winking at the audience.
  • In Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed, this is the Tar Monster's response to the Pterodactyl Ghost flying into him and getting stuck after the latter fails to steal the MacGuffin from Scooby.
  • Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is constantly sneaking in looks to the camera.
  • Like his comic book counterpart, the title character of Deadpool is a Fourth-Wall Observer who does this often when speaking to the audience.
  • In Weird Science, Wyatt gives the camera a glance when Chet says, "Next thing you know, you'll be wearin' a bra on your head."
  • Star Wars:
    • Attack of the Clones: When Anakin and Obi-Wan first meet Padmé at her apartment, Jar Jar gives a quick one with a grin, as if he's saying to the audience "Meesa still here!"
    • A New Hope Special Edition: At the end of the added scene where Han talks to Jabba outside the Millennium Falcon, Boba Fett turns and looks at the camera.
    • Return of the Jedi: While none of the major characters do it, one of the AT-STs does one just before it loses its balance on a bunch of logs as if to go "Oh, come on, really?". It then falls over and explodes.
  • Airplane!
    • Victor the navigator smiles at the camera when Randy sings "River of Jordan".
    • Ted's unexpected turn to camera for "What a pisser!"
    • In the last scene, Otto the Autopilot turns his head to face the audience and salutes. A short time later, after gets an inflatable female companion he turns his head to the audience again and winks.
  • The Hunger Games: Haymitch sends Katniss some soup to feed Peeta with. Enclosed is the note, "You call that a kiss?", referring to a kiss on the cheek she gave Peeta earlier. Katniss promptly pulls this trope, though in the context of the film this doesn't break the fourth wall as she's aware her every action is being televised.
  • In Like Flint. In the end, the three leaders of the feminist conspiracy assure the President that they accept that the world is better in male hands. They then turn to the audience and give knowing looks, indicating that they have no intention of giving up on their plans of world domination.
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    • While watching Lucy and the Diamonds perform, Maurice Gibb looks directly into the camera and smirks while lifting his eyebrows.
    • After FVB orders Mean Mr. Mustard to steal the instruments, he turns to the camera and gives an evil grin.
  • 22 Jump Street has this done by Jonah Hill's character. On the DVD commentary Hill explains that his dialogue for the scene in question was improvised, and he literally peeked over to the director to see whether or not the ad-libbing made him laugh.
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: Somehow they managed to accomplish the feat of having a DINOSAUR give one of these. The hyper-intelligent Indoraptor is smart enough to figure out what tranqs do and plays possum after being hit by a few. Once the man who shot him gets close enough, she has just enough time to flash the audience a look, as well as a subtle Slasher Smile before going in for the kill.
  • Aladdin (2019): Genie reminds Aladdin he made his first wish to get out of the cave. But Aladdin forgot who made that wish and reveals the Genie watched it glancing at the camera telling the viewer.
  • In Star Trek VI, where you wouldn't expect it - the local aftermath from meeting with representatives of the Klingon Empire sees the crew nursing various hangovers, not thinking that was going to go down as a great chapter in diplomacy, and as they disperse to their respective quarters, Mr. Spock looks straight up at the camera and raises an eyebrow.
  • Birds of Prey (2020). Harley is talking with Cassandra Cain in a vehicle. When Cassandra says she can't give Harley a diamond because she swallowed it, Harley glances at the camera with a frustrated look on her face.
  • Last Action Hero
    • The Grim Reaper looks at the audience before he comes out of The Seventh Seal.
    • Benedict has a positively wicked look at the audience when he realizes that the rules of the Slater films don't apply in the real world.
  • Night of the Dribbler: Stan makes one at the end of the movie
  • Played for Drama in A Field in England. In the scene where Whitehead is led into a tent, presumably to be tortured, Friend and Jacob kneel with their heads bowed. Jacob then looks up into the camera with an apprehensive expression.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Frank N. Furter shoots looks at the audience on more than one occasion. One interpretation of this is that he's insane and always thinks he's on stage performing.

  • In the first chapter of Please, Jeeves, Bertie shoots a defiant glance at the reader, asking (via the narration boxes) if we think he's weak for giving in to Jeeves so easily.
  • In the twelfth Captain Underpants book, George and Harold wonder why their future selves don't remember some of their past adventures. They blame bad writing as they shoot a glance at the reader.
  • One Cool Friend: Elliot looks at the reader at the end, as a smirk upon the reveal that the household has a tortoise, a fact that has been hidden until the last page.

    Live-Action TV 


  • Jack Benny, of course. Frequently accompanied by a well-timed Beat for maximum impact. A few good examples. There's plenty of Lampshade Hanging in the last one. And, as that last clip shows, Johnny Carson knew his way around this trope as well.
  • Conan O'Brien
    • The Tonight Show had a recurring skit called "Noches de Pasión con Señor O'Brien", which takes the form of a Spanish telenovela in which Conan is the star and hero. Whenever his character would announce his name, he would stare into the camera and shout his name. In this instance, the trope is used to display a character's badassery.
    • That sounds almost exactly like when Conan guest hosted Saturday Night Live and starred in a sketch about a superhero, "Moleculo the Molecular Man". People would say his name, and he would turn to the camera and bellow, "THE MOLECULAR MAN!" Including when he was disguised as his Alter Ego, which is how they figured out he was Moleculo (THE MOLECULAR MAN!).
    • He did this occasionally on his edition of Late Night, particularly when he would take a camera crew along with him on excursions. In one bit, during a visit to the doctor, he very slyly winked at the camera as the very attractive female physician lifted his shirt in order to listen to his heartbeat, while in another, he almost panicked when dealing with a nutty pedestrian.


  • 30 Rock
    • In a variation of this trope, Alec Baldwin's character is under pressure to join his acting crew and say a few lines on live TV. Unfortunately, he's a horrible actor and has no idea what he's doing in front of a camera, also having an amateurish tendency to stare directly into one. At one point a friend reminds him to avoid doing this, after which Baldwin looks directly into our camera.
    • The show has done some more straightforward ones. A Cold Open begins with Pete saying, "So we're agreed. Assuming nothing goes wrong in the next eight hours...," and Liz gives a knowing look over his shoulder. And in the flashback that shows the last time she slept with Dennis, she asks him to come up to her apartment to "change a couple lightbulbs," and he turns to smirk at the camera.
  • In a first season episode of America's Next Top Model, uber-Christian Robin is commencing a group prayer when the (openly) gay atheist Ebony turns to the camera and rolls her eyes mid-prayer, in a rare example of a reality TV show personality acknowledging the camera during a non-talking head sequence.
  • Despite the mockumentary format, Arrested Development doesn't use these very often, but one notable occurrence is when Warden Gentles attempts to insult wannabe-actor Tobias by calling him "a television actor". When David Cross looks away, his eyes linger on the camera just enough to make the irony apparent.
  • Bear of Bear in the Big Blue House was an absolute master of these in the form of Eye Takes in response to the craziness that sometimes occurred around him.
  • The late Bob Holness in a famous Blockbusters out-take when a contestant meaning to say "organism" accidentally offers the answer "orgasm" instead.
  • Frequently used on Bottom: Richie occasionally blurts out something so awkward that Eddie will shoot an Aside Glance at the camera. Granted, this is one of their more subtle instances of Breaking the Fourth Wall, but still...
  • Burn Notice
    • In one scene, Michael's mother gives him a look and then indignantly walks out the door. A few seconds later, Fiona (his partner in UST) does the exact same thing, causing Michael to give a truly freaked out look right at the audience, silently asking "Did you just see this shit?".
    • He has also done it at least twice when the job involved religion. No, not at the audience, at God.
    • Sam gives us one of these at the end of his movie.
  • In the Discovery Channel game show Cash Cab, Ben Bailey (the host) frequently does this in response to answers from the contestants.
    • A contestant was once asked the name of a certain tattoo dye (henna) and blurted out "Hentai!" This prompted a long, knowing aside glance from the host.
  • Castle does this when his mother asks in bewilderment, "You haven't heard of the Serenity?" in reference to a spiritual retreat she plans to attend. There have been a few Firefly references in the show to date; it is unclear if Nathan Fillion asks for them or if the writers are just big fans.
  • Often crops up in the works of Chespirito. The most notable example is Quico in El Chavo del ocho who does it the most often, usually followed by a "Wonder that they meant by that?" in response to somebody insulting him.
  • Community
    • Troy and Abed In The Morning! Notably, one instance where Jeff berates someone for appearing on this non-show, pointing out the lack of cameras: Abed looks directly into the camera.
    • "Competitive Wine Tasting" has drama Professor Sean Garrity lampshade a rather anticlimactic ending to the Troy & Britta storyline, declaring "We're actors. ... All that our the spotlight." With each dramatic pause, the camera gets a bit closer, until he looks straight into it on "in the spotlight".
    • The second documentary episode has Abed putting together a documentary with the help of a couple extra cameramen. The last shot of the episode before The Tag is Abed giving one of the other cameras a pointed look, making it a curious example, since it applies both to his in-universe documentary and the episode itself.
  • Better Things: The last shot from the series featuring Sam shows her wink at the audience, to wish us goodbye.
  • Doctor Who:
    • A Dalek manages to do this in "The Daleks' Master Plan" — Mavic Chen is spiralling into a Villainous Breakdown and a Dalek confronts him about his incompetence. Chen rants impotently at it and then slaps the Dalek in the eyestalk. The Dalek flails around in confusion for a second, briefly fixing the camera with its eyestalk as if to ask "can you believe he did that?" It's a real testament to the skills of the Dalek operators that they could pull this off.
    • Some unintentional ones are done by the First Doctor. The actor had a bit of a habit of flubbing lines and occasionally, after catching himself completely mangling a sentence, would glance over at the director as if to ask if there'd be a retake.
    • In "Spearhead from Space", when the Brigadier and the other members of UNIT leave the Doctor alone and unguarded in his hospital bed, he gives the camera a short, conspiratorial look.
    • In "The Brain of Morbius", after Solon tells the Doctor "What a magnificent head", the Doctor glances over at the camera. Later, when Solon makes a hideous pun and Morbius bellows "FOOL!", Solon quickly glances at the camera with wry amusement.
    • "The Invasion of Time": After the Fourth Doctor fails to operate his sonic screwdriver, he announces "even the sonic screwdriver won't get me out of this one," presumably to himself, and fixes the camera with a brief stare.
    • In "The Creature from the Pit", the Doctor forces a villainess' hand onto Erato's larynx machine and the creature starts speaking through her. As she goes through her Villainous Breakdown, we can see the Doctor lurking at the edge of the shot, looking straight at the camera out of the corner of his eye and smirking.
    • The Made-for-TV Movie: after the Eighth Doctor acts oddly, Grace gives a baffled glance at the camera.
    • "Journey's End" has Martha grin out at the camera during the big celebration scene, although the context is that she is looking at one of the Doctors.
    • In "Day of the Moon", Richard Nixon is allowed to boggle briefly at the camera after learning about Delaware's sexuality.
    • Near the end of "Asylum of the Daleks", Oswin casts a brief glance directly into the camera after she says, "and remember", which is seen as a direct message to the viewers since the actress (and possibly the character) would return later in the season.
    • The Eleventh Doctor does this during his pre-regeneration speech in "The Time of the Doctor".
    • The Twelfth Doctor does it at the end of his premiere episode, "Deep Breath", and again while striding past the camera in "Heaven Sent" while mentioning that he's "nothing without an audience".
    • This is easier to spot in HD due to the dim lighting, but Clara Oswald flicks her eyes at the camera in "Hell Bent" when she states that whatever it was she just told the Doctor in a private moment is something she won't tell the Time Lords "or anybody else" (cue the glance at us).
  • Family Feud: Count on Steve Harvey to make a perplexed glance at the camera whenever someone gives a strange answer in regular play.
  • Right after Kaylee says "It's real simple," in the pilot episode of Firefly, Jayne flicks his eyes up. May be unintentional. The camera has come around to face him as he gives a "you gotta be kidding me" look, but Jayne is looking at Kaylee, not the camera.
  • A Finnish TV show called Frank Pappa Show did this with the character of "the milk maid", a blonde dressed in a traditional outfit, who would interview various celebrities of the time and occasionally shoot an aside glance with a blank expression towards the camera as they happened to say something unintentionally (on the interviewee's part, at least) comical.
    • Since the character was not milked enough during Frank Pappa Show, she also appeared in every Iltalypsy episode.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will has a habit of doing this in a more obvious way than most examples of this trope (often looking directly into the camera). At one point, his aunt asks him exasperatedly, "Who are you looking at?!"
    • Another example happens at the start of the fifth season, when Jazz comes to visit, complaining about why he's the last to know Will's back from Philadelphia before asking who's playing the mother that season. A boy comes out to tell it's the same actor confusing Jazz who he is. Will reveals it's Nicky who was last seen as a baby in the previous season. While Jazz looks on bewildered, Will looks to the camera and makes a "growth spurt" motion.
  • Used almost Once per Episode by The Skipper on Gilligan's Island whenever he reacts to whatever goofy thing Gilligan's done this time. As Gilligan and the Skipper were more or less created as being latter-day expies of Laurel and Hardy, this is to be expected.
  • Happens amusingly on Glee when one of its voiceovers appears to be from Brittany...until it turns out that she's actually speaking, and Blaine has no idea who she's talking to or what she's staring at.
  • In The Golden Girls, Dorothy gives these a lot, especially after Rose says something stupid.
  • The Great British Bake Off: Mel briefly side-eyes the camera by way of underlining her puns.
  • In Harry Hill's TV Burp, a particularly awful clip or line of dialogue is often followed by Harry giving a pained glance to the camera. (This is one of the weirder uses since most of the show is Harry talking to the camera, only to Aside Glance to a different camera...)
    (featured clip of battery hens)
    Voice: What animal, of any description, want to live in here?
    Harry Hill: A fox?
  • In the Home Improvement episode "Unchained Malady", Tim has been having a string of bad luck which he starts to believe is from his not forwarding a chain letter that he had scoffed at earlier. One of the warnings at the end of the letter was that "a naval officer in Borneo disregarded this letter and three days later he was decapitated". Tim talks to Wilson for reassurance later, and has this exchange with him:
    Wilson: Well, personally, Tim, I place no credence in chain letters. Of course, I did have a friend once who didn't return a chain letter, and he disappeared mysteriously.
    Wilson: He was a naval officer in Borneo.
    *Tim looks up at the camera with a shocked expression*
  • Occasionally used in Horrible Histories, notably in the Stone Age Dragons Den skit, when the inventor pitching the concept of 'beer' seems suddenly to remember what show he's really on and stare straight at the camera: "It grown-up drink. Not for children."
  • In the How I Met Your Mother episode "The Mermaid Theory", Future Ted is trying, in voice-over, to explain why Barney and Lily were arguing. As he is retracting various reasons but still not getting the story right, the two of them glance at the camera, and then Barney glances at his watch. They are, in fact, breaking the interior fourth wall with Future Ted. In other words, Barney and Lily are breaking Future Ted's fourth wall, not Neil Patrick Harris or Alyson Hannigan breaking the actual fourth wall. Simple, huh?
  • Hustle: The crew often give aside glances while they're in the middle of a con, as one of the series' trademarks was its breaking of the fourth wall.
  • Impractical Jokers' Joe Gatto is particularly fond of this when the challenge gets particularly absurd.
  • Happens quite often in The InBESTigators, particularly by Ezra, usually after Kyle says something.
  • It's Garry Shandling's Show has Garry Shandling himself do this constantly - hardly a scene goes by where he doesn't. See, the entire premise of the show is that Garry is not only fully aware he's on TV (as are all his friends and family), but the Studio Audience lives "inside" his house. As such, an Aside Glance from Garry often doesn't stop there, and leads to him giving snarky commentary straight to the audience mid-scene.
  • Las Vegas: Danny McCoy, the lead, is trying to track down an ex-thief. He finds her at a strip club-gold bikini, heels, sits in front of her and offers her a Benjamin. She takes it, says she's taking him someplace private, and leaves the room. When he catches her outside, in her car, she says she thought he was a bill collector. When they've ascertained that she didn't steal the jewel, she stands up and puts one leg on Danny's doorframe, saying she owes him a lap dance. Danny asks if he can get his money back. She says no refunds. Danny looks at her legs for a second, then turns and grins at the camera and wiggles his eyebrows. End scene.
  • MADtv (1995)'s Jordan Peele, playing as R. Kelly in "Trapped in the Cupboard", is in a grocery store and looks toward the camera during a line. Another customer notices this and looks in the same direction quizzically.
  • The title character of Magnum, P.I. does this frequently, particularly when something ridiculous has occurred or he's done something mischievous.
  • Bud Bundy does this a couple of times on Married... with Children, looking slyly at the audience on those very rare occasions when he was about to get some action from a girl.
  • This happens in many episodes of The Mighty Boosh. The series 3 episode "Party" has two particularly good examples:
    • When Howard Moon sputters that he's a mere ten years older than Vince Noir, both characters turn to the camera, silently acknowledging that they are contradicting previous canon (an earlier episode stated they were the same age) and reality (Julian Barratt is only five years older than Noel Fielding).
    • Later, Tony Harrison (also played by Fielding) tells Howard, "Wow, you're older than me!" and then smiles right at the camera.
    • Another prime example, the Crack Fox rather terrifyingly shushing the audience.
  • In an episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers called "Best Man for the Job", Kim and Tommy are having an intense running argument about their respective campaigns for class president. This extends to when they're morphed, to the point that they're delivering Offhand Backhands to Putties while arguing instead of concentrating on the fight. One of the Putties goes down, looks at the Rangers, and then looks right at the camera with a look of "You've got to be kidding me, right?" (According to Jason David Frank, a lot of the times the actors for the Rangers would dress up as Putties to help pad scenes. Gotta wonder if it was one of them.)
  • One episode of The Millers ends with Nathan's father Tom, sister Debbie, and brother-in-law Adam wondering if people saw his just-finished newscast:
    Tom: They will if the Big Bang audience stuck around long enough to watch it.
    Debbie: They are the smartest audience on TV.
    [Camera cuts to a side view and they all turn to stare into the camera for a few seconds]
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus. Members of the troupe would often turn and look directly at the camera/audience, usually to register their disbelief in the situation.
    • In the Fish License sketch, John Cleese does this right after he asks to buy a fish license for the first time and the clerk gestures for him to move down to the next window.
      Cleese: The man's sign must be wrong. I have in the past noticed a marked discrepancy between these post office signs and the activities carried out beneath. But soft. Let us see how dame fortune smiles upon my next postal adventure.
    • In the Hungarian Phrasebook sketch, the tobacconist (Terry Jones) rolls his eyes after a fireman (Michael Palin) breaks character.
  • It's happens a few times on Mystery Science Theater 3000. One example: in the episode featuring Hamlet, Tom Servo decides to change his name. At first, there's nothing wrong as he uses the last name "Sirveux". However, when he reveals that his first name shall be "Htom" (pronounced "Hhh-tom") and not "Thom", Crow does this, then quickly replies "Well, then, Htom, why don't you "hlick me"?"
  • Happens from time to time in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. On one occasion, Ned and Cookie's reasons why Moze shouldn't do a volcano (specifically) for extra credit included "Plus it's been done on every show ever" followed by a s-l-o-w turn towards the camera.
  • Felix does this several times on The Odd Couple (1970). Once after Oscar draws a mustache on Felix with a marker in an episode titled "You Saved My Life".
  • Used by several characters in both the US and UK version of the faux-documentary The Office. Characters who are "allowed" to shoot nonplussed or aside glances at the camera tend to be the most self-aware (Jim Halpert from the US series uses this device most often, often several times an episode; for the UK version, it's usually Tim Canterbury or David Brent).
    • This trope is also subverted once by having one of the usually-oblivious characters, Dwight Schrute, imitate Jim's mannerisms by sarcastically mugging for the cameras (complete with an eye roll).
    • Karen also lampshades it once when Jim moves to the branch in Stamford, asking "What is that?" after imitating Jim looking into the camera.
    • In the UK series, this is subverted when Neil notices that a janitor is staring at the film crew and glances camera-wards to see what he's staring at.
    • In one episode, Jim is hiding in a car from Karen. Karen does not see Jim but does notice the camera in the car with him. Jim pushes the camera out of sight and shoots an angry look above the camera, at what is assumed to be the cameraman.
  • Frequently used on Parks and Recreation. What's really interesting is that it shows the wide variety of emotions that can be conveyed by this trope. Leslie's aside glance normally means "I'm so fucked," April's means "I am uncomfortable," and Ben's means "Are you seeing this shit?"
  • Rutland Weekend Television had a sketch which featured an entire group staring into the camera. Justified, as they had become aware they were trapped by the writer, and, in an act of protest, decided to be silent. They failed upon realizing he had written that silence in as well.
  • Defied in Scrubs where some new interns are excitedly talking about a recent episode of a Medical Drama show and Dr. Cox has a This Is Reality speech about tv shows and actually being a doctor. He mentions that there are no cameras "Over there" and waves in the direction of the camera, while the interns look everywhere but at the camera.
  • Done a few times on SCTV, largely by Floyd Robertson reacting to his dimwitted co-anchor Earl Camembert's antics or by cast members actually breaking character (such as Harold Ramis looking off-camera and grinning during a parody of Ben Hur where John Candy as Curly Howard as Ben Hur goes off-script and barks at him or when Ramis was given real rum to drink instead of a stand-in during a sketch where a home dentist shows his viewers how to anesthetize themselves with alcohol in lieu of novocaine, which he was unaware of until he actually started drinking it).
  • In the final season of Smallville, an alternate version of Lionel Luther gives a meaningful aside glance, basically telling the audience he's pumped for the series finale.
    Lionel: I wouldn't miss this for the world. Can't wait to see how it all turns out.
  • T.J. from Smart Guy does this in an episode where he succeeds in finding a new drummer for the band in which his older brother, who claims to have tough standards for the candidate, is the lead singer. The one who makes the cut is a girl around his brother's age.
  • Captain Sisko of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has done this a few times. One notable example was in "Trials and Tribble-ations," when Dax mentioned having met Dr. McCoy in a previous form and commented that he "had the hands of a surgeon."
  • Stella. Constantly. Lampshaded over the hill and back again, ironic since it's already a Lampshade Trope. Characters will look at the camera, smile at it, wave at it, notice that other characters are looking at the camera and awkwardly change their positions to look too. Sometimes all four in a row. In at least one case, a character is looking at the camera, the shot changes, and they're still looking at the camera despite being in mid-word during the cut.
  • For a series that has so thoroughly destroyed its fourth wall, Supernatural has surprisingly few of these. However, there's an epic one in the 200th episode, the aptly named "Fan Fiction". In it, Dean has just noticed that the girls playing him and Castiel (in the musical of his life) are a real couple, and the director says that she's OK with the subtext this brings to their performances because "you can't spell subtext without S-E-X." Jensen Ackles gives the camera a long, flat look in the beat before the scene cuts.
  • In an episode of That's So Raven where Eddie develops psychic powers and becomes popular because of it, one of his new friends comments that he should have his own TV show. This prompts Raven to cynically question who would wanna watch a show about a teen psychic and look deviously at the camera. Obviously, the writers were very proud of the joke.
  • Stanley Roper does this very often, combined with a silent chuckle, on Three's Company, generally after making a Double Entendre at his wife Helen's expense.
  • Johnny Carson of The Tonight Show was particularly known for delivering bewildered aside glances to the audience whenever the guest did something particularly humorous or surprising. Most other talk show hosts do the same.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) episode The After-Hours. As the Sales Supervisor Mr. Armbruster passes by Marsha's mannequin, he notices that it looks just like her and turns his head to look at it. He turns his head to face the audience and looks at them in astonishment. He turns back to look at the mannequin, turns back to the audience and gives them a bemused look, then walks away.
  • New BBC3 series We are Klang! has this as a common staple for two of the three main characters, when they lampshade an easy crack, like talking to a pair of buttcheeks.
    "Where are the hidden agendas?"
    "I can't find them anywhere."
  • In the X-Files episode "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", the title character electronically eavesdrops on people who activate a counter-surveillance system that disrupts the audio. He flips a switch that disrupts the counter-surveillance system and smirks towards the camera when the people he's spying on say that their conversation is secure.
  • Given the mockumentary format of the show, What We Do in the Shadows has plenty of these; usually from Guillermo, but Nadja has her fair share too.

  • Analog: The February 1942 cover has a figure facing the background, but their head is turned around so that they can glare at the audience instead.

    Music Videos 
  • Performed several times by members of the Blue Öyster Cult in the video for Joan Crawford Has Risen From The Grave. Guitarist Eric Bloom performs the action when he discovers a carelessly discarded pair of panties which appear to have been thrown from an upstairs window; he turns to camera and raises an eyebrow with an expression that says "Well, what do you think is going on here?". A little later, a procession of almost-innocent looking Catholic Schoolgirlsnote  emerge from an upstairs room and trek downstairs past most of the band while they perform. they are followed after a discreet interval by keyboards player Allen Lanier (looking, for the video, like the sort of very seedy individual who would be in an upstairs room with a bunch of schoolgirls), who slinks downstairs trying to look unobtrusive, but registers very obvious alarm on realising the camera is watching him before taking his place, hurriedly, at the keyboards. Lanier's guilty aside glances at the camera recur throughout the video, as do one or two knowing grins from the girls.
  • Devin Townsend does this himself in the video for Juular. Twice. At the same time. A minute into the song, just before the second verse kicks in ("Lady Vagine..!"), both Devin and Juular (played by Devin in heavy make-up) glance out through the window of the train carriage. While Juular simply looks out, then back at his "handler", Devin goes one step further, waving his right hand to conduct the backing chorus of his own song before looking back in Juular's direction, just in time to start singing.
  • In the video for "Without Me" by Eminem, Dr. Dre raises his sunglasses and gives the camera a very confused look in response to Eminem's over-the-top dance moves as Rap Boy (a parody of the 60s Batman's Robin) while the two are riding along in Dre's car.

  • Done by various characters on the backglass art for Bally's Eight Ball and Eight Ball Champ.
  • Two of the characters in the backglass for Sharkey's Shootout give sidelong glances to the viewer.
  • The human woman on the backglass of Big Bang Bar cocks her head backward to look at the player.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In a summer 2011 episode of WWE Raw, CM Punk gives the hard camera an unimpressed glance when met with verbal threats—including being called "a skinny-fat ass" from Triple H during a promo. This gave birth to the "CM Punk Is Not Impressed" meme. He would later turn to the camera with the same glance in early 2012 when John Laurinaitis was trying to brag about himself and convince Punk to forgive and forget everything he had done.
  • Gene Okerlund would do this constantly during a particularly odd interview, particularly with Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and The Undertaker. The look on his face basically read, "I hope you people understand this because I'm lost."
  • La Rosa Negra did them whenever the Ring Warriors crew seemingly ribbed her by periodically cutting out her themes to unfitting music.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Often done by the Muppet characters on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, etc. In one scene in The Muppet Movie, after getting thrown about in a bar brawl, Kermit mutters to the audience "I hope you appreciate that I'm doing my own stunts," and the piano player gives the camera a "who are you talking to?" sort of look.
  • Happens in an episode of Mongrels that had numerous jokes surrounding the September 11th attacks. The characters lampshade it by repeatedly saying that the events in the episode had nothing to do with religion, then glance at the camera.
  • In one episode of Candle Cove, Janice asks the Skin Taker why his jaw moves back and forth, he looks at the camera, not her to give his answer "to grind your skin".

  • In the opening of the first act of Sunday in the Park with George, Georges is painting Dot and is disappointed with her bad concentration. The end of the first act involves all the characters freezing into the positions of the people in the famous painting. When the second act opens, the cast is still stuck in the positions in which they were painted. Jules tells Dot "[she has] excellent concentration." Dot breaks character for a moment and gives the audience an Aside Glance.
  • Alice Ripley, who originated the role of Diana in Next to Normal was known to give the audience a knowing glance anytime something funny happened onstage.
  • Live productions of Avenue Q occasionally have Trekkie Monster give the audience an exasperated aside glance when Kate confidently claims that "Normal people don't sit at home and look at porn on the internet." Much laughter ensues.
  • Sandra of the Mischief Theatre doesn't do this for sarcastic effect, but she frequently throws flirtatious glances at the audience, often timing it to a line that makes whatever character she's playing then seem insincere. For instance, "The Pilot (Not the Pilot)" has her claiming not to care about appearances as she throws the look. Then she throws it again when suggesting a solution to the Nazi's code, making it seem like her character is the spy.

    Video Games 
  • The main character of Crash Bandicoot, especially the original trilogy, in SPADES. On a side note, he even has separate stance animations depending on whether you turn him to the camera or sideways: straight brings a smirk on his face (he SEES you!), turning him sideways makes him look derpy.
  • Jak and Daxter:
    • In Jak II: Renegade, in order to sign up for the races, Jak and Daxter must sign a contract. One of the stipulations is giving away rights to almost any use of their likenesses. When he gets to the final entry ("Game rights?!") he and Jak glance at the screen.
    • Similarly, at one point in Jak 3, a young monk in Spargus City tells our heroes "This isn't a game!", and the two look at the camera with befuddled expressions on their faces.
  • In The Secret of Monkey Island, Herman Toothrot frequently does this. Guybrush has the option to ask him what he's looking at, and Herman responds "The people watching at home, of course!"
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • Super Mario RPG: Dodo will glance out at the player several times during his appearances, mostly when he's confused, annoyed, or feeling especially put upon.
    • Super Paper Mario: Luvbi shoots an exasperated look at the "camera" whenever she is bored or unimpressed.
    • Mario Party (the first one): On the Rainbow Castle board, when Bowser sells you the useless black star for 40 coins, the character turns around and looks into the camera. As expressed in this video. Mario's expression just says "Can you believe this shit?".
    • It also happens in Luigi's Engine Room, when Bowser activates his "Make As Many Coins As You Want Mecha" to create a coin for the player (at the cost of 20 coins).
    • In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Yoshi looks at the player wide-eyed when Kamek shrinks him down so Prince Froggy can eat him.
  • During the first dinner scene in Deadly Premonition, York looks straight into the camera while talking to his split personality Zach. The fourth wall has a hard time in this game.
  • During the intro to the fight with Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. While said boss is flaunting his impressive psychic abilities, he boasts the ability to move things with his mind and offers to demonstrate. He then tells the player to put the controller on the ground. The camera suddenly shifts to a side-view of Snake, who turns to the camera and nods, gun still trained completely on Mantis.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
    • Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, as the villain escapes the area they just arrived in:
      Ratchet: We're late again.
      Clank: We always seem to be a bit late. Why is that?
      (both look at the camera with puzzled expressions)
    • In both the first and second games, Ratchet will turn his head to look at the player questioningly if he hasn't moved recently, even while firing a weapon. The interval can be disconcertingly short.
  • The intro to Lemmings 2: The Tribes ends with the elder telling the little lemming that the tribes will have help from "the ones who saved us before", whereupon they both turn their heads towards the screen and look directly at you.
  • The Bard from the 2004 version of The Bard's Tale does this in several cut scenes, even talking back to the narrator.
  • This is the default stance the Turtles have in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game for the NES, which is a bit annoying as they are constantly staring at you whenever they are standing still. They would do this in the actual arcade game, too. Though at least there the Turtles would face forward for a second or two and then look at the player as if saying, "Still there?"
  • The Sims:
    • Characters in The Sims 2 often channel this trope: they will occasionally just glance up at you, the player, positioned in the sky looking down upon them. This is particularly amusing when you pause while they are doing this, making them freeze staring at that spot in the sky, move the camera elsewhere, and then unpause to watch them shift their gaze to the camera's new position.
    • With the University Expansion pack, you could tell any sim to look at you and smile on demand for photos. You could even have them pose in various ways while looking at you.
  • During a created wrestler's Road to Wrestlemania in Smackdown Vs. Raw 2010, Santino Marella does this and winks at the player after commenting that the created wrestler "looks like something some loser would make in a video game."
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect, Liara gives a warm one when Shepard refuses to hand her over to a Krogan mercenary.
    • Mass Effect 3:
      • Joker looks at the camera when making the "Russian National Anthem" comment after engaging the stealth drive, in case you missed the Shout-Out to The Hunt for Red October.
      • Shepard gives a bewildered one in the Citadel DLC when Grunt and Wrex start Shepard-ing at them.
  • Kirby Super Star and its remake, Super Star Ultra, does this during the tutorial. When the tutorial narration describes Kirby as "a pretty jolly guy," he looks at the screen with a raised eyebrow. His expression tells the whole story.
  • Used in a rather Looney Toons way in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow in a couple of places where Alexander can fall off cliffs. Instead of immediately falling, he stands in the air, looks at the player, and waves before falling to his death. In a similar scene where the fall is not fatal, he can be heard to yell "Hey, quit making me fall!". This is more of a generic fourth wall break, however.
  • Quite a bit of Star Trek: Borg might fall into this trope, but it's mostly justified since the player is seeing things entirely from the perspective of a character. Some of Q's reactions to "you" that the rest of the characters don't pick up on definitely count, however.
  • Used by the title character in Voodoo Vince, during his first meeting with Cosmo the Inscrutable — in response to the latter's Evil Laugh.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • At the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, once Link has been turned into a Deku Scrub and Tatl "apologizes" he looks at the camera and shrugs helplessly.
    • Link's Twilight Princess incarnation also glances in your direction if you leave him standing in one place long enough. Presumably to check you're still there.
  • Donkey Kong does this in Donkey Kong Country Returns when Kalimba, a Tiki chief, tries and fails to hypnotize him.
  • In Spyro: A Hero's Tail, Ember asks Spyro if the dark gem next to her would make a nice engagement ring, flirting with him. Spyro gives an Oh, Crap! look directly to the camera in response.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • The smiling Character Portrait of both protagonists of Devil Survivor and its sequel double as this, as if to tell player, "Nice choice!"
  • In Ghost Trick, if you ever get caught by "Bad Sissel", a.k.a. Yomiel, they react by freezing time, and then turning and looking directly at the camera. They then promptly tell you that you can't stop them, and cause an instant game over. It's somehow very unsettling and creepy.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade by Vanillaware has the protagonists appear to give these glances periodically whenever they run for a period of time, but this can be interpreted as them looking out for enemies, who pop up out of nowhere when encountered (barring the locations where they're already in place on the map). More to the point, in an odd fashion, the extremely busty Kongiku randomly gives an Aside Glance and sways her body (which also jiggles her breasts) for no apparent reason whenever she's idle.
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma gives us Hakumen - or should we say, Pakumen - after Amane's Astral Heat. After the sudden transformation, he turns to face the camera as if to say "What the eff?!" about what just transpired.
  • In the supplemental video "Meet the Medic" for Team Fortress 2, the Heavy can be seen directing some concerned glances toward the camera.
  • In the opening cutscene for "The Long Stretch" in Grand Theft Auto V, Franklin has already been in an awkward situation, what with walking in on his aunt Denise and her friends in the middle of some intense, um, vagina clenching exercises. But then when he opens the front door to leave, only to see Lamar and Stretch coming to see him, he looks back to the camera with this irritated "Oh God... could this get any worse?" expression.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, after Cloud's hallucination, fainting and subsequent encounter with Mukki in the "&$#% Room", he finishes the cutscene by turning towards the camera and shrugging.
  • It's a bit of a Running Gag in the Dragon Age series, thus far happening Once an Episode.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, in the village of Lothering, the Warden must persuade a priestess to give them the key to another character's prison. This is more easily accomplished if the Warden first recruits Leliana (who is in the same village), as she vouches for the Warden. When the priestess agrees, Leliana tells her in a reassuring voice that she will have no cause to regret doing this. As she finishes the statement, she outright glares at the camera.
    • In Dragon Age II, Hawke can ask returning character Bodahn about his adventures with the previous game's protagonist. He turns and gives his praise of the Warden directly to the camera.
    • Leliana does it again in Dragon Age: Inquisition when arguing with Chancellor Roderick. She reminds him that she and Cassandra "serve the Most Holy," then turns to the camera while adding, "As you well know." It's an interesting example, given that this is something that the player does not necessarily know about the two women.
  • Carol of Freedom Planet gives a "blegh!" face to the camera while Milla plays with Lilac's hair.
  • At the end of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, specifically the Blood and Wine Expansion, in the final scene Geralt can comment on the long road he (and by extension, the player) took to get to this point. He then contemplates the fact that he deserves a rest, then gives the camera a warm, if tired look, acknowledging everything you've done to get him there. Especially heartwarming if you powered through the whole series start to finish rather than starting with the third game, and experienced as much of the side content as you could.
  • Splatoon 2: During the results for the "Chicken vs Egg" Splatfest, Marina replies to one of Pearl's comments with "It's funny because we're all living in a simulation and free will is a lie." Marina and Pearl then blankly stare at the screen. In the context of their news Show Within a Show, it could also count as them staring at the in-series viewers after saying such an existential thing.
  • In the Magical Quest series, this happens whenever Mickey, Minnie, and Donald are in water. If they're not swimming, their Idle Animation has them turn to the player with a worried expression, as if to say "Please don't let me drown".
  • The normal battle victory screen in Persona 5 has one of Joker's teammates mugging for the camera. Said screen features the Phantom Thieves Of Hearts "fleeing the scene", it could thematically be taken as a parting shot at the security they just defeated.
  • Ibuki and Julia Chang do this in Street Fighter X Tekken. Ibuki doing this in her unique introduction alongside Rolento and Julia in her team's side of the cutscene against Zangief and Rufus even saying "oh brother".
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon features a sidequest that opens with Ichiban running into an English-speaking foreigner, with no idea what he's saying. In the game's English dub, after Ichi realizes it's English, he turns to the camera, nods, and gives a thumbs up. Acknowledging that this is pretty silly. This moment does not happen in the Japanese voice track.

    Web Animation 
  • Brackenwood: In "Littlefoot", the spider gives a sardonic glance at the audience after Bitey freaks out when a leaf falls on him.
  • Neurotically Yours: In "Jiggly Butt", Germaine asserts that she doesn't have to stop shaking her rear because nobody can see her. Foamy glances knowingly at the audience.
  • Zero Punctuation: The characters will stop and look at the fourth wall if Yatzee says something particularly odd. The Guitar Hero review is probably the best example.
  • Since Handy from Happy Tree Friends lacks hands, he does an annoyed glare into the camera whenever he has to do something that requires hands.
  • In RWBY Episode 7, Volume 2, Lie Ren delivers one regarding Nora Valkyrie's comment about Jaune asking Pyrrha to a dance.
  • Hotdiggetydemon tends to do this a lot in his animations. For example, in Fazbear & Friends, Foxy does this twice in the space of a minute.
  • In Daria Cohen's The Vampair Series, Duke regularly gives these. This and other details hint that he has fourth wall awareness. For instance, in Land of the Dead, he’s apparently singing directly to the audience the whole time.
  • FreedomToons: At the end of "Leftism: Then vs. Now", after all of Seamus' worries about the left that seemed irrational at first have come true eight years later, Julie asks him to trust her when she assures him that political correctness has nothing at all to do with censoring people whose opinions she doesn't like. Seamus just gives the camera an angry look.
  • Sonic Stopmotion Adventures: Sonic and Shadow do this after Shadow asks Sonic if he thinks they are in a stopmotion video in the remake of the first episode.
  • Inanimate Insanity Invitational: When The Floor asks MePhone if the contestants aren't going to watched over for safety reasons, MePhone assures him that they're always being watched over because they're on a reality show, with MePhone glancing at the camera afterwards.
  • Sonic for Hire: When Tails tells Sonic about the existence of Sonic Mania, Sonic tells him that's a dumb name, and suggests the name Hedgehog Mania. Tails then tells Sonic "Replacing Sonic with Hedgehog? That's a dogshit idea." Sonic and Tails then stare at the camera.note 


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


  • Hanna-Barbera examples:
    • Jonny Quest TOS episodes.
      • "Arctic Splashdown". Bandit the dog looks into the camera and winks at the audience.
      • "The Dragons of Ashida". One of the title dragons at the end of the episode.
      • "The Curse of Anubis". Bandit just looks into the camera.
      • "Monster in the Monastery". Bandit again.
    • Space Ghost
      • Blip the monkey gives the audience one at the end of the episodes "The Drone", "Glasstor" and "The Sorcerer".
      • In "The Lizard Slavers", while Jace is telling Jan about the title creatures one of them turns its head and smiles at the camera as if it were pleased that Jan was talking about it.
    • The Galaxy Trio. At the end of the episode "The Eye of Time", Meteor Man looked into the camera and winked at the audience.
    • Mighty Mightor. Little Rock's bird pet Ork sometimes gives one to the audience when Little Rock did something stupid.
    • Super Friends 1973/74 season
      • Wonder Dog does it on a regular basis, usually when Marvin says something stupid. He did it several times in "The Power Pirate" when Marvin made stupid puns and at the end of "The Weather Maker" when Wendy and Marvin did an "Everybody Laughs" Ending.
      • In "The Power Pirate", Marvin tries to impress Wendy and Wonder Dog with his fake British accent. When he fails, he turns to the camera and shrugs.
      • At the end of "The Planet Splitter", Wendy and Marvin take away Wonder Dog's steak bone (he's on a diet) and leave. Wonder Dog pulls out another steak bone, takes a bite out of it and winks at the audience.
      • In "Too Hot To Handle" the alien agent Kobar does this after Wonder Woman delivers an iceberg to Dairyland (a farm area in the heart of America). He's a little smug because he's responsible for the heat wave that required Wonder Woman to obtain the iceberg in the first place.
    • Reddy does this in the Ruff And Reddy story arc "The Treasure Of Skipper Kipper" when Ruff explains that the voice calling for help can help them get off the island on which they're stranded.


  • In the 3-2-1 Penguins! episode "Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn", Jason does one after Zidgel says, "When I was your size, I was twice your size!"
  • Adventure Time: You have to be concentrating, but in "Vault of Bones" Flame Princess does one of these when Finn is telling a skeleton to Do the Splits.
  • American Dad! makes use of this in a particular episode where Roger encounters a very blonde girl. Almost every other line she has provoked this response.
  • Animaniacs
    • In the episode "Hello, Nice Warners", the Warner siblings pull a simultaneous aside glance after a Jerry Lewis caricature says something ridiculous. Deconstructed when the character then asks them what they were looking at, and Wakko responds, "The people watching on TV!" Dr. Director puts his face close to the TV to say "hello". But he doesn't see anyone. Of course, this was just a distraction.
    • Another example is with the Slappy the Squirrel being very Medium Aware in her first short.
      Slappy: Oh, don't worry, kid. I've faced off against Doug the Dog before, I know all of his tricks. Haven't you watched my old cartoons? I've beaten him a thousand times.
      Skippy: But those were just cartoons! This is real life!
      Slappy: (looks dryly at camera) Don't tell him, he might crack.
    • Try and find an episode of Animaniacs where they didn't.
      Dot: I found Prince!
      Wakko: No, no. Fingerprints!
      Dot: (knowingly looking at the camera) I don't think so.
  • The Joker did this several times in Batman: The Animated Series. His breaking of the fourth wall was subtly treated as part of his characteristic insanity and also included such examples as occasionally whistling his own theme music.
  • In The Beatles cartoon "Anytime At All", the boys are at a French museum exhibit of the Three Musketeers. As the curator tells the crowd about the Musketeers' derring-do and rescuing maidens in distress, John turns to the camera and does an Eyebrow Waggle.
  • Ben 10: One episode features Ben and cousin Gwen trapped in a video game and have to reach level 15 to get out.
    Grandpa Max: Please tell me I'm in one of those hidden camera shows...
  • At the end of the PBS animated version of "Double Dare" from The Berenstain Bears, when Mama Bear asks Brother Bear if getting Sister Bear's jump rope back from Too-Tall and his gang was really as easy as simply asking him for it, he admits "Well, it wasn't really that easy," then tosses a wink at the audience regarding the hijinks he went through in the story.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: In the old Goofy cartoons, especially the "How to" shorts, Goofy spends a great deal nodding, winking, smiling, gesturing, and staring in confusion at the viewer and/or invisible narrator. And to quote Art Babbit, "When something stupid befalls him, he mugs the camera like an amateur actor with relatives in the audience, trying to cover up his accident by making faces and signaling to them."
  • Code Lyoko
    • Odd winks once or twice directly at the "camera" while in Lyoko — notably in the episode "Nobody in Particular", after devirtualizing Ulrich's body.
    • The last episode of the animated series has the characters waving goodbye at the audience.
    • "The Pretender" had an Aside Glance combined with a Fourth Wall Psych with Aelita. She was winking at Ulrich, but she winked into the "camera" on Lyoko.
  • Danger Mouse has been known to do this after a bad Penfold joke.
    DM: Out of the mouths of clots and half-wits...
  • As does Danny Phantom. Coupled with its frequent usage of Sounding It Out, at times it almost seemed as though Danny was conversing with the viewer, without any fourth wall breakage.
    • In My Brother's Keeper, Danny notices us after Jazz kisses his head. He then promptly becomes grossed out.
  • In one episode of Drawn Together, Toot unleashes an epic "A-Duh!" lasting several seconds, involving spit and protruding teeth. In the middle of it, she looks directly at the camera for a second.
  • Family Guy tends to do this a lot. Usually after Peter has just pointed out something using his Medium Awareness.
    Peter: And since you're black and I'm white, that makes it more a-special for the audience! (aside glance)
  • Fantastic Voyage episode "Revenge of the Spy". When Lisette Clochard shows up, she and Jonathan Kidd start flirting with each other. Doctor Erica Lane (who has a crush on Kidd) turns and gives the camera an annoyed look.
  • Many Grizzy & the Lemmings episodes have Grizzy and/or the Lemmings give a look to the audience as they suffer a Downer Ending.
  • One episode of Johnny Test featured Johnny and Dukey stuck inside a Steve McQueen movie, or its closest in-universe equivalent. At one point, about when they learn the main character is going to drive a car off a cliff, Dukey says, "Why couldn't you just have watched cartoons like a normal kid?" Both then turn to look at the camera.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Mr. Cat does this fairly often, usually after someone around him does something idiotic.
    • In one episode, Pretty does this to the audience after she and Stumpy become victims of an internet scam and are sent a toilet instead of the promised reward.
    • In Episode 105, Mr. Cat has an Imagine Spot of himself being massaged by numerous clones of Kaeloo. The real Kaeloo, standing right next to him, looks at the camera with an annoyed expression since all she sees is Mr. Cat blushing and drooling.
  • Every episode of Little Bill ends with the titular kindergartner in bed discussing his experiences in both segments of the episode to the audience right before one of his family members asks him who he's talking to.
  • Lolita Lolita: In "Museum", when an old guy in the museum sees Lolita imitating poses of characters in various artworks, he gets an idea and looks to the audience. The second time he does this is when his latest picture doesn't get the reaction he expected from her (she [[Blowing a Raspberry blew a raspberry at it).
  • Turned up often in Looney Tunes cartoons and other animated shorts. Pretty much a trademark of Chuck Jones' work.
  • In the Nelvana cartoon of Martin the Warrior, the searats give a rather creeped-out look to the camera when Clogg starts gushing about how awesome his "new friend" (actually a spy for the good guys) is. May be either because they're weirded out by "Tibbar the magic rabbit" or perhaps even the characters can spot the Ho Yay
  • Mega Man: Proto Man turns to the camera and mutters, "Boy, what's the world coming to when you can't trust your own brother?" after Mega Man tricks him and his cohorts in "Bot Transfer". That episode came before "Bro Bots", mind you.
  • In the dream sequence of the Bakshi Mighty Mouse episode "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy", our hero (doing a Ralph Kramden) looks at us in silent ire as the Cow (doing Ed Norton) meticulously prepares, bakes and eats a rotten potato.
  • Mr. Magoo does this in "Hotsy Footsy". Magoo thinks he is at a college reunion dance, but he has walked through the exit door, through a back alley, and is in a gym where wrestler Francis the Terrible is taking on all comers! Magoo sees the long line of wrestlers being carried off after being injured, turns to the screen and whispers "loaded!"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • In "Applebuck Season", after the sleep-deprived Applejack falls asleep in the middle of accepting her trophy for saving the town from a stampede, Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie both look at the camera with baffled expressions on their faces.
    • Twilight gives one in the vein of Jon Arbuckle in "Boast Busters" when Spike slams a door conjured in the middle of a room.
    • Pinkie Pie has a somewhat exaggerated reputation for this. She gives an aside glance at the end of "Bridle Gossip" (though Word of God says it was unintentional), and one after sending off a picnic basket full of balloons in "Lesson Zero" (though she could also be said to be looking at Fluttershy).
    • Pinkie Pie and Rarity give a shared aside glance in "Putting Your Hoof Down", after Iron Will introduces himself like he's giving one of his motivational lectures.
      • Which might instead be Audience? What Audience?. Pinkie Pie and Rarity look more than a little confused as if wondering "Who are you talking to?"
    • Fluttershy gives one in "A Bird in the Hoof" adding "Always works." Obvious considering there is no one else in the room at the time.
    • In "Wonderbolts Academy", Pinkie Pie rambles on how Rainbow Dash has forgotten about her friends, to which Applejack gives the audience a "Yes, this is happening" side glance.
    • In "Simple Ways" Rarity complains that Spike cannot possibly understand the feeling of being in love with a pony who loves someone else. Spike disagrees.
  • Filmation's 1960s The New Adventures of Superman. Superman and Superboy turned and looked at the camera (usually winking as well) at the end of almost every episode.
  • P.C. Pinkerton: Pinkerton makes one of these at the end of "See You In The Morning".
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • Perry the Platypus frequently does this after hearing the explanation of Dr. Doofensmirtz's more petty or inane schemes.
    • Other characters pull this off from time to time, including Doofensmirtz himself in "Out of Toon". After his dancing ray hits both him and Perry the Platypus, causing the two to compulsively dance together, he glances at the camera with the remark "And to add insult to injury, the platypus is leading."
    • From "Cheer Up Candace":
    Phineas: Candace has a great sense of humor! Remember that time she got her face stuck in the sink?
    Isabella: (aside glance)
    • Perry gave the audience one when Dr. Doofenshmirtz unveils his latest plan to flood Danville and charge people ridiculous sums of money for the only form of transportation that he himself invented: the B.O.-A.T., which looks (and functions) exactly like a boat. Perry, despite being a Silent Snarker, seems to say to the audience "Leave it to Doofenshmirtz to 'invent' something that already exists!"
  • In the opening sequence of Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, as Pinky claps along with Elmyra's antics, the Brain gives a very un-amused look at the camera.
  • At the end of the Punky Brewster episode "The Bermuda Tangle", Punky winks to the audience.
  • In the Darker and Edgier (not to mention much better animated) Season 3 of ReBoot, Dot and Enzo are trapped in a graveyard in a First-Person Shooter while the player (looking exactly like Ash from Evil Dead 2) slaughters Binomes off camera playing the roles of zombies. They wince at the carnage, and Dot cries out "What kind of sick monster would want to play a game like this?" Both then turn and glare at the camera.
  • This happens with relative frequency in The Replacements, which loves subverting this trope (generally by having a cut reveal someone standing in the "camera" spot the characters were looking at).
    • In the middle of one episode, Sheldon essentially summarizes everything that had happened thus far in the episode, after which he looks directly at the fourth wall and says "What do YOOUUU think [will happen]?" Cut to Buzz, who is standing right in front of him.
  • Rugrats gives us a rather hilarious example during "The Trial" with this exchange between Angelica and the twins as she tries her role as prosecutor:
    Angelica: Do you swear to tell ruth, all ruth, and nothing but ruth so help you Bob?
    (Phil and Lil look at each other confused)
    Angelica: (whispering) Just say you do.
    Phil and Lil: You do.
    (Angelica casts Aside Glance directly at the camera)
  • Samurai Jack does this a few times when he is so perplexed that a simple confused stare wouldn't be enough.
  • Sealab 2021
    • In "Happy Bake Oven", Marco does a very obvious aside glance to the audience when Captain Murphy says he can't see the squid on the radar.
    • The mouse controlling Captain Murphy's body actually gives a quick wave to the audience in "I, Robot (Really)".
  • Used occasionally on The Simpsons.
    • On one episode, when Smithers catches on fire he calls out, "Help me Mr. Burns, I'm flaming!" Burns looks at the viewer and shakes his head with a "My, my" expression.
    • In "Pygmoelian", after Carl fails at cheering Moe up, and ends up making the rest of the people at "Moe's Bar" depressed, he looks directly at the camera and says "See, this I why I don't talk much."
    • Made fun of in the first of the two-part episode when Burns is shot. Doctor Hibbert says "I can't figure this out! Can... you?" and points right at the "camera", holding the pose for a few seconds before the view switches and you see he was really pointing at Chief Wiggum (who could have been behind the viewers' point of view, or it would have even been Wiggum's point of view before the view-shift).
    • They recycled it for their The Da Vinci Code parody: We come out of a commercial with Lisa basically saying "Have you figured it out yet?" and then revealing she was talking to Milhouse.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, after Spider-Man repeats verbatim dialogue that the Green Goblin has just heard from Tombstone, Goblin briefly turns to the camera and quips "Anyone else getting déjà vu? Oh well, let's run with it."
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • In "Pressure" when Sandy dares SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs and Squidward to go on dry land and they encounter a seagull. When SpongeBob asks if it knows Sandy, it turns to the camera.
    • In the episode "Missing Identity", SpongeBob tells some fish in a diner the story of how he lost his identity (to be exact, his name tag, which was on his shirt the whole time, but he was wearing it backward). Over the course of the episode, he does two of these glances, except he makes them particularly drawn-out, slowly turning and staring straight at the camera. The first is in response to one of Patrick's moments of incredible ignorance, and the second comes after the waitress in the diner says she's borrowing someone else's name tag. Both are Shout Outs to Jack Benny. The hand on the cheek is a trademark of Benny's.
    • Another one crops up in "I'm With Stupid".
    • In "Clams", Squidward looks right at the camera while Mr. Krabs is yelling at Spongebob to reel his millionth dollar in.
    • In "A Pal For Gary", Gary gives a very annoyed one to the camera after being scolded one last time for chasing Puffy Fluffy away despite saving SpongeBob's life. He gives another one after SpongeBob brings him to work with him.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "The Bad Batch", Sergeant Hunter's reaction when Tech interrupts him to explain that the Yalbec males Hunter had just been telling Commander Cody were trying to eat them were actually trying to mate with them is an aside glance coupled with an amused and exasperated facial expression.
  • Steven Universe: In "Buddy's Book", Rose Quartz tells Buddy Buddwick how each book is a new experience for each reader and briefly glances into the camera. Buddy looks into the direction of the audience, wondering what she's looking at.
  • The Once an Episode ending of the Superman Theatrical Cartoons was Superman giving a wink at the audience.
  • In Young Justice, the Joker looks at the camera and says, "Admit it: you can't turn away," when the Injustice League is introduced.
    • Later on, he does the glance after saying "Inconceivable! Unacceptable! Retributionable!" Cupping his hand around his mouth like he's whispering in the camera's ear, he adds, "That last one might not be a word. So sue me."
    • Keep an eye on Wally in the background of the penultimate scene of "Bloodlines." When Impulse delivers his "Gotta run" pun, Barry smiles, Jay Face Palms with his tin hat, and Wally just turns this exasperated "Look at what I have to deal with" face towards the camera.


  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Both the Grinch and his dog Max both do this multiple times during the episode. (Not a surprise since this was made by the aforementioned Chuck Jones.)
  • Lampshaded to hell and back in Turtles Forever, where 1987 Raphael does this all the time — to the utter confusion of everyone who isn't from his reality. At one point, the 2003 Dragon Hun has had just about enough:
    Raph: (to camera) Some people just can't handle change.
    Hun: (follows his gaze) Why do you keep doing that? Who are you talking to?! There's no-one there!

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Staring At The Fourth Wall


Fritz the Cat

While his girlfriend gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Fritz rolls his eyes, gives an Aside Glance, and makes a "talking too much" gesture with a smirk.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / AsideGlance

Media sources: