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Interactive Narrator

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Tigger: Say, who are you?
Narrator: I'm the narrator.
Tigger: Oh, well, please, for goodness' sakes—narrate me down from here!

In most series, the Narrator rests comfortably beyond the Fourth Wall, able to tell their story in peace.

The Interactive Narrator isn't so lucky. While this type of narrator exists "off-camera", the characters of the story are fully aware of their narration and are able to interact with them. Author Powers are also not uncommon among these narrators, allowing them to change the entire setting and plot at will.

Hilarity Ensues if the narrator in question is particularly snarky or critical of the characters' actions. This often results in the narrator arguing with the characters like a sort of Dungeon Master. This extends to comedic examples of disgruntled villains attacking or abducting the narrator and attempting to take their place in order to make life miserable for the heroes.

This is a subtrope of Medium Awareness.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Amagami SS has a narrator in its third arcnote  that the characters sometimes respond to.
  • Due to the show's No Fourth Wall, the Narrator of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo regularly interacts with the cast. They often get on each other's nerves, such as when the Narrator messes up recaps.note 
  • Code Geass has an example of this in one of its Picture Dramas, where Kallen can apparently hear the narrator and starts arguing with him ("What Kallen really wanted was for Lelouch to praise her." "Don't put your words in my mouth! Who the hell ARE you?!") It turns out that the narrator is Jeremiah, and Kallen is obviously none too happy about having a narrator beholden to another character.
  • In the Funimation dub of Dragon Ball Super, the narrator in the Recap Episode angrily quits after Goku keeps interrupting him.
  • In the first part of the Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics episode "Puss in Boots", the narrator lists everything that the miller's three sons received from him after he died. When the narrator says that the youngest son Max was left with the family cat, Max lets out a big "WHAT?", and the narrator talks to Max about what his father's will has specified.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya's chronologically-first episode features one of these. It turns out to have been just Kyon being Kyon.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler's narrator is interactive, both arguing with the main characters and at one point being pinned as the culprit during the Murder Mystery episode.
    • Not quite as surreal in the manga, but the narration boxes appear often in the early chapters and are yelled at by the characters for unflattering descriptions, annoy characters by comically oversimplifying their thoughts or motives, and was even threatened physically by Hinagiku once (when the source of the narration apparently occupied a nearby clock) and once changed Maria's description mid-panel as Maria was holding a rather large kitchen knife at the time.
    • The narration boxes in general have been used less as the series has gone on, but typically pop up again when the story focuses on Hayate and/or Hinagiku, who are among the few characters that still interact with the boxes.
  • The narrator of Negima!? (second season) (the second Negima anime) often talks with the cast.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Kou, the little bat who serves as Kokoa's Living Morph Weapon, was put into this role for the anime series. In the first season, he simply serves to make quips at the characters and tell the audience how long it took for Inner Moka to beat up the bad guys, but the interactive part comes into play in Capu2, when Kokoa is introduced; when he reveals his allegiance with Kokoa, Kurumu is surprised ("All along, I thought he was just the narrator for the show!").
  • The narrator in Samurai Pizza Cats would break the Fourth Wall with the characters and engage in Lampshade Hanging with them. He even had his family kidnapped by the Big Cheese, as part of a plan to finally defeat the cats. The same show once decimated the concept by having the narrator "accidentally" read the lines of the wrong episode. Its source material Kyatto Ninden Teyandee didn't do this quite as often, though examples do exist; in one episode Usa-hime got irritated enough at the narrator to send him to the prison island, complete with super-imposed photos of his voice actor's face appearing on-screen as he's carted off.
  • Sgt. Frog:
    • The Narrator often gets yelled at, threatened, or outright attacked by the characters in the show for revealing their inner thoughts or reading an unflattering description of them. In episode 31, Keroro gets stranded in the middle of nowhere after his new hover-bike conks out, and he passes the time by trying to strike up a conversation with him, only for things to turn awkward when the two have no common interests.
    • The English dub will sometimes play this by having the narrator interact, not with the character, but the subtitles. On at least one occasion, the Narrator and "Mr. Caption" have gotten into a spat, and the barbs started flying like an empty keg at a frat party.
      Caption: The Narrator sucks!
      Narrator: Here's a caption - Bite me!
  • Space☆Dandy has a narrator who, while usually serving as a Lemony Narrator, does occasionally interact with the cast. Most notably, when the main characters end up stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop for 188 days straight and are nowhere close to getting out of it, the narrator gets fed up with their incompetence and simply tells them what's happened and orders them to move the plot along. In the final episode, it turns out the narrator is God.
  • GO-GO Tamagotchi! has a narrator who will occasionally talk to the main characters, mostly Mametchi.

    Audio Plays 
  • In The New Albion Radio Hour, this is a major plot point, Constance, at one point asking "Wasn't there a... a radio broadcast?" before being subdued by the narrator, Lloyd Allen, and Lloyd, in the third act, trying to prevent his characters from changing the narrative, from changing the way the story plays out.
    Jackie: You can't do that! You're not the story, you're just the bloody narrator!
    Lloyd: Watch and learn, Jackie.
  • In the Dutch audioplay series Ome Henk, the narrator frequently gets into arguments with the characters when either he thinks the story is getting nowhere or when the characters themselves disagree with his narrations.

    Card Games 
  • Steve Jackson's game Munchkin plays with this trope a little. The cards themselves can be understood to tell a loose story — for example, a character may be a Feline Bounty Hunter locked in combat with Cthulhu wielding a Laser-Maser-BoBaser (play it once and you'll understand). The "narrators" (players) are encouraged to argue and debate anything not explicitly stated on the cards, with the ultimate authority resting with the game's owner.

    Comic Books 
  • In one of Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming's Ambush Bug stories, the story's villain plans, after attacking the heroes, to go after the narrator for an egregious pun.
  • Uatu the Watcher frequently narrates Marvel Comics Else World stories, most notably the "What If?" series. Usually he remains aloof from the events (as is his preference), though occasionally an Alternate Universe version of him becomes involved. In Earth X, however, we're led to believe that he and protege X-51 will narrate the entire story from the moon—but X-51 refuses to stay uninvolved, and soon other characters begin showing up to hassle the Watcher. Similar events occur in the sequels Universe X and Paradise X, feature different narrators.
  • The Babymouse graphic novels have this kind of narrator, with Babymouse often telling the narrator to shut up when it makes keen observations on her life.
  • In Warren Ellis' Supergod, a character who possesses the power of quantum perception is able to perceive the narration accompanying his panels, and comments on it. The Narrator himself, a character recounting the story at a later date, has no idea that this is happening.
  • Seconds has an unseen narrator who narrates Kate's life, though Kate argues with it throughout the story like it's a real person. It's implied to be Kate's conscience.
  • In Young Avengers, the narration box finds out the hard way that it's an interactive narrator when Mother notices it and eats it.
  • Scooby-Doo! Team-Up: The story "Perils Before Swine" is a crossover with The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and the narrator from that cartoon remains as interactive as ever. It's implied he's only interactive with the Penelope characters as Scooby Doo character Velma once asks Sylvester Sneekly who he's talking to.
  • In Muppets Robin Hood, it transpires that everyone can hear the narrative captions, although Willia Scarlet (Janice) thought it was just a voice in her head. They track him down for help in saving Robin, but he says he can't change the story and makes a run for it. At which point the editors of the comic apologise that they don't seem to have a script for the rest of the issue. Eventually, things get back on track.

    Comic Strips 
  • The newspaper comic strip Overboard often portrays the writer/narrator as a man sitting in front of a drawing board in one of the rooms of the ship. The characters will occasionally wander in and talk to or threaten him in an attempt to change the plot.
  • The 80's comic strip Bloom County which frequently broke the 4th wall, had an interactive narrator that would at times squabble with the characters (especially Opus, who usually had his ugly truths revealed by the narrator). One sterling example was in a storyline when the characters went on strike. Steve Dallas is the only one to remain, and the rest of the cast has been replaced with scabs. Steve is about to start a scene with the hot blonde they've gotten to replace Bill the Cat.
    Steve Dallas: [pretending to be reading from the script] Act I, Panel 1: Bill the Cat gives Steve a Swedish coconut-oil massage.
    Scab: A massage? Are you quite sure?
    Steve Dallas: If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'.
    Narrator: He's lyin'.
    Scab: I quit.
    Steve Dallas: (shaking fist at air) *-#!!$% UNION NARRATOR!!
    • In fact, during the final arc of the original series, he makes a joke at Opus' expense, and Opus angrily remarks, "I'm not gonna miss that guy!"
  • Cartoonist Bruce Tinsley frequently interacts with the title character of Mallard Fillmore, appearing as a giant set of fingers holding a pencil above the panel.
  • In Pearls Before Swine, cartoonist Stephan Pastis frequently uses a Pun as a punchline. Whenever he does this, the last panel features one or more of his characters confronting him at his desk and insulting or threatening him.
  • One strip of Citizen Dog has a computer flying through space, the “Cybership Internet!”. Mel, Fergus and Cuddles are on the bridge, as the narrator says they will “boldly go where no one has gone before!”. The next panel has the three reading instruction manuals and trying to get the equipment working. The narrator repeats “And boldly going where no one has gone before!”, to which the three angrily look at the “camera” and say “We’re working on it!”.

    Fan Works 
  • Blixemi: The narrator of the "Know Your Clanmate" series talks directly to the cats, often getting into fights with them or poking fun at their insecurities while they try to defend themselves.
  • The Super Sentai fanfiction “Kijuu Sentai Qidenger” opens chapter 10 with a recap of the previous instalment, which asks who the Sixth Ranger is. Then the character of Mio talks back and points out that he’s already been introduced as Tanjo Takumi and tries to move onto the real focus of the chapter, to which the narrator threatens to make the fic with Rouge Angles of Satin or dialogue only with no context, purely out of spite. To demonstrate this, the writing changes to reflect his threats.
  • In one Star Trek: First Contact parody (written in a script format), the story's narrator was assimilated by the Borg halfway through. For a while, the story is then narrated by the Borg, before the Starfleet crew activate the Emergency Narration Hologram.
  • Surrogate of Zero:
    • Asuka's narration sits on both sides of the fourth wall—it's not only the non-dialogue text of the fic, Shinji hears at least some (if not all) of it in his head, and comments on it at least once.
    • Rei Ayanami tries to be this but is rebuffed by Asuka. However, the two of them do converse "behind the scenes" about certain issues.
  • Played with in Pinkie Tales, where only Pinkie herself regularly speaks to the narrator of the episode, though whether this is because she's actually the only one that can hear him/her or if the others can hear them, but are just staying in character isn't made completely clear.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts fanfic Those Lacking Spines, the narrator takes on two forms; as the actual writer of the literature (with a habit of torturing Vexen), and as in the slightly-crazy fan of one of the protagonists, namely, Xaldin.

    Films — Animation 
  • Protagonist Kuzco narrates the first half of The Emperor's New Groove in extremely snarky fashion, even complaining when other characters are given more screen time than him. When on-screen Kuzco finally begins to turn away from being a Jerkass, he tells narrator-Kuzco to shut up and go away. He does, and there is no narration in the second half of the film.
  • Winnie the Pooh's narrator talks with the characters at least once per story. The most extreme example of narrator-character interaction is "And Tigger too", when Tigger and Roo got stuck in a tree, so the narrator tips the book on its side to allow Tigger to slide down to safety (in the Disney version, all the action takes place inside a book, and includes other gags of this nature).
    • In the opening scene of The Tigger Movie, Tigger is upset at the title of the book usually used in the other Pooh Bear Adventures. The Narrator asks, "Well, what would you call it then?", to which Tigger rearranges the print on the page to form his own title.
    • In Springtime with Roo Mr Narrator goes full throttle with this to help Tigger unfold Yet Another Christmas Carol upon Rabbit, even taking the role of the three Ghosts later on. He even directs the characters to the pages they need to travel to.
    • Pooh's Grand Adventure, the darkest and most dramatic animated Pooh fiction to date, notably does not feature its' narrator David Warner interacting with the cast in a mild example of Shoo Out the Clowns.
  • Alan-a-Dale in Robin Hood (1973) is an unusual variation of this trope. He is seen at the beginning, and is drawn in a style that makes it very plausible for him to be just a character in the story. At first, he is just narrating the story, and throughout the first half, you don't really see him again, except for one scene where he helped Friar Tuck stop Sir Hiss from blowing Robin Hood's cover. Finally, when Prince John gets a Villainous Breakdown and locks up everyone in Nottingham in jail, the camera slowly zooms toward the jail, as Narrator Alan-a-Dale begins to narrate "All of Nottingham was in jail…"; finally we see him inside the jail: "Yup! I'm in here too." After that, he stops narrating at all and becomes an ally to Robin in the climactic battle, until the very end, where he narrates once more for a minute, albeit from inside the story instead of being invisible.
  • The Three Caballeros: The narrator from "The Flying Gauchito" segment frequently interacts with the cartoon, which is interesting because Gauchito is the narrator's younger self. One amusing segment has Gauchito alternating between being up a tree and atop a rock when the narrator can't remember which he climbed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The narrator comes awfully close to this, dancing with the rest of the cast. The stage version plays the trope straight.
  • In the Brendan Fraser live-action movie of George of the Jungle, the narrator is an active (and occasionally malignant) force. At one point, a Mook picks a fight with him over his insulting description of them, to which the narrator responds by rewinding the movie just to taunt him. (The mook's comrade then asks, "Were you just fighting with the narrator?" Followed by "Well, he started it." "Did not!" "Did too!") The sequel has the narrator reach in and pick up a villain who annoyed him, a Deus ex Machina resolution to a plotline.
  • "Charles Dickens" (actually Gonzo) is the narrator in The Muppet Christmas Carol, and is usually in or near the scene in question when it happens. Rizzo finds this a bit hard to believe, which leads to the following exchange outside Scrooge's house:
    Rizzo: How do you know what Scrooge is doing? We're down here and he's up there!
    "Dickens": I keep telling you, storytellers are omniscient. I know everything.
    Rizzo: (scoffs) Hoity-toity, Mr. God-Like Smarty Pants.
    "Dickens": (to the camera) To conduct a proper search, Scrooge was forced to light the lamps. (he turns to the window just as a light appears inside.)
    Rizzo: (to the camera) How does he do that?
  • The narrator in the filmed version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat isn't active enough for the characters' tastes—she'll wander right into the middle of the action, eating a drumstick and cheerfully ignoring the starving characters staring hungrily at it.
  • The Stranger in The Big Lebowski. Half-way through the movie, he turns up to meet The Dude and talks to him. At the end, he's there again and delivers the last monologue to the camera, in the bar, before ordering some Sarsaparilla.
  • The Mexican Christmas film Santa Claus (1959) features a scene where the Devil tries to tempt a poor girl into stealing a doll from a toy store. The narrator immediately says, "No, Lupita, don't listen to him!" This scene was prime joke fodder when this movie featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    Crow: Ah, the eternal conflict between evil and the narrator!
  • In Casino, Joe Pesci's onscreen character, who also functions as one of the offscreen narrators, is killed, abruptly ending the simultaneously happening speech of his narrator character in the middle of the sentence.
  • In The Smurfs, Narrator Smurf is an actual Smurf, and this is his job. The opening narration parodies this in Sorry, I Left the BGM On style by revealing that the voiceover is in fact Narrator talking over the rehearsal for the Blue Moon Festival.
  • King Dinosaur: The Mr. Exposition narrator abruptly starts intruding on the film, such as doing a fast countdown for a rocket ship.
    Servo: Whoa, whoa, whoa! So now the narrator is calling the shots?
  • The Hudsucker Proxy: Treads a fine line between this Trope and Narrator All Along.
    Now, technically, I'm never supposed to do this...
  • The live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas! features Anthony Hopkins as Narrator, at one point the Grinch implores him to keep his voice down, since he's in the middle of raiding a house. And he did.
  • Sort of inverted in Stranger Than Fiction. The protagonist Harold Crick is well aware of the narrator, though strangely, the narrator is oblivious to his awareness and to the fact that they both occupy the real world. Much of the movie is about the protagonist reacting to the narration, trying to figure out what's going on, and how to stop it before the supposed unwitting demise he's to suffer.
  • The Silence of the Hams: At one point, Jo corrects the narrator when he says that Jane stole —it was .
  • The entire gag of the short film The Gunfighter (2014). The unnamed gunfighter walks into a Western saloon, only to find a mysterious voice describing everything that's about to happen, such as an impending gunfight. When the gunfighter urges everyone not to listen to the voice because he has no intention of killing anyone, the narrator starts describing embarrassing secrets everyone in the bar is hiding until the gunfight breaks out anyway.
  • La Fiesta de Santa Barbara: In this 1935 short film Pete Smith narrates the eponymous festival in Santa Barbara. When Andy Devine (then a minor Hollywood star) appears onscreen, Pete Smith's narration introduces him. Devine says "Gosh, that sounds like Pete Smith's voice", and Devine banters with Smith's narration for a little bit.
  • Air Raid Wardens: This comedy opens with a narrator describing the setting and introducing the characters. They all turn and smile at the camera, except mean Mr. Norton who scowls.
  • Love at First Sight (2023): the Narrator played by Jameela Jamil appears throughout the film either interacting with Hadley and Oliver or by herself commenting on their love story to the audience. She meets the pair first as an air hostess and then continues to meet Hadley alone as a customs official, bus driver and a woman giving directions on the street. Hadley never notices it's the same woman she keeps running into all day.

  • Jack the Narrator from The Stinky Cheese Man And Other Fairly Stupid Tales. He argues with the Little Red Hen, he spoils the ending of "Little Red Running Shorts" (at which point the characters simply walk away, leaving blank pages where the story was supposed to happen), and he gets kidnapped by the Giant when he tries to tell "Jack and the Beanstalk".
  • In Simon Hawke's The Reluctant Sorcerer, the Big Bad is an archmage described as possessing extremely potent mystical senses. He promptly demonstrates this by demanding to know who the mysterious voice talking about him is. He goes on to have several arguments with the narrator, resulting in abrupt scene shifts, and in the last volume of the series, travels to the Narrator's dimension and buys out his publishing company in order to force him to change the ending of the book so that he wins!
  • Anthony Trollope used the omniscient observer voice. However, in one novel, he interacted with the characters slightly by declaring that he once caught one of the characters fibbing.
  • Applied In-Universe in the Tanya Grotter series (Three guesses what this lampshades. At the magical school, they have a game called "Drakonbol" (Dragonball, presumably no relation to Dragon Ball...), which involves dragons. There also is a commentator. When said commentator is injured, Bab-Jagun, one of the players becomes a resident "playing commentator". This wouldn't be so bad - except players are routinely eaten by said dragons. They don't usually devour said players, but you cannot comment on a play outside from there...
  • The Last Thrilling Wonder Story: Wolfe argues with his protagonist, punishes him for not following the plot, and realises at the end that the character has broken through the fourth wall and is coming for him.
  • In Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets, the narrator's vulgar description of Melvin Sneedly's transformation into a booger-covered behemoth is interrupted by George Beard, who shouts at the narrator that the description is making everyone sick.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Most Game Shows have the host interacting with the narrator, who's usually called an "announcer" instead. Oftentimes the game show narrators appear on-camera, and some become very well-known in their own right.
  • Teletubbies has the titular characters hear the narrator. Usually, they will refuse to do what he says.
  • This is a regular thing in The Basil Brush Show where the Narrator would have conversations with the characters
    Basil: [to audience] Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the most brilliant family entertainment spectacular!!!
    Voice Over Man: But first, the Basil Brush Show!
    Basil: A Ha Ha Ha Ha Boom Bo— Hang on, that's not funny!
  • Gossip Girl is a prime example. The characters on the show frequently use her to spread rumors and/or spin a situation in their favor.
  • The Danish series Jul på Vesterbro features a narrator who is constantly interrupted during his "On the Next" voiceovers, and whenever a new character is introduced the other characters have to explain the "strange voice". This is particularly weird as the narrator is explicitly stated to be an archaeologist from the future, who's deducing the story from the remains found in a smoking crater.
  • The narrator, Rod Serling, in The Twilight Zone (1959) wasn't usually noticed by the characters in the story; however, there were a few episodes where they interacted with him.
    • "A World of His Own" was about a playwright who could bring his characters to life by describing them onto an audio tape. When at the end Serling apologizes on-screen for the silliness of the plot, the playwright pulls out a tape labeled "Rod Serling", and tosses it into a fireplace. Serling fades away.
    • Anecdotes about the show state there was originally supposed to be more of this interaction but for Serling's extreme discomfort when interacting with anyone on-camera.
  • All That had a recurring sketch called "Know Your Stars," in which outrageous lies were presented as facts about one of the cast members. Most of the humor came from said cast member arguing with the narrator while trying to set the record straight.
  • Zig-zagged on MythBusters, where most of the time the hosts didn't react at all to the narrator (or call on the narrator to do anything), but occasionally they (Adam usually) will nitpick something the narrator just said, or else ask the narrator to say something.
    Adam: I reject your reality and substitute my own. (He eventually would put that quote on a T-shirt)
  • Amazing Animals starred Henry the Lizard talking to an unseen, unnamed narrator who explained to him everything about the animals the current episode deals with.

  • In the video for Poets of the Fall's "Daze," jester Hamartia is narrating the thoughts of an absconder from a Masquerade Ball, (which includes punctuating a particularly wishful lyric with a hard eyeroll) the twist being its his ball she's fled, and, as Orcus on His Throne, he's feeling jealous enough to retaliate.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Big Garage: The voiceover for the living tool segments is not only able to be heard by the tools, but can even somehow physically interact with them (such as by taking photos of them or repairing a ruler two of the Spanners had broken).
  • In The Muppet Show the casts of Pigs in Space and Veterinarian Hospital can hear the Announcer, and sometimes argue with him. They always act surprised when he speaks up, and at one point, they even blows him up, causing him to land in the scene, where it's revealed that he's a blue Whatnot.
  • In Toby Terrier and His Video Pals, the characters in the "Classics Theater" segments will often react and talk back to Bob when he chimes in at the end of the segments.

  • The 1966 BBC Radio version of The Hobbit features a narrator called the Tale Bearer, who frequently argues with Bilbo Baggins over story details. For instance:
    Tale Bearer: Hobbits are inclined to be fat in the stomach...
    Bilbo: (Clears throat) Well built, I think.
  • The 1950s BBC radio comedy The Goon Show subverted this constantly. The show's characters would constantly undercut nominal narrator Wallace Greenslade (a BBC announcer appearing under his real name), often narrating themselves or mocking Greenslade's "posh talk". One episode turned the tables and made Greenslade the central character, telling the story of his rise to BBC stardom. In the episode "The Phantom Head-Shaver Of Brighton" he kept telling us about a tobacco stall he'd just opened. It turned out he was the Phantom Head-Shaver, using the hair for stock. Normally a BBC radio announcer would only announce the show's title at the start and read the closing credits at the end. Given their anarchic style of comedy the Goons weren't about to let their narrator get off so lightly.
  • This also happened in another BBC radio comedy The Navy Lark at one point having the cast abandon the story to go look at the narrator's dirty calendar - his naughty Lillian Gish calendar. On another occasion they help the narrator find a 15 sided nut for his vacuum. Throughout the run, the narrator set up the story with a little monologue at the beginning. Later in the run, the characters would break in and either converse or argue with the narrator, or tell him to hurry up so they could get on with the show.
  • In the fan-made EarthBound (1994) radio play Fobbies Are Borange, the characters have a hostile relationship with the narrator. In the end, it turns out that the narrator was the Big Bad all along.
  • In the BBC's adaptation of Dead Souls, the narrator is actually following Chichikov around, telling the story as he goes. He is nearly constantly on Chichikov's nerves, since he is prone to giving unflattering descriptions or switching around what Chichikov is thinking and what he actually says aloud. At the end of the story, Chichikov is chased out of town by a bunch of very angry townspeople, and manages to leave the narrator behind as he flees.
  • There are a lot of examples of this in I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, done in various ways. On one occasion, for instance, David Hatch is introducing that week's episode of the serial and breaks off to comment on how bad the plot is, saying that it's just as believable as him saying that suddenly there was a huge explosion and [the cast] all disappeared in a puff of smoke. They promptly do just that, and once he's brought them back, John Cleese berates him for being power mad. Hatch proceeds to narrate a series of disasters culminating in Cleese landing in a vat of simmering tapioca pudding as an object lesson to everybody else.
    David Hatch: What's the matter?
    Graeme Garden: I'm not complaining.
  • Dragnet had a notable example in the episode 'The Big Ben.' Friday and his partner Ben Romero are on the trail of a pair of carjackers. One of them ambushes Joe right before the commercial break. Afterwards Ben takes over both the investigation and narrative duties. Friday does not appear again until the end when Ben visits him in the hospital.
  • Hancock's Half Hour: In the episode "The 13th of the Series", Tony Hancock decides he doesn't want to do this week's episode owing to his superstitions, so after the narrator's opening announcement he says there will be no episode this week. They then proceed to argue about whether or not there should be an episode.

  • The Rocky Horror Show. The Narrator often interacts with the cast, which is fair, since the audience always interacts with him and the cast.
  • The story of Into the Woods is told by a narrator. In the first act, the characters don't interact with him too much, though it is clear that they can hear him. Halfway through the second act, however, the fairy-tale characters start giving Aside Glances to the narrator as he describes the action in a frustratingly omniscient way, and they then decide to sacrifice the narrator to the Giantess in an attempt to convince her he was Jack. The characters' logic is that, as the narrator himself protests, he isn't "one of us." The other characters lament that without him, they'll never know how the story ends. Not coincidentally, this is where everything really spirals out of control.
  • Spamalot! features The Historian who begins the show with an expository speech culminating in "...this was England!" The curtain rises on pseudo-Scandinavian folk dancers singing the praises of Finland. He frustratedly states that he said "England", and the dancers shuffle off, with one of them even commenting that he should "enunciate better". He also sets the scene for Act II, where King Arthur and Patsy are lost in a Large and Expensive Forest. He does not get killed by Lancelot.
  • The Balladeer from Assassins frequently interacts with the villainous men whose ballads he sings.
    • Taken even further in the revival, where the Balladeer is transformed into Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • In Blood Brothers, the Narrator not only assumes the roles of various minor characters throughout the show, but also interacts in some capacity with the main characters. How much and in what ways this is done varies from production to production, but a fairly standard usage is hits presence visually haunting Mrs. Johnstone and Mrs. Lyons whenever their bargain is recalled.
  • The Leading Player from Pippin starts off speaking directly to the audience, but by the end of the play he is giving Pippin himself instructions on how the play should end.
  • In Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, two characters designated in the script as The Butler and The Maid narrate, stepping into the scene from time to time to play the minor characters or to give voice to a character's inner thoughts.
  • Officer Lockstock in Urinetown interacts with everybody, especially with Little Sally as they explain a lot of the Plot Holes. This is also beautifully lampshaded in the final number, with a line that might also be a Shout-Out for Into the Woods:
    Little Sally: Aren't you afraid they'll see you?
    Officer Lockstock: Oh, I may be a cop, but I'm also the narrator. So no one can touch me, not if they want the show to end.
  • Che in Evita switches back and forth between being visible and invisible to the other characters. When he is visible, he's usually playing a role (e.g., a nightclub waiter, a reporter).
    • Ditto Lucheni in Elisabeth. In most versions, most characters are unaware of his narration, with the Judge, Death, and Madame Wolf being the only ones directly interacting with Lucheni-as-narrator. The Japanese versions have Lucheni playing various additional roles, such as a servant at Bad Ischl (fanning Sisi), a waiter in a Viennese cafe, a photographer, etc., in addition to leveling him up as one of Death's henchpeople.
  • The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood features a narrator called the Town Guy, who "manages to work his way into every scene whether he belongs there or not," constantly snarks with Robin and is even buddy-bud enough with the stage manager to control the scene transitions.
    • When the archery tournament is suddenly changed to a bowling tournament, he also reveals that he is the best bowler in the land (whereas the Sheriff is the second best) and proceeds to give Robin lessons.
  • The Minstrel in Once Upon a Mattress serves as narrator for the first few scenes in addition to being a character in the story.
  • In Our Town, Thornton Wilder uses a Stage Manager to aid in telling the story. Early performances had actors simply sitting in chairs reciting their lines, and the Stage Manager was a necessity. Later, directors had the actors do more acting, but the Stage Manager still played an important role. As the play goes on, he steps into the action a few times to play minor roles, including the priest who marries George and Emily, and in the final act one of the characters (who has apparently gained a level of Medium Awareness as a result of being dead) appeals to him directly in his role as the narrator.
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has a narrator explaining the story, and the role can get pretty superfluous depending on the production (the 1999 movie adaptation in particular has her doing some pretty ridiculous things). Also, when cast as a woman, it's the only significant female role in the show.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: The raven in Act I of the 2019 version. She interacts with the audience as a narrator, but also has a few exchanges with the characters when she deems it necessary to move things along.

    Theme Parks 
  • In the Grinchmas show at Universal's Islands of Adventure, the Grinch acknowledges the Narrator’s presence a few times, such as telling him to skip ahead when the Narrator begins talking about the process of how the Grinch goes down the chimneys of each of the Who’s houses.

    Video Games 
  • The 2005 adaptation of The Bard's Tale featured this type of narrator, who was highly critical of the Jerkass Bard whose tale he was narrating. The two would often argue with one another, with the narrator (as voiced by the late Tony Jay, no less) dropping insults the Bard's way whenever something happened to him.
  • Leisure Suit Larry: Larry hears everything the narrator says, and occasionally talks back. Other characters sometimes hear him as well:
    Captain Thygh: Who the hell is that?
    Larry: I don't know, but I hear him all the time.
  • The narrator in the Space Quest games can be heard by other members of the cast and harbors some sort of grudge against the game's protagonist, Roger Wilco.
    Narrator: Maybe if you wait a while, the nice droid will come around to where you are and talk to you. (Laughs evilly)
    • In VI He shrugs it off as "Mechanical Flatulence from the ship" near the start
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2 : Storm of Zehir, the narrator for the opening and ending is a character. After the ending, you can bluff or threaten him into changing the ending.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, the Narrator is revealed in the secret ending to be Cid of the Lufaine. In said ending, he appears to be narrating the end of the story, only for Cosmos to raise her head and begin speaking to him. It's a rare occurrence of this trope being absolutely dead serious.
  • The trailers for the Persona 4: Arena have the Lemony Narrator giving insulting nicknames to each of the Team's members which, naturally, they complain about.
  • The unnamed female narrator of Might & Magic X: Legacy is sort of like this. While she doesn't talk to the characters, she tells the story of your characters in past tense, as you play it. As it turns out she's actually Ann Morgan, a child your characters meet during the story who is now fully grown.
  • The narrator in the Mortal Kombat games is also Big Bad Shao Kahn. In some games, when he wins a fight, the narrator will sometimes say "I win" instead of "Shao Kahn wins". (Oddly enough, he seems completely unbiased otherwise.)
  • In Bastion, the narrator is Rucks, one of the last survivors of the Calamity and the one responsible for creating the Bastion. He provides running commentary on the Kid's journey, as well as his voice when he talks to the other survivors.
  • In Hades, Zagreus can hear and talk to the narrator. A flashback shows that he discovered Persephone was his mother because he heard the narrator call her such.
  • The Stanley Parable has a dynamic relationship between the Narrator and the player as Stanley, even though the former only manifests as a disembodied voice and the latter is a Heroic Mime who can do nothing in response except walk around, press buttons and (very rarely) pick up objects. The Narrator starts by gently nudging Stanley in the direction of the game that leads to freedom. If the player defies the narration, the Narrator becomes increasingly annoyed and tries pushing Stanley—and then the player—in the direction intended. Depending on which decisions the player makes, the Narrator can either become the main antagonist aiming to kill Stanley for going against the narrative, a confused ally of Stanley trying to make sense why the game is becoming Mind Screw-y, or the target of Stanley's defiance causing his story to crumble around him.
  • The Stinger of Super Mario Galaxy 2 reveals that Rosalina was actually narrating the game's plot via a storybook she was reading to the Lumas. At the end of "The Perfect Run", she writes herself into her own book to give Mario/Luigi the final Power Star.
  • The Narrator in Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse turns out to be an interesting subversion. In the final episode he's revealed to actually exist within Sam & Max's universe, as the personification of Max's super-ego, and lives inside his brain. Even after we learn this, however, he continues to narrate somewhat and address the audience beyond the fourth wall.
  • Nazi Zombies: The Demonic Announcer/Samantha Maxis.
    Demonic Announcer: FETCH ME THEIR SOULS!
    Tank: Fetch my grenade, Devil-Voice!
    • Also on Moon after the Big Bang Theory.
      Samantha: (after having made a crawler) Next time, Uncle Edward will give you stronger legs. EDWARD! Give them stronger legs! You're terrible at this!
  • Lost Eden has the pterosaur Eloi. He tells the story and also acts as your guide and navigator. He was banished from the pterosaur roost, the White Arch, but redeems himself after you find and help him return the Egg of Destiny.
  • The narrator of Undertale is, for the most part, a standard second-person Lemony Narrator, but there are several exceptions. One character, Napstablook, will respond to the narration, and the narration style will change depending on how you play the game. In the Pacifist Route, the narrator is upbeat and snarky. Killing monsters will make the narrator a little more pessimistic, and they'll go from 'half full' to 'half empty'. Go for genocide, and the narrator will switch to first person, drop all jokes and start speaking tersely, and refer to the player character as "It's me, [Name]". It's a commonly accepted fan theory that the narrator is the first Fallen Child, Chara. The pacifist route is Chara being relaxed and optimistic because you're being nice to everyone, and getting to show off their rather childish sense of humor (calling Toriel's butterscotch-cinnamon pie "buttspie", for example). The genocide route is either the Fallen Child possessing the player character (who is actually named Frisk, not the name you chose in the beginning), or the player's bloodthirsty actions corrupting them into murderousness.
  • In the end of The Night of the Rabbit, the main antagonist Great Zaroff narrates four acts of a theatrical play starring Jerry Hazelnut, each designed to lead him to despair and death.
  • The events for Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory where Neptune meets the DLC Maker characters are portrayed as Neptune going for broke and directly asking the narrator to give her a new friend to her specifications, to which he cheerfully complies.
  • In _iCEY._, the Narrator and his flashing arrows show Icey the way to the of them, at least. To get the rest of the endings, you have to deliberately ignore the Narrator's instructions and/or do exactly the opposite of what he says in order to discover new areas and scenes. The fourth wall immediately collapses as a result as the Narrator will stumble on his lines, get annoyed and start complaining to you about it while constantly trying to rerail the story, which depending on the scene you can muck up even further by being an even bigger contrarian. You have to do this at basically every possible junction in order to view all the endings, which is required for the True Ending, in which, fittingly enough, The Narrator turns out to be the True Final Boss.
  • The narrator of When The Darkness Comes is there mostly to try and make the player follow the game and do things right, rather than tell a proper story; they're prone to getting passive-aggressive and frustrated when things don't go right, and follow the player throughout a good portion of the game.
  • Super Surprise Party: The narrator is the one who keeps giving you orders throughout the game, and they get very angry if you turn off the tracking.
  • In the Super Smash Bros. series, the announcer is heavily implied to be its perennial antagonist Master Hand (usually fought at the end of Classic Mode), as they always share the same voice actor. Ultimate takes this further by allowing you to play as him after he's rescued in World of Light.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, there doesn't seem to be one until you see Featherine in action in Episode 8. In her only 'fight' scene, she stops the plot of the visual novel, takes over the narration (as in it becomes first person when before it had been third) and edits the story to end the fight instantly with her victory out of literally no-where, promising the readers and her opponent that she'd write what happened in the fight scene she decided to skip over in later. Also, in some ways, this could apply to the various Game Masters through the series and their directly controlled pieces.
  • Harem Protagonist gets a few laughs out of the fact that the protagonist can hear and interact with the game's snarky narrator.
  • Slay the Princess: The Narrator is your constant guide through the journey who interacts with you and the various Voices you find in your journey, and depending on your actions can either move you along or actively interfere with the world to a limited extent if you try to avoid slaying the Princess and saving the world. The Princess herself can interact with him in the Tower route, taking him over and speaking through him with both voices overlapping. The Reveal is that he created the game world and the main character to imprison the Princess as part of a plan to eradicate death.

    Web Original 
  • The Pokébattles Narrator is usually depicted as an omnipotent (or so it claims), genderless, sadistic Lemony Narrator... and whom the player can almost always hear and interact with.
  • In one episode of Naruto: The Abridged Comedy Fandub Spoof Series Show, there is a Pokémonesque narrator. Naruto immediately notices and throws a knife at her off-screen and we hear her writhing in agony. She eventually gets better and resumes her duties, which prompts another knife attack.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged the narrator bets on the results of a fight with some of the other characters. Needless to say, he wins.
    King Kai: Wait, don't you already know the outcome of the fight?
    Narrator: Um... Nooooooo...?
  • Briefly happens in Glove And Boots' "Ode To Seuss" - some narration suddenly shows up in one sequence, and Mario tells the off-screen narrator to be quiet, while still ending up finishing the rhyme:
    Narrator: So they dug, and they dug,
    Until day turned to night
    And the ungleblung shadows-
    Mario: Quit talking, all right!?
  • Ultra Fast Pony:
    • In "A Library With No Twilight", Rarity and Applejack are able to hear and react to every word Phil the narrator says. Since Phil spends the whole episode encouraging them to hook up in the creepiest way possible, Rarity and Applejack eventually respond by mocking him. In later episodes, other ponies can still hear Phil, but they all agree to ignore him.
    • The caption writer gets into the act later. He argues with Scootaloo (who is The Unintelligible and can only be understood via translated subtitles) by covering up her subtitles with his own captions. None of the other characters can tell what she's saying for the duration of the argument.
  • Dr. Tran features an unfortunate five-year-old Southeast Asian child who argues with a narrator over whether or not he's an action hero.
  • Stupid Kids: Boti calls out the narrator's Painful Rhyme in Boldogat és még boldogabbat (Merry and even more).
Boti: Oh come on, Narrator! You can do better.
Narrator: Yeah, I have to improvise when you dance and sing all over. Screw you!
Boti: Thanks, now you ruined my holiday spirit.
  • Occurs in a few short stories in Welcome to Night Vale featuring "Them". To elaborate, the podcast is in the format of a local radio program from the eponymous town, and when Cecil the host tells a story about them on the program, he narrates the events in real-time, and indirectly interacts with "Them". "They" are a men-in-black-like pair of men, known as the "The Man Who is Not Tall" and "The Man Who is Not Short", though what they're doing exactly and why remain a mystery.
  • The short film "The Gunfighter" shows what happens when a bunch of cowboys can hear the narrator.
  • The beginning of the second episode of Sword Art Online Abridged features Rucks from Bastion recapping the important plot points from the previous episode and giving information on what happened between then and now. In a Sam Elliott drawl, while referring to Sociopathic Hero Kirito as "the kid". The Interactive Narrator comes into play when Kirito mocks him for being Captain Obvious. Banter ensues, in which he continues to refer to Kirito in the third person only. He is then promptly turned off by Kirito mid sentence, revealing him to be an in-game feature. It's exactly as funny as it sounds.
  • In The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air), Julian the Janitor has a personal narrator of his actions who is, paradoxically, entirely aware of his nature as a construct of Julian's mind, but often questions Julian about his reasoning and opinionates, helplessly, on Julian's poor decisions. In particular, he can't help but try to dissuade Julian from his repeated, unsuccessful attempts to insinuate himself into the radio Variety Show that broadcasts from the Eiffel Tower where he works.
    Narrator: Who is this personality, who has gone so far as to imagine a Narrator, to keep him company announcing the events of his life, as if he were the star of screen, stage or story?
    Julian: God, you make me sound like such a freak! Everyone should have a Narrator.
    Narrator: Thank you. But...don't go in there!
  • The Narrator of Burnt Face Man is only there to make fun of him, even spoiling the episode BFM wrote himself (by burning the face of a dog to create a Burnt Face Dog and making everyone think BFM was a pedophile), so it was no wonder that he shot it down. He released a tape before he died though, so he could continue the insults.
    Narrator: Tune in next week as Burnt Face Man has sex... with an Eagle!
    Burnt Face Man: That's not true! Or Funny! It's neither!
  • In Farce of the Three Kingdoms, the narrator occasionally shows up to deliver exposition, explain morals, interrupt the exciting bits, and occasionally sing.
  • Solid jj: The narrator spends most of "Meanwhile, in the Legion of Doom" like a regular one, going back and forth between narrating what is happening in the Hall of Justice and the Legion of Doom. But at the end, Lex Luthor realizes the existence of the narrator and that the narrator is the one who has been leaking his plans to the Justice League throughout the video. Then the Legion proceeds to beat the narrator up.

    Web Animation 
  • Dark Secrets of Garry's Mod: Part 2 of Medievil és a Playstation 5 (Medievil and the Playstation 5) introduces a character simply called "the narrator". Unlike most examples that use this trope, he is actually shown to have a body and a face. His home is a Blank White Void where he watches the events of the series on a TV. Due to the characters messing with the timeline in a previous video, he is able to appear in the physical plane. He also uses badass fingersnaps to manipulate the setting. It is later revealed there is a multiverse with other entities just like him, and they are forbidden from intervening with any of the universes or they must face punishment.
  • The narrator in Minecraft For Noobs is as much a main character as the other two, even going absent in parts 11 and 12.
  • The male Narrator of Mondo Media's Miss. Andry shorts is berated and abused by the titular heroine to the point where he can barely do his job. Being a narrator doesn't save him from getting maced in the eyes by the main character, either.
    Narrator: The world needed a hero. We needed Miss. Andry! Like misandry, which is the opposite of misogyny, which means-
    Miss. Andry: Shut yo dickhole!
    Narrator: Excuse me, I- I apologize. I didn't think-
    Miss. Andry: Ooh that's right! You didn't think, cause nobody needs you to think! You only need to stand there, sound pretty, and bend over a bit.
    Narrator: I went to Harvard! I have a degree- in voiceover!

  • An Epic Comic has a narrator who hates when people break the comic's rating rules and extreme breaking of the fourth wall. The characters be mean to him for this and some outright torture him by causing significant visual damage to the fourth wall. Who knew they were picking a fight with the author?
  • The narrator of 1/0 is quite explicitly the author, as well as the closest thing the comic has to a god figure. He gave his creations No Fourth Wall, so he often converses with them and occasionally takes requests from them. (At one point, they go on strike and refuse to do anything until he stabilizes the comic's physics.)
  • Books Don't Work Here simply has a very talkative narrator who can't keep his nose on the other side of the 4th wall and out of his character's business. This trope will be used not-so-simple later when it is done more complexly. Not enough spoiler for you? Well too bad you have to wait for chapter 4 like everyone else to actually meet the narrator in person.
  • The Fourth Wall: The Creator regularly argues with the characters and comments on the situation. In "Where in the World," he actively guides Greg through the plot.
  • Homestuck takes this trope and runs with it. As a webcomic in the style of Interactive Fiction about a game that affects reality, narrators don't just describe a scene — they also command or suggest the actions of the characters, and a few of the character are capable of talking back to them. On top of that, every single narrator is a character in the story, including the author himself and quite possibly the audience. This means that most narrators have narrators of their own when it time to focus on them. It's possibly the single most meta example of this trope ever.
  • Roger Wilco's text box narrator follows this in Level 30 Psychiatry but even moreso than his home series where it has conversations with other characters.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, the Narrator is separate from the author, and speaks in orange boxes, which the characters can occasionally read. In one instance, he is as confused as the audience when we see Tagon and Brad killed and then alive, and in another, he tries to talk a character out of a Heroic Sacrifice. It is particularly jarring because the characters rarely show any other sign of Medium Awareness. The narrator later messes with the strip and brings back everyone who's died so far. When it's revealed as an April Fools joke, the girlfriend of the aforementioned Heroic Sacrifice is understandably incensed:
    Elf: Hey, everybody! It's open season on jerk narrators!
    Narrator: Oops. That's my cue to leave!
  • Bob the Angry Flower, has a narrator intervention in the Crackening story-arc, beginning with the line:
    ...little realizing... the narrator has them exactly where he wants them!!!
  • In Dungeon Crawlin' Fools, the first print volume of The Order of the Stick, the heroes eventually get annoyed with the narrator (who turns out to actually be standing near them) and use him to distract the monster guarding the entrance to the dungeon.
  • In Nanoha GamerS (read it here), one of the characters has, quote, "this weird yellow box thing that keeps following me around and making weird comments". He tends to get threatened with grievous bodily harm, especially by Teana.
  • Characters in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! occasionally communicate with their narrator/author, but these asides do not seem to affect the plot at all. It's most common in non-canon strips like the annual appearance of the Halloween Monster.
  • Nodwick had to deal with a downright nasty one of these in one story where Count Repugsive turned the whole world into an 8-bit world that worked like an old video game. It caused a caption to appear to prevent him from seeing information he needed, and then dropped the caption on him, costing him one of his three lives. (However, after he and the other heroes managed to save the day, the guy did the same thing to Repugsive; clearly he didn't play favorites.)
  • The narrator of the Insecticomics is actually one of the Vok, a race of reality-altering hyperevolved beings. In one comic, he narrated a "Meanwhile" scene change to his own scene.
  • In an early Bruno the Bandit strip the narrator became a bit flustered when Bruno was given a sex change as punishment.
  • In this El Goonish Shive strip, Dan's narration goes completely off topic during the last panel prompting Elliot to yell at him to "get on with it".
    • In this EGS:NP strip, Susan has a conversation with Dan in his narrator role.
  • Jay, the title character of Tales of the Skull King is in constant communication with the Narrator.
  • I, Nathaniel Blackfeather, may be dead, but this is no excuse for you to ignore my granddaughter, Penny Blackfeather, and her fabulous adventures. Numpty.
  • Present only in Chapter 2, "Jinx", in Latchkey Kingdom. It's largely responsible for giving Item descriptions, but it does give Willa a bit of advice at one point.
  • In Sword & Sarcasm, there is a race of invisible djinn that provide a narrative play-by-play of events as they witness them. This quickly gets very annoying for any characters cursed to actually hear them, while those who can't hear them assume the djinn to be merely a superstition.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Animaniacs short Frontier Slappy, there's a variation on this. In the short, Daniel Boone is trying to chop Slappy's tree down, and the narrator in this case is a chorus (who turn out to be the Dover Boys) that is singing about his exploits as he does it; however, his attempts quickly start to become rather dumb (making him an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain in this case) and they start to insult him, until he gets angry and fires them. (At the end of the short, Slappy hires them to sing for her.)
  • The Three Narrators from A Tale Dark And Grimm. Played with. For the first eight episodes they follow the characters around to tell their story, but never interact with them... but it's made clear that they're really only recounting things that already have happened and actually can't change anything. Starting with the penultimate episode, they do start interacting with the characters and the story, but by now they've caught up to the present and don't know any more about what's going on than the characters do. While they try to keep up the narration, they stuggle to do so — especially William, who isn't good at "working without a script."
  • An episode of The Beatles has the Fab Four on a cruise ship, with a narrator describing the cruise's various amenities as they run and hide from their fans A Hard Day's Night-style. Eventually, they complain that he's giving away all their disguises by talking about the parts of the ship they happen to be in, and he politely obliges their request that he go narrate somewhere else.
  • The narrator of Chigley begins each episode by greeting one of the characters, asking if they're going to Chigley, and then asking if he and the viewers may join them. Needless to say the answer (given silently since the characters are not voiced) is "yes".
  • The narrator in Danger Mouse was known to occasionally argue with the title characters, and his misreading the stage directions would lead to reality itself changing (e.g. reading out the time 12:15 sent them to the year 1215). In that particular episode, he decides he likes the change and forces the characters to do a Robin Hood story, while DM tries to figure out how to undo the microphone malfunction that has made the narrator omnipotent.
  • In Tex Avery's "Dangerous Dan McFoo," the main characters get into a fist fight that lasts for most of the cartoon. Eventually, the narrator tosses in a couple of guns and tells the fighters to get it over with.
  • In one Dave the Barbarian episode, the "storyteller" was enslaved by the resident evil pig. The problem was solved by him developing laryngitis, and Dave and his family hiring a new one (albeit one used to Space Operas that briefly turned the show into one).
    • Doug Langdale essentially imported the "storyteller" from an earlier show of his, the Animated Adaptation of Earthworm Jim (to the point they're voiced by the same guy!); in EWJ the characters also often interact with the narrator, to the point two of the villains threatened him to skip over things and cut to the end result.
  • Freakazoid! had a narrator (Joe Leahy) who was active in the story.
    • In one memorable episode, he actually saved Freakazoid from an attacking foe by warning him. This incident (or a similar one) immediately had a lampshade hung on it, and Cosgrove waved it off as the narrator liking to pad his part. Shortly afterward:
      Narrator: I would like to interrupt this episode for an important announcement - but I'm not going to give it. I wouldn't want to be accused of "padding my part".
    • Another episode had the narrator consider the plot of said episode to be so idiotic that he flat out refused to do his job. At one point, while Freakazoid is battling a monster, the narrator is on the phone berating his agent.
    • In "The Freakazoid", Joe became an actual character, and was sent to acting school as a B-plot.
    • In "Candle Jack", he's among the titular villain's victims.
    • In yet another episode, Freakazoid and the narrator start squabbling, and Freakazoid threatens to replace him "with the narrator from Earthworm Jim (also a fellow Kids WB show)"; this wouldn't have been a problem since the EWJ narrator voice, Jeff Bennett, was already in the cast (and in that very scene no less, voicing Cave Guy!).
    • Jack Valenti (head of the Motion Picture Association of America, and inventor of the US movie ratings system), and his cheeks, served as this for "The Chip" two-parter that detailed Freakazoid's origins. He pauses the episode twice to explain the ratings system to the viewers, and also has to remind Freakazoid of what he's supposed to be doing. At the end, he explains he's there because he was friends with producer Steven Spielberg.
  • Hercules: The Animated Series:
    • The narrator is named Bob (his wife is Mrs. Bob, they have two kids), after his voice actor, Robert Stack. While he rarely interacts with the main characters, he is in competition with the Muses and frequently argues with them. Bob is not only kept offscreen, but apparently literally invisible, as he and his family appear in one episode wearing large souvenir hats that appear to float in midair.
    • The Muses usually act as the chorus (in multiple sense of the word), so their minor interactions with characters (in both the movie and series) only occur during musical sequences and are presumably non-diegetic. However, they are the goddesses of the arts, so in an episode of the series about Hercules struggling to dance as part of a school play, the relevant muse steps out of the chorus to assist him directly.
  • The narrator of the newer Goofy cartoons on House of Mouse interacted with Goofy quite a bit, whereas in the old cartoons the narrator mostly would do his own thing while Goofy's actions would simply juxtapose on their own...Goofy did seem to be aware that ''someone'' was watching, however, even without the narrator.
    • In How to Be a Gentleman, Goofy exacts his revenge on the unseen voice that's been tormenting him for so long... with a giant club.
    • And speaking of House of Mouse, there were a few instances of John Cleese lending some narration. Usually without the interaction, but in one particular cartoon, The Nutcracker, Cleese not only argues with the characters and gets flustered by the confusing casting (including flat-out lying to Donald about the Rat King's ultimate fate to get him to actually do the part), but he also manages to kick Ludwig von Drake out of the picture (temporarily, to his great frustration).
  • The narrator in Little Princess can interact and converse with the titular character.
  • A few The Pink Panther animated shorts from 1965 featured this, such as "Shocking Pink," "Pinkfinger" and "Pink Prazer," the latter of which reveals at the end that the Devil was the Narrator All Along. This was early in the series, and is now seen as an instance of Early-Installment Weirdness.
  • The narrator of Pocoyo who, awesomely, is Stephen Fry
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998)
    • In "Simian Says" (as well as the comic book story "See You Later, Narrator"), Mojo Jojo kidnapped the narrator and took his place, which causes everyone to do what he tells them until they get suspicious. The girls rescue the narrator in a scene shot from his perspective, and their expressions at the time suggests his appearance is unfamiliar at the very least.
    • In another episode where Mojo Jojo turns the entire world into dogs, the narrator called him out on it. In response, Mojo Jojo turns the narrator into a dog too.
    • In another episode, HIM brainwashes the whole town into hating the Powerpuff Girls. The narrator screams at the girls, "Oh for crying out loud, would you three shut up for once!? Always crying and moaning about something... sheesh, you give me a headache!" After the girls beat the whole town up, the narrator mentions being injured, implying he was beaten as well.
  • Private Snafu: In "Booby Traps", Snafu gets in an argument with the narrator after the narrator describes him as 'a boob'.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show, episode "Space Madness". While Stimpy is trying to avoid the temptation to press the History Eraser Buttonnote , the narratornote  even goes so far as to press him towards the "jolly candy-like" button and even grind his face to it. Will he hold out, folks? CAN he hold out?
    Stimpy: NO I CAN'T!!!! (*SCREEEEEEEEEECH!!!!*; *press*; *woop! woop!*)
    Narrator: Tune in next week as...[erased]note 
    • At the beginning of "Powdered Toast Man", the narrator is going on about the titular character, such as who he is and where he came from from. At last...
    Powdered Toast Man: SHUT UP!!!!! If you ask me one more stupid question, I'll tear your skin off!
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle's narrator was similar, complete with rampant fourth-wall breaking and kidnapping.
    • In the aforementioned kidnapping incident, the kidnappers quickly realized that without the narrator to say things like "And just then, a familiar figure entered the room", the plot could not progress. So they let him go.
    • In The Movie, being reduced to moving in with his mother and narrating his own life when the show was cancelled.
      Narrator: With a speed and dexterity astonishing of a woman in her years, mother bastes the chicken, tosses the salad and mashes the potatoes!
      Mother: Oh, sonny, shut up! (throws Frying Pan of Doom at offscreen narrator)
      Narrator: Ow!
    • Jay Ward was quite fond of using an Interactive Narrator in his properties (e.g., Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle, and Hoppity Hooper), to the point it could almost be considered a Creator Thumbprint.
  • The Narrator in Sarah & Duck interacts, helps and makes suggestions to Sarah and other characters.
  • The Narrator on Sheep in the Big City shares similar traits with the one from Rocky and Bullwinkle and frequently berates the characters, who can answer back snappily, and sometimes has his booth invaded by other characters (at one point, he is actually beaten up for criticizing one character's plotline). Unlike Rocky and Bullwinkle, however, this narrator was actually given a backstory (his name was Ben Plotz) and was frequently shown onscreen, recording his narration in a studio booth.
    • He was actually kidnapped by the villains at one point, just like the previously mentioned Rocky and Bullwinkle example. And then Sheep reveals himself to be the real villainous mastermind of the entire show, and plans to use the narrator for his "Narrator-Powered Raygun".
    • During an episode that ended with a Downer Ending, the narrator decided that he hated the ending and invoked a Deus ex Machina to make a Super Happy Ending.
  • In the "Woodland Critter Christmas" episode of South Park, Stan comes into conflict with a narrator who describes him doing things he didn't, and wouldn't, do, and transports him to places when he refuses to go there himself. The narrator turns out to be Cartman, because the whole episode is a story he wrote.
  • Raven of Spicy City mostly sets up the plot, but in "Tears of a Clone" she refers the services of that episode's main character to the Old Man, warns Mano about chasing after a mob boss's girl in "Mano's Hands" and is the main character of "Raven's Revenge".
  • On two occasions on SpongeBob SquarePants have they acknowledged their narrator (who is referred to as "French Narrator"), when SpongeBob ran over him once, and another episode where Sandy calls him up for information on Neptune's Moon.
  • VeggieTales
    • Used in a short about the life of Maewynn Soccet, who would later become St. Patrick. The narrator is played by the bit-character Lutfi, "The Teensy weensy cucumber".
      Lutfi: Maewynn grew up as a normal little boy. He went to school, he played, he went to church. And, he was captured by Pirates.
      Maewynn Soccet: Wait a minute. That's not normal!
      Lutfi: If you were too normal, you would not have a holiday named after you!
      Maewynn Soccet: Good point.
    • In The Story of St. Nicholas, Bob and Larry actually enter the story they're narrating, and whenever Larry suggests something Christmassy to be added to the scenery, it appears. Larry is amazed at first, and Bob explains that since they're the narrators, the story happens however they tell it.
    • Goes back at least to "Dave and the Giant Pickle", where Dave makes additions to Bob's narration.
      Bob: Dave and his brothers spent most of their time in the fields taking care of the sheep, which could be hard work, because their sheep had an unusual problem.
      Dave: They tip over.
    • Also happens in Josh and the Big Wall - Bob wanders onto the set while explaining the backstory, prompting Moses to ask who he is.
      Bob: I'm the narrator.
      Josh: Oh...
    • Also in "The Grapes of Wrath" segment from God Wants Me to Forgive Them, the characters in the story interact with Bob and Larry, who are telling the story.
  • In Wacky Races and its Spin-Off The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, the narrator is almost a little too interactive. (In the spin-off, he's clearly biased in favor of Penelope.) In one episode, for example, Dastardly is commenting on him passing the other racers, and the narrator cuts him off, saying "I’ll do the commentating, you do the driving."
  • Played for Drama in What If…? (2021). The show's narrator is Uatu The Watcher. He only talks to us, the audience, while no one in the universes he observes ever notices him as an actual character. However, there have been two major exceptions to this rule with long-reaching consequences.
  • WordGirl:
    • The narrator, in addition to explaining the plot, comments on the absurdity of the show, as well as advancing the plot himself, such as explaining where the villains are hiding. A Running Gag involves him adding a Cliffhanger to the plot in the middle of an episode, leading to the characters' complaining. The Narrator also has an obvious bias towards the main character. The villains that tend to be more Genre Savvy on the show will often notice this and complain.
    • One episode had a second narrator (the regular one's brother, in fact) narrating the episode in a dramatic manner.
    • In one episode, the villain known as Chuck, The Evil Sandwich-Making Guy, passed a sandwich above the screen, and the Narrator ate it.


Video Example(s):


Narrator Forces You To Be Rude

When you piss off the Narrator by picking a choice he dislikes, he uses his narrating "power" to force you to flip the bird at the princess to try to provoke her.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / InteractiveNarrator

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