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Refugee from TV Land

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Kryten: Ah, Mr. Charles, sir! My name is Kryten. I'm a fictitious character from the television series Red Dwarf, and we really need your help.
Lister: You're the only one who can help us, man!
Craig Charles: I've heard about these! They're called flashbacks! I know you don't exist!
Cat: Okay, no need to rub it in!

The work opens with one setting, and introduces several characters living there. But after establishing this outer setting, the narrative switches to yet another setting within the first one, a Show Within a Show with its own, separate cast. The characters from this Show Within a Show, due to some Applied Phlebotinum, manage to find their way out to the first setting and meet the characters we were introduced to there. The intended effect is to make the audience believe that the characters have broken through the Fourth Wall and entered your reality. Stories with these plots are popular because of Deconstruction and Lampshade Hanging jokes, as well as Self-Deprecation humour. Sometimes it's a form of raising the stakes, as at least two worlds may now be in trouble.

Very similar to Real-World Episode, where the initial characters we're introduced to leave their setting and find their home is a Show Within a Show. Using either trope implies that all fiction is real somewhere and can be paired with a "Reading Is Cool" Aesop.

Compare Mage in Manhattan (where a powerful villain from another world, but not always another fiction, comes to assault the world of the audience), Up the Real Rabbit Hole (where the "topmost" universe is recognized as the "real" one), Tomato Surprise (where we learn the protagonists are not what we expected them to be), and Tulpa and Dream People, where imaginary beings take on a physical existence. Contrast Trapped in TV Land (character is sucked inside a Show Within a Show).


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Snegurochka is a Russian ayakashi that came from a picture book where she's the main character. The series is somewhat vague whether Rochka was created in the book or is a Tulpa that moved into it, but regardless she considered it her previous home and acts as if the other major character (Ded Moroz) is real, even though she knows he'd be fictional unless he also became an ayakashi.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: The fictional charters Tamahome and Nakago briefly appear in present-day Tokyo to fight over Miaka and Yui. More fantastic monsters from the book are later summoned.
  • Gou-dere Bishoujo Nagihara Sora: Shouta Yamakawa is obsessed with a manga called Tama X Kiss. One day, the main heroine from the manga, Sora Nagihara comes to life and becomes his Magical Girlfriend, possessing the ability to bring manga tropes to life. But he becomes very shocked because her boisterous, shameless attitude is completely different from the ingenue Sora from his manga. Later, characters from other manga come to life.
  • In Haunted Junction the ghost of a mangaka who worked himself to death conjures up his comics characters: giant robot warriors, magical girls and, worst of all, some mind-numbingly boring historical characters from an educational comic he made.
  • Mega Man (Classic): One three-episode anime has Wily escape from the video game he's in, forcing Mega Man to go into the Real World to stop him.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2: Aika is this. It's just not readily apparent given that she has a cover story involving claiming to be a student from overseas and she otherwise blends in with the rest of the cast. There's also a little playing in that she can move between her home dimension and Earth's dimension at will, which allows her to take care of a universe-ending threat that also found its way outside of her home dimension.
  • Re:CREATORS: The premise features fictional characters from several works of different genres entering the real world to meet their creators.
  • Video Girl Ai, while more Genre Savvy than the usual version of this trope, did jump out of the TV.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City: Loony Leo is a cartoon lion brought to life.
  • Cherry Comics: In one story, the characters of a soap opera come out of the television to have sex with Cherry.
  • Crossover (2020): The comic book characters are all this, coming from stories created by real-life writers.
  • The DCU:
    • Earth-Prime is the corner of the multiverse standing in for the real world, where superheroes are fiction. Superman and The Flash traveled there (here?) with some frequency, and it's where Superboy-Prime is from.
    • Justice League: One story arc features a villain called the Queen of Fables, who can manifest any fictional character into the real world. She herself started off as an evil sorceress who got Trapped in TV Land (a magical story book). This, we are told, made her fictional, and since fictional things are per definition not true, her reign of terror in Dung Ages Europe never happened.
  • Femforce: In Nightveil, a comic book superheroine named Thunderfox is brought into the regular world, and became a Femforce member for several issues.
  • Hellblazer: In an early story, a character escapes from the world of fiction and ends up running across John Constantine, who witnesses as authorities from the world of fiction keep trying to drag the refugee back. He's eventually knocked out and taken back by Winnie the Pooh, of all people.
  • The Simpsons: One storyline involves Kang and Kodos bringing Itchy and Scratchy into the real world, as the two were worshipped as gods on Rigel IV. To stop them, Bart pointed a camcorder at a Radioactive Man comic and used the aliens' device to make his favorite superhero real.
    • The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis: The second miniseries focuses on the Simpsons characters being pulled out of a comic book into the Futurama world. Later on, every fictional character from every book ever written are pulled out of their books as well.
  • X-Men: Longshot is from the Mojoverse, which is sort of like the background of TV land: this is where the characters are created (to be exploited by the sometimes-hilarious-sometimes-Nightmare Fuel Evil Overlord/media mogul Mojo.) Longshot has incredibly good luck only so long as his motives are absolutely pure, and, like all denizens of the Mojoverse, has Four Fingered Hands.

    Fan Works 
  • Emergence (RWBY): All four members of Team RWBY wake up scattered in the real world with no idea how they got there and having to adjust to the differences between Remnant and Earth. The sequel, Convergence, brings in Team JNPR and Cinder's faction, and ties in another fic by the same author in which an amnesiac Summer Rose played this role.
  • HalloNatural 2: The Revenge of Michael Myers sees Michael Myers 'escape' into the real world after Sam and Dean (Supernatural) became trapped in the events of Halloween II (1981) in the preceding fic (HalloNatural) and now have to stop Michael in the real world.
  • When Reality and Fiction are Reversed sees Buffy swap places with Sarah Michelle Gellar for a single day, with the interesting twist that Sarah is 'ahead' of the show; from Buffy's perspective, she's just dealt with the events of "Bad Eggs" while Sarah is filming "Bewitched, Bewildered and Bothered". Fortunately, when the two switch back the following day, Buffy has acquired a video of "Ted", "Bad Eggs", "Surprise" and "Innocence" and seen a script for "Passions", allowing her to prevent Angel losing his soul and get Jenny to look into ways to bind it properly.
  • In Legolas, Back to the Future, Legolas pops out of a Canadian teenager's TV during a power outage. Absolutely NOTHING is done with this premise; he simply tags along as the girl and her friends shop, see a movie, visit a youth camp and a theme park, etc. No one is surprised to see Legolas, nor do they bother to help him get home.
  • Ponyfall: Most of the main characters are transported to Earth and turned human, where they're found by bronies living around the world.

    Films — Animation 
  • Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies: This trope is invoked by the Groovie Goolies in a memorable if freaky sequence. The bratty Hauntleroy has stolen Wolfie's guitar and flees into 'Mad Mirror Land', where all four characters (including Drac and Frankie) get turned into live-action versions, still operating by cartoon laws, for the most part. It was originally part of a seriously weird, not-so-hot crossover with the Looney Tunes, and then was re-edited for syndication as a separate episode.
  • Garfield Gets Real: Garfield and Odie, residents of Comic Strip World, are sucked out into the real world through a hole in the comic screen. Garfield and Odie must return in a few days or else their comic strip will be cancelled. In an unusual example of the trope, the "Real World" is also animated.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle: When enemies Boris, Natasha, and Fearless Leader escape into the real world with a nefarious scheme, Rocky and Bullwinkle do the same, and team up with a young F.B.I. Agent to stop the trio.
  • Played with in Barbie (2023): Barbieland and the real world interact with each other in a sort of cosmic manner that has significant implications when someone interacts with the opposite side. Barbie's issues arise from her going through Gloria’s thoughts, and Weird Barbie is the way she is because the girl who played with her in the real world essentially defaced her. Barbie and Ken both have some issues adjusting to the imperfect real world but learn different lessons from it: While Barbie learns about the issues real women face while she helps her real-world family, Ken discovers the concept of the patriarchy and brings it back to Barbieland, turning it into a male chauvinist society and influencing the success of Ken Mojo Dojo Houses and a Ken film in the real world.
  • In Enchanted a princess, her handsome prince, a wicked queen, her servant, and a chipmunk all leave an idyllic animated fairy tale world for the harsh realities of modern day New York City.
  • The Famous Jett Jackson: In the final film, Jett and his Show Within a Show character, a superspy named Silverstone, switch places. While Jett has to try to save the world using skills he doesn't have, Silverstone is stuck in a small town with real-life problems he never learned to deal with. Notably, Jett's great-grandmother Miz Correta immediately realizes that Silverstone isn't Jett.
  • In Fat Albert, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids come to life and step out of their animated, 1970s inner-city Philadelphia world to help a teenage girl, Doris Robertson, deal with the challenges of growing up in a live-action, 2000s inner-city Philadelphia world.
  • The Final Girls involves a Trapped in Slasher Horror Movieland of a movie called Camp Bloodbath. Several of Camp Bloodbath's characters learn eventually that they're in a movie from those that came in from "the real world"; Nancy in particular professes a desire to be a refugee once she realizes that she's scripted to get horrifically murdered and will never get to grow up to do important things.
  • In The Icicle Thief, an American supermodel comes out of a commercial into the Italian village the story is set in.
  • Goosebumps (2015): When the monsters escape into the real world, R.L. Stine has to stop them.
  • Last Action Hero has a Cowboy Cop from an early '90s action movie (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) arrive in the real world. So does his nemesis Benedict, who realizes he can use the magic ticket to bring other movie villains into the real world, where the rules of storytelling don't apply and "bad guys can win!"
  • The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse has the characters from the show traveling to the real world to stop their writers canceling the show.
  • In Midnight Movie, a lumbering, masked serial killer who breaks free from the movie The Dark Beneath to begin stalking the patrons and employees of the movie theatre.
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo is the tale of a film character named Tom Baxter who leaves a fictional film of the same name and enters the real world.
  • In Monster!, the title monster is the villain of its own franchise of B-Movies. However, a curse placed on the town somehow resulted in it (and apparently at some point its sister as well) becoming real and attacking the town every three years in a perpetual cycle. In doing so, it also causes the town to run on monster movie rules for the duration of its time loose. However, it isn't fully free from the movie. In order to do that, it has to actually win and destroy the town.
  • The main antagonists of The Video Dead are zombies spat out of a horror film by a cursed television.

  • Alice is a borderline example — the "Fairy Tale" creatures live in contained bio-dome and mostly obey Fairy Tale conventions, but apparently they were imported into the future from a time when All Myths Are True.
  • Effigy Nights: A Galactic Conqueror subdues a Planet of Hats famous for its art and literature. The wardens of the planet free legendary heroes from their books to fight the invaders, but the magic gets out of control and destroys their culture as the contents of books are turned into soldiers. Having run out of books, the magic then starts on people...
  • Gene Wolfe: "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories" is about a boy obsessively reading a pulp adventure book similar to The Island of Doctor Moreau, with heroes and villains from the book occasionally popping into the real world to talk about themselves and lend him moral support or advice. It looks as if it's all happening in his imagination, but several other people can see the characters too.
  • Inkheart: Some people can read characters and creatures out of books and into reality, with the caveat that a real person must vanish into the book to take their place. Mo, the main character's father, read the character Dustfinger out of a book also called Inkheart at the cost of his wife. Dustfinger goes on to complain about the chaos of the real world and tries to get read back into the book. Along the way he discovers the general unkindness of the human race and the uncaring offhandedness of real-life fire. During the story, he also meets Inkheart's author, who is glad to meet him but does not offer that feeling to Inkheart's villain Capricorn, who also ended up in the real world.
  • Instrument of God: The main character, 246, ends up crossing over into another universe where his life is actually being recorded and is part of a major TV show that a lot of people watch, so he visits a fan convention where he answers questions about the show, but nobody there is aware of the fact it's not really a show, and that the life that's being filmed is really what happens to him.
  • Its New Its Improved Its Terrible features a commercial-based TV refugee.
  • "The Kugelmass Episode" by Woody Allen sees Madame Bovary transported to modern New York. Initially thrilled by the experience, she soon becomes jaded — "I want to get a job or go to a class, because watching TV all day is the pits" — and demands to be returned to 19th Century France. Conversely, Kugelmass himself becomes Trapped in TV Land.
  • Maggie Kelly: The author Maggie finds her fictional Regency detective, Alexandre Blake (along with his lovable, bumbling sidekick) materializing in her modern New York apartment. Alexandre and Sterling's attempts to fit in to the modern world (and Maggie having to adjust to them) are a running subplot in the series.
  • The Magic Typewriter has an aspiring teenaged writer buy the eponymous typewriter from an antique store. He proceeds to write a horribly cheesy story, climaxing in the villain casting a spell that is supposed to make the main character "meet his maker". Guess who appears in the kid's bedroom?
  • Mary Poppins: Mary Poppins in the Park has a variation, in which three fairy-tale princes and their unicorn meet Jane and Michael. They claim to have a book about the people of Cherry Tree Lane, which they use as a Portal Book to the park once every generation (London time). Unfortunately, when most of the children the princes meet over the years become adults, they seem to forget meeting the trio.
  • Open Sesame has Akram the Terrible escape to the real world, where he gets confused by people having discussions that don't further the plot.
  • In "The Original Dr. Shade" by Kim Newman, an author is hired to update the old pulp hero Dr. Shade and create a new series of books starring him. However, as he works on his first draft, he finds characters and events from the original Dr. Shade novels starting to intrude on his life, until he is being stalked by the pulp hero who does not like the planned changes one little bit.
  • Sophie's World: In the climax, Sophie and Alberto escape their own level of reality and end up in Hilde and the Major's, where they are fictional characters. Although they're unable to interact with the new level they discover a society made of cast-off fictional characters from stories living there.
  • Stephen King: The short story "Umney's Last Case" has a writer switch places with his private eye character. The PI wets himself as he's never gone to a toilet before.
  • Terry Pratchett: The early short story "Final Reward" has a Barbarian Hero, following his death, arriving in the hall of his "creator" — that is, the fantasy writer who invented him.
  • Thursday Next has various characters traveling both ways. Most notable is Something Rotten, where Thursday explains the real world's lack of certain tropes to Hamlet, and where Intergalactic Emperor Zhark threatens his own author with a laser when it sounds like he'll be Killed Off for Real. In the 6th book, the written Thursday enters the real world and, for the first time, has to experience breathing, a heartbeat, learning to walk and turn while walking, and the fact that some things happen for absolutely no reason.
  • Universal Monsters: A combination of lightning and a holographic projector releases characters from the six films. Each book features, respectively:
    • Count Dracula (disguised as a normal human);
    • Larry Talbot's wolf man (incarnated through Don Earl Abernathy after he's bitten by another Wolf Man), Bela the gypsy's wolf man (incarnated through John Winokea and later Deputy Chad Barnes), and his mother Maleva (incarnated through Wilma Winokea);
    • Herr Frankenstein, Fritz and the Creature they made;
    • Imhotep (in his guise as Ardeth Bey) and Anck-Su-Namun;
    • The Gill Man and Dr. Mark Williams;
    • Book 6 features the Bride of Frankenstein (or rather, a new incarnation made from the corpse of Megan McMahan), Dr. Pretorius and his chief henchman Karl, along with Dr. Pretorius's tiny homunculi and a returned Herr Henry Frankenstein (with his Bride of Frankenstein personality)... plus the other returning monsters: Dracula, Deputy Chad Barnes (who starts turning into Larry Talbot's Wolf Man again before his mother stops him via a special dreamcatcher), the Frankenstein Monster, Ardeth Bey/Imhotep and the Gill Man. The ending confirms that the Invisible Man is also loose, while the Phantom of the Opera was likely freed as well.
  • The Unlikely Escape Of Uriah Heep has various characters being read from their books (mostly of a Gothic or Dickensian bent) and taking up residence in a somewhat extradimensional street.
  • In Wet Magic, the tunnel that leads to the Merkingdom is full of magic books whose characters can be brought to life by opening them to the right page. The Under Folk send Bookworms in to let unpleasant characters out, and the Merkingdom is attacked by a horde that includes both fictional villains and the protagonists of books like Eric, or Little by Little and Elsie Or Like A Little Candle. The protagonists let the heroes out of the books to fight them.
  • Xanadu (Storyverse): This is largely how Strangers, people whose personalities were completely overwritten by those of the fictional characters that they were dressed as and transformed into, perceive themselves. Most have full memories of their fictional lives, and consider themselves to have been pulled from their worlds and dropped into a strange one where their lives and adventures are described in comics, books, and movies.
  • The Yellow Bag has Rei, a character from one of Raquel's stories, shows up inside the titular bag one day.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ace Lightning is about video game character dragged into the real world.
  • Arabela: Not only do characters and villains from the Fairy Tale reality enter the Real World and spread chaos there with their magic and strange ways, the sorcerous villains even take modern inventions (and ideas), like cars, back into their own reality which runs on fairy tale tropes, install themselves as new rulers, and start a reign of tyranny by banning, on pain of death, all things magical, including racism against non-human "magical" races. With hilarious results.
  • In Beetleborgs, the series got started when the protagonists earned a wish to be granted and chose to become their favorite comic book superheroes — unfortunately, the magic that brought the superpowers to the real world also brought the comic's villains as well.
  • Big Wolf on Campus: Butch, a 50s film character, appears in two episodes. In his first episode, Merton attempts to Technobabble up an explanation, only to realise that it makes no sense even for the Fantasy Kitchen Sink they live in.
    Merton: Okay, now if we can maintain a constant level of emulsion, uh, y'know, and there would be celluloid and protons would converge in a, in a, diverge, in-in - I don't know where I am right now, I'm, I'm, this, I'm lost.
  • Charmed (1998): Magic brings a character from Phoebe's favorite 1950's romance film to reality. Oh, and some slasher horror monsters. Then Phoebe and Piper get Trapped in TV Land.
  • Charmed (2018): Magic brings two characters from Macy's favorite 1990's TV show to reality. Then Macy and Harry get Trapped in TV Land.
  • Eerie, Indiana: In one episode, Simon's younger brother zaps himself into a monster movie on TV by biting the remote control. By zapping himself in, though, he also zapped the monster into the real world. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Hi Honey, I'm Home! is based around a 1950s sitcom family whose show was canceled and who move next door to a fan to await being put back on the air. Additionally, a series Couch Gag would have a different classic tv character come visit Honey, for example in one episode Ann B. Davis drops in as Alice Nelson.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Video game villains attempt to manifest in the real world by means of taking over people's bodies as a virus. In an unusual case, the Bugsters that successfully take over their hosts, and in so doing become able to take human form as a disguise, seem to have no trouble navigating human society.
  • LazyTown: In "New Kid in Town", Robbie brings Pinnochio from a book into LazyTown's world using an objects-to-life machine. He promises Pinnochio that he can go back to his book if he tells lies for Robbie.
  • The Librarians 2014: The second season introduces the concept of Fictionals, which are fictional characters brought into the real world either with a spell, or, more rarely, by their sheer popularity being enough to literally bring them up off the page. In any case, they remain bound by the rules of their story, and cannot be killed in any way unbefitting of their character. The main villains of the season happen to be two evil ones – Shakespeare's Prospero and Moriarty. In fact, the former is unique in that he's actually possessing the body of the Bard himself, borne of Shakespeare's angst over his waning popularity and a magical quill.
  • In Lost in Austen, Elizabeth Bennet somehow comes to modern-day London. The serial focuses on the woman unwittingly taking her place in the fictional world, though.
  • Odd Squad: In "How to Interrogate a Unicorn", Olive and Oscar investigate when characters start coming out of books and invading the library.
  • Once A Hero has the comic book superhero Captain Justice crossing over from Pleasantville into the real world, and befriending his creator. Captain Justice decided to stay to get people believing in him again.
  • Once Upon a Time: fairy tale characters are cursed to live a world without magic (the real world).
  • In Red Dwarf: Back to Earth, the crew try to jump to another dimension, and seemingly end up in a reality where Red Dwarf is a TV show. Interestingly, it's made quite clear this isn't our world; it's a reality where Seasons IX and X were made, and the series still has loads of Merch available. (Because they don't end up in "our" world, this doesn't quite count as a Real-World Episode.)
  • The South Bank Show, an ITV's arts documentary series, has an episode about Douglas Adams in which Ford and Arthur find themselves in Douglas's study. Ford explains that this is partly due to quantum uncertainty and Earth existing in a plural sector, and learns of Random's existence by looking at the computer screen, which has the draft of Mostly Harmless. Later, they're joined by Dirk Gently and the Electric Monk.
  • Star Trek: Used a couple times in the various series. This was always done by having simulations of famous people (fictional and real) from the holodeck. One notable episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Elementary, Dear Data" has a simulation of Professor Moriarty, who ends up becoming self aware and trying to find a way out of the simulation. A few seasons later, he tries it again in "Ship in a Bottle".
  • Supernatural: Played with in "The French Mistake" where Balthazar sends Sam and Dean into an alternate universe very similar to ours where they are actors named Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles starring on a cult TV show called Supernatural.
  • Yeralash: One episode has a bicyclist from a school mathematics textbook who chases down two boys and makes them finally solve the problem.

  • a-ha: "The Sun Always Shines on TV", the sequel to "Take On Me", has the 80's Girl bringing Motorcycle Guy out of the comic.
  • Pomplamoose: The video for "Yeah Yeah Yeah" contains Jack portraying a man who buys a magical painting and brings the girl in it into reality.
  • Selena Gomez: In Love You Like A Love Song's video, she at first sings with a karaoke video in the background showing some fantasy boyfriends in different costumes. At the end, said fantasy boyfriends show up inside the karaoke lounge, still wearing their costumes.

  • Elvira's House of Horrors centers on various old B-movie characters somehow coming out of their films and haunting Elvira's home; the player's goal is to send them back.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • GLOW's superhero tag team Thunderbolt and Lightning come from the pages of a comic book.
  • Gabby Gilbert is from VH1 I Love The 80s.
  • Austin Starr is merely from TV Land.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Mutants & Masterminds: Within the Freedom City setting, the Toon Gang is made up of miniature cartoon gangster brought to life by one of Doc Otaku's devices and who refuse to go back.
    • In the mini-campaign "Into the Idiot Box", the team gets sucked into a TV dimension by a bored cosmic-powered child, Quirk. He forces them to act out his favourite shows in character, one of which is an 80s family sitcom akin to ALF, wherein the family features a radical cartoon jaguar, Jaxxer, who came out of their TV and whom they have to keep a secret (essentially having him come from a show within a show within a show). One of the challenges to the players involves them trying to hide Jaxxer from outsiders or risk incurring Quirk's wrath for going off-script.

    Video Games 
  • Gamedec: This is actually fairly common, due to how advanced the VR technology has gotten things like videogame NPC's can potentially develop sapience, One of the premade playable characters in the Definitive Edition is one of those.
  • Golden Axe: The arcade ending has the heroes and villains escaping the arcade machine and continuing their battling.
  • Harem Party: An all-female cast of a fantasy video game jumps out of the main character's PC. The positive: he can bed them all, often at the same time. The negative: the game's antagonist, an evil god, escaped to reality as well and he wants to Take Over the World.
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam: Luigi accidentally knocks over the book containing the Paper Mario universe, releasing many of its inhabitants — including its version of Mario himself — into the Mario & Luigi world.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, you are this. Thanks to a video game made by Earthlings connecting Earth to the home dimension of the Player Character and pals, you are able to use the video game, Phantasy Star Online 2, to travel to Earth. Of course, your job there is strictly business, since most time spent there involves beating the crap out of evil manifestations of Earthling animate and inanimate objects in Tokyo.
  • Skylanders has a gimmick involving actual toys of the characters, having the player place the toys on a "portal" peripheral to use them in the game. Storywise, the characters were banished from the Skylands and into our world by the the evil Portal Master Kaos, being frozen into little figures in the process, and the player uses the portal to send them back home.
  • Stay Tooned! inverts this trope. The player's remote (with the push of a Big Red Button) allows several cartoon characters to escape the TV, but in the process also turns the entire apartment building into cartoon form. Naturally, the toons steal the remote, and the game's goal is to find it and send them back home.

    Visual Novels 

  • Okashina Okashi: Eri-Chan escaped the frames of the webcomic, and promptly got stuck in the comments section.
  • A Real Life Comics storyline had Tony accidentally transported to "our" world (represented via superimposing Tony on real photos) and meeting Mae Dean. With Real!Mae's help, he manages to return to the comic's universe. And what are Tony's first words as soon as he gets back?
    Tony: Save that dimensional code...and mark it as "leverage"!
  • Shortpacked!: The final storyline involves Cap'n Crunch's old advertising foes the Soggies enter the strip's reality as the lines between fiction and non-fiction collapse from an overabundance of diversity. (The forces of good get Shattered Glass Ravage, created by the strip's author, in return.)

    Web Original 
  • In The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids, the Librarians of the Library are sentient projections of iconic fictional characters, such as Robin Hood or Jack Pumpkinhead. This is specifically stated to be a different phenomenon to the fact that everything that's fictional in a given universe will, due to the Multiverse being infinite, also happen to be real in a different universe or seven. When meeting the Library's Jack Pumpkinhead, Century Smith tells him that he actually met the "real" Jack in the actual Land of Oz, which Pumpkinhead finds quite fascinating, asking to know more about his "model".
  • Dragonbored: An obsessive gamer's RPG character being accidentally summoned into the real world, where he subsequently gets promoted over the player at work and woos his dissatisfied girlfriend away. The gamer then manages to recreate the event to get himself into the game world, which doesn't go as well as he hoped.
  • Red vs. Blue: This is the plot of the season 14 finale. After a combination of a teleporter malfunction, coffee getting spilled on the Xbox, and Burnie cutting the power to the studio, the Blood Gulch Crew get transported to the real world.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-1304 puts the setting's typically creepy spin on this. It's a violent sacrifice ritual where, if one writes a book where a character has it done to them, soon after publication the victim will get reincarnated as a human in the real world. They won't have memories of their fictional past, but their life will mirror that in the novel, as closely as reality allows.
    • One version of SCP-001 has the Foundation attempting to do this... so they can kill the writers and control their own destiny. Only thing stopping them is that they're not quite sure if it would cause a Class X-4 for them.
    • SCP-2591 is a character from an Italian opera that was pulled into reality by Prometheus Labs. As said opera was never finished, he was trapped in a frozen state until he was naturally mummified alive. Word of God says that Prometheus' earlier attempt resulted in a cartoon character from another reality altogether escaping into their world, where it was eventually caught by the Foundation and contained as SCP-2337.
    • SCP-3166 is an animate Garfield costume that was apparently created by the comic character becoming self-aware.
  • I Went to Another World, but Got Sent Back with My Party?: An Ordinary High-School Student (college student, actually) is Isekaid to a cliched medieval fantasy world, forms an adventuring party out of the stereotypes endemic to the genre, has a bunch of adventures and faces the Demon Lord... who pulls an Aku and banishes him back to Earth. The kicker: the other party members are sent to earth along with him!
  • In the first season of Meta Runner, Theo, the protagonist of the platformer game Ultra Jump Mania, is unintentionally brought into the real world with the prototype super-technology in Tari's arm. The second half of the season follows an attempt by the heroes to get him back into his original cartridge. He does get out of the real world... but it doesn't end well, as his cartridge ends up getting crushed by Lucks, who proceeds to hold him hostage as collateral, and ends up spending the next season entirely in the digital world.
  • Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers has Saiko Bichitaru, who is first seen on a dating similator Boopkins is playing. He decides to bring her into the real world, and eventually does so with a Magikoopa's wand. It's worth noting that Saiko has never expressed any desire to return to her game, and in fact seems to has comfortably settled down in the real world.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "Guardians of Sunshine", Finn and Jake go into a video game to beat two difficult bosses. When they leave, the bosses follow them out of the game to menace the rest of Ooo.
  • Ben 10 (2016): In "Xingo", Ben accidentally brings the title character into his reality when he goes Upgrade to fix the TV and lightning strikes the satellite dish.
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures: In one episode, the booth is used to retrieve a character from a TV show. As a result, the show never ends and nothing else can ever be shown on TV, so they have to put them back.
  • Darkwing Duck:
    • "Flim Flam" has Tuskernini use a device to bring movie villains to life. This includes a zombie with a chainsaw, an alien, a bandit from the Wild West, a pirate captain, a zany cartoon ape and giant King Kong-like gorilla.
    • One episode has the title character and Psycho Electro Megavolt transported to the "real world" by means of a Trapped in TV Land device made by Megavolt. It turns out that the guy who owns the rights to Darkwing Duck gets his ideas by means of a radio helmet that is tuned to Darkwing's world. The episode also dishes up some nice Lampshade Hangings and has a Shout-Out to Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers when the helmet gets rewired by the cartoons' return trip.
  • Dorg Van Dango: In "Dorg and the Last Supperman", an attempt by the Magicals to get Dorg the last issue of Supperman brings the title character to life. However, he proves to be more of a force of destruction than good in the real world.
  • In DuckTales (2017), Darkwing Duck is an in-universe series with the titular hero portrayed by Jim Starling, before Drake Mallard becomes the real-life Darkwing Duck. In the episode "Let's Get Dangerous", when mad scientist Taurus Bulba's villainous nature is revealed, he uses the dimensional-portal known as the Ramrod to pull four Darkwing Duck villains (Megavolt, Quackerjack, Liquidator, and Bushroot) from the tv show's world to fight for him as his Fearsome Four.
  • The Fairly OddParents! had the Crimson Chin taken out of his comic. This results in him discovering he is imaginary, growing depressed and almost getting his comic book cancelled.
  • Freakazoid!: In one episode, the title character pursues one of his nemeses into... a fancon. While trying to find or avoid one another, they deal with over-eager convention-goers, fans dressed up like them, and being forced to sit on a panel regarding their cartoon. In a last laugh move, at the end of the segment Freakazoid informs several cast members with minimal screen time that, due to budget cuts, they've been reduced to washing his car.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Fight Fighters", Dipper summons a video game character named Rumble McSkirmish to scare Robbie. Unfortunately, Rumble thinks anyone he must fight is an evil enemy he must eliminate and tries to pound Robbie to a pulp.
  • Johnny Test features the recurring antagonist "Blast Ketchup", a parody of Pokémon's Ash Ketchum, who can transport himself along with other TinyMon into the real world.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: "Through the Door" has a group of fairy-tale characters (including Prince Charming, Robin Hood, Hercules and a genie) escaping into Ponyland from behind a magical door that leads to the "Land of Legends".
  • Rated "A" for Awesome: In "Don't Judge A Mutant By Its Slobber", the team's attempt to "awesome-ize" a video game results in the games Sergeant Rock protagonist and mutant villains escaping into the real world.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: In "It's Dangly Deever Time", the pair bring a character from an old kid's TV show to reality (the titular Dangly Deever, an obvious parody of Howdy Doody). In this case, however, the problem wasn't the character — for some reason, this also created a murderous evil duplicate. The good Deever ended up having to go back too for Sam and Max to be able to get rid of the evil one.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Bart and Lisa are sucked into an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon by a magic remote. They manage to escape, but Itchy and Scratchy follow... only to find that the "real world" is quite different from a cartoon world — for example, pets with all their bits aren't very tolerated.
    • Another "Treehouse of Horror" episode ends with Homer being teleported to the real world with no visible means of returning. Thank goodness for the healing power side of Status Quo Is God and Canon Discontinuity.
  • Snooper and Blabber: In "The Lion Is Busy", the detectives are chasing a loose mountain lion (an early version of Snagglepuss) into an adventurer's club. As they come across a line of adventurers in safari gear and pith helmets, Snooper asks if any of these "fugitives from a late, late show" has seen the lion.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: The finale features Spider-man teaming up with various Spider-men from alternate universes including a powerless Spider-man who played the character on TV. This culminates in the main Spider-Man of the series visiting the real world and taking Stan Lee webslinging.


Video Example(s):


Close Enough

Candice has a nightmare where she stumbles into Cartoon Network Studios and freaks out upon seeing the crew in the middle of making the show she stars in. She even runs into J.G. Quintel, briefly mistaking him for Josh.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / RealWorldEpisode

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