How are you doing? This thing I’m doing right here? This is breaking the forth wall because I’m talking directly to you. Now in blogging this isn’t such an unusual thing, but in media it’s generally considered bad taste or tacky, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it because it can honestly be pretty funny.
Personally I think its great when characters break the fourth wall, even though I know it irritates some people to no end (and that’s okay). But there is also a time when the fourth wall shouldn’t be broken. If it is only broken once or twice it can irritate the reader and put stress on continuity (read about First Light below). It works well for movies like Deadpool and Spaceballs where it is done almost constantly (although some people still find it grating) because then it lets the auidence know that the movie or book is not to be taken too seriously. Personally I would love to find a completely serious (read: not comedy) take on breaking the fourth wall (yes, I consider much of Shakespeare to be comedy).
In the book series by L.A. Meyer Amy talks about publishing her friend Amy’s adventures as books (while using titles of books in the series).
Deadpool is very aware of the fourth wall. Deadpool does not stop breaking the fourth wall. Deadpool thinks its funny that none of the other characters realize they exist within a movie. Deadpool even gives his own in-character interviews about his movie.
Seriously though, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall constantly, telling his story and even talking to the audience in front of other characters (Colossus: You know I can hear you. Deadpool: I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to them) and before the fight scene he turns and says “cue the music.”
In First Light by Michelle Paige Holmes one of the characters tells another to ‘zip it’ and the other says that she can’t because zippers haven’t been invented yet. This was funny, however it was the only time in the book that seemed to break the fourth wall (however, it was (much) later revealed that the character can run fast enough to bend time, which could mean that she’s been to the future).
The Lion King
In the first Lion King movie, Pumba is singing about his sad past with farts and Timon hushes him and turns to the camera, gasping, “Not in front of the Kids!”
In Lion King One and a Half the movie is regularly interrupted by the characters who are sitting in a movie theater watching the movie.
The Neverending Story
The book by Michael Ende is literally about a quest to find a door through the fourth wall. Enough said.
I don’t think a day goes by where I get on social media and don’t see some variant of the “-something happens- Person: stares into the camera like I’m on The Office” joke. Having never seen The Office, that is all I know about the show.
In the iconic Star Wars spoof the fourth wall almost doesn’t exist because of how often its broke. The characters try to look ahead and see the future by getting a copy of the movie and watching it, only to realize they can’t see the future this way because its not been filmed yet.
Shakespeare is something we often forget about when talking about the fourth wall because today a lot of people think breaking the wall is classic, but his characters regularly turn and face the audience and say they hoped they liked the play.
Ian McKellen’s Richard III talks to the audience a lot.
Its from my instagram page, Its supposed to be Deadpool as an X-Man. Pretty cool, huh?