break the fourth wall


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break the fourth wall

Of fiction, especially theater, film, or television, to break the illusion of separation between the audience and the fiction itself, either intentionally or unintentionally. Taken originally from theater, in which the fourth wall describes the invisible "wall" that stands between the audience and the stage. We were enjoying the play, but one of the actors kept breaking the fourth wall by glaring at the audience any time someone made any noise. I love shows that break the fourth wall—it makes me feel like I'm in on the joke.
See also: break, fourth, wall
References in periodicals archive ?
Poppers have since outlasted vice squads, hankie codes, and handlebar mustaches, but they no longer break the fourth wall.
Take, for example, the smouldering on-screen chemistry between Willis and co-star Cybill Shepherd, the wise-cracking scripts and such groundbreaking innovations as having characters break the fourth wall by talking into the camera to the folks at home.
Neil said: "I love the form of Land of the Dead, where characters break the fourth wall and directly address the audience.
The script works well and there's a chilling banality about things, although just like the first time around, the device whereby our junior torturers break the fourth wall and talk to the cinema audience still doesn't work.
A special point of interest is a short series of strips in which Adams dares to break the fourth wall and draw himself into a few cartoons
Illusion announced as illusion is an old trope, but Lynch doesn't so much break the fourth wall as make fiction global.
They also have Brown break the fourth wall at key moments.