Talk:Fourth Wall Breaks

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Ding! Fourth Wall Breaks is a featured article, which means it showcases an important part of the Homestar Runner body of work and/or highlights the fine work of this wiki. We also might just think it's cool. If you see a way this page can be updated or improved without compromising previous work, feel free to contribute.

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[edit] Article title

This answers my question, I guess we are going to be tracking all 4th wall breaks. - Dr Haggis - Talk 16:36, 29 Nov 2004 (MST)

Can we at least be grammatical and call this something like "Fourth Wall Violations"?

I was going for [The] Fourth Wall Breaks, actually, as in "Fourth Wall Breaks! Details at 11." But if you think it's confusing, by all means change it. I'm just not going to go through the effort. :) --Vannav

I think this should at the very least be separated into two categories: "Audience Acknowledgement" in which the characters talk about the audience, and "Total Breakage", which consists of e-mails like "virus" that make fun of them being on a website. It's important to realize that somebody could theoretically make a real website in which they read e-mails sent in to them, so acknowledgement of an audience is not necessarily the same as acknowledgement of "cartoondom". So audience acknowledgement might not even qualify. --Tom H.

I argee, since "audience acknowledgement" could refer to all the emails. "Fourth Wall Breaks" should be limited to "Total Breakage".--Hysterical Woman 15:33, 30 Nov 2004 (MST)

."Total breakage"... don't know what I was thinking with that one. As with "cartoondom." --Tom H. (I actually signed up for the wiki but forgot my username.)

I don't think this page is necessary. --Upsilon

For Homestar Runner dot com, breaking the fourth wall is the rule rather than the exception. Except during the main toons (and even at times during them) the characters all seem to be fairly aware of an audience. Many references are made to the site, to sending Strong Bad emails, and there are few instances of characters being concerned that others are talking to the audience. Therefore, I don't think this page should exist. --Tim333

Hey: Is there a reason this page has initial caps on all the words? It's not the title of a 'toon. Wikipedia caps the first letter of the first word of all articles without exception; our policy seems to be to do the same except on sbemails. (Perhaps page-naming conventions could be added to HRWiki:Standards? —AbdiViklas 02:52, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

[edit] Are these really fourth-wall breaks?

To quote Wikipedia:

"The term breaking the fourth wall is used in film, theater, television, and literary works; it refers to a character directly addressing an audience, or actively acknowledging (through breaking character or through dialogue) that the characters and action going on is not real."

This page should not exist if one's definition of fourth wall breakage includes audience awareness through participation. It should exist (in some form or another) if one only counts the complete breakages (i.e. references to "the black").

In my opinion, this should only list total breakages. However, just implying that you're essentially watching a cartoon is NOT breakage in my opinion (they never say it really IS fake, just that it's not a live broadcast), so to me, only flashback (Homestar says he's usually behind the black) and virus (if you need THAT one explained, you need to go watch it) is breakage.

I completely disagree with you. First off... all... a "Total Breakage" isn't really a fourth wall break, because the audience isn't addressed. It doesn't make a difference if it's possible or not, a fourth wall break is simply when the audience is addressed in a play, movie, T.V. show, cartoon, ect. So, if someone made this page only "Total Breakages", the page would have true breaks. I think that this page should only have "Audience Acknowledgements" and a new page with the "Total Breaks". But with a different name.-- Slowbar

I'll gladly detail WHY I don't think the rest are breakages if anyone requests it for a particular e-mail. --83.88.139.108 13:21, 6 Dec 2004 (MST)

  • I concur. If we refer to every time Strong Bad recognizes he's being watched in a Strong Bad e-mail, we have to list every single last Strong-Bad e-mail!!! --Jay 11:17, 7 Dec 2004 (MST)
  • One could assume he's doing a Jennycam style live webcam show. Featuring him. Answering emails.

o

  • That seems to be the most likely scenario. -Clever Ben

You know, this is a very interesting question, and I'm happy to see so many people debating it. As a major in film and a minor in drama, however, I can certainly attest to the fact that "breaking the fourth wall" is an important concept to at least TRY to point out. For folks in the trade and in the scholarly-studies, it basically translates to "acknowledging the 'real' world outside of the filmworld or playworld." In film, this rule is hardly ever broken -- actors are rarely directed to look directly into the camera. 99% of the time, they're often looking just to the side of it. When an actor DOES directly address the audience, because breaking the rule is SO strange and SO "not done," it's usually used for kooky humor, as in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, or for jarring psychological effect, as in Psycho. H*R being a cartoon only makes this page more interesting, because it's taking a pretty intellectual concept and putting it to use for the masses. Voila. -- Queenie-C

I say point out that the whole concept of SBEmails points out that Strong Bad knows he's on a cartoon, and then delete all the boring ones where he mentions the viewers and stuff. The only exceptions should be the really interesting ones which go beyond simple dialogue, like The Cheat watching an Email on his computer. Besides that, I think all the other mentionings of fourth wall breakage are fine. --Joshua 18:01, 17 Mar 2005 (MST)
I may have a way out of all this: Strong Bad is running a small operation inside the homestar-verse for the benefit of those within it. That is to say, Strong Bad is an internet star inside the world of Homestar and Friends, which is why The Cheat can watch on his computer (or Strong Bad do the show from The Cheat's computer). In this context, we are not watching Strong Bad answer email for our benefit, but for those inside; we just get to watch, explaining why we can follow Strong Bad around when he leaves his computer. -- The Real Zajac 10:08, 11 May 2005 (PDT)
According to TVTropes.org, a wiki devoted to things like this, this type of thing is called a Fourth Wall Mail Slot. The fourth wall isn't broken, it just has a convenient prefabricated hole in it to let in emails.
Note that I would still mention that at least some people would refer to this a breaking the fourth wall, but, as Joshua says, let's only do it once, on Strong Bad Emails. Trlkly 13:21, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Hey Trlkly, thanks for mentioning that site, I think I'll enjoy perusing it. I wanted to point out that this particular thread of discussion is over 3 years old. When you see that, you should strongly consider whether it's worthwhile to resurrect such an old discussion thread, or if maybe there's some more recent relevant chatter, or if maybe a a new topic is warranted. There's a lot more in depth discussion of fourth walls in the body of work below that gets more detailed than this initial thread from 3 years ago. That said, this article has been tagged for clean up for a long time, and it's good to not let the discussion die — and bring fresh viewpoints into it. I do appreciate the link you gave, and a few of the related Tropes may be very helpful in categorizing this phenomena in this knowledge base. There seems to be a bit of the "No Fourth Wall" idea going on in some contexts in the H*R world, but it depends on the context, nature of the specific toon, and of course, where one assumes the wall to be.  Green Helmet 14:08, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if 2 years neccessarily breaks the fourth wall, since Homestar's Website is not www.homestarrunner.com. --GregHosting 06:43, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

[edit] Closed STUFF

These were on the STUFF page and declined. If you wish to contest these, leave a note here, but don't allow it to be confused with any of the original votes.

[edit] Strong Bad wants a cartoon (Declined)

In the King of Town DVD comentary, Strong Bad complains about the King of Town having his own cartoon while he dosen't have his own.

  • Decline. The fact that he's doing a commentary seems to point he knows they have cartoons.--Joshua 18:17, 17 Mar 2005 (MST)
    • Second. --Eujensc 05:35, 18 Mar 2005 (MST)
  • Decline. What is it with these obvious Fun Facts showing up all over the place? This one ought to be in the transcript, if it isn't already... which means this one doesn't even warrant voting. --TheEggman 20:30, 17 Mar 2005 (MST)
  • I'm the one who STUFF'd this, and it was mentioned in Fourth Wall Breaks, not The King of Town DVD. This fact is supposed to apply to a fourth wall breakage. --Joshua 07:19, 18 Mar 2005 (MST)
    • And it still deserves a Decline, because it's a pointless fun fact. ISlayedTheKerrek 10:53, 18 Mar 2005 (MST)
  • Decline with a vengence The entire idea of the characters doing commentaries is a fourth wall breaking excercise. Donny vs Universe
  • Decline I'm ready to "decline" the entire idea of logging "fourth wall breaks"... Strong Bad is constantly making it clear that he knows he's performing for an audience (e.g. "So, until next week, keep sending me those emails...") - Dingell
  • Decline But then, I think the whole "Fourth Wall Breaks" page is a waste of webspace for reasons I think are probably mentioned on its Talk page. --Jay 03:21, 5 Apr 2005 (MDT)
    • I don't think its bad, it just needs a clean up... badly. --Trogga 14:50, 5 Apr 2005 (MDT)
  • DECLINED! How about Homestar saying "What happened to my website?" in The System is Down or the fact that Strong Bad getting 400,000+ viruses caused everything in the Homestar Runner world to go haywire in virus? I'm sure there are several other instances of fourth wall breaking too. Comedies tend to do that a lot. -Upset_Your_Balance

[edit] Hello, Viewers! (Declined)

In [insert Strong Bad Email here], Strong Bad says [insert speech here], which hints that he knows he's being watched by an audience.

  • Decline. There are too many of these out there, and they're almost all boring. --Joshua 05:21, 24 Mar 2005 (MST)
  • Strong Decline. I agree. This fun fact can not be placed anywhere. Could it be that he is so self-esteemed that he believes that he will have an audience for anything he does? Pop_tire 24 Mar 2005
  • Decline See vote for "Strong Bad wants a cartoon" --Jay 03:21, 5 Apr 2005 (MDT)
  • DECLINE In addition to the poor spelling, this fact doesn't even say anything! "[insert Strong Bad Email here]"??? Is this some kind of a joke?
    • Second this unsigned vote. So whoever, sign your vote next time. Fizz123, who is not logged in
    • You don't get it. This is a general fact - the Fourth Wall page used to have a LOT of Fun Facts in this style, so this is a vote on ALL the facts of this sort. Though I do agree with your vote, I don't with your reasoning. --Jay 14:46, 10 Apr 2005 (MDT)

[edit] Toons! Games! Island

The first break on island is subtle, but it's there. Strong Bad doesn't say, "I suspect it would be like most cartoons," but rather, "I suspect it would be like most cartoons." Why would Strong Bad suggest it as an appropriate analogy? Because he himself is a cartoon. Later, when Homestar makes the effects from the Main Page 3 happen, it too is obviously a break. — It's dot com 21:31, 22 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Err, maybe if Strong Bad said "I suspect it would be like other cartoons," I'll believe you. And how does Homestar break the fourth wall? Are the Main Pages breaks? --TROGGA! 00:31, 23 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Strong Bad's emphasis is the key. Let's put it in different terms:
  • Consider the human brain, which is like a personal computer but is not one. In describing it, one could say: "The human brain is like most computers. It takes in information, processes it, and signals the body to respond." Note that the emphasis in the first sentence is on the last word.
  • Now consider my desktop computer. If someone asked me to describe it, I could say: "Well, it's like most personal computers; it's got a monitor and a keyboard and a mouse and it lets me run programs and access the Internet." Notice that "most other" is strongly implied by stressing the word "most".
Strong Bad's emphasis in the sentence, again while subtle, matches the second example here.
As for Homestar's wall break, this one is more clear-cut. Even if you take the stance that homestarrunner.com exists in their world and that Homestar posed for each of the main pages, he still shouldn't be able to make the effects occur at will. If he could, why wouldn't he just summon the ship to come pick them up off the island? Even if he didn't want to, surely Strong Bad would make him. — It's dot com 01:40, 23 Jul 2005 (UTC)
Correction, Homestar would be too dimwitted and would probably mess up and make the ship sink the island lol. But it is a fourth wall break, because for us, you just scroll on the buttons and that stuff happens on the main page, but in the cartoons, whenever Homestar says "email", "game(s)", and such, none of that happens, even if it were on purpose, assuming that he has to be in a main page environment for it to happen like on the island.

[edit] Homestar's Theme

Would Homestar singing his theme song be a fourth wall break? Rogue Leader / (my talk)

Hm, I don't think so. I can make up a theme song describing myself without implying I'm a cartoon.--T3H_CH3K7_888 21:08, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Dicuss Amongst Yourselves!

It seems to me like we need to nail down some official policy about what will be considered 4th-Wall-breaks and what won't, and then bring this page up to speed. For instance, I don't think huttah!, monument, or part-time job should be there, but I think geddup noise should, and Main Page 23 definitely should. I didn't want to go in deleting and adding recklessly until some kind of official consensus is reached, though. --notstrongorbad 20:25, 2 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Quick note: part-time job should be there. Strong Bad peers around the black before walking into frame. There's no corresponding object in his world for him to be looking around. — It's dot com 06:25, 6 Oct 2005 (UTC)

[edit] monument

Is Homestar singing "The Thnikkaman" song at the end really a fourth wall break? Isn't it implied that the song that's triggered upon his entrance & exit (as well as calling and hangups) is heard by the characters and just a part of the Thnikkaman's story? --Come back, chocolates! 15:21 2 Nov 2005 (EST)

It's the fact that he puts his head back into the frame to say it, indicating he had to get himself in view of the audience. small_logo.pngUsername-talk 20:24, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

[edit] Why is it called the "Fourth" Wall?

What happened to the first three walls? Ian911299

You might check the Wikipedia article for that. --DorianGray

It's just a general expression, mainly. It's not just here. --SaltyTalk! 03:57, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Should we add an explination? — talk Bubsty edits 03:03, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
No, that's what the Wikipedia article is for. — It's dot com 03:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

To be blunt, the term "The fourth wall" originated from onstage performances, where the "fourth wall" in the "room" where the play is taking place is the one which the audience sees all the action through.

[edit] Big Problem

  • Strong Bad actually recieves real emails.
  • He is appearantly aware that the video of his replies are seen by people on the web site.
  • This implies that Strong Bad thinks that he has a webcam that follows him around.
  • Therefore, the times when Strong Bad addreses the viewer(s) are not breaking the fourth wall. Only references to "being in a cartoon" would be breaking the fourth wall.
  • I have emailed Strong Bad about this issue, (see my user page) and I hope that the Bros Chaps will someday make a cool cartoon with my email in it. --NERD42  email  talk   h²g²  pedia  uncyc  18:54, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
And the big, previously unaddressed problem is...? - Joshua 18:57, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
The page currently says that every time the characters talk to the viewer, they are breaking the fourth wall. I was just trying to explain that this is not nessicarily the case. --NERD42  email  talk   h²g²  pedia  uncyc  19:01, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Do you even know what breaking the fourth wall is? Even if it's common, it's still a breakage. You better go to the Wikipedia article. - Joshua 19:13, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I know what breaking the fourth wall is. I'm saying that if Strong Bad believes he has a (fictional) webcam following him around or some such thing then he's not breaking the fourth wall when he talks to the audience any more than Homestar does when he says "seriously folks they're the best". There are other explanations for many of the supposed fourth wall breaks. Not that there aren't fourth wall breaks in Homestar Runner, but there aren't nearly as many as this article indicates. -NERD42  email  talk   h²g²  pedia  uncyc  19:45, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Cheat Comandos

I think we should take off the one about "Buy our playsets and toys". It's supposed to be an ad. User:Dacheaatbot/sig 01:20, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree.--T3H_CH3K7_888 21:10, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Note

According to my view, saying "It's been three emails in a row" isn't specifically breaking the fourth wall. Plus, I'm adding one about candy product. Strong Bad says "I'll surely have a candy product at the end of this email.

I agree about the "three emails in a row". Retromaniac 17:09, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
I second that, completely. It's not as if he doesn't know he's answering emails! You have to consider the fact that they know what they're doing inside the Homestar Universe - fourth wall breaks are when they acknowledge that there are people watching them (Strong Bad appears to have constant awareness of his "viewers," so I presume that he's aware of it within the HR Universe, but that's another argument...). Anyway, I agree. Whatever it was. ;) Michelle Mabelle 19 August 2006

[edit] Thing about the "Island" Email

It states in the page that saying that the situation will be like "most cartoons" is somehow a reference to the fact that Homestarrunner.com is a website of cartoons. This is simply not the case; the events about which Strong Bad speaks happens in classic cartoons, specifically starring Bugs Bunny, etc. I vote for "Island"'s removal.

Reference the eighth discussion above this one. So makey outy 07:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

[edit] senior prom

At the end of senior prom, after leaving his computer, Strong bad is seen on-screen slightly from the black, then jumps over behind it, like he knows that you can't see him there. Would that count? - User:Young Roy/Young Roy

You know what? You're right. I guess it should be included. Besides, Strong Bad does appear surprised when he sees the camera.

[edit] keep cool

In "keep cool", Strong Bad emerges from the bottom of the screen and addresses to the viewers what Strong Badia is. In the article for keep cool, it says that this is one of the most "abrupt" fourth wall breaks to date. But is it technically a fourth wall break anyway? Strong Bad might be talking to the viewers on this "webcam" I keep hearing so much about.

Should that part be kept or DELETED? Jimmy91 15:15, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

[edit] It's kind of like there's two fourth walls

A lot of even the complete 4th wall breaks couldn't technically be called such, depending on which 4th wall we're talking about. The characters have acknowledged that they are "cartoon characters," but in a universe which is nothing but cartoons, being a character in a "cartoon" is probably not that different from being a character in a "movie," in the real world. Do we count real commentaries as 4th wall breakages when an actor says "oh, yeah, in one take of this scene I pooped my pants," or whatever? No, because that's completely outside of the movie, and inside what the actor considers to be real life.

In other words, there's a difference between the "real" characters admitting they're actors in a bunch of cartoons, and them acknowledging that they are completely fictional. Some of the DVD commentaries seem to indicate that all the characters fully believe that they are "real," and that they're just actors. And some comments like "Little known fact: Homestar gained a hundred pounds and shrank two feet for this role" also strongly imply that the characters believe themselves to be real people. Thus, breaks of the "first" 4th wall are quite common, but the real 4th wall have yet to happen as far as I can recall.

A breach of the real 4th wall would require a character to distinguish between their cartoon world, and the "real" world, and to admit that their world is less real in comparison. Just the former doesn't cut it. So for instance, if a character were to complain about how poorly drawn they are, that could be considered a "real" 4th wall breach, depending on how it's argued. There are a bunch of unknowns.

Like whether or not they're aware of any differences between their cartoon universe, and the real world. They may think that all their viewers are cartoons, and thus operate under the same wacky laws of physics. Being poorly drawn may be as fundamental a quality as being ugly or transparent or whatever, to us.

Yes, this is looking into it way too much, but it's not like any of us have anything better to do.

Well, let's first explore what the fourth wall really is. In theater, it is a dramatic device which involves the actor suddenly stopping relating to the box of the stage-world and begins addressing the audience, often with meta-commentary on the action, conditions, or other facts of the proceedings beyond the "facts of the scene". One could rightly call Strong Bad's description of what Strong Bad actually is (from keep cool) is a classic fourth wall break. A character referring to himself as a "cartoon character" should not limit the definition of a fourth wall break - in fact, it is in itself a fourth wall break!
I think the qualification that the real world be better than the cartoon world is not necessary for a fourth wall break. A simple comment saying "I am in a cartoon you're watching, and here's some info that is not plot-related and is kinda behind-the-scenes" is enough. The fourth wall, after all, is the imaginary barrier between the action and the audience - betwen the play and the players, if you will - and no further qualification is needed.
That said, I think some are too liberal with "fourth wall" attribution. In a Strong Bad Email, SB is so clearly playing to an audience that his actions and speech cannot be considered a break. However, Homestar's might be ("See you after the flashback" (flashback) might be considered a break if we assume he's addressing the viewer, not SB), or any other characters', and even his own might be if it transcends both the context of a toon and the context of a toon presented as a toon.
Great topic for discussion. Please sign up and continue these observations. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 00:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
That's the classical definition of the 4th wall, but it seems like in modern usage, it refers to absolutely any instance where a character acts as if they know that they are part of a work of fiction (or that they, themselves, are entirely fictional); that's also the definition used on the page itself. One thing I was thinking of when I wrote the above, was the comic strip One Over Zero, which really explores the concept of a fourth wall from the perspective of a fictional character (among other things). http://www.undefined.net/1/0/
It should probably be decided, then, exactly which definition of 4th wall is to be used for the article. -Arrkhal 20:26, 24 September 2006 (UTC)


I think the above is indeed a very interesting observation, but when I was writing my comment about the Yello Dello cartoon, I was thinking of another problem of essentially locating where the fourth wall is. In particular, there's the question of cartoons within cartoons. The mention of fourth wall breaks in Cheat Commandos cartoons are indeed fourth wall breaks, but in my opinion they only break the fourth wall of that cartoon, not the HomestarRunner.com website. I'm not sure whether this means it should be removed or even commented, I only note it as interesting. -Brucker
Fairly similar is the problem of whether the commentaries for the Yello Dello and King of Town DVD should be mentioned. Commentaries are completely outside of the 4th wall of the tune itself as well, but within the 4th wall of the homestarrrunner.com website. Many are even worse offenders though, like the "more fan costumes" toon. That one can't even be considered a toon proper, so there really is no "internal" 4th wall to be broken. -Arrkhal 20:26, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Yello Dello narrator

I notice that it lists the narrator referring to "this cartoon" as a fourth wall break. I'm finding myself doubting that. Can a narrator break the fourth wall? I think narrators are, for lack of a better way to phrase it, already on the other side of the fourth wall. A fourth wall breaking involving a narrator seems to me to have to involve characters in a cartoon/movie/play/whatever interacting with the narrator in an unnatural way. (For those who have seen the play "Into the Woods", there is a point in the play when the characters drag the narrator onto the stage and bring him into the plot. *That's* breaking the fourth wall.)

Actually, if people agree, it might call into question a number of other items on this page, such as characters speaking in DVD commentaries, but that's more of a grey area.-Brucker

[edit] Double Post

Why is First Time Here in this twice?

It's not anymore. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 01:20, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Transfer

I'm sorry, I simply don't see the connection between the location and the fourth wall break. And all occurances are already covered on Fourth Wall BreaksLoafing 21:58, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree. I don't see why this info should be organized in this way, on its own page. — It's dot com 22:04, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I concur with loafing. . .normally I'm all for new articles which interest people, but I just don't get this one. . .if someone can tell me what they're aiming at, it may be helpful. . .but right now I think there's nothing here that isn't already covered in whole in Fourth Wall Breaks. - Ilko Skevüld's Teh C 22:06, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I think it's about places that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the fourth wall breaking, like the error page. I could be wrong, though. Shwoo 22:09, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Nonetheless, that is notable with ease on Fourth Wall Breaks so no new page is needed to do that. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 22:13, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I created this page because of the reason Shwoo suggested. The idea was not for the Fourth Wall Break angle, but for pages that mention locations like these, but have no links to explain about those locations. I assumed that this would be a better solution than creating a page for each location, although it is arguable that a Real-World Reference on the page would probably be best. --videlectrix.pngENUSY discussionitem_icon.gif user.gifmail_icon.gif 22:42, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. I argue that it should remain a Real-Word Reference, or something else similarly minimal. — Lapper (talk) 22:59, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Possible fourth wall break?

In redesign, strong bad says "no, pan up!" The Big Eye 16:28, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Directing the camera/viewer's eyes. Yeah. I could go for that. --DorianGray

[edit] Literal caption

What's wrong with using the word "literally" in the image caption? --Trogga 19:35, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

It's unnecessary and too leading. You don't have to hit people over the head with the joke; leave room for subtlety. — It's dot com 23:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I actually think it's more amusing that way. --Trogga 23:13, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Trogga: the caption without the "literally" tells us no more than the page title does. It's like captioning the pic for the chair with "the chair". Dr. Clash 23:23, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
You mean the pic where the glass is being smashed and it says/said "Breaking the fourth wall, literally"? I think it's funnier with the "literally".--T3H_CH3K7_888 21:24, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Actually Fourth Wall Breaks?

I just thought of something... It's not really breaking the fourth wall if, for example, The Cheat watches a Strong Bad Email. It may be a break that it seems to be a live feed, but the fact is, everyone knows they are in something that is being recorded. Addressing the camera (or audience) isn't really breaking the fourth wall either, because in the H*RU (not Homestar Runner University), as far as the characters are concerned, all of their exploits are being recorded for all to watch. While I agree that if they mention being in a cartoon, that's breaking the fourth wall, but I think we should reconsider some of these alleged fourth wall breaks. --TotalSpaceshipGirl3 10:35, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I've always thought that a forth wall break was only when it was written in the actual story for the characters to realize their world is fictitious. Commenting to the audience directly is just narration. If I was in charge of the H*R Wiki for a day, I'd boil this page down to just virus and toons that take place on the Error Page and Under Construction (which isn't even mentioned here now.) It might also include instances where characters interact with the black and the edge of the screen, but it definitely would not include narration or announcements like in keep cool, or mentions of the "email show".
I say delete the folowing:
  • DNA Evidence: Homestar does a voiceover for the "previously on homestarrunner.com" part.
  • In Search of the Yello Dello and The King of Town DVD: The characters do commentaries and are in previews for these toon "DVDs", showing that they know they were cartoons. Strong Bad even calls one of the toons a cartoon several times.
  • Sbemail 169 Deleted Scene: The DVD style, especially the commentary, imply that what we see is written and filmed.
  • Halloween Potion-ma-jig: Throughout the cold open, Homestar directly addresses the viewer. When he comes upon Homsar, he remarks "Oh, great. The secret guy." and then comments on the choices that Homsar "gives" him. Then when he reaches the Creepy Cliff, he refers to it as a "cool new background." Finally, in the Goblin ending, Marzipan declares the end of the scene.
  • Homestar Presents: Presents: Strong Bad informs the viewers that Homestar runs around frantically from Decemberween to New Year's; then, in the Easter egg, there is a poster on the wall that reads, "Left Out Characters' Support Group & Buffet."
  • A Mother's Day Message: Homestar and Strong Bad directly talk to the viewers.
  • A Holiday Greeting: the main characters wish the viewers "Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you".
  • rough copy: Strong Bad comments that "we should star in our own action-packed credit sequence". An action-packed credit sequence follows.
  • unnatural: Strong Bad talks to the camera as he performs a public service announcement.
  • strong badathlon: Whatsit gets on the camera.
  • 4 branches: Strong Bad says that he'll have to get more specific to be able to cover stupid Homestar ground in one email.
  • cliffhangers: Strong Bad tells the narrator to get to the resolution of the second cliffhanger.
  • road trip: Strong Bad declares the end of the email.
  • theme song: Besides the whole idea of a theme song for his show, Strong Bad says he gives the viewers "a new email song every freakin' week".
  • keep cool: Strong Bad interrupts the email (he rises up from below the frame) to explain the difference between Strong Badia and the rest of Free Country, USA. He then offers a high five. He also says "Note to viewers" before everything else.
  • candy product: Strong Bad says he'll have a candy product "by the end of this email".
  • narrator: Strong Bad said that Strong Sad had made corrections in three emails in a row, the first two being secret identity and technology.
  • virus: The effects of the virus cause several fourth wall breakages.
  • extra plug: As Strong Bad tells the others to hold their poses, he reminds them that "it's going to be a long week."
  • old comics: Strong Bad says that he and Homestar were used in a comic that was printed at least 60 years ago. Since they are obviously not that old, he is pointing out the fact that he and Homestar are unaging cartoon characters.
  • crying: Strong Bad states (or rather sings) that he "will not sing an email song this week."
  • dangeresque 3: When Dangeresque 1 begins, The Cheat holds up a card that reads "not in 3D" (Dangeresque 3 was supposed to be in 3D).
  • video games: Strong Bad turns and yells directly at the camera saying "'Cause you can't control me!"
  • couch patch the first part of this one is acceptable ...and Homestar says he got confused about the title of the e-mail.
  • mile: Strong Bad tells the viewers that he won't answer an email this week. The Cheat creates one, complete with a loading screen.
  • stunt double: Strong Bad throws floppy disks at the viewers and then pretends to give and take them away.
  • big white face: The Poopsmith pokes The Paper with his shovel.
  • huttah!: The Cheat actually watches the email on his own computer.
  • your friends: Strong Bad states that he's giving the fans what they want.
  • little animal: Strong Bad talks about the people watching the e-mail at home.
  • stand-up: Strong Sad tells the viewers to come with him.
  • Issue 8: Cheerleader sings "It's over! It's over! Strong Bad says it's over" at the end of the issue.
  • strongbad_email.exe (all discs): Either Homestar or The Cheat walks by an FBI warning. Also, if the viewer doesn't make a selection in the Bonus Stuff menu, Strong Bad will enter and say "Time's up, choosy! I'm playing Trogdor!", and plays TROGDOR! for a little bit.
  • strongbad_email.exe Disc One: Strong Bad tells The Paper to "show these morons what to do". Then, The Paper will tell the viewer to make a choice.
  • strongbad_email.exe Disc Three: Homestar and Strong Bad wonder where the viewer is and Homestar suggests that perhaps they are making a sandwich. Strong Bad orders the viewer to bring them some cold ones.
  • strongbad_email.exe Disc Four: The Female Lappy 486 asks Strong Bad what's taking the viewers so long.
  • strongbad_email.exe Disc Five: Strong Bad complains the viewer took so long the Lappy's screensaver turned on.
  • Everything Else, Volume 1: Strong Bad says there are no emails on the DVD. Homestar tells the viewer to make a choice.
  • Everything Else, Volume 2: Coach Z raps the FBI warning. Homestar complains that the viewer is taking too long deciding and tries to eat some of the menu items.
  • Legal: Homestar walks by and comments on the boringness of the disclaimers.
  • The Paper: The Paper always descends from the top of the screen, no matter where that may be at the time.
  • Strong Sad: On Strong Sad's character page, he complains about making a "character page" and ... the second part of this is acceptable
  • First Time Here?: Sets the stage for fourth wall breakages, especially when Strong Bad says "I'm the real reason you're here" and asks people to "check him out".
Especially Sbemail 169 Deleted Scene, since it's TBC that are showing us the scenes, not the actual characters. Also, especially ones like 4 branches, where Strong Bad doesn't even say "email show", he just refers to the content of an email and the answer thereof.
--.Johnny Jupiter! talk cont 07:32, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia says:
The term "breaking the fourth wall" in theatre generally means when a character is showing his/her awareness of the audience.
So, technically, breaking the fourth wall is commenting to the audience directly. DEI DAT VMdatvm center\super contra 10:33, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
But only when it's part of the story. Is it a fourth wall break on a variety show when someone like Bob Hope talks to the TV audience? The fact that the H*R Characters frequently refer to their "website" or the "email show" shows that it's likely the same. They're consciously putting on a show for people to watch, so when Strong Bad says something like "Alright, people. This week we got some cool crap for you guys," that's just him announcing. It's like in that instance, the fourth wall is the back wall of the auditorium, and the audience is part of what's going on. It only becomes a fourth wall break when a story begins where a suspension of disbelief requires the characters to assume the audience isn't there.
Maybe this is just my interpretation of fourth wall breaks, but it makes perfect sense to me.--.Johnny Jupiter! talk cont 18:33, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
The term "breaking the fourth wall" in theatre generally means when a character is showing his/her awareness of the audience.
It's important to emphasize a couple things from the definition above, (which appears in the wikipedia article), "in theatre", and "generally". "In theatre" is particular important, because the format and expectations of a theatrical production are very different from much of h*r, especially the e-mails. There is some room for ambiguity at times, depending on context and expectations. I would argue that expectations is a primary criteria, which can be quite subjective. If you're watching TV and a severe weather bulliten flashes across the bottom of the screen, and the people on TV react to it, is that a fourth wall break? Depends, if you are watching a newscast it certainly is not, but if characters in a sitcom do, it is.
That said, many of the listings on this page are unambiguously not fourth wall breaks and should be removed without question. There are others that need some justification (from either side), whether they should stay or go. 74.136.209.156 14:16, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Please boldface any others you would like me to remove. (do not boldface any where a character talks to the viewers) Bad Bad Guy 02:57, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Sbemail 150?!?

Why doesn't it count when the Lappy tells us Strong Bad is understairs? Bad Bad Guy 18:58, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Cheat Commandos

I just thought of something. We now know that Cheat Commandos is a cartoon on TV, after seeing Crack Stuntman. There's a few fourth wall breakages in Cheat Commandos toons, but if they're implying that they're in a TV show rather than an internet cartoon, then would they really be listed here? If not, than is this page for all fourth wall breakages, including the fourth wall breakages that don't imply that they're on the internet? Spyrox6

Hmm. I always assumed that Cheat Commandos was a TV cartoon in the H*R universe; are you referring to the recent addition of Crack Stuntman? Anyway, good point. They still break the fourth wall, but, (and I don't know how well I'm about to describe this), they're breaking the 4th wall with regard to the H*R universe, while H*R, Strong Bad, etc. themselves would be breaking the 4th wall with regard to our universe. I say we keep them, but maybe try to specify the difference, or add a note saying something like "Note: The Cheat Commandos are a TV show existing within the Homestar Runner universe." (Maybe that's not even needed. I dunno.) kai lyn 23:39, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Since we currently list with no differentiation several instances of Strong Bad breaking the fourth wall of his "email show" while not actually breaking the fourth wall of the H*R Universe, I don't see any reason to treat the Commando's show-within-a-cartoon any differently.BryanCTC 00:14, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Also, when they say mentioning playsets and toys, they are just a long commercial, like gi joe, so that isn't breaking the fourth wall either.-Strongor_Rador 7493
But how often do GI Joe characters refer to their encounters as "episodes", their headquarters as a "Headquarters playset", or whatever? --It's Jay Times! (tines) 21:14, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

[edit] One Two: Just might be a Homsar oddity but does his thing count?

--Addict 2006 13:43, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

If you're referring to Strong Bad making a Homsar solo appear I was going to ask about that as well. Bad Bad Guy 04:29, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Fourth Wall Breaks by Fans

It is currently mentioned on the paper Talk Page that I may have broken the "Fourth Wall", should this be referenced or not? Wi2K Talk-Favorites-173 03:57, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, I think we normally don't say stuff about what fans do (i.e., when someone named Dan sends in an email, it's not part of the running gag Dan. However, it might be notable that TBC/Strong Bad selected your email, thus proving that they/he knows that fans have more knowledge than they could logically have. Another words, if Strong Bad wasn't in a cartoon, he would have said, "What makes you think the Paper's going to leave?" or after the Paper quit, "Hey! How did you know that??" Another words, I hope that makes sense and isn't just more of my deranged ramblings. So makey outy 04:39, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
the section in yellow is the key break...

then the paper falls on him, therefore he was completely oblivious to the fact The Paper was quitting. Also at the end of more armies, The Paper was paper jammed, but it is strongly assumed that it was just a The Paper quirk. Wi2K Talk-Favorites-173 05:05, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

To be fair, after The Paper came down in more armies, Strong Bad states, "That's a bad sign." In addition, I know that quite a few H*R fans, including myself, were counting down the "Dreaded SBemail #173" and took the paper's jam as an ominous omen. I haven't heard anyone except you question this. Plus, wouldn't the "prophecy" (I have nothing better to call it) count as a Fourth Wall Break? User:waferman/sig 18:05, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

[edit] reverse chronological order

 <!-- Keep most recent on top -->

Isn't the convention for every other list on the wiki most recent last? Why reversed on this page?  Green Helmet 00:14, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I too have been wondering this for quite some time. — Defender1031*Talk 00:22, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
The best person to ask would be Invisible Robot Fish, as he's the one who initially added the message to the sections when it went through serious revision. (Hit the "edit" tab to actually see them added.) --DorianGray 04:25, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, seeing no objection, and having noticed other things that don't quite fit with our usual page layouts, i'm gonna be bold and say that i'll start on it tomorrow, unless someone voices an objection by then. — Defender1031*Talk 01:00, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Most Fourth Wall breakages

Which of the whole Homestar website has the most fourth wall breakages? If you ask me, virus has the most wall breakages of them all. Considering it happens throughout the whole cartoon. --Pretztailfan95 20:16, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

That;s more of an opinion rather than something we could actually use in the article. Acam30 20:18, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
There, I fixed it. This would make a good Fun Fact...if that's even possible for this article...--Pretztailfan95 21:23, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
It still seems hardly relevant. — Defender1031*Talk 23:08, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Well then why would they bother making a Fun Facts section for all the sbemails and other cartoons? Explain that to me. I think they should put which one has the most fourth wall breakages as a Fun Fact. End of discussion. --Pretztailfan95 00:31, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
If you want us to explain to you, you probably shouldn't end the discussion... xD (Sorry, not trying to be a pain, but it was hard to resist.) Acam30 01:00, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Fine, explain away, but I still think it should be put up as a fun fact... --Pretztailfan95 01:19, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] rated

I'm not sure whether this could be considered a 4th wall break or not: In the Easter Egg for the sbemail rated, where the King Of Town is watching Strong Bad's email show on a TV (commenting on the eating puppies for breakfast.) It acknowledges that he has a show that other people watch... but is that breaking the fourth wall, or just bending it?

The interesting thing, I think, in this case is that he's watching it on a TV. Now, we've disincluded things where Strong Bad's been watched before (huttah!), because we seem to base this on a premise that Strong Bad believes he is followed by some sort of webcam or something. In this case, though, he's being watched not on a computer, but on a TV. It's different than huttah!.
I'm not sure if this lends itself more one way or another towards fourth wall breaks, but I felt it was worth remarking on and considering. --DorianGray 06:21, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Categorization

Shouldn't this article be categorized under Running Gags or Running Themes?

[edit] pizza joint

In the Easter Egg with Strong Sad, he points up to where sbemail179.html would be in the address bar. Would this be considered a fourth wall break? That'sBupkis! 14:52, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

There's not really a strong implication in that scene that he's aware he's in a cartoon. BBG 15:40, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
More specifically, it's been argued that he makes the upward extended finger gesture in all of the Review Revue segments, whether or not he's talking about the URL (And to make what BBG was saying (I think) more explicit, even if he is referring to the URL, it could be taken as something of a webcast). -132.183.138.86 15:43, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Lemme give you all a breakdown:

Alright, so here's our situation: I hate fake fourth-wall breaks. I removed many items that I believed were not fourth wall breaks, one of which there has been an edit war over recently. Let me take you through the reasoning behind each removal in their own subtopics. Any other discussion on an individual fact basis should go here as well, I think. --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 01:02, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

[edit] The House That Gave Sucky Treats and Halloween Potion-ma-jig

I removed parts of these facts because I believed that the rule was if they acknowledge viewers, it's not a fourth-wall break (only if they say they are in a cartoon). I think I may have been wrong on these, since it says at the top excluding acknowledgments in Strong Bad Emails. I'm not so sure if we sohuld draw the line there, however. Anyone else have thoughts? --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 01:02, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Disagree. Talking to the viewers is the very epitome of fourth-wall breaking. The reason Sbemails aren't included is because, well, it'd be all of them. --It's Jay Times! (tines) 01:11, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Let us give TANKS!

This was removed for the reason DeFender mentioned in his second edit summary. It's the exact same as Homestar singing his theme song. If we want to put both on this list, we can do that. I have yet to be swayed as to why come this fact should stay up on its own without being joined as mentioned. --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 01:02, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Disagree, but on the merits of the words, not the tune. If they were just humming the tune, I'd agree with you. But who are they requesting buy what playsets and which toys, if not breaking the fourth wall? --It's Jay Times! (tines) 01:11, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

[edit] independent

At the end, Strong Bad mentions a festival with the residents of free country making movies and so forth (that he didn't do, because he hates you, etc.), and he calls them "characters." Does this count? -128.103.10.135 04:05, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Strong Bad referring to the cast of the Homestar Runner cartoons as "characters" (rather than "my friends" or "everyone else") would count as a fourth wall break. In fact, Strong Bad does the same thing in Jibblies 2 and that's already on the article, so we have a precident. – The Chort 12:38, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Hey, that wasn't a fourth wall break. Was it?

This is something I meant to bring up a long thyme ago but kept forgetting. A whilst ago, I removed the crazy cartoon entry, because I really don't see how it's a fourth wall break. Purple Wrench put it back, with an edit summary that I couldn't make heads or tails of. So, how does The Cheat break the fourth wall by animating a scene with him and Strong Bad in front of the computer? Can somebody (Purple Wrench?) give me a sense-making argument? SRMX12 (talk) 15:58, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Sure thing. You know how whenever Strong Bad and The Cheat talk about how good/bad the PBTC animations are, the viewer sees them from behind? The scene is positioned just perfectly to show the back of Strong Bad's head, the back of The Cheat's body, and the Tangerine Dreams monitor between them. It's a great "camera angle" for the fourth wall to have.
When The Cheat animates the same scene, he somehow uses the exact same angle. How is he supposed to know that people are looking at them from behind, with the computer between them? If The Cheat didn't know this, he would have had a few more logical options: 1) show his own perspective, since that's what he sees all the time; or 2) show Strong Bad's perspective, since he's trying to play up Strong Bad's expectations and get a trophy out of it.
AND, if you don't buy that, the other fourth wall he breaks is the Tangerine Dreams' fourth wall, animating a scene showing the fact that he is the creator of it. It's as if we saw a Homestar cartoon and then the scene cut to Mike and Matt discussing whether it was good or not. It basically reveals that the characters know they exist in an animation, and that the creators are going to shoehorn themselves into the mix to make it more obvious. -- ■■   PURPLE  WRENCH   ■■ 17:52, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I guess I'm still not convinced. The Cheat's camera angle is convenient for the viewer, but it doesn't mean The Cheat knew that's where the viewer was watching— it was just a good angle that caught both him and Strong Bad in it at once. And your other argument— sure, it's a fourth wall break of The Cheat's cartoon; an in-universe fourth wall break; but isn't this page just for Homestar Runner fourth wall breaks? SRMX12 (talk) 00:36, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
PBTC Strong Bad comments on The Cheat's cartoon (in itself) in front of his computer from the same angle and view that their in-universe selves were previously seen in Everybody to The Limit. Because this segment is part of the cartoon, it appears in a full-screen view like the rest of it, seemingly an effort on The Cheat's part to blend the regular universe with PBTC. This tricks Strong Bad to some extent, prompting him to question if it actually happened in-universe, displaying awareness that he is being seen by the viewer from that angle. That'sBupkis! 01:20, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Actually, The Cheat has seen Strong Bad Emails on the website before in huttah!, so it only counts if that one does. -- ■■   PURPLE  WRENCH   ■■ 02:55, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
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