Breaking the fourth wall

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"Breaking the fourth wall" is a term that refers to a point where a character acknowledges that he or she is in a television show, and therefore, fictional. This term is different from an aside, where a character will seemingly detach for a moment to say something to the audience, then continue on as if nothing had happened.

There are several ways of breaking the fourth wall. They include referring to events that happened in said episode, stopping someone from performing a violent act or swearing by saying something along the lines of it being a children's show, responding to a character who is not physically present (e.g., the narrator), or getting people to buy merchandise of the subject in question.

In the anime

In the anime, the fourth wall has been broken numerous times. The most common characters to do this are Team Rocket.

Episodes in which the fourth wall is broken

Movies in which the fourth wall is broken

  • The Power of One: Slowking told Team Rocket that lots of people saw them risk their lives to save the world, then all four of them look at the audience and say hi. Earlier, when Team Rocket is saying the motto for the first time, Team Rocket proclaims that they're now on the big screen (since they've forgotten the events of the first movie). Ash then makes the quip of saying he'll "catch the motto on video".
  • Spell of the Unown: Team Rocket mentions that they would be "out of show business" if anything happened to Ash while helping to save him near the end of the movie. Meowth also asks Jessie earlier in the movie whether or not she thinks they will get a bigger part in the next one. Ironically, they only had minor roles in that movie.
  • Mewtwo Returns: James comments that "this feels like a sequel to a movie I missed". This is the sequel of the first movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back, the events of which were erased from the characters' memories.
  • Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea: The wall is broken twice with Meowth commenting that Diamond and Pearl are "good names for games" and later says, "let's get through this season first." when James says that they would find diamonds and pearls. These are both obvious references to the upcoming games as well as the tenth season.

In the games

See also