Fourth wall

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In theatre, walls are broken in reverse numerical order. This is an example of breaking the fourth, third, second and first walls.

The fourth wall is an idea from the magical world of theatre. As such, the idea itself-like all ideas-is gay. In theatre, the stage will be set up to resemble a room with three walls with the fourth wall taken out. This non-existent fourth wall is our magical portal through which we view the lives of our beautifully dressed characters with perfect hair and make-up who always say exactly the right thing.

What is a Fourth Wall?

The Fourth Wall is the imaginary divider between audience and set/cast. In a production piece, it should feel as if you are viewing the actions as they occur, not being told about them; or narrated to.

If you look very closely, you still can't see the fourth wall.

In the cases of basement dwelling, computer-addicted individuals, "the fourth wall" would make a great epithet for the wall opposite the wall the computer is against. This has never caught on.

A rare example of building the fourth wall.

In reality TV, the fourth wall has taken a new meaning. In most of these shows, it relates to interaction between the cast and crew.

Breaking the fifth wall.
  • On the Real World, the fourth wall was broken by a slut of a cast-member and an ugly, mulleted producer.
  • Paula Abdul doing lines of coke off contestants in American Idol.
  • Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth savagely devouring the souls of three cameramen on The Apprentice.
  • Dan blowing the producers repeatedly for more chances at appearing on Real World/Road Rules Challenge and all its incarnations, even though he clearly sucks.
  • Deadpool, semi-lulzy Marvel Comics character. Exclude She-Hulk because she's a whore.
  • Pinkie Pie and her cartoon humor in My Little Pony.

Breaking the fourth wall simply ruins any sense of drama, reality or acting in a show. No one will be able to suspend their disbelief ever again, after a fourth wall is broken. This means that your comic, TV show, or movie, will now SUCK because even retarded 13-year-old boys will be able to tell it's fake. There goes the fan base!

What the FUCK does this have to do with the internet?!?!

Example of 0/10

Trolling, my good boy, trolling!

Part of the fine art of trolling is the ability to take up an alternate persona. Unless you happen to be a Raging Douche in person, you are going to have to take a cue from the thespians. Research your quarry, find what they like and dislike, then form a persona that accurately represents all the traits they just can not stand. The art comes in the form of knowing the fine line between amazing troll and Obvious troll.

Once you have developed your troll "face" you will need to wear it at all times, not breaking character. Breaking character breaks the illusion of being the douche you formulated, which in turn reminds the victim this is the internet and nothing here is real. In short, the fourth wall seperating the actor (you trolling the fuck out of that twat) and the audience (said twat) has been broken.

An alternate use for breaking the fourth wall is to get people to calm down. Typically White Knights are the most likely to do this in order to try to thwart an otherwise sucessful trolling attempt by itnerjecting "reality" into the situation. It also can be used to spurn an obvious troll so everyone can get back to fapping to dog cocks or whatever was going on at the time.

Common fourth wall breaking phrases include the following and their varients...

As you can see there are many ways to break the fourth wall. As a rule of thumb, if it draws direct attention to the fact that you are a person reading text on a web site and that none of what you are witnessing right now is actually happening, then it counts as a wall-breaker. Sometimes especially pissy knights have been known to sagebomb entire threads or flood the area with Guro or Cats in order to break the wall for those who can't comprehend that this is the INTERNET and not REALITY.

If you are the Troll in this situation, your only hope is to weave such a compelling tale and stay in character so strongly that nomatter how many times the knight posts kittens saying "U MAD" gullible, well-intentioned people will still belive you. If you do espeically well, other knights will begin to combat the knight on your behalf!

And that's the magic of the theatre and internet!

Not To Be Confused With

See Also / Fourth Wall Breakers

Fourth wall is part of a series on WHY IS THERE AN ARTICLE?

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Featured article February 18, 2006
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Tom Anderson
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