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Top 10 4th Wall Breaks in Film

VO: Dan Paradis
Hi how are you? You know those moments in movies where the characters directly address the audience or break the perception of reality, noting the fact that they're making a movie? Well on the random chance you stumbled onto this webpage, We're going to show you the 10 best moments in film when that happened. Don't worry about your boss being concerned that your procrastinating, if its anything I'm writing this while watching a video of a kitten riding a turtle. So maybe you'd like to Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 4th Wall Breaks in Film.
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Top 10 4th Wall Breaks in Film


They’re the moments when fantasy is broken by reality. Welcome to Watchmojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks 4th Wall Breaks in film.

For this list we’re focusing on moments in movies where the characters interact with audience in some way, with the more creative ways getting high priority on the list. We’re excluding moments that involved hitting or breaking the camera, as well as found footage films.

#10: Turkey and shower goggles
“Kuffs” (1992)


Kicking off our list is the film of a slacker turned cop. Christan Slater character plays a guy who can’t work an honest day in his life and shares his inner thoughts by addressing the audience, Things get really weird however when the camera acts a a person meeting him while taking a shower.

#9: Dealing with rejection
“Airplane” (1980)


As you could probably guess there are quite a lot of comedy films on this list, given the material we're working with. In the classic parody film we open up with our main character Ted meeting up with his former girlfriend as she’s about to leave on a plane. Dealing with rejection is hard but Ted seems to take it well at the sight of the Audience.

#8: A countdown list, within a countdown list.
“High Fidelity” (2008)


In a non comedic example of this trend, we see our lead character treating the audience like we’re his therapist, with a eerily familiar habbit ( "My Top 5 Break ups") Wait only top 5 Rob? You couldn’t do the full 10? ("Hey Rob you ****ing asshole") On second thought nevermind. So Pretty much throughout the entire film we get a taste of this guys love life as goes through the specifics of how his relationships started, and fell apart. We’re just missing that shrink’s couch to lie down on.

#7: Hater Meets Creator
“Annie Hall” (1977)

Don’t you just hate it when you get stuck next to one of those know-it-all critics who won’t shut up? Well, “Annie Hall” director/lead actor Woody Allen certainly knows how to stick it to ‘em: if the guy thinks he knows so much about media theorist Marshall McLuhan, then bring our media theorist Marshall McLuhan to prove him wrong [Boy if only life were this simple]. Mind you, this was before YouTube comments were invented.

#6: Choose Your Own Ending
“Wayne’s World” (1992)


This classic Mike Myers flick is packed with fourth wall breaks from start to finish. And we gotta say, the breaks get weirder as the film progresses. And by weirder, we mean self-referential and meta [I will not bow to any sponsor *Pizza Hut*]. But perhaps the most interesting break comes at the end, where Wayne and Garth go through possible conclusion scenarios and let the viewer decide which one’s best.

Before we go any further, since we’re in the middle of the list we should probably play this clip [Welcome to the middle of the film]. Okay, back to the countdown.

#5: Get On With It
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)


This classic film from the iconic comedy troupe also has its fair share of fourth wall moments [When suddenly the animator had a fatal heart attack]. But we’re giving the nod to that other scene [Do you think this scene should have been cut]. This scene was, in fact, removed from the original VHS version of the film in order to avoid negative backlash. Lucky for us it was restored in the 1996 special edition, as well as later DVD releases [Get on with it, yes get on with it]. It’s worth noting that those characters hadn’t even been introduced yet [Get on with it]. Alright, alright already.

#4: How to Wrap Things Up
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (2005)


Many films that use narration also have some fourth wall moments, and this one’s no exception. [how about you film goer] And we gotta say we love this one, but that’s not why this film gets the fourth spot. No, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” ranks so high thanks to its closing scene, where Robert Downey, Jr. tries to come up with a farewell for the audience [thanks for coming]. Don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler.

#3: Welcome to Alfie’s World
“Alfie” (1966/2004)


Whether it’s the 1966 Michael Caine original, which opens up with a doozy of a fourth wall break [I supposed you’re expecting the bleedin titles now], or the 2004 Jude Law remake with the more awkward break moments [my favorite sex position]; both versions of this film are replete with sex and interactions that break the fourth wall. Focused around a carefree ladies man whose lifestyle choices come back to haunt him, this film’s breaks give viewers a glimpse the inner thoughts Alfie is only comfortable sharing with us.

#2: The Latest in VHS Technology
“Spaceballs” (1987)


Now here’s a break that’s truly unique because it’s part of the plot . After the villains lose track of the heroes, one Colonel comes up with a plan to find them [Bring me the VHS of Spaceballs the movie]. Looking through the VHS of the very film they’re in, Evil Dark Helmet comes across a scene that’s a little too familiar, and of course the plot is able to advance by rewinding the video.

Before we break through to our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

#1: Never Question Bueller
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)


Taking the top spot is the classic Matthew Broderick film about skipping school. Making a fine note about his intentionally bad sick kid performance , the film starts off with advice to the audience on how to skip school. And, if you were smart enough to stick around the theater after the end credits, you’re greeted with this priceless gem.

Do you agree with our list? Hmm probably not: we know someone out there is about to type “How is that five-second clip from “Hot Tub Time Machine” not on this list?” in the comments section. But still, let us know when you liked being spoken to from the big screen. And, for more ground-breaking top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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