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"The fourth wall" is an expression stemming from the world of theater. In most modern theater design, a room will consist of three physical walls, as well as a an imaginary fourth that serves to separate the world of the characters from that of the audience.

In fiction, "breaking the fourth wall" often means having a character become aware of their fictional nature. This can range from your character advising you to "Press X" in a tutorial all the way to Psycho Mantis reading your memory card and mentioning the other games you've been playing. However, the most direct violation of the fourth wall would be a character openly acknowledging they are in a video game or even directly speaking to you, the player, instead of to your character.
(Jak 3:)

Monk: This isn't a game!
-Jak and Daxter look toward the player with confused expressions-

(Dragon Age 2:)

Ghyslain (when a quest from him is available:) Does no one see this exclamation mark above my head?


Man: Have you ever wondered why everything we do is controlled by-

Dog: Stop! Breaking the fourth wall is a bad idea!
by Dante Hawke March 14, 2012
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May 17 Word of the Day
Briefly, "the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own." Originally from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which has a lot more beautiful neologism definitions like this you might enjoy.
I felt deep sonder thinking about the all the people who looked up this word along with me.
by rednos January 10, 2013
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"The fourth wall" is the wall that separates fictional worlds from reality, so breaking the fourth wall is basically saying that you know that there's another universe outside of the fictional one.
Deadpool does this alot
Deadpool: "A message to all the kids out there, cover your eyes if ya don't wanna be scarred for life, eh?" (shoots someone)
Me: Quit breaking the fourth wall, dude
by Lolliepuff December 25, 2014
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Whenever characters in movies/video games/cartoons/other interact with the audience in some way
Guy watching movie: this character sucks
character in movie: *Looks at the guy* No i dont!
Guy watching movie: the f***? thats breaking the fourth wall!
by JTube March 25, 2019
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