Fourth Wall Breaks

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Good morning, reality!

Sometimes, the characters "break the fourth wall" by displaying awareness that they are in an Internet cartoon.

Fourth wall breakages are common in Strong Bad Emails; Strong Bad often addresses the viewers, and references to his "email show" are made. Excluding Strong Bad Emails that involve a character addressing the viewers, here is a list of fourth wall breakages in the toons.

Addressing the viewer, however, isn't neccesarily breaking the fourth wall. Strong Bad may believe that he has a webcam that follows him around during the email show. Just because the characters realize they are being shown on a website doesn't mean they are breaking the fourth wall. A fictional character speaking into a fictional camera to a future audience hasn't necessarily broken the fourth wall. If they were to refer to being in a cartoon or to refer to being cartoon characters, that would be breaking the fourth wall. This is because the fictional character Strong Bad may be actually talking to a fictional audience that only exists in his mind. But this theory may be wrong because Strong Bad often addresses viewers in "sbemail" and never replies (send_email.exe). Also, note that in the very first email, Strong Bad says, but doesn't type, "and send me some good ones next time".


Fourth Wall Breakages

Big Toons

  • Weclome Back: All of the characters (including the King of Town) punch in on a time clock after returning from a vacation. Marzipan wonders whether anyone has been "taking care of the website." Homestar Runner says "It's time to get this www-dot-show back on the road-dot-com."
  • Where's The Cheat?: While reassuring Strong Mad, Strong Bad says "Don't worry, big guy. We'll cut to a montage."
  • In Search of the Yello Dello and The King of Town DVD: Characters doing commentaries and being in previews for the toons that are DVDs show that they know it was a cartoon. Strong Bad even calls one of the toons a cartoon several times.
  • In Search of the Yello Dello: The TV announcer says that the Yello Dello is "the most rare and exotic bird in this entire cartoon."


Holiday Toons

  • More Fan Costumes: Strong Bad comments that Coach Z, King of Town and Marzipan are the least popular Homestar Runner characters.
  • 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."
  • 3 Times Halloween Funjob: When Bubs shows frustration that Coach Z mangles his words yet again, Coach Z replies that "It's a crowd-pleaser."
  • The House That Gave Sucky Treats: During the end discussion, Homestar comments first whether the viewers have voted yet (a feature for that year's toon), and then requests that the characters repeat stuff they have already said to freak "them" out, indicating that the characters know they are being watched.
  • In A Holiday Greeting, the main characters wish us "Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you".

Strong Bad Emails

  • 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
  • highschool: Strong Bad says that he was "probably just like other cartoons" in his high school days.
  • bottom 10: After the end of the email, Strong Bad acknowledges that there are no Easter eggs at the end.
  • part-time job: Strong Bad peeks around the edge of the black on his way to Bubs'.
  • animal: Strong Bad says that a man with a laptop computer comes "from the right side of the screen."
  • virus: The Virus opens most of the characters' minds to realize that they are in a cartoon.
  • old comics: Strong Bad says 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 that he "will not sing an email song this week".
  • dangeresque 3: Strong Bad asks the audience to resist the urge to throw full wine bottles at the screen.
  • flashback: The size of the display area is purposefully extended and Homestar Runner is "behind the black."
  • monument: Homestar peeks out from behind the black as he sings "Here comes the Thnikkaman!".
  • video games: Strong Bad turns and yells directly at the camera saying "Cus' you can't control me!"
  • couch patch: Strong Bad points out that the couch patch is visible in Homestar's flashback, and Homestar says he got confused about the title of the e-mail.
  • the process: Strong Bad spends the whole cartoon explaining how his other emails were/would be done.
  • huttah!: The Cheat actually watches the email on his own computer.
  • island: When Yami Yugi asks what Strong Bad would do if he were stuck on a desert island, Strong Bad nonchalantly replies, "I suspect it would be like most cartoons". Later, Homestar imitates Main Page 3, with similar effects.
  • 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 you to come with him.

Not Quite Strong Bad Emails

Special Toons

  • First Time Here?: Sets the stage for fourth wall breakages, especially when Strong Bad shows up to let you know why you're here.

Marzipan's Answering Machine


  • Thy Dungeonman 3: If you talk to some of the characters, they mention stuff that happened "screens" ago.
  • Stinkoman 20X6: When 1-Up requests Stinkoman's help, Stinkoman says that he already helped him in Level 4. At the beginning of Level 6, Stinkoman appears to be playing his own game. At the beginning of Level -0, Stinkoman addresses the player while he's stuck inside the wall. Also, at the end of Level -0, Stinkoman says he has to get through Level 9 and Level 10 to get to 1-Up and Pan Pan. Then, at the opening cinematic of level 9, the Shadowy Figure says "So he thinks he can get to level 10, eh?"
  • Peasant's Quest: If you talk to the second "Haldo" brother and say "Haldo" without talking to the first one (the one at the booth), he will say, "What'd you read that in PQ Stragedy [sic] Guide? Go talk to my brother first." On a related note, if you type "throw baby" before you actually get the baby, the game will say that you must have "misread the walkthrough on GameFAQS." Also, if you type "get broom" in Naked Ned's house, the game will say "No no. The broom is in the foreground and you can't take things in the foreground. You don't see me all typing "get browser window", do you?"

Character Pages

  • Strong Sad: On Strong Sad's character page, he complains about making a "character page", and later runs his finger down the left side of the screen.



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