- “What's this , you say? You need not worry. The great being that watches us will know what it is.”
- —Thoreau, Super Paper Mario
Sometimes, characters from the Super Mario franchise perform an action that implies that they are aware that they are fictional characters. This is known as breaking the fourth wall, a phrase originating from stageplays. Because traditional box set stages have a wall at the back and another on each side, an imaginary "fourth wall" at the front turns the stage, and thereby the world of the story, into an enclosed space separate from the audience. The term is used, in many forms of media even beyond theater, to refer to a separation between the fictional characters and setting, and the work of fiction as it's experienced by the audience. As such, when the former acknowledges the latter, the metaphorical fourth wall is broken.
Note: Video games frequently break the fourth wall in order to address the player with directions (e.g. "Press A to jump"). These instances are not to be recorded here, unless the characters otherwise show awareness that they are in a video game due to the remark.
Super Mario series
In the final level of World 9, World 9-4, groups of tile blocks can be found spelling out "アリガトウ！" (Arigato!, meaning "Thank You" in Japanese). Also, the opening of World 9-1 features a message saying "WE PRESENT FANTASY WORLD. LET'S TRY '9' WORLD WITH ONE GAME.", and the Game Over screen for World 9 has a message saying "YOU'RE A SUPER PLAYER! WE HOPE WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN. MARIO & STAFF."
After the Yoshi Eggs hatch during the ending sequence, the words "THANK YOU" appear as Mario gives the V for victory sign to the player while Princess Toadstool (or Peach in the GBA remake) waves to the player. At the end of the remake, Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, there is no text, though the princess still waves at the player and Mario and Luigi still flash the peace sign. In the last level of the Special Zone, Funky, a group of coins spells out the phrase "YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!!" near the end of the level. In the Japanese version, the "A" is absent.
At the game's title's screen, Mario speaks to the player with lines such as "It's-a me, Mario!", "Hello!", and "Press Start to play!"
In the two versions, after Bowser is defeated in Bowser in the Sky, he exclaims, "C'mon, troops! Let's watch the ending together! Gwa ha ha!" Additionally, if Mario retrieves all 120 or 150 Power Stars and then defeats Bowser, he says, "Just you wait until next time. Until then, keep that Control Stick smokin'! Bwaa ha ha!" In the case of Super Mario 64 DS, Bowser mentions the Touch Screen instead of the Control Stick, as the Nintendo DS does not feature a control stick; in the Super Mario 3D All-Stars version of Super Mario 64, he specifically refers to the L Stick.
After the end credits in both versions, Mario is heard saying, "Thank you so much-a for-to playing my game!" He uses the same phrase in Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Super Mario Odyssey, though he removes the "-a" from "much" and the "to" from "for."
In the N64 version, after Mario collects all 120 Stars, shoots to the top of the castle, and talks to Yoshi, he gives Mario the following message: "Thanks for playing Super Mario 64! This is the end of the game, but not the end of the fun. We want you to keep on playing, so we have a little something for you. We hope you like it! Enjoy! --The Super Mario 64 Team" This is followed by Mario's lives counter going up to 100 and getting an enhanced triple jump.
In the case of Super Mario 64 DS, upon closing the Nintendo DS while playing, Mario says "Buh-bye!" to the player, after which the system goes into standby. When the system is opened, he says "It's-a me, Mario!" This also happens in New Super Mario Bros.
In Super Mario 64 DS, if the player talks to Koopa the Quick after a race, he tells the player, "If you want to race me again, come back later. All you have to do is press START to pause and then select Exit Course."
In the mission Scrubbing Sirena Beach, the hotel manager tells Mario that time is running out and he must hurry, alluding to the timer on the bottom left of the screen indicating how much time Mario has left to clean up the beach. The mentions of the timer are also present in a few other missions, such as Piantas in Need.
After Mario defeats Bowser and Bowser Jr. or enters Corona Mountain for the first time, a certain yellow Pianta in Delfino Plaza ponders whether the game is over and express his hopes of something else happening when Mario talks to him.
In the intro, when Mario is hit by the green shell, the words "Super Mario Bros." fall from the sky. A few seconds later, Small Mario runs near it, notices it is misaligned, and jumps to hit the words and straighten them, also causing "New" to appear next to "Super". This only happens after waiting a few seconds on the title screen.
After the end credits, the Touch Screen shows Bowser Jr. dragging his unconscious father back to their home. Bowser Jr. looks to the camera and threateningly growls at the player. He then resumes dragging Bowser.
Similar to Super Mario 64 DS, Mario also says "Buh-bye!" to the player when closing the Nintendo DS. He also says "It's-a me! Mario!" when the player opens the DS and resumes the game, similar to the opening title screen in Super Mario 64 and similar to that in its remake.
The enemies and power-ups do a small dance when there is a little "Paah" vocal (or a windchime when underwater) in the music, such as Goombas jumping up in the air and Koopa Troopas turn to the screen for a split second and rock their fists.
Much like the ending to Super Mario 64, after the credits roll, Mario or Luigi says "Thank you so much for playing my game" (Luigi, however, removes the "so much" part of the sentence). When 120 Power Stars are collected, after Mario or Luigi thanked the player, Rosalina also thanks the player and says "I will watch over you from beyond the stars."
In the credits, the players play a minigame where they break blocks to earn coins. These blocks have the credits written on them. If less than four players are playing, the characters not controlled will dance to the music.
The enemies still do a dance to the "Paah" vocals in the music, along with the items and flowers bouncing and blooming to the beat. Also, when underwater, the Cheep Cheeps do a spin whenever there is a windchime in the music and Dry Bones rotate their head when a xylophone sound plays in the fortresses.
If the player's Wii Remote batteries are low, and they talk to Lubba, he warns the player about the batteries running out in a dangerous place. He frequently makes these kinds of references, such as suggesting that the player go to bed when it is late, or to turn off the game after a certain playing time, especially after getting a Game Over, or tell the player to take a break before playing again. Additionally, if the player plays the game at an early time, Lubba says he is sleepy and that it is rather late to be adventuring.
Sometimes, when the player gets extra lives while there are either two or three save files in the game, Mailtoad says "So this person you share a special bond... Could it be someone from another save file?".
If the player has 70 to 120 Power Stars, then at the end of the credits, Mario says "Thank you so much for playing my game", much like in the previous game and Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS. When playing as Luigi, he says the same thing as its predecessor.
Near the end of the game intro, Ludwig von Koopa uses his magic wand to make the title and multiple coins fall from the sky. This only happens when watching the intro after a few seconds on the title screen.
In the credits, Roy Koopa hangs off the D of EAD with his tail.
The enemies still do a dance at the "Paah" vocals.
On the title screen, the characters ground pound to make the title and two Super Acorns appear.
In the credits, the characters not being played dance to the music, and when a character being played runs near the credit letters, they spin around.
The enemies still do a dance to the vocals. Baby Yoshis have an added choir to all the music that they mouth to.
The flowers and bushes move along to the music.
The Green Sprixie Princess waves to the screen near the end of the credits scene.
Upon completion of Bowser's Lava Lake Keep for the first time, once the transition occurs, shortly after, Bowser's voice can be heard as he pulls back the transition to reveal that he has captured the Sprixies once more.
During the credits for Bowser's Fury, Bowser Jr. appears and hums to the music. He waves to the player before he leaves.
Like the previous game, when the player starts up the game, Mario yells out the game's name.
The Mario 64 Cap and Outfit could possibly be considered a fourth wall break, as it is a reference to the polygonal textures used in Super Mario 64, where the outfit originated. Additionally, the Toad blocking the doorway to the Courtyard room in the Mushroom Kingdom states that he misses "Mario's blocky polygonal look", which in turn, refers to the block like textures used in said game.
In a similar vein to the Mario 64 Cap and Outfit, the 8-Bit Mario Cap could possibly also be considered a fourth wall break as well, as it is a reference to the sprites used in Super Mario Bros., which was the outfit's origin.
In the Darker Side, a series of power lines that Mario must travel across by capturing a spark pylon spell out the message "THANK YOU" just before the Warp Pipe that leads Mario to the area containing the "Long Journey's End" Multi Moon.
After the credits that appear after the player completes the main game, Mario says, "Thank you so much for playing my game!" like several other games in the series.
Throughout the franchise, from Donkey Kong Country onward, whenever the player visits Cranky Kong he constantly remarks about how the games of yesteryear are superior to modern games, and often whines about how the game that he is in is too easy for someone like him to complete. The instruction booklets also contain even more remarks of this nature.
If the Kongs manage to find Krematoa without speaking with Blunder, he says "I can't believe you found the Lost World on your own! I bet you cheeky so and so's used Nintendo Power's guide! I know I did!"
If the player hovers over the "Back" button on the main menu, Diddy Kong arrives and waves goodbye to the player.
In a secret area in Jungle Rhythm..., there is a Message Block that gives the message "We, the Mario team poured our hearts and souls into creating this game for your entertainment. It is full of secrets. Enjoy!" In the Game Boy Advance remake, the message is changed to "How do you like this game? Goodies are hidden in every level, you know. You should look all over if you want to get 100 points! Investigate anything that looks suspicious."
In a secret area in Sluggy the Unshaven's Fort, there is a Message Block mentioning a secret code for a Mini Battle select screen. The message reads as follows, "This is Top Secret so LISTEN UP! On the Level Selection screen, hold and press , , , and !!" (This code is changed to , , , and in Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3.)
If the player gets a perfect score in every stage, a message comes up saying "Congratulations! What an amazing job! You are the [nth] Yoshi to adventure on Yoshi's Island." The number to be shown here is the number of lives spent before the game's completion plus one (for example, if the player has lost 300 lives before completing the game, the message says that they are the 301st Yoshi).
Each time the player eats a Heart Fruit after playing a level's minigame, a row of coins forming a letter appears. If the player puts all the letters from each level in order, it reveals the message "YOU ARE YOSHI'S GREAT PARTNER!"
After the credits, Bowser, who is behind the credits screen, smashes the screen if the Flutter Wings were used in at least one level. He then tells the player that they will be able to fight him after completing every level without using the Flutter Wings.
In the fifth short in the port Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, "Chaaarge!", Poochy looks and runs towards the viewer(s), Poochy then falls over when he hits the screen. Also in the short "What Goes Up... ?", after Poochy looks up for a bit, he then looks at the viewer(s) and wags his tail.
In the level Weighing Acorns, while waiting for the bus, Yoshi hums the level's background music.
In the SNES version of Wario's Woods, after defeating the player in the VS. COM mode, Sven tells Toad that he was "glad that [the player] didn't reset the game when he saw it was hopeless."
In the microgame "Heads Up," if the player fails to catch the ball and it goes out of bounds, it breaks a hole in the screen and the catcher looks at it.
At the end of Mona's microgame category, she is looking at the customers while serving ice cream. The camera then irises out at her face, stops, and Mona winks at the player.
In the microgame High-Speed Chase, if the player fails to run from the chasing object, Wario is sent towards the screen, breaking it.
In the microgame Robotomy, letting a red robot run into the screen will cause it to crack.
In the microgame "Rump Roast", if the player taps the horse's head, the horse angrily looks at the player.
In Kat & Ana's stage, losing a microgame causes a turtle to be hit by a bowling ball and fly into the screen.
In the second level of the microgame "Skip It", if the player successfully makes the hippo jump over the rope, she kisses the screen, leaving a lipstick stain on it.
In the microgame "Swat Team", if the player fails to swat the fly, it flies towards the screen.
In the microgame "Not the Face!", letting a projectile hit the screen will cause the screen to crack.
In the microgame "Helping Hand", letting a person fall will cause the screen to crack as it screams.
During the lesson on how to draw a background for the Ladybug microgame, Wario notices that the music has changed as soon as the player taps on the stamp tool.
Also, if the player blows on the GamePad, Ashley tries to cover her skirt as it goes up and gives the player an angry look.
Throughout the game, Wario speaks to the player, and is even aware of the player clearing the levels.
In the microgame "Parking Lot Problems", if a player fails to choose any car by the end of the microgame, the person stops and angrily looks towards the player.
The microgames "Heads Up" and "Rump Roast" retain their fourth wall breaks.
In the microgame "I Came, I Saw", there are a few scenarios in which the worm is surprised and looks at the player, complete with an exclamation mark over its head.
In 5-Volt's stage, if the player fails a microgame, she may ask, "Did your hand slip?" If the same thing occurs in Ashley & Red's stage, Ashley may say, "You must be cursed..." Additionally, there are several other voice clips whether the player wins or loses a microgame, like Wario saying, "Aw, what you do?!" after the player loses three times in a row and Mona occasionally saying, "Aren't you clever?" when the player avoids a trick.
During the Wario Deluxe stage, Wario asks if the player is ready to collect their reward, and turns into Wario Deluxe. He then says, "Do your worst. Next to me, you're all number 2!" He eventually starts using his powers to hide the control hints, before saying "Getting too tough, kid? You can always give up!" After that, Lulu pops some balloons on his hot air balloon and jumps on him to grab the gold potty, after which she looks at the screen and says, "Hey! Hey you! I'll take care of Wario here. You go and win this thing!"
After completing any of the stages in any of the leagues, a message appears from the character that hosts the stage, mostly warning them about the next stage.
After the Wario Deluxe stage is cleared, while Wario adamantly tells Lulu to take the pot and announces the Wario Bowl to be over, she brings up the credits, which are interrupted when the rest of the cast demand their payment.
Most of Wario Deluxe's interruptions in the "Wario Interrupts" challenge involve using his powers to alter the Touch Screen or block the player's view. Like his stage in the main game, he can also hide the control hints.
At the end of the game's intro cutscene, the camera pans into Wario's handheld in a manner that gives the effect of the player using it when playing in handheld mode.
Most crew members warn the player that they are on their last life when the player loses the first three. They also thank the player when they give them Prezzies.
In the opening cutscene for Penny's Mix, as Penny flies into the WarioWare Inc. building, some water from her Jet Tank One splashes on the screen.
In the microgame "Cheers!", if the player fails to touch their cup with the other person's, the drink will splatter all over the screen.
In the microgame "Octoblocker", if the player doesn't whack the tentacle in time, doesn't smack the Wario Octopus in time, or doesn't knock back the cannonball, the screen will crack.
In the minigame Wario's Homerun Derby, if the player hits a home run, the ball is sent toward the screen, breaking it.
In the manual, Wario complains about his transformations caused by enemies and blames the developers.
In Wario World, Wario states "So admit it..... Don't I look cool in the game screens? Those long, muscular legs on my sturdy toned frame.... I'm the perfect specimen of a man ..... What!?!? You say I look fat and my quadruple chin looks like a waterfall of flab? Shut up! That's just because you have your television set up on widescreen display!"
Whenever the player pauses the game, Wario constantly sings, "Na Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na Na!" If the player listens for about 50 minutes, Wario eventually says, "Sorry" and stops singing.
If the Wii Remote is left idle, Wario may say, "Come on, pick it up and play."
At the end of the game's intro, Wario's voice is heard quietly saying, "It should've been called Wario Golf. ...You're gonna love it!"
Most celebrations have the characters facing the screen at the end of each hole. For example, if Waluigi gets an eagle or better, he dances and spins all across the green until he points to the player, turning around upon realizing he is pointing the wrong way. Prior to the opening, Wario and Waluigi hold up signs for both Nintendo and Camelot, respectively. This also occurs at the start of Mario Power Tennis.
Birdo breaks the fourth wall by kissing the screen if she gets an eagle or better, or shoots eggs at the screen if she gets worse than a bogey. Yoshi breaks the fourth wall by turning into an egg and rolling into the screen if he gets worse than a bogey. Bowser Jr. breaks the fourth wall by using his Magic Paintbrush to paint the screen if he gets an eagle, albatross, hole in one, or bogey.
In his singles celebration, after eating Luigi, Yoshi looks at the player and shrugs. Donkey Kong also looks at the player and scratches his head in his singles celebration after grabbing his trophy from Toad, causing him to pass out. Also, outtakes occur during the credits.
In the cutscene following the credits, Mario leaves his signature on the screen; he also does this in the game's trailer featuring Rafael Nadal.
If the player completes Story Mode with all S's, the Millennium Star tells the player, "You're spectacular. Truly spectacular. I imagine the development staff of Mario Party 3 is pleased as well. Keep up the good work."
On the character select screen, each character says "Good choice!" when chosen (except Yoshi and Donkey Kong). They say this again in Mario Party 4.
When the Bowser-shaped bomb explodes in Head Waiter, the person holding it flies into the screen, tilting it.
After a round of Bowser Land, Bowser looks at the player, saying, "That was fun! Come again soon!"
When starting the game, MC Ballyhoo flies up into the air toward the camera, telling the player, "Welcome to the Star Carnival!"
After MC Ballyhoo is concerned with Bowser having stolen the Star Rod, he says, "But wait! We have YOU!", referring to the player.
On the Star Carnival Stage, there are two screens that show an 8-bit sprite of the words "MARIO PARTY 8."
On the main menu, Yellow Toad speaks to the player.
When a character releases Bowser with all of the numbers on the Dice Block, Bowser appears by slashing through the screen with his claws (except for Chaos Castle). This also applies to the end of the Bowser Battle minigames during Bowser Party and amiibo Party as well as the North American commercial showing the gameplay for Bowser Party.
In Bowser's Fence Fury, players who get knocked by Bowser hit and crack the screen.
After the end credits, Toad, Toadette, and Kamek wave to the player and eventually, all of the playable characters also wave to the player along with a text that reads "Thanks for playing!" similar to the scene after the staff credits in Mario Party: Island Tour.
After the credits, Mario says, "Hey, you're very good! See you next time!"
After the credits, Mario shouts "Thanks for playing! Way to go!" or "Thanks for playing! You're the best! Ha ha!" depending on how much the player has progressed during the game, and the default characters or all of the characters wave to the player, including their own Mii.
Mario yells out the game's name when the game starts; additionally, Mario has the chance to say "Start your engines!", followed by Toad saying, "Let's go!" After playing the Mario Kart 8 demo, Mario also says, "Hey! Thanks for playing!"
In N64 Toad's Turnpike, trucks with Mario Kart 8 on the back and sides can be seen.
Additionally, some tracks feature posters of the Mario Kart 8 cover.
While Mario is fighting Bowser???, the Koopa Bros. try to lower his confidence by telling him that the phony Bowser is invincible. One of the things they say is "The sequel should be called Paper Bowser!"
At the beginning of the fourth fight against Jr. Troopa, he actually notices his HP bar when it has dropped to half, and comments that he lost his HP due to swimming across the ocean.
If Mario gets in the Danger status while fighting Gus, he breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging that "…it'll be Game Over for you!" and that the player can choose their Tactics menu. After Mario defeats Gus, he shouts, "CRUD! You dumb video-game heroes always do this!"
A young Toad in Petalburg says, "There's this one game that just absolutely rules. It's called 'Fire Emblem'...". This reference was written shortly after the international release of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, the first game in the series to be released outside Japan and seventh installment overall. Paper Mario and Fire Emblem are both developed by Intelligent Systems. In the Japanese version of the game, the Toad kid mentions Super Mario Bros. for the Family Computer instead. Later on, he states that he is a fan of Luigi and says he wants a game called "Paper Luigi". Afterwards, he mentions that he is actually playing the game Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and ends up beating it before the player does.
While describing how the Happy Lucky Lottery works, Lucky explains that the daily number changes every day in real-time and that he uses the Nintendo GameCube's clock as a reference. If the player sets the GameCube's date back in an attempt to cheat the system, Lucky penalizes them.
In Chapter 3, Hamma Jamma says that 7-1 was his grandfather's 'hood'. In the Spanish version of the game, Rawk Hawk says "The weaklings should stay home playing Super Smash Bros. Melee!" after he beats the Koopinator. When Goombella tattles on Stewart in Glitzville, she tells Mario that Cheep Cheeps have been a part of the Super Mario franchise for a while. In fact, Goombella even says, "Oh, gosh. I just broke through the fourth wall there, didn't I? Sorry. Just forget it."
The same occurs when she tattles on the gatekeeper of Twilight Town, in which she says that the game would be too easy without him. Rather than directly referring to breaking the fourth wall, she only says, "Hee hee... Let's never speak of it again."
Koops breaks the fourth wall after the fight with Doopliss where he says "Sort of easy for a boss battle as it were." Unlike Goombella though, he does not seem to notice that he broke the fourth wall. Doopliss also breaks the fourth wall during the chapter by removing the lowercase p from the naming screen.
Just before Mario begins Chapter 5, Professor Frankly is about to tell them very important and long information concerning the Thousand-Year Door. He asks if they are ready to hear it, and then says, "And you there! In front of the TV! You listen up, too!". Mario's current partner out questions Professor Frankly (for example, Yoshi says to him, "Did someone pile-drive your head, or what? I don't see any TV here, nutjob!". Vivian remarks, "What to say... ARE YOU TALKING TO NO ONE?!?" Goombella even says, "Yeesh. First me, then you! Why do we always have to break through the fourth wall?") Frankly yells at them, saying to disregard it as he continues. Later during the chapter, Lord Crump (under his alias, "Four Eyes") tells the player that they'd better not tell Mario who he really is, though it is impossible to even use Mario to attack him until the end of the chapter. Outside of the room which contains the black chest, Goombella says in her tattle, "We're inside Pirate's Grotto. There's a sunken ship here. Something good inside? 'Cause that's how it always is in video games... right?♡"
After Chapter 6, when Bowser makes it to Rawk Hawk's secret training facility, Rawk Hawk appears. As soon as he appears, he points at the camera insultingly asking the player if they forgot him. If the player returns to the Excess Express, a young Toad appears in Cabin 007. Should the player talk to him, he asks Mario a quiz: "What did Bowser nab in the last Paper Mario?" The options are "The Star Cookie", "The Star Rod", and "Someone's Lunch".
In the Palace of Shadow, if Mario allows the Dry Bones to force him to the center of the room, Mario's partner warns him that the floor will swallow them up. If Mario does not move to prevent this, his partner screams that they are doomed. If Yoshi is Mario's partner at the time, he says, "Awww, game over, man! WHOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAA!"
Several characters, the first one being Bestovius, refer to a certain button when explaining how to perform an action. When Mario asks what they mean by pressing that certain button, the character assures them not to worry, and that the great being that watches them (the player) will know what it means. For example, when encountered, Thoreau says: "What's this , you say? You need not worry. The great being that watches us will know what it is." However, during Garson's story "Stylish Moves," he states that Mario can perform one by shaking the Wii Remote; when Mario asks what the remote is, Garson replies, "What? What's a ? ...Don't worry. As long as the player gets it, we're fine," outright stating the existence of the player instead of alluding to them.
Before fighting him in Chapter 3-1, Bowser shouts to Mario, "No more sequels!" and that he will finish him off, describing himself as "Grade A, 100% prime-cut final boss." Later, during Chapter 3-4, the last option for Princess Peach on the Swoon.exe results in her angrily demanding to know who is picking these answers for her.
The Sammer Guy Mystical Whistle claims that no one can beat him without using hacks, a reference to players who use cheat codes and devices to make games easier. Another Sammer Guy named Invisible Brock claims that no one could find him without using a game guide.
The Underwhere itself is a break in the fourth wall, because its inhabitants say that their game had ended. As with the rest of the series, death is referred to as getting a game over.
If the player refuses to hear the Battle Spin tutorial four times, Kersti says "You know what? Forget you! Here--pick one of these answers so we can move on." The resulting answers are "Yes" and "Yeah", forcing the player to do the tutorial anyway.
When Mario uses a Slaphammer sticker and manages to do a "Nice" move or better, the enemy is flung in the air, and crash into the screen. This also happens with Mario when Bowser slaps him in the final phase of his fight.
When Mario uses any cutting Thing sticker in battle, it attacks by cutting the screen to pieces.
During a battle against a Snifit or a Shy Guy, after the player's turn of 3 stickers ends, they might attack by shoving away the last attack panel; this forces the player to use only one sticker during their next turn, and Shy Guys and Snifits can do this repeatedly until there is only one attack panel.
Certain Thing Cards break the fourth wall when used in battle:
- When the Fan Thing Card is used, all of the enemies fly into the screen before falling.
- When the Turnip Thing Card is used, it slices the screen to pieces, much like the cutting Things in the previous games.
- When the Washing Machine Thing Card is used, the screen is rolled up and placed in the machine, which proceeds to wash it.
At the Crimson Tower, after Morton breaks the bridge, Mario can get advice from Huey. He says, "Morton broke the floor, so we can't get to the top! I wish life was a video game. Then we could just press to make a staircase appear!"
When Mario fights a Blue Slurp Snifit in battle, one of the things it says is "This is not a game!" due to the game itself having goofy humor.
In Snifit or Whiffit at the Cobalt Base, the Snifit warns Mario that making a mistake in the Bonus Round gives him an instant Game Over and the save file will disappear forever. Shortly after he says this, he says he is just kidding about the disappearing save file, but is serious about the instant Game Over in the Bonus Round.
Underneath the Mustard Café, a yellow Snifit throws Mario in jail and threatens him not to escape before realizing that they cannot do anything other than throwing him in jail without changing the age rating of the game.
If Mario runs away from Larry and comes back, Larry says, "The Sunset Express and the Big Paint Star both belong to me! But if you're really itching to see that Game Over screen, come at me!"
After the green Big Paint Star is collected and the final memory is seen, Huey says that the game's events would not have happened if a "no mixing colors" sign was put next to the Prisma Fountain.
When the player beats the game, the Toad with the Prisma Times in Port Prisma says "Prisma Fountain Restored! Game Beaten! Not sure what "game beaten" means, but would you like to watch the Prisma Splash parade again?"
If Mario tries to go through the locked door on the right of Peach's Castle, Bowser mentions that there is probably nothing on the other side and they should patch the rest of the castle in, referring to the developers of the game.
In Toad Town, if Mario is attacked by the Paper Macho Goomba with a Shy Guy stuck in it, the Shy Guy says, "Don’t get a game over before you save me!"
After Mario defeats Colored Pencils, he states that Mario is better when he was a side-scroller.
If Mario constantly refuses to allow Bob-omb to join the party in the Toad Tram, Olivia states they will never reach Autumn Mountain at this rate, urging the player to let Bob-omb join in order to progress with the game.
Before the performances in Shogun Studios, one of the rules that Rubber Band states is that opening the menu while on stage is prohibited. This also happens with the Shangri-Spa Toad statue at Scuffle Island.
When Bowser's Castle plunges into the ocean (GBA) or explodes (3DS), Bowser hits the screen, cracking it, and slides down (he sticks onto it in the 3DS version). The same thing happens at the end of Believe in Bowser in Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser, but with Captain Goomba, Captain Koopa Troopa, Captain Boo, and Captain Shy Guy.
In Mushroom Plaza, when Mario talks to the Toad by the fountain, he asks him if he wants to hear about Action Commands. If the player selects "No" every time, the Toad tells them, "Action Commands are... Well... Go read the Instruction Booklet."
In an area of the Woohoo Hooniversity that contains no enemies, but several objects to be studied, there is a room with four blocks in it: one from Super Mario Bros., one from Super Mario World, one from Super Mario 64, and one from Paper Mario. If Mario or Luigi strikes the block, they read a description of the block, which says what game it is from. (i.e. Block used in Super Mario Bros.)
When Princess Peach first visits the Beanbean Kingdom, Mario and Luigi react to her speech bubble appearing, expecting the explosive vocabulary.
In the remake, Mario and Luigi's stats are displayed on the touch screen in battle. When fighting Iggy, he casts a spell on the display that switches the stats around.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
After beating the game and after the cake picture, Chakron directly compliments the player.
The last one of Bowser's ranks is "Final Boss", referencing that Bowser is the final boss in most Super Mario games.
If the player talks to Toadbert after beating Junker, he mentions a dream where he hears the " " buttons being pressed. Inputting this code speeds up the timer in the scene in the Lumbar Nook.
After freeing Brickle in Mushrise Park by increasing the water pressure on the fountain that he is stuck in, the top part of the fountain launches into the air, breaks a hole in the screen, and gets stuck in it before shattering the screen completely and falling onto Grobot, which results in him malfunctioning.
One of the signs in Mushrise Park tells the player to look at the touch screen if they get lost. It appears to have been written by the Mushrise Park staff (more specifically, Brickle himself due to the heavy Bronx accent seen on such a sign).
Getting hit by one of Mount Pajamaja's attacks knocks Mario into the 3D screen, rendering Bros. Attacks unusable in the process.
After Nabbit has stolen Bros. Attacks, Toad laments that, if Bros. Attacks were lost, it is over for not only for Toad himself, but also for Mario and Luigi, the Mushroom Kingdom, and the game as a whole. He then breaks into tears and says that it is going to be "Game Over for all of us".
After Paper Mario uses the Copy Block for the first time, Starlow reads the number of copies on the UI and says that there are six of him.
Before Peach and Paper Peach are kidnapped, they say that it is "that point in the story."
In the shops at the Toad Villages, Mario can talk to a Toad who buys and sells ? Cards. If Mario sells a card to him, a message appears saying that the card has been sold; it gets cut off as the Toad protests that the interaction has to be kept secret.
Before the Paper Petey Piranha boss fight, the Monologue Toad that Petey grabbed tells the player "I'm as anxious as you are to move on, but please don't press to fast forward!" The Toad then launches into a very long explanation of why Petey Piranha is here when they already defeated him while an onscreen prompt appears saying "You can fast-forward with ".
While the trio climbs the Paper Toad staircase to Neo Bowser Castle, along with compliments like, "You can do it!"' or tips like "Eat a healthy breakfast!", another Paper Toad says "Save your game frequently..."
At the end of Credits 1 and Credits 2, Mario says "Thanks very much for-to playing my game!", a line similar to the one at the end of Super Mario 64. Also, Mario makes several remarks at the credits in Credits 2 as they pop up (such as "Oh, the engineering! Mamamia!" and "Ooh, don't forget to thank Mr. Miyamoto."). Also, Mario breaks the fourth wall in every level (bar the Mini-Mario and boss levels) by smashing the Crystal Ball against the screen to break it.
When the player closes/opens the Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS, Mario can be heard talking, sometimes to the player such as "What's up?". Also, in the final cutscene, Mario, Donkey Kong, Pauline and the Toads are seen waving at the player.
When closing the Nintendo DSi or Nintendo 3DS, Mario says "I love this game!" and "Hey! You! Come back-a here!" Opening the system again results in him saying things such as "Let's play again!"
When closing the Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS, Mario says the same things he did in the previous game, along with some new ones, including "Ow, my head!" and "Whatta' you doing?" After the credits of the second ending, Pauline says, "Bye-bye! Thanks for playing!" and Mario says, "Well, that was a fun game!"
When a character is KO'd by being sent off the top blast line, they may occasionally hit the screen before falling and losing one of their stocks. This is called a screen KO.
A few Assist Trophies interfere with the display, such as Devil who moves the screen by pointing in a certain direction, and Nintendog, which blocks the screen to prevent players from viewing the battlefield and their characters.
Just like in his original games, one of Sonic's idle animations has him looking at the player tapping his foot impatiently. His other animation has him turning to the camera and waving his finger in a patronizing manner.
When Mr. Resetti is released from an Assist Trophy, he may tell the players to stop resetting, as he considers it to be a form of cheating in the Animal Crossing games. Additionally, if the game is being played late at night, he may tell the player to "get some shut-eye".
When using Solid Snake's codec on Sonic the Hedgehog on Shadow Moses Island, Otacon says that people are excited that he is in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In the codec on Mario, Colonel Roy Campbell says that Mario made his first appearance in 1981, and in Jigglypuff's codec, he says that it takes all kinds of energy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Colonel also mentions the WarioWare games in Wario's codec. In Pit's codec, Otacon says that Pit has gone through "countless trials over the years", to which Snake replies, "And by 'trials', you mean 'Game Overs'?" Finally, when Snake uses his codec on Mr. Game & Watch, Otacon talks about his first appearance, 1980, and his console, Game & Watch. There are other Codec Conversations that break the fourth wall as well.
There is a scene in The Subspace Emissary mode where Snake reveals himself after being hidden in his cardboard box for a long time. While facing towards the screen, he says "Kept you waiting, huh?" There are no other characters in his vicinity during the scene, so he must have been talking to the player - in reference to the fact that a brief scene of him hidden in the cardboard box was shown much earlier in the Subspace Emissary storyline. This is the only time the characters say a full sentence, excluding Pokémon.
In a similar manner, before facing Wolf O'Donnell in The Subspace Emissary, Wolf appears to look at the screen, and strikes a pose at the challenger. Since Wolf does not interact with anyone directly, this is likely a sign of breaking the fourth wall.
During gameplay, super heavy characters, such as Bowser, shake the screen when they hit the ground after jumping, due to their high weight.
In Duck Hunt's reveal trailer, the dog and the duck actually dodge their introduction statement.
In the Palutena's Guidance conversation for Samus, Viridi mistakenly refers to Samus as Metroid, with Pit correcting her name. Additionally, Palutena says that Link's name is not Zelda and Viridi states that Pit's name is not Icarus. This is a reference to the fact that many people mistakenly refer to the protagonists by the series' name.
Similarly to the previous game, Bowser's footsteps cause the screen to shake.
In the Palutena's Guidance conversation for Corrin, Pit says, "For Nohr! For Hoshido! I make my own fate!" along with Palutena claiming that Pit has found all three paths, referencing the three story paths of Fire Emblem Fates.
In the Palutena's Guidance conversation for Ridley, Viridi mentions the various versions of Ridley throughout the Metroid games and mentions a robot version of Ridley which was invented by Ridley himself. After it is mentioned, Pit wonders if that incarnation is canon to the Metroid series.
In the new Palutena's Guidance conversation for Link, Palutena mentions that the Master Sword is the sword that seals Calamity Ganon's power. Pit asks if the sword is overpowered against Ganondorf, with Palutena stating that Ganondorf is from a different game (Ocarina of Time) and that this tactic would not work.
When fighting Master Hand, one of his moves involve throwing balls of ink. When the player gets hit by one of the balls, the ink splatters all over the screen.
The Squid Sisters Assist Trophy has the camera zooming into them so that the players can easily get KO'd.
Bowser Jr.'s Final Smash, Shadow Mario Paint, returns in this game, functioning similarly to the last game.
Solid Snake's codec calls from Brawl return in this game, retaining the fourth wall breaks made in them.
In dark rooms and hallways, Luigi hums or whistles the Main Theme while exploring, even if the music is not playing. Melody Pianissima plays songs from the earlier Super Mario games and asks Luigi what game it appeared in. (Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, etc.). She also plays the Luigi's Mansion theme while Luigi is in the hallway next to the vase with the picture above it.
Luigi hums the background music to the various mansions when the player does not touch the controls for five seconds.
During part of E. Gadd's opening dialog, Luigi faces the player, points to E. Gadd, and performs the cuckoo motion.
Luigi hums the elevator's background music when the player stays idle for a few seconds if the elevator is not moving.
Also, at the end of the credits, Luigi says, "Bye, everybody!"
During the ending sequence, the player is asked, "So, how did YOU feel about this last adventure?" The player is also told that the Vibe Scepter might be in their house somewhere.
Sometimes, the team captains look at the screen, making it seem that they are looking at the player. One example is if the player scores a goal against Waluigi, it triggers one of his animations where he looks at the screen and then proceeds to punch it while shouting "Cheese!" in frustration.
During Wario's home entrance, he hums to his own theme.
After Mario and Mallow join Geno while he is fighting Bowyer, Bowyer retorts that a three-on-one fight is not fair. To compensate for this, the Y, X, and A buttons of the SNES controller appear in front of him. Bowyer then fires an Aero at one of the buttons, which effectively locks the ability to use that button's commands (magic, items, or attacks). Only one button can ever be locked at once, although Bowyer continually fires Aeroes at the buttons every few turns until he is defeated. This also happens when fighting Machine Made copies of Bowyer.
Upon defeating Culex, he mentions that "Perhaps in another time, another game, [he and Mario] may have been mortal enemies...", which also references how Culex parodies bosses from the Final Fantasy franchise.
During the ending sequence, there is a scene where Mario, Princess Toadstool, Yoshi, Toad, and the Chancellor wave at the player, with the words "THANK YOU" displayed at the top of the screen. The scene ends as the camera irises out on Mario, who then winks at the player.
In the Nintendo Switch remake, Guerrilla's thought quote, "Don't confuse me with someone else!", is changed to "I am a work of fiction. Any resemblance to preexisting apes is purely coincidental." This is a more accurate translation of their thought quote in the Japanese version of the original game.
After the credits, when Captain Toad chases either a Green Star in the Wii U version or the Odyssey in the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch versions, Toadette, after attempting to call Captain Toad back a few times to no success, looks at the screen and says, "Oh, no!"
During golf, Bowser, Birdo, and Yoshi perform their post-hole animations on the player just like in Mario Golf: World Tour.
In all four worlds, there are certain instruments scattered around that emit no sounds themselves but their movement goes along to the background music: Blue trumpets in Ancient Gardens, drums played by bouncing balls in Sherbet Desert, harps played by vines in Spooky Trails, and steam exhausts in Lava Pit.
During the intro of the game, Luigi points to the screen and says "And you gotta help us!" In turn, Mario says "If you need instructions on how to get through the hotels, check out the enclosed instruction book."
Throughout the many other cutscenes of the game, Mario and Luigi continue to speak with the player. These lines include Luigi saying "Looks can be deceiving when Koopas are involved" whilst facing the screen, and Mario saying "Remind me to check", "You know what they say, all toasters toast toast", and "When you pinch Wendy's Pennies, they pinch back" whilst facing the screen.
Also, at the end of the game, the Mario Bros. and Princess Toadstool wave to the player and congratulate them for the completion of the game, and Toadstool even thanks the player individually for helping her.
Before many of the games listed above came out, the fourth wall was broken in several of the cartoon episodes.
Throughout the three DIC Entertainment cartoons, commercial bumpers for the shows were announced to the audience by various characters at the start and end of the commercial breaks (i.e. "Be right back, paisanos!", "And now back to The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!"). These commercial bumpers can be viewed on the DVD sets of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, but were not included on The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 DVD set. Additionally, the first three weeks of episodes for The Super Mario Bros. Super Show all contained unique bumpers featuring scenes and voice overs related to the episode's live-action segment. All of the later episodes used a few generic bumpers that were announced by Mario, and showcased a still shot from the opening sequence.
When The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 aired on NBC during its original run, a character from each of the two upcoming episodes, as well as a character from Captain N: The Game Master, which aired between the two episodes, would all narrate a preview of the upcoming episodes before the show started. This trend continued with Super Mario World. These previews were not included on the DVDs due to the fact that they are considered the property of NBC.
At the start of the opening sequence, Mario shouts out to the audience "Hey, paisanos! It's The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!". In the live-action segments that aired from Monday through Thursday, Mario, Luigi, and/or the guest star tells the audience to watch a preview of Friday's The Legend of Zelda episode. At the end of every episode, Mario, Luigi, and sometimes the guest star say to the audience "Til next time, everyone... Do the Mario!"
After Blackbeard Koopa kidnaps Princess Toadstool, he asks "Would Blackbeard Koopa lie?" and winks to the viewers.
Towards the end of the episode after Professor Kooparity escapes Victoria via Warp Zone, Mario gives a thumbs up and winks to the viewers.
Near the start of the segment, Luigi tells Mario to get the door for no apparent reason. At that moment, the doorbell rings and Mario goes to answer it. After taking a few steps, Mario turns to the viewers and utters "How does he always know?".
After Mario and Luigi fall asleep in a failed attempt to put George Washington to sleep via hypnotizing, the latter complains about being forced to sit through a "lousy dream sequence".
At the end of the segment, Howard Stevens bids farewell to the audience as if he were hosting a television program. Mario and Luigi then gaze at the camera with startled faces, prompting Luigi to ask Howard whom he was talking to.
After Mario tells George Washingtoad that it'll take hours to unfreeze his soldiers using his fire power, George Washingtoad looks at the screen and points to it saying that Redcoat Koopa has planned his attack on the Thirteen Mushroom Colonies at dawn.
At the end of the episode, Mario, upon hearing the mention of dinner, comes running up to Pronto and an old man at a very high speed. After making his entrance, Mario then says to the viewers "And you thought Pronto was fast!".
When Mouser is showing Mario and friends the Intergalactic InSinkErator, Mario tells the viewers "He's showing a plumber how a garbage disposal works?" while shrugging before turning back around and listening once more.
After Luigi correctly guesses that Mario had been speaking to Tommy Lasagna on the phone, Mario turns to the viewers and gripes "But how does he always know?", much like he did previously in "Defective Gadgetry".
The term "Real World" can be considered breaking the fourth wall, as it implies the characters know they are in a make-believe world.
When Princess Toadstool was talking to Bowser about the election to be Mushroom Kingdom's ruler, Cheatsy Koopa looks at the watcher and says, "Bad King Dad? (laughs) Are you kidding?". After he says this, King Koopa says, "What are you laughing at?" because he does not understand that Cheatsy was laughing at the audience.
At the end of the episode, Mario turns to the audience and says, "Brothers, you can't live with them... you can't live without them." and smiles.
When Mario says to Toad to bring back the Pile Driver Micro-Goombas, Toad winks and gives a thumbs up to the audience.
When Mario and the gang see the large fire pit they must cross, Luigi takes note of the Fortress music in the background and nervously shouts, "Stop the music!", to which the music stops. Luigi tells Mario that they cannot cross that pit, but Toad sees some ? Blocks that can help them. Mario calls out for the music to start up, and a variation of the Sky Land ground music plays.
At the end of the episode, Luigi asks if people in the Real World will ever accept others regardless of their color, to which Mario, while facing the camera, responds, "Yeah, when humans get as smart as Mushrooms."
At the end of the episode, the Statue of Liberty comes to life to tell the audience, "Those Mario Bros. are super!"
When Mama Fireplant tells her the cave people will freeze without her, Kootie Pie tells the audience that she will have a fire sale if the cave people freeze.
At the end of the episode, the Koopa Troopa blinks to the audience.
When Oogtar exclaims "Merry Cave Christmas, Mario-dude!", Mario tells the audience, "Wouldn't it be nice if every day were Christmas?" Mario might either be talking to the audience or Oogtar.
When the cave-people buy fast food from Scoopa Koopa's Fast Food, Bowser turns to the camera after watching the cave-people buying food and says "...it makes me filthy rich at the same time! (laughs) Wait 'til you see the side effects! (laughs) Those bird-brains don't even know what hit 'em! (laughs)". Also, when Mario refers to Bowser's bill as highway robbery, Bowser responds by saying "Well I call it inflation..." before turning to the audience and continuing with "...in more ways than one! Wait 'til the calories start piling up in his waistline!".
When Cheatsy is spying on Mario and Yoshi, he stops to tell the audience "I am the Emperor of Eavesdropping!", then goes back to spying.
When Yoshi eats the fireball, he looks at the viewers and says, "Fireballs? Yum!"
At the end of the episode, Luigi shrugs to the audience.
Cranky breaks the fourth wall at the beginning of the episode to introduce the Crystal Coconut, Donkey Kong, and King K. Rool to the viewers. He later breaks the fourth wall again at Bluster Barrelworks to explain the purpose of the factory and introduce Bluster Kong.
Bluster Kong claims that after he finds the treasure, he will be "an even richer richest ape on Kongo Bongo Island." He then looks and points at the camera and says "And that's rich."
After Krusha explains that the Kongs will take over Kongo Bongo Island and turn them into matching luggage if they succeed in finding the treasure, King K. Rool turns to the audience and says, "He does have his moments," indicating that Krusha can be sharp-witted at times.
Shortly after Donkey Kong loses his memory, Diddy rushes off to find Cranky, telling DK that he has got problems. DK responds by looking at the camera and saying "I'd say he's the one with the problems."
When Bluster steals the Crystal Coconut, he whispers to the audience at the start of the music.
During the songs "I'm Gonna Be a Star" and "Be a Bad Guy", the characters look, point or even refer to the viewer many times.
At the end of the episode, Donkey Kong blinks to the screen.
Super Mario-kun frequently breaks the fourth wall usually by heads-up display placement. For instance, in story arcs related to Super Mario 64, Mario's health displays often, at low health. In several instances during the arc based on Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, the Nintendo DS Lite occasionally illustrates two simultaneous events, mimicking the game. A recurring theme within Super Mario-kun is the preview for the future volume; a character partially "rolls" the page in the future volume, covering some of it.
Some dialogue within the Super Mario-kun also breaks the fourth wall when trying to explain the plot. In one instance, when Mario questions Stuffwell why a someone is holding a Cobalt Star shard, Stuffwell dismisses it by saying that it happens regularly in the games.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
At the end of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Lumalee tells the audience that it is over and all that is left is them and "the infinite void". He then plays the Super Mario Bros. Ground Theme on a saxophone to start off the end credits music.
- Nintendo World Report TV. (June 21, 2017). Super Mario Odyssey Finding Pauline's Band (E3 2017). Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- Mario Party 10 US Commercial: Bowser Party
- Legit Translation… or Clever Fire Emblem Advertisement?
|General video game terms|
|Cheat code • Completion • Continue • Easter egg • Extra life • Fourth wall • Game Over • Glitch • Missable content • Point • Unrevisitable area • Unwinnable state|