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Eggman breaking fourth wall in Sonic X

Dr. Eggman breaking the fourth wall in Sonic X

Sometimes characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog series will say something that implies that they know they are fictional characters in a video game, movie, television show, or book; this is called breaking the fourth wall. The term originated from plays, in which actors would do something that involved the audience. Due to a stage looking similar to a box with two walls on the left and right, and two more in the front and back; the front wall, or the direction where the audience is sitting, is called the fourth wall.

Common Elements

  • Characters tell the player about commands such as  "Press the A Button to Jump. Press the A button again to do a Homing Attack".
  • After finishing a stage, the character(s) will strike a pose toward the player and comment on the rank they receive.
  • In the 2D games, characters will look at the player and act impatiently.
  • In most character artwork for games, TV shows, etc, the characters often pose towards the viewer.

Games

Sonic 1/2/3/& Knuckles/4

  • When the character is idle for a while, the character will turn to the player and perform various actions.
    • If Sonic is idle, he'll turn to the player, giving an annoyed look and start tapping his foot. In Sonic 2, he will look at his arm as if he had a watch with him. In Sonic 3, if the player waits long enough, Sonic will look at the player and point in the direction he's facing.
    • If Knuckles is idle, he'll turn to the camera and start punching.
    • If Tails is idle, he'll look at the player and yawn.
  • When the player hits Dr. Robotnik, he'll look to the camera with a shocked expression. If he hits the player, he'll laugh directly at the player.
  • After finishing the game in Sonic 1 or Sonic 4, Sonic will turn to the camera and strike one final pose.
  • After finishing Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Tails can be seen waving at the player.
  • After the credits from the true ending of Sonic 1 and true ending of the Sonic 2 re-release by Christian Whitehead, Robotnik angrily will crush the title: "End", steadily.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD

  • If Sonic is idle for three minutes, he'll turn to the player and say "I'm outta here!" and jumps off the screen with an annoyed look on his face while still looking at the player. This results in an instant Game Over, regardless of how many lives the player has.
  • Before the player is able to control Sonic in the Special Stage, Sonic will turn around, as though saying "Hey! Pay attention!"
  • Before Sonic races against Metal Sonic, Metal will do Sonic's finger wave toward the player. If the player loses against Metal Sonic, he'll do the same thing.
  • In the good ending, Sonic will glance, then turn to the player and pose before the credits play.
  • There is an unlockable extra which has a picture of Tails saying to the player "See you next game!"

Knuckles' Chaotix

  • When Robotnik is being lifted by Metal Sonic, he is seen laughing at the player.
  • Once Vector reaches top speed, he occasionally looks at the player.

Sonic Adventure

  • If the player moves the camera around a lot while playing as Knuckles, he'll state that he doesn't want to fall.
  • After finishing their respected stories, the character (with the exception of Gamma) will turn to the player and strike one final pose, as though thanking the player for their help.
  • In the cutscene of Amy's Story where she sees Sonic at Casinopolis, she turns to the camera and says, "my hero."
  • In the CGI intro, Sonic does a quick glance and smirks toward the viewer while running.

Sonic Adventure 2

  • During the CGI intro of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (except for the re-release in the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC), the various playable characters look at the player and perform various actions like smiling.
    • At the end of the intro, Sonic and Shadow strike a pose in midair.
  • Much of the characters (depending on the character theme) will say a line, which is directed toward the player, like asking the player which stage or story they want to play.
  • During the CGI ending for the Hero Story, after shutting down the Eclipse Cannon, Sonic turns to the camera, smiles and gives a thumbs up.
  • During the title screen, after enough demos play, a character can be heard saying "Sonic Team!"
  • During the City Escape stage, there are posters telling players that "Playing SA2 is a habit forming" and to not turn off their Dreamcast. In the remake, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, the posters say not to turn off their GameCube. In it's PS3/Xbox 360/PC Re-release, the posters say not to turn off their consoles/PC even thought their console/computer is not mentioned.
    • There are also posters of Soap shoes, which are what Sega helped promote at the time. That has since been removed in the PS3/Xbox 360 re-release due to licensing issues. Because of this, posters of Sonic Team are also present throughout the stage as a replacement to the Soap shoes ads, although it can be restored in the PC version.
  • When starting a level the character will say something about what happened or what is going to happen directed towards the player.

Sonic Advance/2/3

  • Much like the other 2D games, if the character is idle, they'll perform various actions toward the camera.
    • If Sonic is idle, he'll motion to the player, as though saying "Let's get moving!"
    • When Tails is idle, he'll look through his binoculars, then turn to the camera and point, telling the player that they need to get moving.
    • When Knuckles is idle, he'll look at the player with an annoyed face, clear his throat, and yell at the player, as if he's telling the player to "Hurry up!"
    • While Amy is idle for a while, she'll wave at the player, before shouting something like "Hey!", and then repeatedly shout something and she'll continue to do this until the player moves her.
  • While Cream is grinding, she'll wave at the player.
  • During the Tornado Special Stage, the character will turn to the player and do something like give a thumbs up or wave.
    • After the character gains a Chaos Emerald, they'll show the Emerald to the player.
  • When Sonic does some stretches, he'll look toward the camera while shaking his hands.
  • While Tails is about to start, he'll look around, notice the player and nod.
  • When Amy is about to start, she'll yawn but will notice the player and pretend to clear her throat.

Sonic Heroes

  • When Team Chaotix face the Egg Emperor, Charmy asks if it's the final stage, Vector the Crocodile says that it's not (foreshadowing the final battle against Neo Metal Sonic).
  • In Team Rose's opening cinematic, Amy is holding a newspaper clipping with a picture of Sonic (Metal Sonic in disguise) carrying Froggy and Chocola. The article on the newspaper appears to be an ad for a portable "Palm" version of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • While selecting Shadow or Omega to be Team Dark's leader, if the player uses the first-person camera to look at Rouge, she will turn her head in the player's direction and winks at him/her.
  • When playing as Team Dark, after being idle for a while Shadow will often remark (mostly at the start of the game) "no need to rush" which is both aimed at the player and also saying that there is no time limit.
  • If Team Chaotix gets an E rank, Espio says: "Insulting! Your training has been a waste of time!" (Referring to the player).

Sega Superstars

  • At the start on the Sonic game, Sonic (or Shadow) will look at the player and give a thumbs up.

Shadow the Hedgehog

  • When touching the Hint Ring during the final stage of Expert Mode, Eggman can be heard telling Shadow (i.e. the player) "This is the final stage!"
  • When an ally character appears for the first time, they'll turn to the camera and pose.
  • In the Final Haunt level, when Shadow meets Sonic, Sonic will say "Hey Shadow, looks like we've reached the climax of this little game here." Of course, Sonic could just be making a joke. In Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic admits that everything is fun and games.
  • In the cutscene before the Lethal Highway stage, Sonic says "Welcome to the next level." This phrase was also a reference to one of the slogans used for promoting the Sega Genesis.

Sonic Rush

  • If the player taps Sonic with the stylus, he'll swing his arms, as though saying "Come on! Let's go!"
  • If Blaze is tapped with the stylus, she'll jump like a scared cat, stamp her foot, and turn her back to the player while tapping her foot until the player controls Blaze again or taps her again.

Sonic the Hedgeh​og (2006)

  • After Rouge briefly talks to GUN about the whereabouts of E-123 Omega, she will pose and give the player a suggestive facial expression.

Sonic Rush Adventure

  • In the final part of the battle against the Ghost Kraken, it will shoot an ink ball at the screen, obscuring the player's vision. The player can wipe away the ink blot with the stylus, but this method is time-consuming.
  • Just like Sonic Rush, Sonic and Blaze will react when they are touched by the stylus on the lower screen (Sonic stretches while Blaze lifts herself in the air).

Sonic Rivals

  • When Sonic reaches the Sky Park, Sonic will say "Looks like we've been teleported to a completely different location..." in which he possibly refers to him and the player.

Sonic Rivals 2

  • In Neon Palace Zone, there are some neon signs with all the playable characters' icons, also some of them have the logo and the game title.

Sonic Riders/Riders: Zero Gravity

  • In the animated intro to Sonic Riders, Sonic gives the player the "Peace"/"Victory" sign just as he passes the camera.
  • After starting a race in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the character will turn around and look at the player.
  • When performing an "X"-Rank Trick in later games, the character will turn to the player, as he/she is saying "Good job!"

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

  • During Sonic's Side Taunt, he'll turn to the player (possibly the opponent) while saying "You're too slow!"
  • During Subspace Emissary, Sonic appears before the final fight against Tabuu. This could be a nod to Sega's late acceptance to let Sonic join Brawl.
  • If the player fights Sonic while playing as Solid Snake and contacts Otacon, Snake will say that he doesn't like Sonic for some reason. Otacon will then state that many fans are happy that he's in Brawl. Snake's unexplained dislike toward Sonic could, among other things, be a nod to the Sonic games selling better than the Metal Gear games.
    • It's more highly possible behind this is the fact that the Japanese voice actor for Snake, Akio Ōtsuka, is the son of Dr. Eggman's voice actor, Chikao Ōtsuka.

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

  • Tails will constantly remind Sonic to save the game before certain areas.
  • Sonic and Tails cite the credits themselves, even making various comments; such as Sonic pointing out that one of the members who worked on the game is named "Miles." Omega eventually joins in, but ends up putting Sonic to sleep.

Sonic Unleashed

  • After Sonic realizes that Chip lost his memory, he asks the player if he fell on him.
  • After Sonic sulks away because Amy didn't recognize him as a Werehog, Chip will offer him chocolate, but Sonic will refuse. Chip will then shrug at the player before flying after him.
  • While Sonic is being graded in the 360/PS3 versions, he and Chip will look directly at the results.
  • After Eggman fails to kick Orbot and falls flat on his back, Orbot turns to the player, points at Eggman, and chuckles before the Doctor gets back up.
  • While visiting any Gaia Gate, if Sonic is idle, he'll sometimes lay down sideways with his hand propping up his head, stretching or turning around, as if heard something, and look at the area behind him. Sonic's reaction, named first, will also work in any Day-Stage when he's idle for a while.

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing

  • During races, Sonic or some of the other characters will look at the player.
  • When Big gains first place, he'll put his hand on the camera to stop himself, jump off his bike, and pose.
  • In the CGI opening, after just beating Eggman and when gaining first place, Sonic give the player his famous thumbs up.
  • At the title screen, various characters will drive up, look at the player, and perform various actions.
  • When Amy won, her car would crash back-first into the camera, she'd step out, and giggled as if the "cameraman" was in a fairly sticky situation.

Sonic Free Riders

  • Omochao seems to be talking as though the player is watching television (although he is speaking to the "camera" that some of the other characters can see). It's also supported by the fact that the game is somewhat featured like a television show.
  • During Kinect calibration, characters will occasionally motion towards the player before jumping on their Gear.
  • When characters do their 'X' tricks, they would glance toward the player.

Sonic Colors

  • When Tails corrects Sonic by telling him that it's pronounced "Wisps", Sonic turns to the camera and tells the player, "Yeah. I'll just stick with 'aliens,' if that's okay with everybody."
  • In the CGI opening, a White Wisp looks at the camera in wonder, as though trying to look at something.
  • In the DS version, Tails offers Sonic to go over some tutorials.
  • Eggman in one of his PA announcements, he says: "Attention! If you find the Goal Ring, please return it to the lost impound, thank you!".

Sonic Generations

  • Both Sonics will look at their score after each stage.
  • Classic Sonic will look at the player in annoyance if he doesn't move for long enough and Modern Sonic would lie on the ground looking almost sleepy at the player.
  • When attaining an S rank, Modern Sonic will breakdance and then wink at the player.
  • If the player enters the Death Egg Robot boss gate as Modern Sonic, in the cutscene "Through The Glass," Modern Sonic will look at the player and say, "Another Sonic! What!?"
  • At the start of Speed Highway and some challenges, Modern Sonic will look at the player and give a thumbs up.
  • In the cutscene after defeating the Death Egg Robot, Classic Sonic will look at the player and shrug his shoulders.
  • In the second-to-last cutscene, the hammerspace concept is referenced by Classic Tails, who asks his modern self about where Sonic puts all his gold rings. Modern Tails then says that he has no idea. However, this isn't necessarily breaking the fourth wall, so much as "leaning" on it.
  • When Classic Tails refers to Classic Eggman as "Dr. Robotnik", Classic Eggman says "No one calls me THAT anymore," considering that he referred to himself as Dr. Robotnik until after Sonic Adventure, this comment is partly directed at the player.
  • In the post-credits scene, after Modern Eggman tells his younger self, "It'll be your plan pretty soon," Classic Eggman says that he will dedicate the rest of his life to forgetting it at the camera.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

  • Same as Episode II, excluding Tails.
  • In the iPhone/iPod Touch version, if the player stands still for a while, Sonic will take out an Apple handheld device, hold it up to his ear, and starts dancing a little, though this exclusive waiting pose was taken out in the HD version of this game on the iPad.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II

  • If the player stands still for a while, Sonic will put his hands on his hips and Tails will look towards the player, followed by looking around. Super Sonic will cross his arms and face forward.

Sonic Lost World

  • In the cutscene preceding Zazz' second fight, Zazz looks at the player in shock after Sonic insults him for "needing a bath". At the same time, Sonic also glances at the player.
  • When Sonic is free-falling, if the player doesn't hold down the R-trigger button, he will turn around so his back is facing the ground, and look at the player as if to say "Oh, come on!".

Archie Comics

  • When Antoine let Pseudo-Sonic into Knothole, he blamed the writers for making the panel so dark.
  • The issue #3 comic cover had Sonic and Tails returning from their look at the other comics, telling the potential buyer that "this is the one you want."
  • When the Freedom Fighters were looking at video footage of Universalamander, Rotor believed that Jurassic Park has been released for the Genesis.
  • When Sonic went into the Special Stage in issue #4, a prompt appeared at the bottom of the page, telling the viewer to use their Genesis to help Sonic through the Special Stage.
  • When Sonic went to the Casino Night Zone, he told the reader to use their Genesis to get him there.
  • When Sonic rushed off to save Sally from the trees, he uses a full panel to tell the viewer about the story and what he hopes he'll be able to do, all while using all the bad tree puns that haven't been used up to that point. Later he states that he "feels like [he's] getting 'stalked,'" and the caption assures the reader that it was a corn pun, not a tree pun.
  • One of the early Off-Panels features some "deleted scenes" from the comics.
    • One of the more recent Off-Panels has Sonic mentioning that there are more Rabbit characters in the comics.
  • In issue #2, the reader may choose what Sonic says.
  • In issue #19, Sonic and a large group of other Sonic from different dimensions enter the Neutral Zone, which is completely black and white. The reader is urged to color that colorless pages like a coloring book.
  • The entire issue #71 is told backwards. With Sonic Grams (which are always at the back of the comic book) being first, followed by letters, fan art, pin-up, the backup story and finally the main story in that order.
    • On the of that, the main story is also told backwards. With the reader seeing the end result first, then seeing the events leading to it in reverse, finally ending with how it all started.
  • In a bonus feature, Sonic directly addresses the reader and tells them to help him.
  • On the SSS Issue #11 cover, Sonic can be seen saying "Hey! Whose comic is this anyway?!"
  • At Sonic X #6, Sonic shows off juggling 5 chainsaws while saying "Hey kids. Don't try this at home!".
  • At the end of Sonic X #17, Sonic says "That's all folks!" and then tells the reader what will happen in the next issue.
  • In Super Sonic vs Hyper Knuckles Tails says that the odds are 4 to 1 that Sonic and Knuckles will be in a fight by page 6.

TV Shows

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

  • During the intro, Sonic and Tails give the viewer a thumbs up.
  • After changing "Sonic Sez" to "Sonic Says", he'll give the viewer a thumbs up.
    • The entire Sonic Sez segment has Sonic breaking the fourth wall, because he gives advice to the watcher (or audience) to do things like not to smoke, to stay in school, not to play with guns, or anything dangerous.
  • At the end of Sonic Christmas Blast, Sonic tells the viewer to be on the lookout for more episodes of AOSTH, even though none were released afterwards. He also wishes the audience a very merry Christmas.
  • At the end of Blank-Headed Eagle, Sonic declares that he wants his own television show by the name of "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog".
  • In the beginning of Robotnik's Rival, while Sonic and Tails were chased by Robotnik, Tails bumps into the large-font title, knocking it over.
  • At the end of Sonically Ever After, Sonic tells the audience to stay tuned for the next episode.

SatAM

  • At the end of Sonic Conversion, Sonic squeezes through the black circle (which signifies the end of an episode), turns to the viewer, and says "Seriously!".

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie

  • Towards the end of the first half of the film, Journey to Eggmanland, Tails flies past the camera and gives a wink and thumbs-up to the viewer before soaring off into Eggmanland/Robotropolis.

Sonic Underground

  • Throughout the show, Sonic and his siblings summon their band instruments and perform an episodic music video for the viewer. These segments often take place during an action sequence, prompting any onlookers to either stare in confusion or join the number.

Sonic X

  • In the first episode, while Sonic is standing on one of the S-Team's race cars, Hector Dragg, the driver of the race car yelled at him, telling him that there are kids watching, which also brings Sonic to break the fourth wall, and his expression shows that he knows that in which ever dub the viewer is watching, it is unlikely to happen anyway.
    • While standing on top of the racer, Sonic then proceeds to saying: "Kids, don't use Formula One cars to chase hedgehogs!"
    • In the original Japanese version, Sonic tells the viewers that they should not stand on top of speeding race cars.
  • In that same episode, when Sonic flies over the city and is subsequently about to fall into the pool, he looks at the viewer with an exasperated expression then says: "uh...oh...." makes an attempt to run to try to keep moving in the air, then proceeds to saying: "see ya!" right before he falls.
  • When Eggman was viewed as a hero by many of the brainwashed civilians, Decoe and Bocoe pitched an idea of a TV show called "Eggman X", which is a clear nod to the show's title being "Sonic X."
    • Immediately afterward, Eggman tells the audience to "tune in next week"
  • When Sonic fails to reach the Egg Carrier, he turns to the camera and says "No way".
  • During the ending sequences in the first season, Sonic will watch footage from the episode.
  • When Sonic fell into a small pond/puddle while fighting Knuckles in Cracking Knuckles, he'll turn to the camera and sheepishly say "It's lucky I fell in the kiddie pool.", before returning to his fight with Knuckles.
  • In the Japanese version of Episode 26, Eggman tells the audience not to change the channel before a commercial and when a card showing a blacked-out E-99 Eggsterminator, Eggman appears and tells the viewer "I'm sorry!" before bringing out the Eggsterminator.
  • In Cruise Blues, Decoe and Bocoe said that took a while to repair the Egg Fort because they didn't appear in the previous episode.
    • Amy convinces Sonic to stop misbehaving by warning him about what fans of Sonic X would say to Sonic.
    • When Eggman launches the Egg Fort II, he receives phone calls from the "viewers" complaining that they couldn't see the flying fortress. In response, Eggman tells them to get bigger televisions.
    • When Sonic got the idea to persuade Chris and his friends to get off his dad's cruise in Cruise Blues, he looked at the viewer with a sly smirk on his face.
  • In the Chaotix's debut episode, Charmy shows Vector a DVD of Sonic X. Not long after, they can be seen watching short scenes and the beginning of the theme song (Japanese version of the episode.)
  • In the Chaotix's debut episode, Vector and Espio give a description of themselves to the viewer. These descriptions take so long that when Charmy asks if it's his turn yet, Vector informs him that they don't have enough time, and that they have to cut to commercial. Charmy, desperate for some screen time, grabs the camera with a worried look on his face as the scene fades to black. In the Japanese version, Charmy fails to introduce himself before the eyecatch and instead the eyecatch details all of his stats for him.
  • In the Japanese version of Unfair Ball, when an Eggman robot was batting and hits the ball out of the stadium, Sonic who was fielding, goes an catches the ball and says, "Out!" but Chuck informs him that if the ball goes beyond or at the end of the stadium then that is a home-run. Sonic then says, "Why should we follow the rules? This is an anime!"
  • In the Japanese version of the final episode of Season 3, Charmy reminds Espio that he's acting out of character after the latter begs for more of Vanilla's cake.
  • In the Japanese version of episode 67, after Rouge destroys the Fake Emerald producing machine she then moves off-screen complaining that this is all she does in the episode and even yells "Call the Producer!"
  • In the Japanese version of episode 77, Eggman and his crew have an entire argument about whether or not each were properly acting in character.
  • In the Japanese version of Cruise Blues, Amy goes on about how Sonic is the hero and that without him, the viewers and the fan rate would drop.

Sonic Boom

  • In the trailer, when Burnbot damages the wing for the plane, Tails grabs a wrench and looks at the viewer with a puzzled look on his face.

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