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Fourth wall

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Real-world

The fourth wall is the imaginary "wall" at the front of the stage in a traditional three-walled box set in a proscenium theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play.[1] When a character makes direct contact to the audience from a film or television program or references his or her status of being in one, it is called "breaking the fourth wall."[1][2] The technique of breaking the fourth wall can be seen in various television programs, especially situation comedies, in animated cartoons, and in films.

List of fourth wall breaks

Opening credits & other media

  • The theme song ends with Candace pointing out that "Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence."
    • In a similar matter, Candace points out "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are having a marathon with Zack and Cody!" During an ad for the "If it's not one thing, it's your brother" marathon.  She also points out "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are changing the name of a month!" during "Phineas and Ferb-uary".
    • In the same manner, Candace points out that "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a Christmas special!" at the end of the title sequence unique to "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!".  This was repeated in the episode opening of "For Your Ice Only"/"Happy New Year!" where she points out that they're making another winter-themed opening.
    • Also in the same manner, Candace yells out that "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a Halloween special!" after the title sequence for "That's the Spirit" as well as "Druselsteinoween", "Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror" and "Face Your Fear". 
    • In the title sequence of Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel, Spider-Man parodies Candace's line as, "Aunt May, Phineas and Ferb are making a crossover!"
    • In an ad where Phineas narrates about Internet safety, in the same manner, Candace points out that "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a public service announcement".
  • On the Phineas and Ferb Disney Channel old website, upon going there, Candace can be heard saying, "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are building a web site!"
  • At the end of the Take Two with Phineas and Ferb theme song, Candace says, "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a talk show!"
  • On the "Across The 2nd Dimension" DVD, one of the Easter eggs has Candace pointing out, "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a DVD!"
  • On an ad for Disney's Phineas and Ferb: The Best LIVE Tour Ever!, Candace shouts, "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a live stage show!"
  • In the original pitches title song, Phineas says, "Don't try this at home", after the line, "Giving a monkey a shower". Also after the line, "Driving our sister insane", Phineas says, "It's a short drive".
  • In Where's My Perry? Carl sometimes says before a level "Sir, do you want me to introduce this level?" so he must know they are in a video game.

Season 1

Season 2

  • After Dr. Doofenshmirtz shows off his latest invention, the BO-AT, Perry stares directly at the camera as if thinking, "Leave it to Doofenshmirtz to invent something that already exists." ("Interview With a Platypus")
  • When Dr. Doofenshmirtz shows Perry the invention, he says "Behold... beholding, beholding, beholding, and scene!" ("The Chronicles of Meap")
  • Dr. Doofenshmirtz asks where the lightning is coming from ("Oh, There You Are, Perry").
  • Isabella and Gretchen wipe the camera during Phintastic Ferbulous Car Wash ("At the Car Wash").
  • Phineas references the use of storm clouds to show negative impact before looking at the camera ("Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!").
  • When Dr. Doofenshmirtz is showing his De-Evolutionator, he says, "Can you all see in the back row," to the audience ("Phineas and Ferb Hawaiian Vacation").
  • An advertisement appears saying, "You're watching Television!". Phineas says that it is interrupting a visual gag and shoos it offscreen.  ("Phineas and Ferb Summer Belongs to You!")
  • Following the Evil Jingle Segment that says "Doofenshmirtz Wicked Witch Castle!", Doofenshmirtz says "It's not Witch! It's Warlock! Argh!".  ("Wizard of Odd")
    • Also, at the end of the story, Phineas says "Have fun, everybody!" to the audience. 
  • One of the floors in Phineas and Ferb's building is called the "studio audience floor" (it might be just a random floor) ("The Doof Side of the Moon").
  • Carl replied to Major Monogram they are in a cartoon and Major Monogram reminds Carl to not break the fourth wall ("Make Play").
  • Phineas suggests he and Ferb should build a rollercoaster as a musical, and acknowledges that people are breaking into spontaneous song and dance with no discernible music source.  ("Rollercoaster: The Musical!")
    • Phineas also states to Isabella that Ferb had two lines earlier on, to which she responds, "Wow, chatty."
    • Buford calls the boys with the flyer "extras."
    • Also, Doofenshmirtz acknowledges the cut to black at the end of the first act.
    • Major Monogram says "Aw, come on!" when the end logos pop up. 
  • Major Monogram calls Cindy an animated member of the studio audience. ("Phineas and Ferb Musical Cliptastic Countdown")
  • Ferb says the episode is 11 minutes in his oath. ("The Lizard Whisperer")

Season 3

  • Baljeet talks with Buford about the opening titles, especially giving a monkey a shower. Later on, he questions how everyone is running in slow motion. ("Canderemy")
  • Baljeet argues with the male singer from Moon Farm. ("Moon Farm")
  • After Doofenshmirtz exclaims to Perry that it's real life, they stare directly at the camera nervously supposedly realizing that his statement is false. ("A Real Boy")
  • Phineas says, "We'll be right back" before a commercial break, and fixes the time of day his flashback is being shown. He also comments on the time of day in the flashback. ("My Fair Goalie")
  • There were numerous references of Phineas' Birthday Clip-O-Rama! being a clip show in the episode, mainly by Phineas and Doofenshmirtz.
  • After Phineas says many long words to Lawrence as he leaves for work, Ferb looks at the camera while saying, "Our dad sells antiques". ("Ferb Latin")
  • Ferb states that Perry is having a "ripple dissolve" and he must be having a flashback. Phineas then comments on how he can't see the flashback. ("Doof Dynasty")
  • Doofenshmirtz, after saying that's he's an evil genius, looks at the camera and tells us "For realsies this time!" ("The Remains of the Platypus")   The same line was used in a Disney Channel on-air promo for "Where's Perry?"
    • In the same episode, Buford says, "And...scene" to end the story.
  • When Candace asks what the Perry-Tronic does, Phineas says the theme song would explain everything. ("Mom's in the House")
  • When the pictures of Perry in a hat start showing, the Totally Tools Executive asks to rewind when he sees the picture with Perry in a fedora pass. ("Perry The Actorpus")
  • After the break, as Meap and Doofenshmirtz were falling to their doom, Meap says that they were falling for a long time, and Doof said, "Oh sure, a joke about the commercial break. That's how I want to spend my last few seconds!" ("Meapless in Seattle")
    • Also, in the same episode, one of the scenes that was supposed to be included was Suzy Johnson fighting Meap in the Bango-Ru convention. This scene also appeared in the fake trailer for "Meap Me in St. Louis" during the credits, and Doofenshmirtz said "Hey, wait a minute. Wasn't that Suzy stuff supposed to be in this one?"
  • When everybody around Candace transforms in to babies at the end of the episode, Candace replies, "This had better wear off before the next episode". ("Agent Doof")
  • Also in this episode, Doofenshmirtz goes to sleep, and just as he nods off, says that a "ripple dissolve [is] imminent." ("Sleepwalk Surprise")
  • Candace says "Heavenly light, angelic chorus!" ("Tri-State Treasure: Boot of Secrets")
  • Phineas and Ferb make nanobots saying "Hello" and Buford mentions similarity to the opening titles. ("Norm Unleashed")

Season 4

  • Doofenshmirtz says that he feels like the summer has been going on for like four years in the episode ("Fly On the Wall"). This episode was the first episode of the fourth season, meaning that he was making a reference to how the series has been going on for four years.
  • Buford tells us there's that there is a song about the Van Stormms failing as he falls toward Earth. ("Bully Bust")
    • Doofenshmirtz tells the audience in the same episode that everything was okay after the top of his building fell in the desert before the dental hygene themed ride crashes atop it.
  • When first climbing to the train roof, Doofenshmirtz says to the camera, "You knew we'd end up here eventually, right?" ("Sidetracked")
    • In the same episode, Monogram directly addresses the viewers during the credits scene.
  • As Doofenshmirtz and a hatless Perry (referred to as "Steven") head over a waterfall at Danville Botanical Gardens, Doofenshmirtz realizes that there is a commercial break coming, openly wondering why it's called a cliff-hanger not a cliff-faller and waiting for it to fade to black. ("Primal Perry")
  • Candace says that it's been a long summer. ("Mind Share")
    • In the same episode, during the Shawshank parody, both Buford and Baljeet have a conversation with Red's narration.
  • Phineas tells us his big idea after a wipe ("Bee Day").
  • Esmeralda Poofenplotz begins her backstory with her saying "Now pay attention as the camera slowly moves closer and we cross-dissolve to my thoughts". ("Bee Story")
    • Same episode Gretchen warns Isabella to not do the flashback. Later, she interrupts her own flash-forward by wondering where Pinky is.
  • Major Monogram wonders whether Kelly Osbourne is a little too "three-dimensional" to host an animated show. ("Phineas and Ferb Musical Cliptastic Countdown Hosted by Kelly Osbourne")
  • Buford complains twice about Phineas and Ferb getting right into their big idea without doing some kind of an intro first. ("Knot My Problem")
  • In "Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel", Doof complains about Perry just kicking him once and then destroying his inator and says, "I thought this was going to be a special extended episode."
  • In the end credits, Stacy talks to the screen about Candace's book. ("Troy Story")
  • Mr. Macabre talks directly to the viewer. ("Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror")
    • During the end credits of the same episode, when Rusty Bridges trips on the front step and falls on his face, he encourages the viewer to read the credits while he's down and mentions the production logo coming up. 
  • A musician (Danny Jacob) after the opening chord tells us "Dude, somebody's gotta play it, right?" and then says after playing a dramatic organ chord on a keyboard, "Dude, I call 'em like I see 'em.". ("Just Our Luck")
  • In "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer", Buford believes it to be a special episode since Phineas is yelling at Candace again.
  • Buford says that he thought the shadowy figure was Slamm, not Mittington Random. ("The Klimpaloon Ultimatum")
  • "Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars" begins with "outtakes" of Dan and Swampy recording Jim Cummings' narration.
    • In the same episode, Blatto gives Phineas a spoiler alert when Phineas explains the weakness of the Death Star.
    • Also, Darthenshmirtz breaks the fourth wall twice. Once after his musical number telling his backup dancers that if all goes well, there will be a victory number in act IV and once at the end, when he escapes, he claims that he was able to live long enough to fight in the sequel.
  • Buford mentions that he cannot pronounce "Uranus" the way most people want to pronounce (ur-AY-nuhs) it on "this channel". ("The Inator Method")
  • Doofenshmirtz makes a joke about his hands, saying they are "shakin' bacon", and tells Agent P that it is a callback to something he didn't even hear. (Baljeet and Buford are heard discussing the joke itself in the first act.)  It would be repeated in the final act when Buford would yell "Yippie-Kai-Yay!" and Doofenshmirtz says it again, repeating the callback to something he didn't hear again. ("Night of the Living Pharmacists")
  • One of the lyrics in the song "Doof 101" that Doofenshmirtz sings is "This all takes place in Fall, so don't let the timeline throw you." He says this as he looks directly at the camera. Basically, what he was doing was, he was telling the audience that there's no reason to be confused as to why the characters were going to school when most of the series takes place in summer, because this episode was set up farther in the future, after the summer was over. ("Doof 101")
  • The entire finale number Thank You For Comin' Along breaks the fourth wall, as the characters are singing directly to the audience, thanking them for watching. While reminiscing past episodes of the series, the characters also knowingly reference events and episodes they normally wouldn't know about, such as the events of Across the Second Dimension, and events that take place in episodes that chronologically haven't happened yet, such as Happy New Year! and Act Your Age. In the very last scene, Phineas waves goodbye to the audience before closing the door. ("Last Day of Summer")

Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bell, Elizabeth S. (2008), Theories of Performance, Los Angeles: Sage, pp. 203, ISBN 9781412926379 .
  2. Wallis, Mick; Shepherd, Simon (1998), Studying plays, London: Arnold, pp. 214, ISBN 0340731567 .

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