Breaking the Reviewer's Wall

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

There are a lot of reviewers of video games, movies, cartoons and other media. Some of the comedic reviewers have unique gimmicks that go beyond simply reviewing the work in question, but instead take it a step further, coming up with unique ways to show off the work or interact with it. One of these ways it to actually enter the work in question, or interact with its characters! This is Breaking the Reviewer's Wall. Instead of Breaking the Fourth Wall and talking to the audience, which they're already doing, they break another wall - the wall separating the reviewer from the work reviewed.

It's kinda like Trapped in TV Land, except they're usually not trapped, and in many cases, they're doing it to mock the work in question.

In order to be this trope, the reviewer has to directly interact with the work in question, either by the character exiting the work to meet the reviewer, the reviewer entering the work, or some other direct interaction. Simply talking to a character who doesn't talk back doesn't count.

Examples of Breaking the Reviewer's Wall include:

Live Action TV

  • Harry Hill in Harry Hill's TV Burp in some way manipulates the TV shows he reviews frequently. Often, he even has access to the sets and actors used.
  • An episode of Reading Rainbow in the early 90s had LeVar Burton visit the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation, on which he was playing Geordi LaForge at the time. The episode showed some behind the scenes stuff, and a few bloopers. At the end of the episode, he gave his typical sign off, "I'll see you next time." and disappeared with the transporter animation, as if he had been beamed away.

Tabletop Games

  • Magic: The Gathering: This is done in an article by Matt Carvotta on the Izzet guild in the Ravnica block, written as an interview of Izzet mages Trivaz and Quizl.

Web Original

  • The Angry Video Game Nerd once started off a review of Street Fighter 2010 by showing himself exiting his house and seeing the aliens and other creatures from the game having taken over the world. After all, isn't that what's supposed to happen in 2010?
    • The Nerd has also had his Atari Jaguar's logo come to life and attack him, and gotten into fights with characters from games and shows, such as Bugs Bunny in his review of Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout and a Klingon in his Star Trek review.
    • A re-review of Top Gun had the airplane fly out of his TV and exit his house through the window.
    • In a crossover with Captain S, the Nerd and Captain S both find themselves trapped inside Wrath Of The Black Manta.
    • Then there's the Action 52 review where the ugly sprites turn into Shit Pickles and pop out of the screen to torment the Nerd.
  • From That Guy With The Glasses:
    • The Nostalgia Critic sometimes uses his gun to shoot characters inside the movie or cartoon he's reviewing. He's also called characters from movies on the phone and had direct conversations. Usually the phone voice is either from the actor who played the Critic or his brother, but the Critic once conversed with stock footage of Christian Bale's rant on the set of Terminator Salvation, used in a way to imply he was hating on the newer Batman movies.
    • That Dude in the Suede was killed by Benzaie using his Death Note.
    • Spoony has occasionally encountered characters from the works he's reviewed. In fact, in the conclusion of his Final Fantasy VIII review, Dr. Insano hired Squall to kill Spoony.
    • The Nostalgia Chick's review of Don Bluth's Anastasia was repeatedly interrupted by phone calls from the characters (and Yakov Smirnov) to complain. Rasputin in particular wouldn't leave her alone. Although Rasputin was later revealed to have Chicago caller ID, so it may have been an in-character joke.
    • Linkara has also occasionally faced off against characters from the comic books he's reviewed. Neutro was one of the first.
      • Along with characters from the franchise fighting him as above, a Silent Hill fog started engulfing Linkara's ruhm room while he was reviewing In Name Only comics written by Scott Ciencin.
    • In a vlog by JesuOtaku of the Desu Des Brigade, she reveals her Schedule Slip of "Digimon Month" was apparently due to being consumed by Digimon Tamers' D-Reaper.
      • Another D2 reviewer, Hitch (the character), frequently interacts with the villains from a Hentai anime (possibly Chains of Lust).
  • While Yahtzee doesn't necessarily enter the games he's reviewing, his Author Avatar almost always interacts with characters from the game, like getting sliced in half by Kratos, having a drink with Akiyama, or giving Batman a playful tousle.
  • The Gaming Pixie enters the video games she reviews or has them spill over to the real world. For example, when reviewing Shadowgate, she enters the game itself and the narration changes to include her sarcastic musings on the game's flaws.
  • Ghoulardi used to enter the movies he presented.
  • Encyclopedia Obscura's Per Arne Sandvik did this a few times.

To shed light on some subjects, I approached Scott O'Conner for an interview. To do this, I hooked up to my NES console using a fork, a coaxial cable and a colander (illustration below). Thus, I was able to upload my thoughts into the Kabuki cartridge. Warning! Since a NES cartridge has the storage capacity of 32 kilobytes, the sheer amount of raw data your brain contains could easily exceed the max limit. Never try this yourself, as your personality could be scattered all around limbo if the cartridge circuitry is scorched. Super Mario Bros.. 3 is impossible to enter, as the game already fills up the entire 32Kb limit.

  • One YouTube review of the Silent Hill movie had Silent Hill's infamous "curse" affect the reviewer, showing his house changing between its normal self, and a Dark World self.
  • Apparently a few metroids in the basement is all that it takes to ruin a reviewer's day.
  • Lenny and Shinko's Disney-See house was blown up after Lenny called out the Blue Fairy for being the TRUE villain of Pinocchio
  • The Fanfic Critic was once possessed by Cartman when she reviewed a bad South Park fanfic.
  • Slowbeef is taken over by a Snatcher during his screenshot Let's Play of Snatcher.