The Fourth Wall is a literary term that originates from stage plays. Typically, a stage would be rectangular, so there would be 3 walls, one in the back, and 2 on the sides. The "fourth wall" would be the edge of the stage that faces the audience. Obviously, there was no actual wall there. The term Fourth Wall refers to the barrier between the audience of a work of fiction and the fictional universe itself. In most works of fiction, the fourth wall is intact, that is, the characters do not acknowledge the existence of an audience or that they themselves are part of a fictional work. However, some fictions employ the literary technique of breaking the fourth wall. Breaking the fourth wall can include characters addressing the audience directly, making references to the writer or other out - of - universe elements, acknowledging that they are part of a fictional world, or even leaving the fictional work itself and entering the "real world" (represented, obviously, by a fictionalized version of the real world)

In a combat perspective, fourth wall breaking is very difficult to evaluate. One one hand, it could be considered the ultimate broken power, giving a character the ability to defeat an opponent by exiting the fictional medium and ripping up/burning/rewriting the paper the enemy character is printed on. Yet it is rarely portrayed that way, and even when it is, it is often considered inadmissable as a feat against characters from different fictional continuities. This is partially because the most prevalent use of fourth wall breaking is for humor value, thus making most characters capable of breaking the fourth wall more joke/parody characters, who are often unsuitable for use in serious fights. Breaking the fourth wall is often a primary component of toonforce.

Examples of characters/series that routinely break the fourth wall:

- Deadpool, She-Hulk, Loki, Galactus, and others from Marvel Comics
- Ambush Bug, Alexander Luthor, Animal Man, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Bat-Mite, Lobo, and others from DC Comics
- Characters from Duel Masters (or at least the English dub)
- Hayate Ayasaki and others from Hayate the Combat Butler
- Many characters from Warner Brothers cartoons such as Looney Tunes
- Many characters from Disney movies and cartoons
- Many characters from Nipponverse
- Bastard!! characters occasionally give indications that they know they are in a manga
- 8-bit Theatre breaks the fourth wall all the time
- Sonic and other characters from the Sonic Archie Comics
- Family Guy also breaks the fourth wall all the time
- Breaking the Fourth Wall actually is an important plot point in the Dark Tower novels