When Deadpool was released on February 12, it proved that the theatrical effect of the fourth wall was very much so hot right now. Numerous times throughout the wildly successful blockbuster, our favorite foul-mouthed superhero addressed us fans directly, breaking any kind of pretense that we were watching a movie at that particular moment in time.
Yet don't be fooled — this isn't the first time that a film used such a bold technique. In fact, for decades movie characters have been turning their attentions to their audiences. Here are five of the most legendary instances of fourth-wall breaking in decades:
1. Alfie (1966)
The introduction to Alfie is perhaps one of the most well-known breaking of the fourth wall moments, giving us crucial insights into what the title character is actually like. He starts his dialogue:
"Hello, are you all settled in? Right, well we can begin. My name is Alfie. I supposed you think you're going to see the bleedin' titles now. Well you're not so you can all relax."
Here it is:
2. Goodfellas (1990)
At the very end of the movie, Henry Hill breaks out of character and focuses his attention directly at the camera, saying:
"And now it's all over."
That's before his knowing smile in the last seconds of the film resonate with us, forever and ever:
3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
When the final scene of the '80s classic came to a close, Matthew Broderick's character wasn't ready to wave goodbye just yet. In a post-credits scene, he directly urges the remaining viewers in the cinema to go home. Remind yourself of the moment below:
4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Robert Downey Jr chats directly to the camera at the end of the movie and leaves the audience a message. His buddy Val Kilmer then waltzes in and thanks everyone for staying until the end credits — it's all quite comical:
5. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
Yep, Leonardo DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort is the ultimate salesman and it seems that he gives a similar kind of sales pitch to his audience — here he is discussing his drug regimen with us, before smashing his orange juice glass to the ground. Because why not!
Although these are merely five instances of very blatant fourth-wall breaking, thankfully one talented movie fan has gone through the colossal effort of creating an edit of 400 such moments. Here's the fun clip that will get you up to speed on the true meaning of meta: