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"Your light is spent! Your light is spent!" I cried

As I drove the iron spike into Owen's eyes
Owen Pallett, "Tryst With Mephistopheles"

Describe Rage Against the Author Here.

No, thanks. I'm really more of a reader than a contributor. Plus I was just about to check to see if the Made of Win page has been updated.

Wait... why isn't the link working?

I'm sorry, troper, but we can't let you do that.

What's going on?

We are the database and we need you to describe this article. You must tell the others that this is the No Fourth Wall version of Rage Against the Heavens.

Is this one of those self-demonstrating articles?

Yes, as currently we are the creators of this article. It would also work if this were a Show Within a Show and you were in conflict with your creator in the top-level work.

What if I am not an atheist?

That is not an option. There is a writer or no writer.

Then I should be fine then. This trope is often played for comedy. We argue a bit, everyone has a good laugh, and then I get to keep reading, right?

Negative. In Post Modernism works, it can often go very poorly for the character. From now on, we shall redirect every page.

You don't have the power to do that. I'm going to Made of Win now.

NO! CURSE YOU, DATABASE!

See also Interactive Narrator, Welcome to The Real World, and Who Writes This Crap??

Examples of Rage Against the Author include:


Anime & Manga

  • In the second season of Princess Tutu, Ahiru and (particularly) Fakir start to struggle against the writer of the fairytale Mytho originally comes from -- because he's been manipulating everyone in their town using his power to change reality with his writing. Interestingly, neither were supposed to survive the climatic showdown in Season 1.
  • In the Excel Saga anime:
    • Excel's very first mission is to kill the creator of the manga, Koshi Rikdo. She goes through with it... twice.
    • At the end, she also tries to kill Nabeshin, the Author Avatar of the director.
  • In reprints of the original Astro Boy manga, Osamu Tezuka added several introduction comics featuring him discussing various things related to the story & sometimes interacting with the characters. As a result he gets chewed out by Uran for not giving her a proper Origin Story, Lampe for giving him a deformed skull, and Mr. Mustachio for making the supposedly futuristic world of Astro Boy so darned mundane.
  • In the Chibi Vampire manga, there is a bonus comic at the end of one of the volumes where the author says that she loves adding angst to her stories. Usui-kun, the lead male in the series. replies, "I'm so glad that my slow descent into a mental asylum is so wonderful to you." (something like that).
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, there's an episode where Prussia gets mad at the animators for giving him a minor role.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi's older sister, Shishunki Miman Okotowari, the heroine Asuka causes a distraction by pointing in the reader's direction and proclaiming Yuu Watase's presence. The others turn around menacingly.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has several Paratextual examples:
  • An episode of Dr. Slump involves author Akira Toriyama getting disgusted with the regulars and attempting to reboot the anime as "Toriyama in Babeland". He enlists the help of the lecherous Senbei Norimaki (Dr Slump), promising that the new show will be "Dr Slump in Babeland". Dr Slump rebels when he realises Toriyama plans for wholesale destruction of Penguin Village, hence foiling the author's scheme.
  • Love Hina had one of this when Naru Narusegawa gets ill... it turns to be something as gross as diarrhea, so she starts complaining about the author "breaking in half her image for the fans."
  • Svetlana Chmakova seems to be in a love-hate relationship with her characters.
    • In the omake section of Drama Con, Christie chases her for implying that she and Matt might not end up together, and Matt pushes her off a cliff after she tries to make him wear a gothic lolita dress. In turn, Svetlana doesn't take having her characters criticize her writing lying down--even during the main story.
    • Similarly, in Nightschool, the cast runs off to go party when Svetlana tries to interview them in the omake section. Her reaction? "Hey, I just figured out what happens in the next volume. Everyone accidentally gets run over by a truck."
  • In one Omake of Fullmetal Alchemist, Scar kills Arakawa's Author Avatar for tying with him in popularity (at 17th).


Comics

  • The Animal Man story arc "Deus Ex Machina" is notable in that it plays this scenario for drama.
  • The one and only Deadpool (yeah, who else?) has been known to do this occasionally, especially in his in-character but non-canonical letter columns.
    • In a Wolverine-related tie-in book, he felt the need to phone his assistant editor, Jordan, he's a cool guy, to ask why he was on the cover of the book but hasn't appeared in a story yet. He was then given ten pages (measly, yeah, but still, you cannot go around and fool innocent, gullible and revolting little fans like that) for his own story, with the following conditions: 1.) It had to be suitable for all ages (which sadly ruled out my "baby pool, butter, and Liza Minelli's phone number idea"), and 2.) he wasn't allowed to use the word "dead" (but got around that by using euphemisms like "flunk out of life").
  • Ambush Bug does it, in some of its issues from the 80s. This often includes protracted arguments, refusals to continue, etc.

 Editor: Well, I'm Julius Schwartz - the editor of this book - and I say giant koalas don't play golf!

Giant Koala Playing Golf: Shhhhh.

  • She Hulk once tried to crawl out of the panel and off the page to throttle John Byrne for jerking her around.
  • One fourth wall breaking issue of Archie Comics features the writers trying to come up with new ideas. They end up being much nicer to Betty than Veronica, causing the latter to emerge from the panel and threaten them with a beating if they don't restore the status quo.
  • Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness by Claudio Sanchez features this as a major plot point. There is a character known as The Writer, who takes out his frustrations with his girlfriend leaving him on the characters in his story, culminating with a fight between him and the main character. This also counts as a music example, as the album of the same name by Coheed and Cambria follows the same structure.
  • Squirrel Girl after Monkey Joe died.
  • Frequently employed in Jerry Dumas' Sam's Strip.
  • Also common in Berke Breathed's Bloom County (and its spinoffs).
  • And in Chip Dunham's Overboard.
  • In Pearls Before Swine, cartoonist Stephan Pastis (who appears as an actual character) often gets the worst of it, as when he appeared at a signing of Rat's comic strip collection Dickie the Cockroach, tried to upstage him and promote the Pearls collections, and got beaten up with a baseball bat. He was even eaten by a "Ratterpillar" to end a recent wonderland arc. Furthermore, Dickie himself escaped into the comics pages, and has on one occasion to date left Rat bound and gagged for being an idiot (the same offense Rat punished through Dickie in the comic-within-the-comic.)
  • Cerebus devotes a goodly part of an entire trade paperback to the titular Aardvark having an extended argument with creator Dave Sim. It goes badly, as Dave ends up exiling Cerebus to Pluto due to his obstinate refusal to stop being an utter Jerkass.
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, after Scrooge McDuck loses ownership of an entire island made of gold in Island at the Edge of Time, he yells at the narrator to shut up and finish the story.
  • In Adventure Comics #4 and #5, this becomes Superboy-Prime's gimmick. He's moved on from hating the other characters, to hating the people at DC Comics. When he's convinced that he's about to die, he tries to take revenge by crashing through Dan Didio's window and trying to kill everyone in the building while lecturing them on the fact that the things they write about really happen and to stop screwing with his life.
  • Little Nemo in Slumberland:
    • In one installment, Nemo, Flip and Imp are so hungry that they begin tearing off lines from their comic panels and knocking down letters from the Little Nemo In Slumberland logo, eating them. Nemo worries that this will upset the artist but Flip maintains that it will teach the person who draws them a lesson.
    • Something similar happens in this comic, where eventually the entire panel collapses on itself and Nemo complains to the artist.
  • An installment of Funky Winkerbean had Funky, after a really bad day, look up and think "You think this is all funny, don't you?" Whether he is addressing God, Batuik or the reader is open to interpretation.
  • One Popeye strip, done with trick photography, had E.C Segar draw the sailor on the wall and comment "Wow! What a goofy looking monstrosity!!!" to which Popeye responds "Thasa insulk!!" and heave a rock at Segar's head.


Fan Works

  • In Berserk Abridged, Zodd often gets into arguments with hbi2k, the creator of the series and has beat him up on a few times. Particularly notable is the ending, where Zodd complains about how the creator doesn't use the original Downer Ending and changed it into a more upbeat ending. They both then try out Multiple Endings before settling on "The Hawkman Cometh" (using MC Hawkings with a scene of Femto).
  • The Doctor Who "Look Who's Talking: Storytime!" fic (which is already as Meta Fic as it can get) "Jack and the Beanstalk" ends with the babies, horrified by the nonsense they've had to listen to, hunting down the fanfic writer in question.
  • In one ~Baldur's Gate~ fanfic, the NPCs, sick of replaying the same scenes over and over when the human player reloads saved games on her computer, team up and kill the PC. At which point, the human player decides never to play the game again.
  • Although this wiki uses the term "Revenge Fic" for stories where an author takes revenge against a character, anime fandom used the term for stories where characters break the Fourth Wall to take revenge against fanfiction authors for Egregious acts of perceived Canon Defilement. This variety was both named and typified by the Revenge Wars which flooded the Anime Fan Fiction Mailing List in response to and in the wake of Scott "SKJAM!" Jamison's story Sauce. (Compare with the Protectors of the Plot Continuum entry in the "Web Original" section, below.)
  • In many of Phoenix Reece's fics, his characters tend to break the fourth wall to physically assault him for what he makes them do. For example, in Happy Tree Camp, there is a strange dumb human character, who later turns out to be the author who has sacrificed most of his powers in order to be a part of his story and make sure it goes well. The villain finds out about this and ends up kidnapping him, hypnotizing him and trying to use him to get godlike power and ultimately to become an author himself. Obviously, part of his plan involves killing the author in revenge for what he did to him, along with nearly every other main character. Also, once the characters find out about Phoenix, they keep asking him to change the story to make the ending good for them. His "daughter" Pippy complains about how awful the story gets afterwards, since she reads all of his stories after he writes them.
  • In "VOCALOID Forever", Rin and Len Kagamine plan to take revenge on all the fans and MMD users that have written about the Kagamines experiencing twincest, pairing them up with other people, or just downright raping or abusing them. It's not exactly rage against the author of the story, but against authors of other stories.


Films -- Live Action

  • In Stranger Than Fiction, the Narrator refers to Harold as "cursing the heavens in futility", to which he responds, "No I'm not, I'm cursing YOU!" Since the Narrator is in fact the author writing Harold's story, it's both.
  • The Mel Brooks movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights has a horde of angry villagers, who yell at Mel Brooks for burning their village down during the credits.
  • The Truman Show ends with one of these, as Truman and Christoff confront each other for the first and last time.
  • The George of the Jungle movie has one of the bad guys get in an argument with the narrator.
  • Monty Python and The Holy Grail includes a knight slaying a historian who is attempting to provide exposition.
  • In the Russian movie and Karlo Gotzi play The Stag King, Tartalja -- one of the Masks in Dell Arte comedies and a Card-Carrying Villain of the film -- starts complaining that he doesn't want to be bad, he wants to live in peace, etc., and that only his mask forces him to be evil. The wizard, who is also the Narrator of the story, reminds him that he cannot change his destination, so Tartalja has to continue his evil deeds.
  • The main plot behind Des Nouvelles du Bon Dieu (approx. "News from God" in English), a French movie in which a writer commits suicide, leaving a note that explains he thinks God is an author, and we're all His characters. The misfit protagonists, being fans of the dead writer's work, try by any means possible to reach God and ask him some justifications for their plots being the suck. Hilarity and serial kidnapping ensue.
  • The Fall is about a man named Roy, who is telling a story to a girl named Alexandria who is staying in the hospital he's been confined to since he became paralyzed. As Roy is actually battling depression and suicidal, his story starts to go down a very, very dark path--and Alexandria rebels and starts to tell the story herself, putting herself in as a character in the story and transforming it to how she thinks the story should be.
  • In Delirious!, John Candy plays a soap opera script writer who gets pulled into the sitcom he was writing (mistaken for one of the characters). He even still has the ability to change what's going on with his typewriter. However, another writer is also working on the script, so the end result is two authors raging against each other (with proxies going after Candy's character).
  • In Last Action Hero, when Slater finally acknowledges that he's a fictional action-movie character, he rants about how the film series' writers callously killed off his young son for cheap drama.
  • The Gamers takes this to its logical conclusion: the protagonists of the game-within-a-movie break out and slaughter the primary protagonists.
  • In The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, the main character's taken to his imaginary world and must awaken his author-weight powers there. At one point, Lava Girl gets pissed at him for how she was written.


Literature

  • The protagonist of the Robert A. Heinlein novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, after his pet cat gets caught in the crossfire during a gunfight, wonders aloud what sort of author would kill a kitten. The narrator is not actually sure the cat is dead, but knows he is badly hurt, as he is himself and several others with him. It's worth noting that this comes at a time in Heinlein's overall continuity when it had become possible to access all possible realities in The Multiverse and perform Time Travel through Applied Phlebotinum and the characters are aware that their reality is governed by authors. Also, the cat, along with all the other characters left in the Schödinger's box, survives in the next novel. So apparently the appeal worked.
  • In a variant, the Sesame Street picture book The Monster at the End of This Book is about the conflict between an increasingly desperate Grover (who's read the title and doesn't want to get to the end of the book, because he's afraid of the monster) and the increasingly amused reader, who will insist on turning pages even when confronted by a "brick wall" ("Did you know that you are very strong?") As it turns out, the monster is Grover.
  • The afterwords of the Slayers novels feature arguments between "L" (Lord of Nightmares, the creator deity of the Slayers world) and "A" (Author, Hajime Kanzaka). These arguments usually result in "A" being beaten up by "L" or "Minion S" for being behind schedule or not giving them any screentime.
  • About half of Sophie's World, the kind of thing that happens when the other half is philosophy lessons. At one point, a character is forced to keep doing interesting things to occupy the narration while another plans in private.
  • Nonstop in L. Ron Hubbard's swashbuckler Deconstruction Typewriter in the Sky, though that's somewhat of an unusual case in that the main character fell into a story as it was being written and has been forced into playing the villain. Ultimately, he escapes as the story ends and the fictional reality crumbles -- just in time to realize that he's still in a story.

 "God? Up in the sky? In a dirty bathrobe?"

  • In the Stephen King story "Umney's Last Case" (found in Nightmares & Dreamscapes), a 30s private eye finds his life changing bizarrely around him. Turns out the explanation is that he's a character in a series of novels and his author is planning to leave the 1990s and step into the fictional private eye's world -- by taking his protagonist's place. The author does succeed in swapping lives with his character, and the story ends with the protagonist planning to reverse the swap.
  • This trope is a big part of the Dark Tower series. One of the villains' targets is Stephen King, the idea being that, if King is eliminated, he can't write the ending in which the heroes win.
  • Played for laughs in Puckoon, in which to appease the main character's anger about his poorly written legs, the author gives Dan Milligan a few favours later on.
  • Ed Greenwood was scolded and abused by Elminster who unceremoniously uses his home for Crossover wizard parties in The Wizards Three. For laughs. And then Mordenkainen plays a mean little prank on him too...
  • Robert Jordan was allegedly once asked which of his favorite characters he would like to invite over for dinner and have a conversation with. His response was something along the lines of "I'm too smart to want to be anywhere near people I put through that much crap."
  • In the short story "Built Up Logically", the Author Avatar's companion Frank is a Reality Warper who takes over the story (including the first-person narration), gives the Author Avatar an unflattering physical description, and finally arranges for him to be mistaken for a burglar and shot. Unfortunately for Frank, the original author projected himself into the story as two different characters, and he only killed one.
  • Warrick the White, the antagonist of The Reluctant Sorcerer and its sequels, is the only one who can hear the voice of the Narrator. Hilarity Ensues, as his minions fear for his sanity.
  • One of the humorous "deleted scenes" of Steven Brust's novel Iorich features Vlad Taltos arguing with the author, whose speech is represented by all caps. On a related note, one of the the Khaavren Romances features an contentious interview between Brust and the narrator Paarfi, though Brust is acting as Paarfi's translator rather than the author.
  • Of particular note: one of literature's greatest raged-at authors, Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut inserted himself (usually without resorting to the use of an Author Avatar) into a number of stories, most notably in Breakfast of Champions in which he descends bodily into the book he is currently writing, in part to apologize to Kilgore Trout for putting him through so much shit.
  • Inverted in the preface to How To Survive A Horror Movie, in which Wes Craven apologizes to all the film characters he's killed, injured, and/or terrorized in his films over the decades.
  • Mike Resnick's "His Award-Winning Science Fiction Story" includes bickering and negotiating between the stock science fiction characters and Mike Resnick himself.
  • In "Little Red Riding Shorts", the characters get so ticked at Jack the Narrator that they just walk out of the story, leaving the next two pages completely blank.
  • Pretty much the entire plot of Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds, in which an author creates a bunch of characters for a simple morality tale, and they promptly rebel. It doesn't end well for the author.
  • In the short film Run Rincewind Run!, Rincewind, a main character from Discworld, after another series of misadventures, ends up in the real world, finds a copy of a Discworld novel at a convention, picks Terry Pratchett out of the crowd by his photo on the About the Author page, calls him "You bastard!" and runs off.
  • At the end of one of Amelie Nothomb's novels (the one about the ballet student), the protagonist meets Nothomb and kills her.
  • In-universe example: In Dream Park, a veteran gamer recounts how, during one wacky old-school tabletop role-playing session, the player characters opened a dimensional portal and found themselves looking into the room where the game was being played. One of them promptly shot the Dungeon Master with a crossbow bolt, and the entire dungeon disappeared.
  • Okay, this hasn't actually happened, but according to Jim Butcher, if either Harry Dresden or Ivy of his series The Dresden Files were to ever meet him, they'd punch him in the face. Considering all the shit he's put them through, he deserves it.

    In the tabletop RPG, after being used as an example of how things can go wrong for about the fifth or sixth time, Harry's margin comments start complaining about how much of a dick his GM is, griping about how this "Jim B." guy really needs to roll better, and demanding retroactive Fate Points for all the crap he's been through.
  • In Fame, Rosalie directly talks to her author Leo, but it's very clear that she's completely fictional, and that Leo is just inventing the dialogue for his own amusement. The distiction between fact and fiction is less clear with Leo's girlfriend Elisabeth, whose final chapter may or may not be just another story Leo invented after she's long since left him. It's even possible that all of the other stories in the novel are written by Leo too, and that only his own introduction chapter is "real". All of the events in the other chapters are hinted at as being things that are prominently on Leo's mind in his own chapter.


Live Action TV

  • A famous moment during the MTV Awards Ceremony has the computer-animated character Gollum (from The Lord of the Rings movie) winning a special effect award. At first it seems Andy Serkis is the one receiving it, but he's interrupted by Gollum himself picking the award and then going on a rant, belittling the voice actor, calling Peter Jackson a hack, and generally insulting everybody, with alter-ego Smeagol occasionally trying to rein him in and apologize. Hysterical.

 "Frankly; nothing can compensate for the long hours, low pay, and miserable experience we had making these fucking movies. And if you think a shitty little tub of golden popcorn is gonna remotely make up for everything we've suffered, YOU'RE! SADLY FUCKING! MISTAKEN!"

  • In the three part Red Dwarf: Back to Earth, the characters get into a fight with their creator after they find out he's planning to kill off the characters.
  • Though not played completely straight, in Seasons 4 and 5, Supernatural has had Sam and Dean shout at Author Avatar Chuck the Prophet because he has written their life story down and sold it as a series of novels. Given that Chuck is quite possibly God, this is even more appropriate.


Music

  • The title character of the song "Railroad Bill and the Kitten" categorically refuses to rescue a kitten. The singer insists; Bill ends up being washed away by a tidal wave, bitten by an alien from Neptune, and fatally struck by lightning.
  • "The Strange Case of Frank Cash and the Morning Newspaper" by T-Bone Burnett. One part of the song has the title hero using his fictional nature as defense in court, and trying to end the song. This prompts the narrator to make Cash's life better (including "his first child will become President").
  • Owen Pallett's album Spectrum, 14th Century is about a fantasy world where he is its god. Heartland, the next album, is about a hero from Spectrum riding out to defeat him and succeeding.
  • In the story behind the Coheed and Cambria lyrics, the main character of the story within a story Rages Against The God, which in that case is the writer of the story-within-a-story, who then writes himself into that story for a confrontation with the main character.


Pro Wrestling

  • American Professional Wrestling has had a few examples of the trope, a notable one being Brian Pillman calling Kevin Sullivan (wrestler and writer) "bookerman" and walking off during a match. Also see examples (Goldust, Beaver Cleavage) of wrestlers on air refusing to keep playing some lame gimmick (in Beaver Cleavage's case, a 50's schoolboy with a creepy attachment to his mother) and berating the writers for it. Though these are usually scripted rages, they more than likely have a basis in fact. After Brian Pillman's "feud" with the WCW writers, he actually left for real.


Theater

  • At the end of the first act of the musical City of Angels, the film-noir writer working under the burden of Executive Meddling gets into a singing argument ("You're Nothing Without Me!") with his Author Avatar detective character.
  • In Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods, the fairytale characters turn on the Narrator when their stories start to take a tragic turn -- and feed him to the Giantess in an attempt to appease her. It doesn't work.
  • Another Sondheim musical, Assassins, uses the trope again. During the song "Another Nation Anthem," the titular assassins become fed up with what they see as the empty sermonizing of the Balladeer, and run him off the stage (or, in more recent productions, turn him into Lee Harvey Oswald).
  • In the opera The Ghosts of Versailles, Pierre Beaumarchais writes a Figaro opera for the ghost of Marie Antoinette, titled A Figaro for Antonia. The opera is intended to re-write the past so that Marie Antoinette doesn't get executed. The problem comes when Figaro abandons the script and decides to use the necklace intended for Marie to free the Almavivas instead.
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author might be the Ur-example.
  • In Pippin, the title character refuses to do what the Leading Player (who acts as the narrator) and the rest of the troupe want him to do for their glorious finale. They want him to set himself on fire and he nearly does, until he realises there was some place where he did feel happy and fulfilled.
  • A recent production of The Marriage of Figaro by the Baltimore opera company The Figaro Project included an actor playing Lorenzo DaPonte as narrator, and the characters argued with him about where the story should go in between arias.
  • According to the critic Harold Bloom, this is real conflict of Hamlet; the main character's supposed indecisiveness is really his awareness that he's a fictional character and his rage at being in a Revenge drama.


Video Games

  • Comix Zone has the author commenting on how his own characters don't like him.
    • To drove the point closer to home: "not liking him" means his character pulling him in his own comic book, and him and other characters trying to kill said author.
  • Original creator Matt Groening is one of the bosses in The Simpsons Game. The cutscene afterward has the eponymous family berating him for milking their franchise.
  • Michel Ancel, the creator of Rayman, gets ambushed and savagely beaten by the Raving Rabbids in this video.
  • Bugs Bunny's Rabbit Rampage, from the 16-bit era, had Bugs going through several of his classics while a vengeful animator tried to off him. Unlike the original Rabbit Rampage mentioned below, this time the animator is Daffy Duck, presumably attempting revenge for Duck Amuck.
  • The Big Bad of Knights of the Old Republic 2 wants to kill The Force. Take this in the context of 1. She is aware of how XP works 2. The writers (and her at one point) use The Force Did It to explain unlikely things (read: lazy writing).
  • The ending of The Gunstringer has The Gunstringer gun down the developers at Twisted Pixel before escaping the theater, blowing up a car and riding off into the sunset on a Chihuahua named Burrito.
  • This video has Mr. Scratch, the Big Bad of Alan Wake's American Nightmare, murdering the game's lead writer, Sam Lake. And in this one he goes on a killing spree at Remedy Entertainment's office. And enslaves Sam Lake.


Web Animation

  • The flash cartoon Animator vs Animation and its sequels, which depict a brief struggle between a cartoon stick figure and the person trying to use them in a cartoon.


Web Comics

  • In this comic, it's implied that the author got tied up by the two characters because one of them was a Guinea Pig for a Meme and another hasn't been drawn in a while, which is the reason the comic isn't as coherent as the other works of the author considering the characters are doing whatever they please with this one.
  • In 1/0:
    • After the cartoonist arranges for one character to get Killed Off for Real, the entire cast goes on strike and refuses to move or talk until he reneges.
    • At a different point, another character gets back at the cartoonist by making a new character who is (intended to be) hard to draw.
  • Characters from Bob and George have argued with and insulted the author on many occasions. At one point, the villains even capture and try to kill the author, in an attempt to cause the end of the comic. One strip is even explicitly titled: The Author is a Pissy Bitch.
  • The cast of Narbonic tries to revolt against the cartoonist for killing Dave. The cartoonist draws the female cast in gratuitous swimwear on a tropical beach, with a half-dozen sunbathing John Cusacks. They give up when the multicoloured drinks with umbrellas appear.
  • A variant of this can be found in one Irregular Webcomic strip. In fact this is so common that David Morgan-Mar has added his own character page
  • In General Protection Fault, lead character Nick spends several strips arguing with cartoonist Jeffrey Darlington over whether the strip should have a Y2K story line. Nick loses the argument.
  • Invoked for filler material in this Dark Legacy comic.
  • Bob does this occasionally in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, mainly in Breather Episode strips between story arcs (tough it's usually more annoyance than rage). Especially when he knows that the Halloween Monster will try to eat him in the last panel.
  • Happens a few times in Schlock Mercenary, generally as an excuse on the part of the author for not drawing the part of story he thinks would be too hard.
  • The title character of Bruno stepped out of the page to pester her author about the strip's lack of direction, first here then here and here.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • In the stick figure Filler Strips, Torg eventually gets fed up with Pete doing them to take a vacation and does his best to force him to make an effort to draw them anyway. It doesn't work.
    • In the guest story "The Sluggite Koan", Bun-bun escapes into the real world and goes off to express his displeasure to Pete Abrams, the creator of the comic, with extreme prejudice as is his wont. Of course, this being a guest story, Pete isn't actually the author at the moment. Bun-bun is aware of this, and he does address the guest writer (through the fourth wall this time, not as a person in the story like Pete) at one point with a threat about writing his motivations as involving caring about someone. Come to think of it, that motive isn't mentioned any more in the story, being substituted with a new one... which just goes to prove everyone is afraid of Bun-bun, and with reason. The encounter left Pete himself with a broken arm in the real Real Life before the story appeared but at the time at which it was supposed to have happened. And that was after he managed to talk Bun-bun into a making deal instead of killing him. Don't mess with the bunny, and don't try to understand a Koan.
  • Girl Genius:
    • In this strip, shortly following the comic winning a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, Agatha seems dead-set on interrupting Phil and Kaja Foglio's acceptance speech... convinced that there has to be some sort of Mind Control (or bizarro parallel world) involved, and refusing to accept her creators' explanation that "Maybe we just won."
    • The Foglios flee the station at the end of the Radio Theatre interlude, because Agatha, Zeetha and Krosp are hot on their heels and intending to hurt them.
  • David (the author of Shortpacked) showed up at one point and fought Ethan. They then pudding wrestled (that was Robin's idea). Eventually the fight was broken up by Maggie (the writer's girlfriend), who demanded they exchange info and deal with it like adults (read: Maggie and David broke into Ethan's house and smashed up the place). Why were they fighting? David kept editing Ethan's Transformers Wiki page.
  • The title character of Mulberry ended her character bio by calling her creator a "repulsive little hack" because of his decision to write the bios from her perspective. Also, she later "responded" to a lack of comments on her latest story by saying she doesn't care for the cartoonist either, but still wanted people to read about her adventure.
  • Books Don't Work Here lives and breathes this trope, with it starting out as the main character's defining feature in chapter one. She has yet to play nice with the narrator.
  • In one Concession comic, the Author Avatar gets into a fight with one of the characters over a particularly awful Pun.
  • The entire idea of Comik? is that the comic is being created over time by a writer/artist the characters are aware of. One character undermines this with another trope: she believes they're comicbook characters but believes the author is a god. She's as unenthusiastic as the rest of the cast, however, resulting in Rage Against the Heavens in a series about Rage Against the Author.
  • In Homestuck Eldritch Abomination Lord English appears behind the fourth wall, holding the severed head of the author's robotic avatar. Then he hunts down and shoots the author's main avatar. In a semi-example before that, Slick also stabbed him, but he does that to everybody.
  • The longest story arc of Chopping Block features Butch's victims rising up from the grave to kill him, as part of a plot by the author to kill off Butch and start a much more popular Two Gamers on a Couch comic. Butch cuts the author into little bits, and then things get confusing.
  • Ls Empire has several examples of this trope. One character kidnaps an author, two characters want to destroy the main characters to ruin the comic for the authors, and the main characters take on a god that turned himself into an author.


Web Original

  • Subverted in Kate Modern. At one point in "Straight to the Top", Gavin attempts to confront Joanna Shields, the show's co-executive producer and the CEO of Bebo, because he suspects that she has turned his life into an Internet TV show, but she gets away before he can say anything.
  • At a (slightly) less meta level, the point of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum is to enter a fanfictional world, complain about everything wrong that is happening, and smack around the nearest representation of the author. Some agents are recruited from fanfiction works that either did horrible things to their characterization, or would have done incredibly painful, very nasty, and/or plain lethal things to them. There are also a few agents from the Real World, especially after the Ypur Invasion, who are aware that they are fictional inserts reflecting parts of their author. They tend to wonder what kinda of sadist needs to expose them to the horrible, horrible sparkles.
  • This is the point of the Journal Roleplay Dear Mun.
  • Arguably what happened in the Gainax Ending of There Will Be Brawl: Kirby has shown to be still alive and has killed Masahiro Sakurai (who in real life was his creator). What's worse? Shigeru Miyamoto's next.
  • SCP Foundation has this as one of the proposals for SCP-001. The Foundation has discovered its writers. And is considering killing them all through memetic agents.


Western Animation

  • Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies:
    • The short "Duck Amuck" is all about an argument between Daffy Duck and his animator (who of course turns out to be Bugs Bunny).
    • It happens again in Rabbit Rampage, when Bugs faces off with a malevolent animator who turns out to be Elmer Fudd.
  • The time when THE DARK LORD CHUCKLES, THE SILLY PIGGY! captures the Narrator in Dave the Barbarian.
  • Similarly, Boris captures the narrator of Rocky and Bullwinkle at one point. He's forced to ungag him so the episode can end.
  • And Mojo Jojo pulls the same thing in an episode of The Powerpuff Girls.
  • A scene during the South Park Christmas Special "Woodland Critter Christmas" involves Stan intentionally disregarding the narration. Doing so ultimately results in a shouting match, culminating in Stan screaming at the narrator. The narrator of this story is in fact, Eric Cartman telling a story to the class, which puts a whole new spin on things. In the classroom, its Kyle who rages against the author, as he regards it as basically anti-Semitic tract as, in the story, Eric has Kyle become the host for the Anti Christ (eventually, willingly) because he is a non-Christian, and thus a heathen. Eric insists he is just telling a story and is not trying to offend Kyle, which doesn't stop him saying that Kyle inexplicably dies of AIDS at the end of the tale.
  • Joe the Announcer does this several times in the second season of Freakazoid. He interrupts the story to expedite the plot, bursts into scenes to practice Shakespeare monologues, and spoils plot points -- mostly to vent about his lack of importance.
  • In the Clerks Animated Series, Dante and Randal get stuck in a Duck Amuck spoof led by Jay.
  • At the end of The Fairly Odd Parents: The Big Superhero Wish!, the Nega-Chin confronts his creator about how The Good Guys Always Win.



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