Here is a place where we can discuss characters who may be aware that they are fictional, why that’s the case, and how that affects their actions and the story.
These characters might be portrayed as “insane” yet have no diagnosable mental illness. They may break the fourth wall on occasion, or implore the writers to do something.
Dead pool is obvious.
Someone who is less so is the Joker. He has been known to break the fourth wall (albeit, rarely) and is legally (in our world) sane. (To be legally insane, you must either 1) not have control of your actions or 2) have no clue that what you did was wrong.) The Joker remembered Spider-Man from a previous Marvel DC crossover, which was not canon. The Joker spoke to the artist by name and told him to quit drawing Batman, and once even tried to turn the page in the comic.
If the Joker knows everything he is doing isn’t real, is he really evil? I mean, we shoot people in computer games, but we aren’t evil, because they’re not real, right? So if the Joker knows he, and everyone around him, isn’t real, then he’s just trying to have some fun and give us a neat story, isn’t he? Is he really evil?
Any other characters you can think of who fit the bill of being aware their fiction?
He is definitely considered insane - but he is only character in the comics that references real life stuff and often breaks the 4th wall. Some of his jokes are also hilariously gruesome .I guess he is not everyone’s type of character, but he certainly caught my eye. He also has a very slick theme song and amazing mini-fig.
I enjoy it when characters know they’re a part of fiction, but pretend they don’t. This is common in opera, where a character totally knows they’re an actor on stage, but pretends they don’t know, only to get appropriately meta with a bad joke.
A great example is in Sweeney Todd (the operatic production, not the movie)
During the song “A Little Priest” where they’re discussing what different people taste like (which is, unfortunately, half as long in the movie), Sweeney (the barber who kills people and is now conspiring to use the bodies as a meat source for his partner-in-crime’s meat pie shop) leans toward the orchestra just below the stage as he says his line about how a “fiddle player” tastes, and how they’re “too stringy.” The entire scene is just a bunch of bad puns, including not one, but two thinly veiled jokes of poor taste, but him leaning toward the fiddles as he discusses killing and eating them is a wonderful little break in the fourth wall that isn’t as direct, but is still just as satisfying.
The man-emperor of mankind in if the emperor had a text-to-speech device.
He is the only one fully able to understand that he breaks the fourth wall. When asked what he’s doing when he speaks to the audience, he replies with “fourth-degree inter-dimensional warp f***ery”.
Let’s just put every Mel Brooks movie ever on this list, while we’re at it. In particular, the entire ending of “Blazing Saddles” where they run onto the set of a different movie, and the final shootout with the bad guy happens outside the movie theater that’s showing the movie they’re all in, so when the main character goes inside to watch it, he sees the end of the movie he’s in currently. I’m pretty sure that’s not even a completely accurate description of how insane that scene is, but Mel Brooks certainly loves breaking the fourth wall in the most lovely of ways.