The Breaking of the Fourth Wall on Below Deck

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On Below Deck, the focus is on the cast members first and the guests second. As this is reality television, viewers are also aware that camera operators are hanging out somewhere in the background. Most of the time, these crew members can avoid any on-air time. Unless their presence becomes necessary, that is.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht alum Gabriela Barragán spoke on this recently to US Weekly. Gabriela claims that her season’s producers frequently “broke the fourth wall,” stepping into the drama as needed. Mainly, they stepped in when issues of consent involving liquor arose. We loved hearing this, as safety should be key, especially as Bravo‘s becoming known for plying its stars with liquor. Allegedly…

In another unaired instance, Katie Flood spoke out about production intervening during Below Deck Mediterranean Season 6, after a fight broke out between Lexi Wilson and Mzi “Zee” Dempers. In this fight, Lexi shoved Mzi, and as Katie stated on Watch What Happens Live in 2021, “Production actually stepped in because it was getting so out of hand. They actually stepped in and like lost their sh*t like, saying “this is not what we are about.”

While we never saw the fourth wall being broken in these two instances, we have in others. Sometimes, it was for silly reasons, while others were darker. These are the instances that we can readily recall, where the fourth wall was noticeably broken on Below Deck.

Below Deck Season 6 – “Man Overboard”

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Below Deck Season 6 saw Ashton Pienaar stepping on a tow line as the crew pulled their tender. Scarily, Ashton’s foot became stuck, and he went overboard. Once in the sea, he had to fight to stay above the water. At this point, the rope also became taunt, threatening to cut his foot off of his leg.

Ashton would have drowned had one of Bravo’s camera operators, Brent Freeburg, not stepped in to help. On-air, we saw Brent put down his camera and begin trying to free the line. Rhylee Gerber then emotionally expressed “Thank God for Brent, the camera guy.” This was one incident where the breaking of the fourth wall on Below Deck saved a life, and for that, we were all thankful.

Below Deck Season 7 – Kate and Ashton’s Falling Out


Ashton returned for Below Deck Season 7, but he really, really should have stayed home. Instead of realizing how short life is, he instead rose from the almost dead and turned into a villain. Case in point, in Season 7, Ashton punched a window, just because Kate Chastain made him mad. This made Kate feel unsafe, and she ended up leaving the boat for the night.

The producers attempted to help, but Kate wasn’t having it. In two scenes, we see Kate herself choosing to break the fourth wall. She first did so by flicking off the cameraman, and then she did it again when she demanded that they stop following her as she walked away from the yacht. Kate’s twice-seen breaking of the fourth wall was dramatic, but we get it because we’d have been a mess too after having to deal with those toxic males all season.

Below Deck Season 10 – Cameraman, “Eat My Ass”

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Chef Rachel Hargrove is witty and talented in the galley. During Season 10 though, her sass was higher than normal. Here, Rachel temporarily quit after a charter guest provided the yacht with their over-the-top preference sheet. Captain Lee Rosbach told Rachel that her quitting left the yacht “screwed six ways to Sunday.”

After her talk with Captain Lee, Rachel went to her cabin and proceeded to break the fourth wall with the cameraman who was on her tail. “I’m tired, you can eat my ass. In your best interest, I really think you should f*cking call your hounds.” When they remained nearby, Rachel flicked off the cameraman.

After this season, Rachel exited the series for good. Even still, her heated breaking of the fourth wall remains in the archives of BD, for life.

Below Deck Med Season 4 – The Puked on Cameraman


Over on BDM Season 4, a charter guest became seasick. When a wave of nausea hit, he stood up from the breakfast table and headed for the side of the yacht. Right as he did this, Aesha Scott exited the interior, heading upstairs to deliver a warm plate of French toast and a drink to the awaiting guests. Unfortunately, this guest then spewed, with a bit getting on Aesha before he was able to turn away and finish over the side of the yacht.

Luke the cameraman then appeared, caught by another member of the production team. This captured scene showed Luke covered in sickness, shaking his head as if to say “What am I even doing with my life.” For her part, Aesha died laughing, because she’s just so easygoing and awesome. Luke, however, was not as thrilled about his 15 seconds of fame, where the fourth wall broke to show him showered in yak.

Below Deck Down Under Season 2 – Protecting Margot


Below Deck Down Under Season 2 was hard to watch. Thankfully, Chief Stew Aesha and Captain Jason Chambers handled things beautifully. In addition, they also had a helping hand from their production team. You see after Luke Jones climbed into bed naked with a passed-out Margot Sisson, a cameraman entered, removing Luke from her cabin.

This story could have ended very differently had everyone onboard not worked together as a team at this very moment. From production breaking their fourth wall to help to Aesha comforting all involved, all the way down to Captain Jason, who swiftly fired both Luke and Laura Bileskalne, another yachtie with a clear misunderstanding of the word boundaries, this season was thankfully able to end on a safe note.