Created By: Thecommander236 on January 7, 2013 Last Edited By: Thecommander236 on January 15, 2013
Troped

Dramatic Sit Down

Being so shocked that you feel weak kneed.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Everything seems to be going according to plan. There are some risks of failure but you are confident that everything will turn out okay. Perhaps, you don't even know there is going to be a problem. Maybe it's just a normal day for you when Alice comes in. "Oh, how nice! I wasn't expecting company. Do you want me to fix you some tea? ... Why do you want me to sit down? What?! Jimmy's dead?! I think I need to lie down..."

That's right. This is a very specific example of a Heroic B.S.O.D. or a Villainous Breakdown. It involves a chair, couch, rock, etc. as a plot device. It shows that the person is too shocked by the revelation that they can't keep standing. Maybe they hit the Despair Event Horizon. Maybe the Shell-Shocked Veteran has reached his limit. Maybe someone gave them an Armor-Piercing Question. Perhaps you are just going to be sick. This may lead to a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man or Quit Your Whining.

If played for comedy you may get People Fall Off Chairs right after this or I Think You Broke Him. This is occasionally Played for Laughs along the lines of "You'd better sit down." "I am sitting down." "Then stand up... now, you'd better sit down." Or "I need to sit down." "You are sitting down." "Oh."

This may overlap with Contemplative Boss. This trope is about having to sit or lie down due to emotional stress. This may lead to a Big "NO!"! This is Truth in Television since this is a common reaction to stress. This is not about the fact that People Sit on Chairs.

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
  • Lelouch from Code Geass does this after the Euphinator incident. He goes to somewhere private and sits down and cries. He accidentally made his second-favorite sister commit genocide. He was forced to kill her and then he turned it into his political advantage.
  • Mazinger Z: The Hero Kouji did this in the Mazinger-Z vs. Great General of Darkness movie. Tokyo is attacked by Mykene Warrior Monsters, so he launches Mazinger-Z to fight them... and loses. Badly. Tokyo and his mecha are easily destroyed. It worse when he learns that his Home Base is in ruins and Love Interest Sayaka and Boss' Humongous Mechas have been destroyed by more monsters. His little brother Shirou was put in a coma after a ceiling collapsed on him. Kouji was sitting in his (destroyed) room and cried. He started talking to himself and that he knew he couldn't win the next battle and would die because of it; Sayaka, who was eavesdropping, was driven to tears by this.
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[[folder: Comic Books]]
  • In Immortal Iron Fist's Seven Deadly Weapons spin-off mini, Fat Cobra is an ancient warrior who meets with his biographer. Fat Cobra used chi to long a long life. However, he has amnesia from too much drinking and concussions. During their conversation, he learns just how he became the Cobra Warrior of Peng Lai; he had scores of children with many women. The children grow up and came to get revenge on their dead beat father. He was forced to kill them and, in doing so, gained enough power to become a Cobra Warrior.. Upon hearing this, he burns his biography and dismisses his company. He glares at the fireplace in disgust as he sits alone.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animated]]
  • Basil has a bad Heroic B.S.O.D. in The Great Mouse Detective. He can do nothing besides sit there through the Hannibal Lecture and wait for the death trap to go off. He gets better.
    Dawson: Dash it all, Basil! The queen's in danger, Olivia's counting on us, we're about to be horribly splattered, and all you can do is lie there feeling sorry for yourself!
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana sees fake Naveen ready to marry Charlotte. She runs into the French graveyard and sits down on a tombstone, completely depressed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Live-Action]]
  • Robert Neville (played by Will Smith) has a moment like this in I Am Legend. His dog is infected by the vampire disease and he puts it down. The dog was only companion for three years during the vampire apocalypse. The following shot is of Neville sitting in his car after burying the dog's body and blankly staring at the now empty passenger seat. He almost commits suicide when two unaffected survivors show up and help him.
  • In the third Transformers many bystanders are shown to be standing in shock or sitting dejectedly after Chicago's invasion by the Decepticons and even Epps and NEST soldiers gave up and declared the fight over. Sam has a Heroic B.S.O.D. as well. They fortunately snap out of it when Optimus and the rest of the Autobots came back.
  • In the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), set in 2285, Kirk collapses into his chair screaming when Klingons kill David Marcus.
    Kirk: "You Klingon bastards, you killed my son." (Kirk tries to sit, missing the command chair entirely) "You Klingon bastards, you killed my son!"
  • The epilogue of Saving Private Ryan has the old man kneeling in front of the tombstone, overcome by his emotions.
  • The movie Downfall, which is about the days of World War II for Hitler, Hitler has a massive Villainous Breakdown in this infamous scene. He reacted like this after he was told Felix Steiner couldn't hold back the Allies (the Soviets get there first of course) with the forces he has. After his breakdown, he is permanently hunched over and he is usually the only one sitting while everyone else has to stand.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
  • Pyramids: Dios the High Priest is so shocked at a Djelibabian ruler not following the rituals that he sits down on a chair which happened to contain a model ship for the king's tomb. The ghost of the king notes that it's the first time he's ever seen Dios do anything comical. Later on he also has to sit down on the temple steps when the entire pantheon is coming to life.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
  • In Supernatural, Sam sits on the floor and stares on in horror after he realized that by killing Lilith, he set Lucifer free. Ruby monologues until Dean bursts in and they kill Ruby together.
  • In Battlestar Galactica, Adama does this several times in the last season. He and Colonel Tigh get into a fist fight after he learned Tigh had sex with a certain Cylon prisoner. Tigh retorted that Adama was endangering the fleet by pining for the missing Laura Roslin. He gives up his command to sit alone in a Raptor and wait for her. When he had to confront the fact that Galactica was on the verge of structural failure, and that Roslin was dying, he collapses while defiantly trying to fix the cracked wall in his quarters.
  • Exaggerated for comic effect in one episode of Roseanne. Roseanne tells Dan she's pregnant, and Dan proceeds to sit in one spot staring into space for about eighteen years.
  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: "Last Kiss of Summer". Joe Hardy's fiancÚ is killed in a car wreck; she dies in his arms. In the next scene he is sitting in a police waiting area, staring into space, fighting the urge to cry, trying to process what just happened, and he doesn't snap out of it until Frank comes in and talks his brother down.
  • Used for comedic effect in an episode of Jeeves and Wooster, the normally unfazeable Jeeves has to stop and sit down on a convenient rock when a friend of Bertie's mentions that he often wears his pajamas well into the afternoon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
  • Shawn Michaels does this in the third encounter at WrestleMania between The Undertaker and Triple H in their Hell in a Cell match, were Shawn was the guest referee. During the match, Undertaker told Shawn not to stop the match no matter what. This was after 'Taker had taken a few chair shots to the back and Triple H had just gotten the same in return. Shawn was sitting in the corner of the ring having a nervous breakdown while Undertaker and Triple H were trying to get to their feet after a two count had occurred.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Videogames]]
  • Shiki does this in Tsukihime when Arcueid disappears. Throughout the day, he is merely going through the motions at school. It was easier for him to go to school than deal with Akiha. He only gets better when after he sits alone waiting for a teacher. He waits for several hours, then Roa and Arcueid show up and start fighting to the death.
[[/folder]

[[folder: Visual Novels]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
  • In the episode of ''HigglytownHeroes'' 'Kip's Dad Gets a Strike', Kip's Dad breaks down when his X-57 bowling ball breaks. During the rest of the episode, he sits in his massage chair whimpering over the remains of his shattered bowling ball.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
  • After 9/11, George W. Bush did this on camera. He was sitting in a classroom, reading a book to children when one of his aides came over and whispered what was happening into his ear. He made a point by not telling the kids.
  • Famously done by former German chancellor Willy Brandt with the "Warschauer Kniefall" ("Warsaw Genuflection"). The incident took place on December 7, 1970 in what was then the communist People's Republic of Poland during a visit to a monument to the Nazi-era Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After laying down a wreath, Brandt, very surprisingly, spontaneously knelt down. He remained silently in that position for a short time, surrounded by a large group of dignitaries and press photographers.
[[/folder]]

Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • January 8, 2013
    robinjohnson
    Occasionally Played For Laughs along the lines of "You'd better sit down." "I am sitting down." "Then stand up... now, you'd better sit down."
  • January 8, 2013
    batgirl1
    You started out with something that could be a good trope, but then you added a whole bunch of other reasons why the character might take a seat, and it became literally People Sit On Chairs! My advice is to cut everything after I Think You Broke Him. Otherwise, you're inviting the chairs.

    That said, a character suddenly going quiet and sinking to the couch/his knees/the floor etc. can sometimes be even more dramatic than shaking a fist at the heavens while shouting "Noooooooooo!"

    ^ And don't forget it's counterpart: "I need to sit down." "You are sitting down." "Oh."
  • January 8, 2013
    Chernoskill
    • The epilogue of Saving Private Ryan has the old man kneeling in front of the tombstone, overcome by his emotions.

    • Famously done by former German chancellor Willy Brandt with the "Warschauer Kniefall" ("Warsaw Genuflection"). The incident took place on December 7, 1970 in what was then the communist People's Republic of Poland during a visit to a monument to the Nazi-era Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After laying down a wreath, Brandt, very surprisingly, and to all appearances spontaneously, knelt. He remained silently in that position for a short time, surrounded by a large group of dignitaries and press photographers.
  • January 8, 2013
    Thecommander236
    "I need to sit down." "You are sitting down." "Oh."

    That would be playing it for comedic value. Hmm, I think I need a second opinion on that the other point you made. It's still dramatic if a once healthy young man turns into an old infirm gentleman. For instance, in Bioshock's good ending Jack dies after a time skip while weakly grabbing at the air. In a very touching moment, the hands of his adoptive daughters come into the picture and hold on to his hand until he dies. At least four of the women are wearing weddign bands.

    Also, in many action shows, there are times when a hero falls over into a sitting position mid-fight. You then hear the supporting cast yelling for him/her to "please get up" and "keep fighting or you'll die". What isn't this trope is just sitting down because you had a rough day at work or you just did a few casual miles running. Heck, sitting down after a race may not even count if the athletes casually catches their breath and just go sit down. Now collapsing on the ground like the athletes at the Modern pentathlon during the 2008 Summer Olympics would make more sense. Literally, every athletic in that event collapsed on the ground instead of trying to stand up and breath like you are supposed to. Heck, the American athlete who won was far enough ahead that he didn't need to place in the last event at all, so he went as slow as possible without looking like a non-professional and he STILL collapsed as well.

    What also wouldn't be this trope would be falling due to Insta-Kill shot and falling over dead. What could be this trope is being wounded in a way that forces you to sit down (voluntarily or not). For example, in the Starcraft visual novels this was a moment where a young psychic helped a marine kill a zergling. The marine was mortally wounded. He told the kid to play hide and seek right after he sat down and that he'll start counting. The kid listens to him and runs away crying while giving one look back. The marine, sitting there, starts counting loudly to sooth the kid as much as possible... and in the background is a huge pack of zerglings coming right for him. If that isn't a dramatic sit down, I don't know what is.

    Then there are combinations. A villan gives a great Hannibel Lecture. The hero is standing there shocked. Then the villan Flash Steps and the hero collaspes on his ass even if it's a flesh wound. Even if it isn't an injury that would make him unable to stand up. Bonus points if he doesn't even get up to fight back. See where I'm coming from here? I'm trying to be thorough, not vague. Possibly though, I could separate the trope into Dramatic Sit Down and RROD Sit Down (would need a better name if examples included examples of dying/infirm people being barely able to even WALK to the chair).
  • January 8, 2013
    robinjohnson
    • In an episode of Jeeves And Wooster, the normally unfazeable Jeeves has to stop and sit down on a convenient rock when a friend of Bertie's mentions that he often wears his pyjamas well into the afternoon.
  • January 8, 2013
    batgirl1
    ^^Okay, I see what you're saying. However, I still think that it's going to be way too open to Trope Decay if you leave it this inclusive. Perhaps it would be better to split it off into several Sub Tropes?
  • January 8, 2013
    Thecommander236
    I'm always open to suggestions.
  • January 8, 2013
    batgirl1
    Well, personally, I suggest splitting it up by what the action means: one subtrope for being so shocked you can't stay standing, one for being too weak/injured to stay standing, and one for when a person deliberately and defiantly plunks down and refuses to move. As for respect, I haven't heard of sitting out of respect (usually, the gesture is standing), and I think that kneeling in respect has its own trope.
  • January 10, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Alternatively, it may be Heroic RROD and You Can Barely Stand. If that's the case, expect a heroic second wind. If done after a stressful situation it's take a load off. If it is an elderly character, it may be a that his old bones ache or he is is too old for this. Perhaps the character(s) sit down to show they aren't leaving until they get something. Maybe it's traditional for all to stand and take a seat together to show equality or after the leader sits to show submission.

    Saving this for another trope.

    • In Assassins Creed III, Achilles is an old man who used to be an Assassin. He became a Knightin Sour Armor after his family died and he was left alone without a supporting organization to help him. As an assassin, he had to be in very excellent shape, but now he is very infirm. Now he can barely walk without a cane and is forced to sit down often in a slow aching manner. He often falls asleep in his chair. On a related note, he dies in his sleep making his last action, a dramatic lay down, turned dirt nap. In general, this is no big deal since he is programmed to sit down at various times, but in cut scenes, they milk it for what it's worth.

    Also this.

    I just edited everything so the things I copied are closer to my words now.
  • January 11, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Unless someone has something to add, this is all ready to go. I have edited everything and it's as close as I can get.

    Just fixed a bunch of Grammar and Spelling mistakes.

    Added a temporary picture to give the basic idea.

    Last bump for me. Does It need a better name or is the name good? I'm going through the guidelines and making adjustments here or there. In a day or two this will be launched.
  • January 11, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Pyramids: Dios the High Priest is so shocked at a Djelibabian ruler not following the rituals that he sits down on a chair which happened to contain a model ship for the king's tomb. The ghost of the king notes that it's the first time he's ever seen Dios do anything comical. Later on he also has to sit down on the temple steps when the entire pantheon is coming to life.
  • January 11, 2013
    Thecommander236
    The last comment was from another guy, I just edited it so I could get the description. Any who.

    I would like to point out (before anyone mentions it) that I do not believe that this is Suspiciously Similar to Villainous Breakdown and Heroic BSOD since this is the result of those tropes. I would like to point out that not all examples of those tropes lead up to this YKTTW because those tropes can also lead to Roaring Rampagesof Revenge and long dialogues (note, not monologues) of a Hannibal Lecture and Kirk Summation.

    By the way, I'm about to go through the Villainous Breakdown page to get more examples. I forgot that I only got heroic examples so far.

    Also, Villainous BSOD...
  • January 11, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Found a problem I need to resolve. While this is different then Blue Screen of Death and Breakdown tropes. It is similar to Troubled Fetal Position since that is many times a used when sitting down. We could do one of two things in my opinion (since I don't want to discard this). Make them two different tropes where anyone who sits or lies down in despair is this trope or combine the two. This one may have to be the base trope if we combine them since Troubled Fetal Position is more specific than this YKTTW.

    Right now, I get all the normal sitting examples here and I'll put all the fetal position tropes there if I find one not on the page that are on other tropes.

    Update: Finish transferring Fetal Position stuff to that trope. Then I put all examples in Villainous BSOD and Villainous Breakdown into this page (the ones that has the would "sit" in them and fit my description). I also took the liberty of rewording them and deleting extra information so that it fits this trope better.
  • January 11, 2013
    AP
    The Star Trek example needs to be in film.
  • January 11, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Can't believe I missed that. That was in the second movie. Had to go check which movie it was. Good job.
  • January 12, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Would one more hat and the picture is from Wikipedia. Should there be mention of that?

    Also, what indexes would this go in?
  • January 12, 2013
    GymQuirk
    Star Trek example was from Star Trek III, not II.
  • January 12, 2013
    Thecommander236
    God damn it.... Your right.

    On another note I read on YKTTW Guidelines and I came across Contistency types and I did some research, a reaction where you feel fatigued and have to sit down can come from long standing Compassion Fatigue (which is related to the Broken Bird Trope) and then be compounded by a event that leads to Acute Stress Disorder or Combat Stress Reaction (which replaced Shell Shock years ago) which can lead to PTSD. Do you think that should be include in the trope description?
  • January 12, 2013
    rodneyAnonymous
    No. That is RL stuff. TV Tropes is not an encyclopedia.
  • January 12, 2013
    Thecommander236
    ... Then it goes in real life examples. Right?
  • January 12, 2013
    rodneyAnonymous
    Maybe. There (except that's just talking about the subject, it's not really an example, so "no" again?), an Analysis page, or nowhere. Certainly not the main description.
  • January 12, 2013
    Thecommander236
    I'll just put "This is Truth In Television since this is a common reaction to stress." and hold off adding the information about the real life disorders associated with it. This will probably end being Older Than Dirt, but as I have no examples of a Pharaoh collapsing on his throne yet... well. I can't add it.
  • January 12, 2013
    rodneyAnonymous
    Great.
  • January 12, 2013
    Thecommander236
    So whats missing? What do I need to add to get hats for this?
  • January 13, 2013
    peccantis
    Does anyone know which film "Hitler Reacts" comes from? Because in that scene Hitler, although already sitting, blows his top so magnificently that once he calms down a bit he feels weak enough to pull back and hunch down.
  • January 13, 2013
    robinjohnson
    ^ The one that's resubtitled in a million Youtube videos for the troubled politician of the week? That's from Downfall.
  • January 13, 2013
    Thecommander236
    "Hitler is permanently hunched over as a result of his Villainous Breakdown, and that often he's the only one sitting down while everyone else has to stand."

    "The movie focuses on the last days of Hitler as the Soviets close in, and as such, he has some quite epic breakdown moments, especially in this infamous scene where he completely loses it upon finding out that Felix Steiner couldn't muster up enough forces to hold back the Allies."

    Excuse, this needs to be reworded and Downfall added.
  • January 14, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Character Reaction Index is the main index choice here.
  • January 15, 2013
    Thecommander236
    WOOT! IT IS DONE! LAUNCH TIME, BABY!!!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=1kuxk1ae0xir0hysut910qmp&trope=DramaticSitDown