Edgy Backwards Chair Sitting
Sitting in the chair backwards, legs on either side, arms resting on the back.
KARKAT: NO, LOOK. IT'S CASUAL AND RELAXED. LIKE, IT VISUALLY CONVEYS THAT MY PRESENCE IN THE CONVERSATION IS HUMBLE AND NONTHREATENING, YET FRANK AND ATTENTIVE.
Chairs are made to sit on. When most people sit on one, they usually lean their backs against the backrest and their legs forward. However, there is a more unusual way of sitting on one. Instead of sitting normally in the chair, the sitter will turn the chair around and place legs on either side of the chair, typically using the back of the chair as an armrest. There are many different reasons why a person would choose to sit this way. It could convey that the character is edgy but still approachable, slightly rebellious but not destructively so, to appear carefree or too bored to care, or too calm and collected to make a big deal about things, giving off a "cool" vibe, though it may backfire and give the appearance of looking Totally Radical instead. Alternatively, those who sits this way can try to use the back of the seat as a type of shield, so they can appear cool while clinging to the back as a form of protection to cover their insecurities. If they simply want to talk to the person behind them without bothering to turn their seat around, it is not this trope. Typically seen in places where people congregate, such as think tank meetings or support groups. Can be one way to show Rebel Relaxation. Compare Leaning on the Furniture.
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- Gunslinger Girl. In the first season opening title, Triela is shown sitting like this in a chair. Her pose is relaxed and calm, which is deceptive considering that in the previous scene she was running and shooting a pistol.
- Russell Hammond does this when he finally sits down to give Wiliam an interview in Almost Famous.
- There's an example in Film/Avatar. The leader of the marines sits this way when he's speaking to Jake in the cafeteria.
- Saved by the Bell: this is AC Slater's default way of sitting. As the series predates most ironic uses of this trope, Slater manages to come across as cool and slightly (but harmlessly) rebellious.
- In an episode of Happy Days, Leather Tuscadero does this while the Cunninghams and other discuss giving her a My Fair Lady -style makeover, making Mr. C doubt it can be done.
- In an episode of Black Books, Manny attempts this a few times after a prolonged stint with his birthday presents of an espresso machine and a box set of Columbo. Each time, he ends up crushing his testicles, with the last one provoking a high pitched reply of "That was a particularly bad one".
- Dennis Finch in Just Shoot Me! does this in one episode while talking to Maya, but because the chair had armrests he simply falls backwards awkwardly.
- In season 4 of Arrested Development, Tobias as a therapist tries this with his new therapy group in order to seem cool and approachable. He flips the chair sideways in the process.
- In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Hazama sits like this when captured by Relius's Astral Heat -- in contrast to most of the other characters being physically restrained in some manner.
Relius: What say you, Hazama? Surely you've had your fun.
- In the first Mercenaries game, the player character (whichever one you choose) sits like this during the briefing in the opening, showing that you aren't technically under the authority of the person giving it.
- Homestuck parodies this. Karkat sits backwards straddling a chair while discussing Terezi's recent self-esteem and relationship problems, until Terezi and Dave make fun of him for it and he quits in a huff.
- Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff. During the Very Special Episode in which The Big Man wants us all "to keep it real about.... AIDS,"◊ he sits in a chair backwards as he addresses the audience. The chair is even labeled "backways chair".
- In an episode of Family Guy about sex ed, a visiting speaker who argues for chastity does this.
- Western Animation
- When Mabel of Gravity Falls is left in charge of the Mystery Shack for three days, she reads an old business handbook from the 1980s. This inspires her to wear shoulder pads and to sit like this to appear approachable to her "employees".
- An early episode of Hey Arnold! had Arnold's grandpa sit on a hardwood chair backwards while trying to convince his grandson not to worry too hard about his pet pig Abner running away. However, his statements that Abner won't come back aren't very reassuring.
- In the Profumo scandal of 1962, which threatened to bring down a British government, prostitute Christine Keeler became a kind of national celebrity. The photogenic and attractive Christine was immortalised in a photograph by Lewis Morley, sitting naked in a chair, but seated backwards so that the backrest covered the naughty bits whilst making it very clear she was naked.
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