Created By: Lyendith on July 7, 2013 Last Edited By: Lyendith on July 8, 2013

Dead People Sit On Chairs

If you see someone in a chair when you enter a room, there's a good chance they are dead

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For some reason, when a character enters a room slowly, they will often find someone sitting in a chair, their back facing them, not saying a word. The character may call out to the person and approach carefully, until they get in front of the person. Only to find, sitting comfortably there, a half-decomposed corpse. So much for the interrogation.

Can have a similar effect as Peekaboo Corpse, but quite different in execution, in that there is some buildup and tension before the reveal.

(one of those many tropes where I know I saw it a million times without remembering where…)

  • The discovery of the corpse of Norman Bates' mother in Psycho.
Community Feedback Replies: 7
  • July 7, 2013
    • The discovery of the corpse of Norman Bates' mother in Psycho.
  • July 7, 2013
    Most of the time when I've seen someone enter a room (often their own office or apartment) and someone unexpected is sitting in a chair (usually in the dark), that person is alive, and somehow got into the other person's place, to either ambush or otherwise confront them, or else just meet them discreetly (as in an informant or co-conspirator). This seems to happen more often than the corpse scenario... I wonder if we have a trope for it as well (might start one if I can't find one--Emerging From The Shadows seems to overlap it some though). It happened more than once in The X Files, happened in the last couple James Bond movies between 007 and M, and I know I've Seen It A Million Times too.

    The corpse scenario you describe? I can't think of an example offhand (though I think I've seen it as well), although I imagine they'd more likely occur in rooms that don't belong to the person entering (but may belong to the corpse).

    (Just responding to the laconic--not saying you don't have a trope here.)
  • July 7, 2013
  • July 7, 2013
    The title is a snowclone, which wouldn't be so bad, except it doesn't indicate that this is a form of The Reveal. The title should reflect that.
  • July 7, 2013
    Sorry, but we have this as part of Chair Reveal. It includes both living people and corpses sitting in the chair.
  • July 7, 2013
    @Everyone is Kosh but Me: Lightswitch Surprise and Click Hello seem similar to the trope you're describing.
  • July 8, 2013
    ^^ Oh. I wasn't told that in Lost and Found. Well, I guess this YKTTW just became unnecessary then. Now when did I put that nuclear code...