The Captain makes it happen.
Your very posture tells me, "Here is a man of true greatness!" Blackadder:
Either that, or "Here are my genitals, please kick them."
— Blackadder The Third — "Sense and Senility"
Do you want to appear casual and relaxed, but not bored or inactive? Do you often find yourself at the bow of a ship, gazing forthrightly toward adventure? Or do you just have a compulsive desire to not-so-subtly demonstrate your virility by puffing out your chest and thrusting your crotch forward while simultaneously bringing it nearer to eye level for a friend seated nearby? Do you need to lean in closer to examine something, demonstrate that you are paying close attention to a coworker, or physically express your interest in a lady friend, but don't want to give up your freedom of movement by sitting or kneeling? Then you need the Captain Morgan Pose.
The Captain Morgan Pose is a dramatic pose that one strikes by planting one foot forward on an upraised object or surface, leaning forward and resting one hand or forearm on one's knee. It is often used in paintings to give an impression of boldness, heroism and leadership. It is also useful in photography, television and film to allow a standing actor to more easily share a shot with a sitting one, or a taller actor with a shorter one. Performing musicians can strike this pose by resting a foot on a speaker at the front of the stage.
Compare Rebel Relaxation
Contrast Leaning on the Furniture
, where the emphasis is on an air of insouciance and relaxation rather than heroism and manliness. If done when seated, this is just a chin-handrest away from the Thinker Pose
. May be combined with other types of poses to form a "Super Sentai" Stance
or Angels Pose
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- Captain Morgan rum, as seen above, is the Trope Namer. There is a series of television advertisements where everyday people in random places strike the pose, finishing with "There's a little Captain in all of us."
One ad starts with two guys at a bar, standing next to a pair of girls who are sitting down. The guys are panting with exertion for about half a minute...then the camera pans out to reveal that they're doing the Captain Morgan pose, with the girls using their legs as stools.
Anime and Manga
- In One Piece, Luffy and the crew of the Going Merry do a group Captain Morgan Pose on a barrel just before entering the Grand Line.
- In Girls und Panzer, Mako has this pose while waiting for the rest of her team to get back to the ship, having been delayed by a family issue between Hana and her mother. Saori comments that Mako is more energetic at night.
- George Washington is depicted in this pose in the famous 1851 oil painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware"◊. Notable in that, while dramatic, this would be a highly unsafe pose to strike aboard a rowboat (as opposed to, say, aboard a starship). The unsafe-in-a-rowboat aspect is lampshaded in one episode of Animorphs when the heroes travel back in time to the Delaware crossing, noting that George was hunkered down and shivering like the rest of his troops. Also lampshaded by Ernie of all people in the Sesame Street special "Don't Eat the Pictures." Hilariously lampshaded, too, by a Bob Newhart stand-up routine: "Who do you suppose gets up, and walks to the front of the boat, and stands in the front of the boat?! Nutty George, sure.... And how about the guy in the next boat, painting him!"
- This painting◊ by fantasy RPG artist Clyde Caldwell. That image has been made into a Motivational Poster with the caption, "RPG artwork — Let's face it a lot of it is porn. (Pretty odd porn, too)" It is also the cover art to Chicks Ahoy!", an omnibus volume of the first three Chicks in Chainmail'' anthologies.
- Gold Digger, by Fred Perry, has a big one, with the character Captain McMorgan, who prety much is an expy of Captain Morgan, only with a personality (and being a leprechaun). But he does this in 90% or higher of the panels he is in!
- You Don't Mess with the Zohan: Used as less of a pose and more of a theme.
- The Giant Gila Monster uses this pose to a ridiculous degree. When it was featured on MST3K, they dedicated a whole host segment to pointing out how many times the pose was used, complete with a compilation of still shots. "You know, a smart fellow could put his knee up on such a thing."
- Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean loves to do this.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Commander William T. Riker is known for striking this pose with little or no provocation, particularly in the early seasons. This may have been as much to keep the 6'4" Jonathan Frakes in frame when speaking to shorter actors as anything. Fun fact: The Captain Morgan Pose saved the day in the "Groundhog Day" Loop episode. If he hadn't been doing that, Data wouldn't have been able to look up at the pips on Riker's collar. Some fans, in homage to the term Picard Maneuver, call this the Riker Maneuver. It's contagious.◊
- This is one of the things that the actors get The Prince Regent to do in Blackadder The Third when they are training him in public speaking.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? had a game called "Sit, Stand, Bend", in which the player charged with bending or leaning often wound up doing a Captain Morgan Pose. One game of Weird Superheroes would have Brad get the name 'Captain Morgan' (which is ironically the most mundane name ever suggested in this game) in a bit of unintended Product Placement, as Brad's portrayal was closer to the commercials than anything piratey.
- Happens on The Drew Carey Show. In one episode, Drew's boss does this while wearing spandex shorts, noooot a pretty sight...
- The X-Files: Played for laughs in "Humbug", in which Mulder and Scully investigate the death of a circus worker. In the end, the troupe of often deformed circus people must relocate, and one man particularly fond of causing himself pain explains to Scully that the 21st century will do away with their deformities and create perfect humans, but that it was up to him and his friends to show that nature can't go very long without creating a mutant. He exclaims that "The future looks just like him!" Cue Mulder in a Captain Morgan pose on the steps of a trailer, looking rather bored.
- On Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond do one to mock James May.
- On How I Met Your Mother, when Barney and Ted attempt "The Naked Man", one of the poses they suggest is "The Captain Morgan".
- On Kamen Rider Den-O, Momotaros is fond of this pose. So is Hana, it turns out.
- Johnson in Peep Show does this on occassion
- ...as does Denham Reynholm in The IT Crowd, once while dressed in lycra.
- In The Office (US), Dwight does this on a hay bale (awkwardly, as the workers were trying to stack hay there at the time), when showing off his family's hay maze.
- Michael is prone to striking the pose too, generally managing to get his crotch right in someone's face in the process. It's hilarious when he puts his foot on the Awesome, but Impractical reception desk, since it's too high to comfortably pose.
- On Howard Stern's late-80's TV show, one episode took place at a house party. Four women were hypnotized so that when they looked at Howard, they would see him with no pants on and having a large penis. Howard then struck this pose with his foot on the armrest of the couch the women were sitting on.
- In any performance of The Taming of the Shrew where Kate literally puts her hand below Petruchio's foot as she vows to do in her final speech, it'll end up looking like this.
- Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning strikes this pose on the box art, though the cropping is a bit awkward. It is also unclear whether her femininity or masculinity is being emphasized.
- StarCraft: Ghost's promo cinematic has a company of Marines approaching a Zerg-held refinery. The overconfident captain in charge is first shown while striking this pose. (he soon gets to display its converse, Oh Crap, when he realizes the deep, rumbling vibration in the ground is NOT Siege Tank reinforcements, but rather an immense Zerg Rush.)
- Tron Bonne combines this with a Noblewoman's Laugh as her taunt in Marvel vs. Capcom, as well as using it to aim her shots.
- League of Legends: Thresh performs one while recalling in his Deep Terror skin. While recalling on the skin, there's also a slight chance for him to bring up a tire and pose disappointedly instead.
- Family Guy: Parodied — Peter strikes the pose three times in a campaign ad. First he's in a classroom, and he puts his foot on a desk. Then he's in a school hallway, and he puts his foot up on another desk. Then he's in the middle of a football field, and there just happens to be another desk for him to stick his foot on.
- In Thundercats 2011 the pose has twice been used to introduce Obviously Evil Smug Snakes
- There is a training video used in a certain burger place in which a male worker used this pose as an excuse to basically grind his junk into the back of a female coworker's head as she knelt to get something from a low shelf. This was given as an example of sexual harassment and obviously strongly discouraged.
- Heavy metal musicians love this pose, especially singers. The most typical example is for a singer to rest one foot on the speaker cabinets at the front of the stage and lean forward to look directly into the crowd.
The canon example band for that pose is Iron Maiden. Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson used to actually bump each other from the front stage monitors, and Dickinson leaned forward so much that he actually rested his forearm on his thigh. (He does not do that so much now).
- Henry Rollins illustrates a version in the video Talking From the Box. (look for it around 8:20). He recommends, after breaking up, to turn up any of the albums by Ronnie James Dio, attaching a towel to your neck with a paper clip, and singing into a celery stalk. He points out that if you get caught like this, head back, one leg up on a chair, there will be no way you can claim you were doing anything else.