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.
A Sister Trope
to Rebel Relaxation
, Leaning on the Furniture
Compare Slouch of Villainy
Also keep in mind that there is a narrative point to sitting like this, unlike merely sitting on a chair
Anime 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.
- In Basic instinct 2, Catherine Tramell does this while talking with his psychiatrist.
- Russell Hammond does this when he finally sits down to give Wiliam an interview in Almost Famous.
- There's an example in Avatar. The leader of the marines sits this way when he's speaking to Jake in the cafeteria.
- Mississippi Burning shows why this can be a bad idea; a Ku Klux Klan thug draws a chair (one where the back is a narrow horizontal bit on a frame rather than a single solid piece,) right up to The Hero FBI Agent and sits on it in this position to try and intimidate him, but as soon as he crosses a line, the agent reaches through the gap in the back of the chair and grabs the guys balls. And keeps hold of them for a while.
Photography and Illustration
- 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.
- Roger regularly sat like this on What's Happening whenever the gang went to Rob's Place.
- In an episode of Happy Days, Leather Tuscadero does this while the Cunninghams and others discuss giving her a My Fair Lady-style makeover, making Mr. C doubt that 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.
- Michael Scott of The Office (US) (US) does this while trying to reach out to his employees in his own attempt at a diversity seminar.
- On Battlestar Galactica, the virtual Number 6 did this to Dr. Baltar, the chair being the only thing she was wearing.