"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. Not unlike wearing a baseball cap backwards or sideways, 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 sit 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.
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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. She also fits the Rule-Abiding Rebel trope, as she is one of the more independent yet efficient members of the Agency.
- Kill la Kill: Ryuko, being an edgy person she is, is shown sitting like that when Aikuro explains the history of Life Fibers.
- Avatar: The leader of the marines sits this way when he's speaking to Jake in the cafeteria.
- In Basic Instinct 2, Catherine Tramell does this while talking with her psychiatrist.
- Russell Hammond does this when he finally sits down to give Wiliam an interview in Almost Famous.
- Hitler's Madman: The flamboyantly evil Reinhard Heydrich chooses to sit like this while he has the young girls of Lidice lined up against a wall to evaluate which can be put to use as sex slaves.
- 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.
- In Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, William Brandt does this when they discuss what to do after the failed motorcycle chase.
- Pal Joey: Gladys does this when she brusquely interrupts Joey's conversation to demand to know why he abandoned her sister in Fresno.
- In Spider-Man: Homecoming, one of Captain America's PSA announcements shows him sitting like this is a rather awkward attempt to look "relatable" to the high school audience.
- The Cheyenne Social Club: Used to establish Corey Bannister as an antagonist. Bannister, the only person in Cheyenne who doesn't treat John like a hero, does this when sitting down at John's table. He tells John in an overtly menacing manner that he doesn't like John, because the Cheyenne Social Club (the town brothel which John has just inherited) once denied him service due to his poor hygiene.
Live Action TV
- 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.
- 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.
- On Taxi, Tony always sits this way.
- Crowley in Supernatural (once during an interrogation, once while blackmailing the Winchesters).
- Parodied in the "Smashed" episode of Arrested Development, Tobias sits like this when starting the therapy session at the Austerity clinic but the clinic uses wide armchairs, making him do the splits.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker) developed a back problem as the series progressed and, in addition to adapting the Captain Morgan Pose so he could lean against consoles and objects, developed a unique way of sitting. In the spinoff Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dax sits backwards on a chair while she serves as a sounding board for Sisko about problems he's been having with his son.
- In A Civil Campaign, the recently sex changed 'Lord Dono' is advised to adopt this as one of 'his' new masculine mannerisms. He probably copied it off Aral Vorkosigan, who seems to do it a great deal.
- When Nick is being questioned by police in Gone Girl, he inwardly expresses his surprise that police actually sit like that.
- David Gemmell lets his hero Druss the Legend sits like this... because he's old and cautious. This way he can get something between him and whoever he's talking to, get up without turning his back, and have easy access to his weapons.
- Riker does this a few times in Peter David's novel Imzadi. When Wesley Crusher also does it at one point, Riker asks if he learned it from him.
- In Dora Wilk Series, angel Azjel sits like this when meeting with demon As.
- All the World's a Stage: When private detective Erast Fandorin believes he has made the breakthrough deduction and gets excited, he sits down in a chair like this. Subbotin, the police detective sent to help him, follows his example.
"The investigators were like two mounted knights at a crossroads."
Photography And Illustration
- During the Profumo scandal of 1962, prostitute Christine Keeler became immortalized 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.
- Some thirty years before Keeler, Warner Brothers star Joan Blondell posed for an essentially identical photo◊ that was incredibly risqué for the era.
- 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.
- In Assassin's Creed III, Connor always turns his chair around before sitting. Of course, this might just be because of the 50 pounds of assassin equipment strapped to his back.
- They used the same animation in Assassins Creed IV for probably the same reason, but then again, Edward probably always dreamed of a world where he could sit the way he pleased without the King of England placing regulations on chair-sitting.
- Jacob, one of the two protagonists of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate frequently takes on this pose in the game's advertising. It does fit with his mix of casual and serious behavior.
- Rantaro Amami from New Dangan Ronpa V3 (whose Ultimate talent is unknown) showcases this in his official art, as seen in the page image.
- 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 that 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.
Student: He's sitting informally like us! Let's hear what he has to say.
- When Mabel of Gravity Falls is left in charge of the Mystery Shack for three days in the episode "Boss Mabel", 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.
- The Simpsons:
- Flanders realizes how pathetic his life looks to other people, and in first trying to prove he can be edgy, he tries sitting backwards.
- In "Love is a Many Strangled Thing", Homer is sent into a group parenting therapy. He casually admits that he strangles Bart. The shrink is shocked and arranges that next time he sees Homer without other clients. He points out that he's going to sit backwards in his chair to emphasize to Homer just how horrible his strangling of his son is.
- Patience, the Ice Elemental in Adventure Time, makes a huge show out of sitting this way to talk to some princesses. She makes a chair out of ice, turns it around, and exaggeratedly squats over it.