main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Swivel-Chair Antics

A Sub-Trope of Cool Chair, swivel chairs are amusing pieces of furniture because they have wheels and can spin. Boredom and these can lead to endless possibilities.

Could include either someone spinning in a chair out of boredom or restlessness, rolling around in it in favor of just getting up, rigging them with explosives to fight bad guys with, or riding them like makeshift chariots.

This is often an integral part of Office Sports; also compare Wheelchair Antics.


Anime and Manga
  • Soul Eater: Stein enjoys riding around on his. Early on there was a Running Gag where he would "trip" over door frames (in fact he did so twice when he was introduced, failing to make a dramatic entrance). He also deflected several of Black Star's attacks while spinning around on the chair.
  • Durarara!!: Izaya has one in his office. In one memorable scene, he spun around repeatedly while laughing about how interesting humans are.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion: Misato is seen spinning on her chair while complaining how bored she is during a pilot sync test.
  • K-On!: Ritsu briefly spins around in Yui's chair while the rest of the club are helping Yui cram for her make-up exam as part of her boredom montage.

  • Back to the Future Part II:, Mr. Strickland is in a swivel chair; he turns toward the window and then pushes back, smashing Marty's hand against the desk.
  • Batman Forever: Edward Nygma ties his boss to a rolling office chair and rolls out a window, then later makes it look like a suicide.
  • Superman III: the programmers in a 80's mainframe centre move about by pushing themselves backwards on swivel chairs; despite a two-lane corridor, two of them collide.
  • Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me has Dr. Evil goofing around with his evil chair... and promptly having it go psycho on him.
  • In otherwise-serious Witness, an Amish farmer of all things rolls one across a room to fetch something.
  • In the scene at Ah Jong's apartment from The Killer, Ah Jong uses a swivel chair to good use when the bad guys attack, launching himself backward before blasting the hell out of the first guy to enter the room. It's later reenacted by Inspector Li Ying, who thoroughly spooks out his partner Chang while doing so.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: General Chang and his chair ham it up something fierce: "CRY HAVOC! And let slip the dogs of war!"

Live-Action TV
  • In one of the opening title sequences of the 1970s CBS Sitcom Arnie, the title character, having just been promoted from a blue-collar position, spins around on an office chair, tips over and pulls down a venetian blind in the process.
  • There was a Brit Com called Two In Clover where the heroes leave their boring job by tying their boss to a swivel chair and pushing him out the window. On the ground floor, it is hoped, although it may well be a fantasy sequence...
  • Early in Angel, the title character defenestrates a corporate executive on swivel chair through a glass wall. Only the chair hits the ground, the executive having combusted on exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Baltar is seen swiveling his chair aimlessly, in a homage to his namesake's swiveling Cool Chair in the original series.
  • The Countess Dowager (Maggie Smith) on Downton Abbey is caught off guard to be sitting in one when she visits Matthew Crawley's office:
    Countess: (almost falling off) Good heavens! what am I sitting on?
    Matthew: A swivel chair.
    Countess: Another modern brainwave?
    Matthew: Not very modern, they were invented by Thomas Jefferson.
    Countess: Why does every day involve a fight with an American?
    Matthew: I'll fetch a different one.
    Countess: No, no, no, I'm a good sailor!
  • In one episode of The Office (US), Jim switches his squeaky chair with Karen's, and then proceeds to ride his chair throughout the office to avoid having to get up out of it and giving Karen an opportunity to switch it back.
    • Another episode reveals that Michael regularly had Erin spin him around in his chair.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Geordi has a swivel chair that he flings around the engineering console when sitting in it so he doesn't need another person to operate it. It looks like fun.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: in Season 7 Buffy gets a job as school councilor; in one episode she's killing time in her cubicle by swiveling on her chair while balancing a container of pencils on her forehead.
  • Veep has a scene where Vice President Meyer is alone in her office and idly spinning in her chair, showing her frustration at having nothing to do in spite of her high position. The image was used in commercials for the first season.
  • One clip often used in the opening sequence of MythBusters features Jamie Hyneman having two dogs pull him forward on a rolling chair. The version of the clip used in the actual episode ("Dog Myths") shows him getting pulled off the chair when the wheel catches on the transition to the next room.

Newspaper Comics
  • Dilbert:
    • Someone stands on a swivel chair to hang up a "Ten days without an accident!" poster. The chair slips, and he falls and injures himself. Dilbert comments on the irony, and the guy who fell replies, "No, it was ironic when this happened 11 days ago."
    • In the followup comic, the company makes Swivel Chair Safety Training mandatory. At the training, the demonstrator spins wildly while doing a headstand on his chair. The pointy-haired boss can't tell if that's a "do" or a "don't".
    • In another strip, a manager (Not the Pointy-Haired Boss) decides to pick someone for a task by spinning around in his chair like a roulette, and asks to be spun. Alice sends him down a flight of stairs, killing him, and causing the forces of darkness to possess his body.


Video Games
  • Harry The Handsome Executive, a game based entirely on scooting around an office on your swivel chair by kicking off walls.
  • Joker of Mass Effect fame is entirely too fond of his swiveling pilot's chair on the Normandy, especially its second incarnation. (Real leather!) However, EDI takes control of it when he's antagonizing her, spinning him around until he gives up.
  • Rhythm Heaven Fever has a minigame, "Board Meeting", about anthropomorphic pig businessmen spinning around on swivel chairs. The reading material unlocked by scoring a Perfect on this game reveals that their doing this is part of a company motivational seminar (it has to do with their pulling off their spins in unison).
  • Everybody knows that the second Death Star is meant to look incomplete as a disguise, but LEGO Star Wars II gives a different explanation: when Darth Vader arrives, he finds a bunch of technicians slacking off, one of whom is having fun in a swivel chair!


Western Animation
  • Sparks from Sealab 2021 is always seated in a rolling chair, because the footage from Sealab 2020 always had Sparks seated. Despite trying to claim disability in one episode, he really can stand, he's just lazy.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Ice Cream of Margie (with the Light Blue Hair)", we find Homer, Lenny, and Carl playing office chair hockey at the plant; Mr. Burns comes in and chastises them for goofing off...but then we see him complaining that they're not practicing their chair hockey moves hard enough.
    • In another episode (season seven's "Bart on the Road" [the episode where Bart makes a fake ID while spending "Go To Work with Your Parents Day" with Patty and Selma at the DMV]), Lisa (who's spending the day at the nuclear plant with Homer) decides to liven things up by spinning in swivel chairs wearing hazmat suits. Homer replies that, "This is a lot more fun with a second person."
    • In yet another episode ("Homer's Enemy"), Bart combines a swivel chair and a fire extinguisher for some real fun.
  • Camp Lazlo: Nurse Leslie uses such a chair to move around. In fact, when the chair is broken, he can't even use his legs to stand.
  • Mega Mind in his very own film has a number of swivel chair scenes, and of course spoofs the "villain in turning chair" thing.
  • Principal Prickly on Recess has one as his desk chair. When TJ becomes "Principal-for-a-Day", this is one of the first things he does:
    TJ: Wow, this is one big chair.
    Prickly: Yes it is. And it takes a big man to fill it.
    TJ: (immediately takes it for a spin) WOOHOOOOOO!
  • On The Looney Tunes Show Bugs gets a job at Porky's office and convinces him to have more fun at work. During a montage of various fun activities they spin around ad roll on swivel chairs.

Web Originals

Real Life
  • Admit it.

Slouch of VillainySeated TropesToo Important to Walk
Strapped to an Operating TableFurniture TropesSuper Wheelchair
The Swear JarComedy TropesTablecloth Yank
Summon Everyman HeroImageSource/WebcomicsTaught by Experience

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy