Follow TV Tropes

Riker Pose

Go To

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
hbi2k on Jan 19th 2010 at 1:39:59 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Wesley finds the Riker Pose just as funny as we do.

Is This Tropable, Rolling Updates, Needs More Examples

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? 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, especially if the person you're talking to is sitting down? Then you need the Riker Pose.

The Riker Pose is a dramatic pose that is struck by planting one foot forward on an upraised object or surface, leaning forward, and resting one hand or forearm on your 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.

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.


Examples:

Advertising

  • Captain Morgan. They also had a series of television advertisements where everyday people in random places would strike the pose, finishing with "There's a little Captain in all of us."

Anime and Manga

  • In One Piece, Luffy and the crew of the Going Merry do a group Riker Pose on a barrel just before entering the Grand Line.

Art

  • 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 Animorphs when they travel back in time to the Delaware crossing, noting that George was hunkered down and shivering like the rest of his troops.
  • This painting by fantasy RPG artist Clyde Caldwell.

Film

  • Used as less of a pose and more of a theme in You Dont Mess With The Zohan.
  • 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.

LiveActionTV

  • The Trope Namer is Commander William T. Riker of Star Trek The Next Generation, who was known for striking this pose ad nauseam 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 Riker 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 his collar.
  • 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 in something resembling a Riker Pose.
  • Happens on The Drew Carey Show, in one episode his boss does this while wearing spandex shorts, noooot a pretty sight...

Web Comics

  • The third-to-last pa

Feedback: 20 replies

Jan 18th 2010 at 7:58:08 AM

Needs A Better Name, also, a better description, it's usually a heroic pose found in paintings.

Heroic Pose?

Jan 18th 2010 at 8:03:33 AM

Part of me wants Generic Hero Pose#1 as the title, but that would never fly. Heroic Pose works.

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.

Jan 18th 2010 at 9:33:51 AM

I really want you to stay with Riker Pose because as soon as I read the title I knew exactly what it was AND I started giggling.

Although when Riker does it it's not heroic so much as a transparent attempt to look heroic. Pretty sure The Office loves this trope too.

Jan 18th 2010 at 9:36:46 AM

Needs a photo/screengrab. We could also extend this to other classic poses, so the generic 'Heroic pose' is probably limiting ourselves already, unless we have one page with numerous examples, classified appropriately.

Jan 18th 2010 at 10:17:17 AM

Fun fact: The Riker 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 his collar.

Jan 18th 2010 at 10:18:09 AM

The third-to-last panel of this Anti-Heroes strip. Actually, can I suggest using the last three panels to illustrate this trope?

Jan 18th 2010 at 11:00:11 AM

I'd prefer something clearer as opposeded to stick figures, if possible.

Jan 18th 2010 at 11:04:59 AM

Aw... Oh well.

The unsafe-in-a-rowboat aspect is lampshaded in one Animorphs when they travel back in time to the Delaware crossing, noting that George was hunkered down and shivering like the rest of his troops.

Jan 18th 2010 at 2:17:06 PM

I just went 35 pages through Google Images and only saw one pic (often repeated) of Frakes as Riker with one knee up. After seeing the zoomed out version, I can tell that he is actually seated on a tall stool. I think if you want to name this after that particular character, there should be some iconic image of the character doing the behavior. My impression is that George Washington and/or Captain Morgan are more exemplary than William T. Riker. That being said, is there enough of it in existence to be worthy of a trope page?

Jan 18th 2010 at 8:26:19 PM

  • The captain in the Captain Morgan beer logo. They had a series of advertisements where everyday people in random places would strike the pose, finishing with "There's a little Captain in all of us."

Jan 18th 2010 at 9:57:28 PM

I can do a DVD screenshot of Riker doing this pose easily enough-- I'll hunt one up and put it up in a little bit. You can literally find at least one good example in any randomly-chosen first or second season episode. For the record, a simple Google Images search for "Riker Pose" turns up a textbook example as the very first result, but it wouldn't be a good picture to use here because his face is turned away from the camera. I'll hunt up a better one.

Unless we think Captain Morgan would be a better picture to use? He certainly does give a striking example of the pose.

Jan 19th 2010 at 12:49:33 AM

How about Conquering Pose for the title? I've seen paintings of old battles where the general uses it.

Jan 19th 2010 at 1:29:09 AM

Happens on 'The Drew Carey' show, in one episode his boss does this while wearing spandex shorts, noooot a pretty sight...

Jan 19th 2010 at 1:57:41 AM

Jan 19th 2010 at 2:02:55 AM

Any support for the idea of making a single 'heroic pose' page, with sub sections for 'The Riker' etc?

Jan 19th 2010 at 2:25:19 AM

There's already Stock Poses, so adding this to that page when it launches should be enough. There are already a number of "heroic" poses listed there, and more can be added to the list if anyone can think of any other distinct types not already listed.

Jan 19th 2010 at 2:27:42 AM

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.

Jan 19th 2010 at 1:32:45 PM

Ha ha, I noticed that too. We'll have to include a link to Pirate Wench in with the entry (added under "Art"-- does anyone know if there's a pre-existing category for paintings and such, btw?) when that one launches, assuming it keeps the same picture.

Jan 19th 2010 at 1:49:34 PM

The Real Life version of this was called "making a leg" and was a popular showoff posse dating back to medieval times well into the Enlightenment era, especially in heroic portraiture. The reason men wore tight leggings for so long was to facilitate displaying their legs, and this pose accentuated that feature further.

Top