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Chair Reveal

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*dramatic music*

The Monarch: He didn't go for it. I even did that cool spin thing.
Doctor Girlfriend: It's a bit of a cliché.

Someone is sitting in a spinning chair, facing away from a character who's trying to talk to them. The chair swivels around, revealing a different person than who they expected, or even a dead body. Or, two people are talking in front of a presumably empty chair. Cue a dramatic swivel to reveal that the chair wasn't so empty after all. Can happen when Trespassing to Talk.

Quite often, the chair will be cool, and the posture will be villainous. Subtrope of The Reveal and Plot Twist.

A variation of the "Chair Reveal" is the "Chair Entrance", when the visual device of a slowly-revolving chair is employed simply to make an actor's first appearance more dramatic. This is not a straightforward Chair Reveal because it's used solely to introduce the actor, not to produce a surprise or a plot twist.

"Chair Reveal" examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Canaan Hakko who can hurt and kill just by speaking talks all way to chair, thinking she is talking to Liang Qi, only to see a completely different person tied to it...
  • Lelouch Lamperouge indulges in a Bond-villain-esque Chair Reveal in Code Geass. It's every bit as fabulous as you might expect.
  • Nekojara from Doraemon: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey, in both the manga and anime adaptation, reveals himself to a chained-up Doraemon who's regaining consciousness in his office from his swivel chair in this manner. And gloating all the way.
  • One baddie in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex pulls this when Section 9 breaks into his office to arrest him, and turning his chair around reveals a blow-up doll.
  • In Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Customer Service of Holy Nightmare Corporation does this when he and Dedede first meet face to face showing that he's just as small as any other character on the show. No legs, just feet where his upper torso ends.
  • Knight Hunters uses the dead body version when Ken goes to assassinate Koga Kenji only to find him already dead.
  • My-HiME also uses one with Mashiro, but it turns out what's in the chair is a doll, the real Mashiro already escaped.
  • In Petshop Of Horrors, Leon thinks he's reporting his suspicions regarding D to the mayor... but finds D sitting in the mayor's chair.
  • Yes! Pretty Cure 5 did it with a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad instead of the school headmaster. Justified (not that this trope is as much in need of justification as some others) in that the girls had never actually met the headmaster before, so they didn't realize she wasn't the real thing until they realized who she was.

    Comic Books 
  • The Helmet of Fate was revealed this way in DC Comics' 52, except that no turning was involved - the detectives approach the person sitting in the chair and he suddenly collapses, revealing himself to be dead.
  • Danger Girl and the Army of Darkness #4: Agent Zero shoots what he thinks is his target through the back of a chair. He then walks round to the front of the chair and instead finds a dummy rigged to a bomb with three seconds left on the timer.
  • Secret Wars: 2099: In the first issue, Captain America is talking with her boss, the head of Alchemax. Then his chair swivels around to reveal it's not Tyler Stone, but rather, Miguel O'Hara instead.

    Films Animation 
  • Invoked in Megamind. Having kidnapped Roxanne Ritchi, Megamind has Minion position her in the death trap while he leaps into his villainous swivel chair and primps for this week's round of evil gloating — smoothing his eyebrows, coaxing a brainbot into his lap so he can stroke it when he turns around, and adopting the Slouch of Villainy. Of course, they apparently do this every week, so it's hardly a shocking reveal to Roxanne.
  • Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars. Our heroes go to confront Sky Marshal Snapp over her treacherous actions. Only when the chair swivels round it's their friend Carl Jenkins sitting in her seat, Snapp having taken "leave of absence".

    Films Live-Action 
  • The end of The Adventures of Pluto Nash reveals that the villain has in fact been a clone of the hero in this fashion.
  • Ryan O'Neal gets a pointless chair reveal in An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn. It's one of the many things Roger Ebert makes fun of in his review, along with a callback to the reveal of Frank Sinatra in Mike Todd's Around the World in 80 Days (1956).
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this is how Wallace Keefe (and any audience members that didn't spot Mercy, Lex's right hand woman, as Wallace entered the building) discovers that Lex Luthor was the one to bail him out of jail, with Lex turning around in the new electric wheelchair he's giving to Wallace.
  • Done in The Beast Must Die with Pavel's corpse.
  • Lampshaded in Black Dynamite as the Big Bad, Richard Nixon, reveals himself this way... in less of a dramatic fashion than intended, as it takes a few pushes of his chair in order to finish it.
  • Diamonds Are Forever. After James Bond enters Willard Whyte's penthouse apartment, Blofeld reveals himself by spinning his chair around. It's a particularly shocking reveal as we saw Blofeld get killed by Bond at the start of the movie; Bond's even more surprised when a second Blofeld walks down the staircase and he realises the man he killed was a Body Double.
  • The villain and the chair are, of course, parodied in Austin Powers.
  • The Big Bad in Exit Wounds is revealed this way.
  • Walter Donovan does this to Indiana when he shows up again in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, except it was an ordinary non-swiveling chair, and Donovan revealed himself by standing up and turning around.
  • In The Lives of Others, Christa-Maria Sieland is being interrogated by Ministry for State Security Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler. Both are sitting in chairs with a desk between them but his has its back to her. The audience knows who the interrogator is, but she doesn't. When he does swivel his chair around, she gasps, as she encountered him before and told him he was a good man, unaware he was spying on her.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • My Favorite Brunette, a Bob Hope film, has one of these. Since Bing Crosby turns up somewhere in just about every Bob Hope film, the audience is carefully set up to expect him to be the Cool Tough Guy Detective across the hall. The chair swivels, and... it's not. It is, in fact, the Cool Tough Guy actor whose name Hope has just mentioned — Alan Ladd.
  • One Night in October: At the climax of Michelle's story, when she has Jason in the garage, we see Hewitt sitting in a chair, facing away from them. Michelle turns the chair around, revealing all the skin on Hewitt's face has been cut off.
  • The remake of The Parent Trap had the mother and one twin arrive home to find the other twin sitting at the grandfather's desk. In this version, though, her face was covered by a newspaper.
  • The dead body thing was in Psycho. It's a very creepy scene, despite the fact that a light tap on the shoulder shouldn't be enough to swivel the chair completely around.
    • Parodied in High Anxiety, when they spin around his chair to reveal the poor doctor slumped over horribly with his eyes and mouth hanging open? But he wakes up when they scream.
  • Rachel's ex(?) at the end of The Ring.
  • Screamers: The Hunting. The two survivors of the Dwindling Party return to their spaceship only to find one of their 'dead' colleagues in the form of a Screamer cyborg waiting in the pilot seat for them.
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004). Doctor Totenkopf is revealed to be Dead Allalong when a light is turned on, showing him sitting in a chair.
  • In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Kirk is transported to a Klingon ship after being nearly killed, and is introduced to the person who just saved his life. The chair swivels round to reveal Spock.
    • In fact this movie has two invocations of this trope: earlier on, Sybok communicated by viewscreen with the "captain of the Enterprise." The captain's chair on screen swivels to reveal ... Chekov. It's a ruse to hide the fact that the real captain, Kirk, is down on the planet executing a sneak attack, but it comes across as a joke at Chekov's expense (the movie seems to be saying "Ha ha, it's Chekov in the captain's chair, as if.")
  • The climax of Tower of Death has the protagonist, Bobby, confronting the villainous kung-fu fighter responsible for his brother Billy's death, after beating up a room full of mooks and braving various traps. Then, the villain swings his chair around, and Bobby discovers him to be Chin, a friend of Billy whom had turned traitor and faked his own death.
  • This is done with the Brainwashed and Crazy heroine Nastasia at the end of Warrior of the Lost World.

  • In his autobiography About Face, Colonel Hackworth does this as a practical joke. Seated at the front of the briefing room in a huge sofa he'd appropriated, he starts ranting about how his soldiers weren't maintaining the regulation military crewcut, finishing by turning to face them to reveal he was wearing a long hippie wig.
  • At the end of the novel and film Captain Blood, one of the villains is brought before the Royal Governor to be punished for his crimes, and is shocked when the Governor turns to face him and is Blood himself, who the last time the fugitive saw him was as an escaping slave.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew has a variant — Uncle Andrew reveals himself by standing up, rather than rotating the chair.
  • Death does it in the Discworld novel Mort.
  • The Dresden Files: In Changes, Harry returns to his apartment to find two allies have been cocooned by his sometimes crazy, always dangerous Fairy Godmother there. She reveals herself in this way, which is particularly impressive because, as Harry notes, the chair she's sitting on isn't a swivel chair.
  • In The Eyes of The Dragon Prince Peter, serving-boy Dennis and his friend Naomi corner Flagg in the late King Roland's study (the scene of his fatal poisoning). Flagg is surprised when the chair by the fire scootches around to reveal a surprise eyewitness to his crime; the younger Prince Thomas who proceeds to shoot Flagg through the eye with his father's great bow.
  • Voldemort did this in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, shortly before killing Frank Bryce. (Since he's trapped in a miniature and barely-functional body, he needs his minion Wormtail to spin the chair for him.)
  • In the final book of Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, Simon discovers (the unfortunately very alive) King Elias via this trope, while he's prowling around in Pryrates' tower.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Solo Command, the pilots are sitting in their lounge on the flagship discussing the failings of their higher-ups and the moves they would make if they were in charge. A heretofore-ignored chair spins away from a computer terminal to reveal General Han Solo, leader of the entire task force. Being Han, though, after an initial Oh, Crap! moment, he congratulates their insight and takes their suggestions to heart.
    • In The Last Command, Mara and Luke go to Wayland, and cut through the Emperor's throne room there. Turns out Joruus C'baoth is sitting in it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel got one of these in "Smile Time" when the chair contains... still Angel. But now he's been turned into a puppet.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Beauty and the Beasts", Buffy finds the school counselor dead in his chair after swiveling it around.
    • In "Superstar" when the gang goes for help from Sunnydale's greatest hero. The chair spins and it's... Jonathan.
  • Arrested Development parodies this trope. Certain members of the Bluth family have a penchant for dramatically swiveling to reveal their presence... in chairs that aren't supposed to swivel, including on at least one occasion a very bulky armchair.
  • In The A-Team episode "Members Only", Murdock's back is seen for about a minute behind Hannibal and Face before he turns around. They are at a very upscale country club where Face is trying hard to become a member, and Murdock is there as a guest of his doctor. He reveals they come there every Friday.
  • In The Big Bang Theory's "The Cooper Extraction" episode, the cast imagines how their lives would have been different had never met Sheldon. The Chair Reveal from Psycho is referenced when Howard envisions that if he had not gotten married (he met Bernadette through Sheldon), his mother's body would have desiccated and he would have assumed her personality, much like Norman Bates.
  • On Boy Meets World, Mr. Feeny does this to reveal that he is Cory's new principal when Cory gets sent to the principal's office on his first day of high school.
  • Chuck attempts to use this on Captain Awesome. He does not fare well.
  • Parodied in Le cur a ses raisons when Criquette reveals that she is the new director to St. Andrews TV station. She spins very clumsily after announcing both the news AND the fact that she was about to turn around dramatically to Ridge.
  • CSI did this for the result of Greg's evaluation - the spinning chair revealed not Grissom, but a gelatinous dummy used earlier in the episode for electrics testing, with a "You Passed!" note pinned to it.
  • Done on Days of Our Lives, likely ripping off the Psycho example. When a character attempts to plead their case to resident villain Stefano DiMera, she talks to a back facing chair. Finally fed up with his lack of response, she grabs onto the chair to turn it around . . . to reveal Stefano's mummified corpse.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Subverted in "Remembrance of the Daleks". The rebel Daleks are led by a character in a chair who is hidden from the audience, who fans naturally assumed was Dalek creator Davros. It turns out that it's the Creepy Girl who's been watching events the whole story.
    • "Time Heist": Madame Karabraxos is introduced like this, the reveal being that she looks exactly like Ms. Delphox.
  • Farscape did this in "Revenging Angel". D'Argo thinks he's going to turn the chair around to find Crichton, but instead finds a dummy stuffed with dynamite.
  • Happy Endings: Dave, Max, and Alex do this, but Dave screws it up.
    Dave: You know I'm not good at dramatic swivels!
  • In Heroes, Elle discovers Bob has been murdered by Sylar this way.
  • Barney Stinson gets one of these in the TV show How I Met Your Mother. He brings his own chair for it.
    • "Don't touch that, it's a rental!"
  • In an episode of the 1980s NBC show Its Your Move, a kid is told that a famous rock producer wants to meet him. When the chair is turned around, it's one of the skeletons the kid used to fake a rock band.
  • Midsomer Murders has a subversion- a couple are arguing in a library containing several high-backed chairs. After they leave, the camera pans out to reveal Barnaby had been sitting in the chair.
    • Another has a Bed Reveal, with the camera panning to reveal the mummified, years-old corpse of the murderer's brother.
  • Person of Interest. Root does this to Detective Fusco using his own chair, and then gripes about how uncomfortable the chair is.
    Root: Ugh, this chair's gotta be killer on your back, Lionel. You should look at some ergonomic options.
    Fusco: You should pay more taxes so I can get a better chair.
  • In the final episode of Police Squad!, the "chair reveal" reveals... another chair. The actual villain is standing off to the side. Another episode introduced the villain by focussing on him stroking a cat in his lap; he eventually has to crouch down uncomfortably to get into the view of the camera and introduce himself.
  • The Pretender:
    • In "Keys", late in the first season, Miss Parker goes into her father's office and starts talking to his high-backed chair, which is turned away from the entrance. Then the chair swivels around, and the person in it isn't her father. Also a fake-out Chair Entrance, as this would have been the first time Mr Parker appeared on screen.
    • "Back From the Dead Again", the season two opener, has a similar scene; this time the person in the chair is Mr Lyle, the new series villain, making a Chair Entrance.
  • A reveal of a "new Number Two" in The Prisoner (1967).
  • Parodied on an episode of Saturday Night Live with Alec Baldwin demonstrating how to be a handsome actor, along with Glasses Pull.
    • Recently played straight when a Christmas-themed opening skit was hijacked by a returning Mike Myers as Dr. Evil.
  • Janitor does it in the middle of a crowded corridor, petting an "invisible" half-kitten, half-monkey in Scrubs, while revealing his plan to spoil the outcome of a basketball match to Dr. Cox.
  • In a memorable Muppet sketch on Sesame Street, Grover wanted to surprise Ernie, but it was actually Herry Monster, disguised as Ernie, in the chair.
  • Smallville: Season Ten's "Beacon" does this in the teaser, having Tess walk into her office at the Daily Planet only to find someone sitting in her chair. It spins around to reveal Lionel Luthor, who is both her recently discovered father and, well, someone who died a long time ago. He's actually her father's Alternate Universe counterpart, and since this version is both eviler and crueler than his deceased counterpart, Tess doesn't exactly take it well.
  • Played with in Titans (2018). At the start of Season 3, Dick Greyson returns to Gotham and goes to see Commissioner Gordon. Several police officers standing around their boss step away and she rolls her wheelchair around to face Dick, because the Commissioner is Barbara Gordon.

  • The music video for Alice Cooper's "He's Back (Man Behind the Mask)" ends with the son telling his hidden father that he didn't understand the film (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, clips of which was used in the video) he went to see. The dad's chair spins around, revealing that he was actually Alice Cooper all along, and he offers to explain it to him.
    • Alice also does it at the end of the concert film, Good To See You, Alice Cooper, when he is revealed as the psychiatrist that the director was talking to.
  • At the end of Twisted Sister's video for "I Wanna Rock", the teacher (played by Mark Metcalf, aka "Niedermeyer" from Animal House) goes into the principal's office. The chair turns to reveal the principal, who is played by Stephen Furst (aka "Flounder"), who then sprays him with a seltzer bottle.

    Video Games 
  • Reginald Griffin's dead clone in the sixth generation videogame Agent Under Fire is revealed this way.
  • In the opening cinematic of Borderlands 2, upon finding that they've been led into a trap by Handsome Jack, the Vault Hunters get to the cockpit of the train they're on and find the driver's seat is occupied by a decoy of Jack primed with explosives.
  • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit does this in Epic Mickey when the titular character meets him for the first time.
    Gus: Well that was an exhibition. All it needed was a gift shop.
    Mickey: It's a little disturbing. I mean, I get that he resents me...
    Oswald: Ya think? *Chair Reveal*
  • When Jowd makes it to the submarine control room towards the end of Ghost Trick, the masked muscleman answers his question about Yomiel by spinning Sith's chair and displaying Yomiel's abandoned shell. This sets up the fact that Yomiel's spirit is elsewhere and about to be trapped in the sinking sub without his body.
  • In Hotline Miami in between chapters eleven and twelve, Jacket finds his apartment broken into and his dead girlfriend on the floor. When the player walks upwards from the body, he sees the killer, a man named Richter, sitting on the couch. Richter opens fire upon Jacket, where its revealed hes in a coma due to his shooting.
  • Near the start of Hydrophobia Kate comes across a security guard sat in a chair. When going up and reaching out to him he falls back revealing that's he's dead.
  • In the Mass Effect 3 DLC "Citadel," the team breaks into an arms dealer's saferoom only to discover this way that he has already been killed by The Mole.
  • The Nancy Drew game Danger on Deception Island has an interesting subversion: after seeing incriminating evidence suggesting her friend Katie is behind the crimes, Nancy finds her sitting in a chair in the culprit's headquarters. Turning the chair reveals that Katie has been tied up by the actual criminal.
  • Invoked by Morgana in Persona 5, who as part of his Victory Pose will fall into a chair whose back is to the camera, and then slowly turn it around to reveal a Slasher Smile and a lit cigar in his hand as you watch his enemies burst into bloody messes behind him.
  • Done by The Soda Poppers in the second season finale of Telltale's Sam & Max: Freelance Police games. On the DVD are loads and loads of fake alternate endings with different characters revealed to be in the chair, including Future Sam, a bottle of Banang (which gets a round of applause and an "encore"), Homestar Runner, Sybil and Abe (on an old black-and-white film backed with terror), the C.O.P.S, a "Will Return" clock, Mr. Featherly and Hugh Bliss.
    • Also done in episode 304, where Monsieur Papierwaite has his chair faced away from Sam and Max and is begging them not to look at him. Max swivels the chair around, and reveals the Elder God Yog-Soggoth embedded in Papierwaite's chest. They stare in confusion for about two seconds, then shrug.
  • Used in the climax of Spec Ops: The Line. After going through hell to reach the penthouse headquarters of the rogue Colonel Konrad, Captain Walker finds a chair on a balcony overlooking the sand-choked ruins of Dubai... then moves a little closer and sees Konrad's desiccated corpse sitting in it. The real colonel had been Driven to Suicide well before Walker even arrived in Dubai, meaning that the "Konrad" who Walker had been arguing with over the radio for half the game was nothing but a symptom of his Sanity Slippage. When confronted with this revelation, all Walker can do is slump onto his knees and stare.
  • Parodied in the console versions of SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!, during the unlockable Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy cartoon. As the Sneaky Hermit is soliloquizing in his lair, the camera pans to a chair in front of a desk, which spins to reveal... nothing. Then the camera pans a little more to show the Hermit is standing next to the chair.
    SpongeBob as the Hermit: I should really get that chair fixed.
  • In Tomb Raider III, one of the bosses reveals himself in this way.

  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: When Bruce is trying to get into the Batcave despite being on supposed bed rest his attempt to sneak through his apparently empty office is interrupted when Damian spins the chair around and catches him, complete with his petting his cat like a villain's Right-Hand Cat.
  • In Girl Genius, Agatha hears a voice calling to her and thinks it came from behind a chair. It didn't.
    Agatha: Who's there? If you're trying to scare us- *turns the chair, revealing a skeleton* Then well done! Ahh!
  • In The Phoenix Requiem, when Anya arrives home from Aubeny, he finds out that Dr. Blythe is dead this way.
  • In the Relativity comic (most of the stories are literature) "28 Minutes", Zephyra is looking for a bad guy, and sees a figure sitting in a chair facing the wall. She thinks it's a dummy, set up to fool her. She's wrong.
  • In Seiyuu CRUSH!, just after Kaji thinks, "He seems normal", KoiZ turns his chair around to reveal he's wearing a bra.
  • In Skin Horse, Dr. Ao swivels around to reveal himself as... well, okay, Mr. Green. It's admittedly not much of a revelation at that point, but he has a revelation chair and he's going to use it.

    Web Original 
  • Completely parodied and downplayed in Code MENT, wherein Jeremiah Gottwald greets Diethard Ried with a chair swivel and a "We meet again" speech. He then marvels at how dramatic his own entrance was and how the chair wasn't even a swivel chair, it was deadbolted to the floor, all the while Kewell Soresi thinks to himself how ridiculous all this is and that Jeremiah just caused $30,000 worth of damage. Between the two of them, as well as Diethard, who doesn't seem all that surprised to see him, having to interrupt these chair-based shenanigans, it loses any and all dramatic tension in favor of pure comedy.
  • This gets referenced by Ishizu in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series when she tells Marik he isn't evil and that real evil people stroke cats while sitting in revolving chairs, or blow up buildings and escape into the night while laughing maniacally. After accomplishing the latter, Marik has this to say:
    Marik: I command you to eat my dust, Ishizu! Odion, take us to the nearest Walmart. I require a revolving chair and a kitten.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, specifically in the episode "The Saint", this is poked fun at when Gumball takes over Principal Brown's office to split up Alan and Carmen. When Gumball reveals himself sitting in Brown's chair, he turns too far, leading him to frantically grab the desk in order to correct himself.
  • Arcane. Silco discovers that Vi—the Not Quite Dead sister of Jinx, his Psycho for Hire—has returned, and orders Sevika to find her without letting Jinx know. Later Sevika bursts into Silco's office and says that they lost Vi, only to have Jinx swivel round in Silco's chair.
  • The end of the Batman Beyond pilot has Terry not waiting for the reveal and kicking the chair the moment he gets on the ship. Unfortunately, the villain is also pretty smart and is waiting for Terry to approach the chair.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy" had a great instance of this. An unseen character paying the Baddie of the Week to get Batman's cape and cowl turns out to be... Batman.
    • Also used in The Movie, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, when Phantasm invades the home of Sal Valestra... and finds that Joker got there first.
    • Better still as a Suit Reveal in "Cold Comfort". Batman snoops around Mr. Freeze's lair until he suddenly finds the suit. But Mr. Freeze isn't in it. Mr. Freeze is right behind him. As a disembodied head in a jar supported by big scary spider-legs.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "The Kids Rob a Train", once they're sent to the caboose, a chair turns around to reveal Regular Sized Rudy (kind of an effort for him to do that in a bean-bag chair).
  • Done in Darkwing Duck, where Negaduck reveals himself like that to the main character through the prison's wardens chair and gets the added pleasure of first hearing DW try to warn him about Negaduck's planned prison break only for him to turn and tell him that it's too late.
  • DC Super Hero Girls: Lex Luthor, who up until that point had been a Villain with Good Publicity, reveals himself to the Super Hero Girls with one of these. Supergirl even points out that it screams "bad guy".
  • Futurama:
    • The episode "That Darn Katz!" plays this surprisingly straight; Nibbler and Amy find Professor Katz sitting in his office chair with his back to them, and when they turn the chair around, he's apparently dead. Then it turns out he was never alive in the first place; he's actually a puppet.
    • In another episode, Mom reveals herself to Bender, Leela, and Fry with a speaker-equipped swiveling chair specifically designed for this purpose.
  • Done by Gideon Gleeful in the Gravity Falls episode "The Hand that Rocks the Mabel" when he confronts Dipper at the factory.
  • Done in the Grojband episode "The Snuffles with Snarffles" by Trina and Wheelie the Cat.
    Corey: Creepiest. Reveal. Ever.
  • The Inspector Gadget opening has a Chair Unreveal, where Gadget spins around Claw's chair and there's just a fake hand on a spring...which is attached to a nice, round bomb.
  • Done by Olaf in Episode 103 of Kaeloo when revealing himself to Quack Quack, who has been kidnapped and brought to Olaf's lair. It turns out that the chair is too big, and Olaf struggles to get off of it.
  • Done twice in Max Steel — once at the end of the first episode to show John Dread, the other in the eighth episode to show L'Etranger.
  • Done by Jenny in the My Life as a Teenage Robot episode "Never Say Uncle", when confronting her mother about not telling her she has an aunt. Wakeman promptly lampshades it.
    Dr. Wakeman: XJ-9, have you been streaming old detective movies again?
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • In "Cootie Gras", Mojo Jojo does this twice: once to the Mayor and then to the girls after luring them to the Townhall, which he has taken over.
    • In "Bought and Scold", Princess Morbucks, who's bought out the mayorship, does this to the girls after they go to the Townhall to find out why the Mayor legalized crime.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Played straight in "Black Widower" after Sideshow Bob blows up his hotel room in an attempt to kill his wife Selma. When he goes in and turns around the chair he thinks her corpse sits in, he finds Bart instead (alive, of course).
    • In "Deep Space Homer", some NASA guys are discussing whether they should tell everyone that the monkeys they sent into space all came back super-intelligent. A chair at the end of the table swivels around, revealing a monkey wearing a suit and smoking a pipe, who says, "No, I don't think we'll be telling them that."
    • Parodied in "King-Size Homer" when Lisa reveals herself to Homer while sitting on a large pillow on the living room floor, spooking him.
    • "Wiggum P.I.E.", one of the segments of "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase Spectacular", parodies this. While being pursued by Wiggum and Skinner, Big Daddy races into his office, dives behind his desk... and when Wiggum and Skinner enter three seconds later, his chair swivels round to reveal him looking calm and composed as ever, complete with dramatic sting.
    • When Homer has to visit the IRS for his faulty tax report in "The Trouble with Trillions", the same chair swivels around twice and reveals two different men who both speak to him.
  • Eric Cartman pulled one of these on Stan (while sitting in a Blofeld style egg-shaped chair) in the South Park episode "My Future Self 'n' Me".
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man:
    • Tombstone, previously The Voice and The Faceless, is first fully revealed this way, while speaking to Spider-Man in his office. Later, Green Goblin reveals himself to Tombstone in the same chair, to gloat that he's kidnapped Tombstone's dragon, Hammerhead.
    • At the end of "Gangland", Gobby does this to Tombstone again, this time to gloat about setting up the episode's three-way villain fight, which left Tombstone's good reputation in tatters. Particularly dramatic since this was the Goblin's first appearance (in-costume, anyway) since season 1.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • In "Lair of Grievous", Kit Fisto is tracking down Nute Gunray. He finds a room filled with droids standing around a chair from where Gunray's voice can be heard. After defeating the droids, the Jedi find that it is just a hologram.
    • The dead body version shows up in "Senate Murders" when Padmé and Bail Organa go to confront Senator Mee Deechi about his apparent attempt to get them killed, they turn his chair around to find a knife in his chest.
  • The Venture Bros.: The Monarch invokes this trope in the episode "The Lepidopterists" when dealing with Jonas Venture Jr.

"Chair Entrance" examples:

    Fan Works 

    Films Animation 

    Films Live-Action 
  • In the low-budget science-fiction film The Bamboo Saucer, which starred B-list movie actor Dan Duryea (in his last role) at the top of a cast list of obscure actors, Duryea makes his entrance when another character enters an office and sees the chair behind the desk turned away from him. The chair revolves slowly to reveal Duryea.
  • The Black Hole has a nicely underplayed version. The protagonists enter a huge bridge manned by silent black-robed figures. Maximillian, a large red menacing Killer Robot, floats down from an upper deck and deploys whirling cutting blades. Just when things are getting tense, a nearby chair swivels round from its console to introduce Dr. Hans Reinhardt.
  • In the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, Bond is dropped through a Trap Door onto a slide that dumps him into a couch. There's a chair facing him with its back to the audience, from which a man is giving an Evil Laugh. Then the man stands up and introduces himself as 'Tiger' Tanaka, head of the Japanese intelligence service, and he's just having a chuckle over how easy it was to have the famous James Bond fall into his grasp. When Bond meets the real supervillain the trope is played straight, though instead of swiveling his chair round Blofeld just leans forward out of his G Plan Model 62 and turns to look at Bond.
  • It's not the first time the audience sees him, but when Luke is brought before the Emperor in Return of the Jedi, the Emperor is facing out of the observation window before turning his chair to face him.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Used in the James Bond section of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony to show that it really was HM the Queen alongside Daniel Craig as Bond, not an actress!

  • In the play Haunted, the ghost of Lord Byron first appears on stage by swivelling around in the main character's desk chair. This also indicates to the audience that he's not another creepy stalker, there's something supernatural about him.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Parodied in "Dentist"; Finn is escorted to the office of General Tarsal, queen of a nest of literal army ants, but finds no one there. Tarsal then comes in and asks Finn to pretend that she was there the whole time before sitting behind her desk and introducing herself with the "swivel chair entrance" shtick.
  • In the penultimate episode of Moral Orel, this is how Orel learns who the mayor is: his father.
  • Done by Evil Overlord Ludo in the first episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, "Star Comes to Earth". It also reveals that Ludo is comically short compared to his minions.


Video Example(s):


Bethany in the Chair

While exploring through the prison, Wolf and his gang sees someone sitting in barber chair with their back turned to them and they freak out, but it's revealed to be just Bethany.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChairReveal

Media sources: