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Rebel Relaxation

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Shadows without a cause.

Hobbes: What are you doing?
Calvin: Being cool.
Hobbes: You look more like you're being bored.
Calvin: The world bores you when you're cool.

Leaning slightly against something, arms folded, and one foot resting against the wall. Often the standard pose of the Aloof Ally, or the Hooker with a Heart of Gold. Cigarette and/or toothpick optional.

Why? Say you're not the Big Bad, and you can't pull off the Slouch of Villainy. But you're also not The Cape; you're a hero, but you want to rebel against something, because rebels are cool. Why not good posture?

Often used as a Modeling Pose.

A Sister Trope to Badass Arm-Fold, Characterizing Sitting Pose, Edgy Backwards Chair-Sitting.

Compare Leaning on the Furniture, Captain Morgan Pose, Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • In Battle Angel Alita, Alita has one of these in her flashback of when she was still Yoko.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Spike Spiegel is frequently seen leaning and slouching, much like a cowboy.
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • Any scene featuring Vegeta where he wasn't fighting, training, monologuing, or boasting had him doing this. He even pulls it off while sitting.
    • Piccolo manages to pull this off every time he arrives on the battlefield in a movie, often while standing on a pole or floating in the air (in a relaxed fashion). Occasionally does so in the series as well.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Sherlock Holmes can't sit properly or stand properly—or really, he doesn't seem to want to. His posture is generally terrible and he especially spends a significant chunk of The Sign of Mary standing around with his arm crossed and foot against the wall while he smokes, letting Mary and John solve a case he already solved himself, to emphasize how obnoxiously he's behaving.
  • Naruto
  • Kakashi, when not fighting the current baddy, often adopts this position — even when not actually leaning against anything. He is also a master in the art of sudden appearances, and generally pulls them off with a comfortable slouch.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics fans have often joked that Gambit's mutant power is leaning against a wall and smoking a cigarette because he's so often seen doing that.
  • Red Daughter of Krypton: During her Anti-Hero phase, Supergirl made a habit of leaning on a wall, folding her arms across her chest and slouching in Red Lanterns meetings.
  • Robin (1993): When Tim Drake first started hanging out with Callie, she was constantly slouching whether she was sitting, leaning on something, standing or walking. Her posture started to get a bit better as she gained more confidence.
  • Wolverine. If there isn't a fight going on, he's usually seen leaning on the wall, lying back in a chair, hands clasped behind his head, bootheels on the table, cigar stuck in his mug, etc.
  • X-Wing Rogue Squadron character Plourr Ilo lounges in a more spread-legged casual way than her teammates. While they're all Rebels, she's the one with the most confidence.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin once did this for a while. Hobbes didn't seem to grasp the concept very well.
    Hobbes: I got a sombrero! Now we can be 'cool' together! [leans against a tree]
    Calvin: Are you crazy? Cool people don't wear sombreros!
    Hobbes: [stalking away] What's the point of being 'cool' if you can't wear a sombrero?
  • Peanuts: Snoopy's persona Joe Cool.

    Fan Works 
  • Chapter 20 of The Good Hunter has Byronic Hero Cyril Sutherland leaning against the wall arms crossed, observing a crowd of onlookers cheering for a Knight Errant Sir Henry Watson.
  • In Promstuck, resident cool kid Dave spends much of the prom leaning up against the wall, hands in his pockets, surveying the scene, as opposed to dancing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Deadpool, Francis assumes this pose in the back alley where Vanessa mistakes him for Wade.
  • The poster for Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) has both title characters doing variations on this.
  • Named for Rebel Without a Cause, in which the main character does this.
  • Clarence (a.k.a. The Cowboy) in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
  • In Who Am I (2014), when Ben and Max first meet at community service, the latter does this pose against a wall while smoking a cigarette.
  • The Stranger: The police are looking for a suspect in the murder of a child who was seen standing behind the boy, leaning against a wall with one foot braced against it. Through the course of the film, the police strongly suspect that Henry Teague is the culprit. When they finally arrest them, they handcuff him and make him wait for transport. He leans against a pole and braces one foot against it.

  • Haplo had a text description of that when he was on the water world, in The Death Gate Cycle.
  • Vimes from Discworld does this, even though (or because?) he's a duke.
  • This position is described at length in the book Spud Sweetgrass.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Spike did this a lot. When you're a ghost, there's not much else to do but kick back and annoy the hell out of Angel.note 
  • JD Smith of The Dakotas does this everywhere; standing, sitting — he can even do this while perching on a windowsill.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Robot": After the Doctor has regenerated into Tom Baker and the Brigadier convinces him to come and investigate the Monster of the Week, we have a shot of the Doctor sitting in the car with his feet up on the dashboard, showing this Doctor is going to be a lot more informal and anti-establishment than his predecessor.
    • The Ninth Doctor did it on several occasions, such as while watching Charles Dickens examine a corpse in "The Unquiet Dead".
    • The Tenth Doctor does this a lot. One of his most common stances is leaning with his shoulder against a wall, hands shoved in his pockets.
    • The Eleventh Doctor does it from time to time, not as often as Ten though.
  • Breatt and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords after styling their hair with gel, and suddenly becoming really cool.
  • Cal Lightman of Lie to Me, especially around the poker table in "Fold Equity."
    • In the first season finale, someone referred to him as "a human question mark" because he slouched so badly. Actor Tim Roth is bowlegged in real life, according to IMDb.
    • This probably also is why Lightman seems to be shorter than most of his staff, despite there not being a wide range of heights among the cast. Note that the rest of the characters all have exceptionally good posture (except for Loker when he's sitting down).
    • The cast apparently calls it the Lightman Lean.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Halbrand leans against a pillar with his arms folded while watching Galadriel training some Numenorians rookies. Fittingly, he is a Loveable Rogue.
  • The Mandalorian. In "The Reckoning", a couple of Imperial Scout Troopers are slouching on their speeder bikes as our heroes walk into town. Of course it's the Imperials who are the rebels now.

  • Many productions of Hamlet and/or Fortinbras feature Prince Hamlet in this pose at some point or another.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney: Simon Blackquill is fond of doing this at the prosecutor's bench, often with his back to the courtroom to express his disdain.
  • BlazBlue: Chronophantasma has Kagura do this against his own BFS planted into the ground.
  • Chrono Trigger: Magus pulls this off once, during a certain camping scene.
  • In chapter 1 of Deltarune, this is how Susie relaxes in the elevator to the Card Castle Dungeons while Kris and Ralsei sit on the floor.
  • The "Disposal" world introduced in .flow v0.193 includes youths in dark clothes leaning against walls like this.
  • Elden Ring features the "What Do You Want?" emote, which has the character lean back against a nearby wall, arms crossed and right heel touching said wall. You learn it from Gideon's bodyguard Ensha, who leans just outside Gideon's door at the Roundtable Hold, sports an edgy skull-shaped mask, and stares at you in utter silence if you attempt to speak with him. He also tries to murder you after you obtain a certain element.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Cloud does this a ridiculous amount of times. Vincent does it even more, and in Dirge of Cerberus it reaches comical proportions.
  • Irvine Kinneas of Final Fantasy VIII is fond of the cowboy silhouette pose found on the page picture. He also looks like a cowboy.
  • The Lean emote in Final Fantasy XIV serves as this, the level of it depending on the race and gender of the user.
  • If Iji runs into Ansaksie again in the very last room before the Final Boss, she's leaning against the wall in of these poses. She even lampshades it if the player continues to pester her:
    Ansaksie: Figures. That Soldier sold me a malfunctioning translator, now I'm babysitting a human with people-poking issues. Might as well keep practicing this cool pose...
  • In League of Legends, Twisted Fate's classic splash art depicts him leaning against a wall surrounded by Cards of Power.
  • Rose from The Legend of Dragoon
  • Zaeed, the first DLC character from Mass Effect 2, seems to spend all his non-mission time leaning against the wall in his room. He's still doing it in the briefing before the final mission.
  • Protoman (Blues) from Mega Man (Classic) has a tendency of striking a similar pose. It fits him well, considering his relationship to the main cast.
  • McCree in Overwatch often does this in cutscenes. He also dresses like a cowboy (but with futuristic gadgets).
  • Stocke of Radiant Historia during the Mimel Sidequest.
  • Jake Muller of Resident Evil 6 is rather fond of standing this way in the background while Sherry does all the talking, whenever the duo encounter the BSAA or Leon's team.
  • Doc, Kaliyo Djannis, and Andronikus Revel in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
    • A Smuggler player character will often do this in cutscenes, as well.

    Visual Novels 
  • Havenfall Is for Lovers: Mentioned in Mackenzie's first episode, regarding JD:
    JD: It's a crime that you don't have It's Not Unusual on this thing.
    Razi: The crime is me paying you nine dollars an hour to perfect your disaffected lean against my wall.


    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, several people tend to fold their arms and lean against a wall while chatting, one of the more recent examples being the sometimes ruthlessly pragmatic half-elven thief Raul.
  • Homestar Runner: The Strong Bad Email "origins" has Strong Bad lounging against Bubs' Concession Stand with his fellow "On-Point Kings".

    Western Animation  
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Jet and Toph often do this.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Y Tu Ga-Ga Tambien" Rudy, a meek, unathletic kid, becomes popular after being good at a new playground sport called Ga-Ga ball. He is seen leaning against the lockers, to which Gene asks why he has "Matthew McConaughey's body language."
  • Danny does this after punching a ghost at the end of his theme song, complete with a cocky grin...
  • The Dragon Prince has a few characters who do this: notably Soren (who later rebels against his father) Rayla (who later rebels against her society) and Aaravos (whose reasons are more mysterious). It's especially noticeable with Aaravos, since he appears to be leaning on nothing. But this is of course because he is actually projecting an image of himself, he is stuck inside a pocket dimension.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends referenced it in an episode where Bloo tried to make Mac cooler. Their efforts culminate in the resident cool kid (Jamez) offering Mac a chance to hang out a place he's dubbed "The Rock." Mac excitedly accepts and arrives to find Jamez leaning comfortably against a giant rock. He follows suit but quickly becomes bored and suggests several activities they could do, including drawing on the rock. Jamez rejects each of them and says that all you're supposed to do is hang. Mac decides that it isn't worth being considered cool if it means you have to hang out at some stupid rock all day.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Break-Up Break Down", Discord tries to cheer up Big Macintosh, who is upset because he thinks Sugar Belle wants to break up with him. He takes Mac and Spike to an "emergency guy's night" and shows off how "cool guys lean against things".
  • Steven Universe: At the beginning of "Lars and the Cool Kids", Steven sees Lars doing this while hanging out outside Fish Stew Pizza, hoping to attract the attention of the Cool Kids (Sour Cream, Buck, and Jenny).
  • Grizz tries leaning on stuff to look cool in the We Bare Bears episode "Panda's Sneeze."
  • Parodied hilariously in The Weekenders, when Carver decides to hang out with a pair of "cool kids". When he asks them what they do for fun, they tell him fun is for losers and that they mostly "just lean against stuff". He proceeds to join them in idle Rebel Relaxation, mocking random passersby.

    Real Life 
  • Those "cowboy silhouette" yard decorations (pictured).
  • A statue of a waiting passenger is in this pose at Brixton station in London, England.