Star Trek: Jonathan Frakes Reveals Origin of the Riker Chair Sit Maneuver

Jonathan Frakes played fan-favorite first officer William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Riker had some signature mannerisms that have stuck with Star Trek fans for years. One of them was how he would sit in chairs. Rather than stepping in front of a chair and sitting back, Riker would swing his leg over the chair from behind before resting downwards. During a rewatch of Star Trek: First Contact with IGN, Frakes acknowledged this "Riker Maneuver" and revealed its origin, saying it's something he does even out of character. “I do when the chairback is below the danger zone,” Frakes says. “I measure twice and cut once.”

As for how the maneuver wound up in The Next Generation, Frakes says, “That started in Ten Forward because the backs of the chairs were so low, it was easy. And then I thought, this is really a hotdog, @$$hole thing to do. Nobody’s going to let me do this. And then nobody stopped me! It’s such a cocky, unattractive, kind of bad cowboy move… Whoever did the YouTube compilation of Riker sits down, it went viral and was even more embarrassing, and made me strangely even more proud."

Frakes returned to the world of Star Trek in Star Trek: Picard, directing two episodes of the show's first season, "Absolute Candor" and "Stardust City Rag," and reprising his role as Riker in "Nepenthe" and "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2." Frakes told that he expects to return to direct more episodes of the series for the upcoming season two and that he expects some of his other co-stars from The Next Generation to make appearances in the show's second season.

"I do expect to be back to direct the show, and I also think it'd be a good bet that we'll some other members of Next Gen because I think the 'Nepenthe' test went very well," Frakes says. About what that test was, he says, "I think to see if there was an appetite. I think they suspected there was, but I think to see if it would resonate to have Picard reunite with some of the people in a creative way. I'm glad we didn't come back on the Titan, for instance, that we were found on another part [of the universe]. It's 33 years or something. As Picard as changed, so has Riker and Troi and so has Seven."

The first season of Star Trek: Picard is now streaming on CBS All Access.