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"My name is DaiMon Goss. These are my consuls, Kol and Doctor Arridor. We'll need chairs."
"I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. I'm serving as host for these proceedings."
"Good, then see to it that we get chairs."
"Let me explain."
"Fine, fine, just have your Klingon servant get us some chairs."
"I am in charge of Security."
"Then who gets the chairs?"
"DaiMon, due to the delicate nature of these negotiations, all parties have agreed that one representative would suffice. Now I will be happy to provide your consuls with accommodations and you may have MY chair."
"Very well."
– Goss, Jean-Luc Picard and Worf, in discussing the seating arrangement, 2366 ("The Price")

An elegant 19th century Earth Victorian-style chair

A chair, also known as a seat, was a piece of furniture which was designed for a humanoid figure to rest upon and therefore relieve pressure on the legs and back. Chairs were of such practical design that this furniture piece evolved in nearly every known humanoid culture across the entire Milky Way Galaxy.

According to Mess Officer Briel, chairs were among multiple objects on the USS Enterprise that apparently enlarged while the ship orbited the planet Cepheus in 2269. (TAS: "The Terratin Incident")

The shapeshifter Odo used to morph into everything that "guests" of his at the Bajoran Research Center wanted, including a chair and a razorcat. (DS9: "The Forsaken")

Lounge chairs were used for relaxation. (VOY: "Demon")

Miles O'Brien had dodged flying chairs at least twice during his Starfleet career. Both times were during a bar fight while time traveling. (DS9: "Visionary", "Trials and Tribble-ations")


Chairs came in a wide variety of size and design. In the 19th century on Earth, upper-class citizens typically had elegant-looking, plush chairs in and around their residences. (TNG: "Ship in a Bottle") Humans found chairs designed by Xindi-Insectoids to be very uncomfortable, so much so that Commander Charles Tucker III once commented, while examining a Xindi-Insectoid starship, that Insectoids "could learn a thing or two about designing a comfortable chair." However, Ensign Travis Mayweather reckoned the chairs aboard the craft might indeed be comfortable for an Insectoid. (ENT: "Hatchery")

Having designed the Xindi-Insectoids to be incapable of sitting on a regular chair, Visual Effects Producer Dan Curry designed a special type of chair for Insectoid members of the Xindi Council, as well as for their "Insectoid butts." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 149, p. 51; Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection issue 24, p. 16) Impressed by the chair designs, Digital Effects Supervisor John Teska digitally modeled a version of the Insectoid chair, at Eden FX. "We got a sample from the real chair," he reflected, "and I matched the wood grain, and everything; we actually had the prop chair here for a day." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 149, p. 51)

The term "chair" may also refer to the head of an organization or a position of prestige. The Lucasian Chair is considered a position of some importance at Earth's Cambridge University. (TNG: "All Good Things...")

The command chair of a Constitution-class starship

The prevalence of chairs in most every humanoid culture could perhaps be attributed, in some portion, to Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development. On 892-IV, a society identical to 20th century Earth had developed (albeit where the Roman Empire never fell) with this parallel world including such common Earth furniture items as lamps, chairs, and tables. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

On board most starships, crews commonly sat in chairs when performing their duties during their watch. At or near the center of every bridge, there was often a command chair, for the commanding officer of the ship to direct shipboard operations. Command chairs of this nature were seen on starship types of nearly every spacefaring species to include the Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, Ferengi, Tamarians, and the starships of the Federation Starfleet.

The Borg were an exception to this, since Borg cubes had no recognizable bridge or command center and Borg drones used alcoves to regenerate. Chairs were therefore impractical for the Borg. (TNG: "Q Who") The Dominion did not use chairs on board their starships, something a Human crew noticed almost immediately when operating a stolen Jem'Hadar fighter. The Jem'Hadar removed the chairs from the bridge of the USS Defiant after capturing it in 2374. (DS9: "A Time to Stand", "One Little Ship")

The chair of Lieutenant Worf

Lieutenant Worf kept a futuristic-looking chair in his quarters aboard the Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Peak Performance", "Family", "Reunion", "Redemption", "New Ground", "Cost of Living", "A Fistful of Datas", "Birthright, Part I", "Parallels", "Genesis", "Firstborn")

This chair was designed by Peter Opsvik [1] and was first seen as the command chair aboard the Tarellian starship in the first season episode "Haven".

In at least one case, a chair was used in a scientific experiment. In 2369, Commander Data attempted to use a transporter to beam a chair off of a holodeck. It was later discovered that the experiment itself was flawed, since the transporter being used was a holodeck simulation and, as no one had ever attempted to beam a chair off a holodeck, there was no frame of reference for the holodeck simulation to access. (TNG: "Ship in a Bottle")

The same year, Quark accused Odo of spying and asked him what form he, this time, had – the chair, the table, or the wine bottle. (DS9: "Q-Less")

The Ferengi Commerce Authority charged three slips of latinum to sit in chairs located in their waiting room, though it was possible to negotiate the price down to two slips. (DS9: "Family Business")

An Alpha-Hirogen in a chair

After boarding an adrift Hirogen ship in 2374, Chakotay, Tom Paris, and Tuvok found a wounded Alpha-Hirogen sitting in a chair, holding his weapon. (VOY: "Prey")

This chair was sculpted by artist Bruce Gray who named it "The Meteor Chair". The chair was also rented for the feature films Suburban Commando, Color of Night, Batman Forever, and Biker Boyz and is accompanied by a table as well as a stand, which also appeared aboard the Hirogen ship. [2] [3]

Interrogation chair

Geordi La Forge in a Romulan interrogation chair

Chairs were also occasionally used as instruments of torture.

When Jonathan Archer and Travis Mayweather were being held by the Tandarans, T'Pol and Tucker discussed their legal rights. T'Pol said that the Vulcans could send an arbitrator, but Tucker was so surprised that he thought the electric chair, an early form of punishment on Earth, would be better suited to them. (ENT: "Detained")

In 2154, Soval was directly beamed into an interrogation chair on board the Andorian starship Kumari, where he was tortured, including the use of a neuro-synaptic field which lowered his emotional barrier. Commander Shran noted the device had had numerous successes in luring information out of Vulcan operatives. (ENT: "Kir'Shara")

In 2269, former Fleet Captain Garth, while an inmate at a criminal asylum on Elba II, took over the facility, including therapy equipment used to rehabilitate prisoners. Garth modified a rehabilitation chair, which normally was a painless device designed to relax patients, into a torture device that was "exquisitely painful". Both James T. Kirk and Donald Cory were forced to sit in the torture chair while Garth tormented them. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

Doctor Tristan Adams also was known for turning medical therapy equipment into torture devices. In 2266, Doctor Adams developed the neural neutralizer, which was a device designed to empty a person's mind of harmful thoughts while they sat in a chair in a special room. Dr. Adams modified the neutralizer to not only empty a person's mind but fill it with other thoughts of his own design. Simon Van Gelder was an early victim of the neural neutralizer, with Captain James Kirk also tortured in the neutralizer chair by Doctor Adams. (TOS: "Dagger of the Mind")

The Romulans also used chairs for torture. In 2367, Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge was taken aboard a Romulan warbird, strapped into a torture chair, and his VISOR implants fed him several images of "horrors", in an effort by the Romulans to brainwash him. (TNG: "The Mind's Eye")

See also: Rostrum

Memorable quotes involving chairs

"I don't care what color the headrest is, or whether it can serve me iced tea. I just want a place to sit when I'm on duty."

- Jonathan Archer, regarding Trip's attempted modifications to his Captain's chair (ENT: "Singularity")

"Mr. Spock, what happened?!?"
"The occipital area of my head seems to have impacted with the arm of the chair."

- Spock (TOS: "That Which Survives")

"The chair is no longer painless. It is in fact, exquisitely painful."

- Fleet Captain Garth (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

"Captain, is there something wrong with your chair?"

- Montgomery Scott to James T. Kirk (Star Trek Generations)

"Get out of my chair!"

- Picard to Q (TNG: "Qpid")

"Tom, I may have let you sit in the captain's chair, but remember, she's still the boss."

- Chakotay, after listening Tom Paris's plan for a rescue of B'Elanna Torres (VOY: "Random Thoughts")

"And get these chairs off the bridge."

- Kudak'Etan (DS9: "One Little Ship")

See also

External links