Chairman of the Brawl

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He gave him the chair, alright.

In fiction, chairs make for great bludgeoning objects capable of knocking people unconscious in one strike; enter the Chairman of the Brawl, that one guy who can be counted on grabbing the nearest sitting implement and smashing it across his unfortunate victim's head. If the chair is made of wood, it also immediately splinters into countless pieces to show how devastating the blow is.

If there is a Bar Brawl going on, this is to be expected.

A sub-category of Improvised Weapon.

Examples of Chairman of the Brawl include:


General[edit | hide | hide all]

Film[edit | hide]

  • Top Secret. While in a underwater Western bar (Don't Ask), the Big Bad breaks a chair over the Hero.
  • One of the Lizzies in The Warriors gets a chair broken on her face.
  • Used in The Mummy 1999 when Brendan Fraser's character stops the cowardly Beni from running away. As he's striding toward Beni, he grabs a wicker chair without missing a beat and throws it at Beni's legs, tripping him.
  • Improbable weapon master Jackie Chan is rather famous for his use of seating material
    • Played with in Young Master Jackie Chan stages an epic bench to bench combat with his fellow disciple [1]
  • In God of Cookery, Stephen Chow brings out a wooden folding chair and uses it in the middle of a Cooking Duel to beat up his main rival. The Caustic Judge actually comments on his good form and even mentions the advantages of the folding chair as a weapon.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Action Hero's Handbook has an entire chapter on how to take a hit from a chair.
  • Played upon frequently in Discworld, where brawls in the Broken Mended Broken Mended Drum are an organized sport, complete with a point system and named plays.
    • Also mentioned as why people who have not read the Marquis of Fantailler's book about The Noble Art of Fisticuffs tend to win against people who have.[1]
  • Mica, Tazendra's lackey, wields a bar stool as his Weapon of Choice.
  • John becomes this (adding to it with a Hurricane of Puns) in one of the big fights of John Dies at the End.
  • Harry Dresden uses a chair in the first book. He lampshades the "splintering wood" part as the chair is a very solid one, and the barman actually has to check that the guy is alive afterwords.
  • Not at all comedic in Sienkiewicz Trilogy, where a minor (but very large) character uses an 8 foot solid oak bench in a bar fight. It crosses into Telephone Polearm territory and largely contributes to the other side getting wiped out.
  • Defied in The Man Who Never Missed. The chairs in Khadaji's bar are bolted to the floor to avoid this trope. In fact, he uses the ability to overcome the bolts as a hiring test for his bouncers. Heavyworlder Bork does it one-handed.

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Backwards", during the reverse bar-brawl, Cat hits someone with a chair... in reverse.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Scott of the Sahara". Lieutenant Scott faces off against a lion wielding a chair, who breaks it over Scott's back.
  • In the Doctor Who serial City of Death, policeman Duggan grabs a chair with the intent of fighting off some guards and escaping, but the Doctor stops him: "For heaven's sake, that's a Louis Quinze!"
  • 1960s Batman series episode "That Darn Catwoman". After Robin is placed under Catwoman's control, he breaks a chair over Batman's head while fighting him.

Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Smacking people with aluminum folding chairs (when the referee isn't looking, of course) is a staple of professional wrestling, though in general it's considered to be a cheap move and thus used Heel types.
    • The WWE recently[when?] banned headshots with chairs in reaction to the countless concussion injuries caused by them.
  • Subverted by the late Eddie Guerrero, who would bring chairs into the ring behind the ref's back, but instead of using it on his opponent, he smack the mat with it, toss it to his opponent, and pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit when the ref turned back around.
  • Here we should mention La Parka, luchador extraordinaire known, during his WCW tenure, as the Chairman of WCW. Simply put, he was associated with chairs in a way few wrestlers will ever be.
  • Edge and Christian perfecting the double Chair head sandwich know as the Con-Chair-To.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Lisianthus from SHUFFLE! often has to do this to her father in order to make him stop whatever inappropriate action he is doing at the current time.
  • In a Bar Brawl cutscene from Dragon Quest VIII, Yangus attempts to hurl a chair at a brawny troublemaker picking fights. Someone's still sitting in it.
  • In Persona 4, a folding chair is one of Kanji's more memorable weapons. Another is a school desk. It's also his weapon in Persona 4 Arena.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Such a fight happens in Girl Genius, during the regularly scheduled bar brawl at the Jager tavern. To keep things friendly, there's a "No weapons" policy, but:

[Higgs hits a Jagermonster with a chair. Zeetha stares at him.]
Higgs: ...what?
Zeetha: You just said: "No weapons."
Higgs: That wasn't a weapon, that was a chair.

    • Which leads to:

Jagermonster: Ow!
Zeetha: Ha! That's not a weapon, that's a chair!
[...]
Jagermonster: Aie!
Zeetha: Tankard! Not a weapon!
[...]
Jagermonster: Urg!
Zeetha: That's not a weapon! That's a table!

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Inverted in The Boondocks where the chair is believed to be the actual cause of the brawl in the first place.
    • Though Riley brandishes a footstool against Huey on one occasion.
  • "Give him the Chair!" is shouted by a spectator in a WWE parody in the first Shrek. The Ogre gladly obliges.
  • The Great Mouse Detective has some chairs being thrown and smashed in the Bar Brawl scene.
  • When The Simpsons took a vacation in Japan, Bart & Homer went to a sumo wrestling event; Homer ended up in the ring, Bart got the tag, and hit the sumo wrestler with a folding chair. The crowd booed them.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Anyone who has been involved in a bar fight knows that one's trusty seat is a useful tool to kick some serious ass.
  • There is actually a Chinese martial art based around using benches to fight your way out of taverns. Considering that 99% of all taverns/gambling den/restaurants at that time had big heavy pieces of sitting furniture readily available under...under hand, this is less of an asspull than pure genre savviness. Check out the demonstrations here: [2]
  • The December 2011 Mall of America brawl involved quite a few thrown chairs.
  1. "The last words of a surprisingly large number of people were 'Stuff the bloody Marquis of Fantailler--'"