Much human attention and internet bandwidth has already been spent examining Commander Riker’s idiosyncratic body language. But further study continues to reveal the rich and multilayered depths of this fascinating subject, so let’s keep pealing the onion.
First up: the Riker Maneuver. If you haven’t already seen it, check out this excellent compilation posted on YouTube by someone called “WeirdHat:”
There are a variety of theories out there as to why Jonathan Frakes (as Riker) sat down this way. Is it simply because Frakes is so tall? Was it his way of showing that Riker has a dominant personality? Well, I think both of these things probably factor into it, but here is another clue: if you carefully watch the scene below from the season 5 episode “Conundrum,” (during the last couple minutes of the episode), you can see that it is physically painful for him to sit like a normal human. In this scene, Riker is uncharacteristically cowed by Troi and Ro, and in this diminished and emasculated state, he is unable to perform the Riker maneuver. You can see him wince and hear him groan as he is forced to sit down in the undignified manner employed by us lowly mortals.
Next, let’s look at Riker’s famous stance. He’s best known for striking this pose on the bridge right behind the ops station:
But he’ll do it anywhere:
The Riker stance doesn’t care about your personal space:
It’s also interesting to see how Riker’s body language has influenced the rest of the crew. Few can pull of the stance quite like Riker, but that doesn’t stop others from trying:
Riker generally uses his stance for good rather than for evil:
It should be noted, there is someone other than Riker on the Enterprise who is badass enough to pull off the stance like a boss, and that of course would be Captain Picard. Please observe:
So what does this examination of Riker’s unique body-language tell us? Many people find it difficult to answer that question, but very often that is simply because Riker’s dick is in their mouth. He must be doing something right, because even in the mostly sexless universe of Star Trek: The Next Generation, he manages to get some pretty regular tail. That’s why so many of us often ask ourselves, “What would Riker do?” Too bad the answer to that question is usually “Bang your Mom.”