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File:Cleorecline 5852.jpg

A stock image across many forms of media. The best way to show that the ruler of a country is powerful, decadent, hedonistic, and/or comfortable within their power is to show them reclining on their throne or another lavish piece of furniture.

For kings, sultans, emperors and other rulers, they're often portrayed as being surrounded by servants while being fed grapes or cooled by giant fans, all the while with a very troubled/bored expression. For women, this tends to get taken Up to Eleven, usually with the female reclining on something like a sofa, futon, or bed while wearing next to nothing.

Some rulers will even travel on a litter so that they can continue this look when on the move.

Although not exclusive to villains, they are the most common form of the trope, since Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy.

Sister Trope to Slouch of Villainy and Super-Trope of Grapes of Luxury.

Compare Idle Rich.

Not to be confused with Reluctant Ruler.

Examples of Reclining Reigner include:

Anime & Manga

  • Don Achino in the One Piece anime. He's quite chubby and is content to just lie on his sofa thing. He is very competent in battle though.


  • The Mighty Thor: Hela has spent thousands of years making this trope into an art form. Mee-rowrrr!'


  • The Wind and The Lion. When the U.S. Marines break into the Bashaw's palace, they find him lying down on a couch smoking a hookah. Watch it here.
  • Most Caesars are depicted this way. Dom DeLuise in History of the World Part One does it.
  • Cleopatra is quite often depicted in this manner.
  • Jabba The Hutt from Star Wars. Then again, as a slug-person, reclining is pretty much all his species does.

Film - Animation

Video Games

  • Virtually everyone in Skyrim reclines when sitting on a throne, excluding certain models of the player character (though most version do) and Jarl Elisif the Fair.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Futurama: Hedonism Bot takes this to its logical conclusion: he's built into a sofa.

Real Life

  • Truth in Television to some extent: Romans ate their meals/banquets on reclining couches, as depicted in many works set during the Roman Empire (I, Claudius comes to mind).
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