‘Chair Memes’ are a stirring tribute to humankind’s greatest achievement

Have a seat.


Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Published Mar 9, 2016   Updated May 27, 2021, 2:53 am CDT

If you’re reading this, you may want to sit down. 

Featured Video Hide

Now take a moment to look at what you’re seated on. 

Advertisement Hide

It’s a chair, isn’t it? (OK, wiseguy on a couch, point taken.) And when was the last time you really thought about a chair? I can tell you when I did: I moved across the country recently, and my furniture arrived at the new apartment two weeks late. All that time without chairs made me realize that the chair is an awesome invention—one I’ll never take for granted again.

[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1710308132515138/?type=3 embed.]

Yet I’m not convinced you need to need to have a chair epiphany like mine to appreciate the Facebook page Chair Memes. It’s enough just to scroll through all this incredible chair content—never expected, always uncompromising—and reconsider an object you otherwise never would.

Advertisement Hide
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1709620742583877/?type=3 embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1710187169193901/?type=3&theater embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/posts/1708746696004615 embed.]

While much of so-called Weird Facebook relies on overstimulation and excess, Chair Memes’ brilliance derives from its minimalism: Half the images aren’t captioned, and we rarely see a type of chair besides the plastic, stackable, patio-ready model. The chair as artifact is stripped down to this universal archetype, and the memes themselves are more like the essence of memes, remixes and reconfigurations for their own sake. Just putting a chair in a slightly different position or context makes it an entirely new “joke”—the smallest possible change for the biggest potential effect.

[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1708941199318498/?type=3&theater embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1708258832720068/?type=3 embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/posts/1708481086031176 embed.]

“I basically started this page just to post odd pictures of chairs I found on the net,” Chair Memes’ main administrator, an anonymous 21-year-old from Australia, told the Daily Dot in a Facebook chat. They and some “fellow Internet friends” are “bringing a new meaning to chairs,” they added. Which would sound faintly ridiculous if 20,000 people didn’t agree. 

Advertisement Hide
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/posts/1709318215947463 embed.]

“I like to make people happy,” Chair Memes’ admin also said before referring this reporter to their cover photo for further comment on chairs:

Advertisement Hide
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679155708963714.1073741827.1679155235630428/1697912077088077/?type=3&theater embed.]

Chairs unite us. They support us. And they heroically absorb like 65 percent of the world’s farts. Perhaps it is their very ubiquity and usefulness that make them invisible. No longer. Chair Memes are powerful reminders of humanity’s great project: to organize the world for maximum comfort—or, when that proves beyond our powers, establish a bare minimum of dignity.

Advertisement Hide
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1702241186655166/?type=3 embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1710337992512152/?type=3&theater embed.]
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1708254899387128/?type=3&theater embed.]

The next time you’re tired of walking, standing, and lying down, settle into that favorite living room easy chair and reflect on what a privilege it is. A chair doesn’t have to be a throne to make you feel like a king. 

Advertisement Hide
[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/chairsandthememes/photos/a.1679183975627554.1073741828.1679155235630428/1706991849513433/?type=3&theater embed.]

Photo via John M./Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 9, 2016, 12:00 pm CST