Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes Reacts To TikTok Video Of Fan's Expert Execution Of The Riker Maneuver

Star Trek has no shortage of interesting, inspiring, and admirable characters. Fans can argue for ages about who’s the top choice for each of those adjectives, though I think many agree that there’s only one definitive choice for “cool.” Jonathan Frakes’ William T. Riker is unquestionably one of the coolest people to ever grace Starfleet, to the point that even the way he sits in a chair is awed by the fandom. 

One fan recently recreated the “Riker Maneuver” online, and Jonathan Frakes just had to see it for himself. Check out Frakes' reaction to this hilarious Tik Tok (via Paramount+), which can be seen below.

Jonathan Frakes seemed to love that, and as a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan myself, it isn’t hard to see why. Seeing the guy perform the Riker Maneuver over larger and oddly designed chairs was a nice touch, and it wouldn’t be a Riker meme if it didn’t make some reference to his womanizing ways. If only this fan did one scene where he got in a chair while wearing the headset Riker wore in “The Game,” it would’ve been the perfect sketch!

For those always curious about the origins of Riker’s unique way of sitting, the actor claimed the trend first started in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Ten Forward.” Frakes noted that on the set, the backs of the chairs were so low that it’s relatively easy to swing a leg over and sit the way he did. Frakes remarked the maneuver felt like a “cocky, unattractive, bad cowboy move,” and he thought there’s no way he’d actually be able to do it on the show. As luck would have it, no one stopped him or tried to cut the scene, and thus, the Riker Maneuver was born. 

It’s just one of the many reasons that fans like William T. Riker and why Star Trek: The Next Generation remains one of the most celebrated works of the franchise to this day. Of course, the series has maintained peak relevance as of late with Star Trek: Picard, which welcomed back Jonathan Frakes in his iconic role. He’s confirmed to appear in Season 2, and while I can’t guarantee we’ll see him try to do a Riker Maneuver over something as large as a computer chair, I’d applaud the effort if he tried. I’d also just be cool with seeing him interact with more former cast members from TNG, and it looks like we’ll get at least one scene of that happening in the upcoming season

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 premieres over at Paramount+ on Thursday, March 3. With that and many other Trek shows on the way in 2022, now is as good a time as any to pick up a Paramount+ subscription and catch up on the franchise. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.