Red Leather Wingback, The Matrix (1999)
Science fiction or fantasy films are obvioulsy more likely to be distilled down to a single object, weapon, piece of clothing, or furniture. But The Matrix deserves special credit for making an immortal symbol out of something that can likely be found in every wood-paneled library or smoking room in the world. The first time Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) and Neo (Keanu Reeves) sat down in a pair of red leather wingback armchairs to ask the age old question (what is The Matrix?) their choice of furniture seemed irrelevant.
But that armchair would go on to become not just Morpheus’ trademark (we can only assume it was really, really comfortable), but embody the film’s fiction more than any one object or prop actually could. The chair itself is nothing spectacular, but The Wachowskis made it a sci-fi icon.
“All in the Family,” which ran from 1971 to 1979, was one of television’s most popular and influential programs. Creative in many respects, it shattered a long tradition in television comedies of portraying only happy families living in a world without social strife. Producer Norman Lear made conflicts and wounds in American life the target of the show’s biting comedy. Archie Bunker, played by Carroll O’Connor, was the bigoted centerpiece of the programs and a living symbol of intolerance and ignorance. Archie fought fiercely with his son-in-law, Mike, portrayed by Rob Reiner, and his daughter, Gloria, played by Sally Struthers. Their battlegrounds were the very issues dividing American society—ethnic prejudice, women’s liberation, and racism. The show’s humor revealed the limits of Archie’s bigotry, as well as the self-righteousness of his children. The antidote to Archie’s fears and prejudices was the innocence and generosity of his wife, Edith, portrayed by Jean Stapleton.
Sheldon's Spot from The Big Theory
The significance of Sheldon's spot has nothing to do with the actual seat. The hyper intelligent super geek puts it best himself:
"This seat is ideally located, both in terms of the heat source in the winter and the cross breeze in the summer. It also faces the television at a direct angle, allowing me to immerse myself in entertainment or gameplay without being subjected to conversation. As a result, I've placed it in a state of eternal dibs."
Martin's Chair from Frasier
Martin bought two things with him when he moved into Frasier's apartment. One of those things was Eddie. The other was Martin's barcalounger. It has green and brown stripes and Frasier thinks it is one of the ugliest chairs in the world. It defiantly does not fit in with his elegant, stylish furniture. However, it came, it stayed.
Eddie also approves of Frasier's Eames chair. Charles and Ray Eames' watershed Lounge and Ottoman — arguably the most famous chair in furniture design history. Created for Herman Miller, Charles said the idea was to design a chair with the “warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt.”
The Central Perk couch from Friends:
The Friends very much owned the orange sofa. If there were up to four of them in the coffee shop they’d often all scrunch along it together, drinking from oversize cups that made them look like toddlers. If there were five of them then someone would sit in the green armchair to the right, and in extremis when all six were present then one, usually Joey, would be relegated to the neighbouring table on the left.
The Friends sofa - a slightly worn mohair couch pulled out of basement storage at the Warner Bros’ studios - is therefore the single most important item of furniture in shaping the way our towns and cities now look.