What is it that you remember most about your favourite films and television shows? The cast? The setting? The plot? Or something more mundane? Yes, sometimes it’s a simple prop that brings back memories of a favourite movie or TV show, and what prop is more common than the humble sofa? With that in mind, we take a look at five of the most famous sofas to grace the silver and small screen.
1. The orange sofa on Friends
The orange mohair sofa, which has traditional Victorian and fringed elements, forms the centre of the characters’ world in Friends. It’s the meeting point of the characters, and every episode sees vital elements of the plot occurring while people are sat on this sofa. The prop was originally found in the basement of Warner Brothers Studio, and is an iconic emblem of this nineties sitcom.
2. The Davenport in Wayne’s World
Wayne’s World was a Saturday Night Live sketch that spawned two iconic movies. Wayne and Garth produce their own television show from their basement, hosted while sat on their sofa. It’s a simple Davenport, a local make in America, and spends most of its time covered with a bright patchwork quilt. The sofa forms a picture of life for young people in the very early nineties.
3. The brown sofa on The Simpsons
The simple brown sofa owned by The Simpsons has had a bit of a rough life. It originally belonged to their next door neighbour, Ned Flanders, who dumped it on the pavement. It was ‘liberated’ by Homer Simpson, and now resides in their living room. Since then, it’s been home to fights, feuds, living room Olympics, and zombie attacks – not to mention the eponymous couch gags, which has seen this poor, abused sofa exploded, couch surfed, and trying to escape the clutches of the Simpson family.
4. Patrick Bateman’s sofa in American Psycho
Patrick Bateman lives the yuppie American dream – money, women, and a fabulously furnished home. While the consumer bubble hides his true lifestyle, you can’t deny that his minimalist white sofa is an object of beauty. Classically designed, the sparse lines reflect the chilling alienation of Bateman’s hedonistic lifestyle and hint at what kind of a man he truly is. The sofa is also part of some of the films more memorable scenes, where Jared Leto and other victims meet a grisly end.
5. The leather sofa on The Big Bang Theory
Another classic brown leather sofa rescued from an untimely end on the pavement. This simple sofa has been through a lot in Sheldon and Leonard’s flat, dealing with aggressively played video games, being shot at with paintball guns, and the unrelenting demands of Dr Sheldon Cooper – the left hand cushion is ‘his spot’, as it is his ideal location in the living room. Why? In the winter, the seat is close enough to the radiator to remain warm and yet not so close as to cause perspiration. In the summer, it’s directly in the path of a breeze created by opening windows. It faces the television at an angle that is neither direct, thus discouraging conversation, nor so far wide to create a parallax distortion. It’s the centre of the show’s universe, and events inevitably revolve around it.