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Top 50 Sidekicks - The League of Extraordinary Second Bananas

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#23 (tie): Crow, Tom Servo, and GPC
“They must've spent tens of dollars on this.”
First Appearance: Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988)
Sidekick to: Joel Robinson
2 votes, 58 points (Top voter: Ixo)

Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo are the reliable robot buddies on MST3K who watch and poke fun at bad movies with original host Joel and replacement hosts Mike and Jonah. GPC usually doesn't have time to watch movies because she's too busy actually running the ship. A guy making fun of movies by himself or asphyxiating in outer space wouldn't be a very good show, so all the robots are necessary for it to work. There was one vote for Crow, and one vote for the three robots.
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
They also changed her name after the series, due to the problematic baggage of her name.

I stayed away from teams of underlings and frankly they always read as more of a family to me, as opposed to the fact that the Mads usually had sidekicks, save for season seven and the movie.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#23 (tie): Jesse Pinkman
Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah science!
First Appearance: Breaking Bad (2008)
Sidekick to: Walter White
2 votes, 58 points (Top voters: Adrenaline/Johnny Unusual)

At the start of Breaking Bad, Jesse is just a dirtbag former student of protagonist Walter White, who helps him get started cooking meth as he desperately seeks a way to pay for his cancer treatments. As the series continues and Walter morphs into a ruthless crime lord, Jesse becomes the unexpected sympathetic heart of the show, as his association pulls him deeper into a hell from which there is seemingly no escape. I think he has one of the richest character arcs of anybody who can still be readily identified as a "sidekick".
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#22: Alfred Pennyworth
“I will say one thing for your night time activities - you do tend to antagonize the most interesting people.”
First Appearance: Batman (1943)
Sidekick to: Batman
2 votes, 60 points (Top voter: Johnny Unusual (#1))

Robins, Batgirls, and other fellow vigilantes have come and gone, but Alfred, Bruce Wayne's faithful butler, is always there to tend his wounds and give him the right words of encouragement. It's very easy to think that without his support, Batman's career would have ended very early if it even started at all.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Alfred has a surprisingly diverse (and largely wasted) skillset. I was hoping to see him on this list.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#20 (tie): Captain Arthur Hastings
“How have I inspired you this time?”
First Appearance: The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
Sidekick to: Hercule Poirot
2 votes, 63 points (Top voter: Patrick)

Say hello to the highest ranking character to get fewer than three votes! I don't know much about Hastings, since he doesn't appear in the Poirot story I'm familiar with (Murder on the Orient Express, natch), but he seems to fill a similar role to a certain other companion of a famous detective who stars in frequently-adapted mystery stories.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I was the other Hastings vote! Sherlock is fine I guess. But Poirot is so much more interesting as a character and I find Christie's prose so much more inviting and fun than Doyle's!
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
Hastings is a wonderful sidekick. He's this dopey guy who wants to be a detective, and Poirot keeps him around because it's useful to see how the average person would think about a crime. He's also an extra set of eyes and ears, and every once in a while he drives a car or whatever. But really he's just there to hang out and make wrong guesses about who the murderer was.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#20 (tie): Bucky Barnes
“I'm with you 'til the end of the line, pal.”
First Appearance: Captain America Comics (1941)
Sidekick to: Captain America
3 votes, 63 points (Top voter: Adrenaline)

Back in the 40s, Bucky was an archetypical teen sidekick to an adult superhero. He was killed off in a flashback when Captain America was revived in the 60s, and that was the end of his story for a while. Then in the 00s, Ed Brubaker brought him back as a Soviet sleeper assassin known as Winter Soldier. In the 10s that story was adapted to film, and a million ships were born on Tumblr.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Bucky was one of the few superhero comics sidekicks I voted for. He does spend a lot of time not really being a sidekick at all, but it's his roots, and he's still there for Cap when it counts.
 

Issun

My way, soon
Bucky didn't really cross my mind. One could still make a compelling argument that Winter Soldier is the best of the MCU flicks.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#19: Gabrielle
“That's what friends do. They stand by each other when there's trouble.”
First Appearance: Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Sidekick to: Xena
3 votes, 66 points (Top voter: Ixo)

I haven't seen Xena so the extent of my knowledge of this character is that she's basically Xena's wife. But only like, subtextually. Except for the times when they're literally kissing on screen. While Xena begins the show with the Warrior Princess title, Gabrielle begins as a farmer and has to earn her combat ability over the course of the series.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#18: Milhouse Van Houten
“My feet are soaked but my cuffs are bone dry! Everything's coming up, Milhouse!”
First Appearance: The Simpsons (1989)
Sidekick to: Bart Simpson
3 votes, 67 points (Top voter: Johnny Unusual)

Bart Simpson's best friend is Milhouse, a nerdy momma's boy who can't talk to girls and whose skills rarely extend beyond playing video games. You can't say he always sticks by Bart through thick and thin, but at least he always has an excuse when he doesn't.
 
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Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#17: Sancho Panza
“There’s a remedy for everything except death.”
First Appearance: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (1605)
Sidekick to: Don Quixote
3 votes, 78 points (Top voter: Falselogic)

Here's another character I'm not very familiar with, but of course I've heard of him. He's squire to Alonso Quixano, A.K.A. Don Quixote, supporting him on his strange journey and providing memorable witticisms along the way.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I took a semester long college course on just Don Quixote. it was a fascinating class and while Don Quixote is quite the charactor there's also a lot going on with Sancho! When I think original literary sidekick Pancho is at the top!
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I just reviewed my list and I'm surprised I put Sancho at #12--he's the quintessential, OG sidekick! He has misadventures of his own but he's the steadfast Greek Chorus, conscience, voice of reason, assistant, and, well, yes, enabler of Don Quijote. The knight of the miserable figure would be incomplete without him, but Sancho would simply be a regular peasant, nameless and without any influence of his own, without the gangly old lord.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Sancho was on my list, I did spend time trying to think of literary sidekicks while forgetting lots of interesting characters.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#16: Enkidu
“Humbaba’s mouth is fire; his roar the floodwater; his breath is death.”
First Appearance: Epic of Gilgamesh (~2100 BCE)
Sidekick to: Gilgamesh
3 votes, 82 points (Top voter: Zef)

The same three voters who like Sancho Panza like Enkidu even more. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the earliest surviving literature we know of, making Enkidu the first sidekick in history. He started out as an enemy of Gilgamesh, but he becomes his friend after being bested in a test of strength.
 
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