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Top 50 Sidekicks - The League of Extraordinary Second Bananas

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#15: Waylon Smithers
“You are noble and poetic in defeat, sir.”
First Appearance: The Simpsons (1989)
Sidekick to: Mr. Burns
4 votes, 83 points (Top voter: Patrick)

Mr. Burns made my villains list, so it's not a big surprise that his right hand Smithers made the sidekick list. Do y'all like The Simpsons or something? Through what is surely a complicated mixture of various motivations, feelings, and emotions, Smithers is a constant companion and supporter of the worst capitalist in Springfield, and there's nowhere else he'd rather be.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
Oh maaaan! Gilgamesh is one of my favorite pieces of ancient literature and I totally forgot Enkidu. That's what I get for slapping my list together at the last minute.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Milhouse and Smithers were both on my list. Its a shame that the current show seems to be interested in trying to make Milhouse and Lisa a thing and hurting both characters in the process but classic Milhouse is wonderful. Smithers is a character who managed to get richer over time and while the Simpsons gay jokes tended not to have aged well, Smithers the character manages to hold up well under the circumstances and despite being happily complicit in Burns' evil, also manages to be a well-rounded character despite, like Milhouse, he loves the sidekick role.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#14: Jimmy Olsen
“Don't ask questions. Just keep bawling, Superman! Every teardrop is precious to me!”
First Appearance: Action Comics (1938)
Sidekick to: Superman
4 votes, 88 points (Top voter: Rascally Badger (#1))

Superman's pal Jimmy Olsen is one of the most enduring non-superhero, non-love interest supporting characters in comic book history. There have been a lot of different takes on him over the years, all the way up to a CIA agent who gets shot in the head by a warlord in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Most know him as a simple photojournalist at the Daily Planet, working alongside Clark Kent and looking up to Superman.
 

Daikaiju

Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
Good lord, you'd be hard pressed to find a supporting character who's been put through as much as Jimmy.
Usually in the name of "fresh take!"
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#12 (tie): Dick Grayson
“A pupil is only as good as his teacher... and I had the best there is.”
First Appearance: Detective Comics (1940)
Sidekick to: Batman
3 votes, 90 points (Top voter: Adrenaline (#1))

Dick is the first young man with dark hair in the main DC universe to take on the mantle of Robin, Batman's trusty boy sidekick. He can be distinguished from other Robins by his origins as an acrobat and his notable solo career after stepping out from Batman's shadow and taking the name Nightwing. The main reason I like Dick is tied to the fact that he's had such a long existence to this point, over 80 years. That's enough time to become THE iconic teen superhero sidekick in pop culture and also have plenty of his own stories as a leading man. His relationship with Batman is complicated and I think one of the most interesting in comics. Also, let's all cheer for the final tie on the list.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#12 (tie): Sallah
Bad dates.
First Appearance: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Sidekick to: Indiana Jones
4 votes, 90 points (Top voter: Patrick)

I thought when it came to Indiana Jones sidekicks people might like Marcus Brody or Short Round (who did get one vote), but your favorite companion is Sallah. Unlike those other characters Sallah seems to have more of his own life away from Indiana, but he's ready to help his friend Dr. Jones with deciphering an ancient text or getting in a desert tank battle with Nazis.
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
I wasthe vote for Short Round. I love the character, he's fun, but I had to put him pretty low on my list because he is also very problematic.

Sallah's a good pick, though. Should have thought of him.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#11: R2-D2
*BEEP* *WHISTLE*
First Appearance: Star Wars (1977)
Sidekick to: Luke Skywalker
4 votes, 92 points (Top voter: Adrenaline)

It's remarkable how endearing and memorable R2 is, since he can't speak a language understood by humans and he doesn't have a moveable face. Still, a personality comes through, as his binary communication still manages to convey emotion and his actions tend to speak for himself. You could argue for him being a sidekick for Anakin in the prequel trilogy, or C-3PO (I would disagree with that, since R2 is the one who everyone who meets them actually trusts with important information), but I will always think of him first as Luke's sidekick, helping maintain his X-Wing and being a handy carrying case for a lightsaber.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
I had two SW characters high on my list, but neither of them were R2-D2. Not because R2 isn't great! For some reason he just strikes me as doing more of his own thing, which just happens to often end up being tagging along and helping out other characters as often as not.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I like the theory where R2-D2 is the Chosen One and is the only competent being in the galaxy.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#10: Death
Game over comes to all.
First Appearance: Castlevania (1986)
Sidekick to: Dracula
4 votes, 93 points (Top voter: WildcatJF (#1))

Beta Metroid sez: This is a pick that interests me in its oddity. The personification of Death itself is the willing lackey of Dracula? I know that this isn’t always clear or consistent, but several games strongly indicate that Death is serving Dracula, and that they are something resembling friends. The strangeness of that is too extreme to ignore. Plus, Death is responsible for some of the most iconic and challenging boss fights in gaming.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Professional associates, really. At a certain point, Death realized that relocating to Castlevania cut down his travel considerably, since so much of his workload was in the area. Death pays rent by killing interlopers.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Haha, I voted for Death toward the end of my list, partly because like BetaMet says, it's such a weird situation. Never expected him to make top 10!

Though now that I think of it... doesn't he also tag along with Bill and Ted for a while? Maybe Death always secretly wanted to be a sidekick as a break from his usual duties.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I thought Mort was Death's sidekick though?

And now I feel bad I didn't think of that earlier when I made my list!
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
I thought Mort was Death's sidekick though?

And now I feel bad I didn't think of that earlier when I made my list!
Is there anything that says a sidekick can't have their own sidekick?

(Also, Discworld Death and Castlevania Death seem like vastly different entities.)
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#9: Arthur
“So, you think she's only talking to me because of the suit?”
First Appearance: The Tick (1989)
Sidekick to: The Tick
4 votes, 102 points (Top voter: Patrick (#1))

I guess it's fitting that the highest ranking comic book sidekick is from a parody of comic books. While The Tick is a bona fide superhero with powers and everything, Arthur is just a guy who bought a moth costume and likes to follow him around and help however he can.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
To be fair, he has common sense. That turns out to be surprisingly helpful. I feel like with every adaptation, the franchise becomes more and more Arthur's story. In the comics he isn't introduced until issue 4 as a mysterious figure and doesn't reveal himself until issue five. The cartoon is a two-hander and the first live-action is sort of too, with more groundwork for Arthur's motivations (and I feel like this and Arthur are like a coded gay couple where the Tick is ace). I haven't seen the acclaimed Amazon series yet but I'm given to understand its very much Arthur's story.

I'll say for the cartoon, Rob Paulsen does great work but I remember liking Mickey Dolenz in the role. That's right, a Monkee was Arthur.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
Arthur is a spoof of sidekicks, but he’s also kind of the archetypical sidekick. I’m glad he ranked as high as he did!
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#8: Henchmen 21 and 24
Oh, I will be there!
First Appearance: The Venture Bros. (2004)
Sidekick to: The Monarch
4 votes, 106 points (Top voter: Johnny Unusual)

Two Ben Edlund-related items in a row? Weird. There was one vote for 21 by himself and three votes for 21 and 24. I really enjoyed Gary's development after he went solo, but for me the two together was always one of the show's greatest expressions of its core idea of a world where fanciful things like superheroes and secretive villainous organizations were commonplace and ruled by bureaucracy. 21 and 24 weren't evil or cruel, they were just guys who had jobs.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I voted solely for 21. I liked both before but 21's arc from henchman to confidant is one of my favorite in the series, going from goofball to relative voice of reason.
 
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