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Top 50 Sidekicks - The League of Extraordinary Second Bananas

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#7: Miles "Tails" Prower
I hate it when he doesn't listen to me.
First Appearance: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992)
Sidekick to: Sonic the Hedgehog
5 votes, 112 points (Top voter: Beta Metroid)

Beta Metroid sez: It’s hard to think of a video game character more emblematic of “the sidekick” than Tails (even if I ranked a few video game characters higher). Both his hero worship of Sonic and his efforts to come into his own have been central to his character throughout the series, and they have also given him the versatility to serve a variety of roles. His emulation of Sonic’s abilities plus his own unique flying and swimming skills allow him to be in the thick of the action, either solo or in a cooperative/support capacity. He can also use his technical know-how to pilot vehicles into battle, or slide into more of a “Mission Control” position as needed. Plus, he’s adorable, and his struggles with self-confidence really make you root for the guy.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#6: Luigi
“Luigi time!”
First Appearance: Mario Bros. (1983)
Sidekick to: Mario
6 votes, 113 points (Top voter: Adrenaline)

Talking Time has spoken and Luigi is the top sidekick in all of video games. Doesn't that seem wrong, somehow? Like he should only be the second highest rank sidekick? He only beat Tails by one point, too. Oh well. Luigi can usually be seen accompany his brother Mario in his various games of all types, but he's also had a starring role in the Luigi's Mansion series, Nintendo's entertaining, family-friendly take on the survival horror genre.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I'll be honest, I was expecting him to take number one. Always a good choice and over the course of his existence, he went from "Green Mario" to "Mario with More Personality".

 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Always a good choice and over the course of his existence, he went from "Green Mario" to "Mario with More Personality".

That's a very interesting way of looking at it! I can think of many Main Protagonist-type characters who rarely develop a unique personality because they must remain as blank as possible for the player to project themselves upon them. But at the same time, the secondary cast isn't constrained the same way, so devs and writers can imbue them with all sorts of silly quirks or traits that make them more endearing to the audience.
 

Issun

TT's Resident Ace of Base Superfan
It makes sense that Louis Weegie would rank so highly. He is TT's #1 Mario.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#5: Pinky
“Gee Brain, what are we gonna do tonight?”
First Appearance: Animaniacs (1993)
Sidekick to: The Brain
5 votes, 146 points (Top voter: Bulgakov)

It's not often the sidekick gets his name first in the title, but I think the writers knew what they were doing with Pinky and the Brain. The Brain is amusing, but Pinky is the one who makes kids laugh. The theme song tells us that he is insane, but there's enough order to his sense of humor that I sometimes question that diagnosis.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The theme song tells us that he is insane, but there's enough order to his sense of humor that I sometimes question that diagnosis.
One theory is that when it says "one is a genius, the other's insane", it doesn't actually verify which is which...

Anyway, a lot of my sidekicks move beyond. Pinky is one of the rare ones who is super into his role as booster for the guy he's kicking to, providing extremely important emotional and personal support to a messed up megalomaniac. I think their antics are funny but the show is pretty good at having a sweet relationship between the two.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Had Pinky in my Top 10 for all the reasons Johnny just saved me from having to type out!
 

Issun

TT's Resident Ace of Base Superfan
Can't remember if I cut Pinky or forgot him. Good choice either way.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Didn't even think about him and that is a shame. Now I'm thinking of some other Animaniac related sidekicks that would have been good...


 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#4: Dr. John Watson
“This fellow may be very clever, but he is certainly very conceited.”
First Appearance: A Study in Scarlet (1887)
Sidekick to: Sherlock Holmes
6 votes, 152 points (Top voter: Johnny Unusual)

Sorry about the image, it made me laugh so I couldn't not use it. John Watson is the archetype of the genius detective's right-hand man that many characters afterward would follow. He's also the point of view character for most of the original Sherlock stories, and it's through him that we understand the central character. Sometimes he's depicted as bumbling and foolish, sometimes he's totally competent and actually better able to handle everyday life than Holmes, who happens to be a savant at solving mysteries. There are many Watsons and I think that's part of why the character still works.
 
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Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
I...I think you might’ve missed updating the quote @Adrenaline but I really really hope not.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#3: Igor
“What hump?”
First Appearance: Young Frankenstein (1974)
Sidekick to: Dr. Frederick Frankenstein
6 votes, 157 points (Top voter: Patrick)

Did you know that the hunchbacked assistant in the classic 1931 Frankenstein film is named Fritz? I had forgotten this. There have been various other hunchbacked assistants and assistants named Igor in Frankenstein sequels and other various horror films in the years since. It is often through parody that an archetype takes its final and lasting form. Such is the case with Igor, pronounced "Eye-gor", who assists the grandson of Victor Frankenstein in Mel Brooks' sendup of classic Universal monster movies. Marty Feldman's performance is both creepy and funny, a perfect companion to Gene Wilder's Frederick Frankenstein.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Huh, I thought I might have had Igor on my list, but it looks like I didn't.

Also with only two left, there are definitely some picks in my top 10 that I'm surprised to see not make the list at all. I'm *pretty sure* I know who the last two are going to be, but an upset is still just possible.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#2: Chewbacca
*GROWL* *ROAR*
First Appearance: Star Wars (1977)
Sidekick to: Han Solo
8 votes, 200 points (Top voter: Johnny Unusual)

It turns out R2 is only Talking Time's second favorite non-Basic speaking Star Wars sidekick. After Han Solo rescued him from imprisonment, Chewbacca became his constant companion and copilot through his smuggling days and eventually joined him in the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. He often has trouble communicating with people who can't speak his language, but he's always there to provide an intimidating presence, engage in guerilla warfare, carry a heavy load, fire his bowcaster, or roast a porg to perfection.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
I literally just watched RotJ last night for podcast purposes, and while Chewy doesn't get a whole lot of screen time in that one he still manages to get in a Tarzan yell-growl before going all GTA on an AT-ST, which is pretty baller.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
#1: Spot
“...”
First Appearance: Hong Kong Phooey (1974)
Sidekick to: Hong Kong Phooey
11 votes, 330 points (Top voter: Issun (#1))

Everyone loves Hong Kong Phooey, the crime fighting dog cop janitor superhero, but where would he be without his cat Spot? Nowhere!!!! When Phooey isn't stumbling to victory on accident, he only succeeds because of Spot's clever assistance! How is it that Phooey wears clothes and has a job, but Spot, his pet, is smarter than him? Who knows! It's a cartoon!
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)

#1: Samwise Gamgee
“I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well.”
First Appearance: The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)
Sidekick to: Frodo Baggins
9 votes, 219 points (Top voter: Issun (#1))

Talking Time's actual favorite sidekick is Samwise Gamgee, Frodo's gardener and later companion on his quest to save the world by destroying the One Ring. He is the first person to join Frodo's fellowship and the only one to never leave it. Although not naturally given to danger and war, he proves himself brave and capable over the course of their journey together. Sean Astin brings the character to life in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings in what is certainly the role of his career.

Thanks to everyone who voted and commented on the list. You can view the full voting results here.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Samwise was my #5. And yeah his portrayal in Jackson's LOTR is fantastic. Probably about time to re-read the books and maybe time to introduce the child to the movies.

Here was my list:

1. Hobbes (Calvin & Hobbes)
2. Chief Bromden (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
3. Nora Charles (The Thin Man)
4. Scooby Doo (Scooby Doo)
5. Samwise Gamgee (LOTR)
6. Sancho Panza (Don Quixote
)
7. Captain Arthur Hastings (Poirot Series)
8. Dr. John Watson (Sherlock Holmes Series)

9. Boxer (Animal Farm)
10. Huck Finn (Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
11. Enkidu (Epic of Gilgamesh)
12. Bender (Futurama)
13. Chewbacca (Star Wars)
14. Mothra (Godzilla)
15. Sallah (Indiana Jones)
16. Millhouse (The Simpsons)

17. Baloo (The Jungle Book)
18. Little John (Robin Hood)
19. Rodan (Godzilla)
20. Fritz (Young Frankenstein)
21. Piglet (Winnie the Pooh)
22. Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
23. Donkey (Shrek)
24. Ford Prefect (Hitchhiker's Guide)
25. Silent Bob (Jay and Silent Bob)

I was a little surprised that Baloo and Scooby Doo didn't show up. Though I suppose Scooby could be considered the main character and the humans his sidekick. The Little John I had in mind was from Disney's Robin Hood. I voted for two Godzilla characters but not Anguirus.
 
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