Advertisement

32 Movie And TV Sidekicks We Love As Much As The Lead Character

 Chewbacca in Solo.
Chewbacca in Solo.

Everyone — from some of the greatest action movie heroes to even some of the funniest sitcom protagonists — needs a friend by their side to help them out of a jam or just to keep their spirits up. For that reason, we love a good sidekick, and the following are some of our all-time favorites from the big and small screen.

Ke Huy Quan as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Ke Huy Quan as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Short Round (Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom)

Ke Huy Quan's young companion to Harrison Ford's titular hero in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom said it best: "... you listen to me more, you live longer!" You could even argue that Short Round is the true hero of the 1984 sequel for his bravery in breaking an enchanted Indy's spell and his brave help rescuing kidnapped children from the Thuggee cult.

Adam West and Burt Ward in Batman: The Movie
Adam West and Burt Ward in Batman: The Movie

Robin (Batman)

Despite the campy nature of the character, there might not be a more iconic iteration of Robin than Burt Ward's '60s-era portrayal. His sharp wit, outstanding courage, and loyalty to Adam West's Batman in the series and theatrical spin-off make him just as important to Gotham City's safety.

Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew in Star Wars
Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew in Star Wars

Chewbacca (Star Wars)

Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is not quite the "lead" character of the original Star Wars movies, but he and his furry companion, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), absolutely steal the show. The Millennium Falcon pilot and the Wookiee represent the strongest kinds of friendships in which one understands the other, literally, better than anyone else could.

Jason Alexander on Seinfeld
Jason Alexander on Seinfeld

George Costanza (Seinfeld)

Loyalty, support, compassion (yada, yada, yada) are attributes of an honorable sidekick, but not George Costanza (Jason Alexander). In fact, in many of the best episodes of Seinfeld, he is often relying on Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) to help him out. Nevertheless, despite all the times the comedian could have justifiably shunned George out of his life, the pair maintain a friendship is one of the few endearing things about the cynical sitcom.

Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards in top Gun
Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards in top Gun

Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Top Gun)

We cannot think of a more bromantic dynamic from the 1980s than the personal and professional relationship between Maverick (Tom Cruise) and his RIO, Goose (Anthony Edwards), in Top Gun. Maverick could have never asked for a better wingman, which makes his untimely death (after his head hit the jet canopy during ejection), one of the most heartbreaking tragedies in cinema.

Vivian Vance on I Love Lucy
Vivian Vance on I Love Lucy

Ethel Mertz (I Love Lucy)

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) would have had even more splainin' to do if not for her landlady and best friend, Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance), helping her out of trouble on occasion. Some of the best episodes of I Love Lucy see them going on crazy adventures together, such as when they got a job at a chocolate factory with a high-speed conveyor belt.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Ron Weasley And Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Movies)

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) may have been the titular wizard, but the film franchise inspired by the hit young adult fantasy book series was really about a trio. The Boy Who Lived could not have asked for a better and more loyal pair of friends to help him contend with deadly forces surrounding Hogwarts than Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson).

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on The Andy Griffith Show
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on The Andy Griffith Show

Barney Fife (The Andy Griffith Show)

When it comes to being Mayberry's deputy, Barney Fife (Don Knotts in his scene-stealing role from The Andy Griffith Show) certainly has his shortcomings. When it comes to being a friend to his Sheriff, Andy Taylor (Griffith), and a dedicated resident of the town, he could not be more perfect.

Michael J. Fox surprises Christopher Lloyd in the middle of the street in Back To The Future: Part II.
Michael J. Fox surprises Christopher Lloyd in the middle of the street in Back To The Future: Part II.

Dr. Emmett Brown (Back To The Future)

The only real reason we count Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown as a sidekick is because he gets second billing to Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly in the time travel movie masterpiece, Back to the Future, and its sequels. In any other story, the out-of-time teen would be considered the second banana to the brilliant, yet eccentric, inventor of the modified DeLorean who is ultimately responsible for Marty's successful trip back to 1985.

Genie speaking with Aladdin in Aladdin
Genie speaking with Aladdin in Aladdin

Genie (Aladdin)

The only other genie-master dynamic in pop culture history that we might compare Aladdin (Scott Weinger) and Genie (Robin Williams) from Disney's 1992 animated classic to is Jeannie and the Captain from I Dream of Jeannie. The big, blue, highly energetic magical being grants wishes to the title character not just out of obligation, but because he genuinely likes the poor young man, who kindly offers to wish for his freedom at the end.

Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law as Sherlock and Watson in Sherlock Holmes
Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law as Sherlock and Watson in Sherlock Holmes

Dr. John Watson (Sherlock Holmes)

Watson is more than just the narrator of the mysterious adventures of Sherlock Holmes. As one can see in Guy Ritchie's film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories and the modern-day reimagining, Sherlock, the world-famous detective's flatmate and companion — also a war veteran — plays a pivotal role in all his many investigations.

Wallace and Gromit holding mugs of tea in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Wallace and Gromit holding mugs of tea in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Gromit (Wallace & Gromit Franchise)

There are many cases in which the sidekick proves to be the true brains behind the operation and the canine half of the world-famous stop-motion animated duo of Wallace & Gromit is one of the most essential examples of this. The silent, but notably expressive, beagle is often the one who gets himself and his bumbling human companion (an absent-minded inventor) out of trouble.

Dana Carvey and Mike Myers in Wayne's World 2
Dana Carvey and Mike Myers in Wayne's World 2

Garth Algar (Wayne's World)

Behind every great TV host is a great sidekick and the Ed McMahon to Wayne Campbell's (Mike Myers) Johnny Carson is Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) in. Despite his awkward characteristics, the blonde metalhead is really the glue that holds their cable access program, Wayne’s World, together in the original SNL sketch and movies it inspired in 1992 and 1993.

Alan Ruck and Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Alan Ruck and Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Cameron Frye (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

When you really think about it, while Matthew Broderick’s fourth-wall-breaking character is the titular protagonist of 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the true heart, soul, and center of the story is his best friend, Cameron Frye. In fact, it is Alan Ruck’s neurotic teen who inspires Ferris to skip school and tour Chicago in the first place and it is his emboldened transformation by the end that makes their risky adventure worth it.

Walter and Jesse in Breaking Bad.
Walter and Jesse in Breaking Bad.

Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad)

The personal and professional relationship between chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) is one of the most problematic in TV history, to say the least. However, in spite of their frequent conflicts, Jesse has been known to support his business partner (and vice versa) when they both stood in the face of the same greater dangers in some of the best episodes of Breaking Bad.

Donkey in Shrek movie
Donkey in Shrek movie

Donkey (Shrek)

A protagonist does not always come to appreciate (or even like) their sidekick in an instant, such as in the first of the Shrek movies when Donkey (Eddie Murphy) crosses paths with the titular ogre (Mike Myers). Luckily, after enduring a perilous journey rescuing Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) together, Shrek came to see the talkative animal as a true friend… who still gets on his nerves on occasion.

Dwight in The Office
Dwight in The Office

Dwight Schrute (The Office)

Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) takes his position as Assistant to the Region Manager a little too seriously at times, exhibiting a loyalty to Michael Scott (Steve Carell) that the absent-minded manager for Dunder-Mifflin’s Scranton branch does not always deserve. However, that is what made the beet-farming, bobblehead collector more than a great colleague, but a great friend, and a perfect choice to take over the branch when The Office ended.

Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein
Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein

Igor (Young Frankenstein)

Among the different iterations of Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s lab assistant, Igor, we are partial to Marty Feldman’s portrayal (who pronounces it “eye-gore”) in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. He and Gene Wilder’s Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (who initially pronounces it “fronk-en-steen”) make a lively comedic duo in, with the 1974 horror-comedy classic, whether he is making a grave mistake or spouting a one-of-a-kind one-liner.

Samwise and Frodo in LOTR
Samwise and Frodo in LOTR

Samwise Gamgee (The Lord Of The Rings Movies)

One does simply walk into Mordor, especially without a selfless, loyal, and honest companion at their side. It is a good thing that Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) found exactly that in his best friend and gardener, fellow hobbit Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) during his mission to defeat the One Ring in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s seminal fantasy novels.

Spock and Kirk in Star Trek II
Spock and Kirk in Star Trek II

Spock (Star Trek)

The one character whom every fan of the original Star Trek series wanted to be more than Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) was his second-in-command, Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Also serving as the USS Enterprise’s science officer, the Vulcan was not one to be messed with (immediately knocking people out with his signature nerve pitch), but was still a kind and gentle soul who was always sure to let Captain Kirk know when any of his calls were “highly illogical.”

Screenshot of Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith in Jay and Silent Bob Rebbot trailer
Screenshot of Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith in Jay and Silent Bob Rebbot trailer

Silent Bob (Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse)

Not every sidekick needs to crack jokes or provide words of encouragement to make an impression on their buddy or their audience. Case in point: Silent Bob — the “hetero life mate” to motor mouth Jay (Jason Mewes) whom Kevin Smith casts himself as in most of his movies (including Clerks and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back), in which he does have at least one amusing to say.

Barney Rubble from The Flintstones
Barney Rubble from The Flintstones

Barney Rubble (The Flintstones)

While Wilma Flintstone was always putting her husband in his place for his bone-headed ideas, at Fred’s side helping him along the way is his best pal, Barney. You could argue that Mr. Rubble was even closer and more loyal to his friend and neighbor than his own wife, Betty, and son, Bamm-Bamm.

Mykelti Williamson in Forrest Gump
Mykelti Williamson in Forrest Gump

Bubba (Forrest Gump)

A good friend like Benjamin Buford Blue, better known as “Bubba” (Mykelti Williamson), is not something you can find just around the corner, but Tom Hanks’ Academy Academy Award-winning title role from 1994’s Forrest Gump, certainly did. Their brotherly bond was formed and tragically ended during the Vietnam War, during which Bubba passed away, but Forrest kept his promise to him to go into the shrimping business and put his name in the company title: Bubba Gump Shrimp.

Barbara Feldon and Don Adams on Get Smart
Barbara Feldon and Don Adams on Get Smart

Agent 99 (Get Smart)

Bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) is no James Bond, which is why it is good that he had a partner like Agent 99 to help him on missions to stop KAOS. Played by Barbara Feldon on creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry’s spy comedy series, Get Smart, 99 is easily the more competent member of the duo, let alone of the best agent at CONTROL.

Marlin and Dory in Finding Nemo
Marlin and Dory in Finding Nemo

Dory (Finding Nemo)

In the beloved Pixar movie, 2003's Finding Nemo, the over-protective clown fish, Marlin (Albert Brooks), would have never been able to find his eponymous son (Alexander Gould) without the help of his newfound friend, Dory (Ellen Degeneres). As we also come to find out, Marlin's friendship is what helped improve her memory, making them a duo for the ages.

Art Carney and Jackie Gleason on The Honeymooners
Art Carney and Jackie Gleason on The Honeymooners

Ed Norton (The Honeymooners)

One of the best qualities of most sidekicks is acting as their friend’s conscience and pointing them in the right direction, but that is not quite the case for Ed Norton (Art Carney). The sewer worker not only went along with but even encouraged most of the schemes hatched by his neighbor, Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) on The Honeymooners.

Ethan Suplee and Jason Lee on My Name is Earl
Ethan Suplee and Jason Lee on My Name is Earl

Randy Hickey (My Name Is Earl)

My Name is Earl is the sitcom that tells the story of a man (Jason Lee) hoping to better his life by making amends for the terrible things he has done in the past. Helping him along the way is his simple-minded, but good-natured, younger brother, Randy (Ethan Suplee), who admirably looked up to Earl even when he was still a troublemaker.

Jon Cryer in Pretty in Pink
Jon Cryer in Pretty in Pink

Duckie (Pretty In Pink)

Some sidekicks do not receive the attention or admiration from their companion that they desire and Philip F. “Duckie” Dale (Jon Cryer) from Pretty in Pink is a textbook example of this. However, at the end of the John Hughes-penned 1986 coming-of-age favorite, Duckie encourages his life-long friend, Andie (Molly Ringwald), to choose Blane (Andrew McCarthy) over him, and such a love is stronger than any high school romance.

Lane in Gilmore Girls
Lane in Gilmore Girls

Lane Kim (Gilmore Girls)

Not enough sidekicks are treated like true family, making Lane Kim (Keiko Agena) on Gilmore Girls a heartwarming rarity. Not only does the witty punk rock drummer boast a strong sisterly bond with Rory (Alexis Bledel), but Lorelai (Lauren Graham) treats her almost like a second daughter.

SpongeBob and Patrick in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run
SpongeBob and Patrick in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run

Patrick Star (SpongeBob Squarepants)

Jacques Cousteau would have to search the entire deep blue sea before he could find a friendship between two marine animals as impenetrable as that of SpongeBob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) and Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke). A moment that best summarizes their bond is when the Krusty Krab fry cook asks the unemployed starfish what he does whenever he is away from home, to which he tearfully responds, “Wait for you to come back.”

John Goodman in The Big Lebowski
John Goodman in The Big Lebowski

Walter Sobchak (The Big Lebowski)

A prime example of a sidekick who almost always leads the protagonist into more trouble is John Goodman’s Walter Sobchak from the Coen Brothers’ hilarious 1998 cult favorite, The Big Lebowski. However, despite his misguided ideas and potential pathological dishonesty — did he really serve in Vietnam? — the avid bowler’s willingness to help The Dude (Jeff Bridges) through his ins, outs, and what-have-yous, and even on Shabbos, is still quite admirable.

Efren Ramirez and Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite
Efren Ramirez and Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite

Pedro Sanchez (Napoleon Dynamite)

Jon Heder’s title role in 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite is so awkward and perfidious that he has trouble making friends (and even relating to his own family) until he meets Pedro Sanchez (Efren Ramirez). The friendship quickly proves to be a match made in heaven, leading to some of the funniest and most heartwarming moments in the high school movie genre’s history.

We wish we had people like these in our lives to be at our side and give us a kick when we need it.