Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For Borland's computer program, see SideKick.
A sidekick is a stock character, a close companion who assists a partner in a superior position.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term is a back formation from side-kicker, which has the same meaning. Despite appearances, it is not a sports term; neither form has any history outside of the meaning of "companion, buddy, friend".
In fiction, the term sidekick most commonly referred to assistants to heroes, usually in a crimefighting capacity. The sidekick has the literary function of playing against the hero, often contrasting in skill, asking the questions the reader would ask, or performing functions not suited to the hero.
Those functions may include being funny. The comic sidekick was a common feature in westerns, where Fuzzy Knight , Al "Fuzzy" St. John , and Andy Devine had longer careers than some of the heroic singing cowboys for whom they took pratfalls.
Famous fictional sidekicks include:
- Sancho Panza: Sidekick to Don Quixote.
- Dr. Watson: Sidekick to Sherlock Holmes. The stories are told as his journals. Watson, an ex-military man, is also Holmes's "muscle", bringing along his service revolver on tough cases.
- Captain Arthur Hastings: Sidekick to Hercule Poirot, plays a similar role as Dr. Watson. An ex-military man, he's both romantic and unimaginative.
- Captain Haddock: Sidekick to Tintin. In stories without Haddock, the role of the sidekick can be attributed to Milou, Tintin's dog. The stories also feature two policemen, Dupont and Dupond, who can be seen as equal sidekicks to each other.
- Obelix: Sidekick to Asterix
- Tonto: Sidekick to The Lone Ranger. His name means "fool" in Spanish, although he was not foolish. Always described as the "faithful Indian companion", Tonto frequently served as a spy, going into town to find out what was going on.
- Kato: Sidekick to The Green Hornet. Kato served as chauffeur and assistant to the Green Hornet. Because of Bruce Lee's appearance in the television series based on the character, this is one property where the key interest is more on the sidekick than the hero. In Hong Kong during the original series run, The Green Hornet was known as "The Kato Show"
- Robin: Sidekick to Batman. He shows Batman's softer side. Batman, orphaned by criminals, takes on young Dick Grayson as his ward after his parents were killed by criminals. Batman trains Robin in crime-fighting.
- Ron Weasley: Sidekick to Harry Potter. Ron was Harry's first friend and Harry considers him his "best friend in the world". While he commonly functions as the laid-back comic relief, he is fiercely loyal and will confront even his worst fears if he feels that is what must be done.
- Samwise Gamgee: Sidekick to Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings. He followed Frodo across Middle Earth and into the darkness of Mordor with his undying loyalty and need to aid his friends.
- Willie Garvin: Sidekick to Modesty Blaise. Garvin is notable as a male sidekick to a female hero, a setup less frequently encountered in adventure fiction. Most often the sidekick is of the same sex than the hero, and for male heroes, a female companion more often serves as a romantic object rather than a sidekick.
- Jolly Jumper: Sidekick and mount of Lucky Luke. Jolly Jumper is an example of an animal as sidekick, which is not at all unusual, though in most cases the non-human sidekick is a dog (such as Milou in Tintin or Devil in The Phantom). Jolly Jumper is more of a parody of a sidekick, poking fun at the wonder horses of the Western genre, and his specific task in the series is to provide witty and cynical commentary. Some stories also feature Ran Tan Plan, who in turn is the parody of the super-intelligent dogs prevalent in adventure genre (such as Rin Tin Tin): he is possibly the most stupid canine in fiction.
- Goose: Sidekick to Maverick (Top Gun).
- Arthur: Sidekick to The Tick. Arthur is a reluctant sidekick who wears a white body suit with wings, thus resembling a giant moth. He helps out his dense pal The Tick in numerous episodes of the comic book, cartoon series, and live-action show.
- Launchpad McQuack: Sidekick to Darkwing Duck.
- Chewbacca: Sidekick to Han Solo.
- Gabrielle: Initially considered a sidekick to Xena by fans and even other characters, much to her annoyance. One of the few sidekicks who was openly suggested to have a physical relationship with a titular hero(ine).
- Linus: Sidekick to Gatsby from the show Cats
- Muttley: Sidekick to Dick Dastardly, an animated character in the Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines series.
Sidekick (hiptop) is a hiptop device made by Danger, Inc .
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