Behind every hero, there is always a wisecracking, obnoxious Nincompoop!
—Samos about Daxter, Jak and Daxter
Sidekicks often get themselves into trouble, so the hero can rescue them. They also give the hero or Mr. Exposition someone to explain the plot to. In the finale, they may line up against the Evil Minions.
Sidekicks are almost never older than the main hero.
In Comic Books, Sidekick Graduations Stick: the "graduation" of a former sidekick into an independent hero in his own right is one of the few categories of changes that tend to avoid being reversed in the long run. However, before that graduation you'll see them get stuck with a lot of dead ends, like Hero Harasses Helpers and the Sidekick Glass Ceiling, though he rarely gets hit with Never Be a Hero. But if the hero bites the dust or otherwise ends up out of action, they're the number one candidate for a Legacy Character. (if it sticks)
Particularly common sidekick types include:
- Kid Sidekick
- Damsel in Distress
- Cowardly Sidekick
- Bumbling Sidekick
- Hypercompetent Sidekick
- Non-Human Sidekick
- Fairy Companion
- Psycho Sidekick
- Reckless Sidekick
- Sidekick Ex Machina
- Talking Appliance Sidekick
- The Watson
- Bastard Understudy is an evil variant.
Among the best known sidekick characters are:
- Dr. Watson (paired with Sherlock Holmes)
- Robin (paired with Batman)
- Chewbacca (paired with Han Solo)
- Sancho Panza
- Jimmy Olsen
- Ron Stoppable (paired with Kim Possible)
- Luigi (paired with Mario)
- Bucky Barnes (paired with Captain America (comics))
- Tails (paired with Sonic)