By Sean Tuohy and Daniel Ford
Kids don’t want to be Alfred when they grow up. They want to be Batman. Why aspire to be Chewbacca when you can be the much less hairy Han Solo who gets to kiss one of only two women in the entire galaxy?
It’s fucking tough being the sidekick.
You arguably do all the hero’s dirty work and get none of the glory or reward. How good of a detective is Batman without his butler and Barbara Gordon’s computer know-how? If Superman is a god, than why does he bother keeping Lois and Jimmy around? Because they need help like everyone else.
Here are a bunch of sidekicks Sean and Daniel came up with that they feel need more recognition. Feel free to share your own underrated sidekicks in the comments section or tweet us @WritersBone.
Einstein From “Back to the Future”
Einstein was loyal, he allowed himself to be put in the time machine, and when Marty and Doc were attacked, he warned them about it.
Alfred Pennyworth From “Batman: The Animated Series”
Alfred Pennyworth has been the gold standard for loyal sidekicks. However, while he was still Bruce Wayne/Batman’s steadfast butler in “Batman: The Animated Series,” he was also a huge dick. He had a snide comment for everything Bruce Wayne said. He was going to do his duty and take care of his lunatic charge, but he was going to be good and snarky while doing it! (Sean add fact about Joker)
Oracle From “Batman” Comic Book Series
One could argue that Barbara Gordon is more valuable than Alfred, and certainly more badass. She starts out as Batgirl, gets shot through the spine by the Joker in "The Killing Joke," and then becomes Batman’s savvy computer/code breaker goddess Oracle. Image with caption
Barbara Gordon would get up from this moment and continue being a badass sidekick. Robin...not so much.
All of John McClane’s Sidekicks From the “Die Hard” Series
Before he became a superhero in the most recent films, John McClane needed a lot of help to defeat the bad guys. In the first two films, it was the dad from “Family Matters” who carried McClane over the finish line. “Die Hard With a Vengeance” featured Samuel L Jackson as a sidekick that started out viscerally hating the hero.
Chewbacca From “Star Wars” Trilogy
Chewie is another loyal lieutenant to a colossal, reckless prick. He suffers a ton of insults (“walking carpet”—fuck you, Leia) while keeping his friends safe largely through others fear he’ll rip their arms off. Chewbacca reuniting with Han in “Return of the Jedi” is a real tearjerker moment.
Winston From “Ghostbusters”
Winston Zeddemore wasn’t part of the original “Ghostbusters” trio and didn’t completely buy into what Peter, Ray, and Egon were doing. However, he earned his paycheck and delivered some classic lines in the process. He also provided everyone with the answer to the question,“Are you a god?”
April O’Neil From “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
Not only did April O’Neil buy the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a bunch of pizza and let them hang out at her apartment, but she was also a hard news journalist that looked smashing in a yellow trench coat. She also got kidnapped a lot so the green guys would have something to do. You’re welcome, fellas.
Jonathan Mardukas From “Midnight Run”
Jonathan Mardukas is a weasel, but at least he’s a helpful one. Robert De Niro’s bounty hunter would be in even more trouble without Charles Grodin’s quick-thinking character. Plus, there might not be a funnier exchange in the movie than this one (and that is saying something):
Mardukas: “You seen any suspicious characters around here?”
Creepy regular at the bar: “Nope.”
Mardukas: “Do you live around here?”
The Kid From “Dick Tracy”
Any sidekick that eats this much has to be included on any list Sean and Daniel come up with. The Kid also ends up taking Dick Tracy’s name which is a nice touch.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Scooby Gang
Daniel is an unabashed fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” He couldn’t pick just one from Buffy’s self-proclaimed “Scooby gang,” so we’re making him include this video to shame him.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
This pair is arguably the most symbiotic duo in movie history. Butch’s quips and bullets wouldn’t be so biting without Sundance’s dry responses, and Sundance wouldn’t jump off the cliff without Butch. It’s the rare case of the two heroes also being perfect sidekicks.
The Pimp From “Superman II”
Superman really needed that extra boost of confidence right before he saved Lois Lane.
For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.