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 artistic 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 westernss, 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.
- 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.
Note: The Lone Ranger and Green Hornet radio programs were produced by the same organization. In the back story the Lone Ranger was the Green Hornet's uncle.
was a computer program