Sidekick Trope

The trope of “sidekick” is widely known as a character that is secondary to the story. The sidekick is known for comedic relief and usually gets themselves in trouble for the “hero” of the story to save.  In most cases, the sidekick is less than the main character, in intelligence, strength, or purpose. Each sidekick serves a role, but the story could essentially be told without them. The point of the sidekick is to add depth to whatever storyline is being told.  The main character and the sidekick can usually be deciphered by the audience early on, again by their physical appearance, but also in their role in the plot. The trope of the sidekick does not go unnoticed. However, the sidekick might not be deemed as one outright, the writers might have the connection between the two so the audience doesn’t see the pair as “Hero and Sidekick”, like in Rick and Morty or Shrek. This trope can be seen as cliche, thus why writers make the characters ‘closer’ than a sidekick relationship, as seen in Rick and Morty, to be more appealing to audiences.

Rick and Morty: Adult Swim: TV series :
Morty acts as Rick Sanchez’s sidekick through their adventures. Rick is an intergalactic scientist and Morty is his grandson. Morty is understood as Rick’s sidekick, simply because of his shorter stature, but also his role in the episodes. The adventures they go on usually just have Morty come along and help Rick in their task; Rick is the organizer and Morty is just ‘there’. Morty usually gets picked on or ends up in danger and Rick is forced to help him. It is made evident through the series that Morty has a learning disability and is less intelligent than his classmates, much less Rick, the “smartest man in the Universe.” Rick and Morty are grandfather and grandson, not usual sidekick relationship, but the characteristics of Morty place him as such.


Batman and Robin: DC Comics: Comic Book series :
Robin is infamous for being Batman’s sidekick. This relationship is the most classic example of “Hero and Sidekick.” Robin is believed to be used to attract younger audiences, being of a younger age than Batman. Robin also has classic sidekick tasks, he helps Batman in defeating enemies and being the comedy in the comics. One thing that makes Robin a little bit more complex than the surface-level sidekicks is his responsibility; keeping Batman from turning to the dark side and reminding him of why he began helping Gotham in the first place. Robin is described as a “junior crime-fighting partner for Batman” and serves as a blueprint for later, younger heroes to follow.


Shrek: DreamWorks Production: Movie Franchise :
In Shrek, Donkey almost purely acts as comedic relief throughout the movie. Donkey steps into the role as a sidekick to Shrek early in the movie in a couple of altercations, but in later movies is more of the best friend role. Donkey provides assistance in more helpful ways than say Morty does for Rick. In their quest to save Princess Fiona, Donkey is charged with his own duties in the rescue that contribute to the success of the whole mission. Throughout each of the films, Donkey guides Shrek in his life and is a ‘friend.’