All right! Yesterday we talked about the best literary sidekicks. It’s only fair that today we discuss the worst. Well, maybe not the worst. There are some pretty shitty sidekicks out there. But this list is at least a good collection of sidekicks that really weren’t that great.
Some of these are going to be a little controversial. Let’s see where this goes!
I don’t know how familiar all of you are with the stories about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, but even if you aren’t, you’ve probably, at the very least, heard the name Lancelot. Now, here’s the deal. He’s commonly considered Arthur’s “greatest companion,” his second-hand-man. You know, The King’s best friend. But the fact of the matter is, Lancelot is pretty much the douchiest of douches. Not only does he sleep with Arthur’s wife, Guinevere, but his sleeping with said queen pretty much results in Arthur’s whole kingdom collapsing. Pretty shitty, if you ask me.
We’re all used to Tinker Bell from the classic Disney movie (or maybe Julia Roberts’s performance in Hook, which is still one of my favorite renditions of Peter Pan to this day), but the Peter Pan story actually started out as a play. In the original play, Tinker Bell was less of a sidekick and more of just a random fairy. She earned a place on this list because of her general ill-temper and her jealousy over Wendy (and pretty much anyone else who tries to get Peter’s attention). Sure, she’s useful in her time, but all of her petty, jealous behavior makes her kind of a bad partner to have around. And she got the Lost Boys to shoot arrows at Wendy. Not cool, Tink.
First off: don’t hurt me! Let me explain this one! I love Ron. I think he’s sweet and dopey and lovable. But in the grand scheme of things, the biggest thing he has going for him as a sidekick is his loyalty… and even that’s questionable depending on the book you’re reading. There were points where his jealousy over Harry’s fame and fortune sent Ron walking away in a petty huff instead of sticking by his best friend–like that time Harry’s name was put into the Goblet of Fire and Ron was pissed instead of worrying who would try to get his friend killed. Ron’s also not that great at magic. Anyway, I still like Ron more than I like Harry, but you’ve got to admit, for sidekick material, Hermione comes in way more handy.
Marvin the Paranoid Android
This is another one of those where the character is hilarious and awesome, but totally shitty as a sidekick. Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is amazing. By far, this robot is one of the reasons the stories are so great. But if you have to hang out with him all the time? What a drag. He literally is depressed about everything, and he lets you know it, too. Sure, he’s got a supercomputer brain and is more intelligent than almost anyone else you’ll meet in the universe, but he’s bitter about how wasted that brainpower is anyway and all he uses it to do is moan and complain.
I’ve generally avoided talking about Shakespeare a lot in this blog because I’m not a big fan of his works. It’s not that Shakespeare hasn’t done a lot of awesome stuff for the literary community. It’s that I don’t want to read Shakespearean language, thanks. Anyway, Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream goes on this list because of how much general bum-fuckery goes on. He technically works for Oberon, but he does whatever the hell he feels like doing otherwise. I mean, sure, he is one of the main reasons the play progresses forward due to his craziness, but that doesn’t make him any more trustworthy (though he is hilarious).