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[[quoteright:300:[[WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Pinky_and_the_brain_genius_ins_1209947673832_4887.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:"One is a genius, the other's insane!"]]

->'''Baldrick:''' I've been in your service since I was two and a half, my lord.\\
'''Blackadder:''' Well, that must be why I'm so utterly sick of the sight of you.
-->-- ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'', "Bells"

An annoying, incompetent sidekick for another character -- usually an UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist -- who barely tolerates him. The only talent a Bumbling Sidekick has is the ability to tolerate any amount of abuse -- and he needs it, given how often his "[[WithFriendsLikeThese friends]]" are yelling at him and throwing him face-first into walls.

Some Bumbling Sidekicks [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter are delusional and think they are appreciated]], which is why [[HappinessInSlavery they put up]] with the abuse they get. Others are just too desperate for friendship and/or money to leave.

They tend to have extreme luck -- either they're the resident ButtMonkey, or they reap all the benefits of other characters' hard work, which makes everyone resent them even more.

This trope is OlderThanSteam, possibly originating in Italian ''CommediaDellArte'' plays.

Often overlaps with MinionWithAnFInEvil or CowardlySidekick. Contrast HypercompetentSidekick.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* [[CanonForeigner Sasuke Sarugakure]], {{ninja}} servant to the Kunōs in the ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' anime, alternates between this and StraightMan for the Kunōs, depending on just how insane his masters are this week.
* In ''Manga/ExcelSaga'' all the girls [[EvilOverlord Il Palazzo]] employs are flawed to some extent, but Excel is the one that is most likely going to mess up whatever new plan he has for taking over Fukuoka City. She is also completely delusional with regards to how much Il Palazzo cares about her.
* Jaken, to Sesshomaru, from ''Manga/InuYasha''.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'': Ken's Digimon partner, Wormmon, during Ken's time as the BigBad.
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', Misa could be seen as Light's Bumbling Sidekick, though she has moments of startling competence.
* ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows''
** By the third or fourth capture, Keima has acknowledged that his partner Elsie is basically completely useless. He points out that partners these days are supposed to be intelligent and capable, so she's all happy that she has Keima in that case... which gets her yelled at for thinking she's the main character.
** Ryou, Nora's partner is on the same level, [[UpToEleven if not worse than Elsie]].
* In ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns'', Savage tends to fall into this category for Ian. He isn't dumb, persay, but he doesn't often think before acting, and he seems to often be swaying for his {{Even the Guys Want Him}} type love for Ian. He is very much a secondary, side-kick k character, and the two's interactions are usually played for laughs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck frequently falls into this role when Uncle Scrooge is around, DependingOnTheWriter. Donald is not stupid, just blinded by his own ego at times.
* ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'' villain Toad was played this role for Magneto for a very long time. He didn't start to grow balls until the '90s, and even then, he was still the ButtMonkey until TheMovie came out where -- thanks to additional ranine abilities like a "nasty tongue" and spitting goo -- he became quite an effective villain, which carried over into the comics.
* Ukko in ''{{Slaine}}''.
* ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'': Bette Kane, a former member of the Teen Titans, and prior to some {{retcon}}ning the original ComicBook/{{Batgirl}}, has been portrayed as this for many years. Recently, she decided to come out of retirement while in college, only to end up being kidnapped and held hostage by a serial killer a mere issue after her initial decision.
* From ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'', Averell Dalton for his brother Joe.
* Generally speaking, if a [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] superhero didn't have a KidSidekick, he'd be saddled with one of these guys for "comic relief":
** TheFlash had Winky, Blinky, and Noddy, aka "The Three Dimwits" (a more precise term would be "The Three [[CaptainErsatz Ripoffs]] of [[Film/TheThreeStooges Larry, Moe, and Curly]].)"
** The Franchise/GreenLantern had Doiby Dickles, who could be succinctly described as [[http://www.againwiththecomics.com/2007/10/doiby-has-wrench.html "Insane Simpleton With a Wrench"]].
** Even TheSpectre had "Percival Popp, the Super Cop," a dorky amateur detective (but not an actual police officer) who followed him around.
** ComicBook/PlasticMan was already pretty funny in his own right, but he still got Woozy Winks, a fat, bumbling sidekick [[{{Expy}} with a personality based on]] [[AbbottAndCostello Lou Costello]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' turns Nappa into this sort of character, and he quickly became an EnsembleDarkHorse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Mr. Smee, from ''Disney/PeterPan''.
* Horace and Jasper Badun, from ''Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmations''.
* Mr. Snoops, from ''Disney/TheRescuers''.
* Lefou, from ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''.
* Kronk, from ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Otis, Lex Luthor's henchman in the 1978 ''Film/{{Superman}}'' film and its [[Film/SupermanII first sequel]].
** The [[Film/SupermanIVTheQuestForPeace fourth film]] replaces Otis with Lenny Luthor. Lex regards his teenage nephew as "the Dutch Elm disease in my family tree".
* Dibbs, Carrigan Crittenden's henchman in the 1995 film ''Film/{{Casper}}''.
* Annoying comic relief Bumbling Sidekicks were a staple of MaskedLuchador films starring ElSanto and other wrestlers. Just taking a look at one of them, Perico (from ''Film/SantoEnElTesoroDeDracula''), on this page's Image Links, should give you the general idea.
* The burglar Marv in [[HomeAlone Home Alone 2]]. In the first film, he and his partner Harry appear to have a more equal relationship but in the second film he is clearly Harry's [[TheDragon dragon]] and a lot [[TookALevelInDumbass dumber than he was in the first film]]. Also, Cedric the bellboy is the Bumbling Sidekick to Mr. Hector, the hotel concierge at the Plaza Hotel Kevin stays at.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* As a teenager, Peter Pettigrew was the Bumbling Sidekick to the other Marauders in ''Literature/HarryPotter''.
* ''Stolen from Gypsies'' has two, both probably inspired by Baldrick from ''BlackAdder''. The protagonist/narrator has his servant Antonio, and in the story-within-a-story he's writing, there's the character Short Clog. Since the characters in the story-within-a-story reflect the narrator's life, it's likely Short Clog reflects Antonio, although the two are somewhat different- Antonio is a bit of a HypercompetentSidekick, whereas Short Clog is a straight up BumblingSidekick, being a dullard with bad hygiene.
* Parodied in the Literature/DoctorWhoMissingAdventures novel ''Managra'', where the BumblingSidekick to the resident dashing hero is in fact a lot smarter than he lets on -- and, indeed, a lot smarter than his boss in many ways -- but pretends to be a dimwit because it pays better.
* Agent Sydney Bristow to Agent Jack Baxter in ''Literature/TheUltraViolets.'' While one is a perfect fit for the job, the other couldn't be more out of place.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}''
** "Sod-off" Baldrick is a classic example. In the first season, he was a HypercompetentSidekick, but a {{Retool}} between seasons transformed him into the clumsy, clingy idiot who put up with a beating an episode. By the time of the fourth TV series, ''Blackadder Goes Forth'', Private S. Baldrick's stupidity [[TheDitz borders on insanity]].
** Series 1 and 2 had Lord Percy Percy.
* Manuel, of ''Series/FawltyTowers'', is this. A Spaniard from Barcelona, Manuel's ineptitude for the English language combined with the neurotic Basil Fawlty's knack for causing chaos made him often cause things to go even worse. Basil firmly believes Manuel to be of subnormal intelligence.
* Dougal [=McGuire=], ''Series/FatherTed''.
* TV's Frank, from ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''.
* Bubble from ''Series/AbsolutelyFabulous''.
* Neil from ''Series/TheYoungOnes''.
* Manny of ''Series/BlackBooks''.
* Much from ''Series/RobinHood'' (2006).
* Dwight from ''Series/TheOfficeUS'', albeit only when he is accompanying his boss, Michael Scott.
* In the UK comedy series ''Series/TheNewStatesman'', Piers Fletcher-Dervish is Alan B'Stard's long-and-brutally-suffering sidekick. Not really under any illusion that Alan likes him, but too terrified to end the relationship.
* Ted from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''. J.D. fits this trope when he's around Dr. Cox.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': Lonzak, the incompetent henchman of Dr Chaotica in the Captain Proton holoprogram.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Sylar gains one in the form of the teenager Luke in Volume 4. Luke forces Sylar to not kill him by saying that he knows where Sylar's father is. However, Luke himself is a bit of an ass and really gets on Sylar's nerves. Once Sylar finally figures out where his father is, he ditches Luke and never looks back.
* Merlin's interaction with Arthur often comes off as this in ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' , even though sometimes he's pretending.
* Arguably, Schultz from ''Series/HogansHeroes'', though he's probably actually not as bumbling as Col. Klink--Klink is at least trying to be competant, whereas Schultz often is deliberately oblivious to what Hogan's crew is up to.
* ''Series/HorribleHistories'' has several, notably over-sharing Pedro in 'Francisco Pizarro's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKeB82retLs Very Rough Guide to Mexico]]': "...and then we steal all their gold!".
* ''[[Series/CmonMidffild C'Mon Midffîld]]'' has Wali Tomos, who is part of the village football committee with his superior [[HairTriggerTemper Mr Picton]].
* In ''Series/TheWorstYearOfMyLifeAgain'', Alex's best friend Simon seems to be this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* OlderThanSteam: Arlecchino, from Italian ''CommediaDellArte'' plays, often served this role.
* In Creator/{{Moliere}}'s ''Don Juan'', Juan's servant Sgnanarelle is pretty much this, a bumbling DirtyCoward who isn't treated very well by his master.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Poor little Pete from ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' kissed Gary's ass for God-knows-how-long until Jimmy saved him.
* Elliot from ''[[VideoGame/JaggedAlliance Jagged Alliance 2]]'' fits this like a glove. His boss, the very bitchy and hot-tempered [[BigBad Queen Deidranna]] enjoys [[ShootTheMessenger killing the messenger]]. In this case, it's always Elliot, and it always involves her slapping the s*** out of him, and in one instance, shooting him from point-blank with a pistol... only to have him get up and insist that he clean the mess himself. He is incredibly devoted to her, regardless of the abuse he takes, and actually would survive until the end of the game if your mercs don't find him and put him out of his misery.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss''
** Mieu a.k.a. "Thing". He's a typical cutesy animal like you'd find in many a fantasy anime, complete with an annoying squeaky voice and [[VerbalTic Spoon Speak]]. What makes him a Bumbling Sidekick is his undying faith in his master, who gives him the aforementioned nickname, bashes him into a soldier's helmet to knock the soldier out, and every other time he speaks, he either kicks it around or tells it to shut up, or (usually) both.
** One of the members of the QuirkyMinibossSquad is also this. Yes, it's Dist, who attempts to make it very clear that he really does hate [-that duplicitous snake whom he once counted among his friends-] Jade, but fails miserably because of his stalkeristic actions. [[GoldfishPoopGang The entire party pretty much just treats him like a joke.]]
* Fidget from ''Dust an Elysian Tale'', usually when she gives advice it's a good idea to ignore it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Fighter from ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' is, at times, Black Mage's Bumbling Sidekick. When the action heats up, this often gets inverted.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** Elan is often portrayed as Roy's Bumbling Sidekick. In the ''Origin of the [=PCs=]'' {{prequel}}, he definitely is toward his Paladin partner.
** On the villains' side, Thog is this for Nale in the Linear Guild.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Greasy of the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'', the deviser who's the sidekick of annoying horndog Peeper around the [[SuperheroSchool Whateley campus]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Dr. Zoidberg, ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''.
* Helga Phugly from ''WesternAnimation/TheOblongs'' -- a rare female example.
* GIR, ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim''. Zim acts this way towards the Tallests, though he's clearly the protagonist.
* Hesh from ''WesternAnimation/{{Sealab 2021}}'' is considerably ruder and more self-assertive, but he still fits the pattern.
* Meatwad from ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' acts like a small child, complete with imaginary friends. This lets him be the perfect Bumbling Sidekick -- he's clingy, gullible, stubborn, useless in an emergency, and has no attention span. He also has the wild sidekick luck -- his fortunes vary from being sold for cash to becoming the god of Christmas. The golf videogame lampshades this with comments like "What a rotten friend you are!" when describing the pickups allowing you to use him as a golf ball or as a distraction for the enemy to target.
* Pinky from ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' is not desperate, nor does he ever quite demonstrate the delusion that he is appreciated. Rather, he is simply too [[TheDitz scatterbrained]] and [[CloudCuckoolander cheerfully oblivious]] to notice that such a thing as contempt exists, much less that the Brain harbors so endless a supply of it for him. Deep down, the Brain really does care for Pinky as much as Pinky, who considers the Brain his best friend in all the world, cares for the Brain.
* Both Ed and Edd from ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' take more than their fair share of abuse from Eddy (although in Edd's case its not stupidity that's the problem but instead being overly moral and verbose). Both however are likely to get Eddy into an unpleasant situation, usually by accident.
* Stimpy from ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow''.
* Harley Quinn from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' was this to The Joker. Admittedly, the Joker generally seemed to view her as his favorite henchman. Given that the Joker's favorite person is Batman, however, she still gets treated pretty badly.
* Frizz and Nug are often this to Sgt Blob in ''TheDreamstone'', if not all that willingly. While Blob himself is delusional enough for even them to have the occasional intellectual superiority to, they lack any sense of tactfulness, bravado, or even much evil ambition whatsoever, so much that if Blob didn't drag them into each mission they'd probably stay at home. Blob himself (along with Urpgor) are bumbling Mooks to [[BigBad Zordrak]].
* On ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'', Pete regularly brings Goofy along on his {{Zany Scheme}}s despite the fact that he despises him. Goofy is [[NiceGuy always happy to help Pete out]] and is blissfully unaware of Pete's {{Jerkass}} personality (or he just doesn't care)... but he is also LethallyStupid and TheKlutz, so generally speaking [[TheChewToy Pete's]] schemes end in disaster.
* Penfold on ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'' is billed as "The World's Worst Assistant."
* Morocco Mole in ''WesternAnimation/SecretSquirrel''. Not very bright, regularly makes mistakes and misses things, etc.
* Arthur seems to subvert this, as hes clearly wiser and more intelligent than WesternAnimation/TheTick, until they actually do battle where he plays the bumbling part straight.
* In Spike's comic book, Humdrum is this to the Power Ponies in the episode of the same name of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Of course things change when [[TheReliableOne Spike]] [[BigDamnHeroes takes on the role]].
[[/folder]]

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