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[[quoteright:203:[[WesternAnimation/DangerMouse http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cowardly_sidekick_9211.jpg]]]]

->''(In front of the [[TheLostWoods Dark Forest]]. A sign reads "Enter At Your Own Risk.")''\\
'''Cedric''': Oh, no! I'M not going in there! Can't you read the sign?\\
'''Graham''': Come on, Cedric. There might be something important in here.\\
'''Cedric''': Go if you want to. I'll wait HERE!
-->-- ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVAbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder''

A {{Sidekick}} with a peculiar twist: presumably to serve as a {{Foil}} to a brave (or cocky) hero, they're so yellow that one has to wonder how the heck they ended up in the adventure business in the first place. The Cowardly Sidekick is often what happens when the PluckyComicRelief isn't so... well, plucky. Anything but, in fact.

Often overlaps with BumblingSidekick. Compare TheDragAlong, for which this usually wasn't his choice to begin with. Contrast RecklessSidekick.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Myoga the flea in ''Manga/InuYasha''. Whoever he hides with in a battle has been used as an indicator of what's the safest place to be.
* While [[WeaselMascot Chamo]] of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' may be mostly useless during fights (and not all that brave during the particularly dangerous fights), he's at least a capable [[TheStrategist strategist]] and is willing to be as useful a possible.
* Evan Edrok, a highly skilled Guide from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' is the companion of Princess Ha Yuri Zahard, whose adventures quite frankly freak him out.
** Evan isn't a coward, he's just wary of the implications of some of what Yuri does. After all, he's a Ranker and wouldn't have made it through the tower if he were really a Coward.
* Pop/Poppu from ''Manga/DaiNoDaibouken'' starts off like this.
* Yoki in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/BattlePope'', this role is occupied by JesusChrist, a loser who's not at all [[JesusWasWayCool "way cool"]].
* Bob, Agent of HYDRA and sidekick of {{Deadpool}}.
* Lille-Skutt from ''Bamse'', in spades.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Bob, assistant of Retro in ''Fanfic/RetroChill'', is this, constantly freaking out when he sees an alien despite ''being allies with them.'' His growing dissatisfaction with the job [[spoiler:is what ultimately leads to his HeelFaceTurn.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Films -- Animation]]
* Itchy from ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'' is an example of this who (at least at the beginning of the first film) displays traces of HypercompetentSidekick.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSwanPrincess'' has two, Bromley and Jean-Bob.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Malak the thief in ''Film/ConanTheDestroyer''.
* Snails the thief in ''Film/DungeonsAndDragons''.
* The [[UncleTomfoolery black servant]] in various HauntedHouse movies of TheThirties and TheForties. Putting aside UnfortunateImplications, one could call them [[OnlySaneMan sensible]] rather then cowardly; when they say "Feets do yo stuff!" running is usually a ''really'' good option. Actors who played these roles - notably Stepin Fetchit - found [[NeverLiveItDown their careers badly harmed]] when the civil rights era started.
* Also, black comedians have been using this joke for years. When the scary/deadly shit happens, they get the hell out of there. It's even used in the first ''Film/ScaryMovie'', where the BET news crew only stays long enough to say "White folks gettin' killed, we're outta here!" before making good on their report.
* Herman "Fergie" Ferguson in ''Film/JudgeDredd'', after he and the title character escape the air transport wreck together.
* Ruby Rhod in ''Film/TheFifthElement''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Vila Restal, the cowardly thief, in ''Series/BlakesSeven''.
* Goodwin in ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Immortal_(TV_series,_Canadian) The Immortal]]'' for the last 400 years.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Dan Thompson's comical adventure strip hero ''Webcomic/RipHaywire'' has his faithful dog, talking collie TNT, who is in near-constant panic mode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'': [[http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?&id=113512 Norin the Wary]], quoted in several flavor texts before getting a card of his own (with an appropriate ability, of course). He's probably the game's most famous coward, and as a summonable creature he arguably qualifies as the ''player's'' sidekick.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Linebeck in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'', although he gets better towards the end.
* Globox from the ''VideoGame/{{Rayman}}'' series.
* [[DivergentCharacterEvolution Luigi is depicted this way]] in the more recent ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' games (such as ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi''), which is partially [[CanonImmigrant integrated]] from the 90's cartoons.
** Even the ''Pinball/SuperMarioBros'' pinball gets into the act, which has Luigi depicted as looking nervously on the playfield art, and places his target inside a cave.
* Pommy in ''VideoGame/Bomberman64TheSecondAttack'', who hides whenever a boss appears or whenever the alarms in the Gravity Generator rooms.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVAbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder'' has many places that Cedric doesn't want to go inside with Graham, preferring to wait for him outside. (Cedric not being able to enter certain areas was partly the result of memory constraints: removing context-specific lines for Cedric made room for more animations.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Craig from ''TheAllenAndCraigShow''.
* Edward Borman in ''WebVideo/TheMercuryMen''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', Chuckie Finster is literally scared of his own shadow. [[{{Foil}} Contrast]] to Tommy, who is generally fearless.
* Penfold from ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'' is an iconic example.
* Luigi in ''Series/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow'' and its sequels.
* Arthur from ''WesternAnimation/TheTick''. Actually explained in the pilot basically as Arthur being unable to tolerate how mundane his life was anymore; we even see him doing his work as an accountant in costume.
* Carl Wheezer from ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutron''.
* Ron from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''.
* Antoine from ''WesternAnimation/{{Sonic SatAM}}''.
* The aptly named Cringer the Battle-Cat from ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983''.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** Fluttershy is known to freak out at falling leaves and her own shadow, when she doesn't have something more pressing to attend to, like scolding an angry dragon into leaving her friends alone or glaring a cockatrice into submission. "Cowardly" is perhaps not the correct word, so much as "cripplingly timid".
** Spike the baby dragon, too, can show some great reluctance around danger and often hide behind his pony friends, although he has moment of bravery. And it's quite sensible for some of the things he's afraid of -- like around Discord, who is a ''MadGod of Chaos''.
* Gus from ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}''.
* Zilly from ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines''.
* Pokey from ''WesternAnimation/{{Gumby}}''
* Shaggy and Franchise/ScoobyDoo are ''each other's'' Cowardly Sidekicks, leading to frequent gags where they each try to hide behind one another. [[RecklessSidekick Contrast Scrappy Doo.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SuperMarioWorld'' episode "Ghosts 'R' Us," Yoshi is too scared of ghosts to want to enter haunted houses (which he couldn't do in the ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' game for reasons that weren't explained in-universe but had to do with sprite memory limitations) until his friends are trapped inside one and he has to rescue them himself while dodging Boos. He also runs scared from a red Wiggler until he finds wings.
[[/folder]]
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