(In front of the 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!
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 Plucky Comic Relief
isn't so... well, plucky. Anything but, in fact.
Often overlaps with Bumbling Sidekick
. Compare The Drag-Along
, for which this usually wasn't his choice to begin with. Contrast Reckless Sidekick
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Anime & Manga
- Myoga the flea in InuYasha. Whoever he hides with in a battle has been used as an indicator of what's the safest place to be.
- While Chamo of Mahou Sensei Negima! may be mostly useless during fights (and not all that brave during the particularly dangerous fights), he's at least a capable strategist and is willing to be as useful a possible.
- Tower of God : Evan Edrok, a highly skilled Guide is the companion of Princess Ha Yuri Zahard, whose adventures quite frankly freak him out. He isn't a coward, pre say, 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.
- Bob, assistant of Retro in Retro Chill, is this, constantly freaking out when he sees an alien despite being allies with them. His growing dissatisfaction with the job is what ultimately leads to his Heel-Face Turn.
Films — Live-Action
- In the first Scary Movie, the BET news crew only stays long enough to say "White folks gettin' killed, we're outta here!" before making good on their report.
- Dan Thompson's comical adventure strip hero Rip Haywire has his faithful dog, talking collie TNT, who is in near-constant panic mode.
- The Super Mario Bros. pinball has Luigi depicted as looking nervously on the playfield art, and places his target inside a cave.
- Magic: The Gathering: 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.
- Pommy in Bomberman 64 The Second Attack, who hides whenever a boss appears or whenever the alarms in the Gravity Generator rooms.
- King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder! 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.)
- In Rugrats, Chuckie Finster is literally scared of his own shadow. Contrast to Tommy, who is generally fearless.
- Penfold from Danger Mouse is an iconic example. In the first series episode "Rogue Robots", the narrator reveals that his codename is "The Jigsaw", because "when confronted with a problem, he goes to pieces." If he's not trying to make excuses not to go on the latest adventure, he's running off screaming or cowering behind the more traditionally heroic Danger Mouse. Consider this Wild Take from "Trouble with Ghosts":
Penfold: (face right in the camera)
Ahh! Vampires! Help, help! (runs back towards the dead end of the corridor and collides with the wall)
Mum! Mummy! Mum! Dad! (jumps halfway up the wall, then onto the ceiling)
Ooh! Ahh! Ooh! (jumps over to a grating and tries to pull it open)
Vampires, help! (jumps over to another wall and tries to scramble up it with his bare hands)
Save me! Oohohh! Oh, please! (begins running back and forth up the corridor)
Somebody do something, oooh! DM: (who has been watching Penfold's meltdown while leaning casually against the wall) Well done, Penfold, don't let them see you're frightened.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- 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 Mad God of Chaos.
- Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are each other's Cowardly Sidekicks, leading to frequent gags where they each try to hide behind one another. Contrast Scrappy Doo.
- In the Super Mario World episode "Ghosts 'R' Us," Yoshi is too scared of ghosts to want to enter haunted houses (which he couldn't do in the Super Mario World 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.