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.
- Evan Edrok, a highly skilled Guide from Tower of God 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 Dai no Daibouken starts off like this.
- Yoki in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- 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 — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Dan Thompson's comical adventure strip hero Rip Haywire has his faithful dog, talking collie TNT, who is in near-constant panic mode.
- 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.
- 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.
- Luigi in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and its sequels.
- Arthur from The Tick. 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 The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron.
- Ron from Kim Possible.
- Antoine from Sonic SatAM.
- The aptly named Cringer the Battle-Cat from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983).
- 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.
- Gus from Recess.
- Zilly from Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines.
- Pokey from Gumby
- 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 unexplained reasons) 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.