Second Banana is a term that has been around a really long time that meant "second billing" in an acting company. It's most often applied to comedians or comedies now; in such cases it's the supporting comedian, who may also be the StraightMan. Depending on the story he could be either [[ButtMonkey the victim]] of the primary comedian's (deliberate or unwitting) antics or [[HypercompetentSidekick the more successful one]], [[DeadpanSnarker who sits back and snarks at the star's foolishness]]. The Second Banana may no longer actually get second billing.

In terms of characters, it is most often the sidekick, best friend, or co-worker of the protagonist.

Compare TheLancer.


!! Examples

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Art Carney was Second Banana to Jackie Gleason in ''Series/TheHoneymooners''.
* In ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'', and later in ''Series/MayberryRFD'', Don Knotts was the second banana.
* Creator/NeilPatrickHarris's Barney Stinson is the second banana on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother''.
* Vivian Vance was usually Creator/LucilleBall's second banana in ''Series/ILoveLucy'' and TheLucyDesiComedyHour.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Yosuke Hanamura from ''VideoGame/Persona4'' is this to the protagonist. He even says word for word, "I'm cool playing second banana."
* Luigi from the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' games. ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosBrawl'' calls him the King of Second Bananas.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' being the most iconic source of animated comedy, often centered on comedy and show business has quite a few examples:
** Porky Pig was the studio's first major star but soon became the Second Banana and the StraightMan to the much wackier, egotistical and denser Daffy Duck. In-universe he was most often [[ButtMonkey conned, tormented]] and/or [[HypercompetentSidekick bossed around by Daffy]], depending on the short. At times all three together. He usually had the last laugh though, thanks to either paying him back in kind, or showing that he was more capable in all perilous situations.
** There was a character (a mouse) actually ''named'' Second Banana in some Warner Brothers cartoons, and in some Gold Key comics based on them. He was the sidekick of Merlin the Magic Mouse, a vaudeville-style stage magician.