Snarky Non-Human Sidekick
Every second webcomic has one, because nothing screams nerd-humor quite like having a token little mascot that swears like a sailor and brings hookers to your place when you're absent for the night.
He is a sociopath
who mocks the idealistic rest of the cast and the villains alike and always has the last word. His popularity ranges from The Scrappy
to fan favourite in the same fandom.
For some reason it's always a "he" even when it's hard to understand what about his physique qualifies him as male.
Cuteness is an option, not a certainty.
Cats and/or vaguely cat-like things are common
as are toasters, for some reason
If their style of snarkiness involves a lot of puns
, they may well be Pun Fursonified
See also The Imp
, Weasel Mascot
, Non-Human Sidekick
and Small Annoying Creature
. Contrast with The Snark Knight
, the close human equivalent.
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Anime & Manga
Films — Animation
- Diego in Ice Age, although it's more "snarky predator sidekick", and Manfred himself is rather snarky.
- Jiji the cat in Kiki's Delivery Service.
- Possibly Zazu from The Lion King, who is definitely snarky to Simba although respectful to Mufasa.
Films — Live-Action
- Even though we can't directly understand anything they say, R2-D2 and Chewbacca both fill this role in the Star Wars universe.
- Statement: In the same universe, HK-47 can be understood and fulfills this role far superiorly to any meatbag.
- If you thought Superman Returns was bad — and really, it wasn't, it just wasn't very good — you obviously have not heard Kevin Smith's story about the proposed Superman Reborn/Superman Lives film that was in development hell for decades and eventually became Superman Returns. Quite aside from ideas like Sean Penn as Clark, Superman fighting a giant spider, and Superman not flying and not wearing the suit, producer Jon Peters wanted to give Brainiac, the coldhearted AI, a snarky robotic sidekick — a "little gay R2-D2".
- Cactus Jack's horse Whiskey in The Villain, who also qualifies for a listing here without ever talking.
- While droids in Iain M. Banks' The Culture aren't at a HK-47 level of sociopathy, they are all Deadpan Snarker types who can be quite casual about using sentient knife-missiles against their enemies.
- Loiosh, Vlad's familiar in Steven Brust's Dragaera novels, although Vlad's equally snarky.
- Ozymandias, from Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series.
- Also by the same author, Prince Rupert's talking unicorn in Blue Moon Rising.
- Mogget from Garth Nix's Old Kingdom Trilogy is a little white fluffy cat who spends most of his time sleeping and making unkind remarks. Except when his Super-Powered Evil Side kicks in, that is.
- The The Polity has a definite debt to the The Culture, as is seen in its own snarky artificial intelligences. The Skinner also has a snarky Hive Mind of sapient wasps.
- Bob the Skull from The Dresden Files. He's not really a skull, he's just anchored to it. He's actually a supernatural library of the laws of magic that constantly evolves as the laws of reality do. He's also a complete lech, a Deadpan Snarker to rival Harry, and something of a Lovable Coward. He also has a conscience under there, on occasion. Of course, other times, he's less so.
- As of Changes, it seems Mouse is as well — and though Mister can't (or at least has yet to be able to) talk, he managed to snark pretty well himself, too. He must have taught Mouse about the virtues of threatening to 'literally tear (character's) ass off'.
- Bartimaeus from The Bartimaeus Trilogy could be called this. He does take over from the main character a lot of the time (Nathaniel would've died in the first book without him) but he is, technically, the sidekick and he has the snarky part down pat.
- Xemerius the gargoyle is this to Gwyneth in The Ruby Red Trilogy.
- Despite being a normal non-speaking animal, due to clever scripts, good comic-acting, and cinematography tricks, Fraser's pet wolf in Due South manages to be one of these. That sarcasm comes across so naturally from a silent animal is indeed a triumph.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch has Salem, a powerful warlock who was turned into a cat as punishment and by far the funniest character on the show.
- Victorious has Rex, Robbie's puppet sidekick.
- Special Unit 2 has Carl the gnome who is a kleptomaniac pervert.
- He may be a pervert, but he knows more about romance than O'Malley. As he puts it, "gnomes need love too".
- Daxter from Jak and Daxter, an "ottsel" who is ridiculously snarky, as well as a very, very large ham. History's smallest, fuzziest large ham, but in a good way.
- In a similar vein, Robot Buddy Clank of Ratchet & Clank, though Clank is the thoughtful member of the duo rather than a Large Ham.
- "Mr. Zurkon is not here to satisfy your pathetic need for comic relief. Mr. Zurkon is only here to kill you."
- No one can forget Morte the flying skull from Planescape: Torment.
- Sulpher, a cat, from Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, as opposed to his owner, an Extreme Doormat.
- Gouto-douji from Shin Megami Tensei : Devil Summoner.
- Grimoire Weiss, a magical talking book from NieR always has something to snark about during battle. It doesn't help that it's never really clear just whose side he's on.
- In the English Dub, this is compounded as he is played by Liam O'Brien in full Lezard Valeth mode. If you didn't expect to have to fight Weiss at some point, you weren't paying attention. However, this never happens, and Nier and Weiss become something more like Vitriolic Best Buds.
- Banjo-Kazooie: Banjo might be a bear, but he's much more anthropomorphic than his snarky bird companion, Kazooie. She is a rare female example.
- Captain Smiley from Comic Jumper has a talking star on his costume named, well...Star, who spends most of his time making cracks about just about anything...Smiley, Gerda, Smiley's enemies, himself, Smiley again. The only character safe from Star's sharp tongue is Smiley's muscle-headed nemesis Brad.
Tenebie Tenebrae from Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, an ancient guardian spirit of darkness that...kind of looks like a doggie, at least according to Colette.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess we have Midna, also qualifying as The Imp and Exposition Fairy as well.
- The Interactive Fiction game A Day in the Life of a Super Hero features Smelly the parrot. In his own words, "I'm your comedy sidekick, meaning I'm handy for crapping at inopportune moments and making inappropriate comments but damn all use aside from that."
- While the entire cast of Primordia consists of robots rather than humans, Crispin fits this trope, being a floating armless 'bot who follows around the humanoid protagonist Horatio. His snarkiness comes from being a homage to Morte.
- The game hangs a lampshade on the trope on a few occasions, most notably when the duo meets Armstrong the bartender:
Crispin: Boss, I need that arm!
Horatio: Crispin, it appears to be a self-aware robot.
Crispin: Now I need it even more. Can you imagine? "The Adventures of Crispin and His Arm"! For once, I would have a sidekick! He would crack jokes, and I would say lame things, like: "It appears to be a self-aware robot." Actually... On second thought? You can be the serious one, I'll be the sidekick.
- The Cheat from Homestar Runner. Also The Unintelligible, so usually incapable of verbal snark.
- That's okay, Strong Bad has more than enough snark to go around. Somewhat ironic when you consider that physically Strong Bad is probably the most humanoid character in the cast.
- Burble from Broken Space is a short, surly alien with a needlessly large rifle.
- Brilight from The Beast Legion
- Myhrad the drageling (young dragon) from Chasing The Sunset is such an articulate pessimist he could give Marvin a run for his money. And he's absolute adorable to boot.
- Ezekiel (Zeke), the X-box robot of Ctrl+Alt+Del.
- Mildly Subverted in Cwen's Quest, where the Snarky Non-Human Sidekick is female, well behaved and generally well-adjusted. Of course this doesn't stop her from snarking.
- Spark, a cat, from Dominic Deegan. One of the least snarky examples on this page. Mostly he's here for the puns.
- Ellis from Errant Story. He's not the only one, though. He fits in with the other characters who all are snarky and bordering on sociopathic.
- Paedagogusi (or if you prefer, "moth with tits") Chicanery has this going for her too, although the "sidekick" part of the meme is several thousand years in the past by story time.
- Girl Genius has Krosp, Agatha's cat(king!).
Krosp: Is this one of those situations that involves "ethics"? 'Cause I'm a cat, you know. I've never been very good at those.
- Girls with Slingshots has McPedro the Talking Cactus.
- Reynardine from Gunnerkrigg Court is a dangerous demon, possessing a cuddle toy and kept in check by Antimony.
- It is worth noting that Reynardine can shift into a large, dignified-looking white wolf form, and is not nearly as snarky or foul-mouthed. His snark is apparently dependent on his mascot status, and there is some serious confusion regarding what he actually thinks about others (at least, anyone he doesn't regard with snarky apathy).
- Although she fits the qualification of being the resident Non-Human Sidekick-in-a-Webcomic, Molly the Monster in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! is innocent and naive rather than snarky — but she is nonetheless a source of much comic relief. And she certainly takes the cuteness option.
- Artie from Narbonic (a superintelligent talking gerbil) was originally presented as this, but became more developed as the story went on.
Artie: I'm I fuzzy little animal who talks too much! I'm comic relief!
Zeta: Congrats. You got promoted.
- The Order of the Stick
- Belkar, being a halfling, is small and snarky. He's also Chaotic Evil.
- The ever-present Demon-Roaches also do a pretty good job, on Xykon's side of things.
- Div from Penny Arcade could count as this, although he's much too minor a character to really count as a sidekick.
- Skull from PvP.
- Pintsize, Momo, and Winslow from Questionable Content, especially Pintsize.
- Howard in RPG World, a pastiche of Mog who had roughly the same role.
- Ennesby in Schlock Mercenary, with eponymous sociopathic (and sometime humanitarian) amorph Schlock himself in second place.
- Nick Zerhakker from Skin Horse. He does have a human brain, but two out of three ain't bad. As a military combat helicopter (albeit unarmed) he is also the biggest member of the cast until Gavotte starts swarming. His snark is somewhat hampered by the speech synth censoring his swearing.
- Bun-Bun from Sluggy Freelance might be the Ur-Example, at least in terms of webcomics.
- Choo-Choo Bear from Something Positive. To be fair, he is only snarky in the rare moments when he is given a voice, none of which definitively take place.
- Creator Randy Milholland's own comic ego has a mascot in Rippy the Razor, who is himself occasionally shadowed by Fluffmodeus and the Misery Monkey
- Walkyverse: Shortpacked's Ultra-Car has moved in this direction since his origins. He's just not very good at snarking.
- Robot the robot from Zap!
- Mr. Stinky from Flying Man and Friends is sort of an aversion: though he seems to be sociopathic and often serves as a punchline, you never actually hear what he "says". He did write a note once, though.
- Sir Percival Throckmorton Scruffs Esq, Eigth Viscount of Lower Hemmingwedge-on-the-Fritz, the rat sidekick from Guttersnipe is more pompous than snarky but still fits the trope.
- Fuzzy from Sam and Fuzzy.
- Effex and Aihok, the fairies in Arthur, King of Time and Space, aren't exactly sociopathic, although they do work with a woman who wants to Take Over the World. They just don't have much idea of consequences. They're more snarky (and even less sociopathic) in the modern arc, where they're fictional aliens.
- Subverted and lampshaded in Unintentionally Pretentious with Aibo, Mia's robotic guide dog.
- Jeff from Fathead.
- Iago in Aladdin definitely qualifies, especially after his Heel-Face Turn in the sequels and television series.
- Roger the alien on American Dad!.
- Porkchop, Doug's dog from Doug. While Porkchop can't speak, his expressions and body movements can show his snarkiness at times. Especially when his owner starts drifting into Cloudcuckoolander territory.
- Bender from Futurama is a robotic sidekick who indulges in vices from gambling to strippers and often remarks upon "his" desire to kill his friends.
- Custard becomes one of these to Strawberry Shortcake in the 2003 series.
- Rubilax, a Talking Weapon from Wakfu. Actually a sealed demon, and definitely a sociopath — if freed, his main occupation is senseless carnage. He compensates for his imprisonement by ruthlessly snarking at his idealistic guardian.
- Season 2 features loads of such sealed demons, all of them just as snarky as the other. Justified by one admitting in their sealed state it is pretty much all they can do.