Western Animation / Sidekick
is a Canadian animated television series created by Todd Kauffman, who directed of the first season of Total Drama
, and Joey So, it was originally 5 shorts for Funpak. (Essentially Nelvana
's answer to What A Cartoon
or Oh Yeah! Cartoons
) before it was made into a television series 5 years after Funpak premiered. The series first aired in Canada on September 3, 2010 on YTV
. In the United States, the series premiered on Cartoon Network
on June 13, 2011 at 3:30PM ET. The series ended on September 14, 2013.
It tells the story of Eric Needles, the sidekick of missing superhero Maxum Man and his adventures in Splitsboro, a town divided between heroes and villains.You can watch the Funpak shorts here.
Can be seen on YTV
in Canada and Cartoon Network
in the States.
Sidekick provides examples of:
- The Ace: While Vana is this in terms of skill, personality-wise she's an arrogant, selfish, uncaring jerk with absolutely no redeeming qualities. Same with Maxum Man.
- Action Girl: Vana. Kitty has her moments as well. Mandy Struction counts too, as well as we can assume Maxum Mom, as she's a retired Superheroine.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Eric wants Vana while Kitty wants Eric.
- Alpha Bitch: The most consistent characterization of Vana, with Kitty acting like her Girl Posse.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Vana's hippi, dippie mother.
- Angry Guard Dog: Maxum Mutt.
- Arch-Enemy: Mr. Troublemeyer/Master XOX for Professor Pampelmoose and Maxum Man (though due to the latter being missing, you hardly ever see this)
- Archnemesis Dad: Trevor's grandfather is this for Mr. Troublemeyer. If the pictures on the wall are any indication, he definitely qualifies as abusive. Plus he is constantly trying to turn Trevor evil despite Mr. Troublemeyer's continued efforts to get him to be a good boy.
- Art Evolution: The Funpak shorts differ from the TV series in this way.
- Attention Whore: Vana
- Ax-Crazy: Master XOX. It becomes blatantly obvious in his first appearance when he says that he created clones and ate them.
- Badass Mustache: Eric gets one of these in the episode "Moustache Squash".
- Badass Adorable: All four of the main characters.
- Badass Santa: Mega Santa.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Vana and Eric, though only from Eric's side.
- Kitty and Eric, on Kitty's side.
- Betty and Veronica: Kitty Ko as the Betty and Vana Glama as the Veronica. Only this Veronica doesn't want Archie. Then Mandy Strcution comes in as the Cheryl Blossom.
- Bindle Stick: In "Ye Old Sidekick Village" the villain uses his anti-technology ray to turn Kitty's bag into one of these, filled with cans of beans.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Pampelmoose" is French for 'Grapefruit'. Lampshaded when Eric tastes some of Pampelmoose-turned-evil-plant and notes that it tastes 'Pampelmoosey, with a hint of citrus'.
- Bollywood Nerd: Maxum Man's Super Computer, Maxum Brain, has an Indian Accent.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: "A rooster? Rutabaga? A roostabaga?"
- Burping Contest: One episode involved Eric and Trevor repeatedly going back in time and changing the present (trying to fix what they screwed up the first time, of course). Upon returning to the present after one of these trips, they find out that Vana and Kitty have become anthropomorphic turtles, who promptly start up a burping contest for no reason. Eric immediately sends him and Trevor back in time again, while Trevor complains that he wants to stay long enough to see who wins. The next time they come back to the present, they find that Vana and Kitty are still turtles, only this time they get into a farting contest instead.
- Butt Monkey: Eric
- Conveniently an Orphan: Eric is an orphan. He usually brings it up every other episode.
- Can't Spit It Out: Or, more accurately, spits it out all the time. Kitty has a not-so-secret crush on Eric, and reveals it all the time, but whenever she gets a little too lovey-dovey, Eric asks "What?", with Kitty responding with her own "What?" If Eric is aware at all of Kitty's feelings, he doesn't show it and definitely does not return them.
- The Chew Toy: Eric
- Maxum Man's former sidekick Golly Gee Kid was definitely this as well.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Trevor
- Crapsaccharine World: Splitsboro seems like your typical town, if not for the fact it gets destroyed in nearly every episode, and there's a holiday to beat Eric up. Plus, almost every character is mean-spirited, even the so-called "heroes" are Not So Different from the villains such as Maxum Man is self-righteousjerks, and even the most decent characters have a mean bone in their body.
- Create Your Own Villain: The supervillains who hate Maxum Man are villains because Maxum Man was a real jerk to them, or were the reason why they became villains in the first place.
- Dating Catwoman: Eric and Mandy Struction, Member of the Splitsboro Crime Syndicate, The Mass Destructions
- Deconstruction: The in-world universe treats sidekicks as if they were objects, punching bags, etc., which can lead to making every student masochistic.
- Department of Redundancy Department: This one doubles as a genius bonus. In "Ain't No Party Like a Maxum Brain Party", Eric suggests pulling out some of Maxum Brain's RAM Memory to lighten him up a bit. RAM stands for Random Access Memory. So he suggested pulling out some Random Access Memory Memory.
- Depending on the Writer: Characters can either become charming and playful and can be friendly to each other (with only slight insults) and become jerks for the sake of humor sometimes. Eric gets the worst out of this. He's either the Only Sane Man and/or Closer to Earth or tuns just as stupid as Trevor, or an even worse example, he either is shy or unaware of Kitty's crush on him, or treats her like an absolute Jerkass like if her crushing on him is the worst thing ever. Doesn't help that he has a crush on Vana, who's treats him like utter crap. Likewise Trevor can be simply a Wacky Friend with some "negative qualities" or an outright sociopath.
- Deranged Animation
- Disappeared Dad
- Maxum Man is Eric's adoptive dad, and no one knows where he is.
- A less prominent version is Vana's dad. Her mom showed up as a Granola Girl, but her father was suspiciously absent.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Maxum Mutt.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Eric towards Vana
- Downer Ending: Many episodes end with Eric being pummeled (or at least humiliated). The episode with the Maxum Mobile takes this Up to Eleven. As Eric and Trevor are driving the Maxum Mobile, which due to plot induced Amnesia Eric doesn't remember the car (which was set to evil) destroying half the town, freeing every villain from prison and mutating Vana into a monster. At the end he is cornered by the dozens of villains, the angry mob and the car with hundreds of missiles ready to blow to him up. But manages to (very difficultly) set the car back to good. Only for Trevor to turn it back to evil, as sabotaging Eric was on his to-do list The episode just ends there
- Dumb Muscle: XOX's henchmen.
- The Eeyore: Eric has moments with this trope
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mr. Troublemeyer/Master XOX tries constantly to be a good father. But Trevor makes it very hard to do so.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Mr. Troublemeyer tries to keep Trevor from turning evil and even put him in the Sidekick Academy despite reacting in disgust when that school is even mentioned. Of course, Master XOX is always proud that Trevor inherited his evilness.
- Evil Teacher: Technically Professor Pampelmoose
- Expy: Eric is similar to the animated Karl Pilkington
- Failure Is the Only Option
- Maxum Man will never be found. If he ever appears on screen outside of informational videos, it's always a fake or a duplicate.
- Even when Eric wins, he usually loses to reinforce what a loser he is.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: One episode had Eric acting strangely, only for it to be revealed that a shrunken XOX had entered Eric's body and took control of him. The rest of the group goes in to defeat him. It apparently isn't Trevor's first trip into Eric's body.
- Free-Range Children
- Friend Versus Lover: According to their biographies on the YTV website, Trevor and Kitty both hate each other's guts, this could be the reason why.
- Genre Blindness: In "Endless Summer" Eric notices how Trevor's dad and Master XOX bear a striking resemblance to each other and how their RV is full of menacing inventions. He puts two and two together... and figures that XOX is forcing Trevor's dad to build inventions for him.
- Gonk: Pampelmoose
- Grossout Show
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Oh so very much.
- Heroes Want Redheads
- Eric is much more interested in Vana than he is in Kitty.
- And Mirror Universe Eric wants her too.
- Herr Doctor: Professor Pampelmoose.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Eric and Trevor; Kitty and Vana.
- Honor Before Reason: In the episode "The Henchman Challenge," Eric does not want to cheat even though it's ostensibly the only way their team can win. Eventually, he gives in, but Kitty is not happy.
- Idiot Hero: Most prominently Trevor. Eric falls in this depending on the episode.
- Invincible Hero: Maxum Man throughout all of his flashback/video appearances seems outright immortal as he is shown to be indestructible and doesn't age.
- Jerkass: Pampelmoose
- Practically the whole cast, even the most decent characters in the show have a mean bone in their body.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded in "Supermodels." Eric says he needs the perfect outfit for picture day, and Maxum Brain asks, "Aren't you only having the one outfit?" After a beat and a look to the camera, Eric scoffs, denies it and slams his bedroom door's shut.
- Love Potion: The Gaga Goggles combine this with Hypno Ray.
- Love Triangle: Kitty loves Eric, who loves Vana, who hates him.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Trevor idolizes XOX, but seems to hold nothing but contempt for XOX's civilian identity: his dad.
- Lustful Melt: Vana melts like wax when meeting Allan Amazing for the first time.
- Meaningful Name: Splitsboro, as the entire city is split into two halves, one for heroes and one for villains.
- Trevor's last name sounds a lot like "Troublemaker", which perfectly describes both him and his father.
- Also Vana Glamma and Alan Amazing.
- The Millstone: Trevor in a majority of the episodes he's in.
- Missing Mom: Trevor's mother
- Mondegreen: A non-lyric example: Eric tells Trevor that his old orphanage pal has "abandonment issues", and that you should never say "Goodbye" to him. Trevor, however, mishears it for "Banana Mint Shoes". This goes on to be a Running Gag and finally a Brick Joke.
- Morality Chain: Kitty for Eric in "The Henchman Challenge".
- Oblivious to Love
- Eric is completely oblivious to the fact that Kitty has a crush on him, although this is depending on the episode. In some episodes he is aware of this but he's not interested in her.
- Subverted with Vana; she knows Eric has a crush on her, but doesn't return to feeling. Eric is trying hard to change her mind.
- Only Sane Person: Usually Eric, but can be Vana or Kitty, depending on the episode.
- Parental Abandonment:
- Eric is orphaned after his parents are killed in an amusement park accident.
- This goes to extreme levels when Kitty is revealed to be a orphan in "Parent Teacher Night of Doom". This also referenced in the episode "Hello Dolly" when she has a 100 year old little cousin (this indicates that her family left her in the past, are killed or both).
- The Professor: Pampelmoose
- Punny Name: Pick a villain, any villain. Examples include Man Maid and Drilliam Shakespeare.
- Robot Buddy: Maxum Brain was recently revealed to have been a super in his own right. As it so happens, Pamplemoose appears to have been his sidekick.
- Subverted with the Loids; they're so competent, everyone leaves town and builds a new Splitsboro to get away from them.
- Sadist Show: A show takes place in a world where sidekicks are treated badly, almost everyone is downright cruel, and even Eric himself can be nasty at times. Gee, you think?
- Sadist Teacher: Professor Pampelmoose
- Sanity Ball: Even Trevor gets thrown to this.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors
- Used in "Moustachesquatch" when the gang is chasing/being chased by the moustache monster. Rather than actual doors they use caves.
- Played straight in "House of Helmut", followed by Trevor running into a closed door, knocking down the whole wall, and having the others comes out of one of the knocked down doors.
- Ship Tease: Sometimes between Eric and Kitty, especially in "The Henchman Challenge".
- Later their shipping Eric and Mandy.
- Sidekick: It's in the name, after all.
- Simpleton Voice: Pamplemoose
- The Smurfette Principle: The henchman with the pigtails at the henchman school.
- Sociopathic Hero: Maxum Man and Trevor.
- Split Personality: Mr. Troublemeyer, Trevor's effeminate father and Master XOX, The closest thing the show has to a Big Bad. Trevor idolizes Master XOX, unaware he's really his father.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Maxum Man's secret identity is Mr. Maxummin.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: XOX to Pampelmoose.
- Stalker with a Crush: Kitty sometimes takes her crush on Eric to creepy levels.
- Kitty in general. When a famous teen movie star appears she near-completely forgets about Eric during the duration of the star's visit and goes to much greater lengths for her stalker-dom.
- Status Quo Is God: The town is usually destroyed once an episode. It recovers by the next one.
- In the final ep "Graduation Daze" all the Sidekicks were to graduate from Sidekick School but had to do a final test. They all passed, but the last was Eric who accidentally disintegrated the diplomas in the process meaning everyone had to repeat the school all over again.
- Superhero School: A variant, the school is for sidekick.
- Token Evil Teammate: Trevor
- Token Minority: Vana is Portuguese, Kitty is Chinese and Mandy is Italian/Persian.
- Tsundere: Kitty is sometimes a tsundere type B toward Eric.
- Vague Age: Averted by Word of God: Todd Kauffman (one of the creators) confirms them to be in grade 9 — so they're 13-14 years old. Their design makes them look younger.
- Verbal Tic: Master XOX always pronounces "evil" as "evile", like a combination of "evil" and "vile". Maybe he does it to make a point about how evil (and vile) he is. Or maybe he just likes the band.
- Visual Pun
- The aforementioned "roostabaga" gag is followed by a rooster with a rutabaga for a torso.
- "The dust bunnies are starting to multiply". Cut to a scene of bunnies doing multiplication on a chalk board.
- Splitsboro's good and evil sides are separated by a railroad, meaning that the people who live on the evil side are literally born on the wrong side of the tracks.
- With Friends Like These...: Trevor for Eric and Vana for Kitty.
- World Gone Mad: Splitsboro
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Graduation Daze (The final episode)