Follow TV Tropes


Sidekick Creature Nuisance
aka: Small Annoying Creature

Go To
Creatures like this are guaranteed to get on your nerves.

Navi: Hey! Listen! Get up! Get up! Get up getupgetupgetupgetup—
Link: Dude! Seriously! Shut! Up!

A staple of 1980s adventure cartoon shows, the Sidekick Creature Nuisance is a type of Sidekick. It is there to be cute, provide comic asides and occasionally get into trouble and need rescuing. Often a "merchandising critter." note  Sometimes it's crossed with the Nonhuman Sidekick. It frequently has a Verbal Tic - and truly gets on the main cast's nerves.

There was a time when even the most straight-faced of animated adventure serials had one to provide a bit of slapstick in the background.

Saw a revival in the mid-2000s when CGI became the norm for children's animation, with many films featuring them prominently in advertising material.

Note that this trope is for characters who are annoying to the other characters, not just to the audience.

See also Weasel Mascot, Talking Animal, Cute, but Cacophonic, Ridiculously Cute Critter, Exposition Fairy, and The Imp. If the sidekick is a dog, it's a Mister Muffykins. Often overlaps with Gratuitous Animal Sidekick, Robot Buddy and Kid-Appeal Character.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Aria Pokoteng, the president cat from ARIA, arguably fits here. Many fans still accept or even enjoy his role in the manga, since he has no speaking role and generally doesn't divert too much attention from the main characters. His loud and obnoxious habit of chewing scenery in the anime puts quite a few viewers off though.
  • 7-Zark-7, introduced to pad out the gaps left by censorship in Battle of the Planets, was not really this; the other characters treated him with respect, when he interacted with them at all (which was rare). However, he later got 1-Rover-1, a robotic dog, who was very much this to him.
  • Berserk: Puck is a small, cutesy Fairy Companion sidekick who follows Guts while cracking jokes and nagging him to have a better attitude. At first Guts is annoyed by him and threatens to squash him like a bug a couple of times. It's only when Puck proves useful in his constant healing and driving away ghosts that Guts warms up to him. Schierke's Fairy Companion Ivalera shares this role for the group after she's introduced.
  • Kon from Bleach devolved into this as soon as they put him in a stuffed animal. He loses this trait every time he possesses Ichigo's bodysince e the intent is for him to do the fighting on Ichigo's behalf. Kon is some kind of renegade who isn't fully compliant to whatever arrangement souls like him are normally part of, which is why they keep him in a harmless stuffed toy while he's not in use (which is why he turns into this trope; he can't really fight, and thus has no meaningful contribution to anything).
  • Sumomo from Chobits is a Robot Girl. She talks in an unbelievably grating high-pitched voice, and her Catchphrase is "WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!"
  • From Inuyasha, there's Shippou. He's small and he's annoying. However, he seems to be the Only Sane Man sometimes.
  • Parodied in Magical Project S. Magical Project S and the Pretty Sammy OVAs are the only installments of the franchise where Ryo-Okhi talks. After a few episodes, one quickly realizes why she doesn't talk in the other series. As Magical Project S and all of the Pretty Sammy series are a direct parody of Sailor Moon, Ryo-Okhi is supposed to be annoying.
  • In the TV adaptation of Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, Maruru the "fairy advisor" plays this trope very, very straight. She/he/it has a grating voice and comes with a Verbal Tic: appending "maru" to the ends of sentences.
  • The Ojama Trio in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX are supposed to irritate the hell out of people - such as Manjoume Chazz, to whom they're attached and who is absolutely horrified about it.
  • Murugu from YuYu Hakusho. She's a green talking bird loyal to Suzaku that provides color commentary and gives the alarm twice. Her biggest contribution to the plot is watching the screen focused on the human world while Suzaku watches what Yusuke and co are up to -more of a convenience than a necessity for a demon of his level.
  • Hawk from The Seven Deadly Sins, a talking pig with a shrill voice and an overinflated sense of his own importance.

    Comic Books 
  • Any of the Preservers from ElfQuest, but especially Petalwing. Their annoyingness is intentional, and their preserving cocoons do have a serious purpose. Their tendency to literally spit in the faces of threats to their "highthings" can be very useful; they can cover the target's whole face in one go. (No, it's not explained how they hold a mass of webbing larger than their given size.)

    Films — Animation 
  • Gurgi in Disney's adaptation of The Black Cauldron. Although so we're all clear on this, the character was also in the books, and his portrayal was actually pretty faithful.
    • In the book, Gurgi is more man-sized and has the appearance of primitive man. Book readers have contemplated that he could be an intelligent primate sort of creature. The adaptation shrunk him down to being more dog-sized with a dog-like appearance.
  • Gabby from Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels. No bigger than a pin, has an obnoxiously shrill voice, and a personality as lovable as a mosquito, he has permanently etched the word "THERE'S A GIANT ON THE BEACH!" into the minds of many animation fans forever. Its certainly a surprise that he was popular enough to warrant a Spin-Off series to him, short lived as it was.
  • Dutifully parodied with "Mr. Skipperdoo" in the "Mr. Incredible and Pals" short included with The Incredibles DVD — ostensibly an unaired cartoon pilot within the characters' universe. Even more hilarious than the cartoon is the commentary with Frozone and Mr. Incredible, who both hate the rabbit.
    Frozone: And that rabbit is getting on my LAST nerve!
  • Shrek said it best: "YOU DENSE, IRRITATING, MINIATURE BEAST OF BURDEN!" Lampshaded in Shrek 2.
    Donkey: I'm sorry, the position of Annoying Talking Animal has already been taken!
  • In Bartok the Magnificent, there's Bartok himself. And also, there's that strange-looking pink snake-like creature with jingling bells, Piloff.
  • This was a favored trope of Don Bluth in general — so much to the point one briefly appeared in his last movie, Titan A.E., and immediately gets shot by a laser.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The small alien creature in the film Lost in Space that Penny finds. Its whole role in the film was to be cute and provide some slapstick.
  • The Star Wars movies have 2 characters who fit into this profile, despite being man-sized:
    • Jar Jar Binks fits this trope in Episode I. His antics get him into trouble, after which someone smarter needs to save him. Their method of solving this in Episodes II and III was to make him a representative in the Galactic Senate and greatly reduce his screen time without writing him out completely.
    • C-3PO also fits this trope in that he annoys the other good guys with his constant complaining, especially during tense situations. Leia even turned him off once.
    • Salacious Crumb (the cackling thing that hangs out with Jabba the Hutt) is another deliberately annoying character from Return of the Jedi. Thankfully for fans, he's not in the film for long.
    • Some people like Ewoks, others find them to be quite irritating, despite their cuddly teddy-bear likeness.
    • Invoked by Yoda, who happens to be a small inhuman creature, in The Empire Strikes Back, in order to test Luke's patience and determine whether he had the temperament to be a Jedi. He gets much less annoying when he drops the act.
    • The Porgs from The Last Jedi, especially when they make themselves at home on the Falcon. Chewie spends at least one scene trying to get them out of his hair.
  • Sidney the Elephant's Tribble-like pets from Meet the Feebles, whom mess up his room via vomiting and urinating on each other. They are killed in the next scene thanks to an out-of-control barrel.

  • Carla's hamburger hat thing in The Red and the Rest is not especially well-liked by her uncle and seems to get them in trouble rather than serve any useful purpose. It's stated that she only keeps it around because it was her dead father's gift to her, plus it's implied that the hat has gotten more active as of the beginning of the story.

    Live-Action TV 


    Tabletop Games 
  • Stwingers, teeny-tiny fairies in the Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition. Described as "nauseatingly cute", they aren't truly dangerous, but very annoying, especial for dwarves, seeing as stwingers saw long beards as playground swings. Even if seen, these creatures have some sort of euphoria power that makes it hard to shoo them away.

    Video Games 
  • Poshul from Chrono Cross, a hideous pink dog that acts like a Scooby-Doo caricature mixed with You No Take Candle.
    Actual Poshul quote: Me will use my Pwetty-Miwacle-Power-X! Me will do it, Sergeipoo!
  • Leonard's pact-partner the malicious fairy in Drakengard.
  • Most Moogles in general from the Final Fantasy games, when they become anything more than fluffy balls of cute:
    • Mog from Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is supposed to be carrying the chalice, and yet he complains about being tired only seconds before you get surrounded by some 20-odd monsters.
    • Mog from Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon being a fully-voiced Moogle, is notorious.
    • Non-Moogle example: Tama from World of Final Fantasy can be very the-grating a lot of the-time, especially the-thanks to her Verbal Tic.
    • Hurdy from Final Fantasy Tactics A2 averts this by actually being useful as far as Bards go.
    • Cait Sith from Final Fantasy VII is not a Moogle, but rides on a stuffed one. He has only two Limit Breaks, neither of which are very useful, and sticks out like a sore thumb in what is one of the darkest games in the series.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    • Mieu from Tales of the Abyss — as lampshaded repeatedly by Luke, who constantly abuses the poor thing by stepping on it, kicking it or using it as an impromptu club, all because it pisses him off. And it's all played for comedy. And referring to him as "Thing", because he can't figure out what sort of animal he is. Admittedly, Luke is the only one who does this, and after his Important Haircut wherein he ceases to be Ambassador Asshat, he takes more kindly to Meiu and only goes back to his Jerkass ways when Meiu embarrasses him in front of Tear
    • In the Japanese version, Luke calls him "butasaru," which means "pig monkey."
  • World of Warcraft has dozens of "non-combat" pets you can buy or find. Most of them are innocuous, but you can shut off the audio for the ones that are annoying. However, when Lil' XT was first introduced it shared a sound file with the full-sized XT-002 Deconstructor from Ulduar; therefore the pet sounds cutoff didn't work. The week after its introduction there were dozens of them running around Dalaran screaming "I guess it doesn't bend that way!" and "I'm ready to play!" and you COULD NOT MAKE IT STOP. It was eventually hotfixed, but the scars remain...
  • Chu Chu from Xenogears, a mostly-serious giant robot RPG that inexplicably had a cute pink animal that enlarged to enormous size.
  • Xenoblade has Chu Chu's counterpart, Riki the Heropon, although at least he's useful as a party member and serves as a deconstruction of the usual trope in that he's actually 40 years old, has a huge litter of children he's struggling to feed and being named "Heropon" is Nopon shorthand for "title given out to Nopon who find themselves deep in debt and must work it off by slaying monsters that threathen other Nopon or die trying".
    • Xenoblade Chronicles X has Riki's Expy Tatsu, who plays the trope painfully straight in that he offers absolutely nothing useful in gameplay and just tags along making comments whenever Lin is in the party (which is 90% of the story quests). Whereas Riki was at least a decent and useful party member, Tatsu contributes nothing at all yet still takes credit for all the team's victories.
  • In the Super Robot Wars series, Chika is this to Shu Shirakawa. Considering Shu has Nerves of Steel, seeing him getting annoyed by Chika is just hilarious.
    Chika: Now you will learn to fear the power of Granzon the cheater!
    Shu: Chika... where did you learn to talk like that?
  • Cedric The Owl from King's Quest V was infamous for being one of the first annoying video game sidekicks. The fact he is completely useless except for the very end where he becomes the Chekhov's Gunman, does nothing but overstate the obvious "Look out Graham! that bear looks dangerous" "that desert that looks hot" "Watch out Graham a POOIIISONOUS snake" and most locations in the game he is too afraid to follow you, or just doesn't care enough to, and gets kidnapped twice. Not to mention his hooty owl voice is beyond annoying to most fans.
  • The Borderlands series of games describes the entire line of Claptrap robots as this—small, boxy, uni-wheeled robots with obnoxiously loud, grating voices and zero subtlety. The yellow Claptrap who's a recurring character for the series is basically treated as an annoyance by almost everyone. The only person who seems to have a kind word for him is Angel, who merely describes Claptrap as a "funny little robot."
  • Fidget, Dust's companion in Dust: An Elysian Tail. She joins him at the beginning because she's supposed to be the guardian of the Cool Sword he gets, and sticks around, helping by providing a magic attack. She's a small, cutesy creature called a nimbat — a kind of cat/squirrel/dragon/whatever thingy — and has a slightly quirky personality. Though they become good friends, she and Dust often get on each other's nerves or tease each other.
  • Parodied and Invoked in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft with the aptly-named "Annoy-O-Tron". In-universe, this robot is so annoying that it has the "Taunt" ability, which forces other minions to attack it first and "Divine Shield", which prevents all damage once.
  • As part of its homage to all things '80s, Double Dragon Neon has a hidden secret called Fuzzface, a small flying fuzzy ball that looks goofy and says annoying things in a high-pitched voice. He does at least provide healing items and nets you an achievement/trophy for finding him.
  • Schmooples, the nug that the Warden can give to Leliana in Dragon Age: Origins, can be considered this. He annoys at least one of the companions; Oghren keeps saying he wants to eat him (though to be fair, Oghren is a dwarf and nugs are a staple food source underground). He meanwhile also drives players crazy with his constant chirping sounds in the party camp.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Nibbler in Futurama. He at first appears to be a small annoying brainless pet with a voracious appetite, but it eventually turns out he's a member of the ancient race of Nibblonians, who (somehow) predate the universe itself by 20 minutes or so. When Nibbler actually speaks, he turns out to have a deep, resonant (if somewhat overdramatic) voice and to be smarter than the rest of the cast put together. He fits the trope because the other characters don't know he's intelligent for quite a while, and most of them find him quite annoying, especially Bender.
  • Godzooky from the series The Godzilla Power Hour. It doesn't help that he's an Expy of Minya either.
  • When The Jetsons was brought back in syndication, the major change was the addition of one of these, in the form of Orbity, that little spring-legged unintelligible alien who changed colors depending on his mood. Granted, in a futuristic sitcom, a cute fuzzy alien pet wasn't entirely out of place.
  • Bleep, the alien cotton ball with legs, on Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space.
  • Nine years before Navi debuted, The Legend of Zelda's animated series included the fairy princess Spryte, who liked to hang around (and sometimes help) Link and Zelda. Some may argue that of the two fairies, Spryte is the more annoying. It didn't help that she's constantly flirting with (a mostly dismissive) Link. Spryte's voice was also high and squeaky, with a slightly nasal Canadian accent, which many (but not all) audience members found irritating.
    • However, unlike Navi, Spryte openly and genuinely cared about Link (which, it can be argued, the frequently belligerent Zelda did not). In several episodes, Spryte was both helpful to the duo, and instrumental in their defeating Ganon. This character development kept her from becoming The Load.
    • With a couple of notable exceptions, Spryte was almost completely absent from the Valiant comics based on the series. The role of token fairy was instead taken by Miff, a temperamental Deadpan Snarker who hated Link and repeatedly insulted him. The artists never seemed to agree how to draw her, though; in some stories she'd be this rather sexy, if tiny, woman, and in others she looked like a pudgy eight-year-old.
  • Bunga from The Lion Guard is hated by a lot of people, mainly because he seems to be the biggest source of forced "comedic" conflicts in every episode of the series. The fact that he shares some of the same traits as Scrappy-Doo himself does not help, nor does his two catchphrases, "Zuka Zama" and "Un-Bunga-lievable!", which many perceive as annoying.
  • Mort the mouse lemur in Madagascar and The Penguins of Madagascar. Played With in that he's meant to be this, is seen as such In-Universe (Julien explicitly refers to him as this), and usually winds up as the Butt-Monkey. He doesn't seem to mind.
  • Slimer in The Real Ghostbusters, on the surface, is a textbook case. However, behind the scenes, he's a little bit more complex; in the earlier era of the show helmed by J. Michael Straczynski, the man specifically clarified in his writer's guide for the series to not overuse Slimer so that he doesn't fall under this trope (or at least, isn't hit by it too hard). However, once the network started interfering with the show one of their many controversial decisions was to shoehorn Slimer into every scene, soon embodying this trope's worst aspects. This culminated in the show being retooled to "Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters," with each episode divided into two 10 minute episodes- one devoted to the Ghostbusters (and Slimer) and the other devoted to Slimer without the Ghostbusters. The latter even had a new character added, Max, an alley cat who served as an atagonist to Slimer and managed to be even more annoying.
  • Parodied in Robot Chicken when the creators of Star Trek: The Next Generation decide to create an even worse character than Wesley Crusher to make him look better. Turns out, the more annoying character becomes loved and people still want the writers to kill off Wesley.
    • Robot Chicken also parodied the Filmation examples as Snarf and Orko are in an elevator together thinking about how they can't stand each other. Then Gleek walks in and they both get annoyed by him. Gleek leaves the elevator only to get stuck in line with the most irritating sidekick of all: Andy Richter.
  • Parodied in South Park with Niblet in "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery."
  • Snarf in Thunder Cats. They later added his even smaller and more annoying nephew, Snarfer. Humorously enough, Snarf's annoying nature is decried by a fan in the DVD extras. The fan in question is Wil Wheaton. Similar to He-Man's Cringer, he becomes a non-speaking creature in the series remake.
  • The four alien "Worms" from Men in Black: The Series. They were just an occasional nuisance in the first season, but as the show wore on and Seasonal Rot set in, they started to tag along with almost every episode, and more or less signaled the death knell of the show.
  • Winslow from CatDog. Notable in that he's actually a lot more on the ball than the usual creature fitting under this trope, and he's usually acting against the protagonists. Most of his annoyance comes from Jerkassery in fact.
  • Parodied in Crognard the Barbarian, a show-within-a-show in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012). The show, a pastiche of 80's Filmation/Hanna-Barbera-styled action-fantasy cartoons, features an annoying ghost-like creature named Spooch who pretty much ticks every box associated with this trope. He is also frequently abused by the title character.
  • Miraculous Ladybug has the Kwami of destruction, Plagg, who is a stark contrast to the Kwami of creation, Tikki, in a lot of respects. Plagg is lazy, greedy and more antagonistic in general, with most of his thoughts going towards camembert. But deep down, he does genuinely care for his partner, Adrien.

Alternative Title(s): Small Annoying Creature, Animal Sidekick Nuisance


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: