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Snarky Non-Human Sidekick

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"When I volunteered for this mission, I never thought I'd end up playing straight man to a tin can."
— Lt. Pizer regarding V.I.N.CENT., The Black Hole
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You'd be amazed at what being small and cute will let you get away with.

He may be a sassy little beast with a heart of gold who gripes about the dangers of accompanying the hero, but ultimately follows him or her out of loyalty. Or he may be a sociopath who mocks the idealistic rest of the cast and the villains alike, always getting the last word. His popularity ranges from The Scrappy to fan favourite in the same fandom. Every second webcomic has one because nothing screams nerd-humor quite like having a token little mascot that swears like a sailor and/or brings hookers to your place when you're absent for the night.

For some reason, it's often a "he," even when it's hard to understand what about his physique qualifies him as male.

Cuteness is common, not a certainty.

Cats and/or vaguely cat-like things are common as are toasters, for some reason.

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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.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Mao from Darker Than Black seems to fit. He's a human trapped in a cat's body and is snarky toward both Hei and Huang. He's also at least technically a sociopath (since Contractors are all supposed to suffer from Lack of Empathy). He becomes an even better example later on when he ends up in the body of a Ridiculously Cute Critter in the second season, which increases the contrast between his body and his personality.
  • Chamo from Mahou Sensei Negima!, the Dirty Old Man ermine (technically an "ermine cat elf fairy"). He's quite eager to get the hero Negi as much tail as possible. He likes to comment on all the fetish appeal and Fanservice that tends to go on around them.

    Films — Animation 
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    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, 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". Said robot was actually the Snarky Non-Human Sidekick of Lord Manga Khan in Justice League International, who went on to have a Heel–Face Turn and become a member of the League. At least it wasn't Koko the Space Monkey.
  • TRON, Bits (and their upgraded counterparts in the video game canon, Bytes) are LivingPolyhedrons kept as pets by the Programs and tend to be astonishingly sarcastic. Bit from the first film manages to get plenty of snarky mileage out of "YES" and "NO," Byte has a full vocabulary to insult anything in range.
  • The eponymous Detective Pikachu provided wisecracking running commentary throughout the film that only Tim Goodman could understand. Being voiced by Ryan Reynolds helped.

    Literature 
  • 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 Polity has a definite debt to 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.
  • The Ruby Red Trilogy: Xemerius is the ghost of a gargoyle, who can only be seen and heard by Gwen. Much of his dialog is spent complaining about the tears, angst, and/or sappiness arising from teenage romance, providing sarcastic "narration" of Gwen's interactions with her love interest, or providing highly embellished reporting about events he spied on for Gwen.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.

    Radio 
  • Earthsearch 2 has cleaning robot Tidy and agricultural robot George. Unlike the Angels they are loyal and obedient but never happy about all the tasks they're constantly being forced to do that are outside their programming. Tidy has a Running Gag of complaining about all the mess he has to clean up, while George always gripes that Robots Are Just Better but it's no use expecting miracles from them.

    Video Games 
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • It seems to run in the entirety of Drakenier universe. In Drakengard games, Angelus, Legna, and Gabriella spare no snarky remark on your behalf, though it is understandable given what nutjobs the protagonists are. Mikhail is an exception, though it still applies to his predecessor, Michael, to some degree. Faerie, Leonard's pact partner, too.
  • 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.
  • Nall and Ruby from Lunar are adorable baby dragons that could get very snarky, especially in the localizations. Nall favors sarcastic quips while Ruby is a bit harsher and more direct with her remarks.
  • Captain Smiley from Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley 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.
  • Centurion 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.
  • 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.
  • Rose, the cat familiar in Riviera: The Promised Land serves as a resident Deadpan Snarker and a Butt-Monkey of the team.
  • Donald Duck has his moments in the Kingdom Hearts series. One example is when the party enter Agrabah in Kingdom Hearts II, with Sora and Goofy hoping King Mickey is with Aladdin; Donald responds with "Keep dreaming, you two".
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail has no humans to start with, but Fidget is less humanoid than the other characters and Fun Size to boot. She's the source of most of the game's humor, though she tends to be the subject of snark almost as often as not.

    Web Animation 
  • 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.

    Web Comics 
  • Burble from Broken Space is a short, surly alien with a needlessly large rifle.
  • 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 absolutely adorable to boot.
  • 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!). "Is this one of those situations that involves 'ethics'? 'Cause I'm a cat, you know. I've never been very good at those." Despite this, being surrounded by Sparks, at times he can come off as the Morality Pet by comparison.
    Krosp: AAAH! A merry-go-round that can level a small townseems a bit overboard for "self-defense!"
    Agatha: Well... it could be a really evil town.
    Krosp: Agatha!
    Agatha: Okay, okay.
  • 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.
    • Blackwing, Vaarsuvius' raven familiar. After the events of "Don't Split The Party", the bird becomes a more active member in the Order and more often acts as V' sounding board in this manner. Of course, Vaarsuvius can be just as snarky.
  • Ennesby in Schlock Mercenary, with eponymous sociopathic (and sometimes 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.
  • 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.
  • AGirlAndHerFed gives us Speedy, resident genius sex-obsessed koala, whose whole purpose in life seems to be populating the world with his koala descendants and delivering snarky insults.

     Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Falina from The Amazing Feats of Young Hercules is a wisecracking sable who accompanies Hercules on his journey. Although she was originally a human princess who was transformed as punishment by the vindictive goddess Hera; by the end, she is changed back.
  • 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.
  • Futurama:
    • Bender is a robotic sidekick who indulges in vices from gambling to strippers and often remarks upon "his" desire to kill his friends.
    • Kif Kroker vents his frustrated annoyance with his superior Zapp Brannigan with a steady stream of sarcasm.
  • 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 imprisonment 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.
  • While he never turned this trait towards his boss, Imp from She-Ra: Princess of Power tended to be this when he felt sufficiently protected. One of his favorite targets was Shadow Weaver.
  • Brian from Family Guy, although he's often paired up with Stewie (as mutual sidekicks sort of), who together are the snarkiest characters on the show, in their own ways. But in terms of being Peter's dog, he'll ruthlessly snark on his "owner".
  • In Sadie Sparks, Sadie is being trained in magic by a grumpy 700-year-old rabbit named Gilbert. Much snarking ensues.
  • Gromit of Wallace & Gromit is a loyal dog and exemplary Silent Snarker. Through body language and Disapproving Looks he communicates an exasperation and devotion toward Bungling Inventor Wallace.


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