Sidekicks are an age-old literary tradition; you see them in Beowulf, Don Quixote, and Hamlet. Their job is to support the main character's adventures with a mix of friendship, reassurance, and witty banter. In real life, sidekicks are around to make their partner look good. (That's what Sarah Palin was for, right?) These 11 sidekicks are so good at that job, they end up being more interesting/funny/badass than the people we're supposed to care about.
1. Samwise Gamgee
Frodo never would have made it past the Prancing Pony without Samwise Gamgee. While Frodo stumbled his way through Mordor wide-eyed and getting tricked by cave creatures, Sam tore his way through like a boss. He rescued Frodo again and again and was with him in Mount Doom when he destroyed the ring. After he got home, when most Hobbits would understandably want to take it easy with their hot new Hobbit wife, Sam decided to travel the whole damn Shire regrowing trees that had been destroyed under Saruman. Because that's how Sam rolls. His badass combination of courage, loyalty, and pragmatism make him the best BFF in literature.
2. Ron Weasley
Speaking of ginger best friends of black-haired orphans, Ron Weasley is the clear better choice over Harry Potter. He makes dumb jokes, has an awesome family, and looks great in a Quidditch uniform. Yeah, he's got that ginger temper, but that just means he's passionate. J.K. Rowling was obviously high when she said Hermione should have ended up with Harry. Right? RIGHT, GUYS?
This tiny badass is somehow both a bad influence and incredibly practical. He keeps Aladdin accountable, doesn't trust easily, and can handle a sword bigger than his tiny body. Yeah, they're both pretty selfish and have shaky morals at best. But Aladdin was doing it to impress a girl, while Abu did it for the thrill. #streetrat4lyfe
R2D2 and C-3PO are a classic two-man comedy act. C-3PO is the straightest of straight men, being that he's an actual robot. He's a necessary part of the equation. R2D2 is the quirky sidekick who gets to be silly while the main guy keeps it grounded. What's Costello without Abbor or Dwight without Jim? So, normally I wouldn't say that one was "better" than the other because that's the point of the act. But in this case, R2 takes it because he's hilarious and zany without actually using any words. When's the last time beeps and buzzes made you laugh as hard as when R2 goes whizzing across Grievous' docking bay? Never, that's when.
5. Kimmy Gibbler
Kimmy Gibbler is the most undeservedly hated character on TV. YEAH, I SAID IT. Sure, she was loud, opinionated, and always around, but the Tanners were way meaner to her than she was to them, especially considering her insults were hilarious. And let's be honest: DJ was kinda boring. Kimmy's killer confidence and quirky style kept things interesting, especially in the later seasons when all DJ did was complain about how two crazy-cute guys were super into her. Cry me a river, Donna Jo.
6. Max Joseph
On the Catfish TV show, Max follows Nev around with a camera, which doesn't really make sense because, like, they have camera crews and stuff. But even though his job is essentially pointless, Max is STILL better than the piece of human garbage that is Nev Schulman. I'm pretty sure they just keep Max around to make Nev seem likable because he has a cool friend.
7. Dave Matthews' Band
I really feel sorry for Dave Matthews' Band. They're lumped in with all of the DMB hate without anyone even actually knowing their names. Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, Jeff Coffin, Boyd Tinsley, Tim Reynolds and Rashawn Ross don't deserve the hate! Look at them. They're super cool guys and crazy talented musicians. Dave Matthews is just a ball of ego and denim.
Whether or not you believe that Castiel from Supernatural is in love with Dean Winchester (ed. note: he totally is) I think we can all agree that he's more badass. I mean, he was literally God for a bit, there. The Winchesters are great, but they can't compete with a telekinetic angel whose mere sight can cause a person's eyes to burn out. Anytime the Winchester boys need him, he'll be there, but he also gets to have his own side plots and adventures. For a sidekick, that's living the dream.
9. Keith Richards
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been writing together since 1963. They obviously have a good relationship, or they would have killed each other in a drug-induced fury of superstrength years ago. Still, Keith never got as much attention as Mick. And it's a shame, because he's objectively cooler. But did Keith let that bother him? Nope. He's too cool for that. Instead he played Jack Sparrow's dad, became the face of Louis Vuitton, fell out of a tree in Fiji, and snorted his dad's ashes. He's like a cowboy crossed with a pirate crossed with a wizard.
10. Joe Biden
Let's face it. A Vice President is just a political sidekick. And Joe Biden KNOWS it. He cracks jokes to diplomats, makes finger guns during important speeches, and hangs out with Amy Poehler. While Obama still has to maintain a modicum of decorum, Ol' Joe gets to ham it up with wild abandon.
11. Shawn Hunter
Shawn Hunter is a way more compelling character than Cory Matthews. While Cory had minor problems with his stable family and serious girlfriend, Shawn was dealing with huge, real life issues like being abandoned by his parents and getting arrested. His struggles with identity and relationships were super dramatic and deep for a comedy show, but it's what kept the show interesting. How many times can Cory and Topanga break up before we stop caring? I'd even go so far as to say that Shawn was the main character, and Cory was the sidekick. In which case, this entry doesn't count. Please ignore it. Thanks.
Got more sidekicks that are way cooler than their heroes? Leave em in the comments!