Top 10 Dead Movie Sidekicks

May 13, 2011
Sidekicks make the world go round. Honestly, where would we be without them? Imagine Lennon without McCartney. Batman without Robin. Barack Obama without Joe Biden. That’s just a world we don’t want to live in. Sometimes, though, you have to face cold, hard facts. Sidekicks don’t live forever…especially in the movies.

10. Al D'andrea

Source: Columbia Pictures

Clint Eastwood's In the Line of Fire is arguably the best Secret Service film ever made, garnering his villainous co-star John Malkovich an Oscar nomination in the process. In the movie, we follow Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan (Eastwood) and his pursuit of the ambitious assassin, Malkovich's Mitch Leary, ably backed by his partner, Al D'andrea (Dylan McDermott) in the process. Later in the film, Horrigan and D'andrea track down Leary to a Washington, D.C. apartment complex, which then leads them on a rooftop chase. Unfortunately for D'andrea, he gets ahead of himself, thinking he's caught Leary at gunpoint. It's when he decides to boast this fact to Horrigan that he gets distracted and gets one right between the eyes thanks to Leary’s quickness, thus proving that one should never take their eyes off the prize.

9. Theodore Donald "Donny" Kerabatsos

Source: Gramercy Pictures

There are many memorable characters in the 1998 Coen Brothers film The Big Lebowski. Whether it’s Maude, Walter, Jackie Treehorn, or The Dude himself, there's still only one Donny. Memorably played by Coen brothers stalwart Steve Buscemi, our experiences with the well-adjusted, weak-hearted bowler are few and far between. Sadly, when he does speak up he is too often asked lovingly by teammate, Walter, to "shut the f*** up." And shut up he does. Late in the film, faced with an attack by a group of maladjusted nihilists, Donny has an attack of his own. A heart attack, that is, and thus he leaves this earth far too soon. Bowl a strike in heaven, Donny.

8."Bubba" Benjamin Buford Blue

Source: Paramount Pictures

Stupid is as stupid does. In this case, stupid is getting shot in the chest and letting your buddy make good on your idea, gaining a shrimping boat fortune in the process. In 1994, the hearts and minds of America were filled with the witticisms of one Forrest Gump, but it was his partner in crime “Bubba” (played by Mykelti Williamson) that helped him build his Bubba Gump empire. Upon meeting up in the Army during the Vietnam war, Bubba began to share his vision with Gump for shrimp cocktail, fried shrimp, and well, shrimp everything. They soon became the bestest of friends, each other’s only friends in fact, but sometimes friendships have to come to an end. This time it came to an end in a Southeast Asian jungle on a riverbank amidst a hail of napalm. We salute you, Bubba!

7. Ed

Source: Universal Studios

In 2004, Shaun of the Dead introduced director Edgar Wright to the film scene, but it also brought us Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, arguably the funniest tag team to come out of the U.K. in years. It's here in Shaun that Frost assumed the role of Ed, the antagonizing best friend to Pegg's Shaun. Both loveable losers, it’s when London takes on a zombie apocalypse that we realize just how strong a friendship this is. Through thick and thin the duo persevere, but like any good zombie movie one of them had to go. Using his dying breaths to help Shaun escape, best friend Ed can only offer his own parting words of wisdom. Those words just happened to be a fart.

6. Ratso Rizzo

Source: United Artists

Upon taking on the role of con man Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo, Dustin Hoffman played second fiddle to the film's star, Jon Voight, who appears onscreen as the country turned big city mouse, Joe Buck. Together the two navigate the dark and disturbing reality that is New York City, learning that it takes more than just a dream to make it in this world. Throughout the film, the already crippled Rizzo is interminably ill, but his sickness escalates as the story moves forward. Ultimately, the duo flee New York by bus and head down to Miami where Rizzo believes that his life and health will be better. Sadly, Rizzo dies on the ride and never gets to appreciate a warmer climate.

5. Kenny

Source: Paramount Pictures

A character's death loses its luster if he dies onscreen each and every week, but that's exactly what happens with South Park’s Kenny McCormick. Over the years, Kenny's been poisoned by a Black Mamba, crushed by the International Space Station, and eaten by sharks, and yet he keeps coming back. It’s only when South Park moved to the big screen that Kenny had his biggest death of all. The young hanger-on is dared to light his fart on fire and does just that. The ensuing blaze lands him in the hospital where his heart is replaced by a baked potato, which kills him and sends him to a Rob Zombie-infused hell alongside Satan and Sadam Hussein.

4. Apollo Creed

Source: United Artists

Okay, so technically he's not a sidekick, or at least it would be ill-advised to have told him that to his face, lest he punch you in yours. Nevertheless, the end of Apollo Creed's tenure as the "sidekick" to Italian Stallion Rocky Balboa was a rather auspicious one. In arguably the most memorable Rocky sequel, Rocky IV, the arrogant Creed rolls out a huge song and dance number, complete with James Brown, before his boxing match with the evil Ivan Drago. In true Rocky fashion, Creed gets pummeled with punch after punch by the powerful Russian. Told to not throw in the towel, Balboa holds back and lets his boy literally get beat to death in front of thousands, not to mention his whole family. Way to be, Rock. Way to be.

3. Spock

Source: Paramount Pictures

So much for "live long and prosper." Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is arguably the best of the Star Trek films (sorry, J.J. Abrams fans). First, you've got Khan (who rocks a villain like Ricardo Montalban?). Second, you've got William Shatner yelling, "KHHHHHHHHHAAAANNN!!!" And to top it all off you've got Captain Kirk's sidekick, Spock, kicking the bucket due to exposure to all sorts of radiation as he saves the Enterprise's behind at the end of the film. Released in 1982, it's a downer of an ending that rivals that of The Empire Strikes Back, but sometimes downers make for the best films in a series. Have no fear though, the “pointed ear one” makes his return in Star Trek III and later is revealed to have a MILF of a mother in Winona Ryder. So shed no tears, because well, Spock can't either.

2. Wade Garrett

Source: MGM//UA

Going against his own words of wisdom, Sam Elliot went ahead and ate the "big white mint" at the end of the Rowdy Herrington classic Road House, a film that deserves to be rewatched every Easter just to serve as counter programming for The Ten Commandments. Starring as Wade Garrett, Elliot's character starts the film as the mentor to the late Patrick Swayze's Dalton, but as the film progresses, Garrett devolves into a pure sidekick. It’s when the duo take on the wickedly cool yet villainous Brad Wesley that Wesley's crew decides to exact revenge upon Dalton by taking out his companion. Unfortunately, the gruesome attack on Garrett occurs off-screen. Regardless this is one sidekick that we're sad to see go. There’s always chance of a prequel, right? Right?! Please.

1. Goose

Source: Paramount Pictures

"Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!" Nick Bradshaw (or as we all know him, "Goose") was Tom Cruise's literal wingman in the fighter jet classic Top Gun. You might recall Goose as the one who got to bed a young Meg Ryan, but who also got to play a round of overtly homoerotic beach volleyball with a young Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. To say that he had the best of both worlds could be categorized as an understatement. It's not too often though that a sidekick dies at the hands of his hero, but that's what happens here when Cruise's character, Maverick, gets ahead of himself and sends their fighter jet into a flat spin from which they both have to eject. Goose's helmeted head hits the inside of the jet's canopy mid-eject, killing him instantly. Maverick's later cleared of all liability in the incident, but let's be honest. Once Maverick got Kelly McGillis he just didn't need his wingman anymore. After all, who would?