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  • Writer's pictureJ J Hanna

J. J.'s Top Ten Side Characters

Everyone has their favorite main character’s best friend. There’s always someone who steals the show despite the snow not being about them. Whether they provide sassy side comments, great humor, or always say what the main character needs to hear, side characters are essential. Here are some of my favorites.

*Alert: This post contains spoilers.*

Rogers from The Swan Princess

This was one of my favorite movies growing up. There’s magic, romance, royal problems, and Rogers. He‘s Prince Derek’s advisor, largely filling the role of father figure for the King-to-be. Whether that plays out in striking up the band, dressing the musicians up as animals for Derek to use as (harmless) target practice, or giving snide comments on Derek’s flirting abilities, Rogers never fails to make me laugh.

Mrs. Hudson from BBC’s Sherlock

The first time you meet Mrs. Hudson, you know she’s a pretty cool lady. Anyone who can house Sherlock Holmes has to be a saint, right? Then you find out that her husband ran a drug cartel, she owns a sports car, and is willing to lock Sherlock in handcuffs and put him in the trunk of said sports car, and your respect for her goes through the roof.

Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb

“He’s a platypus. They don’t do much.” Phineas has no idea how wrong he is. If he only knew the things Perry got up to! If not for Perry, the Tri-State Area would have been taken over multiple times. But, because Perry stops Dr. Doofenshmirtz on a regular basis (so regularly that they both know the pattern, when Perry is meant to come bursting through the door, and when he’ll escape from his trap), Danville is safe for the boys to continue building their crazy inventions. It’s a wonder they don’t have animal agents from OWCA (the organization without a cool acronym) to stop them.

Tom Bombadil from The Lord of the Rings

Tom Bombadil is one of those characters who didn’t make the movies. You’ll only know about him if you’ve read the books. And even within the books, he only has a small appearance. However, his character is significant! Not only does he walk through the forests singing, know the elves, and show hospitality to the hobbits, he is the only character I know of in the entirety of the Lord of the Rings series that is unaffected by the One Ring. He even puts it on and easily takes it back off again! During the counsel of Elrond, the Fellowship considered giving him the One Ring to keep track of, but the idea was soon discarded as Tom would likely misplace it, throw it away, or have no motivation to guard it. While it had no power over him, it still had power over others, and therefore needed to be destroyed, not kept hidden.

Bobby Singer from CW's Supernatural

The closest thing to a real, loving father Sam and Dean Winchester ever had, Bobby Singer, a fellow hunter and family friend, became their family. His sass and no bull crap attitude often was enough to knock some sense into the Winchester’s heads. If not, he had a safe room and handcuffs that would probably do the trick. Even in a wheelchair, he was was a better hunter than some. Not to mention that he single handedly helped maintain the covers of almost every hunter who knew him. The real police questioned your fake FBI badges? It’s fine, give them Singer’s number and he’ll be your commanding officer. You need to prove you’re from the health department? Singer can do that, too. Need some lore heavily researched, but you’ve been awake for thirty six hours? Get some shut eye, Bobby will try to figure it all out. He takes care of all the “idjits” around him, and is the reason many hunters stayed alive as long as they did.

Gobber from How to Train Your Dragon

Slightly crazy weapons manufacturer and favored babysitter of Stoic, Gobber is a character who is more than capable of giving any situation a funny memory. He’s also probably one of the best dragon fighters in Berk, since he trains all of the kids how to fight. Without him, most of their viking lifestyle wouldn’t be possible. One of my favorite exchanges between Hiccup and Gobber is when Gobber says, “If you ever want to get out there to fight dragons, you need to stop all... this.” And gestures to all of Hiccup.

Sokka from Avatar the Last Airbender

You know a character has something good going for them when the writers can stick them in a hole for an entire episode and you’re still entertained. He’s pretty much the “normal” one in the group. Aang is an Airbender, Katara is a Waterbender, and Toph is an Earthbender. Sokka? He has a boomerang and great one-liners. This means that when Aang get’s a little too moody, which doesn’t happen all that often because he’ll usually just start riding a mini windstorm around until he runs into something, Sokka can lighten the mood.

R2-D2 from Star Wars

R2-D2 is the epitome of a “fix everything” robot. He can override computer systems, unlock doors, and help fly a spaceship. He beeps as communication, and is just reckless enough to join Luke or Anakin Skywalker in their dangerous and, most of the time, stupid adventures. C3-PO is vital in other ways, but nothing beats a R2-D2 when it comes to simple comedic moments, such as zooming in the wrong direction and ramming into a wall.

Phil Coulson from Marvel’s Avengers

From the first time he comes into Tony Stark’s tower and doesn’t hesitate when Stark tries to get him to leave, or the way he ignores Tony’s lack of knowing his first name, you know you’ve encountered an intriguing person. This is all capitalized on later when Coulson picks up a weapon to use against Loki, despite not knowing what it actually does. His sass, his patience, and his general admiration for the Avengers (his vintage Captain America cards come to mind) all make him the perfect person to compliment their general heroics with a little bit of normal in a crazy world.

Thea Queen from CW’s Arrow

From the partying little sister to the practically-member-of-the-league-of-assassins vigilante, Thea has had some of the most amazing character development of all of the characters in the show. In the five seasons she’s been a part of it, we’ve seen her grow up and mature into a strong woman capable of running the mayor’s office, despite the hurdles life, and death, throw at her. So whether it’s talking some sense into her brother’s thick skull or giving advice to her friends, Thea Queen pretty much always knows what to say.

Honorable Mentions:

Mozzie from White Collar

Morgan from Chuck

Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings

All of the Doctor’s Companions in Doctor Who

Castiel from Supernatural

Rufus from Kim Possible

Leo Knox from Finder

Hodgens from Bones

Birkhoff from Nikita

Maximus from Tangled

Photo Credits:


J. J. Hanna is attending Taylor University for a degree in Professional Writing. She has published multiple devotions and book reviews and is a beginning comic artist. She published her first book Existence in 2015. Look for it on Amazon.

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