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Greatest sidekicks ever: Nos. 21-25

RHODA, FROM THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW
Image credit: Rhoda: Everett Collection

23. Rhoda Morgenstern

RHODA, FROM THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW

21. Gromit
Sidekick to: Wallace
''Loyal'' doesn't even begin to describe the depth of Gromit's canine devotion. For the sake of his daffy British master — the incessantly inventing, calamitously clueless Wallace — he has battled a jewel-thieving fugitive penguin (The Wrong Trousers), tussled with a sheep-rustling robot dog (A Close Shave), and wrangled a veggie-wolfing Were-Rabbit (The Curse of the Were-Rabbit). And though Gromit must always undo his owner's blunders to save the day, he never utters a single complaint — a testament to his remarkable stoicism (and the fact that he doesn't technically have a mouth). —Adam B. Vary

22. Pedro Sanchez
Sidekick to: Napoleon Dynamite
The odd Mexican out in an Idaho high school, he is the cool yin to Napoleon's tempestuous yang. With his mellow-to-the-point-of-medicated manner, the blank-faced Pedro doesn't exactly light up the screen in Napoleon Dynamite. Instead, the peach-fuzzed candidate for class president quietly inspires his even weirder buddy to take center stage — literally, with a kick-ass dance routine. The result? A landslide victory for ''Vote for Pedro'' T-shirts. —Michael Endelman

23. Rhoda Morgenstern
Sidekick to: Mary Richards
Rhoda didn't start out as sidekick material. Indeed, her first words to Mary were ''Get out of my apartment.'' But the neurotic Bronx broad soon became indispensable, always there to help out The Mary Tyler Moore Show's single girl with dating and dinner parties. Rhoda was the sass to Mary's spunk, the head scarf to Mary's beret. She was so beloved that she transcended sidekick status and scored a show of her own — one that was actually funny. —Jessica Shaw

24. Goose
Sidekick to: Pete ''Maverick'' Mitchell
He's smart and honest and has a wit that travels at Mach 1. But it's only after his final ride into the danger zone that we realize just how special Top Gun's Goose truly is: Without him, Maverick has nobody to navigate his F-14 while giving bogeys the bird, nobody to harmonize with on ''You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin','' nobody to set up studly volleyball spikes, and — most significantly — nobody to high-five when he feels ''the need, the need for speed.'' —Joshua Rich

25. Art Garfunkel
Sidekick to: Paul Simon
Granted, Paul Simon wrote the majority of the songs, played lead guitar, and received all the accolades — but his childhood friend Art Garfunkel provided the duo's soul by groovin' on the tambourine (and sporting a truly spectacular Jewfro). More importantly, Art forever cemented his status as the ''and'' in the band with his soaring vocals on the 1970 classic ''Bridge Over Troubled Water'' — forever fulfilling that promise of ''sailing right behind.'' —Paul Katz

Originally posted Jul 13, 2006
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