WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

The insertion of an animal sidekick into a property that normally wouldn't be expected to have one. Often an example of Executive Meddling, particularly on Animated Series.

May be a Heroic Dog as well. Compare with Cousin Oliver, Team Pet.

TV Tropes (Wiki) has Tropey the Wonder Dog.

Examples of Gratuitous Animal Sidekick include:

Comic Books

  • Superboy had Krypto in his Silver Age comics, who also appeared in the 1960s Superman/Batman animated series. In 2005, the Last Dog of Krypton made his move to center stage on TV in Krypto the Superdog.
  • Not to be outdone, Batman had Ace the Bathound back during the Silver Age.
  • DC Comics introduced two examples of the same basic concept in the post-World War Two days the superhero genre's decline in popularity:
    • In 1948, the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, was suddenly given a canine sidekick in Streak, the Wonder Dog. Not only did Streak share GL's title, but the dog actually became the top-billed star of the series! Streak also served as the prototype for DC's other, subsequent wonder dog (Rex), who would operate without a superhero partner.


  • Thoroughly lampshaded, spoofed, gnawed on, buried and piddled on by Discworld's "Gaspode the Wonder Dog."

Live-Action TV

Western Animation

  • Formerly named after the original Wonder Dog in the first Superfriends.
    • Gleek in the Zan and Jayna episodes of the Super Friends.
  • Spoofed mercilessly on The Incredibles DVD, in which a small rabbit named Mr. Skipperdoo is added to the badly-animated cast of the fake cartoon "Mr. Incredible and Pals". Even the supers hate the idea, as evidence in their commentary on the cartoon:

 Frozone: And that rabbit is getting on my last nerve!

Mr. Incredible: The rabbit is cuddly! Kids like little cuddly sidekicks! I mean, the rabbit... it's a time-tested... okay, the rabbit bites.

  • In the Animated Adaptation of Happy Days, the Fonz had a dog called Mr Cool. Seriously.
    • And in the Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/The Fonz Hour, Mork got this pink six-legged alien dog-thing, and Laverne and Shirley were in the army with a talking pig. (We only know this from
  • Gilligan got a monkey sidekick in his Animated Adaptation, and an alien one when the Animated Adaptation was Recycled in Space.
  • Nikko the Shar-Pei got shoehorned into this role for the New Kids on the Block cartoon.
  • The Brady Kids gave the kids a whole menagerie of sidekicks: a dog, a magical talking bird, and a pair of twin panda bears.
    • They made a cameo appearance in A Very Brady Sequel as a hallucination, and then an encore appearance in the credits.
  • The first cartoon based on the Harlem Globetrotters features a Team Pet dog named Dribbles.