2. Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan), Buffy the Vampire Slayer
She may have started out as a doe-eyed, bookish sidekick, but Willow Rosenberg didn’t stay that way for long.
Willow was the beginning of a new order in Slayer history, in more ways than one. She befriended Buffy from nearly her first moment at Sunnydale High, and went on to test the theory that a Slayer should face the world alone.
When she wasn’t restoring souls and studying magic and protecting Buffy and erecting magical barriers, she actually managed to fall in love — with another witch.
You could argue that her turn as Dark Willow should push her further down the list of sidekicks, but at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s TV run, Willow did perform a spell to save the entire world. We’ll just call it a wash.
1. Gabrielle (Renée O’Connor), Xena: Warrior Princess
While there were plenty of questions surrounding Gabrielle’s relationship with Xena — Are they or aren’t they? Will they or won’t they? Do they already, and it’s just not on-screen? — the one thing everyone agreed on was this: Without Gabrielle, Xena the Warrior Princess would never have survived.
The Battling Bard of Potidaea could talk her way out of (or into) anything; her flair for dramatic storytelling saved them numerous times. She also learned stellar warrior skills, arming herself with an Amazon staff, and agreeing to fight for the greater good.
Together, she and Xena traveled the world, forging literally to hell and back again.
Their subtext was eclipsed only by the number of times Gabrielle saved Xena’s life, and in the end Lucy Lawless said it best: “They’re married, man.”
Because when you find a sidekick like Gabrielle, you want to make it permanent.