TOP 10: TV Detective Sidekicks

November 10, 2023

BY Kate Racculia

A Sherlock is nothing without a Watson: someone who complements a detective’s natural skills, counterbalances their fatal flaws, and calls bullshit when bullshit must be called. Detecting is hard work, but, as Velma Kelly famously said, you just cannot do it alone.

Inspired by our episode devoted to the Best TV Detectives, these are the definitive Top 10 best TV detective sidekicks. I will brook no arguments.

10. Dot Williams, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Loyal, sweet, observant and easily scandalized by her employer Miss Phryne.

9. Sister Steve, Father Dowling Mysteries

Look, I watched a lot of television aimed at the over-60 crowd when I was under 10. Sister Steve is the spunk to Father Dowling’s monk.

8. Walter Skinner, The X-Files

Presents as a hardass, secretly a softie. Covered Mulder and Scully’s combined ass more times than anyone can count.

7. Diane, Twin Peaks

Never seen in the original run but always felt. Dale Cooper is an external processor and his notes to Diane are part of the series’ poetry.

6. Penfold, Danger Mouse

Is Danger Mouse a detective? I don’t know, and I don’t care. Penfold is a small hamster with big glasses and loose hips. Oh, Crumbs! Oh, Crikey! We stan.

5. Mozzie, White Collar

Heist genius, point blank. Matt Bomer would’ve just stood around looking pretty without Mozzie getting shit done.

4. Alice Morgan, Luther

Is she his archnemesis or his other half? In a word: yes.

3. Wallace Fennel, Veronica Mars

Handy with a tardy slip or info from the school office, really Veronica’s best (…only?) friend. True blue.

2. Seth Hazlitt, Murder She Wrote

Sheriff Amos Tupper is next to useless. But Seth? Seth has skills: He’s a doctor! His Maine accent isn’t (as) terrible! A good friend, dead bodies or not.

1. Columbo’s trench coat, Columbo

Rumpled. Smelly. Guaranteed to make every murderer underestimate Columbo’s intelligence. Just imagine him without it. It boggles the mind!

Did we miss your favorite detective sidekick? Leave them in the comments below. Then check out our other Top 10 lists on a variety of pop-culture topics!

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