Released on June 22, 1984, Karate Kid kicked American interest in martial arts into high gear when the '80s teen flick hit the silver screen.
Starring Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita, the martial arts film unveiled the transformation of the high school geek Daniel Larusso (Macchio) to butt-kicking karate champion as Mr. Miyagi (Morita) trains his newcomer's physical and philosophical limits.
The story begins when LaRusso and his mother make a lonely move from New Jersey to an apartment in Los Angeles, California. When LaRusso manages to find companionship in his sole new friend, cheerleader Ali Mills, he quickly becomes the target of Mills' ex, Johnny Lawrence, a black belt from Cobra Kai dojo.
As the karate kids from Cobra Kai continue to torment the new kid, LaRusso's chances for a peaceful, happy life in California become increasingly hopeless, until his apartment handyman, Mr. Miyagi, agrees to change LaRusso's life with a sacred pact.
Backed by a killer soundtrack featuring Survivor and Joe Esposito, Karate Kid launched to fame upon its release, becoming not only one of 1984's highest-grossing films but also the original film in a top-tier media franchise. Check out our four favorite moments below from the monumental film!
Halloween is the scariest day of the year, especially if you're the new kid on the block. LaRusso faces the wrath of Lawrence and his gang of skeletons and is beat with "no mercy" until an unexpected passerby delivers the bullies a taste of their own medicine.
3. The Cobra Kai Dojo Visit
Mr. Miyagi pays The Cobra Kai dojo a visit to request the sensei tell his kids to leave LaRusso alone while he trains for the tournament. It's a battle of the sensei, but only one karate kid will emerge victorious.
2. "Wax On, Wax Off"
Mr. Miyagi trains his young grasshopper in unique and mysterious ways, including having him wax cars, sand a wooden floor and paint his house.
Though LaRusso feels skeptical towards his martial arts master and becomes frustrated, feeling as though he hasn't learned anything of karate, LaRusso comes to trust his mentor as he discovers these everyday chores have directly furthered his defensive skills.
1. "No Mercy"
Fighting for the title of champion in this finale scene, LaRusso bravely enters his last match against Johnny Lawrence. As LaRusso limps around Lawrence, it is gravely clear he is already in excruciating pain from his previous match against Tommy, when Lawrence strikes a blow to LaRusso's injured leg.
As LaRusso tumbles to the floor and struggles to recover, Tommy infamously taunts, "Get him a bodybag!" and watches in full shock as LaRusso stands slowly and positions himself into the crane stance.