Is Daniel the Real Bully in 'Karate Kid'? An Investigation
Maybe Barney Stinson was right all along in "How I Met Your Mother": The real hero of "Karate Kid" is Johnny, and the bully is Daniel.
This video, by YouTube user J. Matthew Turner, argues much of the same thing. In his view, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) is "a violent sociopath who moves to a California town and begins tormenting a local boy and his friends." Meanwhile, Johnny (William Zabka) is a reformed ex-degenerate who's trying to get his act together.
Sure, Johnny is a flawed hero, but he doesn't instigate their beach fight, nor play a prank on him at school, nor cause a multi-car collision, nor engage in a sport of which he doesn't know the rules.
It's a brilliant bit of revisionist history, but the idea was already floating around thanks to Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris). He considered "Karate Kid" the tale of "a hopeful young karate enthusiast whose dreams and moxie take him all the way to the All-Valley Karate Championship. Of course, sadly, he loses in the final round to that nerd kid. But he learns an important lesson about gracefully accepting defeat."
Barney's hero-worship of Johnny was so legen ... wait for it ... dary, that Ralph Macchio and William Zabka appeared as themselves in the final season episode, "Bro Mitzvah."
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