The original film series has examples of:
- Actor-Shared Background:
- Tamlyn Tomita, like Kumiko, was born in Okinawa.
- Danny Kamekona was from Hawaii, where the movie was filmed.
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers: #98
- Dawson Casting: Ralph Macchio was 21 when the first film was made, playing a 17 year old. He was 26 playing an 18 year old in the third film. Not many people noticed thanks to Macchio's boyish good looks and high-pitched voice,note making this one of the few effective examples of the trope. Avoided in the reboot, as the kids are actual kids. Poked fun at in a 90's commercial for Brisk Iced Tea.
"Daniel-San": Kid? I'm 35.
- Executive Meddling: Thankfully avoided in the original film, the studio demanded that the quiet scene in which Daniel discovers a drunken Miyagi mourning his lost wife and child, who died in a relocation camp while he was away being a war hero in Italy during World War II, be cut because it "disrupted the flow of the movie". The director apparently went to war to keep it in the film. Pat Morita would later say that it was this scene that earned him an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Mr. Miyagi. (Ralph Macchio disagrees, citing his presence in the entire film as the reason.)
- Throw It In:
- The song drunkenly sung by Mr. Miyagi was one he heard when he was a child. This even gets worked into the second movie as being Miyagi and Yukie's old song.
- The song playing in the country club Daniel crashes in the first movie is heard again in the second movie, on the radio in the cab ride from the Okinawa airport. Neither occurrence is a plot point.
- Trope Namers: Wax On, Wax Off, and formerly "Sweep the Leg".
- What Could Have Been: Chuck Norris was offered the role of Kreese, but he didn't want martial artists to be portrayed in a bad light (he would later play himself in Sidekicks, another movie with a Miyagi-like mentor and a Kreese-like villain). What's more, the studio wanted Toshiro Mifune to play Mr. Miyagi despite not being fluent in English as he would have had to learn all his lines phonetically but writer Robert Mark Kamen was against that casting choice.
The animated series
- Screwed by the Network: Was given little to no promotion on NBC during its original run and was quickly axed after only thirteen episodes due to abysmal ratings.
The Video Game
- No Export for You: Inverted: Despise being programmed in Japan, the game was not released there. Not that the programmers or the Japanese audience cared about the game anyways.