YMMV: The Green Hornet


  • Adaptation Displacement: For baby boomers, the 60s television adaptation pretty much completely displaced the original radio series and movie serials in their consciousness. Later generations are familiar with the property primarily through the NOW Comics and Dynamite Entertainment comics series, and have little (if any) familiarity with either the radio series/movie serials or the TV series.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Thrown all across the board with Kato throughout the franchise. He began as a simple sidekick but over the years, he grew into popularity. Most modern versions have Kato as the muscle while Green Hornet was the central figure. In the movie, everything is taken to the next level. Kato was basically responsible for everything that the team did, from the gadgets to being the muscle. While Britt is still the main character and the one calling the shots. The movie does involve them clashing with each other over who was in charge. Most people agreed that Kato was the best part of the movie, so it's likely they intended the movie to be like this.
  • Marty Stu: Kato's, family included, fighting skills can range from martial arts master to Spiderman level acrobatics in a world where everybody else is forced to adhere to physics and gravity. Outside of Hornet and Kato being able to take on large groups of people in a fight the setting is very grounded in reality. The Now comics turn most of Kato's immediate family into Lady Shiva level fighters in a realistic setting. The Crimsion wasp killed a tiger with a sword by stabing it in the air, after the Hornet shot it in the face with a lighting gun and that did nothing to it. Aside from the many reasons that this is stupid it should have crused her when it fell down but the artwork suggests that she simply tossed a full grown tiger aside. Some versions of Kato have even been able to deflect bullets with swords. One member of the family threw down a mob enforcer when he came to their dojo. She was twelve. In the NOW comics the only fight Kato ever lost, agianst a 8 foot tall bear of a man trained in martial arts, was beacuse he threw it. He had earlier beaten a similar sized man with a single punch.
    • The times Kato from the tv series got hit could be counted on one hand.

Comic Series

  • Shipping: Britt Reid and Casey Case. Hinted at in the radio series (in at least one episode Sentinel reporter Ed Lowery banters with Miss Case about her harboring a crush on Reid). Subtly made part of the subtext in the television adaptation in at least two episodes ("The Frog is a Deadly Weapon" and "Invasion from Outer Space"), in spite of firm insistence by creator George W. Trendle that the relationship between Case and Reid be kept strictly professional. Made "canon" in NOW Comics's "Hornetverse", where Britt Reid II marries Casey Case after his retirement (Trendle having died in 1972, the subsequent rightsholders apparently discarded any objections to a Reid-Case romantic relationship).


TV Series

  • Awesome Music: Ladies and gentlemen, Al Hirt. The piece is not only enormous fun to listen to, but is so fast-paced that the King of Trumpet himself allegedly passed out when the recording was done.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Double Subverted in the second broadcast episode of the TV series ("Give 'Em Enough Rope"), a female lawyer friend of Britt Reid's is captured by the Villain of the Week, and is rescued by the Hornet, in the next scene she's telling the story to Britt and gushing about the Hornet, wonders if he's really as bad as everyone thinks, and says she hopes he never gets caught, and if he does, she'll defend him for free. Subverted in that the Green Hornet really is a misunderstood, maligned hero. Double Subverted since she doesn't know that.
  • Ear Worm: The theme song.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Kato's fighting skill. Bruce Lee's then unseen fighting skills caused many people to over look the Hornet's own abilites which were more mental and less physical, though he was more than capable of fighting back, and people beleive that the Hornet did nothing but take credit for Kato's work.
    • This is extremely bad in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, in which a scene of the Green Hornet show is being shot wherein the Hornet is tied up and looking so scared that he seems like he's going to wet himself. Britt was every bit as cool under fire as Kato was, only for Kato to kick down a door and beatdown the villains with seemingly super human strength as the Hornet does nothing more than cheer him on and look pathetic. This never happened in the show; Kato helped sure but the Hornet had to save him a few times, but it now seems that there at the very least has to be a joke at the Hornet's expense about who the real hero is, despite the fact that Hornet is unarguably the smarter of the two and Kato, at the very least the TV series version, would have gotten nowhere fighting criminals without Britt's intelligence.
    • To make matters worse, Robin has saved Batman far more times the Kato saved Britt, and once again Britt did save Kato more than once, but batman has not received this treatment.
  • What an Idiot: Despite his supposed Sidekick Ex Machina status Kato from the tv series had a lot of these moments.
    • While he and the Hornet are facing off against some big game hunters Kato takes one of them out "stealthly" by noisly screaming as he knocks him out, he would have been shot by a crossbow if the hornet had not saved him.
    • In "This Ray is For Killing" while chasing a villain with Case in the car with him , due to the having blackmailed Brit and demanding that she deliver the money, Kato asks if they can use the missiles on them even though he knows Case is with them. The Hornet tells him that they can't do that, for the obvious reason.
    • A man was just killed by a poison dart and Kato immediately tries to pick it up before the Hornet stops him. It may very well have killed him.
    • The Hornet leaves Kato outside of a house to watch as he goes in. The man ends up locking the Hornet in an armored room and leaves the house. Kato sees him leaving the house without Britt and just stares on dumbfounded as he gets in his car and leaves despite having pleantly of time to stop him.
    • The Hornet and Kato Have one of Britts friends Mike Axford (who does not know his secret) and are planning to "dispose" of him to gain the trust of the villian of the episode. The villian sets a pet jajuar on them and Kato releases him to take a fighting stance. 1. The Hornet is well armed with weapons 2. Kato's kung fu is useless agianst a 300 pound wild cat and 3. Why on earth would you let Mike go when he thought you where a dangerous criminal getting ready to off him. The cat catches Mike and mauls him before it is taken out by the Hornets gas gun making Kato's releasing of Mike even stupider.
    • The duo are pinned down by an Elite Mook in a harbor. Kato tells Britt that he can take him out despite there being no cover and the guy is too far away. Britt tells him there is no cover and he'll get shot. (Kato's only weapons are his fists and throwing knives) Kato tried to take down a professional killer with a high quality gun from across a harbor with his fists and small throwing knives and had to be told that he would get shot.
    • Kato spends an entire episode pissed off and bitchy beacuse he lost a fight. He didnt even lose he just got sucker punched. Also overlaps with Wangst.
    • After taking out some mooks with the Black Beauty only one is left and fires at him uselessly and throws his gun away. Kato for no reason at all assumes that he only had one gun and immediately steps out to face him hand to hand instead of using the armored car to take him out like the others. He did'nt have another gun and Kato promptly beats him but assuming he did'nt and not taking him out with an armored car was pretty stupid.