There have been breakfast clubs, dirty dancers, days off, and risky businesses… and now, bullies, crane kicks, and swept legs.
The Goldbergs, ABC’s smashing ‘80s sitcom, has set its cinephilic sights on 1984’s The Karate Kid as the fourth season’s annual homage episode, EW has learned exclusively.
Movies from the neon era have figured in as plot inspirations for plenty of episodes of the consistently delightful sitcom, but each season boasts at least one episode specifically derived from a sole film. Following up on this season’s Breakfast Club premiere, season 4 will continue the homages with a 2017 episode that goes full Ralph Macchio (and, like, half Pat Morita).
The episode finds Adam (Sean Giambrone) and Barry (Troy Gentile) cornered by a tough kid at school but given the opportunity to fight back in a school-sanctioned karate match. Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey), as she is wont to do, is compelled to intervene, effectively becoming the boys’ “Mr. Momyagi” as she tries to protect her schmoos.
Fans of the series know that Karate Kid was always destined to eventually make its way onto the show in a bigger way, as Barry dabbled in the martial arts as early as season 1 (his crane kick choreography during Erica’s talent show performance remains one of the series’ all-time best moments).
In season 4 alone, The Goldbergs’ ‘80s references have included The Breakfast Club, Knight Rider, Misery, The Brady Bunch, Commando, and The Phantom of the Opera.
The Karate Kid episode will air in late winter/early spring of 2017.