With Cobra Kai's third season hitting Netflix on Friday, fans are fully embracing the Karate Kid mania. Many have binged the entire series and have started searching for other opportunities to see the stars in action, even in guest roles. One example is when Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) reunited for How I Met Your Mother.
Fans of the half-hour sitcom learned during a Season 4 episode that Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) was a massive fan of The Karate Kid but that he despised Macchio's character. He explained that Zabka's character was the real hero and that an "illegal head kick" led to him losing the karate tournament. This bit of trivia later played a major role during Stinson's bachelor party, which took place during a Season 8 episode. The gang surprised Stinson with an appearance by Macchio, which only angered him due to them choosing the wrong "karate kid."
"I hate Ralph Macchio!" Stinson declared. "I hate him, hate him, hate him. He is not the Karate Kid! The Karate Kid was William Zabka, star pupil of the Cobra Kai dojo, who this monster defeated with a cheap, illegal head kick in the most tragically haunting film ending of all time." Stinson then compared Macchio to Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, War Horse and other "villains" from cinematic history.
Of course, Macchio was not the only cast member from The Karate Kid to make an appearance. Zabka also showed up in disguise. He spent nearly the entire episode dressed as a random clown but removed his makeup to show Stinson that Macchio's appearance was part of an elaborate prank. He then thanked Stinson for being one of the few people to "truly understand" The Karate Kid's point.
While Macchio was only on hand for the bachelor party episode, Zabka returned to the show for its final season. He joined the How I Met Your Mother cast for Stinson's wedding and took part in a pivotal poker game while competing with Ted Mosby for best man duties. He also took on Tim Gunn, Stinson's brother (Wayne Brady), a limo driver named Ranjit Singh and other important characters from the first eight seasons.
Zabka was actually a prominent part of How I Met Your Mother's final two seasons. He appeared in seven total episodes and took part in a variety of activities. Granted, Zabka wasn't the main character in many of the storylines, but the fans proclaimed that they enjoyed seeing him in the cameo role.