5E Best on screen depictions of the Monk class

Which on screen depiction of a monk best fits the D&D monk?

  • Yu Shu Lien (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)

    Votes: 21 32.8%
  • Ang (Last Airbender)

    Votes: 22 34.4%
  • Caine (Kung Fu TV series)

    Votes: 19 29.7%
  • Lee (Enter the Dragon)

    Votes: 13 20.3%
  • Wong Fei-Hung (Drunken Master)

    Votes: 8 12.5%
  • Yang (The Warrior's Way, kensai)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Friar Tuck (Robin Hood)

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • The Monkey King (Forbidden Kingdom)

    Votes: 8 12.5%
  • Dr. Yang (Iron Monkey)

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Ip Man (Ip Man)

    Votes: 13 20.3%
  • Wang Chi (Big Trouble in Little China)

    Votes: 10 15.6%
  • Leroy Green (The Last Dragon)

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Sho "nuff (The Last Dragon)

    Votes: 2 3.1%
  • Cadfael (Cadfael)

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Nightcrawler (XMEN)

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist)

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Monk with no name (Bulletproof Monk)

    Votes: 4 6.3%
  • Diana (D&D Cartoon)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Man with iron fists (Iron fist)

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Pai Mei (Kill Bill)

    Votes: 8 12.5%
  • TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, pick one)

    Votes: 7 10.9%
  • Morgan (Walking Dead)

    Votes: 2 3.1%
  • Zula (Conan the destroyer)

    Votes: 1 1.6%

  • Total voters
    64
I mean Kung Fu probably helped make the monk a popular idea, but there were a lot of kung fu movies going around America in the 70's as well. the important part about The Destroyer was establishing the "uses qi to get weird powers" variety of monk as the standard for d&d.
Thing is, the monk's weird Ch'i powers - slow-fall, arrow deflection, the dread 'quivering palm' - showed up in Kung Fu, too. My guess is they were drawing from the same sources of inspiration.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
Thing is, the monk's weird Ch'i powers - slow-fall, arrow deflection, the dread 'quivering palm' - showed up in Kung Fu, too. My guess is they were drawing from the same sources of inspiration.
well I guess that makes sense. I always thought Kung Fu was just some totally-not-a-white-guy who could punch good because Orientalism, I didn't realize he also got super powers as well.
 
well I guess that makes sense. I always thought Kung Fu was just some totally-not-a-white-guy who could punch good because Orientalism, I didn't realize he also got super powers as well.
I think the quivering palm may have been a baddie's technique. But, yeah "...a Shao-lin Monk can walk through walls..." right in the intro, every week.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
I think the quivering palm may have been a baddie's technique. But, yeah "...a Shao-lin Monk can walk through walls..." right in the intro, every week.
yeah y'know I never really looked into the show. even as a dumb teenager in the mid-2000's yellowface was a pretty big turn off for me lol. still didn't change the fact how many people around my age got into it, like geez.
 
yeah y'know I never really looked into the show. even as a dumb teenager in the mid-2000's yellowface was a pretty big turn off for me lol. still didn't change the fact how many people around my age got into it, like geez.
Yeah, I was in grade school when it first aired, still remembered it when I got to the Monk description in the 1e AD&D PH years after it was canceled.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Neo (The Matrix) - Way of the Open Hand
John Wick (John Wick) - Way of the Sun Soul (with bullets replacing sun bolt)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars) - Way of the Kensei
+1 to hit if you had included only Keanau Reeves characters.
Jack Traven (Speed) - Way of really being a good driver
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Qui Chang was my go to visualization back then
I always got the impression the D&D Monk was based (ripped whole cloth, really) on Kwai Chang Caine, but one of those recent retrospective articles claims it was done by one of the Blumes, based on Remo Williams. They do hit a lot of the same points (npi).
 
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DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
What movie or TV show was he a character as?
Oh. None, I guess. :( Unless the French made one. Hang on, I'll check IMDB.

There's a Spanish documentary...

No wait - Le Chanson de Roland (1978). Klaus Kinski as Roland. Gets pretty average reviews everywhere (about 5/10). The only thing I can find online is the opening sequence which is a bunch of close ups of the Bayeux Tapestry with creepy mediaeval singing. The stills I can find look to have everyone wearing High Middle Ages costume. So 0/10 for historical accuracy (based on what I can find.) Hmm. Guess I can't defend this one.

Move along, nothing to see here...
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think the quivering palm may have been a baddie's technique. But, yeah "...a Shao-lin Monk can walk through walls..." right in the intro, every week.
There was a dominant martial feel with a subtle but definite mysticism at the edges. You made is sound way more front and center than it usually was.
 
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Mecheon

Explorer
I am legit surprised we got this far without a reference to Dragonball, Fist of the North Star, or Jojo

So, here's the inevitable reference to Dragonball (Sun Soul has its DBZ-ish things to it), Fist of the North Star (Quivering Palm) and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure for the Astral Soul being a Stand.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
I am legit surprised we got this far without a reference to Dragonball, Fist of the North Star, or Jojo

So, here's the inevitable reference to Dragonball (Sun Soul has its DBZ-ish things to it), Fist of the North Star (Quivering Palm) and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure for the Astral Soul being a Stand.
uh, hmm, you got a good point there. Goku should've been a shoo-in, but we already have the Monkey King on this list so ¯\_(ツ)_

for that matter, does Seiya (Saint Seiya) count as a paladin? I nominate him, he's all about justice and serves a deity (sort of) and obtains armor that gives him supernatural abilities after going through a trial (or trials—look I'm not into this series that much, but he still seems like a good candidate).
 
I am legit surprised we got this far without a reference to Dragonball, Fist of the North Star, or Jojo

So, here's the inevitable reference to Dragonball (Sun Soul has its DBZ-ish things to it), Fist of the North Star (Quivering Palm) and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure for the Astral Soul being a Stand.
I noticed the absence of these characters as well. Along with all the references to the 1970s fad for kung fu movies which anyone new to D&D is too young (by a good 20 years!) to remember. The fact is, people on these forums (and I include myself) skew heavily towards the OLD (also see: "Critical what now?!" response to Wildemont). I didn't mention Jojo because I have never seen it, but I do know it's popular amongst my players aged under 40.
 

Mecheon

Explorer
because maybe the D&D monk has always been 100 percent not blast em with chi power?
That's where we get the Fist of the North Star reference! Which is basically the modern reference to the Quivering Palm but also if it was in a Mad Max-esque post apocalyptic hellscape
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Which is why the monk 100% needs to change if it is to stay relevant to players not old enough to remember the 70s.
Not something I am against at all. I did leave out one instance in my statement though
In fact they did eventually in 4e however have this guy Prince Zuko ok a bit of a subclass odd build but... firebending is close.

 

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