A teenager daydreams of getting some payback from the bullies who menace him in this hybrid of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) and The Karate Kid (1984). Barry Gabrewski (Jonathan Brandis) is an asthmatic schoolboy who can't participate in sports, much to the delight of a bullying classmate (John Buchanan) and his sadistic gym teacher (Richard Moll).
Miserably unhappy, Barry escapes into a world of fantasy, where he imagines himself the tough, karate-proficient sidekick of action movie hero Chuck Norris.
Trying to turn his dreams into reality, Barry visits dojo master Kelly Stone (Joe Piscopo), but Stone only mocks his aspirations. A supportive teacher introduces Barry to her uncle, Mr. Lee (Mako), a cook and martial arts teacher who takes Barry under his wing and teaches him the secrets of karate prowess.
When Barry becomes good enough to enter a tournament, he needs a fourth athlete to complete his team, and who should be in the stands making a publicity appearance but the real-life Norris, who steps in to fight side-by-side with the plucky teen. Sidekicks was directed by Norris' brother and frequent collaborator Aaron Norris.