In the 1995 film, Mortal Kombat, Johnny Cage leaves an autographed photo of himself following his fight with Scorpion.

The video game franchise added the friendship offering as an alternative to killing or "finishing" an opponent. Johnny Cage's friendship offering in the video game is an autographed photo of himself.

A Friendship is a finishing move introduced in Mortal Kombat II in response to the public controversy surrounding the Fatality in the original Mortal Kombat. Friendships allowed players to perform various (and highly unlikely) acts of kindness and goodwill towards their helpless opponent instead of killing them after winning the match.

Johnny Cage has a fight with Scorpion in the film. Johnny Cage clearly defeats Scorpion and kills him. After Scorpion dies, there is an autographed photo of Johnny Cage that appears.

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Why was the friendship offering of Johnny Cage shown in the film if Johnny Cage killed Scorpion? There appears to be no other friendship offerings depicted in the film. Johnny Cage also defeats and kills Goro in the film, but there was no autographed photo shown after Goro is killed. What was the purpose of showing Johnny Cage's autographed photo after this particular fight with Scorpion?

  • 5
    It looked cool for sure and suited his cocky nature.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 12:56
  • 1
    Choose. Your. Autograph.....
    – DVK
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 21:28

2 Answers 2


Absent the character we see on screen, the "friendship" offering in the games just becomes a silly way to end fights as the quote you provided described.

In the movie, though, we see that Johnny is portrayed as something of a self-centered egomaniac, a stereotypical Hollywood star. Case in point: he's fighting in another dimension, but still happens to have an autographed head shot on his person.

While the scene was likely inspired by the game event, it has a different context given Johnny's personality. Here, it's more of him marking his kill and/or spitting on Scorpion's grave. It also has a note of "You're just a fan, but I'm the real deal."

At a minimum, it's a good case of comic irony. Obviously, Scorpion, a demon trying to kill Johnny Cage is not Johnny's biggest fan. It provides some comic relief after we just see the skeleton-faced guy explode.

Of note, is that in the actual scene we don't see Johnny place the photo. It just kind of falls to the ground post-explosion, almost as if it fell off Johnny when he jumped away from the explosion. This further points to it just being for comedic effect. (Which, really, is the same purpose of the friendship finishes in the game)

And in the LaserDisc director's commentary:

Paul W.S. Anderson: This is something we just did as a joke, and we weren't really gonna keep it. You know, 'Where would Johnny have this thing in him?' But, he's cocky and arrogant and it was funny and it worked and we kept it.


Was it a friendship offering, though? Ever since I first saw this movie, I always took it as Scorpion having the autographed photo on his body and it being dropped after he died. I interpret it as Scorpion having gotten the signature off-screen somewhere, probably outside of his Mortal Kombat attire.

In that context, it changes the meaning of Johnny being cocky to Johnny having killed someone that was a fan of his, unbeknownst to him.

  • 1
    Well, I think that it's just assumed that it's a friendship offering because that's what Cage's friendship offering is in the video game. Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 19:09
  • Scorpion is a literal hell demon. He doesn't have an "outside attire".
    – cde
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 20:18
  • Yes, that is exactly what I thought. I didn't think Johnny cage threw it at Scorpion, I thought scorpion was his fan and he unknowingly killed one of his biggest fans. That's exactly what me and everyone else I know who've seen the movie thought, it makes more sense than Johnny throwing it.
    – Ms. Lauren
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 20:32

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