Beat It opens in a diner/pool hall, where two men walk outside and then the members of two warring gangs gather and march to a "rumble" inspired by the film West Side Story, at a warehouse. Throughout, Jackson appears as a lone figure, dancing throughout the diner, eventually arriving at the warehouse just as the gang leaders are engaged in a knife fight. The cast begins to dance and breakdance. Also, some of the less-experienced dancers flubbing steps in the background behind Jackson. Many of the participants in the video's dance sequences were actual street gang members, brought in to authenticate the look and feel of the piece. "Weird Al" Yankovic's parodied the video for his "Eat It" video and Phil Collins' "Don't Lose My Number" parodies the video.
Fall Out Boy's Version
Beat It features cameos by Tony Hale, Donald Faison and Joel David Moore dressed up like Michael Jackson in a karate class/dance session.