Cobra Kai
Genre
Created by
Based onThe Karate Kid
by Robert Mark Kamen
Starring
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes50 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • William Zabka
  • Ralph Macchio
  • Will Smith
  • James Lassiter
  • Caleeb Pinkett
  • Susan Ekins
  • Josh Heald
  • Jon Hurwitz
  • Hayden Schlossberg
Producers
  • Katrin L. Goodson
  • Bob Wilson
Production locationsAtlanta, Georgia
Los Angeles, California
CinematographyCameron Duncan
Editors
  • Nicholas Monsour
  • Jeff Seibenick
  • Ivan Victor
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22–48 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkYouTube Red
ReleaseMay 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
NetworkYouTube Premium
ReleaseApril 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
NetworkNetflix
ReleaseJanuary 1, 2021 (2021-01-01) –
present (present)

Cobra Kai is an American martial arts comedy-drama television series and a sequel to the original The Karate Kid films created by Robert Mark Kamen.[1] The series was created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, and is distributed by Sony Pictures Television. The series was released on YouTube Red / YouTube Premium for the first two seasons, before moving to Netflix starting with the third. The series stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, who reprise their roles as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, respectively, from the 1984 film The Karate Kid and its sequels, The Karate Kid Part II (1986) and The Karate Kid Part III (1989).

The first and second seasons launched on YouTube Red/Premium in May 2018 and April 2019. Netflix acquired the series in June 2020 after YouTube decided to stop producing scripted original programming. The third, fourth and fifth seasons were released in January 2021, December 2021, and September 2022, respectively. Production for the final season stopped during the period of the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike and 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, and resumed after January 1, 2024.[2] Season 6 will have 15 episodes, and will appear in three parts on July 18, November 28, and on an unspecified date in 2025.[3]

Cobra Kai re-examines the Karate Kid narrative from Johnny's point of view, beginning with his decision to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo, and the rekindling of his old rivalry with Daniel.[4] The series also stars Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, Peyton List, Vanessa Rubio and Dallas Dupree Young, with Martin Kove, Yuji Okumoto, Thomas Ian Griffith, and Sean Kanan also reprising their roles from the films. The series takes place between 2017 and 2019.[5][6]

Cobra Kai has attained high viewership on both YouTube and Netflix, and has received critical acclaim for its writing, performances, action sequences, humor, character development, and faithfulness to the previous films. It has received numerous awards and nominations, with the third season being nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Summary

Season 1

Thirty-four years after being defeated by Daniel LaRusso in the 1984 All-Valley Karate Tournament, Johnny Lawrence, now in his 50s, suffers from alcoholism and depression. He works as a part-time handyman, and lives in an apartment in Reseda, Los Angeles, having fallen far from the wealthy lifestyle in Encino that he had been accustomed to growing up. He has an estranged son named Robby from a previous relationship, whom he has abandoned. In contrast, Daniel is now the owner of a highly successful car dealership chain, and is married to co-owner Amanda with whom he has two children: Samantha and Anthony. Daniel is finally living the wealthy lifestyle he envied as a kid when he and his mother Lucille lived in Reseda. However, after his friend and mentor Mr. Miyagi died, Daniel's struggle to meaningfully connect with his children has disrupted the balance in his life.

After using karate to defend his teenage neighbor Miguel Diaz from a group of bullies, Johnny agrees to teach Miguel karate and re-opens the Cobra Kai karate dojo as a chance to recapture his past. The revived Cobra Kai attracts a group of bullied social outcasts who find camaraderie and self-confidence under his tutelage. Johnny develops a bond with Miguel in a manner that resembles the relationship between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi, while Miguel goes on to date Samantha. Cobra Kai's philosophy, however, remains mostly unchanged, though Johnny tries to infuse it with more honor than Kreese did. On the other hand, the reopening of Cobra Kai revives Johnny's rivalry with Daniel, who vows to bring down the dojo. Daniel begins training Robby (who wants revenge on Johnny) in the ways of Miyagi-Do, while Robby begins a rivalry with Miguel. Miguel and Samantha break up when Miguel, while drunk, tried to hit Robby, but accidentally hit Samantha. The rivalries culminate at the 2018 All-Valley Karate Tournament, which Miguel manages to win through underhanded tactics, causing Johnny to realize the flaws of the dojo.

Season 2

Cobra Kai founder and Johnny's old sensei John Kreese unexpectedly reappears, and Johnny reluctantly allows him to rejoin Cobra Kai. Meanwhile, Daniel opens his own Miyagi-Do dojo, with Robby and Sam as his first students in response to Cobra Kai's success. As time passes, Robby and Sam fall in love and begin dating. A massive rivalry forms between the two dojos, particularly between Sam and new Cobra Kai student, Tory Nichols, the latter of whom begins a relationship with Miguel. While Johnny takes a break to reunite with his original Cobra Kai friends (Tommy, Bobby, and Jimmy), Kreese begins manipulating the Cobra Kai students. After witnessing Miguel and Sam kissing at a party, Tory instigates a school brawl between the dojos, which culminates with Robby kicking Miguel off a school balcony and onto the stairs below, severely injuring his spine and causing him to fall into a coma. In the aftermath, Daniel is convinced by Amanda to shut down Miyagi-Do, as the rivalry has gotten out of hand, while Kreese seizes control of the Cobra Kai dojo.

Season 3

Following the school brawl, Johnny relapses into becoming an alcoholic due to being depressed about Miguel’s coma, while Daniel's business begins struggling due to Robby's affiliation with Miyagi-Do. After getting a lead on Robby, who has gone missing, Daniel and Johnny temporarily work together in an effort to find him, before ultimately giving up. Robby is soon found and put in juvenile detention, becoming angry at both Daniel and Johnny and becoming tempted by Kreese's offer to join Cobra Kai. Meanwhile, Miguel awakens from his coma and begins training with Johnny to regain his ability to walk. Once Miguel regains his walking ability, Johnny begins a new dojo called Eagle Fang Karate in an effort to compete with Cobra Kai, which catches the attention of Kreese. Meanwhile, Daniel travels to Japan in an effort to save his business. During a side trip to Okinawa, he reunites with Kumiko, and resolves his differences with Chozen Toguchi. After returning to the United States, Amanda allows Daniel to reopen Miyagi-Do after a battle between his former students and Cobra Kai leads to a reluctant Hawk breaking Demetri's arm. Initially refusing to work together, Johnny and Daniel resolve their differences after meeting their ex-girlfriend Ali Mills at a party. At the same time, the Cobra Kais under Tory's leadership invade the LaRusso house, where Hawk abandons Cobra Kai to join the alliance, and Cobra Kai is defeated by Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang, who choose to work together. After finding out, Daniel and Johnny confront Kreese, who reveals that Robby has joined Cobra Kai and issues an ultimatum: Whichever dojo loses the next All-Valley tournament must shut down. The three agree, and Johnny and Daniel merge their respective dojos together.

The season also explores flashbacks to Kreese's early life, his time in Vietnam, and how he eventually went on to adopt the "No Mercy" mantra.

Season 4

In an effort to beat Johnny and Daniel at the All-Valley, Kreese enlists the help of his best friend and Cobra Kai co-founder Terry Silver, a rich businessman and former cocaine addict who quit karate after assisting Kreese in his schemes in The Karate Kid Part III. Despite being initially reluctant, Silver is coerced into joining Kreese, but has differing views on how to win the tournament. Silver's return spurs Daniel to attempt to take full control of the Miyagi-Fang alliance, angering Johnny who is paranoid that his students are taking to Daniel's teachings. At the All-Valley Tournament, Johnny and Daniel set aside their differences but Cobra Kai ultimately wins the tournament. Unbeknownst to anyone except Tory, Silver bribed the referee to rig the tournament and proceeds to frame Kreese for a near-fatal assault on former Cobra Kai student Stingray.

Season 5

Despite having lost the All-Valley, Johnny and Daniel continue efforts to bring down Cobra Kai, which now contains Silver's resources and backing. To do this, Daniel brings in former rival Chozen Toguchi to assist him, sending him undercover. However, Silver begins manipulating Daniel and sending his life into ruin, including making Amanda temporarily leave him. Silver brings in foreign senseis, including sensei Kim Da-eun, the granddaughter of Silver and Kreese's sensei, to assist him in his plans. Tory, still loyal to a now imprisoned Kreese, works undercover at Cobra Kai, the only person aware of Silver paying off the referee. After returning from Mexico, Miguel breaks up with Sam, but resolves his rivalry with Robby after Johnny forces them to fight when he learns Carmen is pregnant. After Amanda finds out from her cousin Jessica Andrews the true depravity of Silver, Johnny, and Chozen convince a disillusioned Daniel to reignite his passion for Karate. The dojos continue to work together, and by manipulating Kreese, discover Silver's master plan to enlist Cobra Kai in the Seikai Taikai tournament, the most respected Karate tournament in the world. In a competition between the two, both dojos ultimately manage to enlist. During a celebration of Carmen's pregnancy, Mike Barnes, Silver's former henchman from 1985, kidnaps Daniel, Johnny, and Chozen, as his furniture store was burnt down earlier by Silver. Initially accusing Daniel of burning the store down, Barnes enlists Johnny and Chozen in an effort to get revenge on Silver, where the three face down his army of senseis. This is juxtaposed with the Miyagi-Fang students who, alongside a reformed Tory, break into the Cobra Kai dojo to download footage of Silver beating up Stingray, where they face the entire Cobra Kai dojo as well as Kim Da-eun. They ultimately upload video footage of Silver revealing to Tory that he bribed the referee. Silver arrives at the Cobra Kai dojo and challenges Daniel to a fight. Daniel incorporates Miyagi-Do, Eagle Fang, Cobra Kai with the Quick Silver method he learned back in The Karate Kid Part III. In the end, the two-time All Valley champion uses the crane kick to defeat him. Kenny and the rest of Cobra Kai quit, Silver to be arrested and the dojo shut down. In the aftermath, Miguel and Sam, as well as Robby and Tory, rekindle their respective relationships. In jail, however, Kreese fakes his death and escapes.

Cast and characters

Main article: List of The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai characters

Main cast

Character Actor Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
Daniel LaRusso Ralph Macchio Main
Johnny Lawrence William Zabka Main
Amanda LaRusso Courtney Henggeler Main
Miguel Diaz Xolo Maridueña Main
Robby Keene Tanner Buchanan Main
Samantha LaRusso Mary Mouser Main
Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz Jacob Bertrand Recurring Main
Demetri Alexopoulos Gianni DeCenzo Recurring Main Recurring[b] Main
John Kreese Martin Kove[c] Guest[b] Main
Tory Nichols Peyton List Does not appear Recurring[d] Main
Carmen Diaz Vanessa Rubio Recurring Main
Terry Silver Thomas Ian Griffith[e] Does not appear Main TBA
Kenny Payne Dallas Dupree Young Does not appear Recurring Main

Supporting cast

Archival footage

The following characters only appear via archival footage from the film series:

Episodes

Main article: List of Cobra Kai episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally releasedNetwork
110May 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)YouTube Red
210April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)YouTube Premium
310January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)Netflix
410December 31, 2021 (2021-12-31)
510September 9, 2022 (2022-09-09)
6[8]155July 18, 2024 (2024-07-18)
5November 28, 2024 (2024-11-28)
52025 (2025)

Production

The thematic genesis for Cobra Kai began with a few works of pop culture. First, the 2007 music video for the song "Sweep the Leg" by No More Kings stars William Zabka (who also directed the video) as a caricature of himself as Johnny, and features references to The Karate Kid, including cameo appearances by Zabka's former Karate Kid co-stars.[9][10] In a 2010 interview, Zabka jokingly discussed this video in the context of his vision that Johnny was the true hero of the film.[11] Next in June 2010, Macchio appeared in Funny or Die's online short, "Wax On, F*ck Off", in which his loved ones stage an intervention to turn the former child star from a well-adjusted family man into an addict besieged with tabloid scandal in order to help his career (with frequent references to The Karate Kid).[12] A recurring joke in the sketch is that Macchio is confused for an adolescent. The short was lauded by TV Guide's Bruce Fretts, who referred to the video as "sidesplitting" and "comic gold".[13] Finally, in 2013, Macchio and Zabka made guest appearances as themselves in the television sitcom How I Met Your Mother ("The Bro Mitzvah"). In the episode, Macchio is invited to Barney Stinson's bachelor party, leading to Barney shouting that he hates Macchio and that Johnny was the real hero of The Karate Kid. Towards the end of the episode, a clown in the party wipes off his makeup and reveals himself as Zabka.[14] This influenced the launch of Cobra Kai, which gives a balanced perspective for Johnny, Daniel, and other characters.[15] Zabka continued to be a recurring character throughout the ninth season of the show.

Development

Cobra Kai was greenlit in August 2017, with ten half-hour episodes, written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg. Although the series received offers from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and AMC, it ultimately ended up on the subscription service YouTube Red.[16][17] The trio was joined by executive producers James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett of Overbrook Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.[18] YouTube Premium released the first season on May 2, 2018, and the second season on April 24, 2019. The creators of the series explored moving to another platform ahead of the season two premiere, but the deal did not go through.[19]

The third season was produced for YouTube and was initially set for a 2020 release,[20][21] but in May 2020, the series left YouTube and moved to another streaming platform, ahead of its third-season premiere. As YouTube was not interested in renewing the series for a fourth season, the producers wanted to find a streaming venue that would leave that option open.[22] The show moved to Netflix in June, taking the third season with them.[23] Netflix released the first two seasons from YouTube on August 28, 2020, and the new third season on January 1, 2021.[24] A fourth season was renewed, prior to season 3 being released,[25] and was released on December 31, 2021.[26][27] The fifth season premiered on September 9, 2022.[28][29]

In January 2023, the series was renewed for a sixth and final season.[30][31] Production was halted in May, however, due to the combined impact of the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike and the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike.[32][33] It resumed sometime after January 1, 2024.[2]

Casting

According to Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, only the characters from the original four films The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994) comprise the "Miyagi-verse" (characters who interacted with Mr. Miyagi) that shapes Cobra Kai. Jon Hurwitz has also clarified that he does not consider The Karate Kid animated series to be part of the Miyagi-verse canon, but an Easter egg from it appears in the season 3, in response to the question about its status within Cobra Kai.[34][35][36]

In season 1, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprised their respective Karate Kid roles of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Additional Karate Kid actors included Randee Heller, who reprised her role as Lucille LaRusso (Daniel's mother),[37] and Martin Kove, who revived his role as John Kreese.[38] The cast list for season 1 included Xolo Maridueña, Mary Mouser, Tanner Buchanan, and Courtney Henggeler. Ed Asner was cast in a guest role as Johnny's verbally abusive step-father, Sid Weinberg.[39][40] Vanessa Rubio joined the cast as Miguel's mother.[41]

In season 2, Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Mariduena, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, and Courtney Henggeler all returned,[38] with Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, and Martin Kove being promoted to series regulars and newcomers Paul Walter Hauser and Peyton List joining the cast.[42][43] Actors from The Karate Kid, Rob Garrison (Tommy), Ron Thomas (Bobby), Tony O'Dell (Jimmy), and Randee Heller (Lucille LaRusso) made guest appearances during this season.

In season 3, Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Mariduena, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, and Courtney Henggeler all returned. Actors from The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid II, Elisabeth Shue (Ali Mills), Ron Thomas (Bobby), Tamlyn Tomita (Kumiko), Traci Toguchi (Yuna), and Yuji Okumoto (Chozen Toguchi) all made guest appearances during this season.

In season 4, Vanessa Rubio and Peyton List were promoted to series regulars,[44] while Dallas Dupree Young and Oona O'Brien were cast in recurring roles.[44] In addition, Thomas Ian Griffith reprised his role as Terry Silver from The Karate Kid III,[45] and actors from The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid II, Yuji Okumoto (Chozen Toguchi)[46] and Randee Heller (Lucille LaRusso), made guest appearances.

In season 5, Yuji Okumoto had a recurring role as Chozen Toguchi.[47] In addition, Sean Kanan reprised his role as Mike Barnes and Robyn Lively reprised her role as Jessica Andrews from The Karate Kid III.[48] Alicia Hannah-Kim also joined the cast as Kim Da-eun. Dallas Dupree Young, who joined the show in season four as Kenny Payne, was upgraded to a series regular.[49]

Filming

Principal photography for the first season began in October 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Filming took place at various locations throughout that month at places including Union City, Marietta, and the Briarcliff Campus of Emory University.[50] In November, shooting moved to locales such as the North Atlanta Soccer Association Tophat fields in East Cobb.[51] In December, the production was working out of Marietta and Conyers.[52] Various exterior shots were also filmed in parts of Los Angeles such as Tarzana and Encino.[53] Exterior locations included Golf N' Stuff in Norwalk and the South Seas Apartments in Reseda, both of which were originally featured in The Karate Kid.[54]

Principal photography for the second season began in September 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. In October, production continued around Atlanta with shooting also occurring in Marietta.[55] In November, the series was filming in Union City.[56] In December, shooting transpired at the closed Rio Bravo Cantina restaurant in Atlanta.[57]

Principal photography for the fourth season began in February 2021 and ended in April in Atlanta, Georgia.[58]

Filming for the fifth season began in September 2021 and finished in December. Like previous seasons, parts were filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, Marietta, Georgia and Los Angeles, California. The Mexico scenes were filmed in Puerto Rico on a two-day filming block, just like the two-day filming block of Okinawa, Japan and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan for the third season.[59]

Release

Marketing

The series was promoted at the annual Television Critics Association's winter press tour held in January 2018, when YouTube's global head of original content Susanne Daniels described the show: "It is a half an hour format but I would call it a dramedy. I think it leans into the tone of the movie in that there are dramatic moments throughout. I think it's very faithful really in some ways to what the movie set about doing, the lessons imparted in the movie if you will. It's next generation Karate Kid."[60]

Several trailers for the show were released from February[61][62][63] to March, before the premiere date was revealed to be May 2.[64]

YouTube Premium released a six-minute commercial parodying ESPN's 30 for 30 in April 2019, featuring the main cast members and select ESPN personalities analyzing the 1984 match between Daniel and Johnny.[65][66] It was nominated for a Clio Award.[67]

Premiere

The series held its world premiere on April 24, 2018, at the SVA Theatre in New York City, New York, during the annual Tribeca Film Festival. Following the screening, a discussion was held with writers, directors, and executive producers Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz, and Josh Heald, in addition to series stars and co-executive producers William Zabka and Ralph Macchio.[68]

YouTube partnered with Fathom Events for special screenings of the first two episodes of the series at around 700 movie theaters across the United States. The event also included a screening of the original film.[69][70]

Reception

Critical response

Critical response of Cobra Kai
SeasonRotten TomatoesMetacritic
1100% (49 reviews)72 (11 reviews)
291% (31 reviews)66 (7 reviews)
390% (51 reviews)72 (15 reviews)
495% (37 reviews)70 (8 reviews)
598% (44 reviews)78 (7 reviews)

All five seasons of Cobra Kai have received positive critical reviews. At the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the entire series received a 94% approval rating.[71] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the series holds an average rating of 71 out of 100.[72]

The first season had a positive response from critics. At Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 100% approval rating, with an average score of 7.5 out of 10 based on 49 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads: "Cobra Kai continues the Karate Kid franchise with a blend of pleasantly corny nostalgia and teen angst, elevated by a cast of well-written characters."[73] Cobra Kai was 2018's best-reviewed TV drama on Rotten Tomatoes.[74] Metacritic assigned the season a score of 72 out of 100 based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[75]

The second season had a positive response from critics. At the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an 90% approval rating with an average score of 7.4 out of 10, based on 31 reviews. Its critical consensus reads: "While Cobra Kai's subversive kick no longer carries the same gleeful impact of its inaugural season, its second round is still among the best around – no amount of mid-life crisis and teenage ennui's ever gonna keep it down."[76] Metacritic's weighted average assigned the second season a score of 66 out of 100, based on seven critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[77]

The third season of the series had a positive response from critics. At the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 90% approval rating, with an average score of 8 out of 10 based on 51 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads: "By pairing its emotional punches with stronger humor, Cobra Kai's third season finds itself in fine fighting form."[78] On Metacritic with its weighted average, assigned a score of 72 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[79]

The fourth season had a positive response from critics. It received a 95% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating, with an average score of 7.9 out of 10 based on 37 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads: "Cobra Kai still delights in a fourth season that mines great fun from shifting alliances, chiefly the uneasy truce between Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso."[80][81] Metacritic's weighted average assigned the fourth season a score of 70 out of 100, based on eight critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[82]

The fifth season had a positive response from critics. It received a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 98%, with an average rating of 8 out of 10 based on 44 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Deftly managing an expanded roster of punchy personalities, Cobra Kai graduates to a black belt proficiency in heartfelt melodrama and sly humor."[83] On Metacritic, it received a weighted score of 78 out of 100, based on seven critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[84]

Viewership

YouTube

The first episode, which was posted on YouTube for free along with episode two, had been viewed 5.4 million times within the first 24 hours.[85] While it was noted that the response had been, in part, a result of YouTube releasing the episode for free, it was noted by Cinema Blend's Britt Lawrence that YouTube Red's new series debuted to numbers that made rival streaming services take notice.[86] By October 30, 2018, ahead of the second-season premiere, YouTube was promoting the report that the first episode had then been viewed over 50 million times.[87] The first episode was No. 8 on YouTube's list of ten top-trending videos of 2018.[88]

According to market research company Parrot Analytics, the first season of Cobra Kai was the world's most in-demand streaming television show during May 2018.[89] Parrot Analytics later reported that the second season of Cobra Kai was the world's most in-demand digital television show during April[90] and through May 2019.[91] As of September 2020, the season 1 premiere has over 90 million views,[92] and the season 2 premiere has over 86 million views.[93]

Netflix

After the series moved to Netflix in August 2020, season 1 and season 2 of Cobra Kai became the most-watched series on the platform.[94] It was the most-watched show on streaming media in the United States between August 29 and September 6, according to Nielsen ratings. During the week, the show's 20 episodes drew nearly 2.2 billion streaming minutes in the United States.[95] The first season was watched on Netflix by 50 million member households in its first four weeks,[96] making Cobra Kai the most-streamed show on Netflix during the month of September 2020.[97][98]

In February 2021, after the release of season 3, Forbes announced that it "kicked off 2021 as one of most viewed original series on a streaming platform". During the period of December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021, it came in "second only to Netflix's Bridgerton", with over 2.6 billion viewing minutes.[99] Cobra Kai then moved to first place during the period of January 4–10, 2021.[100] Critics also offered cultural commentary in response to season three. Jen Yamato of Los Angeles Times stated that by the end of season three, there are three white men at the center of Cobra Kai, a franchise rooted in and deeply indebted to Eastern tradition.[101] Gustavo Arellano of Los Angeles Times suggested that Cobra Kai offers a "way forward for all of us during these tumultuous times", as he saw this uplifting season 3 finale the weekend before the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol invasion.[102] The Hollywood Reporter, former NBA champion and student of martial arts Kareem Abdul-Jabbar suggested that his friend and teacher, the late Bruce Lee, was linked to the influence of the original Karate Kid films.[103] Finally, Albert Wu and Michelle Kuo of the Los Angeles Review of Books argued that while the original Karate Kid "film functioned as a post-Vietnam critique of American empire, staking its position explicitly: pacifism over violence, peace over war, an admittedly romanticized version of Eastern wisdom over the macho bravado of jock culture", Cobra Kai "models" the "unending appeal" of the "American Empire".[104]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Show Cobra Kai Nominated [105]
[106]
Choice Summer TV Star Xolo Maridueña Nominated
Imagen Awards Best Young Actor – Television Xolo Maridueña Nominated [107]
[108]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or Variety Program Hiro Koda Nominated [109]
2019 Shorty Awards Best Web Series Cobra Kai Nominated [110]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or Variety Program Hiro Koda Nominated [109]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Show Cobra Kai Nominated [111]
Clio Awards Television/Streaming: Social Media-30 for 30 Cobra Kai Nominated [67]
[66]
[65]
2021 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Family TV Show Cobra Kai Nominated [112]
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Show Cobra Kai Nominated [113]
Best Fight "Finale House Fight" Nominated
Best Musical Moment "I Wanna Rock" Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series Cobra Kai Nominated [114]
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Streaming Series, Comedy Cobra Kai Nominated [115]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, Caleeb Pinkett, Susan Ekins, James Lassiter, Will Smith, Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Luan Thomas, Joe Piarulli, Michael Jonathan Smith, Stacey Harman, Bob Dearden and Bob Wilson Nominated [116]
[117]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Patrick Hogan, Jesse Pomeroy, Daniel Salas, Ryne Gierke, AJ Shapiro, Andres Locsey, Shane Bruce and Mitchell Kohen (for "December 19") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Joe DeAngelis, Chris Carpenter, Mike Filosa and Phil McGowan (for "December 19") Nominated
Outstanding Stunt Performance Jahnel Curfman, Julia Maggio, John Cihangir and Marc Canonizado (for "December 19") Nominated
People's Choice Awards The Show of 2021 Cobra Kai Nominated [118]
The Drama Show of 2021 Nominated
The Bingeworthy Show of 2021 Nominated
2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series Cobra Kai Nominated [119]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Family TV Show Cobra Kai Nominated [120]
People's Choice Awards The Drama Show of 2022 Cobra Kai Nominated [121]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Patrick Hogan, Daniel Salas, Jesse Pomeroy, Gary DeLeone, Nick Papalia, Andres Locsey, and Mitchell Cohen (for "The Rise) Nominated [122]
Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or Variety Program Ken Barefield Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Episodic Comedy Cobra Kai Nominated [123]
Saturn Awards Best Action/Adventure Television Series (Streaming) Cobra Kai Nominated [124]
2023 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Action Series Cobra Kai Won [125]
[126]
Best Actor in an Action Series, Limited Series or Made-for-TV Movie Ralph Macchio Nominated
Best Actor in an Action Series, Limited Series or Made-for-TV Movie William Zabka Nominated

Home media

During the show's time on YouTube Red, Cobra Kai was not released on DVD,[127] but once the show made its move to Netflix, Sony Pictures released the first and second seasons in a "Collector's Edition" DVD set on November 24, 2020 in the United States.[128] In 2022, Sony Pictures released the third season in January[129][130] and the fourth in September, both in the United States.[131] Sony Pictures released the fifth season in September 2023 in the United States.[132]

Key
  = Available only on DVD
  = Available only on Blu-ray
  = Available on both DVD & Blu-ray
Season Release date
Region 1[133] Region 2/B[134] Region 2/B
(Germany)[135]
Region 4/B[136]
1 & 2 November 24, 2020 May 4, 2020 (DVD)
December 21, 2020 (Blu-ray)
January 14, 2022 (LE) No release
1 No release No release December 17, 2020 August 14, 2019
2 No release No release December 17, 2020 May 7, 2020
3 January 11, 2022 January 17, 2022 July 10, 2022 (LE) January 12, 2022
4 September 13, 2022 October 17, 2022 TBA November 9, 2022
5 September 12, 2023 October 2, 2023 TBA October 11, 2023

Soundtracks

Further information: Cobra Kai season 1 § Soundtrack, Cobra Kai season 2 § Soundtrack, Cobra Kai season 3 § Soundtrack, and Cobra Kai season 4 § Soundtracks

Cobra Kai: Wax Off – EP

Cobra Kai: Wax Off – EP
EP by
Leo Birenberg
& Zach Robinson
ReleasedJuly 23, 2021 (2021-07-23)
GenreSoundtrack
Length13:45
LabelMadison Gate Records
Leo Birenberg
& Zach Robinson chronology
Cobra Kai: Season 3 (Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series)
(2021)
Cobra Kai: Wax Off – EP
(2021)
Cobra Kai: Season 4, Vol. 1 "All Valley Tournament 51" (Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series)
(2022)

Madison Gate Records released an extended play entitled Cobra Kai: Wax Off – EP on July 23, 2021, featuring extended versions of four previously released tracks from the first two seasons soundtracks.[137]

Track listing

All music is composed by Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson

No.TitleLength
1."Quiver – Extended"3:51
2."Cobra Guy – Extended"2:31
3."A Badass Name for a Dojo – Extended"3:02
4."Sam and Robby – Extended"4:20
Total length:13:45

Video games

Main article: Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues

Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues, a video game based on the series, was released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2020, and for Microsoft Windows on January 5, 2021.[138]

A mobile game entitled Cobra Kai: Card Fighter was released on March 19, 2021, on iOS and Android devices.[139]

Book

In 2022, Ralph Macchio published the memoir Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me (Dutton), in which he reflects upon the making of and legacy of the Karate Kid films and Cobra Kai.[140]

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Notes

  1. ^ Credited as Sony Pictures Television for seasons 1-2, current Netflix prints for those seasons use the 2020 Sony Pictures Television Studios logo
  2. ^ a b Credited as a "Special Guest Star".
  3. ^ Also portrayed by Barrett Carnahan
  4. ^ Despite being credited as a recurring guest star, List was frequently listed alongside other starring cast members in promotional material for the third season.[7]
  5. ^ Also portrayed by Nick Marini
  6. ^ Despite being credited as a recurring guest star, Brown appeared in every episode of the second season.
  7. ^ Despite having appeared in several episodes of the first season, Morgan remained uncredited until the episode "Different but Same".
  8. ^ Despite being credited as a recurring guest star, Okumoto appeared in every episode of the fifth season.
  9. ^ Despite having appeared in several episodes of the fifth season, Woodley remained uncredited until the episode "Head of the Snake".