Cobra Kai is one of the most-watched shows on Netflix. Fans have fallen in love with how much love it gives to the original source material, even if the Karate Kid films weren’t all great. Over four seasons, they’ve followed the story of Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso as they work out their issues from their teenage years and train a new generation of teenagers in karate.
But no show can remain this popular without some changes during its run. There are several characters who simply don’t have the same level of popularity they had when they made their first appearances. In some cases, it’s entirely their own fault because of their actions, while in others the characters were de-prioritized in the show as it shifted focus.
10 Tory Nichols Makes Life Difficult For Anyone Who Gets In Her Way
Tory is introduced as a kid from a broken home, struggling to take care of her brother while going to school. It’s easy to sympathize with her because none of what’s happening in her life is her fault. But her feud with Sam turns into something far more violent than it needs to be. No matter her home life, there’s no excuse for breaking into Sam’s house and attacking her while she’s minding her own business. That said, it’s possible season five might go a long way towards rehabbing her situation now that she’s become All-Valley champion.
9 Piper Elswith’s Competitive Drive Causes Her To Join Cobra Kai
Piper was ironically more popular when she was Moon’s rarely seen girlfriend. But from the moment she became a bigger part of season four she made it more difficult to like her. Rather than working with Eagle Fang, she takes pride in joining up with Cobra Kai because she likes the idea of dominating people in sports. It’s easy to see her sliding into more of a villainous role in the fifth season as Tory slips out of the bad guy role and becomes more of a conflicted character.
8 Aisha Robinson Moved Out Of the Valley To Avoid More Karate Fights
Aisha’s character had a ton of potential in season one. Alongside Demetri and Hawk, she was one of the kids who joined Cobra Kai because she was tired of being bullied. After a few weeks of training, she was confident enough to put a stop to people bullying her. Though there was a hint of her going down a darker path, none of that was developed before the character was written out of the show. At this point, her popularity has declined because she hadn’t been in the series for several seasons when she was a vital character before that. That said, it was great to see her again in season four as a guest appearance with Sam.
7 Anthony LaRusso Went From A Smart-Mouthed Kid To A Bully
Anthony was just a spoiled brat in the first season. He wasn’t a terrible person, but he was preoccupied with video games and had little to offer besides snarky comments. But season four has made him a complete terror. Afraid of losing his spot in middle school, he spends a lot of time bullying Kenny Payne.
There’s no reason for it, other than that by bullying Kenny he can take the heat off himself. This has made the character one of the most frustrating in the series, especially considering he’s the son of a guy whose entire life became what it was because he fought against bullying.
6 Stingray Is Creepier The More Time He Spends Around Children
When Stringray first popped up, he was a guy looking for a place to belong. Having Johnny around to balance him out did wonders for the character. But as the series went on, the idea of having this adult hang out with a bunch of teenagers became more skeevy. His status as a comic relief character rather than having him as a potential voice of wisdom makes him weird. If nothing else, it feels like the series is trying to lend more depth to the character judging by the end of season four. But right now, he’s the grown man offering teenagers a place to get drunk.
5 Anoush Norouzi Doesn’t Appear In The Show As Much After Miyagi-Do Karate Becomes Official
Anoush is an underappreciated part of Cobra Kai’s first couple of seasons. He represented the fact that Daniel’s car dealership was a real place. It had actual employees and clients and was Daniel’s real job. It even made sense when Anoush abandoned LaRusso Auto for another job because Daniel was too busy with his karate nonsense. These days though, the character has faded into the background as the focus shifted to the battle between Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang against Cobra Kai.
4 Johnny Lawrence Has Had Four Seasons To Grow Up
It sounds wild to say the protagonist of the show isn’t as popular as he was when the series started. But Johnny has had four seasons to get himself together while he built up his karate dojo. Season three ended with him and Daniel deciding to put their differences aside to take down John Kreese. Despite that, both he and Daniel were unable to work together long enough to get it done.
Unsurprisingly, at the end of season four they both lost. Season five is giving him a chance to do right again by both Miguel and Robby. But is he going to pull it off, or continue to be a screw-up?
3 Daniel LaRusso Is Letting Old Grudges Distract Him From His Work
Everyone thought Daniel was the hero of the original Karate Kid series. But the more Cobra Kai runs, the more obvious it becomes that he wasn’t the clear-cut nice guy the films made him out to be. Moreover, so much of the early conflict is driven by Daniel’s inability to let Johnny Lawrence have a chance to redeem himself. He’s also abandoning his responsibilities to work out decades-old trauma, and it’s causing him to neglect both family and his business alike. While he’s trying to settle a grudge with Kreese and Silver, his son has turned into exactly the kind of bully he fought as a kid.
2 Robby Keene Keeps Turning On Everyone Around Him
Robby Keene had a perfectly understandable origin story. He was abandoned by his dad and his mother was never home, resulting in him lashing out at the world. Initially, he starts working with Daniel to annoy his dad, but it’s obvious he likes having structure and support in his life. But the mistrust he has for everyone around him causes him to ruin that relationship and work with John Kreese just to make his dad mad. Though he thinks he’s smarter than the adults around him, season four gives him a rude awakening and helps him see his own actions have ruined someone else’s life.
1 Samantha LaRusso Wants Things To Go Her Way All The Time
Sam LaRusso felt like a perfect protagonist for the younger generation alongside Miguel. She had the potential to be a bully like Yasmine and Moon, but instead remained a good friend to Aisha. But her indecisiveness in choosing between Robby and Miguel causes too many problems. Worse, in season four her attempt to show Tory she’s not afraid comes off like bullying. She’s rich and privileged and messing with a poor girl trying to support her family, so it’s not surprising fans have started to like her less.