Top 10 Most Shocking Cobra Kai Moments



Top 10 Most Shocking Cobra Kai Moments

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
The most shocking "Cobra Kai" moments kicked us out of our seats. Our countdown includes Eli transforms into Hawk, house ambush, John Kreese is alive, and more!
Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Most Shocking Cobra Kai Moments

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Shocking “Cobra Kai” moments.

For this list, we’ll be looking at moments from this martial arts series that kicked us out of our seats. In case you’re not caught up on the first three seasons, consider this your spoiler alert.

Which “Cobra Kai” moment shocked you the most? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Tommy Dies
“Take a Right”

The redemption arcs help make “Cobra Kai” such a shocking show. We never expected to empathize with Tommy after he told Johnny to put Daniel in a body bag. It’s established at the start of a heartbreaking episode that Tommy could succumb to a terminal illness at any time. But you forget he’s sick when you see him and his fellow Cobra Kais emerge victorious from a bar brawl. And as Tommy and Johnny share an insightful conversation around a campfire, we’re given a glimmer of hope that he’ll recover. Reality sinks back in the next morning when the guys discover Tommy passed away in his sleep. Although we knew his demise was inevitable, it’s harrowing and awfully ironic seeing Tommy in a body bag.

#9: Eli Transforms into Hawk

Eli is relentlessly bullied in person and online because of a cleft lip scar. His sensei Johnny isn’t much better, nicknaming him Lip. But after Johnny encourages Eli to flip the script, we witness a radical transformation. Eli draws attention away from his scar by entering the dojo with a domineering mohawk. Like a cobra, he shed his skin and emerged more badass than ever. Eli later surprises us by adding a back tattoo. However, it’s the initial shock of seeing his mohawk that sticks with us the most. It’s the moment that Eli becomes Hawk. Just as Johnny doesn’t recognize him at first, it’s still hard for us to fathom that Eli and Hawk are one and the same.

#8: Hawk Breaks Demetri’s Arm

Throughout the series, Hawk evolves from a timid nerd to a ruthless bully who resembles his former tormentors. He even targets his old friend Demetri several times. So, it was a pleasant surprise to see Demetri kick Hawk into a trophy case. Their rematch, however, is more shocking than satisfying. Although Miyagi-Do holds their own against Cobra Kai during a brawl, it all goes downhill once Tory shows up and causes Sam to panic. The showdown reaches its boiling point when Hawk pins down Demetri and is pressured into breaking his arm. While we’ve seen Hawk cause his former friend harm before, he’s never gone this far. But the conflicted look on his face before and after the break suggested Eli is still in there.

#7: House Ambush
“December 19”

On December 19, 1984, Daniel defeated Johnny in the All Valley Karate Championship. Thirty-odd years later, December 19 turns into D-Day at the LaRusso residence. As Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang try to make a truce for peace, Cobra Kai wages war by throwing Bert through a window. This surprising moment is followed by a shocking brawl in the house that is full of unexpected revelations. Sam summons the strength to stand up to Tory, Miguel has a rematch with Kyler, and, most surprising of all, Hawk confronts the monster he’s become. His moment of truth comes when he turns on his teammates to save Demitri. Although it’s one of the show’s most brutal fights yet, its resolution leaves us on a hopeful note.

#6: Twig = Terry?
“King Cobra”

Longtime “Karate Kid” fans wondered if Kreese’s ponytail wearing buddy Terry Silver would appear in the Vietnam flashbacks. Silver was a veteran who served as both “Karate Kid Part III’s” main villain and Cobra Kai’s original owner. The audience quickly assumes he’s the soldier with a ponytail and cocky attitude in the flashbacks. But shortly after Ponytail expires, the captain says harsh words to a scrawny guy nicknamed Twig. Granted, it hasn’t been 100% confirmed that Twig is Terry Silver. But we find it highly unlikely that Kreese saved two buddies named Silver during the war. Twig even repeats an important line of dialogue Terry said in “The Karate Kid Part III.” If Terry doesn’t return for season 4, it will be a real shock.

#5: Chozen Returns
“The Right Path”

On a business trip to Japan, Daniel is delighted to cross paths with his former love interest Kumiko again. Of course, she’s not the only character from “Karate Kid Part II” who makes an appearance. As Daniel and Kumiko sit down to a friendly drink, they’re interrupted by the antagonistic Chozen. The audience shares Daniel’s surprise and horror as Chozen sternly calls his name from across the room. What’s perhaps even more shocking is this former villain doesn’t throw a punch or make threats. More than three decades after Chozen tried to end Daniel’s life, he bows to his old rival. It’s not often that a show catches us off guard two times in a row, but we didn’t anticipate Chozen’s return or eventual redemption.

#4: Daniel Learns Robby is Johnny’s Son
“Different But Same”

As Robby kept pushing Johnny away, he formed an unlikely paternal bond with Daniel. But Robby neglects to reveal that Daniel’s longtime rival is also his father. We all knew that the truth would come out eventually. However, that didn’t make it any less uncomfortable when they all wound up in the same room together. After butting heads numerous times, the old rivals find some common ground. But all the goodwill that’s been built up is thrown out the window when Johnny sees Robby at the LaRusso house. An enraged Johnny can’t bear to see his son training with the enemy. And Daniel felt betrayed by the student he started seeing like a son. Ultimately, Robby’s deceit leaves him without a teacher or father figure.

#3: John Kreese is Alive

During Season 1, Johnny mentions that his old Cobra Kai sensei passed away. Since John Kreese was one of the best villains in the movies, the audience was disappointed to learn that he wouldn’t appear in this series. But the showrunners gave fans what they wanted in the season finale. After his dojo wins the All Valley Karate Championship, Johnny is visited by a shadowy figure at night who delivers a classic villain monologue. Suddenly, Kreese reveals himself with a cigar in hand. We guess we shouldn’t have been too surprised. After all, this wasn’t the first time that reports of Kreese’s death were exaggerated. Nevertheless, this bombshell was a kick-ass way to finish off the first season.

#2: The Captain, The Cobras, & Kreese
“December 19”

We already knew that Kreese was merciless, but “Cobra Kai” still managed to keep us guessing about how far he’d go. We’re given our answer in the Season 3 finale when he’s forced into a deathmatch with Captain Turner over a snake pit. Before the fight began, Turner revealed that he hid the news about Kreese’s girlfriend passing away in an accident. When reinforcements show up, the soldier gets the chance to bring his captain to safety. Blinded by loss and vengeance, Kreese kicks Turner into the snake pit. The flashback scene mirrors his equally heated fight against Johnny in the present. If Daniel hadn’t intervened, Johnny likely would’ve met the same dire fate as Turner… minus the snakes.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Miyagi-Do Gets Trashed, “All In”
This is The Line, And You Just Crossed It

Johnny’s Car Gets Destroyed, “Molting”
Is It Possible to Feel Bad For an Automobile? Yes It Is.

Stingray Wins Coyote Creek, “Lull”
Never Underestimate the Guy Who Played Richard Jewell

Aisha Demolishes Miguel, “Counterbalance”
Not Bad For Her First Day

Miguel Defeats Robby, “Mercy”
A Rivalry Comes Full Circle… In Reverse

#1: Miguel’s Fall
“No Mercy”

The Season 2 finale hit us with plenty of shocking moments after an all-out war breaks out on the first day of school. The most jaw-dropping moment happens atop a staircase. After a long fight, Miguel gets Robby right where he wants him. But Miguel decides to follow Johnny’s advice and show his enemy mercy. The merciful path proves to be his downfall. Robby retaliates and accidentally kicks Miguel over the ledge. In a show full of hard-hitting moments, nothing hurt more than seeing Miguel freefall before landing back first on a staircase railing .“Cobra Kai” constantly leaves us asking who to root for. But the outcome of this fight begs an even more layered question: is showing mercy always the right choice?