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Why This Mr. Miyagi Easter Egg In Cobra Kai Isn't What Fans Think

At this point, it's fair to say that Cobra Kai is among the most well-rounded continuations of an '80s franchise ever attempted 30-plus years after the fact. It manages to strike the perfect balance between nostalgia and modernity, and makes for a solid entry in the Karate Kid mythos in its own right. Netflix brought fans new and old to the first two seasons when it acquired the promising series from YouTube, and the streamer's now deep in production on an upcoming third season, which will drop on Netflix in 2021. To make the wait a little easier, many of Cobra Kai's devotees have been giving those first two seasons another look.

Giving Cobra Kai a second spin is worth the time of any Karate Kid die-hard looking to freshen up on their knowledge of the show and its history ahead of season 3. Not only is the show entertaining as it is, but it's also packed with small details and Easter eggs for the curious to discover. Eagle-eyed viewers have pulled out some pretty neat ones over the years — mostly moments that pay tribute to the wider Karate Kid universe — but not every Easter egg is what it appears to be on its face (err ... shell?). Such is the case with Mr. Miyagi's (Pat Morita) prized bonsai tree, and the Cobra Kai fan theory that doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny.

Mr. Miyagi's bonsai tree is too delicate to live by his grave

In the fifth episode of Cobra Kai's first season, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) travels to his late mentor's grave to have a "chat" with him about all of the drama going on in his life. While airing his various struggles to the headstone, he begins to trim a bonsai tree planted next to Miyagi's final resting place. Naturally, many fans began to speculate whether or not this is the same tree the sensei tended throughout the original Karate Kid trilogy. It was a neat little theory, and it would have been in keeping with the series' propensity for fan service. Unfortunately, this theory is highly unlikely for one big reason.

At one point in the original films, Miyagi explains to Daniel that the tree isn't just some cheap, run-of-the-mill decoration. That particular bonsai tree is expensive and very old, hence why he is always checking up on it and taking good care of it between training sessions. If the bonsai meant that much to him, it's highly unlikely his protégé — or anyone else in his life that cared about him and his memory — would leave it out in the open in a cemetery to fall victim to the elements. Even though Daniel carries on the tradition of keeping the tree healthy and alive, it just doesn't quite check out that the one in Cobra Kai is the same aging tree that required such careful upkeep in the original trilogy. 

Sorry Cobras, this is one Easter egg that we're calling cracked.