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The Daniel Insult In Cobra Kai That Means More Than You Think

Netflix's Cobra Kai has given viewers a lot of joy during its first two seasons, both as a high-kicking 1980s nostalgia trip, and as an extremely strong show that's unafraid to explore difficult concepts like generational trauma and loss. With the third season about to drop in January 2021, fans are about to receive a brand new helping of All Valley's finest — with an added scoop of Japan, since it looks like Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) will also visit his familiar The Karate Kid Part II haunting grounds in Okinawa. 

The central characters of Cobra Kai, Daniel and his old nemesis Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), have both grown considerably from their young 1980s versions. Before they once again embark on the path of karate and mutual animosity, Daniel is a successful car dealer and Johnny a down-and-out handyman. However, the men have surprisingly many things in common — including the fact that they've both grown extremely snarky in their middle age. Though Johnny is considerably rougher around the edges, it's arguably Daniel who gets in the best insult over the course of the series so far. Here's the Daniel insult in Cobra Kai that means more than you think. 

Daniel reminds John Kreese about the moment he lost it all

In the second episode of Cobra Kai season 2, "Back in Black," John Kreese (Martin Kove) pops by Daniel's dojo to intimidate him with a "friendly" chat. Though the old master is clearly the scarier person in the conversation, he seems slightly taken aback when Daniel casually asks him how his knuckles are doing. As Cobra Kai executive producer Hayden Schlossberg told Entertainment Weeklythis is because the seemingly throwaway line is a very cool callback to The Karate Kid Part II. 

In the movie, Kreese violently chastises Johnny on the parking lot after his former favorite student lost to Daniel's infamous crane kick. Fortunately for everyone involved (except Kreese), Mr. Miyagi (Noriyaki "Pat" Morita) stops the scene. When the angry Kreese unwisely attempts to beat Miyagi up, the Okinawan karate master handily dodges the blows — which causes Kreese to punch through car windows, injuring both of his fists. It's an embarrassing and humbling defeat, and the scene also finally reveals the Cobra Kai sensei's true colors to his students, who subsequently walk away from him. As such, this may very well be the worst single moment in Kreese's life, and Daniel invoking it is just about the biggest insult he could hurl at the guy. 

With his role in The Karate Kid and on the Cobra Kai series, Kreese is a truly irredeemable figure and arguably the biggest villain of the entire Karate Kid franchise. It's neat that Daniel takes a moment to remind him about the time he was well and truly put to his place. 

Cobra Kai season 3 spin-kicks its way to Netflix in January 2021.