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Why Amanda LaRusso From Cobra Kai Looks So Familiar

After all they go through in The Karate Kid, you'd think Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue) were made for one another, but anyone who's seen the film knows the relationship doesn't last. His romantic spark with Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) in The Karate Kid Part II is snuffed out when he leaves Okinawa, and Jessica Andrews (Robin Lively) from The Karate Kid Part III is quick to lay the groundwork for nothing more than friendship. Daniel may know his way around a tournament, but his luck with the ladies is as clipped as a bonsai tree.

Decades later, however, per Cobra Kai, that's no longer the case, as Daniel's married to a pretty awesome woman named Amanda. She may not be one of Daniel's old flames (though Ali and Kumiko have both made appearances on the series), but Amanda LaRusso actress Courtney Henggeler may seem familiar nonetheless. Here's where you may have seen her before.

Henggeler played a member of the Cooper family on The Big Bang Theory

Following a one-episode guest role on House, Henggeler landed a recurring role on the nerdy sitcom classic The Big Bang Theory as Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) fraternal twin sister Melissa. Better known by her nickname, Missy, she couldn't be more diametrically opposed to her theoretical physicist brother if she tried. Between the writing and Henggeler's acting, though, the part totally works.

Where Sheldon might try to out-logic someone, Missy won't shy away from physical confrontation; where he's funny by accident, she's got snark for the both of them; and where he spirals into narcissism, she puts on a friendly face. Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Howard (Simon Helberg), and Raj (Kunal Nayaar) have a hard time believing the attractive woman is Sheldon's sister, but they get over their disbelief quickly enough to start pining for her affections (which Sheldon believes could potentially result in another him, since the siblings share DNA). It ... doesn't work.

Despite their strange (and occasionally strained) yin-yang relationship, the Cooper siblings are always there for one another at key turning points in life, from births to marriages. Missy is further developed in the prequel series Young Sheldon, where she's played by Raegen Revord.

Money couldn't buy Henggeler love on Mom

Henggeler continued booking guest roles on shows like Criminal Minds and NCIS, and had a few small parts in movies like True Love and Friends with Benefits as well, but her next recurring role would come on the sitcom Mom (fortunately, not on one of the Mom episodes fans skip when rewatching). She plays the wealthy Claudia, a woman who enjoys getting her way and correcting how people pronounce her name (it's not Cl-aw-dia, it's Cl-ow-dia).

Claudia's father owns the Rustic Fig, a restaurant managed by her husband Gabriel (Nate Corddry), who married her for money over romance — which is pretty easy to tell whenever the two are together. Her snobbishness doesn't do anything to rectify the lack of love, but Gabriel's choices only serve to open the rift between them even wider. The relationship just wasn't meant to be, but it's hard not to feel at least a little bad for Claudia even though the divide is mostly played for laughs.

Henggeler had the worst Thanksgiving ever on Into the Dark

As always, Heggeler kept herself busy with television guest roles as the years went by, earning spots on the likes of Bones and Jane the Virgin before striking gold with Cobra Kai. Though appearing as Amanda LaRusso demands much of her time, Henggeler also starred in 2019's "Pilgrim," a season 2 episode of Hulu's holiday-themed (based on the month of release) horror anthology Into the Dark. As the title of the episode implies, Thanksgiving is the focus holiday this time around.

Henggeler plays Anna, a wealthy woman of a much different stripe than Mom's Claudia. She's well aware of the privileged life she and her family live — and equally aware of how it affects their relationships with each other and the world around them. So, come Turkey Day, she decides to bring their privilege to the forefront, hoping it will shift everyone's view for the better. A simple conversation wouldn't have been enough to accomplish the feat, so Anna goes the extra mile and hires historical reenactors to spend the holiday with the family as Pilgrims. There's just one problem (this is a horror show, remember?): The reenactors have no intention whatsoever of breaking character.

Henggeler will return as Amanda LaRusso come Cobra Kai season 4. The ongoing scheduling conflicts caused by COVID-19 make it difficult to tell what productions she'll appear in next, but rest assured, we're sure to see much more of the talented actress in the future.