The Cobra Kai Season 1 Moment That Karate Kid Fans Can't Help But Love

Netflix's "Cobra Kai," a continuation of the hit "The Karate Kid" film franchise, features numerous parallels to its predecessor that longtime fans can enjoy. In "The Karate Kid," teenager Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) learns the art of self-defense and muscle memory from the knowledgeable Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). He wants to curb the bullying from Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), a student of Cobra Kai, which teaches an intense, no-mercy form of martial arts.

Over 30 years later, this toxic relationship is echoed in a fresh generation. Nerdy teen Demetri Alexopoulos (Gianni DeCenzo) wants to defend himself against the newest Cobra Kai members, including his former friend, Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand), whose actions are reminiscent of Johnny's. Naturally, Demetri seeks guidance from Daniel, who is carrying on Mr. Miyagi's lessons via the Miyagi-Do Dojo. Meanwhile, Eli is influenced by Johnny, who reopens Cobra Kai and brings in his old, ruthless sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove).

These are pretty straightforward connections to the original film series. However, there's one less blatant nod to "The Karate Kid" in Season 1 of the follow-up series that, according to many fans, is one of the best scenes in "Cobra Kai."

Cobra Kai references an iconic Mr. Miyagi quote

When "Cobra Kai" audiences are re-introduced to Johnny, he's down on his luck after being fired from his home improvement job. However, he finds purpose again upon reopening Cobra Kai, with his bullied neighbor Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) as his first pupil. In one scene, as Miguel helps Johnny get the studio in order, he asks him, "Hey sensei, is there any particular way you want me to wash these windows?" Johnny responds, "No, I don't give a s***."

This is a clever reference to the iconic "Karate Kid" scene between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. As part of Daniel's training, unbeknownst to him, Mr. Miyagi is teaching him defense tactics through everyday, mundane tasks, including cleaning a car. He gives Daniel specific instructions: "Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand." 

On Reddit, fans praised this brief, yet impactful reference in "Cobra Kai." Redditor u/RelaxedOrange said, "I laughed so hard and so long when I saw this that we had to pause it." Meanwhile, u/Trabawn simply described it as, "Brilliant," and u/waveportico remarked, "In my opinion, it did a great job to showcase the beginning of the differences in their dojo's teaching methodology."

It's a fun example of how, even over 30 years later, the teaching style is still vastly different between the opposing dojos. While Daniel takes time to pass on similar wisdom to Demetri, Johnny is upholding John Kreese's tradition of viciousness and couldn't be bothered with such skills.