Daniel LaRusso’s 11 Best Quotes In Cobra Kai


  • Daniel LaRusso’s quotes in
    Cobra Kai
    are often philosophical, offering wisdom and insight into the world of karate.
  • Despite his commitment to pacifism, Daniel knows the importance of self-defense and being ready to fight back when necessary.
  • Daniel strives to let go of past rivalries and teach the next generation to rise above resentment, promoting unity and growth.


Cobra Kai is packed with chaotic and hilarious quotes, with many of the best lines spoken by the show’s co-protagonist Daniel LaRusso. While Johnny Lawrence delivers Cobra Kai‘s best comedic quotes, Daniel provides a lot of the more grounding dialogue throughout the series. As the main character of the first three Karate Kid movies, Daniel’s personality has shifted over the years as he’s grown, and his life has evolved on screen. In the five seasons of Cobra Kai, he has served as a well of wisdom for the next generation. Occasionally classic lines from the movies even make an appearance, as a recall of the show’s origins.

Cobra Kai follows the lives of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence decades after their tournament fight in 1984’s The Karate Kid. After a long life of wasted potential and blaming the other man for his problems, Johnny decides to reopen the dojo he belonged to as a teenager: Cobra Kai. He and Daniel, who has become a successful car dealer, continue to get into fights with each other, just like in old times, and they recruit young students to their respective karate schools who get into fights, too. Along the way, both men offer insights from their respective points of view, with Daniel’s words being the more thoughtful and mature.
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11 “You May Know The Moves, But None Of That Matters Unless You Have Balance.”

Daniel practicing karate in his dojo in Cobra Kai

Daniel LaRusso’s quotes in Cobra Kai are often philosophical in nature. As a student of Mr. Miyagi, he seems to have picked up his same calm approach to life — most of the time, that is. Daniel always has words of wisdom to work through the karate problem of the day, and this situation is no different. In season 1, episode 8, “Molting,” while training Robby, he explains that the most important thing in karate is balance, whether that be literal or metaphorical. Robby later repeats the line to Kenny in season 4, episode 4, “Bicephaly.”

10 “When The Fight Comes To You, You Have To Be Ready To Fight Back.”

Cobra Kai Johnny, Daniel, and Chozen

Despite often choosing pacifism, Daniel LaRusso has his moments of violence. They often come when he has been provoked. This circumstance is no different. Daniel says this quote, the motto of Miyagi-Do karate, to Robby in Cobra Kai season 1, episode 10, “Mercy.” Daniel’s whole understanding of karate comes from the idea that it should be used for self-defense. It’s not meant to be a weapon or a power to lord over someone weaker. While a user of Miyagi-Do karate never strikes first, they will strike back when necessary.
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9 “Nobody Was More Badass Than Mr. Miyagi.”

Daniel LaRusso at Mr. Miyagi's grave in Cobra Kai

One of the best parts of Cobra Kai is the callbacks to the original films. With faces reappearing from all over the Karate Kid franchise, though, the most notably absent character is Mr. Miyagi. While it’s not possible for his character to appear, the show does its best to keep his memory alive. There are several moments throughout Cobra Kai when Daniel either visits his grave or pays homage to Mr. Miyagi in his dojo. Quotes like this one from season 4, episode 2, “First Learn Stand,” save Mr. Miyagi’s legacy from the reputation of the movies while letting his presence be still felt in the franchise.

8 “Do As You’re Told, And If You Don’t, You’d Better Strap Yourself In For One Hell Of A Rough Ride.”

Anthony LaRusso in the fourth season of Cobra Kai, holding his fists up.

As a main protagonist, Daniel LaRusso cares deeply about the need for honor and respect. In the later seasons of Cobra Kai, his son, Anthony, becomes a bully at school. He has an apathetic attitude and minimal karate training, which makes him feel powerful. Daniel finds out and immediately tries to put his son in his place. While this line from season 4, episode 8, “Party Time,” seems harsh, it’s the right course of action at the time, and Daniel delivers it in a comedic way. Anthony does correct his behavior, and Daniel’s understanding of karate is restored once again.

7 “Many Of Us Used To Be Enemies, But Rivalries Don’t Need To Last Forever.”

Daniel and Miguel in karate pos in Cobra Kai season 4.

Daniel LaRusso is not above a rivalry. He tried to get Johnny taken out of a karate tournament because of their fight decades earlier. As the series goes on, and his rivalries move elsewhere, he understands that he shouldn’t teach the next generation to harbor the same resentments toward each other. He says this line in Cobra Kai season 4, episode 1, “Let’s Begin,” while talking to Miguel, who had been in Johnny’s dojo and on the opposite side for a long time. Daniel works to train the students equally and combines both his and Johnny’s styles of karate to make well-rounded people and fighters.
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6 “Wow. Johnny Lawrence Calling Someone Else An A**hole. That’s Rich, Man!”

Ralph Macchio in Cobra Kai season 5 2

At the beginning of Cobra Kai, the feud between Daniel and Johnny was at an all-time high. Any interaction they had basically ended with yelling or a physical fight. While their relationship improves very slowly throughout the seasons, when the two are bickering, they really put their all into it. Going back to the movies, Daniel has always had moments of being a hothead, but at the start of the show, he was very calm until he realized that Cobra Kai was coming back. From Cobra Kai season 1, episode 2, “Strike Back,” this is one of Daniel’s funnier quotes, and it allows more of his personality to shine through.

5 “When Those Bad Feelings Weigh You Down, You Gotta Search Inside For The Good Stuff.”

Daniel LaRusso sitting by his pool in a Hawaiian shirt, smiling and holding drinks with umbrellas in a scene from Cobra Kai.

As evidenced by this other quote from “Molting,” Daniel LaRusso’s main teaching philosophy seems to be patience. He keeps himself calm and cool most often when teaching Miyagi-Do to the next generation of kids. Maybe it’s because karate calms him, but he works really hard to never let hurtful and angry emotions overcome him during training. That’s a practice he’s trying to pass on to others. Though it can be hard to step above negative thoughts — and he has not achieved that every time — he still wants his students to try to achieve a better version of themselves.

4 “How Are Your Knuckles Doing There, Kreese?”

cobra kai daniel kreese fight

John Kreese is the villainous sensei of Cobra Kai in the Karate Kid movies, and in season 2 of the show, he returns to the dojo to teach a new generation of students. Daniel becomes concerned and confronts Kreese in Cobra Kai season 2, episode 2, “Back in Black,” delivering this callback to his enemy’s fate at the end of the first movie. Often, Cobra Kai tries to make him more like Mr. Miyagi, which is beneficial for the show, but lines like this one get Daniel LaRusso’s character right — more like he was in the films.

3 “Don’t Be A Snake In The Grass. Be A Champion.”

Cobra Kai Johnny Daniel truce (1)

While Daniel is feuding with Johnny, they both release promotional materials to draw students to their respective styles of karate. Daniel, while not outright aggressive, does do passive aggression pretty well. This quote from “Back in Black” is a happy medium between the two. At the end of his video, Daniel calls out Johnny not-so-subtly. Talking about snakes who attack out of nowhere, he is directly referring to Cobra Kai and their tactics, which Daniel deems unfair. He wants viewers to know that both Myagi-Do and him are above such things.

2 “At Least We Haven’t Beat Each Other Up Yet.”

Daniel and Johnny fighting in Cobra Kai season 2

Whenever Daniel has a funny quote on Cobra Kai, it’s usually because he’s in the middle of a tense and heated moment. When he gets more stressed, he becomes more animated, and this line from “Let’s Begin” is a good example. There are moments in the show where Daniel can act like a child. He starts arguing with Johnny, or other childhood rivals, and they could snipe at each other until the end of time. This quote shows that regression from a pretty put-together adult back into a petulant teenager.

1 “I Still Live With The Fear. We All Do On Some Level. I Just Try To Not Let It Ever Win. You’re The Only One Who Can Get Up When You’re Down.”

Daniel talking to Sam in Cobra Kai season 3

Talking to his daughter, Samantha, in Cobra Kai season 3, episode 7, “Obstáculos,” Daniel LaRusso guides her through troublesome times. While a lot of his quotes aren’t funny, and he often sounds like an armchair psychologist, sometimes Daniel has nuggets of wisdom that can be really beneficial to the surrounding characters. He knows from his own experience that life can be challenging, and karate can be too, but he also knows that everyone is in control of their own fate. He was when he got into fights in the movies, and he is when he gets into fights in Cobra Kai. This line represents his resilience through all the hard times.

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