The Best Moments In Cobra Kai Season 5 Ranked

Major spoilers for "Cobra Kai" Season 5 follow.

Nine months after its shocking Season 4 finale, Netflix's teen karate juggernaut, "Cobra Kai," returns with an epic 5th season. With John Kreese (Martin Kove) now imprisoned for assault and Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) opening Cobra Kai dojos throughout the Valley, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) joins forces with Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and another of his former enemies Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) to defeat the toxic dojo once and for all. 

There's been no official word if the dynamic series will continue, but co-creator Jon Hurwitz has teased a possible Season 6, and Macchio has confirmed that he's open to more ideas. Though Season 5 could serve as the story's overall conclusion, we will likely see more from the "Cobra Kai" extended universe in years to come. For now, there's no shortage of memorable moments in the newest season. Although it takes a few episodes to find its footing, Season 5 continues the tradition of fun, exciting, shocking, and even tear-jerking moments with its endearing cast of characters. Let's break down the 15 best moments of the new season in hopes that we will see a return to the Valley in the near future.

15. Jessica returns

If there's one thing we've come to expect from "Cobra Kai," it's returning characters from the original "The Karate Kid" film trilogy. Season 5 provides yet another touching return with Jessica Andrews (Robyn Lively), Daniel's would-be love interest from the third film. Fed up with all the karate, Amanda LaRusso (Courtney Henggeler) has taken Sam (Mary Mouser) and Anthony (Griffin Santopietro) to her mother's house to gain some much-needed perspective. She goes out to dinner with her cousin — who turns out to be Jessica! Not only is it an exciting return, but we also learn that she's the one who connected Daniel and Amanda in the first place. In "The Karate Kid Part III," Jessica leaves town before the climactic tournament, and we're left to wonder if she and Daniel will remain friends after their disastrous last night of dancing. They've kept in touch, and her return is a sweet coda to a love story that never really got off the ground.

Jessica also gives her cousin some crucial insight into Terry Silver's dangerous tactics. She was around for Silver's original reign of terror and knows full well what he's capable of. Jessica helps Amanda understand what her husband is going through and reminds her that she has strength as well. A group of girls from their past puts this bravery to the test in a drunken bar fight while also revealing Amanda's old nickname, Babe Ruthless, which was inspired by the fact that Amanda once smashed her teacher's car with a baseball bat.

14. Tory's mystery partner

Season 4 ends on an ominous note for the new All Valley Girl's Division Champion, Tory Nichols (Peyton List). In the season's final moments, she overhears Silver paying off the judge who called the match against Sam LaRusso in her favor. Tory's victory is short-lived, and she knows she's not the rightful winner, but we're left to wonder what she will do with this information. She seemingly accepts Silver's explanation that he's simply dedicated to his students' success and continues training with Cobra Kai. As the season progresses, Daniel gets an anonymous tip about Kreese's assault conviction and theorizes that someone else might be working to reveal the truth about Cobra Kai's new sensei.

Looking for help wherever he can get it, Daniel reaches out to everyone in Silver's world, even Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), the former "bad boy of karate" who once harassed Daniel on Silver's behalf. However, the mystery saboteur turns out to be Tory, working to take down Cobra Kai from within. A midseason cliffhanger reveals her partnership with John Kreese as she visits him in jail and informs him about the dojo's operations. The two have always shared a special understanding and close relationship based on similar trauma from their pasts, but this revelation is the first time we've seen Kreese all season and a shocking reminder of the lengths he will go to seek revenge.

13. Playing With the Boys

"Cobra Kai" has never shied away from a cheesy '80s reference, and the third episode kicks off with one of the best in all five seasons. Exhausted after a long shift, Carmen (Vanessa Rubio) gets home and notices a problem with her sink's faucet. She calls Johnny for help, and he instantaneously appears at her door in aviators and a flight jacket ready to help her with whatever she needs. This kicks off a musical montage filled with scenes of Johnny playing volleyball, riding a motorcycle, and enjoying a backyard dinner with Carmen, Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), and their new baby. It's set to the Kenny Loggins song "Playing With the Boys," a cheeky nod to the iconic volleyball scene from "Top Gun." Carmen wakes up in bed next to Johnny, pleased with the dream she just had and excited about the life they plan to build together.

The montage itself may be cheesy, but it doesn't overstay its welcome. It's just silly enough to let us know that everyone's in on the joke. Johnny rides around on a motorcycle with a baby in a carrier and carelessly tips over a stroller to kiss the empty carrier. What romantic '80s montage would be complete without a blue-lit bedroom make-out sequence, a hilarious parody of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis's iconic yet physically uncomfortable love scene from the classic 1986 film? It's usually Johnny who dreams about reliving his glory days in the 1980s, so the fact that this is Carmen's dream proves he's truly found his perfect nostalgia-loving match.

12. Dungeons and Dojos

Raymond "Stingray" Porter has always been a bit of a joke — and sometimes even a punching bag — in the "Cobra Kai" world. The delusional adult with the unfortunate facial hair joins Johnny's dojo in Season 2, likely hoping to earn the approval he never got during his own high school days. He may not be the strongest fighter, but he makes up for his lack of physical strength with fierce loyalty. Having been unceremoniously kicked out of the dojo in Season 4, Stingray makes a deal with Silver to gain reentry into what he believes is the cool kids club. He will allow Silver to beat him severely to frame Kreese for assault and send him to jail, effectively removing the sensei from Cobra Kai leadership.

Stingray is rewarded with a nice apartment and honorary membership in the dojo, though he doesn't seem to be welcome at any practices. Stingray may have ostensibly gotten what he's always wanted, but it's clear he's Cobra Kai in name only. He now spends most of his time tooling around his lavish apartment, playing video games and a role-playing game of his own invention, "Dungeons and Dojos." While funny on the surface, Stingray uses a D&D campaign narrative to explain to the Miyagi-Do students who really attacked him and why he won't come forward. It's a heartbreaking moment that shows it's not just teenagers who are bullied, and we never get too old to stop needing acceptance.

11. Kreese's breakthrough

Cobra Kai's original sensei, John Kreese, is one of the 1980s' most iconic villains, terrifying simply because he feels so familiar. He encourages bullying and manipulates a teenage Johnny to illegally injure Daniel during the final match of the All Valley Tournament. The opening scene of "The Karate Kid Part II" is a shocking act of abuse and violence, as a furious Kreese breaks Johnny's second place trophy and chokes his young student in the tournament's parking lot. "Cobra Kai" has endeavored to give Kreese a more sympathetic backstory, and in previous seasons, we've learned about his mother's battle with mental illness, his lost love, and the extreme trauma he suffered while serving in Vietnam. It's tempting to want to forgive the now elderly villain, but his continued manipulation of Cobra Kai students makes it difficult to determine his motives.

Trying to qualify for early release, Kreese undergoes therapy in prison, and it's there that he makes significant steps towards forgiveness. In a difficult session, he confronts memories of everyone he's hurt over the years, including his Army commander, a former flame, recent students, and even a younger version of himself. However, it's his confrontation with a young Johnny that hits especially hard. Johnny reminds him that though he may believe his intentions were noble, he has caused a significant amount of pain, and there's still a long way to go on the road to redemption.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

10. Johnny's escape room

Johnny's obsession with the 1980s and his reluctance to leave the decade of excess behind has been a running joke throughout all five seasons of "Cobra Kai." His dedication to nostalgia and refusal to leave his glory days is always hilarious for the audience, though the characters who inhabit his world show varying degrees of tolerance. In trying to foster reconciliation between Robby (Tanner Buchanan) and Miguel, he leans on a dated understanding of teamwork and concocts a "Young Guns II"-themed escape room in his apartment. The saloon doors are made of Coors cartons, the boombox plays Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory," and Miguel's grandmother bops in wearing a cowboy costume to complicate the plot. The boys want nothing to do with his game and leave Johnny trapped in his apartment with the locked doorknob reversed and the key down the garbage disposal.

This trip down nostalgia lane is charming, but it also leads to one of the best moments of the season. A hungover Daniel, still reeling from Amanda's departure, stops by to enlist Johnny's help in his battle with Silver. It seems as if the two will repeat their combative pattern, and the music swells to hint at an impending brawl. Yet, Johnny simply asks what's wrong and takes a moment to calm his troubled friend, proving that after four seasons of fighting, the former enemies truly have left the past behind. What was once an uneasy truce has finally led to a lasting friendship.

9. Johnny joins the gig economy

Initially, "Cobra Kai" was structured as a fish-out-of-water story about Johnny Lawrence struggling to leave the past behind and embrace the possibilities of his future. This has never seemed more possible as Johnny prepares for a baby with Carmen and a new opportunity to correct the mistakes of his past. However, the now beloved anti-hero will always have a bit of a rough edge, and his attempts to support a burgeoning family are bound to come with some growing pains. Having closed his dojo and lost his source of income, Johnny plans to become a ride-share driver, a plan sure to blow up in his face. While no one should expect this brash alpha male to do well with customer service, Johnny's first day on the job is spectacularly bad.

First, he must get a phone plan as well as what he quaintly calls a "car" phone, and he doesn't want to spend more than $50. Luckily, Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo) is on hand to assist and sets him up with a smashed phone that may or may not cut his fingers. Johnny racks up one-star reviews by blasting Billy Idol (not the Billie Eilish that was requested), missing turns, delivering cold food, and even peeing into an empty beer can while driving. It's a funny moment made even more enjoyable because we've all had a driver or two just like him.

8. Johnny comes alive

Johnny has come a long way from the hungover loser we see struggling through the series's first episode. After years of personal growth, he's at last ready to become a responsible parent and mentor. Finally in a stable relationship with Carmen, he learns that he's going to be a father once again and excitedly watches as the ultrasound reveals the first pictures of his new baby. It's this blurry image full of promise that keeps him going in his darkest moments.

Later that day, having broken into Silver's luxurious house, Johnny finds himself unmatched by Silver's numerous fighting goons. As he lays on the floor, bruised and bleeding, Silver taunts him with his mistakes and opines that it's lucky he won't be around to screw up another kid, but the strategy backfires. Seeing the ultrasound photo laying on the floor, Johnny remembers what he's truly fighting for and finds the strength to get up. The rock chords ring out, and he suddenly comes to life, fighting back and taking down several fighters. Still outmatched though, it looks like he might lose the battle after all when a surprise kick from Mike Barnes allows him to break free. The former bullies team up to end the fight once and for all. True to form, his insistence on reminding Mike that he caused most of the damage is the cherry on top of an exciting scene.

7. The battle of the dojos

In addition to awesome '80s references, exciting cameos, and tongue-in-cheek nostalgia, "Cobra Kai" is known for its elaborate karate battles. Memorable examples include Miguel's Season 1 battle in the cafeteria, the epic brawl through the school hallways that concludes Season 2, and the climactic Christmas fight that essentially destroys the LaRusso house in the Season 3 finale. Each season ends with either a tournament showdown or a major fight involving most if not all the fighters from each dojo showcasing the skills they've learned throughout the season. The show's fifth outing is no exception.

Determined to expose Silver as a dangerous cheater, the Miyagi-Do students break into Cobra Kai's flagship dojo to upload footage showing Silver attacking Stingray and admitting that he bought Tory's tournament win. However, Silver is aware of their plan, having been tipped off by a spy within the Miyagi-Do ranks. Once they've broken in, the Cobra Kai students flank them, preparing to defend their home turf. This confrontation sparks an epic brawl through the dojo as Demetri tries to upload the footage. Kenny and the Cobra Kai team try to stop him. Season-long rivalries come to a head. Tory finally teams up with Devon (Oona O' Brien) against the sadistic Kim Da-Eun (Alicia Hannah) and Sam, Miguel, and Robby all work together against a common enemy. It's an exciting showdown that culminates in a one-on-one battle for the ages.

6. LaRusso vs. Silver: final boss showdown

While the dojo brawl stands as its exciting fight, it leads to a showdown decades in the making. Arriving at the Cobra Kai dojo just as the footage of Silver is uploading, Daniel witnesses the public downfall of the man who's intentionally made his life a living hell. A younger Silver tortured Daniel, manipulating his relationship with Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), taunting him into training until his knuckles bled, and hiring Mike Barnes to harass and threaten Daniel and Jessica. Daniel finally has the chance to take down his former bully, and now that Silver has been exposed as a liar and a cheat, there's no one willing to stand in his way.

Silver may be a master of manipulation, but his tactics stand for nothing in light of the truth. Daniel uses the knowledge gained while Silver was pretending to train him as a teen and attacks the sensei with his own strategy. Footage from "The Karate Kid Part III" in which Silver teaches Daniel how to take him down proves that Silver's arrogance has led directly to his downfall. Using his iconic crane kick, Daniel smashes the cruel sensei through his own trophy wall, taking the villain out for good. Adding insult to injury, Silver's students deliver the final blow, one by one dropping their Cobra Kai shirts onto the body of their former sensei as he lies in the broken glass.

5. Protect the egg

Cobra Kai's overarching message has always centered on friendship, and these themes weave their way through its dynamic 5th season. Attempting to teach the Miyagi-Do students to work together, Chozen designs a challenging lesson. Each student must protect one egg in any way they choose. One by one, Chozen smashes their eggs until Anthony suggests they store them together. With all their eggs literally in the same basket, the students form a circle around them, internalizing the lesson that they are stronger together than they could ever be apart.

This lesson comes in handy during the dojo brawl when the Miyagi-Do students must protect a tablet while the footage of Silver's confession uploads to the internet. The team surrounds Anthony as he watches the bar slowly rise to 100 percent. While exciting on its own, the scene is even more emotional now that nearly all the characters we've come to know and love are finally fighting on the same side. Robby, Miguel, Hawk (Jacob Bertrand), Demetri, Sam, and even Tory have at last teamed up to serve a common goal. Some of these alliances are more uneasy than others, but it's thrilling to finally have a decisive team to root for.

4. Chozen vs. Silver

Chozen first enters Daniel's orbit as one of the most dangerous villains around. Valuing honor over his own life, he's more than willing to fight Daniel to the death after the young American bruises his ego in Okinawa. The Chozen we know today has come a long way from that angry young man. Staying with Daniel indefinitely, he's dedicated to helping his one-time enemy protect the Valley from Silver's toxic manipulation. His selflessness, intensity, and fierce loyalty combine to make him one of the season's best characters.

It's this endearing turn that makes Chozen's showdown with Silver so harrowing. After barging into the wealthy villain's home, the two karate masters square off against each other by the pool, not fighting with their bare hands this time but with very real weapons. Chozen brandishes his twin sai and Silver wields a katana. Neither man is afraid of a challenge, and both are prepared to die. The stakes of "Cobra Kai" have always been relatively low. Aside from Miguel's Season 2 fall over a balcony railing, most fighters walk away from their fights with nothing more serious than a broken bone. Here, Chozen and Silver fight with sharp blades and deadly weapons. The stakes feel shockingly real, and it's entirely possible that our beloved master sensei might not make it out alive.

3. Myagi-Do reopens

The Miyagi-do dojo has seen its share of ups and downs over the years. Shuttered after Mr. Miyagi's death and closed again after Daniel and Johnny lose the All Valley Tournament, the dojo at which Daniel first learned karate now bears a sheet over its sign with the doors permanently shut. With Silver taking over the Valley with a slew of Cobra Kai-branded dojos, spreading his patented brand of manipulative bullying, Daniel has no choice but to reopen. After a pep talk from Amanda about fighting the good fight and a long-awaited reconciliation with his first student, Robby, Daniel walks out into the courtyard to see his students waiting for him — Johnny and Chozen at his side.

Season 3 concludes with a similar scene as Johnny and Daniel merge their dojos, determined to take down Cobra Kai under Kreese's leadership. This time, however, feels more triumphant. Johnny and Daniel have formed a solid partnership and finally trust each other after decades of resentment. Daniel also has the added benefit of Chozen, who now seems like part of the LaRusso family. Most importantly, everyone Danial cares about is finally fighting on the same side. They share a common goal and have reconciled at long last. There's no word yet on what the combined dojo's name will be, but one thing is sure. This dojo's members are stronger for everything they've been through.

2. Robby and Miguel fight it out

In many ways, Miguel and Robby's rivalry is a modern version of the feud that began "The Karate Kid" saga nearly four decades ago. Robby and Miguel fight for the love of the same girl, and both teenagers believe their anger is justified. They've also been hurt by the adults in their lives and are struggling to find constructive ways to express their anger. After many failed attempts to get the two boys to reconcile, Johnny takes advice from Daniel and challenges Robby and Miguel to fight it out. Neither can leave the courtyard until they've expelled the rage and resentment from their systems. This leads to the 5th season's most exciting battle and a one-on-one matchup between the show's best fighters.

The informal match quickly turns personal as they wind their way through the courtyard, each demonstrating his own patented style. Making their way to the second floor, their moves not only become more dangerous but also bring up painful memories from the past. Miguel seems poised to recreate the devastating moment in which Robby kicked him over the school balcony in Season 3 — vengeance he could hardly be blamed for wanting. Miguel menaces a cowering Robby, then suddenly drops his fists and tells his rival he didn't get into karate to hurt people. This leads to the honest and heartfelt conversation we've been waiting to see for five seasons. The news that they're both going to have a new baby half-brother or sister is just icing on the cake.

1. Chozen and Johnny bond over the past

For five seasons, Johnny has been a lovable but flawed antihero. Part of the appeal of "Cobra Kai" has been watching him break free from the shadow of his loss to Daniel at the All Valley tournament. If the show has a throughline, it's that no one is past redemption, and even the worst bullies are capable of regaining their humanity. We explore this theme with Johnny, but the addition of Chozen offers a masterclass in leaving the past behind. Devastated by the loss of his honor in Okinawa, Chozen has spent the years since trying to become a better person. He dedicates himself to helping his former enemy take down an even bigger threat and becomes a de facto brother to Daniel.

One of the most memorable scenes in all five seasons occurs when Johnny and Chozen bond over their similar histories with Daniel — the frustrations he's caused them over the years as well as their shared admiration for his virtuosity. Not only is it a scene in which two characters we've grown to love reminisce about iconic events that feel like they could be part of our own pasts, but their conversation is a poignant reminder that we all probably have more in common with our enemies than we think. If these two one-time villains can find their way to redemption, maybe the same path is possible for us all.