Cobra Kai

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Name: Cobra Kai
Abbreviation(s): CK
Date(s): May 2, 2018 - ongoing
Medium: YouTube Red (S1), YouTube Premium (S2), Netflix (S3+)
Country of Origin:
External Links:
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The Cobra Kai fandom formed after the show was announced in January 2018 and the first episode premiering on YouTube later that year. The show is an American martial arts comedy-drama series and a sequel to the original Karate Kid. Taking place 34 years later, the series brings back Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso and William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, examining the films' events from Johnny's perspective. As such, fans of the original series make up a chunk of the online fanbase alongside newer fans, introduced to the fims through the show.

Viewers were able to watch the first two episodes for free on YouTube, which made a lasting effect, enough for people to get YouTube subscriptions. For many, Cobra Kai was the only reason why people paid for a subscription to YouTube (MissViolet). After production of season three was completed, YouTube decided to stop producing scripted original programming, leaving the show without a home until it was picked up by Netflix. This was a point at which the fans feared the show would be cancelled, but the jump to Netflix was a blessing in multiple ways, both keeping the show streaming and also bringing in a new wave of fans.

The fans that have been around since the show premiered on YouTube refer to themselves as the "Day Oners", based on Shannon telling Johnny in S1E4 ("You gave up on day one."). Despite this, there are no tensions between new or old fans of the series.

Most of the early excitement about the series was on Twitter, however this had an issue with male fans who "really didn't understand that you weren't supposed to cheer on the Johnny of the early episodes" (DreamBeyondTheFantasy). These fans cheered on the misogynistic and racist comments, and those on Tumblr used the term "Cobros" to refer to these.

Fan Events & Campaigns

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The full trailer for the first season was posted to Tumblr on March 21st 2018 by DreamBeyondTheFantasy

There are fanfiction awards held every spring.


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Within a few days of premiering, fanfic started to be written and posted both on and AO3.

Popular ships

As the show has continued there has been a rise in other ships:

  • Johnny/Bobby
  • Johnny/Ali
  • Johnny/Carmen
  • Daniel/Terry
  • Terry/Kreese
  • Miguel/Sam
  • Robby/Sam
  • Sam/Tori

Popular tropes & AUs

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Popular tropes include:

  • Whump
  • Romance
  • Angst
  • Fluff

Popular AUs include:

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  • A/B/O

Examples of communities

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