In shows that have a longstanding legacy, cameos certainly pay off! As part of Karate Kid’s larger franchise, Cobra Kai has had several guest appearances from the ’80s films that have tickled fans to no end. It seems like Season 5 won’t disappoint on this front, either.
So which cameos can be expected in Cobra Kai S5?
The four main cameos in Cobra Kai S5 are Mike Barnes, Jessica Andrews, Lizzie-Anne Rooney, and Kim Da-Eun, who were all part of Karate Kid III’s movie/storyline.
If you’re not familiar with these characters (or simply want to take a stroll down memory lane), here’s more about them in detail:
1. Mike Barnes
Since Silver is calling in favors, Chozen suggests that Daniel reach out to Silver’s older allies before he does. Their first pick is “bad boy” Mike Barnes. But who is he?
If you’ve watched Karate Kid III, you may recognize that his younger self was hired by Terry Silver to go against Daniel LaRusso at the 1985 All Valley Karate Tournament and beat him. In exchange, he was promised 50% ownership of Silver’s new Cobra Kai franchise.
Mike did not terrorize Daniel just during matches, but during their downtime, too. So, it was not at all easy to approach the man who was one of his greatest foes.
Thankfully, we see that Mike has realized the grave mistakes he’s made under Silver’s influences and lives a relatively quiet life as a furniture businessman. When Daniel seeks out his help, he ultimately chooses to use his impeccable karate skills for a better purpose.
2. Jessica Andrews
Jessica Andrews, too, is from Karate Kid III where she was Daniel’s will-they-won’t-they love interest. Since this was a period of emotional turmoil for Daniel where he went against Mr. Miyagi’s advice, Jessica was crucial in anchoring him to what was right and moral.
For answers about their romance, Daniel and Jessica remained friends and it seems like she even became a wing woman for her cousin, Amanda, to whom Daniel finally got married.
I like that Jessica’s cameo in S5 reminded both the viewers and Amanda why exactly Daniel was losing his mind over Silver. The feud had driven a wedge between Amanda and Daniel as well, and Jessica being a voice of reason certainly helped resolve it. In fact, it got Amanda all fired up to take down Silver herself!
3. Lizzie-Anne Rooney
So, Lizzie-Anne never did appear in any Karate Kid/Cobra Kai project before, but you may reckon that the name sounds familiar. Plus, why did Amanda and Jessica get into a fight with her in the bar?
Well, you see in Karate Kid III, Jessica’s boyfriend breaks up with her to go out with Lizzie-Anne (this is also why she agrees to go on a date with Daniel). Lizzie-Anne doesn’t appear in person in the movie, but she is called out by name.
That would explain all the animosity in Cobra Kai S5 all these years later!
4. Kim Da-eun
This is a special shout-out since Kim Da-eun’s appearance is not technically a cameo as she’s a new character introduced to Cobra Kai S5. But why does she make the list? Because it’s a direct callback to her grandfather, Kim Sun-Yung.
Kim Sun-Yung was both Kreese and Silver’s ruthless karate sensei who taught them a very aggressive style of the martial art.
Silver talks about Sun-Yung in Karate Kid III, but he does not appear in person. In Cobra Kai S5, his presence is indicated in a flashback scene involving Kreese, Silver, and Da-eun.
Since it would’ve been impossible to bring Sun-Yung to the present timeline, having his formidable granddaughter on screen is a worthy compromise.
5. About Cobra Kai
Cobra Kai is an action drama that is a reboot/sequel of The Karate Kid movies. It premiered on YouTube in 2018, and subsequently moved to Netflix. The series stars Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Courtney Henggeler and Mary Mouser.
When Johnny Lawrence opens the Cobra Kai dojo to teach his bullied teenage neighbor, Miguel, how to defend himself, his age-old rivalry with Daniel LaRusso is ignited once more. Will their rivalry continue to affect their present lives and those they love, or will they be able to bury the past?