The exciting release of Cobra Kai season 5 on Netflix on September 9, 2022, is fast arriving and has everyone buzzing about the beloved series again. There are many aspects that helped make the show such a hit, with a major one being the portrayal of Johnny Lawrence, a villain from The Karate Kid.
Johnny has become a lovable character because, although he keeps his old school mentality and can still throw out insults with the best of them, he has also proven himself to be a legitimately good person. He cares about those close to him and his words display that as much as his actions do.
“I Don’t Want To Screw Things Up With Miguel.”
He Cares About Miguel
It quickly became a main storyline that Johnny didn’t have the best relationship with his son Robby, yet he managed to find a fatherly bond with his first student, Miguel. He doesn’t mean or expect it to happen but it does and he’s determined to make this relationship a success.
Johnny says this line as he’s considering a romantic endeavor with Miguel’s mother. He doesn’t want to potentially ruin things with Miguel by doing that and screwing up a second bond with someone he views as a son. Of course, in typical Johnny fashion, he decides Carmen is hot enough to take the risk.
“And I’m Always Going To Be Right Here Next To You ‘Cause I’ll Always Be Your Teacher.”
He Won’t Let Those He Cares About Give Up
When Miguel ends up in the hospital after the fight at the school, things seem about as bleak as they get. Miguel can’t walk and is ready to give up but Johnny shouted him down with “Quiet! Never! Can’t! Those are just words, they’re meaningless. It’s time to get out of bed and do something.”
It might seem harsh that Johnny yelled at Miguel when he was down but that’s actually what the kid needed. Johnny is someone who is all about tough love and that motivation got Miguel going. The line at the end of his speech about always being there because he’s Miguel’s teacher made it extra special.
“That Kid Is The Only Person In The World Who Hasn’t Given Up On Me. And I Don’t Want To Give Up On Him.”
He Can Relate To The Kids
Although The Karate Kid showed that Johnny was kind of a big deal and a hot shot in high school, adult life hasn’t been too kind to him. His ex-wife, his son, and pretty much everyone around him stopped believing in him but he found purpose as a sensei.
That’s what makes this line so special. For the first time in the series, Johnny showed emotional vulnerability as he apologized to Carmen and explained that there was no way he’d give up on the only person who still had faith in him.
“I Have A Long Way To Go To Be A Better Man, A Better Father, A Better Teacher. But I Can Make A Difference In These Kids’ Lives.”
He’s Becoming A Better Person
Overall, Johnny Lawrence has one of the best character arcs on TV right now as he has grown exponentially from the premiere to the start of season 5. This is the line that probably explains that better than any other.
Given the things that he’s gone through in his life, Johnny understands that he’s not exactly what most people would call a winner or a good person. However, he realizes that he’s growing as a man, father, and sensei because of how he’s helping the kids he teaches.
“Don’t Forget, Being A Badass Doesn’t Mean Be An A**Hole.”
He Wants Others To Be Better Than Him
Again, Johnny is a self-aware person and he is never going to shy away from the fact that he’s a jerk. There are many times where he gets called an a**hole and it’s pretty warranted. That being said, he doesn’t want his kids to follow in his footsteps.
Johnny might be rude to his students but he teaches them right from wrong more often than not. This is almost a perfect Johnny line as he shows that he wants the kids to be tough but also teaches a valuable lesson that it doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk.
“If You’re Not Strong On The Inside, Then You Can’t Be Strong On The Outside.”
He Teaches Important Lessons
Part of Johnny’s tough love concept involves him berating his students. He takes it way too far at times, which is all part of his learning curve, but it also makes him Cobra Kai’s funniest character. Regardless, Johnny does this because he believes it will strengthen the students.
As he informed them in this scene, they need to be tough on an emotional level. Johnny wants them to know that they can’t be a strong badass on the outside if they don’t have it on the inside. They need to believe in themselves internally before kicking ass externally.
“You Should All Be Proud Of Yourselves. I Know I’m Proud.”
He Sometimes Says The Right Thing
It’s no secret that a lot of the kids who joined Cobra Kai under Johnny’s tutelage were outcasts. Miguel was mostly a loner, Hawk used to get bullied, and Tory has a pretty hard life. Most of them don’t get to feel proud very often.
That’s why it means the world to them when someone actually says it, which Johnny did. Granted, he said this after having them complete a test in a cement mixer that was clearly dangerous but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t proud.
“It Doesn’t Matter If You’re A Loser, Or A Nerd, Or A Freak! All That Matters Is That You Become Badass!”
He Supports His Outcasts
Once again, the Cobra Kai dojo played host to people who weren’t exactly doing great when it came to their social status. That’s important to note because many of them found acceptance and family among peers, just as Johnny did.
Johnny isn’t afraid to call them out on it and wants them to embrace these aspects of their lives. Yes, they might be considered nerds, freaks, and losers but none of that will matter if they can become badass on the inside or the outside.
He Sees Potential
While there are so many intertwining stories in the series, Cobra Kai is mostly driven by the relationship between Johnny and Miguel. Johnny wants his top pupil to become the best badass possible but that can be a slippery slope.
When Johnny said this line to Miguel, he added something in front of it. “Look, I wasn’t taught the difference between mercy and honor, and I paid the price for it.” He doesn’t want Miguel to become the villain he once was because he should be better than him.
NEXT: 10 Cobra Kai Episodes To Re-Watch Before Season 5