One of the most impressive things about Cobra Kai throughout its run on YouTube and Netflix is the way it’s been able to take some of the most outlandish or downright silly aspects of The Karate Kid franchise and mine them for drama, humor, and even pathos. Season 4 of Cobra Kai takes the single most outlandish and silly chapter in the series — 1989’s The Karate Kid Part III — and does just that. It transforms elements of one of the goofiest movies of the 1980s into an epic saga of loyalty, betrayal, passion, and heartache — with a little karate in it.
This season, for example, marks the Cobra Kai debut of Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), Karate Kid Part III���s super-villain, a man who wants nothing more than to temporarily put aside his business as a toxic waste dumper and humiliate and destroy a teenager and an old man he has never met. Somehow, the new season explains the events of the earlier film — and infuses them with renewed emotion as Silver reteams with his old pal John Kreese (Martin Kove) to help him in his ongoing feud with his old rival Daniel La Russo (Ralph Macchio) and his former student Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).
Even as Cobra Kai borrows characters and plot elements from The Karate Kid Part III, it also takes tiny details, music choices, settings, and lines of dialogue from the film — and from the other two movies in the Karate Kid saga. Below, we’ve collected 15 of the most amusing references and Easter eggs to the old films in Cobra Kai Season 4. Bring on Season 5!