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Cobra Kai season 4 release date and everything we know so far

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka will return for Cobra Kai season 4
(Image credit: Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix)

Cobra Kai season 4 is putting the soul of the Valley to the ultimate test — and it's all going down this December. A teaser trailer provided a glimpse at the action we can expect from Daniel LaRusso, Johnny Lawrence and their karate pupils. Season 4 will also see the old rivals teaming up to take down John Kreese, Terry Silver and the "no mercy" students of Cobra Kai.

And the best news? This isn't the end of the karate kids' stories, since Cobra Kai season 5 is happening!

Cobra Kai is one of the best Netflix shows and among the streamer's most popular. It follows former Karate Kid rivals Johnny and Daniel almost 30 years after the events of the first film. Now, they're all grown up with kids of their own, but their rivalry reignites when Johnny reopens the Cobra Kai dojo and begins teaching new karate students of the next generation.

The Cobra Kai season 3 finale ends with Daniel and Johnny putting aside their longtime feud and teaming up to take on Johnny's ex-mentor, the sadistic John Kreese (Martin Kove). They merge their once-dueling dojos, Miyagi-do and Eagle Fang, to take on Cobra Kai at the All Valley Karate Tournament. 

If Daniel and Johnny's students win, Kreese will leave for good. But Kreese always has a few dirty tricks up his sleeves; this time, he's calling in his old, even nastier pal Terry Silver.

Here's everything we know so far about Cobra Kai season 4. 

Cobra Kai season 4 latest news (updated Sept. 25)

Cobra Kai season 4 release date confirmed

At Netflix's TUDUM event, the streamer revealed that Cobra Kai season 4 is coming on December 31

That mirrors the season 3 release. Happy new year to all!

Cobra Kai season 4 teaser trailer

The first Cobra Kai teaser trailer dropped on May 27 and confirmed the return of Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). First, Silver goes over his abiding philosophy — extreme situations require extreme measures. "Now the real pain begins," the teaser warns. 

We're expecting to see more at Netflix's TUDUM event.

A second teaser trailer, which came out August 5, is all about the epic fight that lays ahead for Johnny, Daniel and their combined dojos. The cast members kick and punch and there's a brief glimpse of new footage.

Cobra Kai season 4 cast

The cast of Cobra Kai season 4 will continue to be headlined by William Zabka as Johnny and Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso. 

Also returning is Martin Kove as John Kreese as well as the students of the rival dojos:

  • Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz
  • Mary Mouser as Samantha LaRusso, Daniel's daughter
  • Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, Johnny's son)
  • Jacob Bertrand as Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz
  • Peyton List as Tory Nichols
  • Gianni Decenzo as Demetri

Courtney Henggeler as Amanda LaRusso (Daniel's wife) and Vanessa Rubio as Carmen Diaz (Miguel's mother) will both be back as well.

As mentioned above, Thomas Ian Griffith is reprising his role as Terry Silver, the main villain from the Karate Kid Part III movie. He may be joined by Sean Kanan as karate bad boy Mike Barnes. More on that below.

Season 3 cast members that are not expected to return include Yuji Okumoto as Chozen and Tamlyn Tomita as Kumiko, whom Daniel reunited with on his Okinawa trip. It's also unknown if Elisabeth Shue reprises her role as Ali, the former love interest of Johnny and Daniel who popped up to visit for the holidays.

Netflix announced two new cast members for Season 4 on Twitter. Dallas Dupree Young (Cousins for Life, Shameless) will be playing Kenny, a bullied new kid in school who turns to karate as a way to defend himself. And Oona O'Brien (Annie, School of Rock) is Devon, a potential new karate student who is relentlessly competitive, a quick study, and equally quick-tempered when she’s provoked. 

Recently, Cobra Kai cast members have weighed in on the possibility of Aisha's character (who wasn't in season 3) returning for season 4. Cobra Kai co-creator Hayden Schlossberg didn't confirm a return, but his words give hope: "What we will say is, as you’ve seen in season three, characters who maybe you thought were no longer a part of the story, do come back and play a role. Just using [Kyler] as an example. And so, people who want to see Aisha again, I think that’s how we would respond to that, without giving anything away."

Cobra Kai season 4 set photos

On Feb. 26, Cobra Kai's official Twitter account released the first set photo from season 4, which didn't reveal much. But hey, we'll take what we can get. The image teases the first episode, which is titled "Let's Begin."

Cobra Kai season 4 script

(Image credit: CobraKaiSeries/Twitter)

Some leaked set photos also emerged on Reddit, that seem to show Daniel and Johnny at an ice rink. Is Cobra Kai getting all Mighty Ducks on us?

Leaked set photos from season 4 at an ice rink from r/cobrakai

Cobra Kai season 4 theories and spoilers

Season 3 ended with another all-out brawl, this time pitting Cobra Kai students against their former friends (now part of Eagle Fang dojo) and members of Miyagi-do. And it took place in the LaRusso home! 

Johnny, then Daniel confronted John Kreese at Cobra Kai dojo, threatening to do whatever it took to stop him. Kreese offered them a deal: He would leave town if they won the reinstated All Valley Tournament. The next day, Johnny and Daniel teamed up to start training the students of their merged dojos. 

Cobra Kai season 4 should focus heavily on the upcoming competition at the All Valley Tournament. 

As for other storylines in Cobra Kai season 4, we expect more love triangle drama from Samantha, Miguel and Robby. Plus, there might be some more movement in Johnny's romance with Miguel's mom, Carmen. One thing that won't be part of the upcoming episodes: the coronavirus. Co-creator Jon Hurwitz clarified that the show takes place in 2018 and 2019, so it will not incorporate the pandemic.

Hurwitz also recently took to Twitter to tease some emotional scenes in the next batch of episodes. Fans should get ready to laugh AND cry. 

Hurwitz and fellow creators Josh Heald and Hayden Schlossberg revealed even more season 4 tidbits at a Paley Front Row panel, hosted by Collider's Perri Nemiroff. 

Heald said, "We want to keep providing the dopamine that generates that good feeling. We want to make sure we’re delivering on goosebumps, on tears, on belly laughs and fist bumps. It’s the same recipe with different tastes and everything else, but it’s even bigger so we’re really, really proud of what we’re making so far. I can’t wait for you to see what everybody’s doing.”

On the red carpet at the MTV Movie and TV Awards, stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka previewed what fans can expect from season 4. 

Macchio promised, "The stories get deeper, the characters get more complex, [and] the fighting is more awesome. The left turns, when you think you might be going right, will dazzle."

Zabka added, "Lots of flights, lots of emotion, drama, good 80s music, and a couple beers." 

Cobra Kai season 4 Terry Silver return

At the end of the season 3 finale, Kreese placed a phone call to someone — his old Vietnam buddy Terry Silver (season 3 featured flashbacks to their time as POWs). Terry is a wealthy business who funded Cobra Kai. He was the main villain in Karate Kid Part III, in which he bankrolls "karate bad boy" Mike Barnes at the All Valley Tournament to get revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. 

Silver's return was confirmed in the first teaser trailer for Cobra Kai season 4.

Terry is likely teaming up with Kreese again to put Johnny and Daniel's precarious alliance to the test. And Mike may return for a cameo as well. 

Terry's return is a no-brainer. Cobra Kai has been incorporating aspects of the movies more and more. Season 3 featured appearances by Karate Kid Part II characters Kumiko and Chozen, as well as a major cameo by Ali (Daniel and Johnny's love interest in the first film). Maybe season 5 will bring back Hilary Swank from The Next Karate Kid?

Is Cobra Kai season 4 the final season?

Cobra Kai fans can rejoice, because Netflix has gone ahead and ordered Cobra Kai season 5.

Hurwitz previously told Collider, "There’s still a lot more story to tell, in our minds. We just finished shooting Season 4 and we have a lot more that we’re excited to do, going forward. So, we can’t tell you exactly how many seasons we’re going to have, but we know that we’re going to enter each season with enthusiasm and confidence. 

Eventually, we’ll talk to our friends at Sony and Netflix and say, 'We think this is probably around the time we should be winding it down,” and hopefully they’ll give us that time to do it. We’ll see."

When it comes to what's next for Netflix, along with Cobra Kai season 4, this winter brings The Witcher season 2 and You season 3. And The Umbrella Academy season 3 is right behind them.

Farther ahead, Netflix viewers can expect Emily in Paris season 2 and Ginny and Georgia season 2, which are both confirmed. Meanwhile, someone big is leaving in Bridgerton season 2

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.