Wondering if Cobra Kai is ok for kids? Cobra Kai is rated TV-14 on Netflix, but it should be rated TV-MA. I was very excited when Cobra Kai came to Netflix, but this is not the Karate Kid. Cobra Kai is not kid friendly and is crude, full of language and sexual content. The fighting is secondary. Here’s what parents need to know in this Cobra Kai Parents Guide.
Is Cobra Kai Kid Friendly?
Although Cobra Kai is rated TV-14 on Netflix, I would rate it as TV-MA, because of the sexual content, especially Season 1. Kids may want to watch the show if they’re fans of Karate Kid since some of the original stars are in it, but Cobra Kai is not appropriate for kids under 16, in my opinion. And I would even push the age recommendation to 18+.
Thirty years after their final confrontation at the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is at rock-bottom as an unemployed handyman haunted by his wasted life. However, when Johnny rescues a bullied kid, Miguel, from bullies, he is inspired to restart the Cobra Kai dojo and rekindles his old rivalry with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio).
Cobra Kai is a much darker and depressing story than Karate Kid.
You can check out these Cobra Kai quotes to give an idea of what parents can expect.
I’m still unsure how this did not earn a TV-MA rating on language alone. Shows like Outer Banks did, and the other content wasn’t nearly as bad. There is a ton of language including many f-words. Not only are there 4-letter words, but there’s a lot of sexual language as well like cunt and dick.
The fighting isn’t even what’s overboard in the show. But yes, there is still a lot of fighting in the dojo and in the streets that is not appropriate for kids. You’ll see blood. Think of the Karate Kid amplified.
There are too many things to list in this category. First of all, there is so much disrespectful attitudes and behavior from the kids in the show – bullying, swearing, stealing, fighting, skipping school, watching porn movies, drinking, etc.
One scene shows a giant penis drawn on a billboard in a character’s mouth and then blow job jokes are made about it. There are masturbation jokes and motions.
There is plenty of racism and misogyny with immigrant jokes and sexual harassment. Another parent talks about nerds and how you should want to be in the popular crowd.
In another scene, a group of boys are watching an adult movie when a scantily clad behind is twerking up and down on the screen. There is not explicit nudity but the suggestion is there.
You can also expect drug references, alcohol, and drunk driving.
Cobra Kai Season 3 Parents Guide
Season 3 of Cobra Kai picks up with a town’s obsession over karate. The rivalry between Johnny and Daniel spilled over to their children, the high school, and the rest of the Valley. Season 2 ended with a huge fight at the high school which left Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) in critical condition in the hospital. Now the students of Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai have declared war against each other.
You’ll find much of the same in Season 3 of Cobra Kai as the other seasons – language (sh–, a–, bit–, damn, fu–, tits), violence (blood, fighting, gun violence), and some implied sex. There are also sexual jokes that are crude.
Is Cobra Kai Appropriate for Kids Under 16?
Eventually you do get to the messages of friendship, empathy, and anti-bullying, but I’m not sure it’s worth it to get there. The nostalgia is fun for adults, but it’s too bad that Cobra Kai had to dirty the messages and values learned from Karate Kid.
Parents need to know that Cobra Kai is essentially a soap opera about karate.
Johnny has had a hard life, and man, Daniel is a jerk now. It’s a good discussion to have with teens and how their choices and behaviors can affect their futures.
The idea of flipping the narrative and seeing points of view from Johnny is actually quite clever as we see how people can change based on circumstances and life choices. They could have easily made it an edgier family friendly show without crossing the line.
Season 3 of Cobra Kai is on Netflix January 1, 2021.