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Is Cobra Kai Kid Friendly? Parents Guide

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. 

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. 

Is Cobra Kai kid friendly?

Mature Content

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.

Cobra Kai Season 3 Parents Guide

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. 

Cobra Kai ok for kids

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. 

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Wednesday 10th of February 2021

I seriously believe you just trash-talked cobra kai. This is like my favorite show. I agree it is a little inappropriate but you went a little over the top. I counted the f words and there was only five. You said there was a lot. Five isnt a lot. Your reviews aren't helpful at all. It kinda sounds like you are just being overprotective. My whole family are christians and my parents watched this first, loved it and suggested I watch it.I think people like you are the type of people who just want to hide kids from the truth. You can't always protect them and some parent clearly don't know this. You could have just said that if your kids are mature they can probably handle this. My parents always read your reviews and that's why they think some of the shows I love are trash. bc of your reviews. I think if a kid is mature they will be fine watching this.


Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Hmm...perhaps the first show in history where the twenty leading characters are all violent and sadistic sociopaths.

Where middle class teenagers sadistically fracture other teenagers bones and bodies; where teenage girls fight each other with nunchucks and poles; leaving one another battered and tortured; where placing king cobras in car showrooms is deemed normal behavior.

No one is arrested of course; it is 2021 America.

In The Golden Bough by Frazier; possibly the most prescient anthropological and psychological observation of all time is set forth:

He says something to the effect that man is an incredibly savage entity; varnished over with a very thin veneer of paint called “civilization”; and it takes precious little to strip that thin coat of paint and reveal him for what he actually is.

Put on the TV set and watch Cobra-Kai and then observe all the other aspects of your rapidly devolving society; and then try to cogently argue that the analysis is not spot-on.


Wednesday 10th of February 2021

I don't think I trash-talked Cobra Kai or even called it trash. Five f-words for a show rated TV-14 is a lot. If it was rated TV-MA, then that's a different story. The purpose of my reviews are so parents can make a decision about what's appropriate for their family. It's a personal decision. I'm not telling anyone what they can or cannot watch. I'm just letting them know what's in it and then it's up to them. If your parents thought you'd like it, cool. I'm glad you liked it. Everyone isn't going to like the same things. My intention is not to hide the truth, because Cobra Kai isn't the truth. But if someone asks me should Cobra Kai be rated TV-14, it definitely should not based on the rules of ratings.

Ethan holdren

Saturday 16th of January 2021

I watched all of it and there was porn and sex and a giant d*ck was drawn on a teenagers arm.

martyn grace

Saturday 16th of January 2021

TV 14 is perfect. There no as much language as you think. I could do without the 1 or 2 drug references in all 3 seasons but there ae teenage themes that i think a younger child wont understand. I can't think of any sex or drug references in season 3 at all! The show also has numerous great values to teach. I think the show is awesome for 14 plus years old


Monday 11th of January 2021

Cobra Kai is perfectly fine for kids 12 and up. If you think that kids 12-15 don't hear that language then you are completely wrong. Let loose a little.

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Saturday 19th of December 2020

[…] 3 is coming to Netflix January 8, 2021. You can also check out this Cobra Kai Parents Guide to see if it’s appropriate for […]