The Real Reason You Recognize Samantha From Cobra Kai

The Karate Kid franchise is built on rivalries, both minor and major, and focuses primarily on that between Daniel LaRusso, played by Ralph Macchio, and Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka. In Cobra Kaithe YouTube Red-turned-Netflix spin-off show, the most endearing rivalry is between two women: Daniel's daughter, Samantha LaRusso, and her high school bully, Tory Nichols. Eloquently played by Mary Mouser and Peyton List respectively, the ongoing feud is ultimately elevated from high school drama to a life and death struggle for supremacy. 


List, of course, is fairly well known thanks to her work on the Disney Channel, but Mouser is a relative newcomer. Although Cobra Kai certainly is not her first role, it's arguably the biggest on the Arkansas native's slate to date. It's clear the show is primed to be a major launching pad for the talented young cast and, with any luck, the likes of Mouser, List, and Annalisa Cochrane, who plays Yasmine, have massive careers in front of them. If Mouser already looks familiar to you, though, here's why.

Mary Mouser is a small screen stalwart

According to IMDb, Mary Mouser made her on-screen debut in dark drama Without A Trace in 2004. However, ten years prior, the actress displayed her vocal talents in Studio Ghibli's Pom Poko. She focused predominantly on TV roles in the subsequent years, taking bit parts in Scrubs, Monk, The King of Queens, and plenty more before nabbing the titular role in the animated series Me, Eloise in 2006. Recurring roles in Life Is Wild, NCIS, Body of Proof, Freakish, and The Fosters followed soon after, alongside parts in movies scattered throughout, including All Kids Count, Medeas, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 


Cobra Kai is a dream role for the young actress, who relishes the physical side of it just as much as the emotional element. On how far she's come even since Season 1, Mouser told Screen Rant"I'm still working on it, you know, but like definitely in a completely different world than I was, which is really cool and rewarding to see." She hopes the show helps fans to understand that bullying is not a black-and-white issue either, explaining, "Just because you've been bullied, it doesn't mean you can't become the bully... You can just as easily become the bad guy as you can become the good guy. And we still have to be responsible for our actions."