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The Karate Kid Wiki

"You know what I mean. But, no matter what, I'll wait for you."
―Betsy to John Kreese[src]

Betsy is a supporting character of Season 3 of Cobra Kai and the former love interest of John Kreese. She appears only in flashbacks. She was tragically killed in a car accident on the way to see her Grandmother.

She is played by Emily Marie Palmer.


One day in the mid-60s, Betsy went to a diner with her boyfriend, David. On the way to finding their seats, David purposely bumped into the waiter, John Kreese, who was annoyed by David's bump. Quickly composing himself, Kreese dutifully proceeded to provide them with silverwares, and briefly caught the eye of Betsy, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend. As Kreese went to carry a tray full of dirty cutlery into the back, David tripped him up, leaving him humiliated and furious on the floor as people laughed all around, with the only exception being Betsy, who was worried, and the owner, who mistook the tumble for clumsiness.

Shortly thereafter, Kreese was taking out the trash when he spotted the jocks from before, with David and Betsy arguing. He was upset that she had made eye contact with Kreese in the diner. he grabbed her firmly and told her never to do it again, and brutally smacked her across the face when she told him to let her go. Kreese was angered at the assault and dropped everything to confront him, demanding to know if David had ever learned to "keep his hands to himself." The men fought with Betsy being pushed aside when she tried to intervene. Exhausted and bruised, but ultimately victorious, Kreese caught Betsy's eye once more, and offered her a lift home. In the time that followed, Betsy and Kreese dated and were in a serious relationship. He enlisted in the United States Army and was accepted into Basic Combat Training. On the day of his deployment, they kissed goodbye and he promised to return to her safely.

She wrote to him diligently and he did the same, keeping the spark of hope alive for them to be reunited when Kreese returned to America. Betsy went to visit her Grandmother in Pasadena when she was in a car accident - her car wrapped around a tree and she was killed. Her family informed Kreese of her death, but his Captain, a cold man named Turner, kept the information from him as he thought it would distract Kreese from their impending mission. Kreese's unit was kidnapped and forced to fight one another to the death. Turner chose the moment before he and Kreese were supposed to take the platform to inform him of Betsy's death. Kreese fell to his knee in grief but was forced to fight Turner anyway. It was because of Turner's withholding of Betsy's death that Kreese ultimately chose to kill Turner when he could have saved him.


  • Kreese's nickname for Betsy was "Dollface". This was actually alluded to in season 2 episode "Mercy Part II", when Kreese referred to a waitress as "dollface".