- "Johnny gives up, he got his account!"
- ―Bobby Brown to Johnny Lawrence
Robert "Bobby" Brown is the quaternary antagonist and an anti-hero of the original The Karate Kid. He is second strongest student in the Cobra Kai Dojo. Some even wonder if Bobby is stronger than Johnny. After 30 years, he is now a pastor.
Fictional Character Biography
Pre Karate Kid
The Karate Kid
Bobby is Kreese's second-best student. Although one of Johnny's gang (as he accidentally trips Daniel at the first day of school soccer tryouts, prompting Daniel to ground-and-pound Bobby, thus getting Daniel kicked out of the tryouts), Bobby is seen as a more compassionate character than his friends, as he tries to stop Johnny from ruining the beach party, harassing Daniel, and doing further damage to Daniel during the fight alongside the South Sea apartments during the Halloween party (neglecting the other four members' rebuking and brushing off Brown's wishes).
During the Semi-finals of the tournament, Kreese orders Bobby to put Daniel "out of commission". When receiving such an order, Bobby whines that he will get disqualified ("But I'll be disqualified!"), possibly hiding how he thinks doing such a thing is unethical. Bobby reluctantly attempts to obey, by landing a kick to Daniel's knee, severely injuring him. After the kick, Bobby drops down and sincerely and profusely apologizes to a pain-writhen Daniel before being pulled off Daniel, and is disqualified. Because Daniel was unable to continue at that time, he was the only Cobra Kai matched against Daniel whom he did not traditionally defeat, although Daniel indirectly won that match on account of disqualification.
In the film's novelization, Bobby — remorseful for injuring Daniel and disgusted at not being able to fight him fairly — walks over to Kreese and throws his black belt onto the floor before quitting the Cobra Kai and leaving the arena.
In the parking lot confrontation following the tournament, Bobby defends Johnny from an angry Kreese, as does Tommy, who states that Johnny has apologized for his performance. When Kreese chokes Johnny from behind, Bobby and Tommy both attempt to intervene, but are assaulted by Kreese. Fortunately, Mr. Miyagi saves Johnny by defeating Kreese. Bobby, along with the other Cobra Kai members, likely left the dojo following the events after the tournament after seeing Kreese for the kind of man he really is, which explains why there aren't any students left at Cobra Kai.
Pre Cobra Kai
Sometime between 1984 and 2018, Bobby was ordained as a pastor (which reflects his retention of morality, despite training under Kreese's vicious and unethical teachings). It was unknown about the faith he had become ordained in. Like Johnny, he is unmarried, which suggests he may have taken a vow of celibacy. If so, this could imply that he has become a Catholic priest.
Bobby doesn't appear and isn't mentioned, but is shown in a few flashbacks
In the summer of 2018, Bobby along with Johnny, Jimmy and Tommy spend one more night together before the passing of Tommy. Like Jimmy and Tommy, Bobby is shocked when Johnny informs them that he not only reopened Cobra Kai but welcomed Kreese back into his life, which the three disapprove of. Bobby has no clue to why Johnny would do such a thing, only for Johnny to retort that in Bobby's job there is a "book that preaches a lot about forgiveness". The following morning Bobby desperately tries to get Tommy to wake up, only to start crying along with Jimmy when it is revealed that he is dead (Tommy passed away in his sleep).
Similar to the Cobra Kai, Bobby bullies and harasses Daniel. However, unlike his other fellow Cobra members especially Johnny he is very compassionate, and knows when to draw the line. He frequently has to tell his group particularity Johnny to calm down whenever things are going too far, and he shows remorse when he performs an unethical action, such as illegally kicking Daniel during the tournament. He, along with Jimmy seems to not partake in harassing Daniel that much.
34 years later Bobby is a pastor and spends a lot of time praying. Ever since his former Cobra Kai friend Tommy has been diagnosed with most likely some form of cancer, he has been praying more. When Johnny reveals that he has reopened the Cobra Kai dojo and Kreese is back, Bobby voices his concern and reminds him of what Kreese and Cobra Kai did to them, showing that Bobby still hasn't gotten over Kreese's unethical teachings and does not trust him; Bobby warns Johnny that Kreese will eventually betray him again. He still has his fighting skills as he is able to help Johnny fight against a group of guys causing trouble. He is distraught when Tommy dies.
His attitude seems to be dryer than the other Cobras. When first being reunited, Johnny remarks how Bobby has gone bald and figured all that praying should have made him regain the long hair he had when they first met. Bobby chuckles and remarks "God does not work that way".
- Ron Thomas humorously reprised his role as Bobby on an episode of Tosh.0, along with Martin Kove reprising his role as John Kreese.
- Bobby's actor Ron Thomas is also a motivational speaker and martial arts instructor in real life.
- During a 30th anniversary screening of The Karate Kid, Ron Thomas, by then a black belt, received instructions from his agent not to reveal at his audition his background in martial arts in order to prove his acting ability. Stunt choreographer Pat Johnson allowed Thomas to use his own moves in the tournament scene, indicating Bobby's individual skills outside Kreese's training.
- Bobby can be compared to future character Chris as the latter advising Hawk not to hurt Demetri is similar to Bobby advising his gang, particularly Johnny to leave Daniel alone. He can also be compared to Aisha Robinson, as both retained their morality (unlike Dutch and later Eli Moskowitz), despite training under the vicious and unethical teachings.