- "You can't let the mistakes of your past determine your future."
- ―Carmen Diaz to Johnny Lawrence[src]
Carmen Diaz is the mother of Miguel Diaz and a minor character in Cobra Kai's first season. She later develops into a supporting protagonist in the show's second season. She is portrayed by Vanessa Rubio.
Personality and Early Life
Little is known about Carmen's early life, other than the fact that she is from Ecuador and got married at age eighteen. After she learned that her husband was not who she thought he was, Carmen fled Ecuador with her mother and unborn son, and constantly moved around the United States, most recently from Riverside. At some point, she found employment as a nurse (specifically an X-Ray technician) and worked long shifts to support her family.
Carmen is first seen in the third episode of Cobra Kai, Esqueleto. She comes home late again from work and has dinner with her son and mother. She asks Miguel what costume he wants to wear for the Halloween dance and he says that he wants to go as Deadpool. However, Carmen is unable to afford the price of the costume so she says that she can make him one. She inquires about his injured hand, but her mother brushes off her concern.
Carmen is horrified when Johnny Lawrence brings Miguel home after Kyler and his goons severely beat him at the Halloween dance. She blames Johnny and his Karate for Miguel's assault and forbids him from training with Johnny ever again. Before Miguel leaves for the next school day, she offers to inform the school for protection, but he rejects her offer and insists on continuing his karate training. Carmen forbids Miguel from training and argues with her mother about the training, in which she calls Johnny a "bad influence" and a "loser". She later picks up Miguel from school with the intention to take him to the movies, but Miguel, upset with the bullying at school, asks her to drive them home. After Johnny sees a father and son eating at dinner, he comes to Miguel's apartment and tells Carmen that Miguel is the only person who never gave up on him, and he promises that he won't fail him again. She agrees, knowing how much her son cares for Johnny as a father-figure.
After her son spends a night training at the dojo for the All-Valley Tournament, she invites Johnny over for supper. Carmen voices her concern for Miguel's well-being at the tournament, but Johnny explains that there is no danger, which sets her at ease. When Miguel leaves to talk to Sam, Carmen expresses gratitude that Miguel was able to make good friends despite difficulty due to their constant moving, and tells Johnny of her marriage and fleeing Ecuador. Johnny apologizes and she says that it is unwise to let the past take control of the future. Johnny takes Carmen's words to heart and cleans up his life.
Carmen is later seen attending the All-Valley Karate Tournament, rooting for her son. She panics about her son's health and possible loss, and is confused as to why her mother is visibly relaxed at the tournament.
Carmen appears in Season 2, growing closer to Johnny thanks to him helping Miguel make more friends. Johnny also begins to show a romantic interest in Carmen, and the two even go on some dates, but after Miguel is injured horribly in a fight with Robby at the end of the season, Carmen blames Johnny for the accident and breaks up with him. She later leaves heartbroken by both Miguel's injury and her breakup with Johnny.