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"You wanna learn how to kick ass? First, you gotta learn how to kick."
Johnny Lawrence to Miguel Diaz[src]

"Esqueleto" is the third episode of the first season of Cobra Kai.


Johnny tries to recruit more students to join the dojo. Troubled by his daughter's friends, Daniel chaperones her high school costume dance. Johnny takes Miguel's training seriously and starts creating a badass.


The episode opens with a nighttime shot looking over Los Angeles (set to the strains of some 1980s hair metal) before it cuts to Miguel's grandmother cooking dinner for the family. She calls to Miguel in his room, but mistakes the sounds of his karate practice as masturbation. Over dinner, the family discusses what Miguel's costume should be for the school's Halloween dance. Miguel suggests Deadpool, but notes that the costume is expensive.

Meanwhile, Daniel's insecurity about Sam's relationship with Kyler reaches its peak, to the extent that he is willing to sneak into his daughter's room and read her instant messages, in which Kyler claims to have "something BIG" to show her at the school dance. Daniel volunteers to chaperone the dance to keep an eye on her, but Sam makes him promise that he will not embarrass her.

At school, the guidance counselor does a presentation on cyberbullying and not-so-discreetly detailing how Eli has recently been victimized by it. Miguel tells Eli and Demetri that he could get them both discounts at Cobra Kai so they can fight back, but neither are interested. Aisha approaches Sam with the idea of going to the dance as Sodium and Chloride, respectively, but Sam tells her that she had already planned on going with Yasmine and Moon as Laker Girls. Sam offers to order another costume so that Aisha can join them, but Yasmine cruelly rebuffs her on account of her size.

At the Cobra Kai dojo, Johnny has received several past-due notices in the mail. Desperate to pay the bills, he asks Miguel if he has any friends interested in taking karate, but suspects he doesn't have any. When Miguel suggests advertising, Johnny bribes a homeless woman to help draw attention to the dojo with a sign while he walks the streets handing out flyers, but his efforts are either ignored or met with ridicule. He returns to the dojo where Miguel is eager to show off the new Cobra Kai webpage he developed in study hall. Impressed, Johnny tells Miguel to meet him at the high school at midnight for his first lesson in kicking, which involves Johnny tying Miguel's hands together and pushing him into a swimming pool. With practice, Miguel is eventually able to break boards with his feet. He and Johnny then prepare for the school dance, but Johnny rejects Miguel's shoddy homemade costume and proposes a different one, stating that Cobra Kai has a reputation to uphold.

Miguel attends the dance in a skeleton costume identical to those worn by the Cobra Kai in the 1980s. After remembering one of his encounters with Johnny, Daniel is disturbed by the sight and begins to follow Miguel, but when he notices a Cobra Kai flyer taped to the wall, he leaves the dance to confront Johnny who is posting flyers all over the school. At that moment, he spies Sam leaving the dance hand-in-hand with Kyler. In an empty classroom, Daniel interrupts them but completely misinterprets an innocent interaction as sexual in nature, making Sam furious. She tells Yasmine she is ready to leave, but Yasmine cannot resist posting a cruel pig meme about Aisha eating at the snack table before they go. Aisha is immediately humiliated while Samantha watches in silence, causing a hurt Aisha to leave the dance while the other students laugh.

Miguel takes a bathroom break with his friends in the boys' locker room, but they run afoul of Kyler's gang once more, after hearing them sexually objectify Samantha. After they mock Miguel's karate and threaten to attack him again, Miguel, left to fend for himself, knocks Kyler down with a jumping front kick, but the gang quickly seizes him and delivers a vicious beating. Afterwards, a dismayed Johnny locates his fallen student.


  • The episode's name, Esqueleto, is Spanish and Portuguese for "Skeleton".
  • The ending fight is similar to The Karate Kid but a major difference is that Mr. Miyagi rescues Daniel but no one was around to rescue Miguel.
  • This is the first time that Miguel and Sam wore costumes to an event since Miguel dressed as a Skeleton while Sam was a Laker Girl. In the episode Glory of Love, Miguel dressed as Johnny Lawrence from The Karate Kid, while Sam was Andie Walsh from the 1986 film Pretty in Pink.
  • A deleted scene of this episode involves Johnny Lawrence trying to recruit judo students, only for the master to mock him and saying that karate is a joke.
  • On a basketball court, Johnny told two men that "kicks get chicks," which is the name of the sixth episode for Season 4.


  • Samantha identifies sodium chloride as a molecular compound, when it is actually an ionic compound.
           The Karate Kid Franchise

The Karate Kid | Part II | Part III | The Next Karate Kid | The Karate Kid (2010)

Cobra Kai
Season 1
Ace Degenerate | Strike First | Esqueleto | Cobra Kai Never Dies | Counterbalance | Quiver | All Valley | Molting | Different but Same | Mercy

Season 2
Mercy Part II | Back in Black | Fire and Ice | The Moment of Truth | All In | Take a Right | Lull | Glory of Love | Pulpo | No Mercy

Season 3
Aftermath | Nature Vs. Nurture | Now You're Gonna Pay | The Right Path | Miyagi-Do | King Cobra | Obstáculos | The Good, The Bad, and The Badass | Feel The Night | December 19

Season 4
Let's Begin | First Learn Stand | Then Learn Fly | Bicephaly | Match Point | Kicks Get Chicks | Minefields | Party Time | The Fall | The Rise