- "It's not that. It's this kid, Kenny. I thought I could take him under my wing. Be the mentor I wish I had when I was younger. But when I saw him today, it, uh... It's like looking in a mirror. I realized I screwed everything up. I had all this hate inside of me. For you and for Miguel. And I thought I could use Cobra Kai to control that. But it just made things worse and now it's never gonna get better."
- ―Robby to Johnny[src]
Robert Swayze "Robby" Keene is one of the main characters in the Netflix series Cobra Kai.
He is the son of karate sensei Johnny Lawrence and alcoholic Shannon Keene. Initially a troublemaker that breaks the rules, Robby begins to change his ways after training with Daniel LaRusso. He becomes the first disciple of the new generation of Miyagi-Do Karate, and one of the best students.
Unfortunately, a fight with Miguel Diaz at the West Valley High results in Miguel suffering a spinal injury. Robby is arrested and placed in Sylmar Juvenile Corrections Center for assault. Following his release, Robby is left conflicted over where his alliances lay, leaving him susceptible to the smooth-talking John Kreese. Through Kreese, Robby is recruited into the newly reinvented Cobra Kai Dojo where Kreese dons him the head student.
Wanting to put the pieces of his life back together, Robby finds support in Kreese and Cobra Kai. Through Cobra Kai, he learns to lead - and be ruthless.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Cobra Kai
- 3 Personality
- 4 Fighting Style
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Trivia
Robby was born to Johnny Lawrence and Shannon Keene on February 4, 2002. Johnny was not present when Robby was born. Robby was raised by Shannon for most of his childhood as Johnny repeatedly neglected him which eventually caused Robby to resent him. At some point Shannon began spending more time at bars and with men than with Robby, while Robby became a troublemaker and even a rebellious kid.
Robby Keene is the estranged son of former Karate champion-turned-deadbeat Johnny Lawrence, and a distant alcoholic mother named Shannon Keene. Due to Robby's estrangement with his father and his mothers perpetual absence, Robby falls into the wrong crowds and quickly becomes a delinquent. He drops out of school in favor of a life of crime, which results in Johnny being pulled back into his life. Johnny attempts to convince Robby to return to school and clean up his life, but the teen harbors resentment and refuses to listen to his father. Their relationship is further strained when Robby sees Johnny hugging his new disciple Miguel Diaz. Johnny later reopened Cobra Kai Dojo with Miguel as his prime student. Wanting revenge for the years of neglect and absence, Robby launches a plan to befriend Johnny's rival, Daniel LaRusso.
He becomes hired at LaRusso Auto Group under false pretenses and slowly forms a relationship with Daniel. Robby even begins to enjoy the work he's doing and develops a strong work ethic, despite his hostility and knee-jerk reactions to otherwise harmless teasing. Daniel takes Robby under his wing in an attempt to teach the misguided teen control. He teaches him Miyagi-Do Karate as a way to instill discipline. He finds a role model and healthy example of an adult in Daniel. Robby also grows close to Daniel's daughter Samantha, and the pair become friends.
Sam's relationship with Miguel Diaz complicates their friendship, due to Robby's disdain for Miguel and Johnny. Sam and Robby went went to a party together, where Miguel picks a fight with Robby for arriving with Sam. When Miguel swings at Robby, Sam blocks the punch and is struck by Miguel. The pair breaks up that night with Robby and Sam retreating to the LaRusso residence. When Johnny outs himself as Robby's father, Daniel bans Robby from his home and dealership for lying. He believes that Robby only grew close to him for the benefit of Johnny and that everything was a lie.
With the All Valley Karate Tournament fast-approaching, Robby is left without a sensei or a dojo to represent. He decides to use the talent he procured from Daniel to enter alone, and earns a spot in the semi-finals. He is paired with Cobra Kai Dojo student and bully Hawk. During the fight, Hawk and Robby exchange belittle one another. When Robby disparages Hawk's mohawk, Hawk attacks him with an illegal kick and dislocates Robby's left shoulder. Hawk is disqualified while Robby advances to the finals despite his injury. He is nearly forced to resign from the competition, until Daniel emerges backstage. Daniel had been encouraged by his wife Amanda to help Robby, as she believes Robby had changed. Daniel forgives Robby for his transgressions and decides to help Robby in the tournament, even finding a doctor for his injured shoulder. Miguel, who held a grudge for the incident with Sam, viciously attacks Robby's injured shoulder. Robby shows positive sportsmanship and tries to help Miguel to his feet, only for Miguel to further injure Robby's shoulder. Robby ultimately loses the tournament, but upholds his dignity, focus, and fairness during the fight, as pointed out by Daniel. With Robby now having reached a positive mental state, Daniel re-opens his dojo with Robby and Sam as his students.
Robby begins training with Daniel. While training with Daniel, Robby's arm heals and he is able to take off his cast. While shopping with Daniel they run into Johnny. When Daniel goes to pay Johnny tries to talk to him, but Robby is still mad at him and he tells Johnny he is having a hard time forgiving him. When Johnny accuses him of trying to torture him by training with Daniel whom he refers to as a prick, Robby defends Daniel and says he is a better man than he (Johnny) will ever be.
Sam soon joins the dojo and starts training with Robby. Robby's home-life isn't great as Shannon soon takes off with some guy, leaving Robby home alone with no food or electricity as bills go unpaid. When Robby mentions to Sam about his mom leaving and Sam tells Daniel, who has Robby come stay with him, Sam and Amanda.
Robby along with Sam and Daniel have trouble getting students to join the dojo at first mainly due to Cobra Kai out-promoting them. However, after sometime their luck changes when a bullied victim named Demetri requests to join and they gladly accept. At the mall Demetri is cornered by Hawk and other Cobra Kai members, but Robby and Sam come to his rescue and beat up the bullies. Robby's, Sam's, and Daniel's luck further improves when a handful of Cobra Kai students leave because of the vicious teachings and join Miyagi Do, though Robby and Sam are at first unhappy that the students joining are the ones that tried to beat up Demetri in the mall.
Robby and Sam develop feelings for each other. While Robby initially thinks it is a bad idea for them to date, the two soon realize thy cannot hold their feelings back and start dating. When someone knocks on Sam's door Robby opens it and sees Miguel. He asks him why he is here, and Miguel says he came to give back Miyagi's Medal of Honor which Hawk stole when he trashed the dojo earlier. Not wanting Sam to know Miguel gave it back because he does not want her to rekindle with him, Robby hides it in his pocket and later puts it outside so someone could find it which Demetri does the next day.
Eventually Robby and Sam agree to tell her parents about their relationships, but put that on hold when they see Shannon in the house. Shannon apologizes to Robby for leaving him, and tells him she is going to rehab so she can get better.
Robby and Sam go to Moon's house for a party the night before the first day of school. During the party Sam gets drunk, and unbeknownst to him Aisha tells Sam that Miguel returned the Medal of Honor and a drunken Sam and Miguel share a kiss. After the cops arrive, Robby tells Sam he will take her home but Sam tells him not to because she does not want her parents to see her drunk. He then takes her to Johnny's house and the two spend the night with him.
The following morning Robby tells Johnny that he will tell Daniel that it is his fault he and Sam did not come home, but after Daniel comes into Johnny's house he tells Robby he has lost his trust and forces Sam to leave. Johnny takes Robby to school which he appreciates. Before class he tells Sam that Miguel gave him the Medal of Honor. Sam, who already knew, asks why he did not tell her before, to which Robby replies he was scared their relationship would be put at risk if he did. They kiss and then go to class.
When Cobra Kai student Tory reveals that Sam and Miguel kissed at Moon's party, Robby has a shocked look on his face. Tory then attacks Sam, causing Robby to push Tory against a wall and try to stop the fight. However Miguel arrives and, unaware of Robby's true intention, tackles Robby which causes the two to fight and a huge brawl between the Cobra Kai and Miyagi Do students. Robby and Miguel have a long fight. At times Robby has the upper hand and at times Miguel has the upper hand. When Miguel tells Robby that Sam loves him more than Robby, an enraged Robby aggressively attacks Miguel and gains the upper-hand, but this is short-lived as Miguel recovers, and flips Robby over and traps him in an arm lock. Miguel decides to let him go after remembering Johnny's advice to show mercy and even apologizes to him. However, an enraged Robby attacks Miguel and kicks him off a railing, severely injuring him. Robby is shocked at what he just did. When Sam screams "Robby what did you do?", Robby runs off from the scene.
While at the hospital, Daniel expresses shock over what Robby did to Miguel. At the Cobra Kai dojo, Hawk angrily tells Johnny that his lesson to Miguel about showing mercy which Miguel followed by showing mercy to Robby, led to Robby severely injuring Miguel.
Robby is on the run from the police and officially a fugitive, wanted for the part he played in kicking Miguel over a railing at West Valley High School. He has also been expelled from West Valley High. The police make urgent appeals to find the boy, and show a photo of Robby during a news segment that Johnny watches. He and Daniel decide to work together to find Robby, who has stolen a '93 van from the LaRusso Auto Group. Robby knew that the company wouldn't notice the van was missing as it is a trade-in and nothing flashy. He removes the GPS tracker from the van and ditches it far away from where he ultimately resides. He cuts his hair rather short and appears homeless, in an attempt to be unrecognizable by the police and general public.
Robby visits his mother, Shannon, at her Rehab center. She gives him a sandwich and reassures him that things will be okay. Daniel arrives and tries to reason with Robby, explaining that he spoke to a lawyer and his sentence will be much lighter if he turns himself in. Before Daniel can explain, the police arrive and Robby realizes that Daniel turned him in. He tries to run but is apprehended by the officers and ultimately handcuffed. Daniel promises to visit everyday, but Robby coldly tells him not to bother. He is then sentenced to sever time Sylmar Juvenile Corrections Center. Robby has a difficult time adjusting to the lifestyles in juvie, as he is targeted by a fellow detainee Shawn. He attempts to stay out of trouble by reading a book and remembering Daniel's teachings. He also refuses to speak with Daniel or Johnny when they call.
One day, while watching TV and eating lunch, Robby sees Sam on the news hosting a fundraiser for Miguel's surgery. She mentions that she hopes that Robby did not mean to hurt Miguel. However, Shawn approaches him and begins to mock Sam for her remarks, and Robby snaps at him to shut his mouth. Shawn then challenges him to a fight and attacks him, but Robby counter blocks his punches, though he is overwhelmed by Shawn's friends and brutally beaten by the gang. The guards lockdown the detainment center and send a battered Robby to the infirmary. But when he returns, Shawn takes his pillow and shreds his book, taunting him further.
Johnny arranges to see Robby accompanied by reverend Bobby Brown, but is occupied with Miguel's surgery turnout and misses the meeting with Robby. Bobby tells Robby to give it more time but Robby refuses as he knew this would be a waste of time. He takes part in community service to make himself eligible for early release. Johnny attempts to talk things through, and seems to be following through with his attempts for the first time. He oversteps and grabs Robby's arm causing him to push his father away and spill the soup he's attempting to serve. When he returns to juvie, Shawn mocks Robby by saying he has no one and that both his father and girl left him. He also vandalized Robby's bed.
In the days that follow, Robby's old resentments over his perceived betrayals at the hands of those he came to trust and the overall state of his life resurface. He is visited by John Kreese, who talks to him about Johnny and advises him to defend himself in prison. Robby initially tells Kreese to leave him alone, but is intrigued by the man and researches him. He also checks his email and begins to respond to Sam when Shawn unplugs the computer. He challenges Robby again but a security guard interrupts. The next day, Shawn makes a fake friendly gesture to Robby, but Robby, who has reached his limit with the abuse he's receiving in juvie and the mental games from Kreese, retaliates by striking Shawn first. They engage in an intense fight and Robby gains the advantage over Shawn rather quickly, though the fight spreads into the halls. Two guards pull the boys apart, and Robby smiles at Shawn while bloodied. After meeting with the warden, Shawn and Robby both admit to not "snitching", which leaves them with a mutual respect.
After being released from juvenile prison and assigned to probation, Johnny and Daniel attempt to reconnect with him, but Robby cuts ties with both of them. He goes to the nearby probation office to fill out probationary forms, when Tory comes from the office. Robby stands and looks like he is about to attack Tory. Tory warns him not to and if he fights, he will go back to juvie. He calms down and they exchange insults as Tory started the fight and Robby ended it. Tory tells Robby that she and Miguel broke up a few days ago. She warns him about Sam and attempts to explain that Sam will go to Miguel, but Robby defends Sam. He believes Sam is a good person but Tory isn't so sure. Before she leaves, she tells him to write check the "stable" box next to home life.
After leaving the office, Robby goes to see Sam at the Miyagi-Do Dojo and wants to rekindle their relationship. After being warned by Tory that Sam will go back to Miguel, he walks in on Sam and Miguel training together and they are in a compromising position. This angers Robby who believes they are dating behind his back. He harshly insults Sam and accuses her of cheating. He believes that her relationship with Miguel is why she stopped writing, and she counters that he stopped replying. He snaps back that it was hard to write back when he was "getting his face busted in" daily. She is surprised by this, while Miguel tries to explain that it's not her fault. Things escalate quickly between the boys, and Robby attempts to throw a punch at Miguel. Sam blocks Robby and pushes him away, telling him to stop. Thinking she has been dating Miguel before the brawl, Robby ends his relationship with Sam and tells her that they deserve each other, Later in the night, Robby realizes he doesn't have anywhere to go and ends up in the Cobra Kai Dojo.
He sleeps at the dojo and is taken under the wing of John Kreese, though Robby is reluctant to trust the man. Hawk nearly tries to attack him and still has a grudge at him for what he did to Miguel, but Kreese refuses to allow the fight to happen. He is noticed by Tory who sees him packing his bags. Robby explains he doesn't belong here. Tory convinces him to stay and makes him realise that running away isn't going to work. Tory then invites him along to a mission with Kyler, Hawk, and some other Cobra Kai's. The groups breaks into the zoo to steal a cobra for Kreese, but are interrupted by a security guard. The group runs away but Robby stays to steal the snake. Thinking the mission failed, the group retreats but Robby appears with the snake. He befriends the Cobra Kai's. Kyler calls Robby a natural cobra, but Hawk's anger toward Robby remains. Robby begins training with the dojo and stays relatively focused on his karate training.
When Johnny arrives at Cobra Kai after the attack on the LaRusso family home, he sees Robby training with Kreese and is surprised by the alliance. Johnny and Kreese begin fighting as Johnny refuses to re-join the dojo, with Kreese now wanting to kill Johnny. The fight is eventually stopped by Robby, who defends Kreese and attacks Johnny for being responsible for his suffering and trauma throughout his life. Johnny instantly switches to the defense and refuses to fight his son, though Robby is intent on unleashing his pent up anger. He shouts that Johnny is responsible for everything bad that's happened, and lunges. Johnny blocks Robby's attack and accidentally pushes him into the lockers. He hits his head and is unconscious, much to Johnny's dismay. Robby eventually regains consciousness, just as the fight between Johnny, Daniel, and Kreese is over. Robby stands next to Kreese much to the shock of Daniel, Johnny, Miguel, and Sam, who have all gathered outside the dojo. Robby coldly tells them to all leave, before retreating into the battered dojo with Kreese. He begins his training with Kreese to defend Cobra Kai in the tournament to determine which dojo will stay in the valley.
On the first day back of practice, Kreese reprimands Robby for being late, though Robby reminds Kreese that he never said he was going to join Cobra Kai. He has no intention of being a pawn in the fight against Mr. LaRusso or his father. Kreese doesn't view Robby as a pawn but as a King, reminding him that the outcome of a championship will follow him for the rest of his life. He references Daniel and Johnny as examples of the impact winning or losing can have. He also lets Robby stay in the dojo as long as he needs. Robby is has an unexpected confrontation with Tory, who chastizes him for not being present at the LaRusso house fight. She calls him out for still defending Sam and being on the defense - something that won't work in Cobra Kai. A conversation with Sam proves enlightening for Robby, who refuses to give her what she wants for the first time. He has no interest in starting over with his father, or giving Miyagi-Do another chance. In fact, Robby decides to join Cobra Kai by leading the class in warm-ups. While they inititally refuse to work with him, he proves himself by dodging every attack made by the students. He only loses to Tory, who believes he should stay in the dojo. As he leads class, he explains their enemies are working together, which is precisely why he's teaching them Miyagi-Do karate - so they can beat Miyagi-Do karate.
He becomes a mentor of sorts to the young Kenny Payne, whose bullying at school brings him to Robby, per the request of his older brother Shawn. Robby recalls Shawn's alliance in juvie, and takes Kenny under his wing when Cobra Kai makes him a pariah. He teaches the boy to use his speed, not to flinch away from a fight but run towards it, a lesson that helps Kenny join the dojo.
Robby is a troubled teen with abandonment issues and no real source of authority. This leads him to rebel against rules and laws. He befriends a group of teenagers and together, they commit petty crimes. Robby often uses his good looks, charm, and cleverness to his advantage. He is also intellectual in both acadameia and street-smart, an attribute that he combines to survive his difficult home life. He has a sharp wit, sarcastic nature, and blunt attiude. His tough exterior results from parental neglect and guidance. He hates Jonny for abandoning him and Shannon, holding a deep resentment for him. This deepens when he sees Johnny with Miguel, a teen around Robby's age. Robby believes that Johnny cares more for Miguel then his own son. He hatches an elaborate plan of revenge by befriending Johnny's arch rival, Daniel LaRusso.
Daniel's teachings, coupled with the influence of Daniel's daughter Samantha, slowly begin to change Robby for the better. However, he is reluctant to trust the LaRussos, a symptom of his abandonment issues and lack of parental figures. He learns to channel his anger, find balance within, and an understanding of not only his enemy, but himself. Underneath it all, Robby has a kind nature and cares deeply for Sam, letting his guard down for once for their relationship. Robby struggles to let go of both his resentment towards Miguel, leading to jealousy over Miguel's former relationship with Sam, and his general feeling of anger.
As Robby befriends the Miyagi-Do students, he shows an unwavering loyalty to them, ready to defend them when possible. His loyalty stretches to Daniel, who Robby holds in high regard both as a man and as a sensei. His unresolved anger blinds him to not show Miguel the same mercy he's offered during the school brawl. He accidentally kicks Miguel off a railing, resulting in Miguel breaking his back and being comatose. After Robby realizes the depth of his actions, he attempts to hide from the repercussions. He feels scared, lost, and guilt-ridden. He reaches out to his rehabilitated mother, who in turn, contacts Daniel in the hopes he can help Robby. When Robby realizes that Daniel turned him into the police, he feels deep betrayal. In his anger and bitterness, he doesn't see that Daniel's action secured Robby a shorter sentence and lienent officers.
During his time in juvie, Robby becomes bitter over his arrest, angry at Sam for not contacting him, and ultimately feeling betrayed by her actions on television. The longer he's inside the more his anger at Johnny for consistently choosing Miguel escalates, especially when Johnny doesn't show for their scheduled visitation. Robby takes John Kreese's advice of using Cobra Kai instead of Miyagi-Do to handle another inmate, ultimately brawling with the boy and becoming his ally after refusing to "snitch" on the fight. His time in juvie hardens him and gives him a harsher view of the world. After his release, he sees Miguel and Sam training in a flirtatious manner and feels betrayed yet again. Kreese offer Robby an outlet for his rage in Cobra Kai, an alliance that brings Robby to fight Johnny in defense of Kreese.
Under Daniel's training, Robby develops into a smart and well-rounded fighter. When he is able to maintain focus, his style revolves around a solid defense and counter-striking, which is evinced in the semifinals and finals of the All Valley Tournament. However, when his emotions get the better of him, he can become blindly aggressive. His techniques mix solid basics with the occasional high risk spinning or aerial move. According to Daniel, Robby is naturally talented and this seems justified as he is able to execute Mr. Miyagi's double-leg handstand kick after only hearing a description of it. Furthermore, despite an injured shoulder, he is able to put up a tough fight in his final match against Miguel.
In season 2 Robby improves his fighting style and skills with Daniel's training. By becoming a better and more skilled fighter he is able to fend off several Cobra Kai students and put up a fight against Miguel during a school brawl. However, his emotions still gets the better of him at times, resulting him fighting more aggressively and blindly, which is evidenced during the school brawl where he aggressively attacks Miguel when the latter say that Sam loves him over Robby, and after Miguel lets Robby go. However, the latter attack results in him kicking Miguel off the railing, severely injuring him and rendering him unconscious as a result.
Despite being a highly skilled fighter, he doesn't have it easy when fighting opponents who are just as strong and skilled as him. Sam is able to counter him while they practice during training, although they later appear to be evenly matched. After putting up a good fight against Miguel in the school brawl, the latter manages to eventually flip him and put his arm on lock. When Miguel lets go and apologizes however, Robby beats Miguel by attacking him, similar to how Miguel pulled Robby's shoulder when he tried to help him up at the tournament.
Despite his injured shoulder putting him at a disadvantage and causing him to lose to Miguel in the All Valley Tournament at the end of season 1, he came close to beating him, showing that Robby was the better and more skilled fighter. In season 2, despite beating Miguel by kicking him off the railing, he could only do so when Miguel, who had pinned him to the ground, showed mercy by letting him go, showing that Robby was the inferior and less skilled fighter at that time.
While in juvie in season 3, Robby still maintains his skills, which he is able to use to fight and gain the respect of his bully Shawn. Later on when he fights Johnny (much after he is released from juvie), he goes against what he learned at Miyagi Do by fighting with hate. However, the more skilled and experienced Johnny counters his strikes, before accidentally pushing him into lockers. Robby doesn't seem to have gained more skills in season 3 due to him being in juvie for most of the season, and joining Cobra Kai just near end of the Season.
- "Johnny: You had a good thing going with LaRusso. I got in the way. Don't blame yourself. Blame me.
Robby: I'm sick of blaming you, Dad."
- ―Robby and Johnny[src]
Johnny is Robby's father, whom he had a strained relationship with for a long time. Throughout Robby's childhood, Johnny neglected him, which eventually caused Robby to dislike and resent him. In season 1, he disrespects Johnny and enjoys seeing him in pain. Even when Johnny gives him advice, he treats him poorly. While he expresses desire to make amends after learning from his mother Shannon that Johnny wanted to start a closer relationship with him, Robby visits the Cobra Kai dojo to talk to his father, but after seeing him hug Miguel, he goes back to disliking him, as he feels he loved his student more than him. However, he does accept Johnny's apology following his loss to Daniel in the All Valley tournament.
When they see each other at a store, Robby tells him that he still has a hard time forgiving him, even though he forgave him at the tournament. However, after Sam gets drunk at a party, Robby brings Sam to Johnny's house. The following morning after Daniel takes Sam back and angrily tells Robby he has lost his trust, Johnny takes Robby to school, which Robby appreciates, leading them to reconcile.
Johnny arranges a visitation time with childhood friend Bobby to accompany him due to his probation but misses the date due to him being preoccupied with Miguel in the hospital. Bobby encourages him to give it time and Bobby offers to talk to Robby instead, but Robby leaves and resents his father even more. Johnny tries to see Robby at the Community center where the SJDC are doing CS and Johnny gets through to Keene. However, Johnny accidentally reminds him about putting Miguel Diaz in the hospital. He then apologizes, but Robby doesn't accept it and cut ties with Johnny. After Robby is released from juvie, his resentment towards Johnny and Daniel is still present, which upsets Johnny.
After later learning that Robby is now apart of Cobra Kai, he attacks Kreese, but is stopped by Robby who attacks him for ruining his life. Johnny tries to reason with Robby, but Robby refuses. When Robby attacks, Johnny counters his strikes, before accidently knocking him into lockers. Horrified at what he's done, Johnny apologizes and tries to get him up, but to no avail. Robby eventually wakes up and coldy tells Johnny Daniel, Miguel and Sam to get out, upsetting Johnny as a result.
Shannon is Robby's mother. Robby cares for her, most likely because she spent his childhood raising him, unlike Johnny. However, their relationship is a little strained in season 1 due to Shannon spending more time picking up guys than spending time with him, making him upset. Early in season 2, she leaves Robby and travels with a man to Mexico, which causes Robby to stay with the LaRusso family. When she returns later in the season however, she admits she shouldn't have left, says she is going to rehab, and encourages him to have a relationship with Johnny.
In Season 3, Robby sees his mother in rehab as she is the only person he could reach out to and not turn him to the Police and she has changed a lot. Robby opens up to her about what he done to Miguel Diaz at the brawl over 3 weeks ago and Robby feels like he should leave town and far away from everyone. However, Shannon is warming to him and gets him to eat a spinach tuna sandwich with a cup of water, as she notices that he hasn't eaten properly due to being homeless and having such little money and eating little food while on the run for 2 weeks and a half, which shows that Shannon cares about her son. Shannon witnesses her son is getting arrested making her shocked and upset, she accompanies him to cops car and says it's going to be okay in there and says goodbye to Robby. After Robby is released from juvie, she sends Daniel to collect him because she is rehab so she can't collect him and got evicted from their house. She asks Daniel to live with him, but Robby refuses due to he thinks Daniel betrayed him.
Daniel was Robby's friend and father figure. Robby begins working at Daniel's dealership halfway into season 1, in order to get revenge on his father Johnny for spending more time with Miguel then him. However, Robby thrives in his job and gets along with Daniel. After seeing Daniel practice karate, Robby gets interested, and Daniel starts training him. With Robby training with Daniel, he begins to bond him with him. However, after learning that he is Johnny's son, Robby is banned from Daniel's house and dealership. Despite his anger, he roots for Robby in the All Valley Tournament, most likely because of his anger towards Johnny. After Robby is injured by Hawk in the semifinals, he forgives Robby, and becomes his coach for the finals. Despite Robby losing the finals to Miguel, Daniel is proud of him for fighting honorably. Robby then becomes Daniel's first student at Miyagi Do Karate.
Robby has more interactions with Daniel in season 2, because of Miyagi Do, and Robby coming to live at his house following Shannon taking off with some guy early in the season. The two continue to bond. However, when Daniel finds Robby and Sam at Johnny's house the morning after Sam got drunk in a party, an angry Daniel rebukes Robby and says he lost his trust. Daniel then leaves, making Robby upset. Robby however still respects Daniel, as he tells Johnny that staying with the LaRusso's was good for him, and he (Johnny) could learn some things from him.
In Season 3, their father-to-son surrogating figure becomes strained when Shannon calls Daniel to talk to Robby, and Daniel tells Robby that he turned him to the Police to get a shorter sentence of a few weeks at Juvie. Robby thinks Daniel betrayed him. After Robby is handcuffed and taken away by the police, Robby orders Daniel to not visit him in Juvie as he thinks Daniel betrayed him. The next day after being questioned and placed in juvie, the officer calls him to a phone call and Daniel calls him from the dealership with Amanda by his side and tries to talk to Robby, but Robby hangs up on him which makes Daniel upset. When Robby is released from juvie, Daniel and Johnny tell him that he always has a home with either of them, but Robby tells Daniel and Johnny to leave him alone and walks away. After Daniel defeats Kreese at Cobra Kai, Robby coldly tells Daniel, Johnny, Miguel and Sam to leave.
Samantha is Robby's ex-girlfriend. They first meet each other at the LaRusso's house when Robby was being trained in karate by Daniel, though she had a boyfriend at the time in Miguel Diaz. Despite being virtually strangers, Robby pityed Sam when she's grounded and unable to attend her friends party. He faked a sprained ankle so they could attend the party. When Miguel saw them together, he became jealous and picked a fight that ultimately ended his relationship with Sam. When Daniel learned that Robby lived alone, he invited the teen to stay with the family. Robby and Sam were paired together inside Miyagi-Do, which allowed them to gradually grow closer. They worked seamlessly together in karate, being the perfect partners for one another. They acted as extensions of one another in a fight. The pair progressed into a romantic relationship, but hid the truth from her parents as to avoid Robby being kicked out of the house. While he repsected the decision, he always wanted to tell Daniel the truth, though he respected Sam's boundaries and choices.
They went on dates, one in particular being to the rollar skating rink, with Robby acting defensively when the manager reprimanded Sam for her fight with Tory. As their relationship progressed, Sam became intoxicated at Moon's party, and to protect her, Robby took her to his father's apartment where she could sleep off her stuper. Robby took the blame for Sam's drunken nature, which made Daniel lash out at him. The next afternoon, Tory began the school fight, in which Robby learned Sam kissed Miguel at the party. He still tried to protect her from Tory's onslaught of attacks. though he later paired-off with Miguel. He kicked Miguel, albeit accidentally, over a balcony. The fall hospitalized Miguel and broke his back. Robby was eventually arrested for his role in the fight, with Sam heartbroken over the outcome. She wrote him each day but he stopped responding, as he was assaulted daily by the other inmates. She didn't know of his pain and suffering, but did see Miguel struggle. She helped him raise funds for a surgery, which was broadcast on television. Robby watched the newscast and believed she had continued to date Miguel.
After being released from juvie, Robby went to see Sam in the hopes of reconciling, but caught her and Miguel sparing together in a compromising position. He accused her of cheating and the trio got into a fight, but it ended when Sam physically defended Miguel from Robby. Robby angrily believed Sam cheated on him the whole time, snapped they deserved each other, and admitted their relationship was a mistake.
Despite the fact that they barely know one other, Miguel is Robby's main rival and enemy. They have disliked each other since they unknowingly saw each other respectively. They first met at Cobra Kai's party in season 1. Miguel sees Robby and Samantha holding hands when Sam couldn't go down the hill. This causes Miguel to get furious at both of them. Miguel asks Sam, "who's this guy?" Sam doesn't seem impressed on how Miguel is talking to Robby. She asks Miguel, "have you been drinking?" Miguel seemed to be not focused on her question. Robby then politely asks Miguel to calm down. Miguel doesn't seem to get the hint and pushes Robby to the ground, Miguel then tries to hit Robby back again, but it accidentally lands on Sam. The next scene they're shown together is in the All-Valley Tournament. They're both seen together on the stage on the final match between Miguel and Robby. Miguel illegally yanks Robby's already injured arm in a dispute of anger. This causes Robby to get further injured. Miguel then wins the fight.
Miguel takes the stolen medal of honor from Hawk. He knocks on the LaRusso's door to see Robby. Robby doesn't seem to happy to see Miguel at the door, due to their history. All Miguel wants is to return the medal of honor. Miguel gently gives it to Robby, fearing that he might lose Sam over to him, Robby place is it at the back yard, that is later found by Demetri the following morning. They're next seen at an ice skating place, along with there girlfriends (Tory and Sam). Miguel greets them nicely. At the last episode in the school brawl, Miguel attacks Robby, believing that Robby is attacking Tory, while Robby was really trying to stop the two girls from fighting and wanted he, Miguel and the two girls to figure it out. Robby tells Miguel "you can't cheat your way out of this one" he is referring to the tournament, Miguel later headbutts him and teases Robby by saying he learned this from Johnny (his dad). While they're both upstairs and resuming there fight, Robby makes a kick and tells Miguel, "That's for taking advantage of Sam", referring to Miguel kissing Sam at Moon's Party last night. While Robby is going on a rant about protecting, his girlfriend, Sam, Miguel says to Robby, "she doesn't love you, she loves me." Robby is furious at this comment and gets the upper hand, but Miguel eventually pins him down. While Miguel is about to break his arm again, he remembers of Johnny telling him to sometimes show mercy. Miguel remembered this because he knew that Robby is Johnny's father and that Johnny would never forgive him if he broke Robby's arm. Miguel tells him that he's "sorry" (for kissing Sam). An reversal of last year's tournament, Robby doesn't take this and attacks Miguel. They both don't realise that their too close to the railing which is a result of Robby, accidentally kicking him off the second floor balcony and making Miguel to break his spine (paralyzing him) and making him unconscious from the fall itself. Like most people Robby is horrified of what happened to Miguel and went on the run for 2 weeks and then eventually, it lands him in Sylmar Juvenile Corrections (SJDC).
In Season 3, the two rivals don't see each other until Episode 8 of Season 3 where he catches Miguel sparring with Sam in a compromising position. Robby accuses the two of them for cheating behind his back. Miguel defends am, causing Robby to angrily tell him to stay out of it, When Miguel refuses, Robby attempts to punch Miguel until Sam blocks his punches and pushes him away. This is when he tells Miguel and Sam that they deserve each other and admits their relationship was a mistake, and Keene ends things with Samantha. This also disturbingly show Robby doesn't feel remorse for putting Miguel in the hospital.
John Kreese is Robby's new sensei, though to Kreese he is clearly a weapon and tool, not a student. when Kreese visits Robby in juvie during season 3, he ends up convincing Robby to act more aggressively, which he does against his bully Shawn. Preying on the already crestfallen and distraught Robby's anguish and confusion, Kreese poison's his mind to further turn him against Johnny and Daniel and to join Cobra Kai, which Robby does after being released from juvie later in the season. When Johnny is beating up Kreese, Robby defends him and attacks Johnny, only for Johnny to accidently knock him into lockers. Robby gets up and stands next to Kreese and tells Miguel, Sam, Daniel and Johnny to get out of here. He then walks back in the dojo with Kreese, as Robby lives in the dojo due to having no home and Shannon being in rehab still.
Robby and Tory have a complicated relationship, having gone from enemies to lovers. Tory initially dates Miguel Diaz, the ex-boyfriend of Robby's girlfriend Samantha LaRusso. The tension between the two couples is apparent for this reason, with Robby disliking Tory for her bullying of Sam. He actively tries to protect Sam from Tory. After the school fight, Robby does a brief stint in juvie. Following his release, he collides with Tory in the probation office. He is initially aggressive towards her, as she started the fight that led him to be in juvie. She reminds him that he ended it. She believes they are in the same position, alone, and that Sam will turn on Robby. The teen begins to stay at Cobra Kai dojo at the insistence of Kreese, a choice that Tory supports. She tries to help him form connections and friendships in the dojo, even inviting him along to a zoo heist. Things become complicated after the LaRusso house fight, as Robby isn't present when the rest of the Cobra Kai's ambush the Miyagi-Do's and Eagle Fang's. Tory views this as a betrayal, no longer believing he's one of them.
Robby earns back her respect and trust by honoring a deal to leave the dojo if any of the students can land a hit on him; Tory is the only one to do so. She allows him to stay, and their tension grows throughout training. They are often impressed by one another's fighting skills, and are both gifted fighters. They work harmoniously together, defeating even Miguel and Sam who were fought together. Tory and Robby attend the West Valley High junior prom together, with Robby serving as her plus one. While their plan is initially to get under the skins of their exes for the sake of playing a mind game, they share a passionate and fun dance that ultimately brings them closer together. Their mutually difficult pasts and troubled natures gives them a bond unlike their former relationships, as neither has to hide the darker truths of their lives. They understand one another's troubles including financial stress, but are capable of having fun together despite their stresses. After the events of junior promo, Robby and Tory kiss for the first time and have sex.
- "Robby: No matter what happens, the fact you made it this far at your age is a huge deal. Your brother's going to be impressed.
Kenny: I owe it all to you. You changed my whole life."
- ―Kenny and Robby[src]
Robby first met Kenny when the latter entered Cobra Kai Dojo looking for him at Shawn's behest. as Kenny needs Robby's help against the bullies targeting him. Robby sees an opportunity to take the boy under his wing, become the mentor that he never had growing up. He teaches Kenny to use his speed as a weapon, defend himself from attackers, and ultimately, help him earn a spot in Cobra Kai. Robby continues to look out for the boy, assuring him that the other student will come around after the hazing. He becomes protective over Kenny, with Kenny seeing Robby as a protector and someone to be trusted. Robby retaliates against Hawk for picking on Kenny at school by shaving Hawk's signature hairstyle. During a training exercise to find and target weaknesses, Silver specifically chooses Kenny to fight Robby. He knows Robby cares for the boy and won't be capable of hurting him. Silver's assumption is correct, ultimately leading Kenny to manipulate the kindness by faking an injury and winning the exercise. As Robby becomes distracted in his personal life, Kenny slips deeper into the mentality of Cobra Kai and the teachings of John Kreese. During the All Valley Karate Tournament, Robby sees Kenny cheering for him to hurt Demetri. While Robby ultimately does defeat Kenny in the All Valley, he does it knowing it's the only way to advance to the next stage. He later has to pull Kenny off Anthony LaRusso, chastising him as this wasn't how he taught Kenny. Kenny rejects his teachings, citing the Cobra Kai mantra, before threatening Anthony. Later, Robby emotionally admits to Johnny how he wanted to be there for Kenny, but watching the boy at the tournament was like looking into a mirror. He feels he's messed everything up.
- Demetri (Friend/Former Ally)
- Trey and Cruz (Former Friends/Enemies)
- Terry Silver (Sensei/Allies)
- Anthony LaRusso (Former Friend)
- Shawn Payne (Friends/Allies)
- Robby is the only teenaged main character to not appeared in the pilot episode, Ace Degenerate. He debuted in the second episode, Strike First.
- Robby's middle name is Swayze, after the late actor, Patrick Swayze. Shannon was a big fan of the actors before his death.
- Patrick Swayze shared the screen with Ralph Macchio in the 1983 film, The Outsiders, known for propelling both their careers. Robby's middle name is a nod to the off-screen friendship between Macchio and Swayze.
- Hawk attacking Robby after the completion of a point during the semifinals of the 2018 All Valley Tournament mirrors Bobby Brown illegally kicking Daniel's leg in the semifinals of the 1984 All Valley Tournament.
- Additionally, in the same tournament, Miguel targeting Robby's injury in the finals mirrors Johnny's actions against Daniel in 1984.
- Robby is the only student to fight unaffiliated in the All-Valley Tournament.