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"Everybody's got a sob story. Doesn't give you the right to be a bully."
―Samantha LaRusso to Miguel Diaz on Tory Nichols[src]

Samantha "Sam" LaRusso is one of the main characters of Cobra Kai. She is the daughter of karate champion Daniel LaRusso and Amanda LaRusso.

She becomes the second student in the newly reopened Miyagi-Do Karate, and goes on to be of the best students. However, following the West Valley High School karate war and her fight with Tory Nichols, Sam struggles with PTSD and is left conflicted over martial arts. She is able to overcome her fear and rebuild her confidence. After gaining experience in Eagle Fang Karate from Johnny Lawrence, she manages to balance the two styles, making her an even better fighter. Her skills and association with Daniel and Miyagi-Do earn her the karate alias, Bonsai Badass.

Biography

Samantha trains with her father at a young age

Samantha is the daughter of Daniel and Amanda LaRusso and the older sister of Anthony. At the age of 8, Sam was taught karate by her father, and was close to Mr. Miyagi. He described their relationship as the first time he felt like a Grandfather. As Sam got older, she lost interest in karate and quit. However, she retained her knowledge and skill.

Cobra Kai

Season 1

In her teenage years, she hangs out with the other rich, popular girls at her high school. One such friend was the queen bee of her class; Yasmine, who had been chatting on the phone when her SUV collided with a Pontiac Firebird owned by Johnny Lawrence. A furious Johnny banged on the window of the SUV, demanding Yasmine furnish her driver's license and name of her insurance agency to him. Samantha, who was in the backseat, did not know how to react, and saw Johnny as a potential crook. Yasmine, who did not know protocol for handling a car accident, drove off. When Johnny's car was towed to LaRusso Auto Group, he recognized Daniel's daughter as one of the girls he shouted at.

Samantha resumes her training

Her relationship with her father is strained by his meddling in her potential romance with a fellow student named Kyler, but they reconcile after Samantha sees Kyler bully Miguel's friend group and subsequently ends their relationship. When Kyler begins spreading lies about her, Samantha is briefly friendless. Miguel eventually defends her and defeats Kyler's clique in a lunch room fight, after which he and Samantha begin dating. Samantha really likes Miguel but hides their relationship from her parents because her father disapproves of Cobra Kai. A series of assumptions and misunderstandings lead Miguel to believe that Samantha is ashamed of him and involved with Robby Keene. Between that and Robby's resentment over his father's Johnny Lawrence karate tutelage of Miguel, antagonism sparks between the two boys when they meet at a beach party. Samantha is upset with Miguel's behavior and breaks up with him. After a second confrontation with Miguel at the All-Valley Tournament, Samantha returns home and resumes her own karate training.

Season 2

Sam, upset over her breakup with Miguel blocks him on social media. At first she decides not to join Daniel's Miyagi-Do Karate training because she does not want to fight her Cobra Kai friends, but soon changes her mind.

Sam as part of the new Miyagi-Do Karate

She tries to patch things up with Aisha but the latter is upset with her when Daniel insults Cobra Kai in his commercial. She develops a dislike to new Cobra Kai student Tory. When her mom's wallet is missing during a pool party she immediately accuses Tory who angrily denies having it. She then grabs Tory's hand but Tory knocks her down. This incident starts their rivalry.

After struggling to get more students at Miyagi-Do for several days Sam's Daniel's and Robby's luck changes when Cobra Kai's ruthless teaching cause several students to join Miyagi-Do. Overtime she and Robby develop feelings for each other. While Robby at first thinks it is a bad idea for them to date, he soon eventually changes his mind and the two start dating but don't tell Daniel.

When Sam and Robby go to a skating party together they run into Miguel and Tory who are a couple. While she and Miguel wait in line to get more skates Sam asks him why he is dating Tory which offends him and the two have a brief argument. When Tory intentionally knocks her down, Sam, fed up with her behavior, knocks her down, but this angers Miguel and causes both she and Robby to get kicked out despite Miguel and the security guard being unaware that Tory started it.

Sam and Miyagi-Do at Moon's house party

When Sam and Robby go to Moon's house for a party she gets revenge on Tory by beating her in a drinking contest, but she gets too drunk which makes her woozy. After finding out from Aisha that Miguel returned Miyagi's medal of honor which Hawk stole a while ago she goes outside to get some fresh air. When Miguel checks up on her she thanks him for returning the badge and the two share a kiss but immediately regret it. However, they are unaware that Tory saw them kiss.

After the cops arrive everyone leaves the party and Sam tells Robby not to take her home because she does not want her parents to see her drunk. So, Robby takes her to Johnny's house and the two spend the night there. The following morning however Daniel arrives at Johnny's door, and both he and Johnny have a brief fight until Sam and Robby stop them Daniel then angrily takes her home.

Sam fights Tory at school

While Sam is in class on the first day of school she is threatened by Tory over the intercom for kissing Miguel. When she and Tory meet in the hallway Tory exposes Sam for kissing Miguel, which makes everyone to be shocked and also includes her own boyfriend Robby, and the rest of Cobra Kai's and Miyagi-Do's. Then, Tory viciously attacks her and Robby attempts to stop the fight, but Miguel, unaware of Robby's intention, attacks Robby. Sam and Tory resume the fight and a huge brawl between Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai soon breaks out. Sam tries to get Tory to stop fighting but the latter won't listen. Despite struggling for a while, Sam is eventually able to get the upper hand. However, Tory then attacks Sam with her spiked bracelet and manages to injure Sam's wrist with it. Tory is about to stab her with the bracelet but Sam blocks the spike, kicks Tory off her and then kicks her down the stairs, defeating her. However, after Robby kicks Miguel off the railing, Miguel is badly injured, Sam screams "Robby what did you do?"

Sam is rushed to the hospital. When Daniel and her mom Amanda LaRusso visit her in the hospital, they are appalled at Sam's condition and vow to get Tory expelled from school. Sam starts crying and blaming herself for what happened, saying she is not concerned about that; all she wants is for Miguel to get better. When Daniel returns to the hospital and notices Sam isn't in the room, Amanda tells him the doctor prescribed X-rays for her, believing her injuries more serious than originally thought; possibly a broken rib.

Season 3

Sam is comforted by her father after the school brawl

Sam is left traumatized by the events of the school fight. Her arm now dons three scars from the impact of Tory Nichols' brass knuckles. Sam's consequence for fighting is a two-week suspension from school. Her parents attempt to protest the suspension but fail to change the principal's mind. She struggles to regain a sense of normalcy after the event but is determined to help Miguel with his surgery. In the meantime, she writes emails to Robby who is serving time in a juvenile detention center for his role in Miguel's accident. As she waits for his replies, Sam organizes a car washing fundraiser in the hopes of contributing to Diaz's medical fund. When the students from Cobra Kai Dojo attack Nathaniel and steal the fundraising money to donate in the name of Cobra Kai, Sam steps up to train the Miyagi-Do Karate students properly and becomes their leader while Daniel is away at Okinawa, Japan to save the dealership which is at hands of collapsing by Tom Cole. Her escapades are cut short by her mother, who is upset over Sam's returns to karate. Sam brushes her mother's concerns off, claiming that she doesn't know what is going on with the rivaling dojos.

Sam has a panic attack

Things gradually worsen between the dojos as the Cobra Kai's seek revenge for Miguel's accident. Sam refuses to be bullied and decides to show the Cobra Kai students they aren't doormats. The Miyagi-Do students take a stand during what escalates into an intense soccer game. To retaliate, the Cobra Kai students head to Golf N' Stuff Arcade and attack Chris at work, leading the Miyagi-Do students to help their friend and confront Cobra Kai. The confrontation leads to a fight in the laser tag section of the arcade. When Tory Nichols arrives and calls Sam's name, she suffers a panic attack during the fight as her body shuts down and stops her from defending Chris, who gets beaten up by Doug and Mitch or the rest of the Miyagi-Do students. She is forced to witness Hawk break Demetri's arm while Tory taunts Sam to show herself before vowing its not over. Sam blames herself for Demetri having his arm broken and breaks down in her mother's arms at the hospital while waiting with the Miyagi-Do's for Demetri's arm checks.

Sam decides to continue her training

Left with more trauma, Sam decides to quit karate for good and distances herself from everyone. Upon returning from Okinawa, Daniel learns the severity of Sam's trauma. He reconnects with her over a father-daughter fishing trip, though she isn't keen on the idea. She makes it known that she doesn't want to learn karate anymore and just wants her friends to be safe. The trip helps her remember why she loves karate, and Daniel reminds her that only she can help herself when she's down and no one else. He sympathizes with her and assures her that he wants what is best for her. She decides to continue her training and learns how to fight with a bo staff.

When Miguel returns to school now fully recovered, Sam reconnects with him as he slowly realizes how bad things became after his accident. He refuses to train under Kreese or be friends with Cobra Kai students after everything they did to Sam and the others. She and Miguel deliver a speech together to save the All Valley Karate Tournament when the council deems it "harmful to the community." They convince the city council to hold the tournament, which brings Miguel and Sam closer. They share a moment in the Miyagi-Do dojo that is unfortunately witnessed by a now released Robby. He believes Sam and Miguel were dating the entire time he was in juvie. He also thinks they were having an affair before Miguel's accident. Robby attempts to fight with Miguel until Sam pushes him away. The pair end their relationship, and Robby leaves. In the days that follow, she and Miguel share a kiss and playful banter. They work together to unite the students from Eagle Fang Karate and Miyagi-Do Karate. Over the week of Christmas, they convince the two dojos to work together by "parent trapping" them at the LaRusso family home, explaining that Cobra Kai is the real enemy. Their efforts at peace are derailed by a surprise attack from the Cobra Kai dojo.

Sam and Miguel during the LaRusso house fight

The brawl leads to a battle between Tory and Sam, in which Sam initially attempts to run away from as she still hasn't recovered emotionally from their last encounters. As Tory pummels Sam and begins to attack her with nunchaku, Sam remembers what her father said - only she can help herself when she's down. She regains her strength and is able to disarm Tory with her bo staff, until they are interrupted by a bloodied Miguel, Hawk, who has now joined the side of Eagle Fang Karate, and Demetri. Hawk warns Tory that the fight is over. She eerily tells Sam that the war between them will never end. Daniel learns of the attack and confronts Kreese, and the three rivaling sensei's - Daniel, Johnny, and Kreese, agree to a tournament to determine if Kreese will leave the valley or if Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang will. Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do merge for the sake of training, bringing Daniel and Johnny together as joint senseis. Sam stands by Miguel as they resume their training, preparing for the the tournament against Cobra Kai Dojo.

Season 4

Sam and the students after the merging of the dojos

With her father's alliance with Johnny slowly unraveling, and the dojos ability to function along with it, Sam works up a plan with Miguel to help bring the dojos together. While he works with Johnny, she hopes she can convince Robby to return, unbeknownst to Miguel. Robby, however, has no interest in giving Johnny or Daniel a second chance. She admits she didn't stop caring about him, but he knows she didn't stop caring about Miguel either. Robby points out that she made her choice, and has to live with that. She just wants him to come back as it would help unite everyone. He is pleased to be the first person to tell her she isn't getting what she wants. She accepts his choice, but reminds him that he made it, not her.

While she is training with Johnny, they argue over jumping from building to building and tells him that Daniel wouldn't allow her to jump buildings. They talk about their previous encounters including the hit-and-run incident and Daniel rescuing her by breaking Johnny's door. She then rebuttals and explains to him about his current lifestyle but Johnny explains that if he listens to his parents, he'd have a decent job. Johnny then fails Miyagi-Do for not jumping but after her father texts him not to do things he wouldn't do, Sam then takes the risk and finally jumps to the next building, impressing Johnny and her classmates.

Sam and her mother see Tory working at the party place

Sam and her mother are at a party place for one of their worker's kids. Unbeknownst to her, Tory also works at the party place. She enjoys the performance but Tory is upset that she was watching. When Tory was telling a story to the kids, Sam interrupts the story by comparing it to their recent experiences, in order to aggravate Tory. Now fed up, she tells the kids to throw glitter at Sam. When Miguel arrives, Sam intentionally kisses him in front of Tory to get back at her, which aggravates the latter who storms out.

During school, she and Miguel tell Hawk and Demetri that both Daniel and Johnny are having a rematch at Miyagi-Do. When she gets home, she and her father argue about Johnny's teachings. She explains to Daniel that she wants to learn Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang in order to stand a chance in the tournament. Sam and Miguel referee Daniel and Johnny's fight. When both senseis fall, they are unaware who won the fight but it turned out that the merge didn't work and Johnny leaves.

After her recent experiences, Sam visits her old friend Aisha and talks to her about what's been going on. Aisha reveals that they moved to Santa Barbara not only because of the school fight, but her father had a job offer at UCSB. Sam then explains that Tory is going back to school and she has to get used to it. Aisha tells her that Sam will still be her original friend and brought back Johnny's teachings. She ends saying that Sam needs to confront her problems. During a class session, Eli decides to join Miyagi-Do while Sam trains alone. When Daniel sees her, Sam and her father reconcile telling her how proud he is and tells her it's never easy being the bigger person.

Sam and Miguel after the prom night fight

Sam is getting ready for the high school prom and Miguel compliments her and tell each other that they put karate aside to enjoy the night. The Diaz's and LaRusso's take pictures with one another to cherish their moment. She and Miguel share a dance but get distracted with Robby and Tory dancing. During Stingray's afterparty, Sam insults Tory but when Tory retaliates, Sam attacks her and tackles her to the ground. Miguel tries to stop her but then tackles Tory when the latter tries to attack Sam. Robby arrives and attacks Miguel, believing he is attacking Tory. Tory then kicks Sam to the ground. Sam and Miguel then fight Tory and Robby, but Sam, Tory and Miguel are pushed into the pool by Robby.

Sam bows to her two senseis during the tournament

On the day of the All-Valley Tournament, Sam is showing her skills using sai during the skills demonstration. During the one-on-one matches begin, she faces Cobra Kai rookie Piper in the Quarterfinals. Despite Piper getting the first point, Sam goes back on offense and wins the match. She wins her next matches, setting up the final match between her and Tory. Miguel congratulates her for reaching the final round and before she goes back to the arena, she and Miguel reconcile. During the final round, she incorporates Miyagi-Do teachings and Eagle Fang's teachings. At one point during the fight, Sam hits Tory who then stumbles out of bounds, but the referee does not give Sam point and incorrectly states that Tory was already out of bounds. When tied 2-2, Tory hits Sam in the eye, but does not even get a penalty. Unfortunately, Tory beats her and wins the girls division, also leading Cobra Kai to becoming grand champion but after Tory is declared the third point, she asks if Sam is physically okay. While Cobra Kai celebrates their victory, Sam then goes back to Daniel, telling him that they still didn't win despite doing the right thing. But Daniel gives Sam advice that it wasn't her fault. The LaRusso's then come home disappointed for their loss. Unbeknownst to Sam, Kreese's friend and one of the original owners of Cobra Kai, Terry Silver, who is co-teaching with Kreese at Cobra Kai, had apparently paid the referee to help Tory and Cobra Kai win, ultimately implying that the referee was intentionally biased towards Tory during the finals, as well as that Sam would have been the winner had he been fair.

Personality

"Maybe my right way is different than your. Don't I get a choice?"
―Samantha LaRusso to Daniel LaRusso[src]

Sam is a nice, polite and smart person. Despite hanging out with the popular crowd who are mean and nasty, Sam does not behave like them, showing she has her morals, and is able to maintain her true self. However joining the popular crowd does end their friendship with Aisha Robinson, though they are at the very least on speaking terms. After noticing her boyfriend Kyler bullying Miguel, Demetri and Eli she dumps Kyler, showing she is against bullying. After dumping Kyler, he ruins her reputation with her friends by making up lies about her, which causes her to lose her friends. Fortunately she develops a relationship with Miguel and even becomes friendly with Robby. She forms a friendship with Robby. Unfortunately a misunderstanding makes Miguel angry and accidentally hit Sam, causing her to dump him because she was holding Robby's hand. At the All Valley Tournament she seemingly makes up with Aisha after apologizing to her. She ultimately leaves the tournament after Miguel angrily tells her that he will hurt Robby, showing that she cares for Robby and fears Miguel then she knows that she made a mistake for starting the extended rivalry between.

At first she is heartbroken over her relationship with Miguel ending. However, after joining Miyagi-Do Karate where she spends time training and hanging out with Robby whom she develops feelings for, she seems to forget about Miguel. She tries to fix her friendship with Aisha, but the latter, who is angry at Daniel for insulting Cobra Kai in order to promote Miyagi-Do, takes her anger out on her, as well as has already befriended a new Cobra Kai student Tory. Believing that Tory has stolen her mom's wallet, she accuses her, but the latter denies without proofs. The two then get into a brief scuffle. Following this the two are rivals, though it's mostly on Tory's part as she frequently bullies and insults Sam. She and Robby eventually become a couple. However, she still has feelings for Miguel, and on the night before the first day of school a drunken Sam and Miguel share a kiss. Despite Miguel regretting the kiss as they are both in relationships, Tory, who is dating Miguel sees them kiss, but they are unaware that she caught them. It is the kiss that leads to the school brawl the following day.

After Miguel is rendered unconscious during the school brawl as a result of Robby kicking him off the railing Sam screams "Robby what did you do"? At the hospital Sam tearfully says she hopes Miguel's ok, showing she feels guilty about what happened. Sam even blames herself for the school fight. Her fight with Tory leaves Sam traumatized to the point that she freezes and has a look of fear on her face when Tory calls out her name, leading to her quitting karate. However, after getting encouragement from Daniel, she re-joins karate and eventually gets over her fear during her fight with Tory, allowing her to gain the upper hand over the latter. After Miguel is released from the hospital, the two rekindle their friendship. However, her relationship with Robby ends when he attacks Miguel for believing they had a thing going on. Shortly after the break up, she and Miguel rekindle their relationship.

In the fallout of the house fight and during the merge between the two dojos, Sam began to grow tired of the ideas her father placed on her as she was visibly uncomfortable when Daniel called her LaRusso 2.0 as well as when he jokes about her taking over the dealership in the future. While she was hesitant at first to train under sensei Johnny Lawrence due to his extreme methods, she started to follow Johnny's ideas after realizing that she didn't have to follow the same path her father followed. Unfortunately, Sam's Eagle Fang training also made her acquire a more impulsive nature about her problems, choosing to immediately attack anyone that threatened her instead of defusing the situation. Her new behavior was directly focused on Tory, whom already tried to kill her twice, leaving Sam to start instigating her at every chance she got, claiming that she was tired of the attacks she previously took from Tory. During the tournament Sam initially followed his father styles and ideas, but when the Miyagi-Do teachings proved to be useless as Cobra Kai had already learned them, she resorted to using the style that Johnny taught her by saying that she is the one that gets to decide which style should use. Sam eventually gets closure when her father finally accepts his ways and motivates her to use everything she learned to fight her own way. Despite this, she ends up losing the tournament to Tory which leaves her feeling very guilty.

Fighting Style

"You don't have to worry about me, Dad. I can handle myself. I'm a LaRusso."
―Samantha LaRusso to Daniel LaRusso[src]

Samantha taking down Miguel

Samantha trained in martial arts with her father as a child, and it is shown in season 1 that she has retained that knowledge when she fights off Kyler's advances and performs a takedown on Miguel.

After resuming her training in season 2, Sam shows that she's a quick, acrobatic, and elusive fighter with sound technique. Thanks to their tandem training she fights extremely well alongside Robby due to all the training the two shared, holding off several Cobra Kai students during the brawl at the mall with the wheel technique she and Robby practiced. During their training with Shochu-Geiko exercise, Sam was the only one that managed to attack Robby with success, she also managed to defend Robby's attacks during the Kangeiko variant by anticipating his strikes in the extreme cold. Sam had more trouble in her one on one fight with Tory during the school brawl, as she struggled with Tory's aggressive, however, Sam did barely managed to defeat her after a protracted fight.

During the arcade fight on Season 3, Sam is shown to easily defeat most of Cobra Kai's students, which include Mikey, Doug and Hawk, but she's unfortunately unable to keep fighting after Tory shows up as she started to froze do to her trauma from the school fight. Daniel later trains Sam with the bo staff in order to heal her trauma. After Tory broke into the LaRusso household with a bunch of Cobra Kai students to fight, Sam managed to keep up with most of her rivals but her PTSD briefly stopped her from taking on Tory once again. Fortunately, Sam quickly overcome her trauma and used a bo staff, which gives her a vital edge when Tory attacked her with nunchucks, defeating her once again.

Sam using both Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang styles

During Daniel's and Johnny's brief alliance, Sam got to train under sensei Johnny Lawrence, who taught her a more offensive style of karate that diverged from the Miyagi-Do teaching she knew. Sam's Eagle Fang training made her add more aggressive moves to her repertoire, like the flying tornado kick, which she later used in the All Valley Tournament. During the fight in the prom after party, Sam strikes first against Tory and gains the upper hand, until Miguel stops her. When they fight again shortly after, Tory has the upper hand at first but then they appear to be even until Robby pushes Miguel and Sam into the pool. During the new skills competition at the All Valley Tournament, Sam shows her proficiency with Sai. In the quarterfinals of the all valley tournament, while initially losing to Piper, she regains her bearings and wins by using the Eagle Fang technique. In the finals, she combines both the Miyagi Do and Eagle Fang styles to put up a strong fight against Tory. While Sam does lose after a tough and close fight, that may be attributed to Terry Silver bribing the referee.

Due to her years of experience since childhood and her decision to combine styles from two different dojos, Sam is currently the strongest student at Miyagi-Do and one of the strongest among Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang.

Relationships

Daniel LaRusso

Daniel is Sam's father. The two have a close relationship. She was trained by Daniel is Karate as a kid, until she decided to stop in her older years. In season 1 of Cobra Kai, Sam occasionally gets upset when Daniel is too overprotective. Their interaction significantly increases after Sam joins Miyagi Do in the beginning of season 2. When Sam goes through some rough patches, such as her break up with Miguel and fear of Tory, Daniel comforts her. By the end of season 3, Sam along with the Miyagi Do and Eagle Fang students are training at Miyagi Do, with Daniel and Johnny as her sensei's.

Amanda LaRusso

Amanda is Sam's mother. Sam has a close relationship with Amanda, although she does accuse her of being too strict after she gets grounded in season 1. At the end of Season 2, she was present when Sam was being treated for the bruises and scars from Tory's knuckleduster in the hospital, she even vowed to get Tory expelled. In Season 3, Amanda looks after Sam and tries her best to help her through her PTSD while Daniel was busy dealing with the problems. Amanda bans Sam for doing karate and she attempts to appeal Sam's two week suspension in Aftermath but the school board decline the appeal which infuriates Amanda. Amanda then finds out about the physical contact soccer game between Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do and she berates Sam for doing karate without permission and also saying she could've got suspended again but Sam tells her that she doesn't know what is going on with the rivalling dojo's. In the hospital, Amanda consoles Sam in the hospital when Sam was crying about Cobra Kai breaking Demetri's arm and her being unable to save Demetri. Amanda then allows Sam to continue with karate as she better understands that John Kreese is responsible for fanning the flames of the rivalry between the two dojos and what Sam is experiencing.

Miguel Diaz

Miguel is Sam's boyfriend. At the first day of school Miguel develops an attraction towards Sam and tries to approach her but is interrupted by Kyler. After defeating her ex boyfriend Kyler and the latter gang when they were mocking Sam during season 1 of Cobra Kai, the two go on a date and become a couple. However, their relationship becomes strained when Sam does not want to bring him to her house to meet her family, due to Miguel being apart of Cobra Kai. Things get more strained when Sam does not respond to his texts. Unbeknownst to Miguel, Sam's mother took her phone away, which is why she is not responding. When Sam arrives to a party with Robby, Miguel wrongly assuming they are together, confronts Sam and attacks Robby, but accidentally hurting Sam in the progress, leading to her dumping him.

In season 2, the two don't have much interaction. Sam is upset over their break up in the beginning of the season, and wants nothing to do with him due to his actions. Sam however, would move on from Miguel and date Robby. Sam however, disapproves Miguel dating Tory because of their bad blood, and even confronts him on that, making Miguel upset. On the night before the first day of school, a drunk Sam thanks Miguel for returning Mr. Miyagi's badge of honor, and the two share a kiss, but immediately regret it due to them already being in relationships, but are unaware that Tory saw them. After Miguel is kicked off the railing by Robby the following day, Sam is horrified. At the hospital she tearfully says that she hopes Miguel is ok.

Shortly after waking up from his coma in season 3, Sam visits him and gives him a get well card, and the two apologize to each other for the whole situation. She organizes a charity for Miguel's surgery with Miyagi-Do. In the news, she makes a speech about charity and says Miguel is lovely, it is possible Miguel watched the news from the TV after waking up from his coma. After Miguel is able to walk again, he returns to school and rekindles his friendship with Sam. After finding out that the All Valley Tournament is cancelled, the both of them had a speech about karate and defending other people. Back at Miyagi-Do, Miguel and Sam celebrated and also did karate. They almost kissed until Robby caught them. Robby tried to hit Miguel again until she defends and fights him back. She told him not to hit Miguel and to get his act together. After he refuses to not kick him, he said that her and Miguel deserve each other. Over time, they rekindle their former romantic feelings for each other and end up kissing at one point. By the end of the season, Sam is training with Miguel and the other Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do students at Miyagi Do.

In Season 4, Miguel and Sam are dating again. They work together to try to put Daniel and Johnny's rivalry aside. The two then referee their rematch but can't come to a decision on who's the winner. Realizing that the merge didn't work, Eagle Fang splits from Miyagi-Do. Miguel and Sam both go to prom together but they get distracted by Robby and Tory. The two cross paths with them at Stingray's house and end up fighting with each other. During the All-Valley, the two reconcile as Sam gets ready for the final round.

Robby Keene

Robby is Sam's ex-boyfriend. 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 pitied 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 respected 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 roller 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 stupor. 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 bad blood between them, Sam admits to Robby she still cares for him, but he knows she still cares about Miguel too. During a fight that included both their new romantic partners, Sam reveals that he broke her heart too.

Tory Nichols

Tory is Sam's biggest rival. It has been shown that the two girls are quite opposite, Sam comes from a wealthy home and has more of girly girl sense of fashion, while Tory's family lives in a poor lifestyle and is some what of tomboy, as well as both have different view of philosophy. Tory has a strong hatred for Sam, for having privilege life and as well for her being the ex-girlfriend of Miguel, this has lead her to bully and insult Sam.

They first met at the beach club. Were Tory sees Sam for being uptight while Sam views her as a bad influence. When Sam accuse Tory (who has stolen bottle of vodka and claims that she would steal the silverware) for stealing her mom's wallet, Tory gets furious at this accusation and calls her a "bitch", Sam tries to approach her however she accidentally pushes Sam into a table of food, making Sam mad and developing a hatred for one other. They met again at the roller skating rink, Sam and Robby realizes that Tory is dating Miguel, making her disappointed. Tory catches Sam and Miguel talking and eventually shoves Sam to the ground out of jealousy, fed up with her actions she shoves her back causing her and Robby kicked out of the rink as well of giving Sam a smirk. Meanwhile, at Moon's party, they are having a drinking contest making Sam win. At night, she thanks Miguel for returning the medal until they share a drunken kiss. Tory however witness this and stares angrily towards the pair. During the first day of school, Tory grabs the intercom from a student and threats Sam on the PA system. She reveals to everyone that she kissed Miguel while they face off. She attacks Sam through the hallway all the way to the stairs. When Sam manages to have the upper hand, Tory attempt to fight more viciously by wrapping her spiked bracelet to her knuckles and manages to rip her arm. While both on the ground, Tory attempts to tear Sam's face, however Sam quickly blocks it and kicks her down the stairs making Sam win the fight more honourably.

In season 3, The school fight and the scars on her arm has left Sam to have PTSD and fear Tory. In the arcade, while Cobra Kai and Miyagi Do are fighting each other, Sam is left frozen when Tory says her name and calls out "where are you bitch?!", remembering their last fight at the school, Sam is left having a panic attack and hides from Tory when she has PTSD visions from the school fight which makes her unable to fight back and is forced to witness Hawk and Tory break Demetri's arm. In her nightmare, after Sam finishes her warm-up, she goes to the back door of Miyagi-Do, until she sees Tory appear out of nowhere. Tory kicks her in the face, and Sam has flashbacks of the school fight. She grabs Sam's hair and places her face in the pond to drown her in the nightmare. After being drowned in the pond, she realizes that it was all a dream. Back at the LaRusso's, Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do are thinking of working together and to join forces to fight back against Cobra Kai in a bigger team until Cobra Kai breaks in the LaRusso's home. Tory beats up a Miyagi-Do student and she sees Sam and chases after her into the Miyagi home Dojo. Tory finally corners Sam in the LaRusso home dojo, however Sam is too frightened at first to fight against Tory. Sam remembers a quote from her father telling her she can get up when she is down. Tory says that she will need to make her own fun. Tory grabs a pair of nunchaku and attempts to attack Sam only to smash a picture of Mr. Miyagi. Sam then gets up and grabs a boa staff, and overcomes her fear. Sam and Tory have a fight and Sam lands a few hits on Tory with the boa staff. Sam eventually disarms and corners Tory, the fight is interrupted when the redeemed Hawk, Miguel and Demetri arrive and break up the fight. Hawk tells Tory that the fight is over, Tory refuses to believe the fight is over and she approaches Hawk and Miguel where she calls the two 'traitors' and threatens Hawk to watch his back but Demetri defends them and says they have friends watching it for them. Tory then leaves the home dojo.

In season 4, Tory and Sam's rivalry continues, though it has been dealt with by Amanda who threatens Tory to face a worst punishment if she comes near Sam again. When Tory is telling kids a story during a party for a worker's child, Sam intentionally mocks her by bringing up stuff that Tory did to her in the past, while also laughing at her singing, much to Tory's annoyance. Tory gets her revenge by convincing the kids to throw glitter at her, but Sam then instigates her again by intentionally kissing Miguel while Tory is looking at them, which leads to an angry Tory storming out. She and Tory cross paths at the high school prom, where she watches Robby dance with her. At Stingray's afterparty, Sam insults Tory but after the latter retaliates, Sam attacks her resulting in a fight at the party. Shortly after, Sam and Miguel fight Robby and Tory, but both lose when Robby pushes them into Stingray's pool. The two then face off in the final match where Tory wins the girls division, causing Cobra Kai to become grand champion. Despite losing to Tory in the tournament, her rival still shows some respect, as shown when she tells Sam if she's all right. This is most likely because Amanda told Tory to end her conflict with Sam during the tournament, as well as giving her advice to fight fairly regardless.

Aisha Robinson

Aisha is Sam's former best friend whom she has a strained relationship with. They became friends before Cobra Kai, but at some point before the series, Samantha became friends with the popular crowd, who often bullied Aisha. While Sam's actions strained their friendship, they were still on friendly and speaking terms.

During the early parts of season 1, Aisha and Sam are on speaking and good terms, despite Sam's association with the rude popular crowd. Despite disapproving the crowd, most notably Yasmine bullying Aisha, Sam never stands up for Aisha, possibly out of peer pressure. Halfway into the season when Sam loses her friends and becomes an outcast, Aisha shows no sympathy and is cold to her, possibly because she feels that Samantha is getting what she deserves. However, she seemingly forgives Samantha after she apologizes to her and tells her her revenge against Yasmine was great. The two then laugh about Aisha's revenge against Yasmine. Aisha encourages her to get back into karate.

Sam wants to rekindle her friendship with Aisha, but the latter still holds somewhat of a grudge against her. When Sam accuses Tory of stealing her mom's wallet, the two get into a brief fight. Aisha is dismayed at Sam for making an accusation without proof. During a party at Moon's house, Sam becomes even more irritated at Aisha because Hawk and a group of Cobra Kai students vandalized the Miyagi-Do, even though Aisha told her she had nothing to do with the incident. During her talk with Aisha, Sam tells Aisha that her victory in the drinking battle between her and Tory should be considered as payback, showing that Sam still will not heal her strained relationship with Aisha. She tells Sam that Miguel returned Mr. Miyagi's Medal of Honor which shocks her. When Sam appears to be dizzy, Aisha shows concern for her, showing she still cares for her. The following morning she messages Sam, asking her if she is alright, further indicating that she still cares about her. Aisha's decided to transfer her to a private school after the West Valley fight.

Sam visits Aisha ever since she moved and they talk about their recent experiences. In the end, Aisha tells Sam that she will be her original best friend.

Johnny Lawrence

Johnny was Sam's former enemy and now a sensei of her dojo. When Sam and her two friends crash Johnny's old Pontiac Firebird, Johnny is angry at her and her friends. Johnny holds some sort of anger against Sam for the hit and run incident and also the fact that her friends are bullying Miguel constantly. He even reminds Daniel about the type of friends Sam makes back in Season 1. In Season 2 and 3 they don't have interactions, but by the end of season 3, Johnny becomes the co sensei of the merged Eagle Fang Karate and Miyagi-Do, alongside Daniel, making Sam his student. Despite the merge not going well, she incorporates Johnny's teachings alongside Miyagi-Do in order for her to survive the tournament.

Other Relationships

Quotes

"Yasmine, I told you you shouldn't be on your phone!"
―Sam telling Yasmine that he shouldn't be texting after crashing into Johnny Lawrence's car. It is also her first lines as well.
"We have to call the police!"
―Sam telling Yasmine that they should report to the police about the accident, which is brushed off by Yasmine since her parents will scold her.
"This is so wrong."
―Samantha being uninterested on Yasmine and Moon commenting on Miguel, Demitri, and Eli Moskowitz.
"I said stop it!"
―Sam breaking up with Kyler.
"So boring."
―Sam lying on a sofa after having her electronics taken away by Amanda.
"Miguel stop it!"
―Sam telling Miguel to not be rough on Robby upon first meeting him.
"You asshole! What the hell was that? My dad was right about Cobra Kai! Good luck at the tournament. I won't be there."
―Sam and Miguel break up after he accidentally knocks her over.
"Is this the only way you know how to fight? Dirty?!"
―Sam during her confrontation with Tory.
"This school SUCKS!!"
―Sam and her friends deciding to skip school after a being given Saturday detention for instigating a fight with Cobra Kai students at the soccer field.
"Payback"
Miyagi-Do


Gallery

Trivia

  • Sam has been training in karate longer than any of the other teens in the series.
  • She is the oldest out of the trio's (Sam, Robby, Miguel)
  • She is similar to Ali Mills, Daniel LaRusso and Julie Pierce.
  • Samantha is the second female karate student to learn Miyagi-Do, following only in the footsteps of Julie Pierce.
  • Throughout the course of the series, Sam has quit karate at least once a season.
  • She is the only Miyagi-Do Karate student to never have been trained in Cobra Kai Dojo.
  • Despite breaking up with Miguel, Sam still has feelings for him as she was shown to be repeatedly bothered by him dating Tory and she kissed him during Moon's party, though she was drunk at the time. Miguel also still has feelings for her. This eventually leads to Sam and Miguel getting back together after they break up with Robby and Tory, respectively.
  • After Robby quit Miyagi-Do Karate and joined Cobra Kai, Sam became the strongest student of Miyagi-Do.
  • In the video game adaptation, she is voiced by Valerie Rose Lohman.
  • Despite her rivalry with Tory, the actresses Mary Mouser and Peyton List are good friends in real-life, along with the rest of the cast from Cobra Kai which include Jacob Bertrand, Xolo Maridueña, and Tanner Buchanan.
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