- "The world shows no mercy, so, why should we? Some people have it good, but the rest of us, we have to fight for every inch of what's ours. Not just to score a point. For everything."
- ―Tory Nichols to Miguel Diaz[src]
Tory Nichols is the tertiary antagonist in Season 2 of Cobra Kai. She has been described as a troubled teen who is new to the Valley, who speaks her mind and is willing to fight anyone who gets in her way. She is one of the new Cobra Kai students and is even involved romantically with Miguel Diaz.
Tory explained to Miguel Diaz that she grew up very poor with her family, and her mother was a waitress that struggled to make ends meet. After work, her mother would often bring leftover food home from the restaurant so she could always feed her children. One night she was caught red-handed by the manager and fired for stealing from the job, despite the fact the food would have been disposed of anyway. This incident shaped her worldview and philosophy on life; that the world is a cruel and harsh place and one should react by looking out for one's self.
Tory first appears in season 2 The Moment of Truth. Tory already had kickboxing experience before joining Cobra Kai. Johnny then orders Miguel to take on "Little Miss Hotshot", and she impresses Johnny and John Kreese by using a skillful takedown on Miguel while sparring. She soon becomes friends with Aisha Robinson but develops a rivalry with Samantha LaRusso when the latter accuses her of stealing her mom's wallet.
She helps Miguel get over his breakup with Sam and ends up starting a relationship with him. However, after witnessing Miguel and Sam kiss she decides to punish Sam.
On the first day of school she threatens Sam over the intercom. When the two meet in the hallway she reveals to everyone that Sam and Miguel kissed and then viciously attacks Sam. Sam's boyfriend Robby Keene tries to intervene and diffuse the fight but Miguel believing he is attacking Tory attacks Robby and then a huge school brawl between the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do Karate Dojos occur. During the fight she kicks Miguel in the face because she was angry at him for kissing Sam.
She has the upper hand over Sam for most of the fight, but when Sam starts to get the upper hand, Tory fights more viciously, using her spiked bracelet as a knuckle duster. She injures Sam's wrist with the bracelet, but is ultimately beaten by her after being knocked down the staircase. When Robby kicks Miguel off the railing Tory screams "Miguel" out of horror. After Miguel falls on the ground and is lying unconscious Tory and Hawk go to Miguel.
Later she is seen with Hawk, Raymond, Mitch and other students training at the dojo with Kreese as Johnny confronts Kreese telling him that she, Hawk, Raymond and others are now his students and that he owns the dojo now. It is evident that Tory along with the others blame Johnny for Miguel's injury and have betrayed him as a result.
- "You seem like you already know how to kick ass pretty well. What do you need Cobra Kai for?"
"I've had a couple kickboxing lessons, but I've always wanted to smash boards blindfolded."
- ―Aisha Robinson and Tory[src]
When Tory joins Cobra Kai she immediately demonstrates considerable aggression and some decent grappling techniques, performing a few takedowns and a joint lock during her match with Miguel. Her striking technique is a bit sloppy but she makes up for it with her natural strength, speed, aggression, and fearlessness, allowing her to hold her own against the more technically proficient Samantha. When asked by Aisha about why she's joining Cobra Kai, Tory mentions that she's had a few kickboxing lessons in the past. Tory is an underhanded fighter who is more than willing to use her spiked bracelet as a knuckleduster against an unarmed opponent if she feels the need.
There are two sides to Tory. In relaxed settings she is playful, fun-loving, and has a bit of a wild streak. She is assertive and has a sarcastic sense of humor. She enjoys being out with her friends as much as any teenager. She is openly flirtatious to Miguel, taking an interest in whatever he's doing and later, trying her best to help him get over Samantha.
Underneath that exterior, however, Tory believes that life is about fighting for what you see as yours, as she explains to Miguel in the episode "Take a Right". She can be a bully, particularly to Sam, whom she views as uptight, privileged, and worst of all, her competition for Miguel. After witnessing Sam and Miguel kissing she attempts to get revenge the next day by threatening Sam over the school intercom, viciously attacking her, and resorting to dirty tactics such as cutting her with a spiked bracelet.
- When angered Tory has a similar demeanor to both Dutch and Mike Barnes.
- Peyton List's performance as Tory has been widely praised, having been called a departure from her previous family-oriented roles on shows like the Disney Channel's Jessie and Bunk'd, as well as Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.
- Her introduction to Miguel ("Tory, with a "Y") is similar to Ali Mills' introduction to Daniel La Russo ("Ali, with an "I").
- In Season 2 Episode 10 (No Mercy), there is a slight error as Tory is seen walking up to Miguel's unconscious body next to a cop, but right at the next scene, she was seen lying down on the stairs again to where Samantha kicked her.
- It is rumored Tory's last name is "Nichols" after being heard several times.
- The surname is confirmed by Jon Hurwitz on Twitter.
- List previously acted alongside Jacob Bertrand in the Disney Channel Original Movie The Swap.
- Before Cobra Kai originally aired on YouTube, she also portrayed Laina Michaels in The Thinning and its recent 2018 sequel, The Thinning: New World Order, which were YouTube original movies. The sequel released before the 2nd season of Cobra Kai released on YouTube on 2019.