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"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[1] is a main character in Cobra Kai. She has been described as a troubled teen who speaks her mind and is willing to fight anyone who angers her.

Tory becomes a student at the newly reopened Cobra Kai Dojo. After falling victim to the merciless teachings of her sensei John Kreese, Tory becomes aggressive and vengeful, especially towards Samantha LaRusso. Following her expulsion for starting the school karate war, she forms a bond with Kreese. Through this bond, she becomes more ruthless and vengeful. She goes on to be one of Kreese's most corrupted students, with her karate skills earning her the nickname Queen Cobra.

Biography

Tory grew up in poverty to a single mother and younger brother, Brandon. Their mother was a waitress that struggled to make ends meet. After work, her mother would often bring leftover food from the restaurant home to feed her children. One night, Tory's mother 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 Tory's worldview and philosophy on life; the world is a cruel and harsh place and one should react by looking out for one's self. Her mother eventually became sick and bedridden, unable to care for herself or her children. Tory filled the role of caretaker by getting a job, caring for Brandon, and being the primary healthcare provider of their sick mother.

Cobra Kai

Season 2

Tory joins Cobra Kai

Tory tries out for a spot in Cobra Kai. Johnny then orders Miguel to take on "Little Miss Hotshot", and she impresses Johnny and Kreese by using a skillful takedown on Miguel while sparring. She soon becomes friends with Aisha Robinson but develops a rivalry with Samantha LaRusso after Tory steals a bottle of vodka and behaves aggressively. Then when Sam accuses her of stealing her mom's wallet, Tory pushes Sam into a table full of food items.

She helps Miguel get over his breakup with Sam and ends up starting a relationship with him. However, after witnessing Miguel and Sam passionately kiss at Moon's party, she decides to attack Sam rather than handle the issue on her own.

Tory trains with Miguel

On the first day of school she threatens Sam over the intercom and hunts her down. 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 who sees Robby restraining Tory kicks Doug Rickenberger and attacks Robby which results in a all-out karate war between the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do Karate Dojos erupt. During the fight she kicks Miguel in the stomach because she was angry at him for kissing Sam.

Tory tries to kill Sam

She has the upper hand over Sam for the beginning of the fight, but Sam eventually starts to get the upper hand, which causes Tory to fight more viciously, using her spiked bracelet as a knuckle duster. She manages to injures Sam's arm with the bracelet. She then tries to kill Sam 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, Sam, 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.

Season 3

Tory talks to John Kreese

Tory faces the consequences of her role as the instigator in the school karate war, and is expelled from West Valley High School. She is given an unsupervised probation as an alternative to juvenile hall, as she is the primary caregiver of her sick mother but must conform to all probation rules or her probation officer will show up at her apartment and she will receive a very harsh juvenile sentence and be sent to juvie. She takes on two jobs to pay the rent on time, which forces her to quit Cobra Kai. However she feels no regret or remorse for her actions such as starting the high school karate war, and only feels this is simply more unfair treatment from the world. Her landlord, Rodney, propositions her an alternative for paying rent, and threatens to call her probation officer to arrest her and send her to juvie, if she defends herself or shows one more violent act. It is clear Tory feels no remorse of hurting Sam and hospitalizing her and simply feels all this is the world making her life more miserable. Sensei John Kreese approaches her one day to ask her to return, but she explains that she cannot because of her probation, two other jobs, trying to receive a GED, and her financial struggles. Kreese realizes that the landlord, Rodney is harassing Tory and threatens Rodney, who agrees to waive the rent for the month. This allows Tory to return to Cobra Kai.

Tory shows up to the arcade fight

When some of the Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai students are fighting in the arcade, Tory shows up with two other Cobra Kai members, Edwin and Big Red, and angrily shouts Sam's name, which causes the latter to suffer a panic attack and basically shut down. Tory's arrival proves to be the turning point, as the Cobra Kai's gain the edge and defeat Miyagi Do. After beating Miyagi-Do, she tells Sam to show herself, but the latter is sitting in the corner with a look of fear on her face. When Hawk has hold of Demetri's arm, Tory, along with the other Cobra Kai members, encourages Hawk to break his arm, which he does. At class the next day, Tory admits that she did not actually think Hawk was going to break Demetri's arm. She then helps weed out the "unworthy" Cobra Kai recruits particularly in a sparring match against a girl named Sarah. After the match, Sarah lashes out at Tory saying “You chipped my tooth, bitch!”, to which Tory insults Sarah telling her that she “needed braces anyway”. She also appeared shocked when Hawk brutally beats up Brucks a few moments later at his match.

Tory talks to Robby at the probation office

When Tory is in the probation office, she encounters Robby, who is angry at her for starting the fight. She rebuts that while she started the high school karate war, he ended it. She knows that it is unfair that they get probation while everyone else is scolded, and warns him that Sam will turn him, much to his anger. Before leaving, she tells Robby to check stable in the home life section, since they will not check. While staying at Cobra Kai, Robby is noticed by Tory, who mocks him for trying to run away. She says channeling in the hate will make him stronger. Later on, Tory invites him to hang out with some of the Cobra Kai members. That day, the two along with Hawk, Kyler and some other Cobra Kai members break into the zoo, and Robby steals a snake for Kreese. After returning to the dojo with the snake, Kreese informs them about Miguel and Sam working together, angering both Tory and Robby. Kreese then dismisses the class, causing Tory to storm out.

Tory fights with Sam once again

After leaving, Tory goes to Sam's house with seven other Cobra Kai members and physically attacks the Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang members, who had just formed a truce. She defeats a Stiven before finding Sam, who runs away before Tory chases her into the Miyagi-Do dojo and starts attacking her. After kicking Sam, she picks up a pair of nunchaku and attacks Sam. She misses, and instead hits and breaks a photo of Mr. Miyagi. Sam, now angry and letting go of her fear, dodges Tory's attacks and picks up a bō staff. The two then fight, with Sam eventually managing to disarm Tory and corner her against the wall with Sam winning. Hawk, who had just defected from Cobra Kai, alongside Miguel and Demetri arrive, and Hawk tells Tory the fight is over. Tory tells Sam the fight will never be over, with Sam responding that she knows where to find her. Tory then calls Hawk and Miguel traitors, tells Hawk to watch his back and turns to leave. Before she goes, Demetri tells her that Hawk has friends who will watch his back for him.

Season 4

Since the LaRusso house fight, Tory returns to Cobra Kai where she calls out Kyler for not contributing his all to the fight. Despite his defensive attitude, she points out how Miguel just got out of a wheelchair but still kicked his ass. Their bickering is interrupted by the arrival of Robby Keene, who has been sleeping in the dojo for a few days. After practice, she confronts Robby in the back room for not participating in the house fight. He doesn't know why she thought everything would be fine after. She just wants Sam LaRusso to pay, pointing out that she still has a hold over Robby, otherwise he wouldn't be defending her. Tory warns Robby that if he's going to be defensive, Cobra Kai isn't the right dojo for him. When Robby decides to be a lead student at the dojo, he makes a bet that if anyone can land a hit on him he'll leave. He easily defeats the boys of the dojo, but Tory ultimately lands a kick on him when his guard is down. She then tells him to stay. He obliges, and begins to teach the group Miyagi-Do karate so they can beat their teamed-up enemies.

Fighting Style

"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 and Tory[src]

Before joining Cobra Kai, Tory trained in kickboxing. After joining the dojo, 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 rough but she makes up for it with her natural strength, speed, aggression, and fearlessness. She can hold her own against the technically proficient Samantha. Tory is a ruthless fighter who is more than willing to use weapons against an unarmed opponent if she feels the need.

The longer she trains, Tory's striking technique visibly improves, making her even more formidable. She also receives some training with nunchaku, using them against Sam who wields a bo staff. However, Sam's skill with the bo staff is still greater, allowing her to disarm and corner Tory. Kreese describes Tory as "a born fighter".

Personality

"I like a challenge."
―Tory to Johnny Lawrence[src]

Tory's personality is rooted deeply in her feeling of being cheated out of the life she deserves by the unfairness of the world. She is the primary caretaker and breadwinner of her family, which puts her in a difficult position that pushes her emotional and physical capabilities. 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 and is openly flirtatious to Miguel Diaz, trying her best to help him get over Samantha. Underneath that exterior, Tory believes that life is about fighting for what you believe is yours. She can be a bully particularly to Sam who she views as uptight, privileged and competition for Miguel. She is highly vengeful if she feels like she's been wronged. 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.

She becomes more aggressive, especially after returning to Cobra Kai. She is easily able to scare and intimidate Sam, with the latter being so traumatized by their fight during the school brawl. During the arcade fight, she aggressively calls out Sam's name, which then causes Sam to suffer a panic attack and basically shut down out of fear. She is corrupted by Kreese's teachings to the point that she becomes more aggressive and ruthless than most of the students. When Robby thinks about leaving Cobra Kai, Tory persuades him to stay and even says that he will become stronger by channeling in his anger, with the latter showing how much she has been corrupted by Kreese's teachings. After Sam overcomes her fear and disarms Tory in their fight at Miyagi Do, Tory tells her that this is not over and she even threatens Hawk.

Relationships

Samantha LaRusso

Sam is Tory's biggest rival. Upon their first encounter in season 2, the two immediately dislike each other, with Tory disliking Sam for being privileged. When Sam puts accuses Tory of stealing her mom's wallet, their rivalry escalates, particularly on Tory's end, who has no issues with bullying and insulting Sam. After witnessing Sam and her boyfriend kissing, Tory exacts revenge the following day by exposing Sam in front of everyone (including Robby) and attacks her, all of which leads to the massive school brawl. At one point during the fight, Tory uses her spiked bracelet to attack Sam. Despite injuring Sam with the bracelet, she loses the fight when Sam kicks her down the stairs.

In season 3, it is revealed that Tory was expelled for instigating the fight. Later, in the season, when the Miyagi Do's and Cobra Kai's are fighting in the arcade, Tory calls out her name, but then Sam suffers a panic attack and basically shuts down, as she is still traumatized over her fight with Tory in the school brawl. Tory goads her to come out, but she doesn't. In the finale, when Tory spots Sam during the fight at the latters house, Sam runs away, while Tory chases her into Miyagi Do and attacks her with nunchaku's, but Sam overcomes her fear and starts to fight back, ultimately resulting in Sam managing to disarm Tory with her Bo staff. The fight is then interrupted by Miguel, Hawk and Demetri coming in, with Hawk telling Tory to stop the fight. Tory tells Sam that this won't be over, to which Sam says "you know where to find me." Tory then walks out.

Miguel Diaz

Miguel is Tory's ex-boyfriend. In season 2, Tory takes an interest in Miguel and helps him get over his recent break up with Sam,. Overtime the two quickly become a couple. However, Tory witnesses Miguel and Sam kissing the night before the first day of school. The following day, in the school brawl, Tory, still angry over the kiss, kicks Miguel's face when the latter tries to stop her from attacking Sam. She however is horrified when Miguel is kicked off the railing by Robby.

While at lunch with Johnny in season 3, Tory sees him when Johnny goes to the bathroom. Miguel shows that he's upset with Tory for not seeing him in the hospital. He is further upset when Tory says that Cobra Kai is trying to get back at Miyagi Do for what happened to him, while Tory voices her disappointment for his kiss with Sam. Miguel then tells her that she needs help, which angers her, as she feels he is calling her crazy. Miguel breaks up with Tory for severely injuring Sam and starting the school brawl, and then she leaves in anger. The next time they see each other is when the Cobra Kai's enter Sam's house in order to attack the Miyagi Do and Eagle Fang students, who had just formed a truce. Miguel tells Tory she doesn't have to do this, to which Tory says it's to late. Then, a fight breaks out, with Cobra Kai losing. Before Tory leaves following losing the fight, she calls both Miguel and Hawk traitors.

John Kreese

Kreese is Tory's teacher. Despite the two not having any one on one interactions in season 2, Tory is corrupted by Kreese's teachings to the point that she joins him and betrays Johnny, when the latter takes back Cobra Kai from Johnny.

In season 3, they have more interactions. When Kreese asks her if she is coming back to Cobra Kai, Tory says she can't because of her sick mom and landlord. Kreese shows some sympathy for her mom, due to his own mom dying years ago. He then confronts her landlord and threatens him to leave her alone. After his confrontation with her landlord, Tory returns to Cobra Kai. Tory gets more corrupted by Kreese's teachings. By the end of the season, Tory is revealed to be one of the handful of students at Cobra Kai remaining. Kreese is clearly using Tory in order to hurt Daniel through Samantha.

Robby Keene

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 inititally 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 insistance 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.

CK S4 Robby Tory Kiss.png

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 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 together which 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.

Other Relationships

Appearances

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Trivia

  • When angered, Tory has a similar demeanor to both Dutch and Mike Barnes.
  • Her introduction to Miguel ("Tory, with a "Y") is similar to Ali Mills' introduction to Daniel LaRusso ("Ali, with an "I").
  • Her surname was confirmed by Jon Hurwitz on Twitter.

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