Why Did Ali Mills Break Up with Daniel LaRusso After ‘Karate Kid’?

Elisabeth Shue

Getty Images Elisabeth Shue is photographed at the American Express Gala.

As fans of Cobra Kai are aware, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) holds his high school sweetheart Dr. Ali Mills Schwarber (Elisabeth Shue) in high regard, even though he has not seen her for over three decades.

The owner of LaRusso Auto Group mentions her throughout the acclaimed series. For instance, in Season 1, Episode 9, Daniel and his rival Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who also dated Ali, reminisce over their shared ex. In addition, during Season 3, Episode 9, when Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) states that Ali was Johnny’s “first love,” Daniel replies, “well she was mine too.” 

Since Daniel still seemingly cares about Ali, some fans may have been wondering why they broke up in the first place. 

The Reason for Their Breakup Is Mentioned in The Karate Kid Part II

Ralph Macchio

GettyRalph Macchio, who plays Daniel, poses at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

The reason is briefly mentioned in the second installment of the film franchise. Toward the beginning of The Karate Kid Part II, Daniel returns from his senior prom and tells Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) that he “let Ali borrow” his yellow convertible causing it to have engine issues. He proceeds to say, “you know what else she does? She tells me that she’s just fallen in love with some football player at UCLA.”

In reality, Shue was unable to be a part of The Karate Kid Part II because she was attending Harvard University, as reported by Screen Rant

During the latest season of Cobra Kai, Ali provided more context about her breakup with Daniel. In Season 3, Episode 10, titled “December 19,” the former couple reunites during a holiday party held at the Encino Oaks Country Club.

Ali soon realizes that Johnny and Daniel still have animosity toward each other, and is introduced to Daniel’s wife, Amanda (Courtney Henggeler). They all share a table, where Ali tells Amanda about her husband and Johnny’s high school rivalry, revealing that after Daniel won the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, “they pretty much left each other alone.”

Ali Provides More Details About Her and Daniel’s Breakup 

Elisabeth Shue

GettyElisabeth Shue, who plays Ali, puts her hand on her waist on the red carpet of the Tribeca TV: ‘The Boys’ event.

“Okay, so their rivalry wasn’t the reason you and Daniel broke up?” asks Amanda. 

Ali replies that their relationship ended for a different reason, causing Daniel to look uncomfortable. He attempts to stop his ex-girlfriend from talking about their breakup, but Amanda and Johnny encourage her to continue. 

“Okay, I’ll tell it — I’ll tell it. So I got into UCLA, and I ran into this guy I knew who went there. Daniel sees me talking to my friend,” says Ali. 

“Your friend,” interrupts an incredulous Daniel, using air quotes. 

“Yes, he was my friend, actually,” continues Ali. “[Daniel] jumps to conclusions. Well, I was a little bit upset, so I probably maybe egged you on.”

“Yeah, right, you sure you egged me on? Yeah, alright, listen, I thought you were in love with the guy,” replies the karate instructor. 

Eventually, the conversation turns to Ali’s relationship with Johnny. 

Just before Daniel leaves the party, he tries to apologize to Ali about how their relationship ended. She quickly interrupts him, however, stating, 

We were so young, and the good times far outweighed the bad. And that is how I will always remember it.

Daniel agrees with her sentiment and the two embrace. 

READ NEXT: Watch: Kumiko Reads Touching Letter from Mr. Miyagi in ‘Cobra Kai’


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