Cobra Kai Season 4 Theories: Is Julie Pierce Tory’s Mother?

Tory Nichols

YouTube Tory Nichols (Peyton List) talks to her landlord in 'Cobra Kai.'

The character Tory Nichols, played by Peyton List, was introduced in the second season of the acclaimed series, Cobra Kai. Screen Rant noted the teenager joins the Cobra Kai dojo and starts dating Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña), following his break up with Daniel LaRusso’s daughter, Samantha (Mary Mouser). 

While the show has provided limited details about Tory’s backstory, she did share some insight about her family in Season 2, Episode 6. When Miguel reveals that he disagrees with their sensei, John Kreese’s merciless teachings, the West Valley High School student reveals that she had a difficult childhood. She explains that when she was younger, her mother “worked at this restaurant” and would “bring home leftovers” to ensure that her children “had enough to eat.” This ultimately led to her losing her job. 

“When her manager found out he fired her. No warning. No notice. He said it was against company policy. And she wasn’t stealing,” asserted Tory. “The food was going to end up in the trash. 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 pont. For everything.” 

In Season 3, Episode 2, the audience becomes aware that Tory is her mother and brother’s caretaker. She explains to her landlord that she has been “already working doubles” at her job. She suggests that her mother is suffering from kidney failure, as she is on “dialysis.”

While the audience can briefly hear Tory’s mother thanking her son for bringing her lunch, she has not yet been visible in any scene.

There Is a Theory Julie From ‘The Next Karate Kid’ Is Tory’s Mother

Peyton List

GettyPeyton List poses at The Paley Center for Media in 2019.

According to Screen Rant, this may be a purposeful choice. The publication theorized that Tory’s mother could be Julie Pierce (Hilary Swank), who was the protagonist in The Next Karate Kid. While the character has not been mentioned by name in Cobra Kai, she does share some characteristics with Tory. 

 Like Tory, Julie had a tendency to be enraged, had a turbulent adolescence, and was faced with unwanted sexual advances. She turned her life around with the assistance of her sensei, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita).

‘Cobra Kai’ Co-Creator Jon Hurwitz Hinted That Julie May Eventually Be A Character On The Show 

Hilary Swank & Pat Morita

GettyNoriyuki “Pat” Morita and Hilary Swank share a scene in the movie “The Next Karate Kid.”

While it is unclear if Hilary Swank has agreed to be on the showCobra Kai co-creator Jon Hurwitz teased that she may step back into Julie’s shoes in a December 2020 CinemaBlend interview. 

“In our writers’ room we speak about literally every character that has appeared in the Miyagi-verse, so it’s obvious that we’ve spoken about Julie Pierce. As to whether or not she’ll return to the series, that’s something you’ll just have to wait to find out,” said Hurwitz. 

He also explained that “in our minds, any story in which Mr. Miyagi was a character, with Pat Morita playing Mr. Miyagi I should say, is canon to our world. The Next Karate Kid is a part of our universe. We believe that the events of that movie happened.”

During a recent interview on the Sway podcast, Ralph Macchio also discussed Julie coming to the San Fernando Valley in future seasons of Cobra Kai

“Anyone who’s part of the Miyagi verse — any character that appeared during the Miyagi-verse, which was during the life of Mr. Miyagi, and any of those sequels is canon for this show, so who knows,” remarked the 59-year-old. 

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