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One cannot be betrayed if one has no people.
~ Kobayashi's most famous line

"Kobayashi" is the secondary antagonist of the 1995 film The Usual Suspects. He is the enigmatic lawyer and right-hand man of the mysterious crime lord Keyser Söze.

He was portrayed by the late Pete Postlethwaite, who also played Mr. Jones in the 1999 version of Animal Farm and Obadiah Hakeswill in Sharpe.


Kobayashi first appears at the hideout of five thieves - Dean Keaton, Michael McManus, Fred Fenster, Todd Hockney, and Roger "Verbal" Kint - after their botched robbery of a corrupt jewel dealer. He reveals that he had orchestrated their arrests six weeks earlier, where they had first come up with the idea of working together, so he could commission a job to them: prevent the sale of $91 million worth of cocaine between two gangs of Turks and Argentinians, on behalf of Keyser Söze, a mysterious drug lord with a fearsome reputation. As "incentive" for the thieves' participation, Kobayashi says that they have all unknowingly stolen from Söze, and they will be killed if they do not repay their "obligation" to him. He provides them each with detailed dossiers of their criminal records and personal lives to show them that he knows how to get to them should they refuse.

The next day, Kobayashi kills Fenster, who had fled out of fear of working for Söze. He calls the surviving thieves and tells them where to find Fenster's body. The thieves in turn surprise him at an office building where he was meeting a client, killing his bodyguards and taking him hostage. Keaton threatens to kill him if he does not leave them alone, but Kobayashi refuses, stating that anything they could do to him pales beside the punishment Söze would inflict should he fail to carry out his orders. As McManus is about to kill him, Kobayashi reveals that he is there to see Keaton's girlfriend, criminal attorney Edie Finneran, the implication being that he intends to have his men kill her. He then threatens to kill all of the thieves' families if they do not do Söze's bidding. By the end of the film, it is revealed that there is no cocaine, and that the job is in fact a ruse designed to give Söze cover to kill an underling who had threatened to testify against him.

During the heist, of the thieves are killed except Kint, who is arrested and questioned by Department of Customs agent Dave Kujan. Moments after letting Kint go, Kujan realizes that his story was one big fabrication, and that Kint is in fact none other than Keyser Söze. When he drops his coffee cup, he sees the label "Kobayashi Porcelain" stamped on it. As Söze escapes, he gets into a car driven by "Kobayashi", and they disappear.


  • Kobayashi's real name is never revealed; it is not even explained whether "Kobayashi" is a name he used, or if it is simply part of Söze's fabricated story.