50 Things You Learn from K-Dramas

Note: This is taken from a thread in D-Addicts Forum, so it’s not mine!


Korean Dramas seem to share a lot of clichés and stereotypes, don’t you think? I get rather amused by the fact that the popularity of a particular K-drama is based on the number of clichés found in the plot. And people seem to like it!

So, introducing:


  1. Men who are hawt and rich fall in love with vulgar, outspoken women.
  2. If you are a girl and have a best guy friend, he’s definitely in love with you.
  3. Brothers/best friends/schoolmates/enemies always love the same girl.
  4. You’re allowed to make U-turns anywhere in Korea. And there’s never traffic (or a single vehicle) on the side you want to turn to.
  5. You get to run out of a restaurant without paying the bill. All you have to do is slap someone and storm out in tears.
  6. Everyone has cancer.
  7. You’ll get a flu/cold/fever after getting caught in the rain for 5 minutes.
  8. When you’re sick, your boyfriend carries you on his back and races to the hospital. He hasn’t even heard of taxi/buses/hitching a ride.
  9. Somebody gets into the pool/ocean with their clothes on.
  10. If you’re rich, you’re an asshole.
  11. If you’re poor, you’re an angel.
  12. Your brother is a retard. If said brother is a real (blood-related) one, he is a lazy, stupid, irresponsible bum who exists by leeching off you. He’s not even handsome.
  13. You’re not studying hard enough unless you get a nosebleed.
  14. If you have a nosebleed, it’s most definitely cancer. And you have no money to pay for the surgery that’ll save your life. And your liver is missing. The doctors are not sure where it went, but it’s making your cancer progress faster.
  15. You always order orange juice or coffee at a cafe. And you never drink it. EVER.
  16. If two people are talking confidentally, they will leave the door of the room ajar so that a third party will eavesdrop on the conversation.
  17. You go to America and you come back miraculously successful. You go to England and you come back amazingly fashionable. You stay in Korea and the only thing that’s changed is your hairstyle.
  18. And you come back to Korea because you have cancer.
  19. Everyone goes to the same hospital no matter where they are.
  20. Even if you’re poor and can’t eat, you never wear the same clothes twice.
  21. If you play a poor kid, you always have dirt on your face and your hair is always messy.
  22. If you’re saving someone from being hit by a speeding car, you’ll push them out of the way and wait for the car to hit you instead.
  23. Everyone has a long lost sister/brother/twin.
  24. If you don’t want to answer your lover’s call, you can’t turn it off. You’ve got to take out the battery.
  25. All Korean men can drink hard, smoke long, sing well and play the piano. Usually all at the same time, at the same restaurant that has a piano. The girlfriend doesn’t know this until she sees him playing the piano at night.
  26. If you’re in a relationship, you must, at one point, leave the country and have your lover tearfully come RIGHT before you board the plane (vice versa applies as well. You can be the chaser.) 60% of the time you meet each other, and 40% you’re roaming around in circles in pass each other about 6 times. But you don’t see each other.
  27. If you’re getting off a plane, you’re always wearing sunglasses.
  28. All guys wear hideous tracksuits zipped up to their neck. Even if they’re only doing jump-roping.
  29. Girls will always storm off because they’re mad. The guy will stoically grab them by them arm and swing them back – by magic, not dislocate their shoulders.
  30. If you hit your head in a traffic accident, you might lose your memory. But don’t worry, you will get it back when you hit your head a second time.
  31. Surprises ALWAYS backfire.
  32. There will be situations in an elevator and in a toilet. In the elevator, you gotta get stuck with the bastard you’re trying to avoid. In the toilet scene, there’s a high probability you get caught by that bastard you’re trying to avoid.
  33. Or most likely because you’re in the men’s toilet.
  34. Unless you’re fabulously rich, your in-laws will always hate you.
  35. So will your sister-in-law.
  36. Your brother-in-law might have a crush on you.
  37. There are only 2 ways to kiss. You either press your lips against theirs with your mouth completely shut in a long and comfortable kiss, OR you devour the other person and suck their soul out. In both instances, the world spins.
  38. If a car ever breaks down or runs out of gas, it will happen on a small rural road with no other traffic, late at night. The area will also have no cellphone coverage, and you gotta walk the whole 10 miles back to civilisation in your 5-inch heels.
  39. If you want 2 rooms in a hotel, only one will be available, and that one room will only have one bed.
  40. You’ll get pregnant the first time you have sex.
  41. You’ll get pregnant if he kisses you on the forehead.
  42. Hell – you’ll get pregnant if you hold hands.
  43. If you overcome great obstacles to be together, one of you must die. Probably due to cancer.
  44. A guy and a girl on a bus must sit in the rear next to the right-hand window. A lone girl/guy sitting at that spot will reminisce about the time when he/she did have someone sitting beside him/her.
  45. One man can kick the butts of 6 gangsters, especially when they all stand in a circle and attack the guy 1 by 1. When each of them get their butts PWNED, they wise up and attack the guy at the same time. Then the guy will get pulverized and bleed out onto the dusty concrete floor of the empty warehouse they found to fight in. And the girl will have watched this the entire time, screaming in horror. Instead of calling 119, she’ll just watch and cry. But it’s okay. Because the next day the guy will be fine with a few random bandages and a few scars on the face. But never a black eye.
  46. Good girls don’t drive cars. Bad girls do. Well, a good girl just might drive, but she will do it so badly it’s a wonder she was ever given a license.
  47. Rich people live in mansions surrounded by brick walls. The others live in shacks atop high buildings in downtown Seoul, or in hillside slums on the outskirts of the city.
  48. Korean schools and universities suck. To study anything serious, you must go abroad.
  49. If you study in the States (preferably Harvard), you are one of the top students and you can speak perfect English (as assumed by the reactions of those around you). Why the rest of the world OUTSIDE the TV can’t understand a single word uttered in your melodramatic voice is beyond me.
  50. For one reason or another, a guy comes out of the bathroom naked/chest bared. Utterly shocked, you cover your eyes while screaming and pointing at him, while the guy screams along and covers his… nipples?
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52 thoughts on “50 Things You Learn from K-Dramas

  1. Anonymous says:

    Has this dulled your interest in Korean dramas, Little Tashiekins?

  2. tashiichaan says:

    No quite, yet xD. And btw, I realised I can stalk you back, seeing as you’re using my pet name and I knooooww your IP addy… muahaha.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Go ahead. Stalk me by my IP. I have yours through your sister’s posts on some forums.

  4. […] If you’re a Korean TV show junkie like I am, you must read this! 50 Things You Learn From Korean Dramas […]

  5. ninini says:

    hahaha. this is funny. quite true! :)

  6. tashiichaan says:

    I knoooow. The cliches are definitely what makes K-dramas, well, K-dramas xD

  7. pyrefly says:

    this is so true! LOL. especially about the cancer. lol.

    but your #42 reminds me of 14 sai no haha. LOL.

  8. […] divisions, and regular use of gangsters (for starters), almost parodies of the genre itself. See here and here for the unofficial “rules” of Korean dramas, by no means exaggerations, and to […]

  9. wee says:

    …hahaha…roflol…..so true…hahaha..why not add, you could wake up in someone else’s bed (aside from your guy’s) then you may either be blackmailed by somebody who likes your guy or get smashed to death by a school full of your guy’s admirers…..the first one is usually the case, the latter is applicable to BOF….hehehe….

  10. […] B. 50 Things You Can Learn from K-Dramas […]

  11. just few days ago I started watching korean drama titled “sweet spy”, I’m in episode 9, the overused cliche(I think this list hit the spot) it’s pretty enjoyable.

    But it makes me thinking as well whether this drama really happens in real life, because it seems everything is just so perfect that it almost too funny if you think about it after watching it (I now could understand why Dennis oh become every girl’s dream man).

    I’m very new to korean culture, but I will think this is as good opportunity to increase my knowledge of other nations :)

  12. fiqakitty says:

    I think I’ve read this at least twice XDDD This is hilarious and yet so, so, SO true! XDD

    And to think that the Korean wave is still MASSIVE in my school :/

  13. Kanoe says:

    I was laughing the whole time I was reading this:

    I didn’t see these on the list

    – Every guy in Korea is filthy rich and owns a luxury hotel.

    -You have to be separated for two years before you can even think about getting married.

    -EVERY romantic relationship is part of a love triangle or rectangle.

    -There is never any traffic anywhere around the airport, so you’ll always be able to drive up the the terminal and park your car next to the curb.

  14. catNhat says:

    Sorry this is so late, but just wanted to say thank you! I borrowed this list of cliches for my “Sweet Sunshine” fanfic, because I couldn’t remember all the cliches! Again, thanks!

  15. mica28 says:

    I think this is hilarious. I’m a big k-drama fan and so I couldn’t stop laughing reading this list! XD

  16. […] virtudes la originalidad de los guiones y la calidad de las actuaciones, los detractores enumeran la cantidad vertiginosa de clisés que se acumulan capítulo tras capítulo en una de las contadas industrias de […]

  17. Jaz says:

    lol my bestie watche kdrama so had to show this to her – v funny and its kinda true for some other language dramas XD

  18. Bibi says:

    Lol, everything you’ve said was true, so true. Also there are so many misunderstandings in Korean Dramas that always make the main couple split up and then reunite after many years.

  19. LEXA:) says:

    good one! but i have to add just one more cliche’ thing,the NECKLACE! hahahaha…..in every drama the guy always give a cutie necklace to the girl~ :))

  20. conanblue says:

    I read this a while back (maybe last year?) and thought it was high-larious. One thing to point out that I found really interesting (besides everything else, really) is number 28 with tracksuits! It seems like Mr. Joo Won (of Secret Garden) hadn’t moved on since 2007 :D

  21. Zilla says:

    These are the reasons to watch k-drama’s.

    And I can attest to #38 being true to life no matter where you are. At least it has happened to me numerous times in the US and a couple of times in Europe.

  22. yuji says:

    if you like korean dramas, you can feel sympathy!!!! haha lol

  23. Violeta says:

    Damn, that was funny. And not really embarrassing, because my interest in K-dramas didn’t vanish. Maybe because the new kind of dramas are really cool ;DD
    Nice post…♥

  24. Marimo-head says:

    the last one sooo true :))

  25. YunDoo says:

    51 : You will eat around 10 meals a day

    52 : Your tears will always shed the same way

  26. […] 5 ans, il était facile de généraliser sur les ficelles de ces séries, d’en faire une liste et de s’en moquer. Cette moquerie, souvent reprise par de nombreux blogs de fans de dramas […]

  27. olsen says:

    Oh my gosh!
    I stumbled here from somewhere I’m not quite sure yet, but boy, did I laugh hard!

    I’m gonna continue watching korean dramas :) but these are so so very HILARIOUS!

    Also, I have to add:

    53: if you’re the lead character, you always have to pay back your father’s debt.

  28. kissmevipelf says:

    And you can’t forget:

    If you’re a girl and you’re stalking off after you fought with a guy, or just leaving a heart-melting moment that you or the guy just spilled your feelings out, the guy will grab your arm and you’ll just stand there because all Korean men have an iron grip that can’t be shoved off and you stay there without saying anything. Then he says something dramatic. Or the episode ends and you have to wait until the next episode to hear his dramatic statement.

  29. Riechan says:

    Haha So true XD
    I’m wondering though, which drama is the toilet scene from??

  30. 하늘 says:

    i’m korean. though i can’t speak english well,i want to say. I sympathize this. I laugh,too.

  31. chtim100 says:

    i was laughing while reading this.. #24 really struck me, that was so true.. and i wonder why they should take the battery? maybe just in case the person calls again or what..same situations in every stories, but i still love watch it though..

  32. Bee says:

    54: if you’re a girl and cut your hair short, you automatically look like a boy (even though you look very much like a girl with short hair)

    55: although you are poor, you have the latest fashions and have a nice phone (even though you struggle to put food on the table)

    56: you can only die through a type of cancer and/or car accident (ONLY these can cause death!)

    57: the nice, sweet, and kind of ditsy main character (girl) always gets with her crush aka the a**hole although he treated her like she was garbage but changes his ways (or not…) and eventually marry (whether we see it or not)

    58: the poor girl’s interest is ALWAYS in some sort of high position (whether he be a genius, owns a department store, is a lawyer, manages a hotel, or is just from a rich family that has a mother who looks down on anyone who isn’t rich)

    59: there is ALWAYS a nice guy the poor girl can get with but doesn’t because her “love” (more like “obsession”) for her douche bag of a crush is too strong

    60: love triangles…love rectangles…love pentagons…i’ve seen one with a freakin love hexagon…everyone LOVES the poor ditsy girl who didn’t do well in highschool because she isn’t book smart and girls get jealous because the guys that like her are the same guys they like and these jealous girls do anything in their power to try and sabotage things for this dits of a chick but in the end everyone becomes friends and take a group picture to show their new fondness of eachother :)

  33. archana says:

    This is the best one….

    If you’re saving someone from being hit by a speeding car, you’ll push them out of the way
    and wait for the car to hit you instead.

  34. Please don’t forget the obligatory English speaking scenes with “Americans” who speak with Russian, English, Romanian, Australian, or, if they actually ARE American, with a slow, demeaning sounding cadence.

  35. Bryiana Williams says:

    The cancer thing really got me

  36. […] Am sarit peste cateva puncte care nu mi s-au parut asa amuzante. Aveti articolul aici. […]

  37. LOLLL when reading this.
    I am Korean Drama lover and yes, those you said are mostly true. LOL.
    But I still enjoy K-Dramas though.

  38. Here’s one more:
    61: If you are the lead character, no matter how many times you are injured badly (stabbed, gun fired,etc) you WILL NOT DIE. Or you might die only at the last episode.

  39. skez says:

    also scenes of singing on mics with a tv in the back ground are common in kdramas…but i really looove kdramas they ar the best

  40. Win Shwe Yee says:

    funny indeed… ;-)

  41. keleanash says:

    If you have a problem just go get yourself drunk with no worries because the nice guy or the jerk will get you home safely.

  42. Marian says:

    Today i spent 300 bucks for platinium roulette system , i hope that i will earn my first $$ online

  43. sadia says:

    hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 AWESOME!!!!

  44. genie10 says:

    LAMO LAMO LOL i really couldnt stop laughing… you must have watched too much dramas and these are DAMN TRUE..

  45. […] ps. Postingan ini dibuat setelah habis ngekek-ngekek baca blog tentang apa yang selalu terjadi di korean drama.. […]

  46. coldspring22 says:

    Thanks for the great list! They ring so true. Some kdrama are better than others in being more real to life. Rich tycoon guy gets poor girl is a tiring theme they should stop (but then how else could they show off the fancy foreign cars?), and doesn’t really help anyone, not even a real life tycoon!

  47. Ms. L says:

    My first Korean drama was Jewel in the Palace. Unlike the others it doesn’t have any of these themes so I got to appreciate it even more after watching the regular ones. I still have one thing I didn’t like about it, the lead character embodied the human perfection, which is practically impossible in real life. Some flaws in her personality would have made her more human. Despite that, I really liked the fact that the love story didn’t involve kissing which made it a more rational love involving sacrifices. As to the other k-dramas I saw I was very disappointed the female characters spoke so lowly about themselves (calling themselves old at 29 or 30, fat when they were a little rounder, ugly when in fact looked really nice with makeup and nice clothes and their only interest was to get married). Another kdrama I loved was Jumong, but not that much since the male lead character turned into a soulless human and the female lead character lost almost everything. Can you recommend some kdramas that are out of the ordinary and closer to real life? With less cliches?

  48. nah says:

    this is so true hahah fml

  49. […] I don’t want my daughters to get inspired by the cliches and the stereotypes. You know, all the rich-guy-poor-girl, popular-guy-less-popular-girl, evil stepmother, Cinderella […]

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