Ever feel like some of your K-dramas are a lot like some of your other K-dramas, but you can’t quite put your finger on why? Well, to help you chart your sense of déjà vu like some sort of epistemic “Where’s Waldo,” here are the 10 characters you will see in every Korean drama EVER!
1) The shy girl that guys can’t resist
She rarely says a word that isn’t an apologetic “sorry” followed by an embarrassed bow, but apparently, just her eyes are enough to drive all the men insane.
2) The rich jerk with a heart of gold
There won’t necessarily be too many times where he’s tolerable, but he will do such nice things for our lady that you can’t help but fall in love with him.
3) The celebrities that are everywhere
And it’s not the least bit strange that internationally recognized idols of music or film have nothing better to do than hang out with apparent nobodies all the time.
4) The mother that owns you
As an Asian male, I can attest that no matter how old we get, no matter how much money we earn, no matter how independent we seem—our mothers rule our lives.
5) The unlucky-in-love sidekick
She’s charming, she’s kind, and she’s often just as pretty as our lead lady, but this girl is there to repeatedly get her heart broken and to share those sad moments with our considerably more fortunate lead.
6) The nice guy that doesn’t get the girl
Unfortunately, the rich jerk is the one that rides off into the sunset with the lady. This guy, whether he is the goof that makes our lady laugh or the angry but loving friend, he’s just not going to get the girl.
7) The arrogant beauty queen
She knows she’s beautiful and she makes sure you know it. Unfortunately for her, our lovely lead is nicer and almost always gets the guy.
8) The distant, angry young man
Almost like the Kdrama equivalent of an anime drifter, this angry young man does not seem to enjoy life and pretty much exits whenever he gets the chance.
9) The evil old guy
Sometimes a henchman of the aforementioned mother, or even the father, this company executive/dastardly villain/crime leader will try to take our lead’s life in an accident. Usually, though, he’ll just give the hero amnesia.
10) The Traveler
They always have to leave before the end of the show, exiting just in time to create the perfect teary-eyed goodbye (or, you know, just so they don’t disturb our existing love angles).
So what other K-drama characters do you keep coming across? And have you found that mystical unicorn that doesn’t exist in K-dramas—a guy who isn’t that good-looking?