Korean dramas are known for bringing on the feels every single time. Some are fleeting and are remembered only for a season; but others are life-changing and get quoted to death by anyone and everyone whether they’re a K-drama fan or not. Here’s a roundup of the most memorable Korean dramas with love stories so touching they’d melt even the coldest of hearts:
If you love a good star-crossed romance story, this highly-rated romantic comedy drama is right up your alley. South Korean heiress Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) accidentally lands in North Korean territory after a paragliding mishap, and falls straight into the arms of North Korean captain Ri Jeong-hyuk (Hyun Bin). Romance blossoms inevitably, but how will they survive this cross-border relationship?
The much raved about drama features Sung Deok Mi, portrayed by Park Min Young (Kim Mi So in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim), as an art gallery curator with a secret. She is a dedicated fangirl of Shi An, an idol group member – an obsession that has impacted several of her past relationships. Things take a more complex turn when Ryan Gold (Kim Jae Wook) becomes the new Art Director at the gallery, and rumours spread about Deok Mi and Shi An dating.
A competitive and workaholic bachelorette ponders her direction in life meets a gifted composer for video games at an arcade. Characterised by successful women and the web portal business, this is an unconventional one that has surprised many with its inspirational qualities (on top of its romance).
A one-of-a-kind drama, When The Camellia Blooms combines the unlikely genres of thriller and rom-com. It follows Oh Dong Baek, a single mother in Ongsan, who runs a bar-restaurant. Locals may gossip about Dong Baek, but a local policeman by the name of Hwang Yong Sik still falls in love with her, unreciprocated but also undeterred – all while a serial killer sets his sights Ongsan, and maybe even Dong Baek.
The familiar plot of My Absolute Boyfriend was originally from a Japanese manga series, but brought to life by Yeo Jin Goo and Girl’s Day’s Minah. Starting off from a break up between a special effects make-up artist Um Da Da, and a rising actor Ma Wang Joon, a perfectly programmed humanoid boyfriend robot Young Goo pushes the boundaries of love as an AI in a complicated love triangle.
Take swoon-worthy with a fantastical spin. A tragic accident leaves a talented ballerina blind and broken, until she is met with a trouble-maker angel on his last mission. If he finds true love for her, he regains entry to heaven – but in a divine twist of fate, he falls in love with her instead.
Loved Son Ye Jin in Crash Landing On You? Then you have to check out her previous series, Something In The Rain, where she plays a woman in her mid-30s who’s clueless at dating, who begins developing feelings for her younger brother’s best friend. As the title suggests, expect lots of melodramatic, sweet scenes under pouring rain.
Fluffy and light-hearted, this romantic comedy begins as Kim Mi So, a dependable secretary, decides to leave her job after working for Lee Young Joon, her self-proclaimed perfect boss of nine years. The drama balances between sweet and steamy scenes, coupled with flashbacks that will keep you invested.
Also known as Guardian: The Great And Lonely God, this fantasy-romantic-comedy was one of the most highest rated drama series in TVN’s history until Crash Landing On You broke its record. Starring a bevy of talented stars such as Train To Busan‘s Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun, this fan favourite series sees modern-day goblin (Gong Yoo) seeking a human bride (Kim Go Eun) to end his cursed immortal life, has everything from comedy to melodrama and supernatural elements.
One thing we can say is, Koreans definitely know how to make goblins really attractive.
The drama that sparked off a real-life romance, Descendants of the Sun is a Korean military romance featuring Shi-Jin as the captain of the special forces. He was injured and meets Dr. Mo Yeon and the two fall desperately in love in spite of their difficult circumstances.
An emotional drama about an autistic man with amazing capabilities, this drama is definitely a must watch if you’re into stories about overcoming the odds. You’ll definitely need to bring out the tissues for this one too!
Min Joon is an alien who landed on Earth 400 years ago during the Joseon Dynasty period. He possesses a near perfect appearance and enhanced physical abilities involving his vision, hearing and speed. But even he’s nearly perfect, he can’t help falling in love to a clumsy actress, Cheon Song Yi.
A romantic story which involved hardships, friendships, and rivalries of young, rich heirs led by Kim Tan and a girl named Cha Eun Sang whose attraction to each other sparks off more drama than any young person should be accustomed to!
This is a time-travel, historical, romantic-comedy drama featuring the unique story of Crown Prince Lee Gak, who is transported 300 years into the future to present day Seoul along with his three retainers.
The Moon That Embraces the Sun tells the story of a secret love between Lee Hwon, a fictional king of Joseon, and Wol, a female shaman. With plenty of twists and turns and jealousy thrown into this period mix, you’ll never be left bored.
Like the story of Romeo and Juliet? Then you’re going to love the Korean version even more. One of the most romantic period K-Dramas, The Princess’ Man is a tragic love story between the daughter of Prince Suyang and son of Kim Jong Seo.
Watch your high-school memories come flooding back. Romantic-comedy Dream High tells the story of six students at Kirin Art High School who work to achieve their dreams of becoming music stars in the Korean music industry.
An action-packed drama with romance and plenty of thrills, City Hunter is one of Lee Min Ho’s most popular TV dramas where he stars as a special agent who is ordered not to fall in love. So what inevitably happens? He falls in love, of course, with a fellow agent.
This drama tells the story of an accidental meeting between Kim Joo Won (played by Crash Landing On You‘s Hyun Bin), an arrogant CEO who maintains the image of seeming perfection, and Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji-won), a poor and humble stunt woman whose beauty and body are the object of envy among all top actresses.
Perhaps the cutest love story on this list is of a legendary creature called Gumiho (a nine-tailed fox). One day after Cha Dae Woong runs away from his grandfather, he accidentally frees a gumiho who was trapped in a painting for about 500 years who takes on the form of a beautiful woman.
Based off a Japanese manga, this is a romantic-comedy covering the romance between Baek Seung Jo, an arrogant young man with a genius IQ, and Oh Ha Ni, a ditzy young woman who gets poor grades, but whose heart is as powerful as Seung Jo’s mind.
A historical drama about Queen Seon Deaok, the first female ruler of Silla Kingdom. This is about a beautiful and excellent queen who had to face struggles in order to obtain brilliant achievements.
The delicious taste of story and aromatic blend of characters in this drama is what makes Coffee Prince popular. Fun fact: This cross-dressing drama kick started the whole boy or girl mystery trend in the K-drama world.
Full House is one of the most popular K-Dramas from the early 2000s. This drama attempts to answer the question of whether two people – a famous actor and an ordinary woman – can learn to love each other despite being polar opposites at first glance.
This post was updated on February 22, 2020.