They make us laugh, they make us cry, but most importantly they never fail to tug at our heartstrings. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Korean Drama Couples.
For this list, we’re going to be looking at the most beloved drama couples of the 2000s.
#10: Geum Jan-di & Gu Jun-pyo
“Boys Over Flowers” (2009)
Sometimes it’s not a question of whether or not a couple will get together, but how. Despite their stubbornness, different social backgrounds, and the emergence of a pesky love triangle, it’s clear from the start that Gu Jun Pyo and Geum Jan Di are meant to be together. While the two bicker and tease, they also challenge each other to improve. Jun Pyo starts out as a stereotypical spoiled rich boy, but Jan Di forces him to work for her attention while she develops new levels of patience and understanding. Despite the occasional shallowness of this classic drama, Jun Pyo and Jan Di’s romance stands as a heart-fluttering reminder of high school crushes and first loves.
#9: Tae Gong-shil & Joo Jong-won
“Master’s Sun” (2013)
The eclectic pairing of a woman named Tae Gong-Shil burdened with the ability to see ghosts and a wealthy business CEO named Joo Joong-Won on a quest to communicate with his dead girlfriend Hee-joo results in a complex and gripping romance. The unusual circumstances under which these two meet don't stop a romantic relationship forming between them. Despite the fact that Gong-Shil and Jong-Woon have difficulty admitting their feelings for each other, their relationship teaches them valuable lessons. The typically cold Gong-Shil learns to open up emotionally while Joong-Won discovers more meaningful and less superficial aspects of life.
#8: Lee Shin & Lee Gyu-won
“Heartstrings” [aka “You’ve Fallen for Me”] (2011)
As the title would suggest, this drama definitely tugs at our emotions as we watch guitarist Lee Shin and music student Lee Gyu Won fall in love before our eyes. Amidst the idyllic campus backdrop, Shin and Gyu Won portray an ultra romanticized and sweet image of a college relationship as they both balance their budding feelings for each other with their musical aspirations. Although they face a smattering of difficulties, ranging from scheming parents to physical injuries, their lighthearted relationship is ultimately one that never fails to make our hearts flutter.
#7: Do Bong-soon & Ahn Min-hyuk
“Strong Girl Bong-soon” [aka “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”] (2017)
On the surface, Bong Soon and Min Hyuk appear to be a perfect, happy-go-lucky couple. However, before getting involved romantically, their individual hang-ups made pursuing a relationship difficult. Bong Soon is a bodyguard tormented by insecurity due to her supernatural strength and Min Hyuk is the CEO of a video game company who struggles to reconcile himself with his family. Despite the fact that they do not experience and immediate attraction, they eventually become pillars of support for each other. Their relationship isn’t immature, but rather one built upon mutual trust as they lean on each other during trying times.
#6: Gil Ra-im & Kim Joo-won
“Secret Garden” (2010-11)
When cool, tough, stuntwoman Gil Ra-Im meets businessman Kim Joo-Won, they get off to a rocky start as Ra-Im is appalled by Joo-Won’s arrogance and Joo-Won is taken aback by Ra-Im’s distant behavior. Joo-Won attempts to pursue Ra-Im romantically the only way he knows how, using his power, wealth, and charm. This only further repulses Ra-Im as she perceives his advances to be superficial and insensitive. However, things take a turn when Ra-Im and Joo-Won swap bodies. This drama manages to perfectly combine fantasy and romance as this supernatural development forces the pair to confront issues of class and gender all while navigating their changing relationship.
#5: Kim Bok-joo & Jung Joon-hyung
“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bokjoo” (2016-17)
This heartwarming coming of age college romance brings headstrong weightlifter Bok-Joo together with competitive swimmer Joon-Hyung. Bok Joo has spent her whole life focused on one thing: weightlifting. However, while attending Hanwool College of Physical Education, an elite athletic college, she soon begins to realize that there might be more to life than just barbells as she develops romantic feelings for Joon-Hyung. Bok-Joo’s independent nature makes her relationship with Joon-Hyung incredibly entertaining as the two bicker and banter good-naturedly. Their wholesome relationship and chemistry never fail to evoke warm feelings.
#4: Ji Eun-tak & Kim Shin
“Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” [aka “Goblin”] (2016-17)
Have you ever had to wait 900 years for something? After a battle, Kim Shin is cursed with immortal life and as a result, he has waited for about this amount of time for a human bride to bring an end to his immortality. He meets Ji Eun-Tak, a young woman who possesses the ability to see ghosts, and soon learns that she is his fated bride. Eun-Tak’s bubbly optimism starkly contrasts Shin’s loneliness and cold demeanor. The contrast of their personalities results in a dynamic romance that transcends both time and space. While their love is bittersweet, it is evident that despite their limited time together, Eun-Tak is rightfully Shin’s first and last love.
#3: Han Ji-eun & Lee Young-jae
“Full House” (2004)
When aspiring scriptwriter Han Ji-Eun first meets famous actor Lee Young-Jae while sitting next to him on a plane ride, she accidentally throws up on him. This embarrassing but hilarious encounter sets the absurd and heartwarming tone for their relationship. The two meet each other again when Ji-Eun realizes that Yoong-Jae is purchasing her father’s house. Ultimately, they are forced to live together and to maintain a contract marriage under the scrutiny of the celebrity press. While they bicker and fight, it’s always in good nature. Their push and pull dynamic, coupled with heartwarming moments like the iconic bear song, make this pair one of the most beloved couples in Kdrama history.
#2: Do Min-joon & Cheon Song-yi
“My Love from the Star” (2013-14)
When this drama first debuted, it sparked international interest as thousands of eyes eagerly watched alien Do Min-Joon and international celebrity Cheon Song-Yi’s romance unfold. With the pressure of a ticking clock, the watchful eyes of the celebrity press, and the added intrigue of supernatural elements, this couple had us rooting for them against all odds. Song-Yi’s eccentric and often humorous personality combined with Min-Joon’s relaxed stoicism created an unlikely but explosive romance. With their ability to simultaneously make viewers laugh and cry with their loving relationship, it’s no wonder this couple is our runner-up choice.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Oh Ri-jin & Cha Do-hyun
“Kill Me, Heal Me” (2015)
Lee Gun & Kim Mi-young
“You Are My Destiny” [aka “Fated to Love You”] (2014)
Kim Tan & Cha Eun-sang
“The Heirs” [aka “The Inheritors”] (2013)
Jang Jae-yeol & Ji Hae-soo
“It’s Okay, That’s Love” (2014)
Lee Sun-jae & Oh Hye-won
“Secret Affair” (2014)
#1: Doctor Kang Mo-yeon & Yoo Si-jain
“Descendants of the Sun” (2016)
Amidst the turbulent, war-torn setting, surgeon Kang Mo-Yeon and army captain Yoo Si-Jin manage to fall in love. Despite their initial attraction to each other, they are torn by their differences. As a captain, Si-Jin must kill to protect his country while Mo-Yeon works endlessly every day to save lives. Additionally, they are constantly separated as they are forced to relocate to different areas of the war-torn country. The pair struggles to reconcile their feelings for each other with the uncertainty caused by the war. Their persistence and strong individual personalities make them a dynamic pairing that’s enthralling to watch. We can’t help but root for their love as they endure endless hardships in order to be together.