We watch variety shows for the games, the casual ad-libbed humor, the guest appearances from our favorite celebs, and the relationships between the permanent cast members. The love lines are purely the cherry on top of some of Korea’s best unscripted entertainment. Below are just some of the many love lines that gave us goose bumps, made us blush, or rallied our support for a couple we thought should really be together!
Gary and Song Ji Hyo
In the early days of “Running Man” it seemed like Song Ji Hyo could have started a love line with any number of the male cast members: a young Song Joong Ki made some innocent jokes about the two being close, other members commented on Kim Jong Kook‘s tendency to start love lines in all of his variety shows, and HaHa was clearly trying to take the place which then variety show newbie Kang Gary fell into. This was the first time for both Gary and Ji Hyo as permanent cast members on a variety show, and the romantic tension (albeit often played for laughs) was a great opportunity to gain more screen time and cement their position in viewers’ hearts.
Some of the best moments between the two came when they would end up as the last two members, competing against each other. Gary, ever the gentlemen, would sometimes let his Monday Couple girlfriend win; but just as often, he would use the excuse that it was past midnight (and no longer Monday), so it would be fair for him to try his hardest and win in the end.
Gary has since left the show and is happily married, while Ji Hyo has sent him her support, but that won’t stop us from watching old episodes to enjoy those exciting moments when the Monday Couple paired up against the other members to win the race!
Watch the latest episode of “Running Man”:
In a not-too-long-ago episode of “Running Man,” Kim Jong Kook failed a lie detector test when he denied harboring some feelings for past variety show girlfriend Yoon Eun Hye. Well, it was a toy, but we can pretend it was testament to the love of this power couple that first felt a spark on “X-Man” back in 2003.
The variety show, which is often mentioned on “Running Man,” would pair up guests for sometimes physical games that required a lot of skinship, and Jong Kook and Eun Hye got into a habit of choosing each other. It would make sense if this was merely a tactical decision as the pair was known individually for their strength and success in previous games; however, the hosts Yoo Jae Suk and Kang Ho Dong often commented on their chemistry, and their feelings were eventually revealed during games of “Of Course.”
Whether the pair was ever actually dating behind the camera remains unknown, but it’s clear the two are separated now and have yet to appear on a show together since their “X-Man” days. But it’s nice to know that they still remain friends!
Jackson and Heo Young Ji
The two youngest members of “Roommate Season 2” got off to a bad start that didn’t really get better. They bickered and called each other up on every little thing so much so it almost seemed like they were siblings. One might find it hard to imagine them in a romantic relationship but the other members weren’t so convinced, suggesting the two get married as a means to diffuse new disagreements. Eventually the pair shared several sweet moments together that had fans hoping for a relationship off screen. They remembered each other’s birthdays, supported one another in their various dreams, and even cried on behalf of the other when things became emotional. For example, when Jackson’s parents came for a surprise visit, Young Ji seemed genuinely moved by her friend’s tears.
The pair also appeared on an episode of “Weekly Idol” while promoting their sub-units for variety music show “Hit Maker,” and both failed a lie detector test when they tried to deny having feelings for each other. It’s just a bit of fun but perhaps these two will appear somewhere together again for more of the chemistry fans seemed to love.
This pair might seem more suited for a list of variety show bromances if not for one episode that showed at least a one way attraction between the two. In a game with guest Han Hyo Joo, members wore heart monitors and tried to keep their heartbeats stable while the actress showed off her charms. Kim Jong Min seemed unmoved by the star but when Jung Joon Young took her place he became visibly uncomfortable and his heart began to race. The other members jumped on the opportunity to tease him and the joke has continued on to this day. Fans are eager to see the two pair up for more games in the future as the warm and loving chemistry between the two seems genuine.
During Joon Young’s short hiatus from the show Jong Min mentioned that he missed him, and on the episode when he finally returned it was Jong Min who guessed that he would be on the show, a sign that Joon Young is always close to Jong Min’s thoughts.
Watch 2 Days & 1 Night below:
All couples on “We Got Married”
A show entirely based on love lines, “We Got Married” has seen some of the most adorable and romantic moments in variety history and has created some long-term friendships that have carried on to this day. Actors, comedians, and idols alike are paired up with each other to role play as a married couple, even celebrating a wedding with friends and moving into a house together. Stripping away the “will they won’t they” or push-and-pull that variety show love lines are known for, this format opens up opportunities for the cast to really get close with each other, show genuine feelings, and sometimes even share a kiss.
The show has gone on hiatus for a complete remodel before hopefully returning soon, but in the meantime we can re-watch our favorite couples or some of their current work together since leaving the show.
In fact, since ending their onscreen marriages, Song Jae Rim and Kim So Eun starred opposite each other in “Our Gap Soon,” while Lee Jong Hyun and Gong Seung Yeon starred together in “My Only Love Song,” which was produced by Netflix.
Watch the first episode of “Our Gap Soon” below!
Hey Soompiers, which variety show love lines are your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
MizWest is an English Teaching Assistant with way too much time on her hands. When she’s not watching dramas or shaking it to K-pop, she’s studying everything Korean culture with a view to move out there some day soon!