5 K-Drama Leads That Break The Toxic Bad Boy Trope

While we all love a great bad boy character, there’s something incredibly refreshing about watching a show where the guy treats the girl right. Sure, a rich chaebol with parental issues can be alluring, and it’s exciting to see him develop into a better man over the course of the show. But it’s hard to stomach watching these kinds of characters continuously berate our lovely female leads. How many times do we really have to watch the man yell at the woman for a teeny-tiny mistake because he can’t come to terms with his feelings? Fortunately, these days the K-drama world seems to be promoting more swoon-able male protagonists who aren’t afraid to respect their leading lady!

Here’s a list of five dreamboat male leads!

Jung Joon Hyung in “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Jung Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk) is everyone’s dream man! Though he does tend to tease Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) by calling her Chubs, it soon becomes endearing. Joon Hyung is so lovable because he goes above and beyond to brighten Bok Joo’s mood, and he even finds her enormous appetite and strength to be some of her best qualities.

Throughout the drama, Joon Hyung is quick to take her to the beach, amusement parks, or even just small walks around their campus. If all else fails, he’s simply a shoulder for her to cry on. Perhaps his sweetest moment is when he goes to give Bok Joo extra scarves, jackets, and hot-packs as she fights in the cold for her coach with her team. He would do anything for her and we love him for it!

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Ahn Min Hyuk in “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik) may be the one to give Joon Hyung a run for his money. Though Min Hyuk has the perfect set-up to be your typical rude chaebol with daddy issues, he’s quite the opposite. From episode one he is absolutely head over heels in love with Do Bong Soon (Park Bo Young). He’s in awe at her super-human strength, and is appalled every time she pretends to be weak for her childhood-crush, In Guk Doo (Ji Soo).

Ahn Min Hyuk believes that Bong Soon should embrace her powers and is eager to help her learn to control them. A very long list could be made of all the earnest and heartfelt things that Min Hyuk says and does for Bong Soon, but perhaps his most awe-worthy trait is that he patiently waits for her to fall for him. Never once does he pressure her to return his feelings. Instead he just waits for her to take one step closer!

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Gong Ji Won in “20th Century Boy and Girl

Whether he has breakfast or not, Gong Ji Won (Kim Ji Suk) is a daily chugger of respect women juice! He’s the perfect match for top actress Sa Jin Jin (Han Ye Seul), even if the world is shipping her with his older step-brother and former idol, Anthony (Lee Sang Woo). However, despite Anthony being Jin Jin’s bias since she was young, he has nothing on her 30-year friendship with Ji Won! Ji Won is always very respectful of Jin Jin and always ready to protect her if she needs it.

Ji Won’s dramatic entrance in the show is when he helps her get through a mob of paparazzi at the airport! Though he has very strong feelings for Jin Jin, he never tries to pressure her to return them. He even takes a step back when he thinks that she wants to be with Anthony. A true selfless man; however, he certainly steps up to the role of her boyfriend once he confesses his feelings. He completely understands the secrecy and discreetness he must have to be a worthy partner for Sa Jin Jin. They show just how lucky it is to fall in love with your best friend!

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Lee Hwi in “Grand Prince

Lee Hwi (Yoon Shi Yoon) is our Prince Charming! Saeguk dramas can easily be a genre where the female lead is belittled, not to mention being caught in a love triangle where no man is a good option. However, “Grand Prince” is a drama that isn’t afraid to let the leading man adore the leading lady. Hwi is one of two Grand Princes and all he wants is to find love! Once he meets Seong Ja Hyeon (Jin Se Yeon) he can’t seem to get her off his mind. They keep running into each other and it’s clear they share the same intense passion for painting.

His most heart-swooning moment is when he asks her to drop honorifics, call him by his name, and asks her to live as equals. While that desire is difficult to obtain as they battle against Hwi’s scheming older brother (Joo Sang Wook), we can’t help but hope for their happily-ever-after! Even when it seems that Hwi’s involvement in the revolution could separate the two, “Grand Prince” defeats all expectations, letting Ja Hyeon get involved and help bring Joseon back to a peaceful state. Though it worries him to have her involved, Hwi is overjoyed and believes that she is his true partner. What a power couple!

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Bong Sang Pil in “Lawless Lawyer

Bong Sang Pil (Lee Joon Gi) has adored Ha Jae Yi (Seo Ye Ji) for a good part of his lifetime. While they certainly start off on rocky footing, as Sang Pil sends his associates to collect her father’s debt, Ha Jae Yi is the least bit intimidated. Jae Yi’s strength and determination are something that Sang Pil is constantly admiring. He has no qualms letting her take the reins on their cases. He respects her as an attorney and knows that she’s marvelous at her job.

When Jae Yi figures out the truth to their intertwined pasts, Sang Pil doesn’t hide anything from her. Instead he shows her his secret evidence board in the law-firm. They are a pair of equals that are ready to fight for justice. It’s no surprise that they both find comfort in each other, and we can’t help but root for their romance as well as their revenge!

Catch the first episode:

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These are only just a few of the amazing male protagonists that the K-drama world has to offer! What are your favorite respectful male leads and your favorite moments? Let us know in the comments below! 

kaityv spends most of her time watching K-dramas even though she should be writing. If she’s not watching a drama then she’s for sure binging BTS, iKON, and Red Velvet music videos.

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