The 14 Best K-Drama Rom-Coms Of All Time
With the scent of summer in the air and the anticipation of a fun-filled summer up ahead, it’s the perfect time to binge watch some classic K-drama rom-coms to get you into that summer romance feel. Rom-com dramas, when done right, are the best kind of genre to watch. They make you feel good, tug at your heartstrings, and totally have you a believer in love. All aspects that we can dig, right? There’s obviously been a lot of rom-coms out there in the K-drama world, but very few earn the title of being the best of all time. Here’s a look at 14 of those titles (in no particular order).
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.
1. Full House
It’s hard to talk about K-drama rom-coms without the mention of the classic, “Full House” starring Song Hye Kyo and Rain. The marriage contract trope, as popular as it is right now, was not as common back then and was a real thrill when it was first introduced to us as an audience. So when Han Ji Eun (Song Hye Kyo) and Lee Young Jae (Rain) begin their fake marriage and have to live with each other despite their deep hatred for each other, we knew it would be an instant success.
One of the reasons for its success was not only because of the unique storyline but because of the obvious chemistry and laughs we got as a result of the combination of Song Hye Kyo and Rain. The two were so perfect in their respective roles!
They were also pretty famous at the time, so for the two to be starring in a series together was exciting. We’re glad they were able to work together and make such a great series because it’s definitely considered a classic rom-com today!
Start watching “Full House”:
Ah, the popular body swapping K-drama trope. Like “Full House,” the idea of the main leads swapping bodies in a series was not really that popular nor used that often at the time. So when Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin) and Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won) swap bodies halfway throughout the series, people were surprised but found it pleasantly charming.
This series is one of the best rom-coms of all time because of the ever so talented Hyun Bin and his arrogant but oh so romantic character. He was able to portray Joo Won in a way that made him so lovable despite his love for money and designer tracksuits.
We also can’t forget Ha Ji Won and her fangirling character, Gil Ra Im. It was hilarious to see her obsess over her idol, Oska (Yoon Sang Hyun). It made the relating to the female lead part pretty easy to do!
Start watching “Secret Garden”:
3. Master’s Sun
It’s really hard to find humor in a series about a woman who is constantly haunted by dead people, but the Hong sisters were able to somehow pull it off. Gong Hyo Jin plays Tae Gong Sil, a girl who barely gets enough sleep at night because she’s constantly being pestered by dead people wanting her to do things for them. She meets Joo Joong Won (So Ji Sub) and finds out that when she touches him, she doesn’t see the dead people.
The two start off despising each other, but because Gong Sil is able to find peace when she’s around Joong Won, she’s pretty clingy. The two embark on a weird relationship and somehow end up falling in love with each other. There are scary ghosts throughout and they’re actually legit scary looking, but because the story is so good, you can look past it.
The Hong sisters are brilliant when it comes to creativity and tapping into the supernatural world. And when this world coexists with that of romance and butterflies, it makes for a unique script. This series really brought out all kinds of emotions and had you really rooting for the two main leads. It’s unpredictable in some aspects of the plot and generally just consistent in terms of keeping viewers engaged. There’s so much to love about it!
Start watching “Master’s Sun”:
4. My Love From the Star
We obviously can’t have an ultimate rom-com list without the mention of “My Love From the Star.” This series not only took off in South Korea, but it was also an international success! Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun became worldwide stars because of this series – and with good reason!
Who would have thought that a supernatural series about an alien (Kim Soo Hyun) falling in love with a famous actress (Jun Ji Hyun) would garner SO much success? But it did. I’d like to think that most of this is owed to the brilliance of Jun Ji Hyun as Chun Song Yi. Her over-the-top acting and dramatic gestures brought so much humor to her character. She played it well and it was adorable seeing her fall in love with Do Min Joon.
People loved seeing this unique love story unfold. And the fact that their relationship was pretty much doomed from the start made for one long cliffhanger. People were dying to know what would happen to the two lovers. It also helped that the main leads were both gorgeous and had undeniable chemistry.
Start watching “My Love From the Star”:
People often overlook “My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho,” but I consider this to be a rom-com classic. Lee Seung Gi as Cha Tae Woong and Shin Min Ah as the nine-tailed fox Mi Ho were both equally charming and hilarious. Lee Seung Gi was considered more of a rookie actor at the time and after starring in this series, he was able to garner a lot of respect as an actor.
One of the main reasons why this series was so successful was because of the unique script and the charm of Shin Min Ah as the gumiho. Her love for beef and wanting a romance was such an adorable attribute to the story that made people fall head over heels for her! And when you pair this with the cold and spoiled rich male lead falling in love, it’s a recipe for a classic rom-com.
Start watching “My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho”:
6. My Lovely Sam Soon
This one is another Hyun Bin drama, but it’s also one that can’t be missed! “My Lovely Sam Soon” stars Kim Sun Ah as Sam Soon, a pastry chef who gets a job at a gourmet restaurant that Hyun Jin Hoon (Hyun Bin) owns. After a series of unfortunate events, Sam Soon and Jin Hoon make a contract to be in a fake relationship.
It’s a classic love story with a trope that we’re all familiar with. It has the same kind of vibe as the Hollywood movie, “Bridget Jones’s Diary” as it deals with a female protagonist who is self-conscious about her appearance and has had terrible luck when it comes to men. It’s witty, humorous, and the character, Sam Soon is so relatable! The two main leads start off despising each other, but then they start to fall in love. It’s a heart-warming love story and it will make you a believer in true love!
Start watching “My Name Is Kim Sam Soon”:
What is a best rom-com list without the mention of the F4 and “Boys Over Flowers”?! It’s considered to be one of the biggest Korean drama hits as it was very well received in ratings, not only in South Korea but all over Asia. Lee Min Ho as Gu Joon Pyo and Ku Hye Sun as Geum Jan Di remain an unforgettable pair.
Seeing the two bicker and engage in a love-hate relationship sucked us into their world – the exotic vacations, lavish gifts, and expensive lifestyle; seeing how Joon Pyo swept Jan Di off her feet felt like a fairy-tale dream come true. It was an emotional rollercoaster that viewers got to be a part of. On top of that, we got to see the other three members of the F4 and their luxurious lifestyles.
Start watching “Boys Over Flowers”:
Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye star in this gender-bender series about a man who manages a cafe and the “boy” he hires. This series took Korea by storm when it was released for its humorous and heart-warming script alongside the intense chemistry exhibited by the two main leads.
When you have Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye in a K-drama, it’s a guaranteed hit, but the supporting cast for this series was also pretty memorable. There was Lee Sun Kyun who partook in the love triangle between the two main leads, Chae Jung An, and we can’t forget the handsome Kim Jae Wook.
So with an amazing cast like this, it’s no wonder the series did so great. It’s one of those K-dramas that you can revisit over and over again and still appreciate it in its greatness!
Start watching “Coffee Prince”:
Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara have so much chemistry that this was the second time they starred in a K-drama together. The two just have this charm when they’re on screen together that is enough to give viewers butterflies.
Their love story in this particular series was so heartbreaking, but also so enjoyable to watch. Seeing Kim Mi Young (Jang Nara) as the forlorn female lead with low self-esteem was sad, but totally relatable. Jang Nara not only had an amazing connection with her co-star, Jang Hyuk, but there was also fireworks with the second male lead, Choi Jin Hyuk.
The love triangle was one of the best in K-drama history IMO, but another aspect that made this series so enjoyable to watch was Jang Hyuk’s over-the-top character. His dramatic gestures and loud laugh definitely made the series unforgettable!
Start watching “Fated to Love You”:
10. She Was Pretty
“She Was Pretty” stars Park Seo Joon as Ji Sung Joon and Hwang Jung Eum as Kim Hye Jin. Sung Joon and Hye Jin are two childhood friends who end up getting separated at a young age. Unable to forget his first love, Sung Joon returns to Korea to find Hye Jin. But Hye Jin isn’t confident in her physical appearance and sends her best friend in place of her.
This is a classic rom-com. One that can be compared to that of Hollywood romantic comedy classics. It’s got the eccentric supporting cast with characters that are a bit quirky and dramatic and the classic female lead make-over. It’s every rom-com lovers dream come true!
Start watching “She Was Pretty”:
11. Kill Me Heal Me
This is another Hwang Jung Eum K-drama, but one that really can’t be forgotten. “Kill Me Heal Me” is a series that touches you on every different level. It’s got the unforgettable male lead, Cha Do Hyun played by Ji Sung. Do Hyun has multiple personality disorder and hires a psychiatrist by the name of Oh Ri Jin, who is played by Hwang Jung Eum.
The aspect that makes this series so hilarious and so entertaining to watch is hands-down the various personalities that Ji Sung takes upon himself to act out. And almost every single one of them is fun to watch or totally lovable!
There’s the bad boy Shin Se Gi who, let’s be honest, we all partially wanted Oh Ri Jin to end up with:
The beautiful and sassy Yo Na:
The laid back Perry Park:
And when it becomes unpredictable as to when these personalities will come out, it makes for a hilarious ride!
Start watching “Kill Me Heal Me”:
12. It’s Okay, That’s Love
“It’s Okay, That’s Love” is a series that puts you on a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s a series that will break but also tug at your heart at the exact same time. It deals with the issue of mental illnesses and romance – themes that many people can relate to and draw from today. And when you have the two main leads, Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin, you’re guaranteed a good series.
The two main leads are enough to send the series in a frenzy, but the killer supporting cast also makes it a classic. I mean, you have Sung Dong Il, Lee Kwang Soo, Do Kyung Soo, and Lee Sung Kyung – talk about a killer cast! It really doesn’t get any better than this.
Start watching “It’s Okay, That’s Love”:
Another Yoon Eun Hye series, but one that can’t be overlooked, is “Goong” – also known as “Princess Hours.” Yoon Eun Hye plays a normal high school girl named Shin Chae Kyung who is forced into an arranged marriage with the wealth and handsome royalty, Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon). Shin is not very fond of Chae Kyung at first and makes her feel pretty self-conscious, but when he starts to realize his feelings for her, the series really gives the feels.
On top of the amazing script, choreography, acting, and charisma from the actor, there’s a love triangle, which obviously makes it all the more intense. You’ll also see the younger Song Ji Hyo who acts as Shin’s first love.
This series has got all the elements that make a K-drama rom-com totally worth the watch. It’s stood the test of time and has become the first K-drama that people watch that sucks them into the K-drama world.
Start watching “Goong”:
Although new, “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” deserves a spot on this list. Park Seo Joon plays the pompous CEO, Lee Young Joon, who gets caught off guard when his secretary, Kim Mi So (Park Min Young), decides to quit. He realizes his feelings for Kim Mi So run far deeper than that of an employer with his employee, so he decides to ask her to marry him on a whim.
This series struck all the right chords. It was not only hilariously engaging from the first minute, but it continued to maintain its exciting storyline. The thing that made it this series so memorable and perfect was the chemistry between Park Min Young and Park Seo Joon. The connection was so sincere and intense that they were even mistaken as a couple IRL.
Hard not to believe the two aren’t a real-life item, right?!
Start watching “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim”:
Hey Soompiers, which of these rom-coms is your ultimate fav? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG. She is also the author of “K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “Her Private Life,” “The Secret Life Of My Secretary,” “Angel’s Last Mission: Love,” “One Spring Night”, “Absolute Boyfriend,” and “Produce X 101”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden,” “Goblin,” “Because This Is My First Life,” “Star In My Heart”
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen and the second season of “My First, First Love”