8 Platonic K-Drama Friendships That Give Us All The Feels
Who says you need romance to make a good K-drama? It’s true that we watch K-dramas for the well-drawn intimate relationships, but no rule book insists there has to be romantic love. It’s just as fun to watch two people bicker, banter and fall in like as it is to watch them fall in love.
Love can be a real pain sometimes. All those unnecessary wrist grabs, all those improbable single tears, all those slow, fish-like kisses. Who needs ’em? Here are eight platonic friends who prove that friendship can be exciting, emotionally-charged and rewarding, and that true love might just be overrated.
Warning: minor spoilers ahead!
1. Eun Tak and Reaper in “Goblin”
We love a pair of friends who start out as mortal enemies. When we and Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) first meet Reaper (Lee Dong Wook), he is genuinely terrifying. It feels like only a matter of time before he gets his way and actually sees her dead. But this being a Kim Eun Sook drama, even the scariest characters have a fluffy underbelly, and it doesn’t take long before we get to see Reaper’s.
Eun Tak and Reaper soon end up as roommates who take great pleasure in ganging up on their grouchy neighborhood Goblin (Gong Yoo). Over the course of a few laundry-folding sessions we see their mutual affection grow, and by the end of the drama it’s abundantly clear how much they want each other to be happy.
Check out the first episode of “Goblin”:
2. Shi Mok and Yeo Jin in “Forest of Secrets”
How do you make friends when you don’t have feelings? We have no idea, and neither does Hwang Shi Mok (Cho Seung Woo). Luckily, he has Han Yeo Jin (Bae Doona) to force her way into his heart, however long it takes.
Shi Mok and Yeo Jin put their very different heads together to uncover a complex web of corruption in the Korean legal system. It seems like a pairing that won’t work, but each provides what the other lacks: Shi Mok is cold, calculating, and precise, Yeo Jin is warm, empathetic, and passionate. Yeo Jin is so warm, in fact, that it even rubs off on Shi Mok. Might she be the only person to ever make him smile?
3. Chief Kim and Ha Kyung in “Chief Kim”
One sure fire way to make an enemy? Throw a leftover sausage skewer into their bowl of ramyun. With that as an introduction, it’s no wonder Ha Kyung (Nam Sang Mi) is dead set on hating Chief Kim (Namgoong Min). His weird suits, wild-eyed grin, and all-around scam-artist vibes do him no favors, either.
But it takes a scammer to know a scammer, which makes Chief Kim indispensable at TQ Group, the world’s scammiest company. When Ha Kyung decides to air her boss’s (Park Young Gyu) dirty laundry, Chief Kim is on hand to help her hang him out to dry. These two are so smart, resolute, and cutely dorky that there’s absolutely no winning against them.
Check out the first episode of “Chief Kim”:
4. Ra Im and Oska in “Secret Garden”
Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won) is the biggest fangirl of K-pop idol Oska (Yoon Sang Hyun). We know what you’re thinking, that’s not so platonic! But romance is never in the cards for these two. Certainly not if Oska’s cousin, the delightfully arrogant Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin) has anything to do with it.
Oska goes from being the “oppa” in Ra Im’s posters to a real-life oppa who looks out for her and helps her navigate her angst-ridden romance. He’s there for her when Joo Won’s crazy goes a bit too far, or, even worse, when his psychotic mother gets involved. She’s there for him when he needs the pure-hearted support of a true fan turned friend. Don’t we all wish we could get along so great with our own idol oppas? Okay, maybe we’d have a hard time keeping it so platonic!
Check out the first episode of “Secret Garden”:
5. Jin Myung and Heimdal in “Age Of Youth 2”
It’s a sad reality of the K-pop industry that some idols just don’t make it. They put in all the blood, sweat, and tears but that spotlight’s only big enough for a few. Such is the case for poor Heimdal (Ahn Woo Yeon), who’s all set to be dropped by the entertainment agency where Jin Myung (Han Ye Ri) works. You don’t have to be a K-pop fan to feel your heart break for the guy.
Jin Myung feels lucky to have her new job. All she wants to do is keep her head down without rocking the boat. But how can she do that when there’s a baby idol out there who needs her help? She might not be able to save his career, but it’ll break your heart twice when you see how far she goes to help him shine.
6. Ra On and Byung Yeon in “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds”
As all historical drama fans know, every plucky heroine needs a best friend in the palace to help her survive. For eununch-in-disguise Ra On (Kim Yoo Jung), that BFF is Kim Byung Yeon (Kwak Dong Yeon), the Crown Prince’s (Park Bo Gum) ever-faithful manservant.
Byung Yeon is a man of few words, but it says a lot that he’s willing to let Ra On share his living quarters. Even though he spends most of his time lurking in the rafters like an emo ninja, he’s always around when Ra On needs a word of advice or a silent glare of support. He’s the kind of friend whose love doesn’t quite hit you until it’s gone. But wait… don’t go, Kim Hyung, don’t goooo!
Check out the first episode of “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds”:
7. Kang Doo and Yoo Jin in “Just Between Lovers”
Kang Doo (2PM’s Junho) and Yoo Jin (Kang Han Na) have a friendship that’s just… chill. They enter each other’s orbit quite by chance, as a contractor and boss lady at the same architecture firm. In fact, they’re from such different worlds that a friendship between them seems unlikely at best.
But Kang Doo and Yoo Jin bond when the people they like, Moon Soo (Won Jin Ah) and Joo Won (Lee Ki Woo) get closer. They become drinking buddies who exchange words of advice and occasional mocking smiles. Their friendship changes them both in crucial ways, and helps us viewers to see new sides of them. Our angry male lead becomes a wise old sage and our second female lead becomes thoughtful and sensitive when we expect her to be snide and petty.
Check out the first episode of “Just Between Lovers”:
8. Bong Hee and Eun Hyuk in “Suspicious Partner”
We all need a friend who will happily sit and listen to us whine about our relationship problems. Y’know, that person who knows exactly when to roll their eyes at the stupid thing your significant other just did, and always has a terrible story of their own to make you feel better.
Neither Eun Hyuk (Choi Tae Joon) nor Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) has an easy time in love. Bong Hee’s busy in her push-and-pull with pouty Ji Wook (Ji Chang Wook), while Eun Hyuk is trying desperately to avoid his beloved Yoo Jung (Kwon Nara), who happens to be Ji Wook’s ex. If that sounds complicated, don’t worry, these two will figure it all out over a nice cup of coffee in the garden. Well, as long as Ji Wook doesn’t drench them with a water hose first.
Check out the first episode of “Suspicious Partner”:
Which platonic friendship got you in your feelings? Let us know in the comments below!
Azra_A spends most of her waking hours waiting patiently for 2PM’s next comeback (roll on 2021!). She relies on sheet masks and weird ice cream flavors to help her endure (cucumber is great, ceylon is better). When she’s not watching the comeback clock, you’ll find her on Instagram.