10 K-Drama Love Triangles That Hurt So Bad But Feel So Good
Are you sick of the love triangle K-drama trope? Because I’m not!
If you’re like me, this feature will help you to reminisce on all the wonderful and heart-wrenching K-drama love triangles that we still can’t seem to get over. Prepare your hearts for this emotional walk down memory lane!
1. “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”- Do Bong Soon, Ahn Min Hyuk, In Gook Doo
“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” stars Park Bo Young as an aspiring game maker who was born with super strength. She meets Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik), the CEO of a game company, who, by chance, happens to be in need of a bodyguard. He ends up hiring Do Bong Soon with the added bonus of letting her develop a game while she works for him.
Min Hyuk ends up falling in love with Bong Soon first, but he soon finds out that she’s head over heels in love with her first love, In Gook Doo. Gook Doo, who is played by Ji Soo, is a macho cop who considers Bong Soon a friend and nothing more.
This love triangle is more adorable than anything as all the characters have their own little quirks and jealous bouts, which make it so enjoyable to watch. There’s also some bromance that happens between Gook Doo and Min Hyuk which I’m totally here for. The two of them have a total love/hate relationship with each other!
Start watching “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”:
2. “She Was Pretty” – Kim Hye Jin, Ji Sung Joon, Kim Shin Hyuk
“She Was Pretty” stars Hwang Jung Eum as Kim Hye Jin, a woman who used to be very put together and popular with the boys as a kid, but grows up caring a little less about her appearance. She gets a chance at a magazine company where she reunites with her first love, Ji Sung Joon (Park Seo Joon). Sung Joon had been madly in love with Hye Jin when he was younger, but is unable to recognize her as an adult.
While Sung Joon is unable to figure out who Hye Jin is, Kim Shin Hyuk (Choi Si Won) steps into the picture and attempts to steal her heart. He loves her for who she is, regardless of how she looks, which is where the second-lead syndrome really kicks in.
This series had a very heart-wrenching love triangle as it made it hard for viewers to choose between Hye Jin’s two suitors. The best part about this series is that Hwang Jung Eum has an equal amount of chemistry with both actors. Your heart will go back and forth between Shin Hyuk and Sung Joon, which makes for an intense emotional rollercoaster!
Watch “She Was Pretty”:
3. “Who Are You: School 2015”- Lee Eun Bi, Han Yi An, Gong Tae Kwang
In this drama, Kim So Hyun plays both Lee Eun Bi and Lee Eun Byul, twin girls who are separated at a young age. When Eun Byul disappears one day, Eun BI takes her place. Han Yi Ahn (Nam Joo Hyuk) likes Eun Byul, and without knowing it, also starts to like the new Eun Byul, who is really Eun Bi.
As Eun Bi adjusts to her new life, stepping into her twin sister’s shoes, she befriends Gong Tae Kwang, who is played by Yook Sungjae. Gong Tae Kwang ends up falling in love with Eun Bi. Gong Tae Kwang is a total charmer, which makes it so hard for the viewer when Yi Ahn ends up falling for her too. The two fight over the affections of Eun Bi and she’s forced to choose between them.
The angst and romance between these three high school students will have your heart strings tugging and aching. You’ll especially love the charming and quirky Gong Tae Kwang as he won the hearts of so many!
Start watching this love triangle unfold:
4. “Heirs” – Cha Eun Sang, Kim Tan, Choi Young Do
If you want to talk about a K-drama love triangle that went down as definitely being one to remember, it’s the love triangle between Cha Eun Sang (Park Shin Hye), Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) and Choi Young Do (Kim Woo Bin). Cha Eun Sang is a poor girl who gets a chance to go to an elite private school alongside Young Do and Tan. And the three engage in a very intense love triangle.
The reason why this particular love triangle hurts so bad but feels so good is mainly because of Choi Young Do. Maybe it’s the inner turmoil he has deep down inside and the anger he projects that made people fall in love with this bad boy. Because although he was all tough as nails, when it came to Cha Eun Sang, he wore his heart on his sleeve. It also didn’t help that his rival was his former best friend.
In case you haven’t watched “Heirs” already, you can start now:
5. “Hwarang” – Aro, Moo Myung, Sam Maek Jong
“Hwarang” tells the story of a group of knights who are very pretty and fight very well. Although this drama is about the hwarang, the first two episodes don’t really focus on them. Instead, the show focuses on the backdrop of Aro (Go Ara) and how she eventually meets Moo Myung (Park Seo Joon). Moo Myung is best friends with Aro’s older brother, but her brother passes away, which is why the meeting between Moo Myung and Aro is much more emotional. Enter the Crown Prince, Sam Maek Jon (Park Hyung Sik), who charms his way into Aro’s heart. Although she does find him intriguing, she can’t help but fall in love with Moo Myung.
To be honest, this love triangle is so hot because it involves two very attractive actors. You have Park Seo Joon on the one side and Park Hyung Sik on the other. How is a girl to choose?! Park Seo Joon’s character Moo Myung is loyal, courageous, and a fighter. Park Hyung Sik’s character is charming, trustworthy, and a total heartthrob. This love triangle is perfect in that it involves pretty perfect people.
Start watching “Hwarang”:
6. “Fated to Love You” – Kim Mi Young, Lee Gun, Daniel
Jang Na Ra stars in “Fated to Love You” as a regular and plain girl named Kim Mi Young, who doesn’t have a lot of self confidence. Fatefully, she meets Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) and the two have a one night stand. This results in a pregnancy that forces them into marriage. Although they are not sure about their feelings for each other, Lee Gun pushes Lee Mi Young away.
This is where Daniel, played by Choi Jin Hyuk, comes into the picture. The handsome cafe owner who lives in the neighborhood takes quite the liking to Mi Young. The two develop a close friendship in which Daniel fights for Mi Young.
This love triangle is epic for many reasons. Just when you think you’re totally on Daniel’s side, Lee Gun goes and does something that is mega sweet and wins our hearts. They’re both so equally swoon worthy and charming that you’ll find your heart torn in two.
Start watching “Fated To Love You”:
7. “Lucky Romance”
Bo Nui is working a million part-time jobs in order to make ends meet and to help pay hospital bills, as her little sister is in the hospital. She comes to meet Je Soo Ho and is offered a job at his gaming company. The two butt heads at first, but Soo Ho comes to realize that he has very strong feelings for her.
But we obviously can’t forget the second-male lead Gary Choi, a professional tennis player who is very popular with the ladies. Gary has his eyes set on Bo Nui and is willing to stop at nothing to win her affections. With his passionate persistence and Soo Ho’s adorable proclamations of love for Bo Nui, this love triangle makes for a heart-fluttering and also heart-breaking romance.
Catch the first episode of “Lucky Romance”:
8. “Reply 1988”- Sung Duk Sun, Kim Jung Hwan, Choi Taek
The love triangle in “Reply 1988” could easily go down as being one of the most heart-wrenching love triangles in all of K-drama history.
In “Reply 1988,” there is a love triangle involving Sung Duk Sun (Hyeri), Kim Jung Hwan (Ryu Jun Yeol), and Choi Taek (Park Bo Gum). The three are best friends and have spent their entire lives growing up with each other. They could almost be considered siblings, except that Jung Hwan and Choi Taek are totally in love with Duk Sun.
The heartbreaking part of this particular love triangle is that Jung Hwan and Taek are such good friends and are in the game of not wanting to hurt each other’s feelings. The bromance is real! And with both elements of romance and bromance, it makes this love story that much more compelling and intriguing to watch.
You don’t want to miss this epic love triangle, so start watching the first episode:
9. “Cheese in the Trap” – Hong Seol, Yoo Jung, Baek In Ho
“Cheese in the Trap” is based on the successful webtoon written by Soonkki. The story involves college students who get entangled in a love triangle. Kim Go Eun plays Hong Seol, Park Hae Jin plays Yoo Jung, and Seo Kang Joon plays Baek In Ho.
Yoo Jung is the first to confess his feelings to Hong Seol, and without putting much thought into it, she accepts his confession and the two start to date. Meanwhile, Seol has gotten very close to In Ho, who is Jung’s sworn enemy. Seol is constantly caught in the middle and this acts as a huge stress factor for her.
There’s nothing more passionate and confusing than watching college students try to figure out their future and romance at the same time. Hong Seol is so relatable and you’ll end up totally feeling for her as she’s caught in this crazy love triangle. Although the two male characters are both amazing catches, you’ll oddly find yourself getting drawn to bad boy Baek In Ho. There’s just something about seeing a tough bad boy getting so shy and sweet around the girl he has a crush on!
Start watching “Cheese in the Trap”:
10. “Don’t Dare to Dream” – Pyo Na Ri, Lee Hwa Shin, Go Jung Won
Ah, what would a love triangle list be without “Don’t Dare to Dream”? This love triangle is of epic proportions as it involves Hwa Shin (Jo Jung Suk), Pyo Na Ri (Gong Hyo Jin), and Jung Won (Go Kyung Pyo) entangled in this messy, but very open love triangle.
Jung Won and Hwa Shin are the bestest of friends, but have the unfortunate tendency to fall for the same girl. This theory is put to the test when Jung Won ends up falling in love with Pyo Na Ri. Initially, it seems as though Hwa Shin isn’t interested in Na Ri, but when he sees how they are together and how Na Ri is with Jung Won, Hwa Shin slowly becomes interested.
This love triangle has both elements of heartbreak, but also humor. Because Jung Won and Hwa Shin are best friends, they tried to find humor in their messed up situation. The three of them even agree at one point to live together to see who Na Ri would pick! This love triangle is special in that it makes you almost root for the bromance more than the romance.
Start watching “Don’t Dare to Dream”:
BONUS: “I’ll Go To You When The Weather Is Nice” – Im Eun Seob, Mok Hae Won, Oh Young Woo
This is the newest addition to this list and one that deserves a spot! Although the series is not completed yet, the love triangle that’s depicted is already worth the mention.
“I’ll Go To You When The Weather Is Nice” stars Park Min Young as Mok Hae Won, a girl who is very lonely as a result of her mother having gone to jail, and Seo Kang Joon as Im Eun Seop. The two went to high school together and Eun Seop has always had a crush on Hae Won, but she doesn’t know about it until they reunite many years later.
The strong affections Eun Seop has for Hae Won are obvious and it’s incredibly hard not to love the sweet and subtle gestures that he does for her. But when Oh Young Woo (Kim Young Dae) creeps into the drama in episode five, it’s really hard not to have our hearts swayed.
I mean, seriously!
It’s a bit too early to tell if there will be a reappearance of Oh Young Woo, but fingers are crossed! If the two episodes is all this love triangle has to offer, it’s still worth the mention. It’s that perfect.
Start watching the first episode of “I’ll Go To You When The Weather Is Nice” for free:
Other honorable mentions: “Reply 1994,” “My Girl,” “Boys Over Flowers,” “I Need Romance 2,” “Stairway To Heaven,” “Kill Me Heal Me,” “You’re Beautiful,” “Autumn In My Heart,” “Sandglass,” and “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo”
Hey Soompiers, what was your favorite love triangle? 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: “Kingdom” and “I’ll Go To You When The Weather Is Nice”
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