12 Ultimate K-Drama Bad Boys Who Capture Hearts
Who doesn’t love a good bad boy in a K-drama? They’re usually so handsome and charming, and sometimes these bad boys can give up total antihero vibes, but we still can’t seem to get enough of them. If you haven’t checked out our other feature on some epic bad boys, make sure you have a look at this list here!
This list is in no particular order!
1. “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo” – Wang So
Lee Joon Gi plays the hard to handle, tough Wang So who is one of the many princes in line to become King. When he meets Hae Soo (IU), he falls in love with her but can’t seem to find the right time to ever be with her. His bad boy ways are almost all diminished, but when duty calls and Wang So must become King, he’s forced to make a heartbreaking decision.
Seeing Lee Joon Gi in this antihero role is invigorating and so romantic. He is so easy to hate at times, but by the end of the series, he has all of our hearts. Despite the big chip on his shoulder, he loves Hae Soo with all his heart and doesn’t want to see her suffer. His love for her is infinite, which makes him pretty darn epic.
2. “Angry Mom” – Go Bok Dong
What can we say? Ji Soo as the bad boy Go Bok Dong in “Angry Mom” with a lot of baggage is a total heartbreaker. He has so much to be angry about, which is why he gets in so many fights, but he also shows so much vulnerability and pain. His character is complex with a lot of issues but none that he can’t overcome. Also, it is so adorable seeing how much he is smitten with Jo Bang Wool (Kim Hee Sun).
You can start watching “Angry Mom” here:
3. “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” – Kim Moo Young
Kim Moo Young (Seo In Guk) is a bit difficult to read and understand at first. He seems like a total punk with a chip on his shoulder, but once the story unfolds and we get to know his past and character, it becomes so much more clearer. The series is also able to really unveil his vulnerability and complex emotions.
This is particularly the case when he meets Yoo Jin Kang (Jung So Min) and falls head over heels in love with her. Seeing his bad boy image melt away whenever he is on screen with her is exactly what we needed to see. His love for her definitely overshadows the bad boy persona he is exuding.
Start watching this drama now:
4. “Tempted” – Kwon Shi Hyun
Woo Do Hwan plays Kwon Shi Hyun, a rich boy who would want nothing more than to hang out with his friends and pick up women. He has no desire to settle down, and it is almost impossible to get him to even think about love. So when an opportunity comes up for him to pretend to like Eun Tae Hee (Joy) as a revenge scheme, he doesn’t think twice.
Talk about a total bad boy. At first, he could care less about the women he is toying with and doesn’t care about his future. When he collides with Eun Tae Hee though, her pureness and innocence rattle his world, and it makes him fall head over heels in love. He starts to realize that she is exactly what he needs in his life.
Watch the first episode of “Tempted” now:
5. “Just Between Lovers” – Lee Gang Doo
As a result of an accident he had as a child, Lee Gang Doo (Junho) lives his life on the edge. His dreams were taken away from him in an instant, and he could care less about his quality of life. He gets into fights repeatedly and has no intentions of putting his life on track. He has zero hope and zero desires for a future.
Then he meets Ha Moon Soo (Won Jin Ah), a girl who is the total opposite of him. She strives to make her life better and works hard to achieve her dreams. And when the two start to fall in love, he realizes that his life can be better. She becomes the reason for him to change.
Seeing Junho emanate so much pain but so much love through this role made it one of his best performances yet. We were able to see so many sides to him that we had never seen before, and it really marked a turning point in his career. The bad boy roles definitely suit him!
Catch the first episode of “Just Between Lovers” here:
6. “Mr. Sunshine” – Gu Dong Mae
Yoo Yeon Seok as Gu Dong Mae in “Mr. Sunshine” is the villain you have a love and hate relationship with. At times, he is so conniving and deceitful that you are almost sure he is completely evil, but then seeing him melt at the the sight of Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) would make you think otherwise. His only soft spot is for Ae Shin, and he makes it known. He has an intense gaze and softness at the same time when it comes to her.
7. “I’m Sorry, I Love You” – Cha Moo Hyuk
Cha Moon Hyuk (So Ji Sub) is one of the original bad boys when it comes to K-dramas. He plays the thug who grew up overseas after his biological mother gave him up for adoption. He makes no excuses for the life he lived and earns money through various illegal ways. He is the classic bad boy that we all eventually fell in love with.
After getting shot in the head and not having much time to live, Moo Hyuk goes back to Korea to search for his biological mother, and he happens to meet Song Eun Cha (Im Soo Jung), a girl he becomes completely entranced with. His life begins to revolve around Eun Chae, and he realizes that there is more to life than his bad boy ways.
Start watching this drama now:
8. “Best Mistake” – Ji Hyun Ho
Kang Yool plays Ji Hyun Ho, the bad boy student who has some anger issues. He is known around school as being kind of a punk but is also very popular with the girls. When a misunderstanding makes him confront Kim Yeon Doo (Lee Eun Jae), he starts to see her in a different light. She is everything he’s not—smart, quiet, and very sweet. His feelings grow for her, and it completely changes him. He even studies hard because he wants to go to the same university as her! So romantic!
Watch “Best Mistake” here:
9. “Wok Of Love” – Doo Chil Seong
Doo Chil Seong (Jang Hyuk) is a gang leader, loan shark, and owner of a rundown Chinese restaurant. He has a calm demeanor but can also be ruthless when it comes to business. He has no fear, and people are scared of him.
But when Chil Seong meets Seo Poong (Junho), he lets him take over his restaurant, and the two form a brother-like bond. He cares for him and wants him to succeed. On top of this, he meets Dan Sae Woo (Jung Ryeo Won) who he ends up falling in love with. He even risks his life to save her all in the name of love!
Catch the first episode of “Wok of Love” here:
10. “Extraordinary You” – Baek Kyung
Baek Kyung (Lee Jae Wook) is living in a comic book world where he has very little choice in terms of how his life will turn out. In the story, Eun Dan Oh (Kim Hye Yoon) is in love with him, but he treats her like dirt and can’t be bothered with her advances. He embarrasses her and makes her cry on the regular.
But when he finds out that Dan Oh is actually in love with another guy, Baek Kyung realizes that he does in fact love her. He starts to change and do sweet things for her in hopes that she will reciprocate his love. His hard exterior completely changes, and it’s the sweetest thing!
Start watching “Extraordinary You” now:
11. “When A Man Falls In Love” – Han Tae Sang
Song Seung Heon as Han Tae Sang in “When A Man Loves” is also a classic K-drama bad boy. He works hard to become the leader of a gang where people not only respect him but fear him. He has a softness about him, but he can also be ruthless when it comes to people who cross his path. But then when he meets Seo Mi Do (Shin Se Kyung), he bends over backwards to make sure that she’s his. He does whatever she asks and is willing to sacrifice everything and anything to be with her—even his own life!
You can start watching “When A Man Falls In Love” here:
12. “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” – Moon Jae Shin
Like a knight in shining armor, Moon Jae Shin (Yoo Ah In) is always there for Kim Yun Hee (Park Min Young). He is fearless, quiet, and loves Yun Hee with all his heart. This is one of Yoo Ah In’s most epic roles, and he is able to play the bad boy persona so well! There is something about the brooding ways of Jae Shin that really makes your heart skip a beat. The second-lead syndrome is strong in this one!
Start watching “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” here:
Hey Soompiers, which of these K-drama bad boys is your favorite? 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: “How Do You Play?”, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay,” “Was It Love?”
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