Korean Dramas: Most Popular & Overused KDrama Cliches

Although I’m not a HUGE fan of Kdramas, I watch my fair share from time to time. They are especially useful if I’m looking to improve my Korean listening skills. These are just some of the common themes you will find while watching Korean dramas.

You can almost predict what’s going to happen most of the time. It’s kind of hilarious. My favorite one would have to be being hit by cars because even they acknowledge that driving is one of the most dangerous aspects of living here.

Remember that romanization is only a tool! Try not to depend on it too much and try learning the Korean alphabet and how to pronounce the letters properly and you will have a much easier time learning.

Some great books to get your started are Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language and Become a Hangeul Master: Learn to Read and Write Korean Characters

Check out our Dom & Hyo ebooks below.

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  • Patrick07
    Oct 16,2015 at 1:59 am

    hahahahah … hilarious

  • jaraket
    Oct 15,2015 at 9:08 pm

    – Falling in love with someone who used to be or is still a sibling-like figure.
    – Dramatic u-turns across multiple lanes.
    – Love quadrangles.
    – The ‘plain’ girl gets a makeover and wows someone with her sudden beauty.
    – Rich guy takes poor girl shopping for expensive clothes for some reason or other.
    – Someone owes money to a loan shark with a gang of thugs at his disposal. Usually, there is running involved.
    – The male lead can’t express emotions and/or can’t say ‘I love you’.
    – Particularly in older dramas, you can’t just turn your cell phone off, you have to rip off the back cover and tear out the battery.
    – You met everyone significant in your life when you were a child, but got separated somehow until a fateful day when you meet by chance as adults.
    – Graphic vomiting or teeth brushing scenes.
    – Uncomfortably long, convoluted kisses. Bonus points if one of the participants was initially unwilling to kiss but had the kiss forced on them.
    – Meeting your antagonist or the disapproving parents of your beloved at a cafe. Nobody finishes their coffee.
    – Police stations are pandemonium, with arrested crooks being interviewed or interrogated everywhere.
    – If you go to hospital, there will be a vapour machine nearby.
    – If you are a girl, you eat like a horse, but never seem to put on any weight or have to work out.
    – At some point, you will probably eat instant ramyun, possibly using the saucepan lid as a plate.

    I’m sure someone already has, but we should all get together and make a Tumblr of these!

  • Miguk
    Oct 15,2015 at 5:47 pm

    The villain who wears a black baseball cap when he goes out to commit crimes. Do they think that makes them invisible?

  • 째즈 스타
    Oct 15,2015 at 3:53 pm

    D: oh my gosh yesssss~~!

  • Megan Sherrin
    Oct 15,2015 at 1:53 pm

    -Girl making a cute lunchbox or porridge for sick/hectically busy love interest
    – Accidentally falling on top of love interest (often during an ice skating scene)
    -One parent passed away leaving the other perpetually sacrificial
    – Overworked parent apologizes for being poor
    -Over-rich parent guilts their child about how hard they worked to get rich for the kid’s benefit
    -Bribery/ Extortion
    -Running to meet a lover (no cell phone service??) and passing them/just missing them on the street

    🙂 Great infographic! This is fun

  • EnzoAbbacchio
    Oct 15,2015 at 10:45 am

    Love it, but there are some relevant absences (in no particular order)…
    – Piggyback
    – Falling asleep on the bus with your head on someone’s shoulder
    – Sharing earphones as a form of foreplay
    – Post drunken-sex awakening
    – Unwanted pregnancy every time you have sex, even if you were not drunk
    – Everybody go crazy seeing the sea (and screams “바다다!”)
    – If you are depressed, you go under a bridge on the Han river
    – If you have to talk to people, you meet them under a bridge on the Han river
    – If you meet someone in a café (because you can’t go to the Han river), you always order something but you never drink it
    – If you meet someone in a café and he/she orders some water, it’s because they’re gonna throw it in your face
    – If you take a decision while driving, you always have to change lane
    – If you are wrongly accused of something, you always reply “죄송합니다” instead of “WTF are you talking about?!?”
    – Be it summer or winter, people sleep fully dressed under a quilt

    • Sophie Song
      Oct 15,2015 at 1:39 pm

      And when mother threatens or pays your boyfriend not to see you, he will never tell you this, but will pretend to be a jerk to you instead.

    • Dominic 'Dom' Dinkins
      Oct 15,2015 at 3:40 pm

      Haha all so true as well.

    • kskjoapriljune
      Oct 16,2015 at 9:51 pm

      i LOL-ed at the “If you take a decision while driving, you always have to change lane” I thought only me realize that part always happened that it looks fake now to me =P

  • mary
    Oct 15,2015 at 9:29 am


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