K-drama Tropes That Never Fail to Give Us the Feels

When watching a K-drama you sure will encounter some moments that you might have seen from another K-drama before. Back hug? Seen that. Piggyback ride? Absolute check.

Seeing a particular scene being repeated in another show that is done by another actor and sometimes given a new twist just prove that even though we have seen them too many times now these tropes still effectively push the right button every time they come up, which makes repeating them very much worth it. 

Here are some of the ever occurring K-drama tropes that never fail to give us the feels.

The Back Hug

Crash Landing on You (tvN, Netflix)

This is a perfect move for whatever reason the lead may have whether it is to console or give comfort, act all cutesy and sweet, or stop the other lead who has already turned their back. The back hug has the amount of intimacy and skinship that does not feel over-the-top or lacking, and although we have seen this too many times, it has never failed to make us go “awww.” 

The Collision

He Is Psychometric (tvN, Netflix)

Perhaps the one time that you’d actually thank a bus driver for his poor driving is when he, for whatever reason, suddenly hits the break that causes the two leads who are coincidentally standing next to one another to crash into each other. Because that very collision—thanks to the driver’s cupid-like intervention—is usually what ignites the spark between the two leads.

The Head on Shoulder

While You Were Sleeping (SBS, Netflix)

Another K-drama trope that makes a simple bus ride extra special is when one of the lead suddenly falls asleep, but luckily he/she is in K-drama land that the other lead is there sitting next to him/her. The latter will then cautiously reach for the sleeping lead’s head and carefully place it on his/her shoulder—a simple gesture but truly heartwarming that it never gets too old. 

The Wrist Grab

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (JTBC, Netflix)

Well, this K-drama trope is a little bit tricky especially if this were to happen in real life. But let’s face it, some people find this kind of savageness appealing. The wrist grab is the I-have-no-other-choice-but-to-do-this move, and usually the lead who resorts to this is likely still stuck in his/her rude or brusque phase. Good thing that K-drama wrist grabs are always justified and are done with the best intentions and reasons.

The Soju Effect

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (tvN, Netflix)

A lot of things can happen when alcohol runs through the body’s system; and in a K-drama lead’s case, it is soju that does all the work. Soju-induced phenomena usually include the attack of the aegyo, an episode of rudeness or rowdiness which the lead by some miracle still pulls off charmingly, an assault of aggressive behaviors like ambush kissing, and of course the ultimate phenomenon that thanks to soju the leads are able to push out of their system—the drunken love confession. Whether it is a feeling that is ignored by the lead’s denial or a secret that they do not want to expose, nothing is ever kept buried underneath when soju takes charge. And once it does, it never slows down. 

The Piggyback Ride

Vagabond (SBS, Netflix)

Much like the drunken love confession, the piggyback ride is a K-drama trope that is caused by alcohol or soju. We know all too well that K-drama leads are big on drinking and we have seen them many times getting drunk and even passing out or almost to the point of. So, whenever a female lead is already too drunk to walk, there is the ever reliable sturdy back of the male lead to the rescue. This carry-you-home chivalrous act is also a go-to move whenever the female lead sustains an injury and just couldn’t walk on her own. 

The First-aider

Hospital Playlist (tvN, Netlflix, The Swoon)

Speaking of injury, it seems that in K-drama land the leads are always prone to getting injured at least once throughout the duration of the show. Major and serious injuries require medical assistance in a hospital with the other lead either waiting miserably and hopelessly outside the operating room or falling asleep while waiting for the other lead to wake up while the manageable ones are just the perfect opportunity to showcase not just the first aid skill of the other lead but also their budding romance.

The Fireworks

My Holo Love (Netflix)

Nothing could be more romantic than a vast night sky being lit up by fireworks in the background of a K-drama scene. As the lead musters the courage to confess, or as the two leads hold hands as the finale of a fun-filled date, or perhaps as they look into each other’s eyes while their faces slowly close the gap for a kiss, all these are made extra special with the aesthetic lights of the fireworks as they danced in the background as if in celebration of the leads’ love.

The Handy Umbrella

The Secret Life of My Secretary (SBS, Netflix)

The leads are peacefully walking side by side at the park or on the street and then suddenly comes the rain. Who hasn’t seen this scene in a K-drama, right? But not that we hate that sudden downpour, because if anything, this “natural” phenomenon leads to the one seemingly trivial object that brings the two leads literally and figuratively closer together—the umbrella. Now I don’t know whether it is because the lead has a hobby of checking the weather forecast before heading out or he/she just happens to bring it everyday, but it just goes to show that keeping it handy does not only give guaranteed protection against the rain but could even bring something more *wink, wink.

The Night Watcher

Because This Is My First Life (tvN, Netflix)

Truth be told there’s not a lot of bed action in K-dramas, and the usual serving they offer plays out like this—the two leads talking face to face and then suddenly the other falls asleep, leaving the other lead to watch as he/she beautifully, contentedly, and happily dreams away. Peaceful isn’t it? This trope may lack all the “action” but it still shows way, way more intimacy compared to the other tropes. Sharing a small space and being that intimately close and then eventually falling asleep reflect the still awake lead getting to appreciate the vulnerable side of the sleeping lead because the latter trusts him/her enough to show it. 

Got a favorite K-drama trope? Share them in the comment section below.

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