Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ten K-Drama Cliches That Never Seem To Get Old

Because honestly, what could be more cliched than Boys Over Flowers? But here are my top ten favorite Kdrama Cliches you are sure to encounter is almost every Kdrama!

This is a topic that is discussed time and time again; for some people these predictable scenes can make or break a drama's credibility but for others, it gives us a sense of satisfaction when we can point at the TV/computer screen and say "Nailed it!" Here are 10 of my favorite Kdrama Cliches:
(Firnlambe here, and while I don't terrorize Aunnie's blogs that often...I just couldn't pass this one up)

10. Left Over Perishables

This happens more often than is even feasibly possible. KDrama characters are constantly going out to eat or drink and leaving their perishables untouched on the table. I'm beginning to think this is how Korea feeds their hungry! Servers just wrap up the food and send it off the local shelter to be eaten by those who are less fortunate. Or at least that is where I choose to believe all these abandoned perishables are going... ya!! what are you talking about....its obviously how the drunkards live on the streets of K-drama Korea.

9. Noses Will Bleed

Either Korean's are just born with weak nasal blood vessels or their air is toxic because an entire populace should not be bleeding this much from their nasal cavities. Between the "Hard At Work Students" or the "Stressed Out Adults" noses are constantly bleeding...Korea should find a cure to this problem...its gotta be that toxic air man, I mean what else could it possible be........althooough it could also be that Korean blood has devolved over the centuries. yes I said devolved, I mean seriously...have you seen how thin their blood can be from a paper cut alone?

8. Rain = Instant Sickness
If you get rained on, you will be very sick in a matter of hours...or at least that is what Kdrama's have taught me. There is almost always some character that is getting caught in the rain and will subsequently be in serious need of either a hospital visit or cold medicine--which will need to be administered only by their romantic counterpart (or second lead) in order for it to work. Note to self: never get caught in the rain in is somehow poisonous...probably due to all that damn toxic air

7.  Random Traffic U-Turns
If you've seen enough Kdramas, you're not alone in believing that Korea has absolutely no traffic laws. Between the random parking and the quick swerve-to-the-shoulder pit stops, Korean drivers have no sense of danger when it comes to turning around. In every Kdrama you will see a random U-Turn, sometimes it's a mild "Oh, I should turn around" but other times it's a 60-mph, assassins-are-after-m', "Must turn around now, now, now, now!" U-turn that I can only imagine should be used only in life-or-death all can thank me for that term....although I do believe my exact wording in the tweets after we watched "My Love From Another Star" were "He flipped his car around like he was being chased by 100 trained assassins" (that show btw has the WORST offense to this cliche we have ever seen....go watch episode 2 around 40:00 and I dare ya'll to find a worse offender) ..... interesting side-note: Helicopters also make random U-turns, so Korea's airspace has the same lack of rules and regulations Agreed!

6. Amnesia

Korean's have weak minds. This is the only conclusion I've come to because amnesia is happening way too often over there. The only other viable option to explain the ridiculous amounts of amnesia is the technological wavelengths in Korea's pro-high tech society is messing with their ability to retain their long-term memory storage. Maybe should have a Hangul translation feature...I have no more smart words \to say for this bit, those have to be the only logical options.

5. Misunderstandings Are Amiss
In Kdramas, it is much better to assume you know what the other person is doing than to wait around to see what actually happens. Case in point, if a woman is standing within three feet of a man, they must  be about to kiss each other! Or they are hiding something, either way something amiss is happening and their actions must be immediately reported to another interested pronto so it can spread like wild fire until it's nearly uncontrollable. It's amazing Korea's murder rate isn't higher...

4. Awkward Kisses

Since we're on the subject of kisses, awkward kisses are a must! The more awkward the better because later on in the series, when it matters, their kisses will become soft-core worthy! Quite often, one of the recipient's eyes will be wide open and the utter shock of being suddenly kissed will cause them to become statutes therefore making the kiss look as stiff and uncomfortable as possible. But when they kiss the next time, they'll be kissing experts! Me thinks there are missing scenes somewhere in the middle of these kisses...

3. Neosporin Is A Cure-All

If you are cut in Kdrama-land; that cut will become the hugest scar you've ever seen unless some sort of cream is added to the wound. Any wound from a paper cut to full-contact fist fight with gangsters will all require neosporin to heal and if you have a band-aid, all the better but it isn't necessarily required. Unless, of course, the wound is on your face, then it will require the most unappealing and distracting band-aid that will unequivocally stand out in harsh relief on your face. I wonder if they ever put neosporin in their noses...

2. Second Lead Syndrome
Quite possibly the most infuriating and most cliched aspect to Kdramas--other than #1, of course--is the second lead syndrome. This cliche is mostly used for female leads but everyone once in  awhile, you will see a male lead have two female love interests. In KDramas, a romantic couple's love can only withstand the weight of time if it's been triangularly tested with a more-than-perfect third-party character. More often than not, this new character will be more perfect for the leading lady then the person she actually ends up with but somehow, only the audience can see this! I wonder why cheating isn't a more prevalent force in Korea...

1.  The Wrist Grab

Of course this list wouldn't be complete without KDrama's most commonly known cliche--the wrist grab. In Korea, it is much more productive to grab a character's wrist to prove a point than it is to use their words and explain a situation. The wrist grab is so versatile that it can just as easily precede an awkward kiss as it can a misunderstanding. It can also be used before a proclamation of love, quite honestly, a wrist grab could mean anything. Regardless of the reason, however, the audience always get excited whenever a wrist grab is presented and the reasons behind the wrist grab often leaves us gasping "Omo!" It's a wonder Korean's even keep their wrists within grabbing distance...

Almost every Kdrama known to Korea will have at least one of these cliche's, if not all of them...
If you're new to Kdramas, these cliches might seem a little ridiculous but with time, they'll become even more second nature than breathing. So keep an eye out and pat yourself on the back if you predict the right cliche at the right time. This means you're well on your way to becoming a Kdrama Expert! 

Bonus Round

This next one is quite possibly the most ridiculous and most frustrating of all the cliches--If you're crossing the street in Kdrama-land, it is completely normal to stop in the middle of the crosswalk, in front of traffic, to have a revelation. Sometimes the best eye-opening conversations take place in the middle rush hour traffic and only the best solutions can be discovered if there are several hundred honking cars passing you by. I wonder what the death-by-traffic statistics are like in Korea....


  1. Very enjoyable read - thank you!!! I'm thinking of making a bingo game with all of the 'plot devices' in current use. Reach over seat belt assist 2pts, pull away from oncoming traffic 2pts, sleeping head catch 1pt, etc. Rank originality of a drama based on overall bingo score - wouldn't that be fun?

    1. Oh my god that would be amazing! My friend over at Soju-like-Kdramas created a drinking game for Kdramas. You should check it out, if only to see the kdrama cliches that she decided on.