The Kdrama Tropes ….. Both loved and hated by various kaddicts and always a prime choice of topic. Come join The Fangirls as we discuss our favorites and also the tropes we want to see get hit by the White Truck of Doom.
Our Favorite Tropes
CLKYTTA: Identity Switch-I love this one. Whether it’s a girl pretending to be a guy (my personal favorite is Bromance), or a full on body swap like in Secret Garden. This trope is always fun.
Accidental Kiss-The trip and fall kiss gets me every time. Two favorites are Flower Boy Next Door and Bride of the Century.
KMUSE: Chaebols Run Everything – I can’t deny I totally love a good Chaebol storyline. I am one of those people that loves a rich jerk finding love and his humanity trope and that usually means we start with a Chaebol. To this day dramas like Secret Garden will always be my go to when I need a quick drama fix.
Crazy Mother In Law – I know this one might be controversial, but what would kdramas be without some crazy controlling mothers? I am not saying that I want to see them in every drama, but kdramaland would be a lot less makjang if they didn’t exist.
DRAMA GEEK: Piggyback Ride – Okay, I’m a sucker for this. There’s just something cute about it. I’ve actually used it in one of my books. 🙂 I just like the idea of one of them taking care of the other. My favorite of this was when the trope was flipped on it’s head in Coffee Prince. Gong Yoo is not a small guy, and for Eun Hye to carry him like that was pretty impressive. My second favorite is probably the bromance piggyback from Pinnocchio.
Jennie: Poor Girl to Rich Girl. I’m such a sucker for a good makeover scene. But only if it’s good. Like in Healer, not Boys Over Flowers!! The girl in Healer kinda became rich at the end, right? I also love Chaebol dramas! humm… I swear I’m not Shallow.
These Tropes Needs to Die a Horrible Death
CLKYTTA: Amnesia-All this does is make me want to scream at the drama. It happens in way too many dramas to name, but it’s a sure sign that the writer just got told they are extending by 3 episodes. (DG: I second this. I HATE it and I don’t think it’s ever made a story better.)
Hit by a car or other motor vehicle-I honestly can’t even look at a white truck/van anymore without true fear in my heart. I have been trained that means death or a coma for someone. You Are All Surrounded had one of the saddest Truck of Doom (TOD)scenes. (DG: TODs make me scared to visit Korea. LOL)
KMUSE: Amnesia – I agree with CLKYTTA. Amnesia needs to die a horrible death. It is so rarely used successfully that I can happily just chuck it out completely. Maybe it should get hit by the white truck of doom.
Terminal Illness– I just don’t enjoy dramas that involve one of the characters dying. That includes characters not dying on screen but it indicates that they are still going to die in the future (glaring at you Scent of a Woman)
Drama Geek: Geeeenius whatever – I get that it fits into that ideal man image. But do all the guys really have to geniuses at everything? I’m pretty sure a recent drama had a description where they were a genius at being an office worker, or maybe it was a printer or something like that. This trope couples with the poor girl who isn’t that smart and had to take the police exam 12 times just to become a cop. I’d just like to see a little more smart cops on both sides, and leave the geniuses out.
Jennie: Amnesia I agree with everyone, but Amnesia especially has to die!!
Sometimes I love and other times I loath
CLKYTTA: Wrist Grab-I can’t stand to see some chaebol grab a girl’s wrist and drag her off. I like it when the girl does the wrist grab though.
Dramatic/Sad rain scene-Same as TOD, I’m conditioned to think bad things will happen to people with yellow umbrellas. I loved the umbrella in I Miss You, and hated it in Love Rain.
KMUSE: Identity Switch – I can totally get behind a good identity switch……………unless they are doppelgangers. I am 100% anti doppelganger. Mostly because they always have the leading man falling in love with his dead (almost always dead) love’s lookalike. I find that creepy as heck.
Drinking Scenes – I love humorous drinking hijinks. However, I hate when the bosses are forcing their poor workers to get plastered in some stupid idea that it shows their loyalty. I just saw a scene in Monster where the guy tries to bow out because he has alcohol problems. In the end he was forced to drink because of his jerk of a boss and pushy co-workers. Being someone who doesn’t drink, I find that totally offensive.
Drama Geek: I don’t have a specific one for this. Just a thought in general. Just like in any other type of medium, I think Kdramas excel when they move away from the tropes or use them to their advantage. Some of my all time favorite characters do not fit into any trope or mold. But then again some of my favorite characters are the epitome of a trope. It really is all in how the writer and actor put their own twist on it. I’d love to see a lot more Lee Jae-Han’s, but I’d die if there weren’t anymore Healers or Do Min Joons.
Jennie: Wrist Grab I’m glad CLKYTTA said it first. I happen to love this one 80% of the time. I just hate when it gets so extreme the guy is jerking a girl around everywhere. I’m looking at you Secret Hotel! Bad, drama, bad!
Wow! So many tropes to talk about and so little time. After I had written my segment I also started thinking of others that are not on the list. Where is the love for shower scenes and dramatic wall leans? We might just have to do a second post on this topic in the future. What about you? What are your favorite and most hated tropes? Be sure to let us know in the comments. We always love hearing from our readers.
Til next time,
Thanks to DomHyo for the awesome graphic that inspired this post. Check them out on Facebook