You would think that it would be easy to pick a bunch of dramas that had that perfect ending. The one where you said to yourself, “That couple is going to be together forever.” Surprisingly, that isn’t as easy as you think it would be. But no worries! The Fangirls are here to give you some swoony drama recommendations that will help you celebrate this most romantic of months.
Best Romantic Comedy Happily Ever After
Reply 1997 & 1988 – I have two that fit into this category that have a lot in common. Namely they are both from the Reply/Answer Me series. In both Reply 1997 & Reply 1988 I was 100% invested in every character and every character had a perfect ending that made me tear up in joy. These shows really are the best when it comes to Happily Ever After.
Karie the Maknae:
Something About 1% – This is the drama I *always* think of when someone asks about a great romcom with a happy ending. I lovelovelove Ha Suk Jin’s grumpy chaebol, Jeon So Min’s spunky teacher, and the great side characters. The plot is utterly predictable and I don’t care. I love the push and pull, the low intensity, and Suk Jin’s growly voice. It’s definitely one of my favorite fluffy dramas.
My second go-to is I’m Not a Robot. Yoo Seung Ho and Chae Soo Bin have phenomenal chemistry and brilliant comedic timing. The side characters were nothing to sneeze at either — from the scientists surrounding Chae Soo Bin to the broken mess that was Yoo Seung Ho’s childhood friends, EVERYONE was a complete character. They worked together so very well, and the story is very, very satisfying.
Five Children is the kind of show where most of the characters are happy and have good prospects at the end. And we have not one but four couples here, so how can we lose? How could Shin Hye Sun’s character not fall for Sung Hoon’s, once she discovers his previous incarnation as the flute player in Faith?
In the beginning, I actually had to be talked into watching What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? because the first two episodes rubbed me the wrong way. But I’m SO glad I listened to my K-besties and kept pursing it! The whole drama is definitely a worthwhile watch, however, I especially loved that they didn’t rush the ending. All the characters, not just our OTP, were able to have their storylines wrapped up with a neat bow. And ultimately that made me very happy!
I second Karie’s suggestion of Something About 1% . I have watched that one too many times to count. Even bought the dvd set. If you ever look up a montage of their kisses, you should understand why.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo – Even though this isn’t my favorite drama, the happy ending itself is very nearly perfect. The combination of chemistry crackling couple and dreamy soundtrack left me smiley and weepy at the same time. It reminded me of how heady the joy and optimism of youth was when I left college, and how the future was a beautiful, promising world just waiting to be explored. I especially love the song that plays as the OTP cuddles off into the sunset about how they’re dreaming that life will have more days filled with smiles than tears.
Ho Gu’s Love – This drama had one of the cutest ending sequences of all time. I actually watched it again the other day, and got so depressed that I can’t find it all legal sites anymore. The little family that was created during this drama got their happily ever after, and it just gave me all the feels to see them enjoying life as a complete family.
Best Melodrama Happily Ever After
Moon Embracing The Sun – This drama might not have everyone’s favorite leading lady…however, I do think that the story and the strength of the King’s performance was enough to overshadow any lacking skills. I still tear up over the beautiful love story. Not to mention that I was shocked when this didn’t end in total tragedy for OTP (One True Pairing). So many great feels and the perfect happily ever after ending, in my opinion.
Karie the Maknae:
I have to throw a disclaimer out here, because I do NOT watch a lot of melodramas unless there is peer pressure involved(The Fangirls totally made me watch Come and Hug Me and Just Between
Lovers. I probably wouldn’t have watched them on my own.) That being said, Still 17 is my absolute favorite almost-melo with a great ending. The sweet whimsicality of the story and the characters drew me in and kept me there. It’s memorable and satisfying for a number of reasons, so that’s my choice!!
I don’t watch many melos, but Just Between Lovers drew me in from the start. Having slain most of their demons and become a team, I expect Lee Joon Ho and Won Jin A’s characters to walk off into the sunset together.
I’ve watched a handful of melodramas, and have found true melos don’t usually end on an uplifting note. This makes me sad. And I don’t like feeling sad at the end of my drama. So, I’m sharing a (what I consider) ‘melo-light’ drama: Healer. It’s on my all time favorite dramas list, for multiple reasons- action, romance, and dash of destiny, to name a few. But one of the things I love most, is that our OTP chooses not to settle down and be a boring couple. Instead, they keep pursuing and revealing the truth together. Doing what you love, with the one you love = Happy Ending in my book!
The King 2 Hearts – The first part of this drama is more rom-com, sucking you in with the enemies-to-lovers storyline and delightful one-upmanship between Lee Seung Gi as the spoiled prince and Ha Ji Won as the take-no-prisoners soldier from the north. Then it rips your heart out in the second half. But don’t worry! There is a happy ending for the main couple in the end or else it wouldn’t qualify for this list. I love that the prince actually verbalizes in his marriage proposal a promise that he will never cheat on her. Knowing what a playboy he was in the beginning, you can tell how utterly lost he would be without her by the end.
Kill Me, Heal Me – I have not cried so hard at a happily ever after for any drama. The writing for the ending, and goodbyes was just fantastic and has stuck with me. I
Best Happily Ever After in a Movie
The Liar & His Lover (Japanese Movie) – When looking at my completed list I discovered I haven’t watched a lot of romantic movies. I tend to drift to action/thriller. But one that did stand out was The Liar and His Lover. The Japanese movie was so much better than the Korean adaptation and remains one of my favorite romantic movies. Just a quick tip…. watch til after the credits to get to the happy ever after part.
Karie the Maknae:
One Smile is Very Alluring is my favorite so far! I really liked the pairing of Jing Boran and Angelababy, and the story was well-told. I loved where our gamer couple ended up, and I especially liked how Xiao Nai spoke of their future together. You’ll have to watch it to see what I’m talking about, but it made me “awww” and laugh all at the same time.
Miss Granny, is one of my favorite Korean movies! It was a joy to watch this wizened-by-years, but young-at-heart granny, receive a magical gift that transforms her back into a carefree, 20-year old. This movie isn’t focused on romance, but instead, it’s all about the choices you make because of love. I laughed, I cried, and by the end, my heart was full.
Best Non-Romantic Happily Ever After
Punch – OK… I know that a drama about the main character dying is not supposed to be considered happy ever after. However, the way Punch did it totally worked for me. And I do consider this being a happy ending. He was able to achieve all the changes in his life that would benefit those he loved. Really, isn’t that what we all want for when we leave this earth? To have made it a better place? And if that means taking down your scum bestie then so be it.
Karie the Maknae:
Going by the Book! I love that movie from beginning to end, and the way it ended was absolutely perfect. Jung Jae Young’s extremely upright cop creating chaos through his uprightness and Lee Young Eun’s mischievous bank teller are absolute perfection. There isn’t a completely obvious HEA for the movie, but the writer didn’t leave the viewer hanging and laid out the potential future for everyone in the movie brilliantly.
Chief Kim is my pick for a show where there isn’t a couple pairing up, but the characters are likely to be happy ever after. It’s a true ensemble drama, with our crooked accountant starting to care about the people around him and deciding to help them.
A non-romantic show? Why would I bother? I guess I did watch Prison Playbook, but not everyone in that drama got a happy ever after. Realistic, but annoying. I’d rather stick with the finger hearts and flowers stuff.
Signal – This is up to interpretation, of course. But I believe they connect with Jae Han and have that happily ever after while solving crimes with the next transmission. I also hope for a season two so I can see this happen.
There you have it. Our choices for best Happy Ever Afters. Be sure to share your favorite in the comments and have a wonderful Valentines Day full of love and dramas.
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi