The enemies-to-lovers trope is one that K-drama lovers never seem to get sick of.
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There’s something utterly romantic about watching an OTP go from despising each other to slowly realizing their feelings, to falling head over heels in love with each other. And although this theme has already been explored here, there are always more titles to add to your watchlist. Here they are!
1. “The Greatest Love”
“The Greatest Love” has two male leads who are both pretty perfect. Goo Ae Jung (Gong Hyo Jin) is one lucky woman as she has these two solid men desperate for her affection: one is a movie star, and the other is a doctor. As she’s trying to figure out her own personal goals and dreams in life, she is also forced to choose between two men who are both equally amazing.
This gem of a rom-com has everything you could ask for on top of the enemies-to-lovers trope. It’s a feel-good series that provides butterflies as you watch the two main leads fall slowly in love with an upbeat K-pop OST playing in the background that complements the storyline perfectly. There are some epic lines that come from this series that continue to be parodied today. And Cha Seung Won as Dokko Jin is hilariously entertaining!
2. “Goong” (also known as “Princess Hours”)
Yoon Eun Hye plays a normal high school girl named Shin Chae Kyung who is forced into an arranged marriage with the wealthy and handsome royalty Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon). Shin is not very fond of Chae Kyung at first and makes her feel pretty self-conscious, but when he starts to realize his feelings for her, this series really gives you the feels.
This classic series is one of the most perfect stories involving the enemies-to-lovers theme. Lee Shin absolutely loathes Chae Kyung from the start of their arranged marriage. In fact, he is in love with another woman and does not even care to pay attention to Chae Kyung. This makes the progression of their romantic story that much more compelling and sweet to see. People really couldn’t help but ship this couple back then!
3. “Emergency Couple”
Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) meets Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) in medical school, and despite Chang Min’s family being very against it, the two decide to get married. After a lot of hardships and struggles within the marriage, they decide to get divorced. Jin Hee returns to being a medical student and interns at a hospital where she meets her now ex-husband Chang Min. The two must figure out how to work together while putting aside their differences and emotions.
“Emergency Couple” is a bit different from the other K-dramas on this list in that the main couple gets a divorce only to find themselves both working in the same hospital one day. They both despise each other, but Chang Min starts to remember how he felt for her when they first met. His journey of falling in love with her again is so enjoyable to watch, and their chemistry is too cute!
4. “Shining Inheritance”
Go Eun Sung (Han Hyo Joo) has had a lot of bad luck in her life, which has led her to live a life of being poor. She works really hard to try and fulfill her dreams. Fatefully, she meets the CEO of a food company who is a grandmother and has gotten amnesia. Eun Sung takes care of the grandmother, and when she gets her memory back, the CEO hires her to work for her company. But she has to get along with the grandmother’s grandson named Seon Woo Hwan (Lee Seung Gi).
This series has got it all in terms of it being a makjang. The amnesia trope, orphan trope, second-lead trope, and of course, the enemies-to-lovers trope are all in this one series. You will go through the emotional journey of Go Eun Sung and fall in love with her character development. The blossoming romance between her and Woo Hwan is also definitely one worth investing in!
Hong Ji Hong (Kim Rae Won) is a smart and dedicated teacher who has Yoo Hye Jung (Park Shin Hye) as a student. Hye Jung likes to get into trouble and tends to be misunderstood by the people around her. She’s been through a lot of bad luck in her life, and Ji Hong sees this and wants to help her.
This teacher and student relationship starts off rather innocent – Hye Jung can’t stand her nosy teacher, and Ji Hong can’t stand Hye Jung’s rebellious nature. Although the two continually butt heads, Ji Hong’s protectiveness of her is really what wins viewers over. The kiss scenes in this particular series are also quite memorable, giving all the butterflies and emotions!
6. “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo”
Hae Soo (IU) is transported from modern times to the Goryeo era where she falls in love with a bad boy prince named Wang So. The love story of Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) and Hae Soo is so heart-rending and bittersweet. The two have an undying love for each other that is constantly broken apart by duty and responsibility.
When Wang So first meets Hae Soo, she’s in love with his brother, but this doesn’t seem to get in the way of the two falling in love. Fans from all over the world fell completely in love with the heartbreaking story of Hae Soo and her Wang So. The tragic and sad ending brought many to feel incomplete, causing a ripple of social media frenzy with the demand of a second season. The love between Hae Soo and Wang So is just too intense!
7. “Mr. Queen”
“Mr. Queen” stars Shin Hye Sun as Kim So Yong, a queen in the Joseon period. One day, she wakes up with the soul of a male chef named Jang Bong Hwan from modern times, trapped in the body of the queen. Despite this sudden change, So Yong must find a way to adjust to her new situation and new life with her husband King Cheoljong (Kim Jung Hyun).
It could very well be that So Yong is actually a reincarnated male from modern times that pushes Cheoljong away, but the two cannot stand each other at the start. While So Yong is trying to adapt to life and keep her body at arms length from Cheoljong, Cheoljong can’t seem to understand his erratic and crazy queen. The two try to figure each other out, and eventually, their feelings for one another becomes so heart-fluttering that you can’t help but ship these two!
8. “Secret Love”
Jo Min Hyuk (Ji Sung) is born into a wealthy family, but he is cold and emotionless. He lost his girlfriend in a tragic accident. Kang Yoo Jung (Hwang Jung Eum) ends up going to prison, as she is connected to the tragic accident that killed Min Hyuk’s girlfriend. She is betrayed by her boyfriend who is the one responsible for the death.
Many know Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum were in the series “Kill Me, Heal Me,” and their chemistry was so palpable. But they were also co-stars in “Secret Love”! This series brought out their amazing chemistry as it involves passion, betrayal, and love. Seeing how these two characters go from being mortal enemies to falling in love is the perfect makjang series to keep your feelings of angst at an all-time high!