I'm just going to come right out and say it. I am a K-Drama crier. I mean, the tears just start rolling down my face when something sad happens. I think Korean dramas have a special line right to my tear ducts and I don't think I'm alone. I've witnessed middle aged women and teenage boys alike brought to tears over K-Drama tragedy. I've learned to embrace it as part of my humanity. So today, I will celebrate it. I present to you my top 10 tear-jerker scenes from the catalog of 90+ Korean drams I've seen. I will say that these are not necessarily always the saddest scenes of the drama by everyone's opinion. These are the scenes that, for whatever reason, made me cry the most. Some dramas might have made the list a few times, but for the sake of variety I will only include them once. So let me countdown my 10 ten tearjerker scenes and we'll ugly cry together with our leads.
***Warning- Major Spoilers Ahead. Use caution if you see a drama you haven't watched and plan on watching.***
10) You're the Best Lee Soon Shin
I really sympathized with Lee Soon Shin in this drama. She was so upbeat and likeable yet had to face crap from everyone. Lee Soon Shin, after a series of hijinks, decides to become an actress. She discovers along the way that she was adopted and that her birth mother is a famous actress, a woman who she thought of as her mentor before she found out the truth. She gets blamed for a lot of things that were absolutely not her fault and that she has no say in so there a lot of low moments for Soon Shin. I felt so bad for her at how horrible her older sister treated her, but the saddest scene had to be when she received a birthday cake that her dad had ordered for her before he died. It showed what a loving father she lost and how much he looked out for her.
9)It's Okay That's Love
Within a couple episodes of this drama I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. It's a drama about a group of people dealing with mental illnesses-large and small- and learning to love one another in spite of their flaws. You can tell right away that things are not going to end well and the realization of Jae Yeol's mental illness is constantly hanging over. So as can be expected the most tear-jerking scene for me was when Hae Soo finds Jae Yeol after he gets into an accident and he's only worried about his imaginary friend and she it's out in the open just how bad his illness is.
8) Stars Falling From the Sky
I sometimes forget about this drama, but it is a really great, underrated in my opinion, drama about family, taking care of those you love, and personal development. Pal Gang loses her parents and is charged with taking care of her five siblings. They have no money and no place to stay so she gets a job as a housekeeper and her siblings live in her room. She ends up falling in love with her boss. It's obviously got a lot of heart-wrenching scenes, but for me the scene where Kang Ha sees her go to the orphanage and slaps her, thinking she was there to give up her baby sibling. She isn't, and she doesn't really seem affected by his slap because she is already agonizing about how she's going to take care of her siblings. It made me cry, not because he slapped her. If she really was giving up her sibling I'd be on his side. It made me cry because it showed how much he had grown to care for the kids and for her and it spoke to the lesson that no matter what family comes first. You do everything you can to take care of your family.
7)Baker Kim Tak Goo
Ah, the tragic yet triumphant tale of Tak Goo who had everything taken away from him, but still manged to come out on top. Tak Goo is probably one of my favorite Kdramas characters ever because his character and integrity is so strong and he truly cares for others more than himself. There many moments of bloated-face crying for me in this drama, but the penultimate was a scene where Mi Sun realizes that the cold medicine that she had though she was giving to Tak Gu was, in fact, poison and had dulled his senses leaving him temporarily incapable of making the incredible bread he had been. Possibly destroying his future. The scene is sad because it's a culmination of events. You have to start with right before Tak Gu fell ill when he realized that his girlfriend and childhood sweetheart had left him for his brother and nemesis Ma Ru. He forgave her, but was heartbroken. Mi Sun tried to help him using what Ma Ru said was cold medicine, but in fact was a plant designed to rob Tak Gu of his senses. Ma Ru himself was going to use it, but had decided against it. When Mi Sun overhears Ma Ru telling Tak Gu that it was his intention to poison him even if he actually hadn't been the one to do it, she is devastated. She tries to help Tak Gu recover his senses and breaks down crying. He holds her while she bawls. If only he had been there to hold me too. Lol. Mi Sun represents someone who genuinely cares about Tak Gu and doesn't want to hurt him, unlike everyone else in his life. So her crying represents the loyalty that Tak Gu needed. I just really love the scene.
A musical-esque drama about a Arts College and the students who study acting and singing there. They grow together as a family as they overcome their personal and career obstacles It has its moments of tragedy, but the worst is when their director dies from cancer. Doo Ri, a student who was in love with him, is in tears and the funeral is a gut-wrenchingly sad scene.
This drama was a mockumentary-like drama following the behind-the-scenes workings of variety shows and work and personal lives of the Producers working at KBS. The tearjerker scene in this drama was a combination of happy and sad tears. Cindy, who is a top-star idol in Korean has been betrayed by her CEO and false information has been leaked out making her fans believe that Cindy maliciously lied to them and causing them to turn on her. She's seen it happen before and knows her career is going to be ruined and that everyone will abandon her. She begins to experience the rejection she anticipated which is especially tragic because she's been used by pretty much everyone her whole life. Then she wakes up one morning to find the entire crew for the TV show she's starring at in her room, ready to film her. Instead of abandoning her, they chose to stand behind her. She is so grateful and relieved that she begins to sob. You really have to watch this whole drama to understand why the scene is so powerful. Cindy was known as being cold and unfriendly, but it turns out she's just been used her whole life and is sick of it. She begins to open up to and befriend 3 of the Producers and for the first time in her life have people who see the real her and accept her. It's two of these Producers that show up to her house and risk their own careers in order to take her side. For the first time ever she has real friends and it's at a time when she needs them the most.
4) King 2 Hearts
An amazing drama, again totally underrated. About a hypothetical South Korean prince and North Korean lady spy that fall in love and have to try to reunite their countries through much opposition. It took a lot of thought to decide which scene to include since there are so many incredibly, incredibly sad ones and the tear factor was pretty equal. After much debate I recalled that the scene that made me cry the absolute most was where Jung Suk, the prince's right hand man, is shot by the evil John Mayer (not kidding, that's his name), moments after you realize how incredibly loyal Jung Suk has always been. His character in this drama was so amazing. He was manly, and dignified, and had such strong character. When he dies so unexpectedly it totally throws you off. Much crying involved.
3) Love Rain
I'll admit that I did not like Love Rain when I first started watching it. It literally took me four or five different times to get into it. It's a story that spans between a love story between two people in the 70s who split up and get married to other people and the love story between their two children in the present. Things get complicated when it turns out they still love each other. I got hooked when they finally made it to present day and I got hooked pretty hard. It was just so sad all the time. It's like In Ha and Yoon Hee hardly found any happiness together between the bits of sadness. The saddest scene for me, though, was when Yoon He decided that they couldn't be together and In Ha was modeling for him and he was being so cruel to her and she just had to take it. I felt so bad for her. My heart broke for her. It was awful.
2) Boys over Flowers
This was the first Korean drama I ever saw. Now that I'm much more experienced and have seen a gauntlet of different dramas and types of dramas I am a little embarrassed at how affected I was by Boys over Flowers. I sobbed pretty much for most of the drama. It was a really intense first experience watching Korean dramas and I refused to watch another one for four months afterward. It's so over-dramatic, but somehow it gets right to me and I'm even more embarrassed to say if I rewatched it, I'd probably still sob. But the scene that really got me was the scene where Goo JungPyo gets amnesia and forgets who Jan Di is. After all they went through, how could he forget her? It was an introduction to the whole amnesia- forget your biggest love-plotline that Kdramas are famous for. I never wanted to feel that kind of sadness again, but I did when I watched this next drama, which takes the #1 slot on my list.
1) 49 Days
This drama wins the overall prize for most tears shed. I think I was sobbing pretty much the entire time. It's the story of a girl who is hit by a car and due to a heavenly mix-up mistakenly ends up in a coma. They allow her a trial period to attempt to get her life back and through it she learns lots of dirty secrets that the ones she thought loved her were keeping from her. However, there is a scene that is the clear winner for absolute saddest and that is when we find out that, after everything she's been through, Ji Hyun only has a couple days to live. The whole drama you spend cheering for her to come out of the coma and start anew then once she finally does she has to die. She never even gets a chance at happiness with Hyun Jae. It took me a few days to recover after this drama it was so devastating. I even questioned what kind of cruel people would make such a heart-breaking drama. That being said, it was an amazing drama and I'd recommend to anyone who doesn't mind a bit of crying.
So those were my top 10 tearjerker. There were many other dramas and scenes through which I bawled that just didn't make the cut. Anyone else cry through these dramas? Anyone have any different top tearjerker moments? Let's hear them.