Back in 2010, three drama addicts—Leila, Angie and Clockwatcher—got so obsessed with a little television show called Coffee House that they spent every waking hour on its Soompi thread, having Insightful, Awesome, and LOL conversations. Even though the show ended, their addiction didn’t, so, they formed a support group called Couch Kimchi. Along the way, they recruited longtime Soompi-er and fanatic, Tessieroo, and three became four.
Thanks, Soompi, for keeping us obsessed with our favorite couples and dramas and for inviting us to your 15th birthday party! For your special month, we are sharing the 15 couples who have kept us stalking your threads.
15 Favorite Couples
As everyone knows, don’t watch Korean dramas if you don’t like romance. It’s that simple. And you can’t truly enjoy a romantic drama if you don’t root for the couple. So, these are our top 15 couples that made us jump for joy when they kissed and made us cry like loonies when they broke up; the ones that got us writing epistles during their fights and left us speechless at their most intimate moments. Basically, the couples that made our hearts sing.
1. EunSoo (Coffee House). There’d be no Couch Kimchi without EunSoo, so, they have to be at the top of the list.
It was the summer of 2010 and while the rest of the world was debating Ronaldo vs. Rooney, for us, it was Eun Young (Park Si Yeon) versus Seung Yeon (Ham Eun Jung). We spent 8 weeks (plus a World Cup hiatus) on Soompi’s Coffee House thread, debating on when Jin Soo (Kang Ji Hwan) first fell for Eun Young, replaying Jin Soo’s sprint in Episode 9, the phone booth kiss, the train kiss, and cried with joy when he kicked down the door to her wedding hall. While we are 100% against second-hand rings, we couldn’t help but tear up when he took her hand and sealed their 60-year contract with it.
2. Kim Sam Soon & Hyun Jin Heon (My Name Is Kim Sam Soon). Once upon a time, there was a pastry chef who got dumped, went to the men’s bathroom, and met Hyun Bin. Let’s just say we’ve mistakenly wandered into the men’s bathroom a few times since watching this drama. But alas, no Hyun Bin. We’ve also gone to arranged dates at hotels waiting for him. Still no show. Gone to a hotel elevator and hoped to have a chemistry-exploding, tense moment with him. No luck. Waited around to be pulled into a restroom and kissed. Nothing for us. Played a piano, hoping to play next to him, and get kissed. Still waiting. Heck, we even got a huge stuffed animal so that we could leave it at his place. But sadly, the cute piggy is just collecting dust in a closet. Oh well. At least Sam Soon (Kim Sun Ah) got her happy ending.
3. Kang Moo Kyul & Wi Mae Ri (Mary Stayed Out All Night). They were like two, small puppies rolling around on the floor, playing. ADORABLE. They didn’t so much sizzle but brought out the “Awww” in everyone. The drama itself went off into crazy-ville, but many of us tuned in just to see Mae Ri (Moon Geun Young) and Moo Kyul (Jang Geun Suk).
Youthful, relatable and just … cute. This pairing is gold, and one we would love to see join up again for something good.
4. Kim Boong Do & Choi Hee Jin (Queen InHyun’s Man). They not only took us to the edge of the cliff, but pushed us over when Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na became a real couple. Pretty sure it was that “tiptoe kiss” that let the cat out of the bag. Their onscreen chemistry sizzled while BTS pictures showed them getting closer … and closer. (I just knew it! -Tessieroo) Perfect pairing, perfect timing, perfect story—that doesn’t happen much. And there were no exes anywhere in the plot; they loved only each other. Period.
5. Han Kang & Shin Ji Hyun (49 Days). Have you ever fallen in love with a couple on premise alone? In our opinion, this drama was polarizing based on actor chemistry, not character chemistry. We thought Ji Hyun (Nam Gyu Ri) and Han Kang (Jo Hyun Jae) were perfect for each other, regardless of the actors. The story of a cranky guy who has been so in love with a girl for 10 years that not only does the love not die after she gets engaged to his friend, he falls for her in a different body and freaking recognizes her. Then, he does everything in his power to save her. If this isn’t a love for the ages, what is?
6. JoongBo (We Got Married). The story of the robotic idol and the bubbly older singer. She can talk to everybody, and he can talk to no one, and seeing them together made for a such an awkward coupling that we couldn’t help but root for them to be together.
It was the classic rom-com couple of the reluctant hero and his overcompensating love interest. Moving in together, writing their couple contract, paper cranes, aegyo, Japan trip, their wedding shoot kisses … there was much to love with this odd couple.
Oh, and when Hyun Joong told his fans not to get up in arms about him kissing Hwangbo because they all do it with their boyfriends (or something like that)? Priceless.
7. SamMi (Dream High). Our dearest SamMi (Kim Soo Hyun and Suzy)! The best campus couple of 2011. How cute when our adorable country bumpkin fell in love with a snob from Seoul. Although we personally enjoyed the pendulum swing from MiGook to finally SamMi, it was worth it to experience the sweetness of finding out for whom Hye Mi’s heart truly beat. Young love was best portrayed here.
8. Arang & Eun Oh (Arang and The Magistrate). And the drama gods said, “Let there be the most awesome union of the boy with the most piercing eyes and the girl with dimples as deep as a hole to China”; and it was so that we raised up our arms and rejoiced, and if we had armpit hairs, they’d have high-fived K-drama heaven, too.
Shin Min Ah‘s amnesiac ghost and Lee Jun Ki‘s heroic magistrate made us hopeful about second chances and soulmates. After a cosmic battle royale that involved grim reapers, a rogue fairy, twin gods, and a ninja with mommy issues, Arang and Eun Oh earned their enduring love. And if the highest authorities of the dramaverse approve of the twosome, then, who are we to disagree?
9. Crown Prince Lee Shin & Shin Chae Kyung (Goong). Even in Korea’s alternate reality, regular girls dream of becoming a princess and meeting their prince charming, but the bumbling Shin Chae Kyung (Yoon Eun Hye) was the serendipitous choice to live the fairytale. It was a chilly start though with her handsome but not-so-charming Crown Prince Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon), who was like a popsicle—cold and with a stick up his royal chute. But in K-dramas, throwing the OTP in the same home speeds up their feelings, and in no time, we were falling in love with falling in love as Chae Kyung and Shin were falling for each other. While their young marriage struggled through the difficulties of palace life and politics, our appreciation for their funny, lovely, and touching scenes swelled, but we were craziest about them when they made up and made out just a few steps closer to the bedroom.
10. Lee Kyu Won & Lee Shin (Heartstrings). Their simplicity was truly striking. If love was not spoken, then, these two best demonstrated it through actions. Even their silence resonated love.
We always believe that love is like an extremely close friendship. The Dooley Couple (Jung Yonghwa and Park Shin Hye) understood each other more than anybody. Both were supportive of each other’s goals and always had each other’s back. Now, who wouldn’t want a guy who also happens to be your best friend?! Especially if it’s Shin, count us in, and given how close the actors are offscreen, it’s 2-for-1 shipping with this couple.
11. Lee Yeon Jae & Kang Ji Wook (Scent of a Woman). We love Kim Sun Ah here and Lee Dong Wook is army-hawt, so, of course, we were on this faster than a desperate second lead could say, “Oppa!”
A woman with six months to live and a chaebol son who can’t help but fall for her. Comedic, heart-wrenching, and sexy (who can forget their tango?), we couldn’t help but love them, as they crossed things off Yeon Jae’s bucket list together.
We wonder how many people signed up for dance lessons after this.
12. Yoon Yoon Jae & Sung Shi Won (Answer Me 1997). “Who will she marry?” That was the question the drama repeatedly asked for what felt like 97 years, but who did not fall in love with Yoon Jae (Seo In Gook)? If your answer is “me,” then from what planet are you?
One thing we did know was that Yoon Jae and Shi Won (Jung Eun Ji) were meant for each other. Friends since childhood, we watched in anticipation as he crushed on her big time and wanted to shake her when she didn’t realize how much she was already in love with him.
Yoon Jae and Shi Won had an amazing love story that we won’t get tired of experiencing again … and again. It’s relatable in every sense, and this couple is as normal as it gets.
13. Sun Woo In Young & Bae Sung Hyun (I Need Romance, 2011). A chaebol son doesn’t get the girl? To hell with you, writer!
We always whine about Korean dramas being cliché, using the same plot, but we welcome it when the characters are so impeccably matched that it’s a disgrace and shocking when she goes back to her cheating-cheater boyfriend who cheats. He might have been her first love, but the relationship with her second love was SO much better. More laughter, more communication, more warmth … how right this couple were together. Great comedic timing together, too; they just GOT each other. And their sexual chemistry? Oh my! That kiss in the car? Omo, omo, omo! We’re surprised they didn’t make a baby right there (we love cable!). But alas, the writer didn’t hear our pleas. *sniff*
14. Yoon Pil Joo and Ku Ae Jung. (The Greatest Love). We hate when we love the second lead guy the most in a series. Pil Joo was the typical male second lead, who suffered from a love that could have been. He surrendered his love for the sake of Ae Jung’s happiness. Though it hurt, that still provided an emotional pull at our heart strings. We admire second lead guys when they are brave enough to let go because sometimes, that kind of gesture means loving more, too. These guys will always have a home in our K-drama hearts.
15. Couple we’d love to see in a drama and deserve an official ship thread on Soompi. Since watching Lee Seung Gi and Park Shin Hye team up in the MV for his Japanese single “Alone In Love,” we’ve been craving to see them reunite for a drama.
The MV didn’t end well, with Shin Hye wanting Seung Gi only as a friend, but the chemistry was there. They are adorable together: both sweet, both quirky, both gorgeous, and both have the loveliest, warm smile! There is no reason to pass up on this duo.