There are many times when we watch a K-drama and are so invested in it that when we get near the end, we don’t want it to be over. Sometimes, the endgame brings us an immense amount of heartache, bittersweetness, and longing for more. Here are seven K-dramas where fans have expressed that the ending was too much to handle emotionally and are still reeling from the effects of it.
Warning: Spoilers for the dramas ahead!
1. “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. 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.
It’s been six years since “Scarlet Heart: Goryeo” has aired, and fans continue to be emotional over the ending of this series. There seemed to be no break when it came to the love between Hae Soo and Wang So. There was hope that the two would somehow find a way to be together, but the finale left viewers heartbroken. There have even been several petitions over the years from international fans, hoping that a second season could be made and that justice would be sought for the OTP.
2. “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes”
Starring Seo In Guk as Kim Moo Young and Jung So Min as Yoo Jin Kang, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” is definitely different from any K-drama you’ll watch this year. Moo Young is a man with a lot of baggage who does not know the truth about what happened to his parents when he was a child. He meets and falls in love with Yoo Jin Kang, and although her initial impression of him is pretty negative, she comes to fall in love with him as well.
“The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” is a hidden gem that stole my heart. With Jin Kang and Moo Young’s unique and intriguing connection, the two find a way to be together despite all the odds that are stacked against them. Although Moo Young is difficult to love as a result of all the trauma he experienced throughout his life, the layers are uncovered as the series progresses, showing his true nature. By the end, his genuineness is exposed, revealing his true heart and sincere love for Jin Kang. This brought even more anguish as the two are unable to be together. The pain of this outcome is one that can never be forgotten.
Start watching here:
Snowdrop stars Jung Hae In as Su Ho and BLACKPINK‘s Jisoo as Young Ro. The two fall in love despite the political war that Su Ho is involved in. The story takes place in Seoul in 1987 within a prestigious university.
This whole storyline is very intense, which is why the ending of this series made viewers all the more sorrowful. The love story between Su Ho and Young Ro is heartbreakingly epic as there is no way of the two being able to stay together as a result of their backgrounds. The angst and impossibility of this situation creates a longing for viewers to want the two to be happy, which is why the ending left viewers so distressed. There is hope that the two can be together one day.
Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong Ki) is an Italian lawyer and Mafia consigliere who was adopted and raised in Italy. He returns to Korea to tie up some loose ends pertaining to some gold that is being kept underground in Geumga Plaza. He meets Hong Cha Young (Jeon Yeo Been) and her father Hong Yoo Chan (Yoo Jae Myung), and they are able to form a strong bond with Vincenzo.
No one could have anticipated where this story would go. There was hope that the unpredictable story about a mafia consigliere falling in love with a lawyer would have a happy end. The series is entertaining for the most part, and it garnered a lot of satisfied viewers, but the ending had people feeling beyond emotional. At the end scene when Vincenzo returns to Seoul from Italy, he reunites with Cha Young, and the two share an ardent and passionate kiss. From this point, the two separate, leaving their story very open-ended. This obviously affected the viewers who hoped that the two would ride off into the sunset together.
5. “Beyond Evil”
Han Joo Won (Yeo Jin Goo) is a police officer who gets transferred to a small town from the big city of Seoul. He is trying to uncover the case of a series of murders that happened 20 years prior. His main suspect is his partner and fellow police officer Lee Dong Sik (Shin Ha Kyun).
“Beyond Evil” won the Best Drama award at the Baeksang Arts Awards in 2021, and deservedly so! With poignant acting skills from both Shin Ha Kyun and Yeo Jin Goo, it was almost guaranteed that viewers would be in for a helluva ride. The premise of the series is haunting as detectives are trying to figure out the identity of the serial killer in their small town. The fact that every single person, including the main leads, is a suspect in the case creates a tense and edge-of-your-seat atmosphere from beginning to end. While the investment is there throughout the storyline, the ending is truly what brings goosebumps as all the missing pieces finally come together. Many could not anticipate the ending of this story, which makes it all the more epic and memorable.
Check out the series here:
6. “What Happened in Bali”
Ha Ji Won plays Soo Jung, a poor travel agent who is working in Bali trying to make ends meet. She meets Kang In Wook (So Ji Sub) and Jung Jae Min (Jo In Sung) in Bali, and the three get entangled in a serious love triangle.
Probably one of the most shocking endings of all K-dramas, “What Happened in Bali” has an ending that no one could have predicted. The series is a makjang, making it very dramatic and emotional with an intense love triangle at the forefront. The ending involves murder, blood, jealousy, and rage – all components that make for a noteworthy and fiery ending. There is hardly a K-drama that can top this one in terms of ending things off with a bang.
Start watching to see how it ends here:
7. “Lovers in Paris”
The drama stars Gi Ju (Park Shin Yang), a divorcee CEO of a motor company who falls in love with a poor housekeeper named Tae Young (Kim Jung Eun). The series also involves an epic love triangle between Park Shin Yang, Kim Jung Eun, and Lee Dong Gun, who plays Gi Ju’s nephew Yoo Soo Hyuk. The story is set in Paris as the backdrop, which makes everything all the more romantic.
Written by Kim Eun Sook, “Lovers In Paris” took Korea by storm at the time it was airing. From its popular main leads to the epic love triangle, the series is a classic. The part that really shook watchers of the series was definitely the final scene, as it was completely unexpected. It’s a bit of a disappointment in terms of how the writer decided to end the story, as there was not that much closure, but it continues to be a classic today with an ending that many have still not gotten over.
Check out the series here:
Hey Soompiers, are there any K-drama endings you still can’t get over? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG but has lately been seen obsessing over Hwang In Yeop. Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “Why Her?,” “Kiss Sixth Sense,” “Eve,” “Bloody Heart,” and “Yumi’s Cells 2”
All-time favorite drama: “Secret Garden” and “Star In My Heart.”
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen.