Some K-Drama love triangles make you torn between the first lead or the second lead, the choice over two genuinely nice guys or girls who want the best for the main character. But then there are those other second leads – the ones you want to punch in the face for sticking around even though they clearly need to back off. Here are 10+ K-Drama’s with second leads that drove viewers crazy.
1. Cinderella’s Stepsister
The 2010 melodrama Cinderella’s Stepsister is a modern twist on the fairy tale, with the “ugly” stepsister Eun Jo becoming the lead and spoiled “Cinderella” Hyo Sun trying to come between Eun Jo and her childhood sweetheart, Ki Hoon.
The premise is interesting enough, but Hyo Seon was so clingy, even until the final episode when she knew the main lead didn’t love her back, that viewers wanted to kick her in the face.
2. Temperature of Love
Jung Sun and Hyun Soo are clearly in love in this romantic drama, but rich CEO Park Jung Woo just won’t give up on Hyun Soo.
Even knowing the leads were in love and dating, he gets down on one knee and proposes to her in front of Jung Sun! Viewers had a love/hate relationship with him, since he never made his feelings known until it was way too late – and it seems like he’s fighting Jung Sun for being with Hyun Soo, not fighting for Hyun Soo.
3. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Weightlifting champion Kim Bok Joo falls for national swimmer Jung Joon Hyung but his ex, rhythmic gymnast Song Shi Ho is on a mission to woo him back.
The character eventually redeems herself with some words of advice from Joon Hyung, who tells her, “Try to be a little less greedy.” Until then, her desire to have everything even if it isn’t rightfully hers, is super irritating.
4. Fight For My Way
The second lead couple, Joo Man and Seol Hee, are in a difficult situation at the start of this drama, because they’re dating but quietly – because they work together.
When another girl in the office, Ye Jin, begins to pursue Joo Man, it becomes even more complicated, because she just won’t give up, even after she finds out he has a girlfriend!
Secret follows rich “bad boy” Jo Min Hyuk who wants revenge on the person who killed his girlfriend in a hit-and-run accident. Kang Yoo Jung went to prison for the girl’s death, but actually took the fall for her then-boyfriend, Ahn Do Hoon. Min Hyuk begins falling in love with the innocent woman – without knowing she was involved in his girlfriend’s death.
Shin Se Yeon is engaged to Min Hyuk but is super insecure because of Min Hyuk’s love for his dead girlfriend and then to Yoo Jung as the story progresses. Viewers saw her as clingy even from the beginning but towards the end when she allies with the antagonist she became even more annoying!
6. Princess Hours
Princess Hours is a cult classic, with main character Shin Chae Kyeong married off to the crown prince of Korea Lee Shin in an alternate reality.
But Shin’s cousin prince Lee Yul becomes obsessed with Chae Kyeong and fights for the throne because he wants to marry her. At the beginning of the drama, Yul is a kind-hearted and gentle person, not interested in his former title as crown prince. But his desire to be with Chae Kyeong, who was originally betrothed to him, makes Yul kind of psycho towards the end! All he does is cry, yell and try to hurt Shin (even physically).
7. Personal Taste
This drama is adapted from Lee Se In‘s 2007 novel of the same name about a furniture designer, Park Kae In, who lives together with architect Jeon Jin Ho under the mistaken assumption that he’s gay.
Kim In Hee is the greedy woman who was best friends with Kae In for years – living with her for over 10 – but who steals Kae In’s boyfriend right from under her nose and marries him. Later, she develops feelings for Jin Ho, who Kae In begins falling for. Kim In Hee is super annoying even before she betrays Kae In, because she’s just clearly a bitch!
8. Marriage Not Dating
When plastic surgeon Gong Gi Tae‘s parents start nagging him about getting married, he purposely brings Joo Jang Mi home posing as his girlfriend, certain they would never approve. Of course, they start falling for each other, although Gi Tae never wants to marry and Jang Mi desperately wants it.
But Gi Tae’s former fiance Se Ah is convinced women can do anything without a man, and decides she wants to have a baby, alone. With Gi Tae’s sperm. So she starts blackmailing Gi Tae into giving her his sperm….and then begging.
9. Mischievous Kiss
This drama follows ditsy Oh Ha Ni, who is desperately in love with smart, popular Baek Seung Jo, who thinks she is super annoying and dumb, as they are forced to live together.
Ha Ni’s best friend Bong Joon Gu has liked her for a long time, and when he realizes she is getting closer to Seung Jo, he begins chasing for her affection and ultimately, her hand for marriage. While Ha Ni could win the prize for most clingy female lead, viewers found Joon Gu overly obsessed in an unhealthy way. It was so obvious he would never get a chance, but he persevered to the point of becoming obnoxious.
10. Delightful Girl Chun Hyang
Based off a classic Korean folk tale called “Tale of Chunhyang”, this 2005 drama was the first written by the Hong Sisters, who are now synonymous with successful dramas, having penned hits like You’re Beautiful, Big, My Girlfriend is a Nine-tailed Fox and My Girl. It follows the misfortunes of Sung Chun Hyang, a sassy heroine who crosses paths many times with ex-love Lee Mong Ryong.
The second lead in this drama, Byun Hak Do is a corrupt magistrate in the original folktale, but here he is the CEO of a talent agency who first helps Chung Hyang whenever she gets in trouble. But the Daddy Long Legs routine gradually turns into a dangerous obsession. Even Mong Ryong’s ex Chae Rin, who is crazy jealous and attempts to throw a spanner into the leads’ relationship at first, tells Hak Do to quit his obsession and move on – but nothing works.
11. Smile, You
Seo Jung In is the kind-hearted but spoiled daughter of a wealthy family who is left at the altar when her fiancee finds out the family went bankrupt. Her family is forced to rely on the kindness of their former chauffeur’s family, and clashes with Kang Hyun Su, the chauffeur’s son, although the two eventually fall in love.
Ex-fiancee Lee Han Se realizes after the fact that he actually does love Jung In, and although his character is treated like a joke (rather than an actual obstacle) throughout the drama, his grand gestures are the worst. He gives up his company to prove Jung In is the most important thing in his life. As if!