K-Dramas Worth Crying Over

The most heartbreaking moments In Korean movies and TV shows

Korean entertainment is notorious for being filled with cheesy one-liners, a million plot twists, and mediocre acting that we love to gloss over but let’s be real; can we really stay mad at Lee Minho? If you’re anything like us, (lonely, single, and bitter) you’ll be curling up on Valentine’s Day with a few Korean dramas or movies to distract yourself from your single-ness. But as much as Korean films can be cute and fluffy, they can also be downright depressing. If you’re looking to cry over something that’s actually worth your tears this Valentine’s Day, here’s a list of the most heartbreaking moments in Korean dramas and movies, verified by certified Kdrama experts (us). SPOILERS AHEAD 


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Jang Manwol Crosses the Bridge (‘Hotel Del Luna’)

Being a K-drama about death and ghosts, ‘Hotel Del Luna’ was pretty depressing throughout its entire runtime. However, the drama came to its lowest moments in the last scenes when the main character, Jang Manwol, crossed the bridge to the afterlife, leaving behind all her loved ones. What made this all the more heart wrenching was knowing Manwol’s tragic past that held her back from resting in peace for hundreds of years. Her crossing the bridge ultimately signified her letting go of all her resentment and choosing to move on. It’s a very bittersweet moment, and it never fails to make your heart ache a little while watching one of the most lovable female characters finally make peace with herself. 


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Seojun Lets Jugyeong Go (‘True Beauty’)

This K-drama moment absolutely shattered our hearts. ‘True Beauty’ has the typical love triangle in it that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire series. It was clear from episode one that Seojun not only cared for Jugyeong, but that he was ultimately the better choice for her. In this scene, Suho, the male lead character, returns to Korea after living abroad for a couple of years (AKA, time for Seojun to shine). After Seojun heard this, he quickly made up an excuse for her to go see him instead of spending the day with Jugyeong like they originally planned. Viewers were so excited to see them finally go out on a proper date and do cute couple-y things, but instead got the goodbye we never saw coming. Despite this scene absolutely shattering our hopes of them being a couple, it shows that Seojun truly loves her to the point he’ll willingly let her go to be with the guy she originally wanted. 



“Today I am the happiest guy in this school” (‘All of Us Are Dead’)

‘All of Us Are Dead’ was somehow able to weave a string of emotions other than fear while simultaneously having us on the edge of our seats, watching the characters trying not to become a snack for the undead. Although the loss of numerous characters to the hordes of zombies was heartbreaking to watch, Chanyoungs’ departure from the group is the most memorable. It is just after he confesses his 10-year one-sided love to his childhood best friend Onju that he gets bitten by a zombie while fighting to keep the group safe. The scene that ultimately broke viewers was Chanyoung yelling, “Today, I am the happiest guy in this school,” while running through the abandoned halls of the school. He does this to attract the attention of the zombies while his friends escape in the other direction. His caring and loyal personality shine throughout his last moments through his sacrifice, adding another wave of sadness to viewers. 




Seokwoo Sacrifices Himself (‘Train to Busan’)

Train to Busan was one of the first hit Korean movies abroad, and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t want to watch groups of people stuck on a tight train fleeing the super strong and fast undead? While the first half of the movie was full of suspense and anxiety, the second half was just sad. The scene that takes the cake is when the main character, Seokwoo, an absent father who cared more about work than his own family, gets bitten by a zombie while fighting it. Seokwoo locks himself out of the train compartment and sacrifices himself by jumping off the train, all while his daughter is watching, screaming for her dad. This scene choked up most viewers because it is the first time we saw Seokwoo doing something for his daughter, despite being self-centered for most of the movie. 



Soonyi tells Chulsoo to leave (‘A Werewolf Boy’)

This movie was all the more heartbreaking because its tear-jerking ending was so unexpected. What most viewers expected was a cute, feel-good movie about a young girl who adopts a werewolf and teaches it human behaviors. While that is what we got for most of the movie, we also got a gut wrenching ending that hit us like a train. The main character, Soonyi, fearing that the local men will try to shoot and kill her beloved werewolf friend, Chulsoo, hides him and promises to come back. 47 years later, Soonyi comes back to her hometown and to her surprise, finds Chulsoo just where she had left him. While seeing a still-youthful Chulsoo reunite with a now-old Soonyi after waiting for her all those years is enough to open up the floodgates, Soonyi goes as far as to tell him that he can stop waiting for her. The way in which the two parts are a heartbreaking moment for the viewers and reminds them of the endurance and faith that love has. 



Letters to Grandma (‘The Way Home’)

Even though this movie is an older one, it still gets us in our feels every time. This movie is all about family and how they will always be there for you no matter what. Sangwoo, the main character, leaves an urban city to meet his grandmother who lives in the countryside. His grandmother is extremely old, uneducated, and to top it off, mute. This makes it difficult for her to communicate with Sangwoo, causing him to look down on her and constantly belittle her but he soon realized that no matter how badly he treats her, she’ll always be there to take care of him. He didn’t want to leave her in case something happened to her so he sat her down before he left back home and wrote her a bunch of letters, each one signifying a different scenario. All she needed to do was send one and he’d come running back. Even though this scene wasn’t the usual kind of sadness found in Korean films, it got us thinking about our grandparents’ love and what we should call more often. It really got us in our feels about how lucky we are to have them in our lives.