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Drama Milk’s Favorite K-Drama Tropes

Drama Milk's Favorite K-Drama Tropes

A trope is a common theme or storytelling device used in creative works. They exist in books, TV shows and movies for better or worse. For example, how many times have you read about a bad boy with a troubled past in romance novels or watched trilogies about various “Chosen Ones”?

When executed poorly tropes are just empty cliches, but when done right, it’s easy to see why audiences love them.

Below is a chart of tropes commonly found in Korean dramas ranked by V and I. Tropes ranked as “crack” mean we’re addicted and can’t get enough. The rest follow a standard letter grading system with A meaning we love it, B meaning we like it, C meaning it’s tolerable, and D meaning we’d rather not have to deal with it.

(Because tropes are “big picture” scenarios that affect the trajectory of the plot, we didn’t include things like wrist grabs or back hugs. Maybe we’ll create a second ranking for those.)

Drama Milk's Favorite K-Drama Tropes
Adri’s favorite K-Drama tropes

Now that we’ve exposed ourselves, did you spot any tropes we had in common? Or do we dislike one you adore? (Hopefully we can still be friends).

Let us know in the comments, and if you’d like to do your own ranking just click here.

Feel free to post your chart on your social media to see what your friends think. If you do so, please tag us on Instagram: @drama.milk and Twitter: @dramamilk_ on.

Happy ranking!

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  1. Menda
    September 29, 2020 / 10:06 pm

    OMG, a combo of a fake relationship/arranged marriage in one was my CRACK during my younger years of K-drama watching! As a teenager, all I wanted to watch were Cinderella stories so that one day maybe I could have my own story. Now I am rediscovering my love for K-dramas with different views and interests. In the past never ever ever would you have seen me even looking twice at a older woman/younger man but they are starting to creep up on me.

    • September 29, 2020 / 10:17 pm

      LOL with the older woman/younger man storylines creeping up on you. Noona stories for the win amirite. 😁😂😭

    • Adri
      September 30, 2020 / 10:47 pm

      I think fake relationships/arranged marriages are universally loved. I particularly love the fake relationship trope, because it’s comedic gold.

      I’m glad Noona romances are growing on you! They’re like crack to me, and I’ve watched so many, I’d also make a good dealer bahaha. Let me know if you need any recommendations! Thanks for reading.

  2. Jane M
    October 3, 2020 / 8:27 am

    I applaud that you made “Fated to Love You” its own trope, but I would lower the grade from a C to a D. ai-yi-yi that drama was a mess! It hurts to even think about it.

    • Adri
      October 3, 2020 / 9:46 am

      “Fated to Love You” was what I decided to name the common “It’s destiny!” trope haha. But I know it’s a drama as well, so it was kind of a play on words.

      There’s been a few remakes of that show though. Which one was your least favorite?

  3. Jessica
    October 20, 2020 / 8:29 pm

    My favorite trope is a cinderella story. I love seeing a character that is at their lowest point in life to then becoming to great and wealthy person. It gives me chills when I see that in dramas and I love a happy ending.

    My second favorite is the unrequited love. I feel like during the drama, I am rooting for the couple to make it like if it were a sports game. The story line is so good it keeps me watching episode after episode anxiously waiting to see what happens next.

    • Adri
      October 20, 2020 / 8:40 pm

      I like Cinderella stories and happy endings too. It’s not always possible to get a happy ending in real life, so I love seeing them in dramas.

      As you can see, we put unrequited love in the “A” tier, because that storyline always pulls you in! It really is like rooting for your favorite player in a sports game. Great comparison! LOL.

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