Top 10 K-Dramas Serving Major Friends-to-Lovers Vibes
We know you love this trope.
Sure, it's fun to watch that classic trope where people bicker until their hatred turns to passion. But for stories that get under your skin and into your heart, there's nothing like watching two friends discover that The One has been right next to them all along.
From frothy rom-coms to family dramas, from lovely slow-burns to political comedy, here are 10 K-Dramas serving all the sweetest friends-to-lovers vibes.
7.9 on IMDb
Really, any of the 'Reply' series (the others are Reply 1988 and Reply 1984) could have made this list, but we're starting with the first and most popular. Reply 1997 follows six friends in Busan, with flashbacks between their adult selves and their teenage years. In the present day, two of the friends are announcing their engagement – but who?
Two Outs in the Ninth Inning
7.4 on IMDb
You definitely don't need to know baseball to enjoy this 16-episode rom-com. Hong Nan-hee is a cynical, foul-mouthed writer who has been best friends with Byun Hyung-tae almost their whole lives. When Nan-hee starts dating a baseball pitcher who is 8 years younger than her, she thinks she might be turning her life around. But then a series of unfortunate events leaves her living with her best friend, and they slowly realize that their relationship goes deeper than they thought…
Romance is a Bonus Book
8.0 on IMDb
Cha Eun-ho and Kang Dan-i have been connected since she saved him from a childhood accident, but they drifted apart when she got married. Now he's a successful book editor and she's a single mom struggling to make ends meet. While she tries to keep her difficulties a secret, he eventually finds out and helps her land a job at his company. There, she impresses everyone with her creativity, and the two of them become more and more attracted to each other.
Fight for My Way
8.1 on IMDb
This classic series follows four friends as they struggle with love, work, and general adulting. The friends-to-lovers pair is Ko Dong-man, a mixed martial arts fighter, and his spunky best friend Choi Ae-ra. The series was a massive hit when it premiered, topping Korea's TV Popularity Index for 3 straight weeks. It was also critically acclaimed, and even went on to be adapted into a manhwa (Korean manga).
7.9 on IMDb
What if you're looking for friends turning into lovers… but with zombies? Happiness is a fantastic k-drama more focused on a terrifying pandemic than it is on romance, but the relationship between Yi Hyun and Sae Bom blossoms slowly across the 12 episodes. The two friends pretend to be married in order to gain a safe haven, and we all know where THAT leads. Although Happiness has a lot of nail-biting moments, don't worry – the ending won't wreck you.
My First First Love
7.5 on IMDb
Yun Tae-o is a college student who unexpectedly finds himself living with a gaggle of roommates. All five friends must navigate work, college, friendship, and family… and a lovely friends-to-lover romance blossoms between two of them. We won't tell you which ones, though! We have to keep some secrets on this list.
My Unfamiliar Family
7.6 on IMDb
If you're looking for something a little less fluffy, My Unfamiliar Family will give you all the friends-to-lovers feels without falling into cheesy cliches. Kim Eun Hee is struggling with the fact that her family has drifted further and further apart – she feels like she barely knows her siblings or parents any more. In the meantime, she turns to a cute male colleague (but he's just a friend, of course) for advice on her love life.
Love Is For Suckers
6.6 on IMDb
Goo Yeo-reum and Park Jae-hoon have been friends for more than 20 years, and both have repeatedly struck out on love. When he decides to become a cast member on a reality dating show that she is producing, the chemistry starts to bubble both on and off camera. You may also know this 16-episode series as Icy Cold Romance.
The Time We Were Not In Love
7.1 on IMDb
A lot of the titles on this list feature a slow-burn drama, but in this one a friendship changes gears quite abruptly, leaving the main characters struggling to figure themselves out. Han Eun-sung and Kim Rae-wan have been friends for 8 years, but everything changes when they sleep together.
At only 4 episodes long, The Time We Were Not in Love is a shorter watch than many on this list, making it perfect for a one-night binge.
Into the Ring
7.3 on IMDb
Two friends with extremely different personalities (he's a by-the-book rule follower; she's a scrappy go-getter) find themselves competing for the same job. But no matter how hard they fight, their fierce competition can't quite overcome their dorky, quirky chemistry. Thought you couldn't have fun in a show about low-level municipal politics? Think again!