25 Korean Drama Made Me Cry a River

I do love drama * been saying that repeatedly in lots of my other post * in case you still don’t know. And I had to admit that kdrama had a big part of why I love drama. they are really good to turned my emotion up and down, just like experiencing rollercoaster. Sometimes, it made me tired, emotionally.

Especially when it comes to tragis or sad drama. Which they are expert on that * after i watched so many drama from other country, I guess Korean people still the best in portraying sad or tragic scene * The tragic here means, one of the lead end up dead, both lead were dead, or second lead which I hardly ship more than the lead is dead * forgive me for adding this term of tragic on my own since sometimes I cheer for the second lead more. Sometimes, I said :p * In the end, It was NOT a happy ending nor the one that keep us wondering whether it was a happy or sad ending.

So, here are 25 kdrama that made me cry a river * suddenly, Justin Timberlake song was playing in my mind * Get yourself prepared with whole bunch of tissue when you decided to watched them. But, let me remind you, Spoiler Alert for those who dislike spoilers.

1. I’m Sorry, I love you (2004)

So Ji Sub as Cha Moo Hyuk
Im Soo Jung as Song Eun Chae
Jung Kyung Ho as Choi Yune
Seo Ji Young as Kang Min Joo

For heaven’s sake, hands down for this drama with 16 episodes. THIS is the one and only, the most SAD and TRAGIC drama I’ve ever watched. Not only in the whole kdramaland, but in the whole dramaland.  It was sad, emotionally tiring, depressing, that it made my heart and head hurts so much * lebaaay * I cry a river through all episodes. Adding more, is the original soundtrack, very touching and sad too.

It’s about a man who thrown away from his family to another country, separated with his twin, being left out by his love life, took bullet for the woman he love, had the bullet stuck in his head, hate by his real mother * because his mother didn’t know he is her son * spent his life for revenge, envy with his so called brother, and feeling guilty for the new love he found that he decided to leave her because he didn’t want her to be sad. In the end, he died alone in Australia and donate his heart for his so called brother * huaaaa T_T *

What is even more sad is, the woman he love, followed him. She suicide in his grave. She wrote some letter before she suicide,

“Even when I was living, he was lonely. So, I couldn’t leave him alone like that. Just this once in my life, I’m thinking of myself and living for myself. I’ll accept any punishment that comes. Song Eun Chae.”

  • where is the tissue, please….  * after I watched this drama, life is never be the same * lebaaay *

Pertama kali nonton drama ini, bener2 nyesek di hati. Sampe sekarang belom ada yang bisa gantiin drama ini sebagai drama ter sedih dan tertragis sepanjang masa at least for me 4 thumbs up for both of the lead.

2. Stairway to heaven (2004)

Kwon Sang Woo as Cha Song-ju
Choi Ji Woo as Han Jung-suh
Kim Tae Hee as Han Yu-ri
Shin Hyun Joon as Han Tae-hwa

Baek Sung Hyun as young Cha Song-ju
Park Shin Hye as young Han Jung-suh/Kim Ji-su
Lee Wan as young Han Tae-hwa/Han Chul-su
Park Ji Mi as young Han Yuri

A 20 episode drama full of sadness. Since childhood until they grown ups. The female lead is very suffered. I fell in love with Park Shin Hye in this drama eventhough she is only appeared as a child female lead * since then, I am officially following all of her drama * If you looking for a drama with cinderella them * with step mother and evil sister * unforgotten first love, accident, amnesia, and involved a cancer inside.

This is definitely the perfect one. Just when all the storms finally wash out and we think they finally get together happily ever after then here comes cancer that wake us all from the happy ending dream. She died and he is living his lonely life. What a cruel life indeed.

3. Endless Love or An Autumn Tale (2000)

Song Seung Hun as Yun Joon Suh
Song Hye Kyo as Yun/Choi Eun Suh
Won Bin as Han Tae Suh
Han Na Na as Shin Yu Mi
Han Chae Young as Choi/Yun Shin Ae
Choi Woo Hyuk as young Joon Suh
Moon Geun Young as young Eun Suh

In Indonesia, I guess only a few people who love kdrama who still don’t know this one. It was one of the first drama invaded our country back then. Booming if I must say. This is the starter or what we called Korean fever in Indonesia. Even I was collected any kind of merchandise about Won Bin * back then long time ago *

The story is kind of cliche typical korean drama. 4 lead whose life tangled together. Unforgotten first love. Unrequited love for the second lead. A suffering life of the female lead. Last but not least, a fatal disease of the female lead, which is in this case is Leukemia * like her life is not miserable enough * Cry bucket of tears back then * because it was my first time watched kdrama and I haven’t met MISA (I’m Sorry I love you).

How can it not be sad or tragic if I may say. Eun Suh died because of her sickness. Then in the end, Joon Suh was hit by a truck. Only God know if they reunited in heaven or not. In this drama also, first time I ship the second lead more than the first lead. I just love Won Bin here :p

4. Bad Love (2008)

Kwon Sang Woo as Kang Yong Ki
Lee Yo Won as Na In Jung
Kim Sung Soo as Lee Soo Hwan
Kim Ga Yun as Kang Joo Ran

A 20 episode of tears for Yong Ki portrayed by Sang Woo.

5. Damo (2003)

Ha Ji Won as Chae-Ok
Kim Min Joon as Jang Sung-Baek
Lee Seo Jin as Commander Hwangbo

A 14 episodes of amazing skills of Ha Ji Won as a damo. At first, I felt sad because I thought Chae Ok will have a tragic love with Sung-baek. I thought they love each other. Well, they indeed love each other until they discover that they are long lost siblings. While they status is opposite to each other. Damo tried to rescue his brother * he is a rebel while damo is a detective * but it was just too late. He died.

6. Hwang Jin Yi (2006)

Ha Ji Won as Hwang Jin Yi/ Myung Wol
Shim Eun Kyung as young Hwang Jin Yi
Kim Jae Won as Kim Jung Han
Wang Bit Na as Bu Yong
Ryu Tae Joon as Baek Kye Soo
Jang Geun Suk as Kim Eun Ho

A 24 episodes of beautiful clothes, dance, and music and of course sadness. I cried for Jin Yi everytime. Poor her, for not being able live happily with the one she loves. Eun Ho, her first love is dead just before they ran away together. Then she fell in love again with Jung Han, but then lost her baby due a complicated situation between them. And there in the end, she let him go and live alone as a Gisaeng. * Huhuhuhu * Jin Yi, why can’t you be happier.

7. The Story of the First King’s Four Gods / Legend (2007)

Bae Yong Jun as Damdeok / Hwanwoong
Yoo Seung Ho as young Damdeok
Lee Ji Ah as Sujini / Seoh
Shim Eun Kyung as young Sujini
Moon So Ri as Seo Ki Ha / Kajin
Park Eun Bin as teen Ki Ha
Park Sung Woong as Jumuchi
Lee Philip as Cheoro
Lee Hyun Woo as young Cheoro

I always love Bae Yong Jun as an actor since Winter Sonata. So, 24 episodes of this drama definitely catch my attention. Actually it is not ‘that’ tragic. it just, so sad to see the leads love life. In first few episode, we will see how sad it is when he had to killed his own wife. His crying make my heart ache. Later, his love life with Sujini, make my heart cry out loud. In the end, the not end up together  *I’m not sure what happened to damdeok *

8. Empress Ki (2013)

Ha Ji Won as Ki Seung Nyang / Empress Ki
Hyun Seung Min as Seung Nyang (young)
Joo Jin Mo as Wang Yoo / King Choong Hye
Ahn Do Gyu as Wang Yoo (young)
Ji Chang Wook as Ta Hwan / Emperor Huizong of Yuan

A 51 episodes worth watching and heart wrenching. here, the second lead finally got the heart of the first female lead * yeaayyy * Eventhough it end up tragically. Here, I feel you, Ta Hwan. How you really want Seung Nyang to love you back, even until the end of your life. Which she did love him back, but it was just too late. T_T

9. Fashion King (2012)

Yoo Ah In as Kang Young Gul
Seo Young Joo as Young Gul (Young)
Shin Se Kyung as Lee Ga Young
Kim Sae Ron as Ga Young (young)
Lee Je Hoon as Jung Jae Hyuk
Kwon Yu Ri as Choi Anna

A 20 episodes of not so tragic or sad drama actually. But it end up with Young Gul death anyway, so I consider it as tragic. Not to mention, his death is… hmm… I can’t find a word to describe it. it just that, it really is a bad way to end this drama. He was happily enjoying himself in the pool * or spa * then “bang” someone killed him, shot him to death.

10. Sad Love Song (2005)

Kwon Sang Woo as Suh Joon Young / Choi Joon Kyu
Yoo Seung Ho as young Suh Joon Young and then as his son
Kim Hee Sun as Park Hae In
Kim So Eun as young Hae In
Yun Jung Hoon as Lee Gun Woo
Kim Yeon Joo as Cha Hwa Jung
Go Ah Sung as young Cha Hwa Jung

Even the title already give a vibe of sad or tragic if I may say. then there were 20 episodes to convey the title. this time, Sang Woo will be the one who die * remember stairway to heaven? * his love story with Kim Hee Sun is so complicated that it make our heart drown in pain * lebay *

11. Ja Myung Go (2009)

Jung Ryu Won as Princess Ja Myung
Lee Young Yoo as Lee Young Yoo as Ja Myung
Park Min Young as Princess Ra Hee
Jin Ji Hee as Ra Hee (child)
Jung Kyung Ho as Prince Hodong
Kang Soo Han as Hodong (child)
Yeo Jin Goo as Hodong (adolescent)

A 39 episode of intrigue in politics and love. Ja Myung, who is branded the princess of destruction, escapes death with the help of her mother and grows up among the common folk. She and Prince Hodong who is the rival of her nation fall in love but fate has it that they cannot be together * they are rival for God sake* Ja Myung, who fight to save her nation and had misunderstanding about his feeling toward her, finally pierces her sword towards Hodong. I cry a river in the end seing both of them died together.

12. Kangchi, The Beginning (2013)

Lee Seung Ki as Choi Kang Chi
Jung Joon Won as Kang Chi (child)
Bae Suzy as Dam Yeo Wool
Jo Min Ah as Yeo Wool (child)
Choi Jin Hyuk as Gu Wol Ryung (Kang Chi’s father)
Yoon Se Ah as Ja Hong Myung / middle age Yoon Seo Hwa (Kang Chi’s mother)
Lee Yeon Hee as Yoon Seo Hwa

Another 24 episodes not so called tragic. But I do enjoyed watched every scene of Kang Chi’s parents * hoping that this drama is about them, but it is just a hope. Not happen in real though * Wol Ryung and Seo Hwa love story is tragic. They meant for each other but they came from a different world and that what make them separated. I cry hard for Wol Ryung, when he learned that the woman he love betrayed him. I cry for Seo Hwa when I finally realized that she did love him deep down inside her heart. When she died, I felt like aaahh… noo… don’t leave Wol Ryung… Both of you deserve live happily ever after.

13. Jang Ok Jung (2013)

Kim Tae Hee as Jang Ok Jung / Lady Jang Hee Bin
Kang Min Ah as Jang Ok Jung (young)
Yoo Ah In as Lee Soon / King Suk Jong
Chae Sang Woo as Lee Soon (young)
Hong Soo Hyun as Queen In Hyun
Jae Hee as Hyun Chi Soo
Baek Seung Hwan as Hyun Chi Soo (young)

A 24 episodes * will update soon :p*

14. The Devil (2007)

Joo Ji Hoon as Oh Seung Ha
Uhm Tae Woong as Kang Oh Soo
Shin Min Ah as Seo Hae In

I enjoyed watching 20 episodes full of shin Min Ah and all the mystical things involved. Touched by her love story with Seung Ha. Heartbroken by his death.

15. What happened in Bali (2004)

Ha Ji Won as Lee Soo-jung
Jo In Sung as Jung Jae-min
So Ji Sub as Kang In-wook
Park Ye Jin as Choi Young-joo

It is 20 episodes of drama. Very very tragic. And it was happened here, in Indonesia, in Bali to be precise * For your info, Indonesia is not Bali but bali is part of Indonesia * Why I so called very very tragic. Because the 3 leads are end up dead. Jae Min had a misunderstanding with Soo Jung, jealousy and hatred filled him that trigger him to killed Soo jung and In Wook together. When he heard Soo Jung last word, that she love him. I think he regret for what he did, so he decided to killed himself in the beach. So, this is the second time I watched So Ji Sub, end up dead.

16. 49 days (2011)

Lee Yo Won as Song Yi Kyung
Jo Min Ah as Yi Kyung (young)
Nam Gyu Ri as Shin Ji Hyun
Kim Yoo Bin as Ji Hyun (young)
Jo Hyun Jae as Han Kang
Bae Soo Bin as Kang Min Ho
Jung Il Woo as scheduler / Song Yi Soo
Seo Ji Hye as Shin In Jung

A 20 episodes of mixed feeling. There were funny, romantic, sad, happy, anger inside this drama. It was so sad to see Ji Hyun and scheduler leave out this world and people they love. It was so sad to see Yi kyung and Han Kang, stand up in front of their grave by the end of the drama. it will be a really nice ending if in later years, they’ll end up together.

17. Glass Shoes or Glass Slippers (2002)

Kim Hyun Joo as Kim Yun Hee / Lee Sun Woo
Kim Ji Ho as Kim Tae Hee
So Ji Sub as Park Chul Woong
Han Jae Suk as Jang Jae Hyuk
Kim Min Sun as Woo Seung Hee

A 40 episodes of sad scene. So Ji Sub is really the master of sad story. Here, he end up dead again just before his wedding, just before he finally have his happiness. After 40 episode of his longing for the woman he love, he end up dead. can you at least be happy ending for once  * Well he did, in his other dramas. I just being overreacted *

18. Tree of Heaven (2006)

Lee Wan as Yoon-suh
Park Shin Hye as Hana
Asami Reina as Maya
Uchida Asahi as Fujiwara Ryu

This is a collaboration drama between Korea and Japan. A 10 episodes of tear jerkers if I may say. As I told you, I started following Park shin Hye since Stairway to heaven. Here, I think she is at her best of crying scene. Hana had fall in love with her step-brother (Yoon Suh). They fall for each other, but as a tragic drama not allowed to have happy ending, so did their fate. Yoon Suh dead in the end, but his death brings life to Hana.

19. A love to Kill (2005)

Bi as Kang Bok Gu
Shin Min Ah as Cha Eun Seok
Kim Sa Rang as Han Da Jung
Lee Ki Woo as Kim Joon Sung

A 16 episodes of love started with revenge and hatred. Bi as Eun Seok Bodyguard plan to take a revenge for his brother by making Eun Seok life miserable. But as drama do, they fall in love to each other despite any obstacles lies down in front of them. In the end, Bok Gu is dead.

20. A Thousand days promises (2011)

Kim Rae Won as Park Ji Hyung
Soo Ae as Lee Seo Yeon
Lee Sang Woo as Jang Jae Min
Jung Yoo Mi as Noh Hyang Ki

How can I not feel sad with this 20 episodes of drama. When the story itself revolved around losing memory. How sad it will be, when we losing memory of someone we love. How pained it is for the one that being forgotten. And Kim Rae Won, he just very good portraying Ji Hyung who will always love her unconditionally and willingly despite her memory loss.

21. Sang Doo, let’s Go to School (2003)

Bi as Cha Sang-doo
Gong Hyo Jin as Chae Eun-hwan
Lee Dong Gun as Kang Min-suk
Hong Soo Hyun as Han Se-ra

A 16 episodes will update soon :p

22. The Snow Queen (2007)

Hyun Bin as Han Tae Woong / Han Deuk Gu
Sung Yu Ri as Kim Bo Ra
Im Ju Hwan as Suh Gun Woo
Yoo In Young as Lee Seung Ri
Kim Tae Hyun as Choi Choong Shik

A 16 episodes * will update soon :p* but the end is, she died.

23. Money’s Warfare (2007)

Park Shin Yang as Geum Na Ra
Park Jin Hee as Seo Joo Kyung
Shin Dong Wook as Ha Woo Sung
Kim Jung Hwa as Lee Cha Yeon

A 16 episode Geum Na Ra hard life. He is living his life in a hard way by being a privat money lender. Which off course, will have so many enemies right in front of his nose. So when he finally settle down and wants to get marry. Someone killed him, stabbed him right before his wedding. I cry out for the bride who standing and waiting for him.

24. East of Eden (2009)

Song Seung Hun as Lee Dong Chul
Yun Jung Hoon as Lee Dong Wook
Park Hae Jin as Shin Myung Hun
Lee Da Hae as Min Hye Rin
Lee Yeon Hee as Gook Young Ran / Grace
Han Ji Hye as Kim Ji Hyun
Dennis Oh as Mike

A 56 episode * will update soon :p*

25. Bad Guy (2010)

Kim Nam Gil as Shim Gun Wook
Kang Soo Han as Gun Wook (child)
Han Ga In as Moon Jae In
Kim Jae Wook as Hong Tae Sung
Park Joon Mok as Tae Sung (child)
Oh Yun Soo as Hong Tae Ra
Moon Ga Young as Tae Ra (teen)

A 17 episodes plot revenge. I got the feeling that it will became tragic when I read the synopsis. Because, revenge most likely always end up with someone death. And here we are, watch Gun Wook plan his revenge, fall in love, then really end up dead.

15 thoughts on “25 Korean Drama Made Me Cry a River

  1. East of Eden has a lot of episodes but don’t let that fool you. If you are looking for something sad, it will make you cry like literally every episode. I love it!


    • Really,, i haven’t really watch it. Just a few of cut scene from here to there. But i do have some mv of their ost and couple of the song from the drama in my playlist


  2. i’ve watched this kdrama when i was a kid where the wife has a cancer (i guess) and her husband has an affaird with another girl… The wife died at the end. do you know that kdrama? ’cause it’s a very good drama. thank you


  3. I watched Jang Ok Jung, and it made me cry at the end. Best k-drama I’ve ever watched after What Happened in Bali


  4. Mianhada Saranghanda…. or we can say, I’m sorry I love you. Tens of kDrama I’ve watched, this one is really different. So Ji Sub such a great actor, and just like you said, world would never be the same again after I finish watching this… T.T


    • well, I did remind before, that it contains spoiler. So, anyone who dislike the spoiler, can choose to continue read this or leave it. I guess, everyone have different taste, some really love spoiler including me and some other dislike.


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