Whenever I’m done watching a romantic Korean drama, it’s always the leads who keep me coming back to watch my favorite snippets in all their swoony/cheesy glory.
And eight times out of 10, I would never, ever forget the leads.
I’m talking about the ones who made my heart slightly flutter and sing with joy, and if you’re wondering what dramas have leads with that insane chemistry that hits at every level.
I know I say this usually, but this time around, listen: I have watched every single drama on this list and I can absolutely vouch for them – they’re all so good.
1. Lee Jang-Hyun and Yoo Gil-chae from My Dearest
Who are they: They are a nobleman and a noblewoman who fall in love during the Qing invasion of Joseon.
Why I love them: Aside from being tender, achingly sweet, and so angsty, I loved the way their love bloomed in the midst of war even though they were in completely different places.
If I’m being completely honest, I was a little frustrated with how long Gil Chae (the female lead) kept denying her feelings, but once she came around, it was the most beautiful thing ever.
You guys, these leads were ready to sacrifice everything for each other in this Korean romantic historical drama and while I was worried about there possibly being a bad ending, I loved that they found their ways to each other at the end.
2. Chae Do Jin and Han Jae Yi from Come And Hug Me.
Who are they: They were each other’s first love, but they were separated when Do Jin’s father, a psychopath serial killer, murdered Jae Yi’s parents.
They meet again as adults, when Do Jin is a detective and Jae Yi is an actress, and they rekindle their feelings while facing the trauma and stigma of their past.
Why I love them: I’ve watched this drama about four times at this point, and one thing that always stands out is how they were such a perfect pairing.
Watching this drama, you probably would never believe that this was the leads’ debut drama, but I’m not kidding when I say they poured their entire hearts into it.
At every single point, Na Moo and Nak Won( Do Jin and Jae Yi’s real names in the drama respectively) understood and supported each other, and I loved the way they never gave up on their love even in the face of the many obstacles and dangers.
They are hands-down one of the most memorable and touching couples in Korean dramas, and if you’ve seen Jang Ki Yong (playing the role of Na Moo/Do Jin) act, you probably know how soulful his eyes are, so the many sweet and adorable moments felt even more adorable.
3. Yoon Se Ri and Ri Jung Hyuk from Crash Landing on You
Who are they: They are a star-crossed couple who met when Se Ri, a South Korean heiress, crash-landed in North Korea due to a paragliding accident.
Jung Hyuk, a North Korean army officer, helped her hide and return to her country while developing feelings for her along the way.
Why I love them: Their romance was full of obstacles, humor, and heartbreak, and as they tried to make headway in their situation, I couldn’t help but fall in love as well.
The leads in this drama also got married in real life, and that’s all I’m going to say, but trust me when I say you’ll enjoy this one.
4. Shin Ha Ri and Kang Tae Moo from A Business Proposal
Who are they: They are a boss and employee who meet when said employee helps her friend out on an unwanted blind date.
Somehow, Tae Moo feels she’s the perfect candidate to be his girlfriend and he’s relentless, so they start a fake relationship to make his grandfather happy.
Why I love them: There’s a whole lot to love about these two, but one thing I can’t ever forget is how much chemistry they had with each other.
This drama isn’t even steamy, but, by heaven, the casting director really did something wonderful with this selection.
5. Jang Uk and Mu Deok/Naksu from Alchemy of Souls
Who are they: They are two young people with a twisted fate that lands them in each other’s vicinity: Jang Uk is cursed to be unable to use magic and Mu Deok’s spirit inhabits a weak body.
They then make an agreement, and Mu Deok, the powerful ex-assassin ends up moonlighting as something of a tutor to Jang Uk while working as his personal maid.
Why I love them: I loved the teacher-student dynamic between these two and I dearly wished that the female lead had reprised her role in the second season.
Regardless, their chemistry was fiery in all the best ways and I was shipping them so hard from the very minute they appeared on screen together.
Another thing I especially love was how there wasn’t anything about a fated love or a childhood connection and yet, they pulled off such a romantic feat. MY PARENTS FR!
6. Kim Shin and Ji Eun Tak from Goblin: The Great & Lonely God
Who are they: They are an immortal and a mortal who are bound by a fate that transcends time and space.
Shin, a former general who became a goblin after a tragic death, is looking for his bride who can end his lonely existence. While Eun Tak, a high school student who can see ghosts, is the one who can pull out the sword in his chest and free him from his curse.
Why I love them: This fantasy drama is so effortlessly funny and in addition to the bromance, the main couple and the second romantic couple were everything.
There’s something to be said about a romance that’s at once soothing and bittersweet, but if you’ve been wary of watching this because of the high ratings, just give it a chance.
Also check out this post: 4 Reasons Goblin: The Lonely & Great God Still Shines (+5 Recs)
7. Lee Young Joon and Kim Mi So from What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim
Who are they: They are a narcissistic vice president of a company and his loyal secretary who have worked together for nine years.
When Mi So decides to quit her job, Young Joon tries to stop her by making her fall in love with him.
Why I love them: This office romance made the globe spin for years, but I only watched it for the first time this year.
And I’ll tell you for free that it’s really as cute, hilarious, swoony, and steamy as everyone says – this is a disappointment I would take every day.
It’s usually said that Park Min Young could have chemistry with a rock, and, I have to be honest, that’s 100% correct.
These two had me so deep in my feelings and I genuinely recommend this easy-to-watch drama to anyone who’s trying to get into Korean dramas.
8. Yoon Hye Jin and Hong Doo Shik from Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha
Who are they: They are a dentist who moves to a seaside village and a jack-of-all-trades who helps everyone in the town.
Hye Jin, who is used to the city life, clashes with Doo Shik, who is the unofficial leader of the village.
But, they soon develop a mutual attraction and respect, as they help each other grow and heal from their wounds.
Why I love them: Summery romance Kdramas set in a small town will always have my heart, so this was an easy watch from start to finish.
But, Hye Jin and Doo Shik had the kind of chemistry and romance we’ve only read about in books, and I loved how they complemented each other so well.
You guys, to date, I can’t watch an edit of this drama without my heart wanting to burst with happiness, and I just know they can be your next fave Kdrama couple if you give them a chance.
9. Sung Deok Mi and Ryan Gold from Her Private Life
Who are they: They are an art gallery curator and a famous painter who became the director of the gallery.
Deok Mi, who is a professional at work, is also a secret fan of an idol group member, while Ryan, who is cold and arrogant, finds out about her double life and gets involved in her fandom when he protects her by starting a fake relationship.
Why I love them: Park Min Young shines in this drama as Deok Mi again, and it really was so sweet watching the flirty moments between her and Ryan.
I felt their love was so, so mature and I was rooting for them from the very first time they met at an auction (IYKYK).
And, you guys, their chemistry was chemistry-ing from start to finish and the steamy scenes had me kicking up my toes in sheer happiness.
10. Tak Dong Kyung and Myeol Mang from Doom at Your Service
Who are they: They are a web novel editor and a messenger of doom who make a contract that allows her to live for 100 days.
Dong Kyung, who is diagnosed with a terminal illness, wishes for the world to end, so Meol Myang, who is a supernatural being who can grant any wish, appears before her and offers her a deal.
Why I love them: One thing you should know right off the bat is that this is one of those dramas where the writers managed to wrap everything up while keeping the heart-rending bits to a minimum.
And, I like that these two pestered each other, fought hard, and loved each other even harder at every single point.
Their love was beautiful and magical, and I could experience this drama again for the first time.
Who’s your favorite Kdrama couple? I’m talking about the leads who make you scream, swoon, and kick off your blankets.
Don’t forget to check out the related posts below for even more recommendations, and let me know what you think in the comments below.