I know this trope was super popular a couple of years ago and while there aren’t many dramas with this trope these days, we need to admit that the dramas of this era remain undefeated.
I’ll preface this by letting you know that I’ve watched every single drama in this post, and I can tell you for a fact that they’re all so good.
Another thing I’ll mention is that you really need to watch these dramas with an open heart.
They’re old, so the misogyny is rife, many of the themes are problematic, and some of the characters (leads, if I’m being honest) are downright distasteful, but I know you’ll still enjoy them.
Here are 12 Korean dramas where a girl pretends to be a boy that you need to check out ASAP:
1. You’re Beautiful
A.N.JELL needs a new lead singer, but the original one, Tae Kyung, can’t sing.
Enter Mi Nam, who’s away fixing an eye job mess, and his twin sister, Mi Nyu, steps in to save the day.
Now, she’s juggling fame, a fake identity, and a quest to find their mom.
2. To The Beautiful You
Tae Joon supports Jae Hee, who crosses the ocean to help him restart his high jump career.
In this gender-bender Kdrama, love blossoms, Eun Gyul’s confused about his feelings, and student-athletes have a blast training without the pressure of records or competitions.
3. Coffee Prince
Han Gyul (played by the amazing Gong Yoo) needs to prove himself to his grandma and ex, Yoo Joo, so he decides to renovate and boost an abandoned coffee shop.
Then there’s Eun Chan, who disguises herself as a guy to work in Han Gyul’s coffee shop, which only hires handsome guys.
Eventually, she and Han Gyul start developing feelings for each other, and it was so sweet to see them slowly fall in love with each other.
4. The King’s Affection
In this sageuk drama, twins are taboo, so the queen, in order to save her daughter, sends her out of the place.
The twins eventually meet and start swapping places, but when the crown prince is killed on an outing, Dam Yi, the female twin, takes her brother’s place.
She lives like that for years until Jung Ji Woon, her first love and the son of her mortal enemy, comes back into her life.
5. Gu Family Book
Choi Kang Chi, a half-human and mythical creature, falls for martial arts master Dam Yeo Wool, the daughter of a prominent man.
When chaos strikes, Kang Chi sets out to restore order, and Yeo Wool aims to keep his mythical side in check while pretending to be a man and following him on his adventures.
6. Love In The Moonlight
Hong Ra On, disguised as a man, works as something of a love counsellor, but one day, her luck runs out when the prince seizes her red-handed.
Somehow, Ra On becomes an eunuch, and what follows after is a dredging up of her yangban (noble) background and an ill-fated love that both must let go of to survive.
You can watch this gender-bender Kdrama on Netflix right now, so make sure you don’t waste your time!
7. The Scholar Who Walks The Night
Cross-dressing bookseller Yang-sun helps vampire scholar Sung-yeol find a way to kill Gwi.
This is yet another amazing historical Kdrama where a girl pretends to be a boy and trust me you’ll love every minute of it.
8. Sungkyunkwan Scandal
Kim Yun Hee, scared of imminent eviction and with lots of debt, disguises as a boy to take the men’s national exam.
Soon enough, friendship and romance develop at Sungkyunkwan, while Yun Hee hides her true identity.
If you watch historical Kdramas, then you probably know that Sungkyunkwan is essentially a university, and you have to watch to know what this drama is all about, but the chemistry between the leads was epic.
9. Our Blooming Youth
Jae Yi’s life takes a tragic turn a day before her wedding when her entire family is killed.
Accused falsely, she joins forces with cursed crown prince Lee Hwan to break his curse, and they soon start developing feelings for each other.
This 2023 drama had a whole lot of scheming and plotting and there were some reveals I could never have expected – it was amazing.
10. The Painter Of The Wind
Painter Shin Yoon Bok disguises as a boy to find her father’s murderer.
Guided by master painter Kim Hong Do, their mentor-disciple bond deepens over time.
11. Nailshop Paris
The events in this romantic comedy primarily take place in a nail shop filled with flower boy artists.
Internet novelist Hong Yeo Joo, disguised as a boy, makes her way in the colourful world of nail art and even finds unexpected love.
12. One Well-Raised Daughter
Jang Ha Na, disguised as a boy, steps up as the male heir for her family’s soy sauce business.
The fourth daughter faces challenges, family dynamics, and the need to keep up the charade.
What do you think? Will you add any of these dramas to your watchlist? I can personally vouch for each of these gender-bender Kdramas and I know you’ll enjoy them.
Don’t forget to check the related posts below for even more amazing recommendations and feel free to drop a note for me in the comments below.