Have you ever heard the word “noona”?
If you watch Korean dramas, there’s no way you haven’t heard this word (which translates to “sister”), but in this context, it refers to romance dramas where the woman is older than the man.
I’m talking about delightful age-gap Korean dramas with leads who break the norm and give their love everything in them.
This trope isn’t the most popular, but the few dramas with this trope star female leads who are noticeably much more mature than the male leads.
1. Alchemy Of Souls
This fantasy historical Kdrama pretty much made the globe spin when it aired and that’s primarily because of the romance between Jang Uk and Mu Deok.
Naksu, an elite assassin, gets trapped in this weaklings body and now rendered powerless, she hoped she could simply stay under the radar until she figured out her next step.
Enter Jang Uk who has been looking for a powerful mage who would be fearless enough to unlock the cauldron of energy his father locked inside him before disappearing.
Before long, this master-student/master-servant duo are falling in love and if you really want to watch a noona romance Kdrama, this is the bestest option.
2. When The Camelia Blooms
One thing I’ll tell you right off the bat about Dong Baek from this drama is that she’s the most resilient, hardworking, and relatable character I’ve seen in a Kdrama.
She’s a single mother running her bar-restaurant in Ongsan, a small town, and while she has to deal with the never-ending gossip, her son is always there with a sharp word to say and she finds an ally in Hwang Yonh Shik who totally loves her.
You guys, the age-difference between the leads in this drama was everything and I loved seeing their contrasting personalities.
3. Something In The Rain
Clumsy Yoon Jin Ah is always on the losing side when it comes to love until her childhood friend’s younger brother, Joon Hee, returns as a mature man.
Jung Hae In – the people-styled God of Melodrama – is the male lead in this drama, so you know it’s super good; while Son Ye Jin (yes, THE Son Ye Jin) is the female lead.
Unironically, this drama is also called “Pretty Noona/Sister Who Buys Me Food” and I really couldn’t have picked a better title if I tried.
4. Secret Love Affair
Sun Jae, a delivery man and piano prodigy, captures the attention of Hye Won, an elite art director, and soon their intense connection evolves into a complex romance.
This might not be my favorite older woman and younger man Kdrama on this list, but I’ll freely admit that one thing it did so well was show the entire decadence and forbidden aspect of their relationship (I loved it!)
5. Forecasting Love And Weather
This is a romance drama set in the National Weather Service, that revolves around the intelligent and organized Jin Ha Kyung, free-spirited Lee Shi Woo, quick-witted Han Ki Joon, and daily weather reporter Chae Yoo Jin.
Park Min Young stars in this drama as our beloved noona, and her romance with our male lead was the sweetest thing ever.
6. Crash Course In Romance
Former national athlete Nam Haeng Sun, now a side dish store owner, crosses paths with private instructor Choi Chi Yeol, and when he becomes her daughter’s tutor, love starts blooming between them.
One thing I’ll tell you now is that I didn’t watch this when it was airing because I saw some clips and they frankly looked entirely too cringey, but I gave it a second chance and it was low-key one of my favorite Netflix Kdramas of 2023.
You guys, this might be an older woman and younger woman Korean drama, but it also very unashamedly leans into the millennial identity of our leads and it was refreshing to see such a healthy, mature romance for once.
7. I Hear Your Voice
Public defender Jang Hye Sung, a sassy, materialistic lawyer, teams up with 19-year-old Park Soo Ha, who can read thoughts, and idealistic lawyer Cha Kwan Woo.
In this legal Kdrama, they try to get justice in the courtroom while tackling tough cases with minimal chances of success.
8. Witch’s Romance
Reporter Ban Ji Yeon, who has been labeled a “witch” at work, meets the 25-year-old Yoon Dong Ha, and despite their age difference and scarred hearts, they find common ground that blooms into love.
I loved every single thing about this lovely Kdrama, but what stood out the most was the intense chemistry between our leads – I loved them so much!
9. Hotel Del Luna
Jang Man Wol, CEO of an ancient hotel who’s tied down to the hotel, is doing all she can to escape from the deities, and after a fortuitous event when he was younger, Goo Chang Sung is brought on as a manager to control the hotel’s finances.
Man Wol is an immortal so she was understandably wayyyyyy older than Chan Sung, and if this is fantasy Kdrama you’ve been hesitant to watch, you definitely need to give it a chance.
10. Wok Of Love
Chef Seo Poong goes from a star chef to cooking at a failing Chinese restaurant, meanwhile Dan Sae Woo’s life takes a turn after a random bowl of jajangmyun leads to significant changes.
11. Do You Like Brahms?
Song Ah, defies her family’s opposition and sets out to pursue music at the university where she once majored in business, and she soon meets Joon Young, a pianist who becomes her biggest ally.
Park Eun Bin plays Song Ah in this drama while Park Min Jae is Joon Young, and I like that they have a 4-year age difference in real life and they still have an age-gap in the drama.
12. Cheat On Me If You Can
Crime author Yeo Joo, while researching murder methods, suspects her husband Woo Sung of infidelity, and determined to protect her marriage, she issues a bold ultimatum: If he cheats, he dies.
This drama night not sound super interesting right now, but I promise the dark humor is quickly infectious and I totally fell in love with Cho Yeo Jung.
As a bonus, there’s this scene where he pretty much signs off the rights to his body to her to do as she wishes and this couple were so bizarre it was funny.
Which of these noona older woman and younger man romance Korean dramas will you watch? Let me know in the comments below.
And, don’t forget to check out the related posts below for even more recommendations that will keep you glued to your screen.