10 Tear-jerking Korean Dramas for a Good Ugly Cry

Joanna Marie O. Santos
November 30, 2021

article image

Korean dramas can make us laugh, swoon with kilig, keep us hanging with suspense, and sometimes even give you a good cry. Fans and critics alike of the genre are sure to enjoy these 10 tear-jerking K-dramas. Grab your tissues, it’s about to get emotional!

  10. VIP(2019)

Na Jung-sun’s perfect and glamorous life falls apart when she finds out about her husband’s affair. Na Jung-sun’s raw pain and betrayal from the people she loved and trusted gives VIP the complete ingredients in creating an emotional and tear-jerking show you can never get tired of.

  9. Alice (2020)  

For a stoic protagonist, Alice ironically gave us a lot of emotions. Park Jin Gyum, our protagonist, time travels to find answers about his mother's murder. He meets Yoon Tae Yi, a professor who looks just like his mother. Together, Jin Gyum and Tae Yi find answers and unravel secrets that would peel off our emotions.

  8. The Doctors (2016)

A person closes their heart when they experience trauma from their past. So, when they meet someone who gives them hope to trust again, this changes their lives. But what if this person gets separated from the only person she trusts? The Doctors is a story of Yoo Hye-Jung, a successful doctor who reunites with her mentor Hong Ji-Hong after 13 years of being separated by (unfortunate) events.

  7. Taxi Driver (2021)  

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Kim-Do-Ki is a taxi driver for Rainbow Taxi Company, taking exceptional "revenge-call" service. If his clients want to take revenge, Kim Do-Ki and his team get the job done. Taxi Driver is a melodrama series about a grieving man who wants justice for losing his beloved mother. Taxi Driver is the epitome of great Korean Drama in 2021.

  6. Black (2017)

What happens when the Grim Reaper falls in love? This K-drama follows Black, a character who is assigned to guide people to the afterlife. As Black investigates murders from the past, he falls in love with a mortal woman, breaking the supernatural rule of never being allowed to have an affair with mortals. Black is an emotional and tear-jerking tale of life, death, and how love finds its way to overpower even the supernatural and impossible.

  5. 18 Again (2020)  

Our fathers love us so much that if given a chance, they'd want to be the same age as us so they can be closer to us. 18 Again is the story of Hong Dae-young, a father who goes back to his 18-year-old self to befriend his twin children. Dae-young's journey to redemption and emotional longing to be loved by his children will surely bring you the feels.

  4. Stairway to Heaven (2003)

Plots with characters who have amnesia have bad rep on television for being cliche. However, Stairway to Heaven is an exception. Even though the plot revolves around a person with amnesia, the series gives justice to the concept by making the show realistic, top tier, and emotional. The story is about Song-Joo and Jung-Seo, who were soulmates. However, everything changed when Jung-Seo had an accident and suffered from amnesia. The dialogues between Song-Joo and Jung-Seo will pull your heartstrings and stain your cheeks with tears.

  3. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020)

Let this K-drama make you cry with its responsible tribute to mental health. The story revolves around Moon Gang Tae, a health worker, and Ko Moon Yeong, a book author. These two characters find solace in each other, as both of them have unhealed wounds from their pasts. It's Okay to Not To Be Okay breaks stereotypes and prejudices of having a mental illness. Some even consider this series as the best Korean drama of all time.

  2. Hospital Playlist (2020)

In a nutshell, the Hospital Playlist is a lighthearted K-drama about hospital workers. You'll shed a tear or two, not because you’re sad, but mostly because you're happy. You can relate to the characters in various ways. This drama speaks to your soul and your values. Hospital Playlist is a classic that doesn't require complex plots or villains. Its simplicity makes it so great that you’d want to watch it over and over! Indeed, Hospital Playlist is always on the Korean drama list of tear-jerker shows because it gives you happy tears.

  1. Reply 1988 (2015)  

Reply 1988 has the complete package: funny, nostalgic, and dramatic. Even though each episode is longer than an hour, every moment with the Ssangmun-dong neighborhood is a treat. The friendship between Deok-Sun, Choi Taek, Jung Hwan, Sun-Woo, and Dong-Ryong is something you would want in real life. This Korean drama follows their dreams and aspirations as they weave through their uncertain teenage years. When their squad finally leaves Ssangmun-dong, it's as if you left with them, too. This scene will surely make your pillows wet with tears. Reply 1988 is arguably the best Korean Drama of all time!

  Binge-watch-cry to K-Dramas now!

People cry for a variety of reasons. Whether it's for therapeutic reasons or because you're a masochist, there's nothing like experiencing a roller coaster of emotions with an amazingly well-written and touching K-drama series. So, go to your favorite Korean drama website, call up your friends for a watch party, grab some popcorn, and let the feels flow through you.

  Sources: cosmo.ph, forbes.com, kdramakisses.com, channel-korea.com, asianwiki.com, otakukart.com, hellokpop.com, preview.ph image sources: Netflix.com, vikiplatform.com, ytimg.com