Friday Feature: Most Awkward Moments

Nobody likes having an awkward moment, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to watch them happen to other people. It’s finally Friday, so let’s look at some of the most awkward moments in K-dramas.

King of High School Savvy


There is almost nothing about the character of Jung Soo Young (Lee Ha Na) that isn’t awkward. While she’s able to stand up for herself when required, she’s clumsy, inept with people, and lacks a brain-to-mouth filter. Add to this her inability to hold her liquor, and you have a recipe for disaster. As per the usual K-drama trope of running the female lead through a gauntlet of humiliation, the first few episodes involve her showing up with smeared lipstick in front of her workplace crush, Jin Woo, being coldly rejected by him when she confesses in the men’s bathroom, and then ending up dead drunk in his apartment. It’s only through the intervention of the hero that she’s saved from being fired; Jin Woo couldn’t take the awkwardness any more than we could. – Only 만

My Lovely Sam Soon


It is a K-drama trope to pair two unlikely people, and watch the sparks fly. I suspect that the people behind “My Lovely Sam Soon” wanted to see just how far they could push this idea, like mad scientists. This is my only explanation for the train wreck pairing of Jin Heon, a callous chaebol (Hyun Bin) and Sam Soon, a socially inept fishwife (Kim Sun Ah). I cringed every time Jin Heon intently pursued Sam Soon, because she would have mascara stained cheeks, or her face would be scrunched up like a child being force fed, or she would be fighting him like an ahjumma resisting a purse snatcher. It was a cringe-inducing freak show. – Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다



For a show with spectacularly bad male fashion, the character of Ryohei was a standout. Given his wardrobe, I would never have guessed that the easy-going Ryohei was meant to be a model, until the episode where he auditioned for a high-strung fashion designer. Up to that point, a more likely scenario was that he was a children’s entertainer or that his mom liked to make his clothes as a hobby. I can’t imagine who put the reasonably attractive Otani Ryohei in a cringe-inducing parade of bad outfits, but every time he came on screen, I had to look away from the awkwardness of everyone pretending he looked good. – Only

It’s Okay, It’s Love

Its Okay Its Love awkward

This is one of the sexiest Kdramas I have ever seen. The lead couple have amazing chemistry, and they interact like adults. Jo In Sung is super attractive in this series, but get him anywhere close to music, and he starts dancing like an uncool dad crashing his 12 year old daughter’s party. This is an issue, because his character, Jae Yeol is a DJ, which means he is frequently around music. Every time Jae Yeol put on the headphones, I had to brace myself for out-of-sync grooving, and maybe even some ‘raise the roof’ hand gestures. Jae Yeol also publicly interacts with a hallucination, and dresses like Ross from “Friends”, but his dancing is easily the most embarrassing thing about the character. – Junggugeo Kaenada

Emergency Couple


You would think nothing could be more awkward than transforming yourself into a doctor, then running into your hated ex your first day on the job. Thanks to “Emergency Couple”, I’ve learned that you can up the ante on awkwardness by spending the night before your first day binge-drinking until you land in the emergency room. Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) arrives to her first day as an intern straight from her hospital bed and right into the disbelieving stares of her ex-husband, her grumpy supervisor, and all of her co-workers. While wearing her soiled wedding dress, no less.

As awkward as this scene is, it may not actually have been the worst in the show. Later on, Jin Hee’s husband, Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) has to walk around the hospital with an erection induced by a cramped elevator ride with Jin Hee. Awkward. – Only

Pretty Man

Pretty Man

For an actor known to be a regular public embarrassment, Jang Geun Suk finally translated his reality into fantasy with “Pretty Man”. From the parade of bad hair (see Magnificent Manes), to the romance with a female lead who never matured past being his kid sister, there are a lot of cringe inducing moments. Topping it all was the clumsy seduction of 10 women by Ma Te (Jang Geun Suk), a supposed ladies man. Whether the writers intended it to be comedic or not, cheese pours from Ma Te’s mouth, and his female targets lap it all up. The show was an embarassment for Jang Geun Suk, the women, the writers – in short, mankind. – Junggugeo Kaenada

Readers: Which scene had you cringing in secondhand embarrassment?

Feel the awkwardness in the Comments below.

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