6 sneaky Kdrama easter eggs you never noticed
Whether they be thinly veiled parodies, frivolous jabs, or just passing references, easter eggs pop up more often than you might think in Kdramas. They're fun to spot and funner still when you're least expecting them. Check out these gems.
1. The Golden Empire, parodied
(Seen in episode 10.)
Cue epic music. Sitting across a large table from his fiance, The Master's Sun's Joo Joong Won (played by the fantastic So Ji Sub) asks, "If I accept your offer, will the owner of Saejin Group change?" She retorts that she's in Korea to change Saejin's holding company into Saejin Cement.
For avid viewers of The Golden Empire, this dialogue -- and the background music -- would have been all-too-familiar. That's because the scene was a brilliant parody of the dark, dog-eat-dog world of the business drama, in which Sungjin Group heiress Choi Seo Yoon (Lee Yo Won) and Jang Tae Joo (Go Soo) get married solely for the sake of business and in which Sungjin Cement is mentioned at least once every ten minutes.
What surprised viewers was that the Hong sisters managed to parody a then-currently airing drama. With such a busy writing schedule, how on Earth do they have time to watch other on-air dramas?
2. "Baby, let's go."
(Seen in episode 10.)
Fans of Lovers in Paris will have recognized this cheesy line, which was famously uttered by Park Shin Yang's character and which spawned countless parodies when it aired back in 2004. Seeing So Ji Sub calling Gong Hyo Jin "baby" in The Master's Sun was a welcome and unexpected throwback.
3. "What does your father do?"
(Seen in episode 4.)
In a glorious reunion scene, A Gentleman's Dignity has leading man Jang Dong Gun and Kim Gwang Kyu (in a cameo role) play out a scene from the 2001 film Friend, which was the highest-grossing movie of its time when it was released. Reprising their roles as teacher and high school student, Kim hilariously delivers the same iconic line to Jang that he'd said more than a decade ago -- "What does your father do?"
4. "I was once the very synonym of basketball."
(Seen in episode 11.)
Who remembers The Last Game, the perennial giant of Korean sports dramas? In it, Jang Dong Gun plays out a rivalry as one of two skilled basketball players battling it out on the courts in the 1994 drama that launched him to stardom. A Gentleman's Dignity pays tribute with the scene in which the four friends play basketball, complete with the ever-popular The Last Game OST in the background.
5. "My ex-boyfriend looks exactly like Hyun Bin!"
(Seen in episode 7.)
Kim Sun Ah, playing the spunky secretary-to-mayor role in City Hall, says giddily to a bemused Cha Seung Won, "He said he'd like to carry me around in his pocket like Thumbelina." This, of course, is a delightful reference to a line said by Hyun Bin in My Lovely Sam Soon. Oh, Sam Soon and Sam Shik, how I miss you two.
Note: Her in-drama ex-boyfriend ended up looking like this:
Not quite Hyun Bin.
6. Speaking of City Hall…
(Seen in episode 1.)
Upon meeting Secret Garden's Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won) for the first time, Yoon Sang Hyun's Oscar comments, "Ah! That movie, 'Welcome to Dongjak District'! About the level-10 civil servant who becomes the district mayor. Weren't you the stand-in for Kim Sun Ah?" There are two references here -- the first being to the Korean film 'Welcome to Dongmak-gol,' and the other being to the plot of City Hall, which was writer Kim Eun Sook's project just before Secret Garden.
What other easter eggs can you spot in your favorite dramas? Comment below!