Friend or Foe? The 10 best Kdrama frenemies
The Frenemy. That awesome Kdrama combo that blurs the line between friend and foe. This isn't your traditional Kdrama villain who has no redeeming qualities and just wants to ruin everything all of the time. It isn't the traditional supportive bestie, either. Frenemies move from one end of the spectrum to the other, and they often give us some of the most rewarding (and hilarious) Kdrama friendships. So, in the spirit of holiday togetherness, let's celebrate some of our favorite Kdrama frenemies!
1. Kim Tan and Choi Young Do, Heirs
Young Do and Kim Tan started out as childhood best friends until a mysterious argument drove them apart and Kim Tan left for America. Once he came back into town, they pretended to hate each other, but of course, some friendship still lingered under the surface. Deep, deep under the surface. Oh, these two. They can't stand each other because they secretly love each other. Hug it out, don't slug it out, guys.
2. Ji Heon and Moo Won, Protect the Boss
These cousins were forced into rivalry by competing for leadership of the same family company. Add competition for the same girl into the mix, and it's no wonder they're in enemy territory! This is why you should never mix family and business (which, of course, is what ALL Kdramas do). Like Young Do and Kim Tan, these guys had their share of physical fights, but they tended to be hilarious rather than scary. When they rolled around on the restaurant floor, pulling each other's hair, it might have been the best moment of the entire show.
3. Hye Mi and Baek Hee, Dream High
Baek Hee started out as Hye Mi's biggest fan until Hye Mi threw her under the bus. Finding herself in the position of power for the first time, Baek Hee tried to make sure Hye Mi stayed at the bottom of the Kirin High School totem pole. Neither girl was entirely innocent in their initial fights, but the upside to their rivalry was that it made them both push even harder. When they finally decided to share the stage, they were both better performers AND better people.
4. Nam Soon and Heung Soo, School 2013
Nam Soon is the class president, and Heung Soo is the new transfer student with a chip on his shoulder.What their classmates don't know is that these two have a long, angsty history together that binds them together as much as it drives them apart. I guess the moral of the story here is that you shouldn't go to school with Kim Woo Bin if you don't want to get punched in the face. Maybe it's worth it, though.
5. Tae Gong Sil and Tae Yi Ryung, The Master's Sun
Yi Ryung was always in Gong Sil's shadow during their high school days, but since then, she has become a star while Gong Sil, haunted by ghosts (literally), has become a terrified shell of her former self. Little Sun couldn't wait to put Big Sun in her place, but in the end, their relationship lost its bitterness as both women figured out who they were and what they wanted.
6. Ki Ae and Hee Nam, Heirs
With a cast as big as the one on Heirs, it's no surprise that they got TWO sets of frenemies on this list! Ki Ae and Hee Nam start out in a madame/maid relationship. Ki Ae starts out bossing Hee Nam around, but she eventually realizes that Hee Nam is the only one who really supports her. Whether it was their impromptu pillow fight or their sneaky safe cracking skills, these bickering moms were consistently fabulous. Besties for life!
7. Joo Won and Oska, Secret Garden
Like the cousins in Protect the Boss, these two are also cousins with a long history of trying to outdo one another. They are complete opposites in terms of personality, so they consistently butt heads over every little thing. The show begins with their rivalry, but it was only a matter of time before their outward animosity gave way to all kinds of warm fuzzies.
8. Se Kyung and Yoon Joo, Cheongdamdong Alice
Back in high school, the worldly and cunning Yoon Joo always came second to the honest, hardworking Se Kyung. Out in the real world, though, Yoon Joo's tricks have landed her a rich husband while Se Kyung faces disappointment after disappointment. Seeing Yoon Joo's success, Se Kyung turns to her former rival for advice. Yoon Joo started out as a complete villain, and Se Kyung started out as a complete heroine. By the end of the show, they met somewhere in the middle and both understood the world a little better.
9. Kim Shin and Na Joo Hyun, Marry Him If You Dare
Not only are Kim Shin and Joo Hyun coworkers, but Kim Shin also has the hots for Joo Hyun's little sister. The two butt heads over the relationship, and yet they still manage to be there for each other in tough times. Say what you will about Kim Shin and Mi Rae's relationship, but nothing can diminish the fantastic love/hate relationship between Kim Shin and Mi Rae's brother. When Joo Hyun wakes up in the hospital to see Kim Shin's face, his very first words are "It's annoying." Annoying for him, maybe, but hilarious for viewers.
10. Arang and Bang Wool, Arang and the Magistrate
Arang is a ghost. Bang Wool is a 7th-generation shaman with limited abilities. She can't see any spirits, but she can hear Arang! Bang Wool hates the pesky ghost she can't see, but the persistent Arang just won't leave her alone. Over time, though, Bang Wool starts to help Arang out of friendship rather than frustration.
Are there other love/hate Kdrama friendships that belong on this list? Comment below!
Vivi is an unapologetic Korean drama addict and blogger. She blogs with her Kdrama best friend Coco at Kdrama Fighting! In her free time, she likes to bring her commentary to the DramaFever crowd.