Besides those with happy endings for the characters, the following Korean dramas wrap up with the most heartbreaking endings that leave viewers with bitter feelings.
1. Youth of May (2021)
Among the dramas released in 2021 with the most sorrowful endings, the “champion” must be Youth of May. It seems that Lee Do Hyun always likes to star in dramas with sad endings when most of the characters played by the actor never end up being happy.
In Hotel Del Luna, if viewers are heartbroken because the loyal “firefly” Chung Myung can’t hold Man Wol (IU)’s hand to step into the afterlife, Youth of May showcases a different level of tragedy. The female lead – nurse Kim Myung Hee (Go Min Si) ends up getting shot, causing Hwang Hee Tae (Lee Do Hyun) to live the rest of his life in regret and loneliness.
2. Hotel Del Luna (2019)
Hotel Del Luna is a hit drama in all over Asia, simultaneously boosting IU, Yeo Jin Goo and Lee Do Hyun’s popularity in the industry. Because it is a fantasy drama, from the beginning, Jang Man Wol (IU) and Goo Chan Sung (Yeo Jin Goo) are destined to be people of two worlds.
In the last episode, no miracle happens to the romance of the two lead characters. Jang Man Wol uses her last moments to be with Goo Chan Sung. After sending her off to the afterlife, Chan Sung returns to his daily life but never forgets about the girl he loves.
3. Moon Lovers (2016)
Moon Lovers – the series with an ending that is considered to be the most cruel and tragic in the history of Korean historical dramas. Despite failing to achieve high ratings in home country Korea, Moon Lovers is very popular with international fans thanks to the cast with top-notch visuals.
In the Chinese version of Moon Lovers, the two main characters can still meet again in modern life. However, the Korean writers are not that “kind”. After leaving the palace, Hae Soo (IU) peacefully dies in the arms of 14th Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo). King Gwang Jong (Lee Jun Ki) permanently loses the woman he loves because of misunderstandings while fighting for the throne.
After that, Hae Soo returns to the 21st century and bursts into tears at Wang Jung’s painting. The drama ends without any reunion scenes.
4. Uncontrollably Fond (2016)
Uncontrollably Fond used to be expected to become a new hit romance drama when it starred two top actors Kim Woo Bin and Bae Suzy. Unfortunately, the drama became a “flop” due to the boring script and an outdated storyline.
Although Korean dramas have entered a new phase with increasingly creative and unique storylines, Uncontrollably Fond returns to the early 20s when the main character dies of an incurable disease.
No Eul (Suzy) and top actor Shin Joon Young (Kim Woo Bin), from childhood friends, gradually develop feelings for each other. The ending scene where Shin Joon Young leans on his girlfriend’s shoulder,closes his eyes, then passes away, has left viewers heartbroken.
5. Mr.Sunshine (2018)
Because it is a drama set during the turbulent period of the Korean Empire, Mr. Sunshine’s sad ending is something that almost everyone already expected in advance. However, Mr.Sunshine still received great attention from the public, becoming one of the dramas with the highest ratings in history of the cable network tvN.
In the final episode, the things that viewers feared really happened, the four main characters all die one after another. Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) is the only survivor, but has to live in torment because of the death of Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun).
6. Mouse (2021)
‘Mouse’ – the work that marks the return of Lee Seung Gi got off to a good start thanks to its engaging content and unpredictable twists. Although in the end, the male lead had to die, Mouse is still considered by the audience as the film with the most “top” ending in Korean series history.
A tearful ending but perfectly appropriate when placed in the context of the entire plot. The film revolves around the character Jung Ba Reum (Lee Seung Gi) – a person who seems to be a “hero” but turns out to be a “villain”. With a gentle, honest appearance, policeman Jung Ba Reum shocked people around when he was the one behind a series of murders.
7. Penthouse (2020 – 2021)
Having recently aired the last episode, Penthouse has caused a lot of controversy about the ending that seems “wrong” because after many times of characters dead and then revived, the writer suddenly killed the main characters.
The tragic ending has made fans following Penhouse for three seasons “shocked to the core” and unable to believe what they are watching. Besides, the spiritual scene of Su Ryeon (Lee Ji Ah) – Logan Lee (Park Eun Seok) holding hands to heaven also seems “not quite right” in a series using a modern context.
8. 49 Days (2011)
After the final episode of “49 Days” aired, fans continuously were outraged, some even wanted to kill the writer because of the cruel and heartless ending to Shin Ji Hyun (Nam Gyu Ri). After days and days of struggling, the female lead made a lot of efforts to find three pure tears to revive herself after the death. But just a few days after resurrecting, she once again went to the afterlife.
The plot revolves around the character Shin Ji Hyun – a beautiful, rich lady who is about to marry Kang Min Ho (Bae Soo Bin). But on the way to the wedding dress fitting alone, she died in a traffic accident. The handsome Grim Reaper (Jung Il Woo) gave her a chance to come back to life in the body of Song Yi Kyung (Lee Yo Won).
9. Autumn in My Heart (2000)
Although more than 20 years have passed, ‘Autumn in My Heart’ is still considered the series with the most tearful and sad ending on the Asian screen. With the explosive acting of Song Hye Kyo and Song Seung Hun, the drama put on the story of a deep but incomplete love.
In the past, Yun Joon Suh (Song Seung Hun) and Eun Suh (Song Hye Kyo) spent peaceful childhood years together. Because of a traffic accident, Eun Suh and Joon Suh have been separated for many years. After going through many ups and downs, Eun Suh finally passed away peacefully on Joon Suh’s shoulder because of a leukemia disease.
10. High Kick 2 (2009)
With an impressive series of achievements when it aired, ‘High Kick 2’ scored with viewers for its humorous and creative storyline. However, it seems that the scriptwriter doesn’t like to create a peaceful work, so the last episode added a bit of drama to make it interesting, and in the end, High Kick 2 became the Korean drama with the “crappest” ending in history.
After days of having an unrequited love with Ji Hoon (Choi Daniel), Se Kyung (Shin Se Kyung) can finally forever be with the one she loves when they both pass away due to a traffic accident. The wave of indignation has reached its climax when previously, viewers did not see any connection etween these two characters. Letting two unrelated characters die together is considered too ridiculous.
Although Korean films have cruel and sad endings that make fans cry a lot, but undeniably this decision has helped the works to leave a lasting impression in their hearts