‘Geum-sa-bba’ K-Drama Characters

In every K-Drama, there’s always a character that sees someone and falls in love with them straight away – it’s a cliche that never gets old! But what do we call these characters? The answer is Geum-sa-baa (금사빠), which literally means a person who falls in love immediately.

Over the years, the Geum-sa-baa trope has grown to include a diverse range of characters – expanding from those who just had a successful romance to those who had rather unsuccessful loves, those who tried too hard to win their love’s affections and characters who, sadly, never stood a chance in the game of love.

So to show you the growing variety of the Geum-sa-baa cliche, we’re going to share some K-Drama characters that fit different aspects of this category!

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!


The ‘Successful’ Geum-sa-baa

©Goblin Ep3, 21.03.2018,

As far as most K-Drama’s go, it’s usually the leading characters who fall in love with someone as soon as they meet them. But thing’s usually never go smoothly for these characters – either their ‘true love’ belongs to someone else or problems arise making sustaining a relationship difficult.

The latter reminds us of characters like the Grim Reaper and Sunny from Goblin – who had things end very badly for them in their past lives. But despite the problems that arose because of each-other’s pasts, the two overcame it all to be together – proving that love, at least in some cases, conquerers all things.

©King Louis Ep1, 22.03.2018,

Another example for a successful ‘love at first sight’ character, who ended up with the person they wanted, was Kang Ji-Sung from Shopping King Louis! The rich and careless Ji-Sung fell in love with Bok-Shil, a bright and caring farm girl, when he saw her on TV. Although these two came from very different lives, in the end all they cared about was each-other – nothing else mattered!

The ‘Unsuccessful’ Geum-sa-baa

©Kim Bok Joo, 15.02.2018,

Then there are other K-Drama characters who fell for their ‘true loves’, but fate had different plans for them.

Take Kim Bok-Joo. After she ran into Jung Jae-Yi, a kind and handsome weight specialist, she quickly became infatuated with him and did crazy things just to have an excuse to see him again. But the plot of Weightlifting Fairy had other plans for Bok-Joo’s love life, and she ended up with Jae-Yi’s cousin, her childhood friend, Jung Joon-Hyung – which was truly the better pairing!

©Coffee Prince Ep6, 27.03.2018,

Probably one of our most favourite K-Drama romances is Go Eun-Chan and Choi Han-Gyul from Coffee Prince – but at first Eun-Chan only had eyes for Han-Sung, Han-Gyul’s cousin!

After constantly bumping into each other, the two fall for one another a little bit – even sharing a kiss at one point! But, thankfully, by the end of the drama both Eun-Chan and Han-Sung ended up with their proper true loves.

And despite these character’s love lives not going exactly the way they wanted, they were all still happy in the end – and their drama’s really wouldn’t have been the same if their romances went as they expected!

The ‘Try Hard’ Geum-sa-baa

©Min-Yeom, 27.03.2018,

Speaking of Coffee Prince, another character that fits into a geum-sa-baa category is Min-Yeom. This rough around the edges, but kind hearted, character spends most of his time throughout the drama trying to win the affections of Eun-Chan’s younger sister Eun-Sae.

No matter what he did for Eun-Sae, whether it be buying her things or performing great feats to win her over, she would never give him a chance. But thankfully in the end these two finally get together and we get to enjoy watching Min-Yeom get the happily ever after he deserves!

©Byung-Hee Ep1, 22.03.2018,

Probably the saddest example of a try hard guem-sa-baa is Joon Byung-Hee from Shut Up! Flower Boy Band. This crazy cat fell head over heels for Im Soo-Ah, a girl who he affectionately called his ‘muse’. He did everything to try and win her over, from walking her home to giving her all the snacks from the vending machine – but unlike Min-Yeom and Eun-Sae, these two didn’t come close to a happily ever after.

Even though she seemed like the perfect girl for him, pursuing Soo-Ah ended up getting Byung-Hee into a lot of trouble – which resulted in Byung-Hee dying and his best friend, Kwon Ji-Hyuk, dating Soo-Ah.

But whether these try hard guem-sa-baa‘s got their happy love story in the end or not, we really couldn’t have K-Drama’s without them!

The ‘Never Stood a Chance’ Geum-sa-baa

©Surplus Princess, 15.02.2018,

The last kind of geum-sa-baa we love, and hate, to see in drama’s is those character who met the ‘love of their lives’ but literally never stood a chance at being with them. We love these characters because they represent a big part of the reality of romance – which is you don’t always end up with the person you fall for (which is also the reason why we sometimes hate them, because they make us self-aware).

One character that fits into this geum-sa-baa category extremely well is Do Ji-Yong from Surplus Princess. This loveable, G-Dragon obsessed character lives in the same house-share as Kim Ha-Ni, who is secretly a mermaid. It didn’t take Ji-Yong long to fall head over heels for Ha-Ni, but little did he know her heart already belonged to someone else.

When Ji-Yong finally realised that Ha-Ni only had eyes for the handsome chef Shi-Kyung, his unpredicted, and quite accurate, recreation of GD’s Crooked opening made his heartbreak a bit easier to watch – and, for us, earned him a place in the Guem-sa-baa Hall of Fame forever!


Which K-Drama Guem-sa-baa character is your favourite? Let us know~!


Feature Image Source: ©Surplus Princess[2], 15.02.2018,

Claudia Deborah (이보라)

Book-dealer by day—writer by night. Instant coffee, Thai food and trot (뽕짝) music get me through the day. "나 생명은 조금 심심하고 단순하지만 나 인생은 한 번이야. 그래서 저는 단순한 일상에 감사함을 느껴."



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