Drama Reactions & Reviews
Top 10 favorite drama bromances
by | January 18, 2017 | 218 Comments

javabeans: It seemed only natural to follow up our list of favorite couples with our list of favorite bromances, which are sometimes just as compelling as the love stories—er, I mean romantic love stories, since bromances are love stories of another kind.

girlfriday: The best kind! Bromantic love is one of my favorite types of love in dramaland, especially when they’re of the epic and gut-wrenching variety.

javabeans: Although, we can’t leave out the sparkling, comedic kind, either, since a bromance that makes me smile is worth a lot!

girlfriday: This is true. Never underestimate cute bromance.

javabeans: This list was initially our list of favorite dramaland friendships, which included relationships of both genders, but we realized that what makes an awesome bromance is distinct from what makes awesome girlfriends, and we thought it was worth splitting the lists to highlight them in their own element.

girlfriday: Or… maybe we just had a hard time picking ten and wanted to write about twenty.

javabeans: Is our plan to write ten Top 10’s going to turn into twenty by the end of the month?

girlfriday: In our defense, we never said we were good at math.


1. School 2013 (2012-13)

girlfriday: If there was ever a bromance to rival a romantic love story, it’s the one in School 2013, between Lee Jong-seok and Kim Woo-bin. Unencumbered by romantic lovelines (pfft, who needs those?), their story was all about the reconciliation between two best friends whose relationship had gone epically sideways. From its angry, hostile beginnings, these two apparent enemies turned high school into a war zone, where every run-in threatened to burst into a violent clash, and we were left wondering what frightening past they shared. Only to have it turn out that they were once two inseparable friends who had no one else in the world but each other.

The reveal of their happy past was what made their present so painful, when we realized that they were lashing out because they just missed each other. Their bromance had every bit of the emotional pull of any traditional love story, with all the baggage and heartache of separated love, regret, and longing. Their emotion was so raw and evident, but hampered by their inability to express their feelings properly to each other, which was a great source of realistic angst for two teenage boys. But sometimes, the only words you need are “dumb bastard,” because if you say it enough times with a look that means “my bestest friend in the whole wide world,” no bromance can stay broken forever.


2. Shut Up: Flower Boy Band (2012)

javabeans: Shut Up: Flower Boy Band remains one of my all-time favorite dramas, and a huge factor in its emotional pull is the the six-way friendship that forms the backbone of the show. Despite a title that sounds like fluff, the substance of the show was a lot more thoughtful and poignant than the term “flower boys” might suggest, built on a crew of sympathy-stirring underdogs, each with his own struggles to bear. These weren’t just troublemaking high schoolers who strutted around thinking themselves too cool for school—the drama showed each one as an abandoned boy, cast aside by society and finding new family with each other. Music was the common thread holding them together, and the show excelled at weaving in their musical journey alongside their stories of personal growth, both as the source of joy and then as a cause of conflict. The show took care to portray multifaceted dynamics within the groups and among different configurations of the friends, giving their struggles and relationships a realistic, gritty quality that made it all the more triumphant when angsts resolved and brotherly love prevailed. Rock on.


3. Answer Me 1988 (2015-16)

girlfriday: The entire Answer Me franchise is full of wonderful true-to-life friendships, but the childhood friends in Answer Me 1988 were pretty unbeatable in the bromance department. They were just a group of friends who grew up on one street, but as they became teenagers, their dynamic began to change, all because one of them was a girl. Unfamiliar romantic feelings and crossed wires made for some heady adolescent angst, topped off by the fact that we knew, of course, that she’d marry one of them in her future. But rather than become rivals in the traditional dramaland way, our two romantic contenders were endlessly loving and caring and devoted to one other, proving that two friends really can put their friendship first, and that a girl doesn’t have to come between them.

What really defined this group of friends was the blurring of family and friendship, and the feeling that they’d practically grown up in different rooms of one house, and all been parented by everyone else’s mom and dad as much as their own. That sense of community came through in every single one of their relationships, even the ones that seemed light on the surface. When two of them actually ended up real brothers, I cried happy snotty tears thinking of the family they would become. Because the only thing I cared about in anyone’s future was that these kids would remain friends.


4. Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)

HeadsNo2: So this bromance technically has a girl in it, but it counts if she was considered one of the boys—and better yet, became a leader among men on the basis of her intelligence. This foursome was a true meeting of minds—and for good reason, when all four were enrolled in the prestigious Sungkyunkwan University, where they would become future leaders and thinkers who shaped their country. The crossdressing-heroine premise allowed our heroine to get her foot into the hallowed halls of Sungkyunkwan, where she became the glue that held our group of disparate personalities together. There was this sense that when all four of them were together, they could actually bring about real, lasting change to the world they lived in. They had youth on their side and their bond as friends, and even the king trusted them to be his eyes and ears.

What made this foursome sparkle was that each of the relationships was distinct and rich, whether it was the broody one catching on to the heroine’s secret and becoming her silent protector, or the prickly leader who was drawn to her for her brains, or the flamboyant fashionista keeping moods light and tempers from flaring. Each of them was idealistic in their own ways, all dreaming of a new Joseon based on equality and fairness. If only they had achieved it, but at least they tried.


5. The King 2 Hearts (2012)

girlfriday: There are a lot of good king-bodyguard bromances in dramas—the life-and-death stakes, the themes of duty and honor and loyalty all but guarantee heartbreaking man-love—but this one between a childish, reluctant king and his stalwart soldier is one that made me laugh as much as it made me cry, and it’s one for the ages. Part of its charm is in the humor of the mismatched bromance: Our hero was decidedly unheroic, as a spoiled and lazy prince who only ever worked hard at inventing creative excuses to get out of doing things. The badass bodyguard was assigned the seemingly menial task of babysitting princey, only to end up becoming the person who shaped him into a true leader. Earnest Bot was so hilariously humorless and sincere in contrast to the sarcastic king, which made for some of the funniest mishaps in basic communication, made even more ridiculous by the king’s petty jealousy. These two rarely understood what the other was saying, and yet somehow they came to be friends and brothers in arms who laid down their lives for each other and their country. This king was truly only as good as his best soldier, who remained so steadfast in his loyalty that the king stepped into his big boy shoes just to prove that faith warranted. This bromance left a permanent hole in my heart, and nothing short of a hundred happy Jo Jung-seok dramas will fill it.


6. Heartless City (2013)

HeadsNo2: When I think of epic, heart-shattering, I-want-them-to-be-together-forever bromance, I think of Soo and Shi-hyun from Heartless City. Even in a category dedicated to brotherly love, Soo and Shi-hyun stand out for the incredible loyalty they displayed to each other. One was the anchor and mentor, the other a loose cannon who followed him around like a puppy, and their onscreen chemistry was so intense that you almost believed you were seeing two real friends whose relationship had actually been forged by the fires of prison and the seedy, unrelenting world of drug trafficking.

But despite their roles as criminals, they were also two men searching for meaning in their bleak lives. When a huge discovery threatened to tear apart their bond when one’s identity was revealed to be a lie, the other had the chance to leave him behind. Instead, the two grew closer than ever—and even drove one to make the ultimate sacrifice for his best friend, no matter that it was a grisly, horrible fate he willingly gave himself over to. If that’s not the ultimate bromance, I don’t know what is. (Even better: They’re super adorable real life friends now. I know!)


7. Descended From the Sun (2016)

javabeans: This drama flew high on the wings of its bright, sparkly romance, but for me it was the bromance between our Alpha Team buddies that provided the biggest source of feel-good moments. Each character was charismatic and entertaining on his own—the smooth-talking, always-in-command Song Joong-ki and his stone-faced, dryly hilarious sidekick, Jin Gu—but when you put these two opposites together, they sparked with comic energy, quick banter, and a fierce loyalty that you almost never saw on the surface but could sense just the same. Even if they were just chatting up random girls (or then lying about it to avoid being shredded by their girlfriends). When you’re bros who fight side-by-side in war zones and risk your lives for each other on a daily basis, it goes without saying that your bond is rock-solid; never did I feel that they didn’t love each other like family, even if I did think they’d both die of mortification if they ever said the words aloud. Hey, sometimes love can be expressed on the inside!


8. The Lonely Shining Goblin (2016-17)

HeadsNo2: The reason why enemies-to-lovers works so well as a romantic trope is because all the bickering and angst whets our appetite for the payoff—the more two people hate each other at the outset, the more satisfying it is to watch them come around and bond. The warring roommates of The Lonely Shining Goblin not only have a bickering relationship in the present that plays for some laugh-out-loud comedy, but they have a 900-year-old backstory full of misunderstandings and bitter hurts that tugs at our heartstrings. It doesn’t hurt that the chemistry between Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-wook is crackling, and their amazing sense of comedic timing bolstered by rapid-fire banter and deadpan deliveries.

For a goblin who never made family or friends and a grim reaper who always lived by his rules, the true sign of friendship was when they began to act out of character and break their own rules for each other, even when they weren’t ready to admit why. Never has “I wish you would die” sounded so much like “I love you, man.” Plenty of romances are Fated To Be, but a bromance backed by heaven and fate? What more can we ask for?


9. A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)

girlfriday: Clearly writer Kim Eun-sook has knack for depicting winsome bromances, given that this is the third drama of hers on this list. A Gentleman’s Dignity is perhaps the lightest of these, but it’s an entire show dedicated to bromance, so we couldn’t very well leave it off. It’s not heart-crushing bromance like some of the others here, but as fluffy as the drama is, it’s one of the more realistic, down-to-earth portrayals of regular dudes who just love their bros. If you ever wondered what the high school bromances of dramaland would look like in middle age, it would be these guys: successful, confident, still bumbling at love, and not an ounce more mature than they were at eighteen.

The drama had a lot of fun in having the ajusshi cast portray their high school selves, and we got to see a four-way friendship that really felt like it had lasted over twenty years, complete with inside jokes, embarrassing stories, and exaggerated basketball skills. What felt the most realistic to me was their refusal to grow up even in their forties, as they faced marriage or fatherhood. A Gentleman’s Dignity is a celebration of guys being guys, that proves that while ajusshihood may be inevitable, oppa is a state of mind. And it’s your friends that keep you there.


10. Sandglass (1995)

javabeans: We can probably look to Sandglass as dramaland’s original epic bromance, which holds a place in my heart to this day for the rock-solid characterizations that drove the story: Three friends (two guys, one girl) grow up together and weather turbulent times at each other’s sides, only to find their lives diverging in significant, heart-wrenching ways as they head into adulthood. One friend becomes a righteous prosecutor, the other a hardened gangster, with the woman caught between the two as a casino owner’s daughter (and a badass in her own right). We felt the same conflict that drove the prosecutor, who did his best to save his old friend while being constrained by his principles, and felt that same mix of hope for reconciliation and despair at the thought that it might not happen. It was a setup designed for epic tragedy, guaranteed to twist our hearts and keep us praying against hope for a miracle to swoop in to resolve this impossible conflict—proving that while not all bromances end in happily ever afters, the tears, angst, and sympathy pangs last forever.


218 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. purplesheesh

    I’ve been waiting for this. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

    • 1.1 Marq

      I knew!! Goblin would be here..

      • 1.1.1 Lennie

        Yey i am so glad Goblin is here. The chemistry between the goblin and the reaper is so cute! Definitely my fave!

    • 1.2 giocare

      Ahh I just love when the bromance is better than the romance. Can somebody recommend a show that has some womance?

      • 1.2.1 Liz J

        Some shows with both romance and good female friendships – I Need Romance 3, Fantastic, One More Happy Ending…

        • Purple Owl

          OMHE ftw!

      • 1.2.2 manel

        The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry and Come back ahjusshi (a disguised romance: male character reincarnated in a female’s body)

      • 1.2.3 deathbychocolate

        Age of youth. Fantastic.

      • 1.2.4 Mia

        Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo!!

      • 1.2.5 lolcoolcat123

        Ex-Girlfriend Club!

      • 1.2.6 transient

        I’d recommend Splish Splash Love because I love the interaction between the heroine and the queen

      • 1.2.7 panshel

        Surplus Princess and She Was Pretty.

      • 1.2.8 clover

        She Was Pretty!!

        Kim Hye-Jin and Min Ha-Ri were just such a great womance. Sure it had it’s problems, but those 2 were just the most adorable when they were together. And Min Ha-Ri would call Hye-Jin “Wife”.

      • 1.2.9 Heol

        Age of youth!!

      • 1.2.10 Andrea

        Womance is one of my favorite tropes, so in addition to those already listed, I can suggest a few more: Angry Mom, Dal-ja’s Spring, Twenty Again, Ms. Temper and Nam Jung-gi, and Twelve Men in a Year (my introduction to k-dramas!) all come to mind.

        • Andrea

          I’ll add that I think Angry Mom is the stand-out winner for me in this category: the friendship between Jo Kang-ja and her high school bestie Han Gong-joo was *epic*.

      • 1.2.11 nomad

        Dear My Friends. Woman until they’re old, heart wrenching, the most beautiful womance I”ve yet seen. Reply 88, I would also say has the best womance for ahjummas friendship.

  2. Lux

    I love bromance so much! One of my favorites that isn’t on the list is definitely the brothers from I Remember You! I still cry thinking about the Seo In Gook x Park Bo Gum confrontation scene.

    • 2.1 Lola

      Dang Lux, good call. I have to say I’ve surprised myself by seeing 9/10 of the movies on that list and agree with 8 of them (Gentleman’s Dignity just hasn’t made enough of an impression on me for it to make it on my list and I haven’t seen number 10). I would add my Hello Monster boys to my list. I’ve got one free spot ..

    • 2.2 Lola

      Dramas, I meant dramas.

    • 2.3 Boomboompow

      + alpha

      I would def add Hyun + Min to the list too and remove either the boys from GD or DOTS (maybe because I find the storytelling of these 2 dramas to be meh that I cant seemed to buy any of their relationships) – I am excluding Sandglass as I have never watched them (I remember seeing a glimpse of the scene in Reply 94 though!)

    • 2.4 Yellow Swallow

      +alpha too

      I was expecting Park Bogum and Seo Inguk’s epic bromance in this list. It is my #2 favorite bromance of all time only below the angst filled bromance shared by the two boys of School 2013.

    • 2.5 TrinPie

      I was going to comment that I’m surprised I Remember You wasn’t there. That is one of my favorite bromances. Lovely and heartbreaking at the same time.

    • 2.6 JessA

      Yes Lux! I loved those two brothers. They completely tore me up inside and I will forever wish they got to spend more time together. The bromance was one of the main reasons why I loved I Remember You.

    • 2.7 Beanfan

      Yes!! “I Remember You”!! Should be #11!

      • 2.7.1 Beanfan

        Actually, upon second thought, I get why the PBG and SIG aren’t on this list…in the drama they were playing REAL brothers already, and this list is about friends that are so close, they’re like brothers.

        Likewise, in Answer Me 1997, SIG and his brother in the drama (the actor’s name I momentarily can’t recall) had a great relationship as well… I thought about them in the bromance category at first, but later remembered it should be friends featured in this list, so… I would instead nominate SIG and his college roommate (who was gay and also in love with him since highschool) from AM97.

        • musicnmelody

          i thought so too. but if were talking about real brothers romance seo in guk would top 2 of the list, like you said, his character in reply 1997 with his big brother was good too. and even though it was brief, lee seung gi in king 2 hearts had a great relationship with his king brother. and not to forget lee jong suk and yoon kyun sang in pinocchio ♥

    • 2.8 Andrea

      I was surprised not to see Coffee Prince on the list. The relationship between the gang of princes was one of my favorite parts of the show. Remember the apple orchard episode that was basically a paean to bromance from start to finish?

  3. Kender

    EARNEST BOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!! *hysterical sobbing*

    King 2 Hearts really did such a great job with building its relationships. I don’t think I’ve ever FELT THINGS watching most shows the way I did with that drama, even on the second or third rewatch. (Princey is such an entitled ass! Soldier Boy could be replaced with a robot and no one would notice! THEIR BROMANCE WAS SO EPIC AND BEAUTIFUL!)

    Oh man, I think it’s time for a rewatch so that I can cry ALL THE TEARS again.

    • 3.1 gem

      I was about to comment the same thing! Plus that photo girlfriday used of those two just brought me back to that heart wrenching scene! T_T

      • 3.1.1 Mermaid Scribbler

        Ditto!! In my heart, Earnest-Bot fakes his death to go undercover, defeats the bag guys and marries the princess in the end, has baby-bots, and they all live happily ever after.

    • 3.2 Sim

      I love how K2H has been on 2 top 10 lists so far cuz it’s a worthy drama and it’s honestly just. A fave. The chemistry and the bromance being two of the many, many reasons

    • 3.3 deathbychocolate


    • 3.4 salt n' pepper

      I completely agree! The King 2 Hearts remains one of my all-time favorites because it has your attention and your heart (all them feeeels) in every sense of the way. I remember refreshing the DB site again and again waiting for the recaps to come out. I think this was probably the only drama I watched both raw and subbed because I couldn’t wait long enough for the subs to come out, LOL. Good times, good times..

    • 3.5 Madds

      HYSTERICAL SOBBING INDEED. I feel you, sfm. It’s that drama which really made me be Jo Jung Seok’s fan, forebahhhh

  4. Rose

    I love the top ten serie !!!! BEcause/thanks to you I have been bing-watching Gaksital and Flower Boys next door last week, although I was SO not drawn to them when they were airing….

    Love you my queenie beanies !!!

    • 4.1 Purple Owl

      How do you like FBND? It’s my second favorite for the Oh! Boy Project.

  5. Celine

    My fave bromances! School 2013 is no surprise as No. 1. Even Jongsuk and Woobin said it felt like they were a couple going through tough times. lol

    Answer Me 1988 boys are just bursting with love. And I cried buckets for Sunwoo and Taek. I knew from the first time Sunwoo hug Taek to sleep saying how warm and cuddly he is, I knew I’d want them to be real brothers and it happened. /WAILS

    Finally, my current favorite bromance between Goblin and Grim Reaper made it in the list! These two are so reluctant with their bromance when it’s so obvious. hehe! Heads nailed it with her description of this pair. I love how they went from enemies to confidants then to helping friends. It will be difficult to let go of this pair (and the drama as well).

    Thanks DB Staff for this list!

  6. Mindy

    “Never has “I wish you would die” sounded so much like “I love you, man.””

    HA, I love that. It’s so true.

    While I love my bromances, I’m looking forward to the girlfriends post! But we need to think of a different term for girlfriends since it can mean ACTUAL romantic girlfriends in this day and age. And womance is such an awkward word.

    • 6.1 Midnight


    • 6.2 GedSkaiKru


      • 6.2.1 Mia

        how about femship? from female-friendship

        • Andrea

          Ooo, I like femship!

        • Aweebit

          +10 femship ftw

    • 6.3 Purple Owl

      We had a convo about it in OT. I googled “sismance dramabeans” and omo, we’ve been talking about it forever, lol.

      I’m looking into it but if I don’t come back it’s because I’m lost in the Google results.

      • 6.3.1 Purple Owl

        Alright I made it back.

        From comment 12 thread, @Mandy’s http://www.dramabeans.com/2016/09/open-thread-464/?site_switch=normal

        BBFs – nah
        Womance – sounds like a misspoken romance
        Sismance – the perfect match to bromance as I mentioned in the original convo 🤘
        Sisterhood – cute
        Sistership – makes me think of a journey together 🖖
        Homance – from a Google search. Too funny & slightly offensive
        Soul sister – maybe
        Twinsie – nah
        Shestar – Kim Woo Bin in Heirs, anyone?
        Twinster – nah
        Galliance (gal+alliance) – yasssss! 💝

        I’m still trying to figure out my choice.
        Galliance, Sistership, Sismance are my favs.

  7. ObsessedMuch

    I was honestly eagerly waiting for this post when the “top 10 favourite OTP” was posted. Bromances are the ones to die for in kdramas.

    Most of my favourites are included here- School 2013, Answer Me 1988, Sungkyun Kwan, and Heratless City.

    But But But how could I Remember You not make it to the top 10?? For me the Seo In Guk- Bo Gummie one is second only to Woo Bin- Jong Suk one!

    • 7.1 Yoo Ah In + Song Joong Ki

      The only bromance that ever mattered was Geol Oh <3 Yeorim. The end.

      • 7.1.1 saem

        Yoo chun’s character was dry and boring in this show. Song joong ki and Yoo ah in were amazing; they were so cute together +_+

      • 7.1.2 bbstl

        yeppers! Everyone else was just lucky to be along for the ride!

    • 7.2 Wag_a_Muffin

      Does “I Remember You” have a different title? I have searched and I can’t find a drama that starred Park Bo Gum and Seo In Guk.

      • 7.2.1 Funmi

        You can also search for ‘Hello Monster’. It goes by that title too.

        • Wag_a_Muffin

          Thanks Funmi. I appreciate it.

    • 7.3 redfox

      My top 10 winner for sure, and 38 Police Unit.

      • 7.3.1 ObsessedMuch

        Yup! I knew you would have those in the list! 😀

    • 7.4 Purple Owl

      I don’t count IRY/HM as bromance because they were brothers.

      Hey, how about a best brotherhood in kdramas? Most kdramas brothers end up fighting over a girl, i.e. Lie to Me & Drinking Solo or killing each other, á la You From Another Star.

      But then there’s bros like IRY & R97 💝

      • 7.4.1 ObsessedMuch

        I am not particular about any specific definition of the term ‘bromance’. On the contrary, the interesting thing about such new concepts is that you can define it however you want and that the meaning is not yet set in stone.

        So for me bromance is an extremely close, emotional, non- sexual bond between two males- be it between friends, brothers, or frenemies. Also I am guessing the etymology of the word is brother+ romance, which does give strength to the whole brother (or close like brother) angle.

        Though I do like your idea of best brotherhood too :). Gives DB staff more awesome Top 10s to write about 😛

  8. Di

    Squad 38 and bad guys had awesome bromance as well

    • 8.1 Super Foxy

      15+alpha for this and in fact, Seo Inguk is no stranger when it comes to BROMANCE!

      • 8.1.1 ObsessedMuch

        True that!

    • 8.2 Celine

      I am currently watching Squad 38 and loving it! Love the team!

    • 8.3 gadis

      OMG, yes. Bad Guys!!
      That was one epic, dangerous bromance.

    • 8.4 wapz

      Squad 38 and Misaeng. These two shows lived on the bromance aspect. They need to be there or atleast as a honorary mention.

      • 8.4.1 Super Foxy

        15+alpha to all these comments! Hemm I don’t helm any biased towards this list, but definitely IRY and Police Unit 38 have to be on the list. Seo Inguk bromance feels so much organic, even from his fame Reply 1997 drama, whereas Joon Hee bore an unrequited love for him. That alone speaks so much chemistry to me, well to me personally. Haha.

        • ObsessedMuch

          I am there with you about Seo In Guk bromance. The guy can have awesome chemistry even with a chair<3

          • Super Foxy

            Lol! Haha 15+ alpha for this!

      • 8.4.2 BEanfan

        Misaeng shines more for me as a mentor-apprentice sort of relationship, as opposed to a bromance.

  9. Eve

    School 2013 is one of my all time favorites! The story is just so good, and as you said who needs a love line when the bromance can be so good ^^

    I loved Lee Jong-suk and Kim Woo-bin’s interaction in the series, it was very earnest and heartfelt.. And they too are real-life friends ^^

    I have been searching for good bromance drama’s ever since watching this.. And now you made a list, I am definitely going to watch these!


  10. 10 siesta

    let’s not forget Yeol and Ha Joon from Sassy Go Go!
    when your bro is the only thing keeping you from ending yourself, you know it’s true love

    • 10.1 pigsnout

      and when your bff only connects with the girl he falls for because he was trying to save you, it’s true love then too.

      This is the only drama where I truly wanted OT3.

      • 10.1.1 Alessar

        “If this jerk doesn’t treat you right, just come to me.”

    • 10.2 shl

      Yes to this! And, their bromance survived despite the romance, too.

      • 10.2.1 pogo

        That’s what makes it even MORE epic – their friendship not only survives falling for the same girl, but they actually end up closer than ever.

        +1000 points for working through it while remaining respectful of the feelings of the girl in question, too (i.e. no stupid attempts by Yeol at “giving her up” once he realises his bro likes her, no demands on her feelings from Ha-joon or even Yeol)

    • 10.3 GedSkaiKru

      The bromance on this one is real!

    • 10.4 Purple Owl


  11. 11 A

    Oh man!!! I was all prepared to be pissed if Cruel City wasn’t on this list… I needn’t have worried!!!

    It’s definitely one of my top dramas… although I’m still not mentally prepared for a rewatch T_T

    • 11.1 Rose

      YESS! they were great, it was so magical to see them play again in the same drama, even if they were enemies this time around. As far as I know this bromance is REAL, they really did become best friends after the airing of Cruel city ^^

  12. 12 Blue bean

    Is it just me or does Jung Kyung Ho look like the Taiwanese actor, Aaron Yan in the picture of Heartless City? I had to google the drama to be sure he wasn’t the one. Lol

    Goblin and Descendants of the sun are two of my fav bromances, but I’m kinda bummed that I Remember You didn’t make it to the list. Then again, 10 is too small for all the fabulous bromances in dramaland.

    • 12.1 Purple Owl

      About Aaron & JKH, I can see it.

      About IRY, I don’t think they count for bromine because they are brothers.

  13. 13 HelloBeautiful

    This reminds me that ‘Shut up Flower Boy Band’ has been on my list since forever. Lol. Should I give it another try? *looks horribly at the endless to-watch list* 😂

    • 13.1 im_eve

      Flower boy band is 1 of my most favorite dramas of all time too..thank u db. It was actually the 1 that made me realize that you dont need a good romance to drive a good AND addicting drama. A good friendship can be enough.

      • 13.1.1 shl

        It’s my number 1 drama, too. HelloBeautiful, you must watch it!

      • 13.1.2 Purple Owl

        Good friendship is enough but it still has one of my favorite high school kisses! Tied with R97.

    • 13.2 RockPaperScissors

      SUFBB has one of the best OSTs ever. You can love this one for the music alone.

    • 13.3 redfox

      I am more for a band aspect than bromance aspect in it though. I was seriously bummed it was just a drama band, not a real one. I wanted to go to their concert! I wanted to buy their next CD!
      I have been following my favorite singer-songwriters for years through different searches and projects, and that rang so many bells. why did it only have to be a drama?

    • 13.4 Andrea

      It is one of my Top 10 dramas; it’s as nearly perfect as a drama can get for me.

      I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.

  14. 14 aicaramba

    Ladies, how could you leave out Kang To and Shunji??! That bromance in Gaksital wrung my heart so much… for me their ending was a hundred times more tragic than the romantic pairing.

    • 14.1 anayahs

      I was honestly waiting for them to show up in the list, and was so disappointed when they did not.

      Both Joo Won and Park Ki Woong have done such a phenomenal job of showing the best friends turned enemies dynamic and that raw FEELS that their relationship has. I bawled my eyes out when Shunji killed himself at the end wracked with guilt and so that Kang To would not have to – and I am not a big crier when it comes to dramas.

      Kang To and Shunji in the beginning had only one other to lean to, who though different would understand them. The scene where Kang To sat behind Shunji in the cycle and they both were crying is still one of my favorite scenes jn any drama ever. And when they were each forced into their respective paths from revenge, we could see them hoping they would not have to lose the other and yet being pitted against each other over and over again.

      Maybe their bromance fractured and they did not remain loyal to one another until the end, but there is something poignant in their sense of loss and regret towards their friend-turned-enemy that makes their initial bromance more beautiful and their ending even more heartbreaking.

    • 14.2 gem

      It would be great if we could take a peek at the runners up. I’m sure we’d find Kang To and Shunji somewhere there.^_^

      • 14.2.1 WishfulToki

        Well we could also have a ‘also recommended’ list hehe.

        The bromances in the list are about guys who by the end have helped each other. Gaksital would fall under tragic, bromance gone wrong. I don’t think Kang To ever gave up completely on his friendship, but Shunji pushed him and was pushed to the brink. Shunji!!! *sob*

    • 14.3 ness

      Omg, I was waiting for them to show up too!! They’re literally one of the first ones to come to my mind when I think ‘bromance’.

  15. 15 berries

    Goblin <3

  16. 16 siesta

    if this ist includes Jdramas then Gokusen would be my top pick lol

    • 16.1 suegarbaby

      And if this list included Chinese dramas, I am certain Nirvana in Fire would have been the top pick.

      In all NIF reviews, literally everyone and their mother agree that the bromance there is simply epic epic epic. I, for one, have yet to see any other drama (K-drama, TW-drama or J-drama), match NIF in the bromance category.

  17. 17 Ava

    Ahh Heartless City! One of my faves. Speaking of heartless city, when will exactly yoon hyunmin get his first lead role??!

    Also, Wife’s Affair had the best bromance too.

  18. 18 Star

    Now I am waiting for top 10 sisterhood, sister-romance, or whatever we called female-frendship, ala Age of Youth.

    • 18.1 fangirl sy

      I read it somewhere being referred to unofficially as “womance” ;P

      • 18.1.1 pogo

        ugh that word just makes me cringe.

        I’d rather be sisters or girlfriends than in a ‘womance’.

        • Flightey Gazelles

          How about ‘sismance’ or ‘Sisterhood’ ?

          ‘Sismance’ is close and gives one an inkling about the whole concept.

          • pogo

            ‘sismance’ is pretty cringe too, it just does not flow.

  19. 19 SLVR

    Ooh, what a stellar list!

    I would have loved some honourable mentions though. I think the ‘I remember You’ boys and and also Yeong and ByungYeon from MDBC would have made it to the list then. 🙂

    Also, Goblin and Grims are the real OTP of Goblin for me personally. 😛 Just get together you two, and live with pretty Sunny for the rest of your immortal lives.

    • 19.1 fangirl sy

      I agree with the Moonlight bromance! “If I only had one person in the world that I could trust, it would still be you.”


    • 19.2 Purple Owl

      All three (four, lol) boys in MDBC pass for me. That trio would die for each other.

  20. 20 junny

    Soo and Shi-hyun are <3! Their bromance was one of the few saving graces of Heartless City, and it's adorable how the actors are also good friends in real life. So glad they got a mention here.

  21. 21 pigsnout

    School 2013 is legendary, it’s rightfully #1.

    but Sassy Go Go should also be mentioned, when your best friend is your main reason to live and the whole plot only truly begins because of Yeol’s desperate effort to save Ha Joon from horrible adults who will hurt him, it’s definitely a life-or-death bromance too.

  22. 22 Jia

    Where is Misaeng??!!!

    • 22.1 Haydn

      SAME! T___T I thought their bromance was the best!
      Once they drank the spoiled milk together & tried to get sick together… I was like, that’s true bromance right thereeee~ LOL

      Another one of my favorites is Tree With Deep Roots.
      The relationship between Yi Do & Muhyul… T___T *CRIESSSS* they were so cute. like a bickering couple. XD

    • 22.2 pogo

      I know, Misaeng should be up there too! Even if it’s a very unconventional bromance (Chief Oh is more like a dad figure than a friend).

  23. 23 royal

    The Coffee Princes bromance was adorable too. I have fond memories of Lee Eon.

    • 23.1 Saema

      OHMYGOD! I just rewatched Coffee Prince and you’re right! I loved the relationship between Jin ha rim, Eun chan and Gong yoo’s character.
      And No sun ki too! He’s so gruff and adorable whenever he stands up for Eun chan.

      • 23.1.1 Andrea

        Yes! I was kinda surprised that Coffee Prince wasn’t on this list, especially since I know it ranks high in both javabeans and girlfriday’s affections.

        Noh Sun-ki! I call him “Sullen Japanese Guy” when I watch it (so sullen!). I love when he tells everyone else to quit fretting over Eun-chan/Han-kyul’s relationship: “It’s not a problem in Japan”.

        And I love the “dumb” sweet bro, the one who was in love with Eun-chan’s sister! He was so protective and lovable.

        And I even love the crusty old coffee shop owner. Remember when they all put on a concert with coffee-making instruments? Or the apple orchard episode that was a paean to bromance from start to finish?! I think Coffee Prince was my first exposure to k-drama bromances, and it left me wanting more! ^_^

        • Rovi

          the “dumb” sweet bro – Hwang Min-yeop, played by the late Lee Eon (MHRIP)

          TBH I don’t know which to pick: the drama or the novel. Choi Han-sung is such an ass in the original.

  24. 24 Anonybean

    My #1 bromance is Gaksital, always and forever.

    • 24.1 Rose

      Omo, thats one friendship that turned very sour…

      • 24.1.1 Anonybean

        A fair point. But there was a thread of angsty love that infused all their interactions, and although the friendship wasn’t overtly redeemed, I always read complicated motivations into Shunji’s final act. Certainly one of those motivations was to exempt Kang-To from what he’d be forced to do if Shunji didn’t make the choice that he made. (Sorry, trying to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t seen. And if you haven’t watched Gaksital, you should. You just may want to invest first in a hyperbaric chamber for your feelings.)

  25. 25 kanz

    School 2013 is indeed the epitome of bromance!!

    How about Yi Do and Moo Hyul in Tree With Deep Roots
    or Lee Young and Kim Byung Yeon in Moonlight?

    • 25.1 SLVR

      Ooh, that’s two of my favourite bromances right there. I think Moo Hyul qualifies for two epic bromances though, both with father Yi Bang Won in Six Flying Dragons and son Yi Do in Tree with Deep Roots.

      I still remember him anxiously asking the King in TWDR, ‘Why do you treat me as a jealous wife?’

      Also Lee Yeong and ByungYeon in MDBC. I think that death scene was the most moving scene ever, and the way both Yeong and ByungYeon looked absolutely destroyed broke my heart and I cried quite a bit. If that isn’t love, Wat is? 🙂

  26. 26 Nanda

    My faves that isn’t on the list is Jealousy Incarnate Lee Hwa Shin and Go Jung Won, Sassy Go Go Kim yeol and Seo Ha Joon plus the trio from Drinking Solo.


    Real life, DooSeob FTW.

    • 26.1 saem

      The trio from Drinking solo <3

    • 26.2 soonoona

      Omo all three bromances you mentioned are my faves too ! Esp the deedodee gosiwon brothers will always be that friendship I had fond memory of. They are so simple, yet so real. Their friendship is true, that kind of bond you wish to have in real life.

    • 26.3 Rovi

      LOL DooSeob shipper here XD.

      Weirded out by Seoppie’s Let’s Eat 2 cameo tho…

  27. 27 Flightey Gazelles

    You forgot Sassy Go Go? Dead!!!!

  28. 28 happeyness

    Omooo thanks for this list!! Recently with these top ten lists I find myself trying to guess the dramas from the picture up top! I guess and then am pleasantly surprised when I read through the list. (because often times I don’t think my guess would actually make it hahaha)

    I swear, these top ten lists really just make me add to my list of dramas to watch… and I thought I had watched all the good ones! Need to watch School 2013, the answer me series, and Sandglass now based on this list!

    Suggestions for future top tens: evil character/villains, plot twists, 2cd lead syndrome, best girlfriends (equates to bromance – is there a term for that? lol), kisses, and I’m sure there’s tons more!! Maybe do an update for contract marriages too??

  29. 29 Thaisfrede

    One of the best bromance I think should also be on the list is from Sassy Go Go, although they are only 18 years old, they have managed to like the same girl with a maturity that no other drama I have seen, which unifies the friendship of the two. In addition to the personal tragedies that both passed and together were surpassing…

    And you know you’re addicted to kdrama when you know at least 50% of the dramas on this list lol : )

    • 29.1 pigsnout

      This part – proving that two friends really can put their friendship first, and that a girl doesn’t have to come between them

      this sounds exactly like Sassy Go Go. Only in Sassy the girl isnt just there to be ‘the girl’ or a just a trope character.

      And the boys talk honestly to each other about their feelings for her – I definitely think SGG was better in the bromance.

      • 29.1.1 Thaisfrede

        Exactly! When I read this part it reminded me clearly of Sassy Go Go. The relationship of the two friends was one of the best parts of the drama.
        And I agree with you, the female lead plays a very active role, even in their relationship.

  30. 30 Bili Bala Pabo Bara

    You know how people always complain about how K-drama destroyed any realistic expectation people have of love and boyfriends? For me, the what K drama destroyed was my realistic expectation of friendship. For example, in one episode of A Gentleman’s Dignity( EP 16), Choi Yoon’s wife died and all his 3 friends just put down whatever they had on hand, and rushed to his side. This proves that in life a lot of things are achievable depending on where you place your priority. But really, how many friends rush to your side when you need them when they are in an important meeting with clients or when they are about to leave the country? I also thought it was unrealistic how So Hye’s friends were so happy to see her again after so many years and integrate into each others’ life so readily in the 2016 show Fantastic. It was like they had no other friends. I think I’m just jealous. I wish I have friends like that too.

    • 30.1 Flightey Gazelles

      OMG, me too, me tooooo!! @Bili Bali Pabo Bara.

      Anytime I watch movies and shows with good friendships, kdramas especially, I feel like a TERRIBLE friend( *whispers* I know I’m a terrible friend but Kdrama just poke my burried guilty conscience).

      Its like, how do this people just drop everything in their lives at the moment and just be there for their friend? I truly suck!!

      • 30.1.1 Ar

        Hahhaha me three! I wonder if everyone else who is a good friend is acting like this.

        Then again, I’d feel weird and slightly smothered if someone drops everything for me. I guess I am someone’s who likes to process tragedy and disappointment alone for some time first.

  31. 31 Taeki's Parking Teacher



    Chincha?? CHINCHAAA???

    Hyun and Min will always be THE BROMANCE for me.

    • 31.1 Rose

      But they were brothers, weren’t they ? I see “bromance” as having a friendship as strong as brotherhood, so in my opinion real brotherhood can not be included in this definition.

      But then again, it is only what I think ^^

      • 31.1.1 Purple Owl


    • 31.2 Casey

      LOL! 15+alpha to your reaction!

  32. 32 neng

    I thought rooftop prince would include on the list

  33. 33 Liina

    My favourite bromence from Korean TV still is the by other beanies already mentioned one between Lee Do and Moo-hyul in Tree With Deep Roots.

    Then probably both the School 2013 bromances. The one between Kim Woo-bin and Lee Jong-suk and the one between Kwak Jung-wook, Lee Yi-kyung and Lee Ji-hoon.
    Hm, I also like the Pinocchio bromance between Lee Jong-suk and Yoon Kyun-sang, although it’s not really a friendship bromance but a brother bromance.

    Internationally my most favourite bromance is the one between Chen Daoming (such a great, great, great actor…) and Jia Yiping in Chinese drama “The Great Revival”!

    And then of course the Boys from Japanese drama “Tumbling” and Shuji and Akira from “Nobuta wo produce”.

    • 33.1 Rose

      My favourite non-korean bromances are turkish ^^
      There were goals in Kara Parka Ask and Kara Sevda.

    • 33.2 ricenoodle

      Jdrama bromance for me would be Love Shuffle. Ya panda!

  34. 34 ohmyaegyo

    And here I thought Shut Up Flower Boy Band would not be included in this list but here they are and number 2!! That show deserved it so much and I guess it is so incredibly underrated no matter how good it was, it’s because tvN at the time wasn’t tvN as it is now and the cast were all relatively unknown then (except probably Lee Min Ki).

    I’m glad DB Staff remembered that show. It was one of the first few kdramas I’ve watched and it made me put faith in a then relatively new channel, that someday that it would become the superstar it is now.

    • 34.1 Andrea

      …because tvN at the time wasn’t tvN as it is now…

      Agreed, and I’d add that I think this drama was one of their early dramas that helped them become what they are now. I think SUFBB made a lot of people sit up and take notice of tVN because it was such an amazing drama.

      • 34.1.1 Rovi

        Wait, which came first? Rep97, Ramyeon FB, or SUFBB??

        I think either of these was the reason tvN got noticed…

  35. 35 faith

    namsoon and heungsoo angst is so good that it hurts. they literally like twins when they are closer. i like that they like to troll Teacher Kang a lot.. they disrespect him too much LOL. the level of bow they did to Teacher Kang and Teacher Jung, is such a stark contrast :p

  36. 36 Afii

    The bromance between the character in gentlemen’s dignity is so good. Feels real with no exaggeration. I really like the flow of their problem between one and another member of the gang.

  37. 37 Uyen_ah

    My top 5 bromances:
    1. Goblin (the true OTP),
    2. SKKS (just yoo ah in and song joong ki),
    3. Sassy go go,
    4. DOTs,
    5. SUFBB.

    I haven’t seen all the dramas on this list but I don’t question the decision of dramas I haven’t seen but one of my first thoughts when opening this list was Sassy Go Go. I don’t remember much about it but I remember the strong feeling I had about it when it was airing. Before Goblin can along, my all-time fav bromance was yoo ah in and song joong ki in SKKS that translated to real like too!

  38. 38 convalescent

    Agree with all the lists…maybe hv some more but no complain whatsoever ^^ Love SUFBB so much too, as well as Reply 1988, and the rest as well. That makes…all? ^^ Bromance ftw

  39. 39 ET

    No Kangto-Shunji? Wae? Wae?

    Gaksital Will Never Forgive You!

  40. 40 pogo

    no Sassy Go Go?! 🙁

    I’d have actually put it ahead of Jung-hwan/Taek, Yeol and Ha-joon actually managed to be honest with each other about the fact that they liked the same girl and if anything, were even tighter bffs afterwards.

  41. 41 emo

    Yeo Woon and Dong Soo from “Warrior Baek Dong Soo”

    • 41.1 SilentSquee

      Right? Their bromance is #1 for me.

    • 41.2 flightyfiona

      I agree. I love these two.

    • 41.3 Sophia

      This!their bromance was so intense it honestly felt like romance

  42. 42 GedSkaiKru

    I nominate the You’re All Surrounded Cast..

    • 42.1 KDramaWatcher2609

      That may be under the category of “Team-mance”…hahaha

    • 42.2 MyGirl2016

      I actually just discovered this drama two days ago. Half way through only, but yes this one does have lots of bromance, ‘team’-mance. (Thanks kdramawatcher2609 for the term!) Loving it so far. 😃

  43. 43 ilikehim

    Maybe you can do a Top Ten Squad Goal so you can write 10 MORE about your favorite friendships, without being limited by gender.

    I would like to see some mixed gender friendships. Except… I am actually trying really hard right now to think of one that didn’t involve romance. XD

    • 43.1 gadis

      Yup, it’s kinda hard to find a mixed gender friendship that doesn’t involve romance. But I have several favorite, like in Reply 1997 (Si-won & Joon-hee) and Reply 1994 (Haetae & Na-jung).

      • 43.1.1 Purple Owl

        I think all the R/AM squads would count. Even though there was romance, it didn’t end them (though when does it ever in happy-ever-after dramas).

        Mix gender Ensemble/Squad would be fun. Some noms:

        1. R97 *my fav
        2. R94 *because of Haetae, Na-jung, Baro, and DoHee

        3. Squad 38
        4. Dream High
        5. WC *thriller ensemble

        6. Coffee Prince *THE ensemble
        7. FBND
        8. Monstar

        9. You Are All Surrounded
        10. Sassy Go, Go *enemy ensemble
        11. Because it’s the First Time
        12. What’s Up

        13. Drinking Solo *coworkers or students
        14. Fantastic
        15. Shopping King Louie
        16. WFKBJ * our five students
        17. Jealousy Incarnate *all of the adults

        Haha, two separate lists then because I passed 10.

        P.S. Seo In Guk is squad goals.

        • redfox

          the I Remember You squad was pretty phenomenal too. especially Chunnie!

    • 43.2 siesta

      yeon doo and ha dong in Sassy Go Go 🙂 purely platonic BFFs

    • 43.3 wonhwa

      I like the top 10 squads idea! My favorite mixed gender friend squad is Mixed Up Investigation Agency and there are minimal romance complications. A Man’s Story also has a good mixed gender squad.

  44. 44 blazingflame

    Thank you so much for this post. Thanks to k drama my love for bromance has hit sky rocket. My favourite bromance are big boss and wolf & Goblin and Grim Reaper.

  45. 45 Ga

    I don’t know if any beanies have suggested this, but can we have the top 10 OSTs? 😀

    • 45.1 BEanfan

      Oooh… Now that would be pretty interesting!

      My daughter hasn’t watched any K dramas (she’s 5, and I limit her tv watching to cartoons), but ever since I bought the Marriage Not Dating OST, she has played and replayed it to death! HAha… I know what her first pick would be!!

    • 45.2 Dini

      I need this !

    • 45.3 Tammie

      “Almost Paradiiiisssseee…”. 😂 Sorry. I really crack myself up. Currently I need the Goblin OST like yesterday.

  46. 46 neener

    I’m supposed to be studying for midterms and reading for our school paper but hey, who can deny this thread? And it’s BROMANCE!

  47. 47 blo

    Has Heartless City ever been mentioned on this site? Loved the bromance on there. I was always on edge, wondering how Soo would react. Love it.

  48. 48 Alessar

    I know a lot of people dislike it, but the bromance in Dr. Jin between Jae Joong’s character Jin Yi han’s character was heartbreaking.

  49. 49 Dreamland

    Ahh… I see Woo Bin and Jong Suk at #1 and the world is a better place now. I’m not surprised that girlfriday did the write-up for them – I consistently find myself sharing the same views as her. And thanks to her, I had tears welled up in my eyes as I read every sentence of their write-up.

    Here’s my list of top 10 bromance:

    1) Woo Bin and Jong SUK (School 2013)
    2) Park Heung Soo and Go Nam Soon (School 2013)
    3) Saekki couple (School 2013)
    4) Ramyun couple (School 2013)
    5) The “didn’t you miss me, saekki ya” couple (School 2013)
    6) The blanket couple (School 2013)
    7) The couple that officially came out of the closet (School 2013)
    8) That couple that had the Chinese WEDDING character “Happiness” behind them as he fed him ramyum (School 2013)
    9) The couple that was *cough* b&nging *cough* away against the wedding wardrobe (School 2013)
    10) The *cough* S&M *cough* couple. Or was it *cough cough cough* M&M *cough cough* couple? (School 2013)

    And let the rest fight for the 11th place:

    – Yoo Ah In & Song Joong Ki (Sungkyunkwan Scandal)
    – Joo Won & Park Ki Woong (Bridal Mask)
    – No Min Woo & Park Ki Woong (Full House 2)
    – Im Si Wan & Lee Hyun Woo (Man from the Equator)

    • 49.1 wonhwa

      I loved the fact that School 2013 was gusty enough to pair up its two main male students and its two main female students. I do wish K-dramas were willing to more openly tackle LBGT relationships, but I appreciate the shows that at least lean in that direction.

  50. 50 Kiara

    Best Bromance for me is a tie between:

    Tae-soo and Woo-suk (Sandglass). Thank you JB.
    Choi Min-soo <3333333333 and Park Sang-won.
    (I was a teenager crushing on Choi Min-soo and it hasn't change).


    King Sejong and Musa Moo-hyul (Tree With Deep Root)
    Han Suk-kyu and Jo Jin-woong <33333333333.

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