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[Dramaland Catnip] Strong platonic friendships


Sassy Go Go

By Harini

Just the day before the deadline, I learned about the dramaland catnip topic and it excited me right away. I thought of giving it a try but all my favorite drama tropes which I adore were already posted. So after serious thinking, the one that suddenly came to my mind (or rather heart) was platonic relationships, where characters of opposite genders show strong friendship without romantic feelings underneath.

The first drama where I noted this relationship was in Tree With Deep Roots, between the King Sejong and So-yi. Their relationship deeply moved my heart and the reason is because of the realization that the king’s affection towards So-yi was nothing but pure love. She played an important role in his life as the person who understood the pain he felt after accidentally being responsible for the death of her family and friends. So-yi’s understanding towards him become his strength and helped him overcome the guilt that upset him. They are two people who loved and cared for each other totally.


Tree With Deep Roots

In contrast, there are childhood friendships that are super sweet like the ones that the heroines have in Sassy Go Go and Heirs. In Sassy Go Go, Yeon-doo and Dong-jae’s friendship is so cute and meaningful. Dong-jae’s care towards Yeon-doo was adorable as he always cheered and supported her. Their friendship went really deep, including a traumatic incident in their childhood when he hurt Yeon-doo accidentally and resulted in creating a phobia for him.

Theirs was a lovable friendship that I really enjoyed, which made me think of how wonderful it would be to have a Dong-jae in our lives who would offer us not only his friendship and care but also strawberry milk to instantly lift our spirits whenever we’re down.


Heirs

And in Heirs, the friendship between Eun-sang and Chan-young was like the cherry on top of the cake. It was especially funny to see how both their lovers were petty about it, and his girlfriend Bo-na’s jealousy over the friendship was a big source of amusement. Bo-na even went so far as to care for Eun-sang just because she thought it would keep her boyfriend from worrying or thinking about Eun-sang, which was pretty cute.

There are also relationships where the characters are not childhood friends and have a lighter connection but still care for each other in a genuine way. We saw that with Ji-hyun and the Scheduler in 49 Days, and Eun-tak and the grim reaper in Goblin, who all bonded over their sincere concern for each other. Yong-ha in Sungkyungkwan Scandal can also fall under this category, as he became a true friend to Yoon-hee without romantic feelings coming into the relationship.


Sungkyunkwan Scandal

What makes me love these platonic relationships is that they aren’t second leads who break our heart (I seriously feel pain for every second lead). The relationships often feel very warm and cozy with zero percent romantic interest, providing feel-good relationships as the characters genuinely love and care for each other without any expectations.

Recently the example that I enjoyed the most, which I could relate to myself, was manager Cha Do-ha’s love towards actor Woon-gwang in Man to Man. What better to relate to than the love of a fangirl towards her Oppa? They were close and loyal in a true platonic sense, and made me feel butterflies thinking how blessed I would be to be able to feel such love coming from my Oppa.


Man to Man

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Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. More of these in more dramas, please. Right now I'm loving the friendship between Bong-hee and Eun-hyuk in Suspicious Partner. They're adorable buddies, and I was so relieved when their relationship deepened---but not in a love triangle way. Just, more please. I don't even know if I think of this as a catnip as much as a realistic, normal part of life that I'd like to see translated much more often to dramaland.

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I just thought about them too!!! Their relationship is really cute. It's cute how they team up to make Ji Wook a jealous ball, and I love his childish behavior that comes with it :D

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Not my catnip but I also like those kind of friendship. They said "men and women can never be 'just friends'" but I beg to disagree. I have a lot of friends who has an opposite gender's best friend while they are also in a relationship and all is good I must say.

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I totally agree! The opposite gender has more to offer than just romance and its so nice to see it in dramas.

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Indeed it is because it's a mirror of reality. It really happens, even in the big stars(celeb) there's a lot of examples.

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I have also agreed for years. I have male friends and i love them and have learned sooo much from them! No need for confussion, i am not that pretty, so they dont like me! LOL!

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Lmao I love this comment.

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HAHAHAHAHA! Me too. I love love love this comment!

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How about Joon Oh & Bong Hee from Missing 9??
They care for each other purely bcs they care for their friends deeply. They fight day & night, teeth to teeth, from plane crash survivor to nuclear trap to psycho killer hunt them to daily life. I honestly really love and felt for their friendship, so do The rest of good member who defend Joon Oh at the end.

Friendship is whats left for me to stay in M9

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Oh yasss! Without that, this drama will just be a plain headache.

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I love the friendship between Jang Yoon Ha (Uee) and Yoo Chang Soo (Park Hyung Sik) from High Society. Their chemistry is good and I remember that I actually ship them instead even though they clearly set the boundaries that they're just friends.

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Oh yassss! One of the best example you got there. They've even went through blind date and all but platonic as it is even an attempt kiss can't sway both of them at all. Lol.

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Yes to the main shot being of Eunji and N. Their relationship was great in Sassy Go Go and they have a great friendship in real life too!

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I loved all the platonic friendships in "I Hear Your Voice".
The grumpy prosecutor, the cheerful secretary, prosecutor Cha, Soo Ha's classmates, Do Yeon. Everyone had such fun interactions.

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Ohhhh I loved all the relationships in IHYV....it is my most fav drama in the world!!!!!

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I loved Yeon-Doo and Dong-Jae! Everytime Yeon-Doo called out to Ha-Dongggg (with no romance!!!) felt adorable. People can just be friends, it's indeed possible!

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None of my platonic male friends is as good looking as any before mentioned. Where has my life gone wrong?

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LOL! I can't help laughing reading this. But I feel you.

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Yeah, kind of takes some of the "attraction problem" out of the equation, yunno? Or am I just that shallow? Ummmm, yes I am, after watching kdrama! 🤣

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Ahhhh that makes a lot of sense, @bbstl. All the while I have been focusing on the chicken but it is really the egg.

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Eyes on the prize 🐣!

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its a good trope, but again, I find this to be a sub genre, as serious platonic relationships are never the main theme in a drama.
But its definitely a good trope :-)

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I love these relationships in my dramas =) I love them especially when the heroine is able to have a friend to fall back on and to confide in when things happen, 'cause yunno, in dramaland there's always this thing called 'FATE' that likes to play freakin' mind games with everyone that makes everyone into emotional wrecks who don't know how to talk so things aren't communicated--for up to the 10 most crucial and emotional episodes in the drama itself--on top of not being able to mentally compute at all and then 'things happen' XDDD

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Thanks for reminding us of the value of platonic friends Harini, both on-screen and off.

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Definitely my kind of catnip. I'm more a platonic friendship shipper. It's endearing and memorable to me.
Love Do-ha and her oppa in "Man to Man."

I even like real life friendship between stars like
Yoo Ah-in and Jung Yumi, Park Shin-hye and Lee Hong-ki, Hyorin and Park Seo-joon etc.

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It would be nice to have a plot with a platonic friendship between a man and a woman, and how they support one another and even remain friends when each one have gotten married and be friends with the new partners and keep on having this friendship until they die, ok... wait....we have now Dong Man and Ae ra but they are dating themselves instead, LOL!!!
But it is possible! Of course it is.... to have a true friend like that.
A drama based on friendship should be super funny... like everybody expecting them to fall for each other but they dont. LOL...could be cool... lots of fun and happy end!

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Yes, precisely. I like it when a drama has a male character who isn't romantically attracted to the female lead but loves her all the same - it goes against that horrible idea that men and women can't be friends. Because they can, and they have.

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This is one of my favorite catnip too, few things beat the warmth of seeing friends bonding and fighting together through life's ups and downs...
I have to recall the friendships in Chief Kim here, they were delightful to watch. I loved how Chief Kim called his former secretary in the evenings to keep her posted of everything he was doing. I loved how he entrusted the spy-intern with difficult missions and planned their actions together with his female colleagues as a team, fully trusting them with their professional actions and also with personal matters. I found this portrayal of friendship between men and women so cute and refreshing. The bromances were also strong in this drama. I would recommend it to anyone that has a weakness for this particular topic. :)

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I loved in Goblin how Grimms went from being antagonistic to Euntak, to being housemates, fondly calling her 'missing soul' and asking her for love advice! And that scene when he asks her for a name that girls' love! Iconic!
And Euntak calling Deokwa 'Oppa' all time was cute too!

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So. Adorable. As well as the having it wreaked on our favorite goblin, ha.

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Oh my god. You cannot love this trope and not know male lead kang ji hwan and second female lead han go eun in capital scandal. Platonic soulmates MOST WONDERFUL BEST FRIENDSHIP. That drama is golden. Haven't thought of it in a while but it used to be one of my top favourites.

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Ooooh, how did I miss a Kang Ji-hwan drama??? Gonna look this one up to watch!

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SHOUTOUT TO YONGHA
Because one of my favourite drama characters. much love.

But yes platonic friendships are the best and dramas need more of them. Just supportive friendships with no imminent angst or dramatic love triangles.

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They didn't have that many scenes together, but I liked Dongryong and Deoksun's friendship in Reply 1988. From the solidarity they share in their less-than-average grades (DR: "Freaks, I'm hanging out with freaks. Ah, suddenly I miss Deoksun, Deoksun-ah where are you? Can your hear my voice??"), to DR giving DS the exact relationship advice she needs in a gentle but clear way, the writer and actors made the few moments between them flesh out their friendship vividly.

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Reply 1997's Sung Shiwon and Kang Joonhee!!

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If only it was easy to find a guy bestfriend as it is in the dramas

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Woon-kwang oppa is the first character that makes me want an oppa so bad, feels like I'm losing out someone important like him.

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Wowie zowie, LOOK at that long list of Drama Catnips!

We didn't get to spend tons of time with them, but a shout out to all the platonic relationships in the Reply series!

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I am here for Cha Do ha and her oppa. It's interesting how they can be sibling-like and really support each other.

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Can I include Seo-No and Chae Kyung of 7DQ. This kind of friendship is the one I want for myself.... time tested....Same is true for Yeok and Seo-No.. there is indeed a friend who sticks closer than a brother. The type that is certainly for keeps!!!

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Hmmm yes. I think my fav is the Friend Squad though! :)

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