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[Beanie Recs] Any love triangles that have two women in love with the same man?


Ahoy, Beanies! It’s time to gather your collective genius for a new recommendation series that features you and your drama knowledge. Each week we’ll drop a drama conundrum and leave it up to you to provide a drama rec, and the appropriate rationale behind it, be it long or short. Respond below!

From @jls943:

There are a lot of love triangles in dramaland. Almost all of the ones I’ve seen, however, have been two men in love with the same woman. Any dramas that flip this script, and have two women in love with one man? Is this ever done, and/or done well?


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The first drama that comes to mind is "Do you like Brahms?" which had both types of love triangles.

The others to some extent are:
Romance is a bonus book
IOTNBO
Inheritors
Doctors

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Sorry, remove RIABB from that list 😅. It wasn't really a love triangle

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What's really a love triangle? In Romance Is a Bonus Book, Jung Yoo-jin has an unrequited crush on Lee Jong-suk, which is the same as It's Okay to Not Be Okay's love triangle of Park Gyu-young and Kim Soo-hyun.

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I thought of that too but then i remembered that Lee Na Young didn't really like LJS in a romantic way until like 2/3 of the drama 😅 and I think that by then Jung Yoo-Jin had kinda moved on

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Wasn't JYJ the owner of the red bra?

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Yes she was the owner. She always went to LJS's home when she was drunk and left it there

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By Inheritors, you mean "The heirs"? Or these are two different dramas?

By the way, we had two serious love triangles in The Heirs.

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Yes, I mean Heirs

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In love triangle with the woman as center, the second male lead often is very nice but in love triangle with a man as center, it's the opposite. So it happened but the second female lead is often badly written and just not very nice (to stay polite).

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So true! I'd never really compared them like that before. Why do we rarely we get kind second female leads? Probably because then she'd be better than the candy ^^

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I found one very good exception though. Ruler:Master of the mask's second female lead was fire. Developed a girl crush on her.

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Oh yeah! She was the only usefull character in this drama. She was from the villain side but she's the one who stopped them.

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Making a second lead ver attractive is always a bit risky, because it can undermine audience sympathy for the main couple. With a second male lead the risk is apparently often considered worth taking, because an attractive SML presumably also doubles the sex appeal for the presumably primarily heterosexual primarily female audience. The idea is that there's less of a potential benefit in making the SFL swoon-worthy, so it's better to stay on the safe side and make her mean or boring.

But that's just me trying to read the mind of showrunners and writers. I don't particularly share these assumptions about k-drama audience and would personally love a k-drama with a properly swoon-worthy second female lead.

Sympathic SFL exist (I loved the SFLs in Coffee Prince and Crash Landing on You), they might get quite a bit of screen time and even their own backstory and character development - but they tend to not directly compete with the FML, at least not for long, and are quickly paired off with the SML. Even if well developed, they are not designed to cause Second-Lead-Syndrome. I think that's a real gap in the market!

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Hi, Bye Mama! 😅 Why I'm feel sorry writing this up.

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Mr. Queen comes to mind. The Second FL's story was well-written and had a complete arc. Also one of the rare instances where the ML is in love with SFL first and the FL later.

Also Oh My Ghost. How often do you want the ML to end up with BOTH FLs even if one of them is not in this world anymore?

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ITAEWON CLASS (Netflix). IC was one of my favorites of 2020 with the triangle being: ML Park Seo-joon and FLs Kwon Nara and Kim Da-mi. It produced here on DramaBeans one of the most vituperative shipping wars since A POEM A DAY (which was the more traditional one woman/2 guys).

As an aside. I thought Kwon Nara’s character was, @kurama points out in her comment, maybe the more badly written but certainly ‘under written’ of the two women. It is my surmise that is why at the end there was the PBG cameo. It was certainly not for the ratings because the ratings were fine for the whole run but as a make up by the Director to KN for the way her character played out.
Lol, as you can tell I was on the Kwon Nara/Park Seo-joon ship.

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Aside from dramas other beanies have mentioned, even though this drama is not the best example, "Doctor Stranger" can be one of them.
You may say it wasn't really a love triangle, but i think some viewers experienced SLS. I did.
Lee Jongsuk-Kang Sora chemistry was great

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Oh Hye-Young Again
Fight My Way
Suspicious Partner
The Liar and His Lover

Though I feel like at least the first three also had some sort of triangle with the FL at the center, but they either were minor storylines or were just a red herring/misunderstanding.

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Before reading this post I didn't even realize how far less common this kind of love triangle is!!
Went through my 100+ watched shows and came up with less than 10 examples!! xD

What I got:
- Dali and Gamjatang is probably the most accurate rec.
- A Piece of your Mind and The Package where the ML loves 2 women (not quite at the same time, though).
- Do You Like Brahms and Crash Landing On You have more of a love square, but still both MLs are liked by 2 different women.
- Oh My Ghost and Mr Queen have a fantasy element so it's quite the unusual triangle, but pretty fun! ...they also have a very polarizing ending and resolutions of said triangle, so there's that! xD
- 100 Days My Prince and Moonlight Drawn By Clouds do kinda apply but not really, since it's more of a forced "love triangle", as expected from Sageuks!

All of these are dramas I generally loved, usually the love triangle is fine, or at least bearable (for me that I'm not a fan of this trope).
Can't say the same for the one in DYLB; I still loved the show, but it gets a little frustrating towards the end in that aspect.

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I’m trying to remember the one you’re talking about in 100 Days. The only one I can think of is the crown prince and his advisor/friend both like the FL. There is probably another one that I’m forgetting about, please help!

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No no, I mean he has a wife technically (played by Han Sohee)...of course they don't love each other, in fact she is pregnant with another man's child.
That's why I said it doesn't quite fit the description! hehe

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Ooooh, gotcha. Yes those relationships were hilariously complex! Thanks for clarifying!

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You're welcome ^^

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Didn't Nice Guy have a love triangle? I feel like melos have a lot of love angst in general - not sure if you can call them triangles when so many people are involved.... love hexagons?
Usually when two women are in love with the same man in dramas it's the FL and an ex-girlfriend who's changed her mind. (Many examples in the lists above)

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Birth of a Beauty starts out as a love triangle where Geum Ran tries to get her husband back from the woman he left her for. But then it becomes more of a love quadrangle.

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I'm not sure but can I mention Brilliant Legacy with Eun Sung-Hwan-Seung Mi love story ??

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Go Back Couple
Wild Romance

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The female-male-female love triangle in Bad Family isn't central to the show, but it's my favourite - mostly because the second female lead is written as a kind, sensible and honest woman, and also because the interactions between her and the male character are hysterically funny.

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Two that come to mind:
The time I’ve loved you/The time we were not in love
Backstreet Rookie

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One of the best moments at the end of BACKSTREET ROOKIE occurs when our MLs mom gets to inform the Chaebol Heiress SFL's mom that her daughter simply is not good enough for her son- a reversal of the standard K-drama trope.

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Gaksital (Bridal Mask)

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Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People. In my previous comment I mentioned Gaksital. In both dramas the 2nd FL is a tragic figure.

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Miracle That We Met!! But technically one of the FLs loves her husband who’s trapped inside the ML’s body though. Another drama I shud say is Marriage Not Dating. ML’s mother and FL fight for ML’s love.

I don’t know if these count cos these are not ur typical love triangle, but I do love both the dramas cos they were well written.

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Interesting. marriage Not Dating ended up, for me, being the love story between the FL and the Mom.

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Thank you!

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@altofunnisaa, love your name! Assuming you are a non-soprano singer, me too!

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Fated To Love You (the 2014 kdrama with Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara) - although I'm not sure that was done well. The SFL is hardly a kind person and takes advantage of the ML's amnesia 🙄, but she's not a one-dimensional plot device and seems to love the ML, not just covet him. She does become more sympathetic, or at least pitiable, in her uphill battle against the drama's title.

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My first K-drama Wuri's Family: Kim Hyo-jin was in love with her childhood best friend Kim Jae-won, but he was in love with the female lead.

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She Was Pretty, but like all of these love triangles that aren't done well, you start to hate the second female lead.

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Yes! I was also going to mention She Was Pretty.

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Kim Sam Soon! ❤️❤️❤️
Classic one guy-two women.

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Yup! And the 2FL wasn't hateful. Just a bit pitiful. And she was really in love with him. She abandoned the ML because she had cancer and didn't want to burden him. Of course, she ended up surviving and wanted to come back, but love is all about timing and she had let him go too soon and for too long, so he had fallen in love with someone else.

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And he was truly torn between them, the perfect girl whom he’d loved but had abandoned him and the completely unsuitable woman he couldn’t resist. Squeeeee!!!

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Mr Sunshine, kind of, although there was a lot of triangulating going on all around 😁

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You’re right! I think of this as a three-men-like-one-woman kind of thing, but I forgot that there was another (totally awesome) supporting character into the ML! Kind of a love star?

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Yeah, it kind of defied geometry at many (pun intended) points! 😆

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okay, i'm going back to the drama that hooked me on k-drama, 'my lovely sam soon' or 'my name is kim sam soon.' it changes a # of things in k-drama & this is why it will always be my favorite k-drama!

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Forever the Greatest! 🎉🥇🎉

🙋🏼‍♀️ Always glad to see another KSS Appreciator!

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me too! but we're old school & folks don't get this one much.

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Yes, it is so wonderful and as you say, changed dramas from that point forward. There were academic essays written about it, in the US! Now I guess it’s a sign of how well it succeeded at introducing the non-Candy, anti-aegyo heroine that it looks dated to new viewers. Mostly they seem to react to Hyun Bin being a jerk.

It has so much heart, I’ve always felt that if everyone in the world could only see Kim Sam Soon we would have world peace. ❤️❤️❤️

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Our beloved summer - It had both type of love triangle but female-male-female was better written. NJ was genuinely smitten with male lead. For second male lead it was just first love/obsession and she was his best friend’s girlfriend. He never acted on those feelings but they never even interacted to warrant those continued feelings.
Oh, my ghost – I am not sure if the ghost was romantically interested in chef but I was quite sure that chef was in love with two different women at same time.
The below drama had unhealthy love triangle and I would not recommend them for the romance.
The scent of woman – The female lead did not even like male lead but was hell-bent on marrying him.
Goong – it had both type of love triangle but every relationship in this show was unhealthy.

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Oh my gosh, I thought about Goong and didn’t EVEN remember there was a 2nd FL 😂😂😂

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It was Song Ji hyo, the fact I only realized few months back and I watched this drama in my early drama watching days. There was nothing remarkable about the character other than she was clingy and we cared about female lead much more... I wanted her to drop that trash and flee.

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Yes, it’s funny seeing how far her career has come, she’s so cute in variety. She was pretty green in Goong and the character wasn’t very well written either.

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You're so right about OBS. The SML was a mope, but NJ was a lovely character and I felt bad for her. Maybe it didn't help that I didn't much like the FL.

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I didn't have problem with FL but I always thought her and Woong's relationship was thing in past and should have remained so...It was okay for Woong not to reciprocate NJ's feeling but NJ deserved much more...

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Speaking of Scent of a Woman, the SFL in that drama also played the evil sister in Beautiful Gong Shim. She was going after the guy who she thought was the chaebol heir and sabotaging her sister, Gong Shim.

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Fated to Love You. I thought that one did a great job of showing how the ML could be truly devoted to one woman but then slowly, over time, fall in love with the FL.

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I was about to say Fated To Love You!

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Did “The Man Living in our house” have a second female lead? I remember Jo Boa playing her.

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Jealousy Incarnate - there were two of them
Fated To Love You
My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho
Sassy Girl Chun Hyang
Get Karl! Oh Soo Jung
Save The Last Dance For Me
Another Oh Hae Young
Familiar Wife
My Name is Kim Sam Soon

To be fair, a lot of the older kdramas have a love square formula

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Who was the second woman in love with the male lead in Familiar Wife? Kang Han Na was the standard catty second lead as far as I remember...
Or in Jealousy Incarnate? Seo Ji Hye character wasn't even in love with Jo Jung Suk character.

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Oh I thought Seo Ji Hye's character was in love with JJS - maybe I rmb wrongly since it was quite a long time ago. But the two mothers were in love with Chef.
Wasn't Kang Hanna the second woman in Familiar Wife?

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SJH made a point of stressing that she wasn't in love with him and only wanted him as another man to own. So even if she was actually in love with him it wasn't the kind of romance to rival the original love line.

About Familiar Wife, maybe I understood the point of this db post wrong? I thought they meant dramas where there are two women sincerely in love with the male lead that you could actually root for both. Kang Hanna was the usual negative catty manipulative second lead that is present in nearly every single kdrama.

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In Our Beloved Summer, almost a love triangle of two men and a dude but one side (the idol) conceded as the OTP reconciled.
Queen for 7 Days, a tragic love triangle for sure.

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Actually in all seguk dramas you can find at least two women in love with the king like Moon embracing the Sun, Empress Ki, War of Women, Dong Yi ...

Yumi's cell(also this was more of a crush of two worman on the same man)
Dream High 2, the man was JB
Imitation
Backstreet rookie

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One fine day
Winter Sonata

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Yumi’s cells is a great example as it happened twice to Yumi. Firstly she and a co worker fancied the same man who then disclosed he was gay then Yumi moved on to her next relationship and another woman went after her new man.

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Yes. It was a pattern for Umi. Even before her coworker, her ex had another woman whom he would marry later in the series.

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Oh yes of course, but in the first incident they kept the relationship secret the other two were blatant in their attempts to get the man. I think that’s why Yumi was so hurt she found out in such a horrible way.

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I also remember
Man in vail
Beautiful love, wonderful life
Yi San
Love Rain
You are beautiful
When my love blooms
My girl
Playful kiss
My ID is Gangnam Beauty
Boys over Flowers
Dr stranger
Flower boy band
The smile has left your eyes
Reply1988
Alice

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Dinner 🍽️ mate
Kiss sixth sense

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There are also
Crash landing on you
Cheese🧀 in the trap

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Why do I remember so many dramas?
Pasta 🍝
Return of Iljima(also points of the triangle 📐 were not contemporary )

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King Eternal Monarch (also the series did not develop it)
Sweet stranger and me
Undercover (although it wasn't the msin plot)
A gentleman and a young lady

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Cinderalla Man from a long time ago. Tho, the second female lead didn't really have a chance

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The only ones that haven't been mentioned are my favorites.
Well, their actually love squares, but they all start with the 1 guy 2+ women dynamic.

The Man Who Can't Get Married: 3 women, 1 guy. One of the most hilarious love squares ever.

Protect the Boss: starts with the 2 girls 1 guy (and 2 guys 1 girl) trope, and then it becomes 1 couple, 1 womence, and 1 bromance. Iconic.

The Producers: I don't know if it counts tho, for me Hyo Jin's characters always liked the other dude (Tae Hyun's character).

Ps. Not the 2 girls 1 guy trope, but another amazing love square is Ho Gu's Love.

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Man Who Can’t Get Married 👏🏼 It’s funny how I can watch a show and be so focused on one relationship that I don’t even remember the others. Were the other women the Office Manager and the neighbor?

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Yes. The doc, the manager and the neighbor.
He only has interested in the doc so maybe that's why you don't remember. And the neighbor also had this love line with Yoo Ah In's character.

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Thanks! I think I did associate the neighbor (was she Yoo Inna?) with having an ex and then Yoo Ah In.

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Kim Go Eun.
Nope actually she was after the main lead (literally) all the show and Ah In was after her. She never cared about him. I don't even remember if she ended up with Ah In.

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Protect the Boss is one of my fave kdramas. There ended up being 2 couples because the 2FL ended up as a couple with the 2ML. DOUBLE DATE!

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You're right, 2 couples. ^^

And yes, PTB is the best!

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Too many to list!

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Coffee House which is one of my favorite dramas. I watched it after the release but to my understanding not all fans were happy with whom he ended up with in the love triangle. I loved it.

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Crazy Love
Jinxed at first (not the main plot)
Woori
Kiss sixth sense
Alchemy of the souls(defently will have several love triangles)
Thirty Nine

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