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[Drama chat] That pesky Truck of Doom

[Drama chat] That pesky Truck of Doom
Nary a drama goes by without a character — primary, secondary, tertiary, expendable — having some sort of interlude with the Truck of Doom. For if ever there is a crosswalk there is oncoming traffic, and if there is oncoming traffic, there is surely a Truck of Doom headed right for… someone. Anyone. You know it’s gonna happen at some point.

The Truck of Doom might be a well-established character in dramaland (and might cause you to sweat beads of stress anytime you cross the street IRL), but among all the crazy places it’s turned up, there have also been some uses that still made me jump a mile, tickled me with meta (W, anyone?), or convinced me — heartbreakingly — that it was vital to the plot (here’s looking at you, Byung-hee ♥).
 

What’s your favorite Truck of Doom appearance? Least favorite? When was the ToD useful to the plot? When was it at its most egregious?

 
Let the chatting begin!
 
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Favourite has to be W - Two Worlds just as you said. I love the meta of it appearing in a kdrama about a manhwa and it's pretty plot-significant because Kang Chul realises the external control of his world in that moment.

Another one that I probably wouldn't call 'favourite' but was definitely memorable was the one in Shut Up Flower Boy Band. Let's just say that one hit ME like a Truck of Doom. I really should have read the recaps before I started 😓.

Least favourite would be pretty much most of the others with the most recent, and egregious, example being in Why Her?.

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ToD in "Flower Boy Band" was a hard hit for me...I was toooootaaallllly shocked.
"Ehy her" was the one I couldn't persuade myself of it's necessity.
However one ToD that is sad/mad/fortunate was "Extraordinary attorney Woo"

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Same for all 3 shows!

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🍿🍿🍿

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+ (🍷 x 🍺)

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🍟

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1. - Moonshine. Who knew a Truck full of Joseon's freshly brewed finest alcohol could audition as a ToD? More interesting was the bad guys getting a taste of the very alcohol they've been gunning for before they remembered they're supposed to chase after our heroine and co.

Honorable Mention
Extraordinary Attorney Woo ToD on the jerk husband in episode 11.

2. - Vincenzo episode 3 ending. ToD attack on Hong Yu-chan(Yoo Jae-Myung). This one hurts to the bones.

3. - Vincenzo.
It was the act that forced Hong Cha-young to move to the other side of the law - her father's side. Babel shouldn't have hurt her father if they wanted to keep their reins on her. But, they ultimately miscalculated, and it spelt the beginning of their doom from Hong Cha-young's end.

Honorable Mention : You're All Surrounded ep 19. ToD attack on Police Chief Kang.

4. - The ToD in Why Her is the first on the list for now. Oh Soojae will still 100% act the way she acted(as alleged by the ToD) without the ToD. There was exactly no need for it, and the casualty wasn't it at all.
Why Her?, take a lesson from #3. subsequent shows, kindly do same.

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I"m 15 episodses in, and I absolutely agree on Vincenzo. The appearance of the truck of doom really took me by surprise. I wasn't ready for Hong Yu-Chan's character to leave! He was doing such a good job acting, and I thought for sure he was a main character that would stay until the end.

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Vincenzo is the first drama that got me wary about shows that cast veteran actors, Yoo Jae-Myung especially, whether they actually announce them in the cast lineup or not. I worry if he'll survive to the next week episode following the premiere. Vincenzo played a good hand killing Yu-chan in episode 3🤦🏽. And truth be told, my fear is not false. I can't count how many shows since Vincenzo where Yoo Jae-Myung's character was killed off in the premiere episodes.

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LOL this made me laugh, the veteran actors only take short gigs because they have so many shows lined up to do next!

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The two dramas that immediately come to mind are Dear my friends and Devilish joy where it was crucial to the love story.

My first encounter with the truck of doom was long before I knew about Korean dramas it was in a film called One day so I saw it at the cinema and it has left me traumatised ever since. I always get shocked by it and think it’s an awful plot devise. I prefer a car crash with people in the car rather than being hit while walking or riding bike. I work in a University town where bikes are everywhere and I am hyper aware of them now.

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Damn! Shivers literally ran down my spine while reading your second paragraph. Trauma at one of its peak.

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Yes people don’t realise that vicarious trauma can occur from the things we watch, read and listen to whether it’s on the radio or in real life and therefore it ceases to be entertainment for me when that happens. That’s why I am so careful with what I watch and can’t handle the unexpected thriller elements in what I was expecting to be a PG rated drama.

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Ohhhh that ToD in one day ... I couldn't get passed it for a few hours

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My most recent one was in Atty Woo and i have to say, I didn’t expect it from the drama at all. It was almost like a surprise cameo.
I wonder if @ToD is still around on DB?

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In my search for ToD, i found this article by @cloggie from 2018. Fun read!

https://www.dramabeans.com/2018/01/in-defense-of-the-truck-of-doom/

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This was a fun read, thanks for sharing!

One of the pictures in this article is from Live Up to Your Name, which was a ToD that is a really good example of what the writer is talking about. When you make a man's method of time travel getting killed over and over again, how many ways can you come up with that are still plausible? It was only a matter of time before one of them was a ToD. And it was a convenient way to send both leads to Joseon at once.

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Yes! I'm so glad someone linked this! My first thought was "no but wait this chat already technically exists!!!" and to go find it to share it haha~

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It appears that all the cases shown on Atty Woo are based on actual legal cases in SK. In this specific episode, the wife inherits her husband's wealth after his fateful encounter with the ToD, whereas in real life they had already divorced and their underage children became his sole heirs.

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@sincerelytod - Batsignal!

He's probably too busy filming to check in here, but we can hope.

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Ahh u found it yay! I forgot the name 😁

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i literally jumped when it happened it was so out of pocket

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It's crazy that everytime a character is on a pedestrian crossing, I have fears.

In Shut Up Flowers Boys Band, I wasn't surprised because I knew that LMK wasn't the ML, but it was kinda funny how they filmed it.

Do Min-Joon could make a fortune by saving every character from the truck of doom.

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Pedestrian crossing or when they show a close up of some family picture or charm hanging from the rearview mirror. 5 seconds later..bam!

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Do Min-Joon could make a fortune by saving every character from the truck of doom.

Ha, I'm watching that now. I read here recently that actors get paid for each episode in which they appear. ToD must have raked it in for My Love from the Star, because he got a flashback cameo in nearly every episode.

The driverless meta-ToD in W is still my favorite. The multiple ToDs in CLOY deserve a nomination for best acting ensemble. My least favorite is the ToD Tag Team in HomeCha. That was ... something.

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My favorite would have to be in Switch with the double Truck of Doom.
The ML is just driving along suddenly sees a truck coming towards him, barely misses it, and then WHAM! Another truck comes from behind the other and slams into him pushing him off the cliff.
Very exciting and it is the set up for the whole drama because ML is injured in the car crash so his coworkers find his doppelganger who happens to be a conman and get him to switch places with the ML prosecutor.
Honorable mention:
The Great Show. ML (politician) has taken in four kids. One of them runs in front of a bus to get a toy that rolled out into the street. ML runs in front of the bus and to try to protect the boy, and then you see ML fall over when the bus hits him. Turns out the bus actually stopped just short of hitting him though and he was just putting on an act so he'd seem more heroic and get good press! 😂
Least favorite: A Poem a Day
Technically a motorcycle of doom but why'd that motorcycle have to come out of nowhere and hit my boy Minho when he was on his way to confess to Boyoung??? 💔😭

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You beat me to it! I love how they filmed that scene in Switch.

I have seen truck of doom so many times in these 15 years of kdrama watching that it is basically like a coffee ppl to me. For the life of me I can't remember any specific ones. But I will always remember Switch.

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Yes, the one in Switch was extremely well done! I love that the ML wasn't even doing anything wrong (like standing in the middle of the street). He was just safely driving along which made it seem much more realistic.
I always roll my eyes if someone's just standing in the middle of the street or runs out into the street without checking for cars first. Haven't those people ever seen a drama?!? If there's one thing I've learned from Kdramas, it's always look both ways before crossing the street!

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Switch is actually very underrated. It is a lot better than most people assume.

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Definitely! I really enjoyed it.

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Stupid MoD. The Switch double made me laugh extra hard.

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I'm not sure if this counts, but one ToD that I thought was really interesting was in Oh Hae-young Again. The ML has visions that he eventually realizes are happening because there is some funny timeline business going on, and really he's just been hit by a car. But the circumstances of the accident get illuminated slowly and change throughout the show as he sees more and then makes different decisions. I don't think this is my favorite or least favorite, but it was definitely one of the more interesting ones I've ever seen.

The ToD on Vincenzo was only the second one I ever saw, but I thought it was used well, and pretty tragically. It had the classic hallmark of a ToD, in that it came out of nowhere, but didn't happen when someone was crossing the road, so for me it remains one of the least expected I've ever seen. And then Vincenzo uses a potential ToD to threaten the baddies later, and the baddies use another one to kill off an innocent man, so this drama might set some records in this department.

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A TOD that worked to put the final exclamation point on a twisted story was in THE BABYSITTER - - - unexpected, shocking and a story flip on the viewers. (I just re-watched the series last week)

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Word of advice to relatively newer beanies. This post is probably full of spoilers.

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ToD played a key role in Hello Me!

It also played a key role in Thirty But Seventeen. In that drama, the driver actually also played a role.

And ToD played an offscreen role in Remarriage and Desires. A non-accidental role....

I'm trying to remember a drama where the ML or FL was a child driving with parents and the car was crushed by a ToD, only the kid survived. What drama was that?

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Was it Business proposal? I know it was an accident in the rain and only he survived and the same with Love with flaws there was a car accident where only the child survives but can’t remember if it was a truck or car that caused those accident.

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Thanks, no, it would not have aired in the past couple of years. (I think.)

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Uncanny Counter?

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About 300 of them...

Ones that come to mind are:
I'm not a Robot
Tale of the Nine Tailed
I Hear Your Voice (Dad only)
Military Prosecutor Doberman

There are many more, the "happy child in the car with loving parents and the sudden truck of doom" trope is extremely common.

I think Business Proposal had it as well (as Reply mentions below). So that means we've had it twice this year alone.

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Maybe it was INAR. I'll have to look.

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INAR's was particularly well done

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I went through all the recaps and couldn't even find the episode where this would have been a flashback....

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From memory I think it's episode 4 (7-8)

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Nine-tailed Fox?

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Yes, that one. The drama I really enjoyed once I mentally edited out the creepy paedo flashbacks.

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I agree. Hello me was one of the few dramas where tod kept appearing in flashbacks & wasn't just a random happening. It had a purpose & it made sense & it's effects were felt throughout the show.

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Untouchable: It's used twice throughout the series. ToD made his first appearance killing off the wife of the ML who is a cop. Later it's used to kill off the Ml's older brother while he pushes his wife's car out the way while she's trapped inside and then witnesses her husband being ran over.

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least favorite(s) = Shut Up Flower Boy Band & Meet Joe Black

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They are my favourite because I laughed so much during these scenes.

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i screamed out loud....
: O

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I love it when it takes out a bad guy so the drama doesn't have to spend time on him. Like in Sell Your Haunted House with the stalker dude who killed a woman. The good guys were already chasing him through the alleyways and right when you think he was getting away...he got TODed.

I liked it in Extraordinary Attorney Woo too. It was so tough on the wife to see the doting husband turn on her overnight, so I'm glad she was spared the divorce proceedings. That wife worked so hard and you know that husband - even if the divorce goes through and once his money runs out - is going to come back to harass the wife.

One of the saddest uses was in Fated to Love You.

I think the worst use was High Kick Through the Roof. I didn't watch that sitcom/drama, but I remember when that ending came out and the fallout...

Anyone who has watched that drama and went through it...I think they can do through any terrible ending.

What really bug me about truck of dooms is that they usually don't follow up with the drivers when the drivers aren't evil henchmen.

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The TOD in Sell Your Haunted House legit took me off guard, I jumped 😂 it was a good one.

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The Sell Your Haunted House one was good! And then they had to defeat the bad guy's ghost afterwards.

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Does the Cliff of Doom stand in for Historical dramas?

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@missvictrix next week's chat topic, please, for us sageuk-heads! 😂

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Usually the cliff of non doom.

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It's not just the cliffs, the sword slashes of doom inclusive. I have one on my mind already that in the most ridiculous way used both.

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but if we do that we get into the "poison of doom" and the "execution of doom" and the "arrow of doom", and all the other common ways of dying in both sageuks and non-sageuks. I think the Cliff of Doom is so significant because like the Truck is usually the same kind of white utility or delivery truck (occasionally it's BLUE!), the Cliff is almost always one of two cliffs that frequent Sageuks (like their cousin, that one tree that always cameos also; although the Tree is less likely to be a harbinger of Doom, it is not impossible) and I would say is used for the same sort of "equivalent shock factor", as the Truck also.
But, yaknow, it's a sageuk, so it's both sometimes very (too) survivable, and also doubles as a Suicide Bridge.

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The arrow of doom🤦🏽👊😅.

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The pond of doom (or any water) that is 4m deep is pretty commun too.

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water of doom that should be 2m deep but ends up being a mile deep because of the aesthetic directing choices common in sageuks kekeke yes

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Trucks of Doom. TODs. Even my friends who have never seen anything Korean know what TOD stands for because I’ve talked about so many. It annoys me that even after all these years I can feel my blood pressure tick up just at the sight of a crosswalk.

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To clarify, a crosswalk in a drama 😏

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To be fair I get anxious at the one nearest me in real life because NO ONE stops when they are supposed to.

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For reals, that is starting to happen here too. What red light, what stop sign? It’s getting scary.

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This one is a pedestrian crossing (zebra crossing) and cars are supposed to stop for pedestrians…I can see how one or two might be like “oh whoops, I was too close to stop when you got to the crossing” but it’s every time we need to cross 😒 pay attention when driving, people!

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These comments always remind me of that scene in Lobster where Who and his mother are finally being reunited and they're on two sides of a zebra crossing and literally every viewer thought for sure she was about to ToD'd.

...That comment is the most db comment I've ever written

Lobster = Legend of the Blue Sea
Who = Lee Min Who

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👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 It is!
And I totally did. You hear yourself saying, “oh SERiously?” as they pan over the crosswalk.

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Just missing the clams.

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The clams are there
The clams are always there
They lurk

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and one day... they will rise again.

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Is this associated with "Forest" drama of Jo Boa and Park Hae Jin?

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The 'clams' is, yes.
The freshwater forest clams.
The zombie clams.

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Thanks so much for helping newbie beanies with the Lobster and Who Key we need these even if we miss out on the other inside jokes.

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Nothing beats the double ToD in About Time.
People often criticise ToD for their performance, suggesting their narrative input is often too broad and a little cliched. This despite all their hard work across multiple dramas.
But they truly did a public service in About Time by taking out both those assholes at the same time.
If only the deaths had stuck.

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Was coming here to post just this. I was so rooting for ToD to take out both leads and was so let down when they both survived.

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For anyone curious about the scene, just head on over to the fanwall of @sincerelytod and watch the gif on their header. ToD kindly changed this from the horror of SUFBB to this delightful moment.

Do not watch About Time. Seriously.

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Oh thank you. After whooping loudly, I was about to post that now I would have to watch that show.

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Oh SHIT 😲

*much more whooping loudly*

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Quick question?
The ToD was effected on the main leads. Were the main leads the assholes in the story? I'm a little lost here.

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Yes, yes they were.
By the end of About Time, you absolutely wanted both of them to die.

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@leetennant that is an absolute shocker for a kdrama. I never thought kdramas could evoke such characterizations.

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@jerrykuvira oh no, I can *definitely* think of a several others also mmmhmmm

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Honestly now I want to finish watching that. I’m at maybe episode 8 and have been for some time 😅

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Noooo.....
Honestly, I only held on as long as I did because I was promised a double ToD and it was not worth it.

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Don't do that to yourself. You seem nice, and you don't deserve to suffer through that murk. Seriously, the actors really really didn't want to be there either.

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The biggest mystery, who is @sincerelytod?

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Hear hear! That ToD should've happened 5 episodes ago & saved us all the misery of seeing miserable characters played by miserable actors.

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SPOILERS
.
.
.
I'm actually a big defender of the TOD in SUFBB. Not specifically because it's a Truck necessarily, but because I like how they used a plot device death as a catalyst for the rest of the show. I've written about this better somewhere else before, but I liked that Byunghee isn't forgotten after his death, and turned into this empty plot device character that so many other show's would've done, but rather the weight of his death is felt and continued to be felt throughout the whole show; indeed how the other boys deal with and react to grief is one of the main thematic cores of the show. I like that this event sent them all reeling, aimless, directionless, and now they have to pick themselves and the pieces up afterwards and find their new directions and loves in life without this core piece and person that was so integral to them all for so long.

However, I think it's a shame that such an infamous TOD causes so many people to drop it early, because I think they miss out on a really good youth drama that has a lot going for that isn't just Lee Min Ki in eyeliner.
I knew Lee Min Ki was a cameo going in to SUFBB, and I think that really helped mitigate the death somewhat- because I knew he wasn't going to be around for the whole thing- which is how I would recommend going into the show now as well.
I'm not usually a fan of such catalyst deaths, but I think they handled it and dealt with it really well, and as such can only continue to recommend and love the show.

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It's been a long time since I re-read this but I once wrote this about it - Lee Min-ki's character (and death) made that drama.

https://www.dramabeans.com/2018/11/scene-stealers-bleeding-flowers/

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2018- the year of TOTM's about the Truck of Doom apparently; I forgot about this article and thread.

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Not a kdrama, but there was a TOD in the movie Last Night in Soho and it was equally as dumb and only there for cheap shock factor as many a kdrama TOD, and I got just as mad as I would've in the best and most contrived kdrama scenario.
What @sincerelytod was doing in my dumb Edgar Wright horror movie, instead of Ed making another horror comedy movie with narry a cheap jump scare in sight, I do not know.

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OH MY GOSH HOW COULD I FORGET. Letting myself down!

No, no first prize HAS to go to Secret Lyfe of My Secretary, with its ABSOLUTELY unbeatable batshit bananas Truck of Doom, because it created the FISH CULT!!!!! The infamous og Fish Cult! Which caused the whole drama!
I will never, ever make a drama prediction as good as that ever again, probably.
It was all the fish's fault!
Imagine dying by TOD for a FISH! And then a Fish Secretary Cult is created in your memory and honour! To launder company funds for the sake of fish Orphans! And the rights of fish Secretaries! And our ML gets magical fish face blindness that kick starts the entire mystery around the Fish Cult and also our OTPs fishy lie laden love story! And then the fish is replaced with a fake fish! And the lack of the Fish leads to the Moss Balls, which are the main wingmen for our OTP! Wow. What a TOD. What a fish. Legendary.

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The Fish Secretary Cult, lol. Fish worship was a thing that year.

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nah that show was kinda bad idk what crack I was on to actually sit through the whole thing (I think i initially thought he could only see her face and not the others but I was so disappointed when it included her too)

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Blasphemy against the Fish Cult!

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All hail the Fish Cult!

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When it comes to TOD my mind just blanked out fr even tho I saw so many over the years that pissed me off (i think thats why I blanked out theres too many for me to decide)
I think it would have to be those TODs that just have zero correlation to the plot (or used as a desperate last minute resort to tie the plot together) that turns me off but thanks to all those, I have training to anticipate any upcoming TODs in current dramas (the way my anxiety soars when its night and the lead(s) are on a road)

But could we also have an amnesia drama chat thread too? I know of a few that disappointed me to the core hehe

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Yes let’s campaign for the Drama chat topic on the amnesia trope which could be combined with the equally ridiculous dream explanation, yes we are looking at you Dallas Bobby in the shower scene🤣

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Hope I remember correctly. Sandoo , Let’s Go to School. It’s a very early Gong Hyo Jin drama and I think it’s the one where ToD made a whack appearance at the end, shocking me.

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Favorite ToD: the one that doesn't work - the person only gets hurt or is saved by someone (aka. the least annoying result).

Least favorite: the one that doesn't appear when you want it (aka. when the bad guy is the one crossing the road).

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I've wished for so many that didn't show up...

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I did a quick scan down the comments and was surprised Goblin hasn't been mentioned. That one genuinely upset people.

The very first truck of doom I recall (and one of the most impactful) is pre-Kdrama watching days for me. 2010, the dump truck T-boning the sedan in the film 'Man From Nowhere'.

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An unusual recent role for the Truck of Doom is Truck of Doom as The Hero: In episode 11 of EXTRAORDINARY ATTORNEY WOO the White Truck Of Doom saves the day by delivering just deserts to the ultimate jerk of a husband.

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Oh I suddenly remembered a TOD that shot a man who wished to stay anonymous to national fame and hero status. Pinocchio.

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The one I correctly predicted while watching Start Up. Hubby walked in the room asking how the show was doing. I replied, "About time for the ToD." It hit the inventor dad two seconds later. We both shouted woah.

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Damn, you're good. So can you tell us what will happen in Alchemy of Souls? Who will be Cliff-of-Doomed?

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Woebetide anyone who tries to predict anything in a Hong sister's drama. I haven't seen cliffs do much in the way of doom lately. Mostly Cliff of Bounce or Cliff of Getting Wet and Rescued.

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The Jang Dad. He has death coming. He successfully evaded Jin Moo's plots & since his actions were motivated by personal tragedy & not the greater good and he's in MC's shitlist I bet he'll die saving them heroically & then Naksu will forgive him.

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I tend to appreciate the truck of doom trope. more when there's a twist, such as folks have mentioned with W's meta moment and with the divorce-seeking jerk in Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Another twist example is Goblin, where the female lead makes a calculated decision to save a group of young children from the TOD, and looses her own life in the process. There are plenty of KDrama leads and second leads that end up getting killed or injured saving one person from the TOD...not so many that end up saving a whole bunch of people.

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Yknow what would be funny & still make sense? Some school or crime drama talking about rising numbers of accidental deaths due to improper road crossing, & some rebellious kid or drunk ahjussi being all this is nonsense & jaywalking & then getting hit with TOD. Ofc in this case they'd be a crucial character or witness of some sort so their death would leave a mark on audience, teach some morality & serve an actual purpose besides just killing people with shock value.

Also never expected to see a thread asking about our fav ToD moments.... Colour me surprised 😲

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I am wondering what the truck of Doom does on its day off

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Goes for a wash and wax obviously. Maybe minor repairs after its last kill.

Come to think of it can anyone recall seeing a single scratch or broken headlight on those trucks after they do their business?

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what about a drama about a talking car who works as your helpfulneighborhood killer during day but is very vain and when it falls in love with a foreign car it tries to beat the curse of the trope and gets a new identity. except it is really hard to quit and re program. so there is a lot of close calls... Truck of Doom goes into disguise as Truck of Trot, wearing sequined suits etc...then of course never mind the cheesy humans, it has to rush tosave its love. high fuel prices almost put itto sleep forever.... but alien technology turns it into a star powered care whose energy comes through a wormhole

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I am worried about like the way you think!

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Probably try to free himself of being "a doom at people's service" and tries to become a normal truck

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Goes out on a date with Steven King's Christine.

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I am going to go way back to Sang Doo, Let's Go To School. Our ne'er do well but good-hearted hero (a young Rain) suffers all sorts of hardships and makes all sorts of sacrifices for his adorable sick daughter, meets up with his childhood sweetheart and our leading lady (a young Gong Hyo Jin), who I think may have had her own set of hardships, and after much melo they manage to get back together. If I recall, our hero even paid his dues to society (because as we all know, Kdramas almost always believe in justice on the way to forgiveness). And then at the very end, while rushing into each other's arms, in front of the adorable daughter, they are wiped out by the ToD, leaving the adorable daughter to be raised by an even more erratic, and less good-hearted mother. That, my friends, was my first conscious introduction to the ToD, and I have never forgotten it!

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Shut Up Flower Boy Band.
It was both the most memorable one and my least favorite one. It was unexpected, devastating and powerful.

If we’re going to talk about danger tropes, how about also doing a thread on the booty scoot? You know, when a person is running away from danger, predictably falls, then tries to flee by 1/2 crab walking backward and 1/2 scooting away while dragging their bum on the ground.

Or the one where a person is being choked and instead of using large muscle movements to break free (or kicking them in an unhappy place), they just clutch the person’s hands while pointlessly scraping the ground with their feet.

Or the one where a person is in an accident and the first thing the onlooker does is cry while shouting the person’s name for about 5 minutes. Then - instead of doing something wacky like calling 119 or administering CPR - they flip the potentially spinal injured person over so they can cradle them while crying some more. 🤦‍♀️

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