Second Lead Syndrome: The Struggle is Real

Second Lead Syndrome: The Struggle is Real

It has been proven that a significant amount of K-drama watchers suffer a commonly known illness. Symptoms include: a state of shock, acute depression, and disappointment.

It's known as Second Lead Syndrome, when the viewer would rather the lead character be with the runner-up in romance instead of the main love interest. Relatable?

Here are three of K-dramas biggest cases of Second Lead Syndrome:

Cheese in the Trap

Yoo Jung (Park Hae-Jjin) may have stolen the heart of Hong Seol (Kim Go-eun), but Baek In-ho (Seo Kang-joon) stole the hearts of many who have watched the K-drama, Cheese in the Trap. Baek In-ho was a bad boy with a soft heart, especially for Hong Seol. Even Hong Seol’s family enjoyed his company and treated him like he was a part of the family, but those signs were not enough for Hong Seol. Blinded by her love for Yoo Jung, she left Baek In-ho alone with a broken heart, but that did not stop him from caring about her.

She Was Pretty

Even though Hye-jin (Hwang Jung-eun) reunited with her childhood sweetheart, Sung-joon (Park Seo-joon), many individuals felt as though Shin-hyuk (Choi Si-won) would have been the better choice. Not only was Shin-hyuk funny and handsome, but he also accepted Hye-jin for who she was despite her looks and embarrassing moments. Whenever Hye-jin needed help, Shin-hyuk was always there, even if she didn’t ask for it, which made him perfect for Hye-jin. 

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Sometimes playing hard to get can work unless you are In Kook-doo (Kim Ji-soo). After concealing his feelings for Do Bong-soon for so long, it became a disadvantage for winning her love and instead she went for An Min-hyuk (Park Hyung-sik). Kook-doo looked out for Bong-soon’s best interest at heart when it came to giving her life advice. So much so, he was almost like Bong Soon’s big brother or guardian even though she didn’t really need one. Kook-doo’s thoughtfulness and caring heart towards Bong-soon made viewers believe he was the right one for her. 

These are only a few examples of some K-dramas that have caused viewers to have Second Lead Syndrome. Can you think of some more? Let us know in the comments below! 

Cover Image: Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (JTBC)
Written by Cris White