Teen and high school themed stories are quite a popular genre of Korean dramas. They can be relatable, nostalgic, and also offer a little wish fulfillment for some of our teenage fantasies. I’m fairly picky when it comes to this genre and tend to prefer teen dramas that are more dramatic rather than realistic. But both types of stories made my list of personal favorites when it comes to teen and high school dramas. So let’s move onto the list!

10. Lingerie Girls’ Generation

Lingerie Girls' Generation Korean Drama - Bona and Chae Seo Jin

Plot: Lingerie Girls’ Generation is about teenagers growing up in the 1970’s in a rural town. Relationships are turned upside down after a girl from Seoul transfers there.

Lingerie Girls’ Generation is very much a slice of life teen drama with a nostalgic feel to it both in look and tone that completely captures its 1970’s setting. It’s breezy and fun as we get to know this group of teenagers and go along with them on their relationship journeys. Yet behind the fun was a melancholy undertone as it follows some serious issues the teens have to deal with. The drama develops a very bittersweet quality to it as it progresses.

It delivers at being both a cute and fun relationship drama as well as a thoughtful and poignant look at life in 1970’s Korea. It’s a very moving and heartfelt drama that offers a little something different. (Lingerie Girls’ Generation Review)

9. Monstar

Monstar Korean Drama - Yong Jun Hyung and Ha Yeon Soo

Plot: A singer (Yong Jun Hyung) in a popular boy band has to go to high school to clean up his image. He gets involved with an odd transfer student (Ha Yeon Soo) who is talented in music, and they become part of a band with several other students all dealing with difficult issues.

Monstar is a very fun and compelling drama with a refreshing focus on music. It beautifully weaves the music into the narrative of the story, and the songs frequently reflect the emotions the characters are going through at the time.

The students all have difficult things they are dealing with, and their stories are all presented well which allowed me to emotionally connect with them. It created a heartfelt and moody atmosphere that I found very pleasant and refreshing. Monstar is a great example of a well done high school drama. (Monstar Review)

8. White Christmas

White Christmas Korean Drama - Baek Sung Hyun, Kim Young Kwang, Kim Woo Bin, Sung Joon, Lee Som, Hong Jong Hyun, Kwak Jung Wook, Lee Soo Hyuk

Plot: A group of eight students and their teacher are the only ones left at their prestigious school located deep in the mountains during Christmas break when a snowstorm cuts them off from civilization. After all of the students receive a cryptic letter, they soon learn there may me a murderer among them. Trust within the group quickly deteriorates as everyone finds themselves fighting for their lives.

This teen drama is quite a bit darker, but it’s one of my favorites. It’s an intense drama that delivered a lot of suspense as we watched a game of life and death play out when students found themselves facing a killer.

The atmosphere was very dry, stark, and lonely with some excellent music to really set the mood for the drama. White Christmas is a very fascinating exploration of the human mind and the lengths we might go to in order to survive. Definitely a memorable drama. (White Christmas Review)

7. Sassy Go Go

Sassy Go Go Korean Drama - Jung Eun Ji, Lee Won Geun, Ji Soo, Chae Soo Bin, and N 2

Plot: The unpopular dance club and an elite group of high achieving students at a high school are forced to come together when their clubs are combined into a cheerleading club in order to enter a competition.

Sassy Go Go is such a pleasant watch. It’s cute, fun, and heartwarming. Throughout the drama, we watch our students come together as a team to participate in a cheerleading competition. We see them struggle, grow, and become closer friends.

Our  main couple played by Lee Won Geun and Jung Eun Ji was pretty darn cute. And Ji Soo put forth a wonderful performance our sweet second lead. The 12 episodes passed by quickly with this one. (Sassy Go Go Review)

6. Playful Kiss

Playful Kiss Korean Drama - Kim Hyun Joong and Jung So Min

Plot: A high school girl (Jung So Min) moves into the home of her popular crush (Kim Hyun Joong) after her house is destroyed. The drama follows their relationship through high school, college, and beyond.

Playful Kiss is light and cute with a fun feel to it. It’s classic kdrama with the cold boy and the quirky and obsessive girl. Jung So Min was adorable, and she truly was the highlight of the drama.

I thought it was particularly nice to see our characters go through high school and college together over a several year period. Don’t expect anything grand or different with Playful Kiss, but just enjoy the laid back feel and the little world it creates for you to experience. (Playful Kiss Review)

5. Dream High

Dream High Korean Drama

Plot: Teens pursue their dreams and face life’s challenges at this musical high school.

Dream High is probably the most well known musical kdrama and for good reason. These teens from different walks of life come together in pursuit of their dreams at this musical school. It has one of the best love triangles with both guys having a genuine chance to win the girl. And it’s full of fun and catchy songs to sweeten the ride along the way.

4. Reply 1997

Reply 1997 Korean Drama - Seo In Guk, Jung Eun Ji, Hoya, Shin So Yool, Eun Ji Won, and Lee Shi Eon

Plot: The story of a group of friends living in Busan during the 1990’s as they develop relationships and fall in love.  

Reply 1997 is one of those dramas that really stirs up all of those feelings of nostalgia because of its 90’s setting. The friendships depicted felt real and genuine. We also had a nice love triangle with a fun “who does the girl end up marrying” mystery. I really enjoyed our group of friends that made Reply 1997 a great watch. (Reply 1997 Review)

3. Orange Marmalade

Orange Marmalade Korean Drama - Seol Hyun

Plot: Vampires and humans now coexist together, but vampires must keep their identities secret since they are still feared among the people. A complicated love story begins between a teenage vampire (Seol Hyun) who transfers to a new school who draws the attention of a popular human (Yeo Jin Goo) who fiercely hates vampires.

For the most part, Orange Marmalade is a classic teen drama with a side of vampire fantasy. But there is another interesting side to it that I can’t go into since I don’t want to spoil it 😉 I really enjoyed the high school romance and sympathized with the vampires struggle to fit into human society. There’s also a nice little bromance. The visuals and music in this drama were truly outstanding too. There was just so much beauty to see along with such a sweet story. (Orange Marmalade Review)

2. The Heirs

Heirs Korean Drama - Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye

Plot: The complicated love life of a rich teenager (Lee Min Ho) and an ordinary girl (Park Shin Hye) who gets involved in his world.

The Heirs tends to get a bad wrap as far as dramas go, but boy did I love it! It’s teen angst and melodrama at its best as you just get dropped into this world of rich kids and love triangles. All of the problems feel big and the presentation of them feels very dramatic. For those who like these sorts of stories, it really is a hefty dose of soapy goodness. (The Heirs Review)

1. Boys Over Flowers

Boys Over Flowers Korean Drama - Lee Min Ho, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum, Kim Joon

Plot: Four rich, handsome guys (Lee Min Ho, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum, Kim Joon) rule the school, but their world is turned upside down by a spunky transfer student (Gu Hye Sun) who steals their hearts.

Boys Over Flowers is the classic high school drama that is practically required viewing for any kdrama fan. People tend to love or hate this drama, and as you can see, I happen to be in the love camp.

The drama is messy, angsty, and full of misunderstandings and outlandish scenarios, but it sure is addicting and a whole lot of fun! Just embrace it for what is and go on a crazy journey in this kdrama classic. (Boys Over Flowers Review)

As you can see, my list of favorites contains a little bit of everything in the genre from more slice of life realistic stories to teen melodramas and even a bit of fantasy and thriller is included. It’s a wide variety for sure!

What are your favorite teen and high school Korean dramas?

For more Top 10 lists, check out these:

10 Best Korean Dramas - Boys Over Flowers (Lee Min Ho and Gu Hye Sun), Rooftop Prince (Park Yoo Chun), Flower Boy Next Door (Yoon Shi Yoon and Park Shin Hye), My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Lee Seung Gi and Shin Min Ah), Shopping King Louie (Seo In Guk and Nam Ji Hyun), Kill Me Heal Me (Ji Sung), Bridal Mask (Joo Won), I Miss You (Park Yoo Chun and Yoon Eun Hye), King of Baking (Yoon Shi Yoon, Eugene, Joo Won), Pinocchio (Lee Jong Suk, Park Shin Hye) 

10 Best Action and Crime Korean Dramas - Jung Kyung Ho, Joo Won, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Gi, Park Min Young, Lee Min Ho, Lee Joong Gi, Lee Je Hoon, Kim Hye Soo, Jo Jin Woong, Ma Dong Suk, Seo In Guk 10 Best Korean Melodramas - Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, Yoo Seung Ho, Park Min Young, Jang Geun Suk, Yoona, Han Ji Min, Yoon Shi Yoon, Lee Seung Gi, Han Hyo Joo, Park Yoo Chun, Yoon Eun Hye, Seo Shin Ae, Kim Woo Bin, Suzy

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20 responses to “10 Best Teen and High School Korean Dramas”

  1. Timescout Avatar

    Oh, I whole heartedly agree with Monstar, White Christmas, Sassy Go Go and R1997. None were flawless of course. Lignerie Girls was ok I suppose, but not my cup of tea so I dropped it. The rest, weelll… better left unsaid. 😉 I’d add School 2013 to the list as well.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Haha, well you like about half the list, so yay to that! Definitely some entertaining dramas and fun memories 🙂

      1. Timescout Avatar

        I was rather “cranky” to begin with so I never fell that easily to the kdrama charms. 😄 I do have some fun memories of live watching BoF, though that was with loads of eye rolling and groaning. Especially towards the end.

        Oh, how could I forget! Shut Up Flowerboy Band would definitely be on my list. I rather loved it. 😊

        1. Kay Avatar

          Well, at least you still have a few good memories of it, lol. I think most people’s lists would include SUFBB and School 2013. Two fan favorites that I just didn’t really care for. Although I still loved the Lee Jong Suk/Kim Woo Bin bromance for sure 🙂

          1. Timescout Avatar

            I guess most of us have dramas that everyone else seems to be gaga about, but we just can’t see the draw.

          2. Kay Avatar

            Yep, I think every single person is guaranteed to dislike at least one drama (usually many more) that everyone else loves. Just like going the other way, sometimes we can love a drama that everyone else hated. You just never know, lol

  2. kwenzqoatl Avatar

    Nice too see Playfull Kiss in there. Have you ever watched any of the other versions of it?

    1. Kay Avatar

      Definitely a classic 🙂 No, I haven’t seen any of the other versions. Have you?

      1. kwenzqoatl Avatar

        I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every version possible. lol and will continue to do so the more times they continue to remake it. I’m a sucker for this kind of story.

        1. Kay Avatar

          Haha, well I have to agree. I really like that type of story too 🙂

    2. Cheyenne Avatar

      Yea, I have watched the Japanese version of it…

  3. a n g e l Avatar

    SASSY GO GO and REPLY 1997!!!! 😍😍😍

    1. Kay Avatar

      Yay! Love them both 🙂

  4. D Avatar

    Reply 1997 would have to be my favourite but BoF will also have a special place. I think it’s one of those dramas you just have to watch and enjoy without being too analytical. That being that they must have done something right since it was so popular. I don’t much understand how some people are critical of it yet they watched and enjoyed it. For me if I watch a show and I enjoy it that’s a good show. 😂 perhaps I am a little too simple haha

    1. Kay Avatar

      Boys Over Flowers has a special place in my heart too 🙂 Exactly! It’s definitely one of those dramas that you have to just take it as is and go with the flow. It does get a lot of hate, but honestly, it is still incredibly popular, and I think many more people love it. Sometimes when people dislike something they are just more vocal about it, lol.

      But I’m like you, as far as I’m concerned, if I enjoy it, it’s good. Of course, I can usually see a dramas flaws, but I don’t go into a drama looking for perfection. I just want to enjoy myself and if it gets the things right that I typically enjoy than I can be very forgiving of other stuff. So as messy as a drama like BOF is, it was so much fun for me that I gave it a 10 anyway! hehe 🙂

      1. D Avatar

        haha yep. agreed.

  5. libraryofthoughts Avatar

    Everything but Monstar. That show just irritated me. The main characters were a mess to me.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Haha, well 9 out of 10 isn’t too bad 😉

  6. Choding's Girl Avatar
    Choding’s Girl

    The Classic BOF, The socialite theme The Heirs, The fun loving character of 90’s Reply 1997, Our cold-hearted prince charming of Playful Kiss, The cheerful and cheeky students of Sassy Go Go was also my favorites. Episode 1 of Monstar was engaging tho because of the short clip video I saw on SNS.
    I’ll add Reply 1988 as my Top Favorites on teens and kdrama. But most of your Top 10’s are on my list too. ^^

    1. Kay Avatar

      Yay! Glad you love so many of these dramas too 🙂 They really were a lot of fun, and there really are some kdrama classics on the list. I also enjoyed Reply 1988 too. There are a lot of great teen dramas out there 🙂

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