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Contract Marriage Kdrama: A Guide to the Most Popular Plot Device in Korean Dramas

Korean dramas, or Kdramas, are known for their unique storylines and intricate plot devices. Among these, the contract marriage trope is one of the most popular and recurring themes. It involves two characters who enter into a marriage agreement, usually for personal gain, and end up falling in love with each other. This plot device has been used in various Kdramas, and its popularity remains constant. In this article, we will explore the contract marriage kdrama and its various aspects.

What is a Contract Marriage Kdrama?

A contract marriage kdrama is a romance drama that revolves around the concept of a fake or temporary marriage. The male and female lead characters agree to marry each other for a specific period or reason, usually a business or political purpose. However, as they spend time together and get to know each other, they develop feelings for each other, and the initial contract transforms into a genuine emotional connection.

Why is the Contract Marriage Trope So Popular?

The contract marriage trope is popular among Kdrama fans for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a unique and exciting premise for a romance story. The fake marriage aspect adds a layer of complexity to the relationship between the two characters. Secondly, this plot device allows for a slow-burn romance, where the couple takes time to fall in love. Viewers get to see the characters grow and develop, making the emotional payoff at the end all the more satisfying.

Examples of Popular Contract Marriage Kdramas

There have been several contract marriage Kdramas over the years, with varying degrees of success. Here are some of the most popular ones:

1. Full House: Released in 2004, Full House is considered a classic among Kdrama fans. It follows the story of a famous actor, Lee Young-jae, and a writer, Han Ji-eun, who enter into a fake marriage to solve their respective problems.

2. Lie to Me: This 2011 drama stars Yoon Eun-hye and Kang Ji-hwan as two characters who enter into a sham marriage that eventually turns into a real relationship.

3. Marriage Contract: This 2016 drama stars UEE and Lee Seo-jin and follows the story of a single mother who enters into a marriage contract with a wealthy man to secure her daughter`s future.

4. Fated to Love You: This 2014 drama stars Jang Hyuk and Jang Na-ra and follows the story of two characters who get drunk and accidentally end up getting married. They later decide to stay together to prevent further damage to their reputations.

The Contract Marriage Trope in Modern Kdramas

In recent years, the contract marriage trope has undergone significant changes in Kdramas. While the basic premise remains the same, the stories now explore more modern themes. For example, the 2019 drama, Love Alarm, uses the contract marriage trope to comment on the changing attitudes towards marriage and love among today`s youth.


The contract marriage trope is a staple of Kdramas and has been used for decades to tell engaging and touching stories. Whether it`s a classic like Full House or a modern take like Love Alarm, the fake marriage premise continues to captivate and delight viewers. If you`re a newcomer to Kdramas, start with one of the contract marriage dramas mentioned above, and you`ll get a taste of why this plot device is so popular.