Too many people with Memory Loss in Korea :)

Currently there are 3 Kdramas (Forest, Find me in your memory, Eccentric Chef Moon) based on Memory loss, looks like amnesia is a huge problem in Korea :smile: is that what Kdrama writers go to when they cannot think of a plot?




Winter Sonata (2002): Kang Joon-sang soon falls in love with Yoo-jin. Joon-sang is badly injured in a car accident and suffers from amnesia.
Spring Waltz (2006) The lead, Yoon Jae Ha / Lee Soo Ho was a poor boy adopted by rich family and educated as world class pianist. He loses his memory for a while.
Queen Inhyun’s Man: Kim Boong Do and Choi Hee Jin take turns getting amnesia. He gets it the first time the time-travel talisman gets cut. She gets it when he burns the talisman.
My Princess: Lee Seol suffers from temporary memory loss.
Who Are You: School 2015 Eun-bi, one of two identical twins separated in childhood jumps off a bridge in a suicide attempt. The injured and amnesiac Eun-bi is mistaken for her twin, Eun-byul who is missing.
Iljimae (2008): Lee Gyeom (Lee Joon-gi) is forced to throw a rock at his mother’s head to prove that he isn’t her son, he loses his memory for the shock and is adopted by a retired thief.
Brilliant Legacy/ Shining Inheritance (2009)
Defendant: Park Jeong Woo
The Master’s Sun: Joo Joong Won
I have a Lover: Do Hae Kang
The Moon That Embraces the Sun (2012): The Crown Princess, Yeon-woo is diagnosed with an unidentifiable illness, expelled from the palace. She is given a temporary spell which mimics the appearance of death and is buried for a while. Traumatized by being buried alive, she loses all of her memories.
Uncontrollably Fond (2016): Shin Joon-young, Kim Woo Bin’s character, gets amnesia.
I Can Hear Your Voice (2013): The male lead, Park Soo Ha, gets amnesia halfway through the drama.
Hwayugi - Son Oh Gong gets amnesia in the last episode, after he defeats the dragon. Useless for the plot.

Amnesia as suppression of childhood trauma

Kill It: A professional assassin doesn’t remember his childhood and tries to get clues.
Incarnation of Money (2013): Lee Cha-don grew up in an orphanage and became a prosecutor with no memories of his past.
Secret Garden (2010): A childhood trauma caused the male lead, CEO Kim Joo Won, to have a defective memory and claustrophobia, causing him to be unable to take lifts.
Hello Monster / I Remember You (2015) The male lead can’t remember important parts of his early childhood
Good Doctor: Here too, Park Shi On, the autistic male lead, can’t remember parts of his childhood.
Healer (2014): The female lead, Young-shin (played by Park Min-young), is a strong-willed internet news reporter. She finds out about her hidden past as the lost child Oh Ji-an. Due to her abusive past,is traumatized and suffers from panic attacks whenever she sees violence.
Suspicious Partner (2017): Ji Chang-wook as the male lead, lawyer Noh Ji-wook, has a childhood trauma about a fire which caused the death of his parents, and doesn’t remember the events clearly. This leads to a misunderstanding with his beloved.
What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018) - The male lead has a sort of selective amnesia, to suppress childhood traumatic memories.

Amnesia because of disease:

A Thousand Days’ Promise (2011): traditional melodrama about a woman Lee Seo-yeon (played by Soo Ae), who is losing her memory because of Alzheimer’s and the loving man, Park Ji-hyung (played by Kim Rae-won), who stands by her side.
Birth Secret/ The Secret of Birth (2013): Jung Yi-hyun is a genius who suffers from psychogenic amnesia and does not remember her husband (Hong Gyung-doo) and young daughter. The drama is about Yi-hyun’s journey to putting together the pieces of her lost memory with her husband’s help.
Fated to Love You - Gun gets amnesia because of his disease and he momentarily forgets his beloved.
Memory (2016): One of my favourite dramas ever. The main lead, lawyer Park Tae-suk, played by awesome Lee Sung Min, is diagnosed with Alzheimer as well.
Kill Me Heal Me: Amnesia because of dissociative identity disorder. The male lead has multiple personalities and his main personality is generally not aware of what happens when his other personalities are in control, so he essentially has partial amnesia / memory gaps
Let Me Introduce Her (2018): Female lead gets memory loss after undergoing plastic surgery.

Induced amnesia

W: After Yeon-joo rewrites the comic, Kang Chul forgets everything that happened.
Legend of the Blue Sea - Heo Joon Jae forgets he met Shim Cheong in Spain after she kisses him and erases his memory.

Amnesia because of death

Goblin - The Grim Reaper had to forget his past life to work peacefully. Well I don’t know if that counts as amnesia, it’s part of the job.
Oh My Ghostess: same thing here, the ghost doesn’t remember the circumstances of her death.
Cheo Yong - A policeman who can see ghosts is assigned a precinct station that is haunted by a teenage ghost who wants to regain the memories of who she was and why she died.
Rooftop prince: The characters don’t remember what they were in their past life.
Arang and the magistrate (2012): The female ghost doesn’t remember the circumstances of her death.
Fight on, ghost! The girl who was in a coma, when she’s a ghost doesn’t remember how she was hit, and when she wakes up, doesn’t remember what her ghost persona did.
Chicago Typewriter: All the characters don’t remember what happened in their past life. They eventually remember it, though.
Black (2017): The Grim Reaper cannot remember why he became a grim reaper
Familiar Wife: Not exactly memory loss, but since it’s a time-slip/parallel universe drama, all the characters except for the lead who time-travelled, don’t remember their relationship with him

Amnesia because of an accident

Stairway to heaven (2003): The evil female second lead hits the female first lead with her car, and she loses her memory.
Save the Last Dance for Me (2004): Hyun-woo (Ji Sung) is the heir to his father’s chemical company. One fateful night when, after a failed attempt on his life, Hyun-woo loses his memory in a car accident. Eun-soo (Eugene) and her elderly father, take him in, nursing him back to health.
Eighteen, Twenty-Nine/ 18 vs. 29 (2005): Yoo Hye-chan (Park Sun-young) is a 29-year-old housewife who’s unhappily married. A car accident causes retrograde amnesia which makes her mentally revert to that of an 18-year-old girl.
Bad Family (2006): Baek Na-rim is a nine-year-old girl. One day, while on their way to a family vacation, Ha In-soo, an unscrupulous businessman causes a car crash where her entire family dies. Traumatized from the accident, Na-rim now suffers from amnesia and speech impairment.
Couple or Trouble (2006): After a quarrel with her husband, the spoiled rich first lead gets drunkenly pitched overboard and falls victim to a bad case of amnesia. The male lead makes her think she’s his girlfriend and makes her take care of his three orphaned nephews.
Time Between Dog and Wolf (2007): Soo-hyun, the male lead gets shot in the head and loses control, his car then falls off the port wharf into the sea. He wakes up later in a wise old lady’s house, suffering amnesia.
Boys over Flowers (2009): Gu Jun Pyo gets amnesia in the last few episodes after a fall, and doesn’t recognize his beloved.
Cain And Abel (2009): Cho-in (played by So Ji Sub) os shot in the head and left in the desert in China to die.but he is rescued by miracle. He has amnesia for a time, is given a new name by his rescuer, but his new persona is angry and seeks vengeance.
49 days (2011): The female lead, Ji-hyun loses her memory and gets in a coma because of a traffic accident. She’s given a chance to recuperate if she succeeds in a mission.
Haeundae Lovers/Lovers of Haeundae (2012): A newly-wed prosecutor, Lee Tae-sung, goes undercover to infiltrate a crime family in Haeundae, Busan. Attacked by his quarry and thrown into the sea, he loses his memory. He falls in love and marries Go So-ra, a mob bosse’s daughter.
Jang Bo Ri is Here (2014): When she is a child, Eun-bi is hit by a truck and loses her memory. She is raised by a stranger whom she considers her mother.
Innocent Man: The girl, Seo Eun-gi meets with an accident and loses her memory for more than a year. Towards the end of the drama, Kang Ma-ru loses his memory as well after a surgery.
Trot Lovers (2014). The main lead Jang Joon-Hyun (Ji Hyun-Woo), loses his memory around episode 10 because of an accident.
The Girl who Sees Smells (2015): Choi Eun Seol, the female lead, after being hit by a car becomes comatose and when waking up, she has lost some of her memory but gained the ability to see smells.
My Love Eun Dong (2015): Eun Dong meets an accident and loses her memory. Her boyfriend, desperate to find his true love again, commissions a ghost writer to write his story. Eun Dong takes the job and while writing the book, remembers stuff.
Psychopath Diary: The male lead has amnesia after being hit by a police car. He then believes he’s a psycho killer because of a diary found in his pocket.
Shopping King Louis (2016): The rich male lead forgets his identity after hitting his head on a fire hydrant.
Devilish Joy (2018): After a car accident, the male lead Gong Ma-seong (played by Choi Jin-hyuk) suffers from short-term amnesia: his memory does not last more than a day.
100 Days My Prince The Crown Prince gets amnesia after hitting his head from a fall and lives as a commoner.
I wanna hear your song: The female lead gets selective amnesia because of a car accident. She doesn’t remember the time just before and just after the accident.
Eccentric Chef Moon: The female lead gets amnesia because of a fall after a car crash.


Very thorough list irmar! I’ll just add a few.

Let Me Introduce Her (2018): Female lead gets memory loss after undergoing plastic surgery. With the help of her plastic surgeon doctor/friend, she works to rediscover those lost memories.

Black (2017): The Grim Reaper cannot remember why he became a grim reaper, and while working with the female lead, he realizes how they are connected. The female lead also somewhat has selective memory.

For Chinese drama…
Goodbye My Princess (2019): The couple both jump into the River of Forgetfulness, and recover their memories mostly near the end of the show.


I added them to the list, by pruning some more words from my post. I was already over the allowed 10.000 characters, and I had to eliminate much of the descriptions in order to keep the whole list in one post.

(I didn’t even touch Chinese or Japanese dramas, first of all because I’m not knowledgeable, and secondly because the thread would become a river. And well, thirdly because the original poster was talking about Korea)


Thanks for the detailed response. Wonder if the writers know that the viewers are getting tired of the same go-to plot. It looks like the writers require a back story for the characters and start the real story in the second episode and they go to memory loss to deal with the actual real story line. But it does not have to be memory loss, or a back story required. I am actually getting tired of characters with heavy back stories.

“Melo is my nature” actually makes fun of writers doing that, and the main character wants to do a TV series without these stereotypes, it was a very intelligent series but slow, not sure the ratings would have been high for that one, but i liked it.



I suspect that Korean viewers actually like those tropes. Otherwise there would be no reason for the writers to use them so much.
Same with the “They knew each other as children”. I was complaining about it somewhere, how childish and over-used it is, and some Koreans and Japanese came to say “Oh, no, I love it when this happens, it means they were destined to be together”
Obviously the Far Eastern viewers have different tastes than we do in some matters. And that would explain things that are otherwise hard for us to understand.


Oh wow! You have been keeping track for sure! What a list! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:
Seeing is believing, though. It’s such an overused concept, now I am really not too keen on such plot devices, even if they try it a little differently each time.

K-writers out there, please try something fresher and new. PLEASE!

They are not exempt. To be fair, it’s not just K-writers. But I don’t think Cs or Js are anywhere near as overplayed as K-dramas (or perhaps I’ve watched far more K-dramas than those, lol). Just from a comparative sense of it :roll_eyes:, not based on any list like the above.

Gosh! I agree. This is another overused, overplayed plot device. Same with being orphans and growing up in the same orphanage; same with being “a destined pair”. :roll_eyes:

They obviously don’t as of yet. Or can’t be bothered to try something else. After all, K-dramas are so popular worldwide, I guess they believe viewers will just take whatever they dough out, esp. with chest-baring oppas :hugs::relaxed: (I hope I’m wrong here). The day when we see more of something fresher, something new, being explored, would be the day we know they know it’s time to serve viewers new ideas, not reused and overused ones such as these - memory loss, childhood connection, destined to be together, etc.

Having said all of the above, I am sadly still too in love with Kdramas to ignore them. Oh well, a bathroom break or two, or a snack break or two :coffee::cupcake:, isn’t too bad? :crazy_face:

PS: Actually, I am far more upset and mad :rage: with a horrible ending, than any of the above.


again I repeat, vampires, whiches,(and our mispelled words!) did that on purpose, mermaids, Aliens, Atlantis mystery, and some of myths some Korean/Chinese myths & legends
hey that 9tailed fox was cute so why not some of these. I got an idea!! being we are so bored why not sit down and write a story and send it to the writers, well they can redo whats need to be redone… hehehehehehehehe, yeah right!

really some of these shows like the amnesia, remember the mind problems like psychological problems, last year, few years ago the vampires & witches, ghosts and such. you are right why can’t they come up with something we can enjoy and please no robot stories!! cooking themes might be good, not like the guy with a memory loss,that new one, I will watch today7. the rich guy poor girl, run in the ground!! a genealogy mystery

a cozy mystery, agatha chrity type the sherlock holmes ones they had here was nice, and enjoyable, getting tired of the lovey dovey type stories, too many of them. I don’ t mean to sound like I am knocking them, or I don’t like them ,I do, its just too many.

I did love Kill it, and hated the ending, they could have done something better. that guy didn’t have to be killed!!, healer my favorite, yes the memory loss, and the triggered memory just gotta live with that I guess. loved kill me heal me, but 7 annities? well can’t forget the faces of eve, sorry that was an english one.weird is all.Irmar a great list I am not going to respond to all of them, a or most were good that I what I watched/

oh yeah Black, we cant forget that one! oh yeah they knew each other as children, cinjderella ^ four knights, I know we are discussing amnesia but thats just one .

and yes still love Kdramas.
so as you can see granny is bored!!! hehehehehehehehe


I found some interesting ones no memory loss my roommate is a detective, I have got to watch that essentric chef. and memory loss? think I will watch that today/ Blessings y’all have a great day!

1 Like

Here is your reply, my friend. There are always some people who actually love this. And not only East Asians, apparently.

(The screenshot is from the Timed Comments of “I’ll Go To You When the Weather Is Nice”)



i have started to watch, i also hate bad endings I have go0tten into more genealogy lately, crocheting, sewing and planting my garden. so not as bored


Totaly agree with you :laughing:

1 Like

that eccentric chef, I really hope it gets I plan to do some cooking, found a recipe I gotta try! only reason I got the ingredients! hehehehe

It won’t. It’s a dinosaur drama. It feels as if it has come directly from the 2000s. If it weren’t for things like mobile phones and modern cars, I could have been mistaken about its date. All the old cliché plot devices, the old situations…
I still watch it, just before going to bed. It’s calming. And because I had missed Eric Mun’s dreamy eyes so much.


heres another memory loss one, anyway seemed that way, rich guy poor girl. it is now getting boring but going to finish it. and think I did that wrong, its face rrecognition, he doesn’t remember faces. weird is all

a new one is about the chef and that woman designer, shes forgetful due to an accident. hope it gets better yeah excentric chef. and irmar I am on 3rd episode, he played in that another whats her name, sorry can’t think of it at the moment.


Okay, I know this topic is really old and @irmar had blessed us all with a huuuuuuuge list of amnesia dramas… I checked every single one of her reccs. I watched 100DMP, Shopping King Louis, The Girl Who Sees Smells, Familiar Wife, Goblin, Legend of the Blue Sea, W, Suspicious Partner, Who Are You School 2015, and Psychopath Diary.

However, I wasn’t really satisfied with any of them, except Psychopath Diary, Shopping King, and maybe 100DMP. Are there any more interesting dramas revolving around amnesia? Ones where one of the main leads has amnesia, and proper amnesia, not selective memory loss like in Suspicious Partner, or past-life amnesia like in LOTBS, or different-dimension/time-slip amnesia like Familiar Wife.

Has anyone found any? I really like the concept but they usually aren’t executed well and there’s no point watching a train-wreck just for a trope I like.


Oh, dear! After looking at your Dropped List - I don’t know what to recommend as most of those dramas have suspense, melo and heartache to offer … LOL and you are dropping them like hot potatoes.
So, what else can I suggest, than one show that has it all - a guilty pleasure, you can’t really tell, why you keep on watching, but you can’t escape the spell. Okay, maybe you can, well try it anyway …
It is from Taiwan.

This one has a lighter note, still amnesia is tragic, you know :wink:


Good luck on your hunt! You’ve named the few I like and I don’t know all of them. I will tell you when I come across them. :face_with_head_bandage: :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


:sweat_smile: My friends really would kill me if they saw the dramas I’ve dropped… some of them are their favorites! I usually don’t really like melo/heartache in general, but there are some I’ve enjoyed.
Thanks for the reccs! I’ll check them out!^^


Why so critical? :wink: