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Girls (And Boys) In Disguise: 10 Gender Bender Korean Dramas

Some of these make us want to pretend we're guys. Just saying.
PHOTO: sungkyunkwan scandal/KBS

Remember all those Korean dramas where girls had to pretend to be boys because of specific, awkward, and sometimes life-threatening situations? It sure looks like Mulan isn't the only girl who's got it tough out there! Over the years, K-dramas have featured girls dressing up as guys and becoming eunuchs, members of boy bands, and students in all-boys schools. Guess what? Sometimes, guys pretend to be girls, too!

Here are 10 gender bender K-dramas to binge if you're in the mood for some laughs and feels: 

1. Coffee Prince (2007) 

The stars: Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye

The sitch:  Choi Han-gyul (Gong Yoo) is from a rich family, has never had a job, and does not care for responsibility AT ALL. He finally tries to prove himself to his grandmother and to the girl he loves by managing a coffee shop called Coffee Prince. In order to attract female customers, he only hires good-looking male employees. Go Eun-chan (Yoon Eun Hye), who is often mistaken for a guy, hides her gender to get a job at his cafe. 

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No. of episodes: 17

2. You're Beautiful (2009)

The stars: Park Shin Hye and Jang Keun Suk 

The sitch: Ko Mi-nyeo (Park Shin Hye) lives a quiet life to fulfill her dream of becoming a nun. Her life goes crazy when she's forced to pose as her twin brother after his botched plastic surgery. She takes his place in a band called A.N.Jell. (just for a month, his manager promises) because a path to fame will help them find their real mom. She struggles to fit in with the other band members and has a hard time winning lead vocalist Hwang Tae-kyung (Jang Keun Suk) over. 

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No. of episodes: 16  

3. Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)

The stars: Park Min Young and Park Yoo Chun

The sitch: In the Joseon era, a time when women were not allowed to be educated, Kim Yoon-hee (Min Young) pretends to be a boy to earn a living as a book transcriber. Her family's dire circumstances and the encouragement of a noble's son finally drive her to attend the prestigious Sungkyukwan University, which is forbidden for females! There she becomes friends with a group of handsome men (yay!) while trying to hide her secret. 

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No. of episodes: 20 

4. Secret Garden (2010)

The stars: Ha Ji Won and Hyun Bin

The sitch: Hyun Bin plays a rich, bored heir to a department store chain and Ha Ji Won is a simple girl who works as a stuntwoman. Circumstances become really strange when their souls accidentally SWITCH BODIES, and, as they cooperate with each other to figure out what the hell happened, they slowly fall in love.

No. of episodes: 20

5. Ma Boy (2012)  

The stars: Kim So Hyun and Kim Sun Woong

The sitch: In this mini-series, Jang Geu-rim (Kim So Hyun) dreams of becoming a popular singer and transfers to an elite musical high school where her favorite K-pop idol also studies. She hopelessly gets entangled in secrets when she becomes the roommate of Irene (Kim Sun Woong), the most admired girl in the school—who turns out to be a boy in disguise! 

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No. of episodes: 

6. To The Beautiful You (2012)

The stars: Sulli and Choi Min Ho

The sitch: Goo Jae-hee (Sulli), a Korean girl who lives in the United States, sees a track and field competition on TV and she becomes attracted to one of the high jump competitors, Kang Tae-joon (Choi Min Ho). To get closer to Tae-joon, who is now her *inspiration*, she transfers to Korea to attend the same school as him—an all-boys school—where she cuts her hair and disguises herself as a male student! 

No. of episodes: 16 

7. Empress Ki (2013) 

The stars: Ha Ji Won 

The sitch: Ki Seung-Nyang (Ha Ji Won) is captured as a child and is sent to Yuan as a tribute slave. After a failed escape attempt, her family dies while saving her. She goes back to Goryeo (Korea) dressed as a boy and enters the service of a wealthy businessman with the intent to find the culprits behind her family's death. She grows up to be the most famous fighter in the country, but everyone still takes her for a man! She ascends to power and eventually becomes Empress. NICE. 

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No. of episodes: 51

8. Splash Splash Love (2015)

The stars: Kim Seul Gi and Yoon Doo Joon

The sitch: Jang Dan-Bi (Kim Seul Gi), a high school student, wishes she can escape reality and run away from her responsibilities. One day, while she's mimicking the children's game of making a wish while jumping in a puddle of rainwater, she is transported back in time to the 15th century! Here, she's mistaken for a eunuch and she enters the royal court where she befriends King Sejong the Great (Yoon Doo Joon), and they develop a cute and quirky relationship.

No. of episodes: 

9. Scholar Who Walks The Night (2015)

The stars: Lee Joon Gi and Lee Yu Bi

The sitch: This drama  

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No. of episodes: 20 

10.  Love In The Moonlight (2017) 

The stars: Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung  

The sitch: In this romantic period drama, Bo Gum portrays a young and mischievous Crown Prince who falls for Ra On (Kim Yoo Jung), a young woman who's pretending to be a male eunuch living in the palace. 

No. of episodes:  18 

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