The King’s Affection, The Tale of Nokdu and more: 4 impressive Gender Bender K-Dramas to watch

Take a look at some amazing gender swapping K-Dramas to add to your list!

Published on Oct 22, 2022   |  02:44 PM IST  |  1.1M
The King’s Affection Poster; Picture Courtesy: KBS
The King’s Affection Poster

The tone of gender-swapping dramas is set by the things their characters stand to gain through their deceptions: Girls pretending to be boys and vice versa. Over the years, there have been many K-Dramas that uses gender swapping to do subtle queer baiting and incite romance so let’s take a look at some of our favourites :- 

1. The King’s Affection 

The story is set during the Joseon Dynasty, at a time when twins were considered an ominous sign. As a result, when the Crown Princess Consort gives birth to twins, an order is sent to kill the daughter. To save her, she is secretly sent out of the palace. A few years later, the twin daughter Dam Yi returns to the palace to work as a maid. When the male twin, Lee Hwi, loses his life through a case of mistaken identity, their mother, having recognised her daughter as court maid Dam Yi, persuades her to take Lee Hwi's place. Although she distances herself from everybody, Lee Hwi (Dam Yi) starts developing feelings for Jung Ji Woon, her original first love and later teacher who comes from a noble family. Park Eun Bin plays the role of Lee Hwi (Dam Yi), a ‘happy go lucky’ young prince who was killed due to a case of mistaken identity. Dam-yi is Lee Hwi's twin sister, who was disposed of at birth but saved from death at her mother's order; she worked in the palace as a court maid, but was forced to take the title and responsibility of the Crown Prince due to her twin brother's death. She hides her real identity to everyone, as well as hiding her affections to her first love. SF9’s Rowoon plays the role of Jung Ji Woon who is Inspector Jung's son who grew distant to him. He is a physician at Samgaebang, but is hired to be the Royal Tutor for the Crown Prince.

2. The Tale of Nokdu 

Set in the Joseon dynasty, the series is about a man who disguises as a woman to enter a mysterious women-only village in search of the truth about his birth; and a young woman who does not want to become a kisaeng in pursuit of revenge for her family. Jang Dong Yoon played the role of a smart and athletic man who, due to an incident, enters an all-women village where men are strictly forbidden. To do so, he dresses himself as a woman in the guise of the widowed Lady Kim Nok Soon. Kim So Hyun played the role of Dong Dong Joo, a clumsy and hot-tempered kisaeng trainee who has no skills in performing arts, but is an artisan. Wanting to take revenge on the man who wronged her family, she uses her skills in developing a concealed weapon.


3. Coffee Prince 

The drama follows Choi Han Gyeol (Gong Yoo) who is the grandson of chairwoman Bang (Kim Young Ok) of Dong-in Foods, a company that has a thriving coffee business. He has never had a job and does not care for responsibility. Han-gyeol is hung up on his first love, Han Yoo Joo (Chae Jung An), who only sees him as a friend. Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) is a 24-year-old tomboy who is often mistaken for a guy. Her father died when she was 16 years old and since then she has taken over as the breadwinner in her family. When Han Gyeol and Eun-chan meet, he, not knowing that she is a girl, decides to hire her to pretend to be his gay lover so that he can escape the blind dates arranged by his grandmother.

After getting an ultimatum from his grandmother, Han Gyeol takes over a rundown old coffee shop, later renamed "Coffee Prince," to prove that he's capable, both to his grandmother and to Yoo Joo. In order to attract female customers, he only hires good-looking male employees. Eun Chan, desperate for money, continues to hide her gender to get a job at Coffee Prince. Soon, feelings start to develop between Eun Chan and Han Gyeol. As Han Gyeol is unaware that Eun Chan is a woman, he starts to question his sexuality and is thrown into turmoil. When Han-gyeol finds out that Eun Chan is a woman, he gets angry. But soon, they make amends with each other and the two fall in love again. Eun Chan eventually leaves for Italy to study to become a barista with Han Gyeol's support. They maintain a long distance relationship and she returns after 2 years having become an accomplished barista.

4. Mr. Queen 

In the modern age, Jang Bong Hwan (Choi Jin Hyuk) is a chef who works at the Blue House. He has a free spirit, but one day finds himself in the body of Queen Cheorin (Shin Hye Sun) in the Joseon period. King Cheoljong (Kim Jung Hyun), the reigning monarch, is a gentle and easy-going person. However, he is only King in name, while the true power is wielded by the late King Sunjo's wife, Queen Sunwon (Bae Jong Ok), who has relegated Cheoljong to a figurehead. Queen Cheorin soon discovers that the King is not what he seems, and that he has a dark and suspicious side to him.


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Which drama are you adding to your list? Let us know in the comments below. 

About The Author

A BMM graduate, Anoushka has been writing professionally for over 2 years. K-Pop and K-Dramas consume her day and she...

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