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Team Good Boy and Chief Hong: All the subtle ‘Start-Up’ references in ‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’

By Hannah Mallorca Published Oct 13, 2021 5:43 pm

Kim Seonho—in all his dimpled glory—should be nominated as South Korea’s national treasure. 

From playing the cool, independent genius Han Jipyeong in Start-Up to the neighborhood all-around handyman Hong Dusik in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, there’s something about Kim Seonho’s charm that feels so magnetic. No wonder why he’s dubbed as the unofficial “son” of tvN.

Maybe it’s just us, but we’ve noticed subtle callbacks to Start-Up in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. Take a look at the easter eggs we’ve spotted so far:

Dusik sleeping in Hyejin’s car vs Dalmi sleeping in Jipyeong’s car

In Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Hyejin (Shin Minah) and Dusik travel to Seoul for personal reasons and to take the neighborhood lolas on a tour around the city. We can’t help but squeal when we see Dusik snoozing on their way back home, with the feisty dentist behind the wheel. Seonho’s character finally receives the attention he deserves!

On the other hand, Jipyeong turns out to be the mysterious driver who drove the exhausted Dalmi (Bae Suzy) to Sandbox. The reason: Dalmi traveled to a faraway location to persuade a potential investor.

Dusik and Jipyeong being the lola’s best boys

We can’t blame lolas for loving Kim Seonho’s boyish charm in Start-Up and Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. While Jipyeong and Dusik are stark contrasts, they share one thing in common—being the favorite boy of the series’ lolas. 

In return, Jipyeong and Dusik are determined to give and do everything for their lolas, even if they’re not related to him. Mrs. Gam Ri and Mrs. Choi are so blessed!

Rain makes everything more dramatic: Playful Dusik vs Sad Jipyeong

The rain has a significant meaning for Jipyeong and Dusik. For Jipyeong, it's a heartbreaking backdrop since he discovers that Dalmi doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. To make matters worse, he also finds out that she’s in love with Dosan (Nam Joohyuk) the whole time.

Thank heavens for Dusik, since the rain is a sign of a blooming love story with Hyejin. They’re not aware of each other’s feelings yet, but their kilig moment is a good sign of what’s to come. 

Jipyeong in a staff t-shirt vs staff Dusik

K-drama fans raised their eyebrows at Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha episode six when Dusik shows up as the staff of the village’s talent show. This moment, as small as it is, turns out to be a callback to Jipyeong snatching a staff t-shirt from his Sandbox junior in the company’s demo. We saw what you did there, writers!

Fireworks make moments more romantic: Dosan vs Dusik

As much as we rooted for Jipyeong in Start-Up, Dosan and Dalmi’s fireworks moment in Start-Up is one for the books. The endgame couple’s first meet-up isn't eventful, but their drive to Sandbox is super kilig. A fireworks display is ongoing during this time and they have to stop and admire the sight. Dalmi says they're  pretty, and Dosan agrees. But he is only looking at her.

On the other hand, we squealed when Dusik gets a fireworks moment of his own. He and Hyejin are strolling after their surprise performance when they are greeted by fireworks. The latter is mesmerized by the sight, saying “it’s really pretty.” Meanwhile, Dusik doesn't mind the sight since his attention is all on her.