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These K-drama ‘eommas’ taught us the meaning of a mother’s love

By Hannah Mallorca Published May 06, 2021 8:18 pm

Eomma!” This high-pitched whine is familiar for all K-drama fanatics.

One of the qualities of an iconic K-drama is the eomma (mom) or eomoni (mother). She is the heart of the story, as her relationship with the main character will always play a role in their growth. Like every mother, they are perfectionists and hard to understand. But they love their children with all their hearts. 

A K-drama is one of the best ways to learn about our eommas. To celebrate Mother’s Day, here’s a look at our favorite moms in K-dramaland. 

Kang Hyesoo (Marriage Contract)

It’s tough to take care of your child when you’re suffering from a life-threatening disease. But single mother Kang Hyesoo  pushes through. 

Hyesoo is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in the beginning. As a result, she’s determined to secure Eunsung’s future. She decides to look for a husband who can be a guardian to her daughter when she dies. During her search, she also works in several jobs to provide for the family. 

This K-drama shows how far a mother is willing to go for her child, no matter how much it would cost her life. 

Ssangmundong eomoni trio (Reply 1988)

The three eommas are the heart of Ssangmundong. Even if Reply 1988 is about five childhood friends, the best scenes involve interactions with their mothers. They each have their own stories as they deal with the hardships of life and motherhood. 

Lee Ilhwa expresses her love by cooking big servings of food and being understanding with her children. When they go through tough times, she’s always there for them. Who can forget the tearjerking scene where she begs authorities to not arrest her eldest daughter for protesting against the government? 

Ra Miran is the “Singing Cheetah” of the neighborhood due to her sassiness and fiery temper. Despite being the most well-off in the bunch, she’s cold and distant to her family. Her strength as a mother is tested when her eldest child Jung Bong goes through a heart surgery. She stands her ground as the family’s pillar during this difficult time.

As a single mother to her two kids, Kim Sunyoung faces the challenge with her bright spirit. She may not be as good as Ilhwa in cooking or as rich as Miran, but she’s determined to give Sunwoo and Jinjoo the best. She’s aware of her family being poor, but she makes up for it by showering her children with love. 

Cha Yuri and Oh Minjung (Hi Bye, Mama!)

It’s painful to lose your mother unexpectedly. But for Cha Yuri who’s been dead for five years, it’s heartbreaking to witness your loved ones mourning in spirit. 

Yuri is given a chance to return to her family for 49 days. Since her passing, her husband Ganghwa has already remarried and her daughter Seowoo grew up thinking that her stepmom Oh Minjung is her biological mother. 

Contrary to the typical evil stepmother trope, Minjung is a mother who prioritizes Ganghwa and Seowoo over herself. She tries her best to be understanding of the circumstances while listening to all sides of the story. Even if she eventually discovers Yuri’s identity, she chooses to be sensitive about everyone’s feelings. 

Jo Kangja (Angry Mom)

There’s no greater pain for a mom than seeing her child in pain. As Jo Kangja witnesses her daughter Ah Ran being bullied, she’s determined to protect her child at all costs.

Kangja then goes back to being a high schooler to solve the mystery behind Ahran’s bullying. Thanks to her maternal instincts, she soon uncovers the underlying corruption, apathy, and power struggle at her daughter’s school. 

This story shows how far a mother is willing to go for her child’s safety.

Oh Dongbaek (When the Camellia Blooms)

Single parents bear the pressure of being a mother and father to their children. Oh Dongbaek is no different. 

To provide for her son Pilgu, Dongbaek manages a small bar in the countryside. However, her painful experiences become the center of gossip. She remains strong and focused on giving her child an abundant future. 

Dongbaek’s story is one of the main reasons why this K-drama was a huge hit among domestic and international viewers. 

Go Eunsook (Go Back Couple)

Many mothers allow their children to spread their wings when they arrive at a certain age. Go Eunsook is one of them, but she becomes her daughter Jinjoo’s guidance in making life-changing decisions. 

As the K-drama starts, Jinjoo is mourning over Eunsook who passed away on top of her divorce. She miraculously returns to her younger self where she is able to see her mother again. Even if Eunsook is unaware of Jinjoo’s identity, she helps her daughter understand the hardships of marriage and family. 

Eunsook may only be a recurring character in this K-drama, but she shows a mother’s willingness to be a source of strength for her children.