If you are looking to save time while watching your favourite Kdramas, then you can never go wrong with a short Kdrama.
I have curated a list of the best short Korean dramas that have stellar storylines, amazing plot development, and solid characters.
Kick back this weekend and relax with these amazing Kdramas with less than 16 episodes!
The dramas on this list are between 3 and 13 episodes—but they’re fast-paced, swoonworthy, and very entertaining!
Here are 21 short Korean dramas that you should watch right now:
1. The Sound of Magic – 6 Episodes
Starring: Ji Chang Wook as Ri Eul, Choi Seung Eun as Yoon Ah Yi, and Hwang In Yeop as Na Il Deung.
Plot: When Yoon Ah Yi meets magician Ri Eul, she’s a broke high school student ridden with debts, and slugging through afterschool jobs to cater for herself and her younger sister.
Together they find the deeper meaning of love, friendship, and magic.
2. Move To Heaven – 10 Episodes
Starring: Lee Je Hoon as Cho Sang Gu, Tang Jun Sang as Han Geu Roo, and Hong Seung Hee as Yoon Na Mu.
Plot: Cho Sang Gu, an ex-convict, becomes a guardian for his nephew Geu Roo—a 20-year-old with diagnosed autism—after his brother dies.
He is bound by a contractual clause that says he has to handle the business for atleast three years before he gets his bite of the inheritance.
What follows is a deeply meaningful exploration of grief and hope, and they both grow towards a deeper understanding of familial bonds.
3. The Hymn of Death – 6 Episodes
Starring: Lee Jong Suk as Kim Woo Jin; Shin Hye Sun as Yun Shim Deok; Park Seon Im as Jung Jum Hyo; and Lee Jin Hoon as Hong Nan Pa.
Plot: Based on true events, this heartbreaking and emotional rollercoaster of a Kdrama takes place during the japanese occupation.
The lovers are drawn together by their love of politics but will face many problems in their short-lived affair.
• See also: 25 Best Korean Dramas with Less than 10 Episodes
4. Strangers From Hell – 10 Episodes
Starring: Im Si Wan as Yoon Jong Woo; Lee Dong Wook as Seo Moon Jo; Lee Jung Eun as Eom Bok Soon; and Ahn Eun Jin as So Jung Hwa.
Plot: Yoon Jong Woo rents a cheap tiny apartment, and while he isn’t pleased by the environment, he doesn’t mind sticking it out.
That’s until mysterious things start happening in the living complex and he is forced to live with neighbors that equally terrify and amuse him.
5. Argon – 8 Episodes
Starring: Kim Joo Hyuk as Kim Baek Jin; Chun Woo Hee as Lee Yeon Hwa; and Park Won Sang as Shin Chul
Plot: This political thriller drama revolves around a set of journalists in their quests to tell authentic news without succumbing to the pressures of bureaucratic red tape, society, and their conscience.
6. Happiness – 12 Episodes
Starring: Han Hyo Joo as Yoon Sae Bom; Park Hyung Sik as Jung Yi Hyun; and Jo Woo Jin as Han Tae Sook.
Plot: Sae Bom earns a highly-coveted spot in a new apartment complex, just as the city task force shuts it down to prevent the spread of a killer disease.
Their imposed quarantine reveals the ugly nature of social caste system and gives a glimpse of what might happen in an alternate universe.
7. Sassy Go Go – 12 Episodes
Starring: Jung Eun Ji as Kang Yeon Doo; Lee Won Keun as Kim Yeol; Chae Soo Bin as Kwon Soo Ah; Kim Ji Soon as Seo Ha Joon; and Cha Hak Yeon as Ha Dong Jae.
Plot: This drama is set in a highly-competitive school and follows teens that are brutal and fervent in their pursuit of education.
Viewers are treated to an unabashed portrayal of the South Korean educational system.
8. Splash Splash Love – 2 Episodes
Starring: Yoon Doo Joon as King Sejong Yi Do; Kim Seul Gi as Jang Dan Bi; and Jin Ki Joo as Queen So Heon.
Plot: Run don’t walk to watch this delightful Kdrama special about a young girl that’s transported more than 100 years to the past during a rainstorm.
Dan Bi is down on her luck and together with King Sejong, she experiences a once-in-a-lifetime love with a Joseon ruler.
9. Kill It – 12 Episodes
Starring: Nana as Do Hyun Jin; Jang Ki Yong as Kim Soo Hyun; and Roh Jeung Eui as Kang Seuk Gi.
Plot: Another titillating show from Kdrama sweetheart, Jang Ki Young. Sparks fly between a veterinarian and a detective in this thriller/suspense Kdrama.
And, that would be fine, except that sexy serial killer on the lose and Hyun Jin, the detective in question, is on the prowl.
10. Pegasus Market – 12 Episodes
Starring: Kim Byung Chul as Jung Bok Dong; Lee Dong Hwi as Moon Sul Goo; and Jung Hye Sung as Jo Mi Ran.
Plot: This drama revolves around a failing supermarket and a host of employees that are determined to resurrect it.
Each with their own unique stories and motivations, this drama presents interesting insights on the human mind.
11. Mistress – 12 Episodes
Starring: Han Ga In as Jang Se Yun; Shin Hyun Bin as Kim Eun Soo; Choi Hee Soo as Han Jung Won; and Gu Jae Yi as Do Hwa Young.
Plot: Mistress follows a set of girlfriends and charts their journeys to self-discovery.
With a healthy dose of thriller elements, this will a great short watch if you’re looking for a Kdrama to binge this weekend.
12. Imitation – 12 Episodes
Starring: Jung Ji So as Lee Ma Ha; Lee Jun Young as Kwon Ryuk; Park Ji Yeon as La Li Ma; and Jeong Yun Ho as Lee Yoo Jin.
Plot: If you have ever wanted a realistic peek at how idols live and thrive in the system, then this will be an amazing addition to your watchlist.
Imitation shows the politics that goes on backstage, and vignettes of the heartbreaks and sacrifices idols have to make in their journeys to the top.
13. Just One Bite – 8 Episodes
Starring: Kim Ji In as Ha Eun Sung; Seo Hye Won as Im Soo Ji; Jo hye Joo as Jeon Hee Sook; Lee Shin Young as Lee Chan Hyuk; Park Sun Jae as Ha Tae Sung; and Kim Chul Min as Joo Woo Kyung
Plot: This drama promises vignettes of relationships, breakups, and work struggles.
It features three friends with totally different personalities navigating life and learning about themselves.
14. Train – 12 Episodes
Starring: Yoon Shi Yoon as Seo Do Won; Kyung Soo Jin as Han Seo Kyung; Shin So Yool as Lee Jung Min; and Lee Hang Na as Oh Mi Sook.
Plot: What if you could visit another world and find out how things would have turned out if you took different decisions?
In this fast-paced drama, Seo Do Won wrestles against time—and oftentimes his alternate self—as he tries to catch an inter-dimensional serial killer.
15. Longing Heart – 10 Episodes
Starring: Lee Jung Shin as Kang Shin Woo; Seo Ji Hoon as Kang Shin Woo (young); and Lee Yeol Eum as Han Ji Soo.
Plot: Kang Shin Woo accidentally travels ten years into the past and tries to find out why the affection between himself and his crush waned and how they ended up in an impossible situation.
16. Conspiracy In The Court – 8 Episodes
Starring: Jin Yi Han as Park Sang Kyu; Kim Ha Eun as Lee Na Young; and Lee Chun Hee as Yang Man Oh.
Plot: This drama follows a pair of social disruptors as they fight and love their ways towards building a better country for their descendants.
17. Mad For Each Other – 13 Episodes
Starring: Oh Yeon Soo as Lee Min Kyung; Jung Woo as Noh Hwi Oh; and Lee Su Hyun as Soo Hyun.
Plot: Mad For Each other shows humans at their most vulnerable, learning the meaning of love, how to receive love, and how to give love.
If you want a quick watch this weekend, don’t hesitate to pick this title up. It promises heartbreaking laugh-out-loud moments that will make you both laugh and cry.
18. My Secret Romance – 13 Episodes
Starring: Sung Hoon as Cha Jin Wook; Som Ji Eun as Lee Yoo Mi; Kim Jae Young as Jeong Hyeon Tae; and Jung Da Sol as Joo Hye Ri.
Plot: Pick up this title if you don’t mind a few racy scenes!
In My Secret Romance, viewers are treated to a couple that tries to set things right after a one-night stand, and fall in love while doing so.
It’s funny, and sweet, and you will love these cheeky actors.
19. Choco Bank – 6 Episodes
Starring: Kai as Kim Eun Haeng; Park Eun Bin as Ha Cho Co; and Yoon Joon Suk as Bae Dal Su.
Plot: If you want another delightful short Kdrama about characters in their twenties navigating the workforce while learning about themselves every step of the way, you would enjoy this title.
The characters develop in such an achingly sweet way and you will enjoy watching them cross hurdles and fall in love with each other.
20. Click Your Heart – 7 Episodes
Starring: Mina as Kwon Mi Na; Zuho as Baek Ju Ho; Chani as Kang Cha Ni; Ro Woon as Kim Ro Woon; and Dawon as Lee Da Won.
Plot: An extraordinary pick-your-ending drama between one girl and four boys.
They all fall head over heels for her and viewers can pick their preferred endings!
21. How To Buy A Friend – 8 Episodes
Starring: Lee Shin Young as Park Chan Young; Shin Seung Ho as Heo Dong Hyuk; and Kim So Hye as Uhm Se Yoon.
Plot: This is a short, fast-paced drama that follows Chan Young and Dong Hyuk as they solve the mystery surrounding the sudden suicide of Se Yoon—Chan Young’s girlfriend.
That’s a wrap.
There’s something for everyone in the Kdrama industry.
So, whether you’re ready for an epic saga that may take you months to complete, or you want to take advantage of a short road trip, or you’re simply multi-tasking, rest assured that there’s a Korean drama that’s fits the bill.
I post regularly about Asian entertainment, so if you fancy some doomscrolling (haha!), check out our Asian cinema category.