10 Things Worth Revisiting in ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo’

10 Things Worth Revisiting in ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo’

Recall the things that made you fall in love with this classic K-Drama! Filming locations are also found below.

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

The Rundown

  • Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a 2016 Korean drama that stars Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk, and Lee Jae Yoon, who play the roles of Kim Bok Joo, Jung Joon Hyung, and Jung Jae Yi respectively.

  • The series has 16 episodes in total and originally aired on MBC from 2016.11.16-2017.01.11.

  • Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is currently available for online streaming and download on Netflix.

Also read: LOOK BACK: Inheritors

What We Love About this K-Drama Series

A lot, for sure. But here we list 10 things and scenes that we think are worth rewatching:

1. This trio and their sausage

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

First few minutes into watching Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo and we found ourselves instantly captivated by the quirky trio comprised of Bok Joo, Seon Ok, and Nan Hee. They’re loud talkers, badasses, and women of mean strength. They are also big eaters who are particularly fond of CVS sausages and grilled meat, among others.

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Throughout the drama, we see the girls fully supporting each other, be it when Kim Bok Joo gets into the national team, Seon Ok facing a family dilemma, or Nan Hee getting into drunken troubles. They strive to be truthful and protective of each other, and they always exude swaaag. This is definitely a group that’s hard to break.

(You’ll find the exact same stick sausages sold in any 7-Eleven or CU for around ₩1,000, which roughly converts to ₱50 or $0.9.)

2. Nan Hee’s famous pick-up line: “Do you like Messi?”

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Nan Hee loves boys, and she’s got some nifty tricks to lure them. On the first episode of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, she reveals one of them, and it starts off with the line: Do you like Messi? Nan Hee thinks that initiating a conversation about football star Lionel Messi will get her crushes to think that she’s “one of the boys” and therefore would like to spend time with her.

“If a girl likes Messi, guys [would] want to have a drink with her. Guys are attracted to girls who share the same interests as them.”
— Nan Hee (난희)

Pretty good thinking. In fact, Kim Bok Joo (and Jung Jae Yi!) makes good use of this tip as the story progresses, affirming what Nan Hee believes to be an effective strategy. (The pick-up line was also notably picked up by many viewers of the show, particularly those from the Philippines.)

Here’s a clip of “Do You Like Messi?” from Viki Global TV  if you want to have a lookback:

3. Jung Joon Hyung’s temperament

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Nam Joo Hyuk’s character Jung Joon Hyung in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo used to be a timid kid, but eventually grew up to be a warm, thoughtful, and fun-loving person. He plays the cocky guy in school, but once in a while he reveals his sensitive side and mature outlook. He’s a star swimmer with an unfortunate weakness, but he finds strength when he’s around his family and childhood friend Kim Bok Joo. During his spare time, you can find Joon Hyung hanging at a PC room (PC방).

4. Kim Bok Joo’s facial expressions

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Kim Bok Joo trained to become a weightlifter like her father because she grew up to love the smell of weights. She’s the type to work hard, focus on nothing else, and constantly strive to outdo herself in every competition. But tough as she may seem, she also has cute habits of making funny faces or speed walking, which Jung Joon Hyung likes and teases her for.

Image credit: MBC

5. Lee Jong Suk’s cameo

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Remember when Lee Jong Suk suddenly pops in at Bok Chicken as a student?

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

No? Well, it happened, and Jung Joon Hyung would definitely not feel happy about Kim Bok Joo’s reaction. Take a look at Lee Jong Suk’s cameo on Weightlifting Fairy via the clip below from MBC:


6. Song Shi Ho’s journey

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Unlike her typical gymnast peers who have all the time to poke fun at the weightlifters, Song Shi Ho faced some serious issues. She used to be a fine athlete (ribbon gymnastics), then she falls flat to everyone’s dismay. She used to be well-provided for by her parents, until her family gets broken due to financial incapacity. She used to be happy in Joon Hyung’s arms, but she made the mistake of pushing him away. She used to be healthy, until she chooses to overdose on sleeping pills. Life used to be bright for Song Shi Ho, until things rocked her core.

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

It’s not always easy to understand a character who’s mean-spirited (and someone who tries to get in the way of Bok Joo and Joon Hyung’s happiness), but Song Shi Ho turned out to be an inspiring character in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo who embraced her reality and found peace.

7. Kim Bok Joo going crazy in love

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Everyone could probably relate to this story arc: falling in love for the first time. You do all sorts of crazy things to catch the attention of someone and be with them. Kim Bok Joo almost loses it when she began to have feelings for Dr. Jung, who is Joon Hyung’s ‘brother’. She lied about being a musician (because Dr. Jung likes classical music), went against her prescribed diet, and deceived her coach, family, and friends. She even upped her fashion statement (and we love it!). Case in point below.

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

But despite being caught with her lies, she regretted nothing of it (which we respect). She gave all her best effort, after all.

Jung Joon Hyung had Bok Joo's back all the way.

8. Ji Soo’s ‘oppa’ role

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Yes, similar to #5, Ji Soo also happened. He had a longer screen time in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo than Lee Jong Suk, but it still felt short to us viewers. Perhaps his character’s few minutes with Bok Joo was enough to threaten Joon Hyung? No doubt. LOL.

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

But Nam Joo Hyuk and Ji Soo actually share a bromance in real life. Here’s one of their episodes from Celeb Bros, if you haven’t seen their part of the show:


9. Joon Hyung trying to win over Bok Joo’s heart

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

He fortunately finds the weightlifting fairy’s bucket list and fulfills them for her.

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Of course, at the end, he succeeds. He was able too woo his 통 (chubby).


10. Their happy ending

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Despite the physical distance, misunderstandings, trust issues, and insecurities, weightlifting fairy Kim Bok Joo and Jung Joon Hyung found their happy ending.

Image credit: MBC


FILMING LOCATIONS: WEIGHTLIFTING FAIRY KIM BOK JOO

For those who wish to visit particular shooting or filming locations of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, here are the addresses and directions we found on koreandramaland.com and hellokpop.com:

Bok Chicken or복치킨. Post credit: @from_hidemi on Instagram

  1. Oksunbong Peak

    • Filming location for the out-of-school activity trek-slash-competition that Kim Bok Joo wanted to ‘win’ at

  2. Cafe History Incheon

    • Shooting site for scenes with Joon Hyung and his psychiatrist

  3. Korea National Sport University

    • Weightlifting Fairy filming site for scenes that include Nam Joo Hyuk’s character’s training

  4. Myungbo Crossroad

    • This is the crossroad where Kim Bok Joo and Dr. Jung met. (Definitely a must-visit shooting location!)

  5. E-World

    • Weightlifting Fairy filming location for the amusement park scene with Bok Joo, Joon Hyung, and friends.

  6. Bok Chicken

    • Most of the scenes in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo were filmed here!


‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo’: Memorable Quote

Image credit:  MBC

Image credit: MBC

Here’s a sobering quote from this K-drama (Joon Hyung was talking to Shi Ho):

“Do you know why you are unhappy? Because of the gap between what you want and the reality. Try to be less greedy.”
— Jung Joon Hyung, 'Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo'

‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo’: Synopsis

Screengrab from  Netflix

Screengrab from Netflix

Here’s the synopsis from Netflix:

A rising [female] weightlifting star crosses paths with a childhood friend, a competitive swimmer, and realizes that she has a secret crush on his cousin.

You can watch the full episodes of ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo’ online (or offline!) on Netflix.

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