Friends-to-Lovers Done RIGHT

“We’ve been friends for years and years. But now that you finally got yourself a lover, I realize my deep-rooted feelings for you…

… And now, I’ll single-handedly ruin your current relationship due to my very own selfish reasons, but it’s all good! Because, we’re the MC of this ‘friends-to-lovers’ romantic comedy.

Okay, jokes aside, let’s be serious. We all love ourselves some of that “good best friends of many years figure out that they liked each other all along” trope. And that is exactly what we’re talking about here, today.

‘Friends-to-Lovers’ is another popular and well-loved romance trope. It’s thrilling when two leads who’ve only ever had each other’s backs and know each other’s deepest, darkest secrets realize that they were in love all along. It only took them too long to find out about their own true feelings. 

Now, now… Just like Enemies to Lovers, and every other romance trope, this one isn’t always great either. Imagine: You had romantic feelings toward your best friend for a very long time, but they don’t ever consider you more than just a BFF. However, right when you get over your unrequited love and find someone new, your so-called best friend now claims to have liked you all along and is willing to ruin your current relationship.

An example, that is just as tedious and true.

So, we have decided that it’s time we share some of our favorite ‘Friends-to-Lovers’ titles that we deem as ‘done RIGHT‘ – less of the pesky stuff, more of the fuzzy feelings.

chishiya: Adult Trainee is an anthology-style show, where two-three episodes among the total 7 episodes narrate a different story, each dealing with realistic problems teenagers may struggle with while dwelling in the dark depths of high school. It’s funny, refreshing and well-acted. As for the trope in question, the story told in episodes 3-5 tells a very swoon-worthy ‘friends-to-lovers’ romance story between a ‘conservative’ girl who recently broke up with her boyfriend,  and her close male friend, an athletic guy who had to give up on his football dreams due to an injury. There’s a pretend relationship trope in it as well, so I’d say it’s double the deal. The leads work great together, and I admit that the trope is definitely done very well in this show. With only 3 episodes, it depicts a charming love story as well as, tackles some realistic issues many teens may struggle with.

Burcu: You Drive Me Crazy is a gem, for those of us who had a crush or lingering feelings on our best friend would for sure understand after watching it. A short drama-special that shows us the cozy and comfortable love story of just two friends realizing their love for each other. As the title suggests, they actually do drive each other crazy when it comes to friendship. The story might not be unique, but it perfectly fits in this trope. The leads who became friends on a train because of a misunderstanding, to having feelings for each other, then denying it, was something fluffy I always wanted to see. The friendship of the leads felt real, also when it comes to their love relationship. It was beautiful, cute and warm, but short. The whole drama will feel like a beautiful poem that will be stuck in your mind.

Burcu: FAILing in Love is my most favorite webdrama, and I don’t know how many times I have rewatched this. Although I haven’t watched a lot of Korean rom-com dramas, but it’s one of the most unique dramas I have watched so far. The leads have been friends since their childhood, and two of them live in the same building. Though the Female Lead likes the First Male Lead secretly since childhood, she always has denied it in front of him. But is it really that simple when the second male lead loves the female lead since his childhood? Without a doubt, this could be the friends-to-lovers drama you are looking for. And you also could be puzzled, like many other audiences, to guess who will end up with whom.

chishiya: This is my best choice when it comes to this trope, although it is still currently airing. Bad Buddy could’ve been considered as ‘enemies-to-lovers’ at first, but I think this trope is far more fitting for it. Two boys, who were made to hate and compete each other on every little thing by their respective parents, realize that they’re tired of pretending to hate each other. So, they decide to become secretly friends. But, how long can they stay only as friends when what they feel for each other seems to be a lot more than just ‘friendship’? With genuinely moving performances, lovable characters and one of the best on-screen chemistry I’ve seen – Bad Buddy is the show that will pop up in my mind anytime ‘friends-to-lovers’ is the topic. 

chishiya: After all this sweetness, a bitter and more realistic side of the trope is well depicted in this award-winning 2018 film Us & Them. The rawness of this film’s writing, directing and acting is a big plus, and I thought that the love story between the characters was as realistic as it could get. They seemed to be the happiest with each other, but also the saddest. Their love was so consuming, that it was damaging them. I loved the pacing of the film, and how the two characters met and began to become each other’s favorite person – until, they realized that too much of a good thing is never ‘good’.

Thank you for reading!

What are your picks for ‘friends-to-lovers’?

What romance trope is your favorite? 

Comment down below! 

Edited by: Tine (1st editor)

adult trainee
bad buddy
you drive me crazy
failing in love

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