8 Of The Most Iconic Grandmothers And Mothers In K-Drama History

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s almost Mother’s Day! So, what better time to celebrate the best grandmothers and mothers in K-Drama history?

Although often hidden by the leads, these women have proved themselves time and time again that a mother can be an amazingly complex character Even if you don’t know their names, you have most likely found them in some of your favorite series and know them quite well.

It’s time to highlight these actresses’ hard work!

1. Kim Mi Kyung

It’s practically impossible to make a list about mothers without mentioning Kim Mi Kyung. She has been in many hit K-Dramas and has played a motherly role more times than we can count! In fact, this motherly queen has been impressing audiences since the ’80s!

Her emotional portrayals of these amazing mothers have made plenty of audiences cry buckets. She truly proved that a mother is not a character to be ignored.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: It’s Okay to Not Be OkayHi Bye, MamaHer Private LifeGo Back Couple20th Century Boy and GirlAnother Miss Oh, and The Heirs.

2. Kim Young Ok

Well known as the “Nation’s Grandma,” Kim Young Ok has been mastering the stage and screen since 1957! She is truly a master of her craft, and she knows it! Most K-Drama fans will recognize her and her characters. If they don’t, they need to watch more shows, stat! She has truly worked her way into everyone’s hearts with her kind demeanor.

Mouse | tvN

Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Coffee PrinceBirth of a BeautyShopaholic LouisWelcome to WaikikiHer Private LifeLove Alarm, and Mouse.

3. Youn Yuh Jung

Largely gaining her popularity (and even an Oscar!) for her role as the grandmother in the American movie Minari, Youn Yuh Jung is a veteran in the industry and always delivers in her motherly roles. Not to mention she is extremely versatile, going from sweet to cold in moments for her roles.

Minari | A24

Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: MinariA Good Lawyer’s Wife, Be Strong, Geum Soon!, The King 2 Hearts, CanolaBoomerang Family, and The Old Garden.

4. Kim Hae Sook

With some giving her the title of “National Mother,” Kim Hae Sook has built an impressive resume of many motherly roles (and more)! She is usually the main lead’s mother, and more often than not, she sucks us in with a powerful performance that leaves us crying or thinking for days.

Pinocchio | SBS

Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Winter SonataPinocchioI Can Hear Your VoiceAutumn in My Heart, and Mother.

5. Lee Hyo Choon

Although she is probably much less known than the others on the list, most K-Drama fans will recognize her from one of the most iconic K-Drama memes ever. Yes, Lee Hyo Choon is the savage mother who performed the amazing “Kimchi Slap” in Everybody, Kimchi! Such a historical moment deserves a place on the iconic moms list! Not to mention the many motherly roles she has played over the years.

Everybody, Kimchi! | MBC 

Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Everybody, Kimchi!, Three Brothers, You Are The Only One, My Lovely Family, and Winter Sonata.

6. Kim Sun Young

Kim Sun Young has a wide variety of roles but has mostly become popular for her motherly roles… especially for Crash Landing On You and Reply 1988. Her wise-cracking nature, along with her loving and emotional side, has definitely made her an iconic actress.

Crash Landing On You | Netflix

Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Crash Landing On You, Reply 1988, Because This Is My First Life, Backstreet RookieMoment at Eighteen, and Her Private Life.

7. Lee Il Hwa

Lee Il Hwa is the perfect example of an actress showing just how versatile a mother figure can be. From ambitious, to weak, to long-lost birth mother, to neighborhood ahjumma, Lee Il Hwa has made herself known throughout much of the K-Drama community.

You Who Came From The Stars

Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Reply 1988You Who Came From The StarsDoctor StrangerHer Private Life, A Man in A VeilChoco Bank, and She Was Pretty.

8. Lee Jung Eun

Although she became largely popular as her role of the housekeeper in Parasite, veteran K-Drama lovers will probably recognize her more as the mother in several popular series. Despite her chilling performance in Parasite, her mother characters are often the soft, sweet, and caring type, tugging at every viewer’s heartstrings.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Some of Her Eomma/Halmoni K-Dramas/Movies: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok JooFight For My Way, My Holo LoveWhile You Were SleepingThe Light In Your Eyes, and Hi Bye, Mama!