1. High School Uniforms
This concept has been around since H.O.T, through Super Junior‘s heyday, and continues to be one of the most popular concepts in today’s K-Pop. It’s pretty much a rite of passage for idol groups. The kind-hearted BTS members became rebellious delinquents in this school-themed MV. They even trashed a classroom!
Lovelyz, on the other hand, were sweet honor roll students in the “Candy Jelly Love” MV.
EXO has one of the most memorable school uniform concepts in recent years. They extended this theme to their “XOXO” album, which resembles a yearbook.
2. Bad Girls And Bad Boys
If sugary concepts aren’t for you, don’t worry, there’s plenty of spice to go around because, deep down, everybody loves a badass. This concept has been around for decades, but thankfully it’s not going anywhere soon! Red Velvet transformed into glamorous criminals in this bad girl music video. In it, the members are guilty of vandalism, arson, and being way too damn hot!
Male idols groups seem to favor the badass concept slightly more than girl groups do, and have created countless music videos with this popular theme. A number of BTS’s early music videos showed off their “bad” side, like the “War of Hormone” MV.
BLACKPINK is also known for showing off their fierce side, and this video is no exception. Lisa has a katana and Jennie rides on a sparkling tank. What more could you want?
3. Boys And Girls Next Door
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the sweet and innocent guys and gals you’d take home to meet your parents. Many idol groups like to switch back and for between their good and bad sides but some groups, like TWICE, wear their goodie two shoes most of the time.
GOT7 were the ultimate, kind-hearted friends to a little girl in their “Just Right” MV. They assured her that she is beautiful just the way she is. GOT7 is great at bouncing between their “good” and “bad” sides, but this sweet MV remains a fan favourite.
K-Pop has played around with vampires, monsters, aliens, and a whole lot more! Everyone loves a good supernatural music video, and VIXX are pros at giving the people what they want. VIXX has had a number of supernatural-themed videos, and “Voodoo Doll” is one of their creepiest ones.
Dreamcatcher became hotel-haunting ghosts in their “Chase Me” MV…
…while EXO brought a fresh new twist to the classic werewolf story in their “Wolf” MV.
TWICE’s “Signal” MV is a fun, cheerful videos tha combines supernatural powers, retro outfits, and a human-alien romance. It follows the TWICE members as they try to express their feelings to an extraterrestrial crush.
Stylists around the world have a fascination with military fashion, and idols always look magnificent in them. So good, in fact, that we’re hoping this concept never fades away!
Although boy groups do this concept more often than girl group, Girls’ Generation proves that ladies look fabulous in uniform too. For this video, the members wore white, naval-inspired uniforms that highlighted their long, gorgeous legs.
SHINee brought uniform chic back into style in 2013 with their “Everybody” MV…
…and NCT U mixed street style and military fashion in their “Boss” MV.
Many K-Pop videos use themes and imagery from fairytales, as well as classic literature. BTS has become famous for drawing inspiration from lesser-known texts like Demian for “Blood, Sweat, & Tears”.
IU based this music video on “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Andersen. In this story, a peasant girl who cannot resist a pair of magical red shoes that begin as a gift but end up a curse; she can’t stop dancing and is unable to remove them. In IU’s music video, IU plays a dancer who puts on a pair of magic red shoes that chase after her once she takes them off.
SHINee‘s The Story of Light comeback series is loosely based on Jonghyun‘s favorite book, The Little Prince by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
K-Pop artists love to give nods to the past in their music videos, and who can blame them? There’s so much to explore! Triple H partied with a vintage, retro-futuristic aesthetic in their “Retro Future” MV.
TVXQ! paid homage to the early 20th century with slicked back hair and a jazzy sound in their “Something” MV.
While some K-Pop groups look to the past for inspiration, others look ahead to the future. High tech, sci-fi music videos are a K-Pop staple that we can’t get enough of. BIGBANG is one of the biggest trendsetters for this concept. Their ultra-popular “Fantastic Baby” MV combines sci-fi with dystopia and has some of the most memorable outfits in K-Pop.
Cosmic Girls blended fantasy and science fiction for their “Secret” MV, which revolves around space travel.
VIXX‘s dark sci-fi “Error” MV follows Hongbin as he recreates the woman he loved as a cyborg.
While BIGBANG paved the way for futuristic boy group concepts, 2NE1 did the same for girl groups. Their “Come Back Home” MV is set in a dystopian future where people spend their lives in a computer fantasy world, rather than in reality.
Love them or hate them, cutesy K-Pop music videos aren’t going anywhere. They’ve been around for years, as proved by TVXQ!’s old school “Balloons” MV. It doesn’t get any cutesier than this.
Jump ahead to 2018, and we have Oh My Girl‘s jungle-themed “BANHAHA” MV. If you look up “aegyo” in the dictionary, you’ll probably find a screencap from this music video there.
10. Everybody Loves the Same Girl/Boy
Now here’s a concept that has been done to death, and yet, we still love it! Here are just some of the many K-Pop videos that revolve around the every member in idol group going after the same girl/guy in their music video.