K-Drama Diary: Revisiting The Most Heart-Warming Moments of “Itaewon Class”
Only a month following its end, Itaewon Class is still proving its impact.
Perhaps the most discussed drama emerging from this year so far, Itaewon Class has become one of the most beloved shows for drama audiences. It offers the inspiring rags-to-riches tale of a bar owner, Park Sae Ro Yi, who rises up against a corrupt conglomerate family that caused him to lose everything. The show also chronicles the lives of his supportive friends and the burgeoning romance with his bar manager, Jo Yi Seo.
Itaewon Class owes much of its popularity to its tackling of more serious themes including: revenge, discrimination, and success. Despite wrapping up its run on Netflix, the fervor for the show has not ended. Viewers continue to rave about the drama, appreciating the way it explored every avenue of the bitter and sweet parts of life.
Let’s look back on some of the most impactful scenes of the show that proved Itaewon Class was truly a special story to watch unfold and one that deserves re-watching.
THE MOMENTS PARK SAE RO YI INSPIRED US
One of the many reasons audiences were captivated by Itaewon Class was for its main character, Sae Ro Yi. With sensational actor Park Seo Joon portraying the soft-spoken but determined lead, viewers could not help but root for the charming and kind character.
- Park Seo Joon Talks About “Itaewon Class” Experience + His Various Friends And More In Esquire Korea’s Pictorial Interview
Here are our top moments that inspired and shocked us in his journey to success.
STANDING UP AGAINST BULLYING SCENE
Sae Ro Yi stunned audiences by his bravery from the early start of the show by standing up to a bully on his first day of school. However, he stops the bullying and causes a fight. Sae Ro Yi is expelled for his good deed, foreshadowing that his kind but stubborn nature, may not always work in his favor.
HONESTY COMES FIRST SCENE
Despite getting fined for unknowingly allowing minors to drink during the opening days of his bar, Sae Ro Yi does not argue with the police. Instead, he accepts responsibility and endears viewers. He later explains to Yi Seo that he does not compromise his honesty because he does not want to live his life that way.
HE DETERMINES HIS OWN WORTH SCENE
Sae Ro Yi finds out Geun Won is responsible for the murder of his father. He is sent to prison for assaulting him. While there, he meets fellow prisoner Seung Kwon, who insists their lives are over because of their crimes.
Sae Ro Yi insists that his prison time will not affect his dreams. That it is not Seung Kwon’s right to determine his value or his ability to achieve success.
HE PROTECTS HIS PEOPLE SCENE
Ma Hyun Yi has lackluster cooking skills so, Yi Seo asks Sae Ro Yi to fire her. Yi Seo also brings up the issue of Hyun Yi being a transgender and states that if word goes out, the customers might be uncomfortable.
However, Park Sae Ro Yi has never been the kind of person who overruled his principles. Here too, he stands for what is right. Instead of firing Hyun Yi, he raises her pay and asks her to improve her cooking skills.
He also tells his staff that if anyone has a problem just because Hyun Yi is a transgender, they should tell him right away. And he will fire the person who has a problem. Thus, Sae Ro Yi protects his people in his own way while also putting his trust in them.
YOU ARE MY END GOAL SCENE
Sae Ro Yi never allows the intimidation of conglomerate head and CEO Jang Dae Hee fluster him. He remains focused on his end goal to become more successful than Jangga Group, despite how impossible it may seem to achieve.
AGAINST DISCRIMINATION SCENE
After Tony is rejected entry at a club based on his skin color, Sae Ro Yi scolds Yi Seo for not supporting Tony against such discrimination. The drama received support for notably criticizing racism, a topic that is rarely discussed in other dramas.
ACCEPTING AND SUPPORTING SCENE
In one of the most significant moments of Itaewon Class, Hyun Yi is outed as transgender before the final round of her cooking competition. Despite knowing the competition’s significance to his business, Sae Ro Yi is the friend we could all strive to be.
He encourages her even if she decides not to compete. With this moral support, Hyun Yi admirably gathers strength and competes, ultimately emerging as the victor.
HIS LIFE PROMISE SCENE
Even after Geun Won is arrested and charged, Sae Ro Yi continues to pursue revenge against Jangga Group for covering up his dad’s murder, claiming it as his life promise. His relentless pursual of justice and of achieving his dreams despite threats from the conglomerate family is to be admired.
JUSTICE WINS SCENE
We thought we would never witness this scene-Jang Dae Hee on his knees and begging Sae Ro Yi for forgiveness. The scene was a poignant sentiment to Sae Ro Yi’s determination to find justice and revenge. At the series’ end, Sae Ro Yi was able to franchise his business and buy Jangga Group. He successfully overpowered the conglomerate who covered up his father’s murder.
While Itaewon Class focused on many heavy themes, the show was also interested in a light-hearted love triangle of its main characters. Sae Ro Yi’s longtime sweetheart Soo Ah, and the devoted Yi Seo were at constant odds to win Sae Ro Yi’s affection.
The show provided many heart-fluttering moments between the old lovers and new. Sae Ro Yi and Yi Seo quickly became the main pairing and fan-favorite because of their chemistry and banter. Yi Seo challenged Sae Ro Yi’s unchangeable nature, illustrating that change can be for the better.
THE REUNION SCENE
Before Yi Seo’s introduction, the drama showed the sweet reunion of Sae Ro Yi and the sweetheart of his young adulthood, Soo Ah, teasing a possible relationship. Finding her amidst the populated crowd in Itaewon on Halloween, their relationship seemed fated…at first.
THE FIRST MEETING SCENE
Sae Ro Yi and Yi Seo meet for the first time as he attempts to save her while she is being attacked by the mother of a bully she had filmed. Yi Seo is anything but grateful and cheekily sticks her tongue out as she leaves Sae Ro Yi, a hint of the joking interactions to come between the two.
THE ACCIDENT SCENE
One of the scenes from the webtoon Itaewon Class that inspired the show’s conception made its way into the drama. Park Sae Ro Yi once again saves Yi Seo, cushioning her fall as she flies off the back of Geun Soo’s motorbike. We appreciated this rare moment of slap-stick humour and an iconic moment of the original webtoon, being kept in the live show.
I WANT MY BITTER NIGHT AND LIFE TO TURN SWEET SCENE
After Sae Ro Yi saves Yi Seo from getting beaten up by a man she rejected on her birthday, the pair goes for a drink. She learns about his dreams of making his restaurant a success and forms feelings for Sae Ro Yi because of his quiet perseverance.
THE GAMBLE OF MY LIFE SCENE
Yi Seo decides to devote her career to managing Sae Ro Yi’s restaurant in hopes of helping him achieve happiness. Considering his determination and kind heart, Sae Ro Yi is a person we’d bet our lives on too.
OPENING UP SCENE
Sae Ro Yi finally opens up about his hard past and the manual labor he endured alone after being in prison. This moment broke our hearts as she traced his scars and cried. Viewers see Yi Seo’s sincere loyalty to Sae Ro Yi emerge as she vows to fight anyone who messes with him.
SECURING THE TRUTH SCENE
A crucial moment of the show occurs when Yi Seo records Geun Won confessing to the murder of Sae Ro Yi’s father. While Yi Seo must run away from Geun Won who tries to hurt her and destroy her phone, Sae Ro Yi comes to her aid at the perfect time.
ADMITTING IT ALL SCENE
In one of the most anticipated moments of Itaewon Class, Yi Seo abandons her two-year plan to make Sae Ro Yi fall for her, instead, bravely admitting her feelings for him.
We couldn’t help but root for the pair as we witnessed Yi Seo’s unwavering faith and love for him. Though rejecting Yi Seo, Sae Ro Yi must now confront the possibility of a relationship with her.
IT’S STILL BITTER SCENE
Following an emotional drink with his friends to celebrate the restaurant securing a franchise investment, Sae Ro Yi falls asleep. Yi Seo watches him lovingly and strokes his hair.
Recalling his loneliness and bitter nights trying to sleep, she questions if his life is still bitter, resolving to make it sweet.
I LOVE HIM MORE SCENE
Soo Ah insists that Yi Seo is fighting a losing battle; Sae Ro Yi has and always will love her. Yi Seo claims that she loves Sae Ro Yi more because unlike Soo Ah, she has helped Sae Ro Yi become rich and defeat his enemies at Jangga Group instead of watching him do it alone. Yi Seo proved she was the partner Sae Ro Yi needed at his side.
SAE RO YI BEGINS TO FALL FOR YI SEO SCENE
After pining for Sae Ro Yi for years, Yi Seo realizes that he has begun to like her. She explains that she knows him best; the guilt he feels for meeting Soo Ah is the indication. He is finally beginning to return her feelings.
SAE RO YI REALIZES HIS LOVE FOR YI SEO SCENE
As Seung Kwon reads him a promotional event for the restaurant that prompts customers to bring a person who they want to apologize to, give thanks to, who they experienced the scariest moment of their life with, and the luckiest. Sae Ro Yi realizes Yi Seo is the love of his life, rather than Soo Ah.
THE RESCUE SCENE
Sae Ro Yi coming to Yi Seo’s rescue was a recurring event in the drama. We were enthralled by the last and greatest rescue. After getting hit by a car during Geun Won’s plot to kill him, Sae Ro Yi leaves the hospital in search of Yi Seo after realizing she was kidnapped. His desperate effort to find her was a moment of devotion matching hers, one we had been waiting for the entire series.
BLUSTERING THROUGH LOVE SCENE
After Yi Seo’s kidnapping by Geun Won and her eventual rescue by Sae Ro Yi, the pair cutely exchange clumsy ‘I love you’ confessions in the hospital. Following their seemingly ill-fated relationship through countless obstacles, we were thrilled to see the couple begin to enjoy the start of their relationship.
THE ENDING: ACHIEVING JUSTICE, SUCCESS AND LOVE SCENE
Successfully overthrowing Jangga Group and franchising the business, Sae Ro Yi achieved every goal he had been working hard for. Moreover, he gained even more by finding Yi Seo, the greatest luck of his life.
After years of helping him attain happiness, Yi Seo finally had her love returned. It was the perfect end for our two leads who had struggled throughout the entire series.
SOO AH’S SWEET ENDING SCENE
Despite losing Sae Ro Yi, Soo Ah’s ending was a delightful surprise. While hiring a new chef for her restaurant, she interviews a handsome contender. Played by fan-favorite actor Park Bo Gum, this was a treat for the character and Itaewon Class audiences alike.
BONUS: STILL MISSING THE SHOW? RELIVE THE STORY EVEN FURTHER
Our favorites from the OST album:
Image Credit: jTBC | Netflix | Daum Webtoon
Video Credit: YouTube – The Swoon | VLENDING