[[quoteright:225:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Hong_Gil_Dong_1608.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:225:From left: Seo Eun Hye, Hong Gil Dong, Heo Enok, Lee Chang Hwi]]

In 2008, [[TheHongSisters the Hong Sisters]] decided to try their hand at a sa geuk, or historical drama. Being who they are, however, their attempt morphed into an [[AnachronismStew anachronistic]] comedy littered with toilet humor, [[GagWords gag words]], and ridiculous puns. ''Hong Gil Dong'' (쾌도 홍길동, lit. ''Sharp Blade Hong Gil Dong'') is the result.

Based on a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Gil_Dong novel]] published during the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chosun Chosun era]], the story tells of Hong Gil Dong, the illegitimate son of a (political) minister who settles into a life of [[ProfessionalSlacker professional laziness]], after being discouraged by his father. He gets [[CallToAdventure the call]] and tries to repeatedly [[RefusalOfTheCall run away to China]]. [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive In a weird twist of fate]], his jealous half-brother In Hyung attempts to frame him for theft, and ends up [[MistakenForMurderer framing him for murder]]. In his efforts to [[ClearMyName clear his name]], Gil Dong gets [[UpToEleven framed some more]], and later becomes [[AccidentalHero leader]] of [[JustLikeRobinHood Robin Hood]]-like bandit group, Hwal Bin Dang.

Gil Dong's heroic efforts are repeatedly thwarted by KingIncognito Lee Chang Hwi who, after escaping an assassination attempt to China years ago, is back to reclaim his throne from his half-brother [[SanitySlippage Kwang Hwi]]. Chang Hwi's methods are [[NecessaryEvil less than honorable]] as he tries to avenge his mother's death and return to his rightful place. His encounters with Hong Gil Dong force him to [[HeelRealization reexamine himself]].

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!!This series provides examples of:
* AccidentalHero: Gil Dong.
** [[spoiler: His MistakenForMurderer story becomes a RobinHood-esque rumor.]]
** As he attempts to find the real murderer and clear his name, Gil Dong searches through different groups of crooks and ends up freeing their captives. He's not being benevolent, but rather trying to setback the crooks.
* AccidentalMarriage
* AccidentalTruth
* {{Adorkable}}: Enok
* AffablyEvil: Seo Eun Hye
* AffectionateNickname:
** Both Chang Hwi and Gil Dong call Enok "Dummy"
** Su Geun calls Enok "Doe Eyes"
** Enok calls Gil Dong her "Gallant Moonlight Black-Clad Sir."
* AltarTheSpeed: [[spoiler: Chang Hwi tries this with Enok. Gil Dong/Enok actually do this.]]
* AlternateAesopInterpretation: InUniverse: Young Gil Dong misinterprets all of the lessons the monk Hae Myung tries to teach.
** Hae Myung makes the young Gil Dong clean and sweep. ''Lesson taught'': Self-discipline. ''Lesson learned'': Nothing in life is free.
** Hae Myung makes him hang from a tree branch. ''Lesson taught'': Patience. ''Lesson learned'': Trust no one.
** Hae Myung makes him fill a leaky barrel. ''Lesson taught'': Non-possessiveness. ''Lesson learned'': Over-working achieves nothing.
** Hae Myung makes him repeatedly bow to pray. ''Lesson taught'': Tranquility. ''Lesson learned'': Shamelessness.
* AnachronismStew: Sunglasses, hip hop, techno, among others.
* YouFailHistoryForever
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: "When you look at them, don't you feel anything?"
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Su Geun to In Hyung in episode 7, while Gil Dong is experiencing HeroicBSOD.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Mandarin Chinese is brutally bastardized by the characters, especially by Mr. Wang.
* AxCrazy: King Kwang Hwi is [[TriggerHappy execution-happy]].
* [[BadassPreacher Badass Monk]]: Buddhist monk Hae Myung, a father figure to Gil Dong
* BelligerentSexualTension: Gil Dong and Enok
* BerserkButton: Kwang Hwi, who has a concubine executed for daring to think she can bear a son for the king. Apparently, his less-than-legitimate status has given him a complex.
* [[BlatantLies I ''Can'' See Her]]: Shim Chung's blind father
* BreakTheCutie: Gom [[SubvertedTrope subverts this trope]]. Gil Dong is GenreSavvy enough to know it's not going to happen.
* BrilliantButLazy: Everyone knows how smart Gil Dong is, but society rules that he would never arise much above the status of a servant. Even In Hyung, who knows this, feels threatened enough to frame Gil Dong.
* BystanderSyndrome: Gil Dong (repeatedly): "Why should ''I'' care?"
* CallingTheOldManOut
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: Gil Dong tries repeatedly to [[RefusalOfTheCall run off to China]], but then he is MistakenForMurderer.
* CallToAdventure: Hae Myung, Enok, the bandits, etc. - just about everyone that Gil Dong comes in contact with try to get him to do something better/different with his life.
* CharacterDevelopment: Gil Dong
* ChineseGirl: Enok plays with this trope.
* ClearMyName: Gil Dong
* CoolShades[=/=]SunglassesAtNight
* [[CreateYourOwnVillain Create Your Own Nemesis]]: Chang Hwi to Kwang Hwi: "[[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech You have no right]] to sneer at one who saves the poor. You created [Gil Dong], because you made the world poor. The poorer you make your people, the bigger he gets."
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Enok's grandfather Heo
* DeathFakedForYou[=/=]FakingTheDead: Chang Hwi. [[spoiler: Gil Dong.]]
* DerailingLoveInterests: [[spoiler: Chang Hwi, after TheReveal.]]
* TheDeterminator
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler: Enok's adoptive Grandpa Heo]]
* DistantFinale: The last scene takes place in modern-day South Korea, long after the characters are dead.
* [[spoiler:DoNotGoGentle]]: The ending.
* DoubleSpeak: [[spoiler: Chang Hwi gives Enok his mother's pin, saying that it is only fit for a queen. Enok recognizes that as a marriage proposal and promptly gets out the pin her grandfather Heo had given to her for her future marriage to Gil Dong, saying that it suits her better. That is, she's choosing Gil Dong over Chang Hwi.]]
* TheDragon: Lady Noh
* EmpathicEnvironment: In the scene where Gil Dong last confronts Kwang Hwi, the day immediately changes to night to signify the darker turn of the scene [[spoiler: (and story)]].
* EpicFail: Enok does this, as a RunningGag
* EpunymousTitle
** Throughout the series, the name 'Hong Gil Dong' is discussed as if it isn't one person in particular, i.e. ''Hong Gil Dong is alive through you.'' Hong Gil Dong is a placeholder name in Korea, like John Doe.
** Also, the Korean title is Sharp Knife/Blade/Sword Hong Gil Dong. In the ending narration, Hae Myung says, "''The sword that looks the world in the face, takes note of it, and changes it in any world, there must be a Hong Gil Dong.''" That is, anyone who stands up against injustice is a sword, or anyone is Hong Gil Dong.
* [[EverybodyWasKungFuFighting Everybody Was a Martial Artist]]
* EtTuBrute: Gil Dong [[spoiler: to In Hyung]]: "Do you hate me that much?"
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: [[spoiler:Enok/Gil Dong]]
* FauxReigner: Enok plays with this trope to scam people. She is ethnically Korean but grew up in China.
** Mr. Wang as well
* ForYourOwnGood: Lady Noh says this to Chang Hwi
* {{Frameup}}: Everyone in this fictional world wants to frame Gil Dong.
* GambitPileup: [[spoiler: Gil Dong vs. Chang Hwi vs. Third Party.]] [[OverdosedTrope Rinse. Repeat.]]
* GiantMook: Opium dealer has one of these.
* [[GratuitousEnglish Gratuitous English]]: "I love you!"
* [[GratuitousForeignLanguage Gratuitous Mandarin]]
** "Jiayou!" ("Good luck")
** Enok teaches Gil Dong the Chinese words for "father" and "brother," so that he can properly address his family, even when society would dictate otherwise.
* HeelRealization: Chang Hwi. [[spoiler: It starts with Gil Dong telling him that he treats others' lives like they're nothing.]]
* [[HerHeartWillGoOn Her Heart Must Go On]]: [[spoiler: Enok (believing Gil Dong is dead): "I can't think of Gil Dong; I have to keep living."]]
* HeroicBSOD: Gil Dong has one of these [[spoiler: after In Hyung stabs him]].
** He also has another one when [[spoiler: In Hyung tells him that his father already knows that Gil Dong is not guilty but is unwilling to help]].
* HitmanWithAHeart: Chang Hwi is not a ''hitman'' per se, but he doesn't have the heart [[spoiler: to kill Enok, even though he knows she knows too much]].
* HonorAmongThieves: Hwal Bin Dang
* HookedUpAfterwards: InUniverse. Mal Nyeo/Su Geun[[spoiler: after Chang Hwi is crowned king]]
* IAmWho: Enok has the same unusual name as the daughter of a murdered minister.
* IDidntMeanToTurnYouOn: [[spoiler: Enok to King Kwang Hwi]]
* IHaveNoSon[=/=][[IHaveNoSon You Have No Son]]
-->'''Minister Hong:''' ''I don't want to see you anymore.''
-->'''Gil Dong:''' ''Then, next time you see me, pretend you don't know me.''
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: Various members of Hwal Bin Dang say this to Gil Dong
* ImagineSpot
* [[ImperialChina Imperial Korea]]
* IncomingHam: Hong Gil Dong, in his very first appearance. His friends even [[LampshadeHanging lampshade it]].
* InsultBackfire
-->'''Gil Dong''': ''Those clothes don't suit you.''
-->'''Enok''': ''Mal Nyeo said I was pretty.''
-->'''Gil Dong''': ''That you're pretty -- it makes me even madder .''
* IntentionalEngrishForFunny: Mal Nyeo thinks "I love you" means something that ends sadly. [[spoiler: Knowing what happens to Hwal Bin Dang at the end makes this a FunnyAneurysmMoment.]]
* InterchangeableAsianCultures: PlayedWith. See FauxReigner above.
* [[IWillFindYou He Will Find Me]]: Enok says this.
* JerkassFacade: Hong Gil Dong, who pretends not to be bothered that his older brother In Hyung can participate in ancestral rites, while he can't.
* JustFriends: Enok tries to convince herself that she and Gil Dong are just this.
* JustLikeRobinHood[=/=]WeHelpTheHelpless: Hwal Bin Dang
* KeepingSecretsSucks: [[spoiler: Enok believes Gil Dong to be dead, and he goes out of his way to make sure she doesn't find out.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: [[spoiler: When Enok finds out that Minister Hong is responsible for her father's death, she sets out to kill him, managing only to blind him before [[MoralityPet Gil Dong]] steps in.]]
* KingIncognito: Chang Hwi
* KissOfLife: [[spoiler: Gil Dong]] to Enok, when she's stuck under water and losing oxygen
* KoreanHonorifics
* LostInTranslation: In Hyung always speaks casually to Gil Dong while Gil Dong uses KoreanHonorifics. While this makes sense for their older brother/younger brother and legitimate/illegitimate dynamic, the effect is particularly jarring during the conversation [[spoiler: in which Gil Dong finds out that In Hyung framed him]].
* LoveTriangle
** [[spoiler: Gil Dong - Enok - Chang Hwi]]
** [[spoiler: Eun Hye - Gil Dong - Enok]]
** [[spoiler: In Hyung - Eun Hye - Gil Dong]]
* ManipulativeBastard: Chang Hwi [[spoiler: will do anything to get his sword back.]]
* ManlyTears
* MeetCute: Enok meets Chang Hwi on a boat from China. When he asks her why she keeps staring, she admits that she finds him handsome. Chang Hwi tells her to bug off. Enok then notices that he stepped on her last sweet bun and cancels the handsome statement.
* MexicanStandoff: [[spoiler: Kwang Hwi finds out that Hwal Bin Dang's hideout is in the mountains so he blocks all the roads leading up to it, including the ones to the mountain villages. Hwal Bin Dang then interferes with all the food deliveries into town, feeding the mountain villagers. Kwang Hwi then decides to burn the mountain down. Finally, Hwal Bin Dang threatens to burn the mountain down too, while Kwang Hwi and his men are trapped there. The two groups stare hard at each other, as if trying to decide whether killing the other is worth a HeroicSacrifice.]]
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: In Hyung. His mother is behind all his schemes.
* MistakenDeclarationOfLove: Enok makes assumptions often.
** Chang Hwi says to Enok, "stay with me a bit longer." Which she mistakes for a love declaration. [[spoiler: It's a tactical move on his part in order to stay hidden.]]
** Gil Dong tells Enok, "don't forget this day." [[spoiler: She thinks it's because of their KissOfLife; it's because he's saved her so she owes him.]]
** Eun Hye asks Enok to deliver a message to Gil Dong, that she's sorry she couldn't go to him that time; Enok thinks that Gil Dong had asked Eun Hye to elope with him. [[spoiler: Rather, Eun Hye had been present when In Hyung was confessing the {{Frameup}} to Gil Dong, but she couldn't testify because she had been in a place where she shouldn't have been.]]
* MistakenForMurderer: Turning point in Gil Dong's life
* MommasBoy: Gil Dong's half-brother In Hyung
* NecessaryEvil
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: [[spoiler: Gil Dong gets shot in the heart and falls off a cliff. Naturally, everyone but [[TheDeterminator Enok]] believes him dead.]]
* NoSocialSkills: Chang Hwi
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler: Chang Hwi. Gil Dong.]]
* OhCrap
* TwoScenesOneDialogue: [[spoiler: An interesting DoubleSubversion. After learning TheReveal, Chang Hwi is imagining his brother having a conversation with him while Gil Dong is giving a RousingSpeech to Hwal Bin Dang. The two men are having two different conversations, but we get gems like these:]]
--> [[spoiler: '''(''Imaginary'') Kwang Hwi:''' Brother, I welcome you to this place.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Gil Dong:''' I welcome you all to our new world!]]

--> [[spoiler: '''Chang Hwi:''' Is this the end for me?]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Gil Dong:''' This isn't the end. This is the beginning. The king we made will start it all.]]
* ParentalBetrayal: [[spoiler: Minister Hong knows that Gil Dong is not a murderer, but he refuses to give up his legitimate son for the illegitimate one.]]
* ParentalSubstitute: Hae Myung
** Enok's "grandfather."
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Gil Dong's band announce that they will steal from the most corrupt minister. They instead steal from all four top ministers. Hilariously, each minister begs the thieves not to tell anyone that they were robbed.
* PinchMe: Enok bites Gil Dong to make sure that ''she'' isn't dreaming
* PleaseDontLeaveMe: Enok [[spoiler:: "Gil Dong,]] can't you stay?"
** Chang Hwi [[spoiler: to Enok]]: "Don't go to him, stay with me. I'll protect you."
* PokeThePoodle: In Hyung didn't want to fame Gil Dong for murder, just for theft.
* ProfessionalSlacker: Hong Gil Dong
* [[PunnyName Punny Nickname]]: Gil Dong is fond of giving these out.
* [[spoiler: PyrrhicVictory: Chang Hwi does become king in the end, but has to sacrifice all of Hwal Bin Dang, including Gil Dong and Enok, so that none of his subjects believes that he is a puppet king.]]
* [[spoiler: PyrrhicVillainy: When Kwang Hwi finds out of his right to the throne all along, he cries, because he had went through all the trouble to usurp Chang Hwi, including sacrificing his beloved minister Hong--all for something he had had all along.]]
* RaisedByGrandparents: Enok who was raised by Grandpa Heo
* RebelliousPrincess: Eun Hye
* RefusalOfTheCall: No, Gil Dong, it's [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive not as easy as]] running away to China
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Gil Dong to Chang Hwi: "Why must ''you'' be king? Because you're legitimate? I was born to a servant, so I have to be a servant; you were born to be king, so must you be king? As promised, I'll die. You live and think about that. Why must you be king?"
* TheReveal: [[spoiler: Kwang Hwi was originally intended to be the king's successor, but Chang Hwi's mother and Minister Ryu (Enok's father) forged the sword the king intended for his successor to be inscripted with Chang Hwi's name.]]
* [[RichSuitorPoorSuitor Royal Suitor, Common Suitor]]: [[spoiler: Chang Hwi and Gil Dong, toward Enok]]
* RomanAClef: [[spoiler: After Gil Dong becomes Minister of War]], he tells the nobles that, regardless of their social status, nobody will be exempt from military service. In South Korea, military service is required for all men. That hasn't stopped the rich from trying to get out of it.
* RomanticFalseLead: [[spoiler: Enok mistakes Chang Hwi's [[StalkingIsLove stalking for romantic feelings]].]]
* RousingSpeech
* RuleOfRomantic
** The production employs fuzzy-focus to tell the audience that the scene is supposed to be romantic.
** Sun Geun talks to Enok in romantic language ("Let us merely think of this encounter as briefly mingling our scents underneath the moonlight sky"), even goes as far as calling her "[[AffectionateNickname Doe Eyes]]", when he's pretending to be Gil Dong pretending to be someone else
* SadisticChoice: Kwang Hi tells Minister Hong [[spoiler: [[OffingTheOffspring to kill Gil Dong]]]] in order to prove his loyalty
* SanitySlippage: The king Kwang Hwi, who happens to be Chang Hwi's half brother
* SingleTear
* ShootEverythingThatMoves: Kwang Hwi isn't sure who in his court is loyal to him or to Chang Hwi, so his plan is [[spoiler: to burn the palace to the ground and KillEmAll.]]
* ShoutOut
** Bollywood musicals
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: To get Gil Dong's attention while she's in disguise, Enok shouts out repeatedly, [[spoiler: in English, "I love you!"]]
* TheStoic: Lee Chang Hwi
* StoicWoobie: InUniverse. Gil Dong who, accepting his fate as an illegitimate son, knows society doesn't expect much of him and, at the beginning of the story, doesn't expect much of himself also. Everyone he meets tries to get him to accept TheCall.
* SubmissiveBadass: Chang Hwi's bodyguard, Chi Su
* [[spoiler: SuddenDownerEnding: The only main character alive before the FlashForward at the end is Chang Hwi.]]
* TakingTheBullet
** [[spoiler: Chang Hwi takes a poisoned arrow for Gil Dong]]
** [[spoiler: Gil Dong takes a sword slash for his father.]]
* ToiletHumour: In spades
* ThrowingTheDistraction: Gil Dong throws money in the air to provide a distraction.
* TroubledBackstoryFlashback: Gil Dong. 12-year-old Gom.
* TwoPersonLoveTriangle: Gil Dong - Enok - Her Moonlight Rescuer
* WeddingsForEveryone: A sad one. [[spoiler: When everyone in Hwal Bin Dang knows that King Chang Hwi's troops has been ordered to kill them, Su Geun/Mal Nyeo and Gil Dong/Enok hurriedly gets married.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: Hong Gil Dong
* UndyingLoyalty: Group of bandits, especially Su Geun who wants revenge, to their dead leader; [[spoiler: later, to Gil Dong]]
* YouAllShareMyStory
* YouHaveNoIdeaWhoYoureDealingWith: Gil Dong says this.
* [[YouKilledMyFather You Killed My Parent]]: [[spoiler: Though the king Kwang Hwi is the BigBad, Gil Dong's father is responsible for the deaths of both Chang Hwi's mother and Enok's father.]]
* YouRemindMeOfX: Enok notes that Minister Hong looks like Gil Dong, [[spoiler: while he notes that she looks like her deceased father.]]
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