Series: Boys Before Flowers

Left to right: Song Woo Bin, So Yi Jung, Goo Jun Pyo, Geum Jan Di, Yoon Ji Hoo

Boys Before Flowers is a Korean Series created in 2009 and based on the Japanese manga, Hana Yori Dango. The live Adaptation Distillation used similar characters but with different names and outcomes over the course of a 25-episode arc. It is actually the fifth, most recent, and only Korean-produced adaptation.

After saving a rich kid from suicide, Geum Jan Di is invited to go to Shin Hwa Academy, a kindergarten through University campus set up strictly for the rich and beautiful. There she gets bullied by F4, a foursome of bored rich upperclassmen who rule the school. After standing up to their leader, Goo Jun Pyo, her life becomes a Love Dodecahedron as several of the members become attracted to her.


The series contains examples of:

  • Adorkable: Jun Pyo.
    Yi Jung (listening to him flirt with Jan Di): "Seriously, I'm embarrassed to be around this guy."
  • Adults Are Useless: We don't see any of them, but it's presumed that all the teachers at Shin Hwa Academy are clueless, if not too afraid, to go against F4 to do anything about the bullying that occurs at the school.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Jan Di gets bullied quite a lot by the other schoolmates.
  • Amnesiac Lover: In the last episode, thanks to Easy Amnesia
  • Anger Born of Worry: Jun Pyo's preferred method of showing concern.
  • Arranged Marriage: Jun Pyo's engagement to Jae Kyung.
  • Attempted Rape: Averted in episode 2 when Yoon Ji Hoo shows up and saves the day.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Goo Jun Pyo. He starts all of Jan Di's misfortunes, then decides he likes her. He is also a control freak around her as well.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: In one episode, Jan Di is kidnapped, drugged, then cleaned up and brought to Jun Pyo's house.
  • Batman Gambit: Lee Jae Ha's revenge plan, involving Madam Kang (Jun Pyo's mother)
  • Beach Episode: Spent entirely in New Caledonia, a string of tropical islands in the South Pacific Ocean.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Most of the students and specifically, F-4. Justified in that most of it is due to plastic surgery.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jun Pyo and Jan Di.
  • Berserk Button: Jun Pyo is not pleased when Jan Di is threatened.
    • Of course a lot of her bullying was instigated by him anyway in the beginning of the series. But once he starts to warm up to her, it's better not to mess with Jan Di for your own safety.
  • Beta Couple: Yi Jung and Ga Eul. They could also fit under Ensemble Darkhorse, considering the fact that there is probably more fanfiction written about them than about the two main leads.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Yi Jung is most confrontational in this adaptation after Jun Pyo. He's normally softspoken and willing to go along with Jun Pyo's antics, but he doesn't hold himself back when he thinks Jun Pyo and Ji Hoo need some sense knocked into them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jan Di gets saved a lot. While in Macau, Jan Di gets her wallet stolen. Jae Kyung calls attention to it, and saves her from the mugger. The members of F4 (minus Jun Pyo) save Jan Di when a kid steals her luggage, and leads her to a gang of guys who are thinking about selling her.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Jan Di and Jun Pyo get several, all in slow motion.
  • Big Fancy House: There are several, predominantly Jun Pyo and Ji Hoo.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Oh Min Ji, Jan Di's best friend at the High School. Hinted at in that she gives Jan Di a stuffed sheep toy wearing the school uniform.
  • Bland-Name Product: Jun Pyo on the cover of "Porbes" magazine.
  • Break the Haughty: Jun Pyo
  • Bridal Carry: When Jan Di gets bullied into unconsciousness, Jun Pyo saves the day.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Yi-Jung was the Brooding Boy to Eun-Jae's Gentle Girl. Ga-Eul later takes over Eun-Jae's role.
  • Bumbling Dad: Jan Di's dad
  • Calling The Old Lady Out: Both of her children do this to Madam Kang.
  • The Casanova: Yi Jung
  • Catch Phrase:
    Jun Pyo: "If sorry was enough, then why would the law and police exist?"
    Jae Kyung: "Let's go together!"
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Jan Di gets a chair smashed on her shoulder during the kidnap episode. The long-term damage means the end of her swimming career.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Jae Kyung shows up many times in Macau before and after meeting Jan Di, and even runs into Jun Pyo a few times, before she becomes Jun Pyo's fiancee.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Ji Hoo wears white or light colors; Jun Pyo generally wears black, and they both drive vehicles in their preferred colors.
  • Cool Big Sis: Jun Hee, Jun Pyo's older sister who drives a white Ferrari and is known at school as "The Charisma Queen". She becomes like an older sister to Jan Di, as does Jae Kyung.
  • Cool Old Guy: Butler Lee and Manager Jung (Madam Kang's secretary) - both of whom seem to be fully aware of the assholery their respective bosses (Jun Pyo & Madam Kang) are capable of, and do their best to protect people (read: Jan Di) from being unnecessarily targeted by the aforementioned two if they can avoid it. Manager Jung even goes out of his way to schedule time for Jun Pyo to see the rest of F4 in the midst of all the crap he has to do as the Shin Hwa group's heir.
  • Comforting Comforter: Nonromantic example when Ji Hoo does this to Jun Pyo. Jan Di and Jun Pyo do this to each other a few times.
  • Dances and Balls: Several are showcased in the series, mostly set up by the school.
  • Disposable FiancÚ: Jae Kyung to Jun Pyo, although the bride is the one to call off the wedding.
  • Distant Finale: The final scenes of the series show us what has happened to various characters four years after the main events. For some characters, it's a case of Fast Forward To Reunion.
  • Dynamic Entry: Jun Hee introduces herself by running Jun Pyo's car down, cartwheeling over, and then whaling on him with a wooden sword.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Reconstructed. Lee Jae Ha wasn't the dog that Jun Pyo kicked, his older brother was. However, he did feel the effects of F4's bullying as his brother is his only family member. His Revenge scheme is pretty much this trope: quiet previous victim tries to take vengeance on unsuspecting villain.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lee Jae Ha's older brother, who high-dives off a school building after being bullied by the school thanks to a "red card" from F4. Jan Di just barely manages to stop him, which is the reason she is invited to become a student at the school.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Jan Di accidently gets drunk, but still uses the situation to mumble her sorrow over Ji Hoo to Jun Pyo. This starts the transfer of her feelings to Jun Pyo.
    • Yi Jung in the later episodes.
  • Easy Amnesia: In the very last episode.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Several important scenes are either at or within viewing distance of Namsan Tower in Seoul.
  • Elaborate University High: Shin Hwa Academy
  • Even Evil Has Standards: this is the Alpha Bitch's response to Min Ji's betrayal of Jan Di.
    • Though this may be a case of the Alpha Bitch just switching sides as usual now that it's known that Jan Di is innocent. She can go from adoring Jan Di to setting her bike on fire depending on whether Jan Di is accused of cheating on Jun Pyo or not. She never seems to have many standards where bullying is concerned.
    • Even though he's the one that ordered the bullying, Jun Pyo is actually pretty pissed when he finds out that some students went so far as to almost rape Jan Di.
  • Everyone Can See It: Pretty much everyone who sees Jan Di and Jun Pyo together ships them.
  • Evil Is Petty: Madam Kang makes sure Jan Di's family goes out of business when Jan Di's mother pours salt on her and doesn't accept the money Madam Kang attempts to give to Jan Di to keep her from seeing Jun Pyo.
  • Evil Matriarch: Jun Pyo's mother. Emotionally neglectful of both her children and vindictive toward Jan Di.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: F4 vs. Jae Ha
  • Five-Man Band: A perfect example of the traditional version
  • Friend Versus Lover: Jae Kyung, after finding out that Jan Di and Jun Pyo had a relationship and still like each other. She asks Jun Pyo whether he would choose love or friendship and he says he wouldn't give up on either. She eventually calls off the wedding, giving up on Jun Pyo.
  • Food Slap: Ga Eul throws a drink in Yi Jung's face for being rude to her on their date. Jan Di's mother also pours a bowl of salt over the head of Madam Kang.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: In an instance where Jan Di steps in the way of a blow meant for Jun Pyo, she is badly hurt to the point where she is told she can no longer swim without aggravating her shoulder.
  • Girl Posse: The Mean Girls Trio that make fun of Jan Di whenever Jun Pyo is having a temper tantrum.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Possibly invoked by Jan Di when she criticizes Jun Pyo's curly hair.
  • Gratuitous English: Usually from the Girl Posse and Woo Bin.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: After Ji Hoo has an argument with his grandfather in episode 21.
  • Handsome Devil: Goo Jun Pyo, big time.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Jun Pyo
  • Heroic BSOD: Jan Di has a pretty bad one when she's told she can no longer swim.
  • If I Can't Have You: Jun Pyo's attitude at the start. He eventually realizes that he can't treat Jan Di like a toy to take away from Ji Hoo, especially since he feels the same way about her.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Invoked by Ji Hoo to get a Love Epiphany out of Jun Pyo.
  • I Have No Mother: Jun Pyo to his mother.
  • In-Series Nickname: Jun Pyo calls Jae Kyung "Monkey"; she doesn't mind as she sees it as an Affectionate Nickname. She calls him Jun sometimes.
  • Instant Fan Club: All of F4 are guaranteed this if they show up in public. They exploit it in one episode to drum up publicity for the porridge shop.
  • Insult to Rocks: Jan Di's brother comments that a stuffed pink cat looks like Jun Pyo, and their mother replies that Jun Pyo isn't as nice or cute and that the toy would be insulted to hear that.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Ji Hoo and Jan Di share an intimate moment on the steps. (Episode 18)
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Jan Di asks Seo Hyun not to leave the country for Ji Hoo's sake, and doesn't ask Ji Hoo to stay for her when he says he's leaving. Ji Hoo, upon his return, steps aside for Jan Di and Jun Pyo to have a chance at a relationship, with the full knowledge that he missed his chance for anything with her anyway.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Fashionable: Goo Jun Pyo gives Jan Di a complete wardrobe before whisking her off to New Caledonia for a tropical weekend.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jun Pyo
  • Kiss of Life: When Jan Di rescues Jun Pyo from the pool.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Yi Jung. Also his father, who claims that "once you let The One go, all the others are the same."
  • Lonely Rich Kid: All the F4 members, with the exception of each other.
  • Malaproper: Jun Pyo butchers every quote. Jae Kyung also qualifies, with blunders such as "A man's word is as good as a blond."
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Ga-Eul comes off as this in the Bodyguard CF with Yi-Jung.
  • Meaningful Name: Jan Di's name is played with throughout the series because it also means "grass" or "lawn".
  • Misplaced Retribution: Jae Ha's revenge plan involves kidnapping Jan Di.
  • Mr. Fanservice: F4, and how! He's a Sharp-Dressed Man who gets Shirtless Scenes and Shower Scenes.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Is Woo Bin's family the mafia or involved in the construction business? Or both?
  • My Greatest Failure: Jun Hee considers the moment when she was unable to go against her mother's wish to marry her off to a wealthy businessman this. Her current unhappiness with her life drives her actions in supporting Jan Di and Jun Pyo, and also uses the story as a cautionary tale to Jun Pyo to drive him to make a decision regarding marrying Jae Kyung or being with Jan Di.
  • Nosebleed: Used in this series to indicate overwork and a general shutdown of the body. It mostly occurs with Jan Di when she is working more than two jobs.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: In episode 7, Jan Di on her bicycle chases Jun Pyo in the limousine, somehow arriving at the Shin Hwa residence at exactly the same time. Slightly lampshaded: he asks her how the hell she got there.
  • Old Retainer: Butler Lee.
  • Operation Jealousy: Yi Jung runs one for Ga Eul's benefit, to get back at her cheating boyfriend. Ji Hoo exploits this by using one, together with Distracted by the Sexy, to win a race against Jun Pyo.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Jan Di, until her life is turned upside down by the Shin Hwa group and F4.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Don't worry Jan Di, nobody will recognize you in those coke-bottle glasses.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jun Pyo and Yi Jung's parents are emotionally neglectful. In the former's case, his elder sister raised him. In the latter's, he makes up for it himself by becoming a womanizer.
  • Parental Marriage Veto
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: And how.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Jan Di's family.
  • Pet the Dog: F4's treatment of Jan Di at first.
  • Piggyback Cute: Jan Di and both of her love interests multiple times: getting bullied, trapped in a blizzard, collapsing from overwork, breaking a heel on her shoe, etc.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation:
    • A passing plane drowns out what Jun Pyo says to Jan Di regarding their relationship.
    • Also, a motorcycle roars by when they are setting up a graduation party date.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Ji Hoo and his grandfather - they each blame themselves for the accident that killed Ji Hoo's parents, and Ji Hoo's grandfather left the family and the company because he couldn't deal with the guilt. Ji Hoo takes this to mean that his grandfather blamed Ji Hoo for the accident, leaving Ji Hoo to deal with the mental trauma that comes with the entirety of his family dead or absent.
    • To a lesser extent, Eun Jae says that this is the reason things didn't work out between her and Yi Jung.
  • Ramen Slurp: Jan Di frequently slurps her instant noodles, to the annoyance of her boyfriend and to the amusement of the rest of F-4.
  • Rescue Romance: One-sided on Jan Di's part towards Ji Hoo.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Oddly enough, Jan Di and Ji Hoo... to each other. Jan Di crushed hard on Ji Hoo as he continued to save her from bullies that came after her because of Jun Pyo, but he ends up leaving Jan Di to follow Seo Hyun out of the country. By the time Ji Hoo returns and realizes he also has feelings for Jan Di, Jan Di has already started to fall for Jun Pyo, and Ji Hoo realizes that it's too late for him to pursue a romantic relationship with her. He then opts to push Jun Pyo and Jan Di together, though there are occasional moments that indicate he regrets his choice.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Ji Hoo and, for a given degree of manly, Jun Pyo.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Jun Pyo tries to get Jan Di kicked out of school after she kissed Ji Hoo.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Like all the other adaptations of this series, up to level WTF.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: All the men of F4 wear nice clothes.
  • Shipper on Deck: Jan Di's family really wants her to marry Jun Pyo. At first, it's because he's rich, but they like him a lot when they meet him. In fact, everyone in the series seems to ship Jan Di and Jun Pyo at some point.
    • Ji Hoo's grandfather is very obviously trying to push Jan Di and Ji Hoo together near the end of the series.
  • Shirtless Scene: F4, being Mr. Fanservice. Jun Pyo got more shirtless scenes than the other members.
  • Shower Scene: Jun Pyo, being Mr. Fanservice.
  • Shout-Out: Ji Hoo's horse, given to him by Soo Jin, is named Rui after Hanazawa Rui who is Ji Hoo's counterpart in Hana Yori Dango
  • Sibling Triangle: Yi Jung and his brother both fall for Eun Jae.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Jun Pyo's attitude towards the rest of F4 and Jan Di when he meets them post time skip.
  • Sleep Cute: Jan Di and Jun Pyo after getting stuck in a building overnight. Jan Di falls asleep on Ji Hoo's shoulder in another episode.
  • Slut-Shaming: Jan Di gets this a few times, such as when a man drugged her and took a picture of them in a hotel room together and after she cheated on Jun Pyo with Ji Hoo. The other students write bad things about on her desk and the board, attack her physically and verbally, and and set her bike on fire. Jun Pyo's mother also does it, accusing Jan Di of trying to seduce Jun Pyo.
  • There Are No Adults: School children being bullied to suicide, burning bicycles and throwing trash into the school pool, kidnapping, blackmail, etc., yet no adults seem to exist on campus, and there are no consequences.
  • Time Skip: A six-month skip in the middle of the series, and a four-year skip at the end.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: Subverted: Ji Hoo has a ticket on the next flight out.
  • Triang Relations: Type 1, Type 3, Type 12, actually just about all of them at one time or another throughout the series.
  • True Companions: The F4 are each other's only friends, though Madam Kang doesn't think that Jun Pyo should have any.
  • Underdressed for the Occasion: Played with. Jan Di shows up in her school uniform for the after-graduation party — but her friends think it's the perfect outfit for her.
  • Will Not Be A Victim: Jan Di tries to stand up for herself, even while physically being assaulted by groups of classmates.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jun Pyo usually, especially as a response to his treatment of Jan Di in the second half of the series. He also got this when he cheated in the horse race against Ji Hoo, injuring the horse in the process, who had to be put down as a result.
    • Ji Hoo to his grandfather, for leaving him alone and and letting him think that he blamed him for his parents' deaths.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Almost word for word when Jan Di wonders if Jun Pyo is still going to be waiting for her in freezing weather for hours. After her mother quotes this, she takes off running.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Jun Pyo is flat-out terrified of bugs, snakes, and swimming. Ji Hoo has a driving phobia.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Geum Jan Di has Grade B in her school girl outfit in some of her shots.