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The girls we met in the winter, their infinite possibilities.L-R 

Translucent glass beads glowing red
Don’t look back, don’t let yourself worry
In the sweet darkness, the witching hour descends.

GFRIEND (여자친구) is a six-member generation-defining South Korean Girl Group, considered a miracle of small companynote . They debuted in 2015 and disbanded in 2021. However, accordingly to the members, who are still close friends and plan to reunite as a group someday, the group is on hiatus.

Lore / Concept

The group developed a strong musical identity that encapsulates a nostalgic feeling, whether it's through a dreamy, melancholic, sentimental sound presented especially through orchestral pop and ballads or a light-hearted, funky and energetic pop influenced by retro musical styles.

The group had a continuous storyline named "A Tale of the Glass Bead", their own Fictional Universe intertwined with their music. The story went from a school series to a magical narrative. The main plot revolved around the friendship of a group of girls while they grew up surrounded by a mysterious universe and needed to deal with loss, their friendship falling apart and a bittersweet feeling as they struggled to be together. Melodies, lyrics, choreography, and music videos all come together to tell a story, making storytelling a strong signature of the group.

Musical Career

They debuted on January 16, 2015 with the lead single “Glass Bead” (Season of Glass), gathering several rookie awards and dubbed “powerful innocence” for their Girl Next Door image and hard-hitting dance moves, averting the stereotype of weakness associated with femininity and echoing their youth as they tell their own Coming of Age journey.

The group reached huge success after completing a school trilogy with the summery “Me Gustas Tu” from Flower Bud and the snowy “Rough (Running Through Time)" from Snowflake. On July 11, 2016, they released their first full album LOL in two versions — "Lots of Love" and "Laughing Out Loud" with a retro-pop sound in the energetic single "Navillera" followed by the funky "Fingertip" in 2017 from the New Sound Album, The Awakening. They continued the year with the double summer release "Love Whisper" (Parallel) and "Summer Rain" (Rainbow), showing two sides of the season as the latter anticipates autumn.

They held their first concert called Season of GFRIEND in 2018 and with the release of "Time for the Moon Night", the group fully embraced a more mature sound with a concept named "passionate melancholy", expanding their musical spectrum and theatrical performances. Later, they released a special summer album with the brassy "Sunny Summer" as the title track.

The second full album Time for Us was released in 2019 with the sentimental roller coaster "Sunrise", followed by the tropical "Fever" from Fever Season. They finished the year with the highly praised first Japanese studio album Fallin' Light, which includes the previous singles "Memoria" and "Flower".

Labyrinth, Song of the Sirens and Walpurgis' Night are part of the 2020 "回 (hui)" series, marking a new era for GFRIEND that, after completing five years of career, became part of HYBE when their agency was acquired. The trilogy is known for the mellow "Crossroads", bombastic "Labyrinth", alluring "Apple" and the retro-earworm "Mago", representing the members metamorphosing into witches (their new concept revolving around empowerment). The album series was important for the sextet and their growth as artists as they began to have more direct input and participation in songwriting.

Disbandment / New Beginnings / Hiatus

On May 18, 2021, it was announced that the group would be disbanding following an inability to agree on new contract terms, with the members uploading handwritten letters to their fans to social media to thank them for their support. Until October, all members officially joined new agencies. Sowon in acting, Yuju in music and Yerin in the entertainment field. Eunha, Sinb and Umji formed a Power Trio girl group called VIVIZ.

Shortly after the remaining members announced their new label, they reunited in Sowon's Instagram live. The leader said GFRIEND was forever and that we shouldn't cry, matching her last Weverse post saying that they will definitely meet again someday and Sinb agreed, saying Sowon is VIVIZ's honorary leader and that they are still GFRIEND.

Sowon also acknowledged their shocking ending saying there are things they can't say due to the nature of their job and that she understands it must be frustrating for fans as much as it's for them. Umji finished saying she has written a song for the group in the hopes they can sing it as six again and that's one of her ambitions, to share this song with the world through the voice of the members.

    open/close all folders 
  • Sowon (Kim Sojung, born December 7, 1995) – Leader, vocalist, dancer.
  • Yerin (Jung Yerin, born August 19, 1996) – Lead dancer, vocalist.
  • Eunha (Jung Eunbi, born May 30, 1997) – Lead vocalist, dancer.
  • Yuju (Choi Yuna, born October 4, 1997) – Main vocalist, dancer.
  • Sinb (Hwang Eunbi, born June 3, 1998) – Main dancer, vocalist.
  • Umji (Kim Yewon, born August 19, 1998) – Vocalist, dancer.

    Social Media 
    Other Works 

The tropes waiting for you (yes, you)

    General Tropes 
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Yuju who imitates inanimate objects, other members refer to her as "GFRIEND's Weirdest Person" because of her eccentricity. Also Yerin, the way she acts is very odd and funny.
  • Contagious Laughter: Sinb makes people laugh with her own laughter and Yerin's laugh is very tough and loud so it makes you laugh. Fans say that a joke gets ten times more funny when this duo is laughing along.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl:
    • Yerin famously somehow managed to knee herself in the face while dancing on Running Man.
    • GFRIEND's speeches are known for being a cute mess, the most notable one was Eunha at SMA 2019. She couldn't reach the microphone and made a pun singing their song "Sunrise" making her members embarrassed and the audience cooing and laughing at her.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: The group is notable for their dance, if that's not what they are the most famous for, since they brought up consistent complex routines each comeback, making it a stand out for girl groups at that time. The girls trained a lot to reach their status of synchronized choreography with their teamwork. It's not far-fetched to say they changed the game and inspired other girl groups to be more performance-driven.
    • They created some famous variety show segments like Weekly Idol's 2x speed dance and always go viral because of their dancing skills and countless successful dance challenges.
    • Umji posted a long video showing all the steps of "Flower Garden" choreography from them grasping the idea to add details as a fan gift for the end of their tour. Half of their songs have choreography.
    • "Mago" blindfolded. That's it. The idea started from a challenge on Knowing Brothers that Umji nonchalantly accepted it for any of their songs.
  • Determinator: Yuju. Nothing will stop her from finishing their performance. And by nothing, we mean nothing. Not accidentally having one of her shoes slipped off on stage. Not even falling down at least four times and suffering a twisted finger as a result of those falls as seen on that legendary fancam performance will stop her. Also, after she broke her hand, she performed quite a few times while wearing a cast.
  • Drinking on Duty: They even had alcohol in their fansigns. The memorable moments were when Umji and Sinb have come of age and a fan gave them a beer and when a fan brought wine to drink with Sowon.
  • Fan Community Nickname: Buddy. They're our friends, we're their buddies.
  • Fan Disillusionment: Discussed. Yuju said in a VLIVE:
    When you like someone, whether a celebrity singer or actor, when you like them, there's this saying like "those people don't even know your existence, they don't know your name, they don't know anything". I've heard this kind of sayings too. Long ago I just thought that "so what if they don't know me, I'm just gonna like them alone", but deep inside "yes... in reality it's kind of like that". I had thought of that, but now that I'm a singer, I thought of it again. They're people that I've never met nor heard, but in our heart there's a place set for them. I hope you won't forget that.
  • Fangirl: All of the girls with IU. Umji went as far as giving her a scrunchie hair set, so she would see IU using her gift all the time.
  • Fun Personified: They are known as beagle-dols, they are so genuinely funny that even non-fans watch their variety shows. The girls say that they are personally shy, but together they are loud and make a mess out of themselves, giving them a friendly and bubbly image to people outside.
  • Genki Girl: All the girls can be considered this but especially Yerin, Yuju and Sinb who are constantly energetic and talkative on shows and interviews.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: When Yerin said that she loves pretty girls.
    The cooking teacher: And pretty men?
    Yerin: I haven't thought of that... That girls...
    The cooking teacher: Girls.
    Yerin: I thought that my eyes were getting clean.
  • Homage: Their initial sound and styling have drawn many comparisons to girl groups from the first generation of K-Pop.
  • I Can Still Fight!: The legendary fancam of GFRIEND performing "Me Gustas Tu" on a slippery stage. Yuju and Sinb picked themselves up despite falling hard at least 4 or 5 times throughout the entire performance. The video deservingly went viral and further propelled the group into popularity for their professionalism.
  • Irony: Sinb hates pink but their stylists make her wear pink outfits. She even dyed her hair pink!
  • Jack of All Trades: Yuju can sing, dance, play guitar, write and compose songs, write poems, pole dance, skating, run fast, gymnastics and so on.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: Sinb has dyed her hair in many different colors.
  • Korean Series: They appeared in many! Here are some examples:
  • Manipulative Editing: Sinb called out Produce X 101 editing in a live after some members appeared in an episode and all the positive things they said to their juniors were cut out. However, she wasn't so serious about that as some sensationalist news outlets tried to paint her either... Ironically, double manipulative editing.
  • Meaningful Name: Sowon means "wish", Sinb means "mystery", Eunha means "galaxy" and Umji means "thumb", yes, "thumb"... but it's based on the fairy tale Thumbelina.
  • Oh, Crap!: Eunha tends to spoil the new songs before the release. You have to see the members' faces when this happens.
  • Older Than They Look: Eunha and Yerin are called "fake youngest".
  • One-Steve Limit: Eunha's real name (Jung Eunbi) is the same as Sinb's (Hwang Eunbi).
  • Proud Beauty: Sowon said that her stage name was going to be "P.B." which means "Perfect and Beautiful". Also is said that she looks at the mirror very often. Just search for "Car Door Goddess" and " "Korea's Top 3 Beauties" on Google.
  • Pun: Umji once performed with Hong Jin Young as the latter promoted her song "Thumb Up" (umji cheok/엄지척).
  • Rags to Riches: They went from a bankruptcy company operated in a semi-basement, having problems to debut and their CEO mortgaging his own house to winning 29 times in music shows only in 2016 and establishing themselves as one of the most successful and best selling K-Pop girl groups.
  • Singer-Songwriter: All of them have KOMCA (Korea Music Copyright Association) credits in lyrics and composition. Some notable examples are "Hope", "Better Me", "Eye of the Storm" and even the title tracks "Apple" and "Mago". The process can be seen in the recording behind videos and they often share the songwriting process in interviews.
  • Shrinking Violet: Sowon said that Eunha was very shy and quiet when they met.
  • Signature Style: High notes, ad-libs, nostalgic elements, knife-like choreography, dance breaks and electric guitar or orchestral instruments.
  • Stage Name: All of them, except Yerin. Sowon (Kim Sojung), Eunha (Jung Eunbi), Yuju (Choi Yuna), Sinb (Hwang Eunbi) and Umji (Kim Yewon).
  • Team Dad: Sinb is jokingly seen as this by the other members, as she often is the one who fixes broken appliances at their dorm.
  • Team Mom: Being the eldest out of the 6, Sowon is regarded as this.
  • Tender Tears:
    • Yerin cried during Yuju's rhythmic gymnastic performance.
    • Yuju cried when she saw Sowon backstage in her debut as a runway model.
    • The stage for "Here We Are" during their first online concert "C:ON", organized due to the pandemic. The members couldn't hold their tears seeing fans on the screen behind them.
  • The Cutie: This feature was enhanced by Eunha's bob short haircut.
  • The Leader: Sowon named by Source Music.
  • The Show Must Go On:
    • Aforementioned legendary fancam of "Me Gustas Tu".
    • Sinb dislocated her shoulder in a "Navillera" stage, but she just kept dancing using only one hand.
    • When started to rain and they performed soaked.
  • Tsundere: Sinb who seems cold and stoic is really kind and cares for her fans and friends.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sinb and Sowon are known as the Tom and Jerry duo of the group.
    Sowon: Sinb, what do you think (of the shorts)?
    Sinb: It's pretty, but it's too short.
    Sowon: Well, life is short!
  • Vocal Tag Team: There is a tradition that every K-Pop group needs a rapper, resulting in the infamous Gratuitous Rap in a lot of songs. That's not the case with them, GFRIEND is a vocal group and very praised for that, their encore stages are even called "ear purifying". In their early days, even if the group used to display A Cappella and harmonizations on radio shows, Yuju and Eunha were labeled as vocal line, doing the most collaborations and OSTs outside of the group. Today all the girls have the opportunity to show their vocals in their songs whether with high notes or adlibs, they even have individual stages in their concerts.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Heights?: Yuju is scared of heights. So naturally, this gets exploited during their appearance in Showtime (2016).
    Music Tropes 
Including songs, performances, choreography and music videos (non-related with the story).
  • Album Closure: All the last tracks from Labyrinth, Song of the Sirens and Walpurgis Night offer closure to their own stories. The Surprisingly Gentle Song "From Me" finishes with the theme of loving yourself, leaving behind the "you" from the previous songs. "Stairs in the North" contemplates the past and hesitation in moving forward, giving a Downer Ending compared to the album opener "Apple", but what could be a "When I'm Gone" Song ends up hopeful with their recurrent theme of doing things at your own pace. "Wheel of the Year" is about being able to move forward and continue running, being a Sequel Song to "Compass" and closure for the whole series.
  • Album Intro Track: "Season of Glass", "Flower Bud", "Snowflake", "Parallel", "Daytime" and the nameless intro from LOL (2016).
  • Album Title Drop: "Sunny Summer", "Time for the Moon Night", "Rainbow" and "Fallin' Light".
  • Allegory: The "回 (hui)" series was a more mature and ambitious storytelling for them and also a dialogue between fiction and the stage of their career on a meta-level.
  • Allusion:
  • Artistic License: "From Me" says "[...] from I to me", a self-love letter.
  • Audience Participation Song: K-Pop groups have fan chants for their songs, GFRIEND isn't an exception. Although, there are some special cases:
    • In “Time for the Moon Night”, the fans started to call "Umji-ah" during a cute part in the choreography where the members are calling her. Averted with the lack of an audience during the pandemic, the members yelled "Buddy-ya" at the camera instead.
    • Sinb used to say "tting" after Eunha's "Fever" intro and now fans started to say it too.
    • The biggest example of this would be “Vacation", the fans started to shout "EEEEAAAA" during the song, turning it into a very interactive and fun performance.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The original choreography for "Navillera" had a butterfly formation too impractical to perform with the song, they did it for a special stage. A bonus from the same era is a cute opening with ribbons.
    • They danced on the water for "Love Whisper" and even being too impractical for live stages, they did it one time.
  • Be Yourself: "Better Me" is the perfect example, but they have some lyrics here and there encouraging the listeners not to care about what others think:
    Smile: Smile, smile more. Smile, smile more. When others look at it strangely and it's okay.
  • Biblical Motifs: "Ave Maria".
  • Book Ends: "Memoria", "Sunrise" and "Time for the Moon Night" choreography use this as a narrative tool for the story told in the dance, "Love Whisper" choreography is more literal.
  • Call-Back:
    • "Apple" to "Glass Bead" and "Navillera".
      Glass Bead: [...] like a clear glass bead.
      Apple: Translucent glass beads glowing red.
      Navillera: I’m still a shy child.
      Apple: [...] let go the timid child.
    • One could say that there is a Character Development dialogue between "Room of Mirrors" and "Mago" and the use of mirrors to address self-image. The first is bitter, an anxious individual; the latter is at peace with oneself, it's a celebration through purification. The individual from "Room of Mirrors" is wavering, but "Mago" states "I won't ever waver". "Run away for me" changes to "Dance for me". She's smiling in the mirror, instead of "turning around as possessed and blaming" herself.
    • "Wheel of the Year" lyrics to the whole series, especially "Crossroads" and "Labyrinth" and even their song "Compass":
      It’s like we were trapped in an enormous maze. A lost me, who constantly stopped at a crossroads.
    • The intro for their TMA 2019 performance titled "Time travel with Buddy" has all past title tracks represented by a different member.
    • A performance for "Time for the Moon Night" showed themselves from the "Summer Rain" era on the screen behind them.
  • Changed for the Video: "Rough" and "Fingertip" have an extended break.
  • Christmas Songs:
  • Color Motif: "Mr. Blue", "Red Umbrella", "White".
  • Coming of Age: The group's music and videos are a perfect example of this. Their trajectory could be separated into three phases based on three main producers and concept names.note 
    • Innocent. The girl group debuted with Iggy Youngbae as producers and their concept was called powerful innocence. The songs were bubbly, cheerful, going from ​puppy love to friendship and encouragement lyrics, marking an innocent phase of life where things are positive and untainted.
    • Melancholic. Departing from the duo to work with another, No Joo-hwan e Lee Won-jong were in-house producers. With a concept called passionate melancholy, the until then "pink world" gets urgent in tone as the girls discover the pains of growing up. The lyrics become more poetic and metaphorical. The encouraging lyrics open space to healing songs. Love is seen with a new lens, they go through heartwrenching feelings like longing, yearning and heartbreak of grand love stories.
    • Witch. More of a concept than a sound, they started to work closely with Frants and evolve their image from girls to women. All phases led to this moment, with the members writing and composing songs that were before inspired by them instead. The empowerment theme that became overdone in K-Pop didn't sound generic because it married the wistful and lyrical tone of their existent musical identity, giving a refreshing and unique take to this thematic, and being a Character Development after changing the main subject of the songs.
  • Cosmic Motifs: They have songs named "Time for the Moon Night", "Sunrise", "Eclipse" and others like "Please Save My Earth".
  • Costume Porn: All stages for "Apple" include outfits that were individually tailored and impeccably done, full of details.
  • Cover Version: They did many covers, especially participating in competition shows like Immortal Songs and King of Mask Singer.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "Crossroads" incorporated in the choreography a part where the members are walking around like at a crossroads and Alone in a Crowd, showing their restless state of mind in the moment of choice.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • "Mago" is both the word for wizard in Spanish and the Korean deity, part of the East Asian creation lore.
    • The aforementioned first Studio Album LOL. Lots of Love would represent the lovely (feminine and graceful) side and Laughing Out Loud would represent the refreshing (playful and bubbly) side of the songs and concept photos from the era.
  • Esoteric Motifs: "Tarot Cards", "Mago", "Crossroads", "Three of Cups", "Apple", "Love Spell" and "Wheel of the Year". All are part of their "回 (hui)" series that uses especially esoteric symbolism borrowed from witchcraft.
  • Ethereal Choir: "Memoria".
  • Evolving Music: During their tour, they changed some lyrics for "Me Gustas Tu" and "Time for the Moon Night" in every country to match with their languages.
  • Fairytale Motifs: "Mermaid" is based on The Little Mermaid.
  • Female Empowerment Song:
    • "Apple" uses witch imagery that ends up being related to womanhood rather than a more broad self-empowerment song. The girls said "Apple" is about being honest in one’s desires, rather than simply being swayed by temptation.
      Don’t look back, don’t let yourself worry, in the sweet darkness the witching hour descends.
    • "Mago" follows the same idea combined with the dance floor being the representation of the place where they can be free.
  • Flower Motifs: "Flower", "Flower Garden" and "Water Flower" are some songs, but flowers are mentioned several times in their song lyrics in general. "Better Me" is an example of a flower blooming used as a metaphor in the lyrics.
  • Friendship Song: "My Buddy", "Secret Diary", "Three of Cups" and "LOL" are perfect examples of this.
    • "Secret Diary" is about the friendship between Yerin and Sinb.
    • "Three of Cups" was said to be about celebrating women's friendship. Their sisterhood being represented with the tarot card of the same name.
  • Genre Throwback: A good part of their discography is based on this, "Contrail" is based on ragtime, for example, but especially the album Parallel (2017) with genres like disco and Shibuya-Kei.
  • Grief Song: Implied in "Time for the Moon Night".
  • Hair Flip: The beginning for "Fingertip" choreography and also Sowon's trademark in "Sunrise" and "Crossroads".
  • Hotter and Sexier: Their outfits, stages and video for "Fever" and "Apple".
  • Incredibly Long Note:
    • Yuju in basically every title track and also some B-sides like "Windy Windy" and "My Buddy".
    • "Sunrise" has a high note for almost all of the members, the highlight goes to Eunha's final verse being the embodiment of this trope.
  • In Da Club: The music video for "Mago" and also evoked for their 2020 SBS Gayo "Mago" performance.
  • Internal Homage: MIO, former in-house producers, revealed that "Flower Garden" has Easter Eggs from all GFRIEND's seven first title tracks.
  • Leaving You to Find Myself: "From Me".
  • Letterbox: "Fingertip", "Time for the Moon Night" and the most recent music videos will fall in this category. "Mago" has a 4:3 Aspect Ratio for the Retraux and "Sunrise" an Aspect Ratio Switch to fit the narrative.
  • Love Allegory: A lot of their songs use allegories (and similes) to talk about love, a notable example is "Please Save My Earth".
    You won’t believe me but in the middle of the big universe, past the river of time, become the moonlight and save my earth.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Time for the Moon Night", "La Pam Pam", "Fever", "Paradise", "Flower Garden", "Memoria" and others, most of them sang by Eunha.
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: Averted. The music videos reflect the songs and lyrics. Sometimes groups will tell a non-related story in their music videos while the songs are Silly Love Songs, but for GFRIEND it works both ways, a love song and part of the fictional universe as the characters are communicating in the story. It happens because the lyrics are gender-neutral and vague in a poetic type of way, matching with the music video imagery.
  • Making the Choice for You: "Tarot Cards" is about spreading the cards to unfold the future and plays with this trope.
  • Match Cut: In "Flower", Eunha smashing the flower turning into petals, Umji catches them and blows them, reaching the candles in Yerin's shot.
  • Melismatic Vocals:
    • The powerhouse vocalist Yuju in songs like "Mr. Blue" and "Secret", an OST that displayed amazing vocal runs.
    • Sinb and Eunha in the bridge of "Mago".
  • Musical Episode: "Love in the Air" even emulates a Spontaneous Choreography.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • "Sunny Summer" mentions "Time for the Moon Night" chorus and Korean title "밤 (bam)", the intention being clear when they change from an English phrase to a Korean word:
      Having a good bam (night).
    • Also "Sunny Summer", Eunha opens her mouth and there is a diamond, a nod to "Love Bug" lyrics:
      Nunbushin (dazzling) diamond in my head.
    • "Love Oh Love" playfully references their older title tracks:
      Running through time, finally I'm meeting you. From today on what are we? Oh oh.
  • Ominous Chanting: Played alongside the intro for "Time for the Moon Night" at GDA 2019.
  • One-Word Title: "Rough", "Navillera", "Fingertip", "Memoria", "Sunrise", "Flower", "Fever" and many others.
  • Performance Video:
  • Rearrange the Song:
    • "Season of GFRIEND" used a live band.
    • "Rough" and "Navillera" at MMA 2016, one of their most emblematic performances.
    • "Apple" Rock ver. for KBS 2020 as well.
    • They did ballad versions for "Summer Rain", "Rough", "Sunrise" and even "Time for the Moon Night".
    • They did a School Trilogy Mashup.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Their choreography is heavily centered around the lyrics and the message of the song, even bringing some themes and elements and representing them. Here are some examples:
    • "Time for the Moon Night", the intro and outro representing a solar system and the moon phases.
    • "Sunrise" showing the sun rising and setting with mesmerizing formations.
    • "Rough" and the embodiment of time with clock imagery and turning back (slow motion) moves. There is Tick Tock Tune at the end of the song followed by a dance movement emulating it.
    • The girls blooming like a flower in "Flower Garden".
    • "Summer Rain" is basically a text painting. A poem coming to life.
    • The opening apple tree formation is a highlight of the choreography for "Apple", but the whole choreography perfectly conveys the story told in the lyrics, from the briar-choked road to even off-cam moments, being very theatrical.
  • Rule of Three: They have many musical narratives separate in a trilogy:
    • Season of Glass (2015), Flower Bud (2015) and Snowflake (2016) are known as school trilogy.
    • The Awakening (2017), Parallel (2017) and Rainbow (2017) are connected through their evolved logos.
    • Time for the Moon Night (2018), Sunny Summer (2018) and Time for Us (2018) are part of a heavenly bodies themed arc also connected through evolved logos.
    • The "回 (to return)" series has three acts: Labyrinth (2020), Song of the Sirens (2020) and Walpurgis' Night (2020).
  • Sampling: "Summer Rain" samples Schumann's Dichterliebe, Op.48.
  • Self-Empowerment Anthem:
    Glass Bead: [We] may seem like a clear glass bead, but [we] won't break that easily.
    Under The Sky: I’m telling myself, don’t stop, don’t give up. I don’t care if it takes time. I will achieve my dreams.
    Fever: A big flower breathing in this small world, I think I know how to love myself.
    Better Me: Don’t hesitate again. No one can stop you [...] A flor de flor. Aún más bella. No tengas miedo.
    Mago: Go on and judge me now, I won't ever waver.
  • Separated by the Wall: It's the theme of the collaboration with Sonar Pocket "Oh! Difficult".
  • Singer Namedrop:
    • Their Korean name 여자친구 (yeojachingu) is written vertically in the second verse of "Love Whisper":
      전히 오늘도 화창했었지
      꾸만 하루 종일 네 생각만
      절한 너에게 전하고 싶어 내 맘을
      름에 실어 말하고 말 거야
    • "Sunny Summer" played with this trope during the song, including all the members names, respectively: Yuju, Yerin, Umji (means thumb), Eunha (means galaxy), Sinb (means mysterious) and Sowon (means wish).
      Would you be mine?.
      It’s c-c-c-cold and Yerin is lonely.
      Th-th-th-thumbs up going across the galaxy.
      Into a mysterious place.
      Will you listen to my wish.
  • Songs of Solace: Many, many of their songs. The biggest examples being "You Are Not Alone", "Compass" and "Night Drive".
  • Song Style Shift:
    • "Sunrise" has a bubbly beginning but shifts to a powerful chorus and dramatic ending giving it a roller coaster effect.
    • "Show Up" starts with a low register but then it gets festive, changing to different moods through the song.
  • Spelling Song: "Vacation" and "L.U.V.".
  • Spoken Word in Music:
    • "You Are Not Alone" opens with a whispered "amor" (love).
    • A voice says "there is a place we need to go" blended in the song before they start to sing in "Rough".
    Story Tropes 
Including music videos, short films, mini books and additional content. Unmarked spoilers.
  • Artifact of Power: In the Magical Society they lived in and was once known as "blue butterfly village", there were butterflies everywhere but they disappeared after people started to use them for bad things, but... actually... they weren't totally gone. The butterflies were kept in this box in a Magical Library far from the village by a mysterious man.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: The aspect ratio changes in "Sunrise" when it enters the foggy Arcadian Interlude forest scenes. A piano surrounded by a Mysterious Mist completes the haunting atmosphere. This helps the narrative to indicate a different place or time, playing together with Ethereal White Dress.
  • At the Crossroads: Where they tried to meet and where they lost each other and need to choose a path.
    "Confused about which light to follow, we are still standing here."note 
  • All Just a Dream: Implied when Eunha wakes up in "Fingertip."
  • Astral Projection: It happens in "Fingertip" with Sowon and Umji. Curiously, Sinb projected herself from Eunha.
  • Arc Symbol: The logos usually are evolved versions of previous ones, indicating the beginning or end of an arc.
  • Back to the Early Installment:
    • "Crossroads" has Eunha's crumbling room sequence implying she goes back to "Fingertip" and "Time for the Moon Night" using the butterfly as Interdimensional Travel Device. The music video also opens with a scene straight out of "Fingertip".
    • The ending of "Mago" shows the Secret Underground Passage from "Sunrise".
  • Bathtub Scene: Yerin has one in "Crossroads". She's dressed and a blue butterfly can be seen after she submerges from the bathtub.
  • Biblical Motifs:
    • "Memoria" plays with the angel imagery as they try to reach the sky.
      We are gonna fly, in the blue sky.
    • "Fallin' Light (Angel's Ladder)" is the phenomenon Rays from Heaven.
    • "A Tale of the Glass Bead: Butterfly Effect" shows Eunha finding a Tempting Apple in a tree.
    • "Apple" starts with a Garden of Eden scenery, playing with Forbidden Fruit.
  • Blessed with Suck: If either the power was a blessing or a curse are Arc Words after their conflict that led to the devastation of their village.
  • Book Ends:
    • The same train from the beginning of "Crossroads" appears in the end, but going backward.
    • "Mago" ends with the girls exiting from an alley, just like Sowon came in.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: In "Rough", they were supposed to go in separate ways, they are separated in "Summer Rain" and "Crossroads" is about their conflicts.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Every time you use a butterfly, your glass bead gets darker.
  • Call-Back:
    • "Love Whisper" has a symbolism recalling other music videos: tree ("Me Gustas Tu"), train station ("Rough"), bridge ("Navillera") and butterfly ("Fingertip"). Although, after "A Tale of the Glass Bead" revealed that it was a prequel, it could be called a Call-Forward.
    • "Time for the Moon Night" with a cassette tape from "Love Whisper".
    • "Sunny Summer" has a lighthearted approach, the finger guns to "Fingertip", Umji's paper airplanes in "Time for the Moon Night".
    • Aforementioned "Crossroads" and "Mago".
    • The Song of the Sirens (2020)'s "Tilted" concept photos gather objects from previous stories.
    • The "no more fairy tale" line from "Mago", after "Apple" evoked it.
    • The lyrics of "Wheel of the Year".
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The story started as a Slice of Life, shifting in "Fingertip" and becoming very dark in "Time for the Moon Night".
  • Clocks of Control: There are few clocks throughout the story, a way to symbolize the concept of time. Some examples are in "Fingertip" and "Crossroads". The GDA 2019 stage even had gears.
  • Coming of Age Story: The narrative is about a group of friends while they are growing up and facing life, whether it's the happy or the painful side.
  • Continuity Nod: Every music video has objects that can be seen in other music videos and contents, becoming motifs. The most notable examples are the glass bead, the clock starting with "Rough" and the butterfly starting with "Navillera".
    • Butterfly: "Navillera" (mentioned), "Fingertip", "Love Whisper", "Crossroads", "Apple".
    • Letters: "Rough", "Summer Rain".
    • Diary: "Rough", "Fingertip", "Summer Rain", "Sunrise".
    • Phone booth: "Summer Rain", "Sunrise".
    • Paper airplanes: "Rough", "Time for the Moon Night", "Sunny Summer", "Sunrise".
    • Cassette Tape: "Love Whisper", "Time for the Moon Night".
    • Clock: "Rough", "Fingertip", "Sunrise", "Crossroads".
    • Ladder: "Sunrise", "Fallin' Light".
    • Glass beads: "Glass Bead" (mentioned), "Fingertip", "Time for the Moon Night", "Crossroads", "Apple".
    • Box: "Fingertip", "Time for the Moon Night", "Crossroads", "Apple".
    • Railroad: "Love Whisper" and Labyrinth (2020)'s "Crossroads" concept photos.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: There is a thematic of loss of innocence through the story, but especially Eunha starting from "Fingertip" and becoming an Emotionless Girl through "Time for the Moon Night" and "Crossroads".
  • Cosmic Motifs: From the Constellations in "Fingertip" and "Memoria" to the Solar and Lunar trilogy symbolism, especially in "Time for the Moon Night".
  • Cypher Language: Used in the celestial bodies trilogy, starting with "Time for the Moon Night". Only the characters for the members and group name are official, but fans made an alphabet based on them.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: They have a school club for dancing.
  • Darker and Edgier: "Fingertip" compared to the previous music video "Navillera".
  • Deal with the Devil: The blue butterfly is a Magic Enhancement, but can lead to uncontrollable situations and turn dark the glass bead of whoever uses it. The blue butterfly isn't necessarily a bad entity, but it turned into a Cursed Item due to the circumstances.
  • Desolation Shot: "A Tale of the Glass Bead: Butterfly Effect" starts with a dark and devastated version of the island. Maybe magic has Gone Horribly Wrong since the mini book that starts with the scene says:
    "I thought we would be happy if we gained magic, but instead we..."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "回 (hui)" is a Sino-Korean character that means "to return".
  • Enchanted Forest: They are lost inside a forest in "A Tale of the Glass Bead: Butterfly Effect", without being able to meet each other. Every girl seems to be in a different place or/and time, following the clothes: Sowon (presumably Sunrise or an unknown era), Yerin (Apple), Eunha (presumably Rough), Yuju (Crossroads), Sinb (Time for the Moon Night) and Umji (presumably Summer Rain or Crossroads).
    "Will we ever break free from this grim and shadowy forest? And then, a song, floating through the darkness."
  • Enigmatic Empowering Entity: The lake in "Love Whisper" is a Place of Power that gives them small abilities and Where It All Began.
  • Evil Tainted the Place: The transition between Labyrinth (2020)'s "Room" concept photos to Song of the Sirens (2020)'s "Broken Room".
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Eunha in "Navillera".
  • Fairytale Motifs:
    • "Apple" basically being a dark fantasy borrowed some elements from fairy tales. Firstly, Snow White, when Eunha bites the apple. Yerin evokes Sleeping Beauty as well as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland when she chases the butterfly into the labyrinth. "A Tale of the Glass Bead: Buttefly Effect", a prelude to "Apple", also evokes Cinderella, when someone left behind one of the slippers in the forest.
    • The illustrated mini books follow a fairy tale format, the name of the story is "A Tale of the Glass Bead" after all.
  • Flower Motifs: A red rose in "Fingertip" and a big flower with a moon in the center behind "Time for Us" photocards are notable examples.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A lot of their previous songs have "Crossroads" in the lyrics.
      Rough: If I could run through time and grow up, I'll hold your hands at the crossroads.
    • The last lyrics of "Summer Rain" when the next music video is "Time for the Moon Night".
      "At a crossroad hiding the moon in the night sky / I'm waiting for you / Will there be a miracle?"
  • Former Friends Photo: There are many in "Sunrise" with Sowon.
  • Freeze-Frame Ending: "Time for the Moon Night" last scene is a compilation of this, including a looking back into the camera moment.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Used in "Summer Rain" to show their hopelessness.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Envy is what led to the conflict between them. The details are unknown, but it was caused by their individual magical abilities.
    "Envy is like a seed planted in our hearts, growing in its own without water or care, twisting its vines amongst us."
  • Happier Home Movie: Not a video, though "Navillera" and "Sunny Summer" display some homemade videos recorded by Yuju, but a tape that Yerin listens to in "Time for the Moon Night".
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Umji in "Crossroads", after she fought with Yuju.
  • Heal the Cutie: They cherish their moments with Eunha in "Time for the Moon Night", turning into a heartwarming moment.
  • Hedge Maze: Yerin is running inside one in "Apple", the previous album chapter was named Labyrinth with a song with the same name. Sowon said that "Labyrinth" is about Double Consciousness, a story of a girl who faces an identity crisis in a maze-like world, agonizing over whether to stay or escape from it. A maze-like garden appears in some of their stages like "Rough", "Apple" and even a "Fever" performance that was named Une Journée Au Jardin.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Eunha sacrifices her glass bead integrity to save her friends with the help of the blue butterflies' power. Later, in the latest story book, is revealed that all of them did the same for each other and that They Couldn't Fight Fate.
  • Holding Hands: Yerin and Sinb in "Love Whisper" and "Crossroads". It's a heavy motif in the storyline as "Rough" says "I will hold your hand in this cruel world".
  • I Never Got Any Letters: Implied in "Summer Rain", all the written (and non-written) letters were discarded and not delivered.
  • It's Always Sunny at Funerals: Yuju is mourning someone's death and it's a bright day in "Time for the Moon Night".
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: When they met to find Eunha in her Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere (a Secret Room is mentioned in the lyrics from "Time for the Moon Night"), there is a Dramatic Thunder in a scene where the girls look directly at the camera.
  • Karaoke Bonding Scene: The Dance Party Ending from "Sunny Summer" that started as a Scary Surprise Party for Yerin.
  • Lady in Red: Sinb in the ending of "Apple".
  • Lady Land: Downplayed. They studied in a One-Gender School (with a male Stern Teacher) and live on an island where all the girls are born with a glass bead. "Mago" is a women-only club as well.
  • Let the Past Burn: The tree burning at the end of "Apple" could represent it as "Mago" lyrics even say "in the blessed flames I fly reborn", bringing this imagery back laced with rebirth.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: There is a day and night contrast running through most of the music videos. "Time for the Moon Night", "Sunny Summer", "Fever" and "Apple" start from daytime and turn into night-time.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: The transition between the Garden of Eden and Bright Castle scenery to a thorny Haunted Castle in "Apple". The comeback stage also has a transition between Greek goddesses to dark witches with an Ominous Visual Glitch.
  • Living Shadow: Sowon has a crying shadow in the first mini book. Although, it could be a metaphor for how she felt inside since she looks happy.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Eunha playing piano in "Sunrise" alone in a forest.
  • Longing Look: Yerin and Eunha through "Navillera", Yuju and Umji in "Crossroads" and between the girls in "Time for the Moon Night" in moments of tenderness.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: It's implied in the first teaser of "Apple", where the girls are eating flowers.
  • Love Confession:
    • Yerin confesses to Eunha in "Navillera", even doing Love Doodles in her roller skates.
    • Eunha also receives a confession through a Love Letter in "Rough".
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Initially their magical powers were just small abilities.
  • Magic Music: The piano sheet found in "Sunrise". Umji finds the last puzzle piece to complete it, Eunha already is playing the song in the forest. It's implied that the girls meet when both of them play together.
  • Magical Guide: The blue butterfly to Eunha. Even being called blue light in "A Tale of the Glass Bead: Butterfly Effect".
  • Memento MacGuffin: Yerin's tape. It's named "2006.03 가죽여행 (Family Trip)".
  • Mind Screw: "Fingertip" is a perfect example. It happens to be a Dream Sequence with a lot of symbolism, Battle in the Center of the Mind, Mirror Universe and the classic All Just a Dream ending. It's ambiguous if Eunha's dream is Dreaming of Times Gone By, Dreaming of Things to Come or even Crashing Dreams.
  • Mythical Motifs: "Labyrinth" and "Song of the Sirens".
  • Ominous Message from the Future: The cassette tape from "Love Whisper" was found in a swing under the tree.
  • Once More, with Clarity: The initial scene from "Crossroads" being the same as "Fingertip".
  • Opening Monologue: Umji opens "Sunrise" saying:
    "I had a dream last night. The moment we could be together was just short, we were not far away from each other."
  • Ordinary High-School Student: They start as high school students until their graduation day when everything changes.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The last scene from "Fingertip" or even "Sunrise" motivated by Sinb's Single Tear, similar to Eunha in "Fingertip".
  • Pandora's Box: A visual metaphor used when Eunha opens the box and the butterflies fly in a sequence of "Apple". This box appears in other music videos as well like "Fingertip", "Crossroads" and "Time for the Moon Night". The person who gave the box to Eunha says that when she used the final butterfly, things greater than what she can handle could happen.
  • Pen Pals: The girls exchange letters throughout the story, especially in "Rough" and "Summer Rain".
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Downplayed with the note the girls left for Sowon and she reads in the train platform from "Rough".
    "Sowon, if you're going away too, live well. Don't forget our friendship. We miss you so much! Contact us often."
  • Portal Crossroad World: A door can be seen in "Time for the Moon Night", curiously, only in the teaser and a portal in "Fingertip" where Eunha passes by.
  • Power Crystal: A glass bead that all the girls received when were born. Its appearance can be ambiguous sometimes:
    • An illustration appears in Parallel (2017) album package with a hand holding it.
    • The girls appear together around a table with what looks like a Crystal Ball in "Season of GFRIEND" teaser. The table scene also appears in the concert's third act "Awake" VCR and scenes from the music videos "Glass Bead", "Me Gustas Tu" and "Rough" appear inside it.
  • Power of Friendship: It seems like the story is driven by this, all of their music videos share their friendship and how they are precious to each other. Most of the music videos show them reuniting in the end, but some of them resemble a memory from the past.
  • Queer Romance: Yuju and Umji is lightly implied, as well as a Love Triangle, but Yerin and Eunha in "Navillera" were confirmed by them.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sinb and Sowon, respectively, in "Apple".
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • The internal conflict of each girl can be seen in the aforementioned Song of the Sirens (2020)'s "Tilted" concept photos, as it displays objects related to the characters and their moral dilemma as well as the books: Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, On Liberty by John Stuart Mill and Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee with an Assimilation Academy imagery. The scale was also explored in the "Apple" comeback stage and the weight of the objects are more symbolic than literal.
    • One of the versions of Labyrinth (2020) is called "Twisted", a reference to Ariadne's thread and the Minotaur labyrinth, but also a Foreshadowing of "A Tale of the Glass Bead: Butterfly Effect" and their twisted paths.
  • Schrödinger's Butterfly: The story introduced the possibility of an Alternate Universe caused by The Butterfly Effect, but also implied lucid dreams and meeting each other in the dreams numerous times. The ambiguity messes with the audience and its interpretations.
  • School Girl Series: So, Everyone Went to School Together and that's what the school trilogy is about:
  • Seasonal Baggage: Elements of the season are used to show the time of the year. It can be seen in "Rough" and the snowy weather as well as the summery music videos like "Love Whisper" and "Me Gustas Tu".
  • Shattering the Illusion: Implied in the break scene of "Fingertip".
  • Shear Menace: The girls use scissors in "Apple" to cut each other's hair before setting it on fire.
  • Significant Anagram: Yerin with siren, displayed in Song of the Sirens (2020)'s "Broken Room".
  • Solar and Lunar: The day and night duality is explored through these celestial bodies in "Time for the Moon Night", "Sunny Summer" and "Sunrise", a series of events connected by the moon and the sun.
  • Space Opera: In "Fingertip" with guns, betrayal and even a car.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: "Apple" lyrics are full of Evil Feels Good such as "let rise the shimmering light of destruction", one of the stages even used a reversed pentacle.
  • Tarot Motifs: "Choice" is an important word for this trilogy, the photobook that was supposed to be the concept for their tour even has this name. Each member recreated a tarot card for the pictures:
    • Sowon: The Temperance
    • Yerin: The Chariot
    • Eunha: Wheel of Fortune
    • Yuju: The Empress
    • Sinb: The Strength
    • Umji: The Magician.
  • The Bridge: A place that appears in several videos and is part of their village.
  • The Call Left a Message: The butterfly in "Love Whisper" guides them to a cassette player under a tree.
  • The Corruption: "Apple" is about being swayed by temptation, but by your own terms. The concept photos reflect it as well, the aforementioned "Broken Room", "Tilted" and "Apple" (representing the dazzling and shining temptation). The chapter is related to the butterflies being used, tainting their glass beads, a symbol of corruption. Although, rather than tainted red, they choose considerably positive words:
    "Dream the red dream, endless and deep
    Translucent glass beads glowing red [...]
    Infuse with color all my grey decisions.
  • The Hidden Hour: Implied many times with frozen scenes and restless objects in "Time for the Moon Night", "Sunrise", "Crossroads"... and the lyrics for "Apple" mentions the witching hour.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: A place called Glass Bead Store where the girls are the clerks. It appeared as the VCR for their 2021 NYEL stage, but it was mentioned for the first time in their "Dear Buddy: Make a Wish" fan meeting, saying that it would be the only day that you could visit and that "your wish will be fulfilled".
  • The Hedge of Thorns: It's explored in "Apple" Ending by Ascending final act, but mentioned in the first verse of the song:
    "On the briar-choked road
    Blood-red footsteps remain
    Why does that icy decision
    Hurt me so, was it a mistake.
  • The Little Detecto: Yerin's "Love Whisper" tape recorder (or why Sowon is carrying an antenna?)
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: Yuju's trapped inside of a mirror in "Fingertip" and her reflection moves in "Fallin' Light".
  • Thousand Paper Cranes: Sowon in "Memoria", curiously Sowon's name means wish.
  • The 'Verse: The story permeating all music videos with its own theories and characters page.
  • Time Capsule: The girls are gathered together to open one in the ending of "Rough".
  • Trophy Room: They have one in "Navillera", Sinb is cleaning the trophies.
  • Two Beings, One Body: "Labyrinth" when they sing "You know the truth, I’ll soon become you".
  • Two Roads Before You: The beginning of "A Tale of the Glass Bead: Butterfly Effect".
  • Visual Metaphor:
    • The word apple isn't mentioned in the lyrics of "Apple", even if it's a symbol of temptation, it's mostly used as a visual metaphor for the glass bead turning red in multiple scenes of the music video.
    • One could say the disco ball from "Mago" represents the moon following the verse "we can dance in this moon night again".
  • Western Zodiac: There are constellations representing the sun signs of every member in "Time for the Moon Night" illustration teaser.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: It's implied by the Solar and Lunar trilogy composed of "Time for the Moon Night", "Sunny Summer" and "Sunrise":
    • "Time for the Moon Night" is a night meeting between them.
    • "Sunny Summer" quotes Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?...") and Sonnet 43 ("All days are nights to see till I see thee / And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me") connecting to Umji's monologue from "Sunrise" and implying the importance of "day, night and dreams".
    • In "Sunrise", the monologue talks about the time they have with each other as the story shows it's Eunha's birthday. There are three versions: "Daybreak", "Daytime" and "Midnight". There is a Sundial Waypoint in the plot as well, hinting at a Liminal Time.
  • Walpurgisnacht: "Apple" recalls a festival as the lyrics warn that the witches' night coming. Curiously, "Time for the Moon Night" was released on April, 30 and the final installment from the series is called Walpurgis' Night.
    "There’s no turning back when the night turns restless / Let the festival I dared to imagine come alive"
  • Worldbuilding: "A Tale of the Glass Bead" short films and the illustrated mini books called "유리구슬 (Glass Bead) Märchen", that comes with the album, give more context for the story and the world that it happens.

"I may seem like a clear glass bead, but I won't break that easily."