Follow TV Tropes


Series / Emergency Couple

Go To

Emergency Couple (응급남녀) is a 2014 Korean Drama about a divorced couple that meet again as student doctors. Jin Hee is a pretty young woman working as a dietician in Seoul. She gets married to medical student Chang-min despite his mother Yang-ja's violent opposition (the series begins with Jin Hee and Chang-min running away from goons sent by his mother to stop the wedding). Chang-min's family is full of doctors, but after Yang-ja cuts him off he has to drop out of med school and work as a pharmaceutical salesman. The marriage quickly deteriorates under family and money pressures, and after a violent argument in which they wreck each other's stuff, they break up for good.

Cut forward six years, and Chang-min, who got back in his family's good graces after divorcing Jin Hee, has completed med school and started his internship. As for Jin Hee, she has a new job, which doesn't prevent her from getting drunk out of her mind the night before she's supposed to go to work. In fact, she gets so drunk that she gets alcohol poisoning and is taken to the hospital. The hospital where Chang-min is starting his internship. And what makes it even better is that Jin Hee's new job is—wait for it—as a doctor, since in the six years since her divorce she went to medical school too. And her new internship is at that same hospital, along with her ex-husband.


Emergency Couple ran for 21 episodes. Other characters include Ah-reum, a very pretty female internist that Chang-min's mother wants him to marry; Gook Cheon-soo, the male chief of the ER, and a very tough taskmaster who is nicknamed "The Devil"; and Ji-hye, a female surgeon who has a past with Cheon-soo.


  • Artistic License – Medicine: Episode 3 involves a patient who has been shot in the leg, only to have the bullet travel through his bloodstream and lodge near the heart. In Real Life, this is utterly impossible.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Actually, mostly belligerence in the early episodes, as Jin Hee and Chang-min appear to genuinely loathe each other.
  • Beta Couple: More like Gamma Couple, but in any case, Sang-hyuk and Young-ae, who are also interns, and who are married.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Happens in Episode 14 when one of the interns (not our heroes) makes a medication mistake, and sends an old man home with medicine he really should not be taking. He comes back in dire straits, coughing up blood. The doctors save him.
  • Advertisement:
  • Buxom Is Better: Implied at least by Chang-min, when he notes Jin Hee's "flat chest".
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Seoul, a city of 10 million people with a metro area of 25 million, and Jin Hee and Chang-min get assigned to the same hospital on the same day.
    • Seoul, a city of 10 million people, and the vagaries of fate lead every member of the main cast to be at the same night club at the end of episode 6.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Chang-min manages to revive a patient who was clinically dead for 20 minutes.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: Jin Hee and Chang-min are reunited six years after their divorce.
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Gook, who doesn't mince words when it comes to his interns.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Dr. Gook, who is a harsh taskmaster. However, scenes when he is not berating his interns reveal that he is really a nice guy.
  • Elevator Failure: Chang-min and Jin Hee are taking a cancer patient to ICU in episode 3 when the emergency alarm malfunctions and winds up stopping their elevator. Sure enough, they wind up having to do a tracheotomy on the patient when a blood vessel in his throat ruptures.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Ji-hye reveals to Cheon-soo in Episode 11 that she has a four-year-old daughter. Her boyfriend broke up with her when she wouldn't get an abortion.
  • Gratuitous English: The chant "kiss, kiss, heart, beat" that ends every commercial break.
  • Hand Gagging: Chang-min grabs Jin Hee, drags her into a closet, and clamps a hand over her mouth in Episode 2, after seeing his mother in the hospital hallway.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: The scene in episode 6 where Jin-hee has to be taken home by cab after drinking too much has the taxi driver played by Kang Gary, a scene-long reference to the fact that he and Jin-hee's actress Song Ji-hyo were the two halves of the "Monday Couple" on Running Man. Drunk Jin-hee seems to gain fourth-wall breaking powers as the taxi driver helps her to the car, singing a few lines of Gary's song "Shower Later" and calling the driver "Uncle Gary".
    Driver: "Gary"? Who's "Gary" — I'm the driver!note 
    Driver (After laying Jin-hee down in the back seat): I feel like I'm going to meet someone on Monday.note 
  • Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: In episode 3 Chang-min and Jin Hee have to do this to a patient with esophageal cancer after they get stuck in an elevator.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Apparently something that people still do in 21st-century Korea. In Episode 18 Jin Hee treats an old lady for pneumonia. Jin Hee mentions the old lady's lung cancer, which is a surprise to the old lady. It turns out her son had left instructions for the doctors not to tell her.
  • Medical Drama
  • Secret Test: In Ji-hye's first scene, she is a patient in the ER, who is demanding Demerol (an opiate), and insisting she is allergic to any other pain reliever. Chang-min finally caves and agrees to prescribe her some Demerol—and thus fails the test, as she is really a doctor, testing the ER doctors and how they react to patients seeking drugs.
  • Serious Business: Getting divorced, at least in Korea—all the doctors are stunned into silence in Episode 14 when Jin Hee reveals that she is a divorcee.
  • Sleep Cute: After Jin Hee and Cheon-soo make an emergency call together in episode 7, he falls asleep on her shoulder as they ride the bus back.
  • Staggered Zoom: A staggered zoom out in episode #12 after Chang-min tells Jin Hee he wants to "start over" with her.
  • Time Skip: The first episode skips forward six years after Chang-min and Jin Hee divorce, picking back up with both of them as interns doing ER duty.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: