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Series / Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

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Oh yeah, I'd buy ramyun from these boys. note 

Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (꽃미남 라면가게), also known as Cool Guys, Hot Ramen (international title), is a Korean Drama that ran from October to December 2011, airing on South Korea's TVN cable network. A girl, some cute boys and a ramyun shop. What could possibly go awry?

Yang Eun Bi, a former volleyball champ and high school delinquent, is now trying to get a teaching position by acting as a student intern at Cha Sung High School. She dreams of finding that perfect guy, using a 1-100 point scale. Enter Cha Chi Soo, whom she rates as a perfect 100. That was, of course, before she found out he is 19 years old, one of the students in her class, the grandson of the namesake of the school, and heir to a huge conglomerate.

Choi Kang Hyuk, a mysterious and tall fellow, shows up with ownership papers for her late father's ramyun shop, written in crayon and signed and chopped by her father. Together they reopen the shop, calling it "Flower Boy." The chosen employees include:

  • Kim Ba Wool, also known as Crazy Chicken and a gang leader;
  • Woo Hyun Woo, a poor high school student who has loan sharks after him; and,
  • Of course, Cha! Chi! Soo!

As the series progresses, hearts begin to boil over like a pot of noodles! For Crazy Chicken, it's Soo Yi. For Eun Bi...well...the pot is still percolating on that one.

The series contains the following examples:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Kang Hyuk calls Cha Chi Soo "Park Chi Soo" and later refers to him as "Kim Chi Soo." As a Running Gag, he always refers to Chi Soo with an incorrect surname.
  • A-Cup Angst: Eun Bi gets upset when Chi Soo justifies touching her chest as "it's hardly any different from mine."
  • As the Good Book Says...: Ba Wool quotes the Gospel of Matthew ("whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me") when talking to a fellow gang leader.
  • Advertisement:
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Chi Soo and Eun Bi.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Chi Soo is covered with them when he's introduced on the airplane.
  • Break Her Heart To Save Her: Chi Soo to Eun Bi in Episode 15. He tells her he never loved her and just wanted to play with a commoner's heart. Truth is, his dad threatened to destroy her shop and house unless Chi Soo broke it off and went back to the Family Business.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Korean-Japanese Kang Hyuk
  • Can't Believe I Said That: After Ba Wool finally calls Soo Yi out on her left hand/right hand metaphor by providing one of his own ("Eun Bi front, Soo Yi back"), he stomps off and mumbles to himself, "I can't believe I said that to Yoon Soo Yi."
  • The Cameo: Chi Soo goes to a music store to find a particular song, and behind the counter is actress Gong Hyo Jin. The song in the background is "De Geun De Geun (Heartbeat)" from the soundtrack of the Korean Drama Best Love. (Gong Hyo Jin plays Gu Ae Jung, the main love interest in that series.)
  • The Casanova: Chi Soo is absolutely shameless.
  • The Chick: Woo Hyun Woo is the most sensitive of the group; he also smothers the team, especially Ba Wool.
  • Christmas Cake: Lampshaded, in that Eun Bi mentions 25 years as the "Christmas" age in episode 1.
  • Cool Big Sis: Eun Bi to Ba Wool, who admires her for being a former gang leader, and the daughter of a man he idolized.
  • Conscription: Chi Soo.
  • Doting Parent: Chi Soo's dad, in spades.
  • Dramatic Shattering: Actually comedic shattering, when Eun Bi drops a tea cup after Chi Soo's dad offers her the teaching position back.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Eun Bi in the third episode, after burying her dad.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Eun Bi drops her teacher ID badge and whacks Chi Soo in the head with a volleyball for making fun of her.
  • Eastern Zodiac: Both Chi Soo (1993) and Kang Hyuk (1981) are roosters. Eun Bi is a rabbit, which makes her 6 years older than Chi Soo and 6 years younger than Kang Hyuk.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Chi Soo and his cronies, especially the shirtless Pool Scene
  • Evil Debt Collector: Hyun Woo is being chased by debt collectors.
  • Extreme Doormat: Soo Yi willingly and immediately follows every edict from Chi Soo, even if it includes dating someone else.
  • Family Business: The Cha Sung Group.
  • Female Gaze: In the first scene a woman on an airplane looks over Cha Soo, who's in the next seat. He smiles at her, and then he glitters.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Fortune Teller: Eun Bi goes to one, who makes predictions about her love life.
  • Genki Girl: Eun Bi, who looks at the positives in any situation not involving Chi Soo.
  • Gratuitous English: Chi Soo. Turns to Gratuitous Japanese for Kang Hyuk.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: When Chi Soo leans in for a kiss...
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms:
    • Poop
      • "If you take a dump, you have to flush!"
    • There are many mentions to a person's unique smell.
    • Chi Soo's language when he talks about his feelings for Eun Bi is almost always Double Speak.
    • Soo Yi, who's dating both Chi Soo and Ba Wool, tells Ba Wool that "Chi Soo is her left hand, Ba Wool is her right." Later, she mentions that she's right-handed.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • The Ramyun Shop is originally called "Eun Bi Ramyun" or "If it's Eun Bi"
      • Ba Wool also says "If it's Eun Bi"
    • One of Eun Bi's nicknames is "eun-nem-bi" (steel pot).
      • She uses it later to explain her feelings for Chi Soo. "You said it's your first time, feeling chest pain and nausea. I’ve felt it before, and I know how crazy hot it boils, and how dangerous it is. Since I'm eun-nem-bi, I boil faster and hotter than anyone else."
    • Chi Soo calls Eun Bi "eebbeunie" (pretty).
  • Imagine Spot:
    • In the first episode Eun Bi imagines righteously yelling at two rude students at the testing center. In real life she is much meeker.
    • Eun Bi has a dream where Chi Soo is locked in a tower that she had to climb in order to rescue him.
  • In-Series Nickname: Ba Wool is known in school as "Crazy Chicken." Also, Chi Soo frequently refers to Eun Bi as "Intern" and Kang Hyuk as "Tamanegi," which is Japanese for "onion."
  • Karaoke Box: The gang goes out to cheer up Eun Bi one night.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • After finding out that Kang Hyuk and Chi Soo are brothers, Ba Wool asks, "What type of makjang is this?" note 
      • Episode 14 is called "The Difference Between Makjang and Soonjung." note 
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Kang Hyuk and Eun Bi's father Yang Chul Dong
    Yang Chul Dong: You jerk. Your boss says he's dying and you come 13 hours later? Did you forget our agreement?
    Kang Hyuk: Hearing your voice, you would have been fine even if I came back 13 years later.
    Yang Chul Dong: I couldn't die yet because I wanted to ask you why you're late!
  • Likes Older Women: Chi Soo, who at 19 years old, is six years younger that Eun Bi.
  • Literal-Minded: When Eun Bi explains to Chi Soo that he can't make her heart boil because he's never cooked ramyun (she meant he had never been in her situation in life), he goes to Kang Hyuk, learns how to make it, then shows his new cooking skill to Eun Bi. Naturally, he's stumped when she doesn't just fall into his arms right away.
    • When Eun Bi explains that they can't be together because "lions don't eat grass," Chi Soo searches the internet and finds out that, in Real Life, lions will sometimes eat grass (to help with digestion), and hurries off to show this to Eun Bi.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The first episode is titled "For Whom the Bell Tolls".
  • Long-Lost Relative: Chi Soo and Kang Hyuk are half-brothers.
  • Love at First Punch: Chi Soo started his obsession with Eun Bi after she spiked him with a volleyball.
  • Love Dodecahedron: The series came with an official one (in Korean).
  • Love Triangle:
    • Chi Soo <-> Soo Yi <-> Ba Wool
    • Chi Soo <-> Eun Bi <-> Kang Hyuk
  • Manchild: Chi Soo
  • Market-Based Title: The show is alternatively called Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Flower Boy Ramen Shop, or Cool Guys, Hot Ramen. Not to mention the actual name in Korean. Or Japanese.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Eun Bi leaving the Cha Sung building at the same time Cha Soo is walking in, but they don't see each other.
  • Missing Mom: Both Chi Soo and Eun Bi's mothers are not in their lives.
  • Moral Myopia: Soo Yi sees nothing wrong with dating Ba Wool and Chi Soo at the same time, despite the former continuing to voice his hatred of it, but when Ba Wool talks about Eun Bi a little too much for her liking she gets upset.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Kang Hyuk shows signs of this, if not being a Genius Ditz Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
  • Ojou: Yoon Soo Yi
  • Overprotective Dad: Chi Soo's dad, who tells Eun Bi she can break anything she wants, as long as she doesn't break his son.
  • Pool Scene: In which Chi Soo goes underwater to contemplate life, and ends up ruining a swim race and nearly drowns.
  • Potty Emergency: The boys do a pee pee dance waiting for Eun Bi to finish in the bathroom.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: CHA! CHI! SOO!
  • Race for Your Love
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: A runaway gang leader, a boy with advanced domestic skills hiding from loan sharks, a Lonely Rich Kid, a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, and an Action Girl.
  • Ramen Slurp
  • Real Men Can Cook: Kang Hyuk is a wonderful cook.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Happens more than once when something unexpected surprised Eun Bi, starting in the first episode when Eun Bi's memories of her old boyfriend are interrupted by memories of Chi Soo.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Chi Soo's idea of comforting Eun Bi after the loss of her father was to give her an envelope of money. When she got mad, he offered her more in case it wasn't enough comfort.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: When Eun Bi explains to Chi Soo why throwing a credit card around doesn't fix things
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Chi Soo pretty much does what he wants, both in school and with his dad.
  • Shirtless Scene: Kang Hyuk dressed only in a towel and covered in oil. God bless army service.
  • Shout-Out:
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Chi Soo gives one to Eun Bi at the end of episode 10.
  • Sibling Triangle: Chi Soo and Kang Hyuk are half brothers.
  • Source Music: Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are" plays in the background at the coffee shop when Chi Soo tries to describe Eun Bi.
    • Later, at the music shop next to the ramyun shop, there is a Bruno Mars poster in the background (episode 8).
  • Spiritual Successor: to The First Shop of Coffee Prince and to Best Love.
  • Spit Take: When Eun Bi sees Kang Hyuk behind her wearing only a towel.
  • Spoiled Brat: Chi Soo is unbelievably pampered. His rich father gave him a band when Chi Soo decided he wanted to be a musician. All the teachers at his school grovel before him (his father owns the school).
  • Stalking Is Love: Kang Hyuk's advances can be seen as this as he reportedly spends four days at Eun Bi's house without her knowledge. And there's also Chi Soo, who continues to follow Eun Bi even though she's explicitly asked him not to see her anymore.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: Chi Soo's randomizer in episode 9 - except for when it really counts
  • Sustained Misunderstanding:
    • Kang Hyuk calls Cha Chi Soo "Park Chi Soo" when they first meet. Chi Soo tells him that "Kim Chi Soo" and "Park Chi Soo" are names, "Cha Chi Soo" is a proper noun. (As in the surname Cha is a brand.) Kang Hyuk's reply? "All names are proper nouns." As a Running Gag, he then proceeds to use the wrong surname for Chi Soo whenever he can.
    • Chi Soo's father Chairman Cha
      • Chi Soo calls Pororo the Little Penguin his father when he's mad at Chairman Cha. Chairman Cha, taking offense, asks his secretary to research Pororo. The secretary is confused. "Pororo? He's a penguin." Later, Chairman Cha is apparently keeping track of his "rivalry" with Pororo.
      • When Chi Soo says he's "lost face" (been humiliated), Chairman Cha promises to "buy it back."
  • Team Dad: Kang Hyuk
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Ba Wool and Chi Soo at the ramyun shop
  • Through His Stomach: Through Her Stomach: Chi Soo cooks a pot of ramyun from scratch just for his jagi ("honey") Eun Bi.
  • Toilet Humor: There's rather of a lot of this, from subtle comments to a pee-pee dance in front of a closed water closet.
  • The VJ Day Kiss: Eun Bi and Chi Soo assume the pose but don't actually kiss.
  • You Are Grounded!: Chi Soo's father from Flower Boy Ramyun Shop refuses to let him go out after he has an attack at the swimming pool, but he sneaks out with the help of a woman he charmed several episodes earlier.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Kang Hyuk never says Chi Soo's correct surname unless he asking a serious question or making an important point.
  • Younger than They Look: Hilariously subverted—when they first meet, Chi Soo reveals that his astrological sign is six years off of Eun Bi's. She adds six to her age, and compliments him on looking so youthful for age 31. He's 19.