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Series / Sungkyunkwan Scandal

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Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Hangul: 성균관 스캔들) is a 2010 Korean Series about a group of popular students studying at Sungkyunkwan University during the Joseon dynasty.

The main character is Kim Yoon Hee, a cross-dresser who poses as her brother in order to provide for her family. After a series of mishaps, she ends up at Sungkyunkwan where she is pulled into the politics that goes beyond the boundaries of the school. Along the way, she meets and befriends Lee Sun Joon, Gu Yong Ha, and Moon Jae Shin—each with his own political alliance.

Their alliance doesn't go unnoticed by the War Minister's son, Ha In Soo, who's determined not to let their cross-political party friendship usurp his Absurdly Powerful Student Council.

The series contains examples of:

  • Cool and Unusual Punishment : Yoon Hee gives herself up for "cheating" on an entrance exam and is sent to Sungkyunkwan by the king as punishment.
  • The Dandy: Yong Ha is a sharp dresser with a materialist streak a mile wide.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Yoon Hee's mother tries to get her to stop cross-dressing and attending school, believing it would get her in trouble.
  • Historical Domain Character: The king in this show is Jeongjo, whose father, Crown Prince Sado, was put to death by the previous king, Yeongjo. King Yeongjo, who happened to be Sado's father (and Jeongjo's grandfather), came to believe that Sado was violently insane. This really happened. Also, Jeongjo spent most of his life trying to clear his father's name.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Sun Joon loves Yoon Hee, whether she's a man or not.
  • I Regret Nothing: Subverted when Yoon Hee asks if her mother regrets forsaking her family to marry. Her mother replies that of course she regrets it; if she hadn't alienated her family, they wouldn't be so wretchedly poor.
  • It Amused Me: Yong Ha's antics trying to get other students in trouble and trying to get people to find out Yoon Hee's true gender are all because he's bored and wants excitement.
  • Jerkass: Lee Sun Joon is a stickler to the rules and an ass to anyone who disobeys. He gets better.
  • Love Dodecahedron: The show has the following relationships.
    • Hyo Eun -> Sun Joon <-> Yoon Hee <- Cho Sun <- In Soo.
    • There's also Gul Oh's crush on Yoon Hee.
  • The Nicknamer: Yong Ha (nicknamed "Yeo Rim"/Womanizer) calls Yoon Hee "Daemul" (Big One), Sun Joon "Ga Rang" (Ideal/Beautiful Husband), and Jae Shin "Gul Oh" (Crazy Horse)— and the names stick.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: In-Universe. The entire school is arranged around separating students in accordance with their parents' political alliances. So much so that the fact that Jae Shin (Soron political party), Sun Joon (Noron), and Yoon Hee (unaffiliated) live together is a scandal. (Not to mention that one of them is a girl.)