Random Blabber: The Second Lead Syndrome Phenomenon Gone Wrong


You know what is the most irritating characters in any drama or novel?!

Clingy second lead.

And that’s when you decide that you’re not going to get affected by the Second Lead Syndrome.

Look, love triangles are pretty essential in most romantic novels and dramas, and I totally get that. But it doesn’t mean that I appreciate the fact that our OTP realizes their love for each other through a catalyst named as second lead!

Okay, I know that I got distracted from the actual point, so I’ll get there now.

What is Second Lead Syndrome?

According to Asianbolt, it’s the psychological condition developed when you get to know that the person you’re rooting for isn’t actually the main lead. It ends up making you mentally depressed, and might even lead to hallucinations and several other mental and physical ailments.

Whew, that’s pretty complicated right?! So, I’ll make it simple now!

Bottomline: When the OTP isn’t someone you imagined.

Not everybody goes through this phase in their lives, but once it happens, it’s pretty irritating, yunno!

So, why did I choose to talk about all this now? I was watching Warm and Cozy (K-Drama), and I seriously wanted to give the Second Female Lead, Ji-won, a huge kick on her a*s. I don’t even think I should call her Second Female Lead, coz she’s more like the villain of the story.


The most irritating fact of all this is that she actually didn’t even give me a single chance to feel confused as to whether she’s worthy of the hero or not. In fact, she exhibits her bitchiness from the very first episode.

That’s a pretty fast development, all things considered, because in the dramaland, it usually takes a bit of time to show the symptoms of this Syndrome.

Look, I’m not against Second Leads or something, because when I look at it, there are a few very good Second Leads who sacrifice a lot for their loved ones. In fact, some of them were even better than the main leads.

I’m against the ones who are clingy.

Talking about this in a platonic way, if a heroine/hero become clingy, it’s not considered unhealthy. Because all of us want the OTP to be together. But if the Second Lead becomes clingy, they turn into villains in our eyes. That’s pretty narrow-minded of us, isn’t it?

Whatever it may be, all I can say is that this Syndrome is extremely dangerous for the mental and physical health of everybody.

We have Big (R.I.P), which coincidentally tops my Shit List, in which Suzy acted as a clingy girl who thinks of herself as our hero’s (?) girlfriend. She even hijacks the hospital room in which he’s lying comatose on the bed, and turns it all pinky and flowery.


But at least, her acting wasn’t even half as bad as the ending of the nonsensical plot, so I guess I can forgive her for that.

In The Moon That Embraces The Sun, there was poor Bo-kyung, who I pitied for some time and hated the rest of the time. I pitied her because I couldn’t bring myself to hate Kim So-hyun who played her younger version.


While in Heirs (*shudder shudder*), I was actually confused as to who should be the main lead—Tan or Young-do?! At any case, I didn’t want either of them to be paired with Park Shin-hye!


Both were possessive. Both were a little manipulative. Both tried to undermine each other without caring about what the heroine feels. The sooner Heirs is out of my system, the happier I will be!

Goong probably tops the list of hateful Second Leads who suffered the Syndrome in K-Dramaland, with Hyo-rin being the bitchiest of ‘em all.


The girl was even willing to destroy the OTP’s marriage! Now, I find family breakers the most worst there are in the world! And to think that there is a case like that even in their parents’ generation? It’s the case of bitchiness going viral in dramaland.

In the C-Drama category, there’s Ying Hui of You Are My Sunshine who came off a pretty thick-skinned Second Lead. He actually had quite a lot of chances to redeem himself in the drama, which he destroyed with his own hands. Can’t blame me for hating you, m’boy! You dug your own grave!


YAMS’s C-Novel version named Silent Separation handled Ying Hui much better, by ensuring that he didn’t go over to the bad side.

Finally, what I want to conclude is that Second Lead Syndrome is indeed very tiring to experience. But if you’re the one for Romantic dramas, then you’ll probably love it.

But when a drama is like the above mentioned ones, you can rest assured knowing who the OTP is beforehand. And I belong to this category. But that doesn’t mean that I like clingy/bitchy Second Leads.

Dramas would be so much better without them!

One thought on “Random Blabber: The Second Lead Syndrome Phenomenon Gone Wrong

  1. Pingback: Second Leads Who Made Me Cry Buckets | The Asian Cult

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