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Dozens of Acclaimed K-Dramas Are Hiding in Plain Sight on Tubi

 Nam joo-hyuk and shin se-kyung in the bride of habaek.
Nam joo-hyuk and shin se-kyung in the bride of habaek.

Over the past few years, must-watch Korean TV shows have made their way onto every streaming platform, from global phenomenons like Squid Game and Single's Inferno, to less-known gems like Moving on Hulu and Marry My Husband on Prime Video. It seems like every month, K-content fans are signing up for another streamer's free trial to catch up on a can't-miss K-drama. Luckily, there's a great collection of dramas and Korean movies hiding in plain sight on Tubi, meaning viewers can check out hit shows like Reply 1988 and EXchange on the free, ad-supported platform.

Below, our picks of the best Korean series to watch on Tubi. (Once you're done with these, check out more Marie Claire recommendations from the world of Korean entertainment.)

The 'Reply' series

five teenagers pose in front of a ramshackle neighborhood, in the korean drama 'reply 1988'
five teenagers pose in front of a ramshackle neighborhood, in the korean drama 'reply 1988'

This beloved series of slice-of-life dramas each follow a different group of everyday people during a standout year in Korean pop culture. Reply 1997 follows teenage fans of the first generation of K-pop groups, flashing between the characters' youths in the '90s and their '30s in 2012. Reply 1994 centers on six university students who move from their small hometowns to a boarding house in Seoul; like its predecessor, it flashes between the characters' pasts and their present-day lives in 2014. Meanwhile, Reply 1988 (the best known of the three) follows five childhood friends living in a close-knit neighborhood during that year's Seoul Summer Olympics. Though they're standalone and meant to be watched in any order, there are several sweet Easter eggs for viewers to catch if they watch in release order (which is reverse chronological order).

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'Boys Over Flowers'

five teenagers in preppy clothing pose in front of a pink backdrop, in the korean drama 'boys over flowers'
five teenagers in preppy clothing pose in front of a pink backdrop, in the korean drama 'boys over flowers'

If you were a fan of K-dramas in the early 2010s (especially if you were a then-teenage girl), odds are this high school romance is the show that sucked you into the world of Korean entertainment. For the rest of us, this global hit is a Cinderella story following Geum Jan-di (Gu Hye-seon), a poor girl who gets a scholarship to attend an elite school for the children of wealthy families. She quickly crosses paths with the F4, the most popular boys in school, led by Gu Jun-pyo (Lee Min-ho in his breakout role). Headstrong Jan-di quickly becomes a target of Jun-pyo's bullying, but after they spend sometime together, the pair eventually fall in love. (Yes, problematic, but that's part of this teen romp's charm.)

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'Bring It On, Ghost'

a woman (center) stands with two men on each side, in front of a smoky room with a brick wall, in the korean drama 'bring it on, ghost'
a woman (center) stands with two men on each side, in front of a smoky room with a brick wall, in the korean drama 'bring it on, ghost'

This paranormal rom-com follows the unlikely pairing of a college boy who can see and fight ghosts, and a high-school girl who's been a ghost for five years. Park Bong-pal (Ok Taec-yeon) grew up with his abilities and works as a freelance exorcist when he's in need of cash. Kim Hyun-ji (Kim So-hyun) has wandered the earth since she died in a car accident, but when she encounters Bong-pal, she believes that he can help her figure out how to ascend to the next life. The pair end up living together as ghost-fighting partners and forced proximity leads to love, but they're unknowingly being stalked by an evil force connected to their pasts.

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'The K2'

a woman (im yoo-na) and a man (ji chang-wook) pose in a promo image for korean drama 'the k2'
a woman (im yoo-na) and a man (ji chang-wook) pose in a promo image for korean drama 'the k2'

In this political action thriller, Ji Chang-wook plays Kim Je-ha, a former mercenary known as the "K2" (cue Leo DiCaprio pointing meme) who has become a fugitive after being framed for the death of his lover. When he returns to South Korea, he's recruited to serve as a bodyguard for Choi Yoo-jin (Song Yoo-ah), the wife of presidential candidate Jang Se-joon (Jo Sung-ha). Je-ha accepts the job as a path for revenge against Se-joon's political rival, who Je-ha believes planned the death of his former lover. But when the former soldier's assigned to guard Se-joon's illegitimate daughter Go An-na (Im Yoo-na), he becomes caught between two women, questioning whether to pursue revenge (with his ally Yoo-jin), or new love (with An-na).

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'Tell Me What You Saw'

five people look down and to the right, while standing in a desert field, in the korean drama 'tell me what you saw'
five people look down and to the right, while standing in a desert field, in the korean drama 'tell me what you saw'

This chilling thriller sees a reclusive criminal profiler and a countryside police officer work together to hunt down a serial killer that should have died five years prior. Oh Hyun-jae (Jang Hyuk) is a genius who solved many cases, but he has lived in seclusion since his fiancé died in an explosion caused by the Peppermint Killer. Cha Soo-young (Girls' Generation's Choi Soo-young) has a photographic memory, but she spends her career dealing with petty crimes. When the pair meet while investigating a new murder that matches the Peppermint Killer's M.O., Hyun-jae recruits the now-rookie detective to take revenge on his late love's murderer.

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'Save Me'

five people stand in front of a black gate as a bright light shines on them, in the korean drama 'save me'
five people stand in front of a black gate as a bright light shines on them, in the korean drama 'save me'

This dark emotional drama takes place in a small suburb that is under the influence of a religious cult. Im Sang-mi (It's Okay to Not Be Okay's Seo Yea-ji) has had a tough couple of months: her father's business has just failed, prompting the family's move from Seoul to Muji County. After a devastating tragedy rocks the Im family, Spiritual Father Baek Jung-ki (Jo Sung-ha) lures Sang-mi's vulnerable parents into his group, named Goosunwon, despite their daughter's objections. With Sang-mi trapped among the cult, a group of her classmates, including politician's son Han Sang-hwan (2PM's Ok Taec-yeon) and his estranged friend Seok Dong-chul (Bloodhounds' Woo Do-hwan), become determined to save her.

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'Signal'

a split image of a man and a woman in present day, left, toasting soju with a man in the past, right, in front of a calendar from 1986, in the korean drama 'signal'
a split image of a man and a woman in present day, left, toasting soju with a man in the past, right, in front of a calendar from 1986, in the korean drama 'signal'

This acclaimed time-bending crime thriller, based on a series of real-life cases, follows a group of detectives tethered together over the past and the present. In 2000, elementary student Park Hae-young (Lee Je-hoon) witnessed the kidnapping of a young girl, who later ended up dead. Fifteen years later, Hae-young, now a criminal profiler, discovers a walkie-talkie that lets him communicate with Detective Lee Jae-han (Choi Jin-woong), who is working on the kidnapping case in 2000. Hae-young, Jae-han, and 2015 officer Cha Soo-hyun (Kim Hye-soo) then team up to solve a series of mysteries across time, including how they ended up as unlikely partners in the first place.

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'Confession'

a man holds another man by the collar, in the korean drama 'confession'
a man holds another man by the collar, in the korean drama 'confession'

King the Land star and 2PM member Lee Jun-ho stars in this crime melodrama as a devoted son seeking justice for his falsely-convicted father. Choi Do-hyun (Lee) suffered from heart disease as a child, until a donor miraculously appeared. However, right after the successful surgery, Do-hyun's father was accused of murder and put on death row. Now an adult, Do-hyun has become a lawyer in order to investigate his father's case, as he always believed in his innocence. Yoo Jae-Myung and Shin Hyun-Been also star.

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'A Witch's Love'

a man holds a woman's face as if they're about to kiss, in korean drama 'a witch's love'
a man holds a woman's face as if they're about to kiss, in korean drama 'a witch's love'

Doctor Cha's Uhm Jung-hwa and Itaewon Class's Park Seo-joon star this classic rom-com centered on a relationship between an older woman and a younger man (also known as "noona romance"). Ban Ji-yeon (Uhm) is a 39-year-old reporter, who is often called a "witch" at work due to her tenacious attitude. Though her mother meddles in her dating life, Ji-yeon doesn't believe in love after her former fiancé Shi-hoon (Han Jae-suk) disappeared right before their wedding. One day, she meets Yoon Dong-ha (Park), a 25-year-old who works as a part-timer after the tragic death of his girlfriend. Sparks fly between the two despite their age difference, but they have to deal with their past hurt before they can find happiness together.

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'The Heirs'

the cast of korean drama 'the heirs'
the cast of korean drama 'the heirs'

This is another beloved rich-guy-poor-girl romantic K-drama that defined the Hallyu Wave, also starring Lee Min-ho. Kim Tan (Lee), heir to the Jejuk Group, is exiled to study in the U.S. by his half-brother, who aims to take over the family conglomerate. While abroad, Tan meets Cha Eun-sang (Doctor Slump's Park Shin-hye), who came to the U.S. to search for her sister. Although Tan's already engaged to heiress Rachel Yoo (Kim Ji-won), he begins to fall for Eun-sang, not knowing she's the daughter of his family's housekeeper. When the pair return to Korea, Tan is forced to choose between familial duty and love, while Eun-sang is pursued by Tan's former-bestie-turned-enemy Choi Young-do (Kim Woo-bin).

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'The Bride of Habaek'

a man in a blazer and a woman in a wedding dress and flower crown look at each other while sitting on a bench, in the korean drama 'the bride of habaek'
a man in a blazer and a woman in a wedding dress and flower crown look at each other while sitting on a bench, in the korean drama 'the bride of habaek'

Based on the manhwa comic Bride of the Water God, this fantasy romance stars Twenty-Five Twenty-One's Nam Joo-hyuk as the titular deity, named Ha-baek. When the narcissistic god travels to Earth on a quest to claim the throne of his divine realm, he enlists the help of Yoon So-ah (Shin Se-kyung), a neuropsychiatrist who's family has been fated to serve Ha-baek for generations. The pragmatic doctor doesn't believe he is a god at first, and is also struggling with her own issues, including immense debt and a fear of cold water. However, thanks to a strong helping of fate, the mortal woman and the god fall in love, to the irritation of some of the other gods (played by Krystal Jung and Gong Myung).

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'Misaeng: Incomplete Life'

a man sits at a computer desk as another man stands behind him and takes notes, in the workplace k-drama 'misaeng incomplete life'
a man sits at a computer desk as another man stands behind him and takes notes, in the workplace k-drama 'misaeng incomplete life'

Since he was a kid, Jang Geu-rae's (Squid Game season 2's Im Si-wan) one goal in life has been to play the board game Go. When his professional career with the game fails, Geu-rae has to take an internship at a large company, as the fish-out-of-water is thrown into corporate life with no prior experience and only a GED. This 2014 workplace ensemble drama became a cultural phenomenon for its relatable look at every-day life, and it's just as prescient a decade later, as viewers follow Geu-rae's journey.

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'Live'

two police officers sit on the ground next to oversized cartoon costume heads, as children laugh at them, in the korean drama 'live'
two police officers sit on the ground next to oversized cartoon costume heads, as children laugh at them, in the korean drama 'live'

There's no shortage of crime dramas out there, but this workplace series follows two officers as they go through the unglamorous struggles of everyday police work. After struggling to find a job post-college, Han Jung-oh (Jung Yu-mi) decides to enroll in the police academy as a last resort. There, she meets Yeom Sang-soo (Lee Kwang-soo), who is determined to become the best cop on the force but instead constantly runs into obstacles as he and Jung-oh begin working at the same precinct. The two friends lean on each other as they work alongside other cops dealing with their own personal dramas (played by Bae Sung-woo, Bae Jong-ok, and Shin Dong-wook among others).

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'Dear My Friends'

still from dear my friends
still from dear my friends

This friendship series from the writer behind It's Okay, That's Love could be dubbed South Korea's dramatic answer to The Golden Girls, following a group of women dealing with the concerns (and unexpected romances) that come with aging. While some of the women have contentious relationships with their grown children and daughters-in-law, others are dealing with marital strife and illness. Meanwhile, 90 year old Oh Sang-boon (Kim Young-ok) connects them all, as the community grandmother figure and no-nonsense source of wisdom. Other members of the wide-ranging cast include Oscar winner Youn Yuh-jung, Go Hyun-jung, Kim Hye-ja, Na Moon-hee, Go Doo-shim, Park Won-sook, Lee Kwang-soo, and Zo In-sung.

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'EXchange'

the cast of exchange season 1 korean dating show
the cast of exchange season 1 korean dating show

For any dating show fans looking for a new binge after Single's Inferno, the first season of this hit Korean reality show (also known as Transit Love) is available on Tubi. The unique series brings former couples together to find a new love, or to possible reunite with their ex (stylized as X). Over the course of the series, 10 men and women live together, go on dates, and get to know each other, all without revealing their prior dating history. Fans of Korean dating shows will know that the in-show drama is much more low-key than Western series, but that just makes it even easier to relate to the contestants' heightened emotions.

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