Hopefully, you spent Mother’s Day honoring some of the awesome women in your life. I spent mine with my mom (the incomparable Debbie), talking about one of our favorite topics: K-dramas! My mom has a voracious appetite for anything drama related, and the conversation naturally turned to mothers. K-dramas are notorious for mean mamas. With moms ranging from cruel and controlling to selfish and distant, there are a lot to choose from, but Debbie was able to narrow it down to five that represent the worst of the worst.
- Kam Soyoung (Lee Ahhyun) – Mary Stayed Out All Night
The fact that Debbie is currently watching this drama is probably what lands Soyoung on this list. Her read on the mother of alt rocker Mugyul (Jang Keunsuk): selfish, inconsiderate and thoughtless. Soyoung had her son when she was a teenager, which meant she spent a lot of time leaving him with various relatives. Now that he’s an adult, Mugyul acts more like a parent to her than vice versa. She comes to him when life isn’t going her way, seeking support, money and a place to stay but is quick to ditch him when things turn around. She’s also willing to turn Mugyul’s girlfriend into her kimchi-making slave. Certainly not the best mama, but unlike the other mothers on this list Soyoung is not really intentionally cruel to her son. She may have never really learned to be a mother, but she cares for Mugyul. She even bites a man to defend him … twice!
- Jung Jisuk (Park Joongeum) – Heirs
This is one cold woman. The only thing keeping her from ranking higher is the fact that she’s not anyone’s biological mother, so her actions carry a little less weight. Kim Tan’s (Lee Minho) registered mother and Won’s (Choi Jinhyuk) stepmother, she tries to rob them of their inheritances and basically burn everything to the ground with a hostile takeover of their father’s company. She’s cruel, selfish and controlling. In a show full of awful parents, she just may be the baddest mother there is.
- Kang Heesoo (Lee Hyeyoung) – Boys Over Flowers
Boys Over Flowers is the ultimate K-drama, so it’s no surprise that it offers one of the quintessential bad drama mamas. This is a mom who sends a SWAT team after four children. It’s a special brand of cruel and controlling. Heesoo is more focused on using her children to improve the standing of the Shinwa company and make bank. She forces her daughter into a loveless marriage and tries to do the same with her son, Gu Junpyo (Lee Minho). When Junpyo falls in love with the poor Geum Jandi (Ku Hyesun), she does everything in her power to keep them apart. Heesoo isn’t afraid to ruin lives, leaving Jandi and her family unemployed and homeless on more than one occasion. Oh, and when her husband is left in a coma after an illness, she tells everyone he’s actually dead, including her children!
- Moon Boonhong (Park Joongeum) – Secret Garden
Park Joongeum strikes again! Kim Joowon’s (Hyun Bin) mom is arrogant, scheming and controlling. Her role is to throw up roadblocks for the drama’s main couple, and boy, does she ever deliver. She’s not afraid to try extortion, issue threats, pay people off or take advantage of convenient amnesia. But the thing that makes her truly a standout, terrible mother is that she doesn’t forget or forgive. While Heesoo arguably did worse things to keep Junpyo and Jandi apart, she was at least making strides towards being a better person at the end. She gave up her salt-the-earth strategy, realized she didn’t know her son and stopped hiding her coma-husband. That may be the bare minimum of human decency, but it’s more than Boonhong did. Secret Garden’s finale reveals that several years (and three grandchildren) later she still hasn’t forgiven Joowoon for marrying Gil Raim (Ha Jiwon). He remains disowned, and she refuses to acknowledge either of their existences. A terrible mother and a worse mother-in-law.
- Mo Hwaran (Kim Sungryung) – You’re Beautiful
Like Lee Minho, Jang Keunsuk has been given some pretty awful moms in his K-dramas, and his turn as Taekyung paired him with the bad mom to end bad moms. Hwaran may not be the conventional choice for worst K-drama mother, but her brand of cruelty rubs Debbie, Amanda and me the wrong way. As horribly misguided as Boonhong and Heesoo are, they’re at least trying to act in what they think are their sons’ best interests. Hwaran couldn’t care less about Taekyung if she tried. She’s just the worst! A famous singer, she abandoned Taekyung as an infant to pursue both her career and rekindle a relationship with a man who had already moved on. She blames her son for the missed romantic opportunity but is all too happy to use him for the dual purpose of staging a comeback and honoring her late lover (the same one she abandoned him for!). Whenever Hwaran meets with her son, she finds some new, awful thing to say to him, but she out does herself when she tells Taekyung she was prepared to be a great stepmother to her lover’s children. She can’t remember anything about her son (including an allergy to shrimp, which means she nearly kills him … twice!) but can recall that her ex-lover’s son didn’t like to be touched on the ears. Ugh, just the worst!
Featured Image: Daesung really captures the spirit of the bad K-drama mama. (Source)