This will be a light hearted look at lakornland’s common tropes of crossdressing, hidden and secret identities and the disguises and pretenses that exist in so many lakorns.
Lakorns often have people who hide their identities or pretend to be someone else often for purposes of revenge or to find out the truth. We also have pretend relationships and all of these things serve to create drama, angst and even tragedy. I’m not even going into reincarnation, which is another way in which people have hidden identities.
Crossdressing – Like kdramas You’re Beautiful or Coffee Prince, jdrama Hana Kimi, these dramas have girls dressing as boys, and even a man dressing as a woman (Khun Mae Jum Laeng).
In general, lakorns seem to have characters pretend to be another gender for a specific purpose, such as a way of hiding their identities and finding out things. They use their identities as a way of protecting themselves like in Taddao Bussaya, where the main nang’ek tries to find a will left by her father. Similar to Taddao Bussaya, Dok Ruk Rim Tang (2010) has a nang’ek set out to find out the truth about her father’s death.
More cross-dressing lakorns – Dok Ruk Rim Tang, Khun Mae Jum Lang (2009) / Mommy Impersonator, Khun Chai Taratorn, Mae Ka Khanom Wan, Namthaa Kammathep/Stupid Cupid, Ngao Kammathep, Pachara Montra (2019), Sao Noi (2012 – not lead character), Sompong Nong Somchai, Sorn Ngao Ruk, Taddao Bussaya
Disguises/Pretense So here we have our heroes/heroines disguising themselves or pretending to be someone else for most of the drama. In lakorns, we have a lot of twin lakorns and so that automatically lends itself to twins pretending to be the other twin, usually to find out who hurt or killed them, like in Raeng Ngao or in Padiwaradda, pretending to be someone else, though that’s not a twin lakorn.
More Disguises/Pretenses lakorns – Ab Ruk Online (2015), Jao Sao Prissana (1999), Jao Sao Salatan (2014), Kha Neung Ha (1998), Khun Mae Suam Roy (2018), Lah Ruk Sut Kob Fah (2014), Leh Lub Salub Rarng (2017), Liem Petch Karat (2007), Manee Yard Fah, Nakark Kaew (2018), Mia Jum Pen (2001), Ngao Jai (2015), Padiwaradda, Panyachon Kon Krua (2012), Raeng Ngao, Raeng Ngao (2012), Ruk Pathiharn (2011), Sao Chai Hi-Tech (2010), Sao Noi (2012), Song Naree (1997), Song Naree (2019), Song Pradtana (2010),
Tan Chai Nai Sai Mok (2012), Tard Rak (2011), Tawan Deard (2011), Theppha But Maya (2010)
Hidden identity is when a character hides their identity from others or even they may not be aware of their secret identity themselves. They don’t pretend to be other people though. A lot of superheroes might have a hidden/secret identity. Healer, a 2014 kdrama, had a hero who had a hidden identity. The cdrama Eternal Love had lots of hidden/secret identities. Often in lakorns, a hidden identity can be for protection, like in Manee Yard Fah, but revenge is also another reason why someone might hide who they are such as in Game Maya (2017). Regardless, no one likes to be made a fool of and so when someone’s identity is revealed, that often creates a lot of drama.
Hidden/Secret Identity – Borisut Bumbut Kaen (2009), Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat, The Charming Step Mom (2019), Cheewit Puer Kah Huajai Puer Tur, Dum Kum, Fah Jarod Sai, Fun Fueng, Game Maya (2017), Hua Jai Sila, Hua Jai Teuan, Jao Sao Chapor Kit, Jao Sua Mua Nim, Jao Sao Prissana (1999), Khun Chai Pawornruj, Khun Chai Rachanon, Kol Ruk Luang Jai, Ku Kaen San Ruk (2011), Leh Nangfah (2014), Mongkut Saeng Jun, Mook Liam Petch (2012), Nang Fah Kap Mafia (2011), Nueng Dao Fah Diew, Plerng Naree (2016), Pleng See Rong, Plerng Chimplee (2014), Rak Lamoon Loon Lamai (2005) Sai Roong, Song Rao…Nirundon (2005), Suparb Burut Satan, Talay Rissaya, Tarm Ruk Keun Jai (2015), Ugly Duckling Series: Perfect Match
A couple pretending to be in love, or pretending to be engaged, married and so on.
Kdramas are rife with pretend relationships, like Marriage, Not Dating, Lie to Me, and Something About 1 Percent, But it’s also a popular trope in lakorns as well, as you can see from the list below. In lakorns, we also have a lot of marriage of conveniences too, like Jao Sao Rim Tang which I guess you could also call ‘pretend relationships,’ as they are not done out of love. I’m not going to list them all here though, that’s for another post. Instead, let’s look at other reasons for these relationships. In Duang Taa Nai Duang Jai (2011), our hero wants to fend off a gold digger. The more recent Sapai TKO (2019) had similar reasons, though it had more to do with fending off a matchmaking mom instead. Regardless of the reason why, I love this trope because of the false intimacy it creates, which can lead to the real thing. Usually, our couple have to pretend to be closer together then they are, which means kisses, maybe even forced living arrangements (another trope!) and fake dates and so on! 😘
Other pretend relationship lakorns – The Crown Princess, The Cupids Series: Sorn Ruk Kammathep (2017), Duang Taa Nai Duang Jai (2011), Jao Sao Chapor Kit, Jao Sao Rim Tang, Kao Waan Hai Noo Pen Sai Lub, Keuy Ban Nok (2010), Kha Khong Khon (2011), Kha Neung Ha (1998), Khun Samee Karmalor Tee Rak (2012), Leh Ratree, Leh Roy Ruk (2012), Lookmai Kong Por Series: Look Nee Tee Ruk (2013), Love at First Hate, Mam Gaem Daeng (2012), Mon Ruk Kao Tom Mud, Paragit Ruk Series: Yeut Fah Ha Pigat Ruk (2017), Poo Bao Indy Yayee Inter (2019), Ruk Tong Oom (2014), Sapai TKO, Soda Gub Cha Yen (1999)