Instant Recognition Ban

Temptation of Wife

An act prohibiting kdrama citizens from recognizing important people such as parents, children, siblings, first loves, etc. after a separation or time-jump.

Tree With Deep Roots
More importantly, who is *that* lady you’re manhandling. (Tree With Deep Roots, episode 5.)

Section 1. Whereas, recognition is the ability of normal people to recall another person based on appearance and/or past interactions or encounters.

Section 2. Whereas, recognition presents a common threat to kdramas, as it has been known to sap the tension from a search for a lost love or missing family, OR a revenge mission by someone who has been wronged in the past.

Temptation of Wife
Marimar did it first. (If you got that reference, you’re old.)

Section 3. Whereas, to protect the anticipation for the big reveal and prolong the suffering of The Audience, kdrama characters are hereby prohibited by law from immediately recognizing an important character in their midst.

Section 4. Whereas, to enforce Section 3 of this act, kdramas are authorized by law to use any tool necessary to prevent recognition such as, but not limited to:

(a) Amnesia or any form of memory loss

(b) A condition that prevents someone from attaching a face to an identity (ie blindness, prosopagnosia, etc)

(c) Insanity or mental instability

(d) Superpowers

(e) A time-jump which, in kdramas, is enough to render a person totally unrecognizable even by his/her mother

(f) Presumption of death (ie “She looks exactly like my first love WHO I THOUGHT WAS DEAD so it can’t possibly be her, right? RIGHT?!”)

Incarnation of Money ep7
Insanity? Check! Amnesia? Check!

Section 6. Exceptions

The following people, entities, or situations are exempt from the Instant Recognition Ban:

(a) Kdrama villains, PROVIDED they will use said knowledge of real identity to blackmail the lead and make him/her suffer instead of outing the secret immediately.

(b) Second Leads who will rejoice at finding the lost love first and help him/her hide from the other leg of the love triangle.

(c) The OTP, PROVIDED they cannot act on said knowledge without risking the other person’s life.

Jeon Woo Chi

(End of Law)

Still searching for this guy (Prof Jung Myung Hwan of What’s Up)


If anyone knows his whereabouts kindly contact the kdramalaws authorities in the comments section.

Thank you.


7 thoughts on “Instant Recognition Ban”

  1. Another possible exception — mental illness or instability. The mentally ill person “recognizes” (at least to some degree), but this is not trusted because it seems to be caused by the person being mentally ill rather than true recognition.

    Case in mind: Incarnation of Money… when mentally “unstable” mom looks at the male lead she “sees” her long lost son… but everyone else (and maybe even herself) thinks it is because of the mental illness.

  2. One of the most infuriating of Kdrama laws… And the source of many of my misunderstandings or misguided joy. Ex: “OMG HE FINALLY KNOWS!!!” *jumps around for joy* *ultimate squee fest* “….. wait… wait…. He hasn’t figured it out yet? Bbbbut he/she clearly saw his/her face, and it should’ve been totally recognizable… wtf drama. wtf.”

  3. This Clark Kent law requires a LOT of suspension of disbelief! I often am left thinking, Whut, are you BLIND or something??!! >.< BUT, I keep watching all the same.. heh.

  4. Hee I think that one of the “tool” used is also plastic surgery ( I remember one of those makjang drama..about someone who changed his face completely for revenge)… But at the same time you can’t really expect someone to recognize another character when the face is not the same anymore… xD

    Sometimes the characters do recognize a loved one (Moon embraces the sun) but those are always a case of a “dead” loved one…. to the characters just tell themselves that it’s a look alike since it’s impossible that they could be the same person xD

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