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Miss Ripley follows the story of Jang Miri, an orphan forced into becoming a bar hostess in Fukuoka's red light district in order to pay off her adoptive father's debt. She manages to escape to South Korea, and vows to become safe and successful, no matter what she has to do--lie, cheat, steal--in order to rise to the top.
Miri is told that she cannot remain in Korea without a steady job, which she cannot find due to her lack of credentials. Miri is desperate not to return to her old life, so after a series of events lead Jang Myung-Hoon, the managing director of Hotel A to assume that she holds a degree from the prestigious Tokyo University and offers her a job at his hotel, Miri lies about her credentials and takes the job. Meanwhile, Song Yoon-hyun, Miri's neighbour at her boarding house and secretly a chaebol's heir, meets Miri and instantly falls for her.
Miri later runs into the cheerful, good hearted Moon Hee-joo, a childhood acquaintance who she holds indirectly responsible for Miri's terrible life...and who happens to have a degree in Architecture from Tokyo University. After becoming roommates, Miri takes the opportunity to steal Hee-joo's diploma so she could make a forgery from it. As Miri continues to try to rise to the top and both Myung-Hoon and Yoo-hyun becomes involved in her schemes, her lies begin to stack up like a house of cards which then starts to collapse...
This series contains examples of:
- Anti-Hero: Jang Miri. Starts off Type IV and quickly become Type V.
- Demoted to Extra: Hee-joo as the series goes on.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Yoo-hyun. Guy just can't seem to realize Miri's not interested in him. Well, until she finds out he's rich.
- Femme Fatale: Miri.
- Gold Digger: Miri and Lee Hwa.
- The Ingenue: Hee-joo.
- In the Blood: Miri's mother Lee Hwa aka Yoo-hyun's stepmother is just as conniving as Miri is.
- Karma Houdini: Lee Hwa and Yoo-hyun's father.
- Korean Pop Music: Yoo-hyun is played by Park Yoochun from Dong Bang Shin Ki.
- Love Triangle
- Parental Abandonment: Miri's mother walked out on her and her father when she was a child, and her father died soon after.