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Meet Eye Candy, a six-member rock band, led by Joo Byung Hee. They're the Big Man on Campus of Delinquents Dongnae High School. Due to Seoul rezoning, they've been moved over to the better, cleaner Jeongsang High. Jeongsang has its own Big Man on Campus rock band Strawberry Fields led by rich and popular Yoo Seung Hoon. Naturally, Strawberry Fields become rivals to Eye Candy. The rivalry is heightened by the fact that both Byung Hee and Seung Hoon have fallen in love with Su Ah.
The series contains the following examples:
- Alcoholic Parent: Byung Hee has one.
- Abusive Parents: Do Il's dad, who is a gangster boss, is abusive, which is why Do Il spends most of his days at the pool hall.
- Acting Unnatural: Ji Hyuk and Pyo Joo are fighting in gym class but when a teacher comes over, the two quickly hug.
- Adults Are Useless: Sometimes subverted. Sometimes played straight.
- Age-Appropriate Angst: Eye Candy teenagers deal with Byung Hee's death.
- Allergic to Routine:
Byung Hee: (repeatedly) Friends, let's just quit school.
- Aloof Big Sister: Seung Hoon's noona, Hye Ri. Later shown to be a facade.
- Always Someone Better: Ji Hyuk is a better guitar player than Hyun Soo, and everyone comments on it.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Hyun Soo's parents appear to be decent people: they actually like Hyun Soo and promote his music. However, when they try to have the boys play at their restaurant, their boss is a Upperclass Twit who doesn't care much for rock music. Hyun Soo overhears and slinks away.
- Audience Surrogate: Su Ah's best friend Deo Mi who's only purpose in the show seems to be commentary.
- Bad Guys Play Pool: Do Il's mother owns a pool hall where the Eye Candy members are always found playing pool.
- Beware the Quiet Ones:
Do Il: Stop making Woo Kyung cry!
- Big Damn Heroes: Anytime one of the Eye Candy boys is threatened, expect The Cavalry.
- Subverted when Ji Hyuk and the others fail to reach Byung Hee before his death.
- Big Damn Kiss
- Big Entrance: The first day Eye Candy goes to Jeongsang
- Bittersweet Ending: Both Eye Candy and Strawberry Fields are disbanded at the end, but the boys are young and there are lots of options for them in the future. Also, their friendships are reinforced.
- Boy Band: Eye Candy. Strawberry Fields.
- Broken Ace: Su Ah is the rich, popular, pretty girl--but then her father's business goes under.
- Call Back
- To scare the Strawberry Fields boys, Ji Hyuk throws a guitar pick at their dart board--and it sticks. The next time we see Maro, he's taken up using picks instead of darts.
- Ji Hyuk records one of the songs that Seung Hoon wrote, and find out that Su Ah has it on her MP 3 player. When she is looking for her MP 3 player, he asks, "[Are you looking] because of Seung Hoon's song?" She replies, "[I'm looking] because of your voice!"
- The Casanova: Ha Jin, who "understands" girls because of his older sisters
- Cat Fight: Woo Kyung gets into one with 3 Eye Candy fangirls, leading the boys to jump in and pull them apart.
Ha Jin: Nothing is fun when there are 4 girls. Girls are best enjoyed separately.
- Catch Phrase: Someone in Eye Candy usually says, "Shut up and ...['let's go'/'let's win']!" before they perform. Their poster reads, "Shut up and feel honored!" (So far no title dropping yet, though.)
- Celebrity Paradox: In episode 2, Eye Candy members are shown at a karaoke bar with two of them singing Infinite's "Be Mine." Hyun Soo's actor (Kim Myungsoo/L) is a member of Infinite; he doesn't sing the song but he's watching them with a smile.
- Cell Phone: Even though all the characters have one, the cell phones in this show, especially Ji Hyuk's, suffer so much abuse in order to move the story.
- Chatty Hairdresser: Woo Kyung
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Woo Kyung to Ji Hyuk, going so far as to warn girls off of him on Valentine's Day at his new school and picking fights with Eye Candy's fangirls
- Closet Shuffle: Ji Hyuk shoves Su Ah behind a curtain when the boys arrive at his house with food.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Byung Hee
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Ji Hyuk
- Coming of Age Story
- Cooking Duel: Of the musical kind
- Cooldown Hug: Ji Hyuk gives one to Hyun Soo in the middle of their performance to stop him from playing his guitar and damaging his bleeding hand any longer.
- Cut the Juice
- The Danza: Kim Yerim (Two Months) of Superstar K3 fame
- Dawson Casting: At the time of filming, Byung Hee's actor was 26-27, Seung Hoon's actor was 26, Ji Hyuk's actor was 21, Hyun Soo's actor was 19, etc. --all playing high school students.
- Dead Star Walking: Lee Min Ki, who plays Byung Hee, is by far the most famous actor on the show. Byung Hee is killed in the second episode.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Byung Hee can't even attend his dead mother's memorial because of his deadbeat dad.
- Disguised in Drag: Byung Hee runs to school in a dress because he had woken up in Mr. Kim's daughter's room--and was now being chased by Mr. Kim. When we next see Byung Hee, he's in his school uniform. Much later, one of the other male students is seen wearing the dress.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!:
Ji Hyuk: So it was just pity? (Leaves)
- Dragon-in-Chief: Pyo Joo is a really interesting version of a Dragon-in-Chief/Dragon with an Agenda. He exacerbates the rivalry between Eye Candy and Strawberry Fields because of his tendency to make rash decisions. In fact, Seung Hoon spends most of his time taking the blame for Pyo Joo's actions because Eye Candy naturally believes that Seung Hoon is behind all of Pyo Joo's actions.
- Due to the Dead
- The Dulcinea Effect: Byung Hee falls for Su Ah at first sight, calling her his "muse."
- Evil Debt Collectors: The thugs come after Su Ah when they can't find her father and beat up Ji Hyuk when they can't find her.
- Dysfunction Junction: The boys of Eye Candy
- Fee Fi Faux Pas: When the schoolmates accuse Su Ah of cheating on Seung Hoon, she clears up their assumption--while Seung Hoon (who had previously announced their relationship) is standing right behind her.
- Feigning Intelligence:
- Ji Hyuk calls Su Ah "Layla," which is about a man in love with a woman he can't get. The song was written by Eric Clapton about his friend's wife.
- Also, "I don't like complications."
- Forgotten Birthday
- Five-Bad Band: Strawberry Fields
- Five-Man Band: Eye Candy. Bonus points for being an actual band!
- Funny Background Event: Just as Deo Mi says "I hope [Eye Candy] don't end up in our class," 3 of the Eye Candy boys are shown in the background through the glass windows passing by the room, pausing, and then coming back.
- Garfunkel: According to Seung Hoon's sister, everyone in Eye Candy but Ji Hyuk and Hyun Soo can be replaced.
- Gentle Giant: Do Il, who is also The Quiet One, commands respect from gangsters and other delinquents as soon as he comes into view.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: Hyun Soo, once Ye Rim starts showing interest in someone else
- Guyliner: Byung Hee wears too much. Lampshaded.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Hyun Soo knows he's struggling to even keep up with what Ji Hyuk and Byung Hee could do easily in terms of playing guitar.
- He's Not My Boyfriend!: Might as well be Su Ah's Catch Phrase.
- Healthcare Motivation: Hyun Soo's sister is sick, which is why he's putting in so much effort.
- High School
- Homoerotic Subtext:
- Byung Hee/Ji Hyuk
Byung Hee: (to Ji Hyuk) I'm in the band so I can be with you. Are you saying that my love is one-sided?
- Kyung Jong/Ha Jin--to the point where Kyung Jong tries to ruin Ha Jin's date when the latter had forgotten about his birthday.
- And this exchange,
- Kyung Jong/Ha Jin--to the point where Kyung Jong tries to ruin Ha Jin's date when the latter had forgotten about his birthday.
Mr. Kim: What did you do last night?
Ha Jin: Kyung Jong and I went to bed early.
Mr. Kim: Are you two married!
Mr. Kim: Is this coffee chunky?
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Do Il's face darkens whenever Woo Kyung chases after Ji Hyuk, but he doesn't protest. When Woo Kyung misses her chance to give Ji Hyuk a Valentine's present, Do Il mentions that she missed her chance "this year too."
- Implausible Deniability:
Ji Hyuk: She's Byung Hee's muse!
- Incredibly Lame Pun: When Su Ah asks for an apology, Ji Hyuk says that "yes, [the lollipop] is apple-flavored." 'Apple' and 'apology' is the same word in Korean (사과 or "sagwa").
- In-Series Nickname:
- Su Ah calls Seung Hoon "[our] Prince."
- Hyun Soo's nickname is Ice Prince.
- Insufferable Genius: Jung Maro
- Insult Backfire: When Seung Hoon orders the Eye Candy "thugs" to leave, Byung Hee replies, "if we leave because you tell us to, then we won't be thugs, now would we?"
- Intertwined Fingers: Ji Hyuk and Su Ah before their first kiss
- Kick the Dog:
Seung Hoon: How long are you going to keep being my Mooks?
- Killed Off for Real: Byung Hee
- The Leader: Byung Hee's a mix of Type III and Type IV, while Ji Hyuk is a mix of Type II and Type III.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Does Pyo Joo ever think things through?
- Life Isn't Fair
Hyun Soo: Has the world ever made sense?
- Like an Old Married Couple: Kyung Jong delivers one "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Ha Jin about not playing with people's feelings. For the next few days, the two of them act weird around each other, even sitting apart, causing other people to ask if they've had a lover's tiff.
- Likes Older Women: Ha Jin doesn't really have a preference. He likes all women.
- Look Both Ways:
- Byung Hee gets run over by a truck while his friends are watching!
- Hyun Soo almost gets hit by a van while rushing to a rock competition.
- Losing the Team Spirit
- Love Confession:
Ji Hyuk: Why would you climb up here when you're afraid?
Su Ah: Because you won't come down.
Ji Hyuk: Why do you care?
Su Ah: Because I want to be with you.
Seung Hoon: I like you. I didn't want to confine us with the titles of "girlfriend/boyfriend," but I want to be your boyfriend. Officially.
Ji Hyuk: I'm going crazy. Because I like you.
- A bromance one
Ji Hyuk: Listen up; I won't say it twice. I love you, Dog Hyun Soo.
- Love Triangle:
- Do Il/Woo Kyung/Ji Hyuk
- Seung Hoon/Su Ah/Byung Hee (later Ji Hyuk)
- Ha Jin/Yerim/Hyun Soo
- Milholland Relationship Moment: After his Secret Stab Wound causes the band to lose, Hyun Soo spends a couple of school days just lying in bed, blaming himself. When his friends come to visit, they all just clamor on top of him, tickle him, and laugh the incident off.
- Mr. Fanservice: The band is called Eye Candy for a reason.
- The Muse: Byung Hee claims that Su Ah is his muse.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The first Eye Candy/Strawberry Fields fight ends like this--mostly because Strawberry Fields could outsource the fight to better fighters.
- Oblivious to Love: Woo Kyung, can't you see the way Do Il looks at you?
- Overprotective Dad: Mr. Kim
- Parental Abandonment: Where did Su Ah's dad go?
- Parental Issues: Byung Hee has an Alcoholic Parent and a dead parent, Hyun Soo has Amazingly Embarrassing Parents, Do Il has an Abusive Parent, Ji Hyuk has inheritance issues with his family, Su Ah's father disappeared after going bankrupt, Kyung Jong's parents are oblivious, Ha Jin's older sisters assume his legal guardians role, and Mr. Kim is an Overprotective Dad. Yes, Shut Up Flower Boy Band is the Bad Parent Convention.
- Pet the Dog: The Dongnae gang, Eye Candy's main rivals back at Dongnae High, are seen cheering for the band later.
- Ping-Pong Naivete: Does Ha Jin understand girls or not?
- Plot Point: In order to find Seung Hoon a birthday gift, Deo Mi suggests that Su Ah go to "Paradise." The audience doesn't find out what Paradise is until Eye Candy walks into the store a bit later, and Byung Hee bumps into Su Ah there. (Paradise is a music store.)
- Precocious Crush: Hyun Soo's little sister has one on Ji Hyuk.
- Promotion to Parent: Ha Jin's older sisters as his legal guardians
- The Power of Friendship
- The Power of Rock: Almost as strong as The Power of Friendship
- Power Walk: Used in episode 2, as Deo Mi introduces the Eye Candy boys.
- Punctuated for Emphasis
Byung Hee: I met up! With a girl! Last night!
- Punny Name: Eye Candy moves from Dongnae (동네) High to Jeongsang (정상) High. 동네 means "neighborhood;" 정상 means "normal." At one point, Byung Hee says, "there's no hope in this neighborhood" when he's talking about their old school.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: (Most of) the Eye Candy boys don't really have much going for them besides the band.
- Ramen Slurp
- Real Men Hate Affection: Averted to Ho Yay proportions, but Played Straight with Hyun Soo/Ji Hyuk.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech
Hyun Soo: Stop just doing what you "feel." If you're a leader, act like one. Think!
Su Ah: You want me to be clear [about my feelings]? What about you? Your friends? That girl? Is there anyone who knows about me? YOU, be clear.
Mr. Kim: So, this is all you guys amount to?
Ji Hyuk: Yeah, it is. What did you expect?
- The Rival: Seung Hoon and his band Strawberry Fields
- Running Gag:
- Ji Hyuk never apologies.
- Byung Hee always react to serious threats with a simple "Yep" and a smile.
- Sadist Teacher: Though his hatred stems from the fact that Byung Hee slept with his daughter, Mr. Kim who follows Eye Candy to Jungsang High is downright antagonistic. He gets better when this role is annexed by the Jeongsang principal.
- Secret Stab Wound: Hyun Soo delivers a guitar performance with a bleeding hand at the HR Rock Festival Byung Hee had signed the band up for--until Ji Hyuk figures it out and forces him to stop by hugging him.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Byung-hee's death is compensated by blood money -- not an uncommon concept in South Korea, but still infuriating to the members of Eye Candy.
- Shrouded in Myth: Eye Candy, of course
- Shrug Take
- Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer: Byung Hee (played by Lee Min Ki) is absent from the show's posters.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: Eye Candy vs. Strawberry Fields
- Speak Ill of the Dead: Eye Candy's rival gang from Dongnae and a majority of the Jungsang students waste no time in insulting and disregarding Byung Hee's death.
- Special Guest: When Kim C asks for booze and offers to buy the Eye Candy boys' instruments, they think they're hallucinating.
- Spiritual Successor: Shut Up Flower Boy Band picks up Flower Boy Ramyun Shop's timeslot on the same network, tvN. The two shows are marketed as part of the Oh! Boy Project "series," even though there's nothing similar about them, except for the fact that the main cast involve high school students.
- Sour Supporter: Hyun Soo grumbles about everything.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Hyun Soo somehow manages to be both a distant Ice Prince while being as physically affectionate as the other members of Eye Candy.
- Tempting Fate:
- "I want to die in my happiest moment."
- "Everything will be fine, as long as we have Byung Hee."
- Trademark Favorite Food: Su Ah leaves a yogurt drink for Ji Hyuk every morning. Also, Ji Hyuk is frequently seen with lollipops--which he won't share.
- Tragic Bromance
- Tsundere: Ji Hyuk
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Seung Hoon has known Su Ah longer than the Eye Candy members, but is repeatedly upstaged by one of them.
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Ye Rim likes Hyun Soo, but he turns her down because Ha Jin likes her. But once Ye Rim starts showing interest in Seung Hoon, Hyun Soo protests.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Ha Jin and Kyung Jong's friendship is equal parts affection and assault.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Ji Hyuk/Su Ah
- Wimp Fight: Every! Single! Fight! has at least one of these, and includes a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- With Friends Like These...: Maro constantly insults Pyo Joo's intelligence. Also, Seung Hoon doesn't seem too fond of Pyo Joo either, because Seung Hoon has to keep fixing Pyo Joo's mistakes.
- You Say Tomato: Kyung Jong is from Busan, so he speaks in a different accent than the Seoul natives.