Answer Me 1988 Episode 12: What is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)

Oh yes, this post is titled after your favorite cheesy 90’s song. I want you to have it in your head all day. Since our block crew is in 1989, it’s only appropriate start breaking out everything fantastic about the late 80’s and early 90’s. Like the encyclopedias everyone bought, and didn’t use for anything other than random fact-reading.


In all seriousness, this show is amazing at portraying what true love is, and it’s not just about first-loves and first-crushes. Thank you, 1988 for consistently making this feel like something a normal person could’ve experienced. Let’s admit it, we’re all growing up on this block, no matter how old we are.

There’s so much I’d like to talk about in this episode. I mean, it was as long as a pixar film. Let that sink in for a second. This episode was longer than Monster’s Inc.


Yeah. So instead of talking about every second we’re doing a highlight reel.

What is Love? Waiting for a love letter that never comes.

Yep. We’re starting with this couple again. Because Jung Bong.


After Tweedledee sent him his first love letter, he was quick to reply. However, the other half hasn’t been so prompt in their response. Jung Bong faithfully waits for a return in his affections. So when a letter actually comes, he gets a little excited.

Until he finds out it’s one of those, “forward to seven people or you will die.” things. He probably forwarded it.

That’s when Duk Seon informs him that Tweedledee was in car accident and can’t lift a finger. I hope he waits for her anyway.


What is Love? Meeting someone in the snow when you’re freezing.

While some people are cuddling in bed because it’s snowing–



“Brothers gotta hug!”

Others are calling each other and hoping for at least a meetup in the alley. Poor Sun Woo is feeling the shaft. Even though he and Bo Ra are an official couple (good kissing scenes and all) there still isn’t much time to be together.


Sun Woo convinces Bo Ra to come out, but she’s afraid of getting caught. Sure enough, Noeul  comes searching for her, just as they begin to embrace.


Once the coast is clear. They try again, this time Sun Woo giving her another great kiss. Which is immediately ruined by Taek coming out for a smoke.

Bo Ra tells her to take care of it (meaning: keep Taek quiet.) But Taek’s response makes it’s certain he won’t say a word.

What is Love? Teaching each other curse words.


Taek is such a cute puppy, he lent money to someone who will probably never pay it back. So, Duk Seon Soo Yeon has taken it upon herself to teach Taek how to say no. It’s so cute how they all protect him.


What is Love? Running an errand when you never, ever, help your parents.

Duk Seon Soo Yeon’s mom asks her to take some strange food over to Jung Hwan’s house and Soo Yeon readily agrees. She has a toddler crush on him, and has been trying to get closer any chance she gets. Her mom tells her not to be too long because there’s food that needs to go to Sun Woo’s house as well. To everyone’s shock, Bo Ra volunteers.

Even Sun Woo is momentarily speechless.


Before she can run away, embarrassed, Sun Woo invites her to his room under the premise of studying. He just starts to get some hug action when mom walks in on them.


Oops. Guess Sun Woo better work on his balancing skills.

What is Love? Laughing at the girl you like because she’s an idiot.

Seriously. Will you look at that face? I love how Jung Hwan is trying to keep his feelings under control, but I also love moments like this when the facade is broken.


I just cannot get enough of these two together. #junghwanwillbethehubby


What is Love? The little things.

Sun Woo and Bo Ra meet at a food tent for a date. Sun Woo isn’t feeling the love as Bo Ra refuses to tell him what she’s doing with her days.


That is, until she stands up. Before now she’d only worn pants around him. He even mentioned it to her once, and she brushed it off. Bo Ra’s charm shines through once again, as she does the opposite of what she says. She really does like Sun Woo! Cute!

What is Love? Waking up early to ride the bus with your crush.

Sweet Jung Hwan. Now that he knows Taek likes Soo Yeon, he’s doing his best to avoid her. He hasn’t said it aloud, but I can tell he’s trying to get rid of his feelings for her. Kudos to good writing and acting so we get that sense without it being spelled out.


He still isn’t ready to handle all of her awesome, so he goes to school wayyy before anyone else. I mean, heck, the bus is a dangerous place.


Soo Yeon’s not stupid, however, and she likes riding the bus with Jung Hwan (who wouldn’t?) So she gets up as early he does. He thinks he’s on the bus alone, but when the driver leaves to grab a cup of coffee, Soo Yeon surprises him by hopping on.


One surprise is good enough–Jung Hwan gets so uncomfortable when she sits next to him, it’s adorable. But Soo Yeon isn’t done. Really, it’s Jung Hwan’s fault for getting up so early. Soo Yeon falls asleep on his shoulder, and it’s too sweet.


What is Love? Noticing when someone is sick.

Sun Woo’s mom has come down with a cold, but refuses to buy medicine. Sun Woo, being the filial son he is, goes and buys her something to sooth her running nose.


Problem is, someone has beat him to the punch, and Sun Woo isn’t sure what to think about it. He waits outside Taek’s father’s store, realizing his mom might not be single forever.


Taek’s dad is so cute with Jin Joo, I can’t help but want them together.


What is love? Just being together.

Taek has an all day baduk match, and it drains his energy just to play. When he gets home Soo Yeon is waiting for him.


He sweetly takes her wrist and starts leaning in. HOLD THE PRESSES! It’s not the end of the episode, so he must be kissing her, right??


But no. He just falls asleep on her shoulder. It goes to show how comfortable their relationship is, and it makes me melt a little anyway.


What is Love? Having a shoulder to cry on.

The group has coupons to use at a pork cutlet place that’s known to have a flasher in the area. Soo Yeon talks about it like it’s no big deal. She’s never seen a flasher before, and she’s even looking forward to it. Okay…


The dinner starts normal, but soon Soo Yeon needs to go the bathroom, as does Taek. As predicted, the flasher appears and shows Soo Yeon his goods.


At first, she acts cool and nonchalant, easily dismissing the guy. After he leaves, Taek’s about to compliment her for her bravery, but the second he touches her, she collapses into tears. He helps her to a deserted stairwell, where she lets it all out. Her tears never make it onto Taek’s shoulder, but the way he stays by her is commendable.

There goes my sinking ship again. For now it’s sailing so well I have good hopes for it, even if it doesn’t last.

What is Love? Being the bigger person.

Sun Woo discovers his mom has a job. She hasn’t had to work since her husband died, and Sun Woo doesn’t mind penny pinching. I’m sure Sun Woo’s mom sees it differently after almost losing her house, but Sun Woo doesn’t know about that.


At first he tries to swallow it down, even though it pains him.


There was so much raw emotion, my heart was breaking. As a mom, I can only hope one day my sons care as much for me.


I’m so glad Sun Woo Has Bo Ra. I’m sure Sun Woo would bottle it up and let it stew until he says something to his mother, but Bo Ra gives him another choice.


She suggests that he help her more and think about what she wants. Awe! I love Bo Ra’s heart.

What is Love? Caring for someone even when you don’t like them.

As Sun Woo leaves Bo Ra’s side, we hear her voice giving him advice about what love really is.


“Loving someone is not just the feeling of wanting to give them things, it’s the desperate desire to give them things.


“Hey, it’s really difficult to love someone. To love someone does not only mean you love to feel them near you, but it means that you love to acclimate yourself to them.


“Also, to love someone means no matter how much pain or grief that person causes you, you find yourself wanting to hate them so much, yet… you can never bring yourself to hate them.


“To love someone doesn’t mean that you don’t hate them. It means that you can’t hate them.”



And we come to close with Jung Hwan tucking Taek into bed. Awe!


I know I say this every week, but this show consistently proves that the bond of family and friendship can be stronger than anything else.


When it comes to love, in any form, we’re reminded that it doesn’t have to be some grand expression, and for the that lesson alone, I’ll be forever grateful I’m watching this show.







One thought on “Answer Me 1988 Episode 12: What is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)

  1. Pingback: ANSWER ME 1988. TVN. | IKurate

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