I Live in Cheongdamdong Episode 104 Recap

*Apologies for the skip!

We open with Hye-Ja musing that the coffee machine costs her more money than it makes. In a fit of pique, she tells the company to take it away. From now on, she’ll just keep little packs of instant coffee in a container on her desk for the customers. This tactic leads to the quick realization that the men of the manhwa house consume much more coffee than she expected, as she’s forced to refill the coffee container again and again.  Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 4.45.47 PM

Jieun is watching one of her favorite male actors when Woohyun and Sanghoon pop in. “Isn’t he so dreamy?” she asks. Woohyun and Sanghoon agree amiably, saying that this actor makes even male viewers see the attraction (Aww, it’s nice when men aren’t squeamish about appreciating male beauty.) Jieun is excited to hear that they agree and turns to them, only to do a double-take when she sees that that their faces look like squids.

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“Ah… I guess it only makes sense that prolonged exposure to a beauty like that will make these two men look like squids,” she thinks to herself (pahahaha… commentary on how dramas do NOT prepare us for reality? It’s a cute gag to incorporate lame photoshop, but I’m finding it sad that this show pokes fun at their average-looks so much. They’re so sweet!)

But then Hyunwoo walks in and she’s startled to see that his face looks normal (if normal means really, really, ridiculously good-looking.) She thinks maybe the effects of the male actor have worn off, so she stares hard at the screen for a few seconds before looking at Hyunwoo again. Nope, still good-looking.

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Hye-ja decides to start charging 500 won for coffee that she makes herself, and each customer finds out one by one that it tastes repulsive. The older men shudder, but one young customer just keeps a stoic face and then takes out a flask of alcohol and swishes a sip like mouthwash to neutralize the taste (Oh, the youth of our generation. So prepared.)

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Bohee interrogates our Three Stooges with the TV bill. Moosung takes the lead in answering for the other two.

“Looks like there’s a lot of video charges. What’s this ‘Attractive Service Employee’ one about?”

“Ahh… it’s about how to be an attractive employee  (note that to have beauty/attraction can also mean in skill sets). We want to learn how to better ourselves at work.”

“And ‘Salhayan’s memories?'”

“A documentary… about an American immigrant. Very touching.”

Sanghoon jumps in at this point to say that he cried a lot while watching it.

Bohee gives them the stank eye. “Well, I’ve been too busy to watch movies these days, but I’d like a good cry. Let’s watch them together.” Of course, the boys are found out, and Bohee takes away their TV privileges until their mental “quality” improves.

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(Personally, I say, let them watch as long as they’re paying their own fees. It’s even rather cute that they watch the videos together, as a communal activity.)

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Hyeja’s been tinkering with her coffee recipe and soon her coffee gains enough repute that people who don’t care about manhwas are coming to the manhwa house just to drink it.

Jieun uses her walkie talkie to talk to Hyunwoo (because, for some reason, Hyunwoo refuses to get a cell phone), and is panicked to hear him say, “Save me… save me…” She runs up to the rooftop and opens the door to the bunk, upon which he flops out like a dead fish. Turns out, the bunk is steaming hot without AC and Hyunwoo (who, SPOILER ALERT, is actually a wealthy kid END SPOILER), worries about what it will be like in a few weeks since it’s not even summer yet.

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Meanwhile, tensions are running high in the Three Stooges’ room. A verbal pissing contest starts, as Moosung and Sanghoon try to prove that they’re the toughest/strongest. Threats of eye-gouging and the like ensue. Woohyun cuts them both off after a few minutes. “ONCE,” he says, in this completely deadpan voice, “as a kid, I ate (something I can’t read).” I have to go look up the word. It pops up on my screen: feces.

Eugh… Woohyun..

Both men know defeat when they hear it (or smell it?). They rush over to Woohyun’s side and begin massaging his head and hands, like he’s the jjang in their small cell.

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Jieun gives Hyunwoo a fan. “This is our family’s only fan,” she says, without a hint of remorse (girl, I love you.) “As long as you have this, the summer should be no problem!” (The way Jieun said this reminds me of Autumn Concerto, when both Mucheng and her child happily sat in front of a fan during a hot summer day. Well, this ain’t Autumn’s concerto, and Hyunwoo isn’t a little boy.) Jieun turns the fan on and puts her face next to it, enjoying the breeze. Hyunwoo tries it out and says, as if surprised, “But it only blows warm air!” (Lol, SMALL SPOILER careful, boy, your chaebol roots are showing. END SPOILER)

Jieun slumps, “So, I guess you’re moving out?”

“It’s better than dying,” he says. Lol. I would think he’s cute but he’s being so melodramatic that it’s killing the mood.

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“Couldn’t you just endure it for my sake?” She says.

He looks at her carefully, “And why, for your sake, would I endure it?”

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(Awwww….. another flashback to Gilmore Girls, when Rory asks Jess, “If you care about me, then you’ll be nice to my Mom!” And he says, “What makes you think I care about you?” And she backtracks all over saying, “Well, I just mean… if you think of me at all… as a person you can stand to talk to… Lol. Very persuasive, Rory.”

Jieun does the same, saying, “Well… if I have to admit it… without you here, the store would be really boring.”

“Am I a toy that you can play with during boring times?”

“Is it not okay to be a toy to be played with during boring times?”


“Oh,” Jieun slumps over. Neither is willing to press the issue further, but I liked the little dance they made around the subject.

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Lol, I’m so confused. Bohee goes up to the “cell” and tells the Three Stooges they have three minutes (altogether) to use the bathroom. She’s acting like their warden, which bothers me because I don’t know why she has any authority over them and also because I don’t think naughty videos warrant this kind of punishment, especially when all three are in their forties. Although I realize now there’s a reason they’re all wearing striped shirts in this episode! In any case, the three pile in and Woohyun and Sanghoon pee (at the same time!). I guess that’s time efficient.

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They both look at Moosung, wondering why he isn’t joining them, and he says, “I am the big one,” or “Wo shi da de,” which confuses me, until I realize…

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Hyeja’s coffee is now so popular that a businessman says he’ll pay quadruple the price if she delivers it. Kwanwoo delivers it for her and then waits patiently for them to finish the coffee, saying that he has to take back the cups. One businessman says, “If you get bored, chew this,” and he hands Kwanwoo some gum. (Lol. That isn’t the way I like to entertain myself, but it’s nice of him to offer.)

At work, Jungmin comes in complaining of the hot, which sends Jieun off into a rant. “Why do people have such low patience/tolerance? I asked you to stay, did you think that was easy for me to do?”

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(Once again, flashbacks to many points of my life when friends exerted a lot of effort to say much less than their hearts wanted to, and then were disappointed when their messages were not taken.)

Jungmin is confused, wondering if Jieun is mad at her. Jieun continues, “Fine! You came into the manhwa house/my life easily; I guess it’s right you would leave easily, too! But, if you were going to leave, why were you so nice to me? Whatever! Leave! Leave!”

(Lol, I only have so much fun transcripting these because the rambly thoughts are so true of girly troubles.)

The decline into full jailbird style is quick, as the Three Stooges start snacking on bugs, thinking about career changes, promising to live “healthier lives,” scrawling on the wall in chalk the hours they’ve been in lockdown, and pacing the room. Sanghoon practices being a masseuse on Woohyun’s back.

Meanwhile, Jieun is back to thinking proactively about Hyunwoo. She measures his door; she gets out a ruler; she saws wood. I have no idea what she wants to do. Make a better, more insulated door? If so… I’m kind of impressed and fearful.

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But no. Her efforts end in… a sign.

“Steam Room.”

Okay, that could have been done with much less fanfare, but Jieun’s got nothing if not gusto when it comes to her love life.

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She gives him a life pep talk. “Sometimes, people just need to change their perspective, and then life improves. If you think of this as a steam room, well, then, the hotter it is, the better it is!” She brings out a tray of wine and hardboiled eggs, which is traditional fare in korean steam rooms.

I’m not very convinced. Neither is Hyunwoo.

“Well, how about we switch rooms,” she says. (Okay, I know I’m all for girls being proactive and stuff… but this is getting a teensy bit cringe-worthy.)

Hyunwoo says that she wouldn’t last an hour, so it’s best that he just move.

So, Jieun tries it… only to come crawling out within seconds. She huffs back to her room. I think she’s defeated, but, obviously, I need to spend more time with this girl.

Dressed in black like a judge, Bohee calls each of the Three Stooges out to give them a stern lecture and then asks for their penance. Sanghoon is first and he cries that he’ll never watch such things again, and if he does, he isn’t a human being. My god, I’ve never seen such extreme punishment for watching a bit of rumpy pumpy. Moving on.

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Jieun dresses up like a ghost, heads back up to the roof, and starts scraaaatching  down the side of the bunk. I’m laughing but I have no idea what she’s doing. Hyunwoo comes up behind her and scares her, which is when we notice that she took the time to apply a little lipstick blood on her face.

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“If there are ghosts in this house, wouldn’t that be even more reason to move?” he asks, which is what I was thinking, too.

He gives her two troughs with pumpkin seeds already planted and then takes out rolls of grass, telling her that the bunk should be better off if the pumpkin vines grew around them and there was grass on the rooftop. And so he stays. 🙂

Poor Sangyeob gets one split second scene in this episode, when he comes up to the rooftop looking for Jieun and is scared out of his wits to see her, trowel in hand and bloody with lipstick.

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On one of his coffee runs, Kwanwoo runs into Bohee, who chases him out of the building, shocked to see her manager delivering coffee.

“You’ve got the wrong person,” he shouts.

“Do you think I could mistake the face of my own manager?” she shouts back. This phrase, coupled with the somewhat soft expression on her face, touches Kwanwoo and he turns to her for a hug.

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Only to be seized in a deathgrip. Haha. You go on with your bad self, Show. Keep subverting my expectations. 🙂

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She yanks him back to the manhwa house and chews out her sister for exploiting Kwanwoo. Hyeja apologizes to Kwanwoo, says tenderly that she was wrong and he needn’t pay rent anymore. Just consider himself part of the family.

Till next time. 🙂




  1. 清潭






  1. 清洁



  1. 道歉







  1. 挨骂

Āi mà

Earn scoldings













Mèilì fúwùyuán

Attractive customer service employee






Material (spiritual/character)





Dèng yǎnjīng









Real estate


Kàn wǒ de fèn shàng

For my sake


Jué jué









Zhēngqì fáng

Steam room








Lay out





Qū wén wénzhàng

Mosquito netting








One thought on “I Live in Cheongdamdong Episode 104 Recap

  1. Hi, regarding the scene Ji Eun dresses up as a ghost, watch episode 32, you can find there the reason why. HAHAHA Episode 32 is one of the funniest episode of ILICDD, Hyun Woo very cute there and Ji Eun very funny.

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