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What Your Oppa Really Means When He Says, "Do You Want To Eat Ramyeon?"

He's got something on his mind, and it's not just slurping noodles

“Want to have ramyeon?”

If you’re in South Korea, you’d better know that this is an invitation for more than just ramyeon. It’s the South Korean equivalent of “Wanna Netflix and chill?” which has become the 21st century code for something more intimate than just sharing a simple meal. 

It all started with the 2001 movie One Fine Spring Day. The heroine, Eun-soo (played by Lee Young-ae), was the first to say “Do you want to eat ramyeon?” to her love interest. Since then it’s become part of Korean modern dating culture. It’s literal slang is for “Do you want to sleep with me?” These days, the phrase “Ramyeon meokgo galrae?” is often delivered more as a joke, although it serves its purpose by enabling people to invite or initiate romance without having to muster the courage to be more explicit. 

In K-drama, "Do you want ramyeon?" is a popular trope. Characters pop this question in front of the home before parting ways, and it frequently signals secret romantic feelings for the other person. We've seen quite a lot of references over the years. Some of our favorite scenes are in the gallery below:

Now that you know the social implications of ramyeon, you'll be more careful about whom you issue an invitation to slurp noodles with. Did reading this make you hungry for ramyeon? Whip up some delicious instant ramyeon from our list. And if you just happen to really, really want to just sit down together over an actual, literal bowl of hot ramyeon, maybe you'd better meet up in a restaurant, just to avoid any misunderstanding.