I have many favorite romantic tropes: fake dating, enemies to lovers, accidental pregnancy, and so on. But definitely, the grumpy/sunshine one is top two on my list…easily. I usually find this trope in romance books, because it’s what I tend to do more. I read a lot of romance books, that’s just a fact. But sometimes I pick up a new manhwa or webtoon to read and I instantly fall in love with the story. So, this time around I wanted to share with the world the best grumpy/sunshine manhwa I’ve ever read.
Now, if you’re unfamiliar with this trope, let me tell you a little bit about it. The grumpy/sunshine trope is mainly a grumpy character falling for a sunshine character. Grumpy characters are usually stoic, icy, or even prefer order instead of chaos. Sunshine characters tend to talk a lot more, they like everyone, and they are overly nice. This is, of course, only the superficial stuff, because each character has their own story and maybe they are who they are because of their past and their circumstances.
One little aspect I adore about this trope is that most of the time the grumpy character is very soft when they are in front of the other character. They let down their walls and you can see through that action that the grumpy, closed-off character trusts them. So, it’s a huge thing in terms of romantic development in the story. The grumpy/sunshine trope is an opposites-attract romantic trope that is used a lot in media, be it TV shows or manhwa.
Miss Abbott and the Doctor by Maripaz Villar
Miss Abbott is the actual representation of chaos. You search that in the dictionary and you’ll find her picture there. It’s understandable then tat she is paired up with the most organized, grumpy person.
Doctor Andreas Marino loves his easy, quiet life, filled with work and things to do on a daily basis. But when the interesting Miss Abbott arrives in his small town, he instantly decides he dislikes her. Unfortunately, she tends to bring trouble to his door, so they usually end up bumping into each other every other day.
Midnight Poppy Land by Lilydusk
Midnight Poppy Land follows the life of Poppy Wilkes, a girl who suddenly gets involved in an incident with the mafia. Soon enough her life is turned upside down when she meets Tora, a very handsome and grumpy bodyguard.
Meeting Tora brings both danger and happiness into her life. But she cannot deny that his presence is always welcomed. Get ready to see him turn into the softest teddy bear when it comes to Poppy!
Under the Oak Tree by Suji Kim, Seomal namu, and P
Maximilian is the daughter of a duke and the wife of Sir Riftan. He was once a lowly knight and she was forced to have a marriage of convenience with him. But soon after their wedding night, he leaves on a campaign and doesn’t return until three years later. And his return is the start of this sweet, intense love story between a stuttering sunshine girl and the tall, grumpy guy who adores her.
Flirting with the Villain’s Dad by via and dalseul
Now, if you are familiar with manhwa and read it a lot, you will know the term “isekai.” But if you’re not familiar with it, isekai is a Japanese genre of portal fantasy stories. You see often in stories where the main character suddenly dies in their world; which happens to resemble ours, and they are transported to a fantasy world where they sometimes have to pass different tests to achieve a goal.
In Flirting With the Villain’s Dad, our main character wakes up in her favorite web novel’s world…20 years before the story actually starts! So to prevent the main tragedy of the storyline from happening, but also to save herself from her destiny, she decides to seduce the villain’s dad. But she never expected to fall for him.
Nice to Meet You by Wishroomness
Nice To Meet You will introduce you to a ditsy university student and a grumpy, stoic classmate.
Their meet cute happens because of a lost student card which Mew, our heroine, picks up, but instead of doing the right thing, like turning it in, she decides to let fate take the wheel, and maybe the owner of the missing student card will bump into her.
Window to Window by Lee Aru
Ginu and Yubin are childhood friends and they have been living in neighboring apartments. If one looks out their window, they can easily see inside the other one’s apartment. But then Yubin’s secret is suddenly revealed and he doesn’t know how to react when Ginu sees him doing something naughty through the window…
This manhwa is for an 18+ audience and has sexual content.
Your Smile is a Trap by AENGO
To change up things a bit, Your Smile is A Trap does have the grumpy/sunshine trope, but in this case, the heroine is the one who is the grumpy one while the hero very much cannot stop smiling.
Ex-idol trainee Kiyu knows how to be adored by everyone he meets. His good looks are a good reason why. But, you see, he only wants to live an ordinary high school life, so he decides to put on his glasses and experience it. He soon finds out it’s harder than it looks! Plus, sitting beside a girl who only scowls is not making things easier.
‘Til Debt Do Us Part by janggreen and flowbee
For Subin, getting matched up is something that happens often for her. Especially by her mom. One day, though, she runs into an old friend from school and he suddenly asks her to…marry him?! Is this going to be the answer to her prayers?
Guardians of the Lamb by JUNS
Hari dreams of making it big as an actress. She’s a normal girl who has a dream like everyone else. Except she can’t remember anything from her childhood days. Everything further complicates when she is kidnapped. Luckily for her, she is saved by this mysterious person.
But why is he suddenly following her around? Does it have to do with the missing person’s case from 20 years ago? And what about her memories?
An Hour of Romance by Kim MYEONGMI
From the same artist who blessed us with What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim comes An Hour of Romance, a fun romcom where two opposites switch bodies one hour a day.
Jooahn and Dojin couldn’t be more different. She’s an icy career woman who rules with an iron fist. He’s a klutz who is easily liked and has a heart of gold. But when a work trip to a mysterious temple ends up making them exchange souls, they have to work together in order to keep up with their reputations.
Of Swamp & Sea by Jay Boulton and Laurel Boulton
If you want something with monsters and magic, you’ve come to the right place. Of Swam & Sea is an epic story about monster hunters and how one monster hunt led to a pretty good love story. Discover a world of magic, dangerous beasts, and interesting circumstances that lead to outstanding events.
Fools Remastered by Youngha and Bakdam
Finally, let’s discuss Fools Remastered. I love talking about this manhwa. You will find me reading soft romance stories every single day. And I get unbelievably happy whenever I find one. So, this is the case with Fools Remastered, because this manhwa is the softest story you could possibly imagine.
Eunki has left behind the excitement of college and socializing. All that fun and joyful time he experienced as a freshman in college in the big city has slowly faded. Now he mostly keeps to himself and shows his face on random outings. But when he meets Jungwoo, a sunshine freshman, he never expected his whole life to change.
I love talking about romantic tropes, so I hope I can do plenty more but also focused on manhwa and webtoons. The manhwa world is filled with hidden gems and I want readers to find that perfect pick for them. Looking for more romance content? This list of best romance manhwa will be bringing you so much dopamine.