20th Century Girl (2022) Ending Explained – What happens to Woon-ho and Bo-Ra?

20th Century Girl Plot Synopsis

Newly released on Netflix, 20th Century Girl is a trope-filled Korean romance exploding with massive desktops, Casio-reminiscent watches, an incessant pager/payphone connection and piles of oversized clothes. It whisks us back to a time when Nostradamus’ predictions and a sense of uncertainty were buggin’ everyone out.

And though Y2K was the worry of businesses around the world, for some, it was secrets with your foreva home skillet and a hope for romance if they survived the New Year. For boy-crazy Yeon-du, all she can think about is her new love-at-first-sight, even as she’s jetted from Korea to the US for planned heart surgery rather than heading to high school with her friends.

Armed with only a name, friend-for-life Bo-ra, who doesn’t really get the whole crush thing, promises to track Hyun-jin, reporting every detail so Yeon-du can catch up by email from her recovery room. Bo-ra is committed to creating an experience as if Yeon-du hadn’t missed a thing.

What happens when Bo-ra tracks Hyun-jin?

When Bo-ra starts tracking Hyun-jin, everyone starts to believe she’s got a thing for him, especially Hyun-jin himself. She may be a bit surprised and flattered, but this is her best friend’s guy. She would never betray her like that.

So she does her mightiest to discourage him, explaining all of her bad habits. Meanwhile, having been using her broadcast club-mate and Hyun-jin’s best friend Woon-ho to gather data, they begin to quietly catch feelings for each other.

What happens when Yeon-du returns?

When Yeon-du returns post-surgery, the girls are happily reunited. But Bo-ra had hesitated to tell her about her feelings for Woon-ho. And lucky she didn’t, as it turns out that Yeon-du had the guys mixed up, and her crush is actually Woon-ho. Uh-oh.

Why does Woon-ho leave?

Before the girls are able to sort themselves out, Woon-ho tells Bo-ra he’s returning to New Zealand. He confesses but she holds back, denying her interest in him, in deference to her friendship.

In a letter, Woon-ho had promised to return for Bo-ra but he doesn’t give it to her, dropping it in the rainy streets instead.

What changes Bo-ra’s mind?

Eventually, Yeon-du figures out that Bo-ra does indeed have feelings for Woon-ho. And on the day he’s meant to leave, she plots with Hyun-jin to give the couple one last opportunity to talk things out, racing her to the train station.

What happens to Woon-ho?

After an emotional confession where Woon-ho promises to return, the couple keeps in touch over email. But he eventually stops responding to messages and their relationship evaporates.

After several years of pining, Bo-ra tells herself it’s time give up. But one day receives a package by post that includes Woon-ho’s movie and an invitation to an exhibit.

There, she meets Woon-ho’s baby brother, now a grown man. He tells her that Woon-ho had always kept her in his heart. And that Woon-ho tragically died all those years ago.

What happens to Bo-ra?

She moves on with her life but doesn’t have a significant other. So, she’s moved on but hasn’t really moved on, and from a romantic perspective is still stuck in the 20th Century. After hearing about Woon-ho’s tragedy she feels able to let go of her anger, and to celebrate the golden time they’d had.


Read More: 20th Century Girl Movie Review

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28 thoughts on “20th Century Girl (2022) Ending Explained – What happens to Woon-ho and Bo-Ra?”

  1. How did woon ho’s brother age so much when bo-ra was just a kidn of young adult?
    Everything else can be imagined like woon ho’s dead and all but this isn’t explainable

  2. I love this movie but I hate it more!!! Made me cryyyy and I’m just so sad after watching this😭😭 imagine someone out there in the world that goes through this happy then sad love after!!! My poor little heart aches for them!! Bawling my eyes outttt

  3. Hi, i watch the movie. The feel of first love and acceptance. The longing to be together, the disappointment and bringing back the love she had. But, i have a question though. What is the cause of Woon- ho’s death?

  4. Hi Norma,

    Thanks for reading and for commenting! We love to hear what readers think.

    Best, Kristen

  5. I think the story was to short it was rushed at the end and like others it didn’t give much of an explanation on what happened to the male lead and how did he die, plus his brother was a lot older and she didn’t seem to age that much like her parents , plus the blind date slot? Wasn’t really relevant to the hearing of just his name. What happened to her best friend and the other characters. Far too many holes in the story plus the ending just left far to many questions for me personally.

  6. Hi Col,

    And there you go. I can’t help but love a story that makes you feel something.

    Thanks for reading & commenting!

  7. Hi Karin,

    Oh no! You’ve kinda made me want to rewatch it. Maybe I missed something….

    Thanks for reading & commenting! And shout if there’s something else you’d like me to review.

  8. Oh no, Destinee!

    I’m sorry the movie impacted you so much. But it’s the sign of good storytelling, isn’t it? So many people felt something. It’s pretty cool. Though I totally agree, I would have loved to have a seen more satisfying ending, with the lead having learned something and assuredly moved on. I like to think that’s what happened anyway 🙂

    Thanks for reading & commenting!

  9. Hi Jane,

    Thanks for reading & commenting! I love seeing all the comments about this – perhaps the message will translate?

    Let the people be heard!

  10. Hi Gena,

    I understand your disappointment. But even with the unfulfilled ending, I still enjoyed watching it 🙂
    If you’ve got something else you’d like to see reviewed, fling it our way.

    Thanks for reading & commenting!

  11. I think the ending is mostly like reality and that’s y so much hated the ending. I would still like to know how he died tho.

  12. I feel duped and disappointed. I was deliberately left hanging with being told only half the story. I’m a bit irritated that I was sucked in just to be played in the end. That”s dirty pool! I won’t watch another one of their productions.

  13. The movie was good up until the last. We needed to know what type of death took Woon-ho away. I was just left hanging with no closure. What happened to the other two best friends? Did they end up together? Why was Ba-da rushed to the hospital? What happened in Woon-hu’s family life? They didn’t develop a lot of things and this hurt my enjoyment and review of the movie.

  14. Had to come and get closure from other viewers cause like others I was left with the feeling of emptiness and saddenesss like my girl gets with no one at the end, we don’t know any information about the boy and how he died just a horrible ending genuinely falling Inlove with the story (love the female lead) and wasn’t expecting that ending AT ALL wouldn’t have watched it if i knew the ending was sad because I hate sad dramas (I cry to much) I feel like I was tricked into watching something that was supposed to be cute and light hearted and end up leaving with emptiness

  15. Beautiful movie I must say , sad ending though, really wanted those two to have a fruitful life ,hey what can we say.thank u Netflix for a great movie I cryed many times

  16. It is not a K-Drama but K-Trauma. The ending is tragic, yes but it could have been satisfying, but it did not.

  17. Hate the movie! And hate the way in how the movie ending was made! Partly because of Poong Woon-ho’s early death! But mainly because it’s not been explained in the movie! About what happened in the events! Leading Poong Woon-ho to his death! So that’s why i hate the movie! And why i will never ever rewatch the movie 20th Century Girl ever again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. it left me with tearing eyes and I dont know what cause his death? whyyyy do I need the feel of emptiness on this film. I just felt myself in their shoes and I was able to absorbed all the emotion they have.

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