Major Spoilers Below! If you haven’t seen the hugely popular Chinese Drama Ode to Joy, you don’t know what you’re missing! To give you a heads up – some of these romantic moments give away big plot points.
If you don’t want spoilers, check out my review of Ode to Joy and watch the drama before reading this list!
With 42 episodes in season one, Ode to Joy is a big time commitment – but that means there are even more swoon-worthy moments and that much more romance to enjoy! With moments both cute and passionate, personal, or just plain fun, I count down the Top Ten Romantic Moments from Ode to Joy: Season 1!
10. Guan Guan Meets Dr. Zhao
One of the things I love about Ode to Joy is that there are moments in each of the girl’s stories that viewers can relate to. It’s a realistic drama, even down to having secret crushes!
Related: Ode to Joy Review – A Must-See Chinese Drama about Five Different Women, Life, and Romance
When Guan Guan meets Doctor Zhao at a classical music concert, Guan Guan falls in love at first sight. When they both reach for the last cd on the rack, Doctor Zhao gives it to Guan Guan, with a charming smile. What a gentleman! Guan Guan is smitten and let’s be honest – who didn’t ship these two, at least for a moment?
9. Bao Yi Fan’s Gives Andie a Tour
All right, I admit it – I had to include a moment with Bao Yi Fan partly because of his smoldering looks. His suave appearance the perfect complement to Andie. They’re a match in brains and business and VP Bao’s playfulness is adorable. When his company and Andie’s are in the process of deciding to work together, he takes her over to his research plant to show her around. Later that day, Xiao Xiao notes that Andie seems happier and freer around VP Bao. Who wouldn’t? Just look at those dimples!
8. Ying Ying Meets a New Beau
Ying Ying has had her share of obstacles in love, but she remains a sweetheart throughout. When she meets a new guy at work, her bubbly excitement is infectious. Ying Qin and Ying Ying seem perfect for each other – each innocent and kind. What will Season 2 have in store for our new lovebirds?
7. Andie and Wei Wei’s First Date
Andie and Wei Wei’s first date was a perfect start for two geniuses. He takes her to a science museum and while she is reserved at first, his silliness gets her to loosen up and enjoy herself.
This moment was adorable in how “real” it was – just two friends going out for fun. Wei Wei does whatever he can to help Andie relax and it’s a pleasure to see her smile out of sheer delight or laugh at his silly antics.
6. Andie’s Healing Hug
When they are visiting a resort with some of the other girls from Ode to Joy, Andie meets Wei Wei out in a gazebo. When he arrives, she stands up hesitating and tries to put her arms around him for a hug. This is a huge step for Andie. Her past makes her incredibly sensitive about her personal space and trusting others to get close to her, both physically and emotionally. When she can’t bring herself to do it, Wei Wei gently gathers her in an embrace and from the other side, we see Andie’s eyes fill with tears. The soft music in the background swells as she slowly lifts her arms up to return his hug and her body, tight in anticipation and nervousness, relaxes. It is a moment Andie and Wei Wei have both been waiting for.
5. Andie’s Knight in Shining Armor
Lao Tan is Andie’s boss who asked her to return to Shanghai. He has been her friend for years and knows her family and adoption story better than anyone. Lao Tan is quiet and caring, sometimes knowing Andie’s needs better than she does. He sees her fragility underneath her leadership and waits patiently for her. He holds his feelings for her inside, happy when she is happy, and waiting for the right moment to tell her how much she means to him. When he discerns her relationship with Wei Wei is harmful and sees how much Wei Wei hurt Andie after meddling, Lao Tan comes to her defense. He heads over to Wei Wei’s house where he delivers a swift punch with a calm but no-nonsense conversation about how Andie deserves better.
Related: Shanghai Review – A Romantic Period Drama Mystery
4. Doctor Zhao and Xiao Xiao’s Kiss
When I saw this moment, I may have jumped up with Qiu Xiao Xiao in excitement. She and Doctor Zhao, in a rare evening off, are at a club. When Doctor Zhao doesn’t continue the game, Xiao Xiao begins to pout. Meanwhile, the camera switches to Wang Kai’s face – with the most appealing and confident smile I’ve ever seen – before he leans in for a quick kiss. Xiao Xiao, so excited and amazed, seems to freeze for a moment, and says quietly “You kissed me?” When she sees his same quiet smile, she screams in happiness. Xiao Xiao jumps up, her arms around Doctor Zhao’s neck and the two share a passionate kiss.
3. Fan Sheng Mei and Wang Bai Chuan Make it Official
On the way back from a tiring trip to Sheng Mei’s parents, she wakes up and finds Wang Bai Chuan yawning at the wheel. To keep him awake, she tickles him and they giggle softly in the front of the vehicle, so as not to wake the others. When they arrive home, Sheng Mei stays behind to talk with Bai Chuan. She tells him she is planning to change jobs. Pleased for her, he smiles and congratulates her. Looking around, she says, “If, if you haven’t changed your original feelings….I’d like to work with you.” Bai Chuan’s look of affection and surprise is priceless. When he asks Sheng Mei if she is serious, a wide smile spreads across his face as he picks her up and twirls her around. After so many rough episodes for Sheng Mei, the joy that lights up her face is worth all the tears that came before!
2. Dr. Zhao with Kittens
With all her friends gone on vacation, Xiao Xiao is sitting outside with the stray kittens she looks after. She complains to herself that she can’t believe Dr. Zhao didn’t come for her. As she’s looking at the ground, we see Dr. Zhao’s feet appear. The two look up at each other, smiling knowingly. He says at first he was coming to leave Andie a message, but she had already left.
“So I came for you.”
Xiao Xiao jumps up into his arms, wrapping her legs around him as they laugh and kiss amidst the spring leaves.
1. Wang Bai Chuan Surprises Fan Sheng Mei
Ode to Joy packs the finale with lots of happy endings for characters we have grown to love! Filled with balloons, a childhood sweetheart, and a view of the ocean, Sheng Mei’s Cinderella ending is well-deserved after her rocky journey. Bai Chuan has loved Sheng Mei since they were in school together and when he came back to Shanghai, he stayed by her side. He was always there for her when she needed help and full of compassionate understanding with her family. Sure, his proposal to ask her to be his girlfriend may be a bit over-the-top, but that makes it all the sweeter!
Photo Credit: Daylight Entertainment, Shandong Television Media Group, and Viki
Where to Watch: Catch-up on Ode to Joy on DramaFever and Viki.
What other romantic moments did you love from Ode to Joy? Let me know in the comments!