“When I Was The Most Beautiful” Ending Explained- Episode 16 Recap

Published Categorized as Kdrama Recaps

MBC’s “When I Was The Most Beautiful” has finally concluded its run to overwhelmingly negative reactions from the fans who stuck around to see if the main couple would end up together.

“When I Was The Most Beautiful” ending saddened fans, and although, most who stuck around could see this coming miles away, it was still a blow to those who wished there would be a silver lining to the main tortured characters.

Today we’re here to quickly recap “When I Was The Most Beautiful” episode 16, the below recap is of the finale highlights, it’s not a detailed recap.

The quick Recap

Hwan asks Ye Ji if she’s ever liked him or likes him, she tells him that she can never answer such a question. She leaves to pack her bags and say goodbye to everyone before leaving the house once and for all.

She says goodbye to her father-in-law and the rest of the neighbors who were with her, she also says goodbye to Jin who at first refuses to say goodbye but gets up on his feet to say goodbye, he admits he’s going to regret not coming back after the accident and not contacting her for the rest of his life. They hug one last time and Jin sees her back as she’s leaving, he collapses on the floor crying while his father comforts him.


Ye Ji’s mother meets with Jin’s mother, Jin’s mother attempts to convince Ye Ji’s mother not to let her daughter get a divorce from Jin because people already assume she fell in love with her brother-in-law and this will taint her reputation.

Ye Ji’s mother is shocked, she leaves to ask her daughter if it’s true, Ye Ji talks about relying on Hwan when things were rough, she knows he had sincere feelings towards her and says,

“I regret getting married, but I was so desperate. I wanted a home, a family and Jin relentlessly tried to win my heart. I was sick and tired of being alone.”

She admits she developed feelings for Hwan and wavered. She tells her mom, “me and him, mom, we have the same soul.” She talks about how he understood her when she was confused and unable to express her emotions.

Hwan leaves his company while his friend Amber handles the last project, Hwan finds out that Ye Ji has left for good; he goes to see her and offer her plane tickets so they could leave for the U.S and be together. Ye Ji’s mother tells her daughter to leave with Hwan if she wants and to live the life she wants.

After giving it some thought, they meet and Ye Ji rejects his offer, she tells him that he’ll live miserably if they were to leave together, he’d lose his family and she doesn’t want that for him. He tries to hold on to her but she refuses, she hugs him and they cry together.


While Hwan is on his way to the airport, his mother calls him to let him know that his brother had collapsed, his plans gets cancelled for that reason and he decides to stay.  

After rejecting Hwan, Ye Ji goes to her mother to ask her to be with her and for them to live with each other once again.

Jin and Hwan begin to sort of patch their relationship and forgive each other; their brotherly bond seems to be returning to somewhat normal.

After Carry leaves prison, she’s doing an interview, when the potential employer asks her why she left out that she’s been to prison; she says realized that many women go there because of men and to her she was ‘simply in love.’

Some time has passed; both brothers learn that the mother and Ye Ji left together. Hwan is still curious about whether Ye Ji is doing well so he seeks her friend, she tells him where she is. They meet at the island where she resides with her mother.


After conversing for a short time and checking up on each other, Hwan tells her he’s moving to an island near Bali soon to work on a small hotel project, as he’s about to leave, Ye Ji asks him to stay with her and spend the day together.

They eat together and ride a bicycle together and eventually stay at an inn. At the inn, she tells him, ‘I love you, I wanted to say even if it was at least once.’

Ye Ji tells him she doesn’t expect him to reply but she wanted to tell him that even if it was only once. He thanks her for saying this with tears in his eyes.


Eventually, they don’t even kiss or do anything and Ye Ji leaves first thing in the morning.

Jin starts talking voiceover about how his life has been going well, he’s left with the feeling of longing but can’t tell if its good or bad. He’s now using crutches and seems to be able to walk a lot better.

Hwan and Jin parents seem to be patching their relationship and spend more time together.

Hwan says he doesn’t know how to end this love because he never really started it [in voiceover]. He wishes her happiness and that she’ll remember him.


Ye Ji says [in voiceover] that she’s now happier and can sleep in the darkness knowing it will go away tomorrow. Despite knowing hardships lie ahead of her, she’s happy knowing that she was once loved.


The end.

Fans are upset and angry that the drama couldn’t give Jin and Ye Ji a happy ending despite the hardships they had gone through together. Many fans expressed their disappointment with the writer of “When I Was The Most Beautiful.”

What did you think of “When I Was The Most Beautiful” ending? Did you like it or not?

My Review

I am gonna be honest with you, I didn’t hate “When I Was The Most Beautiful” ending, I kinda saw that coming and if you’ve likely seen at least 4 episodes you could tell already that the ending wasn’t going to be what you expect.

Dare I say I actually like the ending? I think it was the most logical ending for this drama considering how the entire topic remains pretty disgusting the more you look at it.

Ye Ji was right, being with him will bring him misery. It ain’t worth it to lose your family just to be with your brother’s ex-wife. I saw comments of people getting upset because they thought they should end up together, I don’t know if I should be worried or brush it off. How would this ever be acceptable? And why do you think it’s okay?

I’d like to believe that fans were just too invested in the story and wanted the leads to end up together so badly hence the worrisome comments saying ‘it’s okay to be together.’

The topic itself is very difficult to navigate which is why I am left with one question, ‘why?’ why was “When I Was The Most Beautiful” made to begin with? I don’t understand how the writer thought they could navigate this premise fairly well considering how most normal human beings would find it disgusting and immoral.

Making the plot revolve around the idea of two brothers fighting for the same woman and for one brother to still harbor feelings for his older brother’s wife is simply unacceptable and shouldn’t be treated as such. Even though we know the circumstances and what led to each character decision, it still doesn’t make it okay or palatable.

MBC has had very few if at all any memorable dramas this year (talking about short kdramas 16 episodes or less). I don’t understand what they’re aiming for by okaying such a project to begin with. What exactly was the aim of this drama?

I am not like a good portion of kdrama fans, meaning I don’t demand a happy ending all the time, if a sad ending is more befitting then so be it, my issue isn’t “When I Was The Most Beautiful” ending but the entire idea.

Every actor did their best until the very last scene and I am so proud of all of them. Next time, I pray to God Jisoo picks a better project. He recently signed to a big actors’ agency so I am hoping his choices in dramas get better. He has about a year left before he must enlist in the military and yet his most memorable last role was in “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.”

What saddens me is that he’s so talented and has the potential to hit it big but his choices need to get better. Even if he’ll play the second lead again, he should pick a project that’ll benefit his career.  

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. Holy cow! How sad! I haven’t seen this drama, but after reading this, will avoid it like the plague. I like my happy endings, especially when the characters have gone through so much.

  2. Nice story but what is missing in this story is that there is no room for second chances. In life, we deserve second chances, don”t we?

    1. They can never be a 2nd chance for Ye Ji and Seo Jin. There relationship started based on a default… I don’t know why fans are craving for Ye Ji and Seo Jin relationship to sail…

      I believe Hwan deserved a fair chance to love… If his brother had not intervened selfishly at the beginning by sabotaging his true/sincere love for Ye Ji, the forces of nature won’t have caught up with him. From the drama, I am strongly of the opinion that the writers minds somehow pinpoint the fact that nature didn’t agree and brought all the unfortunate happenings. Unfortunately 2 lovebirds became hurt due to greedy adults… Ye Ji and Seo Hwan

      In my opinion, nobody ever cared about Hwan or loved him. His feelings were greatly ignored… He was very much aware of the fact that his brother cut the rope to save himself and that his father sacrificed himself for him. He also lived with guilt of his father sudden handicap state, his brother not loving him and his mother too leaving..

      Yes he was an high schooler but didn’t mean that he was too young to understand his feelings… Seo Jin character was a bigger jerk than I expected… He didn’t marry Ye Ji out of love, he did it to escape his reality… Ye Ji was the perfect match, since she also experienced misfortunes and he used that to guaranty himself of his struggling life that refused to come to terms with reality…

      Seo Jin found Ye Ji vulnerable and used her… After the accident he didn’t give her a fair share to make the decision if she wanted to stay with him or not regardless of the situation or condition he was in… He made selfish decisions and didn’t consider anybody… He cut ties with his family and would not have returned if his mother had not gone to get back from his hide out… He only felt love towards her at the ending after realizing what love truly is from his brother…

      I am disappointed at this drama because so many characters didn’t get a fair share of display, especially Seo Hwan… So people will say it’s just fiction but many Seo Hwan out there will want it differently…

      Still sharing my thoughts, this drama deserves an episode 17, for all those who had lost their love due to family selfish interest/unnecessary politics. They need to know that there is still hope and people like Ye Ji and Seo Hwan deserve to love each other regardless of life situation… Age is nothing but a number especially when the individuals involved are experiencing adulthood… It won’t cost you anything to wait especially when all kinds of doubts have been cleared out…

      I still have a lot to say but I am going to rap it up and stop exercising my disappointment…

      The Cast are all fantastic people and did their best to portray every characters brilliantly. I had problem with the sound effects at some stage/scenes and so many others… But in it all it was very entertaining to watch and I recommend to watch….

      Thank you.

  3. I did recommend this drama for many to watch… So many can learn not make same mistakes, including that of the writer… I was born out of a relationship of over 10yrs age gap difference between my parents… They still love each other… Both agreed to wait… Sometimes it pays to wait… Especially after clearing all doubts… I have learnt also from my parents mistakes made in the cause of their marriage but I can proudly/boldly say that their coming together was never a mistake…not because I was born out of it, but because it created more than enough beauty even if I was non existent in it… They were meant to be and those who tried to contend with it knew the agony and destruction that they experienced and they had to back out/say no more.

  4. In your write up above…you said that you did not know why many wanted it to end with 2 leads getting a happy ending… The 2 leads I believe you meant Ye Ji and Seo Hwan characters… I did love for it to sail… It wasn’t their fault that family factor tried to put asunder their love…

    I can take useless endings from any other drama but this one… Everyone had their fair share except from Ye Ji and Seo Hwan… Even the love that Ye Ji thought she had for Seo Jin, wasn’t as strong as she thought… She only accepted because she too vulnerable and Hwan let her go his brother because he thought he did make her happy even though he had serious doubts… Many will say that Seo Hwan deserved better but why take away his 1st try to happiness…

    If my brother snatches my happiness and I let it go due to my inconsiderate family members around me, he then fails to protect it by causing it more harm…if my happiness realizes it’s true self later on that it can only be really happy around me… should I discard it for love of my love ones who are very self centered/selfish… is it a crime to experience love with one a family failed to protect?…

    In the beginning Seo Jin knew about his brother sincere feelings and still went after Ye Ji brain washing her with his what happens to be pitiful dad…Ye Ji’s mother statement when she advised her daughter not to hold back her feelings for Hwan was one of my never to forget moments in my history of watching Kdramas…

    As humans, whether in fiction or real life you can never satisfy anybody and nobody can satisfy you unless you choose to be satisfied… Ye Ji should have gone for it… His family at one stage or the other will get over it. Nobody really cared about Hwan in his family that much… Call me crazy, I still stand for Ji and Hwan relationship to have sailed even if means it ends with sad for Hwan family members… His brother would have overcome it eventually following the plot… in life he would have learnt that it’s okay to loose a stolen battle you are not fit for to your love ones… it’s painful but some ship must sail without presence or permission in life… His mother would nag for a while… Hwan father will let go after awhile…

    I agree with you even though I’m not his fan, Ji Soo is a very talented actor that needs to pick up much better roles… The other main casts have taken roles that have done them justice… Maybe that’s while many fans are rooting for Ye Ji and Seo Jin relationship even thought it makes no sense to me…Ignoring the plot/storyline…

    In my country people language, Jisoo need to get sense and wake up to much betters to roles that expresses his talent more… guy need to stop snoring and wake…enough of this sad one sided love stories…. Take roles strictly business…I respect some kdrama actors for that and they’re well recognized…no time to check time…

  5. I also feel this is the best ending for this drama. It couldn’t have ended any other way. It’s not all love that is meant to be it’s only love that feels mutually right because in the long run, you’ll have to face a lot of things so you’ll need not to have regrets. Nice recap by the way Jaz

  6. I waited so many episodes to finally find out what the big deal was. Turns out in some peoples twisted minds that marrying a girl who dated your brother for a month, married him for 2 months and was abandoned by him or even died without a child involved would make asian cultures lose their s**t.
    I cant understand why they dont feel the same way about Hwons mom being a whore doesnt phase them?
    Jin can be a attempted murderer of his own brother, shirked his filial duty to his father as oldest son and lived a playboys life on the family income and morons wonder why he and Yeji shouldnt be able to work it out?
    Hwons father is a whimp cuckhold who never held Jin accountable for anything and was an enabler to Jins selfishness all the while making Hwon the family slave and bearer of a disappointment.
    If the people who think Hwon and Yeji cant be together from the yuk factor then why not put it in its correct place?
    Marrying for love is the only marraige that means anything. Marrying a guy because your family told you (arranged marraige) or marrying yourself without love for the benefits just makes you a woman whos been trafficed in the first case or a prostitiute in the second. At best Yeji was the second due to her overwhelming desire for a family. So you want to complain about yuk? Do it at step 1 where she married Jin. Its not Hwon that has the yuk factor its Jin.
    Second even if Confucian Korean society is unchangable and it had to be this way, Confucian Korean parents are always threatening to take their kids off the family register and disown them to get what they want. Whats with Korean IQ? The writers ability to problem solve for a solution is horrific.
    1. Hwon gets taken off the family register, who wants them anyway. He already told his mom if she kept up he was willing to sever ties. He told Jin that he no longer had a brother.
    2. Yeji sprouts a brain and realizes Hwon feels that way and whether he takes his name off or not they move to the US and be happy the rest of their days. Its not like his family missed him when he was wasting 7 years of his life in the US looking for Jin. The one time he came home he never told them he was there.
    Sacrificing the only thing you have ever wanted, Knowing the other person is in constant agony over the same thing to gain the same crap family you had before giving them all they wanted and you having nothing….now thats a confucian Korean solution. Every woman who thinks Hwon and Yeji shouldnt find a way to be together deserve a husband like Jin.

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