Pinocchio (Korean: 피노키오; RR: Pinokio) is a 2014–2015 South Korean television series starring Lee Jong-sukPark Shin-hyeKim Young-kwang and Lee Yu-bi.


In the year 2000, Ki Ha-myung (Lee Jong-suk) is leading a happy life with his parents and elder brother Jae-myung, until his father Ki Ho-sang, the captain of the firefighting squad, dies in a factory explosion during a rescue attempt along with several of his men. When Ho-sang’s body is initially missing, the media sensationalizes the case by scapegoating him.

In a battle for ratings, cold and calculating MSC reporter Song Cha-Ok alleges that Ho-sang survived the blast, and is currently in hiding because he was responsible for the deaths of his men. This causes the Ki family to become outcasts in their neighborhood and objects of national scorn. Ki Ho-sang’s wife kills herself and her younger son (Ha-myung) by jumping off a cliff, and the elder son, Jae-myung blames their deaths on the media, particularly Cha-ok.

But Ha-myung is alive, having been rescued from the water by Choi Gong-pil, a kind elderly man who lives on Hyangri Island. Gong-pil, who may either have Alzheimer’s disease or trauma-induced memory loss, believes that Ha-myung is his older son Choi Dal-po, a simpleton who had died thirty years earlier. Ha-myung, who has no one else in the world, embraces the deception and treats Gong-pil as his father. Gong-pil officially adopts Ha-myung, now named Dal-po, and places him in the family register as his eldest son.

Five months later, when Gong-pil’s younger son Choi Dal-pyung moves to the island with his daughter Choi In-ha, they are flabbergasted to be told by Gong-pil to address a mere boy as their “older brother” and “uncle,” respectively. Choi In-ha (Park Shin-hye) has “Pinocchio syndrome,” which causes her to hiccup whenever she tells a lie. She idolizes her mother and hates living on the island after her parents’ divorce. The fledgling friendship between Dal-po and In-ha is dashed, however, when he learns that In-ha’s mother is none other than Song Cha-ok.

Five years later, In-ha and Dal-po are high school seniors and classmates at their small-town high school. Dal-po, who is a genius, pretends to be dumb (like the real Dal-po) and gets all zeroes in his test scores to keep up the deception in front of Choi Gong-pil. With his last-place class standing and scruffy, country bumpkin hair, Dal-po is friendless at school while In-ha is the most popular girl.

Dal-po secretly likes In-ha, and he is forced to join a televised quiz show at first to prevent Ahn Chan Soo, who has a crush on In Ha, from confessing to her on national TV. At the TV studio, he runs into the show producer Hwang Gyo-dong, who had been a YGN reporter and one of Cha-ok’s rivals but changed careers after what happened to the Ki family. After seeing Dal-po on TV, and despite knowing that her Pinocchio syndrome limits her career choices, In-ha decides to become a journalist.

In 2013, the Choi family has moved back to the city. In-ha has spent the last three years after college studying to become a reporter but continuously fails her job interviews; on the other hand, due to the poverty-stricken condition the Choi family is in, Dal-po is forced to work as a taxi driver to make ends meet.

Cha-ok, who hasn’t seen her daughter in a decade and is now MSC’s nightly news anchor and section chief, fails In-ha at her final interview, saying a reporter with Pinocchio syndrome would be useless. Seeing how hurt In-ha is at her mother’s rejection, Dal-po becomes determined to help her achieve her dream and announces that he wants to become a reporter as well.

A month later, In-ha and Dal-po apply at YGN’s “blind” audition for broadcast news reporters, but only Dal-po gets hired. When confronted by Gyo-dong, now-chief of YGN’s news desk, Dal-po confesses his real identity as well as his real motive for taking the job: he wants to find his older brother Jae-myung and clear their father’s name. But what he doesn’t know is that Jae-myung has taken revenge on the factory workers who lied about their father by killing all of them and framing his last victim for the murders by hiding his body and making it seem like he is on the run.

Meanwhile, with MSC’s credibility rating at an all-time low, Cha-ok hires In-ha, using her Pinocchio syndrome in a publicity stunt. Thus, Dal-po and In-ha become rookies at rival networks, and among their colleagues are Seo Beom-jo, who comes from a rich, sheltered chaebol background and has a connection to In-ha via a wrong cellphone number, and Yoon Yoo-rae, once an idol sasaeng fan who now uses those obsessive and determined traits in her new job.

Later in her line of work, In-ha discovers Choi Dal-po’s real identity is Ki Ha-myung and is disgusted by what her mother Cha-ok did to his family during the fire accident. In a lecture held by Cha-ok, In-ha stood up against her and in the process revealing to Jae-myung that Ha-myung, his dead brother, is actually alive. Together, they try to bring Cha-ok down through their honest news reporting all the while uncovering a bigger conspiracy in the news industry.

Main Cast

After a misleading news report destroyed his family, Ha-myung began to live a new life as Dal-po. He hides his intelligence and past memories behind a facade. His feelings for In-ha have always been conflicted with his hatred for her mother, but he finds that he cannot deny them as they grow older. After years of being a taxi driver, he decides to become a reporter with In-ha to prove his family’s innocence, and show reporter Song Cha-ok what being a true reporter means. However, Dal-po soon realizes that a reporter must constantly struggle with the idea of justice and truth in a world where everyone wants to hide the facts for their self-interests.

In-ha suffers from the Pinocchio Syndrome, where she cannot lie without breaking into hiccups. Instead of choosing to withdraw from the world, she believes in telling it like it is. In-ha chooses to become a reporter because she believes that it might bring her closer to her mother Song Cha-ok, whom she has always idolized. Stubborn and strong-willed, In-ha believes that all news reported must be completely truthful, and goes all out in order to do so. Together with Dal-po, she unravels the truth behind a greater conspiracy, standing up to her mother in the process. Though In-ha initially treats Dal-po as family, her growing feelings towards him grow undeniable with her hiccups.

As a young man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Beom-jo lived an unexciting but satisfying life until he started receiving texts from a girl named In-ha, which were meant for her mother. Beom-jo became intrigued as the texts steadily came over the years, piquing his interest to meet In-ha. Abandoning his job as a fashion magazine editor, he decides to join In-ha and becoming a reporter. On his journey in learning how to become a reporter, Beom-jo quickly discovers the power of the media and in the process, is made to choose between justice or kinship.

A past sasaeng fan who decides to become a reporter.

Supporting Cast

MSC Newsroom

In-ha’s estranged mother. A cold, merciless woman who chose to abandon her family for her career. She eventually became one of the best news anchors in the industry.

Chief of the MSC News Desk.

YGN Newsroom

Chief of the YGN news desk. Gyo-dong works with the motto “the truth can change the world”. He looks out for Dal-po and tries to discreetly help him in proving his family’s innocence.


A wealthy CEO who owns several malls and seemingly a doting mother who spoils her son Beom-jo. But Rosa hides a darker side, having conspired with Song Cha-ok to deliberately divert the news in order to protect her interests.

For more information on

Name: Pinocchio

Episodes: 20

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama, Family

Language: Korean


Facebook Comments


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here