Who is Min? Once Upon a Small Town character explained

The messy equation of love in Once Upon a Small Town has been further complicated by the arrival of Min — Han Ji-yul’s ex-girlfriend from the past who now tries to win his heart back.

Once Upon a Small Town revolves around three young hearts and the love triangle they continue to keep becoming the victims of. Han Ji-yul, Ahn Ja-young, and Lee Sang-hyun are the three vertices making up this triangle.

Their already dreadful polygonal love has recently been made even more dreadful, with a prominent character from Ji-yul’s past making her return — Choi Min.

So who is Min and what her arrival means for the future of Once Upon a Small Town?

A lover from the past

Min is Han Ji-yul’s ex-girlfriend, and they broke up about a year before the current events in Once Upon a Small Town. The show makes it abundantly clear right from the point of her arrival that Han Ji-yul hasn’t exactly taken her sudden and unannounced arrival very fondly.

Min arrives at Huidong without telling Ji-yul about it all. Unannounced and uninvited, Min surprises Ji-yul, and along with him, Ja-young, who was with him at the time. The veterinary doctor is taken aback by this abrupt change of scenery and perhaps most concerned about what Min’s arrival means for his barely budding relationship with Ja-young.

min once upon small town
Image source: Netflix

Donning an unpleasantly surprised face, Ji-yul inquires Min right off the bat, asking “What are you doing here?” Min replies, “I missed you”, gleaming with an optimistic smile on her face.

Did Han Ji-yul and Min break up?

Shortly after her abrupt and sudden visit to Huidong, it is revealed that she and Ji-yul are no longer in a relationship, with the two having broken up a year ago.

That is why Ji-yul is not so keen on receiving her cordially. Having no obligations such as a greeting or salutation before he pops up the direct, pointed, and sometimes rude questions, Ji-yul asks her why she has come to meet him and is acting so friendly now.

The reason for Min’s arrival

The first thing Min tells Ji-yul when he asks her reason for coming to Huidong is that she missed him, a lot. That’s not reason enough for Ji-yul, who asks her to stop being facetious and tell her the reason why she is acting so friendly after showing up out of nowhere.

Min puts it with a bit more clarity this time. She is there to try and reunite with Ji-yul. She seems adamant about getting back together too.

She doesn’t want to bring up anything about their past and just start afresh. Ji-yul is miffed about the whole affair but Min is starry-eyed and really confident about her purpose.

Even after Ji-yul insists that she pack it up and leave, she doesn’t. Instead, she reveals that she will be staying in Huidong for a week, and in that time, she will try her best to win him back and refresh their relationship.

The complications henceforth

Min’s arrival has complicated an already messy situation where Ja-young, Ji-yul, and Sang-hyun are all sick to their core with desperation, longing, and love.

With her entrance into this love triangle and devolving the situation into a bigger crisis, the show has set up the dominoes for the final stretch of the season.

ji-yul girlfriend once upon a small town
Image source: Netflix

The misunderstandings have already given rise to some roadblocks for Ji-yul and Ja-young. Despite Ji-yul’s efforts to clear the air, he’s having a hard time getting the girl he loves to understand that he’s moved on from Min.

However, the persistent Min and then the equally annoying and perseverant Sang-hyun continue to make Ji-yul and Ja-young’s blooming relationship a hellscape rife with diversions, doubts, and distractions.

Why did Min and Han Ji-yul break up?

Although the show has yet to divulge any specificity, it has given some pedigree to the speculations and theories regarding Min and Ji-yul’s breakup.

From how Ji-yul talks about her, it’s clear that she is a woman who listens to her own head and heart and seldom to anyone else’s.

Additionally, from Min’s conversation with Ja-young, it looks like her breakup with Ji-yul was mostly, if not entirely, her fault — something she quite clearly regrets now while also realizing how good Ji-yul was among all her previous relationships.

It can be deduced from the aforementioned facts that Min broke things up of her own accord or at the very least, was the initiator of it. Min probably didn’t realize how good of a deal her relationship with Ji-yul was, a person who she admits was way more affectionate than many others she was in relationships with.

As to what was the specific thing that led to the breakup is yet to be revealed, or maybe the show won’t expand upon it any further.

Either way, the available information paints a clear enough picture with insight into Min’s imposing personality and her way of doing things.

With the way she has been avoiding Ji-yul’s feelings and say on the matter, his chances with Ja-young are only going to diminish, leading to a likely outburst that eventually unleashes on her.


Also Read: Once Upon a Small Town episode 9 recap & review