Have you ever listened to a Thai conversation on the internet only to realize that the speaker used a famous phrase you had never heard before? Typically, that would be a reference to a Thai drama. Therefore, if you’re interested in having enjoyable conversations, you could do well to enlighten yourself on the topic.
Since the Thai language is so entertaining and Thai people are so humorous, it is important to become fluent in it. Occasionally, they’ll make a sarcastic comment by copying a scene from a Thai drama into daily conversation. As a result, you should now be more motivated and excited to watch Thai dramas.
Let’s look at the 10 most popular Thai dramas of all time, ranked not by their quality as stories but by their mainstream popularity in Thai culture.
#1 ตะวันตกดิน (Dtà Wan Dtòk Din)
This story focuses on a group of upper-class folks with big aspirations. But, unfortunately, they no longer care about doing anything wrong other than maintaining their prestige.
“งานไม่ใหญ่แน่นะวิ” (ngaan mâi yài nɛ̂ɛ ná wí) – Wi, are you sure it isn’t a big event?
Right now, this phrase is gone viral among Thai people. This is because it’s widely used in everyday life, and people share it on social media.
It’s from when our protagonist, Wi, invites her friend to join her at the gala dinner. Ji, her friend, is worried since she hasn’t decided which dress to wear to the event and thinks it may be rather big. After Wi told her the event would be very small, she attended the event in a fairly humble outfit, only to find that the venue expected a formal ball gown and ostentatious jewelry.
#2 เมืองมายา (Mʉang Maa Yaa)
The story represents the worse side of the Thai entertainment industry. Honesty is rare, and competition is high.
Runchalee: “ชุดนี้สวยนะ” (chút níi sǔai ná) – This dress looks good.
Pawida: “ฝ่ายเสื้อผ้าเขาเตรียมให้” (fàai sʉ̂a pâa kǎo dtriam hâi) – I had it made by a costume designer.
Punchalee: “มิน่า ดูไม่ค่อยพอดี” (mí nâa duu mâi kɔ̂ɔi pɔɔ dii) – No wonder it doesn’t quite fit.
#3 บุพเพสันนิวาส (Bùp Pee Sǎn Ní Wâat)
If you love romantic-comedy drama, this is the right one for you! The modern-day female protagonist time-travels to over 300 years ago, assuming the identity of an ancestral female lookalike and falling in love with a high-class man from that era.
“โล้สำเภา” (lóo sǎm pao)
The word comes from ancient times and refers to sexual activity.
#4 เพลิงพระนาง (Pləəng Prá Naang)
Drama set in the past about the wives of the king who compete for the title of queen.
“เอาเสลี่ยงมา กูจะไปหอคำ” (ao sà lìang maa guu jà bpai hɔ̌ɔ kam) – Prepare the sedan! I’ll go to the gilded house!
One of the king’s wives demands that the servants carry her to the palace, where the king resides angrily. This statement frequently appears in this story, which is why it’s often seen in social media.
#5 แรงเงา (Rɛɛng Ngao)
The ministry director has been having an affair with one of the twins, and she has committed suicide. So the twin sister plotted to revenge everyone responsible for her sister’s death by pretending to be her.
“นกอยู่ข้างพี่ตานะคะ” (nók à yûu kâang pîi dtaa ná ká)
It means “I’m on your side.” One of the supporting characters appears kind and naïve but is actually dishonest. This character repeats this phrase throughout the story, but the audiences all know it’s fake.
#6 ธิดาซาตาน (Tí Daa Saa Dtaan)
Widespread attention in this romantic-action drama is on the male lead, who has a strong foreign accent while speaking Thai. As a result, there were moments when the audience had trouble understanding what he was saying. The more popular it becomes, the more people poke fun at it in real life and online.
“ยัยธารใส พรุ่งนี้ไอจะขยี้ยูให้แหลก” (yai taan sǎi prûng níi ai jà kà yíi yuu hâi lɛ̀ɛk) – Tarnsai! Tomorrow, I’ll crush you to ashes!
#7 ล่า (Lâa)
As a result of domestic abuse, a woman and her daughter are forced to seek refuge in the slums. However, things quickly went from bad to catastrophically worse for them.
“ความพยาบาทเป็นของหวาน” (kwaa móp yaa bàat bpen kɔ̌ɔng wǎan) – Revenge is a dessert.
After the horrific tragedy, the daughter is unwell and suffering from mental health issues. A little while later, the mother seeks to impose her own punishment on those responsible for her daughter’s illness.
#8 ไดอารี่ตุ๊ดซี่ ซีซั่น 1 (Dai Aa Rîi Dtút Sîi Sii Sân Nʉ̀ng)
LGBT individuals find a safe space to share their experiences and perspectives in these comedic dramas. That’s why it’s great that a story that’s enjoyable to watch can also potentially lead to various famous phrases.
“อรรถรส” (àt tà rót) – Just kidding.
“เทถูกมะ” (tee tùuk má) – Cancel?
เท (tee) doesn’t mean “to pour” in this context. Instead, it represents the Thai word, ทิ้ง (ting) means abandoned; in this case, a friend missed an appointment.
“นี่เพื่อนไง” (nîi pʉ̂an ngai) – I’m your friend.
Someone in the group began giving the listener tough love in the form of advice. The listener softly prompts the speaker, saying, “Can you advise me gentler because I’m your friend, okay?”
#9 ทองเนื้อเก้า (Tɔɔng Nʉ́a Gâo)
A mother addicted to drinking, and sexual desire has three sons who are the opposite of her.
“ยาดองของกู” (yaa dɔɔng kɔ̌ɔng guu) – My herbal liquor!
During the period of this story, herbal liquor was widely available. Mother of three boys, Lamyong, says this phrase.
#10 คู่กรรม (Kûu Gam)
It’s the classic love story between the Japanese military and a Thai woman during World War II. It’s based on the literature. So if you have an advanced level of the Thai language, you can find this original book to read. In addition, the original story has been featured in both film and drama. Also, they kept remaking it many times.
“ผมจะไปรอคุณที่ทางช้างเผือก” (pǒm jà bpai rɔɔ kun tîi taang cháang pʉ̀ak) – At the milky way, I’ll be there waiting for you.
As the Japanese soldier, Kobori prepares to pass away, and he sends the last word to his wife, Angsumalin (a Thai woman). It’s a crucial moment that audiences won’t forget; thus, this line is included in every adaptation.
Watching Thai dramas is a great way to learn and speak the language and culture like a native. Because it is common for Thais to make fun of lines from popular dramas that everyone knows and understands, it works like Thai slang occasionally because people use it to make the conversation more interesting.
To that aim, why not watch Thai dramas with your friends and improve your Thai language abilities simultaneously? But if you want to improve your Thai vocabulary to have a more natural conversation with natives in Thailand, we have the perfect app for you!
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