As a denizen of the Internet, you’re probably familiar with the initialism OTP, which is usually translated as “one true pairing.” People use it when referring to the fandom couple they most desperately want to live happily ever after. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about a clever alternative translation that has been making the rounds on Tumblr: “Only Tears and Pain.”
An OTP can give incredible delight if you’re lucky enough to be sucked in by the right one. For me, I Hear Your Voice was a good example: I instantly loved Park Soo Ha and Jang Hye Sung, and every step the show took toward bringing them together left me giddy with fangirl joy. Things could have taken a turn for the worse; unlike most Korean dramas, it wasn’t immediately clear who would actually be the show’s lead couple. (There were even rumors midway through that the writers intended to kill off Soo Ha, which would have also killed me.) But the pairing ultimately worked out, and I was left in a sublimely happy state of OTP realization.
But that’s not always the case. Falling in love with an OTP is like falling in love with a person—it’s unpredictable, and quite often regrettable. Sometimes you’re drawn to a second lead who will absolutely never get the girl, or maybe you even dream of the show’s villain triumphing in the end. And that’s when the tears and pain come into the picture. Thus, a Woe-TP is born.