Squid Game Becomes Most Watched Netflix Drama of All Time in Less than One Month and Spawns Memes and Trends

The watch numbers are in and it may actually be more than even that. Netflix announced that it’s hit K-drama original series Squid Game has officially become it’s most watched original show EVER. It hit 111 million household viewership this week, but per household may actually be more than one person in said household watching so it’s just a lot of eyeballs on this. The record was formerly held by period romance Bridgerton and at the rate Squid Game is still going it may not be a given that the second season of Bridgerton can come roaring back and reclaim the throne. It’ll be a fun race to keep an eye on. In other Squidy news, the series has become a top Halloween costume pick between the contestants, guards, and even the Frontman. It’s also spawned a candy trend in coffee shops based on one of the games. Looks like all the early on controversy of being too similar to other works has all subsided and now it’s just basking in the glory.


Squid Game Becomes Most Watched Netflix Drama of All Time in Less than One Month and Spawns Memes and Trends — 35 Comments

  1. You know Squid Game has really broken out when there are New York Times and Guardian articles being written about the clothes and fashion/visuals (they made a good point about the tracksuit making the player characters more relatable than ever since that was what so many wore in lockdown).

    This is amazing and I’m really happy for the Squid Game team (and before the “but Bridgerton will retake the crown anyway!!!” naysayers start their carping….the two dramas didn’t start out on equal footing to begin with, given one is in Korean and most people in the world need subtitles to watch it while the other is an English language production from a known American-tv powerhouse ie Shonda Rhimes. Squid Game had higher barriers to cross tbh, that it did this well at all is great tbh, looks like that ‘1 inch tall’ barrier of subtitles really can be overcome).

    • @Royal We – the English dubs help. Would be interesting to see the % of of viewers who chose dubs versus Korean with captions.

      Would also be interesting to see if the upcoming My Name gets any halo effect boost from Squid Game.

      • Sweet Home and Kingdom have available English audios too though…

        Very surprised at how big Squid Game hype is tbh I knew it would be a hit with the kdrama community but it went way beyond that lol I didn’t like it as much as I’ve seen better from Japan but congrats to everyone in the production

      • @Q – Haven’t looked at Sweet Home. I can understand why Kingdom wasn’t a bigger hit. Zombie genre a niche thing, and saeguk is a really big obstacle for the international audience to climb over.

      • @Ophelia – My Name looks a lot more conventional in theme and aesthetic than the absolute bonkers that is Squid Game but if Netflix got good dubs for it like they did for SG and they push the ‘female action hero’ angle then maybe?

        Of course that’s also assuming it’s good.

    • @ Royal We. You got a point there, with the barrier a non-English production has to overcome.

      However, Bridgeton is romance and it targets mainly a female audience. I hate that slightly dismissive attitude towards romance or female centric shows that do have a disadvantage in comparison to shows that are produced with men in mind. These shows generate easier higher ratings as they are watched by women,too, who also proudly say they watched those shows. Sadly that doesn’t apply the other way around. How many men do you know how go around saying they choose to watch Brigedton or any romance show voluntarily?

      So,in this sense Squid Game appeals to a broader audience.

      • BTW, I didn’t had the time to watch Bridgeton or Squid Games. Both are on my watching list (but Bridgeton constantly gets pushed down for other shows). So, I didn’t try to make a comment in favor of any of both shows.

      • @eJc – kdramas as a whole have always had a higher % of female viewers than male, especially internationally, and were very much dismissed as a “women’s thing”. Squid Game and even Kingdom or something of an exception to that rule cause we don’t generally see men watching kdramas (and Bridgerton is based on a popular series of romance novels while the Korean shows aren’t associated with any previously known IP).

        Either way a show in half the world’s lingua franca vs a show where most need subtitles to understand are not on the same footing so the “Bridgerton will do better!!” put-downs coming for Squid Game just sound a bit sad.

  2. Squid Game has also helped propel Netflix stock price to an all-time high (FML for not loading up on shares earlier).

    The Tiktok memes are hilarious. You know something has achieved widespread cultural popularity when it takes over Tiktok.

  3. Awesome. I’m not so sure Bridgerton will retake the crown. There’s quite a difference in the numbers and the Duke who everyone was drooling over won’t be in Season 2.

    • I don’t really see any true pop culture impact from Bridgerton. People stopped talking about season 1 a month later. I bet Squid Game will actually have some staying power.

      • @Ara – it had an impact on fashion trends, corsets were already a trend but they became an even bigger trend after Bridgerton, same with those historical-inspired jewellery and accessories.

        I appreciate the race-inclusive casting and chocolate-box look of Bridgerton but I also think the main couple had no chemistry.

  4. I watched the show on release day as a good kdrama addict (lmaooo) and I didn’t find it outstanding in any way really. Certainly didn’t expect it to blow up at all. HOWEVER, I’m really happy it did so well and it became a bit of a pop culture phenomenom. There’s never any interest in kdrama outside of proper kdrama fans themselves so it’s been quite funny and interesting to live the full meme/discourse/virality experience for once (since I don’t watch western shows). The YT cooks I follow all did the dalgona challenges too hehehehe

  5. So who of this cast is going to actually cement this into actual long term fame? Lee Jung Jae said he got no Hollywood offers yet, granted he’s doing well in Korea. I could see Hoyeon Jung going into more international work, and Wi Ha Joon as well. P.S: This is for 17 day period, if amounted to full views up to now, that viewership is much higher.

    • I’m really grateful that Netflix gives young actresses a chance to shine. Meanwhile, domestic Kdramas are competing amongst themselves in the disgraceful casting stakes because they’re reaping the effects of a very meager generation of actresses born from 1988 – 1992.

      • That’s a very broad generalization. There are good actresses in that age bracket as well.

    • Long term fame=/= fame in Hollywood btw, since that appears to be what you suggest.

      Lee Jung Jae is already a superstar in Korean film and drama, he already has long term fame. As for Jung Ho Yeon and Wi Ha Joon, it’s great if this springboards them into getting more and better Korean-language work.

    • What use is fane in Hollywood? They will play the stereotypical Asian role anyway. Might as well enjoy the duccess at home.

      • @Royal We Yeah my comment was weirdly worded. Long term as in for the show, not so much for the actors. As for Lee Jung Jae, like he said if a good offer came through. It’s more for the younger stars like Jung Ho Yeon/Wi Ha Joon is what I wanted to clarify, very curious where they’ll go from here.

        @Lai Pei Yee It was more directed to the younger stars, & the show overall. Will people still talk about it long after? Will it get awards buzz? I hope people still talk about it long after, & Hollywood realizes Asian led shows can succeed in a big way.

  6. Amazing that it did so well. Was so surprised because I only watched the first episode and decided not to continue.

    Netflix is really on a roll. Liked D. P. and Move to Heaven.

  7. Supermod who was already famous internationally is cashing in cfs and i am sure she must be charging bomb per cf . A true self made korea’s tip most model to most famous korean actress worldwide

  8. Thrilled to see SG doing awesome without “my hot oppa is in it so it’s a legit hit.” Totally deserving of its ranking & global popularity. When I see FB aunties hotly debating about its merits, gory & violence & their kids wanting to watch it after hearing it from other kids in school, I know it has reached worldwide hit status. Move over cloy, vincenzo, mr queen, hccc, jirisan, snowdrop crowd. Lol.

    • ditto. hope this will spark a new trend in k-drama land. nice change from same old faces doing same old formulaic k-dramas for 20 years.

      • I would love to know how K-ent folks are thinking about their careers with Netflix disrupting the status quo. TVN/JBTC/other channels are competing with Netflix for talent now.

        As a writer, director, actor, it’s more attractive to work with Netflix. More creative freedom, no censorship, no PPL, no being forced to cast buzzy actors for funding, no changing the storyline to suit audience reaction, etc.

      • @Ophelia, add to your list – no bully/dating/sex/drink driving/covid sop violation scandals from actors to worry about, abrupt main actor/actress recast, countless script rewrites to avoid sensitive issues, odd noona-dongsaeng pairings, etc.

  9. Nowdays between the ages 20 and 30 have the highest rates of problem related to gambling. This addiction is like a hidden illness because there aren’t obvious symptoms but if you feel the need to be secretive about it, you may ask for help. Asap.

    Squid game is a very well written and beautifly visualised TV series. I’m watching asian dramas for more than twenty years so there was no big surprise for me (I even recognised the actor who played the frontman because of his voice lol not just his real character), but still very much enjoyed the ride.

  10. I definitely knew it was going to happen once the Netflix exec talked about. Bridgerton is absolutely awful IMO (and I love sappy romance dramas) so I’m glad it took over it’s spot and it’s a better look for Netflix tbh.

    I wish I could get fully on the hype train because I do love the genre but definitely happy for everyone involved. Also love that first picture, pretty iconic although I wish Ali was there. This might be a gamechanger for korean industry BUT I do hope ultimately the korean audience is not forgotten for Netflix kdramas.

  11. Very happy for the success of Squid Game. On a trivial note, very excited for halloween to see how many will be in Squid Game inspired costumes. Lol.

  12. No mention of the bad effects then? In UK schools have advised parents not to let their teenage kids watch it fearing they will copy their games in the playground.

    • ??? Unless the teens are going to copy the part where the players get shot dead with guns for failing a game, I think this is some premature panic for clicks. I mean, for starters guns are illegal in the UK.

      Red light green light, candy making, hopscotch and marbles (sob) aren’t deadly in and of themselves, why would children’s games be something to be afraid of in real life?

  13. The positive of SG’s success is that I’m seeing so many people on Twitter and other platforms asking for kdrama recs after having watched it. So there is likely now a spike of kdrama content on Netflix. And one you watch one kdrama, your Netflix algorithm changes to reflect that and starts recommending more.

  14. Well-deserved!! Personally I feel Japan is better at this genre, but I understand the hype for audiences not familiar with them. It’s amazing to see how Korea now has had global success in music, film, and tv.

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