Girls’ Generation is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and loved K-Pop girl groups in history, breaking records in K-Pop with multiple hits and ongoing careers in fashion, acting, writing, directing and composing. While you may know their music and have seen them on variety shows, there are some facts that you may not know that about the girls that will make you go ‘huh, why didn’t I know that?’!
1. The girls cried when they heard their group name
In a group interview, the girls admitted they hated their name when they first heard it. At the time, not many groups were named in Korean, so they had expected something cool in English. The group had originally been devised as a counterpart to Super Junior, so they had called themselves “girl group” or “super girls”. It was a shock when they heard their name, and Sooyoung admitted she cried, because they had trained for so long only to be debuting with what they thought was a very unremarkable group name. Later, they were thankful, of course!
2. Sunny was a war refugee
Sunny gets frightened by fireworks and, during one performance, the sudden noise visibly shook her.
After she was scared on stage by the loud noise, she explained that it could be due to trauma from a very young age when her family had to flee Kuwait when the Gulf War broke out.
3. The members once filed a missing report for Jessica
On Happy Together, Jessica admitted she gives her members a lot of trouble, and after not telling anyone she was going out one day, the members filed a missing person’s report when they couldn’t find her or contact her for hours. “They once filed a missing report because of me. I was just at the salon getting my hair done and preparing my schedule but my manager and the other members looked for me for 2 hours.” Another time, when she disappeared on set for more than two hours, the staff started to panic and even thought of calling the police. After searching again, someone finally found her lying in the bathtub with toothbrush in hand, completely asleep!
4. TaeTiSeo hated their sub-unit name at first
During an interview on Entertainment Weekly, Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun were asked if they came up with their group name themselves. Tiffany admitted their company assigned the name and they didn’t like it at first.
No. We really didn’t like the name. We asked, ‘Should our unit name be ‘Twinkle’ or [something else],’ and the company told us to just go with ‘TaeTiSeo.’ We couldn’t believe that we were going to debut with the names written on our schedule sheets (abbreviated as Tae, Ti, Seo, Yoon, Sun, etc.), but that’s really what happened.
5. Dorm rules meant Jessica always had to clean
During dorm life, the girls agreed upon rules to keep their household running smoothly, including playing rock, paper, scissors to decide the order of their showers and writing their initials in their underwear to keep them separate. Especially pertinent to sleeping habits, the first one to wake up had to make breakfast, while the last one to wake up had to clean up everything. Since Jessica loved to sleep late, she almost always was the one to clean!
6. Sooyoung and Sunny were members of other groups before SNSD
Sooyoung was a member of the pop duo Route θ with Japanese singer Marina Takahashi, but the group disbanded one year after their debut. After training with SM Entertainment for five years, Sunny eventually signed with the label Starworld in order to debut in a duo called Sugar. The duo never debuted however, and Sunny returned to SM Entertainment to become a member of Girls’ Generation. Sooyoung reunited with her old band mate 12 years later, in 2014!
7. Taeyeon quit being the leader of SNSD
It was only mentioned once on a broadcast, but Taeyeon stepped down from being the leader for a brief time due to stress and emotional pressure. Taeyeon had begun sleepwalking due to the pressure of being leader, and Sooyoung once admitted it was scary to watch. “When Taeyeon sleeps, she solves math problems. Even though she’s alone she greets someone. In the middle of the night, she would also start using her phone. It was scary.” After dealing with all that stress and an additional incident where the members had hurt her feelings, Taeyeon wanted to retire from her position as leader. She stated on a television program, “This is something I haven’t talked about before on broadcast….I stepped down from the leader position in Girls’ Generation.” But she and the girls worked out their problems and she returned to being the leader soon after.
8. Girls’ Generation broke the record for the most consecutive wins with their song “Gee”
“Gee” won top song for nine weeks in a row, breaking the then-record for most consecutive song wins. This was their first hit song as, although they had some success with their first self-titled album in 2007, it wasn’t until 2009 with “Gee” that they rose to stardom and made a huge splash! The song also ranked in Japan as the first non-Japanese single to reach top 3 on the Orion chart since 1980. The record was since broken again by PSY’s “Gangnam Style”.
9. Girls’ Generation was invited to the Blue House as honorary ambassadors for “Visit Korea” from 2010-2012
The group was acknowledged by the Visit Korea Year Committee for their efforts in globalizing K-Pop and the Hallyu wave. The girls stated the appointment made them realize how important their image was. “While promoting overseas, we noticed that fans were singing along to our Korean songs. A lot were also learning Korean on their own, and we were able to realize just how important SNSD’s image is.”
10. The girls almost didn’t debut due to fights among themselves
A fight before debut between Jessica and Hyoyeon caused tension in the entire group when Hyoyeon didn’t turn up for practice, and the group was worried Hyoyeon didn’t want to be a part of the group. Since some of the girls had been together since the age of 10, their fights were real, as if between siblings. Tiffany and Taeyeon’s disagreement before a show in Japan almost cancelled the entire performance but like real siblings, they moved past it and made up.