As the youngest member of their respective groups, the maknae is often the one taken care of (and spoiled) by the older members. But that’s not always the case — sometimes the baby of the group has to step in and take charge themselves! Here are nine groups with maknaes whose skills and strengths (sometimes too literally) go way beyond their status as the youngest.
According to leader JB, Yugyeom may be the youngest member, but he doesn’t act like it. JB goes so far as to admit that Yugyeom is usually the one in charge (not of anything specific, but he’s generally GOT7’s reigning authority figure)! Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he’s the tallest member of the group — there’s not much you can say when you have a 182 centimeter (roughly 6 feet) maknae towering over you! He receives a fair amount of good-natured teasing from the older members (and is happy to throw a couple disses right back), but GOT7’s group dynamic makes it very clear that this maknae’s opinion is just as well-respected as the leader’s.
BLACKPINK’s maknae and Thai queen Lisa is undeniably talented. Not only is she a great rapper, but she’s a linguistic genius who can speak five languages, and a dance master to boot. The older members of the group know when it’s time to step back and let the maknae do her thing — especially when it comes to crazy dance feats, like flawlessly executing choreography after only having seen it once on “Idol Room”! And though it may be short, the eldest members quickly give the reins to Lisa when it comes to teaching the choreography in this “Ddu-du ddu-du” tutorial. Whenever it comes to dance, Lisa is clearly the member in charge!
Jisung is another maknae with dance talents that put him on top. He was just 14 years old at the time of his debut with NCT Dream as their main dancer, and only 16 years old when he centered in NCT 2018’s song “Black on Black,” leading 17 of the older members in the intensely high-energy hip hop choreography. As if that wasn’t enough, Jisung also stunned everyone with his appearance on “Dancing High” (again, at just 16 years old). And just in case you needed any more proof that Jisung’s in charge, Mark said it himself: he’s the maknae, but he acts like the oldest! He also uses a lot of banmal (informal speech) with the older Dream members, but they usually don’t seem to put up much of a fuss — again, there’s not much you can do when the maknae is taller than everyone else!
Watch Jisung kill it in “Dancing High” now!
IZ*ONE’s Jang Won Young
At just 14 years old, Jang Won Young captivated the nation with her charms when she competed on “Produce 48” — so much so that she ended the show in first place, earning the coveted title of center in IZ*ONE. She may be the youngest member, but you wouldn’t guess that from her tall stature and stunning visuals. This maknae seems to be in charge in more ways than one, but she definitely holds the authority in IZ*ONE when it comes to winking! She gained attention during her time in “Produce 48” for her cute winks, but she shocked and impressed all of the members when she proved that she can wink 63 times in one minute. What other powers will this incredible maknae reveal?!
Jongho may be the maknae of rookie group ATEEZ, but he sure doesn’t look like it! He’s incredibly strong, and he’s got the body to prove it. He’s gained the respect of all of his fellow members with his massive muscles, and according to his own words, he’s responsible for physical strength in ATEEZ. (The older members either agreed with him, or were too afraid of his powerful flick to say otherwise!) Either way, Jongho definitely has all the makings of a maknae in charge.
Red Velvet’s Yeri
Red Velvet’s youngest member Yeri was added to the group in 2015, and has been the cherished maknae ever since. While Yeri is certainly a multi-talented and stunning idol in her own right, she has her own special responsibility in the group: she’s Red Velvet’s social butterfly! She is friends with many of the biggest names in the K-pop industry, including IU, several TWICE members, and fellow SM labelmate Taeyeon. She’s also (unofficially) the member in charge of promoting while she’s out and about. The older members spoil her just like any other maknae, but they also seem to value her input a lot when it comes up in Red Velvet’s promotions and livestreams. Yeri gets the best of both worlds!
EXO’s maknae Sehun has grown a lot since their debut, but one thing has remained the same — his love for his fellow EXO members! They still spoil him in return (some things never change), and they are clearly proud of how he has matured. He may be the youngest member, but his eloquence is very impressive. His poise and confidence give him the speaking skills of a true leader, and he often uses his abilities to praise his older members and make EXO-Ls swoon. If only every maknae were this gracious and sweet to their elders!
Hwasa may only be MAMAMOO’s youngest member by a few months, but she’s still technically the maknae of her group. She’s gained a lot of attention for her incredible vocals and stand-out visuals over the course of her career, and she rules the roost in MAMAMOO when it comes to one very important thing — eating! Her mukbangs have become internet-famous, even causing two-hour lines at restaurants after she guested on “I Live Alone.” Her maknae-on-top talent definitely has us feeling hungry!
Catch Hwasa in “I Live Alone”!
We couldn’t end this list without mentioning BTS’s “Golden Maknae,” Jungkook! While his list of talents seems to be never-ending, this member dominates when it comes to athletic prowess. He’s proved his abilities many times over in the times BTS participated in the “Idol Star Athletics Championships,” as well as various “Run! BTS” episodes and even the odd Twitter post. The older members clearly adore him, and they appreciate his many talents just as much as ARMY does. Maknaes don’t come much more powerful than this one!
Watch BTS compete in the “Idol Star Athletics Championships”!
Who are your favorite maknaes-in-charge? Do you have any favorite maknae moments? Let us know down below!
How does this article make you feel?