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When we were young we used to play like this and our moms would invite us to dinner. That won't happen again...
~ Cho Sang-woo to Seong Gi-hun.

Cho Sang-woo (In Korean: 조상우) is the deuteragonist-turned-final antagonist of the Netflix Korean drama Squid Game. He is Seong Gi-hun's childhood friend-turned-greatest adversary in the brutal competition for the ₩45.6 billion prize.

He was portrayed by Hae-soo Park. In the English dub, he was voiced by Stephen Fu.

Personality

Sang-woo is a very intelligent and rational individual who is determined to win the game. Although Sang-woo is strong-willed, his willingness usually causes him to exploit certain situations in his own favor, as he is fully aware that he will need to go extreme lengths in order to win. Being very intelligent, he does not fall for tricks easily and is capable of manipulating others, a skill he uses to favor himself during the games. He also can quickly think in good solutions to problems even under extreme situations, as seen when he saves his team during the Tug-of-War game.

Despite showing a cruel and self-centered side during the final few games, he is polite and not really heartless, especially in the beginning of the Squid Game. This is shown as he helps Ali in Seoul and his teammates during the games, especially when the generous action will not bring any harm to his own life. He also truly cares for his mother, as she is his entire reason for joining the Squid Game in the first place. His whole desperation to win the games is due to him needing the money to prevent his mother's possessions being taken after he used them as financial collateral in his failed investments.

During most of the games, Sang-woo acts as a good teammate, although he tries not to get attached to other players, knowing about the high chances of them dying, including by facing him during the games. Despite this, Sang-woo develops friendship and trust with Ali, to the point that he decides to team up with him during the marble game, believing that the two of them will be a great duo against other players. However, when he discovers that they have to face each other and one of them will die, Sang-woo does what it takes to save his own skin, even manipulating Ali and letting him die to grant his own survival.

He also shares friendship since childhood with Gi-hun, making him the closest one to Sang-woo among the players. They are seen teaming up for most of the games, Sang-woo helps him during the Red Light, Green Light game and they protect each other when Jang Deok-su and his gang attack and murder the other contestants after the lights are out. When Sang-woo decides not to tell the others about the Honeycomb game (probably as a strategic move to keep the advantage to himself), he becomes alarmed when Gi-hun chooses the hardest option, the umbrella, and later shows relief when his friend ends up surviving the game.

Despite caring about Gi-hun, he lets it clear that he will do anything to survive and win the prize. As the number of killed players increases, Sang-woo goes down a spiral, becoming more ruthless and disregarding others' lives, eventually going rogue in order to win. This surprises Gi-hun who has a naturally kind heart and does not understand Sang-woo's decisions. Seeing himself facing Gi-hun in the end, Sang-woo is willing even to kill his friend to win. However, upon being defeated, he acknowledges Gi-hun's kind-hearted nature when his friend tries to end the game so they both can go home, but Sang-woo chooses to commit suicide so that Gi-hun can be the one to win all the prize money, trusting that Gi-hun will support his mother after his death.

Biography

Background

Sang-woo is a childhood friend of Seong Gi-hun. In their younger days, they would both play children's games such as the Squid Game and Red Light, Green Light.

Sang-woo enrolled at Seoul National University, where he studied Business Administration. After his graduation as the top of his class, he started to work as an investment banker, where he somehow stole money from some of his clients and lost it all in the stock market.

Having used his mother's shop and house as financial collateral and now being hunted by the law, Sang-woo accepts the invitation for the Squid Game, a mysterious competition with a large sum of money as the prize to pay back his clients to avoid jail time.

Squid Game

He was initially a sceptic of the Squid Game, specifically the staff, because of the small doses of information he and the other 455 players had received. He met Gi-hun and realized his friend also was a participant. During the first game (Red Light, Green Light), Sang-woo hid behind other players to prevent his movements from being sensed by the doll. Upon seeing Gi-hun having difficulties, he told him to do the same, so they both managed to survive this game.

Afterwards, he concluded he needed to get out of the compound but after seeing the money accumulated during the game, he changed his mind, voting no to stop the game. The game was still stopped by the majority of votes, however, and he was dropped off in the middle of Seoul with Ali Abdul. Seeing Ali's money problems, Sang-woo decided to pitch in and pay for his bus home. He later called his mother and lied to her about being abroad. Just as he was about to kill himself in his motel bathroom, the game staff dropped off another invitation at his door, and he decided to rejoin the game. Reuniting with the other players again, including Gi-hun, he became wary, understanding that he'd eventually have to compete against all of them.

Sae-byeok, another participant in the game, had earlier gone off to find out what the second game would be about. She disclosed with Sang-woo that the staff were melting something and that she could smell sugar while they were doing so. Sang-woo quickly figured out the game after seeing the shapes on the doors. However, he decided to keep it to himself, instead of telling his team (now consisting of him, Gi-hun, Ali and Il-nam). Picking the simplest shape to cut out of the toffee while telling the others to split by choosing different ones, Sang-woo decreases their chances of survival to favor only himself. However, he is surprised by Gi-hun choosing the umbrella, which is the hardest shape, and tries to warn his friend about the game, before giving up on doing so. After the game, Sang-woo is relieved to see that Gi-hun survived.

During the night, when Deok-su and his crew attacked other players to decrease the number of competitors and increase the amount of money inside the pig bank, Sang-woo actively strove to fight off them and helped the members of his team to defend themselves from the attackers. In the Tug-of-War game, Sang-woo saved the team by coming up with a last-second tactic, telling the others to move three steps forward to knock down the opposite team. This tactic allowed his team to win when they were being dragged and very close to fall to their deaths. At night, Sang-woo suggested members of his team to take turns to keep a watch in case Deok-su's gang attacked again. Sang-woo and Ali stayed up together and they bonded while sharing each other's stories.

In the following day, during the Marble game, he decided to team up with Ali, saying that with a smart and a strong person, they've would be able to beat the other teams. However, they soon learned that the pairs would have to play against each other, instead of together. As they were allowed to create the rules of the game, Sang-woo initially tried a simple guessing game after Ali said he never played marbles before. However, Ali had more luck guessing the number of marbles correctly and almost beat him. With only one marble left and realizing he was about to lose, Sang-woo became desperate and pleaded to Ali because of his family, but Ali said that he also had a family needing for him to survive. With no other choice, Sang-woo decided to betray Ali, lying to him about how they could both make it out of the Marble game. He then switched Ali's pouch of marbles for one with rocks, obtaining all his opponent's marbles and winning the game.

In the Stepping Stones game, Sang-woo callously kills Player 017 for wasting too much time. For being one of the three finalists (alongside Gi-hun and Sae-byeok), he was given a knife after a fancy dinner. Wary of Sang-woo's disregard for human life, Gi-hun and Sae-byeok kept themselves away from him during Lights Out; Gi-hun attempts to kill Sang-woo while he is asleep, but is stopped by Sae-byeok. However, due to the wounds Sae-byeok had attained from the previous game, Sang-woo rose to cut her throat while Gi-hun had his back turned calling for help. Sang-woo rationalized the murder as an act of merciful euthanasia, which almost made Gi-hun want to kill him. Sang-woo also says that Gi-hun would have given up on the game, voting along with Sae-byeok to end it and save her life, making all of them go home empty handed.

Sang-woo and Gi-hun would face each other in the sixth and final game, Squid Game. Initially gaining the upper hand with his aggressive attacks on Gi-hun's life, Sang-woo would eventually be overpowered and defeated. However, Gi-hun refused to kill him, instead attempting to invoke the third clause of the agreement to end the game and forfeit the prize money in order to spare his life. But Sang-woo commits suicide by stabbing himself in the neck to allow Gi-hun to win the money. In his final moments, Sang-woo also tells him to look after his mother, which Gi-hun eventually does by giving her a share of the prize money and placing Sae-byeok's brother in her custody one year after his death.

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My Little Pony: A New Generation (2021): Sprout Cloverleaf

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Beasts of No Nation (2015): The Commandant
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Okja (2017): Nancy Mirando | Lucy Mirando | Frank Dawson | Johnny Wilcox | Mirando Corporation
You Get Me (2017): Holly Viola
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Little Evil (2017): Reverend Gospel | Lucas | Miss Shaylock | Satan
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The Babysitter (2017): Bee | Max | Allison | John | Sonya | Satanic Cult | Melanie
1922 (2017): Wilfred James
Annihilation (2018): The Shimmer
Cam (2018): Lola Lola
22 July (2018): Anders Behring Breivik
Christmas Chronicles (2018): Charlie Plummer | Vincent | Vincent's Goons
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018): Shere Khan | Tabaqui | Bandar Log
Bird Box (2018): Creatures | Gary
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018): Stefan Butler | Pax | Jerome F. Davies | Peter Butler | Dr. Haynes
Polar (2019): Mr. Blut | Vivian | A-Team
I Am Mother (2019): Mother
The Highwaymen (2019): Bonnie and Clyde
Malibu Rescue: The Movie (2019): Brody | Logan | Spencer | Garvin Cross
The Silence (2019): Reverend | The Hushed | Vesps
Murder Mystery (2019): Grace Ballard | Juan Carlos Rivera
Secret Obsession (2019): Ryan Gaerity
In The Tall Grass (2019): Ross Humboldt
Eli (2019): Eli Miller | Dr. Isabella Horn | Paul Miller
Rattlesnake (2019): The Woman | Billy
The Irishman (2019): Frank Sheeran | Jimmy Hoffa | Tony Provenzano | Russell Bufalino | Tony Salerno | Joe Gallo | Sally Bugs | Whispers DiTullio
I See You (2019): Greg Harper | Alec
6 Underground (2019): Rovach Alimov | Four Horsemen | Baasha Zia
The Social Dilemma (2020): A.I.
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020): The Twins
Extraction (2020): Amir Asif | Farhad | Colonel Bajlur Rashid | Saju Rav | Gaspar | Ovi Mahajan Sr. | Shadek
The Old Guard (2020): Steven Merrick | Booker | Copley
Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave (2020): Wayno | Kezza | Team Aussie | Brody | Spencer
Freaks: You're One of Us (2020): Dr. Stern | Elmar Mund/Electro Man
The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020): Melanie | Max | Allison | Sonya | John | Bee | Diego | Jimmy | Satan
Hubie Halloween (2020): Mrs. Dubois | Hal
Run (2020): Diane Sherman
A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting (2020): The Grand Guignol | Peggy Drood | Toadies | Shadow creature
Love and Monsters (2020): Cap | Dana | Rocko | Monsters
The Strange House (2020): Gerold Röckl | Mrs. Röckl
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020): Don Juan Diego | Gustafson
Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020): Belsnickel | Speck
We Can Be Heroes (2020): Ojo | Ms. Granada
Major Grom: Plague Doctor (2021): The Plague Doctor | Evgeny Strelkov | Kirill Grechkin
Army of the Dead (2021): Zeus | Martin | Zombie Queen | Bly Tanaka | Burt Cummings | Zombies
Fear Street series (2021): Nick Goode | Satan | Skull Mask | Camp Nightwing Killer | Ruby Lane | Billy Barker | The Milkman | Pastor Miller | The Shame Killer | Goode Family (Solomon Goode)
Black Island (2021): Helena Jung
Nightbooks (2021): Natacha
Army of Thieves (2021): TBA

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Black Mirror: Carlton Bloom | Iain Rannoch | Victoria Skillane | White Bear Visitors | Baxter | Waldo | Matthew Trent | Joe Potter | Jennifer | Saito Geimu | Kenny | Hector | The Hackers | Arquette | Garrett Scholes | Robert Daly | Marie | Trick | Mia Nolan | Dogs | Rolo Haynes | Catherine Ortiz | Dr. Munk
House of Cards: Frank Underwood | Claire Underwood | Doug Stamper
Orange Is the New Black: Piper Chapman | Linda Ferguson | Pornstache | Natalie Figueroa | Desi Piscatella | Thomas Humphrey | Artesian McCullough | Aydin Bayat | Pennsatucky | Yvonne Parker | Stella Carlin | Maria Ruiz | Galina Reznikov | Denning Sisters | Madison Murphy | Dayanara Diaz | Carlos Litvak | Kubra Balik
Better Call Saul: Saul Goodman | Mike Ehrmantraut | Charles McGill | Juárez Cartel (Hector Salamanca, Lalo Salamanca, Nacho Varga, Tuco Salamanca, Marco and Leonel Salamanca, Juan Bolsa, Krazy-8, Arturo Colon, Gonzo & Don Eladio) | Los Pollos Hermanos (Gustavo Fring, Victor, Tyrus Kitt, Lydia Rodarte-Quayle & Gale Boetticher) | Huell Babineoux | Ed Galbraith
Scream (2015): Ghostface (Piper Shaw, Kieran Wilcox, Third Killer, Beth & Jamal Elliot) | Brandon James | Haley Meyers | Tom Martin | Becca | Tommy Jenkins | Luther Thompson | Avery Collins | Nina Patterson
Stranger Things: Mind Flayer | Billy Hargrove | Demogorgon | Martin Brenner | Connie Frazier | Lonnie Byers | Troy and James | Tommy H. and Carol | D'Artagnan | Neil Hargrove | Grigori | Larry Kline | General Ozerov | Heather Holloway | Tom Holloway | Bruce Lowe | Hospital Creature
The Good Place: Shawn | Michael
A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017): Count Olaf | Esmé Squalor | Hook-Handed Man | Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender | White-Faced Women | Bald Man | Carmelita Spats | Hugo, Colette & Kevin | The Man With a Beard But No Hair | The Woman With Hair But No Beard | Dr. Georgina Orwell | Sir | Vice Principal Nero | Ernest Denouement | Ishmael | Bombinating Beast
Money Heist: The Professor | Berlin | Arturo Roman | Alicia Sierra | Cesar Gandia | Palermo
Dark: Adam | Eva | Noah | Sic Mundus
Elite: Carla Rosón | Lucrecia Montesinos | Polo Benavent | Cayetana Grajera | Teodoro Rosón | Begoña Benavent | Andrea Villada | Armando
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Father Blackwood | Madame Satan | Weird Sisters (Prudence Blackwood & Agatha Night) | Batibat | Plague Kings (Beelzebub, Asmodeus & Purson) | The Pagans (Pan, Circe & Nagaina) | Green Man | Caliban | Jimmy Platt | Dorian Gray | Bartel | Jerathmiel | Mehitable | Satan
Sex Education: Michael Groff | Adam Groff | Ruby Matthews | Anwar Bakshi | Olivia Hanan | Hope Haddon
Malibu Rescue: The Series: Thornton Pavey | Garvin Cross | Brody | Spencer | Logan | Craig
Control Z: Raúl León | Gerry Granda | Pablo García | Darío | Ernesto | Bruno | Alex
Dark Desire: Esteban Solares | Darío Guerra | Antonio Guerra
Lupin: Hubert Pellegrini | Leonard Kone
Snabba Cash: Ravy
Sweet Home: Security Guard | Glutton Monster | Blind Monster | Spider Monster | Tongue Monster | Eyeball Monster | Protein Monster | Reach Monster | Speed Monster | Outlaws | Ui-myeong
Squid Game: Oh Il-nam | Front Man | The VIPs | The Salesman | Masked Men (Masked Managers | Masked Soldiers | Masked Workers) | Cho Sang-woo | Jang Deok-su | Byeong-gi | Player 278

Animated
Turbo Fast: Hardcase | Dirtbeard's Crew (Dirtbeard) | Hayaku | Clip and Clap | Queen Invicta | S.E.C.R.E.T. | Chef Lombardo | Wendell | Ace Gecko | Breakneck | Cajun Cliche | Dean Cuizeen | F.A.J.I.T.A | Broaches | Baron Von Schwarzhosen | Gigundus | Barth | Crowzilla | Guy Gagné
The Adventures of Puss In Boots: Bloodwolf | Duchess | Scimitar | El Moco | Beast | Evil Dulcinea
Dragons: Race to the Edge: Johann | Dragon Flyers (Krogan, Mr. Murderous Pile of Yak Dung, Flyer Leader) | Dragon Hunters (Viggo Grimborn, Ryker Grimborn, Cleve, Ingar Ingerman, Dragon Hunter Commander, Fight Master) | Dagur the Deranged | Amos | Gruffnut Thorston | Slitherwings | Firecomb Crasher | Hookfang's Nemesis
Dinotrux: D-Structs | Skrap-It | Splitter | Blayde | Pounder | D-Stroy | Goldtrux
Magi: Adventure of Sinbad: Barbarossa | Falan | Memphis | Shaka | Zayzafon | Rotter | Gyokuen Ren | Matal Mogamett
Voltron: Legendary Defender: Emperor Zarkon | Lotor | Haggar
Trollhunters: Gunmar the Black | Bular the Butcher | Gumm-Gumms | Angor Rot | Queen Usurna | Dictatious Maximus Galadrigal | Stricklander | Otto Scaarbach | Nomura | Krax | Morgana
Castlevania: Dracula | Isaac | Hector | Blue Fangs | Carmilla | Death | Bishop
Kakegurui: Yumeko Jabami | Mary Saotome | Hyakkaou Private Academy Student Council (Kirari Momobami, Vice-president, Itsuki Sumeragi, Yuriko Nishinotouin, Midari Ikishima, Yumemi Yumemite, Kaede Manyuda, Runa Yomozuki & Sayaka Igarashi)
Devilman Crybaby: Ryo Asuka/Satan | Demons (Zennon, Psycho Jenny, Sirene, Medoc, Kaim, Vegard & Jinmen) | Moyuru Koda | Babo | Hie | Angels | God
B The Beginning: Gilbert Ross | Minatsuki | Laica | Kamui | Quinn | Izanami | Takeru and Kukuri | Market Maker | Red | Blue | Yellow | Richard Crouse | Henry Crouse | Julian Crouse | Jean Henry Richard | Dead Kyle
Barbie: Dreamhouse Adventures: Poppy Reardon | Tammy | Whittaker Reardon | Gloria Vaughan | Cameron Vaughan | Mr. Pearlman | Vladimir Borislav
Harvey Girls Forever!: Zoe, Stu, Maria, Patty Pupé
Hilda: Kelly | Trevor
The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants: Melvin Sneedly | Benjamin Krupp | The Splotch | Socktopus | Theodore Murdsly | Smartsy Fartsy | Melvinborg | Teachertrons | Croco-bats | Butt-erflies | Dr. Disgruntled
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Hordak | The Horde (Catra, Shadow Weaver, Scorpia & Double Trouble) | Horde Prime | Galactic Horde | Light Hope | First Ones
3Below: General Morando | OMENs | Zeron Brotherhood | Halcon | Magmatron | Tronos Madu | Gwendolyn | Colonel Kubritz | Gaylen
Carmen Sandiego (2019): Professor Maelstrom | Coach Brunt | Countess Cleo | Dr. Saira Bellum | V.I.L.E. (The Cleaners | Roundabout | Cookie Booker | Tigress | Le Chevre | El Topo | Paper Star | Mime Bomb | Neal the Eel | The Mechanic | The Driver | Lady Dokuso | Otter Man and Moose Boy | Spinkick and Flytrap | The Troll | Madame Goldlove | Dash Haber)
Seis Manos: El Balde | El Balde’s Jefes
Green Eggs and Ham (2019): Hervnick Z. Snerz | Goat
Dragons: Rescue Riders: Magnus Finke | Slinkwing Trio (Lurke) | Waldondo del Mundo | Erik the Wretched | Svetlana the Sly
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Scarlemagne | Mod Frogs (Jamack & Mrs. Satori) | Newton Wolves (Bad Billions and Good Billions) | Scooter Skunks | Humming Bombers | Tad Mulholand | Fun Gus | Human Resistance (Dr. Emilia, Greta & Zane)
Wizards: Bellroc | Skrael | King Arthur | Morgana | AAARRRGGHH!!!
Blood of Zeus: Hera | Seraphim
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous: Scorpios rex | Henry Wu | Toro | Indominus rex | Eddie | Mantah Corp | Mitch & Tiff | Hawkes | Reed | Eli Mills
Kid Cosmic: Fantos the Amassor | Stuck Chuck | Biker in Black | Krosh | Erodious the Planet Killer
Go, Dog, Go!: Frank and Beans
I Heart Arlo: The Bog Lady
Centaurworld: The Nowhere King

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