When one thinks of the Dragon Ball franchise, the first thing that comes to mind, aside from intense bouts of screaming, extended power-ups, enormous energy beams erupting from people’s hands, claims of “five minutes” lasting well over an hour, or people turning into apes, is hardcore martial arts action.
The last thing that comes to mind would be romance in any shape or form.
This isn’t to say that romance hasn’t been featured in the multiple series in some capacity, however minor, with Goku and Chi-Chi, Trunks and Mai, Vegeta and Bulma, and Gohan and Videl, along with others, it’s simply never been a focus, and certainly has never been fleshed out.
However, this hasn’t stopped fans from trying to inject the shows with some love stories, however.
Whether through fanfiction or fanart, Dragon Ball’s sizeable fanbase has created countless unofficial romances for any number of characters throughout the franchise’s pantheon, and we’re counting down some of the most unusual pairings that have been given life through the hard work of talented artists.
We’ll see former rivals embracing, spouses swapping their significant others, hated enemies tossing aside their differences, and even the culmination of some theorized (but never confirmed) pairings.
All of the artists responsible for this collection of artwork will be indicated in each entry, so if you enjoy their artistic skills or the unique couples they dreamt up, be sure to check out their personal pages and enjoy the rest of their work!
With that said, here are the 16 Fan Redesigns Of Unexpected Dragon Ball Couples.
16 Goku And Bulma
Longtime fans have watched Goku and Bulma grow up together and become incredible friends. Starting in the original Dragon Ball, the two would go through incredible adventures in their quest for the wish-granting orbs.
Throughout Dragon Ball Z, GT, and Super, they would still partake in world-changing events as a team, but to a far lesser extent.
Both would be married, too, but that hasn’t stopped some fans from envisioning a timeline where all of the time that Goku and Bulma spent together resulted in something more than just friendship.
Timz115 has taken Goku and Chi-Chi’s marriage imagery and replaced the bride with Bulma, and the result is a touching example of what could have been.
We love Chi-Chi, but Bulma and Goku were the driving forces of the franchise, so it just seems right.
15 Vegeta And Goku Black
Vegeta, the Prince of all Saiyans, has had a problem with Goku ever since being bested by the low-class warrior during his failed invasion of Earth, which caused the Super Elite to spend years attempting to surpass him.
Fast forward to the Future Trunks saga, and Vegeta finally gets a chance to wail on what is more-or-less Goku: the Zamasu-possessed Goku Black.
Imagine our surprise when, instead of unleashing his pent up fury on the evil facsimile, he instead finds himself enamored with the man who should be his ultimate foe.
Artist redviolett does an exceptional job at capturing this truly unexpected couple. The look on Vegeta’s face is the perfect mix of terror, confusion, surprise and, yes, regretful enjoyment.
Of course, the ever-assured Super Saiyan Rose’ Goku Black exudes an aura of pure confidence, smirking as if this situation were inevitable.
14 Beerus And Whis
Two of the best additions to the Dragon Ball universe thanks to the latest entry, Dragon Ball Super, are Beerus, the God of Destruction and his attendant, Whis, both of whom are quickly becoming fan-favorites.
It’s no surprise, then, that some fans have been hoping that there might be something more between the angel and deity.
Even if it never pans out within the show, fans have taken it upon themselves to bring it to life (and in decidedly cute fashion.)
Artist illiciumesca goes for a chibi-styled approach in portraying the divine lovebirds, and it’s far too adorable for human eyes, particularly the giddy Beerus showing off his affection for Whis with that little heart.
13 Trunks And Pan
The ever-divisive Dragon Ball GT’s first arc involves Goku being turned into a child by the Black Star Dragon Balls, whose use has a side-effect of blowing up the planet they were used on if they are not returned in time.
This jumpstarts a cosmos-crossing adventure with Goku, an older present Trunks, and Goku’s growing granddaughter, Pan.
The trio goes through adventures that range from exciting to wacky, becoming closer throughout the journey.
Though it’s never mentioned within the series, it seems only natural that Trunks and Pan might develop something more than a friendship as time went on, especially considering the apocalyptic battles they faced together in the concluding sagas of the series.
Mirroring the Goku/Chi-Chi marriage photo, artist RenAeru02 creates a cute image of the couple.
12 Frieza And Cell
Frieza and Cell are arguably the greatest villains in the entirety of Dragon Ball Z, and, in Frieza’s case, possibly one of the greatest villains in all of anime, period.
Frieza’s relentless cruelty and remorseless evil were a recipe in creating the ultimate force of evil that pushed Goku to surpass his own limits.
Cell was the perfect (pun intended) villain for the franchise, as he possessed every skill our heroes had, and used the full might of that stolen arsenal against them.
Both were incredibly important characters for the progression of the story, and both were exceedingly evil, but no one expected them to fall for each other in the pits of Hell.
However, this is exactly what Frieza-Love has portrayed in their art.
11 Kale And Caulifla
Dragon Ball Super’s multiverses brought on the unexpected event of having not only surviving, but thriving Saiyans.
Not only were Universe 6’s Saiyans good (unlike Universe 7's), but they were also just as powerful as some of the Saiyans we are most familiar with.
Much to the delight of fans, not only are two of the featured Universe 6 Saiyans female, named Kale and Caulifla, but they’re also Super Saiyans, which was a first for the franchise.
In GV6820s’ artwork of the two, they might be another first for the franchise: female lovers.
While our list is titled “unexpected couples,” this one might not be too far off the mark.
Kale seems to have more than friendship on her mind regarding Caulifla, so only time will tell if this couple becomes reality.
10 Trunks And Marron
Marron is only a toddler in Dragon Ball Super, but by the events of Dragon Ball GT, she’s grown up and takes after her mother, Android 18 (particularly her love of material things), much to Krillin’s chagrin.
It’s somewhat of a surprise then, to see her paired up with what appears to be Future Trunks (considering his outfit), as he is someone who couldn’t be bothered with wealth or possessions.
However, perhaps this is the precise reason why they work so well: opposites attract and, if we’re being honest, they make a delightfully cute couple.
With this piece, artist eyewhiskers managed to expertly portray the blushing and embarrassed Trunks, while an unabashed Marron does little to hide her romantic feelings.
9 Goku And Piccolo
We’ll be upfront about this: we’re not exactly sure what is going on with this picture. To make matters worse, we can’t find who the artist is, so we’re not even able to ask them.
Regardless, this is a well-made, sharp-looking image of Goku hugging an embarrassed Piccolo, while Gohan latches onto to Goku and Goten angrily tries to grab hold of Gohan.
While the meaning is certainly up for interpretation, Goku would have no reason to hug Piccolo at any point (and never did anything like it in any series, other than shake his hand in GT), unless they were more than former rivals turned friends.
This would be a great arrangement, though, as Gohan could finally have both of his dads in his life.
8 Jiren And Marcarita
Dragon Ball Super’s Jiren might be insanely (and absurdly) powerful, but he’s also a lonely guy with no real friends or family to speak of, and definitely no significant others.
In fact, we’re certain he couldn’t even be bothered to dabble in romance if it meant not being able to get stronger.
Enter Marcarita, the God of Destruction known as Belmod’s angel assistant.
Seemingly based on Harley Quinn (and, at one point, meant to be Belmod’s lover before the idea was shot down by Toriyama), Marcarita’s light-hearted nature is like oil to Jiren’s water. Or is it?
According to Momonobu, it looks like the two would make a rather curious couple.
Marcarita is shamelessly pronouncing her love and Jiren is just doing that grouchy, scowl thing… but deep down, we know he’s happy.
7 Goten And Bulla
A large chunk of Dragon Ball GT’s complaints stem from the fact that many beloved side-characters get the shaft in the name of Goku, but Goten is one of the very few who doesn’t, at least not to the extent that others, like Krillin, do.
He has a few story moments, a few fights, and he even shows that he’s got some major courage.
Alas, he’s also portrayed as a somewhat one-dimensional ladies man obsessed with going on dates.
Bulla is even worse off than that, being incredibly one-dimensional and appearance-obsessed.
This list might be about unexpected couples, but the more we think about it, the more these two duds would be perfect together.
Xx-Tenten-xX deserves credit, though, for creating a nice representation of these two characters in a particularly endearing style.
6 Uub And Pan
While it’s popular to believe that Pan and Trunks might end up together after their shared adventures through space (and harrowing battles on Earth) following the conclusion of Dragon Ball GT, perhaps Uub would be the one to truly capture her heart and affection.
Uub, Goku’s protégé and the reincarnation of Buu, was instrumental during the final arcs of GT, and his gallantry might not have gone unnoticed.
Heck, not to bury Trunks, but in the long run, he didn’t do much when compared to Uub, who courageously stormed whatever adversary he was up against.
Genaminna has done an awesome job of capturing what this future relationship might look like, and their rich colors and textures give the piece an identity of its own.
Sorry Trunks, but this unexpected couple is far more charming than what your shattered heart yearns for.
5 Beerus And Vados
Beerus is generally belligerent (which is unsurprising, considering the root of his name) and the smallest details have been known to trigger his immense anger and destructive power.
One of the biggest triggers he has, though, is his brother, Champa.
The two often squabble and seem to have an eons-long rivalry and feud. It’s hard to imagine that Beerus would want anything to do with anything that has to do with Champa, but assassin12999 thinks otherwise.
Picturing Beerus and Champa’s assistant, Vados, in a loving embrace, it’s difficult to deny that they make a cute couple.
That said, part of us wonders if this is just a ploy on Beerus’ end to rile up Champa.
4 Vegeta And Android 18
Do you know the best way to treat the person who humiliated and beat the tar out of you, shattered your arm, and essentially threatened the existence of the Earth? Why, marry them, of course.
Take about unexpected: the Prince of all Saiyans, Vegeta (looking rather debonair) with former-world-ending-threat Android 18?
Sure, they’re both cold-hearted (at least it seems that way), but a man with Vegeta’s pride marrying the woman who made a fool of him? That’s a hard pill to swallow.
Regardless, X-xChiChix-X has made a good case for this stylish couple, even if it’s almost impossible to believe.
We’re going to have to give Krillin a call and console him. We hope he still has Maron’s number.
3 Bulma And Chi-Chi
Glay’s fanart portrays a very unexpected, yet incredibly intriguing relationship.
What if the wives of the most iconic characters in the franchise decided to leave their husbands (who they constantly complain about) and get together themselves?
Perhaps the best part of this art is the timeframe in which it occurs: Goku is deceased, and Bulma’s about to head to Namek to resurrect him.
Glay captions the piece with “there’s something you should know,” implying that Chi-Chi has long held these feelings for Dragon Ball’s greatest heroine.
All in all, a great piece technically and visually, but it’s the story implications of this unexpected pairing that truly seal the deal, and we can’t get enough of it.
2 Android 17 And Trunks
This is something that must run in the royal bloodline of the Saiyans.
Earlier, we had art depicting the ultra-proud Vegeta marrying the once-villainous Android 18, who had a made a total fool of him, going as far as shattering his arm.
Now we have Vegeta’s son, Trunks, falling for Android 18’s sinister brother, 17.
The eeriest element of DYKC’s work (aside from the strange affection the two share for the kitty) is that this Trunk is clearly Future Trunks.
This means that he's
the one who had to watch his world burn because of Androids 17 and 18, and had fought them head-on for years with little-to-no headway.
We guess he let bygones be bygones, reconciling the fact that his love is more important than Android 17’s genocidal tendencies and astronomical body count.
1 Zamasu and... Zamasu? (Goku Black)
Zamasu is the best villain in Dragon Ball Super, and one of the best villains in the franchise as a whole.
As a Supreme Kai who develops a searing hatred of mortals, Zamasu decides to wipe them all out of existence and enlists the help of a version of himself from another timeline.
The second Zamasu takes over the body of Goku, and the two Zamasus exterminate the gods and much of humanity.
Being the overwhelmingly self-centered deity that he is, it’s fitting that he’d be in love with himself.
What’s unexpected, though, is that he is literally capable of actually being in a relationship with himself, as portrayed in this excellent piece by an (unfortunately) unknown artist.
Looking into their eyes, you can see they’re utterly obsessed with each other and themselves, which makes their fusion even more fitting.
What do you think of these Dragon Ball unexpected couples? Let us know in the comments!