Once Upon a Time has unfortunately wrapped up for good after the finale of its seventh season. Throughout the years, viewers have followed Emma Swan and her fellow Storybrook residents on endless adventures. Whether they were fighting off evil-doers or searching for true love, they always made the fantasy seem true and heartfelt.
Few other shows have managed to attract as an broad audience as Once Upon a Time in recent years. One of the secrets behind the show's success was its thorough examination of the characters' moral complexities and an unrelenting faith in redemption. Creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz explained their intentions in a joint statement; "Seven years ago, we set out to create a show about hope, where even in the darkest of times, a happy ending would always be possible.”
But it was not only the show's optimism and family-friendly tone that drew viewers in. Once Upon a Time is also filled with passionate love triangles and oozing with romantic tension.
The show has spawned several iconic couples that will live on through the Once Upon a Time fandom. In addition to its own pairings, the show has inspired viewers to come up with some truly unexpected matches of their own.
Now that the show has come to an end, these fantasy couples can keep us guessing about how things might have turned out. Was Belle destined to end up with someone else? Would Archie Hopper finally get his happy ending?
Here are 26 Crazy Fan Redesigns Of Unexpected Once Upon A Time Couples.
26 Aurora And Captain Hook
Shortly after he first appears on the show, Captain Hook comes across Aurora, Mulan, Emma, and Mary Margaret in the Enchanted Forest.
While Captain Hook is the sea's most self-serving pirate, Aurora is attracted to virtuous and self-sacrificing individuals, like Prince Phillip.
Matching the two up seems strange, but there may be more to this fan-made match than meets the eye.
When they first met, Aurora was the only one in the group who looked past Hook's questionable character and recognized the honorous man within.
TheSharinganAvenger depicts the couple looking playfully pensive.
25 Belle And Ruby
Even though Belle lived out the rest of her days on Once Upon a Time, we can still wonder what could have been.
Her relationship with Rumplestiltskin was notoriously turbulent and she certainly deserved a more stable romance.
Scarlettbell7 gives Belle a second chance at love. Across a cherry-pink backdrop, the artist couples Belle with Ruby, Once Upon a Time's resident Werewolf.
Belle has already proven that she does not mind a beastly transformation and Ruby’s down-to-earth-attitude might be a welcome change to Rumple’s antics.
24 Emma Swan And The Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter initially stalks Emma and kidnaps her along with her mother, Mary Margaret. It might not sound like the beginning of a fairytale romance, but this bump in the road in would soon smooth itself out.
As Emma learns that the Mad Hatter has been separated from a daughter who no longer remembers him, her view of him softens.
Both Emma and the Mad Hatter know what it is like to fight to get back their child, which might be what fuels this fantasy romance.
Artist INRIn depicts Emma and the Mad Hatter as sultry rebels who seem to share a taste for adventure.
23 Regina And Maleficent
Maleficent and Regina have a long history that dates back well before the first curse. Regina actually sought Maleficent out in the Enchanted Forest to help her seek revenge on Snow White.
Even when they face off in a brutal battle, Regina refuses to end Maleficent, claiming that she is the only friend she has.
When the women first met they shared the same bitterness and disillusionment with the world.
Their shared perspective could also have led them to find solace in one another.
Konako shows us what a more peaceful outcome for the two could have looked like in this delightful illustration.
22 Snow White And Grumpy
In the Disney classic, all of the seven dwarves have a soft spot for Snow White's charms. The relationship between Snow White and her companions is explored further in Once Upon a Time. Grumpy, in particular, has a prominent role as a leader of his peers, which often prompts him and Snow White to help each other out.
In this fanart, RunaMagnus imagines what it would look like if their bond grew into a romantic connection.
Snow White and Grumpy have a lot of respect for one another and go far back. They would undoubtedly make a harmonious couple.
21 Peter Pan And Captain Hook
They first met while Captain Hook was sailing across the seas as a Lieutenant following the orders of his king. This first encounter resulted in the tragic end of Hook's brother. He blames that tragedy on Peter Pan and, as a result, their exchanges are always filled with extreme animosity and tension.
The tension between Peter and Hook has inspired numerous fanartists to reimagine the nature of their relationship.
In a neat black and white artwork, Anstay illustrates what the duo might look like in a softer, more muted moment.
20 Ruby And Dr. Whale
Ruby immediately caught Dr. Whale's eye while he was out on a disastrous date with Mary Margaret. He later tries to pursue her but gets rejected.
Their relationship however reaches new depths when Ruby rushes to save Dr. Whale from an attempt at self-elimination. In this vulnerable moment, the two bond over the harm they have caused in the past.
Even though they have great chemistry, the relationship never evolves beyond this point.
Kumu18 envisions the couple in innocent bliss, each grounded by a partner who understands their troubled history.
19 Emma And Rumplestiltskin
The Greatest Light and The Dark One would certainly keep a relationship balanced. But considering that Rumplestiltskin is the grandfather of Emma’s son Henry, it might also make thanksgiving dinners a little awkward.
Like with anyone in his life, Rumple's loyalty to Emma wavers, but she usually knows to keep an eye out for his duplicitous ways.
This fan art by BLOOD-and-LUST-87 shows the less than perfect couple on their wedding day. It might just be the wedding nerves, but it looks like they are off to a rocky start.
18 Mulan And Aurora
Aurora and Mulan are introduced in season 2 of Once Upon a Time. Mulan initially aides Prince Phillip on his quest to awaken Aurora from a sleeping spell, but things quickly become complicated. After Aurora is woken up she suspects that Mulan has her sights set on Prince Phillip, but Mulan's affections actually lie somewhere else.
Mulan unfortunately never musters up the courage to tell Aurora that she is, in fact, her true love.
In this artwork, EmmaMic envisions what might blossom between the two down the road.
17 Regina And Archie Hopper
Archie Hopper is the town psychiatrist and is Storybrook's version of Jiminy Cricket. Even though Regina often intimidates Archie, he still has a way of getting through to her and of helping her evolve as a person.
BLOOD-and-LUST87's artwork depicts a tender moment where Archie comforts Regina.
Archie acts as a voice of reason to Regina's high emotions and often prompts her to reflect on her actions.
She lets her guard down around him and trusts him enough to let go of her need to control when they are together.
16 Elsa And Emma
Season 4 marked the addition of the wildly popular Frozen ensemble to Once Upon a Time. The introduction of these well-known characters would inspire new fan couplings.
Inkscribble pairs two hard-nosed blondes, Emma and Elsa, in an affectionate embrace.
These powerful women can probably relate to each other's plight and duties in many ways. With Elsa being the heir to her kingdom and Emma being deemed the Savior of Storybrook, these two could benefit from the compassion and guidance they can offer one another. They also make quite the power couple.
15 Rumplestiltskin And Captain Hook
The relationship between Rumplestiltskin and Captain Hook is one of the most hostile on the show.
In the Enchanted Forest, Rumplestiltskin's wife Milah leaves her husband and child behind to run off with Captain Hook. After Rumplestiltskin acquires the powers of the Dark One, he tracks them down and quite literally crushes Milah's heart.
Because of their dramatic history, Hook and Rumple are continuously trying to end each other.
In a dreamy digital artwork, Kaktus-Olya shows what a passionate relationship they could have if they let go of old resentments.
14 Dr. Whale And The Mad Hatter
The marginal interaction between these two make this a truly unexpected match.
However, the Mad Hatter was set to have a prominent role in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland spinoff. Actor Sebastian Stan was busy filming Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the show decided to focus on other stories rather than replace him.
Perhaps Dr. Whale would have come to Wonderland to sew some heads back on and sparks would have flown between the two.
JoeyHazeILM depicts the two carrying instruments of their trade. They couple could definitely pass notes on the best stitching techniques.
13 Elsa And Hans
Fans of both the Frozen movie and Once Upon a Time love pairing Elsa and Hans up. He may not be the show's most sympathetic character, but he does manage to get under Elsa's skin. When Elsa returns to Arendelle from Storybrooke, she basically greets him with a punch to the face.
Elsa and Hans would not have the most easygoing relationship, but these two headstrong characters would definitely keep each other in check.
Teacupballerina perfectly captures the couple's powerful vibe in this artwork.
12 Regina And Dr. Facilier
Regina and Dr. Facilier share a mysterious, passionate past. Viewers are never privy to exactly what went down between the Evil Queen and the Voodoo master, but glimpses of a sultry romance pop up here and there.
The show's teasing has left fans longing for more.
Alexia B envisions the couple gently caressing in this radiant piece of fanart. They look positively enchanted by each other's company and might even have left their days of mischief behind.
It would not be hard to imagine that Regina and Dr. Facilier somehow find their way back together in the future.
11 Peter Pan And Felix
In the Lord of the Flies-like atmosphere of Neverland, Peter Pan rules the island with the help of his trusted right-hand man, Felix.
Felix's loyalty to Peter Pan is so strong that, while interrogated by a livid Regina, he is willing to give up his life to protect him.
Felix professes that Peter is the only family that he needs, while Peter himself later reveals that Felix is his greatest love.
Their friendship comes to a tragic end when Peter rips out Felix's heart, but Russian-tupperware offers fans a more peaceful ending for the two Lost Boys.
10 Cruella De Vil And Ursula
Cruella and Ursula are first introduced when Rumplestiltskin recruits them with the promise of a happy ending. They both harbor a shared resentment of heroes and are eager to get one over on the do-gooders of the Enchanted Forest.
Some fans, however, think that they can find their happy ending with one another.
Against the backdrop of a setting sun, Ehryel teams Cruella and Ursula up in an intimate moment. This Bonnie and Clyde-style romance comes complete with a stylish getaway car courtesy of De Vil.
9 Belle And Captain Hook
Considering that Captain Hook and Belle's husband Rumplestiltskin are archenemies, it seems unlikely that these two would somehow end up together.
At the same time, they have both suffered great pain because of Rumple's actions.
In season 4, Belle and Hook bond over their complicated relationship to love and to the Dark One.
8 Ruby And Archie Hopper
This is a surprisingly popular fan-made match considering that Ruby and Archie Hopper share almost no screen time at all. Actually, Ruby seems to have a more loving connection with Archie's dog, Pogo, than with the man himself.
Then again, maybe Pogo the dog would wind up bringing them together. This was the tactic that eventually brought Roger, Archie's counterpart, and Anita together in Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmations.
Patatat captures the couple beautifully in this rose-tinted work.
7 Elsa And Harry Potter
For some fans, the numerous new additions to Once Upon a Time have come up a few characters short.
DagronArt infuses the Once Upon a Time-universe with some new blood.
Under a glowing night sky, the artist pairs Elsa up with Harry Potter— a decidedly unexpected addition to the show.
Even though they come from different worlds, Harry's phlegmatic British nature will probably be a good match for Elsa's icy disposition. He might even bring along some of Mrs. Weasley's knitted scarves to keep them warm during Arendelle's freezing winters.
6 Baelfire And Tinker Bell
During his adolescence, Baelfire ended up living in Neverland with the Lost Boys for a period of time. This unexplored chapter of his life might be when he first came into contact with Tinker Bell. She also found herself living on the island when the Blue Fairy banished her from the Enchanted Forest.
These two characters do not spend much time together on the show, but their connection to Neverland might have inspired fans to root for them as a couple.
In a charming digital illustration, maddiebonanafana captures the two giggling in the glow of a coconut lantern.
5 Belle And The Mad Hatter
Belle was saved by the Mad Hatter when Regina was keeping her locked up in a mental asylum. But after her release, the two hardly ever interact.
Belle and the Mad Hatter share some particular traits that might bring them together.
Teacups hold a special significance to both of them, and they are both willing to sacrifice themselves for the comfort of a loved one. Belle chooses to live with Rumplestiltskin to protect her father during the Ogre wars and the Mad Hatter does whatever he can to provide for his daughter.
BLOOD-and-LUST87 imagines the Mad Hatter taking Belle into his arms and whisking her away.
4 Mary Margaret And Archie Hopper
In this adorable illustration, iesnoth imagines what Mary Margaret and Archie Hopper would look like as a couple: merrily trotting along in lockstep under the shelter of a wide umbrella.
Archie and Mary Margaret are two of Storybrookes kindest and most compassionate characters and would make for a great match.
The only thing standing in their way is the apparent lack of attraction between the two. But Once Upon a Time has often made unpredictable matches—such as Regina and Rumplestiltskin— so there is no reason why love could not blossom between Mary Margaret and Archie as well.
3 Regina And Captain Hook
Regina has a history of trying to steal men from her adversaries. In the beginning of the series, she tries to romance David to keep him and Mary Margaret apart. To her dismay, he swiflty turns her down.
It would therefore not be out of character for her to try the same with Captain Hook, Emma Swan's true love.
Flipperbrain unites Regina and Hook in a pastel-colored dreamscape. This illicit romance would result in several season's worth of drama if Emma ever caught wind of the affair.
2 The Mad Hatter And Donkey Skin
While some fans longed to see their favorite fantasy heroes added to the story, others hoped the series would include lesser known fairy tale characters.
In a vibrant, Dineyesque scene, suburbantimewaster introduces a new love interest for the Mad Hatter. This new entry is based on the character Donkey Skin from Charles Perrault's fairy tale by the same name.
The union could turn out to be a happy one considering that Donkey Skin has a weakness for beautifully crafted dresses. The Mad Hatter has the sartorial skills to craft her all the dresses her heart desires.
1 Emma And Regina
This is without a doubt the most popular match among Once Upon a Time fans.
Throughout the seasons, they have raised a son together and helped each other become better people.
The show's creators, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, explain why the two characters have had such a powerful impact; "Both Emma and Regina are characters we initially conceived to be strong people with strong points of view... The sparks between them generated amazing conflict and spectacular drama for us to mine as the show began."
TheCecile captures these sparks in an illustration of Emma and Regina dressed as Batman and Superman.
What's your favorite unexpected couple from Once Upon a Time? Let us know in the comments!