Dragon Ball is far from being a franchise about romance or building strong character relationships. It’s more about the comedy, action and a grand adventure. That being said, there are some nuggets of romance scattered throughout the show. There are many couples in Dragon Ball, some of which are great. However, some of them are poorly executed and don’t add much to the show. We are taking couples from the entire franchise so there may be a few you aren’t aware of. But these are some of the most prominent relationships from Dragon Ball.
In this list, we are only considering couples with some sort of romantic relationship. It is to ensure that the entries are consistent and can be fairly compared with each other. That being said, since romance doesn’t make up a large of the show, their interactions are often irrelevant to the story. Also, when we say that a certain couple “hurts” the show, we don’t mean they shouldn’t exist. In some cases, the romance just wasn’t executed properly. It may feel unrealistic or bland at times. Most of them will fall into this category.
Ultimately, all of these couples have positives and negatives about them. No relationship can be perfect, so this is expected. However, some of them are so poorly done, that they actually affect the viewer’s enjoyment of the show. Some slight tweaks or changes could make a world of difference when it comes to these couples. So, let’s take a look at who did it right or wrong.
20 Hurt: Vegeta And Bulma
We’re starting off with one of the most iconic couples from Dragon Ball Z. This duo of Saiyan and Earthling are widely considered to be one of the better representations of romance in the show. However, that’s not really the case once you analyze their relationship.
Vegeta starts off as a very uncaring partner. In fact, we aren’t even sure the pair got married during the Cell Saga. Even during the Majin Buu arc, Vegeta was quick to throw away his humanity just so he could beat Goku. While the Saiyan redeems himself, later on, it’s clear that he had to go through a lot before doing so. These two are not an ideal couple by any means.
19 Saved: Gohan And Videl
These two are the only characters we see gradually falling in love and starting a healthy relationship. They do seem like an unlikely couple at first, but in the end, we can see they are perfect for each other. Gohan’s calmness was a good contrast to Videl’s rash, but caring nature.
By the time they get married and have a child, they are full-fledged mature adults. Probably two of the most “normal” characters in the entirety of the show. It does come at the cost of their martial arts skills, but it’s still a beautiful relationship. In Dragon Ball Super, we get to see more of them as a couple and even dealing with some issues. It all works out for the best though.
18 Hurt: Bardock And Gine
On one hand, Dragon Ball Minus tried to add to Bardock’s character by making him more caring. It even shows us Goku’s mother for the first time. But all of that comes at a steep price. The awesome special episode about Bardock isn’t canon anymore. A total spit on Bardock’s scarred face.
That special was so good, that it didn’t matter we never saw Goku’s mother. It’s a minor problem when you consider how much Bardock grows as a person in that episode. But now all of that is gone. At least those who wanted to see Goku’s parents together got something after all these years.
17 Saved: Android 18 And Krillin
Another sweet couple similar to Gohan and Videl. These two are even more an unlikely pair, but they work well together. The pair has genuinely good chemistry with each other. They have a lot of great moments together during Dragon Ball Super, including a tag team fight against Goku.
Their relationship is one built on forgiveness. Krillin had decided to remove the bombs within the Androids despite everything they had done. It was a touching enough moment that Android 18 couldn’t help but fall in love. And Krillin finally gets the happy ending he always deserved.
16 Hurt: Towa And Mira
Towa and Mira are an interesting premise as they are a married couple who are villains. You would think that they would have a powerful motive for the actions they do. It’s also romantic, in a strange way, as these two lovers attempt to cause chaos and destruction.
Except, the two of them are a boring couple with no reason to be together. They could’ve been best friends, acquaintances, or just business partners. It would make no difference. This was the perfect opportunity to make a unique pair of villains who are bound to each other through love.
15 Saved: Tarble And Gure
We find out during a Dragon Ball Z special episode that Vegeta actually has a younger brother. He was sent away as an infant since he was too weak. These low-level Saiyans were sent to other planets in order to subjugate them. Tarble ends up doing something a bit different.
He marries a strange alien creature with a round head by the name of Gure. The two make an oddly cute couple. It’s a nice touch giving Tarble a wife. He manages to find some happiness in life despite being sent away from his family at birth. A lovely ending.
14 Hurt: Buu And Mrs. Buu
This is the weirdest backstory for a character and doesn’t feel at all necessary. Buu reads some of Hercule’s grown-up books. After being inspired by these stories, Buu creates a wife for himself, subsequently having children with a “Love Beam.” It’s definitely something that fits in the Dragon Ball Z universe.
However, there isn’t really much point to it. Soon after this, the writers added a new way for Buu to have children through fission. And this time he was inspired by Hercule’s relationship with his daughter, Videl.
13 Saved: Princess Snake And King Yemma
This is one of the stranger couples but it kind of works as well. We don’t really see them together, but it is implied that they are in some sort of relationship. However, it didn’t seem to last relatively long as the two didn’t get along. Which makes sense given their vastly different personalities and roles in the story.
It would’ve been nice to actually see some of their moments together. They would’ve had at least a few good moments together in their relationship. It’s also a dynamic relationship as King Yemma sends people to Snake Way, while Princess Snake attempts to distract them away from that path.
12 Hurt: Goku And Chi-Chi
Another iconic couple that doesn’t work as well as it should. Now, that’s not to say that Goku and Chi-Chi shouldn’t be a couple. Quite the opposite as they are perfect for each other. However, there is no development in their relationship.
It’s understandable that Goku doesn’t understand love and marriage at first since he grew up in the woods with Grandpa Gohan. But that’s not an excuse for him to be clueless several decades later. Goku should’ve become a better husband and father over time. Instead, he remains the same old dense Saiyan who cares mostly about fighting.
11 Saved: Android 21 And Dr. Gero
Android 21 was a brand new character designed by Akira Toriyama for the story mode of Dragon Ball FighterZ. She also has a special connection with one of the classic characters of the franchise, Dr. Gero.
It turns out that Dr. Gero had a wife and son. Android 21 is modeled after that wife but the son is even more of a shocker; Android 16. This is a great addition to the Dragon Ball lore and adds some depth to Dr. Gero’s character. Now, if only there was a way to implement this into the canon of the show. Perhaps through a new movie, similar to the upcoming one about Broly?
10 Hurt: Hercule And Miguel
Miguel is the name of Hercule’s wife who has passed away and is never seen in the show. We don’t know much about her at all which is a shame. Some more details on her and her relationships with Hercule and Videl would’ve made for an interesting episode.
Hercule may be able to attract many women, but none would compare to the mother of his daughter. However, we don’t see enough of their relationship to really care. A single episode is sometimes all it takes to make an emotional connection with the audience. Instead, we don’t even know what Miguel looks like.
9 Saved: Goten And Valese
Dragon Ball GT has a very divisive audience and that’s fair. But there are some aspects where the show manages to expand on the characters from the original shows. One way it was done was by giving the characters a more realistic life to live during the times of peace.
Goten actually gets a sweet girlfriend named Valese. She’s not particularly smart but has a good heart. We don’t get to see whether they stay together for a long time, but hopefully, they do. The pair makes a very cute couple and it would be a shame to see them separate.
8 Hurt: Raditz And Princess Snake
This pairing just doesn’t work very well. Raditz is a proud Saiyan. He was disgusted by his brother, Goku, and his lack of adherence to their heritage. It would be hard to imagine Raditz falling in love at all, much less with someone who isn’t a Saiyan.
On the other hand, they do have some things in common. For example, both of them seem to dislike Goku and have sinister plans. At the very least, the two of them would have something to talk about during a first date. Or maybe their first date could be a revenge mission against Goku.
7 Saved: Tien And Launch
It’s sad that this relationship went nowhere and Launch was essentially retired as a character since we never see her. Tien used to be one of the main characters and this is how he is treated. His love interest is taken away and he is reduced to a very minor supporting role. How awful.
Launch was a bit clingy but there was plenty of room for growth if time was spent on fleshing out their relationship. It all comes down to the fact that Dragon Ball isn’t about romance. More time had to be spent on setting up epic battles and decisive conclusions. There isn’t enough time for the heart-to-heart moments.
6 Hurt: Krillin And Maron
Maron is one of Krillin’s first girlfriends and she is certainly a unique character. She and Krillin do seem to have a decent relationship and the latter even wants to propose to her. However, Maron is quite spoiled and the show was better after she finally left.
As soon as Krillin decided to break up with her, Maron runs off with some other guy with the promise of ice cream. Perhaps it was for the best that Krillin didn’t end up with someone who could be so easily swayed with sweets. Besides, he does end up marrying Android 18 and has a daughter as well.
5 Saved: Future Trunks And Mai
In Dragon Ball Super we get the much-anticipated return of Future Trunks, one of the most beloved characters in the entire franchise. And we find out that he also has a potential love interest. It’s nothing official, but so heavily implied that we couldn’t keep it off the list.
In fact, this is a beautiful relationship. Future Trunks has grown up in a completely destroyed future where the prospects of finding love were dim, especially with dangerous Androids roaming around. So, it’s wonderful to see that Trunks has managed to find a caring partner in a world that was hurt by constant calamity.
4 Hurt: Arale And Obotchaman
This pair is supposed to be wed in the future. However, during the show, they are still children. They’re also robots so will they even grow up and become adults? Wouldn’t they just remain as kids? Arale has remained the same for decades. So it’s safe to assume the same for Obotchaman.
A romantic relationship between the two just doesn’t make sense. We don’t really get any interesting plots from this pairing. Then General Blue also seems to fall in love with Obotchaman. Easily the strangest love triangle ever. These three need a comedy anime of their own.
3 Saved: Ox King And His Wife
We don’t get to see the Ox King’s wife except for in a painting. It’s a surreal painting where his wife is the size of his hand. A very imaginative portrait but not very accurate at all. Still, from what we know, they had a good relationship.
While some flashbacks would’ve been nice to see, there’s enough we need to know about their relationship. Now, if only Goku and Chi Chi could also have a similar relationship. We see how caring the Ox King is as he provides his daughter and son-in-law with everything they need to live.
2 Hurt: Bulma And Yamcha
While the pair did have their moments, ultimately Vegeta and Bulma may have been the better choice. Bulma and Yamcha don’t really go anywhere with their relationship and that was probably for the best. Neither of them could seem to commit fully to the relationship and had run into some issues.
Of course, this pairing could make for a fun what-if scenario. While that would mean we don’t get Future Trunks, it could open up some other storylines. Probably nothing as good as what we have now, but still worth a special manga like Dragon Ball Zero which is about Raditz.
1 Saved: Senbei And Midori
These two are originally from Dr. Slump but are also present in Dragon Ball. They are a wonderful couple who are both romantic and comedic. Senbei had a crush on Midori for a long time and finally worked up the courage to propose. While she was on the toilet.
And she accepted! They also had a few children, including the android, Arale. Overall, this pair is one of the most underrated couples in all of Dragon Ball. It’s a shame we don’t see much of them anymore. The filler episodes of Dragon Ball Z or Super would’ve been perfect to showcase some of the lesser known characters of the franchise.