Naruto got to know Sakura while they were in the academy together and Naruto eventually developed a crush on her. However, Sakura only had eyes for Sasuke and found Naruto to be annoying. After becoming Genin, Sakura and Naruto were placed on the same team along with Sasuke which only developed tensions even further. Naruto still had hopes of winning Sakura's heart while Sakura payed more attention to Sasuke.
As Naruto improved as a ninja, Sakura began to respect him some more. Sasuke eventually fled the village and Naruto promised Sakura that he would retrieve Sasuke. However, he failed so he left for over two years to train with Jiraiya. After returning, Sakura was impressed to see how much Naruto had changed. The two began to work together on a team and worked well together on the battlefield.
When Sasuke was deemed an S-rank criminal, Sai pointed out that Naruto was determined to bring Sasuke back because of his love for Sakura. Because of this, Sakura told Naruto that she loved him and begged him to give up on Sasuke. Naruto, however, could tell that Sakura was not sincere and insisted that he also cared about bring Sasuke home.
During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Naruto and Sakura once fought side-by-side on the battlefield. Naruto's father Minato was revived and asked Naruto if Sakura was his girlfriend because he saw her healing him. Naruto said that she was his girlfriend which caused her to punch him. When the nine-tailed fox was extracted from Naruto, Sakura kept him alive by performing CPR on him. After the battle is over, Sasuke knocks her unconscious with a Genjustu which angers Naruto. However, they battle and Sasuke is finally convinced to return home. This means that Naruto finally fulfilled his promise to Sakura.
Two years later, Sakura is aware of Hinata's crush on Naruto and offers her a seat next to him. She scolds him and calls him an idiot when he does not walk her home. Naruto eventually confesses to Hinata but she runs off with Toneri in order to save her sister. Sakura heals Naruto and assures him that Hinata feels the same way about him. Years later, she attends Naruto and Hinata's wedding.
NaruSaku is one of the most popular pairings among the Naruto fandom. This is mainly due to the fact that the main protagonist Naruto had a crush on Sakura who was the main heroine. However, Naruto ended up with Hinata instead while Sakura ended up with Sasuke instead. Many fans were upset by this and felt that Naruto would have been much better with Sakura due to their development and time spent together during the series. NaruSaku usually rivals the NaruHina, NaruSaku and NaruSasu pairings. It is occasionally shipped along with SasuKarin, SasuHina or SasuIno.
- Kishimoto stated that his wife and multiple female animators of Studio Pierrot were disappointed that Naruto and Sakura did not end up together.