Ryūji Takasu is a gentle high school student with a love for housework; but in contrast to his kind nature, he has an intimidating face that often gets him labeled as a delinquent. On the other hand is Taiga Aisaka, a small, doll-like student who is anything but a cute and fragile girl. Equipped with a wooden katana and feisty personality, Taiga is known throughout the school as the "Palmtop Tiger." One day, an embarrassing mistake causes the two students to cross paths. Ryūji discovers that Taiga actually has a sweet side: she has a crush on the popular vice president, Yūsaku Kitamura, who happens to be his best friend. But things only get crazier when Ryūji reveals that he has a crush on Minori Kushieda—Taiga's best friend! Toradora! is a romantic comedy that follows this odd duo as they embark on a quest to help each other with their respective crushes, forming an unlikely alliance in the process.
On the first day of school, Ryūji discovers that he and Taiga, the meanest girl in class, share a secret: each loves the other's best friend.
Taiga's efforts to get closer to Yūsaku fail: A scheme in basketball ends with Taiga knocked out, and she drops a plate of cookies out a window.
Ryūji and Taiga spend a day helping Minori at one of her many part-time jobs, and Ryūji gets to know her better when they're locked in a storehouse.
Taiga has a photo album full of blurry pictures of Kitamura. Ryūji offers to snap some pictures of him instead.
Yūsaku's childhood friend Ami, a model, transfers to the school and immediately becomes popular with everyone but Taiga, who sees the truth about her.
Followed by a stalker, Ami hides out with Taiga and decides that she must discard her fake personality from now on.
When the school's pool opens for the summer, the gang shops for new swimsuits, and Ryūji helps Taiga with an embarrassing problem.
Ryūji tries to help Taiga win a swimming race against Ami, but when Ryūji nearly drowns, the truth about Taiga's feelings comes out.
During a trip to Ami's beach villa, Taiga has a nightmare about being married to Ryūji and schemes to bring him and Minori together.
The gang plots an elaborate stunt to scare Minori with a trip to a nearby cave where Yūsaku has planted scary traps, but Yūsaku and Minori disappear.
As preparations get under way for the school's cultural festival, Ryūji urges Taiga to consider reconciling with her estranged father.
Taiga's reconciliation with her father divides her friends, but she ends up disappointed when her father doesn't attend her school play.
Taiga wins a beauty contest despite a crushing disappointment about her father; a race is held to determine who will dance with Taiga.
A rumor starts that touching Taiga leads to good luck; Yūsaku gets some interesting news from the student council president.
Yūsaku has a meltdown in class, dyes his hair blond and refuses to run for student council, causing everyone to wonder what's wrong with him.
Yūsaku reveals his love for Sumire, a student council president who is leaving to study abroad, so his friends urge him to run for her council seat.
With Christmas approaching, the student council plans a party while Taiga decides to curry favor with Santa by playing Cupid for Ryūji and Minori.
The entire class pitches in to assemble an artificial Christmas tree with a glass star, but a stray fly ball destroys the decorations.
The love triangle of Ryūji, Minori and Taiga reaches a crisis point when true feelings are realized during the school's Christmas Eve party.
The class trip to Okinawa is canceled, leading to a last-minute change of plans to a ski trip, where Ryūji resolves to tell Minori how he feels.
During the ski trip, Ryūji confesses his feelings for Minori, but not to her. When Taiga disappears, everyone frantically searches for her.
Knowing that Taiga believes she was rescued by Yūsaku during the ski trip, Ryūji asks Yūsaku to pretend that she's correct.
When Yasuko collapses from anemia due to overwork, Ryūji and Taiga take over her job of selling chocolate and use Ami's celebrity to improve sales.
The truth about Taiga and Ryūji's feelings for each other finally comes out, and they make a plan to run off together and get married.
When Yasuko reconciles with her parents, the truth about Ryūji's father is revealed, inspiring him to have a traditional wedding with Taiga.