Characters: Dragon Ball Main Characters
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Son Goku (孫 悟空)
(Saiyan birthname: Kakarot (カカロット; Kakarotto))
Kid Goku voice by (Latin American): Laura Torres, Elsa Covián (Dragon Ball Harmony Gold), Karina Altamirano ("Kai" flashbacks)
Adult Goku voiced by (Latin American): Mario Castañeda, Edson Matus (Kai), Enrique Mederos (Movie 8)
Main hero of Dragon Ball
. Started off as a rather extraordinary child with super strength, a tail and naivety of the outside world. Later
, though, it is revealed that he's a Saiyan, an alien race of warriors who hire themselves out as mercenaries to tyrants who destroy worlds. However, he is amongst the last four (well, eight
) of his kind. Although originally sent to devastate Earth (though it was later revealed his father Bardock sent him to Earth to escape Freeza's genocide of the Saiyans), he instead becomes the savior of the world multiple times over.
- Absurdly Youthful Father: Goku looks young to be the father of his professor son Gohan because Saiyans remain in their prime longer than humans. Neither Bulma nor Chi-Chi are thrilled, and you can guess how the latter reacts to her husband's further de-aging in GT.
- Accidental Pervert: As a kid, he was completely unable to differentiate between males and females by sight, leading to several of these moments.
- The Ace: Made abundantly clear since the early parts of Dragon Ball. Learned a technique with a glance, which took 50 years to develop. Within a few years, his martial arts skill surpassed his master, and of course winning a World Martial Arts Tournament before he turned 20. Then he found out why he's able to do all those things when it's revealed he's a Saiyan. Even that doesn't fully make it a Justified Trope, when he defeats members of his race considered to be elites, defeats and/or kills seemingly invincible aliens and monsters and achieves virtually all the available Super Saiyan transformations. Not bad for someone considered a "low-class soldier".
- Achievements in Ignorance: In Dragon Ball when training for the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament.
- Achilles' Heel: His tail is so sensitive to touch that grabbing it saps him of all his strength. He eventually manages to train himself out of that weakness, though. Eventually he loses it forever, unless you count the events of GT.
- Action Dad: Even after Goku became a father, threats still came ot Earth, so he had to keep training to make sure he was powerful enough to stop it.
- Adorably Precocious Child: As a kid. By the age of 12 he was living by himself in the wilderness and traveling the world.
- Adorkable: Friendly, affectionate and habitually refers to his elders as "grampa/grandma" as opposed to their formal titles like a little kid would. Passes this trait down onto his children.
- Afraid of Needles: To the bewilderment of everyone around him.
- All-Loving Hero: Forgives enemies? Most story arcs involve this. He does not hold grudges period. Turns enemies into friends? This is how he makes friends. Once the fight is over, anyone, even last season's enemies, are affectionately embraced as friends if they can stop trying to kill him and his crew or take over the world long enough. Purehearted? He has a flying cloud to prove it.
- Almighty Janitor: As mentioned above, he'd merely be a lowly soldier if he was raised a Saiyan. That said, he becomes one of the most powerful beings in the universe (even becoming a Physical God as of Battle of Gods).
- Always Someone Better: This is Goku's dynamic with Vegeta over the course of Dragon Ball Z.
- The 14th movie deconstructs this by reversing this role and having him being the one who Can't Catch Up to the Big Bad.
- Amazon Chaser: It should be noted that Chi-Chi and Goku got engaged soon after their match in the 23rd Tenka'ichi Budokai, where she reached the last 8 finalists.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: At the end of DBGT, he fuses with the dragon Shenron and the seven Dragon Balls to leave Earth, though he makes a visit 100 years later.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Super Saiyan 3 form, while giving him immense amount of power unmatched by any other forms, gives him a very strict time limit on how long he can stretch out a fight before he's drained of all his strength. The strain the form has on his body is so heavy it's not even really meant to be used outside of the afterlife.
- Although, it is hinted that Goku's difficulty with Super Saiyan 3 stems more from him not being used to it, especially after being brought back to life where his living body was not as durable as his dead body. The few times we have seen him in Super Saiyan 3 after the Buu Arc, he seemed to be able to maintain it just fine.
- Also the Spirit Bomb. It takes too long to power up and Goku seems to be a bad judge of just how much power he needs to take out an opponent.
- It's more of a mix of terrible luck and not taking into account his opponent's reserves. Vegeta barely survived what was a small portion of the energy collected for the Spirit Bomb thanks to Vegeta's own interference, and Freeza had 50% usage of his full power, when Goku smacked him with the energy collected from a largely dead planet and its neighbors. It still packed enough of a punch to nearly kill and/or maim them. In the movies he seems to have much better luck, managing to kill four of the villains with it.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Learned the Kamehameha by watching it used once along with the After Image Technique (managed to improve upon it after seeing it used a second time with a double), Solar Flare, and King Chapa's Hasshu-ken (Eight-Arm Fist). Somewhere along the way, he also copied Krillin's Destructo Disc.
- Back from the Dead: Twice! Not that that's at all unusual…
- Although, he is the only character in the series to come back without the help of the Dragon Balls.
- Badass: Biggest one in a series already chock full of badasses, and among anime's greatest. Seriously, take into account everything he's done since age 11 and say he's not a badass, because it would crowd up the wiki if we were to list them all.
- Badass Adorable: An endearingly innocent and kind-hearted boy in the body of a grandfather by the end of it.
- Badass Baritone: Every time he goes Super Saiyan 3 and beyond (dub only)
- Badass Boast: In response to Jeice and Burter claiming to be Goku's worst nightmare his simple but blunt reply is, "I'm not scared of dreams."
- Badass Grandpa: Once Pan is born. Though he doesn't look it.
- Balloon Belly: Occasionally after eating a big meal such as when he ate a massive dinner bought from Master Roshi's prize money from the tournament.
- Bearer of Bad News: Was the one to inform everyone that Gohan and Vegeta were killed by Buu.
- Berserk Button: Killing off his friends and family seems to be the only way to truly piss him off. In the original series, Tambourine, and eventually King Piccolo, found this out the hard way (this is the only time Goku ever flies off intending to kill someone/thing in the series). Freeza did it too, and it resulted in the Super Saiyan.
- Beware The Nice/Silly Ones: Very much so. Goku is a very easygoing and kind person, but you do not want to piss him off.
- Big Damn Heroes: Is an absolute pro at this, especially from Z onwards, where he's the only thing that allowed the Saiyan and Namek arcs to end as well as they did. (He's ...merely a very spirited competitor in the original series.)
- Big Eater: Sort of a Running Gag with him. Most famously, after coming runner-up in the first tournament, Master Roshi (the winner), decided to cheer him up by buying him as big a dinner as he wanted. Goku's bill wound up costing Roshi all the prize money, and it seemed he would've eaten more if the restaurant hadn't run out of food!
- Bishonen Line: To a degree with his transformations. Super Saiyan 1 is far more energized in appearance than his everyday look, and Super Saiyan 2 is even moreso. Super Saiyan 3, with its massive hulking muscles, Forehead of Doom, and insane hairstyle, is about as close as he gets to One-Winged Angel. They also have progressively larger effects on the environment; Super Saiyan 3 caused earthquakes when he first used it. Then there's Super Saiyan God, which basically looks like Goku with a red glow and seems to have no effect on the environment at all.
- Black Sheep: To the entire Saiyan race after his head injury. All Saiyans, except for a named few, are violent, ruthless, cold-blooded murderers. Goku is kind, good-natured, and only takes a life when he has no other choice (or someone killed Krillin, wherein he will be gunning for blood).
- Blood Knight: The extremely rare unambiguously heroic version. He loves finding new opponents to fight, and even when is on the brink of death from a ruthless and monstrous opponent, he goes out of his way to say "I'm having fun with this." He also only fights people who are willing (most of the villains), and rarely ever kills anyone except as a last resort.
- He's so much of a blood knight that he expresses a wish (later granted by Yemma) to see Majin Buu (the strongest Big Bad in Z) reincarnated as a good guy... just so he can fight him again.
- Contrary to what the first dub states, this was also his primary motive in sparing Vegeta's life at the end of the Saiyan saga, both in the manga and original anime, which he even admits was selfish.
- During Goku and Chi-Chi's first "date", when Chi-Chi explains that the "boy is supposed to think of the most pleasurable thing to do and then try to coax the girl into doing it with him", naturally Goku's response was to start fighting with her.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Goku shows very strong shades of this sort of morality throughout Dragon Ball Z. As a Saiyan, it's apparently in his blood to love fighting and combat, and that love for fighting sometimes comes off as a negative to humans, gods, and even other aliens (as well as the show's fanbase). He is regarded with unease whenever he shows such excitement for battle, with one of Goku's friends even calling him a monster for being so excited about a fight over when the entire planet hangs on the brink of destruction. His love of fighting has also caused him to make decisions that aren't very defensible, or even stupid. Sparing Vegeta's life after their battle just so that he could fight him again, for example, or sending his own son to fight Cell, gambling that Gohan would awaken his hidden power in time to ultimately win, even giving a Senzu Bean to Cell so that Gohan gets a fair match against him, rather than a better chance to win and save the world and abandoning his family and friends to train a child he just met so that child could become more powerful and protect the earth when Goku dies. Further evidence of this is in the newest movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods when Goku's morality is questioned because of his love of fighting.
- On the other hand, he doesn't go looking for these kinds of situations, and is content to live a quiet life in the countryside, albeit one involving a lot of physical training. He seems to be aware that these situations find him, which may be part of it.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Oh yeah.
- Book Dumb: Goku couldn't even count correctly until he was twelve and a lot of gags are wrought from his idiocy (particularly in the original series). But he's an utter genius when it comes to combat and can spot the flaws and weak-spots to various moves and fighting styles just by observing them (see Awesomeness By Analysis above).
- Born Winner: He has a kind heart and was born with amazing fighting potential as well - the key word there being potential.
- Bumbling Dad: Sometimes he is seen as this, especially by Chi-chi.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is childish and goofy but he is very strong and a master at fighting.
Pikkon: He is either a fighting genius, or a total fool...
- Butt Monkey: In Dragon Ball GT.
- Came from the Sky: Arrived on Earth in a space pod.
- The Can Kicked Him: If he hadn't been Made of Iron, or Immune to Bullets then, anyhow.
- Cavalier Competitor: He is this unless it's clear his opponent's evil is greater than their desire for a good fight.
- Characterization Marches On: As a kid, Goku had no qualms about killing his enemies. As the series progressed and he got older, he started to mellow out more.
- There's the fact that Goku, as a child, had no concept of the morality of taking lives when he was blowing up Red Ribbon Army vehicles. He'd lived most of his life alone in the woods. He barely understood death, thinking that when he accidentally killed his grandfather, his grandfather just became the 4-star ball. There are sometimes he killed purposely though such as killing a fleeing Tambourine and later his father King Piccolo to avenge Krillin, not that Tambourine or Piccolo didn't deserve it.
- Part of his no kill policy came later when many of his worst enemies became his loyal friends, realizing that if they could change, anyone could. When he does finally use lethal force against villains like Freeza and Cell, it's because he's realized they're beyond redemption and rotten to the core.
- Chaste Hero: In the original Dragon Ball. He didn't even know what marriage meant and thought it was something to eatnote . Of course, before he agreed to marry Chi-Chi, he was roughly twelve years old.
- Cheated Angle: Goku's hair always maintains that same shape no matter which angle you view him from.
- Childhood Brain Damage: It's stated that the reason why Goku doesn't share the violent nature of Saiyans is that he received a blow to the head while he was a baby.
- Although, it is hinted in Dragon Ball Minus that Goku inherited his good heart from his mother who was not fit for fighting because of her softness. (The difference apparently being an innate desire to massacre, and being more rambunctious than usual.)
- Childhood Friend Romance: Victorious with Chi-Chi.
- Childhood Marriage Promise: Goku promised Chi-Chi to marry her when they were kids, thinking marriage was a kind of food. When they meet again at the Tenkaichi Budokai and he is finally explained what marriage is, Goku keeps his promise anyway and marries her.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Cannot bring himself to pass by someone in need. This is a trait he later passes down to his eldest son.
- Combat Pragmatist: Only in Dragon Ball. The "scissor" move of his Rock Scissors 'n' Paper technique was eye-gouging and sometimes he'd use this technique by pretending to use one move and instead using another one (shouting "paper" and using "rock" instead, for example). He also resisted Tenshinhan's Solar Flare technique by wearing Master Roshi's sunglasses.
- He escapes from being strangled by Freeza by biting the latter's tail. He also bites Kid Buu when he was fighting him as a Super Saiyan 3, but this time it was mostly played for comedy (Kid Buu bites him back). He also bit King Piccolo's thumb in their first fight.
- Possibly his first act of playing this trope in DBZ was when he shot an energy blast at Oozaru Vegeta's eye.
- Before then, he planned to defeat his brother Raditz by grabbing his tail.
- Invokes the trope again during his fight with Recoome where he defeats Recoome with a single elbow to the stomach but did it while Recoome was powering up to perform a technique. Goku even lampshades this after the fight is over:
Goku: "I saw an opening that screamed attack... so I did."
- Combined Energy Attack: The Spirit Bomb / Genki-dama, which takes a little energy from all life on a planet and even from the sun. It later turns out that he can request a noticeably larger amount of energy - enough to exhaust the giver to a post-marathon degree - and this is what it takes to beat Kid Buu.
- Composite Character: In Dragon Ball Z, between Sun Wukong and Superman.
- Crotch Grab Sex Check: When he was young, Goku had difficulty with the concept of males and females, so upon meeting someone, he'd check a person's groin then triumphantly exclaim, "You're a boy/girl!"
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: It is very easy to forget, given his layback and childish demeanor, that he is one of the strongest beings in the universe. Woe to the foe who presses his Berserk Button.
- Crutch Character: And he was very aware he was becoming this. He knows that, eventually, he will die permanently, and if the other characters haven't become strong enough to cope in his absence, that will be a huge problem. To that end, he starts trying to train others up to his level, but the new villains inevitably are so overbearingly powerful that only Goku has the strength to beat them in the end.
- Goku was worrying so much that he had become a Crutch Character that he didn't kill Majin Buu on purpose, despite being strong enough to do it at that time, purely because he didn't want the new generation to think they could always rely on him to save the day, as he knew one day he will be dead for good and it would be up to the new generation to step up in his place.
- Note in the Buu Arc, Goku was dead and was allowed to come back for a day. Once his day was up he would return to the Otherworld for good. So, when the next threat comes he wouldn't be able to help them.
- Hell, there's even an alternate timeline, which Future Trunks comes from, that provides quite a frightening insight to what would happen if his friends depend on him too much. Android 17 and 18 kill every protagonist with great ease and bring humanity to the verge of extinction. Pretty grim, ain't it?note
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: See Parental Neglect below.
- Goku himself is a victim of this. Shown in the manga, Dragon Ball Minus, which reveals Goku's mother, and the destruction of Planet Vegeta as told by Toriyama, Goku's parents, Bardock and Gine, sent him away to Earth to keep him safe from the impending destruction of Planet Vegeta.
- Decoy Protagonist: In the Android/Cell Sagas. While he's still an important figure, his hospitalization and eventually his death cause him to end up serving as a supporting character as Gohan takes the center stage. He becomes The Hero once more in the second half of the Buu Saga.
- Even in the Namek Saga he spends most of the saga traveling to Namek, and once he gets there he's almost immediately critically injured and spends even more time in a healing machine, and by the time he's fully healed the final battle against Freeza is already underway.
- Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally, it's usually to show that he's not as dumb as people think.
- Death by Irony: At the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, he was killed by the son of the last villain he killed in Dragon Ball, Demon King Piccolo, in a similar way—an attack to the stomach that hit so hard it came out the other side. It was the only chance they had to kill Raditz, but still.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Against both Freeza and Buu, both who were considered the strongest in the universe.
- Done even earlier against King Piccolo, the demon king who killed half the cast in the original Dragon Ball.
- Inverted with him and Beerus, with the latter defeating him.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Most of Goku's friends started out as anti-heroes or villains, then they met him in battle.
- Determinator: Going up against impossible odds is all part of the fun for this guy.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: On a regular basis. And it's really casual sometimes, too!
- Disappeared Dad: To Goten, subverted as he shows up with little angst on his sudden appearance.
- Do Not Call Me Kakarot: He (initially) feels an intense shame for belonging to a race of genocidal pirates, and vehemently refuses to identify himself as a Saiyan until he comes to feel pride for his heritage as a warrior.
- He doesn't seem to mind Vegeta calling him by his Saiyan name, but that's probably because it would be futile to get him to stop.
- Doting Grandparent: Goku's a doting grandfather to his granddaughter Pan.
- Doom Magnet: After his death during the Cell Games, he chooses to simply remain dead for the safety of the Earth since so many of the villains they have fought so far were mostly after him in the first place.
- Doting Parent: He tries his best. When he's actually around/alive, that is.
- The Dreaded: He was very much this to the Red Ribbon Army.
- Dumb Is Good/Good Is Dumb: And nice too.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: Gaining the Super Saiyan God transformation in Battle of Gods.
- And before that, becoming a Super Saiyan during the battle against Freeza. Vegeta and Krillin were dead, Piccolo was critically injured, and the Spirit Bomb that was supposed to have killed Freeza had failed. If Goku hadn't turned Super, the fight would've been over.
- Enfant Terrible: True to his Saiyan heritage, he was this as a baby until a cranial injury changed things.
- Expy: Of Sun Wukong The Monkey King from Journey to the West, with light dashes of Superman.
- Fight Magnet: To the point he didn't want to be resurrected by the Dragon Balls to keep the world safe.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Krillin, though Goku's side of it is more of a subversion. He generally got along just fine when they first met - it was Krillin that was initially hostile.
- Flying On A Cloud: The Flying Nimbus. From the Saiyan arc on, he's faster than it is and flies on his own.
- The Fool: He was a very foolish child, this continues to a lesser extent as an adult.
- Fountain of Youth: During pretty much THE ENTIRE series of GT, where the Black Star Dragon Balls regress Goku into a child on a messed up wish from the Big Bad.
- Friendless Background: Goku was raised in seclusion and didn't have any friends until he met Bulma. Aside from lacking some basic knowledge (he understood the basic differences between men and women, barely, but was terrible at identifying them as such for a while), it doesn't really show.
- Friend to All Living Things: Even as an adult he loves playing with animals like a big kid, and regards them as friends as if they are also human.
- Gambit Roulette: Surprising but true. His infamous fight with Cell? He never intended to defeat him in the first place, and went knowing full well he'd likely lose. In fact, it's the reason why he wanted to go first. He only fought him so that his son Gohan would have a good idea of how strong Cell is. The problem was no one, not even Gohan himself, could really tell if it would work, seeing as Gohan was the kindhearted reluctant warrior of the group up against a mass-murdering cyborg. Even Goku himself had some doubts. Then Android #16, decided to push things a little with his last speech, Gohan turned Super Saiyan 2, and the rest is history...
- Genius Bruiser: Downplayed, since he has never had any formal education and often lacks common sense. However, he is an excellent combatant and a tactical genius, able to pick up new skills with ease. Furthermore, once he gets a basic understanding of something, he learns very quickly.
- Genius Ditz: He may not be the brightest knife in the crayon box, but he mastered and created an improved version of the Kamehameha simply by watching his master use it! Furthermore, his combat prowess is second-to-none. In this way he's a bit of an Idiot Savant: He's fantastically dumb in all ways but fighting—and not just in a physically strong kind of way, but the tactics and strategies of it as well.
- Genre Savvy: While he's considerably Book Dumb, his combat-oriented intelligence and experience is impeccable.
- He immediately derides Ultra Super Saiyan as Awesome, but Impractical, citing its increased expenditure, and reduced speed.
- He cites the regular Super Saiyan as a Jack of All Stats.
- He realizes mere moments into the fight against Freeza that he can't sense ki without a scouter, and takes advantage of it.
- He comes to realize that Earth has become a target for evil because of him.
- Earlier, in Dragon Ball, he immediately rejects Staff Officer (who just became Commander) Black's offer to join him, after he just assassinated Commander Red, and saw through his lies that he wanted peace. This was particularly good since he had never encountered him before.
- The Gift: He is a strong, natural, brilliant fighter despite being born a reject for his low fighting power. Vegeta even outright says that he has a gift.
- Played with: The original series shows him as an incredibly gifted fighter overcoming increasingly difficult challenges. Although the rest of the cast train under the same mentors and conditions as him, and become generally stronger than he was at the time, Goku keeps soaring past them (usually by finding a better way to improve himself). Then Z revealed he's part of the Saiyans - a warrior race, and its explicitly stated much of what he did isn't remarkable for them... until he starts facing off against its strongest, declares that even a "reject" can defeat an elite with enough effort, and sure enough, defies Hard Work Hardly Works in defeating them.
- A God I Am Not: During his time as a Super Saiyan God, Goku admits to Beerus that he is dissatisfied with godhood. However, this may be more his disappointment at being unable to reach godhood by himself rather than disliking the prospect of it.
- God Job: Was given the opportunity to become a Kami after defeating Piccolo, but he turned it down. Goku refused yet again when Whis offered him the job of a God of Destruction after Beerus perishes. He really does not like being a deity.
- Good Feels Good: A defining characteristic, and a main reason why Goku is such a Nice Guy.
- Go Out with a Smile: Twice. First when he sacrificed himself to kill Raditz, and again when he teleported Cell away from Earth.
- Graceful Loser: On the rare occasions he meets an enemy he truly can't beat, he admits it without any ego involved (bowing out of the Cell Games and surrendering to Beerus.)
- Growing Muscles Sequence: Right before he dismissed the Ultra Super Saiyan as powerful but slow.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Normally as a Super Saiyan, but subverted during his fight with Freeza who he nearly killed to get revenge for Krillin's death.
- Hairstyle Inertia: As seen in the picture above.
- Handy Feet: Most often seen during the original series. He has uncommonly prehensile feet, frequently using them to grip things and, on one notable occasion, to fire a Kamehameha out of. Makes sense considering he started as an Expy of the Monkey King from Journey to the West.
- Happily Adopted: By the elderly master Son Gohan. Though unfortunately, Goku transformed into an oozaru and crushed Gohan to death some time before the first chapter.
- Happily Married: To Chi-Chi.
- Heel-Face Turn: Before the series began, technically, but he began as an Enfant Terrible bent on destroying all life on earth as a newborn, until he lost his memory.
- He Is All Grown Up: Bulma had this reaction to Goku after a Time Skip. She had previously seen him just as a kid, in a couple of senses.
- Henpecked Husband: To the point where Master Roshi outright shouts out that CHI-CHI is the most powerful person in the universe, NOT Goku.
- Hereditary Hairstyle: Apparently it's a trait of Saiyan purebreds.
- The Hero: Toriyama intended Goku to pass the title to his son, but Goku proved too popular.
- Heroic RROD: What happens when he overuses his Kaioken. Also happened during his fight against Kid Buu as a Super Saiyan 3, in a slightly different sense.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Twice, first to stop Raditz and then Cell.
- Senseless Sacrifice: He warped Cell away from Earth to King Kai's planet (it was the only place he could think of at the time) before Cell could pull off his Taking You with Me Earth-Shattering Kaboom, and soon after died in the explosion... only for Cell to regenerate From a Single Cell, emerge stronger than ever thanks to his Saiyan "Zenkai" genes, and go right back to Earth to menace it again. It wasn't completely senseless, though... he did save Earth either way.
- Hero on Hiatus: Particularly in Z. The fights with Nappa, the Ginyu Force and Freeza consisted of the good guys struggling just to stay alive until he got there / finished healing. He was also out of action for the fights with 17 and 18, but couldn't have helped much anyway.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Krillin.
- Honor Before Reason: Son Goku defines this trope.
- Hope Bringer: Tends to inspire hope even when he is not the strongest fighter.
- Human Alien: Saiyans look perfectly human other than their tails and can produce offspring with humans, though they do have extraordinary abilities (most notably, they can turn into a giant ape). They also have longer childhoods than humans, staying small and cute looking so they would be underestimated before quickly growing to their adult height.
- Human Pack Mule: Usually takes this role in the Filler episodes whenever Chi-Chi goes shopping.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Became tame and respectful towards life after being raised by Gohan Sr. Hitting his head also helped, although his goodness could have been inherited from his mother.
- I Am What I Am: Upon learning that his race's legacy of genocide was forced upon them by Freeza, he lets go of the shame of being belonging to a race of murderers and instead comes to embrace the pride of being a Saiyan Warrior:
- Idiot Hero: Both the idiocy and the heroism are justified by a single event. He's from an Always Chaotic Evil alien race, and so, as Raditz realises at the start of Z, the only reason he's a hero is because he received brain damage as a child. Obviously, that didn't do his IQ score any favours, either.
- It is hinted in Dragon Ball Minus that Goku's good heart came from his mother and not just from his head injury. There is also no real hint of Goku having brain damage given that he was raised in extreme isolation for most of his childhood which is why he is naive about the rest of the world and never really integrated into human society.
- Idiot Savant: May very well be a Trope Codifier. Goku might not know how to tie his shoelaces but put him in a fight and he's an absolute genius. It's not just that he's stronger than everyone else, although he is - he's an absolutely brilliant tactician, expertly outmaneuvering any of them, even those who otherwise can run intellectual circles around him.
- I Gave My Word: He only promised to marry Chi-Chi as a child because he thought that marriage was a kind of food. When he finds out just what marriage is when they meet again as adults, Goku nonetheless proposes to Chi-Chi right then and there because he gave his word.
- I Got Bigger: He is significantly taller (and all grown up) by the end of Dragon Ball.
- I Let Krillin Die: Twice, unfortunately.
- Immigrant Patriotism: As early as his fight with Vegeta, he shrugs off Vegeta's bragging and retorts that on Earth they know even a "reject" can outdo the elite if they work hard enough. During the Cell Games, he chooses to fight in his classic gi rather than Saiyan armor for this reason (though he still uses the armor while training, for practical purposes reasons).
- Immune to Bullets: Even as a little kid, he simply shrugged off a bullet to the head, though it did cause him some pain. During the Red Ribbon Army Saga in the original series, he was shot in the back by General White, and stayed down long enough that everyone around him believed him dead.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: He gets the Nimbus when Master Roshi notices he can ride it (when only the pure of heart can ride it). Despite his many adventures, he never stops being the paragon.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: With Tullece/Turles.
- Innocent Fanservice Guy: Very much so as a little kid. Then again, he pretty much grew up completely by himself.
- Innocently Insensitive: He has shown signs of this throughout the series, like insulting Bulma when she was trying to seduce him for a Dragon Ball as a kid, asking a teenage Chi-Chi if he knew who she was when she greeted him at the tournament and in the driving filler episode when after Chi-Chi was in the house, exhausted after being chased by a boar and walking home, he just dumps his clothes on the table instead of asking Chi-Chi about her day. He was this trope all over the place in the Buu Saga. Then again, he was raised in the woods, so it's not surprising he doesn't have any manners or knowing right from wrong. In regards to Chi-Chi, Toriyama has explained that most Saiyans don't really care much about romance or marriage.
- Interspecies Romance: With Chi-Chi.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Turns into his Great Ape form whenever he has his tail and looks directly at a full moon. Removing the tail (or the moon) turns him back immediately.
- Is It Something You Eat?: Agreed to marry Chi-Chi because he thought a "Bride" was a kind of food. Even back at the very beginning of the series, when Bulma showed him the Dragon Balls for the first time, he thought they were for eating.
- Jerkass Façade: He pretends to be a jerk to Uub so he would be motivated to fight. (It says something about him that this is the only time he ever does this.)
- Just a Kid: Dismissed as a mere boy for most of his childhood by his opponents. They are quickly proven wrong - there's nothing 'mere' about him.
- Kamehame Hadoken: The partial Trope Namer.
- Kid Hero: Started out as this until the 23rd Martial Art Tournament.
- Keet: Especially as a child, but he retains this to a certain degree as an adult.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Most of his battles against the villains are this, especially Freeza.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: Particularly as a kid, when he meant well but had little understanding of people.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: In the sense that he lost a bit of genetic memory as a child (the Saiyan viciousness), facilitating his Heel-Face Turn.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Twice. In the canonically-debatable GT, Goku's strongest form, Super Saiyan 4, has red fur and red...er...eyeliner. In the canon Battle of Gods, his strongest form, Super Saiyan God, grants him red hair, red eyes, a flaming orange aura, and a red skin tint.
- This can also be applied to his former trump card, the Kaiōken. Formerly Goku's best transformation, it allows him to multiply the user's ki for a "heart beat", increasing his strength by any multiplication of his choosing, and as such, can allow Goku to remain the strongest on the battlefield if he multiplies his power, and this can even exceed any form of Super Saiyan depending on how it's multiplied. The drawback is his body cannot handle the stress and it can cause him to explode under the weight of his own ki; it's never stated if his body, at the end of the series, was ever trained enough to overcome this. And what colour does it make him? Red.
- Lethally Stupid: Or rather, Lethally Too Nice. His habit of sparing his enemies when he can (and REALLY should) just kill them can and has caused much unneeded trouble.
- Lightning Bruiser: As a child he could already move, dodge and land his own attacks so quickly that he would leave afterimages and nobody could tell what happened. By the time the Saiyan Arc began even Vegeta couldn't believe how incredibly fast Goku was able to land his attacks. As he grew older, he just become stronger and faster to the point where he became as fast as speed of light and arguably faster via Instant Transmission.
- Look What I Can Do Now: One of the biggest examples of the trope.
- Lunacy: The Oozaru transformation. Goku himself isn't aware of it until he pieces it together from what Vegeta tells him.
- Made of Iron: Pretty much par for the course, really. As a kid, a point-blank grenade might have been too much, but he was effectively small-arms bulletproof (though they hurt).
- Magic Pants: and how, especially in GT where Goku somehow keeps his pants after going Super Saiyan 4 (from kid-sized to his original adult height). He also kept his pants after he transformed into a Golden Great Ape and went Super Saiyan 4 for the first time.
- Magnetic Hero: Goku sure collected quite the unlikely group of friends by the end of the series.
- Man Child: Yes, and quite a positive example at that, emphasizing innocence and compassion.
- Martial Arts Uniform: Once Goku gets his first uniform from Roshi at his first tournament, it becomes his outfit of choice, and he's rarely seen in anything other than some version of it - and usually only when it's been destroyed, and he doesn't have a spare handy.
- Messianic Archetype: He came to Earth from the stars, and saved the world three times before he turned twenty. Gave his life for the Earth twice and is described as like an angel by his friends and family.
- Meteor Move: Quite honestly can be seen as the Trope Codifier. He loved doing this.
- Missing Mom: Goku's mother is never shown. Whether pure-blooded Saiyans even have mothers is up for debate as Vegeta doesn't have a mother either.
- Moses in the Bullrushes: Goku's origin is based on Superman's origin and so, of course, involves this.
- Mr. Fanservice: Lots of shirtless and nude scenes. The fangirls thank you, Adult Goku!
- Muggle Foster Parents: Although Gohan Sr. was not an ordinary human, being a renowned martial artist, he falls into this since humans are muggles when compared to Saiyans.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He invokes this after he gives Chi-Chi a reassuring pat on the back, only to send her flying through a wall, a tree, and half of a boulder (she's tough enough to survive it). He does it again, more seriously this time, in the Cell arc after Piccolo calls him out on throwing his son into battle with Cell.
- My Hero Zero: The short-lived Harmony Gold dub from the 80s renamed him Zero for... some reason, and even worked his new name into their version of the opening theme song.
- Naked People Are Funny: Goku is one of the only guys to appear nude, especially in the episode "The Celebrations of Buu," when he's naked with Gotenks and everybody laughs at him.
- Nature Hero: It's all fun and games until somebody hurts an animal, those villains don't last long at all. Passed down to Gohan (The Great Saiyaman Saga, dinosaur's kidnapping. Though he didn't go too overboard on the human).
- Necessary Drawback: Goku's Spirit Bomb. An extremely powerful attack that can nuke enemies stronger than Goku or can be used to add to his strength, making him many times stronger. Despite its power, however, it takes a long, long time to charge and it leaves Goku wide opened to attack, as he's asking everything on the planet for a little bit of energy. It's also never a problem in the series proper, but until after he trains for the Cell Games, he also can't use it as a Super Saiyan.
- Nerves of Steel: Yes he is a Determinator, but it's not just that he continues grinding on, he stays cool and smiling even in the most overwhelming situations. He might get surprised now and then, but he never panics or despairs.
- Never Forgotten Skill: After Goku dies against Raditz and meets Kaiou, he learns a technique called the Spirit Bomb. He stops using it after the fight with Freeza - it's time-consuming to create, and wasn't powerful enough to do the job. Years later, he is reminded to use this technique on Kid Buu by Vegeta (who also suggests that he drain considerably more energy to fuel it), and is still able to use it like a pro.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Several, but sending Gohan into fighting Cell without being mentally prepared and then letting Goten and Trunks take care of Buu for him instead of finishing him off himself both of which led to the deaths of very important people.
- No Social Skills: He was raised by his grandfather in the wilderness until said grandfather died. He had been so sheltered that he never truly assimilated into society, and the division was very evident until he was an adult. The worst symptom, however, would have to be his complete inability to assess gender from sight, which led to some Accidental Perversion. Bulma was the first girl he had ever seen in his life up till that point, so she got the worst of it.
- Hell, Bulma's not just the first girl he ever met, but she's also the first other human contact that Goku ever had aside from his grandfather.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The American dubs gave him a California accent, though in the original he was a country bumpkin and spoke with an accent that reflected his upbringing. In fact, he had a lot of trouble adjusting to normal speech when required.
- Not Quite Dead: Left for dead by King Piccolo after he confirmed that his heart stopped. Seconds after Piccolo left, his heart restarted.
- Not With Them For The Money: For Chi-Chi, though their finances were really starting to get strained towards the end.
- Now It's My Turn: Tends to do this when showing off his newly obtained skills, letting the opponent try their best, then beating them down. If he lets you beat him up, then reveals it did nothing, it's generally a sign you've really pissed him off.
- Oblivious to Love: In the original Dragon Ball. He thought marriage was a food and didn't understand why Chi-Chi kept hugging him.
- Offered the Crown: Kami offered him the job of Earth's God at the end of DB. At the end of Battle of Gods, he's offered the role of becoming the universal God of Destruction - both times, Goku turns it down.
- Older Than He Looks: Kid Goku is supposed to be 12 in the 21st tournament and 15 on the 22nd. However, in neither instance does he looks older than 10. Then, in late DBZ, when Goku is on his early forties and beyond, he looks no older than 30! Apparently a result of pure-blooded Saiyans aging slower than humans. It is actually confirmed that Saiyans have long childhoods compared to humans.
- The fact that he has spent roughly 8 years of his life dead probably doesn't hurt. Still, Vegeta looks about the same age and he started off around 8 years older than Goku to begin with and only stayed dead for a few minutes/hours before being resurrected the two times that he bit it.
- One-Man Army: Remember that this is the guy who destroyed the Red Ribbon Army at age twelve.
- Out of Focus: He spends a large amount of Dragon Ball Z either travelling to the battlefield, recovering from injuries or sickness, or being dead, and by the time he makes it to the fight the villain's usually in their final form already. Though it's probably because Goku could destroy most of the bad guys in their base forms and end the arc early.
- Papa Wolf: Messing with Gohan is a sure way to anger the normally cheerful Goku. He beat up Nappa and Recoome after they both hurt Gohan (along with the rest of his friends). While it's remembered that Freeza killing Krillin triggered Goku's Berserk Button, what really set him off was Freeza threatening to kill Gohan too, which drove Goku over the edge and into a vengeance-filled warrior.
- At the start of DBZ, when Raditz kidnapped Gohan and kept him in the space pod ball (whatever you want to call it), Goku went pretty mad too even if he couldn't beat Raditz by himself and without dying.
- Parental Neglect: One of the more common criticisms he faces from fans. He is not exactly the best father to Gohan, or especially Goten, due to either being in constant training or dead. Generally gives the impression of being absent-minded, as at the end of the manga he leaves his family to go and train Uub (obviously forgetting that his granddaughter might need him, though having the strongest Ki signature on the planet would make him easy to find). Toriyama later explained in an interview that Saiyans aren't very particular about blood ties, so this may be why he comes across as neglectful by human standards.
- Passing the Torch: Constantly trying to do this after the Cell Saga. Realizing that he wouldn't always be around to protect the Earth, he tries to make Gohan his successor, though it doesn't pan out too well because Gohan doesn't have the same drive to fight or become stronger like he does. In the Buu Saga, he even deliberately passes up a chance to destroy the Big Bad so that Goten and Trunks would be the saviors of Earth, but eventually he realizes as they grow up that they don't have any interest in fighting, either, which is why he seeks a new successor in Uub as he trains his granddaughter Pan.
- Physical God: Not counting the fact that nearly every Saiyan is now this, Goku became the literal Saiyan God in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods.
- And he still can't beat the Big Bad, forcing him to admit defeat!
- Power Floats: In the game Battle of Z, as a Super Saiyan God, Goku is constantly floating just inches above the ground, unlike other forms which are usually standing unless prompted to fly.
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow / Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Super Saiyan 3 and 4
- Prehensile Tail: When he had a tail, Goku could use it as such. After getting over the "paralyzed if grabbed" aspect of it, he could even use it to smack people with a decent amount of force.
- He smacked people around with his tail even before he got over being paralyzed. Just ask Colonel Silver.
- Power of Friendship: Averted. This is what Vegeta initially thought was the reason for Goku being a superior fighter, but after having found loved ones of his own, nothing changed. Turns out, Goku is a superior fighter because he's flat-out more talented; having someone to fight for being a secondary motivation at best.
- Power Of Hate: Hatred of Freeza for killing Krillin is what caused him to turn Super Saiyan.
- Psychic Powers / Telepathy: Demonstrates them few and far between, and mostly shown in the anime: He once asked Krillin to spare Vegeta's life through telepathy specifically because it was more painful to use his voice, and he got up to speed with everything that happened before he reached Namek by touching Krillin's head. He only shows telekinesis in Filler when he tries levitating the water in the glass with his mind, and once did this to a massive pyramid.
- Also the Genki Dama/Spirit Bomb, where he mentally connects with everything on the planet/solar system, up to and including potentially the sun itself, and politely asks them to give him some energy to smack the current villain in the face with.
- Public Domain Character: Son Goku from Journey to the West is probably the most frequently used Public Domain Character in East Asia. In the West, there's massive Adaptation Displacement as the Dragon Ball version of Goku is much better known than the original.
- Raised by Dudes: He was raised by an old hermit in the woods, which is frequently brought up when Chi-Chi gets frustrated with him.
- Raised by Natives: He is an alien who was raised amongst humans.
- Raised by Wolves: Technically out in the wilderness for an untold number of years after the old hermit died.
- Resurrected for a Job: Both times he's brought back to life, it's to fight off threats to Earth; first the Saiyans (where technically his death was a part of that job), and then Buu.
- Revenge: His motive for killing Tambourine, after Tambourine killed Krillin. This was definitely justified as Goku was riding Nimbus (which takes a pure heart to do) while he finished off Tambourine in the appropriately titled Dragon Ball episode "Goku's Revenge".
- That makes absolutely no sense, because those with darkness in their hearts cannot ride on the Nimbus, and being totally consumed by thoughts of revenge certainly does not justify how can ride on it and instead makes it into a bit of a headscratcher.
- It actually does make sense. Think about it, Goku was solely focused on killing one person for a justified cause, his friend being murdered for no reason, as supposed to killing many people without any justification, which would qualify as a person having malicious intentions in their heart and therefore being evil to a degree. Being of pure heart means having complete justifications for your actions and being selfless in your acts. Goku had complete justification for wanting revenge and he was selfless in the fact that he want to exact the revenge himself as Krillin was his best friend.
- The Runner Up Takes It All: Played straight during the first two World Martial Arts Tournaments. He finally won on his third try.
- Running Gag: His fear of his wife's temper, which is Played for Laughs. Also, his understandable fear of needles (anime only).
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: It wasn't intentional but Goku being raised almost totally in the wild made his natural fighting instincts stronger but left him with No Social Skills whatsoever.
- Scars Are Forever: Goku mentioned in the second episode that he still has a scar on his head from when he fell down the cliff as an infant, and this is some 20 years after the fact.
- Self-Made Orphan/Hero Killer: Subverted; Goku honestly hadn't meant to kill Grandpa Gohan. The poor guy simply had his Superpowered Evil Side activated by the full moon and went berserk, crushing Grandpa Gohan underfoot.
- Though the first dub, however, turns the trope into a Never My Fault by Goku claiming that Vegeta killed Grandpa Gohan, when in reality Vegeta had nothing to do with it.
- Second Place Is for Winners: At the 21st and 22nd World Martial Arts Tournaments. He lost both, but still managed to do so well that everyone was proud of his efforts. In the first tournament he fought Jackie Chun for four hours and had a technical tie with him, forcing the officials to use a tie-breaker. The second, he would had won if he wasn't hit by a truck at the last possible second. Additionally after the first tournament, it's Lampshaded how even though Goku lost the tournament he still ultimately got to use the prize money, as he was so exhausted from fighting that he ate everything at a restaurant during the group's celebratory dinner. The bill was so high that Roshi had to pay with all his winnings.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Vegeta's Manly Man, but when it comes to Krillin, he's the Manly Man.
- Shaping Your Attacks: His Dragon Fist, where he shapes his Super Saiyan 3 ki into a massive Shenron-esque dragon.
- In the original Dragon Ball, he kills King Piccolo with an attack that took the form of a Great Ape.
- Shirtless Scene: Of everyone, Goku takes the most clothing damage in the series.
- Shonen Hair: Incredibly spiky, rendering it in 3D is near impossible.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Raditz. Goku is a selfless, sweet-natured Nice Guy, while Raditz is an evil jerkass.
- Signature Move: The Kamehameha Wave and Spirit Bomb
- Simple Staff: The Power Pole/Nyoi-Bo, which can also extend to extraordinary lengths, even reaching the moon.
- Skewed Priorities: Sometimes, Goku believes that "fair fights" are more important than saving the world. Examples of this include refusing Kami's help to defeat Piccolo in the 23rd Tenka'ichi Budokai when no-one probably not even the announcer would have cared about disqualification when Piccolo threatened the world, and gave Cell a Senzu Bean and fed to him in order to make things "fair" with his fight with Gohan.
- Skilled, but Naive: In the beginning, he's a powerhouse of brute strength, agility and endurance AND a genius in all things related to martial arts. However, he lacks even the most normal skills, such as personal hygiene, math, social skills and the like. He gets better along the story but remains naive enough to fall for the oldest and dumbest tricks in the book.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Even when he starts wearing weighted training clothes, the sleeves never come past his triceps. The only exception is when he briefly wore Saiyan armour.
- Small Steps Hero: Goku will NOT sacrifice anyone, not even villains, unless he's sure that they can come back from the dead, unless it's their own choice, or unless he's tried everything else. Seeing as he's a classic example of an Idiot Hero, he falls back on this trope a lot.
- Spell My Name with an S: Pronounced "Son Gokū" (with a long vowel "u"), but usually its spelled "Son Goku" (without any indication of a long vowel), while Toriyama himself writes it as "Son Gokuh". Bandai actually spells it "Son Gokou" in most of their toys and games in what seems to be an attempt to anglicize his name (think of the "cou" in "cougar"), but it only makes thing more confusing since "Gokou" can be mistaken for an entirely different Japanese name ("Gokō"). (Also, in one episode Pilaf reads a sign that says "Welcome back, Goku!", but mispronounces Goku's name as "Go-cow".)
- His Saiyan birthname is also subject to variations, with most English adaptations using "Kakarot". However, the fact that his fused form with Vegeta is called "Vegetto" (the spelling used by Bandai) and not "Vegerot" seems to suggest that "Kakarotto" is the preferred spelling. Funimation uses the spelling "Vegito", despite them using the Kakarot convention otherwise, while Viz actually changed it to "Vegerot", only to changed it back to Vegetto in later reprints (while oddly enough keeping the "Kakarot" spelling).
- The Dragon Ball Z Deformation figurine of the infant Goku actually spells his birthname as "Kacarrot", which is inconsistent with the way Bandai spells "Vegetto".
- Spirited Competitor: He loves finding new opponents to fight, especially if they're really powerful and a good challenge, and even when is on the brink of death from a ruthless and monstrous opponent, he goes out of his way to say "I'm having fun with this." He also only fights people who are willing (most of the villains), and rarely ever kills anyone unless it's a last resort.
- He expresses a wish (later granted by Yemma) to see Majin Buu (the strongest Big Bad in Z) reincarnated as a good guy... just so he can fight him again.
- Contrary to what the first dub states, this was also his primary motive in sparing Vegeta's life at the end of the Saiyan saga, both in the manga and original anime.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Looks just like Bardock (his father) and Goten looks exactly like a young Goku. That changes when Goten gets into his teenage years (and cuts his hair a bit), and there's only a strong resemblance as with Gohan.
Goku: (When arriving back on Earth for one day, upon seeing Goten) "Hey, I think there's a little me hiding behind your legs, Chichi"
- Superpowered Evil Side: When he transforms into a Great Ape since he loses all sense of himself. Also, when he first became a Super Saiyan he is nearly overcome with unstoppable rage.
- Supporting Protagonist: During Dragon Ball Z. If one looks closely, Z chronicled Gohan's life, despite Goku being The Hero. Invoked in that Toriyama originally intended for Gohan to succeed Goku as the main protagonist after the Cell Saga. However, Goku's character proved too popular with the fanbase, so he changed his mind and brought him back.
- This has echoes of the relationship between the protagonist and his son in Dragon Quest V; notable because of how much they look like Goku and Gohan, for good reason.
- Surpassed the Teacher: Eventually does this to Roshi after their first tournament fight.
- Super Senses: Goku has a very keen sense of smell, being able to find people or objects by their scents. He also has very good eyesight, being able to see people from great distances.
- Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes: The eyes of happy-go-lucky Goku vs. serious in-a-fight Goku.
- Tears of Joy: One of the few times Goku cries is when he sees his grandfather again.
- Technical Pacifist: After Character Development, while he loves fighting and training to become stronger, he doesn't kill his opponent if he can help it, giving even his worst enemies a Last-Second Chance.
- Teleporters and Transporters: His Instant Transmission/Shunkan Idou technique. He can teleport to any person he can sense the ki of and take people touching him at the time with him.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: For a period of time between training with Kami up to at least the Freeza arc, he refuses to kill even the most evil opponents.
- Too Dumb to Live: Inverted. He really was dumb at the time, but it's not him who will die if he looked at the full moon anyway.
Bulma: "Hey, Son-kun! You can't look at the full moon, after all! Got it!?"
Goku: (immediately looks at the full moon)
- Took a Level in Kindness: After training with Kami, he became a lot less kill-happy.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: He achieved Super Saiyan after watching Krillin die a second time and Freeza threatening to kill his son Gohan next.
- Something similar happens in Battle of Gods, where he reactivates the Super Saiyan God form after remembering that he isn't just fighting to prove himself against Beerus; everyone needs him and if he dies, his family and friends will all die as well.
- True Companions: Tends to form them with his former enemies.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Is willing to forgive anybody and give them a second chance: Yamcha for trying to rob him blind, Krillin for starting out as a bully, Piccolo Jr. for being the son of a demon who attempted to Take Over the World, Vegeta for commanding the murder of almost everyone he loved, Majin Buu for destroying the human race, Freeza for murdering his best friend Krillin. Everyone except the last case eventually became noble heroes and protectors of life.
- Though, interestingly, this never extended to his former Saiyan family. For all Goku's networking of friends, enemies and frenemies, he never did try to reconnect with his brother, Raditz (who, while being a vicious bastard, wasn't even close to as bad as Freeza and Vegeta) or go look for the father he never knew, or the mother no one has even mentioned yet. His unwillingness to share pride for his Saiyan heritage is likely part of that, but it's still strange he never spent any of his time being dead actually wanting to get to know that side of his being. It also tragic since his parents saved his life by sending him to Earth when they suspected that Freeza was up to something.
- Tykebomb: Saiyans would send a baby to a weaker planet intending for them to simply destroy it when they get older. However, brain trauma as a kid left him without the Saiyan race's characteristic bloodlust. Subverted because it's revealed that his parents sent him there, so that he could escape Freeza's clutches.
- Upbringing Makes the Hero: Along with his head injury, being raised by the kind-hearted Grandpa Gohan made him into a hero.
- Use Your Head: As in a headbutt. In his younger years, Goku used this to finish Staff Officer Black and ring out Piccolo.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Vegeta after the events of the Buu Saga
- Vocal Dissonance: In the Japanese version as an adult, he has the exact same voice actor as he did as a child. Masako Nozawa deepens her voice as adult Goku.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: The Wacky Parent to Gohan's Serious Child. Although they are both kind-hearted.
- Walking the Earth: After the events of the Red Ribbon Army Sage he was told to travel around the world and experience life by Master Roshi. The catch, he had to travel the world by foot because he couldn't use the Flying Nimbus. He walked the Earth for three years.
- Weaksauce Weakness: As a child, he could be rendered powerless by grabbing his tail. He eventually got tired of that trick and trained himself out of it, before removing it entirely by adulthood until regrowing it to fight Baby in GT.
- He's also extraordinarily vulnerable to any kind of psychic paralysis attack in the original series and never really overcomes this weakness until he grows up off-screen. General Blue is a standout example of this, almost killing Goku several times, failing only because Goku keeps getting lucky.
- Weaponized Teleportation: Goku's Instant Transmission and Kamehameha combo.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: When Chi-Chi said that she loved him, he ask what does that mean. She response by kissing him.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Piccolo does not take well to Goku's Xanatos Gambit to beating Cell (throwing Gohan out to fight, hoping that he will attain a power beyond Super Saiyan) and calls him out on it. Goku reacts with a My God, What Have I Done? moment when it finally sinks in that Gohan is probably going to die, and now it's too late to do anything about it. Fortunately, Gohan doesn't die, but Piccolo is quite angry at the fact that Goku has basically thrown his own son into a death match against an incredibly powerful sadist.
- Wild Child: Is a bit of a subversion. He was raised by his grandfather, but he died when Goku was still young. So, Goku spent a lot of his early childhood in the mountains, picking up traits and instincts of the animals around him. Because of this, he has No Social Skills by the time Bulma finds him.
- Wonder Child: Goku's adoptive grandfather wanted a son, but never had one. However, he found the strange tailed boy in the woods... who would grow up to be the savior of mankind.
- Worf Had the Flu: He gets his heart virus in the middle of his fight against Android 19. Also Played for Laughs in the first arc, when Goku in the middle of fighting Yamcha, loses his energy due to hunger, then Yamcha gets interrupted by Bulma. Played for Drama, when Tambourine nearly kills a tired Goku after the 22nd World tournament.
- World's Strongest Man: Holds this position at various points in the series. By the end of the Buu arc, he's lost this honor to Gohan, thanks to the power-up he gained from Old Kai. He briefly regains this status in the latest Non-Serial Movie with the Super Saiyan God form, but it doesn't last long, and he loses the form by the end of the movie.
- Although it is hinted that Goku maintained the memory of being a Super Saiyan God, which is why Goku did not noticed a power difference when he transformed back into a regular Super Saiyan. It also appears that he can become a Super Saiyan God again. Even with Super Saiyan God, he was still weaker than Beerus.
- It is also hinted in Battle of the Gods that Goku was the strongest fighter on Earth, hence why everyone cheered when he appeared after they were destroyed by Beerus and Vegeta nearly crap himself when he heard Goku lost to Beerus with only two hits.
- Would Hit a Girl: If she attacks him first, she's capable/strong enough to give him problems, and she's not Chichi, he will fight back. The most prominent example being him knocking out Lunch (in her violent "Kushami" personality. Inverted when he does fight Chichi in the world tournament, though; he only dodges her attacks and refuses to lay a hand on her, so he defeats her by using his fist to create a wave that knocks her out of the ring.
Bulma (ブルマ; Buruma)
Voiced by (Latin American):
Rocío Garcel (until end saga Cell, back in Kai
), Monica Manjarrez
(saga Majin Buu
and Movies 4-13
), Isabel Martiñón (Z
and Movie 4
The very first human Goku came across (apart from his grandpa) at the start of the series. One could say she's the trigger that kicks off the series as a whole. Originally on a quest to gather the Dragon Balls for her own reason (to wish for a perfect boyfriend), Bulma gets dragged into the craziness that comes along with the search. Even when the quest is finished, she still keeps close ties with Goku and his friends and helps out whenever possible. Which, considering she's a mechanical whiz, is quite often.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Her hair (when it is not grey or green) is lavender purple in the manga (same with Bra). And now you know where the hell Trunks' hair color came from. (Well, her dad has lavender hair, too.)
- A recursive dye job, in Path to Power Bulma has purple hair like in the manga.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with In Dragon Ball, Bulma was attracted to Yamcha (then a bandit) due to a combination of both his roguish nature and hidden sensitive shy side.
- Sometime during the timeskip, she goes for Vegeta. This one eventually turns into a life-long marriage and two children, though.
- Some of her one-off attractions include Oolong (disguised as a handsome human), General Blue, Lucifer, Pamput, and Zarbon.
- And she wanted to see Freeza because, "Maybe he's a cutie."
- All Women Are Lustful: Bulma frequently goes crazy over attractive males. Thankfully, she simmers down after marrying Vegeta and having children.
- Almighty Mom: Is this in the Buu Saga. She and Chi Chi both provide the page's image.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents
- Amicable Exes: With Yamcha.
- Anger Born of Worry: Bulma tends to express her fears and worries for the protagonists' safety with eruptive rage. Goku, Vegeta, and especially Yamcha were the most common targets. A good example can be seen here.
- Baleful Polymorph: The Ginyu Frog incident in Z. It's not exactly polymorphing (It's actually body changing), but it serves the same effect.
- There was also the time the Rabbit Boss turned her into a carrot in the original series.
- Bathing Beauty: Early in the series, she is shown to have a love for taking bubble baths and often a bath is the first thing she desires when stranded in the wilderness. They call back to this in Dragon Ball Z by giving her another bubble bath scene while she is hiding out in a capsule house on Namek.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: For most of the first series.
- Butt Monkey: The anime filler made her into this during the Freeza Saga, being stuck in the body of a frog thanks to Captain Ginyu.
- Buxom Is Better: She has the biggest bust of all the Dragon Ball female characters (with the exception of Maron).
- The Chick: The only one of the main characters who's never been a fighter.
- Commuting on a Bus: Remember when she was the CO-LEAD? Downplayed in the Namek, Android, and Cell sagas where she has a bigger part.
- Cool Big Sis: To Goku and later to Gohan.
- Demoted to Extra: Z and GT.
- Deuteragonist: In the Legacy of Goku arc.
- Ditzy Genius: Especially in the English dub. She's a brilliant inventor, but still girly and continues acting like a teenage girl well into the series.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Her treatment of Yamcha in their past relationship wouldn't be acceptable if the genders were reversed. Basically Bulma has been known to hit and yell at Yamcha for girls he hasn't met being attracted to him!
- Domestic Abuser: Taken realistically, her actions would count as this.
- Doting Parent: She's quite the doting mother to her two children.
- Embarrassing First Name/Meaningful Name/Theme Naming/Unfortunate Name: Like all of her family, she is named after underwearnote . Goku lampshades this in the manga.
- Epic Fail: Tried to use a remote to summon Nappa's left-over space pod and ended up blowing it up.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Averted. While she changes her hairstyle quite often, none of the changes are really expository.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: In the Anime Filler, this is how she fell for Vegeta.
- Gadgeteer Genius/Ms. Fixit: She invented the Dragon Radar, repaired a broken scouter, repaired Android #16, and built a Time Machine in an alternate timeline just to name a few.
- According to Jaco The Galactic Patrolman, she had already surpassed her father at age 5 and single-handedly repaired an alien spacecraft in a matter of minutes.
- Good Parents: She is this to Trunks and Bulla. Even though she made the mistake of bringing Baby Trunks to the battlefield, she still shows she cares for his well-being.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: In GT. Not technically a grandmother, but she has aged and still looks great.
- Greater Need Than Mine: The entire reason Future Bulma sends Trunks back in time to alter the future so that it could be a peaceful one, even if she couldn't be part of it.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Mostly as a teenager in Dragon Ball when she would get jealous of girls hitting on Yamcha.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It's not as bad as her husband's, but the littlest things set her off.
- Happily Married: By all accounts, with Vegeta.
- Hot Scientist: Very much so. Just look at her picture for proof.
- Hypocrite/Moral Myopia: In her relationship with Yamcha, Bulma would always flirt with other guys and try to find another boyfriend, but Kami forbid Yamcha try to do the same thing.
- Insufferable Genius: Less so in Z, though.
- Interspecies Romance: With Vegeta, though Saiyans are Human Aliens.
- It's All About Me: Mainly in Dragon Ball.
- Jerkass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Never quite matured past her selfish teenage girl phase. She gets a lot better, but she never truly loses that bratty part of her personality.
- Lost in Translation: The way Bulma calls Goku in Japanese, she mostly calls him Son (Son-kun), although that's his family name, she calls him that way to show how close and familiar she is with him while the rest of the cast calls him appropriately Goku; Bulma referring to Goku as Son in English would make many children scratch their heads in confusion, so it was completely dropped in the English localization, and curiously in some other countries as well. The English manga did keep this in some instances, though.
- Love Martyr: To Vegeta. She puts up with a lot given that Vegeta is a prideful Jerkass. Even after he cools down, he's still a Jerkass With A Heart Of Gold.
- Manipulative Bitch: When she convinces Goku to help her find the rest of the Dragon Balls, she deliberately neglects to tell him that the balls scatter after the wish is made.
- She actually said it, but she didn't exactly tell him that the balls scattered after the wish is made.
- Morality Pet: To Yamcha in the Pilaf Saga and then Vegeta in the Buu Saga.
- Ms. Fanservice: The Playboy Bunny suit being one of the earliest examples. To take it further, she's the only female character to appear naked in the entire series.
- Never My Fault: In GT's Shadow Dragon Saga, when everyone blames Bulma for the latest crisis because she made the Dragon Radar and completely nullified the "scatter long enough for the negative energy to disperse" safety measure, Bulma quickly shifts the blame onto Goku by stating that she never could have found the balls without him. Sure, never mind that Goku had absolutely no idea what the Dragon Balls even were before he met Bulma!
- Adding to that, what Bulma did was a complete accident. She wasn't expecting the crisis to happen, so while her blaming Goku was wrong, it wouldn't be right to act as though Bulma did it all on purpose.
- Ojou: And is filthy rich to back it up.
- Only One Name: Just "Bulma". The English dub tries to turn her father's name into a surname, but it doesn't take very well.
- Only Sane Woman: Tries to be the voice of "the common people" amongst men who live by the Way of the Warrior.
- Pink Means Feminine: Her iconic first outfit was completely pink after all.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Goku, at least until he grew up...
- Proud Beauty: She thinks the reason she couldn't ride the Nimbus was because she was "so beautiful it's a sin". Yep, she counts.
- Really Gets Around: Whether she actually succeeds in this is up to the individual viewer, but she certainly tries; even when she's dating Yamcha, she's prepared to dump him at the drop of a hat for Jackie Chun and General Blue, before they turn out to be old and evil, respectively (that Blue is also gay hinders things as well). Whether she cheated on Yamcha with Vegeta, or Yamcha cheated on her causing her to go to Vegeta, is one of the fandom's Base Breakers. However, she appears to be completely loyal to Vegeta after Trunks' birth, finally falling into the Happily Married trope.
- She also at one point fell for, you guessed it, Goku, when she saw He's All Grown Up. It's just too bad he got engaged on the same day...
- Shorttank: Often wore this in her younger days.
- Slapstick Knows no Gender: Bulma's a victim of a lot of slapstick towards her, being a Butt Monkey and all.
- Smoking Is Cool: Late into her adult life... being the wife of Vegeta would be stressful, after all.
- However, Future Bulma is also smoking, despite only briefly hooking up with Future Vegeta. Though, it's likely that she's also extremely stressed out after the loss of her lover and friends.
- Sole Surviving Scientist: Her future counterpart invented a time machine to send Trunks to the past and find a way to kill the androids.
- Greater Need Than Mine: She wanted to make an alternate timeline where things could be happy and peaceful, even if she couldn't be a part of it.
- Spoiled Brat: She has spades of this, especially early in the series. She's somewhat grown out of this as she got older, although it still pops up from time to time, even after having Trunks and Bulla.
- Teen Genius: She designed a portable Dragon Ball-detecting radar at the tender age of 16. She loses the teen part over the course of the series, but keeps the genius part.
- The Team Benefactor: She and her father provide the heroes with all their high-tech needs — spacecraft, time machines, updated Saiyan armor, etc.
- The Team Normal: Of the original five (Goku, Yamcha, Paur, Oolong, and herself), she is the only one with no powers. This remains such throughout the series. Her intellect, on the other hand, is sometimes on par with the guys' insane power levels.
- Token Girl: During Dragon Ball, she was the only girl who would journey around.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's usually the Tomboy to nice!Launch. With Chichi, on the other hand, this is usually zigzagged, considering that Chichi is an Action Girl while Bulma is a Fashionista Non Action Girl. But Bulma is also a Gadgeteer Genius while Chichi is a Supreme Chef and good example of Feminine Women Can Cook.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She does like dressing sexy and putting on lipstick, but she's mainly a tech geek.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Played with. Pilaf threatens Bulma with sexual torture, but then just blows her a kiss. When she says what she thought he was planning to do, she ends up freaking him out.
- True Blue Femininity: Her hair, her eyes, and a lot of her clothes qualify her for this.
- Unfazed Everyman: Despite seeing powerful enemies that can blow up planets, she doesn't see it as a big deal and calmly goes about her techy business until really strange or out-of-this-world happens. Not even Vegeta's temper-tantrums faze her.
- Especially so during the Androids saga, where she seems even more unfazed than the heroes themselves at all the powerful villains going around. She even actively follows the heroes when Freezer shows up again, just because she wants to catch a glimpse of him.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: And hairstyles.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Goku (mostly as a child) in Dragon Ball. Also Chichi, though mostly in the English dub.
- Weirdness Magnet: Especially in the first story arc of the original Dragon Ball. By the end of her journey to collect the Dragon Balls, she made friends with a monkey-tailed boy, a perverted old man, an equally perverted pig, and a desert bandit and his floating cat. Her circle of friends continued to get weirder.
- Women Prefer Strong Men: Possible. Would explain her falling for Yamcha and then for Vegeta, at any rate.
- Would Hurt a Child: In her first appearance, she takes out a gun and starts shooting Kid Goku.
- Wrench Wench: Bulma can fix anything as a Gadgeteer Genius.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In the anime, though it is purplish in the manga, explaining why Trunks has purple hair.
- Youngest Child Wins: She is the favorite child, compared to her older sister Tights who is pretty much unmentioned.
Master Roshi (武天老師; Muten Roushi)
AKA The Turtle Hermit (亀仙人; Kame Sen'nin)
Voiced by (Japanese): Kouhei Miyauchi (Dragon Ball & Z), Hiroshi Masuoka (Z & GT), Masaharu Satou (DBZ Movie 13, Kai, Battle of Gods), Kinya Aikawa (The Path to Power)
Voiced by (English): Mike McFarland
(Funimation); Ian James Corlett
, Peter Kelamis, Don Brown, Terry Klassen (Ocean); Dean Galloway (Blue Water); Gregory Snegoff (Harmony Gold)
Voiced by (Latin American): Jesús Colín, Jorge Roig (Kai), Miguel Ángel Sanromán (Battle of Gods)
Goku's first mentor. A hermit whose home is located on a small island in the middle of the ocean. Very strong (at least at the start of the series) and with a keen eye. Also very perverted and usually hits on any pretty tail that comes his way.
- Achilles in His Tent: During the Red Ribbon Army Saga.
- Badass: Back in Dragon Ball.
- Badass Beard: Befitting a hermit, he's got a long white beard.
- Badass Grandpa: Back in Dragon Ball before he was severely Demoted to Extra.
- Bald of Awesome: He's bald and proud.
- Big Good: In Dragon Ball, when he was The Obi-Wan.
- Butt Monkey/The Chew Toy: To extreme levels after being Demoted to Extra, but had moments in Dragon Ball.
- Buxom Is Better: At least he thinks so. Played straight with Maron.
- Can't Catch Up: He retires from fighting during the second tournament arc, admitting that the new generation is both stronger and no longer needs his guidance. During later story arcs he expresses frustration at not being able to help during the major fights. Though, considering how strong Freeza, Cell and especially both Buu and Beers were, he wouldn't had a chance.
- Casting Gag: He looks like God from Dr Slump with sunglasses, and was also voiced by the same person (Kouhei Miyauchi).
- Chick Magnet: He's perfectly capable of getting women if he wanted to. As Jackie Chun, girls even asked for his autograph before his fight with Man-Wolf.
- Clark Kenting: His disguise of Jackie Chun involves taking off his shades and putting on a wig. Only Yamcha saw through it until Kame tricked him.
- Cool Old Guy: Back in Dragon Ball.
- Cool Shades: When was the last time we saw him without them?
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's normally a goof and a Dirty Old Man, but when he decides to get serious he is a very skilled fighter.
- A Day in the Limelight: The second DBZ movie, The World's Strongest, gave him a pretty big role, helping Goku and friends fight against Dr. Wheelo.
- Demoted to Extra: In Z and GT to ridiculous degrees like everyone else. By the time Dragon Ball Z rolls around, the only purpose he really serves is just having a house for all the characters to frequently meet up at inbetween fights or for the non-fighting characters to wait around at while watching tv.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Roshi means "old master". Therefore, in the English dub, Master Roshi leaves us with "Master Old Master".
- Dirty Old Man: Probably one of the most recognizable anime examples.
- Doting Parent: Whenever Master Roshi spends quality time with young Goku and Krillin (such as eating with them, playing with them and teaching them how to read and write) and whenever he affectionately pats their heads in praise. For the both now-adult warriors, he is the closest thing they have to a father. Especially for Krillin, as he ends up living with Roshi through the rest of the series (even when he gets married and has a kid!).
- Drunken Boxing: One of his fighting styles.
- Eccentric Mentor: To Goku, Yamcha, and Krillin.
- Expy: Based on "God"/Kami-sama from Dr. Slump (unrelated to the later Kami from Dragon Ball). His alter-ego Jackie Chun is also clearly based on Jackie Chan's persona, if not his appearance.
- Genius Bruiser: He has several years of wisdom, as well as being the strongest human at the start of the series
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Despite spending roughly a hundred years training, Goku is almost equal to him after a few years of training. Still Goku was an alien.
- Not only is Goku an alien, but he was also young and full of energy, while Master Roshi was already an elderly master that was past his prime, by the time they fought.
- Hermit Guru: Well, he is called the Turtle Hermit.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Claims he was very attractive when he was young. In a filler storyline, Goku went back in time and met the young Roshi, who showed there was truth to his claim.
- Kamehame Hadoken: He invented it.
- Let's Get Dangerous: The sunglasses, Hawaiian shirts and (most of) the sex jokes fall by the wayside during the King Piccolo arc, as he takes charge of the situation.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Roshi is seriously perverted but he's shown to be a really nice person at several points.
- Man Child: Master Roshi is of old age, but behaves like a child.
- Meaningful Name: "Roshi" means master.
- The Obi-Wan: Before he was Demoted to Extra, passing to King Kai and Old Kai respectively
- Obsolete Mentor: For everyone but Krillin by the start of Z. Hell, even Krillin is mentioned as explicitly being stronger than him in the very beginning when Bulma gets the Scouter working.
- Old Master: Was once the strongest man in the world and mentor to several of the main characters.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: His real name is never revealed throughout the series, only the titles Muten Roushi ("Martial Arts Heavenly Old Sage") and Kame Sen'nin ("Turtle Hermit").
- Passing the Torch: Did this when he retired from being Jackie Chun.
- Porn Stash: Owns a huge collection.
- Retired Badass: When he was satisfied that the younger generation had surpassed him, he stopped training. Though at times when the world's at risk, he regrets this. However, considering the ridiculous amount of Sorting Algorithm of Evil that happens in Z, he couldn't reach the level of Freeza's Mooks, let alone Freeza. And that's not even getting into Cell, Buu and Beers.
- The Rival: To Master Shen and his Crane school.
- Secret Identity: Jackie Chun. He never does let the others know he and Chun were the same person.
- Shock and Awe: His used-only-once ultimate technique, the Thunder Shock Surprise/Bankoku Bikkuri Shou.
- Signature Move: The Original Kamehameha
- Sunglasses at Night: Rarely takes his shades off.
- Super Mode: His "Max Power" form, where he basically bulks up like The Hulk.
- Team Dad: In the original Dragon Ball.
- Telepathy: The first to use it in the series. Nam, a participant of the 21st Tenka'ichi Budokai, even suggested this ability is a sign of a great martial arts master.
- Temporary Bulk Change: See Super Mode above.
- Too Dumb to Live: During a plane ride in the Buu Saga, he crashes into Android 18's chest and nuzzles it causing her to angrily grab his head and twist it, so what does he do? He grabs her breasts and smiles. You know, he copped a feel on a woman who was stronger than Freeza and could destroy a mach truck while it's in motion with one hand while she has his head in a vicegrip. Yeah, even for a pervert like him, this is still incredibly stupid.
- Tritagonist: For most of Dragon Ball.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: He is habitually beaten by the majority of the female cast, and he never makes any effort to fight back. He just takes the beatings. He is a creepy old hermit, but still....
Yamcha (ヤムチャ; Yamucha)
Voiced by (Latin American):
Ricardo Mendoza, Jesus Barrero
), Rafael Rivera (Dragon Ball
Yamcha was a desert bandit, Bulma's first love, and Goku's first rival. Even in the original series, Yamcha was often used as the primary victim of the Worf Effect
, hardly winning any important fights despite being one of the most powerful protagonists. By Z he was pretty much a target to show how tough the villains were, so much so that around the Buu Saga he gave up fighting entirely (except for fillers in which he somehow defeated enemies even Goku had trouble with a few years before).
Yamcha was the series' originator for a lot of the tropes and quirks that would later be popularized by characters like Krillin, Tenshinhan, Piccolo, and Vegeta. The Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
, rival-turned-friend, Butt Monkey
, Mr. Exposition
, and "bad boy" roles these characters fulfill all started with him. Even Gohan and Future Trunks draw from him: they both inherited his shy awkwardness, sword fighting, and long-haired character designs.
- Accidental Pervert: Quite lots in earlier chapters of the manga, when his fear of women is still intact, no less. Such as when he accidentally watched Bulma take a bath and likely touched Bulma's boobs when she was naked while sleeping.
- Adaptational Badass: He fares either worse or better in the anime. Yamcha does more in anime only battles and situations, but sometimes he comes off better in the manga's version of events (an example of this is Yamcha had no trouble holding down Great Ape Goku in the manga).
- Adorkable: It's even admitted In-Universe.
- Amicable Exes: With Bulma.
- Animal Battle Aura: His battle aura takes the shape of a wolf.
- Animal Motifs: Oftentimes his aura will give him the appearance of a wolf even when he isn't using one of his Wolf Fang techniques.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: In his debut, Yamcha was this (except around Bulma). He lost most of this after his Heel-Face Turn.
- Yamcha usually has an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy moment every time he gets a large increase in power from training. Perhaps this trait of his was finally lost during his fight against Shen in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. Coming into the match, Yamcha was absolutely sure of his victory, but after being embarrassed by some of Shen's moves, Shen chastises Yamcha for his arrogance, saying that Yamcha's overconfidence on his own strength as well as his opponent's appearance made him blind to the subtlety of Shen's attacks. After listening to Shen's lecture, Yamcha seemed to have wised up, even managing to land a good hit on Shen before losing, and becomes a lot more focused and dependable on the fights that followed.
- Art Evolution: During most of the original Dragon Ball series, Yamcha had small eyes that were shaped similar to Tenshinhan's eyes. It wasn't until the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai that his eyes started looking more like Goku's.
- Bad Ass: He's not a bad fighter at the end of the day, but he gets overshadowed by the stronger fighters around him.
- Barbarian Longhair: His most frequent hairstyle. He mentioned his short haircut was at Bulma's request and could be considered an example of him trying to change from an outlaw in the desert to ordinary citizen in the city.
- Becoming the Mask: He initially assisted Goku and the others in gathering the Dragon Balls with the intention of stealing them once they got all seven. It wasn't until the events at Pilaf's castle that him and Puar became friends with them for real.
- Bishōnen: Yamcha's been described as "good looking in a boyish sort of way" and "a pretty boy." Very slightly lessened after he gets his scars.
- Bittersweet Ending: Yamcha is never seen accomplishing his dream to marry and have a family. In Dragon Ball GT he's even seen going back to his life alone in Diablo Desert. After the Cell Saga he also gave up martial arts and competing in tournaments, when both were things he loved to do. Though he seemed perfectly happy with how things turned out, makes sense seeing how he's such an easygoing guy. He just takes every curve life can throw at him in stride. The end of the Cell arc had him talk about a girl he was seeing, so he's still socializing and dating on his own time, even if we never see it.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Goku when he was being pummeled by the Rabbit Mob who held Bulma hostage. Also invoked in the same arc, when Yamcha lends the stranded heroes, a ride as part of his plan.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In both metaphorical AND literal sense of break. In the 8th chapter of manga Son Goku sends Yamucha in the air with his punch but Yamucha breaks and bounces off the frame's border back to the ground. See for yourself.
- Butt Monkey: Has it worse than Krillin, from his first appearance it was always something of a Running Gag that Yamcha was unlucky. And while he puts up a fight, he NEVER gets past the first round of the tournament (an exception being in Mystical Adventure).
- He never even gets to fight Vegeta and Nappa with the others; he gets distracted and killed off by a Suicide Attack of a seemingly dead Saibaman beforehand, Power Level guides say Yamcha would've won too if he hadn't let his guard down. He also gets badly injured by Dr. Gero right at the start of the Android Saga. Oh, and then his girlfriend has Vegeta's baby. Poor guy just can't catch a break.
- Combat Commentator/Mr. Exposition: Yamcha's apparently read up on all of the local legends and famous martial artists: he's able to identify Goku's bo staff, Master Roshi, Grandpa Gohan, Ox-King, and the rabbit boss. He even knew that Roshi was the one who trained Gohan and Ox King, and that the two of them were best friends.
- Centipede's Dilemma: Inverted. He thought he was cursed with the inability to talk to or even be around women, and for that reason, once he learned about the existence of the Dragon Balls, he decided to use them to wish away his fear of women. Much to his surprise, by the end of a long period of time where he was forced to be around Bulma, Yamcha learned that his fear of women was all in his head, and that it was only when he consciously invoked it on himself that he felt uncomfortable around women. Shortly afterwards, he and Bulma started dating.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: Yamcha's quite popular around women despite his shyness.
- Cool Sword/Sinister Scimitar: Yamcha's scimitar in Dragon Ball
- Commuting on a Bus: It's pretty easy to forget that he and Puar were among the first characters introduced into the story.
- Can't Catch Up: Same as Krillin.
- Cannot Talk to Women: Used to be like this to such a degree that he couldn't even be a around women without freaking out. After a while of being around Bulma in the Pilaf Saga, particularly an incident where he picked her up to get her to safety, Yamcha mostly got over his phobia. Though he sometimes still does show some nervous around beautiful women.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has cracked comments like these.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Thought it was initially a ruse, Yamcha came to befriend the group and turned good for real.
- Demoted to Extra: Cell Saga, Buu Saga, and GT.
- Desert Bandits: Was originally one.
- Determinator: Yamcha's pretty eager to fight most of the time, he eagerly volunteered to fight King Piccolo when his leg was broken. Until he goes down against #20, at which point he calls it quits.
- Deus Angst Machina: Yamcha and Bulma's breakup was never explained, though this was mostly due to Toriyama's disinterest in romance and romantic relationships.
- Dub Text: Funimation changes his dialogue more than most characters. For example Bulma being mad at Yamcha for canceling a date due to being broke, became him taking another girl out to a concert in the dub. Even in Kai, Funimation changed a line of Yamcha saying he's got to help Goku with "I'll be there" to "I'll just watch".
- Perhaps one of the most cruel cases happens in the Lookout, as Bulma fondly remembers Goku. Chi-Chi teases her, saying that Bulma is in love with Goku, but she should give up, because Chi-Chi is prettier. Yamcha then says that Chi-Chi looks very pretty today, which makes Chi-Chi upset, because that implies that she doesn't always look pretty. In the Dub Text, Chi-Chi suggests that, since Bulma likes Goku so much, they should trade husbands: Bulma gets Goku and Chi-Chi gets Vegeta. Yamcha then says that he is available, to which Chi-Chi responds that she wants an even trade, not a downgrade (though he appeared to take her comment as the friendly joke it was intended to be).
- Easily Forgiven: Yamcha is generally shown as pretty forgiving, possibly due to being bad once himself. When Tenshinhan apologizes for breaking his leg, he just shrugs and says its nothing.
- Once he stopped trying to prove he was better than Vegeta, they seemed to get along pretty well. He's even paid the prince a genuine compliment once or twice.
- Hilariously, at one point, Tenshinhan criticizes Yamcha for making nice with Vegeta.
- Enemy Mine: When they were still ostensibly enemies, he helped Goku against the Rabbit Mob.
- The Everyman: He is perhaps one of the most relatable characters among the Z warriors. For instance, he is commonly seen wearing outfits other than his combat gear and he has been shown driving vehicles like sky cars and airships instead of flying everywhere like most of the other characters. He also has grounded interests like romance, sports and is actually concerned with having money, as opposed to most of the other protagonists, who do not seem to work at all and spend most of their time training. A notable example of how normal he is happens at the end of the Cell Saga, when the other protagonists are struggling to think of one last wish to be granted by Shenron. Yamcha suggests that, since nobody else could think of any important uses for that wish, they should wish for something for themselves, like lots of money. The other characters silently stare at him as if shocked that he would ever as much as consider using one of the wishes for purposes that are not altruistic. In response, Yamcha timidly apologizes and agrees to leave the last wish to Krillin.
- Failure Hero: In Z Yamcha seldom wins clear victories outside of fillers (and never important ones). Though he's had his moments in filler.
- Fighting with Chucks: Uses a three section staff at one point in the Legend of Shen Long. Yamcha is also seen holding Nun chucks in the anime version of the King Piccolo arc.
- Graceful Loser: Was polite and respectful to Jackie Chun and Kami when they beat him in the World Tournament. He was the first to clap when Tenshinhan decided to turn over a new leaf.
- He's also very friendly to Trunks, his ex's son. They're shown watching TV together and Yamcha is the one who tells him about Vegeta's reaction to his death.
- Genre Savvy: Yamcha eventually realizes that he really Can't Catch Up when he nearly gets killed by Android 20 and from then on stops trying to take center stage, giving up fighting after the Cell Saga.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: In most of the RPGs, he has low defense but is the fastest and most damaging attacks.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: He was shown to do Training from Hell prior to the Buu Saga.
- Heel-Face Turn: One of the first of many throughout the series.
- Image Song: Say what you want about the guy but he's got a very good one.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: After Dr. Gero did this to Yamcha, the poor guy retired from fighting.
- Kamehame Hadoken: He was the second student to learn it, though he doesn't use it much.
- Prophet Eyes: His eyes turn totally white when he uses the many of his moves like the Wolf Fang Fist.
- The Lancer: Sometimes holds this role, mainly in the absence of Krillin.
- Love Martyr: Explained to Puar, this was basically why he puts up with Bulma's mistreatment in Dragon Ball.
- Like Brother and Sister: He maintained a close relationship with Bulma after their breakup. Even telling Future Trunks about Vegeta going Papa Wolf on Cell to make him feel better.
- Martial Arts Uniform: After he begins training under Roshi for the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai, he adopts the same uniform as Goku and Krillin, but like Krillin only wears it when actively training or fighting.
- Mr. Fanservice: He was the first handsome adult male in the cast.
- Nice Guy: As an Adult, Yamcha is one of the more chill and forgiving characters.
- Mundane Utility: Uses his powers to become a pro baseball player.
- Older Than He Looks: Despite being an ordinary human, Yamcha looks about the same at 57 in Dragon Ball GT.
- Overshadowed by Awesome
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: His Signature Move, the Wolf Fang Fist/Rougafuufuuken. Also his improved version, the Neo Wolf Fang Fist/Shin Rougafuufuuken.
- Really Gets Around: According to Future Trunks, this is the reason Bulma eventually left him for Vegeta in that timeline. What's ironic is that Yamcha was initially extremely shy around girls at the start of the series and said he wanted to get married.
- Fridge Brilliance: Trunks likely heard all of this through Bulma (since Yamcha would've died shortly after he was born in his timeline). Think back to the original Dragon Ball; Bulma considered it cheating if another woman so much as looked at Yamcha the wrong way - whether he flirted back was irrelevant to her. Thinking about it like that it actually makes sense that Bulma would describe him like this.
- Redemption Demotion: Yamcha generally remained useful in Dragon Ball and in the first arc he and Puar actually saved everyone from Great Ape Goku. In "'Z'' Yamcha was really only useful for distracting villains or taking care of wounded characters.
- Retired Badass: After the Cell Games. However, in the anime OVA special, he reveals that he still wears his fighting gi under his suit, suggesting that he still misses fighting.
- The Rival: The very first one. Back then, he teamed up with Goku to save Bulma from Monster Carrot.
- Roboteching: His Spirit Ball Attack/Soukidan.
- Rugged Scar: After coming back from offscreen Training from Hell at the end of Dragon Ball, Yamcha sports a few facial scars indicating that he's come back stronger (although he still Can't Catch Up).
- Scars Are Forever: Its never revealed exactly how he got them. After Yamcha came back from his three year Training from Hell in the Timeskip, he had them on his face.
- Shrinking Violet: A male example. At first Yamcha couldn't even be around women without blushing and fleeing the scene. Even after he hooked up with Bulma, he was still somewhat shy at times.
- Signature Move: Wolf Fang Fist and Spirit Ball.
- Taking the Bullet: Ever since his Heel-Face Turn, Yamcha has been shown as willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. In one of the movies, he even painfully catches a boulder about to crush Bulma. His Saibaman death was actually the result of him volunteering ahead to protect Krillin from a second and final death.
- Training from Hell: Yamcha had been shown to go through this alot of the time, particularly when the date for the World Martial Arts Tournament nears. For the first tournament Yamcha trained alone in the wilderness for a month, the second time with Krillin under Roshi, and the third was for three straight years.
- True Companions: Yamcha seemed to have become this for real with the gang when in Pilaf's desert oven. Even getting distressed when Ape Goku was attacked, hard to believe earlier he was planning to beat up Goku to steal the Dragon Balls.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Filler, at least, Yamcha sometimes does better. He defeated Recoome, a guy who beat Vegeta to within an inch of his life, while training on King Kai's planet. While training in the Other World along with Krillin, he also defeated some of the top fighters in the tournament that Goku had won while he was there.
- Tritagonist: Legacy of Goku Arc.
- Twinkle Smile: It happened occasionally in the Dragon Ball anime.
- The Unfair Sex: In his relationship with Bulma. Had the genders been reversed, fans of the show would NOT be laughing.
- We Are Team Cannon Fodder: In DBZ.
- Weak, but Skilled: Yamcha's Spirit Ball is the first fully controllable ki attack shown in the series. While Yamcha was beaten handily by the powerful Shen in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, he managed to show his combat smarts by, after failing to hit Shen with his Spirit Ball, he made the energy ball travel underground and erupt under Shen's chin, catching him off guard. Shen even complimented Yamcha on his skills after the battle.
- He was the second student of the Turtle School to master the Kamehameha and surprised everyone by showing this in the 22nd Budokai.
- The Worf Effect: Yamcha suffers from this as early as Dragon Ball, always losing in his first round in the three world tournaments he participates in to show how powerful Jackie Chun, Tenshinhan, and Hero/Shen/Kami are, despite his training.
- Would Hit a Girl/Would Hurt a Child: Zigzagged, In Dragon Ball, he is forced to knock out Kid Chi-Chi when she attacks him. On the other hand, Yamcha seems unable to strike a beautiful girl in Legend of Shen Long.
- X Marks the Hero: After the three year timeskip at the end of Dragon Ball he gets an X shaped scar on his cheek.
Krillin (クリリン; Kuririn)
Voiced by (English): Sonny Strait
(Adult), Laurie Steele (Young) (FUNimation
); Terry Klassen (Ocean); Mike Thiessen, Dan Gascon (Blue Water); Wanda Nowicki (Harmony Gold)
Voiced by (Latin American): Eduardo Garza
, Rossy Aguirre
(Young and Adult; until middle saga Freeza), Ana María Grey(Dragon Ball
Harmony Gold), Luis Daniel Ramírez (saga Majin Buu
and Movies 4-13
), Alejandro Illescas (GT
One of the few human characters who retained most of their screentime even in DBZ (even though it was mostly as a Plucky Comic Relief
and by few we mean the only
one). Started off as a rival to Goku when both trained under Master Roshi when they were kids. He soon became a best friend and Heterosexual Life Partner
to Goku and the two have been through thick and thin through their battles and lives.
- Action Dad: Once his daughter is born.
- Adorkable: Most notable when he's around Android 18, but plenty of other times too.
- Amazon Chaser: One for Android 18.
- Awesome, but Impractical: His signature move, Destructo Disk, can cut through anything (except Cell...) and is completely unblockable, but it's slow to produce, its aim is unwieldy, and it can't be guided once launched. And the few times he has an opening to actually use it, he tends to ruin it by Calling His Attacks.
- Back from the Dead: Just about everyone did this but Krillin is notable for being the first main character to do so and is tied with Chiaotzu for most deaths in the manga.
- Badass: Not on the same level as the Saiyans, but he's the strongest human in the cast.
- Badass Adorable: Not to the degree of Goku or Gohan, but he still counts.
- Bald of Awesome: Until the Buu Saga, anyways. Since childhood, he had been shaving his head, thinking great warriors like Roshi did that. He was embarrassed to learn that Roshi was naturally bald.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Son Gohan.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: In his first appearance.
- The Bully: Initially was this to Goku, before they became best friends.
- Butt Monkey/The Chew Toy: He died the first major death in the entire series. Many more would follow. He even lampshades this in the film Super Android 13 by shouting "Why does this always happen to me?!" while being knocked away by Vegeta's unconscious body. He also lampshades it much earlier in the second movie after pointing out how every attempt he made to hit Dr Wheelo ended in humiliating failure.
- Can't Catch Up: Started out as the The Rival, fell further behind with each new storyline, although remaining very important.
- Character Development: While he wasn't purehearted enough to ride the Nimbus at the beginning of the series, he's more than worthy of it now.
- Chivalrous Pervert: When he was younger. Seems to fade out with age.
- Combat Pragmatist: Initially started out like this, using a pair of panties as a distraction against Jackie Chun/Master Roshi, asking Chiaotzu basic math questions to disrupt his psychic powers, and attempting to exploit Goku's Achilles' Heel by grabbing his tail during their fight in the Tournament. It's turned Up to Eleven in Z, where he takes on foes many times stronger than him with just his guts and less on dirty tactics.
- Dating Catwoman: Him and Android 18.
- Deadly Disc: His Signature Move, the Destructo Disk/Kienzan.
- Deadpan Snarker: When he's not screaming in terror, the guy tends to be the wittiest character and the most likely to lampshade hang.
- Death by Irony: His second death: After seeing Freeza transform into his final form, he comments that he doesn't look very intimidating. He later becomes the last character Freeza kills on Namek, screaming in terror as he died.
- Demoted to Extra: GT.
- Determinator: It's very hard to keep this guy down. The only time he gives up is when faced with the Androids, and even then it's because he knows that even Vegeta and Piccolo don't stand a chance.
- Deuteragonist: Throughout most of Dragon Ball, except the Piccolo Arc where he's dead and Tenshinhan takes over. He's back in this role for much of the Freeza Saga.
- Distracted by the Sexy: With both Android 18 and Zangya.
- Dork Knight: See Adorkable.
- Doting Parent: To his adorable little girl, Marron.
- Dreadful Musician: Shown in a movie when he's singing karaoke and he sounds horrible.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the King Piccolo Saga.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Goku, after he completed his character development.
- Foil: When he first appeared, he was an exact foil to Goku. Whereas Goku was an impossibly pure-hearted child who takes his incredibly strength for granted, Krillin was a devious Bratty Half-Pint with a blatant inferiority complex.
- By the time of the series first Tournament Arc, he'd grown out it, largely thanks to his training and Goku's influence giving him genuine self-confidence.
- Friendly Target: Three times in the manga (which ties him with Chiaotzu), plus another two/three/no one is sure times in alternate timelines, plus another on GT. So, 3-7 times. Ouch.
- Genius Bruiser: He's one heck of a strategic fighter.
- Good Parents: Is one to Marron. Heck, he even sacrificed himself to protect her and his wife.
- Happily Married: He's smitten by Android 18 from the get go. Following the Time Skip after the Cell Games, they're Happily Married.
- Heel-Face Turn: Krillin was started out as a bullying rival of Goku but became his best friend.
- Henpecked Husband: Shows shades of this in "Bio Broly." Also, throughout the series, he's shown to be the obviously submissive one in his relationship with Android 18.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He attacks Buu first to allow his family and friends to escape his onslaught on the lookout. While it fails for almost everyone, it allows Dende, whose survival was most important as it allows the Dragon Balls to work, to survive.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Goku.
- Honorary Uncle: To Gohan.
- Informed Ability: Supplemental material has stated that Krillin the strongest human character in the series. Ignoring the Can't Catch Up tendency for all the non-Saiyan characters, Tenshinhan had the better showings in fights in the series.
- Inseries Nickname: Called Pachinko-Head by Yajirobe.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Learned from Roshi. He doesn't use it as often as Goku, though.
- Kavorka Man: He may not be the most attractive of the series (although YMMV), but somehow he dated Maron, and married Android 18, to the surprise of the fans of the series.
- The Lancer: Until Tenshinhan showed up, where he was shifted into The Smart Guy.
- Let's Get Dangerous: When he has these moments, Krillin is capable of surprisingly kickass things, and gets the drop on the the Big Bad of the arc, more than once. For example, briefly fending off Nappa from Gohan and almost killing him with the Destructo Disk, cutting Frieza's tail off in his second form with the same move, and in the anime saving a young woman and her little brother from Imperfect Cell by ramming into him.
- Love at First Sight: For Android 18.
- Martial Arts Uniform: Initially wearing the uniform of his old Shaolin school, Krillin adopts the Turtle Hermit School uniform at the same time as Goku, though he keeps his old one as a spare/casual wear for a while.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Feminine Boy to Android 18's Masculine Girl.
- Nice Guy: Moreso as a grown up, not that he wasn't nice as a kid.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: See Love Makes You Dumb above.
- The Noseless: Lampshaded in an early fight in Dragon Ball, where he only is able to defeat an incredibly stinky fighter after he's reminded that he has no nose.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Former Trope Namer.
- Papa Wolf: Don't screw with Marron around him or his wife.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Basically his major role in Z and the movies. (For example, disguising himself as Piccolo before saving Gohan, and then doing a cape twirl).
- Porn Stache: Despite not having a nose, he manages to grow a big, bushy mustache worthy of a 70s porn star in GT.
- Punny Name: His name is based on "kuri" (栗), which means "chestnut." ('lin' could also be the alternate reading of 'hayashi' = 'grove'.)
- Retired Badass: In GT.
- The Rival: Hell, his introductory episode was even called "Goku's Rival", though the two went from rivals to best friends fairly quickly.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He kills three Saibaman with his Scattering Bullet special attack when Yamcha died to protect him. Goku always has one when Krillin dies.
- Robosexual: Played with. He marries Android 18... but that's A) a limitation of English in the translation, as the original "Jinzou-Ningen" doesn't specify mechanical or biological artificiality, and B) she and her brother were originally humans before being modified by Gero, thus allowing 18 to have a daughter.
- Sacrificial Lion: First major good guy to die in the entire series.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Goku's Manly Man.
- Signature Move: Destructo Disk, although he is hardly the only user of it....
- Skintone Sclerae: While a staple of the early Toriyama style, he's the only major character to keep this trait. Interestingly, his earliest depiction didn't include them consistently.
- The Smart Guy: This is what keeps him in the game until the end of the Freeza arc.
- Spell My Name with an S: Oh, let us count the ways... Krillin (Funimation), Kuririn (Viz, also the literal transliteration), Kulilin (wears hats with this on it in the manga), Klilyn (most Bandai toys and in some cel art by Toei)...
- Despite his name having been spelt as "Kulilin" in the manga, the name "Kuririn" involves a play on "kuri", the Japanese word for "chestnut" (this is joked about, with reference to his bald head, at one stage) - likely, "Kulilin" is the result of liberal transliteration of Japanese ("l" and "r" sounds are indistinct), and "Krillin" is supposed to be an adaptation that is better suited for the foreign palate. (Incidentally, you can buy and eat 'krill' with a bit of difficulty, so it keeps the theme naming going.)
- Story Breaker Power: This trope is probably the reason he never uses the Solar Flare and the Destructo Disc together to defeat any of his opponents.
- Taken for Granite: Along with Piccolo.
- Tender Tears: Sensitivity, thy name is Krillin.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: To Android 18, who's the tallest female character in the series.
- Took a Level in Kindness: See The Bully and Heel-Face Turn above.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: To Android 18.
- YMMV. He's not exactly a Bishonen, but he does have an adorable baby face.
- Warrior Monk: Was originally a student at a Shaolin temple, until he got tired of the other students picking on him for being so small, and decided to train under Roshi instead.
- We Are Team Cannon Fodder: Subverted. Yes, he's part of Team Cannon Fodder, but Krillin always gets a few good hits in against the villain of the day, and he doesn't lose his importance as a character until the Buu arc.
- Weak, but Skilled: This is his hat. Not having nowhere near as much raw strength or ki, he is a seriously cunning fighter. He ran rings around Nappa and Freeza when they tried to kill Gohan, and played a major part in the battle with Vegeta.
- He's the first non-Tsuru-style student on Earth to learn how to fly (on his own, though with some idea of how it's done). More notable is that he managed to develop a technique that could seriously wound or kill an opponent easily a hundred times his strength. He just rarely hits anyone with it.
- He's able to fire off the Genki-dama (Goku collected the Genki) with some accuracy, though it wasn't enough to do in Vegeta.
- During their "image training" on the way to Namek, when Krillin compliments Gohan on his strength, Gohan tells him he was surprised by just how many different techniques Krillin threw at him.
- Even in the Cell Saga when stakes quickly became so high he was outmatched, he still kept his importance due to his skills at observation and resourcefulness - when things look their bleakest, Krillin is often the one to point out something important or give a pragmatic plan of action.
- In one of the video games, he's forced to be Earth's champion when Goku is unable to cheat death long enough to do the job himself. Turns out, "weak but skilled" means he has the best Ki control among the Z Warriors - since he has to keep up with superhumans and aliens, who simply have more of it than he does, he's had to use it wisely - and he's up to the task of merely protecting Earth. And yes, this game includes the Buu arc...
- As 18 is Unskilled, but Strong, it adds a facet to their Opposites Attract relationship.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: As seen in a movie, when Chi-Chi slaps him with a shopping bag and kicks him, he doesn't make an effort to fight back (he knows that Chi-Chi can crush him, but still...).
Voiced by (English):
John Burgmier, Chris Cason (FUNimation
); Matt Smith note
(Ocean); Brendan Hunter, Johnathan Love (Blue Water); Eddie Frierson (Harmony Gold)
Voiced by (Latin American): Ismael Larumbe, Armando Coria (Dragon Ball Harmony Gold)
Introduced in the second World Martial Arts Tournament arc, Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu were initially rivals to Goku, Krillin, and Yamcha (as they belonged to an opposing dojo to Roshi's). The two eventually become friends to our heroes after realizing the lack of honor in their own methods. They become instrumental in the the next few arcs following their introduction, but by Z
their roles had become less and less till they were reduced to cameo appearances and a few references in Dragon Ball GT
Chiaotzu (餃子; Chaozu)
Voiced by (Japanese): Hiroko Emori
Introduced in the second Tournament arc, Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu ae initially rivals to Goku, Krillin, and Yamcha (as they belong to an opposing dojo to Roshi's). The two eventually become friends to our heroes after realizing the lack of honor in their own methods. They become instrumental in the the next few arcs following their introduction, but after the Saiyan Saga Chiaotzu becomes less important (and after the Cell Saga, so does Tenshinhan). By the Cell Saga they become side characters who are mentioned and seen frequently, but rarely do anything significant.
- Balloon Belly: After eating a lot, being a Big Eater like the rest of the cast
- Can't Catch Up: Gets hit with this worst than the other human characters. Chiaotzu literally gets left behind for the Cell Games.
- Charlie Brown Baldness: Has only one strand of hair on his head which he proudly displayed to annoy Krillin in his introduction.
- Chinese Vampire: Has the appearance of a particularly cute one. Its unclear if he's really a Jiang Shi or a human with the appearance of one.
- Con Man: Anime Only. Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu's first appearance in the anime shows them as a pair of travelling con artists.
- Also fits the subtrope of The Fixer for his tendency to rig the number draws at the World Martial Arts Tournaments.
- David Vs Goliath: Him against Nappa. He loses.
- Death from Above: During his fight with Krillin, Chiaotzu took advantage of his ability to fly to stay out of Krillin's reach and bombard him with his Dodon Ray.
- Demoted to Extra: In Z.
- Enemy Mine: After King Piccolo attacks, Krillin is dead, Yamcha has a broken leg and Goku is off trying to beat up Krillin's killer. Ergo, Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu get recruited by Roshi to gather the Dragon Balls before Piccolo gets to them.
- Tenshinhan notes this as much, saying even though he acknowledges his previous actions as wrong, he still considers himself and Chiaotzu as the Crane Hermit's students, and a simple ask for forgiveness won't be enough.
- Evil Counterpart: Was originally this to Krillin.
- Failure Hero: In Z. The poor guy didn't get to show off his skills that much in Dragon Ball either.
- Friendly Target: Chiaotzu dies three times in the manga, same as Krillin in that medium. And he's nowhere as important plot-wise (poor guy...).
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Even after his Training from Hell alongside Tenshinhan, he's not considered strong enough to participate in the Cell Games.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Against Nappa.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Tenshinhan.
- Kick the Dog: His and Tenshinhan's introduction chapter.
- Kill the Cutie: He dies against both King Piccolo and Nappa.
- Older than They Look: Aside from getting slightly taller in the Piccolo Jr Arc, he looks exactly the same throughout the entire series.
- Ordered to Cheat: During the 22nd World Tournament, Tenshinhan finds that their master, the Crane Hermit, has been having Chaozu use his telekinesis to paralyze Goku during their fight.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Following the fight with Nappa, he doesn't fight anymore.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: A wise young Emperor in Mystical Adventure.
- Redemption Demotion: Post Heel-Face Turn, he is subjected to a lot of losses; Nappa's being the most notable
- Morality Pet: To Tenshinhan during his villain days. Particularly notable in Mystical Adventure
- Psychic Powers: Chiaotzu rigs the World Martial Arts Tournament twice, using telekinesis.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: He needs to use his fingers to solve basic math problems, like 3 + 4.
- Signature Move: Dodon Ray, shared with all 3 other Crane related characters
- Spell My Name with an S: Chaozu? Chiaotzu? Chaotzu? Gyouza? Chaos? Kaos (used by the original translation of the Spanish manga. No idea where they came up with that)?
- Taking You with Me: Tries this on Nappa. It doesn't work.
- Took a Level in Badass: Shown best in his battle with Guldo, who nearly killed Gohan and Krillin. Chiaotzu managed to mop the floor with him in under a minute.
- The Stoic: At first he was very emotionless, but got more Cute Bruiser after his Heel-Face Turn
- Use Your Head: Against Krillin. Master Shen even comments that Chiaotzu's head is as hard as a diamond.
- Weak, but Skilled: Uses psychic powers due to having a lower endurance than his comrades.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The only way to defeat Chiaotzu's psychic attacks is by breaking his concentration. Krillin does this by asking him confusing math questions. Like 4 + 4. The one that gets to him is 9-1.
- We Are Team Cannon Fodder: All the time. In the fight against Nappa, the poor little guy blew himself up and didn't make a DENT!
- The Worf Effect: He loses a lot, the fight with Nappa being the prime example.
Piccolo (ピッコロ; Pikkoro)
Voiced by (Latin American): Carlos Segundo, José Luis Castañeda (Movie 8), Idzi Dutkiewicz (Kai)
A Namekian (a race of green skinned aliens), though at the start this wasn't really known; he was the son of the self-proclaimed Demon King Piccolo, who Goku defeated in the original series. After being spat out as an egg and hatched, Piccolo tried to carry on his father's work but was defeated by Goku and allowed to live. As the series rolls into the Z
saga, his evil exterior softens due to training Son Gohan, and eventually becomes a second father to the kind-hearted little boy during Goku's frequent deaths. The one-time Demon King eventually becomes one of Goku's most trusted allies, and incredibly popular amongst the fanbase.
- Alien Blood: Piccolo's blood was originally red in Dragon Ball and early episodes of DBZ (it was turned green in early episodes of the original dub), but after he was established as an alien, he is shown to have purple blood, like his fellow Nameks.
- Aloof Ally: He really doesn't want to be friends with any of the Z Fighters, but he eventually grows into being a straight up ally.
- Although, as time goes on, this is downplayed and eventually he just starts hanging out with them. In the latest movie (which is cannon) he's even a guest at Bulma's birthday party - you can't really make any I Was Just Passing Through excuses at that point.
- Anti-Villain: In early Dragon Ball Z, he's only helping out due to an Enemy Mine situation and is happy to kill both Goku and their opponent in one shot.
- Asexuality: He expresses not understanding romance, but also in the literal biological sense.
- The Atoner: Of a sort. He never expresses regret over his past actions, but definitely works off his bad karma.
- He did show concern and fear when he heard that Babidi could control people through the evil in ones' heart. He even yelled at Krillin when he brought up that he used to be the Demon King. At the very least, he's not proud of his past.
- Avenging the Villain: Well, technically himself, since he's the reincarnation/son of King Piccolo.
- Ax-Crazy/Sadist: During the original series as a villain, he was very psychotic and sadistic.
- Badass: One of the series' biggest.
- Badass and Child Duo: Him and Gohan for most of Z.
- Badass Arm-Fold: Just look at his picture!
- Badass Cape: Ditto!
- The Bad Guy Wins: Although Goku beats him at first, Piccolo finally gets the chance to avenge his father/himself when he kills Goku in order to kill Raditz. Granted, the objective wasn't revenge but that was the effect.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: It was Gohan's innocence and kindness towards him that triggered his Heel-Face Turn.
- Big Damn Heroes: Piccolo swooping in out of nowhere to rescue Gohan is so prevalent in the movies that the tenth finally tosses it a Lampshade Hanging: this time, Krillin is the one who rescues Gohan... while dressed up as Piccolo.
- He even chews Goku out for not doing this against Cell when he's basically torturing Gohan, and was about to perform another one until Cell decided to stop and steal the Senzu.
- Big Good: Sometimes, specially after he merged with Kami. He shows greater concern for the Earth and its people.
- Brutal Honesty: He's the first one to tell Adult Gohan how ridiculous he looks in his Great Saiyaman costume.
- Can't Catch Up: He lasted the longest out of all of the non-Saiyans, remaining the third or second most powerful hero all the way until Semi-Perfect Cell was born. He did get to spend time in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, which at least made him much stronger than Semi-Perfect Cell, but he still fell behind because the Saiyans got to go in to the chamber twice. By the Buu saga, when the three main Saiyans have all unlocked become Super Saiyan 2 and gotten even stronger than they were at the Cell Games, Piccolo knows that he won't be of much use and retires.
- The Coats Are Off: When Piccolo removes his weighted cape, some poor fool's getting a major beat down!
- Characterization Marches On: Piccolo Jr. was a cackling, raving psychopath in the 23rd World Martial Arts saga, often prone to shouting and Slasher Smiles. In the following saga (the beginning of Z), he's suddenly much more composed and only occasionally gives a Psychotic Smirk.
- He is also noticably more physically adult at the start of DBZ. He was only a few years old at the end of Dragon Ball, and looked like a teenager. The change could be attributed to him growing up.
- The Comically Serious: Sometimes. Especially when the other characters (particularly Goku, Goten, and Trunks) are goofing off.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Back when he was still a villain, Piccolo fights Goku and eventually leaves him near helpless his entire body crippled save one of his arms. Remembering that Goku was still able to defeat his predecessor with the sole use of his remaining arm, Piccolo proceeds to shoot it out so he can't do the same thing. He would have won were it not for the fact that Goku had the power to fly now and intentionally kept it hidden whole time.
- Prior to his battle with Goku, when Piccolo battles Kami and Kami launches the Evil Containment Wave at Piccolo Jr. with the intention of sealing him in a bottle, Piccolo not only reverses the technique and imprisons Kami instead but also swallows the bottle that contained Kami during his match with Goku, so that if Goku were to kill him he would end up also killing Kami as well. A leaf straight out of his fathers book.
- Dead Guy Junior: His father was named King Piccolo.
- Deadpan Snarker: To Gotenks and Goku.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Eventually.
- Demoted to Extra: Late in the Buu Saga and definitely in GT.
- Less so in the Buu Saga; even if he didn't engage in active combat, he remained in the mentor role for Trunks and Goten and was on the battlefield with them right until Buu absorbed him.
- Doting Parent: He's so gentle and kind towards his surrogate child, Gohan, that one tends to forget that he was ever a Demon King. Some fans even argue he is a better father than Goku.
- Dub Name Change: In many, many countries, he's known as Satan, Satan Jr, Young Satan, Satan's Little Heart/Little-hearted Satan, Junior, or some variation of those names.
- Enemy Without: Initially with Kami, but they remerged, though by that time, he was a better person.
- Evil Counterpart: To Goku in Dragon Ball, just like his daddy.
- Evil Laugh: Prior Heel-Face Turn, he did this a lot, but after it's very rare.
- Face Death with Dignity: In GT.
- Finger Gun: His Special Beam Cannon/Makankousappou.
- Fusion Dance: Merges with two other Namekians throughout the series (Nail and Kami). Though both of them say his personality won't change, there are subtle differences.
- Genius Bruiser: Due to doubling as The Smart Guy and The Lancer.
- Good Is Not Nice: Piccolo is much more pragmatic about dealing enemies than most of the cast. He's also more distant to the group.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: He loses his arms. A lot.
- Guile Hero: Piccolo is very wise, cunning and strategic in battle in Dragon Ball. Manipulating the likes of Freeza, Cell and Majin Buu when it seems they have the upper hand against him.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Prior Heel-Face Turn, a lot could get him mad, now it's a subtle Berserk Button, unless you mess with Gohan.
- Heel-Face Turn: Started out as just the Demon King reborn. Wound up being the only non-Saiyan who can even slightly help Goku in a fight.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He died protecting Gohan during the Vegeta Saga. In GT, he stays with the exploding Earth to keep the Black Star Dragon Balls from being used again.
- Hermaphrodite: Word of God says that Namekians are hermaphrodites that possess physiques similar to those of human males.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Until Gohan was able to find it during the time they spent together.
- Humanity Is Infectious: "Pathetic... to think that Demon King Piccolo would fall... protecting a child... I have been.... contaminated... by you... and your father's decency... Gohan."
- Intergenerational Friendship: Though he's technically only three or four years older than Gohan in his most recent incarnation.
- Irony: After Taking the Bullet for Gohan, he himself remarks that, after all the training he did to beat Goku, he went out trying to protect his son.
- It's even more irony if you read the original text where Piccolo wanted to corrupt Gohan into his image. The opposite ending up happening.
- Death by Irony: Which goes straight into this category.
- Jerkass: A big jerkass in the original series.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Special Beam Cannon.
- The Lancer: Both kinds—he's Goku's foil until the end of the Freeza arc, and after that he takes the role of trusted second-in-command.
- Large and in Charge: The tallest protagonist, and the one most likely to lead the team into battle when Goku's not there (which is often).
- Like a Badass out of Hell: A mix of type 2 and 4, near the end of GT Piccolo is forced to corrupt his soul by causing carnage in heaven in order to be sent to hell to help Goku escape to fight Super 17, but he couldn't do anything to leave (and it's implied that he didn't want to, seeing it as finally being where he belonged). With an eternity to kill and nothing else to do he decided to pick up making sure the villains didn't act up again, becoming an unofficial leader of Hell's jailers.
- Like a Son to Me: He refers to Gohan as "the son he never had."
- Lima Syndrome: Who'd have thought abducting a four-year-old to train with him in a dinosaur-filled wasteland would end up being so good for him?
- Literally Shattered Life: He is accidentally shattered by Kid Trunks when he's turned to stone. Subverted because it's a Good Thing He Can Heal.
- Literal Split Personality: He's the reincarnation of King Piccolo, who was Kami's evil side made flesh.
- Loner-Turned-Friend: After training Gohan, he softens up considerably.
- Love Redeems: His friendship with Gohan led to him becoming good.
- Magic Knight: He's proficient in both close range melee combat and long range ki battles.
- Manly Tears: See Humanity Is Infectious Above.
- Necessary Drawback: The Special Beam Cannon when it was first introduce. It is so powerful that it killed Raditz, who was almost three-times more powerful than Piccolo. However, it takes five minutes for it to charge and he is defenseless during that time period. Once mastered, Piccolo can use it much faster, but it appears to be much weaker.
- This is more likely an inversion, as the Special Beam Cannon isn't weaker, it's just that the enemies are much stronger to the point where it's just not as powerful as it once was despite Piccolo's mastery over it, considering it could kill Raditz, but does absolutely nothing to Cell, much like Krillin's Destructo Disk.
- Nice Hat: One of the few people who can make a turban look completely bad-ass.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Piccolo had never told the dying Raditz about the Dragon Balls, Nappa, Vegeta and even Freeza wouldn't be going after them.
- ...and then Cell or the Androids would have slaughtered them all. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero meets For Want Of A Nail?
- Neither of them would have existed...or at least not as they were introduced.
- Speaking of which, this trope may count for the Cell arc too considering Piccolo's the one who taught him how to use his regenerative abilities, which he would then proceed to spam up until his destruction.
- Noble Demon: More so after Z starts. At the beginning, he only teamed up with the protagonists to keep the Saiyans from destroying the world he wants to conquer.
- No Name Given: Neither he nor Kami can remember what their original name was before the split. After they reunite, he briefly calls himself "the Namek". When Goku suggests "Kamiccolo", he quickly decides Piccolo isn't so bad.
- Not Quite Dead: Had his neck broken, a hole blasted through his chest, and thrown into the ocean by Cell. He still lived and managed to heal himself before losing consciousness.
- The Obi-Wan: To Gohan in the Saiyan Saga. Subverted in that Gohan brings Piccolo Back from the Dead and they reunite on the battlefield.
- Obsolete Mentor: By the end of the Cell Saga, Gohan has surpassed him in every way, but their bond is as strong as ever.
- Odd Friendship:
- Gohan and Piccolo couldn't have more different personalities, but it's telling that Gohan's combat attire mimics Piccolo's more often than it mimics his father's.
- Hints of it with Tenshinhan in the Cell arc.
- Only Sane Man: Most of the time.
- Overprotective Dad: Even when Gohan becomes far more powerful than he will ever be, Piccolo would still lay his life down to protect the boy.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: But not so much that he loses plot importance. When he Can't Catch Up after the Cell Saga, he switches roles to The Mentor for the younger heroes. He gets a better deal in the movies though (if you consider them canon), where he usually at least gets to dispatch the Big Bad's Elite Mooks and, in two of them (Dead Zone and Lord Slug), he even saves the day.
- By the Buu arc, not only is he God (well, he fused with God...), but he's the fourth most powerful non-fused protagonist (unless you count the Supreme Kai) and one of the top ten most powerful beings in the universe, period. Too bad that's still nothing compared to Buu, Vegeta, Gohan, Goku, the Supreme Kai, and Dabura.
- Papa Wolf: Not even Freeza could withstand his wrath when he tried to murder Gohan.
- Not just Freeza—Piccolo took on Broly to save Gohan. He put up a pretty damn good fight too.
- Its like this, threaten the kid and the only thing that's stopping Goku from tearing you in two is Piccolo having done it before him.
- Parental Substitute: To Gohan after Goku kicks it early on. Their special bond is never quite diminished and even as late as the Cell saga, Gohan still prefers to wear Piccolo-style clothing rather than Goku's.
- Perpetual Frowner: Post Heel-Face Turn, he barely smiles.
- Promotion to Parent: To Son Gohan, whenever Son Goku is dead or missing.
- Psychic Powers: Mostly in Filler but he did levitate about four pyramids with his mind. Seems to be an innate Namekian trait since synchronising his with Dende allowed Goku to escape from HFIL in GT.
- Psychopathic Manchild: In Dragon Ball.
- Purple Is Powerful: Wears a purple outfit and his Battle Aura is purple as well.
- Redemption Equals Death: The first time.
- Reformed But Not Tamed: Even after his Heel-Face Turn, he was generally aloof and distant to the human characters, some of them considered him outright scary, while he spared his gentler side for Gohan. Shoot, he even invoked this when he acted as if the protagonists weren't his allies when he reluctantly decided to merge with Kami. He's also pretty ruthless in battle, at one point severing Dr. Gero's arm (though he originally assumed he was just an android), and bifurcating Babidi.
- Reincarnation: Of his own father, King Piccolo.
- Signature Move: Special Beam Cannon, Light Grenade, and Hellzone Grenade
- Sink or Swim Mentor: When he first started training Gohan, he had no qualms about throwing him at a sheer cliff to trigger his hidden power, and followed that up by leaving him in a wasteland filled with dinosaurs for half a year. He made up for it.
- The Smart Guy: In the Cell Saga.
- Straight Man: Especially while paired with Gotenks.
- Supporting Leader: Debateable, mostly, but definitely when he and the protagonists were doing their best to distract Cell.
- Super Senses: Like all Namekians he has incredibly acute sense of hearing.
- Surrounded by Idiots: How he feels most of the time, and you really can't blame him, either.
- Taken for Granite: In the Buu Saga thanks to Dabura.
- Taking the Bullet: For Gohan in the Saiyan Saga, and Goku in the anime version of the Freeza arc.
- Tame His Anger: This had a lot to do with his friendship with Gohan.
- Team Dad: It is so worth noting that he's probably the most sensible, level-headed character in the entire series, and the other characters often defer to him in a crisis. He's the responsible one who always has a plan and is probably the most protective of Earth. Also tends to get stuck training or babysitting the younger characters.
- Not to mention he's probably the smartest. After fusing with Kami (aka God), he became much more intelligent, not to say that he was stupid. It's no wonder they come to him for advice when he possesses the wisdom of God.
- Gets even funnier when you realize that, technically speaking, he's one of the youngest characters. He's only four years older than Gohan — making him something like sixteen years younger than Goku! Technically speaking, he's a mind that is hundreds of years old inside of a much younger body.
- Theme Naming: After a musical instrument which he (his dad) and his siblings are all named after.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Three times. Once after training Gohan, once after merging with Nail, and once after reuniting with Kami.
- Token Evil Teammate: In the Saiyan saga.
- Tritagonist: In the Saiyan Saga. He and Vegeta trade the position throughout the Freeza and Cell arcs.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?
- You Killed My Father: Towards Goku (well, technically, it's revenge towards Goku having killed him, as he is the reincarnation of his father, King Piccolo).
- Younger than They Look: He's technically only three years old when he fights at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, and eight at the start of Dragon Ball Z.
Son Gohan (孫 悟飯)
Kid Gohan voiced by (Latin American):
Laura Torres, Araceli De Leon
), Karina Altamirano (Kai
Adult(Future) Gohan voiced by (Latin American): Luis Alfonso Mendoza
Son of Goku and Chi-Chi introduced in the Z
series, and a half-Saiyan (he starts off having a tail like Goku did). At first was just a little crybaby with hidden strength. But under the tutelage of Piccolo and his experiences in battle, turns into quite an accomplished warrior. Unfortunately for him, he hates violence and would rather be a scholar.
- Accidental Pervert: He saves a girl named Lime from drowning by holding her chest from behind when he flies her to safety.
- Action Dad: At the end of the series and in GT.
- Adorably Precocious Child: As a kid. He fought on the battle field along with the other protagonists against the Saiyans, Freeza, and Cell. He also traveled to another planet when he was five.
- Adorkable: Teen Gohan and Adult Gohan.
- All-Loving Hero: Like Father, Like Son.
- Amazon Chaser: He was impressed by Videl's fighting prowess as well as her looks.
- Atrocious Alias: "The Great Saiyaman?" Really, Gohan?
- Audience Surrogate: Gohan is the sensitive, down to Earth every-boy that the audience can easily relate to amongst all the warriors.
- Awesomeness Is Volatile: He punches Freeza so hard, the guy explodes immediately afterward.
- Badass: He gets it from his father. Even at kindergarten-age, Gohan doesn't hesitate to stand up to opponents much stronger than him if it means protecting his loved ones, and is able to land blows on Vegeta and Freeza. His best moment comes when he destroys Cell, an android with the abilities of the strongest fighters in the world, at the age of 11. Even his father only started to get stronger at age 11.
- Badass Adorable: Even when his gorgeous little brother Goten took the Moe status away from him, he became the ideal boyfriend amongst otaku fangirls.
- Badass Boast While Staring Down Cthulhu: "Fight you? No, I want to kill you." indeed
- Badass Bookworm: In his adult years. He became a scholar and is still one of the strongest in the universe. He was also this as a teenager, being a straight A student and able to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Majin Buu after his power-up.
- Badass Cape: Gets one like Piccolo's for the Cell Games.
- Badass Decay: Experienced this in the 7 years of peace after the Cell Games, as clearly shown in his fight against Dabura. When the audience is introduced to Capsule Corp. again after the timeskip, Vegeta merely glances at him, and is the first one to notice. And he calls him out for it on two separate occasions. He later fixes it, though.
- Battle Couple: When teaming with Videl as Saiyaman and Saiyagirl, respectively.
- Being Good Sucks: Future Gohan is a very good example of this. After witnessing his father and all of his friends die at the hands of the androids, Gohan went into hiding in order to train himself to become strong enough to challenge this new threat. He spent his entire adult life challenging the androids to no avail, watching as countless innocents died at the hands of the monstrous duo. His reward for all of his self-sacrfice was to lose his left arm, and in the next and final fight between him and his two nemesis, Gohan was completely outmatched and left for dead, with his face down on the ground of the wreckage of yet another city he failed to protect. And then a sad rain starts pouring over his battered, crippled corpse. It's amazing how Trunks didn't have all of his spirit sapped way at such a tragic sight.
- Berserk Button: You can pound him into dog food, but hurt his loved ones or any Innocent Bystander in front of him and...
- Beware the Nice Ones: ...You'll get the shit kicked out of you by Super Saiyan 2 Gohan.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Future Trunks in the alternate timeline; slightly less so to Goten and Present Trunks in the main series timeline. Krillin is this to him.
- Big Eater: Inherits his father's appetite when he reaches adulthood.
- Boring, but Practical: "Mystic" / "Ultimate" Gohan doesn't look flashy (he doesn't even go Super Saiyan), but goes even beyond Super Saiyan 3 in power and doesn't require Gohan to spend energy or put any strain on his body to use it.
- Boy Next Door: To Videl.
- Brainy Brunette: In his normal form.
- Brainy Specs: Post-Time Skip after Buu is defeated, as an adult, when he's finally become a scholar.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Gohan... First, he loses his father and then his mentor during the Saiyan invasion. He then has to fight a galactic tyrant who nearly caused the genocide of all the Namakians. He also watched his Honorary Uncle and new found friend murdered before his eyes and his recently revived mentor shot through the chest by the same tyrant. After returning to Earth he had to trained to get ready for two killer androids that murders everyone he loves in an alternative timeline and is thrown into a life-and-death battle against a bio-android by his own father. Gohan didn't have an easy childhood and Future Gohan from the alternative timeline had it far worse.
- Break the Haughty: Gets hit with this heavily after his transformation into a Super Saiyan 2. His false belief that Cell had no way to hurt him anymore led him to drag the fight out, which eventually resulted in the deaths of both his father and later Trunks. And then after Cell returns, hes immediately assuming he'll have the upper hand and won't have any trouble avenging Goku's death. Cue Vegeta's ill-fated Roaring Rampage of Revenge and Gohan ultimately letting one of his arms get broken in order to save Vegeta's life.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Has (by far) the most natural fighting ability out of the entire cast, but he doesn't share his father's love of fighting and usually won't bother to train unless there's a threat. Because of this, he actually gets weaker after the Time Skip. Vegeta chews him out for it, although, being DBZ, he eventually gets a new powerup anyway.
- Bully Hunter: Especially as the Great Saiyaman.
- The Cape: Parodies this as a Shout-Out to Super Sentai as the Great Saiyaman.
- Character Development: He undergoes the most in Z, appropriate to his aging throughout the series. Notably, his entire subplot in the Saiyan Saga revolves around his growth from a cowardly "spoiled brat" to standing up to his fears and being able to fight.
- Chick Magnet: In high school he's quite popular with the ladies.
- Child Prodigy: In both fighting and academics.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: One of Gohan's defining characteristics. He absolutely cannot bring himself to pass up someone in need. This leads to his friendship with Dende, becoming Saiyaman, and his eventual death fighting the androids in the other timeline.
- Cool Big Bro: To Goten.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Much like his father, he has an easy-going, innocent demeanor with a dose of dork. However, he is among the strongest in the universe and could become the strongest if he desired. And let's not get started on what happens when his Berserk Button is pushed.
- The Cutie: Especially as a child.
- Dead Guy Junior: Named after Goku's adopted grandfather.
- Decoy Protagonist: In the Buu Saga, it's established that he has taken over his father's role as the key protector of the world (as the finale of the Cell Saga supported). However, he ends up being temporarily absorbed by Buu, leaving his father to take over as The Hero once more.
- Demoted to Extra: In GT.
- Determinator: As much as his father.
- Dork Knight: Especially as a teen.
- Deuteragonist: Though he's promoted to Protagonist and subsequently demoted to Tritagonist over the course of the Buu Saga.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: "There is no way I'm gonna let my girlfriend kiss that old relic!" after several instances of denying anything more than friendship with Videl.
- Extreme Doormat: Has tendencies of this. When Videl blackmailed him and all the times he ran into Vegeta as a child. Especially one infamous moment when Vegeta lectured him by being brutally honest because of his fight with Dabura. In both situations, he just stood and did nothing instead of standing up for himself.
- Father, I Don't Want To Fight: Until provoked by Cell, that is...
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible Sibling to Goten's Foolish Sibling.
- Friendless Background: Subverted. Because Gohan was raised in seclusion, he only made friends with adults and he never had any friends his own age until he turned 17.
- Friend to All Living Things: Has his father's tendency to love and befriend animals.
- Future Badass: In the The History of Trunks side story, where he losses his arm.
- Gaining The Will To Kill: Gohan, while being in several life or death fights throughout the series where he usually acted on instinct, (and was never powerful enough to kill enemies on his own outside of filler arcs) was faced with the decision to consciously kill Cell during the Cell games. Despite being brutalized by Cell and watching him torment all the other Z fighters and threaten the planet, Gohan doesn't gain the will to kill until Android 16 encourages him that in this instance it's okay before being crushed to death just a few feet away from him. This turning point pushes him into a sustained Super Saiyan 2 form for the first time.
- Genius Bruiser: One of the most powerful members of the cast, and also one of the smartest.
- The Gift: Even among his fellow hybrids, Gohan possesses the most fighting potential and could easily trump any fighter in the series.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Normally as a Super Saiyan, but subverted as a Super Saiyan 2 where he drops his restraints and holds nothing back against Cell or the Cell Jr.s afterwards.
- Half-Human Hybrid: His father's a Saiyan, his mother's a human.
- Handicapped Badass: Future Gohan becomes one after he loses an arm fighting the androids.
- Happily Ever After/High School Sweethearts: Meets his wife on his first day of high school.
- Harmful to Minors: This guy saw his dad die at four years of age, and was exposed to the horrors that come along fighting the protagonists at five. This led to not following up on a combo Meteor Move against Nappa, and panicking behind a rock, with Piccolo later chewing him out because of it, nearly dismissing him note , whilst Krillin was more sympathetic and understanding. He later grows out of his fear by the end of the Vegeta arc, battling alongside his senior warriors with guys like Freeza and Cell.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Gohan showed hints of the in the Cell Arc by berating himself for his docile nature. At the end with Gohan's final showdown with Cell, Goku tells Gohan to stop attacking himself, and pushes him to believe in himself.
- Honor Before Reason: Will protect the innocent no matter what.
- Hybrid Power: As a Saiyan-hybrid he has far more inherent power than pure members of either race. He can, in fact, become the strongest fighter in the universe.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: If he wanted to he'd be the most powerful being in the entire universe, but he'd much rather have a normal life... he does succeed for a little while, but then everything goes to hell again.
- I Want My Mommy: As a kid, when he got lost and when he got kidnapped by Piccolo, you can hear him saying this.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Like his father
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Like his father, he turns into a great ape whenever he looks at the full moon while he has his tail, which was once used to the heroes' advantage as a last resort in the battle against Vegeta.
- I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Having grown up with literally everyone in his life having superhuman powers, he doesn't realize that normal people cannot effortlessly jump 30 feet into the air.
- He doesn't realize that since common crooks are far less dangerous than Freeza and Cell, Videl can take care of herself in fights with them. Then again, he's right to be worried about her, since she often make mistakes dealing with terrain hazards (cliffs, falling objects) that could easily prove fatal without his help.
- It's All My Fault: Blames himself for his father's second death, when he could've just instantly slaughtered Cell and instead decided to torture him, which led to Cell having a Villainous Breakdown and attempt a Taking You with Me, prompting Goku to step up and sacrifice himself for Earth's sake.
- Just a Kid: Although not as much as his father, he was often underestimated as a child. Like his father before him, he quickly proves them wrong, especially when mad.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Later learned to do this.
- Kid Hero: Was this until the Buu Saga.
- Large Ham: THE GREAT SAIYAAAMAAAN!
- Licked by the Dog: His relationship with Piccolo.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: Videl is one of the strongest women on the planet, just as Chi-Chi was at her age. The Funimation dub even had Gohan explicitly say that he's never met someone so headstrong and obstinate, "except for my mother." They didn't bother hiding this one.
- Lightning Bruiser: In Super Saiyan 2 form.
- Lunacy: The Oozaru transformation.
- Manly Tears: When he went Super Saiyan 2 for the first time.
- Martial Pacifist: Has the potential to be the strongest person in the universe; hates watching people get hurt.
- Meaningful Name: Half Saiyan + Half Human = Saiyaman
- Megane: As an adult, except when serious because outside of fighting, he has a job.
- Messianic Archetype: In the original Japanese version of the chapter where he achieves Super Saiyan 2 and saves the world from Cell's genocidal killing-spree ("Son Gohan Erupts!!"), the subtitle blurb of the chapter cover is "Savior, Thy Name is Son Gohan!!" This of course, is butchered-and-mangled into "A Great Fighter, His Name Is Gohan" in the English version to avoid offending the religious.
- Minored In Ass Kicking: Became a scholar in the finale.
- Moment of Weakness: Apparently he considers the moment when he cowered behind a rock instead of attacking Nappa back in the Vegeta arc, to be this. Moments afterward, Tenshinhan dies, and he blames himself for not being strong enough to prevent it. Worse, Piccolo agrees with him and chews him out even more, nearly dismissing him. Even in the Cell arc in the anime, it's shown that he still feels guilt over this, enough for it, and his other insecurities to push him into a Super Saiyan transformation for the first time.
- Momma's Boy: Downplayed. While Chi-Chi doesn't make every decision for him in his adulthood, he just has a close relationship with her.
- Morality Pet: To Piccolo.
- Mr. Fanservice: Grown up Gohan.
- My Death Is Only The Beginning: Future Gohan to the Androids: "There is no end for me! NO END!"
- Nerds Are Sexy: Even when wearing orange pants and heavy glasses! He's been called a nerd in series.
- Nerd Glasses: As an adult.
- Nice Guy: One of the most unambiguously kind characters in the whole franchise.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After utterly decimating Cell at Super Saiyan 2, leaving him badly wounded and missing several limbs, Gohan decides to hold back and savor Cell's pain and suffering for a bit longer even while Goku and the others urge him to finish the fight, unfortunately giving Cell the time to regenerate and then try to blow up the Earth, leading to Goku's semi-Senseless Sacrifice.
- Not Quite Dead: Got blasted to kingdom come by Buu only to narrowly survive thanks to Supreme Kai. Everyone thought he was dead.
- Not With Them For The Money: For Videl.
- The Obi-Wan: To Trunks in the Bad Future.
- Oblivious to Love: Endearingly and completely clueless about Videl's affections towards him until it's spelled out in black and white. Once that happens, he tries to deny his own feelings toward her for a while, but it doesn't last long at all.
- He can't tell that Erasa has a crush on him either, when she's clearly hitting on him while doubling as Ms. Exposition.
- Only Sane Man: Most of the time.
- Out of Focus: After being one of the primary protagonists during the entirety of Dragon Ball Z, his role in GT is little more than a cameo at times.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As a child.
- Power Strain Blackout: When Gohan first goes Super Saiyan 2, he triggers it for only a second then passes out. This was seen in one of Goku's flashbacks of their training in the time chamber and was the moment that convinced him that Gohan could beat Cell if he could sustain that power.
- Psychotic Smirk/Slasher Smile: Oh dear god yes.◊
- Punny Name: Saiyaman! (Remember that hito/jin means "person".)
- Purple Is Powerful: Subverted in the actual Big Bad fights in the Freeza and Buu arcs, played very straight in the Cell arc.
- Revenge Before Reason: Super Saiyan 2 Gohan refused to just kill Cell already because he felt Cell hadn't suffered enough.
- Secret Identity: The Great Saiyaman.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Denied anything going on between him and Videl. At first...
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Goten.
- Signature Move: Masenko and Kamehameha (Specifically Father-Son Kamehameha)
- Specs of Awesome: In GT.
- Spiky Hair: His hair as a teenager is spiked up by default.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: His transformation into a cold-blooded and sadistic Super Saiyan 2 is chilling, to say the least. Also, his transformation into a Great Ape
- Surpassed the Teacher: He does this twice. First with Piccolo, and then with Goku.
- Tagalong Kid: Until the Cell Saga.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Of the Adorkable/Nerds Are Sexy kind in the Buu arc. He's even taller than Goku.
- Tears of Fear: Quite often during the Saiyan Sage. Less often during the Freeza Sage.
- Tender Tears: It is quite tragic that one so powerful is born with a heart this kind.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives an epic one to Goku during their training in the hyperbolic time chamber when he realizes that Goku is holding back his power during their sessions and Gohan is unable to receive proper training as a result. This forces Goku to drop his restraints and fight Gohan at full force.
- Time to Unlock More True Potential: In fact, he's got so much innate potential that he is told by Guru that he is capable of unlocking only a small portion of it, the rest of which is later manifested as Super Saiyan 2 and fully unleashed by Old Kai.
- Took a Level in Badass: Throughout all of Z but mainly achieving Super Saiyan 2.
- Training from Hell: The poor kid suffered this under Piccolo, and when he finally escaped it he suffered a similar method under Chi-Chi. Totally worth it, mind.
- Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes: Look at the picture.
- Tykebomb: Was raised by Piccolo to be a Worthy Opponent as well as fighting the Saiyans.
- Goku follows this even more when he throws him into the fight with Cell
- Unskilled, but Strong: According to Raditz's scouter, his power level as an emotional four-year-old dwarfs that of trained adults Goku and Piccolo. Unlike the other characters, Gohan is very rarely training to become stronger, per se. Gohan's training is usually about accessing the huge amounts of latent power he already has. As a result, he's rarely shown utilizing different techniques or strategies, he tends to either get tossed around like a rag doll or overwhelm his opponents with sheer brute force.
- To put into perspective just how powerful he is, at the age of six, he was several thousand times stronger than his father was in young adulthood.
- Unstoppable Rage: What Gohan's "hidden powers" usually manifest as. While lots of characters get stronger when angry, Gohan's strength skyrockets to absurd levels when it happens to him. Several characters get Genre Savvy about this and try to engineer situations that will make him mad in order to take advantage of such power.
- Use Your Head: Used effectively against his uncle Raditz.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: The Serious Child to Goku's Wacky Parent. Although he has his "dork" moments, he is usually portrayed as more serious and sane.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Not so much towards Goku, who he loves anyway, but towards his second-father, Piccolo. Thankfully, the love is fully returned from the Demon King.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: A rare non-villainous example. Gohan has been known to not use his full power to end a contest quickly, largely because he lacks his father's tactical skill and Vegeta's killer instinct. This bites him in the ass on more than one occasion, particularly during the Cell Saga.
- Though the Cell Example is more an example of Superpowered Evil Side. The worst example of this would probably be when he failed to finish off Buu while he had the chance.
- Wild Hair: Unlike his dad his hair does grow, and he has this look a few times as a kid (usually after a long training session).
- The Worf Effect:
- Read Gotenks' profile, though he is the only protagonist besides Vegeta to actually touch him... and then instantly Curb-Stomped the moment Beerus notices him.
- Gets one-shotted by Fat Buu, demonstrating that despite his childish appearance, Buu is insanely powerful. In fact, the blow was so strong, it knocked him out, sent him flying miles away, and reduced his ki to below sensory threshold, causing everybody but Supreme Kai to think he was dead.
- You Leave Him Alone!: Invoked for the first time to stop Raditz from beating Goku to death, and with spectacular regularity later on.
Vegeta (ベジータ; Bejiita)
Voiced by (Latin American): Rene Garcia
, Luis Daniel Ramírez (young), Andrés Gutiérrez Coto (Kai
), Carlos Díaz (young in Kai
The royal prince of all Saiyans and, along with Goku, one of the few surviving members of his race. Started out as a villain who came to Earth to use the Dragon Balls for his own ends. But after that battle and his repeated run-ins with the heroes, he slowly but surely starts to come over to the heroes' side... somewhat.
- Absurdly Youthful Father: Thanks to being a Saiyan he hasn't changed a day since the fight with Buu, while his wife aged less gracefully.
- Abusive Parents:
- Freeza was his parental figure for most of his life.
- Acted like this towards Future Trunks, but learned the errors of his ways after Trunks is killed by Cell.
- Action Dad: To Trunks and Bulla.
- Aloof Big Brother: He acts like this to Tarble.
- Always Second Best: Throughout the series, he hates that Goku is stronger than him.
- Antagonist in Mourning: After Goku's death in the Cell Games. He decides to never fight again.
- Anti-Hero: One of the greatest examples anime or manga has ever given us. He pretty much created the mold for anti-heroic characters in Shonen anime and manga and went through the whole scale of anti-heroism during his character development in the series.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The king of this trope. Often leads to epic Break the Haughty moments, even after becoming a good guy.
- Authority Equals Ass Kicking: There's a really good reason why he and his father were treated like royalty by the one of the most savage and brutal races in the universe. Just ask Nappa... in the afterlife (see below).
- Awesomeness by Analysis: How he learned the protagonists' signature ability to sense other people's energy.
- Ax-Crazy: In his majin state became this.
- Badass: Continued to be so despite experiencing some Badass Decay.
- Badass Decay: And he's completely aware of it.
- Badass Arm-Fold: Almost as iconic as his psychotic smirk.
Trunks (トランクス; Torankusu)
Adult Trunks voiced by (English): Eric Vale
); Allistair Abell (Ocean); Matthew Erickson (Blue Water)
Kid Trunks voiced by (Latin American): Gaby Willer, Rocío Garcel (Baby)
Adult Trunks voiced by (Latin American): Sergio Bonilla, Luis Fernando Orozco (Kai)
Son of Vegeta and Bulma. There are actually two versions of him in the story.Both Versions Future Timeline
When Trunks is first introduced, he is a traveler from an alternate future where Androids have destroyed much of the world. He comes to the main timeline to warn Goku and his friends of their fate and then sticks around to make sure none of it comes to pass.
- Adaptational Badass: When he first shows up. In the manga, he's only about as strong as Goku was on Namek when he fought Freeza. In the anime, he defeats two guys who are stronger than Goku was on Namek. In a Curb-Stomp Battle.
- To clarify: in the manga, Freeza was always inferior to Super Saiyan Goku despite putting up a decent fight, and King Cold was weaker than Freeza. Mecha Freeza was stronger than normal Freeza, but not quite as strong as Goku. When Trunks showed up, he pretty much instantly ended Freeza when he was distracted rather than let him power-up, so Freeza never really got the chance to put up a fight. In the anime, Freeza was equal with Super Saiyan Goku on Namek, fighting him to a stalemate until his stamina started dropping... and Mecha Freeza was supposedly even stronger than that, but without the stamina issues. King Cold is also made out to be even stronger than Mecha Freeza. Unlike in the manga, Trunks actually lets Freeza power up... and despite Mecha Freeza being even stronger than Goku was on Namek, Trunks completely humiliates him with no effort and kills his stronger father soon after.
- The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People/Misery Builds Character: Growing up After the End (and without Vegeta's influence) made this Trunks responsible, polite and selfless.
- Back from the Dead: This is actually noticeable for him since his timeline has no Dragon Balls in it.
- Badass: Remember Freeza? The guy who took a really long time to defeat back on Namek? Trunks introduces himself by instantly killing him.
- Badass Arm-Fold: An overconfident Trunks displays this when fighting Perfect Cell.
- Bad Future: Where he came from.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Like his mentor, Gohan, he's shy, polite, kind, and values the sanctity of life. Also like his mentor, if you violate that sanctity in front of him, he will do his damndest to end you. And, as other tropes attest, he's perfectly capable of ruthlessness.
- The Big Guy: His fights mostly showcase his raw strength. His fight with Perfect Cell, however, deconstructs this.
- Big "NO!": (In)famously in the English dub, as well as in Kai.
- Breakout Character: His importance in video games is something to be amazed with. That's where his attacks got named in the first place. In Final Bout he's treated as a separate character even tough there's other two grown-up Trunks in the game already. In Shin Budokai and Heroes, Trunks is The Protagonist and a Supporting Protagonist respectively. Also the latest video games are fond of giving the Super Saiyan 3 transformation to other Saiyans besides Goku but they're just thrown in with no proper build up. Trunks' transformation, however, is an important plot ticket in Heroes and got an animation just for it.
- During the Cell Saga, in Japan's Character poll Trunks ranked higher than both Vegeta and Piccolo.
- Break the Cutie: Growing up After the End was one thing but particularly finding his Big Brother Mentor Gohan dead at age 13.
- Calling Your Attacks: Averted—he's actually pretty quiet during battle and his attacks only get named in the video games.
- Clipped Wing Angel: A rare heroic example when he goes Ultra Super Saiyan against Perfect Cell.
- Combat Pragmatist: Bless him, he tries to fight according to "common sense". He does have a sense of honor, but that's for friendly sparring matches or tournament bouts only; when it comes to saving innocent lives, he'll do whatever works. Unfortunately for him, he's in a Shōnen series.
- That said, when he is stronger than his opponent, it does not last long. Future Trunks is not interested in a fair fight, holding back, or challenges. This is justified as a byproduct of the Bad Future he grew up in.
- Seen clearly against Freeza. Instead of letting him power up to 100% like Goku did, he cut him in half the minute he was distracted. In the manga at least.
- He's also the only who thinks to attack Cell during his Transformation Sequence. It didn't work (apparently transforming generates a heck of ki barrier), but points for trying.
- Cool Sword: Apparently the one Tapion used, assuming Wrath of the Dragon is canon and that it's the same sword used by Main Timeline Trunks.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: First to Freeza and King Cold. Then gets to perform an ultra satisfying one on the Androids and later on Cell after returning to his own time.
- Death by Irony: When he fails to kill Cell in his Ascended Saiyan form, he says that Cell can destroy him. Cell spares him on the prospect that he could get stronger before the tournament. Trunks becomes stronger in the hyperbolic time chamber and sees Cell destroyed when Cell self-destructs. When Cell is reconstructed, Trunks is immediately killed by his first attack.
- Did He Just Slice and Destroy Freeza?: The reaction he invoked in the cast when they witnessed him slice Mecha Freeza in half.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After growing up in an apocalyptic world, seeing your mentor and the closest thing to a big brother die, fleeing everyday from the killing machines responsible for all of the above, going back in time to a world where the heroes are still alive and to find a solution to make his timeline better, maybe earning the respect of the father he never knew, and confronting another horrible killing machine from the future (even dying briefly). With the Earth saved, he finally earns his father's respect, returns to the future to exact sweet revenge on the androids, and finally wait to defeat Cell, saving his world and allowing for the world to rebuild itself.
- Expy: Something of a Composite Character of Kyle Reese and John Connor from the Terminator series.
- Failure Is the Only Option: He's well-aware that anything he does in the past will have no effect in his future, but merely create a better alternate timeline.
- Friend to All Living Things: Anime and Bojack Unbound movie only, where he's a hit with the squirrel population and pink alien rodents at least...
- Genius Bruiser: A variant. His fighting style is mostly brute force, but he's quite intelligent out of battle.
- Good Is Not Soft: While Trunks is normally polite, caring, and greatly values life, he is also very practical-minded and can be ruthless when the situation calls for it. He rarely speaks or engages in boastful behavior during combat, and he always fights with his full strength, seeking not the defeat of his enemies, but their deaths. Notable examples of this aspect of his personality at work include attacking his father Vegeta with a powerful blast because Vegeta was trying to stop him from killing Cell before he became Perfect and, before accepting him as an ally, powering up in front of a damaged Android 16 in order to show him that he is the stronger one of the two and that, should Android 16 ever step out of line, Trunks will destroy him without hesitation.
- Greater Need Than Mine: The main reason he's so desperate for this timeline to be different than his.
- Growing Muscles Sequence: Gets a very dramatic one when he goes Super Saiyan 3rd Grade. Unfortunately, the extra mass slows him down.
- Harmful to Minors: His entire backstory falls under this.
- Heroic BSOD: When he fails to defeat Perfect Cell with the realization his Ultra Super Saiyan form is too slow, he gives up all hope and promptly tells Cell to kill him. Luckily, Cell was more interested in the Super Saiyans' sudden enormous strength to oblige.
- Hurting Hero: Grew up in a world ruled by two merciless androids, found his mentor Gohan lying dead in the rain, and then fought the androids himself to no avail.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: He proves this against Freeza's minions when he defeats them.
- Kid from the Future: Nearly blows his cover too, but luckily Bulma and Vegeta don't figure it out early.
- Last of His Kind: As far as we are shown (if the movies aren't canon), Future Trunks is the last being with Saiyan blood left in his timeline.
- Sole Survivor: He's also the last remaining protagonist after Future Gohan dies.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Again when his hair is longer.
- Mighty Glacier: In his Ultra Super Saiyan state. He's only "slow" when compared to the other characters, but that was enough for Cell to beat him handily.
- Mr. Fanservice: It's been theorized that a major reason people ship Vegeta/Bulma (which, when it was first written into the manga, would have been a Crack Pairing of epic proportions) is just to make sure he's born. Readership with women went up when he was introduced.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted. Trunks meets his present self, still an infant, who pulls his hair.
- Nice Guy: In contrast to his brash, egotistical, arrogant, and violent counterpart raised by Vegeta, Trunks raised by Bulma alone turns out to be a well-mannered, gentle, introspective, sensitive, and kind sweetheart.
Main Series Timeline
- Pragmatic Hero: One of the few good guys in DBZ' that will flat out try to kill the villain as quickly as possible, as opposed to holding back or finding some reason to spare them.
- Put on a Bus: He returned to his alternate future timeline.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Upon returning home, Trunks proceeds to hunt down 17 and 18 and destroys them in a Curb-Stomp Battle that doubles as a Reason You Suck Speech. He then waits for Cell and also takes him out with haste finally securing peace for his timeline.
- Sacrificial Lion: He was this to show that not only was Cell BACK, he was Super Perfect and that anyone could bite it with Goku already being dead.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: An unusual example in that he's not trying to correct his own timeline, but make an alternate one where the Bad Future never happened. Although he is looking for a way to save what's left of earth in his timeline.
- Shout-Out: A Future Badass comes back in time to save the present from cyborgs? Where have I heard that before? This version of Trunks and Bulma also visually resemble John and Sarah Connor as they appear in the second movie.
- Signature Move: Burning Attack
- Smug Smiler: Something that gets overshadowed by his overall character but Trunks, when he believes victory is assured, tends to drop some pretty epic smirks as seen when fighting Freeza and Cell in his future. Perhaps he’s not that different from his father after all. To the point that Vegeta has a dream of a Super Saiyan Trunks giving him one◊.
- Sphere of Destruction: His Heat Dome Attack makes one around him. Also his Burning Attack, which involves him flailing his arms around wildly first.
- Stepford Smiler: Trunks was definitely this at the beginning of the Android Saga when he met the protagonists with smiles after defeating Freeza and King Cold. They had no idea where he was from or the fact he's a Hurting Hero who arrived to prevent their deaths.
- Tell Me About My Father: Bulma's kindly-meant whitewashing of Vegeta's personality paid off with some unexpected dividends later on.
- Took a Level in Badass: Wasn't badass enough at first to take on the androids of his timeline but then spent time training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
- Tragic Dream: He wants to correct the primary timeline because he can't fix his own one beyond rebuilding after the apocalypse.
- Troubled, but Cute: Twenty years of fleeing for your life from two homicidal androids has left Future Trunks emotionally scarred and serious.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Desperately wants approval from the father he never knew. He earns it.
- Would Hit a Girl: In his fights against Future Android 18.
- You Are Already Dead: Does this to Android 14 in the Super Android 13 movie with his sword and without saying a word.
Afterward, the Trunks of the main timeline is revealed to be somewhat of a daredevil and thrill seeker (partially thanks to his father's influence), usually being the one to make the decisions between Goten and himself. He mellows out by the GT
saga though and is a bit more rational—he has to be when he's the CEO of Capsule Corporation at only 23.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Vegeta was around, what did you expect?
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He may be the President of Capsule Corp, but he can still kick ass.
- Bash Brothers: With Goten.
- Bratty Half-Pint: What distinguishes him from Future Trunks, thanks to growing up in a time of peace (and having his father around).
- Dragged into Drag/Disguised in Drag/Harmless Lady Disguise. Hilariously in GT as a bride.
- Demoted to Extra: Later on in GT.
- Fusion Dance: Into Gotenks and part of the Trope Namer.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Like father, like son.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Goten.
- Kid Hero: Shares this with Goten.
- Morality Pet: The first half of Vegeta's reason to become a better person.
- Just a Kid: Before his first fight at the tournament, he was belittled by the other children (he was forced into the kids division) since he was so small and young. Didn't last after the first fight.
- Mr. Fixit: In GT.
- Naughty Is Good: As a kid.
- Nobody Calls Me Chicken: Again, like father, like son.
- Older than They Look: In the Battle of Gods movie.
- Pint-Sized Kid: As a kid.
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: GT, but only when he dresses up to work at Capsule Corp.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Goten's red.
- Scarf Of Ass Kicking: In GT.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The "manly" part (well, bratty at least) with Goten.
- The Smart Guy: In GT. Granted, his competition is Goku and Pan...
- Spoiled Sweet: Unlike Future Trunks, he grew up privileged. Still a decent guy, he just picks up more of Vegeta's arrogance.
- Straight Man: To Goku and Pan in GT.
- Team Mom: Is a male version of this in GT. He's just not enough of a disciplinarian to be a Team Dad.
Son Goten (孫 悟天)
Kid Goten voiced by (Latin American): Laura Torres, ??? (Battle of the Gods)
Adult Goten voiced by (Latin American): Víctor Ugarte
The second son of Goku and Chi-Chi, born some time after the Cell Games. Has a very childlike naivety not unlike Goku when he was little; though also has Gohan's childhood crybaby tendencies. Between Trunks and himself, he's surprisingly the voice of reason, though he usually goes along with the former's ideas. By GT
, he settles down to live more or less as a normal teenager, worrying more about girls than fighting.
- Adorkable: Well mannered, naïve, and so dorky he's the only person who finds Gohan's embarrassing superhero costume to be "cool."
- Adorably Precocious Child: As a kid.
- All-Loving Hero
- Always Save the Girl: In GT, always tries to save Valese.
- Badass Adorable: Considerate, kind, sensitive, warm-hearted, polite AND can kick the ass of evil.
- Bash Brothers: With Main Timeline Trunks.
- Big Brother Worship: He absolutely loves and adores Gohan, to the point of thinking that hideous Saiyaman costume is cool.
- Big Eater: A family trait.
- Break the Cutie: He goes through this after watching Super Buu murder his mother by turning her into an egg and crushing it.
- Butt Monkey: Big time.
- Cheerful Child: He's a Generation Xerox of Goku.
- Chick Magnet: Much like his father and big brother. In GT, college-age Goten seems to be going out with girls all the time.
- Children Are Innocent: As a child.
- Cool Little Bro: Gohan sees him as this.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Like his older brother and father, he's easy-going, innocent, and inherited his father's naivety. However, like everyone else in his family, he's a cute bruiser who holds the title for the youngest Super Saiyan.
- The Cutie: Look at him.
- Demoted to Extra: In GT.
- Dork Knight: As an adult.
- The Everyman: When he grows up.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish Sibling to Gohan's Responsible Sibling.
- Friend to All Living Things: His love for animals is identical to that of his father's, too.
- Fusion Dance: Into Gotenks and part of the Trope Namer.
- Generation Xerox: Look at the picture.
- Half-Human Hybrid: His father's a Saiyan, his mother's a human.
- Hereditary Hairstyle: Got it from Goku.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With main timeline Trunks.
- Hybrid Power: As a Saiyan-hybrid he has far more inherent power than pure members of either race. He becomes the youngest Super Saiyan in the series.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Just like his father and big brother, this is what allows him to ride the Nimbus cloud before he learns how to fly.
- Innocent Prodigy: He didn't even know what a Super Saiyan was when he accidentally transformed during his sparring match with Chi-Chi.
- Just a Kid: Like Trunks above, was underestimated by the other children during kid diversion of the tournament. And just like Trunks, it didn't last after his first match.
- Kamehame Hadoken: On occasion.
- Keet: Super energetic, and rather loud.
- Kid Hero: Shares this role with Trunks.
- Momma's Boy: Is this to Chi-Chi along with Gohan. Downplayed, as he is shown still living with her in GT, and she's not trying to make every single decision for him.
- Naughty Is Good: He is partners in mischief with Trunks, after all.
- Nice Guy: He's the nicer one of the Trunks/Goten duo.
- Older Than He Looks: In the Battle of Gods movie.
- Only Sane Man: Sometimes.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As a kid.
- Ret Gone: Inverted. He doesn't exist in the original timeline (the timeline Future Trunks comes from), but the changes made by Future Trunks and Cell's time traveling alter this.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Trunks' blue.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive part, with Trunks.
- Shipper on Deck: For Gohan/Videl before they started dating. Goten asks her to be his big sister.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: To Gohan.
- Someone to Remember Him By: He was born nine months after the Cell Games and Goku's death.
- Strong Family Resemblance: When first introduced, he looked almost exactly like Goku did back at the start of Dragon Ball, without the tail and wearing longer sleeves. He later mentions he grew his hair specifically because he was sick of looking identical to his dad.
- Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes: Like his father and brother.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Trunks isn't "toxic," per se, but Goten sometimes goes along with whatever mischief Trunks does.
- Unskilled, but Strong: As a kid. He was a Super Saiyan and yet couldn't even fly.
Gotenks (ゴテンクス; Gotenkusu)
When Goku returned from the afterlife with the knowledge of the Fusion Dance
but no eligible partner to perform it with, Goten and Trunks
were taught it, and their mothers came up with the combined name Gotenks. The result combines Goten's childishness with Trunks' brattiness to create one of the weirdest and goofiest fighters in the series, the kind who would come up with the Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Pretty much all of the attacks he comes up with are flashy but ineffective. The Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack initially seems to be very powerful and effective, but when Buu later attempts to use it against Vegetto, he quickly demonstrates the attack's fatal flaw (the ghosts can be detonated from a safe distance with ki blasts) and subsequently mocks Buu for thinking an attack dreamed up by two kids could beat him.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Even still good, he has a pretty bratty attitude, especially considering his proud behavior.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's more fight-loving and the biggest loudmouth in the series.
- Though being a loudmouth was what enabled him to create a dimension hole by screaming.
- Break the Haughty: When Goten and Trunks finally manage to successfully fuse, Gotenks recklessly rushes into battle with Buu and gets utterly crushed. He doesn't learn from this experience, of course.
- Calling Your Attacks: He even gives names to somewhat stylized versions of otherwise normal punches and kicks, most of which are ridiculous ("Screaming Angry WOMBAT!!!").
- Composite Character: Literally. He combines features of Goten and Trunks... though he ends up looking kinda like a chibi Vegeta, because Trunks very obviously has mostly Vegeta's facial features, so once you add black hair...
- Cute Bruiser: If you can get past his "I'm the best" personality.
- Fearless Fool: Like Vegeta, Gotenks is very arrogant and charges into battle with enemies he can't defeat. This is played straight in his first appearance, when he tries to rush into battle with Majin Buu, and gets his ass handed to him.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He got Vegeta's temper, which is an off-suit of Trunks.
- Half An Hour Of Power: He can only stay fuse for thirty minutes. He can also only maintain his Super Saiyan 3 transformation for five minutes before he reverts to his base form.
- Idiot Hero: Combining the arrogance of Trunks and the naivety of Son Goten results in a naive and arrogant showoff-blowhard who is too busy "looking good" to save the world.
- Kid Hero: One of the strongest characters in the show and is the fusion of two kids who are not even ten.
- Large Ham: He absolutely loves being overdramatic in calling his attacks.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Once he stops messing around, he pummels the living daylights out of Buu.
- The Minion Master: With the Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack, which summons not-too-bright ghost copies of himself that explode on impact.
- Multicolored Hair: Trunks' purple hair on the sides, Goten's dark hair up the middle.
- Naked People Are Funny: In the episode "The Celebrations of Buu." he runs around naked, he's being chased by Chi-Chi, after Goku blows up the bathtub.
- Naughty Is Good: He is the fusion of two children, so it's to be expected.
- The Napoleon: Powerful and the shortest main character (save for Goten and Trunks obviously) at the end of Z.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's one of the strongest beings in the universe and one of the shortest.
- Portmanteau Name: In Japanese his name is the first two syllables of Goten, the last two syllables of Trunks, and an "n" dividing the two halves.
- Signature Move: Super Ghost Kamekaze Attack
- Skunk Stripe: Has Trunks' purple hair with Goten's black hair outlining it
- Smug Super: Is very cocky due to his power, but it is usually a Fatal Flaw for him.
- Took a Level in Badass: When he reaches SSJ3 and began to take his battle with Buu more seriously.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Son Goten was not an egotist; all that arrogant and overconfident traits therefore all comes from Trunks.
- Voice of the Legion: Non-creepy example, he talks with both Goten and Trunk's voices simultaneously. This also applies to Gogeta and Vegetto.
- The Worf Effect: Poor guy got his ass handed to him by Beerus in the new movie.
Gogeta (ゴジータ; Gojīta)
The combined form of Goku and Vegeta using the Fusion Dance
. He debuted in movie 12, Fusion Reborn
, as a last ditch effort to defeat Janemba, and it worked. He shows up again in GT
as a rather goofy Super Saiyan 4 to fight against Omega Shenron.
- Awesome, but Impractical: At Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta's time limit is extremely short.
- Badass: There's a very good reason this guy's limited by time constraints; the fusion of Goku and Vegeta makes him the single strongest fighter in the series, capable of taking down a demon made of pure evil in seconds in his first appearance. Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta takes this even further, as his power exceeds that of Omega Shenron. His goofiness is the only thing preventing him from ending the fight in five seconds.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Deals these out like a champ.
- Half An Hour Of Power: He can only stay fused for thirty minutes, except as a Super Saiyan 4. He only has ten minutes due to the massive power of the form.
- Light is Good
- Lightning Bruiser: He's so fast he can hit an opponent multiple times before moving his arms.
- Portmanteau Name: Like Vegito, only this time it's the first syllable of Goku and the last two syllables of Vegeta.
- Redheaded Hero: As a Super Saiyan 4.
- Showy Invincible Hero: Likes to play with his food as a Super Saiyan 4.
- Signature Move: Stardust Breaker and Big Bang Kamehameha
- Sphere of Destruction: His Stardust Breaker / Soul Punisher, a rainbow-colored ki sphere that completely obliterates Janemba from the inside out.
- The Stoic: His initial appearance has him as one.
- Story Breaker Power: Like his Potara counterpart, he is easily one of the strongest characters in the entire series (second only to Vegetto). All of his battles are curb stomps.
- Voice of the Legion: Both Goku and Vegeta speak at once, creating this effect
- Weaksauce Weakness: Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta is effectively omnipotent as a fighter... so long as he can beat opponents in a handful of minutes.
- You Fight Like a Cow: As a Super Saiyan 4 in GT, he's a complete goof and seems more interested in mocking Omega than in actually fighting him.
Vegetto (ベジット; Bejitto)
The combined form
of Goku and Vegeta, using the Potara Earrings. A long-awaited combination and the
most powerful character in the manga Z series. And then he got turned into a coffee candy
. And he still
kicks ass. Hilarity Ensues
- Adaptational Badass: And the effortlessly part, in the manga, he immediately goes to Super Saiyan, the anime has him effortlessly overpowering him and only turned Super Saiyan for the heck of it
- Badass: The fusion of two Badasses could only result in this. He effortlessly kicks Super Buu around before letting himself get turned into candy to free his comrades.
- Badass Boast: After Super Buu turns him into a candy.
Vegetto: "I'm no ordinary candy — I'm a jawbreaker! The strongest piece of candy there is!" (The "jawbreaker" is only part of his boast; he is actually turned into a coffee candy, noted both in the English dub and Japanese original.)
- Barrier Warrior: He made a ki barrier around to protect himself from being properly absorbed by Buu.
- Baleful Polymorph: But he didn't let that stop him. See The Amazing Fighting Candy!
- BFS/Laser Sword: His Spirit Sword/Ki no Tsurugi attack.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Gogeta. As Akira Toriyama mentions in an interview, he wanted Goku and Vegeta to fuse, but didn't want to step on the toes of Fusion Reborn, which was already in-development at the time. He took the earrings that Kaiōshin had been wearing all along, changed the way the fusion worked (permanent vs. temporary; melded-outfit vs. fancy vest; composite vs. original attacks), and Vegetto was born. Toriyama did later sketch Gogeta for the movie DVD box set in Japan, though.
- Composite Character: About halfway between Goku and Vegeta in height, frame, and hairdo. By some strange coincidence, the result looks like Gohan did during the same saga. He also has composite attacks. For example, the "Final Kamehameha".
- Guile Hero: Him manipulating Super Buu and frustrating him into acting desperately was the main plan to saving his sons, friend and the whole universe.
- No Sell: Baring Buu's absorbing technique, EVERYTHING. And if he didn't plan on getting absorbed to free the others he probably would have dealt with that too.
- Portmanteau Name: In its Japanese spelling, it combines the first two syllables of Vegeta and the last two syllables of Kakarotto.
- Shaggy Dog Story: The whole reason he wanted to get absorbed was so that he could destroy Buu without his absorbed victims dying. But this just lead to Buu taking on his most deadly form, who then proceeded to kill all of them anyway (along with the planet). As a bonus, the ordeal dissolved the fusion, leaving them much weaker. Of course, it's not a good look for the hero to be directly responsible for the death of his friends/children, even when Death Is Cheap.
- Showy Invincible Hero: And he's well aware of it!
Vegetto: "No, really! That was an awesome attack! I could have been killed."
Vegetto: "Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit. I could have at least gotten a bruise or maybe a small scratch..."
- It quickly becomes very clear that Buu has no chance of killing him, even though Vegetto isn't fighting at full strength, and yet the fight is still oh so entertaining to watch.
- Signature Move: Final Kamehameha and Beam Sword Slash
- Smug Super: The most powerful being in the manga by far and he's very well aware of it. Unlike Gotenks though, it never gets in the way of accomplishing his goals.
- Spell My Name with an S: "Vegetto" (Bandai's spelling) or "Vegito" (Funimation's spelling)? Neither one makes sense in most English adaptations, since his name is a portmanteau of Vegeta's name with Goku's Saiyan name, which is commonly romanized as "Kakarot" instead of the literal "Kakarotto". Viz attempted to reconcile this by changing his name to Vegerot in the English manga, but then they changed it back to Vegetto in the Viz Big reprint (although, one has to wonder why they didn't went with the more obvious "Vegetot").
- Story Breaker Power: He is the strongest character to ever show up (not including GT). Old Kai states that Potara Fusion is stronger than Fusion Dance (Gogeta) and even if it wasn't, there's no half hour time limit so he could outlast anyone.
- Too Powerful to Live: If this guy stayed around, the plot would have basically ended in five minutes. And you would've written off the main character and his main foil at the same time...
- Voice of the Legion: Except in the Ocean dub, where he is voiced by Brian Drummond (Using a higher-pitched version of his Vegeta voice).
- You Fight Like a Cow: Most well known for this. He combines Goku's sense of humour with Vegeta's arrogance and wit, to both beat and mock the living daylights out of Super Buu.
- Batman Gambit: Of course, this is all part of his plan: getting Buu pissed off and desperate enough to absorb him, so he can free everyone absorbed by Buu.
- Xanatos Gambit: The entire battle between Vegetto and Super Buu was this. It didn't matter what Super Buu threw at Vegetto as he had a back up plan or counter strategy for anything. Any outcome in that fight would have suited Vegetto, if Super Buu turns Vegetto into candy, Vegetto still retains his power, as he is much stronger than Super Buu, and it just makes Vegetto a harder target to destroy, if Super Buu absorbs Vegetto then it becomes easier for Vegetto to remove his sons and friends from Super Buu's body and depower him and if Super Buu tries to kill Vegetto... Vegetto would instantly slaughter him. Of course, while that option would be just as effective, it would have been personally immoral for Vegetto as he would be unconsciously murdering his own sons and friends. And while they could be brought back to life with the Dragon Balls, Vegetto would still have somewhat of a heavy conscience for what he did.
4-year-old Pan voiced by (English):
Susan Huber (Z
), Kate Bristol
); Brenna O'Brien (Ocean); Caitlynne Mederek (GT
flashbacks) (Blue Water)
9-year-old Pan voiced by (English):
Elise Baughman (FUNimation
); Caitlynne Mederek (Blue Water)
voiced by (Latin American): Circe Luna, Ángela Villanueva (Old)
The daughter of Gohan and Videl, introduced at the tail end of the original series though given more of a fleshed out character in the anime-only GT
series. Very much a tomboy and thrill-seeker, willing to prove she's just as tough as her grandfather when given the chance. But not without a soft side either.
- Heir to the Dojo: Of Satan-style. She winds up running the dojo as a teenager.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Unsurprisingly good at it, considering her father, grandfather and uncle are.
- Kawaiiko: Only something of a tomboy.
- Last Episode New Character: In the manga and Z, where she was introduced at the very end of the series. Averted in GT, where she is one of the main characters.
- Little Miss Badass: Four years old in Z, around nine years old in GT, but badass and adorable all the way.
- Little Miss Snarker: In the GT series.
- Theme Naming: Pan is Akira Toriyama's Crowning Moment Of Awesome in theme names. The obvious facet is that "pan" is a Portuguese loan word for "bread," punning off her dad's name, which means rice (and if you want, you can stretch the pun: Chi-Chi can mean "milk" or "breast milk."). Pan is also a satyr in Greek mythology whose imagery was borrowed for the Christian devil. Her mother's name is an anagram of "devil," and her maternal grandfather is Mr. Satan! Pan could also be a reference to the Pan Pipes in honor of Piccolo.
- It gets even better: In Greek, "pan" is a prefix meaning "all." So Pan is, in fact, named after all of these characters.
- Her name might also be a reference to her Saiyan heritage, as the genus of the Chimpanzee species is called "Pan".
- Pan may also be an abbreviation of panties or pants, in honor of the clothing-based names of Bulma's family.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Bulla and Marron's girly girl.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak
- Uneven Hybrid: Pan is a quarter Saiyan through her grandfather Goku and three quarter human.