Dethroning Moment / Dragon Ball Z

Nappa: Vegeta, what does the scouter say about this page's suckiness level?
Nappa: WHAT 9000?! THERE'S NO WAY IT COULD BE RIGHT!
—Typical reaction to these moments.

With this series being a long runner, this was only to be expected before fans wish that these moments would be obliterated by Zen-Oh.

Keep in mind:
  • Sign your entries
  • One moment per work to a troper, if multiple entries are signed to the same troper the more recent one will be cut.
  • Moments only, no "just everything he said, " "The entire show, " or "This entire season, " entries.
  • No contesting entries. This is subjective, the entry is their opinion.
  • No natter. As above, anything contesting an entry will be cut, and anything that's just contributing more can be made its own entry.
  • Explain why it's a Dethroning Moment Of Suck.
  • No Real Life examples, including Executive Meddling. That is just asking for trouble.
  • No ALLCAPS, no bold, and no italics unless it's the title of a work. We are not yelling the DMoSs out loud.

    open/close all folders 

    'Z' Era 

Saiyan Saga

  • LLSmoothJ: Chi-Chi's treatment of Goku after the Saiyan Arc. Or more specifically, her lack of sympathy or even care over the fact that Goku pretty much had every bone in his body broken! Worse, when she's called out on this, she justifies this by saying that it's his fault that Gohan (who compared to his father barely had any injuries mind you) was put into danger. Never mind that it was Piccolo who put him in that position in the first place! Worse, she even acknowledged that Piccolo kidnapped him in an earlier episode (Unless she blames Goku for that as well). Maybe Goku should've married Bulma instead. After all, for all of her many faults she at least showed more concern for him than his so-called wife.

Android/Cell Saga

  • Darkton: Here's one from the very beginning of the Cell Saga. Freeza has not only survived the explosion of Namek, but is bringing his father with him. And what's worse, they've arrived on Earth. Now, our hero lineup consists of Gohan, Kurilin, Piccolo, Vegeta, Tenshinhan, and Yamucha, with Bulma and Puar caught in the crossfire. Most of these people have died at least once, so unless there's some technicality on who brings them back, if they die this time, it's permanent. This could've made a great Hold the Line story, as the Z-Fighters try hard not to die in battle. But that's not what happens. Instead, some purple-haired punk with blue eyes shows up and starts trash-talking Freeza. Then he... turns into a Super Saiyan? The heck? Isn't that supposed to be a "once every 1000 years" thing? Then he kills Freeza in three episodes (well, one and two eighths of episodes) where it took Goku over 20. It gets worse; he kills Freeza's father, despite him being almost as strong as Freeza, in less the time it took for Freeza to die. Then, when Goku does show up, he explains that he's the son of Bulma and Vegeta, despite the two only having one scene together. Yamucha, her official boyfriend, is said to be a playboy, despite him being afraid of women. In the end, the boy, named Trunks, sets up a saga that's basically a rip-off of The Terminator. What just happened? Allow me to explain. A Marty Stu showed up, became a Super Saiyan (a trait also shared by Goku), killed Freeza and his father in seconds, and set up two characters who were never meant to be.
  • Blazar: In the finale of the Cell Saga, Goku threw Gohan into a fight to the death with Perfect Cell with absolutely no warning or time to prepare (he had several days in which he could have told the others of his plans). Not only did this supposedly perfect hero and Friend to All Living Things put the fate of the world on the shoulders of his eleven-year-old, he gave Cell a senzu bean first, then proceeded to just sit back and watch as Cell brutally beat Gohan to near-death, not lifting a finger to help him until Piccolo finally called him out on it, even going so far as to actively stop Piccolo from helping him, this while Gohan was screaming in agony due to being slowly crushed to death by Cell. Yeah, Goku was a real wonderful father - and people wonder why some of us think Piccolo was a better father to Gohan than Goku ever was.
  • RAZ: The ending of the Cell saga. After transforming into Super Saiyan 2 form, Gohan decides to be a stupid, selfish idiot, ignore everyone with common sense, and drag things with Cell out, which ultimately winds up endangering all of Earth when Cell nearly explodes and as a result winds up getting Goku killed from his dumbassery. Gee, is it any wonder why readers weren't all that apt about having him play the role of The Hero after that? And aside from that, Cell officially elevates himself to Villain Sue status with the way he comes back even stronger for one last match (magically in his Perfect form no less), via the Namekian regenerative cells from Piccolo that he has in him—- an ability that, I might add, has been repeatedly stated in the past to drain one's energy when it's used, which if anything would have made him weaker by that point! But nope, the usual rules are ignored in his favor so he can curbstorm everyone and even successfully wound Gohan just to try to amp up the question of if they'll make it or not. The end result is a horrible mess of a conclusion that leaves one rancid taste in my mouth.
    • Hobgoblin: Cell was already stated to have the DNA of not only the Saiyans, which is how he increases in strength, but also Freeza, which is how he survives in conditions that would otherwise kill him. So his power-up isn't magical. The main issue with his return is that he manages to come back even after stating that the nucleus of his head needs to be intact for his regeneration to work, a fact that is overlooked when he completely blows up his entire body and even earlier when Goku destroys his entire upper body with a Warp Kamehameha.
  • Tye Dye Wildebeest: The treatment of the (non saiyan) Z fighters during the Cell Games was especially sickening. Chiaotzu didn't even show up, and the rest of them might as well have stayed home for all the difference they made. At one point during Cell and Gohan's kamehameha battle, Piccolo, Krillin, Tien and Yamcha all decide to attack Cell at once to give Gohan more of an edge. All of them, combined, only manage to mildly annoy Cell, and in the end it's a single attack by Vegeta that gives Gohan the opening he needs. It'd be one thing if they were just Demoted to Extra, but at this point it seemed like the writers were going out of their way to show how hopelessly inferior they were to the saiyans.
  • Spider Fan 14: In the final episode of the Cell Games saga, Hercule takes all the credit for killing Cell, which everyone main/supporting character is OK with. Goku died to help kill Cell and this is how they repay him? At least a scrap of acknowledgement would be nice.

Buu Saga

  • Dephlogisticate: Vegeta's sacrifice in the Majin Buu Saga; when he uses Final Explosion, which is essentially the equivalent of a nuclear warhead going off, Majin Buu manages to regenerate. Vegeta's redeeming moment: Wasted
  • Peridonyx: For me, it's Krillin's Negated Moment of Awesome during the Buu Saga, specifically when he attacks Super Buu in order to hopefully buy his family and friends enough time to escape, knowing full well that he'll die in the process. However, whom does Buu kill immediately after him? Why, Android 18 and Marron, of course! It's pretty much at least one writer flat-out telling you that Krillin being a Butt Monkey in life just isn't enough — he can't even have a creative Heroic Sacrifice and find dignity in death! — and now said status even extends to his family as well, courtesy of his now-Senseless Sacrifice. Dude, Not Funny! 101.
  • SSj-Protoman: This one is a personal one for me, but there is one moment that really gets on my nerves in the Buu saga (As much of a clusterfuck as it already is.) That moment is that whole "Life-force Stop-n-Swop" nonsense really late into it. Why is this? Because it was never brought up again! Why can't other Kais use this to bring back some really important fighters to help out during the really grueling battles? Why couldn't Elder Kai have told the other Kais about this technique before being sealed into the Z-Sword? Why didn't something like this happen with Trunks' timeline to bring back Piccolo to re-gather the Dragon Balls, and restore Earth back to the way it was after the Android threat was over and done with? And, if the Shin Budokai games are anything to go by, why couldn't they have done this for the redeemed Saiyans, like Bardock and Gine? The answer is... Never explained! All this bullshit is is just one giant ass-pull excuse to bring Goku back just to shut the fans up!
  • Dr Zulu 2010: For me, it has to be Goku's decision to choose Mr Satan and Dende over his children and Piccolo during the Majin Buu saga. While in hindsight, Satan turns out to be essential about Kid Buu's ultimate defeat, that still doesn't change much in the grand scheme of things. Let's put that on another light. What if Piccolo was the one who goes to Namek and tell his race of what happened while Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Goten and Trunks could face off Kid Buu in an epic final showdown. Can you imagine the awesomness it could turn out to be?
    • Why Not Now: There's a reason many die-hard fans such as myself consider the Buu Saga a total failure, cool in some ways, but a huge flop overall, weak in storytelling and abominable in characterization, but the crowning moment for this "honor" that exemplifies everything that was wrong with the Buu Saga and indeed late Dragon Ball Z had to be Goku just leaving his sons behind to die on Earth at the hands of Majin Buu when he very easily had the power to save them. The plot Hand Waves this by never bringing it up again and implying that since they can be revived from death that it totally nullifies the downright evil crime Goku committed of letting his own flesh and blood die. Now, not only does this make death utterly meaningless on a level never seen before in Dragon Ball Z (not even in previous sagas), but it ignores the fact that there are some acts you just can't come back from. Knowingly letting a family member die is perhaps the darkest and most sadistic thing a villain can do, never mind the HERO of your goddamn story! It's utter failure on Goku's part and proof that he is perhaps the worst father ever, that he only viewed his family as more of an afterthought next to fighting and adventuring, and that just because something is easily fixed doesn't mean there isn't lingering pain. If a real life father left one of his OWN CHILDREN to die, that child could never look at the father the same way again, and it also negates the "Larger-Than-Life God Even Among Gods" image they were trying to give Goku in the final chapter of DBZ, because a true paragon of morality would look after his own and choose his family, not a fraud who insulted and dishonored them for seven years and an alien child he barely knows. All around fucking FAIL.

    'Super' Era 

Battle of Gods

  • Falconwing: Dragonball Z Battle Of Gods was full of all sorts of things to bitch about. But none was more infuriating than the incomprehensible decision to retcon the story behind Planet Vegeta's destruction. Instead of Freeza blowing up the planet out of fear of a Super Saiyan. He was ordered by Villain Sue Beerus to do it for the most pettiest of reasons. Not only does it make Freeza look like a total pussy, it made Vegeta, and Goku's battles with him utterly pointless.

Dragon Ball Minus

  • supernintendo128: For me, it's that Dragon Ball Minus Retcons Goku's already established backstory from the DBZ Bardock special. In the special, Goku was sent to earth on a mission to wipe out all the humans shortly after he was born and right before Planet Vegeta is destroyed. In Dragon Ball Minus, Goku, when he was just 3 years old, was sent to Earth by his parents a month before Planet Vegeta is destroyed to save him from Frieza. It contradicts the anime and original manga in a few ways: Why is Goku a newborn when Grandpa Gohan finds him in the woods and why does he at first act hostile towards Grandpa Gohan when he wasn't ordered to wipe out the humans? At first you would think that it's Saiyan instinct but as Gine clearly demonstrates, not all Saiyans are violent. Not to mention that it is implied that Goku inherited his good-hearted nature from Gine. Not only that, but Goku's backstory went from being similar to Superman's backstory to being an outright ripoff.

Resurrection of 'F'

  • JM1982: Yamcha has been repeatedly shat on by creators and fans alike, but Resurrection F offered a Hope Spot that he might be able to earn some battle glory alongside the other human Z fighters by helping out in the battle against Frieza's army. Instead, the long tradition of Yamcha receiving sickening treatment From the writers continues with the revelation that he's unable to help out against an army of Mooks that Krillin and Gohan were flattening as far back as the Namek Saga. You know it's bad when he doesn't even show up in the Super adaptation. And now, just to twist the knife even further in Super, they have Yamcha eagerly expecting an invitation to participate in the Multiverse Tournament, when we all know he never will.
    • Thats Numberwang: For me, the DMOS was bringing back Frieza as such a powerful enemy as it completely stretches credulity. The first time around Frieza was defeated effortlessly by Super Saiyan 1 Trunks and given a firm kicking by the (presumably at the time) far weaker Super Saiyan 1 Goku. Now, after what we are told is a training cycle of a few months, Frieza is capable of fighting on par with a Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, which makes him one of the strongest fighters in the history of the universe. Or in other words he went from weaker than a regular Super Saiyan to being stronger than a Super Saiyan second and third grade, a full-power Super Saiyan, a Super Saiyan 2, a Super Saiyan 3 and the fused characters like Vegito and Gotenks all in the space of a few months. And what is even more ridiculous is this cycle of Super Saiyan transformations didn't take place in a training room, it took place over a decade whilst fighting for their lives against enemies that eclipsed Frieza's original power level by thousands.

Dragon Ball Super

  • Mirai 19: What does it for me in Dragon Ball Super is the lack of development, or lack of acknowledgement of development, for the characters we all grew up with. Gohan is just the tip of the iceburg, and I have enough to say about his development but I want to address some more characters. Let's start with Goku. We all know that Goku has always been childish, naive and very simpleminded. But his character development from DB to DBZ was present as he did become a more able fighter and even a decent person. There were even moments where we see Goku become emotional, such as his first encounter with Tao Pai Pai after the assassin murders Bora, or when Tambourine kills Krillin and this extends to DBZ especially in the Namek saga throughout his fight against Frieza. The Buu saga. arguably one of the worst arcs in the DB series, got it right when we see how livid Goku became once Vegeta went Majin and needlessly murdered innocent people at the tournament. Even GT got something right with Goku's struggles against Baby and his tufflized family. I can't even count on one hand how many serious or emotional moments Goku has had thus far in Super. He's even worse than what he was in Dragon Ball, when he was a KID! Goku may be simpleminded, but he isn't an idiot and he can be rather clever and even analytical at times, which I have yet to see in Super. Like my friend said to me recently, he's like TFS Goku, and that's a parody! It's not just Goku either. We have Piccolo, who has completely lost relevance at this point. There's so much that could be done with his character and they are wasting him. Goten is apparently being forced to study by his mother like Gohan was for some reason, and hasn't had any development or spotlight despite having even more potential than maybe even Gohan. Chichi has apparently rescinded her development following the Cell games in forcing Goten to become a Gohan, despite Goten being more like Goku and her even TRAINING Goten during the 7 year gap. Videl, of all people, is thrust into the background and doesn't even seem like Videl anymore. There's no fire to her and she doesn't seem to want to use her position as Mr. Satan's daughter to her advantage, maybe opening a dojo that teaches other humans how to utilize Ki. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of the new characters like Vados, the Omni King and Zamasu but I would also love if the characters we all grew up with got the same treatment that they, Goku (to an extent) and Vegeta are getting.
  • Bobg: In Dragon Ball Super, the creators do something that honestly feels like a spit in the face to Gohan fans. After the Resurrection F arc, Gohan decided to go back to training to get back all his strength that he lost after going five years without training, in an apparent Throw the Dog a Bone to Gohan fans. In episode 52, it's revealed that that was nothing but a lie. It's stated that Gohan has given up trying to regain his strength, and doesn't give a shit anymore. Even Piccolo, the guy who was training with him says as much. They also reveal that even after the 8 months of training that he did do, his base form is still not as powerful as his ss2 form was back in the Cell saga, even though he had his potential unlocked and can only go ss1 now. It seems like they gave us a Hope Spot just to pull the rug out from under us. It's also bullshit because Gohan went through the hell of almost losing his family specifically because he had gotten too weak to defend them due to his lack of training. This implies that not even the desire to protect his family was enough to keep him going for more than 8 months. After what he went through, no normal person would continue to slack off if it meant they couldn't defend their family. It feels like a combination of Character Derailment (as Gohan is supposed to want to be able to protect his family), and the creators of the show giving us a Hope Spot only to pull the rug out from under us and spit in our faces.
    • DestinedJedi87: For this troper, it's not even that they went back on their very clear promise that Gohan was finally going to regain his lost power and start training again, it's that they blatantly swapped out his infinitely superior ROF-style haircut which actually looks like the hairstyle Gohan was sporting when he was a kid back into the shitty, god-awful butch-style haircut we had at the end of the Buu Saga that doesn't even remotely resemble the evolution of Gohan's hairstyle up until that point the way the ROF-style haircut does, simply because a bunch of whiny, entitled fanboys were bitching about it online. For this troper, it was just the final nail in the coffin to the argument that Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation just don't understand Gohan anymore, why he was so special to us, what made us love him so much back when he was a little kid, and the kind of high appeal he had to millions of fans who grew up with him. It was nice while it lasted.
      • LSSJ2Gohan To complement the two previous points. The very worst of Episode 52. Look at Gohan's appearance. That "god-awful butch cut" and the shape of his eyes. He's in his Mystic Form... You mean to tell me Mystic Gohan is now weaker than he was all the way back to the Cell Games!? For shame, Toei! It's like you want to screw with Gohan!
  • The Ginger Artist: Going into Super, I was hyped up over it just like most long-time fans. But throughout the show, I've just been finding it to be at best a mediocre sequel with a few good and interesting moments, but it was otherwise subpar compared to Dragon Ball Z. But what finally killed this fucking series for me was the ending of the Future Trunks Arc. After Zamasu is slashed in half, he becomes an Eldritch Abomination that infects the universe and kills off all the mortals sans Future Trunks and Mai. Zen'o is forced to wipe out that universe, and Whis breaks the rules and interferes with another universe to prevent what occurred in Trunks' original future verse from happening there, just so Trunks and Mai can go live there. This is treated as an Bittersweet Ending and Earn Your Happy Ending ... when really, it's a goddamn Downer Ending. Everything Trunks did in Dragon Ball Z was for nothing. Everyone Trunks knew in his timeline isn't just dead — they're completely gone because the afterlife in that universe was also destroyed. Trunks failed to protect the future and uphold Gohan's legacy. It's a horrible ending — but we're supposed to feel happy for Trunks and Mai, since they're going into another future verse and everything is alright there? If anything, the fact that Super is trying to downplay Trunks' loss by having him go to another universe that was just like his before Zamasu came in is even worse. What was the point of the sacrifice when you're just trying to replace it? The ending was so unsatisfying and infuriating, and it was the straw that broke the camels back for me when it came to Super.
    • Tropers/Kantonkage: The fact that they don't use the Dragon balls to revive Trunks' world really pissed me off. How many times have the Dragon balls being used to revive the poor victims caused by Goku (and to a lesser extent Vegeta's) fuck ups. Yet Trunks gets punished for selflessly breaking a ridiculous taboo.
  • Breakingchains: Episode 68, "Come Forth, Shenron! Whose Wish Will Be Granted?" ends in a massive slap in the face for Bulma. Admittedly, I'm a little bitter about Bulma being underutilized and unappreciated, and I've been enjoying how Super brings her back to form after she spent so long being treated as either a shrieking burden or entirely irrelevant. So I may be biased, but I still feel the ending to this episode is completely unfair. Time travel is considered a sin and is taboo among the gods, but Bulma is intent on fixing her time machine, for the sake of intellectual interest if nothing else. When she is found out, Beerus destroys the element she needs for her time machine, then the time machine itself, and a good chunk of her lab along with it. And for some horrible reason this is played for laughs! Hell, Beerus realized he was guilty of the same "sin" one episode ago and let Trunks off the hook for it; more importantly, the entire anime up to this point is soaked with themes of daring to take a big shit on the unearned authority of this entire pantheon. Why am I supposed to laugh when Bulma's small act of rebellion gets her lab destroyed and leaves her crying on the ground?
  • Ilya Rysenkov: I lost quite a bit of my respect for Goku when it turns out that he was the one who hired to Hit to kill himself. I admit, Chi-Chi can be really overbearing and annoying, but she's his wife! No doubt she'll take it hard if he died for real! (And she did.) Gohan and Goten's reaction are basically the same as hers , though they came to support his idea (which is frustrating). While I generally find this episode very interesting, this is one of the lowest points here for me.
  • Loekman 3: Maybe some fans dislike Goku's characterization in the Universe Survival Saga but I was hoping that Goku's selfishness would end up being deconstructed and realize that he basically put the whole multiverse in danger just to have a good fight and get a Character Development long overdue. But then there's episode 80 where it's later revealed that Zen'O is going to destroy the multiverse anyway and Goku's proposal for the tournament only ended up giving the universe a chance to get spared, only being a hero due to dumb luck. It really wasted a good opportunity for Goku to realize the consequence of meddling with highly destructive gods and I felt that Goku just got shoehorned into ideal hero again. Or more specifically, I would prefer that the dialogue of Whis regarding how Zen'O would have destroyed the universe anyway be removed so that we can have Goku being portrayed as selfish. And the worst part is, I can no longer enjoy comment from fans criticizing how "Goku is a selfish asshole" knowing that he unintentionally ended up making the situation better rather than worse as I wished.
    • Yukaphile: It's even worse than that. Despite FUNimation's botched translation that led many to believe Goku was more heroic than he actually is, he was still always written as a hero, not a classic DC or Marvel superhero, but an Accidental Hero who just wanted to help his friends with their troubles and test his limits in battle, and saving the day was something that happened inadvertently along the way. Toriyama has already said he had problems with how Toei presented Goku in the original run of the anime, but one has to wonder if he's still stuck in the old days of Dragon Ball in his own mind and viewing it through a Nostalgia Filter that is at odds with the way it actually was, because this far moves things past "returning Goku to his roots" and instead borders on outright Character Derailment. Goku is slowly morphing from an Accidental Hero into an Accidental Villain who doesn't care how many innocent people have to die or get hurt just so he can have a thrilling battle. The day when Death Battle's portrayal of Goku has become the new canon is the day when you know it's time to give up the series, and that Dragon Ball Z has become a shadow of what it once was.
    • SenorCornholio: I can't believe I'm changing my entry again, but it has to be said: in addition to Goku's increased selfishness even compared to the original Dragon Ball, I have a similar complaint about Dragon Ball Super that I'm sure many of us will agree on once I've pointed it out. That is, the show officially suffers from Protagonist-Centered Morality on Goku's part. Not counting the parts where they're Played for Laughs, let's list some of these off shall we? When Goku challenged Zamasu to a fight upon their first meeting, nobody but Zamasu himself had a problem with it; it's supposedly "Zamasu's fault" for succumbing to his evil intentions and not Goku's for, y'know, instigating a fight against a god. When Merged Zamasu destroys all the universes in the future timeline as a result of all the dumb decision for Goku to forget the talisman so the Mafuba would work, Whis supposedly alleviates it by having Trunks and Mai go to a universe where everyone isn't Deader Than Dead. When Goku hired Hit to kill him so he could fight him at his best, it was treated as a charming moment instead of an unbelievably reckless move. And now, when Zen'O plans to destroy all the universes that lose the survival tournament (which the idea of it being a free-for-all Super Smash Bros. clone instead of the traditional format already rubbed me the wrong way, but that's beside the point), it's excused by saying Zen'O planned to destroy the weaker ones anyway. Which brings us to the absolute low when it comes to Goku's characterization: his fight with Bergamo. The elder brother of the Trio De Dangers calls out Goku for having a hand in endangering the multiverse just to turn Goku into a Hero with Bad Publicity, followed by the bargain that if he wins then the whole "destroy all losing universes" rule would be lifted. Honestly though, it worked a bit better than he thought for me: I sort of sided with Bergamo and was admittedly hoping he would win so that no universes would be destroyed; but nope, Goku not only beats him without a second thought, but outright taunts the other universes to come and send their strongest at him just so he can have a good battle. And the music playing seems to treat this as a good thing and have us assume the other gods "just don't get him" because jealousy or w/e. Yes, I know if he held back then Zen'O would have destroyed his universe, but the way he nonchalantly accepts that and outright beats Bergamo is something bordering on villain territory. Bottom line: I am sick and tired of Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation treating Goku's destructive actions as "that's just how he is and we should accept that"; good characters grow and develop as time moves along. They don't accidentally cause universal destruction, and even if they do put the multiverse at risk they should at least care. And Goku didn't use to be like this; he may have been selfish and impulsive, but he still cared enough about his friends and family to want to help them. Nowadays, he's a complete idiot who only thinks about fighting and nothing else, other universes be damned. And according to a later episode synopsis, Goku will propose the idea of having Baba bring back Freeza, the same guy who curb-stomped his friends, killed Krillin, and destroyed the entire Earth before Whis reversed time, for 24 hours to replace a sleeping Buu. Might actually change my entry a fourth time when that comes out... I'll continue to watch this show if only because I still like Super, but don't expect me to be rooting for Goku all that much for a long while.

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