Dragon Ball / Tropes O to Z

This page covers tropes found in Dragon Ball.

Tropes A to D | Tropes E to N | Tropes O To Z | YMMV


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    O 
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The 23rd World Tournament features Shen, an ordinary human who manages to get to the top 8 of the World Martial Arts tournament by sheer clumsiness alone. When he squares off against Yamcha, Yamcha mocks his foolishness...only for Shen to suddenly punch Yamcha out of the ring. It's revealed that he is just an ordinary guy, but one that Kami possessed at the time to fight Piccolo.
  • Obsolete Mentor:
    • When Goku meets Master Roshi, he's considered the greatest martial arts master in the world. He teaches Goku the basics that Goku will take to heart, but never quite catches up to the other great martial artists Goku meets in his adventure. At the same time, Master Roshi remains a great source of wisdom, something Kami lampshades after Goku defeats Piccolo Jr.
    • Played for Drama in the King Piccolo Saga. Goku returns to Korin Tower to train after he lost to King Piccolo. Korin tells him that he can't help since Goku had long surpass him.
  • Offscreen Romance: Most of the existing pairings in the DB universe marry and have kids during the series's frequent time skips with little on-screen development.
  • Off the Rails:
    • From the 22nd World Tournament, Man-Wolf has every intention of killing Jackie Chun during the tournament, rules be damn. He takes out a knife during the match. He's not disqualified since Jackie assures the announcer that it's okay to continue. Man-Wolf even attacks Jackie again after he officially loses.
    • In the same tournament, the Crane Hermit orders Chiaotzu to kill Krillin once he learns Goku killed Tao, holding the entire Turtle School responsible. Tien also had every intention of killing Goku in the ring during their match, but changes his mind since he wanted to win the tournament fairly after Goku proves to be a Worthy Opponent. When Tien refuses to finish Goku when Chiaotzu has him paralyze, Shen was going to enter the ring and kill both of them. However, Chiaotzu refuses to paralyze Tien, saying that he can never harm him, causing Shen to attack Chiaotzu. At that point, Master Roshi sends him flying with a Kamehameha and the match continues without any further drama.
    • Defied by Goku during the 23rd World Tournament. Piccolo enters the tournament intending to announce his survival and seek revenge against Goku. The final match becomes a life or death battle between the pair of nemeses that seems as though it's going to disrupt the tournament, but Goku refuses to let it. He refuses help from his friends and insists on remaining in the ring even when Piccolo blows up the stadium, intent on winning and becoming the World Champion despite Piccolo.
    • From the same tournament, Tao wants to kill Goku in the ring, so he avoids killing Tien at first since he plans to kill him later along with Chiaotzu. After Tien proves to be stronger than he though, Tao changes his mind, and cuts Tien with a knife he had hidden in his mechanical arm, disqualifying him. Tien still takes Tao down in one-hit, winning the match regardless.
  • Oh Crap!: So, so many. A few examples:
    • Jackie Chun using the Thunder Shock Surprise Attack in the 21st Martial Arts Tournament invokes this reaction from Goku.
    • Every time the Kamehameha fails to take down or hurt a powerful foe gets this reaction from little Goku. Some noticeable examples being Mercenary Tao and King Piccolo surviving direct hits with little to no damage.
    • Of course, Goku subjects this to many people. Giving one to Jackie Chun when he shows that the can produce a Kamehameha equal in power to his, every time he turns into a Great Ape, the Red Ribbon Army's default reaction when they hear his name, Mercenary Tao when he realizes that Goku surpassed him, King Piccolo when Goku is able to fight as his equal and realizes that he can't block Goku's final attack, and Piccolo Jr when Goku reveals that he can fly.
    • Master Roshi causes King Piccolo to panic when he reveals he knows the Evil Containment Wave.
  • Old Master: Goku meets many wise, old mentors in his journey.
    • Master Roshi, the Turtle Hermit, is Goku's first teacher. He's a centuries-old hermit living in retirement on an island that he owns, who teaches Goku some of the basic fundamentals of martial arts that he carries with him for the rest of his life. He may look decrepit, but he's very capable and actually defeats Goku in the 21st World Tournament.
    • Korin is an ancient, magical cat who lives at the top of Korin's Tower. He's very old, very knowledgeable, and very capable. He overpowers Goku easily when the kid meets him and, over the course of fighting him, Goku is forced to learn to predict an opponent's movements.
    • Shen, the Crane Hermit, is introduced during the 22nd World Tournament as the master of Tien and Chiatzu. He's a rival of Master Roshi's who trained under the same master.
    • Goku spends three years training for the 23rd World Tournament with Kami, the Guardian of Earth. He's the ancient deity who created the Dragon Balls hundreds of years ago after ascending his position. He looks harmless and walks with a staff, but he's tremendously formidable.
  • Older Than They Look
    • Goku as a kid. At age 12 and 15 he looked no older than 5 and 10. It's not until age 18 that he finally started to look like a teenager.
    • Krillin for much the same reasons as Goku, except he never looked his age. Then again, he is a midget.
    • Chiaotzu, who looks like a 10-year old child through his entire life.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: In Goku's fight with Piccolo Jr at the 23rd World Tournament, he's shot by a ki blast that punches clean through his shoulder. He gets back up, much to Piccolo's shock, saying that he missed his vital organs.
  • Only the Pure of Heart
    • Goku's preferred method of transportation is the Kinto'un or Nimbus Cloud, a semi-sentient magic cloud that can be ridden only by those who are pure of heart. Anyone else falls through as one might when attempting to ride on a regular cloud. Chichi, Good Launch and a mermaid are also shown riding successfully, so either purity is pretty common in the setting or the cloud isn't as harsh a judge as some examples of this trope.
    • Goku's pure heart also renders him immune to Devilman's ultimate move, the Devilmite Beam, which works by causing the negative thoughts in a person's mind to explode.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: There is just ONE time in which Goku refuses a meal: when he senses that his best friend Krillin is in danger and rushes to help him. It's too late; by the time he arrives, Krillin is already dead. Also, during the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai, Goku is far more serious than usual. His friends wonder if he's become more serious in the three years since they last saw him, but the real reason is that he knows his nemesis, Piccolo Jr., is also competing in the tournament.
  • Opposed Mentors: At the 22nd World Tournament, Tien finds himself in conflict between the lessons he's learned from the Crane Hermit, Master Shen, versus the advice being given to him by Shen's rival, the Turtle Hermit Master Roshi. He intends to follow in the footsteps of Shen's brother, Mercenary Tao, and become a great assassin, but Roshi encourages him to abandon that aspiration and embrace a love of the art for its own sake. Goku unknowingly proves to be the example of everything Roshi's way represents, and by the end of Tien's match with him, he becomes convinced to give up on Shen's methodology.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Goku becomes wrapped up in the plot because of the Four-Star Dragon Ball, a memento left to him by his grandpa. He follows Bulma on her first adventure because she needs his Dragon Ball, but he refuses to give it to her.
  • Our Gods Are Different: Kami, retitled the Guardian of Earth in the English dub, holds the role of God over the Earth. He was mortal once, but he purified his soul of all evil and corruptionnote  to become worthy to ascend the position after the previous deity retired, died, or otherwise left the position. He lives in a floating structure high above Korin's Tower. It's never clear what his job responsibilities are or how he influences the world below apart from creating the Dragon Balls.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different:
    • Goku can transform into giant rampaging monkey when he sees the light of a full moon. Cutting off his tail prevents this, but until he reaches a certain age, it will grow back.
    • The original series gives us Man Wolf, a wolf that turns into a man at the sight of a full moon.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping:
    • In a filler episode, a bunch of pigs from Oolong's village attempt to peep on Chi Chi while bathing in a spring.
    • Another filler has a young Muten peeping Fanfan while she is bathing.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • Through most of Goku's early adventures, he's an inexplicably powerful child who defies any possible explanation.
    • When Goku is introduced, he's a One-Man Army who's close to indestructible. Right off the bat, Bulma shoots him in the face to no effect. Yamcha and Pilaf are the only ones who come close to killing him and that's because they caught him while he's hungry, which leaves him extremely weak. Then he transforms into a Great Ape at the sight of the full moon, which no one sees coming.
    • During the 21st World Tournament, a 12-year-old Goku gives Master Roshi, the greatest martial artist on the planet, a run for his money. After racing through the preliminaries and preceding matches, Goku fights Roshi in his disguise as Jackie Chun in the final. Jackie pulls out all the stops, throwing one advanced technique after another at Goku only for Goku to instantly master or even surpass it. Goku baits him into a Kamehameha, his ultimate technique that he spent fifty years mastering, only to counter it with an equally powerful one. And once again, nobody is prepared for Goku to transform into a Great Ape when the fight runs on into the night. Roshi does scrape together a win by outsmarting Goku but it may be the hardest fight of his life.
    • Then there's Goku's encounter with the Red Ribbon Army. The army is used to dealing with defenseless civilians, other armies, and maybe the occasional martial artist. While searching for the Dragon Balls they unfortunately run into Goku. It's clear from the start that they have no clue how to deal with him and, near the end, are forced to hire a renowned assassin just to have a remote chance against him. By the time Goku comes to their base, they have nothing that can stop him and are basically defenseless.
    • King Piccolo and his sons. Before them, all of Goku's opponents have been mostly humans with some robots, cyborgs, and funny animals thrown in. King Piccolo's arrival marks a major shift in the story tone and set the bar for the new enemies Goku will be facing.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • Everyone when compared to Goku. Those who are his rivals one minute are left in the dust the next moment.
    • Master Roshi falls into this as each of his students surpass him in power. By the end of the original Dragon Ball he says that he is no longer their master since they have grown to be so much more powerful than him. Goku, Yamcha, and Krillin still wears the colors of Turtle School in honor of him.

    P 
  • Panty Shot: Bulma's panties are made visible to the audience several times in the first arc.
  • The Patient Has Left the Building: In the anime, Yamcha leaves the hospital to see Goku's match with Tien during the 22nd Tournament.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Officer Black is horrified when he learns that Commander Red sent countless Red Ribbon Soldiers to their deaths against Goku for something as shallow as becoming taller. Disgusted, he shoots and kills Commander Red, then tries to take the Dragon Balls for himself.
  • The Peeping Tom:
    • In filler episodes, Muten tries twice to use Bulma's inventions to peep on women. First, he uses a watch that can shrink the person who is wearing it as a way to spy on Bulma while she is on the toilet, but fails. He tries again later, using Bulma's little fly robot to spy on some girls on the beach.
    • A filler episode features two of Oolong's comrades trying to spy on Chichi in a spa. Unfortunately, a crowd of other pigs come to watch as well and end up breaking the shack, causing Chi-Chi to stop undressing and panic.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Every character above a certain level is capable of feats involving the annihilation of entire cities or more. King Piccolo is the first character to bring the Serial Escalation to this level. He demonstrates his incredible power by destroying a city, then swears to destroy one city every year after taking over the world. Goku surpasses his power, then is matched by Piccolo Jr. at the 23rd World Tournament.
  • Physical God:
    • Kami, as the name implies, is introduced as a physical god and is the strongest being on the planet before Goku surpasses him.
    • Defied by Goku after he defeats Piccolo Jr. in the 23rd World Tournament. Having surpassed Kami, he's offered the position but turns it down.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse:
    • As a kid, Goku is the third shortest character in the series. However, he is also the strongest, easily beating people who tower over him.
    • Krillin is the second shortest character in the series, however, he is only behind Tien and Goku in power.
    • Chi-Chi may be a crybaby but she single-handedly takes down an entire Red Ribbon Army unit.
  • Pocket Protector: In his first meeting with Mercenary Tao, Goku survives a beam shot that should've killed him thanks to an indestructable Dragon Ball inside of his shirt.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: King Piccolo is the first in a long line of villains who is well-spoken, polite, and is complimentary to his opponents. This contrast with Goku who is blunt, and greets Piccolo by yelling at him and threatening to kill him.
  • Potty Failure: Oolong, Krillin, Trunks and even Bulma pee their pants at different points of the anime. Only Bulma's and Oolong's accidents are present in the manga, and these examples sometimes overlap with Bring My Brown Pants.
  • Power Copying:
    • Goku learns several techniques through imitation after simply watching someone else perform it including the Afterimage, Solar Flare, and even his signature Kamehameha.
    • Tien also has this ability, learning the Kamehameha and the After Image after seeing it only once.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Bulma trades her Micro Band (a watch that can shrink the person who is wearing it) to Master Roshi in exchange for a submarine. Master Roshi uses the device as a way to spy on Bulma while she is on the toilet, but it fails because he shows up after she's finished. Later, Master Roshi tries to convince Launch several times to take a bath so he can sneak in microscopically and see her naked, but he fails.
  • Present Absence: Krillin is murdered at the very end of the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, kicking off the King Piccolo Saga. From there, Krillin's death drives Goku on a quest for revenge.
  • Previously On: Every episode has an opening narration to let you know what happened in previous episodes.
  • Pride
    • King Piccolo finds it incomprehensible that he can ever lose to a human, despite a martial artist trapping him in a rice cooker for hundreds of years. Then again, it was Goku, an alien, that eventually kills him so maybe he had a point.
    • Piccolo is almost as bad as his father. He believes only Goku poses any threat to him and even then he demeans Goku.
  • Public Domain Character: Due to its origins as a parody of the series, Son Goku and Gyumaoh/the Ox King are adaptations of their respective characters from Journey to the West.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Because of the way Funi divided the sagas the King Piccolo Saga becomes this. King Piccolo is defeated, but three major characters are dead along with countless minor characters, and the Eternal Dragon have been destroyed making it impossible to bring anyone back.

    R 
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • Master Korin who looks like an ordinary house cat (albeit a walking, talking house cat) but is really over 800 years old.
    • Master Roshi (aka Muten Roshi), despite looking in his 70s since the start is actually 300 years old, as is his rival the Crane Hermit and his brother Mercenary Tao. Roshi and Crane are old enough to have been young monks when King Piccolo ravaged the Earth 300 years ago.
    • Fortune Teller Baba who's even older than Master Roshi.
    • Kami and King Piccolo. Both are at least 300 years old.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Goku and Bulma. Goku is strong, but dimwitted and Bulma is smart, but weak.
    • Goku and Krillin for much the same reasons as Goku and Bulma.
    • Tien and Yamcha. Tien is calm while Yamcha is usually hotblooded.
  • Red Shirt Army: The world military is cut down like cardboard cutouts by King Piccolo.
  • Reincarnation: Piccolo is the reincarnation of King Piccolo on top of being his last son and clone.
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation: Made and dubbed during this period (and quite possibly the trope codifier for starting the North American Anime craze of the mid-late 90s). One of the hundreds of Anime spawned during this period and one of the several dozen that caught on in America. You can confidently say that this series is one of the main reasons Anime became popular during the 90s outside of Japan.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor:
    • Master Roshi. When he offers to train Goku, Yamcha (watching nearby) comments on how Master Roshi never takes on students easily and that he must see something special within Goku. When Krillin comes asking for training, Roshi simply tells him to go home. He changes his mind when Krillin shows him several dirty mags. Later when Yamcha ask to become one of his students he turns him down, saying that two was his limit. He quickly changes him mind when Bulma says that she would come and visit if he took Yamcha in.
    • Being the Guardian of the Earth, aka god, Kami rarely takes students and when he does it's under abnormal circumstances. He trains Goku because he is the only person able to beat Piccolo outside of himself and Mr. Popo. He can't kill Piccolo without killing himself and Mr. Popo won't do anything that will bring harm to Kami.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: His friends often reference how Goku destroyed the Red Ribbon Army all by himself. At the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, they, along with Tien and the Crane Hermit, finds out that he 'killed' Mercenary Tao, something that Master Roshi didn't believe at first. After that, he's known as the boy who killed King Piccolo among his friends, Kami, Mr. Popo, and a few outsiders like the King of the World. Three years later, he became known as the person who defeated the Demon King reborn, Piccolo Jr.
  • Reused Character Design: Several filler characters have familiar faces:
    • Hasky, a thief employed by the Red Ribbon Army, bears a strong resemblance to Launch's bad form in appearance, with the main difference being Hasky has messier hair and it is slightly paler blonde in tone.
    • Fanfan, love interest of a young Muten, is identical to Colonel Violet.
    • Chuu Lee, a girl met by Goku, is a Palette Swap of Tsururin Tsun from Dr. Slump.
    • An unnamed old scientist met by Chichi and Goku looks very similar to an old version of Sherman Priest, a villager of Aru Village who suffered from Oolong's early shenanigans.
  • Revenge: All over the place from both the heroes and the villains:
    • Part of the reason why Goku wants to beat Mercenary Tao along with retrieving the Dragon Balls. He killed Upa's father because he tried to protect him from the assassin.
    • At the 22nd World Tournament, the Crane Hermit wants to kill Goku because he killed his young brother, Tao. After the three year time-skip, Tao and him are still seeking revenge against Goku, as well as Tien for betraying them.
    • Goku's entire motivation throughout the King Piccolo Saga is to avenge Krillin's murder. Tien also feels this way after Piccolo murders Chiaotzu.
    • Piccolo Jr wants to kill Goku not only to Take Over the World, but to avenge his father.
  • Rise from Your Grave: At the end of the Red Ribbon Army arc, Goku and Upa send a wish to Shenron asking for Upa's father Bora to return to life. Shenron grants the wish, restoring Bora to life. Unfortunately, they don't dig him up from the shallow grave where they left him first, leaving him to lift himself out of the dirt.
  • The Rival: Dragon Ball runs on this. Goku's first official rival is Yamcha and then Krillin comes and shares this role. During the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, Tien becomes Goku's rival. At the 23rd tournament, Piccolo takes over this role.
  • Rival Dojos: Goku, Krillin, and Yamcha are students of Master Roshi of the Turtle School during the 21st World Tournament and Red Ribbon arcs. At the 22nd World Tournament, they meet Tien and Chiaotzu, members of the Crane School, a rival school founded by the Crane Hermit who trained under the same master as Roshi.
  • Road Sign Reversal: During the Red Ribbon Army arc, Bulma is fleeing from General Blue through an abandoned pirate hideout. She comes to an intersection and draws an arrow on the ground in dust to tell Goku which way she went, but Blue gets to it first and changes it to point the opposite direction.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Goku during the last part of the Red Red Army Saga. He'd been fighting the Red Ribbon Army for a while, but was never really antagonistic towards him. He just wanted to find his Grandpa's Dragon Ball, and the army tried to stop him, so he kicked their asses. But when the Army hires Tao-Pai-Pai, the mercenary, to take out Goku, Tao kills the father of Goku's new friend. Goku eventually kills Tao, or so he thinks, and decides to find the rest of them so he could wish his ally back. So he storms the Red Ribbon Army base, kills pretty much everyone there, takes out the newly-made leader, and gets the Dragon Balls and fells the terrorist army in one fell swoop.
    • The entire King Piccolo Saga was one long Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Goku. He wanted to kill Piccolo and all his sons to avenge Krillin and later Master Roshi.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors
    • The "Jan Ken" is a fighting move — Rock is a punch, Paper is a chop, and Scissors is a Three-Stooges-style eye poke. Also you have to call out which one you're using whenever you attack with it, which leads to a scene where Goku "cheats" somewhat by saying Paper but doing the Rock move instead.
    • During the King Piccolo Saga, Goku and Yajirobe Rock-Paper-Scissors for the right to fight King Piccolo's minion Cymbal. Cymbal is not amused.
  • Running Gag: On multiple occasions, Roshi offers up wonderful mystic objects as rewards for the hero's good deeds, only to be reminded by Turtle that he'd accidentally destroyed them earlier.
    • A magic carpet that he'd befouled.
    • The Bancho fan that he used as a placemat and threw out when he spilled juice on it.
    • An immortal phoenix that died after eating tainted bird seed.

    S 
  • Sadist: King Piccolo, his minions, and to an extent his son Piccolo Jr. They all delight in causing pain and suffering.
  • Sacrificial Lion
    • Upa's father, Bora. His first appearance had him being strong enough to take out an entire unit of the Red Ribbon Army long before Goku got there, and was also a noble Indian. He ends up impaled by his own spear by Tao while trying to protect Goku. Bora's death changes Goku's motives from simply finding the Four-Star Dragon Ball to hunting down the Red Ribbon Army, obtaining all of the Dragon Balls, and bringing him back. Ultimately, Bora has the honor of being the first person ever revived by the Dragon Balls.
    • The shift from the 22nd World Tournament to the King Piccolo Saga is marked by the offscreen murder of Krillin. Festivities are abruptly cut short when Goku finds his corpse and sets out to take revenge on his killer.
    • With Master Roshi dead and King Piccolo about to wish for his youth restored, Tien and Chiaotzu make one last ditch attempt to stop him by having Chiaotzu dash out of cover and make a wish first. Chiaotzu gets blown up by Piccolo for his trouble.
  • Satanic Archetype: The Demon King Piccolo is the evil half of Kami, the Guardian of Earth. As the physical embodiment of evil, he seeks to conquer and destroy the world using his demonspawn minions.
  • Scare Chord: A recurring one throughout the series.
  • Schmuck Banquet: Goku eats a giant fish roasting out in the open, unaware that it belongs to Yajirobe.
  • Screaming Warrior: Goku yells and screams a lot when attacking his foes, punctuating many blows with a sharp Kiai.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Piccolo was one of these, sealed into a simple electric rice cooker.
  • Self-Duplication:
    • Subverted by the ninja Murasaki who divides himself into five copies, each as strong as the first, in an effort to overpower Goku. After taking Goku by surprise with the "technique", it's revealed that he's performed no technique at all; Murasaki is a set of quintuplets.
    • During his match with Goku at the 23rd World Tournament, Tien introduces the Multiform technique, dividing himself into four copies. The technique proves very ineffective, however, as Tien's power has to be divided evenly between them, making each too weak to harm Goku.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Master Roshi attempts to seal King Piccolo using the Evil Containment Wave, a technique that will claim the life of the user. Roshi misses the rice cooker at the last second, allowing Piccolo to escape and Roshi dies for nothing.
  • Serial Escalation: In one of the earliest arcs, Goku fights the greatest martial artist in the world nearly to a standstill. From there, he challenges various branches of the most powerful military on the world by himself, defeating the deadliest assassin in the process before making a frontal assault on their headquarters. Then the Demon King takes over the world. And that still amounts to only the first third of the manga.
  • She Is All Grown Up:
    • Goku never seems to visibly age until the timeskip between the 22nd and 23rd World Tournament. When he arrives at the tournament after spending three years training under Kami and greets his friends, everyone is first confused as to who he is, then shocked to realize it's their old friend Goku, now a young adult.
    • Chi-Chi enters the 23rd World Tournament as a mysterious young woman with a grudge against Goku. Because nobody's seen her in six years, her identity remains a secret until her match with Goku, who is shocked to discover who she actually is.
  • Shout-Out
    • Go read Dr. Slump, then re-read Dragon Ball. Despite Emperor Pilaf stating he didn't want to see any references to it there's more visual references than one would think. Example: Vegetto gets turned into a talking coffee drop...
    • The helmet Chichi wears early in Dragon Ball, with the forehead laser and the throwing blade, seem to have been inspired by the Emerium Beam and Eye Slugger used by the eponymous hero of Ultra Seven.
    • After Goku's first Oozaru transformation, Pilaf attacks him in an airplane in a clear reference to King Kong.
  • Shōnen: Considered a landmark series for this demographic; it's influence can be seen in a lot of manga running today.
  • Signature Move: Many characters are well-known for a specific move or skill.
    • Goku uses the Janken Fist frequently in the early arcs. As he gets older, the move eventually falls by the wayside and he starts using the Kamehameha more frequently.
    • Master Roshi invented the Kamehameha. Most of his students learn the technique either directly from him or by imitating him.
    • Yamcha is introduced with a powerful attack combo, the Wolf Fang Hurricane Fist. He later invents the Sokidan in preparation for the 23rd World Tournament.
    • Tenshinhan is the first to use the Taiyoken during the 22nd World Tournament. He also unveils the Kikouhou during the same match, which remains his trump card even in the sequels.
  • Single Specimen Species: The Buyon in Muscle Tower can resist Goku's Kamehameha unharmed, and nothing like it is ever seen again.
  • Sleeps With Both Eyes Open: In the anime version, Piccolo Daimaou sleeps with open eyes, adding another bizarre and creepy trait to his character, after showcasing that he can drink through using telekinesis and laying eggs with his mouth in the same scene.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: Each arc's villain ranks higher than the last as Serial Escalation continues.
    • Before King Piccolo the villains' effectiveness range from low to moderate, with Tao scoring the highest since he does beat Goku (only failing to kill him thanks to the Dragon Ball in his shirt) and steals his Dragon Balls. Blue is also up there since he does the same as Tao, but gets beaten up quite a bit.
    • The earliest example of high villain effectiveness is King Piccolo. He gets his wish for eternal youth, kills the dragon so no one can be brought back to life, murders many beloved characters, and takes over the world, plunging everything into anarchy. His rule is short thanks to Goku, but no other villain comes so close to complete and utter victory.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: Courtesy of the Dragon Balls, every major Dragon Ball enemy is a global threat except the 22nd Tournament, which slides down to a strictly personal threat. Even Emperor Pilaf can take over the world if he makes a wish to Shenron for it.
  • Smug Snake
    • Pilaf thinks he is more brilliant than he really is and his arrogance leads him to free King Piccolo thinking he would share part of the world with him.
    • Commander Red refuses to abandon the Dragon Balls even when it becomes obvious to everyone that there is no way to beat Goku and thinks it's a good idea to tell Officer Black his real reason for wanting the Dragon Balls, thinking Black won't do anything.
  • Smug Super
    • King Piccolo looks down his nose at humans and believes he is the strongest thing on the planet. The thought that anyone could be stronger than him is completely unthinkable.
    • His son Piccolo Jr. Although not as smug as his father since he knows he has to kill Goku first in order to take over the world, he still belittles his opponents and mocks Goku for not being willing to cause harm to people.
    • Tao, more specifically after he comes back as a cyborg. He is so confident in his new strength that he sees dealing with Tien as just something to do on his way towards getting revenge against Goku.
    • Tien when he's first introduced. He's extremely confident in his power and never misses a chance to belittle the Turtle School. He uses the Kamehameha against Master Roshi just to show that he can and breaks Yamcha's leg for no particular reason. Thankfully, Tien mellows out after his story arc.
  • So Last Season:
    • For the first few arcs, the Afterimage is a very effective way of baiting a foe into attacking the wrong place, leaving them open for a counter. At the 22nd World Tournament, however, the move is effortlessly countered by Tien, whose third eye allows him to pierce the illusion.
    • Tien also makes short work of the Kamehameha which, until that point, had been a very potent technique for Goku and Master Roshi.
  • Solid Clouds: Goku's primary method of transportation is the Flying Nimbus, a magic cloud that allows those pure of heart to ride on top of it.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Both during the sagas and throughout the entire series.
    • Goku's first adversary, Pilaf, is a bumbling oaf with two incompetent henchmen. Despite this, he comes within a hair's breadth of world domination via the Dragon Balls.
    • For most of the Red Ribbon Army arc, Goku fights through gradually more and more potent foes within the military. He's first genuinely challenged by Muscle Tower then, afterwards, faces the first Red Ribbon soldier who can truly match him, General Blue. With Blue defeated, the Army hires Mercenary Tao, a deadly assassin who actually manages to defeat Goku. Goku is forced to climb Korin Tower and seek advanced training to match Tao.
    • Subverted at the end of the Red Ribbon Army Saga. After Goku kicks the grenade into Tao Pai Pai's face, he just mows through an entire army, shrugging off a direct hit from a sniper rifle. Staff Officer Black's powered armour is actually less of a challenge than the ruthless assassin Tao.
    • With the Red Ribbon Army defeated, Goku advances to the 22nd World Tournament, where he's confronted by the Crane School; a rival to his master's Turtle School from which the deadly Tao originated.
    • After the tournament, Goku faces the Evil Demon King Piccolo, the most powerful and dangerous force on Earth.
    • And lastly, during the 23rd tournament, Goku faces off agaisnt Piccolo Jr., who is basically his father, but stronger.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The romanizations of many characters' name tend to vary between Japanese media. Even the English adaptation of the manga and anime can't seen to agree on which spelling to use.
  • Spinoff Babies: Although its anything but this, the original Dragon Ball was both advertised and came off as this to American viewers due to Z being localized first.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Spike the Devil Man literally creates a pitchfork out of thin air using Magic Materialization/Busshitsu Shutsugen Majutsu.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Launch on Tien. So bad that Launch left home to chase him.
  • Storming the Castle: Following the defeat of Mercenary Tao, Goku assaults the Red Ribbon Army at their base. His friends come to help, but they arrive after the battle's already won.
  • Story-Breaker Power:
    • The one-shot villain from the first story arc Boss Rabbit. He has the ability to turn anyone who touches him into a carrot. Touch this guy in anyway and you're product. Thankfully, he's a weakling who gives up just by being hit by Goku's Power Pole and is never seen again since he can easily take out people who don't know about his powers.
    • The devil Akkuman emits waves that amplify every evil or impure thought, causing even saintly people to explode from within. He's defeated only because Goku has a totally pure heart and could not be affected. Unsurprisingly, he never appears again after the story arc featuring him.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Those who study under the Turtle or Crane schools of martial arts can learn such physics-breaking techniques as:
    • The Afterimage, which allows a user to move so fast that they leave an illusion in their place.
    • The Kamehameha, honing one's ki and releasing it as a beam of pure force.
    • The Solar Flare, a brilliant flash of light emanating from the user's face.
    • The Dodon Ray, a thinner, more concentrated beam of force for piercing a foe.
    • The Flight Technique, Bukujutsu, which allows the user to fly under their own power.

    T 
  • Takes One to Kill One: King Piccolo is utterly invincible to any human who didn't know the Evil Containment Wave, which kills the person who uses it. Only Goku manages to outmatch Piccolo and later his son Piccolo Jr. They are both aliens sent to Earth to save their lives.
  • Taking the Bullet: Goku blocks an anti-tank rocket for Ox King and Chichi with his face. He doesn't even flinch.
  • Third Eye: Tien has a third eye that allows him to pierce the Afterimage illusion. Where it came from and what abilities it has are never explained.
  • This Cannot Be!: King Piccolo and his reincarnation/son Piccolo Jr are shocked by Goku's ability to match and even surpass what they considered to be their insurmountable strength.
  • Things That Go Bump in the Night: Fortuneteller Baba's fighters are based on classic horror movie monsters: in order, a vampire, an invisible man, a mummy, a devil, and (sort of) a ghost.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Commander Red. He refuses to abandon the base and leave the Dragon Balls when it becomes obvious that there is no stopping Goku. In the process, he actually explains to Officer Black that he's been throwing away their lives for a goal as shallow and self-centered as wishing to be taller. This earns him a bullet in the head from the outraged Officer Black.
    • Officer Black after he takes command of the Red Ribbon Army. Before taking the position, he insists to Commander Red that Goku can't be stopped and they should just leave him the Dragon Balls and escape. Once he takes power, however, he immediately changes tactics. Instead of peacefully surrendering the Dragon Balls to Goku and walking away like he implored Red to do, Black tries to fight him despite knowing how strong Goku is. Goku shows no mercy chasing him down and killing him.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Goku, naturally, have several:
      • The jump in strength between the first story arc and the first Tournament Arc. Goku could barely make a Kamehameha strong enough to wreck a car. By the tournament, he can create a Kamehameha equal to his master.
      • When he first met Tao, the assassin easily beat him and he only survived thanks to his 4-star Dragon Ball. After training with Korin, he returns to Earth and he beats Tao like he is a novice.
      • After being destroyed by King Piccolo, he returns to Korin's Tower, finds the Ultra Divine Water which powers him up, and returns to fight Piccolo, who also became stronger from regaining his youth. They were evenly matched in the second fight.
      • Goku during the third Tournament Arc. He beat Tien with little trouble, despite being about even three years ago, and is able to fight toe-to-toe with Piccolo Jr, who is stronger than his father.
    • Piccolo, both father and son, took several level in badass. First when King Piccolo regained his youth using the Dragon Balls, and then when Piccolo Jr overpowered Kami, who was many times stronger than King Piccolo. Even better, he beat Kami using a reverse Evil Containment Wave, the one technique King Piccolo feared.
    • Krillin and Yamcha by the end of the original series. They went from being weaker than Master Roshi, easily being defeated by him, to greatly surpassing him. Yamcha was able to hit Kami and Krillin gave Piccolo Jr a good fight.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Bulma goes from just using Goku to get all the Dragon Balls to actually caring about him and seeing him as a dear friend. By the King Piccolo Saga, she's truly concerned about the state of the world and not just herself.
    • Oolong remains a cowardly, selfish pervert, but he acts generally nicer to his friends and shows concern about them as the story progresses.
    • Yamcha is a remorseless thief who Would Hurt a Child when he's introduced. He softens up during the course of the first arc. By its end, he values and respects Goku as a peer and starts a relationship with Bulma.
    • Krillin is manipulative, selfish, and treats Goku terribly when they first meet. Not only does he come to see Goku as his best friend by the time their training ends, but he also becomes quite heroic, willing to risk his life to help others.
    • Launch's other half. She is still quite violent and trigger-happy near the end, but she will fight to defend her friends, especially Tien. She also shows disgust over King Piccolo's actions despite liking some of his polices.
    • Tien and Chiaotzu are cruel, sadistic, and demeaning to their opponents, especially the Turtle School. After undergoing Character Development in the 22nd World Tournament, the pair let go of their cruelty and selflessly risk their lives to oppose King Piccolo.
  • Time Skip: Three years pass offscreen between the end of the Red Ribbon Army arc and the start of the 22nd World Tournament. After King Piccolo is defeated, another three years go by before the 23rd World Tournament.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Although he started out very strong, Goku only becomes as capable as he does because he seeks out newer, greater mentors to teach him.
    • With the first journey to find the Dragon Balls behind him, Goku travels to Kame House to study martial arts under Master Roshi.
    • After being defeated by Mercenary Tao, Goku sets out to climb Korin's Tower and seek the power to overcome him. At the top, he meets Korin and undergoes training in move prediction. This gives him the edge he needs to defeat Tao.
    • Double Subverted after King Piccolo nearly kills him, Goku returns to Korin's Tower for further training only to learn that he's already surpassed his teacher and there's nothing left he can do for him. Then Korin remembers the Ultra Divine Water, which can draw out all of Goku's potential if the poison doesn't kill him first.
    • With Piccolo defeated but reincarnated and seeking vengeance, Goku agrees to remain on Kami's Lookout and train under the deity himself.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The Four-Star Dragon Ball is the only thing Goku's grandpa left him before he died. His goal of reclaiming it after Shenron's first summoning puts him into conflict with the Red Ribbon Army, who are gathering the Dragon Balls for their own ends.
  • Training from Hell: In-universe, Master Roshi is infamous for it… And it's actually harsher than rumoured. The exercises he's seen subjecting his pupils to are:
    • The Milk Run from Hell: delivering milk on foot over vast distances that include climbing a mountain (there's a staircase, but it's still a few kilometers), crossing a river near the top of a waterfall, walking on a fallen tree over a cliff, crossing a desert, and being chased by a dinosaur, all with a single break on top of the mountain. All but the mountain is to be done running, as it's speed training and the delivery has to be made in time. This is only the early morning training;
    • Plowing a large field bare handed to reinforce their hands. This is done after a short break after the Milk Run from Hell, and before breakfast… Assuming they do the job quick enough to earn the breakfast;
    • Perform construction work for at least five men, each, to increase physical strength (and earn some money). They can use tools for this, but nothing with an engine;
    • Swimming across a lake and back ten times while chased by a giant shark;
    • Reflex training is to fight angry bees while tied to a tree. After the shark, this is pretty tame;
    • After the first day, he has them wear 20 kilos shells on their backs all the time, progressively increasing the weight. He himself wears a 40 kilo shell all the time;
    • As he knows what he's doing, he gives his pupils only exercises they can deal with (and actually makes sure they're strong enough before accepting them as trainees), grants them enough rest between the exercises, feeds them all they need (even Goku), and takes time to teach them other basic skills such as writing and reading, math (this actually was crucial for Krillin's victory over Chiaotzu: the latter was winning until Krillin distracted him with math questions, and pummelled him when he tried to count on his fingers, as Chiaotzu's teacher had neglected to teach him math), common knowledge, manners, honour, and so on. In fact, the Milk Run from Hell, plowing a field and performing construction work double as legitimate work, so they can learn its value.
    “Work hard, study well, and sleep plenty, that's the Turtle Hermit's way to learn.”
  • Three-Point Landing: Almost everybody does this when falling, except when they fall flat to the floor.
  • Trash Talk: Tien loves to insult and demean his opponents before his Heel–Face Turn, especially to Yamcha. After Master Roshi forfeits their match and gives him a mentoring speech about the dark road he's on and the error of his ways, Tien attempts to blow it off by insinuating that Roshi couldn't have beaten him anyway. Roshi acknowledges that he's probably right, and this refusal to return fire gives Tien pause.
  • Trope Codifier: Many of the tropes common to the Fighting Series genre were codified by Dragon Ball.
  • True Companions: Over the course of the series, a powerful friendship grows between Goku, Krillin, Bulma, Yamcha, Master Roshi, Ooling, Puar, and Turtle. No matter what happens, they're always there for each other and spend time together wherever they can.
  • T-Word Euphemism: Lord Pilaf's minions and the English localisers on the "K-word".

    U 
  • Underestimating Badassery: All over the place just like Z.
    • Because Goku is a small, cute child for most of the original series most people tends to dismiss him. Like Yamcha, despite knowing that Goku is the grandson of the legendary martial artist, Son Gohan. He never completely takes Goku seriously until Goku knocks his tooth out. Tien also underestimates Goku for being a child until he learns he killed Mercenary Tao.
    • Much like Goku, Krillin is never taking seriously because he's a kid. Although he isn't as successful as Goku, he still manages to shut a lot of people up. One of the most notable examples is when Krillin fights Piccolo Jr at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. He puts up such a good fight that Piccolo is left in shock and contemplating his plans to take over the world.
    • Everyone, except for the Ox-King, underestimates Master Roshi because he's a perverted, old hermit. He quickly proves why he is consider the strongest man in the world by blowing up a flaming mountain.
    • Tao when he fights Tien during the 23rd Martial Arts Tournament. Tao only sees Tien as an amusing distraction before taking his revenge on Goku. Tien completely outmatches Tao and takes him down with one punch to the gut.
    • Goku completely underestimates King Piccolo when they first met. He nearly pays for his mistake with his life.
    • Later, Goku thinks he can make quick work of Mr. Popo since he took down the Demon King himself. Mr. Popo hands Goku his tail and reprimands him for thinking he was the strongest in the world because he beat Piccolo.
    • This is Kami's fighting style. When he's disguised as Shen at the 23rd World Tournament, he purposely comes across as weak, clumsy, and extremely lucky. This causes everyone to not take him seriously, which never ends well for them. Only Yajirobe and Goku see through Kami's ploy.
  • Unexplained Recovery: General Blue is seen buried in rubble among the collapsing underwater pirate lair. Soon after the protagonists barely reach safety, he surfaces, having somehow escaped with no equipment.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Over the course of the series, Bulma builds up a tolerance for the weird magical plot elements and bizarrely strong super-children in her life. Seeing overpowered people able to level islands doesn't even make her blink by the end.
  • The Unfought: Goku never once directly meets General Red, the commander of Red Ribbon Army, who is later killed by his own sidekick.
  • Unskilled, but Strong
    • When training for the 21st Tournament, Master Roshi calls Goku wild, but strong. Despite having formal training, his grandfather died before it was completed leaving Goku to fill in the blanks. Master Roshi enters the tournament so neither Goku nor Krillin can win on brute strength.
    • Mr. Popo calls Goku out when they first meet. According to him, Goku has a lot of power, but makes poor use of it. His training for the 23rd Tournament consists of Goku learning how to control and focus his power.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Subverted during the King Piccolo arc. When Goku finds out Krillin has been murdered, he skips dinner and takes to the sky to hunt down the one responsible and take revenge. He quickly finds Tambourine, Krillin's killer, and attacks. Because he's hungry from skipping dinner and exhausted from the match beforehand, Goku's rage isn't enough to carry him. Tambourine effortlessly destroys the Flying Nimbus and pounds Goku to the Earth below.
  • Urban Legend: There's a very oft-repeated one floating around in Hungary, which claims the series got canceled because a kid jumped off a building/out a window, thinking the Nimbus would save him. There is nothing to confirm this, yet many, many fans consider it a fact. In reality, the show was canceled because the TV station that had carried it got into trouble due to the series' timeslot and rating — they handled it as a children's cartoon but the media authorities saw it as strictly meant for adults. It is also known that a 14-year-old named Karcsi threatened the broadcasting company with suicide upon hearing about the cancellation. But the one about a kid jumping to his death is, most likely, a legend.

    V 
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Subverted by Officer Black, who attempt to flee from his fight with Goku after his missile fails to kill him. Goku doesn't let him escape, killing him as he's fleeing by catching up and smashing through his mech suit.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Tao is put through this after he comes back as a cyborg. He is actually stronger than ever, but all the characters had leveled up to the point where he was no threat to them. It is hinted that Chiaotzu only lost against him because he was shocked to see Tao alive after being told that was dead three years ago.
  • Villainous Breakdown
    • Tao had one when he realized that Goku was stronger than him. Once that realization hit, he pulled his I Surrender, Suckers ploy.
    • Commander Red and Officer Black have one when they both realized that they couldn't beat Goku.
    • King Piccolo also had one after Goku tanked a blast that leveled an entire city. He was so freaked out that he called Goku inhuman and ran to get Tien as a shield.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Invoked as a last-ditch strategy by Mercenary Tao. After being defeated by Goku, Tao pleads for mercy. Before Goku has a chance to accept or reject it, however, Tao takes advantage of the hesitation to throw a grenade in his face and jump to safety. The grenade meets him there.

    W 
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • In terms of tournament matches, Master Roshi participates in the 21st tournament for the express purpose of showing Goku and Krillin that there is Always Someone Better.
    • In terms of Life-or-Death battles, General Blue is the first villain to almost kill Goku. While Goku still has the upper hand in a straight fight, he doesn't take the general as serious as he should have and nearly has his head blown off after Blue paralyzes him with his psychic powers. Afterwards Blue gets worfed by Mercenary Tao, who then proceeds to play this trope even straighter and outright demolishes Goku in combat.
  • Walking the Earth
    • Master Roshi tells Goku to travel the world and find his own adventures after the events of the Red Ribbon Army Saga. He also forbids him from using the Flying Nimbus, so he has to travel the world by foot.
    • Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu, and Krillin also travel the world to find their own training and have their own adventures after King Piccolo is killed. They travel together at first before going their separate ways.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Master Roshi battles his pupils in the Tenkaichi Tournament under the guise of Jackie Chun. He believes that Victory Is Boring, so he tries to prevent them from winning so that they'll always strive to become stronger rather than rest on their laurels.
  • Wasteful Wishing: Exploited in the first arc. When Shenron is summoned by Pilaf, Oolong makes the first wish that comes to mind before Pilaf has a chance to wish for world domination. His wish for panties is a waste, but wasting the wish prevents Pilaf's rise to power.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Master Roshi takes it to comedic excess when he forces Krillin and Goku to work long hours delivering milk on foot, sowing fields with their bare hands, and doing chores at construction sites, all the while wearing weighted turtle shells. He makes a few bucks off it, too. It does really build them up fast, however.
  • What Are You: Happens quite a bit to Goku. He will do something so over the top or extraordinary that people, including his own friends, will question what the hell is he and ask if he's human. After seeing his Oozaru transformation, Oolong even wonders if he's an alien. King Piccolo has this reaction after Goku survives a blast that nukes an entire city:
    King Piccolo: This can't be happening! This isn't supposed to happen! There's no way a mere human can stand on equal ground with King Piccolo!
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Goku asks Chi-Chi what she means when she says she loves him. Granted, Goku may know love in a friendship sense, but not in a romantic one. The two become engaged when she asks him to take her as his bride and Goku agrees, thinking marriage is something edible that she's offering to give him.
  • What Is This, X?: In the Funimation dub of Dragon Ball, in one episode, when Bulma gets surprised that she has to wear a Playboy Bunny costume: "What is this, Easter?!"
  • Willfully Weak:
    • As Goku becomes more powerful he realizes that he can kill people if he fights at full power. So, when he fights in tournaments he purposely restrains himself. He even tells Tien since he's so strong he can fight normally since he won't die. As a teenager, he also restrains himself by wearing heavy clothing to enhance his training.
    • Piccolo Jr goes out of his way not to fight at full power through the 23rd Tournament since he doesn't want to be disqualified before killing Goku. He still gives Krillin a sample of his power when he proves a worthy match.
  • With My Hands Tied
    • Tao Pai Pai combines this with the Worf Effect by fighting and killing General Blue who had nearly killed Goku twice by using nothing but his tongue. Witnesses are obviously spooked.
    • Piccolo gets Goku to stand and take his long distance attacks by threatening to kill Tenshinhan. Goku had already had one leg broken at this point, and Piccolo uses the circumstances to break Goku's other leg and one of his arms before taking off to finish Goku with death from above. Goku manages to use that one working arm to counterattack, punching a hole through King Piccolo.
    • When Goku and Piccolo fight in the 23rd Budokai, Piccolo gets Goku with a lucky shot then breaks each of Goku's arms and legs, remembering what happened to his previous incarnation. Then he unleashes a blast that apparently vaporizes the hero...but it turns out Goku learned how to fly during the Time Skip, and uses the momentum to knock Piccolo out of the ring, winning the match.
  • Worf Had the Flu
    • In Goku and Yamcha's fight in the first story arc, Goku is hungry which gives Yamcha the edge. The fight is interrupted when Bulma wakes up from her nap, scaring Yamcha offnote . In their rematch, a well-fed Goku easily curb stomps Yamcha.
    • Much more serious, Tambourine nearly beats Goku to death because he's exhausted from his battle with Tien.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Right from the start of the King Piccolo arc, Tambourine easily kills Krillin offscreen. He follows up with a host of other renowned Martial Artists without barely trying and even takes down Goku.
    • To show just how much of a Bad Ass King Piccolo is, he easily beats the daylights out of Goku right after he and Yajirobe have finished taking out Tambourine and Cymbal.
    • Tien, who is second only to Goku, gets nearly killed by Drum, a child born from Piccolo after he gets his power restored. Goku then casually one-shots him to show how powerful he became after drinking the Ultra Diven Water.
    • General Blue is the first villain both willing and capable of killing Goku in a straight fight. He can hold his own physically well enough and displays this by beating Krillin in an example of this trope, but against Goku he uses special telekinetic powers to give him an edge. Later on Blue gets hit with this trope himself when Mercenary Tao effortlessly dances around his physical attacks, no sells his telekinetic power, and kills him with his tongue alone.
    • Tao was also a victim of this trope. After coming back strong as a cyborg, he is easily dismissed by Tien. Earlier, it was Chiaotzu hit with the Worf stick to show how much more powerful Tao had become.
  • The Worf Barrage: The Kamehameha is often used to show how Bad Ass a person is when they are completely unaffected by it.
    • During the 21st World Tournament, Goku proves how capable he is at the start of his fight with Jackie Chun by matching Chun's Kamehameha with one of his own.
    • At the 22nd World Tournament, Tien demonstrates the ability to deflect the Kamehameha.
  • World's Best Warrior: By the end of the original series, Goku had earned this title by defeating Piccolo Jr.
  • World of Badass: In a cast loaded with ki-using martial artists, ancient magical teachers, and army-shattering demons, nearly every character is introduced as a capable and talented warrior who far outstrips ordinary human capabilities.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • By the end of the 22nd Tournament, Tien sees Goku as a capable and talented equal. He spends the rest of his life trying to surpass him.
    • Goku comes to view Piccolo Jr as a worthy rival after their match in the 23rd World Tournament. He prevents Kami from killing him, despite everyone telling him how dangerous he is.
  • Wuxia: The anime adaptaton lovingly pays homage to the conventions of the Classic Shaw Brothers Kung-Fu films of the 60's, in lighting, movement, costume design and especially the sublime musical score by Kikuichi Shunsuke.

    Y 
  • Yamato Nadeshiko - Launch, in her blue-haired form, is a polite and soft-spoken homemaker for Kame House.
  • You Are Number 6: Android 8, renamed Eighter by Goku.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Tien and Yamcha spend their fight volleying insults at each other before Tien breaks Yamcha's arm.
  • You Are Not Ready:
    • Master Roshi's (as Jackie Chun) reaction when Goku claims he can make a Kamehameha equal to his. He's quickly proven wrong.
    • He has a similar reaction when Yamcha and Krillin use the Kamehameha in their matches at the 22nd Tournament. They both pull them off flawlessly, although Roshi muses that Krillin would have won his match with Chiaotzu right then if he was properly taught the Kamehameha.
  • Your Eyes Can Deceive You: Mr. Popo spends three years hammering into Goku's head that relying on his eyes to track his opponent makes him too slow. Instead, Goku has to learn how to read ki and feel his opponent.

    Z 


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DragonBall/TropesOToZ