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Anime / Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

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Spoilers for all Dragon Ball works preceding it will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is the 18th official movie in the Dragon Ball franchise. Directed by Masahiro Hosoda, it was released in Japan on March 30, 2013, and features heavy involvement from Akira Toriyama himself, making it one of the few canonical movies. An extended edition debuted on Fuji TV on March 22, 2014, adding an extra 20 minutes of footage.

The plot involves the awakening of Beerus, the God of Destruction, who due to a dream and a prophecy becomes obsessed with finding and fighting a legendary warrior called a Super Saiyan God. As such, he heads to King Kai's planet and later Earth in search of any information on this warrior. Meanwhile, the Z Warriors are celebrating Bulma's birthday, while the Pilaf Gang attempt to steal the Dragon Balls.

An English dub by Funimation was shown in theaters for a limited run on August 5th-9th, 2014 and proved to be popular enough for a second, smaller run the following Tuesday on August 12th.

In 2015 a direct sequel to the events of this movie was released, titled Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F'.

Battle of Gods was also the final Dragon Ball entry to feature Kenji Utsumi as Shenron before his death in 2014.

The events of this movie are revisited in the anime Dragon Ball Super.

This work contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: While the majority of the battle nicely hides this, there is a part of the fight between Goku and Beerus where they are rendered in CG, which can stand out for some.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: After losing the Super Saiyan God form, Goku doesn't notice it... but still manages to keep landing hits on Beerus.
  • Affably Evil: Beerus and Whis, in spite of being the God of Destruction and his assistant, are actually incredibly polite and respectful. Well, Beerus is when he doesn't throw tantrums over every little thing that goes wrong for him. Although, despite the fact that he's hard-headed, Beerus is capable of being a genuinely nice guy. He even sincerely apologizes for causing trouble when all's said and done.
  • Almighty Janitor: Almost literally ("Almighty" is right) with Whis, who is even stronger than Beerus despite being his retainer.
  • Always Someone Better: Deconstructed and exaggerated. Beerus, who is the God of Destruction and a god which all of the other gods fear. This would normally be not as dangerous considering how the gods of the Dragon Ball Universe normally rank in the power scale, until he curb stomps Super Saiyan 3 Goku with a finger. Since this is the canonical universe, where Super Saiyan 3 is the strongest state aside from Mystic and Fusions, this is a big deal. Then the Super Saiyan God state, which is the strongest state in the series' canon is activated by Goku to defeat this guy, normally you'd expect a Curb-Stomp Battle to ensue and deal with the Big Bad. Nope, Goku still loses, only managing to force Beerus to go 70% of his power and suffers no punishment. The real scary part comes after this turns out despite being the strongest character in the series according to V-jump, his advisor Whis is much stronger than he is, and given that we never see the full extent of Beerus' power, Whis' power must be beyond comprehension. We also get this bit of information; turns that he's the designated God of Destruction for the universe that Dragon Ball is based in which is No.7 out of 12. To sum up Beerus, the most powerful character in the series, has several entities above him. There's his mentor who's strong enough to smack him around like a child as a joke, and then there's the other eleven universes' Gods of Destruction that are all possibly stronger than he is. Needless to say, Goku can't become the strongest in the universe, because as long as gods like Beerus exist, he never will be. Now Goku knows exactly how his friends feel…or at least, one would think so if they didn't know Goku. Those who do would say that he clearly finds this fun.
  • Animation Bump: The sequence where Goku and Beerus fly into space during their final battle clearly has much more effort put into it than the rest of the movie.
  • Anti-Villain: Beerus is actually kind of a nice guy when he's happy, but he has a hair trigger, a childish personality, and once he's decided to destroy a planet he won't reconsider, though he can be convinced to put it off indefinitely. It's shown best in his fights with the Z fighters after Buu pisses him off he takes them all out quickly and cleanly using pressure points to knock them out instead of destruction heavy attacks. Then when he and Goku are fighting in a city he doesn't use any big attacks and even dodges around a bridge.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Super Saiyan God. It gives even an average Saiyan the power of a god. However, it requires five righteous Saiyans, including one more to be the receiver, to activate it and the form only lasts a few minutes at most.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Vegeta and Bulma even get a little tease from Goku because of this. In fact, Vegeta goes apeshit on Beerus for slapping Bulma when moments before he was willing to humiliate himself to keep Beerus happy.
    • The first person Goku thinks of when everything starts going to hell is Chi-Chi. She in turn is shown crying out his name while in tears. Even after everything that's happened throughout the franchise, they're still terrified of losing each other.
  • Ax-Crazy: Beerus, especially when he is in a bad mood in his Disproportionate Retribution moments. Adding to that he has extremely sharp personality changes, he can vary from a calmed guy to incredibly crazy, irrational and extremist if he gets angry.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: If you count Beerus as a bad guy. He gets everything he wanted and remains completely undefeated.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When we're introduced to Whis, he's seen slowly walking up the tower with a serious expression on his face and his arms behind his back, giving the impression that he's The Dreaded Lord Beerus to a first-time viewer. It's only when he calls the sleeping purple cat "Lord Beerus" do we realize that he's actually the god's attendant. His light teasing of Beerus also reveals that his serious expression from earlier was essentially a fake-out for first timers.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Beerus isn't bothered at all being in a complete vacuum. Justified given that he is a god. Strangely enough, though, Goku is also unaffected during his time in Earth orbit, which might be explained by the Super Saiyan God powers, except that he had apparently lost the upgrade by that point.
  • Been There, Shaped History: As a Running Gag, Beerus off-handedly mentions having played major roles in multiple areas of the manga's backstory behind the scenes. He was the monster that sealed Elder Kai in the Z-Sword, he caused King Kai's planet to be the tiny ball we know it as, he approved Frieza's destruction of Planet Vegeta, and he caused the near-extinction of the dinosaurs on Earth.
  • Big Bad: Beerus.
  • Big Eater: Saiyans aside, Beerus and Whis fit as they pass most of their time on Earth eating. Also Majin Buu, who even refuses to share a single pudding, causing Beerus's Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Bulma's house has a room big enough to contain a castle, as well as many other prizes.
  • Bishounen Line: Goku crosses it upon assuming his Super Saiyan God form; his build becomes slightly slimmer, along with his hair and eyes turning red.
  • Bitch Slap:
    • Subverted when Bulma slaps Beerus for ruining her birthday party. It doesn't work, and he slaps her back.
    • She does it again to Goku, several times in fact, to much greater effect.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Despite Goku's latest power-up, he still loses to Beerus, failing to break his promise of destroying Earth but he impressed Beerus enough that he ended up sparing it anyway.
  • Blatant Lies: After being pestered about her age, Bulma insists she is 38. She's actually 45. Though considering Akira Toriyama's well known forgetfulness, this could have just been a mistake. At the same time, this is in-character for Bulma to lie about her age.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Beerus is the God of Destruction: it's his job to destroy worlds so it makes sense he doesn't see anything morally wrong with his actions. It's actually established that old planets have to be destroyed so new planets can be born; the problem with Beerus is that he acts independently of the Supreme Kais (even worse now that there's only two of them left), chooses what planets that he will destroy at his leisure, and he can and will destroy even important planets without a second thought if he's irritated enough.
  • Bookends: Counting only the ones that originated in Dragon Ball Z, Goku's most powerful transformation, Super Saiyan God, actually looks more like Kaio Ken, his first, in that they both give him a red aura and have a particular time limit.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Beerus comes across as this. He spends most of his time either eating or sleeping. Him sleeping for several years is considered a light nap. But there is no doubting his power and the fact that he is very well trained.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Pilaf Gang. Their last appearance chronologically was in the Wedding Dress filler in Dragon Ball and their last canonical to the manga appearance was in the early King Piccolo arc.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Goku goes to greet Beerus, he initially says "Hi, it's me, Goku!" ("Ossu! Ora Gokuu!") before getting clocked by King Kai for his improper manners. In the original series, Goku would always use this greeting at the beginning of the next-episode preview. Made even funnier in the English Dub, when King Kai cracks that he "knew he'd say that".
    • During the climatic battle with Beerus, Goku starts spamming Instant Transmission, ending with a point-blank Kamehameha, like he used against Cell.
    • After his initial skirmish with Beerus, Goku fires a Kamehameha and has it come back to hit him in hopes of using it to get stronger. Goku used this same method to train while on route to Namek back in the Freiza Saga.
  • Canon Immigrant: Tarble, Vegeta's brother who first appeared in the special Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!. He's mentioned in the film, and seeing as the film was actually co-authored by Toriyama himself, this makes his existence canonical.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Downplayed with Gohan, who gets tipsy rather than completely drunk. He still acts over-the-top cheery and behaves irresponsibly, like letting his wife get wounded by a bullet.
  • Casting Gag:
    • It's not the first time Kōichi Yamadera has voiced an amoral god, except the last time it was from an online game.
    • In regards of Beerus's Latin American Spanish voice actor José Luis Orozco:
    • In addition to José Luis Orozco, who voiced Suppaman in the Dragon Ball crossover with Dr. Slump, the Latin American Spanish dub brings back ten voice actors from the Dragon Ball franchise, albeit in different roles: Arturo Castañeda (who voices a child during the World Martial Arts Tournament in Dragon Ball Z) is the voice of Whis, Javier Olguín (the voice of Bubbles in Kai) is the voice of Dende, José Gilberto Vilchis (the voice of Burter in Kai) voices the Supreme Kai and Luis Daniel Ramírez (the voice of Krillin in the Buu saga) reprises his role as young Vegeta, while Circe Luna (the voice of Pan), Carlos Olizar (the voice of the Saibamen and Cell Juniors in Z), Rebeca Gómez (Pares's VA in GT), José Antonio Macías (the voice of Yamcha in Dragon Ball Evolution), Enzo Fortuny (the voice of Goku in the trailer for Evolution), Dafnis Fernández (the voice of Frieza in the first 98 episodes of Kai) and Eduardo Fonseca (the voice of King Kai in Kai) are additional voices.
  • Cats Are Superior: God of Destruction Beerus, of course.
  • Character Development: The movie actually delivers one of the few morally-upstanding lessons that Goku was sorely lacking in his life: he's never going to be better/stronger then everyone. It was a continuous yet cleverly disguised fault in his character, when he saw someone beyond him he simply had to surpass them. While earnestly and diligently working to better himself, it was also part of that Saiyan nature to need to overcome others. Beerus teaches Goku the same lesson Vegeta came to learn during the battle with Kid Buu: there's always going to be somebody better out there. Goku even seems more respectful of Beerus as a superior once the battle is ended as a result. That said, he still wants to surpass Beerus and others like him, he just has a much more humble perspective on where he stands in the universe and beyond.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Played With. As a Super Saiyan God, Goku can finally fight Beerus without going down in two hits. However, the transformation is extremely short lived, burning out after only a few minutes. But, Goku absorbs the powers of godhood into his body and can still fight Beerus as a basic Super Saiyan. He still loses and Beerus was using only 70% of his power.
  • Comedic Spanking: Beerus quickly takes out Gotenks this way.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: The Pilaf gang has this little exchange with Trunks when they get caught trying to steal the Dragon Balls from the prize room:
    Trunks: What're you doing in the prize room?
    Mai: We're friends of the boy who lives here.
    Trunks: You're not my friends!
  • Cringe Comedy: The infamous "Fun Time Bingo" scene, where Vegeta, of all people, has to do a ridiculous, embarrassing dance in front of everyone to appease Beerus. Although mostly intended to be this, it does show Character Development for Vegeta, where he's willing to sacrifice his pride and embarrass himself in order to help save his friends and family.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Beerus does this to Super Saiyan 3 Goku with one finger.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Once Goku becomes a Super Saiyan God. Although, it's deity of Saiyan origin for him.
  • Demoted to Extra: All the characters that are not Goku, Vegeta, Beerus and Whis. All the others have very little parts or are just Plucky Comic Relief or Cameo characters so the fans won't complain they were missing somehow.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Not that it made any difference, but props to Bulma regardless.
    • She slapped Goku, after he became a Super Saiyan God, after he made a smart comment and did it again when she found out that he was watching the entire battle where they were getting beating up without coming to help. Unlike Beerus, she got away with it.
    • The whole plot of the movie mostly amounts to this, with them attempting to stop a God that's a God even by DBZ standards. Though Goku does give him a good run for his money, he ultimately fails to pull this trope off.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Pilaf and his group were reduced to children because of the Dragon Balls, and when they see Goten they think the same happened to Goku. Clearly this is a disregard to the first episode of Dragon Ball GT. Which makes sense, because Pan had not been born yet, and she's 5 at the end of Dragon Ball Z. She's ten in GT while Pliaf and his gang are very old.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Majin Buu eats all the custard puddings at Bulma's party after Beerus asks for one. Beerus tries to destroy the Earth in return.
    • This is one of the reasons why so many of the characters dread Beerus. Whis even mentions that in the past Beerus blew up King Kai's world just because he lost in a round of Hide-and-Seek.
  • The Dreaded: Beerus. Even Shenron himself is scared to death of him.
  • Even Amoral Destroyer Gods Have Standards:
    • Beerus is disturbed and starts considering disciplining the Pilaf gang when Trunks is being held hostage and has a gun to his head, since none of the adults seem to care (it probably didn't help that he himself had been hit right in the forehead with a stray bullet).
    • Beerus dislikes Frieza and planned on killing him before he found out he had been beaten to it.
  • Evil Takes a Nap: The main thing keeping God of Destruction Beerus from completely wrecking the cosmos is that he loves to nap for thousands of years at a time. Unfortunately, he had a prophetic dream about fighting a Super Saiyan God, which leads him on a trail to Earth.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire movie takes place over the afternoon of Bulma's birthday.
  • Exact Words: Beerus says he has to keep his promise of destroying the Earth after Goku gives up. However, he never said he'd have to destroy Earth right away. Nor did he say how much of the Earth he would destroy right then.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Faced with impending death by Beerus, Vegeta just smirks - at least he'll die knowing it took the God of Destruction to finish him. Beerus outright compliments him on taking it so well.
  • Face Fault: Beerus does this when Whis reveals that Freiza was defeated by someone other than him.
  • Fat Idiot: Buu nearly gets everyone and The Earth destroyed because he stuffed all the Custard Pudding which Beerus wanted to try into his mouth. Nice going, Tubby.
  • Fatal Flaw: Beerus firmly believes that pride is the fatal flaw of all the Saiyans.
  • Food Porn: Special focus is paid to a sushi-box, octopus balls and everything Beerus and Whis are eating.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Beerus delaying his destruction of Earth until Whis finished his food is Played for Laughs but one would wonder why someone with such a short temper would allow something like that to happen. It makes sense when, later, Beerus explains that Whis is actually stronger than him, so Beerus pretty much had to let Whis do what he wanted.
    • As noted on the Fridge page, when Whis checks the status of the Saiyan on earth he counts 5. However shortly after we see Goku is on King Kai's planet training, which at first might seem like a mess up, but in actuality this foreshadows Videl being pregnant with Pan, who is a quarter Saiyan.
  • Fountain of Youth: The Pilaf Gang have been reduced to children thanks to a mis-worded wish to Shenron. Doubles as a Mythology Gag when you consider that a misunderstood wish by Pilaf was the very reason Goku was turned back into a kid himself in Dragon Ball GT.
  • Friendly Enemy: Beerus. Even though he's a God of Destruction, Beerus doesn't have the same sadistic pleasure for hurting others that Goku's other enemies do. His and Goku's final fight even seems more like a training exercise than Black-and-White Morality.
  • Generation Xerox: Goku's final showdown with Beerus is above the planet's atmosphere and he's overwhelmed by his opponent's massive ki ball. This is exactly how his father died.
  • Graceful Loser: Goku. Despite clearly being disappointed that he still lost after becoming a Super Saiyan God, he freely admits that Beerus is just way stronger and better than him. Beerus even spares his life since he admits defeat instead of fighting to the bitter end.
  • A God I Am Not: Goku is offered the job God of Destruction by Whis once Beerus dies but declines the offer. He also wasn't exactly happy being a Super Saiyan God, although most of that was how he achieved it.
  • God of Evil: Played with Beerus. He is the God of Destruction and the film's antagonist, and is greatly feared as a result, but it's never demonstrated that this is a bad thing, and he's quite friendly when not angered in some way.
  • God Job: The aforementioned God of Destruction. Goku is even offered the job once Beerus dies.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Vegeta throws away his pride and entertains Beerus with a funny bingo dance to delay the destruction of Earth.
    • For Goku it was swallowing his pride to achieve Super Saiyan God, which required energy from five other righteous Saiyans. He hated that it was a level that he couldn't reach on his own, but did it so that he could fight Beerus and protect his friends.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Beerus. While he's actually quite pleasant when he's calm, it doesn't take much to set him off and threaten to blow up the planet in response. The main reason he decides to blow up Earth is because Buu wouldn't share his pudding with him.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Beerus — not only does he need BOMBS to wake up, but he also requires the menace of Whis singing.
  • Hope Bringer: When everyone gave up on opposing Beerus and prepared themselves for the end of the world, their hope is immediately restored once Goku arrives, despite standing no more a chance against Beerus than anyone else.
  • Humanity Is Infectious:
    • In the extended version of the movie (also known as the uncut edition from Funimation), the Elder Kai theorizes that one of the reasons why Beerus didn't destroy Earth is because of this trope. He gives the examples of Goku and Vegeta, both who were savage warriors who were changed by the Earth and became good people.
    • The extended version shows Beerus eating some sushi sans wasabi, then deciding once and for all that Earth cuisine is good enough to allow the planet to live.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Beerus reveals Whis is actually his mentor and stronger than him.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Beerus tells Super Saiyan God Goku he still hasn't used his full power, Goku cheerfully admits that neither has he. Beerus is genuinely shocked that Goku's still holding back, and flies into a rage at not being taken seriously.
  • Karma Houdini: Beerus. While he's friendlier and less evil than Frieza, Cell, or Buu, still gets away with some unpleasant actions. He cruelly used King Vegeta's head as a footstool in front of his own son Prince Vegeta while making him treat him to an Eight-Course Banquet, knowing that he is much weaker than him and with no possibility of defense, has been responsible for numerous genocides throughout the universe, almost destroyed Earth because he didn't get a dessert, and slapped Bulma.
  • I Can't Sense Their Presence: When Goku asks why he can't sense someone as powerful as Beerus, King Kai explains that he can't sense the presence of deities. When Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan God, Krillin notes that he can't get a read on his power any more.
  • I Gave My Word: A dark example: once Beerus has decided to destroy a planet, he can't back down, as the God of Destruction must retain his credibility. Though he can be convinced to delay the destruction indefinitely, and destroy a tiny part of the Earth to maintain cred.
  • Is It Something You Eat?: Referencing his own past confusion about marriage, Goku asks King Kai if Beerus is some kind of candy... before quickly clarifying that's not that stupid anymore.
  • Laughably Evil: Beerus, of course.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the Broly and Cooler films, this is much Lighter and Softer, with the return of the Dragon Ball comedic and cartoonish elements.
  • Literal Genie: Emperor Pilaf and his gang had wished for Shenron to make them young again. Shenron regressed their ages to that of children.
  • Loophole Abuse: After Beerus ultimately wins, this is how the Earth survives. He said he'd destroy it, he never said how much of it. Thus, he technically destroyed the Earth by only destroying a tiny chunk of it.
  • MacGuffin/New Powers as the Plot Demands: The God Super Saiyan Mode.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Beerus accidentally destroys some planets after eating wasabi sauce.
  • Mirthless Laughter: Goku does this at the end of the fight with Lord Beerus when, after losing decisively, Beerus says that not only is his servant stronger, but some of the other 11 universes have warriors even stronger than him. He then faints.
  • Mr. Exposition: Shenron's only role in the movie is to give information about the "Super Saiyan God" and how it can be achieved.
  • Mundane Utility: Pilaf lampshades that Trunks used the incredible power of flight to go a mere twenty feet (in the English dub).
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: As befitting a God of Destruction, Beerus' answer to every conundrum is to destroy something.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Turns out the movie is placed after Gohan and Videl conceive Pan, and the only one who knows this is Dende - until the last act of the movie.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: Played With. Despite its name, Super Saiyan God is from a different branch of a regular Super Saiyan.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Despite fighting the entire cast and a Super Saiyan God, Beerus takes no noticeable damage.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Vegeta's reaction to seeing Beerus demanding pudding from Majin Buu.
    • Pilaf's reaction upon seeing Goten, see Strong Family Resemblance. It also serves a mythology gag- there was another Dragonball-era villain who thought Gohan was Goku during the Cell Saga, although it was filler.
    • Piccolo's reaction when he realizes that Goku lost his Super Saiyan God form.
    • Beerus' reaction to Vegeta tanking his attack.
    • Shenron of all things has this reaction when he learns Beerus is on earth and standing a few feet away.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Trunks and Goten look exactly the same as they did at the end of Dragon Ball Z, even though it's been four years since the Buu Saga. Justified in the established fact that Saiyans appear youthful throughout their childhood until their next growth spurt of their late teens (like it happened with Gohan and Goku).
    • There's also Marron, Android 18 and Krillin's daughter who doesn't seem to have aged at all since the Buu Saga; justified as well as she is related to Krillin, who was rather small throughout his appearance in the original series and remains comparatively shorter than the rest of the cast from there on.
    • Played with in the case of Mai, Shu and Pilaf thanks to the latter, who wished upon Shenron for them to be young again, causing him and his companions to be reduced to their childhood appearances. Mai even mentions absentmindedly that she'll turn 41 soon before Pilaf dismisses the comment as a joke.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Vegeta is so absolutely terrified of Beerus that, when he gets irritated and comes close to wanting to destroy the planet, Vegeta sings karaoke extremely badly in front of everyone who knows him to entertain Beerus and prevent him from killing them all.
    • Shenron always acts mystical and powerful when interacting with people, yet, upon learning and seeing that Beerus is standing a few feet away, he starts acting humble, and even departs less grandiosely by humbly excusing himself to Beerus instead of his usual shtick.
  • Pet the Dog: After Beerus kicks his ass and is about to kill him, Vegeta consoles himself by saying at least it took the God of Destruction to do him in. Beerus acknowledges that's fair and tells Vegeta he can die with his honor intact. Later, Beerus mentions to Goku how Vegeta completely swallowed his pride to keep earth from being destroyed, sounding a little impressed.
  • The Power of Friendship: Discussed and deconstructed: Goku becomes the Super Saiyan God thanks to this, and he's happy to have friends that helped him become a god, but as someone who has trained constantly his entire life, he hates how there's a level of power he can't ever reach on his own.
  • The Power of Love: Vegeta attacks Beerus after the latter smacks Bulma. Vegeta then proceeds to administer a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Pride: Both Vegeta and Goku had to swallow their pride in the presence of Beerus. For Vegeta, it was doing his song and dance to keep Beerus from losing his temper. For Goku, it was becoming a Super Saiyan God since he hated it was a level he couldn't reach on his own.
  • Prophecy Twist: Discussed in the extended version. Goku at one point theorises that "Super Saiyan God" isn't a level, but rather another surviving Saiyan named "God". And considering the fact that Earth's guardian is named Kami (ie God), that isn't too far-fetched.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Lord Beerus has a purple body and a purple aura. He's the God of Destruction, the strongest god and the second strongest being in the universe. Well, in the seventh universe. He spends the movie curb-stomping almost everyone else (including Super Saiyan 3 Goku and Majin Buu), and in the few serious fights he doesn't even have to use 3/4 of his power.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Toriyama was originally not intended to be involved with the movie. However because Dragonball Evolution showed him what Dragon Ball might be like without his involvement, he jumped on board for not just this movie, but also the sequel and Dragon Ball Super, and even help guide Super's manga adaptation. This is one of the main reasons why a fair amount of fans consider these works canon over previous continuations like Dragon Ball GT.
  • Recut: An extended edition of the film aired on Fuji TV on March 22, 2014 (almost a year after the theatrical release) with an extra 20 minutes of footage.
  • Recycled Premise: The movie takes place during one of the character's big party, the main antagonist arrives and wants to fight the strongest of the group, Goku arrives and they fight, the antagonist joins the big buffet and leaves in good terms with Earth. It's the exact same structure of the 2008 special, where Vegeta's brother appears and a pair of aliens fight all the super-fighter characters. Vegeta's brother is even referenced offhandedly at one point, though not by name. The detail that makes the movies different is the nature of their antagonists.
  • Red Herring: Right after the movie shows us that it is definitely not a good idea to annoy Beerus, the viewers are introduced to Lord Pilaf and his gang. Fans of Dragonball would probably expect him to trigger Beerus' rampage. Instead, they play an insignificant role, their antics only being used to stage some homages to Dragonball and DBZ.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Done between Beerus and Oolong to decide the fate of the Earth. Oolong loses.
  • Scenery Porn: Up to 9000. The movie, visually, is flat out amazing from start to finish. The blend of CGI and top quality animation and art used throughout the movie makes everything look spectacular. Ironically, there's more detail placed in the background art and animation when fights occur. However, the standout scenes for where things get visually breathtaking is when Beerus takes on Goku on Earth and then in space.
  • Sequel Hook: Beerus mentions other, more powerful, gods. Also, in the ending, Whis knocks out Beerus and says that he'll reawaken in three years. Since it seems Beerus usually has reasons for waking up at specific time periods, he may have more plans for Goku in the future. And he wants to try out more of Earth's cuisine.
  • Serial Escalation: Not only does Goku have to square off with a god, but in order to stand a chance, he must become a god himself!
  • Servile Snarker: Whis, who openly reprimands and mocks his boss. Can be considered foreshadowing that he's more than a mere retainer to Beerus.
  • Ship Tease: Mai and Trunks end up sitting in a tree together by the end.
    • According to the Word of God in an interview, he himself had added the romantic plot in the first place (which is surprising to say the least, considering how he hardly ever drew it himself) because he wanted the Pilaf gang to appear more then just easy to beat villains and for other developments.
  • Smug Super:
    • Beerus is aware of how powerful he is. As shown throughout the movie, he has good reasons to be self-assured.
    • Goku started as this, thinking he could put up a good fight against the God of Destruction, despite everyone warning him otherwise. He even offers to scale his power back to Super Saiyan 2 since he thought Super Saiyan 3 may be too much for Beerus. He got a rude wake-up call.
  • So Bad, It's Good: In-Universe, this is Beerus and Whis' opinion about Vegeta's hilarious dance, enough to make Beerus to delay the destruction of Earth.
  • Sparing the Aces: One of the reasons why Beerus spares the Earth. Goku puts up such a good fight against him that he saw it as a waste to kill him.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Beerus/Beers/Bills/Bils and his assistant, Whis/Uis.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Super Saiyan God. By infusion one Saiyan with the light of five righteous Saiyans, you get a being that makes the strongest known form of Super Saiyan look like a weakling and utterly surpasses Vegito, the strongest character in the manga. Originally, it was balanced-off by having a strict time limit like the Fusion Dance. However, Goku manages to absorb the power of godhood into his body, making his base form almost as powerful as a Super Saiyan God even after he lost the transformation.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Causes Pilaf to freak out. He mistakes Goten for Goku and flees in a panic. Goten, of course, has no idea what's going on.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: At the end of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta caps off his Character Development by admitting that Goku is more powerful than him. During Battle of Gods, which takes place after that admittance, he briefly surpasses Goku by beating the crap out of Beerus after Beerus smacks Bulma.
  • Teleport Spam: Goku in his final battle with Beerus.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Played with during the battle with Beerus. "Hero" by FLOW plays, but it is after Goku LOSES his Super Saiyan God powers. Even then, Beerus claims Goku had absorbed the power of the form, keeping him from being completely outclassed like before.
  • Theme Naming: As usual, Toriyama names characters after food or objects. In this case Beerus and Whiskey. Funnily enough, though, Beerus and Whis are actually a dual case of this — the original scriptwriter based for Beerus' original Japanese name on the Japanese pronunciation for "virus", and Whis's name sounds like the Latin version of that same word. So one was initially named with the intention of a virus pun yet was taken for an alcohol pun, and the other was named according to the alcohol pun only to also fit the virus pun as well.
  • Time Skip: Takes place four years after the Buu Saga.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Buu, did you really have to eat all the pudding when a guy who's a God Of Destruction wants one? And then tease him about it? Granted, Buu didn't know Beerus was a god, but it was still a dick thing to do to anyone who made Vegeta nervous.
    • Goku borders on this, wanting to fight Beerus despite everyone warning him that he could be killed - this however is a natural aspect of his Blood Knight heritage, and certainly not anything new.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • By becoming a Super Saiyan God, Goku went from being taking down in a few hits to fighting almost evenly. Even after losing his god form, he maintained its power as a normal Super Saiyan. He still lost and Beerus wasn't even at full power.
    • Even if it was just for a moment, Vegeta surpassed Goku with only being a Super Saiyan 2. He was the first one to tank a blow from Beerus and punch him in the face, drawing blood.
  • Top God: Beerus is a god even by DBZ standards. Not only are all the other Kais terrified of him, but none of the cast (quite a few who could qualify for the Physical God trope by normal standards) can hold a candle to him. Even after becoming a god himself, Goku only managed to make Beerus use seventy percent of his power. On top of that, Whis is shown to be even more powerful than Beerus!
  • Tsundere: Vegeta towards Bulma. He goes nuts when Beerus hits her, but when it is pointed out to him, he is embarrassed and denies it.
  • The Unfought: Beerus reveals that his assistant, Whis, is even more powerful than him and in fact trained him. Whis does not fight anyone in the movie, yet still showed a glimpse of how incredibly powerful he is in the two's final scene in this movie — when Beerus, after spending the length of the film virtually stomping the entire cast, goes out of control after eating some wasabi yet Whis simply dope slaps him to sleep and it's Played for Laughs.
  • Uniqueness Decay: The mystical Dragon Balls, once the prize objects of the original series that people sold their souls to get, reduced to a bingo prize. At least it's the first place prize, right?
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Beerus hits Bulma, Vegeta is rather unamused and tries to make Beerus a stain in the dirt. He also manages to get quite far, considering that he is the first one to draw blood from Beerus and actually make him have to put some effort into it.
  • Values Dissonance: In-Universe; Mai is absolutely horrified when she finds out pretending to be Trunks's girlfriend involves holding hands, outright mentally claiming that people in this age have become depraved perverts.
  • Villain Respect: If you can call Beerus a villain. He comes to greatly respect Goku and the others to the point he spares the Earth from destruction for the time being.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Beerus and Whis did seem to enjoy themselves when at Bulma's party, sampling Earth cuisine.
  • Warrior Therapist: Beerus spends most of his rematch against Goku talking to him about his newfound godhood. Piccolo lampshades it.
  • Wham Episode: Despite obtaining Super Saiyan God, Goku still loses to Beerus, who spares the Earth out of being impressed by Goku's efforts. Beerus reveals that Whis is not only his attendant but his teacher while also revealing that there are 12 universes and the universe Dragon Ball has been set in is the 7th. The Multiverse would later be explored in Dragon Ball Super.
  • Wham Line:
    • The end of the fight.
      Beerus: I just want to hear you say that you give up.
      Goku: ...Huh? ...Well, I do. I do give up.
    • And when Dende heals Videl, he surprisingly finds more than one heartbeat.
      Dende: Um, your tummy is carrying...
      Videl: Shh! It's still a secret.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Vegeta and Bulma's daughter Bra/Bulla for many audience members who watched Dragon Ball GT, particularly for the fact that in GT canon (and assumed beforehand during her appearance at the end of Z), she was older than Pan and thus born beforehand. However, this film renders GT non-canon note , and it isn't until Super's Universe Survival Saga that Bra/Bulla shows up (yet-to-be-born at first), well after the retold events of this film and confirmed to be roughly a year younger than Pan.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: Goku vs. Beerus.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: Oolong, when Beerus challenges the heroes to a game of Rock–Paper–Scissors to see if the Earth will be spared and realizes they're looking at him.
  • The Worf Effect: Part of the point of the movie was showing a new enemy, Beerus, who was so far above the heroes that there was no Training Montage or 11th-Hour Superpower that was going to save them. Beerus was not just barely out of their range, he was several leaps above and they only survive because Beerus is bored and lazy. note 
    • The end of Buu Arc established that Gohan was the naturally strongest of the Saiyans, although he may have been outpaced by Goku during the four-year Time Skip given Gohan's training record. Here, he gets easily beaten by Beerus, with even Vegeta having a better showing. And this is despite the fact that Gohan and Buu were fighting Beerus two on one.
    • Gotenks as well, having been shown as only a little weaker (if at all) than Gohan during the Z series. But like Gohan, he suffered quite a humiliating defeat and for whatever reason didn't even try Super Saiyan 3. Even if he did though, it would most likely do little good given what happened to Goku.
    • Goku as a Super Saiyan 3 gets his butt handed to him within the first twenty minutes of the movie, showing early on that if anyone on Earth fought Beerus they were going to be tasting the ground.
    • In the extended version of the movie, Goku says not even a fusion of himself and Vegeta could stand a chance against Beerus. Seeing how Vegito was a Showy Invincible Hero who easily toyed with Majin Buu's strongest form, and Gogeta wouldn't too far off from the mark either, that's quite a statement.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Gohan's poor performance could be explained by his drinking a truly epic amount of party punch beforehand, leaving him mildly tipsy but extremely foolish.
  • Worthy Opponent: By the end of the movie, Beerus sees Goku and Vegeta as this. He even tells Whis that they need to keep an eye out.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Beerus has no problem knocking out 18 and later Bulma. Vegeta is not pleased at the latter.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Beerus also has no problem attacking children. This is evident when he ruthlessly punishes Gotenks. That said, he does so by spanking.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: A variation. The movie explicitly states that the ki of gods cannot be sensed, even by the Z Fighters. Their ki is beyond ability to fathom. It's just one of several cues that, beyond physical form, mortals just can't fully comprehend a god even when they're standing right in front of them.