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Characters / Dragon Ball: Bulma

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Bulma (ブルマ, Buruma)

Voiced by (Japanese): Hiromi Tsuru (DB to Super), Aya Hisakawa (after Super)
Voiced by (English): Wendee Lee (Harmony Gold dub (under the name Wendee Swan) and Bang Zoom!/Toonami Asia dub in Super); Maggie Blue O'Hara (DB Movie 1, Z Season 4-5, Z Season 6; ep. 238-260), Lalainia Lindbjerg (DB 1995, Z Season 1-2, Z Movie 1-3), France Perras (Z Season 6; ep. 269-291) (BLT/Ocean dub); Leslie Alexander (DB Movie 2), Tiffany Vollmer (DB, Z, GT, DB Movies 3-4), Monica Rial (Kai, DB Movie 1 onwards) (Funimation dub); Leda Davies (DB), Kristin Nowosad (GT) (Blue Water dub); Sharon Mann (AB Groupe/"Big Green" dub); Mitch Frankenberger Pellicer (Creative Products Corp., Philippines); Claudia Thompson (Animax)
Voiced by (Latin American Spanish): Rocío Garcel (current voice), Mónica Manjarrez (History of Trunks, Majin Buu Saga, GT and Movies 4-13), Laura Ayala (Dragon Ball Harmony Gold and Z eps. 238-240), Isabel Martiñón (Z ep. 60 and Path of Power)
Voiced by (Brazilian Portuguese): Tânia Gaidarji, Cristina Rodrigues (DB, Gota Mágica), Daniella Piquet (DB movies, BKS), Raquel Marinho (History of Trunks, Parisi Vídeo)
Voiced by (European Portuguese): Cristina Cavalinhos
Voiced by (French): Céline Monsarrat
Voiced by (Italian): Emanuela Pacotto

"I don't know how a civilized person like me got mixed up with a bunch of brutes like you in the first place! ...But I'm stuck with you, so...for now...I'll stay."

The very first human Goku came across (apart from his grandpa) at the start of the series. One could say she's the trigger that kicks off the series as a whole. Originally on a quest to gather the Dragon Balls for her own reason (to wish for a perfect boyfriend), Bulma gets dragged into the craziness that comes along with the search. Even when the quest is finished, she still keeps close ties with Goku and his friends and helps out whenever possible. Which, considering she's a mechanical whiz, is quite often.

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    A - E 
  • The Ace: She's literally the smartest and the richest girl in the world, while also being an attractive Ms. Fanservice who knows how to use her good looks to get her way. Despite this, she's still a very flawed character, due to her shallow and bratty personality.
  • Action Survivor: Bulma is nowhere near capable of fighting alongside her empowered friends and family, but she's still usually going right alongside them for adventures and is generally able to survive everything with minimal or no injuries. That is until Z where Majin Buu turned her into chocolate and ate her, along with all the other main characters, sending her and the rest to heaven.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Her hair was originally lavender purple in the manga but switched to blue in the anime. So now you know where Trunks' hair color came from.
    • In Dragon Ball: The Path to Power, her hair was finally changed back to purple for one time only, likely because Path to Power was made to celebrate the series' ten year anniversary.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Subverted in that she is aware that time traveling is a crime, but creates a new time machine to try it out. Of course, both Whis and Beerus get onto her for it, and the latter destroys it by snapping his fingers.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In Dragon Ball, she briefly fell for one of the forms adopted by Oolong (who was a villain at the time), and was attracted to Yamcha (then a bandit) due to his roguish nature and good looks. She also went head over heels when she first saw General Blue from the Red Ribbon Army and Zarbon from Frieza's army, before breaking up with Yamcha. She ultimately marries Vegeta, the formerly mass-murdering, ki-blast happy alien Anti-Hero of the group.
  • All Women Are Lustful:
    • Bulma is the first and foremost example, hunting down the Dragon Balls to wish for a boyfriend and throwing herself at every attractive man she encounters, from Yamcha through General Blue and to Vegeta. Thankfully, she simmers down after marrying Vegeta and having children.
    • This trope is entirely averted in Super, despite what some fan interpretations may say. Bulma settled down and outside of one occurrence of invoking this trope (she was distracting Future Zamasu to give Trunks time to learn the Mafuba), her sex appeal is never brought up.
  • Almighty Mom: She and Chi-Chi both provide the page's image, and Bulma is not too far behind Chi-Chi in this regard. She can keep both Goku and Vegeta in check despite the two being among the most powerful beings in the universe. And then when Beerus the God of Destruction shows up, she's the only one who can scold Beerus and not be met with a threat of being destroyed on the spot by him. In fact, she might be the only being (aside from Zeno) who Beerus is terrified of, and in the dub, Whis has likened her wrath to that of a hurricane.
  • Amicable Exes: With Yamcha. They both seem to have remained fairly good friends after their breakup, in spite of the fact that Bulma's new love interest is a former villain... who was indirectly responsible for Yamcha's death.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Bulma tends to express her fears and worries for the protagonists' safety with eruptive rage. Goku, Vegeta, and especially Yamcha were the most common targets. A good example can be seen here.
  • Ascended Extra: She was largely Demoted to Extra in Z, where she wasn't really important to three out of four arcs or in focus. Super changes this, as she is shown in many, many episodes in one form or the other regardless of importance.
  • Auntie Pennybags: Bulma has shades of this, being the heiress to the Capsule Corporation. She spares no expense at her birthday party, providing the best food and entertainment available and offering lavish games prizes such as a full-sized castle and the seven Dragon Balls. She regularly feeds Beerus and Whis at the finest restaurants at great expense (though this is largely to keep them from destroying the earth), allows the Pilaf Gang to mooch off her hospitality for unclear reasons, and when the cast are arguing over who gets a wish from the Dragon, she gets most of them to rescind their claims by just buying what they want.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Vegeta and Bulma are full of this. They often yell at each other and Vegeta tries to pretend he doesn't particularly care about her. Despite all that, they are actually quite loving towards each other like Bulma making Vegeta an upgrade for his armor and kissing him on the cheek, much to his horror. During the Buu Saga, she screams in grief when she hears that Vegeta was killed by Majin Buu. During the ending montage to the Tournament of Power, she leaps into Vegeta's arms while crying.
  • Barrier Maiden: It's revealed in Resurrection 'F' that she bribes Beerus and Whis with food to keep them from destroying Earth.
  • Bathing Beauty: Early on in the series, she is shown to have a love for taking bubble baths and often a bath is the first thing she desires when stranded in the wilderness. They call back to this in Dragon Ball Z by giving her another bubble bath scene while she is hiding out in a capsule house on Namek.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT call her old; too bad Jaco never learns from that. In fact, whenever she's called old, she will chew out, slap, or punch anyone who mentions it. She doesn’t even care who says it, not even Beerus!
  • Birds of a Feather: She and Vegeta are both intelligent, proud, slightly narcissistic, hot-tempered, extremely stubborn, and abrasive on the exterior but caring on the interior. No wonder they eventually got married.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Battle of Gods, and the entire fight with Beerus, takes place during her birthday party.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: For most of the first series, she never quite matured past her selfish teenage girl phase. She gets a lot better, but she never truly loses that bratty part of her personality.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Taken more literally in Playboy Bunny outfit when she and Goku encountered Monster Rabbit.
  • Butt-Monkey: In the original series, Bulma was the Butt Monkey whenever Goku was around. Just in the first arc alone, she had her panties taken off by Goku and then flashing Master Roshi, being unable to ride the Nimbus, having to rough it when she wasn't used to it, and being turned into produce. She became less of this after getting Demoted to Extra, though the anime filler brought her back to this role during the Frieza Saga, being stuck in the body of a frog thanks to Captain Ginyu. It seems to be directly proportional to how much screentime she gets.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: She has the biggest bust of all the Dragon Ball female characters (with the exception of the filler character Maron) and Roshi naturally like this.
  • Character Development: In the beginning of Dragon Ball, Bulma was selfish and used Goku as a mean to an end. Although she is still a little selfish, she mellowed out and sees Goku as a true friend and often worries about him.
  • The Chew Toy: Bulma's a victim of a lot of slapstick towards her, being a Butt-Monkey and all.
  • Child Prodigy: According to Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, she had already surpassed her father at the age of five and single-handedly repaired an alien spacecraft in a matter of minutes.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Mostly as a teenager in the first series when she would get jealous of girls hitting on Yamcha.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Because of Bulma's selfish, Spoiled Brat personality at the beginning of the series, it's nearly impossible to feel sorry for her when misfortune hits. Just in the first episode of Dragon Ball, she hits Goku with her car, shoots him, tries to bribe him with feeling up her butt, and manipulates him to gain access to his Dragon Ball. So, her being captured by a dinosaur and peeing herself is treated as a comedic moment. She, thankfully, mostly grows out of this.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Remember when Bulma was the co-lead? Downplayed from the Namek to Cell sagas where she has a bigger part. She also plays a prominent role once Beerus and Whis show up, functioning as their main supplier of delicious food and reason for not blowing up Earth. It works.
  • Composite Character: Her personality was based on the princess from Akira Toriyama's one-shot Dragon Boy and her appearance was from Plamo from another one of Toriyama's one-shots named The Adventures of Tongpoo. Her personality is also similar to Akane from Doctor Slump.
  • Cool Big Sis: When she's not being a bossy spoiled Rich Bitch, Bulma actually acted like this to Kid Goku in Dragon Ball. Hell, she even gave him a bath and actually washing him herself. Maybe Bulma gets it from her big sister Tights. She is later this to his son, Gohan. This kinda makes her a Cool Aunt in a way.
  • Cower Power: She often hides behind Goku whenever someone or something dangerous happens when she was a teenager. She looked especially funny since she's so much taller than Goku who is barely three feet tall. She also hid behind Yamcha, which terrifies him at first because of his fear of women.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Blue hair, blue eyes (in the anime, anyway).
  • Daddy's Girl: Dr. Brief loves Bulma dearly, and his idea of spending quality time together involves working together in his lab, which suits Bulma just fine.
  • Damsel in Distress: Despite knowing how to use a gun, she needs to have her ass saved frequently. Mostly by Goku, Yamcha, Master Roshi (and later Vegeta and Trunks, her husband and son).
  • Demoted to Extra: Bulma was actually the co-lead alongside Goku at the beginning of Dragon Ball. Her gadgets and knowledge were indispensable, and she played a vital role in many of the earlier adventures of the series. She remained a prominent character throughout Dragon Ball and the beginning of Z before her role progressively gets smaller and smaller before it's reduced to a side character in GT (with the exception of the Baby arc where she has a major role).
    • In the manga version of Future Trunks saga where unlike the anime, she does not accompany them to the future nor does she play a role in using an alternative time machine since it's never destroyed due to Black not returning to the past to fight Goku.
  • Deuteragonist: In the early parts of the original Dragon Ball, and in the Legacy of Goku arc.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: She has a habit of antagonizing Beerus and getting away with it. In fact, Bulma might be the only one who Beerus is intimidated by other than Zeno, as he's shown sweating bullets when being berated by her.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: This was Bulma's problem. She tended to go gaga over any hunk she sees, which is a problem when they're the bad guys. Halfway through Z, this was dropped.
  • Ditzy Genius: She's one of the brightest minds in the world, being able to make brilliant inventions out of junk in minutes, however, she lacks a lot of logical judgement. This is best shown in the Red Ribbon Army Saga where she invents a high-tech spy drone and sees that Goku is planning to attack the Red Ribbon Army HQ. After the drone gets blown up, she realizes they need to call for help, but she complains they don't have a phone. Turtle then points out that if she could make a drone then a phone shouldn't be any trouble for her, to which she gets the point and sets to work making the phone. All this and yet, somehow, she gets the idea to become a treasure hunter. She gets only slightly better at this over the course of the series, in the sense that she doesn't walk headlong into danger without thinking first so much.
  • Divine Date: Her husband, Vegeta, became a Physical God in Super.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
    • During Battle of Gods, she berates Beerus, a God of Destruction and The Dreaded for even Shenron himself, who she just saw curb-stomp Vegeta and all of the Z-Fighters with complete ease, for ruining her birthday party and slaps him across the face. He just slaps her right back.
    • Goku even references this come Resurrection 'F'; the minute they hear from Bulma about Frieza's return, Goku insists to Vegeta they need to get back to Earth right away before Bulma does or says something stupid to piss Frieza off.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Her treatment of Yamcha in their past relationship wouldn't be acceptable if the genders were reversed. Basically, Bulma has been known to hit and yell at Yamcha for girls he hasn't met being attracted to him!
    • Also to Jaco. Whenever they are getting on each other’s nerves, she’s always the one who hits him and is never hit back (though, however, he does insult her in return but he doesn't physically hit her like she does).
  • Doting Parent: She's quite the doting mother to her two children.
  • The Dragon: To Baby in GT, after he brainwashes her. And having the world's smartest human at his side works extremely well, as seen when she grants Baby the ability to transform into an Oozaru following her creation of a Blutz Wave amplifier.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The story of Dragon Ball literally begins with Bulma either hitting or narrowly missing (depending on the version of the story) Goku with her car and throughout the rest of the franchise, she can often be seen craned over a steering wheel and furiously blazing towards her destinations.
  • Dude Magnet: Besides Yamcha and Vegeta, there's Roshi who frequently hits on her. She sometimes uses her sex appeal to get what she wants.
  • Embarrassing First Name: "Bulma" = "buruma" = "bloomers". Bulma was reluctant to tell Goku her name when they first met because of this. Goku laughed his tail off when he first heard it.
  • Entitled Bitch: When they first meet Master Roshi after returning his pet turtle, Bulma fully expects Roshi to give her a gift in exchange despite the fact that she blatantly refused to initially help Turtle return to the sea, and tried to persuade Goku to feed Turtle to the Bear Thief to save her own hide; Turtle even outright says that Goku's the only one who really helped him.
  • Epic Fail: Tried to use a remote to summon Nappa's left-over space pod and ended up blowing it up.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Averted. While she changes her hairstyle quite often, none of the changes are really expository.
  • Expy:
    • Like a number of the early characters, she actually did begin as a loose gender flipped expy of a Journey to the West character - in this case, no less a person than Xuanzang/Tang Sanzang/Tripitaka himself (she's on a quest which Goku/Wukong is just tagging along for, she gets into peril and needs saving by Goku, she's far less of an Action Person than Goku, etc). Of course, as time went on, these elements drifted away and by the time the Saiyans show up, it can be hard to remember it was there at all.
    • In the original series, she has a personality quite similar to Akane Kimidori of Doctor Slump, the first success of Akira Toriyama, being a sassy and outspoken teenage girl who serves a Straight Man to the naive and strong Kid Hero (Goku and Arale, respectively). Even Bulma's first love Yamcha looks a lot like Akane's love interest Tsukutsun. The main difference is that Akane is a full-blooded tomboy, while Bulma is a boy-crazy Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak, and that Akane is Street Smart but not a genius like Bulma.

    F - Q 
  • Family Theme Naming: Like all of her family, she is named after underwear. Bulma = bloomers.
  • Fearless Fool: She can be this way in Battle of Gods and Super, being the Ditzy Genius she is. Like Chi-Chi, she is not afraid to insult Beerus, a Destroyer Deity, and Frieza, a Galactic Conqueror who can destroy an entire planet just by pointing at it. Vegeta has to close her mouth to prevent the planet from getting destroyed! Justified for Beerus becoming friends with Bulma, but Frieza would destroy her. Goku himself lampshades the latter case, insisting to Vegeta that they have to go back to Earth right away before Bulma really pisses Frieza off.
  • Femme Fatale: Bulma usually uses her looks and body to manipulate guys to do her bidding. She tried using it on Goku initially, but it failed.
  • Fiction 500:
    • Her family owns Capsule Corp.; capsules are a perfect miniaturization technology, and the Briefs have a monopoly. While the exact extent of Bulma's wealth isn't made entirely clear, her mansion is big enough to house internal forests, and building a spaceship for her friends' interstellar travel needs, free of charge, is a trivial act.
    • Toriyama says that Capsule Corporation owns half of the worldwide vehicle market. That would already be impressive, but it gets even more when you remember that their symbol is proudly displayed on many more products, from refrigerators to portable houses...
    • Taken to extremes in Super: in the first arc, she apparently rented a yacht for her birthday party that was large enough to house an entire literal castle with room to spare. In Dragon Ball Super's final arc, we find she actually owned said ship... after she gives it away as a gift to Android 17 as a second prize for him winning the Tournament of Power.
  • First Friend: Bulma is the first companion Goku ever met, being the one who introduced him to the outside world and set the stage for their journey to find the Dragon Balls.
  • Flanderization: Super really likes to exaggerate Bulma's temper and her penchant for hitting others, while in the series, she occasionally hit her friends, the main victim was Roshi (who rightfully deserved it). Instead, it's hard to list who she wouldn't hit, which is at least a smaller list than who she wouldn't yell at.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: In the Anime Filler, this is how she fell for Vegeta.
  • Foil: To Chi-Chi, in numerous respects. Chi-Chi got married early and became a mother very soon, whereas Bulma had Trunks (by accident) when she was well in her thirties, and wasn't married. Chi-Chi is an Education Mama who puts a lot of pressure on her son Gohan to succeed, while Bulma spoiled Trunks. Chi-Chi dresses more traditionally, while Bulma often wears revealing clothing. Chi-Chi excels at cooking and housekeeping, while Bulma’s talent lies in her genius for science.
  • For Science!: In Super, she insists on trying to build her own version of the time machine her future self made, despite the whole temporal mess and Beerus warning her that time travel is strictly forbidden, simply because she knows it can exist and is compelled to try herself. She ends up getting caught by Beerus and he blows it up.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: She invented the Dragon Radar and built a Time Machine in an alternate timeline just to name a few. As well as this, she has invented so much more, being the president of Capsule Corp.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She is spoiled, vain, very flirty and boy-crazy (especially in the original series), likes bathing, dressing sexy and putting on lipstick, and is openly proud of her beauty. She's also a tech geek and is ready to go on adventure with Goku and other male friends.
  • Going Commando: An unintentional example in the first arc. She only realizes she showed Roshi more than her panties once she sees them on the floor. When she realized Goku took off her panties, she proceeds to open fire on him.
  • Good Parents: She is this to Trunks and Bulla. Even though she made the mistake of bringing Baby Trunks to the battlefield, she still shows that she cares for his well-being. She also doesn't hesitate to rein in Vegeta's overzealous training habits with Trunks, often reminding him that Trunks is still a child and she won't stand for it.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Early in Dragon Ball, Krillin holds onto Bulma's pants when they're hanging over a lava pit and accidentally pulls them down, revealing her strawberry undies. Naturally, she gets pissed when he stares at them and kicks him.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It's not as bad as her husband's, but the littlest things set her off. In Resurrection 'F', Goku and Vegeta return to Earth as quickly as possible because they know Bulma's going to say something insulting to Frieza and make him blow up the whole planet.
    Bulma: Hey, creep! Were the first two losses not enough? How'd you come back to life, anyways? You're not just obsessed with revenge, you suck at it!
  • Has a Type: She is a rather big fan of Bishounen, instantly developing crushes on Yamcha, General Blue and Zarbon's first form within minutes of meeting them. Ironically, she ends up with the much more rugged Vegeta.
  • Happily Married: By all accounts, with Vegeta. She's openly affectionate with him and doesn't display any of the insecurities that haunted her past relationships, instead seeming to be perfectly content with the life they've built together. It doesn't stop them from bickering, though. Given her previous relationship with Yamcha, it's probably because she knows other women will never be flirty towards Vegeta, not when he's so abrasive to his allies... Vegeta even told Goku her headstrongness is the reason why he loves her, to Piccolo's genuine surprise.
  • Hypocrite:
    • In her relationship with Yamcha, Bulma would always flirt with other guys and try to find another boyfriend, but Kami forbid Yamcha try to do the same thing. Simmers down a lot after becoming a wife and mother, but that's possibly due to Vegeta showing no interest in anyone besides her, no matter how little.
    • In GT, the Dragon Balls shatter and give birth to evil dragons born from the negative energy that built up in them from over-use; they were originally intended to rest for a few decades in between wishes so the energy could disperse naturally. Bulma immediately blames Goku for all this, citing all the times they've used the Dragon Balls. Of course, Bulma is the one who invented the device that allowed them to use the Dragon Balls so frequently, and kicked off the entire franchise by going to Goku's house to get the Four-Star Ball (and on top of that, her wishes were extremely petty: a lifetime supply of strawberries, later amended to finding the perfect boyfriend). When this is pointed out, Bulma dismisses it and still tries to foist all the blame off on Goku.
    • She tears the Z-Fighters a new one for depending on Goten and Trunks to fight Buu, especially after Piccolo traps them in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, where they will remain forever until Super Buu kills them. While she makes a valid point and the Z-Fighters are being too casual about death, she never made this protest before when kid Goku would go off on dangerous adventures, one that she started with the first Dragon Ball hunt, and even encouraged Goku to come with her. She also had no problem with kid Gohan fighting super-powered, mass-murdering aliens and androids, and didn't bat an eye when he asked to go to Namek with them. She was even willing to leave Gohan along with Krillin on Namek, while she left for Earth and the only reason she stayed back was because two of Frieza's flunkies had damaged their spaceship. It's not until her child is in mortal danger (who was stronger than both Goku and Gohan were at that age, mind you) that she suddenly realizes the negative implications of having children fight on the front lines. This can possibly be chalked up to two things; When Goku was a child, she herself was only a few years older than him, and Goku had shown her time and time again that he was capable of taking care of himself, so it's possible she saw him as more of a peer. In regards to Trunks and Goten, it might be due to the fact she was a mother by that point, since she shows concern again in the epilogue, this time for Gohan's daughter Pan when she finds out she'll be competing in the tournament.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: As stated above, during the Buu Saga, Bulma chews out the rest of the heroes for being so casual about Goten and Trunks fighting Super Buu. However, she never had any qualms about Goku going off on dangerous adventures when he was a kid, nor did she have issues with Gohan, who was also a kid at the time, traveling to Namek or fighting the Androids. That being said, she does have a point about them being so relaxed about the possibility of children dying, especially because she knows the Dragon Balls can only bring people back to life for so long.
  • Idiot Ball: She sometimes lost common sense (more than usual at least). For example, see Fearless Fool.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!:
    • She tries to invoke this occasionally but it seldom does much good: Yamcha is too bibbledy over her to be useful, Vegeta is too much of a Jerkass, and though Goku will usually help her out, it's because his grandpa taught him to be nice to women, not because he is particularly attracted to them.
    • One subversion in the early series actually involves Bulma offering a lot more than a peek to General Blue, who is consequently horrified by the prospect, hinting his tastes run... elsewhere.
    • The only time this tactic has worked for Bulma is when she has to cajole Master Roshi into giving up a Dragon Ball. Due to forces unexpected, she ends up giving Roshi a bit more than she thought she did...
  • Insufferable Genius: She occasionally falls into this, especially in the first show, and in the Z days before she married Vegeta and had a son. Although she is super-intelligent, even more so than her father, she can be whiny and selfish.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Vegeta, though Saiyans are Human Aliens.
  • It's All About Me: Mainly in Dragon Ball. She falls back into it during the Namek Saga, where she spends most of her time on Namek whining and moaning about how miserable she is and acting like everyone should drop what they're doing and take her back to Earth, to the extent that when she sees the Dragon Balls are assembled, she plans to wish herself back to Earth despite full knowledge that the entire reason they're there is to resurrect everyone who died fighting Nappa and Vegeta.
  • Jerkass Ball: She hold it sometimes even after she Took a Level in Kindness. With her Flanderisation, it started to happen more frequent.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Self-centered, vain, and spoiled, but still a good girl at heart and very loyal to her friends.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Her relationship with Goku is this. They have been friends since Goku's childhood and neither has ever expressed romantic interest in the other in-universe. The closest they ever came was when Bulma saw Goku as an adult for the first time and remarked on how handsome he'd turned out, and even that could be interpreted as sisterly affection rather than genuine romantic interest.
  • The Load:
    • During the Red Ribbon Army Saga, Goku tells her point-blank that he doesn't want her coming along with him to find his grandpa's Dragon Ball because she's useless and will only get in his way.
    • She's even worse during the Namek and Frieza Sagas. Bulma is brought along because she's the only person with the know-how to fix their spaceship if it breaks down, but the only useful thing she does is stay in radio contact with her father. Otherwise, she just hides in a capsule house inside a cave, whines about how hard her life is, and act like everyone needs to drop everything they're doing and ferry her back to Earth as quickly as they can. Even worse, at one point she sees the Dragon Balls are assembled and runs off to wish herself back to Earth, despite knowing that the whole reason they're there is to revive the people killed fighting Vegeta and Nappa. And then she gets briefly body-swapped with Captain Ginyu, a bit of Filler that was actually retained in Kai.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: She made a wish on the Dragon to presumably revive all the lives lost since the morning of the tournament, presumably thinking only those that Vegeta killed. She had no way of knowing that Majin Buu existing and that they would need the dragon balls sooner. This cost them 4 months without them. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as this wish, by technicality, also revived Kibito, who was killed by Dabura, which set of a chain of events that would lead to heroes victory in the long run.
  • Lost in Translation: The way Bulma addresses Goku in Japanese. She mostly calls him Son (Son-kun), although that's his family name, she calls him that way to show how close and familiar she is with him while the rest of the cast appropriately calls him Goku. Bulma referring to Goku as Son in English would make many children scratch their heads in confusion, so it was completely dropped in the English localization, and curiously in some other countries as well. The English manga did keep this in some instances, though. There's also the fact that, given her family's naming theme, her name was probably meant to be Bloomer (which would make sense, Buruma would be a pretty good Japanese transliteration of Bloomer).
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: An extremely rich Proud Beauty and somewhat vain, selfish, and shallow, especially in the original series. She's also very loyal and helpful to her friends and family. She is genuinely friends with the significantly less wealthy rest of the cast.
  • Love Martyr: To Vegeta. She puts up with a lot given that Vegeta is a prideful Jerkass. Even after he cools down, he's still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who rarely openly shows love for her and their child. Though they do get better later in the series.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Although her scientist father is only slightly eccentric (not mad), she inherited her good looks from her mother and the brain from her father.
  • Magnetic Hero: She was this in the first story arc of Dragon Ball. She gets Goku to join her side by promising him a grand adventure and to see the world for the first time. She bribes and then later blackmails Oolong on her quest for the Dragon Balls, and Yamcha develops a crush on her and follows them so he can use the Dragon Balls for himself to wish away his fear of women, eventually forming a friendship with them.
  • Miss Fixit: She repaired a broken scouter and repaired Android 16.
  • Morality Pet:
  • Ms. Fanservice: For an entire generation of manga and anime fans, she was the Ms. Fanservice. She is the curviest female character of the franchise and has the biggest bust (aside from Filler character Maron), which got even bigger in Super, which the anime gladly puts on full display. Among her famous moments were several Panty Shots, Shower and Bathtub Scenes, a period of time where she had no proper clothing and was stuck wearing either a Modesty Towel or a Playboy Bunny suit and having to sleep naked and the infamous scene where she flashes Master Roshi, not realizing she isn't wearing any underwear. To take it further, she's the only female character to appear (fully) naked in the entire series. Also, almost all of her outfits involve dresses or shorts accentuating her long and slender legs and showing off ample amounts of cleavage.
  • Narcissist: Bulma has a few traits of narcissism (albeit mostly in Dragon Ball) such as her vanity, having a lot of self-centered desires, and showing no scruples with manipulating and screwing people over to fulfill her desires and getting what she wants.
  • Never My Fault: In GT's Shadow Dragon Saga, after the Shadow Dragons are unleashed, Bulma pins the blame on Goku for starting the cycle of the Z-Fighters finding and using the Dragon Balls, despite the fact that 1) Goku had absolutely no idea what the Dragon Balls were or what they did before Bulma showed up on his doorstep looking for them, and 2) as pointed out by the Supreme Kais themselves, Bulma was the one who created the Dragon Radar, thus completely nullifying the balls' "scatter long enough for the negative energy within to disperse" safety measure, in the first place.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • During the Namek Saga, after Captain Ginyu inadvertently switches bodies with a frog, Bulma finds him and, annoyed that she can't understand what he's saying, makes a translation collar for him. The first thing Ginyu does once it's strapped onto his neck is to perform a Grand Theft Me on her.
    • Also, inventing the Dragon Radar eventually leads to the events of the Shadow Dragons arc of GT.
  • No Badass to His Valet:
    • Despite being a Muggle, Bulma is perfectly willing to push around anyone. She even does this to Vegeta, to the point of getting him into wearing a pink shirt. Naturally, they hook up and have two children together. She continues to boss him around on a regular basis, even during his battle against Frieza.
    Bulma: Hey, Vegeta! How long were you thinking of making your beautiful wife wait, huh?
    • Bulma slaps Beerus for calling her an old auntie, much like she does with every powerful fighter in the series. However, she is fully aware that hitting Beerus is not a good idea given her fearful reaction when Beerus glares at her. Thankfully, Beerus decides to forgive her this time since she is the one who suggests using Shenron to track the last Super Dragon Ball.
  • Odd Friendship: With Whis. It originally started out as Bulma just supplying him and Beerus with a constant stream of delicious Earth food, but by Resurrection 'F', Whis seems to have become genuinely fond of her.
  • Ojou: As the daughter of the founder of Capsule Corp, she's filthy rich and is treated like royalty in her home.
  • Older Than They Look: To some extent in Super especially. By that point, Bulma is in her mid-forties, and yet aside from a shorter haircut than she sported as a teen and twenty-something, she doesn't look all that much older than she did during, say, the main parts of Z and definitely lacks a lot of the traits that anime design often gives "middle-aged people". This has actually been praised in some circles, as a number of fans find it refreshing that the show acknowledges that people don't magically stop looking good the moment they go past 25. It's not until the end of the original series and GT where she finally starts visibly aging. It's implied in DBS: Broly and confirmed in Super Hero that she uses the Dragon Balls to make herself younger.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Surgery and robotics, space technology, time machines, the Dragon Radar. If there's something the Z-Fighters need that's remotely related to science, Bulma will be an expert on it. And she's also a competent businesswoman, seeing how she's the president of Capsule Corp.
  • Only One Name: Just "Bulma". Her future timeline counterpart is called "Future Bulma" by fans to separate her from her present timeline counterpart. The English dub tries to turn her father's name into a surname, but it doesn't take very well.
  • One of the Boys: She has tomboyish traits and often shares common interests with her friends in the Dragon Ball Gang (and later, the Z-Fighters). Her love for mechanics and gadgetry is a plus factor.
  • Only Sane Woman: Tries to be the voice of "the common people" amongst men who live by the Way of the Warrior. Best demonstrated when Trunks warned them about the Androids: Bulma suggests using the Dragon Balls to stop them before they get dangerous enough to fight back, and is promptly outvoted by Goku, Vegeta, etc. wanting to test their strength.
  • Pals with Jesus: She is one of the only few people who are close friends with Whis and Beerus. She can even get away with hitting and insulting him, which not even the prideful Vegeta can do! Likewise, she's married to Vegeta, and is Platonic Life-Partners with Goku, who became Physical Gods in Super.
  • Parents as People: Bulma falls into this despite her being a good mother throughout the series. She tends to be too doting to her children Trunks and Bra, causing them to be spoiled when they were children.
  • Proud Beauty: She thinks the reason she couldn't ride the Nimbus was because she was "so beautiful it's a sin". Whenever a guy shows interest in her, she's very into the idea of it only being natural.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Goku, at least until he grew up... Even then, she and Goku remain quite close friends.
  • Poor Communication Kills: During the Cell Saga, she neglects to tell Android 16 that she removed the bomb in his body while repairing him; this comes back to bite them when 16 tries to self-destruct along with Cell and can't because the bomb is gone.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: In the very first story arc, her clothing becomes damaged and, stuck out in the desert, the only piece of clothing nearby is a Playboy bunny costume. She hates wearing it, but inexplicably wears the bunny ears with it until she can replace it with some nearly-as-revealing local attire.

    R - Y 
  • Retcon: She's shown to get naturally older like everyone else in both Z and GT, but Super's Broly movie implied Bulma abuses the Dragon Balls to make herself look absurdly youthful like she does in the series.
  • Rich Genius: She and her father are both genius inventors who created the capsules, those tiny things that are able to store anything of ANY size. They also own a yacht, are able to host big parties, and they have their own professional chefs. On her birthday, she hosted a bingo contest. The Second Prize was a castle.
  • Science Hero: Pretty much the nearest thing to one that the DB setting can have, and the most prominent one on the Dragon Team; while she rarely, if ever, takes a front-line role (since it's very hard, at best, for tech-based heroes in this setting to keep up with ki-based fighters), her genius-level skill with gadgetry has given the Z-Fighters a non-combat edge time and again.
  • Secret-Keeper: She is this to the Z-Fighters, especially Goku. She knows none of them are interested in fame and want to keep their world-saving on the down-low. Which is why when Goku killed King Piccolo and she reported the defeat, she made sure not to mention Goku's name. She also helps Gohan with his Saiyaman costume and didn't want anyone to go Super Saiyan at the World Martial Arts Tournament so people wouldn't connect them with the 'Gold Fighters' from the Cell Games.
  • Sexy Silhouette: In the anime version of her Shower Scene in Oolong's double-decker camper.
  • Shorttank: Often wore this in her younger days.
  • Shower Scene:
    • While camping in the desert in Oolong's double-decker camper. Yamcha accidentally saw her showering while trying to invade their camp.
    • Happens again in the Resurrection 'F' arc in Super when Goku teleports in on Bulma while she's only wrapped in a Modesty Towel. She promptly punches him.
  • Show Some Leg:
    • Several times in the original Dragon Ball, this was her go-to bartering tactic, "Special Erotic Strategy" as she called it in the Japanese version. It proved most effective against Master Roshi... not so much against anybody else. She eventually gave up on this maneuver altogether.
    • Comes back in a glorious fashion in Super when, as Trunks is struggling to learn the Evil Containment Wave to use on the immortal Zamasu, she pretends to invoke the trope on him — only to later reveal after he lashes out at her in his extreme xenophobia of mortals that she was trying to get a rise out of him, knowing that her being harmed would give her son the rage he needed to succeed.
  • Silver Fox: In the end of Z and GT. Not technically a grandmother, but she has aged and still looks great.
  • The Smart Girl: She possesses an almost superhuman intellect and uses it to create a bounty of useful inventions in her quest for the Dragon Balls. Many of these creations, like the Dragon Radar, are so complex that experts and scientists have not been able to understand them.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Late into her adult life... being the wife of Vegeta would be stressful, after all. However, Future Bulma is also smoking, despite only briefly hooking up with Future Vegeta. Though, it's likely that she's also extremely stressed out after the loss of her lover and friends.
  • Spoiled Brat: She has spades of this, especially early in the series. She's somewhat grown out of this as she got older, although it still pops up from time to time, even after having Trunks and Bulla.
  • Squishy Wizard: She's a Muggle as far as Martial Arts goes, but her skills as a Science Hero make her a nonetheless invaluable member of the team.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: During the Android Saga, she's the only member of the group who thinks to simply go after Dr. Gero and stop him before he activates the androids. She's promptly shot down, mostly because Goku and Vegeta like the sound of the challenge these androids will bring. Krillin also tells her in secret that it's best to give former villains Piccolo and Vegeta a mutual enemy.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: In DBS: Broly where she intends to use the Dragon Balls to make herself five years younger and Goku guesses she's probably done this a few times before. DBS: Super Hero confirms she has been using the Dragon Balls to make herself look younger.
  • The Team Normal: Of the original five (Goku, Yamcha, Puar, Oolong, and herself), she is the only one with no powers. This remains such throughout the series. Her intellect, on the other hand, is sometimes on par with the guys' insane power levels and even saves their lives on numerous occasions.
  • Teen Genius: She designed a portable Dragon Ball-detecting radar at the tender age of 16. She loses the teen part over the course of the series, but keeps the genius part.
  • The Team Benefactor: She and her father provide the heroes with all their high-tech needs — spacecraft, time machines, updated Saiyan armor, etc.
  • Token Girl: During the first arc of Dragon Ball, she was the only girl who would journey around.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • She and Launch vary on which is the tomboy and which is the girly girl depending on which of Launch's personalities is dominant. If Launch is in her blonde form, she's a gun-crazy kleptomaniac and Bulma is a fashion-conscious non-combatant. If Launch is in her blue-haired form, however, she's a naive ingenue and Bulma is the adventurous Wrench Wench.
    • With Chi-Chi, on the other hand, this is usually zigzagged, considering that Chi-Chi is an Action Girl while Bulma is a Fashionista Non Action Girl. Other times, Bulma is the adventurous Wrench Wench Gadgeteer Genius while Chi-Chi is mostly concerned with being a good wife and mother; Chi-Chi is also a Supreme Chef and good example of Feminine Women Can Cook. However, later on in the series, Bulma settles down and doesn't change much otherwise, but Chi-Chi has relaxed a lot and is much more comfortable with reminding everyone that she's an extremely skilled martial artist in her own right.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • She slaps Beerus in Battle of Gods, a being who she was repeatedly told could easily kill her on a whim without anyone hoping to stop him. She just ended up being lucky that the God of Destruction decided to only pay her back with a slap in turn.
    • In Super, she attempts to flirt with Future Zamasu to buy Future Trunks time, who is an immortal deity that has a genocidal hatred towards mortals, an act that could have very well ended in a gruesome end had Trunks and Mai not arrived in time.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While Bulma always had a Hair-Trigger Temper and was prone to violence, Super takes this up to eleven. It's hard to find a scene where Bulma isn't yelling, scolding, or hitting someone for something that may or may not be Disproportionate Retribution. It's probably most prominent where she tries to hit Goku for something that wasn't remotely intentional,note  and she's surprised when he doesn't stand there and take the hit. In DBS: Broly, Goku assumes that she's used the Dragon Balls to wish herself younger a few times, which means she's using it more selfishly than her Z counterpart, who complains about the way she ages but otherwise takes it in stride.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Played with. Pilaf threatens Bulma with sexual torture, but then just blows her a kiss. When she says what she thought he was planning to do, she ends up freaking him out.
  • Tsundere: Bulma's also somewhat of a tsundere, especially in the first series, but starts to mellow out and has lost most of this by the time Vegeta steps into the picture, settling down into Happily Married motherhood. She's still quite bossy though and still has the occasional outburst every now and then.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: In Super, Vegeta claims she can't go a week without Instant Ramen. She, more or less, confirms it by saying it was her trump card.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Her father Dr. Briefs is old and wrinkly while Bulma is a very pretty scientist.
  • The Unfair Sex: In the first series, Bulma openly flirted with other men (all of whom are also hot bastards). Yet it's her ex-boyfriend Yamcha who had to beg for her forgiveness if he looked at another woman. She even pulled a gun on him in Dragon Ball Origins despite her earlier flirting with the evil Colonel Silver. She would get jealous of girls hitting on Yamcha, but even when she's dating Yamcha, she's prepared to dump him at the drop of a hat for Jackie Chun and General Blue, before they turn out to be old and evil, respectively (that Blue is also gay hinders things as well). However, she appears to be completely loyal to Vegeta after Trunks' birth, finally falling into the Happily Married trope. She also at one point fell for, you guessed it, Goku, when she saw He's All Grown Up. It's just too bad he got engaged on the same day...
  • Unfazed Everyman: Despite seeing powerful enemies that can blow up planets, she doesn't see it as a big deal and calmly goes about her techy business until something really strange or out-of-this-world happens. Not even Vegeta's temper-tantrums faze her. Especially so during the Androids saga, where she seems even more unfazed than the heroes themselves at all the powerful villains going around. She actively follows the heroes when Frieza shows up again twice, just because she wants to finally catch a glimpse of him. Even Whis popping out Baby Bulla from her belly didn't shock her, unlike the rest of the cast.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: While Dragon Ball has never been shy about changing a character's appearance a little, Bulma truly stands out among the series and anime as a whole. Bulma will often change outfits several times during the course of an arc and even relatively minor time skips usually see her with a completely different hair style. In an industry where changes to appearance are frowned upon, Bulma is truly an oddity.
  • Uptown Girl: She and Vegeta play with this trope. While Vegeta is the prince of Saiyans, his home planet was destroyed, and he had spent the majority of his life working under Frieza. Bulma, on the other hand, is the heiress to Capsule Corporation, one of the biggest companies on Earth, and has never been stripped of her wealth like Vegeta was.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • She and Goku start with this kind of relationship. Goku is quick to point-out how weak and useless Bulma is, while Bulma often yells about how naive Goku is. This is especially apparent in the first story arc. Despite that, they do care for each other with Bulma worrying about Goku's safety and Goku rescuing Bulma when she's in trouble. By the time of Z, the vitriolic part is all but gone, although it does pop up every blue moon.
    • Also Chi-Chi, though mostly in the English dub in Z. They both find themselves arguing over their husbands and sons, but they do get along most of the time.
    • She and Jaco seem to be on this level, due to him insulting her looks and her beating him up after.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Especially in the first story arc of the original Dragon Ball. By the end of her journey to collect the Dragon Balls, she made friends with a monkey-tailed boy, a perverted old man, an equally perverted pig, and a desert bandit and his floating cat. Her circle of friends continued to get weirder. She later marries the Prince of Saiyans and has two half-Saiyan children. Lampshaded by Krillin in Resurrection 'F', when Jaco shows up and he openly wonders where she meets so many weirdos.
  • What Does She See in Him?: This was pretty much the reaction to everyone, both in and out of universe, to the idea that Bulma and Vegeta would end up together. Especially during the Android/Cell Saga, where Vegeta essentially ignores Bulma's very existence despite having fathered Trunks with her, and even flat-out tells Future Trunks to his face that he doesn't care one bit about "that foolish woman and her blasted child". However, Future Trunks has an idea:
    Future Trunks: I don't think you realize how much honor means to my father. It's the only thing that keeps him going. It's what makes him a warrior. Oh sure, some might see it as arrogance, but I think down at the core, it's much more noble than that. I believe that's what my mother saw in him. And it's what I see too.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • During the Buu Saga, she gives all of the Z-Fighters such a speech when Trunks, Goten, and Piccolo are trapped in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber with Super Buu after Piccolo blows up the entrance, especially after Krillin cheerily points out that Piccolo could simply kill them and himself, and then they can bring them back with the Dragon Balls:
      Bulma: Are you even listening to yourself?! "Relax, because they're trapped with a monster that could kill them?!" They were children! They should have never been made to fight! You grown men left the fate of the Earth in their hands! I hope you're ashamed!
    • In the original Japanese, Bulma's speech is even more brutal; she pulls no punches and flat-out calls the Z-Fighters cowards for forcing two children to fight Buu.
    • In the Episode 62 of Super, she really gives Beerus an earful, since contrary to his insistence that it would occur because he killed the present Zamasu, Goku Black was not Ret-Gone and is still wreaking havoc in the future.
    • In the Episode 68 of Super, she gets one from Beerus and Whis, who find out that she's built a new time machine. Beerus then proceeds to destroy it and the stuff required to make it work.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Her accent in the AB Groupe dub ranges between a New York and New Jersey accent.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Implied. Would explain her falling for Yamcha and then for Vegeta, at any rate.
  • World's Smartest Woman: Shares this status with her father Dr. Briefs, being the lead scientists of Capsule Corp and boasting the most sophisticated technology in the world. From a young age, she was a Teen Genius who could put together the complex Dragon Radar to detect a specific signal, a shrinking device, and assemble a working phone out of junk. A spaceship created by her and Dr. Briefs would be the fastest in world, while her future self also invented a working time machine. The only other person to rival her status is Dr. Gero.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In her first appearance, she shoots Goku in the head; granted, Goku did mistake her for a monster and throw her car, but still.
  • Wrench Wench: Bulma can fix anything as a Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Youngest Child Wins: She is the favorite child, compared to her older sister Tights, who is unmentioned and never appears in the anime (until the Champa Saga, and even then, it's only Bulma who mentioned/called her).