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Character subpage for Piccolo.


Piccolo (ピッコロ, Pikkoro)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/piccolo_4239.jpg
Voiced by (Japanese): Toshio Furukawa, Hiromi Tsuru (Kid Piccolo)
Voiced by (English): Scott McNeil (Ocean); Dan Woren (GT: Final Bout); Christopher Sabat (Funimation); Ethan Cole (Blue Water); Paul Bandey, David Gasman (Movie 1), Ed Marcus (The History of Trunks) (AB Groupe/"Big Green"); Raymond Buyco (Creative Products Corp., Philippines); Ray Chase (Bang Zoom!/Toonami Asia in Super)
Voiced by (Latin American Spanish): Carlos Segundo (current voice), Yamil Atala (Kid Piccolo), José Luis Castañeda (Z ep. 194 and Movie 3 and 8), Idzi Dutkiewicz (Kai)
Voiced by (Brazilian Portuguese): Luiz Antônio Lobue (Z and GT), Vagner Santos (Kai)

A Namekian (a race of green skinned aliens), though at the start this wasn't really known; he was the son of the self-proclaimed Demon King Piccolo, who Goku defeated in the original series. After being spat out as an egg and hatched, Piccolo tried to carry on his father's work but was defeated by Goku and allowed to live. As the series rolls into the Z saga, his evil exterior softens due to training Son Gohan, and eventually becomes a second father to the kind-hearted little boy during Goku's absence. The once feared Demon King eventually becomes one of Goku's most trusted allies, and incredibly popular amongst the fanbase.


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    A-F 
  • The Ace: The Nameless Namek, aka Piccolo and Kami. The Elder Namek called him a prodigy among the Namekians and Dragon Clan, which was why they sent him to Earth when the weather changed on Namek. When Krillin tells the Elder Namek that Piccolo was killed by a Saiyan, he asks if it was a Super Saiyan who did it. After reading Krillin's mind and learning that the Nameless Namek split into Piccolo and Kami, he says that if they were whole no ordinary Saiyan would have been able to kill him. Nail echoes these thoughts, telling Piccolo that if he had came whole he would have been stronger than Frieza. It is not until the Cell Saga that we finally see the power of Nameless Namek, and he doesn't disappoint. He's stronger than a Super Saiyan and Imperfect Cell, and is an even match for Androids 17 and 18. He also combines the battle experience and wit of Piccolo, and the godly knowledge and wisdom of Kami.
  • Achilles' Heel: Pre-fusion, if you want to kill him, kill Kami. Kami is nowhere near as powerful as Piccolo, and killing him would kill Piccolo along with him.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the manga Cell says that only Vegeta and Trunks were capable of defending themselves from the Cell Jrs but Piccolo isn't shown fighting them until Gohan snaps, where it's revealed that he is one of the only fighters still standing, along with Vegeta and Trunks. The anime runs with this and adds scenes to make Piccolo the one kicking the most ass against the Cell Jrs until Gohan kills them.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: He can often be seen patting Gohan's head when he was younger. One particular moment that stands out is during a flashback when Piccolo does this to a sleeping Gohan and promises that he won't let anything happen to him, cementing his Heel–Face Turn and Papa Wolf status towards Gohan.
  • The Ageless: Never addressed in the series, but Daizenshuu 2 reveals that he actually inherited his father's Dragonball wish that granted eternal youth, and thus won't age past his physical prime.
  • Always Second Best: He was once Goku's equal, if not a little weaker. The gap between them grew during the Saiyan Saga and widened greatly by the end of the Frieza Saga. Unlike most, however, he greatly surpasses Goku after he merges with Kami, becoming the strongest hero. He then permanently falls behind after Goku trains in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for a year. He also has this relationship with all the adult Saiyans. He's far stronger than any of the humans, but can't catch up to the Saiyans.
  • Alien Blood: Piccolo's blood was originally red in Dragon Ball and early episodes of DBZ (it was turned green in early episodes of the original dub), but after he was established as an alien, he is shown to have purple blood, like his fellow Nameks.
  • Aloof Ally: He really doesn't want to be friends with any of the Z Fighters, but he eventually grows into being a straight up ally. Although, as time goes on, this is downplayed and eventually he just starts hanging out with them. In the Battle of Gods (which is canon) he's even a guest at Bulma's birthday party — you can't really make any I Was Just Passing Through excuses at that point. He even (badly) sang Karaoke and is a sore loser at Bingo. He started warming up to the group as early as the Buu Saga where he took the invite to go to the World Tournament and allowed everyone to stay on the Lookout. He also showed real concern for Chi-Chi when she tried to attack Buu the first time.
  • Anti-Anti-Christ: He was originally spawned to be an emergency successor to his Demon King father/past life. That said, he pulls a Heel–Face Turn long after Demon King Piccolo's demise.
  • Anti-Hero: What he becomes after his Heel–Face Turn. At the start of Z, he only helps Goku fight off Raditz, and join forces with the other Z-Fighters to stop the remaining Saiyans because the Saiyans want to destroy the world, while he wants to conquer it. After he turns mostly good, he's still ruthless and has no qualms against killing his opponents instead of disabling them. This has mostly subsided after fusing with Kami, where he adopts his former good half's compassion and genuinely cares for the people of the Earth. However, he's still merciless towards his enemies, planning to kill Vegeta once he had finished with Frieza, and slicing Babidi in half. Although, he and the other Z-Fighters went out of their way to make sure they didn't kill any of Frieza's men in Resurrection 'F'.
  • Anti-Villain: In early Dragon Ball Z, he's only helping out due to an Enemy Mine situation and is happy to kill both Goku and their opponent in one shot. He still attempts to play this trope up until the Android Saga. No one buys it.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Before his Heel–Face Turn, he and Goku were bitter enemies. Goku hated his father for killing his friends, and he hated Goku for killing his father. When Raditz arrives, they are forced to team-up in order to have even a remote chance of winning. However, it's spending time with Goku's son, Gohan, and acting as a surrogate father that truly erased their hatred with each other.
    • He saw Frieza as this since he slaughtered his people on Namek and specifically ask to be wished to his home world to join the battle. Frieza himself just sees Piccolo as another upstart Namekian.
    • After merging with Kami, Piccolo adopts the former God's compassion, and holds a vendetta against Cell for absorbing so many people. He personally tried to chase him down, and spends a long time hunting the Bio-android. Even after Cell completely surpassed him, Piccolo still wanted to fight him. Cell doesn't feel the same way, and considers Piccolo little more than an annoying road-block at best.
  • Archnemesis Dad: In every continuity he meets King Piccolo in ( Mostly video games ) he really don't like him at all. When King Piccolo proposes both of them to fuse, Piccolo mocks his father and finds the idea ridiculous. In Super Sonic Warrior he fuses with him to get a power boost after beating him into submission.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: His Special Beam Cannon can pierce through foes whose raw strength would ordinarily block ki attacks, provided he's given enough time to charge it.
  • Asexuality: He expresses not understanding romance, but also in the literal biological sense. Entirely justified, as Namekians are a One-Gender Race that reproduce asexually.
  • The Atoner: Of a sort. He never expresses regret over his past actions, but definitely works off his bad karma. He did, however, show concern and fear when he hears that Babidi can control people through the evil in ones' heart. He even yells at Krillin when he brings up that he used to be the Demon King. At the very least, he's not proud of his past.
  • Avenging the Villain: Well, technically himself, since he's the reincarnation/son of King Piccolo.
  • Ax-Crazy: During the original series as a villain, he was very psychotic and sadistic when fighting Goku. Before then, he was quite calm and even polite to the people he was fighting.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: He's prone to these.
  • Badass Baritone: Has one of the deepest voices in the series, and the skill to match
  • Badass and Child Duo: Him and Gohan. They fought by each other side in the Saiyan Saga and during the battle against Frieza.
  • Badass Cape: Part of his default outfit is a weighted cape.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • He is nearly killed by Frieza's third form and had to be saved by Gohan and healed by Dende.
    • Later, he is mortally wounded by Frieza and has to be flown to safety by Gohan.
    • He gets caught by Android 20 and has his energy slowly drained. He can't call for help since his mouth is covered, so he sends a mental distress call to Gohan, who smacks 20 upside his head.
    • He is absorbed by Buu along with Gotenks and had to be rescued by Goku and Vegeta.
  • Badass Teacher: His training has toughened Gohan up, helping him become a heroic warrior.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: He wears a turban.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Although Goku beats him at first, Piccolo finally gets the chance to avenge his father/himself when he kills Goku in order to kill Raditz. Granted, the objective wasn't revenge but that was the effect.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: It is Gohan's innocence and kindness towards him that triggers his Heel–Face Turn. As he puts it, Gohan was the first one to treat him decently.
  • Berserk Button: Piccolo hates when people bring up the fact that he was a demon king in the past. He yells at Krillin for doing so.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Piccolo swooping in out of nowhere to rescue Gohan is so prevalent in the movies that the tenth finally tosses it a Lampshade Hanging: this time, Krillin is the one who rescues Gohan... while dressed up as Piccolo.
    • He does this with Goku, saving him from Frieza when he's about to put a hole in his heart. He also tries to pull this when Goku is getting his energy drained by Android 19. He isn't happy that Vegeta interfered.
    • He chews Goku out for not doing this against Cell when he's basically torturing Gohan, and was about to perform another one until Cell decided to stop and steal the Senzu.
  • Big Bad: Both Piccolos senior and junior were the final villains of the original series.
  • Big Good: Sometimes, specifically after he merged with Kami. He shows greater concern for Earth and its people, and joins Dende and Mr. Popo on the lookout. He also takes over training Goten and Trunks after Goku returns to the afterlife.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Piccolo is a Namekian, an alien race modeled after slugs. They have visible musculature, antennas, the ability to regrow pretty much anything so long as their heads are intact, and green skin (the muscles are pink, pale yellow in the manga). They also reproduce asexually and are universally male in terms of personality.
  • Blood Knight: He's subtle about it compared to the Saiyans, but he is this trope. He wanted to fight Frieza not only for revenge, but because he wanted to test himself against the person called the strongest in the universe. He went against Bulma's plan to stop the androids early, despite being the most logical thinker in the group, and he really does enjoy sparring with Goku and Gohan. He mellows quite a bit after merging with Kami, so this aspect of his personality is Down Played. He still enjoys a good fight, given the huge smile he had on his face while fighting Frieza's men in Resurrection 'F' and he looks forward the Tournament of Power even after hearing about the universe destruction rule.
  • Born Winner: Much like the Saiyans, the Namekians are born winners with their larger than average battle power along with their mystical talents like some being able to heal, awakening others' hidden powers, and create Dragon Balls. However, the Nameless Namek is a winner even among them. He's called a prodigy among his race and is said to be strong enough to challenge a Super Saiyan and beat Frieza, according to the Elder Namek and Nail.
  • Breakout Character: Piccolo is a fan favorite among the main cast. The fact he is the only non-Saiyan Z-fighter who stays useful in combat for the longest, really shows how much Popularity Power he has garnered.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu:
    • With Goku's help he fights against Raditz, and has his arm blasted off in the process. They manage to defeat the Saiyan, only to learn that two even more powerful Saiyans are now coming to Earth, and they know about the Dragon Balls thanks to Piccolo's bragging about Goku's eventual revival.
    • He is able to fight Frieza's second form to a stand-still and seems to have a chance at winning. Then Frieza transforms, and easily beats and tortures him.
    • Piccolo fights Imperfect Cell despite being tired from fighting Android 17 to keep him from absorbing the androids. He gets his neck broken and a hole blown through his chest before being tossed into the ocean. 17 is soon absorbed and 18 follows not long afterwards.
    • He pulls a gambit on Super Buu, trapping him inside the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Super Buu soon escapes, not only trapping Gotenks and him inside the Time Chamber, but Buu is given free reign of the Lookout. By the time they escaped, Buu ate everyone.
  • Brutal Honesty:
  • Byronic Hero: Considering he was born to up to kill Goku and conquer the Earth, before being forced to team up with the heroes. He has a very serious, melancholic outlook on life. After fusing with Kami he also becomes very noble with very strong morals, even further fits this trope.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: In Dragon Ball, he used the word evil to describe his actions, and in early Z, he got angry at Gohan for telling him that he's nowhere near as evil as his father.
  • Came Back Strong: After being killed by Nappa, he went to train under King Kai with the other fallen Earth warriors. After he is wish back to life, he went from being outclassed by the Saiyans to fighting almost evenly with Frieza's second form. Merging with Nail also helped.
  • Can't Catch Up: Played with; Piccolo lasted the longest out of all of the non-Saiyans, remaining the third most powerful hero all the way until Semi-Perfect Cell was born. His year in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber did result in enough improvement to receive praise from Goku and allow him to stand up to the Cell Jr. onslaught before Gohan intervened . By the Buu saga, when the three main Saiyans have all unlocked Super Saiyan 2 and gotten even stronger than they were at the Cell Games, Piccolo's role shifts to that of a mentor (again) and his role is to finish teaching Goten and Trunks the Fusion Dance. In Super, his training with Gohan allows him to equal Super Saiyan 2 Gohan before he regains his Ultimate form.
  • Characterization Marches On: Piccolo Jr. was a cackling, raving psychopath in the 23rd World Martial Arts saga, often prone to shouting and Slasher Smiles. In the following saga (the beginning of Z), he's suddenly much more composed, being a brooding loner, and only occasionally gives a Psychotic Smirk.
    • However, it should be noted that during the 23rd World Martial Arts saga, he was only three years old. By the beginning of Z, he had more than doubled in age.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Dips into this at times, such as when he's chewing Goku out for pitting Gohan against Cell and Gohan has been seemingly killed:
    Piccolo: Your son's dead, Goku! He's DEAAAAADDDDD!!
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: His Great Namek form, which he uses against Goku in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. While it does increase his strength and durability quite a bit, according to Goku, the form doesn't actually increase Piccolo's Power Level and essentially just makes him a bigger target.
  • The Coats Are Off: When Piccolo removes his weighted cape, some poor fool's getting a major beat down!
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • When Goku lowered his guard after he thinks he defeated Piccolo during the 23rd Martial Arts Tournament, Piccolo blast a hole through Goku's shoulder. When he knocks Goku down again, he breaks both of his legs and nearly saw off Goku's usable arm, rendering him immobile. He only fails to kill Goku because he didn't know Goku could fly.
    • When he's fighting against the Saiyans he has no reservations about fighting them 2 on 1 or 5 on 1. He also comes up with a plan to grab Nappa's tail and have Gohan blast him while he's disable.
    • During the battle against Frieza, Piccolo blindsides Frieza with a kick to the face while he's distracted with Goku.
    • With all hope seemingly lost, Piccolo attacks Cell with everything he has while he's in his Beam-O-War against Gohan.
  • Combo Platter Powers: At the end of the original Dragon Ball, he was easily one of the most powerful people on the planet, and demonstrated the rare-at-the-time ability to fly and could shoot ki blasts with ease (the only other people who could do this nearly as much was his father and Goku, who relied more exclusively on physical ability). He also demonstrated some other unusual abilities that haven't been seen very widely since, like stretching arms, growing huge, and regenerating limbs almost instantly.
  • The Comically Serious: Sometimes. Especially when the other characters (particularly Goku, Goten, and Trunks) are goofing off.
  • The Corrupter: In the Japanese text, Piccolo humors twisting Gohan into his image and turning him against his father. The opposite ended up happening.
  • Determinator: He'll train as the only thing in years if he has to, to become stronger than his opponoment. He'd never back down once a fight has started either. The only time Piccolo ever gave up was when he was about to battle Suprême Kai. A good example of his determination is in the Garlic jr Saga, where he just keeps getting up from Garlic Jr's beatings, and while he may have been down on the ground for some time, it was only to heal himself so that he could fight him again.
  • Dead Guy Junior: His father was named King Piccolo.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To Gotenks and Goku during their bonehead moments. He also snarks Krillin when he's being especially whiny.
  • Death by Adaptation: Piccolo dies protecting Gohan in the Resurrection 'F' Saga in Super when none of the heroes died in the movie the arc it is based on. Of course, since Death Is Cheap in the Dragon Ball universe, he's resurrected by the Dragon Balls as soon as Frieza is dealt with.
  • Death by Irony: He dies the first time saving the child of his sworn enemy, something Piccolo himself lampshades.
  • Defeat Means Respect: He respects Goku a lot more after he defeated him during the 23rd Martial Arts Tournament.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Years after his defeat from Goku, he hated the man, although he learned to respect him more. It took an Enemy Mine situation and Goku pulling a Heroic Sacrifice before he saw Goku in a friendly light.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • A little in the Buu Saga. He doesn't engage in active combat, but he remained in the mentor role for Trunks and Goten and was on the battlefield with them right until Buu absorbed him.
    • He along with almost the entire cast outside of Goku and Pan in GT. Although, unlike most, he is given some story importance such as sacrificing himself to prevent the Black Star Dragon Balls from returning and helping Goku escape from Hell.
    • Subverted in Dragon Ball Super since he not only was a member of the Universe 7 team, along with Goku, Vegeta, and Buu, against Champa's Universe 6 team and he is one of the members in the Universe Survival arc. He does have a small, but important role in the Future Trunks saga, with him teaching Bulma how to do the Mafuba through her phone, which greatly helped Trunks, but this is played straight in the manga, where Piccolo doesn't appear at all.
  • Did Not See That Coming: Piccolo is one of the smartest characters in the series, but even he can be caught off-guard:
    • He thought he had Goku dead to rights after he broke his legs and disabled both of his arms. He never suspected that Goku learned how to fly.
    • He comes up with the perfect plan to grab Nappa's tail and disable him so Gohan can blast him. What he didn't see coming was Nappa being immune to his tail being grabbed.
    • Piccolo had Cell on the ropes and was poised to finished him. He is literally blindsided with a Solar Flare that allow Cell to escape.
    • He tries to buy times for Goten and Trunks to train by telling Buu that he can't fight them until he kills everyone on Earth. Buu responses by killing everyone with a single attack.
    • Piccolo traps Buu, Gotenks, and himself in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Not even a being like Buu can escape. Buu escape by screaming and shattering the dimensional barrier, something he didn't think was possible.
    • Although he was suspicious when Buu challenged Gotenks to a duel instead of fighting Gohan, he was caught off-guard when a piece of Buu absorbed him.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?:
    • Deconstructed. When Super Buu shows up at the Lookout demanding to see the strong fighter Goku promised him (Gotenks), Piccolo, in a desperate attempt to stall for time, suggests that Buu amuse himself by terrorizing the people of Earth, knowing they can be revived with the Dragon Balls; since there were still hundreds of people left on Earth despite Buu's previous rampage, Piccolo believed it would take at least a few hours for Super Buu to terrorize them all. Instead, Buu uses a Beam Spam to kill every last human on Earth in only a few minutes, without even bothering to leave Kami's Lookout to do so. The deconstruction comes in when one considers the realistic aspects of "Cthulhu" in this case note . Buu is an eldritch being of immense power. Even if Piccolo were talking to a human that had a finger on a nuke button, it wouldn't be this bad; the Saiyans would not be this bad. With Buu, yes, he really could do that.
    • He has a more successful attempt afterwards where he buys time for Goten and Trunks in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, taking Buu the long route for several minutes so that the young Saiyans could rest. Buu does catch onto it eventually, but by then Piccolo has already stalled for long enough.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: He's the last villain Goku faces before the second half of the series.
  • Doting Parent:
    • It took a while, but he eventually becomes very gentle and kind towards his surrogate child, Gohan, that one tends to forget that he was ever a Demon King. Some fans even argue he is a better father than Goku.
    • In Resurrection F, Piccolo was so cold in his babysitting of Pan that he rocked her cradle with his foot. This also initially seems to be the case in the Dragon Ball Super adaptation; but after making sure nobody was watching, he starts to affectionately play "peek a boo" with his foster granddaughter, causing the baby girl to laugh with delight. That's right; Demon King Piccolo, the Satan of the Dragon-World, is now a goofy and loving grandfather, and it's a positively adorable sight.
    • A later Super episode had revealed him to be Pan's usual babysitter, to the point that she can say his name (in a baby's way). He knows her favorite foods down to preparation details (amazing considering he's from a race that subsists on water), where her books and toys are, that she's scared of strangers, and that she cries when anyone but him holds her (at least until Goku does). When Goku at first starts play-flying with Pan, Piccolo visibly freaks out until he sees that she is enjoying it, and when she goes missing he yells at Goku and Chi-Chi for taking their eyes off of her. He even seems rather proud that he's able to so efficiently care for her.
  • Dub Name Change: In many, many countries, he's known as Satan, Satan Jr, Young Satan, Satan's Little Heart/Little-hearted Satan, Junior, or some variation of those names. He's also quite infamously known as Big Green in the AB Groupe dub, which is why that particular dub is given the Fan Nickname of "the Big Green dub".
  • Easily Forgiven: By the people of Earth. During the 23rd Budokai, he openly announces that he is the reincarnation of King Piccolo and intends on conquering the world again, causing the whole audience to flee the stadium in terror. But then he is recognized when attending the Cell Games, fighting for Earth, and as a result he is welcomed back to the 25th Budokai by everyone without any reservation beyond a mild request from the referee that he not destroy the ring this time around.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
  • Enemy Mine: Was forced to team up with Goku when Raditz arrived, and later all the Z-Fighters to fight the Saiyans.
  • Enemy Without: Initially with Kami, but they remerged, though by that time, he was a better person.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He was this to Kami before Character Development hit. By the time he rejoined with Kami, there was no evil left in his heart.
    • To Goku in Dragon Ball, just like his daddy. They have similar backstories and were influenced by their time living with humans. Piccolo and his father got the worst aspects of humanity, while Goku got the best. This is eventually Subverted once Piccolo takes in Gohan and the good aspects of humanity change his heart.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Goodness gracious was he...In his debut as a villain towards the end of Dragon Ball he was rather over the top and prone to giving classic villainous monologues and psychotic laughs (see below) which is a stark contrast to how he was in Dragon Ball even before obtaining Kami's wisdom.
  • Evil Laugh: Prior Heel–Face Turn, he did this a lot, but after it's very rare.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: His reason for teaming up with Goku in the Saiyan Saga was because he didn't wish for the Earth to be destroyed before he could conquer it.
  • Family Theme Naming: All King Piccolo's children (Tambourine, Drum, Cymbal, Piano, Piccolo Jr.) are all named after musical instruments.
  • Fantastic Racism: Before his Heel–Face Turn Piccolo saw humans as an inferior species meant to rule and kill at his leisure, much like his father and brothers. The only 'human' he had any respect for was Goku and even in that case he called Goku inhuman before learning about his origins. Even after becoming good, he still didn't have a high opinion of humans, often calling them fragile and weak. It isn't until he merged with Kami that he drops this aspect of his personality.
  • Final Boss: Of the anime Dragon Ball. He is the final opponent Goku's fights before the anime ends.
  • Finger Gun: His signature Special Beam Cannon/Makankousappou.
  • Foil: On top of being an Evil Counterpart to Goku, at least initially, he is also this. Piccolo is cold and dispassionate, while Goku is fun loving and can be quite emotional when angry or upset. Piccolo is an extremely intelligent Genius Bruiser, while Goku is an Idiot Hero. Piccolo is the responsible one where Goku can be quite irresponsible even when the fate of the world is at stake. Their roles are slightly reverse during the Buu Saga. Piccolo was willing to give himself to Babidi so Buu would stop slaughtering cities. It was Goku who was rational and pointed out that Piccolo sacrificing himself wouldn't help anyone in the long run.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: In the original manga. In the anime, he has a full five digits.
  • Fusion Dance: Merges with two other Namekians throughout the series (Nail and Kami). Even though both of them assure him his personality won't change, there are still subtle differences.

    G-L 
  • Genius Bruiser: He's easily the smartest of the Z-Fighters especially after merging with Kami, and after Vegeta shows up and Gohan comes into his own he's often the fourth or fifth strongest. For a short time, he was the strongest in the group. His intelligence was the reason Buu decided to absorb him, rather than merely eating him.
  • Genetic Memory: A minor case; his choice of abode and fashion sense is similar to the landscape and clothes found on Namek. Upon arrival on Namek, Krillin noted the similarity between the landscape and Piccolo's home, suggesting that his choice was due to a deep-seated instinct.
  • Green and Mean: Prior to his Heel–Face Turn. Even after converting to good, he still didn't entirely think much of his allies outside the Son family, until he fused with Kami.
  • Godzilla Threshold: He despises the idea of merging with Kami to the point that he says he wouldn't do it even to fight Frieza. Once the androids prove too much for him, he swallows his pride and go to Kami's Lookout to become the Nameless Namek once again.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Piccolo is much more pragmatic about dealing enemies than most of the cast, even saying that he isn't soft like Goku. He's also distant to the group. He loses some of this after merging with Kami, but he still the most ruthless in the group next to Vegeta.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: He loses his arms. A lot. He also got his neck snapped by Cell and a hole blown through his chest and lived to tell about it.
  • Guile Hero: Piccolo is very wise, cunning, and strategic in battle throughout the series. Manipulating the likes of Nappa, Cell, and Majin Buu when it seems they have the upper hand against him. He becomes even wiser after remerging with Kami:
    • In the battle against the Saiyans, he comes up with all the strategies to try to take down Nappa. He pulls an almost successful three-way combo attack using Krillin and Gohan that only fails because Gohan chickened out at the last second. His next plan was to grab Nappa's tail using Krillin as a distraction, and having Gohan blast him. It works perfectly and he has Nappa by the tail and Gohan pose to attack, only to fail because Nappa had trained his tail.
    • After Cell manages to disable one of his arms, Piccolo acts more hurt than he is so he can get Cell to lower his guard and tell him who he is. After Piccolo gets all the information he needs, he rips his damaged arm off and he regrows a new one. The ploy also gave him time to restore his strength. Unfortunately, it also lets Cell know that he can regenerate too since he has Piccolo's cells.
    • He tries to manipulate Super Buu, telling him that he can't fight Gotenks until he kills all the people on Earth. This backfires spectacularly and Buu kills all the humans with one attack. Even then, he manages to make Buu wait half an hour while Goten and Trunks trains in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. When Buu becomes impatient, he makes Buu go the long way to the chamber to buy the kids as much time as possible. He then has Buu fight in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber since if Gotenks proves unable to beat Buu, he can blow up the door, trapping Buu in another dimension forever. Buu is so impressed by Piccolo that he choses to absorb him for his intelligence.
    • In Super, when he is matched up against Frost during the inter-universal tournament, he realizes from the start that he's severely outclassed in terms of strength. Therefore he focuses on limiting Frost's movement and putting all of his power into a single, concentrated attack powerful enough to win in one blow. It almost worked, if Frost hadn't cheated.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Prior Heel–Face Turn, a lot could get him mad, now it's a subtle Berserk Button, unless you mess with Gohan.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Started out as the Demon King reborn. Wound up being the only non-Saiyan who can even help Goku in a fight.
  • Hell Has New Management: In GT, he sacrifices himself to put an end to the Black Star Dragon Balls. During the Super 17 Saga, he deliberately gets himself sent to Hell in order to help Goku, who was trapped there by Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu, escape. In the final episode, he's seen bringing order to the endless chaos and protecting Hell's leaders, becoming more of an authority figure than they ever were.
  • Hermaphrodite: Word of God says that Namekians are hermaphrodites that possess physiques similar to those of human males.
  • Heroes' Frontier Step: Piccolo completes his Heel–Face Turn when he shields Gohan from a fatal energy blast from Nappa. Piccolo even lampshades this, saying that the demon king dies protecting a helpless child. If that isn't enough, the anime gives him another moment. He shields Goku from a fatal Death Beam from Frieza, despite knowing his death will kill Kami and the Dragon Balls again.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • He died protecting Gohan during the Vegeta Saga. In GT, he stays with the exploding Earth to keep the Black Star Dragon Balls from being used again.
    • He almost pulled another one in the anime when he pushed Goku out of the way of Frieza's Death Beam.
    • In Dragon Ball Super he takes an energy blast to the chest from Frieza to save Gohan's life.
  • Hero Killer: Although completely willing on Goku's part, Piccolo kills his long time rival with his Special Beam Cannon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Becomes this with Goku over the course of Z. They come to truly respect each other as both fighters and people. When Goku has to return to the afterlife, he puts his trust in Piccolo to train Goten and Trunks. He's also this with Gohan, in a Parental Substitute kind of way.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Until Gohan was able to find it during the time they spent together.
  • History Repeats: In Super, Piccolo lies down his life to shield Gohan from an enemy's attack, just like he did against Nappa way back in the Saiyan Saga.
  • Honorary Uncle:
    • He ends up raising Gohan after Goku's first death. Early in the series, Gohan tells Piccolo he thought of him as his "big green uncle", to which Piccolo doesn't take lightly at the time. Though eventually Piccolo forms a very close bond with the boy and comes to think of him as the son he never had.
    • As he effectively became Gohan's foster father, he's pretty much Pan's foster grandfather and spends quite a bit of time taking care of her. While he was initially distant and awkward in that particular task, he quickly starts acting in a much more typically grandfatherly fashion.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: "Pathetic... to think that Demon King Piccolo would fall... protecting a child... I have been.... contaminated... by you... and your father's decency... Gohan."
  • Hypocrite: In the Cell Saga, he gives Goku a What the Hell, Hero? speech over his decision to throw Gohan into battle with Cell, pointing out that Gohan doesn't share Goku's Blood Knight attitude and is Just a Kid. While he makes a valid point, Piccolo himself did just that during the Saiyan Saga, putting Gohan through Training from Hell for a year and angrily chewing him out for failing to follow through with a team attack on Nappa, whereas Krillin had to point out to Piccolo that Gohan was only five, had never been in a real battle before then, and shouldn't even be fighting in the first place. Though, to be fair, this was before Piccolo's Heel–Face Turn when he was a villain in an Enemy Mine position, and he may have learned from his mistake.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Going on from Hypocrite above, despite having done something similar to Gohan during the Saiyan Saga, Piccolo is nonetheless right about the flaws in Goku's plan, especially since Goku never once bothered to tell anyone about his plan to beat Cell until the minute he throws Gohan into the ring. Gohan may have been the only one strong enough to beat Cell, but he isn't mentally ready for the responsibility, and aside from that, he's Just a Kid, doesn't share Goku's love for battle, and finds no pleasure in being beaten senseless by Cell while his father simply stands there and watches it happen; Goku immediately has a My God, What Have I Done? moment.
  • Iconic Outfit: His purple gi, turban, and long white cape with the long shoulder guards. He always wears this and never changes his clothes like Goku at the EOZ or Vegeta during the Buu Saga... except for the infamous filler episode where he learns to drive, Chi-Chi gave him a ridiculous outfit making him look like a punk teenager.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Special Beam Cannon is designed to pierce through opponents.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Though he's technically only three or four years older than Gohan in his most recent incarnation.
  • Irony:
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • During the Saiyan Saga, when Gohan wants to learn martial arts from his father instead of Piccolo, Piccolo states that Goku is too soft-hearted to be an effective teacher. These concerns prove to be justified in anime filler of the Cell saga when they go into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and Goku initially holds back for fear of hurting Gohan accidentally.
    • In the Universe Survival Saga, he brutally tears Gohan down for constantly letting his ego get out of control every single time he has the upper hand on his opponent, stating outright that because of that, it's entirely Gohan's fault that Majin Buu was able to turn the tables on him, which would have led to all of Universe 7 being destroyed had Goku and Vegeta not been resurrected to handle things.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In Z, he's still aloof and harsh, but he develops a good side thanks to Gohan. As the series went on, we see more of the heart and less of the jerk.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Several, including Masenko, Special Beam Cannon, and in Dragon Ball he had the Explosive Demon Wave.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: At the 23rd Martial Arts Tournament, Piccolo's shoots Goku in the shoulder and then stomps on it when he's down. Once he knocks Goku down again, he breaks his legs and nearly saws his other arm off.
  • The Lancer: Both kinds—he's Goku's foil until the end of the Freeza arc, and after that he takes the role of trusted second-in-command.
  • Large and in Charge: The tallest protagonist at 7'5", and the one most likely to lead the team into battle when Goku's not there (which is fairly often).
  • Large Ham: Not much so in Dragon Ball Z but in the original Dragon Ball in his days as villain he was quite the theatrical character who was prone to psychotic laughter, long winded speeches, over the top reactions, and in general was just Chewing the Scenery like no tomorrow. Despite drastically mellowing out in Dragon Ball Z he has some shades of hamminess during the Buu Saga when dealing with Gotenks and his flashiness who proved to be far more hammier than he was in his villainous days.
  • Laser-Guided Tykebomb: Prior to the Saiyan Saga, his driving goal is to kill Goku and thereby avenge his father, as per Piccolo Senior's dying instructions. Having technically achieved this in the fight with Raditz, he becomes a lot less dedicated to evil and his Heel–Face Turn comes rather naturally.
  • Last of His Kind: Since Kami and him were technically the same person, he was the last Namekian left in existence after Frieza's genocide of his race. Thankfully, the Dragon Balls fixed this.
  • Legacy Character: He is this to the original King Piccolo.
  • Like a Son to Me: He refers to Gohan as "the son he never had." Gohan in turn idolizes him, thinking of him as a big green uncle. He even states out loud that he admires him almost as much as his actual father.
  • Lima Syndrome: Who'd have thought abducting a four-year-old to train with him in a dinosaur-filled wasteland would end up being so good for him?
  • Literally Shattered Lives: He is accidentally shattered by Kid Trunks when he's turned to stone. Subverted because it's a Good Thing He Can Heal.
  • Literal Split Personality: He's the reincarnation of King Piccolo, who was Kami's evil side made flesh.
  • The Load: In a very untraditional way. Because his life is linked directly with Kami, if he dies, so does Kami. When Kami dies the Dragon Balls become forever inactive. Because of that, the heroes do their best to make sure that Piccolo does not die. Although Piccolo is one of the strongest fighters, he does tend to get over head, like the fight with the Saiyans, Frieza, and in Future Trunks' timeline the Android. At least twice, Gohan and Goku tells Piccolo to run if things go badly. After merging with Kami, this plot point goes away since Dende is the new Dragon Ball creator.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: After training Gohan, he softens up considerably.
  • Love Is a Weakness: He knows what love is, but sees it as a weakness. He eventually changed his mind after bonding with Gohan.
  • Love Redeems: His friendship with Gohan led to him becoming good.

    M-R 
  • Made of Iron: Even setting his Healing Factor aside, Piccolo can take absurd amounts of punishment. Cell blew a hole through him as big as the one he blew through Radtiz, then tossed him in the ocean, and he survived on his own.
  • Magical Defibrillator:
    • After Gohan is shot by Tagoma, Piccolo uses a blast of his energy to restart his heart so he can eat a Senzu.
    • When Goku is killed by Hit, he attempts to restarts his heart, just like with Gohan in Resurrection 'F'. He's unsuccessful, but Goku manages to shoot an energy blast before dying, which hits him and gives him the jolt needed to get his heart working.
  • Magic Knight: He's proficient in both close-range melee combat and long-range ki battles.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Prior to becoming a Guile Hero, he was this in Dragon Ball. Both are consequences of his high intellect.
  • Manly Tears: Cried for the first time in his life after he sacrifice his life saving Gohan.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: He trained Gohan who went on to train Goten in the main timeline and Future Trunks in the Bad Future:
    • Piccolo > Son Gohan > Goten
    • Piccolo > Future Son Gohan > Future Trunks
  • Mentor Archetype:
    • He served as Gohan's teacher during the Saiyan Saga, training him to harness his hidden potential and they developed a surrogate father-son bond.
    • He also becomes one to Goten and Trunks during the Majin Buu Saga, as he trains them in the art of fusion.
  • Mind over Matter: He possesses telekinesis and materialization abilities.
  • Moral Myopia: He despises Goku at first for killing his father and swears revenge. This is despite his father being a vicious mass murderer who indirectly killed Krillin and Master Roshi, and directly murdered Chiaotzu and the Eternal Dragon to ensure no one could used the Dragon Balls against him.
  • Morality Pet: Gohan becomes this to him after he kidnaps him. Originally, Piccolo wants to shape Gohan into his image and even muses about turning him against his father. As time went on, he becomes fond of Gohan and finally, he dies to protect him from Nappa. After that, Piccolo becomes a completely good person and cites Gohan as the reason why he didn't turn out like his father or Vegeta.
  • Musical Theme Naming: After a musical instrument which he (his dad) and his siblings are all named after.
  • Name Amnesia: The Namek who split into Piccolo and Kami long before the start of the series is recreated when they merge back together, but it has been so long that they cannot recall their old name. They eventually call themselves Piccolo for the sake of convenience.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Literally In-Universe: He is the reincarnation of the "Demon King", and when the audience of the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament hear it straight from his mouth, everyone high tails it from the stadium, save for Goku's friends and allies...and the announcer.
  • Near Villain Victory: Nearly beat Goku at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament after breaking and disabling all of Goku's limbs.
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • The Special Beam Cannon when it was first introduced. It is so powerful that it killed Raditz, who was much more powerful than Piccolo. However, it takes five minutes for it to charge and he is defenseless during that time period. Once mastered, Piccolo can use it much faster, but it appears to be much weaker. note 
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Piccolo fully charges the Special Beam Cannon during his battle with Frost. It still takes a long time, but Piccolo can now move, block, and uses his multiform and antenna beams to distract Frost. Although he lost through Frost's cheating, the Special Beam Cannon was so powerful that it pierces Vados' barrier. Champa couldn't do it when he was testing it and Goku didn't put a dent in it when he randomly hit it during his fight.
  • Nice Hat: One of the few people who can make a turban look completely bad-ass.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • The entire reason Vegeta and Nappa attacked Earth in the first place, and Frieza attacked Namek, is because Piccolo shot his mouth off to Raditz about the Dragon Balls. Though, to be fair, he didn't know Raditz's scouter was broadcasting everything he said back to them.
    • This trope may count for the Cell arc too considering Piccolo's the one who taught him how to use his regenerative abilities, which he would then proceed to spam up until his destruction.
    • There's also Piccolo's fight with 17, where he powers up; in doing so, he leads Cell, who can sense ki, right to 17 and 18 and speeds up his plans to absorb them and become perfect.
    • During the Buu Saga, when Super Buu arrives demanding the Worthy Opponent that Goku promised him (Gotenks), Piccolo attempts to stall for time by telling Buu there are still more humans for him to kill on Earth, knowing that they can be brought back with the Dragon Balls. Buu proceeds to use the Human Extinction Attack to wipe out every last human on Earth in a matter of minutes, without even bothering to leave Kami's Lookout while doing so. Essentially, Piccolo turned the entire human race into a Sacrificial Lamb just to give Trunks and Goten two more minutes worth of training.
  • Noble Demon:
    • More so after Z starts. At the beginning, he only teamed up with the protagonists to keep the Saiyans from destroying the world he wants to conquer.
    • He did, however, still save a wife and her kid from a storm in anime filler. The reason why he was against Goku was to avenge his father.
  • No Body Left Behind: His second death was due to Buu blowing up Earth. His third death in GT also happened this way though he's already fatally wounded by a then Baby-infested Gohan.
  • No Indoor Voice: While he serves as the calm and composed voice of reason amongst the Z-Fighters in Dragon Ball Z during his villainous run he was prone to frequently shouting which isn't out of the norm in Dragon Ball but constantly shouting when monologuing and talking about world domination definitely qualifies Piccolo as this.
  • No Name Given: Neither he nor Kami can remember what their original name was before the split. After they reunite, he briefly calls himself "the Namek". When Goku suggests "Kamiccolo", he quickly decides Piccolo isn't so bad.
  • No Sympathy:
  • No Time to Explain: Having recently merged with Kami, Piccolo is in the middle of a battle with Cell before the other Z-Fighters (sans Goku, Gohan, Yamcha and Vegeta, who'd appear just a few moments later) arrive. Krillin asks what the hell is the creature standing in front of them, in utter disbelief at what he's seeing (and sensing). Piccolo brushes the question off, and says he'll explain everything after they kill him. It doesn't work out that way, and Cell escapes, but Piccolo does time the situation to them and what they're dealing with.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Double Subverted: Until the Namek arc, by the standards of a fighting Namekian type he was, at best, an average fighter, and wouldn't even be considered an Elite Mook in Frieza's army. On Earth, he was the Demon King reborn who was more powerful than his father who had single-handedly took over the world. His only equal was Goku, a fellow alien. That said, Piccolo having relatively recently reincarnated was still young (at least 8 by the Saiyan Saga when he first died), and therefore yet to reach his prime. In addition, when his fellow Namekians discover his true nature note , they notably conclude that had they not split or decided to remain separate, even Frieza would be no problem for him, much less the Saiyan responsible for his (first) death. This speaks volumes about the sort of power the original Namekian he was had in comparison to the rest of his race. In the Cell Saga, he returned to his former glory when he merged with Kami.
  • Not Quite Dead: Had his neck broken, a hole blasted through his chest, and thrown into the ocean by Cell. He still lived and managed to heal himself before losing consciousness.
  • Obsolete Mentor: By the end of the Cell Saga, Gohan has surpassed him in every way, but their bond is as strong as ever. Subverted in Dragon Ball Super, when he begins retraining Gohan, and is an equal to his base form
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Gohan and Piccolo couldn't have more different personalities, but it's telling that Gohan's combat attire mimics Piccolo's more often than it mimics his father's.
    • Hints of it with Tenshinhan in the Cell arc.
    • After many trials, Goku and him become good friends despite being Foil to one another.
    • More like odd mutual respect, but more than one Non-Serial Movie give him and Vegeta this dynamic. This carried over into Canon in Dragon Ball Super, where Vegeta does legitimately respect Piccolo as a warrior and became EXTREMELY angry when Frost denied Piccolo a hard-fought victory by breaking the rules of the competition. He even convinces Piccolo to drop out of the tournament so it would allow him to humiliate Frost in front of everyone as revenge. Piccolo happily accepted.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: During his brief tenure as Big Bad, Piccolo served this role as the significantly younger counterpart to Kami and Goku.
  • Only Sane Man: Most of the time, he is this along with Tien and Future Trunks.
  • Overlord Jr.: Pre-Heel–Face Turn, he started off as "Ma Junior", son of Demon King Piccolo in Dragon Ball. Though technically he's more of a reincarnation.
  • Overprotective Dad: Even when Gohan becomes far more powerful than he will ever be, Piccolo would still lay his life down to protect the boy.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • But not so much that he loses plot importance. He enters a period of Can't Catch Up after the Cell Saga, where in he switches roles to The Mentor for the younger heroes. He gets a better deal in the movies though (if you consider them canon), where he usually at least gets to dispatch the Big Bad's Elite Mooks and, in two of them (Dead Zone and Lord Slug), he even saves the day.
    • By the Buu arc, not only is he God (well, he fused with God...), but he's the fourth most powerful non-fused protagonist (unless you count the Supreme Kai) and one of the top ten most powerful beings in the universe, period. Too bad that's still not enough to compete with Buu, Vegeta, Gohan, Goku, the Supreme Kai, and Dabura.
    • By the time of Super, everyone who isn't a Physical God (which includes Goku, Vegeta, Beerus, Whis, and Frieza) had become insignificant until the Universal Survival Arc. All Piccolo can do during Battle of Gods Saga is watch in awe as true gods clash. The Resurrection 'F' Saga sought to give him and the other Z-fighters a chance to shine as they hold off Frieza's army before Goku and Vegeta shows up. Piccolo even gets a Heroic Sacrifice and saves Gohan, again.
  • One-Man Army: In the World's Strongest, Cooler's Revenge, Garlic Jr saga, and Resurrection 'F', he was seen taking on multiple opponents with ease.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Not even Freeza could withstand his wrath when he tried to murder Gohan.
    • Not just Freeza—Piccolo took on Broly to save Gohan. He put up a pretty damn good fight too. It's like this- threaten the kid and the only thing that's stopping Goku from tearing you in two is Piccolo having done it before him.
    • Piccolo rips Goku a new one for putting Gohan's life at risk during the Cell Games. Goku might have been willing to stand by and let Gohan fight Perfect Cell on his own, but Piccolo wasn't, and his rant toward Goku actually gives Goku one of his biggest My God, What Have I Done? moments in the series.
    • He also charged Tagoma after he blasted a hole in Gohan's chest in Super.
    • He grills Chi-Chi on her childcare abilities so hard in Super that she is scared of him and completely speechless. And that's nothing compared to his fury when Chi-Chi and Goku didn't do a good enough job watching Pan and let her escape to who knows where. His explosive rant terrified both of them and was so loud the Pilaf Gang heard him from far away and decided to get the hell out of there.
  • Parental Substitute: To Gohan after Goku kicks it early on. Their special bond is never quite diminished and even as late as the Cell saga, Gohan still prefers to wear Piccolo-style clothing rather than Goku's.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Post Heel–Face Turn, he barely smiles.
  • Physical God: One of the lower-tier examples, but he did fuse with Kami (who was, for all intents and purposes, the God of Earth).
  • Power High: After Piccolo merges with Nail, he spends a good minute just standing there reveling in how awesome he feels. The infamous dubbed version is now known as "Motivational Piccolo".
    "Wow... unreal... my gosh...! This is AMAZING! I feel INCREDIBLE~! YES! YES! YES! YES! I can win! I feel great! I! CAN! DO! THIS! AAUUUGH! [beat] Yes! I'm home! I'm alive! This is all a miracle! I'M AWAKE! I'M WIDE AWAKE!!"
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: If you ever hear Piccolo saying something to the tune of 'Sorry to keep you waiting', his target is in for a world of hurt.
  • Present Absence:
    • Piccolo dying in the Saiyan Saga causes the others to go into space searching for Planet Namek, leading to the events of the Namek/Frieza Saga.
    • In the TV Special History of Trunks his death is the most felt after Goku's since his final death means the Dragon Balls are forever inert, rendering all deaths permanent.
  • Promotion to Parent: To Son Gohan, whenever Son Goku is dead or missing.
  • Psychic Powers: Mostly in Filler but he did levitate about four pyramids with his mind. Seems to be an innate Namekian trait since synchronising his with Dende allowed Goku to escape from Hell in GT.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Prior to the arrival of Raditz.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Wears a purple outfit and his Battle Aura is purple as well. His blood is also purple.
  • Quit Your Whining: During the training for the Saiyans, Gohan spends so much time whining that Piccolo specifically threatens to snap his neck if he doesn't stop.
  • Razor-Sharp Hand: Best shown when he uses it to cut off Dr. Gero's arm and slices Babidi in two.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He had been forced to team-up with Goku and the Z-Fighters for the duration of the Saiyan Saga, but it wasn't until he saved Gohan using himself as a Human Shield, did his status as a hero get cemented.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Even after his Heel–Face Turn, he was generally aloof and distant to the human characters, some of them considered him outright scary, while he spared his gentler side for Gohan. Shoot, he even invoked this when he acted as if the protagonists weren't his allies when he reluctantly decided to merge with Kami. He's also pretty ruthless in battle, at one point severing Dr. Gero's arm (though he originally assumed he was just an android), and bifurcating Babidi. Though he does become less distant to the other human characters as time goes on. In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods he's even a guest at Bulma's birthday party, and does (very bad) Karaoke and Rage Quit Bingo.
  • Reincarnation: Of his own father, King Piccolo.
  • Retcon: Originally Dragon Ball introduced Piccolo's species as being Demon. Dragon Ball Z later clarified that "Demon" was a state or clan that a number of given species can assume, while Piccolo's species was actually a Namekian.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Piccolo, like all Namekians, has extremely sharp hearing, being able to hear people talking from hundreds of feet away, even in a crowded stadium. Yet, he doesn't experience any discomfort from loud noises, showing that he can control the sensitivity of his hearing and filter out mindless noise. Although the Lord Slug film shows Piccolo and Namekians in general are greatly irritated by whistling, to the point where its preferable for them to tear their ears off rather than hear the sound.
  • Rooting for the Empire: In-Universe example. After Mr. Satan is knocked out of the ring by Cell, Piccolo freely admits that he was rooting for Cell to win, to the extent he's vocally disappointed that Cell didn't just kill him.

    S-Y 
  • Satan Is Good: He claims to be Satan and planning to take over the world, before going to God's sanctuary to find a way to save it from the androids.
  • Saved by Canon: Is killed off in Dragon Ball Super by Frieza, after making a Heroic Sacrifice to save Gohan. In the manga adaptation (which skipped the Resurrection F Saga, but references it as having happened), he's alive and well in the next arc and plays a major role, so it's a given that he'll be revived. Although, this being Dragon Ball it would probably be a given anyway.
  • Secret Keeper: He along with Goku were the only ones who knew Future Trunks was Bulma and Vegeta's son during the three years time-skip before the Android Saga.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: Originally. His green skin and purple getup greatly contrasted Goku's orange and blue gi back in the original series.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • Before his character development, he served as a Evil Counterpart to Goku, just like his father. He was what Goku would have become if he embraced his ruthless Saiyan nature. Even after Piccolo reforms he retains a distinct contrast with Goku, possessing a much more serious personality and being a more rational thinker, as opposed to Goku's Fun Personified, laid-back, dim-witted nature.
    • Cell becomes his Shadow Archetype when he is Imperfect. He represents what Piccolo would be like if he never met Gohan and became like his father.
  • Shoot the Dog: Does this to all of mankind, indirectly. In an attempt to buy time for Goten and Trunks when Super Buu comes calling in Kami's Lookout, Piccolo suggests to Buu to kill time by eradicating the rest of the humans leftnote . Buu actually takes him up on his offer, and exterminates humanity with a single attack. Piccolo is felt dumbstruck and ridden with guilt to see his gamble returned with absolutely nothing.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: He deliveries a rather glorious one to Babidi, after the former was responsible for Gohan's (apparent) death at the hands of Majin Buu. Babidi tries to reason with Piccolo not to kill him since he's the only one who can seal Buu and if he dies Buu will go on a rampage and kill everyone. Piccolo points out that Babidi will have Buu kill anyone anyway, just before he sliced him in two.
  • Signature Move: Special Beam Cannon, Explosive Demon Wave, Light Grenade, and Hellzone Grenade
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: When he first started training Gohan, he had no qualms about throwing him at a sheer cliff to trigger his hidden power, and followed that up by leaving him in a wasteland filled with dinosaurs for half a year. He made up for it.
  • The Smart Guy: He's probably the smartest of the main cast. After fusing with Kami (aka God), he became much more intelligent, not to say that he was stupid. It's no wonder the others come to him for advice when he possesses the wisdom of God. During the Buu Saga, Super Buu even absorbs him to acquire his intelligence.
  • Smug Super: When he was a villain, he was very smug about how powerful he was, seeing only Goku as his equal. He loses this trait after facing Raditz.
  • Spirit Advisor: During his fight with the Universe 6 Namekians where he panics due to the shock of knowing U6 fused the entire Namekian race into two beings, he sees Nail and Kami standing beside him as he lays on the ground. Neither of them says a word, but Kami points at Gohan as if to tell Piccolo to keep going for Gohan's sake.
  • Straight Man: Especially while paired with Gotenks.
  • The Stoic: In the original series, he was a cackling villain who was prone to Slasher Smiles. After mellowing out, he rarely shows emotion besides frustration or annoyance. He does shows a softer side around Gohan and loses much of his stoic demeanor after merging with Kami.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: In GT, where he decides to die that the Black Star Dragon Balls wouldn't be used ever again. There's no reason given why they couldn't just destroy the Black Star Dragon Balls if they felt they were too dangerous to exist or why Piccolo couldn't just deactivate them.
  • Superior Successor: To his 'father' and his better half, Kami. King Piccolo feared the Evil Containment Wave more than anything in the world. Piccolo learns how to reverse it and use it to trap his once more powerful good counterpart.
  • Super Senses: Like all Namekians he has incredibly acute sense of hearing.
  • Supporting Leader: Debatable, mostly, but definitely when he and the protagonists were doing their best to distract Cell.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: How he feels most of the time, and you really can't blame him, either.
  • Taken for Granite: In the Buu Saga thanks to Dabura.
  • Taking the Bullet: For Gohan in the Saiyan Saga, and Goku in the anime version of the Freeza arc. He does it again in Super for Gohan while Frieza is torturing him to death.
  • Tame His Anger: This had a lot to do with his friendship with Gohan.
  • Team Dad: It is so worth noting that he's probably the most sensible, level-headed character in the entire series, and the other characters often defer to him for wisdom in a crisis. He's the responsible one who always has a longterm plan and is probably the most protective of Earth (after merging with Kami). Also tends to get stuck training or babysitting the younger characters.
  • Technician vs. Performer: He is the most technical fighter in the series. He invented several powerful techniques and can hold his own against fighters who are many times stronger than him thanks to his battle experience and training. Super Buu chose to absorb him specifically for his battle knowledge.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In the original series, after he expended almost all of his energy in a blast that barely phased Goku, who is about to retaliate:
    Piccolo: Uh-oh! I really think this is gonna hurt!
    Goku: (chuckles) A lot!
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: The only reason he chose to merge with Kami. He needed to become the Nameless Namek again to fight the androids.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Several times throughout the series:
    • In the original series, his previous incarnation, King Piccolo, was terrified of the Evil Containment Wave to the point that he murdered martial artists. During the 23rd Tournament, he revealed that he learned how to reverse it and used it to trap his previous more powerful good counterpart.
    • After training for a year to prepare for the Saiyans, he went from being manhandled by Raditz to easily killing a Saibaman who had the same power level as Raditz.
    • After he trained with King Kai and merged with Nail, he went from being easily killed by Nappa to fighting evenly with Frieza's second form.
    • In the Android/Cell Saga, he easily beats up Android 20 who, even without the energy he stole, is stronger than Frieza at full power. The same Frieza who destroyed him without even using a fourth of his power. In the same saga, he was no match against Androids 17 and 18. After merging with Kami, he becomes the most powerful hero and was able to fight evenly with 17.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, he manages to become powerful enough to stand against Frost's true form, who is much stronger than post-trained Frieza and even manages to take hits from him (granted, Frost was hurt from fighting Goku and was handling Piccolo with kid's gloves since he underestimated him). In the previous story arc, Frieza kills him with a single Death Beam in his weakest form. Bonus point that his Special Beam Cannon pierces Vados' dome, something Champa, God of Destruction, didn't do when he was testing it.
    • In the Universal Survival Saga, Piccolo is able to overpower Super Saiyan 2 Gohan during their training. Keep in mind, in the Resurrection 'F' Saga base form Gohan was stronger than him and he was only about even with Gohan by the time of the Champa Saga. This shows that Piccolo's power greatly jumped since his last real fight.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Even though Piccolo is substantially kinder when around Gohan, he is still more cool and stern than openly affectionate. After becoming Pan's honorary second grandfather, however, his personality takes a substantial turn towards open affection, kindness, humor and warmth, particularly towards small children.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Three times. Once after training Gohan, once after merging with Nail, and at last after reuniting with Kami.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In the Saiyan Saga. He's still evil, but helps fight the Saiyans since they want to destroy the planet he plans to rule.
  • Tough Love: His treatment of Gohan. He brutalized Gohan for months when training for the Saiyans. While harsh, he did it so Gohan would be ready for the harshness of a live battle. He also came to care for the boy like his son, wanting him to reach his full potential, which is why he tears Gohan a new one when he chickened out of their three-way attack on Nappa.
  • Tritagonist: In the Saiyan Saga. He and Vegeta trade the position throughout the Freeza and Cell arcs.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Despite Goku murdering his father and see killing Goku as a crucial step to taking over the world, he demeans Goku throughout their entire fight.
    • He, like every character outside of King Kai, underestimated Frieza. He thought for sure he could beat Frieza even before he merged with Nail. After Frieza transforms into his third form, he learns the hard way that he miscalculated.
  • Unknown Rival: To Cell. Piccolo is disgusted by Cell's absorbing thousands of people and personally tries to hunt him down, wanting to fight him even after Cell completely surpassed him; Cell returns none of those feelings and sees Piccolo as little more than an annoying roadblock.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: He gets an inner monologue devoted to this in Z after the fight with Raditz. He reflects that despite it being what he was literally born to do, he felt no satisfaction towards killing Goku due to the circumstances, and realizes that he didn't really know what to do with his life afterwards.
  • Villain Respect:
    • Back when he was a villain, he certainly respected Goku even though he hated him.
    • Also, in the 23rd World Tournament where he was a villain, Piccolo remained respectful to everyone and played by the rules, until he fought Goku.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • During the Frieza Saga, his martial arts training allowed him to fight Frieza's second form on an even footing despite having a slightly lower power level.
    • Compared to the Saiyans, he is this trope. He is one of the most technical fighters in the series with a number of powerful techniques, yet he's falls far behind the Gohan, Goku, and Vegeta' level.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Whistling around Piccolo, or any Namekian can really incapacitate them since they have such sensitive hearing. This becomes a plot point in the DBZ movie Lord Slug where Piccolo asks Gohan to start whistling after ripping off his own ears in a desperate attempt to stop Lord Slug.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • King Kai shouts at Piccolo for breaking his promise about not confronting Frieza.
    • Got called out by Goten when he tried to stop him from helping Vegeta when he was being beating by Buu.
    Goten: If I was Gohan, I bet you'd let me go!
    • Dende is shocked when Piccolo tells Buu to kill all the humans on Earth to give Goten and Trunks more time to train.
    • Piccolo himself does one out to Goku for using Gohan during the Cell Games, illustrating how far he's come from the man who chucked Gohan at a mountain to trigger his power. Even after Gohan goes Super Saiyan 2, Piccolo is visibly less than thrilled with Goku's tactics.
  • Worf Effect:
    • Both Goku and him get completely overwhelmed by Raditz. At the time, both of them were by far the strongest warriors in the world.
    • Despite Taking a Level in Badass, he is powerless against Nappa and is eventually killed by him with a single energy blast.
    • After going toe-to-toe with Frieza's second form, he gets destroyed by Frieza's third transformation.
    • He gives Android 20 his hand, even after the android drained his energy. Like all the other Z-Fighters, he is easily defeated by Androids 17 and 18.
    • After merging with Kami, Piccolo becomes the strongest hero in the series who can beat back Imperfect Cell and fight evenly with Android 17. After Cell drinks several cities, however, Piccolo gets manhandled. In some fairness, Piccolo was tired since he was fighting 17 before Cell arrived.
    • Without even fighting the Supreme Kai, Piccolo forfeits his match with him, though this was more likely the result of realizing who the Supreme Kai was rather than power level.
    • In Dragon Ball Super he gets his arm ripped off by Tagoma and killed with one Death Beam by Frieza in his weakest form.
  • Worthy Opponent: He initially resented Goku, but also treated him as his equal and the only one worth fighting.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: He expresses this sentiment after severing one of Dr. Gero's arms:
    Piccolo: It's a darn shame. You could've put this hand to good use! What a waste of technology!
  • You Killed My Father: Towards Goku (well, technically, it's revenge towards Goku having killed him, as he is the reincarnation of his father, King Piccolo).
  • Younger Than He Looks: He's technically only three years old when he fights at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, and eight at the start of Dragon Ball Z. He's only four years older than Gohan — making him something like sixteen years younger than Goku! Technically speaking, he's a mind that is hundreds of years old inside of a much younger body.

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