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Characters / Dragon Ball Son Goku Tropes A To C

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Main Character Index | Main Characters | Son Goku (A-C, D-H, I-O, P-Z) | Piccolo | Son Gohan | Vegeta | Future Trunks | Androids 17 and 18 | Major Supporting Cast | Supporting Cast | Z/GT Supporting Cast | Tournament Characters | Other Characters (Saiyans [Bardock]) | Original Series Villains | DBZ Villains (Freeza/Frieza [Frieza's Empire] | Cell | Majin Buu) | DBZ Movie Villains (Broly) | GT Villains | Super | Universe 7 | Universe 2 | Universe 3 | Universe 4 | Universe 6 (Major Characters) | Universe 9 | Universe 10 | Universe 11 (Jiren) | Zeno | Goku Black | Zamasu | Heroes | DBH Villains | Jaco the Galactic Patrolman | Xenoverse | FighterZ (Android 21) | Legends
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    A 
  • Accidental Hero: Whenever Vegeta or [insert character here] does something monumentally stupid, it inevitably tends to create or worsen whatever ongoing crisis situation will then have to be solved. Whenever Goku does something monumentally stupid? It works out for the best.
    • Sparing Piccolo Jr. and Vegeta instead of killing them when he had the chance (with both of them swearing revenge, even) results in Goku gaining his two most powerful allies prior to being introduced to the multiverse and its greater gods, as well as, in the case of Vegeta, his last living link to the Saiyan race.
    • While this is not something he could have any control over, contracting an alien heart virus for which it'll take Bulma watching him die to get a cure developed…leads to Future Trunks coming back in time, giving him said cure, and warning him about the Android threat. Because of this, everyone trains for three years and is prepared for the Artificial Humans, overpowering 19 and 20 and surviving the onslaught of a much stronger 17 and 18 than in Trunks' timeline. (And even then there's a fan theory that Goku contracted said heart virus during his return from Namek to Earth, in which case, Goku jeopardizing his own life and escape from Namek just to avenge Krillin's death by issuing Frieza a humiliating defeat may have played a role.)
    • Letting Cell reach his perfect form due to utter stupidity (to be fair, this one is something he shares with everyone else), doing more resting and relaxing than actual training in the lead-up to the Cell Games, baiting Cell and telling him Gohan will destroy him, then feeding Cell a goddamn Senzu bean, turns out to all be part of a massive gambit on Goku's part once he realized Gohan's ultimate potential. Making Gohan and the others figure out his plot for themselves with barely enough subtle cluing in, and said plan being predicated on daring Cell to be an even bigger idiot than him and try to provoke Gohan into a sociopathic rage? Not only does it barely manage to work with Gohan at Super Saiyan 2 and Cell ultimately destroyed, Vegeta ends up being shocked further into his turn into a good guy. That said, Goku does pay for it a bit, since he himself, King Kai, Bubbles, Gregory, and Future Trunks all end up dead, and while he and Trunks do get revived, King Kai is still dead and will never let him hear the end of it. Even his time dead ends up being useful in the long run, as during his time in the Other World he learns the Fusion Dance and the Super Saiyan 3 transformation, both of which would help keep Majin Buu at bay and, in the case of the latter, would be the most powerful Saiyan transformation until either the development of Super Saiyan 4 in GT or the canon discovery of the Super Saiyan God.
    • When Kid Buu destroyed the Earth, Goku detoured from the plan and saved Bee, Dende, and Hercule Satan as soon as he saw them instead of continuing on to find and grab Gohan, Goten, Present Trunks, and Piccolo. Nevermind the fact that two of the latter four are his sons and one of them is Vegeta's, we're talking about an ordinary dog, a non-combatant guardian, and a martial artist who relative to the Z Fighters is a powerless fraud, versus the strongest allies Goku and Vegeta have got right now who they just traveled the innards of Buu to save. This at a time in which they're running up against a clearly Ax-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac! Yet in the absolute luckiest draw of all time, Mr. Satan and Dende go on to become the reason Vegeta's plan to revive Earth and its people and get them to contribute to a massive Spirit Bomb can even metastasize in his head, let alone actually work — and this includes the strength of the four they left to die plus all the rest of their friends and loved ones. Plus with him and Hercule becoming friends it makes things easier on Gohan and Videl, whose relationship and eventual marriage is now fully supported on both sides.
    • Secretly watching his friends' pointless battle with Lord Beerus up to the point the God of Destruction is already charging an Earth-Shattering Kaboom instead of immediately signaling his arrival on Bulma's yacht doesn't net him any strategic advantage whatsoever. And considering Beerus even knocked Bulma out with a Dope Slap, this turned out to be so frustratingly stupid he earns himself twelve of Bulma's own signature slaps at the end of Battle of Gods, all approved by Vegeta. However, if it wasn't for that decision, Vegeta wouldn't have surpassed him in strength in a certain moment of glorious fury, which may have considerably slowed down the Prince's own path of ascension to physical godhood.
    • Turns out Goku convincing Zeno to create the Tournament of Power was a case of this since it's revealed that Zeno was always planning to wipe out the eight lowest ranking universes from the multiverse (which includes Universe 7), but decided to hold the Tournament of Power in order to spare the winning universe. So if anything Goku's actions unintentionally gave the eight lowest ranking universes a chance at survival. However, 95% of the gods are unwilling to give Goku credit for this and in fact blame everything bad that has happened on him]]. In the manga, Zeno and the Grand Priest are seconds away from erasing the eight weaker universes until Goku chooses at that very moment to visit him. If only he was a few seconds late... Better yet, [[spoiler:Zeno would've destroyed the eight weaker universes if Goku hadn't intervened, and actually intended on a virtuous person to wish the universes back (although bad timing from a selfish wish would've doomed the multiverse), meaning that Goku himself saved eight universes from getting erased.
  • Accidental Murder: He kills Grandpa Gohan one night when he becomes a Great Ape. He doesn't find this out until years later when he's fighting Vegeta.
  • Accidental Pervert: As a kid, he was completely unable to differentiate between males and females by sight, leading to several of these moments.
  • The Ace: Made abundantly clear since the early parts of Dragon Ball. He learns techniques just by watching them once or twice, and becomes immune to them since he knows how to counter them. Within a few years, his martial art skills surpasses all his masters, including God/The Guardian of the Earth, and wins the World Martial Arts Tournament when he's still a teenager becoming the World's Strongest Man. He then finds out why he's able to do all these things when it's revealed that he's a Saiyan, who are a race that is born for battle. Even that doesn't fully explain how he's able to defeat members of his race considered to be elites and even royalty, defeat and/or kill seemingly invincible aliens and monsters, achieve all the available Super Saiyan transformations and even go beyond godhood. He's so good that everyone defers to him to solve the problem of the current arc, even if he isn't the strongest at that moment. His ace status, however, does get deconstructed after the Frieza Saga. Because he is so powerful and so good at what he does, his friends and family depend on him too much to fix the current problem, which leads to a Bad Future in one alternative timeline. His one true rival, Vegeta, becomes so sick of being overshadowed by Goku that he sells his soul for power and unleashes Majin Buu upon the world. In Dragon Ball Super’s Universal Survival Arc Goku takes this trope to new heights when he completes and masters the legendary Ultra Instinct technique, something even the Gods of Destruction haven’t been able to. Granting him access to inner skill and power so great he overwhelms Jiren, the mortal beyond his own universe’s God of Destruction, and whom gave everyone else so much trouble.
  • Achilles' Heel:
    • His tail is so sensitive to touch that grabbing it saps him of all his strength. He eventually manages to train himself out of that weakness, though. Eventually he loses it forever, unless you count the events of GT.
    • He also doesn't have a good history as far as Paralysis-inducing techniques (more specifically, the telekinetic kind) are concerned:
      • In the original Dragon Ball, Goku manages to hold an edge over General Blue, until the latter uses his special power to freeze Goku's body. It's worth noting Blue nearly kills Goku no less than three times this way.
      • When fighting Tien during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament Chiaotzu manages to paralyze Goku several times, allowing Tien to score free hits on him.
      • During his battle against Frieza on Namek, Frieza successfully imprisons Goku in a ball of energy and Goku is helpless to stop it until Frieza intentionally makes the ball explode. This one, however, could simply be chalked up to the fact Frieza was way out of Goku's league at the time.
      • In Dragon Ball Super Chiaotzu successfully restrains Goku for a few seconds using his power. Granted, Goku was only in his base form, relaxed, and Chiaotzu took him by surprise, but the fact that Chiaotzu affected Goku for any length of time at all despite the massive, massive gap in power makes it clear it's still a soft spot for Goku.
      • Though not necessarily telekinetic; in Dragon Ball the earliest technique that he had zero counters for came from Master Roshi (disguised as Jackie Chun). During the 21st Martial Arts Tournament, Roshi used an Electric Torture technique that kept Goku in place while he writhed in pain. He only manages to break free turning into a Great Ape thanks to a full moon that was conveniently in view.
  • Action Dad: Even after Goku becomes a father, threats still come to Earth (in fact, more of them), so he has to keep training to make sure he was powerful enough to stop it. Though, considering his Blood Knight tendencies, he'd have done so even if that wasn't the case.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • While Goku is never a wimp in any media, Dragon Ball: The Path to Power amps up his badassery a bit. Case in point: in the original manga and anime, his first attempt at the Kamehameha Wave only results in a small energy beam that's only strong enough to wreck Bulma's car, while in The Path to Power, said first attempt results in a Wave Motion Gun that completely obliterates a good chunk of the Red Ribbon Army's armada.
    • A minor and funny example. In the original manga and the uncut Kai dub, Goku has a power level of over 8,000. Thanks to the Ocean dub and the uncut Dragon Ball Z dub, Goku forever has a power level of over 9,000 in North America. Even the edited version of Kai Invoked this meme.
    • The non-serial movies tend to make Goku stronger than he is in original manga canon during the period the movies supposedly take place. For example, he is able to fight Base Cooler (who is somewhat above Frieza's final form's 50 percent) in his base form, whereas on Namek Goku was utterly crushed by 50 percent of Frieza's power and, according to Beerus, base form Goku is still weaker than Frieza's true form years after the Buu saga. Cooler might, however, not have been fighting at full power. The movies also tend to depict Super Saiyan 3 Goku to being as strong or stronger than Ultimate Gohan, who was the strongest unfused character until Battle of Gods. Although, this last one has some justification since Gohan tends not to train during times of peace and becomes weaker, as shown in Resurrection 'F' where he can't reach his Ultimate state anymore. Furthermore, while in canon the Spirit Bomb only succeeded in killing the current Big Bad once, during the battle with Kid Buu, it has a much higher success rate, actually killing Dr. Wheelo, Turles, Lord Slug, and Android 13.
    • Super Saiyan God Goku put up a much better fight against Beerus in Super compared to his performance in Battle of Gods. In the movie, Super Saiyan God burnt out after only a few minutes of fighting and Goku actually did better fighting as a normal Super Saiyan after absorbing the power of godhood. In Super, not only does Super Saiyan God last much longer, it seems to give Goku a type of Healing Factor since he was able to recover from being impaled through the stomach with no lasting injury. Goku also does more damage to Beerus on top of nearly destroying the universe from the shockwaves of the battle.
    • Goku in the Super anime has a massive power-up that his manga incarnation doesn't: namely, he can multiply his power with the Kaio-Ken, up to x20 once he's ironed out the initial bugs. This puts him absurdly ahead on the power scale compared to every single other character, except for a few villains. Case in point: in the Super manga, it's said that Vegeta could have beaten Hit if he hadn't used up stamina and been taken off guard by the time skip. In the anime? Vegeta was stronger than Hit, but his inability to counter Hit's Time-Skip lead to his defeat... however, Hit's endurance against Goku's Blue Kaio-Ken x10 proves that he would've gone through hell trying to beat Hit, even if he could counter it. Also, in both the manga and the anime (and thus probably in Toriyama's outline), Gohan regaining his Ultimate form and adding a year of training on top puts him on par with full-power SSB Goku. In the manga, this makes him equal to or stronger than Goku before Ultra Instinct comes into play, and lets him knock out Kefla, who in a weaker state (as Kale) could beat up Golden Freeza and give CSSB Goku some trouble. In the anime? Gohan being that strong just means that Goku has to activate Kaio-Ken to one-shot him.
    • In a mix of this trope and Adaptational Wimp for the following characters, Goku in the Super manga is able to take on Hit, Goku Black, and Fusion Zamasu easier than in the anime, where the former gave him more trouble and the latter two defeating him on occasion.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Goku has none of the negative traits associated with Sun Wukong (the original Son Goku) from Journey to the West. Aside from his pride as a Saiyan, the few negative traits that holds true is his selfish desire to fight strong opponents. Sun Wukong was absolutely merciless whereas Goku does try to spare his enemies rather than kill them as an adult than when he was a kid (with the exceptions of Frieza, the Androids, Cell, and Majin Buu). The original Sun Wukong came to the banquet of the gods uninvited and repeatedly pissed them off, Goku only gained the ire of the Gods of Destructions and Creations (Supreme Kais) simply because he wanted to have a tournament to face every opponent in each 12 universes.
    • Toriyama is on the record as saying that he feels the anime adaptation is this; originally, in the manga, he intended for Goku's Blood Knight tendencies to make him seem like a darker figure, describing him as someone who only incidentally did good things while seeking fights.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Some interpretations make him smarter than the Book Dumb fight magnet he usually is, like how he properly uses the word resilient in GT when reasoning why his child body couldn't properly handle Super Saiyan 3.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • The Funimation English dub tends to play-up his heroic side while somewhat downplaying his less noble aspects that are present in the Japanese version. A prominent example is after the fight with Vegeta during the Saiyan Saga, when Goku convinces Krillin to spare Vegeta's life; in most versions of the English dub, Goku invokes If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him while also wanting to give Vegeta the same chance for a Heel–Face Turn that Piccolo got, whereas in the original Japanese (and later English dubs of the anime, e.g. Uncut and Kai), Goku does so only because he found the fight with Vegeta exciting and wanted to fight him again even at the risk of the Earth's safety, which he openly admits is a selfish desire. Also, see "World of Cardboard" Speech below.
    • According to Toriyama this holds true even for the original Japanese anime. He was dissatisfied by the “righteous hero”-type portrayal the anime gave him. In the manga, Goku is supposed to be depicted as someone who doesn't fight for others, but fights for himself to get stronger. He wanted to depict someone who isn't a classic hero and can even be seen as not being a good person because of his selfish desire (a little bit of poison that sneaks through his character as Toriyama puts it). However, even going purely off the manga, this depiction of Goku is lost in translation since most of Goku's motives still nonetheless pertain to protecting or avenging his family and friends, and he does help people he barely knows when it didn't completely relate to fighting; like storming Muscle Tower to repay Suno for saving him from freezing to death and avenging Upa's father who was murdered by Tao before taking down the Red Ribbon Army, and getting the Dragon Balls to revive him. He wanted to fight the Saiyans not because they were powerful, but because they were going to murder everyone he knew. He didn't want to help fight Buu, despite having the power to do so, because he didn't want his friends to depend on him to save them, which if he was completely selfish he wouldn't care and fight Buu for the sake of having a good battle. It could be said that Toriyama's original intentions for Goku ended up evolving into something slightly different as Character Development took over. Basically, Goku is a hero who at his core has a good, kind heart that cares for others and wants to protect them, but he also has selfish personal motives that can override his better judgement. Goku even sums this up to 17 by saying that he isn't fully aware that he's saving the world, he just wants to fight strong people. However, he can't stand by and watch others suffer.
    • Several scenes are drastically altered from the page to the screen in an effort to portray Goku as more caring and "normal." A good example would be the scene where Goku recovers from his heart disease in the Android arc. In the anime, Goku immediately hugs Chi-Chi, kisses her, and throws her up into the air, showing a clear affection for her, before apologizing for making her worry. In the manga, Goku does no such thing, he simply walks past her while she cries Tears of Joy at his survival and asks where Gohan is, because he needs to train him to fight Cell. This more clearly fits Toriyama's description of Goku, namely that he has no sense of family and sees Chi-Chi and Gohan only as "some of his companions" rather than as a wife and son.
    • Zigzagged in Dragon Ball Super: Overall, Goku comes across as less heroic and is closer to Toriyama's original vision of the character, but Goku still manages to be more heroic in the Super adaptations of the events of the films Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ compared to the films themselves, which Toriyama had more active involvement in the writing. In the Battle of God Saga, Goku wants to rush to Earth to stop Beerus from destroying the planet and only relents after King Kai points out that his involvement could destroy the Earth by making Beerus mad. In the movie, Goku willingly stays on King Kai's planet to train and reach Super Saiyan God. Goku is also happier with the results of becoming of Super Saiyan God (although he still calls the power empty since it isn't his own) and fights mostly to protect the planet from Beerus (who is also more of a jerk since he attacks the planet directly to push Goku's power), while still having a good time. In the movie, Goku is clearly dissatisfied with Super Saiyan God since it's a level he couldn't reach on his own and he fights Beerus more for himself until the end. In the Resurrection 'F' Saga, Goku hates Frieza a lot more and admits to the tyrant that he feels nothing but contempt for him despite normally loving fighting strong opponents. He also berates Frieza for being so careless to come to Earth without mastering his golden form and only spares him because he sees him as too pathetic to kill. In the movie, Goku is happy that Frieza became so powerful in such a short amount of time, didn't really take the threat seriously, and spares Frieza so he can train his golden form and come back to fight him again. And when he's forced to kill Frieza to keep him from destroying the Earth, he hesitates for a second since he might hit Vegeta and then proceeds to warn him to get out of the way, while in the movie, Goku fires his Kamehameha while Vegeta is still within range.
    • Toei's Super anime also generally portrays him much better in the Filler Arc episodes than in the main episodes following Toriyama's outline, as while as generally portraying him much more "heroically" than the manga, which by all indications is supervised more closely by Toriyama.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Also to an extent in the manga's version of Super.
    • For starters, Goku in the Super manga never takes Goku Black and Future Zamasu completely seriously despite everything they did. Even hearing that Goku Black killed his alternate self is treated with some humor. He gives Future Zamasu several chances to walk away, while also mocking him for being a weakling who would lose to Future Trunks even with his immortality. Compare this to the anime, while Goku does treat Goku Black with some measure of respect, despite being disgusted by his mass destruction, he comes to despise Goku Black and Future Zamasu after they bragged about how Goku Black murdered him and his family after taking his body. After that, he offers no mercy and actually tries to kill Goku Black when he's down. That said, his manga version only behaves like this because he believes Zamasu and Black aren't a real threat; when they threaten to shatter that status by fusing, he immediately tries to stop them, but it's in vain.
    • Goku's treatment towards his son is noticeably harsher in the Super manga if not borderline emotionally abusive; he comments that he wasn't even aware or really cared about Gohan's existence before he was born, unlike how Vegeta put everything else on hold to help Bulma. Goku in the Super anime is pretty indifferent to Vegeta's ordeal as well, but he never made such claims about Gohan's birth. When Gohan is unable to partake in the Universe 6 Tournament, Goku outright calls him a "little shit" in the manga, while Goku in the anime was actually accepting of Gohan's decision.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • He suffers a mild case of this. Toei tends to portrayal Goku as more heroic than his manga counterpart. Goku is still a good person in all media, but Toriyama's version of the character is more selfish, self-centered, and prone to overconfidence. His level of childishness also varies. The English dub tends to downplay his immaturity and make him fun-loving while being somewhat dense and clueless, while Toei sometimes play up his childishness and naivety for comedy. The manga version of Goku can be childish and very laid-back, but is mostly serious. Super cut the difference by making him closer to Toriyama's version of the character by upping his selfishness and immaturity compared to Z. the English dub of Super tones down the immaturity, but makes him more self-centered.
    • The manga adaptation of Super has him solely dependent on fighting strong rather than smart. Manga!Goku has him solely reliant on raw power and new transformations to simply power through his opponent, most notably when he battles Jiren, rather than focus on different strategies and tactics like his anime counterpart did.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: The Super manga and anime handle Goku's abilities differently, in particular the Super Saiyan God and Blue transformations.
    • In the anime, they introduced Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken, which adds the multiplicative power of the Kaioken with its usual dangers, and the Super Saiyan God form doesn't appear after the Battle of Gods arc, with the implication that Goku either can't use it anymore, or chooses not to. Subverted however, when Goku breaks out Super Saiyan God several times in the Tournament of Power as his fastest form, even throwing in the God-to-Blue switch tactic against Dyspo, if only that one time.
    • In the manga, however, Goku (and Vegeta, who's never seen using it in the movies or the anime) more regularly uses the God form. Instead of using the Kaioken, Goku/Vegeta uses "Completed Super Saiyan Blue", which lets him use the form in full power, though with similar drawbacks to SSB Kaioken. Additionally, Goku uses a weaker version of Beerus' Destruction technique while he has yet to do so in the anime.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Not Goku, but his Ultra Instinct "Omen" transformation when battling Jiren for the first time. In the anime, he was able to momentarily hold his own against Jiren, managing to counter Jiren's hits for several minutes and even land a good hit on him before it gave out. In the manga, he could only dodge one punch from Jiren before it gave out.
  • Adaptive Ability:
    • He is shown to gain immunity if a technique is used on him more than once since he knows how to counter them thanks to his supreme observation. This can best be seen in his battle against Cell where all of Cell's copied techniques have no effect on Goku since he'd seen them all before. In Super, when he has his rematch with Hit, he outright tells Hit that his Time-Skip won't work anymore. He later learns to counter Hit's invisible shockwaves after experiencing how they work.
    • Throughout his fight with Beerus, Goku's body adapts and evolves, going beyond godhood, to the point that he kept his god powers even after turning back to a normal Super Saiyan.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: As a kid. By the age of 12 he was living by himself in the wilderness and traveling the world.
  • Adult Fear: Few things get Goku genuinely agitated, but the safety of his friends and especially his family is definitely one of them. Goku may run off on them to go training, but if they are threatened Goku clearly starts to lose his cool. Multiple times during Gohan's childhood it was seeing him in danger that flipped Goku's usually hard to push temper switch. In fact, while Krillin's death is usually credited to being Goku's trigger into Super Saiyan, it was also Freiza threatening Gohan right afterwards that was the final straw for Goku. Later on come Super, when Goku's babysitting his new granddaughter Pan, she wanders off and Goku gets very distressed when he can't find her, particularly because at the time he had temporarily lost control of his ki and thus had no reliable way to search for her. And then when facing the threat of Goku Black, its finding out that Black murdered Chi-Chi and Goten in another timeline that causes Goku to fly into a terrifying, revenge-fueled fury. Finally, during his climactic battle with Jiren at the end of the Tournament of Power, it was Jiren's erratic decision to attempt to strike at all his loved ones in the bleachers in a fit of frustration just to show how easily those bonds can be severed which triggered Mastered Ultra Instinct Goku into a wild-eyed murderous row aimed right at the alien superhero.
  • Aesop Amnesia: If Resurrection 'F' is any indication, Goku still hasn't learned his lesson in not giving murderous villains like Frieza a Last-Second Chance just so he can get a rematch and a better challenge. In Super, he spares Frieza again because he sees him as too pathetic to kill.
  • Afraid of Needles: He can face certain death any day of the week, fight all manner of world-destroying supervillains, and laugh it off... and yet, when it comes to getting shots, he's a chicken.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: As a child, Goku got patted on the head by Master Roshi and his grandfather. He gives these affectionate gestures to Gohan, and later Goten and Pan. This seems to be his version of a hug since Goku rarely embraces his sons and granddaughter (with the exception of carrying them as children), but gives these quite openly and warmly.
  • All-Loving Hero: Forgives enemies? Most story arcs involve this. He does not hold grudges period. Turns enemies into friends? This is how he makes friends. Once the fight is over, anyone, even last season's enemies, are affectionately embraced as friends if they can stop trying to kill him and his crew or take over the world long enough. Purehearted? He has a flying cloud to prove it.
  • All Your Powers Combined: His signature technique, the Spirit Bomb, is an energy attack that combines the life energy of every living creature on a planet and even beyond into one big ball. In GT he gathers energy from across the universe. He also becomes a Super Saiyan God by absorbing the energy of his sons, unborn grandchild, his rival, and his rival's son.
  • Almighty Janitor: He'd merely be a lowly soldier if he was raised a Saiyan. That said, he becomes one of the most powerful beings in the universe (even becoming a Physical God as of Battle of Gods). For the people of Earth, he is this as well. Outside of the martial arts community and other circles, the general public doesn't know who he is. In Super when Mr. Satan attempts to get Goku to fight an alien in front of bunch of regular people, everyone, including the aliens, are dismissive towards him because he looks like a country bumpkin. It didn't help that Goku was wearing his farmer's outfit at the time, making him an Almighty Farmer.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Goku has no memory of his time as a Great Ape. It's not until he sees Vegeta transforms that he realizes that he's the monster who killed his grandfather.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Goku has this dynamic with all of his friends. During his childhood and teen years, he serves as the 'someone better' to Yamcha, Krillin, Tien, and even Piccolo. As an adult this gets reversed on Goku where he is the underdog compared to the other Saiyans, especially Vegeta, since they lived on planets with higher gravity and believed Goku would never catch up no matter how hard he tried on Earth. Once he reaches Namek, he becomes the 'always someone better' to Vegeta for the rest of the series.
    • Invokes by Mr. Popo to Goku. He gets on Goku for his arrogance, thinking that he's the strongest after defeating King Piccolo. He tells Goku word-for-word that no matter how powerful he becomes, there will always be someone better.
    • Battle of Gods reverses this on Goku, having him unable to catch up with Beerus even after achieving godhood.
    • In Super, Beerus invokes this by introducing Monaka, a fighter who gave him a much better fight than Goku and is the strongest mortal fighter in Universe 7. This is a story Beerus made up to encourage Goku and Vegeta to become stronger. Monaka is actually not very strong.
  • Amazon Chaser: Despite Chi-Chi being harsh and sometimes overbearing on him, Goku likes her this way. Vegeta lampshades that weak women are not suited for a Saiyan.
  • Ambiguously Human: Before Goku was revealed to be a Saiyan, he was this. He looked like a normal human, except he had a tail, and had superhuman strength and the ability to turn into a giant ape.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: In Japanese, Goku (no matter his age) is portrayed as a highly adorkable, goofy, Book Dumb hero voiced by Masako Nozawa speaking in a young boy's voice and affecting a Simpleton Voice accent, with his Dragon Ball incarnation forming the basis of his character. In English dubs, Goku's adult DBZ incarnation is the basis of his character, and adult Goku is always voiced by adult men speaking with a standard American accent. Earlier dubs portrayed Goku as more of a serious superhero, but he retained his male voice actors even as later dubs would skew more faithful to the Japanese and play up the silly side of his personality.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: From all the adventures the main characters had in the first series, everyone thought that our main hero Goku was just a human with ridiculous strength, a monkey tail, and the ability to turn into a giant ape. Just a coincidence right? Wrong! In Dragon Ball Z, Goku's long-lost brother, Raditz, shows up from outer space to reveal that he isn't human, but instead an alien from a ruthless warrior race sent to destroy every life on Earth. Raditz tries to convince him of this by kidnapping his only son and demanding Goku pile up 100 dead Earthling, but it doesn't fly because Goku got his amnesia as an infant and thus doesn't remember his prior wilder side in the first place. It isn't until the Namek Saga that Goku acknowledges his Saiyan brethren in a positive light, by honoring the fallen Vegeta and representing his race by fighting their tyrannical oppressor, Frieza.
  • Amnesiac Villain Joins the Heroes: Before the series began, according to Roshi, Goku was an Enfant Terrible hellbent on destroying all life until he hit his head on a rock and lost many of his Saiyan traits (Blood Knight tendencies notwithstanding).
  • Angrish:
    • After Frieza murders Krillin before his eyes, Goku becomes so stricken with anger and grief that he can barely form a sentence.
    • In Super, when he's told by Goku Black and Future Zamasu that Black murdered an alternate version of Goten and Chi-Chi after taking his body and killing him with it in front of his family, Goku is so angry that he can barely talk and can only say how pissed off he is before beating the shit out of both of them.
  • And This Is for...: When he fights Nappa, he does this for all of his friends whom Nappa killed.
  • Angst? What Angst?: In-Universe
    • Bulma asks Goku how he can be so happy when he tells her that he was abandoned in the woods, his grandfather died, and he was left alone for several years.
    • While everyone else is worried about the Cell Games and the possible end of the world, Goku is very chilled and chooses to spend his time hanging out with his family instead of training. This, naturally, has everyone worried.
    • Beerus continuously lays into Goku for his willy-nilly attitude towards the universe's possibility of being erased if they lose the Tournament of Power. He orders Goku to panic or emote something other than excitement.
  • Animal Battle Aura: His aura sometimes takes the form of a Great Ape, like the punch he uses to kill King Piccolo. The canon questionable Dragon Fist takes the shape of a giant golden dragon.
  • Animal Motifs: Although all Saiyans have the monkey motif, Goku embodies it the best. As a child, he would sometimes mimic a monkey's movements like running on all fours, swinging from trees, and grabbing objects with his feet. He also has the monkey's playful and mischievous nature, but can become quite violent when enraged.
  • Anime Hair: A big mane of spiky black hair that even manages to maintain its shape underwater. In the Piccolo Jr. Saga, he even used his hair as a Distinguishing Mark to his friends.
    Goku: Now do you recognize me? Who else but me has hair like this?
  • Anti-Hero: According to Toriyama, Goku was originally supposed to be a selfish hero to the point that one would wonder if he was actually a good person since he only grew stronger to fight strong people, not to protect anyone and some of Goku's more heroic qualities were heightened in the Z anime. This, however, is Downplayed since even in the original manga Goku experienced a subtle Messiah Creep where he shows more concern for the world, a willingness to sacrifice himself, and worries about people depending on him too much to the point that he boarders on being an Ideal Hero and is treated like a messiah among those who knows him. However, the more anti-heroic side of his personality is emphasized in Super and more specifically, the Universal Survival Saga where Goku's desire to have a tournament (despite being warned to leave Zeno alone) ends up prompting Zeno to hold a tournament where all of the losing universes will be destroyed. When he learns of this, he declares that he will win for his universe, not showing any real concern for the other universes and still looking forward to the matches. This is later Downplayed when it's revealed that Zeno was going to destroy the lowest ranking universes, which includes U7, while sparing the four high ranking universe before Goku reminded him of the tournament. So Goku's selfish desire to fight actually gave U7 a chance to save itself. Goku himself explained this further when he tells 17 that he was never really aware of saving the world and he grew stronger to fight strong guys, but he can't sit back while other people suffer. In fact, It's only his Blood Knight tendencies that can override his common sense, something he fully acknowledges, that makes him even remotely close to being an anti-hero.
  • Anti-Antichrist: As revealed in the Saiyan Saga of Z (before Dragon Ball Minus retconned it), he was sent to Earth as a baby to prepare it for the Saiyans' invasion. One instance of blunt-force trauma later, and he becomes the good natured, if somewhat dim-witted, Blood Knight that we know.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • King Piccolo. He is the first villain to make things truly personal with Goku since he indirectly kills Krillin and Master Roshi. Goku has so much anger towards Piccolo that he attacks Kami on sight because he thought he was Piccolo. And, for a while, he saw Piccolo Jr as this before he became a Worthy Opponent and turned good.
    • Vegeta used to be this, but over time they ended up becoming rivals in accordance with Vegeta's Heel–Face Turn, they are now on good terms but still hold a friendly rivalry.
    • Frieza. Like King Piccolo, he made things very personal with Goku after he mortally wounds Piccolo, murders Krillin, and threatens to do the same to Gohan. Frieza sees Goku the same way since he came to Earth as a cyborg to get vengeance and Goku was the first thing on his mind when he was revived in Resurrection 'F'. Frieza even says that he can't stand to be in a universe where Goku is alive. It helps that Frieza is the most recurring villain in the franchise as he was the villain of two arcs.
    • Dr. Gero is a mostly one-sided Arch-Enemy towards Goku, having dedicated his life to bringing Goku down ever since he defeated the entire Red Ribbon Army as a child. Though Goku doesn't really reciprocate the feelings, and Dr. Gero is defeated too soon for Goku's hatred to really develop.
    • Subverted with Cell. Despite being created to kill Goku, they never developed this type of relationship. In fact, Cell has the least personal relationship with Goku out of all the primary villains and see each other as Worthy Opponents from the start. Cell ended up being more of an Arch-Enemy to Gohan and Future Trunks than he is to Goku.
    • Initially Zamasu held a one-sided hatred towards Goku, due to being a mortal who dared to challenge the gods, and becomes obsessed with Goku. However, the feeling becomes mutual after Goku learns Zamasu stole his body to become Goku Black, and then uses it to kill him, Goten, and Chi-Chi. This absolutely enrages Goku who hasn't been this angry since Frieza killed Krillin, calling them "bastards" and declaring that he would never forgive them. He then goes after Goku Black and Future Zamasu in pure rage, hellbent on killing them.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Him training with weighted clothing is based off a real life concept called Hypergravity Training, which involves doing basic Calisthenics while wearing extra weight. That said, real life weighted clothing can't be anywhere near as compact as his shirt, wristbands, and boots, and you can't wear them as commonly as sneakers (it's best to just wear them during actual training, instead of like street clothes, else your center of gravity will be altered).
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: At the end of DBGT, he fuses with the dragon Shenron and the seven Dragon Balls to leave Earth, though he makes a visit 100 years later.
  • Asleep for Days: During the Cell Saga. Even with the medicine Trunks gave him for the heart virus, Goku is nonetheless asleep for ten days.
  • Assassin Outclassin':
    • The Red Ribbon Army hires Mercenary Tao to take him out and steal his Dragon Balls. Goku survives the first fight, and later beats Tao in a rematch.
    • He did this again in Super when Hit is hired to kill him; he is temporarily put down, but manages to restart his own heart with a well-timed ki blast and return to beat Hit up. It's eventually revealed that the crazy bastard hired Hit himself so he can fight him at his absolute strongest, making this an Invoked Trope.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Beerus names Goku captain of the U7 team for the Tournament of Power purely based on Goku being the strongest mortal fighter in his universe. Vegeta is not happy about that. However, Goku relents to this title to Gohan, although Goku is still stronger than him.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • As a kid, the Kamehameha fell into this. It greatly drained Goku's stamina and became progressively weaker every time he used it within a short time span. So he often used it as his ace in the hole or as a desperate attack. It is not until he becomes a teenager that he can use the Kamehameha often without any ill effect. Although by that time the Kamehameha suffered from the Worf Barrage.
    • The Spirit Bomb. It takes a long time to power up and Goku often underestimates his opponent's power reserves as seen with Vegeta and Frieza. He didn't even want to use the Spirit Bomb against Buu, saying that it couldn't even kill Frieza.
    • The reason why Goku never uses his Ultra Super Saiyan form. After demonstrating it to Gohan, he quickly sees the Fatal Flaw in the form. It's too slow and power is pointless if you can't even hit your opponent. Instead, he chooses to make his base Super Saiyan form more efficient.
    • The Super Saiyan 3 form, while giving him immense amount of power unmatched by any other forms, gives him a very strict time limit on how long he can stretch out a fight before he's drained of all his strength. The strain the form has on his body is so heavy it's not even really meant to be used outside of the afterlife. However, it is hinted that Goku's difficulty with Super Saiyan 3 stems more from him not being used to it, especially after being brought back to life where his living body was not as durable as his dead body. The few times we have seen him in Super Saiyan 3 after the Buu Arc, he seemed to be able to maintain it just fine. However, in an interview Toriyama states that both Super Saiyan 2 and 3 are this since they are little more than extensions to a regular Super Saiyan that drains more energy in the long run. So, Goku will choose to make his base and Super Saiyan forms stronger instead of relying on more transformations.
    • The Super Kaioken. The fusion of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan and the old Kaio-ken, the power is so great that it overpowers the incredibly powerful Hit and a force so powerful that it makes Beerus go Oh, Crap!. However, since it is an incomplete technique, the power jump only last a few minutes, has a 90% failure rate, and if performed incorrectly, can kill Goku. It also makes him sick with Delayed Onset Ki Syndrome (which makes him lose control of his ki) and risks permanently crippling him. It's because of this that it is Goku's biggest of trump cards. As of the Universal Survival Saga, however, Goku has shown greater mastery of the technique to the point that he can do the basic Kaioken without causing harm to his body and he can do it multiple times.
    • Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan in the manga version of Super. Overall, it comes off as more powerful than its anime counterpart in raw strength, but it comes at the cost of being a major energy drain to the point that you lose 90% of your power if you transform too many times and its full power can only be maintain for a short time. It is basically a more powerful version of Super Saiyan 3. When Goku does mastered the form by keeping his energy within himself, he becomes so powerful that he can fight Merged Zamasu on almost equal footing. However, this causes a rapid breakdown in Goku's body making this form similar to Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan/Kaioken from the anime.
    • The "Mastery of Self-Movement" technique, taught by Whis which allows the body to react on its own without wasting time for neural impulses to travel from the brain to the muscles. This technique puts Goku on par with Beerus, however it leaves him severely drained afterwards and he will be unable to even access the standard Super Saiyan. Further more, the mastered version causes severe damage to his body and he's completely incapable of accessing it of his own free will.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • Learns the Kamehameha by watching it used once along with the After Image Technique (manages to improve upon it after seeing it used a second time with a double), Solar Flare, and King Chapa's Hasshu-ken (Eight-Arm Fist). Somewhere along the way, he also copies Krillin's Destructo Disc. In Super he learns how to counter Hit's Time-Leaping ability by learning Hit's movements for the next 0.1 seconds.
    • On the flip side, Goku is also an expert at analyzing the battle strategies of his opponents and figuring out logical weaknesses and openings. This is most visible in his fights with Frieza, who's about equal to him in terms of power but never bothered to develop the same understanding of combat that Goku has.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite Goku being clueless about love and affection in general, he does have feelings towards his wife. He even tells Vegeta that he likes Chi-Chi for being headstrong. In Z, after getting over his illness, he happily swings Chi-Chi around to show that he's well and hugs her after coming back to life at the end of the Buu Saga. In Super, when he's sick with Delayed Onset Ki Syndrome, he didn't want to tell Chi-Chi about his illness because he didn't want her to worry. And when Goku Black brags about murdering his family, he loses it and attacks both Black and Future Zamasu.

    B 

  • The Baby of the Bunch: Of the original core group, Goku is the youngest and least mature. He's babied to the extent that Bulma worries about him the most. He's still the strongest and most competent of the bunch in terms of fighting.
  • Backup from Otherworld:
    • After giving his life to stop Cell from blowing up the Earth, Gohan and the others lose hope after Cell returns strongest than ever, kills Trunks, mortally wounds Vegeta, and break Gohan's arm. None of them put up any resistance when Cell declares that he's going to blow up the solar system. Then, Goku uses King Kai to speak to Gohan from the Otherworld to encourage, comfort, and restores his son's faith in himself. He spends the entire Beam-O-War with Gohan, mentally guiding him to victory to the point that his spirit appears alongside Gohan during his final showdown with Cell.
    • In Bojack Unbound, Goku teleports himself out of the Otherworld for an instant and kicks Bojack in the head to save Gohan and give him words of encouragement before leaving again.
  • Badass Adorable: Throughout his childhood. Even after growing into an adult, he remains an endearingly innocent and kind-hearted boy in the body of a grandfather by the end of it. This is reinforced in the anime where he perpetually keeps the voice and mannerisms of his child self (in the Japanese original), and isn't completely lost in dubbed versions where adult Goku is voiced by a man.
  • Badass Baritone: In the dub, when Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan 3 and 4. His voice becomes noticeably deeper and serious.
  • Badass Boast:
    • In response to Jeice and Burter claiming to be Goku's worst nightmare, his simple but blunt reply is, "I'm not scared of dreams".
    • In Dragon Ball Super, after learning that in another timeline Goku Black murdered his family in cold blood after stealing his body with the Super Dragon Balls, Goku loses it and pounds on Goku Black. When Future Zamasu tries to intervene, Goku beats him up too while screaming this at him:
      Goku: Who cares if you're immortal!
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Subverted near the end of the Red Ribbon Army Saga. Goku's friends thought he was in distress since he was attacking the Red Ribbon Army's base head on and rushed to help him. By the time they arrived, Goku already took care of the entire army without taking any real injuries.
    • When Goku comes down with his heart virus, he is helpless against Android 19 who beats the mess out of him and begins to drain his energy. Goku's friends rush to save him, but are blocked by Android 20. He is eventually rescued by Vegeta, who scolds him for fighting when he was sick. Until he's well, his friends have to protect him from the androids.
  • Balloon Belly: Occasionally after eating a big meal such as when he ate a massive dinner bought from Master Roshi's prize money from the tournament.
  • Barbarian Longhair: As a Super Saiyan 3, his hair becomes longer than his brother's.
  • Bash Brothers:
    • During the Tournament of Power, he and Vegeta, after breaking their limits and getting power-ups, finally decide to do this rather than take turns and double-team Jiren; Whis notes that their coordination isn't perfect, but this actually works to their advantage by confusing Jiren and throwing him off.
    • They are also this in the Non-Serial Movie, The Return of Cooler, fighting off against a whole army of Meta-Coolers!
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Though it was claimed way back during the Namek Saga that Goku couldn't breathe in space, in Battle of Gods, he fights Beerus in orbit above the Earth with no protection without any problems, most likely because of his newfound godhood.
  • Batman Gambit: Goku, of all characters, manages to pull one off against Cell in the climax of the Android Saga. When he finds out that his son is indeed stronger than him, and still had extra reserves of power, he sets up a situation so Gohan will unleash that power against Cell. He volunteers to fight Cell first and gives it everything he has before he gives up, and then lets Gohan fight against him after he manages to study both Goku and Cell's fighting styles. Goku expects Cell to push Gohan to his limits so he'll unleashed his hidden power, which is exactly what Cell does and Gohan becomes the first ever Super Saiyan 2 in the series and proceeds to hand Cell his own ass on a platter. The only thing Goku didn't expect was that Gohan would get cocky and not finish Cell off immediately, or that Cell would blow himself up when he knew he was going to lose.
  • Bearer of Bad News: Is the one to inform everyone that Gohan and Vegeta were killed by Buu.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted a multiverse tournament with all twelve universes despite Beerus and Whis warning him that reminding Zeno of the tournament wasn't a good idea given how unpredictable Zeno is. He gets his wish and the entire multiverse is threatened with destruction, including his own universe if they lose the tournament.
  • Being Good Sucks:
  • Berserk Button:
    • It didn't happen often, but when he was a child calling Goku weak caused him to lose his cool. This is seen when King Piccolo called him ant poop when regarding his power, which made Goku charge him and knocked Piccolo on his butt. Another example is when Mr. Popo mockingly calls Goku weak and wonders if he actually beat Piccolo just to rile him up. He becomes noticeably careless and reckless when this button is pressed, but thankfully gets over it after training with Kami.
    • Utterly one-sided "fights" that devolve into Cold-Blooded Torture really push his buttons, both as a hero and as an honorable warrior. This is a big reason why he's such a black sheep among his species and has such a distaste of them in the Saiyan arc: he sees them as murderers and thugs who target and slaughter weaker people who cannot possibly defend themselves, rather than warriors who fight for honorable sport or a true challenge and test of their skills as fighters. He even objects to Freeza killing a wounded Vegeta, despite 100% agreeing he deserves death, simply because Vegeta was harmless at that point.
      Goku: Hey! Vegeta could barely even move, let alone defend himself! There was no need to kill him!note 
    • As an adult, it's hurting his friends and/family or trying to. As seen below all three cases involved the offender pressing the button and Goku doing his damnest to end them.
      • Frieza made Krillin explode. Bad Fucking Idea Frieza. Goku only stopped beating on him as a form of Cruel Mercy
      • When Goku Black reveals he killed Chi-Chi and Goten, Goku goes on a rampage that is clearly fueled by the grief.
      • Jiren decides to fire a shot at the spectator stands after Goku pushes Jiren's own Trauma Button, the resultant rage-fueled breakdown leaves him unable to fight back.
    • Finally HE WILL NOT LET YOU DESTROY HIS WOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRLLLLDDD!!!
  • The Berserker: After rampaging as a Golden Great Ape, Goku transforms into a Super Saiayn 4 and his attitude when fighting has completely changed he is more ferocious and fights in an animalistic style and has been known to use more savagery in this form also the brutal merciless beating he gave Baby proves that he has indeed became more of an animal.
    • Also in Dragon Ball Heroes Goku reached a form called Super Saiyan Berserk where he is corrupted by the dark energy of Cumber/Kanba.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Goku is a very easy-going and kind person who tries to be polite and friendly to everyone, but you do not want to piss him off. Frieza found that out the hard way.
    • When he was a kid, Goku was far less forgiving towards his enemies. He kills almost anyone who harms his friends and chased foes who were retreating.
    • This is best seen against Frieza where Goku not only physically beats the tyrant within an inch of his life, but breaks him mentally by shattering his pride and then sparing him so he can suffer with the knowledge of losing to a lower being. The psychological damage he inflicted on Frieza left him permanently scarred to the point that he has waking nightmares about Goku, even as he suffers in Hell.
    • His fit of rage against Goku Black and Zamasu in the future is another moment where this side of him can be seen at its fullest. Goku goes utterly mental after they both rub in his face that they slaughtered his family for kicks, and are briefly forced back as Goku proceeds to beat them savagely.
    • Similarly, when Jiren disgusted with the notion of The Powerof Friendship attempts to attack and kill Team Universe 7's members and spectators in the stands Goku goes ballistic with rage and brutally and quickly beats Jiren into the ground so badly the Pride Trooper momentarily concedes and readies himself for defeat.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Because of how naive and childish he was he had no problem playing hide-and-seek with his enemies, choosing to eat over fight, or just act like a goofball in the middle of a battle. Despite this, he still kicked his opponent's butts and not let's get started on what happens when he is serious. This is Downplayed when he is an adult since most of his silly moments happens outside the battlefield. When he fights, he usually drops all the silliness.
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • It was originally believed to be impossible to combine Super Saiyan and with the Kaio-Ken since the Kaio-Ken puts a lot of stress on the body and a regular Super Saiyan is stressful enough.note  Goku not only makes the combination worknote , he did it with Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan since the form requires a peaceful mind and near perfect energy control to use. Said form is so powerful and fast it goes beyond the impossible again by allowing Goku to outpace Hit while Hit has time frozen.
    • Goku does it again when he acquires Ultra Instinct, a legendary state only spoken about among the Gods. When he masters the form, all of the Gods stand up in respect at the state. Moreover, in the next episode Goku competes with and soundly defeats Jiren, a being so powerful and skilled he defeated his universe's God of Destruction Belmod. That said, this is downplayed as Goku only mastered the state in the sense of using it once in it, he literally can't do it at will and it's a Defense Mechanism Superpower.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Is an absolute pro at this. Whenever things look like they’re at its most grim, Goku will usually appear out of nowhere and save the day (or least give the heroes a fighting chance). He saves Krillin seconds before Blue would have crushed his head in with a rock and he stops Drum from killing Tien after he arrives to fight King Piccolo. In Z, he arrives just in time to save Gohan from Nappa, arrives on Namek minutes before everyone is killed by the Ginyu Force, and recovers a little before Frieza can give Vegeta the killing blow (although Vegeta gets killed anyway since he mouths off to Frieza). In the Cell Saga, he rescues Tien and Piccolo after they are both get mortally wounded by Cell and in the Buu Saga he teleports within second of Super Buu blowing up the Earth. It got to the point that Goku's friends lampshade this tendency of his.
  • Big Eater: A Running Gag with him. Most infamously, after coming in second during the first World Martial Arts Tournament, Master Roshi (the winner), decided to cheer him up by treating everyone to a big dinner. Goku's bill wound up costing Roshi all the prize money, and he would've eaten more if the restaurant hadn't run out of food! As it turns out, all Saiyans are like this. Vegeta and Gohan can eat just as much to the awe of the humans, Namekians, and gods they hang out with. In Super, we see him with a pile of plates and bowls large enough to feed at least ten people, and Chichi is worried because this is less than half of what he usually eats.
  • Big Good:
    • Takes this role in the Cell Saga and parts of the Buu Saga. He tells the others about the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, trains Gohan to surpass him, chooses a new Guardian of the Earth to revive the Dragon Balls, and spiritually guides Gohan after he is killed. After being revived for a day, he chooses to teach Goten and Trunks the Fusion Dance instead of killing Majin Buu himself, saying that it isn't his place to interfere with the living. He is also the one to finally kill Buu after collecting energy from everyone on Earth.
    • After being absent from this role in Super, Goku become the Big Good for the Universal Survival Saga. Although it was Goku's selfish desires that prompted Zeno to create the Tournament of Power that ends with the losing universe being destroyed, he indirectly saves at least one universe since Zeno was planning to destroy the eight lowest ranking universes and winning the tournament means that an originally doomed universe would be spared. He's also the captain of the U7 team, before he gives that honor to Gohan, and personally picks the team members and recruits them. He's so efficient at it that U7 is one of the few universes to have a complete team with time spare, at least until Buu falls asleep again.
  • The Big Guy: When he's not in a leadership or main character role, he becomes this since he is one of the most powerful beings in the universe and is considered the 'heavy hitter' alongside Vegeta among his group of friends.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Goku is a Saiyan who are Human Aliens who are insanely aggressive and love to fight, have tails, can transform into giant apes in the light of the full moon if they still have their tails, and can transform into Super Saiyans that changes their hair and eye colors while also greatly increasing their strength and speed. If they are pushed close to death and recover, they increase their strength. Despite this, they can interbreed with humans, creating even more powerful hybrids. In Goku's case specifically, he has an enhance sense of smell, hearing, and sight.
  • Blood Knight: The extremely rare unambiguously heroic version. He lives for the thrill of the fight and is always looking for stronger opponents to battle. During Goku and Chi-Chi's first "date", when Chi-Chi explains that "the boy is supposed to think of the most pleasurable thing to do and then try to coax the girl into doing it with him", naturally Goku's response was to start fighting with her. Even when he's on the brink of death, he's always having fun, and seemingly insurmountable odds only EXCITE HIM MORE. He also only fights opponents who are willing (most of the villains), and only kills as a last resort. Contrary to what the first dub states, this was also his primary motive in sparing Vegeta's life at the end of the Saiyan Saga in the manga, original anime, and Kai dub, which he even admits was selfish. He also expresses a wish (later granted by Yemma) to see Majin Buu reincarnated as a good guy just so he can fight him again. In Super, he went so far as to put a hit on himself so Hit, the legendary assassin of U6, will come to use his full power to fight him since he wasn't allowed to use his killing techniques at the tournament. Hell, this guy's such a Blood Knight that he projects this quality onto his half-human first born son - It was enough that he had Gohan fight Cell in his stead, but Goku went out of his way to give Cell a Senzu to make the fight fair; even though the fate of the world was at stake, and Gohan didn't even ask him to do that for him.
  • Blue and Orange Morality:
    • As a Saiyan, it's in his blood to love fighting and combat, which has caused him to make poor decisions. Sparing Vegeta's life after their battle so he can fight him again, sending his son to fight Cell, and even giving a Senzu Bean to Cell so that Gohan gets a fair match against him. In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, when Goku's morality is questioned because of his love of fighting, Master Roshi calls Goku kind-hearted but questions his righteousness. At the same time, he doesn't go looking for these kinds of situations, and is content to live a quiet life in the countryside, albeit one involving a lot of physical training. He seems to be aware that these situations find him, though.
    • In fact, it actually goes both ways. Most Saiyans native to Universe 7 are Chaotic Evil Blood Knights that can be incredibly cruel in their desires for combat. Compared to that, he's practically a saint (since, no matter how much of a Blood Knight he can be, he still harbors compassion for those close to him).
  • Blue Is Heroic: Although he's usually represented by the color red or orange, his signature techniques, the Kamehameha and Spirit Bomb, are blue, and his wristbands, belt, and undershirt are colored blue as well. There is also his Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan that that turns his aura, hair, and eyes blue.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He loves to fight more than anything, is somewhat rude without meaning to, is not the brightest person in the world because he lacks a formal education, and grows up to have a bodybuilder's built. He is also one of the most fun-loving, friendly, and happiest people in the series. As a child, he was even more this trope since he had no problem beating up people weaker than him with a huge grin on his face. He only mellowed after training with Kami.
  • Book Dumb: He grew up without a formal education, aside from learning basic reading and math while training with Master Roshi for a year. Before that he thought 14, not 12, came after 11, and afterwards it's revealed during his fight with Ninja Murasaki that he still can't count past 25. Even as an adult, he still comes off as an idiot, even before factoring in the English dub making him sound reasonably smarter (it doesn't help that in the original dub he speaks like a Japanese hick). As an adult, though he still can be naive and a little too willing to trust others, what keeps him from being an Idiot Hero is that he can show surprising wisdom, and it's clear that his intelligence is focused on combat. When it comes to fighting, he's a genius, able to point to pick up on the strengths and the flaws of various techniques, outthink his opponents with good strategies, and he can learn and invent new techniques with relative ease.
  • Book-Ends: As far as non-ape transformations he gains before becoming a Physical God, his last (Super Saiyan God) most closely resembles Kaio-Ken (his first). If you put the ape into account, this also works for GT Goku, as Super Saiyan 4 is more ape-like than other Super Saiyan forms (and requires control of a golden ape before it can be attained).
  • Boring, but Practical: In a Toriyama's interview, he says that after Goku's battle against Beerus, he reached the conclusion that it is overall better to just train his base and Super Saiyan forms to become stronger instead of relying on transformations since Super Saiyan 2 and 3 are little more than extensions to the normal Super Saiyan form that ultimately drains more energy in the long run. In Dragon Ball Super, the transformations Goku uses regularly are his Super Saiyan form and his Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan form, which is just Super Saiyan merged with godly energy. He does uses Super Saiyan 2 and even goes Super Saiyan 3 to showoff to Future Trunks, but Super Saiyan 2 is treated an in-between transformation that Goku uses when he wants to test opponents who surpass him as a regular Super Saiyan.
  • Born Winner:
    • He can learn and become immune to techniques after seeing them a few times, and is born with almost unlimited fighting potential that allows him to surpass even the Saiyan Prince, who is said to be the greatest Saiyan ever born - the key word there being potential. By Super, he is the strongest mortal in Universe 7 and is equal to Hit, the strongest mortal in Universe 6.
    • According to Word of God, a Saiyan's ease of going Super (as well as their natural fighting prowess in general) is because of how many of the Saiyan-exclusive S-Cells comprise of their genetic makeup. Goku just so happened to gain a pretty good amount of S-Cells from Bardock and Gine, and that's part of why he's the first Super Saiyan in millennia.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Most of his arguments with Chi-Chi regarding Gohan's education and training. While Chi-Chi is right that Gohan should have a life outside of fighting, Goku is also right that someone needs to watch over the world in case something happens to Goku.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: In the anime, Goku lived for some amount of time with a colony of monkeys. The reason for this was because they used their tails for almost everything they do, and Goku's tail was his biggest weakness. By the time he returned to his friends, he was just as strong with his tail as with the rest of his body.
  • Break Them by Talking: His battle against Frieza after he becomes a Super Saiyan is half Roaring Rampage of Revenge and half this, surprisingly enough. He trash-talks Frieza during the whole battle, mocking his strength all the time, something that is definitely not usual for him at all. And the final blow which he intended to end the battle with is a deliberate, armor-piercing "The Reason You Suck" Speech to utterly obliterate Frieza's pride. Even when compared to all the physical punishment he receives during the fight, for Frieza that speech is probably the absolute worst part of the Humiliation Conga. And that's exactly what Goku is going for, since he understands that destroying Frieza's ego is a more fitting punishment than just killing him.
    Goku: Your energy level is decreasing with every blow. In fact, you're not even a challenge to me anymore. It wouldn't be fair for me to keep fighting you. I'm satisfied now. Your pride has been torn to shreds. You've challenged and lost to a fighter who is superior to you and to make it worse, he's just a monkey, right? It would be meaningless to fight you now, you're too scared and ashamed. Live with the shock. Keep it bottled up inside you. Silently.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: If it doesn't relate to fighting or getting stronger, Goku has no interest in it. A lot of arguments with Chi-Chi, if it's not about Gohan studying or fighting, is about him not getting a job and supporting his family, despite having the skill sets to do many jobs even with his lack of formal education. After coming back to life the second time, Chi-Chi finally manages to get him to work as a farmer. Even then, Goten ask why doesn't he do what Mr. Satan does and get paid for fighting. Goku dismisses the idea, saying he likes the farmer job since he can ditch it at any time to train.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu:
    • Goku and Yajirobe both killed one of Piccolo's children, protected the Dragon Ball, and Goku kills Krillin's murderer. Then Piccolo himself comes, nearly kills Goku and takes the Dragon Ball he's been guarding making all their prior victories meaningless. To add salt to the wound, Piccolo goes on to kill Master Roshi.
    • With Piccolo's help he manages to defeat his brother and save Gohan. It cost Goku his life and he learns that two more powerful Saiyans are coming to Earth to search for the Dragon Balls.
    • Despite putting up a valiant fight against Vegeta and doing major damage to the Saiyan Prince, he is overwhelmed and nearly crushed to death when Vegeta turns into a Great Ape. He has to be rescued by Gohan and Krillin, who get badly hurt saving him. By the time Vegeta is finally driven off, he's mortally wounded and most of the heroes are dead with no Dragon Balls to revive them.
    • He sacrifice his life to teleport Cell off of Earth after he tries to self-destruct and take the planet with him. Cell survives his own self-destruction, becoming stronger than ever thanks to his Saiyan genes, and he takes Goku's Instant Transmission and teleports back to Earth.
    • He loses it when he hears from Goku Black and Future Zamasu that Black murdered his family after taking his body using the Super Dragon Balls and killing him. Goku screams that he will make them pay before plummeting both of them. It's all in vain since Future Zamasu is an immortal who can't be killed and Goku Black only grows stronger from the beating. Once Goku Black powers up, he easily defeats Goku. Much later, when fighting Merged Zamasu, Vegeta and he destroys Merged Zamasu's energy bird and attacks him directly. He catches their fists with ease and breaks their arms literally.
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • For the interim between the Champa Saga and the next arc, Goku is afflicted with Latent Ki Disorder as a result of using Kaioken x10 with Super Saiyan Blue, severely bottlenecking his power.
    • A similar situation occurs in Dragon Ball GT; having been reverted to a child by the Black Star Dragon Balls, several of Goku's abilities are affected by his less developed form; he can't maintain Super Saiyan 3 for very long, and unless he goes Super Saiyan 4, he can't even use Instant Transmission properly. Nevertheless, he's still a powerful fighter and able to hold his own against the worst villains the universe has to offer, best shown in the Super 17 Saga, where he's able to effortlessly overpower both Frieza and Cell at once without even going Super Saiyan.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: One of his defining characteristic. His friends often comment on how he can be so powerful, yet also so gentle. This also sticks out since he is an unapologetic Blood Knight.
  • Brutal Honesty: Goku is subtle about nothing. If anyone asks his opinion on something, he'll bluntly tell them what he thinks. He tells Piccolo that he stands no chance against Perfect Cell after he trained in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for a year and he does it again when Piccolo asks if he stood a chance against Frost during the Universal Tournament. When cornered by Goku Black and Future Zamasu, Goku basically tells Future Trunks that they have no real chance of winning and the best they can hope for is to live long enough to come up with a plan. He's worse as a kid since he spoke his mind even when he wasn't asked, like repeatedly telling Bulma that she's weak and not a good person.
  • Bully Hunter: One of the types of people Goku dislikes the most are those who intentionally abuse their power. When Krillin is put down by his former temple classmates for being a weakling, Goku tells Krillin to go all out when he fights them, when before he tells Krillin to hold back to keep from hurting people. He also despise the Saiyans for being Space Pirates who commit genocide and wants nothing to do with his own race. Although Goku doesn't grow stronger necessarily to protect others, he does believe that being powerful gives you certain responsibilities, like not terrorizing those weaker than you.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • After Goku brings down Muscle Tower, the Red Ribbon Army knows precisely how powerful he is. It didn't stop them from sending troops and their generals to kill him. It all comes to a head after they hire Mercenary Tao to kill him. Tao killed one of Goku's friends. In turn, Goku went after all the Dragon Balls and takes out the Red Ribbon while he's at it.
    • Despite knowing that he is no longer a match against Goku, Frieza still attacks him. First with an energy disc that's inspired by the person he brutally murdered, which sent Goku into his Unstoppable Rage to begin with. Then, Frieza tries to shoot Goku in the back after he gives him some of his energy to escape the exploding Namek. Goku loses his temper and fries him. Even with all of that, Frieza is ready for another round after being rebuild into a cyborg. He ends up dying after bullying another dragon.
    • In Resurrection 'F', Frieza's men sees Frieza taking on the Super Saiyan again as this. Tagoma tells Frieza point-blank to leave Goku alone. He didn't live very long after speaking up. In the Super storyline based on the movie, Tagoma manages to survive, but is tortured to insanity by Frieza for four months.
  • Burning with Anger: When he's forced onto a platform floating below the Tournament of Power's arena, and Jiren bombards him with burning ki punches, Goku holds off the assault with his own punches and gradually switches to offense until one of his own land. After this, he lets out a massive roar and releases all of his ki at once - this forms a galaxy of ki as large as the arena itself, which releases steam due to its intense heat.
  • But Now I Must Go: He pulls this more than a few times. In his childhood, he leaves his friends several times to either train, to look for the Four-Star Dragon Ball, or go after someone. He also leaves behind the people he saves like Suno and Upa, some who never sees him again. At the end of the Cell Saga, Goku chooses to stay dead since most of the villains in Z came to Earth because of him. GT ends with Goku disappearing for one-hundred years.
  • Butt-Monkey: If Krillin, Yamcha, or Bulma aren't around, Goku defaults to this:
    • Because of his nearly indestructible nature, Goku suffers a lot of physical abuse. As a child he is shot at by his friends numerous times, hit by a car, got an axe to the head, his tail set on fire, nearly frozen to death, crushed by Android 8 landing on him, eaten alive, his tail smashed by a boulder, his clothes set on fire, crushed by a tree and left there for the entire night, and literally fell from the sky more than once.
    • There was an entire week worth of filler devoting to making Goku the butt monkey. All the fillers were based on his training with Kami and how bad he was at learning how to sense ki and predicting movements. To name a few he got beating by his master's master who he was many time stronger than, got struck by lightning several times, got beaten by a doll dummy of himself, and constantly owned by Mr. Popo. It is a good thing none of Goku's friends were around to witness any of this, and Vegeta can take heart knowing that he easily learned how to sense ki.
    • Because Goku is the only character not Demoted to Extra in GT he gets hit with the butt monkey status. Such misery he suffers is losing a tournament because a kid tickles him out of the ring because Vegeta distracted him, being trapped in Hell, while still alive, with Frieza and Cell before being subjected to the Terrible Torture Tour where he is boiled, tickled, steamed, and then frozen into a block of ice. He also gets no respect from his granddaughter who constantly yells at him for his immaturity. And let's not forget that the entire series is kickstarted with Goku being turned into a kid and no one in the galaxy takes him seriously because of it, much to his annoyance.

    C 
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to Raditz's Cain. Raditz comes to Earth to force Goku into becoming a Space Pirate and goes as far as to kidnap his own nephew to do it. When Goku still refuses to join, he tries to kill him. After Goku grabs his tail and is pose to have Piccolo kill him, he pleas for his life, using Goku's own good nature against him. As soon as Goku let go of his tail, he kicks him and brutally crushes his ribs.
  • Call to Agriculture: As seen in Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! and the first episode of Dragon Ball Super, Chi-Chi makes Goku take a job as a farmer so they can earn money for the household. While he doesn't enjoy it and he would rather train more, he still manages to be competent, although lazy at it.
  • Came Back Strong: As a racial trait of being a Saiyan, Goku can become stronger from coming back from near death. In the times he is killed, he goes up several noticeable levels. The first time, he went from being overpowered by Raditz to wiping the floor with Nappa and fighting almost equally with Vegeta. When he is semi-revived in the Buu Saga, he goes from being weaker than Cell to fighting toe-to-toe with Majin Buu.
  • Came from the Sky: Arrived on Earth in a space pod. Grandpa Gohan even names him after the sky since the Ku in his name can be read as sky.
  • Can't Catch Up: In the Buu Saga especially, he shows frustration on how his friends and family depend on him to save the day because they simply can't keep up with the ever growing power of new threats. Those who can like Gohan, Goten, and Trunks are too lazy to keep training, adding to his annoyance.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Despite the insistence of his comrades, Goku refuses to kill Piccolo at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament for several reasons; Kami and Piccolo can't live without each other, killing his opponent would disqualify him from the tournament, and he saw Piccolo as a Worthy Opponent who could keep him on his toes.
  • Cast from Calories: Part of the reason he's such a Big Eater. In early stories, Goku would often be weakened by hunger to the point of uselessness. As he grew, his stamina increased and this became less of a problem.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Has several in the Japanese version. He frequently stops what he's doing to announce "I'm hungry", especially in early arcs where he does it about Once an Episode. When someone does him a favor, he says "Thank you!" in Gratuitous English. He also has a Signature Laugh.
    • There is also how he introduces himself. In the English dub, it's along the lines; "Hi! I'm Goku. I'm a Saiyan from Earth" or he will just say "Hi!" in a high pitch voice. His English dub also has a Signature Laugh that is noticeably a higher pitch than his normal speaking voice.
    • Whenever he's truly pissed off at a villain, he tends to say some variation of "I won't let you get away with this!"
  • Category Traitor: Raditz outright declares him a traitor and disgrace to the Saiyan race for refusing to join the Saiyans' violent conquest of Earth. Nappa and Vegeta are also itching to kill Goku for this reason.
  • Cavalier Competitor: He is this unless it's clear his opponent's evil is greater than their desire for a good fight.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Goku was eventually revealed to be part of a race of alien warriors who conquer planets. The only reason he didn't wipe out humanity was because he suffered a head injury that made him friendly. It's later inverted in Dragon Ball Minus, which shows Goku's parents were actually quite loving and only sent him to Earth so that he would be safe from Freeza.
  • Challenge Seeker: Goku loves to be challenged when he fights someone, rather they are friend or foe. Unlike other Blood Knights in the series, he wants to battle people who have a reasonable chance of defeating him since winning isn't his primary goal, but self-improvement. This can be a Fatal Flaw, since his pride on self-reliant keeps him from asking for help, like him battling Piccolo during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, refusing to fused with Vegeta to kill Kid Buu, and fighting Frieza by himself when he returns stronger than ever. This last one leads to the Earth being destroyed. This comes up as major flaw again in the Universal Survival Saga where he reminds Zeno of the promised multiverse tournament, despite Beerus and Whis telling him he should forget about it since Zeno is dangerous. This leads to the Tournament of Power where the losing universe gets their universe destroyed.
  • The Champion: Goku serves as this the most frequently for his team. For the majority of the Sagas in Z, the pattern is Goku will be out of commission for some reason (dead, injured, ill), and the rest of the Z-fighters will have to hold off the Elite Mook to buy enough time for Goku to arrive/recover. Occasionally other Z-fighters will take up the role, like Vegeta, Future Trunks, or Piccolo, but Goku is the most consistent Team Champion and always the hero's trump card.
  • Character Development:
    • As a kid, Goku had no qualms about killing his enemies. As time progressed and he got older, he starts to mellow out more and becomes more merciful. There's also the fact that Goku, as a child, had no concept of the morality of taking lives when he was blowing up Red Ribbon Army vehicles. He'd lived most of his life alone in the woods. He barely understood death, thinking that when he accidentally killed his grandfather, his grandfather just became the 4-star Dragon Ball. There are some times he killed purposely though, such as killing a fleeing Tambourine and later his father King Piccolo to avenge Krillin, not that Tambourine or Piccolo didn't deserve it. Another part of his no kill policy comes in later when many of his worst enemies became his loyal friends, realizing that if they could change, anyone could. When he does finally use lethal force against villains like Frieza and Cell, it's because he realizes that they're beyond redemption and rotten to the core. And even if he's made up his mind that his opponent needs to be killed, Goku will show some degree of mercy to the villains, while displaying regret that they weren't good people, because he'd rather have them as rivals and sparring partners.
    • He also gets Older and Wiser as the series progresses, especially during Dragon Ball Z, though it's subtle. As mentioned above, he's still very much a Blood Knight but he mellows out considerably and tries to avoid taking a life if he can, and uses a lot more strategy in combat and training, to the point that he masters it to an art form and many of his allies consider him a genius when it comes to fighting. He also gains a better understanding of the world and people around him, while still being goofy and kind of naive.
    • At the beginning of Dragon Ball's return in Battle of the Gods, Goku absolutely hated that he had to rely on his friends and family to become stronger and was very vocal about it. By the end of Super, he's accepted that this was a stupid way to think and that it was only a miracle that Jiren was able to become as strong as he was all on his own. Goku knew the whole time that he never would have even made it past childhood if he had no one to compete against and push him to succeed along the way, and he's fine with that.
  • Chaste Hero: His friends are taken aback when they realized that Goku has successfully become a father. He didn't even know what marriage meant and thought it was something to eat just a few years agonote .
  • Cheated Angle: Goku's hair always maintains that same shape no matter which angle you view him from.
  • Cheerful Child: As a child, he is a relentlessly happy person despite most of the stuff that happens to him like the death of his grandfather at an early age and living alone in the mountains for a number of years.
  • Chewing the Scenery: He has his moments. For example, after he mortally wounds King Piccolo:
    Goku: I won. (laughs) I DID IIIIIIIT!!
  • Chick Magnet: Even as a young child, many girls found him sweet and lovable. Chi-Chi had a crush on him the moment she saw him and other girls like Suno also had feelings for him. In Dragon Ball Z, Princess Snake showed interest in him and even Bulma admitted that she would have liked him to be her boyfriend. In Super, Helles, the God of Destruction of Universe 2, called him beautiful.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: It's stated that the reason why Goku doesn't share the violent nature of Saiyans is that he received a blow to the head while he was a baby. Although, it is hinted in Dragon Ball Minus that Goku inherited his good heart from his mother who was not fit for fighting because of her softness. (The difference apparently being an innate desire to massacre, and being more rambunctious than usual.)
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Goku promised Chi-Chi to marry her when they were kids, thinking marriage was a kind of food. When they meet again at the Tenkaichi Budokai and he is finally explained what marriage is, Goku keeps his promise anyway and marries her.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Literally! But even if his loyalty to Earth began as a product of a random head injury, Goku will still fight tooth and nail to defend it, even if he has to go against his fellow Saiyans. He comes to terms with his roots (and to some extent, with his fellow Saiyan Vegeta), in the Namek saga, becoming the legendary Super Saiyan in the process.
  • Child Prodigy: Played With. When Goku was a kid he was often hailed as a prodigy for not only his natural strength and talent for fighting, but his ability to learn advanced techniques after only seeing them once and being able to adapt quickly while fighting. Then, it's Subverted when he learns that he's a Saiyan and that he's actually a low-class warrior by his race's standards. However, this trope is Played Straight again when Goku's quick adaptability and natural talent far surpasses any in his race, even the Saiyan prince Vegeta who really is a child prodigy, to the point that his low power level compared to other Saiyans at the start of the series could easily be chalked up to him being raised on Earth and not fighting strong opponents like the other Saiyans.
  • Child Soldiers: Although he wasn't sent to Earth to destroy it like originally believed, it isn't unusual for Frontier Babies to be sent out when they're no more than three. And despite his age, Raditz fully expected all life on Earth to be wiped out.
  • The Chosen One: Played With. Vegeta firmly believes that one needs to be the Chosen One to become a Super Saiyan, something that should be achieved by him since he is the Saiyan Prince. After being beaten to near death by Frieza, he concludes that Goku is the real Chosen One destined to ascend and defeat Frieza. In Bardock's final vision in the TV Special he foresees Goku challenging Frieza, and Goku is the first one to ascend to Super Saiyan in a thousand years and does defeat Frieza. Then Super Saiyan gets hit with Uniqueness Decay and any Saiyan can become one with the right amount of anger and power, and Goten and Trunks achieve Super Saiyan without even trying. Then the Chosen One idea is brought back in Battle of Gods where Goku becomes a Super Saiyan God and the soundtrack for the ascension is even called "The Chosen One", although any Saiyan can technically become a Super Saiyan God if their hearts are righteous and if they're six of them to perform the ritual. However, unique to Goku, he keeps the power of godhood even after the time limit runs out, something Beerus specifically notes, calling Goku a prodigy.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He cannot bring himself to pass by someone in need. This is best seen when he gives some of his energy to Frieza after the tyrant pleas for his life despite not really wanting to help him and almost immediately regrets it. This is a trait he passes down to his eldest son.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel:
    • After returning to life, Super Saiyan 3 becomes this. Because Goku has been dead for so long, he is no longer used to the limits of a living body, which isn't as durable and doesn't have the unlimited energy of his dead body. So when he is fighting Kid Buu, he rapidly loses energy and his endurance is terrible, which is an ill fit against the unlimited energy and regeneration of Buu. From the little seen of Super Saiyan 3 after the Buu Arc, Goku seems to have better control of this form, averting this trope.
    • Played With. As a Super Saiyan God, Goku can finally fight Beerus without going down in two hits. However, the transformation is extremely short-lived, burning out after only a few minutes. But, Goku absorbs the powers of godhood into his body and can still fight Beerus as a basic Super Saiyan. He still loses and Beerus was using only 70% of his power.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: As a child, although he meant well, Goku's overwhelming naivety and unusual priorities could be very off-putting to other characters and make his choices difficult to understand, like him being unable to tell a female from a male without patting them and his inability to do simple math. At times, he seemed to lack common sense. He does gets better as an adult, but he still has his moments because of his fight obsessed personality. Beerus thinks he's nuts for challenging him to a fight despite knowing that he's the God of Destruction, Hit dismisses him as a young and naive fighter because he tells him his game plan before they fight, and Zamasu finds Goku downright annoying because he keeps begging him to spar. Possibly the craziest thing he has ever done is put a hit on himself so Hit would come and assassinate him, all so he can fight Hit at his best. However, his foes and even his friends are often surprised to find out that Goku isn't as empty-headed as he seems.
  • Combat Compliment: Goku will always compliment his foes if they proved to be powerful. When fighting against Frieza during the first part of their battle, he tells Frieza how great he is, which Frieza surprisingly returns. After bowing out of the Cell Games, he spends several minutes telling Cell how awesome he is and how he never really stood a chance. He also praises Fat Buu for being so strong and tells Kid Buu that he fought well, even when he's about to kill him. When Beerus forced Goku's surrender in Battle of Gods, Goku tells Beerus that he's truly worthy of the title, strongest in the universe, and that he was no match for him even as a Super Saiyan God. In Resurrection 'F', Goku is impressed by Frieza's increased strength, saying how awesome Frieza was for catching up with him in such a short amount of time.
  • Comically Invincible Hero: Early on his absurd invulnerability is Played for Laughs most of the time. Not so much with Z, although does show up at times like the Ginyu Fight.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The Spirit Bomb / Genki-dama, which takes a little energy from all life on a planet and even from the sun. It later turns out that he can request a noticeably larger amount of energy - enough to exhaust the giver to a post-marathon degree - and this is what it takes to beat Kid Buu.
  • Combo Platter Powers: In part thanks to Power Copying. There's super strength and speed, flight, telepathy, telekinesis, energy blasts, force fields, teleportation, super senses, various transformations, creating flashes of light...
  • Confusion Fu: As a kid, he was less predictable in his fighting style. He would randomly leave himself open, confusing his opponents, and sometimes danced around for no reason. This is mostly because Goku wasn't fully trained and tended to get over excited when fighting. He did some time purposely mixed-up his fighting style, like his Crazy Monkey style (basically, fighting more like a monkey) and calling the wrong attack names, like saying paper and attacking with rock when using his Rock-Paper-Scissors technique.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: After Frieza is sliced into quarters by his own energy disc, Goku had every intention of leaving him to die with the planet he destroyed. Then Frieza starts pleading for his life. For several seconds, Goku is frozen in place, conflicted about what he should do, and yells at Frieza for asking for mercy when he never gave it to anyone. After several more seconds, Goku gives into his conscience and gives Frieza enough energy to leave the planet. Unlike most examples, Goku immediately regrets it, given that Frieza is an Ungrateful Bastard who mocks him for his mercy and then tries to shoot him in the back.
  • Contagious Heroism: After being forced into Enemy Mine situations with Goku; Yamcha, Tien, Piccolo, and Vegeta become more heroic and selfless characters, although it takes Vegeta a long time to reach this point. He's also able to spread this to Beerus of all people.
  • Convenient Coma: He is left comatose for days as he recovers from his heart virus. During the time he's unconscious, Androids 16, 17, and 18 are loose, are more powerful than all the heroes outside of Piccolo, and they are completely undetectable. Cell also comes into the picture and is slowly eating cities to become stronger and absorb the androids, and can run and hide from the other Earth's warriors since he can suppress his energy. Krillin lampshades if Goku was around he could have teleported the moment they felt Cell's energy and have Piccolo kill him. Goku also had knowledge of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber that would have made the heroes stronger instead of leaving everything to Piccolo for several days.
  • Costume Evolution: The original orange Gi uniform he receives from Master Roshi didn't have the blue short-sleeved undershirt or boots he later wears as an adult.
  • Create Your Own Villain: In Super. Future Trunks' timeline shows that Zamasu would have continued to serve Gowasu despite his grudge against mortals for many years. Goku's meeting with Zamasu and beating him in a sparring match triggered the Supreme Kai's Start of Darkness, eventually leading him to start planning mass genocide of all mortals, starting with using the Super Dragon Balls to steal Goku's body, thus becoming Goku Black. However, considering the fact that Future Zamasu almost immediately jumped at the chance to join Goku Black in his plans, something similar would have happened eventually.
  • Crotch-Grab Sex Check: When he was young, Goku had difficulty with the concept of males and females, so upon meeting someone, he'd check a person's groin, then triumphantly exclaim, "You're a boy/girl!". Luckily, he grows out of this by the time he's an adult.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: It is very easy to forget, given his laid back and childish demeanor, that he is one of the strongest beings in the universe and is currently the strongest mortal fighter in Universe 7. When he was a child, and to a lesser extent as an adult, fighting was more of a game than anything serious. He even referred to fighting as playing. However, when things go to hell, and his friends and family are on the line, he becomes one of the most dangerous and competent people in the series, even outside of fighting. This shows in his English VA, as the tone of his voice changes to show that he's dead serious, and his friends and foes note when his demeanor is different. Woe to the foe who pushes him to his Rage Breaking Point. This is Deconstructed later by Whis: Goku is too laid back for his own good.
    Whis: Relaxing too much is also a problem, as is your overconfidence with yourself. No matter how powerful you are, when you are empty on KI your body is still an incredibly fragile thing. You are too often complacent, caught unprepared and off-guard.
  • Cruel Mercy:
    • He gives this as the reason why Vegeta shouldn't kill Ginyu after tricking him into body-jumping into a frog, pointing out that being trapped as a frog is punishment enough. Vegeta agrees.
    • He planned to do this to Frieza during their fight on Namek, beating the tyrant senseless and driving him to a Villainous Breakdown before deciding that, with Frieza's ego in shambles over having been defeated by a Saiyan of all beings, he's Not Worth Killing, outright telling him as such and ordering Frieza to "go crawl off someplace and hide" and continue to live with the shame of his defeat. Later, after Frieza lost his arm and entire lower body, he tries it again before flying away. It backfires both times: the entire reason Frieza lost his limbs in the first place is because he got hit with his own energy disc, and when Goku gives him some energy to at least survive, Frieza turns around and tries to kill him with it; by this point, Goku is done giving Frieza chances and blows him away, outright calling him a fool for not just walking away when he had the chance. Also, unlike in Resurrection 'F', where Goku spares Frieza because he sees him as a Worthy Opponent and wants to give him the chance to master his new Golden Super Mode so they can fight again, in Super, Goku only spares Frieza because, as far as he's concerned, Frieza is so pathetic that he's not worth the effort to kill. That time cost him a blast to the heart that nearly killed him and the destruction of Earth by Frieza being a Sore Loser. Only Whis rewinding time fixed things, and Goku wastes no time finally finishing Frieza off once he does.
  • Crutch Character: And he's fully aware that he is one and even Toriyama seems to regard him as such to the point of finding more contrive ways to keep him from ending the saga sooner. He knows that, eventually, he will die permanently, and if the other characters haven't become strong enough to cope in his absence, there will be a huge problem. To that end, he starts trying to train others up to his level, which is why he didn't kill Majin Buu when he had the chance, choosing to teach Goten and Trunks the Fusion Dance, because he didn't want the new generation to think that they can rely on him to save the day, especially since he's dead in the Buu Saga until Old Kai revives him. However, the new villains inevitably are so overbearingly powerful that only Goku has the strength to beat them in the end. Doesn't help that his successors tend to be lazy about keeping up with their training, although he sees promise in Pan and Uub. There's even an alternate timeline, which Future Trunks comes from, that provides quite a frightening insight to what would happen if his friends depended on him too much. Androids 17 and 18 kill every protagonist with great ease and bring humanity to the verge of extinction. Pretty grim, isn’t it?note 
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion: When he first goes Super Saiyan against Frieza; though Frieza manages to land several good blows and puts up a decent fight, he burns through his stamina too quickly to be a serious threat to Goku for long.
  • Cute Bruiser: Was very much this when he was a kid. He looked like an eight years old and able to destroy armies with nothing but a magic stick.
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