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  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You:
    • When Gohan was four, he sacrificed himself to save his son's life from his evil brother and doesn't get revived until almost a year later. Later in the Cell Saga, he sacrifices himself again to save the world from Cell's self-destruct button and chooses not to be revived so that enemies would stop being attracted to Earth because of his mere presence. He does end up being able to stay for good after the Buu Saga.
    • Goku himself is a victim of this. Shown in the manga, Dragon Ball Minus, which reveals Goku's mother, and the destruction of Planet Vegeta as told by Toriyama, Goku's parents, Bardock and Gine, sent him away to Earth to keep him safe from the impending destruction of Planet Vegeta.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • Goku first learned the Kaio-Ken from King Kai, a technique that amplifies all of the user's abilities far beyond their natural limits. It can be stacked, applied multiple times to further multiply its effects up to 20 times. The downside is that it places severe strain on the body, risking severe injury or even death. Attempting to use it while a Super Saiyan only makes it worse, which is why Goku never performed a Super Kaioken while he was alive.
    • Goku learns the Evil Containment Wave, the technique used to seal away King Piccolo. It is a very powerful technique that can defeat enemies many times stronger than the user. The setback, it's an extremely draining technique that has a high chance of killing the user. In the manga, the only person who has ever survived using it was Kami.
    • Goku has learned how to entrap the aura of Super Saiyan Blue within himself. However, using this ability puts him in danger of tearing his body apart as he hasn’t mastered it.
    • Ultra Instinct turns out to be this as of episode 130. It’s powerful but also puts a massive strain on Goku’s body, and leaves him all but helpless when it's finished. The effects only last a short amount of time, and are devastatingly taxing on his body.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: In Future Trunks's timeline, Goku died from a heart virus that he contracted on Planet Yardrat following the battle with Frieza; since he died from natural causes, the Dragon Balls couldn't bring him back. Goku contracts the virus in the regular timeline as well, but is saved from his future counterpart's fate by the cure that was provided to him by Future Trunks, which was developed by Future Bulma after Future Goku's death.
  • Deadly Dodging: He loves pulling these. He causes Piccolo of all people to get hit by his own energy seeker attack after he ran right up to Piccolo's face to distract him and then dodged at the last second, shattering Piccolo's arm. He tries this again against Frieza who is controlling energy discs that can cut through anything. Frieza is smart enough not to get hit by his own attack….until he forgets about them after Goku literally slaps him around and slams him into the ground.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally, specifically in the English dub. It's usually to show that he's not as dumb as people think. He particularly loves to snark at Vegeta when he's being particularly annoying.
    [When Whis asks him why he wants to get stronger]
    Whis: Do you want to become a destroyer God?
    Goku: Of course not! Why would I want to just sit around all day?
    Beerus: [shocked, then mildly annoyed] Okay, that was uncalled for.
    • Or when Hit is hiding in a thick forest while Goku is looking for him.
      Goku: Until I met you, I didn't know assassins were so shy!
  • Death by Irony: At the beginning of Z, he was killed by the son of the last villain he killed in Dragon Ball, Demon King Piccolo, in a similar way—an attack to the stomach that hit so hard it came out the other side. It was the only chance they had to kill Raditz, but still.
  • Death Glare: If Goku is shooting one of these at anyone, someone is about to get their butts kicked. Especially notable when he is in his Super Saiyan states, with special noteworthy mention to SSJ; Toriyama has said on record that the fight with Frieza was pretty much over the moment SSJ Goku shot him that look. But the crowner has to be a pissed-off Mastered Ultra Instinct Goku punching Jiren in the face for trying to attack his friends. For that brief moment, Goku looks murderous.
  • Death of Personality: He was allegedly just as savage as the average Saiyan until he fell on his head.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: He has nothing but fond, happy memories of his grandpa Gohan. In his childhood, he often quotes his grandfather's lessons or copies his techniques. He even names his firstborn child after his grandfather.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • As Goku grows older and gains strength, he gradually deconstructs the Kindhearted Simpleton attributes that made him so charming in his youth. While he's certainly the most qualified to defeat any given villain from a martial arts perspective, he can have a rather flippant attitude towards his friends and family and frequently annoys, angers or upsets them as he makes decisions and actions that benefit only himself and his goals, such as intentionally letting Dr. Gero develop the Androids so that he can get a good fight, resulting in thousands of innocent lives being lost. This detachment bites him hard by the Cell Games because he doesn't understand the way Gohan's inner power actually works: it takes Piccolo, who knows his son on a far more personal level, to explain how wrong he is, and Goku is eventually forced to sacrifice his own life to save the day.
    • Goku is one for The Ace and the Hope Bringer. Because he is so powerful, his friends and family tend to depend on him too much. As a result, he tries to have the next generation step up and do so, but must come back to life himself when they fail.
    • The end of the Kid Buu fight deconstructs Humble Hero. Because Goku always saves the world from the shadows, no one, outside of a few, knows of his deeds. It takes Mr. Satan, not Goku, to get the people of Earth to cooperate.
    • The Future Trunks Saga of Dragon Ball Super deconstructs the idea of Goku being Inexplicably Awesome and a Deity of Human Origin. After meeting and fighting Goku, it sparks Zamasu's Start of Darkness. He begins to see Goku as a Satanic Archetype since he gained power that surpasses the gods.
    • During the Universe Survival Saga, Goku ends up deconstructing his nature as a Challenge Seeker and Blood Knight. His eagerness for a good fight so utterly blinds him to the consequences of Zeno's tournament and by the end of it Most of the Gods still hate him for his uncaring nature and relationship with Zeno.
  • Decoy Protagonist:
    • Inverted with the Namek Saga - instead of being removed as the main character after the first act, he only becomes the main character in the last act. He spends two fifths of the story arc either recuperating from his injuries in the Saiyan arc or travelling to Namek, and once he arrives and defeats the Ginyu Force, he's critically injured and spends about half of the battle with Frieza in a healing tank. By the time he's fully healed and ready to fight, the final battle against Frieza has been ongoing for quite some time. Frieza doesn't even know who he is until 80% into the story.
    • In the Android/Cell Sagas, he's set up as the centre of everything (since the Androids were developed to kill him, and Cell eagerly anticipates their battle), but starts succumbing to the heart virus during his opening fight with #19, never meets #18 or #17, and only serves as a warm-up to the true final battle between Cell and Gohan. While he's still an important figure, him being bedridden with illness and eventually his death causes him to end up serving as a supporting character as Gohan takes the center stage.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable:
    • He is the one who killed King Piccolo, the Demon King who kills a third of the cast and Shenron in the original Dragon Ball. In Z, he defeats Frieza and kills Majin Buu, both who were considered the strongest beings in the universe and were feared by the gods. This gets reversed on him with Dr. Gero, who created a series of powerful androids, including Cell, for the sole purpose of killing him. Cell eventually succeeded both being more powerful than Goku at the time and killing him after Goku sacrificed himself to keep Cell from blowing up the Earth. This is Inverted on him again with Beerus, the God of Destruction, with the latter defeating him.
    • Zigzagged with Hit, who is the undefeated assassin from Universe 6. Although Goku gives a brilliant fight, he forfeits the match after Hit wasn't allowed to use his killing techniques because of the no-kill rule and Beerus' refusal to change the rules. Hit then goes on to lose to Monaka, because he throws the match as a favor to Goku. In their rematch, Hit successfully kills Goku, but he revives himself by using an energy blast he fired just before dying to restart his heart. After a tough battle, Goku battles him to a stalemate.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Most of Goku's friends started out as anti-heroes or villains who wanted to kill him. After Goku meets them in battle and defeats them, they eventually become his friends. This is Inverted with Beerus, who befriends Goku after he beats him, twice.
  • Defeat Means Respect: Often go hand-and-hand with Defeat Means Friendship. The most notable example is Piccolo after he was reborn. He went from seeing Goku as another bug to be stomped on, to a major threat that needed to be destroyed so he could take over the world. In a reversal, after Beerus beat Goku for the second time, Goku is much more respectful, even calling him Lord instead of just saying his first name.
  • Defence Mechanism Superpower: In the Grand Finale of Super, Goku muses this is how Ultra Instinct - Mastered seems to works. When Vegeta calls Goku out on not using it in their sparring match, Goku notes how he can't seem to activate it at will; it's only when he's in a life or death situation, such as his universe being erased if he didn't win the tournament of power, does he seem to be able to activate it.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • Faced with certain death at the hands of Oozaru Vegeta, Goku uses his last bit of strength to blast the invader in the eye. He cockily smirks and says "just something to remember me by". Vegeta stomps him in a rage.
    • In the Super manga, while staring down an army of Zamasus, an exhausted and injured Goku simply smirks alongside Vegeta and vows to go down fighting.
  • Defusing the Tyke-Bomb: Goku used to be a wild, uncontrollable toddler sent to Earth to wipe the entire population. It is only through a head injury and Grandpa Gohan's kindness that he became the docile person that he is. Minus then revealed that Goku was actually sent to Earth to protect him from Frieza, not to attack it. However, Goku was still very violent since he attacked Gohan, his adoptive grandfather, upon meeting him and probably would've killed him if he wasn't a powerful martial artist.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: According to Jaco, the entire Saiyan race is this trope. Saiyans have long childhoods to stay cute and young to throw off their enemies, thinking they're harmless, before quickly growing into their adult size. Which was why Goku looked so young when he was a child.
  • Demoted to Extra: In three of the Non Serial Movies, Bojack Unbound, Broly: Second Coming, and Bio-Broly, all of which take place while he's dead after the Cell Saga. While he shows up during the climax of the former two movies to help defeat the villains, he only has a brief cameo at the very end of Bio-Broly and has no role in the film's overall plot.
  • Depending on the Artist: As of the The New '10s, Goku is ofter drawn with highlights in his hair. However, some artists chose not to draw them, giving Goku his traditional solid black hair.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In Resurrection 'F, Goku is overcome with despair after Frieza destroys the Earth, killing everyone except those who were close to Whis. He can only hang his head in shame, lamenting that it's all his fault because he showed Frieza mercy, again.
  • Determinator: Going up against impossible odds is all part of the fun for this guy. He will keep fighting even with broken bones, torn muscles, and holes in his body.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Or rather, Saiyan origin. While Goku still denies being a god in the traditional sense, he spends his time after Dragonball Z Battle Of Gods training under Whis to better control the Super Saiyan God's power and eventually masters it. He is now considered a "Saiyan Beyond God". Although, Goku Black claims that Super Saiyan Blue only cloaks a Saiyan in god ki, not that they actually become gods.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Goku is so often the victim of these that it is a common occurrence for him to be late or dead when a new threat comes, forcing everyone else to try to survive without him. Krillin lampshades this tendency of Goku more than once and Master Roshi is initially optimistic about the androids since Goku is there from the start, before he becomes sick and is bedridden for several days. There's even an entire timeline where Goku gets written out permanently.
  • Did Not See That Coming:
    • For Goku, he's caught completely flat-footed when Vegeta turns into a Great Ape. He also miscalculated the distance he needed to safely form and throw the Spirit Bomb.
    • He had no idea that Ginyu could steal bodies. To be fair, neither did anyone else outside of Frieza and the other Ginyu members.
    • Goku's entire plan to defeat Cell hinged on exploiting Gohan's Psychoactive Powers. Once Gohan is pushed to his Rage-Breaking Point and ascends to Super Saiyan 2, however, he chooses to prolong his beatdown of Cell rather than simply finish him off.
    • Goku's plan to have Gotenks fight Buu and save the world would have worked almost perfectly, if Buu didn't suddenly split in two and become the more powerful and ruthless Super Buu.
    • Like everyone else, he didn't think Kid Buu would be so crazy that he would destroy the Earth instead of fighting them first.
    • In Resurrection 'F' he is caught off-guard by Sorbet who shoots him in the heart after he has Frieza at his mercy. He is also shocked, although he really shouldn't be, that Frieza destroyed the Earth instead of being killed by Vegeta.
    • Goku has his fight against Frost in the bag until he suddenly gets sleepy and gets kicked out of the ring. Everyone is shocked.
    • Goku gets a nasty surprise when he finds out that Hit manages to improve his time stopping ability in the middle of their fight.
    • One of the primary reasons why Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks lost their rematch with Goku Black. They were only expecting him to be as strong as Super Saiyan 3 Goku, not to power up to the point where he could challenge a Super Saiyan Blue, and this is before he transforms into Super Saiyan Rose. Things went further downhill once Future Zamasu arrived, which shocked everyone since they thought Goku Black and Zamasu were the same person, and he was able to challenge Goku at full power. To add to their trouble, Future Zamasu is an immortal.
    • Goku was caught flatfooted when all his attacks phase through Hit like a ghost. He also didn't expect Hit's punch to land since he was a good distance from him. This cost him his life, although temporarily, since the punch created a shockwave that stopped his heart.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Dips into this a bit with his plan to pit Gohan against Cell. While Gohan is indeed the strongest of them all, Goku failed to consider the facts that Gohan is only half-Saiyan, doesn't share his father's Blood Knight attitude, and, above all else, is Just a Kid. It's only when Piccolo points this out to him in a What the Hell, Hero? speech, and when he sees firsthand the danger he's put Gohan in, that Goku realizes how badly he may have screwed up.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?:
    • After being told by Bergamo that all the gods from the other universes will be after him and Universe 7, Goku turns towards the other gods and tells them to bring their best fighters and he will beat them all up. Needless to say, the gods weren't happy with the blatant disrespect.
    • A subtle one, but when Beerus tries to blame everything on Goku, including U7's low mortal ranking, Goku calls him out for his random destruction, basically pointing out that Beerus isn't standing on the moral high ground. This really ticked Beerus off and Goku still gets in Beerus' face despite knowing that the God of Destruction could have vaporized him on a whim.
  • Did You Just Have Tea With Cthulhu: Goku is surprisingly close with most of the Powers That Be of his universe.
    • He befriends Kami, the Guardian of the Earth, along with his other half Piccolo, early on.
    • After dying to Raditz and traversing the Snake Way, he gets trained by King Kai/North Kai, and builds a close mentor/student relationship with him.
    • Goku meets the Supreme Kai during the Buu Saga, and becomes the second mortal to set foot on the Supreme World of the Kais (Gohan being the first). Later on, in Super, Universe 6's Kai Fuwa is surprised by how close and informal Goku's being.
    • When Beerus and Whis come to Earth, Goku manages to battle-befriend Beerus, to the point of Wowing Cthulhu. Beerus then becomes a regular cast member, watching over Whis training Goku and stopping by Earth for the cuisine.
    • It's deconstructed with Zamasu in Super, as Goku's casual attitude towards Zamasu (and beating him in a friendly spar) help push the guy off the deep end.
    • Goku outdoes himself when he manages to befriend Zeno, the Top God of the multiverse. Of course, he's also the only one to approach Zeno as a friend instead of obsequious respect and formality, which Zeno is clearly tired of.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: On a regular basis. And it's really casual sometimes, too.
    • When he was still a child, he kills the Demon King Piccolo and then defeats his more powerful son three years later. As an adult, he fought the prince of his own race and beat a galactic tyrant who was supposed to be the strongest being in the universe. He is also the one who gives the killing blow against Majin Buu. Years later, he beats and kills a newly revived and stronger than ever Golden Frieza.
    • This gets reversed on him given all the time, resources, and dedication Dr. Gero put into making the androids, especially Cell. They were all made specifically to kill him with Cell succeeding.
    • This gets reversed again since Beerus defeats him even after he ascends to a Super Saiyan God.
    • In Super, Goku is the first one to do any real damage to Merged Zamasu by using a super powered Kamehameha that melts half of his face. From there, Goku goes on the attack, with both of his arms disabled since he used so much power on the Kamehameha, and viciously beats him, before Merged Zamasu grabs his leg and breaks it. How does Goku respond? He fires up his Super Saiyan Blue/Kaioken combo and kicks Merged Zamasu with his good leg, breaking his halo.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Goku of all people pulls this on Beerus, who was contemplating on Hakaing Goku to keep him from seeing Zeno, manages to get away by pretending he threw the Zeno button into the air like a coin flip. While Beerus and Whis are distracted, he pushes the button and is teleported to Zeno's palace. Even Whis is impressed by the trick.
  • Disappeared Dad: To Goten, subverted as he shows up with little angst on his sudden appearance.
  • Divine Intervention: Since Goku has mastered Super Saiyan God, him coming to save his friends from danger can be considered this. In Resurrection 'F', Frieza lampshades this by noting that the Z-Fighters raising their energy is a distress signal to their savior.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": He (initially) didn't like anyone calling him by his birth name, Kakarot, since he feels intense shame for belonging to a race of genocidal pirates, and vehemently refuses to identify himself as a Saiyan until he comes to feel pride for his heritage as a warrior. He also doesn't mind Vegeta calling him by his Saiyan name, but that's probably because it would be futile to get him to stop.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Broly marks the first time ever in the franchise Goku introduces himself as also Kakarot, Goku introduces himself to Broly once they start to form a friendship at the very end of the movie, this is such a big deal that there's even a theme tune to put emphasis on Goku fully accepting his Saiyan name, as such name now carries the good legacy of his good Saiyan parents Bardock and Gine, not of a bloodthirsty race anymore.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: At times. One notable example is when he unintentionally sends Chi-Chi flying through the wall of their house, a tree, and into a boulder by just giving her a friendly pat on the back. In Super, he sends Krillin flying across the countryside and breaks his leg just by giving him a light punch to the face.
  • Doesn't Know Their Own Child: Goku doesn't realize until it is too late that his son Gohan is a reluctant fighter who doesn't enjoy fighting like he does. Since then, Goku never expects him to be a fighter anymore, especially when he grows up to be a scholar like Chi-Chi intended him to be.
  • Doing In the Wizard: When Z comes around, Goku's previously inexplicable talents (and his tail) were revealed as the product of his alien biology. His tendency to transform into a giant monster under the full moon was given a delightfully preposterous "explanation" in terms of electromagnetic waves and hormones.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: He repeatedly warns the Ginyu Force that they don't stand a chance against him and should just scram. They end up being trounced by him (and finished off by Vegeta) and Ginyu is forced to live in a frog's body for the rest of his life (or at least until Super where he steals Tagoma's body and is immediately killed by Vegeta). He tries something similar when he first goes Super Saiyan in his fight with Frieza, though Cruel Mercy was also a factor.
  • Don't Think, Feel: During the Universe Survival Saga, Goku achieves a state called "Ultra Instinct" where the user acts entirely on instinct and reflexes with no conscious thought whatsoever, something that's said to be extremely difficult for even Gods to achieve. However, at first, he can only use an incomplete version that has a major logical flaw: while his defense is nigh-on impregnable, his attacks are far weaker because that actually does require conscious thought (where to hit, how hard, etc). In the final minutes of the tournament, Goku achieves full mastery of Ultra Instinct, which has powerful enough offense that it's the first thing to do real damage to Jiren.
  • Doom Magnet: After his death during the Cell Games, he chooses to simply remain dead for the safety of the Earth since so many of the villains they have fought so far were mostly after him in the first place. Which is ironic since we learn much later that Frieza's remaining empire stood away from Earth because they were terrified of him.
  • Doting Grandparent: Goku's a doting grandfather to his granddaughter Pan when she's in his care, and he is seen indulging in her whims. He teaches her how to say 'gramps' and plays airplane with her when she's a baby. In Super, during the Post-Moro battle victory party, Goku is paying more attention to Videl and her father feeding baby Pan than his own food. Eventually, he goes on to personally train her in martial arts, becoming his second student.
  • Doting Parent: He tries his best. When he's actually around/alive, that is. While criticism to his absentee father tendencies are valid, Goku is an encouraging dad who truly loves his kids, and clearly enjoys spending time with them. Piccolo even at one point felt that Goku spoiled Gohan too much, given how pampered Gohan was when they first met.
  • The Dreaded:
    • He was very much this to the Red Ribbon Army. The pure terror he gave them inspired Dr. Gero to create a series of killer androids and the bio-weapon Cell just to kill him.
    • As shown in a filler episode of the Cell Saga, Mercenary Tao is terrified of Goku to the extent that he beats it the minute he discovers Gohan is his son.
    • From Resurrection 'F' onwards, he becomes this to Frieza's entire empire to the point that one of Frieza's men outright tells him to leave the Super Saiyan alone and go back to running his empire. They were also so scared to go to Earth that they searched for years for New Namek to use their Dragon Balls instead of going to Earth and risking being noticed by Goku. And, although Frieza tries to hide it, he is also terrified of Goku. He says that Goku's mere existence keeps him up at night and even with his new found power after training, he still comes up with a backup plan just in case Goku turns out to be more powerful than him.
    • On a somewhat lighter note, Goku is the dreaded to Pilaf's gang, more specifically his Great Ape form. Even decades later, they're still terrified of him or anyone that looks like him.
  • The Drifter: He becomes this after he's told to Walk the Earth by Master Roshi. In the filler in-between the end of the Red Ribbon Army Saga and the next tournament, Goku is shown going to town to town, helping people along the way and then leaving as soon as his task is completed. He was also like this during the previous saga when he was looking for his grandfather's Dragon Ball.
  • Drunk with Power: After attaining godly ki and battling several powerful enemies in Super, he ends up encouraging the Zenos into carrying out the Tournament of Power, hoping to fight even stronger opponents. He does not realize the consequences of piquing their interest until it is too late.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In the dubs, it's stated that the Instant Transmission moves Goku at the Speed of Light. That same dub has Piccolo remarking that Raditz moved FTL. So going by the dub: Raditz > Instant Tranmission. This later seems to be clarified that the Instant Transmission is actually instantaneous, since Whis (who clearly moves faster than light) gets to a location later than Goku does through Instant Transmission. While it's a bit implied that statement about Raditz was figurative, it's still quite an oddity.
  • Dub Personality Change: The earlier English dubs of Z tends to increase Goku's more noble aspects while downplaying his more selfish side present in the Japanese version, such as valuing fighting a stronger opponent over the safety and wellbeing of others. Furthermore, Akira Toriyama himself has stated that even the Japanese version of the anime severely downplayed Goku's selfish aspects, which may or may not be why those aspects are notably more emphasized in Super (made a few years after Toriyama's comments on Goku's characterization).note  This can be off-putting to fans who grew up with the English dub and has led some (who are unaware of Toriyama's comments) to accuse Super of making Goku an Adaptational Jerkass and Adaptational Dumbass.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Goku is seen as the Hope Bringer among his family and friends. Outside that circle, however, no one knows or cares about him. This is mostly because Goku purposely keeps himself under the radar, preferring to live a peaceful and calm life when fighting is not involved. However, Goku has helped a number of people and he was actually known as the person who beat King Piccolo and his son, saving the world. He is also a winner of the World Martial Arts Tournament and runner-up two years in a row with matches that are consider legendary. Also, thanks to Babidi's magic, the entire world saw him fight Buu at Super Saiyan 3 and cheered him on. Yet, when Goku asked for help to form the Spirit Bomb to kill Buu, only a few people cared. Only the people who knew Goku throughout his life or met him personally offered anything. Super averts this, however, with Mr. Satan giving him the reward money he got as the world savior as his way of thanking him as well as keeping him quiet about things. The finale of the questionably-canon GT finally does away with this and has the world acknowledge Goku as a hero, with there being a statue of him still standing at the site of the World Tournament 100 years after he was last seen.
  • Due to the Dead: When Vegeta dies on Namek begging him to defeat Frieza was and avenge their race, Goku takes the time to give him a proper burial before facing off with Frieza.
  • Dull Surprise: As an adult, this tends to be his default reaction to many surprising or horrifying events. While everyone fall into despair and shock when they realized how powerful Frieza is, Goku seemed more annoyed. With Future Trunks, he's more surprised that Vegeta has a son and his mother is Bulma than he is that Trunks is from the future and everyone dies to the androids. He doesn't even blink when he hears that Trunks is a Super Saiyan, only congratulating him for reaching it in such a young age. Upon emerging from the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he takes the news that Cell is still alive and now perfect in stride. When Cell regenerates from having his entire upper body blown off by his Warp Kamehameha, his basic reaction was, 'figures'. Even Super Buu absorbing Gohan and becoming stronger than ever only provokes annoyance from him. Not even Frieza coming back stronger than ever and with a new form really surprises him outside of the initial shock. In Super, when Black transforms into Super Saiyan Rose, Future Trunks has a suitable horrified expression, while Goku and Vegeta look almost bored. Similarly, when Trunks learns that Future Zamasu is an immortal, he's shocked and horrified. When Goku finds out about Zamasu's immortality, he's annoyed and calls foul. It's not until something really bad or unexpected happens that Goku shows more reaction to something.
  • Dumb Muscle: As an adult and particularly in Super, given that he's a typical shonen Idiot Hero regardless of his age. While Goku is a fantastic fighter and can be pretty strategic and cunning in battle, that's where his expertise ends; he has a childish mindset, is very naive, and often has trouble with basic social situations and arithmetic. The Japanese version emphasizes this by making him sound like a child and giving him a Simpleton Voice accent on top of that, essentially painting him as an immature country bumpkin kid in an adult's body; the English dub gives him an adult's voice and more articulate diction, making him come across as more of a typical dumb (if still childish) musclehead.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Implied to have had one offscreen. According to Dragon Ball Online, Goku and Vegeta, intent on settling their rivalry and knowing they would die soon of natural causes, left Earth for one final battle. Years later, a supernova was detected that is assumed to be from Goku and Vegeta's final battle. Goku's final battle was so awesome it was equivalent to an exploding star.

    E-F 

  • Easily Impressed: Goku as a child lived most of his life alone in the mountains for a untold number of years and by the time Bulma found him, he knows nothing of the outside world. A house coming out of a capsule shocks him (it's a common thing in this world) and he is bewildered by the lights and the television. Heck, even as an adult, it isn't that hard to capture his imagination.
  • Eating Optional: Even when dead and thus not subject to the limitations of a living body, Goku loves to eat. Both King Kai and Krillin have lampshaded it.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Gaining the Super Saiyan God transformation in Battle of Gods. And before that, becoming a Super Saiyan during the battle against Freeza. Vegeta and Krillin were dead, Piccolo was critically injured, and the Spirit Bomb that was supposed to have killed Freeza had failed. If Goku hadn't turned Super, the fight would've been over.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: When we are first introduced to Goku, he had super human strength, speed, and durability. Some of this is because he's a Saiyan who are naturally stronger than humans, but most of it came from his years of training and living in the wilderness. Then he learns the Kamehameha and other ki base techniques during his travels.
  • Enfant Terrible: True to his Saiyan heritage, he was this as a baby until a cranial injury changed things.
  • Enhanced Punch: Dragon Punch/Dragon Fist, one of Goku's moves that doesn't see much use in the main series but happens in the Non-Serial Movies and GT from time to time, is a full out lethal punch that, at Super Saiyan 3 or higher, makes a mini golden Shenron (presumably out of ki) that explodes. The Dragon Fist is also based on the technique that Goku uses to kill King Piccolo. The punch has no official name, but it has been called the Monkey Fist and the manga chapter it is use is titled the Fist of Son Goku. This particular punch takes the shape of a Great Ape and is embedded with all of Goku's remaining energy since it's his last gambit to beat King Piccolo.
  • Every Year They Fizzle Out: In spite of genuinely being one of the strongest competitors in every Budokai he entered, he has only won it once (the 23th). All other times, he has lost due to either being just slightly weaker than the winner or circumstance.
  • Even the Loving Hero Has Hated Ones: Goku is the kind of guy who can forgive and befriend even cruel former villains like Piccolo and Vegeta who came close to destroying the Earth. But when the genocidal Frieza's constant cruelty culminates in him killing Krillin in a gruesome manner and threatening to do the same to Gohan, Goku's subsequent fight as a Super Saiyan sees him not just beat up but physically and verbally humiliate his foe; even 18 years later, after Goku has faced numerous and stronger enemies compared to him, he proclaims that he still utterly despises Frieza the most. He also later develops a murderous hatred for Goku Black and Future Zamasu after Goku Black sadistically reveals how he stole his body before murdering him, Chi-Chi and Goten, causing Goku to become completely enraged and become hellbent on killing them.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Goku is a major Big Eater who'll happily stuff his face with anything on hand, but during the King Piccolo Saga, even he is disgusted when Yajirobe cooks and eats the corpse of Cymbal, a fully sentient being, after defeating him, and makes it clear he wouldn't eat any of his meat even if Yajirobe did share it. In a filler scene in the original Dragon Ball anime, he's also furious when Annin tries to offer him food while the Ox King's castle is burning.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy:
    • He gives Babidi and Buu a showcase of all his Super Saiyan forms before showing Super Saiyan 3 to everyone. In this situation, Goku is buying time and is purposely being long-winded.
    • When Goku reveals Super Saiyan Blue to Frieza, he takes the time to explain the form to him and how it's different from a normal Super Saiyan.
    • Once Goku activates his Kaioken while using Super Saiyan Blue, he spends several minutes explaining to Hit how the Kaioken works and how he can use it with Super Saiyan Blue when it was impossible before with the normal Super Saiyan forms. In this case, Goku sees his fight with Hit as a friendly match and since the Kaioken is a power up technique, there is no real danger in telling Hit what was happening.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: In Battle of Gods, he's genuinely surprised to discover that Beerus, the infamous God of Destruction, is "a big, hairless house cat."
  • Expy:
    • Of Sun Wukong, The Monkey King from Journey to the West, mixed with Superman. It's even down to having the former's EXACT SAME name in a Japanese reading, though in the original Wukong/Goku's case, Dragon Ball-Wukong/Goku has started to pay less homages to him day by day ever since his fame in the US.
    • In his early days, he was basically a Spear Counterpart to Arale, the main character of Toriyama's previous work.
  • Face of a Thug: When he becomes Super Saiyan, he is given a very intense facial expression, while coming off as villainous. Akira Toriyama wondered if it was okay to design his face like that once he does transform:
    Akira Toriyama: I was feeling that there were limits on mere strength, so I was generally always struggling to come up with something. I actually hadn’t planned Goku's Super Saiyan transformation at all. Then, when I came up with the idea of the Super Saiyan, in order to show that Goku had gained a massive power-up all at once, I thought "there’s no choice but to change his form, too". But in terms of design, the facial expressions and such would become like the design for a villain. I felt, "I wonder if it’s really OK for him to be like this." Granted, since his transformation is accompanied by rage, I also thought, "I suppose that part’s fine."
  • Famed In-Story: He became a famous celebrity after he defeated King Piccolo, to the extent that during the Saiyan Saga, Yajirobe claimed to be Goku's personal trainer in order to obtain free food. Of course, thanks to Mr. Satan, his fame is largely forgotten after the Cell Saga. However, in the Distant Finale of GT, there's a statue of him at the World Tournament stadium.
  • Family Theme Naming: Son Goku's name came from his adoptive father, the first Son Gohan, and then his sons—Gohan and Goten. Further, the kanji for "ku" in Goku's name (空) means "sky" and the "ten" in Goten's name (天) means "heaven."
  • The Farmer and the Viper:
    • When Raditz pleads for mercy after Goku grabs his tail and gets it, Raditz proceeds to elbow him in the gut, pin him down, and break his ribs while rubbing in Goku's face how stupid he was to fall for it. After being saved by Gohan, Goku physically restrains Raditz, and Raditz tries the same trick again; this time, Goku doesn't listen.
    • After Frieza is sliced into pieces by his own energy disc and begs to be saved, Goku gives in and donates a portion of his energy to him to at least allow him to escape Namek's explosion; instead, Frieza just can't accept his defeat and uses that energy for one last ditch attack. By this point, Goku has lost all patience with Frieza and easily deflects the attack before blowing him away, outright calling Frieza a fool for not just accepting defeat and walking away when he had the chance.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His merciful tendencies have come back to bite him in the ass. Sparing Vegeta and Piccolo Jr ended up gaining him powerful allies in the end, but refusing to just kill the obviously, unrepentantly, evil Frieza has gotten TWO planets blown up and most of his friends killed before a time "rewind" undid it.
    • When angry, he becomes deaf and blind to everything around him, and often makes irrational decisions. He nearly died fighting Tambourine since he was still hurt from fighting Tien at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. After becoming a Super Saiyan, he chooses beating and tormenting Frieza over escaping an exploding planet.
    • According to Whis in Resurrection 'F', Goku is too laid back for his own good, allowing his opponents to exploit holes in his guard. This is proven true when he lets his guard down during the fight with Friezuela nearly leading to his death.
    • Beerus and Whis also note that Goku's Saiyan pride is a major flaw. He hates and often refuses help from others, preferring to fight and win on his own strength. Beerus gets on Goku for not being happy that he has friends that can help him achieve Super Saiyan God and Whis points out that Frieza wouldn't have been a threat at all if Goku and Vegeta had just worked together instead of taking turns.
    • Goku's love of fighting means that he never goes full throttle from the start even when his opponent is a major threat to Earth. He even calls himself a slow starter when facing Frost.
  • Fearless Fool:
    • As a kid, Goku was known for being fearless to the point of arrogance, such as taking on the entire Red Ribbon Army by himself with no plan or backup and charging Muscle Tower without a coat in freezing weather. What made Goku stand out from most who falls under this trope was that he could get away with it since only a few people in the world could hurt him. His fearless fool tendencies finally caught up with him in the King Piccolo Saga when he blindly went after Tambourine and was promptly defeated because he was weak from fighting Tien. He also tried to take on Piccolo without any knowledge of who he was and got beaten to the point that his heart stopped. He losses most this trait after training with Kami and learned not to underestimate his opponent. However, it does reappear when he has the desire to fight strong people, even when advised against it by everyone. He asked to fight Beerus, despite all the warnings from King Kai, and he went and asked Zeno about the tournament he promised, despite Beerus and Whis telling him that's a horrible idea. Beerus even threatened to vaporize him to keep him from seeing Zeno, to which Goku gives the God of Destruction a defiant glare. In the first case, he gets a bruised ego after Beerus two-shotted him. In the second example, he indirectly endangered the entire multiverse.
    • Frieza outright calls him one in Resurrection 'F', stating that his power makes him overconfident and he is too lenient on his enemies.
  • The Fettered: After training with Kami, Goku gains a strict no-kill policy. Most of this is so he can fight people again someday like Piccolo and Vegeta, but others were cases of real mercy like Raditz, Nappa, and the Ginyu Force, although he does loosen his no-kill stance after the Frieza Saga. He also can't turn away from a cry for help, even from monsters like Frieza who begs him for mercy after being cut by his own energy disc.
  • Fight Magnet: To the point he didn't want to be resurrected by the Dragon Balls to keep the world safe.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Mostly shown in the original series, where he mostly fought hand-to-hand; whenever he used the Kamehameha Wave, he usually did so as an ace in the hole or a Desperation Attack.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: During Oolong's introductory arc, Oolong sets up a stack of bricks for Goku to break with one hand after hearing he knows kung fu. Goku breaks them with one finger.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Done with most of Goku's friends, most noticeably with Yamcha, Tien, Piccolo, and Vegeta, all who tried to kill him at one point. Through trial and hardship, they all eventually become True Companions. With Krillin, though Goku's side of it is more of a subversion. He generally got along just fine when they first met - it was Krillin that was initially hostile. Krillin eventually warmed up to Goku after several months of training under Master Roshi's harsh regimen.
  • Fish out of Water: In the early parts of the series, Goku was raised in near isolation in the middle of the mountains and knows nothing of the outside world when Bulma finds him. Him growing up partly revolves around him getting to know the world and all the mishaps that follows because of his ignorance.
  • Flanderization:
    • In the anime of Dragon Ball Z, Goku's heroic traits were exaggerated by Toei. As Toriyama stated in an interview, Goku is meant to be a somewhat questionable hero who grows stronger for the sake of fighting strong people, not necessarily for the sake of others. This was largely ignored in Z and especially in GT and the Non Serial Movies, which up his good traits to the point that he boarders on being the messiah. The original English dub of Z was even worse in this regard.
    • Super, which has more direct input from Toriyama, undoes this and portrays Goku closer to his original manga counterpart, namely being more recklessly fight-happy. While still largely liked, there are some fans who believe they might have overdone it and/or not struck a good balance between the two potrayals.
    • His idiocy and childishness have also been played up. The manga reveals that Goku didn't even know when Gohan was born. Moreover, he has difficulty telling a pregnant woman from a fat woman, since his first assumption is always that they eat too much. And despite all the obvious signs, he never realizes that the "Monaka" he fought was Beerus in disguise.
  • Flashy Teleportation: When Goku uses his Instant Transmission/Shunkan Idou technique, the effect creates Speed Lines and looks like his body is being ripped to shreds.
  • Flaw Exploitation: His plan to beat Cell during the Cell Games hinged solely on exploiting Cell's pride and Blood Knight tendencies when he discovered Gohan's true power when he got angry. It hit a hitch in that Goku didn't foresee that he couldn't rely on Gohan being enthusiastic about the fight, and it almost cost Goku and the Z fighters their lives; but once Gohan lost his temper, the plan works like a charm. To make it even sweeter, Goku uses the exact same trick that Cell himself used to manipulate Vegeta into letting him absorb Android 18.
  • Flying on a Cloud: The Flying Nimbus. From the Saiyan arc on, he's faster than it is and flies on his own.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: The entire reason he threw Gohan into the ring with Perfect Cell. Goku, having seen his son in action a few times, made the (flawed) assumption that Gohan must enjoy combat as much as he did, and chose this moment to put Gohan into his old role as Earth's hero, even going so far as to heal Cell first to make the fight more interesting. Unfortunately, it turned out that fighting was not something Gohan enjoyed, just something he happened to be skilled at. Only after receiving a What the Hell, Hero? from Piccolo does Goku realize his mistake.
  • Forced to Watch: After surviving the Spirit Bomb, Frieza goes out of his way to torture Goku, first by shooting Piccolo (in the anime, Frieza tried to shoot Goku, but Piccolo pushed him out of the way) and then blowing up Krillin from the inside out. He then threatened to kill Gohan next. Unfortunately for Frieza, him doing so pushed Goku over the edge and triggered his first Super Saiyan transformation.
  • Forgetful Jones: Come Super, he's developed a bad habit of forgetting key items. This bites him in the ass big-time during the Future Trunks Saga; their plan to stop the immortal Future Zamasu by sealing him way with the Evil Containment Wave would have worked... had Goku not forgotten to grab the Paper Talisman needed to actually complete said seal (anime) or brought the wrong talisman (manga).
  • Fountain of Youth: In GT, thanks to Pilaf accidentally wishing for it from Ultimate Shenron, Goku is turned back into a child. He spends the rest of the series in that state, only being restored to adulthood when he's in the immensely powerful Super Saiyan 4 form. By the Distant Finale, he's returned to his original age.
  • Freak Out: Goku rarely if ever loses his cool, which is a standout trait of his, but he had two major ones under similar conditions:
    • When Ginyu traded bodies with him, Goku is stunned, confused, and is close to panicking. He quickly gets himself together when he realizes that Ginyu and Jeice are heading for Gohan and Krillin.
    • An alternate version of main timeline Goku gets a major one after his body suddenly changes while he's farming. He spends several seconds trying to convince Chi-Chi that he's Goku, only for Zamasu to come, who took his body using the Super Dragon Balls, and murders him while he's confused and helpless.
  • Friend to All Children: Goku adores children. If training isn't consuming his attention, it's shown he really enjoys playing with his sons and granddaughter, and he's also a beloved uncle to Krillin's daughter Marron. When Goku finally meets Android 17 in Super, Goku even seems pretty excited to learn that 17 now has three kids.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Even as an adult, he loves playing with animals like a big kid, and regards them as friends as if they are also human.
  • Friendly Rivalry: After having very heated rivalries with almost all of his friends, their relationships eventually evolves into this. Vegeta is the most standout example since it takes Vegeta's entire character arc before he finally settle his beef with Goku always being better than him. Goku on the other hand seemed to regard Vegeta this way from the start, enjoying their fight so much he begged for Vegeta's life to be spared just so they could keep the rivalry going.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • In the original Dragon Ball, Goku goes from being dismissed as a mere child to a threat that requires a top-notch assassin to deal with. When he comes knocking at their door, he's a full-blown nightmare.
    • It bears noting that Goku's power level as a baby was rather weak by Saiyan standards. Which makes him becoming the World's Best Warrior all the more impressive.
  • Fun Personified: At the beginning of the series, Goku was very much this trope. Since most of the early villains couldn't even harm him, the fights weren't serious and mostly slapstick with Goku goofing off the majority of the time. It also helps that Goku for all his power and cleverness was still a child, and one who'd been raised in the woods and never known anyone else but his grandpa until he first met Bulma, causing traits of The Fool to come through as well in social situations. This gets Downplayed as the series goes on since the villains become more dangerous and powerful. By Z, Goku is more serious, although he still has his silly moments like his entire fight with the Ginyu Force. His goofiness is also played up more in filler or when he's around Vegeta.

    G-H 
  • Game-Breaking Injury: He's suffered a few:
    • King Piccolo damages his legs and left arm during their fight. He only lost because Goku could still use his right arm.
    • Piccolo Jr. blasts a big hole clean through his right shoulder during their fight at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. This slows Goku down quite a bit, and Piccolo naturally makes sure to aggravate the wound by stomping on it and ramming his elbow into it. This is before he breaks both of Goku's legs and takes out his remaining arm.
    • Vegeta takes it even farther than both Piccolos by breaking just about every bone in Goku's body, leaving him unable to move at all.
    • In Resurrection 'F', Goku is taken out of the fight after Sorbet shoots him in the heart.
  • Genius Bruiser: Downplayed, since he has never had any formal education and often lacks common sense. However, he is an excellent combatant and a tactical genius, able to pick up new skills and techniques with ease. Furthermore, once he gets a basic understanding of something, he learns very quickly. Probably one of the best examples of Goku's genius is his match with Hit during the Champa Saga. Hit utterly destroys Vegeta with his Time-Skipping technique even as Vegeta fought as a Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan. Goku battles Hit in his base form so he can learn how Hit fights and eventually learns to predict Hit's movements for the next 0.1 seconds, canceling out his time skipping power. In their rematch, he is able to counter all of Hit's new techniques using pure observation.
  • Genius Ditz: Especially as a child, is very Book Dumb and naive thanks to being raised in the wild for several years by himself, but he mastered and created an improved version of the Kamehameha simply by watching his master use it. Furthermore, his combat prowess is second-to-none. He can be quite intelligent and skillful outside of fighting, but he only desires to fight and to grow stronger.
  • Genocide Survivor: He's only of the few Saiyans left in the universe after Frieza destroyed their home planet.
  • Genre Blindness: In Resurrection 'F', he gives Frieza the chance to walk away and master his new Golden Super Mode because he was impressed at how strong Frieza had gotten. Obviously, Goku had forgotten what happened the last time he offered Frieza mercy.
  • The Gift: He is a strong, natural, brilliant fighter despite being born a low class warrior among his race. Vegeta outright says that he has a gift, something he refused to even acknowledge for a long time. Beerus himself notes that Goku is a prodigy upon seeing that he kept his god-like power even after losing his Super Saiyan God form. Given how weak Goku was compared to the other Saiyans at the start of the series, his strength come from natural talent enhance by a lot of hard work. This actually becomes a plot point in the Future Trunks Saga where Zamasu sees Goku's outstanding fighting talent as an insult and failure of the gods since he gained power that surpasses them. It reaches the point where Zamasu takes Goku's body using the Super Dragon Balls so he can used Goku's abilities for his own ends and carry the 'sins' of mortals and the gods. He has such a talent for fighting that by the tournament of power he briefly and unintentionally masters a technique that even gods of destruction find difficult to learn.
  • Glass Cannon: When Goku uses certain power-ups such as his Kaioken, Super Saiyan 3, or Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan combined with the Kaioken, it allows him to fight opponents who are much stronger than him. However, it comes at the cost of his stamina and once that runs out, he's heavily weakened or disabled.
  • A God I Am Not:
    • During his time as a Super Saiyan God, Goku admits to Beerus that he is dissatisfied with godhood. However, this may be more his disappointment at being unable to reach godhood by himself rather than disliking the prospect it.
    • In Resurrection 'F', Beerus asks Goku if he wants to become the new God of Destruction since he bribed Whis to train him. Goku says that he just wants to become stronger.
  • God Job:
    • After defeating Piccolo, Kami offers him the job of Guardian of the Earth (God in Japan). He turned it down and runs for the hills.
    • Goku refused yet again when Whis offered him the job of a God of Destruction after Beerus perishes, then confirmed this refusal when Beerus asked if he wants his job since he got Whis to train him. He really does not like being a deity.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Goku teaming up with Piccolo to fight Raditz is this since Piccolo was Goku's Arch-Enemy at the time, and the son of the demon who murdered his friends. Goku also considered using the Dragon Balls to defeat Raditz and only changed his mind since it would take too long to find them.
    • In the Frieza Saga, using the Kaio-Ken X20 because Goku only mastered the Kaioken up to X10, and using all that power could have caused his body to explode. Goku also considers forming the Spirit Bomb to be this since he can accidentally destroy the planet.
    • Goku putting Gohan against Cell. Before that moment, Goku always side-lined Gohan if he's around. He really had no choice but to depend on Gohan to handle things since he was the only one who could beat Cell.
    • In the Buu Saga, after Super Buu absorbs Gohan, Goku becomes desperate to fuse with another fighter in order to beat him even though it could be permanent.
    • After Super Buu absorbs Gotenks and Piccolo, the Old Kai pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice, transferring his life force into Goku in order to bring him back. Up until that point, a Kai has never given his life to a mortal.
    • On a personal level for Goku, becoming a Super Saiyan God. Since reaching godhood requires the light of five righteous Saiyans pouring their hearts into one, the power-up Goku receives isn't his own strength. For Goku, who prides himself on being a self-made fighter, this is a huge blow to his ego. He still go through with it since it is the only way to beat Beerus.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: His original power multiplier, the Kaioken, made him turn red and could only be multiplied at 20x his base power without potentially killing him. When that wasn't enough to beat Frieza, he gained the golden-haired Super Saiyan form, which multiplies his base power by 50x without the drawbacks of the Kaioken.
  • Golden Super Mode: Every Super Saiyan transformation that was introduced in the original manga and Z anime.
  • Gone Horribly Right: His entire plan to beat Cell hinged on Gohan getting pissed off at the former enough to unlock his hidden powers. The plan works a little too well: Gohan goes Super Saiyan 2 and beats Cell to a pulp, but Goku never anticipated that Gohan, in a state of Revenge Before Reason, would deliberately prolong the fight just to humiliate Cell further, leading to Cell suffering a Villainous Breakdown and trying to blow up the Earth.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Goku frequently underestimates just how evil some people can be, and is all too willing to give them a Last-Second Chance when he has them at his mercy. For example, he falls for Raditz's pleas for mercy and grants it to him, only for Raditz to knock him down and mercilessly break his ribs; all the while, Goku is absolutely shocked that Raditz lied. He also spared Frieza's life twice out of a misguided act of mercy, and both times, Frieza used it to his advantage and tried to stab him in the back. He does get better over time, realizing that Cell and Majin Buu were beyond redemption and actively trying to kill them. He hits it again in Super: Broly, believing that since Frieza helped them out in the Tournament of Power and inadvertently saved their universe and the others by doing so, this means Frieza's no longer evil and is now their friend; Vegeta even lampshades how stupid that line of thinking is and openly calls Goku an idiot.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: The Tareme Eyes of happy-go-lucky Goku vs. the Tsurime Eyes of serious in-a-fight Goku.
  • Good Feels Good: A defining characteristic, and a main reason why Goku is such a Nice Guy. He does almost all his good deeds because he enjoys being a good person and really can't understand why anyone likes being a scumbag.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: While Book Dumb and naive, Goku is by no means stupid. Many enemies have fallen before him because they underestimated his intelligence and craftiness in battle. His battle instincts and ability to learn quickly often catch even his friends off-guard. He also often gives life advice and words of wisdom to his friends and sons.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Goku when he was a kid/teen. This is especially evident when he mercilessly kills King Piccolo and his children for murdering his friends. He also destroys the Red Ribbon Army with his own hands and kills his foes even when they're fleeing for their lives. And when properly enraged, he will beat his enemies to a bloody pulp.
  • Graceful Loser: On the rare occasions he meets an enemy he truly can't beat, he admits it without any ego involved (bowing out of the Cell Games and surrendering to Beerus.) By contrast, most of his enemies are such Sore Losers that they would rather blow up the planet they're standing on than accept defeat.
  • Grand Theft Me: Is the victim of this twice. The first time by Captain Ginyu in the Frieza Saga and again by an alternative version of Present Zamasu in the Future Trunks Saga.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: After the fight with Kid Buu, he has Dende heal Vegeta first, since Vegeta took the worst of Kid Buu's wrath during the battle.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Almost all of Goku's adventures and world saving isn't known by the general public. Only a few people know that he's the one who killed King Piccolo and beat his son three years later at the 23rd Martial Arts Tournament. No one knows who destroyed the Red Ribbon Army, who stopped the Saiyan Invasion, the entire mess with Frieza happened on another planet and he was killed before he could terrorize the Earth, and Mr. Satan takes the credit for destroying Cell and Majin Buu, and for defeating Beerus.
  • Grin of Audacity: Goku is prone to give these when he's prepared to face a strong opponent, something his friends lampshade at least once, much to the irritation of his wife.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Right before he dismissed the Ultra Super Saiyan as powerful but slow.
  • Guile Hero: While he spent the majority of his childhood and teenage years as an Idiot Hero, as he becomes Older and Wiser, he uses his head more and doesn't just rely on brute strength to get ahead without also incorporating some strategy.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Goku's Super Saiyan transformation gives him shining golden hair, and during his first transformation, he states outright that someone as pure-hearted as himself was able to become a Super Saiyan. However, this is subverted during his fight with Frieza, whom he nearly kills to get revenge for Krillin's death.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Goku's hair is so static that on the few occasions he suffered some minor hair damage, it immediately returned to its regular state one panel later. It even retains its shape when wet. This turns out to be a racial trait of the Saiyans. Their hair never changes from birth.
  • Handy Feet: Most often seen prior to the arrival of Raditz. He has uncommonly prehensile feet, frequently using them to grip things and, on one notable occasion, to fire a Kamehameha out of. Makes sense considering he started as an Expy of the Monkey King from Journey to the West.
  • Happily Adopted: By the elderly master Son Gohan. Though unfortunately, Goku transformed into an Oozaru and crushed Gohan to death some time before the first chapter.
  • Happily Married: To Chi-Chi, despite her fierceness. In Super, he says that he likes Chi-Chi because she's so feisty.
  • Hard Head: He once took an axe blade to the head; the axe shattered on contact.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Played with. While Goku is indeed a talented prodigy, he was born at the absolute bottom of the Saiyan pecking order and had to constantly train to get where he is now; he even calls Vegeta out for thinking that one's birth status determines their power, declaring that even a low-class warrior like him can beat a Saiyan Elite if he works hard enough. On the other hand, he learned how to perform the Kamehameha Wave, which took Master Roshi, the creator of the technique, 50 years to master, after seeing it only once, and a big part of Vegeta's angst throughout the series is that, even after putting himself through Training from Hell again and again, he's still Always Second Best to Goku.
  • Has a Type: Hilariously, Saiyans naturally go for feisty, strong-willed women. In the same scene where this comes out, he very happily admits that he likes Chi-Chi's fierceness.
  • The Heart: Shares this role with his son, Gohan. Their positive outlook on life and their gentle, but powerful natures helped change almost everyone in their group into better people. It's to the point where everyone generally becomes happier and more positive when he's around.
  • Heavyworlder: He was born on Planet Vegeta which had ten times the gravity of Earth and spent the first three years of his life there in an incubator. However, because he spent most of his life on Earth, his body had forgotten how to handle high gravity and he could barely stand on King Kai's planet, which had the same gravity as Planet Vegeta. He eventually relearns and has no problem functioning in gravity hundreds times the Earth's.
  • Heel:
    • Bergamo makes Goku, and by extension Universe 7, this for starting the tournament that ends with the losing universe being erased. Goku doesn't mind being called or seen as the villain as long as he gets to fight strong opponents.
    • Before that (or chronologically afterwards), Goku did the same when trying to provoke Uub out of his stagefright. He even seems to enjoy intentionally playing himself up as a "mean bastard" for once. Of course, he also saw Vegeta do the exact same thing to Cabba even before the Bergamo incident, so that might have been a factor in his strategy with Uub...
  • Heel–Face Turn: Before the series began, technically, but he began as an Enfant Terrible bent on destroying all life on earth as a newborn, until he lost his memory.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Bulma had this reaction to Goku after a Time Skip in the final saga of Dragon Ball. Previously she had only known him as a short kid, but now has grown to be attracted to how tall and handsome he's become.
  • Henpecked Husband: To the point where Master Roshi outright says that Chi-Chi is the most powerful person in the universe, NOT Goku. However, this is only true insofar as he won't get mean back with her under any circumstances. When it comes to having his son help him fight or train, or spending as much time training as he can, he will always do it behind her back, wait for her to come screaming when she finds out, explain some reasoning for why it's important, and then look for an escape to keep doing it anyway. In fact, due to his Saiyan drive, he's attracted to her feistiness, and he knows she understands him better than anyone.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: He tries to pass the torch to Gohan during the Cell Games and refused to help even when Gohan was getting the life crushed out of him. He wanted Gohan to be the hero on top of wanting a fair fight. It took a serious tongue-lashing from Piccolo before he was ready to intervene. Also, the primary reason why Goku refuses to kill Majin Buu when he had the chance. He wanted the younger generation to handle it since he was dead and his friends couldn't depend on him anymore to protect them. It didn't work out so well with the Earth being destroyed along with everyone being killed except Dende, Mr. Satan, and Bee. Although, Goku somewhat got his wish since Buu was finally killed with the help of everyone on Earth giving him energy for a giant Spirit Bomb. And hilariously enough, he actually does help via killstealing after the temporal do-over in Resurrection ‘F’ and the Golden Freeza saga, which Vegeta calls him on afterwards.
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: Apparently it's a trait of Saiyan purebreds. In Goku's family specifically, his hair style seemed to be past on from the second child.
  • The Hero: Chronic Hope Bringer and Friend to All Living Things, The Dreaded to any villain unfortunate enough to cross him, World's Strongest Man in a series already chock full of badasses, and when he isn't the latter, he tends to be the Big Good. There's a reason he ranks among anime's greatest heroes and badasses. Seriously, take into account everything he's done since age 11 and dare contend otherwise. It would crowd up the wiki if we were to go through all of it.
  • Hero Antagonist: During the finale of the 21st Tenkaichi Budokai, where his match with Roshi is told from the latter's perspective.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • He briefly gets this treatment in Super upon arriving in the Bad Future that Future Trunks hails from; as he looks exactly like Goku Black, the Earth's greatest enemy who's driven the human race to near-extinction, the vestiges of humanity automatically assume he is Black and attack him.
    • He gets it again during the Universe Survival Saga, where everyone blames Goku for putting their universes in danger since he reminded Zeno of the tournament he promised back in the Champa Saga. Even with the reveal that Zeno was going to wipe the universes with the lowest mortal level and the tournament gives at least one universe the chance to save itself, they still blame Goku for everything with Toppo outright calling Goku evil. This is somewhat justified in that none of the gods can blame Zeno since he can wipe them out instantly. So Goku is a handy scapegoat. Goku also doesn't help himself by not caring about being called a villain and tells the gods to their faces to bring their best fighters so he can beat them up.
    • That being said, Zeno planned to automatically destroy the eight lowest ranked universes anyway, and Goku inadvertently gave them a shot at survival by suggesting the tournament.
  • Heroes' Frontier Step: While Goku has always been a heroic person, most of his exploits as a kid were done for more personal reasons than for the greater good; like destroying the Red Ribbon Army because they indirectly murdered his friend Bora and him killing King Piccolo and all of his children save Piccolo Jr. because they murdered Krillin and Master Roshi. The first truly selfless act Goku performs is when he gives his life to stop Raditz. Although his primary reason for stopping Raditz is to save his son, he also never considers taking his brother's offer to kill one-hundred humans to get his son back and puts aside his pride to fight Raditz dirty: grabbing his tail and working with Piccolo in a 2 on 1 fight. Later, he gives his life, again, to keep Cell from blowing up the Earth, spiritually guides Gohan from the grave to restore his hope, and chooses to stay dead for everyone's protection since all the bad things that happened to Earth recently were directly or indirectly connected to him.
  • Hero on Hiatus: Particularly in Z. The fights with Nappa, the Ginyu Force and Frieza consisted of the good guys struggling just to stay alive until he got there / finished healing. He was also out of action for the fights with 17 and 18, but couldn't have helped much anyway.
  • Heroic Build: He has a rather stocky build as a child. In the Piccolo Jr. and Saiyan sagas, he's noticeably toned but not that bulky. Starting with Namek, he's consistenly drawn with huge muscles. His build increases when he goes to a new form of Super Saiyan, especially Super Saiyan 3, and when Toriyama changed his art style later in the manga.
  • Heroic Lineage: Is the founder with his sons, Gohan and Goten, and his granddaughter, Pan.
  • Heroic RRoD:
    • What happens when he overuses his Kaio-ken. His body begins to shut down and puts him in a lot of pain. If he gets careless and raises his power too rapidly, his body can explode.
    • Also happened during his fight against Kid Buu, in a slightly different sense. Goku is no longer used to the limits of a living body, being dead for seven years, which burns through energy at an alarming rate when he is a Super Saiyan 3. After only a short time fighting Kid Buu, he completely loses his Super Saiyan 3 state and downgrades to his severely weakened normal form.
    • An unfortunate and extremely painful result of Mastered Ultra Instinct. After using the form for barely a minute and soundly defeating Jiren and preparing to eliminate him, he loses it. Erupting in a stylistic spray of blood and dark energy, Goku’s body completely shuts down from the intense demand and power to the point he couldn’t even move and was borderline unconscious as he dealt with the pain. Even as the episode ends, he’s lying among rubble shivering in agony. It makes the backlash of Kaioken look harmless.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Seems to be the only way to kill Goku:
    • His first death happens after he holds Raditz and allows Piccolo to shot through both of them.
    • His second death occurs after Cell decides to self-destruct and take the Earth with him. Goku teleports Cell to King Kai's planet where he blows up, killing Goku along with King Kai. Unlike Raditz, this sacrifice is only half successful since Cell returned to life stronger than ever and stole Goku's teleportation technique and used it to return to Earth.
    • Narrowly averted twice in GT. Goku is ready to self-destruct first on Super 17, then later on Omega Shenron, since they proved to be stronger than him and at least one threatened the entire universe. The super android put up a barrier to stop it from working, though Goku still spent up enough energy to lose his Super Saiyan 4 state, while against the evil dragon, it's Vegeta that stops him, by pointing out his own failure to stop Majin Buu this way.
    • Happens in Episode 131 with Frieza of all people, finally defeating Jiren and winning the Tournament of Power for Universe Seven.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Several times, but two examples stand out:
    • During the battle against Frieza, he's being held underwater and begins to lose consciousness, but then receives visions of what will happen to his friends and family if he loses; cue ass-whooping.
    • In Episode 61 of Super, after being stabbed through the chest by Goku Black's Laser Blade, Black proceeds to gloat about how the first thing he did after stealing the body of Goku's Alternate Self was to kill his family; despite having a gaping hole clean through his chest, Goku is so pissed by that revelation that he finds the strength to keep fighting and briefly manages to pummel Black into the dirt.
  • Heroic Spirit: All the main heroes demonstrates this trait, but Goku embodies it the best. He refuses to surrender to hopelessness or despair, will keep fighting even as his body breaks down, and will willingly tear his own body apart and give his life if it means even a remote chance of winning. He will only surrender if he knows that there is absolutely no chance of victory or he's physically unable to move anymore.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: Chi-Chi regularly points out that Goku's martial arts skills and constant saving the world have failed to get him any kind of actual job, and he hasn't earned an actual cent in all the years they've been married. He eventually gets a job as a farmer in Super.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • With Krillin. Goku sees him as his best friend and can be quite protective of him. He went into a blind, murderous rage twice when he is killed, three if you count GT. Also from GT, Krillin is one of the few people Goku sees before going off with the dragon. In Super, Frieza tries to take advantage of this by trying to have Krillin killed, knowing the pain it will cause Goku, and attacks him personally during his battle with Goku.
    • He also has this with Piccolo. The two lived and trained together for three years (which is far more time than Goku had ever spent with Krillin up to that point), and Piccolo is a Parental Substitute to Goku's son. The anime plays this up a lot more than the manga.
  • Hidden Depths: He has no real interest outside of fighting and training, yet he's very good at farming. He grows a huge harvest, despite being away a lot, and if Beerus is anything to go by, he grew a tasty crop. His crops are in fact so popular that he has a regular buyer. In the original Dragon Ball, Krillin is surprised that Goku can read and do it quite well since Goku is Book Dumb in everything else.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Employed subtly when Goku starts suffering from his heart virus. It goes under the radar as simple a shortness of breath at first. As he fights Android 19, however, the shortness of breath and subsequent exhaustion becomes steadily worse, and he starts to clutch his chest in agony.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • He prefers a fair fight, to the extent that he gives Cell a Senzu Bean right before Gohan, his own son, is about to fight him to the death.
    • Before then, he rejected Bulma's suggestion to hunt down and kill Dr. Gero before he activates the Androids, partly for Blood Knight reasons, and partly because he's not comfortable with killing him yet because Gero hasn't actually done anything bad; of course, he's forgetting that Gero was one of the head scientists of the Red Ribbon Army, and most likely built most of their weapons and technology.
    • The whole scene near the end of the Buu arc where Goku is refusing to throw the Spirit Bomb because Vegeta's in the way must qualify for this. He's holding back an attack with enough power to destroy the final Big Bad because it would kill Vegeta too. Forget that not throwing the attack would doom the entire universe, including that one person he's trying to spare.
    • In the Universal Survival arc, when Shin suggests they gang up on their opponents, Goku and Vegeta refuse because that would be unfair.
    • Later on in the same arc, he browbeats Android 17 into allowing the Kamikaze Fireballs to power up so he can fight them at their strongest.
  • Hope Bringer: Inspires hope in all who knows him even when he is not currently the strongest fighter. There are more than a few times when his friends and family will burst into tears when they hear he's coming to the battlefield. Bulma puts more faith in Goku to save everyone then her own husband, who's often Goku's equal. This, just like his ace status, gets Deconstructed from the Frieza Saga onward. Because he is the bright hope of his group, everyone becomes deflated and pessimistic when he isn't around or out of action. His friends and family are also not quick to put their hopes in anyone else, but him. When Goku tries to make Gohan into his successor, no one really believes him, and the cast is skeptical when Goku ensures them that Goten and Trunks can beat Buu with the Fusion Dance.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Goku is usually good at reading people's intentions, especially as an adult. However, he has badly misjudged a few people:
    • The first is Raditz. After he has Raditz at his mercy by grabbing his tail and Piccolo is ready to fire the Special Beam Cannon, Raditz pleas for his life, telling Goku that he will leave Earth peacefully. Despite Piccolo yelling at him that Raditz is obviously lying, Goku lets go of his brother's tail, which promptly gets him kicked in the stomach and his ribs crushed.
    • The second one is Zamasu. He completely misreads him, seeing him as a good Kai and not believing he has anything to do with Black. This is despite Zamasu showing open hostilities towards him during their visit and even tries to attack Goku after losing a sparring match. It is not until Goku sees Future Zamasu helping Black that he realizes what a scumbag Zamasu will become.
    • In Super: Broly, he's naïve enough to think that since Frieza helped them out in the Tournament of Power and inadvertently saved their universe and the others by doing so, he's not their enemy anymore and must be a good guy; Vegeta flat-out calls him an idiot for thinking that way. Indeed, Frieza is up to his old tricks, recruiting Broly to fight and kill Goku for him.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Comes with the territory when you're regularly punching Cthulhu. The most memorable examples being King Piccolo, Piccolo Jr, and Frieza. King Piccolo is left trembling before Goku after he survives a blast that destroys a city. His son, Piccolo, is left speechless and paralyzed after Goku tanks an energy blast that nukes an entire island, and Frieza is left permanently traumatized after his battle with Goku.
  • Human Alien: Saiyans look perfectly human other than their tails and can produce offspring with humans, though they do have extraordinary abilities (most notably, they can turn into a giant ape). Saiyans also age slower than humans. They have long childhoods, staying small and cute looking so they will be underestimated before quickly growing to their full adult height, and they stay in their prime until at least eighty.
  • Human Pack Mule: Usually takes this role in the Filler episodes whenever Chi-Chi goes shopping.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Becomes tame and respectful towards life after being raised by Gohan Sr. Hitting his head also helped, although his goodness could have been inherited from his mother.
  • Humble Hero: Despite saving the world more times than he can count, he takes no credit for any of it and doesn't flaunt his achievements. When people do know of his deeds, he's quick to point out if he needed any help. This is mostly because Goku wants to live peacefully without all the noise fame tends to bring.
  • Hunk: Very much this as an adult. He goes from a small cute kid, to a muscular handsome adult that a lot of ladies fall for. Bulma begins to pine for him even as she's courting Vegeta and Helles, a God of Destruction, calls him beautiful. In the dub, he has a deep voice that becomes deeper when he's mad or when he goes Super Saiyan 3 and 4.
  • Hypocrite:
    • In the Cell Saga, Gohan deliberately prolongs his Curb-Stomp Battle with Cell solely to humiliate him and make him suffer for his crimes. Goku is taken aback despite the fact that he himself did the exact same thing to Frieza for the same reason.
    • He and Vegeta state that they will not fuse to fight Kid Buu (an Ax-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac with an incredibly broken Healing Factor) because they want to fight one-on-one like true Saiyans. The number of times Goku has beaten the Final Boss of a Story Arc fair and square with no outside help can be counted on one hand (Adjutant Black & Piccolo Jr), since his friends always step in and save his life when it looks like he's about to be killed.
    • Goku often asks his opponents to use their full power against him, something he never does in return. In Super, he holds back some of his power at first to gauge his opponent's strength.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: As stated above, Goku is horrified when Gohan deliberately drags out his fight with Cell purely because he wanted him to suffer as much as possible, and literally screams at Gohan to finish him off to no avail. While Goku himself had previously done the exact same thing to Frieza for the exact same reason, considering the fact that he barely escaped Namek's explosion as a result of his anger and need for vengeance, Goku makes a valid point and has clearly learned from his mistake. He's proven right when Gohan's actions lead Cell to Freak Out and try to self-destruct, taking the Earth with him; Goku is forced to pull off a Heroic Sacrifice to save the world from the blast, and Gohan knows it's very much his fault for not listening to Goku's warnings.

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