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Characters / Dragon Ball Son Goku Tropes D To H

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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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    D 

  • 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:
    • The Kaioken. When used, this technique can more than double Goku's power, speed, hearing, sight, and other senses. He uses this to fight on even ground with Vegeta during their first fight on Earth when Vegeta was more than twice as strong as Goku. The Kaioken, however, is highly dangerous. One slip from the user and they can explode, and overuse leaves the user severely drained and in pain. By the time Goku reaches Namek, he can safely use the Kaioken up to X10 without any ill effects, while a X20 nearly kills him. Once Super Saiyan is introduced, Kaioken becomes So Last Season since a regular Super Saiyan gives Goku fifty times the power and none of the severe drawbacks. That is until Super where Goku learns to combine Super Saiyan Blue and the Kaioken. Because Goku is still working on the technique, however, it has a 90% failure rate and it can seriously harm or even kill him, making it even more dangerous than it was previously. It also puts such a strain on his body that it makes him sick and his ki becomes temporarily distorted to the point of uselessness days later. In the Universal Survival Saga, this is Downplayed since Goku can now used the basic Kaioken multiple times without harming his body.
    • In the Future Trunks Saga, 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 or in Goku's case, an immortal who can never die. 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.
    • From the Super manga, Goku has learn how to entrap the aura of Super Saiyan Blue within himself. This allows him to fight at the max power of Super Saiyan Blue, which puts him on par with Merged Zamasu. However, using this ability puts him in danger of tearing his body apart since he hasn't fully mastered it. It's basically the manga's version of the Super Saiyan Blue/Kaioken combo.
    • Ultra Instinct turns out to be this as of episode 130. It's incredibly powerful, to the point Goku is strong enough to match and implied to even surpass the Gods of Destruction themselves, but it puts a massive strain on his body after only a short amount of time in-universe, he can only access the power by being pushed to the edge of his physical limits, and overall it leaves him all but helpless when it's finished.
  • 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 Vegeta when he's being particularly annoying.
  • Death by Irony: At the beginning of Dragon Ball 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.
  • 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 copy his techniques. He even names his firstborn child after his grandfather.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • From the Android Saga onward, Goku becomes one for The Ace and the Hope Bringer. Because he is so good and so powerful his friends and family tend to depend on him too much to solve the current problem and they don't put their trust readily in anyone else but him. They become noticeably deflated and pessimistic when he isn't around, and Gohan firmly believes that he can never surpass his father, despite Goku showing him otherwise. Goku's death in Trunks' timeline is one of the many reasons why things got so bad and Bulma invents the Time Machine mostly to save him, firmly believing that he can do something to stop the androids. Vegeta eventually gets so sick of being overshadowed by Goku that he sells his soul for power and unleashes Majin Buu upon the world. Goku himself has realized that his loved ones are far too dependent on him; he knows that one day, he will be dead for good, and if his loved ones don't stop relying on him so much, then no one will be able to counter the next big threat to Earth. Which is why Goku regularly searches for successors.
    • 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, know of his deeds. So when Goku begs the world for energy to power the Spirit Bomb that will kill Majin Buu, only the people who intimately know him listened; everyone else blows him off just as they did Vegeta. It takes Mr. Satan, the resident Fake Ultimate Hero, to yell at the people of Earth to get them to cooperate since Mr. Satan, not Goku, is known as the world's savior.
    • The Future Trunks Saga deconstructs the idea of Goku bringing out the best in people. After meeting and fighting Goku, instead of Zamasu becoming friends with him it sparks Zamasu's Start of Darkness and he begins to see Goku as a Satanic Archetype since he gained power that surpasses the gods.
    • From the same saga, it shows how having an Inexplicably Awesome protagonist is horrifying when used by an antagonist. Goku Black is Zamasu using all of Goku's abilities and extreme growth against the characters turning him into an Invincible Villain.
    • 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 (losers get their universe destroyed) that fighters from other universes assume he must be evil and uncaring. Goku himself doesn't help this assumption since he is more focused on all the strong people he'll get to fight than the ramifications of the tournament, and lies to his friends about there being prize money to get them to fight alongside him, to the point that Gohan calls him out on his selfishness. However, this is Downplayed when it's revealed that Zeno was going to nuke Universe 7 along with seven other universes since they all had mortal ratings below 7, so Goku indirectly gave at least one universe the chance to save themselves. The gods still hate him for his uncaring nature and relationship with Zeno.
  • Decoy Protagonist:
    • He spends most of the Namek Saga just traveling to Namek, and once he arrives he's almost immediately critically injured and spends even more time in the healing tank. By the time he's fully healed the final battle against Freeza has been ongoing for quite some time.
    • In the Android/Cell Sagas. 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 reverse 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.
  • 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:
    • Deconstructed in Goku's fight against Android 19. Despite not feeling well and experiencing great pain, he keeps fighting even when he reaches the point where his attacks are not hurting the android anymore. He also refuses any help from his allies. He nearly gets himself killed and puts his friends in danger since they rush to save him.
    • Dragon Ball Super takes this up a notch. Unlike in the movie where Goku admits defeat after realizing that he couldn't beat Beerus, Goku keeps fighting after being impaled, blasted, nearly drowned, and knocked out of orbit. He catches a massive planet buster from Beerus and holds on even as he loses his Super Saiyan form, and his hands and arms burn. Goku had to burn through his entire energy reserve before he literally drops.
    • Then he does it again in the Tournament of Power. Facing Jiren, his last-ditch move is the Spirit Bomb, and he throws everything he has into the struggle, but it's still not enough - the Spirit Bomb collapses into a singularity, and a spent Goku falls into it. Despite having literally nothing left, he refuses to die and fights against it anyway... and the result is something even gods struggle to master.
    • Takes this trope to a whole new level in 131, after Ultra Instinct wears off and harms his body so severely he's lying in pain. 17 and Freeza take up the fight and are at their limit against Jiren's explosive power and it slowly begins overtaking them. However, Goku fights through the agony and is able to Instant Transmission to them and help repel the attack and continue the fight. Goku simply will not give up when everyone and everything he cares about is on the line.
  • 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.
    • His entire plan to defeat Cell hinged on exploiting Gohan's Psychoactive Powers, knowing that Gohan is at his strongest when he's angry and counting on Cell to make him angry. Once Gohan is pushed to his Rage Breaking Point and ascends to Super Saiyan 2, however, Goku is taken aback when Gohan chooses to prolong his beatdown of Cell to make him suffer as much as possible for his crimes rather than simply finish him off before he gets desperate.
    • After sacrificing his life to stop Cell, both King Kai and he are shocked that Cell is still alive, rendering Goku's sacrifice meaningless. It was so unpredictable that not even Cell saw it coming.
    • 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 kicks out of the ring. Everyone is shocked.
    • Goku got 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 loose 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 their trouble, Future Zamasu is an immortal.
    • During his rematch with Hit, Goku was expecting him to used the Time-Skip, which he knew how to counter. So, he's caught flatfooted when all his attacks phase through Hit like he was a ghost. He also didn't expect Hit's punch to land since he was a good distance from him and he could react if Hit moved. 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 vaporized him on a whim.
  • 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 owe 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 there’s even a theme tune to put emphasis on Goku fully accepting his Sayan name, as such name now carries the good legacy of his good Sayan 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 given him light punch to the face.
  • Doesn't Know Their Own Child: Son 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. 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 the Resurrection 'F', 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 dub 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 implied that statement about Raditz was figurative.
  • Dub Personality Change: The English dub of DBZ 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 Dragon Ball Super (made a few years after Toriyama's comments on Goku's characterization). 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. Dragon Ball 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 Dragon Ball 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 

  • 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 Dragon Ball 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. All other times he has lost due to either being just slightly weaker then the winner or circumstance.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • He may be a Big Eater, but Goku is nonetheless disgusted when Yajirobe cooks and eats the corpse of Cymbal after killing him.
    • In a filler scene of Dragonball, Goku is also angry at Annin when she attempts to offer him food when the Ox King's castle is burning (normally, Goku never turns down food).
  • Evil Counterpart: Goku has a lot of these, often overlapping with Not So Different and Shadow Archetype:
    • King Piccolo and his son Piccolo Jr. Both are aliens from worlds that were in distress (one being outright destroyed), they both were raised in isolation away from the civilized world, lost their memories of their old worlds, and had come to see the blue planet as their one true home. Their arrival on Earth also greatly impacted the planet changing it forever. The difference between them is that whereas living on Earth gave Goku the best qualities of humanity, it gave the Nameless Namekian that later split into Kami and Piccolo the worst qualities.
    • His older brother, Raditz. They both love to fight and were born on the low end of the power scale of Saiyan society. Goku is brave (not afraid of death) and chose to grow stronger instead of choosing to stay as a "low class". Raditz is a coward who begs for his life when he's about to be killed and remained weak because he hid behind people much stronger than him instead of trying to improve his own skill.
    • Turles from the movie titled The Tree of Might. His entire character was based on the idea of what kind of person Goku would have grown up to become if he had never cracked his skull and gotten amnesia.
    • Vegeta, initially. They are both Saiyans who love to fight and challenge themselves. The difference is that Goku values life and fights to protect those he loves, while Vegeta couldn't have cared less about anyone but himself. Vegeta eventually learns to value others and to accept and return love.
    • Cell in his perfect form. He gains Goku's laid-back, lazy attitude and cares only about fighting and challenging himself instead of conquest like Vegeta and Frieza. He also gives sporting chances to his opponents so they can give him a better challenge. It is telling that when Cell and Goku fought, they actually got along well and considered each other Worthy Opponents. The main different, Cell is a sociopathic murderer who allows his pride to blind him to the fact that anyone could ever beat him. He is also not a Spirited Competitor like Goku, who will lose gracefully if faced with a superior opponent. When Cell is backed into a corner, he would rather Rage Quit than lose.
    • Majin Buu, all forms. They love to fight, learn techniques from just seeing them once, have a love for food, are man children, have crude mannerisms and are often rude, are much smarter than people give them credit for, which makes their enemies underestimate them, and can be playful and goofy while beating someone senseless. Buu (at least in the cases of Super/Kid Buu) is an entity who doesn't care about anything besides itself and destroys and kills for fun.
    • Beerus initially, although his evilness is questionable. Both of them being rather lazy outside of the prospect of fighting things, love a good challenge, obsessed with food, kind and respectful but with no sense of being rude, outright terrifying to enemies when angry, and generally the most dangerous things in the universe. Only difference is that Beerus had nobody giving him a moral compass. Beerus and even Whis notes how similar they are. After Goku and Beerus becomes friends, their relationship evolves to Not So Different, much like Vegeta.
    • Goku Black. He looks identical to Goku in appearance, shares Goku's love for combat, being challenged, are the strongest in their respective universes, and they both have the Kamehameha, only Black's Kamehameha is black and purple in color. Much like Turles before him, Black in demeanor, species and outlook is Goku's Evil Counterpart, a dark mirror of his talents, powers and beliefs. Goku grew to be a humble, pure-hearted hero who enjoys improving his skill, befriended nearly everyone he encountered, and ended up saving the universe several times over. Black on the other hand was once a young Kai who was considered to be very promising and in training to oversee the universe. However, unlike Goku, concepts such as modesty, humility, love, friendship and compassion are totally non-existent for him. Eventually, he grew to be a purely evil narcissist serving an empty justice and the biggest threat in history.
  • 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.

    F 

  • 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 tendency to give mercy to his opponents is often brought up as a flaw. Most of the time Goku sparing his opponents works for the best like with Piccolo and Vegeta. Other times, it backfires badly like with Raditz and Frieza. In Resurrection 'F' Goku trying to spare Frieza again gets the Earth destroyed.
    • Goku's wrath when he is emotional. When he is extremely angry, he becomes deaf and blind to everything around him, and often makes irrational decisions. He went into a vengeance seeking rampage when Tambourine murdered Krillin, to the point that he ignored his master's order to stand down. This leads him to blindly attacking Yajirobe when he believed that he was part of the murder, since he mistook Yajirobe's One-Star Dragon Ball for his grandpa's ball, and he tried to fight King Piccolo without any knowledge of who he was. He nearly died fighting Tambourine since he was still hurt from fighting Tien at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament and he's completely overwhelmed by King Piccolo. And, after becoming a Super Saiyan, he's so filled with hatred towards Frieza for killing Krillin that he chooses beating and tormenting Frieza over escaping an exploding planet. This decision nearly cost him his life and he's only saved because he is able to find one of the Ginyu Force's ships at the last possible moment.
    • 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 correct when he lets his guard down during the fight with Frieza, allowing Frieza's Dragon Sorbet to near-fatally shoot him In the Back.
    • Beerus and Whis also notes 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.
    • As noted by Vegeta in Super Episode 50, 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. Goku 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 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 to asked Zeno about the tournament he promised, despite Beerus and Whis telling him that's a horrible idea. Beerus even threatened to vaporized 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.
    • Freeza 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 the Non Serial Movies that 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. Dragon Ball Super, that has more direct input from Toriyama, subverts this by portraying Goku closer to his original manga counterpart, namely being more selfish and fight happy. By contrast, his idiocy and childishness have been played up in their place. It is revealed that Goku in the manga, that he 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.
  • 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.
  • Foil: One underestimated yet important aspect of Goku's narrative is that if you put him next to a major character that runs up against him, chances are there will be notable parallels between them blanketed by critical differences that set them apart and establish why Goku is the purer of the two:
    • When Krillin first appeared and joined Goku as Master Roshi's bright young pupil as a child, he was a foil to Goku. Whereas Goku was an impossibly pure-hearted child who took his incredibly strength for granted, and had a lot of confidence in his power, Krillin was a devious Bratty Half-Pint with a blatant inferiority complex, which he covered by acting like a smug brat. By the time of the series' first Tournament Arc he's largely grown out of this thanks to his training and Goku's influence giving him genuine self-confidence. Concurrently, Goku's defeat in the finals of that tournament kept his ego in check, ensuring that he would delve more seriously into his desire to train and grow stronger.
    • On top of being an Evil Counterpart to Goku, at least initially, Piccolo is also this to him. Both are Earth-raised purebloods of an alien race and remarkably strong for it, but Piccolo is cold and dispassionate, while Goku is fun loving and can be quite emotional when angry or upset. Piccolo is one of the smartest and most responsible characters in the series, while Goku is Book Dumb and can be quite irresponsible even when the fate of the world is at stake. Both men are capable of good planning when they need to be, but Goku's strategics tend to be more obviously risky while Piccolo's are more likely to patch up a problem. Their roles are slightly reversed during the Buu Saga. Piccolo was willing to give himself to Babidi so Buu would stop slaughtering cities. It was Goku who was rational and pointed out that Piccolo sacrificing himself wouldn't help anyone in the long run. Despite continuously training and getting stronger, they have also both relied on fusions with other members of their respective races who they often bicker with to increase their strength when necessary. Goku's fusion was temporary, while Piccolo's are permanent mergers of minds and powers with his form remaining constant as the host.
    • Goku and Vegeta's eternal rivalry practically writes itself this way. Both are thrill-seeking Saiyan warriors always looking to test, expand, and overcome their limits. While Goku is a cheerful man who cherishes others, greatly values his Earthly upbringing, and was born weak among commoner parents, Vegeta is a rough, arrogant prince who initially cares only for himself, and was born very powerful and heir to the throne of his planet. Through a series of trials and hardships, they gradually influence each other as their rivalry matures from resentment to respect. Goku comes to understand Saiyan pride and Vegeta learns compassion for loved ones. Amusingly, Vegeta pretty much becomes the next Krillin when the two went to train under Whis.
    • Goku and Frieza are near opposites of each other. Both are immensely talented warriors who are among the most powerful beings in their universe and are the strongest their race have to offer. Frieza, however, is born extremely powerful, didn't need to train a day in his life, and is the prince of a galactic empire, while Goku is born a low class, is the son of a lower class warrior and pacifist mother, and had to work for his power. Frieza is very polite and well educated, while Goku is somewhat rude and Book Dumb. Frieza thrives on spreading despair and corrupting others with his influence. Goku inspires hope and tends to bring out the better side of people. No wonder they're each other's galactic Arch-Enemy.
    • The son of Bardock and Gine is an overachiever much like his father, born a low-class yet fortunate enough to become an elite by attrition after their race was wiped out. Now are we talking firstborn Raditz, or the younger Kakarot? The split is actually pretty telling. While Goku embraces the gentle heart given to him by his mother and works his entire life to break the limits of his birth, like his father, Radtiz chose to hide behind others stronger than him while embracing the ruthlessness of being a Saiyan, rejecting his mother's kind influence. Also, despite Goku's gentle and kind nature, he maintained his Saiyan pride and spirit, while Raditz's Saiyan spirit has long been driven out of him despite his claims to the contrary.
    • For a cyborg programmed to hunt and kill Goku, Android 17 is actually pretty similar to the man. Both are powerful yet childishly nonchalant fighters who were apparently sent out for destruction's sake yet would much rather fight for the fun and adventure of it all. Keyword: apparently. 17's purpose is played straight but he defies it out of hatred for his "creator", whereas the real reason Goku was sent to Earth when he was was to escape Frieza's destruction of his planet. Both were given names apart from their name of birth by old men whose motives and goals couldn't be more different than each other: 17 was a human born Lapis before an evil scientist experimented on him and converted him into a cyborg, while Goku's original Saiyan name is Kakarot and he was found and raised by a kindly old martial artist in the middle of the woods. Both in canon via Dragon Ball Super and in the Dragon Ball GT alternate timeline, they finally meet and fight each other after never doing so during the original run of Z, in both cases being far stronger than they were before. However, Goku got his power through his own hard work and tribulations and is fully his own man, while 17's power was forced into him through technological advancements that also come with mental programming directives he has to resist or work around. This also applies to the altered forms they achieve in the GT timeline. Also, Goku eventually learns not to kill unless it's necessary and has a total enthusiastic zeal for life, whereas 17 has no problem killing worthy opponents and is initially about as arrogant as Vegeta underneath his cool demeanor. Ironically, by the time they meet in Super, a bit of a role reversal is created. The first step in Goku's ascension into divine tiers of power is achieved through a deification ritual involving his friends' help, whereas 17 somehow manages to maximize the specs of his android technology enough to remain a significant force amongst godlike fighters all on his own through passive training. Also, 17 ends up gaining a more protective instinct toward the animals on the island he's in charge of and largely losing his sense of thrill seeking through battle and adventure, while the exact opposite happens with Goku throughout the series aside from some pivotal moments.
    • While Cell is the partial genetic clone of every notably strong warrior in the series up to that point, one of the characters he is mostly a foil to is Goku. Both spend years powering themselves up to achieve a purpose, are capable of innately understanding techniques with relatively little exposure, and once reaching the apex of what they can accomplish will set out to test their power in battle. However, while Goku is a lower-class Saiyan who trains hard to become stronger the good old fashioned way, Cell is literally optimized at a genetic level, cheats to improve by consuming others to steal their hard-earned strength for himself, and is the living manifestation of a mad scientist's thinly-hidden desire to destroy all organic life and replace it with artificial perfection. Most importantly, while Goku ultimately rejects his malevolent Saiyan instincts and chooses to live a (somewhat) peaceful life like a human, Cell embraces his evil nature and eventually seeks to fulfill what he believes to be his creator's will by destroying all life in the universe.
    • Majin Buu is similar to Goku. They are both super-powerful man children who are much smarter than people give them credit for, loves fighting and food above just about all else, can learn techniques just from seeing them once, and are pure nature. The difference, Buu's childish nature is what allows him to do so many evil things. In Fat Buu's case, he is so innocent that he doesn't know right from wrong and needs Mr. Satan to act as his Morality Chain. Super Buu is a child because he doesn't care about anything or anyone else except his own needs and desires. Kid Buu is as pure like a child and doesn't care about anything except killing and destroying everything. In comparison, Goku's childish nature highlights his innocence and purity of goodness to do the right thing, which gives him a high moral justice. Goku also works to achieve his power through years of hard work and dedication while Buu was not only born extremely strong, but can steal other people's work by absorbing them.
    • Goku to Beerus, especially after Goku achieves godhood for himself. Both are deities who love so many of the same things — a good battle, food, fun with friends, and sleeping. Between Goku's wife and Beerus' master attendant, they also both have someone at their side who regularly snarks or challenges them and exists as a counterbalance to their impulsive behaviors. However, Goku is a hard-working common man who had to rely on his friends' hearts to become a god. He fights to protect life, and he possesses incredible self-restraint and awareness. Whereas Beerus has lived his entire life hovering like a giant above everyone else in their universe aside from his master attendant. His whole job is to destroy to make space for more growth, and his Hair-Trigger Temper and Olympian sense of entitlement make him frightening to be around for most who've met him.
    • Broly is case study in how two people can share an origin yet be total and complete opposites. Both he and Goku are powerful Saiyans who ran afoul of the royal family and traditional Saiyan culture. They were kept in the same chamber room after they were born and escaped Frieza's genocide of their planet and people apart from the other Saiyans, then very quickly found themselves dressing and living far outside the Frieza Force/Saiyan Army motif and structure. Both are messianic characters, both are recognized as the "legendary Super Saiyan" and both are based on the original Monkey King Sun Wukong. But where Goku lucked into his own self-restraint, became well-adjusted if a bit naive, and was born with a ferocious spirit that would eventually see him earn his strength through training, feats, and adversities, Broly was born with an uncanny power level and a disconcertingly meek personality causing him to be frightened to tears when subject to continuous loud noises, utterly losing his mind at the first sign of life-or-death trauma as a result. While Goku looked and lived the part of a common man, and became king of his own destiny as well as the first naturally-achieved Super Saiyan in millennia in large part due to both his aforementioned fighting spirit as well as his cherishing of many loved ones as well as life itself, Broly had to be dressed in attire resembling a regal or holy being that at the same time was used to virtually lobotomize him, and was used as his father's puppet of destruction until his mutant Super Saiyan power burst through and was unleashed in the form of an incredible hulking demon out to kill everything including said father, not even stopping to feel pain unless fatally pierced or torn into.
    • As Goku's death-skinned doppelganger, Turles/Tullece is the closest character to the popular "Evil Goku" concept in official Dragon Ball media. Both were born low-level Saiyans who looked exactly alike, led a group of allies, escaped and survived Frieza's genocide pretty much on their own, and became stronger than they were supposed to be as time went on. Whereas Goku became a peace-loving defender of the Earth through a head injury and his mother's influence on Planet Vegeta, typically works for his strength and only siphons power from others by asking for it to take out true threats with the occasional Spirit Bomb, Turles is a calculating, cold-hearted marauder with ambitions of conquering the universe, who achieves most if not all of his gains in power by planting a life-sucking tree into planets that it then proceeds to rot to death, then eating from its forbidden fruit.
    • And speaking of Goku doppelgangers, Dragon Ball Super has introduced a new scourge in Future Trunks' timeline who shares Goku's name and appearance, albeit thinner and dressed in all black. This "Goku Black" character, as nicknamed by Future Bulma, is his World's Strongest Man and quite smug about it just like Goku is at times, is prone to smiling a lot, is fairly unconventional in his fighting style, and shares Goku's initial disdain for the Saiyans. However, the differences are made clearer with each passing moment of Black's screentime. Where Son Goku is a protector of life and a peaceful hero to a prosperous Earth known only to his inner circle, living former enemies, and world tournament aficionados, Black is an all-consuming destroyer who's liquidated and destroyed numerous planets, is in the midst of doing so to his Earth, and utterly feared by anyone he's ever met that lived long enough to tell about it. In fact, Black has terrorized and killed people on Earth who otherwise recognize Son Goku as a force of good including most likely all of Goku's family and friends. Goku is jovially informal and usually friendly, at times bordering on crude, and tends to be cocky at times but usually knows when to take a threat or challenge seriously, whereas Black is joyfully sophisticated and detached, blatantly showing his arrogance whenever he surfaces to kill. Goku is a straightforward, out-in-the-open fighter who relies on martial arts, bright ki, and instinctive strategies, likes to gradually escalate his battles to get the most challenge out of them, and avoids killing even his enemies if it can be helped. Black only acts this way but in a more sinister take on it against Goku himself since he stole his body and uses his fights with Goku to acclimate himself to Goku's fighting style; otherwise he will terrorize and kill anyone as quickly and efficiently as he can without a second thought (including sometimes striking as a Living Shadow with dragon-like red glowing eyes), and even his bright ki techniques carry a darker, sinister hue to them. Also, Goku's initial hatred for the Saiyans came from being introduced to them via three callous space pirates who came to liquidate his homeworld, and dissipated when he came to understand Saiyan pride through Vegeta's struggle against Frieza, while Black is a rogue god-apprentice who desires to destroy every "human" species in the universe including Earthlings and Saiyans. Furthermore, Goku has rejected all God Job offers despite achieving divine power, while Black killed his teacher to become a Supreme Kai and freely runs around using the artifacts of Supreme Kais to help him achieve his evil ends.
    • In a non-villain example, Goku to his son Gohan. They are both extremely gifted warriors who represent the peak of their groups. Goku is the strongest pure-blooded Saiyan, while Gohan is the most powerful of all the hybrids. They are both also pure-hearted, fun-loving, have a love for animals and people, and are somewhat naive about the outside world. They're also both Brilliant, but Lazy — in exactly the opposite ways. Goku loves to fight and challenge himself, while Gohan hates fighting and hurting people, and won't train unless there is an immediate danger. Goku is Book Dumb and doesn't work to support his family unless pressed, while Gohan is very well educated and has a steady job. Midway through Super, they both lose these flaws; Goku learns how to use his farming job as light training and becomes a regular at a local farmer's market, while a near-death experience at the hands of Frieza and Tagoma causes Gohan to rededicate himself to training and fighting so he can be strong enough to protect his loved ones. The result is an incredible sparring match between father and son prior to the Tournament of Power, and both serving as the primary keys to Universe 7's survival in said tournament as the World's Best Warrior and Supporting Leader respectively.
    • Super also introduces Goku's Distaff Counterpart Caulifla, a Saiyan girl from Universe 6 who like Goku is incredibly strong and talented enough to adapt to her enemies' exploits and gets excited to the point of No Sense of Personal Space when a new level of Saiyan power or a great adversary beyond where she's at are presented to her. Her relationship with her protégé Kale also evokes Goku's ties with Gohan (proudly caring for another Saiyan with great power and potential hidden behind a meek personality) and Vegeta (being the person at the top another powerful Saiyan strives to reach, often fights alongside, and has even fused with). They're both among the few Saiyans who aren't part of a galactic organization, tend to be entirely rude and direct due to No Social Skills, and are increasingly fueled by powerful battles thanks to their Saiyan blood. The differences? Caulifla is more of the prodigy for whom learning new levels seems to come too easy, while Goku is the overachiever whose Level Grinding over the years via hard work, smart rest, and at least one traumatic awakening is the stuff of legends. When it comes to counterparts with the green-haired legendary berserk form, Kale has a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Caulifla through which she's able to calm and focus her mutant power, whereas movie 8 Broly associates baby Kakarot's incessant crying with the near-death trauma he experienced from day one and is thus triggered by his name into going implacable demon, and canon Broly goes from being used as a weapon against Kakarot to possibly becoming one of his training partners. And despite both being Smug Supers, Goku is able to graciously accept defeat and kindly go for a rematch while Caulifla is an aggressive brand of Sore Loser who nonetheless is still capable of grudging respect similar to Vegeta.
    • Goku has yet another counterpart in Jiren the Grey from Universe 11. Both are incredibly strong mortal warriors who through adversity and training have ascended their powers into the realm of the gods and who've drawn in entire teams of companions around their strength. They have also each had to deal with loss at an early age. However, Goku's earliest loss, his entire race, was at such a young age that he never fully registered it until well after encountering the last remnants of the Saiyans, starting with his brother coming to retrieve him. Jiren was already attached to his family and returned to his village one day only to see it burned to death. Furthermore, Goku is trusting to a fault and genuinely cares for others, and doesn't call himself a hero but can't stand seeing innocents or those he cares for get hurt. Jiren is hailed as the strongest member of a superhero team but believes that strength is the only true reliable justice there is and neither trusts nor values his comrades. Goku ends up beating him in their battle of ideals, doing significant damage to Jiren after fiercely protecting his bonds from an erratic assault as well as finally taking him down by working in perfect tandem with Frieza. This, followed by a conversation with Toppo after the tournament, causes Jiren to start to come around to Goku's way. Even this reveals another difference; not only is Jiren hardly the first adversary to be influenced by Goku's optimistic nature, he's ultimately the one who gets won over by the very team he tried blatantly to keep at arm's length.
  • 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.
  • 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 closed 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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 Dragon Ball Z: 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 and becomes near-invincible, Goku becomes so desperate to fuse with another fighter in order to beat him that he's willing to do so with the only other person who knows how to fight left in the area: Mr. Satan. Having been told the Potara Fusion was permanent compared to the Fusion Danced, Goku thought he and Mr. Satan would be stuck together forever, and there was no guarantee that the resulting fusion would make a difference (in the Japanese text, Goku wonders if he will become weaker). Fortunately, Vegeta happens to arrive, just as he's about to do it.
    • Goku's resurrection during the Buu Saga is this. With Super Buu having turned the tides on Gohan by absorbing 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.
    • During the Future Trunks Saga of Super, with Zamasu having become an unstoppable, multiverse-encompassing Eldritch Abomination, Goku has no choice but to use the button Zen-O gave him to call him in; Zen-O proceeds to wipe out Zamasu, and the entire multiverse of Trunks' timeline, in one shot.
    • In the Universe Survival Saga, when Majin Buu falls into a two-month hibernation, and their need for a tenth member for the Tournament of Power, Goku resorts to having Fortuneteller Baba revive Frieza for one day to compete for them.
    • Goku usually causes others to cross into this, as usually he'd break out another power up that can thoroughly trounce his opponents. This is what caused Frieza to blow up Namek; Frieza was afraid of the Super Saiyan Goku but knew that, Super or not, he couldn't breathe in space.
  • 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.
  • 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: Usually averted, as he is one of the most merciful characters in the show and has shown kindness to every major villain in the series. There are however a few instances where he fits the trope:
    • When he was a kid/teen. This is especially demonstrated 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. He downplays this trope as an adult, due to the combination of him showing mercy to his enemies, thus making them into friends and mostly enjoying fighting for the competitive aspect. Although, some traits of this remains like him letting Frieza live with the shame of being defeated by a mere monkey and blasting Frieza when he shot him in the back. After accepting that Frieza is irredeemably evil and too dangerous to live, he atomizes him with a Kamehameha. He was also more than willing to kill Cell and Buu, not offering them the chance to walk away. When fighting Future Zamasu for the second time, he actually blew his head off with an energy blast and he only survived because he's an immortal. And when properly enraged, he will beat his enemies to a bloody pulp.
    • When Gohan was torturing Cell, most of the characters were horrified at seeing sweet Gohan cruelly picking the android apart, including Piccolo. Goku, however, was concerned that Gohan was taking too long and Cell would get desperate, not really caring that Gohan was torturing someone to death.
    • When the Supreme Kai attempts to stop Goku and Majin Vegeta from fighting, it's not Vegeta, but Goku who threatens to kill him if he gets in the way, shocking Gohan and Vegeta. And based off the reactions from all three of them, they could tell Goku wasn't bluffing.
  • Good Parents: While very debatable to human standards, there is no denying that for a Saiyan ( who, according to Word of God, lack a nesting instinct or inherent love for their family members) who only had a parental figure of his own for a small part of his childhood and largerly lived by himself, Goku managed to come out as a surprisingly loving father, if nothing else. His shortcomings as parent, which are plentiful, nonwithstanding, Goku at the end of the day has put more effort in raising his children than 99 percent of all Universe 7 Saiyans ever have, and has sacrificed his life to save his son two times over.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Twice. First when he sacrifices himself to kill Raditz, and again when he teleports Cell away from Earth, just before he self-destructs.
  • 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: As he becomes Older and Wiser, he uses his head more and doesn't just rely on brute strength to get ahead:
    • He goads Piccolo into growing bigger during the 23rd Martial Arts Tournament after Piccolo uses a technique to become jumbo-sized. Once he's big enough, Goku jumps into Piccolo's mouth, causing major damage to him. Piccolo eventually manages to spit him out, but not before Goku saves Kami, who Piccolo had swallowed earlier.
    • He mentally tells Gohan to look at the artificial moon so he can transforms into a Great Ape to beat Vegeta. When it seems that Gohan has lost complete control and is just a rampaging beast, he guides Gohan to attack Vegeta.
    • He manipulates Cell, using the android's desire to fight strong people and his pride. He tells Cell that Gohan is the strongest fighter at the Cell Games and will destroy him even at full power, going as far as to give Cell a Senzu saying that he will need it. Cell takes the bait and tries to goad Gohan into becoming angry. Although Goku's plan has some bumps, Gohan eventually unleashed his hidden power, becoming a Super Saiyan 2 and kicking Cell's ass.
    • In the dub, he gently manipulates Buu into realizing that he is much stronger than Babidi and is far too talented of a fighter to be pushed around by such a weakling and a coward. He also gets Buu to wait three days before destroying the Earth by telling him that an even stronger fighter than him will come to challenged him.
    • To secure Old Kai's help so he will power-up Gohan to fight Buu, Goku offers him a kiss from Bulma. In the Japanese text, he offers him to feel on Bulma's boobs. Vegeta isn't amused when he learns about this.
    • When fighting Golden Frieza, Goku quickly realizes that he's outmatched even with his godly powers. He, however, finds Frieza's fatal weakness, his ultimate form has the same stamina issues as his original 100% form. So, he fights Frieza for awhile and allows the tyrant to burn himself out to the point that his attacks can't hurt him anymore.
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    H 

  • 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 Freeza who he nearly killed 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 retain its shape when wet. This turns out to be a racial trait of the Saiyans. Their hair never change once born.
  • 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 Dragon Ball 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 Freeza 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: As an adult he has a very muscular figure to the point that he has the body of a Greek god. 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 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 two 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.
  • 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. He's happy to let the world think Mr. Satan is the world's savior. Bulma also understands this, which is why she didn't name Goku as the one who killed King Piccolo, only that justice prevailed when she reported Piccolo's defeat. This, however, gets Deconstructed during the Kid Buu fight where Goku begs the people of Earth for help to beat Majin Buu and gets almost nothing since no one knows who he is.
    • In the Buu Saga, Goten and Trunks accuses Goku of being a cowardly weakling who let Gohan and Vegeta be killed by Buu. This happened because Goku refuses to tell them about Majin Vegeta and just says he was unconscious when Vegeta died. Instead of defending himself and even stopping Piccolo from speaking up for him, he agrees with their statement, but says that even a cowardly weakling can still teach them the Fusion Dance.
    • In Super, Dende implores Goku to train the reborn Kid Buu when he becomes old enough. Goku is hesitant about the idea since he claims not to be good at that kind of stuff, which is a severe downplay on Goku's part since he trained Gohan to surpassed him during the Cell Saga and taught Goten and Trunks the Fusion Dance in just a few hours.
  • 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:
    • During the Cell Saga, he's taken aback when Gohan deliberately prolongs his Curb-Stomp Battle with Cell solely to humiliate him and make him suffer for his crimes and yells at him to finish Cell off, despite the fact that he himself did the exact same thing to Frieza for the exact same reason, prioritizing Frieza's utter humiliation over escaping Namek before it exploded. A good argument could be made that he learned that lesson the hard way, and didn't want Gohan to make the same mistake.
    • 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).
    • He demands that Goku Black use his full power when they fight for the first time. Black counters that Goku isn't one to talk since he's only fighting as a Super Saiyan 2.
  • 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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