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Characters / Dragon Ball Son Goku Tropes I To O

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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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    I 
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Tends to hold back his true power, mostly for the sake of a good fight or to conserve energy. Vegeta was especially mad when he learned that Goku was hiding an entire level of Super Saiyan after he sold his soul to bridge the gap between them.
  • I Am What I Am: Upon learning that his race's legacy of genocide was forced upon them by Freeza, he lets go of the shame of being belonging to a race of murderers and instead comes to embrace the pride of being a Saiyan warrior:
    Goku: [burying Vegeta] I hated you, but I respect the pride with which you defended your race's honor... Now share some of that pride with me, for I am a Saiyan who grew up on Earth!
  • I Am Who?: Raditz arrives on Earth and reveals to Goku that he is a member of a superpowerful and bloodthirsty warrior race called the Saiyans. Due to a nearly fatal accident which gave him Laser-Guided Amnesia, Goku lost his violent tendencies and sincerely believed that he was an Earthling.
  • Iconic Outfit: His orange turtle gi. Since he got the Turtle Hermit uniform, he always wears a version of it, with the exceptions of the last episodes of Z where he switches to a version of his original blue gi and Dragon Ball GT where he wears a modified version of the EOZ gi.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: When he becomes a Super Saiyan, his eyes becomes a cold, icy blue filled with malice and hatred. It stands out so much that Frieza freaks out when he sees Future Trunks' eyes as a Super Saiyan. This gets Downplayed after he masters Super Saiyan and he's able to keep his innocent aura in his eyes. Although, they do turn icy when he's serious in a fight, especially as a Super Saiyan 3.
  • Ideal Hero: Goku zigzags. Specifically, Goku himself fulfills the trope by being the best man you'll ever meet or hear of. He is the Hope Bringer to all who knows him, can inspire people who have been evil their entire lives to become good people like Piccolo and Vegeta, can bring out the best in people who are morally ambiguous like Beerus and Hit, will spare enemies and only kill as a very last resort, and has laid down his life twice without hesitation protecting others, but he will focus on his training to the exclusion of everything else, sometimes including family. Goku also tends to fall under a mild case of Adaptational Heroism. In the dub and in the Japanese anime, Goku's heroics are played up more. Toriyama originally wanted Goku to be a hero, but a somewhat questionable and selfish hero who grows stronger not to protect others, but to fight stronger people. He even says that he wanted people to wonder if Goku is really a good person. That changed a bit after Character Development took over and Goku becomes more heroic and unquestionably good. He is still selfish and will put a good fight above the safety of the world, but his heart is usually in the right place.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: In the original Japanese language in the anime, Son Goku's "happy and immature Idiot Hero" persona is emphasized by his consistent use of the Osaka dialect of Japanese, which by stereotypically marks one as a "lower class country bumpkin." The only time he ever switches to using Tokyo-Ben (IE. Standard Proper Japanese, used in formal/polite/adult society) is after Freeza murders Krillin, where he loses all trace of innocence and kindness and is primed to kill. In the manga, however, Goku uses standard Japanese with some slang. Goku's Japanese actress added the Osaka accent.
  • Idiot Hero: The Trope Codifier for modern Shonen heroes. At the same time, he's actually closer to a straight-up subversion. Goku does poorly with numbers, speaks like a hick, naive, and too trusting. At the same time, Goku's genius at fighting necessitates being intelligent in other areas, and he can also read the weaknesses in complex techniques and come up with excellent tactics on the fly; he's also very good with interpersonal skills, occasionally shows surprising wisdom, and is very good at living off the land. It is hinted in Dragon Ball Minus that Goku's good heart came from his mother and not just from his head injury like most of his friends believe. There is also no real hint of Goku having brain damage given that he was raised in extreme isolation for most of his childhood, which is why he is naive about the rest of the world and never really integrated into human society.
  • I Gave My Word: He only promised to marry Chi-Chi as a child because he thought that marriage was a kind of food. When he finds out just what marriage is when they meet again as adults, Goku nonetheless proposes to Chi-Chi right then and there because he gave his word.
    • To show just how much value Goku places in the weight of a promise, he keeps his word of honor to resurrect Freeza, who has had TWO literal lifetimes of genocidal atrocities on the rap sheet of his dark-and-filthy-soul, because the latter kept his word of honor to fight for Universe 7's Survival in The Tournament of Power.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Briefly tries this on Majin Vegeta during the Buu Saga... only to discover that Vegeta is in full control of himself and let Babidi possess him in order to increase his power.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: How Goku feels when Krillin is murdered by Tambourine and Frieza. He directly blames himself for Krillin's first death since he's killed retrieving his Dragon Ball and Power Pole that he left behind after the tournament.
  • Immigrant Patriotism: He dismisses the "elite" Vegeta's bragging with the retort that on Earth, they know even a "reject" can outdo the elite if they work hard enough. In the Cell Games, he wears his classic gi rather than Saiyan armor for this reason (though he still uses the armor while training, for practical purposes).
    "I am a Saiyan raised on planet Earth!"
  • Immune to Bullets: Even as a little kid, he could shrug off small-arms fire, though they did cause him some pain.
  • Immune to Mind Control: In Xenoverse, he's immune to Towa's (and Demigra's) Superpowered Evil Side-inducing Dark Magic. During the final boss, it's implied that he's immune because he became a Super Saiyan God.
  • In the Blood: Zigzag. He comes from a ruthless alien race known as the Saiyans, who are all cruel Blood Knights who performed genocide for a living. According to Master Roshi, Goku is only docile because he hit his head as a toddler since he was a terror to Grandpa Gohan. Dragon Ball Minus calls this into question, however, since Goku's mother was a pacific who was extremely softhearted, so Goku's goodness could have been in the blood and not just cause by head trauma. Given how Raditz's turned out, Goku's personality seems to be a mixture of nurture and nature.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own:
    • Happens to Goku a lot. Despite having several powerful friends, most of the final battles fall on his shoulders alone. He takes out the entire Red Ribbon Army by himself before his friends could arrive to help him and he battles Pilaf alone to retrieve the final Dragon Ball to wish Upa's father back to life. The most extreme is the Frieza fight. Not only was he the only person able to fight Frieza after becoming a Super Saiyan, Frieza and he are the only ones left on the planet during the final leg. It happens again in Battle of Gods. After Gohan, Vegeta, Trunks, Goten, and an unborn Pan gives Goku energy to become a Super Saiyan God, he becomes the only being in the universe able to fight on Beerus' level.
    • Invoked by Goku during the 23rd World Martial Tournament. He refused any help while fighting Piccolo despite several people trying to help, including the Guardian of the Earth. It was a tournament and Goku wanted to win fairly.
  • In Harm's Way: Because of Goku's Blood Knight nature, he is at his happiest when he's fighting, either for fun or for his life. When he hears that there is someone stronger than Vegeta, someone who literally crushed every bone in his body not even a month ago, he's all but giddy at the idea of fighting them. Beerus is the God of Destruction who the other gods fear, he wants to fight him. The other Gods of Destruction and their strongest warriors are after Goku since he put their universe in danger, he's more than happy to fight all of them and says so to their faces. Goku even admits that he fights at his best when he's on the edge.
  • Inappropriate Hunger: It doesn't matter if Goku is fighting in a life or death battle or watching one, or the world is in great danger, when he's hungry he will ask to eat.
  • Incompletely Trained: He's able to get by despite leaving in the middle of his training more than once because he manages to learn everything on his own anyway.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Despite his many adventures, he never stops being the paragon.
    • He gets the Nimbus when Master Roshi notices he can ride it (when only the pure of heart can ride it).
    • Goku is so pure of heart that during the Fortuneteller Baba Saga, Spike the Devil Man's Devilmite Beam attack, which amplifies any and all negative thoughts and inner evil in the target until said target explodes, has no effect on him whatsoever.
    • Shin himself was able to see that Goku's heart was completely pure when shaking his hand, which made him perfect to fight against Babidi.
    • Averted in Super Dragon Ball Heroes where Goku gets corrupted by Kamba, whose ki is so evil it causes whoever comes into contact to become Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Goku at the start of the series. Nothing was known about his past other than he was found in the mountains by his grandfather and was raised in isolation for a number of years. Other than that, everything about Goku was up in the air like why he was so powerful, had a tail, and why did he turned into a big ape during a full moon. His friends and enemies openly debated if he was even human. By Dragon Ball Z, we learned he's a Human Alien from a warrior race and he's actually a weakling by their standards. Even then, his ungodly strength and seemingly endless potential still isn't fully explain given he outpaces the Saiyan Prince, who is said to be the strongest their race have to offer. Part of it is a lot of hard work, but, as the series has shown, hard work alone can't catch natural talent unless it isn't maintained. In Super, Zamasu becomes so obsessed with Goku's power and endless growth that he actually uses the Super Dragon Balls to take his body and abandons his original body, which is in nature that of a god.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: With Tullece/Turles. They look exactly alike, except Turles has darker skin, but they are not related. Supposedly, all low-class Saiyans look similar to easily identify them as weak.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: After mastering Super Saiyan for the Cell Games, Goku's eyes takes on this quality. They have the same innocent aura as his normal black eyes. They do, however, go back to an icy blue when he's ready to fight serious.
  • Innocent Fanservice Guy: In the original series, he had absolutely zero qualms against stripping down to his birthday suit in public. In GT, he throws off his clothes right in front of Pan in order to chase a villain underwater, dismissing her pleas that he Please Put Some Clothes On.
  • Innocently Insensitive: He has shown signs of this throughout the series, like insulting Bulma when she was trying to seduce him for a Dragon Ball as a kid, asking a teenage Chi-Chi if he knew who she was when she greeted him at the tournament and in the driving filler episode when after Chi-Chi was in the house, exhausted after being chased by a boar and walking home, he just dumps his clothes on the table instead of asking Chi-Chi about her day. He was this trope all over the place in the Buu Saga. Then again, he was raised in the woods, so it's not surprising he doesn't have any manners or knowing right from wrong. In regards to Chi-Chi, Toriyama has explained that most Saiyans don't really care much about romance or marriage.
  • Instant Expert: In addition to his combat prowess, he quickly learned how to fly the Flying Nimbus, and managed to figure out how to work Bulma's motorcycle in the first episode fairly quickly.
  • Interspecies Adoption: After landing on Earth, he was raised by the kindly martial arts master Gohan, before he accidentally killed him as a Great Ape.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Chi-Chi. She is a pure-blooded human while he is a Human Alien.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: As a Saiyan, he turns into a giant monkey when he looks at the full moon. Unlike Vegeta, he had no control of this form and really did turn into a monster. Though once he loses his tail, he loses this ability.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Next to Krillin and Mr. Satan, he takes the most physical abuse in the cast, especially in the anime.
  • Is It Something You Eat?: Agreed to marry Chi-Chi because he thought a "Bride" was a kind of food. Even back at the very beginning of the series, when Bulma showed him the Dragon Balls for the first time, he thought they were for eating.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: As a kid, Goku had a hard time understanding that everyone is not super. One of the best examples is when the group needs to get across a deadly booby-trapped hallway without touching the floor. Goku and Krillin easily jump across the traps. Goku tells Bulma it's her turn, and she angrily yells that there's no way she can jump that far. Goku is surprised. He also thought that every boy has a tail. Amusingly, when he tells Bulma, she gets upset that she still doesn't know about the male anatomy at her age.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • Goku feels this way about Krillin's first death. The only reason why Krillin went back to the stadium was to retrieve his Dragon Ball and Power Pole that he carelessly left because he was tired from fighting Tien.
    • In Resurrection 'F', after Frieza blows up the Earth and kills everyone except for those close to Whis, Goku hangs his head in shame and openly blames himself, remarking that he should have killed Frieza when he had the chance instead of offering him mercy again. Fortunately, Whis rewinds time to just before Frieza blew up the Earth, giving Goku the opportunity to rectify his mistake.
  • It's Personal:
    • The Red Ribbon Army makes things personal with Goku by indirectly having Mercenary Tao murder Bora, leaving poor Upa an orphan like him. He raids the Red Ribbon Army's base not only to take their Dragon Balls, but to avenge Bora.
    • Goku's feelings towards King Piccolo and Frieza. Both of them murdered Krillin and King Piccolo indirectly kills Master Roshi. They both get the full force of Goku's vengeance.
    • The whole affair with Future Zamasu and Goku Black become this to him after they sadistically taunt him about killing his other self's family. He spends a good chunk of time brutalizing Goku Black with the intent to kill.
  • I Warned You: In Kai, he has this to say after Frieza's Backstab Backfire:
    Goku: I warned you, but you didn't listen! I gave you one last chance to walk away, and you BLEW IT!

    J - L 
  • Jerkass Realization: During the Cell Saga, he has so much confidence in his son's ability to beat Cell that he actually gives Cell a Senzu Bean, which restores him to full health after he'd been weakened by his fight with Goku. Goku reasons that Gohan naturally wants a fair fight with Cell since that's what he himself would do. He's oblivious to how things are going until Piccolo spells out for him that his son doesn't enjoy combat like Goku does and is deeply confused and terrified about why his father is openly giving support to the person who's trying to murder him.
  • The Juggernaut: During the Tournament of Power, while he's in any version of his Ultra Instinct form, all but a few named individuals should just avoid fighting him as it's close to pointless. Goku even hits most of the requirements during his first two scenes in the form: doesn't speak (until when the transformation's time limit is close to ending), moves at a pace that's seem slow but is actually very fast, casually knocks aside anyone who gets in his way (as Toppo and Dypso learn the hard way) and once he reaches his opponent, he goes all out. His face also shows a very calm yet fierce expression that adds to the intensity. To date, the only opponents that proved even the slightest threat to Goku in this form were Kefla, and Jiren.
  • Just a Kid: Dismissed as a mere boy for most of his childhood by his opponents. They are quickly proven wrong - there's nothing 'mere' about him.
  • Just Toying with Them: Goku as a kid enjoyed toying with his opponents, but unlike most there is no real malice behind it. To him, fighting is one big game and it is no fun if he just curb stomps everyone. He even refers to it as playing. As an adult, if he toys with an opponent, it usually means they did something to pissed him off, case in point Freeza.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The partial Trope Namer.
  • Keep the Reward: When Mr. Satan tries to give Goku the World Peace Prize money for defeating Majin Buu, he initially turns it down. He actually becomes freaked out over how much money he's being given. He eventually accepts after Goten points out that if he takes the money he can quit his job and train since Chi-Chi will be happy.
  • Ki Attacks: Pretty much the Trope Codifier.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: He of all people does this to Frieza, although with words until of his fists. After Frieza fails to gain immortality on the Dragon Balls since he can't speak Namekian, Goku spends several minutes rubbing his face about his failure despite being so close and goes into detail about how the Dragon Balls were used to revived all his victims and everyone was wished back to Earth except for them. Then, after Frieza burns himself out because he isn't used to fighting for so long at his full power and can't even touch Goku anymore, Goku gives him a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech, which ends with Goku saying that he wants Frieza to suffer for the rest of his life knowing that he lost to monkey.
  • Kiddie Kid: Initially, he looks like an 8-year-old well into his mid-teens and has the wisdom of a child even younger than that. Justified since he was left alone the wilderness for several years with no human contact.
  • Kid Hero: Started out as one until the 23rd Martial Art Tournament.
  • Kid Hero All Grown-Up: He grows up during the second three-year timeskip.
  • Killed Off for Real: Future Goku who dies to the heart virus. He couldn't be revived by the Dragon Balls since he dies of natural causes. The major reason why Future Trunks went to the past is to prevent Goku's death.
  • Kill Him Already!: His reaction when Gohan decides to drag out his Curb-Stomp Battle with Cell purely to make him suffer as much as possible. Goku literally screams at Gohan to finish him off before Cell gets desperate, but Gohan doesn't listen. Ironically, Goku himself is usually on the opposite end of this trope, such as when he persuaded Krillin to spare Vegeta.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Particularly as a kid, when he meant well, but had little understanding of people.
  • King Kong Copy: When the moon is full (when he has his tale, anyway), he become a giant gorilla. This is a trait all saiyans share.
  • Kirk Summation: Goku begins the final phase of almost every battle by offering his opponent "one last chance" to recant his evil ways.
    • At the end of Dragon Ball Z, before annihilating Buu with the Spirit Bomb, Goku briefly reminisces about the events of the arc, and how Buu went from an mostly-innocent manchild to a ruthless killer after losing the battle against his inner evil, and says how Buu will now learn what it's like to have his own life taken away against his will. He also makes a wish that Buu will come back as a better person, so he can fight him again.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Not him really but his Oozaru form appearing makes any scene turn dead serious for the destructive potential it could bring and how much of a mindless brute it is.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After barely managing to stop Beerus's energy ball from destroying the Earth, Goku, exhausted and realizing that he's no match for Beerus, concedes defeat rather than continue fighting. It's this that ultimately convinces Beerus to spare the Earth.
  • Kryptonite Factor: As a kid he has two:
    • In early arcs, his rapacious hunger sometimes causes him to run out of stamina in the middle of a fight and lose most of his strength until he gets a good meal. This becomes less of an issue as he grows up and gains greater stamina reserves.
    • Grabbing his tail causes him to become paralyzed with pain. He eventually trains his tail specifically to counteract this.
  • Kubrick Stare: After Goku becomes a Super Saiyan, this becomes his default expression until he learns to control it during the Cell Saga. This expression is very noticeable with Super Saiyan 3 since it is the least 'human' of the Super Saiyan forms.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In the sense that he lost a bit of genetic memory as a child (the Saiyan viciousness), facilitating his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Last of His Kind: After Frieza murders Vegeta, Goku becomes the last pure-blooded Saiyan in the universe (if you don't count Tarble).
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority:
    • Twice. In the canonically-debatable GT, Goku's strongest form, Super Saiyan 4, has red fur and red...er...eyeliner. In the canon movie, Battle of Gods, his strongest form, Super Saiyan God, grants him red hair, red eyes, a flaming orange aura, and a red skin tint. This is Subverted in Resurrection F' where the strongest Super Saiyan form is blue, which is considered a weak color in Japan.
    • This can also be applied to his former trump card, the Kaiōken. Formerly Goku's best transformation, it allows him to multiply the user's ki for a "heart beat", increasing his strength by any multiplication of his choosing, and as such, can allow Goku to remain the strongest on the battlefield if he multiplies his power, and this can even exceed any form of Super Saiyan depending on how it's multiplied. The drawback is his body cannot handle the stress and it can cause him to explode under the weight of his own ki; it's never stated if his body, at the end of the series, was ever trained enough to overcome this. And what color does it make him? Red.
  • The Leader: He is the charismatic leader among his group of friends. When he's around, everyone defer to him, including Vegeta, Piccolo, and even the gods. This is mostly because Goku is usually the strongest by a wide margin, but it is also because he tends to remain levelheaded no matter what's happening around him.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen:
    • During his fight with Piccolo Jr. during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, Goku takes great pains to avoid touching the ground outside the ring and refuses to let his friends help him so he can be declared the winner after the fight. By contrast, Piccolo couldn't care less about the tournament rules and just wants to kill Goku.
    • He prefers fights to be one on one matches, and even complains that Goku Black and Future Zamasu are cheating when they gang up on him.
  • Lethally Stupid: He tends to care more about having a fair and challenging fight than anything else. He allows his most dangerous opponents to power up their maximum level even when the entire planet's at stake, and even gives Cell a Senzu Bean right before he was about to engage in a fight to the death with his son. He also has the habit of giving his enemies a Last-Second Chance when he really should just kill them and be done with it (although this only causes trouble with Raditz and Frieza, since everyone else Goku's spares turn good eventually). This comes to a head in Resurrection 'F', where he gives Frieza the opportunity to walk away again despite how badly it backfired for him the last time; not only does Goku get near-fatally shot for the trouble, but when Frieza was subsequently defeated by Vegeta, he flipped out and blew up the Earth.
  • Lightning Bruiser: As a child he could already move, dodge and land his own attacks so quickly that he would leave afterimages and nobody could tell what happened. By the time the Saiyan Arc began even Vegeta couldn't believe how incredibly fast Goku was able to land his attacks. As he grew older, he just become stronger and faster to the point where he became as fast as the speed of light and arguably faster via Instant Transmission.
  • Like Brother and Sister: His relationship with Bulma. She was only the second person he has ever met after his grandfather found him as a toddler and they remain extremely close even as adults with their own families.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Almost never seen in anything other than a Martial Arts Uniform.
  • Limp and Livid: Goku takes this stance exactly one time. It's right before he becomes a Super Saiyan for the first time.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Subverted. While Goku gets his looks and his fighting genes from his father Bardock, it is from his mother Gine (introduced in a supplementary manga released long after the end of the series) that he gets his kind and gentle nature. That kind nature is passed on to all of Goku's descendants.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: How Gohan named Goku. Because Goku fell from the sky, Gohan named him Goku. (The 空 (kū) in Gokū can be read as 'sora', which means 'sky'.)
  • Little Bit Beastly: Until he reached adulthood, Goku had a monkey tail that he often used as a fifth limb.
  • Living Emotional Crutch:
    • On top of being a physical Crutch Character to his friends, he is also this to them, especially Krillin and Gohan. They both become noticeably pessimistic when Goku isn't around to guide and protect them. Krillin is so dependent on Goku at times that he was ready to run when Goku fell sick in the Android Saga and Gohan lost his will to fight after Goku died sacrificing himself to stop Cell.
    • It's not as obvious as with Gohan or Krillin, but like them, Bulma is noticeably dependent on Goku. Even after marrying Vegeta who constantly pushes himself to keep up with Goku in power and largely succeeds at it, Bulma still puts much of her faith in Goku to save the day. Her future counterpart sends Trunks back in time specifically to save Goku's life, and in Super, Bulma won't stop talking about how Goku will definitely deal with Goku Black and Future Zamasu, despite Vegeta being about equal to Goku.
    • His family too are crutches for him in the same sense as Krillin is, as harming or threatening them will often result in Goku flying into either an Unstoppable Rage or a terrifying Tranquil Fury.
  • Living Legend: Goku zig-zags this. On Earth, he is well known within the martial arts community. He is an undefeated champion of the World Martial Arts Tournament and two time runner-up in legendary matches. Among some, he is known as the person who killed King Piccolo. However, Goku isn't well known by the general population thanks to him wanting no credit for his work and Mr. Satan stealing any he may gained. In the universe at large, people know who he is. He's known as the Super Saiyan and is feared and revered for defeating Frieza and Majin Buu. The Supreme Kai knew who he was, even before the incident with Buu.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Throughout his childhood and some of his adult life, Goku had no clue that he transformed into a Great Ape during a full moon, which caused the death of his grandfather. He doesn't learn the truth until he fights Vegeta and sees him transform, after which he puts two and two together.
    • He's the only member of the main cast who hasn't figured out that Monaka is a total weakling and not the most powerful mortal in Universe 7. At Beerus' request, his friends keep the secret from him.
  • Logical Weakness: During the Tournament of Power, he achieves Ultra Instinct, a state that can be considered the ultimate expression of Don't Think, Feel, which allows a fighter to dodge pretty much any attack reflexively. The drawback is that because it's un-mastered (at that point), it's almost entirely defense-oriented; as Whis explains, all fighters think when they attack, giving consideration to things like how much force to use and where to strike, and that it's extremely difficult to leave attacking to instinct. Goku finds a sort of work-around while fighting Kefla, letting his body dodge her attacks while he concentrates on charging a Kamehameha, firing it off when he gets right up in her face.
  • Look What I Can Do Now!: One of the biggest examples of the trope. Every time he's off-screen for a long period of time, expect him to take several levels in badass.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Even by his mid-forties, Son Goku never matured past the country bumpkin raised in the mountains; he never uses "Keigo" (Polite-Dialect Japanese) in former situations or when talking to his seniors/social-betters note , is childishly demanding when it comes to food and drink, and sadly still prone to using toilet-humor slang and scatological-analogies even in the company of women note 
  • Lunacy: The Oozaru transformation. Goku himself isn't aware of it until he pieces it together from what Vegeta tells him.

    M 
  • Made of Iron: Not to the extent of Gohan and Vegeta, but even without using his Ki and muscles to defend himself Goku is immune to any real damage from most small firearms and blunt trauma like getting hit by robots/rocks/cars/Bulma etc. It still hurts like crazy, but don't expect him to get more than a scrape or two unless whatever hurt him is REALLY deadly. Obviously a different story if he's actually trying not to get hurt, but that's mostly universal since many characters in Dragon Ball who can survive a planet destroying attack if they're trying to.
  • Magical Defibrillator: When Goku is killed by Hit, Piccolo attempts to restarts his heart, just like with Gohan in Resurrection 'F'. Piccolo is unsuccessful, but Goku managed to shoot an energy blast before dying, which hits him and gives him the jolt needed to get his heart working.
    • He does it with Ki blasts again to Master Roshi after his heart stopped due to overusing the Mafuba and Kamehameha.
  • Magic Pants: and how, especially in GT where Goku somehow keeps his pants after going Super Saiyan 4 (from kid-sized to his original adult height). He also kept his pants after he transformed into a Golden Great Ape and went Super Saiyan 4 for the first time.
  • Magnetic Hero: Goku sure collected quite the unlikely group of friends by the end of the series. Old Kai even lampshades this tendency, saying how Goku can turn almost anyone into a friend or ally, even the God of Destruction.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry:
    • It happens mostly when he's afraid or tell his friends that he is afraid of something, without him actually showing that he is and he's usually smiling as he says it. If he does shows fear, then things are usually very bad. On the other hand, if he tells an opponent that he's mad at them, that usually means that he's closed to going into a murderous rage.
    • In Super, After Goku Black and Future Zamasu revealed that Black murdered Chi-Chi and Goten after stealing his body and killing him, Goku loses it, saying this trope almost word-by-word, before beating the mess out of them:
    Goku: I won't forgive you! You…. took over my body. You even killed Chi-Chi and Goten! I'm mad… I'm seriously mad now! I ain't ever going to forgive you!
  • Man Bites Man: Despite being someone who wants a fair fight, Goku will bite his opponent if given no choice, or they bite him first. He's bitten King Piccolo's thumb, Frieza when he tries to strangle him with his tail, and Kid Buu after he bites his arm. In Super, he bites Beerus' tail during their first fight, Frieza's tail when he's trying to strangle him with it, and even bites Whis during training.
  • Manchild: Yes, and quite a positive example at that, emphasizing innocence and compassion for others. At the same time, he has the type of selfishness that's often associated with children, like his need to fight strong opponents, consequences be damn, even if it's the gods warning him. He also has quirks that are often seen in young kids like his fear of needles in the anime which extends to doctors and becoming paralyzed when tickled.
  • Manly Tears: Android 8's Heroic Sacrifice in Path of Power marks one of the very few times in the entire franchise that Goku ever cries. In the series proper, he cries with joy after seeing his grandpa again, something he friends note as rare.
  • Martial Arts Uniform: Once Goku gets his first uniform from Roshi at his first tournament, it becomes his outfit of choice, and he's rarely seen in anything other than some version of it - and usually only when it's been destroyed, and he doesn't have a spare handy.
  • Martial Pacifist: Although he loves to fight and test himself against powerful people, Goku will only fight people who are willing to battle and usually won't actively go seeking fights. He also won't fight people weaker than him unless push and tries to spare the lives of his opponent if possible. He is perfectly content spending his days living peacefully with a lot of training as long as he has someone to spar with.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Goku is the third master of the Turtle School, a martial arts style that has roots with Mutaito, Master Roshi and Shen's master. He later pass on his lessons to Gohan, Pan, and Uub. He also trained under Master Korin, who trained Master Roshi in his youth, and he was mentored under Kami, King Kai, and much later Whis, giving him the most chains in the series. The chains are:
    • Mutaito > Master Roshi > Son Gohan, Sr > Son Goku > Son Gohan, Pan, and Uub
    • Mutaito > Master Roshi > Son Gohan, Sr > Son Goku > Son Gohan > Son Goten
    • Master Korin > Master Roshi > Son Goku > Son Gohan, Pan, and Uub
    • Master Korin > Master Roshi > Son Goku > Son Gohan > Son Goten
    • Master Korin, Kami, and King Kai > Son Goku > Son Gohan, Pan, and Uub
    • Master Korin, Kami, and King Kai > Son Goku > Son Gohan > Son Goten
    • Whis > Son Goku > Pan and Uub
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Ultra Divine Water. Korin says that it's magical and can unleash a fighter's latent power. Yajirobe claims that the water is just poison after tasting it. In the anime, the Darkness, the entity who guards the Ultra Divine Water, states that the water is poisonous, but it does bring out a fighter's latent abilities if they can withstand the pain and have latent power to bring out. In Z, it appears that the Ultra Divine Water was just really powerful poison since as a Saiyan, Goku gets stronger from near death and no one before Goku has ever survived drinking the Ultra Divine Water, so we don't know if it can make a human stronger.
  • Meaningful Name: "Son Goku" is the Japanese name rendering for "Sun Wukong". His given name can be translated to 'awakened to emptiness/perceiving air'. His name can also be translated to 'from the sky' since the 'Ku' in Goku's name can also means sky in Japanese. Goku is an alien who came from the sky, and even had a very similar beginning tale that loosely followed the original Journey to the West, until by the time Z kicked in...
  • Men Don't Cry: With the exceptions of the climax of The Path to Power, a scene in GT, the original series when he meets his grandpa again after he came back for one day, and when he beats King Piccolo in the manga, he hasn't cried since he was a baby. He also tears up in Super when he realized Master Roshi was still alive during the tournament of power. Before said scene in GT, he even flat-out boasted that he never cries.
  • Messianic Archetype: He came to Earth from the stars, saved the world three times before he turned twenty, gave his life for the Earth twice, and is described as being like an angel by his friends and family. He's even drawn with angel wings in several official artworks, including one from Toriyama. The original dub took this and ran with it in the Frieza Saga, giving Goku a "Justice, peace, light, and truth" speech after becoming a Super Saiyan.
  • Messiah Creep: Despite Toriyama's claim that Goku can be a selfish person who will put a good fight ahead of everything, Goku experience this even in the original manga. As a child, he was selfish in that he would only protect those he personally bonded with and he had no problem causing great physical harm or killing his enemies if provoked. As he grew older, he becomes more protective of humanity in general to the point that he went out of his way to restore the Dragon Balls during the Cell Games after Cell murdered the world army and he asked not to be revived since he indirectly put the Earth in danger several times. He's also more picky about who he kills to the point of trying to spare monsters like Frieza and tries to defeat his enemies with minimum force.
  • Meteor Move: Quite honestly can be seen as the Trope Codifier. He loved doing this.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: When Goku becomes a Great Ape, he loses all sense of himself and becomes a murderous monster who kills his own grandfather and attacks his friends. Krillin theorized that the transformation reverts the Saiyans back to their original form. Likewise, when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan, he is noticeably more violent, sadistic, and arrogant, very similar to normal Saiyan behavior.
  • Minor Living Alone: He lived by himself at his grandfather's house for a number of years before being found by Bulma. It is not known how long he was alone.
  • Missing Mom: His mother, named Gine, finally made an appearance in 2014. Before then, whether pure-blooded Saiyans even had mothers was up for debate.
  • Monkey King Lite: Goku was original created as loose version of Sun Wukong. His name is the Japanese version rendering of the name Wukong, he had a monkey tail, fought with a staff that could extend endlessly, could turn into a monstrous monkey when he looked at the full moon, and traveled on a golden nimbus cloud called the (both his staff AND cloud shared the exact same name as Wukong's original weapon and ability). After Z, this becomes downplayed as he takes on more Stock Shōnen Hero characteristics, most that he invented. He does keep some of his original-Sun Wukong/Son Goku-traits like becoming an actual god, his monstrous strength, his ability to copy techniques that he sees, his mischievous personality, and he still has the Nimbus around for his family to use. In Dragon Ball Super, Saiyan-Wukong/Goku starts to antagonize the gods, earning their ire, just like the Monkey King Wukong/Goku.
  • Mood-Swinger: When he becomes a Super Saiyan for the first time, Goku isn't exactly stable mentally. One minute, he will be speaking in a calm voice and the next he's screaming at the top of his lungs. He also had bouts of extreme smugness while being uncharacteristically sadistic, while still showing some concern for his friends and family.
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • What he subjected the Red Ribbon Army to every time he fought them, but especially when he raided their base. He dodged a projectile fired from a rocket launcher literally meters across, then slammed the soldiers into a wall; shrugged off a sniper shot as if it was a pellet from a BB gun, terrifying the sniper; then he kept punching through the ceiling to reach the leader's floor. The experience was so horrifying that it inspired Dr. Gero to create the androids.
    • Likewise, Goku's arrival on Namek sees him mowing down the members of the Ginyu Force, leaving both Recoome and Burter down, and Jeice so freaked out that he runs to get Ginyu, who has a meltdown just by Goku powering up.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Goku's origin is based on Superman's origin and so, of course, involves this.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: Although Gohan Sr. was not an ordinary human, being a renowned martial artist, he falls into this since humans are muggles when compared to Saiyans.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • Happens a lot, especially when he was a child. In the first episode of the series, Bulma shoots Goku several times after he threatened her, although she did hit him with her car. The bullets barely hurt him. Some other memorable examples are Goku's fight with Nappa, where the bigger Saiyan assumed he is the same weakling from a year ago, and Racoome from the Ginyu Force who believes his power level was only five thousand.
    • The Red Ribbon Army's interaction with Goku starts out as this. They believed that he is just some kid and don't really take him seriously. It is not until he brings down Muscle Tower that they begin to see him as a true threat. After that, it becomes a clear case of Bullying the Dragon.
    • Catapy deserves special mention for thinking he could tickled Goku into submission. It ends with him flying a couple hundred feet into the air.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: At the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, Tien uses the Four Witches Technique that makes him grow four arms against Goku during their match. After withstanding the technique, Goku says that he will grow eight arms to counter Tien, freaking everyone out since they think he copied and improved Tien's technique. Instead, Goku reveals that he copied King Chapa's Hasshu-ken (Eight-Arm Fist), which gives the illustration of having eight arms.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Goku gets this a lot during his youth due to him living in the isolated mountains for all of his life. While there are genuinely amazing feats of technology like the DynoCaps, Goku is often scared and amazed of more mundane things like bikes, cars, planes and intercoms. He is also amazed by the city lights when viewed from the air, and initially confuses them for the stars having fallen onto the ground and asks Roshi if he can have one.
  • Mystical White Hair: In his perfected Ultra Instinct form, Goku's hair turns silvery-white — emphasizing his immense increase in power.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • He invokes this after he gives Chi-Chi a reassuring pat on the back, only to send her flying through a wall, a tree, and half of a boulder (she's tough enough to survive it).
    • He has a much more serious moment of this during the Cell Games, when Piccolo reminds him that Gohan was partially human, didn't share Goku's lust for battle, and thus didn't find any pleasure at all in getting beaten senseless by Cell while his father did nothing but watch.
    • During the Universe Survival Saga, when Team Universe 9 loses, the Zenos reveal that their statement that they would erase any universe that lost the Tournament of Power was not a bluff, and promptly eliminate all of Universe 9 on the spot. Goku, who suggested the Tournament of Power to the Zenos in the first place, is left stunned and in shock, seemingly realizing what his actions and desire for battle have brought upon innocent lives.
  • My Hero Zero: The short-lived Harmony Gold dub from the 80s renamed him Zero for... some reason, and even worked his new name into their version of the opening theme song.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: How Goku feels about the Saiyans. Thanks to being raised on Earth and his head injury, Goku is softhearted, kind man, while the Saiyans were ruthless Jerkasses who committed planetary genocide for profit. When Goku learned that he is a Saiyan, he initially denounced his race and wanted nothing to do with them. After the events of Namek, he does embrace his Saiyan heritage, although he makes a point to say that he's a Saiyan raised on Earth.

    N 
  • Naked People Are Funny: Goku is one of the only guys to appear nude, especially in the episode "The Celebrations of Buu," when he's naked with Gotenks and everybody laughs at him.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Savvy readers of both Chinese and Japanese should realize it's no secret that Son Goku's name is simply the name "Sun Wukong" written in on'yomi, with the same exact Asian characters used (孫 悟空). In other words, it's the exact same copyrighted name. Just in a different reading. The Chinese dubs make this much more apparent, and it even applies to both his Nimbus (Jindouyun/Kinto'un, lit. Somersault Cloud) and Power Pole (Ruyibang/Nyoibou, lit. Compliant Pole) as both of those were abilities/possessions of the original Wukong; though as of Z, he's somewhat been paying less homages to the original monkey king ever since his popularity.
  • Nature Hero: At his heart, this is what Goku is. He prefers to live in isolation in the mountains with his family and train. He is also protective of animals and treats them like people. When he was a child, he held a grudge against the Red Ribbon Army for burning a forest with monkeys he befriended. Also, when poachers from space takes a bunch of animals to sell on the black market and even tries to bribe 17 and him, Goku coldly says that there is no saving him and walks over to smash the guy.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: It is all but stated that Saiyans are naturally ruthless Blood Knights who care about little except for fighting. When Goku hit his head and forgot his Saiyan memories, he was raised to be the good person we know by the kind senior Gohan. However, with supplemental material we have seen that there were good Saiyans and Goku's mother was one of them, bringing into question if Goku's goodness is genetic as well as nurture. Given that his brother, Raditz, has the same mother and still turned out to be a sadistic Jerkass, it appears Nurture over Nature. Also, all the good Saiyans we know are also pacifists who hate fighting, while Goku loves fighting like any typical Saiyan. Vegeta even calls it unusual to see a Saiyan who loves to fight, but at the same time is so gentle. Either way, Goku's case is unique.
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • Goku's Spirit Bomb. An extremely powerful attack that can nuke enemies stronger than Goku or can be used to add to his strength, making him many times stronger. Despite its power, however, it takes a long, long time to charge and it leaves Goku wide opened to attack, as he's asking everything on the planet for a little bit of energy. It's also never a problem in the series proper, but until after he trains for the Cell Games, he also can't use it as a Super Saiyan.
    • The Kaioken in combination with Super Saiyan Blue. When Goku uses this, he can make himself up to ten times stronger and perhaps even more. It is also an incomplete technique with only a 10% success rate since Goku is still improving it. He can also only maintain it for a few minutes (which is still longer than original Kaioken) and once it breaks, Goku can barely move. On top of that, it can make Goku sick days afterwards with Delayed Onset Ki Syndrome, a sickness where Goku loses control of his energy so much that he can't even fly properly. Using the Kaioken also risks permanently crippling him. So, Goku can't used this combination any time he wants.
  • Nerves of Steel: Yes he is a Determinator, but it's not just that he continues grinding on, he stays cool and smiling even in the most overwhelming situations. He might get surprised now and then, but he never panics or despairs.
  • Never-Forgotten Skill:
    • After Goku dies against Raditz and meets King Kai, he learns a technique called the Spirit Bomb. He stops using it after the fight with Freeza - it's time-consuming to create, and wasn't powerful enough to do the job. Years later, he is reminded to use this technique on Kid Buu by Vegeta (who also suggests that he drain considerably more energy to fuel it), and is still able to use it like a pro.
    • After not using the Kaioken for almost two decades in-universe (not counting anime filler), Goku reveals that he can combine his previous power-up technique with Super Saiyan Blue and can take it up to Kaioken X10 during his fight with Hit.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Done often enough that his friends have come to expect this from him:
    • He reads Krillin's mind when he arrives on Namek to catch up on current events. This was given some Lampshade Hanging, with Krillin asking, "Where did you get such an ability from?!", and Goku replying he wasn't even sure that would work. The mind-reading does have some justification since Master Roshi and Korin can read minds better than him (Goku needs to physically touch someone for it to work) and Roshi claimed that any high-level martial artists can do it.
    • Goku showing off Super Saiyan 3 to Majin Buu. Unlike the other Super Saiyan forms that had some hints or foreshadowing (Super Saiyan being the legendary transformation spoken of by Vegeta and Frieza, or Super Saiyan 2 surpassing the level of Super Saiyan in the Cell Saga), Super Saiyan 3 literally came out of nowhere. This is lampshaded by everyone.
    • In Super, he learns to combine Super Saiyan Blue with the Kaioken off-screen and no one knew about it, not even Vegeta who trained with Goku for three years in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
    • In the Super manga, Vegeta reveals that Goku found a way to hold in the aura of Super Saiyan Blue so he can fight at his max power for a longer period of time without the power drain the form is known for. This mastery of Super Saiyan Blue allows Goku to fight Merged Zamasu on almost equal terms. This revelation comes out of nowhere with no foreshadowing and Vegeta only learns about it because he fused with Goku earlier to form Vegito.
    • In Chapter 25 of the manga, Goku reveals that he knows Beerus' Destroy technique. This comes out of nowhere since Goku never even seen the technique in the manga, at least on scene.
  • Nice Guy: One of the nicest and kindest people in the series. Even people who get on him for being an unrepentant Blood Knight vouch for his goodness.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • During the Cell Games, he sends Gohan to fight Cell without being mentally prepared. He completely failed to tell the other Z-Fighters about his plans, never once considered the possibility that Gohan wouldn't want to fight, and goes so far as to give Cell a Senzu Bean before the fight to keep things "fair." While Gohan does eventually kill Cell, he gets cocky and deliberately drags the fight out to make Cell suffer as much as possible, leading to Cell having a Villainous Breakdown and trying to blow up the Earth, leading to a Senseless Sacrifice by Goku and Cell becoming even more powerful after he recovered.
    • The movie Bojack Unbound adds another level to that. Bojack had been sealed away by the four Kais, and Goku teleporting the self-destructing Cell to King Kai's planet, leading to King Kai's demise, allows Bojack to break free and head to Earth to wreak havoc.
    • During the Buu Saga, he decides not to kill Super Buu when he has the chance, partly because he wanted to give Trunks and Goten a chance to do so, and partly because since he was already dead and didn't want the next generation to think that they could just depend on him all the time. His inaction leads to the birth of Super Buu, leading to Buu wiping out the entire human race and ultimately blowing up the Earth.
    • In Resurrection 'F' and the subsequent Super adaptation, after gaining the upper hand against Frieza's new Golden form, Goku gives Frieza the opportunity to walk away again. Frieza quickly exploits this by having his minion Sorbet near-fatally shoot Goku In the Back, and then proceeds to torture Goku while he's wounded and helpless, all while rubbing in Goku's face how stupid he was to show him mercy a second time. Then, when Vegeta takes his turn and pummels Frieza into submission, Frieza blows up the Earth out of spite, killing everyone except for those close to Whis; all Goku can do is hang his head in shame and lament that he didn't kill Frieza when he had the chance. Fortunately, Whis rewinds time by three minutes, allowing Goku to rectify his mistake.
    • Played with in the Goku Black arc. Goku defeating Zamasu in a sparring match is what spurs the Kai into his Start of Darkness. However, once Future Zamasu enters the story and reveals his backstory, it quickly becomes apparent that there was already something rotten inside Zamasu long before Goku got there and if Goku didn't trigger his descent into villainy, something else very well might have.
    • In Super he becomes really forgetful about carrying key items. This becomes extremely costly when he and Roshi forget to bring the paper amulet seal for the Evil Containment Wave, causing it to fail to hold the immortal Future Zamasu, which prompts Zamasu and his past counterpart "Goku Black" to fuse into Merged Zamasu, achieving the strength of an absolute god. Then Merged Zamasu ends up assimilating the multiverse, and ending all life. Then Zeno himself destroys the entire multiverse to save it.
    • Goku introducing Future Zeno to Zeno may sound innocent, but we get to see how these Zenos play with each other. They basically play with real life planets and collide them with each other. Goku has unwittingly brought the destruction to more planets than expected.
    • Another one kicks off the Universal Survival Saga. Goku reminds Zeno to about the multiverse tournament he promised back in the Champa Saga, which results in the two deciding to destroy the losing universes. However, it's then subverted when it turns out that Zeno was already planning this, and Goku's actions have saved the winning universe.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: It is one of his defining characteristics even with his Saiyan heritage. When he was a kid, he allow his opponents to get free hits on him so he can see how powerful they are, often with him playing dead or acting injured. When he is paralyze by Chiaotzu, he gets hammer mercilessly by Tien and got back up each time, causing the Crane Hermit to wonder if he's an immortal. Despite the beating both Tambourine and King Piccolo gave him (his heart outright stops after the fight with Piccolo) he still live and able to walk, although barely in the case with Piccolo. He also tank attacks that leveled a city and an island with little injury and can still fight with his limbs disable. And all of this is when he's still a kid and a teen. In his adult years, he is able to hold Raditz (even if he is weakened) with all of his ribs broken. He also survives and stay conscious after having all his bones crush by Vegeta, something Vegeta himself complimented. For a third of the fight against Frieza, he got his butt kicked. When everyone else went down in a few hits, Goku kept getting back up and even formed a Spirit Bomb during the beat down. While everyone else fainted or could only maintained Super Saiyan for a few seconds the first time, Goku not only maintain it, but overpowered Frieza who was much fresher. In Resurrection 'F' Goku gets his heart pierced by a ray gun, gets the living crap beating out of him by Frieza who literally curb stomps him, and he remained conscious. Although in this case he would have eventually died of his wound if he wasn't given a Senzu. In Super, probably his best feat is when he survives being impaled through the chest by Goku Black and manages to go into a berserk rage against both Goku Black and Future Zamasu when he hears that Black murdered Chi-Chi and Goten after stealing his body. It takes an energy blast to the chest and multiple sword strikes across his body exploding within him to take Goku down. Even then, he's still alive and conscious.
  • No Badass to His Valet:
    • It doesn't matter that Goku is literally a Physical God capable of destroying the universe and punches Cthulhu on an almost daily basics, he's a Henpecked Husband to his wife Chi-Chi. Goten lampshades that she's really the strongest person in the universe.
    • He gets this from Bulma too who often yells at him for being stupid and will physically assault him. Unlike Chi-Chi, however, Goku doesn't really listen to her and often tunes her out.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Unlike most of the other Blood Knights in the series, Goku wants to fight people who actually have a chance at beating him, not just give him a decent fight until he decides to curb stomp them like Vegeta, Cell, and Super Buu. However, since he's one of the strongest beings in the universe he has to restrain himself most of the time to get a decent challenge, which makes scaling people to Goku's current power difficult since he will suppress himself even when transformed to match his opponent better. It's heavily implied that the reason he's so anxious to train Uub to fight him someday is out of boredom because he hasn't been pushed in a long time. This is shown during his afterlife training when the South Kai challenges him to show off his moves with ten tons of weight attached to each limb; when King Kai tells him to just go Super Saiyan, Goku responds, "Won't that make it too easy?". In Super, he finds the idea of beating Beerus by defeating the much weaker Supreme Kai since their lives a linked as boring.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: A heroic version. When the situation demands it, Goku will put aside his enjoyment for a great fight and become quite serious, brutal and pragmatic. As soon as Krillin was killed, he didn't just defeat Tambourine, he outright vaporized him. When Recoome was going to use a certain attack, Goku interrupted him completely. When he was a Super Saiyan for the first time on Namek, after Frieza was using up the ki Goku gave to him, he immediately blasted Frieza. When Whis undoes the destruction Frieza caused on planet Earth, rather than simply make the same mistake, he outright kills and obliterates Frieza, unlike on Namek.
  • No-Sell: After unlocking his Super Saiyan form for the first time Goku starts Frieza's Humiliation Conga by either dodging or outright tanking moves that originally would have killed him. When Frieza tells him to stay still long enough to get hit Goku does exactly that and lets Frieza shoot him in the face with one of his Death Beams just to show how screwed Frieza really is now. Goku says it best in the Kai dub:
    Goku: What's the matter Frieza? I can't be harder to destroy then a planet right?
  • No Sense of Personal Space: In Dragon Ball Super, he frequently does this. Best displayed when he first meets Zamasu; Goku touches his arms to see how well trained he was, and Zamasu furiously lashes out at him for it.
  • No Social Skills: He was raised by his grandfather in the wilderness until said grandfather died. He had been so sheltered that he never truly assimilated into society, and the division was very evident until he was an adult. The worst symptom, however, would have to be his complete inability to assess gender from sight, which led to some Accidental Perversion. Bulma was the first girl he had ever seen in his life up till that point, so she got the worst of it. Hell, Bulma's not just the first girl he ever met, but she's also the first other human contact that Goku ever had aside from his grandfather. Super turned this into a Running Gag. Whenever someone of a higher power visits, everyone (gods included) expects him to be polite, lest if he ends up destroyed on the spot. Notable instances is with Beerus and Zeno. In Battle of Gods arc, he has consistently called him "Lord Beerus" at King Kai's instance. In Zenos case, Beerus, Whis, and Shin the Supreme Kai expects him to be as formal as possible. Unexpectedly, Zeno does not mind Goku's casual speech to the Shin's ire.
    • This actually brings out negative consequences, as explored in Super. Just because you are Pals with Jesus in your own world does not mean Gods in others will reciprocate, as Zamasu proved.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Goku was born with a power level of two, essentially being at the absolute bottom of the Saiyan pecking order. On Earth, he turns out to be incredibly powerful, especially for a baby (the first adult human Raditz met had a power level of five). Even before training with Master Roshi, Goku was bulletproof, able to shatter bricks with one finger, and beat up trained martial artists like Yamcha and Krillin, eventually becoming the strongest being on Earth by the time he was 18.
  • The Nose Knows: He has a powerful sense of smell. According to Goku, he can smell as well as a dog. This caused him some problems around Bacterian, who smells so bad that Goku nearly passed out just being in his presence.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: In the original Japanese version, Goku spoke with a very notable hick/country accent, and even Chichi had to correct him on a number of occasions to speak normally. This gets lost in the dubs.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Two notable instances:
    • In the first chapter/episode, Bulma offers to let Goku touch her rear if he lets her have his grandpa's Dragon Ball; Goku simply asks why he would want to touch her "dirty butt."
    • Much later, when he comes across Roshi's Porn Stash, Goku simply thinks the girls in the magazines are too poor to afford clothing.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Goku is blamed by the gods for starting the Tournament of Power that put their universes in danger. While it is true that Goku reminded Zeno about the tournament he promised back in the Champa Saga, the universes forced to enter the Tournament of Power were screwed regardless since Zeno was going to destroy the universe with the lowest Mortal Levels. So Goku indirectly gave at least one universe the chance to save itself. However, Goku does himself no favors because of his laid-back attitude, how casually he treats Zeno, and how he shows no real concern about being labeled a villain out to destroy the multiverse. He actually fully embraced being seen as 'evil' and openly challenges the gods to bring their best fighters so he can beat them.
  • Not Himself: When he first goes Super Saiyan, Goku goes from a peaceful, All-Loving Hero, to a highly arrogant, cold-blooded, sadistic Blood Knight who wants to make Frieza suffer, physically and mentally. King Kai is outright frightened when he witnesses the change in Goku's personality.
  • Not Quite Dead: Left for dead by King Piccolo after he confirmed that his heart stopped. Seconds after Piccolo left, his heart restarted.
  • Not So Different:
    • In the dub, King Piccolo notes that Goku and he are not that different since they both enjoy inflicting pain.
    • In the first dub, Frieza says that now that Goku is a Super Saiyan, he really isn't that different from him since they're both beasts with no conscience. Goku doesn't answer back.
    • In Super, Beerus notes that Goku and him are quite similar. When upset, they both let their emotions get the best of them and will get payback (no matter how petty) on those who slight them. Whis also notes the similarities, saying Beerus and him are both childish and selfish when it comes to fighting.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Despite surviving many close calls like having every bone broken in his body and defeating the strongest being in the universe, Goku is laid flat on his back by a virus. In Trunks' timeline, it outright kills him. Future Gohan even lampshades this when musing about how he thought his father was invincible.
  • Not with Them for the Money: For Chi-Chi, though their finances were really starting to get strained towards the end.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: Even death won't stop Goku from helping his friends and family:
    • The final battle against Cell, Gohan is cheered on by Goku's spirit in the middle of a Beam-O-War, going so far as to mimic the Kamehameha stance. The scene is so memorable that several of the games have included the "Father-Son Kamehameha" as its own attack. Better yet, since Goku can teleport and his spirit was shown to be watching the situation, it's entirely possible he was actually there.
    • In Bojack Unbound, and Broly: Second Coming, Goku's spirit returns to help his sons save the day. In the former, he punches out Bojack as he squeezes the life out of Gohan. In the latter, he helps Gohan and Goten do a Kamehameha wave to defeat Broly.
  • Now It's My Turn: Tends to do this when showing off his newly obtained skills, letting the opponent try their best, then beating them down. If he lets you beat him up, then reveals it did nothing, it's generally a sign you've really pissed him off.
  • Number Two: Goku becomes this to Gohan after he makes him the captain of the Universe 7 team. Gohan comes up with the battle strategies and team formations, while Goku acts as the recruiter.
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    O 
  • Oblivious to Love: He thought marriage was a food and didn't understand why Chi-Chi keeps hugging him. It's not until he has a son of his own that he finally starts to get it.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Yes. At times he pulls this. Most notable in Battle of Gods, when, after first hearing Beerus' name, he asks the North Kai if it's a kind of candy to verify if the god would willingly tell him what was the deal about.
  • Obsessed with Food: Oh so very much. If he's not thinking about fighting, he's thinking about his next meal, especially as a kid where every other word out of his mouth was about eating. It is somewhat justified since Goku becomes extremely weak when he goes a long time without eating. Even as an adult he never really outgrows this. Instead, he eats an ungodly amount of food before going into a big battle or eats a Senzu that fills anyone for ten days.
  • Obsolete Mentor: Played all over the place. In the Cell Saga, he works to make Gohan stronger than him. He succeeds even before Gohan becomes a Super Saiyan 2, surpassing him in every possible way. He even cites this as one of the reasons why he chose to remain dead. This becomes Subverted in the Buu Saga where Goku becomes stronger than Gohan because his son slacked off. It's then Played Straight again after Gohan trains under Old Kai and unlocks all his hidden power. Then it's subverted, again, because Gohan slacks off and Goku gets empower by Super Saiyan God.
  • Offered the Crown: Kami offered him the job of Earth's God at the end of DB. At the end of Battle of Gods, he's offered the role of becoming the universal God of Destruction. Both times, Goku turns it down.
  • Offhand Backhand: In "Episode 61" of Super, an enraged Goku teleports to Future Zamasu on the ground with his back facing him, and as Zamasu pauses in surprise, Goku pulls this off on hum, knocking him back into a building.
  • Oh, Crap!: If he's not inspiring them, he will often marvel and be shocked whenever an opponent displays an overwhelming power advantage, with Frieza, Buu and Beerus all being prime examples.
  • Older Than He Looks: Kid Goku is supposed to be 12 in the 21st tournament and 15 on the 22nd. However, in neither instance does he looks older than 10. Then, in late DBZ, when Goku is on his early forties and beyond, he looks no older than 30! Apparently a result of pure-blooded Saiyans aging slower than humans. It is actually confirmed that Saiyans have long childhoods compared to humans. The fact that he has spent roughly seven years of his life dead (he regained one of his lost years after staying in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber) probably doesn't hurt. As of Super, he trains for another three years in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, making him only four years physically younger. Still, Vegeta looks about the same age and he started off around 5 years older than Goku and only stayed dead for a few minutes/hours before being resurrected the two times that he bit it. If you trim off the time he's dead and/or spending in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Goku would be 41 to Bulma's 45 in Super, 47 during Future Trunks Arc and Tournament of Power, and 51 in End of Z.
  • One-Man Army: Remember that this is the guy who destroyed the Red Ribbon Army at age twelve, and that was when he was comparatively weak.
  • Only Friend:
    • To Zeno, the Top God of the Dragonball Multiverse; Goku is the only being in existence to treat him with genuine warmth as opposed to obsequious respect, and not fear him as a force of nature. The Godling dearly loves the Saiyan Warrior in return.
    • In a roundabout way, to Freeza of all people by the end of the Universe Survival Arc; sure, they would still gladly pound each other into the ground, but Goku has become one of the few beings in the Universe that has earned Freeza's trust, admiration and respect; and the feeling is completely mutual on Goku's part. Their's is a "friendship" that resembles the furious yet oddly affectionate war between Batman and The Joker; and that is as close to having a "friend" that someone like Freeza will ever get.
  • Only One Name: Most English dubs omit his surname completely. The English dub of the Kai episode "The Angry Super Saiyan! Goku Throws Down the Gauntlet!" marks the first time in the English dub that his full name "Son Goku" is said in audible dialogue.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Any time Goku's happy-go-lucky demeanor drops and he becomes truly angry or upset. He goes on a vengeful rampage against King Piccolo and his children after Krillin is killed, and he brutally murders all of them except Cymbal and that's because Yajirobe beat him at rock-paper-scissors. He beats the ever loving crap out of Nappa for killing his friends to the point that Krillin becomes frightened of him and he cruelly picks apart Frieza after he murdered Krillin and threatened his son. In Super, he tries to outright murder Goku Black after he learns that he murdered an alternate version of his family after he took his body and killed his alternate counterpart with it.
    • There is just ONE time in which he refused a meal: when he sensed that his best friend Krillin was in danger and rushed to help him. It was too late, Krillin was already dead.
    • He has several when Raditz arrives:
      • One of the few times we see Goku truly terrified is when he meets his brother. Even before Raditz formally introduces himself, he has Goku trembling and he didn't even try to fight him. He only gets over his fear after Raditz threatens Gohan.
      • After Raditz kidnaps Gohan, Goku is willing to do anything to beat his older brother. That includes teaming up with his Arch-Enemy Piccolo and fighting Raditz in a two-on-one fight. He also planned to disable Raditz by grabbing his tail, a Saiyan's weakness, and have Piccolo give the finishing blow. Before then, he even considered using the Dragon Balls to stop Raditz and only gives up that idea because it will take too long to find all the Dragon Balls. For someone like Goku who believes in fair play, his anything to win mindset against Raditz really stands out and shows how desperate he is.
      • Finally, when Raditz reveals that his two companions are even stronger than him, instead of being excited about fighting stronger opponents like Piccolo expects, Goku tells Piccolo that he's terrified at the idea.
    • When Goku fights Android 19, Piccolo immediately knows something is wrong because Goku went to his full power right away instead of his usual slow build up. He's also rushing the fight and being sloppy about it. He's proven correct when it's revealed that Goku was ill and was trying to destroy Android 19 as quickly as possible.
    • In Cooler's Revenge and the Cell Saga, he actually agrees with Chi-Chi that Gohan should finish his homework instead of playing. In both cases, Chi-Chi is completely floored and believes Goku might be sick or unhinged.
    • Prior to the Cell Games, Goku admits he probably can't beat Cell. He acts so normal despite this that his friends all get unnerved and figure he must have some trick to beat Cell. Which he does, in the form of Gohan.
    • When dealing with divine entities such as Kami or King Kai, Goku's attitude is typically "What's Up, King Dude?". The one exception is Beerus, who has both the raw power and the temperament to turn him into space dust if he shows any disrespect.
    • In the Super version of Resurrection 'F', rather than his usual Blood Knight attitude, Goku states outright that he feels no excitement at fighting Frieza despite how powerful he's become, and tells him point-blank that he has nothing but disgust and contempt for him.
    • Chichi and Goten becomes concerned when Goku only eats half what he usually does (which is still of course a vast amount). It's revealed that he's sick with Delayed Onset Ki Syndrome.
    • After Goku Black impales Vegeta, Goku tells Future Trunks to take care of Vegeta and goes straight into his Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan form. Trunks notes that Goku is fighting at full power from the start instead of his usual slow burn approach.
    • When Goku seemingly has Black at his mercy, he pauses for several seconds before deciding to kill Black. This is extremely out of character since Goku doesn't attack a down foe and often gets on Vegeta for attacking people who can't defend themselves. Which is understandable since Black murdered his family in another timeline after stealing his body.
    • When Future Zeno prepares a multiverse busting attack to destroy Merged Zamasu and the timeline he's corrupted by merging with it, Goku tells everyone to run back to the past ASAP. This being Goku, him wanting to run certainly has this effect on everyone, and they barely escape in time.
    • In Episode 71 of Super, Goku's family become concerned by his very uncharacteristic behavior, such as eating his dinner one grain of rice at a time, being so sensitive to sensing life energies that he can sense cockroaches in the kitchen, and wandering aimlessly through the city while doing errands, all with his eyes closed. He's also unusually jumpy, dodging when Bulma tries to slap him instead of getting hit as usual. This is all because he knows Hit is coming to kill him and is trying to sense the assassin's presence.
    • Any time Goku ignores the opportunity for a good brawl something is seriously wrong, like when he was scared of Raditz at the start of Z or refusing to rush to fight Cell with Piccolo and the androids. The biggest example comes in Super, where Goku spends the entire Universal Survival Arc being a fight happy heel who potentially endangered the multiverse with his battle lust, for a moment forgets about all the tournament he wanted so badly IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BATTLE when he realizes Master Roshi was dying. He breaks down crying and hugs Roshi after he comes back from the dead to the point where Roshi had to remind him they were still in the middle of a battle.
  • Orc Raised by Elves: Goku came to Earth as a baby and was found by Son Gohan, an Old Master martial artist. As a result of falling headfirst onto a rock and being raised by Son Gohan, the baby grew up to be a loving and cheerful child, renamed by Gohan as Son Goku.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The Four-Star Dragon Ball, a memento left to him by his grandpa. Goku follows Bulma on her first adventure because he refuses to give her his Dragon Ball. The entire third story arc with the Red Ribbon Army revolves around Goku searching for that particular Dragon Ball. When Gohan is born, Goku gives his son a hat with the Four-Star Dragon Ball on it.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: He, like all Saiyans with tails, turns into a giant were-monkey under the light of a full moon. It was in this form that he accidentally killed his grandfather since he loses all sense of himself.
  • Out of Focus: He spends a large amount of Dragon Ball Z either travelling to the battlefield, recovering from injuries or sickness, or being dead, and by the time he makes it to the fight the villain's usually in their final form already. Though it's probably because Goku could destroy most of the bad guys in their base forms and end the arc early.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • When he's introduced, Goku was an One-Man Army Human Alien who's close to being indestructible. Yamcha and Pilaf were the only ones who came close to killing him and that's because they caught him while he's hungry, which leaves him extremely weak. When he transformed into a Great Ape, no one saw it coming. Then there's Goku encounter with the Red Ribbon Army. The army was used to dealing with defenseless civilians, other armies, and maybe the occasional martial artist. While searching for the Dragon Balls they unfortunately ran into Goku. It's clear from the start that they had no clue how to deal with him and had to hire a renowned assassin just to have a remote chance against him. By the time Goku came to their base, they had nothing that could stop him and were basically defenseless. The pure terror that Goku struck inspired Gero to create the androids years later.
    • Goku transforming into a Super Saiyan the first time also counts. Up to that point in the series a transformation like this has never been seen before and Frieza and Gohan are baffled about what just happened. Frieza lampshades this by saying he knows that Saiyans turned into giant apes, but he has never seen anything like this before.
    • Goku in general to Frieza. While the overlord secretly feared the Saiyans for their potential, he keeps most of the surviving ones in line and under his watch. He never even knew Goku existed, immediately recalling a low-class Saiyan standing up to him when faced with his presence, and discovers that Goku is far and away, the most powerful Saiyan he has ever encountered. Goku is the one to achieve the Legendary Super Saiyan status that Freiza so fears. After his encounter with him, the name "Goku" (not "Kakarot", Goku) is burned into Frieza's mind.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • Goku becomes this to almost everyone he knows. They may start out equal or stronger than him, but he eventually surpasses everyone and becomes so powerful that none of them can even hope to catch up to him, which force characters like Krillin and Yamcha to just give up completely. Vegeta has this especially bad in the manga where he never becomes Goku's equal again after he trains in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and the power gap between them actually widens. Vegeta fairs much better in the canon movies and Super where he is in the same league as Goku, although he still falls behind as Whis' notes.
    • He gets hit by this once Beerus is introduced. Not only does he outclass Goku in every possible way, Goku still can't keep up with him even after ascending to godhood and beyond. According to Whis, Goku would have to team up with Vegeta just to have a remote chance of beating Beerus. Goku acknowledges Beerus as the strongest being in the universe.
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