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  • Pacifism Backfire:
    • During the Saiyan Saga, he gives in to Raditz's pleas for mercy and lets go of his tail, only for Raditz to knock him down and mercilessly break his ribs all while openly mocking him for falling for such a trick.
    • Much later, during the Frieza Saga, despite having every right in the world to just kill Frieza and be done with it, he spares Frieza's life not once, but twice, and both times, Frieza just keeps trying to kill him when his back is turned. Of course, to be fair, Goku's attempts to spare him were more out of Cruel Mercy than pacifism, and the very ''second'' Frieza betrays his last chance, Goku blows him away.
  • Pals with Jesus: Besides being on casual speaking terms with the Kais, Kami before he merged with Piccolo, and Dende (the current God/Guardian of the Earth that he hand-chose), Goku and company also befriends Beerus, the God of Destruction, after the Battle of Gods. Goku and Vegeta regularly train on his planet, and he and Whis regularly stop by Earth to hang out and eat delicious food. Goku then one-ups that by becoming pals with Zeno, King of the Multiverse — much to the shock of all the other gods he's already friends with, who are all terrified into abject formality when around Zeno and for good reasons.
  • Painful Transformation: Goku going Super Saiyan for the first time is this mentally for him, mostly in the anime. In the manga, Goku transforms almost instantly after Krillin is killed. In the anime, however, Goku suffers for several minutes of slowly losing control of his mind and flashing in and out of Super Saiyan. He finally can't hold it in any longer and he gives one last scream in rage before transforming.
  • Papa Wolf: Messing with Gohan is a sure way to anger the normally cheerful Goku. When Raditz kidnaps Gohan, Goku loses his fear of his brother and is ready to fly after him despite being barely able to move after Raditz kneed him. He also sacrifices himself to stop Raditz because he was about to kill Gohan. He beats up Nappa and Recoome after they both hurt Gohan (along with the rest of his friends) and, while it's remembered that Frieza killing Krillin triggers Goku to ascend to Super Saiyan, what really set him off was Frieza threatening to kill Gohan too. He also goes into an Unstoppable Rage and tries in earnest to kill Goku Black after Zamasu tells him that his other self killed Goku's family along with him while acquiring his body, and even after that incident, was still fixated on killing him.
  • The Paragon: He tries to become this after he recovers from his heart virus. Instead of directly handling threats himself, he tries to act as a beacon of encouragement and wisdom towards his sons and others to make them become guardians who can protect the Earth. Unfortunately, Gohan, Goten, nor Trunks have the drive to continue to grow stronger if there is no immediate threat, so Goku is forced back into active hero duty by the end of the Buu Saga.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: When Gohan reaches Super Saiyan 2, Goku is shocked when Gohan chooses to deliberately drag out the fight with Cell to prolong his suffering and make him pay for his crimes and gets on his case over it, despite the fact that he did the same thing when he fought Frieza on Namek. Of course, this is a case of Goku learning from experience, since he barely escaped Namek's explosion because he dragged the fight with Frieza out for revenge and knows that if Cell gets desperate, he may very well do what Frieza did and blow up the Earth rather than admit defeat; he's soon proven right.
  • Parents as People: There is no denying Goku loves and cares for his family and in times of peace, he does make a genuine effort to be a breadwinner... but at the end of the day, Goku is simply put in situations where he can't be around his family (due to his many deaths), as well as not having an inborn nesting instinct nor having ever really had a long-term parental figure himself. In the anime, Goku is consistently more openly affectionate with his sons whereas the manga usually has him act more distant towards them. That being said, he does seem to understand the relationship between a father and a son to some extent. For example, when he orders Gohan to leave Namek with Piccolo after transforming into a Super Saiyan for the first time, Gohan objects to that and Goku's retort is along the lines "Don't talk back to your father, boy!"
  • Passed in Their Sleep: How Future Goku is depicted to have died to the heart virus in the anime. He dies in his bed and was most likely comatose given how main timeline Goku remained in a coma while he was ill.
  • Passing the Torch: Constantly trying to do this after the Cell Saga. Realizing that he wouldn't always be around to protect the Earth, he tries to make Gohan his successor, though it doesn't pan out too well because Gohan doesn't have the same drive to fight or become stronger like he does. In the Buu Saga, he even deliberately passes up a chance to destroy Buu so that Goten and Trunks will be the saviors of Earth, but eventually he realizes as they grow up that they don't have any interest in fighting either, which is why he seeks a new successor in Uub as he trains his granddaughter Pan.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Goku was merciless towards his enemies when he was a child. If you harmed his friends, someone he liked, or just got him mad enough, he paid it back with violent retribution, not really caring if he ended up killing or crippling the person. If you, god-forbid, actually killed someone he cared about, then your life was practically forfeit.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Like almost every character in Z, Goku is this trope. Just him transforming into a Super Saiyan 3 nearly shakes the Earth apart and he isn't even touching the ground. However, Super takes this to a whole new level when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan God. His fight with Beerus nearly destroys the universe.
  • Physical God: Goku was already powerful enough to fight against beings that are considered to be godlike in power. However In Battle of Gods, and it’s Super retelling, he becomes a literal god by preforming a ritual to become a Super Saiyan God, a divine transformation that allowed him to fight on par with Beerus. He also has another godly form called Super Saiyan Blue which is a combination of his normal Super Saiyan form and his Super Saiyan God form. And then, Goku transcends the power of the Gods by acquiring the legendary Ultra Instinct. All of the Gods of Destruction present at the Tournament stand up in respect at the sight of this. After training during the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga, he seems capable of accessing it at will in order to face Moro.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As a kid, Goku is the third shortest character in the series. However, he is also one of the strongest in the world, easily beating people who tower over him.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: A common theme since Goku is a country bumpkin with No Social Skills and is often prone to Brutal Honesty. Most of the primary villains such as King Piccolo, Piccolo Jr., Vegeta, Frieza, Perfect Cell, Super Buu after he absorbed Piccolo, Beerus, and Black are all Faux Affably Evil who have polite mannerisms and often compliment their opponents, before mercilessly torturing and killing them.
  • The Pollyanna: Goku is an unrelentingly optimistic and happy person. At the start of the series, he tells Bulma that his parents abandoned him in the woods where his grandfather found him. His grandfather died years ago, stomped to death by a giant monster, and he was left alone in the mountains with no human contact the entire time. He says all this with a huge grin on his face and never shown any visible signs of trauma. Bulma outright ask him how can he be so happy. Even during the most hopeless of times, he can be seen smiling, despite saying he's afraid.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • During the Red Ribbon Army Saga, Goku utterly fails to tell Bulma that the Army is hunting him down; it's not until General Blue's crew ambushes them at the bottom of the ocean do they realize that they have a notoriously bloodthirsty army pursuing them. When they call him out on this, Goku's response amounts to You Didn't Ask.
    • During the Cell Saga, he fails to explain his plan for defeating Cell to anyone, not wanting to put undue pressure on Gohan or worry his friends. Had he taken the time to explain that he intended for Gohan to fight Cell, someone - Piccolo or Gohan - could have told him the flaw in his plan. Gohan may have been the only one strong enough to beat Cell, but he isn't mentally ready for the responsibility. If Goku had known this, he could have better prepared Gohan for what was going to happen. Instead, Gohan gets cocky after ascending to Super Saiyan 2, and takes a long time to get there in the first place due to not wanting to fight, which results in 16's, Future Trunks', and Goku's own deaths.
  • Power Copying: Ironically, despite being The Ace, Goku never really creates his own original ki technique in the series. All of his signature techniques are moves he adapted from his friends, or learned from his masters. The technique he uses to kill King Piccolo (called either the Monkey Fist or the Fist of Son Goku) was his only original technique for a long time, along with possibly the Dragon Fist note . In Super, he also used an unnamed, one-off 'ki landmine' move against Jiren, but it's debatable how original it is. He finally comes up with one in Dragon Ball Super: Broly when he uses God Bind, which uses his Ki to stop the opponent in their tracks.
  • Power Floats: In the game Battle of Z, as a Super Saiyan God, Goku is constantly floating just inches above the ground, unlike other forms which are usually standing unless prompted to fly.
  • Power High: In Super, when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan God, he's all but giddy with delight and proclaims that he has been reborn and he has never felt anything like this.
  • Power Incontinence
    • Goku sometimes has this problem after gaining a lot of power. He break things around him and hurts his friends by accident. He tends to controls himself better when he's in battle, however.
    • In Super, Goku takes some time to get used to being a Super Saiyan God. He flies past Beerus, nearly harms his friends with a stray Kamehameha, and nearly destroys the universe from the sheer force of hitting Beerus. This being Goku, he quickly gets the hang of his new power. This problem pops up again after using his Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken combo, as while amazing, the results really did a number on his body, to the point of 'Delayed Onset Ki Syndrome' - ie major-but-temporary loss of control over his strength, flying, and all techniques requiring ki. Though he's still fine enough to gently play with his granddaughter.
      • Later on, Goku is close to knocking off Jiren after defeating him full in his Mastered Ultra Instinct form. However, before he could, his power backfires and causes him hideous pain, paralyzing him long enough for a demoralized Jiren to try to return the favor. It's only Frieza's last minute save that saves Goku from ring out.
  • Power Limiter: From reaching Kami's Lookout until he leaves North Kai's planet, he wears a heavily weighted undershirt, wristbands, and boots. In his fights with Tien, Piccolo Jr., and Raditz, he took them off to have a better chance. After training with King Kai, he has the weights in his uniform removed since his ability to use the Kaio-ken and later Super Saiyan form allows him to increase his power without the need to be weighed down.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: When Goku transforms into Super Saiyan 3 and 4, his hair gets longer, especially Super Saiyan 3 where his hair goes down to his knees.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: In the dub, Goku's voice drops when he becomes a Super Saiyan 3 and 4 to the point of becoming a Badass Baritone. In the Kai dub, his voice becomes deeper as a Super Saiyan, although nowhere near the extent of Super Saiyan 3 or 4.
  • The Power of Hate: His hatred of Freeza for killing Krillin is what causes him to turn Super Saiyan.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In Kai, when Frieza kills Krillin:
      Goku: You ruthless, heartless... BASTARD!
    • Also in Kai, in the English dub, when the people of Earth refuse to give him energy for the Spirit Bomb:
      Goku: Hey! What are you waiting for?! Or do you not care what happens to the entire universe?! Dumbasses!
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, Goku's voice actor Mario Castañeda noted that the only time Goku said something ever remotely close to a curse was during his fight with Frieza in Planet Namek, when he called Frieza "Estúpido!" ("Stupid!") twice: Once when Frieza unveiled his ultimate technique, a Deadly Disc that, to add insult to injury, resembled Krillin's (who Frieza had just killed) Destructo Disc, and later when Frieza uses the energy Goku gave him to escape Namek's destruction to attack Goku while he's back is turned and Goku fires back. While that's the kind of word that other characters probably used normally in the dub, the way he said it (and the fact that such word came from Goku at all) was a clear indication that Frieza pushed him into a whole new level of Unstoppable Rage.
  • Prehensile Tail: When he had a tail, Goku used it like a fifth limb, using it both to grab stuff and in combat. He knocks Colonel Silver out with just a tail slap and he hits Tien with it during their match at 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament after Tien successfully restrains his arms and legs.
  • Precognition: At least in the anime, Goku have a mild form of precognition. He felt Krillin was in danger after he left to retrieve his Dragon Ball and Power Pole, to the point that he couldn't eat, and ran to help him once he had a vision of Krillin calling for him. He also have dreams about enemies he has no knowledge of, like him seeing Vegeta, Nappa, Androids 17, and 18, before he even meets them. In Super, he physically jolts when he feels Frieza being revived, despite being far away.
  • Present Absence:
    • From the TV special History of Trunks, Goku's absence is greatly felt. He dies within the first minute of the special, leaving a gaping wound as the other heroes are mercilessly slaughtered by the androids. Gohan wears a replica of his father's gi in his memory and Bulma often talks about him, saying how he could have changed things if he had lived. A big part of the special is Bulma making the time machine to give Goku the medicine that will save his life.
    • His second death have long-term consequences for some of the cast. Gohan gives up fighting to study, Chi-Chi mellows out and trains Goten, and Bulma and Vegeta get married. It's also Vegeta lacking a rival for seven years that makes him go to such extremes to have one last battle with Goku that he willingly sells his soul for power.
  • Pride: Goku has a more subtle case of pride, but it is still noticeable. He refuses to ask for assistance, even when he's being beaten up. When he was sick fighting Android 19, he refused any help and kept fighting until he was physically knocked down and had his energy sucked.
  • Primal Stance: As a kid, Goku took this stance a few times, mostly before Running on All Fours. Fitting since Goku is both based on and named after Sun Wukong.
  • Primary-Color Champion: His primary outfit is red-orange with hints of blue, while the vast majority of his transformations are yellow, red, and blue.
  • Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: He is usually always the first to train at a new training ground or method of training, then moves on to a new one when the rest of the heroes make it there. Next to Master Roshi, he was one of the few characters with an energy range attack. He's also the first to reach Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3, Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, and Ultra Instinct as a transformation (outside of Gods of Destruction and Angels, who attain it as more of a mental state). Before Cell took it and the Supreme Kai's appearance, he was also the only character able to teleport. However, Vegeta was the first Super Saiyan 2nd grade and the first to train with Whis, along with his exclusive Super Saiyan Blue Evolved form, and Gohan was the first Super Saiyan 2.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Zig-zagged. When Goku first learns that he's a Saiyan, he disowns his race since they were a bunch of murderous Space Pirates who regularly committed planetary genocide. After learning about Frieza's genocide of the Saiyans and Vegeta's backstory, he makes peace with his race and embraces some of their philosophies. At the same time, he's quick to tell anyone that he's a Saiyan raised on Earth. However, despite not being raised in Saiyan society, he still has many of their ingrained attitudes like their love for fighting, their pride, and honor. Vegeta hints that a Saiyan sense of honor is inherent in pure-blooded Saiyans since Goku knows nothing of Saiyan culture, and still would've rather died (or gave up the fight) than achieve victory over an opponent by eating a senzu in a middle of a match.
  • Psychic Powers: Demonstrates every now and then. Through telepathy, he tells Gohan to deflect the Spirit Bomb after Vegeta dodges it, mentally guides his son to attack Vegeta after he transforms into a Great Ape, asks Krillin to spare Vegeta's life specifically because it's more painful to use his voice, and he gets up to speed with everything that happened on Namek by touching Krillin's head and reading his mind. He only shows telekinesis in Filler when he tries levitating the water in the glass with his mind, and once did this to a massive pyramid. Also the Spirit Bomb works by mentally connecting with everything on the planet/solar system, up to and including potentially the sun itself, and politely asking them to give him some energy to smack the current villain in the face with it.
  • Psychological Projection: During the Cell Saga, he ends up doing this to Gohan, automatically assuming that Gohan, in addition to his potential as a fighter, wants a good and challenging fight with Cell purely because it's what he would do in such a situation, going so far as to give Cell a Senzu Bean before the fight. It takes getting a major What the Hell, Hero? from Piccolo (who by this point understands Gohan more than his own father), and seeing the danger he's put Gohan in firsthand, for Goku to realize that this is not the case.
  • Public Domain Character: Son Goku from Journey to the West is probably the most frequently used Public Domain Character in East Asia. In the West, there's massive Adaptation Displacement as the Dragon Ball version of Goku is much better known than the original.
  • Pure Is Not Good: Beerus holds this opinion of Goku, seeing his naive, trusting nature as a danger to the universe after he refuses to see how dangerous Zeno is. He goes as far as to threaten to kill Goku on the spot. Toriyama even discussed this trope at length in regards to Goku:
    "At any rate, I wanted him to have the sense of being that rare guy who seeks only 'to become stronger than before', so much so that it feels like 'there's no one as pure as this person'. And while he does end up saving everyone as a result of that, he himself at least has a very pure sincerity about 'wanting to become stronger'. What I wanted to depict the most was the sense that he might not be a good guy at all, although he does do good things as a result."
  • Pyrrhic Victory: He reluctantly blasts Frieza into oblivion after giving him several chances to walk away throughout their conflict. While he may have (seemingly) extinguished the greatest evil in the universe, Goku gazes at the gaping crater with a look of pure sorrow while visibly trembling, clearly shaken by the fact that an extraordinary opponent's life has just been tragically wasted.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Goku has a very long temper. He's hard to truly anger and tends to go into Tranquil Fury when mad. However, when he snaps, he snaps. His rage is noticeably different from Gohan's in that Gohan tends to go off like an explosion, while Goku is more like an out of control wildfire that someone dumped gasoline on.
  • Raised by Dudes: He was raised by an old hermit in the woods, which is frequently brought up when Chi-Chi gets frustrated with him.
  • Raised by Humans: For most of his life, Goku was raised by humans and even thought he was one of them. It isn't until he's an adult that he learns that he's a Human Alien from a warrior race. Outside his love for fighting and physical training, he's closer to being a human than a Saiyan.
  • Raised by Wolves: He lives out in the wilderness for an untold number of years after his grandfather dies.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: One of the most badass characters in the show, and a huge meat eater
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • After he turns Super Saiyan, he gives a lot of these to Frieza:
      Goku: The fact is, I don't see the point in fighting you any more. Your pride is already shot, and in the end I guess that's good enough for me. You were so sure of your own power that you never imagined anyone in the universe could bring you down...especially a Saiyan. Heh. Now you know what failure feels like. See, I don't need to keep fighting you because I've already won. So go crawl off someplace and hide; I don't really care.
      Goku: Although you brought this all on yourself, it's a shame that your life has to end in such a miserable way. I wanted to save you, Frieza, but you wouldn't let me. Now share the fate of the Planet Namek, which you yourself destroyed.
    • Goku gives Frieza a short, but sweet response after Frieza mocks him for showing him mercy and how the legendary Super Saiyan can't even beat a dead planet:
  • Red Baron: After he defeats Frieza on Namek, he becomes known as the Super Saiyan or just the Saiyan within Frieza's empire.
  • The Redeemer: A lot of Goku's friends started of as enemies before Goku's nature started rubbing off on them. Even the villains that don't reform develop a sort of begrudging respect for him. Zamasu is the only aversion, who went on to make their feud VERY personal.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Downplayed with Super Saiyan God, which is a reference to when the original Sun Wukong/Son Goku had red eyes in some adaptations. Goku doesn't looks more fierce, especially compared to the other Super Saiyan forms and Super Saiyan God is only attainable to righteous Saiyans.
  • Red Is Heroic: He typically wears clothing in shades of red or dark orange, the Kaioken and Super Saiyan God transformations are both red, and he's The Hero of the series.
  • Relative Button: Threatening Goku's family, especially his sons, is a surefire way to get your ass kicked:
    Goku: You took my body. You took my life! Then you even killed Chi-Chi and Goten! You're gonna regret telling me that, Zamasu. 'Cause now I'm mad. I'm really, really mad. ''And now it's time... to PAAAAAYYYY!!!
    • In GT, Eis Shenron using Pan as a Human Shield against him pisses Goku off royally.
    Goku: Using my granddaughter as a shield is the most despicable thing you could've done, Eis! So don't think I'm gonna let you off easy! [tosses Eis into a building]
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: He is one of the few primary characters to take in students to be his successor. So far, he has only trained Gohan, Pan, and Uub.
  • Reputation Apathy: During the Tournament of Power, The Multiverse at large grows to hate him and view him as a villain because he gave Zeno the idea for the multiversal tournament in the first place, especially because each universe that loses will be erased. As long as he can fight powerful opponents, Goku doesn't care what they think of them and actually embraces being seen as evil, openly challenging the gods to bring their best fighters so he can beat them.
  • Required Secondary Powers: He has a powerful sense of smell that is as sharp as a dog according to Goku, yet he isn't bothered by strong smells any more than a normal person outside of Bacterian, who has never bathed a day in his life and can cause even a normal person to nearly faint, showing that Goku can filter out what he's smelling. He also has sensitive hearing, given that he can hear people whispering behind his back and through walls, but loud noises don't get to him.
  • Resist the Beast: Done during his first Super Saiyan transformation. Goku's fully aware that he's being overwhelmed by rage and bloodlust, and the first thing he does after transforming is order Gohan to take Piccolo and run before he completely loses his mind; at this point, he doesn't trust himself not to hurt his own son.
    Goku: Do as I tell you right now! Before I lose what little sense of reason I have left!!
  • Resurrected for a Job: Both times he's brought back to life, it's to fight off threats to Earth; first the Saiyans (where technically his death was a part of that job), and then Buu. This last one is noticeably since it was the gods that brought him back.
  • Revenge: His motive for killing Tambourine, after Tambourine killed Krillin. This was definitely justified as Goku was riding Nimbus (which takes a pure heart to do) while he finished off Tambourine in the appropriately titled Dragon Ball episode "Goku's Revenge". It was also his motive during the last part of the Frieza fight after Frieza murdered Krillin. Super has him falling into this hard after learning that an alternate timeline version of Zamasu used his body to kill Chi-Chi and Goten.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He falls into this after becoming a Super Saiyan the first time. He wanted to make Frieza pay for killing Krillin. To that end, he lets Frieza power-up to his max level for the sole purpose of humiliating him with the knowledge that even at his best he couldn't beat a "mere monkey". This was around the time when the planet was going to blow up in a few minutes so defeating Frieza as fast as possible would have been reasonable. He also refused to leave when King Kai planned to wish everyone to Earth, because he wanted to finish the fight. By that point, King Kai considered Goku a lost cause.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Goku is not above of this. He wanted to kill Cymbal because he guessed he was friend of the monster who killed Krillin.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Despite Goku's kind and gentle nature, if he is sufficiently pissed off, he can engage in these against people like Tao, Piccolo, the Saiyans, and Goku Black and Zamasu.
  • Running on All Fours: As a child, he occasionally ran on all fours, usually when he's after food or using a type of stance like his Crazy Monkey style.
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  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: It wasn't intentional but Goku being raised almost totally in the wild made his natural fighting instincts stronger but left him with No Social Skills whatsoever. Master Roshi at least defies the trope and makes sure to give him some basic education during the year he spends under his tutelage.
  • Sanity Slippage: When Goku went Super Saiyan the first time, he is notably not completely sane. He is nearly consumed by hatred and rage that puts defeating and humiliating Frieza above escaping an exploding planet. His shifts from his normal Tranquil Fury self to him screaming in anger also shows how unhinged he is. Goku is fully aware of his mental state during this time, and even warns Gohan to get away from him before he completely loses it.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: As a child, he doesn't understand when someone is being sarcastic. Krillin often insults him this way and Goku takes what he says seriously or as playful banter, like calling Goku 'smart' during his more dim moments. As an adult, he not only understands sarcasm, he will engage in it himself, seen more specifically in the English dub.
  • Saying Too Much:
    • When confronted with Super Buu inside Buu's own body, Goku proceeds to chew Vegeta out on destroying the Potara earrings and ensuring that they can never fuse again... while Buu is standing right in front of them. Vegeta even lampshades how stupid that was.
    • After the fight with Beerus in Battle of Gods, Goku playfully teases Vegeta about how he lost it when Beerus slapped Bulma, which allows the group to deduce that Goku had been watching Beerus put the smackdown on the Z-Fighters from a distance the whole time.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Not only can he sense energy from across several galaxies and even the afterlife, making him the most outstanding in energy sensing, but he can find people and objects by their scents.
  • Scars are Forever: Goku mentioned in the second episode of Z that he still has a scar on his head from when he fell down the cliff as an infant, and this is some 20 years after the fact.
  • The Scapegoat: Thanks in part to Bergamo's words, Goku's own attitude and friendship with Zeno, and the fact that no one can outright defy/protest Zeno's decision(s) on the matter, Goku has become a target for all the participating universes for the upcoming tournament. Despite giving at least one universe the chance to save itself from destruction when there was none before, Goku takes all the blame for the Tournament of Power's universal destruction rule.
  • Screw Destiny: When Gohan asked if him becoming a Super Saiyan will make a difference against Cell and the androids since his future counterpart was easily killed despite being a Super Saiyan, Goku answered that the future has already changed since he was supposed to die to the heart virus. This is Subverted somewhat since Goku does ends up dying anyway, although it was on his terms.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Goku honestly hadn't meant to kill Grandpa Gohan. The poor guy simply had his Superpowered Evil Side activated by the full moon and went berserk, crushing Grandpa Gohan underfoot.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: At the 21st and 22nd World Martial Arts Tournaments. He lost both, but still managed to do so well that everyone was proud of his efforts. In the first tournament, he fought Jackie Chun for four hours and had a technical tie with him, forcing the officials to use a tie-breaker. The second, he would had won if he wasn't hit by a truck at the last possible second. Additionally after the first tournament, it's Lampshaded how even though Goku lost the tournament, he still ultimately got to used the prize money, as he was so exhausted from fighting that he ate everything at a restaurant during the group's celebratory dinner. The bill was so high that Roshi had to pay with all his winnings.
  • Secret-Keeper: He along with Piccolo were the only ones who knew Future Trunks was Bulma and Vegeta's son during the three years time-skip before the Android Saga.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • The Sensitive Guy to Vegeta's Manly Man. Goku is cheerful and childish, while Vegeta is aggressive and stoic. Ironically, Vegeta is more emotional than Goku. Vegeta cries more times on-screen and loses his temper easily, while Goku is usually calm and almost never cries. In the case of appearances, the characters are inverted, with Goku being taller and more physically imposing than Vegeta, who's roughly the same height as his wife.
    • In the Universe Survival Arc, he's the Sensitive Guy to Frieza's Manly Man. Goku is cheerful and childish, and Frieza is ruthless, callous and violent.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Zigzag. He warped Cell away from Earth to King Kai's planet (it was the only place he could think of at the time) before Cell could pull off his Taking You with Me Earth-Shattering Kaboom, and soon after died in the explosion... only for Cell to regenerate From a Single Cell, emerge stronger than ever thanks to his Saiyan "Zenkai" genes, and go right back to Earth to menace it again. It wasn't completely senseless, though... he did save Earth either way.
  • Sensory Overload: Goku nearly passes out when he gets a whiff of Bacterian, a fighter that has never taken a bath in his life and causes people with a normal sense of smell to cover their nose and cry in disgust. Since Goku has a heightened sense of smell, Bacterian's stink hits him even harder.
  • Serial Escalation: Goku started off as a weak Saiyan who could be beaten by a moderately-skilled Earthling martial artists. Through a lifetime of hard work, determination, and his own natural talent, he'd end up attaining legitimate godhood and beyond. Not a bad run.
  • Series Mascot: Goku, along with Luffy from One Piece, are the mascots for Shonen Jump.
  • Shaping Your Attacks: His Dragon Fist from the non serial movies and GT, where he shapes his ki into a massive Shenron-esque dragon. It's based off the original Dragon Ball adaptation, where he kills King Piccolo with an attack that took the form of a Great Ape.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Everyone's in Goku's family shares his shares his love for food, nature, helping others, and pure heart. Gohan is more mature and serious, while Goten is like Goku as a child except with some social skills. They all also have powerful tempers that flare up when their love ones are in danger.
  • Shirtless Scene: Of everyone, Goku takes the most clothing damage in the series.
  • Shonen Hair: Incredibly spiky, rendering it in 3D is near impossible, but it had to be done somehow (how else would he get all those action figures on shelves?).
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: 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.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Vegeta tries to demean Goku by telling him that he was cast out and sent to Earth because he's weak. Goku just tells him that he's grateful to be raised on Earth since he grew stronger being away from the Saiyans.
    • Goku didn't even wait for Jeice to finish his Badass Boast before punching him in the face.
    • Frieza calls him a hypocrite for being mad about him murdering Krillin when the Saiyans were an entire race of killers. Goku's response:
      Goku: They paid for their mistakes.
    • He gives Frieza a short, but sweet response after Frieza mocks him for showing him mercy and how the legendary Super Saiyan can't even beat a dead planet:
      Goku: Maybe not. But it was enough to beat you, Frieza.
    • After listening to Vegeta's Motive Rant about why he sold out his friends and family for power, Goku punches him in the face while calling him a fool.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Raditz. Goku is a selfless, sweet-natured Nice Guy, while Raditz is an evil jerkass.
  • Signature Laugh: Has one for both the Japanese and English dubs. Masako Nozawa gives him a low, 'He, He, He' laugh, while Sean Schemmel gives him a fast and happy 'Ha, Ha, Ha' laugh.
  • Signature Move: Like many martial artists in his 'verse, over his lifetime, Goku has accrued a number of fairly unique abilities.
    • The Kamehameha is something he learned as a child from Master Roshi and it remains his go-to attack.
    • He also learned Kaio-Ken and Spirit Bomb from King Kai. Though the limitations of Kaio-Ken meant that it was obsoleted by the Super Saiyan transformation until he learned a compatible variation later in life; and the Spirit Bomb was incredibly powerful but had a long wind up time which left Goku vulnerable, and even then it was successful only once if you don't count the movies.
    • He was also the only Super Saiyan for quite a time if you discount Future Trunks's time travelling shenanigans, and he's usually the one paving the way for new Super Saiyan forms.
    • He's the only character we see who learned Instant Transmission which he uses mostly for traveling.
    • He also gains the Dragon Fist from supplemental material.
    • On a more simple level, Goku favors a devastating shot to the solar plexus as an opening or finishing move. It landing almost invariably leaves his opponent doubled over and coughing up blood, if not KO'ed entirely.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Opposing Jiren's Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!, Goku is quick to tell Jiren that his friends are the ones that got him to where his is now and to call Jiren out on his Ineffectual Loner stance. This gets Jiren angry very quickly.
  • Single-Episode Handicap: In Super, Goku temporarily loses control of his ki because he's sick with Delayed Onset Ki Syndrome. He can't even fly or teleport properly, making him useless when Pan goes missing. He gets over it by the next episode.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Sometimes, Goku believes that "fair fights" are more important than saving the world. Examples of this include refusing Kami's help to defeat Piccolo in the 23rd World Tournament when no one probably not even the announcer would have cared about disqualification when Piccolo threatened the world, and gave Cell a Senzu Bean in order to make things "fair" with his fight with Gohan.
    • Because of his anger and hatred towards Frieza after becoming a Super Saiyan, he prioritized beating him over escaping an exploding planet and making sure his remaining friends escaped alive.
  • Skilled, but Naive: In the beginning, he's a powerhouse of brute strength, agility and endurance AND a genius in all things related to martial arts. However, he lacks even the most normal skills, such as personal hygiene, math, social skills and the like. He gets better along the story but remains naive enough to fall for the oldest and dumbest tricks in the book. Case in point: he falls for Raditz's pleas for mercy and claims he'll leave Earth peacefully, and is genuinely shocked that Raditz was lying.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Even when he starts wearing weighted training clothes, the sleeves never come past his triceps. The only exception is when he briefly wore Saiyan armor.
  • Small Steps Hero: Goku will NOT sacrifice anyone, not even villains, unless he's sure that they can come back from the dead, unless it's their own choice, or unless he's tried everything else. Seeing as he's a classic example of an Idiot Hero, he falls back on this trope a lot.
  • Smiting Evil Feels Good: In his youth, Goku really enjoyed beating and even killing people he deemed bad. This can be seen where he mercilessly beats up Mercenary Tao for murdering Bora, chased down Officer Black when he tried to retreat, plummets Tambourine within an inch of his life and stops short of outright killing him just to drag out his suffering, and smiles as he beats on King Piccolo. In the dub, King Piccolo lampshades how they both delight in causing pain to their enemies. He gets over this trait as he grows up, and he shows mercy and even sympathy towards his enemies.
  • Smug Smiler: At his cockiest, he will give these kind of smiles. He gives one to King Piccolo after he throws him into a building and to his son, Piccolo Jr, after he waste a bunch of energy on a blast that barely harmed him. After he went Super Saiyan, this becomes his default smile to Frieza when he did smile. When he tells Vegeta up front that he is way stronger than him and he will need an entire year in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber just to keep up, he gives Vegeta this smile.
  • Smug Super: Goku himself is prone to this, such as after he defeated Demon King Piccolo, while fighting the Ginyu Force, and telling Vegeta point-blank that he's much stronger than him. Though, unlike the others, he's usually smart enough not to let it override his common sense.
  • So Proud of You: For all of the debates on his effectiveness as a parent, he truly does love his sons, and quotes this trope verbatim after Gohan defeats Cell and Old Kai unlocks his full hidden power. He also expresses this to Goten before heading back to the afterlife.
  • Sparing the Aces:
    • This is the reason why Goku spared Vegeta in the original manga and Kai. He thought it was a waste to let such a brilliant fighter die and wanted to fight him again. With that said, Goku stated several times that he would kill Vegeta in their rematch. He only lost the desire after Vegeta was brutally murdered by Frieza and he stopped seeing Vegeta as an enemy.
    • In Resurrection 'F', Goku offers to spare Frieza so he can come back and challenge him again. He even laments that if Frieza wasn't evil, he would make a good rival. Unlike the above with Vegeta, this decision did not end well for Goku.
  • Spell My Name with an S:
    • Pronounced "Son Gokū" (with a long vowel "o" and a long vowel "u"), but usually it's spelled "Son Goku" (without any indication of a long vowel), while Toriyama himself writes it as "Son Gokuh". Bandai actually spells it "Son Gokou" in most of their toys and games in what seems to be an attempt to anglicize his name (think of the "cou" in "cougar"), but it only makes thing more confusing since "Gokou" can be mistaken for an entirely different Japanese name ("Gokō"). (Also, in one episode, Pilaf reads a sign that says "Welcome back, Goku!", but mispronounces Goku's name as "Go-cow".)
    • However, a very rare way to write his name is "Son Gokuu" with two u's to style after the circumflex, which is arguably a lot closer than the "Gokuh" or "Gokou" writings.
    • His Saiyan birth name is also subject to variations, with most English adaptations using "Kakarot". However, the fact that his fused form with Vegeta is called "Vegetto" (the spelling used by Bandai) and not "Vegerot" seems to suggest that "Kakarotto" is the preferred spelling. Funimation uses the spelling "Vegito", despite them using the Kakarot convention otherwise, while Viz actually changed it to "Vegerot", only to changed it back to Vegetto in later reprints (while oddly enough keeping the "Kakarot" spelling).
    • The Dragon Ball Z Deformation figurine of the infant Goku actually spells his birthname as "Kacarrot", which is inconsistent with the way Bandai spells "Vegetto".
  • Spider-Sense: All the major characters eventually learn how to sense energy, but Goku is the most proficient at it since Kami specifically trained him to use his sixth sense. Not only can he sense an enemy's location and 'see' how events are unfolding, but he can also sense a person's morality ailment, something that is limited to the Namekian race, and can even feel if the person has any killing intent, which is why he didn't move when Trunks first attacked him.
  • Spirited Competitor:
    • He loves finding new opponents to fight, especially if they're really powerful and a good challenge, and even when is on the brink of death from a ruthless and monstrous opponent, he goes out of his way to say "I'm having fun with this." He also only fights people who are willing (most of the villains), and rarely ever kills anyone unless it's a last resort. This is his primary motive in sparing Vegeta's life at the end of the Saiyan Saga. He also expresses a wish (later granted by Yemma) to see Kid Buu reincarnated as a good guy just so he can fight him again.
    • Along with protecting his friends, he agrees to become a Super Saiyan God, despite hating how he achieved it, so he can finally fight Beerus on equal grounds.
    • In Resurrection 'F', he offers mercy to Frieza, yet again, because he sees him as a Worthy Opponent for becoming so strong within such a short amount of time. This being Frieza, he's beyond any redemption and is killed by Goku's hand.
  • Stern Teacher: Not to Gohan (at least at first) who he trains with kid gloves until Gohan get on him. He is, however, much harsher on Goten and Trunks when he is trying to teach them the Fusion Dance. He yells at them for crying, despite them just learning that Vegeta and Gohan were killed. His time is limited and he didn't have time to fool around.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: He continues to wear modified versions of his old Turtle School gi for years after surpassing Master Roshi. It's not until the final episodes of Z that he does away with it. Ironically, he trades it in for his even older blue outfit from way back in the first story arc.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: The Trope Codifier, as most of the traits in the trope description are ones he introduced. As a kid, he's a simple-minded Kid Hero who is naive to the point of stupidity at times, and a Big Eater that can put away 40+ full course meals in one sitting. As an adult, he shows mercy to his enemies, gets excited at almost any challenge, and masters techniques after one glance that took other people years to develop. Even after becoming a master, he still trains, believing there's no upper limit to self improvement, and is soon on par with literal gods (and on a first name basis with them). He also becomes very Hot-Blooded when he sees the opportunity to get into a fight. However, he's also an unbuilt example, since while Goku's an unambiguously heroic character and a genuinely good person in every version of the show, he's also not necessarily as noble or unselfish as other shonen heroes inspired by him; if his friends or the world are threatened, he'll surpass any and all limitations to pull out a win, but he fights primarily for the thrill of it and his final goal is always something for his own benefit.
  • The Stoic: He gains this trait by design in order to tap into Ultra Instinct, which is described as a state in which the user focuses on nothing but the battle and his opponent. The reasons for fighting, what's at stake from the outcome, and other emotions such as fear, uncertainty or anger all become irrelevant; everything is put into attacking and countering the opponent.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Considering all the times Goku arrives late, is dead, or just not in the picture for whatever reason, Toriyama seems to think he's a story-breaking character. He's one of the strongest, most dependable beings in the series, and later he can teleport instantly anywhere in the universe as long as he can sense energy. Many of the sagas would end early if Goku was around from the start, and the time he wasn't around once was enough to plunge Earth into a Bad Future.
  • Strong and Skilled: Goku is probably the Trope Codifier for anime characters. He possesses both advanced skill in martial arts and the natural fighting power from his Saiyan physiology. He would continuously ascend the power hierarchy until he was the World's Best Warrior of his universe.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Looks just like Bardock (his father) and Goten looks exactly like a young Goku. That changes when Goten gets into his teenage years (and cuts his hair a bit), and there's only a strong resemblance as with Gohan. Goku points it out when he meets Goten for the first time (during his one day on Earth):
    Goku: Hey, I think there's a little me hiding behind your legs, Chi-Chi.
    • Downplayed with Raditz, but as a Super Saiyan 3, his long hair and Forehead of Doom makes him slightly resemble his older brother. The constant scowl also helps. He lacks the Widow's peak, though.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: When Cell freaks out and tries to self-destruct, Goku teleports him away to King Kai's planet and dies when Cell blows up, despite the fact that he could have just teleported back to Earth before that happened (at least in the anime, where it takes Cell several seconds to blow up where it was instant in the manga). However, it's heavily implied that Goku allowed himself to be killed, seeing his death as an overall good thing since he was responsible for many of the threats to Earth and it was only luck that Cell survived his self-destruction. Which then brings up the point that Goku's sacrifice, while well-meaning, was pointless in that regard too. Frieza and the Saiyans were always a wide scale threats that could someday come to Earth even if Goku wasn't there and all the other villains who were just doing their own thing in the original series before Goku ever showed up. The point is driven home when the following threat of Majin Buu has nothing to do with Goku at all, as well as the reveal in Resurrection 'F' that his presence on Earth, as well as his status as The Dreaded, was the only thing keeping Frieza's army from returning to Earth.
  • Superior Successor: Goku to all his masters not named Whis. He mastered all of his teachers' techniques and did them better such as the Kamehameha, After Image, Kaioken, and the Spirit Bomb. He is also far superior to his father, who was outstanding for a lower class warrior.
  • Superman Substitute: While Goku has long been compared to Superman, his actual origin is tied far more into that of Sun Wukong. It wasn't until Z that we learned he was an alien sent to Earth as a baby - from a planet that was blown up mere days later. The twist is that he was meant to wipe out human civilization, but thanks to a bump on the head and a good upbringing, he became a Martial Pacifist and the Earth's greatest defender.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: In GT, thanks to Pilaf's reckless wish, he's younger than his two adult sons and the the same age as his preteen granddaughter.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: One of the best known examples. Through intense training, Goku has achieved countless superpower abilities. See Combo Platter Powers for the full list.
  • Super Hero: Goku is often seen as the Japanese's Superman thanks to their similar backstories and heroic qualities, especially in the English dub. He also fits since Goku is both based on and named after Sun Wukong, one of the original classical super heroes in the East.
  • Super Mode: His Kaioken technique, and later the Super Saiyan transformations serve as this. In Super, he can combine the Kaioken with Super Saiyan Blue to create a whole new super mode.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: When he transforms into a Great Ape since he loses all sense of himself and becomes a real monster. Also, when he first becomes a Super Saiyan, he is nearly overcome with Unstoppable Rage.
  • Superpower Lottery: Even for a Saiyan, who are an entire race of lottery winners, Goku comes out ahead. He can learn and copy techniques just from seeing them once or twice and his uncanny adaptability gives him immunity to techniques he'd seen before because he knows how to counter them. On top of that, he's one of the handful of characters in the series who can teleport. He is also a genius when it comes to fighting, able to outsmart people who are many times more intelligent than him. He becomes an even bigger winner after he absorbs the power of Super Saiyan God, pushing his ability to new levels and later being able to combine Super Saiyan Blue with the Kaioken.
  • Supporting Protagonist: During Z. If one looks closely, Z chronicled Gohan's life, despite Goku being The Hero. This has echoes of the relationship between the protagonist and his son in Dragon Quest V; notable because of how much they look like Goku and Gohan, for good reason.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: By the end of the original series, Goku surpasses all his teachers, becoming the strongest thing on the planet; Master Roshi, Master Korin, and Kami. He explicitly has to surpass King Kai in order to have even a remote chance against the Saiyans since they're stronger than him. This is Subverted, however, with Whis. He remains far more powerful than Goku ever after all his training and Toriyama states that it will remain that way for a long time.
  • Super Reflexes: The primary benefit of his Ultra Instinct transformation is, along with a massive power boost, Goku's subconscious ability to see, move, and dodge faster than he ever has before. He went from being ganked by Jiren's ki pressure alone, even as a Kaioken x20 Super Saiyan Blue, to dodging him at close range and returning the favor.
  • Super Senses: Goku has a very keen sense of smell, being able to find people or objects by their scents. He says his sense of smell is as sharp as a dog's. He also has very good eyesight, being able to see people from great distances. In Super, it seems Saiyans have better hearing than humans since Goku heard Bulma talking through a wall when she wasn't talking that loud.
  • Super Toughness: Goku's body, in and on itself, is bulletproof, can get hit by a speeding car, and survive at least in Earth's upper atmosphere among other feats. For the big, planet-busting stuff he endures during battles, however, he has to charge his body with his Ki, which is a martial arts discipline. When caught by surprise while he was relaxed, a common ray gun once pierced his chest.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Being a Physical God might make you close to invincible, but unless you're from a species that can survive without oxygen, you still need to breathe. And if Namek's exploding didn't kill Goku, suffocating in space would have.
    • No matter how powerful you become, you can still succumb to illnesses. In the future timeline, Goku dies of a heart virus and in the main timeline, Goku is laid flat for over ten days.
    • While training to stay in his Super Saiyan form, he wrecks his house and sends Chi-Chi flying after playfully patting her on the back because he's forgotten how fragile people and things are.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • During the Frieza Saga, Goku ends up feeling this way towards Vegeta after the latter dies tearfully begging him to defeat Frieza and avenge the Saiyan race, to the extent that he takes time out before fighting Frieza to make a grave for Vegeta.
    • After Buu goes on a rampage after killing Babidi, Goku states sadly that this may be the only thing Buu knows how to do. Piccolo is quick to rebuke this, saying that one's background doesn't excuse an act of evil.

    T-Y 
  • Take a Third Option:
    • At the very beginning of Z, he's given a Sadistic Choice by Raditz; either he kills 100 humans within the next 24 hours and joins Frieza's army, or Raditz kills Gohan. Instead, Goku forms an Enemy Mine with Piccolo and goes after Raditz directly.
    • When Majin Vegeta threatened to kill everyone at the World Martial Arts Tournament if he didn't fight him and the Supreme Kai warning him that such a battle would revived Majin Buu, Goku decides to fight Vegeta and beat him quickly before Buu's awakening. It didn't work out.
  • A Taste Of His Own Medicine: Frieza's entire fighting style consists of torturing and toying with his opponents, and ensuring that they die in pain and despair, knowing they never stood a chance against him. After Goku goes Super Saiyan, he spends the entire fight toying with and brutalizing Frieza just as Frieza had done to all of his victims, wanting to ensure that Frieza realized that even at full power, he never stood a chance against a Super Saiyan. In the end, the only reason Goku tries to spare Frieza is because he felt that letting Frieza live with his pride ripped to shreds was a far worse punishment.
  • Tears of Joy: One of the few times Goku cries is when he sees his grandfather again. The other time is when he avenges Krillin and Master Roshi by killing King Piccolo.
  • Technical Pacifist: After Character Development, while he loves fighting and training to become stronger, he doesn't kill his opponent if he can help it, giving even his worst enemies a Last-Second Chance.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Although Goku is a well-trained martial artist who put in decades worth of hard work to become the best fighter in the universe, his technical skills are below Piccolo, Tien, and even Vegeta. He never invents his own techniques outside the move he used to kill King Piccolo and the canonically questionable Dragon Fist. Instead, he relies heavily on learning or copying techniques from his enemies, friends, and teachers and improving upon them or creating variations to make them his own. He is also very playful when fighting and coming up with creative ways to outmaneuver his opponent. When he's not training, he's often relaxing with his family. He tends to be too relaxed even in battle, a weakness that Whis says will be his undoing.
  • Telepathy: He has shown the ability to communicate with his friends through talking to them with his mind. This is how he is able to tell Gohan to redirect the Spirit Bomb, get Gohan to attack Vegeta when he's a Great Ape, and get Krillin to spare Vegeta. He even listens in on King Kai and Guru's telepathic conversation during a lull in his fight with Frieza, which shocks King Kai since he's also able to telepathically talk to them as well. Also on Namek, he shows that he can read minds by physically touching Krillin.
  • Teleportation Rescue:
    • After Tien busts Cell's attempt to absorb Android 18, Cell retaliates and knocks Tien unconscious. Fortunately, Goku uses his Instant Transmission technique to teleport there, grab Tien (and Piccolo, who was also there) and (since Goku knows he isn't powerful enough to fight Cell yet) quickly teleport back to the Lookout.
    • In his second Heroic Sacrifice, Goku saves everyone by teleporting Cell to another planet before he self-destructed.
    • Goku attempts to escape this way when Kid Buu released an energy ball strong enough to destroy the Earth ten times. He couldn't get a signal lock onto, however, and the Supreme Kai had to saved Goku, Vegeta, Mr. Satan, and Dende by using his teleportation technique.
  • Telescoping Staff : The Power Pole/Nyoi-Bo, which can also extend to extraordinary lengths, even reaching the moon.
  • Terms of Endangerment: In the dub, Super Buu calls Goku 'dad' after he absorbs Gohan. Goku isn't amused by this at all.
  • Think Nothing of It:
    • Goku did a version of this when he arrives on Planet Namek looking for a new Guardian of the Earth to revive the Dragon Balls. The Namekians recognizes him as the Super Saiyan that defeated Frieza and saved their race. Goku's response is more-or-less, 'don't thank me, your planet still blew up'.
    • When Mr. Satan tries to give Goku the prize money he received for killing Majin Buu, Goku initially turns it down, saying that he didn't beat Buu alone. He only changes his mind after Goten points out that if he takes the money, he can quit his farming job to train.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: It takes a lot for Goku to decide someone's crossed the line given how forgiving he is and is a firm believer in second chances. The named characters who successfully crossed this line are: King Piccolo for his murder of Krillin and Master Roshi, Raditz when he tries to kill Gohan, Frieza when he killed Krillin and threatened Gohan, Goku Black when he reveals that he took his body and murdered his family in another timeline, and a space poacher when he brags about stealing animals and selling them on the black market.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Zigzagged. When he was a young boy, Goku had no problem killing his opponents, even when they were retreating. He only really restrained himself during tournaments where killing isn't allowed. After training with Kami, he refuses to kill even the most evil opponents. Some of this is because he wants to fight them again like Piccolo and Vegeta (although he swears to kill Vegeta the next time they fight), and Frieza is a case of Cruel Mercy. Although most are a cases of real mercy like him trying to spare Raditz, Nappa, the Ginyu Force, and Mr. Buu. After the Frieza Saga, he becomes more willing to kill like him actively trying to destroy Cell and encourages Gohan to do the same, to him atomizing Kid Buu, even if he did wish for him to be reborn as a good person. He takes no pleasure in killing and will try to spare opponents if possible, like him giving Frieza mercy again after he returns to life.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential:
    • After his defeat to Mercenary Tao, Goku climbs Korin Tower, hoping to drink the water that will increase his power. It's not until he gets the water from Korin that he learns that the suppose divine water is just tap water and the skills he gains trying to obtain the water is what really increases his strength,
    • When he is defeated by King Piccolo, he returns to Korin Tower hoping to train with Korin. Korin sends him to get the Ultra Divine Water, which will increase his power once he drinks it.
    • After waking from being comatose for ten days, Goku decides to spend a year in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to surpass the level of Super Saiyan.
    • Goku tries this when he briefly trains to become a Super Saiyan God. He isn't happy when he learns that he has to go through a ritual to obtain it and it isn't something he can gain on his own.
    • This is actually hilariously lampshaded by Present Zeno in Chapter 29 of the Super manga. When Future Zeno asked how many times he'll transform, Present Zeno started counting on his fingers.
  • To Be a Master: At the start of the series, Goku wants to become the strongest fighter on Earth and fight powerful opponents. He achieves this goal when he's a teenager. After learning that he's an alien and is pitiful weak compared to the true monsters in the universe, he refocuses his goal to becoming the strongest in the universe.
  • Tohoku Regional Accent: Downplayed, since he uses "ora" as a personal pronoun and his speech patterns in Japanese have some of this accent's vowel mutations (particularly the trouble with diphthongs), but none of the other phonological or grammatical changes. However, this still highlights how he was raised in the secluded countryside for most of his childhood since Tohoku accents are stereotypically associated with country hicks. This doesn't really come across in English, where he speaks more or less normally.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Discussed by Frieza in Resurrection 'F'. Goku gives Frieza the chance to walk away a second time instead of just killing him, and gets near-fatally shot by Frieza's henchman Sorbet for his trouble; while he's badly wounded and helpless, Frieza proceeds to literally kick him around like a football, all while rubbing in Goku's face how stupid he was to show him mercy again.
  • Too Hungry to Be Polite: A combination of a childhood spent isolated from society and Saiyan instincts results in Goku having no table manners whatsoever: he wolfs down any food he can get his hands on with such speed and savagery that, no matter how many times his friends bear witness to his voracious eating, they always end up staring silently at his ghastly eating etiquette.
    Piccolo: "Ugh...y'know, I don't think I'll ever get used to this..."
  • Took a Level in Badass: This can easily define Goku’s entire character, to be honest, as nearly every time Goku has to take on a major villain, and gets his Saiyan tail handed to him on a silver platter, he has to undergo some form of training to boost his power levels beyond what was previously thought possible.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • It happened before the beginning of the original Dragon Ball, but Goku was once a terrible toddler who terrorized Gohan Sr. despite the latter's best efforts to raise him. It is not complete clear thanks to additional information if it was the head-injury alone, Gohan's kindness along with inheriting his mother's gentle heart, or a little bit of both that causes Goku to become the good-hearted boy we know and love.
    • He also becomes more merciful to his opponents, willing to spare their lives and offer them Last Second Chances instead of outright killing them like he did with Officer Black, King Piccolo, and all Piccolo's children outside Piccolo Jr.
  • Tough Love:
    • Gohan gets on Goku for not doing this to him while they are training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. He wants his father to push him to the point of death so he can become a Super Saiyan and surpass him. Although Goku isn't happy about this, he does oblige.
    • He orders Goten and Trunks to stop crying after he informs them of Gohan and Vegeta's deaths to Majin Buu. While harsh, Goku's time is limited and he needs to teach them the Fusion Dance before he returns to Otherworld for good.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The Four-Star Dragon Ball, one of the mementos his grandpa left him before he died. Goku's exploits during the Red Ribbon Army Saga centers around tracking down the ball. He later retrieves the ball for his son's hat, saying he wants Gohan to have it. His Power Pole is also a keepsake from his grandfather. Ox-King immediately recognizes it as belonging to his old friend.
  • Training from Hell: Although born with nearly endless potential, Goku had a very low battle power for a Saiyan and was classified as a lower class warrior. It's through years of hard and dedicated work that he has become so powerful. Goku even cites this as the reason why he, a lower class warrior, can surpass Vegeta, the Saiyan Prince, during their first battle. He also disliked Super Saiyan God because it's a level given to him and not something he earned himself.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he's pissed, this is what you'll expect from him aside from the occasional Unstoppable Rage. Moments where this is most apparent is when he comes back from training on King Kai's planet and beats the shit out of Nappa for murdering his friends and when he goes Super Saiyan for the first time and decimates Frieza, which is a mixture of this and Unstoppable Rage. In Super where, unlike the movie where Goku is rather uncaring about Frieza, he shows more emotions given that Frieza murdered Piccolo, badly wounded Gohan, and keeps trying to kill his friends during their fight. Although he never raises his voice except once, he tells Frieza that he feels nothing but contempt and anger towards him, and doesn't even feel his normal excitement at facing a strong opponent to boot. There's also his Unstoppable Rage against Goku Black after he admitted with glee that he had murdered his family, which manifests as a quiet wrath that made him single-minded in his new goal of slaughtering him in retribution. This is his default state when he taps into Ultra Instinct, as he becomes perfectly calm, composed and mostly taciturn, while his opponents bear the brunt of one of the most savage beatdowns that they will ever get.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The King Piccolo Saga was this for Goku. First, he loses the tournament because he's hit by a pick-up trunk at the worst possible moment, and then his best friend and training partner is murdered because he forgot his Dragon Ball and Power Pole at the stadium. When he tries to avenge his murder, he's beaten to a pulp because he's tired and hungry from the tournament. When he does avenge Krillin, he's beaten near death by King Piccolo and has the Dragon Ball that he was protecting stolen. He later learns that his master and father figure is also killed by Piccolo (although indirectly). By the time Goku is lying on the ground because Piccolo disabled both of his legs, you can tell that he's reached his breaking point.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening:
    • He achieved Super Saiyan after watching Krillin die a second time and Frieza threatening to kill his son Gohan next.
    • Something similar happens in Battle of Gods, where he reactivates the Super Saiyan God form after remembering that he isn't just fighting to prove himself against Beerus; everyone needs him and if he dies, his family and friends will all die as well.
    • Happens again during his fight with Jiren in the Tournament of Power. After his own Spirit Bomb is reflected back at him, desperate to survive against it, Goku awakens Ultra Instinct to combat Jiren's immense power. After this moment, he reawakens the power to use Ultra Instinct when pushed to his limit and at the edge of losing, as seen with his fight against Kefla, and when he awakened it for real in the final battle with Jiren.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Before his head injury, Goku was a violent toddler who attacked Grandpa Gohan and tried to kill him upon meeting him. While these traits are normal for Saiyan children, who are normally sent to wipe planets, Goku's behavior is outright terrifying for a human.
  • True Companions: Tends to form them with his former enemies and hurting his friends is a sure-fire way of pissing him off.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Is willing to forgive anybody and give them a second chance: Yamcha for trying to rob him blind, Krillin for starting out as a bully, Piccolo Jr. for being the son of a demon who attempted to Take Over the World, Vegeta for commanding the murder of almost everyone he loved, and Majin Buu for destroying the human race. All of them eventually became noble heroes and protectors of life. The only people he has never forgiven in his adult years are Frieza, Cell, and Super Buu. In Super, when Frieza is brought back to life, Goku still clearly hates him and personally notes that it's rare for him to feel that way. And even then, he expresses disappointment that Frieza isn't a good person.
  • Tyke-Bomb: As an toddler, he was sent to Earth with the intention that he would wipe out the inhabitants as he grew up, which was standard practice for all weak Saiyan babies. However, hitting his head as a kid caused him to lose his memory along with the Saiyan race's characteristic bloodlust. In Dragon Ball Minus, it's revealed that Goku was actually sent to Earth for his protection since Bardock suspected Frieza was up to no good when he recalled all the Saiyans back to Planet Vegeta. Even then, he was still horribly violent and often attacked the senior Gohan. Part of the reason why Goku was sent to Earth was because no one would care if he wiped the planet.
  • Unbuilt Trope: Goku is this for the Stock Shōnen Hero, since he wound up being a deconstruction of the archetype he would unwittingly inspire. His motivations for fighting are largely self-centered, with nearly everything he does being a means of getting stronger, and while he is willing to lend a helping hand to people in need, his final goal is always something for his own benefit. Z's anime adaptation would downplay his more self-centered traits and make him more heroic, which the English dub would then take even further; Toriyama has criticized this decision since he had always intended for Goku to have a self-centered side.
  • The Unchosen One:
    • He more or less calls himself this when Vegeta dismisses him as lower class trash who was thrown away because he was born a weakling. As Goku puts it, being raised on Earth allowed him to grow up and surpass an elite through hard work. Ironically, it later turns out that despite his birth, he's a more talented warrior than Vegeta, which actually causes them to switch roles with Goku being The Chosen One and Vegeta being The Unchosen One.
    • If you count Broly's existence, Goku becomes this since Broly is the true Legendary Super Saiyan. Doesn't stop Goku from beating him, although he needed the help of his friends to do it.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Despite Goku's sportsman-like nature, he does underestimate his opponents at times, leading him to have to recover from a loss and then adapt for the rematch. This also applies to himself, as a lot of his enemies underestimate just how powerful he really is.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Downplayed In his youth, Goku did have formal training, but his Grandpa died before it was completed. Because of that, Goku relied heavily on his brute strength, speed, and his natural ability to mimic the skills and moves of his opponents. Master Roshi actually called him wild and strong during the 21st Tournament. His skills were refined under Master Roshi and Korin respectively, who taught him how to predict his opponent's movements, but he still remained fairly undisciplined as Mr. Popo notes when he calls Goku out on his wasteful movements and energy. By the time he rejoins his friends during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, he's not only stronger and faster, but he learns how not to waste energy and used minimal force to take down weaker opponents.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When he is truly pissed off. He is close to foaming at the mouth in anger when Tambourine murders Krillin and didn't calm down until he killed the monster. After turning Super Saiyan the first time, he switches between this and Tranquil Fury. Also, there was his rage-fueled rampage after Goku Black and Future Zamasu decided to twist the knife and admit to to him that Black had murdered his other self's family. When Jiren tries to murder his friends and family in the stands all because he didn’t like what Goku had to say about his habits as a cold loner, Goku loses all patience with him and proceeds to soundly crush Jiren in one of the most brutal and one-sided fights in Dragon Ball history.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • He let Vegeta train first in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. When Vegeta left the chamber to fight Cell, he is so arrogant in his new power that he allows Cell to become complete to stroke his own ego, which leads to the deaths of Goku, Future Trunks, and Android 16 .
    • Goku could have killed the Fat Majin Buu at Super Saiyan 3, but chose not to because he wanted Trunks and Goten to be able to handle it on their own. Goku's inaction leads to the birth of Super Buu.
    • Goku holding back during his fight against Majin Buu causes Vegeta to believe that he can defeat Buu and leads to his Senseless Sacrifice.
    • After seeing how Goku, a mere mortal, could become powerful enough to challenge the gods, Zamasu begins a downward spiral. He distrusts mortals and sees them as foolish before eventually turning on them.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: Along with his head injury and inheriting his mother's gentle heart, being raised by the kind-hearted Grandpa Gohan makes him into a hero.
  • Use Your Head: As in a headbutt. In his younger years, it was practically his finishing move. Goku uses this to finish off Staff Officer Black and ring out Piccolo. He does it again in Super when Vegeta tells him to "use his head" to beat Botamo.
  • Vibrant Orange: Goku wears an orange gi and is friendly, adventurous, and always excited for a challenging fight.
  • Victory by Endurance:
    • How he ends up defeating Major Metallitron at Muscle Tower. Metallitron just keeps coming at Goku no matter how much damage he takes, even after Goku blows his head off; he only stops when his batteries run out.
    • Although he is stronger than Frieza after becoming a Super Saiyan, he mostly beats Frieza because his power began to rapidly drop after he uses his full strength. As a result, he burns himself out more quickly than his opponent.
  • Villain Killer: Son Goku has taken on all manner of enemies from mortal men to alien warlords to horrifying demons. Many if not most have been slain by him with those he doesn't kill either becoming his allies, getting killed by other villains, or just being too weak to necessitate killing.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: During the Saiyan and Frieza Sagas, Goku repeatedly refuses to kill even the most evil of opponents and often spares them, something Vegeta calls him out on after Goku subdues the Ginyu Force only for Vegeta himself to kill them. It comes back to bite him more than once; for example, during the battle with Frieza, despite all of the horrible things Frieza has done, including personally killing Goku's best friend Krillin, Goku spares his life twice, which only prompts Frieza to try to stab him in the back both times. From that point onwards, Goku becomes more willing to kill his opponents, actively trying to kill Cell and openly encouraging Gohan to do the same.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Bulma and Goku starts with this kind of relationship. Goku is quick to point-out how weak and useless Bulma is, while Bulma often yells about how naive Goku is. This is especially apparent in the first story arc where they both show little respect for one another. Despite that, they do care for each other with Bulma worrying about Goku's safety and Goku rescuing Bulma when she's in trouble, even if he sometimes complain about it. By the time of Z, the vitriolic part is all but gone, although it does pop up every blue moon, such as the ending to Battle of Gods.
    • Goku and Krillin also started as this, although it's mostly on Krillin's part. He was jealous of Goku's natural fighting talent, often annoyed by how naive he was, and often embarrassed with Goku's antics like him stripping in public. By the introduction of Piccolo Jr, the vitriolic part with Krillin was all gone, never to return.
    • With Vegeta after the events of the Buu Saga. The two fight and bicker Like an Old Married Couple.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • In the Japanese version, Masako Nozawa voices him as a child, and keeps voicing him as an adult. While she does deepen her voice somewhat as adult Goku, he's still pretty high-pitched. This is averted in almost all foreign dubs (including English) where the grown-up Goku has a more mature sounding voice since he's voiced by a man, although Peter Kelamis (his second Ocean voice actor) and MasakoX (his voice actor in the abridged series) replicate Nozawa's performance fairly faithfully. This has the side-effect of casting Goku in a different light depending on the version, even when faithfully translated; while Japanese Goku is essentially his old 12-year-old self trapped in a man's body, English (and international) Goku comes across as more of an adult man who happens to be amusingly childish.
    • The infamous AB Groupe dub, on the other hand, goes in the exact opposite direction by giving Goku a very gruff, manly voice that completely ignores his boyishness and sounds more similar to Sonny Strait's Bardock.
  • Voice of the Legion: In general, when in his Ultra Instinct form, Goku has this. Whenever he's not outright speaking, his voice is accompanied by his Oozaru voice.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: The Wacky Parent to Gohan's Serious Child. Goku is quite childish, immature, and goofy, while Gohan is more down-to-earth and serious to the point that he acts more mature than his dad, when he's only five years old. Unlike most, however, Gohan is rarely embarrassed by his dad, except when he freaks out over seeing a needle.
  • Walking the Earth: After the events of the Red Ribbon Army Saga, he was told to travel around the world and experience life by Master Roshi. The catch, he had to travel the world by foot because he couldn't use the Flying Nimbus. He walked the Earth for three years.
  • We Do the Impossible: The primary reason why he is seen as The Ace and the Hope Bringer. He is known for doing the impossible from single-handedly destroying an entire army, defeating the Demon King and all his children, doing it again three years later, thwarting an alien invasion from members of his own race, taking down the most elite fighting force in the universe, regularly defeats those called the strongest in the universe, and escaped an exploding planet, twice. At times, his friends truly believe that he is invincible. After Battle of Gods Goku can be considered a deity of Saiyan origin with his mastery of Super Saiyan God, therefor making his actions a case of Divine Intervention.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Compared to the Saiyans at the beginning of Z, Goku is this. Since he was raised on Earth which have weak fighters compared to the rest of the universe and low gravity, Goku lacks any real strength when Raditz comes looking for him. However, Goku has actual martial arts training, which allows him to sense energy, hide his power, and have great control of his ki, something that surprises Raditz when Goku bends his Kamehameha and raises his battle strength at various points.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In the Otherworld Tournament filler, Goku shows that he's exceptionally vulnerable to being tickled given that Caterpy is able to hold Goku in place and torture him for several minutes despite Goku being many times stronger than him without becoming a Super Saiyan. In GT, he loses to a weak child by being distracted by Vegeta and tickled out of the ring.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Goku's Instant Transmission and Kamehameha combo.
  • What the Hell Are You?:
    • Happens quite a bit in Goku's childhood. He would do something so over the top or extraordinary that people, including his own friends, would question what the hell was he and question if he was human.
    • King Piccolo has this reaction after Goku survived a blast that nuked an entire city:
      King Piccolo: This can't be happening! This isn't supposed to happen! There's no way a mere human can stand on equal ground with King Piccolo!
    • Frieza has a moment after he realizes what a Super Saiyan is capable of. Frieza blasts Goku square in the face with his Death Beam (the same technique that killed Vegeta), sending his head reeling backwards. But Goku just slowly lowers his gaze back to normal like nothing happened. It's at that moment Frieza realizes just what he's dealing with:
      Frieza: You...you...what are you?!
      Goku: You haven't figured it out yet? I'm the Saiyan who came all the way from Earth for the sole purpose of beating you. I am the warrior you've heard of in legends, pure of heart and awakened by fury. That's what I am. I AM THE SUPER SAIYAN, SON GOKU!!!
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: When Chi-Chi says that she loves him, he asks what did that mean. She responds by kissing him.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: Goku rarely treats kings or even gods with any greater respect than he would show to anyone unless told to do so by someone else. This gets him in trouble in Super where his treatment of Zeno the King of All is typically casual. While Zeno likes his approach, everyone else is horrified by it, and Beerus warns that treating Zeno so lightly when he has the power to destroy entire universes in an instant is a disaster waiting to happen. Though it also ends up saving the multiverse when his friendship with Zeno allows Goku to summon him to deal with Infinite Zamasu, who'd merged with the Future Trunks timeline and was threatening all the others.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • The final battle with Cell. As Gohan's busy getting beaten to death by Cell (with Goku and the others just standing there watching), Goku wonders out loud what Gohan is waiting for, expecting the fight to bring out Gohan's full power. Team Dad Piccolo calls out Goku for healing Cell and then just standing there watching him pound the life out of his son. Cue the My God, What Have I Done? reaction from Goku.
    • Krillin also calls Goku out for letting Vegeta escape after he facilitated the deaths of their friends and beat the living hell out of them.
    • Vegeta gets pissed at Goku for leaving behind Gohan, Goten, Trunks, and Piccolo behind on Earth to die when Buu destroyed the planet.
  • White Sheep: To the entire Saiyan race after his head injury. All Saiyans, except for a named few, are violent, ruthless, cold-blooded murderers. Goku is kind, good-natured, and only takes a life when he has no other choice (or someone killed Krillin, wherein he will be out for blood).
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: A rare non-villainous example. For most of Z, Goku avoids killing his enemies as much as possible, which comes back to bite him more than once, most notably when he stupidly falls for Raditz's pleas for mercy. It's taken to ludicrous extremes in Resurrection 'F', in which, despite his previous attempt at giving Frieza mercy having backfired spectacularly, he gives Frieza the chance to walk away and master his new Golden Super Mode so they can fight again.
  • Wild Child: He was raised by his grandfather, but he died when Goku was still young. So, Goku spent a lot of his early childhood in the mountains, picking up traits and instincts of the animals around him. Because of this, he has No Social Skills by the time Bulma finds him.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: As a child, he was extremely naive and innocent to the point of not being able to sense bad intentions in people and thinking of the best of everyone he meets, even when they have shown themselves to be shady and untrustworthy. For example, he considers Bulma his friend, while at the same time telling her that she isn't a good person. He's happy to see Yamcha when he was fighting Boss Rabbit and figures he's here to help, despite Yamcha trying to rob and murder him just days before. He also calls Krillin his friend, after he constantly tricks him and cost him dinner. As an adult, he's still idealist to the point of being The Pollyanna, but he's usually aware of ill-intentions, mostly because he can sense ki and feel hostility.
  • Willfully Weak: Goku always holds back his full power even when he's in the middle of a tough fight. He does this either to conserve energy, or to keep from killing or seriously hurting his opponents. Unless pushed, he won't go beyond a basic Super Saiyan. Goku tells Pikkon during their match in the Otherworld Tournament filler arc that his skill in combat is directly proportional to the seriousness of the threat he's facing. This can also be seen in Super during the Champa arc, where he fights Botamo and Frost, and didn't use his god power-up. This is deconstructed during the Buu Saga, where his holding back and hiding Super Saiyan 3 led not only to Vegeta's Senseless Sacrifice against Buu, but the birth of Super Buu.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: When Goku went Super Saiyan the first time, he is not completely sane. He is so overtaken by rage that he prefers torturing Frieza rather than escaping the exploding Namek.
  • The Worf Barrage:
    • The Kamehameha Wave, once considered one of the most powerful energy attacks in the series, gets hit with this over time; Mercenary Tao suffers nothing but Clothing Damage, and King Piccolo doesn't even suffer that much from a direct hit.
    • The Spirit Bomb. Despite being hyped up as all-powerful, last minute countermeasure, Goku has only succeeded in killing one opponent with it: Kid Buu. That being said, in the movies, it has a much higher success rate.
  • The Worf Effect: The best way to know that the cast is in really deep trouble, is when Goku gets beaten badly by the latest threat. This doesn't happen too often, so when it does the impact is quite powerful.
  • Worf Had the Flu: That being said, whenever Goku does lose a fight, there is usually some external force at play, whether it be hunger, tiredness, or illness.
  • World's Best Warrior: Despite being surpassed by various people at different points, most of the characters agree that Goku is this, including Vegeta who outright calls him the best near the end of the series. Gohan calls him the 'Greatest Fighter Ever' and the 'Strongest in the Universe', even during the times he surpasses his father in power. Perhaps his nearly perfect success rate when fighting an opponent, even ones stronger than him, has something to do with this. Shown in Battle of Gods where he is chosen to become a Super Saiyan God over the equally qualified Vegeta and Gohan, and he performs better against Hit during the Universal Tournament in his base form than Vegeta did when he was going at full power. The manga version justifies this by stating that Vegeta actually wasn't at full power, having stupidly wasted 90% of his strength just by transforming twice, but the fact Goku knew not to make that mistake just makes it an even stronger example of this trope.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: After going on his first adventure for the Dragon Balls, Goku is enthralled by everything on Earth and will often sightsee on the Flying Nimbus. This trait is Downplayed when he grows up, but he still become wide-eyed when he sees something interesting.
  • World's Strongest Man: He holds this title at various points throughout the series although he has been upstaged several times, he always manages to regain this status at the end of each Saga.
  • Would Hit a Girl: If she attacks him first, she's capable/strong enough to give him problems, and she's not Chi-Chi or Bulma, he will fight back. The most prominent example being him knocking out Launch (in her violent "Kushami" personality. Inverted when he does fight Chichi in the 23rd World Tournament, though; he only dodges her attacks and refuses to lay a hand on her, so he defeats her by using his fist to create a wave that knocks her out of the ring. Then again, considering she claimed that he promised to marry her, he might just have not wanted to hit his potential fiancee (and immediately did propose after learning it's the truth).
    • This is most evident during the Tournament of Power, whereupon Goku has no issues whatsoever with fighting Califla, Kale, or any of the other female fighters with no hesitation.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Initially, he refuses to fight Arale since she's a child, even if she's strong enough to knock base form Vegeta through a wall. It's not until he remembers her after she headbutts Vegeta over the horizon that he changes his mind and goes all out.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: Goku lost to Beerus in the end despite his best efforts, but he left a noticeable impression on the God of Destruction, which gets him to spare the Earth and see Goku as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: An anime filler has him use a Boston Crab. He also uses the giant swing, though he uses more as a hammer throw than as a dizzying technique. Likewise, he holds Raditz in place with a Full Nelson so Piccolo can take him down.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!:
    • During the Namek Saga, he tried to convince Captain Ginyu to switch sides after seeing that he had a sense of honor, but Ginyu blatantly refused on the grounds that hurting and lording over other people was what made him happy.
    • In Resurrection 'F', upon seeing how strong Frieza had become in such a short amount of time, Goku remarks that Frieza could have been a perfect sparring partner for him if he wasn't pure evil, and outright declares his newfound power a "waste of talent". In response, Frieza states that that kind of attitude is just one of many reasons he can't tolerate Goku's mere existence.
  • You Didn't Ask: During the Red Ribbon Army Saga, this is his response to Bulma and Krillin realizing that the Red Ribbon Army was after him:
    Goku: No one ever asked me about the Red Ribbon Army.
  • You Fool!:
    • When Frieza shoots Goku when his back was turn, Goku screams this before mercilessly blasting Frieza, nearly killing the tyrant. Given that this was Frieza's second Backstab Backfire after Goku gave him enough energy to escape the dying Namek, you can understand why Goku lost his patience.
    • He calls Vegeta a fool once he realizes that Vegeta purposely let himself fall under Babidi's control for power.
  • Your Mom: When Uub gets stagefright at the 28th World Tournament, Goku plays the heel and goads the boy into fighting by mocking his mom ("she's a dingleberry!"), dad ("a bedwetter!") and his entire village.

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