Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Dragon Ball Vegeta

Go To

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) | Original Series Villains | DBZ Villains (Freeza/Frieza [Frieza's Empire] | Cell | Majin Buu) | DBZ Movie Villains (Broly | Cooler) | 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

Back to Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, or Dragon Ball Super.

Character subpage for Vegeta.


Vegeta (ベジータ, Bejīta)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vegetavwx2014_928.jpg
Voiced by (Japanese): Ryo Horikawa
Voiced by (English): Christopher Sabat, Laura Bailey (young, Kai), Justin Briner (young, Super) (Funimation); Brian Drummond (Ocean); Roger Rhodes (Blue Water); Ed Marcus, Doug Rand, Sharon Mann (AB Groupe/"Big Green"); Milton James (Final Bout); Raymond Buyco (Creative Products Corp., Philippines); Kaiji Tang (Bang Zoom!/Toonami Asia in Super)
Voiced by (Latin American Spanish): René García (current voice), Luis Daniel Ramírez (young), Andrés Gutiérrez Coto (Kai), Carlos Díaz (young, Kai)
Voiced by (Brazilian Portuguese): Alfredo Rollo

’’’Voiced by (French):’’’ Eric Legrand

"Fine, Kakarot, you are the mightiest Saiyan, I've admitted that much. At least for now. But don't you dare think that this is over. I won't let you keep me in second place forever, feeding on the scraps of your glory. I will surpass you, and even then I'll keep pushing, I'll surpass every single warrior in the Universe. I won't stop until I'm the ultimate number one."

The Prince of All Saiyans, one of the few surviving members of his race. The Super Elite Warrior.

THE Rival.

Vegeta started out as a villain who came to Earth to use the Dragon Balls for his own ends. But after that battle and his repeated run-ins with the heroes, he slowly but surely starts to come over to the heroes' side...eventually, it takes him a while, but just because he sits firmly on the heroic side nowadays, don't think that means he's gotten soft...

A beloved Breakout Character, Vegeta's popularity and iconic competitiveness with Goku led to him becoming a classical example of The Rival, and by the end of Z and especially Super, the series Deuteragonist.

If you want to see how he would describe himself, click here.


    open/close all folders 

    #-B 
  • 24-Hour Armor: With the exception of the Buu Saga and GT, he's usually clad in some variant of Saiyan battle armor.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Frieza was his main parental figure for most of his life. He made Vegeta one of his men, and for years, took every possible opportunity to demean and insult him. During their fight on Namek, Frieza brutally tortured Vegeta to death, both For the Evulz and to punish him for his treachery. Needless to say, Vegeta has every reason to hate Frieza and want him dead, and that was before he found out Frieza destroyed Planet Vegeta.
    • Although he loved his father, King Vegeta and one of the reasons why he resents Frieza is that he killed him, King Vegeta did raise him to be cold and ruthless, and anything besides from psychical strength was for the weak.
    • Acted like this towards Future Trunks, but learned the errors of his ways after Trunks got killed by Cell.
  • Accent Adaptation: In English dubs, Vegeta speaks with a mid-Atlantic accent (similar to the accents used by actors in old movies) to convey his pompousness and pride.
  • Action Dad: To Trunks and Bulla.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Some versions of the English dub tend to downplay or slightly soften the amorality and ruthlessness that defined Vegeta's character during the Saiyan and Frieza Sagas. While the original Japanese version of Vegeta's death simply has him bemoan Frieza's genocide of the Saiyans and how humiliated he was at having to submit to him, the dubs have him outright tell Goku that Frieza was the one who made him the way he is to begin with.
    • Minor example. When he's beating on Android 19 in the original dub, he calls him out for beating and sucking the life out of a sick Goku. This line doesn't appear in the original Japanese version or the English dub of Kai.
    • Vegeta is a minor example in Dragon Ball Super. In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Vegeta sees Frieza as more of his plaything and, like Goku, didn't take the fight seriously. In the Super adaptation, he is very concerned about Frieza's return and tells Goku to hurry up when he hears that the Earth is being attacked and gets on Goku for taking too long to take down Frieza, instead of just being mad that Goku is hogging the fight. After Goku is shot down by Sorbet, Vegeta willingly saves him, while in the movie he's perfectly happy to let Frieza kill Goku for being dumb enough to drop his guard. He also never considers or even humors rejoining Frieza's army, telling his old boss that he should disappear.
    • In the anime of Super, Vegeta wants to fight and kill Goku Black because he murdered his future wife and tortured his future son. He's also fighting for the sake of Trunks' world to the point that he states to Black that he isn't fighting for himself even after Black humiliated him. Black lampshades how this doesn't sound like a Saiyan and even deduces that Vegeta got stronger from righteous fury. Against Fusion Zamasu, he willingly fights alongside Goku and even fuses with him, although he says no at first and only relents when he learned that the Potara Fusion isn't permanent for mortals. In the manga, Vegeta wants to fight Black because he looks like Goku and gets stronger to fight him again because Black kicked his butt after going Super Saiyan Rosé. He also does his usual Trash Talk to Black while Vegeta in the anime was dead serious to the point that everyone took note of it. Most of all, Vegeta in the manga never fights alongside Goku to the point that they actually take turns fighting Fusion Zamasu. He also absolutely refuses to fused with Goku until he hears the Potara Fusion isn't permanent for mortals and Trunks give a speak about why he can't let Vegeta die. Overall, anime Vegeta was willing to put aside his pride and fight for the sake of others. Manga Vegeta in comparison wasn't, at least until Chapter 24 where Vegeta asked Trunks to heal Goku since he was the only one who could fight Fusion Zamasu as an equal since he mastered Super Saiyan Blue. Trunks even notes how Vegeta swallowed his pride.
  • Adorkable: Post-Majin Buu, Vegeta's attempts at being a better man means he's often put in situations he initially would have avoided out of pride, such as singing and dancing, cooking and being nice to his sister-in-law.
  • Aesop Amnesia: He has this to the extreme. His pride is overwhelmingly strong, and no matter how many times he gets his ass kicked by the villains, gets surpassed by Goku, or receives a lesson in humility, he just can't let it go and goes right back to his arrogant self as soon as the crisis is resolved. The only lesson he seems to learn after the Cell saga is to try to be a good father to his son Trunks after seeing Cell kill Future Trunks with his own eyes triggers him into a ki-spamming rage. It isn't until the very end of Z that the fuller Aesop finally sticks, and thankfully by Super it is Averted; though he still hauls ass trying and vowing to surpass Goku, his attitude about it is much healthier and he manages to get much closer.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Usually averted, as his pride would never allow him to stoop so low. However he has been forced to resort to this when faced with Beerus.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Two big examples.
    • His death at Frieza's hands. Vegeta has been despicable for sixty-something episodes, and killed a village full of cute alien children, their big brothers, and their elders. You'd expect a character of this type to die in a spectacular manner, then never be seen again. Instead, he is given one of the worst beatings after he gave everything to beat Frieza, including allowing Krillin to put a hole in his chest. His best attack was kicked like a beach ball and Frieza beats him so brutally that he's left unable to move, crying as he told Goku about all the years of Frieza abusing him and had destroyed his whole planet, turned him into who he is. After seemingly being saved by Goku's arrival, he is shot in the heart and forced to beg Goku to finish the job of beating Frieza. Goku, who had no real love for Vegeta and kept him alive so he could beat him one day, buries him and loses all of his ill feeling towards him. After his revival, no one on Goku's side sees him as an enemy anymore, just a Jerkass.
    • After allowing himself to be turned into a Majin. He sold his soul to bridge the gap between Goku and him, killed a stadium full of people to provoke Goku to fight, and allowed Buu to be revived by his actions. Despite all of that, Vegeta's sacrifice is still tragic because he realizes what a selfish jackass he's been and how he made a terrible mistake underestimating Buu. After he asks Piccolo if he would see Goku in the afterlife, he is told point-blank that he would most likely be going to Hell for his past actions. He still gives his life to kill Buu, fighting for the sake of others for the first time in his life. This and the last battle with Kid Buu were the final turning points for his character arc that has been building since the Frieza Saga.
  • All for Nothing:
    • In the Frieza Saga, he spent the majority of the arc avoiding a direct conflict with the tyrant, while using subterfuge and quick action to take the Namekian Dragon Balls for himself and pick off his men, reaching the brink of death more than once, so that he can use the Dragon Balls to wish for immortality, and thus finally be able to challenge Frieza. Unfortunately, the Grand Elder, whose life sustains the usage of the magical orbs, dies, and Frieza confronts him and his erstwhile allies, Krillin and Gohan. Seeing no other choice, they battle him head-on, but it's not enough. Piccolo is revived and on Namek so that turns the tables against Frieza, but it quickly becomes clear that the battle is still a losing one. Thus, in an attempt to become a Super Saiyan, Vegeta has Krillin put him to the brink of death and Dende revive him, giving him a dramatic power boost. It works, but Frieza still toys with him, and he loses all hope when he realizes he's not a Super Saiyan, leading to a savage beatdown at Frieza's hands before he executes him. Everything he did was to free himself from the yoke of Frieza, and all it earned him was a pitiful death.
    • During the Buu Saga, he becomes so obsessed with topping Goku that he makes a Deal with the Devil with Babidi, allowing Babidi to turn him into a Majin and bring forth his inner evil to do so. As it turns out, Goku had unlocked Super Saiyan 3 and had been holding back against Majin Vegeta the whole time, so Vegeta sold his soul to Babidi, forsook his family, friends, and own convictions, and helped unleash Majin Buu upon the world for nothing. More than that, the very thing he did all of the above actions for, his pride, was utterly and completely destroyed. Not only were his sacrifices meaningless, he once again has to deal with the fact that Goku made a huge leap ahead of him by unlocking Super Saiyan 3, to say nothing of the insult of being allowed to think he could win. As a result, Vegeta is pretty damn pissed with Goku when King Yemma brings him back to fight Buu after he gave his life in a failed effort to make amends.
    Vegeta: I sent myself into a cold oblivion, and I did it on a lie!
  • Aloof Big Brother: He acts like this to Tarble, which is a step up since he would have most likely killed Tarble several years earlier.
  • Always Someone Better: Vegeta has a long history with this trope, much to his eternal annoyance.
    • At the start of Z, he was the someone always better to Goku. He greatly surpassed Goku even after he went through months of training with King Kai and beat Goku during their battle on Earth, he only lost because Krillin, Gohan, and Yajirobe joined the fight. Goku spares Vegeta because he wanted to beat him in a fair fight someday. From the Frieza Saga onward, he becomes Always Second Best to Goku, which drives him completely crazy. He also doesn't react well when anyone else surpasses him like Future Trunks, the androids, Cell, and Gohan. He only mellows out after his Humiliation Conga during the Buu Saga.
    • In Super, although Vegeta has accepted Goku as the better warrior, he still wants to surpass him someday. After training with Whis, he finally becomes Goku's statistical equal and single-handily wipes out three of the five U6 team members. He then gets destroyed by Hit since he didn't know about Hit's time stopping ability and didn't even land a single blow. Goku performs better against Hit because of sheer skill and not wasting his energy unnecessarily in previous battles. At least in the manga. The anime on the other hand rapidly inflates the power scale to the point that Vegeta becomes little more than a flea compared to Goku. Anime Goku reveals that he can now combine the Kaio-Ken with his Super Saiyan Blue form, making him tens of times stronger than Vegeta. He also pushes Hit to become even stronger, increasing the length of his time-stopping. By the time the match was done, Goku and Hit were fighting on a completely different level, and Vegeta is mad. This carries over to the subsequent anime arcs (while in the manga, Goku and Vegeta stay equal from that point on).
  • Always Second Best: Throughout the series, he hates that Goku is stronger than him.
  • Amazon Chaser: Vegeta likes Bulma's strong-willed nature. According to him, weak-willed women are unsuitable to a Saiyan.
  • Anger Born of Worry: After events of the Frieza Saga, Vegeta shows some degree of concern for Goku's life, all under the sentiment that he is the only one who should defeat Goku. When he saves Goku from Android 19, he scolds Goku for being foolish to fight and go Super Saiyan despite knowing that he was ill. In the Resurrection ‘F’ Saga in Super, he calls Goku an idiot for lowering his guard and allowing Sorbet to shoot him in the back, all while protecting him from Frieza.
  • Antagonist in Mourning:
    • After Goku's death in the Cell Games, he swears to never fight again. When he sees a chance to get that rematch after all in the Buu Saga, he gets a mite... fixated on it.
    • His future counterpart from Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks has much the same reaction to Goku's death from the heart virus:
      Future Vegeta: Kakarot... no!
  • Anti-Hero: One of the greatest examples anime or manga has ever given us. He created the mold for anti-heroic characters in Shonen anime and manga and went through the whole scale of anti-heroism during his character development in the series.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • His hatred of Frieza for enslaving him and destroying his planet. Killing Frieza by obtaining immortality from the Dragon Balls was his primary motive during the Saiyan and Frieza Saga.
    • He had this relationship with Goku for a long time after he was defeated on Earth. Their relationship would go on to develop into Friendly Enemies, and eventually into worthy rivals. In Dragon Ball Super, he becomes something of a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The king of this trope. Often leads to epic Break the Haughty moments, even after becoming a good guy. When he first comes to Earth, he sits back and lets Nappa do all the work since the Earth's fighters are beneath him. He only actively fights after Nappa proves unable to beat Goku, and he spends most of his match against Goku demeaning him for being a low class warrior. This gets Downplayed on Namek since Vegeta knows very well how powerful his enemy is and acts carefully. However, his ego and arrogance return full force during the Android/Cell Saga where he finally becomes a Super Saiyan and has an overwhelming need to show-off his new power, which enables Dr. Gero to awaken Androids 16, 17, and 18, and allows Cell to become complete. He finally gets over this by the final story arc of Z. He's still quite arrogant, but he knows and accepts where he stands on the power scale.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He is the Saiyan Prince not just because his father was the king, but because he is the most powerful of all the Saiyans, surpassing even his father at a young age. Before Goku powered up, he was over three times stronger than the second strongest Saiyan, Nappa. He kind of loses this honor once Goku surpasses him and no one within Goku's circle of friends really wants to listen to him because of his Jerkass personality.
  • The Atoner: His reasons for trying to take on Buu alone; partly because Vegeta was indirectly responsible for Buu's revival and Gohan's apparent death at the monster's hands, and partly to make it up to Goku since it was his fault the entire mess with Cell got as bad as it did.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • How he learned the protagonists' signature ability to sense other people's energy.
    • Deconstructed by Whis. He tells Vegeta to stop over thinking all the time since it slows his reaction time during battle. This flaw is exploited by Frieza, who destroys the Earth because it took Vegeta too long to make the finishing blow.
    • Reconstructed by Vegeta during his fight with Jiren. Despite not having access to the Ultra Instinct like Goku has, he still manages to analyze Jiren's attack patterns, enabling him to dodge every single one of his Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs and land the first solid hit on him, shocking everyone. He even outright says that 'Kakarot can have his Ultra Instinct' - he'll find his own way to get stronger, as he always has.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Vegeta and Bulma are full of this. They often yell at each other and Vegeta tries to pretend he doesn't particularly care about her. Despite all that, they are actually quite loving towards each other like Bulma making Vegeta an upgrade for his armor and kissing him on the cheek, much to his horror. Vegeta is also very protective of Bulma. He completely loses his shit when Beerus slaps her, causing him to surpass Goku for several seconds. He even rushes into her room when she screamed in fright. And when Vegeta learns Goku Black killed Future Bulma he becomes so mad he does not even show his anger like he normally does, he immediately starts training in order to murder Goku Black in the most painful way possible.
  • Ax-Crazy: Borders on this during his first fight with Goku, freaking out and trying to blow up the Earth because Goku made him bleed. Returns to this as Majin Vegeta, where he indiscriminately blows up dozens of innocent people to provoke Goku into a fight with a Psychotic Smirk on his face.
  • Backup from Otherworld: Vegeta is semi-revived thanks to King Yemma so he can help in the battle against Majin Buu after Gohan gets absorbed, making Super Buu nearly unstoppable. While Vegeta power-wise is pretty useless, he gives Goku someone to fuse with and it is his plan that ends up killing Kid Buu.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Almost as iconic as his psychotic smirk.
  • Badass Boast: Vegeta has to be one of the kings of this trope.
    • One of his best was when Babidi was controlling his body:
      Babidi: Kill! Kill the Kai!
      Vegeta: No! Get out of my head! I already told you! I will not be distracted from this anymore! I won't! It will take more than head games to stop me. You may have invaded my mind and my body... but there's one thing a Saiyan always keeps... HIS PRIDE!
    • He gets a pretty good one in the Cell Saga as well, while charging up his Final Flash. He basically dares Cell to test his strength by not dodging the attack.
      Vegeta: CELL! Once again you have taken for granted the power of a true Saiyan warrior. Now, if you really want to test your strength, stay right where you are!!
    • He has one pretty amazing line in Super too, to Beerus.
      Vegeta: God of Destruction or not, you will know the boundaries of humiliation!
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe, Vegeta feels like he suffers from this after he settles down on Earth and has a family. He wants to be evil again since that is when he feels he's at his strongest. So, he sells himself to Babidi for power and he does becomes stronger, able to fight equally with Goku for the first time in years. Goku calls him out on this, calling him a fool for selling out his own convictions and family just so he can surpass him.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • He had to be saved by Krillin and Gohan when Recoome was ready to kill him with his Eraser Gun. He wasn't happy about the rescue.
    • After going through a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Cell after he murdered Trunks, he is knocked aside and is nearly killed by an energy blast. He only survived because Gohan shielded him with his own body, losing the use of his left arm.
    • At the tail end of the Kid Buu fight, he is pinned down by Buu to keep Goku from throwing the Spirit Bomb. It is the combined efforts of Fat Buu and Mr. Satan that save him.
  • Badass Mustache: He got one in GT, but he shaved it after Bulla thought of it as a ridiculous mustache instead of a badass one. In Super, he briefly gains a mustache and beard, making him look like a smaller version of his father.
  • Bad Boss:
    • After Goku cripples Nappa, Vegeta tosses him skyward and blows him up, declaring that Nappa no longer deserves to live. Previously, he had also killed one of the Saibamen after it lost to Tien in a fight.
    • There's also Raditz. When Nappa comes up with the idea of gathering the Dragon Balls to wish him back from the dead, Vegeta immediately vetoes this option, stating that Raditz was unworthy of being revived since he had lost in a fight against Earthlings.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: On Namek, his story purpose quickly becomes "massacre the minor villains so the heroes don't have to". Goku calls him out for killing Recoome, Burter, and Jeice when they were basically helpless.
  • Bad Samaritan: Before his Heel–Face Turn, he is initially introduced as an unrepentant villain. Judging from his evil intentions before joining the Z Fighters, Vegeta has been consistently characterized as extremely arrogant, vengeful, and at times, cold. In fact, many of Vegeta's early helpful acts are only for his ulterior motives, such as power and revenge. Thankfully, it all changes because of Goku's influence.
  • Bash Brothers:
    • In the Non-Serial Movie, The Return of Cooler, he and Goku fight off against a whole army of Meta-Coolers!
    • During the Tournament of Power, he and Goku, after breaking their limits and getting power-ups, finally decide to do this rather than take turns and double-team Jiren; Whis notes that their coordination isn't perfect, but this actually works to their advantage by confusing Jiren and throwing him off.
  • Beam Spam: While other characters have used this, Vegeta does it so much that Goku once explicitly called the move his technique.
  • Being Good Sucks:
    • He was a firm believer in this prior to the end of the Buu Saga. Having settled down on Earth and formed a family, he saw his newfound virtues as a weakness, and deliberately allows Babidi to brainwash him so he could be free of it and return to the super-powerful evil prince he was before.
    Vegeta: I was the perfect warrior, cold and ruthless. I lived by my strength alone, uninhibited by foolish emotion.... but slowly, over the years, I became one of you, my quest for greatness gradually giving way to this life of mediocrity. I awoke one day to find I had settled down, formed a family, I had even grown quite fond of them. Would you believe... I almost started to think the Earth was a nice place to live. You understand now, Kakarot? That's why I needed Babidi, to set me free.
    • Subverted in Super, where he's learned his lesson and become a much more genuinely heroic person who embraces this. His embracing this ultimately pays off, as his selflessness and desire to save and protect what he cares about gives him a much stronger Super Mode that, while somewhat weaker than Ultra Instinct, is far more practical, and still powerful enough to defeat God of Destruction Toppo.
  • Berserk Button: From the start of Z to the end of Super, Vegeta has had numerous Berserk Buttons
    • The Goku Button: Goku's strength was a walking Berserk Button for him during Z and even after he admitted Goku was better than him in his "World of Cardboard" Speech at the end of Z, Super shows it's still a source of Tranquil Fury-annoyance when people rank him below Goku.
    • Attacking his Pride and dismissing it as meaningless will utterly piss him off.
    • For the love of everything that is holy, don't threaten his family. His anger from Bulma being slapped was enough for him to draw blood on Beerus before attaining any sort of godly power of his own, and Goku Black killing Future Bulma sends him into a Unstoppable Rage that only abates at the end of the arc. Also harming his son in anyway will make him go berserk, as Goku Black suddenly finds he hard way - as does Cell when he shoots Furture Trunks in the chest, causing Vegeta to go on one of the longest-lasting rage-fueled Beam Spam sequences in the series ever.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Vegeta is just as often the person to break the established rules as Goku:
    • The Spirit Bomb was being hyped up as the thing to end the Saiyan invasion, a Last Stand utilizing the latent power of the entire planet as an attack, with King Kai warning against using it more than once, because the planet wouldn't be able to sustain the energy drain. Vegeta got hit directly In the Back, taking the full brunt of the attack. The surviving Z-fighters approached what appeared to his corpse afterwards, thinking No One Could Survive That!. Not only did he, but he got up and began soundly trouncing everyone again.
    • After Cell became perfect, nothing worked on him. Cell even performed his own version of this trope by No Selling a Destructo Disc, which, mind you, is established to cut through anything like a hot knife through butter. Vegeta proved that Perfect Cell could be hurt by charging up a Final Flash for the better part of ten minutes and daring Cell to take it head on if he really believed he was invulnerable. Cell obliged and only discovered in the last possible second that maaaaybe he was being overconfident in his ability, opting to dodge at the last second. He still got a good part of his torso blown off, proving that, indeed, he was not all-powerful, even if his From a Single Cell regeneration made the injury moot in short order.
    • Vegeta has exploded Kami's lookout from inside the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, the same place that's an endless expanse of nothing but white void. Twice even, with the second time looking to have been done with much greater ease than the first.
    • Against Toppo in the Tournament of Power, Vegeta opts to utilize the Final Explosion. Toppo, having recently ascended to God of Destruction is hurling spheres of Energy of Destruction around like most fighters would normal Ki Attacks. Vegeta performs Final Explosion only to be consumed by Toppo's own massive sphere of Energy of Destruction. Not only does he manage to overpower the all-destroying energy, something which had been shown to be possible before, albeit at a great expenditure in endurance, but he also survives performing his own Suicide Attack inside said energy. The only ones to ever survive their own Suicide Attacks are villains with From a Single Cell regeneration. Vegeta, at this point, is neither a villain nor does he have regenerative abilities, and yet he still survives blowing himself up.
  • Big Bad: Of the Saiyan Saga.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Is reduced to this in the Frieza Saga. He is still a legitimate threat who kills many of Frieza's men, including his Co-Dragons Dodoria and Zarbon, and would have killed Krillin and Gohan if given enough reason, but he's little more than a flea compared to Frieza. What keeps him ahead is that he's much cleverer than his former boss, who relies on brute force and his resources to get his way. However, once Vegeta is brought into the open and is forced to confront Frieza directly, he's left trembling in terror before the tyrant and is mercilessly tortured to death.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Has this dynamic with Cabba, as he looks out for him even during the Tournament of Power. When Cabba gets erased, Vegeta is PISSED.
  • Big Eater:
    • He shows this side of himself in the Buu Saga as well as in Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return where he intends to eat competitively with Goku.
    • He shows this side again in Super when he goes on a vacation with his family, pigging out in each course meal. Bulma even notes that Vegeta becomes less moody when he eats and it's one of the few times we see him smile. Of course, this gets ruined by an octopus full of ink.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": He does this a lot.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Vegeta is the Saiyan Prince, a race of Human Aliens who are insanely aggressive and love to fight, have tails, can transform into giant apes in the light of the full moon if they still have their tails, and can transform into Super Saiyans that changes their hair and eye colors while also greatly increasing their strength and speed. If they are pushed close to death and recover, they increase their strength. Despite this, they can interbreed with humans, creating even more powerful hybrids.
  • Blood Knight: Takes this Saiyan trait to such extremes that he allows Cell to become Perfect Cell in hopes of getting a greater battle from Cell. And boy, did he ever. Of course, being Vegeta, he didn't expect to be handily beaten while Cell was holding back most of his power the entire time.
  • Blood Upgrade: When he realizes that Goku, a low-class warrior, has drawn his blood in their first fight, he goes absolutely nuts and tries to blow up the entire planet.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The only character who probably has more of an "alien" view of how the world is perceived than Goku, is Vegeta; considering that his desperation for a great battle has been the driving force in his character. Ironically, his Character Development after the Buu Saga and carrying over into Super has been driving him away from this mindset, to the point that he comes off as relatively "normal" at times to Goku.
  • Blue Is Heroic: After he becomes more heroic, his aura changes from purple to blue. He also gains Super Saiyan Blue, which that makes his aura, hair, and eyes blue. Then, during the Tournament Of Power, from his desire to revive Cabba and the U6 Saiyans, he evolves his Super Saiyan Blue form to an entirely new-and-unique form, allowing him to gain power that ultimately overpowers God of Destruction Toppo.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • In the Saiyan Saga, he puts the fight with Nappa on hold for three hours for Goku to return to Earth, purely so he and Nappa could crush the Z-Fighters' hopes and make Goku watch as they killed his friends.
    • During the Cell Saga, he unlocks the Second Grade Super Saiyan form after training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and becomes much stronger than Cell. Rather than finish him off, Vegeta gets bored slapping Cell around and allows him to absorb Android 18 and become perfect, purely for the sake of a good fight; Cell proceeds to completely curb-stomp Vegeta while rubbing in his face how stupid he was to help him.
  • Boring, but Practical: Compared to Goku's Ultra Instinct form, his Super Saiyan "Beyond Blue/Royal Blue" form that he gained near the Tournament of Power's end is this, since while it's apparently weaker than Ultra Instinct and doesn't have automatic dodging capabilities, he can access it at will, and it doesn't appear to involve a Heroic R.R.O.D. that leaves him crippled after it ends.
  • Born Winner: He is the prince of his race and is considered the greatest Saiyan ever born by his people and Frieza. He is spared specifically for his talent and reaches levels unheard of by any Saiyan even before he comes to Earth. For reference, the second strongest Saiyan, Nappa, is almost five times weaker than him. He gives Goku a big challenge the first time they meet, after Goku had trained for a year under King Kai and made Nappa look like a fool. He is also one of the only ones to learn how to read energy without any training and figures out how to suppress his power only by observing the Earthlings for less than a day. He also manages to hurt Beerus, being the first to do so and with one hell of a beatdown to boot, then become a real Physical God like Goku after mastering Super Saiyan Blue. Despite his amazing talent, however, he views himself as something of a second place loser since Goku is always one step ahead of him and is overall the better warrior, even though he's born a lower class fighter.
  • Bowdlerize: His killing of Guldo. In the anime, he severs his head with an energy beam, while in the manga, he beheads Guldo with a karate chop.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the English dub to the audience. "What are you looking at?"
  • Break the Haughty: His story is jam packed full of this trope. After he makes a very long speech about how there is no way he can lose, he promptly gets his ass handed to him on a platter. Then, he screams in rage about his pride and unleashes everything he's got, but it barely dents the monster. Then, comes the dramatic crying. This happens at least once per season, if not more. He finally got the message after the Buu Saga.
  • Breakout Character: Easily the series' Most Triumphant Example of this trope; he started off as just another villain who gave the heroes a noticeably protracted fight. He would survive and go on to play a major role in every subsequent arc and his Character Development spans the entire series. Nowadays, he's easily the second most recognizable character in the franchise just under Goku himself.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Much like Goku, if it doesn't relate to becoming stronger, he has no interest in it. This is lampshaded by Bulma when she asked how Saiyans could spend days training, yet refuse to do something simple like cut the grass.
  • Broken Ace: He is born the prince of his race and a Child Prodigy so talented that Frieza himself took a liking to him, grooming him into one of his righthand men. To the remaining Saiyans, he is a figure of both admiration and fear, having their complete loyalty. When he is introduced, he is far stronger than anyone in the series, including Goku. He is also a master tactician when level-headed. However, Vegeta hates being under the rule of another or anyone stronger than him and despises never being able to escape his oppressive employer, who has subjected him to Fantastic Racism despite his achievements, and oh, as it turns out, destroyed his home world. To make matters worse, he is surpassed in every way by a warrior he considers a lower class, who also defeats his enslaver, leading to an Inferiority Superiority Complex that nearly cost him his newfound family. His cold, uncaring nature also makes it hard for anyone to like or even tolerate him. It's not until the end of the series that he finally begins to recover and make peace that he will never be the strongest in the universe, and even after that he still has to give it a good try to be sure.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu:
    • He pulls several successful gambits against Frieza to gather all the Dragon Balls and wish for immortality. In the end, not only does he not get his wish, but he is tortured to death by Frieza, even after being fatally shot by Krillin and healed by Dende to get a Zenkai boost.
    • Before then, he throws everything he had against Recoome, destroying the latter's armor. Recoome just smiles and beats Vegeta into the ground. He would have died if Krillin and Gohan hadn't saved him.
    • After allowing Cell to become complete so he can have a greater challenge, Cell completely overpowers him and he can't hurt the android. In a final gambit, he pulls all his power into one huge attack and dares Cell not to dodge. When it hits, he blows off Cell's entire right side. After playing hurt for several seconds, Cell effortlessly heals off the damage.
    • He goes into a berserk rage against Cell after he murders Trunks. His attacks not only did nothing, but his efforts almost gets him killed and Gohan's arm gets broken saving his life.
    • He tries to make amends and kill Majin Buu since his fight with Goku awoke him. His attacks have no lasting effect against Buu and he's totally outmatched. So, he decides to blow himself up so Buu can't regenerate again. It ends in failure and he dies for nothing.
    • In Battle of Gods, after Beerus slaps Bulma, Vegeta loses it and attacks the god, landing several powerful blows and pushing Beerus back for the first time. It all amounts to nothing. Beerus takes no noticeable damage and slaps Vegeta out of Super Saiyan.
    • In Resurrection 'F', Vegeta beats the crud out of Frieza and is prepared to kill him. Frieza destroys the Earth, killing him, and getting the last laugh. It is only by Whis' intervention that Frieza was denied his final victory.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Future Trunks and he combined their Galick Guns to deflect an energy blast from Fusion Zamasu. Not only is Fusion Zamasu unharmed, he takes Vegeta down with one hit. Earlier, both Goku and he destroyed Fusion Zamasu's energy bird and attacked him directly. He caught their fists with ease and broke their arms literally.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He actually mocked Frieza, goading him to transform since he didn't think there would be a major difference in power. He was very wrong.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • In GT. He gets put down by his own daughter for his mustache, and even after he shaved it off, neither Goten nor Chi-Chi seem to notice the change.
    • In the English dub, all the characters gave him endless grief over that pink shirt.
    • The movies made him a Chew Toy by having him being defeated rather quickly. The two canon films subvert this however.
    • In Super, he is treated like absolute crap around Beerus who regularly demeans him and his race. Unlike the movie where he earns some measure of respect from the God of Destruction when he swallows his pride to do the Bingo dance and is the first to hurt Beerus, he gets no acknowledgment at all and had to bribe Whis to train him since Whis had no interest in him, where Goku just had to ask once.
    • Nowhere is this more apparent in the Cell Saga. Goku and Gohan emerge from the Room of Space and Time (not even having the spent whole requisite year there) having once again surpassed Vegeta in power, who had spent the full year there previously. Vegeta goes back inside, spends another full year there training, and is still vastly inferior to Goku. In fact he gained so little power for all his efforts that later during the battle with the Cell Juniors, even a single Cell Junior is way more powerful than him and treats his Final Flash like it's nothing (though it was fired without any charging, thus making it much weaker than the one he used on Cell).
  • Byronic Hero: Willing to kill enemies, fighting dirty and always for his own purposes like power and fighting.

    C-D 
  • The Call Put Me on Hold: While already super-powered, this is how Vegeta felt about not being able to turn Super Saiyan yet (he's a late bloomer), despite being the Prince of All Saiyans. Also, he was upset when Goku and and Future Trunks were all able to turn Super Saiyan before him, and when Gohan did the same with Super Saiyan 2.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • In the English dub, he always called himself "the prince of all Saiyans".
    • His insult of choice for Goku is "clown".
    • In Japanese, he often insults with "Kisama", while in the Latin American Dub him calling anyone "Insecto"note  ("verme insolente"note  in the Brazilian dub) has become his trademark.
  • Can't Catch Up:
    • Initially Vegeta was stronger than Goku by a wide margin, to the point where Goku had to use Kaio-Ken past Two to even fight him equally. Then the Namek saga hit and Vegeta fell behind Goku for the rest of the series. It's also Deconstructed in the Majin Buu Saga. Realizing Goku was still light years stronger then him despite being dead hit his pride so much he willingly allowed Babidi to control him just to boost his strength. The kicker? Goku was still massively stronger! Vegeta eventually admits he's behind Goku and ends up being at peace with it.
    • His acceptance of Goku surpassing him actually seems to help him somewhat avert this trope since in the anime GT and the movies, he manages to catch up to Goku's level again. Although he still remains notably weaker, the margin in their power is much smaller.
    • In Resurrection F, Vegeta says that the only reason why he's training with Whis is because he didn't want Goku to leave him in the dust. Given that Vegeta never trained under anyone before, it really shows his dedication not to fall behind again.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You:
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Before he got much better, he used to talk about how evil, "cold and ruthless he was, unencumbered by foolish emotion". When he is told how he can turn into a true Super Saiyan, he states that his heart is purely evil.
  • Challenge Seeker: Vegeta, like all pure-blooded Saiyans, love to fight and push himself in battle. This has led to making situations more difficult for the heroes, like him allowing Cell to become complete because he was bored knocking around Semi-Perfect, didn't want to fuse with Goku to fight Kid Buu, and didn't want to team up with Goku to take down Frieza when he returns stronger than ever. This last one leads to the Earth being blown up because he took too long to kill Frieza when he had the tyrant at his mercy.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: During Gohan's Beam-O-War against Cell, Vegeta wouldn't help the protagonists in trying to aid Gohan because he didn't think they could do anything. Then, at the last minute, Vegeta shoots a powerful beam that's strong enough to distract Cell, which allows Gohan to win the battle.
  • Character Development: Vegeta has the longest character arc out of everyone in the entire series. He starts out as a Jerkass sociopathic villain who destroys planets at the beginning of Z and ends up as an honorable warrior and dedicated family man by the time Super rolls around. Although he can still be a jerk at times, Vegeta's actions nowadays can make him come off as the most mature and level-headed one in comparison with Goku. Highlights of his development include the following:
    • Realizing that he cared about Trunks and admitting to himself that both Goku and Gohan had utterly surpassed him, at the end of the Cell Arc was the first step down that road that would accumulate into accepting Goku was better than him at the end of Z.
    • His character in Battle of Gods, Resurrection 'F', and Super is a stark contrast to the self-absorbed douche who was willing to risk the safety of the Earth in exchange for a good fight just a decade prior, let alone the planet-busting marauder he was even before that.
    • It even extends to a personal level. In the Android Saga, he cared about neither Bulma nor Trunks. Future Trunks' death changed all of that. From that point onwards, he went out of his way to be a father to Trunks, but in a more aloof way. From the canonical movies and Super, he's willing to put his pride aside for the safety of his family.
    • He shows even more development in Super where he teaches Cabba how to become a Super Saiyan and transform at will by pushing him past his Rage Breaking Point. He then goes Super Saiyan Blue to show Cabba the levels he can reach if he trains hard enough, before knocking him out. He then revives Cabba and tells him to surpass him, not just become his equal. The Vegeta of the past despises anyone stronger than him, including his own son, and would have never have taught anyone how to become stronger than him. This is lampshaded by Goku who notes that Vegeta treats Cabba better than him, despite them both being true Saiyans.
    • Remember when he stops being a Jerkass to Future Trunks? He shows concern and urges Bulma to have kid Trunks raise his power to get to Earth and have Goku go to Karin's to grab Senzu beans. The Papa Wolf in him wakes up even more. He even challenges Goku Black not for his sake, but for Trunks' and help him restore peace in his world. Black actually commends him for it.
    • While having another retreat, Future Trunks stalls Black and Future Zamasu so Goku, Vegeta, and Bulma can go back to the past to revive Goku and find a way to stop the two villains. Vegeta refuses to leave Trunks behind, but did so in his urging.
    • When Bulma was revealed to be pregnant, Vegeta dropped his training entirely so he could witness his daughter being born, that and Bulma would never forgive him if he missed the birth. Even at his most heroic, Vegeta would never stop training as long as Goku was, so he's really going out of his way on this one.
    • After being rather hypocritical about it in Z, Vegeta in Super is completely against using any kind of method that he cannot do with his own effort to gain strength. Things like the Dragon Balls, magic, or cheating in a tournament are completely disgusting to him and he never considers such methods as an option.
    • In Z, he wanted the Dragon Balls so he could become immortal. In Super, he states that he wants to win the Tournament of Power so he can use the Dragon Balls to revive Universe 6 if it's erased from existence.
    • In Super he shows respect (in his own Tsundere ways) to martial artists that he believes have truly improved themselves by their own power and effort, whereas in Z he would continue to belittle them or throw a tantrum. Well, anyone other than Goku anyway.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • When he was introduced, Vegeta was borderline unstable who was willing to nuke the planet after Goku made him bleed, which would have killed him since he couldn't survive in space. He was also more Faux Affably Evil, willing to hang back and let Nappa do all the grunt work while he enjoyed the show. From the Frieza Saga onward, he's far more willing to get his hands dirty, doesn't even bother to pretend to be polite, and doesn't lose his shit over someone making him bleed.
    • In both the Saiyan and Namek arcs, Vegeta is a full on Genius Bruiser and a brutal pragmatist. He has no problem ganging up on Freeza with Gohan and Krilin to increase his own adds of victory or punching Guldo in the back of the head while he's distracted freezing them, and his only objection when Krillin and Gohan intervene in his fight with Recoome is that they didn't attack aggressively enough. He concots effective plans on the fly, such as his impressive gambit to steal Freeza's dragon balls or taking advantage of Gohan's show at the Namekian village to ambush Dodoria and Zarbon while they're split up (knowing he can't beat both at the same time). Finally, he is shown to be a more skilled fighter than even Goku on top of being, until the end of the Namek arc, more powerful. His Galick Gun overpowers Goku's Kaio-Ken x3 Kamehameha despite his inferior base Power Levels, he instantly recognizes Krillin's advanced Kienzan technique (telling Nappa to dodge it) and later uses his own version, he instantly picks up ki sensing while Goku needed years of training under Popo to master it, he can control his Oozaru state while no one else can, he develops a technique to be able to turn Oozaru even without a full moon (even giving a Techno Babble explanation for it), he beats guys stronger than him three different timesnote  while putting up a damn good fight even when he's too outclassed to win,note  and so on. From the Android arc onwards, Vegeta is Lethally Stupid Dumb Muscle who helps his enemies to power up, gets incredibly mad whenever someone suggests teaming up against an opponent, and is constantly schooled in matters of both power and skill by Goku (for example, Goku lecturing Vegeta about how his Ascended Super Saiyan form was the 'wrong' way to train).
    • His relationship with Goku also changes. In the Saiyan and Namek Saga, he sees Goku as an upstart that he will eventually get around to killing once he gains immortality. This is justified by the fact that Goku only truly exceeds his power at the end of the Namek arc; in the Saiyan arc and first half of the Namek arc Vegeta is much stronger, while in the latter half of the Namek arc Goku is put ahead by his healing boosts and gravity training for all of a few minutes of shared screen time before Vegeta gains even more massive boosts.note  while his second He later views Goku as a pawn in the Frieza Saga and someone worthy of being his ally to the point of being proud when sees Goku as Super Saiyan. After that, Vegeta becomes Goku's lifelong rival, obsessed with surpassing him to the point of forgetting that he wanted to rule the universe and live forever. Most of this changed happened because Goku became a Super Saiyan while he, the Saiyan Prince, got a dog's death by Frieza.
  • Character Tics: Tends to always fold his arms.
  • Child Prodigy: His talent was so well known that Frieza immediately takes a liking to him and spares him specifically when he destroys Planet Vegeta. After that, Frieza more or less raises him as one of his elite soldiers. In the Bardock Special, little Vegeta is able to take on six Saibamen by himself with little trouble. Keep in mind, each one of those Saibamen are as strong as Raditz. It's been stated that even as a child he was one of the strongest Saiyans at the time.
  • Child Soldier: Raised as one by Frieza and as a standard practice of Saiyan society. He has been conquering planets since he was at least eight.
  • The Chosen One: He firmly believes himself to be one since he is the Saiyan Prince. He believes that it is his destiny to ascend to Super Saiyan, kill Frieza, and take his place as ruler of the universe. After being overwhelmed, humiliated, and tortured by Frieza, he comes to the conclusion that Goku is the true Chosen One destined to defeat Frieza and avenge their people. Initially, at least in the anime, he's happy to the point of tears to see that Goku has ascended and is beating the crap out of Frieza. He then becomes bitter and resentful that a lower class warrior like Goku did the very thing he believed was his birthright. So, he devotes his life in trying to surpass Goku, making himself The Unchosen One.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • Horrifically subjected to this by Frieza after trying to take him on, thinking he was a Super Saiyan. It's not pretty.
    • He subjects Goku to this after he shots his eye out. He slowly crushes Goku as a Great Ape, nearly killing him. Earlier, he waited for Goku's return so he can kill his son and remaining friends in front of him and then take his time slowly torturing Goku since he was a traitor to the Saiyans.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Vegeta through the Saiyan and Frieza Sagas. When Goku outmatched him using the Kaio-Ken, he creates a false moon to turn into a Great Ape and literally crushes Goku. He also ordered Nappa to kill the remaining Earth's fighters so they can't team up with Goku once he reads Goku's power level. On Namek, he kills Zarbon by throwing dirt into his eyes during their battle before impaling him with his hand from behind. Knowing that the Ginyu Force were as dangerous as they were silly, Vegeta kills Guldo, Burter, and Recoome after the former had his back turned, and the latter two were defeated and knocked unconscious by Goku. However, once he confronts Frieza, he eggs him to transform, thinking that Frieza won't become much stronger, instead of fighting Frieza in his weaker first form. He also loses almost all his pragmatistic thinking from the Cell Saga onward, willing to let his enemies transform or power-up so he can have a better fight, even if that means letting his enemy eat another person.
  • The Comically Serious: Vegeta's uptight and hard-headed deamanor is sometimes Played for Laughs, especially when having disagreements with Goku. This is also shown when the other characters tease him for his attitude, much to his annoyance.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Vegeta has a strong possessiveness over Bulma. He most notably gets pissed whenever Goku offers Bulma to someone else, albeit jokingly, and his jealous moments come out more in Super, i.e., getting pissed at Whis for having dinner with her, warning Jaco not to try anything funny with Bulma, etc. In Episode 70 of Super, when Vegeta hears Bulma cheering on both him and Yamcha, he takes every opportunity he can to hit Yamcha, using either a baseball or his elbow. Likewise, in the Funimation dub of Super, he singled out Yamcha (in a sarcastic tone) as part of why he doesn't want to be a part of Bulma's birthday (since the dub team thought it weird that he would want Bulma to be near her ex, especially since said ex ended up dead because of his initial invasion of Earth during the Saiyan Saga).
  • Crazy-Prepared: Vegeta has his moment during the Saiyan Saga. After Goku proves to be his match after using Kaioken, Vegeta reveals that Nappa and him purposely came to Earth during a full moon cycle, although they mostly did it so they can begin wiping out the population quickly. When Vegeta realizes that the moon is destroyed, he uses a technique to create an artificial one.
  • Cruel Mercy: The only reason why he didn't kill Ginyu after he gets trapped in a frog's body. He finds the thought of Ginyu living as a frog amusing.
  • Cry Cute:
    • A rare male example of this trope, tearfully begging Son Goku to avenge the cold-blooded murder of their people as he dies of a punctured heart.
    • Also during movie 12, Fusion Reborn. He's frustrated with Goku always being stronger and with the fact that he's dead and in Hell, therefore he doesn't have his body except for the duration of the movie.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Vegeta has been involved in many of them over his long career.
    • On the receiving end:
      • He gets wrecked by Zarbon after he assumes his true form.
      • He is hopelessly outclassed and slaughtered by Frieza's true form on Namek.
      • He severely underestimates Android 18, and pays for it with a broken arm and a massive blow to his ego.
      • After Cell goads him into allowing him to reach his Perfect form, Cell uses him as a punching bag.
      • Beerus being a God of Destruction, he has no trouble creaming Vegeta. Even after he rallies due to Bulma getting slapped and actually manages to catch Beerus off guard, he still takes no apparent damage and slaps Vegeta stupid.
      • Hit uses his time skip ability to completely and utterly wipe the floor with him.
      • His first fight with Super Saiyan Rose Goku Black ends with him getting shish-kebabed.
    • On the delivering end:
      • He effortlessly mows down Cui and Dodoria with the power he gained from his battle on Earth.
      • After getting a Zenkai power-up from Zarbon's beatdown, he returns the favor and kills him, and later takes Jeice down with little effort.
      • After unveiling his Super Saiyan form, he goes to town on Android 19.
      • After a year in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he beats the ever-loving shit out of Semi-Perfect Cell and completely humiliates him.
      • He so horribly outclasses Pui Pui, it isn't even worth toying around with him. Seriously, it's a firm candidate for the most one-sided fight in all of Dragon Ball Z.
      • His rematch with Golden Frieza ends with him taking him out effortlessly, though the number of hits inflicted on Frieza varies on the adaptation.
      • After Frost is revealed to be a no-good cheater and all-around scumbag, Vegeta wrecks him with a single punch.
      • He is so much more powerful than Cabba, he is able to teach him the Super Saiyan form and then one-shot him.
      • After training for six months inside and destroying the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he proceeds to calmly beat Goku Black with an inch of his life in their final confrontation.
      • After Toppo's talk of abandoning his ideals for power and the thoughts of failing his loved ones enrages him, Vegeta bulldozes him before blowing him off the arena with a blast so strong it destroys half the stage. He uses all his energy in the process though.
  • Dead Guy Junior: His father was named King Vegeta.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes. Especially when he outsmarts his enemies.
  • Deal with the Devil: To bridge the gap between Goku and him, he purposely allows himself to be possessed by Babidi. Despite this, Babidi has no real control of him and Vegeta can ignore any order that isn't fighting Goku.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Discussed and defied before his Heroic Sacrifice against Buu. When Vegeta asks Piccolo if he'll see Goku in the Other World, Piccolo tells him point-blank that he's most likely going to Hell and one selfless act isn't enough to make up for a lifetime of evil and overall Jerkassery.
  • Death Glare: His default if not constant look.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • Vegeta deconstructs The Rival, Overshadowed by Awesome, and The Proud Elite tropes. Because he was born and raised to believe that he was always the best and is the Prince of all Saiyans, he loses it when Goku surpasses him, especially since Goku is a lower class soldier and should be a nobody. It causes him to develop a severe Inferiority Superiority Complex where he's always trying to prove himself by fighting strong opponents, which allows Androids 16, 17, and 18 to be awakened and for Cell to reach his perfect state. It reaches a head in the Buu Saga where his obsession in surpassing Goku becomes so great that he sells his soul to Babidi for power and unleashes Majin Buu onto the world, who kills everyone on Earth except for Vegeta himself, Goku, Mr. Satan, Dende, and Bee, and destroys several other planets before his rampage is stopped. It is only by accepting that Goku is simply better than him that he finally begins to recover and becomes a happier person in the process.
    • He also deconstructs Training from Hell. Vegeta trains harder and more frantically than Goku. He often hurts himself and actually comes close to killing himself on several occasions. And yet, he still remains weaker than Goku and the power gap between them grows despite his best efforts. He only begins to catch up again after training with Whis, who tells Vegeta that his biggest shortcoming is that he trains too hard and doesn't give his body time to relax like Goku and his training is learning when to take a break.
  • Defeat Means Respect: After his defeat on Earth, Vegeta is more respectful towards Goku, actually seeing him as a real challenger, despite still seeing him as low level trash.
  • Defiant to the End: Against Frieza, who is enraged by this and kills Vegeta as a result.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Or more specifically Saiyan origin. Like Goku, Vegeta mastered Super Saiyan God and can merge it with his regular Super Saiyan form, becoming a Super Saiyan Blue. Interestingly, despite achieving godhood and Vegeta's legendary ego, he felt no need to brag about this. He's actually very nonchalant when he transforms in front of Frieza. It goes to shows how far Vegeta has come since the Buu Saga.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: On Namek, he takes a near-fatal wound from Krillin and has Dende heal him to get a Zenkai boost to fight Frieza. It backfires; while he does get much stronger, it's not nearly enough to make a difference against Frieza.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mostly in GT, although he does get a sizable role in the final arc. He also gets this treatment during the Great Saiyaman arc in Z and the story mode for Dragon Ball Fighterz.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • After Frieza proves to be too powerful for Vegeta even after he had Krillin blast a hole through his chest to power him up, he completely losses the will to fight.
    • After the Cell Games, Vegeta's despair about Goku and Gohan completely surpassing him along with Goku's death makes him swear off fighting forever. During the seven year timeskip, he managed to snap out of his funk.
  • Determinator:
    • One of his most consistent character traits, from the Saiyan Saga to his fight with Kid Buu. No matter how much punishment he takes, he just keeps getting up. His refusal to stay down unnerves Buu more than SSJ3 Goku.
    • And when he's turned into Majin Vegeta by Babidi, his desire to fight Goku enables him to resist Babidi's control.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Nowhere near as much as as Goku, he's hit with this trope a few times.
    • The anime put in a side arc, that got him no results, of leaving Earth to find Goku after the Namek Arc. Because in Garlic Jr's Filler Arc he would have been to powerful to brainwash or help.
    • His second death in the Buu saga made sure he wasn't a fusion candidate for Goku. Allowing Goten and Trunks a chance to learn fusion.
    • His quick exit in Wrath of the Dragon was also a way to take Gogeta out.
    • Broly Second Coming would also be a lot shorter if Broly was fighting 2 fighters at Gohan's level instead of one.
    • Resurrection 'F' and the likewise arc in Super would also be much simpler if he was around to take care of Frieza's army.
  • Deuteragonist: He is promoted to this in Dragon Ball Super, sharing almost equal spotlight with Goku.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: See his Lethally Stupid and Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! entries. His overwhelming pride and arrogance always manages to cause trouble for the universe, resulting in the planet blowing up and Goku's death, thus making him an living embodiment of this trope.
  • The Diaper Change: Hilariously defied by Vegeta when his daughter Bulla is born. When Trunks struggles with changing her diaper, Vegeta walks over and very quickly and efficiently does the task, with a self-satisfied smirk on his face afterward.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Vegeta thinks he has Goku and will take his time killing him. Then Goku uses the Kaioken X3 and beats the crud out of him. When he tries to destroy the Earth, Goku pushes him back with a Kaioken X4 and Kamehameha combination.
    • He had Goku dead to rights as he crushed him in front of Gohan and he successfully dodged Krillin's Destructo Disc since he correctly guessed that Gohan wouldn't return alone. He didn't see Yajirobe coming at all and it cost him his tail.
    • Then he's horrified to discover that Gohan's tail had regrown and his artificial moon is still burning. So he tries to kill Gohan. And Yajirobe stops him again.
    • Vegeta pulls a perfect gambit that allowed him to steal all of Frieza's Dragon Balls and he's able to track down Krillin to steal his Dragon Ball and kill Zarbon. All seven Dragon Balls are within his gasp, except Gohan finds the Dragon Ball he hid underwater and steals it right from under him. Vegeta doesn't take this well.
    • Vegeta is stunned that Frieza summoned the Ginyu Force to Namek.
    • He's finally about to get his wish to be immortal since Krillin sees him as their only hope against Frieza. The Grand Elder dies before his wish can be granted, therefore rendering the Dragon Balls inert.
    • He removes Fat Buu from Super Buu's body, thinking it will weaken him. Instead, he gets the bat shit crazy Kid Buu who destroys the Earth upon his awakening.
    • Vegeta's plan to use the Spirit Bomb to kill Buu nearly falls into ruin because he didn't take into account that the Earthlings wouldn't listen to him.
    • In Resurrection 'F', he never considers that Frieza will destroy the whole Earth, once he is cornered.
    • One of the primary reasons why Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks lose their rematch with Goku Black. They were only expecting him to be as strong as Super Saiyan 3 Goku, not to power up to the point where he can challenge a Super Saiyan Blue, and that is before he transforms into a Super Saiyan Rose. Vegeta then gets taken out fast because he didn't expect Goku Black to pull out an energy sword and stab him. Things go further downhill once Future Zamasu arrives, which shocks everyone since they thought Goku Black and Zamasu were the same person, and he powered up and is able to challenge Goku at full power. To add their trouble, Future Zamasu is an immortal.
  • Didn't Think This Through: A recurring habit, typically because he underestimates his opponents.
    • During the Saiyan Saga, after Gohan turned into a Oozaru. After escaping being crushed multiple times, he did seem proud of himself for a moment after cutting off the boy's tail, thus shrinking him to normal size. Given that, while Vegeta has taken a considerable beating fighting the various heroes, Gohan was the last one strong enough to present any kind of threat to him, it seems that he's won. Then comes the brief realization that Gohan is still semi-gigantic, not maintaining his place in the air and now falling towards him while semi-gigantic. All of this happens in about a second, leaving Vegeta no time to dodge. Not long after, a crushed Vegeta is sitting in a crater, struggling to crawl to his ship.
    • During the Frieza Saga, he takes a grievous wound from Krillin and then has Dende heal him to get a Zenkai boost against Frieza, only to discover that Frieza is still leagues stronger than him.
    • After training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he lets Cell attain his Perfect form for the sake of a challenge, and gets his ass kicked; he obviously never considered the possibility that he would lose.
    • He takes advantage of Babidi's brainwashing to become stronger, only for the released energy to refuel and revive Majin Buu.
    • Finally, he tries to sacrifice himself to destroy Buu, but dies for nothing because he underestimated just how powerful Buu's Healing Factor really was.
    • Neither he nor Goku assumed that defeating and killing Goku Black before he got stronger again and overtook them once more was the best course of action to take, especially considering it's how Black gained his Super Saiyan Rosé state to begin with, instead choosing to pause between beatdowns to boast about their newfound strength instead of using it to put Black down already. Their hesitance and Smug Super tendencies nearly costs them both their lives when they're cornered by Black's cloning technique and are only saved when Future Zamasu decides it's time to fuse after nearly getting sealed away by Future Trunks.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • When Beerus slaps his wife Bulma, Vegeta goes into an Unstoppable Rage and punches the living personification of entropy hard enough to draw blood.
    • In the Tournament of Power, Vegeta goes from hurting a God of Destruction to beating one, as he uses his Final Explosion attack that he used on Buu to defeat the newly-awoken God of Destruction Toppo and lives.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: When he was introduced, he was the most powerful character in the series. Not even Goku with all his training could take him down and it took a heroic effort to defeat him. Even then, Vegeta along with his fellow Saiyans all but killed off all of the Earth's strongest fighters. It is not until Namek/Frieza Saga that we find out that he is only one of Frieza's elite solders and he is nothing but a pest to his boss.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Dragon Ball Super goes out of its way to differentiate Goku and Vegeta's fighting style: Vegeta is a brilliant fighting tactician which enables him to perform feats through Awesomeness by Analysis, but this also leads him to being somewhat slower than Goku, who, in turn, is better at Don't Think, Feel. Vegeta eventually comes to the realization that he and Goku are just too different in terms of fighting mindset for him to become stronger the same way Goku has, and from that point on he starts finding his own way, which culminates in him gaining a new Super Saiyan Blue form during the Tournament of Power.
    "I can't do what others do! Kakarot can have his Ultra Instinct! I'm going to beat you by my own means!"
  • The Dog Bites Back: His killings of Zarbon and Dodoria in the Frieza Saga. As he points out to Zarbon, the two of them have done nothing but insult him and push him around for years.
  • Doting Parent: Subverted towards Trunks and eventually Bulla, as he is usually aloof in his attitude and sinks into training quite often but otherwise tries his best to be a good father to his son, and even moreso to his daughter (especially in GT).
  • The Dragon: The reason why Frieza specifically spared him out of all the Saiyans was because he wanted to raise Vegeta to be one of his top men. This didn't work out because of Frieza's treatment and Vegeta's own pride since he wanted to be the emperor of the universe.
  • The Dreaded:
    • He shared the dreaded role with his fellow Saiyans Raditz and Nappa, though he was the dreaded even between the three of them. The Earth's fighters trained for an entire year just to prepare for the Saiyans.
    • He was very much this in the Namek arc before forming an Enemy Mine with Krillin and Gohan. None of the heroes were in his league until Goku arrived, he was actively searching for the same thing they were, and he was the kind of guy who would kill an entire village to achieve his goal. He was also this to Frieza's army. Outside Frieza himself and a transformed Zarbon, no one stood a chance against him.
  • Dreadful Musician: As shown by his bingo song in Battle of Gods and Super. According to Beerus, Vegeta's singing is even more horrible than Whis', and Whis is stated to be such a horrible singer that Beerus would rather leave the comfort of his bed than be forced to listen to it.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: When Vegeta trains Trunks to get stronger in the wake of potentially facing Goku Black again, he goes a tad overboard in it due to his rage over the recent events and gets reprimanded for it by Bulma.
  • Driven by Envy: What drives him through the last half of the Frieza Saga all the way to the end of the Buu Saga. He despises that Goku is stronger than him and will do anything to surpass him and reclaim his place as the 'strongest of all Saiyans'. He finally gets over this when he admits that Goku will always be better than him. However, in Dragonball Super he's right back to trying to surpass Goku. That said, he's at least more ethical about it.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite being Goku's statistical equal and some times better in Super, no one puts any faith in Vegeta to solve the current problem of the story, not even his own wife. The reason why Bulma started to feed Whis Earth food was to get on his good side to protect them from Beerus, saying how not even Goku could beat Beerus, in front of Vegeta's face. During the Universal Tournament, she tells Vegeta not to overexert himself because they still had Goku and she only names Goku as being able to deal with Goku Black and Future Zamasu. This last one really ticks Vegeta, and gets him to shout 'Shut up' before being interrupted. Even Beerus gets into this. He names Goku captain and the lead fighter of the U7 team for the upcoming tournament and he wants Goku to get stronger specifically. He did this right in front of Vegeta's face without acknowledging his existence.
  • Dull Surprise: In Super's Champa Saga, he's not too surprised upon The Reveal that Frost, Frieza's seemingly benevolent Sixth Universe counterpart, was Evil All Along and a Villain with Good Publicity. In his own words, even if it was in an Alternate Universe, there's no way Frieza could ever be good.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Implied to have had one offscreen. According to Dragon Ball Online, Goku and Vegeta, intent on settling their rivalry and knowing they would die soon of natural causes, left Earth for one final battle. Years later, a supernova was detected that is assumed to be from Goku and Vegeta's final battle. Vegeta's final battle was so awesome it was the equivalent to an exploding star.

    E-I 
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The manga that Dragon Ball Z is based on was mostly done in black and white. When Vegeta was first introduced in the anime, he had yet to be appear in a color chapter, so Toei made up a color scheme and changed it later. This was corrected in Dragon Ball Kai.
  • Easily Forgiven: Goku and Bulma forgive him a lot easier than the other fighters for the murderous things he did in the past. Subverted with Tien who takes until the Buu Saga before he really forgives Vegeta, and even then he is the less trusting of Vegeta.
  • Elite Mook: Vegeta's rank when he worked for Frieza. Since he fought on the front lines all the time, he didn't have time (and didn't want) to be one of Frieza's Dragons.
  • Enemy Mine: His role in the second half of the Frieza Saga. He's still evil, but forced to team up with the good guys out of necessity once the Ginyu Force shows up. Arguably in the Cell Saga as well, since he doesn't really consider the Z-Fighters his allies, but nonetheless helps against bigger threats because he doesn't want anybody destroying the planet he's living on (or killing Goku before they have their rematch).
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Especially when involving Goku. When Goku says or does something stupid, Vegeta typically blows his stack and calls him an idiot or clown. He's also quick to snark and blow up at anything idiotic the other Z Fighters do, sometimes even functioning as the Only Sane Man of the group. Ironically, it's his pride that allows the Android/Cell situation to escalate to a point where Cell manages to kill Goku and Trunks. He is also responsible for Majin Buu being revived, which leads to the deaths of everyone on Earth, including himself, except for Goku, Mr. Satan, Dende, and Bee.
  • Entitled Bastard: Zigzagged:
    • During the fight against Frieza, Vegeta gets himself critically injured by Krillin as part of a plan to get a Zenkai boost by having Dende heal him, and is genuinely shocked when Dende refuses to do so, since Vegeta was just as villainous as Frieza and had killed numerous Namekians himself. Dende ends up doing so anyway after Piccolo, Gohan, and Krillin point out that they need Vegeta to stand a chance, and for bonus points, the very first thing Vegeta does after being healed is punch Dende in the gut for taking so long. At the same time, he gets confused when someone wants to help him, or even cares for his well-being.
    • This is Vegeta's major flaw, along with his pride, before the final fight with Majin Buu. He feels he should be the strongest because he's the Saiyan Prince and was born the most gifted among his race, whereas Goku was born at the absolute bottom of the Saiyan pecking order. His entire rivalry with Goku is built on entitlement.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his first appearance he's shown sitting among a pile of aliens he'd slaughtered, feasting on one of them, deducing the information from Earth he'd just received and using it as an excuse to commit further genocide, showing authority over a larger, more intimidating Saiyan and displaying no remorse over the loss of a comrade. Right away we're shown that Vegeta is exactly what Goku could have turned into had he not sustained a head injury, being intelligent, cruel and driven to conquer.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Although he tries to hide it, he is disturbed when Frieza slowly crushes Gohan's head under his foot.
    • He mocks Cell for nearly killing Krillin who was no threat to him even before he became perfect.
    • In the dub, Vegeta is quite disgusted with Android 19 for beating on a sick Goku and sucking his energy. He goes as far as to call the android out on it as he was beating him. Also in Kai, Vegeta makes it a point to say that he will kill Goku, as soon as he's well, instead of humoring killing him when he's sick.
    • Vegeta is disgusted with Goku when he fails to save their children from the exploding Earth in the Buu saga. He is also upset with himself after letting Trunks get killed by Cell.
    • Just like all, the other Z fighters, he was also shown to be very shocked when Goku was willing to put Gohan in a fight with Cell, and let him get brutally beaten.
    • He also oddly appears to have had standards with Gohan from the start, possibly due to the honor of being one of the last saiyans alive. In the Frieza saga, he was shown to save Gohan from getting blasted, and although he brutally beat him up multiple times throughout the saga, he never went as far as killing him. Much later, he also ends up apologizing to Gohan for doing him harm, much to his surprise.
    • As much as he loves battle and the chance to prove himself, he also, after some Character Development, has a sense of honor as far as matches go. When he learns Frost cheated by using a hidden poison needle to knock out Goku and Piccolo, he is livid that Frost would cheat during a fair fight, and requests Piccolo forfeit so he can beat Frost.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Showed two examples of this during the Android Saga: Following the near-fatal capsule explosion, Vegeta couldn't fathom why Bulma had chosen to stay by his side while he was recovering. Later, just before his battle with #18, he scoffed at the thought of the other Z Fighters coming to his aid, even asking why they'd want to help him.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Goku, initially. They are both Saiyans who love to fight and challenge themselves. The difference is that Goku values life and fights to protect those he loves, while Vegeta couldn't have cared less about anyone but himself. In fact he is supposed to represent what Goku would have become if he was raised as a Saiyan, minus the power differential. The contrast lessens over time as the two slowly influence each other through the course of the series: Goku comes to take pride in his Saiyan heritage and embrace it as part of him along with his Earth upbringing, while Vegeta eventually learns to value others and to accept and return love, things that were once near-completely alien to him.
    • Also to Gohan. Both were kidnapped by men who murdered their fathers to be used as minions for conquest. The difference being, Gohan's kindly nature made Piccolo a better person, while Vegeta was only ever seen as a useful brute. When both had the opportunity to kill Cell, they got cocky and let him live long enough to become stronger and kill a family member. Both also have violent tempers, except while Gohan's rage amplifies his power, Vegeta's seems to waste his energy, at least until Battle of Gods.
  • Eviler Than Thou:
    • When Vegeta was first introduced with the Saiyan survivors, he was much eviler than Piccolo and his father, who only wanted to rule the Earth rather than destroy all its inhabitants. King Piccolo was also a Father to His Men despite being pure evil, while Vegeta mercilessly murdered his injured comrades, something that shocks Piccolo.
    • He gets this himself once Frieza shows up, with Krillin even contemplating giving Vegeta immortality since he was the Lesser of Two Evils compared to the tyrant. Vegeta himself invokes this, basically telling the Earthlings that him being an immortal can't possibly be worst than being murdered by Frieza.
  • Evil Feels Good: He fully believes this during his Evil Prince days. He laughs gleefully as he slaughters a Namekian village and enjoys putting his opponents in pain before killing them. Part of the reason why he sells his soul to Babidi is to recapture that feeling of glee he felt when he was evil. However, the strong ties he formed on Earth proves to be stronger than any joy he felt being evil again, which is why he gives his life to stop Buu and make amends for all the evil he has done.
  • Evil Is Petty: During his Evil Prince days. Case in point: his response to Goku giving him a bloody lip during their fight was to absolutely Freak Out! and try to blow up the Earth out of spite.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • The Namek Saga almost has him in the role of a Villain Protagonist. He was the Big Bad of the previous arc (barely a month before) and his methods of obtaining the Dragon Balls (massacring the village they're kept in) are exactly the same ones that Frieza's men employ. But, with Goku in space/healing and Piccolo dead, he is the best chance of holding off or defeating Frieza for most of the saga.
    • Then during the Cell Saga, Vegeta, now an Anti-Hero, fights Semi-Perfect Cell. When Tien notices Piccolo doesn't look pleased he asks if they were winning. Piccolo's response?
    Piccolo: Vegeta is winning.
  • Extreme Doormat: To his daughter, Bulla in GT to a lesser extent.
  • Extremity Extremist: While he does use punches occasionally, Vegeta tends to use kicks and knee strikes far more often than other characters in the manga and anime, and usually reserves his hands for energy attacks.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Vegeta goes into lengthy detail about how Saiyans can become Great Apes at the sight of a full moon and how certain elite Saiyans like himself have been trained to create artificial moons if the natural one is missing. In Vegeta's case, he assumes Goku knows most of this information since he's a Saiyan himself.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Twice:
    • After Piccolo tells him he'll go to Hell if he dies, Vegeta goes through with it anyway for the sake of Bulma, Trunks, and Goku, and self-destructs to try to kill Majin Buu.
    • In Super and Battle of Gods, after his attempts to appease and face Beerus fails, Vegeta calmly accepts his fate, remarking that he'll take pride in the fact that it took a God of Destruction to kill him. That goes out the window after Beerus slaps Bulma.
  • Face of a Thug: Naturally, as he started out as a villain whose default expressions are either a smug smirk or an angry snarl. Oddly, it get's Lampshaded only once, in Super, where some humans who didn't know him mentioned that he had a more evil face than the villain. Justified in a sense, as his developing sense of compassion tends to manifest as Anger Born of Worry.
  • Face Realization: He was a murderous, egotistical, power hungry bastard, but after settling down on Earth, getting married, and raising a family, he found it hard to go back to his more villainous (and in his opinion more powerful) self. He had to cut a deal with an evil wizard to make himself evil again, and even then, he was still too good. It finally sinks in that he is no longer the villain he used to be when, after asking the Namek Dragon to restore every person on Earth who was killed by Majin Buu except for the evil ones, he is brought back to life along with them. Goku hangs a major lampshade on this, declaring that Vegeta is now a good guy. Vegeta is equally shocked by this.
  • Fantastic Racism: Much like most Saiyans, Vegeta had an extremely low opinion of anyone that wasn't a Saiyan. Unlike Raditz and Nappa, this sentiment also extended to a form of an elitism and Social Darwinist to his fellow Saiyans. He dismissed Raditz as a weakling for getting killed and refused to even consider wishing him back. He also coldly murdered Nappa for being a disgrace for losing. He hated Goku for not only betraying the Saiyans, but for being a low class scumbag who dared to challenge the Saiyan Prince. He does get better as the series progresses, but he still holds his race at a much higher regard than any other, often calling humans weak for being sentimental.
  • Faster Than They Look: As a Great Ape. He's as big as a skyscraper, but his speed is unaffected; Goku himself is shocked at how fast Great Ape Vegeta can move despite his size.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His pride, which directly results in most of the conflicts throughout the series, and which Cell is able to use to his advantage.
    • Whis also says he has another one: taking too long to react to sudden changes in fights. It means he doesn't have time to react in Resurrection ‘F’ when Frieza goes to blow up the Earth. Whis also says he and Goku share the flaw of being unwilling to work together even when they should.
  • Faux Affably Evil: As long as he feels he's got the advantage, Vegeta acts in a condescendingly polite manner as a way of psyching his opponents out. Once he realises he's been outclassed, he openly expresses his hatred and rage.
  • Fearless Fool: Vegeta's the type to charge into battles with opponents who are much stronger than him. This may be due to his arrogance because he doesn't believe they are stronger than him.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Despite his love of fighting, he's so furious that Goku managed to draw blood from him that he tries to blow up the Earth. Afterwards, when Goku shoots him in the eye with a Ki Blast, Vegeta was so furious that he tortured Goku by slowly breaking every bone in his body.
  • Final First Hug: When he hugged his son Trunks for the first time expecting it to also be the last time, as he was about to sacrifice himself in an attempt to kill Buu.
  • Foil:
    • To his eternal rival, Goku. Both are thrill-seeking Saiyan warriors always looking to test, expand, and overcome their limits. While Goku is a cheerful man who cherishes others, greatly values his Earthly upbringing, and was born weak among commoner parents, Vegeta is a rough, arrogant prince who initially cares only for himself, and was born very powerful and heir to the throne of his planet. Through a series of trials and hardships, they gradually influence each other as their rivalry matures from resentment to respect. Goku comes to understand Saiyan pride and Vegeta learns compassion for loved ones.
    • After character development, he becomes this to Frieza. Unlike his former boss, Vegeta learns to care about others and being able to set his pride aside for the benefit of others and his own sanity. By letting go of the past, Vegeta becomes a happier person. Frieza, on the other hand, never learns from his experiences and remains an uncaring fiend even after he is given a second chance at life. He allows his hatred and anger towards Goku to drive him insane, and it's his inability to let go of his pride and the past that drives him to his death, twice.
  • Forced to Watch: After learning that Goku has been revived and will join the fight, Vegeta orders a three hour cease-fire. When Nappa asks why, Vegeta explains that as a traitor to the Saiyans Goku has to be made to suffer and the first part of his punishment is to watch his friends and family be killed before his eyes. Then, they will take their time with him. However, the moment he realizes that Goku is much stronger than he thought, he orders Nappa to kill the surviving Z-Fighters since they couldn't afford to have them join Goku.
  • Forehead of Doom: Could be said to be a general trait of Toriyama's art style, but Vegeta's is especially egregious, to the point of being a meme in Japan.
  • Four Is Death: The number of Saiyans still alive, according to Raditz.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • The dub adds in that one of the reasons he served Frieza was essentially by blackmail, as Frieza demanded that he submit to Frieza or else daddy will die by his hand. Of course, Frieza ended up killing daddy anyways, along with most of his race. This is implied somewhat in the original, but with nowhere near the level of importance the dub suggests to Vegeta's motives.
    • His fear of Beerus comes from meeting him as a child... while Beerus was utterly humiliating his father, terrifying Vegeta. Super takes it up a notch by having Vegeta try to help his father and get stopped by the god.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • In the late Frieza Saga and the Cell Saga, to everyone but Goku and Bulma — even Trunks spends about as much time berating him as he did seeking his approval. It's so bad that whenever Vegeta gets hurt no one is in any hurry to heal him, even when he's demanding it, and it would be in their best interest to help him. When he first went Super Saiyan, the entire main cast all but groaned. After Vegeta was beaten unconscious by Cell, Krillin says point-blank that he didn't really care if he dies and is only helping him because Trunks believes in him.
    • Even in Dragon Ball Minus, his own fellow Saiyans didn't seem to like him too much. Bardock calls him a pain in the neck partner when he learns Raditz is paired up with him.
    • He's so bad about pissing everyone off that it wasn't until Super (almost thirty years after he first came to Earth in-universe) that all of the Z Fighters began to form anything resembling friendship with him, and even then only Goku, Gohan, and Vegeta's family are completely open with that they like having Vegeta around. Everyone else has a mutual Tsundere act going with him.
  • Friendly Rivalry: It took a long time, but by the end of the Buu Saga, Goku and Vegeta's rivalry evolves into this. They even have petty rivalries like who can eat the most or cut grass the fastest, but now when the chips fall down it's clear they have each other's backs.
  • Genius Bruiser: When he completely swallows his pride and uses his head, he becomes this. He outsmarts Frieza's entire army on Namek and steals their Dragon Balls right from under their nose. It is also his plan that finally kills Majin Buu by using the Spirit Bomb and gathering energy from everyone on Earth. In Super, he finds a way around Magetta's seemly invincible defense by destroying a large chuck of the ring after dazing him with a Final Flash.
  • Genre Blindness: Despite his moments of intelligence, he has a few of these:
    • Because of his arrogance, he let Cell become complete and then muses about how Cell's final form isn't impressive and is smaller than before. Given that he is one of the smallest characters in the series and also a powerhouse, he should know better.
    • He does it again with Kid Buu, saying that he's puny. Although Kid Buu isn't as powerful as Super Buu at his strongest in terms of raw power, he should know not to trust appearances.
    • Especially considering that he's experienced first-hand the power of Frieza in his final form, which was also smaller and slimmer than his second and third forms. He really should have known better, but it's likely just a product of his immense ego.
  • Genre Savvy: Played for Laughs. In Super, when he and Goku face off against Arale from Dr. Slump, he says that Shōnen characters like himself are no match for gag characters like her.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Though it was not really glasses but a monocle-like scouter. Doing this, however, showed the audience exactly how dangerous he really was. And he only became even more dangerous when he stopped needing it at all.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • After Vegeta is overpowered by Goku's Kaio-Ken X4 and Kamehameha combination, he decides to becomes a Great Ape to beat Goku. He doesn't like it since he sees the Great Ape transformation as a planet destroyer and he shouldn't need it to crush a lower class warrior.
    • When Vegeta hears that the Ginyu Force was heading for Namek, he immediately teams up with Krillin and Gohan to fight them. He even asks Krillin when Goku was coming since they needed the manpower.
    • As Frieza is transforming into his final form, Vegeta orders Krillin to mortally wound him so he can have Dende to heal him, which would greatly power him up and allow him to become a Super Saiyan.
    • Vegeta listening to Goku's pleas and fusing with him using the Potara Earrings, which is permanent, so they can beat Super Buu who absorbed his son and killed the rest of his family.
    • He put his pride aside to keep Beerus happy, going as far as to dance and sing.
    • In Super's Future Trunks Saga, he agrees to use the Potaras to fuse with Goku again to fight the Fusion Zamasu; he states he isn't happy with it, but he acknowledges they're out of options.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: When he was first introduced, Vegeta' Battle Aura was purple, which is the color usually used for evil characters in the series. After he becomes an ally to the Z-Fighters, his aura is changed to blue, which is the color of most of the heroes.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Even after his Heel–Face Turn, he's still an asshole who is very rude to everyone.
  • Gone Horribly Right: He deliberately let Cell reach his perfect form for the sake of having a challenging fight. Cell proceeds to beat him senseless.
  • Good Costume Switch: Vegeta starts off wearing a full suit of Saiyan armor. As the series continues, and Vegeta gradually undergoes a Heel–Face Turn, he stops wearing some pieces of it, and by the time of the Buu arc he's just wearing the gloves and boots over the blue bodysuit. And at the very end of the series, once Vegeta has fully become a good guy and accepted the Earth as his home, he starts wearing Earthling clothes instead. Although he still wears his Saiyan armor as formal wear.
  • Good Counterpart:
    • Frieza is an eviler version of Vegeta. Both of them are princes of their respective empires, born extremely powerful, commands the respect and fear of those around them, have lofty ambitions of ruling the universe for all eternity, are ruled by their pride of being the strongest, and are selfish, spoiled brats who will Rage Quit if things don't go their way. Vegeta gets better through character development and living on Earth. Through a series of trials, Vegeta eventually learns to put aside his pride for the sake of others and be thoughtful of those besides himself. Frieza, meanwhile, remained an unrepentant asshole who allowed his pride to utterly destroy him, three times. Frieza also serves as Vegeta's Shadow Archetype.
    • Cell, much like Frieza, is an eviler counterpart to Vegeta. Both love to fight and challenge themselves in battle. They are also both extremely arrogant and believe that there's nothing stronger than them and will throw a fit if that belief is proven incorrect. Their pride and arrogance becomes their undoing, first with Vegeta for letting Cell reach his perfect form for the sake of the challenge and Cell pushing Gohan over the edge so he could become powerful enough to challenge him. The difference, Vegeta eventually learns the value of life, family, and does becomes a good person. Cell remained a Jerkass to the bitter end.
    • Goku Black is another evil counterpart of Vegeta. Black's actions parallel the Saiyan prince's in his younger days, such as committing genocide and reveling in his ability to get stronger with each recovery. He also claims to take great pride in his race, but in practice disregards his kin. While Vegeta never got a chance to use the Dragon Balls, Black succeeded and became a greater threat than Majin Buu. The fact that his first victim happened to be Future Bulma really hammers the point across.
  • Good Parents: For all of his faults, he proves himself to be a doting and caring parent to Trunks and Bulla alongside Bulma, and they grow up to be well-adjusted young adults (if a tad spoiled, which comes more from their mother's family fortune than anything else).
  • Go Out with a Smile: When he sacrificed himself to try to kill Buu.
  • Gratuitous English: In the Japanese version, he is the only major character to have English signature moves, namely the Big Bang Attack and Final Flash. Everyone else has Japanese-named techniques. According to Toriyama, this was done to make the alien Vegeta more exotic, or as he said in an interview, "to portray his foreign personality".
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Towards Goku regarding his strength. This even got him to sell his soul to Babidi due to getting tired of being second best to Goku.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Got a couple. The first time he ate a senzu and the first time he attempted to go beyond Super Saiyan against Cell. He didn't go USS so it wasn't as dramatic as Future Trunks'.
  • Grumpy Bear: When not in a fight, he's very grumpy indeed.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Much like Goku, Vegeta has the same hairstyle since he was a child. It remains in place even when wet. This is a racial trait of pure-blooded Saiyans. Their hair never changes.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He was always temperamental, but being bested or knowing Goku's better is usually what gets him the most mad. He almost blew up the planet over his blood being drawn by Goku.
  • Happily Married: At first, he didn't care about Bulma or their son after he was born. But seeing Future Trunks die at the hands of Cell deeply disturbs him, and he tries to show more concern for his family afterwards. After the battle against Buu, he finally settles down with Bulma for real, and they have a daughter. When Goku talks about the deal he made with the Old Kai, Vegeta tells him 'let him kiss your wife, not mine!', indicating that they married after the Cell Games.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: A Deconstruction.
    • Vegeta trains more frantically and harder than Goku, and he still can't catch up to him, something that drives him crazy for most of his life. note  In Resurrection ‘F’, it's suggested by Whis that he trains too hard and doesn't allow himself to relax, keeping himself from reaching his full power. This is Truth in Television: overtraining, and stress, can hurt athletic performance. The other issue is whereas Goku gets good sparring partners and seeks out trainers, Vegeta largely trained by himself until this was pointed out, as he was just too proud to train with anybody (even his own future son, who he only trained with to get better results for himself).
    • Ironically, when Vegeta is first introduced, he fully believes in this trope, believing that one's birth determine one's power. Since he is the Saiyan Prince he is, naturally, meant to be the strongest. He scoffs at Goku when he claims that a lower class soldier like him can surpass an elite through hard work.
  • Has a Type: He reveals that Saiyans are generally attracted to strong-willed women. Presumably, this is part of why he and Bulma had that one-night stand that initially conceived Trunks.
  • Haughty "Hmph": His arrogance and supreme confidence in his own skills are expressed through these, especially at the beginning of battles.
  • Heavyworlder: Vegeta was born on Planet Vegeta, a world that had ten times the gravity of Earth, which partly explains why the Saiyans were so powerful. Both Nappa and he note how weak the gravity of Earth is and how they can move more freely. During the Buu Saga, Babidi tries to give his minion Pui Pui an advantage over Vegeta by sending them to Pui Pui's homeworld of Zoon, which also had ten times Earth's gravity... but it backfired because not only was Vegeta from a planet with similar gravity, he's also trained under 450 times Earth's gravity.
    Vegeta: Maybe... if your planet had five hundred times Earth's gravity, you'd have an advantage, but ten? I don't even feel it!
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: To sum up his alignment changes in DBZ: he's bad, he's good (sort of), he's bad again (for a cup of coffee), he's good (for real).
  • Heel Realization:
    • He has a minor one after Future Trunks is killed. He realizes what an utter Jerkass he's been to his son.
    • During the Buu Saga. The realization that his selfish desire to beat Goku allowed Buu to be revived and led to the apparent death of Gohan is quite the wake-up call.
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: Same hair as his father, King Vegeta.
  • Heroes' Frontier Step: Vegeta firmly become a heroic character after he sacrificed himself to kill Majin Buu, knowing full well that he was going to Hell for his past deeds. He took it a step further when he swallowed his pride to fuse with Goku to stop Super Buu and admit that Goku was his better after so many years of denial. By the time all the good people are revived from Buu's massacre, Vegeta is shocked to find that he's among them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He willingly kills himself trying to take Majin Buu down with him, all for the purpose of saving his son's life, knowing he would go to Hell afterwards for all of the terrible things he had done in his life.
  • Heroic Willpower: If Vegeta sets his mind on something, he's not going to let a little thing like someone else having control of every fiber in his body stop him. In the words of Babidi:
    Babidi: B-but this has never happened to me before! Since when can the possessed say "no" to the possesser?!
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: He eventually develops one over the course of the series, despite his attempts to deny it. He takes Trunks to the park after he manages to hit him and is upset when Gohan is seemingly killed by Majin Buu. He also completely loses it when Beerus hits Bulma, going into a blind rage that boosted his power past Goku's. He's willing to utterly humiliate himself in order to protect Trunks and even grows to care for Goku as a friend, but hides it behind their rivalry. An episode of Super has him musing to himself whether it's alright for Bulma to be moving so much at that stage of her pregnancy. Another example is when Roshi is so exhausted that he's about to collapse, during the Tournament of Power. Vegeta tells him to leave the ring and get a Senzu Bean, but not in a condescending way, rather with actual concern. He then tells Roshi to leave the rest to him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During his fight with Goku on Earth, Vegeta created an artificial full moon necessary to transform himself into a Great Ape after the original was destroyed by Piccolo earlier in the year. That very same moon ends up being used by Gohan to transform into his own ape form needed to provide the crushing blow necessary to finish Vegeta off.
  • Holding Your Shoulder Means Injury: While numerous fighters tend to do this in Dragon Ball after a brutal battle, Vegeta in particular tends to do this a lot, to the point of at least once per saga, as part of the trend of having Vegeta display more realistic injuries and usually to show that he has received one hell of an ass-kicking.
  • Honor Before Reason: Much like Goku, though with a distinctly Saiyan-centric cultural influence to it. While Goku will allow his opponents to power-up or transform to their maximum power before fighting them, Vegeta will take it a step further and let his opponents eat another person to reach their full power, as he has done with Cell and Android 18. With that said, he is also more willing than Goku to be pragmatic, usually when his ego isn't out of control.
  • Hope Bringer: To a lesser extent, he become this after becoming completely good, especially after training with Whis and becoming a Super Saiyan Blue. The heroes become quite distressed when he goes down in battle.
  • Hope Spot: Vegeta loves providing these moments for his opponents by holding back ever so slightly and then when it looks like they're starting to turn the fight around, he crushes their hopes and then crushes them.
  • Hot-Blooded: Even if it does lead to a lot of trouble for the protagonists, he still looks cool talking about the hurt he's going to deliver. He is almost nothing but pure anger, pride and bloodlust, at least until the end of Z. This trait seems to be the main attribute of the Saiyan race in general.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Vegeta's death to Frieza has elements of this. He's the Saiyan Prince and the strongest his race has to offer, reduced to tears before Frieza's power. After surviving a brutal beating, he is given an anticlimactic end by being shot in the heart and is reduced to begging a lower class warrior to beat Frieza.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Vegeta's endurance is absolutely unreal. Even (or rather, especially) when he's severely outmatched, Vegeta often takes some of the worst beatings out of anyone in the entire series, but it never slows him down until he's literally on death's door.
  • Human Alien: Like most Saiyans. They look perfectly human other than their tails and can produce offspring with humans, though they do have extraordinary abilities (most notably, they can turn into a giant ape). Saiyans also age slower than humans. They have long childhoods, staying small and cute looking so they will be underestimated before quickly growing to their full adult height, and they stay in their prime until at least eighty.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: When Android 17 kills Dr. Gero by stepping on his detached head, everyone, save Vegeta, is shocked. Krillin talks about how unbelievable it is that the android killed their own creator. Vegeta scoffs at them, saying that humans are the strange ones since most species kill anyone who gets in their way, regardless if they're their parents.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: His love for Bulma and Trunks really helped mellow him out, which caused him great angst in the Buu Saga, since he saw this trope as part of his Badass Decay.
  • Humble Pie: After suffering heavy Aesop Amnesia most of the series, and a Break the Haughty at least Once a Season, Vegeta receives one of these during the final battle with Kid Buu, acknowledging that Goku is better than him and always will be and making peace with that decision. Come Dragon Ball Super, he's still trying to surpass Goku, but his attitude towards it is much healthier and he manages to get much closer.
  • Humiliation Conga: Happens at least Once a Season in Z.
    • He gets the crap beat out of him by Goku after he activates his Kaioken and deflects Vegeta's Galick Gun. Then when he regains his advantage by turning into a Great Ape, he gets his tail cut off and nearly killed by a Spirit Bomb. Just when he's sure he can kill everyone, Gohan turns into a Great Ape and lands on him just as he cuts off Gohan's tail. He's then left at Krillin's mercy and is only spared because Goku begs for his life.
    • When he reaches Namek, he easily kills Cui and Dodoria and steals one of the Dragon Balls. He then gets his butt handed to him by Zarbon. Although he eventually defeats Zarbon and steals Frieza and Krillin's Dragon Balls, Gohan steals the Dragon Ball he hid right from under his nose. Once the Ginyu Force arrives, he gets manhandled by Recoome. After all of that, he finally gains access to all seven Dragon Balls, but can't use them because he doesn't know the password and has his chance at immortality denied because the Namekian dragon dies before the wish can be granted. Frieza then arrives and beats and humiliates Vegeta before killing him in cold-blood. When he comes back to life, he learns that Goku became a Super Saiyan. He's really not happy about that last part.
    • In the Android/Cell Saga, Vegeta finally becomes a Super Saiyan and beats one of the androids without any problems. He then gets curb stomped by Android 18 and learns that there is an even more powerful android running around. After training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for a year, he becomes so strong that Semi-Perfect Cell can't even harm him, which goes to his head and he lets Cell absorb 18 to have a better challenge. Once Cell becomes perfect, he beats Vegeta effortlessly. Vegeta even trains for another whole year in the Hyberbolic Time Chamber and he is still inferior to Cell, Goku and Gohan, and is humiliated by one of Cell's inferior children during the Z-Fighters' battle with them. Vegeta never harms Cell again, even after he murders Trunks.
    • After seven years of training, Vegeta is stronger than Gohan, who has been slacking off. He then learns that Goku is still stronger, so he gives his soul to Babidi to bridge the gap and fight Goku one last time. Their battle awakens Buu, who seemingly murders Gohan, causing Vegeta to realize that he's made a terrible mistake. To make amends, he fights Buu, but can't do any lasting damage and is almost killed. He chooses to sacrifice himself to stop Buu, knowing that he will go to Hell because of his past deeds. His efforts utterly fail and he dies for nothing. He is semi-revived to fight Buu and has to fuse with Goku to even have a chance, something he hates. His actions also lead to Buu's pure evil form returning and Buu destroying the Earth along with his son. And to add salt to the wound, he performs even worse against Kid Buu then he did against Fat Buu, nearly being beaten to death, even when he's still dead. This final Humiliation Conga finally makes Vegeta a much more humble person.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He once lectured Nappa about keeping his cool in a fight, and ignoring the insults; ironically, Vegeta loses his temper himself every time someone insults him or if he's about to lose a fight. However, unlike him, Vegeta remains focused on his strategies even after he's enraged and he was pointing it out because Nappa was so worked up that he couldn't think.
    • He's also Enraged by Idiocy and always badmouths Goku for saying or doing something stupid, and yet Vegeta's pride and arrogance, which borders on Lethally Stupid at its worst, constantly results in him making incredibly rash and idiotic decisions that always put the Earth in danger.
    • He berates Goku for fighting and going Super Saiyan when he's clearly ill. He makes a very good point and Goku was indeed foolish, but Vegeta is the last person who should be giving this lecture since he is known for going into battle when he's far from prime condition, like trying to fight Android 18 with a shattered arm.
    • He's left utterly stunned by how Mr. Satan doesn't realize his limits after being flung from the ring by Cell. He calls Mr. Satan's stupidity beyond belief. He is right about Mr. Satan overestimating himself and should realize how outmatched he is, but it's funny that this commentary is coming from a character who is infamously known for overestimating himself.
    • Vegeta is a Social Darwinist who firmly believes in the survival of the fittest, the strong rules over the weak, and anyone who is killed deserves it for being weak. Part of the reason why he is the Saiyan Prince is because he is the strongest their race has to offer. This mindset is never applied to himself when he isn't the strongest. When Frieza proves to be his superior, instead of accepting the outcome as natural selection, Vegeta has a mental breakdown before breaking down in tears. He also demeans and badmouths Goku, despite the fact that by his own standards Goku is his superior since he is the strongest Saiyan. He does get better and eventually drops the Social Darwinist mindset.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: A variation: "I am Vegeta, Prince of the Saiyan warrior race!"
  • Iconic Outfit: His typical ensemble is Saiyan armor over blue spandex, with white gloves and shoes. When he's not wearing it, it's just some variation. He only went with a blue muscle shirt and pants with the gloves and shoes but without his armor in the Buu Saga and the EOZ, likely due to the rules of the tournament restricting protective wear. In Resurrection ‘F’, both the movie and Super retelling, and the Champa Saga, he wears grey undergarments instead of blue.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: He isn't introduced until the very first saga of Z, but he ends up becoming the second most recognizable character in the series aside from Goku.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Vegeta once he becomes a Super Saiyan. It isn't a real big change for him, unlike Goku and Gohan, outside of the change of eye color since Vegeta just becomes more of a cocky jerk when he transforms.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • He drops a fairly big one during the Frieza Saga; when Krillin goes to Guru's to gain the password needed to activate the Namekian Dragon Balls, Vegeta decides to take a nap, not only disregarding the fact that Frieza could return at any moment, but also trusting Gohan to come and wake him up when Krillin returns. Although, it is somewhat justifiable since he was close to passing out because he's been awake for several days guarding his Dragon Balls from Frieza and the Earthlings.
    • In Chapter 13 of the Super manga, Vegeta lost 90% of his power when fighting Hit since he transformed too many times into Super Saiyan Blue, which severely sap his stamina. What makes Vegeta an idiot is that the transformation only saps stamina when transforming, meaning that Vegeta would've kept his power if just stayed transformed after showing off to Cabba. Since Vegeta trained Super Saiyan Blue for over four years, he should have known better.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: While already one of the most powerful fighters in the series he has repeatedly fallen on this, from wanting to become a Super Saiyan to accepting a Deal with the Devil to surpass Goku. And in true Dramatic Irony, his greatest Moment of Awesome in the Z series is the moment he gives up and accepts that Goku is better than him.
  • Immortality Seeker: He was this until Frieza was defeated on Namek, then he lost all desire to live forever.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: To an absurd degree, he simply cannot accept people being more powerful than him. It all starts with him growing up under the crushing heel of Frieza. Then he goes to Earth and finds out there's a Saiyan stronger than him, even though he, being the Saiyan Prince, should be stronger. Then he goes to Namek and that same Saiyan comes in and shows he's even more powerful, then he dies at Frieza's hands. Vegeta wishes to become stronger, but because of his insecurities he doesn't seek out training partners that could help him advance the way Goku does. The result is that Goku remains one step ahead and this further fuels Vegeta's insecurities. He gets better by the time of Super.
  • Insistent Terminology: Vegeta makes a point of always calling Goku by his Saiyan name Kakarot, because he believes that Goku should take pride in his Saiyan heritage. In fact, in GT, when Vegeta is possessed by Baby, Goku is able to tell right away that Vegeta is Not Himself because Baby-Vegeta calls him "Goku" rather than "Kakarot."
  • Insufferable Genius: He is a brilliant fighter and tactician when he is calm. He also knows very well that he is very good and will remind everyone so they do not forget. Almost everyone, save for Goku and Bulma, finds him unbearable, but tolerates him since he really is as good as he claims most of the time.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Bulma. She is a human while he is a full-blooded Saiyan.
  • Irony: A pretty good source of it.
    • At the end of the Kid Buu Saga, it is Vegeta who comes up with the way to defeat Kid Buu. How, precisely? By using the Genki Dama, the technique Goku originally learned to try and kill him.
    • Nappa suggested to have Human-Saiyan children to repopulate the Saiyan race. Vegeta disagreed on the grounds that they would beget children stronger than them. Later, Vegeta is the one to have children with a human.
      • Adding to the irony, Vegeta's offspring actually saved humanity when Vegeta himself only came to Earth to kill everyone.
    • When first introduced, Vegeta is a firm believer in Hard Work Hardly Works, openly scoffing at Goku's claim that even a lower class soldier could surpass an "elite" like him through hard work. When proven wrong, he spends the entire series working his ass off trying to surpass Goku.
    • The Saiyan arc and much of the Namek arc was spent making sure he couldn't get the Dragon Balls. The next wish the Earth's Dragon Balls did, inadvertently, revived him.
    • Despite being weaker than any form of Majin Buu, his interference screwed both Super and Kid Buu. First, his semi-revival allowed Goku to fuse with him to create Vegetto, who beat the ever loving crap out of Super Buu, and he ripped Fat Buu from Super Buu's body, erasing him from existence. It was also his plan to form the Spirit Bomb that killed Kid Buu.
    • After finally accepting that Goku was Always Someone Better, Beerus comes and becomes Goku's Always Someone Better. Twisting the irony knife Vegeta did better fighting Beerus then Goku did.
    • In the post Z stories, Vegeta finally gets within striking distance of Goku. He does this in both the movies and GT by swallowing his pride and accepting help from others. Things Goku himself had to do to gain those powers.
    • In spite of being Always Second Best to Goku, Vegeta has never actually lost a fight with him. Partly because Goku would never bother to beat someone weaker than himself and extenuating circumstances stopping the fights they have had. Even their training spars in Super are interrupted.
    • Vegeta, the proud Saiyan who in the Buu saga boasted that his pride was the essence of his being and before that kept going on and on that concepts like mercy and love made you soft. How does he overcome his limits (twice) and become a nightmarish force of nature in the Tournament of Power? The Power of Love.
  • It Can Think: In his Great Ape form; unlike Goku and Gohan, who become rampaging, mindless berserkers, he retains his intelligence and higher reasoning as a Great Ape, and can even speak.
  • It's All About Me:
    • He's easily one of the most self-centered beings in the universe specifically around the Androids/Cell events, where he's so confident that he's invincible and could easily beat Cell no matter how strong he gets that he lets Cell absorb Android 18 and become perfect purely to stroke his own ego... only to lose pathetically against Perfect Cell, who even mocks him for his arrogance and self-centeredness. He returns to it again in the Buu Saga, where he forsakes his wife and son and allows Babidi to turn him into a Majin just so he could have the power to beat Goku; in this case, Vegeta was fully aware that doing so would unleash Majin Buu upon the world, but he was so fixated on being better than Goku that he didn't care. Needless to say, in both cases, he learns to regret it when Trunks is killed by Cell and when Buu is assumed to have killed Gohan.
    • Greatly subverted by the time Battle of Gods rolls around. He may still be fairly self-centered, but Vegeta will do almost anything to guarantee Bulma and Trunks' safety. Just don't tell him to dance again.
  • It's Personal:
    • Vegeta's deep hatred for Frieza is almost unparalleled in a series full of personal conflicts. And that's BEFORE he finds out Frieza was the one who blew up Planet Vegeta and wiped out most of the Saiyan race.
    • He really hates Goku Black for Future Bulma's murder and targeting his future son. He has every right to be pissed.
  • I Work Alone: Vegeta absolutely despises getting help and will always insist on doing everything himself, fighting or otherwise. Vegeta will also always be the last character to offer assistance to anyone. He's the only character in the series that takes this beyond just having a fair fight, and will readily accept suicidal odds like fighting more than one person that is strong enough to be a threat to him or trying to attack a fused opponent on his own. It's only when things get "the world will end" bad that he gives in but he will still complain about it non-stop. His stubbornness nearly wastes all the effort everyone put in to get him and Goku back to the world of the living to stop Buu. It's actually so ingrained in his psyche that even when he decides to work together he subconciously cannot grasp synchonized motions in combat, especially with Goku, to the point where Frieza , who wants to betray and murder them all when the To P is all over, and Android 17 , who had just met everyone sans 18 and Krillin the day before the tournament have FAR better teamwork with each other even though he's been training and fighting alongside the Z Fighters for the last 10 years. The result? Goku, Frieza and 17 pull off a nearly perfect strategy on the fly to beat a weakened Jiren in the final episode, something Vegeta finds shocking and would not have been able to do.

    J-N 
  • Jerkass: In the Saiyan — Cell Saga, Vegeta is definitely this. He's a sadistic asshole who took great joy in killing people weaker than him, bullying others to get his way, and he was a Bad Boss. Slowly, he begins to mellow out, starting a family and putting behind his Space Pirate days. He then regresses back into this in the middle of the Buu Arc when he allows himself to turn Majin and provokes Goku into fighting him by killing hundreds of people. By the end of the saga, he finally got over most of his Jerkass tendencies.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • His killing Burter and Recoome in cold blood after Goku defeated them. Goku states that Vegeta was being cruel, but Vegeta then retorts that their deaths were deserved, especially since Gohan and Krillin were on the verge of death, and that they had killed countless people under Frieza's orders. While Goku states that having a little compassion isn't a disadvantage, sparing the Ginyu Force would have caused far more harm than good. This is further emphasized later on when Goku spares their even more sadistic leader Frieza's life at least twice — which only prompts Frieza to try to stab Goku in the back both times.
    • After saving the heart virus-stricken Goku from being killed by Android 19, Vegeta proceeds to chew him out for it, reminding Goku that he was warned about the heart virus and should have known that fighting in his condition, let alone going Super Saiyan, would have only made it worse.
    • Vegeta gets another one after beating Android 19 so thoroughly that 19 flips out and tries to make a break for it, to which Dr. Gero/Android 20 shouts at him that it's enough. As Vegeta rightfully points out in response, Gero and 19 had come all this way to destroy him and the other Z Fighters, and it's only "enough" because they're losing.
    • When Cell announces the Cell Games, Piccolo wants to train first in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber after Goku and Gohan leaves. Vegeta calls this a waste since the fight with Cell will be beyond any level outside the Saiyans, but mockingly allows Piccolo to go first. Although Vegeta was an ass about it, he is right that only a Saiyan could beat Cell in the amount of time they had, and Piccolo's year-long training didn't amount to nearly as much as the gain received by Goku/Gohan/Vegeta. For a long time, no non-Saiyan Z-Fighter approached Cell's level of power, let alone surpassed it - and even then, the Saiyans still have the overall highest potential to get stronger, compared to everyone else.
    • Although Vegeta was too harsh with Gohan about him getting weaker in the Buu saga and how his fight with Dabura was a "disgrace," he made a good point: Gohan was struggling against a foe that, seven years ago, he wouldn't have had such a problem with, and it was in their interest to beat these foes as quickly and efficiently as possible. In fact, Vegeta's arrogance notwithstanding, it's highly probable that he could have defeated Dabura with relative ease had he been the one to fight instead.
    • Vegeta gets another one in the climax of the Buu Arc when he calls out Goku for leaving his children to die while Kid Buu blows up the Earth, and choosing to rescue Mr. Satan and Dende instead. During the entire exchange, Goku has nothing to say in his own defense. Of course, Dende, Mr. Satan, and the dog proved instrumental to Buu's defeat but no one could have known that at the time.
    • During the Resurrection F arc of Super, Goku tells Vegeta how killing Ginyu was too extreme. Vegeta tells him he simply killed somebody who was too dangerous to leave alone. Considering Ginyu likely would have tried to take either of their bodies, it's definitely the right call to take him out as early as possible.
    • Vegeta becomes angry when Goku, as usual, played around with Goku Black instead of instantly killing him when he had the chance. This gave Black the opportunity to study Goku's fighting style and destroy the time machine, giving him the chance to become more powerful to the point where he could challenge Goku and Vegeta in their blue forms. Also, if Cell's time machine hadn't been in Bulma's junk stash there would have been no way to go to the future to save it in the first place. His reasoning was mostly because he wanted to kill him for hurting Trunks and killing Future Bulma, but he gets even angrier about it after these events vindicate his point.
    • He also STRONGLY objects to reviving Frieza to participate in the Tournament of Power on the grounds that he's uncontrollable and can't be trusted. He's proven right by Frieza's internal monologue to become a being to replace Zeno, though ironically enough, Frieza ends up being key to the victory of their team and doesn't ever betray them, so he ended up being wrong.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • When Future Trunks gets killed by Cell, Vegeta realizes how harsh he was towards him and wanted to avenge his death.
    • He has another one when he realizes just how powerful Buu was after he seemingly murdered Gohan. He even says outright he would never forgive himself and fought Buu partly to avenge him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ends up becoming this by the end of Z. Definitely this in Dragon Ball Super, especially in Future Trunks arc.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: His Galick Gun and Final Flash.
  • Karma Houdini: Zigzagged. In terms of the overall story narrative, he comes off as a massive one, getting a spot on the team and marrying Bulma despite having spent most of his life as a genocidal, remorseless maniac and even committing plenty of outright murderous and Jerkass deeds even after he became a nominal ally to Goku and the Z Fighters. On the other hand, when he gets ready to blow himself up to kill Buu, he asks Piccolo if he'll see Goku in the afterlife, to which Piccolo replies that he's certainly going to hell for his past actions. He would have, if they hadn't decided to revive him because he was too useful to waste. Also, he doesn't entirely fit this category in the purest sense because he usually does tend to pay very dearly not long after he's done something either murderous, stupid, or douchey, getting beaten to an inch of his life (or occasionally getting outright killed) by characters like Zarbon, Recoome, Frieza, Android 18, Cell, and Majin Buu usually after he's done something like massacring innocent people or just something outright stupid like allowing the enemy to reach his full potential.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • His speech to Gohan in the Frieza Saga about Goku's supposed death on Namek.
    • He literally kicked him much earlier in Namek, as a "message" to Goku to get revenge on him.
    • He has one much earlier with him kneeing Goku while he was down, right in front of Gohan when they were having a tender moment.
    • After Yamcha was killed by a Saibamen, Vegeta tells Krillin to clear the trash from the battle. Cues Krillin's berserk reaction.
    • After Shenron revives all of the Namekians who were killed by Frieza and his men, the ones Vegeta killed are not revived thanks to Shenron's Literal Genie tendencies, as Vegeta was no longer one of Frieza's men; Vegeta viciously lampshades this and outright laughs in the other Namekians' faces over it.
    • Him killing Nappa moves it to this from Kick the Son of a Bitch, considering Nappa's loyalty and staying with him all those years. Note that at this juncture, Vegeta could have just stuffed him back in his own ship and have Nappa put back into a medical tank when they got back. Vegeta was just that much of a bastard.
    • Likewise, when Dr. Gero/Android #20 escaped making an energy wave attacking Bulma and main!Trunks, Vegeta didn't even bother trying to rescue them. When Future Trunks called him out on it, he responded he doesn't care the slightest about them.
    • Earlier, after saving Goku from Android 19, he finishes chewing Goku out for fighting with the heart virus and making it worse by literally kicking Goku over to Piccolo. Keep in mind that this is after Goku was suffering from said heart virus and had just gotten the life sucked out of him by 19.
    • Also in the episode "Vegeta's Pride" when he killed a majority of civilians to provoke Goku into fighting him (which may overlap with Moral Event Horizon).
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He's been on both the giving and receiving end of these:
    • His killing of Nappa is a mix of both this and Kick the Dog. While Nappa was his long-time partner and loyal to him, Nappa had slaughtered countless innocents, killed most of the Z-Fighters, and nearly killed Gohan while laughing about it.
    • Vegeta makes quick work of Dodoria after he made him squeal about Frieza personally destroying Planet Vegeta because he feared the Saiyans would overpower him one day. Given that Dodoria ruthlessly murdered several Namekians, personally killed Dende's brother, Cargo, and is just as sadistic as Frieza, not a single tear was shred over his demise.
    • The first Zarbon fight. After seemingly dominating Zarbon, he transforms and hands Vegeta his butt. Keep in mind, not long before then Vegeta murdered an entire village of Namekians (elders and children). Zarbon is a murderer himself, but you are most likely to cheer for him than Vegeta.
    • Subverted with his beatdown at the hands of Frieza. Despite Vegeta being just as villainous as Frieza himself, him being beaten to death is horrifying, especially since Vegeta completely lost the will to fight and broke down into tears. Even Krillin, Gohan, and Piccolo, who have no love for Vegeta at that point, are horrified at the sight.
    • His brutal beatdown of Android 19, during which he rips 19's arms of and sends him running for his life. Given that 19 had previously participated in the destruction of an entire city full of innocents, as well as the fact that before Vegeta showed up, 19 ruthlessly beat on a sick Goku and sucked the life out of him, it's really hard not to cheer Vegeta on.
    • In the Android Saga, Vegeta versus 18. Vegeta has been an arrogant Smug Super up to this point and downright mean to his son, Trunks, going as far as physically assaulting him because he suggested waiting for Goku to get well. Despite 18 supposedly being a murderous android, she hasn't done anything evil or even remotely bad. So, it's really satisfying seeing 18 beat him up.
    • Perfect Cell's first fight. Vegeta sold out his allies and son by not only allowing Cell to absorb 18, but actually helped him, all to stroke his own ego. No one felt sympathetic when Cell proceeded to own him; in fact, Krillin stated outright that as far as he was concerned, Vegeta deserved to die.
  • Kick Them While They're Down: Vegeta loved doing this, especially during his days as a villain:
    • Vegeta brutally murders Nappa after he gets his back broken by Goku and is asking Vegeta for his help.
    • While Goku and Gohan are having a tender moment with Goku trying to encourage Gohan to fight Vegeta, he flies down and knees Goku in the stomach before rapidly kicking his head. Keep in mind, Goku is crippled since he had all his bones broken and is defenseless. In the dub, Vegeta even brags that the key of being a good villain is to find the right moment to do this.
    • Goku defeats two members of the Ginyu Force very easily, leaving them lying on the ground unconscious or in serious pain but still alive, not killing them even though they came very close to murdering his son and best friend (and also Vegeta). As he and his friends discuss the events on Namek, Vegeta suddenly murders both weakened fighters. Goku chews him out for this, saying they were no threat and couldn't even defend themselves but Vegeta (unsurprisingly) doesn't care.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: He was more willing to fight with the good guys once the Android and Cell Arc began but was still very bitter, angry and hostile towards the protagonists, especially Goku. And his elitist view on how a Saiyan should be never changed even if it went against his own son's wishes and even if it created more problems than solutions as far as the plot went.
  • Lack of Empathy: Prior to his Heel–Face Turn. Up to that point, the sheer extent of his cruelty disturbed even brutal Saiyan warriors like Nappa and Raditz. He coldly murdered his partner Nappa who asked him for help and refused to consider bringing Radtiz back because he was a weakling for getting himself killed. He also laughed when the Namekians he killed weren't wished back because of how the wish was worded. Even when he wasn't technically evil anymore, he still doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself, including his own son. It wasn't until the Buu Saga that he begun to show any empathy towards people and it's mostly because he became begrudgingly fond of them, which he saw as a weakness and was why he gave himself to Babidi. By the end of the series, he finally learned to truly care about someone other than himself.
  • Lame Comeback: In Funimation's dub, to Android 18. "Sad for you!"
  • The Lancer: After the Frieza arc, acting as a foil to the other protagonists.
  • Large Ham: His ham level is OVER 9000!!!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Happens at least once per season of Z:
    • He creates a fake moon to turn into a Great Ape and nearly crush the life out of Goku. He is done in by Gohan turning into a Great Ape and nearly crushing him to death.
    • Vegeta loves to terrorize the people he fights by overwhelming them with his power and bring them to despair before they die. This is exactly what Frieza does to him before coldly murdering him.
    • He ignores Trunk's warnings about 17 and 18's strength, as well insulting and dismissing all the Z fighters during the appearance of the androids and being drunk on his newfound Super Saiyan power. He's immediately curb-stomped by Android 18.
    • He helps Cell to become perfect so he can have a better fight. He is promptly and mercilessly beaten up. Cell even toys with him, the exact same way Vegeta did to him earlier. In fact, the Funimation dub of the episode where he gets his ass kicked by Perfect Cell is actually titled "Vegeta Must Pay", which works as a double meaning: Vegeta pays for betraying his allies and Cell gets his revenge.
    • And probably the most vicious dose of karma of all, Vegeta sold his soul and killed thousands of people to get Goku to fight him. Not only is he absolutely no match for Buu, who he helped awaken, but Goku is still much stronger than him. Meaning he literally sold out his family, friends, and his own convictions for nothing. Even worse, when he is semi-revived, he is of no use to Goku power-wise outside of being fusion fodder and a distraction since he stands no chance against any form of Majin Buu. It's little wonder why Vegeta became more humble.
  • Last of His Kind: After Goku's death during the Cell Saga, Vegeta became the last pure-blooded Saiyan in the universe (if you don't count Tarble).
  • Leeroy Jenkins: When not using his head, he rushes into everything.
  • Legacy Character: Which puts him straight into this category, considering both his father and his planet share his name.
  • Leitmotif: Appropriately named "Hell's Bells".
  • Lethally Stupid: His overwhelming pride always manages to cause trouble for the universe. In this order, he goaded Frieza into transforming, let Cell absorb 18 and reach his Perfect form for the sake of a better challenge, and deliberately became one of Babidi's Majins to fight Goku despite full knowledge that it would resurrect Majin Buu. In all three cases, a planet ends up explodingnote , and in the case of Frieza and Buu, Vegeta got himself killed.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Serves as this to Frieza during the Namek Saga. In fact, Krillin agrees to use the Dragon Balls to make Vegeta immortal because as evil and nasty as Vegeta is, Frieza is even worse.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Vegeta in his Great Ape form. He's as tall as a skyscraper and his power increases ten times over, yet he maintains his speed, making him both big and fast. He's also insanely fast when he decides to pull out any Super Saiyan form against an opponent.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Like all Saiyans, Vegeta had a tail when he was introduced. He lost it after Yajirobe cuts it off.
  • The Load:
    • Zigzagged. While he does do some useful things and is a highly competent fighter, his arrogance and insecurity causes a LOT more problems than he fixes. He's actually responsible for every major story arc in the series. He was the Big Bad of the Saiyan saga, indirectly tipped Frieza off about the Dragon Balls, let Cell absorb Android #18 so he could fight his perfect form, and agreed to Babidi's mind control to fight evenly with Goku, resulting in Buu being released. He usually makes up for it afterward by helping out against the Big Bad but oftentimes, it's his mistakes that made the confrontation necessary in the first place. He finally gets out of this habit in Super, only for his disaster causing trait to get passed on to Goku.
    • Something the movies didn't catch unto in his characterization. At most he's unhelpful and uncooperative. He is always at least a hand in the fight and in some he is indispensable to victory.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Part of the reason he let Babidi turn him into a Majin during the Buu Saga: he believed his love for his wife and son was hindering his goal of surpassing Goku. He later realizes he had it backward; it was his goal of surpassing Goku that hindered his love for his wife and son. Ironically, this realization and subsequent lifestyle change ends up getting him closer to Goku's strength than ever before in Super.
  • Lunacy: The Oozaru transformation. He's at his strongest under a full moon. In the absence of one Vegeta can transform by creating a "false moon" but doing so drains his might so he really does not get the full power boost.(ideally, another elite warrior would make a false moon and let his fellow soldiers do the fighting, but as Zarbon emphasized, that strategy is no longer valid thanks to Frieza)
  • Made of Iron: While he may not win all of his fights, Vegeta is notably the biggest tank in the series. It takes nothing less than a punctured heart or him blowing himself up to kill him.
    • The Spirit Bomb was getting hyped as the only thing that could stop Vegeta in the Saiyan saga. Vegeta took a direct hit to the back from it, got blown sky high, fell back down, and got back up and fought pretty well afterward. The only other person to do that is Frieza., and he was at least able to struggle against it with his hands.
    • Perhaps the greatest example is his You Shall Not Pass! moment against Kid Buu. When Goku needs time to recover, Vegeta steps in and gets the living shit kicked out of him. He gets blasted into a crater, and Kid Buu turns away and starts laughing. Then...
      Vegeta: What are you gawking at? What did you think? That I would just roll over and die from an attack like that?
      [all this shot from Vegeta's POV, so you see Kid Buu's stunned expression, who proceeds to take a step back in shock]
    • He's back at it again in Dragon Ball Super: He manages to use the Final Explosion — the attack which, in its only previous canon appearance, carbonized him into a stone statue; an attack that was explicitly invented to perform a Taking You with Me — and he survives. Repeat: Vegeta self-destructed and is still standing afterward.note 
    • After using most his energy to defeat Toppo, Vegeta is eventually left to the point that during his fight against Jiren, he can't even transform... and Jiren pummels him with dozens of punches, holding back less than during the previous battles. Vegeta just keeps getting back up, even after a ki-enhanced punch from Jiren, which knocked him unconscious and literally him left hanging by his boot. Even when he's finally too sore to move, he still manages to send the last of his energy to Goku.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • He's quite cunning when he's not letting his arrogance or rage get out of control. Particularly in the Namek Saga; he bordered on magnificence there. When he returns late in the Buu saga, he acts more intelligent and useful despite being much weaker than Buu, Goku, or Gohan.
    • Note that he went into that conflict knowing beforehand that he was hopelessly outclassed on several levels in terms of battle strength (in other words he came in with a humble perspective from the get-go), and his second most cunning moment (at the end of the Buu Saga) came just after he finally admitted to himself that Goku was the better warrior. In short, the cunning gets turned on when the arrogance gets turned off. The Cell Saga and early parts of the Buu saga, on the other hand, is a case study of Vegeta letting his arrogance get the best of him. It gets so bad it verges on Too Dumb to Live territory.
    • He has another rather clever moment in the Super manga, during the fight against Fused Zamasu. He intentionally hits every single Berserk Button Zamasu has (talking about how he's a false god who no one will bow to) in order to provoke the mentally-unstable powerhouse to come after him. Then he begs Zamasu to kill him after he predictably gets curb-stomped. As it turns out, this was part of his plan to buy time. Exactly as he predicted, Zamasu denies the request and instead in his rage says he's going to torture Vegeta to death slowly, which he proceeds to get started on, giving Trunks more than enough time to grab Goku and apply his Healing Hands.
  • Manly Tears: When he's telling Goku how Frieza used the Saiyans and killed them off despite their blind servitude. In the first dub this was included enslaving Vegeta via threat on his father... and doing it anyway.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Amazingly, he has one since he trained Future Trunks after training under Whis for almost two years: Whis > Vegeta > Future Trunks
  • Master Race: He feels that the Saiyans are the greatest, most powerful race in the universe and that they have the right to take Frieza's place as rulers of the universe. He isn't too far off since Saiyans have powers and abilities that gives them the edge over many species, which includes their transformations and their inborn fighting potential. By the end of the Kid Buu fight, he gains a better opinion of other species. Although, he still sees the Saiyans as the strongest race.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: During the Namek Saga, he successfully forces Dende to make a wish to Porunga to make Vegeta himself immortal... but right before Dende finishes making the wish, Guru, the creator of Porunga, dies of grief at the death of his people, taking Porunga and the Namekian Dragon Balls with him; thus, Vegeta doesn't get his wish.
  • Medium Awareness: In episode 69 of Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta quickly realizes to his horror that Arale is from a Gag Manga series, and therefore the standard combat tactics of a Shounen Battle Manga series is useless against her.
  • Meteor Move: A frequent user (Ginyu, 19, Cell, Fat Buu, Hop) and victim (Zarbon, Cell).
  • The Millstone:
    • His desire for a good fight often makes things harder on the others. Cell wouldn't have been a threat at all if Vegeta had simply stepped in and helped Goku kill Androids 19 and 20 before the heart virus became an issue. Failing that, he still had the chance to rush Gero before he could release 17 and 18. Then he helps Cell absorb 18 in order to become Perfect Cell purely for the sake of a good challenge.
    • In the Buu Saga, it is his fault that Buu was revived since he had to fight Goku no matter what. They were close to putting Babidi away and needed only to beat Dabura who even a rusty Gohan could have eventually beaten.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Subverted. He is the only Saiyan shown to have complete control over his Great Ape form, while Goku and Gohan lose themselves to it. In supplemental material, it's stated that elite Saiyans train to control their transformations. As a Super Saiyan, Vegeta's personality is left mostly intact, although he is noticeably more of an arrogant Jerkass.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: During the Saiyan Saga, when he discovers that Goku gave him a bloody lip, he absolutely flips out and tries to blow up the Earth.
  • Missing Mom: Like most other Saiyans, his mother is never shown nor mentioned.
  • Moral Myopia: He despises Frieza for destroying his planet and driving the Saiyan race to the brink of extinction. This is despite Vegeta being a Space Pirate who destroyed a number of species, as well as the fact that Vegeta not only killed his longtime partner Nappa for losing to Goku, but blatantly refused to even consider using the Dragon Balls to resurrect Raditz because Raditz was a weakling.
  • Motivational Lie: He tells Cabba that he will destroy Sadal after hunting down his family and killing them one-by-one to motivate him into becoming a Super Saiyan.
  • Motive Decay: When Vegeta was first introduced he wanted to use the Dragon Balls to wish for immortality and rule the universe after he killed Frieza for years of enslavement. Although he was upset with Goku for 'beating' him on Earth, fighting him wasn't his primary goal, seeing Goku as more as an annoyance or a pawn to his end goals. After Namek, Vegeta lost all desire to rule the universe and live forever. Instead, he becomes completely obsessed with surpassing Goku. Some of this could be motivated by the fact that it was Goku who beat and humiliated Frieza, while he, the Saiyan Prince, was given a dog's death and reduced to begging a lower class warrior to avenge him.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The reason female readership went up after his appearance. He was the first manga/anime crush of many a fangirl.
  • Mugging the Monster: On the receiving end of this. When Vegeta is at the tournament waiting for his match, a guy walks up to him and constantly berates him. Vegeta then knocks the guy out with an Offhand Backhand.
  • Must Make Amends: This is his primary reason for choosing to fight Majin Buu alone, partly because he was responsible for Majin Buu being revived in the first place and Gohan apparently being killed by the monster, and partly because he wants to make amends for Goku dying during the Cell Games since, in letting Cell absorb 18 and become Perfect because of his own Pride, it was his fault the entire mess with Cell got so bad.
  • My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: Inverted. After Trunks wins a match to Goten, Vegeta rubs this in Goku's face.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • After letting Cell absorb #18, he has this reaction when he realizes just how powerful Perfect Cell really is.
    • Similarly when he realizes that Buu (who was only released through Vegeta's actions) has killed Gohan (or so Vegeta thought) and that Vegeta is no match for Buu either.
  • Narcissist: Big time. He has a hard time believing that anyone could be stronger than him, despite all the times he gets his butt handed to him. It's literally not until the end of the series that he admits that Goku is his better. He still keeps this trait afterward, but he's much less of an ass about it and can readily acknowledge when someone has him legitimately outclassed. But even then it only serves as motivation for him to become even more powerful and believes that with more work he will become the best.
  • The Napoleon: Short and perpetually filled with rage? You betcha!
  • Necessary Drawback: The Final Flash is powerful enough to present a serious threat to Perfect Cell, despite Cell being so much stronger than Vegeta at that point it was borderline ridiculous. Given the size of the beam and the amount of damage a glancing blow did, it likely would've vaporized Cell and ended the arc prematurely had it hit cleanly. But it also took most of an episode to charge up, time Vegeta was able to get by appealing to Cell's Blood Knight tendencies and daring him to try and No-Sell the attack. Cell realized at the last second that it was an actual threat and tried to dodge, but still lost an arm and a good chunk of his chest. Later against a Cell Jr., Vegeta tries skipping the long charge-up sequence but this makes the attack much weaker and thus ineffective.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The innate ability to sense energy is meant to be quite rare in the series, hence why Frieza's entire army (and even Frieza himself) utilize scouter devices. Vegeta relied on a scouter when we first meet him - although he knew not to trust them entirely - yet by the Namek Saga he randomly gains the ability to sense energy all on his own. However, he isn't as good at it compare to the Earthlings. In Battle Of Gods he gains a power boost through anger, something no saiyan other than Gohan had done before besides their initial super saiyan transformations. In Super, he learns Super Saiyan Blue off-screen by training with Whis and, unlike Goku, he gained god energy without the ritual.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The only heroic character that rivals or even surpasses Goku in durability without a healing factor. The difference between them is how their damage is usually portrayed. Most of the time, Goku takes a lot of punishment with no visible effect on him outside of minor annoyances or pain. Vegeta's battle damage is shown more realistically with him bleeding, limping, coughing up blood, and limbs broken. None of that stops him from getting back up and fighting. His endurance frightened Kid Buu, who showed no fear of anything outside of the Super Spirit Bomb, and he also takes several hits from Beerus when even Goku went down in two hits. Just how invulnerable Vegeta really is was demonstrated in episode 128 as Jiren literally beat the ki out of him, and he kept getting back up. No matter how injured, or close to death, not once did Vegeta stay down.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: A classic example. Started off as just another psychotic villain, but evolves into this trope during the Frieza and Cell sagas. Even after becoming a full-on good guy in the fight against Buu, he still retains a shred of his former badassery, such as punching out his opponent for mouthing off to him at the World Martial Art Tournament.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: A significant chunk of the problems in the series can be traced back to Vegeta:
    • The entire reason Frieza transformed in the first place during the battle on Namek is because Vegeta was stupid enough to goad him into doing so, thinking he wouldn't get that much stronger. He's proven wrong in the worst possible way.
    • During the Cell Saga, he deliberately let Cell absorb 18 and become perfect for the sake of a good and challenging fight. Not only does he lose the subsequent fight pathetically, but his actions lead directly to the Cell Games, and ultimately Goku's second death. While beating him up, Cell even rubs in Vegeta's face how stupid he was to help him.
    • After Trunks was murdered by Cell, Vegeta goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. His efforts not only did nothing to Cell, but nearly got him killed. He only survived because Gohan shielded him from a fatal blast that disabled his left arm and reduced his power by half, giving Cell the advantage since Gohan was still stronger. Krillin outright calls Vegeta an idiot for doing so, since Trunks could still be revived by the Dragon Balls.
    • The entire reason Majin Buu was awakened in the first place is because Vegeta deliberately let Babidi turn him into a Majin so he could have the power to fight Goku, and the subsequent fight provided the energy Buu needed to revive. Vegeta knew this would happen, but was so fixated on topping Goku that he didn't care. From here, the Buu Saga consists of the entire universe paying the price for Vegeta's selfishness.
    • Him pulling down the pod that held Fat Buu forced Buu to transform back into his original, pure evil form. Granted, if he hadn't, they would have been killed by Super Buu, but reverting Buu back to his most dangerous form caused the destruction of Earth, the deaths of Gohan, Goten, Trunks, Piccolo, Tien, and Chiaotzu, several planets, and nearly got the dead fighters in Otherworld destroyed.
  • No Badass to His Valet: Vegeta is a hardcore warrior who even when tamed often has a bad, jerkish attitude. He is also a Physical God second only to Goku. To Bulma, Vegeta is her pigheaded husband and will yell at him to get him to do what she wants.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: As an unrepentant Blood Knight, he loves a good fight and fighting people that can push his limits. Unlike Goku, however, who enjoys fighting people who can beat him, Vegeta only wants his opponents to be strong enough to last for a while. This can be seen when he fights Goku on Earth. At first, he enjoys toying with Goku since he assumes that he's only strong enough to give him a decent battle, but as soon as Goku begins to overpower him, he completely loses it. Also, when he fights Semi-Perfect Cell, he quickly becomes bored after knocking Cell around for a few minutes and complains about how Cell is so weak that he can't fully test his new power. Cell takes advantage of this and tells Vegeta that if he becomes complete that he will easily beat him. Vegeta allows Cell to absorb Android 18, assuming Cell will only become strong enough to give him a good fight, not that he can actually beat him.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Calling him a coward is a major Berserk Button. In Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, Piccolo doing so is enough to snap him out of his shock and attack Broly.
  • Noble Demon: Became this by the end of the Frieza arc. Whilst he still wasn't a remotely nice person, he wasn't anywhere near as evil as he used to be.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: He experiences this at least once per season.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Implied to be subverted in Super. When Future Trunks bites a Senzu and gives them to Future Mai via kiss, Goku was surprised that Senzu could be shared that way. Vegeta's response? "But you're married!".
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: When he's not letting his pride get the best of him, he becomes this. He unhesitatingly and successfully kills the Ginyu Force members after Goku disabled them, and in Resurrection ‘F’, right before laying the smackdown on Frieza, he flat-out states that he's nowhere near as merciful as Goku and won't give Frieza the chance to walk away alive. When fighting against Goku Black, he pulls out all the stops and immediately hits him with his full power, driven by his desire for vengeance after all the things Black has done to his future family.
  • No Social Skills: Vegeta doesn't seem to know how to not be extremely rude, threatening, or how to stop hurling insults at people. By the time Dragon Ball Super happens the Z Fighters know not to take his constant rage personally and that he's either just being honest or doesn't want to admit he enjoys the company. Other than Goku, who has even less social skills and bothers Vegeta constantly, everyone else knows to give him some space and let him interact with others at his own pace.
  • No Sympathy:
    • One of Vegeta's main character traits. When Yamcha dies from a suicide attack from a Saibamen, he orders Krillin to pick the trash from the battlefield. Even after he become somewhat good, he laughs at the Namekians he killed not being wished back because he wasn't one of Frieza's men and regularly demeans the cast for being weak and useless. It is not until near the end of the Cell Games that begins to show any empathy towards others.
    • Goes hand-and-hand with being The Friend Nobody Likes, especially during the Android/Cell Saga. Outside of Trunks, Gohan, and a lesser extent Bulma, none of the Z-Fighters cared when he's injured or in danger. Even when he's asking for Senzu, they are in no hurry to give it to him and Krillin admits that he doesn't care if Vegeta's dies. After the seven year timeskip, they do become more fond of Vegeta and mourn him when he dies to defeat Buu.
  • Nominal Hero: Goes through this phase as part of his slow but eventual Heel–Face Turn, starting in the Namek arc as a Villain Protagonist seeking to overthrow his former master, and in the Cell and Buu arcs, defending Earth, but only for his own selfish reasons. After his death and subsequent pseudo-revival in terms of coming back to Earth for one day, he fights for the Earth for the sake of defending it for the first time and officially moved to Good Is Not Nice by the end of Z.
  • Not Brainwashed: He let Babidi turn him into Majin Vegeta for the power-up that comes with being turned into a Majin. He hoped that it would allow him to recapture the feeling of his days as the Evil Prince and finally have a chance to defeat Son Goku.
  • Not So Different: To Frieza during the Saiyan and Namemloliok Sagas. As much as he hates Frieza, Vegeta is quite similar to him in many ways, particularly in his sadism; he refused to even consider reviving Raditz for being a weakling, killed Nappa in cold blood for losing to Goku even as Nappa begged him for help, did the same to a Saibamen for losing to Tien, and slaughtered an entire Namekian village, children included, with a Psychotic Smirk on his face; Dende even states outright that Vegeta is no better than Frieza.
  • Not Quite Dead: He got hit point-blank by Goku's Spirit Bomb and was sent flying into the air before landed back to earth. Everyone thought he was dead. He wasn't.

    O-S 
  • Older Than He Looks: By the end of the series Vegeta is about fifty years old. If you take the years he spent in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber in both the manga and Super into account he is physically between fifty-four and fifty-five years old. He looks to still be in his twenties or early thirties. This is because as a Saiyan he ages slower than a human so they can fight longer.
  • One-Man Army: Took on and defeated most of Frieza's army by himself.
  • One-Winged Angel: Vegeta's Great Ape form, which he used to literally crush Goku.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Towards Kakarot of course. He won't let anyone kill him before he has his chance at a rematch.
  • Only One Name: Like all known Saiyans, he doesn't appear to have a last name.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • If he's ever genuinely terrified of a villain (Frieza, Broly, and Beerus most notably) rather than his usual cocky self, you know they're not to be messed with. And his fear of Beerus is taken Up to Eleven in Super to where Vegeta could barely even bring himself to fight until he reaches his Rage Breaking Point. Even after becoming friendlier with Beerus, he's still scared of him and humbles himself the moment Beerus has an outburst or when someone says something out of line with Beerus, which is usually Bulma.
    • When the normally prideful and determined Vegeta flat out gives up during his battle with Final Form Frieza, you know he's screwed.
    • Should he ever refer to Goku by his Earth name rather than his Saiyan name, it's a sign that Vegeta is Not Himself. In GT, this is how Goku realizes that Vegeta's body has been hijacked by Baby.
    • After Gohan sacrifices the use of his limb to save him from Cell, Vegeta apologizes to Gohan for being such a burden. Gohan notes how out-of-character this is, saying that Vegeta must know how truly hopeless everything is.
    • He's noticeably respectful towards Whis, greeting and bowing when he returns home. He even lowers his head and begs Whis to train him when he learns that he's Beerus' mentor. In general amount of times Vegeta is completely polite and respectful to anyone in the entire series can be counted on two hands and most of those moments are in Super after his character development from Z. Only those who are the strongest and most honorable fighters (that aren't Kakarot) have ever gained this privilege.
    • When he kills Captain Ginyu in Super, instead of having his usual glee when he murders someone, he seemed more angry and disgusted.
    • Despite having the opportunity to do it since the rules were changed, Vegeta doesn't kill Frost, saying that he didn't want to stoop to his level. The same Vegeta who had no problem killing people not even an arc ago, though, in reality, he only spared him because he felt honor bound to do so as the original tournament rules forbade killing. Even though he requested that Frost be able to break the rules in their match, Vegeta determined that his pride as a martial artist was more important than killing someone he hates.
    • When he hears that Goku Black attempted to murder his future son and killed his future wife, the usually temperamental Vegeta is so pissed off that he goes right past his usual Unstoppable Rage and into a determined Tranquil Fury that would only abate when Fusion Zamasu is dead.
    • He is willing to never obtain his lifelong dream if it turns out that Ultra Instinct is the only way to become stronger than Goku. Because Ultra Instinct requires a zen-like state to obtain, as long as Vegeta has pride clouding his mind he will never obtain it. He decides that he will surpass Goku in another way or be stuck as second best because he would rather die than give up his pride, ie that which makes him the man he is. Jiren later commends Vegeta for being able to beat Toppo without throwing what is important to him away.
  • Orcus on His Throne: During his and Nappa's attack on Earth, he merely stood back and watched the show while Nappa wiped the floor with the Z-Fighters, only stepping in after Goku broke Nappa's back. Averted from the Namek Saga onwards, where Vegeta readily gets his own hands dirty.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: He, like all Saiyans with tails, turns into a giant were-monkey under the light of a full moon. Unique to Vegeta, he can control his transform state, unlike Goku and Gohan who turn into rampaging beasts and can create his own false moon, allowing him to transform at any time.
  • Outside-Context Problem: He was this to Goku since he never expected Vegeta to turn into a giant were-monkey and not even King Kai foresaw him creating a false moon after Piccolo blew up the real moon. He was also the toughest villain that the heroes had to deal with up to that point. Vegeta wouldn't go down even after being beaten up by Goku and sent flying with a massive Kamehameha, hit point-blank with a Spirit Bomb that's supposed to be the ultimate attack and slashed in the back with a sword. It took a Great Ape landing on him to take him down and he still didn't die. Vegeta's ungodly endurance has since become a staple of his character.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • Although almost every character gets hits by this, especially compared to Goku, Vegeta especially stands out. When he was first introduced, he was the most powerful character in the series, easily outpacing Goku even after his year of training. Then we find out his boss, Frieza, makes him look like an insect and he's completely overshadowed by Goku once he goes Super Saiyan. When Vegeta becomes a Super Saiyan, he becomes equal if not a little stronger than Goku, only to be utterly outclassed by Androids 16, 17, 18. After training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he becomes far stronger than the androids and surpasses Goku, but then falls completely short against Perfect Cell. Goku then surpasses him again, leaving him completely in the dust, and then Gohan blows them both out of the water by going Super Saiyan 2. This all reached a head in the Buu Saga where after finding out that Goku was still stronger than him, he sells his soul to Badibi. As a Majin, he's finally Goku's equal again, only to find out that Goku has another level of Super Sayian and he can't compete with any form of Buu. You can't help but feel sorry for him.
    • This is Downplayed in the canon movies and Super. He's still weaker than Goku, but they're about equal by Resurrection ‘F’... only to come up once again during the anime version of the tournament against Universe 6 where Hit wipes the floor with him, and Goku reveals he can combine Kaio-Ken with the Super Saiyan Blue, far surpassing Vegeta's power for short periods of time. Vegeta steps out of the shadow in Episode 63, after spending six months training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and he wipes the floor with Goku Black, at least until he gets stronger again. Then in the Tournament of Power, while Goku attains Ultra Instinct and uses it to fight Jiren, Vegeta isn't too far yet again as he broke his innermost shell too and evolved his Super Saiyan Blue form to a unique higher level, giving him the power to battle and ring-out God of Destruction Toppo. The manga version of Super just averts this all the way through, with Goku and Vegeta simply being equals after training with Whis. The one possible exception being the battle with Fused Zamasu, where Goku is the only one who can fight him alone with his CSSB form. Note that Goku and Vegeta explicitly have the same power at that time, but Goku's mastery and skill means only he can maintain that level of power for longer than a few seconds.
  • Overprotective Dad: Acts like one towards Bulla in GT. In Super, he goes Super Saiyan Blue every time someone makes Bulla cry.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Shows this side of him, going completely berserk when Super Perfect Cell kills Future Trunks. Then again when he pulls a Heroic Sacrifice against Majin Buu, allowing Piccolo to move his unconscious son away from the battlefield, knowing the whole time that he would go to Hell after dying. In Battle of Gods, Vegeta also does whatever he can to appease Beerus, both degrading and humiliating himself, in order to protect Trunks from the god's wrath. In Super, he dives in front of the Commeson when it attempted to absorb Trunks, despite phasing out of existence at the time, and his reaction to Future Trunks' returning from the future badly hurt by Goku Black is a mixture of paternal concern and boiling Tranquil Fury, and when he hears that Future Bulma's been killed, he makes preparations to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. He even forces himself back on his feet from the brink of freaking death temporarily to stop Black and Future Zamasu from killing his son.
    • After Bulla is born, the mere sound of her crying is enough to enrage Vegeta into going SSJB.
    • The desire to protect his family (along with his promise to Cabba and his pride) is what finally gives him the push to flatten Toppo with Final Explosion, destroying more than half of the stage.
  • Parental Neglect:
    • Ignored Trunks' existence when he was a baby, not even bothering to save him when Bulma and he were attacked by Android 19. It wasn't until Future Trunks was killed by Cell that he finally started to show interest in his child. Thankfully, he's shown to be a pretty good parent by the Buu Saga and now plays an active role in Trunks' and Bulla's lives.
    • And speaking of Bulla, as soon as Bulma is pregnant again with her, Vegeta wants to subvert this just so he can be there for them when she is born, to the point of instantly refusing a good fight during the Zen Exhibition Match when Goku suggests that staying with Bulma will let him get even more powerful than Vegeta.
  • Parental Substitute: Whenever Goku and Piccolo aren't around, he begrudgingly fills this role for Gohan, especially after Trunks is born. It's first seen when he acts in the boy's defence against Frieza on Namek, and grows from there.
  • Perpetual Frowner: When not being a Smug Smiler, he's this.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: He was essentially this trope incarnate during the Namek and Frieza sagas. When he wasn’t searching for the Dragon Balls to become immortal, he was assassinating Frieza’s henchmen, who were every bit the asshole he was if not more so, left and right. Jeice and Android 19 stand out as some of his cruelest murders; while both deserved their fates, they spent their last moments begging for their life and running away in terror respectively.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • A very Saiyan type of pet the dog, but he waited until Goku lost consciousness before rescuing him from Android 19. Given how Saiyans value their pride over their own lives, he most likely did this to preserve Goku's dignity instead of showing him up, much like how Trunks waited until Vegeta was unconscious before confronting Cell.
    • After Vegeta spends several minutes beating the crap out of Cell, he reveals with some pride that his son Trunks is almost as powerful as him and even if Cell did somehow beat him, Trunks would destroy him in an instant. Given what a jerk Vegeta has been to Trunks up to that point, it is a high compliment.
    • He takes Trunks to the park after he manages to hit him during their sparring match.
    • In another weird way, Vegeta knocking Goku out so he can confront Buu by himself. He primarily did it because he saw Buu's resurrection as his fault, but also he didn't want Goku to sacrifice himself again. He also did it as a form of apology to Goku for getting him killed by Cell since he was the reason why things got so bad by helping Cell to become perfect.
    • Vegeta also fights Buu because he believes that he murdered Gohan.
    • Before he sacrifices himself to Buu, he gives a heart-to-heart speech to Trunks and then hugs him. He's also had many of these moments throughout the series.
    • Despite being miserable for most of it, he tolerates an entire day at an amusement park for Trunks because he promised to go.
    • He frequently plays the role of Goten's babysitter due to how much time he and Trunks spend at Bulma's house in combination with Bulma being busy with work to do it and keeps them out of trouble in his own way. He also sometimes gives his (very blunt and angry) advice to both of them, which is usually out of legitimate concern.
    • He helps his fellow Saiyan Cabba become a Super Saiyan by beating the shit out of him and threatening to murder his family and blow up his planet. That being said, considering how he and Goku went Super Saiyan, it might have seemed like the most efficient approach to him.
    • He takes Piccolo being denied a glorious victory against an opponent far stronger than the Namekian through dishonorable means personally and tells Piccolo to forfeit the competition so he will have the opportunity to humiliate the guilty party with his own hands.
    • During the Tournament of Power, he states his intent is to win the wish on the Super Dragonballs and use it to resurrect Universe 6 (which will have been erased in the event of Vegeta's victory) so that Cabba can fulfill his promise of showing him the home world of the Saiyans of that universe.
    • He's legitimately worried for Master Roshi, and begs him not to use a move that will likely kill himself. Even after Roshi's attempt to help backfires and nearly gets Vegeta eliminated, Vegeta doesn't get mad at him or blame him for it (Z Vegeta would've likely attacked him for this). Instead, he respects that Roshi not only fixed his mistake but had made a valiant effort and eliminated several contestants with no fear of death. Vegeta tells him as politely and calm as he can that it's time to drop out for a senzu bean before he dies, promising Roshi that he'll handle everything from there.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's not that short, but he was the smallest of the four Saiyans that originally came to Earth, and at that time he was by far the strongest. Out of the adult protagonists, only Krillin and Chiaotzu are shorter than him.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: One of his beefs with Goku, and primary motivations to surpass him, is that Goku is a lower-class Saiyan, born at the absolute bottom of the pecking order, and thus should be a nobody while he's the Saiyan prince and should be the strongest by default.
  • Porn Stache: In GT. Thankfully, Bulla makes him shave it off.
  • The Power of Love: Deconstructed in Z but played completely straight in Super
    • Y'know how Vegeta punched BEERUS in the face and drew blood? He did so because Beerus assaulted his wife. Enjoy the awesomeness here.
    • How he ends up achieving a level beyond Super Saiyan Blue and utterly demolishing a Destruction-powered Toppo, both in the Tournament of Power. The first happens when he remembers his promise to bring Cabba back to life, should universe 6 be eliminated. The second happens when he literally has his back against the wall and realizes that if he loses, his family will end up erased because of it.
    • The only reason he lasted so long against Jiren's beating and attempts to crush his values were the visions of Bulma telling him to keep going. Approaching the verge of unconsciousness multiple times, his thoughts of his loved ones push him through the incredible pain. When Jiren questions why he continues when it is literally impossible for him to do anything, Vegeta tells Jiren that explaining where his strength comes from to an emotionless monster like him would be a complete waste of time. Even when he inevitably fails, his desire to protect her no matter what leads to a massive choice for his character, coming to the decision to donate his last energy to Goku as he falls from the stage and telepathically telling Kakarot he trusts him to win.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
  • Pretender Diss: The first time Goku Black fights Vegeta, he wins decisively. The second time, Vegeta just whales on him while dishing out a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, declaring that Black is just a fake Saiyan who stole Goku's body and thus the power Goku worked so hard to achieve, and he could never use Goku's body as well as the real deal.
    Black: How? How can there be a such a power gap between us!?
    Vegeta: You really want to know? That's simple: you're just an interloper, a Saiyan imposter, while I'm the real thing! THE ALMIGHTY PRINCE VEGETA!
  • Pride: Vegeta is the god of this trope.
    • In the Cell Arc. Vegeta's inflated ego and Saiyan instincts of wanting a challenging opponent led him to allowing Cell to absorb 18 and become complete. Cell knowing about Saiyan pride fed Vegeta exactly what he wanted to hear. Of course, Vegeta's ego was sorely wounded once Perfect Cell thoroughly outclasses Vegeta at his strongest and beats him unconscious.
    • In the Buu Arc. Vegeta allowed himself to be possessed by Babidi in order to gain the boost in power that comes with it. However when Babidi tries to order Vegeta around, to his surprise Vegeta is able to defy his commands and stubbornly wishes to fight Goku and no one else. Vegeta's pride is so huge it allowed him to override mind control, declaring that a proud Saiyan Prince like him would never be a slave to anyone.
    • In Battle of Gods, it's been toned down to the point that he doesn't mind swallowing it if he absolutely has to. His song and dance routine for Beerus proves that much.
    • It resurfaces again in Super, when the Commeson sucks out Vegeta's powers to create Copy-Vegeta, the purple Vegeta doppelganger is alike Vegeta in every way, including personality. When Copy-Gryll (the leader of the Commeson) tries to give him orders, Copy-Vegeta disobeys and only wishes to fight Goku. When forced to comply by shocking him, Copy-Vegeta proceeds to kill Copy-Gryll, declaring Vegeta took orders from no one. During the fight between Goku and Copy-Vegeta, the real Vegeta even scolds Copy-Vegeta for fighting so lousily and states he would rather die than lose in such a manner.
    • In Super, his pride has changed from being solely about his strength to being about his accomplishments and that of the Saiyan race. His family, and the mentor-student relationship with Cabba in particular are sources of great pride to him, as is the thought of seeing the Saiyan race, even if from another universe, improving in battle, because he is still the Saiyan Prince. This pride is so central to Vegeta's character that if the only way to be Goku's better is to give it up, he would rather remain second best.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Happens every time Vegeta gets a huge power boost.
    • In the Namek/Frieza Saga, he goes to Namek, stronger than ever after his near-death battle on Earth, and gets nearly killed by a transformed Zarbon after taking down two of Frieza's best men. After he gets a boost from that battle and takes care of Zarbon, the Ginyu Force comes and wipe the floor with him. Then once again, he gets a major power-up to fight Frieza and he gets easily murdered.
    • In the Android/Cell Saga he easily destroys Android 19 before getting the ever loving crap beating out of him by Android 18. After going into Hyperbolic Time Chamber and becoming 'Super Vegeta', he picks apart Semi-Perfect Cell only for his pride to get the best of him and allow Cell to become complete. After that, he can never touch Cell again and his actions lead to Trunks being murdered, and Goku sacrificing himself.
    • Reaches in climax in the Buu Saga. After selling his soul to Babidi and allowing himself to be possessed to gain more power, he tries to fight Buu only to be completely outmatched. Even giving his life did nothing, and Goku still remained more powerful than him. Only THEN does the lesson of humility finally stick.
  • Principles Zealot: He will not - repeat, WILL NOT abandon his Saiyan pride or his love of his family for anything after his Character Development in Z. Even if it results in him never becoming stronger than Kakarot. He'd rather die than throw away who he is. He contrasts himself to Toppo in this regard, who casts aside his belief in justice when the going gets rough.
  • The Proud Elite: He fits the trope perfectly, especially considering how he's always going on about how (A) the Saiyans are a race of elite fighters who value their pride, and (B) as the Prince who would be King he is "the culmination of everything superior in the Saiyan race."
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: A Trope Codifier for manga and anime. He is extremely proud of his race and calls them the greatest warrior race in the universe. He is also very quick to tell or remind people that he is the Prince of All Saiyans.
    • This pride even extends to other universes, where he gets on Cabba, a Saiyan from Universe 6, for not honoring his Saiyans pride during their match.
    • When Frost reveals that he's a backstabbing, cheating, lying, honourless deceiver, and revels in not having to keep up his Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, Vegeta screams four words which are rooted firmly in this trope before delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle by way of Megaton Punch.
    Vegeta: YOU MAKE ME SICK!!
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Has shades of Type C. His determination to surpass Goku and constant bragging about how he's the Prince of all Saiyans sounds like a petulant spoiled brat throwing a tantrum because no one's kissing his ass. Especially in the Buu Saga: while fighting Goku as Majin Vegeta, he rants about how Goku's very existence is an insult to him because even Goku's son had surpassed him at some point. Thankfully for everyone he gets over this by the end of the Buu Saga.
  • Psychotic Smirk: One of the most iconic users of this trope in anime. If he's not scowling, he's doing this. He keeps this habit even after becoming a good guy in late Z and Super.
  • Pure Is Not Good: He achieved Super Saiyan by having a pure heart. Heart of pure evil.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": During his Evil Prince days. He slaughtered an entire village of innocent Namekians all while laughing and acting smug, and during his battle with Goku, he ruthlessly crushed every bone in Goku's body with his bare hands, gleefully laughing his head off as Goku screamed bloody murder.
  • Rage Quit: During his first fight with Goku, after Goku gains the upperhand and counters all his attacks Vegeta flips and tries to destroy the Earth with his Galick Gun. This leads to the iconic Beam-O-War.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: On his first visit to Earth when his scouter read Goku's power level is at, well, you know what it is.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: In the Super adaptation of Battle of Gods, he takes on the role of chef to appease Beerus rather than dance for him. And when doing housework under Whis, he wears a pink apron when cutting grass and changing Beerus' sheets. While he's sleeping. There is also the infamous pink 'Bad Man' shirt he wore at the beginning of the Android Saga.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Before his sacrifice against Majin Buu, Vegeta, being somewhat aware that Death Equals Redemption in the Dragon Ball world, optimistically asks Piccolo whether or not he would see Goku in the Other World. Piccolo tells him point-blank that unlike Goku, Vegeta has spent most of his life being a selfish, evil Jerkass, and one selfless act will not make up for it; therefore, Vegeta is most likely going to Hell when he dies. And indeed, he does.
    • Working your body past its limits all the time will actually hinder you in the long run, since your body does need proper rest to get stronger. Being over-stressed also slows your reaction time since you're always tense. These weaknesses are noted by Whis.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • He gives one to Goku Black of all people as he beats him up. According to Vegeta, Goku Black is just a fake who's borrowing Goku's body, but can never use it as well as the original.
    • He gives a particularly scathing one to Toppo (accompanied by a brutal pummeling) for abandoning what is important in his life for strength, something Vegeta himself did many times in the past but never would again.
  • Recurring Element: In a number of ways, he's Piccolo 2.0. Like Piccolo, he's a humanoid alien (well, Piccolo was retconned to be one, but still) who gets introduced as a villain, becomes a Token Evil Teammate to the protagonists, and, through fatherhood (surrogate fatherhood in Piccolo's case, biological fatherhood in Vegeta's case), pulls a full on Heel–Face Turn & becomes a true hero in his own right.
  • Redemption Demotion:
    • He eventually caught onto this, which is why he allows Babidi to make him a Majin. He does manage to avoid the worst of this trope however, unlike most of the others who get hit with it in this series. Vegeta manages to remain in the top three among the heroes in terms of power and ability fairly consistently. He's even the number two behind Goku during the latter parts of the Frieza Saga and the beginning of the Buu Saga. He also co-stars with Goku in Resurrection ‘F’ and gets one of the bigger roles in Battle of Gods.
    • Even in GT (where if your name isn't Goku or Pan, you're automatically doomed to get demoted to extra), he was close to Goku in his Super Saiyan 4 state.
  • Redemption Earns Life: When Vegeta asked everyone except for the evil people to be revived after the Earth was restored, he was one of the people brought back, showing that at least in the eyes of the Namekian Dragon, Vegeta wasn't evil anymore. The best part? He didn't see it coming.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Subverted against Majin Buu. Although, he fought for others for the first time in his life, Piccolo makes it clear that one selfless deed didn't make up for his years of being a Jerkass and a former Space Pirate. He is later semi-revived to fight Majin Buu, and along with his other acts of humility, finally fully earns his redemption.
  • Redemption in the Rain: He screams the rain clouds away.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In his earlier episodes, he was the blue to Nappa's red, and currently the blue to Goku's red.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: After the Frieza Saga. Aside from Goku and Bulma, none of the other Z-Fighters can stand him and have no qualms against informing him as such to his face, not that he gives a damn what they think of him; after Vegeta is curb-stomped by Cell, Krillin states outright that he's only helping him for Trunks' sake and wouldn't care if Vegeta did die. Justified, since even if he was technically on their side at the time, Vegeta was still a self-absorbed Jerkass, and the Token Evil Teammate; he didn't make an actual Heel–Face Turn until the Buu Saga.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: He's still cold and aloof, but he genuinely cares for his family, the few friends he made, and even his rival.
  • The Resenter: From the end of the Frieza Saga to the near the end of the series, he was very resentful towards Goku for always being stronger than him to the point it became one of his defining characteristics.
  • Resurrected for a Job: After his death during the Buu Saga. With the fight with Buu becoming increasingly dire, King Yemma and Fortuneteller Baba semi-revive Vegeta and send him to Earth to help Goku.
  • Retired Monster: At the end of the Frieza Saga, he's put his mass-murdering ways behind him to focus on surpassing Goku. He doesn't really pull a Heel–Face Turn until the Buu Saga.
  • Revenge Before Reason:
    • After Cell kills Future Trunks, Vegeta has a Jerkass Realization about his poor treatment of the latter and attacks Cell in a rage, doing no damage and causing Gohan to suffer a Game-Breaking Injury by Taking the Bullet for him. At the time, Trunks could still be revived by the Dragon Balls, and Gohan could still have defeated Cell, so Vegeta freaked out like that for nothing; Krillin even flat-out calls him an idiot.
    • During the Buu Saga, he lets Babidi turn him into a Majin for the sake of getting enough power to beat Goku. He knew that the resulting fight would give Babidi enough energy to revive Majin Buu, but was so obsessed with topping Goku that he just didn't care. From that point on, the remainder the Buu Saga consists of the rest of the universe paying the price for Vegeta's selfishness and obsession.
  • The Rival:
    • While not the first, he's Goku's biggest one, and a good candidate for the Trope Codifier of the archetypical anime/manga rival.
    • Before Goku, Cui, who had he same power level as him, as well as Zarbon and Dodoria. Other comparable fighters in the organization were The Ginyu Force, Abo and Kado who Vegeta was stronger than under a full moon but weaker than otherwise.
    • Directly invoked by Vegeta in Resurrection 'F'. After Frieza tells him that he will make Vegeta supreme commander if he personally kills Goku, Vegeta refuses, saying that although he can't stand Goku it is their rivalry that drives him to become stronger.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He's had his fair few of these. The first time was when Cell murdered his Future son, prompting him to go into an Unstoppable Rage and try to take Cell apart with his bare hands. His rampage against Fat Buu was partially motivated by him believing that he murdered Gohan. Then when Goku Black kills his Future wife and tries to kill Future Trunks, then it's safe to say that Vegeta won't be giving up the ghost on that one until the day he violently murders him.
  • Royal Blood: Something he obsesses over. He truly believes that since he is the Saiyan Prince that he is the Chosen One destine to become a Super Saiyan and rule the universe. He's not happy when a certain low class scumbag surpasses and he spends most of Z trying to regain his 'birthright'. Ironically, neither of his children seem to give a hoot about it.
  • Royal Brat: In his youth and even as an adult he still have signs of this, like him losing it when he was getting beating up by Goku and decides to Rage Quit out of spite.
  • Royalty Superpower: He initially believes that a Super Saiyan is this along with one needing to be the Chosen One. He is proven very wrong when he couldn't ascend to defeat Frieza and it's Goku who becomes the first Super Saiyan in a thousand years.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Say what you will about his character, but he isn't the type to sit around and let people do stuff for him, unless it's beneath his notice, like how he let Nappa wipe the floor with the Earth defenders since him joining in would end the 'fight' in seconds. The moment Nappa proves to be ineffective, he steps in.
  • Sadist: Especially in the earlier seasons where he could be just as cruel as Frieza, often killing people with a Psychotic Smirk on his face. He massacred an entire Namekian village with a huge grin on his face and laughed when it's revealed that they weren't wished back by Shenron because of the way the wish was worded. Before then, in his Great Ape form, he ruthlessly crushed every bone in Goku's body while laughing his head off. He does get over it once he settles down on Earth and tends to kill people for pragmatic reasons instead of joy.
  • Sadistic Choice: After becoming a Majin, he forces Goku into one. Either Goku fights him and risk awakening Majin Buu who has the power to destroy the universe, or he lets Vegeta keep killing people at the World Martial Arts Tournament, which can possibly kill both of their families. Goku chooses to fight Vegeta and beat him before they can awaken Buu. He fails and Vegeta's selfishness costs him his life.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • While possessed by Babadi and releasing all the evil in his heart. He then breaks of Babadi's control and becomes more ruthless and unhinged.
    • During his fight with Goku in the Saiyan Saga, Vegeta becomes enraged that Goku made him bleed to the point where he almost blew up the planet.
  • Scars Are Forever: Has a scar on his back from where Yajirobe slashed him in the Saiyan Saga.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Despite creating a giant blast that can be seen from space, Vegeta's sacrifice fails to kill Buu. He isn't happy when he learns this from King Yemma.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Zigzagged, although Vegeta acts more macho than Goku, he is actually more emotional, especially when it comes to showing anger. He also gives into his feelings and is seen crying more than Goku.
  • Shipper on Deck: Yes, even Vegeta doesn't hesitate to embarrass his son in front of his Love Interest like any good father should. It didn't help their case that Future Trunks and Mai's attempts to convince him otherwise weren't fooling anyone.
  • Shirtless Scene: Particularly when training for the coming androids.
  • Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story:
    • When Frieza is going into his final form, Vegeta pulls off a Deliberate Injury Gambit, having Krillin mortally wound him and then having Dende heal him in order to obtain a Zenkai boost, believing this will allow him to ascend and become a Super Saiyan. Sadly, while it does make him much stronger, Frieza is still way out of his league, and he doesn't become a Super Saiyan; once this happens, Vegeta completely loses the will of fight before Frieza beats him to a bloody pulp. When Frieza subsequently finishes him off, Vegeta spends his final moments tearfully begging Goku to defeat Frieza and avenge the Saiyans.
    • Vegeta allows himself to fall under Babidi's spell so he can finally surpass Goku and reclaim his place as the strongest of all Saiyans. The end result, Goku is still much stronger since he can go Super Saiyan 3 and despite Vegeta's power-up he's completely outmatched against Buu, who he can't even hurt. Even blowing himself up only slows Buu down for a few minutes, making his sacrifice completely pointless.
  • Shower Scene: He has a scene at the start of the Cell saga, partly to showcase his many and varied scars, and partly to highlight the Unresolved Sexual Tension between Vegeta and Bulma, but mostly to get him to wear the infamous pink "BADMAN" shirt and bright yellow pants.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With his younger brother, Tarble. Vegeta is a hot-headed, jerkass even after he mellows out. Tarble is kindhearted and respectful much like Goku except even more extreme since he does not have the Saiyans' natural love for battle. Because of these traits, he was banished from his home planet.
  • Signature Move: Galick Gun, Big Bang Attack, and Final Flash.
  • Sixth Ranger: To the protagonists on Namek.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor:
    • To Frieza after he decides to fully rebel and fight to gain control of the Dragon Balls.
    • He is also this to the protagonists when he sold his soul to Babidi in the Buu Saga. Although, this is Subverted in that Vegeta has no loyalty to Babidi and outright ignores his orders, doing whatever he wants. However, he is still a traitor in the sense that his direct actions leads to Buu being revived.
  • Skewed Priorities: In the Buu Saga, he cared less about saving the world and more about getting powerful enough to beat Goku, which led him to allowing Babidi to turn him into Majin Vegeta, and led to Majin Buu getting released.
  • Slasher Smile: When he's neither grumpy nor smug, but on a powertrip, he'll be wearing this. And he wears it well.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Although he actually is among the fighting elite from the moment he's introduced, and by the end of the series legitimately ranks among the strongest fighters in the universe, Vegeta has a tough time seeing himself as anything but the best, period. By the end of the series, he has finally managed to accept that Goku is the better fighter, but it took multiple Break the Haughty moments, as well as him being killed twice, for him to do so.
  • The Smart Guy: Seems to be this in GT and the post-Z movies. He notices that Baby has possessed Gohan, and that Omega Shenron is too powerful for him and Goku to defeat without fusion. After Battle of Gods, Whis points out that Vegeta thinks too much during a fight, which leads him to hesitate when he should act. And of all the Z-Fighters, Vegeta is the quickest to understand Bulma's inventions and even assists her if the situation calls for it.
  • Smile of Approval: After years of him being unable to stand Goku and wanting nothing more than to best his The Rival in combat, Vegeta finally has an epiphany in the Majin Buu Saga where he openly acknowledges Goku as being better than him and cracking a smile while he does so.
  • Smug Smiler: When in battle, he's this, especially if he's confident enough to win.
  • Smug Snake: Though he is actually quite smart, Vegeta typically falls into this due to his ego. While undoubtedly powerful, he has a very bad tendency to overestimate himself and underestimate his opponent, which often leads to an epic Break the Haughty moment. The most notable example of this is during the Cell Saga, when he becomes so confident that he's stronger than Cell no matter what that he deliberately allows Cell to absorb Android 18 and become perfect purely for the sake of a more challenging fight. He got one, all right.
  • Smug Super: When faced with an enemy that's not above him, his ego is backed up with his power. It's to the extent that he helps Cell absorb 18 and become perfect simply for the sake of having a challenge, arrogantly refusing to consider the possibility that he would actually lose until Cell's beating him to a pulp.
  • The Social Darwinist: Vegeta believes the Saiyan race is the most powerful in the universe and that Earthlings are weak and inferior to them. His transition to Majin Vegeta is largely because this belief, saying (in the English dub) "It's survival of the fittest. The strong will survive, and the weak shall perish!" Even Goku pointing out that during their battle they may have inadvertently revived Majin Buu is dismissed by Vegeta, saying (though he hardly believes it himself) that the two of them have evolved far beyond even the Supreme Kai's expectations to the point that Majin Buu was not a concern anymore. He was right that the Saiyans have evolved past any expectations of any god. He's very wrong about Majin Buu.
  • The Sociopath: His pre-Character Development self. Unlike the other Saiyans shown in the series who have some care towards their kinsmen, Vegeta didn't give a damn about anyone except himself. He dismisses reviving Raditz for being weak and personally murdered Nappa who was asking for his help. He also tries to slowly crush Goku to death as a Great Ape and then tries to kill Goku in front of his son. On Namek, he's confused about why Dende won't heal him, despite the fact that he personally killed an entire village of Namekians for their Dragon Ball (which he actually laughs about later), and doesn't understand why anyone would want to help him since he knows that he's an asshole. That's not even getting into how he treated Future Trunks, who he physically and mentally abused. It takes a lot of Humiliation Congas, Break the Haughty, and Laser Guided Karmas before he finally becomes a better person.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Even after becoming one of the good guys, he never lost his penchant for using violence as an answer to his problems... and then laughing maniacally. This gets greatly tone down by the end of the Buu Saga, where he's more willing to solve problems without fighting; like him trying to please Beerus by any means necessary since he knows he stands no chance against him. This includes throwing his pride away by dancing or serving Beerus food.
  • So Proud of You: Implied Trope. Vegeta is never open about his feelings, and has his Hidden Heart of Gold very well hidden, but there are many ocassions in the series where he will show how proud he is of someone. Usually another Saiyan.
    • At the end of the Frieza Saga, a newly-revived Vegeta is delighted to see that Goku took his words to heart and achieved the Super Saiyan form.
      Vegeta: (laughs) Well, well, well. Kakarot, you dog! You did it! You actually did it! You're a Super Saiyan. I can see it.
    • In Super, at the end of the Universal Survival Saga, an arrogant Belmod will boast how Goku won't be able to control the Ultra Instint to defeat Jiren. Vegeta shuts him up, stating that during the whole tournament, all the Saiyans on it have broken through their limits, this includes Goku and Gohan all right, but also Caulifla, Kale, and Cabba, the last one sharing an apprentice bond with him. That's right, Vegeta is proud of all of them.
  • Space Pirates: He was the prince of an entire race of pirates who stole planets by wiping out the inhabitants and selling them for a high price. Though given they were working for Frieza's company, most examples outside of their home planet Vegeta would more accurately be cases of space extirpation rather than "piracy". Nappa and he went to Earth not only for the Dragon Balls, but to also kill everyone and sell the planet. Although he does enjoy his job since he gets to kill and fight strong opponents, his true desire is to kill Frieza and take his place ruling the universe. By the time he cut ties with Frieza and his former life, he puts his pirate days behind him.
  • Spanner in the Works:
  • Sphere of Destruction: His Finishing Move the Big Bang Attack.
  • Spit Take: He does this in GT when Bulma tells him that the machine she made can help him turn into Super Saiyan 4.
  • The Starscream: He was this to Frieza. He planned for years to rebel and overthrow Frieza, even before learning Frieza destroyed his planet. The Dragon Balls gave him his best opportunity since he could wished for immortality and in time, surpassed Frieza. In the end, it didn't end well for him since he missed his chance to live forever and is tortured and killed by Frieza with little fanfare.
  • Stealth Mentor: Helps Cabba become Super Saiyan by acting like a villain.
  • Stealth Pun: A particularly cruel one in the Frieza Saga. When Frieza's Death Beam punctures Vegeta's heart, he breaks down crying and tells Goku the sad story of the Saiyans' fate and begs Goku to avenge the Saiyans at any cost right before he dies which means he both literally and figuratively dies of a broken heart.
  • Stock Shonen Rival: Vegeta is one of the Trope Codifiers. He started as a Arc Villain, and after he was defeated by Goku and co., he would then make it his life purpose to surpass Goku and later gives into evil in an attempt to defeat Goku. He would later regret his actions and pull a true Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Stoic: Vegeta tries to be this, often wearing a scowl or frowning. But Vegeta is far too passionate and prideful to stay stoic long and start trash talking his opponent.
  • Stone Wall: He's one of the most durable characters in the franchise, even once scared Kid Buu after stubbornly refusing to stay down.
  • Straw Misogynist: Implied by Piccolo in the original Japanese text and the Kai dub. After losing to Android 18, Vegeta leaves in a fit of rage. Trunks wants to follow him, but Piccolo said not to bother since his pride has been crushed. Not only did he badly lose after achieving the legendary Super Saiyan form, he lost to a woman, adding extra salt to the wound.
  • Story-Breaker Power: After training with Whis he gains the power of godhood and is able to fuse it with a regular Super Saiyan to become a Super Saiyan Blue. He is also within striking distance of Goku again after falling behind during the events of the Cell Saga and is one of the top fighters in the entire universe. If Goku and he worked together against Golden Frieza, they would have ended the threat without any problem.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He looks like a shorter version of his father without the beard and mustache - and indeed, when he shows up with a beard in Super (post-three years in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber), he's a dead ringer for his father. His younger brother also looks like a shorter version of him. In contrast, both of his own children break this tradition by resembling their human mother, only slightly favoring Vegeta in their facial structure and athletic builds.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Especially after Character Development. He is distant and cold but has shown a caring and protective side to his loved ones.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: During the Saiyan Saga, he pulled this by trying to blow up the Earth, without showing the ability to travel without a space pod or survive in a vacuum, purely because he was pissed that Goku, a low-class warrior, had managed to land a hit on him and draw blood.
  • Superior Successor: According to Vegeta, he surpassed his father when he was still a kid. Frieza agrees, saying that he didn't need to transform to kill King Vegeta.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: Thanks to being a Saiyan he hasn't changed a day since the fight with Buu, while his wife aged less gracefully.
  • Superpower Lottery: Finally hit the jackpot after training with Whis and gaining the power of godhood, making him Goku's true rival again.
  • Supporting Leader: During the final fight against Kid Buu, and briefly against Majin Buu.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Before his Heel–Face Turn, he could never truly surpass Goku. In Battle of Gods, long after he both pulled a Heel–Face Turn and stopped caring about surpassing Goku, he actually surpassed Goku by, in the words of a random YouTube commentator, punching the primal force of entropy and drawing blood. On top of that, he was a Super Saiyan 2 while doing that even though Goku got curbstomped at Super Saiyan 3.

    T-Y 
  • Tame His Anger: He took the longest to do this out of the main characters, but by the end of the Buu Saga he had made his peace with Goku's superiority.
  • Tears of Fear: When he realized he had no chance against Frieza. Pointed out by the narrator in the manga and King Kai in the anime.
  • Tears of Joy: In the anime, Vegeta is in tears when he sees Super Saiyan Goku. He is so overwhelmed that he can barely speak.
  • Tears of Remorse: As he self destructed in an attempt to kill Majin Buu.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The technician to Goku's performer, at least when his arrogance and temper doesn't get the best of him. He uses much more strategy than Goku, is a skilled tactician, and trains longer and harder than any character in the series. His only real shortcomings in this area is that his techniques are limited to being more destructive than the next with very little variation and his over-reliance on beam spams, putting his technical skills below Piccolo and Tien. Whis notes, however, that Vegeta is too thoughtful, which makes him slow to react when the unexpected happens. He also trains too much, not giving his body time to unwind and relax, making him tense, slow, and hinders him from reaching his full potential.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Krillin and Gohan during the Frieza Saga, and with Goku near the end of the Buu Saga.
  • Third Act Stupidity: Throughout the Namek Saga, Vegeta approaches the fight with Frieza intelligently, using guerrilla tactics and playing it smart to stay ahead of Frieza, who uses brute force and his resources to get ahead. By the end, Vegeta casts all this aside and stupidly goads Frieza into transforming, arrogantly believing that Frieza wouldn't get much stronger; it costs him his life. Not the he had much choice at that point, since Frieza had cornered them and was going to kill everyone regardless, but goading Frieza into transforming faster instead of trying to delay him until Goku could get there to help was a stupid idea.
  • This Cannot Be!: He's initially shocked but realistic when Goku turns out to be stronger than he and Nappa anticipated. He crosses into this trope completely when Goku, a low-class warrior, can actually deal damage to him and, with the help of his friends, come on the verge of killing him outright.
    Vegeta: This shouldn't be happening! I don't understand! I'm a super elite!
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Pulls this off in the English dub of Super, after he and Future Trunks send Fusion Zamasu's Holy Wrath back at him, only for Zamasu to No-Sell it.
    Vegeta: Oh, come on! You invincible son of a bitch!
  • This Is Gonna Suck
    • Vegeta has this reaction after he volunteers himself to fight Kid Buu while Goku charge up to his max power as a Super Saiyan 3. Goku needs one minute.
    Vegeta: One minute in this fight is an eternity.
    • He has another one after Fat Buu is taken down by Kid Buu and he has to act as a distraction again while Goku charges the Spirit Bomb.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • Only for a minute at most, but after Bulma got slapped by Beerus in the Battle of Gods movie, Vegeta snapped and tried to attack Beerus with a sudden burst of power. Roshi noted that Vegeta may have finally been stronger than Goku. A claim backed up by the fact that despite only being a Super Saiyan 2 at most, he tanked a punch from Beerus and powered through it to continue comboing him — and lest we forget, Beerus only had to finger-flick Goku to send him hurtling across King Kai's planet as a Super Saiyan 3.
    • While the original Z manga ended with him way behind Goku due to him not attaining Super Saiyan 3, the animes and movies let him catch up again by him attaining Super Saiyan 4 (even if he cheated) and Super Saiyan Blue respectively. He is still behind Goku, but only by a thin margin. This is maintained even better late in Super, as while Goku attains Ultra Instinct, Vegeta achieves a unique God of Destruction-level evolution to his Super Saiyan Blue form. Even better, unlike Goku's Ultra Instinct, Vegeta can consciously use it at will.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential:
    • Vegeta trains frantically for three years to reach the level of Super Saiyan to beat Goku. After losing to Android 18 and finding out about Cell, Vegeta claims he will go beyond Super Saiyan, shocking everyone since they never considered such a level existed.
    • Vegeta gives himself to Babidi to invoke this. Once he's possessed, he rivals Goku as a Super Saiyan 2. It still isn't enough to close the power gap between them.
  • Token Evil Teammate: After his Heel–Face Turn. He is anything but good in the Android/Cell Saga. He only helps the heroes so he can kill Goku and later for the sake of his own pride since 18 and Cell utterly humiliated him. He's a little better in the Buu Saga, but he's still not a good person and he willingly gives himself to Babidi so he can finally settle the score with Goku. He doesn't completely become good until the final leg of the Kid Buu fight, where he finally swallows his pride and admits that Goku is better than him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Vegeta has a habit of recklessly rushing into battle with opponents that he has little to no chance of defeating. A prime example of his idiocy is Cell's attempt to let him absorb 18 and become perfect; Vegeta realized right away what Cell was trying to do, but decided to go with it anyway.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Vegeta's power has gone from super elite to surpassing the gods.
    • He took several levels throughout the Frieza Saga, taking full advantage of the Saiyans' ability to grow stronger from near death. He went from being beaten by a transformed Zarbon to being able to stand up for a couple minutes against Frieza's final form.
    • Like Goku, every time he reaches a new level of Super Saiyan.
    • In Resurrection 'F', he is able to reach the same level of Super Saiyan God as Goku. That's right, in the span of two movies he went from being unable to reach Super Saiyan 3 to being almost equal with Goku again. Even more impressive, in Super he did it without going through the Super Saiyan God ritual.
    • From Super, he gets a major power-up after training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for six months. He went from being no match for Goku Black to easily pounding him, forcing Black to evolved himself again.
    • Later in the anime version of Super, during the Tournament of Power, Vegeta eventually pushes himself to a new transformation, an enhanced version of Super Saiyan Blue that even Goku hasn't achieved, at least matching Goku's Kaio-Ken x20 Super Saiyan Blue combination. In this form he's able to completely overwhelm and defeat God of Destruction Toppo, who had previously wrecked No. 17 & Golden Frieza.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He gets special mention here, as he manages to do this in every big saga of Z until the very end.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • By the end of the series he finally admits that he will never surpass Goku and pulls a real Heel–Face Turn, which is further showed in the Battle of Gods.
    • Also visible in the Wrath of the Dragon movie, Vegeta actually goes out of his way to protect innocent bystanders from Hildegarn's fire breath, which he even lampshades himself.
    • Seen further in Super where he takes his family on vacation, although he did eventually leave after it becomes too much for him. And, unlike Battle of Gods, he went to Bulma's party on his own without knowing that Beerus is coming. After failing to stop Beerus, Vegeta is ashamed not because his pride is hurt, but because he failed to protect everyone. Vegeta is also more supportive of Goku, showing that he has complete faith that he can defeat Beerus and is the one to catch Goku after he falls to Earth. He does chew Goku for losing despite having even his power, but he's actually quite concerned for Goku's health.
    • Also in the Universe 7 vs Universe 6, while he was a little angry at Cabba. He helps him to become a Super Saiyan.
  • Too Qualified to Apply: When the Z-Fighters enter the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, they all give a light tap to the punch machine. Then Vegeta, being Vegeta, comes along and obliterates it.
  • Tough Love: His bread and butter. Even after becoming nicer to his family and friends, he still a tough person to please. The way he helps Cabba to achieve Super Saiyan is to beat the crap out of him, threatened to murder his family, and blow up his planet. He also beats on Future Trunks as a Super Saiyan Blue and calls it training. Despite the physical abuse, his heart is in the right place, and the people he manhandles are grateful to him in the end.
  • To Serve Man: In their first appearance, Vegeta and Nappa are shown successfully invading an alien planet and eating the remains of the planet's Human Alien inhabitants.
  • Tragic Villain: Oh, dear Lord, yes. He was used by Frieza as a hostage and then had his father murdered and his entire race exterminated by the cruel tyrant, who continued to use him as a low-level enforcer afterwards. Goku eventually realizes that Vegeta was largely shaped by Frieza into becoming a remorseless killing machine.
  • Training from Hell: A deconstructed example. After the events of the Frieza Saga, Vegeta puts himself though torturous training sessions that some times leaves him bedridden. Despite all his hard work, he can't surpass Goku who also works hard, but doesn't destroy himself while training. It is explained by Whis that Vegeta works too hard and doesn't allow his body to properly rest, which slows his reaction time and keeps him from reaching his maximum potential.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Surprisingly, he does have a moment of this in Resurrection ‘F’. After he steps into the fight after Goku is temporarily taken out of action, he proceeds to beat Frieza out of his Golden Super Mode and dish out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the bastard without raising his voice and with the only sign of his fury being his usual Death Glare.
    • He also takes this tack in Super, where after Frost is revealed to be a sociopathic scumbag in the same vein as Frieza, Vegeta asks Champa to spare him and allow him back into the tournament after he's disqualified for cheating. Frost then gloats at him about how he's going to poison him to death after getting the no-kill rule lifted while Vegeta stares at him silently. As soon as the match starts, Vegeta takes Frost out with a single Megaton Punch. Then when he hears about Goku Black and the fact that he killed the future version of his wife, nearly killed Future Trunks, and wiped out 99% of humanity in his timeline, he doesn't change facial expression but is utterly pissed.
    • After Cabba is erased along with the rest of Universe 6, Vegeta makes his displeasure clear by calmly informing Katopresla that he’s not in the best of moods and plans to let off some steam by using him as a punching bag.
    • Vegeta appears to get a power boost through anger whenever something happens to Bulma and Trunks, and when he's in control of this anger, the boost is even bigger. When out of control, he was briefly able to go toe-to-toe with Beerus, but after mastering this anger and completely destroying the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he crushes Goku Black in their rematch, at least until Black powered up again.
  • Trickster Mentor: Cabba begs Vegeta to teach him to how become a Super Saiyan so he can better protect his universe from threats. Vegeta becomes angry that Cabba would ask this during their match and beats the crap out of him while he's a Super Saiyan and refuses to allow Cabba to give up. He then threatens to kill everyone Cabba knows after their match. This pushes Cabba over and he ascends to Super Saiyan, exactly as Vegeta had planned.
  • Tritagonist: Shares this role with Piccolo in the Frieza and Cell sagas and is promoted to Deuteragonist in the Buu Saga onward.
  • Troubled, but Cute: In-universe, this is his appeal to Bulma.
  • True Companions: After many trials and betrayals, he become this to the main cast, especially to Goku.
  • Tsundere: A rare male example. Since his introduction he can go from calm and even playful, like his entire commentary on Nappa's fight with the Earth's fighters, to out of control angry and sadistic, his entire battle with Goku. After the Frieza Saga, he makes it his life's goal to surpass Goku, saying several times that he wants to kill him. Despite that, he does show some concern for Goku's wellbeing like him reprimanding Goku for fighting while sick after he rescues him and making it a point to say that he will fight Goku to the death, as soon as he's well, instead of trying to kill him when he's comatose. The Buu Saga is the most extreme example where his entire hangup about how Goku is always better than him and how he only has this one day to fight Goku reads like some old jealous-ex given a Motive Rant. He then knocks Goku out while his guard is down so he won't sacrifice himself again and to give an indirect apology for him dying in the first place, it was his actions that made Cell complete. After the Buu Saga, Vegeta is more willing to show his Hidden Heart of Gold, but he is still harsh and is unwilling to admit that he cares for anyone, like him trying to deny that he yelled, 'That's My Bulma' when Beerus slaps her. In Super, when Beerus asks about his relationship with Goku, Vegeta is unable to really answer since he doesn't want to call Goku a friend, but only halfheartedly calls him an enemy.
    • It's near lampshaded when he comes to Master Roshi's aid against Frost. Vegeta goes out of his way to make it clear he isnt helping Roshi to keep him from being tortured by Frost, only because he hates Frost. Roshi just rolls his eyes and doesn't buy it.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Even in normal state.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Like all Saiyans, he was raised since birth to be a ruthless warrior who happily wiped planets for profit. Vegeta was raised especially cruel even by Saiyan's standards by Frieza, who wanted him to be one of his loyal Dragons. This sorta backfired since Vegeta rebelled the moment he got the chance. Frieza was able to easily kill him, but not before he laid the groundwork for Goku to ascend to Super Saiyan and he murdered all of Frieza's top men.
  • The Unchosen One: He becomes this after Goku surpass him by becoming the first Super Saiyan in a thousand years. He hates that Goku defeated his opposer while he, the Prince of all Saiyans, was given an extremely pitiful death. Even after accepting that Goku is just overall better than him, he still strives to surpass him, although with far less bitterness.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He has a terrible habit of doing this with every major Z villain and even the heroes:
    • When he first meets Goku, he sees him as low class trash despite him overpowering Nappa. Although he does have the edge, he completely loses it after Goku uses his Kaioken to knock him around and draw blood.
    • Although he knows that Frieza is extremely powerful, he provokes Frieza to transform, thinking that he won't become that much more powerful. He is proven very wrong. He also became sure that he could win after Krillin blasted him to the point of near death. Frieza easily takes all of Vegeta's attacks without even winding himself.
    • He scoffs at Piccolo coming back to life to fight Frieza, citing how easily he was killed on Earth. He is shocked when Piccolo is able to fight evenly with Frieza's second form.
    • He wanted to fight Androids 17 and 18 because Androids 19 and 20 were weak and boring, despite Trunks warning him several times that wasn't a good idea. Trunks is proven correct.
    • In the same saga, Vegeta let Cell become complete to have a better match. After Cell transforms, he dismisses Cell's final form as unimpressive. Cell then proceeds to beat the daylights out of him.
    • Vegeta is dismissive about Buu since the Supreme Kai badly underestimated the power of the Saiyans. It takes Gohan being killed (so he thinks) before he realizes that he was badly mistaken. Again, he sees Kid Buu as something Goku and he could handle, calling him puny. To say that he was wrong again would be an Earth shattering understatement.
    • Subverted with the Ginyu Force. The moment he knew that they were coming to Namek, he immediately forms an alliance with Krillin and Gohan.
    • Also Subverted with Beerus. The moment King Kai said Super Saiyan 3 Goku went down in two hits, he does everything in his power to keep Beerus happy.
    • In Super, Vegeta thinks Magetta will be a pushover since he fits the definition of big and slow. He ends up badly mistaken after Magetta speeds up, becomes more powerful, and is immune to his attacks, including the Garlick Gun and the Final Flash. Magetta also nearly ring outs Vegeta twice. The second time he is only saved by the rules, which really pisses Vegeta off.
    • Goku and Vegeta badly underestimated Goku Black since they were told that he was only as strong as Super Saiyan 3 Goku at his maximum power. They didn't expect Black to become strong enough to beat back a Super Saiyan Blue, have his own Super Saiyan form, or to have an energy sword that could pierce though Vegeta like he's made of cardboard.
  • Undignified Death: During the Frieza Saga; after being beaten to a pulp by Frieza and shot through the heart, Vegeta dies while crying his eyes out and begging Goku to kill Frieza and avenge the Saiyans.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Even if he's close to death, he'll still be enraged at someone if they try to help him due to his pride.
    • After Goku saves his life and heals him after he got manhandled by Recoome, Goku asks him to fight Jeice while he handles Ginyu. Instead, Vegeta chooses to ditch Goku so he can steal the Dragon Balls and hopes that Ginyu and Goku kill each other.
    • After Dende heals him, Vegeta proceeds to kick him aside because he took too long; never mind the fact that Vegeta was just as bad as Frieza and slaughtered several Namekians himself, so Dende had no reason to help him in the first place.
    • Frieza accuses him of this while beating him senseless, chewing him out on betraying him despite the fact that Frieza showed him "favoritism." Of course, Frieza's idea of "favoritism" was making Vegeta one of the three Saiyans he didn't kill.
  • Unknown Rival: To Goku Black. Vegeta made it his mission to hunt down and kill Black because he tormented Future Trunks and killed Future Bulma; Black sees Vegeta as nothing more than a Warm-Up Boss, even when Vegeta temporary overpowered him.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: When he was first introduced, Vegeta was by far the strongest person in the series, easily outclassing Goku who trained under King Kai for six months. However, he had little experience dealing with someone equal in strength to him, best shown when he had a freakout when Goku beat him up using Kaioken X3 and chose to become a Great Ape to overpower him. It's not until his defeat on Earth that Vegeta began to acquire skills like sensing energy and suppressing his power. Even then, he relied on the Saiyans' ability to grow stronger from near death to become stronger. It wasn't until Goku became a Super Saiyan and completely surpassed him did he started training and developing his fighting skills outside pure brute strength.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Wastes no time in gleefully indulging on this towards Goku, at least to an extent, when Trunks beats Goten in the World Martial Arts Tournament.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Not heavy on the comedy aspect, but even after his Heel–Face Turn, particularly in the Cell Saga, Vegeta was still a prick. Even Piccolo and Tenshinhan treat him like this. Doesn't stop him suffering Humiliation Conga one after another.
  • Unstoppable Rage: He's normally pretty angry already, but he takes this Up to Eleven when Cell kills Future Trunks and when Beerus slaps Bulma. In the Future Trunks Arc after he finds out that Goku Black killed his wife and is hunting down his future son with the intent to kill him too, he enters his training room and goes absolutely berserk, destroying the bots he trains with in his rage. When he and Black clash for the final time however he goes into a quieter rage and savagely pulverises him (at least until Black's Adaptive Ability bails him out), intending to not relent until he's nothing more than a broken mangled corpse after what he did to his Future wife and son.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • When Vegeta first fights Goku and finds himself struggling, his pride and vanity are pricked so hard that he completely forgets A) why he's on Earth in the first place and B) that he cannot breathe in space. He then tries to blow up the planet, and is narrowly prevented from doing so.
    • If you still see him as a villain at this point, when Vegeta is fighting Frieza's true form. By the end, he's willing to destroy the planet he's fighting on to defeat Frieza. However, after Frieza deflects his most powerful blast with just a kick, he goes past Villainous Breakdown and into Despair Event Horizon, breaking down into tears.
  • Villainous Rescue: On Namek when he saves Krillin and Gohan from Guldo, and then saving Gohan again from Frieza.
  • Villainous Valour: Even back during the days when he was an outright villain, his bravery was admirable. One of his most consistent traits is that he's genuinely courageous in a fight, as well as a true Determinator when it comes to pushing himself harder and further to achieve the standards he sets for himself.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: It's hereditary.
  • Villain Protagonist: During the Frieza Arc, he mercilessly slaughters Frieza's Elite Mooks and killed innocent Namekian men and children... just for the hell of it. Even when working together with Gohan, Krillin, and Goku against The Ginyu Force and Frieza, it was Teeth-Clenched Teamwork at best. And had no qualms about leaving Krillin or Gohan behind when things got rough, beating them up out of spite, or threatening to kill them if they got in his way, and believe me, he would have done it.
  • Villain Respect: Develops this to Goku over the course of the Frieza Saga. He still wants to kill Goku for the hard time he gave him on Earth, but he does genuinely respect Goku's strength and sees him as a necessary ally against Frieza. In the anime, Vegeta sees Goku as a Super Saiyan after he's revived. Instead of being jealous or angry, Vegeta is close to tears of joy.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Firmly believes this. It's part of the reason why he allows himself to fall under Babidi's mind-control. He wants to get rid of the feelings he developped for Earth and his family. By the end of the series, he come to embrace some of Earth's virtues like love and friendship.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Goku as of the Buu Saga. He still wants to fight and defeat Goku, but he's much more willing to fight alongside him in order to end a common threat.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Has full control of his Great Ape form and has a technique specifically to artificially create full moonlight in order to transform when there is no natural moonlight.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency:
    • After Dende heals him as part of his Deliberate Injury Gambit during the fight with Frieza, the first thing Vegeta does afterwards is kick Dende aside and angrily tell him to be grateful he didn't decide to kill him. This is despite the fact that, as Dende himself pointed out beforehand, Vegeta was just as evil and cruel as Frieza and had personally killed numerous innocent Namekians, and Dende had no reason whatsoever to help him.
    • Before his Heroic Sacrifice during the Buu Saga, he asks Piccolo if he'll be able to see Goku in the Other World. Piccolo tells him point-blank that Vegeta is most likely going to Hell because, unlike Goku, he's spent most of his life being a selfish, evil bastard and one selfless act will not make up for it all. Nonetheless, Vegeta goes through with it.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Goku Black calls Vegeta a warm-up after he impales him on his energy sword and he's ready for the main course, Son Goku.
  • Warrior Prince: The ultimate anime example. He is the prince of the Saiyan, the strongest warrior race in the universe, and will remind anyone in the vicinity of this on a regular basis.
    Vegeta: I am the prince of all Saiyans.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He of all people gets this on more than one occasion:
    • In his second battle with Zarbon, he found out that, even with the recent Zenkai boost, he was still weaker than his opponent. However. he was a battle hardened fighter and Zarbon had grown rusty due to being around Frieza for years, so Vegeta managed to get around his defenses and land two crippling blows. No-Holds-Barred Beatdown ensues.
    • During his fight with Recoome, Vegeta showed much more skill than his opponent... and not enough power to actually hurt him, something Recoome mocked him for.
    • When dealing with Perfect Cell, Vegeta found himself just as outmatched in terms of power as he had been against Recoome, something Cell mocked him for just like Recoome. Then, much to Cell's horror, Vegeta revealed the Final Flash and nearly killed him — Cell had to dodge, and even then he received what would have been crippling damage against anyone without his immense regenerative power.
    • After Vegeta was defeated by Cell, Trunks stepped in with his newly revealed Ultra Super Saiyan form, powerful enough to overcome Cell... but too slow to actually hit him, in addition to draining his energy and stamina far faster than normal. Cell promptly revealed that Vegeta could have done it too; he just hadn't bothered because, being far more skilled than Trunks, he knew that it was useless because of said very drawbacks.
    • In Battle of Gods he has the best showing against Beerus because of his good fighting sense, outperforming the far stronger SSJ3 Goku, Gohan, and Gotenk. Beerus even laments that he's "highly skilled, but lacks the power to match it."
  • We Can Rule Together: Dub-induced example during the Saiyan Saga; before their fight, Vegeta offers Goku a partnership, declaring that with the two of them, they could rule the universe and have whatever they wanted. Goku declines, stating that he already has everything he ever wanted on Earth, and also states that, since Vegeta just killed Nappa, his longtime partner, in cold blood for losing to Goku, there's "not much job security." Goku's refusal ironically earned both men the throne in a different sort of way, as through years of trial and ascension dealing with common enemies, they became brothers-in-arms (though Vegeta will never admit this) as well as the two strongest mortals in their universe.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor:
    • Despite selling his soul, murdering hundreds of people to provoke Goku to fight, and his actions being responsible for Buu's revival, Goku is happy to see him after he's semi-revived, even saying that he thought he was wiped out in Hell. Then again, if Vegeta wasn't there Goku would have to fuse with Mr. Satan to have even a remote chance against Super Buu. Vegeta is also welcomed back with open arms among the rest of the group, but by that point all was forgiven since those he killed were wished back and it was his plan that finally killed Majin Buu.
    • In Resurrection ‘F’, Frieza is more than willing to accept Vegeta back into his army on the condition that he kill Goku for him; of course, why Frieza would think Vegeta ever would want to work for him again after Frieza freely admitted to destroying his home planet, took every possible opportunity to demean and insult him, and brutally tortured him to death for fun back on Namek is anyone's guess.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After first losing his tail, Vegeta points out that it doesn't matter since it'll grow back again soon. Then it doesn't grow back again and it's never mentioned again.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Although Vegeta is at best a dubious hero after the Frieza Saga:
    • Trunks yells at him more than once about underestimating the androids after Vegeta insisted Androids 17 and 18 be allowed to awaken since Android 19 and 20 were boring.
    • Trunks, Krillin, and Piccolo called him out for helping Cell absorb 18 just so he could have a better challenge after curb stomping Cell's Imperfect Form.
    • Krillin called him an idiot for blindly attacking Cell after he killed Trunks. At the time, Trunks could be revived with the Dragon Balls and Gohan was still capable of beating Cell. Because of Vegeta's blind rage Gohan was hurt protecting him, which cost him the use of his left arm and losing about half of his power.
    • Goku outright called Vegeta a fool for selling his soul to Babidi for the sake of having a rematch with him and turning his back on his wife and child. Later, he was mad at Vegeta for recklessly sacrificing himself instead of working together to beat Buu. He yelled at Vegeta again after he crushed his Potara Earring, preventing them from ever fusing again.
    • Vegeta himself gives one towards Goku after saving Mr. Satan, Bee, and Dende, but not Gohan, Trunks, Goten, and Piccolo. Goku is left speechless and lowers his head in grief. Of course, Goku's choice to save them instead ended up saving the whole universe, but there's no way he or Vegeta could have known that at the time.
    • In Super, Bulma tears into him for getting too into his training of Trunks and reminds him to control himself.
    • He gives a truly scathing ones towards Toppo after the latter decides to cast aside his morals and sense of justice, while Vegeta is fighting for his family's sake and to fulfill his promise to Cabba to bring back Universe 6. This push allows him not only destroy Toppo's Hakais, but lets out a non-lethal Final Explosion to ring him out.
  • When He Smiles: After sacrificing himself to save everybody, he is shown genuinely smiling. It's even in the image for the Tear Jerker page.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: It doesn't come up very often, but he dislikes "squirmy things". Watch his reaction to meeting a family of giant worms inside Buu's body. "Kakarot, I think I'm going to puke."
  • Wild Card: Towards the Z-Fighters. For the longest time he has an Enemy Mine alliance with the protagonists to deal with bigger threats.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Started as one. He had to be taken by Frieza, one of the universe's most evil characters from his father, King Vegeta, when he was a little boy in what was heavily implied to be a deal Frieza forced upon him. Then, Vegeta is forced to obey Frieza's commands or else he would murder his dad, and despite this, Frieza killed him anyways, and then committed genocide against his own people, and even afterwards he was treated by a slave by Frieza and his henchman, especially Frieza and Zarbon. When Goku learns of these details when Vegeta was dying from Frieza puncturing his heart with a death beam, even Goku took pity on him.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Cases in which he is defeated to show off his opponent:
      • In the Frieza Saga, he is always beaten up to show how dangerous a new foe is; best shown with Recoome who utterly toys with him and Frieza's true form who he can't even touch and is brutally murdered.
      • In the Android/Cell Saga, he destroys Android 19 only to be curbstomped by Android 18. After training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he completely outclassed Semi-Perfect Cell, but is crushed by Perfect Cell. And again, after Cell returns as Super Perfect Cell, Vegeta attacks with everything he has and didn't even lay a scratch on Cell.
      • In the Buu Saga, if Buu easily defeating the Supreme Kai, Dabura, and Gohan wasn't enough, Vegeta also couldn't harm him even after his major power-up and self-destruction. He performs even worse against Kid Buu, who nearly beat him to death several times (and he was already dead through most of it to boot).
      • In Battle of Gods and its adaptation in Dragon Ball Super, him and everyone who isn't Super Saiyan God Goku got their butts handed to them by Beerus.
      • Gets utterly dominated by Hit in the Champa Saga of Super to show off how hard of a time Goku will have against him.
      • Despite fighting as a Super Saiyan Blue, Vegeta can't hurt Goku Black, and that is before he transformed into his Super Saiyan Rosé. Not long after Goku Black transforms, he impales Vegeta with an energy sword.
    • Cases in which he shows off defeating a tough opponent:
      • In the Frieza Saga, he killed Cui, Dodoria and Zarbon, the latter two Frieza's elite Co-Dragons, to show off how stronger he got since his travel to Earth.
      • In Resurrection ‘F’ and its adaptation in Super, he managed to beat up Frieza.
      • In the Champa Saga of Super, Frost, Frieza's counterpart in Universe 6, managed to defeat Goku and Piccolo, and even though both defeats were later reversed after it was revealed that Frost was cheating, it established him as equally as bad as Frieza if not worse. Then Vegeta steps in and defeats him in one punch. He would later go on to defeat Magetta and Cabba.
      • In his rematch with Goku Black after the previously-mentioned defeat, he manages to outclass him.
      • Double subverted come episode 122 of Super, when Vegeta decides to take down Jiren, the juggernaut of the Tournament of Power. He spends most of the episode managing to keep at the same level with him, even landing solid blows to him that shock everybody. Then, when Vegeta goes for his Final Flash, not only does Jiren tank it, but he beats Vegeta into the ground.
      • Subverted in his fight with Toppo. While Toppo initially has the advantage, once Vegeta digs into The Power of Love, he completely demolishes Toppo before eliminating him with a non-lethal Final Explosion.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: During the final battle with Kid Buu, Vegeta has a long internal monologue in which he comes to terms with Goku being better than him. After spending most of the series resenting Goku for this and trying to surpass him by any means, Vegeta finally lets go of his grudge. The best part, by him letting go he gains the ability to almost bridge the gap between them:
    Vegeta: Amazing. How do you do it, Kakarot? You've always been like this, ever since the day I first met you; always ready to meet the next challenge, even if it's bigger than you are. It was the same on Namek, you had improved so much that it made Recoome like he was standing still. Your power had increased so dramatically since our battle on Earth that I thought you had done it, I thought that you had become a Super Saiyan! It tore me apart! How could a low-class soldier accomplish so easily what I... I had to struggle my whole life to achieve!? After three millennia, it has finally happened; a new Super Saiyan has emerged, and, somehow, I have become this pauper's witness. Then at last, it happened. I too transformed. After living every moment of every day for the singular purpose of surpassing you, I finally became a Super Saiyan myself, the Prince had reclaimed his throne and fulfilled his destiny. But no matter how strong I became, your power still exceeded mine. At first, I though it was your loved ones; that it was your instinct to protect them that spurred you on and pushed you beyond your limits. But then I found myself with a family of my own, and my power... didn't increase at all. I used to fight for the sheer of pleasure of it; for the thrill of the hunt, oh I had the strength unmeasurable... I spared no one. And yet, you showed mercy to everyone, even your fiercest enemies, even me! Yet, you never fought to kill, or for revenge. Only to test your limits and to push yourself beyond them, to become the strongest you could possibly be. How can a Saiyan fight like that and at the same time be so gentle that he wouldn't hurt a fly? It makes me angry just thinking about it! But, perhaps it is my anger that has made me blind to the truth for so long. I see it now, this day has made it all too clear. You're better than me Kakarot. You are the best.
  • World's Strongest Man: Around late Z, he and Goku trade this title off between one another for Universe 7 quite often, though admittedly Goku has the edge more often.
    • In Battle of Gods, Beerus slapping Bulma presses Vegeta's Berserk Button so hard that he goes positively ape-shit and attacks at full force, becoming the first fighter to actually land a solid hit on the God of Destruction. At the end of the movie, Goku freely admits that at that time, Vegeta's strength surpassed his own.
    • In the Universe Survival arc, he gains a currently-exclusive to him upgrade to Super Saiyan Blue that, while still weaker than Jiren, is clearly shown to be as strong as Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken Goku, based on his performance in this new form against Jiren compared to Goku's in the endgame. As of the end of that arc, while mastered Ultra Instinct is the strongest transformation achieved by a mortal in the entire franchise so far, Goku still needs to be in extreme peril to even call upon its weakened form, while Vegeta was able to briefly access his new form even in-universe seconds after completely running out of stamina. As of the end of Super, at least, Vegeta is tied for strongest mortal in Universe 7 in terms of consistent output.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • He comes to sees Goku as this by the end of the series. Although he accepts that he may never surpass Goku, he still tries and Vegeta outright admits that his rivalry is the reason why he has become so powerful.
    • Deconstructed by Whis again: Whis thinks Vegeta is too much focused on being better than Goku to realize his own potential.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Vegeta didn't hold back in his fight with Android 18. He still got utterly crushed.
    • In the universal survival saga, Vegeta also does not hold back against Hop. In this case it is the opposite, as Vegeta beats the crap out of her without breaking a sweat when he decides to get serious.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • He didn't mind beating Gohan and kneeing him in the stomach in the Frieza Saga. Not to mention beating and nearly killing him the story arc before.
    • He also coldly murdered several Namek children when he was searching for the Dragon Balls.
    • He slapped Dende after he healed him from his self-inflicted wound.
    • Vegeta has no problem training his own children, although he looks more than a little startled when he actually punched an eight-year-old Trunks in the face. He even takes him to the park afterwards for landing a solid hit on his father's person.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: After Vegeta is restored to life by the Namekian Dragon Balls, Goku happily tells him that none of the evil people were wished back, meaning that Vegeta is now a good person. Vegeta is completely shocked and partly annoyed by Goku's observation.
  • You Are Worth Hell: A literal case with his wife and son. He knows that he will go to Hell when he dies since he has done many horrible things in his life. It still doesn't stop him from laying down his life to stop Buu.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Vegeta's child design from Battle of Gods looks very different from his Bardock: The Father of Goku/anime/Super design. His Battle of Gods design is his adult self in child form while his anime appearance is based on his Bardock design.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Vegeta kills Nappa after he fails to kill Goku, and does the same to a Saibaman for losing to Tien.
    • He was waiting for the right time to invoke this on Gohan and Krillin in the Frieza Arc.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: He delivers an epic one to Majin Buu. He stops Buu from going after Piccolo who is carrying an unconscious Goten and Trunks.

Top