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Referenced By / Dragon Ball

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A Chiatzu mask in Naruto

"Reign supreme? In your dreams!
You'll never make me bow!
Kiss my ass? I'm world class
and Super Saiyan now!"
— "I Burn", Yang's theme song from RWBY

As a juggernaut of anime, Dragon Ball and its sequels have inspired an entire generation, so it's no surprise many have made countless Shout Outs to the series, either by making affectionate parodies to any sort of Take That!. Here is a list that will try to include most of it.

Please, any reference must be deliberate. If you only see any similarity without Word of God to back it up, do not include it here. Also, be kind to include what sets apart the inspirations.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • Kill la Kill
    • During Episode 13, during her speech, Ragyo poses in a way very similar to Frieza.
    • During Episode 23, Mako's power levels while wearing her Two Star Fight Club Uniform are - baring intelligence - well over 9000.
    • Senketsu Kisaragi is very clearly a homage to the ever-classic Dragon Ball Z, from the basic physical details up of turning blond and including "I grow stronger when I'm on the verge of death!"
    • The shot of Ryuko facing a naked Ragyo in space, with Earth orbit as background is visually reminiscent of the final part of Goku and Beerus' fight in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
  • Naruto. Masashi Kishimoto has stated that Dragon Ball was one of his main inspirations when creating Naruto. This is most visible with Naruto's orange and black outfit.
    • The Four-Tailed Beast is one big reference to Dragon Ball. Its design is partially based off of the Oozaru, the host's name is Roshi and its number of tails is the same as Goku's favorite Dragon Ball. Its horns are also apparently modeled after the diadem worn by Sun Wukong from Journey to the West, who is himself one of the original inspirations for Goku. And the four tailed beast's proper name is even Son Goku!
    • During the arc where Naruto first learns how to use the Rasengan, a Chiaotzu mask can be seen at a marketplace. (Current article picture)
  • One-Punch Man. Vaccine Man is drawn to look like Piccolo in the manga remake. To hammer the point, not only is he voiced by Frieza's voice actor in Japanese, but also by Piccolo's voice actors in the English and Latin American Spanish dubs.

     Comic Books 
  • In Spider-Man/Deadpool, during a discussion between the titular characters about a way of dealing with Itsy-Bitsy, Deadpool tries to persuade Peter that there are better methods for stopping her besides killing her. His last attempt?
    Deadpool: Collect all the Dragon Balls and wish her away!!!
    Spider-Man: ...
    Spider-Man: I did not think of that. Oh. Wait. That doesn't exist.

     Film 
  • In Black Panther (2018), Killmonger's primary outfit for a chunk of the film is a blue body armor with additional armour over his torso, which sports yellow shoulder straps, very much resembling Vegeta's from the Dragon Ball franchise. Additionally, Erik is technically a prince for much of the film. Vegeta famously boasts about his status as Prince of all Saiyans. Michael B. Jordan is a proud fan of the series.

     Video Games 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Sonic's Golden Super Mode of Super Sonic is a homage to the famous Super Saiyans, with the hair turning spikier, turning gold and the eye-color change that allows Sonic to become even stronger than normal. The twist, however, is that Sonic needs the seven MacGuffins in order to transform. According to an interview with Yuji Naka, this was done in order to appeal to both East and West markets, as there were also Shout Outs to Star Wars. According to Naka, Toriyama never commented about this.
    • Silver the Hedgehog, the idealistic kid from the Bad Future trying to save his timeline who debuted in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), is inspired by Future Trunks. The script of the game even states "Essentially, think Trunks from Dragon Ball Z."
  • Dragon Quest
    • Puff-Puff, first featured in Chapter 15 of Dragon Ball's manga, is still referenced in almost every Dragon Quest game, sometimes with humorous twists such as the one giving the "Powderpuff Massage" is the dancer's father, not the dancer herself.
    • Xenlon in the bonus dungeon Sky Castle is a blatant reference to Shenron and, if you defeat him fast enough, he will grant you one wish. Additional wishes can be obtained by defeating him additional times in even less turns.

     Western Animation 
  • The The Fairly OddParents! movie Channel Chasers has a lot of Shout Outs to many tv shows, but the one with the most focus is Maho Mushi, a "violent and stupid" anime that Timmy was obsessed with, that while incorporates elements from many anime, the focus is a parody of Goku conflict with Piccolo at the end of the original Dragon Ball, with Timmy wearing a gi like Goku and Vicky wearing an outfit similar to Piccolo's.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • "Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T." does five parodies in one episode.
      • Numbuh Four's version is a huge one to Dragon Ball Z. At one point he blows a chewing gum bubble into his hands to make what looks like a Chewing Gum Kamehameha.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball
    • In "The Move", "Darkwin" greatly resembles the Hood from Thunderbirds, while flames surround him Super Saiyan-style.
    • In "The Others", the episode opens with Gumball trying to go Super Saiyan. He even actually says "Super Saiyan". In a following episode, he actually does go Super Saiyan, though Darwin notes he's just posturing. He's even suddenly dressed like Gohan.
  • Steven Universe. Fusion Dances, and something more.
    • Arc Villain Jasper has a lot of parallels to Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z.
    • The Rubies landing on Earth has the opening be a near 1:1 of Vegeta doing the same.
    • The process the Gems use to combine is literally a fusion achieved through dancing, most likely an allusion to the Trope Namer. The difference between both fusion dances, however, is that Steven Universe's fusions is explored a bit more as a metaphor for different kinds of relationships instead of a simple power boost.
      Jasper: Fusion is just a cheap tactic to make weak Gems stronger!
    • In "Keep Beach City Weird", the crater that Amethyst leaves during Steven Tag resembles the crater left by Yamcha versus the Saibaman.
      • The same happens with Navy in "Room for Ruby", after she crashes from her atmospheric reentry.
    • In "Sworn to the Sword", the outfit Connie wears in the second half of the episode is similar to a Kalaripayattu outfit. Gohan also wears one when he was being trained by Piccolo as a kid. Fitting as they're both child fighters with alien teachers.
    • In "Nightmare Hospital", a hospital door has the label "Dr. Gero, Patient 20", a reference to Dr. Gero/Android 20.
    • In "Barn Mates", the Ruby coming out of the Roaming Eye at the end of the episode strongly resembles a certain scene from Dragon Ball Z.
    • In "Earthlings", the fight in this episode has several to the first fight with Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z, including the way in which the Corrupted Quartz falls back first on Jasper and crushes her into a crater, just like Great Ape Gohan fell on and crushed Vegeta.
    • In Attack the Light, to show that Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl are more experienced than Steven, he starts at level 1 and they all start at level 9001. "Over 9000" is also the name of the achievement for completely leveling all of the Gems up.

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