Dragon Ball/Characters/Main Characters

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In order of appearance

Son Goku

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Son Goku (孫 悟空)
(Saiyan birthname: Kakarot (カカロット; Kakarotto))


Voiced by: Masako Nozawa (Japanese)
Kid Goku voiced by: Barbara Goodson (Harmony Gold dub); Saffron Henderson (Ocean dub); Stephanie Nadolny (Dragon Ball, Z and GT), Colleen Clinkenbeard (Kai) (Funimation dub)
Adult Goku voiced by: Ian James Corlett, Peter Kelamis, Kirby Morrow (Ocean dub); Sean Schemmel (Funimation dub)
Giant Ape Goku voiced by: Shane Ray (Funimation dub)


Main hero of Dragon Ball. Started off a rather extraordinary child with super strength, a tail and naivety of the outside world. Later, though, it is revealed that he's a Saiyan, an alien race of warriors who hire themselves out as mercenaries to tyrants who destroy worlds. However, he is amongst the last four (well, eight) of his kind. Although originally sent to devastate Earth, he instead becomes the saviour of the world multiple times over.

  • The Ace: Made abundantly clear since the early parts of Dragon Ball. Learned a technique with a glance, which took 50 years to develop, Within a few years, his martial arts skill surpassed his master, and of course winning a Tenka'ichi Budokai before he turned 20. Then he found out why he's able to do all those things when it's revealed he's a Saiyan. Even that doesn't fully make it a Justified Trope, when he defeats members of his race considered to be elites, defeats and/or kills seemingly invincible aliens and monsters and achieves virtually all the available Super Saiyan transformations. Not bad for someone considered a "low-class soldier".
  • Achievements in Ignorance: In Dragon Ball when training for the 22nd Budokai Tenkaichi.
  • Achilles' Heel: His tail is so sensitive to touch that grabbing it saps him of all his strength. He eventually manages to train himself out of that weakness, though.
    • Eventually he loses it forever, unless you count the events of GT.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: As a kid.
  • Adorkable: Friendly, affectionate and habitually refers to his elders as "grampa/grandma" as opposed to their formal titles like a little kid would. Passes this trait down onto his children.
  • Adult Child: And quite a positive one at that.
  • Afraid of Needles: To the bewilderment of everyone around him.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Super Saiyan 3 form, while giving him immense amount of power unmatched by any other forms, gives him a very strict time limit on how long he can stretch out a fight before he's drained of all his strength. The strain the form has on his body is so heavy it's not even really meant to be used outside of the afterlife.
    • Also the Genki Dama (Spirit Bomb). It takes too long to power up and Goku seems to be a bad judge of just how much power he needs to take out an opponent.
  • Back from the Dead: Twice! Not that that's at all unusual...
  • Badass:
  • Balloon Belly
  • Berserk Button: In the original series, Tambourine, and eventually, King Piccolo. You don't want to mess with his best friend, EVER. Tambourine learned it's mistake badly. In Dragon Ball Z, Frieza. The only villain that really, legitimately managed to make Goku fly off into a terrible rage. The results weren't pretty (for Frieza).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Very much so. Goku is a very easygoing and kind person, but you do not want to piss him off.
  • Big Eater
  • Blood Knight: An extremely rare unambiguously heroic version. He loves finding new opponents to fight, and even when is on the brink of death from a ruthless and monstrous opponent, he goes out of his way to say "I'm having fun with this." He also only fights people who are willing (most of the villains), and rarely ever kills anyone unless its a last resort.
    • He's so much of a blood knight that he expresses a wish (later granted by Yenma) to see Majin Buu (the strongest Big Bad in Z) reincarnated as a good guy... Just so he can fight him again.
    • Contrary to what the first dub states, this was also his primary motive in sparing Vegeta's life at the end of the Saiyan saga, both in the manga and original anime.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Oh yeah.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: He is childish and goofy but he is very strong and a master at fighting.
  • The Can Kicked Him: If he hadn't been Made of Iron, or Immune to Bullets then, anyhow.
  • Characterization Marches On: As a kid, Goku had no qualms with killing his enemies. As the series progressed and he got older, he started to mellow out more.
    • There's the fact that Goku, as a child had no concept of the moralities of taking lives when he was blowing up Red Ribbon army vehicles. He'd lived most of his life alone in the woods. He barely understood death, thinking that when he accidentally killed his grandfather, his grandfather just became the 4-star ball. There are sometimes he killed purposely though such as killing a fleeing Tambourine to avenge Krillin, not that Tambourine didn't deserve it.
    • Part of his no kill policy came later when many of his worst enemies became his loyal friends, realizing that if they could change, anyone could.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Cannot bring himself to pass by someone in need. This is a trait he later passes down to his eldest son.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Only in Dragon Ball. The "scissor" move of his Jan-Ken-Po technique was eye-gouging and sometimes he'd use this technique by pretending to use one move and instead using another one (shouting "paper" and using "rock" instead, for example). He also resisted Tien's Taiyo-Ken (Solar Flare) technique by wearing Master Roshi's sunglasses.
    • He escapes from being strangled by Frieza by biting the latter's tail. He also bites Kid Buu when he was fighting him as a Super Saiyan 3, but this time it was mostly played for comedy (Kid Buu bites him back).
  • Combined Energy Attack: The Spirit Bomb.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason For Abandoning You: See Parental Abandonment below.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally, it's usually to show that he's not as dumb as people think.
  • Death by Irony: If you think about the first time he died was this. He was killed by the son of the last villain he killed in Dragon Ball, Demon King Piccolo, in a similar way –An attack to the stomach that hit so hard it came out the other side. It was used as the only way to kill Raditz, but still.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Most of Goku's friends started out as anti-heroes or villains, then they met him in battle.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: On a regular basis.
  • Do NOT call me Kakarot(to): He (initially) feels an intense shame for belonging to a race of genocidal pirates, and vehemently refuses to identify himself as a Saiyan until he comes to feel pride for his heritage as a Warrior.
  • Dork Knight
  • Doting Parent: He tries his best. When he is actually around, that is.
  • Dumb Is Good/Good Is Dumb - And nice too.
    • While Goku may not be intellectually smart, when it comes to fighting, he's a genius.
  • Easily Forgiven: He does not hold grudges period; once the fight is over, anyone, even last-season's enemies, are affectionately embraced as friends if they can stop trying to kill him and his crew or take over the world long enough.
    • Though, oddly enough, even if he absolutely forgives even demonic, universe-shattering monsters or interplanetary tyrants and mass-murderers, for some reason he has never once tried to reconnect with his biological family in the afterlife. He had to kill his brother Raditz to stop him from killing his young son, but Vegeta, Frieza, Cell and Buu all tried to kill him as well and he also refused to grudge against them. It seems borderline out-of-character for Goku to just ignore/forget about Raditz, Bardock and whoever his biological mother was when he had years to find them out and reconnect with them.
  • Expy: of Sun Wukong The Monkey King from Journey to the West, with light dashes of Superman.
  • Fight Magnet: To the point he didn't want to be resurrected by the Dragon Balls to keep the world safe.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Krillin, though Goku's side of it is more of a subversion. He generally got along just fine when they first met. It was Krillin that was initially hostile.
  • Fountain of Youth: During pretty much THE ENTIRE series of GT, where the black-star dragon balls regress Goku into a child on a messed up wish from the Big Bad.
  • Gambit Roulette: Surprising but true. His infamous fight with Cell? He never intended to defeat him in the first place, and went knowing full well he'd likely lose. In fact, it's the reason why he wanted to go first. He only fought him so that his son Gohan would have a good idea of how strong Cell is. The problem was no-one not even Gohan himself, could really tell if it would work, seeing as Gohan was the kind-hearted reluctant warrior of the group up against a mass-murdering cyborg. Even Goku himself had some doubts. Then Android #16, decided to push things a little with his last speech, Then Gohan turned Super Saiyan 2, and the rest is history...
  • Friend to All Living Things - Even as an adult he loves playing with animals like a big kid, and regards them as friends as if they are also human.
  • Genius Ditz Bruiser - He may not be the brightest knife in the crayon box, but he mastered and created an improved version of the Kamehameha simply by watching his master use it! Furthermore, his combat prowess is second-to-none.
    • In this way he's a bit of an Idiot Savant. He's fantastically dumb in all ways but fighting - and not just in a physically strong kind of way, but the tactics and strategies of it as well.
  • God Job: Was given the opportunity to become a Kami after defeating Piccolo, but he turned it down.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: As seen in the picture above.
  • Heel Face Turn: Before the series began, technically, but he began as an Enfant Terrible bent on destroying all life on earth as a newborn, until he lost his memory.
  • Henpecked Husband: To the point where Muten-Roshi outright shouts out that CHI-CHI is the most powerful person in the universe, NOT Goku.
    • Though it should be noted that, in the manga at least, Goku pretty much always gets his way after the Raditz mini-arc, no matter how much Chi Chi might gripe about it. To the point where Chi Chi herself taught Goten to fight and was ecstatic at the idea of Gohan joining the Tenkaichi Budokai, even after Goku had been dead for seven years. (She did claim she thought that Gohan was still the most powerful being in the universe, and thus would easily win the prize money, but considering she kept him away from training for seven years that just seemed like the throwaway excuse she wanted to hear before letting loose.)
  • The Hero
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Krillin.
  • Honor Before Reason: Son Goku defines this trope.
  • Hot Dad
  • Human Aliens
  • Idiot Hero: While he's not necessarily unintelligent, he's poorly educated, not well aware of social norms, and completely lacks in common sense.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: With Tullece/Turles
  • Interspecies Romance: With Chi-Chi.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Turns into the giant ape (Ōzaru) form whenever he has his tail and looks directly at a full moon. Removing the tail (or the moon) turns him back immediately.
  • Kamehame Hadoken
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Lost his memory as a child, facilitating his Heel Face Turn.
  • Look What I Can Do Now!: One of the biggest examples of the trope.
  • Magnetic Hero: Goku sure collected quite a bit of unlikely friends by the end of the series.
  • Made of Iron: Pretty much par for the course, really.
  • The Messiah
  • Messianic Archetype
  • Mr. Fanservice: Lots of shirtless and nude scenes. The fangirls thank you, Adult Goku!
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Goku's origin is based on Superman's origin and so, of course, involves this.
  • My Hero Zero: The short-lived Harmony Gold dub from the 80s renamed him Zero for...some reason, and even worked his new name into their version of the opening theme song.
  • Name's the Same: Son Gokuu is the Japanese pronunciation of Sun Wukong, The Monkey King.
  • Nice Guy: One of the nicest.
  • No Nudity Taboo: Very much so as a little kid. Then again, he pretty much grew up completely by himself.
  • No Social Skills: Goku at the beginning of the saga as Bulma learned the hard way.
  • Oblivious to Love: In the original Dragonball. He didn't even realize what marriage meant.
  • Older Than They Look: Kid Goku is supposed to be 12 in the 21st tournament and 15 on the 22nd. However, in neither instance does he looks older than 10. Then, in late DBZ, when Goku is on his early forties and beyond, he looks no older than 30!
  • One-Man Army: Remember that this is the guy who destroyed the Red Ribbon Army at age twelve.
  • Papa Wolf: Messing with Gohan is a sure way to anger the normally cheerful Goku. He beat up Nappa and Recoome after they both hurted Gohan (along with the rest of his friends). While it's remembered that Freeza killing Krillin triggered Goku's Berserk Button, what really set him off was Freeza threatening to kill Gohan too, which drove Goku over the edge and into a vengeance-filled warrior.
  • Parental Abandonment: One of the more common criticisms he faces from fans. He is not exactly the best father to Gohan, or especially Goten, due to either being in constant training or dead.
    • Also a straight example himself, as he was sent into space as a baby. Shortly afterwards, his father Bardock was killed by Freeza when their planet was destroyed.
  • Passing the Torch: Constantly trying to do this after the Cell saga. Realizing that he wouldn't always be around to protect the Earth, he tries to make Gohan his successor, though it doesn't pan out too well because Gohan doesn't have the same drive to become stronger like he does. In the Buu saga, he even deliberately passes up a chance to destroy the Big Bad so that Goten and Trunks would be the saviors of Earth, but eventually he realizes as they grow up that they don't have any interest in fighting, either, which is why he seeks a new successor in Uub.
  • Public Domain Character: Son Goku from Journey to the West is probably the most frequently used Public Domain Character in East Asia. In the West, there's massive Adaptation Displacement as the Dragon Ball version of Goku is much better known than the original.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Upon learning that his race's legacy of genocide was forced upon them by Freeza, he lets go of the shame of being belonging to a race of murderers and instead comes to embrace the pride of being a Saiyan Warrior:

Goku: (Burying Vegeta) "I hated you, but I respect the pride with which you defended your race's honor... Now share some of that pride with me, for I am a Saiyan who grew up on Earth!!"

  • Raised by Dudes: He was raised by an old hermit in the woods, which is frequently brought up when Chi-chi gets frustrated with him.
    • Raised by Wolves: Technically out in the wilderness for an untold number of years after the old hermit died.
  • The Runner Up Takes It All: Played straight during the first two Tenkaichi Budokai. He finally won in his third try.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Subverted; Goku honestly hadn't meant to kill Grandpa Gohan. The poor guy simply had his Super-Powered Evil Side activated by the full moon and went berserk, crushing Grandpa Gohan underfoot.
  • Shaping Your Attacks: His Dragon Fist/Ryū Ken, where he shapes his Super Saiyan 3 ki into a massive Shenron-esque dragon.
  • Shirtless Scene: Of everyone, Goku takes the most Clothing Damage in the series.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Even when he starts wearing weighted training clothes, the sleeves never come past his triceps.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Pronounced "Son Gokū" (with a long vowel "u"), but usually its spelled "Son Goku" (without any indication of a long vowel), while Toriyama himself writes it as "Son Gokuh". Bandai actually spells it "Son Gokou" in most of their toys and games in what seems to be an attempt to anglicize his name (think of the "cou" in "cougar"), but it only makes thing more confusing since "Gokou" can be mistaken for an entirely different Japanese name ("Gokō"). (Also, in one episode Pilaf reads a sign that says "Welcome back, Goku!", but mispronounces Goku's name as "Go-cow".)
    • His Saiyan birthname is also subject to variations, with most English adaptations using "Kakarot". However, the fact that his fused form with Vegeta is called "Vegetto" (the spelling used by Bandai) and not "Vegerot" seems to suggest that "Kakarotto" is the preferred spelling. Funimation uses the spelling "Vegito", despite them using the Kakarot convention otherwise, while Viz actually changed it to "Vegerot", only to changed it back to Vegetto in later reprints (while oddly enough keeping the "Kakarot" spelling).
    • The Dragon Ball Z Deformation figurine of the infant Goku actually spells his birthname as "Kacarrot", which is inconsistent with the way Bandai spells "Vegetto".
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Resembles his dad and his 2nd son Goten resembles him.
  • Supporting Protagonist: During Dragonball Z. If one looks closely, Z chronicled Gohan's life, despite Goku being The Hero.
    • Justified in that Toriyama originally intended for Gohan to succeed Goku as the main protagonist after the Cell saga. However, Goku's character proved too popular with the fanbase, so he changed his mind and brought him back.
    • Hell, it is possible to see Goku as a focal character for Vegeta's redemption arc after Freeza.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Eventually does this to Roshi after their first tournament fight.
  • Talking to Himself: Veteran voice actress Masako Nozawa, who also plays both his sons and his deceased father Bardock. Not to mention Tullece.
    • And Sean Schemmel, who later played King Kai.
    • In the Latin-American Spanish dub, Laura Torres plays both child!Goku, child!Gohan and child!Goten. Mario Castañeda, who voices teenaged and adult!Goku, voices Bardock and Tullece.
  • Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes: The eyes of happy go lucky Goku vs serious in a fight Goku.
  • Technical Pacifist/Thou Shalt Not Kill/Took a Level In Kindness: After training with Kami, he became a lot less kill-happy.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: His Instant Transmission/Shunkan Idō technique. He can teleport to any person he can sense the ki of and take people touching him at the time with him.
  • True Companions
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Is willing to forgive anybody and give them a second chance: Yamcha for trying to rob him blind, Krillin for starting out as a bully, Piccolo Jr for being the son of a Demon who attempted to Take Over the World, Vegeta for (commanding the) murdering almost everyone he loved, Majin Buu for destroying the human race, Freeza for murdering his best friend Kuririn. Everyone except the last case eventually became noble heroes and protectors of life.
  • Use Your Head: As in a headbutt. In his younger years, Goku used this to finish Staff Officer Black and ring out Piccolo.
  • Wonder Child


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Bulma Briefs (ブルマ ブリーフ; Buruma Buriifu)


Voiced by: Hiromi Tsuru (Japanese); Wendee Lee (Harmony Gold dub); Lalainia Lindbjerg, Maggie Blue O'Hara, Jane Perry (Ocean dub); Tiffany Volmer (Dragon Ball, Z and GT), Monica Rial (Kai) (Funimation dub)


The very first human Goku came across (apart from his grandpa) at the start of the series. One could say she's the trigger that kicks off the series as a whole. Originally on a quest to gather the Dragonballs for her own reason (to have a boyfriend), Bulma gets dragged into the craziness that comes along with the search. Even when the quest is finished, she still keeps close ties with Goku and his friends and helps out whenever possible. Which, considering she's a mechanical whiz, is quite often.

  • Adaptation Dye Job: Her hair is LAVENDER PURPLE in the manga (same with Bra). And now you know where the hell Trunks's hair color came from.
    • Well, her dad has lavender hair too.
  • Adult Child: Her sense of priorities can be even more skewered than Goku's when it comes to preserving her rapidly fading youth and good looks.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with In Dragon Ball, Bulma was attracted to Yamcha (then a bandit) due to a combination of both his roguish nature and hidden sensitive shy side.
    • Sometime during the timeskip, she goes for Omnicidal Maniac Vegeta.
    • Some of her one off attractions include Handsome Oolong, General Blue, Lucifer (Movie Only), Pamput, and Zarbon.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Bulma frequently goes crazy over attractive males.
  • Alliterative Name: Even in Japanese her full name uses the same first character.
  • Almighty Mom: Is this in the Buu saga.
  • Alpha Bitch: On her very bad days.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Bulma tends to express her fears and worries of the Z Fighters' safety with eruptive rage. Goku, Vegeta and especially Yamcha were most often targets. A good example can be seen here.
  • Blue Eyes: Her son and daughter inherit them.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: For most of the first series.
  • Butt Monkey: The anime Filler made her into this during the Freeza Saga..
  • The Chick
  • Commuting on a Bus: Remember when she was the CO-LEAD? Yeah, me neither. Though to be fair, her role is still pretty notable in the Namek, Android, and Cell sagas.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Goku and later to Gohan.
  • Ditzy Genius
  • Demoted to Extra: Z and GT.
  • Deuteragonist: Legacy of Goku Arc.
  • Epic Fail: Tried to use a remote to summon Nappa's left-over space pod and ended up blowing it up.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: She's known for this.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: How she fell for Vegeta.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: She invented the Dragon Radar, repaired a broken scouter, repaired #16 and built a Time Machine in an alternate timeline just to name a few.
  • He's All Grown Up: Bulma had this reaction to Goku after a Time Skip. She had previously seen him just as a cute kid.
  • Hot Mom: Must run in the family genes.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Vegeta, though Saiyans are Human Aliens.
  • Jerkass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Never quite matured past her selfish teenage girl phase.
  • Lost in Translation: The way Bulma calls Goku in Japanese, she mostly calls him Son (Son-kun), although that's his family name, she calls him that way to show how close and familiar she is with him while the rest of the cast calls him appropriately Goku; Bulma referring to Goku as Son in English would make many children scratch their heads in confusion, so it was completely dropped in the English localization, and curiously in some other countries as well.
    • The English manga did keep this in some instances, though.
  • Magnetic Hero: She was this in the very beginning of the series that got Goku to join her quest.
  • Meaningful Name/Theme Naming/Unfortunate Name: Like all of her family, she is named after underwear[1]. Goku lampshades this in the manga.
  • Morality Pet: To Yamcha in the Pilaf Saga and Vegeta in the Buu Saga.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Playboy Bunny suit being one of the earliest examples.
    • To take it further, she's the only female to appear naked in the entire series.
  • The Ojou: And is filthy rich to back it up.
  • Only Sane Man: Tries to be the voice of "the common people" amongst men who live by the Way of the Warrior.
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Goku, at least until he grew up...
  • Really Gets Around: Whether she actually succeeds in this is up to the individual viewer, but she certainly tries; even when she's dating Yamcha, she's prepared to dump him at the drop of a hat for Jackie Chun and General Blue, before they turn out to be old and evil, respectively (that Blue is also gay hinders things as well). Whether she cheated on Yamcha with Vegeta, or Yamcha cheated on her causing her to go to Vegeta, is one of the fandom's Base Breakers.
    • She also at one point fell for, you guessed it, Goku, when she saw He's All Grown Up. It's just too bad he got engaged on the same day...
  • Smoking Is Cool: Late into her adult life... being the wife of Vegeta would be stressful after all.
  • The Team Normal: Of the original five (Goku, Yamcha, Paur, Oolong, and herself), she is the only one with no powers. This remains such throughout the series.
  • Token Girl
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Chi-Chi and Lunch (in her normal form).
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Played with. Pilaf threatens Bulma with sexual torture, but then just blows her a kiss. When she says what she thought he was planning to do, she ends up freaking him out.
  • Unfazed Everyman
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: And hairstyles.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Possible. Would explain her falling for Yamcha and then for Vegeta, at any rate.
  • Wrench Wench

Master Roshi

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Master Roshi (武天老師; Muten Roushi)
AKA Kame Sen'nin (亀仙人)


Voiced by: Kouhei Miyauchi, Hiroshi Masuoka, Masaharu Satou (Japanese); Dean Galloway (Harmony Gold dub); Ian James Corlett, Peter Kelamis, Terry Klassen (Ocean dub); Mike McFarland (Funimation dub)


Goku's first mentor. A hermit whose home is located on a small island in the middle of the ocean. Very strong (at least at the start of the series) and with a keen eye. Also very perverted and usually hits on any pretty tail that comes his way.


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Yamcha (ヤムチャ; Yamucha)


Voiced by: Tohru Furuya (Japanese); Kerrigan Mahan (Harmony Gold); Ted Cole (Ocean dub); Victor Atelevich (Blue Water Dub); Christopher Sabat (Funimation dub)


Yamcha was a desert bandit, Bulma's first love, and Goku's first rival. Even in the original series, Yamcha was often used as the primary victim of the Worf Effect, hardly winning any important fights despite being one of the most powerful protagonists. By Z he was pretty much a target to show how tough the villains were, so much so that around the Buu Saga he gave up fighting entirely (except for fillers in which he somehow defeated enemies even Goku had trouble with a few years before).

Yamcha was the series' originator for a lot of the tropes and quirks that would later be popularized by characters like Krillin, Piccolo, and Vegeta. The rival-turned-friend, Butt Monkey, Mr. Exposition, and "bad boy" roles these characters fulfill all started with him. Even Gohan and Future Trunks draw from him: they both inherited his shy awkwardness, sword fighting, and long-haired character designs.

  • Adaptational Badass: He fares either worse or better in the anime. Yamcha does more in anime only battles and situations, but sometimes he comes off better in the manga version of events(an example of this is Yamcha had no trouble holding down Great Ape Goku in the manga).
  • Adorkable: Its even admitted In-Universe.
  • Animal Motifs: Oftentimes his aura will give him the appearance of a wolf even when he isn't using one of his Wolf Fang Techniques.
  • Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: In his debut Yamcha was this (except around Bulma). He lost most of this after his Heel Face Turn.
    • Yamcha usually has an Arrogant Kung Fu Guy moment every time he gets a large increase in power from training. Perhaps this trait of his was finally lost during his fight against Shen in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. Coming into the match, Yamcha was absolutely sure of his victory, but after being embarrassed by some of Shen's moves, Shen chastises Yamcha for his arrogance, saying that Yamcha's overconfidence on his own strength as well as his opponent's appearance made him blind to the subtlety of Shen's attacks. After listening to Shen's lecture, Yamcha seemed to have wised up, even managing to land a good hit on Shen before losing, and arguably becoming a lot more focused and dependable on the fights that followed.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Badass Abnormal: After training with Roshi.
    • Badass Long Hair: His most frequent hairstyle. He mentioned his short haircut was at Bulma's request and could be considered an example of him trying to change from a bandit to ordinary citizen.
    • Retired Badass: After the Cell games.
      • However, in the anime OVA special, he reveals that he still wears his fighting gi under his suit, suggesting that he still misses fighting.
  • Bishonen: Yamcha's been described as "Good looking in a boyish sort of way" and "a pretty boy." Very slightly lessened after he gets his scars.
  • Butt Monkey: Has it worse than Kuririn, from his first appearance it was always something of a Running Gag that Yamcha was unlucky. And while he puts up a fight, he NEVER gets past the first round of the tournament.
    • He never even gets to fight Vegeta and Nappa with the others; he gets distracted and killed off by a Suicide Attack of a seemingly dead Saibaman beforehand, Power level guides say Yamcha would've won too if he hadn't let his guard down. He also gets badly injured by Dr. Gero right at the start of the Androids saga. Oh, and then his girlfriend has Vegeta's baby. Poor guy just can't catch a break.
  • Combat Commentator/Mr. Exposition: Yamcha's apparently read up on all of the local legends and famous martial artists: he's able to identify Goku's bo staff, Master Roshi, Grandpa Gohan, Ox King, and the rabbit boss. He even knew that Roshi was the one who trained Gohan and Ox King, and that the two of them were best friends.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Inverted with Yamcha. He thought he was cursed with the inability to talk to or even be around women, and for that reason, once he learned about the existence of the Dragon Balls, he decided to use them to wish away his fear of women. Much to his surprise, by the end of a long period of time where he was forced to be around Bulma, Yamcha learned that his fear of women was all in his head, and that it was only when he consciously invoked it on himself that he felt uncomfortable around women. Shortly afterwards, he and Bulma started dating.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Yamcha's quite popular around women despite his shyness.
  • Cool Sword: Yamcha's scimitar in Dragon Ball
  • Commuting on a Bus: It's pretty easy to forget that he and Puar were among the first characters introduced into the story.
  • Can't Catch Up: Same as Kuririn.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Used to be like this to such a degree that he couldn't even be a around women without freaking out. After a while of being around Bulma in the Pilaf Arc, particularly an incident where he picked her up to get her to safety, Yamcha mostly got over his phobia. Though he sometimes still does show some nervous around beautiful women.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Thought it was initially a ruse, Yamcha came to befriend the group and turned good for real.
  • Demoted to Extra: Cell Saga, Buu Saga, and GT.
  • The Determinator: Yamcha's pretty eager to fight most of the time, he eagerly volunteered to fight King Piccolo when his leg was broken. Until he goes down against #20, at which point he calls it quits.
  • Designated Monkey: Really nothing good happened to him at all after the Freiza Saga.
  • Downer Ending: Yamcha is never seen accomplishing his dream to marry and have a family. In Dragon Ball GT he's even seen going back to his life alone in Diablo Desert. After the Cell Saga he also gave up martial arts and competing in tournaments, when both were things he loved to do.
  • Dub Text: Funimation changes his dialogue more then most characters. For example Bulma being mad at Yamcha for canceling a date due to being broke, became him taking another girl out to a concert in the dub. Even in Kai, Funimation changed a line of Yamcha saying he's got to help Goku with "I'll be there" to "I'll just watch".
    • Perhaps one of the most cruel cases happens in the Lookout, as Bulma fondly remembers Goku. Chi-Chi teases her, saying that Bulma is in love with Goku, but she should give up, because Chi-Chi is prettier. Yamcha then says that Chi-Chi looks very pretty today, which makes Chi-Chi upset, because that implies that she doesn't always look pretty. In the Dub Text, Chi-Chi suggests that, since Bulma likes Goku so much, they should trade husbands: Bulma gets Goku and Chi-Chi gets Vegeta. Yamcha then says that he is available, to which Chi-Chi responds that she wants an even trade, not a downgrade.
  • Easily Forgiven: Yamcha is generally shown as pretty forgiving, possibly due to being bad once himself. When Tenshinhan apologizes for breaking his leg, he just shrugs and says its nothing.
    • Once he stopped trying to prove he was better than Vegeta, they seemed to get along pretty well. He's even paid the prince a genuine compliment once or twice.
    • Hilariously, at one point, Tenshinhan criticizes Yamcha for making nice with Vegeta.
  • Enemy Mine: Helps Goku against the Rabbit mob.
  • The Everyman: He is perhaps one of the most relatable characters among the Z warriors. For instance, he is commonly seen wearing outfits other than his combat gear and he has been shown driving vehicles like sky cars and airships instead of flying everywhere like most of the other characters. He also has grounded interests like romance, sports and is actually concerned with having money, as opposed to most of the other protagonists, who do not seem to work at all and spend most of their time training. A notable example of how normal he is happens at the end of the Cell Saga, when the other protagonists are struggling to think of one last wish to be granted by Sheng Long. Yamcha suggests that, since nobody else could think of any important uses for that wish, they should wish for something for themselves, like lots of money. The other characters silently stare at him as if shocked that he would ever as much as consider using one of the wishes for purposes that are not altruistic. In response, Yamcha timidly apologizes and agrees to leave the last wish to Krillin.
  • Failure Hero: In Z Yamcha seldom wins clear victories outside of fillers (and never important ones). Though he's had his moments in filler.
  • Graceful Loser: Was polite and respectful to Jackie Chun and Kami when they beat him in the World Tournament. He was the first to clap when Tien decided to turn over a new leaf.
    • He's also very friendly to Trunks, his ex's son. They're shown watching TV together and Yamcha is the one who tells him about Vegeta's reaction to his death.
  • Genre Savvy: Yamcha eventually realizes that he really Can't Catch Up when he nearly gets killed by Android 20 and from then on stops trying to take center stage, giving up fighting after the Cell saga.
  • Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: In most of the RPGs, he has low defense but is the fastest and most damaging attacks.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: He was shown to do Training from Hell prior to the Buu Saga.
  • Heel Face Turn: One of the first of many throughout the series.
  • Image Song: Say what you want about the guy but he's got a very good one.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: He was the second student to learn it.
  • The Lancer: Sometimes holds this role, mainly in the absence of Krillin.
  • Like Brother and Sister: He maintained a close relationship with Bulma after their breakup. Even telling Future Trunks about Vegeta going Papa Wolf on Cell to make him feel better.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He was the first handsome adult male in the cast.
  • Mundane Utility: Uses his powers to become a pro baseball player.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: His Signature Move the Roga Fufu Ken(Wolf Fang Hurricane Fist), translated as Wolf Fang Fist. Also his improved version Shin Roga Fufu Ken or Neo Wolf Fang Fist in english.
  • Really Gets Around: According to Future Trunks, this is the reason Bulma eventually left him for Vegeta in that timeline. What's ironic is that Yamcha was initially extremely shy around girls at the start of the series and said he wanted to get married.
  • Redemption Demotion: Yamcha generally remained useful in Dragon Ball and in the first arc he and Puar actually saved everyone from Great Ape Goku. In "'Z Yamcha was really only useful for distracting villains or taking care of wounded characters.
  • The Rival: The very first one. Back then, he teamed up with Goku to save Bulma from the Toninjinka.
  • Roboteching: His Sokidan a.k.a. Spirit Ball.
  • Scars Are Forever: Its never revealed exactly how he got them. After Yamcha came back from his three year Training from Hell in the Timeskip, he had them on his face.
  • Shrinking Violet: A male example. At first Yamcha couldn't even be around women without blushing and fleeing the scene. Even after he hooked up with Bulma, he was still somewhat shy at times.
  • Taking the Bullet: Ever since his Heel Face Turn, Yamcha has been shown as willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. In one of the movies, he even painfully catches a boulder about to crush Bulma. His saibaman death was actually the result of him volunteering ahead to protect Krillin from a second and final death.
  • Training from Hell: Yamcha had been shown to go through this alot of the time, particularly when the date for the Martial Arts tournament nears. For the first tournament Yamcha trained alone in the wilderness for a month, the second time with Krillin under Roshi, and the third was for three straight years.
  • True Companions: Yamcha seemed to have become this for real with the gang when in Pilaf's desert oven. Even getting distressed when Ape Goku was attacked, hard to believe earlier he was planning to beat up Goku to steal the Dragon Balls.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Filler, at least, Yamcha sometimes does better. He defeated Recoome, a guy who beat Vegeta to within an inch of his life, while training on King Kai's planet. While training in Outerworld along with Krillin, he also defeated some of the top fighters in the tournament that Goku had won while he was there.
  • Tritagonist: Legacy of Goku Arc.
  • Twinkle Smile: It happened occasionally in the Dragon Ball anime.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: An extreme case of this. Yamcha and Bulma forged a relationship at 16 which continued to their mid thirties(over half his life). Yet Bulma ends up leaving him for Vegeta who had once killed Yamcha while trying to Take Over the World. You have to think about what keeps the guy going after that.
  • We Are Team Cannon Fodder: In DBZ.
  • Weak but Skilled: Yamcha's Spirit Ball is the first fully controllable ki attack shown in the series. While Yamcha was beaten handily by the powerful Shen in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, he managed to show his combat smarts by, after failing to hit Shen with his Spirit Ball, he made the energy ball travel underground and erupt under Shen's chin, catching him off guard. Shen even complimented Yamcha on his skills after the battle.
    • He was the second student of the Turtle school to master the kamehameha and surprised everyone by showing this in the 22nd Budokai.
  • The Worf Effect: Yamcha suffers from this as early as Dragon Ball, always losing in his first round in the three world tournaments he participates in to show how powerful Jackie Chun, Tien, and Hero/Shen/Kami are, despite his training.
  • X Marks the Hero: After the three year timeskip at the end of Dragon Ball.
  • Older Than They Look: Despite being an ordinary human, Yamcha looks about the same at 57 in Dragon Ball GT.


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Krillin (クリリン; Kuririn)


Voiced by: Mayumi Tanaka (Japanese); Terry Klassen (Ocean dub); Laurie Steele (Kid Krillin), Sonny Strait (Adult Krillin) (Funimation dub)


One of the few human characters who retained most of their screentime even in DBZ (even though it was mostly as a Comic Relief and by few we mean the only one). Started off as a rival to Goku when both trained under Muten Roshi when they were kids. He soon became a best friend and Heterosexual Life Partner to Goku and the two have been through thick and thin through their battles and lives.

  • Adorkable
  • Awesome but Impractical: His signature move, Kienzan, can cut through anything and is completely unblockable, but it's slow to produce, its aim is unwieldy and it can't be guided once launched.
  • Back from the Dead: Just about everyone did this but Krillin is notable for being the first and is tied with Chaozu for most deaths in the manga.
  • Badass Normal
  • Bald of Awesome: Until the Buu arc anyway.
    • Since childhood, he had been shaving his head - thinking great warriors like Roshi did that. He was embarrassed to learn that Roshi was naturally bald.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Son Gohan.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: In his first appearance.
  • Butt Monkey: He died the first major death in the entire series. Many more would follow. He even lampshades this in the film Super Android 13 by shouting "Why does this always happen to me?!" while being knocked away by Vegeta's unconscious body.
  • Can't Catch Up: Started out as the The Rival, fell further behind with each new storyline, although remaining very important.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: When he was younger. Seems to fade out with age.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Initially started out like this, using a pair of panties as a distraction against Jackie Chun/Master Roshi, asking Chaozu basic math questions to disrupt his psychic powers, and attempting to exploit Goku's Achilles' Heel by grabbing his tail during their fight in the Tournament. It's turned Up to Eleven in Z, where he takes on foes many times stronger than him with just his guts and dirty tactics.
  • Comic Relief: Basically his major role in 'Z' and the movies. (For example, disguising himself as Piccolo before saving Gohan, and then doing a cape twirl).
  • Dating Catwoman: Him married to Android 18 of course. He is a very mild while she is very spicy.
  • Deadly Disc: His Signature Move the Destructo Disk/Kienzan.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When he's not screaming in terror, the guy tends to be the wittiest character and the most likely to lampshade hang.
  • Demoted to Extra: GT.
  • The Determinator: It's very hard to keep this guy down. The only time he gives up is when faced with the Androids, and even then it's because he knows that even Vegeta and Piccolo don't stand a chance.
  • Deuteragonist: Until the 22nd Budokai starts.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: So kind-hearted that the Earth was almost destroyed thanks to his compassion for 18.
  • Dork Knight
  • Doting Parent: To his adorable little girl Marron.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: King Piccolo Saga.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Having lost the Tenka'ichi Budokai thrice, been killed twice, and had incredibly nightmarish battles against the Saiyans, Ginyu Force, and Freeza, Krillin finally achieves his dream of landing a girlfriend by the start of the Buu arc.
  • Fan Nickname: Called Pachinko-Head by Yajirobe.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Goku.
  • Friendly Target: Three times in the manga (which ties him with Chaozu), plus another two/three/no one is sure times in alternate timelines, plus another on GT. So, 3-7 times. Ouch.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's one heck of a strategic fighter.
  • Heel Face Turn: Krillin was started out as a bullying rival of Goku but became his best friend.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Goku.
  • Honorary Uncle: To Gohan.
  • Hot Dad: Having hair by the time he became one really helps.
  • Kamehame Hadoken
  • Kavorka Man: He may not be the most attractive of the series (although YMMV), but somehow he dated Maron, and married Android 18, to the surprise of the fans of the series.
  • The Krillin: The former Trope Namer, obviously.
  • The Lancer: Until Tien showed up, where he was shifted into The Smart Guy.
  • Moe Couplet: The fact that he can accept Android 18, thorny personality and all, further emphasizes what a sweet and nice fella he is.
  • Nice Guy: Moreso as a grown up, not that he wasn't nice as a kid.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Former Trope Namer.
  • Punny Name: His name is based on "kuri" (栗), which means "chestnut."
  • The Rival: Hell, his introductory episode was even called "Goku's Rival", though the two went from rivals to best friends almost immediately.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He kills three Saibaman with his Scattering Bullet special attack when Yamcha died to protect him. Goku always has one when Krillin dies.
  • Sacrificial Lion: First major good guy to die in the entire series.
  • Skintone Sclerae: While a staple of the early Toriyama style, he's the only major character to keep this trait. Interestingly, his earliest depiction didn't include them consistently.
  • The Smart Guy: This is what keeps him in the game until the end of the Freeza arc.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Oh, let us count the ways... Krillin (Funimation), Kuririn (Viz, also the literal transliteration), Kulilin (wears hats with this on it in the manga), Klilyn (most Bandai toys and in some cel art by Toei)...
    • Despite his name having been spelt as "Kulilin" in the manga, the name "Kuririn" involves a play on "kuri", the Japanese word for "chestnut" (this is joked about, with reference to his bald head, at one stage) - likely, "Kulilin" is the result of liberal transliteration of Japanese ("l" and "r" sounds are indistinct), and "Krillin" is supposed to be an adaptation that is better suited for the foreign palate.
  • Story-Breaker Power: This trope is probably the reason he never uses the Solar Flare and the Destructo Disc together to defeat any of his opponents.
  • Taken for Granite: Along with Piccolo.
  • Talking to Himself: He and Yajirobe are voiced by Mayumi Tanaka. (This is because Goku notes, in the manga, that they sound alike.)
  • Tender Tears: Sensitivity, thy name is Krillin.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: to C-18, who's the tallest female character in the series.
  • We Are Team Cannon Fodder: Subverted. Yes, he's part of Team Cannon Fodder, but Krillin always gets a few good hits in against the villain of the day, and he doesn't lose his importance as a character until the Buu arc.
  • Weak but Skilled: Not having nowhere near as much raw strength or ki, he is a seriously cunning fighter. He ran rings around Nappa and Freeza when they tried to kill Gohan, and played a major part in the battle with Vegeta.
    • More notable is that he managed to develop a technique that could seriously wound or kill an opponent easily a hundred times his strength. He just never hits anyone with it.
      • Except, you know, Frieza.
    • During their "image training" on the way to Namek, when Kuririn compliments Gohan on his strength, Gohan tells him he was surprised by just how many different techniques Kuririn threw at him.


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Tien (天津飯; Tenshinhan)


Voiced by: Hirotaka Suzuoki (Dragon Ball, Z and GT), Hikaru Midorikawa (Kai) (Japanese); Matt Smith [2] (Ocean dub); Chris Cason, John Burgmeier (Funimation dub)


Introduced in the second Budokai arc, Tenshinhan (Tien) and Chaozu were initially rivals to Goku, Kuririn and Yamcha (as they belonged to an opposing dojo to Roshi's). The two eventually become friends to our heroes after realizing the lack of honor in their own methods. They become instrumental in the the next few arcs following their introduction, but by Z their roles had become less and less till they were reduced to cameo appearances and a few references in Dragon Ball GT.


Tien: Poor Yamcha. The only thing more pathetic then a loser is a loser who thinks he's born to win.

    • Badass and Child Duo: Tien and Chiaoutzou in Dragon Ball. Mess with the kid and he'll tear you apart.
    • Handicapped Badass: He lost his left arm during his fight with Nappa. It didn't stopped him from continuing the fight.
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Balloon Belly
  • Berserk Button: Hurting Chiaotzu, who is like a little brother to Tenshinhan.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tenshinhan gets some pretty awesome ones.
  • The Big Guy: Until his resurrection.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: In his fight against Goku during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, Tien, who was starting to feel overpowered by Goku's tremendous stamina and having several of his techniques outdone by Goku's very own, ingenuously decided that, if he could not knock Goku unconscious or push him out of the platform, he would simply destroy the entire platform; that way, Goku would lose by ring out because there would be no platform left to stand on. Tien, who possesses the ability to fly, did not have that problem. He managed to destroy the platform with his powerful Kikoho attack, but instead of simply waiting for Goku, who had jumped very high to escape the blast, to hit the ground, Tien decided to fly close to him, accompanying Goku as he fell down, in order to gloat about his inevitable victory. That opened an opportunity for Goku to use one last attack that knocked Tien unconscious, and now both fighters were falling to the ground. Subverted because Tien, by a stroke of luck, actually won the fight, but he was arguably in worse physical condition than Goku by the end of it.
  • Broken Pedestal: Tenshinhan idolized the assassin Tao Pai Pai, until he realized Tao Pai Pai had no honor.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: He did manage a joke. Once. But it took rigorous discipline and concentration.
  • Can't Catch Up: He lasted a little longer then Yamcha and Krillin and was still useful after he fell behind though.
  • Cast From HP: Tenshinhan's Kikouhou (Tri Beam) drains your life and will kill you if you use it too much.
  • Characterization Marches On: Upon his introduction, Tien was an arrogant fighter who enjoyed taunting and mocking his opponents, and even had a somewhat acid sense of humor, like when, after an accidentaly humorous and rather embarrassing exchange between Roshi's students, Tien mockingly suggests that comedy must be one of the disciplines taught at the Kame school of martial arts. Once he changed sides, Tien became a lot more serious and composed, rarely smiling and so humorless that he is shown struggling to tell a simple joke.
    • That's likely because his earlier humor was mean spirited and not meant with any sense of irony. As he became nicer and more emphatic that kind of humor probably would be hard for him to pull up again.
  • The Determinator: He has no problem rushing into battle with opponents he knows he can't beat.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Subverted. Tenshinhan actually won; Goku didn't beat him until the next tournament.
  • Demoted to Extra: Buu Saga and GT. He shows up again to fight in the Buu Saga only to be one-shotted.
  • Doppelganger Attack: His Multiform technique, unfortunately the copies are weaker than the original.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In his early appearances, he displayed an acidic sense of humor:

Tenshinhan (To Yamcha): For someone who doesn't speak pain, you sound very fluent.

  • Deuteragonist: From the 22nd Budokai to the end of Dragon Ball.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To Crane Hermit. He's stronger, but still follows orders until his Heel Face Turn.
  • Enemy Mine: After Piccolo Daimaou attacks, Kuririn is dead, Yamcha has a broken leg and Goku is off trying to beat up Kuririn's killer. Ergo, Tien & Chaozu get recruited by Roshi to gather the DragonBalls before Piccolo gets to them.
    • Ten notes this as much, saying even though he acknowledges his previous actions as wrong, he still considers him and Chaozu as Tsuru'sennin's students, and simply asking for forgiveness won't be enough.
  • Epiphany Therapy
  • Extra Eyes: Has a third eye on his forehead for unexplained reasons (Chaozu is the one with psychic powers).
  • Finger Gun: The Dodon Ray/Dodompa.
  • Flight: One of the first characters in the series to fly, as it is the signature technique of his martial arts school.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The scar on Tenshinhan's chest is a memento of his tournament battle with Tao Pai Pai, who had hidden a knife in his cybernetics.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Tien is the only character among the human Z fighters who has no interest in living a normal life and he spends most of his time training, even during peaceful times. Unfortunately, all of his effort is still not enough to put him in the same league as the Saiyans or Piccolo, making his usefulness against the incredibly powerful enemies the Z fighters must go up against very limited.
  • Heel Face Turn
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Chaozu.
  • Honor Before Reason
  • Kamehame Hadoken: He copied it off of Yamcha.
  • Kick the Dog: His and Chaozu's introduction chapter. For Ten, also breaking Yamcha's leg after he was already defeated and unconscious.
  • Odd Friendship: Hints of it with Piccolo in the Cell arc.
  • Older Than They Look: Looks the same age in GT.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Though Tenshinhan does lose importance later on, it's still arguable that he's the strongest earthling in the series whose power is entirely his own (thus excluding the cybernetically enhanced Androids and magically enhanced Uub). Of all the human characters, Tenshinhan has won the most battles, having defeated Yamcha, Goku, Tao Pai Pai, and Jeice and Burter (in the anime filler). That's not too bad considering he's a human.
    • The issue of Krillin vs. Tien as the strongest human is one of DBZ's biggest Base Breakers and continues to rage.
    • Ten also suffers the most awesome death amongst the Worf characters, and manages to keep Cell at bay in his second Imperfect form and this was all after losing an arm seconds into the fight.
      • Later on, he proved to be one of the only survivors Buu's Extinction Attack (along with Hercule and the other Z-Fighters atop Kame's Lookout, who were not targeted) and managed to save Dende and Hercule's lives by deflecting one of Super Buu's energy blasts. Of course, he was in no way capable of actually fighting Buu in any capacity and proceeded to get knocked out by a single kick.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Tien has no spoken lines in Yo, Son Goku and His Friends are Back! special for Shonen Jump 40th anniversary due Hirotaka Suzuoki not being among the living anymore, Toei Animation felt the reason to pay their respects this way because the entire original cast came back to voice their characters, only Tien would've been the odd one out.
  • Redemption Demotion: When he was first introduced as an antagonist, his powers were as great as Goku's. After he became one of the good characters, he was surpassed by Goku and, as the series developed, his powers were thoroughly outclassed by the saiyans, Piccolo and most enemies.
  • Shirtless Scene/Walking Shirtless Scene: Tenshinhan mostly fights topless.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: One of the only people with this ability.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Don't forget Tien Shinhan/Tenshinhan...
  • Sphere of Destruction: His Kikouhou/Tri-Beam, though its actually more of a square.
  • Supporting Leader: During the King Piccolo Saga.
  • Tame His Anger: Master Roshi specifically wanted to do this with Tien. And he's one of the first major character to do it (Yamcha and Krillin weren't really angry).
  • Third Eye
  • We Are Team Cannon Fodder: In DBZ, though he does get one decent fight in the Cell arc (see You Shall Not Pass).
  • Weak but Skilled: He possesses an incredible repertoire of techniques (including growing a pair of extra arms). If you look at the most commonly seen and used techniques and abilities almost half of them were Tien's.
    • Some of those techniques are the aforementioned Doppelganger Attack, and a flash of light that blinds the opponent. He and Chiaotzu were also the first main characters in the series to be shown to possess the ability to fly.
  • The Worf Effect
  • You Shall Not Pass: Tien kept Cell (In his Semi-Perfect form) pinned down using his Neo Tri-Beam, so that #18 could get away and hide until the Saiyans completed their training. Note this is pretty late in the Z series, and he was useless in hand to hand combat compared to the now-Super Saiyans. Also, it was only not a Heroic Sacrifice because of Goku's instant transmission and a holy bean.


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Piccolo (ピッコロ; Pikkoro)


Voiced by: Hiromi Tsuru (Kid Piccolo), Toshio Furukawa (Adult[3] Piccolo) (Japanese); Scott McNeil (Ocean dub); Christopher Sabat (Funimation dub)


A Namekian (a race of green skinned aliens), though at the start this wasn't really known; he was the son of the self-proclaimed Demon King Piccolo, who Goku defeated in the original series. After being spat out as an egg and hatched. Piccolo tried to carry on his father's work but was defeated by Goku and allowed to live. As the series rolls into the Z saga, his evil exterior softens due to training Son Gohan, and eventually becoming a second father to the kind-hearted little boy during Goku's frequent deaths. The one-time Demon King eventually becomes one of Goku's most trusted allies, and incredibly popular amongst the fanbase.

  • Alien Blood: Piccolo's blood was originally red in Dragon Ball and early episodes of DBZ (it was turned green in early episodes of the original dub), but after he was established as an alien, he is shown to have purple blood, like his fellow Nameks.
  • Anti-Hero: Type III
  • The Atoner: Of a sort. He never expresses regret over his past actions, but definitely works off his bad karma.
  • Avenging the Villain: Well, technically himself, since he's the reincarnation/son of King Piccolo.
  • Badass: One of the series' biggest.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Piccolo swooping in out of nowhere to rescue Gohan is so prevalent in the movies that the tenth finally tosses it a Lampshade Hanging: this time, Kuririn is the one who rescues Gohan... while dressed up as Piccolo.
  • Big Good: Sometimes.
  • The Coats Are Off: When Piccolo removes his weighted cape, some poor fool's getting a major beat down!
  • Characterization Marches On: Piccolo Jr was a cackling, raving psychopath in the 23rd Budokai saga, often prone to shouting and Slasher Smiles. In the following saga (the beginning of Z), he's suddenly much more composed and only occasionally gives a Psychotic Smirk.
    • He had spent the whole time rigorously training to get better than Goku. He could have become more subdued after being so humbled and becoming more stoic could have been something he worked on as well.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Eventually.
  • Demoted to Extra: Arguably in the Buu Saga and definitely in GT.
  • Doting Parent: He's so gentle and kind towards his surrogate child Son Gohan one tends to forget that he was ever a Demon King. Some fans even argue he is a better father than Goku.
  • Enemy Without
  • Finger Gun: Makankōsappō (Special Beam Cannon).
  • Fusion Dance: Merges with two other Namekians throughout the series. Though both of them say his personality won't change, there are subtle differences.
  • Genius Bruiser: Due to doubling as The Smart Guy and The Lancer.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Even after his Heel Face Turn, he was generally aloof and distant to the human characters, some of them considered him outright scary, while he spared his gentler side for Gohan. Shoot, he even invoked this when he acted as if Z-Senshi weren't his allies when he reluctantly decided to merge with Kami. He's also pretty ruthless in battle, at one point severing Dr. Gero's arm (though he originally assumed he was just an android), and bifurcating Babidi.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal
  • Heel Face Turn
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He died protecting Gohan during the Vegeta Saga. In GT, he stays with the exploding Earth to keep the Black Star Dragon Balls from being used again.
  • Hot Dad - Adoptive second-dad to be exact, but still hot.
  • Humanity Is Infectious - "Pathetic... to think that Demon King Piccolo would fall... protecting a child... I have been.... contaminated... by you... and your father's decency... Gohan."
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Masenko.
  • The Lancer: Both kinds - he's Goku's foil until the end of the Freeza arc, and after that he takes the role of trusted second-in-command.
  • Large and In Charge: The tallest Z-Fighter, and the one most likely to lead the team into battle when Goku's not there (which is often).
  • Literally Shattered Life: He is accidentally shattered by Kid Trunks when he's turned to stone. Subverted because it's a Good Thing He Can Heal.
  • Literal Split Personality: He's the reincarnation of King Piccolo, who was Kami's evil side made flesh.
  • Love Redeems - Even Demons.
  • Manly Tears - See Humanity Is Infectious Above.
  • Nice Hat: One of the few people who can make a turban look completely bad-ass.
  • Noble Demon: More so after Z starts.
  • The Obi-Wan: To Gohan in the Saiyan arc. Subverted in that Gohan brings Piccolo Back from the Dead and they reunite on the battlefield.
  • Obsolete Mentor: By the end of the Cell arc, Gohan has surpassed him in every way, but their bond is as strong as ever.
  • Odd Friendship: Hints of it with Tien in the Cell arc.
  • Overprotective Dad: Even when Gohan becomes far more powerful than he will ever be, Piccolo would still lay his life down to protect the boy.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: But not so much that he loses plot importance. When he Can't Catch Up after the Cell arc, he switches roles to The Mentor for the younger heroes.
  • Papa Wolf: Not even Freeza could withstand his wrath when he tried to murder Son Gohan.
  • Promotion to Parent: To Son Gohan, whenever Son Goku is dead or missing.
  • Purple Is Powerful
  • Redemption Equals Death
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: When he first started training Gohan, he had no qualms about throwing him at a sheer cliff to trigger his hidden power, and followed that up by leaving him in a wasteland filled with dinosaurs for half a year. He made up for it.
  • The Smart Guy: In the Cell arc.
  • Straight Man: Especially while paired with Gotenks.
  • Supporting Leader
  • Taken for Granite: In the Buu Saga thanks to Dabura.
  • Taking the Bullet: For Gohan in the Saiyan arc, and Goku in the anime version of the Freeza arc.
  • Talking to Himself: In the Japanese version of Dragon Ball GT, Piccolo and General Blue share the same seiyuu. Also, in the FUNimation dub, he has the same voice actor as Vegeta.
  • Tame His Anger: This had a lot to do with his friendship with Gohan.
  • Team Dad: It is so worth noting that he's probably the most sensible, level-headed character in the entire series, and the other characters often defer to him in a crisis. He's the responsible one who always has a plan and probably the most protective of Earth. Also tends to get stuck training or babysitting the younger characters.
    • Not to mention he's probably the smartest. After fusing with Kami (aka God) he became much more intelligent, not to say that he was stupid. It's no wonder they come to him for advice when he possesses the wisdom of God.
    • Gets even funnier when you realize that, technically speaking, he's one of the youngest characters. He's only four years older than Gohan--making him something like sixteen years younger than Goku!
    • Technically speaking, he is a mind that is hundreds of years old inside of a much younger body.
  • Theme Naming: After a musical instrument which he (his dad) and his siblings are all named after.
  • Took a Level In Kindness: Three times. Once after training Gohan, once after merging with Nail, and once after reuniting with Kami.
  • Tritagonist: Saiyan Saga. He and Vegeta trade the position throughout the Freeza and Cell arcs.
  • You Killed My Father: Towards Goku (well, technically, its revenge towards Goku having killed him, as he is the reincarnation of his father, King Piccolo).

Son Gohan

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Son Gohan (孫 悟飯)


Voiced by: Masako Nozawa (Japanese)
Kid Gohan voiced by: Saffron Henderson, Jillian Michaels (Ocean dub); Stephanie Nadolny (Dragon Ball, Z and GT), Colleen Clinkenbeard (Kai) (Funimation dub)
Adult Gohan voiced by: Brad Swaile (Ocean dub), Kyle Hebert (Funimation dub)
Future Gohan voiced by: Dameon Clarke (Funimation dub)


Son of Goku and Chi-Chi introduced in the Z series, and a half Saiyan (he starts off having a tail like Goku did). At first was just a child crybaby with hidden strength. But under the tutelage of Piccolo and his experiences in battle, turns into quite an accomplished warrior. Unfortunately for him, he hates violence and would rather be a scholar.

  • Adorably Precocious Child: As a kid.
  • Adorkable: Teenage Gohan
  • Audience Surrogate: Gohan is the sensitive, down to Earth every-boy that the audience can easiest relate to amongst all the warriors.
  • Badass
    • Badass Adorable: Even when his gorgeous little brother Goten took the Moe status away from him, he became the ideal boyfriend amongst otaku fangirls.
    • Badass Bookworm
    • Badass Cape: Gets one like Piccolo's for the Cell Games.
    • Future Badass: In the Trunks The Story/Resistance To Despair!! Gohan and Trunks, The Last Super Warriors side story.
    • Handicapped Badass: Future Gohan becomes one after he loses an arm fighting the androids.
  • Battle Couple: When teaming with Videl as Saiyaman and Saiyagirl, respectively.
  • Being Good Sucks: Future Gohan is a very good example of this. After witnessing his father and all of his friends die at the hands of the androids, Gohan went into hiding in order to train himself to become strong enough to challenge this new threat. He spent his entire adult life challenging the androids to no avail, watching as countless innocents died at the hands of the monstrous duo. His reward for all of his self-sacrfice was to lose his left arm, and in the next and final fight between him and his two nemesis, Gohan was completely outmatched and left for dead, with his face down on the ground of the wreckage of yet another city he failed to protect. And then a sad rain starts pouring over his battered, crippled corpse. It's amazing how Trunks didn't have all of his spirit sapped way at such a tragic sight.
  • Berserk Button: You can pound him into dog food, but hurt his loved ones or any Innocent Bystander in front of him and...
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Especially when he's in Super Saiyan 2.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Future Trunks in the alternate timeline; slightly less so to Goten and Present Trunks in the main series timeline. Kuririn is this to him.
  • Boring but Practical: "Mystic" Gohan doesn't look flashy (he doesn't even go Super Saiyan), but is on par with Super Saiyan 3 and doesn't require Gohan to spend energy or put any strain on his body to use it.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Gohan...
  • The Cape (trope): Parodies this as a Shout-Out to Super Sentai with The Great Saiyaman.
  • Character Development: Arguably undergoes the most in Z, appropriate to his aging throughout the series. Notably, his entire subplot in the Saiyan Saga revolves around his growth from a cowardly "spoiled brat" to standing up to his fears and being able to fight.
  • Child Prodigy: In both fighting and academics.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: One of Gohan's defining characteristics. He absolutely cannot bring himself to pass up someone in need. This leads to his friendship with Dende, becoming Saiyaman, and arguably his eventual death fighting the androids in the other timeline.
  • Dark Messiah: Even if Son Gohan himself is an angel, the cold-blooded and sadistic Super Saiyan Level 2 Son Gohan who saved the world most certainly is not.
  • Dead Guy, Junior: Named after Goku's adopted grandfather.
  • Demoted to Extra: GT.
  • Dork Knight
  • Deuteragonist: Though he's demoted to Tritagonist during the Buu Saga.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: "There is no way I'm gonna let my girlfriend kiss that old relic!" after several instances of denying anything more than friendship with Videl.
  • Dogged Nice Guy
  • Father, I Don't Want to Fight: Until provoked by Cell that is....
  • Friend to All Living Things: Has his father's tendency to love and befriend animals.
  • Genius Bruiser: One of the most powerful members of the cast, and also one of the smartest.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: His father's a Saiyan, his mother's a human.
  • Happily Ever After/High School Sweethearts: Meets his wife on his first day of high school.
  • Honor Before Reason: Will protect the innocent no matter what.
  • Hot Dad: At the end of the series. We still wish Pan had followed Bra's example and destroyed those glasses...
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: If he wanted to he'd be the most powerful being in the entire universe, but he'd much rather have a normal life... he does succeed for a little while, but then everything goes to hell again.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Like his father, he turns into a great ape whenever he looks at the full moon while he has his tail, which was once used to the heroes' advantage as a last resort in the battle against Vegeta.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Having grown up with literally everyone in his life having superhuman powers, he doesn't realize that normal people cannot effortlessly jump 30 feet into the air.
  • Kamehame Hadoken
  • Licked by the Dog: Leading us to...
  • Martial Pacifist: Has the potential to be the strongest person in the universe; hates watching people get hurt.
  • The Messiah: Like father, like son.
  • Messianic Archetype: In the original Japanese version of the chapter where he achieves Super Saiyan 2 and saves the world from Cell's genocidal killing-spree ("Son Gohan Erupts!!"), the subtitle blurb of the chapter cover is "Savior, Thy Name is Son Gohan!!" This of course, is butchered-and-mangled into "A great fighter, his name is Gohan" in the English version to avoid offending the religious.
  • Minored in Asskicking.
  • Morality Pet: To Piccolo.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Grown up Gohan.
  • My Death Is Only the Beginning: Future Gohan to the Androids: "There is no end for me! NO END!"
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Even when wearing orange pants and heavy glasses!
  • Nice Guy: One of the most unambiguously kind characters in the whole franchise.
  • The Obi-Wan: To Trunks in the Bad Future.
  • Oblivious to Love: Endearingly and completely clueless about Videl's affections towards him until it's spelled out in black and white. Once that happens, he tries to deny his own feelings toward her for a while, but it doesn't last long at all.
  • Out of Focus: After being one of the primary protagonists during the entirety of Dragonball Z, his role in GT is little more than a cameo at times.
  • Power Strain Blackout: When Gohan first goes SSJ2 he triggers it for only a second then passes out. This was seen in one of Goku's flashbacks of their training in the time chamber and was the moment that convinced him that Gohan could beat Cell if he could sustain that power.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Oh dear god yes.
  • Punny Name: Saiyaman! (Remember that hito/jin means "person".)
  • Purple Is Powerful: Subverted in the actual Big Bad fights in the Freeza and Buu arcs.
  • Secret Identity: The Great Saiyaman
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Denied anything going on between him and Videl. At first....
  • Spiky Hair: His hair as a teenager is spiked up by default.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: His transformation into a cold-blooded and sadistic Super Saiyan 2 is chilling, to say the least.
  • Tagalong Kid: Until the Cell Arc.
  • Talking to Himself: See Goku's entry.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Of the Adorkable/Nerds Are Sexy kind in the Buu arc. He's even taller than Goku.
  • Tender Tears: It is quite tragic that one so powerful is born with a heart this kind.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: In fact, he's got so much innate potential that he is told by Guru that he is capable of unlocking only a small portion of it, the rest of which is later manifested as Super Saiyan 2 and fully unleashed by Elder Kai.
  • Took Over Nine Thousand Levels In Badass: Throughout all of Z but mainly achieving Super Saiyan 2.
  • Training from Hell: The poor kid suffered this under Piccolo, and when he finally escaped it he suffered this under Chi Chi. Totally worth it, mind.
  • Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes: Look at the picture.
  • Unskilled but Strong: According to Raditz's scouter, his power level as an emotional four-year-old dwarfs that of trained adults Goku and Piccolo. Unlike the other characters, Gohan is very rarely training to become stronger, per se. Gohan's training is usually about accessing the huge amounts of latent power he already has. As a result, he's rarely shown utilizing different techniques or strategies, he tends to either get tossed around like a rag doll or overwhelm his opponents with sheer brute force.
  • Unstoppable Rage: What Gohan's "hidden powers" usually manifest as.
  • Use Your Head: Used effectively against his uncle Raditz.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Not so much towards Goku, who he loves anyway, but towards his second-father Piccolo. Thankfully, the love is fully returned from the Demon King.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him: A rare non-villainous example. Gohan has been known to not use his full power to end a contest quickly, largely because he lacks his father's tactical skill and Vegeta's killer instinct. This bites him in the ass on more than one occasion, particularly during the Cell Saga.
  • You Leave Him Alone: Invoked for the first time to stop Raditz from beating Goku to death, and with spectacular regularity later on.


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Vegeta (ベジータ; Bejiita)


Voiced by: Ryo Horikawa (Japanese); Brian Drummond, Saffron Henderson (Kid Vegeta) (Ocean dub); Christopher Sabat (Funimation dub)


The royal prince of all Saiyans and, next to Goku, one of the few surviving of his kind. Started out as a villain who came to Earth to use the DragonBalls 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... somewhat.


(to Nappa) "A paralyzed Saiyan has no further need to live. Die!!"

  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: On Namek.
  • Berserk Button: Despite his attempts to be a "Well Done, Son" Guy father, threatening or hurting his children and wife can easily send him into an Unstoppable Rage.
  • The Berserker
  • Big Bad: Of the Saiyan/Vegeta Saga. Though, it could be argued that as he was still under Freeza, and fans argue that the Saiyans' arrival was part of the Freeza arc, he was more of a Dragon with an Agenda.
  • Blood Knight: Takes this Saiyan trait to extremes to the point 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.
  • 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.
  • Byronic Hero
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: During Gohan's Beam-O-War against Cell, Vegeta wouldn't help the Z Fighters in trying to aid Gohan because he didn't think they could do anything. Then at the last minute, Vegeta shoots a powerful beam strong enough to distract Cell and allow Gohan to win the battle.
  • Character Development: Goes from being a massive arrogant Jerkass of villain at the start of Z to an honorable warrior and close friend at the very end. He's still kind of a prick though.
    • Accepting that Goku is better than him at the end of Z is without a doubt the biggest step in that direction.
  • Child Soldier
  • Combat Pragmatist: 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.
    • Also, in an Earlier battle with Zarbon, he proved he wasn't above throwing dirt in his eye, then attacking from behind.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mostly when he's trash-talking his opponents.
  • Demoted to Extra: Arguably in GT.
  • Doting Parent: To his daughter, Bra/Bulla, and Trunks to a lesser extent.
  • 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.
  • Genius Bruiser: When he swallows his pride and uses his head, he becomes this.
  • Genre Savvy: To the point of killing people Goku defeats because he knows Goku won't. (see: Ginyu Force)
  • 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.
  • Good Is Not Nice: After his Heel Face Turn; he's still cold and aloof, but he genuinely cares for his family.
  • Gratuitous English: In the Japanese version, he is the only major character to have English signature moves, namely "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."
  • 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).
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: Same hair like his dad King Vegeta.
  • Honor Before Reason: Much like Goku, though with a distinctly Saiyan-centric cultural influence to it.
  • Hot-Blooded: Even if it does lead to a lot of trouble for the Z-fighters he still looks cool talking about the hurt he's going to deliver.
  • Hot Dad: He was the first anime crush of many an adolescent girl... and some guys too.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: While he may not win most of his fights, Vegeta is arguably the biggest tank in the series. It takes something special to kill Vegeta, like a punctured HEART or the man himself. This is one of two guys who got up and kept fighting pretty well after being hit with a Spirit Bomb.
  • Human Aliens
  • Humiliation Conga: Happens at least Once a Season.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: A variation: "I am Vegeta, Prince of the Saiyan Warrior Race!!"
  • Insistent Terminology: Makes a point of always calling Goku by his Saiyan name Kakarot, because he believes that Goku should take pride in his Saiyan heritage. The times he's ever spoken the name "Goku" can be counted on one hand.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Bulma.
  • Jerkass --> Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ends up becoming the latter in the last saga.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: His Galick Gun and Final Flash.
  • Large Ham: His ham level is OVER 9000!!!
  • The Lancer: After the Freeza arc, acting as a foil to the other Z fighters.
  • Leitmotif: Appropriately named "Hell's Bells."
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's actually 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.
      • 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, on the other hand, is pretty much 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.
  • Manly Tears: To Goku describing how Freeza 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.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The reason female readership went up after his appearance. He was the first manga/anime crush of many a fangirl.
  • The Napoleon: Short and perpetually filled with rage? You betcha!
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken
  • Noble Demon: Became this by the end of the Freeza arc. Whilst he still wasn't a remotely nice person, he wasn't anywhere near as evil as he used to be.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Towards Kakarot of course.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Most Triumphant Example for manga and anime.
  • Psychotic Smirk: One of the most iconic users of this trope in anime. If he's not scowling, he's doing this.
  • Pure Is Not Good: He achieved Super Saiyan without having a pure good heart.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Former Trope Namer
  • 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 Majin Buu Saga.
      • 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 Equals Heroic Sacrifice (against Majin Buu)
  • Redemption in the Rain: He actually subverts it when he SCREAMS the rain clouds away.
  • Retired Monster: At the end of the Freeza arc, 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 arc.
  • The Rival: Goku's biggest one.
  • Royal Blood
  • Royal Brat
  • Shirtless Scene: Particularly when training for the coming androids.
  • Sixth Ranger: To the Z-Fighters on Namek.
  • 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: To the extreme.
  • 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.
  • Sphere of Destruction: His Finishing Move the Big Bang Attack.
  • The Starscream: To Freeza.
  • Supporting Leader: During the final fight against Kid Buu, and briefly against Majin Buu.
  • Talking to Himself: In the FUNimation dub, Chris Sabat plays Vegeta, Piccolo AND Yamcha. While the latter doesn't have too much screen time, it doesn't change the fact that Sabat is talking to himself a majority of the time, ESPECIALLY through most of the Saiyan arrival scenes.
    • Notable that Sabat once said that he wanted to get Scott McNeil to be Piccolo in the dub of Kai, which would've largely averted this trope the second time around. Flying someone all the way over from Canada to Texas for a voice acting job is unfortunately not always feasible…
  • 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 Freeza. Pointed out by the narrator in the manga and King Kai in the anime.
  • 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 Humanoid Alien inhabitants.
  • Token Evil Teammate: After his Heel Face Turn.
  • Tritagonist: Though he's promoted to Deuteragonist in the Buu Saga.
  • Troubled but Cute: In-universe, this is his appeal to Bulma.
  • Tsurime Eyes
  • The Unfettered: As "Majin" Vegeta.
  • Villain Protagonist: During the Frieza Saga.
  • Villainous Rescue: On Namek when he saves Krillin and Gohan from Guldo and then saving Gohan again from Freeza.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Has full control of his Ōzaru form and has a technique specifically to artificially create full moonlight in order to transform when there is no moonlight.
  • Warrior Prince: The ultimate Anime-example.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Well, he seems to try to be a standoffish father to (main timeline) Trunks, but his son never takes him seriously.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After first losing his tail Vegeta points out that it dosn't matter since it'll grow back again soon. Then it's never mentioned again.
  • The White Prince: While he was spoiled rotten by the standards of Saiyan culture (and pissed off by exactly how much), he nevertheless was trained at a very early age how to handle himself on the battlefield.
  • 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."
  • Worf Effect: Serves this role from the Freeza Saga forward.
  • Worthy Opponent: How he sees Goku by the end of the series.


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Trunks Briefs (トランクス ブリーフ; Torankusu Buriifu)


Voiced by: Takeshi Kusao (Japanese)
Kid Trunks voiced by: Cathy Weseluck (Ocean dub), Laura Bailey (Funimation dub)
Adult Trunks voiced by: Allistair Abell (Ocean dub), Eric Vale (Funimation dub)
Baby Trunks voiced by: Stephanie Nadolny (Funimation dub)


Son of Vegeta and Bulma. There are actually two versions of him in the story. When first introduced, he is a traveler from an alternate future where androids have destroyed much of the world. Comes to the main timeline to warn Goku and his friends of their fate and then sticks around to make sure none of it comes to pass.

Future timeline

  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best In People/Misery Builds Character: Growing up After the End made this Trunks responsible, polite and selfless.
  • Badass
  • Bad Future: Where he came from.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Like his mentor, Gohan, he's shy, polite, kind, and values the sanctity of life. Also like his mentor, if you violate that sanctity in front of him, he will do his damndest to end you. And, as other tropes attest, he's perfectly capable of ruthlessness.
  • The Big Guy: His fights mostly showcase his raw strength.
  • Big No: (In)famously in the English dub.
    • Also in Kai.
  • Bishonen: The most stand out example of the cast.
  • Blue Eyes: Like his mother and unlike the other black-haired Saiyans when he debuted which threw many for a loop.
  • Breakout Character: His importance in video games is something to be amazed with. That's where his attacks got named in the first place. In Final Bout he's treated as a separate character even tough there's other two grown-up Trunks in the game already. In Shin Budokai and Heroes, Trunks is The Protagonist and a Supporting Protagonist respectively. Also the latest video games are fond of giving the Super Saiyan 3 transformation to other Saiyans besides Goku but they're just thrown in with no proper build up. Trunks' transformation, however, is an important plot ticket in Heroes and got an animation just for it.
    • During the Cell Saga, in Japan's Character poll Trunks ranked higher than both Vegeta and Piccolo.
    • Future Trunks is one of the main characters in Dragon Ball Online and Dragon Ball Xenoverse (thanks the main character being a mute, he actually has the most lines in the game).
  • Break the Cutie: Growing up After the End was one thing but particularly finding his Big Brother Mentor Gohan dead at age 13.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Averted - he's actually pretty quiet during battle and his attacks only get named in the video games.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: A rare heroic example when he goes Ultra Super Saiyan against Perfect Cell.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Bless him, he tries to fight according to "common sense." He does have a sense of honor, but that's for friendly sparring matches or tournament bouts only; when it comes to saving innocent lives, he'll do whatever works. Unfortunately for him, he's in a Shonen series.
  • Cool Sword: Apparently the one Tapion used, if the movies are canon.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Gets to perform an ultra satisfying one on the Androids and later on Cell after returning to his own time.
  • Did He Just Slice and Destroy Freeza?: The reaction he invoked in the cast when they witnessed him slice Mecha Freeza in half.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After growing up in an apocalyptic world, seeing your mentor and the closest thing to a big brother die, fleeing everyday from the killing machines responsible for all of the above, going back in time to a world where the heroes are still alive and to find a solution to make his timeline better, maybe earning the respect of the father he never knew, and confronting another horrible killing machine from the future (even dying briefly). With the Earth saved, he finally earns his father's respect, returns to the future to exact sweet revenge on the androids, and finally wait to defeat Cell, saving his world and allowing for the world to rebuild itself.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Anime and Bojack Unbound movie only, where he's a hit with the squirrel population and pink alien rodents at least...
  • Genius Bruiser: A variant. His fighting style is mostly brute force, but he's quite intelligent out of battle.
  • Good Is Not Soft: While Trunks is normally polite, caring and greatly values life, he is also very practical minded and can be very ruthless when the situation calls for it. He rarely speaks or engages in boastful behavior during combat, and he always fights with his full strength, seeking not the defeat of his enemies, but their deaths. Notable examples of this aspect of his personality at work include attacking his father Vegeta with a powerful blast because Vegeta was trying to stop him from killing Cell before he became Perfect and, before accepting him as an ally, powering up in front of a damaged Android 16 in order to show him that he is the stronger one of the two and that, should Android 16 ever step out of line, Trunks will destroy him without hesitation.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: His father's a Saiyan, his mother's a human.
  • Heroic Bastard
  • Heroic BSOD: When he fails to defeat Perfect Cell with the realization his Ultra Super Saiyan form is too slow, he gives up all hope and promptly tells Cell to kill him. Luckily, Cell was more interested in the Super Saiyans' sudden enormous strength to oblige.
  • Hurting Hero
  • Kamehame Hadoken
  • Kid From the Future: Nearly blows his cover too, but luckily Bulma and Vegeta don't figure it out early.
  • Last of His Kind: As far as we are shown (if the movies aren't canon), Future Trunks is the last being with Saiyan blood left in his timeline.
  • Meaningful Name/Theme Naming/Unfortunate Name: Named after undergarments like the whole Briefs family.
  • Mighty Glacier: In his "Super-Saiyan-1-stage-3" or Ultra-Super-Saiyan-2 state. He's only "slow" when compared to the other characters, but that was enough for Cell to beat him handily.
  • Mr. Fanservice: It's been theorized that a major reason people ship Vegeta/Bulma (which, when it was first written into the manga, would have been a Crack Pairing of epic proportions) is just to make sure he's born. Readership with women went up when he was introduced.
  • Nice Guy
  • Past Me Scares Me
  • Purple Is Powerful
  • Put On A Bus To The Future: He returned to his alternate future timeline.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Upon returning home, Trunks proceeds hunt down 17 and 18 and destroys them in a Curb Stomp Battle that doubles as a Reason You Suck Speech. He then waits for Cell and also takes him out with haste finally securing peace for his timeline.
  • Sacrificial Lion: He was this to show that not only was Cell BACK, he was Super Perfect and that anyone could bite it with Goku already being dead.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong
  • Shy Violet-Haired Son of A Blue-Haired Girl
  • Smug Smiler: Something that gets overshadowed by his overall character but Trunks, when he believes victory is assured, tends to drop some pretty epic smirks as seen when fighting Freeza and Cell in his future. Perhaps he’s not that different from his father after all.
  • Sphere of Destruction: His Heat Dome Attack makes one around him. Also his Burning Attack, which involves him flailing his arms around wildly first.
  • Stepford Smiler: Trunks was definitely this at the beginning of the Android Saga when he met the Z Fighters with smiles after defeating Freeza and King Cold. They had no idea where he was from or the fact he's a Hurting Hero who arrived to prevent their deaths.
  • Tell Me About My Father: Bulma's kindly-meant whitewashing of Vegeta's personality paid off with some unexpected dividends later on.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: To be fair, Freeza had come back from near death before and it was the only way to be sure.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Wasn't badass enough at first to take on the androids of his timeline but then spent time training in the Room of Spirit and Time (Hyperbolic Time Chamber).
  • Troubled but Cute: 20 years of fleeing for your life from two homicidal androids has left Future Trunks emotionally scarred and serious.
  • Tsurime Eyes
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Desperately wants approval from the father he never knew.
  • You Are Already Dead: Does this to android 14 in the Super Android 13 movie with his sword and without saying a word.

Main Series timeline
Afterward, the Trunks of the main timeline is revealed to be somewhat of a daredevil and thrill seeker (partially thanks to his father's influence), usually being the one to make the decisions between Goten and himself. He mellows out by the GT saga though and is a bit more rational.

Son Goten

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Son Goten (孫 悟天)


Voiced by: Masako Nozawa (Japanese)
Kid Goten voiced by: Jillian Michaels (Ocean dub), Kara Edwards (Funimation dub)
Adult Goten voiced by: Brad Swaile (Ocean dub), Robert McCollum (Funimation dub)


The second son of Goku and Chi-Chi, born sometime between the Cell Saga and Buu Saga. Has a very childlike naivety not unlike Goku when he was little; though also has Gohan's childhood crybaby tendencies. Between Trunks and himself, he's surprisingly the voice of reason, though he usually goes along with the former's ideas. By GT, he's worrying more about girls than fighting.

  • Adorkable: Well mannered, naive and so dorky he's the only person who finds Gohan's embarrassing superhero costume to be "cool."


Vegetto (ベジット; Bejitto)

The combined form of Goku and Vegeta, using the Potarra Earrings. A long-awaited combination and the most powerful character in the manga Z series. And then he got turned into a gumball. Hilarity Ensues.

  • Composite Character: About halfway between Goku and Vegeta in height, frame, hairdo. By some strange coincidence the result looks like Gohan did during the same saga.
    • He also has composite attacks. For example, the "Final Kamehameha"
  • Baleful Polymorph: But he didn't let that stop him. See The Amazing Fighting Candy!
  • BFS/Laser Sword: His Spirit Sword attack.
  • Portmanteau Name: In its Japanese spelling, it combines the first two syllables of Vegeta and the last two syllables of Kakarotto.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: And he's well aware of it! "No, really! That was an awesome attack! I could have been killed! *beat* Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit. I could have at least gotten a bruise or maybe a small scratch..."
  • Spell My Name with an "S": "Vegetto" (Bandai's spelling) or "Vegito" (Funimation's spelling)? Neither one makes sense in most English adaptations, since his name is a portmanteau of Vegeta's name with Goku's Saiyan name, which is commonly romanized as "Kakarot" instead of the literal "Kakarotto". Viz attempted to reconcile this by changing his name to Vegerot in the English manga, but then they changed it back to Vegetto in the Viz Big reprint (although, one has to wonder why they didn't went with the more obvious "Vegetot").
  • Story-Breaker Power: The strongest character to ever show up. This does not include GT.
  • Voice of the Legion
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Most well known for this. He combines Goku's sense of humour with Vegeta's arrogance and wit, to both beat and mock the living daylights out of Super Buu.
    • Batman Gambit: Of course, this is all part of his plan: getting Buu pissed off and desperate enough to absorb him, so he can free everyone absorbed by Buu.
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Gotenks (ゴテンクス; Gotenkusu)

When Goku returned from the afterlife with the knowlege of the Fusion Dance but no eligible partner to perform it with, Goten and Trunks were taught it, and their mothers came up with the combined name Gotenks. The result combines Goten's childishness with Trunks' brattiness to create one of the weirdest and goofiest fighters in the series, the kind who would come up with the Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack.

  • Awesome but Impractical: Pretty much all of the attacks he comes up with are flashy but ineffective. The Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack initially seems to be very powerful and effective, but when Buu later attempts to use it against Vegetto, he quickly demonstrates the attack's fatal flaw (the ghosts can be detonated from a safe distance with ki blasts) and subsequently mocks Buu for thinking an attack dreamed up by two kids could beat him.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He's more fight-loving and the biggest loudmouth in the series.
    • That "Loudmouth" was the thing that enabled him/them to create a dimension hole with his/their mouths.
  • Calling Your Attacks: He even gives names to somewhat stylized versions of otherwise normal punches and kicks, most of which are ridiculous ("Screaming Angry WOMBAT!!!").
  • Composite Character: Literally. He combines features from Goten and Trunks... but somehow ends up looking kinda like a chibi Vegeta for some reason.
    • Probably because Trunks very obviously has mostly Vegeta's facial features, so once you add black hair...
  • Cute Bruiser: If you can get past his "I'm the best" personality.
  • Half An Hour Of Power
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Once he stops messing around, he pummels the living daylights out of Buu.
  • The Minion Master: With the Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack, which summons dozens of not-too-bright ghost copies of himself that explode on impact.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: His Signature Move the Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack, which are ghosts he spits out o his mouth that look like him and explode if they touch anything.
  • Multicolored Hair: Trunks' purple hair on the side, Goten's dark hair up the middle.
  • Naughty Is Good: To defeat Buu, which doesn't work.
  • The Napoleon: Powerful and the shortest main character (save for Goten and Trunks obviously) at the end of "Z".
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As the fusion of Kid Goten and Kid Trunks, he's one of the strongest beings in the universe and one of the shortest.
  • Portmanteau Name: In Japanese his name is the first two syllables of Goten, the last two syllables of Trunks, and an "n" dividing the two halves.
  • Skunk Stripe
  • Smug Super
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Goten and Kid Trunks were not egotists until they fused.
  • Voice of the Legion

Gogeta (ゴジータ; Gojīta)

The combined form of Goku and Vegeta using the Fusion Dance. He debuted in the Movie 12 as a last ditch effort to defeat Janemba, and it worked. He shows up again in GT as a rather goofy Super Saiyan 4 to fight against Omega Shenron.


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Pan (パン)


Voiced by: Yuko Minaguchi (Japanese)
Kid Pan voiced by: Kate Bristol (Funimation dub)
Teen Pan voiced by: Elise Baughman (Funimation dub)


The daughter of Gohan and Videl, introduced at the tail end of the original series though given more of a fleshed out character in the anime-only GT series. Very much a tomboy and thrill-seeker, willing to prove she's just as tough as her grandfather when given the chance. But not without a soft side either.

  1. "Bulma" = "buruma" = "bloomers"
  2. No relation to the Doctor Who star
  3. they grow up so fast