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  • Alas, Poor Villain: Vegeta's callous murder at the hands of Frieza.
  • Americans Don't Adore Mr. Satan: In Japanese polls, Mr. Satan typically scores really high; in the Dragon Ball Forever poll, he even beat Master Roshi, Yamcha, Tien, Bulma and Yajirobe in that order. In American and European polls, he ranks considerably lower.
  • Angst? What Angst?: It's impressive how quickly all of the characters get used to the fact that Goku had come back from the dead after seven years in the Majin Buu Saga, especially for Goten who, until that point, had never even met him.
    • At the start of the series, Goku is all alone in the mountains, never seeing another person until Bulma nearly ran him over. His grandfather, the only family he has ever known, died years before the main story after he was sat on by a giant monkey. And as far as Goku knows, his biological parents abandoned him in the woods. Yet, Goku shows no distress about any of this, even smiling when explaining how he was found in the mountains. Even saying his grandpa is dead provokes little emotional response from him, except when talking about how he died. Bulma even asks how can he be so cheerful.
  • Arc Fatigue: Z's sagas in general, though the Frieza and Majin Buu sagas were the longest. Buu more so in the anime, since in the manga, it went by quicker as, at that point, it was more like Series Fatigue for Toriyama.
    • The fact that the Majin Buu Saga lasted almost 4 years in the anime (the Frieza Saga ran for half as long) speaks for itself...
    • While not as bad as the DBZ arcs, the Red Ribbon Army Saga is the longest pre-DBZ arc and can take quite some time to sit through, particularly in the anime where there is a plethora of filler to drag it out even longer.
  • Artistic License Biology: Even if you ignore Cell, most hybrids aren't capable of reaching sexual maturity, so Pan, technically, should not exist. That or Saiyan and humans are genetically similar enough to be the same species, so... probably best not to think about it too much.
  • Awesome Art: Akira Toriyama is considered to be one of the greatest mangaka of all time for a reason - Dragon Ball's art is consistently gorgeous and brilliantly panelled.
  • Awesome Music: The three intro songs used by the Ocean dub, Funimation dub and the original Japanese version all have the distinction of being equally awesome.
  • Badass Decay: In the anime, Frieza was damn near-unstoppable when he was the Big Bad, as was Cell. They're a lot less threatening in Hell, even when they team up, and Pikkon defeats them with a fraction of the effort it took Goku and Gohan. Counts as Villain Decay as well.
    • Vegeta, arguably. Even he gets sick of being relegated to a second-string hero, and he eventually makes a Deal with the Devil in a somewhat-successful attempt to reclaim his badass status.
    • Gohan also suffers from this in the Buu Saga due to the fact that he more or less gave up fighting and focused on his studies after defeating Cell (seven years prior). After watching Gohan struggle against Dabura, Vegeta points out that he had actually gotten WEAKER than he was seven years ago. Even after getting an Eleventh-Hour Powerup from the Elder Kai, he still ends up getting defeated and killed by Majin Buu, with Goku ultimately having to finish the job with a Super Spirit Bomb.
  • Base Breaker: The Saiyans can be this. Some say that the Saiyans were good and the original cast was boring. Others say the Saiyans stole screen-time from the other characters and were generally unskilled and one-dimensional fighters compared to the rest of the Z-Fighters. There's also a middle ground that says that the Saiyans are good characters, but that the series shouldn't have shafted the original Earthling cast.
  • Better on DVD: The filler is significantly less annoying when you don't have to wait 23½ hours for the next twenty minutes of story.[1] It must have been absolute hell for fans when it aired weekly in Japan.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The Penguin Village episodes. The segment is actually a crossover with one of Toriyama's other works, Doctor Slump. However, to fans who don't get the reference, it comes off as just plain bizarre.
    • Immediately after Vegeta escapes, Chi-Chi, for some unknown reason, shows incredibly callous behavior towards Goku - not only by refusing to help him, despite Great Ape Vegeta having broken every bone in Goku's body, but also blaming him for what happened to Gohan. There is no explanation for her sudden change in behavior and it's never mentioned again, with every scene before and thereafter showing her being somewhat caring towards Goku.
    • An infamous filler episode has Vegeta desire to take over the Earth, which leads to a brutal fight with Gohan, after finding out that both Goku and Frieza had (apparently) died. This is especially odd, considering that Vegeta later said that he actually wants to see Goku alive and it's never mentioned again, Gohan is seen in the next episode uninjured and Vegeta, who flew off, is standing exactly where he was in the previous episode, also uninjured.
  • Broken Base: Never ask a group of DBZ fans which English language dub they prefer: FUNimation or Ocean.
    • While you're at it, ask if the Orange Brick Box Sets are worth buying.
      • Just mention dubs in general, really. Subs vs. Dubs will never, ever end.
    • Heck, entire flame wars can erupt just on how a name should be spelled! It doesn't help that there are fans who insist on spelling every name with their literal Romanized Japanese transliterations (Saiya-jin, Bejita, Pikkoro, Buruma, etc.), despite the fact that most of the Japanese products already have official romanized spellings (i.e. Saiyan, Vegeta, Piccolo, Bulma).
    • Z vs Kai is another issue with base-breaking potential.
    • Never say you like the anime more than the manga because of the Adaptation Expansion elements it created. Nine times out of ten, you'll get somebody calling you out for having bad taste.
    • There are many who love Vegeta and his Character Development and there are also those who think of him as a Complete Monster who got off too easy.
    • The Buu Saga. Some like it for Buu, the introduction of Super Saiyan 3, the Fusion Dance and for putting more humor back into the series. Others, however, believe that the saga went on for far too long, suffered from heavy amounts of Idiot Plot and cemented Goku and Vegeta as a two-man Spotlight-Stealing Squad.
    • Gohan's character development after the Cell Games. Does it make sense for his character, since Gohan utterly abhors fighting and will only do it if the fate of Earth is on the line, or is he wasting his limitless potential and being shafted in order to bring Goku back into the series as The Hero?
    • The debate on which form of Buu is stronger, Super Buu or Kid Buu. It doesn't help that the manga never explicitly says which is stronger, only that Kid Buu is the most dangerous because he's lost all his moral restraints. Goku himself offers little help as, although he didn't want to fight Super Buu and was evenly matched against Kid Buu, he lied or misled people several times throughout the arc about how strong he was. Namely, he claimed he was weaker than Fat Buu, which wasn't true, and led Vegeta to believe that they were even in power because he did not reveal that he could become a Super Saiyan 3. This debate becomes especially bad if you factor in the anime, where it's claimed that Kid Buu is Buu's strongest form.
    • The discussion of where DBZ should've ended. There are many fans who believed that the series should've ended after the Frieza Saga, with Goku dead and Gohan taking up the mantle of Earth's protector. There are others who wanted the series to end after the Cell Saga, with Gohan becoming the new hero following Goku's death. Then there's yet another group that believed that the series should've ended with Ultimate Gohan obliterating Super Buu before he gets a chance to absorb Gotenks and Piccolo.
    • Whether the collective name of the heroes are the Z-Fighters or the Dragon Team. For most of the series' American run, they were called the Z-Fighters, but FUNimation started referring to them as the Dragon Team starting with Kai: The Final Chapters and Super... and it became even more confusing thanks to the English version of "Pledge of Z", the theme song of Resurrection 'F', which had the chorus verse of "We are Team Z!".
  • Catharsis Factor: Because of the host of Smug Snakes and Complete Monsters in the series, fans have taking great satisfaction in watching the villains go down:
    • Goku breaking Nappa's spine in half after he killed almost all of the Z-Fighters and tried to murder a defenseless Gohan.
    • Frieza murdered countless people in his quest for ultimate power including Dende, Vegeta and Krillin. Thus, it was immensely satisfying when Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan and utterly humiliated him, going as far as to give Frieza a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Him being chopped into billions of little pieces by Future Trunks is also considered one of the highlights of the series.
    • Gohan going Super Saiyan 2 and giving Perfect Cell the beating of a lifetime before destroying every cell in his body with a Kamehameha. It felt so good watching Cell suffer after he drank entire cities, murdered Android 16, bragged about how Goku's Stupid Sacrifice only helped make him stronger and murdered Future Trunks by blowing him in half.
    • Future Trunks destroying Future 17, 18 and Cell. If you watched the History of Trunks TV special, you saw how absolutely horrible Future 17 and 18 were, including killing Future Gohan by shooting him to death with energy blasts while he's pinned to a building and screaming in agony. Cell's trail of death was also well-known, especially after he succeeded in stealing Trunks' time machine. The only drawback was that the beatdowns were short, since Trunks is a no-nonsense fighter.
    • Super Buu getting pounded by Ultimate Gohan and Super Vegetto before having his personality erased. This guy had caused a massive amount of death by wiping out all life on Earth with a single attack, murdering most of the main cast in horrifying fashion and Mind Raped Gohan in the English dub by invoking the memories of his brother and mentor. What made Super Buu especially annoying was that he was an Invincible Villain who was always one step ahead of the heroes, on top of being an insufferable prick who threw a temper tantrum every time he lost. So any time that the heroes give him a humiliating Curb Stomp Battle, especially in Super Vegetto's case to the point of putting the fear of God into him, all culminating in being rendered Deader Than Dead by Vegeta tearing Fat Buu out of Super Buu's body, was especially satisfying.
  • Crazy Awesome: Gotenks. All the dumb ideas that Goten and Trunks can come up with, without the other one discouraging them.
    • Goku. When he wasn't defeating armies on his own armed with only a magic pole and a flying cloud, he was transforming into a giant monkey and destroying everything in his path, using air to one-shot his opponents, kicking people's asses with rock-paper-scissors, using his tail to fly like a helicopter, flying into the air and punching holes through demonic aliens with only one arm and using his power pole to sodomize a ninja. And this stuff happened when he was a child. As an adult, he reeked of Crazy Awesome, so much so that him just powering up nearly destroyed the planet.
    • Mercenary Tao killed General Blue by hitting one of his Pressure Points with his tongue. His crazy awesomeness then goes to a whole new level when he taps a pillar and breaks it off, while leaving the building completely intact, then throws the pillar and jumps onto it while it's moving. Tao's only comment on that matter is "Who needs a jet when when we've got a perfectly good pillar?".
  • Continuity Lock Out: DBZ averts this by not relying too heavily on the original manga's events and explaining them when necessary. On the other hand, Dragon Ball GT is borderline incomprehensible without watching both DB and DBZ first. Dragon Ball Super isn't quite as bad about it as GT, but it still rides on the events of DBZ pretty hard, and the Goku Black Saga is especially confusing if one hasn't seen DBZ.
  • Creepy Awesome: Frieza, Perfect Cell and Super Buu.
  • Die for Our Ship: Yamcha frequently gets this from a vocal minority of Vegeta/Bulma fans who portray him as a rapist/womanizer, while glossing over Yamcha's selfless deeds for both characters, Bulma constantly cheating on Yamcha by sleeping with other men, and Vegeta leaving Bulma to fend for herself after getting her pregnant.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Vegeta.
    • Bardock, with added help from Dub Text.
    • Broly and Zangya count, too.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: There's Janemba, Cooler, Turles and Tapion, but oh dear god, Broly.
    • The Saiyans. There's a reason they became the Spotlight-Stealing Squad, so much that Dragon Ball simply can't be imagined without them. Go to any fandom site and it's pretty easy to ignore most, if not all, of the non-Saiyan characters.
    • Piccolo, for his complex character and his fatherly love towards Gohan. Toriyama stated that the good Demon King is his favorite character.
    • Future Gohan.
    • The Ginyu Force, Recoome especially.
      • Don't forget Jeice! He has the most fanart by a long shot.
    • In a Japanese poll asking manga fans which characters they'd like to see spinoff stories about, Krillin was the only Dragon Ball/Z character to make the list. Despite being relatively weak compared to the Saiyans, Krillin's bravery and heart in the bleakest of situations have earned him his fair share of fans, and believe it or not, he isn't as worthless as DBZ Abridged might lead one to believe (up until the end of the Frieza arc, at least).
    • Chronoa, the Supreme Kai of Time, from the brilliant Dragon Ball Xenoverse game has quite a following, due to her cute design and mannerisms. Many aren't happy with her being Exiled From Continuity and really want her to be introduced into the canon series.
    • The World Martial Arts Tournament announcer, so much so that when he got replaced by Poor Man's Substitute Jimmy Firecracker in the Cell Games Saga, many fans weren't happy. Fortunately, he makes his return in the Buu Saga.
  • Even Better Sequel: While Dragon Ball may have started the franchise and is iconic in its own right, DBZ managed to be even better, becoming the trope codifier of shonen anime in general. DBZ is what most people think of when they think of Dragon Ball, said to have tighter action, better pacing, better fighting and more memorable characters than its predecessor.
  • Evil Is Cool: Many villains are considered to be this. Nappa, Vegeta, Turles, Frieza, Zarbon, the Ginyu Force, Cooler, the Red Ribbon Androids, Cell, Broly, Zangya, Janemba and even Super Buu.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Android 18 and Zangya for many male fans. In the former's case, it helps that she redeems herself after the Cell Saga.
  • Fan Dumb: Some people who had started going on the 'net when Dragon Ball Z aired were inexperienced IRC users, similar to how Naruto is that, now.
  • Freud Was Right: As a child, Goku thinks girls don't have tails and guys do, then he sees Bulma naked and thinks she's been castrated!
  • Fridge Logic: Has its own page.
  • From Sugar to Cyanide: After GT was criticized for being too comedic in tone, Evolution got even harsher criticism for lacking the camp that made the original manga and anime so enjoyable.
  • Funny Moments: Have their own page.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment:
    • Owing to Maron's Brainless Beauty nature, a joke in Legacy of Goku II had the scanner malfunctioning due to it failing to detect any brainwaves from Maron. This joke gets a lot less funny when the very next saga deals with the Androids, who are notorious for being unable to be detected by Ki sense, and presumably not being detectable by scouters, either.
    • A lot of the manga's gags having Kid Goku often run around stark naked, as well as the early Running Gag involving him patting other characters in the crotch because he couldn't tell their gender, get quite unsettling with the knowledge that Gerard Jones, who wrote the English adaptation of the manga for Viz Media, was arrested for possessing child pornography in 2016.
    • In some localizations of the original Dragon Ball, Goku had the nickname "monkey boy" given to him by his friends in reference to his monkey-like tail and characteristics. However, with the frequent use of the term "monkey" as a racial slur towards Goku and the other Saiyans by Frieza and his men in DBZ, his friends' nickname sounds awfully racist in retrospect.
    • Guldo's ability to stop time is portrayed as mostly useless, since it only works when he's holding his breath. He's also horribly out of shape, which means he can only do it for a few seconds at most. Two years later, and in the same magazine no less, Dio Brando would show just how dangerous a time-stopping ability could be in the hands of someone truly powerful.
  • Gateway Series: Along with Sailor Moon, DBZ introduced a new generation to anime in North America.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Vegeta and Cell are far more popular with Western audiences than Japanese ones.
    • Dragon Ball (especially Z) in general is even more popular internationally than it was in Japan. For example, in the week of September 16-22 2002, Dragon Ball Z was once the highest rated show on cable and one of the top three shows in all television (cable or broadcast) for preteen/young teenage boys (9-14) in America.
      • It was still the most popular series in Japan when it was new, and Kai consistently made the top ten in ratings during broadcast.
    • The Androids/Cell Saga in general is more popular in the United States thanks to Cell, Time Travel, Future Trunks, and someone else becoming the hero of the saga besides Goku. While the Cell Saga is well-liked in Japan, with Future Trunks in particular standing out as a Breakout Character from it, it is generally considered the weakest story arc there due to how unrelentingly dark it gets when compared to the other sagas.
  • God Mode Sue: Goku arguably became this in GT, especially following the advent of Super Saiyan 4. With him around, no Big Bad or Disc One Final Boss could even be presented as a serious challenge anymore (unless they're the Super One-Star Dragon).
  • Growing the Beard: With regards to the manga, this could be placed around the time Goku goes to train with Master Roshi - at this point, Toriyama dropped a lot of the Journey to the West stuff, stopped breaking the fourth wall, cut down on the truly lame gags and refined the action sequences. Even though the earlier parts were entertaining, this is where the series really came into its own, and began its move towards that as which Dragon Ball is really known - a lengthy, fighting-based shonen manga.
    • For the Funimation dub of DBZ, many would say that it was during the Cell Saga that is when most of the cast were able to settle in to their performances, Chris Sabat stopped trying to impersonate Brian Drummond's Vegeta and several stand-out performances that were a step-up from the season 3 dub (Eric Vale as Future Trunks, Chuck Huber as Android 17, Meredith McCoy as Android 18, Dameon Clarke as Cell and Chris Rager as Mr. Satan) were introduced.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Early in the manga, Bulma asks Goku about his parents and Goku answers that he doesn't remember them. Dragon Ball Z later revealed that Goku was not only sent to Earth shortly before Planet Vegeta's destruction at the hands of Frieza, but he also lost all of his memories of being a Saiyan after hitting his head on a rock as a child.
    • Given that Dr. Gero's actions in Z ultimately led to the destruction of an entire timeline in Super, it makes Commander Red's true goal all the more horrifying.
    • Oolong's off-hand remark about Bulma not having a pretty death ends up coming true later on, as both she and Oolong end up being murdered by Super Buu when he attacks Kami's Lookout.
    • In the original Japanese version, the episode where Buu murders everyone on Kami's Lookout after escaping from the Room of Spirit and Time. Master Roshi is one of those killed, and it becomes a lot more tragic when you learn that his voice actor, Kohei Miyauchi, died shortly after the episode was completed and it marked the final time he voiced the character.
    • During the Buu Saga, there's a subplot involving a duo of snipers going around killing innocent people For the Evulz. One of the shooters is reluctant at first until the more sadistic of the duo talks him into it. This sounds eerily similar to the D.C. sniper attacks that happened in the Maryland, Virginia and D.C. areas in October 2002. Adding to it was that the English dub of those episodes first aired on Toonami when the shooting spree was still going on.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: A Q&A section in one of the volumes revealed that Android 16 is based on Dr. Gero's dead son, who was killed when Goku attacked the Red Ribbon Army's base of operations. This makes Gero's attempts to keep the other (violent and rebellious) Androids from activating him seem less like he's afraid of 16 and more like he's afraid of them hurting him.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Have their own page.
  • Hate Dumb: Dragon Ball Z is often used as a synonym for bad anime pacing, often by people who have never actually seen it or came in through a different Gateway Series. There are also people who hate Akira Toriyama himself over stuff he didn't actually have much control over and have refused to touch other stuff like Blue Dragon, Dragon Quest or even Chrono Trigger in the worst cases because Akira Toriyama did the art. Chrono Trigger at least escapes the "It's Toriyama, therefore It Sucks" because it's protected by the Nostalgia Filter, but sadly, Blue Dragon is not protected by such, or most Dragon Quest games.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Before FUNimation started dubbing and editing the series in-house, the first two seasons of DBZ were handled by the Ocean Group and Saban, who edited the living crap out of the show for syndication by merging episodes, speeding up the fight sequences, and cutting out most of the expositional dialogue. Gee, doesn't that sound familiar?
    • Also, the concept of FUNi changing (or in this case, getting the rights to) a Cut and Paste Translation dub and rescuing it from obscurity and/or ridicule would be revisited 10 years later.
    • Funimation got a lot of flack for their Orange Brick releases, especially for the cropping to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio. Then Kai's TV broadcast and Japanese DVD release did the same thing. Dragon Ball Kai is basically the dub in Japanese.
    • In plot events, Ninja Murasaki is basically a parody of Naruto.
    • Commander Red is voiced by Kenji Utsumi in the Japanese version, and desires to become taller. Kenji Utsumi later voices a Stalinist rogue GRU Colonel, yet later ends up defeated by someone who looks a heck of a lot like a tall version of Commander Red in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater.
    • The character Maron, when meeting Chi-Chi in the second episode of the Garlic Jr. Saga, rudely states that she doesn't recall the latter being invited (thus predictably getting Chi-Chi outraged). The episode aired in Japan on 1991. Nearly six years later, Gary Oak in the first episode of Pokémon makes a similar rude remark to Ash regarding the latter's tardiness, also getting him outraged. Both Maron and Gary are even voiced by the same lady in Japan, Yuko Kobayashi.
    • Speaking of Maron and Gary Oak, it seems that both have, or at least had, a massive entourage composed of the opposite sex based on their final and debut appearances, respectively.
    • In the early days of the franchise's Western presence, a Pojo magazine explained how fans wanted an uncensored version of DBZ so they could hear Goku say "Damn!", among other things. In the uncut dubs of DBZ and Kai, Goku says it on a near-Once Per Episode basis.
    • When Goku contemplates permanently fusing with Gohan, he wonders if he'll have to go to high school after this. Cue Dragon Ball Evolution, where Goku is a high school student with hair similar to Gohan's.
    • In one episode of the English dub, Gohan refers to Piccolo as "my big green uncle". This becomes even more hilarious when you realize that there's a cringeworthy English dub of the DBZ movies called the "Big Green dub".
    • Cell consumes Android 18 through his tail and regurgitates her through his mouth, which resembles the brief trend in South Park where everyone starts eating through their rectums and defecating through their mouths.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: DBZ starts like this: Goku has a son. Goku has an evil brother. Goku is an alien. Goku gets killed. It's only a HSQ if you've seen Dragon Ball first, though.
    • Goku going Super Saiyan for the first time.
    • Admit it: You were shocked when Future Trunks appears, turns Super Saiyan and quickly disposes of both Mecha Frieza and King Cold.
    • Gohan unlocking Super Saiyan 2.
    • Goku transforming into a Super Saiyan 3.
    • The Buu Saga could be pretty uneven in tone, but it was still pretty shocking when Majin Buu's evil half not only killed all of the Z-Fighters except for Goku and Vegeta, but also became the first villain to successfully destroy the Earth.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • The Androids/Cell Saga comes dangerously close to being this, with a lot of the problems happening because of terrible decisions being made by the characters (mainly Goku, Vegeta, Trunks and Krillin). What keeps it from being too severe an example and ruining the arc is that the decisions are consistent with already-established character flaws (Goku is a Blood Knight who likes fighting fair too much, Vegeta has a serious ego problem, Trunks is desperate to change the future and Krillin is blinded by his crush on Android 18).
    • The Buu Saga, on the other hand, suffers from this problem a lot more, with just about every character on both sides making incredibly dumb decisions just to keep the plot going and, despite some cool fights, is where Seasonal Rot was clearly starting to set in.
  • Informed Wrongness: Goku meeting Chi-Chi at the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai and not remembering her is treated as an example of him being an idiot. While Chi-Chi's identity is obvious to the audience, Goku had only met her once six years earlier. It actually speaks well of Goku that he even remembers her at all. It's less blatant in the anime, where he had seen her in a few filler arcs between then, but he had still only had two other meetings with her in the past six years.
  • Iron Woobie: Future Trunks, and Tapion from Wrath of the Dragon.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: There was once a time where fans of Dragon Ball could express their interest in the franchise in the open. However, the unspeakable happened... it achieved popularity both inside and outside of Japan. It may be different in South and Latin America as well as latino-based boards, but if you say you like any series (except for maybe the original Dragon Ball) on English boards or in anime clubs? You'll be asked why or told how bad it is, if not flat-out insulted.
    • It should be noted that most of hate for the series which was at its height in the early to mid 2000s has passed and that Dragon Ball Kai and Dragon Ball Abridged have managed to rehabilitate Dragon Ball's image in the eyes of quite a few anime fans.
  • It Was His Sled: Most spoilers in the series have been mainstream for years, despite being shocking at the time. This lends itself to the fact that DBZ is where most of the international fans caught onto the franchise, and a number of them still aren't even aware that many examples of this were supposed to be as surprising, and the list below isn't even all of them:
    • Goku is one of the last surviving members of a near-extinct warrior race called the Saiyans, and he has an evil brother named Raditz. He also dies in his fight with his brother.
    • Piccolo undergoes a Heel Face Turn, and Vegeta does as well.
    • Frieza was the one who destroyed Planet Vegeta.
    • Goku becomes a Super Saiyan after Frieza murders Krillin.
    • Cell is the true Big Bad of the Androids Saga.
    • Babidi successfully revives Majin Buu.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Mai and Shu, especially when they're being verbally and/or physically abused by Emperor Pilaf. Their status as Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains also helps.
    • The Crane Hermit, Master Shen. He's an evil and bitter old man, but it should be noted that he's like that thanks to King Piccolo's cruelty. He saw his fellow students and friends get slaughtered by Piccolo's children and was then forced to watch his master be humiliated by Piccolo himself. After witnessing the futility of being good and the failure of justice, he turned away from his master's teachings.
    • Vegeta, especially in the FUNimation dub. He's the Big Bad of the Saiyan Saga, but when you find out just how much he suffered at the hands of Frieza, it's pretty hard not to pity him.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: If there are five things that stick out in the last saga of the series, it's Majin Vegeta, the Fusion Dance, Super Saiyan 3, Ultimate Gohan and Majin Buu's outright Crazy Awesomeness.
  • Love to Hate: Frieza, Cell and Super Buu. Even the movie villains Turles and Cooler are this for many fans.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Played with and then subverted. In his Imperfect form, Cell runs rings around the Z-Fighters as he masterfully evades their attempts to ambush him while draining countless cities of their population's bio extract. Upon finding himself sorely outclassed by Vegeta later in the series, Cell tricks the Saiyan prince into allowing him to absorb Android 18 by promising to provide him with an opportunity to test the full extent of his newfound power. In the ensuing rematch, he succeeds in reaping vengeance upon Vegeta by breaking him down physically and psychologically. When facing Trunks, he shows how savvy he is about how raising his strength and muscles only slow him down. And then, rather than kill Trunks and everyone else, Cell instead opts to hold a martial arts tournament where all of Earth's greatest fighters can challenge him and be defeated... and he announces this to the entire planet on TV just so he can see them panicking and living in fear. During the Cell Games, however, Cell becomes increasingly reckless and overconfident in his actions until he ultimately loses control when Gohan became a Super Saiyan 2. And said state was precisely what he was seeking; the problem was that he never really calculated that Gohan's power increase would be far greater than his.
    • Also, Demon King Piccolo in the original Dragon Ball qualifies, and Vegeta shows some flashes of this in the Namek Saga where he does several meticulously villainous and underhanded things, but we enjoy seeing him do them anyway.
    • Super Buu as well, due to being so Dangerously Genre Savvy on top of being uncompromisingly malicious.
    • To contrast these above four Big Bads are Emperor Pilaf, Commander Red, Master Shen (as well as his brother Mercenary Tao) and Frieza, who all lie firmly in Smug Snake territory.
  • Marty Stu: In his early appearances, Trunks showed several signs of being this. He's the result of essentially a Crack Pairing of two established characters (one of whom had been with another since the beginning of the series), looks completely different than anyone else of his species even allowing for the fact that he's a Half-Human Hybrid, is a pretty big "generic Badass" stereotype, has a tragic past, and makes his entrance via worfing an established villain and said villain's even stronger father. However as the arcs progressed, his Fatal Flaw came to light: father issues, and trust us, this ends up costing him big, to the point where he's not even the one to finish off his own Arch Nemesis.
  • Memetic Badass: Broly. His power is maximum.
  • Memetic Hair: Super Saiyan hair.
  • Memetic Molester: Cell. If his habit of sticking his tail in people and sucking them dry wasn't creepy enough, the way he advances on Android 18 before absorbing her...
  • Memetic Mutation: "It's OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAND!" And many more.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Many fans tend to sympathize with Bardock and his fellow Saiyans too much. While it's true that they were quite badass and that Bardock faces off against a far-greater evil in the end, it's often forgotten that the Saiyans were a horde of murdering, planet-conquering thugs who served said greater evil. This is even brought up in Goku's battle with Frieza, where Goku acknowledges that the Saiyans brought their demise upon themselves due to becoming that way.
    • Among fans, keeping track of each character's Power Levels and using these as evidence of who would win in a fight is common, despite the fact that Toriyama only introduced the concept of power levels to point out that they weren't an accurate method of measuring one's ability.
    • Mr. Satan's name isn't Hercule, which was his name in the edited English dubs. Satan isn't his last name either, but his ring name. His real name is apparently Mark. FUNimation later set the record straight by re-naming him Mark "Hercule" Satan.
  • Mis Blamed: No, Akira Toriyama didn't write the anime - he wrote the manga it was adapted from (the pacing of the anime was actually out of his hands; they intentionally made filler arcs with his mild supervision, and padded out the episodes so they wouldn't overtake the manga).
    • However, he did contribute to the designs and some general plot points to some filler. He also contributed the designs for many of the movie villains.
      • He also had very little involvement with Dragon Ball GT outside of the basic designs for Goku, Trunks, Pan and various mechanical designs.
      • While Toriyama originally planned to end the manga as early as the first volume-or-so, he kept going due to the popularity it achieved. He also has admitted in interviews that he did not plan anything out ahead of time. Thus, there is no concrete proof that the story was supposed to end at the Saiyan, Frieza or Cell sagas, contrary to internet rumors.
    • FUNimation is usually blamed for having a female voice actor for Frieza, but the Ocean dub had already done so before the recast (though whether or not it was Funimation's choice is still unconfirmed).
    • Contrary to what some fans believe, most of the censorship in the Ocean dub was actually ordered by then-distributor Saban Entertainment, and not the Ocean Group themselves. Supposedly, Saban feared that no station would carry the series in a favorable time slot if it was broadcast uncut, and given the slew of anime being broadcast heavily edited in the United States during that period, it's not hard to see why. Of course, this became moot once Toonami picked up the series a couple of years later.
  • Moment of Awesome: Has its own page.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • My Real Daddy: Akira Toriyama, to many, as this renders GT non-canonical.
  • Nausea Fuel: Perfect Cell literally vomiting out 18 after how much of a beating SSJ2 Gohan gave him. It's made worse in the uncut version, where she's actually seen sliding out of his mouth.
    • Super Buu invading Vegetto's body, causing it to swell up to grotesque proportions.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Yamcha getting blown to bits by a Saibaman.
    • Krillin dying a lot and his general Butt Monkey status.
    • At the end of the Saiyan Saga, Chi-Chi was completely neglectful of Goku, caring nothing for his health and only showed concern for Gohan. This is what most fans best remember her for, and it leads into Accusation Fic territory, as every good deed Chi-Chi does after this incident is overlooked and/or ignored in favor of this incident.
    • Goku giving Cell a Senzu Bean and putting his eleven-year-old son against a murderous bio-mechanical android are sadly things that many fans best remember him for, along with his anime-exclusive fear of needles.
    • Mr. Satan taking credit for beating Cell, Bojack and Kid Buu.
    • Goku's Super Saiyan 3 transformation.[2]
    • One of the most infamous examples of this is the idea that Goku is a bad father to Gohan. This stems from how he was dead twice and not there for Gohan, and how he made Gohan fight Cell. The series has shown consistently that Goku loves Gohan, has done his best to protect him and that he regrets not being able to be there all the time for him. The Cell part is the worst he gets as a father, as the other characters point out how bad of an idea this was and Goku acknowledges that he made a mistake. Despite this, fans still use this as ammo to say Goku is a bad father.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Older Than They Think: Once Dragon Ball's plot became more space-oriented, it became increasingly similar to the Superman mythos. You can't deny it.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Both subverted and played horribly straight. Some of the video game adaptations such as Budokai 3, Budokai Tenkaichi 2 and 3, Legends, Legendary Super Warriors, Origins and Origins 2, Attack of the Saiyans, Legacy of Goku II, Xenoverse and others are considered both great adaptations of the series and solid games. Others, such as Sagas, the first Budokai, Taiketsu, Ultimate Battle 22, Final Bout and the NES game released in the US as "Dragon Power", range from being mediocre to nigh-unplayable. The only redeeming quality in some of the latter games is their music.
  • Recycled Script: The Dragon Ball movies are all very loose adaptations of story arcs from the original manga and TV series. While the DBZ movies are more unique, they can be matched up to certain fights from the TV series as well.
    • "Curse of the Blood Rubies" adapts the first Dragon Ball hunt, with the original character King Gurumes substituting for Emperor Pilaf as the main antagonist.
    • "Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle" starts off with a subplot involving Goku and Krillin being sent to find the titular Princess (eventually revealed to be a precious diamond) for Master Roshi, just like when they were sent to find a cute girl for Roshi in the manga.
    • "Mystical Adventure" combines the Red Ribbon Army and 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai arcs and puts them in an entirely different context.
    • "The Dead Zone" mirrors the battle with Raditz. Garlic Jr. even has Raditz's voice when he returns in the Japanese version of the anime (in the movie itself, he's voiced by Akira Kamiya, who's most famous for voicing Kenshiro in the Fist of the North Star anime).
    • The general weirdness in "The World's Strongest Man" brings to mind the various fillers in the Saiyan Saga.
    • "The Tree of Might" matches up to the battle with Nappa and Vegeta. The lesser characters fight the minions and lose, while Goku stops them easy, a parallel to the Nappa fight. Turles is an evil Saiyan who has come to Earth to take advantage of a precious resource (mirroring Vegeta's quest for the Dragon Balls). Goku has the upper hand over Turles, until he eats the Tree of Might's fruit and becomes incredibly strong (Vegeta transformed into a Great Ape in the main timeline) and is defeated only by a group effort (Spirit Bomb in the movie, and over the course of the fight with Vegeta, everyone takes a bite out of him). Also, Gohan turns into a Great Ape.
    • The "Lord Slug" movie matches the plot of the King Piccolo arc. An evil Namekian wishes for his youth and power to be restored. This one is painfully obvious.
      • Hell, even DBZ Abridged references that fact by having both the Z-Fighters and Slug's minions constantly mistake him for King Piccolo.
    • "Cooler's Revenge" is a very obvious duplicate of the Frieza Saga, both ending with Goku turning Super Saiyan. Cooler is even Freeza's older brother.
    • "The Return of Cooler" plays off of Frieza's transformation into a cyborg by having Cooler return as a rebuilt robot.
    • "Super Android 13" is based off the Android Saga, featuring the three main Super Saiyans battling three androids who attack a city. Also plays with a bit of Cell, as Android 13 absorbs his allies, 14 and 15, in order to achieve his ultimate form.
    • "Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan" is based off the battle with Cell's second form and Goku's fight at the Cell Games. Broly is somewhat weak (kind-of, his actual power was hinted to be much stronger than initially led to believe, but a large bulk of it was forcibly suppressed by his father via a Slave Crown) until he transforms into his ultimate form, leaving the characters powerless against him. In the anime, Cell was easily defeated by a powered-up Vegeta, but when he got an upgrade, he was unstoppable. He fought Goku in the Cell Games and it ended with Goku quitting. The movie ends with Goku getting thrashed, but he wins at the last second. One of the more original movies.
    • "Bojack Unbound" is a very obvious spin on Gohan's fight with Cell. Goku is already dead and Gohan becomes a Super Saiyan and fights Bojack, loses, then comes back as a Super Saiyan 2 and wins with the help of his father. Mr. Satan ends up taking the credit. Also, Bojack's minions represent the Cell Juniors, who fight the other characters.
    • Then in the very next movie, "Broly: The Second Coming", Gohan and Goku's father/son Kamehameha is used, except this time, it's Gohan and Goten who are assisted by their father's spirit. Also, Broly is frozen in ice for an extended period of time, just like how Buu was sealed in a magical ball for millennia.
    • The main characters of "Bio Broly" are Goten, Trunks, Android 18 and Mr. Satan... the very same characters who fought in the final round of the 25th Tenkaichi Budokai at the start of the Buu Saga. Also, there is a Quirky Miniboss Squad fighting for a very weak Big Bad, and the main villain is discovered in a chamber a la Cell, or even Buu if you accept the fact he is technically sealed and about to be released.
    • "Fusion Reborn" is based off the Buu Saga. A large, fat and jovial enemy is beaten on by Super Saiyan 3 Goku, only to transform into a smaller and sleeker form, who is ruthless. It takes a fusion dance to beat him. Parallels the Buu Saga, where the main villain is a fat clown who takes a slimmer and more diabolical form and it takes a fusion of Goku and Vegeta to stop him (Vegetto in the manga, Gogeta in the movie).
    • "Wrath of the Dragon" is based on Super Buu and Kid Buu. Hirudegarn is a monster (Super Buu with a few absorptions) that can beat even Gohan, and when it looks to be defeated, it grows into an even deadlier form. It takes Goku and his ultimate move to destroy the villain. Very obvious.
    • And the tenth anniversary movie "Path to Power" retells the first arc of the original Dragon Ball, but with the Red Ribbon Army as the main antagonists.
    • Subverted with "A Hero's Legacy", the GT movie. That's just a telling of the story of Goku Jr., set just before the final scene of the series.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Trunks, the one in the main timeline to be specific. This was a case of Tough Act to Follow since Future Trunks ended up becoming a Ensemble Darkhorse. Goten managed to avoid this, however.
  • Saved by the Fans: Vegeta. Three times, in fact!
    • Also Goku. He was meant to stay dead after the Cell Saga, with Gohan becoming the new protagonist. There was even specific buildup for the Take Up My Sword moment. Turns out that Goku was just too well-liked by the masses.
  • Seasonal Rot: The Buu Saga is seen as this by some fans. Most of the issues often pointed out are the story being more over-the-top than ever before, Piccolo being Demoted to Extra, Buu lacking any solid motivation, Vegeta pulling a Face Heel Turn and subsequent Heroic Suicide in the midst of his character development, Goku and Vegeta becoming a Spotlight-Stealing Squad again when the series appeared to be focusing on Gohan and having an Idiot Plot where characters repeatedly make incredibly stupid decisions just to keep the story going.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Not as severe as most that suffer from this effect, but seeing the massive influence it had, has, and will probably continue to have on Shonen manga - it's somewhat unavoidable. The degree of the effect has generally ranged from "it's kinda boring compared to stuff now" to "it flat out sucks."
    • The FUNimation dub, when considering the most "uncut" form in which it was released. It was an early anime dub of a kid-oriented shonen series that made concessions for older fans, such as restoring some of the violence and language cut from the Toonami version on the DVD release, redubbing earlier, heavily Bowdlerised episodes to be more faithful to the original Japanese version and eventually restoring the original Japanese music score for later releases. Nonetheless, compared to modern anime dubs such as those for Dragon Ball Z Kai and Super, there are still many awkward relics such as Dub Text, Lull Destruction, mispronunciation of Japanese attack names, inconsistently alternating between Gosh Dang It to Heck and awkwardly-placed Obligatory Swearing, changing the beloved Cha-La Head Cha-La! opening to a generic rock score (although the Japanese ending was retained) and generally altering characters' personalities. A viewer accustomed to later uncensored/uncut dubs would find the FUNimation dub to be dated halfway between the bowdlerized Ocean dub and the uncensored, extremely faithful dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai.
  • Sequel Displacement: The original Dragon Ball is said to have better storytelling than DBZ, but in the West, the latter is better remembered and more iconic than the former. This is because the initial attempts to dub Dragon Ball were huge failures. More than half of DBZ had already aired in the United States before Dragon Ball finally received a proper dub. Some fans even have the habit of referring to the franchise as a whole as DBZ, owing to its aforementioned iconic status. As a result of all this, many casual fans are unaware that Goku's adult form debuted in the last saga of Dragon Ball, due to its reputation as "that prequel to DBZ where Goku, Bulma and Krillin are kids".
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: The debates over who Trunks' romantic partner should be have gone on for more than two decades. The three most popular candidates have historically been Pan, Marron and Goten, with all three sides going after each other. Then Dragon Ball Super and its associated movies began hinting that Mai would become Trunks' love interest. Although Mai is not without her fans, the three warring factions mostly set aside their differences to unite against her; they consider her completely unacceptable[3], whereas any of the first three listed could at least be tolerated.
  • So Bad It's Good:
    • Some fans have this opinion of the Ocean dub. The treasure trove of Narm and Ho Yay greatly helps.
    • The AB Groupe dub, better known as the "Big Green dub" after Piccolo's Dub Name Change in it. The script is a Blind Idiot Translation from Japanese to French to English, there are only a handful of actors and most of them are miscast and given terrible direction, and nearly everyone speaks like a Motor Mouth. The result is an unintentionally hilarious World of Ham dub with gaffs like Vegeta calling Goku by that name and not "Kakarot", "Kamehameha!" being yelled for every technique Goku does, even if it's not the actual Kamehameha, and Gohan's pet dragon speaking.
    • The infamous Malaysian-English "Speedy dub" counts too, what with Goku and Vegeta being called "Saiya People"[4] and King Kai rambling on about how "black human beings" dislike the sound of "rubbing glass".
  • Special Effect Failure: The electrical auras of Super Saiyan 2 and 3 are far less impressive in the anime than they are in the manga, and sometimes not present to the point where it can be difficult to tell the difference between a Super Saiyan and a Super Saiyan 2.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • A specific example with Goku. As DBZ was introduced to America separately from the original Dragon Ball, giving Goku a childlike voice similar to Masako Nozawa's performance would have come across as very strange to American fans. He was therefore voiced by various adult male actors. before eventually settling on Kirby Morrow for the British/Canadian dub and Sean Schemmel for the American dub, the latter of which is considered to be the definitive Goku voice by many American fans. While Goku's character in the dub was initially criticized for being changed from a goofy manchild to a serious hero akin to Superman, his character would gradually be aligned more with the Japanese original over time, eliminating this particular criticism of American-adapted DBZ. Of note is the fact that, while Nozawa voiced Dukemon/Gallantmon in Digimon Tamers in a very similar manner to Goku,[5] her performance wasn't met with the same controversy when uncovered by Western fans because the character's English dub voice (Steve Blum) wasn't nearly as beloved there as Schemmel was for Goku.
    • It's generally agreed that the FUNimation dub got better with time. The "uncut" redub of the first 63 episodes is generally very well-liked, and introduced elements such as better performances, more faithful dialogue translations and rare profanity that would pave the way for the English dub's full-blown beard growing with Dragon Ball Z Kai.
  • Tear Jerker: Has its own page.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Raditz. He's the long-lost evil brother of the main protagonist, so you'd expect him to be a major part of the plot. Instead, he's killed off at the beginning of DBZ and rarely gets mentioned again outside of filler.
    • You'd think that King Cold, being Frieza's father and the real leader of the Planet Trade Organization, would be an Arc Villain. Instead, he ends up getting killed off with little fanfare just to show how powerful Future Trunks is.
    • Maron is an example, kind of. While YMMV as to whether she was actually a good character, they did drop her at the end of the Garlic Jr. Saga, and while it's somewhat understandable they'd break off the relationship between her and Krillin, they could have at least kept her around to be a new student to Master Roshi (especially when her whacking a then-brainwashed Master Roshi with a lawn chair would hint that she has a lot of potential as a fighter).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
  • Too Cool to Stay Fused: Vegetto is widely regarded as the strongest fighter in the entire Dragon Ball continuity, so strong that he toys with Buuhan and easily has the capability to destroy him. He only lasts for four episodes before getting swallowed by Buuhan and reverting back to Goku and Vegeta. Goku and Vegeta crush their Potara earrings, and Vegetto isn't seen again until Dragon Ball Super's Goku Black Saga, over two decades after he first debuted.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The Frieza Saga is considered the most popular and beloved arc in the entire franchise, and the measuring stick for every other arc that followed. In Japan, it's especially considered to be superior to the Androids/Cell Saga, with that arc not enjoying the same popularity that it did in the West. That said, the Frieza Saga still consistently tops opinion polls in pretty much every region of the world. In the West, however, many fans have this opinion of the Androids/Cell Saga and its titular villain, often saying that the Buu Saga and everything else in the franchise that followed has never quite been of the same quality.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Bulma, in the anime's version of the Frieza Saga.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Androids were an attempt at this for having facial features radically different from the series' norm. It didn't quite work, as both 17 and 18 are often considered adorable (even in-universe by Krillin about 18), and Chiaotzu predated the bleach-white 19 by several years.
    • Semi-Perfect Cell and Final Form Frieza play this straight, though.
    • The dual voices of fusion characters like Gotenks, Gogeta and Vegetto can be quite disturbing, though the effect was more than likely intentional, considering that fused warriors are inherently unnatural beings, and verges into Creepy Awesome considering how powerful they are.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The designs of Mr. Popo and Staff Officer Black, what with their huge, cherry red lips.
    • It doesn't help, though, that when Bulma first meets Mr. Popo, she blurts out "Doesn't he look a little dangerous?". Of course, it might just have been culture shock from the fact that he arrived on a magic carpet, but still... Staff Officer Black, despite his questionable design, fares better, as he's portrayed as being far more competent than his boss, Commander Red.
    • What about the fact that the Super Saiyan form, which is superior in every way, has pale skin, blonde hair and blue eyes? Are the Super Saiyans supposed to be Aryan Ubermensch Warriors? (Yes, I know they're aliens, but still). A lampshade was hung in DBZ movie 12 when Goten and Trunks turned Super Saiyan against the resurrected Adolf Hitler and his Nazi army.
    • The many shots of children's penises throughout all three series, and tons and tons of people raising their hands in the air for, giving their energy to, and loudly shouting the name of their hero: (Mr.) SATAN.
    • And then there's Killa, a minor character who looks and acts like a walking stereotype of black people. Even in the dub, Funimation has him talking like a Jive Turkey, which leads one to wonder "what the hell were they thinking?!".
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Chi-Chi comes off as this for some fans. The series makes her out to be hysterical and unreasonable for freaking out over Gohan's safety and education. While she often goes too far, there are times when she actually has good points.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • In-Universe, very few people actually like Vegeta, probably because he got most of them killed by Nappa.[6] Goku, Bulma and their children together seem to be the only ones that like him, and even they sometimes get tired of him. To many fans though, he's one of the best things about DBZ.
    • Zangya. In Bojack Unbound, she only appears for ten minutes, speaks very little and then gets betrayed and killed by the main villain. However, she's incredibly popular among fans, and many see her as a Draco in Leather Pants.
    • Nappa, Frieza, Cell and Super Buu. Nearly everyone in the series either fears or hates them, but they're among the most popular characters in the fanbase.
  • Values Dissonance: In many of the nude scenes, Americans see Ho Yay or even Shotacon that no Japanese viewer would see.
    • The clueless racial stereotyping can be cringe-inducing.
    • Goku's parenting skills. In North America, especially the USA, Goku comes off as a neglectful father and husband. In other parts of the world, especially the Asian countries, Goku comes off as a good father who spoils Gohan (too much, according to Japan).
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Puar's supposed to be male via Word of God, but ended up being female in the FUNImation and Ocean dubs. It doesn't help that, in all versions of the anime, Puar's voiced by a woman.
    • Chiaotzu. While Chiaotzu has a more masculine appearance than Puar, his makeup and his relationship with Tien Shinhan, along with being voiced by a woman in all versions, can make the whole issue seem rather confusing.
    • It took quite some time for a lot of viewers of the English dub to realize that Frieza wasn't a female alien. His polite manners, large lips, pink, purple-and-white skin color and sexual innuendos didn't help much, either.

Krillin: (upon hearing Frieza's true gender) "That thing's a guy?!"

  • Villain Decay/Villain Forgot to Level Grind: One, the other, or sometimes even both, happen to most of the villains after they been defeated the first time around.
    • Many of these fights conveniently happen after they're causing trouble in Hell. You'd think they'd be Genre Savvy enough to start training there...
  • Wangst: Vegeta throws temper tantrums whenever it looks like somebody has surpassed him. By the end of the series, though, he gets better.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: This is a series for ten-year-old boys, but the high amount of violence wouldn't pass for a kids show in the States. The Frieza and Cell Sagas, for example, are possibly the most graphic and violent sagas that the series has given us, which was one of the reasons why the series was heavily criticized in the '90s by Moral Guardians.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Like most shonen, Dragon Ball fans are guilty of this. If a character is not one of the strongest in the series, they are written off as worthless. The human cast gets this especially bad, since they Can't Catch Up to the Saiyans. Even Piccolo eventually falls behind, causing fans to declare him a "wasted character", despite him helping the stronger characters in other ways outside of power. Gohan, however, gets this the worst, since most of his fanbase seems to only like him when he's a badass. It's so bad that, if Gohan isn't the strongest unfused character, they call him a wimp and decry him as a terrible character since he wants to live a normal life.
  • WTH? Casting Agency:
    • Having Masako Nozawa voice Bardock, Adult Gohan and Goten. Hearing an old woman's raspy voice as a ruthless warrior and a bespectacled adult man can be rather jarring. Raditz also got away with having a different voice, so why not those two? For Goten, he's already a miniature Goku, so him having the exact same voice as his father, even as a teenager, keeps him from being little more than a clone and a Replacement Scrappy.
      • Her flagship role, Adult!Goku, is also infamous for this; while she was fitting for his child voice, some, mostly Western fans, felt that such a high-pitched voice coming from a masculine character was head-scratchworthy.
    • Hikaru Midorikawa as Tien Shinhan from 2006 onwards. While Midorikawa is an excellent voice actor, more than competent and has a very quirky, recognizable voice, he sounds absolutely nothing like Hirotaka Suzuoki. Many fans feel that Koichi Yamadera would've been a better replacement, due to him having previously filled in for Suzuoki in two episodes of Dragon Ball Z while the latter was out sick.
  • The Woobie: Gohan, Krillin and Future Trunks, just to name a few.
  • Woolseyism: Quite a few, but the most obvious is Mr. Satan being renamed Hercule.
    • Changing Oolong's wish from "the panties of a hot girl" to "the world's most comfortable pair of underwear" just makes the first-ever wish in the series even funnier.
    • In the original Japanese version, the announcer mispronounces Goku's name by reading the kanji for "Son Goku" as "Mago Gosora". In the English dub, where Alternate Character Reading isn't exactly a thing, it's localized as him mispronouncing "Goku" as "Gah-kay-ah". Viz's translation of the manga, meanwhile, takes a slightly different path by having the announcer misread "Son Goku" as "Song Oku".

Notes

  1. Or when you don't know that it's filler, like most Western fans who didn't start with easy access to or intensive knowledge of the manga.
  2. Both because Goku could have very easily ended the Buu Saga right away and, in a series already holding a reputation for lengthy power-up scenes, this was one of the longest by far.
  3. Mainly due to the fact that, in Super, Mai is a 50-year-old woman trapped in a child's body
  4. A literal translation of the Japanese "Saiya-jin".
  5. Vocal Dissonance on a manly character, similar delivery and all
  6. And he stole Yamcha's girlfriend.
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