goku dying

Dragon Ball Z: 13 Characters Who Beat Goku

Dragon Ball Z: 13 Characters Who Beat Goku

Any anime fan understands Goku’s reputation as one of the most unbelievably powerful characters. The Saiyans can power up through several transformations and achieve new heights on the power-level scale throughout the series and getting near death in conflict only makes them bounce back stronger than ever. And if he wasn’t poor enough on his own, his many friendships give him rapid power boosters like the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and lots of allies, simple access to senzu beans, being able to use the fusion technique.

So Goku is not frightening weak. But despite his reputation for being the man, Goku has been surpassed. Many times. And we’re going to demonstrate it to you. Looking for GT, Dragon Ball Z, Super, the movies, the original Dragon Ball, and one very special non-canon fight, we’re going to have a look at times when the impossible happened.

These fights aren’t rated since they each have such varying variables behind Goku’s defeat. But we’re explaining “beat” as one on one encounters where the competition stood tall, and heal up, Goku had to pull away or watch for a rematch another day. Throughout the franchise, this is 15 Characters Who Have Beaten Goku.



Goku is known to convert enemies to allies, and I’m sure you can think of many examples by now, and that allows the grudge between Goku and Vegeta that would become what the Dragon Ball franchise is famed for. We almost get the sense he needs to switch punches with someone before becoming buddies with them.

While Goku wanted payback for the death of Krillin, he needed power. And the first time merely wasn’t enough while Frize killing Krillin would later be the tipping point that turned Goku Super Saiyan, this time, King Piccolo controlled Goku. It even appeared Piccolo had killed Goku at first, but instead we learned he had only temporarily stopped his heart.


  1. HIT

Dragon Ball Super has introduced numerous strong combatants to pit against Goku and his allies, and naturally, Goku, of course, gets the biggest cut of the action. But what might be astonishing fans is just how many of these conflicts from Super Goku is losing. Hit is only the latest of the group to score a win, an assassin who Goku confronted during a tournament pitting a team representing Beerus versus one siding with Champa. Goku himself admitted that if Hit hadn’t been holding back, Goku might have expired during this fight.

But the fact that Hit was compelled to restrict himself is exactly why Goku lost. Under the tournament’s rules, no killing was let. Hit’s the most dangerous while going for the coup the grace since he is an assassin, and fighting in a style that was nonlethal was putting him at a disadvantage. Recognizing this, the ever honest Goku determined he didn’t bound outside the ring to cost himself the match and want to win an unjust fight. It was a loss that is voluntary, and it’s items like this that made us decide against ranking these losses in any particular arrangement. Hit was obviously incredibly powerful and perhaps could have ended Goku’s life, but the anticlimactic and self -induced loss doesn’t make this a very notable victory for Hit.



Long before power amounts and superb transformations became the defining process to show who was most powerful, the Dragon Ball franchise was much more like authentic martial arts, where years of training and appropriate technique could result in surprising victories. A muscular guy with no fight encounters going against someone who had mastered numerous fighting styles can frequently be a one-sided defeating for the bigger guy. This has been particularly true in the first Dragon Ball.

He struggled during his childhood to locate challenging adversaries. But his first accurate defeat wasn’t against someone with bulging muscles like Broly, or the power to destroy planets like Buu. It was simply a guy by the name. There’re no alibis for Goku’s defeat here except his adversary was trained, and Goku didn’t have enough time to adjust to his style and locate a weak point. The inescapable rematch was much less one-sided, but Mercenary Tao was an early reminder that a superhuman power like Goku’s can be beaten with training that is first-class.



This will probably be one of the most debated entries on this list, but we’re going by the end result, which found Majin Vegeta leave Goku on the ground after a hard fought fight. The transformation was using up Goku’s small time he had to see Earth, as we learned during his fight with Fat Buu.

Let’s look at it from Vegeta’s side, if you’re still cynical: so we can assume they were close in power, SSJ3 Goku had a fairly even match against Fat Buu. Majin Vegeta later fought with Fat Buu and got beat down. Majin Vegeta blew them to pieces and lost himself to attempt and kill Buu instead of taking defeat. So it’s not unreasonable to presume if Goku had used SSJ3 against Vegeta, Vegeta would have used that same technique.

Facts are facts, while Vegeta is willing to play dirty, and Goku prefers a fair fight. Vegeta wasn’t going to lose this fight, and he sucker punched his opponent – too bad!



Goku lost to his brother with the rock star hair and the fight was fairly formidable when he first arrived.

During his first run in with Goku, Raditz fast maintained his power by laying his little brother out —with one hit.

The speedy beating made Goku recognize he was no match for his bad older brother, and he turned to even the odds to an uneasy coalition in his former opponent Piccolo. From there, the fight escalated into an unfair contest because he was fighting two, but Raditz still had a lot more power than his opponents. And in the string despite his passing and short-lived duration, he made Goku’s life so hard he really had to abdicate from it for the first time in the whole franchise by sacrificing himself to pin Raditz down.


  1. JACKIE CHUN: Not Master Roshi!

Master Roshi is, according to most DBZ fans, a simple pervy old guy who dwells with a turtle. Master Roshi, like the majority of the first Dragon Ball cast, was a far more significant character and regarded as more powerful back in the days.

So Goku would think there were bunches of folks out there who could still defeat him but to Goku, Master Roshi and his Jackie Chun personality were the incarnation of defeat, as he created this alter-ego with distinct hair and clothing just to fight his student. Goku was already more powerful than almost everyone around at this point while in reality.

This is another loss that arrived within the rules of a tournament, but this was one of Goku’s few truly critical tournament losses. He simply clashed against a first-class combatant this time around. And yeah, Master Roshi hardly won and might have lost a rematch had one happened a day after, but this was one of Goku’s earliest experiences of technique and training tipping the balance of power.


  1. ANDROID 19

A huge defeat, and one of the reasons that led me to stop attempting to rank these defeats. This loss made us see that the Super Saiyan form wasn’t foolproof. And if Vegeta didn’t arrive, Goku very probably could have expired during this encounter. He was left helpless on the earth with 19 fast sapping all his vigor, and barely any damage was done to his challenger. But the defeat was even more humbling because of how poor we immediately learned 19 was.

In truth, it wasn’t 19 that got the better of the heart virus, although Goku that Future Trunks warned of. It was just extremely bad time while he was in the middle of a fight the negative effects kicked in right. As Vegeta shown, a healthful Super Saiyan would not have any difficulty dismantling this Android.


  1. TIEN

Yes, the three-eyed monk-like character that is dead in the first chapter of the Dragon Ball Z history got the better of Goku. Nowadays, Tien is just a little over Yamcha on the Earthling’s ranking, including Master Roshi, and Oolong. But all of them were worried about their power, and Tien was perhaps the most promising of the bunch. His first fight with Goku found him demonstrate all sorts of techniques buffs who just watched DBZ would never think of, like the ability.

This victory was yet another that took place in a tournament, and was really the most luck-based of the bunch in its finish. Landing outside the ring meant defeat, as is normal in the series’ tournaments. Whoever hit first was going to lose. Despite Tien’s fighting performance that is impressive, his triumph was really a fluke, and when the two fought again next year, Goku would demonstrate that by beating Tien in a far more conclusive situation.



If Majin Vegeta and his sneaky and tricky victory over Goku didn’t have you convinced, there’s no denying that the Saiyan Prince’s manners were gone by the first fight between Goku and Vegeta. The most effective maneuver was undoubtedly Vegeta using his tail to become one of those nasty big, huge, great apes. There was no countering this badass monkey guy destroying Goku between his hands.

Naturally, anyone who’s seen the show understands the fight didn’t finish there. Gohan, Krillin, and Yajirobe hindered on Goku’s benefit to removing Vegeta’s tail and take away his Great Ape type. But Goku was already out of the remaining part of the fight. Despite the good guys standing tall in the one on one portion of this encounter, at the ending, Vegeta maintained his will and was surely on the way to rending Goku apart.



It was shocking to observe even though this fight didn’t find Goku getting beaten unconscious mind as several others on this list have. The stupid thing is Goku gave up on that one. We can argue about the reason on why he felt assured Gohan could handle this, or maybe he literally wasn’t on par and knew all wasn’t enough.

But Cell’s triumph over Goku doesn’t finish there. He was a bad loser, and he understood he couldn’t conquer Gohan, Cell decided to detonate himself and destroy the Earth. Goku was driven to use Instant Transmission to take the blast away from his friends, although it meant sacrificing himself, and wasn’t having that, however. This gives Cell an even bigger distinction in the franchise —he’s the only character that killed Goku, if we consider Goku killed himself when he held Raditz while Piccolo slain them both.



Ok, so this one must be a little out of the box for most of you, but we couldn’t possibly leave out two characters who have occasionally left Goku bruised and seeing stars. And since Goku met with Chi Chi and Bulma when they were both kids, that means he’s had many years of putting up with their humor.

From the first day that Goku met with Chichi, she was shoving him off the Flying Nimbus in midair for using some… unusual approaches of ascertaining her sex. And Bulma almost killed Goku the second she met with him, opening fire on him with a firearm when he started to fight back, and inadvertently ramming into him with her car.

These two women are known for their hard slaps on the head, and Goku has been the receiver of them for sure. So Vegeta would power up whenever it seemed like they were in trouble Goku proposed, they should simply hit Bulma. Suffice to say Bulma nor her husband valued that suggestion, and Goku got a few well-earned slaps for making light of the matter. Throughout the franchise, no one has been defeating Goku around for longer than Chi Chi and Bulma.



Don’t forget the situation that led up to that finish, although since Goku wound up killing Golden Frieza, in the end, you might be iffy on this one. Goku was giving in to his typical defect of wanting to give everyone a fair fight which he permitted himself to be put into a position and so overconfident. In their one on one fight, Frieza left Goku lying helpless on the earth. Vegeta turned up, and Frieza simultaneously deleted him and ruined the Earth.

Sure, Goku got the kill in the end, but it was just after Vegeta saved him and let’s not forget that miraculous senzu bean, and Whis being merciful enough to use his time travel powers. Goku was beat, folks. Without his pals, he was a dead Saiyan in this encounter. After being chastised by Beerus and Whis for his unwillingness to let go of his competitive grudge Goku laughed off the reprimand, meaning this will probably happen again.



Anyone who has been paying attention to events in the Dragon Ball franchise lately knows that Beerus is, and there’s no denying, heavily more powerful than Goku.

So it’s not as if there’s no way he could ever overcome Beerus. And yet, in Battle of Gods, in spite of his friends helping him power upward into a Super Saiyan God, Goku lost.

This was just Goku getting thoroughly outclassed to the point he allowed Beerus permission to carry through his threat to destroy the Earth if he desired to. And though Goku can become a Super Saiyan God at will, it’s not as if his pals allowing him another power up could cause a sure success in a rematch. Beerus is among the few adversaries Goku has faced with a reliable buddy of his own. Should trouble arise, Whis hasn’t only demonstrated that he can throw Beerus around, but he may also go back in time to avoid all of it. So suffice to say, no chance stood in this encounter.

If you want to look at our “Characters Who Beat Goku Infographic“, click it!

Discuss it in the comments, and tell us who you think had the most remarkable success over Goku!




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