Goku and Gohan couldn't be any more different if they tried. At times, it's been easy to forget that they're father and son, especially as Gohan strayed further from the path of a warrior.
Fans will always love the fact that Gohan didn't turn out to be a carbon copy of his father, and we can all appreciate the differences that make them both such unique Dragon Ball characters. Below are five things that Gohan can do that are unique to him, along with five things that Goku can do that his son could only dream of.
10 Goku Can: Use Instant Transmission
Goku learned Instant Transmission during his stay on Planet Yardrat. Proving to be one of the most practical techniques in the series, Instant Transmission grants Goku the ability to go almost anywhere in a second just by locking onto an energy signature. Besides villains like Cell, Kid Buu, and Goku Black, none of his comrades have learned this technique.
He definitely never taught this move to Gohan, even when they trained together in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. It looks like Instant Transmission, along with what Goku actually experienced on Planet Yardrat, is just something he'll just have to take to the grave.
9 Gohan Can: Adopt An Alter Ego
When Goku died after getting himself caught up in Cell's self-destruction, he asked his friends not to wish him back to life, thinking that the planet would be safer if he was gone. He was partially right since most of the villains who'd come to Earth in Dragon Ball Z (Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta, Frieza, the Androids) had to kill him as their primary goal. If only he was able to have some kind of disguise when he fought against bad guys...
Fortunately for Gohan, this is where his Great Saiyaman suit comes in. Originally created to allow Gohan to fight crime without giving away his identity, having an alter ego is something that never crossed Goku's mind. Despite taking down some pretty dangerous criminals, Gohan never has to look over his shoulder when he's out in public since his Great Saiyaman costume protects him from being identified by anyone unless they already know him personally.
8 Goku Can: Become A Super Saiyan 3
When Goku first debuted his Super Saiyan 3 transformation, the entire planet began to shake, and the intense wind generated from his energy nearly destroyed entire cities. While Gohan's Ultimate form makes him stronger than a Super Saiyan 3, we've never seen him become one in the anime or manga.
He never went through the trouble of trying to master the transformation, and it's likely that he never will, given the fact that he hasn't really seen the form in action as much as some of the other characters.
7 Gohan Can: Defeat Powerful Opponents Without The Need For A Super Saiyan Transformation
While transformations have become a Saiyan staple, Gohan has chosen not to rely on his Super Saiyan abilities to get the job done, opting to draw out his latent potential instead. Right before the start of the Tournament of Power, Gohan learned how to tap back into the same incredible power he used to give Super Buu a run for his money. Goku, on the other hand, constantly relies on Super Saiyan or Super Saiyan Blue to overpower his opponents.
Technically, Gohan's Ultimate form isn't really a transformation, since it just consists of him accessing the reserves of power that already exist in his base form. While Gohan never resorted to a Super Saiyan transformation throughout the entirety of the Tournament of Power, Goku resorted to every single transformation he possessed, while even discovering a new one! We're not saying that Gohan's Ultimate form makes him stronger than a Super Saiyan God. We're just saying that Gohan manages to defeat some pretty fearsome opponents without having to resort to a Super Saiyan power boost.
6 Goku Can: Use God Ki
God ki is something that was introduced in Dragon Ball Super. It's a specific type of energy that can be harnessed by Kais or Gods of Destruction. God ki is what enables Goku to turn into a Super Saiyan God and a Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, and also enables him to sense other godly presences.
Gohan has never become a Super Saiyan God or trained under gods himself, meaning that he hasn't learned how to harness God ki like his father.
5 Gohan Can: Kiss
As we can clearly see, both Goku and his eldest son haven't had any issues in the relationship department. Both men are married to beautiful wives and have healthy, strong children. It's clear that Gohan and Videl have shared a kiss or two before.
At the end of the movie Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming, Goten and Trunks teased the two after apparently catching them sharing some victory smooches. It isn't until Dragon Ball Super that we learn that Goku doesn't even know what kissing is! We were just as confused as Vegeta that a married man never kissed someone before.
4 Goku Can: Use The Kaio-ken
Goku's training with King Kai became an instrumental part of his development as a fighter. Not only did his overall strength and agility reach new heights as a result of overcoming the gravity on King Kai's planet, but he also added the Spirit Bomb and Kaio-ken to his arsenal. The Kaio-ken is one of Goku's most useful techniques, enabling him to multiply his power level up to 100. While it's possible for Gohan to learn this technique, he's never had the desire to.
And if you really think about it, Goku's the only Saiyan who could truly pull this technique off. It's most effective in quick, short bursts, and naturally, Gohan's propensity for strategy would cause him to draw out a fight for so long that he'd eventually tire out from overusing the Kaio-ken. Goku favors the direct approach, and his innate combat senses allow him to combine the technique with other transformations to maximize the technique's effect.
3 Gohan Can: Solve Advanced Math Problems
Many Dragon Ball fans just assume that Goku is unable to read and write due to how dense he can be at times. This, however, is false. Master Roshi made sure his pupils trained their bodies as well as their minds, forcing them to study literature as a part of their training (although Goku was a pretty horrible reader). Before the tournament with Universe 6, Goku managed to pass the written exam that qualified him to fight, despite struggling with a basic math problem.
His education level is probably just a bit above a kindergartner's, while Gohan could easily become a professor at a prestigious institution! He can read, write, and compute on levels infinitely more advanced than his father, meaning that there are some math problems that Gohan can easily breeze through that would stump his father for days.
2 Goku Can: Defeat Frieza
As it stands now, Golden Frieza is much stronger than Gohan in his Ultimate form, mostly because he can compete with Super Saiyan Gods with his new level of power. Gohan also appeared slightly winded when Frieza pretended to fight him in order to trick his Universe 6 counterpart, Frost.
With his Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken, Goku could easily send Frieza back to Hell, something that Gohan could only accomplish in Fusion Reborn.
1 Gohan Can: Earn His Wife's Trust
It's no surprise that Chi-Chi doesn't really consider Goku reliable. He often abandons his domestic responsibilities, with the most recent example being how he went away to train on Beerus's planet without her permission. Even during the early days of Dragon Ball Z, Chi-Chi could barely trust Goku with their son, since she feared that he'd raise Gohan to be a "delinquent". Her knowledge of Goku's absentmindedness with all things besides fighting makes it impossible for her to put her blind faith in Goku.
Videl, on the other hand, trusts Gohan so much that even when she was presented with photographic evidence of Gohan kissing another woman, she refused to find him at fault. Their ability to empathize with one another is what allowed this unwavering sense of trust and unity to develop in such a short amount of time. No matter how many limits he shatters, he'll never earn Chi-Chi's complete trust. He's proven time and time again that you can only trust him to do one thing and one thing only: win.