When people talk about what kind of person Goku is, the words “kind”, “brave”, and “honest” would likely be some pretty commonly used adjectives. Goku is a guy who stands up for his family and friends, and is not afraid of any fight. He undeniably has some admirable qualities. The thing is, when you actually stop to think about it, Goku might not be quite as nice as he’s typically believed to be.
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It’s fine for a protagonist to have a few flaws, since a perfect good guy gets boring and annoying. But sometimes Goku does things that are just straight up selfish or callous to other people. We’re not saying he’s the true villain of the franchise or anything silly for shock value like that, but it’s hard to ignore that Dragon Ball’s hero has developed some off-putting characteristics. Looking over the franchise, we have come up with 15 Reasons Dragon Ball’s Goku is such a huge jerk.
15. HE IS PATRONIZING AF
The Buu saga gave us our long awaited rematch between Goku and Vegeta, and it appeared both Saiyans were going all out to win it. Vegeta embraced his old evil ways, and both warriors revealed their Super Saiyan 2 forms for the first time. It looked like a clash between two equals, and though Vegeta cheated to do it, he technically won. It sent Vegeta out on a high note as he went on to sacrifice his life shortly afterwards against Buu.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that Vegeta’s self-destruction didn’t actually kill Buu, he also learned that Goku had been holding back in their fight. When Goku challenged Buu, he unveiled his Super Saiyan 3 form, meaning he had this even when he fought Vegeta. When confronted about it, Goku admits he just wanted to make them feel evenly matched. Needless to say, getting lied to and patronized wasn’t something Vegeta appreciated.
14. GENOCIDE IS A JOKE TO HIM
To be fair to Goku on this one, he wasn’t the only one who made this mistake. Future Trunks came to the main timeline to warn the Z Fighters about the androids that would kill them all, but they were all too cocky to take the message to heart. Bulma even broached the subject of how they should just go right to Dr. Gero’s lab and destroy it instead of waiting around for the androids to awaken, but the Z Fighters laughed off this idea.
We get that the characters of Dragon Ball love to test their power, but this wasn’t some harmless tournament fight. Trunks came from a future where humanity had been nearly driven to extinction thanks to these androids. You don’t toy around with that kind of threat. By allowing the androids time to awaken, Goku and his friends endangered everyone on the planet.
13. HE THREATENS INNOCENTS
After Vegeta allowed himself to be controlled by Babidi, the Saiyan Prince clearly wasn’t acting like himself. He was back to being as bad as he was when Goku first met him, something he proved by firing an energy blast that killed a bunch of people at the World Martial Arts Tournament. Vegeta was eager for his rematch with Goku at any cost. But a strange thing was Goku also became resolute on having that fight. Goku even threatened the life of the Supreme Kai to accomplish it.
The Supreme Kai knew the whole battle was staged by Babidi as a tactic to awaken Buu, and he tried to warn Goku about this. But Goku charged up an energy blast and aimed it at the Kai, making a clear threat against him. This was one of Goku’s most uncharacteristic moments in the franchise. He not only threatened an innocent person, but by ignoring the Supreme Kai, he also willingly accepted the consequence of awakening Buu.
12. HE MISTREATS WOMEN
Naming just one thing is too easy for this entry since Goku has been being a jerk to Bulma for as long as they have known each other. When Goku was a kid he had an excuse, but some of the things he’s done as a grown man can’t be chalked up to not knowing any better. Like in Battle of Gods, Goku was present when Beerus slapped Bulma across the face, but just hung back and did nothing while Vegeta defended his wife. Then later Goku mocked Vegeta about getting so upset about it. What kind of friend does that?
Or if you want something from the main anime, there’s the infamous scene where Goku promises the Old Kai can kiss Bulma in exchange for helping them. Later, Vegeta finds out about it and is rightly furious, asking why Goku didn’t offer up Chi-Chi instead. Goku definitely cares about Bulma, but he takes her friendship for granted way too often.
11. HE TOYS WITH HIS KILLS
One of the biggest character flaws of the Saiyans is that for one reason or another, each of them drags their feet on finishing off their opponent. In the case of Goku, there are numerous cases where he postpones killing people out of mercy because he believes they can become good people. But he does share a bit of Vegeta’s methods as well, where he sometimes drags out the battle because he enjoys flaunting his dominance over an opponent.
Goku especially did this when he was a kid, playing pranks and humiliating his opponents in battle. That was understandable, though, since he was still a kid. But he continues to do this as an adult. When Goku fused with Vegeta to form Vegito just look at how cocky he got in his fight against Buu. By this point, Buu had already killed Goku and Vegeta’s wives, but Vegito still treated the fight like a game. Enjoying a fight is fine, but Goku definitely plays around too much in his battles.
10. HE LETS KIDS FIGHT HIS BATTLES
This might not appear to be Goku being a jerk at first since he just wanted his and Vegeta’s kids to have a chance to save the world. He wants the boys to know what it feels like to be the hero and to get comfortable with defending the planet. The thing is, Goten and Trunks never volunteered for that. Goku just thrust that responsibility on them against their will, and in doing so, wound up getting the Earth destroyed.
This was all because once Buu first showed up, Goku initially challenged the villain and revealed his Super Saiyan 3 form. Goku eventually quit the fight to go help his friends, but later admitted he probably could have beaten Buu. So, just like with the androids, Goku had a chance to stop the villain, but just passed on it. Vegeta sacrificed his life to stop Buu, but Goku was fine not putting in his full effort just so the next generation could have a turn to be heroes.
9. HE CREATED HIS OWN EVIL TWIN
This is a case where Goku would have had a tough time realizing how bad things could get based on what he did, but it was still a bad idea regardless. Upon learning that Zamasu has the power of a god, Goku decides it’s a good idea to challenge him. You’d think he wouldn’t want to try his luck with that again after how badly things almost went with Beerus, but Goku does it anyway, and actually wins.
The thing is, Zamasu’s loss sends him spiralling into madness and leads to the appearance of Goku Black in Future Trunks’ timeline. So, Goku angered a god so much that it led to an alternate version of the Earth nearly being destroyed. And to top it off, when Goku visits his timeline’s version of Zamasu again, he seriously almost goes along with having a rematch against Zamasu despite knowing by this point what happened in the other timeline.
8. HE RUBS HIS POWER IN VEGETA’S FACE
Though a lot of people seem to think of Goku as a nice guy who just happens to love fighting, the years have revealed that Goku is as bad as Vegeta when it comes to flaunting his strength. If anything, Goku has gotten even worse as time has gone by. In the Buu saga, Goku wasn’t bothered by pride and outright begged Vegeta to fuse with him so they could defeat Buu. But in the events of Dragon Ball Super, Goku has let his pride get in his own way.
During Frieza’s revenge in Super, Whis tells Goku and Vegeta that if the two of them would just work together, they’d be unstoppable. As expected, Vegeta doesn’t want to rely on others to be great, but even Goku agrees this time. When Goku kills Frieza he even brags about stealing the kill from Vegeta. Goku knows his superior power irks Vegeta, and he’s taken to holding it over the Saiyan Prince.
7. HE ABANDONED HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY
We all know Goku loves to train, fight, and grow stronger, but sometimes he can take those admirable qualities too far. The people you care about really should come before anything else, and most of the time Goku seems to abide by that. But at the end of Dragon Ball Z, when Goku meets Uub, we see him straight up ditch everyone to help Uub become stronger. He could have stuck around to train his granddaughter Pan, but instead he goes off with a total stranger.
Going by the continuity of GT, Goku’s training with Uub doesn’t even accomplish much since Uub is still outclassed by other fighters years later. But GT also has no problem replicating DBZ’s ending by having Goku leave once again at the end of GT. It’s stuff like this that makes fans accuse Goku of not being a good father or husband. Who just walks out on their family for years?
6. HE SAVED ONE GUY OVER THE WORLD
This is another case where Goku’s intentions might have been good, but the outcome made him look pretty foolish. When Buu reverted into his Kid form, the villain entered his most chaotic state yet. This quickly became apparent as Kid Buu formed an attack that destroyed the entire planet. With no time to spare, Goku had to grab whomever he could and teleport off the planet. Left with the choice of rescuing Gohan, Trunks, Goten or Hercule, Goku grabbed the latter along with Vegeta and escaped.
Yeah, Hercule is a nice enough guy and didn’t deserve to die, but he took priority over Goku’s own family? Now sure, Hercule did play a key role in defeating Buu later, but Goku had no way of knowing that. So why would he take the time to grab someone like Hercule instead of his own sons? Vegeta chewed Goku out on this once they were on solid ground again, and Goku really didn’t have a good defense for doing it.
5. HE’S A DEADBEAT HUSBAND
Seeing as how Goku grew up mostly on his own, the fact that he struggles to understand the concept of a job is understandable. He survived based on his own two hands, killing his own animals for food, and flying on the Flying Nimbus to get wherever he wanted to go. But once he became an adult and got married, it was really past time he understood the importance of working. And yet, he never really adapts to having a career.
Vegeta also doesn’t work, but at least Bulma is rich and can take care of herself. Goku and Chi-Chi live a meager life despite Chi-Chi being a princess, but they really shouldn’t have to. With Goku’s strength he could easily be a construction worker, body guard, martial arts teacher, or basically anything he wanted that doesn’t require an education. But he never does this, much to Chi-Chi’s irritation. And with how much Goku eats, you know their food bill can’t be cheap.
4. HE BLEW UP A NEUTRAL PLANET
Of all the scummy things Goku may have done, this one is at least understandable. With Cell about to explode and destroy the Earth and everyone on it, Goku decided to sacrifice himself by using Instant Transmission to teleport Cell away. The problem is he teleported Cell right to King Kai’s planet and killed his one time instructor.
To be fair, Goku has to be able to visualize the place he wants to teleport to, so picking the most uninhabited place made sense. But Goku might have actually been able to spare King Kai’s life if he had simply been faster. Skip saying goodbye to Gohan and immediately grab King Kai, Bubbles, and Gregory after arriving to the planet and Goku could have teleported back to Earth with his friends instead of dying. And even if Goku would have been too slow regardless, killing someone and destroying their home is understandably not a great way to keep friends, regardless of the justification.
3. HE HELPED MURDER HIS BROTHER
A recurring theme in Dragon Ball is how Goku makes allies of his enemies. Krillin, Piccolo, Vegeta, Androids 17 and 18? They all got second chances, and in the case of someone like Vegeta, even more chances than that. Goku believes there is good in everyone and is hesitant to kill even his worst enemies. He gave Majin Buu of all people a second chance, despite Buu destroying the Earth. And in Dragon Ball Super, he’s even showed willingness to work with Frieza. So how could Goku forget about his own brother?
Yeah, Goku initially gave Raditz a chance to work things out, only to get betrayed. But after Raditz died, why would Goku never wish his brother back? Raditz knew Goku when he was a baby, and could have told him about their parents, but Goku let that history slip away without a second thought. Raditz wasn’t as evil as Vegeta, and Vegeta changed. So why not give Raditz another chance?
2. HE HEALED HIS ENEMY
A lot of the issues that can be brought up against Goku are things fans might chalk up to him attempting to be honorable, but Goku definitely pushes it too far sometimes. When the Z Fighters were preparing for their battle at the Cell games, Goku’s whole attitude towards the thing was so nonchalant like Gohan just had it all handled without a doubt. That comes across more as arrogance, and there was no greater example of that than when Goku gave Cell a senzu bean after their fight.
Cell might have been calling this battle a game, but this was about whether or not the Earth would be destroyed or saved. It was stupid beyond words for Goku to value his sense of honor so much that he would restore Cell to full power for Gohan’s fight. Goku placed the billions of lives on the Earth in jeopardy by doing this, all to satisfy his pride in Gohan’s progression in fighting ability.
1. HE HELPED ENSURE THE DEATHS OF TRILLIONS
Even with everything else Goku has done, this is no doubt the worst. With new, more powerful opponents uncovered in Dragon Ball Super, Goku was more interested than ever in testing his strength. But this time Goku went too far for many fans since he appealed to Zeno to get his chance. Zeno is all powerful, but also very childish, so Goku asking for a tournament was never going to turn out well.
Even Beerus warned Goku not to do it, but of course Goku doesn’t heed good advice. So when Goku broached the subject with Zeno, the latter wound up pitting most of the universes against each other in the tournament, with the condition that the losing universes would be destroyed. Even if Goku somehow reverses this using the Dragon Balls or some such thing, he’s still responsible for ensuring the deaths of trillions of people by putting this idea in Zeno’s head.
What do you think? Does Goku’s heroism exceed his jerk moves, or vice versa? Let us know in the comments!
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