Flying out of Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine, Dragon Ball quickly became a pop culture phenomenon. First gaining popularity in Japan, the franchise moved to the West in the United States. Dragon Ball rapidly became a household name, opening the floodgates for nearly every other anime that followed. The star of the Dragon Ball franchise, Goku has been around since the manga and TV show first began. Sent to Earth by his people in the hope he’d take over the world, Goku did just the opposite. After he fell down a waterfall and hit his head as a baby, Goku became benevolent and would spend the rest of his days protecting the planet.
Vegeta is the prince of all Saiyans. When he first appeared in Dragon Ball Z, it wasn’t as a hero, but a villain. Yet gradually, Vegeta became a hero and did away with his murderous tendencies; he’d forever retain his warrior spirit and sense of honor. Seeing himself as Goku’s rival, he pours his energy into becoming stronger than Goku. The two of them together are the classic odd-couple, with a fantastic love-hate, or rather respect-hate, relationship. Today at CBR we’re looking at 15 memes related to Goku and Vegeta.
16 JUST SAIYAN HI
Everyone has a different way to express hello to his or her best friend. Saiyans are a warrior race. For the most part, they aren’t known for being especially affectionate. Strength and pride are what matter to them. Like an overzealous fraternity, a Saiyan hello doesn’t involve tears and holding hands, it likely involves a punch to the face (or something in equal approximation).
Saiyans live to fight. In fact, fighting is an integral part to their biology. They get stronger through fighting and by way of a special attribute called Zenkai; they get a boost in power if they recover from a near-death experience. Anyway, as seen above, Goku and Vegeta are not getting along. That’s because during the Buu Saga, Vegeta allows himself to be corrupted by Babidi so he can be bestowed with enough power to finally defeat Goku.
15 FEAR OF NEEDLES
Goku and Vegeta are two of the mightiest beings in the universe. They’ve faced down gods and monsters and never batted an eye. No matter how bad things get, the two Saiyan warriors persevere to the end, fighting to their last breath. That said, they each have rather unique fears. What could these two godly Super Saiyans dread? Well, if you’re Goku, then you’re terrified of needles. A clever and long-running gag in Dragon Ball Z was Goku’s phobia over anything needle-related.
He hated going to the doctor if only because he would refuse to take a shot. As for Vegeta, the Saiayn prince absolutely abhors worms. Big, small, it doesn’t matter; they gross him out to no end. So the idea of Krillin playing Yu-Gi-Oh with the pair and playing Needle Worm, the combination of their greatest fears, is priceless.
14 HOW VEGETA SEES GOKU
It’s a widely known fact that everybody loves Goku. Blowing people’s collective minds when he first turned Super Saiyan, we’ve been in awe of the Saiyan for decades. Just kidding, not everyone loves Goku. In fact, there are a ton of fans who hate him for his irresponsible behavior and prefer characters like Vegeta and Piccolo. To those same people, have no fear; you’re not alone. Vegeta shares your opinion.
This isn’t to say Vegeta doesn't respect Goku, but he does have a problem with Goku's childish antics and seemingly oblivious nature. Calling Goku a clown is something Vegeta did during the Buu Saga. After having the evil reawakened within him, Vegeta calls Goku a “circus clown,” to which Goku essentially replies that he’s been called a lot of things, but a circus clown is definitely a new insult.
13 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Over the years, Dragon Ball Z has become influential and popular enough to warrant an entire litany of memes. Aside from the Frieza-related meme, “This Isn’t Even My Final Form”, the most popular has been, “It’s Over 9,000!” To this day, it remains a part of pop culture that’s forever linked to Dragon Ball Z. Even so, if Vegeta existed in the real world, the quote would likely follow him around to his dying day; a phantasm he’d never be able to escape.
Everywhere he went, people and fans would be asking him to say, “It's Over 9000!” In short order it would get infuriating. Could you imagine if the paparazzi tailed Vegeta everywhere? The planet would likely be blown up after the Saiyan prince had had enough.
12 A LEVEL BEYOND
No matter what Vegeta says or does it always feel like Goku is a level above him. Well, we hate to beak it to you, Vegeta, but that’s because he is! If only because he’s the show’s main character, Goku is always achieving new forms and powers, leaving Vegeta mystified and heartbroken. The Saiyan Prince will use his rage as fuel to try and bridge the gap between them; he usually fails. That’s just how it’s been since the early days of Dragon Ball Z. After they both reached Super Siayan 2, Vegeta was finally relieved…but then Goku demonstrated he could go Super Saiyan 3.
In Dragon Ball Super, Goku went Super Saiyan God, further ascending beyond Vegeta. Eventually, they both went Super Saiyan Blue and it seemed like they were evenly matched…and then Goku discovered the Ultra Instinct form, once again pulling ahead of Vegeta.
11 A FALSE SUPER SAIYAN
Back during the Frieza Saga, Vegeta had a particular obsession with becoming the legendary Super Saiyan. While fighting Frieza, Vegeta boasted he had achieved the magnificent power. This was a not true and Frieza ended up killing him. Vegeta finally ascended to a Super Saiyan a couple years later during the Android Saga. Pushed to his limits while training for the mechanical monstrosities, Vegeta nearly dies and all but gives up on becoming a Super Saiyan; the intense emotional turmoil proved to be the key in unlocking the transformation.
Though with Vegeta constantly trying to stay one step ahead of Goku in order to perverse his honor, applying some bleach and dye would both be hysterical, and actually unnervingly fitting for his character. Let’s not be too critical, even Goku was a false Super Saiyan that one time.
10 SICK BURN
Vegeta is known for blabbering on about how he’s the prince of all Saiyans. Whenever he gets the opportunity, Vegeta will try and remind his friends and family about how important he is. This particular instance is a throw back to that time at the VMAs when Kanye West took that microphone away from Taylor Swift. It was about as awkward a moment as anyone could have experienced and would forever be remembered by the Internet to this day.
Even the Dragon Ball franchise cannot escape the meme that the infamous event became. And so, Kanye is doing what he does best, stealing Vegeta’s moments and making the Saiyan prince cry. Kanye’s soul-crushing words about how Goku is the God of all Saiyans, would likely be enough to elicit some tears.
9 MAYBE ONE DAY
Vegeta’s fought many enemies over the course of his life. Though he’s lost a couple battles, he returns stronger than ever and enacts swift vengeance or is satisfied in the knowledge that he boasts greater power. The same does not apply to his relationship with Goku. He is the one opponent to constantly ahead of the Saiyan prince. It’s been an uphill battle for Vegeta, ever since Goku was able to achieve the Super Saiyan form against Frieza.
In the past few decades, it seems as though Goku is just toying around with Vegeta; he does seem to take a naïve delight in being stronger. Even when Vegeta is, temporarily, stronger, and is proud of his strength, Goku doesn’t seem phased, almost like he knows he’ll be back on top again soon. Despite them both having the power of gods, Vegeta still takes second fiddle. Maybe one day, Vegeta.
8 RULER OF A TINY KINGDOM
The Saiyans, at least if you asked Vegeta, were a proud warrior race. To anyone else in the galaxy, the Saiyans were Frieza’s henchmen. The evil space tyrant would have groups of Saiyans raze entire worlds so that Frieza could then flip the planet and sell it for a profit to the highest bidder.
Vegeta’s royal heritage would mean little once Planet Vegeta was destroyed at the hands of Frieza. Now, Vegeta is the ruler of only a small handful of Saiyans. The exact number is up for debate since new Saiyans pop up every so often (like in movies) and there are a few half-breed Saiyans running around too. The primary Saiyans includes Goku, Gohan, Goten, Trunks, Future Trunks, and Vegeta himself. If you’re feeling particular, you can include Vegeta's brother, Tarble. Also, with his dad dead, shouldn’t Vegeta be the Saiyan king, rather than the Saiyan prince?
7 BUU CAN'T TAKE A JOKE
Created by the evil wizard Bibidi, Majin Buu was a malevolent djinn and the most powerful villain in the entirety of Dragon Ball Z. When Bibidi’s son Babidi resurrects him, Buu goes on a rampage.
One of Buu’s greatest powers was the ability to absorb warriors and have their strength be added to his own. As a result, his appearance and mental state would be dramatically altered. One constant was that he enjoyed toying with and mocking his would-be victims. After absorbing Mystic Gohan, Buu is more arrogant (and stronger) than ever. Goku and Vegeta fuse into Vegito and begin to beat Buu like a drum. Vegito, possessing the combined personalities of the two Saiyans, is ridiculously egotistical and loves putting Buu down with insult after insult. Now on the receiving end of malicious jokes, Buu finds it’s not so funny when it’s happening to him.
6 RIGHT IN THE PRIDE
Aside from Vegeta, the most iconic villain in all of Dragon Ball Z is the maniacal Frieza. The destroyer of the Saiyan homeworld, Frieza was known as the strongest being in the entire universe. The idea of challenging him was considered not just foolhardy, but suicidal. That didn’t stop Vegeta from trying his hand at taking Frieza down. In an effort to avenge the Saiyan race and prove himself the strongest of his people, Vegeta fought Freiza; and promptly lost. Frieza even broke Vegeta’s pride, causing the prince to burst into tears.
Later, Goku, the grown-up future version of his son, Gohan, Trunks, and even the alien Pikkon would defeat Frieza. Vegeta came close to getting his revenge in Resurrection of F, but his victory was snatched from him and Goku delivered the killing blow.
5 ONLY VEGETA
Heralding from the Saiyan planet Vegeta, no one should be shocked to know that 1) Goku isn’t human and 2) his real name isn’t Goku. When his brother Raditz informed him that he was an alien, Goku was genuinely shocked. To make matters more confusing for him, Raditz referred to Goku by Kakarot, his proper Saiyan name. Throughout most of Dragon Ball Z, and especially the movies, Goku comes into contact with a lot of villains who call him Kakarot.
Whenever they do, he seems to get rather ticked off about it. He prefers to go by his Earth name. However, Goku makes an exception for Vegeta. The two apparently have a special relationship where Goku he is fine with the Saiyan prince calling him by his Saiyan name.
4 CHECK YOUR FACTS
The rivalry between Goku and Vegeta has lasted for nearly all of Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super. Vegeta constantly spends his time struggling to get stronger than Goku, but failing. Finally, during the Buu Saga, Vegeta sells his soul to the dark wizard Babidi to get a power upgrade. Becoming Majin Vegeta, the Saiyan prince finally reached Super Saiyan 2. With his new level of power, Vegeta’s ego got a little inflated to say the least.
Though Goku and Vegeta fight evenly, Vegeta later learns Goku was holding back big time throughout entire fight and could’ve ended the battle in a single blow if he’d wanted. Still, Vegeta will always claim to be Goku’s superior, but all Kakarot has to do is to refer him Google, a place where he can do some quick fact checking.
3 FAMILY TIME WITH VEGETA
Among other things, Saiyans aren’t well known for their loving parental skills. Goku, despite probably being the friendliest full-blooded Saiyan of all time, is a horrible father. Constantly abandoning his kids, and not even being aware that his second son was born, there’s likely no one more neglectful than Goku. That’s not to say Vegeta is going to win any father-related awards either.
That brings us again to the Buu Saga. Despite Vegeta receiving a power boost, Goku was holding back during their fight; essentially toying around with Vegeta. Vegeta’s pride suffered more than his body upon this discovery. There’s nothing more valuable to Vegeta than his honor. Kid Trunks should likely refrain from pointing out that his dad is weaker than Goku. Oh, wait, he went ahead and said it? That’s…unfortunate.
2 GOKU'S A DUMB HUSBAND
One of the oddest tidbits to come out of Dragon Ball Super was when it was revealed that Goku’s never kissed his wife Chi-Chi -- this boggled Vegeta’s mind. The Saiyan prince probed a bit further, reminding Goku that he has two kids. Goku didn’t understand the connection and how they related to one another. Many Dragon Ball fans shouldn’t be surprised by Goku’s callous behavior, as he isn’t the best at showing affection. It’s a curious characteristic, especially for someone who spends so much time trying to save the planet and getting inspiration from his loved ones.
Even expanding on that, Goku is just a bad father and husband in general. He practically refuses to get a job, doesn’t provide for his family, and really spends no time with his loved ones whatsoever. If Goku had it his way, he’d likely spend all his time on another planet training.
1 THE MARK OF JIGGLYPUFF
There are plenty of oddities in Dragon Ball Z, but one of the more peculiar ones revolve around why everyone under Babidi’s and the Majin influence had an M mark on their forehead...except for Buu. Regardless, It’s probably because the show didn’t understand subtly terribly well. It was likely a just an overly simple indicator to demonstrate that a character as evil. When Vegeta was imbued with the malevolent power, he also got an M stamped on his forehead.
Becoming a villain once more, it was a rather shocking change to see Vegeta break bad once again. This meme tries to explain how Vegeta got the M on his face. The Pokemon Jigglypuff is known for getting upset whenever someone falls asleep during her sleep-inducing lullaby and gets revenge by marking up their face with a Magic Marker.