Goku is the main character in the fan-favorite manga/anime series, Dragon Ball. While he is involved in so many fights as the main lead of the show, he doesn’t always win. The show emphasizes that Goku learns and grows from his losses.
This helps him become a better martial artist and hero, even though he doesn’t come out on top every time. The message is that facing failure makes you stronger.
In Dragon Ball, Goku often wins battles that he realistically should have lost. This is because he’s the main character, and the story needs him to win, even when all the odds are against him.
So, here are seven times when Goku, the series protagonist, should have lost the fight but didn’t:
7. Goku’s Rematch with Demon King Piccolo
In Goku’s rematch with King Piccolo, even after drinking the Super Holy Water, he only gained enough power to match King Piccolo. Eventually, Piccolo nearly breaks all of Goku’s limbs but makes a fatal mistake by not breaking both arms. Goku uses his Kamehameha to defeat Piccolo.
6. Versus Vegeta
In their first big fight, Goku technically loses to Vegeta in the battle, but he wins the overall victory. Goku uses a powerful Kamehameha with Kaioken x4 to beat Vegeta, but Vegeta transforms into an Oozaru. He starts hurting Goku until Gohan, Krillin, and Yajirobe step in. Goku cuts off Vegeta’s tail and defeats him with a Genki Dama. Vegeta could have won if he hadn’t transformed into a Great Ape right away, as Goku was out of energy.
5. Frieza’s Arrogance Seals His Fate
In the battle between Goku and Frieza, Goku wins because of his luck and Frieza’s arrogance. Goku gives his all with Kaioken x20, while Frieza fights seriously at his full potential power. Frieza could have defeated Goku earlier but chose not to. Instead, Frieza’s actions lead to his defeat when he targets Krillin, allowing Goku to use the Genki Dama and eventually turn into Super Saiyan.
4. Goku’s Tactical Choice Against Fat Buu
In the fight against Fat Buu, Goku didn’t lose, but he didn’t win either. He could have beaten Buu but chose to buy time instead, showing off Super Saiyan 3 and wasting time on Earth. This decision led to the reliance on Gotenks, who ultimately failed. If Goku had defeated Buu initially, it would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.
3. Goku’s Struggle Against Pure Buu
In Dragon Ball Super, Goku didn’t defeat Pure Buu on his own. He got significant help from Vegeta, Fat Buu, and Mr. Satan. Goku’s final attack, the Genki Dama, was just the last push. Without their help, Goku might have lost the fight from the start, as he was already struggling. Super Saiyan 3 Goku is as strong as Pure Buu, but using this form drains his stamina quickly. If they had a regular fight, Pure Buu would likely have beaten Goku because of this stamina drain.
2. Battle Against Golden Frieza
In the fight against Golden Frieza in Dragon Ball Super, Goku initially struggles but manages to outlast Frieza’s powerful form by conserving his energy. However, Goku gets shot through the heart by Sorbet when he lets his guard down. Vegeta steps in but also loses. Goku ultimately wins because a powerful being named Whis turns back time and gives him a second chance to defeat Frieza.
In the fight against Moro, Goku initially falls short and needs help from his allies to power up Ultra Instinct. However, it’s only when Uub lends his energy that Goku gains the strength to finally defeat Moro. This outcome feels a bit forced because Goku makes a critical error, and it’s a bit unsatisfying as it relies on a character he hasn’t met yet to save the day.