Goku from Dragon Ball Z is considered to be one of the mightiest mortal heroes in the multiverse, frequently referred to (and particularly by deities) as the most badass and strongest combatant in Universe 7, as well as one of the series’ strongest protagonists.
A combat genius who studied a great deal as a child and would continue to study practically any new method he came across His uncanny knack for warfare, along with his relentless drive, have elevated his power to unimaginable levels, rivaling and surpassing the realm of the Gods of Destruction.
Finally, Goku’s limitless potential has led to him being regarded as unequaled, if not invincible, by any other fighter when at his ultimate prime. But, despite his strength, he was not unbeatable. Here’s how seven Dragon Ball Z characters nearly killed him:
At the end of the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai, Goku and Tenshinhan battle it out until they are entirely drained. Because the Demon King Piccolo arc commences immediately following the tournament’s conclusion, Goku didn’t have time to replenish his strength. This doesn’t stop him from heading after Tambourine when he discovers Krillin’s body. Goku, unquestionably, lacked the energy to engage Tambourine in combat. He is easily defeated and even loses Kintoun in the process.
6. Demon King Piccolo
Depending on how the viewers perceive events, Demon King Piccolo does indeed kill Goku. Goku kills Tambourine with no trouble after eating and regaining power. Piccolo now knows where Goku is because he sensed Tambourine’s death and pursued him. Piccolo easily defeats Goku despite not being at his peak. Piccolo uses his speed and strength to launch a Ki blast that successfully freezes Goku’s heart. There is no Dragon Ball to save him either. Goku briefly perished and only regained consciousness by pure chance.
Although Raditz is likely to be blamed for Goku’s death, he did not murder his brother. He certainly could have. Raditz could have killed Goku at any time, whether it was at their initial encounter at Kame House or during their actual fight. Towards the end of the duel, Raditz even had Goku at his mercy. Raditz might have killed Goku if Gohan hadn’t gotten out of the space pod, and without Goku to hold Raditz down while the Makankosappo landed, Piccolo’s chance would have arrived soon thereafter.
4. Android 19
While Android 19 came very close to killing Goku, Cell, Dr. Gero’s only creation, actually succeeded in doing so. It wasn’t even that Goku was more powerful than Android 19 in the initial half of their fight; instead, Goku’s Super Saiyan form enhanced the heart virus that would later take Goku’s life in a different timeline. This allowed Android 19 to pin him to the ground, where he subsequently started siphoning energy from Goku.
In Dragon Ball Super, Goku and Beerus get along well, but things weren’t always that way. In Battle of the Gods, Beerus is sincerely trying to kill Goku and is fighting with that goal in mind. In the absence of Goku’s proper combat, he would have perished. Goku isn’t powerful enough to combat Beerus or even slow him down, not even with the Super Saiyan God on his side of the battle. Goku confronts Beerus’ “strongest” strike straight up and only manages to survive due to divine events that neither of the characters can fully understand.
Moro almost ends Goku’s life several times, which is unusual for Dragon Ball antagonists. He leaves Namek for dead after draining his power, pierces his chest during their fight on Earth, creating a visible scar, and overall simply plays around with the Saiyan until Goku begins to use Ultra Instinct sincerely. Even so, Goku is defeated by Moro when he unites with the world as a whole. Only with Vegeta’s help does Goku have the strength to finally put an end to Moro.
Truth be told, Vegeta is his own biggest enemy. Goku may have been more powerful when he pushed into Kaioken x4 (as demonstrated by Vegeta’s defeat in the beam duel), but he lacks the endurance to keep up with an expert Saiyan just yet. Vegeta is unaware that Goku uses all his energy on his Kamehameha.