Dragon Ball is home to endlessly evolving Saiyans, androids pre-installed with combat data along with infinite stamina, galactic warlords enamored with destroying planets, and literal deities. Mind you, Akira Toriyama’s franchise seems set to expand for a few more years, bringing forth as-of-yet unknown forces capable of putting to shame the likes of Jiren and Broly. Perfect Cell boasting about destroying Earth using only a single finger no longer seems all that impressive. After all, Beerus accomplishes the same feat without requiring the use of his hands!
Faced with such insurmountable mountains, Krillin looks almost pathetic. A key player during the original series and the early stages of Dragon Ball Z, the bald one simply could not keep up with the subsequent arcs’ perpetually increasing power levels. At the end of the day, Krillin is merely an Earthling. A highly intelligent and powerful Earthling, but one nonetheless. All of the training in the world is not going to change this fact. Is there any point comparing Krillin to Dragon Ball’s other characters? At first glance, the results may seem obvious; however, there is more to the height-impaired warrior than meets the eye. Krillin makes up for a lack of strength through smart strategies and novel moves intended to hit the opponent in their weak spot. Regardless of power level, Krillin is a master warrior.
In order to keep things interesting and avoid jobbers from the World Tournaments, characters will be compared to Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power version of Krillin. How far has Goku’s lovable best friend come? Here are 15 Dragon Ball characters stronger than Krillin (and 15 strange ones who aren’t)!
30 Stronger: Master Roshi
As far as three-century-old hermits fond of talking to turtles and eating takeaway pizza go, Master Roshi is sprier than most. Earning the title of "master" through his expertise as a martial artist, Roshi once ranked as the strongest Earthling, although those days are long since gone.
At least, that appeared to be the case until Dragon Ball Super brought Goku and Krillin's sensei back into the fold for the Tournament of Power. After eliminating numerous opponents, Master Roshi went toe-to-toe against Jiren and more than held his own. By this point, Krillin had spent more time on the bleachers than in the actual battle royale.
29 Weaker: Bruce Lee
Okay, technically, Krillin is greater than a cheap imitation of one of history's renowned martial artists. Making an appearance during the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, Great Lee mocks Goku and Krillin's miniature physiques before facing off in a match against the latter. Once the Mini Monk tanks a slew of direct hits - including a variant of Bruce Lee's legendary Dragon Stomp - the fake Lee realizes he may be outmatched.
While defeating the off-brand model is nowhere near as impressive as the real deal, Krillin is stronger than a Bruce Lee.
28 Stronger: Pan
Calm down, we are not saying Krillin is weaker than a baby. Just that he is weaker than Gohan's baby. Putting aside Dragon Ball GT, which reduces Pan to an annoying side-kick and Krillin to everyone's uncool uncle, the young girl shows magnificent potential in her limited appearances during Dragon Ball Super.
Prior to uttering a single word, Pan is already able to access her ki and even destroys a robot controlled by the Pilaf Gang. More importantly, Krillin would never harm a baby, so Pan wins by default. Life is not always fair.
27 Weaker: Paragus
Fathering arguably the most powerful Saiyan of all time, Paragus rates as a slightly above average representative of his race. While hardly a pushover, Paragus definitely cannot take credit for bestowing Broly with his overwhelming strength. During his prime, the older Saiyan struggled to handle a couple of admittedly large bugs; conversely, baby Broly dispatched a group of creepy crawlies on his own.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly states Paragus' power level is approximately 4,200, a long way off from the likes of Pre-Namek Vegeta or Goku. Once Guru unlocks Krillin's potential, the Earthling should be able to defeat Paragus without breaking a sweat.
26 Stronger: Z Fighter Vegeta
At any given time, any of the main Z Fighters with alien blood running through their veins are above Krillin in the pecking order. Saiyans become stronger following every defeat, a talent that compliments Vegeta's tendency to accept challenges beyond his pay grade.
While Krillin has come far by the end of the Tournament of Power, he does not a chance against any version of "good" Vegeta. According to V-Jump, Vegeta's loss at the hands of Recoome skyrockets the Saiyan's power level to around 250,000. Comparatively, Krillin had yet to crack the six-digit threshold by the end of the Frieza Saga.
25 Weaker: Frieza Force Vegeta
Unlike Saiyans, Earthlings do not naturally grow stronger following a particularly unflattering defeat. Permitting he lives to compete another day, Krillin is left with a bad memory and some valuable experience. Dragon Ball Super cares very little about consistent power scaling, therefore, pinpointing Krillin's level during the Universe Survival Saga is a bit tricky. Nevertheless, it is unlikely the Earthling's raw ability has increased too much over the years.
Pre-Namek Vegeta is weaker than the greenest member of the Ginyu Force. He would never survive a second in the Tournament of Power. Using his experience and raw power, Krillin would send the Prince of All Saiyans sprinting back to Frieza's mothership.
24 Stronger: First Form Frieza
Refusing to train a day in his life and backed by an army ready to destroy civilizations to keep their leader happy, Frieza begins his Dragon Ball story by erasing a planet with a single attack. Regardless of his form, Frieza is lightyears ahead of any Earthling, Namekian, and most Saiyans.
How can Krillin potentially stand a chance against this monster? Now, in all fairness, Final Form Frieza is essentially defeated by an attack eerily similar to Krillin's Destructo Disc. That being said, unless Super Saiyan Goku is providing a distraction, Krillin is unlikely to replicate such a feat.
23 Weaker: Present Cell
Technically, Krillin defeats Cell. While Vegeta purposefully allows the android to achieve perfection, the Earthling wisely wastes no time in ensuring the villain never experiences puberty. Along with Future Trunks, Krillin destroys Dr. Gero's laboratory and scores a win over one of Dragon Ball Z's central antagonists.
Regardless of the version of Krillin under consideration, the Z Fighter will never rise beyond the level of an insect next to any of the post-Dragon Ball big bads. Faced with such tough odds, Krillin should accept any win no matter the circumstances.
22 Stronger: Android 18
The ability to win a fist fight against a mountain is a pretty cool trick, but life's champions are selected in more ways than one. Android 18's first significant contribution involves cutting Super Saiyan Vegeta's ego down to size. She does not register Krillin as a threat and this remains the case for their entire relationship.
Years later, Android 18 and Krillin are married and the parents of a wonderful girl. Seeking to fill the Universe 7's team for the Tournament of Power, Goku wants Android 18 but accepts the couple is a package deal.
21 Weaker: Raditz
Taking into accounts the subsequent arcs, the fact Raditz presented remotely of a challenge to Goku is almost absurd. In fact, Krillin has already far surpassed the long-haired Saiyan once the Z Fighters land on Namek.
An encyclopedia collecting various guide books concerning Akira Toriyama's manga, Daizenshuu lists Raditz's power level at under 2,000. Conversely, Krillin sits on a cool 75,000 by the end of the Frieza Saga. Saiyans are either the biggest underachievers of the universe or adhere to a seriously lopsided example of Darwinian evolution.
20 Stronger: Goten
During an interview, Dragon Ball Super's series director (Ryouta Nakamura) and producer (Satoru Takami) stated that Akira Toriyama selected Universe 7's roster for the Tournament of Power. Prior to the battle royale, many questioned whether the likes of Goten or Trunks should have been selected ahead of Krillin, Tien, or perhaps Master Roshi.
Battle power is not the be-all and end-all. Goku justifies the exclusion of his youngest son on Goten's naivety in combat. Krillin has fought the likes of Raditz, Vegeta, Ginyu, and Cell. The dude understands the value of a sound strategy. Theoretically, permitting the preschooler does not go Super Saiyan, Krillin may be able to score a victory against Goten. Unfortunately, that seems unlikely to happen.
19 Weaker: Yamcha
Although not strange in a traditional sense, this entry's peculiarity lies in Yamcha constantly failing to surpass Krillin. Whether a child or a middle-aged cop, the latter permanently occupies a couple of notches above the desert bandit. Dragon Ball established Yamcha as a solid martial artist and arguably among the strongest on the planet. That being said, Bulma's former boyfriend slowly transitioned into a comedic sidekick in the subsequent sequels.
While Krillin continues to grow, Yamcha seems to regress with each new appearance. At this point, he may be weaker than the version of Krillin introduced in the 14th episode of Dragon Ball.
18 Stronger: Jaco
A humanoid alien employed by the Galactic police force, Jaco is the main protagonist of a Dragon Ball spinoff series called Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Charged with protecting races from menaces such as the likes of Frieza, the Masked Man takes his responsibilities earnestly, permitting the villain is not someone as powerful as Frieza. Jaco is a brave coward.
Due to being primarily utilized as a comedy character, Jaco is a hard character to take seriously. As it so happens, looks and first impressions can be deceiving. Capable of defeating many of Frieza's henchmen on his own, Jaco is at least on par with Krillin. Both are fully aware of their limitations and approach fights strategically. As a Galactic Patrolman, Jaco has access to the universe's top weapons.
17 Weaker: Domesticated Gohan
For all of Dragon Ball Super's accomplishments, 2015's anime could have shown a touch more respect to Gohan. Now, in all fairness, the human/Saiyan hybrid regards combat as a necessity rather than a personality identity. Gohan is not Goku. That being said, the dude should consider signing up for a gym membership!
Prior to the Tournament of Power, Krillin straight up defeats Gohan in a sparring match, although it should be said that the pure Earthling had to resort to a ring out. Gohan is meant to be quite an intelligent fighter, yet, Krillin found a way to outsmart him!
16 Stronger: Every Other Gohan
Permitting Gohan is not masquerading as a substitute high school teacher, the hybrid should be beyond Krillin's reach. Super Saiyan 2 Gohan is obviously a non-starter, but the strongest version of Krillin should struggle against basically any moderately competent iteration of Goku's offspring.
All the way back in the Namek Saga, Gohan's potential already starts to shine through the surface. Krillin lives with a limiter, while Saiyans exponentially grow with each failure or bench press. Even if Krillin was to somehow defeat Gohan, the loss only ensure the latter becomes stronger.
15 Weaker: Guldo
This entry should come as no surprise. Out of the five Ginyu Force members, Guldo is undoubtedly the least impressive of the bunch. In fact, kid Gohan and Krillin overwhelm Frieza's soldier. In defense of the minor antagonist, Guldo's telekinesis permits for a variety of practical attacks, including a time manipulation skill similar to Universe 6's Hit.
Guldo is the Krillin of the Ginyu Force. What he lacks in power, he makes up for in specialized moves. In a battle of Krillins, the original reigns supreme.
14 Stronger: Cell Jr.
Perfect Cell's bundles of joy are adorable in an E.T. sort of way but underestimate these creatures at your own peril! Possessing many of the same abilities as their papa, Cell Juniors are about as powerful as your average Super Saiyan. On the other hand, Krillin is weaker than your average Super Saiyan. Some truths are the toughest to accept.
While a considerable lapse in time separates the Cell and Universe Survival Sagas, there is little to suggest Krillin has grown significantly more powerful by the end of Dragon Ball Super. Without the backing of the other Universe 7 heroes, Krillin does not stand a chance against a Cell Junior.
13 Weaker: Majora
Forming part of Universe 4's Tournament of Power team, Majora's combat abilities are beyond question. The warrior earned a place on the roster in spite of the notable disadvantage of being blind. Majora also has the unfortunate distinction of being the only contestant eliminated solely by Krillin.
As Kuririn (Krillin's manga name) and Majora are evenly matched in terms of fighting prowess, the Earthling relies on a slightly underhanded tactic to attain the upper hand. Realizing Majora tracks his opponent through smell, Krillin flings his shoe at the fox's nose, which provides a long enough distraction to shove the Universe 4 warrior out of the ring.
12 Stronger: Frost
At hard as it is to believe, Frost is somehow more cowardly and poorly trained then Frieza. Apparently, laziness has multiple tiers. At best, Final Form Frost is a poor man's Namek Saga Frieza, especially in the anime. Dragon Ball Super's manga allows Frost to put up something resembling a fight against Super Saiyan Goku and Vegeta. One constant common among both versions is Frost easily eliminating Krillin out of the Tournament of Power.
In some ways, Frost's cowardice makes him an even worse opponent than Frieza. While the latter sees no need to waste time with weaklings, Frost loves to pry on the likes of Krillin to score a few easy victories. Krillin is the equivalent of stealing candy from a baby.
11 Weaker: Ginyu In Goku's Body
When facing off against god-like beings, opportunities are rare and fleeting. In his normal form, Captain Ginyu should be able - with some effort - to defeat any version of Krillin; however, a brief window exists that serves as an exception to this rule. After assuming control of Goku's body, Captain Ginyu's power level declines to around the same level as Guldo.
The new digs present such a drastic change of pace for Ginyu, Gohan and Krillin succeed in temporarily seizing the upper hand against the villain. For a painfully short period, Krillin was truly stronger than Kakarot and Ginyu combined!
10 Stronger: Basil
Classified as the weakest of all the teams, Universe 9 is the first to be eliminated during the Tournament of Power. Although their performance left something to be desired, all ten members are respectable fighters in their own right. They just cannot hold a candle to the other Universes.
Basil is an average warrior from an average Universe. He is absolutely owned by Innocent Buu during Zeno's exhibition match prior to the real tournament. Even with the help of the remaining Universe 9's members, Basil comes up short against a holding back Goku and Vegeta. Despite all of this, Goku and Gohan still believe Krillin stands no chance against him. While this prediction is made prior to Krillin's training with Android 18, the gulf in class is too big to be overcome.
9 Weaker: Tien Shinhan
Going solely by the evidence shown on screen, Tien seems slightly stronger than Krillin. Presented as a worthy challenger to Dragon Ball's Goku, Tien even manages - with some luck - to defeat the protagonist in the finale of the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. Along with being unable to keep up with the arrival of the Saiyans, Tien slowly fades into irrelevance during the later sequels.
Tien and Krillin start out at around the same power level, with the former benefitting from a slight edge. On the other hand, Guru does not unlock Tien's potential. Due to being a far more dedicated martial artist, the descendant of the Three-Eyed People gradually catches up to his fellow Earthling. That being said, Krillin tends to be billed as the planet's strongest. Clearly, Master Roshi needs to get out more.
8 Stronger: Trunks
Annoying as this rugrat can be, Trunks is Vegeta's son and the Prince of All Saiyans refuses to raise any lower class Saiyans. Technically, Trunks is the heir to an entire (non-existent) planet. Besides saving and marrying Android 18, what has Krillin ever accomplished? Of course, that is already more than enough! Trunks won a children's martial arts tournament and contributed to the creation of Gotenks.
Slightly craftier than Goten, Trunks seems to have picked up Krillin's talent for slyly turning the tables on his opponents. The Saiyan has a long way to go before matching up to his future self, but Krillin is already in the rearview mirror.
7 Weaker: Nappa
Given enough chances, every Saiyan should be able to reach the level of someone like Ginyu or even Frieza. Some may require a few dozen more close-shaves than others, but the sky is the limit. The only way to stop a Saiyan in their tracks is to remove the possibility of a comeback completely out of the picture. With the exception of Goku, Nappa has no trouble handling the Z Fighters.
Once the heroes head to Namek to locate the planet's dragon balls, Krillin is already twice as powerful as Nappa. More importantly, the bald Saiyan is all muscle and no brains!
6 Stronger: Future Trunks
Living in a world defined by pain and defeat, Future Trunks continues to persist in spite of great Android-shaped adversary. The likable character spends so much of the series under the boot of his enemies or as Vegeta's metaphorical punching bag, one can easily forget Future Trunks is actually an incredibly powerful warrior. Krillin and Trunks represent humanity's refusal to surrender in the face of overwhelming odds.
Introduced as a Super Saiyan, Future Trunks resides in a completely different stratosphere to Krillin. That being said, both characters contributed equally to the defeat of (Present) Cell.
5 Weaker: Mr. Satan
Mr. Satan is the ultimate joke character. In defense of the glory-hogging World Champion, Earth's status as a popular tourist destination for androids and aliens is the only reason Mr. Satan comes across as such a weakling. On a human-only playing field, Hercule ranks among the best of the best. With that being said, Krillin is a human who can fly. The bald one is practically a superhero! Mr. Satan is merely a competent fighter with a fantastic marketing team.
Will a day pass when Hercule is bestowed with an opportunity to engage in a real battle? Maybe, maybe not. If such a time arrives, Mr. Satan should pray his opponent is not Krillin.
4 Stronger: Piccolo
Prior to fusing with Nail, Piccolo is only second to Goku in terms of power. Vegeta's arrival usurps the Namekian as the franchise's foremost antagonist turned friend, although Piccolo keeps up with the Saiyans until approximately the Imperfect Cell days.
Along with possessing overwhelming strength, Piccolo is more than a strategic match for Krillin. Piccolo overpowers Second Form Frieza, which is greater accomplishing than anything performed by the Earthling.
3 Weaker: Tambourine
As nobody wants to read a list consisting mainly of Bruce Lee impersonators, we extend Krillin the benefit of the doubt in a few of this article's entries. While true, claiming Dragon Ball Super's Krillin is stronger than pre-Namek Vegeta barely qualifies as a compliment.
In the name of fairness, this entry pits Krillin against arguably his worst enemy without any beneficial conditions. Tambourine haunts Krillin's dreams. The mutated Namekian left a scar on the Earthling that may never heal. Victory is not an option.
2 Stronger: Super Saiyan Goku
Like, duh? Along with possessing all the advantages associated with carrying Saiyan genes, Goku is also Dragon Ball's protagonist. There is no greater power than plot armor. Together since their youth, Krillin and Goku transition from rivals to best friends, mainly because the former offers little to no challenge to the latter.
Super Saiyan Goku trounces Final Form Frieza. The only way Krillin can possibly defeat First Form Frieza is to ask Shenron to make it happen. Krillin is Goku's cheerleader.
1 Weaker: Pre-Namek Goku
Krillin has come a long way. After all these years, the Earthling is finally strong enough to fight alongside Goku versus the Saiyans. He should also be quite useful against the Ginyu Force. Unfortunately, Goku graduated from the likes of Nappa in the early '90s. While Krillin chases Kakarot's shadow, Goku is off defying gods and Broly. A bittersweet achievement.
Krillin helps ground Dragon Ball in a semblance of normalcy. He is a human in a world ruled by monsters. Despite the pursuit's innate futility, Krillin continues to confront dragons.