Akira Toriyama’s ever-popular Dragon Ball Z franchise has been airing on television since 1986 and continues strong today with Dragon Ball Super. Over the years we’ve seen some pretty crazy fights and even crazier transformations of the Saiyan race. Saiyans are an alien warrior race that was wiped out by Frieza, leaving a handful of survivors which seems to grow every few years when they need a new movie or new season. One of the major characters of the show is Gohan, the son of Goku. Because Goku is a full Saiyan and his wife, Chi-Chi, is a human, Gohan is half human, half Saiyan. Turns out that’s an advantage for him though, as Saiyan hybrids have been proven to be stronger than pure-blood Saiyans.
Which brings us to the main point of this article; the fact that Gohan tends to be way overpowered throughout the entire manga and anime adaptation. From his very first appearance in Dragon Ball Z, Gohan has reached incredible heights simply because of his mixed heritage. He is able to do way more than someone his age should and even overpowers many of the adults in the show. At one point, he was considered the strongest fighter. But given his reserved personality, Gohan doesn’t like to fight and will only do so when he has to. This is one of those cases where you shouldn’t push the quiet one too far, as his anger is the key to his overpowered character.
25 The Comeback Kid
Pretty much the entire human race will only get weaker when drastically injured, at least once the adrenaline. But then Gohan is not completely human. He gets one very important gene from his dad, and that is the fact that Saiyans only get stronger when they are critically injured. Based on all of the Z fighters’ battles, this comes in handy more often than not. This is also one of the main points that people point to when discussing how Gohan defeated Cell. Pain is power, I suppose.
24 To Infinity... And Beyond!
When creating a story, you can’t have your protagonist incredibly strong from the start. They have to work their way up the ladder while their enemies do the same. For most people though, the ladder has an end. There comes a point where it is impossible to progress.
Gohan’s unlimited potential has created some majorly overpowered moments.
Not so much with Gohan. Due to his heritage, he has been slated to have a nearly unlimited potential. This is probably the easiest way they can explain why Gohan tends to be overpowered in many situations.
23 Look Ma, No Plane
What were you doing at the age of five? If it includes using ki (spiritual energy) to fly, you might be a Saiyan. Gohan lives out in the country, so getting anywhere without a car is a real hassle. Since Goku is a deadbeat dad and can’t drive (they have a whole episode on it), they tend to rely on the power of flight to get around quickly. While flight is something that humans also do in the show, Gohan learned the skill presumably when being trained by Piccolo; a time when he would have been under major duress.
22 A Mean Uncle
You know what mama bears can do when their cubs are in danger. But it’s not often that a child is able to protect their parent. Things are a little different when you’re an overpowered half breed that can transform into a giant monkey. After being taken by Raditz and forced to watch his dad get hurt, understandably Gohan was upset. Because human-Saiyan hybrids tend to have more power, Gohan was able to fight back against the villain with a surprising strength. I’ll be saying this a bit: the kid was only four or five (depending on the translation).
21 Make A Monkey Out Of You
When Vegeta was undoubtedly a villain spouting off pro-Saiyan propaganda, it’s only delicious story-telling irony that he should be defeated by a half-Saiyan. Gohan was actually the first of the Z fighters to give prince Vegeta a slice of humble pie. At four years old, he was upset at the way Vegeta was treating his dad, and ended up transforming into the great ape Oozaru. Now, Vegeta was a major threat for a while, but the fact that Gohan was able to trounce on him so swiftly is pretty overpowered.
20 Camping Trip
As part of his training with Piccolo, Gohan was thought he was left to fend for himself. That meant he had to hunt and protect himself at the tender age of five. Mind you, his father had just been ended by his uncle Raditz, and he had just been taken by an alien with unknown intentions.
Gohan lived in the wilderness as part of his training.
Piccolo was indeed watching over to make sure he didn’t hurt himself too badly, but Gohan didn’t know that. Had he known, he may not have fought as hard and grown as he did.
19 A True Jurassic World
Gohan’s adventures start at a pretty young age. Because Goku can’t seem to be bothered to provide financially for his family, it’s usually up to Gohan to hunt and provide food for his sustenance farming mother. Being overpowered helps in this situation, because he is able to bring home quite a large amount of meat to be used later. One case of this is when he’s living out in the wild and is shown to be cooking the tail of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Given the size of a dinosaur, it’s pretty impressive on paper.
18 So Much For Prince Of All Saiyans
Remember when we mentioned about Gohan’s insane strength on Namek? Well, his battle against Frieza was not the only show of power exhibited. At that point, Vegeta was still on the fence as to if he were going to be a good guy or a villain. When the tides looked like he was going to be antagonistic, Gohan showed part of his potential in a battle against Vegeta. While not completely able to defeat the Saiyan prince, Gohan was able to show Vegeta that Saiyan-human hybrids have great potential to be better than even he imagined.
17 An Unexpected Contender
It’s hard to be eleven. It’s even harder when you’ve become part of a group of the strongest fighters on the earth and are expected to keep all aliens at bay. That’s the life that Gohan has been thrown into when Frieza comes to Namek.
Anger gives Gohan the power-up he needs to fight back.
After Piccolo is ended, Gohan understandably goes into a blind rage over his father figure, giving Frieza a run for his money. Being half-Saiyan, his emotions highly played into his attack power, making him much stronger than anyone expected.
16 The Bigger They Are
Once again, Gohan was able to dent an incredibly hard enemy. Need we remind you that Gohan was still a child at this point.
Gohan was able to take on foes much larger than himself.
Granted, he didn’t take Bojack on single-handedly, but the fact that he’s even capable of even holding his own against someone quite a bit larger than himself gives a reminder to the viewer that Gohan has the potential to take Goku’s spot as protagonist. While Bojack’s arc was not canon, it’s still pretty impressive to us.
15 The One And Only?
When the series started, Vegeta made it very clear that the status of Super Saiyan was legendary, even to the point that there could only be one. After the anime and manga took off in popularity, Toriyama continued to increase Goku and gang’s power. The lore was changed so that there could still be a legendary Super Saiyan. That person was Broly. He was incredibly tough, but Gohan was able to help defeat him; something that Goku couldn’t even do on his own.
14 A Little Too Much Garlic
Granted, these three entries are non-canon defeats. However, given Gohan’s age and the inability of heroes like Goku to defeat them in the past, we’re calling it overpowered. Garlic Junior was the son of Garlic, a very strong enemy. Garlic Jr was also the only villain to ever successfully wish for immortality from the dragon balls. Yet Gohan found a way to defeat him twice. The first time he sent him to a place akin to DC’s Phantom Zone, and the second time was when he destroyed a star keeping Garlic Jr. out of his imprisonment.
13 The Future Is Now
As part of one of the DBZ timelines, Gohan and Trunks were the only two of the Z fighters left to protect the earth, and Gohan made good use of it by training Trunks. The Androids 17 and 18 were the ones responsible for the attacks, and only through immense training, Goku and a bit of luck through Cell were the Z fighters able to be victorious. But in this timeline, Gohan was able to nearly singlehandedly keep them at bay until Trunks could finish his training. He admittedly lost, but he only had one arm. He’s still overpowered.
12 Go No Further
Before Buu made his grand appearance, Dabura was the big bad guy we were cheering against. He made quick work of some of the fighters and had a pretty interesting character himself. Gohan at the time was only a teenager, and one of the things standing in Dabura’s way to world domination. Thankfully for the people of earth, Gohan tends to be overpowered in nearly every fight he participates in. While not a clean win, Gohan was able to lock Dabura into a stalemate, something older folks like Krillin could never do.
11 Wash, Rinse, Repeat
When Frieza shows back up again for the umpteenth time, fans wondered how Gohan would measure up. It’s been ages since they fought on Namek, and Gohan has been through quite a bit in the time difference. True to Gohan’s overpowered nature (and the relief of fans) he nearly one-shots Frieza without even going super Saiyan.
Frieza was much less intimidating the second time around.
Granted, Frieza was only in his first form, but he’s also had quite a power up since Namek. Too bad his original arc wasn’t that short.
10 Not Completely Out Of The Game
Between the Buu arc and the next one, Gohan keeps himself pretty busy. Instead of training like Goku or Vegeta, we learn that he ends up getting married to Videl and having his daughter, Pan. Not to mention school and work clamor for his time, making him visit the gym about as often as we do. However, when we do see him again, he is able to hold his own despite not being able to exhibit the same powers that he had previously. It’s a little disheartening to see how far he’d fallen, but nice to know he can fight.
9 More Than A Power-Up
Speaking of Mystic Gohan, chances are good you think it’s another transformation that only Gohan can do because of some Saiyan hybrid magic. You would be wrong there though, as Gohan’s mystic ability is not actually a transformation. It is more of a power level that Gohan has unlocked.
Gohan’s mystic form has always been there.
Gohan’s potential was unlocked, giving him more access to his reserves of power in order to fight off Majin Buu. Too bad too, because some of the other Z fighters could really use some of that mystic mojo. We’re looking at you, Yamcha.
8 A Whole New Level
Going Super Saiyan is all fun and games until your energy level runs out and you can’t do much else besides throw a few punches at your enemy. Luckily for Gohan though, that’s a thing of the past. When his potential gets unlocked, he learns he has the ability to go Super Saiyan without expending the usual energy it takes to keep the form up. This perk wouldn’t be so overpowered if everyone else could eventually learn it. But nope; this is something only Gohan is capable of because of his vast potential.
7 A Singular Experience
During the Buu saga, fusion was a thing. You did a funny dance with a friend and then boom: new fighter. With all of the Z fighters being absorbed by Buu, they needed all the power they could get. Goten and Trunks’ fusion was pretty good, but they still stood in Gohan’s shadow. He very nearly single-handedly defeated Buu without having to fuse with someone else. In the end, storytelling won out. But had they kept to the lore, chances are good fusions wouldn’t have happened till the next arc.
6 A Good MacGuffin
When Majin Buu was the main villain of the season, many of the Z fighters couldn’t stand a chance. It had been a few years since Gohan had overpowered Cell, but he had gotten back into training in just enough time to justify his fighting.
Gohan’s Mystic Ability Made This Battle Doable
His mystic ability is another thing altogether. Gohan is gifted with his mystic/ultimate ability because the world couldn’t depend on Goku (who was training with King Kai after sacrificing himself to defeat Cell) and Gohan was the best candidate. Can you say ‘convienient’?
5 A Handy Tool
Few people in the Dragon Ball Z universe use weapons. For the most part, the Z fighters will use martial arts alone to contend against their foes. But Gohan (and by extension because of his training, Trunks) are both quite handy with a sword. True to Arthurian legends, Gohan is able to use the Z sword, which he pulled out of a stone. Gohan is one of the only people who gets to use this weapon, and it aids him greatly.
4 Be Prepared
One of the things that Gohan has going for him (and is a good excuse as to why he is occasionally overpowered) is that he has a brilliant mind. Not only is he incredibly book smart, Gohan also has enough experience to be a great strategist. He puts this to use in the tournament of power as the only fighter who consciously makes a plan before fighting. He is a bit like Batman without all of the gadgets, although putting him in a super hero costume has resulted in some cringeworthy scenes.
3 Who Needs Senses
During the Tournament of Power, Gohan was recently fighting against an opponent named Lavender (Lavenda, in some translations). For most of the fight, Gohan and Lavender were pretty well matched... until Lavender pulled a dirty trick and blinded Gohan with a poison.
Even with his senses gone, Gohan is overpowered.
For the rest of the match, Gohan was forced to fight without some of his major senses. He was able to defeat his opponent, but it ended in a draw since Gohan then blacked out. Still, that’s some pretty overpowered luck that allowed him to get that far.
2 Big Shoes To Fill
We all know Goku is the hero of the story and he will (probably) never leave the show for good. Gohan’s character though is a little iffy. His power levels have fluctuated more than the amount of times Yamcha has been ended. He has been built up the entire series to be stronger than even Goku and Vegeta and for a brief moment, he was. Gohan was able to hold his own against his father in a sparring match, something not a lot of people can claim. For someone who has slacked off his training, that’s impressive.
1 The Perfect Battle
Okay, we’re going to ignore Gohan’s genetics here and the fact that he was basically being primed to be the next protagonist, had Goku not been so popular. The reason this is number one is the fact that Gohan, at the age of 11, basically defeated an enemy that Goku could not: Perfect Cell.
Gohan’s overpowered character shone brightly in the Cell Saga.
Gohan’s power was incredible and made for quite possibly the very best arc that Dragon Ball Z has to offer. What were you doing when you were 11?