No adaptation of a Manga will be able to perfectly recreate all the moments and maintain proper continuity. Problems start arising when an Anime starts adding filler episodes that don’t adhere to the rules of the fictional world. Other times, international translation errors or censorship can result in mistakes. Dragon Ball Z has gained a bit of a reputation for having a lot of inconsistencies over the course of several hundred episodes. Even the recent Dragon Ball Super wasn’t able to correct everything, while also introducing new headaches to annoy fans.
A lot of mistakes in the Dragon Ball Z anime are due to filler episodes and alterations in the English dubbing. The writers for the filler shows weren’t as careful as they should’ve been. A little more care could’ve prevented most of this contradictions and mistakes that have occurred in the show. Some of the errors can also be contributed to errors made by the translation team. No doubt they work really hard to keep things as consistent as possible. Sometimes, forces outside of their control may result in obvious mistakes. For example, the strict rules about what can and can’t be on a kid’s show that affected a lot of 90s cartoons.
We have compiled 25 mistakes from all of Dragon Ball Z. While some are more obvious and jarring than others, all of them are amusing. You will also notice that these mistakes could easily be missed during if you’re casually watching through the show. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t there. They’ve been waiting patiently for you to find them.
25 Hyperbolic Time Chamber Rules
The Hyperbolic Time Chamber has seen some inconsistency over the years. Initially, during the Cell Saga, it was meant for two people. You could only use it for 48 hours and staying any longer would make it impossible to leave. However, in Dragon Ball Super, both Goku and Vegeta train for 72 hours.
The two-person limit is broken during the Majin Buu Saga. Piccolo, Gotenks and Super Buu are together in the chamber, raising the count to three. Perhaps the two-person limit was never true? That’s what some fans speculate. Whatever the cause, this special chamber seems to change its rules at will.
24 The Over 9000 Mistake
This is has become a more commonly known mistake by now. The famous “Over 9000” quote by Vegeta was actually a translation error (intentional or not). The original Manga actually had Vegeta say “Over 8000.”
At the end of it all, this doesn’t make a huge difference to how the story plays out. Whether Goku’s power level was 8000 or 9000, he was still going to beat Nappa. At the very least, the English dub created a somewhat entertaining, but overused, meme.
23 Kaio-Ken Multiplier
Kaio-Ken is supposed to multiply the user’s power by whatever level of it they use. In the show, we find out that the base Kaio-Ken should double Goku’s power. That sounds fine and doesn’t cause any troubles. Kaio-Ken x3 and x4 will increase the user's strength by the respective multiplier.
So, what does Kaio-Ken x2 do?
If it’s a 2x multiplier, it should have the same effect as the base level of the ability. There is a noticeable change in power when Goku uses it. Perhaps the regular Kaio-Ken is actually a 1.5x multiplier? Your guess is as good as mine.
22 Shenron’s Failed Wish
During the aftermath of the Namek Saga, a wish is made to revive everyone defeated by Frieza and his henchmen. The goal was to revive all of the Namekians that had perished during the arc. Nothing crazy here.
Except for an interesting caveat. When Vegeta destroyed Nappa, he was still working under Frieza’s command. Which means that Nappa should’ve been revived alongside everyone else. A slight oversight on the part of the eternal dragon. Even a magical wish-making deity is prone to mistakes it seems.
21 Gohan Predicts The Future
During his time in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Gohan has an interesting nightmare. He dreams about Cell coming into the chamber and attacking his family and friends. It’s understandable why he would have such a dream.
Except, Gohan had never seen Cell at this point. There’s no way he should be able to perfectly imagine what Cell looks like in a dream. This isn’t the first instance. Goku had dreams about Android 17 and 18 despite never seeing them.
20 Androids Are Cyborgs
Android 17 and 18 were actually humans modified by Dr. Gero. Even the good doctor himself was a human who altered his own body with robotic body parts. Something you would usually call a cyborg, not an android.
It’s strange they would make such an error. Perhaps they didn’t do enough research when designing the characters. The more likely scenario is that Android 17 and 18 sounded better than Cyborg 17 and 18. Which is a fair reason, but doesn’t change the facts.
19 Breathing In Space
Saiyans aren’t supposed to be able to breathe in space. Yet, they do so numerous times. We can excuse Bardock during his fight against Frieza. Let’s assume the atmosphere for the Plant Vegeta extended further than that of Earth.
But what about Goku vs Beerus in Dragon Ball Super?
There’s no reason for Goku to be able to perform such a feat in space. Both of them spend a considerable amount of time fighting without any air. It looked really cool though, so I suppose they should get away with it this time.
18 Future Trunks’ Timeline Shouldn’t Exist
Time travel is a difficult subject to deal with as it often creates plot holes. When Future Trunks returns to the past, his intention is to change the future. His endeavor is successful and the ruined future is avoided.
So, why does his timeline still exist? By altering past events, the timeline of Future Trunks should cease to exist. It’s impossible for such a future to happen after the changes that were made. It should’ve simply disappeared out of existence at the end of the Cell Saga.
17 The Potara Problem
Dragon Ball Super recently raised some controversy with the Potara earrings. Apparently, they aren’t as permanent as we once thought they were. This creates a whole bunch of issues for the show, both past and present.
If the earrings are only permanent if two Kais fuse, then it makes no sense for Goku and Vegeta not to use them during their fight against Kid Buu. Also, the Elder Kai fused with a regular mortal, so why is his fusion still permanent? This is what happens when you try to make unnecessary changes to the rules of a show.
16 Perishing Twice Is Permanent
Goku mentions that if someone perishes in Otherworld, they are gone permanently and cannot be wished back. This happens when Kid Buu attacks Otherworld during his rampage.
This kind of makes sense in its own weird way.
Problems start arising in Dragon Ball GT when Goku fights both Frieza and Cell in HFIL. They don’t permanently disappear after “perishing,” contradicting what Goku said all those years ago. Either Goku is a huge liar or he simply doesn’t know anything at all.
15 Cell’s Impossible Regeneration
Cell claims that he was able to regenerate after self-destruction because his nucleus survived. This is supposed to be located in his head. Except prior to this, Goku blew up Cell’s head with a Kamehameha Wave. That should’be been the end of the Cell Saga right there.
Using these facts, it should’ve been impossible for Cell to regenerate. And this was before Gohan even started fighting him. Another case of carelessness in the writing has resulted in a plot hole.
14 Tien Can Grow Limbs
This is one of those infamous English dub lines that got it horribly wrong. After losing his arm to Nappa, Tien claims it will grow back. What an absurd comment to make after losing a vital body part.
The fact is, Tien is a regular human with no regeneration abilities. He cannot grow back arms and this is a huge error on the part of the original dub. This has been fixed now, thankfully and Tien remains unable to grow arms out of nowhere.
13 Gohan’s Age
The original dub felt that Gohan being 4 was too inappropriate during the Saiyan Saga since he would get hit by Raditz. It may have rubbed parents the wrong way at the time so some changed had to be made.
So, they raised Gohan’s age to make him 5 and a half. Which makes it totally okay for him to get punched by Raditz. Sometimes, these changes make little to no sense. They should’ve just left the poor kid’s age alone.
12 Dr Gero Was Not The Boss
Once again, the English dub is back at it again with false information. This time the claim is that Dr Gero was the leader of the Red Ribbon Army out for revenge against Goku. The latter part is true, but the first is not.
Dr Gero was part of the Red Ribbon Army, but he is not the leader. By the time get to Dragon Ball Z, he’s barely a part of it and is living the life of a mad scientist by himself. The next question to ask if he’s even a real doctor. We never do get to see his certificate in the show.
11 Future Trunks’ Hair Color
Both Trunks and Bulma seem to be inconsistent with hair colors. In the Manga, they both have purple hair. So Trunks in Dragon Ball Z is correct. Except Bulma has Greenish-Blue hair in the anime.
In Dragon Ball Super, both Bulma and Future Trunks have blue hair.
Okay, at least it’s consistent, even though it’s wrong. However, kid Trunks still has purple hair. Which makes no sense since his future-self has blue hair. So, the anime still makes a mess of something so simple.
10 Krillin’s Various Heights
This is more down to animation error than anything else but is still peculiar. Krillin’s height in the Dragon Ball franchise seems to be constantly changing. At times he is seen to be around Android 18 shoulder in terms of height. However, certain scenes in Dragon Ball Super had him barely taller than his daughter, who is still a child.
His official height is around 5 ft, which is below average. However, because of the art style, he sometimes appears much shorter than that. Even next to a short character like Vegeta, Krillin appears small. Krillin isn’t the only one to be a victim of inconsistent drawings but is one of the more prominent examples.
9 Beerus Wiped Out The Dinosaurs
For some reason, Beerus claims to have made the dinosaurs on Earth extinct. He did a very poor job considering that there are still plenty of dinosaurs around. Some Dragon Ball characters really enjoy overstating their achievements. Vegeta and Frieza come to mind in this regard.
The strangest part is that Beerus has been to Earth countless times. Surely he must’ve seen at least one dinosaur. Hasn’t he ever wondered why? Perhaps he doesn’t care anymore. He is awfully laid back for a God of Destruction.
8 Vegeta’s Gravity Troubles
In Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta trains at 150 times the regular gravity of Earth. This doesn’t seem too bad at first, but there’s a slight problem. He has trained at much higher levels before. In fact, during the Majin Buu Saga, Vegeta mentions training under 500 times the normal gravity.
It’s understandable that the writers wouldn’t factor in every small detail from the original shows. That’s why some of these smaller mistakes can be forgiven. Measuring a character’s capabilities as always been problematic in Dragon Ball because of these inconsistencies.
7 Androids Don’t Have Ki
This mistake comes from Dragon Ball GT. Trunks claimed to have sensed Android’s 17 Ki and remarked it is similar to that of Android 18. The only issue is that Android’s don’t exactly have any Ki to sense.
It was established in Dragon Ball Z that you can’t sense an Android since they don’t really have Ki.
There’s no explanation as to why Trunks was suddenly able to feel the presence of Android 17. Not only that, he even compared it to that of another Android and knew they were similar.
6 Shenron Forgot How Wishes Work
Shenron cannot bring someone back to life more than once. That’s a solid rule that has been established since Dragon Ball Z. Yet, here we are with Dragon Ball GT tearing that limitation to shreds.
Goku says they should be able to revive Krillin with the Dragon Balls, despite him being wished back before. The worst part is that Shenron actually brought him back to life! It’s bad enough Goku forgot his best friend had perished in the past, but the eternal dragon took it to the next level.
5 The Filler That Never Happened
During the Saiyan Saga, Goku falls into HFIL while on his way to King Kai’s Planet. Here he meets a pair of ogres who help him get back to Snake Way. However, these episodes were filler and were eventually removed in Dragon Ball Kai.
Yet, in that same show, the ogres mention having seen Goku before.
This shouldn’t be possible as Goku never met them since the filler never happened. A small oversight has created an impossible contradiction!
4 One Cell Jr. Too Many
Cell sends out seven Cell Juniors to hurt the Z-Fighters and make Gohan angry. He does eventually crack and become a Super Saiyan 2. After that, Gohan wipes out all eight Cell Juniors with one hit per creature.
Noticed the problem there? That’s right, somehow Gohan destroys eight Cell Juniors despite Cell only creating seven. Gohan becomes so strong that he creates an extra Cell Jr. from thin air just to break into a million pieces.
3 Can Chi-Chi Drive Or Not?
During the Cell Saga, Chi-Chi forces Goku to get a license since she doesn’t have one of her own. She even states during this arc that she can’t drive. Which is a clear lie because she is seen driving a car numerous times (such as the Saiyan Saga).
Perhaps it was a white lie so Goku would try and get a license. Or it was due to the filler nature of the driving license episode. They just needed a basic incentive for Goku and Piccolo to learn how to drive. Oh well, at least it was a funny episode.
2 The Dilemma Of Saiyan Tails
Saiyan tails stop being relevant after the Saiyan saga. We never see anyone grow their tail until Dragon Ball GT. The mistake here is that Goten and Trunks are never seen with tails either. It’s become more commonly known that Akira Toriyama forgot about the Saiyan tail.
That doesn’t excuse the mistake though. Also, Vegeta doesn’t seem to regrow his tail during the Namek Saga. It’s understandable why he wouldn’t have a tail after coming back to Earth, but you would think he’d keep it for the battle against Frieza.
1 Otherworldly Bodies
Early in Dragon Ball Z, we find out that only the "good guys" can keep their body to train in the Otherworld. Even Vegeta was told he wouldn't be able to keep his body because of his villainous deeds as a Majin warrior.
Yet, during some filler episodes, we see the likes of Frieza and Cell in HFIL, with their bodies intact.
So much for that rule. If space tyrants can keep their body, then why not Vegeta? Sometimes these fillers do more harm than good for the continuity of a series.