Frieza was one of the most powerful villains in Dragonball Z. After the Namek Saga concluded, the series spent the entirety of its life trying to recapture the memorable moments the tyrant left us with.sf
Sadly, it never quite succeeded, with the Cell Saga being a bore and the Buu Saga being... well weird, Frieza still remains the most threatening enemy the Z fighters ever faced. Sure, Cell and Buu may have had higher power levels (which we all know means nothing) and technically they sent more characters to their final end on screen, but neither of them had the air of dread that Frieza had.
After seeing the Z fighters be nearly beaten by minion after minion, all who were proclaimed weaker than Frieza, I can remember my much younger self nervously biting my nails as he finally sprung into action and completely obliterated each of his opponents systematically until Goku showed up. Heck, even then he spent most of the fight kicking Goku's behind, punching him straight through mountains and plateaus before several attempts at drowning Earth's Champion.
It was probably the most charged one on one in Dragonball's long history, until, of course, Goku went Super Saiyan. That was sort of the moment the series took a sharp dip in quality. Frieza has been so popular they've even revived him at least three whole times.
Below we've collected the 25 reasons why the tiny tyrant is so freakishly powerful.
25 Everything's More Fun With Friends
When you rule an entire universe you're going to need lackeys, minions, and general ne'er-do-wells to handle all the legwork. Frieza had upwards of billions of these soldiers capable of fighting and laying down their lives for him.
Very few did this out of loyalty but in the same stretch very few would even think about trying to betray him. Fear kept them in line as all knew Frieza was one wrong side of the bed from erasing their entire planets from existence. RE: Planet Vegeta.
The sheer endless number of his forces is fully capable of overwhelming even the most skilled of foes by sheer number alone, not to mention any special abilities members of any of the myriad races who serve him possess.
24 Diamonds In The Rough
When you have hordes of cannon fodder, it's only natural that some of them should survive their first few engagements and come to rise up through the ranks. Like cream, these few soldiers wound up in Frieza's elite ranks, performing the tasks to help solidify Frieza's rule that the Tyrant felt were either beneath him or simply not worth his time.
These soldiers must have been terrifying indeed
Among these ranks were both Cui and Vegeta, alongside countless others who likely surpassed the pair during their time as commissioned officers. While these soldiers didn't get anywhere near as much airtime as the regular muppets, we can still get an idea of their strength as Vegeta was considered weaker than Cui (who we found out was actually pretty weak himself). If someone capable of taking on all of Earth's top fighters was considered weak in comparison to the rest of them, these soldiers must have been terrifying indeed.
23 Right And Left Hands
What good is a leader without his advisors and generals? Well... Frieza didn't really need them we suppose, he seemed to do just fine without them, but still, there's no denying that Dodoria and Zarbon had their uses.
The pair of trusted warriors served Frieza for decades before their demise at the hands of Vegeta, giving consul leading troops and getting their hands dirty so their Emporer didn't have to. Both extremely powerful fighters in their own right, they kept troops in line through a combination of fear and twisted loyalty.
The duo essentially ran the Galactic Empire while Frieza was content to bask in his own glory, used as more of a symbol of extreme fear and a motivator than it's actual leader, since he didn't seem to care about his subjects.
22 Sibling Rivalry
What if I told you there was someone like Frieza who was less powerful but he was Cooler?
No, not like that I actually mean his name is Cooler, wow this joke is terrible.
He quite nearly succeeded in avenging his brother
Anyways, Cooler is Frieza's older brother and much like the Galactic Emporer he's incredibly strong not as strong as Frieza but he's still pretty tough in his own right. While the brothers hated each other, they at least agreed on their family being more important than their squabbles. Cooler admits he likely would have ended Frieza eventually (or at least made the attempt to) but still couldn't abide by the stain on their family name that Goku brought about once he'd defeated Frieza on Namek.
He quite nearly succeeded in avenging his brother, until Goku once again transformed into a Super Saiyan and threw him into the sun.
He got better though.
21 Daddy's Boy
While his brother may be weaker, Freiza's father has been stated to be on near-equal terms with his son. King Cold was the true ruler of the Galatic Empire with Frieza instead acting as the public face, after his son's apparent demise, King Cold had Frieza rebuilt. The new Frieza was Better, Faster, Harder, Stronger.
The villain has a nasty habit of underestimating his opponents
It's been stated a few times that Frieza and King Cold are on an entirely different level from the rest of their race and sadly we only got to see King Cold in what we can assume from his appearance was his second form. The villain has a nasty habit of underestimating his opponents which winds up leading to his downfall on a few occasions. You can bet though if his son is in trouble this evil Emporer will bring down fire and fury upon his enemies heads.
20 Sinister Mister
It takes a certain kind of maniac to keep an iron fist on all those conquered planets. Frieza fits the bill. Sadistic and cruel, the Overlord doesn't tolerate any sort of dissension or failure within his ranks. Crueler than Darth Vader, Frieza has been known to detonate entire planets just in order to prove a point.
There's no feeling of regret or remorse with him either once things come to that point, in fact, he carries out such acts of devastation with unbridled joy, relishing the destruction he causes. Mercilessly, he toys with his victims in order for them to serve as future examples to his subjects, should they suddenly get any thought of rebellion.
Not exactly employer of the year.
19 All Variables Accounted For
Before we get to all the crazy physical strengths Frieza possesses we first must make mention of how he's able to utilize them all. A hammer is useless in the hands of someone who doesn't know where to strike the Nail.
Frieza is brilliant, he's tactical, doesn't leave things up to chance, and can quickly change up his plans on the fly. His paranoia works for him here, as if he even so much as imagines someone is plotting against him well... there's a blown-up planet. Throughout his entire fight with Goku, he not only overpowers the hero but actively out-thinks him at every turn, winning fights against multiple combatants and successfully eliminating their healer once he'd figured out the ruse.
18 A Force Stronger Than A Fist
There's something stronger than martial force, something that can turn aside any blow, redirect any fist, shake people to their very soul. The Force of Personality. Charisma is a weapon that can strike sharper than any blade and it's clear Frieza is bursting with it.
Fear is a valuable motivator but it doesn't work for everyone, some people need a gentler touch or a second chance in order to secure their loyalty. As a master of manipulation, Frieza knows this and applies a rare merciful touch when needed. He spares Zarbon after his screw up, for example. Other characters and even the shows creators have pointed out Frieza's smooth way of speaking to people.
Fear and Mercy depending on the situation
This is likely why the Ginyu Force is so incredibly loyal to him. Fear and Mercy depending on the situation.
17 Super Mutant
Frieza's father, King Cold, was a genetic mistake causing him to be leagues above the other members of his race, which is what lead to him beginning his conquest. Although Cooler was born without this mutant trait, Frieza was lucky enough to have it passed down to him.
Essentially, Frieza is so powerful because he won the genetic lottery, he's essentially what Jeri Lynn Horton-Joyce is to Canada (look it up). Pure evil that sadly got their strength from birthright. This mutation causes him to have so much potential and power that is impossible to really quantify.
Power levels as we all well know are useless in the Dragonball universe but there's no denying that some people are just born to be powerful.
16 Maximum Effort
The great thing about being born strong is that if you train, you'll get stronger. If Frieza is so powerful he must have peaked and hit his maximum strength from years of hard training, right?
Nope, Frieza's mutation just lets him be that powerful. The Tyrant even brags on several occasions that he's never trained a day in his life, he's just naturally unstoppable. During the Namek Saga, he'd never even really fought seriously as there'd been no point. Is someone being uppity? Finger Beam. A rebellion gathering? One punch eliminates their King. Worried about a possible eventual unstoppable solider? Well, who needed that planet anyways, am I right?
This means that during his time on Namek, Frieza was nowhere near his max strength, not yet, at least.
15 Step One
When he destroyed Planet Vegeta, Frieza wasn't even breaking a sweat. In fact, he was purposely holding back. His power is far too strong for even him to contain, which is a bit of a weird concept but alright. To be able to actually control himself, Frieza seals vast amounts of power away, reverting to a slightly shorter more horn-ridden version of his true limitless self.
That's right, most of his effort is spent trying to not be super strong and powerful twenty-four seven. That's like saying "Oh I'm a world champion hot-dog eater... so I starve myself for months on end so I don't eat the entire planets hot-dogs"
14 Scorched Earth
When your enemy can destroy entire races without leaving their comfortable floating chair what can you really do to harm them? It's even worse when you realize that Frieza destroyed Planet Vegeta (and countless other ones) by simply lifting a finger when he was annoyed.
If he'd actually used a fist or both hands the destruction likely would have been more than a single planet. How do you fight that? How can you fight someone who, if you seriously annoyed him bad enough, could just destroy your entire existence with a simple motion no harder than blinking?
It makes no sense that he wound up being defeated. Not with power like that literally at his fingertips.
13 Step Two
For the first time in his life though, Frieza was actually being hardpressed to defeat his enemies in a timely manner. Also, he was really, really angry at being tricked time after time by the Z fighters (largely due to his minion's constant screw-ups). He found himself needing an increase in power and so transformed into his second stage, a taller, stronger and much more intimidating version of himself.
In this form, simply closing his hand caused an entire island to be destroyed making Vegeta, Gohan, and Krillin take to the skies. Seeing this new form even caused the Saiyan Prince to quake in fear as he began to realize just how outclassed their little alliance really was.
This is going to be a fun one to try and keep family friendly.
So you may have noticed that in his second state, Frieza's horns have gotten much larger, sharper, and are now on the top of his head. If you've been following the series you should also know by now that Krillin tends to have unfortunate accidents, particularly when sharp things are involved.
Now think of a bullfight, Frieza is the bull and Krillin is the unlucky bullfighter who didn't get out of the way in time. In absolute agony, Krillin flailed on the end of Frieza's horns as the alien began openly taunting him and his friends.
Should he really want you to suffer, Frieza can use his blinding speed and his horns to turn you into a shish-kebab. It's not the flashiest move but it's definitely the most painful.
11 Step Three
Krillin got better though, and then Piccolo finally arrived, managing to buy the group more time. His fusing with Nail managed to give him an insane power boost which let him stand toe to toe with Frieza's second form.
This sliver of hope was swiftly dashed when Frieza revealed he was capable of transforming yet again to unlock more of his power. Horrified, Piccolo could only watch as Frieza's entire skeletal structure changed drastically as his power grew. In his third state, Frieza began to entirely dominate the fight between him and Piccolo, doling out a smackdown so intense that the last survivor of the Namekian race nearly wasn't.
The group could no longer land solid hits
While the fight had been even up to that point it suddenly took a dark turn when the group could no longer land solid hits any longer.
10 Hot Potato
It's a good thing the Universes's strongest fighter was there to save the day! Okay, well, he didn't really save the day, more like stalled for a few seconds longer.
Gohan is considered the strongest fighter in the universe. This is canon. As a child, he'd defeated more bad guys than an eight-year-old should even have heard of, he'd been in countless life-threatening circumstances before this moment. In the early days of Dragonball Z and most of the movies, Gohan would snap when everything was the worst it could get and lay a beatdown on impossibly strong enemies that even Goku had lost against.
When he snaps here, he gets one good attack off that Frieza quickly deflects and is unharmed by, again proving how strong he is.
This transformation stuff isn't getting old yet, is it? Honestly, Frieza had no real reason to even bother transforming into his Final Form since he was dominating the group so fiercely. He mostly did it just to taunt them, so they could see his last transformation before they all perished. He quickly removed Dende from the equation after transforming in order to deprive the group of their miraculous healing.
He even taunts the group as he does this
Vegeta tried to attack but Frieza just let him tire himself out as the Emperor effortlessly dodged every single strike before pummelling the tar out of poor Vegeta. He even taunts the group as he does this, encouraging them to join in and try and help the Prince.
Wisely nobody does and Vegeta is soon tossed aside like trash.
8 Peter Pointer
We've seen Frieza destroy entire planets by lazily lifting a finger, but what about when he wants to send a message to a particular someone? For those times when he can't just eliminate an entire world but just wants to take out a single enemy, there's the Death Beam.
If you couldn't tell by the name you really don't want to be hit by this. It's exactly what you'd think it is, a narrow little beam that blasts through your entire body and makes you fall into that long sleep.
Upon Goku's return to the battlefield, Vegeta was struck by one of these while trying to taunt Frieza and after a tearful goodbye, he perished.
7 Collateral Directed Damage
Goku's fight against Frieza is soooo long. It spans twenty chapters in the manga and 19 episodes in the anime. During this fight, all sorts of crazy things happen, probably one of the most interesting abilities we see from Frieza here is how he manages to use the perishing planet against Goku.
Whereas Goku (apart from a single brilliant move) spends most of the fight just trying to "hit him really really hard," Frieza uses the environment to his advantage, directing lava at the Hero before hurling him into a magma pool.
This is just another example of Frieza's tactical mind and his quick thinking, while Goku survived the magma (somehow) this move would likely have ended anyone else.
6 Mountain Of Problems
Did we mention Frieza can use telekinesis yet? No? Okay, Frieza can use telekinesis. Once they start fighting (as they put it) for real, Frieza begins by hurling giant rocks and boulders at Goku who dodges... only to have them circle around and be thrown at him again.
Goku spends a large portion of this episode fighting not Frieza, but rocks controlled by Frieza. At some point too, the Tyrant telekinetically lifts an entire freaking mountain weaponizing it in an attempt to crush Goku.
Goku doesn't dodge out of the way and instead tries to push the mountain back, though he pushes with all his strength Frieza's mind proves stronger than his muscles and he's slammed into a rock face.
Frieza's mind is stronger than Goku's body.
5 But Wait There's More
While the transformation shtick is finally over, Frieza still has other tricks up his sleeve. First is how, apparently, he's only been using one percent of his final form's total strength. At this point, Goku had been just barely surviving the fight, and after Frieza gets stronger (yet again) it's no longer even a fair contest and the Tyrant slaps him down time and time again.
Piccolo and the others are forced to jump in as Goku begins trying to charge a massive spirit bomb using the surrounding planets energies but even all three of them prove no match and are quickly defeated. Goku manages to get it as charged and hurls it at Frieza.
Despite it being a direct hit, Frieza survives. He survives the energies of multiple planets being condensed and thrown at him. Yeah.
4 Teeny Tiny Bits
He's less than happy about this turn of events, understandably, and fires a beam which mortally wounds Piccolo. Enraged by their constant struggling against him and their continued survival, this is where Frieza actually starts taking Goku and his friends as a serious threat.
He quickly decides that there are too many people on this battlefield still breathing and using his telekinetic powers lifts Krillin into the air before causing him to explode. He barely even had to do anything for this, a single invisible beam was fired that Krillin had no hope of dodging before he was lifted into the air by Frieza's mind to meet his maker.
Why he didn't try to hit Goku with this, or why he doesn't try to use it again, is beyond me, since this might be one of his most powerful abilities.
3 Controlled Destruction
Now that Goku has gone Super Saiyan thanks to his rage of losing Krillin, Frieza is the one who, for the first time in this saga, is on the ropes. Despite him being at fifty percent power he's still finding himself being beaten as he slowly loses control of the fight.
His control here is amazing
He manages to break away from the battle for a moment so he can fire an attack straight into the planet's core that is calculated perfectly to blow up the planet in five minutes, which he hopes will be enough time to defeat the Saiyan and escape the destruction of the planet.
His control here is amazing to have managed to wound the already dying planet just enough to tip it over the edge without blowing it up with him still on it.
2 Yup Still More
Frieza, however, in a move entirely unlike him, underestimated Goku. Thankfully, Goku is willing to let him power up to his full one hundred percent strength, Frieza thanks him and quickly obliges.
They're far more evenly matched now with Frieza even landing some strong hits on Goku, drawing blood from the Saiyan, regrettably though, Frieza toyed around far too much and his body has taken too much damage while in it's fifty percent power state.
Frieza's wounds begin to catch up with him as Goku starts retaking control of the fight, and soon Frieza finds himself defeated after a long and arduous fight.
The only reason Goku manages to win in the end is that Frieza doesn't bother just blowing him up immediately with his full strength.
1 Can't Stop Won't Stop
Despite his loss leaving him in literal pieces, Frieza still tries to take Goku down with him, forcing Goku to finish him off. Frieza, however, survives this alongside a whole planet blowing up directly beneath him. He dedicates the rest of his life to revenge, consumed by it.
While he does show up on Earth for a brief moment, the less said about Mecha Frieza, the better.
In the Underworld, Frieza finally starts training and is fought a few more times during escape attempts before being brought back to life by his minions. He continues to train, his desire for revenge actually strengthening him and motivating the villain to newer heights.
He, of course, comes after Goku and gives us a whole new list of reasons for why Frieza is insanely powerful which will become a later list.