- Goku Turns Super Saiyan For The First Time
Since the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta has been hyping up the Super Saiyan state and ragging on Goku for having yet to achieve it. It seems like a legend, not something that can really happen, but in the heat of battle against Frieza, Goku achieves Super Saiyan status.
2. Father/Son Kamehameha
The Father-Son Kamehameha combines the sheer force of power with emotional resonance. Gohan launches a devastating attack at Super Perfect Cell, he’s joined by the spirit of his father. This scene is so legendary that other anime, including My Hero Academia, have paid respects to it.
3. Gohan Unlocks Super Saiyan 2
Normally a gentle person, Gohan doesn’t want to actually kill Cell – but some well-timed advice from Android 16’s head combined with Cell crushing the poor android under his foot, helps Gohan realize that to protect the planet and the people he loves, he has to defeat Cell. This triggers his epic transformation into Super Saiyan 2.
4. Vegeta Keeps His Pride
Babidi has taken control of Vegeta’s body and his mind and wants him to attack Kai. Though it takes every ounce of strength he has, he refuses to do so – he isn’t going to let anyone take his pride away from him.
5. Trunks Slicing Freeza In Half
As Freeza stands there laughing with his father King Cold, Trunks rushes in and cleaves his mechanical body cleanly in half. Seeing Trunks get revenge on the man who caused his family so much hardship is flat out amazing.
6. Piccolo Sacrifices Himself For Gohan
Despite how tough he was on the kid while he was training him, Piccolo loves Gohan like a son. That’s why he stood in front of an attack from Nappa in order to protect him – and why his demise at Nappa’s hands sent Gohan into a vengeful rage afterward.
7. Vegeta’s Sacrifice
When Vegeta is up against Buu, he sacrifices himself by self-destructing. This would have been an impressive feat for anyone, but for a character as formerly selfish as Vegeta to go so far to protect his loved ones is truly moving – even though his efforts failed.
8. Vegito’s Appearance
Vegito, a fusion between Goku and Vegeta, is not just a badass character and a new hope for defeating Kid Buu – he’s also a symbol that Vegeta and Goku are now truly equals – a far cry from thier relationship when they first met.
9. Kamehameha Vs. Galick Gun
Just as Goku and Vegeta are two of the most powerful warriors in the world of Dragon Ball Z, their signature attacks, the Kamehameha and the Galick Gun, are some of the most powerful beam moves there are. In Vegeta and Goku’s epic showdown, they turn those attacks on each other – ultimately proving Goku to be the superior fighter.
10. Vegeta Acknowledges Goku
“You’re better than me, Kakarot. You are the best.” Those aren’t lines that anyone ever expected to hear come out of Vegeta’s proud mouth. When he finally acknowledges his rival’s strength, he’s not just praising Goku – he’s demonstrating that he has learned humility and self-reflection.
11. Goku’s “I Am” Speech
“I am the hope of the universe. I am the answer to all living things that cry out for peace.” These lines are etched into the minds of many DBZ fans. Whether it’s the blustering but totally true nature of the words themselves, the certainty with which Goku delivers them, or the utter terror that Freeza exhibits, Goku’s words to his foe are some of the most mindblowing moments in the whole show.
12. Future Trunks Turns Super Saiyan
After Future Trunks comes across Gohan’s lifeless body, he’s absolutely devastated. The strength of his grief sends him into a Super Saiyan transformation, which looks all the more stunning against the gray, rainy backdrop.
13. Gohan Reappears
After Gohan stops training for seven years, it seems impossible that he’ll ever come back as a formidable warrior. So when he strides confidently up to Super Buu wearing Goku’s clothing, and says “fight you? No, I wanna kill you” it’s both shocking and deeply satisfying.
14. It’s Over 9000!!
Even people who aren’t familiar with Dragon Ball Z still know about this line, which achieved meme status in 2006 and which is still quoted regularly today. The line refers to Goku’s power level, which Vegeta has just discovered is ridiculously high.
15. Goku Sacrifices Himself For Humanity
In a split-second decision, Goku decides to sacrifice his own life to defeat Cell. As Cell gets larger and larger, Goku tells Gohan to take care of his mother for him, while the rest of the Z Fighters look on in shock and horror.