Dragon Ball: 7 Characters Goku Hasn’t Defeated Yet (& 7 He Never Will)

Goku may be one of the strongest characters in the world of Dragon Ball, but even he can’t beat everyone he comes across.

Many Dragon Ball fans are under the impression that Goku always wins and that Goku always saves the day. While this may very well be true for the original Dragon Ball Z movies (most of them anyway) it’s far from the case when it comes to the original manga and modern Dragon Ball. Goku wins a lot, but he doesn’t win all the time.

Not just that, Goku is not the strongest character in Dragon Ball nor has he been in a very long time. Nor will he be ever again. One of Dragon Ball’s core themes is the idea that there will always be someone better. This is a concept Dragon Ball has played with frequently, but it’s one Dragon Ball Super is putting at the front and center of the series’ narrative.

1. CAN’T BEAT YET: A God Of Destruction

Beerus as a benchmark keeps getting pushed further and further away from Goku, to the point where it seems Beerus’ strength will always be “stronger than Goku.” It just makes sense considering the context in which both Beerus and Whis were introduced. That said, there’s no reason Goku can’t fight and defeat one of the many other Gods of Destruction on retainer.

The Universe Survival arc seemed to sow the seeds for an evil Vermoud, but nothing ever came from it. As is, most every God of Destruction is a relative blank slate, but that just means there’s plenty of wiggle room for Toei, Toriyama, Toyotaro, or whoever to invent a reason for Goku to fight a GoD and ultimately win.

2. NEVER WILL: Vegeta

As the main character, Goku is stronger than Vegeta and could likely beat him in a fight if the two went head to head. But it’s very unlikely something like this would manifest in modern Dragon Ball where Goku and Vegeta are depicted as equals. Goku will always be the stronger of the two, but we’re at a point narratively where if these two fought again, we wouldn’t get a clear winner.

Because, frankly, we never have. Both of their fights ended prematurely. Their first fight in the Saiyan Arc would have gone to Vegeta, but they were interrupted as soon as Goku lost the upper hand. Their second ended with Vegeta sneak attacking Goku, leaving the fight undecided but the result muddy considering Vegeta knocked Goku out, but Goku was technically (much) stronger.

3. CAN’T BEAT YET: Merus

On that note, though… It just seems unrealistic we won’t see Merus fight again. This doesn’t come across as a Jackie Chun situation where Merus is meant to simply represent someone better without Goku ever getting the chance to fight them. Merus is such a fascinating character, it’d be a shame not to have Goku fight him properly once he’s stronger.

For as seemingly overpowered Merus is, it’s more than likely Ultra Instinct will give Goku any and all edges he needs to take on Merus. By the time they fight (should they ever fight, that is,) it’s entirely possible Goku will already be naturally stronger anyways. That’s just the nature of Dragon Ball.

4. NEVER WILL: Beerus

Beerus was quite literally introduced as a benchmark Goku could not reach, and while modern Dragon Ball keeps teasing the notion that Goku and Vegeta are not only Beerus’ rivals, but destined to surpass him, Beerus just seems like the endgame. But he’s also a blatant Jackie Chun scenario who feels a lifetime away no matter how strong Goku gets.

It’s entirely possible what will happen instead is that Goku and Vegeta fight Beerus as part of some final battle without the result ever being seen. It would parallel Goku and Vegeta’s fates from Dragon Ball Online while keeping Beeru’s thematic meaning and weight properly intact.


Even with Merus’ training under his belt, it’s unlikely Goku’s going to head into his fight with Moro fully ready to take him on. Goku will surely gain the lead at some point, almost certainly stemming from his further mastery of Ultra Instinct, but it would be uncharacteristic of Dragon Ball to not have Goku overpower Moro.

Of course, this arc has placed a lot of emphasis on Vegeta’s training as well. It’s entirely possible Goku and Vegeta will actually just work together in a traditional capacity to defeat Moro, with Goku only getting stronger with the natural progression of the story. Honestly, that’d be a great way to wrap up the Moro arc.

6. NEVER WILL: Any Of The Angels

Before Whis scolded Merus about training Goku, we could have likely assumed Goku would fight an angel at some point, but it seems Dragon Ball actually has some fairly unbreakable rules in place for the angels. Of course, this is a franchise that’s never been shy about breaking its established rules in favor of interesting storytelling, but this might stick if only for how it was presented.

Plus, none of the angels have designs that lend themselves well to action, let alone Dragon Ball action. The Gods of Destruction are much more designed with combat in mind, which makes a great deal of sense. The angels function like the Kaioshin, and while some of them fight, the angels simply don’t need to.

7. CAN’T BEAT YET: Jiren

Few characters in Dragon Ball represent the concept of there always being someone better than Jiren. For as flat a character Jiren is, he’s a thoughtful thematic shield for Goku, his fundamental and philosophical opposite. Jiren has the raw power Goku lacks, but he lacks Goku’s passion for martial arts and self-improvement, another important tenet of Dragon Ball.

Although even Ultra Instinct wasn’t enough to fully take down Jiren in the Tournament of Power, the nature of the series essentially guarantees Goku will surpass Jiren naturally as he did Hit in the exact same arc. It’s very unlikely Jiren keeps his undefeatable status should he ever appear again in a meaningful capacity.


Considering the Moro arc has very recently established that angels absolutely cannot interfere with mortal affairs, it perhaps goes without saying that Goku won’t be defeating Whis anytime soon. Or even fighting him. Whis himself is just so far above Goku that for him to need to throw a punch would require introducing a villain for too powerful for anyone in the main cast to fight, let alone surpass.

Should Dragon Ball Super fun long enough, it’s entirely possible Goku (and Vegeta) will fight Whis but definitely don’t expect him to win or put up a serious fight unless Goku does some crazy training over the next few years. Whis and the angels are in a league of their own. But we’ll get to them.

9. CAN’T BEAT YET: Broly

Considering Goku and Vegeta needed to fuse into Gogeta to turn the tide against Broly, it perhaps goes without saying that Goku can’t handle the berserk Saiyan on his own quite yet– at least not when Broly’s fighting at full power. Goku even goes so far as to say Broly might be stronger than Beerus, Goku’s former major benchmark.

Of course, it’s only a matter of time before Goku surpasses Broly. Whether or not that’ll happen soon after he masters Ultra Instinct is its own question, but there’s practically no way Broly stays Goku’s physical superior, especially not if Dragon Ball Super goes all-in on Goku and Broly training together.

10. NEVER WILL: Zeno

From God to Kaio, to Kaioshin, and now Zeno, Dragon Ball has always had that one end-all, be-all god who was stronger than all the rest. And, like clockwork, they’d always be outshined by someone else. That’s just the nature of a series like Dragon Ball opening up its divine cosmos so full-on.

That said, it really does seem like Zeno will stay the strongest god in Dragon Ball for the foreseeable future. His level of power is so unfathomable that it seems highly unlikely Goku will ever fight Zeno, let alone beat him. Now the Grand Priest is another matter entirely…

11. CAN’T BEAT YET: Kefla

Kale is the Universe 6 counterpart for Broly, and she proved herself a match for Goku in his Super Saiyan God form. This is already a testament to Kale’s power, but she increased this even further by fusing with Caulifla. As Kefla, she completely trounced Goku — even if Goku was weakened and battered at that point.

Like Hit, there is a very real chance that Goku could beat Kefla at this point, but that is far from a guarantee. It remains to be seen if Goku can better the fused Caulifla and Kale, and it feels like a rematch needs to happen.

12. NEVER WILL: Fused Zamasu

Zamasu on his own required the fusion of Goku and Vegeta into Vegito to progress to Super Saiyan Blue form to finally take the upper hand. However, Zamasu was able to fuse with a future version of himself, Goku Black, to become Fused Zamasu. This form was far more than even SSB Vegito could possibly handle.

Ultimately, Goku had to request Zeno to remove the future where Fused Zamasu exists to save the universe, though it pained Goku to do so. Should Fused Zamasu ever return, it will spell potential doom for Goku and his associates. It seems like a fused god is just something that even Son Goku will never be able to conquer.


Hit is an impressive opponent for several reasons, but his greatest ability is the Time-Skip. It allows the user to skip through time at tenth-of-a-second intervals during which the user can do whatever they want. Hit uses this against Goku and Vegeta, though Goku learns how to fight back against the ability.

In all reality, Goku could probably beat Hit if the two fought again, but that remains to be proven. Hit has worked to improve his Time-Skip ability and can train to become an even more powerful warrior. Hit is easily among the deadliest rival Goku has ever faced, and it would be interesting to watch them fight again.

14. NEVER WILL: Son Gohan

While Dragon Ball Super has introduced a myriad of new transformations to Son Goku and Vegeta, Son Gohan has never progressed beyond his Mystic form. He’s never needed to progress beyond this form. It is an incredibly powerful form and grants Gohan power on par with the Super Saiyan Blue Form.

In addition to that ever-increasing power, Gohan is also Goku’s son, and Goku will, no matter his intent, hold back against him. That’s not to say that Gohan still wouldn’t beat Goku in a fair fight, but Goku will never go all-out in a fight against his son.

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