Every Dragon Ball Villain Goku Never Beat

There are some villains in the Dragon Ball franchise that Goku was never able to defeat. Here’s who they are and why he couldn’t beat them.

Goku has plowed through a number of powerful villains in the Dragon Ball franchise, but a handful of his opponents have perfect records against the Saiyan hero. There are some characters in the anime that Goku either lost to or tied with. In many of those cases, Goku was able to defeat these characters in rematches, but things didn’t always work out this way. When Goku wasn’t allowed a second shot at a villain, it was up to a different member of the Z-Warriors to save the day.

Over the years, Goku has thwarted the evil plans of several evil threats. With help from Krillin, Gohan, and Yajirobe, Goku stopped Nappa and Vegeta from achieving their goals on Earth. Sometime later, Goku went to Super Saiyan for the first time and defeated Frieza. Following his death at the end of the Cell Saga, Goku used the Spirit Bomb to finish off Kid Buu and helped save the planet a few more times in Dragon Ball Super from villains such as Golden Frieza and Zamasu. However, there were times when Goku couldn’t be counted on to be the hero of the story.

After all, Goku isn’t the only capable hero in the Dragon Ball franchise. When necessary, characters like Vegeta, Gohan, and Piccolo have risen to the occasion to defeat the villain in situations where Goku had been taken out of the equation. There have been moments like this in both Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super. It’s important to keep in mind that the following overview doesn’t account for enemies that Goku never faced, but instead focuses on villains who Goku fought but didn’t beat.

Raditz

At the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, Goku learned the truth about his Saiyan heritage when he was visited by his evil brother, Raditz. The Frieza Force member and Saiyan warrior proved to be stronger than even Goku, who despite all the battle experience he gained in Dragon Ball, wasn’t able to get a win. This resulted in a scene with Raditz standing atop Goku, with his foot over the hero’s chest. Later, Goku teamed with Piccolo to fight his brother, but still couldn’t beat him. Seeing that a second defeat was imminent, Goku and Piccolo devised a last-ditch strategy to dispose of him for good. After Goku grabbed Raditz, Piccolo killed them both with his signature technique, Special Beam Cannon.

Frost

During Dragon Ball Super’s Universe 6 Saga, Beerus’ team of Universe 7 warriors (Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, and Monaka) had to go up against Botamo, Auta Magetta, Frost, Cabba, and Hit. Goku was chosen to fight first, with his opponent being Botamo. After beating Botamo, Goku had to fight Frost, the Universe 6 counterpart of Frieza. Originally perceived as an altruistic hero, Frost was revealed to be just as deceptive and devious as Frieza himself. Hidden on his body was an illegal, poisonous weapon that he used to knock Goku out of the ring. Goku never even had a chance to utilize his full power. After being forced to use the same tactic against Piccolo, Frost was disqualified but was still allowed to fight Vegeta, who defeated him with ease.

Frost returned as a fighter for the Universe 6 team in the Tournament of Power, and although he did fight some members of the Universe 7 team, he didn’t cross paths with Goku himself. As Goku was busy elsewhere in the ring and Frost likely avoided him on purpose, Frost focused his efforts on eliminating weaker opponents like Krillin and battled heroes such as Master Roshi and Gohan. Due to a trick, he was eliminated from the tournament by Frieza.

Majin Buu

Goku did defeat Kid Buu at the end of Dragon Ball Z but wasn’t able to overcome the first version of the villain. Against Majin Buu, Goku reached Super Saiyan 3 and gave Majin Buu his toughest fight yet, but as powerful as he had become, he knew he didn’t have enough time left on Earth. Goku was dead during this story and was only allotted a brief period of time to return to Earth. Plus, Majin Buu’s regenerative properties kept him from sustaining any serious injuries. Seeing that he couldn’t win, Goku elected to ensure that Goten and Trunks would be able to succeed where he and Vegeta had failed.

Cell

Since Piccolo, Vegeta, Tien, and Future Trunks had already fought Cell with everything they had, the most anticipated battle of the Cell Games was naturally Goku vs. Cell, but it didn’t turn out at all the way the Z-Warriors expected. In the midst of Goku’s fight with the villain, he abruptly ended the fight and admitted to everyone in attendance that he couldn’t win. That’s when Gohan was chosen to fight in his place, as Goku understood that only Gohan had the physical capabilities to go Super Saiyan 2 and beat him for good. Years after Cell’s death, Goku ultimately surpassed him but never fought him again. He almost had a chance to avenge his loss in Otherworld, but Pikkon took Cell down before Goku could join the fray.

Android 19

Goku was less important than usual when Doctor Gero’s Androids entered the picture in Dragon Ball Z. After receiving a warning from Future Trunks, the Z-Warriors trained considerably, knowing that two android enemies were coming. When the day they feared finally came, Androids 19 and 20 defeated Yamcha and moved on to Goku. In a one-on-one showdown against Android 19, Super Saiyan Goku appeared to be physically superior, but because of his heart virus, he found himself weakening in the heat of battle.

Android 19’s ability to absorb his energy drained him even further. Before Goku could be killed, Vegeta arrived and revealed that he too had learned how to go Super Saiyan. With his newfound power, he was able to kill both androids. As it took time for Goku to recover and train, he remained on the sidelines until the conflict with the androids had ended. For this reason, it was Vegeta and Piccolo who dealt with Androids 17 and 18. Goku didn’t get to fight either of them until Dragon Ball Super.

Captain Ginyu

Recoome, Burter, and Jeice of the Ginyu Force were no match for Goku on Planet Namek, but their leader was a different story. Captain Ginyu challenged Goku, but it became apparent early on that Goku held the advantage and would have won if the fight continued at the same pace. Ginyu, having recognized this, changed the tide of battle by purposely injuring himself and using his special power to swap bodies with Goku. In Ginyu’s body, victory became out of reach for Goku. Ginyu was eventually stopped by Vegeta, who tricked him into entering the body of a frog.

Vegeta

Vegeta is considered Goku’s biggest rival and a character who is always at least one step behind him in terms of power. While this is certainly true of Vegeta, it’s worth noting that Goku has never actually beaten him. In the Saiyan Saga, Goku was poised to defeat him, but Vegeta stopped this from happening by becoming a Great Ape. Goku was beaten by Great Ape Vegeta, forcing the remaining Z-Warriors to finish the fight in his place. A badly beaten Goku was left as little more than a spectator while Yajirobe cut off Vegeta’s tail, and Gohan and Krillin engaged a severely weakened Vegeta in battle.

The conflict ended with them allowing Vegeta to escape. In the Frieza and Cell Sagas, Vegeta served as an ally but reverted back to being a villain again in the Buu Saga when Babidi increased his power and put his mark on him. As Majin Vegeta, Vegeta defeated Goku, completely unaware that Goku had been holding back his true power. Goku likely would have beaten him with his Super Saiyan 3 form, but he chose to reserve this transformation for later.

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