Top 10 Dragon Ball Moments That Will Make You Cry

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Top 10 Dragon Ball Moments That Will Make You Cry

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Alexander
Will someone please Final Flash all these tears away?! Join Ashley as we count down the moments from across the Dragon Ball franchise that made fans weep, including the likes of "Vegeta's Atonement", "Goku's Return", "Android 16's Death", and more!
Transcript
Script written by Jonathan Alexander

Top 10 Dragon Ball Moments That Will Make You Cry


Welcome to Watchmojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Dragon Ball Moments That Will Make You Cry.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most emotional scenes of this iconic action shounen that are sure to cause some waterworks. Everything from the OG “Dragon Ball” to “Super,” and all the films, OVA’s, and Specials in between, are fair game.

Did you ever cry watching “Dragon Ball?” Don’t be shy, let’s get a group therapy session going on in those comments!

#10: Farewell, Universe 6

“Dragon Ball Super” (2015-18)

We knew going in that by the time the dust settled on the Tournament of Power, only one universe could remain, but that didn’t make saying goodbye to Hit, Cabba, and the others any easier. There was a unique camaraderie between the 6th and 7th universes, to the point Vegeta even went as far as saving his unlikely pupil from elimination. If Cabba wishing his master good luck before vanishing doesn’t pull at the heartstrings, the final confrontation between Beerus and Champa surely would. This duo of Destroyer Gods are anything but brotherly, and yet, in their final moments, they both convey a sense of quiet respect to each other - before Champa goes out in style, as per usual.

#9: A Tearful Reunion

“Dragon Ball” (1986-89)

The spiky-haired saiyan isn’t known for his emotional outbursts, making the rare moments he does show genuine pathos all the more impactful. Among the action of Baba’s tournament comes an unlikely heartwarming moment in which Goku’s final opponent is actually his Grandpa who’s been resurrected for the day. The young warrior can’t help but succumb to his feelings, making for one of the few instances in the whole franchise that Goku cries. It’s even sweeter when we learn Gohan insisted on fighting his grandson in disguise to see how far he’s come on his own, proving that even in death, he’s everything Goku made him out to be and more.

#8: Android 16’s Death

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

In a grim saga of destruction and mayhem at the hands of androids, this cybernetic ginger stood out due to his genuine love for the world around him - a love so strong that he was willing to blow himself up to save it from Cell. When that fails, he spends his final moments delivering one of anime’s greatest monologues. Cell crushes him regardless, and since 16 is completely robotic, he can’t be revived with the Dragon Balls. It’s as fitting as it is tragic to see him sacrifice his one life for the sake of the Earth he grew to love, but his somber words to Gohan forever changed the course of the series.

#7: Goku’s Return

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

It’s hard to imagine “Dragon Ball” without him, but after the defeat of Cell, Goku was left wandering the afterlife for 7 years. The Z Warriors just didn’t feel the same without him, which made his return at the hands of Baba’s magic all the more welcome. It’s a grand, long-awaited reunion featuring friends, family, and former foes that lends the scene a weighty emotional gravitas. The sentimental crux of the sequence, however, is when Goku gets to meet his youngest son, Goten, for the very first time. It’s a tender, sensitive reminder of how much Goku means to not just the characters, but the series’ identity.

#6: Ending of GT

“Dragon Ball GT” (1996-97)

Before the franchise’s recent resurgence, this episode marked the end of “Dragon Ball” as we knew it, but it’s hard to think of a more fitting end to Goku’s journey. “GT” may be questionably canon nowadays, but most fans can agree its ending is arguably better than the manga’s, thanks to a final arc that feels like a love letter to everything that came before and an epilogue that hits all the right notes. With the main theme rocking in the background, Goku and Vegeta’s descendants carrying on the legendary rivalry, and a montage summarizing the massive journey we’d been on, you'd have to be an android to keep a dry eye.

#5: Vegeta’s Dying Wish

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

As half of one of the most influential anime rivalries of all time, the prideful Saiyan’s drive to be stronger than Goku is as classic “Dragon Ball” as the glowing hair. But when the fight with Frieza leaves him beaten, humiliated, and on the brink of death, he delivers a sobering admittance in his final breath. Vegeta has never been this honest with his feelings, which leads to a powerful speech bound to leave you as choked up as he is. It’s not redemption, and it doesn’t make amends, either, but it serves as a poignant representation of Vegeta’s journey. If this had been the end for the character, we would have been too busy crying to complain.

#4: A Tragic Announcement

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

The Z Warriors have faced death before, but the grief has never hit quite this hard. The presumed deaths of beloved characters Gohan and Vegeta are tough to endure, but it’s even worse watching Goku deliver the news to the others. Gohan’s mother faints, and the newly-widowed Bulma lets loose a haunting scream. It’s especially rough on Goten and Trunks, who must pick themselves up and take on the mantle of Earth’s guardians before Buu claims anyone else. There’s little time for our characters to mourn, so while it’s almost hard to watch their impassioned anguish, it’s equally as affecting seeing them push through for the greater good.

#3: Vegeta’s Atonement

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

The Saiyan Prince’s contributions to the franchise can’t be understated, but this moment might be his absolute greatest. As a character who constantly teetered on the edge of villainy even after joining the Z Fighters, this breathtaking scene sees Vegeta finally realize he cares for his family more than his pride. It’s a brilliant culmination of his story arc that has him truly wish for redemption, emphasized when he hugs his son for the first, and presumably last, time. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing him atone for his crimes by protecting the world he grew to love, making for an unforgettable sacrifice.

#2: Piccolo’s Sacrifice

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

From vengeful villain to begrudging ally to reluctant uncle, this stoic Namekian’s journey in the first saga of “Z” culminates in a scene that almost needs no introduction. With downright stunning presentation and direction, there’s immense weight given to this decision, especially since it effectively nullifies the Dragon Balls. There’s a poetic quality to Piccolo making the ultimate sacrifice to save the son of his former arch nemesis, but by the time the tears begin to roll, it all feels incredibly earned. After all that time together, their final words to each other can only be described as characteristic of a father and son, symbolically marking the end to a magnificent character arc.

#1: Future Gohan’s Death

“Dragon Ball Z: History of Trunks” (1993)

From its bleak tone, subdued color palette, and gruff artwork, this television special is unlike anything the franchise has ever seen. There’s no Dragon Balls here, no backup on the way, and nowhere left for Trunks to turn when he discovers his battle-scarred mentor, Gohan, has perished to the androids, too. Backed by some of the greatest music and direction in the series, Trunks’ emotional hysterics are absolutely gut-wrenching, and a sobering reminder of everything this tortured hero has endured. It’s an emotionally-charged finale that’s bound to stay with you long after the credits roll, and a must-watch for “Dragon Ball” fans.
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Krillin's 1st death on Dragon Ball is the saddest.