Top 10 Heroic Deaths in Dragon Ball



Top 10 Heroic Deaths in Dragon Ball

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Sometimes going Super Saiyan isn't enough. Join Ashley as we count down the times where characters from across the Dragon Ball franchise made the ultimate sacrifice, including the likes of "Piccolo", "Vegeta", "Goku", and more!
Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Heroic Deaths in Dragon Ball

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 heroic deaths in “Dragon Ball.”

For this list, we’ll be going over some of the most courageous deaths in the “Dragon Ball” franchise.

If there’s a “Dragon Ball” character whose valiant death always gets you, we wish that you would comment below!

#10: Piccolo is Killed by Frieza

Frieza is one of the most intimidating villains in the “Dragon Ball” franchise, so when he comes back to life and attacks Earth, things look dire. Gohan struggles against even a returned Captain Ginyu. But Frieza interrupts their fight after Gohan reminds him of his father, sadistically filling the young half-Saiyan full of holes. Before the tyrant can finish Gohan off however, Piccolo steps in to take a fatal blow and save his frequent protégé. It’s not the first time Piccolo saves Gohan like this, but it’s still moving nonetheless.

#9: Chiaotzu Tries to Kill Nappa

The Saiyans aren’t particularly strong compared to later foes, but when the Z Fighters first encounter them, they’re incredibly outmatched. Nappa alone can dominate nearly all of them by himself. After Tien loses his forearm, Chiaotzu decides to take matters into his own hands to protect his friend. Latching onto Nappa’s back, Chiaotzu uses psychic energy to cause a massive explosion with the aim of taking Nappa with him. Tragically, Chiaotzu’s death is in vain, but it was still an admirable effort.

#8: Future Gohan’s Last Stand

The future that Future Trunks comes from is pretty bleak. Androids 17 & 18 are almost unopposed and wantonly destroy whole cities full of people. Only an adult Gohan and teenage Trunks can stand against them. However, to protect Trunks, who hasn’t become a Super Saiyan yet, Gohan knocks him out when the Androids are attacking a nearby city and goes to fight them alone. But with only 1 arm, Gohan is at a distinct disadvantage. The cybernetic siblings strike Gohan down, leaving Trunks heartbroken. While we knew it was coming, this death still hits hard, and it illustrates that no matter what timeline it is, Gohan is a hero.

#7: Piccolo Stays Behind

In “Dragon Ball GT,” the Z Fighters face Baby, a malevolent alien parasite. While they ultimately defeat him, Baby still finds a way to make a wish on the Black Star Dragon Balls, dooming the planet in the process. With Earth set to be destroyed, everyone is evacuated, only for Piccolo to announce that he intends to stay behind. Earth’s destruction was made possible by the Black Star Dragon Balls, and if he dies, so too will they be destroyed. While there were probably other ways to deal with this threat, we’re still suckers for seeing Piccolo go down in a blaze of glory.

#6: Goku Takes Raditz With Him

The first major battle of “Dragon Ball Z” sees Goku and Piccolo facing off against Goku’s brother, Raditz. The Saiyan proves to be stronger than both of them together, but with his son’s life in danger, Goku pushes himself forward and succeeds in Raditz in a stranglehold, holding him in place long enough for Piccolo to blast through them both. It’s Goku’s first death in the franchise and it’s an appropriately courageous one at that.

#5: Android 16 Inspires Gohan

Originally programmed to kill Goku, Android 16 finds a new purpose and during the Cell Games, he decides to try to take out the titular bug man. His intended explosion fails to go off, and his body is shattered. However, his head remains intact. When Gohan is paralyzed with indecision as Cell sicks his spawn on the Z Fighters, 16 delivers an impassioned speech to the young warrior, telling him that even if he doesn’t like fighting, it’s okay to fight for what’s important. Cell destroying him during this moment is tragic, but the fire 16 lights in Gohan makes his demise worth it.

#4: Roshi Passes the Torch

Master Roshi is the ultimate mentor, but he meets his match in the demon king Piccolo. After Piccolo is freed from his prison and begins looking for the Dragon Balls to restore his youth, Roshi battles the OG big green to buy time. Although clearly outmatched, Roshi gambles everything on the evil containment wave. Hoping to seal Piccolo inside a rice cooker, the technique comes with a death sentence, but Roshi is willing to risk it. Unfortunately, Roshi can’t complete the technique, but remains confident enough in his students to carry on the task. What a boss.

#3: Piccolo Saves Gohan

Piccolo begins his life much like his “father,” as a villain and with an intense dislike of Goku. But through training with Gohan, he comes to befriend the young half-Saiyan. So during the battle with Vegeta and Nappa, when the latter fires a blast at Gohan that’s sure to kill him, Piccolo steps in. Taking the brunt of the attack, Piccolo is mortally wounded, using his last few moments to solidify his friendship with Gohan. Not only is this a tremendous send-off, it also marks Piccolo’s turning point from being a reluctant ally to a full-blown hero.

#2: Goku Teleports Cell Away

Turns out Cell is quite the sore loser. After being defeated by Gohan and losing his perfect form, the ultimate android decides to blow himself up and the Earth along with him. With Gohan at a loss as to how to save everyone, Goku steps in. After bidding his loved ones farewell, Goku uses Instant Transmission to teleport himself and Cell to King Kai’s planet, saving Earth at the cost of his (and King Kai’s) life. This is arguably Goku’s bravest moment, one that does away with the goofiness, and shows a father figure willing to give everything for his son.

#1: Vegeta’s Sacrifice

Sometimes it takes a while for the biggest jerks to see the light. After accepting Majin Buu’s power in order to fight Goku again, Vegeta seems beyond redemption. However, he ultimately makes amends by sacrificing in a last, desperate act to put an end to Buu. His touching farewell to his son and his explosive final atonement makes it a landmark moment for the character and series as a whole. It’s the culmination of Vegeta’s development, and while this naturally isn’t his final ending, it is a worthy one.