Dragon Ball is full of powerful characters who could destroy universes about as easily as most ordinary people could pick up a pebble. In our previous list, Dragon Ball Z: 15 Characters Who Seem Weak But Are Actually Extremely Powerful, we talked about some of these crazily powerful characters. But what about the other side of the coin? What about characters who look like they could move mountains, but then fail to deliver on just about every level?
We all know appearances can be deceiving. These characters appear to be much more powerful than they actually turned out to be. Either because of misunderstandings or who their daddy is, these characters are considered strong beyond belief. Too bad they fall so short of their potential, to the point where they are actually pretty weak. So check out Dragon Ball Z: 15 Characters Who Seem Extremely Strong But Are Actually Really Weak.
15. Present Goten
With Gohan starting out so promising, what wondrous strength could be hiding within Goku‘s second son, Goten? There are several factors in Goten’s favor that would make you think he’d be extremely powerful. For one, he is trained by Chi-Chi in martial arts, rather than being as serious a student as his older brother Gohan. Also, he was even stronger than Goku or Gohan were when they were children; able to become a Super Saiyan when he was only seven years old. Supposedly, according to the Dragon Ball Z: Buu’s Fury video game manual, he has been able to go Super Saiyan since he was three.
Unfortunately, he shares some of his father’s less-than-desirable traits, including stopping his training to play around with the wild animals he loves so much. He is naïve and enjoys play-fighting. There are a lot of message boards and even whole videos complaining about how weak Goten has become. Just like his older brother, Goten stopped training for awhile and has become weaker as a result.
14. Present Trunks
First introduced as the future child of Vegeta and Bulma, you’d think the present-day Trunks would be much more impressive than he actually turns out to be. He does go Super Saiyan when he is only eight-years-old, but he has a lot of the same problems that his best friend Goten suffers from. Unlike Goku and Vegeta, Trunk and Goten never had the same intense love for fighting. He is also much more fun-loving than his father Vegeta.
Trunks does share his cockiness with his father, often asserting he is better than Goku because he is older and stronger than him. He also shares Goten’s mischievous nature, despite his future self being more serious. However, he is more intelligent when it comes to science-related know-how thanks to being in a family of scientists. Overall, Trunks still could be much more promising than he actually is as a fighter, and he is often pushed out of joining major battles. One instance of this would be when he wants to help his father fight Majin Buu. Instead of helping, Vegeta blows himself up to take out Buu and knocks Trunks unconscious. Like Goten, Trunks has major potential, but he just hasn’t been showing much of it lately.
13. King Cold
You would think Frieza and Cooler’s father would be one of the most intimidating enemies in Dragon Ball. Not only is he their father, but King Cold was king of the universe and was secretly the leader of the Galactic Frieza Army. He does have a high power level, but it isn’t nearly as high as viewers would expect. Unlike his two sons, who both transform into stronger versions of themselves, King Cold never changes in the series. His cocky attitude is another point against him. For instance, when he first sees a Super Saiyan, Cold is not afraid because of his arrogance. However, he did show fear when he saw what they were capable of.
After Future Trunks kills his son and refuses a place at King Cold’s side, Cold makes the mistake of thinking all of Trunks’ power is in his sword. When he finally gets his hands on the blade, it is easily blocked by Future Trunks. Cold meets his end when Future Trunks shoots a God Breaker through him. Yet in death, King Cold seems to be even weaker. When he tries to help Cell escape from Hell, he is easily knocked out by an elbow to the stomach from Pikkon. How the mighty have literally and figuratively fallen.
12. Android 20
Dr. Gero was only a supporting antagonist in Dragon Ball. He had a brilliant mind and created the Red Ribbon Androids, machines made to defeat Goku. Some of his most impressive creations were Androids 16, 17, and 18. His ultimate creation was Cell, who came from a future timeline. Cell had the ability to absorb other android creations so they could become even more powerful. You would think then, when Dr. Gero turned himself into Android 20 to attain immortality, that he would be a major threat.
Unfortunately, Gero’s first mistake was picking an energy-absorbing instead of the infinite-powered Android model. If he had gone with the latter, he would have had even greater power reserves. He was much less powerful than his own creations, which proved to be his downfall. Failing to realize they are not his obedient little puppets, Gero’s Shut Down Control to overpower his androids was destroyed and Android 17 murdered him by impaling him, then decapitating him, then stepping on his head. It took a lot of steps to kill him, and still it somehow looked like child’s play for Android 17.
11. Android 19
Gero used Android 19 to help give himself a robot body. He seems promising given he’s smart enough to turn his maker into Android 20. He is also very confident and ready to take on Goku. Unfortunately, this overconfidence turns out to be his downfall. When he uses the data from Dr. Gero’s Remote tracking device, Android 19 overestimates how much knowledge he really has about the Z Fighters, only collecting data from the Vegeta and Trunks Sagas.
You would think defeating Goku would mean Android 19 was absurdly powerful. However, the only reason 19 was able to defeat Goku was because Goku was suffering from a Heart Virus that weakened him. And he wasn’t even able to defeat the Goku until his Heart Virus got worse and he absorbed Goku’s Kamehameha. So of course he is defeated by a Super Saiyan Vegeta. 19 is so scared of Vegeta that he even tries to run away from the fight. Such a sorry state for an Android ready to take on all of the Z Fighters.
Also known as the “Ox-Demon King,” Ox-King was the king of Fire Mountain and Chi-Chi’s father. You would think with his training background with Goku’s adoptive grandfather under Master Roshi and his title would indicate he’s a worthwhile opponent. He initially would hurt anyone who entered his domain, but after it was destroyed he promised to no longer bring harm to anyone.
Now, the Ox-King is rather harmless and cares more about keeping his daughter out of trouble than fighting. The Ox-King would rather just watch fights on TV. He had a lot of physical strength but no ki control and could never master the Kamehameha. His treasure was also all burned up, leaving him poor. He even served drinks at Bulma’s birthday party. He went from a “Demon” to a “waiter”. Definitely a downgrade. But he doesn’t seem to mind in the slightest, content to support his daughter and Goku, remaining mostly in the background.
Yamcha was originally a desert bandit who fought against Goku. He fought the young Goku when he was only 16 years old and nearly won, injuring Goku with his Wolf Fang Fist technique. However, this powerful warrior reveals one of his flaws when he runs away from the fight after seeing Bulma. See, Yamcha is extremely afraid of women.
After this initial confrontation, Yamcha ended up becoming his friend and a main protagonist in the series for awhile. He is considered one of the most powerful human beings on earth and fights with the Z Fighters. However, as the enemies grew more and more powerful, Yamcha could not keep up. He ends up retiring during Dragon Ball Z because of how much more powerful everyone is than him. Despite this, he’ll still show up to fight. He’s an honorable fighter, but definitely nowhere near as powerful as most of the main cast.
When you combine two characters who just barely made it onto this list, you’d hope their combined strength would shine though. Unfortunately for Goten and Trunks, that is far from the case here. When Goten and Trunks perform the Fusion Dance, they transform into Gotenks. Now, Gotenks is capable of great feats, but putting two childish heads together doesn’t take away Goten and Trunks’ immaturity. If anything, it seems to increase it. He is a combination of Goten and Trunks’ troublesome traits, such as Goten’s playful nature and Trunks’ egotism.
After failing to fuse the first two times, when Goten and Trunks finally succeed we all hoped for an epic battle. Instead, the cocky duo attempt to fight Majin Buu and are soundly defeated. Even when the two go Super Saiyan, Trunks is forced to lower his power level so it matches Goten’s to be able to fuse successfully. Like idiots, the two fly around the Earth and take a nap in this state, unaware they would run out of time and defuse before being able to take on Buu again. Gotenks probably reached their lowest point when they took on Beerus, who simply slapped their arm, causing them to defuse.
7. The Supreme Kai
When you hear the word “supreme,” you think of someone pretty powerful. The Supreme Kais in the Dragon Ball universes are the “Creation Gods.” Their duty is to protect the universes. They outclass the Kais, who also work to protect the universes. However, the East Supreme Kai, Shin, is a rather disappointing fighter. At first, he seems to be a very powerful being in his introduction during the Majin Buu arc. However, as the arc goes on, he reveals his true nature.
Shin may know a lot about the universe, but many things surprise him. He is unaware of how powerful the Saiyans can be. He also relies on other people to defeat Majin Buu rather than on his own abilities. Shin was previously unable to defeat Kid Buu and would have been killed if not for the Grand Supreme Kai, who protected him at the expense of being absorbed by the Huge Buu. Because of the deaths of the other Supreme Kais, he becomes simply known as the Supreme Kai and takes on the job of the Grand Supreme Kai. All these fancy titles, and yet he still needs to have a bodyguard, Kibito, to watch his back.
The creature that awakened Majin Buu and send him after the Supreme Kais, you’d think this devious little wizard would be much more deadly himself. He’s constantly in danger of getting killed by his own “creations.” Once, after Buu destroyed Planet Alpha, he almost kills off Bibidi. His only reason for surviving is his quick wit, calling himself Buu’s “father.” He eventually gets taken out by the Eastern Supreme Kai, and when you get taken out by someone else on this list, it’s pretty sad.
Bibidi, while intelligent, never really shows much physical strength. He has a basic energy blast and is able to create doppelgangers of himself. However, he must spread his energy into each clone, making him even weaker than before. Bibidi may be able to dodge Buu’s attacks by teleporting, but if he were to let his guard down and get hit, he would go down easily.
Babidi is one of Bibidi’s clones. After Bibidi dies, Babidi receives all of his power and takes over for him. If he’s in danger, he’ll turn into a sniveling mess willing to do anything he has to in order to survive– integrity be damned! He tries to unseal an imprisoned Majin Buu and makes plenty of mistakes along the way. For one, he prematurely kills his two lackies, only to realize they don’t provide enough energy to bring Buu back. When he finally does release Majin Buu, he makes the mistake of underestimating his power, but is quickly shown just how much damage Buu’s capable of.
Things go downhill pretty quickly for Babidi after that. He fails to convince Piccolo to spare him for the sake of controlling Majin Buu and gets sliced in half. He does manage to survive this and continues to force Buu into obeying him by threatening to seal him away. However, the results of him trying to control Majin Buu prove to be much more deadly than when Bibidi tried to. Buu strangles him and punches his head before finally destroying his body with a Ki blast. Looks like the clone really isn’t as good as the original in this case.
4. Garlic Jr.
Garlic Jr. is the main villain in Dragon Ball: Dead Zone (1989) and later returns in the Garlic Jr. Saga. He is part of the Makyan, or Serpent, species. Makyans have super forms they can transform into, which cause them to grow and increase their strength. Garlic Jr. is the only character ever granted eternal life by the Dragon Balls, so despite his small and unintimidating appearance, you would think this would make him a fearsome opponent.
In the film Dead Zone, Garlic Jr.’s downfall is that he focuses so much on getting revenge for his father by defeating Kami. This puts all of his attention on Kami and leads to him ignoring Goku and his friends. Garlic Jr. is then forced to face off against Piccolo and Goku. He transforms into a giant monster and he appears to hold his own against the two of them… until Goku and Piccolo remove their weights and an angry Garlic Jr. makes his biggest mistake yet: he opens up a portal to the Dead Zone, a void that will trap whoever gets stuck inside forever. Of course, Garlic Jr. ends up getting stuck inside the Dead Zone himself. While he does get out years later, his pathetic showing during his first appearance is more than enough to land him on this list.
You would think a creature called “Monster Beast Giran,” complemented by an imposing appearance, would be a lot more powerful than he actually is. A Giras (a race pterodactyl-like creatre), Giran entered the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament. He often bullies others and is quick to start a fight. During his initial battle with Goku, he does use some pretty clever and dirty tactics.
Giran should be much more powerful, considering he’s able spit out “Merry-Go-Round Gum” to trap his opponents and was capable of outsmarting Goku during their match. Yet, Giran eventually surrenders to Goku after he breaks out of his “Merry-Go-Round Gum”and destroys a wall with just a kick. To add insult to injury, Giran entire race is killed off by Majin Buu (though they are all later revived). Sorry Giran, but even that swanky hat can’t give you the strength you need to be a powerful fighter.
Either your favorite running gag or the person you want to strangle the most, Hercule (or Mr. Satan to some) is considered by most people on Earth as the greatest fighter of all time. Through constant misunderstandings, Hercule always seems to appear to be the most powerful fighter of them all. He is the World Martial Arts Champion and protector of the Earth.
While he is a strong fighter, he can’t hold a candle to the main Dragon Ball Z cast. Yet, when the Z fighters show up to take on Cell, Hercule claims they’re his disciples. He later takes credit for defeating Cell, using it as a way to seduce women… and to continue to fill that bloated ego of his. Hercule is actually extremely cowardly, running from a fight more often than not. Despite all of this, Hercule isn’t that bad a guy. He does care about defending innocent people and saves the lives of Bee, Vegeta, and even Majin Buu, whom he also befriends and takes on as his “pupil.”
The great Saiyaman, son of Goku. In his prime, Gohan is one of the most powerful characters on the show. At 11, he turned Super Saiyan 2 and destroyed Cell. So why is he on this list? Because his primetime is loooong past. Ever since the Cell games, fans have noticed Gohan’s character development and power take a downward spiral.
In the five years between the end of the Buu saga and the Resurrection of F, Gohan hasn’t trained at all. It’s gotten to the point where he can’t even turn Super Saiyan 2 without seriously hurting himself. Instead of training, Gohan has his power awakened by other people around him, like the Supreme Kai increasing his abilities during the Buu saga.
It’s gotten to the point where there are fan theories about why Gohan became so weak, pointing to things like the fact that he doesn’t have a rival. Or it could just be because he stopped training…
Who were you the most disappointed in power-wise on Dragon Ball? Let us know in the comments below.