Dragon Ball is known for extremely its powerful characters who spend episode after episode punching each other into oblivion. There are the obvious powerhouses: Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Beerus. The list of worthy opponents goes on and on. But then there are some characters who look like they can barely lift a paper weight and then turn out to be some of the most powerful fighters.
Don’t underestimate these 15 entries. Each of these characters may appear weak at first, or they may have some traits that you wouldn’t ordinarily associate with strength, but in reality they are some of the most powerful fighters in Dragon Ball. They prove first impressions can be deceiving – sometimes at the expense of someone’s life. From a perverted old Hermit to a baby to a Power Rangers knock-off team, here are, in no particular order, 15 Dragon Ball Characters Who Seem Weak But Are Actually Extremely Powerful.
15. Kid Gohan
Despite being Goku’s son, Gohan’s first impression on viewers was far from proof that he was powerful. Everything seemed to indicate the opposite. Gohan appears to be your typical kid – sweet, innocent, and whiny. We watch him toddle around and get into danger constantly in the first episode of Dragon Ball Z, which is called “Mini-Goku is an Overprotected Boy! I Am Gohan.” But shortly afterwards, Gohan meets Goku’s older brother Raditz. His sensors pick up people’s power levels and, while Gohan first seems harmless, when he gets upset, his power level grows greatly and he manages to lay quite a hit on Raditz. His blow gives Goku and Piccolo the advantage they need to finish off Raditz, but Goku still dies in the process.
Gohan learns to further hone his skills when Piccolo starts training him after his father’s death. Piccolo goes very hard on him, sharpening into an effective fighter. When he isn’t being cowardly, Gohan can be quite the hard-hitter – if he can stop crying long enough to punch someone.
14. The Ginyu Force
The Ginyu Force is an elite team of mercenaries who work for Frieza. There are five members: 1) Guldo, who is physically weak but has psychic powers, such as the ability to freeze time while he holds his breath, 2) Recoome is a sadistic fighter who names his attacks after himself, 3) Burter says he is the fastest being in the universe, 4) Jeice is a flamboyant and showy white-haired mutant, and last but certainly not least, 5) Captain Ginyu, the team’s tactically skilled leader and Frieza’s right-hand man. The team are “High-Level Executive Class” in the Galactic Frieza Army.
The group leave a better first impression than Gohan. Vegeta is initially scared by the thought of them, but then he sees them. They break out in silly poses, have their own theme song, play rock-paper-scissors, and bet candy on fights. The team is heavily inspired by Super Sentai groups (think Power Rangers). They are a joke until the team deals some impressive damage to the Z fighters. They clearly aren’t ranked so highly in Frieza’s army for no reason.
Janemba is the main villain of Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (1995). He first appears to be an overweight yellow creature who is innocent and childish, similar to Kid Buu, and can only say his own name. Goku doesn’t take him seriously at first, but quickly changes his mind when Janemba demonstrates his power. In this form, he has the ability to create tinier versions of himself. But Janemba’s power doesn’t stop there. It takes Goku transforming into his Super Saitan 3 form to bring him down, and then he simply transforms into his superior second form.
In his second form, Janemba sheds his childlike innocence and becomes a sleek and menacing figure. He has various abilities that make him a force to be reckoned with, including being able to control space and time as well as change realms. It takes the combined efforts of Goku and Vegeta fused together as Gogeta to finally bring him down.
12. Android 16
Android 16 was created by Dr. Gero to kill Goku, but he thought he was a failure and deactivated him. It wasn’t until his creator was killed by Android 17 that he was reactived. At first, Android 16 was considered weak by the other characters because he doesn’t want to fight anyone. He also likes to look at small animals. His kindness comes from the fact that he was modeled after Gero’s dead son, a high-ranking Red Ribbon soldier. Gero made him powerful, but since he didn’t want to lose him in battle, he also made him gentle.
His true strength comes out when Cell attacks. Surprisingly, Android 16 is more than a match for Cell’s first form, but he does end up being destroyed by him. Unlike Android 17 and 18, Android 16 is completely mechanical and even stronger than both of them. He can also sense other peoples’ power levels.
11. Monster Carrot
When an anthropomorphic rabbit approaches you, it doesn’t really instill fear. Monster Carrot is a minor antagonist in Dragon Ball and the leader of the Rabbit Mob, which is a trio of rabbit worshippers. He controlled a remote village in Diablo Desert before Goku and Bulma came along.
Monster Carrot’s most powerful technique is his “magic touch,” an ability that turns the people he touches into carrots. He does this to Bulma when he meets her. This ability makes it harder for Goku to fight Monster Carrot since he doesn’t want to hurt carrot Bulma. Unfortunately for Monster Carrot, when Bulma is out of harm’s way, he is easily defeated by Goku. Monster Carrot also has superhuman jumping skills, which he uses to dodge some of Goku’s attacks. In the video game Dragon Ball: Origins (2008), he has “magic materialization”, which creates explosive carrots that launch from his car, which he can recreate using this ability.
Uub appears to be nothing more than a timid child who gets frightened by others’ serious expressions, but he’s actually a human reincarnation of Buu. He was created when Goku wished Majin Buu could be reincarnated into a good person so he could fight him one day. Uub attracts Goku’s attention when he competes in the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament. During his fight with Goku, Uub is initially terrified. He even takes a step back when Goku approaches. But after Goku provokes him by insulting his parents, Uub is able to go as far as hurt Goku. He is able to tap into the power of Majin Buu within him. Impressed, Goku decides to start training him.
Under Goku’s training, Uub becomes a much more confident fighter. After five years, Uub completes Goku’s training. Their final spar is in Dragon Ball GT. After their final training session, Goku mentioned to Uub that he hasn’t been so tired out from a fight since Frieza.
9. Mr. Popo
Mr. Popo is an assistant deity to Kami, the Guardian of the Earth, and his successor, Dende. He is the gardener and caretaker of The Lookout, an ancient platform floating in the air. Popo works there eternally, but he can travel anywhere by using his magic carpet or instant transportation. Though rarely shown fighting, Mr. Popo is a skilled martial arts master. In his first introduction in Dragon Ball, he is more than a match for the young Goku. Goku even uses a Kamehameha, which is easily swallowed up by Mr. Popo. For the next three years, Mr. Popo trains Goku, teaching him important techniques like the Ki Sense and Super Kamehameha.
Later, Mr. Popo and Kami train Krillin, Tien Shinhan, Yamcha, Chiaotzu, and Yajirobe to fight off the Saiyans. His skills as a fighter are further hinted at when he takes on Trunks and Goten in their Super Saiyan forms. He easily evades their attacks and he even seems uninjured by the kick Goten lands on him. People may assume his non-threatening appearance and caring nature make him weak, but his skills make him a formidable opponent and a great teacher.
8. Chi Chi
Goku’s wife, Chi Chi is the princess of Fire Mountain and the daughter of the Ox-King. She starts the series as a shy girl dwelling on who she will marry. Unlike her terrifying father, who trained her as a child, Chi Chi proved to be pure of heart when she rode the Flying Nimbus. She was afraid all the time, and would often defeat her opponent while she was crying. As a child, she wore a pink helmet that had a blade and was capable of shooting laser beams.
When she gets older, Chi Chi becomes much tougher and often has bouts of incredible anger. She may not be as strong as the Z Fighters, but she is one of the strongest women in the world. She’s often an overprotective mother, emphasizing the importance of her children’s education rather than their fighting ability. Chi Chi may often raise her voice at Goku and her kids, but she truly loves them. When Gohan is taken out by Majin Buu, she punches Buu in the face, caring little for her own safety.
7. Master Roshi
The perverted martial artist known as the “Turtle Hermit,” Master Roshi is a lot stronger than he looks. He is over 100 years old and looks every day of it, but he is also a master of martial arts, responsible for training Goku, Gohan, Ox-King, and Krillin. He was the first person to climb Korin Tower and trained under Korin, a wise cat and martial arts master who is over 800 years old. After 50 years, Roshi created the Kamehameha technique. He used the MAX Power Kamehameha to put out Fire Mountain’s flames.
Usually, Master Roshi serves as comic relief, but he does fight with the Z Fighters in Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’. His typical hobbies aren’t anything you’d expect from a martial arts master: he plays video games, takes afternoon naps, watches Wide-Thigh Aerobics on television, and looks at dirty magazines in his spare time. Despite all this, he remains one of the strongest humans on Earth and, if he used his maximum power, Roshi would be able to destroy the moon. He is still willing to die an honorable death, once dying after using the Evil Containment Wave against King Piccolo.
Krillin (or Kuririn) is Goku’s closest ally and friend. He’s the butt of many jokes, often getting beat to a bloody pulp by his enemies and dying several times. A comic relief character who suggests running and hiding from enemies, this simply masks the fact that he is actually extremely powerful. Krillin is also able to use the Destructo Disk, which can cut people in half. The disk sends Nappa and Vegeta running out of the way and Frieza loses his tail to it. Some of his other techniques include the Kamehameha wave, Tien’s Solar Flare technique, and the Spirit Bomb, which has only been used by him and Goku.
Despite knowing his limitations and when he should really turn tail and run, Krillin will still fight beside his friend. He has fought all of the main Dragon Ball villains, and while he’s gotten pummelled by many of them, he’s also dealt some impressive damage of his own.
While not the best physical fighter in comparison to the rest of the Z Fighters, Chiaotzu is skilled in psychokinesis as well as telepathy. He was trained by Master Roshi’s rival Master Shen to kill Goku and Roshi’s other students. Chiaotzu and his classmate Tien Shinhan defect when they decide Shen’s teachings are wrong, joining Goku and his friends. He later trains with Tien, Yamcha, and Krillin until they’re told by Master Roshi that to compete with Goku, they need to find a better way to train. They train at Korin Tower, where Master Roshi trained under Korin.
He has died several times in battle, but always returns thanks to the Dragon Balls. Showing true care for his friends, he sacrifices himself by self-destructing to try to take out Nappa and save Tien. After his body was regenerated by Kami, he started training on King Kai’s planet in the Other World, just as Goku did.
4. Baby Pan
Pan is the daughter of Gohan and Videl, making her Goku, Mr. Satan and Chi Chi’s granddaughter. Given her heritage, it’s expected that Pan would be powerful. But it’s still surprising how much power she shows when she’s just a baby. When she’s in a spaceship in Earth’s orbit being driven by Pilaf, Mai and Shu, the ship breaks apart, but the three are saved by Pan, who uses her ki, powers up, and starts flying. Otherwise, she’s like any normal, healthy child: carefree and playful.
After training with Goku since she was an infant, Pan joins the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament when she’s only four years old. She’s able to easily defeat Wild Tiger in two punches. As a teenager in Dragon Ball GT, Pan further proves her fighting prowess, beating enemies like Natt of the Sigma Force and Haze Shenron. She can even go Super Saiyan. Her fighting technique includes waiting for her opponent to make the first move, then using their own strength against them to dodge or counter their attack.
3. Majin Buu
The first time Majin Buu appears, he’s called the “Innocent Buu.” Majin Buu’s creator was Bibidi, and he was later summoned by his son, Babidi, to help him dominate the world. Babidi claims Innocent Buu has double the power of Super Saiyan 2 Gohan. He was not expecting what he got: a pink marshmallow man who cares more about eating than fighting. It’s not until Babidi’s right-hand man Dabura (whose power level is up there with Cell’s) challenges him to a fight that Buu reveals how powerful he really is, easily turning him into candy and eating him. He also takes out the Eastern Supreme Kai and Super Saiyan 2 Gohan, as well as fights off Goku in his Super Saiyan 3 form.
In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods (2013) we’re introduced to Beerus, the god of Destruction. Whis is his companion, constantly eating while Beerus goes about defeating almost every member of the Dragon Ball cast single-handedly over the course of the movie. Goku, powered up as high as he can be, is unable to defeat Beerus. Even Shenron, the mystical dragon summoned by the dragon balls, fears Beerus. It isn’t until near the end of the film that Beerus reveals Whis is actually his teacher. This means Whis is even more powerful than Beerus. At the end of the film, it only takes one well-placed elbow from Whis to knock Beerus out.
The next film, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection of ‘F’ (2015), shows viewers how absurdly fast and evasive Whis can be. Goku and Vegeta ask Whis to train them, and the results are entertaining for us and frustrating for the two Saiyans.
In Dragon Ball: Battle of the Gods, Beerus mentions there are destroyers in other worlds who are even more powerful than him. It’s not until Dragon Ball Super that we get to see some of these more powerful beings. Zeno, also known as Omni-King or King of Everything, looks like an adorable plushie with a squeaky voice. But he is stronger than any other character so far in the Dragon Ball universe. When he first shows up, Beerus is quaking in his boots.
Zeno is the king of the 12 Universes, responsible for keeping them balanced. There were originally 18 Universes, but once, when he was angry, Zeno destroyed six of them. Beerus claims he could destroy the rest of the universe. Most people don’t even know the Omni-King exists, and those who do are frightened of his immense power. Zeno enjoys Goku’s company and the two become friends. He may be considered the most powerful being in Dragon Ball, but he does not fight. One can only imagine what would happen if he decided to.