The Dragon Ball universe might be full of incredible fights, unbelievable transformations, and remarkable fighters, but when you get right down to it the show is about the Dragon Balls. It is the title, after all. Lives have been lost and wars have been waged as collateral damage in trying to acquire these seven magical orbs. The Dragon Balls are capable of—and expected to—grant wishes of tremendous power. They’ve not only brought people back to life countless times (Krillin practically uses them as life insurance at this point), but they’ve even been used to restore the Earth from destruction. That being said, that doesn’t mean that people still haven’t seriously bungled their time with Shenron. Everyone’s had embarrassing moments where they’ve blurted out something stupid or had serious buyer’s remorse after making an extravagant purchase, but here are some of the most frustrating, bewildering use of those seven balls. So let’s summon up Shenron and take a look at The 18 Lamest Use of Dragon Ball Wishes
18. Hoi Wishes For Tapion’s Music Box to Be Opened
So this isn’t a completely unsuccessful wish, which is why it’s hanging out at the bottom of the list here. In the Dragon Ball Z film, Wrath of the Dragon, the character Hoi has a sacred music box that nobody is able to open. Not even any of the show’s resident Saiyans. When that’s the reality that you’re dealing with, pulling out the big guns like Shenron to get your pickle jar unscrewed isn’t the worst idea. What else are you going to do? Opening up the magic box might awaken Tapion and bring him into the fray, which isn’t the worst thing, but it’s an action that’s entirely predicated on lies. Hoi is tricking the Z Warriors here and having Tapion present actually causes a whole lot more problems than it does good. Hirudegarn (the creature that emerged from the music box) is one tough beast and everyone would be a lot happier if that box was never opened. Plus, how lame does it sound that you needed Shenron to help you open a music box?
17. Shu wishes for one million Zeni.
Dragon Ball Super runs through a whirlwind of wishes thanks to Shenron’s powers allowing him to grant three wishes at a time. During the “Resurrection ‘F’” storyline, Mai and Shu invade Sorbet’s summoning of Shenron with his goal to be to bring Frieza back to life. Much like the shenanigans that Oolong plays on Pilaf in the original Dragon Ball, Mai and Shu are able to get some wishes in before Sorbet does. Shu’s wish is arguably better than Mai’s, but it’s still incredibly foolish. The dog creature wishes for one million Zeni. That’s it. Granted, Shu’s always been money hungry, but he just as easily could have wished for two million Zeni. Or two billion Zeni. Or just wish for unlimited money! While nerves likely got the better of Shu, the series never even shows him doing anything with that money, making it feel like he might as well not even have it. Shu at least explains his modest wish by listing the problems with too much wealth by saying, “If you’re too rich, your kids could turn into jerks who own nightclubs.”
16. Garlic Jr. Wishes For Immortality, Damning Him to Purgatory
Garlic Jr. holds the honor of being the mighty villain that not only dominates the first Dragon Ball Z film, The Dead Zone, but also shows up for a rematch in some entertaining filler episodes later in the series. Garlic Jr. is going after immortality – that old chestnut – which really isn’t a bad wish by any means. In fact, it’s sort of the best wish to make in a show like this—but it’s just terribly unoriginal. To Garlic Jr.’s credit, he actually gets away with his wish and ends up with eternal life. This however leads to Goku and company needing to get creative with how to dispose of the guy, turning to the prison-like dimension of the Dead Zone in the process. Getting sent to the Dead Zone would normally be no walk in the park, but it would at least result in you finding peace in your eventual death. Garlic Jr. gets no such luxury.
All of this does at least perfectly illustrate the old “be careful what you wish for” adage. Surely if Garlic Jr. could appreciate the irony of the situation he’d be a little less torn up about his eternal imprisonment.
15. Lord Slug Wishes For Eternal Youth
In the same vein as Garlic Jr.’s wish, there’s nothing inherently wrong with what Lord Slug is seeking here. Slug is a Super Namekian, but one that has grown old and longs for the days of his youth where he was an even more intimidating fighter. Curiously, Slug doesn’t wish to be invincible, but rather perpetually young, as he’s tasted the bitter fruit of old age and has no interest on going back to that place. Slug achieves his goal, but even if he’s restored to the best shape he’s ever been in, that’s not going to make a difference to someone like Goku who’s marginally stronger than the guy. Slug is eventually beaten and killed, failing to pose that much of a challenge, but he at least gets to have a pretty face on his body while it disintegrates.
14. Pilaf Accidentally Wishes to Turn Goku Back Into a Child
Dragon Ball GT might be a contentious world of quasi-canon for a lot of Dragon Ball fans but it undeniably does some interesting things with the Dragon Balls that deserve addressing. GT introduces the Black Star Dragon Balls, and with them the entire premise of the series. After being thwarted yet again by Goku, a now-liver spotted Pilaf voices his frustration that if Goku was still a child like he was when he met him, then he wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem. Well guess what? Shenron was nearby and ended up interpreting that as Pilaf’s wish, putting Goku in a child’s body in the process. He might be somewhat weaker while in this child form, but Goku still has all of his Super Saiyan abilities intact and is still easily one of the strongest fighters in the universe. Pilaf succeeds in shrinking Goku down a few feet, but that’s really all that he succeeds in. Meanwhile Pilaf’s not doing any better at the world domination game and could benefit from turning back the clock a few years.
13. Dr. Kochin Wishes For Some Ice to Melt (and Free Dr. Wheelo’s Body)
Here’s another “bigger picture” wish that when boiled down to a simple logline seems pretty damn wasteful of Shenron’s infinite powers. In the second Dragon Ball Z film, The World’s Strongest, the cantankerous Dr. Kochin manages to gather all seven Dragon Balls and use Shenron’s powers to melt the mighty glaciers and ice caps that have imprisoned his mentor and muse, Dr. Wheelo. What follows is Wheelo’s still-alive mind in search of a new powerful body with all of the Z Fighters looking like tempting candidates. Kochin certainly achieves his goal of freeing his friend, but doesn’t resorting to the Dragon Balls seem like a bit of an overreaction here? He probably could have just tricked the naïve Goku into melting the ice with a Kamehameha using some half-baked lie. Or couldn’t Kochin just have wished that Wheelo was never frozen to begin with? With Kochin and Wheelo both meeting their demise shortly after, all of this seems moot. It would have been better if they just spent their final moments together, man to brain. Or better yet, let Kochin become Wheelo’s new host. What are friends for?
12. Future Mr. Satan Wishes to Be the Most Popular Person in the Universe
There are a lot of Dragon Ball video games out there, and the latest ones offer up so much customization and freedom that you’re even capable of summoning Shenron and getting your own pick of wishes in the process. These titles also create original, intricate storylines that sometimes involve Shenron making a cameo appearance in some of the more dire situations. Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai – Another Road, for instance, sees Future Mr. Satan (it’s a whole timeline thing) commandeering Future Babidi’s wish, instead asking to become the most popular person in the universe. A lot of Mr. Satan’s storylines deal with the amount of popularity that the character has, and even his other time in front of Shenron results in him making another very like-minded wish. This certainly feels like one of the bigger wastes of Shenron’s abilities, but he at least has the foresight of asking his wish to encompass the entire universe rather than merely Earth, like so many other wishes do.
11. Penny Wishes For the Blood Rubies to No Longer Exist
All the way back in the Dragon Ball film, Curse of the Blood Rubies, the character Penny ends up getting her hands on the Dragon Balls. While Penny is certainly not the most memorable character from out of Dragon Ball, she does still manage to make her mark in a matter of speaking by summoning the all-powerful Shenron. It’s just a shame that her wish ends up amounting to be as inconsequential as she is. Curse of the Blood Rubies is a feature-length retelling of Dragon Ball’s first arc, the Emperor Pilaf Saga. In spite of it covering the introduction of Bulma, Yamcha, and other crucial characters, Penny is a movie-only addition who basically just wants her land to be safe. When Shenron ends up arriving, her wish is for the blood rubies to no longer exist, which in turn heals her land of its war-torn damage, ensuring a healthy future for it. While Penny’s efforts are admirable, this does seem a little minimalistic. Penny and her people could simply move or a myriad of other solutions that wouldn’t involve a giant dragon.
10. Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma Wish to Restore a Forest
Treading in very similar territory as Penny’s wish in Curse of the Blood Rubies, Gohan and friends get their environmentalism on in the Dragon Ball Z film, The Tree of Might. It might be all-too appropriate that a film with “tree” in its title ends up seeing its Dragon Ball wish go towards wildlife protection, but that’s what happens here. After the devastation of the life-sapping Tree of Might that Turles inflicts on the planet, Krillin, Gohan, and Bulma go about righting this wrong with the help of Shenron. Their wish here is quite chivalrous and a real boon for Gohan’s pet dragon (remember him?), but it’s a perfect situation where they could try thinking bigger rather than simply reviving one forest. Why not wish for all destroyed nature to come back to life? At least in Penny’s situation she had some emotional attachment to her land. This is just a random forest being revived here. There are still dead fighters out there who could use a resurrection!
9. Pilaf, Mai, and Shu Wish For Their Youth Back
This wish is a little tricky since it seems to take place off camera, but it’s still one that’s referenced within the show and without a doubt happened. Prior to the events of Dragon Ball Super, Pilaf, Mai, and Shu must have acquired the Dragon Balls and wished to regain their youth as a means of helping them in their plans for world domination. The wish just gets a little murky since in Dragon Ball GT, Pilaf wishes for Goku to become young again. These are two separate youth-related wishes with Pilaf, which probably means he’s got some sort of a age complex going on. While Pilaf and company do regain their youth, they proceed to do absolutely nothing with it! It doesn’t appear to aid them at all, and if anything it’s a hindrance, especially for Mai (although it does lead to a bizarre romance between her and young Trunks). The specifics of this wish are still largely a mystery, but the pint-sized ramifications are still being felt throughout the events of Dragon Ball Super.
8. Mr. Satan Wishes to Become a King
This Shenron wish might have slipped by you, largely because it takes place in the bonkers crossover manga special, Cross Epoch. Dragon Ball receives hearty representation within this project, as do the Dragon Balls themselves. With this spectacle largely meant as a gag and not meant to be taken too seriously, there is no uber threat that the Dragon Balls are needed to help deal with. In fact, the wish making goes in the completely opposite direction with Mr. Satan greedily requesting that Shenron make him a king (as if fraudulent popularity and power weren’t already enough). The rule of King Satan becomes even more ridiculous when Shenron follows up by organizing a tea party for the new ruler with all of his best friends. Yes, the Dragon Balls can help cause unbelievable destruction, but sometimes Shenron’s happy to kick back and just help with party favors and making sure everyone’s got the invites. He at least makes for a hard person to say “no” to.
7. Goten Wishes That His Father Was Still Around
Let’s be clear here. This is not Goten wishing that Goku was brought back to life. No, it’s simply a son missing his dead father and longing for him to be there during an important moment. The results here almost read like Shenron being heartbroken more than anything else, as he goes about granting Goten’s request even though he doesn’t formally wish it from Shenron (Shenron’s just around at the time of Goten’s sadness). As nobody has wished for Goku to come back from the afterlife, what Shenron ends up doing here in Broly – Second Coming is simply providing Goten with an image of his father to soften the blow of him not being there. It makes for a sweet scene, but arguably this false image would only further remind Goten of what he’s missing and how he could actually benefit from a dragon’s magic powers. Shenron has good intentions here, but it comes across more like he’s teasing a boy about his dead dad. Maybe Goten should have wished that Shenron develop some tact.
6. In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse You Can Wish To Have a Journey to the West Costume
As touched on earlier, the growing list of Dragon Ball video games have put Shenron and his wishes in the power of the gamer to a large degree. In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse this luxury is especially evident with a wealth of wishes, both of the useful and impractical variety. Players can bother Shenron for wishes like, “I Want Money”, “I Want a New Ultimate Attack”, or “I Want to Be Stronger.” However, some true madness is unleashed when picking the “I Want to Dress Up!” wish. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse has many costumes at your disposal, but one of the more ridiculous attires that can adorn your character is Saiyuki’s wardrobe from Journey of the West, the text which acted as Akira Toriyama’s inspiration for the Dragon Ball series. This nod to West is a cute little touch in the already crowded Xenoverse, but on the scale of valuable wishes, geeky fan service is certainly one of the more wasteful decisions that can be made. Besides, no one looks good in those baggy clothes!
5. Shenron Bestows Penguin Village With a Tractor
One of the cooler things about Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series is that he’s never too hesitant to have it cross over with other works of his when the occasion for filler arises. The Galactic Patrolman Jaco character even stems from an entirely independent manga before he was absorbed into Dragon Ball Super. Super even indulged in a Dr. Slump crossover not that long ago, showing that Toriyama’s cross-pollination spirits are still very strong. While Arale from Dr. Slump and Goku from Dragon Ball cross paths a handful of times, it’s kind of remarkable that Dr. Slump’s world and its characters actually get to reap the benefits of Dragon Ball’s Shenron. The expectations are put into incredibly modest check here as the humble community of Penguin Village merely wants a tractor to help with their farm work. That’s it. Penguin Village could have wished for a booming infrastructure or a bank filled with Zeni to hold them through the future. They could have even wished for two tractors, but no, the modesty of Dr. Slump carries all the way into their wish making, too. Let’s hope it’s one damn good tractor.
4. Oolong Wishes For a Pair of Ladies’ Underwear
In the wish that kicked off them all and an incredibly momentous occasion in the Dragon Ball series, the first time that the anime shows Shenron being called forth ends up being a moment that’s delightfully undercut. The stage is perfectly set for Pilaf to become ruler of the world after he’s assembled all seven Dragon Balls and summoned Shenron. Right before all hope is lost though, the lecherous Oolong swoops into the scene and wishes for the first thing that comes to his perverted mind, which happens to be a comfortable pair of ladies’ underwear (it’s a good thing that Master Roshi wasn’t the one improvising). Just like that, all of Pilaf’s efforts are wasted. There are a lot of odd items that are wished for throughout this list, but a tractor or one million Zeni might still hold slightly more power than underwear. As comfortable as they may be.
3. Mai Wishes For Ice Cream
So remember talking about how a tractor or one million Zeni are more practical than underwear? Well at least you can wear underwear for months—years even—whereas ice cream is going to be gone within mere minutes. Even if you take your time and savor this magical ice cream, nothing’s going to stop it from melting and meeting its inevitable doom. Mai’s wish for ice cream comes into play in Dragon Ball Super immediately after Shu’s impulsive wish for one million Zeni, all of which is acting as a means to derail the plans of the Frieza Force. Mai deserves a little slack for being ruled by her stomach, but she lays into Shu pretty badly for making such a close-minded wish that you’d think she’d at least be able to admit how her own wish is pretty flawed. This is certainly one of the most wasteful uses of Shenron’s powers. Mai doesn’t even specify what flavor of ice cream she wants or if any toppings should be involved. Even in the world of ice cream there’s tons of variety that Shenron would be more than happy to make happen.
2. Beerus Wishes For Shenron to “Scram”
As bad as the worst, impulsive wish can be, it’s surely still better than making no wish at all and telling Shenron to buzz off. Ice cream, underwear, or some crummy tractor might seem like abuses of Shenron, but at least those people actually asked for something! Beerus takes things in another direction and basically tells Shenron to get out of his face after he’s gotten what he’s wanted. He doesn’t feel the need to make use of wishes just because they’re there, so Shenron might as well be out of the picture. This also incorporates the beautiful relationship dynamics between Shenron and Beerus where Shenron is actually terrified of Beerus, too. Watching this mammoth dragon stutter and panic around the God of Destruction is a lot of fun, so when Beerus wishes for Shenron to leave, it adds even more fuel to their existing fire. Additionally, Beerus’ phrasing is problematic here, too. The God could have asked for Shenron to disappear in a much more specific, grandiose way if he wanted to. The guy’s just got other priorities.
1. Sorbet Wishes For the Revival of Frieza
Just to be clear here, using Shenron’s powers to bring Frieza back to life like Sorbet does in Dragon Ball Super’s “Resurrection ‘F’” arc is not a bad, foolish wish. It’s actually a tremendous power move that really overturns the lives of Goku and friends for a while. It even briefly leads to the demolition of the Earth, so yeah, Sorbet kind of nails it with his planning here. So while this wish isn’t lame or bad in scope, the wish itself is referred to as “the worst wish in history” within the series. Shenron is a pretty knowledgeable dragon and for a list that’s specifically investigating the worst uses of the Dragon Balls, this one technically comes out as champion. It’s outright confirmed within the series. Sure, the series might be using the word “worst” in terms of severity rather than being bad, but even still, is bringing Frieza back again really the most creative wish? These people are basically pros at killing him at this point.
So of all the Dragon Ball blunders that have been committed, these are the absolute worst. But does a certain Shenron summoning happen to rub you the wrong way? Is there a failure of a wish that was totally overlooked? Summon the all-mighty dragon and let us know!