It can be safely stated that Goku is the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball series, despite Akira Toriyama's attempts at ushering in the era of Goku's son, Gohan, midway through Dragon Ball Z. As the hero of the story, Goku's main goal, besides saving the Earth and its inhabitants, is to find the strongest opponent he can and test his abilities.
As a result, Goku has been on the receiving end of many beatings throughout the series, but he usually always finds a way to get past his latest foe. The members of the Saiyan race all get stronger after surviving battles, so Goku struggling to defeat a foe pretty much guarantees that they are stronger than the last.
Some of these entries will be obvious to many diehard fans. Naturally, most of them come from Dragon Ball Super, given the natural progression of Goku's abilities and the fact that he has been victorious in his previous battles. It should be kept in mind that many of the events discussed here are filler that have been added to the show to help pad out the story and make it a little longer than the manga was, but they're in the show, and are all worth mentioning.
Here are 15 Characters Who Are Stronger Than Goku.
Beerus, first encountered in the movie: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, is the God of Destruction for Universe 7. He's an anthropomorphic cat who loves destroying things, a cat who loves pushing things off of the table...if the table is the universe and things are planets.
Goku's first encounter with the Destroyer did not go well at all, as he was taken down in his Super Saiyan 3 form with a simple chop. Our hero managed to ascend to his Super Saiyan God form on the borrowed power of Gohan, Goten, Vegeta, Trunks, and Videl, as well as Gohan's unborn child, Pan. Somehow, this still wasn't enough to take Beerus down. The Destroyer God's malicious approach to life in the universe was somewhat softened after his encounter with Goku and the other Z-Fighters, however, leading to a change in his status in the series, moving from main antagonist to a sort of quasi-protagonist.
He's definitely someone you want on your side, but make sure there's enough pudding for him - he's destroyed planets for less.
As powerful as Beerus is, Whis is much stronger. He is the angelic attendant of the Destroyer God of Universe 7 - helping him, teaching him, training him. He's basically guiding him through his role as the God of Destruction.
Whis, like the attendants from other universes, is bound to the service of the Destroyer, but he does a lot to try and keep him in check. Whis has the power to reverse time, sometimes using this "Redo" ability to reverse the destruction of certain planets, despite his complete indifference to them.
Both Vegeta and Goku eventually found themselves under the tutelage of Whis, attaining an even more powerful level to their Super Saiyan transformation - Super Saiyan God Blue. Training them in their most powerful form is no issue for Whis, and he's been able to train with Beerus for eons, suggesting vast amounts of power in his reserves. Definitely not to be trifled with.
Future Trunks had been a prominent figure throughout the Cell Saga in Dragon Ball Z, but he makes a return appearance in Dragon Ball Super, once more seeking the aid of the past versions of Goku and Vegeta. Trunks travels back to the past in order to seek help with dealing with his latest unstoppable adversary - Black Goku.
During the final battle with a fused Zamasu, Trunks subconsciously channels the energy of those praying for his victory into a massive ball of light energy, which he then fashions into a greatsword of light. This allows him to go toe-to-toe with, and eventually defeat, the enemy that had took down a Super Saiyan Blue Vegito (the full-powered fusing of Goku and Vegeta).
Although this new power was borrowed, Trunks' body will have adapted to it much like Goku's body adapted to the God powers. It would be interesting to see this version of Trunks go up against Goku Blue, but we're thinking the guy with the coolest hair in the series comes out on top.
Goku Black was the main villain throughout the Future Trunks Saga in Dragon Ball Super. He was actually the apprentice of the Supreme Kai of Universe 10, but he stole the body of his timeline's Goku and, along with a future version of himself, planned to eliminate all mortals.
Black can be considered part Saiyan and part Shinjin (the race of the Kais), and can use many of the same abilities as Goku, although his are all wrapped in some evil mojo, giving his beams and power ups a black aura. He does, however, have some additional abilities such as an energy scythe and the ability to clone himself instantly.
Goku Black was able to fuse with a future timeline version of Zamasu through the use of the Potara earings, becoming Fuzed Zamasu, and causing Goku and Vegeta to become Vegito Blue - although they were still unable to stop him.
Champa is the twin brother of Beerus, and the Destroyer God of Universe 6. Like Beerus, he is an anthropomorphic cat with vast destructive powers. The only real difference between them is that he is much fatter than his Universe 7 counterpart. In Dragon Ball Super, it's discovered that Champa, along with his very own attendant (we'll get to her) have been popping over into Universe 7 to steal their share of the Super Dragon Balls!
Champa's abilities rival his brother's, with them having gone toe to toe with each other prior to the Tournament of Destroyers. Their fight had to be stopped, as continuing would have created enough energy to destroy the universes.
His weight and frame mean Champa doesn't have the same kind of stamina as Beerus, but Goku still wouldn't stand a chance against him.
Like Beerus, Champa has an angelic attendant - Whis' older sister, Vados. Like Whis, she is charged with training the Destroyer of her own universe.
Vados claims to be a bit stronger than her younger brother, but Whis disagrees. In her defense, she has the strength to knock Champa out with a single chop to the neck and can destroy whole planets with a simple movement of her staff. She can even transport 6 of the Super Dragon Balls across space, which isn't an easy feat, considering that they are all roughly the size of planets.
Vados is widely assumed to be the strongest being in Universe 6. Despite her implied lack of knowledge of Super Saiyans, she's still miles ahead of Goku in terms of power.
While Vados and Whis are both immensely powerful, neither really hold a candle to their father, The Great Priest. He too is an Angel, and he shares many of the same abilities as his children, along with the added bonus of portal creation, allowing him to travel between realms.
The Angels of the Dragon Ball series are an indifferent sort, not batting an eye at the catastrophic loss of lives throughout the 12 known universes. The Great Priest in particular is unmoved by the complete erasure of the 9th and 10th Universes. He, in fact, was seen smiling after these tragedies, suggesting a sinister outlook.
While there has not been much combat from the Great Priest, his power is undeniable. There's something deeply unsettling about the Angels' immeasurable power being concealed behind their calm demeanor.
Arale Norimaki is quite possibly the strangest addition to this list. An android with super human strength, she was the main character in Dr. Slump, Akira Toriyama's series before Dragon Ball. Arale has made appearances in both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Super, giving Goku a run for his money on both occasions. Goku admits that she is way stronger than him in the former, but in the latter, she is even seen giving Vegeta a tough battle (the Saiyan prince then declares that he never wants to fight a gag character again).
In the Future Trunks Saga, Goku and Arale square off, with our hero fighting in his Super Saiyan Blue form. This ends with no clear winner, but with Arale requesting they fight again - but 100 times stronger. As guest characters go, she's not one you would imagine would be able to fight Goku to a stalemate and want to keep battling.
Hit is the strongest fighter in Universe 6's team, and he's certainly earned his name. He's a legendary assassin in his own universe, and his reputation precedes him - he is also known as Hit the Infallible.
Hit is able to take Vegeta out with ease, thanks to his Time Skip ability. This allows him to progress and go up against Goku, who starts to feel out his opponent, trying to find a way to counter. After a progression of one getting an advantage over the other, Goku reveals that he has a new technique - The Kaioken, a classic Goku technique. Goku then suggests allowing killing in the tournament, but he and Hit both notice how selfish the Destroyers are in response to this, and forfeit the match.
Hit may have been able to kill Goku, given that it's his trade and all, but their battle was cut short by Goku trying to make a point.
Jiren is the strongest member of the Universe 11 fighting force known as The Pride Troopers. During the Universe Survival Saga, Jiren is selected to represent the people of his cosmos in the Tournament of Power.
His speed is so great that, when first meeting him, Goku couldn't see Jiren move despite his attempts to keep his eyes firmly locked on him. Jiren is also strong enough to take out Kale - a female version of Broly - when she is in her Super Saiyan form with a single ki blast. This is notable, because Goku's Super Saiyan Blue Kamehameha wave had little effect on her.
It has been said by creators of the series that Jiren would still vastly outmatch Goku, even if our hero employed his improved Kaioken technique. (Not bad for a literal red-shirt.) We'll have to wait and see how this relationship progresses.
Zen-Oh is one of the two beings who rule over the entire multiverse, with his job literally being the King of All Universes. Despite his child-like nature, the Omni King is sadistic and amoral.
Goku is excited to be a part of the Tournament of Power that's hosted by Zen-Oh and his future counterpart. In this contest, the Super Dragon Balls are once again being offered as a price, but the tournament has one extra caveat - each of the losing universes will be erased from existence by the two versions of Zen-Oh.
Despite their unfathomable power, both versions of Zen-Oh are impressed by Goku's Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken technique. This is nothing more than amusing to them, however, as they still have the power to wipe entire alternate realities from existence without a single flicker of remorse (or effort).
Much like the Destroyer Gods, Zen-Oh also has attendants, albeit of a slightly different variety. While the Angelic attendants have been bound to train and inform a destroyer, Zen-Oh's attendants act more as bodyguards. Think Emperor Palpatine's Imperial Guards, but with less shiny red armor and more mysterious high collars.
In fairness, the power of these attendants has only been alluded to thus far, but the Supreme Kais and Destroyer Gods from all universes are rattled with so much fear that their power must be pretty astounding.
Their appearances have been brief within Dragon Ball Super, but they present an interesting possible story thread to be explored. For now, we'll have to settle for witnessing their sweet teleportation techniques and be infinitely jealous of their fantastic coats with the arguably too-high collars.
Fans got to see Golden Frieza in both Dragon Ball Z: Ressurection of F and Dragon Ball Super, with both outcomes being very similar, since the story from the movie was retooled for the series.
Frieza's Golden form was the result of the newly resurrected supervillain actually putting in the time and effort to train. The form is enough, pound for pound, to take on the Super Saiyan Blue form of Goku, with the big bad almost sealing his victory over the Z-Fighters.
But alas, the best-laid plans of ruthless former emperors often go awry. Frieza's newfound form was so new to him that he didn't learn how to manage it over a long period, and his stamina let him down. There's no denying that it was effective, though. Just imagine if he had learned to manage it! Krillin would have died again, for sure.
Vegeta has been on a rollercoaster of rivalry with Goku. He went from main protagonist, to tenuous ally, to actual ally, to teammate, to friend, all the while trying to become stronger than his fellow Saiyan. Goku has always been able to pull ahead at every turn, achieving a new level of power just as Vegeta catches up.
Since achieving Super Saiyan Blue, Vegeta has gained a level of power that finally truly rivals that of Goku. In Dragon Ball Super, it is shown that Vegeta spends a few months training with Whis prior to Goku ever even finding out. Like a spoiled child, our hero then badgers Whis to let him join too.
It will be interesting to see if Vegeta, given his new levels of power, challenges Goku to an actual battle in the future, as Vegeta has been able to take on certain villains that Goku has been incapable of disposing of.
In a semi-serious entry in our list, Chi-Chi is one of the rare characters that actually seems more powerful than Goku without actually progressing their power level, being a destroyer, a god, or an angel. Chi-Chi is Goku's wife, and throughout the whole series, we see that this is oddly enough to make Goku fear her wrath.
Despite incredible training and prevailing over villains who can destroy planets, when Goku talks a hit from Chi-Chi, it really leaves its mark, often leaving a lump or at least a bruise.
Although Goku is likely just playing along, it's still funny to think that Chi-Chi can have the savior of Earth shaking in his gi. It takes a massive level of mental fortitude to raise mega-powerful, half alien children after the father dies or disappears, and Goku does both. You're the real MVP, Chi-Chi.
Are there any other Dragon Ball characters that could best Goku? Let us know in the comments.