The blue-haired scientist Bulma is one of the Dragon Ball saga’s most integral characters, and by far the most prominent female one. Time and time again she has come to the aid of her friends, the planet, and even the universe. Yet, for some odd reason, karma and fate aren’t exactly on her side.
Sure, she was never tasked with going head-to-head with an ultra-powerful villain, or directly had the weight of billions of lives on her shoulders, but with all her good deeds, why does she have to go through some of the worst trials and tribulations in the series?
It’s not just the fact that she has these terrible things happen to her, but similar events happen to her multiple times, which is just incredibly unfair to such a key component of the Dragon Ball mythos.
We’ve compiled the absolute worst of the worst in terms of the terrible things that have happened to this beloved character throughout the various Dragon Ball series. Get ready for a heaping helping of possession, mind-warping nightmare fuel, and food-related transfiguration as we dive headfirst in what could very well be a saga of its own.
Here are the 15 Worst Things To Ever Happen To Bulma In Dragon Ball.
15 Switching Bodies With The Frogged Ginyu
Bulma’s experiences to-and-from Planet Namek are the stuff of nightmare, with most of the unfortunate things (aside from death) happening to her, not the least of which is having her body switched with that of a frog.
Despite the abject humiliation and physical agony of becoming the alien amphibian, matters were made worse by the fact the villainous Ginyu now inhabited and spiritually violated the poor scientist’s youthful vessel. Thankfully, this bad dream ended sooner rather than later.
Ginyu’s greed and lack of patience compelled him to quickly seek a new body, particularly that of Piccolo, but once his vile plans were discovered, Gohan’s quick-thinking was able to save the day as he tossed Bulma in frog form directly in front of the Body Change beam, setting things right.
14 Being Forced To Watch Her Only Son Fight An Un-winnable, Suicidal War
Trunks is easily one of the coolest characters in the series, at least when he’s past his obnoxious toddler phase and has abandoned the arguably worthless Goten. The time-traveling, sword-wielding warrior made a massive impact with his initial appearance in DBZ, where he treated a reborn Frieza like a pile of junk mail, shredding him into oblivion with ruthless efficiency. Alas, there’s a dark side to all of this for his mother Bulma.
In Future Trunks’ time, the world is overrun by the malevolent Androids, and all of its heroes have been killed. After his master, Gohan, is killed in combat, it’s up to Trunks to defend what’s left of humanity, but it’s a fight he isn’t capable of winning.
His burning desire to continually rush out to fight the overwhelmingly strong Androids, despite his inability to defeat them, is something that tortures his worrying mother to no end. Worse yet, she knows that there’s nothing she can do to stop him, so she must constantly grapple with the fact that the last thing she has left will be inevitably taken from her.
13 Inhaling The Black Water Mist
Ah, the Garlic Jr. Saga; possibly the most reviled filler saga in the series, this paltry collection of episodes at least granted viewers some interesting scenarios and lore, and is perhaps another reason to give the underrated villain Garlic Jr. a second chance.
Serving as a sequel to Dead Zone, Garlic Jr. manages to escape his prison and, in yet another example of him succeeding where more popular villains have failed, actually manages to almost entirely conquer the Earth through the use of “The Black Water Mist.”
The Mist possesses the victims, causing them to become incredibly violent and demonic. Of course, Bulma falls victim to it, along with nearly everyone else, and goes berserk.
While her stint as the infected subject of the Black Water Mist is short-lived (along with the Saga) this would not be the last time Bulma found herself under the influence of nefarious forces.
12 Becoming Baby's Second-in-Command
While the Garlic Jr. Saga might be the most hated Saga in Dragon Ball Z, it pales in comparison to the ire that the entire series of Dragon Ball GT, the original sequel before Super, receives.
Plagued by tonal disparity, awful character choices, and a generally head-scratching direction, GT still managed some awesome concepts for its Sagas, and it’s a shame that they weren’t given the right kind of meat for the skeleton they provided.
Case-in-point was the Baby Saga. The story follows a final plot of revenge from the long-lost Tuffle race, which fell to the Saiyans eons ago. That vengeance was Baby, an organism designed solely to exterminate the Saiyans and restore the Tuffle homeworld.
Remarkably, Baby is able to infest other living beings and, wouldn’t you know it, Bulma fell victim to it. However, this wasn’t just a short-case of malevolence like with Garlic Jr., no, this time she was a full-on accomplice to Baby who, rather unfortunately, had infested and essentially fused with her husband, Vegeta.
Bulma, in her new position, furthered Baby’s goals with her technological prowess and organized his master plan.
11 Being Captured By Blueberry And Raspberry
For a good portion of her time on Namek, Bulma was left to her own devices, and narrowly escaped going completely mad. Thankfully, there were a few times that her loneliness and boredom were shattered, offering a short reprieve. This was not one of those times.
Captured by two of Frieza’s goofily-named henchmen, she was forced to help them seek the Dragon Balls for their own purposes, and thus was able to buy herself time to live and, hopefully, escape.
Under the constant threat of death, Bulma drew out the search, eventually leading the alien duo to the nest of a previously encountered and enormous crab. While the henchmen were distracted looking for the “Dragon Balls” (which were really the crab’s eggs), Bulma attempted to make an escape.
While all ended well thanks to the help of the mother crustacean, the emotional rollercoaster, with its false hopes, lingering threat of execution, and pulse-pounding escape is certainly not something that was pleasant for the poor, blue-haired Bulma to experience.
10 Being Hypnotized By Fake Namekians
Jeez, can’t a girl get a break on anything involving Namek? While Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan soared through the cosmos, they accidentally landed on a planet that they believed to be their destination, Namek. It wasn’t. Instead, it was an illusory nightmare hell.
The whole thing was conjured up by two malicious, stranded aliens. Using their impressive mind powers, they were able to completely hypnotize and deceive the trio of our heroes into this false world, and take them on a phantasmagorical quest for faux-Dragon Balls.
Despite supposedly being an illusion, the adventure was fraught with real peril, culminating in a collapse of reality as our heroes had perceived it, and disgusting, hungry shellfish beasts ready to devour Gohan and Krillin.
The psychological trauma inflicted on Bulma and the two martial artists has never been touched on, but it’s safe to say that they teetered on the brink of madness after the mind-warping false journey, the soul-crushing revelations, and the cruel mental probing of the false Namekians.
9 Marrying Vegeta
Alright, we can admit that’s there’s something inherently perfect about the pairing of Bulma and Vegeta, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a bad side to it. Consider this: Bulma is incredibly intelligent, has a fiery personality, goes above and beyond for her friends, is supremely generous, and is an all around caring individual who can be trusted through and through.
Vegeta, on the other hand, is crass, prideful, contains a heck of a lot of repressed evil, and doesn’t give his wife the time, attention, nor appreciation that she genuinely deserves, considering her boundless contributions to not only the good of the world, but Baby Vegeta’s schemes in GT.
Yeah, yeah, they’re a great couple and Trunks is certainly a key player in the world of Dragon Ball, but Bulma deserves so much better, particularly someone who will treat her right.
8 Being Turned Into A Carrot...
Dragon Ball had more of a comedy slant than the action-oriented (but still funny) Z, so it was filled with quite a few wacky scenarios and characters. However, even the wackiest of characters can inflict terror in unexpected ways.
While seeking the final dragon ball, the gang comes across a town that fears a gang known as the “Rabbit Mob.” Goku defeats a few of their members, forcing them to summon their leader, Monster Carrot. It’s this rabbit-like entity that transforms Bulma into a carrot.
Easily worse than being turned into a frog due to the lack of limbs, Bulma’s orange-colored prison was surely an unfathomably awful episode. Making matters worse, this was only the first time she was turned into a food item. It’d happen again, years later, with far worse consequences.
7 Then Being Turned Into Chocolate
As if being a carrot wasn’t bad enough, Bulma once again had to go through the arduous experience of being transfigured into a food item, and this time, she actually got eaten.
Majin Buu, the final villain of DBZ, was an interesting, if not tiresome, villain who went through countless forms. His initial one was that of a pudgy, pink glutton with a short temper. Incredibly powerful even in this unfit form, his preferred technique was to turn his victims into chocolate and then eat them.
This technique carried on through his various incarnations and, upon his escape from the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, turned his chocolatizing beam on the folks stationed on Kami’s Lookout, including Bulma.
For the second time, she became a piece of food, but to add even more trauma to the experience, she was actually eaten by the pink fiend. Think about that: she actually had to go through being transformed into food twice, and then the second time experience what it was like to be consumed. Horrifying.
6 Unwillingly Flashing Master Roshi
Before there was a Z after the words “Dragon Ball,” there was simply Dragon Ball, the first series in the franchise. It followed the exploits of the child Goku, the young Bulma, and many others on their quest for the Dragon Balls and, eventually, their battle to save the world.
Back during these early days, Bulma was keen to use her sex appeal whenever it could benefit her or the team. While this self-confidence is certainly admirable and advantageous, sometimes it was used as a weapon unwittingly wielded.
The youthful Yamcha found himself up against See-Through the Invisible Man and-- wouldn’t you guess it-- he was completely invisible. This posed a major challenge for the would-be thief as he had not yet learned to sense ki.
Desperation seeping in, Krillin concocted a rather mischievous plan: he’d pull of Bulma’s top with the intention that her chest would give the lecherous Master Roshi a nosebleed, the force of which would then cover the invisible man. The plan was a success, but it was mortifying for Bulma.
5 Dating Yamcha
Vegeta may not treat Bulma the way she deserves to be treated but at least he’s an incredibly powerful warrior who has helped shift the balance of power in the universe for the forces of good, and played key roles in multiple lynchpin conflicts. Yamcha, on the other hand, is pretty good at getting killed by a Saibaman.
Bulma’s attraction to the dopey thief and martial artist started back in the days of the original Dragon Ball, where it might be best described as puppy love or a typical teen romance. This on-and-off again relationship carried on to Z, where there certainly seemed to be genuine attraction but, in the end, it all came crashing down when Vegeta and Bulma got together.
Compared to the prince of all Saiyans, the chapter of Bulma’s life where Yamcha was her beau is now nothing more than an embarrassment or footnote. Sure Yamcha played pro-baseball and fought in some cool bouts, but in the end, the time he and Bulma shared together is better left for the memory box in order for Bulma to save some face.
4 Meeting Goku
Goku-- some people love him, some people hate him. He’s unquestioningly the all-time greatest savior of Earth, but his increasingly selfish and insane personality quirks have jeopardized the very same planet. And it’s his relationship with Bulma that directly put her into the death-laden, traumatizing, life-shattering trials of doom that have plagued her at every turn.
Because of her association with Goku, Bulma’s life and sanity have been threatened more times than any living, sentient being should ever be forced to be subjected to. In the old days, when he’d transform into an Oozaru, he’d threaten her directly, but later on, simply knowing him was dangerous enough.
We’ve gotta hand it to Bulma, though. Through it all-- through everything her association with Goku and beyond has brought her-- she’s remained strong and willing to help whenever she can, despite the fact that all of her experiences would have shattered a weaker individual.
3 Being Constantly Accosted By Master Roshi
Master Roshi is a legendary martial artist. There’s no question about it. He’s developed the iconic and devastating Kamehameha wave, defeated countless foes, and even trained future-defenders and champions, Goku and Krillin. But if there’s a feature that defines him the most, it’s his wildly lecherous personality.
As a pervert’s perv, Roshi’s obsessive lust knows no bounds. Whether it’s magazines, tapes, exercise videos, or flesh-and-blood women, Old Man Turtle can barely contain himself. This brings us to the unfavorable relationship he has with Bulma.
The quirky gal scientist, being the series’ most prominent female character, is forced to spend far too much time near and around this old man. Because of this, she is subjected to his most unscrupulous advances and deviant tricks. This is all made worse by the fact that she volunteered to live at Kame House if Roshi would train Yamcha.
Although there were certain occasions that Bulma willingly took advantage of Roshi by using her looks, the vast majority of occurrences were unwanted, unwarranted, and incredibly uncomfortable. Well, not for Roshi-- he was pretty happy, the old coot.
2 Picking Up Her Dad's Smoking Habit
While smoking seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs in our world, the habit is likely being kept alive in the world of Dragon Ball by Bulma’s father, Dr. Briefs, and his never ending chain smoking.
We all know the disastrous side effects of the chemical-soaked death sticks, but it doesn’t seem to affect Dr. Briefs too much. However, then again, it’s a cartoon where seven mystical balls summon a dragon who can grant your wishes.
Regardless, it appears that Bulma has picked up her father’s love of smoking, although it’s rarely shown. Making an appearance in the Great Saiyaman Saga, she lights up a cigarette during a visit from Gohan.
It seems that this secret vice might go back even farther, though, as one cover the original Dragon Ball manga portrays the teenage Bulma lighting one up, as well. Although that cover was eventually edited to remove the cigarette, and we’ve yet to see her take a drag in Super, it’s possible that this habit continues in the shadows.
1 Having Giant Puffy Hair From The Android Saga
Look, we’re not ones to belittle people’s individual styles. That said, every now and then someone you know goes through a phase where they take a major leap as a means of coping. Some people use “retail therapy,” others indulge in “comfort foods,” but Bulma opted for a drastic fashion shift.
Ever since her youngest years, Bulma has maintained either some form of a ponytail or a shoulder-length look. Yes there are periods of long hair, but that’s few and far between, and way less drastic than her brief Android Saga look.
Here, she essentially had an enormous, puffed up, swirly blue afro that somewhat resembled cotton candy. This comes out of nowhere, and disappears just as quickly.
We need only consider her many near-death escapades, and extrapolate that this hairstyle shift was a means of defining herself, asserting who she was, and coping with the traumatic experiences that she consecutively found herself part of.
On second thought, perhaps this isn’t a bad thing at all, and we should be proud of her dealing with the stress in her own way. Then again, it was still a weird look for her, so maybe not.
Can you think of any other terrible things that have happened to Bulma in Dragon Ball that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comment section!