Starting out as an enemy of the Z fighters, becoming a distrustful ally and eventually an anti-hero, Vegeta is a fan favorite for any Dragon Ball Z lover thanks to his depth and character development. While Goku is easy-going and noble, Vegeta is anything but. Arrogant, crass and power hungry, the Saiyan prince lives by his own code of honor which is this: the strong will always survive and conquer.
While he starts the series with hopes of destroying Earth, Vegeta ends up becoming a powerful ally to the Z fighters, and eventually fights for the planet he once sought after to conquer. Like Piccolo, Vegeta becomes a friend to Goku and company, while still maintaining some of his more grumpy attributes along the way. For this list, we're going with facts about the Saiyan Warrior that every lover of DBZ should know, and perhaps a few that they may not.
Here are 12 Things You Need to Know About Vegeta.
12 Prince of the Saiyans
Vegeta might be the vainest character in Dragon Ball Z. He’s loud, he’s obnoxious, he doesn’t play well with others, and he always has to be in control. No doubt this behavior stems from the fact that he is royalty, the Prince of Saiyans (or King depending on how you look at it), which can't help but inflate what would already be a bloated ego.
Before their mass genocide, the Saiyans were quite the alien race to be reckoned with. They spend their lives, from the day they are born to the day they die, fighting and destroying. Thanks to their naturally high power levels, they were a force to be reckoned with. Like a race of outer space Spartans, the Saiyans are bloodthirsty and relentless, making whoever rules them that much more cruel and vicious in the process.
After their mass destruction, Vegeta is one of the last survivors of this race, and proudly proclaims himself to be Prince of the Saiyans. While he is always trying to achieve a bigger power level than anyone else, his arrogance and ego are unsurpassable by others.
11 Named After His Home World
Home to one of the most powerful races in the universe, the Saiyans, Planet Vegeta is a hostile environment with a harsh desert terrain and red skies. It is known to have 10x the gravity on earth, which explains why Saiyans are such naturally good fighters. It was originally named Planet Plant, and home to another more peaceful race, the Tuffles, until an all-out war broke out between the two species. After the Saiyans got the upper hand and decimated the Tuffles, they renamed the planet after their King Vegeta, who the present day Vegeta is a direct descendent from.
Like Superman’s alien homeworld Kryton, Planet Vegeta was not to last. In an abominating act by Frieza (the strongest being in the universe and ruler of the Saiyans at that time) he destroyed the entire planet, killing off all but a handful of Saiyans in the process.
10 Refers to Goku as Kakarot
Perhaps it is because he wants to retain some form of his heritage, or it is because he does not respect the customs of Earth, but Vegeta refuses to address Goku by his adopted name. Instead the Warrior Prince addresses the series’ hero as Kakarot, which was Goku’s birth name on his home world. Named by his father Bardock, Kakarot was sent Earth as a baby and was found by his adoptive father Gohan, who named the infant Saiyan, Goku.
Over the entire course of Dragon Ball Z Vegeta only addresses Goku by his Earth name a handful of times, usually only when he’s mocking him. When Goku’s brother Raditz journeys to Earth he also addresses his Saiyan sibling as Kakarot. Saiyans may be cruel in nature, but they at least remember your name.
Fun fact: most of the Saiyans in Dragon Ball Z are named after vegetables; Vegeta is a direct reference to the word vegetable.
9 Turns Into a Great Ape
One of the defining characteristics of his warrior race is their ability to change into a giant super ape, and Vegeta, being the Prince of all Saiyans, is no different. The source of their great power, Saiyans are born with tails that bestow upon them the ability to transform into their primate form when staring at a full moon. Vegeta uses this power to his advantage when trying to find the mystical Dragon Balls on his first journey to Earth.
Realizing he needs to pull out the big guns to best Goku, Vegeta creates a makeshift moon after Piccolo destroys the Earth’s, which allows him to transform into a great ape, a huge snarling beast with unmatched power. The Saiyan Prince continues to go berserk, smashing Goku into oblivion. Just when it seems like Vegeta has the upper hand, the lethargic Yajirobe unlikely saves the day by cutting off his tail. From this point on Vegeta loses his ability to transform, but becomes far stronger through different methods of training as the series progresses.
8 Jealous of Goku’s Abilities
Ever since they first squared off in season 1 of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta and Goku have shared an intense rivalry like no other in the anime. When the Prince of Saiyans travels to Earth to seek out the Dragon Balls to wish for eternal life there is only Goku standing in his way. Dumbfounded by his skills and his ability to match his strength in every way, Vegeta becomes infuriated at his inability to triumph over Goku.
The rest of the series has Vegeta become consumed with a burning desire to surpass Goku’s strength by any means necessary. Although he spends hours, days, and years training, Vegeta never quite reaches the level that Goku is operating on. It’s a thought that constantly plagues the fighter, which more times than not, comes close to destroying him from the inside out.
Ironically enough, although Vegeta is obsessed with matching Goku’s technical prowess, the latter has never actually won a fight with the former. Their first confrontation ends only because Gohan becomes a great ape, and the following fights they have in the series never has a clear loser or winner. With their intense rivalry as a focal point of the series, it would have been interesting to see the two have one final match to see who the superior fighter truly was.
7 Went from Villain to Anti-Hero
While Goku is the undisputed hero of Dragon Ball Z, his character doesn’t really develop or change throughout the course of the series. He’s still the happy go-lucky kind of guy that likes to fight a bunch and eat a bunch when we find him, and when we leave him. Perhaps that’s why a lot of fans gravitate towards Vegeta, who goes through quite the character arc that spans almost the entire length of the series.
As the show’s first real antagonist, Vegeta only has one thing on his mind: absolute power. His lack of care for human life makes him come across as a tyrannical madmen. After banding together with the Z Fighters to fight Frieza in the second season, Vegeta starts to warm up to the Earthlings he so despised previously. Ever since then he fought alongside Earth’s Special Forces, even marrying and having a child with a human. He comes to care a great deal for his family and new friends, even though his pride would never allow him to admit it.
6 Akira Toryama Killed Him Off
After receiving enormous fan mail begging him not to kill Vegeta off, manga creator Akira Toryama rolled up his sleeves and did just that. Vegeta had proven to be increasingly popular to the masses, and a death blow like his rattled the cages to say the least. During the Frieza storyline, the Warrior Prince met his demise by the galactic tyrant himself.
Believing that he’ll become a legendary Super Saiyan if he’s beaten within an inch of his life, Vegeta launches an all-out attack against Frieza who has now reached his final and strongest form. Frieza mocks the Prince, beating him silly until Vegeta is unable to move. As Goku finally shows up and manages to score a blow on Frieza, Vegeta taunts and laughs at his former master. This turns out to be a big mistake as Frieza sends a death beam straight through his heart. Despite being literally heartless at the time, Vegeta has a heartfelt moment with Goku, telling him to carry on the Saiyan legacy. Vegeta then dies, a broken and defeated man.
Of course, it wasn’t the last we were to see of the Warrior Prince. After the defeat of Frieza by Goku’s hands, the heroes on Earth wish for everyone that was killed during the battle to be resurrected, which of course includes the stone-hearted Vegeta, who is starting to warm to the heroes.
5 Had a Son Named Trunks with Bulma
Vegeta seems like the last guy who would settle down; he isn’t what you would call a family man. His only desire in life is to increase his power, and he spends most, if not all, of his time training like a madman. So when he fell in love with series regular Bulma after the events of the Frieza saga, it was sure a drastic turn from where the tyrannical character was just a few years before that when he was blowing up human cities for fun.
After Bulma and Vegeta become intimate, they eventually have a son together named Trunks. The weird thing is, Vegeta actually meets his son before he is ever born. In in alternate timeline, future Trunks journeyed into the past to warn the Z fighter of a terrible attack from killer androids. Future Trunks is able to save the Earth from a cataclysmic fate, and his present self grows up in a normal way. At least, as normal a life a kid can have from being half Saiyan.
Vegeta never really admits the love he has for his wife and son until the final moments of the initial Dragon Ball Z run. In a last ditch effort to save everything he cares about, Vegeta sacrifices himself by self-destructing, trying to take villain Super Buu along with him. Before he does he shares a special heart to heart moment with his son, embracing him in his arms for the first time since he was a baby. It’s a touching moment that fans to this day still get all choked up about.
4 Signature Moves
Being one of the most powerful fighters in the universe, Vegeta has an arsenal of deadly attacks at his disposal. One of the earliest moves we see, and one of his most powerful, is the Gallick Gun. It's his version of Goku’s Kamehameha. A charged up attack, Vegeta unleashes a commanding pink energy wave that has the potential to destroy entire planets. Deadly, destructive, and unstable, it perfectly matches the demeanor of the Warrior Prince’s personality.
Along with his Gallick Gun, Vegeta is fond of his Super Energy Wave Volley, which is a rapid barrage of energy blasts. It’s the shockwave equivalent of a Gatling gun firing at maximum capacity, and can rack up insane amounts of damage to who’s ever unlucky enough to be on the receiving end. Among some of the other formidable attacks at his disposal are the Atomic Blast, Big Bang Canon, Hellzone Grenade, and a rush attack appropriately named, Genocide Breaker. Needless to say, you want to stay on Vegeta's good side.
3 Voiced By Several Different Actors
While the sweeping landscapes and viciously brutal fight sequences in Dragon Ball Z are what capture the viewer’s imagination, the characters in the show don’t quite come alive until we hear them speak. If a character’s voice doesn’t completely match what he or she is doing onscreen, even brilliant animation can't make it work.
Fortunately, Vegeta has been voiced by a number of great actors throughout the years, each capturing the tough, rugged and arrogant persona. In the original Japanese version of the anime, the Saiyan Prince was brought to life by Japanese voice actor Ryo Horikawa. When the animation first made its way over to America, a series of voice actors tested for the part at Canada production company Ocean Productions, with Brian Drummond ultimately earning the part of Vegeta.
Because of the enormous expenses from using outside actors, Funimation eventually hired their own actors to play the parts of the Dragon Ball Z characters, which led to Christopher Sabat landing the role next. The most familiar of the voices to Western audiences, Sabat provides the voice of Vegeta in almost all media, including video games. A fan favorite, Sabat nails the voice that makes Vegeta tick, which is both commanding and threatening. Who could forget the endless amounts of memes the actor provided with the immortal line, "It's over 9,000!"
2 Never Reaches Super Saiyan Level 3
Vegeta’s whole mentality towards Goku’s mind-boggling power is: anything you can do, I can do better. At least, that’s how the Warrior Prince would like to have it. The truth is, Vegeta is almost always one step behind his rival Kakarot when it comes to strength, which is one crushing blow to his pride after another. While Vegeta is just hitting Super Saiyan, Goku is transforming in a Super Saiyan level 2. When Vegeta finally makes his way to hitting level 2, Goku naturally hits the almost unobtainable level 3.
With each new level in the Super Saiyan realm, comes a heightened sense of speed, agility, strength, and overall power. Super Saiyan 3 is the culmination and peak of that power (we’re not counting anything GT here), characterized by long flowing blonde hair and the absence of eyebrows. Goku trained in the afterlife to achieve this fantastic ability; Vegeta never quite makes it there. The character bottoms out at level 2, and it’s just another splinter in his mind that Goku is able to do something the Prince of all Saiyans can’t.
1 Has Fused With Goku to Become Vegito
Fusion melds two people into one, creating a sort of super warrior. There are two main methods of characters successfully using fusion in the series. The first is to simply have each person from the duo wear an earring, allowing anyone who is wearing them to fuse together. The other method requires a somewhat ridiculous synchronized dance that is reminiscent of the Spongebob bubble-blowing procedure (“stop on your right foot, don’t forget it!”).
Either way you do it, the end result is usually a super-being with godlike strength and agility. Both Goku and Vegeta’s sons, Goten and Trunks, use it to become the insanely powerful Gotenks to defeat Buu. It was only a matter of time then before rivals Vegeta and Gokus use it as well. As a last ditch effort to stop big baddie Super Buu, the two Saiyans put aside their differences and use the Potara earrings to become the legendary fighter Vegito.
Vegito has the best characteristics of both Saiyans. He’s arrogant and cocky like Prince Vegeta himself, but not as hot-blooded thanks to Goku’s easy going demeanor. Conceited yet respectful, his personality is overshadowed by Vegito’s enormously high power level, which is enough to level planets. One of the strongest warriors in DBZ canon, Vegito is both smart and commanding, thanks to Goku’s combat intelligence, and Vegeta’s, well, stubbornness.
That's our list of things you need to know about Vegeta! If we left anything out, let us know in the comments.