Through Dragon Ball and its sequels, the Z-Fighters and their villains have reached unfathomable levels of power, and they’re still rising today. We may never know which of the main characters is the strongest at any one time, but, if you’re searching for their most powerful offspring, we can answer that one right here.
We’ve stretched the definition of main character to include any of the Z-Fighters and their main adversaries, while everything from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Super will be taken into account. We’re ranking the characters at their peak, so while Dragon Ball GT is officially non-canon, it is included on the grounds that it’s the only chance we get to see some of the Z-Fighters’ kids in action.
Character from Trunks’ future timeline are also included, as their parents were still the same main characters that we know before history took its course.
With that cleared up, let’s count down Dragon Ball’s 12 Most Powerful Children of the Main Characters.
Krillin and Android 18’s daughter is introduced in Dragon Ball Z, born almost directly in between the Cell and Majin Buu sagas, and she appears through the events of GT as a teenager. Despite her recurring appearances, though, Marron is never shown to have any promise as a fighter, nor was she trained by either of her parents-- presumably to keep her out of danger.
Being the daughter of two of the strongest people on Earth (Krillin gets a hard time, but he’s one of the top two most powerful human beings on the planet, so at least there’s that), Marron does most likely possess a latent strength greater than that of your average human. However, there’s been no evidence to support this theory thus far, besides the fact that she has been known to make Android 18 smile, which is kind of a superpower.
Now that GT has been effectively wiped out of existence, and Marron has returned to toddler age, we might see what she is capable of as she grows through the series, but it’s unlikely she’ll ever appear as a Z-Fighter.
The daughter of Bulma and Vegeta, Bulla takes after her mother in just about every aspect. She's the spitting image of Bulma, and the pair share a fashion sense, as well as the rare ability to put the Prince of all Saiyans in his place (remember Vegeta’s moustache?)
Bulla does at least inherit some of her father’s techniques; she is able to fly and transfer energy in Dragon Ball GT. Both are performed while she is under Baby’s control, and she had never demonstrated either ability before, so whether she actually has access to her ki in the series is unknown, but a half-Saiyan is almost always going to have some level of potential.
Akira Toriyama has stated that Bulla is capable of turning Super Saiyan under the right conditions, but that she simply prefers to shop. If we ever actually see Bulla in Dragon Ball Super, let’s hope that this version will follow Pan’s lead, and show her promise from an early age.
The youngest character ever to reach Super Saiyan, Goten’s potential is likely greater than or at least equal to Gohan’s, but in neither GT or Super do we see him actually surpass the base Super Saiyan form.
During his training with his brother-- the first time we see him transform-- he doesn’t match up to Super Saiyan Gohan, who had become weaker over the seven years since the Cell Games. He does get stronger through his training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. His power level then actually equals Trunks’, but Goku, Vegeta, and Gohan were most likely stronger, even before the Cell Games, as they all trained in the Chamber and each had more fighting experience at that point.
At the end of Dragon Ball Z and through GT, Goten shows no desire to continue his training, and he has been largely absent in Super so far. Even if he does make a return to the action, it seems as though it will be as part of Gotenks, rather than on his own.
As mentioned earlier, Trunks and Goten are at virtually the same strength by the end of Dragon Ball Z, and are able to fuse without either of them needing to lower their power level. Trunks has the edge is his extra year of experience over Goten, and the fact that Goten seems to just go along with anything Trunks says.
Unfortunately, Trunks has never quite lived up to his future self. Where Future Trunks has witnessed something close to the apocalypse twice in his life (not usually a cause for a whole lot of laughs), present Trunks grew up in a period of peace, never taking things quite as seriously. He also grew up with a father, inheriting Vegeta’s pride and cockiness, but none of his desire to train and improve.
Following Future Trunks’ return in Dragon Ball Super, Kid Trunks promises his older self that he will continue his training, so hopefully there’s more to come from the young Saiyan (though, again, he’s unlikely to stand on his own where Gotenks is a possibility). But, like Goten, Trunks has failed to reach a level beyond ordinary old Super Saiyan following the Buu saga.
8 Future Gohan
Although The History of Trunks was recently confirmed as canon by Dragon Ball Super, the Dragon Ball Z movies on a whole are neither forthcoming nor consistent when it comes to power levels and how they compare to the canon, so there’s really no way of knowing exactly how strong Future Gohan is.
Regardless, Gohan is the strongest Z-Fighter in Trunks’ future timeline (though, to be fair, there are only two left). Unable to wish his father back to life, and managing to survive the initial Android attack, Gohan takes it upon himself to protect the Earth, training consistently for 13 years and turning Trunks into the heroic Future Trunks.
He is eventually killed by the combined power of the Androids, and it’s unclear why he never reached his Super Saiyan 2 form in the future, but 13 years’ worth of training in his base Super Saiyan state propels him above Goten and Trunks.
Gohan and Videl’s daughter, Pan’s power level is probably the most contentious on this list. Given Dragon Ball GT’s affinity for de-powering certain characters, it might be that Goten and Trunks at their best are a level above Pan, but she gets more of a chance to showcase her power in GT, and has even shown unrivalled potential in the actual Dragon Ball canon.
Besides the fact that Pan has never turned Super Saiyan, Toriyama has expressed that she is capable of the transformation. Throughout GT, she is far stronger in her base form than the two boys, often becoming more powerful the angrier she gets, like her father before her.
She gives a weakened Goku enough energy to turn Super Saiyan 4, and fights alongside her grandfather against the Shenrons. Trunks actually remarks that Pan might have surpassed him when she knocks down base-form General Rilldo (whose extended power level is greater than Buu’s) with two blows.
She also defeats Goten at the World Martial Arts Tournament in the Dragon Ball Z epilogue (although Goten is not at full power, and the match is supposedly unofficial), and she has complete control of her ki in Super. She flies into space, and lends Goku energy for the Super Saiyan God transformation, before she is even a year old.
Though he's the least familiar face on this list, you can probably guess from his name who Kuriza’s father is. The non-canon son of Frieza appears in Akira Toriyama’s self-parodic manga series Nekomajin, which stars all of your favorite characters reimagined as cat-like creatures (although Goku and the rest actually do exist in the same world, making brief cameos through the series).
Not a whole lot is known about Kuriza’s true power level. This is partly down to the fact that the pages run out just as he is about to spar with main character Neko Majin Z, and Kuriza loses his mind at the missed opportunity to show off, and vows never to appear in another “gag manga”.
He does eventually get a chance to fight, transforming into something resembling Frieza’s final form right off the bat. He is pretty heavily beaten by Neko Majin Z, and he is shown to be weaker than Vegeta during his cameo, but he is at least more powerful than fat Super Saiyan Lord Onio.
There’s no doubt about this one: Piccolo is beyond the level of a base Super Saiyan, stalemating Android 17 (stronger in this timeline than in Future Trunks’) and being one of the only Z-Fighters capable of standing up to the Cell Juniors, along with Vegeta and Trunks, who are a level above base-form Super Saiyan.
The son of King Piccolo, a major Dragon Ball villain and the evil half of Kami, Piccolo was the first to recognize Gohan’s potential, taking it upon himself to train the boy in preparation for the Saiyans. Still one of the most powerful fighters on the planet at that point, Piccolo made time for his own training, but in the Buu saga, he sacrifices his training to focus on teaching Goten and Trunks the fusion technique.
Piccolo is hardly stronger now than he was during the Cell Games, and his power level doesn’t improve in GT either. His mind remains as sharp as ever, though,-- he goes toe-to-toe with Frost in the Super multiverse tournament on tactics alone.
4 Cell Juniors
The Cell Juniors are Perfect Cell’s legitimate offspring, each a smaller (and bluer) version of their android father, though they don’t share in Cell’s complete power set. Their durability is significantly lowered, while they are never seen regenerating, and they are unable to get stronger via absorption, due to their lack of stingers.
However, they are said to have inherited Cell’s power. Each one is pitted against a Z-Fighter, and Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, and a beaten Goku are essentially bullied by the Cell Juniors. Piccolo,Vegeta and Trunks are able to show some resilience, but even they are eventually overpowered.
After Cell succeeds in his attempt to goad Gohan into reaching Super Saiyan 2, the Cell Juniors are dispatched fairly quickly. While they are nowhere near the power level of a Super Saiyan 2, the Cell Juniors pretty much dominate the top tier of Super Saiyan 1, landing them a spot somewhere between the two.
It’s quite a step up to the top three, as we reach the fused form of Goten and Trunks, who qualifies for this list on the fact that both of his inhabitants (assuming that’s the correct term) are sons of the main characters.
Gotenks inherits characteristics from both Goten and Trunks, becoming overconfident and at times childish, which leads to a creation of such attacks as the Ultra Buu Buu Volleyball and the Continuous Die Die Missile. He does reach Super Saiyan 3 after only a few hours, while it took Goku seven years to perfect the transformation, so while his moves are unorthodox, he has the power to back them up.
In fact, Gotenks can match any individual (non-fused) character in Dragon Ball Z besides Gohan, even going so far as to create a hole between dimensions, but there are drawbacks to the fusion technique.
The fusion wears off after only half an hour, and between the times it takes for him to create new and ridiculous attacks and taunt his opponent, there isn’t much time left for him to get a whole lot done. Gotenks has appeared three times in Dragon Ball Super, losing comfortably to Beerus and Copy Vegeta, and challenging Golden Frieza only for the fusion to run out. It looks as though Gotenks might have to reach new level to become relevant again.
From the very top of Dragon Ball Z, we were told repeatedly that Gohan had more potential than any character in the series. This all came to a head at the Cell Games, and with Gohan stronger than his father had ever been and Goku refusing to be wished back to life, Gohan was sworn in as Earth’s protector.
The only reason to continue the series from Gohan’s perspective was that he had never quite embraced his Saiyan side. But with his full potential finally unlocked by Old Kai, Gohan arrives to face Buu wearing his father’s gi and a smile. The mantle had finally been passed. For about four episodes.
After Buu absorbs Gotenks and Piccolo, the two are evenly matched, but Gohan falters when Buu gets into his head, and this was the final straw for Gohan. He settled down with Videl, became the scholar his mother always wanted him to be, and got surpassed by just about everyone in Dragon Ball Super.
At his full potential, Ultimate Gohan should theoretically be unsurpassable, given that his potential trumps anyone else’s, but with the introduction of the Super Saiyan God, the strongest non-fused character in all of Dragon Ball Z has been reduced to a secondary character.
1 Future Trunks
This won’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t seen Dragon Ball Super, but Future Trunks reached such a level in the recent Goku Black arc that it’s hard to believe he was ever the same Future Trunks who fought Cell.
Nine years after defeating Cell and the Androids in his timeline, Trunks’ world is terrorized by Goku Black. He travels back to the past to seek help from Goku and Vegeta. Attention: there are Dragon Ball Super spoilers to follow for those who are waiting for the English dub.
After all three are defeated, Goku Black claims that his actions are the result of Trunks’ meddling, calling him a “sinner." In a blind rage, Trunks transforms into Super Trunks, maintaining his golden hair but surrounding himself with a godly blue aura. Trunks later uses this form to defeat Goku Black, using another technique we hadn’t seen before, and absorbing a Spirit Bomb into his sword.
Dragon Ball Super has delivered so far on fan-service. Future Trunks gives the fans a new transformation, a Final Flash/Galick Gun/Kamehameha triple attack, and above all – someone other than Goku defeating the main villain.
Hopefully as the Dragon Ball franchise continues, we'll meet more Z-Fighters' powerful children and learn more about their power levels.