7 Times Vegeta Was Stronger Than Goku in Dragon Ball

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PopCorn Princess
Goku may be Dragon Ball's iconic hero, but there are pivotal moments that turn the spotlight onto Vegeta, revealing his superior strength. Dive into 7 moments where Vegeta not only matched Goku but outright surpassed him. It's a Saiyan rivalry worth revisiting.
7 Times Vegeta Was Stronger Than Goku in Dragon Ball

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Do you think Goku is the epitome of strength in the Dragon Ball universe? Think again.

The sprawling saga of Dragon Ball Z not only ramped up the power scales to astronomical levels but also gifted us with one of the most complex and compelling characters in the whole franchise: Vegeta, the Saiyan Prince.

At first glance, you might have pegged him as just another villain in the storyline, but hold on! The crowd couldn’t get enough of Vegeta’s hard-nosed pride, and he quickly evolved into a mainstay, transitioning into an ally with the Z fighters.

The story gets juicy here. Vegeta has always eyed Goku, or should we say Kakaroto, as the elusive rival he aims to surpass. It’s not just casual gym buddies doing a couple of bench presses; we’re talking about intense training sessions and battle encounters.

Fans have keenly noticed that Vegeta often does the heavy lifting, meticulously preparing the stage for Goku to swoop in and claim victory over the main antagonist. It feels like being the wingman at a party, but for world-saving battles, doesn’t it?

Vegeta’s not your run-of-the-mill sidekick; he’s a tour-de-force in his own right. Remember the Ultra Ego and Super Hero transformations?

They’re not just dazzling displays of special effects but a testament to the Prince of All Saiyans pulling no punches in his quest to outdo Goku.

It’s an interesting dynamic between these two, especially as Dragon Ball Z unfolds. At first, the scales tip in Vegeta’s favor.

However, by the end of the Namek saga, Goku bursts onto the scene as the legitimate Legendary Super Saiyan, leaving Vegeta hustling to catch up. From then on, their rivalry is more akin to an epic cat-and-mouse game with world-altering stakes.

But don’t sleep on Vegeta. Dragon Ball Super breathed new life into this complex rivalry. Unlike in Dragon Ball GT, where Vegeta seemed to accept Goku’s supremacy in martial arts, Vegeta in Super is far from throwing in the towel.

In the Granolah arc, he gets so close to Goku in terms of power that the word ‘rival’ doesn’t quite capture it. His Ultra Ego transformation is nothing short of a seismic event, leveling the field with Goku’s Ultra Instinct.

What’s more, let’s give credit where it’s due: Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, the film released four years after its predecessor Dragon Ball Super: Broly, offers a fascinating take on Vegeta.

Although the movie predominantly focuses on Piccolo and Gohan, Vegeta scores a memorable arc, tackling his ego after the Tournament of Power.

And here’s the kicker: the film concludes with Vegeta scoring a rare victory over Goku. So maybe, just maybe, the title of the strongest Saiyan in the Dragon Ball universe is up for grabs.

So, the million-Zenni question: Is Goku truly the strongest Saiyan? Allow us to unveil 7 unforgettable moments when Vegeta proved to be stronger than Goku.

Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z's Saiyan Saga

In Dragon Ball Z’s Saiyan Saga

When “Dragon Ball Z” enthusiasts dive deep into the Saiyan Saga, a significant moment always jumps out: the first electrifying face-off between Goku and Vegeta.

At their initial meeting, Vegeta isn’t just a tad stronger – he’s leaps and bounds ahead of Goku. Goku, with his foundational strength, seems almost like an amateur next to Vegeta, who, truth be told, is merely warming up.

In this dire situation, Goku, ever the fighter, resorts to his Kaioken technique, desperately trying not to meet his demise at the hands of the Saiyan Prince.

Yet, as the story unfolds, we see that pure power isn’t the only determinant of victory. Vegeta’s massive strength advantage gets amplified further when he morphs into the Oozaru, a hulking ape-like behemoth, and launches a brutal assault on Goku.

You’d think that’d be the end of the story. Still, Goku’s resilience, coupled with his martial arts prowess, manages to push Vegeta back, delivering a masterclass in combat strategy and choreography that fans rave about.

However, it’s not Goku’s strength but Vegeta’s own arrogance that paves the way for his downfall during this legendary saga. Vegeta gets so caught up in the intensity of their energy beam tussle that he overlooks a crucial detail: Goku is drained, running on fumes.

Yet, instead of capitalizing on this, Vegeta, ever the showman, expends his vital energy to undergo the dramatic transformation into the Great Ape. This tactical blunder essentially gives Gohan and Krillin an open invitation to swoop in and save the day for Goku.

The episode encapsulating this battle, “Goku vs. Vegeta… A Saiyan Duel!”, which originally aired on May 3, 1997, had everyone’s eyeballs glued to the screen.

Even at Kame House, the atmosphere is thick with tension. Master Roshi, Bulma, and the gang try in vain to catch a glimpse of the duel on Fortuneteller Baba’s often reliable but currently hazy Crystal Ball.

Blame it on Bulma’s tampering or the planet-shaking energy from the battle; it doesn’t really matter. What’s undeniable is the magnetic pull of this epic clash.

The landscape of the battle itself is a scene of utter chaos. Dark clouds form, rocks levitate, and the Earth itself quakes as Vegeta radiates a sphere of pure energy.

Goku, seasoned as he is, finds himself genuinely astonished—and probably a bit nervous—facing such otherworldly power. But you know what they say: Goku gets going when the going gets tough.

Against King Kai’s advice, he pushes his Kaioken ability past its recommended limits. Though it significantly damages Vegeta, it also leaves Goku incredibly vulnerable.

When it’s all said and done, a wounded Vegeta makes his exit, swearing vengeance, while Goku, left in a state of utter exhaustion, knows the battle is far from over.

They both emerge from this epic confrontation with not just bruises and battle scars but also a newfound respect for each other’s strength and a burning desire to settle the score someday.

Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z's Namek Saga

In Dragon Ball Z’s Namek Saga

The “Namek Saga” from Dragon Ball Z has its fair share of curveballs. But one such curve with fans at the edge of their seats was when Vegeta, the Prince of All Saiyans, showcased that he can sometimes overshadow even the beloved Goku.

Following his defeat during the Saiyan saga, it’d be easy to assume that Vegeta’s spirits would be deflated. But in the world of Dragon Ball Z, assumptions can be tricky.

Instead of brooding, Vegeta held onto his power advantage over Goku, at least until Goku embarked on his intensive training spree en route to Namek.

It’s worth noting that Goku’s brief hiatus, resting and waiting for those magical Senzu beans to sprout, gave Vegeta the window of opportunity.

While Goku was relying on natural healing, Vegeta was enjoying the fast-paced recovery offered by Frieza Force’s high-tech healing pods.

With no time to waste, Vegeta made his bold journey to Namek, coinciding with the voyage of Gohan, Krillin, and the ever-curious Bulma.

The scene upon arrival was something to behold. Vegeta, bursting with confidence and strength, emerged as the most formidable among the main characters.

This dominance nudged Gohan and Krillin into stealth mode, sneaking around Namek’s vast landscapes while Vegeta confidently took on Frieza’s elite guards.

The pendulum of power in Dragon Ball Z is ever-swinging. While the timeline remains a tad murky about the exact moment Goku leapfrogged Vegeta in terms of sheer power, by the time the Ginyu Force saga rolled in, the tables had turned.

Goku was not just back in the game; he was in his own realm, laying waste to adversaries like Recoome without breaking a sweat.

As with every tale from the vast Dragon Ball Z universe, the “Namek Saga” was a testament to the dynamic and ever-evolving power struggles.

For a brief stint, it was Vegeta’s time to shine, to be the apex warrior. But as history has shown, every saga, every battle, and every moment is a precursor to yet another twist in this enthralling series.

Vegeta inn Dragon Ball Z's Cell Arc

In Dragon Ball Z’s Cell Arc

When Future Trunks delivered his forewarning about the imminent Android catastrophe, it was like ringing the starting bell for a frenzied training marathon.

Everyone took diverging paths to sharpen their skills and Vegeta? He chose the path of the lone wolf, off to a corner of the galaxy—or outer space in the anime’s version—to undertake a rigorous self-training regimen.

Fast forward, and Vegeta makes his grand re-entry onto Earth. And it’s more than a tad obvious: this isn’t the Vegeta we used to know; this is an upgraded version.

Vegeta has flipped the script and now stands on a pedestal that even Goku can’t quite reach. Even Tenshinhan, the three-eyed martial artist known for his keen observational skills, took note. What’s the deal here?

Well, unlike Goku, who had to balance his training with his mentor-student relationships with Piccolo and Gohan, Vegeta had no such distractions.

Goku was essentially in teacher mode, somewhat inhibited, as he tried to bring Piccolo and Gohan up to speed. Vegeta, meanwhile, had the luxury to push himself to the absolute brink.

Plus, the Saiyan Prince still had the biological advantage of gaining a power boost through near-death experiences, as he had not yet achieved the Super Saiyan status

. These combined factors make his power edge over Goku less surprising but still undeniably impactful.

But wait, there’s more! Enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber—a temporal anomaly where years can pass inside while mere days elapse in the real world.

When this advantageous training ground presents itself, Vegeta wastes zero time and thrusts himself into the chamber alongside Trunks, relegating Goku and Gohan to wait their turn.

Upon emerging from this mystical locale, Vegeta exhibits a newfound mastery over the Super Saiyan form. Goku would, of course, catch up later, but for that brief moment, Vegeta was the epitome of Saiyan prowess.

Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z Battle Of Gods

In Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods

As the wheel of fate turned in the Dragon Ball universe, the long-awaited “Battle of Gods” saga presented Vegeta with an unexpected but well-deserved moment of glory.

Here was a chance to not just shine but momentarily outperform Goku, the Saiyan who’s often considered the quintessence of strength.

For most of the film’s second act, Vegeta was put through an exercise of almost cringeworthy submission, bending to the whims of Beerus, the God of Destruction.

In an attempt to avoid Earth’s destruction, Vegeta found himself groveling, dancing, and generally making a spectacle of himself.

But when Beerus crossed the line and struck Bulma, all bets were off. Fueled by an emotional hurricane, Vegeta unleashed an offensive that broke God of Destruction’s skin.

Let’s put it this way: Super Saiyan 2 Vegeta managed to do what Super Saiyan 3 Goku couldn’t in the film’s early sequences. He inflicted damage on Beerus.

Not just any damage, but actual, visible, wipe-it-away-with-a-tissue blood. Not only did he give Beerus a physical run for his money, but he also earned a nod of admiration from Master Roshi.

It was like a standing ovation in the world of martial arts, the real stuff—not what you see in the high-flying wirework of Wuxia films.

To contextualize, Beerus had pretty much-laid waste to Goku in the opening act, rendering even Goku’s Super Saiyan 3 form about as effective as a wet paper towel against a tsunami.

The God of Destruction came to Earth hungry for a challenge, yet the Earth’s best, even when warned by King Kai, seemed unable to whet his apocalyptic appetite.

Vegeta knew the stakes; Beerus had previously humbled his father. This primal, almost existential dread made him dance to Beerus’s tune at Bulma’s birthday party.

However, Beerus, ever the fickle deity, was set off by a pudding debacle courtesy of Majin Buu.

Subsequent attempts to stop his rage by the Z-Warriors and even Bulma herself were in vain. It was a setting sun on Earth’s survival until Vegeta’s emotional supernova reset the sky.

Of course, by the end of the saga, Goku finds a workaround by ascending to the Super Saiyan God form, again overshadowing Vegeta.

Goku and Beerus go toe-to-toe, putting the cosmos at risk with their battle’s sheer force. Goku’s power finally matches a god’s, but it’s not without a catch.

The form is temporary, and Goku is disenchanted by the fact that he didn’t achieve this power through his own merit but through a communal Saiyan ritual.

And let’s not forget, it’s Vegeta’s power—alongside Gohan, Goten, Trunks, and the unborn Pan—that fuels Goku’s ascension.

Vegeta in Dragon Ball Super's Universe 6 Saga

In Dragon Ball Super’s Universe 6 Saga

While Goku reveled in his newfound Super Saiyan God powers during his high-stakes duel against Beerus, Vegeta didn’t let this reality slow him down.

On the contrary, he viewed it as a catalyst to amp up his game. With a stubborn focus, Vegeta pursues Whis, the combat sage and mentor to Beerus, for a no-nonsense training regimen.

And here’s the kicker—by the time Goku musters enough humility to almost grovel before Whis for similar training, Vegeta has already been in an immersive training boot camp, mastering the intricacies of God Ki for an extended period.

What transpires from this divergence is a seismic shift in the Saiyan power hierarchy, at least for a brief window. As the Universe 6 Tournament swings into high gear, Vegeta’s combat prowess stands shoulder to shoulder with Goku’s.

Despite all of Goku’s numerous upgrades and forms, including but not limited to Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken, Mastered Super Saiyan Blue, and Ultra Instinct, Vegeta dials up his own cosmic counter in the form of Ultra Ego.

This transformative state levels the otherwise tilted battleground.

Vegeta inn Dragon Ball Super's Granolah The Survivor Saga

In Dragon Ball Super’s Granolah The Survivor Saga

In the riveting universe of “Dragon Ball Super,” especially during the arc aptly named Granolah The Survivor Saga, Vegeta might have finally stepped out of Goku’s looming shadow.

Vegeta—the eternal second fiddle, the proverbial bronze to Goku’s gold—actually had a moment where he was the stronger Saiyan. Thanks to a fierce transformation, it’s as complex as your grandma’s secret lasagna recipe. Enter Ultra Ego.

In this storyline, Vegeta clashes with Granolah, a character whose reputation as the most potent warrior in the universe could even make Thanos step back a bit. Initially, it looked like Vegeta was about to get a lesson in humility.

I mean, Granolah was tossing him around like yesterday’s salad. But then, something remarkable happened—Vegeta, ever the connoisseur of combat thrills, had an epiphany.

The result? A groundbreaking transformation into Ultra Ego, a form that’s less about dodging punches and more about soaking them up like a sponge.

Now, Ultra Ego isn’t your average, everyday power-up. This form thrives on adversity—the more punishment Vegeta takes, the stronger he gets.

It’s as if Vegeta finally found a way to weaponize his masochistic love for combat. What about Goku, you ask? Goku was on the brink of unlocking yet another iteration of his Ultra Instinct.

But let’s be candid: At that specific juncture in their cosmic dance-off with Granolah, Vegeta had him beat. Goku could have had Ultra Instinct, Double Ultra Instinct, or even Ultra Instinct with a side of fries, but Vegeta’s Ultra Ego was the main course everyone wanted a taste of.

Introduced in Chapter 74 of the “Dragon Ball Super” manga, Ultra Ego is essentially the antithesis of Goku’s Ultra Instinct. While the latter grants finesse and almost balletic movement, Ultra Ego turns the user into a juggernaut of brute strength.

With each blow he takes, Vegeta only grows stronger. It’s like fighting a wall that hits back tenfold. The form seems to ignore pain or, at the very least, transmute it into pure, unadulterated power.

Sure, Goku is perpetually on the verge of some mystical new form, but there’s no downplaying the potency of Ultra Ego. This transformation suggests that Vegeta wasn’t just keeping pace for the first time in a long while; he was setting it.

The endless debate on who’s stronger between Goku and Vegeta got even more intricate when Chapter 73 threw Goku into the mix. As confident as ever, Goku faced Granolah only to realize he was combating a decoy.

When the real deal showed up, Goku got floored—literally, a single move, and he was out cold. Cue Vegeta’s entry, and this time, it was a whole different story.

Rocking his Super Saiyan Blue Evolved form, he took hit after hit from Granolah, and still, he kept coming back for more.

It’s not just about who’s got the bigger muscles or the flashier moves; it’s about resilience and tactics, and on that front, Vegeta has grown leaps and bounds.

Vegeta’s poetic musing during this fierce battle was like a philosopher throwing down life lessons while dodging arrows. He pointed out that titles like “the strongest” are transient; they exist at the moment.

Vegeta argued that the true essence of battle is far more complex than a mere leaderboard. And just when you thought he was down and out, he whipped out his trump card—Ultra Ego.

Instantly, the tables turned. Vegeta was not just surviving Granolah’s relentless assault; he was thriving in it, reveling in each moment as if each strike were adding logs to his inner fire.

So, the verdict? While Goku and Vegeta have always been in a fierce tango of one-upmanship, this particular saga made something clear: Vegeta isn’t confined to living in anyone’s shadow, not even Goku’s.

Yes, Goku may unveil another paradigm-shifting form tomorrow, but for that slice of time in their battles against Granolah, Vegeta unequivocally stole the spotlight.

And while it’s uncertain whether he’ll maintain this newfound edge, at least for now, Vegeta is the Saiyan who stands tall.

Vegeta in Dragon Ball Super Super Hero

In Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

In the “Dragon Ball Super” universe, a fascinating development unfolded during the Granolah The Survivor Saga arc.

For what may be considered a rare moment in the franchise’s history, Vegeta appeared to surpass Goku regarding power and combat prowess.

The catalyst for this turning of tables is Vegeta’s transformative state known as Ultra Ego, which was unveiled during his battle with Granolah—the purported strongest warrior in the cosmos.

Initially, the clash between Vegeta and Granolah seemed like a one-sided contest. Granolah was dominating the fight, showcasing a level of power that seemed nearly impossible.

However, in a moment of introspection and enthusiasm for the thrills of battle, Vegeta initiated his transformation into Ultra Ego.

This state is a departure from conventional Saiyan forms; rather than evading or blocking attacks, Ultra Ego effectively uses the energy from received damage to make Vegeta more formidable.

Given that Goku was at the threshold of unlocking an advanced form of his Ultra Instinct, the dichotomy between the two Saiyans has never been more intriguing.

At that specific point in the narrative, it’s not hyperbole to state that Vegeta demonstrated greater strength than Goku.

The introduction of Ultra Ego, first revealed in Chapter 74 of the “Dragon Ball Super” manga, is an engaging contrast to Goku’s Ultra Instinct.

While the latter emphasizes fluidity and evasion, the former celebrates the very antithesis: brute strength and a sort of calculated recklessness.

Ultra Ego thrives on the concept that suffering enhances power, almost as though each punch absorbed only fortifies Vegeta’s resolve and might.

Although Goku is perennially on the verge of mastering yet another tier of Ultra Instinct, the compelling nature of Ultra Ego’s raw power cannot be easily dismissed.

This dynamic between Goku and Vegeta was further illuminated in Chapter 73 of the manga. Goku, operating under the assumption that he was combating the real Granolah, was summarily defeated when the actual Granolah entered the fray.

Vegeta, on the other hand, approached the battle differently. Utilizing his Super Saiyan Blue Evolved form, he absorbed a multitude of blows from Granolah but remained tenaciously resilient.

The battle showcased Vegeta’s increasing combat intelligence and resilience, attributes that extend beyond mere levels of raw power.

What made Vegeta’s performance particularly striking was his assertion that the labels of “strongest” and “second strongest” are mere snapshots in time, not eternal decrees.

This declaration serves both as an acknowledgment of Vegeta’s past status and as a foreshadowing of his potential future ascendance over Goku.

The form of Ultra Ego appears to solidify this foreshadowing, as Vegeta began to dominate Granolah post-transformation. His new form not only endured the force that incapacitated Goku but also used it as a catalyst for increasing his own strength.

While the rivalry between Goku and Vegeta has been a central element of the “Dragon Ball” series, providing the narrative propulsion for both characters to reach new heights, the Granolah The Survivor Saga has introduced an unprecedented variable: Vegeta’s Ultra Ego.

It’s a transformative state that, at least temporarily, places Vegeta in a position of ascendancy.

While it remains to be seen whether this will be a permanent paradigm shift in the dynamic between the two Saiyans, it is unarguable that, in this specific arc, Vegeta has proven himself not just as a rival to Goku but as a formidable warrior in his own right.

Vegeta Transforms Into Mastered Ultra Ego

Is Vegeta Becoming Stronger Than Boku?

Yes! You’ve probably scratched your head at this revelation, but delve a tad deeper into the Dragon Ball Super cosmos, and the horizon will shift.

The spotlight, predominantly focused on Goku, might have overshadowed the intricate path Vegeta has carved, signaling his ascension to surpass his longtime rival.

Initially, Goku’s montage of universe-saving feats might make him the Saiyan poster boy. But let’s swerve and dissect the isolated battles where Vegeta and Goku are the central figures.

Time and time again, Vegeta, the proud Saiyan Prince, seems to have the upper hand. Remember their monumental standoff on Earth? Or the tension-packed face-off during the Buu Saga?

Vegeta often holds the cards in these clashes, demonstrating a raw power that challenges Goku’s perceived dominance.

Now, imagine the crucible of transformations each Saiyan has endured. Vegeta’s route to unlocking Super Saiyan forms is a tapestry of introspection, grit, and, at times, self-inflicted anguish.

His unorthodox approach to achieving Super Saiyan God status, without resorting to the usual ritualistic dance, speaks volumes of his latent power.

Recently, Vegeta’s foray into the Ultra Ego realm has been intriguing. This form builds strength from every inflicted blow, creating an adaptable combat strategy.

This starkly contrasts Goku’s Ultra Instinct, which, despite its agility, remains bound by limits.

The pièce de résistance? Vegeta’s intimate dance with God of Destruction techniques

. The rumor mill is buzzing that Beerus sees in Vegeta a potential successor, a God of Destruction in the making. Goku, with all his might, has yet to achieve such an honor.

In the grand tapestry of Dragon Ball Super, while Goku’s tales of bravery reverberate, Vegeta’s silent, relentless march could reshape the narrative.

Don’t be taken aback if the Prince stands a notch above the Hero when the curtains fall on this saga. And honestly, it’s a twist the universe might have been waiting for.

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Pop Corn Princess
Hey there, I'm Princess. I’m an annual comic con attendee, Star Wars-loving, and collector freak. My mission is simple: To bring cool geeky news and content and share my passion with the rest of the world. (... I secretly wish to save the world as a superheroine...)

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Picture of Pop Corn Princess

Pop Corn Princess

Hey there, I'm Princess. I’m an annual comic con attendee, Star Wars-loving, and collector freak. My mission is simple: To bring cool geeky news and content and share my passion with the rest of the world. (... I secretly wish to save the world as a superheroine...)