10 Saiyans in Dragon Ball, ranked based on intelligence

Some of the franchise
Some of the franchise's most recognizable Saiyans (Image via Dragon Ball Wiki)

Despite being the strongest race in Dragon Ball, the Saiyans unfortunately don’t have it all and are typically lacking in the brains department. While there are exceptions to this rule, Saiyans typically spend all their time, energy, and attention on fighting instead of education.

While this isn’t universally true, there are many more who follow this rule than break from it. Goku, in particular, is an indication of the true Saiyan personality of prioritizing strength and combat above nearly anything else.

Here are 10 Saiyans in Dragon Ball, ranked based on their intelligence.

Note: This article reflects the author's opinions.


Vegeta and 9 other Saiyans comprise Dragon Ball's smartest

10) Broly

Broly as seen in the Super: Broly movie (Image via Toei Animation)
Broly as seen in the Super: Broly movie (Image via Toei Animation)

Having grown up on an isolated planet with only his father for company, it’s likely Broly is fairly unintelligent. Even within the realm of fighting, he lacks the tact and poise that Vegeta and Goku have after years of fighting.

While Broly could surely rise to their level (and seemingly will start that journey in Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes), he’s easily one of the least intelligent Saiyans right now.


9) Goten

Goten as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Goten as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Unlike Gohan, Chi-Chi raised Goten to become a fighter instead of a scholar in the final third of Dragon Ball Z. This was for good reason, as his skills with fighting and the Super Saiyan transformations were obvious from a young age.

Despite being knowledgeable in fighting, Chi-Chi’s lack of education prioritization makes him somewhat underwhelming in the book smarts category.


8) Goku

Goku as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Goku as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

At the very least, Goten’s father, Goku, isn’t too far off from him when it comes to smarts. In terms of battle smarts, he’s inarguably smarter than his son, based on experience alone.

When it comes to book smarts, however, the two are likely on a similar level given their similar upbringing. Goku gets the nod here for being much, much older, and at least being a little more book-smart than Goten.


7) Kid Trunks

Kid Trunks as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Kid Trunks as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Kid Trunks may be the son of genius inventor Bulma Briefs, but at least in childhood, he seems to be taking after his warrior father, Vegeta. He’s one of the few Dragon Ball characters to win a World Martial Arts Tournament (albeit the junior division).

While he’s not unintelligent, he simply seems more interested in martial arts than education as a child.


6) Kale

Kale's Berserker form seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Kale's Berserker form seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Unfortunately, the Universe 6 Saiyans are rarely characterized outside of Dragon Ball Super battles, where it’s hard to gauge intelligence. Although her jealousy may make her seem or act simple, Kale at least seems to be of average intelligence.

She’s able to understand what the Potara are and how to use them with a bare-bones explanation. However, when it comes to combat, her rage-induced skills take away all sentience and rationality, essentially turning her into a thoughtless fighter.


5) Caulifla

Caulifla as seen in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Caulifla as seen in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Like many other Dragon Ball Saiyans, Caulifla expresses a constant and strong desire to get stronger and learn more about fighting. In this regard, she’s incredibly intelligent, able to hold her own in battle and make quick-thinking decisions.

However, she’s shown to be a little impulsive and more of an act-first, think-later person, indicating a somewhat lacking problem-solving process.


4) Cabba

Cabba as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Cabba as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Occasionally, Dragon Ball Super’s Cabba gets rattled enough to let his Saiyan rage and sadism shine through. A vast majority of the time, Cabba’s level-headedness wins against his genes, allowing him to remain rational and calm in even the worst situations.

All of this would seemingly indicate his intelligence is significantly higher than that of an average Saiyan.


3) Vegeta

Vegeta as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Vegeta as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Likely due to his princely upbringing, Vegeta seems to be smarter than the average Saiyan in both combat and education. As for education, he almost seems to have a better grip on the social rules and norms of Earth than Goku does.

In combat, he’s second to only his aforementioned best buddy, proving his combat intelligence and skill superior to nearly all.


2) Future Trunks

Future Trunks as seen in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Future Trunks as seen in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Having built the Time Machine with Future Bulma, Future Trunks is clearly one of the smartest Saiyans when it comes to both books and fighting. He was initially trained by Future Gohan before having his skills refined by Vegeta during the Android saga.

He’s as smart as he is clever in combat, able to understand Multiverse Theory and construct a functioning Time Machine.


1) Gohan

Gohan as seen in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Gohan as seen in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

When it comes to book smarts, there are no Saiyans smarter than Gohan. While he also has remarkable skills as a fighter, the true highlight of his intelligence are his book smarts.

Throughout Dragon Ball, he has always been somewhat averse to fighting and combat, instead choosing to focus on education.

That isn’t to say he lacks combat skills, however. Gohan did defeat Cell, albeit after pleading with him to stop first. Once that failed, he displayed his combat prowess by becoming the first ever Super Saiyan 2 and eventually defeating Cell afterwards.


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This article was modified on Wednesday, June 28, at 6:02 pm.

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