Although Dragon Ball Z saw them start as rivals, Goku and Vegeta are essentially the best of friends by the time Dragon Ball Super begins. The experiences the two share in Dragon Ball Z and beyond solidify their friendship inarguably.
This is thanks to some key moments throughout Z and the general Dragon Ball franchise which clearly illustrate how they feel about each other. Moments such as Vegeta asking Goku to avenge the Saiyans lay the groundwork, while later iconic moments build upon said foundation.
Here are ten times Goku and Vegeta’s friendship shines through during Dragon Ball.
Hyperbolic Time Chamber training and 9 other Dragon Ball moments highlight Goku/Vegeta’s friendship
1) Vegeta begs Goku to avenge the Saiyans
Arguably the start of their friendship, Vegeta uses his dying breaths on Namek to tell Goku what Frieza did to the Saiyans. As he continues, it’s clear he cares deeply about getting revenge for his planet and race against their now common enemy.
After passing, Goku promises that he’ll defeat Frieza, marking the beginning of a long, rivalrous friendship.
2) Vegeta’s Tournament of Power speech
In Dragon Ball Super, when Vegeta is eliminated near the Tournament of Power’s end, he makes a beautiful speech to Goku. He reminds his friend that he’s entrusted everything to him and that he can’t let him down, before commanding him to enter the realm of the Gods.
Goku responds in kind to his best friend, finally breaking through the wall and activating Mastered Ultra Instinct. Beyond how skin-crawling this moment is for longtime fans, it perfectly demonstrates the two’s friendship throughout the series.
3) After beating Kid Buu
For many fans, this is where Goku and Vegeta truly become friends. While he’ll never admit it, Vegeta realizes here that Goku is on another level from himself, having defeated Kid Buu. Even still, he helps his friend out until the end, keeping the enemy busy despite knowing that he's outmatched.
When the two reunite after Kid Buu's defeat, Vegeta no longer addresses Goku with the same tone or arrogance he had up to this point. Quite arguably, this is the first time fans see the two truly act as friends with one another.
4) Majin Vegeta’s sacrifice
Before that, however, Dragon Ball Z sees Vegeta reveal his true feelings to himself and fans everywhere. After knocking Goku out, he tries to avenge the apparently dead Gohan and atone for his betrayal by defeating Majin Buu alone.
Unfortunately, things don’t work out as planned, and he realized that sacrificing himself was the only way. In a touching scene, Vegeta apologizes and says he does this for his family and Goku, finally accepting who he has become before death.
5) After beating Janemba
In Dragon Ball: Fusion Reborn, set after Vegeta’s death, Goku makes his way to the afterlife to combat Janemba with his friend. After the fight, the two thank each other in a heartwarming moment, with Goku saying he loved every minute of it.
He even calls Vegeta his friend when saying his final goodbyes.
6) Going into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber together
Before Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta and Goku had always trained separately due to their rivalry. Super, however, sees them finally break this barrier for the first time by training together under Whis. The two take it a step further and enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber together.
Essentially condemning themselves to a year in each other's company, the two have to be friends at this point.
7) Vegeta gives Goku his energy
The most recent Dragon Ball Super manga chapter saw Vegeta giving his remaining energy to Goku. Even the latter was surprised by this act, to which the former said it was better than both of them dying.
Although the most recent example occurs in the Super manga, the franchise at large sees this happen plenty of times. While it may not seem like it to casual fans, this is undoubtedly Vegeta yet again letting their friendship get the better of him, shining through in the process.
8) Goku doesn’t reveal Super Saiyan 3
When Goku and Majin Vegeta have their fight, the former only transforms up to the level of Super Saiyan 2, since the latter can’t ascend beyond this form. It’s later revealed, however, that Super Saiyan 3 not only exists but is usable by Goku.
He explains to those present that he didn’t want to hurt Vegeta’s pride further by showing him this new form. While it may seem like a pity, this is undoubtedly Goku trying to be a good friend to his rival frenemy.
9) Fusing together
Essentially, any time the two are forced to fuse together throughout Dragon Ball, Vegeta heavily complains about the buildup. Despite Goku being his best friend, he always complains about the method.
However, he still agrees to it every time. In his own way, this is Vegeta shows he truly views Goku as a friend.
10) Vegeta helps Goku achieve Super Saiyan God
One of the hardest things for Vegeta to admit is when Goku is in front of him or is about to take a step in front of him. Even harder is when Dragon Ball Super sees him actively help in the process, like during the Super Saiyan God ritual.
Despite how hard it most likely was for him, Vegeta helped his best friend ascend to a new form.
One of the longest-running rivalries in the entertainment business still exists between Goku and Vegeta. The friendship between these characters transcends the confines of the series, and it has influenced other animes and fictional characters throughout the globe. The dynamic duo are an excellent illustration of how progress may be achieved through perpetual competition.
This article was modified on Saturday, July 08, at 10:30 pm.