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5 Dragon Ball characters smarter than Goku (& 5 who can be outsmarted)

Both Android 17 and Granolah appear in this article (Image via Sportskeeda)
Both Android 17 and Granolah appear in this article (Image via Sportskeeda)

Especially in a series like Dragon Ball, intelligence can be analyzed in a variety of ways. Judging Goku on his math skills and familiarity with formal grammar rules will leave those doing the judging disappointed. However, quizzing Goku on all things martial arts would likely paint a very different picture in terms of his intelligence.

Such is the way for many Dragon Ball characters, who’re potentially well-versed in one area of knowledge and lacking in another. Whether proficient in battle or schooling, nearly every Dragon Ball character has some facet of their intelligence which impresses.

Here are five Dragon Ball characters smarter than Goku, and five more who can be outsmarted.


Android 17 and 4 other Dragon Ball characters smarter than Goku in one way or another

1) Gohan (out of battle)

Gohan as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Gohan as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Being the first in his family to receive a formal education, Gohan is no doubt smarter than his father outside of a fighting context. Dedicated to his education both as a child and teenager, this passion for learning is also carried into his adulthood life.

There’s essentially no argument against the claim that, outside of battle, Gohan is smarter than Goku.


2) Whis (in battle)

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

As a user of Autonomous Ultra Instinct, Dragon Ball Super’s Whis is clearly smarter in terms of fighting knowledge than Goku. Considering he also functions as Goku’s current trainer, Whis no doubt is more knowledgeable in combat areas. Although likely approaching all he can learn from his trainer, Goku is still yet to surpass or even meet Whis in terms of combat knowledge.


3) Android 17 (out of battle)

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

Although a noted delinquent in youth alongside his sister, likely resulting in an ignorance of education, Android 17’s attainment of a park ranger job indicates a higher intelligence than Goku.

Real-life park ranger jobs usually require an associate’s degree in park management or a related field, which equates to a roughly two-year degree.

As a result, it’s fair to assume Android 17 has a similar level of intelligence to those entering the higher-education field of study. Without a doubt, this would put him as smarter (outside of battle) than Dragon Ball’s protagonist.


4) Vados (in battle)

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

Like her brother Whis, Vados is both a user of Autonomous Ultra Instinct and a martial arts instructor for her universe’s God of Destruction. She has also been shown knocking Champa out in a single blow to the neck, implying both strength and a keen knowledge of how to best use it. Clearly, Vados is superior to Goku in terms of battle knowledge.


5) Master Roshi (out of battle)

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

Throughout Dragon Ball, Master Roshi has demonstrated his (relative to Goku) superior intelligence and deduction skills. The most prominent example is when he was able to correctly deduce why Goku transformed into a Great Ape during the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament.

Despite seeming like a total degenerate, Master Roshi does at least have some intelligence of which to boast.


Granolah and 4 others could be outsmarted by Dragon Ball’s Goku

1) Mr. Satan/Hercule (in battle)

Mr. Satan as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Mr. Satan as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

While this should come as no surprise, Goku is without doubt smarter than Mr. Satan when it comes to battle knowledge. His experience in fighting the universe’s best of the best, to the point of even challenging Gods, puts Goku leagues above Hercule in terms of knowledge.

Having faked his way through credit for Goku’s successes, it’s no shock the Saiyan outranks Hercule in battle prowess.


2) Majin Buu (out of battle)

Majin Buu as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Majin Buu as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

One of the few characters who Goku is likely smarter than, Majin Buu shows almost no signs of general intelligence or education. While Buu did show intelligence when arguing with Babidi in Dragon Ball Z, this was still within the context of fighting and the consequences thereof.

In terms of general intelligence, Buu’s reserves are almost non-existent, even more so than Goku.


3) Granolah (in battle)

Granolah's colored design (Image via Shueisha)
Granolah's colored design (Image via Shueisha)

Despite overpowering Goku in their most recent battle, Dragon Ball’s protagonist likely still outranks Granolah in terms of battlefield intelligence. This would be especially true for the level at which Granolah now fights, where Goku has been honing his skills for quite some time.

Granolah, conversely, wished his way to this point, providing opportunity for a lack of knowledge in the field relative to Goku. Despite his power and knowledge carrying him to victory in their initial match, Granolah still likely has less battle knowledge than Goku.


4) Uub (outside of battle)

Uub as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Uub as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

While it may seem unfair to compare Dragon Ball’s 49-year old protagonist to the not-even-teenaged Uub, the comparison is fairer than it initially seemed. Both Goku and Uub grew up in less-developed, rural settings such as mountains and discreet villages.

With likely little-to-no formal education available for Uub, a fact of Goku’s childhood, he is one of few in Dragon Ball whom Goku outsmarts outside of battle.


5) Gohan (in battle)

Enter captionEnter captionGohan as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Enter captionEnter captionGohan as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Although surpassed by his son outside of battle, Goku is no doubt superior when it comes to battle knowledge. Unlike Gohan, Goku essentially never dedicates himself to anything other than fighting throughout the entire franchise.

While his quest to find the Dragon Balls isn’t technically a fighting goal, it does lead to much of Goku’s combat experience. Furthermore, there is a point in time where Gohan is stronger than him and, via beating Cell, potentially more knowledgeable as well.

However, his abandonment of fighting and dedication to education shortly thereafter allows Goku to once again outrank him. As a result, and in contemporary Dragon Ball, Goku is smarter than Gohan in terms of battle knowledge.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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