Goku, the central protagonist of the Dragon Ball franchise, has died several times on the TV show only to return stronger. Better known as Kakarot, Goku possesses few qualities that other members of the Dragon Ball universe can only dream of.
Remember the time when Goku used instant transmission to teleport Cell and saved planet Earth? Although it cost him his life, the Saiyan warrior didn't hesitate before sacrificing himself for the greater good.
His deaths in the show are always marked by unanimous grief and hopelessness amongst the characters. This makes Goku's return to the living realm much more entertaining. Fans love watching this because every time Goku comes back, he is stronger than before.
Over the course of this iconic TV series, Goku died numerous times due to several reasons. While some deaths were unavoidable, others were only orchestrated so that Goku could train and return with the help of the dragon balls.
After dying, Goku goes to King Kai's planet to train with him. This particular feature in the Dragon Ball universe makes the character so popular. His determination and passion for defeating all his opponents are what makes Goku stronger, even in death.
This article will discuss five such instances where Goku died only to return stronger throughout the Dragon Ball universe.
Five times Goku died only to return stronger in the Dragon Ball universe
#5 - Kid Goku dies to King Piccolo
Goku's heart has been the epicenter of narrative changes in the Dragon Ball universe. When Goku was young, King Piccolo used a one-shot technique to stop Goku's heart. He was dead, but only for a while before returning to his senses.
Although the narrative was quite weak and Goku's death was highly anticipated, this moment was canonized in the Dragon Ball series. At the same time, King Piccolo killing Goku would have been a bad move for the franchise.
#4 - Goku dies by teleporting Cell to King Kai's planet
This is easily one of the most heartfelt deaths in the series. Goku sacrificing himself to stop Cell from exploding was perhaps the best episode of the Cell saga. When the world needed him the most, Goku stepped up with his righteous selflessness and did what he had to protect planet Earth.
The eye-watering scene is brilliantly orchestrated by the showrunners where Goku bids farewell to his son and his friends before using instant transmission on Cell. He arrives at King Kai's planet, and Cell explodes there; this saved everyone on planet Earth.
#3 - Goku's infamous Heart virus
The Heart virus plotline was introduced in the Dragon Ball series only to show how Goku is as human as anyone. His heart disease was left unchecked until Trunks came from the future to give Goku an antidote. Trunks claimed that without the antidote, Goku would succumb to the deadly disease.
The Android saga revealed how Goku was not impervious to man-made viruses. Goku's Heart virus has become a story for the history books exposing how even the toughest can become a victim of circumstances.
#2 - Dragon Ball Super: Goku died to Hit
Hit was one of the tactically superior opponents Goku faced in Dragon Ball Super. Hit was an assassin, a bounty hunter for hire, and he took up a contract to kill Goku. He finished his mission with just one strike to stop Kakarot's heart.
However, Goku came back to life with a little help from a timely jolt of energy he sent skywards. This timely act of precaution saved the protagonist from meeting his ill-timed fate.
#1 - Goku died while holding Raditz
While the majority of fans remember this episode to be one of the defining moments in the Dragon Ball series, there is a subtle hint that many have missed.
Raditz came to planet Earth in search of his little brother Goku in the very first episode of Dragon Ball Z. He singlehandedly dominated Goku, Piccolo, and young Gohan.
In order to stop Raditz, the protagonist had to sacrifice himself. The scene had a touch of poetic justice as Goku held Raditz from the back while Piccolo used his special beam cannon to finish off two Saiyans at once.
Raditz being the only Saiyan family member of Goku, was ironically the reason behind the protagonist's first death on the TV series.