Top 10 Dragon Ball Moments That Made Us Cry (And Why)!

Hello, Dragon Ball fans! Today, we’re talking about Dragon Ball – not just the epic fights and power-ups, but the moments that hit us right in the heart. 

Dragon Ball isn’t just about muscle-bound dudes yelling and powering up (though that’s awesome too).

 It’s got some seriously emotional moments that stick with you long after the credits roll. Whether it’s a heroic sacrifice, a heartbreaking death, or a touching reunion, these scenes show us the human side of our favorite characters.

I’ve been watching Dragon Ball since forever, and let me tell you, picking just ten tear-jerker moments was tough! But I managed to narrow it down to the cream of the crop – the scenes that always leave me feeling like I got hit by a Spirit Bomb of emotions.

Let’s talk about the top 10 Dragon Ball moments that turned us into crying messes. Trust me, by the end of this list, you’ll be ready to rewatch the whole series and cry all over again. Let’s go!

1. Goku’s Sacrifice Against Cell

Oh man, this scene gets me every time! Cell’s about to blow up and take the whole Earth. Goku’s like, “Not on my watch!” He puts his fingers to his forehead and teleports Cell away. But here’s the kicker – he knows he’s not coming back.

goku dragon ball

The way Goku says goodbye to Gohan is just… ugh, right in the feels! He tells his son how proud he is and that it’s up to him now. You can see the pain in Gohan’s eyes, but also the determination to make his dad proud.

Goku’s always been the hero, you know? But this time, he’s not coming back with some new power-up. He’s really gone. It shows how far he’ll go to protect the people he loves. And the way everyone reacts afterward – especially Chi-Chi and Gohan – it’s just heartbreaking.

Also Read: Which Goku Is The Strongest?

This moment isn’t just sad, though. It’s also super inspiring. Goku’s sacrifice proves he’s a true hero. He doesn’t hesitate to give up his life for others. It’s a huge turning point for Gohan too. He has to step up and be the protector now. It’s like the torch is being passed to the next generation.

2. Future Gohan’s Death

The future timeline in Dragon Ball Z is already pretty depressing. But Future Gohan’s death? That’s on a whole other level of sadness. This Gohan grew up in a world destroyed by the androids. He’s the last fighter standing, and he’s been training Future Trunks to help save what’s left of humanity.


The scene where Gohan fights the androids for the last time is brutal. He knows he can’t win, but he goes anyway to protect people. And the worst part? He knocks out Trunks so he won’t follow. Gohan knows he’s going to his death, but he faces it bravely.

When Trunks finds Gohan’s body in the rain, it’s just… wow. The music, the way Trunks screams – it’s heartbreaking. You can feel all his pain and anger. This is the moment that pushes Trunks to become a Super Saiyan.

What makes this so sad is that Future Gohan never really got to live in peace. His whole life was fighting and losing.

 But he never gave up hope. He kept fighting to the very end, trying to give the future a chance. It shows how different Gohan’s life could have been without Goku and the others around.

3. Vegeta’s Final Atonement

Vegeta’s character arc is one of the best in anime, and this moment is the peak of it. Vegeta, the proud Saiyan prince, realizes he needs to sacrifice himself to save his family and Earth. It’s a huge deal for a guy who used to only care about himself!

Vegeta's Redemption Arc: From Villain to Fan Favorite

The scene starts with Vegeta hugging Trunks for the first time. It’s such a small thing, but it means so much. Vegeta’s always been cold to his son, so this hug shows how much he’s changed. 

He even tells Trunks he’s proud of him. I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Then Vegeta knocks out Trunks and Goten. He knows they’ll try to stop him, but he has to do this alone. The way he looks at Piccolo and asks him to take care of his family – it shows how much Vegeta has grown to care about Earth and its people.

Also Read: 10 Goku’s Shocking Dumb Moments in Dragon Ball Super

The actual sacrifice is epic and sad at the same time. Vegeta puts everything he has into this one attack. He’s not just fighting Majin Buu – he’s fighting against his own selfish nature. This is Vegeta’s way of making up for all the bad things he’s done.

Even though it doesn’t work (thanks a lot, Buu), this moment cements Vegeta as a true hero. He’s not just Goku’s rival anymore. He’s a protector of Earth, willing to give up everything for the people he loves. It’s a perfect end to his redemption arc.

4. Piccolo’s Sacrifice for Gohan

This moment is where Piccolo went from villain to absolute legend. Remember, Piccolo started out as Goku’s enemy. He only trained Gohan to use him against Goku. But something changed along the way.


When Nappa attacks Gohan, Piccolo doesn’t even think. He just jumps in front of the blast. It’s a split-second decision that shows how much Piccolo has come to care for this kid. The look on Gohan’s face when he realizes what Piccolo did – it’s gut-wrenching.

What makes this even sadder is Piccolo’s last words.

Also Read: 30 Things You Never Knew About Dragon Ball

 He tells Gohan that he’s the only one who ever treated him like a friend. Can you imagine? Piccolo lived his whole life feeling alone and hated. 

But this little kid showed him kindness, and it changed him completely.

This sacrifice is huge for both characters. For Piccolo, it’s the moment he truly becomes one of the good guys. 

He dies not as a demon, but as a hero. For Gohan, it’s a loss of innocence. He realizes the true cost of these battles.

The aftermath of this scene is powerful too. Gohan’s anger and grief push him to new levels of power. 

And when they wish Piccolo back, his bond with Gohan is stronger than ever. It’s the start of one of the best friendships in Dragon Ball.

5. Krillin’s Death by Frieza

Krillin’s death on Namek is one of the most shocking moments in Dragon Ball Z. It’s not just that he dies – we’ve seen that before. It’s the way it happens and what it leads to.

Frieza lifts Krillin into the air with his power. Krillin is helpless, totally at Frieza’s mercy. And then… boom. Frieza makes him explode, just like that. It’s sudden, it’s violent, and it’s absolutely horrifying.


The reason this hits so hard is because of Goku’s reaction. Goku and Krillin have been best friends since they were kids. They’ve been through so much together. Seeing Krillin die like that, right in front of him, pushes Goku over the edge.

This is the moment that triggers Goku’s first Super Saiyan transformation. All of Goku’s rage, his pain, his desire to protect – it all explodes out of him. The music swells, Goku’s hair turns gold, and you just know things are about to get real.

Krillin’s death isn’t just sad – it’s a turning point for the whole series. It shows how truly evil Frieza is, and it sets up one of the most iconic transformations in anime history. Every time I watch this scene, I get chills. It’s that powerful.

6. Android 16’s Speech to Gohan

This scene hits differently, I swear! So, Android 16 is this big, tough-looking robot dude, right? But he’s got this soft spot for nature and life. When Cell is about to crush him, 16 gives this amazing speech to Gohan.

Android 16
Android 16

He talks about how beautiful the world is and how it’s worth protecting. It’s like, here’s this android telling a half-alien kid about the value of life. How crazy is that? The way 16 speaks so calmly, even though he knows he’s about to die, it’s just… wow.

And then Cell just crushes his head! It’s so brutal and sad. But 16’s words aren’t wasted. They’re what finally pushed Gohan over the edge into Super Saiyan 2.

 It’s like 16’s love for life becomes Gohan’s power.

This moment shows that even characters we don’t know super well can have a huge impact. 16’s death means something. It changes everything. And it makes you think about what’s really worth fighting for.

7. Grandpa Gohan’s Reunion with Goku

Remember Grandpa Gohan? He’s the old dude who found baby Goku and raised him. Goku accidentally killed him as a giant ape, which is super sad.

Grandpa Gohan's Reunion with Goku

But then, in the afterlife, they meet again! Goku’s all grown up now, and Grandpa Gohan is so proud of him. The way they hug and laugh together, it’s just so pure and sweet. It’s like all the sadness from their past is washed away.

This scene hits hard because it shows how much Goku has grown.

 He went from this wild kid to Earth’s greatest hero. And Grandpa Gohan got to see it all from the afterlife.

 It’s a beautiful moment of closure for both of them.

Plus, it reminds us of Goku’s innocence. Even with all his power, he’s still that same kind-hearted kid Grandpa Gohan raised. It’s enough to make a grown otaku cry!

8. Bardock’s Last Stand

Bardock’s story is tragic from start to finish, but his last moments are epic and heartbreaking. Here’s this Saiyan warrior who’s seen a vision of the future. He knows his planet is doomed, but he fights anyway.


The scene where Bardock faces off against Frieza’s entire army is just incredible. He’s totally outmatched, but he doesn’t give up. And when he sees a vision of Goku facing Frieza in the future, it gives him hope.

But the real tear-jerker moment is when Frieza’s attack is coming. Bardock sees baby Goku in his mind. He realizes his son will avenge their race. It’s such a bittersweet moment – Bardock dies, but he dies with hope for the future.

This scene adds so much depth to Goku’s character. It shows where he gets his fighting spirit from. And it makes Frieza’s defeat later even more satisfying. Bardock’s last stand is a perfect mix of action and emotion.

9. Majin Vegeta’s Goodbye to Trunks

We already talked about Vegeta’s sacrifice, but this moment deserves its own spot. Just before Vegeta goes to fight Buu, he has this moment with Trunks. And it’s like… who put these onions here?

Goku vs Majin Vegeta
Goku vs Majin Vegeta

Vegeta asks Trunks if he can hug him. VEGETA asks for a HUG! That alone is enough to make you emotional. But then he tells Trunks he’s proud of him. Coming from Vegeta, that’s huge.

The really sad part is that Vegeta knows he’s saying goodbye. He knocks Trunks out to keep him safe. The look on Vegeta’s face as he looks at his son for what he thinks is the last time – it’s heartbreaking.

This scene shows how much Vegeta has changed. He went from a selfish prince to a father willing to die for his family. It’s character development at its finest, and it gets me every time.

10. Goku Leaves with Shenron

The end of Dragon Ball GT might be controversial, but Goku’s farewell is undeniably emotional. After all the battles and adventures, Goku decides to leave with Shenron.

Watching Goku say goodbye to everyone is tough. He’s been the heart of the series for so long. 


Seeing him pat Vegeta on the back, ruffle Pan’s hair, and give that final wave… it feels like the end of an era.

What makes this scene so powerful is that it’s not just Goku saying goodbye. It’s like the show is saying goodbye to us, the fans. We’ve watched Goku grow from a little kid to this legendary hero. And now it’s time to let him go.

Even though it’s sad, there’s something beautiful about it too. Goku’s going off on a new adventure. It’s like the story never really ends, it just continues somewhere we can’t see.

These moments show that Dragon Ball isn’t just about cool fights and power-ups. It’s about friendship, sacrifice, and growing up. That’s why we love it so much, and why these scenes can still make us cry no matter how many times we watch them!

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