Goku is without a doubt one of the most powerful characters in the entire anime world.
And it’s hard to believe that he was actually shown dead on numerous occasions (more than Frieza).
But we should also consider the fact that being the major poster boy for the dragon ball franchise for years, Goku has fought countless battles with having major consequences for a loss.
And for a guy having an IQ close to Einstein, going one on one with some of the deadliest foes of the universe.
death was inevitable.
Even though this topic of how many times he has died has been in debate for years.
We fans still try to recollect and recheck all the facts
Goddamned! it is confusing…
So in this article, I have collected every fact, Fight, and timeline where Goku was shown dead in the canon of the dragon ball universe.
I will be covering every time Goku got himself killed or almost killed, you can use the table of content to jump to any specific section for a quick read.
As I will go in sequential order of Goku being either killed or almost killed.
But if you want to know every fact and get some blast from the past you will not want to skip any piece.
So buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Mercenary tao almost killed Goku in Dragon ball
From the early part of OG Dragon ball
Goku was shown kicking butts of red ribbon army left-right and center and being absolute SAVAGE about it.
But it was until he faced Mercenary tao.
It was against mercenary tao when he got his cheeks clapped for the first time
mercenary tao being an assassin appointed to kill Goku and almost had him.
In their first battle mercenary tao almost manhandled Goku and eventually shooting his deadly dodon ray while going for a kill.
Tao thought he had killed Goku because no one can survive his dodon ray (now a joke)
He collected the dragon balls and flew away on the most controversial flight I have ever seen (Seriously WTF was that)
and even we fans thought that innocent kid with a tail finally meet his demise.
But that was not the case, the dodon ray actually hit the 5-star dragon ball and ultimately protecting Goku from an early demise. (thankyou grandpa Gohan)
Nevertheless, this was the first time someone almost sent Goku to the afterlife.
GOKU KILL COUNT: 0
Goku vs Tambourine
After completing, what will become a ritual of every dragon ball arc AKA killing Krillin, the ugly looking creature called tambourine was heading back to his master [who is uglier than him]
Was met by a battel tired and hungry Goku., who has just completed his fight against Tien Shinhan.
Goku came there to take revenge for killing his best friend Krillin, tambourine wasted no time and started his beating and he was going for a kill.
Until somehow Goku ( I am hungry) fell into a forest and eventually survived as tambourine had some more important business than killing Goku.
So Goku escaped yet another death.
However later when Goku was not hungry he emphatically killed the tambourine in a fraction of a second.
GOKU KILL COUNT: 0
Goku vs king piccolo
Kid Goku was on his own when he meet king piccolo for the first time as Goku had the last 5 star dragon ball which king piccolo and goons were looking for.
Although king piccolo was not at his peak and looked way too old, to be honest.
No one expected Goku to stand a chance against the king piccolo
But the kid as we all know and love, Goku took everyone around by surprise along with king piccolo.
Initially, Goku did well, he almost kept king piccolo on his knees, until piccolo finally decided not to kid around and use his full power to crush Goku for once and all.
He kept shooting finger beams on Goku to drain him out.
But as the last retort, Goku decided to use all his energy into a Kamehameha wave, which initially scared the heck out of king piccolo as the position Goku took for the Kamehameha wave was very similar to the evil containment wave used by Master Mutaito to seal king piccolo in a jar
But soon realizing it is just a weak Kamehameha wave, which he neglected with a smirk on his face
Then without wasting any time, he took the life out of the poor kid, and when beaten to the unconscious, the 5-star dragon ball was taken from him to summon the internal dragon
Everyone around the battlefield thought Goku is dead (his body was lying head-on in the ground)
King piccolo took the dragon ball and went back in his search for the next.
But before we fans could gulp the fact that Goku is no more,
Goku was shown shivering in pain, then he was later rescued by yajirobe.
GOKU KILL COUNT: 0
Goku vs Raditz and why piccolo killed Goku?
For new dragon ball fans, it will be hard to believe that the one who is shown protecting earth and Goku’s family in the arc of dragon ball super and most of dragon ball z.
Was actually blood trusty for killing Goku in the major part of dragon ball.
But as the dragon ball z Saiyan saga started piccolo was baffled to know that Goku is not a human being and in fact, is an alien from a race called Saiyans.
And as Raditz (elder brother of Goku) shown piccolo that there are major problems in the world than killing Goku.
Piccolo’s desire of killing Goku was soon converted into a necessity of being an ally to Goku as Raditz was on his way to killing every life force on the planet.
But as they say, if you have a burning desire your fate will take you to places.
And this is what happened with piccolo when he alongside Goku was fighting Raditz.
When Goku saw no other way of defeating Raditz and protecting the earth.
He grabbed Raditz from behind to pin him at his place which can create an opening for piccolo to fire a fully charged special beam cannon.
But it was obvious that Goku will be killed alongside Raditz.
And knowing the fact that Goku’s friend can bring Goku back to life using dragon balls, he fired the special beam cannon.
Which create a hole in the chest of Raditz and Goku, which also resulted in killing both of them
(and oh! Boy did piccolo enjoyed it)
And this was the first time when Goku died in the dragon ball universe and went to the afterlife for more than a year.
GOKU KILL COUNT: 1
Goku vs android 19
Ok, this was not Goku’s fault.
he was fighting a rare heart virus and Android 19 showed up, so he had to fight
Goku quickly went super Saiyan and was having a go at the android until the heart virus took over and Goku was shown approaching his end as the android took the opportunity to kill him right then and there.
Even though Future Trunks gave the cure for the virus to Goku.
When asked about taking medicine for the virus on time, we fans were not expecting Goku to be careless on this but surprise surprise Goku was not taking his pills on time.
The matter became even worse when the Android 18 started Sucking Goku’s life energy.
And all the Z fighters were watching Goku fall in a slow death.
Until Vegeta showed up with his newly acquired super Saiyan strength and saved Goku’s careless ass for once and all.
Never the less it was again a point where Goku was almost killed.
GOKU KILL COUNT: 1
Why Goku sacrifices himself against the cell?
This was the time in the dragon ball franchise when the buildup on Gohan’s latent power was at its peak.
We fans knew that Gohan has for sure surpassed his father and became the most power full Z fighter.
With his new powers, he was obliterating Cell and we thought finally this idiotic cell game has reached its penultimate end.
But No, No NO…
Our boy cell was not ready to end his BS so quickly, he turned himself into something which was looking like an ugly obese Frog who intended to self-destruct himself along with the entire planet.
Seeing no other way to stop the cell from these suicidal intentions, Goku decided to step up.
He planned to take the cell to some vacant space before he explodes using the instant transmission.
Z warriors knew Goku will not be able to survive this.
The farewell smile from Goku to his son had so many things to say yet was silent, he requested Gohan to look after his mother before vanishing and leaving us fans with numb eyes and a heavy heart.
This episode was almost taking me to depression until I found out what vacant space meant to Goku – It meant king kai’s planet
And busted in laughter by seeing king kai’s reaction to Goku being there with exploding cell.
And before anyone can react – Kaboom!
And this is how Goku Killed King Kai (lol)
I mean this is how Goku sacrificed himself to save everyone
GOKU KILL COUNT: 2
How did Goku die to hit?
In the events of dragon ball super, right after the Tournament of Destroyers which was held between universe 6 and universe 7.
We saw Assassin Hit approaching planet earth from universe 7 as he was appointed to kill Goku.
By the reputations of Assassin Hit, it was formidable that Goku will die.
In fact, this was the case when Assassin Hit killed Goku with just one blow to his heart, and Goku was shown dead.
But luckily Goku had left one energy ball before hit could kill him which saved his life and using that energy ball Goku came back to life immediately.
Later we came to know it was Goku who appointed him to kill himself in the curiosity to fight against Assassin Hit for one more time.
Never the less Goku was indeed killed by Assassin Hit ( for some time) and it will be recorded as an event of Goku being dead.
GOKU KILL COUNT: 3
How many times has Goku died – Conclusion
So after rechecking every incident and facts of Goku being close to death we found out the golden number is 3, so Goku as of dragon ball super brolly movie has died 3 times in the entire arc of dragon ball.
I know its hard to believe but he died more times than Frieza
GOKU FINAL KILL COUNT: 3
What episode does Goku die for the first time?
It was in Episode 5 of dragon ball z (Saiyan saga) named ‘Gohan’s rage’ where Goku died for the first time.
Why was Goku dead for 7 years?
When asked about revival, Goku said he wants to live in the afterworld forever because in his opinion every bad guy was against him and he is the reason why they appeared in the first place, so if he is not there anymore no one will come to kill him and try to destroy the earth. besides if anyone does appear Gohan was there to protect everyone.
Who killed Goku the first time?
Technically piccolo killed Goku for the first time but more than a kill it was a choice made by Goku to sacrificed himself for the sake of the planet earth, never the less for records it will be Piccolo who killed Goku for the first time with his special beam cannon.
Who killed Goku the second time?
No one killed him the second time, he decided to take exploding cell to some vacant space before he explodes along with the entire planet, as there was no other option left Goku sacrificed his life in the process of transporting the cell.
How does Goku come back to life after Raditz?
Goku was revived by his friends using dragon balls after a whole one year of him being dead and training with king kai to prepare for the incoming Saiyan threat.