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Dragon Ball Confirms the One Person Who Can Hurt Vegeta More than Goku

Since the two first crossed paths as enemies within Dragon Ball lore, it was immediately clear that no one had a greater impact on Vegeta–both physically and mentally–than Goku as Vegeta wanted to be the strongest Saiyan in the universe and Goku continuously proved Vegeta was only second best. However, while Goku’s hold over Vegeta’s life was obvious, there is one other person within Dragon Ball canon who can hurt Vegeta more than Goku.

Vegeta and Goku met during Dragon Ball Z’s Saiyan Saga which resulted in a conflict that left Vegeta defeated by the Z-Fighters’ hands. While Vegeta would later team up with his new rival to battle his former master, Lord Frieza, he still held onto the pain of that initial loss and vowed to never let it happen again–bringing to life Vegeta’s entire purpose throughout DBZ, which was to be stronger than Goku. This obsession manifested itself throughout the Android, Cell, and Majin Buu Sagas and culminated with Vegeta’s willingness to give his mind over to the evil Babidi in order to become the strongest version of himself, Majin Vegeta. Essentially, Vegeta’s drive to be better than Goku controlled his life, meaning, in a way, Goku controlled his life–which, in turn, meant Goku had more influence over Vegeta than anyone else. That is, until Dragon Ball GT.

Related: Dragon Ball GT Confirms the One Villain Even Goku Can’t Beat

In Dragon Ball GT season 1, episode 25 (written by Atsushi Maekawa, directed by Osamu Kasai, produced by Toei Animation), fans are brought back to Earth for the first time since the beginning of the series as the majority of GT has followed Goku, Trunks, and Pan on their intergalactic search for the Black Star Dragon Balls. On Earth, GT briefly becomes something akin to a slice-of-life anime starring a number of fan-favorite Dragon Ball characters–including Vegeta. The episode opens with Vegeta in the bathroom, shaving the mustache he was shockingly sporting in the first episode. Come to find out, the only reason he’s shaving his facial accessory is that his teenage daughter, Bulla, told him it looked stupid. This comment left Vegeta feeling embarrassed, hurt, and emotionally vulnerable, the likes of which he had never outwardly endured before.

The last time Vegeta was noticeably going through as much emotional turmoil as he was after Bulla called his mustache stupid was when he was training to become a Super Saiyan. After Goku went Super Saiyan for the first time while fighting Frieza on Planet Namek (an event that marked the first official team-up between Vegeta and Goku), Vegeta vowed that he wouldn’t be surpassed by Kakarot again. So, Vegeta trained on an unknown world that was being bombarded by asteroids–literally putting his life on the line to achieve a new level of power. The raw feelings of frustration over his life-long inadequacy in comparison to first Frieza, and now Goku, billowed inside Vegeta as he looked death in the face and accepted the fact that, if he wasn’t strong enough to live, he would die, cold and alone on an unknown world. And, in Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta seemingly felt that feeling again when his teenage daughter said he looked dumb.

Teenage daughters being mean to their fathers out of feelings of embarrassment and shame is a universal constant, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less, especially when one is on the receiving end of it. Goku’s mere existence has made Vegeta risk his own life time and again in order to keep up while proving to himself and the world that he is just as good, if not better, than Kakarot. Even still, nothing rocked him to his core quite like Bulla telling him that his mustache looked stupid–a seemingly insignificant and shockingly simple act that confirms the one Dragon Ball character who can hurt Vegeta more than Goku.

More: How Goku & Frieza Accidentally Created Dragon Ball’s Deadliest Attack

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