It takes courage to battle the likes of Frieza and Cell when you have as much power as Goku or Vegeta. But imagine picking the fights with the most formidable baddies in the universe when you are Krillin… Inevitably when you have a scrappy doo complex like Krillin you are going to die heroically in battle a lot, but just how many times has Krillin died?
In the official canon timeline, Krillin has died 3 times. He is also killed by Android 17 in GT, and by the Androids in the Future Trunks timeline bringing his total known deaths to 5.
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1st Death – Ambushed by Tambourine
Sadly the first time Krillin visits King Yama is early on in the series during Dragon Ball. Tambourine was one of King Piccolo’s Henchman and ambushed poor Krillin. Goku got revenge for his fallen friend with a well placed Kamehameha, thus Avenging Krillin for the first time. And luckily Goku would wish him back using the Dragon Balls before long, so no harm done.
2nd Death – Exploded by Frieza
The second time Krillin dies is on the planet Namek after the gang had a long hard battle with Frieza. Although he is just standing by on the sidelines, Frieza explodes him to make Goku mad, and he definitely succeeded. The explosion in anger caused Goku to go Super Saiyan for the first time. Goku then avenged his friend for the second time by leaving Frieza to die on Namek. Technically Trunks sent him to the afterlife in a thousand pieces, but I’d still say Goku avenged Krillins honour first. It wouldn’t be long before Krillin is wished back to life by the Dragon Balls.
3rd Death – Buu’s Death by Chocolate
You’d think after being killed twice Krillin might have kept a low profile and minded his own business. But never one to shy away from danger Krillin was turned into chocolate and eaten by Buu in revenge for Piccolo angering him. But of course, he was wished back to life by Goku, and Goku was the one to avenge him again using a Spirit Bomb. At this point, death has lost his impact in the DB universe, and Goku went 3 for 3 in avenging Krillin. We suppose this is only right as they are best friends.
So officially Krillin has died three times, but there are other timelines and non-canon material in which we know of him dying. In the Future Trunks timeline we know he was killed by the Androids, later to be avenged by Future Trunks but never wished back. He is also killed by Android 17 again during Dragon Ball GT but is wished back.
Everyone loves Krillin for his indomitable spirit. Having him in your corner helps a lot with Morale and tactics rather than pure fighting ability. He grew from a rival to Goku to one of his main cheerleaders which is why he gets caught in the crossfire so much, and why we love him so much! As a treat here is a youtube video of all of his deaths. Enjoy!