Whether it’s playing basketball in the driveway or defending the Earth from Alien invasion, there always comes a time when the apprentice becomes the master, and the son becomes better than the father. For Gohan and Goku, though, the point when/if Gohan becomes stronger than Goku is not as clear cut. So we look at the question, is Gohan stronger than Goku?
Gohan is stronger than Goku on three occasions. For a short time when he attacks Raditz, then when Gohan turns SSJ2 against Cell, and after he turns into Mystic Gohan against Super Buu.
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1st Time Gohan was stronger than Goku – Against Raditz
The first time Gohan is stronger than Goku; he is just a child. Gohan is four years old when he gets Kidnapped by Raditz and held prisoner in his spaceship.
The sight of Goku being trampled on by Raditz is enough to send Gohan into a rage, destroy the spaceship and then headbutt Raditz right into his evil chest.
At this point in time Gohan had a brief power level of 1,307 while Goku had a peak power level of 924.
Goku would soon be stronger than Gohan’s peak through training with King Kai in otherworld.
2nd Time Gohan is stronger than Goku – Against Cell
The second time Gohan is stronger than Goku is during his fight with Cell. Goku had been training Gohan in the hyperbolic time chamber and got him to master Super Saiyan 1.
Goku sensed Gohan had the potential to be a lot stronger than him at this point, which is why he pushed Gohan to fight Cell.
After getting into a big rage again, like against Raditz, Gohan turned into the never before seen Super Saiyan 2.
At this point, he was a lot stronger than Goku, who was only Super Saiyan 1.
Sadly Gohan didn’t keep up his training, and Goku did nothing but train in otherworld, getting to Super Saiyan 3.
So sometime during the time skip between Cell and Buu, Goku became stronger than Gohan.
3rd Time Gohan is stronger than Goku – Against Super Buu
And now is the third and final time Gohan became stronger than Goku.
Goku spent his whole life training, and Gohan gets the most unfair of unfair powerups.
Gohan just had to sit still and got his full potential unlocked by Elder Kai, which gave Gohan his mystic form, producing Ultimate Gohan.
At this point, Ultimate Gohan was stronger than SSJ3 Goku and was able to fight toe-to-toe with Super Buu before getting absorbed.
After the Buu saga, Gohan then gave up training and lost most of his power gains.
Goku never stopped training, and so eventually, Goku’s Super Saiyan 3 became more powerful than Ultimate Gohan.
Goku would solidify his status over Gohan during the Battle of Gods movie when Goku gets Super Saiyan God.
Gohan would never become stronger than Goku again.
Will Gohan be stronger than Goku again?
Anything is possible in the world of Dragon Ball. Right now, Goku has his Ultra Instinct powerup with is very OP.
Gohan would need a similar powerup to even get close to Goku.
Gohan has always been into his Rage powerups, so perhaps he could get a Super Saiyan Rage transformation like Future Trunks.
But as of the end of Dragon Ball Super, it doesn’t look very likely that Gohan will outpower Goku, but then again, Gohan has always been able to surprise us.
How did Gohan become stronger than Goku?
Goku trains a lot harder than Gohan and is one of the most gifted warriors in the Universe.
So it seems very strange that Gohan keeps being able to beat him without as much training.
The answer to this is in Gohan’s latent potential. Gohan has so much potential bubbling away in his half-Saiyan/Half-Human DNA that it doesn’t take much to make him stronger than Gohan.
But with that potential comes a downside because Gohan just doesn’t have the will of the warrior.
He doesn’t love training as Goku does, and so all of that potential goes to waste unless Gohan is able to get OP power boosts.
Gohan was destined to be stronger than Goku.
Dragon Ball was all about Goku, but Dragon Ball Z was all about building up the character of Gohan to take over from his father.
Toriyama tried countless times for Goku to retire and Gohan to become the main man, but every time he did, the fanbase and producers didn’t like it.
So Goku came back next Arc stronger than Gohan. This is why we see Gohan surpass Goku so many times, only for Gohan to stop training and become weaker the next Saga.
Gohan just wasn’t as popular as Goku. But in doing this, Toriyama actually created a really compelling character in Gohan who had the ability but didn’t have the desire to be the strongest warrior in the Universe.
It serves as a good life lesson for everyone to do what makes you happy, rather than what makes you successful.
Some would say Gohan is a loser, but he’s a successful scholar with a family who spends a lot of time with him.
Maybe not the idea of success for Saiyan’s but definitely a very human idea of success.