Raditz once described a Saiyan’s Tale as “the key to unlocking your true potential” and was horrified to find that Goku had lost his. So imagine what Raditz would say if he learnt that Vegeta’s son Trunks never had a tail to begin with! Raditz and most DB fans, would probably love to know why doesn’t Trunks have a tail?
Trunks doesn’t have a tail because he is only half-Saiyan, and it’s down to luck whether a half-Saiyan gets a tail, due to having half-human genetics.
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Krillin asked Bulma if she cut off Trunks tail.
There’s Krillin always asking the questions on everyone’s mind.
This could be why many people think Bulma cut them off because there’s evidence of Krillin suggesting it.
Importantly though Bulma doesn’t answer, so she neither confirms nor denies it.
I think this theory made the most sense, as tails are very dangerous and it’d be smart for Bulma to cut off Trunks’ tail as a baby.
But sadly this theory would be disproved by Toriyama himself.
Toriyama explains why trunks doesn’t have a tail.
In an interview in 2003, Dragon Ball creator Toriyama explains, “It seems that tails are a recessive genetic trait.”.
What he means by this is it’s not guaranteed a half Saiyan will be born with a tail.
If you look at Trunks he has 50% human DNA and 50% Saiyan DNA, so we could assume there is maybe a 50/50 chance Half Saiyans will have tails. Gohan had a tail, but sadly Trunks didn’t.
The real reason why Toriyama didn’t give Trunks a tail
Originally Dragon Ball was to be about an actual monkey, not just a humanoid with a tail. One design that was kept with Goku was the tail.
However, after many years of drawing tails for Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Raditz and Nappa Toriyama got sick of it.
It wasn’t too long into Z all the Saiyans lost their tails.
When it came to Trunks Toriyama couldn’t be bothered to draw tails anymore, and that was that!
So the canon explanation is the tails like are hair, could be taken from either parent, but the real reason is Toriyama found them to be a nuisance.
Why doesn’t Goten have a tail?
So we can assume Goten doesn’t have a tail for the same reason Trunks doesn’t, because tails are a genetic lottery.
It does seem strange though as Gohan had a tail which grew back several times, but his brother Goten doesn’t.
It would support the theory that there’s a 50% chance for a Half-Saiyan to have a tail and Goku’s children are 50% tail rates.
A part of me is sad Trunks doesn’t have a tail. It’d be cool if they were to bring back tails in the Dragon Ball Universe. Not least to see what a Super Saiyan God transformation would do to an Ōzaru, or to finally see SSJ4 promoted to canon.