Goku, the main hero of Dragon Ball, who always fights for the good cause and to protect the Earth, is often portrayed as stupid or gullible. Guess what? That’s totally true! However, Goku has a good excuse for being like that: for many years of his life, he has been living in the wild.
Not many people are well aware that Goku can actually have some truly genius moments, especially in battle, and he has proven it several times in the anime. While the beloved Saiyan is often goofy in the Dragon Ball Super series, the same show has also shown a truly brilliant side of him. Let’s get into detail:
Goku’s genius moves against Jiren
During the Tournament of Power arc of the Dragon Ball Super anime, Goku and Vegeta encountered Jiren, the strongest opponent that they ever had to face. Jiren was the leader of Universe 11, the same universe that had other truly powerful fighters with unique techniques, such as Dyspo, Toppo, and others. It was clear right from their first battle that Goku was weaker than Jiren, but that didn’t discourage the Saiyan hero from pushing and looking for weaknesses in Jiren’s fighting style. While Goku was using the Super Saiyan Blue transformation, he was dancing around Jiren, trying to hit him. At some point, Goku silently planted a few energy mines around Jiren without the latter even noticing. After finishing planting the energy mines, Goku set them off, catching his opponent in the blast. There wasn’t any damage, that’s true, but still, the scheme proved how smart and cunning Goku can be in battle if he really needs to.
During the same battle, Goku used Destructo Discs against his opponent, copying one of Krillin’s moves. The Saiyan had fired a few of those discs in a row, managing to confuse Jiren up to the point that one disc managed to cut the support on which Jiren was standing without the guy even noticing. As a result, Jiren was very close to falling from the arena, which would have resulted in the powerful fighter getting eliminated from the tournament. It didn’t happen, as Jiren found a way to get back on track, but that move of Goku was still very memorable.
Recruiting Frieza for the Tournament of Power
The Tournament of Power was approaching in Dragon Ball Super, and Universe 7 needed all the help it could get in order to save itself from getting erased by Zeno. Goku was the one in charge of recruiting members, and his team already had names such as Vegeta, Piccolo, Gohan, Android 17, Android 18, and others. But it wasn’t enough, and Goku had a brilliant idea when he realized that Majin Buu couldn’t participate because he simply had to sleep. The beloved Saiyan went straight to Hell to propose Frieza a bargain: if the evil intergalactic tyrant accepted to fight for the survival of the Universe in the Tournament of Power, he would be granted a full resurrection due to the dragon balls. Frieza accepted and, therefore, got a one-day parole from Baba to participate in the tournament. Yes, Frieza was and still is evil to the core, and the other Z warriors didn’t agree with Goku’s idea. But it was still a mastery move from Goku to recruit Frieza for such a task, considering that the former galactic overlord is insanely strong. He was even considered the strongest fighter in the Universe back in the day of the Dragon Ball Z anime. For such a tournament that needed any help it could get, it couldn’t matter anymore how evil some participants have been in the past.
And let’s be honest: Frieza was light-years stronger than several of the members of Goku’s team. Yes, Krillin and Master Roshi, we’re looking at you guys! It would even be reasonable to say that Frieza was the third or fourth strongest character in the Universe 7 team, after Goku, Vegeta, and probably Gohan.
Quitting against Cell
A lot of people were pissed off with Goku’s decision to quit his fight against Cell back in Dragon Ball Z and let his son Gohan continue the battle, but it’s not exaggerated to say that it takes a lot of honor, intelligence, and wisdom for such a decision from the beloved Saiyan. Goku figured out that he is not strong enough and that his son has what it takes to finish off the evil android created by Dr. Gero. Needless to say that Goku was the most justified person to know about Gohan’s true potential since he is his father and that the two fighters have been training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for a whole year to confront Cell.
If you’re a Dragon Ball fan, surely you know what Goku’s decision led to in the end, so let’s not get into spoilers. That was a genius move from Goku. Besides, the beloved Saiyan had so much honor that he even gave Cell a Senzu bean to be at his best in his match against Gohan. It wouldn’t be fair for Gohan to beat Cell when he wasn’t at his best, as Goku himself said.
There’s no denying that Goku has often been gullible, goofy, and stupid throughout the Dragon Ball franchise, especially in the first series and in Dragon Ball Super. But at the same time, the Saiyan has his moments when he seems to have an IQ over 9000, especially when it comes to battles.