15 Iconic Dragon Ball Z Episodes You Need To Watch

The most iconic Dragon Ball Z episodes include Transformed at Last, Final Atonement, Another Super Saiyan, and The End of Vegeta.

My favorite episode in Dragon Ball Z is “The Spirit Bomb.” In this episode, Goku must gather energy from all living things to defeat the villain, Frieza.

This episode shows Goku’s determination and strength as a character and highlights themes of unity and self-sacrifice.

Another memorable episode is “Gohan Goes Super Saiyan,” which sees Gohan finally unlocking his true potential and transforming into a Super Saiyan for the first time. At this moment, Gohan is further cemented as a central character and established as a pivotal fighter in the series.

Dragon Ball Z Episodes You Need To ReWatch

Dragon Ball Z has 291 episodes, divided into four significant arcs – the Saiyan Saga, Frieza Sega, Android & Cell sega, and the Mahin Buu sega.

Some people may argue with me, but this is based on my childhood and how I remember YTV talking about the show.

Each episode features our hero, Goku, and his friends as they defend Earth from evil aliens, powerful androids, and even gods.

Dragon Ball Z is known for its over-the-top fight scenes, comical moments, and dramatic character transformations (hello, Super Saiyan).

Transformed at Last – S4.E20

Transformed at Last - S4.E20

IMDb Rating:  9.0 /10
The Episode Aired: Oct 18, 1999 ( US )

Japanese television first aired this episode on June 19, 1991. October 18, 1999, was its original American airdate.

The first time Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan.

After Krillin’s senseless murder, Goku’s rage finally manifests, resulting in him gaining a golden aura, golden-blonde hair, and bluish-green eyes as a result of his strange transformation.

Major Events

  • Goku Transforms into Super Sayian for the 1st time.

Final Atonement – S14.E6

Final Atonement - S14.E6

IMDb Rating:  9.1/10
The Episode Aired: Nov 13, 2001 (US )

Vegeta makes the ultimate sacrifice after realizing he is not fighting for himself but the entire planet.

The creator of this episode, Akira Toriyama, has done an excellent job writing it.

Formerly an evil warrior who would kill people for fun, destroy worlds for profit, and a selfish individual who only cared about power and himself, Vegeta now decides to let go of his past and protect those he cares about.

In terms of character development, Vegeta is, without a doubt, the most developed.

Zarbon Transformed –  S2.E14

Zarbon Transformed -  S2.E14

IMDb Rating: 7.9
Episode aired: Oct 25, 1997

The situation seems to be in Zarbon’s favor for a while. Vegeta, however, becomes more aggressive due to his newfound strength. This leads Zarbon to transform.

Krillin and Dende reach the home of the eldest Namekian after Zarbon transforms into a more powerful brutish form and pounds Vegeta into the ground.

While Piccolo meditates, Goku trains under 50 times normal gravity; Tien, Yamcha, and Chiaotzu try to catch Bubbles.

Major Events: The first time Zarbon transforms onscreen, he defeats Vegeta.

 Another Super Saiyan? – S6.E3

Another Super Saiyan? - S6.E3

IMDb Rating: 8.6
Episode aired: Sep 6, 2000

A mysterious warrior thwarts the diabolical revenge plot of Frieza and King Cold.

As Frieza, King Cold, and their soldiers confront the mysterious youth, they are confronted by him. King Cold and Frieza laugh, believing the stranger will be no trouble. Despite attacking the stranger, the soldiers are sliced up by his sword.

More soldiers attack the boy, but they are easily dispatched. During the attack, one soldier survives and starts to back away from the enemy.

This is the first time we are introduced to Trunks.

Major Events: Future Trunks kills Frieza.

Goku’s Unusual Journey – S1.E4

Goku's Unusual Journey - S1.E4

IMDb Rating: 8.1
Episode aired: Oct 10, 1996

Goku holds on tighter to Raditz despite Raditz’s pleas to reconsider what he is doing. After gathering enough energy for the Special Beam Cannon, Piccolo fires it at Raditz.

The beam directly hits both Saiyan brothers. Both of them die as a result of their wounds. Raditz laments Goku’s foolish sacrifice of his life as Piccolo approaches him.

Major events

  • As a result of their deaths, Goku and Raditz go to the Other World.
  • Vegeta and Nappa head to Earth to make a wish with the Dragon Balls.
  • Nappa and Vegeta make their first public appearance. Raditz briefly described the two in a flashback story before this.

Goku… Super Saiyan? – S2.E27

Goku... Super Saiyan? - S2.E27

IMDb Rating: 8.6
Episode aired:  May 23, 1998

This is the episode they tease you that Goku has become a super Sayian.  I’m sure he has the power in this episode but is holding it back.

Following Goku’s revival of Gohan, Krillin, and Vegeta with Senzu beans, Dr. Briefs and Chi-Chi contact Bulma. Goku topples Recoome with a single blow, stunning Jeice, and Burter.

Saban Entertainment, FUNimation, and Ocean Studios dub this episode as their last joint venture.

Ginyu Assault – S3.E1

Ginyu Assault - S3.E1

IMDb Rating: 8.1
Episode aired: Sep 13, 1999

Burter and Jeice cannot handle Goku on their own, so Jeice retreats to seek reinforcements. As Captain Ginyu joins the fight, Goku is about to face the real test of his newly acquired powers!

The End of Vegeta – S4.E11

The End of Vegeta - S4.E11

IMDb Rating: 8.5
Episode aired: Oct 5, 1999

Suddenly, Goku shows up on the battlefield and pinpoints their location. The two are finally acquainted after Goku bravely walks up to Frieza after sharing a warm welcome with his friends.

In response to Vegeta’s call for “Kakarot,” Frieza deduces that Goku is the son of Bardock, another Saiyan. He challenged him briefly after Vegeta’s death.

On the same day, Frieza killed Bardock and the rest of the Saiyan race.

Major Events

  • For the first time, Goku meets Frieza on the battlefield.
  • Vegeta is killed by Frieza.

The Battle Ends – S1.E26

The Battle Ends - S1.E26

IMDb Rating: 8.0
Episode aired: May 24, 1997

When Vegeta pulls himself into the pod, Goku says that being close to death makes him wonder what a waste it would be to take his life.

Despite Krillin’s reluctance, Vegeta is allowed to leave, saying he hopes Goku is right in his decision.

As King Kai watches the conversation, he hopes Goku is also right. Vegeta closes the pod and blasts off into space, swearing revenge.

Bulma and the others arrive in an airship shortly after Krillin carries Gohan over to Goku.

Major events

  • Gohan defeats Vegeta as a Great Ape.
  • Vegeta cuts off Gohan’s tail.
  • Krillin is told to spare Vegeta’s life by Goku.
  • Vegeta leaves Earth.

Nappa… The Invincible? – S1.E18

Nappa... The Invincible? - S1.E18

IMDb Rating: 8.1
Episode aired: Feb 15, 1997

The power level of Nappa continues to rise.

Once again, Nappa picks Tien Shinhan randomly and engages him in battle, though his strength has increased so much that he cuts off Tien’s arm with a single punch.

Now that Yamcha and Chiaotzu are gone, Goku, who has just passed the halfway point of Snake Way, appears to be Earth’s last hope.

Major events

  • As Chiaotzu attempts to kill Nappa, he self-destructs.

Incredible Force! – S3.E2

Incredible Force! - S3.E2

IMDb Rating: 8.0
Episode aired: Sep 13, 1999

Gohan and Krillin steal the Dragon Balls from Frieza’s ship as the battle between Goku and Captain Ginyu rages on. Time is running out, and our heroes have to unlock the power of the Dragon Balls before it’s too late!

Stop Vegeta Now! – S1.E25

Stop Vegeta Now! - S1.E25

IMDb Rating: 8.2
Episode aired: May 17, 1997

From behind, Krillin forms a Destructo Disc and launches it at Vegeta until Gohan gets his attention.

Despite this, Vegeta manages to avoid the attack.

A sword slice by Yajirobe returns Vegeta to its original form after catching him off guard and slicing off his tail with his sword.

As Yajirobe again goes into hiding, an enraged Vegeta attacks Gohan after reverting.

As Krillin attempts to assist Gohan, Vegeta delivers a swift kick that knocks him out.

Major Events

  • Yajirobe cuts off Vegeta’s tail.
  • The Spirit Bomb is first used in battle.

Goku passes Krillin the remaining energy to form the Spirit Bomb into a ball. As it is Goku’s last bit of energy, he warns him that he must hit Vegeta at all costs, making the Spirit Bomb their only chance of defeating Vegeta.

The Return of Goku – S1.E21

The Return of Goku - S1.E21

IMDb Rating: 8.2
Episode aired: Apr 19, 1997

From beneath the rubble, Nappa emerges with a lightning aura surrounding him, firing a Bomber DX at Gohan.

As Gohan is blasting Piccolo, Piccolo throws himself in front of him and takes the blast.

He falls to the ground, mortally wounded, even though he still stands when the smoke clears. The energy signal of Piccolo drops from a distance, and Goku can sense it from a distance.

Major Events

  • As a result of Piccolo’s sacrifice to save Gohan, Nappa kills him.
  • Goku arrives at the battlefield to fight Nappa.

Frieza Defeated!! – S4.E29

Frieza Defeated!! - S4.E29

IMDb Rating: 8.7
Episode aired: Oct 29, 1999

Goku prepares to leave Namek as Frieza lies dying, but Frieza begs for mercy as his pride collapses.

Goku refuses to show mercy, citing Frieza’s history of killing in his position and angrily questions the need to show mercy.

As King Kai urges him to abandon his enemy to die, Goku cannot find it in his heart to do so, so he helps him survive by using some of his energy.

Major Events

  • As a result of his attack, Frieza is sliced in half.

Frieza Approaches – S3.E3

Frieza Approaches - S3.E3

IMDb Rating: 7.9
Episode aired: Sep 14, 1999

The Captain still has a few tricks up his sleeve after Goku amazes him with his unique superpowers! The Eldest Namek’s home is invaded by Frieza, who engages noble warrior Nail in battle!

The Saiyan’s aura disintegrates when Captain Ginyu throws a giant rock at him as Goku approaches 140,000.

Goku repels Ginyu’s energy disk attacks right back at him and Jeice as Ginyu panics and launches a flurry of energy disk attacks.

Eventually, Goku reaches his maximum power level of 180,000.

In response, Goku tells Captain Ginyu that they don’t have to fight and that he will be released if he apologizes. Captain Ginyu replies by refusing to bow down to anyone.

Major Events

  • Guru grants Dende healing powers.
  • Goku shows Captain Ginyu his true power with the Kaio-ken.
  • It’s Frieza who shows up at Grand Elder Guru’s house.

Dragon Ball Z Guide

First episode date: April 26, 1989
Genres: Anime, Action, Comedy, Drama, Adventure, Science fiction, Martial Arts, Thriller, Adventure fiction, Science fantasy, Animation
Theme songs: Cha-La Head-Cha-La, WE GOTTA POWER
Network: Fuji Network System
Final episode date: January 31, 1996
Program creator: Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama Info

Have you ever heard of Akira Toriyama? You probably have if you’re a fan of Dragon Ball. That’s because Akira Toriyama is the mastermind behind the iconic series.

But did you know that before creating Dragon Ball, Akira had already made a name for himself in the manga world with Dr. Slump and Sand Land?

Not only that, but Akira has also worked on character designs for popular video games such as Chrono Trigger and Blue Dragon.

And let’s not forget his latest work: Jaco the Galactic Patrolman.

It’s safe to say that Akira Toriyama is a respected and talented mangaka (manga creator) in the industry. So what are you waiting for? Go check out his works now!


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