"I'm the Saiyan who came all the way from Earth for the sole purpose of beating you. I am the warrior you've heard of in the legends, pure of heart and awakened by fury, that's what I am. I am the Super Saiyan, Son Goku!"
Goku (孫 悟空, Son Gokū), born Kakarot (カカロット, Kakarotto), is the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball metaseries created by Akira Toriyama. He is the adoptive grandson of Grandpa Gohan, the son of Bardock and Gine, the younger brother of Raditz, the husband of Chi-Chi, the father of Gohan and Goten, the grandfather of Pan, and later the ancestor of Goku Jr. Cheerful, courageous and also a bit naive, Goku is a Saiyan originally sent to Earth as an infant with the mission to destroy it. However, an accident alters his memory, causing him to grow up pure-hearted and later become Earth's greatest defender, as well as the informal leader of the Z Fighters. Throughout his life, he trains hard and strives to be the greatest warrior possible, while at the same time using his amazing strength and skills to uphold peace.
Goku has spiky black hair that never changes throughout the franchise. He is most commonly seen wearing his trademark orange/red/golden gi over a dark blue undershirt. The gi has featured Master Roshi's, Kami's, King Kai's, and Goku's Go kanji on its left side (over the heart). It is also featured on the back. After the Frieza Saga and during the Androids Saga and Majin Buu Saga, no symbols appear and Goku's gi turns a darker orange, but retains the same dark blue undershirt. He wears dark blue wristbands, along with dark blue boots with a red border that are outfitted with yellow/beige laces. He originally wore a blue obi over his waist, although after the Frieza Saga this was changed to a blue sash. At the end of Dragon Ball Z, Goku now wears a turquoise gi with a white sash, orange wristbands, dark green pants, and black kung fu shoes with orange stockings. As a kid, he has a tail due to his Saiyan heritage and also wields the Power Pole. He did not wear the blue undershirt and boots until his teenage and adult years, instead wearing simple shoes.
At times, Goku has been seen wearing different clothing, such as a gray business suit and tie. Most notably, after training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and in the nine days before the Cell Games, he wears casual Earth clothing consisting of an orange-and-black long-sleeved jacket, a white undershirt, lime green pants, and brown boots.
In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Goku wears a blue and white tracksuit while he trains on King Kai's planet, but wears a Gi identical to the one from the Androids Saga and Buu Saga, but with Goku's Go kanji on the left side and back for the majority. During Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Goku wore a new version of his orange gi, featuring a Whis' kanji, lacking the dark blue undershirt and wears blue wristbands longer than previous as well as a blue side tied belt and new boots.
In Dragon Ball Super, while farming radishes, Goku wears farmer attire like he did in Heya! Son Goku and Friends Return!! After arriving on King Kai's planet, King Kai wants Goku to have proper apparel while on his planet so he puts on a blue and white track suit with red shoes so he could train in like he did in Battle of Gods. Goku is given a new gi Whis has designed for him, the same gi from Resurrection ‘F’.
In Dragon Ball GT. Goku's skin tone changes from a pale tone to a darker and almost tan tone. His outfit in the GT series consists of a blue gi with a white sash, pink wristbands, ochre pants, and black kung fu shoes with white stockings, which resembles his first gi that he wore at the beginning of Dragon Ball. Later, with the aid of Old Kai, Goku regrows his tail so he could have additional power, but the tail is never seen again when Goku is an adult again at the end of Dragon Ball GT.
Goku's design was based on Tanton, of Toriyama's prototype manga Dragon Boy and Tongpoo, from his other manga The Adventures of Tongpoo. When Akira Toriyama started his first draft of Dragon Ball he originally planned on making Goku full monkey to make it faithful to Journey to the West. During Toriyama's second draft he wanted to make Goku a full human dressed in sailor clothes that rode a flight mecha instead of the Flying Nimbus. Toriyama's thirdrd and final draft of Goku was to have him human looking with a monkey tail.
"Despite all my heinous provocations on Namek, Goku still couldn't will himself to destroy me. He's a noble man, a great moral clarity. So pure, he makes me want to vomit!"
Goku is known for his cheerful, energetic personality and his love of competition; specifically sport fighting and eating. He will eat anything. He has remarkable intuition at seeing the good in others in spite of their actions, though his capacity for forgiving his enemies has occasionally been criticized as excessive; Goku, for the most part, only fights to win, and spares his enemies after defeating them only for them to attack him when his back is turned. His staggering power is simultaneously reined in and enhanced by his fierce loyalty and morality. Goku can also be very blunt, and not afraid to express his opinion in a discussion, such as when he questioned Krillin's marriage to Android 18. Despite his kind-hearted nature, Goku can feel incredible anger in cases of extreme turmoil, such as the death of a close friend/relative, or when someone murders many innocents needlessly. This anger means he can be vengeful. He has a simple, practical view of the world and is somewhat naive to the world around him. Because of this, many characters incorrectly assume him to be somewhat stupid, although once he has a basic understanding of things, he learns very quickly. His most remarkable ability is his will to succeed, his tenacity and persistence. He is always determined to push himself beyond his limitations and never give up even when the odds are stacked against him.
Goku is pure of heart, possessing no negative feelings or thoughts. He is also portrayed to be very innocent as a child, because of growing up in Mount Paozu and not having met anyone other than his grandpa until he meets Bulma. During his childhood, a recurring gag early in the series is that he is incapable of telling the difference between a male and a female without physically touching them, which often gets him into trouble. Notable of these occurrences are in the scene where he removes Bulma's panties while she slept and is horrified to discover that she had no testicles (which was also adapted in the movie Dragon Ball: The Path to Power), and later when he first meets Chi-Chi and she pushes him off of the Flying Nimbus after he patted her genitals with his foot. He eventually outgrew this once old enough to understand the difference. This trait was also referenced in Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai, where Android 18 attempted to fight Goku due to paranoia that Goku would touch her there, with Goku explaining that he knows better now. In addition, during his youth, he seemed to not understand the concept of pornography, as when Bulma discovered her father's secret stash of porn magazines with Goku nearby, Goku thought the girls were too poor to afford clothes, causing Bulma to angrily tell him that they were not poor. Goku might not have a sense of family, but rather views family members simply as companions. Adding on to that, it does not seem he has any sense of love due to not really knowing what it was, especially with Chi Chi, since the only reason he married her was because he made her a promise to, and not because he had really deep feelings of love and care for her, and has never done anything romantic whatsoever for her because of this (though in the anime Goku did say he loved Chi Chi).
Though there are times when it seems that he does have a sense of family like during his battle with Frieza when he saw visions of Chi Chi, Gohan and Krillen surrounded by flames. He will often leave his family for many years without ever visiting them, and although it is always for noble reasons, Goku doesn't consider the emotional trauma his family might undergo because of his extended leave of absence, and sometimes, he leaves with no particular reason, as he left to go train with Shenron in the final episode of Dragon Ball GT for absolutely no reason at all but to just train, and does not ever visit his friends or family for 100 years. Along with this, there are several friends he meet such as those in Dragon Ball that he has never mentioned or talked about, as if he has completely forgotten about them, and is solely focused on training. It is most likely because of this need for training that he does not particularly focus on his children or gets to know them on a deeper level and instead trains on his own, only sometimes training his children. Along with this, he does not see a need to visit close friends or family, as in Dragon Ball Z, Goku stated that he had not seen Bulma in five years, showing he never considered the thought of visiting or simply did not care. However, this seems to be a very common trait with many of the Z fighters. He seems to also not have a good memory, as early in his life, he forced Monster Carrot to go to the moon and work, yet after that, he completely forgets about him or simply doesn't bother to mention, although it is more likely he forgot, as he might have brought Monster Carrot back to life when Master Roshi destroyed the moon with his MAX Power Kamehameha. Along with this, since he has met many very high and powerful beings, he does not show them the proper respect they should get, and often does not show this kind of respect to powerful or politically powerful beings, as seen with The Galactic King. The Galactic King was somewhat surprised by this, but simply ignored it.
It is often teased that Goku is scared of his wife's temper (as joked by Master Roshi upon Goku's refusal to come back to Earth after the Frieza Saga: "He's scared of the one thing that's stronger than a Super Saiyan- his wife!") Goku is shown to suffer from severe trypanophobia, or the fear of medical needles, but this only occurs in the animee showed his fear for them twice in Dragon Ball Z, and three times during Dragon Ball GT. The first time was after his battle with Vegeta, and when he was taken to Wukong Hospital. The second time he showed his fear of needles was after the fight with Captain Ginyu on Namek, while he was on his way to recovering in a Medical Machine. In Dragon Ball GT, it was shown when Goku, Pan, and Trunks brought an injured boy to planet Pital. The second time, during his first battle against Baby Vegeta, he was blasted into Sugoroku Space, where he witnessed a hologram of Chi-Chi that threw a gigantic needle at him. Lastly, Goku showed his fear after learning from Pan that the Four-Star Dragon Ball was coming out of his forehead, worrying that he would need a shot. In Battle of Gods, he is also shown to have a slight fear of angering Bulma, as he panicked when he realized he had forgot it was Bulma's birthday party and again after Bulma slaps him for joking about letting her get slapped if in order for Vegeta increase his power (in response to Vegeta's power increase when Bulma was slapped by Beerus) and after it is revealed that Goku had arrived on Earth much earlier via Instant Transmission and was watching them the whole time. It is likely that this is a fear he developed over the years he has known her and one he shares with his best friend, Krillin (who is shown to fear her temper as well during the Battle on Planet Namek).
During his fight with Oceanus Shenron, Goku states that he does not mind being nude in public and has demonstrated a lack of shame at various points in Dragon Ball such as when Bulma gave him a bath and again when he showed his testicles to disguised Hasky (after he mistakenly thought she was referring to his testicles when she was actually referring to the Dragon Balls he was carrying). This fact is also supported before going for a swim to find a Dragon Ball on Gelbo, during which he takes off his clothes in front of Doma and his granddaughter Pan without hesitation or embarrassment. He also gets upset when Pan tells him to put his clothes back on, refusing to go swimming clothed.
Goku enjoys finding strong opponents and fighting with them. Even in combat, Goku is shown to not be invincible, as he has two major weaknesses. The first weakness is his tail; before he conditioned himself prior to the Tien Shinhan Saga, Goku lost all his power when someone grabbed his tail (a trait that all Saiyans share at birth). The second is his unfathomable appetite; not only does he eat at a rate that would be nearly impossible for a normal Human, but if he does not get any food, he becomes too weak to do almost anything. This weakness was never overcome, and almost got him killed against several enemies, like Tambourine and Nuova Shenron. On the flipside, however, Goku's love for food has gotten him out of trouble several times; for example, in the Tournament Saga, when put to sleep by Jackie Chun, Bulma was able to save his match by screaming to him that dinner was ready, to which Goku immediately woke up to break the count. Despite defeating some of the most dangerous villains in the universe, Goku is not a completely righteous hero as he does not fight for the sake of others, he simply fights because he wishes to fight strong opponents (according to Akira Toriyama, who was frustrated with the portrayel of Goku being a righteous fighter).Though the anime portrays him as being a righteous fighter who also gets a real thrill out of facing a powerful opponent.
Goku seems to think very little of his brother Raditz and late father, Bardock, believing them to be vicious, selfish beings like most other Saiyans; however, he never knew of his father's change of heart and will most likely never know about his change, forever believing Bardock to be a cold and merciless killer. Indeed, when he first learned of his Saiyan heritage, he rejected it out of horror and disgust at being from a race of vicious killers, though he ultimately embraced his heritage after hearing Vegeta's last words during the battle with Frieza on Namek, fighting him to avenge the loss of his race as well as all of the other innocents whom Frieza had killed. While Goku is ultimately kindhearted, forgiving, and unquestionably loyal to the side of good, and did not inherit any of the inherently evil traits of his heritage, his Saiyan bloodline and its traits for combat have played small or moderate role in his judgement. He chose to remain in space after Frieza's first defeat rather than return home soon and did not come home to his family until two years later when the restored Frieza was heading to Earth. When he trained Gohan and learned that his son had enough dormant power to destroy Cell, he chose not to train himself and his son for one more year, because rather than becoming strong enough to defeat Cell himself, he planned on sending his own son to fight the monster, gambling that Gohan would awaken his hidden power just in time during his struggling fight against Cell and ultimately win. He even went as far as giving a Senzu Bean to Cell so that Gohan gets a fair match against him, rather than a better chance to win and save the world. Also, after his death during the Cell Games, he chose not to be revived and return to his family to raise his still young son. He reasoned that Earth is repeatedly in danger because of his enemies and may become safer if he did not come back. Despite this, after almost all other fighters had faced their downfall, Goku is eventually revived due to Earth and the whole universe being in danger because of Super Buu.
From his mid-teens to early thirties, Goku became a famous celebrity on Earth for his defeat of King Piccolo, with several reporters being amazed that Yajirobe was a friend of his during Vegeta and Nappa's attack on Earth. Proceeding the events of the Androids Saga, Goku appears to have been largely forgotten in favor of the following World Martial Arts champion, Mr. Satan. However sometime between the defeat of the Shadow Dragons and one hundred years post-hence, Goku is once again revered as a hero and a giant statue of him is displayed in the World Martial Arts Tournament stadium, as shown near the end of Dragon Ball GT.
Goku can be cocky at times, this is especially notable in the years after defeating Majin Buu, as seen in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, but later was humbled by Beerus due to him being on another level of power than him. His cockiness continues in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, where - believing he has completely and utterly defeated Frieza - he lowers his guard, resulting in him being critically injured.
Goku has a tendency to get too relaxed during fights with his opponents.This weakness could lead to failure as seen when Goku is battling Golden Frieza. Goku is sure that Frieza would surrender by Sorbet catches him off guard and fires a common beam through him. This weakness can also been seen when Goku is fighting Vegeta and they sense Majin Buu's presence. Goku wants to hold his match off with Vegeta and fight Majin Buu because they released him. Vegeta agrees to stopping the match to fight Majin Buu but Goku gets knocked out by Vegeta when he reaching for a Senzu Bean, leaving his guard down.