Cell Returns! (白昼の悪夢!!恐怖はより完璧に Hakuchū no Akuma!! Kyofu wa yori Kanpeki ni) is the twenty-fourth episode of the Cell Games Saga and the one hundred eighty-ninth overall episode in the uncut Dragon Ball Z series. The episode first aired on June 16, 1993. Its original American air date was December 20, 2000.
After killing Future Trunks, Cell explains how he survived after the explosion of King Kai's planet. Cell explains that his central nucleus had survived, allowing him to regenerate, and that his cells had retained the knowledge of his perfect power. Being of Saiyan genetics, Cell also reveals to have received a massive Zenkai from being as close to death as biologically possible. After hearing about how Cell survived, Gohan powers up to his maximum, and is ready to avenge his father's death.
After watching Future Trunks twitch to stay alive, Vegeta screams with rage and attacks Cell out of rage by firing a Maximum Flasher followed up with multiple ki blasts. After this giant barrage of energy blasts, Vegeta is knocked down by the powerful android and is almost killed by a Ki Wave. However, Gohan jumps in front of Vegeta and takes the blast, which breaks his left arm, rendering it useless. Knowing that he has been dealt a heavy blow, Gohan realizes that it will take a miracle to defeat Cell once and for all as the latter proudly states that he will live forever.
- Vegeta attacks Cell in a furry after his son is killed.
- Cell severely damages Gohan's arm when trying to kill Vegeta.
- Vegeta (Super Saiyan) vs. Cell (Super Perfect)
- Maximum Flasher - Used by Vegeta out of anger of his son's death.
- Risking it all for a friend - Used by Gohan to save Vegeta from Cell's Time to Die blast.
- Super Energy Wave Volley - Used by Vegeta to attack Super Perfect Cell.
- Time to Die - Used by Super Perfect Cell against Vegeta.
Bruce Faulconer tracks
- "Cell Returns (soundtrack)" - At the begginning of the episode.
- "Vegeta Knows His Son" - When Vegeta thinks of how he has treated Future Trunks.
- "Vegeta - Super Saiyan" - When Vegeta attacks Super Perfect Cell.
- "Vegeta Powers Up" - When Vegeta fires his Maximum Flasher in an attempt to destroy Super Perfect Cell.
Differences from the manga
- Due to Caroni, Pirozhki and Miss Piiza being created for the anime, all scenes involving them are exclusive to the anime.
- Mr. Popo asking Dende what they can do after Cell returns and Fences uncertain reply is exclusive to the anime.
- In the English versions, there is an inconsistency with Cell's dialogue: upon finishing telling how he survived and returned, he says "Goku failed, and so will all of you, but I'm willing to give you another chance if you want!" However, when Vegeta is remembering Future Trunks' death, Cell's quote is changed to "Goku tried to destroy me but failed! Thanks to him, I am stronger than I have ever been!" The second quote is more accurate to what he says in the Japanese version.
- This is the first episode that Vegeta shows love for his family, both in his mental dialogue about Future Trunks dying and becoming enraged that Super Perfect Cell killed his son, thus continuously attacking Cell in revenge until Cell stops Vegeta.