Out of gratitude for being freed from the legendary Z Sword, Old Kai explained that he would release all of Gohan's dormant power. After 25 hours straight of the Old Kai walking around Gohan performing a sacred ritual and then sitting in front of him to unlock his potential, Gohan finally tested out his new power by powering up like for the Super Saiyan transformation at Old Kai's suggestion. Doing so, only Gohan's eyes change to take on a sharper shape while he otherwise remains normal. Old Kai explains that Gohan's new normal levels of power have become so high that he didn't need to transform. A short time later, Gohan is transported to Earth for a rematch with Majin Buu (wearing his father's signature gi, courtesy of Kibito's Magic Materialization) who had now transformed into Super Buu. Then, evil copy of Mystic Gohan is seen Inside Buu.
Even after having his potential unlocked, Gohan - a half-Saiyan -is still capable of powering up into a Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 2, the two forms being stronger than they were previously thanks to his powered up base form, additionally, thanks he can manifest his full potential by going beyond his Super Saiyan forms into the Potential Unleashed form. When using Super Saiyan after his potential was unlocked he appears slightly different than his original Super Saiyan form, notably instead of two bangs of hair he only possess one.
In the Battle of Gods Saga and the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Gohan (who had previously powered up into his Potential Unleashed form) seemingly transformed into a Super Saiyan on top of it in order to assist his father in the Super Saiyan God ritual. In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Gohan, having not kept up training and thus not being able to become a Super Saiyan 2 or use his Potential Unleashed state, was not sure as to if he could still take on the Super Saiyan form, but still managed to do so in order to defeat Shisami and help Goku find a lock on to use Instant Transmission back to Earth. In the Resurrection ‘F’ Saga, due to lack of training, Gohan had to resort to utilizing his Super Saiyan form (which was still powerful due to his potential unlock), which he could not maintain for long due to the huge strain it caused on his under-conditioned body.
- While Gohan's potential was unlocked by the Old Kai, a lack of training will affect the effects of the ritual, as seen in the Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ movie and the anime arc of Dragon Ball Super adapted from the movie. While Gohan kept a large amount of the extra power, he required his Super Saiyan state to tap into his true potential and even he could only keep it up for a short while.
- In Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai and Shin Budokai - Another Road, Gohan has Dark Brown skin in this state.