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The Return of Goku (Dragon Ball Z episode)

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Edited Dragon Ball Z Episodes

The Return of Goku

Z ep 20
English titleThe Return of Goku
Z Ball
SagaVegeta Saga
Edited episode number (position in saga)21 (21)
Corresponding uncut episode(s)
English airdateApril 19, 1997
Previous episodeTime's Up!
Next episodeGoku Strikes Back

The Return of Goku is the twenty-first episode of the Saiyan Saga and the twenty first overall episode of the Saban dub for the Dragon Ball Z series.


Nappa emerges from the rubble and launches an energy blast at Gohan. Gohan freezes where he is, while Piccolo remembers all the time he spent with Gohan training him and all. Piccolo moves in and shields Gohan with his body, and takes the beam head on.

When the smog clears, we see Piccolo standing in front of Gohan, which shocks Nappa. Piccolo falls to the ground, as Gohan rushes to his side. Still on his way, Goku senses Piccolo's fading ki, and hurries to get there. Piccolo tells Gohan that he was the only person that was somewhat nice to him, and tells Gohan to hold his own against Nappa. Piccolo and Kami both die, leaving Gohan and Mr. Popo in tears. Gohan becomes enraged, and attacks Nappa with his not-so-trademarked Masenko. Nappa easily knocks it aside, but it sends a tremor down his arm.

Meanwhile, Fortuneteller Baba arrives at Kame House to tell the gang that Goku has arrived. They yank her inside so that they can use her Crystal Ball as a TV to view the fight.


Goku after arriving at the battle

Nappa slowly walks forward until he finally gets to Gohan. Gohan falls to his hands and knees, as Nappa tells Gohan how upset his father will be when he finds his son in a bloody pulp. Nappa raises his foot and slams it down, onto nothing. Nappa turns around and sees Gohan on the Flying Nimbus. Vegeta turns around and sees Goku hovering high above them. Goku lands, and is approached by Vegeta, who remarks about his late timing. He walks toward Nappa, and moves away in the split-second before Nappa's punch connects with him. He takes Gohan aside and gives Krillin and he both one half of the remaining Senzu Bean.

Nappa over9000PIONEER

Nappa, shocked at Vegeta's reading of Goku's power

Goku tells Krillin and Gohan he notices their new powers, and tells them to stay out of his way when he is fighting. They tell him that the two Saiyans are immensely powerful, and that he will need their help. He tells them to watch him and then try and tell him that. He approaches Nappa and raises his ki not even half as high as it can go. Vegeta breaks the scouter in disbelief: "It's Over 9000!" Nappa begins to threaten Goku, and Goku boots him in the back of the head, in the blink of an eye. Nappa gets up and sends a flurry of punches and kicks in Goku's direction. Goku amazingly dodges them, shocking both Nappa and Vegeta. Goku teleports away, dodging one of Nappa's punches, and comes charging at Nappa. He lands on Nappa's head, and when Nappa tries to grab him, he darts away and punches Nappa forcefully in the stomach.

Major events

  • Piccolo is killed by Nappa, sacrificing his life to save Gohan.
  • Goku arrives at the battlefield to fight Nappa.


"Kami, oh Kami... please don't go."
— Mr. Popo (to Kami)

"Gohan, you're the only real friend that I've ever had. I wanna thank you. I remember the first day that I brought you here, you've changed so much since then. The harder things got, the more determined you became. I'm proud of you."
— Piccolo (to Gohan)

— Vegeta (to Nappa)


  • Blood has been removed from all characters.
  • Piccolo's body fades away when he dies. In the uncut version, his lifeless corpse remains on the battlefield.



Character Name Voice actor
Nappa Michael Dobson
Gohan Saffron Henderson
Krillin Terry Klassen
Piccolo Scott McNeil
Goku Ian James Corlett
Vegeta Brian Drummond
Ox King Dave 'Squatch' Ward
Bulma Lalainia Lindbjerg
Chi-Chi Laara Sadiq
Master Roshi Ian James Corlett
Oolong Alec Willows
Fortuneteller Baba Ellen Kennedy
Kami Michael Dobson
Mr. Popo Alvin Sanders
Narrator Doc Harris


Background music and theme song by: Shuki Levy, Kussa Mahehi and Ron Wasserman.


  • There is a Dragon Ball episode with the same name.
  • In this episode Piccolo and Kami's bodies vanish when they die. Along with Guru, they are the only Nameks to die in this fashion. (In the uncut anime and the original manga, Piccolo's body does not disappear after his death, making Kami and Guru the only Nameks to die this way.)
  • In the scene where Baba arrives, Chi-Chi's machine gun is edited to sound more laser-like.
  • This episode is what began the famous internet meme, "It's Over 9000!"
  • As Goku walks towards Nappa and Vegeta (after giving Krillin and Gohan the Senzu Bean), there is a cutaway showing Vegeta in profile not wearing his scouter, and then in the next scene he is wearing it.



External links

Vegeta Saga (Uncut Episodes)
The New Threat · Reunions · Unlikely Alliance · Piccolo's Plan · Gohan's Rage · No Time Like the Present · Day 1 · Gohan Goes Bananas! · The Strangest Robot · A New Friend · Terror on Arlia · Global Training · Goz and Mez · Princess Snake · Dueling Piccolos · Plight of the Children · Pendulum Room Peril · The End of Snake Way · Defying Gravity · Goku's Ancestors · Counting Down · The Darkest Day · Saibamen Attack! · The Power of Nappa · Sacrifice · Nappa's Rampage · Nimbus Speed · Goku's Arrival · Lesson Number One · Goku vs. Vegeta · Saiyan Sized Secret · Spirit Bomb Away! · Hero in the Shadows · Krillin's Offensive · Mercy
Saiyan Saga (Edited Episodes)
The Arrival of Raditz · The World's Strongest Team · Gohan's Hidden Powers · Goku's Unusual Journey · Gohan's Metamorphosis · Gohan Makes a Friend · Trouble on Arlia · Home for Infinite Losers · Princess Snake's Hospitality · Escape from Piccolo · Showdown in the Past · The End of Snake Way · A Fight Against Gravity... Catch Bubbles! · The Legend of the Saiyans · A Black Day for Planet Earth · The Battle Begins... Goku Where are You? · The Saibamen Strike · Nappa... the Invincible? · Tien Goes All Out!! · Time's Up! · The Return of Goku · Goku Strikes Back · Goku vs. Vegeta... A Saiyan Duel! · Vegeta... Saiyan Style! · Stop Vegeta Now! · The Battle Ends
Facts about "The Return of Goku (Dragon Ball Z episode)"RDF feed
Brief summaryFortuneteller Baba arrives at [[Kame HFortuneteller Baba arrives at Kame House and informs those gathered there that Goku has returned and is headed for the battlefield. Meanwhile, Nappa fires a fatal attack at Gohan, but Piccolo sacrifices himself to block it. Piccolo and Kami both pass into another dimension and Gohan retaliates with a fierce but futile attack. Nappa moves in to finish Gohan, but in the nick of time, the Flying Nimbus carries him out of harm's way. Goku reveals himself to the remaining combatants, splits up his last Senzu Bean between Gohan and Krillin, and enjoys a brief reunion with them. He then engages Nappa in battle, and toys with the previously unconquerable Saiyan. At Kame House, the group has begun observing the battle through Baba's crystal the battle through Baba's crystal ball.
Corresponding uncut episode27 +, 28 + and 29 +
English airdate19 April 1997 +
English titleThe Return of Goku +
Episode number21 +
In anime series2 +
Series versionedited +

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