"This is not about me. Or rather, this is about the bad things in my life that made me no better than King Piccolo. This is about atonement. And I only hope it's enough."
Tien Shinhan (天津飯, Tenshinhan) is a disciplined, reclusive and heavily devoted martial artist, and one of the strongest Earthlings within the Dragon Ball universe. He also possesses a few non-human traits due to being descended from the Three-Eyed People. He battles alongside the other Z-Fighters when major threats to the Earth surface, often courageously engaging enemies far more powerful than himself. However, he spends most of his time training with his lifelong best friend, Chiaotzu.
Tien Shinhan is a very muscular bald-headed man of an above-average height. His by far most prominent feature is his third eye, which he has inherited from his alien ancestors (although some sources claim the third eye was achieved via intense meditation). Allegedly, Tien is not naturally bald, as it is stated by his former mentor, Master Shen, that he shaves his head. Another noteworthy trait of his, is the large scar on the right side of his chest, starting at his collar bone and running all the way down to his abdomen; Tien received this scar at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament during his fight against his former mentor, Mercenary Tao, who caught him off guard with his Hidden Blade attack, scarring him for life. Throughout the series he was worn a large number of outfits, however, out of all of his many outfits, the most iconic one most likely has to be the Gi he wore during the Android Saga; which consists of a green one shoulder tank top, a pair of baggy green pants, red-and-green wristbands, black boots with yellow covers and a red sash. Tien's non-combat outfit typically consists of a Hanfu-style robe with loose pants and boots, in contrast to the Manchu-style clothing that most Chinese characters in the series wear.
Tien Shinhan was originally a cold-hearted and ruthless warrior, never caring for anyone's life with the exception of his fellow students and mentors. This brutality can be plainly seen when he crushes Yamcha's and another fighter's leg during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. However, he finds a lifelong best friend in Chiaotzu, for whom he cares deeply, and vice-versa. He highly idolized his mentor Mercenary Tao and desired to be a famous assassin like him. Due to Master Roshi's and Goku's consolations, he changed his demeanor and became one of the most respected warriors on the planet. Before he transitioned to the good side, he planned to kill Goku during the World Martial Arts Tournament as he was seen as a threat to himself and his cohorts. However, this mentality soon changes with the realization that he disagrees with the brutal methods employed by his masters, Shen and Mercenary Tao. He goes off on his own to train and soon becomes a powerful ally to Goku and the others. His personality transitions from one of a brutal killer to that of an honorable warrior who cares deeply for those he strives to protect. He occasionally tries to repent for his former brutality, but eventually rises above his horrid memories and looks toward to the future. He is very stern and serious, not cracking jokes and goofing around as often as most of the other Z-Fighters.
During Dragon Ball Z, he is seen striving to become a powerful warrior and still hopes to surpass Goku one day. Tien despises staying on the sidelines whilst his more powerful friends and allies fight opponents far stronger than he and will always attempt to assist even if he knows that it will most likely lead to his death. Despite making new friends, Tien stays reclusive and is not very socially active, spending most of his time training to become a better fighter. Although he lets go of his grudge against Goku and the others, he is still capable of holding animosity towards people he considers unrepentant. One known person is Vegeta, whom Tien blames for almost destroying the Earth and continued to view him as an enemy when he began allying with the Z-Fighters, (despite later knowing that the Saiyan prince himself was a slave of Frieza). However, he forgives Vegeta after he proves crucial in the defeat of Kid Buu and is later seen being civil with him. Tien valiantly fights and defeats a Saibaman when the Saiyans arrive, and does battle with Nappa, during which Chiaotzu sacrifices himself in vain, causing Tien Shinhan to put all his effort into one final attack, which fails. Tien Shinhan dies a hero's death, but is revived later by Porunga. When the conflict with the Androids comes into full swing, Tien puts his life on the line numerous times when assisting his friends against the mechanical demons, most notably when using his life-force to hold Semi-Perfect Cell at bay, nearly sacrificing his own life to allow Android 16 and Android 18 to escape, thus saving the Earth from certain destruction. When Super Buu threatens Earth's existence seven years later, Tien arrives just in time to save Gohan from a certain death.
In Dragon Ball Super, Tien's personality remains mostly the same, and is brave enough to fight against the God of Destruction Beerus, Frieza's Galactic Army, and Yurin's spell-empowered minion's (including Master Roshi). Since opening his own dojo in the Universe Survival Saga, he is shown to be a serious and strict teacher, but at the same time, calmly looks forward to his student's development.
He has a unique physical composition as a throwback to his ancestors, the Three-Eyed clan; he has the ability to grow arms from his backand split into four people, as well as shoot laser beams out of his third eye. Due to being raised by Master Shen, Tien lost the ability to use the myriad powers of his third eye for good purposes. During the early years of his life, Tien entered Master Shen's Crane School. There, he learned powerful ki-based techniques such as the Solar Flare, the Dodon Ray and the Tri-Beam, and he was taught defensive techniques by Master Shen's younger brother, Mercenary Tao.
Fortuneteller Baba Saga
Main article: Fortuneteller Baba Saga
Tien and Chiaotzu first meet Goku when they are pretending to save villages from InoShikaCho by pretending to kill it. When Goku discovers that they are really con artists, he tries to expose them by making the supposedly dead beast laugh, but Tien turns the people against Goku, saying that it is Goku who is partnered with InoShikaCho instead. Tien accomplishes this through hanging InoShikaCho over a fire and telling Goku to leave the beast to burn if he was not allied with it. When the merciful Goku cuts InoShikaCho down, he is chased away from the village.
Tien Shinhan Saga
Main article: Tien Shinhan Saga
Tien's first major role in the series begins at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. As the star pupils of the Crane School, Master Shen is entering Tien and Chiaotzu to defeat the students of his rival, the Turtle Hermit Master Roshi. In the preliminary rounds, Tien Shinhan leaves Nam unconscious and nearly dead after their match in order to send a message to Goku and his friends. Tien faces little in the way of a challenge during the preliminaries and easily makes his way into the finals.Using Chiaotzu's mental powers to fix the ordering of the matches in the quarter-finals, Tien decides to first face off against Turtle student Yamcha, whom he had been exchanging hostile words with since the start of the tournament. Yamcha puts up a better fight than Tien expected, but was still not a significant threat to Tien, who not only defeated him, but went further and ended the match by needlessly breaking Yamcha's leg while he was unconscious. Soon after this fight, Tien learns of the death of his role-model Tao by the hands of Turtle student Goku and the tournament becomes more about revenge than victory.
Tien's next opponent is the winner of the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, Jackie Chun and he faces his first true challenge. Jackie Chun challenges Tien not only in physical combat, but also begins to warn him about following an evil path. With the help of the Master Shen, Tien learns that Jackie Chun is actually Master Roshi in a disguise and proceeds to use Master Roshi's signature move, the Kamehameha against him. After this, despite having shown none of his true power, Roshi concedes the match and hops out the ring. Tien proceeds to track down Master Roshi shortly afterwards to find out why he forfeited, to which Master Roshi responds by telling Tien that it is time for younger fighters, Tien included, to take his place.
Tien then proceeds to battle in the final round against Goku himself. Goku is a powerful opponent and the fight seems to be relatively even until Goku suddenly becomes unable to throw a punch or dodge an attack without becoming frozen in place. Tien quickly learns that Chiaotzu is rigging the fight under Master Shen's orders and he demands that Chiaotzu stop since he wants a fair match. Master Shen takes this as defiance and orders Tien to kill Goku, but Tien, thinking about his own desires for the first time, humbly refuses (Thus, Master Roshi's words have proven true and Tien rejects the path of an assassin). The now infuriated Master Shen orders Chiaotzu to kill both Tien and Goku, and when Chiaotzu refuses, Shen then threatens to kill him instead. Master Roshi puts an end to this by blasting Master Shen out of the stadium with a Kamehameha, allowing Tien and Goku to concentrate on their match.
After deliberately letting Goku give him a beating to make up for the beating he gave him while paralyzed, Tien and Goku continue to battle and Tien sprouts two extra arms to fight Goku, but Goku counters it when he grabs Tien's legs and holds onto them, causing Tien pain. Tien manages to throw Goku off, and they continue the fight. Tien then decides to put an end to the match and use his ultimate attack, the Tri-Beam. He warns Goku to expect and dodge the blast (as there is no way to survive being hit by it) planning to force him out of bounds instead. Tien proceeds to use the attack and destroys the entire arena. Because of his warning, Goku dodged by leaping incredibly high in the air. Tien is convinced he will win at this point, as he can fly and Goku cannot, but Goku uses one final Kamehameha to propel himself into Tien like a rocket. Both fighters then fall to the ground, Goku slightly ahead. Goku attempts to use another, smaller Kamehameha to slow himself down, but is hit by a truck and lands first. Tien lands an instant later, thus winning the tournament.
After the match, Tien receives 500,000 Zeni and offers Goku half of the prize money as he recognizes that, it was mere luck that he was the one who landed second referring to the fact Goku would have won otherwise. He also apologizes to Yamcha for using such excessive force during their fight and the two agree to meet at the next tournament. Master Roshi offers to let Tien stay at the Kame House, but Tien declines, stating that he cannot follow the teachings of another, even if he has betrayed his master.
King Piccolo Saga
Main article: King Piccolo Saga The good mood is short-lived however, as Turtle student Krillin is unexpectedly killed while separated momentarily from the group. Along with his body there was a note with the character "demon" on it. Master Roshi tells everyone that it represents an incredibly powerful Demon King, King Piccolo, who was sealed away centuries ago by Master Roshi's old master using the suicidal Evil Containment Wave technique, but is now apparently free again. On hearing this, Goku, still not fully recovered from his battle with Tien, rushes off in a rage to seek his revenge.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, Tien volunteers to help in anyway he can. He is informed of the seven Dragon Balls, which when collected summon the dragon that can grant any wish and, along with Chiaotzu and Master Roshi, is soon on a quest to retrieve them in order to have the Dragon eradicate King Piccolo. After finding several of them though, their radar which informs them of the Dragon Balls locations shows them that the remaining ones are actually coming to them, meaning King Piccolo is also seeking the Dragon Balls and is coming for theirs.
Before King Piccolo can confront them, Master Roshi unexpectedly knocks Tien out and hides him in a cave. Master Roshi plans on using the Evil Containment Wave against King Piccolo and, since Goku is thought to have already been killed, Master Roshi considers Tien to be the last line of defense for the planet in case he fails. Semi-conscious, Tien can do nothing but witnesses Master Roshi's ultimately unsuccessful stand against the powerful Demon King, and watches him die. King Piccolo wastes no time joining the Dragon Balls together to summon the Dragon and Tien, in desperation, orders Chiaotzu to quickly make a wish to destroy King Piccolo before the Demon King can make one himself. Chiaotzu tries, but is quickly killed mid-sentence from a blast by King Piccolo, an act Tien can only watch in horror. King Piccolo continues to make his wish and then destroys the Dragon, knowing it is the only thing that can stop him.
After regaining his mobility, and King Piccolo has long gone, Tien practices the Evil Containment Wave, having learned it from watching Master Roshi perform it. After many attempts, Tien has fully mastered the Evil Containment Wave and heads off to King Piccolo's location in Central City to confront the demon. After he arrives and challenges King Piccolo, he is horrified on discovering that the vessel to be King Piccolo's prison is cracked and useless from his practicing. Knowing that he will not be able to use the Evil Containment Wave, Tien decides to confront King Piccolo regardless.
King Piccolo, not seeing Tien as being worth fighting, spawns a new minion, Drum, his most powerful son yet, to take care of him. Drum quickly dominates the battle, but Tien is able to knock him down giving him the opportunity to use the Evil Containment Wave on King Piccolo. However, Drum gets in the way of the blast and before Tien can seal Drum in the Electric Rice Cooker, King Piccolo destroys it. Drum is about to finish Tien off when Goku intervenes and saves him, killing Drum with a single kick. Tien, amazed at Goku's new power, can only watch as Goku and King Piccolo then battle it out, using the last of his strength part way through their match to quickly fly in and levitate Goku out of the path of a powerful attack by King Piccolo. When the battle seems to be turning against King Piccolo, the Demon King decides to take Tien hostage in order to force Goku to allow himself to be crippled. Piccolo says that if Goku does not do what he orders, he will crush Tien's head. After King Piccolo severely damages Goku, Tien is discarded by King Piccolo, but Goku is more resilient than King Piccolo thought and uses one final attack to kill the Demon King.
With the battle over, Tien heads back to the Kame House with Goku's friends Launch, Yamcha and Bulma. He vows to train harder than ever in order to bridge the now massive gap between himself and Goku.
Piccolo Jr. Saga
Main article: Piccolo Jr. Saga
Tien keeps up his training, redoubling his efforts after learning that Goku is being trained by Kami, Guardian of the Earth. With the dragon restored, a wish is made to bring all those killed by King Piccolo back to life. Tien then trains with Yamcha and the newly resurrected Krillin and Chiaotzu until they are informed by Master Roshi that, to be able to compete with Goku, they are going to need to find better ways to train than are available at the Kame House. They all head to Korin Tower and train with Korin before each going their own separate way.
Three years after King Piccolo's defeat, Tien, along with Yamcha, Chiaotzu and Krillin, return to compete in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. He is somewhat surprised to see the now teenaged Goku and hopeful that he is even more powerful than before. His real shock, however, is seeing Piccolo Jr., and realizing that something of the Demon King has survived. Goku asks him to remain silent about the matter for the time, not wishing to create a panic.
When the lots are drawn up to determine the order of the fights, Tien again has Chiaotzu manipulate the cards so that none of the group (Tien, Yamcha, Goku, Chiaotzu and Krillin) or Piccolo Jr. fight each other in the preliminaries.
The early matches seem to be going as usual, with the group quickly dispatching their foes. Tien then receives a horrible sense of something happening to Chiaotzu. He races to the scene and finds Chiaotzu heavily wounded and unconscious, his opponent turning out to be the now cybernetic Mercenary Tao, greatly surprising Tien, who thought Tao to be dead. Tao explains that after his seeming death by Goku, he was rebuilt into the half-man half-machine before them, and that he seeks revenge on both Goku and the "traitor" Tien. Tien claims he has not betrayed Shen, but realized Shen's teachings were wrong. Tien gladly accepts his challenge, wanting to avenge Chiaotzu.
They get their wish as Tien and Mercenary Tao are the first of the eight finalists to fight. After a long silence, Tao lunges at Tien, but Tien quickly sidesteps and counters, knocking Tao to the ground. Tien then states that he does not want to embarrass Tao, since he taught him how to fight. Tien also forgives Mercenary Tao for what he did to Chiaotzu and tells him to forfeit. Tao refuses this and presses on his assault, though he is clearly outclassed by Tien, who dominates the whole battle. After Tien grabs one of Tao's wrists and attempts to escort him off the ring, the cyborg pulls a surprise maneuver and detaches his mechanical hand, revealing a knife that he quickly uses to slash Tien, scarring him permanently. Though disqualified for use of a weapon, Tao does not care, as he only participated in the tournament to kill Tien and Goku. Tao quickly drops his other hand to reveal a cannon and fires a Super Dodon Wave at Tien, claiming Tien has no chance of survival. Tien however nullifies the large blast with his Kiai and then proceeds to defeat Tao with a single punch to the gut. He takes Tao's unconscious body out of bounds and presents it to the watching Master Shen, telling him to take his brother and leave, and to never bother him again.
Tien's next fight is the one he has been waiting for, a rematch against Goku. The battle starts with numerous quick sparrings and shows to be fairly even, but with Tien having an edge in raw speed. This changes after Goku removes his weighted clothing though, making Goku fast enough to steal Tien's belt without Tien even noticing; resulting in Tien's boxers to be exposed to the audience. Realizing that he will not be able to defeat Goku physically, Tien uses a new technique he has created, the Multi-Form, and splits into four identical copies of himself. The Tiens disperse to the four corners of the ring, each one then firing a Ki Blast Cannon at the center, where Goku is, resulting in a large explosion which Goku has to leap to avoid.
The Tiens quickly fire again, this time from their third eyes, at Goku, sending him crashing back to the ring. The Tiens warn Goku to give up before he gets hurt, but he appears unfazed by their attacks, and states they will not be able to pull off that trick again, which they then promptly attempt. Goku dodges the beams this time though, and uses the Solar Flare against them, blinding the Tiens. He then quickly dispatches each of them, causing them to revert to the single being. Goku states that the new technique Tien has a critical weakness, as Tien's power is divided amongst the duplicates. With the fight over, Tien looks forward to their next rematch, suspecting that Goku was still holding quite a bit back.
Tien plays little role in following battles, he can only watch as Goku fights the seemingly all-powerful Piccolo Jr. He offers his assistance at several points, but is denied by Goku who wants to fight the demon alone, though he does open the Sealed Flask, which Piccolo Jr. used to trap Kami, after Goku tosses it to him. Tien also helps to evacuate their friends, creating a pit in the earth for them to take shelter from the Hyper Explosive Demon Wave, one of Piccolo Jr.'s more devastating attacks.
When it looks like Goku has been beaten, him having most of his limbs broken and with Piccolo Jr. close to finishing him off, Tien reluctantly accepts the order from Kami to kill the elderly guardian, thus also killing Piccolo Jr. He is stopped by Goku though, who says there will be no need for such extreme measures, he then evades the demon's onslaught and ends up defeating him with a surprise attack. After Piccolo Jr. is defeated, Tien joins in on the tournament victory celebration, and even shares a couple of laughs with Goku and Roshi. He is also among with the others very shocked over Goku's decision to give the demon a Senzu Bean to heal his wounds. Only a few moments after this, Kami asks Tien if he is expecting a visitor, and to his surprise he sees Chiaotzu flying towards him with a bandage warped around his head, and he is very happy to see that his best friend is alive and well. He then watches as Goku and Chi-Chi flies away from the World Tournament area on the Flying Nimbus.
Dragon Ball Z
Main article: Saiyan SagaFive years after the tournament, Tien learns that Goku has died in battle against an amazingly powerful warrior called Raditz, a Saiyan who was Goku's older brother. Even more disturbing is that two more Saiyans, both more powerful than Raditz, are on their way to Earth and will be there in about one year.
In the early days, the wild Launch developed a bit of an infatuation with Tien, and she continues to chase him wherever he goes. Tien wastes no time, and is invited, along with Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Yajirobe and Krillin, to train at Kami's Lookout so they can aid Goku when he is wished back to life in a year, after he completes his training with King Kai. In filler during this period, Tien and the other Z-Fighters on Earth fight Shorty and Scarface, two illusion Saiyans they met on Planet Vegeta when using the Pendulum Room at Kami's Lookout to go back in time. Tien and his friends are overpowered greatly by the Saiyans, before they are transferred back to Kami's Lookout. The experience frightens Tien and the others, so they continue to train as hard as they possibly can.
When the Saiyans finally do arrive, the Z-Fighters decide to hold them off until Goku can arrive. Tien and Chiaotzu eventually find the Saiyans, Piccolo, Gohan, and Krillin's location, and join them, soon followed by Yamcha. Vegeta, deciding to toy with his opponents, has Nappa grow several Saibamen in the soil so that he can hold a small challenge. Knowing that they have to buy time, the Z-Fighters agree to this, and Tien volunteers to go first. He manages to quickly defeat the vicious creature (in two hits to be precise), which causes Vegeta to destroy it for its severe incompetence.
After all the Saibamen are killed, Nappa decides to enter the fray himself, taking on Tien as his first opponent. Tien is no match for the giant warrior, and has his left arm ripped off in a single hit. Immediately, Tien tries to use levitation to escape, but is quickly smashed to the floor in the second hit. Seeing this, Chiaotzu sacrifices himself with a a self-destruction attack against Nappa, but it was in vain as Nappa remains unharmed and starts to fight with the now ally Piccolo and Goku's son, Gohan.
Tien, enraged by the death of Chiaotzu, puts all his remaining strength into one final Tri-beam through his remaining right hand, killing himself from exhaustion in the process. The attack manages to do serious damage to Nappa's armor, but does not seriously damage the Saiyan warrior. In the anime however, Nappa goes as far as to praise Tien's efforts, claiming that had his aim been better, it would have seriously injured him. The attempt also shocked Vegeta, as he was the one to warn Nappa of its power and stating that if he had not warned Nappa, it could have killed him.
Because of the influence of Kami, after he perished, Tien was allowed to train on King Kai's planet in the Other World as Goku did earlier. Joining him were the other warriors who also perished in the battle against the Saiyans, Chiaotzu, Piccolo and Yamcha. On King Kai's planet, King Kai contacts Goku and tells him that his friends all crossed Snake Way in a far shorter time than he did, and that they all requested for tougher training than what Goku had received. Prior to beginning his training with King Kai, Tien has difficulty making King Kai laugh during the prerequisite joke-telling test. In order to finally deliver a successful joke, Tien must literally power up and use the Multi-Form technique as he aggressively declares "You can tune a piano, but you can't tune a (tuna) fish" in the English version, and "You think what's up your nose is a secret but it's not (snot)" in the Japanese dub.
Tien, along with Chiaotzu and Yamcha, remains on King Kai's planet and learns of everyone's (Goku, Vegeta, Krillin, Gohan, Dende and Piccolo fused with Nail) mighty struggle with the evil tyrant Frieza on Namek. While there, in a filler scenario, King Kai calls upon the deceased Ginyu Force (excluding Captain Ginyu) to challenge Tien, Yamcha and Chiaotzu. Tien takes on both Jeice and Burter, and disposes of them rather quickly and easily, showing off how much stronger he had gotten. Knowing the Ginyu Force at one time defeated Vegeta, gave them all a sense of pride. Tien is eventually wished back to life along with Chiaotzu by a wish made to Porunga. Once back on Earth, Tien and Chiaotzu go into solitude, training in the mountains.
A year later, while Tien and Chiaotzu are training in the mountains, they are interrupted when they sense two powerful evil energies heading towards Earth. They then fly to the location of where the power is coming from. Both Tien and Chiaotzu are surprised to find Vegeta (who was somewhat reformed during the crisis on Namek and now resides on Earth with Bulma) and the other Z-Fighters who inform them that the power they are detecting is Frieza's, who somehow survived Namek's destruction. When Frieza does land, he is quickly dispatched by an unknown mysterious youth (Future Trunks). Piccolo, overhearing the young Super Saiyan's private conversation with Goku, tells everyone the warning that two incredibly powerful Androids will attack in three years time and defeat everyone with the exception of Gohan (and, of course, Future Trunks, but Piccolo does not make mention of the youth in order to keep his identity a secret). During the three years of training, Tien trains intensively alongside Chiaotzu across the Earth and his power increases.
"Whatever it costs me, I will fight."
The three years soon pass and the Z-Fighters head to the location where the androids soon appear. Tien tells the other Z-Fighters that he left Chiaotzu behind as he felt that even though they trained, he would not have been able to keep up in the battle. Enraged after witnessing Android 20 destroys half of the city where they appeared, Goku, Piccolo, and Tien fly off to a different location with the Androids following them. Tien notices that Goku is somehow already tired and out of breath just by flying. It is revealed that Goku's deadly heart virus is the cause of this abnormal lack of energy.Not too long after this, Future Trunks arrives to the battlefield, bringing them the shocking news that the Android pair that they have been fighting with, are not the ones that he warned them about. Krillin, Piccolo and Tien head off after Android 20 (who is revealed to be Dr. Gero), in search for his lab. Tien himself does not get the opportunity to do any fighting until Android 16, Android 17, and Android 18 appear. He attacks Android 17, but is quickly over-powered by him, and ends up being choked until he is dropped.
When the Androids leave to continue their pursuit of Goku, who is recovering from a heart disease, Tien goes off with Chiaotzu to train and become powerful enough to help against this new threat. He is soon interrupted from this to lend his aid in hunting for the new menace, Cell.
Due to how great the monster is at hiding its energy, the hunt for it seems rather impossible. A couple days later Tien makes a visit to Master Roshi to check up on Goku's health. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the androids shows up asks where they are hiding Goku. Piccolo tell them that they will have to force it out of him. Not too long after the battle starts, Tien senses Cell's energy nearby. Tien decides to go after Cell, saying that it is under his dignity to just be a bystander.
Tien quickly catches up with Imperfect Cell, and witnesses his battle against the combined force of Piccolo and Android 17. Imperfect Cell defeats Piccolo though. When Imperfect Cell gets up, after being shot by Android 16, Tien tries to warn Android 17, but Android 17 ends up absorbed. This allows Imperfect Cell to become Semi-Perfect Cell. Semi-Perfect Cell then makes his move to absorb Android 18 as well, but is held off by Tien, who uses his Neo Tri-Beam to hold Semi-Perfect Cell in place. This maneuver stops Cell from pursuing Android 18 for some time, but slowly drains Tien's life force. Tien uses every ounce of energy he has, which ends in Tien passing out. Goku arrives and relieves the thoroughly drained Tien before he is destroyed by Semi-Perfect Cell.
When Perfect Cell declares his Cell Games, Tien decides to remain on the sidelines out of the fight; he even is given the chance to enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, but declines the invitation stating he has no chance against Cell. He does however get thrown into the mix when Perfect Cell spawns seven Cell Juniors to torment the Z-Fighters, in an effort to make Gohan angry. Despite a severe beating by the small creatures, he does get in a hit with Yamcha while saving Goku (anime only). He and the other Z-Fighters soon saved from the Cell Jr. by Gohan, who turned Super Saiyan 2.
During Gohan's final battle with Super Perfect Cell, Tien vows not to let Gohan die as he feels guilty for letting Goku sacrifice himself (especially since Goku was largely the reason he trained extensively at martial arts). Tien, Piccolo, Yamcha, and Krillin all repeatedly fire energy blasts at Cell from behind in order to aid Gohan. The Z-Fighters are eventually brushed aside by Cell who is then finally defeated by Gohan with the help of an apologetic Vegeta. At Kami's Lookout, Tien tells the other Z-Fighters that they will most likely never meet again (which stays true for about 7 years). Saying farewell, he flies into the distance.
Majin Buu Saga
"Hardly recognize you Gohan. You've changed a lot, inside and out, good for you. But I see Majin Buu did some changing too!"
Seven years later, Tien Shinhan makes an appearance with Chiaotzu as their training in the mountains is interrupted when they both sense Goku transforming into his Super Saiyan 3 form, both shocked by the power.
Tien later reappears alongside Chiaotzu whilst they are training in the mountains. Here, himself and Chiaotzu manage to evade being hit by Super Buu's Human Extinction Attack, which was used to exterminate the population of Earth. They then briefly examine the small craters left behind by Super Buu's attack.
When Tien finally intervenes into the main battle, he saves Mr. Satan, Gohan, Dende and Bee from being killed by Super Buu (w/ Gotenks absorbed). Tien's strength appears to have increased dramasticly, but due to the enormous power differences he's unable to make any further impacts in the battle. He fires a Tri-Beam at Buu, but is unable to damage the monster at all. After being cut in half by Goku, Buu's legs land next to Tien, who is dispatched after a single sucker kick from Super Buu.
When the Earth was destroyed by Kid Buu, Tien and Chiaotzu are also killed in the process. Once everyone is revived by the Namekian Dragon Balls, he and Chiaotzu later give their energy to Goku's Super Spirit Bomb so that he can kill Kid Buu. He is later seen at a party at Bulma's house.
After the end of the saga, stoic Tien Shinhan mainly does farming in addition to his training. He can split into multiple bodies and grow extra arms, so harvesting the crops goes quickly. He is found by Launch, who fell in love with him at first sight and had been constantly pursuing his whereabouts, once again and even reluctantly lives together with her. As she is not cut out for farming and Tien has no interest in romance, she leaves after just a few days. After that, Launch apparently stops in from time to time. Though Tien gave her the cold shoulder, she still tenaciously persisted and eventually she and Tien got together as she wanted.
Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!
Main article: Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!Two years after Kid Buu's defeat, Tien and Chiaotzu attend Mr. Satan's banquet at Mr. Satan's newly made hotel which celebrate Buu's defeat. The celebration is crashed by a brother duo, Abo and Cado, who are after Vegeta's brother, Tarble. The brothers are challenged by Trunks and Goten but they fail in defeating them. The brothers, merged as Aka, unleash a technique that destroyed the hotel. Aka is then defeated by Goku with a Kamehameha. After this encounter, they continue their feast.
Tien Shinhan (along with Chiaotzu) only appears in the manga version, in the anime version he wasn't seen or mentioned.
Dragon Ball Super
God of Destruction Beerus Saga
Main article: God of Destruction Beerus Saga
"His strength, it's incredible."
While flying, they see Krillin, Android 18, Marron, Yamcha, and Puar. Tien Shinhan seems to be enjoying the party like everyone else. After the battle between Majin Buu and Beerus, Tien Shinhan along with Android 18 and Piccolo attempt to stop Beerus. Their attacks were mainly being dodged until Beerus unleashed a kiai wiping out the three. After being defeated, Tien Shinhan realizes how strong Beerus is. After Vegeta sees Bulma get hit by Beerus and goes fully enraged, Tien Shinhan is amazed by Vegeta's power increase. Time has passed and Oolong is in a rock-paper-scissors math with Beerus. Oolong loses and Beerus's gets to destroy the Earth. Tien is frustrated that Beerus is going to blow up the Earth but Goku arrives and asks for time to find out more about the Super Saiyan God. He later watches the battle between Goku and Beerus. In the end, Beerus still beats Goku and spares the lives on Earth.
Golden Frieza Saga
Main article: Golden Frieza Saga
"That cold-blooded monster, he's gonna pay for this!"
Four months later, Tien Shinhan heads towards North City where Frieza has arrived with his 1,000 soldiers and Frieza destroyed it using a Death Beam. When Tien Shinhan lands, he tells Gohan and Piccolo that he did not want Chiaotzu to help because he thought it was too dangerous for him. He, along with Gohan, Master Roshi, Jaco, Piccolo, and Krillin battle Frieza's army. After taking out several enemies, Roshi suggests that they part so they would not be overrun. Tien Shinhan leads his group of soldiers into a cave and takes them on without breaking a sweat, killing at least 50 of them with a single Tri-Beam.
After that, Tien Shinhan was taken out by Captain Ginyu, who possessed Tagoma's body. After the Galactic Frieza Army was finished, Tien Shinhan takes a Senzu Bean from Krillin. Tien Shinhan watches the fight between Goku and Frieza and later Vegeta who steps in after Goku is taken out. After Frieza destroys the Earth as a last-ditch effort, Tien Shinhan gets protected by Whis, along with the others. Whis undoes time for Goku, so he can be able to kill Frieza and send him back to Hell. He is later seen at a party, with the other Z-fighters who participated in the fight, eating and talking with Roshi and Vegeta.
Universe 6 Saga
Main article: Universe 6 Saga
Tien Shinhan travels with Goku and the rest of their group to the Nameless Planet where the Universe 6 and 7 Gods of Destruction Selection Martial Arts Competition is being held and they are taken there in Whis' box. After two hours and forty-five minutes of traveling, they arrive on the nameless star. Tien Shinhan is a bystander and sits in the stands while he watches the tournament.
"Future" Trunks Saga
Main article: "Future" Trunks SagaTien Shinhan (along with Chiaotzu) was mentioned by Krillin concerning their absence and Yamcha explains that he left them behind because he felt that they couldn't keep up in the game of baseball.
Universe Survival Saga
Sometime prior to this saga, Tien Shinhan has opened up his own martial arts school called the Tenshin-Style Dojo. Goku comes over to pays Tien a visit after he gets the news from Oolong that Master Roshi is over at the new martial arts Dojo that Tien has opened. Tien was seen overlooking his students progress, while Roshi was watching a bit disappointed over the fact there are no young girls here. Meanwhile, a mysterious beautiful girl that calls herself Yurin, visits the dojo in order to get trained by Tien (this would later turn out to be a lie, as she in fact holds a grudge against him).
Goku invites him to participate in the Tournament of Power, Tien refuses at first to join because he didn't want to leave behind his students and still refuses when Goku lies about a prize money. But then his students (under the effect of Yurin's mind control) start attacking the village, prompting Tien, Master Roshi, and Goku to rush over and neutralize the threat. He later fights against Master Roshi (strength significantly increased while under Yurin's spell), and loses, in which Goku fights and defeats the Turtle-Hermit. After Yurin's plans were foiled, Tien decides to take her on as a student, seeing her genuine desire to become strong, which she accepts. Tien (along with Master Roshi) had soon decided to participate in the Tournament of Power to use the prize money to rebuild his dojo.
Tien Shinhan later participates in a sparring session with Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan in order to help Gohan unleash his full potential. Although Tien thought Goku was being too harsh, and that Gohan and Goku were taking things way too seriously, Gohan was successful in unlocking his extended powers. After meeting up at Capsule Corp. to leave for the tournament, Gohan is forced to confess there is no prize money and the Universe will be erased if they lose, and everyone angrily confronts Goku. Bulma resolves this by promising to pay everyone money for participating.
After Goku and Frieza arrive, Tien Shinhan and the others are transported by Whis to the World of Void. After the Tournament began, Tien stays at the center alongside Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, and Master Roshi, the group are confronted by Lavender, Botamo, Shosa, Comfrey and one other fighter; Tien uses the Solar Flare to blind them while Gohan and the others launched an assault (which did no damage at all).
Dragon Ball GT
Main article: Baby Saga
Tien Shinhan is seen when the Earth is about to explode from the work of the Black Star Dragon Balls. At the end of the episode, he is attending a party at Bulma's house with Chiaotzu and the others.
Shadow Dragon Saga
Main article: Shadow Dragon Saga
Bardock - The Father of Goku
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of GokuTien Shinhan appears in Bardock's vision of the future.
Main article: Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure
Tien is a bodyguard of Mifan's Emperor, Chiaotzu. However, he is part of a plan with Master Shen and Tao Paipai to take over the kingdom. Tien has stolen doll Ran Ran from Chiaotzu's room and takes advantage of collecting the Dragon Balls for finding Ran Ran to take over Mifan. But, he gradually gets friendship with Chiaotzu. At the night before the tournament, Chiaotzu feels fear and tells Tien his nightmare.
At the next day, when Bora is killed by Tao Paipai, Tien and Shen take over the government. They command Mifan's army to arrest Master Roshi and Krillin. Tien beats Master Roshi with a single hit. Shen orders Tien to kill Chiaotzu but Tien refuses to do this. Shen shoots Dodon ray at Tien, Tien blows him away with his Tri-beam. After all, Tien gives Ran Ran back to Chiaotzu. Chiaotzu asks him that if he could stay with Chiaotzu.
The Tree of Might
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of MightTien appears to help Goku, Yamcha, Krillin and Chiaotzu investigate and battle with Turles's henchmen. He and the others are defeated, except Goku. He reappears once again with the other Z Fighters to defend Goku near the end of the movie.
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound
Tien participates in the Intergalactic World Tournament along with Gohan, Krillin, Yamcha, Piccolo and Future Trunks. He fights Future Trunks in the semi-finals until Trunks goes Super Saiyan and defeats him. Then, Tien goes to the Battle zone to help Gohan against Bojack's gang along with Yamcha. He tries to hit Bujin but he is unsuccessful. Tien is easily beaten with two hits.
Battle of Gods
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of GodsTien participated Bulma's 38th birthday party but when Beerus got angered by Majin Buu he tried to stop the god but was quickly defeated, He later watched Goku become a Super Sayian God to fight Beerus then afterwards he later enjoyed the rest of Bulma's party.
Main articles: Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ - Special One ShotTien (without Chiaotzu) came to help the Z-Fighters when Frieza came to earth with nearly thousands of soldiers, he was later saved by Whis when Frieza blew up the planet taking Vegeta, Bulma, Chi-Chi, Android 18 and many others with him.
Other Dragon Ball stories
Dragon Ball Online
Main article: Dragon Ball Online After the release of Gohan's book, Groundbreaking Science, which informed Earth's general populous of advanced martial arts and ki control, Humans took great interest in fighting. Having witnessed the Super Spirit Bomb that Goku used to defeat Kid Buu, Tien Shinhan realized that it was possible for an individual to defeat even the strongest opponent by raising their power to the limits and gathering tremendous amounts of ki for a powerful enough spiritual attack. With his newfound belief, Tien opens the New Crane School to educate the planet's new generation of warriors. Tien developed techniques that revolved around strategically collecting ki and unleashing bursts of intense energy with precise timing, believing that it is more important to develop aggressive attacks by controlling ki than it is to provide support.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Main article: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 At Conton City in Age 852, Tien offers to train the Future Warrior in the New Crane School style of martial arts if they wish to train under Tien as a student. Tien mentions that the New Crane Schools techniques he teaches are improved versions of techniques he learned from his time as a student of Crane School.
Main article: List of Power Levels
- Manga and Anime
Tien Shinhan is one of the strongest humans on Earth in the series. His power level is 180 during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament and 250 in the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. After training at Kami's Lookout for a year, his power level rises to 1,830.
In anime filler of the Frieza Saga, while training on King Kai's planet; Tien (working with both Chiaotzu and Yamcha) was able to give Piccolo a hard time during the sparring match. Later he was able to fight and defeat both Jeice and Burter of the Ginyu Force, despite being double-teamed.
In the Android Saga Tien manages to dodge Dr. Gero's eye beams. Later upon seeing the weakened Super Saiyan Goku, Tien is shocked at his power and states that the dimensions of their power are too far apart. When attempting to attack Android 17 alongside Piccolo, Tien is knocked down in one blow, and then choked into unconsciousness. Later Tien proves to be able to hold off Semi-Perfect Cell using his Neo Tri-Beam. He is utterly decimated by a Cell Jr. when the small Bio-Androids attack, and only survives because the Cell Juniors were suppressing their power as they were ordered not to kill the Z-Fighters. Nevertheless, Tien was able to land a single punch  on the Cell Jr. that he was fighting; thus making him, Piccolo, Trunks and Vegeta, the only warriors able to even hit the little monsters.
In the Majin Buu Saga, Tien appears to have improved, as his Tri-Beam is able to stop a finger beam from Super Buu (with Gotenks and Piccolo absorbed). Tien is later knocked out by Buu with one surprise kick to the head as Tien was off guard, though Buu refers to Tien as a legendary fighter and it is noted that Buu took Tien out in one hit to try and intimidate Goku into losing hope.
In Dragon Ball Super, Tien Shinhan attacks Beerus alongside Piccolo and Android 18, but the three are easily beaten by the God of Destrution. By the time of the Golden Frieza Saga, Tien Shinhan has strength enough to take out many of Frieza's soldiers. Nonetheless, he is no match for Shisami and Tagoma (the latter having powered up greatly thanks to training with Frieza). After Tagoma's body has been taken by Captain Ginyu, Tien gets beaten easily with a quick punch. In the manga version of Resurrection ‘F’ Tien defeats the Frieza Soldiers with even greater ease, and does not take any damage at all during the battle, he also never has to use his Tri-Beam.
In the Universe Survival Saga, while fighting against his own students, whom were under Yurin's mind control (a spell that boosts their power by several folds), he subdued some of them with relative ease (although he was unable to defeat the mind controlled Master Roshi) He had held back a great deal of his strength, because he though Roshi was under Yurin's control, and that he "was still Master Roshi." However, Tien decides to be more serious when Roshi goes into his Max Power state. Tien used his Four Witches Technique and charged at Roshi but was stunned when Roshi counted him by using his Thunder Shock Surprise. Goku stated that Roshi must have been doing secret training and had hidden his true power. Later when working with Goku against Gohan and Piccolo, Tien was easily overpowered by the half-Saiyan.
After the Tournament of Power began, Tien Shinhan chose to stay alongside Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, and Master Roshi to fend off their opponents. A team assault by them did no damage to Botamo, Lavender, Comfrey, Shosa and one other fighter.
In Mystical Adventure, Tien defeats Master Roshi in a single hit. His Tri-Beam also blows away Master Shen.
In The Tree of Might, Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu are both defeated easily by Rasin and Lakasei but were shown to have somewhat affected them when firing blasts together. Rasin had a power level of 8,000 and Lakasei had a power level of 7,600. Tien had not yet trained under King Kai (the movie was supposed to take place after Vegeta's defeat but before Namek, which is an inconsistency because Tien along with Chiaotzu, Yamcha, and Piccolo are alive).
During the Intergalactic Tournament in Bojack Unbound, Tien Shinhan is shown to fight on par against Future Trunks, a Saiyan/Human hybrid who trained twice in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, until the latter transformed into a Super Saiyan and defeats him. Later on when confronting the Galaxy Soldiers, Tien was easily beaten in two hits by Bujin.
In Battle of Gods Tien faces Beerus alongside Android 18 and Piccolo, but is easily thrown aside by him. In Resurrection F, Tien could take on several of Frieza's Soldiers, however he did later appear to have gotten very minor injuries and took a Senzu Bean afterwards. He (like Krillin and Master Roshi) would not be a match against Frieza's elite soldier Shisami.
- Statements by authors and guidebooks
Toshio Yoshitaka, a script writer for Dragon Ball Super, stated that he believed Roshi was weaker than Tien Shinhan, and only won through temporarily getting stronger via witchcraft, though he was not a writer for the episode in question and this was simply his opinion.
Main article: List of techniques used by Tien Shinhan
Main article: Tiencha
- Japanese: Hirotaka Suzuoki (Dragon Ball; Dragon Ball Z; Games 1995, 2002-2007), Kōichi Yamadera (Dragon Ball Z episodes 82 and 84), Mitsuaki Madono (Games 2008-2009), Hikaru Midorikawa (Dragon Ball Kai; Games 2009–present)
- English dubs:
- Harmony Gold dub: Eddie Frierson (DB movie 3)
- Ocean Group dub: Matt Smith (Dragon Ball Z)
- Funimation dub: Chris Cason (episodes 68-107 [54-92 edited]), John Burgmeier (108-291 [93-276 edited]; 1-107 remastered; and movies and video games)
- Blue Water dub: Brendan Hunter
- AB Group dub: Doug Rand (DBZ movie 3), David Gasman (movie 9), Sharon Mann (Gohan and Trunks)
- Bang Zoom! dub: Ray Chase
- Creative Products Corporation dub: Richard Jonson
- Latin American Dub: Ismael Larumbe Jr.
- Catalan Dub: Joan Pera (DB and Z), Jordi Hurtado (2nd voice in DBZ), Josep Maria Mas (DBZ Movie 9), Dani Albiac (DBZ Kai)
- Valencian Dub: Alfred Pico
- Italian Dub: Claudio Ridolfo(DB and Z, movie),Roberto Del Giudice(dynamic dub DB movie 3,movie 6,movie 12 )
- Portuguese Dub: Ricardo Spínola
- Brazilian Portuguese dub: Alexandre Marconatto, Afonso Amajones (DB Kai)
- Hungarian Dub: István Wohlmuth
- Polish Dub: Leszek Zduń
- Hebrew Dub: Shmil Ben-Ari
- Thai dub: Ithipol Mameeked (DB and DBZ- first episodes) Thanakrit Jenklongtham (2nd voice)
- Greek dub: Giannis Papaioannou
- Serbian dub: Dragan Vujić (Old Serbian dub) Peda Damnjanović (New Serbian dub)
- French dub: Georges Atlas (Dragon Ball), Georges Lycan (Dragon Ball Z), Antoine Nouel (Dragon Ball Z Kai)
- German dub: Jullien Haggege
- Spanish dub: José Antonio Gavira (DB ep 82-85); Daniel Palacios
- Basque dub: Kepa Cueto
- Galician Dub: Anton Pazos (DB and Z); Dámaso Domínguez (Z eps 245, 256, 267, 268 and 285); Julio Lorenzo (DBZ Kai)
- Tagalog Dub: Robert Brilliantes
- Tien Shinhan's Japanese name pun is tenshindon, a quasi-Chinese dish actually invented in Japan and consisting of a crabmeat omelet over rice. It gets its name from the fact that it was originally made using high-quality rice. The character’s name is written in kanji (天津飯) with a furigana reading (テンシンハン, Tenshinhan).
- However, the "tien" part in the English dub is mainly modelled after the Mandarin/pinyin pronunciation of the kanji/Chinese character for "sky/heaven" ("Tee-ean" as opposed to "Tee-ah-n"). The proper pinyin reading for his name due to having Chinese characters as its base is Tianjinfan/Tiānjīnfàn.
- Tien supposedly has had hair, as Master Shen states that he shaves his head.
- At the end of the episode "Full-Moon Vengeance", due to an animation error Tien is briefly seen without his third eye when Chiaotzu leaves to enter the ring.
- The scar on Tien's chest is from his fight with Mercenary Tao in the 23rd World Tournament. Oddly, it never healed, even with the aid of any Senzu Bean he ate after the tournament.
- Tien is one of the most notable characters who does not appear in Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!. This was done because his original voice actor, Hirotaka Suzuoki, had died 2 years earlier, although this can easily be explained story-wise by Tien and Chiaotzu's reclusive nature. He appears with Chiaotzu in the opening and is briefly mentioned when Gotenks utilizes his Volleyball Attack technique in battle against Aka. However, they are included in the manga adaptation.
- In Dragon Ball Forever's poll of the top 20 best characters, he was voted number 16 by Japanese fans. This is above Bulma, Android 17, Yajirobe and Videl.
- Tien Shinhan's hobby is playing volleyball with Chiaotzu.
- Tien Shinhan favorite foods are jiaozi and shumai.
- Tien Shinhan's favorite vehicle is a llama and ostrich.
- In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, while you are doing a training session with Tien, Yamcha will state that "Tien is doing this to just impress Launch".
- Tien Shinhan is the only Earthling character in the series to fight against Beerus the Destroyer.
- In Xenoverse 2, if the Future Warrior talks to Whis while having Tien as their instructor, Whis will say that Tien is very brave to fight against Beerus and hopes that they will be as brave as him.
Main article: Tien Shinhan/Gallery
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Daizenshuu 4, 1995
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Daizenshuu 7, 1996
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Dragon Ball: Super Exciting Guide, 2009
- ↑ Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy, 1997
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Interview with Akira Toriyama, Mandō Kobayashi, March 24, 2013
- ↑ Dragon Ball Online, 2010
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Dragon Ball Forever, 2004
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 153, "Sacrifice"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II, 2003
- ↑ 
- ↑ Dragon Ball episode 136, "Tien Shinhan vs. Mercenary Tao"
- ↑ Dragon Ball episode 86, "Then There Were Eight"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z manga Vol. 06, p. 119, King Kai states to Goku that Tien, Chiaotzu, Piccolo and Yamcha all want tougher training than he had. ISBN 1569319359
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z manga Vol. 24, p. 25 ISBN 1421502739
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, 2008
- ↑ "Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ - Special One Shot" Chapter 1
- ↑ Dragon Ball GT episode 40, "Piccolo's Decision"
- ↑ DBS writer Yoshitaka comment