One of the things that we know about Dragon Ball is that there are a lot of powerful secondary characters that are almost just as strong as Goku. In that regard, his son, Gohan, is pretty strong and was considered the strongest out of all the good guys during certain points in the storyline. Some even claim that he may even be stronger than Vegeta. So, is Gohan really stronger than Vegeta?
Gohan isn’t necessarily stronger than Vegeta, but his potential is higher. We know that Gohan’s innate potential has always been higher than everyone else’s but is hindered by his lack of training. However, he did surpass Vegeta a few times, only for Vegeta to train harder and surpass him again.
The thing about Gohan is that fans were always given the impression that he is a symbol of wasted potential due to his peaceful nature and lack of the Saiyan love of fighting. In that regard, while he may be stronger than Vegeta in terms of potential, the Saiyan prince always trained harder to eventually become stronger. Now, let’s look at this discussion in greater detail.
Is Gohan Really Stronger Than Vegeta?
Ever since Gohan was introduced as a very young boy during the early part of the Dragon Ball Z anime, it was already made clear that he was innately strong and had the potential to become stronger than his own father, who we know is incredibly strong. That was why Goku trained Gohan hard enough during the Cell Saga, as he understood that his son was the only one who could become strong enough in such a short time to defeat Cell. And he did so when he became the first person to achieve the Super Saiyan 2 transformation.
But while Gohan was always regarded as a powerful character, the one character that is often regarded as a close second to Goku’s own strength was Vegeta. In fact, in Dragon Ball Super, much of the storyline revolves around the never-ending quest of both Goku and Vegeta to become the strongest, as they often train with Whis to become strong enough to surpass Beerus. But even though Goku and Vegeta almost always stalemated one another, we know that Goku is stronger because he has access to the Perfected Ultra Instinct form.
As such, Vegeta was always seen as a close second to Goku regarding the good guys in Dragon Ball. Nevertheless, some people say Vegeta isn’t even second to Goku among the good guys because Gohan might be stronger than him. So, is it really true that Gohan is stronger than Vegeta?
Gohan always had the potential to be stronger than Vegeta or even Goku. In fact, out of all of the Saiyans we’ve seen so far (other than Broly), Gohan progressed faster than any of them as he can become incredibly strong in just a hurry, especially when he remembers that his innate potential is through the roof. That happened during the Cell Saga, the Buu Saga, and the Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie.
During the Cell Saga, Gohan progressed so quickly that he awakened Super Saiyan 2 ahead of everyone else and overpowered Cell with that transformation, while Vegeta couldn’t even do anything against Cell’s perfect form. This was when Gohan was stronger than any of the good guys in Dragon Ball.
Then, the Supreme Kai awakened Gohan’s innate potential during the Buu Saga. This allowed him to awaken a form beyond his Super Saiyan transformation but it isn’t exactly a Super Saiyan state. People often called this Mystic or Ultimate Gohan, as he was stronger than all of the other non-fusion (Buu included) characters in Dragon Ball. Yes, he was stronger than Vegeta and even Super Saiyan 3 Goku.
Finally, during the events of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Gohan awakened an even more powerful transformation that allowed him to go beyond his limits. Known as Gohan Beast, he was able to quickly defeat Cell Max without any trouble at all. By his estimation, he said that neither Goku nor Vegeta could have defeated Cell Max. And Akira Toriyama, the author of Dragon Ball, confirmed that Gohan was the strongest good guy at that time.
This means that Gohan was stronger at certain points in his lifetime than Vegeta or even Goku. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is stronger than Vegeta. And that’s because Vegeta surpassed him at numerous points in the storyline.
After Gohan defeated Cell, he slacked off on his training. He lost some ground to Vegeta, who became stronger than him during the earlier part of the Buu Saga, especially after the Saiyan prince allowed himself to obtain powers from Babidi. While Gohan was the strongest character at the end of Dragon Ball Z, he slacked off once again and struggled to achieve Super Saiyan when Frieza returned. At that time, Vegeta was far stronger than him.
When Vegeta unlocked Super Saiyan Blue Evolved, the gap between him and Gohan’s Mystic or Potential Unleashed form was now wider. However, Gohan unlocked his Beast form, which is probably on par with the manga’s strongest forms of Goku and Vegeta.
In that regard, Gohan was never really stronger than Vegeta because Vegeta was stronger than him throughout most of the storyline, only for Gohan to surpass or match him during certain stretches. But because Vegeta trains harder than Gohan, who is only fueled by his potential, the Saiyan prince is often depicted as the stronger of the two.
Will Gohan Surpass Vegeta?
At this point, we aren’t really sure if Gohan will eventually surpass Vegeta for good and leave him behind. We know that Gohan surpassed Vegeta’s Super Saiyan Blue Evolved after achieving his Beast form, which is probably at the level of Goku’s Ultra Instinct. But we aren’t sure whether or not this form is stronger than Vegeta’s current strongest form in the manga, which is his Ultra Ego transformation.
The power scaling in Dragon Ball can be confusing, especially for characters that haven’t faced each other or couldn’t face the same enemies. That means we can’t tell which between Gohan’s Beast form and Vegeta’s Ultra Ego form is stronger. But we know that Gohan isn’t necessarily stronger than Vegeta, whose motivation to surpass Goku always allows him to train hard.
As such, there’s a good chance that Gohan, at the very least, is up to Vegeta’s Ultra Ego level but isn’t stronger than Goku’s Perfected Ultra Instinct. This will likely be Gohan’s final form in Dragon Ball as it allows him to fight on par with the godlike powers of Goku and Vegeta. But as to whether or not he would eventually surpass the Saiyan prince, we highly doubt that because he doesn’t train as hard as Vegeta does.