Over time, Piccolo has grown into one of the smartest fighters in the Dragon Ball franchise. He mentored Gohan and Gotenks, a strict teacher who regretted his bad habits, to become a character as stoic as he was charismatic. Although Piccolo is one of Goku’s oldest allies, with whom he has faced foes far stronger than himself, there are times when the Namek warrior suffers defeats so humiliating and embarrassing that they are even his most ardent fans have won. Here is a non-exhaustive selection of Piccolo’s most bitter defeats.
1) Opposite Tullece in Dragon Ball Z: The Fratricidal Battle
While the 1990 film isn’t considered canon, the fact remains that the character was more than mistreated by the horrid Tullece, aka Thales. While the other Earth Defenders are busy dealing with Tullece’s minions, Piccolo decides to go straight for the big villain himself, but soon realizes that he is clearly no match for him. And what makes this power imbalance all the more humiliating is that Tullece Piccolo dominates heavily, and that’s before he’s even consumed the fruit of the tree of life. In comparison, Goku is able to take out the evil Saiyan before eating the fruit without having to use the Kaioken. Shortly thereafter, Piccolo was beaten even more brutally by the enhanced Tullece while Goku gathered enough energy to launch a Genki Dama.
2) Encountering Frost in Dragon Ball Super
Piccolo becomes a slightly more active fighter in Dragon Ball Super thanks to his participation in multiversal martial arts tournaments compared to his role as a mentor towards the end of Dragon Ball Z. But although Piccolo didn’t last long, his tournament elimination against Universe 6 and Frost was perhaps that most embarrassing. A member of the same species as Frieza, Frost is just as vicious. Though Piccolo pulls out all the stops to defeat Frost, the sneaky warrior reveals a critical flaw in Piccolo’s special attack, the Makanko Sappo. Frost attacks while Piccolo charges his attack, incapacitating him with a poisoned needle he had hidden on him. Although Piccolo loses the fight, the fact that Frost cheated by using a gun in his fights is later discovered.
3) Opposite cell in Dragon Ball Z
One of the first to face Cell in Dragon Ball Z is neither Vegeta nor Goku but is actually Piccolo shortly after he merged with God to reach the level of Super Namekian. Piccolo then chases Cell after Cell completely decimates a town. When the two first meet, he manages to trick him into learning more about this threat, only to realize that it is another of Dr. Gero acts. To prevent Cell from reaching his perfect form, Piccolo fights C-17 to destroy the artificial human and thus thwart Cell’s plans. But the latter arrives on the battlefield before Piccolo succeeds there, while weakened by his fight against C-17 and Cell, in parallel, has become much stronger by absorbing thousands of people. Piccolo is then quickly deactivated, despite a devastating technique that had no effect on Cell.
4) Facing Dabra in Dragon Ball Z
Piccolo is part of the team tasked with stopping the evil wizard Babidi from rescuing the imprisoned monster Majin Buu. But then the team was ambushed by the Demon King’s right arm and Babidi, Dabra. Thus, Piccolo and Krillin learned about his incredible abilities the hard way, including the ability to petrify anyone in seconds by spitting on them.
5) Face Super Buu in Dragon Ball Z
Piccolo helped Goku train Goten and Trunks in learning the fusion technique with the goal of defeating Majin Buu. But things got a bit complicated when the evil version of Majin Buu absorbed the kind Buu to become the iconic villain that is Super Buu. who will wipe out most of humanity and target Gotenks, the amalgamation of Goten and Trunks. While they will try with Gotenks to stop him to the end, Piccolo ends up being completely overwhelmed by Buu’s power and eventually absorbed by the latter due to his intelligence, which is then deemed useful to the villain.
And continuing on the Dragon Ball Z theme, here’s why Frieza had horns in his original form, according to this scientist.