As Dragon Ball progressed, many fans voiced their discontent as several other important Z-Fighters took a backseat to Goku and Vegeta. Fighters like Krillin, Tien, and even Gohan have lost their significance in the series, but none have been disrespected more than Yamcha.

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Originally a lone desert bandit, Yamcha joined Goku, Bulma, and Oolong during their initial hunt for the Dragon Balls. In Dragon Ball Z, he became one of Earth’s most valiant defenders, doing his part to defend the planet against the likes of the Saiyans, Cell, and even Buu. While he may not be one of the franchise’s strongest characters, he’s definitely pulled his weight over the years, although the frequent memes depicting him as a loser make it easy to forget his many wins.

10 Was The First Person In The Series To Beat Goku

Even as a youngster, Goku was much stronger than the average adult male. While he won his fair share of battles back then, fans forget that his first defeat was at the hands of Yamcha’s Wolf Fang Fist. The young Saiyan would’ve been done for had it not been for Bulma revealing herself, which was enough to force Yamcha to retreat.

If Yamcha didn’t have that irrational fear of women back then, who’s to say Goku wouldn’t have gone to Other World much sooner?

9 Saved Bulma And The Others From Great Ape Goku

When Goku first transformed into a Great Ape, he nearly crushed his friends. Had it not been for Yamcha, who was the only person strong enough to carry Bulma, Oolong, and Puar at once as he sprinted to safety, they would’ve all ended up just like Grandpa Gohan.

As if this already wasn’t valiant enough, he was able to swallow his fears and squeeze Goku’s tail long enough for Puar to cut it off, ensuring that Goku’s rampage ended just as promptly as it had begun.

8 Became The Second Person After Goku To Master The Kamehameha

It’s hard to believe that the Kamehameha is such a legendary technique given how many people have used it over the years. Even villains like Cell and Buu have mastered the technique! Back in Dragon Ball, the technique was extremely difficult to master, with Roshi having practiced for 50 years to be able to pull it off. Goku managed to successfully fire one off after his first attempt, cementing his status as a martial arts prodigy.

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Yamcha may not be as talented as Goku, but he did become the second person after Goku to display his mastery of the Kamehameha during the 22nd World Tournament while fighting Tien. The fact that Yamcha, a normal human, managed to master this technique without it taking 50 years, means that even at a young age, he surpassed Master Roshi, who for a long time was a legend among men.

7 Defeated Recoome

When Recoome made his debut, he wiped the floor with Vegeta, whose power level had reached new heights due to his battles on Earth and Namek. While Goku made short work of Recoome, it goes without saying that Recoome was an incredibly capable warrior. After Recoome and the other deceased members of the Ginyu Force found themselves on King Kai’s planet, Yamcha managed to hold his own in their fight. Though he didn’t exactly bring the musclehead to his knees like Goku managed to do, Yamcha was skilled enough to avoid being seriously injured by the brute before propelling him to Hell without expending vast reserves of energy.

Whether or not many fans found this believable, or even choose to acknowledge it in the first place given that this was all filler, there’s no denying that it was a part of the anime, and shouldn’t be overlooked in Yamcha’s story.

6 Became A Successful Baseball Player

After Goku’s death as a result of his battle with Raditz, fans saw Yamcha as a baseball champ. He used his superhuman strength to his advantage, becoming his team’s secret weapon when things got tough. Like many other characters, he could’ve easily let himself go after retiring from fighting, especially since he wasn’t finding fulfillment in his career. Instead, he found a way to best use his martial arts background to grow his bank account.

5 Managed To Catch Kami By Surprise With His Spirit Ball Technique

While many Dragon Ball special moves are just different-colored variations of a straight beam of energy, it’s hard to deny that Yamcha’s Spirit Ball was anything but unique after he debuted it during his battle with Kami during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. Though Yamcha lost that fight in the end, the Spirit Ball enabled him to land a direct hit right on Kami’s chin.

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At the time, Kami’s power far surpassed Yamcha’s, and as Earth’s ancient guardian, he’s definitely had time to observe his fair share of Earthling fighting styles and techniques. The fact that Yamcha was able to develop a technique that allowed him to hurt “god” isn’t something to gloss over.

4 Saved Bulma From Getting Hit By A Car

What better way to show a character’s selfless sense of altruism than having them jump in front of a car to save someone else from becoming roadkill? Yamcha did just that, although unlike Yu Yu Hakusho‘s Yusuke Urameshi, he didn’t die himself as a result of pushing Bulma out of the way of a speeding truck after she wandered into the middle of the street.

Not only did this demonstrate the fruits of his wilderness training in preparation for the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, but this scene also portrayed Yamcha as the true hero he’s always been.

3 Protected The Kame House From Convicts

King Piccolo’s attempt to rule the Earth caused widespread panic. After proclaiming the day as “Piccolo Day”, he set his sights on destroying West City, and while Goku and Tien were out doing their best to delay him and his minion Drum, Yamcha wasn’t just lying on the beach snoring. King Piccolo set convicts free to wreak havoc around the world, and eventually, they found their way to Master Roshi’s house, armed to the teeth with powerful machine guns.

While Launch managed to knock out one of the criminals, Yamcha single-handedly took out two without taking any damage. He even managed to dodge a flurry of bullets without a scratch to show for it! And did we mention that he did all this with an injured leg? This may not seem like a big deal, but the fact that it occurred in Dragon Ball where every Z-Fighters was far weaker than they are now, means that fans have all the more reason to be impressed.

2 Won The Baseball Game For Universe 7

In Dragon Ball Super, Universe 6 and Universe 7 went up against one another in a baseball game. Yamcha was forced to reconcile with the fact that he was the weakest player on the field. Despite knowing the most about the sport, this knowledge didn’t matter against the other players, some of whom possessed the strength of gods at their fingertips.

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All hell broke loose after Champa and Beerus got into a fight, decimating the field, and while everyone else went to cower by Goku for protection, Yamcha braved the storm and managed to win the game by reaching home plate, risking his life to do so. Fans may have gotten a callback to one of his most infamous moments, but at the end of the day, it was his perseverance that won Universe 7 the game.

1 Held His Own Against Moro’s Intergalactic Force

While Krillin and Tien were present for Frieza’s second invasion of Earth, Yamcha was nowhere to be found. Though it took a while, he got the opportunity to demonstrate just how useful he could be during an extraterrestrial invasion in Chapter 56 of Dragon Ball Super‘s manga. When Moro’s minions invaded Earth, he managed to defeat three criminals at once, despite the fact that they were being powered up by energy Moro’s energy-transferring abilities.

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