Between them, the villains in Dragon Ball Z have a lot of henchmen. Every arc has either an army of generic soldiers, a squad of colorful characters or the muscle that pummels Goku's friends before the Saiyan trades blows with the Big Bad of the season.
The following characters on this list are significant henchmen who take a role in the plot of Dragon Ball Z. Villains who start as henchmen but break up with their bosses (Vegeta, Android 17 and 18, Broly, Buu) will not count, and they will be ranked based on their characterization, unique powers and memorability in their respective arcs. So, with those parameters in mind, which villainous henchmen from Dragon Ball Z stand out the most? Let's rank them from worst to best.
Cui is the stupidest of Frieza's henchmen in Dragon Ball Z. For a character whose strength rivals Vegeta's in the Saiyan Saga, he poses so little of a threat that it's hard to even remember that he was Vegeta's rival before Goku. He's easily the least interesting of all of Frieza's henchmen.
17. Turles Crusher Corps
Of all the Dragon Ball Z movie villain teams, this one is the least memorable. Turles' personal armada serves one purpose: to plant a tree, then get beaten up. Their designs are fairly generic and their personalities mostly interchangeable.
16. The Spice Boys
Garlic Jr. has two teams of henchmen who serve him -- once in the movie The Dead Zone and once during the Garlic Jr. Saga. In both cases, it's hard to remember what they did. Garlic Jr. is one of the more interesting Dragon Ball movie villains, but that level of intrigue does not extend to his henchmen.
15. Babidi's Minions
Babidi's various henchmen -- aside from Dabura -- offer very little to the audiences. They are just goons, mostly. The only standout is Spopovich, whose fight with Videl is brutal. Likewise, his death is particularly cruel.
14. Galaxy Soldiers
Bojack's Galaxy Soldiers are alien pirates. That should inherently make them at least a little exciting. Instead, they are, for the most part, fairly dull adversaries who end up being punched a lot. The only edge given to the Galaxy Soldiers is Zangya, being one of the few female Dragon Ball Z villains, but that's not enough to the group as a whole.
Dodoria is an ugly, rancid character who is set up to be one of Frieza's right-hand men. However, he ultimately ends up being a dull bully who gets killed by Vegeta. The only point Dodoria serves is informing Vegeta that Frieza really blew up Planet Vegeta.
12. Android 19 (and 13, 14 & 15)
While Cell and Androids 16, 17 and 18 are among the most interesting antagonists in Dragon Ball Z, the same can't be said for Gero's other androids. Android 19 has an interesting design, being a corpulent mime, but he serves as more of a vehicle for Goku to get sick and Vegeta to turn Super Saiyan. Androids 13, 14 and 15 are even less memorable. There's a reason why Akira Toriyama's editor pushed for better villains in that arc. Android 19 just isn't threatening.
11. Cooler's Armored Squadron
Cooler's Armored Squadron is really just a knock-off of the Ginyu Force. With the exception of Salza, none of them particularly stand-out. However, where the Armored Squadron excel is their fight with Piccolo, which remains one of the cooler -- pun intended -- fights in the Dragon Ball Z movie franchise. They also seem to have a stronger sense of comradery between one another than the Ginyu Force, which, again, adds something.
10. Lord Slug's Demon Clan
Lord Slug's Demon Clan are among the few Dragon Ball Z movie villain teams to remain memorable. This is, in part, due to their strange power-set -- most notably, Medamatcha, a strange alien that sprouts spawn to jump onto targets, siphon their energy, then feast on it.
9. Saibamen and Cell Jr.
The Saibamen and Cell Jrs are just chaotic evil minions bent on causing as much destruction as possible. These gremlins do their job gleefully and enthusiastically, and there are few moments in Dragon Ball Z as infamous as when Yamcha is blown up by a Saibaman, or when Gohan wrecks the Cell Jrs in brutal fashion. They're disposable enemies but they still hold their place in DBZ canon.
8. Captain Ginyu
Bizarrely, Captain Ginyu is the least interesting of all the Ginyu Force. Sure, his posing and body-swapping powers make him a well-remembered antagonist; however, Ginyu overstays his welcome, especially during the filler arcs in Dragon Ball Z in which he possesses Bulma.
Salza stands apart from the rest of Cooler's Armored Squadron. Unlike Captain Ginyu, Salza is a cool, level-headed soldier who never loses focus on his prize. His fight against Piccolo in the forest is, again, one of the better short fights in all of the Dragon Ball Z movies. Of particular note, however, is that he actually outlasts his boss in Cooler's Revenge -- albeit for only a couple of minutes.
Zarbon appears for a while to be Frieza's right-hand soldier -- until the arrival of the Ginyu Force. Zarbon has a few qualities that help him stand out from the crowd: His pretty-boy persona is in stark contrast to his monstrous second form and though he seems level-headed and arrogant, he has the strength to back it up. He even manages to beat Vegeta once, and even during their second fight has Vegeta on the ropes. He's a terrific henchman.
Dabura is an odd character in the world of Dragon Ball Z henchmen. He is the King of Demons and is just as powerful as Cell. His spit abilities, hellforged sword and demonic aura are very cool. But what makes him compelling is how he turns on Buu in order to protect Babidi. This speaks volumes about his character and sense of honor. His only weakness is he could have been so much more.
Raditz is the first villain in Dragon Ball Z. As the first Saiyan invader and Goku's brother, his role completely changes the trajectory of the series, despite his brief role in the story. One factor, in particular, that makes Raditz great is how he effortlessly overpowers Goku and Piccolo combined, forcing them to get creative in order to defeat him. Had Raditz's relationship with his brother been more developed, he might've ranked as the best villain here.
3. Dr. Kochin
Dr. Kochin is unique among Dragon Ball Z villains in that he's a frail, older man, subservient to his real master, Dr. Wheelo. Dr. Kochin creates several mutant monsters for his master, gathers the Dragon Balls to help free him, and manages to lure both Master Roshi and Goku into what's clearly a trap. Ultimately, Dr. Kochin is killed almost by accident, leaving him a tragic, pathetic figure who gave everything up for a master who barely remembers him.
2. The Ginyu Force
The Ginyu Force is everything a Dragon Ball Z villain team should be, ranking among the goofiest guys in the whole series with their Rock-Paper-Scissor games and irreverent teasing. Having said that, few fights are as intense as Recoome's against Gohan and Krillin, or Goku taking on Burter and Jeice at the same time. They're silly but strong characters whose fights add something to the series, rather than just take up time.
Nappa is not just a walking meme, he's one of the most entertaining villains in the series. Nappa does everything a great henchman should do: be a threat all on his own, which he proves by taking down Chiaotzu, Tien and Piccolo. He makes Vegeta seem like a greater threat by comparison and he has some of the best fights in the series. All the while, he still stands as an entertaining character who, in the years after Dragon Ball Z, has been whole-heartedly embraced by the fandom.