Many wishes have been granted upon the mystical Dragon Balls, but not all of them are equal. Some, such as Oolong's wish for panties, are rather petty. Others like the resurrection of Upa's father, Bora, are small but highly meaningful. A few, however, have been so profound that they've altered the trajectory of the entire Dragon Ball franchise.
Of all the wishes across Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super and beyond, which are the most essential ones ever made? These are the top five wishes made on the various Dragon Balls that changed the story in some significant way.
1. Porunga Revives Piccolo
Early on the Dragon Balls restored characters who had passed on, such as Master Roshi and Krillin during the Piccolo Saga. However, when Porunga restored Piccolo, the heroes of Dragon Ball Z managed to subvert Porunga's greatest limitation -- only one person can be resurrected per wish -- to restore the Dragon Balls on Earth. This was effectively the culmination of the Namek Saga -- why Krillin and Gohan flew all the way to Namek in the first place. While it did help turn the tide briefly against Frieza, Piccolo's resurrection also resurrected Kami, and thus the Earth's Dragon Balls.
2. Porunga Restores the Earth After Majin Buu's Destruction
Come the end of Dragon Ball Z, Majin Buu -- now Kid Buu -- had essentially eradicated everything as many planets, including Earth, were destroyed. Vegeta used Dende to make his first two wishes on Porunga (who was now upgraded to resurrect any number of lives): restore Earth, then bring back all the lives Buu ended, save for the most evil ones.
This not only helped remedy the damage left behind by Buu, but also laid the groundwork for Goku to begin charging up his Spirit Bomb. While the third wish to restore Goku's power helped lead to Buu's defeat, the tide would never have turned without those first two instrumental steps.
3. Shenron Explains How to Become a Super Saiyan God
The existence of the Super Saiyan God completely altered the trajectory that Dragon Ball Super would follow. However, without the Dragon Balls, the form would have remained somewhat of a mystery. Shenron's explanation of how to achieve Super Saiyan God opened up a new plateau of power for the Z Fighters. While the wish is not particularly flashy or complicated, its ramifications led to all the events of Super and beyond. Without Shenron's wish, Goku would have been demolished by Golden Frieza -- assuming he even survived Beerus's world-destroying wrath.
4. Super Shenron: Restoration of the Universes
At two points in Dragon Ball Super, Super Shenron restores the greater multiverse from obliteration. While the first time occurs following the collection of the Super Dragon Balls, the restoration at the end of the Tournament of Power is far more instrumental in the course of the series. The first wish resulted in Universe 6 being restored and altered, but the second wish, made by Android 17, restored the other Universes following their destruction during the Tournament of Power.
5. Black-Star Dragon Balls Turn Goku Into a Child
The Black-Star Dragon Balls are far from the most widely appreciated in the franchise, but Dragon Ball GT's iconic set is just as impactful to its series as Shenron explaining Super Saiyan God was in Dragon Ball Super. Pilaf's wish to turn Goku back into a kid did two key things. It transformed Goku of course, but it also turned Earth into a ticking time bomb.
This very moment spurs all of the subsequent events in Dragon Ball GT. It's due to the Black-Star Dragon Balls that Piccolo was ultimately destroyed when Earth temporarily blew up. Most disturbing of all, it's because of this wish that GT, in turn, helped end the Dragon Ball franchise for over a decade. That alone is a sign of its impact.