Vegeta Vs. Piccolo: Who’s the Better Father Figure in Dragon Ball?

Dragon Ball has long been famous for its parenting, or lack thereof. While Goku would rather do literally anything else than raise his children, Piccolo has taken on the responsibility of being a surrogate father for much of Gohan's and Goten's lives.

However, poor parenting isn't just part of being a Saiyan as the series would often like fans to believe. Vegeta in particular has become a much more attentive father as time goes on, leading to the question: Who is the better father now, Vegeta or Piccolo?

Vegeta's Parenting

Vegeta goes to hold Bulla in Dragon Ball Super

Vegeta has steadily improved his reputation as a father throughout Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super. Future Trunks' death at the hands of Cell is the first time Vegeta expresses concern for his son. After that, he became much more family-oriented as he and present-day Trunks have something of an actual bond by the time the Buu Saga rolls around. Father and son train together, and Vegeta hugs Trunks and tells him that he's proud before sacrificing his own life to defeat Majin Buu.

In Super, Vegeta has dedicated himself to his family, even going on a family trip to Trunks' favorite amusement park. When Future Trunks reappears in the main timeline, Vegeta is still tough on him, but this time even he can’t hide that it comes from a place of love. He takes it upon himself to train Trunks, and his motivation for battling Zamasu is to save his son's future so he can live in peace.

Vegeta appears to take a different parenting approach with his daughter, as he had wanted to give her a traditional Saiyan name and expresses extreme displeasure whenever someone makes her cry. Chastising Trunks for holding her incorrectly and displaying pride at quickly and flawlessly changing her diaper, Vegeta is clearly capable of real love for his daughter without the tough love he reserves for his son.

Piccolo's Parenting

Piccolo's journey from villain to fatherhood wasn't nearly as drawn out as Vegeta's. Once Piccolo spends a year training Gohan, a powerful bond forms as the Namekian comes to think of the half-Saiyan child as his friend. While he was still hard on him in training and berated him several times during the conflict with Nappa and Vegeta, Piccolo still protected Gohan from harm at the cost of his own life.

Unlike Goku, Piccolo has taken the time to get to know Gohan, which is the source of his anger when Goku forces Gohan into battle against Cell. Piccolo has spent so much time with Gohan, it's clear to him that the boy does not have a typical Saiyan's lust for battle -- which Goku had failed to realize about his own son. Piccolo was about to fight Cell himself -- despite having no chance of defeating the villain -- rather than continue watching Gohan get his ribs crushed.

In the Buu Saga, Piccolo takes over training Goten and Trunks, teaching them how to use Fusion and looking out for them after Super Buu kills everyone else on Kami's Lookout. Piccolo was once again willing to fight an impossible battle to protect the two boys, who are no match for Buu when they aren't Fused. In Super, Piccolo has taken to looking after Gohan's daughter, Pan, with whom he appears to have a genuine bond.

Vegeta vs. Piccolo: Who's the Better Father?

Piccolo and Vegeta both employ tough love when it comes to the children in their charge, yet Piccolo's methods come off as equally loving, while Vegeta's are mostly just tough. Each warrior gives the impression they will be doting fathers and surrogate grandfathers for Pan and Bulla, respectively, as they are uncharacteristically gentle with the two infants. Though they've both come a long way, Piccolo's parenting style ultimately makes him the better parent, because he possesses a capacity for kindness that Vegeta simply does not.

Likewise, Vegeta is still prone to spending six months or more training on another planet, while Piccolo is always available for babysitting. His care for Gohan, Goten, and Pan results in a genuine bond with them. Considering these children are not even his, one can only imagine the kind of parent Piccolo would be to his own offspring. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero might be setting up an even closer bond between Piccolo and Pan, demonstrating that while Goku and Vegeta constantly pursue greater levels of fighting strength, Piccolo is always honing his parenting skills.

About The Author