Following a common name trend that Toriyama developed in Dragon Ball, Vegeta’s name is derived from the word for vegetable, being that he is the prince of the Saiyans.[citation needed]. In the special Yo! Son Goku and his Friends Return!!, Vegeta’s younger brother named Tarble is introduced. When the two names are combined, they create what would roughly be “vegetable” in English, being that vegetables are the naming theme for all pure Saiyans in the series.

Vegeta’s initial appearance in the manga is as a short and slightly stocky character, with upright standing hair and a defined widow’s peak. When compared to the main character Son Goku, Vegeta is noticeably shorter than him. As the series continued, Toriyama’s artwork evolved and as a result, Vegeta became more lean and average looking. In the anime adaptation’s spin off called Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta’s appearance goes through a drastic change, more so than any other previous time. Vegeta is seen to completely abandon his Saiyan style attire, and dress in an Earth dress reminiscent of real life Western cultures. When he’s first introduced in the series, Vegeta has a tail, which he loses in his initial battle on Earth with Goku and his allies. Over the course of the series, he has worn several variations of the Saiyan suit, but began abandoning the armor after the fight against Cell, even though his gloves and boots still reflect his Saiyan roots throughout the end of the written series. However, beginning in the Dragon Ball GT series, he abandons any indication of Saiyan style clothing for a more Earth based appearance.

When Vegeta is introduced in the series, he is seen to be sadistic, even destroying his long time comrade named Nappa, seeing Nappa’s inability to defeat Goku as an unforgivable weakness. During this time, Vegeta is seen to have a fierce desire for immortality and galactic rule, only later to be revealed as a rebellious competition for his long time employer named Frieza. Vegeta’s personality changes from a sadistic killer to a vengeful anti-hero, obsessed with becoming stronger than Goku. After a short time, Vegeta falls in love with one of Goku’s close friends named Bulma, in which she bears him a son named Trunks. As a result of his love for Bulma and the birth of his son, Vegeta soon simply becomes a bitter rival of Goku’s, and thinks of Earth as a good place to settle down and live. As a result of this change he sees within himself, Vegeta attempts to return to his old sadistic self in order to defeat Goku, but the devotion that he feels towards his family soon overcomes the evil within him, and he becomes Goku’s closest ally, and even a good friend.

Vegeta’s personality is primarily based on his rivalry with Goku, and how Goku was able to change him over the course of time despite his obsession with surpassing Goku in power. Vegeta later realizes that he is unable to surpass Goku, and accepts that Goku is the better of both of them.

Vegeta’s Garlic Gun technique, which allows Vegeta to fire a purple energy blast from his hands.

Vegeta has the ability to create and enhance attacks with the use of chi. Vegeta has the ability to use buku-jutsu (舞空術, lighter than air?) which enables him to fly.[3] Constant training and his Saiyan heritage have given him superhuman strength, speed and reflexes.[3]

Vegeta is known to give names for his various energy attacks. In his early appearance, Vegeta is seen to use attacks similar to several of the protagonists of the series, such as a ki disk (気円斬, kien ki?), a two fingered laser-like blast, and a chi wave similar to Goku’s Kamehameha blast. This beam known as the Garlic Gun (ギャリック砲, Gyarikku Hō?, renamed Galick Gun in the English dub) is used by Vegeta during his battle against Goku in an attempt to destroy the Earth.[3] The Garlic Gun is the main attack used by Vegeta in most Dragon Ball Z video games although he uses it only once in the manga. Vegeta later develops the Big Bang Attack (ビッグ・バン・アタック, Biggu Ban Atakku?) and the Final Flash (ファイナルフラッシュ, Fainaru Furasshu?) attacks, which are much more powerful than his older energy attacks.[4][5] Vegeta’s most commonly used attack in the series is when he bombards an opponent with an array of small chi blasts. Vegeta is not known to have a name for this attack, but it is officially called Renzoku Energy Dan (連続エネルギー弾?). Also in Dragon Ball GT he displays a powerful new attack entitling it the Final Shine Attack (ファイナルシャインアタック, Fainaru Shain Atakku?), where Vegeta uses his right hand to fire off a massive beam of green chi that widens with distance.

Vegeta also possesses several transformations that greatly enhance his abilities to varying degrees. Early in the series, he has the ability to become an Oozaru, which increases his power tenfold, so long as he still has his tail. He gains the ability to transform into a Super Saiyan and, through training, can further transform into advanced states of Super Saiyan as the series continues, including Super Saiyan 2nd Grade and Super Saiyan 2.[4][5][6] While he was not able to achieve Super Saiyan 3, in Dragon Ball GT, he reaches Super Saiyan 4.

Vegeta can also fuse with Goku and create a warrior who has the combined power and skills of both. One method is by using the Potara Earrings presented to Goku by the Elder Kai. This results in a ‘perfect fusion’ creating Vegetto (Vegeta/Kakarotto). The other method is by performing the Metamorese Fusion Dance, which creates Gogeta