Dragon Ball Z Bad Take: Goku and Chi-Chi have a dysfunctional marriage

India Actual

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So people on Twitter were dunking hard on Dragon Ball again today after the latest manga chapter. If you don't know what I mean go see for yourself. So there was some back and forth with people dropping Goku is a bad dad memes and other DB related memery. When I had a thought to start some :poop:. So I poured out the gasoline, threw a match called "Goku and Chi-Chi are dysfunctional" and ran like hell to watch it explode from afar.

I'm going to point to two hard facts and one opinion to support my theory. Here we go.....

1.) During the Cell games, Chi-Chi comments that Goku has been a negligent husband during commentary while Gohan is fighting Cell.

2.) During the Goku Black arc, Goku who has been married for approximately 23 years at this point. Admits that he has never kissed Chi-Chi despite having two children with her.

Now as for my opinion based example....

3.) Chi-Chi is such a needy person based upon her personality. How she reintroduced herself to Goku during the 23rd tournament and essentially pressured him to keep his promise to marry her. Her neediness is a turn off for Goku who is a very independent person. It's why he basically just does whatever he wants much to the chagrin of his wife. Every time we see Goku doing anything domestic he looks unhappy. Be that tending the family farm to earn money or simply going grocery shopping for his wife. I get a sense he's being forced to do something by her he doesn't really want to do.

If they weren't an anime couple that is used to comic relief to show Chi-Chi as the bossy wife archetype, I feel they would have been divorced long before Goten was every born. I would love to hear you takes on this.
 
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India Actual

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I mean...Beerus and I discussed this months back...Chi-Chi more or less forced Goku into having kids
I agree with you but I want to get deeper and understand WHY their marriage is so dysfunctional. Whose more at fault? Is the blame equal? Let's keep digging for examples to find the root of the issue.
 
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Beerus

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Goku has the mind of like, a 10-year-old child. Chi Chi has the mind of a grown, overbearing mother. I feel like Chi Chi has more control in their relationship in a lot of regards. Goku could easily intimidate her yet he cowers when she gets angry with him. I think she plays more of a mother role than a wife role in his life. The fact that she is okay with this is a bit strange. I think because she grew up without a mother and focused on married from a very young age is telling. They didn't kiss yet have two children. Goku clearly wouldn't find sexual intimacy appealing as anything beyond a friendly hug is gross to him. I don't even think Chi Chi finds sexual intimacy appealing considering she married him. For all we know, she just got Goku to tickle his pickle into a jar and got artificially inseminated.
 
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Edge Lord Seto

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I agree with you but I want to get deeper and understand WHY their marriage is so dysfunctional. Whose more at fault? Is the blame equal? Let's keep digging for examples to find the root of the issue.
Honestly, I would say chi chi is more at fault because if you really look at it. Goku is basically a mentally handicapped person who was taken advantage of fully grown and aware adult so...yeah

I also realized I may have ruined Dragon Ball for me, now.
 

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They're both shitty spouses.

Chi Chi, for whatever reason, has remained in this relationship despite how much she clearly has problems with Goku up and wrecking any plans she has for her kids (be those good or bad for them and how she pursues them). From a young age she basically was always in control and that has grown with her into adulthood, and thank goodness because there has to be at least one adult in their household. The problem is Chi Chi then presses these bizarre expectations on someone who might have a mental disorder because while he's really good at fighting, Goku seems to be really bad at any other task or social norm. Like someone else pointed out: Chi Chi is basically Goku's mom and for some reason she has made her peace with that despite getting upset about her lot in life pretty often. This up to and includes chastising Goku for not bringing home any money while basically consuming a village worth of resources at any given time, despite her father Supplementing their income for a long while until Super, where it's revealed the Ox King lost all his money in Fire Mountain. And then she has to force Goku to actually make money and contribute to the household and it's just bizarre that she never cared what the heck he brought home before seeing as he only ever won one tournament up to this point. She stresses easily and vents it liberally on all those around her, utilizing guilt as a weapon against her own family.

Goku, on the other hand, either obfuscates idiocy or is mentally declining as he takes more and more blows to the head with his lifestyle. At this point Goku shouldn't really be all this confused at the prospect of a relationship as Chi Chi has pretty much laid it out for him and his friends around him have demonstrated more successful relationships. If anything, he sort of treats Chi Chi as a nuisance who gets in his way akin to a possibly spoiled child and is just as likely to ditch whatever promise he has going on with her to pursue that childish (though it turns out necessary) goal. We know Goku should know better as at least the very concept of a job isn't so alien to him that he can't grasp it, having had one as a child and finally again one as an adult when the Ox King can no longer basically pay for the Son household. It's here we see Goku can easily grasp new and potentially complex subjects when he becomes a master farmer in no time at all while having the best crops in comparison to lifelong farmers. And even then, going back to Goku flaking out, he takes the earliest opportunity to stop doing this when he lets his son operate a tractor and almost kills the kid, and then ultimately supremely flakes out on his family when Satan just gives Goku money and Goku is like, "Chi Chi will like that. Time to GTFO of here!" and zooms off to fulfill his fun cravings after giving the money to Chi Chi. And this is emblematic of his lifestyle, bargaining with Chi Chi's needs and wants for her family so he can go off on his own or with his son, whom he largely relegates raising to other people. And he'd pull the same farming trick again on Piccolo and Krillin so he can buzz off and train. This is even a trait he passes on to Goten, leaving Chi Chi constantly worried about the very whereabouts of her family when he just straight refuses to let her know where he even is after being critically injured. Heck, lying to or trying to keep secrets from Chi Chi seems to be Goku's most likely interaction with her from what we see of them.

Though it's really critical to note just how important these two are to one another. Any harmful dig at one enrages the other (Chi Chi more than Goku), up to with Goku nearly losing control when Future Trunks talks about Chi Chi and Goten's deaths.

Or, and I think this is what's really happening, Toriyama had no clue how to represent their relationship and just didn't care so long as it sorta represented that part of the life cycle and got the characters he needed in Gohan and Goten.
 

India Actual

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They're both shitty spouses.

Chi Chi, for whatever reason, has remained in this relationship despite how much she clearly has problems with Goku up and wrecking any plans she has for her kids (be those good or bad for them and how she pursues them). From a young age she basically was always in control and that has grown with her into adulthood, and thank goodness because there has to be at least one adult in their household. The problem is Chi Chi then presses these bizarre expectations on someone who might have a mental disorder because while he's really good at fighting, Goku seems to be really bad at any other task or social norm. Like someone else pointed out: Chi Chi is basically Goku's mom and for some reason she has made her peace with that despite getting upset about her lot in life pretty often. This up to and includes chastising Goku for not bringing home any money while basically consuming a village worth of resources at any given time, despite her father Supplementing their income for a long while until Super, where it's revealed the Ox King lost all his money in Fire Mountain. And then she has to force Goku to actually make money and contribute to the household and it's just bizarre that she never cared what the heck he brought home before seeing as he only ever won one tournament up to this point. She stresses easily and vents it liberally on all those around her, utilizing guilt as a weapon against her own family.

Goku, on the other hand, either obfuscates idiocy or is mentally declining as he takes more and more blows to the head with his lifestyle. At this point Goku shouldn't really be all this confused at the prospect of a relationship as Chi Chi has pretty much laid it out for him and his friends around him have demonstrated more successful relationships. If anything, he sort of treats Chi Chi as a nuisance who gets in his way akin to a possibly spoiled child and is just as likely to ditch whatever promise he has going on with her to pursue that childish (though it turns out necessary) goal. We know Goku should know better as at least the very concept of a job isn't so alien to him that he can't grasp it, having had one as a child and finally again one as an adult when the Ox King can no longer basically pay for the Son household. It's here we see Goku can easily grasp new and potentially complex subjects when he becomes a master farmer in no time at all while having the best crops in comparison to lifelong farmers. And even then, going back to Goku flaking out, he takes the earliest opportunity to stop doing this when he lets his son operate a tractor and almost kills the kid, and then ultimately supremely flakes out on his family when Satan just gives Goku money and Goku is like, "Chi Chi will like that. Time to GTFO of here!" and zooms off to fulfill his fun cravings after giving the money to Chi Chi. And this is emblematic of his lifestyle, bargaining with Chi Chi's needs and wants for her family so he can go off on his own or with his son, whom he largely relegates raising to other people. And he'd pull the same farming trick again on Piccolo and Krillin so he can buzz off and train. This is even a trait he passes on to Goten, leaving Chi Chi constantly worried about the very whereabouts of her family when he just straight refuses to let her know where he even is after being critically injured. Heck, lying to or trying to keep secrets from Chi Chi seems to be Goku's most likely interaction with her from what we see of them.

Though it's really critical to note just how important these two are to one another. Any harmful dig at one enrages the other (Chi Chi more than Goku), up to with Goku nearly losing control when Future Trunks talks about Chi Chi and Goten's deaths.

Or, and I think this is what's really happening, Toriyama had no clue how to represent their relationship and just didn't care so long as it sorta represented that part of the life cycle and got the characters he needed in Gohan and Goten.
That's very insightful. I can agree that their relationship has fallen prey to the "Toriyama doesn't give a damn" trope. Even Vegeta and Bulma are more domestic than the former. He took his family on vacation and rode a choo-choo train which was weird because Trunks was like 12 at the time. I don't remember being that excited for kids rides at that age but whatever.
 
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Carnotaurus

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They are. Goku is the immature and absent type. Chichi is the possessive and overbearing type. No healthy relationship can come out of that, ever. They are made to care for each other at times just as a reminder for viewers that they are actually a couple. Other than that, just a plot device to spawn new characters. I mean, this picture says it all:

Screenshot_20200723-080935_Chrome.jpg

Plus Chichi is the work of the devil
 

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They have a bad marriage, but it's amazing how they can make it work and not get into a divorce. Says a lot about the divorce rate in America.
 

Carnotaurus

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They have a bad marriage, but it's amazing how they can make it work and not get into a divorce. Says a lot about the divorce rate in America.
Nahh Toriyama would never be able to write a divorce properly, he cannot even write an entire marriage properly lol. STILL he approached the subject of having a one-night-stand with a guy and become a single mom because the guy doesn't want the child. Voices tell me he also did this by mistake. :LOL:
 

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Nahh Toriyama would never be able to write a divorce properly, he cannot even write an entire marriage properly lol. STILL he approached the subject of having a one-night-stand with a guy and become a single mom because the guy doesn't want the child. Voices tell me he also did this by mistake. :LOL:
I think he was able to circumvent that little event by knowing they'd end up together via Future Bulma, and since it went immediately from having a son to training with a future son, we knew Vegeta wouldn't just ditch his kid.
 

Carnotaurus

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I think he was able to circumvent that little event by knowing they'd end up together via Future Bulma, and since it went immediately from having a son to training with a future son, we knew Vegeta wouldn't just ditch his kid.
He still did some terrible things, for example when he would let the plane where Bulma and baby Trunks were in, crash. I didn't know if Vegeta would ever be a caring father or if Bulma would ever forgive him. This moment here is not really helping.

 

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He still did some terrible things, for example when he would let the plane where Bulma and baby Trunks were in, crash. I didn't know if Vegeta would ever be a caring father or if Bulma would ever forgive him. This moment here is not really helping.

Vegeta wasn't really invested in her or the kid. I think it was mentioned from Future Trunks that what they had was a fling so I think him realizing what his son could be grounded him more as the series went on. He is a spoiled and selfish prince and it took a lot of change for him to get to where he is now.
 
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He still did some terrible things, for example when he would let the plane where Bulma and baby Trunks were in, crash. I didn't know if Vegeta would ever be a caring father or if Bulma would ever forgive him. This moment here is not really helping.

Toriyama went out of his way to display how bad of a father Vegeta was during the Cell Saga. In the event you highlighted, if the kid died Vegeta would've blamed it on the baby's weakness and if he lived Vegeta still would not have cared.

But I meant from the selling/reading standpoint, I don't think readers thought Vegeta was just going to become an absentee father in the long run.
 

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