Alright, so before anyone starts to judge my choices for the strongest and weakest characters, there is just no way I could do a full and comprehensive list. So, you'll just have to put up with what I've chosen. There are all sorts of ways that these characters can be judged. Some are stronger in spirit than in combat, and some are weaker in the same way. It all depends on how you look at it.
Just don't, for goodness' sake, get mad at me for not including the Omni-King and his henchmen. He doesn't fight and he just destroys universes when he's not happy. He's just a tiny, big baby. That being said...that combo is pretty intense. But he still doesn't make the list. He's just not interesting enough.
But hey, there are plenty of characters below for you to pick your brains about before you rewatch any of the Dragon Ball shows or replay any of the Dragon Ball games (which I know several nerds reading this will certainly do when they're done). So, without further blabber, enjoy judging my picks for the strongest and weakest fighters from Dragon Ball!
15 Strongest - Kid Buu
Here is why Kid Buu is on the list...he's crazy, first of all. Essentially he is just a child with a ridiculous amount of power. A scary amount of power. And when I say he's like a child, I mean that he has the attitude of two-year-old, and the moral character of a two-year-old. He doesn't give a sh*t about anyone but himself. He is more than willing to make sure that if he is defeated then everyone else must go with him. And that's exactly what this psychopath did. I'm not sure actually if he's psycho or sociopathic but either way, he did actually make sure that the entirety of planet Earth was destroyed in order to take him out. Goku created a spirit blast that completely destroyed the planet and Buu with it. If that's what it takes to finish you off...you might be pretty powerful.
14 Weakest - Chi Chi
All things considered, Chi Chi should be a pretty strong and intense character. But she just isn't. She can be intense, for sure. Basically, her whole character arc revolves around her going into rages and hoping that she can then suddenly be a better fighter. Unfortunately, if you already can't fight very well, then rage isn't going to help too much. And I guess it's not so much that she's a totally awful fighter...it's more the fact that she doesn't have any powers whatsoever. She can't go Super Saiyan, she can't shoot balls of energy from her hands, she can't fly...basically, she can't actually compete in the way that a character in Dragon Ball should. I'd say she's even worse that Ranfan if for no other reason than at least Ranfan is smart enough to try and seduce her way to victory.
13 Strongest - Super Buu
Super Buu is not nearly as powerful as Kid Buu, but that's not to say that he isn't still incredibly powerful. And it helps that he actually has some sort of sense. That works for and against him though. He can actually use reason to some extent and that helps him to think about how he plans to defeat someone. Kid Buu just goes f*cking nuts and destroys everything in his path. That's part of the reason why Kid Buu is so powerful and dangerous, but his lack of focus and sense does work against him. Of course, Super Buu could probably do with some spontaneity in order to make it more difficult to defeat him, but he was already difficult to defeat to begin with. And considering that Super Buu exists only because Evil Buu ate a fatter version of himself...I think he's plenty dangerous and deranged.
12 Weakest - Krillin
Alright, so Krillin is at least a funny character. But there's not much else going for him aside from that fact. And that's probably the only reason why the creators of the show even kept him around. He's had his ass kicked so many times that it's almost not funny. He's died so many times that some people have compared him to Kenny from South Park. Which is pretty awesome, awful, and hilarious all at the same time. I guess Krillin must fancy himself a great warrior since he keeps getting himself into fights with some pretty dangerous characters...but he must be dumb as a post to not finally realize that he's just too weak to make any sort of difference in the show. Again, it's a good thing that he's funny...but it's pretty sad that that's all he has going for him.
11 Strongest - Vegeta
Alright look, Vegeta is just the coolest character in Dragon Ball. That's just a fact that can't really be refuted. Sure, he might not be the absolute strongest character in the show, but he's certainly not far off. A lot of this has to do with the fact that he's constantly in a rage. Why is he constantly in a rage? Because Goku is better. I hate saying that because I think that Vegeta is way cooler, but it's true. Gokus has always been just ahead of Vegeta in terms of power levels. That being said, Goku doesn't get to be a Saiyan god, so he can pretty well go f– himself, right? Vegeta may not have the highest power levels, but he's definitely got cooler transformations and he's just a way cooler character. And the fact that he uses rage to power him along the way definitely makes him a powerful enemy.
10 Weakest - Veku
Veku is pretty well a completely useless character in the Dragon Ball universe. Essentially, Veku is a failed fusion of Gogeta. Gogeta is the form that happens when Goku and Vegeta merge together. When this fusion is done wrong, you don't get a Gogeta, you get a Veku (which is basically a mix of Vegeta's and Goku's names). What is he capable of doing? Not a whole hell of a lot. He can't even use kicks and punches. All he does is fat all over the place in place of actually attacking in any useful way. And aside from that, he runs...or attempts to run. Which has got to be pretty hard for a fat and useless fusion of two of the greatest characters from Dragon Ball. I'm not sure why exactly the creators of the show thought this would be a fun idea, but they surely made one weak character.
9 Strongest - Ultimate Gohan
Gohan is definitely one of the most powerful characters to have ever appeared in Dragon Ball. When you first meet him, he's nothing more than a little kid. But he pretty quickly shows his strength. He is the first of the Saiyans to reach Super Saiyan level 2. Of course, he goes out of his way to lose a lot of that power when he decides to turn to his books instead. Which is pretty hilarious. He decides to take a break from all that fighting while Goku and Vegeta spend all of their time training, and all Gohan needs to do is meet up with some trainer and in almost no time he is more powerful than any Super Saiyan level 3, and he doesn't have to go out of his way to actually reach that level. He just happens to have those powers without needing to do much at all.
8 Weakest - Hercule
Hercule is probably the most arrogant and egomaniacal characters in the entire Dragon Ball series. But that does not mean that he can fight. Sure, he's got a powerful kick, I guess, but it's hilarious to watch it do absolutely nothing to Cell. I get that if you think you're amazing you might want to challenge an android to a one-on-one fight. But if you know deep down that you're a sh*t fighter...maybe don't do it. All that ends up happening, at least in this particular fight, is Hercule gets kicked once and the match is over. He denies losing, of course, but I don't know how it could be otherwise. Either way, it's amusing to watch Hercule attempt to fight and he does give it his best. It's just that his best is pretty damn awful.
7 Strongest - Janemba
Alright, so Janemba didn't have the planet blown up like Kid Buu did, but that's not to say that he's not powerful as all hell. And speaking of hell, he is a monstrous demon of some sort, so that's exciting. He's not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, so you might think that the good guys could kick his fairly easily...but what he lacks in intelligence he makes up for in ridiculous power. Goku couldn't defeat this guy on his own. Not even Vegeta could beat this crazy villain. Not even the two of them facing off together against Janemba was good enough. It took the merging of Goku and Vegeta into Gogeta to finally defeat Janemba. Considering that both Goku and Vegeta (who also make the list of powerful Dragon Ball characters) couldn't defeat this guy on their own, I think Janemba has earned a place on the list as one of the strongest.
6 Weakest - Ranfan
"Hmmm... Just one question... You think... Pink's a good color on me?" If that doesn't say enough about where Ranfan's priorities are in comparison to fighting, then I think you might be a little daft. Of course, every show like Dragon Ball has got to have a pretty pathetic excuse for a weak character. It's sad that they chose to make one of them a pretty female character, but there we are. To be fair to the character and the creators, Ranfan uses her looks and her seemingly blank personality as a way to lull her enemies into a false sense of security. That being said, there's no way a character like this could take on a Saiyan of any sort. She might be a contestant in a fighting tournament and she might be able to manipulate her enemies, but that's it for power.
5 Strongest - Golden Frieza
"I know gold's a bit gauche, but I wanted to ensure you grasp my new position atop the pecking order. And for the sake of your feeble mind, let's keep the name simple as well; we'll call this Golden Frieza." This guy is just insane. Well, he's not just insane. He's also fairly intelligent and very full of himself. When Frieza first faced off against Goku he ended up losing out. This can't be too surprising. He always ends up losing one way or another. But he put up a great fight the first time through. And that was without any training whatsoever. That's pretty incredible, I think. And that's the reason that Golden Frieza exists. Once he was defeated the first time, he decided to get a little bit of bling, and actually go and train. Sure, he still lost in the end, but he's wickedly powerful.
4 Weakest - Captain Ginyu (As A Frog)
Look, Captain Ginyu is actually not all that bad, I guess, in terms of being somewhat powerful. He did fight against both Goku and Vegeta and he didn't do all that bad, all things considered. His whole point to fighting against Vegeta was to merge with him so he could become a much more powerful character. Of course, that didn't happen and that's why there is the Captain Ginyu Frog, who is clearly useless. When Ginyu was just getting ready to fire his beam at Vegeta to merge with him, Goku tossed a poor, innocent frog in the way of the beam. Well, I feel bad for the frog as I would never go out of my way to share a body with Captain Ginyu, but it definitely beats losing the awesome character of Vegeta to the likes of an inferior character like Captain Ginyu.
3 Strongest - Gogeta
Gogeta is kind of an awesome character. And super powerful. Why? Because he's what happens when you take Goku and Vegeta and make a super being out of them. Considering how powerful both Goku and Vegeta are on their own, just imagine what they're like when they're together. The evil demon Janemba is one hell of a force to be reckoned with, but he is no match for Gogeta. True, when Goku and Vegeta first try to merge together, Vegeta f*cks it up and they become Veku (who is incredibly weak and can only attack with the nasty gas from his ass)...but when they get the merging dance right, the two super Saiyans destroy Janemba in a matter of seconds. A bunch of well-placed punches followed by a gaping hole blasted through his torso and Janemba is food for worms.
2 Weakest - Nam
Alright, so look. I sort of feel bad for poking fun at Nam especially because he actually enters the tournament in the show with the best of intentions. All he wants is to win a clean water supply for his village. Noble of him...but maybe there was a better way than pretending to know how to fight. I'm not going to say that he has no skill. He does beat Ranfan (even with her trying to seduce him), but he gets his ass kicked in the second round...and by a little kid. To be fair, that little kid was Goku and given where he ends up, it's not a real shock that he whipped Nam's ass. But let's be honest, if a little kid can kick you flying out of the ring...you might be a pretty weak character. That's just my personal thought, but I think others will agree.
1 Strongest - Gotenks
Well, I mean there has already been the fusion of both Goku and Vegeta into Gogeta...so why not fuse their sons (Goten and Trunks) into some super character like Gotenks. He's ultimately just a really tiny sort of runt and you wouldn't expect a lot of power from him but...he can destroy a mountain with a single punch and that's pretty f*cking awesome, no? Of course, fused characters like this are kind of undermined when you know that they became fused together by doing something called the "mystical fusion dance". But hey, I'm not going to poke fun at a guy who can destroy a mountain with one punch. And it doesn't help that he's intensely arrogant. But he comes up with some pretty cool names for his moves. "galactic donut" is one of my favorites. And that's only beaten by the infamous "Continuous Die Die Missile"!