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I was watching Dragon Ball and couldn’t help noticing the reference to Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan in the World Tournament Saga.

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So my question is, are their more such references in the series or this is as far as it gets?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted
+50

There are a lot of references made to other works and people in the series…

Inspirations

As a matter of fact, the series was inspired by and has some major references to

  • Journey to the West

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  • Jackie Chan

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  • Bruce Lee

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You can read more about it here.

Names

As one knows, the names in the series are usually puns on something or the other.

For eg.

  • Saiyan comes from Yasai meaning Vegetable and so the names are related to those
  • In fact, the Brief Family’s names are a pun on Undergarments
  • Frieza's henchmen are named after Fruits

You can read about the origins of many more names here.

Tenkaichi Budokai (天下一武道会)

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You must have heard of Tenkaichi Budokai’s English translation- "World’s Martial Arts Tournament." I’ll say that that translation maybe right, but has lost it’s essence. A more accurate translation of Tenkaichi Budokai is “The Number One Under Heaven Martial Arts Gathering.”

It was inspired from Lei Tai – The Thunder Hand Platform; a Chinese martial arts tournament. You can read more about it here.

New Testament

I believe that Goku's returning from the dead to save everyone is a reference to the New Testament.


Now to begin with references present only in a certain series..

Dragon Ball

  • Bruce Lee

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    Great Lee (A Character that resembles Bruce Lee)

    Great Lee (グレート・リー, Gurēto Rī; "Great Lee"), also known as the Bruce Lee Impersonator, is a character who resembles the real life martial artist Bruce Lee.

    He is first seen in a vision when Krillin tells Goku about the World Martial Arts Tournament in the episode "Milk Delivery". Later, the Bruce Lee Impersonator is seen several times in the Elimination Round at the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament.

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    Bruce Lee Impersonator in West City

    Another character that resembles Bruce Lee is seen in West City in the episode 43, where he challenges people to a street fight and anyone who beats him will get 100,000 zeni.

    During the preliminaries for the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai, Yamaha says,"Boards don't hit back". It's a reference to Bruce Lee's movie "Enter the Dragon."

    Muscle Tower itself is a reference to a level of the game Spartan X/Kung Fu master which was based off of Bruce Lee's Game of Death. To know more check the inspirations part at the beginning of this answer.

  • Chinese Dynasties

    enter image description here       enter image description here   enter image description here

             The Tiger Thief                               Bear Thief                        Qing Dynasty Armor

    The armor the Tiger Thief wears resembles that worn by Chinese soldiers during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Bear Thief, the Tiger Thief, the nameless warrior trapped in the Gourd of Mist, the Ox King, Sky Dragon, and Lord Yao also wear similar armors.

  • Dracula

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    Fangs The Vampire from Fortuneteller Baba Saga. A direct reference to Dracula.

  • Dragon Quest

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              Archdemon                          Cyclops                                           Orc

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                                                             Shaman

  • Dr. Slump

    There are a lot of references to the characters of Dr. Slump. The major ones being the episodes in General Blue Saga taking place in Penguin Village.

    • Chenshi

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               Chenshi from fortuneteller baba saga

               His character design is exactly the same as Turbo Norimaki (Dr. Slump).

  • Commander Red's Painter

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    The Painter

    During the General Blue Saga, Commander Red has his portrait painted by an anthropomorphic goat, who is similar in appearance to Dr. Goat, who appears in Akira Toriyama's Today's Highlight Island and Dr. Slump series.

    • Soldier 23

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            Soldier 23 General Blue Saga

            Soldier 23 was one of the last soldiers of General Blue's sector. He has a slight         resemblance to Senbei Norimaki from the Dr. Slump series.

  • Frankenstein's Monster

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       Android #8 AKA Eighter (Japanese - Hat-chan) is a direct reference to Frankenstein's        monster.

  • Hwang Jang Lee

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    Mercenary Taopaipai is based on the Korean actor Hwang Jang Lee who played Thunderleg in Jackie Chan's Drunken Master.

  • Jackie Chan

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      Jackie Chun is a direct reference to Jackie Chan. To know more check the inspirations part at       the beginning of this answer.

  • Sitting Bull

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    Little Flower's Father from Aru Village in Emperor Pilaf Saga Little Flower's Father (or Becky's Father in the Ocean Group dub) is a native American who lives in Aru Village. He bears a slight resemblance to the famous Sioux Indian chief Sitting Bull.

  • Superman

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    Superman from Dr. Slump in the Penguin Village episode, makes an appearance and goes to a phone booth to change his clothes, acting as a reference to Superman.

  • Tall Man

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    Tall Man from Tournament Saga

    Tall Man (known as Noppo (ノッポ) in the Japanese version) is one of the cowboys seen in the Brown Country saloon. He seems to be a parody of the type of heroes in old westerns.

  • Terminator

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    Major Metallitron is a direct reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie "Terminator"

  • The Invisible Man

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    See-Through The Invisible Man from Fortuneteller Baba Saga is a direct reference to the book by the same name.

  • The Mummy

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    Bandages The Mummy from Fortuneteller Baba Saga is a direct reference to the movie with the same name

  • The Wizard of Oz

    There was a cameo of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and Jack Pumpkinhead from the Wizard of Oz in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament.

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  • Ultraseven

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    Kid Chichi's helmet is a reference to Ultraseven.

  • Unnamed Big Fighter

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    An unnamed fighter who fought the Bruce Lee Impersonator for 100,000 zen in the Red Ribbon Army Saga. This big fighter only appears in the anime. He bears a slight resemblance to retired USMC drill instructor and actor R. Lee Ermey.

  • Urashima Taro

    enter image description here   enter image description here

    The entire turtle storyline that leads into Kame Rennin's first appearance is a reference to the legend of Urashima Taro.


Dragon Ball Z

  • Aliens

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    Third Form of Frieza is a direct reference to Aliens from fictional novels.

  • Baragon

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    The monster who fought Frankenstein in "Frankenstein Conquers the World" and later joined Godzilla's family - A cameo in Capsule Corps' garden

  • Cinderella

    The names Bibidi, Babidi, and Buu are a direct reference to Fairy Godmother's song from Cinderella.

  • Himitsu no Akko-chan

    Yakon is named after the magical phrase "Teku-Maku-Mayakon" from the shoujo manga and anime Himitsu no Akko-chan.

  • KFC

    A KFC Colonel Sanders appears once during the Buu Saga.

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  • Michael Jackson

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    King Kai's Bubbles is a direct reference to Michael Jackson's Bubbles.

  • Mothra

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    Hirudegarn crashing into the TV tower before undergoing metamorphosis is an homage to the first Mothra movie (1961).

  • Super Sentai

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    Ginyu Force

    The Ginyu Force has some resemblances and references to Super Sentai teams (and by extension, Power Rangers teams): five color-coded warriors, tendencies to pose during battle, role calls and supernatural powers.

  • The Terminator

    Complete Android and Cell Saga is a reference to The Terminator

  • The Sword in the Stone

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    The Z-sword is a direct reference to The Sword in the Stone.

  • Yatterman

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    Gohan dressing up as "Great Saiyaman" Videl dressing up as "Great Saiyaman #2" is be a reference to Yatterman, where Yatterman's girlfriend is "Yatterman No.2".


DBZ Fukkatsu No F

Bruce Lee

share|improve this answer
    
countless indeed – Eumel Jan 22 at 13:27
    
Yeah, took me a lot of time to type it... – Pratyush Manocha Jan 22 at 13:29
    
Now that's a long answer – Chinatsu-creepy-chan Jan 22 at 13:36
    
Nice answer mate! It could be interesting to add (if one finds back the source) that Dragon's Ball author stated that all his manga's happened in the same world so this would be an "in universe" reason why there is so much references to his other works (Dr. Slump, etc) – Ikaros Jan 23 at 10:43
    
Thanx @Ikaros. As a matter of fact, I was inspired by you to write this answer.... Thanx a lot for giving me this idea...I will have to search more in that case... I added all those things which I found had something to support them... – Pratyush Manocha Jan 23 at 12:17

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