Chiaotzu, I won't let your sacrifice be in vain, I promise! This Saiyan goes down right now... or I'll be with you again soon!
~ Tien Shinhan before sacrificing himself in an attempt to kill Nappa.

Tenshinhan (known as Tien Shinhan in the Funimation dub) is a Dragon Ball Z hero and a Z Warrior. He originally starts out as a villain but later becomes a hero. He defeated Goku in the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai and his best friend is Chiaotzu. Tenshinhan is one of the strongest Earthlings on the show and becomes one of Goku's greatest allies.


Tien Shinhan is a very muscular bald-headed man of an above-average height. His most prominent feature is his third eye, which he has inherited from his alien ancestors (although some sources claim the third eye was achieved via intense meditation). Allegedly, Tien is not naturally bald, as it is stated by his former mentor, Master Shen, that he shaves his head regularly. Another noteworthy trait of his, is the large scar on the right side of his chest, starting at his collar bone and running all the way down to his abdomen; Tien received this scar at the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai during his fight against his former mentor, Mercenary Tao, who caught him off guard with his Hidden Blade attack, scarring him for life. Throughout the series, he was worn a large number of outfits. However, out of all of his many outfits, the most iconic one is the green gi he wore during the Cell Saga; which consists of a green one shoulder tank top, a pair of baggy green pants, red-and-green wristbands, black boots with yellow covers and a red sash. Tien's non-combat outfit typically consists of a Hanfu-style robe with loose pants and boots, in contrast to the Manchu-style clothing that most Chinese characters in the series wear.


Tien Shinhan was originally a cold and ruthless (both as a warrior and a person), showing little care for others (with the exception of his cohorts), as he at one point contemplated killing Son Goku for being a potential threat to them. He highly respected Mercenary Tao and wanted to be a famous assassin like him. He also demonstrated a sense of brutality by needlessly breaking Yamcha's leg after defeating him.

Due to Master Roshi and Goku's consolations, Tien's personality had changed drastically to the point that he had wished to atone for his sins. Despite the transition and making new friends, Tien is very reclusive and spends his time training to become a better fighter. He (like Piccolo and Vegeta) is very stern and serious, displaying a lesser comical side compared to most of the other members of the Dragon Team.

In battle, Tien fights honorably and dislikes any kind of foul play. He hates being on the sidelines, and unlike the other Earthling characters in the latter half of the story (such as Kuririn and Yamcha, the latter of whom eventually retired from fighting), he will still fight regardless of the odds.

His best friend is Chiaotzu, whom he cares deeply about, as the two are often together. After changing his ways, Tien apologizes to Yamcha and the two become good friends and forged a friendly rivalry, the two men are shown working well alongside each other in combat. He doesn't think much on romance, having an on and off relationship with Launch (sometimes leaving before she even arrives).


Dragon Ball

Fortuneteller Baba Saga

Tien Shinhan Saga

King Piccolo Saga

Piccolo Jr. Saga

Dragon Ball Z

Saiyan Saga

During the Saiyan Saga, Tien, Chiaotzu, Krillin, Yamcha and Yajirobe all trained on Kami's Lookout for a year in preparation to battle against the Saiyans. Grieving over Chiaotzu's futile sacrifice, Tien puts all of his remaining energy into one attack to kill Nappa, only to die in the process.

Frieza Saga

Thanks to Kami's influence, Tien is joined by the others who died during the Saiyan attack on Earth (Chiaotzu, Yamcha and Piccolo). After travelling across Snake Way (in a far shorter time than Goku), they were able to train on King Kai's planet, and personally requested for tougher training than what Goku received. While there, Tien makes amazing progress and goes from being killed by Nappa to defeating Jeice and Burter, members of the Ginyu Force. After being wished back to life, Tien and Chiaotzu go into solitude to train.

Cell Saga

Majin Buu Saga

Dragon Ball Super

Battle of the Gods Saga

Resurrection of 'F' Saga

Champa Saga

Goku Black Saga

Universal Survival Saga

Dragon Ball GT

Baby Saga

Shadow Dragons Saga


Bardock, The Father of Goku

Mystical Adventure

The Tree of Might

Bojack Unbound

Battle of the Gods

Resurrection of 'F'

Powers and Abilities

Tien Shinhan is one of the strongest Earthling characters in the Dragon Ball franchise. He can manipulate ki and use various techniques such as the Dodonpa (a beam fired from his index finger), the Kikoho (a strong blast attack that can drain the user's health), and the Taiyokan (a flash of light that can reduce vision).

Due to being part of the Three-Eyed Clan, Tien can grow extra limbs, move each of his eyes independently, and split his body into two. His third eye can see through illusions (i.e. the Afterimage technique).



  • Tien's Japanese name is a pun on Tenshindon, a quasi-chise dish invented in Japan and consisting of a crabmeat omelet over rice.
  • According to the Databooks:
    • Tenshinhan's hobby is playing volleyball with Chiaotzu.
    • His favorite foods are jiaozi and shumai.
    • His favorite animals are llamas and ostriches.
  • There has been a debate as to who's stronger between Tien and Krillin.
  • The origin of Tenshinhan's third eye varies between various sources. Some sources claim that he attained it through intense meditation, other claim that he is a descendant of the Three-Eyed Clan (or at least a hybrid between a Human and a Triclops).
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, if the Future Warrior is an Earthling and talks to him, Tenshinhan will admit that he (along with Krillin and Yamcha) puts in twice the effort in his training in order to compete with the other races.
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