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"I must give Dr. Gero credit for his brilliant design. My complete power had been restored even though I had lost Android 18. My cells had tasted the power and stored it away, reawakening it after the explosion while my new body grew."

"Cell Returns!" (はくちゅうあく!! きょうはよりかんぺき Hakuchū no Akumu!! Kyōfu wa yori Kanpeki ni, lit. "The Nightmare is Reborn!! An Absolute and Perfect Terror") is the twenty-fourth episode of the Cell Games Saga and the one hundred eighty-ninth overall episode in the uncut Dragon Ball Z series. This episode first aired in Japan on June 16, 1993. Its original American airdate was December 20, 2000.



Gohan, ready to avenge his father

After killing Future Trunks, Cell asks to the horrified Z-Fighters if they're surprised to see him, only for Gohan to denounce the bio-android as a monster, citing Cell's action to Future Trunks. Cell, while making clear that Goku, unlike himself, did not survive, explains how he survived after the explosion of King Kai's Planet. Cell explains that his central nucleus had survived, allowing him to regenerate, and that his cells had retained the knowledge of his perfect power. Being of Saiyan genetics, Cell also reveals to have received a massive Saiyan Power from being as close to death as biologically possible. After hearing about how Cell survived, Gohan powers up to his maximum, and is ready to avenge his father's death.


Cell chops Vegeta

After watching Future Trunks twitch to stay alive, Vegeta screams with rage and attacks Cell out of rage by firing a Maximum Flasher followed up with multiple ki blasts. After this giant barrage of energy blasts, Vegeta is knocked down by the powerful android and is almost killed by a Ki Wave. However, Gohan jumps in front of Vegeta and takes the blast, which breaks his left arm, rendering it useless. Knowing that he has been dealt a heavy blow, Gohan realizes that it will take a miracle to defeat Cell once and for all as the latter proudly states that he will live forever.

Major Events

  • Vegeta attacks Cell in a fury after his son is killed.
  • Cell severely damages Gohan's arm when trying to kill Vegeta.


  • Vegeta (Super Saiyan) vs. Cell (Super Perfect)







Bruce Faulconer tracks

Differences from the manga

  • Due to Caroni, Pirozhki and Miss Piiza being created for the anime, all scenes involving them are exclusive to the anime.
  • Mr. Popo asking Dende what they can do after Cell returns and Dendes uncertain reply is exclusive to the anime.


  • In the English versions, there is an inconsistency with Cell's dialogue: after Cell recounts how he survived and returned, he says "Goku failed, and so will all of you, but I'm willing to give you another chance if you want!" However, when Vegeta is remembering Future Trunks' death, Cell's quote is changed to "Goku tried to destroy me but failed! Thanks to him, I am stronger than I have ever been!" The second quote is more accurate to what he says in the Japanese version.
  • This is the first episode in which Vegeta shows love for his family, both in his mental dialogue about Future Trunks dying and in becoming enraged that Super Perfect Cell killed his son.


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