"This is not about me. Or rather, this is about the bad things in my life that made me no better than King Piccolo. This is about atonement. And I only hope it's enough."
Tien Shinhan (天津飯 Tenshinhan) is a disciplined, reclusive and heavily devoted martial artist, and one of the strongest Earthlings within the Dragon Ball universe. He also possesses a few non-human traits due to being descended from the alien Triclops race. He was originally a student of the Crane School who desired revenge against Goku for defeating his mentor, Mercenary Tao, but realized he was on the wrong side with the help of Master Roshi. He battles alongside the other Z Fighters against major threats to the Earth, often courageously engaging enemies far more powerful than himself. However, he spends most of his time training with his lifelong best friend, Chiaotzu.
Tien Shinhan is a tall and very muscular bald-headed man. His by far 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). The third eye is indeed real, as he has proved at several occasions that he can both move it around and close it, and even shoot ki laser beams out of it. Allegedly, Tien is not naturally bald, as it is stated by his former mentor, Master Shen, that he shaves his head much like Krillin does, though unlike Krillin he has never been seen unshaven. 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 World Martial Arts Tournament during his fight against his former mentor, Mercenary Tao, who caught him off guard with his illegal 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 most likely has to be the Gi he wore during the Androids Saga; which consists of a green baggy 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 wears.
Tien wears a primarily green, black and brown-red formal outfit in Battle of Gods and the manga version of the Universe 6 and Universe Survival Sagas. In Resurrection ‘F’ and the anime version of the Universe 6 and Universe Survival Sagas he wears a primarily black, pale yellow and brown-red version of this outfit.
Tien Shinhan was originally a cold-hearted and ruthless warrior, never caring for anyone's life with the exception of his fellow students and mentors. This brutality can be plainly seen when he crushes Yamcha's and another fighter's leg during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. However, he finds a lifelong best friend in Chiaotzu, for whom he cares deeply, and vice-versa. He highly idolized his mentor Mercenary Tao and desired to be a famous assassin like him. Due to Master Roshi's and Goku's influence, he changed his demeanor and became one of the most respected warriors on the planet. Before he transitioned to the good side, he planned to kill Goku during the World Martial Arts Tournament as he was seen as a threat to himself and his cohorts.
However, this mentality soon changes with the realization that he disagrees with the brutal methods employed by his masters, Shen and Mercenary Tao. He goes off on his own to train and soon becomes a powerful ally to Goku and the others. His personality transitions from one of a brutal killer to that of an honorable warrior who cares deeply for those he strives to protect. He occasionally tries to repent for his former brutality, but eventually rises above his horrid memories and looks toward to the future. He is very stern and serious, not cracking jokes and goofing around as often as most of the other Z-Fighters.
During Dragon Ball Z, he is seen striving to become a powerful warrior and still hopes to surpass Goku one day. Tien despises staying on the sidelines whilst his more powerful friends and allies fight opponents far stronger than he and will always attempt to assist even if he knows that it will most likely lead to his death. Despite making new friends, Tien stays reclusive and is not very socially active, spending most of his time training to become a better fighter, although he still goes to Bulma's parties and interacts well with others there. Although he lets go of his grudge against Goku and the others, he is still capable of holding animosity towards people he considers unrepentant. One known person is Vegeta, whom Tien blames for almost destroying the Earth, and continued to view him as an enemy when he began allying with the Z-Fighters, (despite later knowing that the Saiyan prince himself was a slave of Frieza). However, he forgives Vegeta after he proves crucial in the defeat of Kid Buu and is later seen being civil with him.
Tien valiantly fights and defeats a Saibaman when the Saiyans arrive, and does battle with Nappa, during which Chiaotzu sacrifices himself in vain, causing Tien Shinhan to put all his effort into one final attack, which fails. Tien Shinhan dies a hero's death, but is revived later by Porunga. When the conflict with the Androids comes into full swing, Tien puts his life on the line numerous times when assisting his friends against the mechanical demons, most notably when using his life-force to hold Cell at bay, nearly sacrificing his own life to allow Android 16 and Android 18 to escape, thus saving the Earth from certain destruction. When Super Buu threatens Earth's existence seven years later, Tien arrives just in time to save Gohan from a certain death.
In Dragon Ball Super, Tien's personality remains mostly the same, and is brave enough to fight against the God of Destruction Beerus, the Frieza Force, and Yurin's spell-empowered minion's (including Master Roshi). Since opening his own dojo in the Universe Survival Saga, he is shown to be a serious and strict teacher, but at the same time, patiently looks forward to his student's development. During the Tournament of Power, Tien's brave and noble actions saved his entire team from the sniper duo of Universe 2. Impressed by his bravery and noble will, Beerus uncharacteristically praises Tien's fighting spirit following his elimination telling him he has nothing to be ashamed of, having earned the God of Destruction's respect.
He is not very technologically savvy or current with the times, so much so that he doesn't even have a cellphone, which proved a hindrance during the Galactic Patrol Prisoner saga, when the Z Fighters had no way to contact Tien to inform him of the growing problems. It's later revealed in the aforementioned saga that Tien's not very good at all at insulting people, as he was struggling to to find the words to hurt Bikkura Quoitur's feelings.
He has a unique physical composition as a throwback to his ancestors, the Three-Eyed clan; he has the ability to grow arms from his back and split into four people, as well as shoot laser beams out of his third eye. Due to being raised by Master Shen, Tien lost the ability to use the myriad powers of his third eye for good purposes. During the early years of his life, Tien entered Master Shen's Crane School. There, he learned powerful ki-based techniques such as the Solar Flare, the Dodon Ray and the Tri-Beam, and he was taught defensive techniques by Master Shen's younger brother, Mercenary Tao.
Fortuneteller Baba Saga
Main article: Fortuneteller Baba Saga
In the anime, Tien and Chiaotzu first meet Goku when they are pretending to save villages from InoShikaCho by pretending to kill it. When Goku discovers that they are really con artists, he tries to expose them by making the supposedly dead beast laugh, but Tien turns the people against Goku, saying that it is Goku who is partnered with InoShikaCho instead. Tien accomplishes this through hanging InoShikaCho over a fire and telling Goku to leave the beast to burn if he was not allied with it. When the merciful Goku cuts InoShikaCho down, he is chased away from the village.
Tien Shinhan Saga
Main article: Tien Shinhan Saga
Tien's first major role in the series begins at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. Introduced as the star pupils of the Crane School, Master Shen is entering Tien and Chiaotzu to defeat the students of his lifelong rival, the Turtle Hermit Master Roshi. In the preliminary rounds, Tien Shinhan leaves Nam unconscious and nearly dead after their match in order to send a clear message to Goku and his friends about what exactly they are up against. Tien faces little in the way of a challenge during the preliminaries and easily makes his way into the finals.
Using Chiaotzu's mental powers to fix the ordering of the matches in the quarter-finals, Tien decides to first face off against Turtle student Yamcha, whom he had been exchanging hostile words with since the start of the tournament. Yamcha puts up a better fight than Tien expected, but was still not a significant threat to Tien, who not only defeated him, but went further and ended the match by needlessly breaking Yamcha's leg while he was unconscious. Soon after this fight, when Chiaotzu uses the Dodon Ray against Krillin during their battle, and Goku mentions that it is same move that Mercenary Tao used, he learns of the death of his role-model and martial arts teacher Tao by the hands of Turtle student Goku and the tournament becomes more about revenge than victory.
Tien's next opponent is the winner of the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, Jackie Chun and he faces his first true challenge. Jackie Chun challenges Tien not only in physical combat, but also begins to warn him about following an evil path. With the help of the Master Shen, Tien learns that Jackie Chun is actually Master Roshi in a disguise and proceeds to use Master Roshi's signature move, the Kamehameha against him. After this, despite having shown none of his true power, Roshi concedes the match and hops out the ring. Tien proceeds to track down Master Roshi shortly afterwards to find out why he forfeited, to which Master Roshi responds by telling Tien that it is time for younger fighters, Tien included, to take his place.
Tien then proceeds to battle in the final round against Goku himself. Goku is a powerful opponent and the fight seems to be relatively even until Goku suddenly becomes unable to throw a punch or dodge an attack without becoming frozen in place. Tien quickly learns that Chiaotzu is rigging the fight under Master Shen's orders and he demands that Chiaotzu stop since he wants a fair match. Master Shen takes this as defiance and orders Tien to kill Goku, but Tien, thinking about his own desires for the first time, humbly refuses (Thus, Master Roshi's words have proven true and Tien rejects the path of an assassin). The now infuriated Master Shen orders Chiaotzu to kill both Tien and Goku, and when Chiaotzu refuses, Shen then threatens to kill him instead. Master Roshi puts an end to this by blasting Master Shen out of the stadium with a Kamehameha, allowing Tien and Goku to concentrate on their match.
After deliberately letting Goku give him a beating to make up for the beating he gave him while paralyzed, Tien and Goku continue to battle and Tien sprouts two extra arms to fight Goku. He grabs hold of Goku's arms and legs with his four arms, and then precedes to smash Goku's stomach into his head, which causes Goku a lot of pain. He does this for a couple of times, but then Goku frees himself by slapping Tien in the face with his tail. Goku counters it when he grabs Tien's legs and holds onto them, causing Tien pain. Tien manages to throw Goku off, and they continue the fight.
Tien then decides to put an end to the match and use his ultimate attack, the Tri-Beam. He warns Goku to expect and dodge the blast (as there is no way to survive being hit by it) planning to force him out of bounds instead. Tien proceeds to use the attack and destroys the entire arena. Because of his warning, Goku dodged by leaping incredibly high in the air. Tien is convinced he will win at this point, as he can fly and Goku cannot, but Goku uses one final Kamehameha to propel himself into Tien like a rocket. Both fighters then fall to the ground, Goku slightly ahead. Goku attempts to use another, smaller Kamehameha to slow himself down, but is hit by a truck and lands first. Tien lands an instant later, thus winning the tournament.
After the match, Tien receives 500,000 Zeni and offers Goku half of the prize money as he recognizes that, it was mere luck that he was the one who landed second referring to the fact Goku would have won otherwise. He also apologizes to Yamcha for using such excessive force during their fight and the two agree to meet at the next tournament. Master Roshi offers to let Tien stay at the Kame House, but Tien declines, stating that he cannot follow the teachings of another, even if he has betrayed his master.
King Piccolo Saga
Main article: King Piccolo Saga The good mood is short-lived however, as Turtle student Krillin is unexpectedly killed while separated momentarily from the group. Along with his body there was a note with the character "demon" on it. Master Roshi tells everyone that it represents an incredibly powerful Demon King, King Piccolo, who was sealed away centuries ago by Master Roshi's old master using the suicidal Evil Containment Wave technique, but is now apparently free again. On hearing this, Goku, still not fully recovered from his battle with Tien, rushes off in a rage to seek his revenge.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, Tien volunteers to help in anyway he can. He is informed of the seven Dragon Balls, which when collected summon the dragon that can grant any wish and, along with Chiaotzu and Master Roshi, is soon on a quest to retrieve them in order to have the Dragon eradicate King Piccolo. After finding several of them though, their radar which informs them of the Dragon Balls locations shows them that the remaining ones are actually coming to them, meaning King Piccolo is also seeking the Dragon Balls and is coming for theirs.
Before King Piccolo can confront them, Master Roshi unexpectedly knocks Tien out and hides him in a cave. Master Roshi plans on using the Evil Containment Wave against King Piccolo and, since Goku is thought to have already been killed, Master Roshi considers Tien to be the last line of defense for the planet in case he fails. Semi-conscious, Tien can do nothing but witnesses Master Roshi's ultimately unsuccessful stand against the powerful Demon King, and watches him die. King Piccolo wastes no time joining the Dragon Balls together to summon the Dragon and Tien, in desperation, orders Chiaotzu to quickly make a wish to destroy King Piccolo before the Demon King can make one himself. Chiaotzu tries, but is quickly killed mid-sentence from a blast by King Piccolo, an act Tien can only watch in horror. King Piccolo continues to make his wish and then destroys the Dragon, knowing it is the only thing that can stop him.
After regaining his mobility, and King Piccolo has long gone, Tien practices the Evil Containment Wave, having learned it from watching Master Roshi perform it. After many attempts, Tien has fully mastered the Evil Containment Wave and heads off to King Piccolo's location in Central City to confront the demon. After he arrives and challenges King Piccolo, he is horrified on discovering that the vessel to be King Piccolo's prison is cracked and useless from his practicing. Knowing that he will not be able to use the Evil Containment Wave, Tien decides to confront King Piccolo regardless. In the anime, the jar is safely brought to the battle inside of a capsule.
King Piccolo, not seeing Tien as being worth fighting, spawns a new minion, Drum, his most powerful son yet, to take care of him. Drum quickly dominates the battle, but Tien is able to knock him down giving him the opportunity to use the Evil Containment Wave on King Piccolo. However, Drum gets in the way of the blast and before Tien can seal Drum in the Electric Rice Cooker, King Piccolo destroys it. Drum is about to finish Tien off when Goku intervenes and saves him, killing Drum with a single kick. Tien, amazed at Goku's new power, can only watch as Goku and King Piccolo then battle it out, using the last of his strength part way through their match to quickly fly in and levitate Goku out of the path of a powerful attack by King Piccolo. When the battle seems to be turning against King Piccolo, the Demon King decides to take Tien hostage in order to force Goku to allow himself to be crippled. Piccolo says that if Goku does not do what he orders, he will crush Tien's head. After King Piccolo severely damages Goku, Tien is discarded by King Piccolo, but Goku is more resilient than King Piccolo thought and uses one final attack to kill the Demon King.
With the battle over, Tien now heads back to the Kame House with Goku's friends Launch, Yamcha and Bulma. Tien gets all of his wounds treated by Launch, which he thanks her for. After hearing the huge news that Goku is getting trained by Kami up in the sky for three years, he vows to train harder than ever before in order to for sure bridge the now massive gap between himself and Goku.
Piccolo Jr. Saga
Main article: Piccolo Jr. Saga
Tien keeps up his training, redoubling his efforts after learning that Goku is being trained by Kami, Guardian of the Earth. With the dragon restored, a wish is made to bring all those killed by King Piccolo back to life. Tien then trains with Yamcha and the newly resurrected Krillin and Chiaotzu until they are informed by Master Roshi that, to be able to compete with Goku, they are going to need to find better ways to train than are available at the Kame House. They all head to Korin Tower and train with Korin before each going their own separate way.
Three years after King Piccolo's defeat, Tien, along with Yamcha, Chiaotzu and Krillin, return to compete in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. He is somewhat surprised to see the now teenaged Goku and hopeful that he is even more powerful than before. His real shock, however, is seeing Piccolo Jr., and realizing that something of the Demon King has survived. Goku asks him to remain silent about the matter for the time, not wishing to create a panic.
When the lots are drawn up to determine the order of the fights, Tien once again has Chiaotzu manipulate the cards so that none of the group (Tien, Yamcha, Goku, Chiaotzu, and Krillin) or Piccolo Jr. fight each other in the preliminaries. Though the others are not aware of the number fiddling, and simply think that it is a coincidence.
The early matches seem to be going as usual, with the group quickly dispatching their foes. Tien then receives a horrible sense of something awful happening to Chiaotzu, and races to the scene and finds Chiaotzu heavily wounded and unconscious, which makes him furious. Chiaotzu's opponent turns out to be the now cybernetically repaired Mercenary Tao, greatly surprising Tien, who thought Tao to be dead. Tao explains that after his seeming death by Goku, he was rebuilt into the half-man half-machine before them, and that he seeks revenge on both Goku and the Crane School "traitor" Tien. Tien claims he has not betrayed Shen, but realized Shen's teachings were wrong. He gladly accepts his former mentor's challenge, wanting to avenge his best friend.
"What I say to you is out of concern, not disrespect. You and your brother taught me how to fight, I am grateful for your guidance. I do not wish to see you lose in disgrace. Leave the ring now."
They get their wish as Tien and Mercenary Tao are the first of the eight finalists to fight. After a long silence, Tao lunges at Tien, but Tien quickly sidesteps and counters, knocking Tao to the ground. Tien then states that he does not want to embarrass Tao, since he taught him how to fight. Tien also forgives Mercenary Tao for what he did to Chiaotzu and tells him to forfeit. Tao refuses this and presses on his assault, though he is clearly outclassed by Tien, who dominates the whole battle. After Tien grabs one of Tao's wrists and attempts to escort him off the ring, the cyborg pulls a surprise maneuver and detaches his mechanical hand, revealing a knife that he quickly uses to slash Tien, scarring him permanently. Though disqualified for use of a weapon, Tao does not care, as he only participated in the tournament to kill Tien and Goku. Tao quickly drops his other hand to reveal a cannon and fires a Super Dodon Wave at Tien, claiming Tien has no chance of survival. Tien however nullifies the large blast with his Kiai and then proceeds to defeat Tao with a single punch to the gut. He takes Tao's unconscious body out of bounds and presents it to the watching Master Shen, telling him to take his brother and leave, and to never bother him again.
Tien's next fight is the one he has been waiting for, a rematch against Goku. The battle starts with numerous quick sparrings and shows to be fairly even, but with Tien having an edge in raw speed. This changes after Goku removes his weighted clothing though, making Goku fast enough to steal Tien's belt without Tien even noticing; resulting in Tien's boxers to be exposed to the audience. Realizing that he will not be able to defeat Goku physically, Tien uses a new technique he has created, the Multi-Form, and splits into four identical copies of himself. The Tiens disperse to the four corners of the ring, each one then firing a Ki Blast Cannon at the center, where Goku is, resulting in a large explosion which Goku has to leap to avoid. The Tiens quickly fire again, this time from their third eyes, at Goku, sending him crashing back to the ring. The Tiens warn Goku to give up before he gets hurt, but he appears unfazed by their attacks, and states they will not be able to pull off that trick again, which they then promptly attempt.
Goku dodges the beams this time though, and uses the Solar Flare against them, blinding the Tiens. He then quickly dispatches each of them, causing them to revert to the single being. Goku states that the new technique Tien has a critical weakness, as Tien's power is divided amongst the duplicates. With the fight over, Tien looks forward to their next rematch, suspecting that Goku was still holding quite a bit back.
Tien plays little role in following battles, he can only watch as Goku fights the seemingly all-powerful Piccolo Jr. He offers his assistance at several points, but is denied by Goku who wants to fight the demon alone, though he does open the Sealed Flask, which Piccolo Jr. used to trap Kami, after Goku tosses it to him. Tien also helps to evacuate their friends, creating a pit in the earth for them to take shelter from the Hyper Explosive Demon Wave, one of Piccolo Jr.'s more devastating attacks.
When it looks like Goku has been beaten, him having most of his limbs broken and with Piccolo Jr. close to finishing him off, Tien reluctantly accepts the order from Kami to kill the elderly guardian, thus also killing Piccolo Jr. He is stopped by Goku though, who says there will be no need for such extreme measures, he then evades the demon's onslaught and ends up defeating him with a surprise attack. After Piccolo Jr. is defeated, Tien joins in on the tournament victory celebration, and even shares a couple of laughs with Goku and Roshi. He is also among with the others very shocked over Goku's decision to give the demon a Senzu Bean to heal his wounds. Only a few moments after this, Kami asks Tien if he is expecting a visitor, and to his surprise he sees Chiaotzu flying towards him with a bandage warped around his head, and he is very happy to see that his best friend is alive and well. He then watches as Goku and Chi-Chi flies away from the World Tournament area on the Flying Nimbus.
Dragon Ball Z
Main article: Vegeta Saga Five years after the tournament, Tien learns that Goku has died in battle against an amazingly powerful warrior called Raditz, a Saiyan who was Goku's older brother. Even more disturbing is that two more Saiyans, both more powerful than Raditz, are on their way to Earth and will be there in about one year.
In the early days, the wild Launch develops a bit of an infatuation with Tien, and she continues to chase him wherever he goes. Tien wastes no time, and is invited, along with Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Yajirobe and Krillin, to train at The Lookout so they can aid Goku when he is wished back to life in a year, after he completes his training with King Kai. In filler during this period, Tien and the other Z Fighters on Earth fight Shorty and Scarface, two illusion Saiyans they met on Planet Vegeta when using the Pendulum Room at Kami's Lookout to go back in time. Tien and his friends are overpowered greatly by the Saiyans, before they are transferred back to Kami's Lookout. The experience frightens Tien and the others, so they continue to train as hard as they possibly can.
When the Saiyans finally do arrive, the Z-Fighters decide to hold them off until Goku can arrive. Tien and Chiaotzu eventually find the Saiyans, Piccolo, Gohan, and Krillin's location, and join them, soon followed by Yamcha. Vegeta, deciding to toy with his opponents, has Nappa grow several Saibamen in the soil so that he can hold a small challenge. Knowing that they have to buy time, the Z-Fighters agree to this, and Tien volunteers to go first. He manages to quickly defeat the vicious creature (in two hits to be precise), which causes Vegeta to destroy it for its severe incompetence.
After all the Saibamen are killed, Nappa decides to enter the fray himself, taking on Tien as his first opponent. Tien is no match for the giant Saiyan warrior, and has his left arm ripped off in a single hit. Immediately, Tien tries to use levitation to escape, but is quickly smashed to the floor hard with the second hit. Seeing this, Chiaotzu sacrifices himself with a a self-destruction attack against Nappa, but it was in vain as Nappa remains completely unharmed and starts to fight with the now ally Piccolo and Goku's son, Gohan though even altogether they prove to still be no match for him.
Tien, enraged by the death of Chiaotzu, puts all his remaining strength into one final Tri-beam through his remaining right hand, killing himself from exhaustion in the process. The attack manages to do serious damage to Nappa's armor, but does not seriously damage the Saiyan warrior. In the anime however, Nappa goes as far as to praise Tien's efforts, claiming that had his aim been better, it would have seriously injured him. The attempt also shocked Vegeta, as he was the one to warn Nappa of its power and stating that if he had not warned Nappa, it could have killed him.
Because of the influence of Kami, after he perished, Tien was allowed to train on King Kai's Planet in the Other World as Goku did earlier. Joining him were the other warriors who also perished in the battle against the Saiyans, Chiaotzu, Piccolo and Yamcha. On King Kai's planet, King Kai contacts Goku and tells him that his friends all crossed Snake Way in a far shorter time than he did, and that they all requested for tougher training than what Goku had received. Prior to beginning his training with King Kai, Tien has difficulty making King Kai laugh during the prerequisite joke-telling test. In order to finally deliver a successful joke, Tien must literally power up and use the Multi-Form technique as he aggressively declares "You can tune a piano, but you can't tune a (tuna) fish" in the English version, and "You think what's up your nose is a secret but it's not (snot)" in the Japanese dub.
Tien, along with Chiaotzu and Yamcha, remains on King Kai's planet and learns of everyone's (Goku, Vegeta, Krillin, Gohan, Dende and Piccolo fused with Nail) mighty struggle with the evil tyrant Frieza on Namek. While there, in a filler scenario, King Kai calls upon the deceased Ginyu Force (excluding Captain Ginyu) to challenge Tien, Yamcha and Chiaotzu. Tien takes on both Jeice and Burter, and disposes of them rather quickly and easily, showing off how much stronger he had gotten. Knowing the Ginyu Force at one time defeated Vegeta, gave them all a sense of pride. Tien is eventually wished back to life along with Chiaotzu by a wish made to Porunga, as they willingly agreed on getting revived 4 months after Yamcha, in order to not get separated. Once back on Earth, Tien and Chiaotzu go into solitude, training in the mountains.
Main article: Trunks Saga
A year later, while Tien and Chiaotzu are training in the mountains, they are interrupted when they sense two very powerful evil energies heading towards Earth. They then fly to the location of where the power is coming from. Both Tien and Chiaotzu are surprised to find Vegeta there (who was somewhat reformed during the crisis on Namek and now resides on Earth with Bulma) and the other Z-Fighters who inform them that the power they are detecting is Frieza, who has somehow survived the destruction of Namek, in company with his previously unknown father, King Cold. When Frieza does land, he is quickly dispatched by an unknown mysterious youth (Future Trunks). Piccolo, overhearing the young Super Saiyan's private conversation with Goku, tells everyone the warning that two incredibly powerful Androids will attack in three years time and defeat everyone with the exception of Gohan (and, of course, Future Trunks, but Piccolo does not make mention of the youth in order to keep his identity a secret). During the three years of training, Tien trains intensively and uninterruptedly alongside Chiaotzu across the Earth and his power increases.
Main article: Androids Saga
"Whatever it costs me, I will fight."
The three years soon pass and the Z-Fighters head to the location where the androids soon appear. Tien Shinhan tells the other Z-Fighters that he left Chiaotzu behind as he felt that even though they trained, he would not have been able to keep up in the battle. Enraged after witnessing Android 20 destroys half of the city where they appeared, Goku, Piccolo, and Tien fly off to a different location with the Androids following them. Tien notices that Goku is somehow already tired and out of breath just by flying. It is revealed that Goku's deadly heart virus is the cause of this abnormal lack of energy.
Not too long after this, Future Trunks arrives to the battlefield, bringing them the unexpected news that the Android pair that they have been fighting with, are not the ones that he had warned them about. Shocked and concerned at the reveal of this game-changing info, Krillin, Piccolo, and Tien head off after Android 20 (who is revealed to be Dr. Gero), in search for his laboratory. Tien himself does not get the opportunity to do any fighting until Android 16, Android 17, and Android 18 appear. He attacks Android 17, but is quickly over-powered by him, and ends up being choked until he is dropped. When the Androids leave to continue their pursuit of Goku, who is recovering from a heart disease, Tien concludes that these Androids turned out to be far stronger than anything they could have anticipated, and so he goes off with Chiaotzu to train and become powerful enough to help against this new threat.
He is soon interrupted from this to lend his aid in hunting for the new menace, Cell. Tien tags along with Piccolo to, as quickly as possible, visit the places where Cell's energy shows up. But due to how great the monster is at hiding its energy, the hunt for it seems rather impossible. A couple days later Tien makes a visit to Master Roshi to check up on Goku's health. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the androids shows up asks where they are hiding Goku. Piccolo tell them that they will have to force it out of him. Not too long after the battle starts, Tien senses Cell's energy nearby. Tien decides to go after Cell and help Piccolo in any way he can, saying that it is under his dignity to just be a bystander.
Tien quickly catches up with Imperfect Cell, and witnesses his battle against the combined force of Piccolo and Android 17. Imperfect Cell defeats Piccolo though. When Imperfect Cell gets up, after being shot by Android 16, Tien tries to warn Android 17, but Android 17 ends up absorbed. This allows Imperfect Cell to become Semi-Perfect Cell. Semi-Perfect Cell then makes his move to absorb Android 18 as well, but is held off by Tien, who uses his Neo Tri-Beam to hold Semi-Perfect Cell in place. He knows the risk of the technique, that it can kill him if he spends too much energy, but he proceeds nonetheless. This maneuver stops Cell from pursuing Android 18 for some time, but slowly drains Tien's life force. Tien uses every ounce of energy he has, which ends in Tien passing out. Goku arrives and relieves the thoroughly drained Tien before he is destroyed by Semi-Perfect Cell.
When Perfect Cell declares his Cell Games, Tien decides to remain on the sidelines out of the fight; he even is given the chance to enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, but he bitterly declines the invitation, stating he has no chance against Cell. He does however get thrown into the mix when Perfect Cell spawns seven Cell Juniors to torment the Z-Fighters, in an effort to make Gohan angry. Despite receiving a severe beating by the small creatures, he does get in a hit with Yamcha while saving Goku (anime only). He and the other Z-Fighters soon get saved from the Cell Jrs. by Gohan, who turned Super Saiyan 2.
During Gohan's final battle with Super Perfect Cell, Tien vows not to let Gohan die as he feels guilty for letting Goku sacrifice himself (especially since Goku was largely the reason he trained extensively at martial arts). Tien, Piccolo, Yamcha, and Krillin all repeatedly fire energy blasts at Cell from behind in order to aid Gohan. The Z-Fighters are eventually brushed aside by Cell who is then finally defeated by Gohan with the help of an apologetic Vegeta. At Kami's Lookout, Tien tells the other Z-Fighters that he is going to get Chiaotzu and that they will most likely never meet again (which stays true for about 7 years). Saying his farewells, and confidently telling Trunks he will have no trouble whatsoever with defeating the future Androids, he then flies into the distance.
Majin Buu Saga
"Hardly recognize you Gohan. You've changed a lot, inside and out, good for you. But I see Majin Buu did some changing too!"
Seven years later, Tien Shinhan makes an appearance with Chiaotzu as their training in the mountains is interrupted when they both sense Goku transforming into his Super Saiyan 3 form, both shocked by the power.
Tien later reappears alongside Chiaotzu whilst they are training in the mountains. Here, himself and Chiaotzu manage to evade being hit by Super Buu's Human Extinction Attack, which was used to exterminate the population of Earth. They then briefly examine the small craters left behind by Super Buu's attack.
When Tien finally intervenes into the main battle, he saves Mr. Satan, Gohan, Dende and Bee from being killed by Super Buu (w/ Gotenks absorbed). Tien's strength appears to have increased drastically, but due to the enormous power differences he is unable to make any further impacts in the battle. Both annoyed and entertained by the sudden interruption, Buu shoots a small ki blast at him, which he is able to dodge quite easily. Whilst in mid-air, Tien quickly takes a look at the destruction caused by the ki blast, before landing on a cliff edge. He then fires a Tri-Beam at Buu, but is unable to damage the monster at all. He then says the situation is just like he feared, and that the power differences are too big for him to be of any help. After being cut in half by Goku, Buu's legs land right next to Tien, who is soon dispatched after a single sucker kick from Super Buu.
Throughout the rest of the fight against Buu, Tien presumably lays unconscious on the ground. In the anime he gets healed by Dende as soon as Buu goes chasing after Goku and Vegeta, but is not seen after that. When the Earth was destroyed by Kid Buu, Tien and Chiaotzu are also killed in the process. Once the Earth is restored and everyone is revived by the Namekian Dragon Balls, he and Chiaotzu later donate their energy to the Super Spirit Bomb so that Goku without a doubt will be able to kill Kid Buu, which he does not long after. He is later on seen over at a party held at Bulma's house.
After the end of the saga, the stoic Tien Shinhan mainly does farming in addition to his training. He can split into multiple bodies and grow extra arms, so harvesting the crops goes quickly. He is found by Launch, who fell in love with him at first sight and had been constantly pursuing his whereabouts, once again and even reluctantly lives together with her. As she is not cut out for farming and Tien has no interest in romance, she leaves after just a few days. After that, Launch apparently stops in from time to time. Though Tien gave her the cold shoulder, she still tenaciously persisted and eventually she and Tien got together as she wanted.
Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!
Main article: Dragon Ball: The Return of Son Goku and Friends! Two years after Kid Buu's defeat, Tien and Chiaotzu attend Mr. Satan's banquet at Mr. Satan's newly made hotel which celebrate Buu's defeat. The celebration is crashed by a brother duo, Abo and Cado, who are after Vegeta's brother, Tarble. The brothers are challenged by Trunks and Goten but they fail in defeating them. The brothers, merged as Aka, unleash a technique that destroyed the hotel. Aka is then defeated by Goku with a Kamehameha. After this encounter, they continue their feast.
Tien Shinhan (along with Chiaotzu) only appears in the manga version, in the anime version he was neither seen or even mentioned.
Dragon Ball Super
God of Destruction Beerus Saga
Main article: God of Destruction Beerus Saga
"His strength, it's incredible."
While flying, they see Krillin, Android 18, Marron, Yamcha, and Puar. Tien Shinhan seems to be enjoying the party like everyone else. After the battle between Majin Buu and Beerus, Tien Shinhan along with Android 18 and Piccolo attempt to stop Beerus, all throwing a barrage of punches and kicks at him. Their attacks were being dodged until Beerus unleashed a kiai wiping out the three. After being defeated, Tien Shinhan realizes how strong Beerus is. After Vegeta sees Bulma get hit by Beerus and goes fully enraged, Tien Shinhan is amazed by Vegeta's power increase. Time has passed and Oolong is in a rock-paper-scissors match with Beerus. Oolong loses and Beerus's gets to destroy the Earth. Tien is frustrated that Beerus is going to blow up the Earth but Goku arrives and asks for time to find out more about the Super Saiyan God. He later watches the battle between Goku and Beerus. In the end, Beerus still beats Goku and spares the lives on Earth.
Golden Frieza Saga
Main article: Golden Frieza Saga
"That cold-blooded monster, he's gonna pay for this!"
Sometime after the battle with the God of Destruction Beerus, Tien Shinhan is farming with Chiaotzu when suddenly, the sky darkens almost instantly so they realize Shenron must have been summoned.
Four months later, Tien Shinhan heads towards North City where Frieza has arrived with his 1,000 soldiers and Frieza destroyed it using a Death Beam. When Tien Shinhan lands he tells Gohan and Piccolo that he did not want Chiaotzu to help because he thought it was too dangerous for him. When Bulma arrives he asks Krillin who the spaceman who is with her is, but Krillin has no idea either. He, along with Gohan, Master Roshi, Jaco, Piccolo, and Krillin battle Frieza's army. After taking out several enemies, Roshi suggests that they part so they would not be overrun. Tien Shinhan leads his group of soldiers into a cave and takes them on without breaking a sweat, killing at least 50 of them with a single Tri-Beam. Just a while later, all the Z-fighters decide to regroup, and they continue pretty effortlessly beating up Frieza Soldiers until there are none left.
After that, Tien Shinhan was taken out by Captain Ginyu, who possessed Tagoma's body. After the Galactic Frieza Army was finished, Tien Shinhan takes a Senzu Bean from Krillin. He is willing to stall for time against Frieza, but then he and the others get ordered to raise their power levels so Goku can find Earth. Tien Shinhan watches the fight between Goku and Frieza and later Vegeta who steps in after Goku is taken out. After Frieza destroys the Earth as a last-ditch effort, Tien Shinhan gets protected by Whis, along with the others. Whis undoes time for Goku, so he can be able to kill Frieza and send him back to Hell. He is later on seen at a party together with the other Z-fighters who participated in the fight against Frieza, eating and talking with Roshi and Vegeta, and is almost shocked when Trunks jokes about slicing Frieza in half.
Universe 6 Saga
Main article: Universe 6 Saga
Tien Shinhan travels with Goku and the rest of the gang to the Nameless Planet where the Tournament of Destroyers is being held and they are taken there in Whis' cube. During the brief break at Beerus' Planet, Tien and Chiaotzu are seen leaving the group to go on a stroll around the lake, presumably quite fascinated by the alien world. After two hours and forty-five minutes of traveling, they arrive on the Nameless Planet. Tien is a bystander and sits in the stands while as he watches the entire tournament unfold.
Main article: Copy-Vegeta Saga
"Future" Trunks Saga
Main article: "Future" Trunks Saga
In an extra set of panels for the manga version, after Future Trunks uses Solar Flare on the Zamasus to their annoyance, it flashes to the present where Tien notes to Chiatozu that he thinks a god may have insulted his technique.
In the anime, Tien Shinhan (along with Chiaotzu) was mentioned by Krillin who was concerned about their absence, and Yamcha explained that he left them behind because he felt that they could not keep up in the game of baseball.
Universe Survival Saga
Main article: Universe Survival Saga
In the anime, sometime prior to this saga, Tien Shinhan has opened up his own martial arts school called the Tien-Shin Style Dojo. Goku comes over to pays Tien a visit after he gets the news from Oolong that Master Roshi is over at the new martial arts Dojo that Tien has opened in the mountain village he lives in nowadays. Tien was seen overlooking his students progress, he is a strict teacher but also eager to see his students evolve, while Roshi was watching a bit disappointed over the fact there are no young girls over there. Meanwhile, a mysterious beautiful girl that calls herself Yurin, visits the dojo in order to get trained by Tien (this would later turn out to be a lie, as she in fact holds a trivial grudge against him).
Goku invites him to participate in the Tournament of Power, Tien refuses at first to join because he didn't want to leave behind his students and still refuses when Goku lies about a prize money. But then his students (under the effect of Yurin's mind control) start attacking the village, prompting Tien, Master Roshi, and Goku to rush over and neutralize the threat. He later fights against Master Roshi (strength significantly increased while under Yurin's spell), and loses, in which Goku fights and defeats the Turtle-Hermit. After Yurin's plans were foiled, Tien decides to take her on as a student, seeing her genuine desire to become strong, which she accepts. Tien (along with Master Roshi) had soon decided to participate in the Tournament of Power to use the prize money to rebuild his dojo as well as the village.
Tien Shinhan later participates in a sparring session with Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan in order to help Gohan unleash his full potential. Although Tien thought Goku was being too harsh, and that Gohan and Goku were taking things way too seriously, Gohan was successful in unlocking his extended powers. After meeting up at Capsule Corp, Gohan is forced to confess there is no prize money and the Universe will be erased if they lose, and everyone angrily confronts Goku. Bulma resolves this by promising to pay everyone for participating.
After Goku and Frieza arrive, Tien Shinhan and the others are transported by Whis to the Null Realm. After the Tournament began, Tien stays at the center alongside Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, and Master Roshi, the group are confronted by Lavender, Botamo, Shosa, Comfrey and Dercori; Tien uses the Solar Flare to blind them while Gohan and the others launched an assault (which did no damage at all). During Kale's violent rampage against Goku, the female Saiyan unleashes a barrage of explosive ki blasts across the ring, which causes Tien and the others to get separated from each other. Shortly after the mayhem settles down, Tien knocks Za Priccio out of the arena with his Neo Tri-Beam, whom Master Roshi trapped with the Thunder Shock Surprise. He then regroups with most of the other members of Team Universe 7. Seeing the situation of the Tournament, Gohan, Piccolo, Tien and Master Roshi decide to fight separately.
Tien later stumbles across the unconscious body of Dr. Rota while investigating the gunshot noises, and while he is doing so he is berated by Vegeta for just gawking. Tien tells him to get down and Vegeta ignores him, but quickly listens to Tien after nearly being shot through the back of the head by a Ki sniper shot. Tien, Vegeta, and Goku get up high and find Gohan and Piccolo dodging hundreds of sniper shots when Goku suddenly notices someone who is reflecting energy blasts Vegeta heads off to put a stop to it, finding the cowardly fighter. Tien tells Goku to go with him and he will go and assist Gohan and Piccolo. Goku and Vegeta heads off to take care of Prum who they thought was the source but it turns out they fell into the enemy trap as Harmira of Universe 2 was the real shooter while as Prum acts as a mirror and scope, allowing them to attack anyone. Not long after he reaches Gohan and Piccolo's hiding spot, Tien notices Hermila and decides to take him down all by himself. Gohan gets worried about his decision, advising him it might just be another decoy, but Tien bitter-sweetly tells him that they do not have much of another choise.
Tien now realizing he might be Universe 7's final hope, uses his Multi-Form technique to create numerous copies of himself, and uses his extremely good eyesight to find the sniper, Hermila. With his eyes fully focused on him, Tien can see that Hermila is moving while firing and he is able to use his clones as a shield so that he can get up close to Hermila. Shin wonders why Tien would hid such a useful move, and Krillin explains that the weakness is that his power and speed is divided across all the copies, while as Beerus looks on with concern. Tien finally is able to corner Hermila on the edge of the stage and fires a Neo Tri-Beam. Hermila after taking the blast head on reveals he is no longer able to target him as his shoulders are broken and he took enormous damage from the Tri-Beam. Tien calls Hermila a worthy opponent, then prepares another Tri-Beam to blast him off the stage; however, in a desperate last resort, Hermila fires at the arena, which breaks the ground under Tien in a huge explosion, knocking him off the platform. Hermila mocks Tien and goes to leave when Tien's other copies come back and tackle him off the stage. While falling down Tien mocks Hermila, telling his opponent that he will not go down alone, and smiles at him as they are both eliminated. Tien apologizes to Beerus and Shin, but Krillin tells him he has nothing to be ashamed of, as he saved everyone else and ended his fight in a draw. Beerus even praises Tien for his fighting spirit and efforts. After hearing this, Tien relaxes a bit and joins Krillin. Goku notices Tien has been eliminated and starts to sulk about losing 2 of their team members. Uncharacteristically, Vegeta cheers up Goku, telling him it does not matter, as that means they will just have to beat everyone else on their own if it so comes to it.
When Goku is battling Jiren, Tien Shinhan along with Gohan, Piccolo, Android 18, Android 17, Frieza, Krillin & Master Roshi gives Goku his energy to form the Universe 7's Spirit Bomb. Moments later Tien and the other are surprised to see Goku re-emerge from his own Spirit Bomb, whilst attaining Ultra Instinct Sign in the process.
Tien Shinhan simply watches the rest of the battle. He later witnessed Goku's and co. battle against Universe 6, Universe 2, Universe 4, Universe 3, and lastly Universe 11 (as well as Goku completing Ultra Instinct). in the end Universe 7 wins (with Android 17 being the last man standing), everyone are in awe of 17's wish to restore the erased universes. Tien and the others were returned back to Earth, the end credits show him and Chiatozu rebuilding their destroyed Dojo alongside their students and Yurin, the former two later attended Bulla's party.
In the manga, Tien battles Frost alongside Roshi, attempting to defeat him using Tri-Beam, however the attack fails to do anything and Tien is eliminated by Frost.
Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga
Main article: Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga Tien Shinhan was mentioned by Krillin to be a recruitable fighter, but noted that without a cellphone, Tien is hard to get in contact with. During the two month preparation against Moro's Galactic Brigade, Tien Shinhan along with Chiaotzu is recruited by the Galactic Patrol to help defend Earth.
After witnessing the Moro Corps' invasion, Tien and Chaiotzu head towards one of the enemy's ki signature and both are shown fighting Bikkura Quoitur. The pair manage to keep Bikkura on the defensive, though the Metalman is unfazed by their barrage of attacks. After their Galactic Patrol allies inform him and Tien of Bikkura's race, Chiaotzu remembers that Metalmen are weak to insults and tries to get Tien to insult Bikkura into submission. The reluctant Tien complies, calling Bikkura a "rock-head" and a "half-ton tubby" to no avail.
Wondering what counts as an insult to the Metalman, Tien is stopped from further attempts by Chiaotzu, who delivers scathing insults of his own to Bikkura to destroy his will to fight. Tien later apologizes to Chiaotzu for being terrible at insulting people. Later they're seen flying towards another source of ki energy, where they find Yamcha getting beaten around by Zauyogi, Tien and Chiaotzu assists Yamcha against this foe, but were outmatched as well. Fortunately, Goku suddenly teleports to their location and intercepts Zauyogi's attack before preceding to take him down with a single blow.
During the final battle between Goku and Moro, when Goku is having his energy drained, Tien and the others help out by giving their energy to Vegeta so that he can attempt to pass it on to Goku by doing Forced Spirit Fission in reverse in order to revitalise him. After one final push, owed to Uub, Goku defeats Moro once and for all. Tien and the rest of his friends celebrate their hard earned victory afterwards with a feast at Satan House.
Dragon Ball Heroes
Universal Conflict Saga
Dragon Ball GT
Main article: Baby Saga
Tien Shinhan is seen on Planet Tuffle when the Earth is about to explode from the work of the Black Star Dragon Balls. At the end of the episode, he is attending a party at Bulma's house with Chiaotzu and the others.
Shadow Dragon Saga
Main article: Shadow Dragon Saga
Bardock - The Father of Goku
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku Tien Shinhan appears in Bardock's vision of the future.
Main article: Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure
Tien is a bodyguard of Mifan's Emperor, Chiaotzu. However, he is part of a plan with Master Shen and Tao Paipai to take over the kingdom. Tien has stolen doll Ran Ran from Chiaotzu's room and takes advantage of collecting the Dragon Balls for finding Ran Ran to take over Mifan. But, he gradually gets friendship with Chiaotzu. At the night before the tournament, Chiaotzu feels fear and tells Tien his nightmare.
At the next day, when Bora is killed by Tao Paipai, Tien and Shen take over the government. They command Mifan's army to arrest Master Roshi and Krillin. Tien beats Master Roshi with a single hit. Shen orders Tien to kill Chiaotzu but Tien refuses to do this. Shen shoots Dodon ray at Tien, Tien blows him away with his Tri-beam. After all, Tien gives Ran Ran back to Chiaotzu. Chiaotzu asks him that if he could stay with Chiaotzu.
The Tree of Might
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might
After the Tree of Might is formed on Earth, everyone gathers at Goku's House where they are told by King Kai about the danger it holds. Tien and the others head to the tree and fire powerful blasts at in unison to no effect. When the Turles Crusher Corps. appear, Tien and Chiaotzu battle against Rasin and Lakasei and Tien uses the Solar Flare to blind the two. Ultimately he falls in battle against the two. Tien appears once again with the others to defend Goku against Turles while he is trying to form a Spirit Bomb but is quickly taken down. After the Tree of Might is destroyed, Tien joins everyone on a camping trip.
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound
Tien participates in the Intergalactic World Tournament along with Gohan, Krillin, Yamcha, Piccolo and Future Trunks. He is able to make it into the final eight combatants where he fights against Future Trunks in the semi-finals. Before beginning, Tien voices his desire to Trunks to put on a good show for the audience, the two fight on par with each other in mid-air much to the amazement of the hosts, the Cash family. Tien uses his signature Tri-Beam on Trunks that causes part of the Tournament platform to fall into the sea. Enjoying their battle, Trunks goes Super Saiyan and defeats him by appearing behind him and striking him into the sea. Trunks then goes to Tien to give him a hand to get out of the water and Tien accepts with a smile on his face. Tien and Yamcha later go to Battle Island 2 to help Gohan against Bojack and his gang of Galaxy Soldiers. He tries to hit Bujin but he is unsuccessful, getting easily beaten with two hits.
Battle of Gods
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods
Tien participated Bulma's 38th birthday party but when Beerus got angered by Majin Buu he tried to stop the god but was quickly defeated. He later watched Goku become a Super Saiyan God to fight Beerus then afterwards he later enjoyed the rest of Bulma's party.
Tien came to help the Z-Fighters when Frieza came to Earth with an army of a thousand soldiers. He tells the others that he didn't bring Yamcha or Chiaotzu along because the battle would be too much for them. He takes part in the battle against the soldiers, leading them into a cave where he performs his signature Tri-Beam attack when they begin to flood the entrance. Alongside his friends, they defeat the remainder of Frieza's forces before powering up to full strength to give Goku a signal to lock on to so he can teleport to Earth. He was later saved by Whis when Frieza blew up the planet taking Vegeta and many others with him.
Main article: Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
Other Dragon Ball stories
Dragon Ball Online
Main article: Dragon Ball Online After the release of Gohan's book, Groundbreaking Science, which informed Earth's general population of advanced martial arts and ki control, Humans took great interest in fighting. Having witnessed the Super Spirit Bomb that Goku used to defeat Kid Buu, Tien Shinhan realized that it was possible for an individual to defeat even the strongest opponent by raising their power to the limits and gathering tremendous amounts of ki for a powerful enough spiritual attack. With his newfound belief, Tien opens the New Crane School to educate the planet's new generation of warriors. Tien developed techniques that revolved around strategically collecting ki and unleashing bursts of intense energy with precise timing, believing that it is more important to develop aggressive attacks by controlling ki than it is to provide support.
Dragon Ball Legends
Main article: Dragon Ball Xenoverse
- Tien's Training
As part of the GT Pack 1 DLC, Tien appears in Toki Toki City in Age 850 to train members of the Time Patrol along with Yamcha who also appears as DLC Master. This allows the Future Warrior to train under him to learn his skills.
Though she does not appear in Xenoverse, her traditional outfit does appear as a clothing option that can be worn by a female Future Warrior (Saiyan, Human, or Majin race). Launch's wig and 4 costume pieces are part of the GT Pack 1 DLC. If the full Launch Costume is worn (the wig is optional) while talking to Tien Shinhan when he is the Future Warrior's current master, he will notice them wearing it and will mention that the costume agitates him but tells the Warrior they are free to wear what ever they like.
Main article: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- The Saiyan Threat Saga
In the altered timeline of the Saiyan conflict in Age 762, Tien appears along with Piccolo, Gohan, Yamcha, and Krillin as they face Nappa due to Nappa and Vegeta not deploying the Saibamen thus they all confront Nappa including Yamcha who survived due to the absence of the Saibamen. Additionally Tien does not lose his arm either due to the changes. The new Future Warrior is sent by Elder Kai and Chronoa to correct the changes and prevent anymore from occurring. Tien notices the warrior's selected race (though he doesn't recognize Majin or Frieza Race characters as they had yet to be encountered by the Z Fighters at that point in time) and wonders why they are there though Yamcha tells him it doesn't matter as they can use all the help they can get. With the warrior they all manage to hold out long enough for Goku to return to Earth and sense his ki. However Krillin notes their is another more evil presence with Goku. Elder Kai informs the Warrior whoever the other presence is it is slowing Goku down and won't make it in time if they don't act telling then to leave the others and focus on helping Goku as they won't be able to hold out much longer.
While the Future Warrior is assisting Goku in fighting Turles who had been recruited by Towa and Mira to sow chaos through time, Tien dies fighting Nappa along with Yamcha, Chiaotzu, and Piccolo which kills Kami due to the life link. However this corrects that part of the timeline and thanks to the Toki Toki City Hero forcing Turles to retreat, Goku and the Future Warrior make it in time to save Krillin and Gohan.
Main article: List of Power Levels
- Manga and Anime
Tien Shinhan is one of the strongest humans on Earth in the series. His power level is 180 during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament and is implied to have a strength that surpasses even that of Master Shen. In that tournament, he was able to defeat Yamcha after a good fight (though according to Master Shen, he was far from his full power). In the semifinals, he is able to fight on par with a serious Master Roshi in an intense fight, though he was again implied to be holding back. His power was on par with Goku's in the finals, and after a long fight, Tien manages to win the tournament. Though he later admits that he won by pure luck, and felt that Goku was stronger.
Against King Piccolo in his old state, Roshi said Tien was no match for him. He was dominated by Drum, one of King Piccolo's minions, who is weaker than King Piccolo in his young state. He then goes with Krillin, Yamcha and Chiaotzu to train with Korin, and trains for 3 years for the next tournament.
In the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, he easily dominates Mercenary Tao in his cyborg form, who is stated to be many times stronger than his organic self. In the semifinals, he fights equally against Goku while using his weighted clothing (with Tien noting that Goku is stronger than he was against King Piccolo). Goku was stronger, but Tien manages to be faster than him (Goku was said by Tien to have the same speed he had 3 years ago against King Piccolo). Tien's speed is so great that makes Yamcha and Krillin not being able to see him at all. However, once Goku removes his weighted clothing, his speed and strength are way higher than anything Tien is capable of doing. Tien also admits that Hero (who is actually Kami possessing him) and Piccolo (the reincarnation of King Piccolo) surpass any level ordinarily conceivable, indicating he was no match for any of them.
While on King Kai's planet, Tien noted that he cannot surpass Goku (from the Vegeta Saga) by doing the same training as him. In anime filler of the Frieza Saga, while training on King Kai's planet; Tien (working with both Chiaotzu and Yamcha) was able to give Piccolo a hard time during the sparring match. Later he was able to fight and defeat both Jeice and Burter of the Ginyu Force, despite being double-teamed.
In the Android Saga Tien manages to dodge Dr. Gero's eye beams that he used to kill civillians. Later upon seeing the weakened Super Saiyan Goku, Tien is shocked at his power and states that the dimensions of their power are too far apart, and according to Piccolo, Tien is no match for Dr. Gero. Gero believes that if he takes the energy of Tien, Krillin, Gohan and Piccolo - he will be able to defeat Super Saiyan Vegeta. Even working together with Krillin, the two Earthlings are unable to break the door to Gero's lab, while base Vegeta is able to easily destroy it. When attempting to attack Android 17 alongside Piccolo, Tien is knocked down in one blow, and then choked into unconsciousness. Later Tien proves to be able to hold off Semi-Perfect Cell using his Neo Tri-Beam. He is utterly decimated by a Cell Jr. when the small Bio-Androids attack, and only survives because the Cell Juniors were suppressing their power as they were ordered not to kill the Z-Fighters. Nevertheless, even in the manga version of the fight, Tien was able to land a single punch on the Cell Jr. that he was fighting; thus making him, Piccolo, Trunks and Vegeta, the only warriors able to even hit the little monsters.
In the Majin Buu Saga, Tien's Tri-Beam is able to stop a finger beam from Super Buu (with Gotenks and Piccolo absorbed) that was aimed at Dende and Mr. Satan - however upon seeing Buu's charged energy ball - Tien noted it was beyond him. Tien is later knocked out by Buu with one surprise kick to the head, Buu then tells Goku that while Tien was apparently quite a master - he was knocked down with just one mere kick.
In the manga version of Dragon Ball: The Return of Son Goku and Friends!, Tien is intimidated by Aka's Flaming Wahaha no Ha.
In Dragon Ball Super, Tien Shinhan attacks Beerus alongside Piccolo and Android 18, but the three are easily beaten by the God of Destruction. By the time of the Golden Frieza Saga, Tien Shinhan has strength enough to take out many of Frieza's soldiers. Nonetheless, he is no match for Shisami and Tagoma (the latter having powered up greatly thanks to training with Frieza). After Tagoma's body has been taken by Captain Ginyu, Tien gets beaten easily with a quick punch. In the manga version of Resurrection ‘F’, Tien defeats the Frieza Soldiers with even greater ease, and does not take any damage at all during the battle, he also never has to use his Tri-Beam.
In the anime version of the Universe Survival Saga, while fighting against his own students, whom were under Yurin's mind control, he subdued some of them with relative ease, and was able to outmatch base Roshi, however, Tien decides to be more serious when Roshi goes into his Max Power state. Tien used his Four Witches Technique and charged at Roshi but was stunned when Roshi counted him by using his Thunder Shock Surprise. Goku later stated that Roshi must have been doing secret training and had hidden his true power. Later when working with Goku against Gohan and Piccolo, Tien was easily overpowered by the half-Saiyan.
During the anime version of the Tournament of Power, rather than going off on his own, Tien chose to remain with Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin and Master Roshi - they launched an assault that caused little to no damage against Lavender, Botamo, Comfrey, Shosa and Dercori. While working in tandem with Master Roshi, his Neo Tri-Beam was powerful enough to knock Za Priccio out of the arena. When using his Multi-Form to divide in four, each having one-quarter the normal power, while three of his copies were easily defeated by Harmira, his final self, was able to severely damage Hermila with his Neo Tri-Beam. This forced the opponent to instead rely on trickery, destroying a portion of the area forcing a ring-out on Tien. However, showing such drive and focus, his remaining three copies went to hold Hermila, drawing the Universe 2 fighter out of the ring for a double elimination. Tien's efforts earned him the praise of Beerus.
In the manga, Tien, along with Master Roshi, were outmatched by Frost. Tien fired a full power Tri-Beam, which Roshi claimed was overdoing it, but even this was completely ineffective against Frost despite the warrior from Universe 6 took the attack head on. Frost was then able to knock out Tien with a super punch.
In the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga, Tien and Chaiotzu are briefly shown handling themselves against Quoitor (although Tien couldn't make any real headway against the Metalman).
In Mystical Adventure, Tien defeats Master Roshi in a single hit. His Tri-Beam also blows away Master Shen.
In The Tree of Might, Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu are both defeated easily by Rasin and Lakasei but were shown to have somewhat affected them when firing blasts together. Rasin had a power level of 8,000 and Lakasei had a power level of 7,600. Tien had not yet trained under King Kai (the movie was supposed to take place after Vegeta's defeat but before Namek, which is an inconsistency because Tien along with Chiaotzu, Yamcha, and Piccolo are alive).
During the Intergalactic Tournament in Bojack Unbound, Tien Shinhan is shown to fight on par against Future Trunks, a Saiyan/Human hybrid who trained twice in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, until the latter transformed into a Super Saiyan and defeats him. Later on when confronting the Galaxy Soldiers, Tien was easily beaten in two hits by Bujin.
In Battle of Gods Tien faces Beerus alongside Android 18 and Piccolo, but is easily thrown aside by him.
In Resurrection ‘F’, Tien could take on several of Frieza's Soldiers, however he did later appear to have gotten very minor injuries and took a Senzu Bean afterwards. He (like Krillin and Master Roshi) would not be a match against Frieza's elite soldier Shisami.
- Flight – The capability to fly by using the ki. At first, this technique was used only by Tien and Chiaotzu, then it was learnt also by all the Z Warriors, except for Yajirobe and Master Roshi.
- Ki Blast – The most basic form of energy wave.
- Ki Sense – The ability to sense the energy of other beings.
- Domination Blast – A combination of many energy waves, much more powerful than the average ki blasts, and fired at a very rapid rate. The name of Tien's Renzoku Energy Dan (Continuous Ki Blast) technique he uses in the Butōden series and Budokai series.
- Kiai – A technique where the user affects the air currents around him with ki to produce powerful shockwaves in order to strike the opponent at mid range. In the Raging Blast series, it is known as Kiai Return and is Tien Shinhan's signature attack.
- Dodon Ray – The signature finger beam technique of the Crane School invented by Master Shen.
- Neo Dodon Ray - A very powerful version of the Dodon Ray. Used in Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit.
- Super Dodon Ray - A stronger version of the Dodon Ray invented by Chiaotzu that Tien uses as a Special Move in Dragon Ball Fusions.
- Ultra Dodon Ray - A version of the Dodon Ray stronger than Chiaotzu's Super Dodon Ray. One of Tien's Special Moves in Dragon Ball Fusions.
- Super Knee Uppercut – A diving knee attack to break the opponent's leg, causing an extreme amount of damage. Named in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22.
- Hammerhead – A flying headbutt technique. Named in the Butōden series.
- Machine Gun Punch – Tien swings his arms so fast they appear to be windmills on his shoulder and pummels his opponent uncountable times. It is called Jackhammer Fist in the Budokai series.
- Machinegun Fist – The name of Tien's High Speed Rush in the Budokai series.
- Jackhammer Fist Flash – Tien kicks the opponent up in the air, and then he kicks and punches them down again. Used in the Budokai series.
- Volleyball Attack – Tien uses his opponent as a ball and makes them fly with two hits before giving a final blow to stamp them into the ring.
- Four Witches Technique – The user temporarily grows two extra arms from the back, seemingly under the shoulder blades. This allows the user to attack with twice the intensity that they would normally be capable of.
- Multi-Form – Tien splits himself into four identical copies, with all the same power.
- Ki Blast Cannon – Tien holds out both palms, one behind the other. He then charges up and fires a beam similar in appearance to a large Dodon Ray. In the Budokai series, the Ki Blast Cannon is fired in the same fashion as the Tri-Beam.
- Mystery Ray – Tien fires a straight white beam from his third eye. Named in Ultimate Battle 22.
- Multi-Form Attack – Tien uses the Multi-Form to split himself into four identical copies and then, at the same time, each copy fires a Ki Blast Cannon. Named in Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, the technique is alternatively Multi-Form Tri-Beam in the Gokuden series.
- Meteo Brute Combo – Tien creates a copy of himself, and then both attack the opponent with the Machine Gun Punch at the same time. It is his meteor attack in Ultimate Battle 22
- Tri-Beam – Tien forms a vaguely diamond-shape "tunnel" with the hand's by keeping the fingers on each hand together, overlapping the index finger on the one hand with the pinky of the other hand, and overlapping the thumbs. The object being focused on gets zoomed in on and visualized inside that diamond, then he shouts "Tri-Beam, ha!" while releasing the large yellow beam from the hands. It is called Ki Blast Cannon in Budokai series.
- Solar Flare – The user places their hands close to the center of their face with the fingers spread toward their eyes. The user then calls out the name of the technique, which provokes a white light to fire out and blind everything watching except the user, since they are projecting the light. Tien called it "Solar Flare of Crane School" because at that time he was Master Shen's pupil.
- Afterimage Technique – An ability to move so swiftly that an image of the user is left behind. Tien uses a variation of the afterimage, the Wild Sense, in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Mimicry – The coveted ability to copy another fighter's technique after seeing it used only once.
- Kamehameha – A powerful Ki blast fired with two hands after concentrating a large amount of Ki. In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, it appears as one of Tien's Super Skills in his 2nd Skillset.
- Evil Containment Wave – A technique designed to seal demons away by sucking them into a container with a special "Demon Seal" ofuda on it. The move requires huge stamina and endurance to perform, if user does not have enough life force they will die soon after performing it, despite the success of the technique.
- Power Stance – A special fighting stance. Named in the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game.
- You Can't Tuna Fish - A gag technique used by Tien to make King Kai laugh in order to train under him. Named in Dragon Ball Fusions.
- Telepathy – A way to communicate with others using one's mind.
- Telekinesis – A technique that allows the user to manipulate objects and other people with the power of one's mind. In the anime, Tien is shown using this to halt the waterfall near his home during the Vegeta saga.
- Fusion Dance – Tien is able to use the fusion dance with Yamcha to form Tiencha, only in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 and Dragon Ball Fusions.
- Spirit Boost – The user protects themselves from Ki Blasts by using a Kiai to negate the attack. Used in Xenoverse.
- Spirit Ball - A controllable energy sphere originally used by Yamcha. After 1.09.00 Update in Xenoverse 2, this Ultimate Skill can be added to Tien's custom skillset after purchasing it in Partner Customization.
- Spirit Explosion - A powerful two-handed Kiai originally used by Goku. It appears as part of his Qipao skillset in Xenoverse 2 and can be added to his custom skillset via Partner Customization.
- Unlock Potential
Main article: Unlock Potential In Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu, Tien can have his potential unlocked by Grand Elder Guru if he survives the events of the game's Saiyan conflict and travels to Namek with Krillin and Gohan.
Main article: Supervillain In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Tien is enchanted with Towa's Supervillain spell in Parallel Quest 53: "The Fist of Justice" granting him the first stage power-up version at the cost of having some of his life shaved off to grant him said power. He appears after the enchanted Yamcha or Krillin is defeated. In this state, he becomes brainwashed making him aggressive and violent attacking Great Saiyaman 1 & Great Saiyaman 2 whom fail to get him to snap out of it by reminding him of Chiaotzu, forcing the Saiya Squad and Time Patrol to defeat him to remove the enhancement. This power-up causes minor physically changes such as his eyes glowing pink and gain a sinister black-white aura. Interestingly, his third eye does not glow pink in this form as his other eyes do (this may however be due to game mechanics as presumably the developers used the same glowing eye effect for all characters as Tien and Guldo are the only characters with more than two eyes).
- Saiyaman-like Costume
Main article: Great Saiyaman SuitIn Dragon Ball Online, the 87 year old Tien Shinhan dons a Saiyaman-like costume to hide his identity while combating the remnants of the Frieza Force that invade Earth in Age 820 after the death of Mr. Satan.
Main article: Tiencha
- EX Yamhan
Main article: EX Yamhan The EX-Fusion of Tien and Yamcha introduced in Dragon Ball Fusions. He is Tiencha's EX Fusion counterpart. Though weaker than his Metamoran Fusion counterpart, EX Yamhan can remain fused as long as he wears his Metamo-Ring.
Video Game Appearances
List of characters killed by Tien Shinhan
- Frieza Soldiers - During the fight against Frieza's army, dozens of soldiers were killed by his Tri-Beam.
- Tien Shinhan's Japanese name pun is tenshindon, a quasi-Chinese dish actually invented in Japan and consisting of a crabmeat omelet over rice. It gets its name from the fact that it was originally made using high-quality rice. The character’s name is written in hanzi/kanji (天津飯) via the on'yomi rendering, making it read as Tenshinhan (Teh-n-shee-n-hah-n).
- However, the "tien" part in the English dub is mainly modelled after the Mandarin/pinyin pronunciation of the kanji/Chinese character for "sky/heaven" ("Tee-ean" as opposed to "Tee-ah-n"). The proper pinyin formatting for his name due to having Chinese characters as its base is Tianjinfan/Tiānjīnfàn, and is pronounced either as "Tee-ah-n-jee-n-fah-n" or "Tee-ean-jee-n-fah-n".
- Tien supposedly has had hair, as Master Shen states that he shaves his head.
- At the end of the episode "Full-Moon Vengeance", due to an animation error Tien is briefly seen without his third eye when Chiaotzu leaves to enter the ring.
- The scar on Tien's chest is from his fight with Mercenary Tao in the 23rd World Tournament. Oddly, it never healed, even with the aid of any Senzu Bean he ate after the tournament.
- A minor three-eyed background character is referred to as Tien's Mom in the Funimation dub credits for "Day 1".
- Tien is one of the most notable characters who does not appear in Dragon Ball: The Return of Son Goku and Friends!. This was done because his original voice actor, Hirotaka Suzuoki, had died 2 years earlier, although this can easily be explained story-wise by Tien and Chiaotzu's reclusive nature. He appears with Chiaotzu in the opening and is briefly mentioned when Gotenks utilizes his Volleyball Attack technique in battle against Aka. However, they are included in the manga adaptation.
- In Dragon Ball Forever's poll of the top 20 best characters, he was voted number 16 by Japanese fans. This is above Bulma, Android 17, Yajirobe and Videl.
- Tien Shinhan's hobby is playing volleyball with Chiaotzu.
- Tien Shinhan favorite foods are jiaozi and shumai.
- Tien Shinhan's favorite vehicle is a llama and ostrich.
- In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, while you are doing a training session with Tien, Yamcha will state that "Tien is doing this to just impress Launch".
- In the original 1997 FUNimation episode of Nappa... the Invincible?, when Tien's arms got chopped off by Nappa, Tien infamously claims that he could grow his arm back, very likely said to tone down the severity of such injury since Piccolo has regenerated his arm earlier despite the fact that Tien is a human and likely wouldn't have such ability.
- Tien Shinhan is the only Earthling character in the series to fight against Beerus the Destroyer.
- In Xenoverse 2, if the Future Warrior talks to Whis while having Tien as their instructor, Whis will say that Tien is very brave to fight against Beerus and hopes that they will be as brave as him.
- Tien shares parallels to another mythological figure from Chinese mythology that has appeared in Journey to the West: Yang Jian, also known as Erlang Shen, the three-eyed demigod who is able to see through lies and deception with his third eye, and has a dog companion by the name of "Howling Heaven Hound/Dog". Like how Tien fought against Goku, Erlang Shen was also known for fiercely combating the original Son Goku/Sun Wukong in order to subdue him during his prequel tale before the journey west, which was overall both Tien and the Three-Eyed People's likely inspiration.
- A coincidental tie-in to Journey to the West/Chinese mythology in general is also the usage of his Four Witches Technique; Nezha was another known figure who could also both sprout extra arms and/or heads that also was one of the original Sun Wukong/Son Goku's prior adversaries.
- There's a rap song named after him and Yamcha by rapper Sada Baby.
- In the first Budokai game's Legend of Mister Satan mode, before fighting Tien as Mister Satan notices that Tien has 3 eyes, he wonders what Tien's glasses would look like.
Main article: Tien Shinhan/Gallery
- Daizenshuu 4, 1995
- Daizenshuu 7, 1996
- Dragon Ball: Super Exciting Guide, 2009
- Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy, 1997
- Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, 1988
- Interview with Akira Toriyama, Mandō Kobayashi, March 24, 2013
- Dragon Ball Online, 2010
- Dragon Ball Forever, 2004
- Dragon Ball Z episode 153, "Sacrifice"
- Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II, 2003
- Dragon Ball episode 136, "Tien Shinhan vs. Mercenary Tao"
- Dragon Ball episode 86, "Then There Were Eight"
- Dragon Ball Z manga Vol. 06, p. 119, King Kai states to Goku that Tien, Chiaotzu, Piccolo and Yamcha all want tougher training than he had. ISBN 1569319359
- Dragon Ball Z manga Vol. 24, p. 25 ISBN 1421502739
- Dragon Ball: The Return of Son Goku and Friends!, 2008
- "Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ - Special One Shot" Chapter 1
- Dragon Ball GT episode 40, "Piccolo's Decision"
- Tien's first power level. kanzenshuu.
- Tien's second power level. imgur.
- Tien's third power level. kanzenshuu.
- Dragon Ball chapter 261, "The Four Dead Heroes"