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"Yamcha's Big Break" (ゆけヤムチャ!おそるべしてんしんはん Yuke Yamucha! Osoru Beshi Tenshinhan, lit. "Go, Yamucha! The Dreadful Tenshinhan") is the fifth episode of the Tien Shinhan Saga and the eighty-eighth episode of the Dragon Ball series. This episode first aired in Japan on November 18, 1987. Its original American airdate was December 11, 2002.



Yamcha uses the Neo Wolf Fang on Tien

Yamcha uses his Wolf Fang Blowing Wind, but although he is able to stand his ground and cut his opponent's cheek, the move is shown to not be strong enough to finish him off. He lands dozens of kicks on Tien Shinhan who in response builds up his strength and holds his position so that he is able to withstand the assault. As the hand-to-hand combat continues, Tien Shinhan begins to gain an advantage and shows that he is too strong for Yamcha.

Tien breaks Yamcha's leg

Tien breaks Yamcha's leg

To everyone's surprise, Yamcha fires a Kamehameha, but Tien deflects it back at him. Yamcha is able to jump out of the way to avoid it, but Tien jumps up behind him and kicks him hard to the ground, the impact of being enough to render Yamcha unconscious. Tien however comes down hard on Yamcha's leg, breaking it. Once Tien is declared the winner, Puar rushes in and transforms into a flying carpet to transport Yamcha to Papaya Hospital. Goku is angered over Tien's merciless move as the match had already been decided by the fall and vows to avenge him. Tien speaks with Chiaotzu, believing that he has just defeated the strongest student of the Turtle School and that now their victory is all but assured.


Yamcha in the hospital, disappointed with himself

Everyone heads to the hospital to see Yamcha who has now regained consciousness and Goku promises to beat Tien. Afterward they go to a local restaurant only for the Crane school to be at the next table, gloating over their victory which causes Master Roshi and Master Shen to have a spat. The following day, the next match up is between Jackie Chun and Man-Wolf with the latter showing a deep hatred over the former over something that he did three years ago though Jackie Chun has no idea why.

Major Events[]

  • Tien Shinhan defeats Yamcha in Match 1 and breaks his leg.
  • The rivalry between the Turtle and Crane schools deepens.


  • Yamcha vs. Tien Shinhan




Differences from the Manga[]

  • Yamcha's display of the Neo Wolf Fang Fist is more impressive in the anime with him able to put a few scratches on Tien. It isn't until Yamcha uses three times too many that Tien can properly counter the move. In the manga, Tien is able to easily counter the move on its first use and knock Yamcha back.
  • The scenes in the audience with Bulma pounding Oolong accidentally are not in the manga.
  • When Yamcha's leg is broken (in the Japanese version), the announcer comments that his (Yamcha's) leg is bent in a weird angle. In the manga, this was said by Oolong.
  • In the manga, the tournament's events and happenings all occur on the exact same day. The anime stretches out events so the tournament takes place over four days.
    • In the manga, as Tien is leaving the ring after mocking Goku, he says that they should leave the ring so as not to be rude to the next contestants. The anime does not include this for the above reason.
    • The announcer's line about the next match starting up is changed to the sponsor telling everyone that the fighting has finished for the day and that the next match will happen tomorrow at noon.
    • The anime has a scene with Man-Wolf proclaiming to Jackie that he'll kill him after the latter complements Goku's maturity, followed by Krillin wondering why former seems to hate Jackie.
    • The group comforts Yamcha for his loss with Goku saying that he'll avenge the former.
    • The group goes to Delicious to eat and encounter the Crane School group who are celebrating Tien's victory over Yamcha. Goku gets mad when they badmouth Yamcha only for Roshi to tell him not to start anything. Shen continues his trash talk only for Roshi to make a fart which starts an argument between the hermits, much to the students' embarrassment.
    • The next day arrives and shows Roshi donning his Jackie Chun disguise. He meets up with Goku and Krillin and has another encounter with Man-Wolf to end the episode.


  • Daigoro Kurigashira from Dr. Slump can be seen in the audience.
  • Delicious is the only restaurant they go to during the tournament episodes.
  • Yamcha shouting "This one's for Nam!" before Tien counters him was only in the English dub. In the Japanese version, Nam is never mentioned in this arc again after his defeat.
  • None of the group seem to wonder why Jackie Chun is at the hospital with them to console Yamcha, with none of them knowing his true identity.
  • Goku excuses himself from the confrontation at the restaurant to wash his hands in the English dub, while in the Japanese version he had to pee.


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