A big part of what makes Dragon Ball such an amazing series is its wealth of recognizable and beloved characters. Gohan is one such character who was introduced in the series with a ton of potential, although his trajectory has been pretty weird ever since. Here are some of the biggest failures and mistakes this character has committed during their stint in Dragon Ball.
Perhaps it's a bit unfair to be so hard on Gohan when he was a mere child who had barely learned to talk before he was taught in the ways of fighting. However, he did show a fair bit of promise during the Raditz Saga and made it clear that he was destined for bigger and better things.
Unfortunately, all his training under Piccolo's supervision ended up being fairly useless during the fight against the Saiyans. While he did pull off a few moves, his indecision ultimately led to Piccolo having to take a mortal blow for him.
Ever since he was a child, Gohan always strived to solve things through peace instead of outright settling things with a fight. The hunger for battle present within Goku was absent in Gohan, and it's a fault from his father's end that Goku never identified this problem easily.
That being said, staying indecisive during the heat of battle can prove to have major consequences. The fact that Piccolo sacrificed his life is proof enough of this, and Gohan's ineffectiveness also led to the Z Warriors being absolutely pummeled and Android 16 being taken care of for good.
The death of Android 16 lit a fire within Gohan, whose emotions fueled his power as he reached the Ascended Super Saiyan form. This was a shock for many, who quickly realized that Gohan's power boost had placed him on a whole new plane where Cell was nothing more than chump change for him.
However, in the rush of turning into a Super Saiyan 2, Gohan made the mistake of playing around with Cell to make him pay instead of finishing him quickly and eliminating his threat. This gave Cell the opportunity to blow up in a final desperation attack to destroy Earth, which forced Goku to sacrifice his own life (and King Kai's) to save the planet.
If that wasn't bad enough as is, Gohan's careless mistakes also led to his arm breaking... although this wasn't the worst thing in the world, since it led to one of the best Kamehamehas in the entire series.
While this isn't a massive mistake on Gohan's part, this doesn't excuse him for ignoring his training and forgetting about the various threats that can plague Earth at any step of the way. This led to the horrid inclusion of The Great Saiyaman and Gohan being completely outclassed in fights against massive threats.
While he did get his mojo back after unlocking his Ultimate form, there was a time when Gohan became a pushover for a while. This is simply unacceptable, especially given the peaks this character experienced during the amazing Cell Saga!
Gohan has a tendency to get cocky and stop taking his opponents seriously after attaining a massive power boost. Shades of this had already been seen by viewers during his fight against Cell, and Gohan managed to repeat this annoying mistake once again while fighting Super Buu in his Ultimate Form.
For some reason, Gohan completely forgot that he was dealing with a massive threat that had killed countless members of Earth's population... including his own friends and family! He toyed around with Super Buu like a child and left an opening where Super Buu managed to absorb him and become even more powerful.
It seems that Gohan has a habit of repeating his mistakes, which is a shame since he's meant to be one of the smartest characters in the show. After the events of the Buu Saga, Gohan decided to focus on his career to such an extreme extent that he lost pretty much all of his power as a Saiyan.
Again, no one could've expected universe-ending threats to come to earth, especially a God of Destruction himself! However, if Gohan had just managed to balance his life, then perhaps the forces of Earth could've been just a bit stronger.
Frieza coming back as a major antagonist made for one of the best moments in the entire series. The fact that he came with a brand new golden form made him even more massive a threat... although Goku and Vegeta trivialized this threat with their Super Saiyan Blue forms that made quick work of Frieza.
While the Saiyans ultimately managed to come back to Earth because of Gohan's massive power spike, there's no denying that his presence during the battle was absolutely pathetic. It's one thing to put up a decent fight before being beaten, it's quite another to be hopelessly skewered by laser beams and begging for your father to come back just when you might be breathing your last!