If you are looking for the dragon balls, but don’t want much filler getting in the way, you can’t go wrong with the OG – the original Dragon Ball anime series. In this guide, we lay out which episodes you can safely skip on your quest for the dragon balls.

First airing in the 1980s, Dragon Ball is an anime based on the classic manga created by Akira Toriyama and published in Weekly Shonen Jump. The series follows the adventures of a young monkey-tailed boy named Goku on his quest to collect seven dragon balls which will grant him wishes.

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This classic anime spawned many more seasons of iconic shows, including Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super.

How Much Filler is in Dragon Ball?

The original Dragon Ball anime series aired from 1986 to 1989 with a total of 153 episodes. With 23 anime-only episodes during the series run, Dragon Ball is 15% filler.

Quick Filler & Canon Lists

Canon Episodes

1-28, 34-41, 43-44, 46-78, 84-126, 133-148

Filler Episodes

29-33, 42, 45, 79-83, 127-132, 149-153

Complete Filler List

#Episode TitleTypeAired
1Secret of the Dragon BallCanon02/26/1986
2The Emperor's QuestCanon03/05/1986
3The Nimbus Cloud of RoshiCanon03/12/1986
4Oolong the TerribleCanon03/19/1986
5Yamcha the Desert BanditCanon03/26/1986
6The Midnight VisitorsCanon04/02/1986
7The Ox-King of Mount FrypanCanon04/09/1986
8The Turtle Hermit's KamehamehaCanon04/16/1986
9The Boss Rabbit's Special SkillCanon04/23/1986
10The Dragon Balls are StolenMostly Canon04/30/1986
11At Long Last, the Dragon Appears!Canon05/07/1986
12A Wish to ShenlongCanon05/14/1986
13Goku’s Great TransformationCanon05/21/1986
14Goku's Rival ArrivesCanon05/28/1986
15The Peculiar Girl, LunchCanon06/04/1986
16Training: The Stone HuntCanon06/11/1986
17Milk DeliveryCanon06/18/1986
18The Turtle Hermit WayCanon06/25/1986
19The Tournament BeginsCanon07/02/1986
20Elimination RoundCanon07/09/1986
21Smells Like TroubleCanon07/16/1986
22Quarterfinals BeginCanon07/23/1986
23Monster Beast GiranCanon07/30/1986
24Krillin's Frantic Attack!Canon08/06/1986
25Danger From AboveCanon08/13/1986
26The Grand FinalsCanon08/20/1986
27Number One Under the Moon?Canon08/27/1986
28The Final BlowCanon09/03/1986
29The Roaming LakeMostly Filler09/10/1986
30Pilaf and the Mystery ForceFiller09/17/1986
31Wedding Plans?Filler09/24/1986
32The Flying Fortress - Vanished!Filler10/01/1986
33The Legend of a DragonFiller10/08/1986
34Cruel General RedCanon10/15/1986
35Cold ReceptionCanon10/22/1986
36Major MetallintronCanon10/29/1986
37Ninja Murasaki is Coming!Canon11/05/1986
38Five MurasakisCanon11/12/1986
39Mysterious Android No. 8Canon11/19/1986
40Horrifying BuyonCanon11/26/1986
41The Fall of Muscle TowerCanon12/03/1986
42The Secret of Dr. FlappeMostly Filler12/10/1986
43A Trip to the CityCanon12/17/1986
44Master Thief, HaskyCanon12/24/1986
45Danger in the AirFiller01/07/1987
46Bulma's Bad DayCanon01/14/1987
47Kame House - Found!Canon01/21/1987
48Deep Blue SeaCanon01/28/1987
49Roshi SurpriseCanon02/04/1987
50The Trap is SprungCanon02/11/1987
51Beware of RobotCanon02/18/1987
52The Pirate TreasureCanon02/25/1987
53Blue, Black and BlueCanon03/04/1987
54Escape From Pirate CaveCanon03/11/1987
55Penguin VillageCanon03/18/1987
56Strange VisitorCanon03/25/1987
57Arale vs. BlueCanon04/08/1987
58The Land of KorinCanon04/15/1987
59The Notorious MercenaryCanon04/22/1987
60Tao Attacks!Canon04/29/1987
61Korin TowerCanon05/06/1987
62Sacred WaterCanon05/13/1987
63The Return of GokuCanon05/20/1987
64The Last of Mercenary TaoCanon05/27/1987
65Confront the Red Ribbon ArmyCanon06/10/1987
66A Real BindCanon06/17/1987
67The End of Commander RedCanon06/24/1987
68The Last Dragon BallCanon07/01/1987
69Who is Fortuneteller Baba?Canon07/08/1987
70We Are The Five WarriorsCanon07/15/1987
71Deadly BattleCanon07/22/1987
72Goku's TurnCanon07/29/1987
73The Devilmite BeamCanon08/05/1987
74The Mysterious Fifth ManCanon08/12/1987
75The Strong OnesCanon08/19/1987
76True Colors of the Masked ManCanon08/26/1987
77Pilaf's TacticsCanon09/02/1987
78The Eternal Dragon RisesCanon09/09/1987
79Terror and PlagueFiller09/16/1987
80Goku vs. Sky DragonFiller09/23/1987
81Goku Goes to Demon LandFiller09/30/1987
82The Rampage of InoShikaChoFiller10/07/1987
83Which Way To Papaya Island?Filler10/14/1987
84Rivals and ArrivalsCanon10/21/1987
85Preliminary PerilCanon10/28/1987
86Then There Were EightCanon11/04/1987
87Yamcha vs. TienCanon11/11/1987
88Yamcha's Big BreakCanon11/18/1987
89Full-Moon VengeanceCanon11/25/1987
90The Dodon WaveCanon12/02/1987
91Counting Controversy!!Canon12/09/1987
92Goku Enters the RingCanon12/16/1987
93Tien Shinhan vs. Jackie ChunCanon12/23/1987
94Stepping DownCanon12/30/1987
95Goku vs. KrillinCanon01/06/1988
96Tail's TaleCanon01/13/1988
97Final Match: Goku vs. TienCanon01/20/1988
98Victory's EdgeCanon01/27/1988
99Tien's InsurrectionCanon02/03/1988
100The Spirit CannonCanon02/10/1988
101The FallenCanon02/17/1988
102Enter King PiccoloCanon02/24/1988
103Tambourine Attacks!Canon03/02/1988
104Mark of the DemonCanon03/09/1988
105Here Comes YajirobeCanon03/16/1988
106Terrible TambourineCanon03/23/1988
107Tien's AtonementCanon04/06/1988
108Goku's RevengeCanon04/13/1988
109Goku vs. King PiccoloCanon04/20/1988
110Piccolo Closes InCanon05/04/1988
111Roshi's GambitCanon05/11/1988
112King Piccolo's WishCanon05/18/1988
113Siege on Chow CastleCanon05/25/1988
114Conquest and PowerCanon06/01/1988
115Awaken DarknessCanon06/08/1988
116A Taste of DestinyCanon06/22/1988
117The Ultimate SacrificeCanon06/29/1988
118Prelude to VengeanceCanon07/06/1988
119Battle CryCanon07/20/1988
120Goku Strikes BackCanon07/27/1988
121The Biggest CrisisCanon08/03/1988
122Final ShowdownCanon08/10/1988
123Lost and FoundCanon08/17/1988
124Temple Above the CloudsCanon08/24/1988
125Earth's Guardian EmergesCanon08/31/1988
126Eternal Dragon ResurrectedCanon09/14/1988
127Quicker than LightningFiller09/21/1988
128Secret of the WoodsFiller09/28/1988
129The Time RoomFiller10/12/1988
130Goku's DollFiller10/19/1988
131Walking Their Own WaysFiller10/26/1988
132Hotter than LavaFiller11/02/1988
133ChangesCanon11/09/1988
134Preliminary PerilCanon11/16/1988
135Battle of the EightCanon11/23/1988
136Tien Shinhan vs. Mercenary TaoCanon11/30/1988
137Anonymous ProposalCanon12/07/1988
138The Mysterious HeroCanon12/14/1988
139RematchCanon12/21/1988
140Goku Gains SpeedCanon01/11/1989
141The Four Faces of TienCanon01/18/1989
142Kami vs. PiccoloCanon01/25/1989
143Battle for the FutureCanon02/01/1989
144Super KamehamehaCanon02/08/1989
145Junior No MoreCanon02/15/1989
146Goku's TrapCanon02/22/1989
147Goku Hangs OnCanon03/01/1989
148The VictorCanon03/08/1989
149Dress in FlamesFiller03/15/1989
150The Fire-EaterFiller03/22/1989
151Outrageous OctagonFiller04/05/1989
152Mystery of the Dark WorldFiller04/12/1989
153The End, The Beginning<Filler04/19/1989

Our Guide to Dragon Ball Story Arcs

Goku

Dragon Ball features very little filler and adheres closely to the manga its based on. Throughout the series, Goku joins up with various fun and interesting characters as he pursues the dragon balls and develops his skills and powers.

The main story arcs and sagas featured in Dragon Ball are listed below.

Dragon Ball Story Arc & Saga List

Son Goku’s Boyhood Arc:

  • Emperor Pilaf Saga (Episodes 1 through 13)
  • Tournament Saga (Episodes 14 through 28)

Red Ribbon Army Arc:

  • Red Ribbon Army Saga (Episodes 29 through 45)
    • Filler: Episodes 29 – 34, 42 – 45
  • General Blue Saga (Episodes 46 through 57)
    • Filler: Episode 50
  • Commander Red Saga (Episodes 58 through 68)
  • Fortuneteller Baba Saga (Episodes 69 through 82)
    • Filler: Episodes 79 – 82

Piccolo Arc:

  • Tien Shinhan Saga (Episodes 83 through 101)
    • Filler: Episode 83
  • King Piccolo Saga (Episodes 102 through 122)
    • Filler: Episodes 115 & 116
  • Piccolo Jr. Saga (Episodes 123 through 153)
    • Filler: Episodes 132, 149 – 153

Related Filler Guides: