Tien 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, split into four people, and he achieved his third eye through deep meditation. During the early years of his life, Tien entered Master Shen's Crane School. There, he learned powerful ki-based techniques such as the Dodon Ray and the Tri-Beam, and he was taught defensive techniques by Master Shen's younger brother, Mercenary Tao.
Tien 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 Chaozu, 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 consolations, 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 Son 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 the future. He also is very stern and serious, not cracking as many jokes as often as a lot of the Z Fighter crew.
During Dragon Ball Z, he is seen striving to become a powerful warrior, and still hopes to surpass Goku one day. Despite making new friends, Tien stills stays reclusive and is not very socially active, spending most of his time training to become a better fighter. He valiantly fights and defeats a Saibaman when the Saiyans arrive, and does battle with Nappa, during which Chaozu sacrifices himself in vain, causing Tien to put all his effort into one final attack, which fails. Tien 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 memorable is when used his life-force to hold Semi-Perfect 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 Son Gohan from 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, Frieza's Galactic Army, 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, calmly looks forward to his student's development.
Tien's non-combat outfit typically consists of a Hanfu (Han-style) robe with loose pants and boots, in contrast to the Manchu-style clothing most Chinese characters in the series wear. This can be seen during the Trunks Saga, Majin Buu Saga, and in the manga version of Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and Friends Return.
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 250 in the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. After training at Kami's Lookout for a year, his power level rises to 1,830. In the Android Saga, he is to be able to hold off Semi-Perfect Cell using his Neo Tri-Beam and was later able to survive a fight with the Cell Juniors in Cell Games, though the Cell Jrs. were holding back as they were not meant to kill the Z Fighters. In the Majin Buu Saga, Tien appears to have improved (at least his Tri-Beam technique), as his Tri-Beam is able to stop Super Buu's (with Gotenks and Piccolo's powers absorbed) blast.
In Dragon Ball Super, Tien is easily beaten by Beerus. By the time of the Resurrection ‘F’ Saga, Tien has strength enough to take out many of Frieza's soldiers. Nonetheless, he is no match at all for Shisami and Tagoma (the latter having powered up greatly thank to training with Frieza). After Tagoma's body has been taken by Captain Ginyu, Tien gets beaten easily with a snappy punch.
The capability to fly by using the ki. At first, this technique was used only by Tien and Chaozu, then it was learnt also by all the Z Warriors, except for Yajirobe and Master Roshi.
The name of Tien's Renzoku Energy Dan (Continuous Ki Blast) technique he uses in the Butoden series and Budokai series.
The signature technique of the Crane School. It is an energy beam shot from a finger, which is more powerful than a normal Kamehameha, yet does not need as much as charging time as the Kamehameha. Another version of the Dodon Ray technique is the Neo Dodon Ray.
Neo Dodon Ray
A larger, more powerful version of the Dodon Ray. The technique appears in Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit.
Super Knee Uppercut
The technique he used to break Yamcha's leg in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. Named in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22.
The flying headbutt technique Tien used during his match against Jackie Chun. Named in the Butoden series.
Machine Gun Punch
Tien swings his arms so fast they appear to be windmills on his shoulder and pummels his opponent too many times to count. Tien uses this in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament against Goku. It is called Jackhammer Fist in the Budokai series.
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.
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
Tien uses this ability to sprout two extra arms from the back and shoulders so he obtains four arms to fight his opponent. Tien performs this attack at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament and it allows him to immobilize Goku's arms and legs.
Tien splits himself into four identical copies. The only weakness of this technique is that the copies split his original energy.
Ki Blast Cannon
A square blast of energy. Used against Goku after he split into four identical copies during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. In the Budokai series, the Ki Blast Cannon is fired in the same fashion as the Tri-Beam.
Tien fires a straight white beam from his third eye. He uses it against Goku while split into four identical copies during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. Named in Ultimate Battle 22.
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
His meteor attack in Ultimate Battle 22, where he creates a copy of himself, and then both attack the opponent with the Machine Gun Punch at the same time.
Tien's special technique. He unites his hands at the tips of the fingers and aims at his target between his fingers and his thumbs. Then he shoots a powerful energy blast to hit it. This is a very dangerous attack, because it uses up most of user's health so this one has to control how much energy he is putting into the blast in order to not over use it. Later Tien makes this attack more powerful and calls it the "Neo Tri-Beam". It is also called the "Ki Blast Cannon" in Budokai Tenkaichi video game series.
An enhanced Tri-Beam which uses Tien's life energy.
Another variation of the Tri-Beam, which also negatively affects Tien's life force.
This technique is used the first time by Tien during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament against Jackie Chun. He called it "Solar Flare of Crane School" because at that time he was Master Shen's pupil. The user of this technique puts his hands over the face and generates a powerful flash of light that temporarily blinds anyone whose eyes come in contact with it. Solar Flare is performed by Son Goku and Kuririn including Cell as well.
Final Solar Flare
A technique where Tien uses a Solar Flare followed by his Mystery Ray. This attack appears in Attack of the Saiyans.
This is a technique that consists of disappearing from a place, leaving a shadow of oneself, for a short period of time in the original position and causing the shadow image effect. The enemy is deceived into thinking that his opponent is still there and this one can quickly move to another spot close by and attack him unexpectedly. Tien uses a variation of the afterimage, the Wild Sense, in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
Both Chaozu and Tien have shown the ability to copy moves after seeing them only once. Tien states this after using his Kamehameha after copying it from Yamcha. He also uses it to copy Master Roshi's Evil Containment Wave to use on King Piccolo.
Attack invented by Master Roshi. At first the user cups both of his hands to concentrate the energy; then, yelling Kamehameha in intervals as Ka - me - ha - me - ha!, he charges up, puts them on the side of his body and finally he unleashes a powerful ki blast.
Evil Containment Wave
Secret technique invented by Master Mutaito (Master Roshi and Master Shen's teacher) to defeat King Piccolo. He managed to use a magic wind to propel the demon into an Electric Rice Cooker, trapping him at the cost of his life. Tien is one of the few users able to survive after using the technique, though completely exhausted.
The ability to sense ki energy. Tien learns this ability while training on Kami's Lookout.
Tien is able to speak with his targets mentally.
Only in the anime, Tien is shown using this to halt the waterfall near his home during the Saiyan saga.
Tien is able to use the fusion dance with Yamcha to form Tiencha, only in the video game Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2.
TienchaTiencha is the fusion of Yamcha and his ally Tien Shinhan. He only appears in the video game Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2. In the Japanese version, he is call Yamhan.
Dragon Ball (Anime)
Fortuneteller Baba arc
Tien and Chaozu first meet Son Goku when they are pretending to kill InoShikaCho and scamming villages for their fake services. When Goku discovers that they are really con artists, he tries to expose them, but Tien turns the people against Goku saying that it is Goku who is with InoShikaCho instead. Tien accomplishes this through hanging InoShikaCho over a fire and telling Goku to cut the rope and burn the beast alive. When the merciful Goku refuses, he is chased away from the village. Later, along with their master, Tien and Chaozu travel on a boat to Papaya Island for the upcoming 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament.
Tien Shinhan arc
- "Poor Yamcha, only thing more pathetic than a loser is a loser who thinks he's born to win."
- — Tien talking to Yamcha in the episode "Preliminary Peril" (English Version)
Tien's first major role in the series begins at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. As the star pupils of the Crane School, Master Shen is entering Tien and Chaozu to defeat the students of his rival, the Turtle Hermit Master Roshi. In the preliminary rounds, Tien leaves Nam unconscious and nearly dead after their match in order to send a message to Goku and his friends. Tien faces little in the way of a challenge during the preliminaries and easily makes his way into the finals.
Using Chaozu'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, Tien learns of the death of his role-model Mercenary Tao by the hands of Turtle student, Son 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 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 Chaozu 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 Chaozu to kill both Tien and Goku, and when Chaozu 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, but 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, while he could have killed Goku in the first place, it was mere luck that he was the one who landed second. 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 arc
The good mood is short-lived however, as Turtle student Kuririn 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 a dragon that can grant any wish and, along with Chaozu 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.
Tien, Chaozu and Master Roshi retrieve the first one from a greedy pirate bear leader of a Mercenary Clan. When getting the second ball, they arrive at a near-vacated town. When Tien enters the house where the Dragon Ball is indicated to be, he finds himself face-to-face with an ex-fighter whom he savagely beat at a tournament several years ago. At first the man's wife calls the police, believing Tien is responsible for the series of murders being committed by King Piccolo's son Tambourine. Master Roshi is able to prove Tien's innocence however and the police soon leave. Not trusting Tien, the man wearily predicts that the former Crane student will proceed to tear his humble house apart in his search for the object. Instead, Tien grovels at the man's feet, begging him for forgiveness for his previous cruel actions and for the Dragon Ball which can help stop the current crisis. Surprised by Tien's humbleness, the man grants his forgiveness and gives him the Dragon Ball. They then locate the third ball in the Arctic from an icecap and the fourth ball from a mountainside.
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 Chaozu to quickly make a wish to destroy King Piccolo before the Demon King can make one himself. Chaozu 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.
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.
Piccolo Jr. arc
Tien keeps up his training, redoubling his efforts after learning that Son 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 Kuririn and Chaozu 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. While on their way to train with Korin, Tien, Chaozu, Yamcha and Kuririn rescue a village from an active volcano. 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, Chaozu and Kuririn, return to compete in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. He is somewhat surprised to see a now 18 year old Goku and hopeful that he is even more powerful than before. His real shock, however, is seeing Piccolo, 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 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.
The early matches seem to be going as usual, with the group quickly dispatching their foes. Tien then receives a horrible sense of something happening to Chiaotzu. He races to the scene and finds Chiaotzu heavily wounded and unconscious, his opponent turning out to be the now cybernetic 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 "traitor" Tien. Tien claims he has not betrayed Shen, but realized Shen's teachings were wrong. Tien gladly accepts his challenge, wanting to avenge Chiaotzu.
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 Chaotzu 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, 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 and 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 Tien's new Technique has a critical weakness, as Tien's power is divided amongst the duplicates. With the fight over, Goku is the winner. But Tien looks forward to their next rematch, suspecting that Goku was still holding back quite a bit.
Tien plays a little role in following battles, he can only watch as Goku fights the seemingly all-powerful Piccolo. 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 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's more devastating attacks.
When it looks like Goku has been beaten, with Piccolo close to finishing him off, Tien reluctantly accepts the order from Kami to kill Piccolo. He is stopped by Goku though, who evades the demon's onslaught and ends up defeating him with a surprise attack. After Goku wins the tournament, Tien finds out from Goku that If Piccolo dies then Kami dies as well. This shock Tien overall, and Tien learns that Kami will accept Goku's plea to let Piccolo live. Tien is lastly seen watching Goku leave on Flying Nimbus with his childhood fiancé, Chi-Chi, after the latter refuse to be Kami's new successor as the guardian of Earth.
Dragon Ball Z (Anime)
Five years after the tournament, Tien learns that his friend, Son Goku, has died in battle against an amazingly powerful warrior called Raditz, a Saiyan who was reveal to be Goku's evil long lost 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 developed 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, Chaozu, Yajirobe and Kuririn, to train at Kami's 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 while training with Kami, Tien and the others enter the Pendulum Room, which allows them to virtually battle Saiyans from the past. Tien and the other Z Fighters 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 can.
When the Saiyans finally do arrive, the Z Fighters decide to hold them off until Goku can arrive. Tien and Chaozu eventually find the Saiyans, Piccolo, Son Gohan, and Kuririn's location. They soon join them, with Yamcha following afterwards. Vegeta, deciding to toy with his opponents, and 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, causing Vegeta to destroy it for 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 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 in the second hit. Seeing this, Chaozu sacrifices himself with a self-destruction attack against Nappa, but it was in vain as Nappa remains unharmed and starts to fight with Piccolo and Goku's son, Gohan.
Tien, enraged by the death of Chaozu, puts all his remaining strength into one final Tri-beam through his remaining right hand. The attack manages to do serious damage to Nappa's armor, but does not seriously damage the Saiyan warrior. After Tien sees that Nappa is not even Injure or with any scratches from his final attack, curses at Nappa and dies from exhaustion in the process. 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.
Namek & Frieza arc
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; Chaozu, Piccolo and Yamcha. On King Kai's planet, King Kai contacts Son 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.
Piccolo says there's no time to waste and King Kai should start training them. King Kai says he will not if they are planning to fight Frieza. Piccolo promises that he will not fight Frieza, though he repeats to himself that he will. Tien thinks to himself, saying that he needs to train hard, just like Goku. He concludes that in order to face Frieza, they will all have to be at their best. King Kai asks Yamcha, Tien, Piccolo, and Chaozu if they are sure they are ready for his training... and none of them back down. King Kai says that their first challenge is to make him laugh in order to qualify for his training.
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 version.
King Kai begins the training regiment for the deceased warriors on his planet. He calls Bubbles, his pet monkey, so they can chase the primate. This was the same training that Goku had to endure, which King Kai reveals that it took Goku three weeks to achieve. The warriors are surprised at the sight of Bubbles, and are even more surprised to hear that it took so long to catch the monkey.
Chaozu asks that if they are able to catch the monkey, whether they will begin the real training with King Kai. King Kai answers saying that they must surpass another test, which involves Gregory, and only then can they acquire further needed skills. Bubbles begins to run as Yamcha, Tien, and Chaozu chase him. But are surprised to see that Piccolo has already caught the monkey with ease. None of the warriors share King Kai's enthusiasm for jokes, so he tells them they have a lot to learn about comedy.
Tien and the others succeed in catching Bubbles, nut was surprise to see that Gregory the grasshopper was there next task. While on King Kai's planet, Tien along with Yamcha and Chaozu, participate in a 3 versus 1 sparring match against Piccolo.
When Tien learns that Gohan, and Kuririn have summon the Nanekian Dragon, Porunga, on Planet Namek. Tien learns that Piccolo's plan is to be revived so Kami can be revive as well. Then they can use the Earth Dragon Balls as well. Tien learns that Piccolo's second wish is to brought to Planet Namek to help Gohan fight against Frieza. With this plan being a success, Piccolo is brought back to life along with Kami, and the Dragon Balls on Earth are restore. Tien and Yamcha then hold back angry King Kai when the latter found out that Piccolo lie to him about not wanting to fight Friexa. Tien then witnesses Piccolo being brought to Planet Namek with Gohan's second wish.
Then Tien, along with Chaozu and Yamcha, remains on King Kai's planet and learns of everyone's mighty struggle with the evil tyrant Frieza on Namek. While there, in a filler scenario, King Kai calls upon the late Ginyu Force (excluding Captain Ginyu) to challenge Tien, Yamcha and Chaozu. 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 Chaozu by a wish made to Porunga. Once back on Earth, Tien and Chaozu go into solitude, training in the mountains. Tien then learns that Goku survive his battle against Frieza and is on another Planet training for a whole year to learn a new technique.
A year later, while Tien and Chaozu are training in the mountains, they are interrupted when they sense two powerful evil energies heading towards Earth. They then fly to the location of where the power is coming from. Both Tien and Chaozu are surprised to find Vegeta and the other Z Fighters who inform them that the power they are detecting is Frieza's, who somehow survived Namek's destruction. 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 Son Goku, tells everyone the warning that two incredibly powerful Androids will attack in three years time and defeat everyone with the exception of Son Gohan. During the three years of training, Tien trains alongside Chaozu across the Earth and his power increases.
Androids & Cell arc
- "I might just be a pothole in the road to you big guy, but it's going to be one heck of a deep pothole!"
- — Tien talking to Cell in the episode "Sacrifice" (English Version)
The three years soon pass and the Z Fighters head to the location where the androids soon appear. Tien tells the other Z Fighters that he left Chaozu behind as he felt that even though they trained, he would not have been able to keep up in the battle. After Gero destroys half of the city where they appeared, Son Goku, Piccolo, and Tien fly off to a different location with the Androids following. Tien notices that Goku is already tired and out of breath just by flying. It is revealed Goku's deadly heart virus is the cause of this lack of energy.
When the Androids leave to continue their pursuit of Goku, who is recovering from a heart disease, Tien goes off with Chaozu 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.
Eventually Tien 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. 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. Goku then brings Tien and Piccolo back to Kami's Lookout so both of them can recover and remain safe from Cell.
Cell Games arc
When Perfect Cell declares his Cell Games, Tien decides to remain on the sidelines out of the fight; he is given the opportunity to go to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, but he 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 a severe beating by the small creatures, he does get in a hit with Yamcha while saving a weaken Son Goku from a Cell Jr. in the anime. He and the other Z Fighters are saved from the Cell Juniors by Son Gohan, who witness the death of Android 16, and finally turned into a Super Saiyan 2.
After Goku sacrifice himself to save earth from being blown up by Semi Perfect Cell, everyone realizes that Goku is truly dead and that Cell actually survive his suicide plan. Yamcha and everyone else witness the death of Future Trunks by Cell's doing. Yamcha went to assist Trunks but realize that the 21 year old boy had died that moment after coughing out blood from his mouth to show signs of life. Yamcha and the others witness Vegeta attacking Cell head on to avenge Trunks' death but to no success.
During Gohan's final battle with Super Perfect Cell, as he feels a lot of guilt for letting Goku sacrifice himself especially as Goku was largely the reason he trained extensively at martial arts. So Tien along with Piccolo, Yamcha, and Kuririn blast Cell from behind him in order to help Gohan and vows to not let Gohan die. The Z Fighters are eventually brushed aside by Cell who is then finally defeated by Gohan with the help of Vegeta.
Once Gohan finally destroys Cell, Yamcha carries Gohan back to Kami's Lookout. While Tien carrys the dead Future Trunks. With Kuririn bringing 18. After Dende heals Android 18, Yamcha tells 18 from a far away distance tells her that Gohan defeated Cell. Tientells Yamcha to tell it to 18 a little closer than in a far distance. Then Tien along with Piccolo and Yamcha learn from Gohan that Kuririn is in love with Android 18, this shock Yamcha and Tien overall. After 18 assumedly leaves, Yamcha then makes the wish to resurrect everyone killed by Cell. Then he and the group learn from Goku, that he doesn't want to be wish back to life. Yamcha remarks that Goku has being cheerful since he was a little, Yamcha along Tien, Piccolo and Gohan reveal their favorite memory of Goku. Which is reveal in a flashback. When the group has difficulty thinking of a second wish, Yamcha jokingly contemplates asking Shenron for an expensive diamond necklace for the girl his going out with.
He then hears Kuririn asking Shenron to remove the bombs from inside Android 17 and 18's body. This is successful, with Kuririn finally admitting to the others that he truly loves 18 . But everyone thinks that 17 is 18's boy friend, then she reveals her self to the others and corrects them when she angrily tells them that 17 is her twin brother. This surprises everyone, and after 18 leaves. Yamcha tells Kuririn that 18 is in to you, and Kuririn asks Yamcha If he is sure. Yamcha admits this, and tells Kuririn that he'll help him when It comes to romance since Goku helped him with Martial Arts. Tien then tells everyone that Goku doesn't want them to be sad, since he taught them not to hold back on their emotions. Tien tells the other Z Fighters that they will probably never meet again Tien then leaves after telling Gohan to take very good care of Chi-Chi for Goku, with Gohan and Yamcha saying goodbye to Tien. He flies into the distance.
Fusion Dance arc
- "Hardly recognize you Gohan. You've changed a lot, inside and out, good for you. But I see Majin Buu did some changing too!"
- — Tien talking to a 16 year old Gohan after he saved him and the others from Buu's blast (English Version)
Seven years later, in the following Majin Buu Saga, Tien makes an appearance with Chaozu as their training in the mountains is interrupted when they both sense Son Goku transforming into his Super Saiyan 3 form, both shocked by the power. Tien later reappears alongside Chaozu while they are training in the mountains. Here, himself and Chaozu 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, Son Gohan, Dende and Bee from being killed by Super Buu (w/ Gotenks absorbed). Tien then fires a Tri-Beam at Buu, but is unable to damage the monster at all. After being cut in half by Goku, Buu's legs land next to Tien, who is dispatched after a single kick by Super Buu from behind.
Kid Buu arc
When the Earth was destroyed by Kid Buu, Tien and Chaozu are also killed in the process. Once everyone is revived by the Namekian Dragon Balls, he and Chaozu later give their energy to Goku's Super Spirit Bomb so that he can kill Kid Buu. He is later seen at a party at Bulma's house.
After the end of the saga, Tien 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.
Dragon Ball Super (Anime)
Battle of Gods arc
Six months after Kid Buu's defeat, Tien and Chaozu head towards Bulma's birthday party which is being held on a cruise ship. While flying, they see Kuririn, 18, Marron, Yamcha, and Puar. He seems to be enjoying the party like everyone else. After the battle between Majin Buu and Beerus, Tien along with Piccolo and Android 18 attempt to stop Beerus. Their attacks were mainly 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 is amazed by Vegeta's power increase.
Time has passed and Oolong is in a rock-paper-scissors math 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 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.
Resurrection F arc
Sometime after the battle with the God of Destruction Beerus, Tien Shinhan is farming with Chaozu when suddenly, the sky darkens so they realize Shenron has been summoned.
Four months later, Tien heads towards North City where Frieza has arrived and destroyed it. When Tien lands, he tells Gohan and Piccolo that he did not want Yamcha and Chaozu to help because he thought it was too dangerous for them. He, along with Gohan, Master Roshi, Jaco, Piccolo, and Kuririn battle Frieza's army. After taking out several enemies, Master Roshi suggests that they part so they wouldn't be overrun. Tien takes his group of soldiers into a cave and takes them on. After that, Tien was taken out by Captain Ginyu, who possessed Tagoma's body. After the Galactic Frieza Army was finished, Tien takes a Senzu Bean from Krillin. 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, Tien Shinhan gets protected by Whis, along with the others. Whis undoes time for Goku to able to kill Frieza and send him back to Hell. He is later seen at a party, with the other Z fighters who participated in the fight. Tien is seen talking to Roshi and Vegeta.
Universe 6 arc
Tien travels with Goku and the rest of their group to the Nameless Planet where the Universe 6 and 7 Gods of Destruction Selection Martial Arts Competition is being held and they are taken there in Whis' box. After two hours and forty-five minutes of traveling, they arrive on the nameless star. Tien Shinhan is a bystander and sits in the stands while he watches the tournament.
He appears at Bulma's party. Then he and the others are task to keep Goku away from Monaka. After Goku fought with "Monaka" (Beerus wearing a Monaka costume), Yamcha accidentally points out Monaka passing out from the fight. Therefore Goku sees that there are two Monakas, due to this Tien stares angrily at Yamacha while the other Z-Fighters scorn him.
Future Trunks arc
Tien Shinhan (along with Chaozu) was mentioned by Kuririn concerning their absence and Yamcha explains that he left them behind because he felt that they couldn't keep up in the game of baseball.
Universe Survival arc
Sometime prior to this saga, Tien Shinhan has opened up his own martial arts school called the Tenshin-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. Tien was seen overlooking his students progress, while Roshi was watching a bit disappointed over the fact there are no young girls here. 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 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.
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. to leave for the tournament, 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 money for participating.
Dragon Ball GT (Anime)
In Dragon Ball GT episode 40, Tien 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 Chaozu and the others.
Shadow Dragons arc
Tien is seen in the final episode, when Son Goku passes by him with Shenron as he and Chaozu are training under a waterfall.
He is seen in visions by Bardock.
Tien is a playable character in all the following video games:
- Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure
- Dragon Ball Daimao Fukkatsu
- Dragon Ball 3 Gokuden
- Dragon Ball Heroes
- Dragon Ball Kai Ultimate Butoden
- Dragon Ball Revenge of King Piccolo
- Dragon Ball RPG Shonen hen
- Dragon Ball Z Attack of the Saiyans
- Dragon Ball Z Bakuretsu Impact
- Dragon Ball Z Battle of Z
- Dragon Ball Z Battle Taikan Kamehameha 2
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection
- Dragon Ball Z Burst Limit
- Dragon Ball Z Buu's Fury
- Dragon Ball Z Dragon Battlers
- Dragon Ball Z For Kinect
- Dragon Ball Z Gaiden Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku
- Dragon Ball Z Gekito Tenkaichi Budokai
- Dragon Ball Z II Gekishin Freeza
- Dragon Ball Z Goku Hishoden
- Dragon Ball Z Harukanaru Densetsu
- Dragon Ball Z Idainaru Son Goku Densetsu
- Dragon Ball Z Infinite World
- Dragon Ball Z Kyoshu! Saiyan
- Dragon Ball Z Legend of the Super Saiyan
- Dragon Ball Z Legendary Super Warriors
- Dragon Ball Z Raging Blast
- Dragon Ball Z Raging Blast 2
- Dragon Ball Z III Ressen Jinzoningen
- Dragon Ball Z Sagas
- Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai
- Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai - Another Road
- Dragon Ball Z Shin Butoden
- Dragon Ball Z 2 Super Battle
- Dragon Ball Z Super Gokuden Kakusei Hen
- Dragon Ball Z Super Gokuden Totsugeki Hen
- Dragon Ball Z Supersonic Warriors
- Dragon Ball Z Supersonic Warriors 2
- Dragon Ball Z Tenkaichi Tag Team
- Dragon Ball Z The Legend
- Dragon Ball Z The Legacy of Goku
- Dragon Ball Z The Legacy of Goku II
- Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Battle 22
- Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi
- Dragon Ball Z W Bakuretsu Impact
- Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse
- Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse 2
- Dragon Ball Z Zenkai Battle Royale
- IC Carddass Dragon Ball
- Three-Eyed clan (Ancestors)
- Master Shen (Ex Mentor)
- Tao Pai Pai (Ex Mentor)
- Korin (Mentor)
- Kami (Mentor)
- Mr. Popo (Mentor)
- King Kai (Mentor)
- Son Goku (#1 Rival & Closet Friend)
- Chaozu (Lifelong Best Friend)
- Yamcha (Second Rival & Fuser)
- Future Tien (Future Counterpart/dead)
- 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 kanji (天津飯) with a katakana furigana reading (テンシンハン, Tenshinhan) to indicate that it has a foreign reading (i.e. Chinese). Although unlike Chiaotzu, "Tenshinhan" is actually also the normal Japanese reading for the kanji.
- Tien supposedly has hair, as Master Shen states that he shaves his head.
- At the end of the episode "Full-Moon Vengeance", Tien is briefly seen without his third eye when Chaozu 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.
- Tien is one of the most notable characters who does not appear in Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! This was done because his original Japanese voice actor, Hirotaka Suzuoki, had died 2 years earlier, although this can easily be explained story-wise by Tien and Chaozu's reclusive nature. He appears with Chaozu 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 17 by Japanese fans. This is above Bulma and Yajirobe.
- Tien's top two rivals are reveal to be Son Goku, and Yamcha.
- Tien's hobby is playing volleyball with Chaozu.
- Tien's favorite foods are jiaozi and shumai.
- Tien's favorite vehicle is a llama and ostrich.
- Japanese : the late Hirotaka Suzuoki (1987 – 2006), Hikaru Midorikawa (2009 – Present)
- English : John Burgmeier (1996 – Present)
all information on Tien came from http://dragonball.wikia.com/wiki/Tien_Shinhan