Born on the Planet Vegeta, Vegeta was raised as a Saiyan elite alongside his father King Vegeta. Because of Vegeta's strength and power, Frieza requests that he may take him to be one of his personal servants, this only angers King Vegeta and the Saiyan race. King Vegeta and an army of elite Saiyan soldiers attack Frieza but are totally outmatched and killed. Frieza destroys Planet Vegeta shortly after but Vegeta survived as he was on Frieza's ship. Being the prince of the Saiyan race, Vegeta is convinced that he is destined to be the most powerful being in the universe which results in anger and immense rivalry with Goku, who constantly surpasses him in power.
Vegeta traveled to Earth after a call from his subordinate Raditz through his Scouter, who recorded the information about the Dragon Balls from Piccolo. With his second subordinate Nappa, Vegeta landed on Earth to seek out the Dragon Balls in an effort to earn immortality so that he could fight as a Saiyan for eternity and never be killed.
Vegeta kills Nappa after he loses to a revived Goku. Considering Goku as a "low-class warrior," Vegeta begins his fight against Goku. Shaken by Goku's increased power and Kaio-ken abilities, Vegeta uses a clever technique to create a ball of energy that emits the same special energy waves that a full moon does. These waves cause Vegeta to transform into a Great Ape (an Oozaru). Vegeta overwhelms Goku until his tail is cut off by Yajirobe, causing him to return to normal. The fight leaves Vegeta injured, with him finally retreating in his spacepod. Krillin picks up Yajirobe's sword to finish Vegeta off before he escapes, but Goku asks him to spare Vegeta so he may fight him again someday.
Vegeta then travels to Planet Namek, a location of another set of Dragon Balls while also dead set on killing the space creature Frieza and avenging the Saiyan race. LIttle does Vegeta know that Namek is overrun with Frieza's forces. Vegeta heals in a rejuvenation chamber, gaining more power (due to his Saiyan ability to become stronger after healing from a near-death situation). He forms a makeshift alliance with Goku, who travels to Namek to assist Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma in finding the Dragon Balls. Vegeta ultimately fights Frieza and is killed by him.
During Goku's fight against Frieza, Vegeta is brought back to life by the Namek Dragon Balls. He flies over to where Goku and Frieza are, quite amazed to see Goku finally transformed into a Super Saiyan. He attempts to attack Frieza but is sent to Earth by another wish.
Upon Goku's return to Earth, a Super Saiyan from the future arrives. Vegeta is shocked to see another Super Saiyan and for that matter a Saiyan at all, considering they were all wiped out and the only Saiyans left at the time were himself, Goku and Goku's son. Out of anger towards both Goku and this mysterious boy who had both surpassed him in power, Vegeta trains as hard as he can.
Over time, Vegeta and Bulma develop a relationship, ultimately bearing the child Trunks, the present-time incarnation of Future Trunks. Under extreme pressure while training, Vegeta becomes so angry that he no longer cares about surpassing Goku, becoming the stongest, or even living at all, all of this intense emotion finally triggers the transformation and he becomes a Super Saiyan.
When Android #19 and Android #20 appear, Vegeta surprises everyone with his newly-acquired Super Saiyan power. It isn't until he fights Android #18 that he is outmatched. In a desperate effort to become stronger against both the Android and the newly released Cell, Vegeta enters the Hyperbolic Time Chamber with Future Trunks to train. Upon exit, the two become significantly more powerful.
However, when encountering Cell, Vegeta ignores the remaining Z Warriors' warnings and allows Cell to achieve his Perfect Form, which Vegeta assumes he can kill. Perfect Cell defeats both Vegeta and Future Trunks easily.
During the last fight between Gohan and Cell, Vegeta concedes to Gohan's power and assists him during the final clash.
With Goku dead, Vegeta continues to train alongside his son. It isn't until the World Tournament that Vegeta is offered an opportunity to fight Goku. However, the tables turn and Vegeta assists Gohan and Goku in defeating Babidi, who attempts to revive the monster Majin Buu. Vegeta defeats Babidi's henchman Pui-Pui easily. Babidi notices Vegeta's attitude, discovering a deep hatred in his soul. Babidi takes control of Vegeta, releasing the hatred inside him. Now under the Majin spell, Majin Vegeta challenges Goku to a fight, but not after killing innocent people at the World Tournament. With his absolute power released, Vegeta fights on equal footing with Goku, ultimately subduing him. Goku and Vegeta's fight fuels the release of Majin Buu. However, Goku convinces Vegeta of his true, kind nature, with Vegeta ultimately challenging the released Majin Buu alone. Vegeta fights Majin Buu, with Majin Buu pummeling Vegeta into near submission. Vegeta finally makes a sacrifice for his family, friends, and eternal rival Goku, using all of his power he generates a gigantic explosion to destroy Majin Buu, who regenerates from the attack moments later. The attack used everything Vegeta had, his body turned to stone and fell to pieces as it hit the ground.
Vegeta is judged by King Yema, who makes note that Buu was not killed. Vegeta is offered a second chance to kill Buu and travels back to Earth. With Majin Buu at a tremendous new level of power, Goku informs Vegeta of the Potara Earring fusion. Reluctantly, Vegeta agrees and the two rivals fuse to form Vegito. Vegito's power overwhelms Buu, but the warrior is captured inside Buu. Fortunately, Vegito summons a barrier to prevent him from becoming part of the monster, they split back into Goku and Vegeta because of the magical properties of Buu. Vegeta assists Goku in rescuing Goten, Trunks and Piccolo, while also ripping out the absorbed Fat Buu. Buu regresses into Kid Buu and blows up the Earth, but not before Goku and Vegeta escape alongside Hercule and Dende, with help from Kibito-Kai.
Vegeta witnesses the final battle between Goku and Kid Buu, at long last realizing the difference between his power and Goku's. In a last-ditch effort, Vegeta pleads with the Earth to offer their energy for a Spirit Bomb. When Kid Buu is finally killed, Vegeta offers his acceptance of Goku's power, finally forming a friendship with Goku.
In Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta is attacked by Baby, becoming possessed by the machine mutant as Baby Vegeta. When Goku becomes a Super Saiyan 4, Baby transforms Vegeta into a Golden Oozaru. With help from Goku, Vegeta expells Baby from his body, with Goku finally sending Baby into the sun.
During the final battle with Syn Shenron (the 1-Star Dragon), Bulma develops a machine that helps Vegeta transform into a Golden Oozaru, as he can't do it himself without his tail, from there he then transforms into a Super Saiyan 4, finally matching Goku's power. When Syn Shenron becomes Omega Shenron, Vegeta and Goku use the Fusion Dance to become Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta to fight him.
Gallick Gun: Vegeta's trademark attack where he fires a concentrated energy wave at an opponent. It is very similar to a Kamehameha.
Big Bang Attack: A super-powerful attack where Vegeta fires a huge energy ball at his opponent. Vegeta developed this technique after becoming a Super Saiyan.
Final Flash: Vegeta gathers energy and shouts "FINAL FLASH!" A large yellow energy wave is fired from his hands. Vegeta developed this technique during his training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
Vegeta, early in the series, is aggressive and egotistic. He is not afraid of killing a subordinate when he no longer considers them useful. Vegeta retains an eternal rivalry with Goku, with his Super Saiyan transformation being triggered by his inferiority complex.
Later in the Dragon Ball Z story, however, Vegeta proves to be a bit of a family man. His initial relationship with Bulma is generally unknown, with the only evidence being his two children Trunks and Bra, along with his wife Bulma developing a love towards Vegeta. It isn't until Vegeta fights Majin Buu alone that the viewer is informed of his caring nature towards his family. By Dragon Ball GT, it's blatantly obvious that Vegeta cares about his family, especially being overprotective of his daughter Bra.
Due to a highly-popular internet meme, Vegeta's infamous "Over 9000!" line has been parodied many times across the internet. The scene occurs in the series during the Ocean Group dub of Dragon Ball Z, when Vegeta's initial voice actor Brian Drummond said the line during the Saiyan Saga of the series. Vegeta is voiced by Christopher Sabat in the Funimation dub, with the line being acted differently, though the actual context is near the same.
Vegeta as a Super Saiyan 3
In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, Vegeta is portrayed as a Super Saiyan 3. Vegeta never attained this form in the canon storyline, but Raging Blast features "What-if" storylines that stray from the beaten path and allow players to play some fights that never actually happened in the anime or manga.