After Son Goku defeated the dangerous Majin Boo, peace has returned to Earth once again. Chi-Chi wants Goku to get a job, so he works as a farmer. Son Goten and his friend Trunks search for a gift for Videl, soon to be his sister-in-law when his older brother, Son Gohan, is engaged to her. First, they decide on rings, then they decide on make-up, but unable to afford any, head for the hot springs in the woods to bottle some mineral water instead. While there, they are attacked by a giant snake, which they manage to scare away. Meanwhile, somewhere in the depths of space, Beerus, the God of Destruction, has awakened from his slumber. Keen on battling the worthy opponent that appeared to him in his visions, Beerus and his attendant Whis set out to discover who this opponent is.
Son Goku goes to Planet Kaiō to train with Kaiō-sama. Meanwhile, Vegeta, Bulma, and Trunks take a family trip to a resort. Bulma and Trunks are enjoying the family time together while Vegeta is bothered by the fact that Goku gets to train. Fed up with what he considers a waste of time, Vegeta flies away and heads back to the Capsule Corporation to train. Somewhere in space, Beerus and Whis scour an alien planet in search of dinosaur meat. They are confronted by the planet's strongest dweller, but he proves to be no match for them. Shortly afterwards, Beerus destroys the planet in order to have another vision of his destined opponent – the Super Saiyan God.
Fearing what might happen knowing that the God of Destruction is awake, the Kaiō-shin urge Kaiō-sama to ensure that Son Goku never finds out about Beerus. However, Goku overhears the conversation and becomes curious. Back in his temple, Beerus and Whis continue their search for the Super Saiyan God. They soon learn of Son Goku and his feats and decide to pay him and Kaiō-sama a visit. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Goku's friends and family members begin gathering on the cruise ship for Bulma's birthday party except for Vegeta who is still training to overpower Goku and everyone else in the Universe.
With all guests now gathered, except for Son Goku and Vegeta, Bulma's birthday party gets underway. Trunks shows Son Goten where his mother hid the bingo tournament grand prize – the Dragon Balls. Not far off from the ship, Pilaf Gang, now poor and hungry, are trying to get by until they find the Dragon Balls and make their wishes come true. When his Dragon Radar picks up a signal coming from Bulma's ship, Pilaf and his henchmen hastily board the ship, with Trunks and Goten's help. Meanwhile, on his planet, Kaiō-sama explains to Goku who and what Beerus exactly is and that for every benevolent God there must be a malevolent one in order to keep the Universe in balance. Just as he finishes, Beerus and Whis arrive.
Beerus and Whis arrive on Kaiō-sama's planet and detect Goku's presence. While he is initially disappointed that Goku does not know what a "Super Saiyan God" is, he agrees to test his strength in a sparring match. Goku attempts to fight him in all of the Super Saiyan transformations but is outclassed every time. Beerus and Whis head for Earth shortly afterwards while Kaiō-sama uses his telepathy to warn Vegeta ahead of their arrival.
Beerus and Whis arrive on Earth, where Bulma's birthday party is underway. Initially, Vegeta is paralyzed by Beerus' presence. He recalls a childhood encounter with the deity a long time ago when Beerus visited Planet Vegeta and threatened his father, King Vegeta. Shortly after, Bulma pops up. She invites Beerus and Whis to join the party. Beerus gladly accepts her offer and enjoys the food available. The two start mingling with the other guests, while Vegeta tries his best to ensure that Beerus remains calm. Whis soon learns of pudding, which he finds to be extraordinary delicious; so much so that he urges Beerus to have some too. However, it turns out Majin Boo took all the other pudding cups for himself and refuses to share. Angered by Majin Boo's insolence, Beerus attacks him.
Beerus effortlessly disposes of Majin Boo, while Vegeta stands by in awe. Vegeta tries to persuade Beerus to calm down and enjoy himself, but he refuses to listen. Trunks and Goten fuse into Gotenks and attack to no avail. Powerless to do anything else, Gotenks starts insulting Beerus for which he is promptly punished. Piccolo, Tenshinhan, and Android 18 try taking on Beerus with little success. Majin Boo attacks again but is unable to land a single hit. While observing the battle, Dende realizes what Beerus actually is and immediately informs Piccolo. Before Piccolo is able to warn him, Gohan powers up and charges towards Beerus. Using Majin Boo as a weapon, Beerus repels Gohan, taking them both out. Being the last one standing, Vegeta confronts Beerus, but he is swiftly brought to the ground. Beerus tells Vegeta that he is disappointed with him; that he is just as weak as his father was. Just as Beerus is about to finish Vegeta, Bulma walks up and slaps him for ruining her party. Beerus retaliates in similar fashion. Seeing Bulma struck infuriates Vegeta; he explodes and powers up immensely.
Having powered up, Vegeta charges towards Beerus. He manages to land a few punches before Beerus, who was using only a fraction of his power, knocks him out. Just as he is about to destroy Earth, Beerus has a sudden idea. He decides to give the Earthlings another chance at saving Earth. Meanwhile, fearing for their lives, Pilaf Gang disembark Bulma's ship on a rowboat and sail away. Thinking he is the same as Majin Boo because of his pink hue, Beerus picks Oolong out of the crowd and challenges him to a game of janken (じゃんけん) to decide the fate of Earth. Oolong manages to draw twice, but Beerus eventually wins and proceeds to power up his attack. Just as Beerus is about to fire, Goku chimes in saying he has thought of a way to find out about the Super Saiyan God – by summoning and asking Shenlong.
Goku gathers the Dragon Balls together and summons Shenlong who is startled by Beerus' presence. Shenlong quickly explains that the Super Saiyan God is not a person but a legendary transformation that only kindhearted Saiyans can achieve by fusing their power together. The Saiyans attempt to transform Goku but fail, as they are one Saiyan short. Growing tired of waiting, Beerus starts preparing his attack to destroy the planet. Suddenly, Videl jumps in front of the Saiyans. She says that there is one more Saiyan who might be able to help them – her and Gohan's unborn child. The Saiyans and Videl attempt the transformation again and manage to transform Goku into the Super Saiyan God.
Now a Super Saiyan God, Goku confronts Beerus. He is amazed by the immense power his body has gained with the transformation, so much so that he is initially unable to fully grasp its newfound potential. Fighting with Beerus, Goku manages to grow gradually into his new form. Seeing as how Goku might turn out to be a worthy adversary after all, Beerus decides it is time for them to unleash their true power and have a real battle of Gods.
Having somewhat got a grip on the Super Saiyan God form, Goku initially manages to keep up with Beerus, but he soon realizes that his opponent is still not fighting at his maximum. It is revealed that Beerus is doing so only to motivate Goku to catch up with him. To that end, Beerus drags Goku to space where he swiftly knocks him out. Goku comes crashing down back to Earth and ends up in an ocean. Amazed by such power, Goku gets excited and powers up, healing himself in the process. Willing to have another go, he flies out of the ocean and dashes towards Beerus.
Goku and Beerus continue to fight in space. As both of them power up and clash, the universe begins to crumble under the power of the gods. Celestial bodies blow up due to the shockwaves. Meanwhile, Old Kaiō-shin reveals to Supreme Kaiō-shin that with three more blows the whole universe would be destroyed along with Beerus and Goku. Goku, on landing the third clash with Beerus, unknowingly stops the universe's collapse by balancing Beerus' attack with his own. Beerus gets enraged and uses his atomic bomb attack on Goku. Goku uses the Super Saiyan God energy to power up his Kamehameha to keep Beerus' attack at bay.
The Kaiō-shin are surprised that the Universe is still intact following the battle, but they fear the worst is still to come. On Earth, Vegeta, Whis, and the others are still standing by, watching the battle. Whis is surprised by the Super Saiyan God's power and its ability to keep up with his trainee. In space, Goku struggles to keep up with Beerus' attack, which ultimately ends up in a massive explosion, blinding everyone on Earth. Shortly after, the light clears out, revealing everything to be as it was prior to the explosion. Beerus explains that he used his full power to negate the explosion, thereby saving the Universe. Seeing it as a perfect opportunity to boast, Mr. Satan arranges to have him be falsely credited with saving the planet yet again. Despite being at his limit, Goku remains calm, which annoys the God of Destruction. Beerus thinks Goku might have a strategy that he has been hiding which Goku promptly denies, saying that everything he had been doing was improvised as they fought. The Gods quickly power up and continue fighting, but this time, both at their limit. However, as soon as they start, Goku loses his Super Saiyan God aura, reverting to the ordinary Super Saiyan form. Upon noticing that, Beerus decides to quit, thinking it is pointless to fight an ordinary Saiyan. Goku, however, does not notice and keeps going at it. Able to sense Goku's energy, Whis assumes that the battle has concluded and that Goku lost, but Piccolo begs to differ. Surprised that Goku is still able to hit him even after losing his God form, Beerus surmises that Goku's body has adjusted to the Super Saiyan God power, making him stronger in his ordinary form. Goku proclaims that, with or without the Super Saiyan God form, it is still him that Beerus is up against, and the two resume their battle.
Now with only a Super Saiyan form at his disposal, Goku powers up and attacks but to no avail as Beerus knocks him out effortlessly. With Goku knocked out, Beerus prepares to destroy Earth. In a final effort to stop Beerus, Goku once again powers up and charges his Kamehameha attack. Goku manages to prevent Beerus' attack, but he completely depletes what was left of his energy in the process. He comes crashing down to Earth onto Bulma's ship, where Vegeta manages to catch him. Beerus lands on the planet shortly after to finish what he started, but he suddenly falls asleep. Whis explains that Goku must have tired Beerus out and that by the time he wakes up he will have forgotten about their trip to Earth. Beerus who was faking his sudden sleep spell and Whis leave for Beerus' planet shortly after. With Earth safe again, Goku decides to relax and enjoy the party.
With Earth no longer in danger, Goku and the others return to their ordinary lives. Chi-Chi orders Goku to leave training behind and find a job so he can support the family. Meanwhile, Mr. Satan's self-promotion goes awry when a group of aliens land in the city. The aliens reveal that they are ambassadors who wish to thank and reward whoever defeated Beerus; thus protecting their planet from destruction. Before he is given the reward, however, Mr. Satan is asked to demonstrate his godlike power against the alien's mightiest champion in a sparring match. Knowing that he does not stand a chance, Mr. Satan quickly scampers away to safety and calls for help, but no one answers him. Suddenly, Goku arrives at the scene in need of Mr. Satan's help. Mr. Satan arranges to have Goku fight in his stead. Just before the fight, however, Goku spots Chi-Chi and immediately runs away to avoid being scolded for disobeying her. Mr. Satan is left to confront the alien champion on his own. Suddenly, the aliens spot Mr. Satan's dog and run away in fear. With the aliens gone, the crowd praise Mr. Satan who they think saved them and Earth yet again.
Chi-Chi still has Goku doing work out on the farm. Instead of working, however, Goku decides to rest and falls asleep. Krillin flies in and wakes up Goku. Krillin is very surprised to hear that Goku is still on Earth and not training with King Kai. He reminisces about his training with Goku under Kame-Sennin and the power level difference between them since they were children. Curious to see how large the gap is, Krillin tells Goku to punch him with all his power. Reluctant Goku tries to change Krillin's mind, but Krillin insists. Goku obeys and punches Krillin, sending him flying into a boulder. Shortly afterwards, Goku heads home, while Android 18 attends to Krillin's wounds. Krillin states that he misses martial arts and wishes to start training again. Meanwhile, Vegeta is seen in the wastelands standing determined. He states his intent to surpass Goku without the aid of others. Elsewhere, Whis and Bulma are having lunch together. Whis is enjoying all the food Bulma is having her chef make. While they dine, Bulma asks Whis to protect Earth from Beerus in case he ever shows up again. Vegeta arrives and sees Whis. He asks Whis to see Beerus, but Whis refuses to do so. Whis tells Vegeta that he is Beerus' teacher and that, with the proper tutelage, he could one day surpass Goku. Vegeta bows and kneels before Whis and begs to become his student. An unimpressed Whis walks past him. Vegeta decides to convince Whis by giving him the tastiest food on Earth. After several failed attempts, Vegeta finally impresses Whis with a cup of instant noodle. Before Vegeta heads off with Whis to Beerus' planet, Bulma hands him new armor. They arrive at Beerus' planet shortly afterwards and prepare to train.
Pan has been born. While most of her family members and friends think that she should be taught martial arts, Chi-Chi is revolted by the very idea. She believes that Pan should be raised to be a lady and not a mindless fighter like her grandfather Goku. Everyone tries to persuade Chi-Chi to change her mind but to no avail. Bulma accidentally mentions that Vegeta has been away training with Whis for six months, which shocks Goku. After some time, Whis returns to Earth to enjoy more of the food Earth has to offer. Goku approaches Whis and asks to become his pupil. Whis accepts, thinking it is the perfect time for Goku to join Vegeta in training. Just as the two are about to depart, Chi-Chi runs up and stops Goku from leaving. Despite her wishes, Goku ends up leaving with Whis. Chi-Chi then has a sudden change of heart, saying that Goku will return once he gets hungry anyway.