Tien is a three-eyed member of the Z Fighters. He and his best friend Chiaotzu were formerly students of Master Roshi's rival, the Crane Hermit, and as such he acted as a rival to Goku and Yamcha, whom he fought in the World Tournament. Tien left the Crane Hermit and then became an ally to Goku after their fight. In Dragon Ball Z, he participates in the fight against the Saiyans, trains with King Kai, and distracts Cell with his Neo Tri-Beam, allowing the others to escape.
Eddie Frierson voiced Tien in the Harmony Gold dub of Mystical Adventure produced in the 80s. When Funimation dubbed the series with Ocean Group voice actors, Matt Smith provided the voice of Tien. Funimation then took over dubbing with their own in-house talent. Chris Cason voiced Tien for the third season, and was then replaced by John Burgmeier, who has played Tien ever since. In the Blue Water dub of Dragon Ball, he was voiced by Jonathan Love and Brendan Hunter.