I was wondering if a GPU is needed in order for a computer to turn on and display things.I am only new to the computing stuff so sorry for being a noob.
If by "computer" you mean a standard machine running a graphical operating system such as Windows or Mac OS X, then yes, you need a GPU to which to connect your display to. As others have mentioned, this GPU could be built-in on the motherboard (in which case your motherboard will have a graphics port such as VGA, DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort) or you could have a separate graphics card - the latter usually being more expensive but giving you a higher quality.
In the broader term, "computer" meaning any kind of microprocessor based product, and "display" not being reduced to 40" screens showing some great graphics, and "things" including simple alphanumeric signs, then no, a GPU is not needed to display that.
Just to give you one example, many embedded computers (such as routers) can be connected to via the serial port. Through this connection, you can usually display the text console of the system which professionals can use to check the system status and in some cases even perform some emergency tasks.