Characters / One Piece: The Four Emperors

Be warned, this series is over 18 years old with over 800 chapters to its name. Spoilers may not be covered below.

The Four Emperors (四皇, Yonkou) are the most notorious pirate captains in the One Piece world, who rule over pieces of the New World like overlords, but none of their bounties are known, and they're all independent of one another (neither friends nor foes). Amongst the four, Shanks is the nicest, while it's a toss-up between Big Mom and Kaido for the meanest.

The once-dreaded power of the Emperors has been challenged by newer, bolder generations of pirates: Whitebeard lost his life in a War Arc with the Marines, and his killer, Blackbeard, has officially replaced him; Linlin lost two of her ally ships to Kidd (another Supernova) who has formed an alliance with Hawkins and Apoo (two more Supernovas) to bring down Red-Haired Shanks (only for their alliance to be attacked by Kaido who inducted Apoo and badly injured and captured Kidd); Monkey D. Luffy (one more Supernova) publicly challenged Big Mom for authority over Fishman Island; and Trafalgar Law (both a Supernova and a former Warlord of the Sea), is working together with Luffy with a scheme to take down Kaido.

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    In General 

Tropes associated with the Four Emperors as a whole:

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: All Emperors have the strength to compete with Whitebeard. Although most of their abilities have only been hinted at, it's safe to assume all of them possess island-shattering amounts of badassery.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Although the Four Emperors are just one of the three military superpowers of the world, the other two exist solely to oppose them. To put that another way, the Warlords and the Marines together balance the power of the Emperors who are all independent of one another. This is why when an Emperor declares that a country is their territory, the World Government and even other pirates keep out, hence their titles.
    • When the Marines declared that they were going to execute the 2nd Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, they unleashed 5 Warlords, 3 Admirals, dozens of Vice Admirals, the man who once cornered the Pirate King, a platoon of Giants, the Fleet Admiral himself, at least a dozen Pacifistas, and all available rank and file Marines. This was considered just enough to possibly survive against Whitebeard. Odds are they never would've even attempted it without a trump card.
    • On top of that, at the climax of the war, when Akainu wanted the Marines to continue to kill the pirates at all costs, all it took was Shanks to show up and threaten to get involved for everyone, including Blackbeard, to walk away.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Blackbeard, Kaido and Big Mom.
  • The Dreaded: They're the four most powerful pirates of the world, each of them alone capable of challenging the might of the World Government. It's kind of a given. And as Pekoms illustrate, their demands become "inevitable fate" because of their sheer power, whether in person or in influence.
  • Enemy Civil War: The natural state of their relationships, which is required to maintain the balance of power in the world. The Marines start freaking out at the news that two Emperors were having a face-to-face talk.
  • One-Man Army: The response of the Marines to any of the four making a move is to rally everyone to the area they're expected to show up.
  • With Us or Against Us: Essentially how the New World works. As it is demonstrated with the Worst Generation post-timeskip, the only way to survive is to overthrow them (ie. Law and Kid's alliances who are planning to topple Kaido and Shanks respectively) or swallow your pride and serve under them (ie. Bege and Drake). Teach on the other hand stays ahead of the game by swiftly claiming Whitebeard's vacancy by becoming an Emperor himself.

Four Emperors at the start of the story

    "Red-Haired" Shanks
"Listen up... you can pour drinks on me, you can throw food at me... you can even spit on me; I'll just laugh that stuff off. But... good reason or not, nobody hurts a friend of mine!"

Voiced by: Shuichi Ikeda (JP), Tom Souhrada (EN, 4Kids), Brandon Potter (EN, Funi)

Shanks is Luffy's idol, inspiring him to take up a pirate life, and one of the Four Emperors that rule over the New World. Unlike Whitebeard (or presumably Kaido) he doesn't lord this status over everyone else, preferring to travel to different stops and party, with a special fondness for drinking. When Shanks was younger, he and Buggy were both apprentices in the Roger Pirates, the crew of the late Pirate King, "Gold" Roger, and clashed with Whitebeard's crew several times. They were subordinate to Silvers Rayleigh, the first-mate of the crew, and spent their time fighting each other. Both of them attended their captain's public execution, where they parted ways to form their own crews. Sometime afterward he became the rival of Dracule Mihawk, and their duels are now legend throughout the Grand Line, remembered even by Whitebeard.

During Luffy's youth, The Red Hair Pirates stopped at his town, and usually went to the town bar. Luffy always used to plead with him to join the crew. Shanks not only refused, but teased Luffy about not being able to swim, and that he's just a kid. Shanks saved his life when a bandit tried to drown him, which cost him his dominant arm, but Shanks said that it didn't matter as long as Luffy was safe. Shanks then gave Luffy his favorite hat, telling him to return it once he surpasses him, and set sail.
  • Art Evolution: Very drastically. The Straw Hats' changing designs can be chalked up to the fact they're still at a young enough age to physically grow, but it's bizarre to see Shanks become so hunky if you're more familiar with his earlier look.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: You DO know what it means to shank someone, right? Also see Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
  • Awesomeness Is a Force: People faint and ships literally start to crumble in his presence.
  • Badass Cape: Wears one, as does the rest of his crew.
  • Badass In Charge: Scaring a Sea King by staring at it? Check. Crossing blades with Whitebeard, the World's Strongest Man, and walking away from it? Check. Stopping a war just by threatening to take down anyone on either side who wants to continue? Check.
  • Badass Normal: The fact that he can swim automatically excludes him from being a Devil Fruit user, meaning his Badassery is nothing more than a combination of Charles Atlas Superpower.
  • Bash Brothers: He wanted to be this with Buggy. Buggy refused.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Higuma learned this the hard way, as he pissed Shanks off by threatening Luffy.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When he saved Luffy. Does it again during the Whitebeard War arc, showing up in the middle of the battle to end the war then and there, rescuing both Coby and Luffy (the latter indirectly) in the process.
  • Big Good: With Whitebeard's death and Sengoku's retirement, he is the most powerful benevolent character in the series in terms of influence.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Shanks saw the possible damage that could be inflicted by Blackbeard, and encouraged Whitebeard not to poke him...but Whitebeard refused to do so.
    • Actually, Whitebeard had also told Ace not to go after Blackbeard, with his protests falling on deaf ears, but he wasn't about to concede to Shanks (who is somewhat of an enemy) that he's right.
  • Death Glare: Even sea monsters are afraid of an angry Shanks staring at them.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Got one off-screen. Even though he hasn't been in the story lately, he did meet Whitebeard in his last appearance. So when the Whitebeard Pirates go off to save Ace, and Kaido attempts to take more of a piece of the New World, Shanks blocks him, allowing Whitebeard's rescue attempt to go uninterrupted.
  • The Dreaded: His appearance at Marineford is enough to make EVERYONE react with a mixture of shock and alarm, and his threat to fight anyone who wants to keep the battle going is enough to instantly end the violence. Let's put it this way: when Akainu decides to call it a day rather than even attempt to deal with you after having previously demonstrated that he had no interest in stopping the battle, you have earned this title.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His introduction in the very first chapter showed him as a fun-loving, genuinely Nice Guy who loves to party and willing to humble himself. That said, don't threaten his friends or it will end very badly for you and your crew.
  • The Gadfly: It's clearly implied when Luffy was still very young, that he liked screwing with Luffy in harmless ways, just to get a chuckle from Luffy's reaction.
  • Generation Xerox: Luffy is becoming more and more like him, rather than Roger, although Shanks notices the similarities in the two's personalities. However, Luffy is more passive while Roger had a violent temper in battle that led (indirectly) to the deaths of both his Friendly Enemy Whitebeard and his own son.
  • Good Is Not Soft: In a series where permanent death is exceedingly rare, his Establishing Character Moment includes him not batting an eye when one of his crew outright murdered one of the local riffraffs. And of course, mistaking his general happy-go-lucky and live-and-let-live attitude for softness is a bad idea.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The scars across his eye? Blackbeard gave Shanks those scars before Shanks lost his arm and before Blackbeard gained his Devil Fruit powers.
  • Handicapped Badass: Even with only his right arm, he's strong enough to stand up to the most powerful pirates in the world. Bear in mind that, by all indications, he's left-handed. Because of this, he doesn't interest Mihawk in sword fights anymore, though Mihawk at least visits him from time to time when there's news that may interest him. And according to Word of God, he's still as strong as he was before he lost his arm.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite how simple-minded he appears at first, Shanks is a complex person with some rather difficult to understand views; for example, he believes if two people share very different views, it is better they go their separate ways.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: When you're known to be Mihawk's former sparring partner and said spars are said to have shaken the Grand Line...
    • When he and Whitebeard crossed blades, they cut the sky in half. The sky!
    • He blocks Akainu's fist full of lava with his sword.
    • A quick reminder: He only has ONE ARM, and it's not his good arm.
  • Ki Attacks: He's the series first-seen Haki user.
  • Kid Hero All Grown-Up: Along with Buggy, he was a cabin boy on Gold Roger's ship.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Takes losing his arm very well.
  • Master Swordsman: Repeat; just as strong as he was when he was whole, with only his bad arm remaining.
  • Mellow Fellow: Shanks is one of the most laid back characters in the world of One Piece, preferring to take his time as he and his crew travels around the world rather than rushing from one place to another.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Really handsome. More so when we see him after his introduction.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: SHANKS. Subverted that his first appearance established him as a genuinely nice guy, and then Double Subverted when you learn that he's one of the Four Emperors, one that neither Marines, Warlords, or other Emperors want to directly antagonize. When he shows up late in the Marineford War and threatens to get in the brawl if they don't stop fighting, both sides decide to run away from him really fast.
  • Nice Guy: Shanks is not cruel like many other pirate captains, nor does he rule over his crew with fear to gain respect. His friendly nature means he will not purposely seek to harm others, and he is able to make serious characters like Dracule Mihawk join in with his fun.
  • Nice Hat: Luffy's straw hat was originally Shanks', and he was likewise known for wearing it. Rayleigh, in a flashback, revealed that the Straw Hat was originally Roger's.
  • No Badass to His Valet: Despite being widely feared across the seas, there's one active pirate who is absolutely not afraid of him. And that is Buggy. Despite the huge gap between their abilities, it's just like the old times on the Oro Jackson as far as he's concerned.
  • Noodle Incident: To this day, we still don't know what happened during the battle between Shanks and Blackbeard that would scar Shanks's left eye. All we do know is that whatever happened caused Shanks to be wary of Teach long before he gained any renown as a pirate — which is why he warned Whitebeard against allowing Ace to continue going after him.
  • One-Man Army: Come on. He's one of the Four Emperors.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: When you've saved the life of a little friend, what's losing an arm to a Sea King anyway?
  • Papa Wolf: Don't threaten Luffy or you will pay. In fact, DON'T hurt his friends, period.
  • Parental Substitute: To Luffy. Shanks was honestly the closest Luffy had to a real father, seeing as his actual father was out being a revolutionary and his grandfather was a well-intentioned yet terrible parental figure. They were so close, many honestly thought they would be revealed as father and son.
  • Passing the Torch: Saving Luffy's life was a form of this to him; when Whitebeard asks how he lost his arm, Shanks replies that he "bet it on a new generation."
  • Shock and Awe: How Shanks fights in One Piece Pirate Warriors 3.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Easily the most moral among the Emperors, and he is "Red-Haired" Shanks.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: His red to Mihawk's blue.
    • He's also the blue to Buggy's red.
  • The Rival: To Mihawk before he lost his arm, though the two are on relatively good terms. He was also The Rival to Buggy as kids, but not so much anymore.
  • The Southpaw: He was left handed before the Sea King changed that.
  • Threatening Mediator: Near the closing of the Whitebeard War, he shows up in Marineford and then threatens Whitebeard Pirates and the Marines to stop fighting by declaring that anyone who still wants to fight will have to fight against his side. And then the war promptly stops, with Shanks taking Whitebeard and Ace's corpses to be given proper burial.
  • Token Good Teammate: The Four Emperors don't work together, but with the death of Whitebeard, Shanks is the only Emperor who's not a villain.
  • Tranquil Fury: Considering how cheery Shanks usually is, it's scary when he gets angry.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The relationship between Shanks and Buggy is still this, no matter how much time has passed and no matter how much Buggy continues to deny it.

    Edward Newgate — "Whitebeard"
"I am only one man with one heart... call me a demon, call me a monster... but I can't be the strongest forever!"

Voiced by: Kinryu Arimoto (JP), R Bruce Elliott (EN, Funi)

Whitebeard, real name Edward Newgate, is the most powerful of the Four Emperors ruling over the New World (the second half of the Grand Line), and the only person to ever battle the Pirate King to a draw. With Roger's death he became the "Strongest Man in the World", and this reputation makes him the most feared and respected person in the world.

However, 22 years have passed since the Pirate King's death and, although Whitebeard is still greatly feared, the world is slowly changing and there are those in the Grand Line are looking to rise to the top and take Whitebeard's place. Whitebeard believes that pirates should have at least some sense of morality and honor, and every member of his crew is treated as his child, and they in turn treat him as their own father.

When people say that he has the power to shake the world, they mean it literally, as he ate the Tremor-Tremor Fruit (Gura Gura no Mi), which has the power to generate massive shockwaves and cause earthquakes.

The Whitebeard pirates are considered to be the strongest pirate crew in the One Piece world, as their captain, Whitebeard, is one of the Four Emperors and literally called the World's Strongest Man. Whitebeard's crew is segmented into divisions and a lot of the New World Pirates are also allied with him. Both his own crew and the New World Pirates are shown to be fiercely loyal to the pirate captain, and he, in turn, considers every single one of them to be his sons.
  • Affectionate Nickname: He was called "Pops" or "Old Man" (Oyaji, an informal variation of "father") by his crew.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: In his first few appearances in the series, Whitebeard comes off as seeming to think that any decision he makes is the correct one regardless of potential consequences, even brushing off warnings from fellow Emperor Shanks. However, this later turns out to be a Jerk Ass Facade, as Whitebeard demonstrates that he isn't nearly as full of himself as he would like you to believe. Most likely he wanted to make sure he had a reputation for being fearsome and unreasonable to help keep the islands under his protection safe.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Definitely the strongest person alive. Not anymore, though. Alive, that is.
  • Awesome McCool Name: Edward Newgate has a kickass ring to it, doesn't it?
  • Badass: Indisputably the most Badass character in the series. Each and every character in the entire series pales in comparison to this man when it comes to sheer awesomeness.
  • Badass Boast: "I. AM. WHITEBEARD!" Let's face it, it's all he needs.
  • Badass Grandpa: 72 years old, but still capable of tearing an Admiral several new assholes.
  • Badass Longcoat: Almost as Badass as his moustache.
  • Badass Moustache: Look at that thing! It's wider than his face, perfectly curved, and looks as sharp as a sword. Clearly not a moustache to be trifled with. It's also why he's called "Whitebeard" (the Japanese words for moustache and beard are the same). Also, look at the titular Turn-A Gundam. There's a reason the most powerful Gundam to date shares a mustache with him.
  • Bald of Awesome: In his later years, though he covers it with a bandanna.
    • For the curious, he once had long, flowing light blond hair in his youth.
  • Big Good: Considered as much of a threat as "The Revolutionary" Dragon, Whitebeard was known as "The World's Strongest Man" for being the only one that fought on par with the Pirate King Roger. However he's generally less active nowadays compared to the other two (especially given that one of them is dead). That aside, since pirates are one of the two biggest threats to the World Government, his moral foundation counters and conflicts with the WG's ruthless control.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Blackbeard attacks Newgate with his darkness power, gloating about how it will nullify his earthquake ability... quite forgetting that he is facing the 18 foot tall World's Strongest Man with an even longer bisento.
    • Just before Blackbeard and his crew decided to gun him down, Whitebeard just before attempting to lay a blow, his skin went reddish and steamy, in a very similar way to Luffy's Gear Second
  • Blade on a Stick: He wields a bisento even taller than he is.
  • Call Back: A Devil Fruit with the power to make tsunamis was first mentioned by Morgan in the very first explanation of Devil Fruits we ever got in-series, that is, in the earliest chapters.
  • Captain Colorbeard: Whitebeard. Even though he doesn't have a beard.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He blocked a two-handed downward swing from John Giant with only one hand on his bisento. He threw Vice Admiral Ronse, another Giant, several feet away. He extinguished the flames of one of Akainu's molten rocks with just a single breath. He prevented a massive paddle ship (captained by Squard) from further advancing using only one hand. When they say strongest man, this is what they mean. Note that he does most of this after being stabbed right through the chest.
  • Cooldown Hug: After his ally, Squard, stabbed him and accused him of selling out his allies thanks to the Marines leaking false information to him, Whitebeard gives him one, reassures him he would never abandon a single one of them, then charges into the fray to kick major ass.
  • Cool Old Guy: More like coolest old guy in the series!
  • Covered with Scars: Whitebeard is covered with scars on every part of his body. Except his back: He never showed it to an enemy once.
  • Death by Irony: All he wanted was a family, and one of his "sons" kills him. Admittedly he had already basically disowned the guy, but the point still stands.
  • Declaration of Protection: Fishman Island used to be a Crapsack World, preyed on by pirates left and right, and the populace living in constant fear. All it takes is for him to declare the Island as his territory, and all the preying stopped there and then.
  • Dented Iron: Even being the World's Strongest Man doesn't stop this guy from getting his fair share of injuries. His years of pirating shows on his chest, which is almost literally more scar-tissue than skin. But not his back.
  • Determinator: Here's the best example. Half his face burned off? Doesn't matter. Akainu must die.
  • Died Standing Up: To further prove how badass he is.
  • The Dreaded: Pretty much a given. Whitebeard when he was still alive truly was the World's Strongest Man - all while being an old, half-dead, sickly shadow of his former self. Angering him was something that no one, not even the World Government, wanted to do. However, Blackbeard forced their hand, and they had to pool in all their resources, including the Admirals and the Seven Warlords of the Sea, just to ensure that they would compete in a war against him.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: His final action, after spending the previous several chapters being stabbed, shot, bombarded, and having half his face melted off by lava, was to fight Blackbeard one-on-one and own him so thoroughly that the entire Blackbeard Pirates crew had to jump in before he stomped their captain like a bug. And even though all of that finally killed him... it still wasn't enough to make him fall.
    • He even gets one last moment of awesome in his last moments. Even though he cannot move and is seconds from death, the very last thing he says, broadcast to the entire Sabaody Archipelago, is "One Piece exists!" This one phrase has the exact opposite effect that killing him was supposed to have.
  • End of an Age: As the pirate who stood at the top of the Golden Age of Piracy, Whitebeard himself states that there is no ship to carry him to the next era.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: While he wasn't evil at all, his death disrupted the Balance of Power in the world, causing a newer and much more vicious generation of pirates to hoist their jolly rogers. The man who benefited the most out of the vacuum? Blackbeard.
  • Expy: Let's see. One-Man Army? Check. Massive? Check. Blade on a Stick as a primary weapon? Check. Rasputinian Death? Check. Died Standing Up? Check. Whitebeard is literally Pirate Benkei.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Overlaps with Dying Moment of Awesome and Died Standing Up.
  • Facepalm Of Doom: In the entire Marineford Arc, Whitebeard unleashed his Face Quake Attack on 2 giants, Akainu, and Blackbeard. None of them came close to successfully tanking it.
  • Facial Horror: In the manga, the left side of his face is destroyed by one of Admiral Akainu's magma attacks.
  • Family of Choice: With him as the "father" and his crew as the "children." As a dying Whitebeard's life flashed right before his very eyes, he expresses that in the end, this is all he ever wanted.
  • Famous Last Words: "One Piece exists!"
  • A Father to His Men: Every pirate in his crew is considered his son, and they consider each other brothers. And since this habit extends to his allies as well, there are definitely "daughters" like White Bay.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The Marines learn the hard way that Zerg Rushing him doesn't work, as he wades through anyone not on the level of admirals.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Roger. plenty of dialogue troughout the series implies they had plenty of encounters in the past, and Ace was worried that Whitebeard would be angry once he discovered he was Roger's son. Yet we discover that Whitebeard not only shared a drink with Roger at least once, Roger actually offered to tell him how to find Raftel and what the "Will of D." was.
  • From Bad to Worse: For the Marines. This line after Ace's death from one of his crew should be a clue: "Oh man, Pops is pissed! EVERYONE GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!!"
  • Genius Bruiser: Turns out Whitebeard's no slouch on chess playing. He saw half of Sengoku's moves during the Marineford Arc coming; had he not, the Whitebeard Pirates and allies would have been finished far earlier than expected. It could also be said that both Sengoku and Whitebeard consider the other their Worthy Opponent in strategy.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Whitebeard's final command was to order his allies to fall back, willing to take down the Marines all on his own.
  • Homage: His moustache, which is near-identical to the one sported by the Turn A Gundam. The fact that they're both the strongest in their respective categories is probably another one.
  • Honor Before Reason: Goes to great lengths to avenge murdered crew members that would be downright insane were it not for the fact that he's, you know, Whitebeard.
    • Before going to Marineford, he refused to continue wearing his heart support because he believed everyone there would pity him. His heart problems become an impediment on several occasions during the war.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: As he put it himself in his younger days, he didn't care too much for treasure; instead, he wanted a family.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Due to his advanced age, and presumably from all of the injures he's taken over the course of a particularly long lifetime of piracy.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: The most recent flashback shows he was a pretty handsome guy when he was young. Of course, he's not so much ugly today as his handsomeness has been replaced by pure Badass.
  • Jerk Ass Facade: More of a "tough man facade", but he put this up after Ace went to search Blackbeard by himself. Whitebeard actually didn't want Ace to, but as he's already gone, he had to cover it by claiming that his family code reinforced what Ace did.
  • Ki Attacks: A confirmed Haki user.
  • Large and in Charge: Whitebeard is literally three times larger than the average man, and unlike the other over-sized characters in One Piece he's properly proportioned.
    • A slight subversion in that Oars Jr. makes him look absolutely tiny by comparison.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: When Whitebeard stands up, you know the shit has hit the fan. When he starts walking towards you... RUN.
  • Manly Tears: Whitebeard gets especially saddened when he realizes that Ace is really going to die.
  • Meaningful Name: His death was the gate to a new era.
    • Newgate is also the name of a pair of (both long defunct) prisons in the London and the US (the first state prison in the country). Real life pirate William "Captain" Kidd spent some time in the London one.
  • Megaton Punch: His powers allow him to punch the air so hard it CRACKS.
  • Mighty Glacier: Due to his age and illness, he's rather slow in the foot, and occasionally have to catch some breath after running. Played with when Marco implied that he was a Lightning Bruiser in his youth, and the current Whitebeard can at least still sneak behind Akainu to attack him.
    • Let's not forget him intercepting a man who can move at the speed of light as said man was charging straight at Luffy.
  • Mook Horror Show: Caused at least one of these while he rampaged across Marineford. You can see it here, in which we get to look from a soldier's point of view while he flies in the atmosphere after being tossed by Whitebeard.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The only way to describe what he did to Akainu after he killed Ace in the anime. It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for the bastard.
  • Older Than They Look: This man does not look 72 years old.
  • One-Man Army: Let us be blunt. This man did more damage to the Marines than his entire crew and his allies combined.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Refers to his stab wound by Squad, after the latter tries to pull a Redemption Equals Death, as "a little scratch", and having nearly half of his head burnt clean off by Akainu merely gets him to speak one sentence in Tranquil Fury mode: "I'm just getting started".
  • Parental Abandonment: Implied, because even though even as kid he was still amazingly strong, and could take anything he wanted, he eventually decided the greatest treasure he could own is a family.
  • Papa Wolf: Never kill or threaten to kill a member of his crew; his wrath over hurting his men is infamous in-universe. Unless you want a war, you have a high probability of losing... if you have the entire planet's military force backing you up. If not, it's a guarantee.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The Tremor-Tremor Fruit grants him the power to create shockwaves powerful enough to "break the Earth apart". That means earthquakes on land, tsunamis at sea, and god help you if he wants to give your face a taste of that power.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: His demise saw the birth of a new era of piracy.
  • Rasputinian Death: Half his face melted off, slashed and stabbed 267 times, hit by more than 152 bullets and 46 cannon shots, all in one battle... but when the jacket came off, there was not a single scar on his back, as he never showed it to the enemy.
    • Technically, there were a few wounds on his back... where the swords went clean through his front! Said swords had been stuck in there for the past ten or so issues. Annoying Arrows are nothing compared to Annoying Swords.
  • Rated M for Manly: Up to Eleven
  • Red Baron: He's either "Whitebeard" or "Pops", never "Edward Newgate".
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Ace's death.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Being an "Emperor of the Seas" and having a Devil Fruit that causes massive tsunamis and earthquakes are obvious references to the Greek god Poseidon.
    • His bisento may be another one, being a possible parallel of Poseidon's trident.
    • So is his extreme Papa Wolf mannerism, as Poseidon was quite possibly the most fiercely protective father in the Greek Pantheon.
    • He was known to be Childhood Friends with Neptune, the ruler of Fishman Island. He also named Fishman Island his territory to protect it.
    • Poseidon was also known as the Earth Shaker. Quite suggestive, no?
    • The people of the One Piece world fear him because of his earthquake powers. Just like the Japanese themselves have a deep-rooted fear of earthquakes and tsunamis, for obvious reasons.
  • Sacrificial Lion: One of the few characters to die in One Piece outside of a flashback, and his death was a turning point in the pirate world.
  • Shockwave Clap: Thanks to his devil fruit power, he can even create quakes in the air. He creates shockwaves by punching the air, causing it to crack.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Teach tries to run his mouth when they meet at Marineford. Whitebeard responds with a spear to the shoulder.
  • Sphere of Destruction: He can create a "Quake Bubble" around his fist or the blade of his bisento For Massive Damage.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: When Oda was asked in an SBS why there were no female members of the Whitebeard Pirates who fought at Marineford, he explained that the crew's only females were nurses because Whitebeard's set of morals led him not to allow women on his ship as fighters.
  • Super Drowning Skills: As with all Devil Fruit users he would sink like a stone in water, but he's not stupid enough to allow himself to be put in such a situation.
  • Superpower Lottery: Word of God is that the powers of the Tremor-Tremor Fruit, a Paramecia-class, are no less than those of a Logia. Even excluding that, the man is downright impressive.
  • Super Toughness: For this man, There Is No Kill Like Overkill is the minimum amount of force required to even make him flinch. Sword to the gut? That tickles. Several more? Tch. Cannon to the face? A pebble. Half his fucking face melted off!? Minor annoyance.
  • Sword Beam: He can infuse his bisento with the Tremor-Tremor Fruit's powers to send a massive shockwave towards anything he swings it at. You do not want to be in the way.
  • That's Gotta Hurt: Getting a face full of his Devil Fruit powers.
  • True Companions: For the World's Strongest Man, who could have had anything this world had to offer... this is all he ever wanted. He succeeded.
  • Tranquil Fury: Goes into this state after Ace is killed by Akainu and then proceeds to return the favor.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When the twenty-three Marine ships watching him are instantly annihilated after the news that Ace is about to be executed, you know the World Government fucked up, right? And after Ace is killed, he proceeds to beat the shit out of Akainu and cut the entire damn island in half!
  • Unwitting Pawn: Sengoku tries to make him one by turning his beloved sons against him. It backfires magnificently.
    • Blackbeard played it straight, though...
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The unbuttoned-top kind.
  • World's Strongest Man: Literally referred to as such, and he more than lives up to it. Back when Roger was alive, the two were contenders for the title.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Since the beginning of the war, Whitebeard was already foot-and-a-half in the grave thanks to his illness. Reason why he took his time to join the fight: his movements were extremely slow and measured, his dodging abilities non-existent as put by Marco; it should have been impossible for Squard to stab Whitebeard, and in several instances he had to stop to catch his breath, his heart barely working right. That rampage was done by a half-blind, half-deaf, arthritic 72 year old shadow of its former self. World's Strongest Man indeed.
    • You may now shit yourself as you imagine what this guy would have looked like in his prime at full strength and pissed off.
    • It's stated that the only reason he didn't end Blackbeard then and there was because his body just couldn't go any further, forcing him to pause instead of landing the finishing blow before his target could recover. Had he been in a little better shape, Blackbeard would be dead.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Sengoku. Also, the commander-in-chief of the Marines says he was the best of the pirates.

    Kaido "of the Beasts"
"I don't care if this boring world is destroyed! Let's start the greatest war the world has ever seen!"

Voiced by: Tessho Genda (JP)

Kaido is the third of the Four Emperors to be mentioned, and the last one to make an appearance. Consequently, he's one of the more enigmatic figures of the series. The deepest insight we have to his character comes from Trafalgar Law, who called Kaido the strongest "creature" in existence. Not man, "creature," so he's at least on the same level as Whitebeard.

The first thing we learned about Kaido is that he's the one who sent Gecko Moriah over the deep end, so he's far from a pleasant fellow. As a testament to his strength, he tried to make a grab for power by attacking Whitebeard before he arrived at Marineford, but Shanks prevented him from doing so.

Following the Whitebeard War, Kaido's coming into conflict with a bunch of younger, ballsier pirates. Drake attacked one of his favorite islands just after the War Arc, while Law's allied with Luffy in order to take him down. At least in part because of that, Kaido's assembling an army of Zoan Users from the artificial SMILE fruits developed by Caesar. Doflamingo, under the alias of Joker, is the one supplying the SMILE fruits to Kaido.
  • The Alcoholic: A very emotional example, as his temperament can swing from sorrowful to enraged while drunk, which is unfortunate for any mooks of his who say something wrong.
  • Ambiguously Human: Law calls him "the strongest creature on earth". It is implied by his size that he might be an actual giant, or at least have giant blood.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Is so confident in his power that he refuses to take Law and Luffy seriously even after they destroyed his SMILE operation. He also goes so far as to call Doflamingo of all people "weak"; to be fair though, from what we've seen, Kaido is likely justified in how he views himself.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Following Doflamingo's defeat and thus the cessation of producing artificial Devil Fruits, Kaido can't build up his army anymore stronger than it is already - so he's preparing to unleash it.
  • Badass: According to Law, he's on the same level of power as Whitebeard, and it took Shanks to keep him away. Granted, Shanks emerged unscathed, but details are scarce.
    • He also slaughtered Gekko Moriah's crew, completely destroyed his spirit, and did God knows what with his chin.
    • Doflamingo is perhaps the strongest member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea (with the possible exception of Mihawk), but even he is scared of Kaido. Note that when placed in a Sadistic Choice where he would either have to face the wrath of the Admirals or the wrath of Kaido, he almost immediately chooses the Admirals, because enraging Kaido would fare much worse. note 
  • Badass Army: One made of artificially-created Zoan fruit users numbering 500, in short an army of beastmen, which may be the reason for his moniker.
  • Badass Mustache: Has a Fu Manchu that hangs to his belt.
  • Bad Boss: At least he is while drunk. One of his men merely suggesting that they should take Law and Luffy seriously was enough for Kaido to literally send him flying off the island in a rage.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Of the Emperor Saga, with Big Mom.
  • Blood Knight: Seeks to cause, and of course participate in, the war to end all wars.
  • Carry a Big Stick: He wields a very large mace, and he's able to send a Mook flying off an island with one swing.
  • Death Seeker: In his life, he has survived forty execution attempts and over ten thousand methods of torture. At this point, he attempts new ways to kill himself simply to find out if he can be killed.
  • Doom Magnet: Every time he's mentioned, something bad will happen (or is happening).
  • The Dreaded: Doflamingo would rather face the wrath of the Admirals than that of Kaido. Yes, the same Doflamingo that, as a kid, swore to an angry crowd that was shooting arrows at him that he was going to survive and kill them all one by one. Let that sink in for a moment.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: A frequent coping strategy of his.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Having effortlessly survived trying to commit suicide by jumping off a sky island, then yelling for war after he rises up.
  • Evil Overlord: Kaido seems to have dozens of underlings, allies, and islands under his control, like most of the Emperors. What separates him from all of the others, including Linlin, is that it's implied he's very much a traditional one.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Kaido vs. Moriah, though it's implied Moriah wasn't so bad back then.
  • Greater Scope Villain: He was originally this during the Thriller Bark Arc, as it was his actions that were responsible for making Moriah the villain he had become. He's also been this for much of the conflict since the Straw Hats entered the New World (after Fishman Island), as both Caesar Clown and Doflamingo, the two most prevalent antagonists post-timeskip, have both been working for him. This makes him the driving antagonistic force of the saga thus far. As the story progresses, a battle with him seems inevitable: Trafalgar Law is determined to piss him off so much that Kaido will have to step in personally.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: This man's temper and stubbornness is so legendary that even Doflamingo fears him.
  • Horned Humanoid: Once we see him in the flesh he has horns not unlike those we've seen on Oars. They're also a part of his pirate emblem.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Jerkass: The more we learn of him, the worse he seems to be. For comparison, Shanks is friendly as long as you don't piss him off, Whitebeard operates under a Jerkass Fašade, Blackbeard genuinely cares about his crew, and Big Mom transferred her wrath from Fishman Island to Luffy at Luffy's behest while not giving a damn about grabbing more power as long as she gets her candy. This guy was willing to disrupt the state of the world at a chance of grabbing power from Whitebeard; threw Moria past the Despair Event Horizon by murdering his entire crew, turning Moria into the Jerkass he is today; and has a temper so legendary that Doflamingo gives everything up in order to survive. There hasn't been one redeeming thing mentioned about him, at all. Upon his first in-the-flesh appearance, he's demanding a war to end all wars to destroy this "mundane world" and possibly find something capable of killing him.
  • Kill 'em All: He massacred Moriah's entire crew back in the day, hence why Moriah is the way he is now.
  • Large and in Charge: Absolutely massive and may or may not be a giant or have giant blood, going by a slight resemblance to Oars.
  • Large Ham: The polar opposite of his right hand man Jack when it comes to how they express their anger. So far, all of Kaido's screen time has featured him shouting in a rage at some point.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: They've tried to execute him 40 times, including by hanging. It didn't work.
  • Mood-Swinger: When drunk, he can very easily go from weepy and sorrowful to violent and abusive at the drop of a hat.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: His first onscreen appearance has him jump off of a sky island. The ground is more hurt than he is. In fact, he's so invulnerable, he considers suicide attempts a hobby. Dude had been captured and executed numerous times to no avail and survived, and has shrugged off thousands of different forms of torture. It's implied that only person to have ever inflicted real harm upon him is Whitebeard, though Shanks was able to make him back off.
  • Noodle Incident: What went down when Shanks confronted Kaido? What happened when Kaido fought Moriah back in the day?
  • Perpetual Frowner: Whenever the Emperors were mentioned early on, his various prototype silhouettes always sported Slasher Smiles; however, when we see his final design in person, he constantly has an angry grimace instead.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: During his introduction it's said he's destroyed 9 ships built specifically to hold him and it's been shown that Doflamingo would rather face the Admirals instead of him.
  • Red Baron: Kaido Of The Beasts (Or King Of The Beasts in the English translation) doesn't sound like the type of guy you want to trifle with.
  • Shout-Out: In ch. 824, we got this gem:
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil:
    • Quite literally. The next Emperor shown tends to be more antagonistic than the last. Everyone else has some redeeming qualities, even if slightly. Kaido doesn't appear to have any.
    • As far as his power level is concerned, he was once described as the strongest "creature" in the world; defeating him is 30% at best if you're Law and Luffy. If his title is indeed accurate, he'd be the strongest Yonko of all.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Wears spiked bands around his wrists.
  • Superpowered Mooks: He has an army of Artificial Zoan Devil Fruit users numbering around 500.

    Charlotte Linlin — "Big Mom"
Voiced by: Toshiko Fujita (JP)

The third introduced of the Four Emperors, Big Mom is the only female member. She offers her protection to islands if they provide enough candy to feed her sweet tooth, but watch out if she's not satisfied.

Her notoriety is not enough to deter Eustass Kid from destroying two of her allied ships after the Time Skip. Nor was it enough to deter Monkey D. Luffy from personally challenging her for control over Fishman Island, which she accepted. This does NOT mean she isn't as dangerous as the other 3. On the contrary, out of the emperors shown, she's by far the most crazy and ruthless, and overall terrifying, and among other things, is introduced by showing her eating some of her own men like snacks.
  • A Mother to her Men: Subverted. Her men call her "mama", but she clearly doesn't give a shit about them.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Her tea party "invitations" aren't so much invitations as much as they are a summons order. If you refuse to attend, it's taken as a sign of disrespect, and she sends you the severed head of somebody close to you in a present box. Of course, it's also implied that bodily harm will come to the person who refused the summons, too.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: She's honestly like something out of a horror movie.
  • Bad Boss: She ATE one of her subordinates for no real reason.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Of the Emperor Saga, along with Kaido.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: She seems to have fairly bizarre priorities, to say the least - mostly vast quantities of candy, tea parties and kidnapping men to marry her daughters. At the very least, that last one makes better sense in context. note 
  • Bokukko: Uses "ore" to refer to herself in the original Japanese.
  • Cephalothorax: Looks to be one because her head looks too big to be supported by her body.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: During the Dressrosa arc, half of the Straw Hats are infiltrating the castle, while the rest are on the ship with a captive Caesar Clown to use against Doflamingo if necessary. Cue Big Mom's ship showing up right out of nowhere, its crew intent on capturing Caesar because he swindled research funds from them. This forces the Straw Hats on the ship to flee to the next island with Big Mom hot on their tail, leaving the Straw Hats still on Dressrosa with no backup plan.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: She's infamous for decimating entire islands just for not providing enough candy for her. She considers this a perfectly reasonable reaction to someone who failed to hold up their end of a bargain. According to her subordinates, she'll also decapitate a loved one of Sanji's and send their head to him in a box if he were to decline his wedding invitation.
  • The Dreaded: Naturally, considering that she's one of the Four Emperors. Every character so far has been shown to be flat-out terrified of her.
  • Establishing Character Moment: It was implied she's not exactly the nicest person around before her proper introduction. What do we see of her in the chapter when she's actually introduced? She's an utterly massive behemoth, eats her henchmen, and casually has countries torched over not getting her candy.
  • Evil Matriarch: Despite her horrifying physical appearance, she has at least 35 daughters, one of which is to be married to Sanji as part of a political alliance with the Vinsmoke family.
  • Evil Overlord: She is a pirate emperor that often exerts her authority and influence to satisfy her indulgences. For example, she can make demands beyond candy, like invitations, and if they aren't met, she can find out everything about this person, including their friends or family, and have their heads delivered in a box, to the offender. And when Whitebeard died, she was the one who claimed his territory in Fishman Island.
  • Finger in the Mail: Pekoms noted that if you refuse one of her offers, expect to get a parcel within a few days. Inside will be the head of someone previously involved with you, and these include (for Sanji) those from a certain restaurant in East Blue, or even the Kamabakka Kingdom.
    Luffy: How the hell do you guys even know about all that?!
    Pekoms: This... is what is called power, Straw Hat.
  • Gag Lips: Possibly. They're on her Jolly Roger, at least.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Not a real queen, but still one of the most powerful pirates in the world. Even her own crew-mates are afraid of her!
  • Gonk: Very much so.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: She seems frighteningly easy to piss off, considering that she'll decimate entire islands if they don't give enough candy to her.
  • Hollywood Acid: Her spit/churned-up stomach acid literally smokes and dissolves the ground when it falls on it which may or may not mean she's eaten a Devil Fruit relating to acid.
  • Humanoid Abomination: From what has been seen so far, she has an oversized head even by One Piece standards, sports entirely pink eyes and produces acid from her mouth.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: She's been known to eat her crew members.
  • Large and in Charge: True to her moniker, she's so big that she can fit a number of her subordinates in her mouth.
  • Misplaced Retribution: She ate one of her subordinates because he happened to be nearby when he gave her bad news.
  • Nightmare Face: She has a rounded witch-like face with a permanent Slasher Smile and pink eyes.
  • Ore Onna: Uses the masculine pronoun ore.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: She's practically a grown up woman who loves to have tea parties with delicious sweets and baked goods. Wouldn't seem so bad except she's willing to decimate whole islands for ingredients alone with little room for compromise (Case in point, willing to destroy Fishman Island since they couldn't deliver their allotted candy despite the machinery being destroyed during Hody's attempted coup and them willing to continue the order once it's fixed). Plus likewise threatening to kill people who don't come to her parties and singing and dancing about said tea parties with lyrics that the strawberry jam can be the usual or be made of people's blood. Yeesh.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A pink variety, which is an oddity since One Piece characters focus more on completely white eyes with small black dots.
  • Slasher Smile: Seems to be a requirement if you're a villainous Emperor.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only one of the Four Emperors to be female.
  • Sweet Tooth: One of the first things we learn of her. Now that Whitebeard is dead, she's taken over protecting Fishman Island in exchange for lots and lots of candy. Their issues with Hody Jones and Vander Decken halted their supply of sweets to her, so she makes her debut by appearing at Fishmand Island so she can destroy it for missing their scheduled payment of candy.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: When we see her home turf, Totland, through the eyes of Luffy, this is what the locals say about her character. According to them, she's seeking to make an Utopia where all races live peacefully side by side, in homes made of candy, never having to worry about pirates, marines, or misfortune of any kind. It is never mentioned if all inhabitants are there by choice.
  • Villainous Glutton: Infamous for it.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Among the citizens of Totland, there is nobody who doesn't sing her praises... At least those who aren't too close to her when she gets hungry... or angry.
  • Worthy Opponent: When Luffy stands up to her in defense of Fishman Island, she decides to pursue him instead, despite being fairly sure that he's just taking the blame to spare them. The fact that he's willing to do so at all impresses her, so it shows that she's not without a bit of honor from time to time.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Her initial silhouette looks incredibly different from what we've seen of her final design. There's a possibility that this is due to different perspectives, one from the front and the other from the lower side.

New Emperors

    Marshall D. Teach — "Blackbeard"
"I have a message for the whole world! All you pathetic commoners out there who cling to peace! You too, Marines! And the World Government! And of course, the pirates of the world! The future of this world has just been decided... Zehahahaha! That's right! From now on... THIS IS MY ERA! Zehahaha... ZEHAHAHAHA!!"

Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (JP), Cole Brown (EN)

An ambitious former member of the Whitebeard Pirates whose fate seems entwined with Luffy's. He ate the Dark-Dark Fruit (Yami Yami no Mi), a Logia which affords him the power of darkness. All-in-all, a somewhat difficult man to read. Like others with the initial "D." in their names, he's kind of a big deal.

Initially he started off as a no-name pirate, whose only relevance in the story was that he killed one of Whitebeard's crew and ran off, with big goals that had his sights set on Luffy to kickstart his plan. However, Ace intercepted him and the two clashed. Blackbeard won and turned Ace over to the Marines, securing a position as one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea. However, it was just a means to an end to enter Impel Down during the Marineford war and recruit some high-bounty pirates into his crew. He then headed to Marineford and had his crew help gang up on Whitebeard and kill him. Somehow taking Whitebeard's earthquake power for his own before departing when Shanks arrived. Two years later, it's revealed he took over WB's territory (since being in his crew, he knew every location they've been to) and is now one of the Four Emperors. His crew are now searching for high level Devil Fruit users to kill so they can take their powers for their own.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Luffy himself; who holds Blackbeard chief responsible for Marineford and all that went wrong there, most of all being Ace's death, regardless of Blackbeard having not physically sealed the matter.. It may be mutual, given in their first conversation since then in Dressrosa, Blackbeard seemed unsettlingly delighted that Luffy was back in the game.
  • Almighty Janitor: He was in the service of Whitebeard for over 22 years, and was offered the spot of 2nd Division commander when it was vacant, due to his strength, durability, and maybe knowledge of Haki, but he declined, saying he had no such ambitions, giving his support to Ace. Long story short, he lied.
    • In addition, he became a Warlord with a former bounty of 0, being an absolute unknown before then.
  • Badass: As a member of the Whitebeard Pirates, this guy took on Shanks and gave him three scars, and that was before he ate the Dark-Dark Fruit. After his betrayal, he defeats Ace, one of Whitebeard's division leaders, with little effort. Then, through a combination of strength and shrewd planning, he assembled a crew from Impel Down, the most dangerous prison in the world, culminating in killing Whitebeard and stealing his Devil Fruit power! (Did we mention that he's the only one known to combine two Devil Fruit powers and survive?) Put simply, there's a damn good reason he was able to replace Whitebeard as one of the Four Emperors.
  • Badass Boast: "THIS IS MY ERA!"
  • Bait the Dog: He seemed nice to Luffy and his crew, but the Marineford Arc gave us a true idea of his personality as someone who is more concerned with power than True Companions.
  • Batman Gambit: Successfully playing off of Whitebeard's familial protectiveness of his 'children'? Using the war to infiltrate Impel Down and double his crew size knowing the whole world's attention would be on Marineford? Certainly qualifies.
  • Big Bad: Of the Whitebeard War saga, and is shaping up to be the Final Boss of the series.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Kick-started the Whitebeard War, became an Emperor after killing Whitebeard himself, and currently ties with Sakazuki, Big Mom, and Kaido as the primary antagonist for the series.
  • Beard of Evil: It took three costume changes, but he finally got one.
  • Big Damn Villains: During the Impel Down arc, Luffy is having a tough time getting Hannyabal to stay down. Blackbeard then shows up and knocks him out in one shot.
    • He also pulls a spectacular one just as Whitebeard is going to town on the Marines after Ace's death. He even recruited several new crew members from Impel Down. His crew descends on Whitebeard and kills him.
  • Big Eater: He debuts in a seemingly throwaway scene in which he attempts to match Luffy pound for pound in food. They just happen to have opposite tastes.
  • Blessed with Suck: His Dark-Dark powers have some drawbacks. It's unique among the Logias in that it doesn't make him immune to physical strikes (he in fact speculates that it might even make them hurt more) and projectiles are slightly drawn to him.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Blackbeard will step on anyone to achieve his goals, and appears incapable of understanding the concept of "grudges". For example, when Ace confronts him about killing Thatch, he pretty much brushes off the issue and invites Ace to join his crew, despite it being painfully obvious that Ace has come for vengeance.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He's big, cheerful, idealistic, Affably Evil, cares for the well-being of his men, is a Big Eater matching Luffy, and loves a good fight. If anything, what makes his actions unnerving is that he doesn't seem to have an "off" switch for his friendliness, as seen when he cheerfully addresses Ace and tries to recruit him while planning to murder Luffy.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Mocks Whitebeard to his face, insulting his inability to save Ace and the fact that his devil fruit is useless against Blackbeard's own. Whitebeard responds with a spear to the shoulder and a quake-punch that has Teach begging for his life.
  • Captain Colorbeard: Just like his namesake.
  • Casting a Shadow: The concept of the Dark-Dark Fruit seems to be turning the user into a living black hole.
  • The Chessmaster: One particularly adept at Xanatos Speed Chess. At this point, he's likely on par with Crocodile's cunning. His plan to become the Pirate King has so far included throwing his former commander to the World Government to detract attention away from himself. Using that feat in order to become a Warlord of the Sea to gain access to Impel Down. Relying on the whole world being too focused on the Marines' war against Whitebeard (over the aforementioned commander) to notice him breaking into Impel Down and recruiting the worst criminals held there into his crew. Finally, showing up in the middle of said war to kill Whitebeard and steal his Devil Fruit power. Damn...
  • Chewing the Scenery: The quote above, among others.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Did this to every superior he encountered in his pirate career. Second Commander Ace and Captain Whitebeard of the Whitebeard Pirates (it's even implied that he did this literally to Thatch in the anime), and the World Government as he renounced his Warlord title, after freeing several Level 6 Impel Down prisoners. Although, it seems one of his new crewmembers may have this.
  • Curbstomp Battle: In spite of all the power he wields and the threat level that he was shown to pose, he still lost badly to Whitebeard with very little effort on Whitebeard's part (a Whitebeard that was about one step away from death, to boot) and would have been killed if his crew hadn't stepped in to save his ass.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Considering how his devil fruit actually draws attacks towards him and he's taken direct hits from Whitebeard of all people he still can stand and fight without much trouble, it speaks volumes about his levels of endurance. Then again, he needs it with a devil fruit like that.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: In spite of every trait described about him making him a completely immoral and ruthless man this drawing by Oda for an idea of what the Warlords were like as children implies that he's not as simply evil as we though him to be. And out of all of them, he's the only one looking miserable, meaning he must've suffered a great deal before he became the way he is now
  • Dark Is Evil: He even went out of his way to claim his darkness powers are the most evil of all Devil Fruits. Considering he can completely nullify other Devil Fruit powers, there might be more to this claim than it being a simple boast...
  • Dishing Out Dirt: He now posseses the Tremor-Tremor Fruit.
  • Dirty Coward: Surprising, given how he carries the Will of D. and yet faces death with cowardice. When Whitebeard is about to kill him, he has the audacity to cry about Whitebeard killing his own son. This is right after Teach mocked him and killed his subordinates. He then adds on by wimpering and cowering before him.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: He's always been a Large Ham, but when he gets the powers of the Tremor-Tremor Fruit he goes full-blast into this trope.
  • Evil Counterpart: Another one for Luffy, and also the best fit for the trope. In addition, the rest of his crew also shadow other members of Straw Hats.
    • Just take a look at Teach's Black Hole stance—it's almost picture-perfect for Gear Second's stance, save for the open palm as opposed to closed fist. Now, contrast the black "smoke" of the Yami Yami no Mi to the white steam that comes off of Luffy. If this doesn't set off some parallel alarms, nothing's gonna.
    • This becomes even more clear with the addition of Shiliew who, being a master swordsman, is a pretty obvious shadow of Zoro.
    • Another similar trait is his own talent to get powerful pirates to join him. And at least in his original crew (if not necessarily his expanded one) Evil Is One Big Happy Family.
    • Also both Blackbeard and Luffy were recognized by Shanks as having great potential; he saves Luffy's life at the cost of his own arm, and he warns the powerful Ace not to tangle with Blackbeard.
  • Evil Laugh: "Zehahahah" is pretty much the most common thing to come out of this guy's mouth, almost to the point of a Verbal Tic.
  • Evil Overlord: When he became one of the Four Emperors, he gained the territory, manpower and plain power to match, and he's definitely evil.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Subverted. One of the biggest indicators that he isn't a true inheritor of the mysterious "Will of D" is that when he is in immediate life-threatening danger and has a legitimate chance of dying, he starts begging for his life like the Dirty Coward that he is.
  • The Fatalist: This is his crew's central motif and belief.
  • Fat Bastard: He has a noticeable gut, and is very much an asshole.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He'll appear friendly at first, but then he could quickly switch to mocking and killing people in a heartbeat. All while still wearing the same smile.
  • For Want of a Nail: Everything that happened that lead to him becoming an Emperor was connected to his killing of Thatch and capture of Ace.
  • Friendly Enemy: For the most part, anyway. He had nothing but encouragement and praise for Ace and, later, Luffy, and then later Whitebeard, but he brutally dismissed Hannyabal's belief in the pursuit of justice.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From a Giant Mook with no bounty to Warlord of the Sea to an Emperor.
  • Genius Bruiser: Doesn't seem like it at first, but he is a rather cunning planner. So much so that he's able to manipulate the World Government, and use them to find new crew mates.
  • Giant Mook: See Almighty Janitor above. Because he kept his head down a lot, he served this role to Whitebeard instead. Until the Dark-Dark Fruit came along, that is.
  • Gonk: For starters, he looks middle-aged, has missing teeth and usually puts a Slasher Smile.
  • Gravity Master: One of the central powers of the Dark-Dark Fruit, and a staple of his attack pattern thus far.
  • Greater Scope Villain: He is one for the Dressrosa arc, with Burgess acting on his behalf.
  • Hidden Depths: From the first moment we see the guy, and before we even learn who he is, there's clearly something more to him than he appears at a glance. It's even more so when we learn that he gave Shanks (who had both arms then) a scar in a direct confrontation. And that was before Blackbeard had his devil fruit abilities. He may seem friendly, but he's almost never what he appears to be.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: He does this to Jewelry Bonney after he defeats her crew and captures her. Her response? A kick to the face, after which he expresses that's a very unlady-like thing to do.
  • Image Song: Got his own in Nippon Judan! 47 Cruise in the form of "NOW MY HANDS GET!!!!".
  • It's All About Me: To him, it doesn't matter how many died in the Paramount War, or from the various problems afterwards, like a release of who knows how many evil Pirates from Level Six or the surge in new Pirates, all directly or indirectly from his own actions. As long as he becomes Pirate King, it's all good.
  • Jerkass: Hints of this are given in his fight with Ace, but he fully becomes one once he meets Luffy again.
  • Just Between You and Me: Inverted. He doesn't tell you phases of his plans until after they played out. This is confirmed when fellow schemer and predecessor Crocodile asks him why he would throw away his Warlord title so soon, only for him to reply it's none of his business. He would later reveal that the only reason he had the title in the first place is to break into Impel Down and take the world's worst criminals as his crewmembers, while his former captain prepares for battle with his former allies.
  • Karma Houdini: He committed major atrocities over the course of the series (i.e. years of piracy and backstabbing, invading Drum Island, etc.) and somehow managed to not rack up a bounty. Of course, as he becomes one of the Four Emperors, it's likely that he'll get one.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When he went to Impel Demon to get a new crew he had the Level 6 prisoners kill each other in order to find the remaining members for his crew. But, considering they're all unrepentant criminals who were implied to be rotten to the core...
  • Klingon Promotion: He became one of the Four Emperors by killing his predecessor Whitebeard.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The tone of of the story tends to get more dramatic and dangerous whenever he gets involved, case in point being he essentially set off the events of Marineford single-handedly.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Even if you get Whitebeard's powers, if you don't know much about it yet, like he has admitted to, it wouldn't do much against a guy like Shanks, not to mention Sengoku, the rest of the Warlords, the Admirals, and the rest of Whitebeard's crew. Probably why he wisely withdrew from Marineford.
    • This happened again much later on when he attempted to make a prisoner trade with the World Government. After he noticed that they sent Akainu, he immediately called it off and got the hell out of there. He may have been able to take him, but when you're dealing with a homicidal maniac like Akainu who would be more than happy to wipe out your entire crew, you don't leave anything to chance.
  • Large and in Charge: Subverted. Although he is 11'3", he's not the biggest member of his crew. Vasco Shot, who seems to be around the range of Kuma/Moria, i.e. 22 feet, towers over Blackbeard. And that's not even getting started on San Juan Wolf, who looks to be as tall as the Sears Tower.
  • Large Ham: When he can get time to tell someone of his thoughts and plans, he explodes with it, like the quote above.
  • Made of Iron: It takes a lot to bring him down, and it's easy to do it, him being so slow. Too bad for him Magellan exploited his weakness by flooding out his pain neuroceptors.
  • Man of Kryptonite: To any Devil Fruit users.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Notice how he often talks to his enemies in a calm and friendly manner? That's to get someone's guard down before he attacks.
    • And how he's been in wait during the whole Paramount War, but only reveals himself once both sides are very much weakened?
    • Forcing the inmates of Level Six to kill each other in order to get a chance to escape as members of his crew can count.
  • Mighty Glacier: Insanely durable and strong, powerful enough to send Ace flying with a punch. He has also never been seen to actively dodge attacks, a fact made worse by his fruit's powers, thus qualifying for this trope. This is not as troublesome for him though, thanks to his ability to pull enemy combatants to him.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Someone who shares the name with a Real Life very notorious pirate should've been a clue to his danger.
  • Necessary Drawback: His gravity powers can suck in Devil Fruit powers and drag opponents closer to him. They also subtly attract projectiles toward his body, making him reliant on his own toughness.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Extracting a Devil Fruit from another Fruit user for his own use, as well as being able to survive having two Devil Fruits in the first place, the latter of which is stated to be because of Blackbeard himself, not his Devil Fruit. The story implies there's more to this later, but he had already broken the established rules of the Devil Fruits.
  • Never My Fault: Teach's own form of the Will of D involves subscribing to the idea of fate, that what will be will be, and was always meant to be so. In other words, in his eyes, every atrocity he commits in his quest for power simply is a work of fate, and there's no point in holding it against him in that it was "supposed to" happen.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: His invasion of Drum Island ousted its tyrannical king and liberated its people.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Subverted. Despite the Dark-Dark Fruit being a Logia-type, which had thus far featured this trope as a tandard feature of its power-sets, its abilities actually make Teach more vulnerable to physical damage than normal. Of course, being an incredibly powerful individual as he is, he's still not easy to put down, despite this handicap.
  • Nothing Personal: Says this about killing Thatch. He had nothing against him, it was just the only way to get his Devil Fruit. This is also his general attitude about Ace, Luffy, Whitebeard, and anyone else he screws over. While he did turn Ace in to the World Government, that was only because Ace refused his offer to join his crew and attacked him. And though he originally intended to capture Luffy and turn him instead, it was simply because of his bounty. Otherwise he encourages Luffy to follow his dreams and even wished him luck in rescuing Ace. As far as Whitebeard, he even admits that he admired him, it's just that he feels Whitebeard's time is over. Whitebeard however sees the murder of Thatch as a very personal insult.
  • Not So Different: Seems to think he and Luffy are on a similar level with their powerful ambitions and huge dreams. Luffy seems to agree since he's very disturbed by Blackbeard's Black and Gray Morality and the implications it presents.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Received one from a very nearly dead Whitebeard that would have resulted in his death if his crew hadn't stepped in.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Someone really should have taken a closer look at this guy after he managed to give Shanks a permanent scar in a head-on clash, before eating his Devil Fruit.
  • Obviously Evil: He has a mouth filled with gaps for starters.
  • Overarching Villain: He spent several arcs (most of the time offscreen) planning to become a Pirate King, which involves recruiting powerful people to his pirate crew and, with his Dark-Dark Fruit's power, he obtains Whitebeard's fruit power and then takes over Whitebeard's position as one of the Four Emperors. And after the Time Skip he has gained more fruit powers, and he has expanded his pirate crew into fleets.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: His darkness powers can engulf half an island by himself, and now he's stolen Whitebeard's power to create earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • Power Copying: It seems that because of his own unique body structure, he can absorb the powers of at least one other Devil Fruit from corpses, and he was after Whitebeard's Tremor-Tremor Fruit power. Post-Time Skip, he's said to be hunting after others to do the same to them.
  • Power Nullifier: His power allows him to cancel the abilities of other Fruit users while he remains in contact with them. Unfortunately, as Whitebeard was all too happy to teach him, this does nothing to reduce the power of an unaided physical attack.
  • Power of the Void: The Darkness can absorb anything into it, literally erasing it from our world. Of course, he can also expel it.
  • Power Parasite: In the final stages of the Battle of Marineford, Blackbeard steals Whitebeard's Devil Fruit. Post-timeskip he goes after even more.
  • Psycho Rangers: His crew serves as this to the Straw Hats. To wit, there are similarities between Luffy and Blackbeard (similar belief in dreams, the Will of D, so on), Zoro and Shilliew (both master swordsmen), Chopper and Doc Q (doctors), Van Augur and Usopp (snipers), and Jesus Burgess and Franky (helmsmen, strongmen, etc.). The other members of the crew have not demonstrated their abilities much, but it's fairly likely that they will compliment the Straw Hats in some way as well.
  • Rousing Speech: To the Straw Hats on their first meeting. He compliments them on sticking up to their beliefs and assures them that some fights aren't worth it with fools like Bellamy. It's enough to leave Luffy speechless.
  • Shockwave Clap: The Quake Punch at a longer distance.
  • Sphere of Destruction: He can also use the Quake Bubble now too.
  • Story-Breaker Power: He has Dark powers which turns him into a Man of Kryptonite, even if it comes with certain drawbacks. Problem is, he then somehow managed to violate the established convention of having only 1 power per person, and took Whitebeard's Quake powers as his own, a Story-Breaker Power in its own right.
  • Stout Strength: Is a very big man, but incredibly strong and durable.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cherry pies. Every time we see him eating it's always cherry pies, with some ale to wash it down.
  • ▄bermensch: He rejects the increasing Pirate beliefs of not believing in the future, seeks to bring a New Age, is a firm believer in personal strength and morals (primarily dreams, in his case), is very charismatic, and incredibly good at shaping the world to his will.
  • Wolverine Claws: Seen sporting at least one in a flashback in Chapter 645.
  • The Worf Effect: Happened twice. First time was when he and his crew encountered Magellan, who didn't even bother asking them just what the hell they were up to (considering that he was already dealing with a riot and a mass escape attempt that involved some incredibly dangerous people, that was probably the wisest course of action) and just flooded all of them with poison, Blackbeard included, and the second time involved Whitebeard demonstrating just how many fucks he gave about Blackbeard's Devil Fruit by absolutely pulverizing him, and if it wasn't for Blackbeard's crew stepping in in the latter case, he definitely would have been killed.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Both the Dark-Dark Fruit compared to other Logias, and his ability to possess multiple Devil Fruit powers.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He claims to be playing Speed Chess; in his own words, he has a plan, but circumstances keep changing and he's adapting the plan to fit the bumps along the way. For example, he wasn't going to bother following his original plan to bring in Luffy for a bounty after Ace caught up with him. Once the plan is fully laid out, it looks a lot more like a Roulette with all of the things that went his way. Though a lot of that was probably just luck, and his fortunes may change in the future.
    • Not a joke: The reason he became a Warlord of the Sea? To gain the opportunity to break into Impel Down.
    • Considering that he needed the Warlord position to break into Impel Down and release the Level 6 prisoners eventually, he was probably planning to confront Whitebeard at some point, anyway. Realizing that Ace was hounding him made things go even faster and everything falling into place easier.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: His power covers the domain of Gravity Master, but his Kurouzu move is this, where he pulls his target into melee range. The worst part is there's no known way to defend against it, and once you're in contact, your power's gone and he can counter with his powerful melee attacks. You can counter while getting pulled, but good luck doing enough damage to fell a Mighty Glacier like him, unless your name is Whitebeard.

Alternative Title(s): One Piece-The Four Emperors